A Psalm of David.
Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgives all thy iniquities; who heals all thy diseases; who redeems thy life from destruction; who crowns thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfies thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The LORD executes righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He has not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; to such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
The LORD has prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.
1 Corinthians 8-9
Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him. As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, Have we not power to eat and to drink? Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working? Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
The tongue of the wise uses knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools pours out foolishness.
The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
A fool despises his father’s instruction: but he that regards reproof is prudent.
In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.
The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish does not so.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loves him that follows after righteousness.
Correction is grievous unto him that forsakes the way: and he that hates reproof shall die.
Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?
A scorner loves not one that reproves him: neither will he go unto the wise.
A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
The heart of him that has understanding seeks knowledge: but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.
All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart has a continual feast.
Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
A wrathful man stirs up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeases strife.
The way of the slothful man is as a hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.
A wise son makes a glad father: but a foolish man despises his mother.
Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walks uprightly.
Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.
A man has joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!
The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.
The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.
He that is greedy of gain troubles his own house; but he that hates gifts shall live.
The heart of the righteous studies to answer: but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
The LORD is far from the wicked: but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart: and a good report makes the bones fat.
The ear that hears the reproof of life abides among the wise.
He that refuses instruction despises his own soul: but he that hears reproof gets understanding.
The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.