Invitation — Psalm 145:13b
"The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does."
Bible Song — Psalm 29:1-2, 10-11
Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness...
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.
Bible Reading — Genesis 18:20-32
Then the Lord said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know."...
Then Abraham approached [the Lord] and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing — to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
The Lord said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."
Then Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?"
"If I find forty-five there," he said, "I will not destroy it."
Once again he spoke to him, "What if only forty are found there?"
He said, "For the sake of forty, I will not do it."
Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?"
He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."
Abraham said, "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?"
He said, "For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it."
Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?"
He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."
Leisurely read again ... is there a word or idea that stirred within you? Linger over it and give it your attention ... is there something about the reading you'd like to ask God about? Pray your life to God ... take a moment to rest in God's presence.
- for a yearning to know God and the diligence to seek him
- for the joy of salvation to be experienced
- for family members and friends who do not yet have faith
Prayer — HC 117
God who listens, what would it take for me to contend with you in prayer like Abraham? As I pray, teach me that humility and courage aren't opposites. Don't let me hide anything from you — not the needs of myself or others, not my joy, or even my frustration with your ways. And always, may my bold prayers rest on the unshakable foundation that you listen to my heart. In Christ's name, amen.
Blessing — Jeremiah 29:11
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"