1 John 4 (Listen)

Test the Spirits

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

God Is Love

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

(ESV)

Ezekiel 14 (Listen)

Idolatrous Elders Condemned

Then certain of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them? Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Any one of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him as he comes with the multitude of his idols, that I may lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel, who are all estranged from me through their idols.

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations. For any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, who separates himself from me, taking his idols into his heart and putting the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to a prophet to consult me through him, I the LORD will answer him myself. And I will set my face against that man; I will make him a sign and a byword and cut him off from the midst of my people, and you shall know that I am the LORD. And if the prophet is deceived and speaks a word, I, the LORD, have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. 10 And they shall bear their punishment—the punishment of the prophet and the punishment of the inquirer shall be alike—11 that the house of Israel may no more go astray from me, nor defile themselves anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be my people and I may be their God, declares the Lord GOD.”

Jerusalem Will Not Be Spared

12 And the word of the LORD came to me: 13 “Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it and break its supply of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, 14 even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord GOD.

15 “If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they ravage it, and it be made desolate, so that no one may pass through because of the beasts, 16 even if these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate.

17 “Or if I bring a sword upon that land and say, Let a sword pass through the land, and I cut off from it man and beast, 18 though these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they alone would be delivered.

19 “Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out my wrath upon it with blood, to cut off from it man and beast, 20 even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither son nor daughter. They would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness.

21 “For thus says the Lord GOD: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four disastrous acts of judgment, sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast! 22 But behold, some survivors will be left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out; behold, when they come out to you, and you see their ways and their deeds, you will be consoled for the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, for all that I have brought upon it. 23 They will console you, when you see their ways and their deeds, and you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, declares the Lord GOD.”

(ESV)

Proverbs 13 (Listen)

  A wise son hears his father's instruction,
    but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
  From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good,
    but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.
  Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
    he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
  The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
    while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
  The righteous hates falsehood,
    but the wicked brings shame and disgrace.
  Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless,
    but sin overthrows the wicked.
  One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
    another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
  The ransom of a man's life is his wealth,
    but a poor man hears no threat.
  The light of the righteous rejoices,
    but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
10   By insolence comes nothing but strife,
    but with those who take advice is wisdom.
11   Wealth gained hastily will dwindle,
    but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
12   Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
13   Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself,
    but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.
14   The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
    that one may turn away from the snares of death.
15   Good sense wins favor,
    but the way of the treacherous is their ruin.
16   Every prudent man acts with knowledge,
    but a fool flaunts his folly.
17   A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
    but a faithful envoy brings healing.
18   Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction,
    but whoever heeds reproof is honored.
19   A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
    but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools.
20   Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
    but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
21   Disaster pursues sinners,
    but the righteous are rewarded with good.
22   A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children,
    but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous.
23   The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food,
    but it is swept away through injustice.
24   Whoever spares the rod hates his son,
    but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
25   The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite,
    but the belly of the wicked suffers want.

(ESV)

Psalm 106 (Listen)

Give Thanks to the Lord, for He Is Good

  Praise the LORD!
  Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever!
  Who can utter the mighty deeds of the LORD,
    or declare all his praise?
  Blessed are they who observe justice,
    who do righteousness at all times!
  Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people;
    help me when you save them,
  that I may look upon the prosperity of your chosen ones,
    that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,
    that I may glory with your inheritance.
  Both we and our fathers have sinned;
    we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.
  Our fathers, when they were in Egypt,
    did not consider your wondrous works;
  they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love,
    but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
  Yet he saved them for his name's sake,
    that he might make known his mighty power.
  He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry,
    and he led them through the deep as through a desert.
10   So he saved them from the hand of the foe
    and redeemed them from the power of the enemy.
11   And the waters covered their adversaries;
    not one of them was left.
12   Then they believed his words;
    they sang his praise.
13   But they soon forgot his works;
    they did not wait for his counsel.
14   But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness,
    and put God to the test in the desert;
15   he gave them what they asked,
    but sent a wasting disease among them.
16   When men in the camp were jealous of Moses
    and Aaron, the holy one of the LORD,
17   the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,
    and covered the company of Abiram.
18   Fire also broke out in their company;
    the flame burned up the wicked.
19   They made a calf in Horeb
    and worshiped a metal image.
20   They exchanged the glory of God
    for the image of an ox that eats grass.
21   They forgot God, their Savior,
    who had done great things in Egypt,
22   wondrous works in the land of Ham,
    and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
23   Therefore he said he would destroy them—
    had not Moses, his chosen one,
  stood in the breach before him,
    to turn away his wrath from destroying them.
24   Then they despised the pleasant land,
    having no faith in his promise.
25   They murmured in their tents,
    and did not obey the voice of the LORD.
26   Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them
    that he would make them fall in the wilderness,
27   and would make their offspring fall among the nations,
    scattering them among the lands.
28   Then they yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor,
    and ate sacrifices offered to the dead;
29   they provoked the LORD to anger with their deeds,
    and a plague broke out among them.
30   Then Phinehas stood up and intervened,
    and the plague was stayed.
31   And that was counted to him as righteousness
    from generation to generation forever.
32   They angered him at the waters of Meribah,
    and it went ill with Moses on their account,
33   for they made his spirit bitter,
    and he spoke rashly with his lips.
34   They did not destroy the peoples,
    as the LORD commanded them,
35   but they mixed with the nations
    and learned to do as they did.
36   They served their idols,
    which became a snare to them.
37   They sacrificed their sons
    and their daughters to the demons;
38   they poured out innocent blood,
    the blood of their sons and daughters,
  whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
    and the land was polluted with blood.
39   Thus they became unclean by their acts,
    and played the whore in their deeds.
40   Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people,
    and he abhorred his heritage;
41   he gave them into the hand of the nations,
    so that those who hated them ruled over them.
42   Their enemies oppressed them,
    and they were brought into subjection under their power.
43   Many times he delivered them,
    but they were rebellious in their purposes
    and were brought low through their iniquity.
44   Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress,
    when he heard their cry.
45   For their sake he remembered his covenant,
    and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
46   He caused them to be pitied
    by all those who held them captive.
47   Save us, O LORD our God,
    and gather us from among the nations,
  that we may give thanks to your holy name
    and glory in your praise.
48   Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting!
  And let all the people say, “Amen!”
    Praise the LORD!

(ESV)