Daily Bible Readinghttp://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/Matthew 24:15-31http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/276http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/276<div class="ExternalClass4BC89BF1F6F8458F85DD5B57BBCFDAD2">So when you see the desolating sacrilege standing in the holy place, as was spoken of by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; the one on the housetop must not go down to take what is in the house; the one in the field must not turn back to get a coat. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. For at that time there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look! Here is the Messiah!' or 'There he is!' — do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Take note, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, 'Look! He is in the wilderness,' do not go out. If they say, 'Look! He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; Immediately after the suffering of those days<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; the sun will be darkened,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and the moon will not give its light;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; the stars will fall from heaven,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and the powers of heaven will be shaken.<br> Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see 'the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven' with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.</div>11/29/2014Zechariah 14:1-9http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/275http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/275<div class="ExternalClass1897837DD76940C0B623515B04C93355">See, a day is coming for the LORD, when the plunder taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses looted and the women raped; half the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw northward, and the other half southward. And you shall flee by the valley of the LORD's mountain, for the valley between the mountains shall reach to Azal; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.<br> <br>On that day there shall not be either cold or frost. And there shall be continuous day (it is known to the LORD), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light.<br><br> On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; it shall continue in summer as in winter.<br><br> And the LORD will become king over all the earth; on that day the LORD will be one and his name one.</div>11/28/20142 Corinthians 9:6-15http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/274http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/274<div class="ExternalClassBDEB9CC4C93F45EBAFE46C1814F5E63D"><strong>Day of Thanksgiving</strong><br><br>The point is this&#58; the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. As it is written,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; &quot;He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; his righteousness endures forever.&quot;<br> He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!</div>11/27/2014John 5:19-40http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/273http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/273<div class="ExternalClass32C78E01475A46C7A1F659B5D2F0692D">Jesus said to them, &quot;Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.<br> <br>Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.<br> <br>I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.<br> <br>If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John's. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.<br> <br>You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.</div>11/26/2014Psalm 7http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/272http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/272<div class="ExternalClass5C65E5EDF2D54A1E94FF1B790AEEF0DA">​O LORD my God, in you I take refuge;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me,<br> or like a lion they will tear me apart;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; they will drag me away, with no one to rescue.<br> O LORD my God, if I have done this,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; if there is wrong in my hands,<br> if I have repaid my ally with harm<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; or plundered my foe without cause,<br> then let the enemy pursue and overtake me,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; trample my life to the ground,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and lay my soul in the dust.<br> Selah<br> <br>Rise up, O LORD, in your anger;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; awake, O my God; you have appointed a judgment.<br> Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered around you,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and over it take your seat on high.<br> The LORD judges the peoples;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and according to the integrity that is in me.<br> O let the evil of the wicked come to an end,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; but establish the righteous,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; you who test the minds and hearts,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; O righteous God.<br> God is my shield,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; who saves the upright in heart.<br> God is a righteous judge,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and a God who has indignation every day.<br> If one does not repent, God will whet his sword;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; he has bent and strung his bow;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; he has prepared his deadly weapons,<br> &#160; &#160;&#160;&#160;making his arrows fiery shafts.<br> See how they conceive evil,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and are pregnant with mischief,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and bring forth lies.<br> They make a pit, digging it out,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and fall into the hole that they have made.<br> Their mischief returns upon their own heads,<br> &#160; &#160;&#160;&#160;and on their own heads their violence descends.<br> I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.</div>11/25/2014Esther 2:1-18http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/271http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/271<div class="ExternalClass37D818A1FF4B4043BD20AC2545212F68">​After these things, when the anger of King Ahasuerus had abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed against her. Then the king's servants who attended him said, &quot;Let beautiful young virgins be sought out for the king. And let the king appoint commissioners in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in the citadel of Susa under custody of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women; let their cosmetic treatments be given them. And let the girl who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.&quot; This pleased the king, and he did so.<br><br> Now there was a Jew in the citadel of Susa whose name was Mordecai son of Jair son of Shimei son of Kish, a Benjaminite. Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with King Jeconiah of Judah, whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had carried away. Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is Esther, his cousin, for she had neither father nor mother; the girl was fair and beautiful, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai adopted her as his own daughter. So when the king's order and his edict were proclaimed, and when many young women were gathered in the citadel of Susa in custody of Hegai, Esther also was taken into the king's palace and put in custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women. The girl pleased him and won his favor, and he quickly provided her with her cosmetic treatments and her portion of food, and with seven chosen maids from the king's palace, and advanced her and her maids to the best place in the harem. Esther did not reveal her people or kindred, for Mordecai had charged her not to tell. Every day Mordecai would walk around in front of the court of the harem, to learn how Esther was and how she fared.<br><br> The turn came for each girl to go in to King Ahasuerus, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their cosmetic treatment, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and cosmetics for women. When the girl went in to the king she was given whatever she asked for to take with her from the harem to the king's palace. In the evening she went in; then in the morning she came back to the second harem in custody of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch, who was in charge of the concubines; she did not go in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.<br><br> When the turn came for Esther daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had adopted her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king's eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was admired by all who saw her. When Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus in his royal palace in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther more than all the other women; of all the virgins she won his favor and devotion, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Then the king gave a great banquet to all his officials and ministers — &quot;Esther's banquet.&quot; He also granted a holiday to the provinces, and gave gifts with royal liberality.<br></div>11/24/2014