Thursday, October 29, 2009

One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism

Ephesians 4 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Ephesians 4
Unity and Diversity in the Body of Christ
1 I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, (A) urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility (B) and gentleness, with patience, (C) accepting (D) [a] one another in love, (E) 3 diligently keeping the unity (F) of the Spirit (G) with the peace (H) that binds [us]. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, (I) just as you were called to one hope (J) [b] at your calling; 5 one Lord, (K) one faith, (L) one baptism, 6 one God (M) and Father (N) of all, who is above all and through all and in all. (O)

7 Now grace was given to each one of us (P) according to the measure of the Messiah's gift. 8 For it says:

When He ascended (Q) on high, He took prisoners into captivity; [c]

He gave gifts to people. (R) (S)

9 But what does "He ascended" mean except that He [d] descended to the lower parts of the earth? (T) [e] 10 The One who descended is the same as the One who ascended far above all the heavens, (U) that He might fill [f] all things. (V) 11 And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, (W) 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God's Son, (X) [growing] into a mature man with a stature (Y) measured by Christ's fullness. 14 Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, (Z) by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. 15 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head (AA) —Christ. 16 From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together (AB) by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth (AC) of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.

Living the New Life
17 Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. 19 They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity (AD) with a desire for more and more. [g]

20 But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, 21 assuming you heard Him and were taught by Him, because the truth (AE) is in Jesus: 22 you took off (AF) [h] your former way of life, (AG) the old man (AH) that is corrupted by deceitful desires; 23 you are being renewed [i] in the spirit (AI) of your minds; 24 you put on (AJ) [j] the new man, the one created (AK) according to God's [likeness] (AL) in righteousness and purity of the truth.

25 Since you put away (AM) lying, Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, (AN) (AO) because we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin. (AP) (AQ) Don't let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and don't give the Devil an opportunity. 28 The thief must no longer steal. Instead, he must do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share (AR) with anyone in need. 29 No rotten talk should come from your mouth, but only what is good for the building up of someone in need, [k] in order to give grace to those who hear. 30 And don't grieve God's Holy Spirit, (AS) who sealed you [l] for the day of redemption. (AT) 31 All bitterness, anger and wrath, insult and slander must be removed from you, along with all wickedness. 32 And be kind (AU) and compassionate (AV) to one another, forgiving (AW) one another, just as God also forgave you [m] in Christ.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Solid Like A Rock

Matt 21:33-46

The Parable of the Vineyard Owner

33 "Listen (Z) to another parable: (AA) There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a watchtower. (AB) He leased it to tenant farmers and went away. (AC) 34 When the grape harvest [d] drew near, he sent his slaves to the farmers to collect his fruit. 35 But the farmers took his slaves, beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. (AD) 36 Again, he sent other slaves, more than the first group, and they did the same to them. 37 Finally, he sent his son to them. 'They will respect my son,' he said.
38 "But when the tenant farmers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance! (AE) ' 39 So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?"

41 "He will completely destroy those terrible men," they told Him, "and lease his vineyard to other farmers who will give him his produce at the harvest." (AF) [e]

42 Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures:

The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone. [f]

This came from the Lord

and is wonderful in our eyes ? (AG) (AH)

43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing its [g] fruit. [ 44 Whoever falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; (AI) but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder!"] [h]

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, (AJ) they knew He was speaking about them. 46 Although they were looking for a way to arrest Him, they feared the crowds, because they [i] regarded Him as a prophet. (AK)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sound Familiar?

Genesis 3 (New International Version)

Genesis 3

The Fall of Man

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "

4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"

10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"

12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."

13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"
The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this,
"Cursed are you above all the livestock
and all the wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.

15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring [a] and hers;
he will crush [b] your head,
and you will strike his heel."

16 To the woman he said,
"I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
with pain you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you."

17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,'
"Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.

19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return."

20 Adam [c] named his wife Eve, [d] because she would become the mother of all the living.

21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side [e] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Letters to the Seven Churches Part 1

Revelation 2 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Revelation 2

The Letters to the Seven Churches

The Letter to Ephesus

1 "To the angel [a] of the church in Ephesus write:
"The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand and who walks among the seven gold lampstands says: 2 I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. 3 You also possess endurance and have tolerated [many things] because of My name, and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you: you have abandoned the love [you had] at first. 5 Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you [b] and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. 6 Yet you do have this: you hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

7 "Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. I will give the victor (A) the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in [c] the paradise of God. (B)

The Letter to Smyrna

8 "To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
"The First and the Last, the One who was dead and came to life, says: 9 I know your [d] tribulation and poverty, yet you are rich. [I know] the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Don't be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the Devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will have tribulation for 10 days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown [e] of life.

11 "Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The victor will never be harmed by the second death. (C)

The Letter to Pergamum

12 "To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
"The One who has the sharp, two-edged sword (D) says: 13 I know [f] where you live—where Satan's throne is! And you are holding on to My name and did not deny your faith in Me, [g] even in the days of Antipas, My faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan lives. 14 But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to place a stumbling block [h] in front of the sons of Israel: to eat meat sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality. [i] 15 In the same way, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. [j] 16 Therefore repent! Otherwise, I will come to you quickly and fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

17 "Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. I will give the victor some of the hidden manna. (E) [k] I will also give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name (F) is inscribed that no one knows except the one who receives it.

The Letter to Thyatira

18 "To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:
"The Son of God, the One whose eyes are like a fiery flame, and whose feet are like fine bronze says: 19 I know your works—your love, faithfulness, [l] service, and endurance. Your last works are greater than the first. 20 But I have this against you: you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and teaches and deceives My slaves to commit sexual immorality [m] and to eat meat sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to repent of her sexual immorality. [n] 22 Look! I will throw her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her [o] practices. 23 I will kill her children with the plague. (G) [p] Then all the churches will know that I am the One who examines minds [q] and hearts, and I will give to each of you according to your works. 24 I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who haven't known the deep things [r] of Satan—as they say—I do not put any other burden on you. 25 But hold on to what you have until I come. (H) 26 The victor and the one who keeps My works to the end: I will give him authority over the nations—

27 and He will shepherd (I) [s] them with an iron scepter;

He will shatter them like pottery (J) (K) —

just as I have received [this] from My Father. 28 I will also give him the morning star. (L)

29 "Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Confidence in the Lord

Psalm 16 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Psalm 16

Confidence in the LORD

1 Protect me, God, for I take refuge in You. (A)
2 I [a] said to the LORD, "You are my Lord;
I have no good besides You." (B) [b]

3 As for the holy people who are in the land, (C)
they are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.

4 The sorrows of those who take another [god]
for themselves multiply;
I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood,
and I will not speak their names with my lips. (D)

5 LORD, You are my portion [c]
and my cup [of blessing];
You hold my future. (E)

6 The boundary lines have fallen for me
in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. (F)

7 I will praise the LORD who counsels me (G) —
even at night my conscience instructs me. (H)

8 I keep the LORD in mind [d] always.
Because He is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken. (I)

9 Therefore my heart is glad,
and my spirit rejoices;
my body also rests securely. (J)

10 For You will not abandon me to Sheol; (K)
You will not allow Your Faithful One to see the Pit. (L) [e]

11 You reveal the path of life to me;
in Your presence is abundant joy; (M)
in Your right hand are eternal pleasures. (N)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oh What Love!

Isaiah 62:4-6 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

4 You will no longer be called Deserted, (A)
and your land will not be called Desolate;
instead, you will be called My Delight is in Her, [a]
and your land Married; (B) [b]
for the LORD delights in you,
and your land will be married.

5 For as a young man marries a virgin,
so your sons will marry you;
and as a bridegroom rejoices [c] over [his] bride,
so your God will rejoice over you. (C)

6 Jerusalem,
I have appointed watchmen on your walls; (D)
they will never be silent, day or night.
You, who remind the LORD,
no rest for you!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Psalm 8

God's Glory, Man's Dignity

For the choir director: on the Gittith (A). A Davidic psalm.

1 LORD, our Lord,
how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth! (B)
You have covered the heavens with Your majesty. (C) [a]
2 Because of Your adversaries,
You have established a stronghold [b]
from the mouths of children and nursing infants, (D)
to silence the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I observe Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which You set in place, (E)

4 what is man that You remember him,
the son of man that You look after him? (F)

5 You made him little less than God [c] [d]
and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You made him lord over the works of Your hands;
You put everything under his feet: (G) [e]

7 all the sheep and oxen,
as well as animals in the wild,

8 birds of the sky,
and fish of the sea
passing through the currents of the seas. (H)

9 LORD, our Lord,
how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth!

With all of the glory and honor You have bestowed upon us, how dare we treat one another with such injustice and indignity? Why do we rage and imagine vain visions of grandeur at the expense of our very being? We are made in a remarkable and powerful likeness to purest Divinity! This is a privilege that aught not be taken lightly. Yet we mar Your glorious image in us. We disrespect and dishonor your highest ideal. Forgive our denseness and heal our blindness. Apply the eye-salve You so freely offer us and remove the scaly, debilitating darkness that we often times claim to be enlightenment. We have allowed our very flesh to corrupt what is truly good and perfect.

Friday, October 9, 2009

More on Marriage

1 Corinthians 7(New International Version)


1Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry.[a] 2But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 5Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
8Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. 9But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

12To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

15But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

17Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts. 20Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him. 21Were you a slave when you were called? Don't let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord's freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ's slave. 23You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.

25Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. 26Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are. 27Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. 28But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

29What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; 30those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

32I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

36If anyone thinks he is acting improperly toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if she is getting along in years and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. 37But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. 38So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does even better.[b]

39A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 40In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Heart of the Matter

Matthew 19 (Holman Christian Standard)

The Question of Divorce

1 When Jesus had finished this instruction, (A) He departed from Galilee and went to the region of Judea across the Jordan. (B) 2 Large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there. (C) 3 Some Pharisees approached Him to test Him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife on any grounds?" (D)
4 "Haven't you read," He replied, "that He who created [a] them in the beginning made them male and female , (E) (F) 5 and He also said:

For this reason a man will leave

his father and mother

and be joined to his wife,

and the two will become one flesh ? (G) (H)

6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, man must not separate."

7 "Why then," they asked Him, "did Moses command [us] to give divorce papers (I) and to send her away?"

8 He told them, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts. But it was not like that from the beginning. 9 And I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery." (J) [b]

10 His disciples (K) said to Him, "If the relationship of a man with his wife is like this, it's better not to marry!"

11 But He told them, "Not everyone can accept this saying, but only those it has been given (L) to. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb, there are eunuchs who were made by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way because of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can."

Hi everyone! On my other favorite network, Sistafaith, I try to pray every day with the prayer group and this month the focus is on marriage. I found this scripture and just wanted to give people a little more meat and bone to chew on. I hope that you find something new and insightful as you read. I think too often we take for granted the way God intended marriage to be. Most of us get married because we're "in love" and we don't take the time or brain cells to figure out if it is even something we want(or God wants)and then by year three (after the hormones wear off) we don't know who we married! I think a lot of times we jump right in headfirst because we think to WANT to marry someone must be a sign that it's right. We feel therefore we should, but I submit that there are tons of cases in divorce court where the feelings died and folks are wondering "Where is the love?" This scripture is of course a reminder to the married folks that there is no longer two singles but one unit/team that God has put together. So as you look at that man sitting on the couch in his underwear scratching himself and you're thinking, "Uhhhn!" Remember he is part of you and you wouldn't be the same without him. He has affected your life in many good ways and sometimes not so good but nonetheless you're joined at the heart no matter how you feel about him right now. And to those husbands that are looking at their wives and wondering why she insists on wearing those god-awful head scarves to bed and putting on that funky green facial goo when you were looking for those model good looks to make love to: Remember, she is still the woman you pledged to love, honor, and cherish. And although you didn't want her hourglass figure to change she is still the same where it counts. Time doesn't stand still and neither do we. We have to grow up and older because that is the way of life.

Whenever any of you get a chance, look up the standard marriage vows online and look at the graveness of the words that were used. Those vows are serious because marriage as relationship is serious. One more thing: God will never force you to do anything you don't want to do. If you have checked out of your marriage, but you're still standing in the lobby, God will not make you leave. You can always check back in. But if you think the marriage is unsafe or too expensive or even not of your 'caliber' God won't tie you to a chair. God always gives freedom of choice but please make sure you understand that all freedom comes with a price.

All the single ladies (and gentlemen)! Sorry I couldn't help it (tee hee). Although I'm married, I've seen enough of the pathology to qualify this statement: Don't feel like you just have to get married, or get married right now, or get married by this birthday or you're an old maid/man, or even marry this particular man/woman because this is "The One" and your ONLY shot at happiness. Not true. Many "The Ones" are now working on second marriages with "The New One". Jesus made it clear that not every one can or should get married and there is nothing wrong with it. Marriage is not for everyone but it is for keeps. However, there are those who will tell you that you can treat your marriage like a starter house. You can get a partner that's okay for the first husband/wife, but you're not really committed. When the spouse isn't meeting your needs/expectations you can then divorce and go get an "upgrade." Don't jump into a commitment that binds you heart, mind, and soul! All three parts of you will be affected if you were to split up (regardless of the reasons for it). You become like a three stranded cord when you make your vows, and to break them would be to destroy the integrity of the cord (the very fiber of who you are). I've see enough marriages fall apart to know that grief from divorce is worse than losing your spouse to death. At least with death you know the spouse is gone, but with divorce no matter where in the world you are, there is always a chance of seeing your ex, and without trying everything that led up to that breakup can re-introduce the negative feelings especially if it seems they or you have happily moved on. I'm saying all this to say, marriage is not an institution or a contract, it's a relationship that affects you completely and should never be taken lightly. Well, this has been fun and I can't wait to see if get any responses on this one. Be blessed!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Something to Think About

Psalm 50 (Holman Christian Standard)

God as Judge

A psalm of Asaph. (A)

1 God, the LORD God [a] speaks;
He summons the earth from east to west. (B) [b]
2 From Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God appears in radiance. (C) [c]

3 Our God is coming; He will not be silent!
Devouring fire precedes Him,
and a storm rages around Him. (D)

4 On high, He summons heaven and earth
in order to judge His people. (E)

5 "Gather My faithful ones to Me,
those who made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." (F)

6 The heavens proclaim His righteousness, (G)
for God is the judge. (H)


7 "Listen, My people, and I will speak;
I will testify against you, Israel.
I am God, your God. (I)

8 I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices
or for your burnt offerings,
which are continually before Me. (J)

9 I will not accept a bull from your household
or male goats from your pens, (K)

10 for every animal of the forest is Mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.

11 I know every bird of the mountains [d] ,
and the creatures of the field are Mine. (L)

12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and everything in it is Mine. (M)

13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats? (N)

14 Sacrifice a thank offering to God, (O)
and pay your vows to the Most High. (P)

15 Call on Me in a day of trouble;
I will rescue you, and you will honor Me." (Q)

16 But God says to the wicked:
"What right do you have to recite My statutes
and to take My covenant on your lips? (R)

17 You hate instruction
and turn your back on My words. (S) [e]

18 When you see a thief,
you make friends with him,
and you associate with adulterers. (T)

19 You unleash your mouth for evil
and harness your tongue for deceit. (U)

20 You sit, maligning your brother,
slandering your mother's son. (V)

21 You have done these things, and I kept silent;
you thought I was just like you. (W)
But I will rebuke you
and lay out the case before you. (X) [f]

22 "Understand this, you who forget God,
or I will tear you apart,
and there will be no rescuer. (Y)

23 Whoever sacrifices a thank offering honors Me,
and whoever orders his conduct,
I will show him the salvation of God." (Z)

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