2 Chronicles 15; 2 Chronicles 16; John 12:27-50

1 When God's spirit came upon Azariah, Oded's son, 2 he confronted Asa: "Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin," he said. "The LORD is with you as long as you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you abandon him, he will abandon you. 3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach them, and without the Instruction. 4 But in their time of trouble they turned to the LORD, Israel's God. They sought him and found him! 5 At that time, it wasn't safe to travel because great turmoil affected all the inhabitants of the area. 6 Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, as God troubled them with every kind of problem. 7 But as for you, be brave and don't lose heart, because your work will be rewarded!" 8 As soon as Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah, Oded's son, he felt brave and removed the detestable idols from all of Judah and Benjamin, as well as from the cities he had captured in Ephraim's highlands, and he repaired the LORD's altar that stood before the LORD's entrance hall. 9 Then Asa gathered all Judah and Benjamin, along with those who were living among them as immigrants from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon, because many people from Israel had joined up with him when they saw that the LORD his God was with him. 10 They gathered in Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa's rule. 11 On that day they sacrificed to the LORD part of the loot they had taken: seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep. 12 They made a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and all their being. 13 They agreed that anyone who refused to seek the LORD, Israel's God, would be put to death, whether young or old, male or female. 14 They swore this to the LORD with a loud voice, shouts of joy, and blasts from trumpets and horns. 15 All Judah was delighted with the solemn pledge because they had sworn it with all their hearts. When they enthusiastically sought God, he was found by them, and the LORD gave them peace on every side. 16 Asa the king even removed his grandmother Maacah from the position of queen mother because she had made an image of Asherah. Asa cut down her image, pulverized it, and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 17 Although the shrines weren't removed from Israel, Asa nevertheless remained committed with all his heart throughout his life. 18 He brought into God's temple the various silver and gold objects that he and his father had dedicated. 19 There was no war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa's rule.
1 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa's rule, Israel's King Baasha attacked Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent Judah's King Asa from moving into that area. 2 Asa took silver and gold from the treasuries of the LORD's temple and the royal palace and sent them to Aram's King Ben-hadad, who ruled in Damascus, with the following message: 3 "Let's make a covenant similar to the one between our fathers. Since I have already sent you silver and gold, break your covenant with Israel's King Baasha so that he will leave me alone." 4 Ben-hadad agreed with King Asa and sent his army commanders against the cities of Israel, attacking Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all the store-cities of Naphtali. 5 As soon as Baasha learned of this, he stopped building Ramah and abandoned his work. 6 Then King Asa had all Judah carry away the stone and timber that Baasha was using to build Ramah, and King Asa used it to build Geba and Mizpah. 7 At that time Hanani the seer came to Judah's King Asa and said to him, "Because you relied on Aram's king and not on the LORD your God, the army of Aram's king has slipped out of your grasp. 8 Weren't the Cushites and the Libyans a vast army with chariots and horsemen to spare? Still, when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your power, 9 because the LORD's eyes scan the whole world to strengthen those who are committed to him with all their hearts. Your foolishness means that you will have war on your hands from now on." 10 Asa was angry with the seer. Asa was so mad he threw Hanani in jail and took his anger out on some of the people. 11 The rest of Asa's deeds, from beginning to end, are written in the official records of Israel's and Judah's kings. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his rule, Asa developed a severe foot disease. But even in his illness he refused to seek the LORD and consulted doctors instead. 13 In the forty-first year of his rule, Asa lay down with his ancestors 14 He was buried in the tomb he had prepared for himself in David's City, and was laid on a bed filled with sweet spices and various kinds of perfume, with a huge fire made in his honor.
27 "Now I am deeply troubled. What should I say? ‘Father, save me from this time'? No, for this is the reason I have come to this time. 28 Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." 29 The crowd standing there heard and said, "It's thunder." Others said, "An angel spoke to him." 30 Jesus replied, "This voice wasn't for my benefit but for yours. 31 Now is the time for judgment of this world. Now this world's ruler will be thrown out. 32 When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me." ( 33 He said this to show how he was going to die.) 34 The crowd responded, "We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Human One must be lifted up? Who is this Human One?" 35 Jesus replied, "The light is with you for only a little while. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn't overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness don't know where they are going. 36 As long as you have the light, believe in the light so that you might become people whose lives are determined by the light." After Jesus said these things, he went away and hid from them. 37 Jesus had done many miraculous signs before the people, but they didn't believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of the prophet Isaiah: Lord, who has believed through our message? To whom is the arm of the Lord fully revealed? 39 Isaiah explains why they couldn't believe: 40 He made their eyes blind and closed their minds so that they might not see with their eyes, understand with their minds, and turn their lives around— and I would heal them. 41 Isaiah said these things because he saw Jesus' glory; he spoke about Jesus. 42 Even so, many leaders believed in him, but they wouldn't acknowledge their faith because they feared that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. 43 They believed, but they loved human praise more than God's glory. 44 Jesus shouted, "Whoever believes in me doesn't believe in me but in the one who sent me. 45 Whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. 46 I have come as a light into the world so that everyone who believes in me won't live in darkness. 47 If people hear my words and don't keep them, I don't judge them. I didn't come to judge the world but to save it. 48 Whoever rejects me and doesn't receive my words will be judged at the last day by the word I have spoken. 49 I don't speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me regarding what I should speak and say. 50 I know that his commandment is eternal life. Therefore, whatever I say is just as the Father has said to me."
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