Proverbs 3; Proverbs 4; Proverbs 5; 2 Corinthians 1

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Proverbs 3

1 My son, do not forget my teachings, and keep my commands in mind,
2 because they will bring you long life, good years, and peace.
3 Do not let mercy and truth leave you. Fasten them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will find favor and much success in the sight of God and humanity.
5 Trust the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths smooth.
7 Do not consider yourself wise. Fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
8 [Then] your body will be healed, and your bones will have nourishment.
9 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first and best part of all your income.
10 Then your barns will be full, and your vats will overflow with fresh wine.
11 Do not reject the discipline of the LORD, my son, and do not resent his warning,
12 because the LORD warns the one he loves, even as a father warns a son with whom he is pleased.
13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom and the one who obtains understanding.
14 The profit [gained] from [wisdom] is greater than the profit [gained] from silver. Its yield is better than fine gold.
15 [Wisdom] is more precious than jewels, and all your desires cannot equal it.
16 Long life is in [wisdom's] right hand. In [wisdom's] left hand are riches and honor.
17 [Wisdom's] ways are pleasant ways, and all its paths lead to peace.
18 [Wisdom] is a tree of life for those who take firm hold of it. Those who cling to it are blessed.
19 By Wisdom the LORD laid the foundation of the earth. By understanding he established the heavens.
20 By his knowledge the deep waters were divided, and the skies dropped dew.
21 My son, do not lose sight of these things. Use priceless wisdom and foresight.
22 Then they will mean life for you, and they will grace your neck.
23 Then you will go safely on your way, and you will not hurt your foot.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid. As you lie there, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the destruction of wicked people when it comes.
26 The LORD will be your confidence. He will keep your foot from getting caught.
27 Do not hold back anything good from those who are entitled to it when you have the power to do so.
28 When you have the good thing with you, do not tell your neighbor, "Go away! Come back tomorrow. I'll give you something then."
29 Do not plan to do something wrong to your neighbor while he is sitting there with you and suspecting nothing.
30 Do not quarrel with a person for no reason if he has not harmed you.
31 Do not envy a violent person. Do not choose any of his ways.
32 The devious person is disgusting to the LORD. The LORD's intimate advice is with decent people.
33 The LORD curses the house of wicked people, but he blesses the home of righteous people.
34 When he mocks the mockers, he is gracious to humble people.
35 Wise people will inherit honor, but fools will bear disgrace.

Proverbs 4

1 Sons, listen to [your] father's discipline, and pay attention in order to gain understanding.
2 After all, I have taught you well. Do not abandon my teachings.
3 When I was a boy [learning] from my father, when I was a tender and only child of my mother,
4 they used to teach me and say to me, "Cling to my words wholeheartedly. Obey my commands so that you may live.
5 Acquire wisdom. Acquire understanding. Do not forget. Do not turn away from the words that I have spoken.
6 Do not abandon wisdom, and it will watch over you. Love wisdom, and it will protect you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is to acquire wisdom. Acquire understanding with all that you have.
8 Cherish wisdom. It will raise you up. It will bring you honor when you embrace it.
9 It will give you a graceful garland for your head. It will hand you a beautiful crown."
10 My son, listen and accept my words, and they will multiply the years of your life.
11 I have taught you the way of wisdom. I have guided you along decent paths.
12 When you walk, your stride will not be hampered. Even if you run, you will not stumble.
13 Cling to discipline. Do not relax your grip on it. Keep it because it is your life.
14 Do not stray onto the path of wicked people. Do not walk in the way of evil people.
15 Avoid it. Do not walk near it. Turn away from it, and keep on walking.
16 Wicked people cannot sleep unless they do wrong, and they are robbed of their sleep unless they make someone stumble.
17 They eat food obtained through wrongdoing and drink wine obtained through violence.
18 But the path of righteous people is like the light of dawn that becomes brighter and brighter until it reaches midday.
19 The way of wicked people is like deep darkness. They do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to my words. Open your ears to what I say.
21 Do not lose sight of these things. Keep them deep within your heart
22 because they are life to those who find them and they heal the whole body.
23 Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it.
24 Remove dishonesty from your mouth. Put deceptive speech far away from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead and your sight be focused in front of you.
26 Carefully walk a straight path, and all your ways will be secure.
27 Do not lean to the right or to the left. Walk away from evil.

Proverbs 5

1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom. Open your ears to my understanding
2 so that you may act with foresight and speak with insight.
3 The lips of an adulterous woman drip with honey. Her kiss is smoother than oil,
4 but in the end she is as bitter as wormwood, as sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet descend to death. Her steps lead straight to hell.
6 She doesn't even think about the path of life. Her steps wander, and she doesn't realize it.
7 But now, sons, listen to me, and do not turn away from what I say to you.
8 Stay far away from her. Do not even go near her door.
9 Either you will surrender your reputation to others and [the rest of] your years to some cruel person,
10 or strangers will benefit from your strength and you will have to work hard in a pagan's house.
11 Then you will groan when your end comes, when your body and flesh are consumed. You will say,
12 "Oh, how I hated discipline! How my heart despised correction!
13 I didn't listen to what my teachers said to me, nor did I keep my ear open to my instructors.
14 I almost reached total ruin in the assembly and in the congregation."
15 Drink water out of your own cistern and running water from your own well.
16 Why should water flow out of your spring? Why should your streams flow into the streets?
17 They should be yours alone, so do not share them with strangers.
18 Let your own fountain be blessed, and enjoy the girl you married when you were young,
19 a loving doe and a graceful deer. Always let her breasts satisfy you. Always be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why should you, my son, be intoxicated with an adulterous woman and fondle a loose woman's breast?
21 Each person's ways are clearly seen by the LORD, and he surveys all his actions.
22 A wicked person will be trapped by his own wrongs, and he will be caught in the ropes of his own sin.
23 He will die for his lack of discipline and stumble around because of his great stupidity.

2 Corinthians 1

1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and from Timothy our brother. To God's church in the city of Corinth and to all God's holy people everywhere in Greece.
2 Good will and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are yours!
3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the Father who is compassionate and the God who gives comfort.
4 He comforts us whenever we suffer. That is why whenever other people suffer, we are able to comfort them by using the same comfort we have received from God.
5 Because Christ suffered so much for us, we can receive so much comfort from him.
6 Besides, if we suffer, it brings you comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, we can effectively comfort you when you endure the same sufferings that we endure.
7 We have confidence in you. We know that as you share our sufferings, you also share our comfort.
8 Brothers and sisters, we don't want you to be ignorant about the suffering we experienced in the province of Asia. It was so extreme that it was beyond our ability to endure. We even wondered if we could go on living.
9 In fact, we still feel as if we're under a death sentence. But we suffered so that we would stop trusting ourselves and learn to trust God, who brings the dead back to life.
10 He has rescued us from a terrible death, and he will rescue us in the future. We are confident that he will continue to rescue us,
11 since you are also joining to help us when you pray for us. Then many people will thank God for the favor he will show us because many people prayed for us.
12 We are proud that our conscience is clear. We are proud of the way that we have lived in this world. We have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity, especially toward you. It was not by human wisdom that we have lived but by God's kindness.
13 We are only writing you what you already knew before you read this. I hope you will understand this as long as you live,
14 even though you now understand it only partially. We are your reason to be proud, as you will be our reason to be proud on the day of our Lord Jesus.
15 Confident of this, I had previously wanted to visit you so that you could benefit twice.
16 My plans had been to go from the city of Corinth to the province of Macedonia. Then from Macedonia I had planned to return to you again in Corinth and have you support my trip to Judea.
17 You don't think that I made these plans lightly, do you? Do you think that when I make plans, I make them in a sinful way? Why would I say that something is true when it isn't?
18 You can depend on God. Our message to you isn't false; it's true.
19 God's Son, Jesus Christ, whom I, Silvanus, and Timothy told you about, was true not false. Because of him our message was always true.
20 Certainly, Christ made God's many promises come true. For that reason, because of our message, people also honor God by saying, "Amen!"
21 God establishes us, together with you, in a relationship with Christ. He has also anointed us.
22 In addition, he has put his seal [of ownership] on us and has given us the Spirit as his guarantee.
23 I appeal to God as a witness on my behalf, that I stayed away from Corinth because I wanted to spare you.
24 It isn't that we want to have control over your Christian faith. Rather, we want to work with you so that you will be happy. Certainly, you are firmly established in the Christian faith.