November 30, 2020 (Shouts of Joy)

Our mouths were filled with laughter then, and our tongues with shouts of joy. The Lord has done great things. We were joyful. Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy. He will surely come back with shouts of joy.

November 30, 2020 (Shouts of Joy)

Psalm 126, CSB

A song of ascents.

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.

Our mouths were filled with laughter then, and our tongues with shouts of joy. Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

The Lord had done great things for us; we were joyful.

Restore our fortunes, Lord, like watercourses in the Negev.

Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy.

Though one goes along weeping, carrying the bag of seed, he will surely come back with shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves.

Psalm 127, CSB

A song of ascents. Of Solomon.

Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain.

In vain you get up early and stay up late, working hard to have enough food— yes, he gives sleep to the one he loves.

Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord, offspring, a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth.

Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them. They will never be put to shame when they speak with their enemies at the city gate.

Proverbs 27:1–13, CSB

Don’t boast about tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day might bring.

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth— a stranger, and not your own lips.

A stone is heavy, and sand a burden, but aggravation from a fool outweighs them both.

Fury is cruel, and anger a flood, but who can withstand jealousy?

Better an open reprimand than concealed love.

The wounds of a friend are trustworthy, but the kisses of an enemy are excessive.

A person who is full tramples on a honeycomb, but to a hungry person, any bitter thing is sweet.

Anyone wandering from his home is like a bird wandering from its nest.

Oil and incense bring joy to the heart, and the sweetness of a friend is better than self-counsel.

Don’t abandon your friend or your father’s friend, and don’t go to your brother’s house in your time of calamity; better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.

Be wise, my son, and bring my heart joy, so that I can answer anyone who taunts me.

A sensible person sees danger and takes cover; the inexperienced keep going and are punished.

Take his garment, for he has put up security for a stranger; get collateral if it is for foreigners.

Acts 9:1–25, CSB

Now Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him.

Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul said. “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting,” he replied.

“But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the sound but seeing no one.

Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus.

He was unable to see for three days and did not eat or drink.

There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” “Here I am, Lord,” he replied.

“Get up and go to the street called Straight,” the Lord said to him, “to the house of Judas, and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, since he is praying there.

In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and placing his hands on him so that he may regain his sight.”

“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem.

And he has authority here from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”

But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is my chosen instrument to take my name to Gentiles, kings, and Israelites.

I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

Ananias went and entered the house. He placed his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized.

And after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul was with the disciples in Damascus for some time.

Immediately he began proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues: “He is the Son of God.”

All who heard him were astounded and said, “Isn’t this the man in Jerusalem who was causing havoc for those who called on this name and came here for the purpose of taking them as prisoners to the chief priests?”

But Saul grew stronger and kept confounding the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.

After many days had passed, the Jews conspired to kill him, but Saul learned of their plot. So they were watching the gates day and night intending to kill him, but his disciples took him by night and lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the wall.

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