Thursday 29 July

Lord God,
your Son left the riches of heaven
and became poor for our sake:
when we prosper save us from pride,
when we are needy save us from despair,
that we may trust in you alone;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

James 4.1–12
  Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you suppose that it is for nothing that the scripture says, ‘God yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us’? But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says,
‘God opposes the proud,
   but gives grace to the humble.’
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
   Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, speaks evil against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. So who, then, are you to judge your neighbour?

Psalm 37
    Fret not because of evildoers;
   be not jealous of those who do wrong.
    For they shall soon wither like grass
   and like the green herb fade away.
    Trust in the Lord and be doing good;
   dwell in the land and be nourished with truth.
    Let your delight be in the Lord
   and he will give you your heart’s desire.
    Commit your way to the Lord and put your trust in him,
   and he will bring it to pass.
    He will make your righteousness as clear as the light
   and your just dealing as the noonday.
    Be still before the Lord and wait for him;
   do not fret over those that prosper
      as they follow their evil schemes.
    Refrain from anger and abandon wrath;
   do not fret, lest you be moved to do evil.
    For evildoers shall be cut off,
   but those who wait upon the Lord shall possess the land.
      Yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more;
   you will search for their place and find them gone.
      But the lowly shall possess the land
   and shall delight in abundance of peace.
      The wicked plot against the righteous
   and gnash at them with their teeth.
      The Lord shall laugh at the wicked,
   for he sees that their day is coming.
      The wicked draw their sword and bend their bow
      to strike down the poor and needy,
   to slaughter those who walk in truth.
      Their sword shall go through their own heart
   and their bows shall be broken.
      The little that the righteous have
   is better than great riches of the wicked.
      For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
   but the Lord upholds the righteous.
      The Lord knows the days of the godly,
   and their inheritance shall stand for ever.
      They shall not be put to shame in the perilous time,
   and in days of famine they shall have enough.
      But the wicked shall perish;
      like the glory of the meadows
      the enemies of the Lord shall vanish;
   they shall vanish like smoke.
      The wicked borrow and do not repay,
   but the righteous are generous in giving.
      For those who are blest by God shall possess the land,
   but those who are cursed by him shall be rooted out.
      When your steps are guided by the Lord
   and you delight in his way,
      Though you stumble, you shall not fall headlong,
   for the Lord holds you fast by the hand.
      I have been young and now am old,
   yet never have I seen the righteous forsaken,
      or their children begging their bread.
      All the day long they are generous in lending,
   and their children also shall be blest.
      Depart from evil and do good
   and you shall abide for ever.
      For the Lord loves the thing that is right
   and will not forsake his faithful ones.
      The unjust shall be destroyed for ever,
   and the offspring of the wicked shall be rooted out.
      The righteous shall possess the land
   and dwell in it for ever.
      The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
   and their tongue speaks the thing that is right.
      The law of their God is in their heart
   and their footsteps shall not slide.
      The wicked spy on the righteous
   and seek occasion to slay them.
      The Lord will not leave them in their hand,
   nor let them be condemned when they are judged.
      Wait upon the Lord and keep his way;
   he will raise you up to possess the land,
      and when the wicked are uprooted, you shall see it.
      I myself have seen the wicked in great power
   and flourishing like a tree in full leaf.
      I went by and lo, they were gone;
   I sought them, but they could nowhere be found.
      Keep innocence and heed the thing that is right,
   for that will bring you peace at the last.
      But the sinners shall perish together,
   and the posterity of the wicked shall be rooted out.
      The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
   he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
      The Lord shall stand by them and deliver them;
   he shall deliver them from the wicked and shall save them,
      because they have put their trust in him.