1 Timothy 1 (Listen)

Greeting

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

To Timothy, my true child in the faith:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Warning Against False Teachers

As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

Christ Jesus Came to Save Sinners

12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

(ESV)

Ezekiel 31 (Listen)

Pharaoh to Be Slain

In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his multitude:

  “Whom are you like in your greatness?
    Behold, Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon,
  with beautiful branches and forest shade,
    and of towering height,
    its top among the clouds.
  The waters nourished it;
    the deep made it grow tall,
  making its rivers flow
    around the place of its planting,
  sending forth its streams
    to all the trees of the field.
  So it towered high
    above all the trees of the field;
  its boughs grew large
    and its branches long
    from abundant water in its shoots.
  All the birds of the heavens
    made their nests in its boughs;
  under its branches all the beasts of the field
    gave birth to their young,
  and under its shadow
    lived all great nations.
  It was beautiful in its greatness,
    in the length of its branches;
  for its roots went down
    to abundant waters.
  The cedars in the garden of God could not rival it,
    nor the fir trees equal its boughs;
  neither were the plane trees
    like its branches;
  no tree in the garden of God
    was its equal in beauty.
  I made it beautiful
    in the mass of its branches,
  and all the trees of Eden envied it,
    that were in the garden of God.

10 “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because it towered high and set its top among the clouds, and its heart was proud of its height, 11 I will give it into the hand of a mighty one of the nations. He shall surely deal with it as its wickedness deserves. I have cast it out. 12 Foreigners, the most ruthless of nations, have cut it down and left it. On the mountains and in all the valleys its branches have fallen, and its boughs have been broken in all the ravines of the land, and all the peoples of the earth have gone away from its shadow and left it. 13 On its fallen trunk dwell all the birds of the heavens, and on its branches are all the beasts of the field. 14 All this is in order that no trees by the waters may grow to towering height or set their tops among the clouds, and that no trees that drink water may reach up to them in height. For they are all given over to death, to the world below, among the children of man, with those who go down to the pit.

15 “Thus says the Lord GOD: On the day the cedar went down to Sheol I caused mourning; I closed the deep over it, and restrained its rivers, and many waters were stopped. I clothed Lebanon in gloom for it, and all the trees of the field fainted because of it. 16 I made the nations quake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to Sheol with those who go down to the pit. And all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the world below. 17 They also went down to Sheol with it, to those who are slain by the sword; yes, those who were its arm, who lived under its shadow among the nations.

18 “Whom are you thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? You shall be brought down with the trees of Eden to the world below. You shall lie among the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword.

“This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, declares the Lord GOD.”

(ESV)

Proverbs 8 (Listen)

The Blessings of Wisdom

  Does not wisdom call?
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
  On the heights beside the way,
    at the crossroads she takes her stand;
  beside the gates in front of the town,
    at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
  “To you, O men, I call,
    and my cry is to the children of man.
  O simple ones, learn prudence;
    O fools, learn sense.
  Hear, for I will speak noble things,
    and from my lips will come what is right,
  for my mouth will utter truth;
    wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
  All the words of my mouth are righteous;
    there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
  They are all straight to him who understands,
    and right to those who find knowledge.
10   Take my instruction instead of silver,
    and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11   for wisdom is better than jewels,
    and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12   “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
    and I find knowledge and discretion.
13   The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.
  Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
    and perverted speech I hate.
14   I have counsel and sound wisdom;
    I have insight; I have strength.
15   By me kings reign,
    and rulers decree what is just;
16   by me princes rule,
    and nobles, all who govern justly.
17   I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me diligently find me.
18   Riches and honor are with me,
    enduring wealth and righteousness.
19   My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
    and my yield than choice silver.
20   I walk in the way of righteousness,
    in the paths of justice,
21   granting an inheritance to those who love me,
    and filling their treasuries.
22   “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work,
    the first of his acts of old.
23   Ages ago I was set up,
    at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24   When there were no depths I was brought forth,
    when there were no springs abounding with water.
25   Before the mountains had been shaped,
    before the hills, I was brought forth,
26   before he had made the earth with its fields,
    or the first of the dust of the world.
27   When he established the heavens, I was there;
    when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28   when he made firm the skies above,
    when he established the fountains of the deep,
29   when he assigned to the sea its limit,
    so that the waters might not transgress his command,
  when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30     then I was beside him, like a master workman,
  and I was daily his delight,
    rejoicing before him always,
31   rejoicing in his inhabited world
    and delighting in the children of man.
32   “And now, O sons, listen to me:
    blessed are those who keep my ways.
33   Hear instruction and be wise,
    and do not neglect it.
34   Blessed is the one who listens to me,
    watching daily at my gates,
    waiting beside my doors.
35   For whoever finds me finds life
    and obtains favor from the LORD,
36   but he who fails to find me injures himself;
    all who hate me love death.”

(ESV)

Psalm 131 (Listen)

I Have Calmed and Quieted My Soul

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

  O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
    my eyes are not raised too high;
  I do not occupy myself with things
    too great and too marvelous for me.
  But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
    like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child is my soul within me.
  O Israel, hope in the LORD
    from this time forth and forevermore.

(ESV)