Archives for : August2013

Romans 8-Life Through the Spirit

8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sinand death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b]God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.

12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.”16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Present Suffering and Future Glory

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groaninwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Gods Grace.

Some Things to Do

4 My dear brothers and sisters, I love you and want to see you. You bring me joy and make me proud of you. Continue following the Lord as I have told you.

Euodia and Syntyche, you both belong to the Lord, so please agree with each other. For this I make a special request to my friend who has served with me so faithfully: Help these women. They worked hard with me in telling people the Good News, together with Clement and others who worked with me. Their names are written in the book of life.[a]

Always be filled with joy in the Lord. I will say it again. Be filled with joy.

Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind. The Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds.[b]

Brothers and sisters, continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. And do what you learned and received from me—what I told you and what you saw me do. And the God who gives peace will be with you.

Paul Thanks the Philippian Believers

10 I am so happy, and I thank the Lord that you have again shown your care for me. You continued to care about me, but there was no way for you to show it. 11 I am telling you this, but not because I need something. I have learned to be satisfied with what I have and with whatever happens. 12 I know how to live when I am poor and when I have plenty. I have learned the secret of how to live through any kind of situation—when I have enough to eat or when I am hungry, when I have everything I need or when I have nothing. 13 Christ is the one who gives me the strength I need to do whatever I must do.

14 But it was good that you helped me when I needed help. 15 You people in Philippi remember when I first told the Good News there. When I left Macedonia, you were the only church that gave me help. 16 Several times you sent me things I needed when I was in Thessalonica. 17 Really, it is not that I want to get gifts from you. But I want you to have the benefit that comes from giving. 18 I have everything I need. I have even more than I need. I have all I need because Epaphroditus brought your gift to me. Your gift is like a sweet-smelling sacrifice offered to God. God accepts that sacrifice and it pleases him. 19 My God will use his glorious riches to give you everything you need. He will do this through Christ Jesus. 20 Glory to our God and Father forever and ever. Amen.

21 Give our greetings to God’s people there—to each one who belongs to Christ Jesus. Those in God’s family who are with me send you their greetings. 22 And greetings to you from all of God’s people here, especially those who work in the service of the emperor.

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.


Psalm 119-Happy are those whose way is perfect

119 Great blessings belong to those who live pure lives!
They follow the Lord’s teachings.
Great blessings belong to those who follow his rules!
They seek him with all their heart.
They don’t do wrong.
They follow his ways.
Lord, you gave us your instructions
and told us to always obey them.
How I wish I could be more faithful
in obeying your laws!
Then I would never feel ashamed
when I look closely at your commands.
The more I understand how fair your laws are,
the more sincerely I will praise you.
I will obey your laws,
so please don’t leave me!


How can a young person live a pure life?
By obeying your word.
10 I try with all my heart to serve you.
Help me obey your commands.
11 I study your teachings very carefully
so that I will not sin against you.
12 Lord, you are worthy of praise!
Teach me your laws.
13 I will repeat the laws we have heard from you.
14 I enjoy following your rules
as much as others enjoy great riches.
15 I will study your instructions.
I will give thought to your way of life.
16 I enjoy your laws.
I will not forget your word.


17 Be good to me, your servant,
so that I may live to obey your word.
18 Open my eyes so that I can see
all the wonderful things in your teachings.
19 I feel like a stranger visiting here on earth.
I need to know your commands.
Don’t keep them hidden from me.
20 I constantly feel a hunger
to understand your laws.
21 You tell the proud how angry you are with them.
All those who refuse to obey your word are cursed.
22 Don’t let me be ashamed and embarrassed.
I have obeyed your rules.
23 Even if rulers say bad things about me,
I am your servant,
and I continue to study your laws.
24 Your rules make me happy.
They give me good advice.


25 I lie here like a dying man.
Say the word, and I will live again.[b]
26 I told you about my life, and you answered me.
Now, teach me your laws.
27 Help me understand your instructions,
and I will think about your wonderful teachings.[c]
28 I am sad and tired.
Say the word, and make me strong again.
29 Don’t let me live a lie.
Guide me with your teachings.
30 I have chosen to be loyal to you.
I respect your laws.
31 I follow your rules closely, Lord.
Don’t let me be put to shame.
32 I do my best to follow your commands,
because you are the one who gives me the desire.


33 Lord, teach me your laws,
and I will always follow them.
34 Help me understand your teachings,
and I will follow them.
Obeying them will be my greatest desire.
35 Help me follow your commands,
because that makes me happy.
36 Give me the desire to follow your rules,
not the desire to get rich.
37 Don’t let me look at worthless things.
Help me live your way.
38 Do what you promised me, your servant,
so that people will respect you.
39 Take away the shame I fear.
Your laws are good.
40 See how much I want to obey your instructions!
Be good to me, and let me live.


41 Lord, show me your faithful love.
Save me, as you promised.
42 Then I will have an answer for those who make fun of me
for trusting what you say.
43 Let me always say what is true.
I depend on your judgment to be fair.
44 I will follow your teachings forever and ever.
45 So I will live in freedom,
because I do my best to know your instructions.
46 I will discuss your rules with kings,
and no one will embarrass me.
47 What joy your commands give me!
How I love them!
48 Not only do I love your commands, but I also honor them.
I will study your laws.


49 Remember your promise to me, your servant.
It gives me hope.
50 You comfort me in my suffering,
because your promise gives me new life.
51 People full of pride are always making fun of me,
but I have not stopped following your teachings.
52 I remember the laws you gave us long ago, Lord,
and they bring me comfort.
53 I am overcome with anger when I see wicked people,
who have stopped following your teachings.
54 Your laws are the songs I sing
wherever I am living.
55 Lord, in the night I remembered your name,
and I obeyed your teachings.
56 This happened because I carefully obey your instructions.


57 Lord, I decided that my duty is to obey your commandments.
58 I beg you with all my heart,
be kind to me, as you promised.
59 I thought very carefully about my life,
and I decided to follow your rules.
60 Without wasting any time,
I hurried back to obey your commands.
61 The wicked tried to trap me,
but I have not forgotten your teachings.
62 In the middle of the night, I get up to thank you
because your laws are so fair.
63 I am a friend to everyone who worships you.
I am a friend to everyone who obeys your instructions.
64 Lord, your faithful love fills the earth.
Teach me your laws.


65 Lord, you did good things for me, your servant.
You did what you promised to do.
66 Give me the knowledge to make wise decisions.
I trust your commands.
67 Before I suffered, I did many wrong things.
But now I carefully obey everything you say.
68 You are good, and you do good things.
Teach me your laws.
69 People full of pride made up lies about me.
But I keep obeying your instructions with all my heart.
70 Those people are so stupid that they care for nothing,
but I enjoy studying your teachings.
71 Suffering was good for me;
I learned your laws.
72 Your teachings are worth more to me
than a thousand pieces of silver and gold.


73 With your hands you made me and helped me become what I am.
Now help me learn and understand your commands.
74 Your followers will see me and be happy,
because I trust in your word.
75 Lord, I know that your decisions are fair,
and you were right to punish me.
76 Now comfort me with your faithful love,
as you promised.
77 Comfort me and let me live.
I enjoy your teachings.
78 Bring shame on those proud people who lied about me.
All I want to do is study your instructions.
79 Let your followers come back to me
so that they may learn your rules.
80 Let me obey your laws perfectly
so that I will not be ashamed.


81 I feel weaker and weaker as I wait for you to save me.
But I put my trust in your word.
82 I keep looking for what you promised, but my eyes are feeling tired.
When will you comfort me?
83 Even when I am like a dried wineskin on the trash pile,
I will not forget your laws.
84 How long must I wait for you
to punish those who persecute me?
85 Proud people have tried to trap me
and make me disobey your teachings.
86 All your commands can be trusted.
Those people are wrong to persecute me.
Help me!
87 They have almost destroyed me,
but I have not stopped obeying your instructions.
88 Show me your faithful love and let me live.
I will do whatever you say.


89 Lord, your word continues forever in heaven.
90 You are loyal forever and ever.
You made the earth, and it still stands.
91 All things continue today because of your laws.
Like slaves, they all obey you.
92 If I had not found joy in your teachings,
my suffering would have destroyed me.
93 I will never forget your commands,
because through them you gave me new life.
94 I am yours, so save me!
I have done my best to know your instructions.
95 The wicked tried to destroy me,
but your rules made me wise.
96 Everything has its limits,
except your commands.


97 Oh, how I love your teachings!
I talk about them all the time.
98 Your commands are always with me,
and they make me wiser than my enemies.
99 I am wiser than all my teachers,
because I study your rules.
100 I understand more than those who are older,
because I obey your instructions.
101 I have avoided every path that leads to evil
so that I could obey your word.
102 You are my teacher,
so I will always do whatever you decide.
103 Your words are so sweet to me,
like the taste of honey!
104 I gain understanding from your instructions,
so I hate anything that leads people the wrong way.


105 Your word is like a lamp that guides my steps,
a light that shows the path I should take.
106 Your laws are good and fair.
I have promised to obey them, and I will keep my promise.
107 Lord, I have suffered for a long time.
Say the word, and I will live again![d]
108 Lord, accept the praise I want to give you,
and teach me your laws.
109 My life is always in danger,
but I have not forgotten your teachings.
110 The wicked try to trap me,
but I have not disobeyed your instructions.
111 The rules you have given me to follow will be mine forever.
They give me great joy.
112 More than anything I want to obey your laws always,
until the end of my life.


113 Lord, I hate those who are not completely loyal to you,
but I love your teachings.
114 Hide me and protect me.
I trust what you say.
115 Don’t come near me, you who are evil,
so that I can obey my God’s commands.
116 Support me, Lord, as you promised, and I will live.
I trust in you, so don’t disappoint me.
117 Help me and I will be saved.
And I will always give attention to your laws.
118 You reject all who don’t obey your laws,
because they are liars and did not do what they said.
119 You throw away the wicked of this world like trash.
So I love your rules.
120 I am shaking with fear before you.
I fear and respect your judgments.


121 I have done what is right and good.
Don’t let me fall into the hands of those who want to hurt me.
122 Promise to be good to me, your servant.
Don’t let those proud people do harm to me.
123 I have worn out my eyes looking for your help,
waiting for you to save me, as you promised.
124 Show your faithful love to me, your servant.
Teach me your laws.
125 I am your servant.
Give me wisdom to understand your rules.
126 Lord, it is time for you to do something.
The people do what is against your teachings.
127 I love your commands more than gold,
more than the purest gold.
128 I carefully obey all your commands.
So I hate anything that leads people the wrong way.


129 Lord, your rules are wonderful.
That is why I follow them.
130 As people understand your word, it brings light to their lives.
Your word makes even simple people wise.
131 My desire to hear your commands is so strong
that I wait with open mouth, gasping for breath.
132 Look at me, and be kind to me,
just as you always are to those who love your name.
133 Guide me, as you promised.
Don’t let evil rule over me.
134 Save me from those who want to hurt me,
and I will obey your instructions.
135 Accept your servant,
and teach me your laws.
136 I have cried a river of tears
because people don’t obey your teachings.


137 Lord, you do what is right,
and your decisions are fair.
138 The rules you have given us are right.
We can trust them completely.
139 Something that really upsets me is the thought
that my enemies ignore your commands.
140 I love your word.
Time and again it has been proven true.
141 I am young, and people don’t respect me.
But I have not forgotten your instructions.
142 Your goodness is forever,
and your teachings can be trusted.
143 Even though I have troubles and hard times,
your commands give me joy.
144 Your rules are always right.
Help me understand them so that I can live.


145 Lord, I call to you with all my heart.
Answer me, and I will obey your laws.
146 I call to you.
Save me, and I will obey your rules.
147 I get up early in the morning to pray to you.
I trust what you say.
148 Late into the night I stay awake
to think about your word.
149 I know your love is true, so listen to me.
Lord, you always do what is right, so let me live.
150 Here come those who have evil plans to hurt me.
They live far away from your teachings.
151 But you are near me, Lord,
and all your commands can be trusted.
152 Long ago, I learned from your rules
that you made them to last forever.


153 Look at my suffering and rescue me.
I have not forgotten your teachings.
154 Argue my case, and set me free.
Let me live, as you promised.
155 The wicked have no hope of being saved,
because they don’t follow your laws.
156 Lord, you are very kind.
You always do what is right, so let me live.
157 I have many enemies trying to hurt me,
but I have not stopped following your rules.
158 I look at those traitors and hate what I see,
because they refuse to do what you say.
159 See how much I love your instructions!
Lord, I know your love is true, so let me live.
160 Every word you say can be trusted.
Your laws are fair and will last forever.


161 Powerful leaders attack me for no reason,
but the only thing I fear is your command.
162 Your word makes me happy,
like someone who has found a great treasure.
163 I hate lies; they make me sick!
But I love your teachings.
164 Seven times a day I praise you
because your laws are fair.
165 Those who love your teachings will find true peace.
Nothing can make them fall.
166 Lord, I am waiting for you to save me.
I obey your commands.
167 I follow your rules.
I love them very much.
168 I obey all your instructions and rules,
because you know everything I do.


169 Lord, listen to my cry for help.
Make me wise, as you promised.
170 Listen to my prayer.
Save me, as you promised.
171 I will burst into songs of praise,
because you have taught me your laws.
172 Let my voice sing about your word,
because all your commands are good.
173 I have chosen to follow your instructions,
so reach out and help me!
174 Lord, I want you to save me.
Your teachings make me happy.
175 Let me live to praise you.
Let me find the help I need in your laws.
176 I have wandered away like a lost sheep.
Come and find me.
I am your servant,
and I have not forgotten your commands.

Psalm 77-In the Day of Trouble I Seek the Lord

77 I cry aloud to God,

aloud to God, and he will hear me.
2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.
3 When I remember God, I moan;
when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah
4 You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I consider the days of old,
the years long ago.
6 I said,[a] “Let me remember my song in the night;
let me meditate in my heart.”
Then my spirit made a diligent search:
7 “Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah
10 Then I said, “I will appeal to this,
to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”[b]
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.
15 You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
16 When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
indeed, the deep trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water;
the skies gave forth thunder;
your arrows flashed on every side.
18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings lighted up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.[c]
20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.


Prayer for Safety from Enemies

Psalm 57

57 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.

I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me.
He shall send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. Selah
God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.

My soul is among lions;
I lie among the sons of men
Who are set on fire,
Whose teeth are spears and arrows,
And their tongue a sharp sword.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.

They have prepared a net for my steps;
My soul is bowed down;
They have dug a pit before me;
Into the midst of it they themselves have fallen. Selah

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and give praise.
Awake, my glory!
Awake, lute and harp!
I will awaken the dawn.

I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing to You among the nations.
10 For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens,
And Your truth unto the clouds.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.


Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart

139 Lord, you have tested me,

so you know all about me.

You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You know my thoughts from far away.
You know where I go and where I lie down.
You know everything I do.
Lord, you know what I want to say,
even before the words leave my mouth.
You are all around me—in front of me and behind me.
I feel your hand on my shoulder.
I am amazed at what you know;
it is too much for me to understand.
Your Spirit is everywhere I go.
I cannot escape your presence.
If I go up to heaven, you will be there.
If I go down to the place of death, you will be there.
If I go east where the sun rises
or go to live in the west beyond the sea,
10 even there you will take my hand and lead me.
Your strong right hand will protect me.

11 Suppose I wanted to hide from you and said,
“Surely the darkness will hide me.
The day will change to night and cover me.”
12 Even the darkness is not dark to you.
The night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are the same.
13 You formed the way I think and feel.
You put me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because you made me in such a wonderful way.
I know how amazing that was!

15 You could see my bones grow as my body took shape,
hidden in my mother’s womb.
16 You could see my body grow each passing day.
You listed all my parts, and not one of them was missing.
17 Your thoughts are beyond my understanding.
They cannot be measured!
18 If I could count them, they would be more than all the grains of sand.
But when I finished, I would have just begun.

19 You murderers, get away from me!
God, kill those wicked people—
20 those who say bad things about you.
Your enemies use your name falsely.
21 Lord, I hate those who hate you.
I hate those who are against you.
22 I hate them completely!
Your enemies are also my enemies.
23 God, examine me and know my mind.
Test me and know all my worries.
24 Make sure that I am not going the wrong way.
Lead me on the path that has always been right.



God Is My Strength

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.


Be Blessed


New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 41

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them—
they are counted among the blessed in the land—
he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
and restores them from their bed of illness.

I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord;
heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
My enemies say of me in malice,
“When will he die and his name perish?”
When one of them comes to see me,
he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
then he goes out and spreads it around.

All my enemies whisper together against me;
they imagine the worst for me, saying,
“A vile disease has afflicted him;
he will never get up from the place where he lies.”
Even my close friend,
someone I trusted,
one who shared my bread,
has turned against me.

10 But may you have mercy on me, Lord;
raise me up, that I may repay them.
11 I know that you are pleased with me,
for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me
and set me in your presence forever.

13 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.

Judging Others

Judging Others

7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Ask, Seek, Knock

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Submit Yourselves To God

Submit Yourselves to God

4 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battlewithin you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You adulterous people,[a] don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”[c]

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sistersubmit or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

Boasting About Tomorrow

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.