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Daily Readings for Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The third mark of Discipleship is Bible Reading. Below are today's readings from the Daily Lectionary & Revised Common Lectionary for Sundays. You may click on each reading to see the text on Bible Gateway.

Morning Psalms

Psalm 50 (Listen)

God Himself Is Judge

A Psalm of Asaph.

  The Mighty One, God the LORD,
    speaks and summons the earth
    from the rising of the sun to its setting.
  Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
    God shines forth.
  Our God comes; he does not keep silence;
    before him is a devouring fire,
    around him a mighty tempest.
  He calls to the heavens above
    and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
  “Gather to me my faithful ones,
    who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
  The heavens declare his righteousness,
    for God himself is judge! Selah
  “Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
    O Israel, I will testify against you.
    I am God, your God.
  Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
    your burnt offerings are continually before me.
  I will not accept a bull from your house
    or goats from your folds.
  For every beast of the forest is mine,
    the cattle on a thousand hills.
  I know all the birds of the hills,
    and all that moves in the field is mine.
  “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for the world and its fullness are mine.
  Do I eat the flesh of bulls
    or drink the blood of goats?
  Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
    and perform your vows to the Most High,
  and call upon me in the day of trouble;
    I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
  But to the wicked God says:
    “What right have you to recite my statutes
    or take my covenant on your lips?
  For you hate discipline,
    and you cast my words behind you.
  If you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
    and you keep company with adulterers.
  “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
    and your tongue frames deceit.
  You sit and speak against your brother;
    you slander your own mother's son.
  These things you have done, and I have been silent;
    you thought that I was one like yourself.
  But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.
  “Mark this, then, you who forget God,
    lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
  The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
    to one who orders his way rightly
    I will show the salvation of God!”


Psalm 147:1–11 (Listen)

He Heals the Brokenhearted

  Praise the LORD!
  For it is good to sing praises to our God;
    for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
  The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
    he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
  He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.
  He determines the number of the stars;
    he gives to all of them their names.
  Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
    his understanding is beyond measure.
  The LORD lifts up the humble;
    he casts the wicked to the ground.
  Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
    make melody to our God on the lyre!
  He covers the heavens with clouds;
    he prepares rain for the earth;
    he makes grass grow on the hills.
  He gives to the beasts their food,
    and to the young ravens that cry.
  His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
    nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
  but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
    in those who hope in his steadfast love.

First Reading

Amos 3:12–4:5 (Listen)

Thus says the LORD: “As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who dwell in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed.

  “Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,”
    declares the Lord GOD, the God of hosts,
  “that on the day I punish Israel for his transgressions,
    I will punish the altars of Bethel,
  and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
    and fall to the ground.
  I will strike the winter house along with the summer house,
    and the houses of ivory shall perish,
  and the great houses shall come to an end,”
      declares the LORD.
  “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan,
    who are on the mountain of Samaria,
  who oppress the poor, who crush the needy,
    who say to your husbands, ‘Bring, that we may drink!’
  The Lord GOD has sworn by his holiness
    that, behold, the days are coming upon you,
  when they shall take you away with hooks,
    even the last of you with fishhooks.
  And you shall go out through the breaches,
    each one straight ahead;
    and you shall be cast out into Harmon,”
      declares the LORD.
  “Come to Bethel, and transgress;
    to Gilgal, and multiply transgression;
  bring your sacrifices every morning,
    your tithes every three days;
  offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened,
    and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them;
    for so you love to do, O people of Israel!”
      declares the Lord GOD.

Second Reading

2 Peter 3:1–10 (Listen)

The Day of the Lord Will Come

This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Gospel Reading

Matthew 21:23–32 (Listen)

The Authority of Jesus Challenged

And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

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.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 53 (Listen)

There Is None Who Does Good

To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David.

  The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;
    there is none who does good.
  God looks down from heaven
    on the children of man
  to see if there are any who understand,
    who seek after God.
  They have all fallen away;
    together they have become corrupt;
  there is none who does good,
    not even one.
  Have those who work evil no knowledge,
    who eat up my people as they eat bread,
    and do not call upon God?
  There they are, in great terror,
    where there is no terror!
  For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you;
    you put them to shame, for God has rejected them.
  Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
    When God restores the fortunes of his people,
    let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.


Psalm 17 (Listen)

In the Shadow of Your Wings

A Prayer of David.

  Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry!
    Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
  From your presence let my vindication come!
    Let your eyes behold the right!
  You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night,
    you have tested me, and you will find nothing;
    I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
  With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips
    I have avoided the ways of the violent.
  My steps have held fast to your paths;
    my feet have not slipped.
  I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
    incline your ear to me; hear my words.
  Wondrously show your steadfast love,
    O Savior of those who seek refuge
    from their adversaries at your right hand.
  Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings,
  from the wicked who do me violence,
    my deadly enemies who surround me.
  They close their hearts to pity;
    with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
  They have now surrounded our steps;
    they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
  He is like a lion eager to tear,
    as a young lion lurking in ambush.
  Arise, O LORD! Confront him, subdue him!
    Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
  from men by your hand, O LORD,
    from men of the world whose portion is in this life.
  You fill their womb with treasure;
    they are satisfied with children,
    and they leave their abundance to their infants.
  As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
    when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.

Scripture is taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service. Reader: David Cochran Heath.

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