Prayer & Praise
O merciful Lord, grant to your faithful people pardon and peace, that we may be cleansed from all our sins and serve you with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Ezekiel 18:1-4,25-32 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Soul Who Sins Shall Die
The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As I live, declares the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.
“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?
“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”
Unto you, O Lord, will I lift up my soul; my God, I have put my trust in you; * O let me not be ashamed, neither let my enemies triumph over me.
For all those who hope in you shall not be ashamed, * but those who deal untruly shall be put to confusion.
Show me your ways, O Lord, * and teach me your paths.
Lead me forth in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; in you has been my hope all the day long.
Call to remembrance, O Lord, your tender mercies, * and your loving-kindnesses, which have been from of old.
O remember not the sins and offenses of my youth, * but according to your mercy think on me, O Lord, in your goodness.
Gracious and righteous is the Lord; * therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
Those who are meek shall he guide in judgment, * and those who are gentle shall he teach his way.
All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth * to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
For your Name’s sake, O Lord, * forgive my sin, for it is great.
Who is the one who fears the Lord? * He shall teach him in the way that he shall choose.
He shall dwell at ease, * and his seed shall inherit the land.
The Lord reveals his secret counsel to those who fear him, * and he will show them his covenant.
My eyes are ever looking to the Lord, * for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me, and have mercy on me, * for I am desolate and in misery.
The sorrows of my heart are enlarged; * O bring me out of my troubles.
Look upon my adversity and misery * and forgive me all my sin.
Consider my enemies, how many they are, * and how they bear a tyrannous hate against me.
O keep my soul and deliver me; * let me not be ashamed, for I have put my trust in you.
Let integrity and righteous dealing preserve me, * for my hope has been in you.
Deliver Israel, O God, * out of all his troubles
Philippians 2:1-13 English Standard Version (ESV)
Christ’s Example of Humility
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Lights in the World
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Matthew 21:28-32 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Parable of the Two Sons
“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.