Now as Jesus was passing by, He saw a man blind from birth,
and His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God would be displayed in him.
Brothers, consider the time of your calling: Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were powerful; not many were of noble birth.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
He chose the lowly and despised things of the world, and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are,
so that no one may boast in His presence.
Jesus invited a little child to stand among them.
“Truly I tell you,” He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name welcomes Me.
“Please, Lord,” Moses replied, “I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since You have spoken to Your servant, for I am slow of speech and tongue.”
And the LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Or who makes the mute or the deaf, the sighted or the blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
Now go! I will help you as you speak, and I will teach you what to say.”
But Moses replied, “Please, Lord, send someone else.”
Then the anger of the LORD burned against Moses, and He said, “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well, and he is now on his way to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.
. . .
Then Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God arrive with power.”
After six days Jesus took with Him Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There He was transfigured before them.
His clothes became radiantly white, brighter than any launderer on earth could bleach them.
And Elijah and Moses appeared before them, talking with Jesus.
Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
. . .
Therefore let us stop judging one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.
I am convinced and fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean.
If your brother is distressed by what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother, for whom Christ died.
Do not allow what you consider good, then, to be spoken of as evil.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
. . .
Indeed, this is what the LORD says: “Even the captives of the mighty will be taken away, and the plunder of the tyrant will be retrieved; I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.
I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
By the wrath of the LORD of Hosts the land is scorched, and the people are fuel for the fire. No man even spares his brother.
They carve out what is on the right, but they are still hungry; they eat what is on the left, but they are still not satisfied. Each one devours the flesh of his own offspring.
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Then Jesus said to the man who had invited Him, “When you host a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or brothers or relatives or rich neighbors. Otherwise, they may invite you in return, and you will be repaid.
But when you host a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind,
and you will be blessed. Since they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
When one of those reclining with Him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is everyone who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
. . .
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves those born of Him.
By this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments.
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome,
because everyone born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith.
Who then overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
. . .
When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him.
Suddenly a leper came and knelt before Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Then Jesus instructed him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift prescribed by Moses, as a testimony to them.”
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came and pleaded with Him,
. . .
I want you to be free from concern. The unmarried man is concerned about the work of the Lord, how he can please the Lord.
But the married man is concerned about the affairs of this world, how he can please his wife,
and his interests are divided. The unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the work of the Lord, how she can be holy in both body and spirit. But the married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world, how she can please her husband.
I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but in order to promote proper decorum and undivided devotion to the Lord.
each of you must know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,
not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God;
and no one should ever violate or exploit his brother in this regard, because the Lord will avenge all such acts, as we have already told you and solemnly warned you.
For God has not called us to impurity, but to holiness.
Anyone, then, who rejects this command does not reject man but God, the very One who gives you His Holy Spirit.
. . .
So then, let us not sleep as the others do, but let us remain awake and sober.
For those who sleep, sleep at night; and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of our hope of salvation.
For God has not appointed us to suffer wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.
. . .
If one is found slain, lying in a field in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him,
your elders and judges must come out and measure the distance from the victim to the neighboring cities.
Then the elders of the city nearest the victim shall take a heifer that has never been yoked or used for work,
bring the heifer to a valley with running water that has not been plowed or sown, and break its neck there by the stream.
And the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to serve Him and pronounce blessings in His name and to give a ruling in every dispute and case of assault.
. . .
The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness, and confusion of mind,
and at noon you will grope about like a blind man in the darkness. You will not prosper in your ways. Day after day you will be oppressed and plundered, with no one to save you.
Again I looked, and I considered all the oppression taking place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, and they had no comforter; the power lay in the hands of their oppressors, and there was no comforter.
So I admired the dead, who had already died, above the living, who are still alive.
But better than both is he who has not yet existed, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun.
I saw that all labor and success spring from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.
The fool folds his hands and consumes his own flesh.
. . .
Whoever strikes his father or mother must surely be put to death.
Whoever kidnaps another man must be put to death, whether he sells him or the man is found in his possession.
Anyone who curses his father or mother must surely be put to death.
Furthermore, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered My covenant.
Therefore tell the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians and deliver you from their bondage. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.
I will take you as My own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
And I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD!’”
Moses relayed this message to the Israelites, but on account of their broken spirit and cruel bondage, they did not listen to him.
. . .
“And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel and say: O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD.
This is what the Lord GOD says: Because the enemy has said of you, ‘Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession,’
therefore prophesy and declare that this is what the Lord GOD says: Because they have made you desolate and have trampled you on every side, so that you became a possession of the rest of the nations and were taken up in slander by the lips of their talkers,
therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD. This is what the Lord GOD says to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys, to the desolate ruins and abandoned cities, which have become a spoil and a mockery to the rest of the nations around you.
Therefore this is what the Lord GOD says: Surely in My burning zeal I have spoken against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, who took My land as their own possession with wholehearted joy and utter contempt, so that its pastureland became plunder.
. . .
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes of the Dispersion: Greetings.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
. . .
You who tear yourself in anger—should the earth be forsaken on your account, or the rocks be moved from their place?
Indeed, the lamp of the wicked is extinguished; the flame of his fire does not glow.
The light in his tent grows dark, and the lamp beside him goes out.
His vigorous stride is shortened, and his own schemes trip him up.
For his own feet lead him into a net, and he wanders into its mesh.
. . .
Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, it is not because you saw these signs that you are looking for Me, but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
Do not work for food that perishes, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval.”
Then they inquired, “What must we do to perform the works of God?”
Jesus replied, “The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.”
So they asked Him, “What sign then will You perform, so that we may see it and believe You? What will You do?
. . .
So He told them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
Behold, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will harm you.
Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’
But you say that if anyone says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever you would have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’
he need not honor his father or mother with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
Also, if one person sins unintentionally, he is to present a year-old female goat as a sin offering.
And the priest shall make atonement before the LORD on behalf of the person who erred by sinning unintentionally; and when atonement has been made for him, he will be forgiven.
You shall have the same law for the one who acts in error, whether he is a native-born Israelite or a foreigner residing among you.
But the person who sins defiantly, whether a native or foreigner, blasphemes the LORD. That person shall be cut off from among his people.
He shall certainly be cut off, because he has despised the word of the LORD and broken His commandment; his guilt remains on him.”
Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you must stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.
I urge Euodia and Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.
Yes, and I ask you, my true yokefellow, to help these women who have labored with me for the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be apparent to all. The Lord is near.
. . .
When words are many, sin is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked has little worth.
The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of judgment.
The blessing of the LORD enriches, and He adds no sorrow to it.
The fool delights in shameful conduct, but a man of understanding has wisdom.
. . .
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.
The good man obtains favor from the LORD, but the LORD condemns a man who devises evil.
A man cannot be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted.
A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but she who causes shame is like decay in his bones.
The plans of the righteous are just, but the counsel of the wicked leads to deceit.
. . .
A man’s insight gives him patience, and his virtue is to overlook an offense.
A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.
A foolish son is his father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.
Houses and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
Laziness brings on deep sleep, and an idle soul will suffer hunger.
. . .
Whoever curses his father or mother, his lamp will be extinguished in deepest darkness.
An inheritance gained quickly will not be blessed in the end.
Do not say, “I will avenge this evil!” Wait on the LORD, and He will save you.
Unequal weights are detestable to the LORD, and dishonest scales are no good.
A man’s steps are from the LORD, so how can anyone understand his own way?
. . .
Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Oppressing the poor to enrich oneself or giving gifts to the rich will surely lead to poverty.
Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise—apply your mind to my knowledge—
for it is pleasing when you keep them within you and they are constantly on your lips.
So that your trust may be in the LORD, I instruct you today—yes, you.
. . .
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who looks after his master will be honored.
As water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the true man.
Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
A crucible for silver and a furnace for gold, but a man is tested by the praise accorded him.
. . .
Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a helpless people.
A leader who lacks judgment is also a great oppressor, but he who hates dishonest profit will prolong his days.
A man burdened by bloodguilt will flee into the Pit; let no one support him.
He who walks with integrity will be kept safe, but whoever is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall.
The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.
. . .
There is a generation of those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers.
There is a generation of those who are pure in their own eyes and yet unwashed of their filth.
There is a generation—how haughty are their eyes and pretentious are their glances—
there is a generation whose teeth are swords and whose jaws are knives, devouring the oppressed from the earth and the needy from among men.
The leech has two daughters: Give and Give. There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’:
. . .
Of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—whom shall I dread?
When the wicked came upon me to devour my flesh, my enemies and foes stumbled and fell.
Though an army encamps around me, my heart will not fear; though a war breaks out against me, I will keep my trust.
One thing I have asked of the LORD; this is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and seek Him in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will set me high upon a rock.
. . .
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under it.
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
The body is a unit, though it is composed of many parts. And although its parts are many, they all form one body. So it is with Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free, and we were all given one Spirit to drink.
For the body does not consist of one part, but of many.
If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
. . .
Rather, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
But God has revealed it to us by the Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
For who among men knows the thoughts of man except his own spirit within him? So too, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
We realize that law is not enacted for the righteous, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for killers of father or mother, for murderers,
for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave traders and liars and perjurers, and for anyone else who is averse to sound teaching
that agrees with the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, that He considered me faithful and appointed me to service.
I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent man; yet because I had acted in ignorance and unbelief, I was shown mercy.
. . .
For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. By craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
But you, O man of God, flee from these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession before many witnesses.
I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who made the good confession in His testimony before Pontius Pilate:
Keep this commandment without stain or reproach until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ,
. . .
I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to gain, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord.
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows.
And I know that this man—whether in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows—
was caught up to Paradise. The things he heard were too sacred for words, things that man is not permitted to tell.
I will boast about such a man, but I will not boast about myself, except in my weaknesses.
. . .
Consider what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all things.
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David, as proclaimed by my gospel,
for which I suffer to the extent of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained!
For this reason I endure all things for the sake of the elect, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
This is a trustworthy saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
. . .
He has sent this message to the people of Israel, proclaiming the gospel of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.
You yourselves know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee with the baptism that John proclaimed:
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with Him.
We are witnesses of all that He did, both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. And although they put Him to death by hanging Him on a tree,
God raised Him up on the third day and caused Him to be seen—
. . .
Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they will not become discouraged.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only to please them while they are watching, but with sincerity of heart and fear of the Lord.
Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men,
because you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as your reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Whoever does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.
. . .
A good name is better than fine perfume, and one’s day of death is better than his day of birth.
It is better to enter a house of mourning than a house of feasting, since death is the end of every man, and the living should take this to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter, for a sad countenance is good for the heart.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
It is better to heed a wise man’s rebuke than to listen to the song of fools.
. . .
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be encumbered once more by a yoke of slavery.
Take notice: I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.
Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.
You who are trying to be justified by the law have been severed from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the hope of righteousness.
. . .
For the law is only a shadow of the good things to come, not the realities themselves. It can never, by the same sacrifices offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.
If it could, would not the offerings have ceased? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt the guilt of their sins.
Instead, those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins,
because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You prepared for Me.
. . .
But exhort one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly to the end the assurance we had at first.
As it has been said: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as you did in the rebellion.”
For who were the ones who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt?
And with whom was God angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?
. . .
We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to control his whole body.
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can guide the whole animal.
Consider ships as well. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot is inclined.
In the same way, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it boasts of great things. Consider how small a spark sets a great forest ablaze.
The tongue also is a fire, a world of wickedness among the parts of the body. It pollutes the whole person, sets the course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
. . .
He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful.
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.
I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers. Such branches are gathered up, thrown into the fire, and burned.
. . .
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
“We are Abraham’s descendants,” they answered. “We have never been slaves to anyone. How can You say we will be set free?”
Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son belongs to it forever.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
. . .
And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.
But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his house, his possessions are secure.
But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted, and then he divides up his plunder.
He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
. . .
In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon. He cried out in a loud voice,
“Ha! What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
But Jesus rebuked the demon. “Be silent!” He said. “Come out of him!” At this, the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without harming him.
All the people were overcome with amazement and asked one another, “What is this message? With authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!”
And the news about Jesus spread throughout the surrounding region.
. . .
When Jesus stepped ashore, He was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothing or lived in a house, but he stayed in the tombs.
When the man saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before Him, shouting in a loud voice, “What do You want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You not to torture me!”
For Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was bound with chains and shackles, he had broken the chains and been driven by the demon into solitary places.
“What is your name?” Jesus asked. “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him.
And the demons kept begging Jesus not to order them to go into the Abyss.
. . .
Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!”
And immediately the leprosy left him, and the man was cleansed.
Jesus promptly sent him away with a stern warning:
“See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering Moses prescribed for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”
But the man went out and openly began to proclaim and spread the news. Consequently, Jesus could no longer enter a town in plain view, but He stayed out in solitary places. Yet people came to Him from every quarter.
Then Jesus left that place and went into the region of Judea, beyond the Jordan. Again the crowds came to Him and He taught them, as was His custom.
Some Pharisees came to test Him. “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” they inquired.
“What did Moses command you?” He replied.
They answered, “Moses permitted a man to write his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
But Jesus told them, “Moses wrote this commandment for you because of your hardness of heart.
. . .
so that, ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven.’”
Then Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The farmer sows the word.
Some are like the seeds along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.
Some are like the seeds sown on rocky ground. They hear the word and at once receive it with joy.
. . .
After six days Jesus took with Him Peter, James, and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
There He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.
Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared before them, talking with Jesus.
Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If You wish, I will put up three shelters—one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While Peter was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”
. . .
But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took Him to the holy city and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple.
“If You are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning You, and they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus replied, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
. . .
The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of distress; He cares for those who trust in Him.
But with an overwhelming flood He will make an end of Nineveh and pursue His enemies into darkness.
Whatever you plot against the LORD, He will bring to an end. Affliction will not rise up a second time.
He who isolates himself pursues selfish desires; he rebels against all sound judgment.
A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in airing his opinions.
With a wicked man comes contempt as well, and shame is accompanied by disgrace.
The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
Showing partiality to the wicked is not good, nor is depriving the innocent of justice.
. . .
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
The slacker says, “A lion is in the road! A fierce lion roams the public square!”
As a door turns on its hinges, so the slacker turns on his bed.
The slacker buries his hand in the dish; it wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.
. . .
Then I watched as the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say in a thunderous voice, “Come!”
So I looked and saw a white horse, and its rider held a bow. And he was given a crown, and he rode out to overcome and conquer.
And when the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!”
Then another horse went forth. It was bright red, and its rider was granted permission to take away peace from the earth and to make men slay one another. And he was given a great sword.
And when the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” Then I looked and saw a black horse, and its rider held in his hand a pair of scales.
. . .
Therefore I urge you, brothers, on account of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith God has given you.
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and not all members have the same function,
so in Christ we who are many are one body, and each member belongs to one another.
. . .
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character; and character, hope.
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.
. . .
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for all, therefore all died.
And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and was raised again.
So from now on we regard no one according to the flesh. Although we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!
So Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers, read it, and went up to the house of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD.
And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD: “O LORD, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth.
Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see. Listen to the words that Sennacherib has sent to defy the living God.
Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste these nations and their lands.
They have cast their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods, but only wood and stone—the work of human hands.
. . .
In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar, a vision appeared to me, Daniel, subsequent to the one that had appeared to me earlier.
And in the vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa, in the province of Elam. I saw in the vision that I was beside the Ulai Canal.
Then I lifted up my eyes and saw a ram with two horns standing beside the canal. The horns were long, but one was longer than the other, and the longer one grew up later.
I saw the ram charging toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against him, and there was no deliverance from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.
As I was contemplating all this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between his eyes came out of the west, crossing the surface of the entire earth without touching the ground.
. . .
“When all these things come upon you—the blessings and curses I have set before you—and you call them to mind in all the nations to which the LORD your God has banished you,
and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey His voice with all your heart and all your soul according to everything I am giving you today,
then He will restore you from captivity and have compassion on you and gather you from all the nations to which the LORD your God has scattered you.
Even if you have been banished to the farthest horizon, He will gather you and return you from there.
And the LORD your God will bring you into the land your fathers possessed, and you will take possession of it. He will cause you to prosper and multiply more than your fathers.
. . .
You must carefully follow every commandment I am giving you today, so that you may live and multiply, and enter and possess the land that the LORD swore to give your fathers.
Remember that these forty years the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commandments.
He humbled you, and in your hunger He gave you manna to eat, which neither you nor your fathers had known, so that you might understand that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
Your clothing did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.
So know in your heart that just as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.
. . .
in which you used to walk when you conformed to the ways of this world and of the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience.
All of us also lived among them at one time, fulfilling the cravings of our flesh and indulging its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath.
But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved!
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
. . .
In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; salvation is established as its walls and ramparts.
Open the gates so a righteous nation may enter—one that remains faithful.
You will keep in perfect peace the steadfast of mind, because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever, because GOD the LORD is the Rock eternal.
For He has humbled those who dwell on high; He lays the lofty city low. He brings it down to the ground; He casts it into the dust.
. . .
“Listen to this, O house of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel, who have descended from the line of Judah, who swear by the name of the LORD, who invoke the God of Israel—but not in truth or righteousness—
who indeed call yourselves after the holy city and lean on the God of Israel; the LORD of Hosts is His name.
I foretold the former things long ago; they came out of My mouth and I proclaimed them. Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
For I knew that you are stubborn; your neck is iron and your forehead is bronze.
Therefore I declared it to you long ago; I announced it before it came to pass, so that you could not claim, ‘My idol has done this; my carved image and molten god has ordained it.’
. . .
Wash the evil from your heart, O Jerusalem, so that you may be saved. How long will you harbor wicked thoughts within you?
For a voice resounds from Dan, proclaiming disaster from the hills of Ephraim.
Warn the nations now! Proclaim to Jerusalem: “A besieging army comes from a distant land; they raise their voices against the cities of Judah.
They surround her like men guarding a field, because she has rebelled against Me,” declares the LORD.
“Your ways and deeds have brought this upon you. This is your punishment; how bitter it is, because it pierces to the heart!”
. . .
I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it.
However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come.
He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you.
Everything that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will take from what is Mine and disclose it to you.
He answered, “Whether He is a sinner I do not know. There is one thing I do know: I was blind, but now I see!”
“What did He do to you?” they asked. “How did He open your eyes?”
He replied, “I already told you, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?”
Then they heaped insults on him and said, “You are His disciple; we are disciples of Moses.
We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this man is from.”
. . .
You must not curse the deaf or place a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God. I am the LORD.
You must not pervert justice; you must not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the rich; you are to judge your neighbor fairly.
You must not go about spreading slander among your people. You must not endanger the life of your neighbor. I am the LORD.
You must not harbor hatred against your brother in your heart. Directly rebuke your neighbor, so that you will not incur guilt on account of him.
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against any of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.
Therefore if you have any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,
then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being united in spirit and purpose.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus:
. . .
For the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; You understand my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down; You are aware of all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, O LORD.
You hem me in behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me.
. . .
A Psalm of Asaph. The Mighty One, God the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from where the sun rises to where it sets.
From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.
Our God approaches and will not be silent! Consuming fire precedes Him, and a tempest rages around Him.
He summons the heavens above, and the earth, that He may judge His people:
“Gather to Me My saints, who made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”
. . .
Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, bless His name; proclaim His salvation day after day.
Declare His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all 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 nations are idols, but it is the LORD who made the heavens.
. . .