Psalms 116–118; 2 Corinthians 3

I Love the Lord

116  I ylove the Lord, because he has zheard

my voice and my pleas for mercy.

Because he ainclined his ear to me,

therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

bThe snares of death encompassed me;

the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;

I suffered distress and anguish.

Then cI called on the name of the Lord:

O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!

dGracious is the Lord, and erighteous;

our God is fmerciful.

The Lord preserves gthe simple;

when hI was brought low, he saved me.

Return, O my soul, to your irest;

for the Lord has jdealt bountifully with you.

For kyou have delivered my soul from death,

my eyes from tears,

my feet from stumbling;

I will walk before the Lord

lin the land of the living.

10  mI believed, neven when1 I spoke:

I am greatly afflicted;

11  oI said in my alarm,

pAll mankind are liars.

12  What shall I qrender to the Lord

for all his benefits to me?

13  I will lift up rthe cup of salvation

and scall on the name of the Lord,

14  I will tpay my vows to the Lord

in the presence of all his people.

15  uPrecious in the sight of the Lord

is the death of his vsaints.

16  O Lord, I am your wservant;

I am your servant, xthe son of your maidservant.

You have yloosed my bonds.

17  I will zoffer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving

and scall on the name of the Lord.

18  I will tpay my vows to the Lord

in the presence of all his people,

19  in athe courts of the house of the Lord,

in your midst, O Jerusalem.

bPraise the Lord!

The Lord's Faithfulness Endures Forever

117  cPraise the Lord, all nations!

Extol him, all peoples!

For dgreat is his steadfast love toward us,

and ethe faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

bPraise the Lord!

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

118  fOh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever!

gLet Israel say,

His steadfast love endures forever.

gLet the house of Aaron say,

His steadfast love endures forever.

gLet those who fear the Lord say,

His steadfast love endures forever.

hOut of my distress I icalled on the Lord;

the Lord answered me and set me jfree.

kThe Lord is on my side; lI will not fear.

What can man do to me?

mThe Lord is on my side as my helper;

I shall nlook in triumph on those who hate me.

oIt is better to take refuge in the Lord

pthan to trust in man.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord

pthan to trust in princes.

10  qAll nations surrounded me;

in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

11  They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;

in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

12  rThey surrounded me like bees;

they went out like sa fire among thorns;

in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

13  I was tpushed hard,2 so that I was falling,

but the Lord helped me.

14  The Lord is my strength and my song;

uhe has become my salvation.

15  Glad songs of salvation

are in the tents of the righteous:

vThe right hand of the Lord wdoes valiantly,

16  the right hand of the Lord exalts,

the right hand of the Lord wdoes valiantly!

17  xI shall not die, but I shall live,

and yrecount the deeds of the Lord.

18  The Lord has zdisciplined me severely,

but he has not given me over to death.

19  aOpen to me the gates of righteousness,

that I may enter through them

and give thanks to the Lord.

20  This is the gate of the Lord;

bthe righteous shall enter through it.

21  I thank you that cyou have answered me

uand have become my salvation.

22  dThe stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone.3

23  This is the Lord's doing;

it is marvelous in our eyes.

24  This is the day that the Lord has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25  Save us, we pray, O Lord!

O Lord, we pray, give us success!

26  eBlessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

We fbless you from the house of the Lord.

27  The Lord is God,

and he has made ghis light to shine upon us.

Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,

up to hthe horns of the altar!

28  You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;

you are my God; I will iextol you.

29  jOh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever!


Ministers of the New Covenant

qAre we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, ras some do, sletters of recommendation to you, or from you? tYou yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our1 hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of uthe living God, not on vtablets of stone but on wtablets of xhuman hearts.2

ySuch is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. zNot that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but aour sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be bministers of ca new covenant, not of dthe letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but ethe Spirit gives life.

Now if fthe ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory gthat the Israelites could not gaze at Moses' face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in hthe ministry of condemnation, ithe ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.

12 Since we have such a hope, jwe are very bold, 13 not like Moses, kwho would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But ltheir minds were mhardened. For to this day, nwhen they read othe old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when pone3 turns to the Lord, qthe veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord4 is the Spirit, and where rthe Spirit of the Lord is, there is sfreedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, tbeholding uthe glory of the Lord,5 vare being transformed into the same image wfrom one degree of glory to another.6 For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.