1 John 2 (Listen)

Christ Our Advocate

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

The New Commandment

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

12   I am writing to you, little children,
    because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake.
13   I am writing to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
  I am writing to you, young men,
    because you have overcome the evil one.
  I write to you, children,
    because you know the Father.
14   I write to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
  I write to you, young men,
    because you are strong,
    and the word of God abides in you,
    and you have overcome the evil one.

Do Not Love the World

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Warning Concerning Antichrists

18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.

26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

Children of God

28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

(ESV)

Ezekiel 12 (Listen)

Judah's Captivity Symbolized

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house. As for you, son of man, prepare for yourself an exile's baggage, and go into exile by day in their sight. You shall go like an exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious house. You shall bring out your baggage by day in their sight, as baggage for exile, and you shall go out yourself at evening in their sight, as those do who must go into exile. In their sight dig through the wall, and bring your baggage out through it. In their sight you shall lift the baggage upon your shoulder and carry it out at dusk. You shall cover your face that you may not see the land, for I have made you a sign for the house of Israel.”

And I did as I was commanded. I brought out my baggage by day, as baggage for exile, and in the evening I dug through the wall with my own hands. I brought out my baggage at dusk, carrying it on my shoulder in their sight.

In the morning the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, ‘What are you doing?’ 10 Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: This oracle concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are in it.’ 11 Say, ‘I am a sign for you: as I have done, so shall it be done to them. They shall go into exile, into captivity.’ 12 And the prince who is among them shall lift his baggage upon his shoulder at dusk, and shall go out. They shall dig through the wall to bring him out through it. He shall cover his face, that he may not see the land with his eyes. 13 And I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare. And I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, yet he shall not see it, and he shall die there. 14 And I will scatter toward every wind all who are around him, his helpers and all his troops, and I will unsheathe the sword after them. 15 And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them among the countries. 16 But I will let a few of them escape from the sword, from famine and pestilence, that they may declare all their abominations among the nations where they go, and may know that I am the LORD.”

17 And the word of the LORD came to me: 18 “Son of man, eat your bread with quaking, and drink water with trembling and with anxiety. 19 And say to the people of the land, Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: They shall eat their bread with anxiety, and drink water in dismay. In this way her land will be stripped of all it contains, on account of the violence of all those who dwell in it. 20 And the inhabited cities shall be laid waste, and the land shall become a desolation; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

21 And the word of the LORD came to me: 22 “Son of man, what is this proverb that you have about the land of Israel, saying, ‘The days grow long, and every vision comes to nothing’? 23 Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: I will put an end to this proverb, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.’ But say to them, The days are near, and the fulfillment of every vision. 24 For there shall be no more any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. 25 For I am the LORD; I will speak the word that I will speak, and it will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, but in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it, declares the Lord GOD.”

26 And the word of the LORD came to me: 27 “Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, ‘The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’ 28 Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the word that I speak will be performed, declares the Lord GOD.”

(ESV)

Proverbs 11 (Listen)

  A false balance is an abomination to the LORD,
    but a just weight is his delight.
  When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
    but with the humble is wisdom.
  The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
  Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
    but righteousness delivers from death.
  The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight,
    but the wicked falls by his own wickedness.
  The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
    but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.
  When the wicked dies, his hope will perish,
    and the expectation of wealth perishes too.
  The righteous is delivered from trouble,
    and the wicked walks into it instead.
  With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor,
    but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
10   When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
    and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.
11   By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
    but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.
12   Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
    but a man of understanding remains silent.
13   Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
    but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
14   Where there is no guidance, a people falls,
    but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
15   Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm,
    but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure.
16   A gracious woman gets honor,
    and violent men get riches.
17   A man who is kind benefits himself,
    but a cruel man hurts himself.
18   The wicked earns deceptive wages,
    but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.
19   Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live,
    but he who pursues evil will die.
20   Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the LORD,
    but those of blameless ways are his delight.
21   Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished,
    but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.
22   Like a gold ring in a pig's snout
    is a beautiful woman without discretion.
23   The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
    the expectation of the wicked in wrath.
24   One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
    another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
25   Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
    and one who waters will himself be watered.
26   The people curse him who holds back grain,
    but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.
27   Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor,
    but evil comes to him who searches for it.
28   Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
    but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
29   Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind,
    and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
30   The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    and whoever captures souls is wise.
31   If the righteous is repaid on earth,
    how much more the wicked and the sinner!

(ESV)

Psalm 104 (Listen)

O Lord My God, You Are Very Great

  Bless the LORD, O my soul!
    O LORD my God, you are very great!
  You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
    covering yourself with light as with a garment,
    stretching out the heavens like a tent.
  He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters;
  he makes the clouds his chariot;
    he rides on the wings of the wind;
  he makes his messengers winds,
    his ministers a flaming fire.
  He set the earth on its foundations,
    so that it should never be moved.
  You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
  At your rebuke they fled;
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
  The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
    to the place that you appointed for them.
  You set a boundary that they may not pass,
    so that they might not again cover the earth.
10   You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
    they flow between the hills;
11   they give drink to every beast of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12   Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
    they sing among the branches.
13   From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
    the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
14   You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
    and plants for man to cultivate,
  that he may bring forth food from the earth
15     and wine to gladden the heart of man,
  oil to make his face shine
    and bread to strengthen man's heart.
16   The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17   In them the birds build their nests;
    the stork has her home in the fir trees.
18   The high mountains are for the wild goats;
    the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.
19   He made the moon to mark the seasons;
    the sun knows its time for setting.
20   You make darkness, and it is night,
    when all the beasts of the forest creep about.
21   The young lions roar for their prey,
    seeking their food from God.
22   When the sun rises, they steal away
    and lie down in their dens.
23   Man goes out to his work
    and to his labor until the evening.
24   O LORD, how manifold are your works!
    In wisdom have you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25   Here is the sea, great and wide,
    which teems with creatures innumerable,
    living things both small and great.
26   There go the ships,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.
27   These all look to you,
    to give them their food in due season.
28   When you give it to them, they gather it up;
    when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29   When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
    when you take away their breath, they die
    and return to their dust.
30   When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.
31   May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
    may the LORD rejoice in his works,
32   who looks on the earth and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains and they smoke!
33   I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
    I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34   May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    for I rejoice in the LORD.
35   Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
    and let the wicked be no more!
  Bless the LORD, O my soul!
  Praise the LORD!

(ESV)