Psalm 107; Psalm 108; Psalm 109; 1 Corinthians 4

1 "Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good; his love is eternal!" 2 Repeat these words in praise to the Lord, all you whom he has saved. He has rescued you from your enemies 3 and has brought you back from foreign countries, from east and west, from north and south. 4 Some wandered in the trackless desert and could not find their way to a city to live in. 5 They were hungry and thirsty and had given up all hope. 6 Then in their trouble they called to the Lord, and he saved them from their distress. 7 He led them by a straight road to a city where they could live. 8 They must thank the Lord for his constant love, for the wonderful things he did for them. 9 He satisfies those who are thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. 10 Some were living in gloom and darkness, prisoners suffering in chains, 11 because they had rebelled against the commands of Almighty God and had rejected his instructions. 12 They were worn out from hard work; they would fall down, and no one would help. 13 Then in their trouble they called to the Lord, and he saved them from their distress. 14 He brought them out of their gloom and darkness and broke their chains in pieces. 15 They must thank the Lord for his constant love, for the wonderful things he did for them. 16 He breaks down doors of bronze and smashes iron bars. 17 Some were fools, suffering because of their sins and because of their evil; 18 they couldn't stand the sight of food and were close to death. 19 Then in their trouble they called to the Lord, and he saved them from their distress. 20 He healed them with his command and saved them from the grave. 21 They must thank the Lord for his constant love, for the wonderful things he did for them. 22 They must thank him with sacrifices, and with songs of joy must tell all that he has done. 23 Some sailed over the ocean in ships, earning their living on the seas. 24 They saw what the Lord can do, his wonderful acts on the seas. 25 He commanded, and a mighty wind began to blow and stirred up the waves. 26 The ships were lifted high in the air and plunged down into the depths. In such danger the sailors lost their courage; 27 they stumbled and staggered like drunks - all their skill was useless. 28 Then in their trouble they called to the Lord, and he saved them from their distress. 29 He calmed the raging storm, and the waves became quiet. 30 They were glad because of the calm, and he brought them safe to the port they wanted. 31 They must thank the Lord for his constant love, for the wonderful things he did for them. 32 They must proclaim his greatness in the assembly of the people and praise him before the council of the leaders. 33 The Lord made rivers dry up completely and stopped springs from flowing. 34 He made rich soil become a salty wasteland because of the wickedness of those who lived there. 35 He changed deserts into pools of water and dry land into flowing springs. 36 He let hungry people settle there, and they built a city to live in. 37 They sowed the fields and planted grapevines and reaped an abundant harvest. 38 He blessed his people, and they had many children; he kept their herds of cattle from decreasing. 39 When God's people were defeated and humiliated by cruel oppression and suffering, 40 he showed contempt for their oppressors and made them wander in trackless deserts. 41 But he rescued the needy from their misery and made their families increase like flocks. 42 The righteous see this and are glad, but all the wicked are put to silence. 43 May those who are wise think about these things; may they consider the Lord's constant love.
1 I have complete confidence, O God! I will sing and praise you! Wake up, my soul! 2 Wake up, my harp and lyre! I will wake up the sun. 3 I will thank you, O Lord, among the nations. I will praise you among the peoples. 4 Your constant love reaches above the heavens; your faithfulness touches the skies. 5 Show your greatness in the sky, O God, and your glory over all the earth. 6 Save us by your might; answer my prayer, so that the people you love may be rescued. 7 From his sanctuary God has said, "In triumph I will divide Shechem and distribute Sukkoth Valley to my people. 8 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh too; Ephraim is my helmet and Judah my royal scepter. 9 But I will use Moab as my washbowl, and I will throw my sandals on Edom, as a sign that I own it. I will shout in triumph over the Philistines." 10 Who, O God, will take me into the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom? 11 Have you really rejected us? Aren't you going to march out with our armies? 12 Help us against the enemy; human help is worthless. 13 With God on our side we will win; he will defeat our enemies.
1 I praise you, God; don't remain silent! 2 Wicked people and liars have attacked me. They tell lies about me, 3 and they say evil things about me, attacking me for no reason. 4 They oppose me, even though I love them and have prayed for them. 5 They pay me back evil for good and hatred for love. 6 Choose some corrupt judge to try my enemy, and let one of his own enemies accuse him. 7 May he be tried and found guilty; may even his prayer be considered a crime! 8 May his life soon be ended; may someone else take his job! 9 May his children become orphans, and his wife a widow! 10 May his children be homeless beggars; may they be driven from the ruins they live in! 11 May his creditors take away all his property, and may strangers get everything he worked for. 12 May no one ever be kind to him or care for the orphans he leaves behind. 13 May all his descendants die, and may his name be forgotten in the next generation. 14 May the Lord remember the evil of his ancestors and never forgive his mother's sins. 15 May the Lord always remember their sins, but may they themselves be completely forgotten! 16 That man never thought of being kind; he persecuted and killed the poor, the needy, and the helpless. 17 He loved to curse - may he be cursed! He hated to give blessings - may no one bless him! 18 He cursed as naturally as he dressed himself; may his own curses soak into his body like water and into his bones like oil! 19 May they cover him like clothes and always be around him like a belt! 20 Lord, punish my enemies in that way - those who say such evil things against me! 21 But my Sovereign Lord, help me as you have promised, and rescue me because of the goodness of your love. 22 I am poor and needy; I am hurt to the depths of my heart. 23 Like an evening shadow I am about to vanish; I am blown away like an insect. 24 My knees are weak from lack of food; I am nothing but skin and bones. 25 When people see me, they laugh at me; they shake their heads in scorn. 26 Help me, O Lord my God; because of your constant love, save me! 27 Make my enemies know that you are the one who saves me. 28 They may curse me, but you will bless me. May my persecutors be defeated, and may I, your servant, be glad. 29 May my enemies be covered with disgrace; may they wear their shame like a robe. 30 I will give loud thanks to the Lord; I will praise him in the assembly of the people, 31 because he defends the poor and saves them from those who condemn them to death.
1 You should think of us as Christ's servants, who have been put in charge of God's secret truths. 2 The one thing required of such servants is that they be faithful to their master. 3 Now, I am not at all concerned about being judged by you or by any human standard; I don't even pass judgment on myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not prove that I am really innocent. The Lord is the one who passes judgment on me. 5 So you should not pass judgment on anyone before the right time comes. Final judgment must wait until the Lord comes; he will bring to light the dark secrets and expose the hidden purposes of people's minds. And then all will receive from God the praise they deserve. 6 For your sake, my friends, I have applied all this to Apollos and me, using the two of us as an example, so that you may learn what the saying means, "Observe the proper rules." None of you should be proud of one person and despise another. 7 Who made you superior to others? Didn't God give you everything you have? Well, then, how can you boast, as if what you have were not a gift? 8 Do you already have everything you need? Are you already rich? Have you become kings, even though we are not? Well, I wish you really were kings, so that we could be kings together with you. 9 For it seems to me that God has given the very last place to us apostles, like people condemned to die in public as a spectacle for the whole world of angels and of human beings. 10 For Christ's sake we are fools; but you are wise in union with Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! We are despised, but you are honored! 11 To this very moment we go hungry and thirsty; we are clothed in rags; we are beaten; we wander from place to place; 12 we wear ourselves out with hard work. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13 when we are insulted, we answer back with kind words. We are no more than this world's garbage; we are the scum of the earth to this very moment! 14 I write this to you, not because I want to make you feel ashamed, but to instruct you as my own dear children. 15 For even if you have ten thousand guardians in your Christian life, you have only one father. For in your life in union with Christ Jesus I have become your father by bringing the Good News to you. 16 I beg you, then, to follow my example. 17 For this purpose I am sending to you Timothy, who is my own dear and faithful son in the Christian life. He will remind you of the principles which I follow in the new life in union with Christ Jesus and which I teach in all the churches everywhere. 18 Some of you have become proud because you have thought that I would not be coming to visit you. 19 If the Lord is willing, however, I will come to you soon, and then I will find out for myself the power which these proud people have, and not just what they say. 20 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of words but of power. 21 Which do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in a spirit of love and gentleness?
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