Psalm 126 The Voice (VOICE)
A song for those journeying to worship.
1 Remember when the Eternal brought back the exiles to Zion?
4 And now, Eternal One, some are held captive and poor.
Isaiah 43:16-21 The Voice (VOICE)
16 This is what the Eternal One says, the One who does the impossible,
The prophet appeals to a powerful memory: the exodus. He reminds God’s people—all descendants of slaves in Egypt—how God liberated them from oppression, how God devastated the powerful army that pursued them in order to take them back to the whip and lash, back to servitude in Egypt. Stories of the exodus have been told time after time for many generations; they are permanent fixtures in their minds. The prophet evokes these amazing memories to comfort them and assure them that what God is about to do is like what God did do for their ancestors centuries ago.
18 Eternal One: Don’t revel only in the past,
Philippians 3:4-14 The Voice (VOICE)
4 If any try to throw around their pedigrees to you, remember my résumé—which is more impressive than theirs. 5 I was circumcised on the eighth day—as the law prescribes—born of the nation of Israel, descended from the tribe of Benjamin. I am a Hebrew born of Hebrews; I have observed the law according to the strict piety of the Pharisees, separate from those embracing a less rigorous kind of Judaism. 6 Zealous? Yes. I ruthlessly pursued and persecuted the church. And when it comes to the righteousness required by the law, my record is spotless.
7 But whatever I used to count as my greatest accomplishments, I’ve written them off as a loss because of the Anointed One. 8 And more so, I now realize that all I gained and thought was important was nothing but yesterday’s garbage compared to knowing the Anointed Jesus my Lord. For Him I have thrown everything aside—it’s nothing but a pile of waste—so that I may gain Him. 9 When it counts, I want to be found belonging to Him, not clinging to my own righteousness based on law, but actively relying on the faithfulness of the Anointed One. This is true righteousness, supplied by God, acquired by faith. 10 I want to know Him inside and out. I want to experience the power of His resurrection and join in His suffering, shaped by His death, 11 so that I may arrive safely at the resurrection from the dead.
The crucified and risen Jesus is the model that Paul desires to embody by walking deep in His pathway of death and life—suffering and resurrection.
12 I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect; but I am charging on to gain anything and everything the Anointed One, Jesus, has in store for me—and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me and won’t let me go. 13 Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing: I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission. 14 I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed.
John 12:1-8 The Voice (VOICE)
12 Six days before the Passover feast, Jesus journeyed to the village of Bethany, to the home of Lazarus who had recently been raised from the dead, 2 where they hosted Him for dinner. Martha was busy serving as the hostess, Lazarus reclined at the table with Him, 3 and Mary took a pound of fine ointment, pure nard (which is both rare and expensive), and anointed Jesus’ feet with it; and then she wiped them with her hair. As the pleasant fragrance of this extravagant ointment filled the entire house, 4 Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples (who was plotting to betray Jesus), began to speak.
Judas Iscariot: 5 How could she pour out this vast amount of fine oil? Why didn’t she sell it? It is worth nearly a year’s wages;[a] the money could have been given to the poor.
6 This had nothing to do with Judas’s desire to help the poor. The truth is he served as the treasurer, and he helped himself to the money from the common pot at every opportunity.
Jesus: 7 Leave her alone. She has observed this custom in anticipation of the day of My burial. 8 The poor are ever present, but I will be leaving.
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