Thursday, August 18, 2016

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts - Daily Bible Readings August 18, 2016

The Lord promises to give Israel a new heart so that the defilement of His name among the nations will be reversed. A new heart refers to a new message from God, one that will reveal His heart in a new way and transform those who receive it. This is the Gospel of Jesus. Through baptism, our hearts are recreated in Jesus. We now bear the heart of God to the world through the witness of our lives.
Ezekiel 36:23-28
23 Thus says the Lord: I will prove the holiness of my great name, profaned among the nations, in whose midst you have profaned it. Thus the nations shall know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when in their sight I prove my holiness through you. 24 For I will take you away from among the nations, gather you from all the foreign lands, and bring you back to your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. 27 I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees. 28 You shall live in the land I gave your ancestors; you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Psalm 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19
R: I will pour clean water on you and wash away all your sins.
10 [12] A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. 11 [13] Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me. (R) 12 [14] Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me. 13 [15] I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners shall return to you. (R) 16 [18] For you are not pleased with sacrifices; should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it. 17 [19] My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn. (R)
We should be ready to respond to the call of the Lord, even if it comes at an inconvenient time. The passion of Jesus was not something that He wanted for Himself. But He endures and embraces it for our sake. Let us serve for the sake of the Gospel and not count the cost.
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Matthew 22:1-14
1 Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables, saying, 2 “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. 3 He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. 4 A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.” ’ 5 Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. 6 The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them. 7 The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8 Then the king said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. 9 Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ 10 The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. 11 But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. 12 He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence. 13 Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ 14 Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
think: Through baptism, our hearts are recreated in Jesus. We now bear the heart of God to the world through the witness of our lives.
Thank You Lord for: __________________
God’s special verse/thought for me today_

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