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July 14

Pastor’s Note

Psalm 14 begins by underscoring an important element in atheism and agnosticism—that beneath the philosophical outlook there is the moral motivation to be freed from the constraints of divine oversight and accountability. As Romans 1 tells us, the inherent theism embedded in the human heart has to be purposefully suppressed for the sake of pursuing unrighteous behaviors. Acts 18 reminds us of God’s call to continue to reason with the lost, not giving way to fear or intimidation. Paul’s travels also remind us that we should continue to look for the ripe harvest fields in our sphere of influence, and among our circle of friends and acquaintances.

— Pastor Mike

Psalms 13-16

How Long, O Lord?

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

13:1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

The Fool Says, There Is No God

To the choirmaster. Of David.

14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
there is none who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
to see if there are any who understand, [1]
who seek after God.

They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
who eat up my people as they eat bread
and do not call upon the Lord?

There they are in great terror,
for God is with the generation of the righteous.
You would shame the plans of the poor,
but [2] the Lord is his refuge.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

Who Shall Dwell on Your Holy Hill?

A Psalm of David.

15:1 O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?

He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
who does not put out his money at interest
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.

You Will Not Abandon My Soul

A Miktam [3] of David.

16:1 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight. [4]

The sorrows of those who run after [5] another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me. [6]
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being [7] rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption. [8]

11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Acts 18

Paul in Corinth

18:1 After this Paul [9] left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks.

When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, 13 saying, “This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law.” 14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. 15 But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.” 16 And he drove them from the tribunal.17 And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this.

Paul Returns to Antioch

18 After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers [10] and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. 19 And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. 21 But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus.

22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. 23 After spending some time there, he departed and went from one place to the next through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

Apollos Speaks Boldly in Ephesus

24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, [11] he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 14:2 Or that act wisely
[2] 14:6 Or for
[3] 16:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[4] 16:3 Or To the saints in the land, the excellent in whom is all my delight, I say:
[5] 16:4 Or who acquire
[6] 16:7 Hebrew my kidneys instruct me
[7] 16:9 Hebrew my glory
[8] 16:10 Or see the pit
[9] 18:1 Greek he
[10] 18:18 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 27
[11] 18:25 Or in the Spirit

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