Ephesians 4 (Listen)

Unity in the Body of Christ

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says,

  “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
    and he gave gifts to men.”

(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

The New Life

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!—21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

(ESV)

Job 36 (Listen)

Elihu Extols God's Greatness

And Elihu continued, and said:

  “Bear with me a little, and I will show you,
    for I have yet something to say on God's behalf.
  I will get my knowledge from afar
    and ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
  For truly my words are not false;
    one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.
  “Behold, God is mighty, and does not despise any;
    he is mighty in strength of understanding.
  He does not keep the wicked alive,
    but gives the afflicted their right.
  He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous,
    but with kings on the throne
    he sets them forever, and they are exalted.
  And if they are bound in chains
    and caught in the cords of affliction,
  then he declares to them their work
    and their transgressions, that they are behaving arrogantly.
10   He opens their ears to instruction
    and commands that they return from iniquity.
11   If they listen and serve him,
    they complete their days in prosperity,
    and their years in pleasantness.
12   But if they do not listen, they perish by the sword
    and die without knowledge.
13   “The godless in heart cherish anger;
    they do not cry for help when he binds them.
14   They die in youth,
    and their life ends among the cult prostitutes.
15   He delivers the afflicted by their affliction
    and opens their ear by adversity.
16   He also allured you out of distress
    into a broad place where there was no cramping,
    and what was set on your table was full of fatness.
17   “But you are full of the judgment on the wicked;
    judgment and justice seize you.
18   Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing,
    and let not the greatness of the ransom turn you aside.
19   Will your cry for help avail to keep you from distress,
    or all the force of your strength?
20   Do not long for the night,
    when peoples vanish in their place.
21   Take care; do not turn to iniquity,
    for this you have chosen rather than affliction.
22   Behold, God is exalted in his power;
    who is a teacher like him?
23   Who has prescribed for him his way,
    or who can say, ‘You have done wrong’?
24   “Remember to extol his work,
    of which men have sung.
25   All mankind has looked on it;
    man beholds it from afar.
26   Behold, God is great, and we know him not;
    the number of his years is unsearchable.
27   For he draws up the drops of water;
    they distill his mist in rain,
28   which the skies pour down
    and drop on mankind abundantly.
29   Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds,
    the thunderings of his pavilion?
30   Behold, he scatters his lightning about him
    and covers the roots of the sea.
31   For by these he judges peoples;
    he gives food in abundance.
32   He covers his hands with the lightning
    and commands it to strike the mark.
33   Its crashing declares his presence;
    the cattle also declare that he rises.

(ESV)

Proverbs 17 (Listen)

  Better is a dry morsel with quiet
    than a house full of feasting with strife.
  A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully
    and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.
  The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
    and the LORD tests hearts.
  An evildoer listens to wicked lips,
    and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
  Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker;
    he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
  Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
    and the glory of children is their fathers.
  Fine speech is not becoming to a fool;
    still less is false speech to a prince.
  A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it;
    wherever he turns he prospers.
  Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
    but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
10   A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
    than a hundred blows into a fool.
11   An evil man seeks only rebellion,
    and a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
12   Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs
    rather than a fool in his folly.
13   If anyone returns evil for good,
    evil will not depart from his house.
14   The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
    so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
15   He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous
    are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
16   Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom
    when he has no sense?
17   A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is born for adversity.
18   One who lacks sense gives a pledge
    and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.
19   Whoever loves transgression loves strife;
    he who makes his door high seeks destruction.
20   A man of crooked heart does not discover good,
    and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.
21   He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow,
    and the father of a fool has no joy.
22   A joyful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
23   The wicked accepts a bribe in secret
    to pervert the ways of justice.
24   The discerning sets his face toward wisdom,
    but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
25   A foolish son is a grief to his father
    and bitterness to her who bore him.
26   To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good,
    nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
27   Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
    and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28   Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
    when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

(ESV)

Psalm 137 (Listen)

How Shall We Sing the Lord's Song?

  By the waters of Babylon,
    there we sat down and wept,
    when we remembered Zion.
  On the willows there
    we hung up our lyres.
  For there our captors
    required of us songs,
  and our tormentors, mirth, saying,
    “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
  How shall we sing the LORD's song
    in a foreign land?
  If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
    let my right hand forget its skill!
  Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,
    if I do not remember you,
  if I do not set Jerusalem
    above my highest joy!
  Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites
    the day of Jerusalem,
  how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare,
    down to its foundations!”
  O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed,
    blessed shall he be who repays you
    with what you have done to us!
  Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones
    and dashes them against the rock!

(ESV)