Psalm 119:1-88; 1 Corinthians 7:20-40

1 Happy are those whose lives are faultless, who live according to the law of the Lord. 2 Happy are those who follow his commands, who obey him with all their heart. 3 They never do wrong; they walk in the Lord's ways. 4 Lord, you have given us your laws and told us to obey them faithfully. 5 How I hope that I shall be faithful in keeping your instructions! 6 If I pay attention to all your commands, then I will not be put to shame. 7 As I learn your righteous judgments, I will praise you with a pure heart. 8 I will obey your laws; never abandon me! 9 How can young people keep their lives pure? By obeying your commands. 10 With all my heart I try to serve you; keep me from disobeying your commandments. 11 I keep your law in my heart, so that I will not sin against you. 12 I praise you, O Lord; teach me your ways. 13 I will repeat aloud all the laws you have given. 14 I delight in following your commands more than in having great wealth. 15 I study your instructions; I examine your teachings. 16 I take pleasure in your laws; your commands I will not forget. 17 Be good to me, your servant, so that I may live and obey your teachings. 18 Open my eyes, so that I may see the wonderful truths in your law. 19 I am here on earth for just a little while; do not hide your commands from me. 20 My heart aches with longing; I want to know your judgments at all times. 21 You reprimand the proud; cursed are those who disobey your commands. 22 Free me from their insults and scorn, because I have kept your laws. 23 The rulers meet and plot against me, but I will study your teachings. 24 Your instructions give me pleasure; they are my advisers. 25 I lie defeated in the dust; revive me, as you have promised. 26 I confessed all I have done, and you answered me; teach me your ways. 27 Help me to understand your laws, and I will meditate on your wonderful teachings. 28 I am overcome by sorrow; strengthen me, as you have promised. 29 Keep me from going the wrong way, and in your goodness teach me your law. 30 I have chosen to be obedient; I have paid attention to your judgments. 31 I have followed your instructions, Lord; don't let me be put to shame. 32 I will eagerly obey your commands, because you will give me more understanding. 33 Teach me, Lord, the meaning of your laws, and I will obey them at all times. 34 Explain your law to me, and I will obey it; I will keep it with all my heart. 35 Keep me obedient to your commandments, because in them I find happiness. 36 Give me the desire to obey your laws rather than to get rich. 37 Keep me from paying attention to what is worthless; be good to me, as you have promised. 38 Keep your promise to me, your servant - the promise you make to those who obey you. 39 Save me from the insults I fear; how wonderful are your judgments! 40 I want to obey your commands; give me new life, for you are righteous. 41 Show me how much you love me, Lord, and save me according to your promise. 42 Then I can answer those who insult me because I trust in your word. 43 Enable me to speak the truth at all times, because my hope is in your judgments. 44 I will always obey your law, forever and ever. 45 I will live in perfect freedom, because I try to obey your teachings. 46 I will announce your commands to kings and I will not be ashamed. 47 I find pleasure in obeying your commands, because I love them. 48 I respect and love your commandments; I will meditate on your instructions. 49 Remember your promise to me, your servant; it has given me hope. 50 Even in my suffering I was comforted because your promise gave me life. 51 The proud are always scornful of me, but I have not departed from your law. 52 I remember your judgments of long ago, and they bring me comfort, O Lord. 53 When I see the wicked breaking your law, I am filled with anger. 54 During my brief earthly life I compose songs about your commands. 55 In the night I remember you, Lord, and I think about your law. 56 I find my happiness in obeying your commands. 57 You are all I want, O Lord; I promise to obey your laws. 58 I ask you with all my heart to have mercy on me, as you have promised! 59 I have considered my conduct, and I promise to follow your instructions. 60 Without delay I hurry to obey your commands. 61 The wicked have laid a trap for me, but I do not forget your law. 62 In the middle of the night I wake up to praise you for your righteous judgments. 63 I am a friend of all who serve you, of all who obey your laws. 64 Lord, the earth is full of your constant love; teach me your commandments. 65 You have kept your promise, Lord, and you are good to me, your servant. 66 Give me wisdom and knowledge, because I trust in your commands. 67 Before you punished me, I used to go wrong, but now I obey your word. 68 How good you are - how kind! Teach me your commands. 69 The proud have told lies about me, but with all my heart I obey your instructions. 70 They have no understanding, but I find pleasure in your law. 71 My punishment was good for me, because it made me learn your commands. 72 The law that you gave means more to me than all the money in the world. 73 You created me, and you keep me safe; give me understanding, so that I may learn your laws. 74 Those who honor you will be glad when they see me, because I trust in your promise. 75 I know that your judgments are righteous, Lord, and that you punished me because you are faithful. 76 Let your constant love comfort me, as you have promised me, your servant. 77 Have mercy on me, and I will live because I take pleasure in your law. 78 May the proud be ashamed for falsely accusing me; as for me, I will meditate on your instructions. 79 May those who honor you come to me - all those who know your commands. 80 May I perfectly obey your commandments and be spared the shame of defeat. 81 I am worn out, Lord, waiting for you to save me; I place my trust in your word. 82 My eyes are tired from watching for what you promised, while I ask, "When will you help me?" 83 I am as useless as a discarded wineskin; yet I have not forgotten your commands. 84 How much longer must I wait? When will you punish those who persecute me? 85 The proud, who do not obey your law, have dug pits to trap me. 86 Your commandments are all trustworthy; people persecute me with lies - help me! 87 They have almost succeeded in killing me, but I have not neglected your commands. 88 Because of your constant love be good to me, so that I may obey your laws.
20 Each of you should remain as you were when you accepted God's call. 21 Were you a slave when God called you? Well, never mind; but if you have a chance to become free, use it. 22 For a slave who has been called by the Lord is the Lord's free person; in the same way a free person who has been called by Christ is his slave. 23 God bought you for a price; so do not become slaves of people. 24 My friends, each of you should remain in fellowship with God in the same condition that you were when you were called. 25 Now, concerning what you wrote about unmarried people: I do not have a command from the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord's mercy is worthy of trust. 26 Considering the present distress, I think it is better for a man to stay as he is. 27 Do you have a wife? Then don't try to get rid of her. Are you unmarried? Then don't look for a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you haven't committed a sin; and if an unmarried woman marries, she hasn't committed a sin. But I would rather spare you the everyday troubles that married people will have. 29 What I mean, my friends, is this: there is not much time left, and from now on married people should live as though they were not married; 30 those who weep, as though they were not sad; those who laugh, as though they were not happy; those who buy, as though they did not own what they bought; 31 those who deal in material goods, as though they were not fully occupied with them. For this world, as it is now, will not last much longer. 32 I would like you to be free from worry. An unmarried man concerns himself with the Lord's work, because he is trying to please the Lord. 33 But a married man concerns himself with worldly matters, because he wants to please his wife; 34 and so he is pulled in two directions. An unmarried woman or a virgin concerns herself with the Lord's work, because she wants to be dedicated both in body and spirit; but a married woman concerns herself with worldly matters, because she wants to please her husband. 35 I am saying this because I want to help you. I am not trying to put restrictions on you. Instead, I want you to do what is right and proper, and to give yourselves completely to the Lord's service without any reservation. 36 In the case of an engaged couple who have decided not to marry: if the man feels that he is not acting properly toward the young woman and if his passions are too strong and he feels that they ought to marry, then they should get married, as he wants to. There is no sin in this. 37 But if a man, without being forced to do so, has firmly made up his mind not to marry, and if he has his will under complete control and has already decided in his own mind what to do - then he does well not to marry the young woman. 38 So the man who marries does well, but the one who doesn't marry does even better. 39 A married woman is not free as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, then she is free to be married to any man she wishes, but only if he is a Christian. 40 She will be happier, however, if she stays as she is. That is my opinion, and I think that I too have God's Spirit.
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