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)

Isaiah 21 (Listen)

Fallen, Fallen Is Babylon

The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea.

  As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on,
    it comes from the wilderness,
    from a terrible land.
  A stern vision is told to me;
    the traitor betrays,
    and the destroyer destroys.
  Go up, O Elam;
    lay siege, O Media;
  all the sighing she has caused
    I bring to an end.
  Therefore my loins are filled with anguish;
    pangs have seized me,
    like the pangs of a woman in labor;
  I am bowed down so that I cannot hear;
    I am dismayed so that I cannot see.
  My heart staggers; horror has appalled me;
    the twilight I longed for
    has been turned for me into trembling.
  They prepare the table,
    they spread the rugs,
    they eat, they drink.
  Arise, O princes;
    oil the shield!
  For thus the Lord said to me:
  “Go, set a watchman;
    let him announce what he sees.
  When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,
    riders on donkeys, riders on camels,
  let him listen diligently,
    very diligently.”
  Then he who saw cried out:
  “Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord,
    continually by day,
  and at my post I am stationed
    whole nights.
  And behold, here come riders,
    horsemen in pairs!”
  And he answered,
    “Fallen, fallen is Babylon;
  and all the carved images of her gods
    he has shattered to the ground.”
10   O my threshed and winnowed one,
    what I have heard from the LORD of hosts,
    the God of Israel, I announce to you.

11 The oracle concerning Dumah.

  One is calling to me from Seir,
    “Watchman, what time of the night?
    Watchman, what time of the night?”
12   The watchman says:
  “Morning comes, and also the night.
    If you will inquire, inquire;
    come back again.”

13 The oracle concerning Arabia.

  In the thickets in Arabia you will lodge,
    O caravans of Dedanites.
14   To the thirsty bring water;
    meet the fugitive with bread,
    O inhabitants of the land of Tema.
15   For they have fled from the swords,
    from the drawn sword,
  from the bent bow,
    and from the press of battle.

16 For thus the Lord said to me, “Within a year, according to the years of a hired worker, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end. 17 And the remainder of the archers of the mighty men of the sons of Kedar will be few, for the LORD, the God of Israel, has spoken.”

(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 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)