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Psalm 119:97-104 The Voice (VOICE)

Mem

97 Oh, how I love Your law!
    I fix my mind on it all day long.
98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies
    because they are always with me.
99 I have more discernment than all my teachers
    because I study and meditate on Your testimonies.
100 I comprehend more than those who are my elders
    because I have kept Your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet from walking the paths of evil
    so that I may live according to Your word.
102 I have not neglected Your lessons,
    for You, God, have been my teacher.
103 Your words are sweet to my taste!
    Yes, they are sweeter than honey in my mouth!
104 I gain understanding from Your instructions;
    that’s why I hate every deceitful path.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 9 The Voice (VOICE)

Lady Wisdom has built her house;
    she has supported it with seven pillars.
She’s prepared a feast:
    She’s slaughtered her animals, poured a spiced wine,
    and set her table.
She has sent out her servants with the invitation to come to the party;
    she, too, calls out from the highest point of the city:

Lady Wisdom: Whoever is young and gullible, turn in here.
        You are welcome in this place!

Then, turning to those who are naive, she says:

Lady Wisdom: Come in. Come, eat my bread,
        and drink my spiced wine.
    Give up your gullible ways, your naive thoughts, for true life.
        Set your course for understanding.

Whoever tries to discipline a scoffer should expect a hail of insults in return.
    Whoever tries to correct an evildoer is likely to get hurt in the process.
So do not correct a scoffer unless you are ready to be hated,
    but correct the wise and you will be loved.
Give instruction to the wise, and they will become wiser.
    Teach upstanding people, and they will learn even more.
10 Reverence for the Eternal, the one True God, is the beginning of wisdom;
    true knowledge of the Holy One is the start of understanding.

11 Lady Wisdom: Through me your days will be lengthened,
        and years will be added to your life.

12 If you are wise, wisdom is its own reward.
    If you mock what you don’t understand, you alone will suffer the consequences.

13 Compared to Wisdom, the Lady Folly is rowdy and loud,
    naive and ignorant.
14 She sits by the door of her house,
    on a bench at the highest place in the city,

Lady Wisdom has built a house, prepared a feast, and now invites the young, the simple, and the naive to come to her party. She wants her house full of guests and spilling over with life, yet hers is not the only invitation. There is competition in the streets. Another woman vies for the attention of the young and impressionable. She, too, wants her house full, but of deceit and seduction; and when it is, death and misery join the revelry.

Wisdom addresses a broad audience. First, there are the wise who already know and worship the one True God, who do what is right in God’s eyes, and who experience the resulting benefits. They need only to be reminded about God’s ways. Second, there are the mockers and fools who reject God’s teaching and consistently do what is wrong in spite of its consequences. They need to be confronted and called to change their ways. Finally, there are the naive who straddle the fence, one day going this way, another day going that way. Wisdom extends herself to reach them, to point clearly toward the decision they have to make.

15 Crooning to passersby
    who hurry straight on to their destinations:

16 Lady Folly: Whoever is young and gullible, turn in here.
        You are welcome in this place!

Then, she turns to the naive.

17 Lady Folly: Stolen water tastes so much sweeter!
        Bread secreted away is much more satisfying to eat!

18 But those who pause to listen to Lady Folly do not know death is the next stop,
    that her guests are walking cadavers.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

1 John 2:1-6 The Voice (VOICE)

The word “sin” has virtually disappeared from modern conversation. Afraid of sounding judgmental, we call sin something else—a mistake, an addiction, a tendency, a bad decision—and ignore it as normal and natural behavior. But John is calling the church to a radical holiness where those in the church will regularly remember their sins and seek God’s forgiveness. Each sin, small and large, injures us or someone else; it imprints on our soul, makes us imperfect, and separates us from the perfect God. If we confess our sins to God each day, then He will purify our hearts and draw us closer to Him.

You are my little children, so I am writing these things to help you avoid sin. If, however, any believer does sin, we have a high-powered defense lawyer—Jesus the Anointed, the righteous—arguing on our behalf before the Father. It was through His sacrificial death that our sins were atoned. But He did not stop there—He died for the sins of the whole world.

John is affectionately addressing this letter to his “little children,” and he is writing to help them avoid sin and the pain and guilt that come with it. The glamour of decadent lifestyles devoid of God is often advertised as the epitome of joy and freedom. But what are often conveniently left out of these portrayals are the agonizing consequences of such destructive lifestyles. Meaningful pleasure comes not when we are enslaved by the empty promises of the world, but when we are living in loving obedience to God.

We know we have joined Him in an intimate relationship because we live out His commands. If someone claims, “I am in an intimate relationship with Him,” but this big talker doesn’t live out His commands, then this individual is a liar and a stranger to the truth. But if someone responds to and obeys His word, then God’s love has truly taken root and filled him. This is how we know we are in an intimate relationship with Him: anyone who says, “I live in intimacy with Him,” should walk the path Jesus walked.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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