1 Timothy 5:23-25; 1 Timothy 6; Jeremiah 3; Jeremiah 4; Psalm 120

1 Timothy 5:23-25

23 Don't continue drinking only water, but use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses. 24 Some people's sins are evident, going before them to judgment, but [the sins] of others follow them. 25 Likewise, good works are obvious, and those that are not [obvious] cannot remain hidden.

1 Timothy 6

Honoring Masters

1 All who are under the yoke as slaves must regard their own masters to be worthy of all respect, so that God's name and His teaching will not be blasphemed. 2 And those who have believing masters should not be disrespectful to them because they are brothers, but should serve them better, since those who benefit from their service are believers and dearly loved. Teach and encourage these things.

False Doctrine and Human Greed

3 If anyone teaches other doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, 4 he is conceited, understanding nothing, but having a sick interest in disputes and arguments over words. From these come envy, quarreling, slanders, evil suspicions, 5 and constant disagreement among men whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain. 6 But godliness with contentment is a great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

Compete for the Faith

11 Now you, man of God, run from these things; but pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life, to which you were called and have made a good confession before many witnesses. 13 In the presence of God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good confession before Pontius Pilate, I charge you 14 to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in His own time. [He is] the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, 16 the only One who has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom none of mankind has seen or can see, to whom be honor and eternal might. Amen.

Instructions to the Rich

17 Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. 18 [Instruct them] to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the age to come, so that they may take hold of life that is real.

Guard the Heritage

20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding irreverent, empty speech and contradictions from the "knowledge" that falsely bears that name. 21 By professing it, some people have deviated from the faith. Grace be with all of you.

Jeremiah 3

Wages of Apostasy

1 If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him to marry another, can he ever return to her? Wouldn't such a land become totally defiled? But you! You have played the prostitute with many partners- can you return to Me? [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. 2 Look to the barren heights and see. Where have you not been immoral? You sat waiting for them beside the highways like a nomad in the desert. You have defiled the land with your prostitution and wickedness. 3 This is why the showers haven't come- why there has been no spring rain. You have the brazen look of a prostitute and refuse to be ashamed. 4 Have you not lately called Me: My Father, my youthful companion? 5 Will He bear a grudge forever? Will He be endlessly infuriated? This is what you have spoken and done, the evil you are capable of.

Unfaithful Israel, Treacherous Judah

6 In the days of King Josiah the Lord asked me, "Have you seen what unfaithful Israel has done? She has ascended every high hill and gone under every green tree to prostitute herself there. 7 I thought: After she has done all these things, she will return to Me. But she didn't return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 I observed that it was because unfaithful Israel had committed adultery that I had sent her away and had given her a certificate of divorce. Nevertheless, her treacherous sister Judah was not afraid but also went and prostituted herself. 9 Indifferent to her prostitution, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and tree. 10 Yet in spite of all this, her treacherous sister Judah didn't return to Me with all her heart-only in pretense." [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. 11 The Lord announced to me, "Unfaithful Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. 12 Go, proclaim these words to the north, and say: Return, unfaithful Israel. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. I will not look on you with anger, for I am unfailing in My love. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. I will not be angry forever. 13 Only acknowledge your guilt- you have rebelled against the Lord your God. You have scattered your favors to strangers under every green tree and have not obeyed My voice. [This is] the Lord's declaration. 14 "Return, you faithless children"-[this is] the Lord's declaration-"for I am your master, and I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. 15 I will give you shepherds who are loyal to Me,and they will shepherd you with knowledge and skill. 16 When you multiply and increase in the land, in those days"-the Lord's declaration-"no one will say any longer: The ark of the Lord's covenant. It will never come to mind, and no one will remember or miss it. It will never again be made. 17 At that time Jerusalem will be called, The Lord's Throne, and all the nations will be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord in Jerusalem. They will cease to follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts. 18 In those days the house of Judah will join with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land I have given your ancestors to inherit."

True Repentance

19 I thought: How I long to make you [My] sons and give you a desirable land, the most beautiful inheritance of all the nations. I thought: You will call Me, my Father, and never turn away from Me. 20 However, as a woman may betray her lover, so you have betrayed Me, house of Israel. [This is] the Lord's declaration. 21 A sound is heard on the barren heights, the children of Israel weeping and begging for mercy, for they have perverted their way; they have forgotten the Lord their God. 22 Return, you faithless children. I will heal your unfaithfulness. "Here we are, coming to You, for You are the Lord our God. 23 Surely, falsehood comes from the hills, commotion from the mountains, but the salvation of Israel is only in the Lord our God. 24 From the time of our youth the shameful one has consumed what our fathers have worked for- their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our shame; let our disgrace cover us. We have sinned against the Lord our God, both we and our fathers, from the time of our youth even to this day. We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God."

Jeremiah 4

Blessing or Curse

1 If you return, Israel- [this is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration- [if] you return to Me, if you remove your detestable idols from My presence and do not waver, 2 if you swear, As the Lord lives, in truth, in justice, and in righteousness, then the nations will be blessed by Him and will pride themselves in Him. 3 For this is what the Lord says to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: Break up the unplowed ground; do not sow among the thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord; remove the foreskin of your hearts, men of Judah and residents of Jerusalem. Otherwise, My wrath will break out like fire and burn with no one to extinguish [it] because of your evil deeds.

Judgment from the North

5 Declare in Judah, proclaim in Jerusalem, and say: Blow the ram's horn throughout the land. Cry out loudly and say: Assemble yourselves, and let's flee to the fortified cities. 6 Lift up a signal flag toward Zion. Run for cover! Don't stand still! For I am bringing disaster from the north- a great destruction. 7 A lion has gone up from his thicket; a destroyer of nations has set out. He has left his lair to make your land a waste. Your cities will be reduced to uninhabited ruins. 8 Because of this, put on sackcloth; mourn and wail, for the Lord's burning anger has not turned away from us. 9 "On that day"-[this is] the Lord's declaration-"the king and the officials will lose their courage. The priests will tremble in fear, and the prophets will be scared speechless." 10 I said, "Oh no, Lord God , You have certainly deceived this people and Jerusalem, by announcing, 'You will have peace,' while a sword is at our throats." 11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, "A searing wind [blows] from the barren heights in the wilderness on the way to My dear people. [It comes] not to winnow or to sift; 12 a wind too strong for this comes at My call. Now I will also pronounce judgments against them." 13 Look, he advances like clouds; his chariots are like a storm. His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we are ruined! 14 Wash the evil from your heart, Jerusalem, so that you will be delivered. How long will you harbor malicious thoughts within you? 15 For a voice announces from Dan, proclaiming malice from Mount Ephraim. 16 Warn the nations: Look! Proclaim to Jerusalem: Those who besiege are coming from a distant land; they raise their voices against the cities of Judah. 17 They have her surrounded like those who guard a field, because she has rebelled against Me. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. 18 Your way of life and your actions have brought this on you. This is your punishment. It is very bitter, because it has reached your heart!

Jeremiah's Lament

19 My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in agony! Oh, the pain in my heart! My heart pounds; I cannot be silent. For you, my soul, have heard the sound of the ram's horn- the shout of battle. 20 Disaster after disaster is reported, for the whole land is destroyed. Suddenly my tents are destroyed, my tent curtains, in a moment. 21 How long must I see the signal flag and hear the sound of the ram's horn? 22 For My people are fools; they do not know Me. They are foolish children, without understanding. They are skilled in doing what is evil, but they do not know how to do what is good. 23 I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty. [I looked] to the heavens, and their light was gone. 24 I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking; all the hills shook. 25 I looked, and no man was left; all the birds of the sky had fled. 26 I looked, and the fertile field was a wilderness. All its cities were torn down because of the Lord and His burning anger. 27 For this is what the Lord says: The whole land will be a desolation, but I will not finish it off. 28 Because of this, the earth will mourn; the skies above will grow dark. I have spoken; I have planned, and I will not relent or turn back from it. 29 Every city flees at the sound of the horseman and the archer. They enter the thickets and climb among the rocks. Every city is abandoned; no inhabitant is left. 30 And you devastated one, what are you doing that you dress yourself in scarlet, that you adorn yourself with gold jewelry, that you enlarge your eyes with paint? You beautify yourself for nothing. Your lovers reject you; they want to take your life. 31 I hear a cry like a woman in labor, [a cry of] anguish like one bearing her first child. The cry of Daughter Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands: Woe is me, for my life is weary because of the murderers!

Psalm 120

A Cry for Truth and Peace

A song of ascents.

1 In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me: 2 "Lord, deliver me from lying lips and a deceitful tongue." 3 What will He give you, and what will He do to you, you deceitful tongue? 4 A warrior's sharp arrows, with burning charcoal! 5 What misery that I have stayed in Meshech, that I have lived among the tents of Kedar! 6 I have lived too long with those who hate peace. 7 I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.
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