Reading for December  Romans 13:1 — Revelation 22:21

December 1

Romans 13:1 — 16:27

13 Let every soul be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God. 2 Therefore he who opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will receive judgment to themselves. 3 For those ruling are an object of fear, not to the good deed, but to the bad. Do you, then, want to have no fear of the authority? Keep doing good, and you will have praise from it; 4 for it is God’s minister to you for your good. But if you are doing what is bad, be in fear: for it is not without purpose that it bears the sword; for it is God’s minister, an avenger to express wrath upon the one practicing what is bad.

5 There is therefore compelling reason for YOU people to be in subjection, not only on account of that wrath but also on account of [YOUR] conscience. 6 For that is why YOU are also paying taxes; for they are God’s public servants constantly serving this very purpose. 7 Render to all their dues, to him who [calls for] the tax, the tax; to him who [calls for] the tribute, the tribute; to him who [calls for] fear, such fear; to him who [calls for] honor, such honor.

8 Do not YOU people be owing anybody a single thing, except to love one another; for he that loves his fellowman has fulfilled [the] law. 9 For the [law code], “You must not commit adultery, You must not murder, You must not steal, You must not covet,” and whatever other commandment there is, is summed up in this word, namely, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does not work evil to one’s neighbor; therefore love is the law’s fulfillment.

11 [Do] this, too, because YOU people know the season, that it is already the hour for YOU to awake from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than at the time when we became believers. 12 The night is well along; the day has drawn near. Let us therefore put off the works belonging to darkness and let us put on the weapons of the light. 13 As in the daytime let us walk decently, not in revelries and drunken bouts, not in illicit intercourse and loose conduct, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not be planning ahead for the desires of the flesh.

Welcome the [man] having weaknesses in [his] faith, but not to make decisions on inward questionings. 2 One [man] has faith to eat everything, but the [man] who is weak eats vegetables. 3 Let the one eating not look down on the one not eating, and let the one not eating not judge the one eating, for God has welcomed that one. 4 Who are you to judge the house servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for Jehovah can make him stand.

5 One [man] judges one day as above another; another [man] judges one day as all others; let each [man] be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day observes it to Jehovah. Also, he who eats, eats to Jehovah, for he gives thanks to God; and he who does not eat does not eat to Jehovah, and yet gives thanks to God. 7 None of us, in fact, lives with regard to himself only, and no one dies with regard to himself only; 8 for both if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. Therefore both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah. 9 For to this end Christ died and came to life again, that he might be Lord over both the dead and the living.

10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you also look down on your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written: “‘As I live,’ says Jehovah, ‘to me every knee will bend down, and every tongue will make open acknowledgment to God.’” 12 So, then, each of us will render an account for himself to God.

13 Therefore let us not be judging one another any longer, but rather make this YOUR decision, not to put before a brother a stumbling block or a cause for tripping. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is defiled in itself; only where a man considers something to be defiled, to him it is defiled. 15 For if because of food your brother is being grieved, you are no longer walking in accord with love. Do not by your food ruin that one for whom Christ died. 16 Do not, therefore, let the good YOU people do be spoken of with injury to YOU. 17 For the kingdom of God does not mean eating and drinking, but [means] righteousness and peace and joy with holy spirit. 18 For he who in this regard slaves for Christ is acceptable to God and has approval with men.

19 So, then, let us pursue the things making for peace and the things that are upbuilding to one another. 20 Stop tearing down the work of God just for the sake of food. True, all things are clean, but it is injurious to the man who with an occasion for stumbling eats. 21 It is well not to eat flesh or to drink wine or do anything over which your brother stumbles. 22 The faith that you have, have it in accord with yourself in the sight of God. Happy is the man that does not put himself on judgment by what he approves. 23 But if he has doubts, he is already condemned if he eats, because [he does] not [eat] out of faith. Indeed, everything that is not out of faith is sin.

We, though, who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those not strong, and not to be pleasing ourselves. 2 Let each of us please [his] neighbor in what is good for [his] upbuilding. 3 For even the Christ did not please himself; but just as it is written: “The reproaches of those who were reproaching you have fallen upon me.” 4 For all the things that were written aforetime were written for our instruction, that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 Now may the God who supplies endurance and comfort grant YOU to have among yourselves the same mental attitude that Christ Jesus had, 6 that with one accord YOU may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7 Therefore welcome one another, just as the Christ also welcomed us, with glory to God in view. 8 For I say that Christ actually became a minister of those who are circumcised in behalf of God’s truthfulness, so as to verify the promises He made to their forefathers, 9 and that the nations might glorify God for his mercy. Just as it is written: “That is why I will openly acknowledge you among the nations and to your name I will make melody.” 10 And again he says: “Be glad, YOU nations, with his people.” 11 And again: “Praise Jehovah, all YOU nations, and let all the peoples praise him.” 12 And again Isaiah says: “There will be the root of Jesse, and there will be one arising to rule nations; on him nations will rest their hope.” 13 May the God who gives hope fill YOU with all joy and peace by YOUR believing, that YOU may abound in hope with power of holy spirit.

14 Now I myself also am persuaded about YOU, my brothers, that YOU yourselves are also full of goodness, as YOU have been filled with all knowledge, and that YOU can also admonish one another. 15 However, I am writing YOU the more outspokenly on some points, as if reminding YOU again, because of the undeserved kindness given to me from God 16 for me to be a public servant of Christ Jesus to the nations, engaging in the holy work of the good news of God, in order that the offering, namely, these nations, might prove to be acceptable, it being sanctified with holy spirit.

17 Therefore I have cause for exulting in Christ Jesus when it comes to things pertaining to God. 18 For I will not venture to tell one thing if it is not of those things which Christ worked through me for the nations to be obedient, by [my] word and deed, 19 with the power of signs and portents, with the power of holy spirit; so that from Jerusalem and in a circuit as far as Illyricum I have thoroughly preached the good news about the Christ. 20 In this way, indeed, I made it my aim not to declare the good news where Christ had already been named, in order that I might not be building on another man’s foundation; 21 but, just as it is written: “Those to whom no announcement has been made about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.”

22 Therefore also I was many times hindered from getting to YOU. 23 But now that I no longer have [untouched] territory in these regions, and for some years having had a longing to get to YOU 24 whenever I am on my way to Spain, I hope, above all, when I am on the journey there, to get a look at YOU and to be escorted partway there by YOU after I have first in some measure been satisfied with your company. 25 But now I am about to journey to Jerusalem to minister to the holy ones. 26 For those in Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to share up their things by a contribution to the poor of the holy ones in Jerusalem. 27 True, they have been pleased to do so, and yet they were debtors to them; for if the nations have shared in their spiritual things, they also owe it to minister publicly to these with things for the fleshly body. 28 Hence after I have finished with this and have got this fruit securely to them, I shall depart by way of YOU for Spain. 29 Moreover, I know that when I do come to YOU I shall come with a full measure of blessing from Christ.

30 Now I exhort YOU, brothers, through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the spirit, that YOU exert yourselves with me in prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea and that my ministry which is for Jerusalem may prove to be acceptable to the holy ones, 32 so that when I get to YOU with joy by God’s will I shall be refreshed together with YOU. 33 May the God who gives peace be with all of YOU. Amen.

I recommend to YOU Phoebe our sister, who is a minister of the congregation that is in Cenchreae, 2 that YOU may welcome her in [the] Lord in a way worthy of the holy ones, and that YOU may assist her in any matter where she may need YOU, for she herself also proved to be a defender of many, yes, of me myself.

3 Give my greetings to Prisca and Aquila my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who have risked their own necks for my soul, to whom not only I but also all the congregations of the nations render thanks; 5 and [greet] the congregation that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is a firstfruits of Asia for Christ. 6 Greet Mary, who has performed many labors for YOU. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junias my relatives and my fellow captives, who are men of note among the apostles and who have been in union with Christ longer than I have.

8 Give my greetings to Ampliatus my beloved in [the] Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, the approved one in Christ. Greet those from the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion my relative. Greet those from the household of Narcissus who are in [the] Lord. 12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, [women] who are working hard in [the] Lord. Greet Persis our beloved one, for she performed many labors in [the] Lord. 13 Greet Rufus the chosen one in [the] Lord, and his mother and mine. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers with them. 15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the holy ones with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the congregations of the Christ greet YOU.

17 Now I exhort YOU, brothers, to keep your eye on those who cause divisions and occasions for stumbling contrary to the teaching that YOU have learned, and avoid them. 18 For men of that sort are slaves, not of our Lord Christ, but of their own bellies; and by smooth talk and complimentary speech they seduce the hearts of guileless ones. 19 For YOUR obedience has come to the notice of all. I therefore rejoice over YOU. But I want YOU to be wise as to what is good, but innocent as to what is evil. 20 For his part, the God who gives peace will crush Satan under YOUR feet shortly. May the undeserved kindness of our Lord Jesus be with YOU.

21 Timothy my fellow worker greets YOU, and so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater my relatives.
 I, Tertius, who have done the writing of this letter, greet YOU in [the] Lord.
 Gaius, my host and that of all the congregation, greets YOU. Erastus the city steward greets YOU, and so does Quartus his brother. 24 ——

25 Now to him who can make YOU firm in accord with the good news I declare and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the sacred secret which has been kept in silence for long-lasting times 26 but has now been made manifest and has been made known through the prophetic scriptures among all the nations in accord with the command of the everlasting God to promote obedience by faith; 27 to God, wise alone, be the glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.