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I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE – Margaret Blake

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I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE

January 2, 2022 11:37 PM
Margaret Blake
🇨🇦

Greetings!
This morning I came across this word quite by accident while looking for a notebook to take to a meeting. I can’t say when I received this word from
the Lord as I hadn’t dated it, but I sensed a strong impress in my spirit to reread it and to prepare it for sharing. This word is for the Body of Christ. GOD bless each and everyone of you in these times of great trouble. We belong to a GOD who is faithful to His Word.

Shalom.
Margaret Blake


There is a way and I AM that WAY.
There is a truth and I AM that TRUTH.
There is a life and I AM that LIFE.

Why do you seek Me among the dead?
I AM not in your self-glorifying churches.
I AM not in your ways.
Your thoughts are NOT My thoughts.
Is it not written in the last days… “Men will become lovers of themselves…”

Throughout the ages My gaze has watched; My ears have listened.

Throughout time My Spirit has searched the earth always seeking for that one who will walk with ME; who will live for ME. How I have longed for garden walks and talks with all My children. But most do not seek Me, instead they look to their own reflections. They delight in their own thoughts and follow their own ways.

You will NOT find Me there. I AM not that way. I AM NOT THERE.

My Spirit is truth and righteousness. My Spirit is MY RESURRECTED LIFE that is given to all who believe in ME.

Is it not written that… “The Holy Spirit shall lead you unto all righteousness and reveal all truth to you.”

Why then do you continue in your own ways? I tell you truly that not one of your self-made lives will stand. The whole of man’s creation will be thrown down and only those who look to ME will escape the coming tide of My judgments and the ensuing destruction. It is written… “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”

Soon My hand of Grace will be lifted and the levy of My Spirit will no longer hold back the armies of destruction that will sweep across all nations.

But those faithful to Me will only look with their eyes and see what happens to the wicked. For My faithfulness will be both a shield and a buckler to those who belong to Me; those who remain steadfast in Me. I will cover them with My pinions and under My wings they will have refuge.

Those secure in Me know that I AM the Secret Place of the Most High. They shall see My protection and be filled with My peace when the time of the
great calamities are unleashed upon the earth. For they know that they dwell under the Shadow of the Almighty, My Father.

But those who have given themselves over to their own thoughts and ways will find they are like the five unwise virgins. Their wicks have burned down and they have no extra oil to fill their lamps. The light of My presence burns dimly if at all in their lives. They are unprepared and are given to anxiety and fear. My peace is not with them. I AM not the Rock upon which they stand for they have built their lives upon the sands of the world that have no foundation in Me, and will be washed away when destruction comes.

This is the foolishness of those that seek their own way and take the counsel of those who do not walk with Me. For many are the wolves in sheep’s clothing who have entered into the sheepfold. Many are the
doctrines of demons that speak alluring and deceiving words from the pulpits of their false risings; words sweet to the palate of those who
have not sought Me for themselves, and who treat My name; MY HOLY NAME!, like a fashion name brand that they think will garner them favor and
inclusion. They take My Word and treat it like a smorgasbord, picking and choosing only those scriptures that suit their fancy. And worse yet, they
use My Word like a ‘rabbit’s foot’ to gain favor or to ward off what they perceive as evil.

It is the blind following the blind, who themselves are following the deceivers who are like ‘Pied Pipers’ that lure away those whose ears are tickled, going the way that seems right to them, but knowing not that that way leads to destruction. Because they do not follow Me, they do not have My counsel nor do they have My protection.

They know of Me, but know not Me. They gather together in My name, but do not seek Me. Like a commencement of a business meeting, they ask… “What is on the agenda for today?”, and seek their own counsel. I tell you truly… “I AM NOT THERE!”

I AM busy feeding My sheep; tending to My flock who know My voice; those who do not follow the voice of a stranger. We are busy doing Our Father’s
work; for time is short, the needs of My sheep are great, and the harvest is ripe and must be brought in.

My voice is crying out through those of My sheep who walk with Me. They hold the Light of My Life and their oil will not run out, for they are My
faithful ones who remain steadfast like a lighthouse. I AM the Rock upon which they stand. My Light shines through them in the darkness so the lost
in the world can be guided to Me. Their voices are like fog horns that sound both warnings and calls to safety; directing the way for those who will hear.

This is Who I AM. My Spirit shines bright in those known to Me; those who are faithful to Me. For truly I say to you… “If you see My faithful ones, you see Me”.

Therefore, choose today whom you will follow and serve. Look to Me and your eye will be made single and your whole body will be filled with My Light.

Do not turn to the right nor to the left to follow after other gods and serve them.

I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE.

Believe not only in ME; but be found in ME. For the End of Time is at hand.


SCRIPTURAL REFERENCE (Holman Bible)

All scripture is given in the context of the full chapter. The days and times we are living in are perilous. The Lord says in my spirit that His people must anchor themselves to His Word as it is written. The Holy Spirit has prompted me to put full chapter context to this word because many will not take the time to search out the scriptures for themselves. And the Lord says this is one of the reasons why many are weak in their faith. Indeed, the Lord loves His people. He is our GOOD SHEPHERD. As He said to Peter… “Feed My sheep”, so I am obedient to the Lord to feed His people with His Word. Please eat heartily of His Word; be edified and become filled with His Life and build up your most holy faith by His Word. As the scriptures say… “Faith comes hearing and hearing by the Word of GOD”. Time is so short, but our GOD is merciful to the end. All who seek Him will find Him. All who call out to Him, He will answer. His arm is not too short that He cannot save. ONLY BELIEVE and TRUST IN HIM. Read His Word.


ISAIAH 55
COME TO THE LORD
1 “Come, everyone who is thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you without money,
come, buy, and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost!
2 Why do you spend money on what is not food,
and your wages on what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
and you will enjoy the choicest of foods.
3 Pay attention and come to Me;
listen, so that you will live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
the promises assured to David.
4 Since I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples,
5 so you will summon a nation you do not know,
and nations who do not know you will run to you.
For the Lord your God,
even the Holy One of Israel,
has glorified you.”

6 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
call to Him while He is near.
7 Let the wicked one abandon his way
and the sinful one his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord,
so He may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for He will freely forgive.

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
and your ways are not My ways.”
This is the Lord’s declaration.
9 “For as heaven is higher than earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For just as rain and snow fall from heaven
and do not return there
without saturating the earth
and making it germinate and sprout,
and providing seed to sow
and food to eat,
11 so My word that comes from My mouth
will not return to Me empty,
but it will accomplish what I please
and will prosper in what I send it to do.”

12 You will indeed go out with joy
and be peacefully guided;
the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush, a cypress will come up,
and instead of the brier, a myrtle will come up;
it will make a name for Yahweh
as an everlasting sign that will not be destroyed.”

*********************
2 THESSALONIANS 2
THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS
2 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being
gathered to Him: We ask you, brothers, 2 not to be easily upset in mind or
troubled, either by a spirit or by a message or by a letter as if from us,
alleging that the Day of the Lord has come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you
in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and
the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. 4 He opposes
and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that
he sits in God’s sanctuary, publicizing that he himself is God.

5 Don’t you remember that when I was still with you I told you about this?
6 And you know what currently restrains him, so that he will be revealed
in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the
one now restraining will do so until he is out of the way, 8 and then the
lawless one will be revealed. The Lord Jesus will destroy him with the
breath of His mouth and will bring him to nothing with the brightness of
His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is based on Satan’s working,
with all kinds of false miracles, signs, and wonders, 10 and with every
unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because
they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved. 11 For
this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe
what is false, 12 so that all will be condemned—those who did not believe
the truth but enjoyed unrighteousness.

STAND FIRM
13 But we must always thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord,
because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through
sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called
you to this through our gospel, so that you might obtain the glory of our
Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold to the
traditions you were taught, either by our message or by our letter.
16 May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us
and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace, 17 encourage
your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word.

*********************
JOHN 16
“I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling. 2 They will ban
you from the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills
you will think he is offering service to God. 3 They will do these things
because they haven’t known the Father or Me. 4 But I have told you these
things so that when their time comes you may remember I told them to you.
I didn’t tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.

THE COUNSELOR’S MINISTRY
5 “But now I am going away to Him who sent Me, and not one of you asks Me,
‘Where are You going?’ 6 Yet, because I have spoken these things to you,
sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth.
It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the
Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send Him to you. 8 When He
comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9
About sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 about righteousness,
because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11 and
about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
12 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. 13
When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For
He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will
also declare to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, because He
will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 Everything the
Father has is Mine. This is why I told you that He takes from what is Mine
and will declare it to you.

SORROW TURNED TO JOY
16 “A little while and you will no longer see Me; again a little while and
you will see Me.”
17 Therefore some of His disciples said to one another, “What is this He
tells us: ‘A little while and you will not see Me; again a little while
and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They
said, “What is this He is saying, ‘A little while’? We don’t know what
He’s talking about!”
19 Jesus knew they wanted to question Him, so He said to them, “Are you
asking one another about what I said, ‘A little while and you will not see
Me; again a little while and you will see Me’?
20 “I assure you: You will weep and wail, but the world will rejoice. You
will become sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. 21 When a woman
is in labor she has pain because her time has come. But when she has given
birth to a child, she no longer remembers the suffering because of the joy
that a person has been born into the world. 22 So you also have sorrow
now. But I will see you again. Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will
rob you of your joy. 23 In that day you will not ask Me anything.
“I assure you: Anything you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.
24 Until now you have asked for nothing in My name. Ask and you will
receive, so that your joy may be complete.

JESUS THE VICTOR
25 “I have spoken these things to you in figures of speech. A time is
coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but I will tell you
plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in My name. I am not
telling you that I will make requests to the Father on your behalf. 27 For
the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed
that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the
world. Again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
29 “Ah!” His disciples said. “Now You’re speaking plainly and not using
any figurative language. 30 Now we know that You know everything and don’t
need anyone to question You. By this we believe that You came from God.”
31 Jesus responded to them, “Do you now believe? 32 Look: An hour is
coming, and has come, when each of you will be scattered to his own home,
and you will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is
with Me. 33 I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace.
You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the
world.”

*********************
PSALM 127
1 Unless the Lord builds a house,
its builders labor over it in vain;
unless the Lord watches over a city,
the watchman stays alert in vain.
2 In vain you get up early and stay up late,
working hard to have enough food—
yes, He gives sleep to the one He loves.
3 Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,
children, a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons born in one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them.
Such men will never be put to shame
when they speak with their enemies at the city gate.

*********************
2 TIMOTHY 3
DIFFICULT TIMES AHEAD
1 But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. 2 For people
will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers,
disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable,
slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, 4
traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of
God, 5 holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these
people!
6 For among them are those who worm their way into households and capture
idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions, 7
always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just
as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men
who are corrupt in mind, worthless in regard to the faith. 9 But they will
not make further progress, for their lack of understanding will be clear
to all, as theirs was also.

STRUGGLES IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
10 But you have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience,
love, and endurance, 11 along with the persecutions and sufferings that
came to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured!
Yet the Lord rescued me from them all. 12 In fact, all those who want to
live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 Evil people and
impostors will become worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for
you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those
who taught you, 15 and you know that from childhood you have known the
sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through
faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is
profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in
righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for
every good work.”

*********************
PSALM 91
THE PROTECTION OF THE MOST HIGH
1 The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the
shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I
trust.”
3 He Himself will deliver you from the hunter’s net, from the destructive
plague.
4 He will cover you with His feathers; you will take refuge under His
wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night, the arrow that flies by day,
6 the plague that stalks in darkness, or the pestilence that ravages at noon.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand,
the pestilence will not reach you.
8 You will only see it with your eyes and witness the punishment of the
wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord, my refuge, the Most High, your dwelling
place,
10 no harm will come to you; no plague will come near your tent.
11 For He will give His angels orders concerning you, to protect you in
all your ways.
12 They will support you with their hands so that you will not strike your
foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the young
lion and the serpent.
14 Because he is lovingly devoted to Me, I will deliver him; I will
protect him because he knows My name.
15 When he calls out to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in
trouble. I will rescue him and give him honor.
16 I will satisfy him with a long life and show him My salvation.”

*********************
JOHN 14
THE WAY TO THE FATHER
1 “Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. 2
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told
you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go away and
prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so
that where I am you may be also. 4 You know the way to where I am going.”
5 “Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where You’re going. How can we know
the way?”
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to
the Father except through Me.

JESUS REVEALS THE FATHER
7 “If you know Me, you will also know My Father. From now on you do know
Him and have seen Him.”
8 “Lord,” said Philip, “show us the Father, and that’s enough for us.” 9
Jesus said to him, “Have I been among you all this time without your
knowing Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can
you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the
Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on
My own. The Father who lives in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am
in the Father and the Father is in Me. Otherwise, believe because of the
works themselves.

PRAYING IN JESUS’s NAME
12 “I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I
do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to
the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the
Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name,
I will do it.

ANOTHER COUNSELOR PROMISED
15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commands. 16 And I will ask the
Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17
He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it
doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with
you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to
you.

THE FATHER, THE SON, and THE HOLY SPIRIT
19 “In a little while the world will see Me no longer, but you will see
Me. Because I live, you will live too. 20 In that day you will know that I
am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you. 21 The one who has My
commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me
will be loved by My Father. I also will love him and will reveal Myself to
him.”
22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it You’re going to
reveal Yourself to us and not to the world?”
23 Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father
will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 The
one who doesn’t love Me will not keep My words. The word that you hear is
not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me.
25 “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. 26 But the
Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach
you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.

JESUS’s GIFT OF PEACE
27 “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you
as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful. 28 You
have heard Me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you
loved Me, you would have rejoiced that I am going to the Father, because
the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens so
that when it does happen you may believe. 30 I will not talk with you much
longer, because the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over Me.
31 On the contrary, I am going away so that the world may know that I love
the Father. Just as the Father commanded Me, so I do.
“Get up; let’s leave this place.”

*********************
2 TIMOTHY 4
FULFILL YOUR MINISTRY
4 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge
the living and the dead, and because of His appearing and His kingdom: 2
Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke,
correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. 3 For the time
will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to
their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have
an itch to hear something new. 4 They will turn away from hearing the
truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But as for you, be serious about
everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your
ministry.
6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time for
my departure is close. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the
race, I have kept the faith. 8 There is reserved for me in the future the
crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me
on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved His
appearing.

FINAL INSTRUCTIONS
9 Make every effort to come to me soon, 10 for Demas has deserted me,
because he loved this present world, and has gone to Thessalonica.
Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me.
Bring Mark with you, for he is useful to me in the ministry. 12 I have
sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak I left in
Troas with Carpus, as well as the scrolls, especially the parchments. 14
Alexander the coppersmith did great harm to me. The Lord will repay him
according to his works. 15 Watch out for him yourself because he strongly
opposed our words.
16 At my first defense, no one stood by me, but everyone deserted me. May
it not be counted against them. 17 But the Lord stood with me and
strengthened me, so that the proclamation might be fully made through me
and all the Gentiles might hear. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil work and will bring me safely
into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever! Amen.

BENEDICTION
19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus
has remained at Corinth; I left Trophimus sick at Miletus. 21 Make every
effort to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, as do Pudens, Linus,
Claudia, and all the brothers.
22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

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PROVERBS 14
Every wise woman builds her house,
but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.
2 Whoever lives with integrity fears the Lord,
but the one who is devious in his ways despises Him.
3 The proud speech of a fool brings a rod of discipline,
but the lips of the wise protect them.
4 Where there are no oxen, the feeding trough is empty,
but an abundant harvest comes
through the strength of an ox.
5 An honest witness does not deceive,
but a dishonest witness utters lies.
6 A mocker seeks wisdom and doesn’t find it,
but knowledge comes easily to the perceptive.
7 Stay away from a foolish man;
you will gain no knowledge from his speech.
8 The sensible man’s wisdom is to consider his way,
but the stupidity of fools deceives them.
9 Fools mock at making restitution,
but there is goodwill among the upright.
10 The heart knows its own bitterness,
and no outsider shares in its joy.
11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will stand.
12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
13 Even in laughter a heart may be sad,
and joy may end in grief.
14 The disloyal one will get what his conduct deserves,
and a good man, what his deeds deserve.
15 The inexperienced one believes anything,
but the sensible one watches his steps.
16 A wise man is cautious and turns from evil,
but a fool is easily angered and is careless.
17 A quick-tempered man acts foolishly,
and a man who schemes is hated.
18 The inexperienced inherit foolishness,
but the sensible are crowned with knowledge.
19 The evil bow before those who are good,
the wicked, at the gates of the righteous.
20 A poor man is hated even by his neighbor,
but there are many who love the rich.
21 The one who despises his neighbor sins,
but whoever shows kindness to the poor will be happy.
22 Don’t those who plan evil go astray?
But those who plan good find loyalty and faithfulness.
23 There is profit in all hard work,
but endless talk leads only to poverty.
24 The crown of the wise is their wealth,
but the foolishness of fools produces foolishness.
25 A truthful witness rescues lives,
but one who utters lies is deceitful.
26 In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence
and his children have a refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
turning people away from the snares of death.
28 A large population is a king’s splendor,
but a shortage of people is a ruler’s devastation.
29 A patient person shows great understanding,
but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness.
30 A tranquil heart is life to the body,
but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.
31 The one who oppresses the poor person insults his Maker,
but one who is kind to the needy honors Him.
32 The wicked one is thrown down by his own sin,
but the righteous one has a refuge in his death.
33 Wisdom resides in the heart of the discerning;
she is known even among fools.
34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin is a disgrace to any people.
35 A king favors a wise servant,
but his anger falls on a disgraceful one.

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JEREMIAH 29
“JEREMIAH’S LETTER TO THE EXILES
29 “This is the text of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from
Jerusalem to the rest of the elders of the exiles, the priests, the
prophets, and all the people Nebuchadnezzar had deported from Jerusalem to
Babylon. 2 This was after King Jeconiah, the queen mother, the court
officials, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the
metalsmiths had left Jerusalem. 3 The letter was sent by Elasah son of
Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah whom Zedekiah king of Judah had sent
to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. The letter stated:
4 This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says to all the
exiles I deported from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and live in
them. Plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and
daughters. Take wives for your sons and give your daughters to men in
marriage so that they may bear sons and daughters. Multiply there; do not
decrease. 7 Seek the welfare of the city I have deported you to. Pray to
the Lord on its behalf, for when it has prosperity, you will prosper.” 8
For this is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: “Don’t let
your prophets who are among you and your diviners deceive you, and don’t
listen to the dreams you elicit from them, 9 for they are prophesying
falsely to you in My name. I have not sent them.” This is the Lord’s
declaration.
10 For this is what the Lord says: “When 70 years for Babylon are
complete, I will attend to you and will confirm My promise concerning you
to restore you to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you”
—this is the Lord’s declaration— “plans for your welfare, not for
disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 You will call to Me and come
and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me
when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by
you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and I will restore your fortunes and
gather you from all the nations and places where I banished you”—this is
the Lord’s declaration. “I will restore you to the place I deported you
from.” 15 You have said, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in
Babylon!” 16 But this is what the Lord says concerning the king sitting on
David’s throne and concerning all the people living in this city—that is,
concerning your brothers who did not go with you into exile. 17 This is
what the Lord of Hosts says: “I am about to send against them sword,
famine, and plague and will make them like rotten figs that are inedible
because they are so bad. 18 I will pursue them with sword, famine, and
plague. I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth—a curse
and a desolation, an object of scorn and a disgrace among all the nations
where I have banished them. 19 I will do this because they have not
listened to My words”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“that I sent to them
with My servants the prophets time and time again. And you too have not
listened.” This is the Lord’s declaration.
20 Hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles I have sent from Jerusalem to
Babylon. 21 This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says to
Ahab son of Kolaiah and to Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, the ones prophesying
a lie to you in My name: “I am about to hand them over to Nebuchadnezzar
king of Babylon, and he will kill them before your very eyes. 22 Based on
what happens to them, all the exiles of Judah who are in Babylon will
create a curse that says, ‘May the Lord make you like Zedekiah and Ahab,
whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire!’ 23 because they have
committed an outrage in Israel by committing adultery with their
neighbors’ wives and have spoken a lie in My name, which I did not command
them. I am He who knows, and I am a witness.” This is the Lord’s
declaration.
24 To Shemaiah the Nehelamite you are to say, 25 “This is what the Lord of
Hosts, the God of Israel, says: You in your own name have sent out letters
to all the people of Jerusalem, to the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah,
and to all the priests, saying: 26 ‘The Lord has appointed you priest in
place of Jehoiada the priest to be the chief officer in the temple of the
Lord, responsible for every madman who acts like a prophet. You must
confine him in the stocks and an iron collar. 27 So now, why have you not
rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth who has been acting like a prophet among you?
28 For he has sent word to us in Babylon, claiming, “The exile will be
long. Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat their
produce.”’”
29 Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the hearing of Jeremiah the
prophet.

A MESSAGE ABOUT SHEMAIAH
30 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 31 “Send a message to all
the exiles, saying: This is what the Lord says concerning Shemaiah the
Nehelamite. Because Shemaiah prophesied to you, though I did not send him,
and made you trust a lie, 32 this is what the Lord says: I am about to
punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his descendants. There will not be even
one of his descendants living among these people, nor will any ever see
the good that I will bring to My people” —this is the Lord’s declaration—
“for he has preached rebellion against the Lord.”

*********************
MATTHEW 6
HOW TO GIVE
6 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people, to be
seen by them. Otherwise, you will have no reward from your Father in
heaven. 2 So whenever you give to the poor, don’t sound a trumpet before
you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be
applauded by people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward! 3 But when
you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand
is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees
in secret will reward you.

HOW TO PRAY
5 “Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they
love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be
seen by people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward! 6 But when you
pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father
who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7
When you pray, don’t babble like the idolaters, since they imagine they’ll
be heard for their many words. 8 Don’t be like them, because your Father
knows the things you need before you ask Him.

THE LORD’S PRAYER
9 “Therefore, you should pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
Your name be honored as holy.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And do not bring us into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
[For Yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.]
14 “For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will
forgive you as well. 15 But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will
not forgive your wrongdoing.

HOW TO FAST
16 “Whenever you fast, don’t be sad-faced like the hypocrites. For they
make their faces unattractive so their fasting is obvious to people. I
assure you: They’ve got their reward! 17 But when you fast, put oil on
your head, and wash your face, 18 so that you don’t show your fasting to
people but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in
secret will reward you.

GOD AND POSSESSIONS
19 “Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But collect for
yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and
where thieves don’t break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is good, your whole body
will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be
full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness—how deep is that
darkness!
24 “No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one
and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot
be slaves of God and of money.

THE CURE FOR ANXIETY
25 “This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat
or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life
more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of
the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly
Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? 27 Can any of you add
a single cubit to his height by worrying? 28 And why do you worry about
clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or
spin thread. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was adorned like one of these! 30 If that’s how God clothes the grass of
the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t
He do much more for you—you of little faith? 31 So don’t worry, saying,
‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32
For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father
knows that you need them. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His
righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34 Therefore
don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each
day has enough trouble of its own.

*********************
MATTHEW 15
THE TRADITION OF THE ELDERS
Then Pharisees and scribes came from Jerusalem to Jesus and asked, 2 “Why
do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they don’t wash
their hands when they eat!”

3 He answered them, “And why do you break God’s commandment because of
your tradition? 4 For God said: Honor your father and your mother; and,
The one who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.
5 But you say, ‘Whoever tells his father or mother, “Whatever benefit you
might have received from me is a gift committed to the temple” — 6 he does
not have to honor his father.’ In this way, you have revoked God’s word
because of your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about
you when he said:
8 These people honor Me with their lips,
but their heart is far from Me.
9 They worship Me in vain,
teaching as doctrines the commands of men.”

DEFILEMENT IS FROM WITHIN
10 Summoning the crowd, He told them, “Listen and understand: 11 It’s not
what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the
mouth, this defiles a man.”
12 Then the disciples came up and told Him, “Do You know that the
Pharisees took offense when they heard this statement?”
13 He replied, “Every plant that My heavenly Father didn’t plant will be
uprooted. 14 Leave them alone! They are blind guides. And if the blind
guide the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
15 Then Peter replied to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”
16 “Are even you still lacking in understanding?” He asked. 17 “Don’t you
realize that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is
eliminated? 18 But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and
this defiles a man. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders,
adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies.
20 These are the things that defile a man, but eating with unwashed hands
does not defile a man.”

A GENTILE MOTHER’S FAITH
21 When Jesus left there, He withdrew to the area of Tyre and Sidon. 22
Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came and kept crying out,
“Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly tormented by
a demon.”
23 Yet He did not say a word to her. So His disciples approached Him and
urged Him, “Send her away because she cries out after us.”
24 He replied, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25 But she came, knelt before Him, and said, “Lord, help me!”
26 He answered, “It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it
to their dogs.”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from
their masters’ table!”
28 Then Jesus replied to her, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done
for you as you want.” And from that moment her daughter was cured.

HEALING MANY PEOPLE
29 Moving on from there, Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee. He went up
on a mountain and sat there, 30 and large crowds came to Him, having with
them the lame, the blind, the deformed, those unable to speak, and many
others. They put them at His feet, and He healed them. 31 So the crowd was
amazed when they saw those unable to speak talking, the deformed restored,
the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they gave glory to the God of
Israel.

FEEDING 4,000
32 Now Jesus summoned His disciples and said, “I have compassion on the
crowd, because they’ve already stayed with Me three days and have nothing
to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry; otherwise they might
collapse on the way.”
33 The disciples said to Him, “Where could we get enough bread in this
desolate place to fill such a crowd?”
34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked them.
“Seven,” they said, “and a few small fish.”
35 After commanding the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 He took the
seven loaves and the fish, and He gave thanks, broke them, and kept on
giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
37 They all ate and were filled. Then they collected the leftover
pieces—seven large baskets full. 38 Now those who ate were 4,000 men,
besides women and children. 39 After dismissing the crowds, He got into
the boat and went to the region of Magadan.

*********************
MATTHEW 7
DO NOT JUDGE
“Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. 2 For with the judgment you
use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured
to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye but don’t
notice the log in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let
me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a log in your eye? 5
Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see
clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. 6 Don’t give what is
holy to dogs or toss your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them
with their feet, turn, and tear you to pieces.

KEEP ASKING, SEARCHING, KNOCKING
7 “Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will
find. Keep knocking and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who
asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks,
the door will be opened. 9 What man among you, if his son asks him for
bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a
snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to
those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you,
do also the same for them—this is the Law and the Prophets.

ENTERING THE KINGDOM
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is
broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14
How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few
find it.

15 “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but
inwardly are ravaging wolves. 16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are
grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 In the same
way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad
fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree
produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut
down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of
heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 On
that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your
name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’
23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you
lawbreakers!’

THE TWO FOUNDATIONS
24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them
will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain
fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it
didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone
who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a
foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers
rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its
collapse was great!”
28 When Jesus had finished this sermon, the crowds were astonished at His
teaching, 29 because He was teaching them like one who had authority, and
not like their scribes.

*********************
JOHN 10
THE IDEAL SHEPHERD
“I assure you: Anyone who doesn’t enter the sheep pen by the door but
climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by
the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The doorkeeper opens it for him,
and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads
them out. 4 When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of
them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. 5 They will
never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they
don’t recognize the voice of strangers.”
6 Jesus gave them this illustration, but they did not understand what He
was telling them.

THE GOOD SHEPHERD
7 So Jesus said again, “I assure you: I am the door of the sheep. 8 All
who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to
them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will
come in and go out and find pasture. 10 A thief comes only to steal and to
kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in
abundance.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the
sheep. 12 The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and doesn’t own the
sheep, leaves them and runs away when he sees a wolf coming. The wolf then
snatches and scatters them. 13 This happens because he is a hired man and
doesn’t care about the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, 15 as
the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the
sheep. 16 But I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring
them also, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock,
one shepherd. 17 This is why the Father loves Me, because I am laying down
My life so I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay
it down on My own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right
to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father.”
19 Again a division took place among the Jews because of these words. 20
Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and He’s crazy! Why do you
listen to Him?” 21 Others were saying, “These aren’t the words of someone
demon-possessed. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

JESUS AT THE FESTIVAL OF DEDICATION
22 Then the Festival of Dedication took place in Jerusalem, and it was
winter. 23 Jesus was walking in the temple complex in Solomon’s Colonnade.
24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and asked, “How long are You going to keep
us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 “I did tell you and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works
that I do in My Father’s name testify about Me. 26 But you don’t believe
because you are not My sheep. 27 My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and
they follow Me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never
perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has
given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out
of the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”

RENEWED EFFORTS TO STONE JESUS
31 Again the Jews picked up rocks to stone Him.
32 Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. Which
of these works are you stoning Me for?”
33 “We aren’t stoning You for a good work,” the Jews answered, “but for
blasphemy, because You—being a man—make Yourself God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Isn’t it written in your scripture, I said, you
are gods? 35 If He called those whom the word of God came to ‘gods’—and
the Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say, ‘You are blaspheming’ to
the One the Father set apart and sent into the world, because I said: I am
the Son of God? 37 If I am not doing My Father’s works, don’t believe Me.
38 But if I am doing them and you don’t believe Me, believe the works.
This way you will know and understand that the Father is in Me and I in
the Father.” 39 Then they were trying again to seize Him, yet He eluded
their grasp.

MANY BEYOND THE JORDAN BELIEVE IN JESUS
40 So He departed again across the Jordan to the place where John had been
baptizing earlier, and He remained there. 41 Many came to Him and said,
“John never did a sign, but everything John said about this man was true.”
42 And many believed in Him there.

*********************
JOHN 21
JESUS’S THIRD APPEARANCE TO THE DISCIPLES
21 After this, Jesus revealed Himself again to His disciples by the Sea of
Tiberias. He revealed Himself in this way:
2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called “Twin”), Nathanael from Cana of Galilee,
Zebedee’s sons, and two others of His disciples were together.
3 “I’m going fishing,” Simon Peter said to them.
“We’re coming with you,” they told him. They went out and got into the
boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 When daybreak came, Jesus stood on the shore. However, the disciples did
not know it was Jesus.
5 “Men,” Jesus called to them, “you don’t have any fish, do you?”
“No,” they answered.
6 “Cast the net on the right side of the boat,” He told them, “and you’ll
find some.” So they did, and they were unable to haul it in because of the
large number of fish. 7 Therefore the disciple, the one Jesus loved, said
to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tied his outer garment
around him (for he was stripped) and plunged into the sea. 8 But since
they were not far from land (about 100 yards away), the other disciples
came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish. 9 When they got out on
land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread.
10 “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus told them. 11 So
Simon Peter got up and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish; 153 of
them. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
12 “Come and have breakfast,” Jesus told them. None of the disciples dared
ask Him, “Who are You?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came,
took the bread, and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish.
14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after He
was raised from the dead.

JESUS’S THREEFOLD RESTORATION OF PETER
5 When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of
John, do you love Me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.”
“Feed My lambs,” He told him.
16 A second time He asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.”
“Shepherd My sheep,” He told him.
17 He asked him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”
Peter was grieved that He asked him the third time, “Do you love Me?” He
said, “Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You.”
“Feed My sheep,” Jesus said. 18 “I assure you: When you were young, you
would tie your belt and walk wherever you wanted. But when you grow old,
you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you and carry
you where you don’t want to go.” 19 He said this to signify by what kind
of death he would glorify God. After saying this, He told him, “Follow
Me!”

CORRECTING A FALSE REPORT
20 So Peter turned around and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them.
That disciple was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper
and asked, “Lord, who is the one that’s going to betray You?” 21 When
Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord—what about him?”
22 “If I want him to remain until I come,” Jesus answered, “what is that
to you? As for you, follow Me.”
23 So this report spread to the brothers that this disciple would not die.
Yet Jesus did not tell him that he would not die, but, “If I want him to
remain until I come, what is that to you?”

EPILOGUE
24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them
down. We know that his testimony is true.
25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which, if they
were written one by one, I suppose not even the world itself could contain
the books that would be written.

*********************
LUKE 6
LORD OF THE SABBATH
On a Sabbath, He passed through the grain fields. His disciples were
picking heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them. 2
But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful on
the Sabbath?”
3 Jesus answered them, “Haven’t you read what David and those who were
with him did when he was hungry— 4 how he entered the house of God, and
took and ate the sacred bread, which is not lawful for any but the priests
to eat? He even gave some to those who were with him.” 5 Then He told
them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

THE MAN WITH THE PARALYZED HAND
6 On another Sabbath He entered the synagogue and was teaching. A man was
there whose right hand was paralyzed. 7 The scribes and Pharisees were
watching Him closely, to see if He would heal on the Sabbath, so that they
could find a charge against Him. 8 But He knew their thoughts and told the
man with the paralyzed hand, “Get up and stand here.” So he got up and
stood there. 9 Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you: Is it lawful on the
Sabbath to do what is good or to do what is evil, to save life or to
destroy it?” 10 After looking around at them all, He told him, “Stretch
out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored. 11 They, however,
were filled with rage and started discussing with one another what they
might do to Jesus.

THE 12 APOSTLES
12 During those days He went out to the mountain to pray and spent all
night in prayer to God. 13 When daylight came, He summoned His disciples,
and He chose 12 of them—He also named them apostles: 14 Simon, whom He
also named Peter,
and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; 15 Matthew
and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot; 16
Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

TEACHING AND HEALING
17 After coming down with them, He stood on a level place with a large
crowd of His disciples and a great number of people from all Judea and
Jerusalem and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon. 18 They came to hear
Him and to be healed of their diseases; and those tormented by unclean
spirits were made well. 19 The whole crowd was trying to touch Him,
because power was coming out from Him and healing them all.

THE BEATITUDES
20 Then looking up at His disciples, He said:
You who are poor are blessed, because the kingdom of God is yours.
21 You who are now hungry are blessed, because you will be filled.
You who now weep are blessed, because you will laugh.
22 You are blessed when people hate you, when they exclude you, insult
you, and slander your name as evil because of the Son of Man.
23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! Take note—your reward is great
in heaven, for this is the way their ancestors used to treat the prophets.

WOE TO THE SELF-SATISFIED
24 But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your comfort.
25 Woe to you who are now full, for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who are now laughing, for you will mourn and weep.
26 Woe to you when all people speak well of you, for this is the way their
ancestors used to treat the false prophets.

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
27 “But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to
those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who
mistreat you. 29 If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also.
And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. 30
Give to everyone who asks you, and from one who takes your things, don’t
ask for them back. 31 Just as you want others to do for you, do the same
for them. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?
Even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do what is good to those
who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34
And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is
that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. 35 But
love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.
Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For
He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. 36 Be merciful, just as your
Father also is merciful.

DO NOT JUDGE
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will
not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will
be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running
over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will
be measured back to you.”
39 He also told them a parable: “Can the blind guide the blind? Won’t they
both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone
who is fully trained will be like his teacher.
41 “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but don’t notice
the log in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother,
let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself don’t
see the log in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye,
and then you will see clearly to take out the speck in your brother’s eye.

A TREE AND ITS FRUIT
43 “A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree
doesn’t produce good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit.
Figs aren’t gathered from thornbushes, or grapes picked from a bramble
bush. 45 A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart.
An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks
from the overflow of the heart.

THE TWO FOUNDATIONS
46 “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say? 47 I
will show you what someone is like who comes to Me, hears My words, and
acts on them: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid
the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against
that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the
one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the
ground without a foundation. The river crashed against it, and immediately
it collapsed. And the destruction of that house was great!”

*********************
LUKE 24
RESURRECTION MORNING
24 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to
the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. 2 They found the stone
rolled away from the tomb. 3 They went in but did not find the body of the
Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood
by them in dazzling clothes. 5 So the women were terrified and bowed down
to the ground.
“Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” asked the men. 6 “He
is not here, but He has been resurrected! Remember how He spoke to you
when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be betrayed
into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?” 8
And they remembered His words.
9 Returning from the tomb, they reported all these things to the Eleven
and to all the rest. 10 Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James,
and the other women with them were telling the apostles these things. 11
But these words seemed like nonsense to them, and they did not believe the
women. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. When he stooped to
look in, he saw only the linen cloths. So he went home, amazed at what had
happened.

THE EMMAUS DISCIPLES
13 Now that same day two of them were on their way to a village called
Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 Together they were
discussing everything that had taken place. 15 And while they were
discussing and arguing, Jesus Himself came near and began to walk along
with them. 16 But they were prevented from recognizing Him. 17 Then He
asked them, “What is this dispute that you’re having with each other as
you are walking?” And they stopped walking and looked discouraged.
18 The one named Cleopas answered Him, “Are You the only visitor in
Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” He asked them.
So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene, who was a
Prophet powerful in action and speech before God and all the people, 20
and how our chief priests and leaders handed Him over to be sentenced to
death, and they crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that He was the One
who was about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, it’s the third day since
these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women from our group astounded
us. They arrived early at the tomb, 23 and when they didn’t find His body,
they came and reported that they had seen a vision of angels who said He
was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it
just as the women had said, but they didn’t see Him.”
25 He said to them, “How unwise and slow you are to believe in your hearts
all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Didn’t the Messiah have to suffer
these things and enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and
all the Prophets, He interpreted for them the things concerning Himself in
all the Scriptures.

28 They came near the village where they were going, and He gave the
impression that He was going farther. 29 But they urged Him: “Stay with
us, because it’s almost evening, and now the day is almost over.” So He
went in to stay with them.
30 It was as He reclined at the table with them that He took the bread,
blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened,
and they recognized Him, but He disappeared from their sight. 32 So they
said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts ablaze within us while He was
talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33 That
very hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and
those with them gathered together, 34 who said, “The Lord has certainly
been raised, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they began to describe
what had happened on the road and how He was made known to them in the
breaking of the bread.

THE REALITY OF THE RISEN JESUS
36 And as they were saying these things, He Himself stood among them. He
said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and terrified and
thought they were seeing a ghost. 38 “Why are you troubled?” He asked
them. “And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at My hands and My
feet, that it is I Myself! Touch Me and see, because a ghost does not have
flesh and bones as you can see I have.” 40 Having said this, He showed
them His hands and feet. 41 But while they still were amazed and
unbelieving because of their joy, He asked them, “Do you have anything
here to eat?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, 43 and He
took it and ate in their presence.

44 Then He told them, “These are My words that I spoke to you while I was
still with you—that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the
Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds
to understand the Scriptures. 46 He also said to them, “This is what is
written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, 47
and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to
all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these
things. 49 And look, I am sending you what My Father promised. As for you,
stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.”

THE ASCENSION OF JESUS
50 Then He led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up His hands He
blessed them. 51 And while He was blessing them, He left them and was
carried up into heaven. 52 After worshiping Him, they returned to
Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they were continually in the temple
complex praising God.

*********************
DEUTERONOMY 28
BLESSINGS FOR OBEDIENCE
“Now if you faithfully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow
all His commands I am giving you today, the Lord your God will put you far
above all the nations of the earth. 2 All these blessings will come and
overtake you, because you obey the Lord your God:

3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
4 Your descendants will be blessed, and your land’s produce, and the
offspring of your livestock, including the young of your herds and the
newborn of your flocks.
5 Your basket and kneading bowl will be blessed.
6 You will be blessed when you come inand blessed when you go out.

7 “The Lord will cause the enemies who rise up against you to be defeated
before you. They will march out against you from one direction but flee
from you in seven directions. 8 The Lord will grant you a blessing on your
storehouses and on everything you do; He will bless you in the land the
Lord your God is giving you. 9 The Lord will establish you as His holy
people, as He swore to you, if you obey the commands of the Lord your God
and walk in His ways. 10 Then all the peoples of the earth will see that
you are called by Yahweh’s name, and they will stand in awe of you. 11 The
Lord will make you prosper abundantly with children, the offspring of your
livestock, and your land’s produce in the land the Lord swore to your
fathers to give you. 12 The Lord will open for you His abundant
storehouse, the sky, to give your land rain in its season and to bless all
the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations, but you will not
borrow. 13 The Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you will only
move upward and never downward if you listen to the Lord your God’s
commands I am giving you today and are careful to follow them. 14 Do not
turn aside to the right or the left from all the things I am commanding
you today, and do not go after other gods to worship them.

CURSES FOR DISOBEDIENCE
15 “But if you do not obey the Lord your God by carefully following all
His commands and statutes I am giving you today, all these curses will
come and overtake you:

16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.
17 Your basket and kneading bowl will be cursed.
18 Your descendants will be cursed, and your land’s produce, the young of
your herds, and the newborn of your flocks.
19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.

20 The Lord will send against you curses, confusion, and rebuke in
everything you do until you are destroyed and quickly perish, because of
the wickedness of your actions in abandoning Me. 21 The Lord will make
pestilence cling to you until He has exterminated you from the land you
are entering to possess. 22 The Lord will afflict you with wasting
disease, fever, inflammation, burning heat, drought, blight, and mildew;
these will pursue you until you perish. 23 The sky above you will be
bronze, and the earth beneath you iron. 24 The Lord will turn the rain of
your land into falling dust; it will descend on you from the sky until you
are destroyed. 25 The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your
enemies. You will march out against them from one direction but flee from
them in seven directions. You will be an object of horror to all the
kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your corpses will be food for all the birds of
the sky and the wild animals of the land, with no one to scare them away.

27 “The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt, tumors, a festering
rash, and scabies, from which you cannot be cured. 28 The Lord will
afflict you with madness, blindness, and mental confusion, 29 so that at
noon you will grope as a blind man gropes in the dark. You will not be
successful in anything you do. You will only be oppressed and robbed
continually, and no one will help you. 30 You will become engaged to a
woman, but another man will rape her. You will build a house but not live
in it. You will plant a vineyard but not enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox will
be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will not eat any of it. Your
donkey will be taken away from you and not returned to you. Your flock
will be given to your enemies, and no one will help you. 32 Your sons and
daughters will be given to another people, while your eyes grow weary
looking for them every day. But you will be powerless to do anything.
33 A people you don’t know will eat your land’s produce and everything you
have labored for. You will only be oppressed and crushed continually. 34
You will be driven mad by what you see. 35 The Lord will afflict you with
painful and incurable boils on your knees and thighs—from the sole of your
foot to the top of your head.

36 “The Lord will bring you and your king that you have appointed to a
nation neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you will worship
other gods, of wood and stone. 37 You will become an object of horror,
scorn, and ridicule among all the peoples where the Lord will drive you.

38 “You will sow much seed in the field but harvest little, because
locusts will devour it. 39 You will plant and cultivate vineyards but not
drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. 40 You
will have olive trees throughout your territory but not anoint yourself
with oil, because your olives will drop off. 41 You will father sons and
daughters, but they will not remain yours, because they will be taken
prisoner. 42 Whirring insects will take possession of all your trees and
your land’s produce. 43 The foreign resident among you will rise higher
and higher above you, while you sink lower and lower. 44 He will lend to
you, but you won’t lend to him. He will be the head, and you will be the
tail.

45 “All these curses will come, pursue, and overtake you until you are
destroyed, since you did not obey the Lord your God and keep the commands
and statutes He gave you. 46 These curses will be a sign and a wonder
against you and your descendants forever. 47 Because you didn’t serve the
Lord your God with joy and a cheerful heart, even though you had an
abundance of everything, 48 you will serve your enemies the Lord will send
against you, in famine, thirst, nakedness, and a lack of everything. He
will place an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you. 49 The
Lord will bring a nation from far away, from the ends of the earth, to
swoop down on you like an eagle, a nation whose language you don’t
understand, 50 a ruthless nation, showing no respect for the old and not
sparing the young. 51 They will eat the offspring of your livestock and
your land’s produce until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain,
new wine, oil, young of your herds, or newborn of your flocks until they
cause you to perish. 52 They will besiege you within all your gates until
your high and fortified walls, that you trust in, come down throughout
your land. They will besiege you within all your gates throughout the land
the Lord your God has given you.

53 “You will eat your children, the flesh of your sons and daughters the
Lord your God has given you during the siege and hardship your enemy
imposes on you. 54 The most sensitive and refined man among you will look
grudgingly at his brother, the wife he embraces, and the rest of his
children, 55 refusing to share with any of them his children’s flesh that
he will eat because he has nothing left during the siege and hardship your
enemy imposes on you in all your towns. 56 The most sensitive and refined
woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the
ground because of her refinement and sensitivity, will begrudge the
husband she embraces, her son, and her daughter, 57 the afterbirth that
comes out from between her legs and the children she bears, because she
will secretly eat them for lack of anything else during the siege and
hardship your enemy imposes on you within your gates.

58 “If you are not careful to obey all the words of this law, which are
written in this scroll, by fearing this glorious and awesome name—Yahweh,
your God— 59 He will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your
descendants, severe and lasting plagues, and terrible and chronic
sicknesses. 60 He will afflict you again with all the diseases of Egypt,
which you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61 The Lord will also
afflict you with every sickness and plague not recorded in the book of
this law, until you are destroyed. 62 Though you were as numerous as the
stars of the sky, you will be left with only a few people, because you did
not obey the Lord your God. 63 Just as the Lord was glad to cause you to
prosper and to multiply you, so He will also be glad to cause you to
perish and to destroy you. You will be deported from the land you are
entering to possess. 64 Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples
from one end of the earth to the other, and there you will worship other
gods, of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. 65
You will find no peace among those nations, and there will be no resting
place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you a trembling
heart, failing eyes, and a despondent spirit. 66 Your life will hang in
doubt before you. You will be in dread night and day, never certain of
survival. 67 In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were evening!’ and
in the evening you will say, ‘If only it were morning!’—because of the
dread you will have in your heart and because of what you will see. 68 The
Lord will take you back in ships to Egypt by a route that I said you would
never see again. There you will sell yourselves to your enemies as male
and female slaves, but no one will buy you.”

*********************
PROVERBS 4
A FATHER’S EXAMPLE
Listen, my sons, to a father’s discipline, and pay attention so that you
may gain understanding,
2 for I am giving you good instruction. Don’t abandon my teaching.
3 When I was a son with my father, tender and precious to my mother,
4 he taught me and said: “Your heart must hold on to my words. Keep my
commands and live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding; don’t forget or turn away from the words
of my mouth.
6 Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; love her, and she
will guard you.
7 Wisdom is supreme—so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get
understanding.
8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; if you embrace her, she will honor
you.
9 She will place a garland of grace on your head; she will give you a
crown of beauty.” Two Ways of Life
10 Listen, my son. Accept my words, and you will live many years.
11 I am teaching you the way of wisdom; I am guiding you on straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered; when you run, you will
not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction; don’t let go. Guard it, for it is your life.
14 Don’t set foot on the path of the wicked; don’t proceed in the way of
evil ones.
15 Avoid it; don’t travel on it. Turn away from it, and pass it by.
16 For they can’t sleep unless they have done what is evil; they are
robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter
and brighter until midday.
19 But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom; they don’t know
what makes them stumble.

THE STRAIGHT PATH
20 My son, pay attention to my words; listen closely to my sayings.
21 Don’t lose sight of them; keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to one’s whole body.
23 Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.
24 Don’t let your mouth speak dishonestly, and don’t let your lips talk
deviously.
25 Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead.
26 Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be
established.
27 Don’t turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.

*********************
JOSHUA 24
REVIEW OF ISRAEL’S HISTORY
Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem and summoned Israel’s
elders, leaders, judges, and officers, and they presented themselves
before God. 2 Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the Lord, the
God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah, the father
of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other
gods. 3 But I took your father Abraham from the region beyond the
Euphrates River, led him throughout the land of Canaan, and multiplied his
descendants. I gave him Isaac, 4 and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I
gave the hill country of Seir to Esau as a possession, but Jacob and his
sons went down to Egypt.
5 “‘Then I sent Moses and Aaron; I plagued Egypt by what I did there and
afterward I brought you out. 6 When I brought your fathers out of Egypt
and you reached the Red Sea, the Egyptians pursued your fathers with
chariots and horsemen as far as the sea. 7 Your fathers cried out to the
Lord, so He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the
sea over them, engulfing them. Your own eyes saw what I did to Egypt.
After that, you lived in the wilderness a long time.
8 “‘Later, I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived beyond the
Jordan. They fought against you, but I handed them over to you. You
possessed their land, and I annihilated them before you. 9 Balak son of
Zippor, king of Moab, set out to fight against Israel. He sent for Balaam
son of Beor to curse you, 10 but I would not listen to Balaam. Instead, he
repeatedly blessed you, and I delivered you from his hand.
11 “‘You then crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The people of
Jericho—as well as the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites,
Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites—fought against you, but I handed them
over to you. 12 I sent the hornet ahead of you, and it drove out the two
Amorite kings before you. It was not by your sword or bow. 13 I gave you a
land you did not labor for, and cities you did not build, though you live
in them; you are eating from vineyards and olive groves you did not
plant.’

THE COVENANT RENEWAL
14 “Therefore, fear the Lord and worship Him in sincerity and truth. Get
rid of the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in
Egypt, and worship Yahweh. 15 But if it doesn’t please you to worship
Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods
your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the
Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will
worship Yahweh.”

16 The people replied, “We will certainly not abandon the Lord to worship
other gods! 17 For the Lord our God brought us and our fathers out of the
land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery, and performed these great
signs before our eyes. He also protected us all along the way we went and
among all the peoples whose lands we traveled through. 18 The Lord drove
out before us all the peoples, including the Amorites who lived in the
land. We too will worship the Lord, because He is our God.”
19 But Joshua told the people, “You will not be able to worship Yahweh,
because He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not remove your
transgressions and sins. 20 If you abandon the Lord and worship foreign
gods, He will turn against you, harm you, and completely destroy you,
after He has been good to you.”
21 “No!” the people answered Joshua. “We will worship the Lord.”
22 Joshua then told the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that
you yourselves have chosen to worship Yahweh.”
“We are witnesses,” they said.
23 “Then get rid of the foreign gods that are among you and offer your
hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.”
24 So the people said to Joshua, “We will worship the Lord our God and
obey Him.”
25 On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people at Shechem and
established a statute and ordinance for them. 26 Joshua recorded these
things in the book of the law of God; he also took a large stone and set
it up there under the oak next to the sanctuary of the Lord. 27 And Joshua
said to all the people, “You see this stone—it will be a witness against
us, for it has heard all the words the Lord said to us, and it will be a
witness against you, so that you will not deny your God.” 28 Then Joshua
sent the people away, each to his own inheritance.

BURIAL OF THE THREE LEADERS
29 After these things, the Lord’s servant, Joshua son of Nun, died at the
age of 110. 30 They buried him in his allotted territory at Timnath-serah,
in the hill country of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash. 31 Israel worshiped
Yahweh throughout Joshua’s lifetime and during the lifetimes of the elders
who outlived Joshua and who had experienced all the works Yahweh had done
for Israel.
32 Joseph’s bones, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were
buried at Shechem in the parcel of land Jacob had purchased from the sons
of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for 100 qesitahs. It was an inheritance for
Joseph’s descendants.
33 And Eleazar son of Aaron died, and they buried him at Gibeah, which had
been given to his son Phinehas in the hill country of Ephraim.

*********************
JOHN 4
JESUS AND THE SAMARITAN WOMAN
When Jesus knew that the Pharisees heard He was making and baptizing more
disciples than John 2 (though Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His
disciples were), 3 He left Judea and went again to Galilee. 4 He had to
travel through Samaria, 5 so He came to a town of Samaria called Sychar
near the property that Jacob had given his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was
there, and Jesus, worn out from His journey, sat down at the well. It was
about six in the evening.
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. “Give Me a drink,” Jesus said to
her, 8 for His disciples had gone into town to buy food.
9 “How is it that You, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?”
she asked Him. For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you,
‘Give Me a drink,’ you would ask Him, and He would give you living water.”
11 “Sir,” said the woman, “You don’t even have a bucket, and the well is
deep. So where do You get this ‘living water’? 12 You aren’t greater than
our father Jacob, are You? He gave us the well and drank from it himself,
as did his sons and livestock.”
13 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty
again. 14 But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will
never get thirsty again—ever! In fact, the water I will give him will
become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.”
15 “Sir,” the woman said to Him, “give me this water so I won’t get
thirsty and come here to draw water.”
16 “Go call your husband,” He told her, “and come back here.”
17 “I don’t have a husband,” she answered.
“You have correctly said, ‘I don’t have a husband,’” Jesus said. 18 “For
you’ve had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.
What you have said is true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman replied, “I see that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers
worshiped on this mountain, yet you Jews say that the place to worship is
in Jerusalem.”
21 Jesus told her, “Believe Me, woman, an hour is coming when you will
worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You
Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know,
because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and is now
here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and
truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. 24 God is spirit,
and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called
Christ). “When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”
26 “I am He,” Jesus told her, “the One speaking to you.”

THE RIPENED HARVEST
27 Just then His disciples arrived, and they were amazed that He was
talking with a woman. Yet no one said, “What do You want?” or “Why are You
talking with her?”
28 Then the woman left her water jar, went into town, and told the men, 29
“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could this be the
Messiah?” 30 They left the town and made their way to Him.
31 In the meantime the disciples kept urging Him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32 But He said, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.”
33 The disciples said to one another, “Could someone have brought Him
something to eat?”
34 “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work,”
Jesus told them. 35 “Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months,
then comes the harvest’? Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes
and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest. 36 The reaper is
already receiving pay and gathering fruit for eternal life, so the sower
and reaper can rejoice together. 37 For in this case the saying is true:
‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap what you didn’t labor
for; others have labored, and you have benefited from their labor.”

THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD
39 Now many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what the
woman said when she testified, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40
Therefore, when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to stay with
them, and He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of what
He said. 42 And they told the woman, “We no longer believe because of what
you said, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this really is the
Savior of the world.”

A GalILEAN WELCOME
43 After two days He left there for Galilee. 44 Jesus Himself testified
that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45 When they entered
Galilee, the Galileans welcomed Him because they had seen everything He
did in Jerusalem during the festival. For they also had gone to the
festival.

THE SECOND SIGN: HEALING AN OFFICIAL’S SON
46 Then He went again to Cana of Galilee, where He had turned the water
into wine. There was a certain royal official whose son was ill at
Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea into
Galilee, he went to Him and pleaded with Him to come down and heal his
son, for he was about to die.
48 Jesus told him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not
believe.”
49 “Sir,” the official said to Him, “come down before my boy dies!”
50 “Go,” Jesus told him, “your son will live.” The man believed what Jesus
said to him and departed.
51 While he was still going down, his slaves met him saying that his boy
was alive. 52 He asked them at what time he got better. “Yesterday at
seven in the morning the fever left him,” they answered. 53 The father
realized this was the very hour at which Jesus had told him, “Your son
will live.” Then he himself believed, along with his whole household.
54 This, therefore, was the second sign Jesus performed after He came from
Judea to Galilee.”

*********************
JUDE 1
GREETING
Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James:
To those who are the called, loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus
Christ.
2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

JUDE’S PURPOSE IN WRITING
3 Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about the salvation we
share, I found it necessary to write and exhort you to contend for the
faith that was delivered to the saints once for all. 4 For some men, who
were designated for this judgment long ago, have come in by stealth; they
are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying
Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord.

APOSTATES: PAST AND PRESENT
5 Now I want to remind you, though you know all these things: The Lord
first saved a people out of Egypt and later destroyed those who did not
believe; 6 and He has kept, with eternal chains in darkness for the
judgment of the great day, the angels who did not keep their own position
but deserted their proper dwelling. 7 In the same way, Sodom and Gomorrah
and the cities around them committed sexual immorality and practiced
perversions, just as angels did, and serve as an example by undergoing the
punishment of eternal fire.
8 Nevertheless, these dreamers likewise defile their flesh, reject
authority, and blaspheme glorious ones. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when
he was disputing with the Devil in a debate about Moses’ body, did not
dare bring an abusive condemnation against him but said, “The Lord rebuke
you!” 10 But these people blaspheme anything they don’t understand. What
they know by instinct like unreasoning animals—they destroy themselves
with these things. 11 Woe to them! For they have traveled in the way of
Cain, have abandoned themselves to the error of Balaam for profit, and
have perished in Korah’s rebellion.

THE APOSTATES’ DOOM
12 These are the ones who are like dangerous reefs at your love feasts.
They feast with you, nurturing only themselves without fear. They are
waterless clouds carried along by winds; trees in late autumn—fruitless,
twice dead, pulled out by the roots; 13 wild waves of the sea, foaming up
their shameful deeds; wandering stars for whom the blackness of darkness
is reserved forever!

14 And Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied about them:

“Look! The Lord comes
with thousands of His holy ones
15 to execute judgment on all
and to convict them
of all their ungodly acts
that they have done in an ungodly way,
and of all the harsh things ungodly sinners
have said against Him.”

16 These people are discontented grumblers, walking according to their
desires; their mouths utter arrogant words, flattering people for their
own advantage.
17 But you, dear friends, remember what was predicted by the apostles of
our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 they told you, “In the end time there will be
scoffers walking according to their own ungodly desires.” 19 These people
create divisions and are unbelievers, not having the Spirit.

EXHORTATION AND BENEDICTION
20 But you, dear friends, as you build yourselves up in your most holy
faith and pray in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God,
expecting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life. 22 Have
mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire;
have mercy on others but with fear, hating even the garment defiled by the
flesh.
24 Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you
stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, 25 to
the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty,
power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.

*********************
ISAIAH 59
Sin and Redemption
59 Indeed, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save,
and His ear is not too deaf to hear.
2 But your iniquities have built barriers
between you and your God,
and your sins have made Him hide His face from you
so that He does not listen.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood
and your fingers, with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies,
and your tongues mutter injustice.
4 No one makes claims justly;
no one pleads honestly.
They trust in empty and worthless words;
they conceive trouble and give birth to iniquity.
5 They hatch viper’s eggs
and weave spider’s webs.
Whoever eats their eggs will die;
crack one open, and a viper is hatched.
6 Their webs cannot become clothing,
and they cannot cover themselves with their works.
Their works are sinful works,
and violent acts are in their hands.
7 Their feet run after evil,
and they rush to shed innocent blood.
Their thoughts are sinful thoughts;
ruin and wretchedness are in their paths.
8 They have not known the path of peace,
and there is no justice in their ways.
They have made their roads crooked;
no one who walks on them will know peace.

9 Therefore justice is far from us,
and righteousness does not reach us.
We hope for light, but there is darkness;
for brightness, but we live in the night.
10 We grope along a wall like the blind;
we grope like those without eyes.
We stumble at noon as though it were twilight;
we are like the dead among those who are healthy.
11 We all growl like bears
and moan like doves.
We hope for justice, but there is none;
for salvation, but it is far from us.
12 For our transgressions have multiplied before You,
and our sins testify against us.
For our transgressions are with us,
and we know our iniquities:
13 transgression and deception against the Lord,
turning away from following our God,
speaking oppression and revolt,
conceiving and uttering lying words from the heart.
14 Justice is turned back,
and righteousness stands far off.
For truth has stumbled in the public square,
and honesty cannot enter.
15 Truth is missing,
and whoever turns from evil is plundered.

The Lord saw that there was no justice,
and He was offended.
16 He saw that there was no man—
He was amazed that there was no one interceding;
so His own arm brought salvation,
and His own righteousness supported Him.
17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
and a helmet of salvation on His head;
He put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
and He wrapped Himself in zeal as in a cloak.
18 So He will repay according to their deeds:
fury to His enemies,
retribution to His foes,
and He will repay the coastlands.
19 They will fear the name of Yahweh in the west
and His glory in the east;
for He will come like a rushing stream
driven by the wind of the Lord.
20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion,
and to those in Jacob who turn from transgression.”
This is the Lord’s declaration.

21 “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit
who is on you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart
from your mouth, or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of
your children’s children, from now on and forever,” says the Lord.

*********************
ROMANS 10
RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH ALONE
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God concerning them is for their
salvation! 2 I can testify about them that they have zeal for God, but not
according to knowledge. 3 Because they disregarded the righteousness from
God and attempted to establish their own righteousness, they have not
submitted themselves to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of
the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5 For Moses writes
about the righteousness that is from the law: The one who does these
things will live by them. 6 But the righteousness that comes from faith
speaks like this: Do not say in your heart, “Who will go up to heaven?”
that is, to bring Christ down 7 or, “Who will go down into the abyss?”
that is, to bring Christ up from the dead. 8 On the contrary, what does it
say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the
message of faith that we proclaim: 9 If you confess with your mouth,
“Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the
dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in
righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.
11 Now the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to
shame, 12 for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the
same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. 13 For everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.

ISRAEL’S REJECTION OF THE MESSAGE
14 But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can
they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a
preacher? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is
written: How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of
good things! 16 But all did not obey the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord,
who has believed our message? 17 So faith comes from what is heard, and
what is heard comes through the message about Christ. 18 But I ask, “Did
they not hear?” Yes, they did:

Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the inhabited world.

19 But I ask, “Did Israel not understand?” First, Moses said:
“I will make you jealous
of those who are not a nation;
I will make you angry by a nation
that lacks understanding.”

20 And Isaiah says boldly:
“I was found
by those who were not looking for Me;
I revealed Myself
to those who were not asking for Me.”

21 But to Israel he says: All day long I have spread out My hands to a
disobedient and defiant people.

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