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August 17

Pastor’s Note

Today we give thanks with the psalmist for God’s “steadfast love” – which translates a great and oft-used Hebrew word that captures the unique and loyal love of God through the ages. Our New Testament reading through the bottom of Romans 15 reminds us of the importance of strategically thinking through our schedules and plans as we seek to serve Christ.

— Pastor Mike

Psalms 107-108

Book Five

Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So

107:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
 for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
 whom he has redeemed from trouble [1]
and gathered in from the lands,
 from the east and from the west,
 from the north and from the south.

Some wandered in desert wastes,
 finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty,
 their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
 and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
 till they reached a city to dwell in.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
 for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he satisfies the longing soul,
 and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

10 Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
 prisoners in affliction and in irons,
11 for they had rebelled against the words of God,
 and spurned the counsel of the Most High.
12 So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor;
 they fell down, with none to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
 and he delivered them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
 and burst their bonds apart.
15 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
 for his wondrous works to the children of man!
16 For he shatters the doors of bronze
 and cuts in two the bars of iron.

17 Some were fools through their sinful ways,
 and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
18 they loathed any kind of food,
 and they drew near to the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
 and he delivered them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them,
 and delivered them from their destruction.
21 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
 for his wondrous works to the children of man!
22 And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
 and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

23 Some went down to the sea in ships,
 doing business on the great waters;
24 they saw the deeds of the Lord,
 his wondrous works in the deep.
25 For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
 which lifted up the waves of the sea.
26 They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
 their courage melted away in their evil plight;
27 they reeled and staggered like drunken men
 and were at their wits’ end. [2]
28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
 and he delivered them from their distress.
29 He made the storm be still,
 and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 Then they were glad that the waters [3] were quiet,
 and he brought them to their desired haven.
31 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
 for his wondrous works to the children of man!
32 Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
 and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

33 He turns rivers into a desert,
 springs of water into thirsty ground,
34 a fruitful land into a salty waste,
 because of the evil of its inhabitants.
35 He turns a desert into pools of water,
 a parched land into springs of water.
36 And there he lets the hungry dwell,
 and they establish a city to live in;
37 they sow fields and plant vineyards
 and get a fruitful yield.
38 By his blessing they multiply greatly,
 and he does not let their livestock diminish.

39 When they are diminished and brought low
 through oppression, evil, and sorrow,
40 he pours contempt on princes
 and makes them wander in trackless wastes;
41 but he raises up the needy out of affliction
 and makes their families like flocks.
42 The upright see it and are glad,
 and all wickedness shuts its mouth.

43 Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
 let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord.

With God We Shall Do Valiantly

A Song. A Psalm of David.

108:1 My heart is steadfast, O God!
 I will sing and make melody with all my being! [4]
Awake, O harp and lyre!
 I will awake the dawn!
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
 I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is great above the heavens;
 your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
 Let your glory be over all the earth!
That your beloved ones may be delivered,
 give salvation by your right hand and answer me!

God has promised in his holiness: [5]
 “With exultation I will divide up Shechem
 and portion out the Valley of Succoth.
Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine;
 Ephraim is my helmet,
 Judah my scepter.
Moab is my washbasin;
 upon Edom I cast my shoe;
 over Philistia I shout in triumph.”

10 Who will bring me to the fortified city?
 Who will lead me to Edom?
11 Have you not rejected us, O God?
 You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
12 Oh grant us help against the foe,
 for vain is the salvation of man!
13 With God we shall do valiantly;
 it is he who will tread down our foes.

Romans 15:21-33

21 but as it is written,

“Those who have never been told of him will see,
 and those who have never heard will understand.”

Paul’s Plan to Visit Rome

22 This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. 23 But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, 24 I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25 At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. 27 For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. 28 When therefore I have completed this and have delivered to them what has been collected, [6] I will leave for Spain by way of you. 29 I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing [7] of Christ.

30 I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, 31 that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33 May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Footnotes

[1] 107:2 Or from the hand of the foe
[2] 107:27 Hebrew and all their wisdom was swallowed up
[3] 107:30 Hebrew they
[4] 108:1 Hebrew with my glory
[5] 108:7 Or sanctuary
[6] 15:28 Greek sealed to them this fruit
[7] 15:29 Some manuscripts insert of the gospel

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