Daily Bible Readinghttp://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/Esther 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>11/24/2014Ephesians 1:15-23http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/270http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/270<div class="ExternalClass72757EF6BAAB4E1E93369DC6035D3F43"><strong>Christ the King</strong><br><br> I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.<br></div>11/23/2014Isaiah 44:21-28http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/269http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/269<div class="ExternalClass8D732BBA1D554759B4E09EFE606B5229">​Remember these things, O Jacob,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and Israel, for you are my servant;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; I formed you, you are my servant;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.<br> I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and your sins like mist;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; return to me, for I have redeemed you.<br> Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; shout, O depths of the earth;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; break forth into singing, O mountains,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; O forest, and every tree in it!<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; For the LORD has redeemed Jacob,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and will be glorified in Israel.<br> Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; who formed you in the womb&#58;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; I am the LORD, who made all things,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; who alone stretched out the heavens,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; who by myself spread out the earth;<br> who frustrates the omens of liars,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and makes fools of diviners;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; who turns back the wise,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and makes their knowledge foolish;<br> who confirms the word of his servant,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and fulfills the prediction of his messengers;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; who says of Jerusalem, &quot;It shall be inhabited,&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and of the cities of Judah, &quot;They shall be rebuilt,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and I will raise up their ruins&quot;;<br> who says to the deep, &quot;Be dry --<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; I will dry up your rivers&quot;;<br> who says of Cyrus, &quot;He is my shepherd,<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and he shall carry out all my purpose&quot;;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and who says of Jerusalem, &quot;It shall be rebuilt,&quot;<br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; and of the temple, &quot;Your foundation shall be laid.&quot;<br></div>11/22/20141 Chronicles 17:1-15http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/268http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/268<div class="ExternalClassA2DEFF4D77784A52972730ABC99B57B3">​Now when David settled in his house, David said to the prophet Nathan, &quot;I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent.&quot; Nathan said to David, &quot;Do all that you have in mind, for God is with you.&quot;<br><br> But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying&#58; Go and tell my servant David&#58; Thus says the LORD&#58; You shall not build me a house to live in. For I have not lived in a house since the day I brought out Israel to this very day, but I have lived in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people, saying, Why have you not built me a house of cedar? Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David&#58; Thus says the LORD of hosts&#58; I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies before you; and I will make for you a name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall wear them down no more, as they did formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will subdue all your enemies.<br><br> Moreover I declare to you that the LORD will build you a house. When your days are fulfilled to go to be with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever. In accordance with all these words and all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.<br></div>11/21/20141 Kings 22:13-23http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/267http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/267<div class="ExternalClassCE6CFA4B2A5448F5BF941AEDCCE158D9">​The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, &quot;Look, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king; let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.&quot; But Micaiah said, &quot;As the LORD lives, whatever the LORD says to me, that I will speak.&quot;<br><br> When he had come to the king, the king said to him, &quot;Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?&quot; He answered him, &quot;Go up and triumph; the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.&quot; But the king said to him, &quot;How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?&quot; Then Micaiah said, &quot;I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep that have no shepherd; and the LORD said, 'These have no master; let each one go home in peace.'&quot; The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, &quot;Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy anything favorable about me, but only disaster?&quot;<br><br> Then Micaiah said, &quot;Therefore hear the word of the LORD&#58; I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, with all the host of heaven standing beside him to the right and to the left of him. And the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab, so that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?' Then one said one thing, and another said another, until a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, 'I will entice him.' 'How?' the LORD asked him. He replied, 'I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' Then the LORD ! said, 'You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do it.' So you see, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the LORD has decreed disaster for you.&quot;<br></div>11/20/2014Matthew 24:45-51http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/266http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/266<div class="ExternalClass1B3C35E0AD4248D38321B4725E7331AA">​Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. But if that wicked slave says to himself, 'My master is delayed,' and he begins to beat his fellow slaves, and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know. He will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.<br></div>11/19/2014