bible reading plan

November - December series

Psalms | Reading the Psalms with Luther
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November 7 | Psalm 149 (Reading the Psalms with Luther, p.353)

The 149th Psalm is a psalm of thanks for the blessing that God is gracious and merciful to His people, that they know they have a gracious God, and that they rightly should rejoice. They have this blessing or grace—which is rightly called the forgiveness of sins—that God will not avenge how evil and sinful they are. Therefore, this psalm in reality belongs in the New Testament. It calls it self a new song to sing to the King of Zion, whom they should praise on their couches, that is, in the church where they come together. (Similarly, Isaiah called the churches and altars, in which Israel committed fornication—that is, idolatry—couches or beds.)

Again, it belongs the the New Testament to have a sharp sword in hand to punish the heathen, to throw kings in stock and dungeons, and to take vengeance, as it is written. This is the vengeance that is spoken of in the Scriptures, that Abraham’s seed should strike down idolatry in all the world through the Gospel, the spiritual sword, taking prisoner all the holiness of the kings and the wise and subject them to Christ, as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:5.

Psalm 149 | Sing to the Lord a New Song
Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly! Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre! For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation. Let the godly exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgment written! This is honor for all his godly ones. Praise the Lord!

OT: Revelation 7:2-17
NT: 1 John 3:1-3
Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12

Prayer: Praise, honor and thanksgiving to You, O Christ, King of glory, because by suffering and death of Your blood You redeemed us from the kingdom of darkness, and made us partakers of Your victory over Satan, sin, and death. Grant us a cheerful faith to sing of Your grace with heart and soul and to make known Your salvation among men. Amen.

November 14 | Psalm 16 (Reading the Psalms with Luther, p.42)

The 16th Psalm is a prophecy of the suffering and resurrection of Christ, as the apostles themselves powerfully indicate (Acts 2;25 and 13:35). It clearly gives witness that Christ has discarded as idolatry the old Law with its sacrifices and worship, and has chosen other saints and another people to be His heirs. This psalm belongs to the First, Second, and Third Commandments, for it announces the new praise, work, Word, and worship that would come into the world in Christ, and the passing of the old worship. It is in the First and Second petitions. 

Psalm 16 | A Miktam of David
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips. The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

OT: Daniel 12:1-3
NT: Hebrews 10:11-25
Gospel: Mark 13:1-13

Prayer: Thanks be unto You, Lord Jesus, for Your bitter sufferings, Your shameful death, and Your joyous resurrection. Enlighten our eyes to see in You the way unto life. Uphold us by Your truth, so we may not fall into idolatry and false worship, and preserve us in the true faith unto eternal life. Amen.

November 21 | Psalm 93 (Reading the Psalms with Luther, p.222)

The 93rd psalm is a prophecy of the kingdom of Christ, that it is as wide as the world and remains forever. Although floods and waters storm against it, that is, the world’s death and rage oppose and struggle against it, they accomplish nothing at all; for He is greater than the world and its prince. This kingdom and all the things will be ordered through His word, without sword or armor. He will adorn his house and make it holy. For the true worship that adorns and illuminates this house is preaching, praise, and Thanksgiving, which belong to neither Moses nor the Old Testament.

Psalm 93 | The Lord Reigns
The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring. Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty! Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O Lord, forevermore.

OT: Isaiah 51:4-6
NT: Jude 20-25
Gospel: Mark 13:24-37

Prayer: Lord Jesus, triumphant Victor and glorious King, continue to spread Your kingdom on earth, converting the nations from the powers of darkness unto Your light. Preserve Your gospel in its truth and purity to us and to our children in all generations. Grant us to worship You in righteousness and true holiness all our days, and finally receive us into those glorious mansions that you have prepared in the house of Your Father. Amen.

November 28 | Psalm 25:1-10 (Reading the Psalms with Luther, p.62)

The 25th Psalm is a Psalm of prayer in which the righteous pray that God will make them godly, forgive their sins, guard them from sin and shame, and finally deliver them from all enemies and all evil. Along with this the psalm mocks the false, self-centered spirits and teachers. It belongs to the Second Commandment and the Second Petition.

Psalm 25 | Teach Me Your Paths
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord! Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

OT: Jeremiah 33:14-16
NT: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Gospel: Luke 19:28-40

Prayer: O Lord, our most merciful Father in heaven, be gracious to us and forgive us our sins. Rule in our hearts by Your Spirit, that we may hate and forsake all manner of evil. Restrain our enemies who would deprive us of our salvation, and be to us, and Your whole church on earth, a very present help in time of need. Amen.

December 5 | Psalm 66:1-12 (Reading the Psalms with Luther, p.152)

The 66th Psalm is a Psalm of praise for the general blessing that God often delivers and protects His people out of the hand of the enemies, as He did at the Red Sea. The histories in the books of the Judges and Kings are full of these deliverances, which He also does daily for us, delivering and keeping His own in the true faith against the devil, spirits, and sins.

Psalm 66:1-12 | To the choirmaster. A Song. A Psalm.
Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you. All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man. He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot. There did we rejoice in him, who rules by his might forever, whose eyes keep watch on the nations— let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip. For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.

OT: Malachi 3:1-7
NT: Philippians 1:2-11
Gospel: Luke 3:1-14 (15-20)

Prayer: Thanks and praise be unto You, God of all grace, because You have delivered our souls from the bondage of Satan, and have saved us through the Red Sea of the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior. Cleanse us evermore with His blood that, with all Your saints, we may continually praise You. Amen.

December 12 | Psalm 85 (Reading the Psalms with Luther, p.202)

The 85th psalm is a psalm of prayer in which the Psalmist pleads against God's wrath and seeks His grace. The wrath (in my opinion) consists in this, that they have a lack of God’s Word and true preaching; also a lack of good government, peace, and godly authority; and finally a lack of fruitful times and good harvest. These afflictions hang together, one with the other. Therefore, the Psalmist prays that God would speak again, so that His people will not fall into folly, blaspheme in impatience, nor seek other gods; so that peace, unity, truth, and love might wash over His people, and that the land will be fruitful; so that they can live a proper and honorable life in a God-pleasing way in peace and quietness, as St. Paul (1 Timothy 2:2) also teaches us to pray.

Psalm 85 | To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.
Lord, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. You forgave the iniquity of your people; you covered all their sin. You withdrew all your wrath; you turned from your hot anger. Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us! Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations? Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land. Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky. Yes, the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before him and make his footsteps a way.

OT: Zephaniah 3:14-20
NT: Philippians 4:4-7
Gospel: Luke 7:18-28

Prayer: Remember not, O God, our transgressions against us, and record not our sins in Your book, but cast them into the depths of the sea, and remember them no more forever. Impute to us the obedience of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who fulfilled all righteousness for us and gave Himself a sacrifice for our sins. Let us live for His sake, and enable us to walk worthy of our calling. Amen.

December 19 | Psalm 80:1-7 (Reading the Psalms with Luther, p.192)

The 80th psalm is a psalm of prayer against the constant enemies, the neighboring people, the Philistines, Syrians, Moabites, and Edomites, who surrounded the people of Israel, pestering and attacking them. So now also we pray against our enemies and neighbors, the rebellious spirit, and the spiritual “fathers” and order, as we have prayed in times past against the heretics of the church.

Psalm 80 | To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Testimony. Of Asaph, a Psalm
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock.You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might and come to save us! Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved! O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people's prayers? You have fed them with the bread of tears and given them tears to drink in full measure. You make us an object of contention for our neighbors, and our enemies laugh among themselves. Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved! You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land. The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches. It sent out its branches to the sea and its shoots to the River. Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit? The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it. Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine, the stock that your right hand planted, and for the son whom you made strong for yourself. They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your face! But let your hand be on the man of your right hand, the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself! Then we shall not turn back from you; give us life, and we will call upon your name! Restore us, O Lord God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!

OT: Micah 5:2-5
NT: Hebrews 10:5-10
Gospel: Luke 1:39-56

Prayer: Blessed be Your holy name, O Lord God of heaven, because You had planted in our land that noble vine, the Christian Church. Cause it to grow and to spread forth its branches, that it may overshadow the land and bring forth prolific fruit for the good of our nation, and the salvation of many, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

December 24 | Psalm 96 (Reading the Psalms with Luther, p.228)

The 96th psalm is a prophecy of the kingdom of Christ in the world, in which should be nothing but joy and praise. The text is, truly, itself clear enough. In it, all the nations, lands, people, forests, seas, trees are called to worship. They should praise and thank the Lord because He judges and rules with righteousness and truth. That is, He delivers us from sins and all that sin brings with it, such as death, hell, the power of the devil, and all that is evil. This is the new song of the new kingdom from new creatures, from a new people, not born of the Law or works but born of God and Spirit. These are nothing less than miracles, done in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Psalm 96  | Worship in the Splendor of Holiness
Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

OT: Isaiah 9:2-7
NT: Titus 2:11-14
Gospel: Luke 2:1-20

Prayer: Thanks to You, O Father of light, for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to establish a kingdom of grace and forgiveness among men on this earth. By Your Spirit make us new creatures in heart, mind, soul, and sentiment, and teach us to sing the new song of this new kingdom with rejoicing and gladness, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

December 26 | Psalm 111 (Reading the Psalms with Luther, p.269)

The 111th psalm is a psalm of thanks for the people of Israel to sing at the Passover, concerning the Passover Lamb. In this psalm they learn to praise God and give thanks in a fine short song for all his wonderful works, especially for the spiritual authority, priesthood, Passover, Law, Word, freedom, justice, the land, help, and other blessings.

Psalm 111 | To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Testimony. Of Asaph, a Psalm
Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them. Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful. He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations. The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy; they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name! The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

OT: Exodus 13:1-3, 11-15
NT: Colossians 3:12-17
Gospel: Luke 2:22-40

Prayer: Praise belongs to You, our God, because You have fulfilled Your promises to Your people Israel in the incarnation of Your Son, and sent the Light of Your truth to our fathers when they were walking in ignorance of You. Grant a steadfastly to trust Your covenant of grace that we may live therein. Make Your works of mercy and truth known to our children, that they may praise Your name in generations to come. Amen.