21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. 23 When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.
24 “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 27 then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped.
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
8 Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf. 9 All the nations gather together and the peoples assemble. Which of their gods foretold this and proclaimed to us the former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right, so that others may hear and say, “It is true.” 10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. 11 I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. 12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God. 13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”
Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.
1 Vindicate me, Lord, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered. 2 Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; 3 for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.
4 I do not sit with the deceitful, nor do I associate with hypocrites. 5 I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked. 6 I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, Lord, 7 proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds.
8 Lord, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells. 9 Do not take away my soul along with sinners, my life with those who are bloodthirsty, 10 in whose hands are wicked schemes, whose right hands are full of bribes. 11 I lead a blameless life; deliver me and be merciful to me.
12 My feet stand on level ground; in the great congregation I will praise the Lord.
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, 11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”
13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.”
They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” 14 (About five thousand men were there.)
But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
For some people, miracles serve as evidence of God’s existence.
31 Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:
“‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’
33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ 35 But wisdom is proved right by all her children.”
1 I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven. 2 As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy.
3 Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us, for we have endured no end of contempt. 4 We have endured no end of ridicule from the arrogant, of contempt from the proud.
23 A long time afterward, when the Lord had given rest to Israel from all their enemies all around, and Joshua was old and well advanced in years, 2 Joshua summoned all Israel, their elders and heads, their judges and officers, and said to them, “I am now old and well advanced in years; 3 and you have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations for your sake, for it is the Lord your God who has fought for you. 4 I have allotted to you as an inheritance for your tribes those nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have already cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea in the west. 5 The Lord your God will push them back before you, and drive them out of your sight; and you shall possess their land, as the Lord your God promised you. 6 Therefore be very steadfast to observe and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right nor to the left, 7 so that you may not be mixed with these nations left here among you, or make mention of the names of their gods, or swear by them, or serve them, or bow yourselves down to them, 8 but hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day. 9 For the Lord has driven out before you great and strong nations; and as for you, no one has been able to withstand you to this day. 10 One of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the Lord your God who fights for you, as he promised you. 11 Be very careful, therefore, to love the Lord your God. 12 For if you turn back, and join the survivors of these nations left here among you, and intermarry with them, so that you marry their women and they yours, 13 know assuredly that the Lord your God will not continue to drive out these nations before you; but they shall be a snare and a trap for you, a scourge on your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land that the Lord your God has given you.
14 “And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one thing has failed of all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you; all have come to pass for you, not one of them has failed. 15 But just as all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you have been fulfilled for you, so the Lord will bring upon you all the bad things, until he has destroyed you from this good land that the Lord your God has given you. 16 If you transgress the covenant of the Lord your God, which he enjoined on you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from the good land that he has given to you.”
You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord: When people fall, do they not get up again? If they go astray, do they not turn back? 5 Why then has this people[a] turned away in perpetual backsliding? They have held fast to deceit, they have refused to return. 6 I have given heed and listened, but they do not speak honestly; no one repents of wickedness, saying, “What have I done!” All of them turn to their own course, like a horse plunging headlong into battle. 7 Even the stork in the heavens knows its times; and the turtledove, swallow, and crane[b] observe the time of their coming; but my people do not know the ordinance of the Lord.
8 How can you say, “We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us,” when, in fact, the false pen of the scribes has made it into a lie? 9 The wise shall be put to shame, they shall be dismayed and taken; since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what wisdom is in them? 10 Therefore I will give their wives to others and their fields to conquerors, because from the least to the greatest everyone is greedy for unjust gain; from prophet to priest everyone deals falsely. 11 They have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace. 12 They acted shamefully, they committed abomination; yet they were not at all ashamed, they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time when I punish them, they shall be overthrown, says the Lord. 13 When I wanted to gather them, says the Lord, there are[c] no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree; even the leaves are withered, and what I gave them has passed away from them.[d]
1 Happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. 2 Happy are those who keep his decrees, who seek him with their whole heart, 3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways. 4 You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. 5 O that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! 6 Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments. 7 I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous ordinances. 8 I will observe your statutes; do not utterly forsake me.
9 How can young people keep their way pure? By guarding it according to your word. 10 With my whole heart I seek you; do not let me stray from your commandments. 11 I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you. 12 Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes. 13 With my lips I declare all the ordinances of your mouth. 14 I delight in the way of your decrees as much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on your precepts, and fix my eyes on your ways. 16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
17 Deal bountifully with your servant, so that I may live and observe your word. 18 Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. 19 I live as an alien in the land; do not hide your commandments from me. 20 My soul is consumed with longing for your ordinances at all times. 21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments; 22 take away from me their scorn and contempt, for I have kept your decrees. 23 Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes. 24 Your decrees are my delight, they are my counselors.
25 My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to your word. 26 When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes. 27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. 28 My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. 29 Put false ways far from me; and graciously teach me your law. 30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your ordinances before me. 31 I cling to your decrees, O Lord; let me not be put to shame. 32 I run the way of your commandments, for you enlarge my understanding.
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I will observe it to the end. 34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. 35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. 36 Turn my heart to your decrees, and not to selfish gain. 37 Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in your ways. 38 Confirm to your servant your promise, which is for those who fear you. 39 Turn away the disgrace that I dread, for your ordinances are good. 40 See, I have longed for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life.
41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise. 42 Then I shall have an answer for those who taunt me, for I trust in your word. 43 Do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your ordinances. 44 I will keep your law continually, forever and ever. 45 I shall walk at liberty, for I have sought your precepts. 46 I will also speak of your decrees before kings, and shall not be put to shame; 47 I find my delight in your commandments, because I love them. 48 I revere your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.
49 Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. 50 This is my comfort in my distress, that your promise gives me life. 51 The arrogant utterly deride me, but I do not turn away from your law. 52 When I think of your ordinances from of old, I take comfort, O Lord. 53 Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked, those who forsake your law. 54 Your statutes have been my songs wherever I make my home. 55 I remember your name in the night, O Lord, and keep your law. 56 This blessing has fallen to me, for I have kept your precepts.
57 The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep your words. 58 I implore your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. 59 When I think of your ways, I turn my feet to your decrees; 60 I hurry and do not delay to keep your commandments. 61 Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me, I do not forget your law. 62 At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous ordinances. 63 I am a companion of all who fear you, of those who keep your precepts. 64 The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love; teach me your statutes.
65 You have dealt well with your servant, O Lord, according to your word. 66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments. 67 Before I was humbled I went astray, but now I keep your word. 68 You are good and do good; teach me your statutes. 69 The arrogant smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts. 70 Their hearts are fat and gross, but I delight in your law. 71 It is good for me that I was humbled, so that I might learn your statutes. 72 The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
73 Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. 74 Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word. 75 I know, O Lord, that your judgments are right, and that in faithfulness you have humbled me. 76 Let your steadfast love become my comfort according to your promise to your servant. 77 Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight. 78 Let the arrogant be put to shame, because they have subverted me with guile; as for me, I will meditate on your precepts. 79 Let those who fear you turn to me, so that they may know your decrees. 80 May my heart be blameless in your statutes, so that I may not be put to shame.
81 My soul languishes for your salvation; I hope in your word. 82 My eyes fail with watching for your promise; I ask, “When will you comfort me?” 83 For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, yet I have not forgotten your statutes. 84 How long must your servant endure? When will you judge those who persecute me? 85 The arrogant have dug pitfalls for me; they flout your law. 86 All your commandments are enduring; I am persecuted without cause; help me! 87 They have almost made an end of me on earth; but I have not forsaken your precepts. 88 In your steadfast love spare my life, so that I may keep the decrees of your mouth.
89 The Lord exists forever; your word is firmly fixed in heaven. 90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. 91 By your appointment they stand today, for all things are your servants. 92 If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my misery. 93 I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life. 94 I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts. 95 The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your decrees. 96 I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad.
97 Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all day long. 98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is always with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your decrees are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts. 101 I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word. 102 I do not turn away from your ordinances, for you have taught me. 103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to observe your righteous ordinances. 107 I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word. 108 Accept my offerings of praise, O Lord, and teach me your ordinances. 109 I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law. 110 The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts. 111 Your decrees are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. 112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.
113 I hate the double-minded, but I love your law. 114 You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. 115 Go away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God. 116 Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope. 117 Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually. 118 You spurn all who go astray from your statutes; for their cunning is in vain. 119 All the wicked of the earth you count as dross; therefore I love your decrees. 120 My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments.
121 I have done what is just and right; do not leave me to my oppressors. 122 Guarantee your servant’s well-being; do not let the godless oppress me. 123 My eyes fail from watching for your salvation, and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise. 124 Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes. 125 I am your servant; give me understanding, so that I may know your decrees. 126 It is time for the Lord to act, for your law has been broken. 127 Truly I love your commandments more than gold, more than fine gold. 128 Truly I direct my steps by all your precepts;[a] I hate every false way.
129 Your decrees are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them. 130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. 131 With open mouth I pant, because I long for your commandments. 132 Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your custom toward those who love your name. 133 Keep my steps steady according to your promise, and never let iniquity have dominion over me. 134 Redeem me from human oppression, that I may keep your precepts. 135 Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes. 136 My eyes shed streams of tears because your law is not kept.
137 You are righteous, O Lord, and your judgments are right. 138 You have appointed your decrees in righteousness and in all faithfulness. 139 My zeal consumes me because my foes forget your words. 140 Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it. 141 I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts. 142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is the truth. 143 Trouble and anguish have come upon me, but your commandments are my delight. 144 Your decrees are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.
145 With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord. I will keep your statutes. 146 I cry to you; save me, that I may observe your decrees. 147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I put my hope in your words. 148 My eyes are awake before each watch of the night, that I may meditate on your promise. 149 In your steadfast love hear my voice; O Lord, in your justice preserve my life. 150 Those who persecute me with evil purpose draw near; they are far from your law. 151 Yet you are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are true. 152 Long ago I learned from your decrees that you have established them forever.
153 Look on my misery and rescue me, for I do not forget your law. 154 Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise. 155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes. 156 Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your justice. 157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, yet I do not swerve from your decrees. 158 I look at the faithless with disgust, because they do not keep your commands. 159 Consider how I love your precepts; preserve my life according to your steadfast love. 160 The sum of your word is truth; and every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever.
161 Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words. 162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil. 163 I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law. 164 Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous ordinances. 165 Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. 166 I hope for your salvation, O Lord, and I fulfill your commandments. 167 My soul keeps your decrees; I love them exceedingly. 168 I keep your precepts and decrees, for all my ways are before you.
169 Let my cry come before you, O Lord; give me understanding according to your word. 170 Let my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise. 171 My lips will pour forth praise, because you teach me your statutes. 172 My tongue will sing of your promise, for all your commandments are right. 173 Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. 174 I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight. 175 Let me live that I may praise you, and let your ordinances help me. 176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek out your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.
10 After this the Lord appointed seventy[a] others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ 6 And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’[b]10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’[c]12 I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.
Woes to Unrepentant Cities
13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum,
will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades.
16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”
The Return of the Seventy
17 The seventy[d] returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” 18 He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19 See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”