Psalms 107; Psalms 108; Psalms 109; 1 Corinthians 4

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Psalms 107

1 Give thanks to the LORD because he is good, because his mercy endures forever.
2 Let the people the LORD defended repeat these words. They are the people he defended from the power of their enemies
3 and gathered from other countries, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
4 They wandered around the desert on a deserted road without finding an inhabited city.
5 They were hungry and thirsty. They began to lose hope.
6 In their distress they cried out to the LORD. He rescued them from their troubles.
7 He led them on a road that went straight to an inhabited city.
8 Let them give thanks to the LORD because of his mercy. He performed his miracles for Adam's descendants.
9 He gave plenty to drink to those who were thirsty. He filled those who were hungry with good food.
10 Those who lived in the dark, in death's shadow were prisoners in misery. They were held in iron chains
11 because they had rebelled against God's words and had despised the advice given by the Most High.
12 So he humbled them with hard work. They fell down, but no one was there to help them.
13 In their distress they cried out to the LORD. He saved them from their troubles.
14 He brought them out of the dark, out of death's shadow. He broke apart their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the LORD because of his mercy. He performed his miracles for Adam's descendants.
16 He shattered bronze gates and cut iron bars in two.
17 Fools suffered because of their disobedience and because of their crimes.
18 All food was disgusting to them, and they came near death's gates.
19 In their distress they cried out to the LORD. He saved them from their troubles.
20 He sent his message and healed them. He rescued them from the grave.
21 Let them give thanks to the LORD because of his mercy. He performed his miracles for Adam's descendants.
22 Let them bring songs of thanksgiving as their sacrifice. Let them tell in joyful songs what he has done.
23 Those who sail on the sea in ships, who do business on the high seas,
24 have seen what the LORD can do, the miracles he performed in the depths of the sea.
25 He spoke, and a storm began to blow, and it made the waves rise high.
26 The sailors aboard ship rose toward the sky. They plunged into the depths. Their courage melted in [the face of] disaster.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunks, and all their skills as sailors became useless.
28 In their distress they cried out to the LORD. He led them from their troubles.
29 He made the storm calm down, and the waves became still.
30 The sailors were glad that the storm was quiet. He guided them to the harbor they had longed for.
31 Let them give thanks to the LORD because of his mercy. He performed his miracles for Adam's descendants.
32 Let them glorify him when the people are gathered for worship. Let them praise him in the company of respected leaders.
33 He changes rivers into a desert, springs into thirsty ground,
34 and fertile ground into a layer of salt because of the wickedness of the people living there.
35 He changes deserts into lakes and dry ground into springs.
36 There he settles those who are hungry, and they build cities to live in.
37 They plant in fields and vineyards that produce crops.
38 He blesses them, and their numbers multiply, and he does not allow a shortage of cattle.
39 They became few in number and were humiliated because of oppression, disaster, and sorrow.
40 He poured contempt on their influential people and made them stumble around in a pathless desert.
41 But now he lifts needy people high above suffering and makes their families like flocks.
42 Decent people will see this and rejoice, but all the wicked people will shut their mouths.
43 Let those who [think] they are wise pay attention to these things so that they may understand the LORD's blessings.

Psalms 108

1 My heart is confident, O God. I want to sing and make music even with my soul.
2 Wake up, harp and lyre! I want to wake up at dawn.
3 I want to give thanks to you among the people, O LORD. I want to make music to praise you among the nations
4 because your mercy is higher than the heavens. Your truth reaches the skies.
5 May you be honored above the heavens, O God. Let your glory extend over the whole earth.
6 Save [us] with your powerful hand, and answer us so that those who are dear to you may be rescued.
7 God has promised the following through his holiness: "I will triumph! I will divide Shechem. I will measure the valley of Succoth.
8 Gilead is mine. Manasseh is mine. Ephraim is the helmet on my head. Judah is my scepter.
9 Moab is my washtub. I will throw my shoe over Edom. I will shout in triumph over Philistia."
10 Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom?
11 Isn't it you, O God, who rejected us? Isn't it you, O God, who refused to accompany our armies?
12 Give us help against the enemy because human assistance is worthless.
13 With God we will display great strength. He will trample our enemies.

Psalms 109

1 O God, whom I praise, do not turn a deaf ear to me.
2 Wicked and deceitful people have opened their mouths against me. They speak against me with lying tongues.
3 They surround me with hateful words. They fight against me for no reason.
4 In return for my love, they accuse me, but I pray for them.
5 They reward me with evil instead of good and with hatred instead of love.
6 [I said,] "Appoint the evil one to oppose him. Let Satan stand beside him.
7 When he stands trial, let him be found guilty. Let his prayer be considered sinful.
8 Let his days be few [in number]. Let someone else take his position.
9 "Let his children become fatherless and his wife a widow.
10 Let his children wander around and beg. Let them seek help far from their ruined homes.
11 Let a creditor take everything he owns. Let strangers steal what he has worked for.
12 Let no one be kind to him anymore. Let no one show any pity to his fatherless children.
13 Let his descendants be cut off and their family name be wiped out by the next generation.
14 Let the LORD remember the guilt of his ancestors and not wipe out his mother's sin.
15 Let their guilt and sin always remain on record in front of the LORD. Let the LORD remove every memory of him from the earth,
16 because he did not remember to be kind. "He drove oppressed, needy, and brokenhearted people to their graves.
17 He loved to put curses [on others], so he, too, was cursed. He did not like to bless [others], so he never received a blessing.
18 He wore cursing as though it were clothing, so cursing entered his body like water and his bones like oil.
19 Let cursing be his clothing, a belt he always wears."
20 This is how the LORD rewards those who accuse me, those who say evil things against me.
21 O LORD Almighty, deal with me out of the goodness of your name. Rescue me because of your mercy.
22 I am oppressed and needy. I can feel the pain in my heart.
23 I fade away like a lengthening shadow. I have been shaken off like a grasshopper.
24 My knees give way because I have been fasting. My body has become lean, without any fat.
25 I have become the victim of my enemies' insults. They look at me and shake their heads.
26 Help me, O LORD my God. Save me because of your mercy.
27 Then they will know that this is your doing, that you, O LORD, are the one who saved me.
28 They may curse, but you will bless. Let those who attack me be ashamed, but let me rejoice.
29 Let those who accuse me wear disgrace as though it were clothing. Let them be wrapped in their shame as though it were a robe.
30 With my mouth I will give many thanks to the LORD. I will praise him among many people,
31 because he stands beside needy people to save them from those who would condemn them to death.

1 Corinthians 4

1 People should think of us as servants of Christ and managers who are entrusted with God's mysteries.
2 Managers are required to be trustworthy.
3 It means very little to me that you or any human court should cross-examine me. I don't even ask myself questions.
4 I have a clear conscience, but that doesn't mean I have God's approval. It is the Lord who cross-examines me.
5 Therefore, don't judge anything before the appointed time. Wait until the Lord comes. He will also bring to light what is hidden in the dark and reveal people's motives. Then each person will receive praise from God.
6 Brothers and sisters, I have applied this to Apollos and myself for your sake. You should learn from us not to go beyond what is written in Scripture. Then you won't arrogantly place one of us in opposition to the other.
7 Who says that you are any better than other people? What do you have that wasn't given to you? If you were given what you have, why are you bragging as if it weren't a gift?
8 You already have what you want! You've already become rich! You've become kings without us! I wish you really were kings so that we could be kings with you.
9 As I see it, God has placed us apostles last in line, like people condemned to die. We have become a spectacle for people and angels to look at.
10 We have given up our wisdom for Christ, but you have insight because of Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are honored, but we are dishonored.
11 To this moment, we are hungry, thirsty, poorly dressed, roughly treated, and homeless.
12 We wear ourselves out doing physical labor. When people verbally abuse us, we bless them. When people persecute us, we endure it.
13 When our reputations are attacked, we remain courteous. Right now we have become garbage in the eyes of the world and trash in the sight of all people.
14 I'm not writing this to make you feel ashamed but to instruct you as my dear children.
15 You may have countless Christian guardians, but you don't have many [spiritual] fathers. I became your father in the Christian life by telling you the Good News about Christ Jesus.
16 So I encourage you to imitate me.
17 That's why I've sent Timothy to you to help you remember my Christian way of life as I teach it everywhere in every church. Timothy is my dear child, and he faithfully does the Lord's work.
18 Some of you have become arrogant because you think I won't pay you a visit.
19 If it's the Lord's will, I'll visit you soon. Then I'll know what these arrogant people are saying and what power they have.
20 God's kingdom is not just talk, it is power.
21 When I come to visit you, would you prefer that I punish you or show you love and a gentle spirit?