A Blog dedicated to my daughter. As I read the Bible completely in 365 days, I am writing down my notes and thoughts as I study over God's word and how it relates to my life. I hope someday you will read these words, and they will encourage you as you walk with our Father God.
13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
Listen, Lily...God's word is an indispensable weapon! Pray without ceasing! Always live your life for God!
5 1-2 Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.
11-15 Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It’s not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you’re already in—insiders—not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. If it’s an initiation ritual you’re after, you’ve already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.
8-10 Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.
2-4 I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery! I’m telling you this because I don’t want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or “the Secret.”
6-11 Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.
13 1-4 Well, this is my third visit coming up. Remember the Scripture that says, “A matter becomes clear after two or three witnesses give evidence”? On my second visit I warned that bunch that keeps sinning over and over in the same old ways that when I came back I wouldn’t go easy on them. Now, preparing for the third, I’m saying it again from a distance. If you haven’t changed your ways by the time I get there, look out. You who have been demanding proof that Christ speaks through me will get more than you bargained for. You’ll get the full force of Christ, don’t think you won’t. He was sheer weakness and humiliation when he was killed on the cross, but oh, he’s alive now—in the mighty power of God! We weren’t much to look at, either, when we were humiliated among you, but when we deal with you this next time, we’ll be alive in Christ, strengthened by God.
5-9 Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it. I hope the test won’t show that we have failed. But if it comes to that, we’d rather the test showed our failure than yours. We’re rooting for the truth to win out in you. We couldn’t possibly do otherwise. We don’t just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them, and then go on to celebrate every strength, every triumph of the truth in you. We pray hard that it will all come together in your lives. 10 I’m writing this to you now so that when I come I won’t have to say another word on the subject. The authority the Master gave me is for putting people together, not taking them apart. I want to get on with it, and not have to spend time on reprimands.
11-13 And that’s about it, friends. Be cheerful. Keep things in good repair. Keep your spirits up. Think in harmony. Be agreeable. Do all that, and the God of love and peace will be with you for sure. Greet one another with a holy embrace. All the brothers and sisters here say hello.
14 The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.
15-18 I assume I’m addressing believers now who are mature. Draw your own conclusions: When we drink the cup of blessing, aren’t we taking into ourselves the blood, the very life, of Christ? And isn’t it the same with the loaf of bread we break and eat? Don’t we take into ourselves the body, the very life, of Christ? Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness—Christ doesn’t become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in him. We don’t reduce Christ to what we are; he raises us to what he is. That’s basically what happened even in old Israel—those who ate the sacrifices offered on God’s altar entered into God’s action at the altar.
Read these words and think about their meaning: We don't reduce Christ to what we are, He raises us to what He is!
13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.
With God-confidence in your life, you can do anything. I read this passage while Baba was in china on a mission trip. God knew that He had to supply me with His confidence for me to make it without Baba around. We are such a close, tight family--the three of us. So, it definitely affects us when one of us is missing. I am so thankful that God's word is a steady stream of wisdom and love within our lives. I could not ever make it without Him.
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all of the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
God has led me to this passage many times in my life. I absolutely love this one. It think it should be your go to verse...this is the one way we should try to live each day. It is short and simple...but oh, so true! Can it get any easier than that! When I shared this verse with you-- you said, "That is easy, Mama! That is what we always do!" I just love you, Lily Grace Davis!
James 1:5-8If you don't know what you're
doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be
condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second
thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't
think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea,
keeping all your options open.
Okay- Lily, James is one of my all-time favorite books of the Bible. It is also your Baba's favorite, as well. It is chocked full of wisdom that is so easy to understand. So, spend a lot of time reading James over and over again during your life. I will try to highlight some tidbits here and there while we study it this time- but I could never do it justice. There is just too much to tell you about. So, read it over...and over...and over. Promise me...it will impact your Godly life!
34-36Peter fairly exploded with
his good news: "It's God's own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no
favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you're from—if you want
God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open. The Message he sent to the
children of Israel—that through Jesus Christ everything is being put together
again—well, he's doing it everywhere, among everyone.
18-19"If you find the godless world is hating you, remember
it got its start hating me. If you lived on the world's terms, the world would
love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God's terms and no
longer on the world's terms, the world is going to hate you.
It is a simple truth, and you will feel this many times throughout your life when you stick up for God and his ways within your life. Just remember that when you do what He wants- He is so proud of you and His love is way stronger and more powerful than anything this world could ever bring your way.
1-4 "Don't let this throw you. You trust God, don't you?
Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father's home. If that weren't
so, would I have told you that I'm on my way to get a room ready for you? And if
I'm on my way to get your room ready, I'll come back and get you so you can live
where I live. And you already know the road I'm taking."
Nana Claire used to read the passage every night. Her Mom also loved it, and I believe it was a passage that had passed along as a favorite in her family for years. Every time I read it, I am reminded of the how much she loved me and how much she loved you. She knew you were coming, and she longed to be your grandmother. It just wasn't meant for you to meet her here, but she is waiting to meet you someday in Heaven.
11-12"Do you want to stand out?
Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you'll get the wind
knocked out of you. But if you're content to simply be yourself, your life will
count for plenty.
Lily- Always be a servant. Serving God and others in His name is the best way to spend your days on this earth.
6"Finally there was only one left:
a beloved son. In a last-ditch effort, he sent him, thinking, 'Surely they will
respect my son.'
The Message (MSG)
41-44Sitting across from the
offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection.
Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put
in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said,
"The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the
others put together. All the others gave what they'll never miss; she gave
extravagantly what she couldn't afford—she gave her all."
35-36Jesus said, "For a brief time
still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn't
destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don't know where you're going. As you
have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and
shining through your lives. You'll be children of light."
22-25Jesus was matter-of-fact:
"Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you.
This mountain, for instance: Just say, 'Go jump in the lake'—no shuffling or
shilly-shallying—and it's as good as done. That's why I urge you to pray for
absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you
embrace this God-life, and you'll get God's everything. And when you assume the
posture of prayer, remember that it's not all asking. If you have anything
against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also
wipe your slate clean of sins."
18-20Early the next morning Jesus was returning to the
city. He was hungry. Seeing a lone fig tree alongside the road, he approached it
anticipating a breakfast of figs. When he got to the tree, there was nothing but
fig leaves. He said, "No more figs from this tree—ever!" The fig tree withered
on the spot, a dry stick. The disciples saw it happen. They rubbed their eyes,
saying, "Did we really see this? A leafy tree one minute, a dry stick the next?"
21-22But Jesus was matter-of-fact:
"Yes—and if you embrace this kingdom life and don't doubt God, you'll not only
do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles.
This mountain, for instance, you'll tell, 'Go jump in the lake,' and it will
jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part
of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God."
23Then he was back in the Temple, teaching. The high
priests and leaders of the people came up and demanded, "Show us your
credentials. Who authorized you to teach here?"
24-25Jesus responded, "First let
me ask you a question. You answer my question and I'll answer yours. About the
baptism of John—who authorized it: heaven or humans?"
25-27They were on the spot and
knew it. They pulled back into a huddle and whispered, "If we say 'heaven,'
he'll ask us why we didn't believe him; if we say 'humans,' we're up against it
with the people because they all hold John up as a prophet." They decided to
concede that round to Jesus. "We don't know," they answered.
Jesus said, "Then neither will I answer your question.
The Story of Two Sons
28"Tell me what you think of this story: A man had two
sons. He went up to the first and said, 'Son, go out for the day and work in the
29"The son answered, 'I don't want
to.' Later on he thought better of it and went.
30"The father gave the same
command to the second son. He answered, 'Sure, glad to.' But he never went.
31-32"Which of the two sons did
what the father asked?"
They said, "The first."
Jesus said, "Yes, and I tell you that crooks and whores are going to
precede you into God's kingdom. John came to you showing you the right road. You
turned up your noses at him, but the crooks and whores believed him. Even when
you saw their changed lives, you didn't care enough to change and believe him.
The Story of the Greedy Farmhands
33-34"Here's another story. Listen closely.
There was once a man, a wealthy farmer, who planted a vineyard. He fenced it,
dug a winepress, put up a watchtower, then turned it over to the farmhands and
went off on a trip. When it was time to harvest the grapes, he sent his servants
back to collect his profits.
35-37"The farmhands grabbed the
first servant and beat him up. The next one they murdered. They threw stones at
the third but he got away. The owner tried again, sending more servants. They
got the same treatment. The owner was at the end of his rope. He decided to send
his son. 'Surely,' he thought, 'they will respect my son.'
38-39"But when the farmhands saw
the son arrive, they rubbed their hands in greed. 'This is the heir! Let's kill
him and have it all for ourselves.' They grabbed him, threw him out, and killed
40"Now, when the owner of the
vineyard arrives home from his trip, what do you think he will do to the
41"He'll kill them—a rotten bunch,
and good riddance," they answered. "Then he'll assign the vineyard to farmhands
who will hand over the profits when it's time."
42-44Jesus said, "Right—and you
can read it for yourselves in your Bibles:
The stone the masons threw
out is now the cornerstone. This is God's work; we
rub our eyes, we can hardly believe it! "This is the way it is with you.
God's kingdom will be taken back from you and handed over to a people who will
live out a kingdom life. Whoever stumbles on this Stone gets shattered; whoever
the Stone falls on gets smashed."
45-46When the religious leaders
heard this story, they knew it was aimed at them. They wanted to arrest Jesus
and put him in jail, but, intimidated by public opinion, they held back. Most
people held him to be a prophet of God.
You have been asking a lot of questions lately about divorce. You have a lot of friends in your life who have parents who are divorced, so you have really wanted to know what the Bible says about this. We read this just the other day with you. You went on to tell someone else what God says about marriage. You told them that God joined them together and they are no longer two bodies but one. Yes, as usual, you were listening...taking it all in.
The Message (MSG)
4-6He answered, "Haven't you read
in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other,
male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is
firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh—no longer two bodies but one.
Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate
his art by cutting them apart."
14Jesus commented, "This tax man,
not the other, went home made right with God. If you walk around with your nose
in the air, you're going to end up flat on your face, but if you're content to
be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself."
3-5Jesus said, "You're asking the wrong question. You're
looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead
for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me
here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For
as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world's Light."
Lily- always be energetically at work for God. He placed you here for His purpose and His amazing timing! Your place in His mighty plan is BIG!
In 2 Kings, Chapter 5, there is a story about a servant girl who believed that one small act makes a big difference. This servant girl is a slave...a prisoner of war...a servant of Naaman who was a leper, but he was a great warrior. This girl had something that God wants all of us to possess--Compassion. She had compassion for Naaman. She was bold, full of faith, and she stepped out in her faith. She knew that God could do anything! She never listened to Lucifer's lies.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9--it says that you do what you can do and believe that God can do the rest.
2 Corinthians 12:9
The Message (MSG)
7-10Because of the extravagance of
those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a
handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his
best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then
of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and
begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into
its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I
quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of
Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride,
and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse,
accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the
weaker I get, the stronger I become.
2 Kings 5
The Message (MSG)
2 Kings 5
1-3 Naaman was
general of the army under the king of Aram. He was important to his master, who
held him in the highest esteem because it was by him that God had given victory to Aram: a truly
great man, but afflicted with a grievous skin disease. It so happened that Aram,
on one of its raiding expeditions against Israel, captured a young girl who
became a maid to Naaman's wife. One day she said to her mistress, "Oh, if only
my master could meet the prophet of Samaria, he would be healed of his skin
4 Naaman went straight to his
master and reported what the girl from Israel had said.
5 "Well then, go," said the king of
Aram. "And I'll send a letter of introduction to the king of Israel."
So he went off, taking with him about 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of
gold, and ten sets of clothes.
6 Naaman delivered the letter to
the king of Israel. The letter read, "When you get this letter, you'll know that
I've personally sent my servant Naaman to you; heal him of his skin disease."
7 When the king of Israel read the
letter, he was terribly upset, ripping his robe to pieces. He said, "Am I a god
with the power to bring death or life that I get orders to heal this man from
his disease? What's going on here? That king's trying to pick a fight, that's
8 Elisha the man of God heard what
had happened, that the king of Israel was so distressed that he'd ripped his
robe to shreds. He sent word to the king, "Why are you so upset, ripping your
robe like this? Send him to me so he'll learn that there's a prophet in Israel."
9 So Naaman with his horses and
chariots arrived in style and stopped at Elisha's door.
10 Elisha sent out a servant to
meet him with this message: "Go to the River Jordan and immerse yourself seven
times. Your skin will be healed and you'll be as good as new."
11-12 Naaman lost his temper. He
turned on his heel saying, "I thought he'd personally come out and meet me, call
on the name of God, wave his hand
over the diseased spot, and get rid of the disease. The Damascus rivers, Abana
and Pharpar, are cleaner by far than any of the rivers in Israel. Why not bathe
in them? I'd at least get clean." He stomped off, mad as a hornet.
13 But his servants caught up with
him and said, "Father, if the prophet had asked you to do something hard and
heroic, wouldn't you have done it? So why not this simple 'wash and be clean'?"
14 So he did it. He went down and
immersed himself in the Jordan seven times, following the orders of the Holy
Man. His skin was healed; it was like the skin of a little baby. He was as good
15 He then went back to the Holy
Man, he and his entourage, stood before him, and said, "I now know beyond a
shadow of a doubt that there is no God anywhere on earth other than the God of
Israel. In gratitude let me give you a gift."
16 "As God lives," Elisha replied, "the God
whom I serve, I'll take nothing from you." Naaman tried his best to get him to
take something, but he wouldn't do it.
17-18 "If you won't take anything,"
said Naaman, "let me ask you for something: Give me a load of dirt, as much as a
team of donkeys can carry, because I'm never again going to worship any god
other than God. But there's one
thing for which I need God's
pardon: When my master, leaning on my arm, enters the shrine of Rimmon and
worships there, and I'm with him there, worshiping Rimmon, may you see to it
that God forgive me for this."
Naaman was healed on the outside and on the inside- especially in his heart. He wanted that dirt so that he could get on his knees and worship God on the dirt from Israel every day...in his way to be closer to God. Do not ever doubt in the dark what God shows you in the Light, Lily. If you want to be like this little servant girl...always be credible. If you are going to speak for God, then people need to see Jesus in your life every day. Always speak to people's needs and don't ever be afraid of the small stuff. Every miracle isn't going to be huge. There are all kinds of little things that happen every day that you should ask God to help you with.
12Jesus once again addressed them: "I am
the world's Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I
provide plenty of light to live in."
The Message (MSG)
3-5Jesus said, "You're asking the wrong question. You're
looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead
for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me
here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For
as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world's Light."
Yes, every one of God's children really is this important!
The Message (MSG
12-14"Look at it this way. If someone has a hundred sheep
and one of them wanders off, doesn't he leave the ninety-nine and go after the
one? And if he finds it, doesn't he make far more over it than over the
ninety-nine who stay put? Your Father in heaven feels the same way. He doesn't
want to lose even one of these simple believers.
15-17"If a fellow believer hurts
you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you've
made a friend. If he won't listen, take one or two others along so that the
presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won't
listen, tell the church. If he won't listen to the church, you'll have to start
over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again
God's forgiving love.
18-20"Take this most seriously: A
yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to
one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at
all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And
when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll
One of my favorite things about the New Testament is reading what Jesus said in His own words. He is always so honest and straight-forward with His teachings.
The Message (MSG)
8-9"If your hand or your foot gets
in the way of God, chop it off and throw it away. You're better off maimed or
lame and alive than the proud owners of two hands and two feet, godless in a
furnace of eternal fire. And if your eye distracts you from God, pull it out and
throw it away. You're better off one-eyed and alive than exercising your
twenty-twenty vision from inside the fire of hell.
10"Watch that you don't treat a
single one of these childlike believers arrogantly. You realize, don't you, that
their personal angels are constantly in touch with my Father in heaven?
It is hard to be successful when your parents don't believe in you. David lived a life such as this where no one believed in him...but God. When God sent Samuel to find the person to fight Goliath, his parents didn't even think he was important enough to call in from the fields. When Samuel told his parents that none of his other brothers were the chosen one for this- they didn't even think of David. They finally said that they couldn't imagine he could be searching for David. But, as soon as Samuel saw him- he was assured that David was the one. When David saw Goliath, he was nine feet and six inches tall...and David said, "Hmm...wonder what the person who kills him might get?" His brothers asked him what he was doing...they didn't believe in him either. They had no idea he was a man on a mission from God. Even King Saul said that there was no way he could fight Goliath. Every person loaded David down with limitations. No one believed in David. There was no one there to urge him on... to encourage him...But God.
Pastor Chris taught this lesson today at church. He said that the people not doing anything for God are always there to tell you that can't do anything either. You are only as strong as what it takes to stop you! Only God was for David! The only limits that you have are the ones you allow. Don't try to be someone else. When you loose your limitations, you help others do the same...the devil wrote the book that said it can't be done...so just tell those people that are limiting you to get out of the way so you can get busy. Be brave! Charge Hell with a water pistol! God will always have your back!"
When God is for you- then who could possibly be against you!
38"If any of you are embarrassed
over me and the way I'm leading you when you get around your fickle and
unfocused friends, know that you'll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son
of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of
the holy angels."
10-11He then called the crowd
together and said, "Listen, and take this to heart. It's not what you swallow
that pollutes your life, but what you vomit up."
The Message (MSG)
20-23He went on: "It's what comes
out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries,
greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance,
foolishness—all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your
30-31They waffled: "Why don't you
give us a clue about who you are, just a hint of what's going on? When we see
what's up, we'll commit ourselves. Show us what you can do. Moses fed our
ancestors with bread in the desert. It says so in the Scriptures: 'He gave them
bread from heaven to eat.'"
The Message (MSG)
35-38Jesus said, "I am the Bread
of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more,
ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in
action, you don't really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually
comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don't let
go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will
of the One who sent me.
46-48They started arguing over
which of them would be most famous. When Jesus realized how much this mattered
to them, he brought a child to his side. "Whoever accepts this child as if the
child were me, accepts me," he said. "And whoever accepts me, accepts the One
who sent me. You become great by accepting, not asserting. Your spirit, not your
size, makes the difference."
23-27Then he told them what they
could expect for themselves: "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me
lead. You're not in the driver's seat—I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace
it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice
is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do
to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? If any of you is
embarrassed with me and the way I'm leading you, know that the Son of Man will
be far more embarrassed with you when he arrives in all his splendor in company
with the Father and the holy angels. This isn't, you realize, pie in the sky by
and by. Some who have taken their stand right here are going to see it happen,
see with their own eyes the kingdom of God."
21-23"When people realize it is
the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good,
they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family. There is a great
irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don't quit.
Don't cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are
after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before you've run out of
options, the Son of Man will have arrived.
The Message (MSG)
34-37"Don't think I've come to
make life cozy. I've come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father,
daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic
arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst
enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don't deserve me. If you
prefer son or daughter over me, you don't deserve me.
The Message (MSG)
38-39"If you don't go all the way
with me, through thick and thin, you don't deserve me. If your first concern is
to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about
yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me.
16-18"No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a
washtub or shoves it under the bed. No, you set it up on a lamp stand so those
who enter the room can see their way. We're not keeping secrets; we're telling
them. We're not hiding things; we're bringing everything out into the open. So
be careful that you don't become misers of what you hear. Generosity begets
generosity. Stinginess impoverishes."
10-12 One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of
worship, beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches. I'd
rather scrub floors in the house of my God than be honored as a guest
in the palace of sin. All sunshine and sovereign is God, generous in gifts and
glory. He doesn't scrimp with his traveling companions. It's
smooth sailing all the way with God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
7 But God told Samuel, "Looks aren't
everything. Don't be impressed with his looks and stature. I've already
eliminated him. God judges persons
differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart."
1 One day he was praying in a certain place. When he
finished, one of his disciples said, "Master, teach us to pray just as John
taught his disciples." 2-4So he said,
"When you pray, say,
Father, Reveal who you are. Set
the world right. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us
forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and
The Message (MSG)
9"Here's what I'm saying:
Ask and you'll get; Seek and you'll find; Knock and the
door will open.
You can see the prayer is mentioned again as the guidelines for us when we pray, but the next part is something that I want you to remember. Always ask God for whatever you want, then be ready to listen to what He has to say. You have to accept His answer for your prayers, but He will always want to give you more than any of us ever deserve.
I pray that you don't experience these tired days in your life, but unfortunately once you get to be my age...you may feel tired and worn out every once in awhile. During those days, I love reading these words that Jesus spoke...
The Message (MSG)
28-30"Are you tired? Worn out?
Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your
life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch
how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or
ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and
I was taught by my Mom that you speak from your heart when you are talking to God. Your prayer should be like a conversation with Him. We never told you to memorize the prayer from the Bible that so many children recite before their meals. The reason why is because we believe that it just becomes words that are said without it being truly thought about. You have beautiful prayers that you say already, and I love to listen to you talk to God. But, as you get older, you should study this passage from the Bible. This is the prayer that so many recite, but it is written in a different version of the Bible. I love this version, and studying what Jesus said here should help you so that God can truly reveal Himself to you.
The Message (MSG)
Pray with Simplicity
5"And when you come before God, don't turn that into a
theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of
their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?
6"Here's what I want you to do:
Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God.
Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift
from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
7-13"The world is full of so-called
prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They're full of formulas and programs
and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don't fall
for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better
than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very
simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are.
Set the world right; Do what's best— as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you
and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge! You can do anything you want! You're
ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.
14-15"In prayer there is a
connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from
God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part,
you cut yourself off from God's part.
16-18"When you practice some
appetite-denying discipline to better concentrate on God, don't make a
production out of it. It might turn you into a small-time celebrity but it won't
make you a saint. If you 'go into training' inwardly, act normal outwardly.
Shampoo and comb your hair, brush your teeth, wash your face. God doesn't
require attention-getting devices. He won't overlook what you are doing; he'll
reward you well.
36-39One of the Pharisees asked him over for a meal. He
went to the Pharisee's house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman
of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the
home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at
his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried
his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who
had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man was the prophet I
thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling
all over him."
40Jesus said to him, "Simon, I
have something to tell you."
"Oh? Tell me."
41-42"Two men were in debt to a
banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them
could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be
43-47Simon answered, "I suppose
the one who was forgiven the most."
"That's right," said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to
Simon, he said, "Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no
water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair.
You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn't quit kissing my
feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with
perfume. Impressive, isn't it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is
very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal."
48Then he spoke to her: "I forgive
49That set the dinner guests
talking behind his back: "Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!"
50He ignored them and said to the
woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."
During this Bible study, I have realized that these four books of the Bible are truly amazing. They are full of meaning, and they are filled with Jesus's actual words on how we should live our lives. Spend time studying these books and taking in what Jesus said. I have learned so much already, and I have only just started on my journey through these in-depth journeys of Jesus's time here on this earth.
Matthew 9:38 from The Message
When [Jesus] looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. "What a huge harvest!" he said to his disciples. "How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!" (Lily, I am praying that you will be one of Jesus's harvest hands to reach lost people.)
Today at church, Pastor Chris preached about passing the baton to the next generation...which is YOU, Lily. Here are the things we have to do as parents: 1) Make room for you which means allow you to learn and be a major part of our lives, 2) Pour into you everything we know about the Bible and God, 3)Make you feel loved and wanted at all times, 4) Always build up our family ministry at church and within our family, 5) as part of the church we have to remain outside the box, 6) Keep our music edgy and full of meaning, and 7)Teach you how to think in the Spirit.
Your job, is also very important... You must 1)Give honor and respect to the generation before you, 2) Be patient, and 3)Be ready to learn. Your walk with God is the most important thing in your life!
As a Christian in this world, always remember that people go where they are celebrated...not tolerated. It is your job to shine your God-light everywhere you go into every person you meet! Your light is one of your many God-given-gifts, Lily!
Your Baba and I love Christian music...it is our heartbeat of worship. Throughout your young life, you have already been to many concerts. It is something we long to share with you...and a gift we want to give you, as well. I am not sure what we would do without worship music. It gives us the opportunity to worship God all of the time telling Him how much we love Him. So, I will also include some music lyrics during this Bible study that have an influence on our lives...our family...and you. This TobyMac song recently came out, and it is so simple. The message is easy to understand, but the power behind these words is HUGE. I don't know where we would be without Jesus and God in our lives. His love is everlasting, true, and always there for us.
Raindrops rolling off my brim Street lights got the pavement glistening Touchdown, I fall into Your arms Right where I
belong, Your everlasting arms And where would I be without You
I’d be packing my bags when I need to stay I’d
be chasing every breeze that blows my
way I’d be building my kingdom just to watch it fade a-way It’s true That’s me without You-ou-ou-ou-ou-ou That’s
me without You-ou-ou-ou-ou-ou That’s
me without You-ou-ou-ou-ou-ou Don’t know where I’d
be without You
Flashback, step into the scene There’s You and there’s a very different
me Touchdown, You had me at believe You had me
at believe, You did And where would I be without You, without You
You rescued me Now You are mine, and I am Yours You rescued me And I
am Yours forever You saved me, remade me Where would I be
That’s me without You Don’t know where I’d be
without You Songwriter : TobyMac
I started to go through this passage and just pull out certain parts to share with you, but this passage really touched my life. It is full of such words of wisdom that I couldn't bare to not share them all. I did have an especially favorite part- verse 17-23. It talks about realizing when you are blessed. So, read this carefully- over and over again. It is completely wonderful. Nothing like reading for yourself the exact words of Jesus spoken to the people when he walked the face of the earth.
The Message (MSG)
In Charge of the Sabbath
1-2 On a certain Sabbath Jesus was walking through a field
of ripe grain. His disciples were pulling off heads of grain, rubbing them in
their hands to get rid of the chaff, and eating them. Some Pharisees said, "Why
are you doing that, breaking a Sabbath rule?"
3-4But Jesus stood up for them.
"Have you never read what David and those with him did when they were hungry?
How he entered the sanctuary and ate fresh bread off the altar, bread that no
one but priests were allowed to eat? He also handed it out to his companions."
5Then he said, "The Son of Man is
no slave to the Sabbath; he's in charge."
6-8On another Sabbath he went to
the meeting place and taught. There was a man there with a crippled right hand.
The religion scholars and Pharisees had their eye on Jesus to see if he would
heal the man, hoping to catch him in a Sabbath infraction. He knew what they
were up to and spoke to the man with the crippled hand: "Get up and stand here
before us." He did.
9Then Jesus addressed them, "Let
me ask you something: What kind of action suits the Sabbath best? Doing good or
doing evil? Helping people or leaving them helpless?"
10-11He looked around, looked each
one in the eye. He said to the man, "Hold out your hand." He held it out—it was
as good as new! They were beside themselves with anger, and started plotting how
they might get even with him.
The Twelve Apostles
12-16At about that same time he climbed a mountain to pray.
He was there all night in prayer before God. The next day he summoned his
disciples; from them he selected twelve he designated as apostles:
Simon, whom he named Peter, Andrew, his brother, James,
John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas,
James, son of Alphaeus, Simon, called the Zealot, Judas,
son of James, Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
17-21Coming down off the mountain with them, he stood on a
plain surrounded by disciples, and was soon joined by a huge congregation from
all over Judea and Jerusalem, even from the seaside towns of Tyre and Sidon.
They had come both to hear him and to be cured of their ailments. Those
disturbed by evil spirits were healed. Everyone was trying to touch him—so much
energy surging from him, so many people healed! Then he spoke:
blessed when you've lost it all. God's kingdom is there for the finding.
You're blessed when you're ravenously hungry. Then you're ready
for the Messianic meal.
You're blessed when the tears flow freely.
Joy comes with the morning.
22-23"Count yourself blessed every
time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or
blackens your name to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close
for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable. You can be glad when that
happens—skip like a lamb, if you like!—for even though they don't like it, I do
. . . and all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company; my
preachers and witnesses have always been treated like this.
Give Away Your Life
24But it's trouble ahead if you think you have it made.
What you have is all you'll ever get.
25And it's trouble ahead if you're
satisfied with yourself. Your selfwill not satisfy you for
And it's trouble ahead if you think life's all fun and games.
There's suffering to be met, and you're going to meet it.
26"There's trouble ahead when you
live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what
indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many
scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true,
27-30"To you who are ready for the
truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not
the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of
prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take
it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of
it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the
servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.
31-34"Here is a simple rule of
thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab
the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a
pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who
help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only
give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that's charity? The
stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.
35-36"I tell you, love your
enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never—I promise—regret
it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us,
generously and graciously, even when we're at our worst. Our Father is kind; you
37-38"Don't pick on people, jump
on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same
treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be
easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find
life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing.
Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."
39-40He quoted a proverb: "'Can a
blind man guide a blind man?' Wouldn't they both end up in the ditch? An
apprentice doesn't lecture the master. The point is to be careful who you follow
as your teacher.
41-42"It's easy to see a smudge on
your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have
the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is
distorted by contempt? It's this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing
a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly
sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your
43-45"You don't get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor
good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the
tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It's who you are, not what
you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and
46-47"Why are you so polite with
me, always saying 'Yes, sir,' and 'That's right, sir,' but never doing a thing I
tell you? These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life,
homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words,
words to build a life on.
48-49"If you work the words into
your life, you are like a smart carpenter who dug deep and laid the foundation
of his house on bedrock. When the river burst its banks and crashed against the
house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last. But if you just use my
words in Bible studies and don't work them into your life, you are like a dumb
carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river
came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss."
31-32Jesus heard about it and
spoke up, "Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I'm here inviting
outsiders, not insiders—an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and
Reading the Bible yourself will change your life...from the inside and out. To read His words and know that He was speaking to the people back then and speaking into your life now...is truly amazing. God is so great...and so good....and so awesome. Don't just read my words, but truly study the Bible on your own. Take the time to read it and it will transform your life...the way you live it and the way you use your God-given gifts. I know He has given you many gifts Lily. You are an amazing young lady, and I am so proud that God gave me the gift of being your Mama. So, use your gifts to reach Outsiders for God.
1-3 Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for
the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting
forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme
hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: "Since you are
God's Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread."
4Jesus answered by quoting
Deuteronomy: "It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream
of words from God's mouth."
5-6For the second test the Devil
took him to the Holy City. He sat him on top of the Temple and said, "Since you
are God's Son, jump." The Devil goaded him by quoting Psalm 91: "He has placed
you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won't so much as stub
your toe on a stone."
7Jesus countered with another
citation from Deuteronomy: "Don't you dare test the Lord your God."
8-9For the third test, the Devil
took him to the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out
all the earth's kingdoms, how glorious they all were. Then he said, "They're
yours—lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and
10Jesus' refusal was curt: "Beat
it, Satan!" He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy:
"Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute
11The Test was over. The Devil
left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus' needs.
Remember what Jesus did and said when the devil tested him. It will help you when you go through trials. Use Him as your strength.
16-17But John intervened: "I'm
baptizing you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I'm a
mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within
you, changing you from the inside out. He's going to clean house—make a clean
sweep of your lives. He'll place everything true in its proper place before God;
everything false he'll put out with the trash to be burned."
Being baptized is so important because the Holy Spirit will change you from the inside out! One of Baba's favorite songs is a song about lighting the Holy fire within you. Baptism will ignite that fire. Then, you must remember the excitement of being brand-new in Christ---and it will guide your fire within yourself to serve God all of your days on this earth.
1-2"'That's when Michael, the great
angel-prince, champion of your people, will step in. It will be a time of
trouble, the worst trouble the world has ever seen. But your people will be
saved from the trouble, every last one found written in the Book. Many who have
been long dead and buried will wake up, some to eternal life, others to eternal
We all have so many questions about what happens when we die and what happens when God comes back. While we were reading, I gained some insight from Daniel through this passage. I suppose you can read it and interpret it in different ways. But, the one constant is that once your name is written in the Book, then you will have eternal life with Jesus. That is all that truly matters....living here for Him....dying for Him....and eternally living to praise Him all of your days.
34-35 "At the end of the seven
years, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked to heaven. I was given my mind back and I
blessed the High God, thanking and glorifying God, who lives forever:
"His sovereign rule lasts and lasts, his kingdom never declines and
falls. Life on this earth doesn't add up to much, but God's heavenly
army keeps everything going. No one can interrupt his work, no one can
call his rule into question.
I am reminded daily that God's work is the most important thing taking place in our lives. Recently your Baba went on a trip with the Kids' Team to church camp. We really missed him while he was gone since we are not used to spending nights away from each other. We are always together as a family. Yet, I am so filled with blessings from our Heavenly Father when I realized that His work was sending Baba to that church camp. Serving God, in whatever capacity He calls us for, is the most important work that we can do here. I pray that you will always serve Him with your whole heart every day of your life.
This is going to sound bad, but it is so true! Please don't do any missionary dating. I actually pray that you won't date without us right by your side anyway- you are so special and important. I certainly want you to save every part of yourself for that one special man that God chooses for you. Don't ever believe that God will not guide you specifically to your mate. I know that God led me straight to your Baba. So, just keep in mind that whoever you date will probably eventually become your mate! Don't date lost people! Just stick with those guys who are living their lives for God. They will treat you the way you should be treated, and they will love you the way that God loves the church. You will be treated like the Princess you are! Find someone who treats you the way you have seen your Baba treat me all these years!
At church today, our pastor talked about the devastation of being Dad-lessness. He talked about Jacob and Esau, along with their problems. You know Esau was Isaac's favorite, and Jacob tricked his father into giving him Esau's blessing. So, he mentioned three important things about all of us. 1) A blessing is desired by all of us. 2) When the blessing is not received, it may become despised. 3) Then the blessing is dispensed.
You will never know what it is like to have a bad father in your life because you have an amazing father who shows his love for you everyday and who constantly tells you how much he loves you. But, everyone does not live that way. I just want you to always know that the enemy knows we desire those blessings, and sometimes when we do not get the blessing we want- we go the opposite direction. We can receive all of our blessings through Jesus- He dispenses them all to us.
Just remember that God is a fountain of favor! You are very blessed because you have a Heavenly Father who adores you and an earthly Father who feels the same way!
One more thing, friends: Pray for us. Pray that the Master's Word will simply take off and race through the country to a ground-swell of response, just as it did among you. And pray that we'll be rescued from these scoundrels who are trying to do us in. I am finding that not all "believers" are believers. But, the Master never lets us down. He'll stick by you and protect you from evil.
"If you watch your step on the Sabbath and don't use my holy day for personal advantage, if you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy, God's holy day as a celebration, If you honor it by refusing "business as usual," making money, running here and there----then you'll be free to enjoy God! Oh, I'll make you ride high and soar above it all. I'll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob." Yes! God says so!
If you want to live well, make sure you understand all of this. If you know what is good for you, you'll learn this inside and out. God's paths get you where you want to go. Right-living people walk them easily; wrong living people are always tripping and stumbling.
15 Huram cast two bronze pillars, each 27 feet tall and 18
feet in circumference.16 For the tops of the pillars
he cast bronze capitals, each 7 1⁄2 feet tall.17 Each capital was decorated with seven sets of
latticework and interwoven chains.18 He also encircled the
latticework with two rows of pomegranates to decorate the capitals over the
pillars.19 The capitals on the columns inside the entry room were
shaped like water lilies, and they were six feet tall.20 The capitals on the two pillars had 200 pomegranates in
two rows around them, beside the rounded surface next to the latticework.21 Huram
set the pillars at the entrance of the Temple, one toward the south and one
toward the north. He named the one on the south Jakin, and the one on the north
Boaz.22 The capitals on the pillars
were shaped like water lilies. And so the work on the pillars was
James 5: 19-20-
My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God's truth, don't write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God.
Believers depend on each other. Sacrifice, give, and serve. Jesus loves the church. Commit to the church. Fall in love with the church and Jesus. Stand up for the church and Jesus.
You have the power to make positive changes in the world. Grow a spiritual spine!
Speak the truth in love...
Unity in the Body
4 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you
to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.2 Always be
humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s
faults because of your love.3 Make every effort to keep
yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.4 For there
is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope
for the future.5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,6 and one God and
Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.
7 However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ.8 That is why the Scriptures say,
“When he ascended to the
heights, he led a crowd of
captives and gave gifts to
9 Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means
that Christ also descended to our lowly world.[c]10 And the same one who
descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might
fill the entire universe with himself.
these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the
evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.12 Their responsibility is to
equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of
Christ.13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in
our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord,
measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then
we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about
by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to
trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.15 Instead, we
will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ,
who is the head of his body, the church.16 He makes the whole body fit
together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other
parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of
Living as Children of
17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as
the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused.18 Their minds are full of
darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their
minds and hardened their hearts against him.19 They have no sense of shame.
They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of
that isn’t what you learned about Christ.21 Since you have heard about
Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him,22 throw off
your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust
and deception.23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and
attitudes.24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly
righteous and holy. 25 So
stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of
the same body.26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,27 for anger
gives a foothold to the devil. 28 If
you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and
then give generously to others in need.29 Don’t use foul or abusive
language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be
an encouragement to those who hear them. 30 And
do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has
identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get
rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all
types of evil behavior.32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving
one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Imitate those who are faithful...
New Living Translation (NLT)
13 Keep on loving each other as brothers and
sisters.2 Don’t forget to show
hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels
without realizing it!3 Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself.
Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own
honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will
surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. 5 Don’t
love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,
“I will never fail
you. I will never abandon you.”
6 So we can say with
“The Lord is my
helper, so I will have no
fear. What can mere
people do to me?”
7 Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God.
Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of
Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.9 So do not be attracted by
strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about
food, which don’t help those who follow them. 10 We
have an altar from which the priests in the Tabernacle have no right to eat.11 Under the old system, the high priest brought the blood
of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, and the bodies of the
animals were burned outside the camp.12 So also Jesus suffered and
died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own
blood.13 So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the
disgrace he bore.14 For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking
forward to a home yet to come. 15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual
sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.16 And don’t
forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that
please God. 17 Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their
work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them
reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for
your benefit. 18 Pray for us, for our conscience is clear and we want to
live honorably in everything we do.19 And especially pray that I
will be able to come back to you soon.
20 Now may the God of peace— who brought up from the dead our Lord
Jesus, the great Shepherd of the
sheep, and ratified an
eternal covenant with his blood— 21 may he equip you with all
you need for doing his
will. May he produce in you, through the power
of Jesus Christ, every good thing
that is pleasing to him. All glory to him
forever and ever! Amen.
22 I urge you, dear brothers and sisters, to pay attention to what I have written in this brief exhortation.
want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released from jail. If he
comes here soon, I will bring him with me to see you. 24 Greet all your leaders and all the believers there. The believers from Italy send you their greetings. 25 May
God’s grace be with you all.