1 John 3 (Listen)

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

Love One Another

11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

(ESV)

Ezekiel 13 (Listen)

False Prophets Condemned

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: ‘Hear the word of the LORD!’ Thus says the Lord GOD, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel. You have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the LORD. They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the LORD,’ when the LORD has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word. Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, whenever you have said, ‘Declares the LORD,’ although I have not spoken?”

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Because you have uttered falsehood and seen lying visions, therefore behold, I am against you, declares the Lord GOD. My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord GOD. 10 Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, 11 say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. 12 And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’ 13 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end. 14 And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the LORD. 15 Thus will I spend my wrath upon the wall and upon those who have smeared it with whitewash, and I will say to you, The wall is no more, nor those who smeared it, 16 the prophets of Israel who prophesied concerning Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her, when there was no peace, declares the Lord GOD.

17 “And you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own hearts. Prophesy against them 18 and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls! Will you hunt down souls belonging to my people and keep your own souls alive? 19 You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, putting to death souls who should not die and keeping alive souls who should not live, by your lying to my people, who listen to lies.

20 “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against your magic bands with which you hunt the souls like birds, and I will tear them from your arms, and I will let the souls whom you hunt go free, the souls like birds. 21 Your veils also I will tear off and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand as prey, and you shall know that I am the LORD. 22 Because you have disheartened the righteous falsely, although I have not grieved him, and you have encouraged the wicked, that he should not turn from his evil way to save his life, 23 therefore you shall no more see false visions nor practice divination. I will deliver my people out of your hand. And you shall know that I am the LORD.”

(ESV)

Proverbs 12 (Listen)

  Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
    but he who hates reproof is stupid.
  A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
    but a man of evil devices he condemns.
  No one is established by wickedness,
    but the root of the righteous will never be moved.
  An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
    but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
  The thoughts of the righteous are just;
    the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
  The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
    but the mouth of the upright delivers them.
  The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
    but the house of the righteous will stand.
  A man is commended according to his good sense,
    but one of twisted mind is despised.
  Better to be lowly and have a servant
    than to play the great man and lack bread.
10   Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast,
    but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
11   Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
    but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
12   Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers,
    but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
13   An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
    but the righteous escapes from trouble.
14   From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
    and the work of a man's hand comes back to him.
15   The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
    but a wise man listens to advice.
16   The vexation of a fool is known at once,
    but the prudent ignores an insult.
17   Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
    but a false witness utters deceit.
18   There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19   Truthful lips endure forever,
    but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
20   Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
    but those who plan peace have joy.
21   No ill befalls the righteous,
    but the wicked are filled with trouble.
22   Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
    but those who act faithfully are his delight.
23   A prudent man conceals knowledge,
    but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
24   The hand of the diligent will rule,
    while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
25   Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down,
    but a good word makes him glad.
26   One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor,
    but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
27   Whoever is slothful will not roast his game,
    but the diligent man will get precious wealth.
28   In the path of righteousness is life,
    and in its pathway there is no death.

(ESV)

Psalm 105 (Listen)

Tell of All His Wondrous Works

  Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name;
    make known his deeds among the peoples!
  Sing to him, sing praises to him;
    tell of all his wondrous works!
  Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
  Seek the LORD and his strength;
    seek his presence continually!
  Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
    his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
  O offspring of Abraham, his servant,
    children of Jacob, his chosen ones!
  He is the LORD our God;
    his judgments are in all the earth.
  He remembers his covenant forever,
    the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
  the covenant that he made with Abraham,
    his sworn promise to Isaac,
10   which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,
    to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
11   saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
    as your portion for an inheritance.”
12   When they were few in number,
    of little account, and sojourners in it,
13   wandering from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another people,
14   he allowed no one to oppress them;
    he rebuked kings on their account,
15   saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,
    do my prophets no harm!”
16   When he summoned a famine on the land
    and broke all supply of bread,
17   he had sent a man ahead of them,
    Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18   His feet were hurt with fetters;
    his neck was put in a collar of iron;
19   until what he had said came to pass,
    the word of the LORD tested him.
20   The king sent and released him;
    the ruler of the peoples set him free;
21   he made him lord of his house
    and ruler of all his possessions,
22   to bind his princes at his pleasure
    and to teach his elders wisdom.
23   Then Israel came to Egypt;
    Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
24   And the LORD made his people very fruitful
    and made them stronger than their foes.
25   He turned their hearts to hate his people,
    to deal craftily with his servants.
26   He sent Moses, his servant,
    and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
27   They performed his signs among them
    and miracles in the land of Ham.
28   He sent darkness, and made the land dark;
    they did not rebel against his words.
29   He turned their waters into blood
    and caused their fish to die.
30   Their land swarmed with frogs,
    even in the chambers of their kings.
31   He spoke, and there came swarms of flies,
    and gnats throughout their country.
32   He gave them hail for rain,
    and fiery lightning bolts through their land.
33   He struck down their vines and fig trees,
    and shattered the trees of their country.
34   He spoke, and the locusts came,
    young locusts without number,
35   which devoured all the vegetation in their land
    and ate up the fruit of their ground.
36   He struck down all the firstborn in their land,
    the firstfruits of all their strength.
37   Then he brought out Israel with silver and gold,
    and there was none among his tribes who stumbled.
38   Egypt was glad when they departed,
    for dread of them had fallen upon it.
39   He spread a cloud for a covering,
    and fire to give light by night.
40   They asked, and he brought quail,
    and gave them bread from heaven in abundance.
41   He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
    it flowed through the desert like a river.
42   For he remembered his holy promise,
    and Abraham, his servant.
43   So he brought his people out with joy,
    his chosen ones with singing.
44   And he gave them the lands of the nations,
    and they took possession of the fruit of the peoples' toil,
45   that they might keep his statutes
    and observe his laws.
  Praise the LORD!

(ESV)