Urgent: You Can Provide Bibles, Food and Shelter for Persecuted Christians

2 Timothy 1; Jeremiah 5; Jeremiah 6; Psalm 121

2 Timothy 1

Greeting

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will, for the promise of life in Christ Jesus: 2 To Timothy, my dearly loved child. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thanksgiving

3 I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience as my forefathers did, when I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day. 4 Remembering your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy, 5 clearly recalling your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois, then in your mother Eunice, and that I am convinced is in you also. 6 Therefore, I remind you to keep ablaze the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

Not Ashamed of the Gospel

8 So don't be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me His prisoner. Instead, share in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. 10 This has now been made evident through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 For this [gospel] I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher, 12 and that is why I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.

Be Loyal to the Faith

13 Hold on to the pattern of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who lives in us, that good thing entrusted to you. 15 This you know: all those in Asia have turned away from me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he diligently searched for me and found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he obtain mercy from the Lord on that day. And you know how much he ministered at Ephesus.

Jeremiah 5

The Depravity of Jerusalem

1 Roam through the streets of Jerusalem. Look and take note; search in her squares. If you find a single person, anyone who acts justly, who seeks to be faithful, then I will forgive her. 2 When they say, "As the Lord lives," they are swearing falsely. 3 Lord, don't Your eyes [look for] faithfulness? You have struck them, but they felt no pain. You finished them off, but they refused to accept discipline. They made their faces harder than rock, and they refused to return. 4 Then I thought: They are just the poor; they have played the fool. For they don't understand the way of the Lord, the justice of their God. 5 I will go to the powerful and speak to them. Surely they know the way of the Lord, the justice of their God. However, these also had broken the yoke and torn off the fetters. 6 Therefore, a lion from the forest will strike them down. A wolf from an arid plain will ravage them. A leopard keeps watch over their cities. Anyone who leaves them will be torn to pieces because their rebellious acts are many, their unfaithful deeds numerous. 7 Why should I forgive you? Your children have abandoned Me and sworn by those who are not gods. I satisfied their needs, yet they committed adultery; they gashed themselves at the prostitute's house. 8 They are well-fed, eager stallions, each neighing after someone else's wife. 9 Should I not punish them for these things? [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. Should I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this? 10 Go up among her vineyard terraces and destroy them, but do not finish them off. Prune away her shoots, for they do not belong to the Lord. 11 They, the house of Israel and the house of Judah, have dealt very treacherously with Me. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. 12 They have contradicted the Lord and insisted, "It won't happen. Harm won't come to us; we won't see sword or famine." 13 The prophets become [only] wind, for the [Lord's] word is not in them. This will in fact happen to them.

Coming Judgment

14 Therefore, this is what the Lord God of Hosts says: Because you have spoken this word, I am going to make My words become fire in your mouth. These people are the wood, and the fire will consume them. 15 I am about to bring a nation from far away against you, house of Israel. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. It is an established nation, an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know and whose speech you do not understand. 16 Their quiver is like an open grave; they are all mighty warriors. 17 They will consume your harvest and your food. They will consume your sons and your daughters. They will consume your flocks and your herds. They will consume your vines and your fig trees. They will destroy with the sword your fortified cities in which you trust. 18 "But even in those days"-[this is] the Lord's declaration-"I will not finish you off. 19 When people ask: For what offense has the Lord our God done all these things to us? You will respond to them: Just as you abandoned Me and served foreign gods in your land, so will you serve strangers in a land that is not yours. 20 "Declare this in the house of Jacob; proclaim it in Judah, saying: 21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people. They have eyes, but they don't see. They have ears, but they don't hear. 22 Do you not fear Me? [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. Do you not tremble before Me, the One who set the sand as the boundary of the sea, an enduring barrier that it cannot cross? The waves surge, but they cannot prevail. They roar but cannot pass over it. 23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned aside and have gone away. 24 They have not said to themselves: Let's fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain, both early and late, in its season, who guarantees to us the fixed weeks of the harvest. 25 Your guilty acts have diverted these things [from you]. Your sins have withheld [My] bounty from you, 26 for wicked men live among My people. They watch like fowlers lying in wait. They set a trap; they catch men. 27 Like a cage full of birds, so their houses are full of deceit. Therefore they have grown powerful and rich. 28 They have become fat and sleek. They have also excelled in evil matters. They have not taken up cases, such as the case of orphans, so they might prosper, and they have not defended the rights of the needy. 29 Should I not punish them for these things? [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. Should I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this? 30 A horrible, terrible thing has taken place in the land. 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own authority. My people love it like this. But what will you do at the end of it?

Jeremiah 6

Threatened Siege of Jerusalem

1 Run for cover, Benjaminites, out of Jerusalem! Sound the ram's horn in Tekoa; raise a smoke signal over Beth-haccherem, for disaster threatens from the north, even great destruction. 2 [Though she is] beautiful and delicate, I will destroy Daughter Zion. 3 Shepherds and their flocks will come against her; they will pitch [their] tents all around her. Each will pasture his own portion. 4 Set [them] apart for war against her; rise up, let's attack at noon. Woe to us, for the day is passing; the evening shadows grow long. 5 Rise up, let's attack by night. Let us destroy her fortresses." 6 For this is what the Lord of Hosts says: Cut down the trees; raise a siege ramp against Jerusalem. This city must be punished. There is nothing but oppression within her. 7 As a well gushes out its water, so she pours forth her evil. Violence and destruction resound in her. Sickness and wounds keep coming to My attention. 8 Be warned, Jerusalem, or I will be torn away from you; I will make you a desolation, a land devoid of inhabitant.

Wrath on Israel

9 This is what the Lord of Hosts says: Glean as thoroughly as a vine the remnant of Israel. Pass your hand once more like a grape gatherer over the branches. 10 Who can I speak to and give such a warning that they will listen? Look, their ear is uncircumcised, so they cannot pay attention. See, the word of the Lord has become contemptible to them- they find no pleasure in it. 11 But I am full of the Lord's wrath; I am tired of holding it back. Pour [it] out on the children in the street, on the gang of young men as well. For both husband and wife will be captured, the old with the very old. 12 Their houses will be turned over to others, [their] fields and wives as well, for I will stretch out My hand against the residents of the land. [This is] the Lord's declaration. 13 For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is gaining profit unjustly. From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. 14 They have treated My people's brokenness superficially, claiming: Peace, peace, when there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they acted so abhorrently? They weren't at all ashamed. They can no longer feel humiliation. Therefore, they will fall among the fallen. When I punish them, they will collapse, says the Lord.

Disaster Because of Disobedience

16 This is what the Lord says: Stand by the roadways and look. Ask about the ancient paths: Which is the way to what is good? Then take it and find rest for yourselves. But they protested: We won't! 17 I appointed watchmen over you [and said:] Listen for the sound of the ram's horn. But they protested: We won't listen! 18 Therefore listen, you nations and you witnesses, learn what [the charge] is against them. 19 Listen, earth! I am about to bring disaster on these people, the fruit of their own plotting, for they have paid no attention to My word. They have rejected My law. 20 What use to Me is frankincense from Sheba or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please Me. 21 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I am going to place stumbling blocks before these people; fathers and sons together will stumble over them; friends and neighbors will [also] perish.

A Cruel Nation from the North

22 This is what the Lord says: Look, an army is coming from a northern land; a great nation will be awakened from the remote regions of the earth. 23 They grasp bow and javelin. They are cruel and show no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea, and they ride on horses, lined up like men in battle formation against you, Daughter Zion. 24 We have heard about it, and we are discouraged. Distress has seized us- pain like a woman in labor. 25 Don't go out to the fields; don't walk on the road. For the enemy has a sword; terror is on every side. 26 My dear people, dress yourselves in sackcloth and roll in the dust. Mourn [as you would for] an only son, a bitter lament, for suddenly the destroyer will come on us.

Jeremiah Appointed as an Examiner

27 I have appointed you to be an assayer among My people- a refiner- so you may know and assay their way of life. 28 All are stubborn rebels spreading slander. [They are] bronze and iron; all of them are corrupt. 29 The bellows blow, blasting the lead with fire. The refining is completely in vain; the evil ones are not separated out. 30 They are called rejected silver, for the Lord has rejected them.

Psalm 121

The Lord Our Protector

A song of ascents.

1 I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. 4 Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep. 5 The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side. 6 The sun will not strike you by day, or the moon by night. 7 The Lord will protect you from all harm; He will protect your life. 8 The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever.
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