Revelation 2 (Listen)

To the Church in Ephesus

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

To the Church in Smyrna

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.

“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’

To the Church in Pergamum

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.

13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

To the Church in Thyatira

18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

19 “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. 25 Only hold fast what you have until I come. 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

(ESV)

Zephaniah 3 (Listen)

Judgment on Jerusalem and the Nations

  Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled,
    the oppressing city!
  She listens to no voice;
    she accepts no correction.
  She does not trust in the LORD;
    she does not draw near to her God.
  Her officials within her
    are roaring lions;
  her judges are evening wolves
    that leave nothing till the morning.
  Her prophets are fickle, treacherous men;
  her priests profane what is holy;
    they do violence to the law.
  The LORD within her is righteous;
    he does no injustice;
  every morning he shows forth his justice;
    each dawn he does not fail;
    but the unjust knows no shame.
  “I have cut off nations;
    their battlements are in ruins;
  I have laid waste their streets
    so that no one walks in them;
  their cities have been made desolate,
    without a man, without an inhabitant.
  I said, ‘Surely you will fear me;
    you will accept correction.
  Then your dwelling would not be cut off
    according to all that I have appointed against you.’
  But all the more they were eager
    to make all their deeds corrupt.
  “Therefore wait for me,” declares the LORD,
    “for the day when I rise up to seize the prey.
  For my decision is to gather nations,
    to assemble kingdoms,
  to pour out upon them my indignation,
    all my burning anger;
  for in the fire of my jealousy
    all the earth shall be consumed.

The Conversion of the Nations

  “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples
    to a pure speech,
  that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD
    and serve him with one accord.
10   From beyond the rivers of Cush
    my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones,
    shall bring my offering.
11   “On that day you shall not be put to shame
    because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me;
  for then I will remove from your midst
    your proudly exultant ones,
  and you shall no longer be haughty
    in my holy mountain.
12   But I will leave in your midst
    a people humble and lowly.
  They shall seek refuge in the name of the LORD,
13     those who are left in Israel;
  they shall do no injustice
    and speak no lies,
  nor shall there be found in their mouth
    a deceitful tongue.
  For they shall graze and lie down,
    and none shall make them afraid.”

Israel's Joy and Restoration

14   Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
    shout, O Israel!
  Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
    O daughter of Jerusalem!
15   The LORD has taken away the judgments against you;
    he has cleared away your enemies.
  The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
    you shall never again fear evil.
16   On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
  “Fear not, O Zion;
    let not your hands grow weak.
17   The LORD your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
  he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
  he will exult over you with loud singing.
18   I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
    so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
19   Behold, at that time I will deal
    with all your oppressors.
  And I will save the lame
    and gather the outcast,
  and I will change their shame into praise
    and renown in all the earth.
20   At that time I will bring you in,
    at the time when I gather you together;
  for I will make you renowned and praised
    among all the peoples of the earth,
  when I restore your fortunes
    before your eyes,” says the LORD.

(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 12 (Listen)

The Faithful Have Vanished

To the choirmaster: according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David.

  Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone;
    for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.
  Everyone utters lies to his neighbor;
    with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
  May the LORD cut off all flattering lips,
    the tongue that makes great boasts,
  those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail,
    our lips are with us; who is master over us?”
  “Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
    I will now arise,” says the LORD;
    “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”
  The words of the LORD are pure words,
    like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
    purified seven times.
  You, O LORD, will keep them;
    you will guard us from this generation forever.
  On every side the wicked prowl,
    as vileness is exalted among the children of man.

(ESV)