Lord, you have taught us
that all our doings without love are nothing worth:
send your Holy Spirit
and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtues,
without which whoever lives is counted dead before you.
Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. I can testify that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened. For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that ‘the person who does these things will live by them.’ But the righteousness that comes from faith says, ‘Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?” ’ (that is, to bring Christ down) ‘or “Who will descend into the abyss?” ’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say?
‘The word is near you,
on your lips and in your heart’
(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
You only are my portion, O Lord;
I have promised to keep your words.
I entreat you with all my heart,
be merciful to me according to your promise.
I have considered my ways
and turned my feet back to your testimonies.
I made haste and did not delay
to keep your commandments.
Though the cords of the wicked entangle me,
I do not forget your law.
At midnight I will rise to give you thanks,
because of your righteous judgements.
I am a companion of all those who fear you,
those who keep your commandments.
The earth, O Lord, is full of your faithful love;
instruct me in your statutes.
You have dealt graciously with your servant,
according to your word, O Lord.
O teach me true understanding and knowledge,
for I have trusted in your commandments.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I keep your word.
You are gracious and do good;
O Lord, teach me your statutes.
The proud have smeared me with lies,
but I will keep your commandments with my whole heart.
Their heart has become gross with fat,
but my delight is in your law.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
that I may learn your statutes.
The law of your mouth is dearer to me
than a hoard of gold and silver.
Your hands have made me and fashioned me;
give me understanding, that I may learn your commandments.
Those who fear you will be glad when they see me,
because I have hoped in your word.
I know, O Lord, that your judgements are right,
and that in very faithfulness you caused me to be troubled.
Let your faithful love be my comfort,
according to your promise to your servant.
Let your tender mercies come to me, that I may live,
for your law is my delight.
Let the proud be put to shame, for they wrong me with lies;
but I will meditate on your commandments.
Let those who fear you turn to me,
even those who know your testimonies.
Let my heart be sound in your statutes,
that I may not be put to shame.