Daily Bible Readinghttp://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/Psalm 136:1-4, 23-26http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/493http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/493<div class="ExternalClass8E6A577918C643CE9F512BB8A6BB1525"><p><strong>​Thomas, Apostle</strong></p><p>O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,<br> for his steadfast love endures forever.<br> O give thanks to the God of gods,<br> for his steadfast love endures forever.<br> O give thanks to the LORD of lords,<br> for his steadfast love endures forever;<br> who alone does great wonders,<br> for his steadfast love endures forever;<br> It is he who remembered us in our low estate,<br> for his steadfast love endures forever;<br> and rescued us from our foes,<br> for his steadfast love endures forever;<br> who gives food to all flesh,<br> for his steadfast love endures forever.<br> O give thanks to the God of heaven,<br> for his steadfast love endures forever.</p></div>07/03/2015Jeremiah 7:1-15http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/492http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/492<div class="ExternalClassF6DC9FF5F89C436C96E8F264C992B9C3"><p>The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD&#58; Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah, you that enter these gates to worship the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel&#58; Amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with you in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words&#58; &quot;This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.&quot; </p><p>For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly one with another, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, then I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors forever and ever.</p><p>Here you are, trusting in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, &quot;We are safe!&quot; — only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your sight? You know, I too am watching, says the LORD. Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. And now, because you have done all these things, says the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently, you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your ancestors, just what I did to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, just as I cast out all your kinsfolk, all the offspring of Ephraim.</p></div>07/02/2015Psalm 88http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/491http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/491<div class="ExternalClass72B92619C31B49E69A9873EF1BF63D75"><p>​O LORD, God of my salvation,<br> when, at night, I cry out in your presence,<br> let my prayer come before you;<br> incline your ear to my cry.<br> For my soul is full of troubles,<br> and my life draws near to Sheol.</p><p>I am counted among those who go down to the Pit;<br> I am like those who have no help,<br> like those forsaken among the dead,<br> like the slain that lie in the grave,<br> like those whom you remember no more,<br> for they are cut off from your hand.<br> You have put me in the depths of the Pit,<br> in the regions dark and deep.<br> Your wrath lies heavy upon me,<br> and you overwhelm me with all your waves.<br> Selah</p><p>You have caused my companions to shun me;<br> you have made me a thing of horror to them.<br> I am shut in so that I cannot escape;<br> my eye grows dim through sorrow.<br> Every day I call on you, O LORD;<br> I spread out my hands to you.<br> Do you work wonders for the dead?<br> Do the shades rise up to praise you?<br> Selah</p><p>Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,<br> or your faithfulness in Abaddon?<br> Are your wonders known in the darkness,<br> or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?<br> But I, O LORD, cry out to you;<br> in the morning my prayer comes before you.<br> O LORD, why do you cast me off?<br> Why do you hide your face from me?<br> Wretched and close to death from my youth up,<br> I suffer your terrors; I am desperate.<br> Your wrath has swept over me;<br> your dread assaults destroy me.<br> They surround me like a flood all day long;<br> from all sides they close in on me.<br> You have caused friend and neighbor to shun me;<br> my companions are in darkness.</p></div>07/01/20152 Corinthians 9:1-5http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/490http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/490<div class="ExternalClassBEE93CD27B574B269E814649FFD02098">​Now it is not necessary for me to write you about the ministry to the saints, for I know your eagerness, which is the subject of my boasting about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred up most of them. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you may not prove to have been empty in this case, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be; otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated — to say nothing of you — in this undertaking. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you, and arrange in advance for this bountiful gift that you have promised, so that it may be ready as a voluntary gift and not as an extortion.</div>06/30/2015Acts 12:1-11http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/489http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/489<div class="ExternalClass534F5B607AAC477CAA91B17D5C98CBEE"><p><strong>​Peter and Paul, Apostles</strong></p><p>About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. After he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (This was during the festival of Unleavened Bread.) When he had seized him, he put him in prison and handed him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover. While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him.</p><p>The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, &quot;Get up quickly.&quot; And the chains fell off his wrists. The angel said to him, &quot;Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.&quot; He did so. Then he said to him, &quot;Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.&quot; Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel's help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter came to himself and said, &quot;Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.&quot;</p></div>06/29/20152 Corinthians 8:7-15http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/488http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/488<div class="ExternalClass7E8D6D68A8C248E08734DF02D7D9D742"><p><strong>Fifth Sunday after Pentecost</strong></p><p>Now as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you — so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.</p><p>I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. And in this matter I am giving my advice&#58; it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something — now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has — not according to what one does not have. I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. As it is written,<br> &quot;The one who had much did not have too much,<br> and the one who had little did not have too little.&quot;</p></div>06/28/2015