Monthly Archives: December 2012

Everlasting Friendship With God

Friendship With God

Psalm 147:1-14

1Praise the Lord.a
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!

2The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the exiles of Israel.

3He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.

4He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.

5Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.

6The Lord sustains the humble
but casts the wicked to the ground.

7Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make music to our God on the harp.

8He covers the sky with clouds;
he supplies the earth with rain
and makes grass grow on the hills.

9He provides food for the cattle
and for the young ravens when they call.

10His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of a man;
11the Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.

12Extol the Lord, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion,
13for he strengthens the bars of your gates
and blesses your people within you.

14He grants peace to your borders
and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.

 

Proverbs 18:24

18Casting the lot settles disputes
and keeps strong opponents apart.

19An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city,
and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.

20From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled;
with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied.

21The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.

22He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the Lord.

23A poor man pleads for mercy,
but a rich man answers harshly.

24A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

 

Psalms 139:13-18

13For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14I praise you because I am fearfully and
wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!

18Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.

When I awake, I am still with you.

 

John 15:13-14

13Greater love has no one than this, that he
lay down his life for his friends. 14You are
my friends if you do what I command. 15I no
longer call you servants, because a servant
does not know his master’s business. Instead,
I have called you friends, for everything that
I learned from my Father I have made known to
you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit
that will last. Then the Father will give you
whatever you ask in my name.

17This is my command: Love each other.
Matthew 10:32-33

32“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also
acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33But
whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him
before my Father in heaven.
Hebrews 9:24-26

24For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary
that was only a copy of the true one; he entered
heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.
25Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and
again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy
Place every year with blood that is not his own.
26Then Christ would have had to suffer many times
since the creation of the world. But now he has
appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do
away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Psalms 25:14

aA psalm of David.

1O Lord, I give my life to you.
2I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.

3No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

4Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow.

5Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.

All day long I put my hope in you.

6Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
which you have shown from long ages past.

7Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.

Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
for you are merciful, O Lord.

8The Lord is good and does what is right;
he shows the proper path to those who go astray.

9He leads the humble in doing right,
teaching them his way.

10The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

11For the honor of your name, O Lord,
forgive my many, many sins.

12Who are those who fear the Lord?

He will show them the path they should choose.

13They will live in prosperity,
and their children will inherit the land.

14The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.

He teaches them his covenant.

15My eyes are always on the Lord,
for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

16Turn to me and have mercy,
for I am alone and in deep distress.

17My problems go from bad to worse.
Oh, save me from them all!

18Feel my pain and see my trouble.
Forgive all my sins.

19See how many enemies I have
and how viciously they hate me!

20Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.

21May integrity and honesty protect me,
for I put my hope in you.

22O God, ransom Israel
from all its troubles.
Acts 17:28-30

28For in him we live and move and exist.
As some of yourg own poets have said,
‘We are his offspring.’ 29And since this
is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an
idol designed by craftsmen from gold or
silver or stone.

30“God overlooked people’s ignorance about
these things in earlier times, but now he
commands everyone everywhere to repent of
their sins and turn to him. 31For he has
set a day for judging the world with justice
by the man he has appointed, and he proved
to everyone who this is by raising him from
the dead.”
Job 16:20-22

20My friends scorn me,
but I pour out my tears to God.

21I need someone to mediate between God and me,
as a person mediates between friends.

22For soon I must go down that road
from which I will never return.

 

Hebrews 13:5-6
5Don’t love money; be satisfied with
what you have. For God has said,

“I will never fail you.

I will never abandon you.”

6So we can say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper,
so I will have no fear.

What can mere people do to me?”

7Remember 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 their faith.

8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday,
today, and forever. 9So 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.

10We have an altar from which the priests
in the Tabernacled have no right to eat.

11Under 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.
12So also Jesus suffered and died outside
the city gates to make his people holy by means
of his own blood. 13So let us go out to him,
outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he
bore. 14For this world is not our permanent
home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

15Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a
continual sacrifice of praise to God,
proclaiming our allegiance to his name.
16And don’t forget to do good and to share
with those in need. These are the sacrifices
that please God.

17Obey 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.

18Pray for us, for our conscience is clear and we
want to live honorably in everything we do.
19And especially pray that I will be able to
come back to you soon.

20Now 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—

21may he equip you with all you need
for doing his will.

May he produce in you,e
through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to him.

All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.

22I urge you, dear brothers and sisters,
to pay attention to what I have written in this
brief exhortation.

23I 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.

24Greet all your leaders and all the believers there.
The believers from Italy send you their greetings.

25May God’s grace be with you all.

 

Romans 5:11

Peace and Joy

1Therefore, since we have been justified
through faith, wea have peace with God through
our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have
gained access by faith into this grace in which
we now stand.

And web rejoice in the hope of the glory of
God. 3Not only so, but wec also rejoice in
our sufferings, because we know that suffering
produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character;
and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint
us, because God has poured out his love into our
hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

6You see, at just the right time, when we were
still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous
man, though for a good man someone might possibly
dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love
for us in this: While we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.

9Since we have now been justified by his blood,
how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath
through him! 10For if, when we were God’s enemies,
we were reconciled to him through the death of his
Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall
we be saved through his life! 11Not only is this so,
but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus
Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through
one man, and death through sin, and in this way
death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for
before the law was given, sin was in the world.
But sin is not taken into account when there is
no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the
time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over
those who did not sin by breaking a command,
as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

15But the gift is not like the trespass. For
if the many died by the trespass of the one
man, how much more did God’s grace and the
gift that came by the grace of the one man,
Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16Again,
the gift of God is not like the result of the
one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin
and brought condemnation, but the gift followed
many trespasses and brought justification. 17For
if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned
through that one man, how much more will those who
receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of
the gift of righteousness reign in life through
the one man, Jesus Christ.

18Consequently, just as the result of one trespass
was condemnation for all men, so also the result
of one act of righteousness was justification that
brings life for all men.
19For just as through the disobedience of the one
man the many were made sinners, so also through the
obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

20The law was added so that the trespass might
increase. But where sin increased, grace increased
all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death,
so also grace might reign through righteousness
to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:9
1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the
will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

2To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified
in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with
all those everywhere who call on the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the
Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving

4I always thank God for you because of his grace given
you in Christ Jesus. 5For in him you have been enriched
in every way—in all your speaking and in all your
knowledge— 6because our testimony about Christ was
confirmed in you. 7Therefore you do not lack any
spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our
Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8He will keep
you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless
on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God, who has
called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ
our Lord, is faithful.

Divisions in the Church

10I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another
so that there may be no divisions among you and that
you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

11My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed
me that there are quarrels among you. 12What I mean is
this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another,
“I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephasa”;
still another, “I follow Christ.”

13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you
baptized intob the name of Paul? 14I am thankful that I
did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius,
15so no one can say that you were baptized into my name.
16(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas;
beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.)
17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach
the gospel—not with words of human wisdom,
lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those
who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is
the power of God.

19For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is
the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish
the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of
God the world through its wisdom did not know him,
God was pleased through the foolishness of what was
preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand
miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but
we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to
Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those
whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks,
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s
wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than
man’s strength.

26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called.
Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many
were influential; not many were of noble birth.
27But God chose the foolish things of the world to
shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world
to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this
world and the despised things—and the things that are
not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one
may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you
are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from
God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
31Therefore, as it is written:

“Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”

If you want to accept God’s offer in his Son, say a prayer like this:

Jesus, I confess that you are not only the most important person in history, but you are the Creator and Savior of the world. Lord Jesus, I need you. I have done wrong. Please forgive me of my sins and come into my life. I ask you not just to be part of my life, but to guide me to live according to the words I read in the Bible. Thank you for your mercy and forgiveness. I am now committed to be your follower. Amen.
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