Psalm 49; Psalm 50; Romans 1

1 Hear this, everyone! Listen, all people everywhere, 2 great and small alike, rich and poor together. 3 My thoughts will be clear; I will speak words of wisdom. 4 I will turn my attention to proverbs and explain their meaning as I play the harp. 5 I am not afraid in times of danger when I am surrounded by enemies, 6 by evil people who trust in their riches and boast of their great wealth. 7 We can never redeem ourselves; we cannot pay God the price for our lives, 8 because the payment for a human life is too great. What we could pay would never be enough 9 to keep us from the grave, to let us live forever. 10 Anyone can see that even the wise die, as well as the foolish and stupid. They all leave their riches to their descendants. 11 Their graves are their homes forever; there they stay for all time, though they once had lands of their own. 12 Our greatness cannot keep us from death; we will still die like the animals. 13 See what happens to those who trust in themselves, the fate of those who are satisfied with their wealth - 14 they are doomed to die like sheep, and Death will be their shepherd. The righteous will triumph over them, as their bodies quickly decay in the world of the dead far from their homes. 15 But God will rescue me; he will save me from the power of death. 16 Don't be upset when someone becomes rich, when his wealth grows even greater; 17 he cannot take it with him when he dies; his wealth will not go with him to the grave. 18 Even if someone is satisfied with this life and is praised because he is successful, 19 he will join all his ancestors in death, where the darkness lasts forever. 20 Our greatness cannot keep us from death; we will still die like the animals.
1 The Almighty God, the Lord, speaks; he calls to the whole earth from east to west. 2 God shines from Zion, the city perfect in its beauty. 3 Our God is coming, but not in silence; a raging fire is in front of him, a furious storm around him. 4 He calls heaven and earth as witnesses to see him judge his people. 5 He says, "Gather my faithful people to me, those who made a covenant with me by offering a sacrifice." 6 The heavens proclaim that God is righteous, that he himself is judge. 7 "Listen, my people, and I will speak; I will testify against you, Israel. I am God, your God. 8 I do not reprimand you because of your sacrifices and the burnt offerings you always bring me. 9 And yet I do not need bulls from your farms or goats from your flocks; 10 all the animals in the forest are mine and the cattle on thousands of hills. 11 All the wild birds are mine and all living things in the fields. 12 "If I were hungry, I would not ask you for food, for the world and everything in it is mine. 13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats? 14 Let the giving of thanks be your sacrifice to God, and give the Almighty all that you promised. 15 Call to me when trouble comes; I will save you, and you will praise me." 16 But God says to the wicked, "Why should you recite my commandments? Why should you talk about my covenant? 17 You refuse to let me correct you; you reject my commands. 18 You become the friend of every thief you see, and you associate with adulterers. 19 "You are always ready to speak evil; you never hesitate to tell lies. 20 You are ready to accuse your own relatives and to find fault with them. 21 You have done all this, and I have said nothing, so you thought that I am like you. But now I reprimand you and make the matter plain to you. 22 "Listen to this, you that ignore me, or I will destroy you, and there will be no one to save you. 23 Giving thanks is the sacrifice that honors me, and I will surely save all who obey me."
1 From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus and an apostle chosen and called by God to preach his Good News. 2 The Good News was promised long ago by God through his prophets, as written in the Holy Scriptures. 3 It is about his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: as to his humanity, he was born a descendant of David; 4 as to his divine holiness, he was shown with great power to be the Son of God by being raised from death. 5 Through him God gave me the privilege of being an apostle for the sake of Christ, in order to lead people of all nations to believe and obey. 6 This also includes you who are in Rome, whom God has called to belong to Jesus Christ. 7 And so I write to all of you in Rome whom God loves and has called to be his own people: May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because the whole world is hearing about your faith. 9 God is my witness that what I say is true - the God whom I serve with all my heart by preaching the Good News about his Son. God knows that I remember you 10 every time I pray. I ask that God in his good will may at last make it possible for me to visit you now. 11 For I want very much to see you, in order to share a spiritual blessing with you to make you strong. 12 What I mean is that both you and I will be helped at the same time, you by my faith and I by yours. 13 You must remember, my friends, that many times I have planned to visit you, but something has always kept me from doing so. I want to win converts among you also, as I have among other Gentiles. 14 For I have an obligation to all peoples, to the civilized and to the savage, to the educated and to the ignorant. 15 So then, I am eager to preach the Good News to you also who live in Rome. 16 I have complete confidence in the gospel; it is God's power to save all who believe, first the Jews and also the Gentiles. 17 For the gospel reveals how God puts people right with himself: it is through faith from beginning to end. As the scripture says, "The person who is put right with God through faith shall live." 18 God's anger is revealed from heaven against all the sin and evil of the people whose evil ways prevent the truth from being known. 19 God punishes them, because what can be known about God is plain to them, for God himself made it plain. 20 Ever since God created the world, his invisible qualities, both his eternal power and his divine nature, have been clearly seen; they are perceived in the things that God has made. So those people have no excuse at all! 21 They know God, but they do not give him the honor that belongs to him, nor do they thank him. Instead, their thoughts have become complete nonsense, and their empty minds are filled with darkness. 22 They say they are wise, but they are fools; 23 instead of worshiping the immortal God, they worship images made to look like mortals or birds or animals or reptiles. 24 And so God has given those people over to do the filthy things their hearts desire, and they do shameful things with each other. 25 They exchange the truth about God for a lie; they worship and serve what God has created instead of the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever! Amen. 26 Because they do this, God has given them over to shameful passions. Even the women pervert the natural use of their sex by unnatural acts. 27 In the same way the men give up natural sexual relations with women and burn with passion for each other. Men do shameful things with each other, and as a result they bring upon themselves the punishment they deserve for their wrongdoing. 28 Because those people refuse to keep in mind the true knowledge about God, he has given them over to corrupted minds, so that they do the things that they should not do. 29 They are filled with all kinds of wickedness, evil, greed, and vice; they are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, deceit, and malice. They gossip 30 and speak evil of one another; they are hateful to God, insolent, proud, and boastful; they think of more ways to do evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no conscience; they do not keep their promises, and they show no kindness or pity for others. 32 They know that God's law says that people who live in this way deserve death. Yet, not only do they continue to do these very things, but they even approve of others who do them.
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