“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well.
In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Now I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.
I am not saying this out of need, for I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances.
I know how to live humbly, and I know how to abound. I am accustomed to any and every situation—to being filled and being hungry, to having plenty and having need.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
Nevertheless, you have done well to share in my affliction.
. . .
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken through Jeremiah, the LORD stirred the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia to send a proclamation throughout his kingdom and to put it in writing as follows:
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, and in which you stand firm.
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
and that He appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve.
. . .
You were in Eden, the garden of God. Every kind of precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald. Your mountings and settings were crafted in gold, prepared on the day of your creation.
You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for I had ordained you. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked among the fiery stones.
From the day you were created you were blameless in your ways—until wickedness was found in you.
By the vastness of your trade, you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mountain of God, and I banished you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.
Your heart grew proud of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor; so I cast you to the earth; I made you a spectacle before kings.
. . .
“How can this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus took up this question and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.
Now by chance a priest was going down the same road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
So too, when a Levite came to that spot and saw him, he passed by on the other side.
But when a Samaritan on a journey came upon him, he looked at him and had compassion.
. . .
“Behold, I will send My messenger, who will prepare the way before Me. Then the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to His temple—the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight—see, He is coming,” says the LORD of Hosts.
But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire, like a launderer’s soap.
And He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. Then they will present offerings to the LORD in righteousness.
Then the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will please the LORD, as in days of old and years gone by.
“Then I will draw near to you for judgment. And I will be a swift witness against sorcerers and adulterers and perjurers, against oppressors of the widowed and fatherless, and against those who defraud laborers of their wages and deny justice to the foreigner but do not fear Me,” says the LORD of Hosts.
. . .
Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out for you blessing without measure.