How Great Are Your Works
A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath.
92 fIt is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to your name, gO Most High;
to the melody of jthe lyre.
4 For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your kwork;
at lthe works of your hands I sing for joy.
12 xThe righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in ythe courts of our God.
14 They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
15 zto declare that the Lord is upright;
22 Thus says the Lord God: k“I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. lI will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and mI myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23 nOn the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. oAnd under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. 24 And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; pI bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up qthe green tree, and make qthe dry tree flourish. rI am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.”
The Parable of the Seed Growing
26 And he said, c“The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; dhe knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once ehe puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
30 fAnd he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like ga grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
6 So we are always of good courage. We know that rwhile we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for swe walk by faith, not tby sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we uwould rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to vplease him. 10 For wwe must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, xso that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
The Ministry of Reconciliation
11 Therefore, knowing ythe fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But zwhat we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 aWe are not commending ourselves to you again but bgiving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we care beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ dcontrols us, because we have concluded this: that eone has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, fthat those who live might no longer live for themselves but gfor him who for their sake died and was raised.
16 From now on, therefore, hwe regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is iin Christ, he is ja new creation.1 kThe old has passed away; behold, the new has come.