Daily Bible Readinghttp://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/Psalm 49:1-12http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/902http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/902<div class="ExternalClassA19FAC765C5B42228A088F38CA660C62"><p>​Hear this, all you peoples;<br> give ear, all inhabitants of the world,<br> both low and high,<br> rich and poor together.<br> My mouth shall speak wisdom;<br> the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.<br> I will incline my ear to a proverb;<br> I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp.<br> Why should I fear in times of trouble,<br> when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,<br> those who trust in their wealth<br> and boast of the abundance of their riches?<br> Truly, no ransom avails for one's life,<br> there is no price one can give to God for it.<br> For the ransom of life is costly,<br> and can never suffice,<br> that one should live on forever<br> and never see the grave.<br> When we look at the wise, they die;<br> fool and dolt perish together<br> and leave their wealth to others.<br> Their graves are their homes forever,<br> their dwelling places to all generations,<br> though they named lands their own.<br> Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;<br> they are like the animals that perish.</p></div>07/30/2016Ephesians 4:17-24http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/901http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/901<div class="ExternalClassD7B1A5CF129340B19A371B33D7621C89"><p>​Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord&#58; you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. That is not the way you learned Christ! For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus. You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.</p></div>07/29/2016Romans 11:33-36http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/900http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/900<div class="ExternalClass7C4A5EAB6AED4FCB9888BE73FF6E44B1"><p>​O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!<br> &quot;For who has known the mind of the Lord?<br> Or who has been his counselor?&quot;<br> &quot;Or who has given a gift to him,<br> to receive a gift in return?&quot;<br> For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.</p></div>07/28/2016Esther 7:7—8:17http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/899http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/899<div class="ExternalClassE2DEF7CB966E4E57A711195817D815C6"><p>​</p><p>The king rose from the feast in wrath and went into the palace garden, but Haman stayed to beg his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that the king had determined to destroy him. When the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman had thrown himself on the couch where Esther was reclining; and the king said, &quot;Will he even assault the queen in my presence, in my own house?&quot; As the words left the mouth of the king, they covered Haman's face. Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, &quot;Look, the very gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, stands at Haman's house, fifty cubits high.&quot; And the king said, &quot;Hang him on that.&quot; So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the anger of the king abated.</p><p>On that day King Ahasuerus gave to Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews; and Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told what he was to her. Then the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. So Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.</p><p>Then Esther spoke again to the king; she fell at his feet, weeping and pleading with him to avert the evil design of Haman the Agagite and the plot that he had devised against the Jews. The king held out the golden scepter to Esther, and Esther rose and stood before the king. She said, &quot;If it pleases the king, and if I have won his favor, and if the thing seems right before the king, and I have his approval, let an order be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote giving orders to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of the king. For how can I bear to see the calamity that is coming on my people? Or how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred?&quot; Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to the Jew Mordecai, &quot;See, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows, because he plotted to lay hands on the Jews. You may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king's ring; for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king's ring cannot be revoked.&quot;</p><p>The king's secretaries were summoned at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day; and an edict was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded, to the Jews and to the satraps and the governors and the officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, one hundred twenty-seven provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, and also to the Jews in their script and their language. He wrote letters in the name of King Ahasuerus, sealed them with the king's ring, and sent them by mounted couriers riding on fast steeds bred from the royal herd. By these letters the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to assemble and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, with their children and women, and to plunder their goods on a single day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. A copy of the writ was to be issued as a decree in every province and published to all peoples, and the Jews were to be ready on that day to take revenge on their enemies. So the couriers, mounted on their swift royal steeds, hurried out, urged by the king's command. The decree was issued in the citadel of Susa.</p><p>Then Mordecai went out from the presence of the king, wearing royal robes of blue and white, with a great golden crown and a mantle of fine linen and purple, while the city of Susa shouted and rejoiced. For the Jews there was light and gladness, joy and honor. In every province and in every city, wherever the king's command and his edict came, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a festival and a holiday. Furthermore, many of the peoples of the country professed to be Jews, because the fear of the Jews had fallen upon them.</p></div>07/27/2016Romans 9:30—10:4http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/898http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/898<div class="ExternalClass005EE122DD9746DAAFD283604D02B6F8"><p>What then are we to say? Gentiles, who did not strive for righteousness, have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith; but Israel, who did strive for the righteousness that is based on the law, did not succeed in fulfilling that law. Why not? Because they did not strive for it on the basis of faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written,</p><p>&quot;See, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make people stumble, a rock that will make them fall,</p><p>and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.&quot;</p><p>Brothers and sisters, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. I can testify that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened. For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.</p></div>07/26/20161 Kings 19:9-18http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/897http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/897<div class="ExternalClassD1B03DB917494D2E963887F32CF4990C"><p><strong>​James, Apostle</strong></p><p>At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there.</p><p>Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, &quot;What are you doing here, Elijah?&quot; He answered, &quot;I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.&quot;</p><p>He said, &quot;Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.&quot; Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, &quot;What are you doing here, Elijah?&quot; He answered, &quot;I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.&quot; Then the LORD said to him, &quot;Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.&quot;</p></div>07/25/2016