Reading March 17, 2019

Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18

The Lord God took Abram outside and said, 
“Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can.
Just so,” he added, “shall your descendants be.”
Abram put his faith in the LORD, 
who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.

He then said to him, 
“I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans 
to give you this land as a possession.”
“O Lord GOD,” he asked, 
“how am I to know that I shall possess it?”
He answered him, 
“Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat, 
a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
Abram brought him all these, split them in two, 
and placed each half opposite the other; 
but the birds he did not cut up.
Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, 
but Abram stayed with them.
As the sun was about to set, a trance fell upon Abram, 
and a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him.

When the sun had set and it was dark, 
there appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch, 
which passed between those pieces.
It was on that occasion that the LORD made a covenant with Abram,
saying: “To your descendants I give this land, 
from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River, the Euphrates.”

2 Philippians 3:17-4:1

Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers and sisters, 
and observe those who thus conduct themselves 
according to the model you have in us.
For many, as I have often told you 
and now tell you even in tears, 
conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Their end is destruction.
Their God is their stomach; 
their glory is in their “shame.”
Their minds are occupied with earthly things.
But our citizenship is in heaven, 
and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He will change our lowly body
to conform with his glorified body 
by the power that enables him also 
to bring all things into subjection to himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, 
in this way stand firm in the Lord.

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