Psalm 87; Psalm 88; Romans 13

1 The Lord built his city on the sacred hill; 2 more than any other place in Israel he loves the city of Jerusalem. 3 Listen, city of God, to the wonderful things he says about you: 4 "I will include Egypt and Babylonia when I list the nations that obey me; the people of Philistia, Tyre, and Ethiopia I will number among the inhabitants of Jerusalem." 5 Of Zion it will be said that all nations belong there and that the Almighty will make her strong. 6 The Lord will write a list of the peoples and include them all as citizens of Jerusalem. 7 They dance and sing, "In Zion is the source of all our blessings."
1 Lord God, my savior, I cry out all day, and at night I come before you. 2 Hear my prayer; listen to my cry for help! 3 So many troubles have fallen on me that I am close to death. 4 I am like all others who are about to die; all my strength is gone. 5 I am abandoned among the dead; I am like the slain lying in their graves, those you have forgotten completely, who are beyond your help. 6 You have thrown me into the depths of the tomb, into the darkest and deepest pit. 7 Your anger lies heavy on me, and I am crushed beneath its waves. 8 You have caused my friends to abandon me; you have made me repulsive to them. I am closed in and cannot escape; 9 my eyes are weak from suffering. Lord, every day I call to you and lift my hands to you in prayer. 10 Do you perform miracles for the dead? Do they rise up and praise you? 11 Is your constant love spoken of in the grave or your faithfulness in the place of destruction? 12 Are your miracles seen in that place of darkness or your goodness in the land of the forgotten? 13 Lord, I call to you for help; every morning I pray to you. 14 Why do you reject me, Lord? Why do you turn away from me? 15 Ever since I was young, I have suffered and been near death; I am worn out from the burden of your punishments. 16 Your furious anger crushes me; your terrible attacks destroy me. 17 All day long they surround me like a flood; they close in on me from every side. 18 You have made even my closest friends abandon me, and darkness is my only companion.
1 Everyone must obey state authorities, because no authority exists without God's permission, and the existing authorities have been put there by God. 2 Whoever opposes the existing authority opposes what God has ordered; and anyone who does so will bring judgment on himself. 3 For rulers are not to be feared by those who do good, but by those who do evil. Would you like to be unafraid of those in authority? Then do what is good, and they will praise you, 4 because they are God's servants working for your own good. But if you do evil, then be afraid of them, because their power to punish is real. They are God's servants and carry out God's punishment on those who do evil. 5 For this reason you must obey the authorities - not just because of God's punishment, but also as a matter of conscience. 6 That is also why you pay taxes, because the authorities are working for God when they fulfill their duties. 7 Pay, then, what you owe them; pay them your personal and property taxes, and show respect and honor for them all. 8 Be under obligation to no one - the only obligation you have is to love one another. Whoever does this has obeyed the Law. 9 The commandments, "Do not commit adultery; do not commit murder; do not steal; do not desire what belongs to someone else" - all these, and any others besides, are summed up in the one command, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." 10 If you love others, you will never do them wrong; to love, then, is to obey the whole Law. 11 You must do this, because you know that the time has come for you to wake up from your sleep. For the moment when we will be saved is closer now than it was when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over, day is almost here. Let us stop doing the things that belong to the dark, and let us take up weapons for fighting in the light. 13 Let us conduct ourselves properly, as people who live in the light of day - no orgies or drunkenness, no immorality or indecency, no fighting or jealousy. 14 But take up the weapons of the Lord Jesus Christ, and stop paying attention to your sinful nature and satisfying its desires.
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