Luke 1:1–25; Ephesians 1:1–14; Psalm 119:1–8; 1 Kings 1

Luke Illustration

Luke

Dedication to Theophilus

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that ahave been accomplished among us, bjust as those who cfrom the beginning were deyewitnesses and eministers of fthe word ghave delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write han orderly account for you, imost excellent jTheophilus, that you may have kcertainty concerning the things lyou have been taught.

Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

mIn the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,1 nof othe division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both prighteous before God, walking qblamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because rElizabeth was barren, and sboth were advanced in years.

Now twhile he was serving as priest before God when uhis division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot vto enter wthe temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people xwere praying youtside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of zthe altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and afear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for byour prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and cyou shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will drejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be egreat before the Lord. And fhe must not drink wine or strong gdrink, and ghe will be hfilled with the Holy Spirit, ieven from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and jhe will go before him kin the spirit and power of Elijah, lto turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and mthe disobedient to the wisdom of the just, nto make ready for the Lord a people prepared.

18 And Zechariah said to the angel, oHow shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years. 19 And the angel answered him, I am pGabriel. qI stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, ryou will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time. 21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in sthe temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in sthe temple. And the kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And uwhen his time of vservice was ended, he went to his home.

24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, wto take away my reproach among people.


Ephesians Illustration

Ephesians

Greeting

Paul, aan apostle of Christ Jesus bby the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and care faithful1 in Christ Jesus:

dGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

eBlessed be fthe God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing gin the heavenly places, heven as he ichose us in him jbefore the foundation of the world, that we should be kholy and blameless before him. In love lhe predestined us2 for madoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, naccording to the purpose of his will, oto the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in pthe Beloved. qIn him we have rredemption sthrough his blood, tthe forgiveness of our trespasses, uaccording to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight vmaking known3 to us the mystery of his will, naccording to his purpose, which he wset forth in Christ 10 as a plan for xthe fullness of time, yto unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained zan inheritance, ahaving been predestined baccording to the purpose of him who works all things according to cthe counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be dto the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard ethe word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, fwere sealed with the gpromised Holy Spirit, 14 who is hthe guarantee4 of our iinheritance until jwe acquire kpossession of it,5 lto the praise of his glory.


Your Word Is a Lamp to My Feet

Aleph

119  1 Blessed are those whose kway is blameless,

who lwalk in the law of the Lord!

Blessed are those who mkeep his ntestimonies,

who oseek him with their whole heart,

who also pdo no wrong,

but walk in his ways!

You have commanded your qprecepts

to be kept diligently.

Oh that my ways may rbe steadfast

in keeping your statutes!

sThen I shall not be put to shame,

having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.

I will praise you with an upright heart,

when I learn tyour righteous rules.2

I will keep your statutes;

udo not utterly forsake me!


1 Kings Illustration

1 Kings

David in His Old Age

Now King David was old and advanced in years. And although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm. Therefore his servants said to him, Let a young woman be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait on the king and be in his service. Let her lie in your arms,1 that my lord the king may be warm. So they sought for a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the aShunammite, and brought her to the king. The young woman was very beautiful, and she was of service to the king and attended to him, but the king knew her not.

Adonijah Sets Himself Up as King

Now bAdonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king. cAnd he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. His father had never at any time displeased him by asking, Why have you done thus and so? He was also a very handsome man, dand he was born next after Absalom. He conferred with eJoab the son of Zeruiah and with fAbiathar the priest. And they followed Adonijah and helped him. But fZadok the priest and gBenaiah the son of Jehoiada and hNathan the prophet and iShimei and Rei and jDavid’s mighty men were not with Adonijah.

Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fattened cattle by the Serpent’s Stone, which is beside kEn-rogel, and he invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the royal officials of Judah, 10 but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the mighty men or lSolomon his brother.

Nathan and Bathsheba Before David

11 Then Nathan said to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, Have you not heard that bAdonijah the son of Haggith has become king and David our lord does not know it? 12 Now therefore come, let me give you advice, that you may save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go in at once to King David, and say to him, Did you not, my lord the king, swear to your servant, saying, mSolomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne? Why then is Adonijah king? 14 Then while you are still speaking with the king, I also will come in after you and confirm2 your words.

15 So Bathsheba went to the king in his chamber (now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was attending to the king). 16 Bathsheba bowed and paid homage to the king, and the king said, What do you desire? 17 She said to him, My lord, you swore to your servant by the Lord your God, saying, mSolomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne. 18 And now, behold, Adonijah is king, although you, my lord the king, do not know it. 19 nHe has sacrificed oxen, fattened cattle, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the sons of the king, fAbiathar the priest, and Joab the commander of the army, but lSolomon your servant he has not invited. 20 And now, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will come to pass, when my lord the king osleeps with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be counted offenders.

22 While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23 And they told the king, Here is Nathan the prophet. And when he came in before the king, he bowed before the king, with his face to the ground. 24 And Nathan said, My lord the king, have you said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne? 25 For he has gone down this day and nhas sacrificed oxen, fattened cattle, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king’s sons, the commanders3 of the army, and Abiathar the priest. And behold, they are eating and drinking before him, and saying, pLong live King Adonijah! 26 qBut me, your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon he has not invited. 27 Has this thing been brought about by my lord the king and you have not told your servants who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?

Solomon Anointed King

28 Then King David answered, Call Bathsheba to me. So she came into the king’s presence and stood before the king. 29 And the king swore, saying, rAs the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity, 30 sas I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place, even so will I do this day. 31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground and paid homage to the king and said, tMay my lord King David live forever!

32 King David said, Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. So they came before the king. 33 And the king said to them, Take with you uthe servants of your lord and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and bring him down to vGihon. 34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet there wanoint him king over Israel. xThen blow the trumpet and say, yLong live King Solomon! 35 You shall then come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, for he shall be king in my place. And I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. 36 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, Amen! May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, say so. 37 zAs the Lord has been with my lord the king, even so may he be with Solomon, aand make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.

38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, band the Cherethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule and brought him to Gihon. 39 There Zadok the priest took the horn of coil from the tent and danointed Solomon. xThen they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, yLong live King Solomon! 40 And all the people went up after him, playing on pipes, and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth was split by their noise.

41 Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished feasting. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, What does this uproar in the city mean? 42 While he was still speaking, behold, eJonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came. And Adonijah said, Come in, ffor you are a worthy man and bring good news. 43 Jonathan answered Adonijah, No, for our lord King David has made Solomon king, 44 and the king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the bCherethites and the Pelethites. And they had him ride on the king’s mule. 45 And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at vGihon, and they have gone up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. This is the noise that you have heard. 46 gSolomon sits on the royal throne. 47 Moreover, the king’s servants came to congratulate our lord King David, saying, hMay your God make the name of Solomon more famous than yours, and make his throne greater than your throne. And the king ibowed himself on the bed. 48 And the king also said, Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, jwho has granted someone4 to sit on my throne this day, my own eyes seeing it.

49 Then all the guests of Adonijah trembled and rose, and each went his own way. 50 And Adonijah feared Solomon. So he arose and went kand took hold of lthe horns of the altar. 51 Then it was told Solomon, Behold, Adonijah fears King Solomon, for behold, he has laid hold of the horns of the altar, saying, Let King Solomon swear to me first that he will not put his servant to death with the sword. 52 And Solomon said, If he will show himself a worthy man, mnot one of his hairs shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die. 53 So King Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and paid homage to King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, Go to your house.