Psalm 138 The Voice (VOICE)
A song of David.
1 To You, Lord, I give my whole heart, a heart filled with praise, for I am grateful;
4 May all the kings of the earth praise You, O Eternal One,
7 Whenever I walk into trouble,
Genesis 18:20-32 The Voice (VOICE)
20 (continuing so Abraham could hear) I have heard terrible things—urgent and outraged calls for help—coming from the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and their sin has become a serious problem. 21 I must go down and see for Myself whether the outcries against them that My ears have heard are really true. If not, I will know.
22 At this point the men turned and headed toward Sodom while Abraham remained standing before the Eternal One. 23 Then Abraham approached Him solemnly and pled for the city.
Abraham (to God): God, would You really sweep away the people who do what is right along with those who are wicked? 24 What if there were 50 upright people within the city? Would You still wipe the place out and not spare it on behalf of the 50 upright people who live there? 25 Surely it can’t be Your nature to do something like that—to kill the right-living along with those who act wickedly, to consign the innocent to the same fate as the guilty. It is inconceivable to me that You, my God, would do anything like that! Will not the “Merciful and Loving Judge” of all the earth do what is just?
Eternal One: 26 If I find 50 good and true people in the city of Sodom, I give you My word I will spare the entire city on their behalf.
Abraham (emboldened): 27 Look, I know I am just a human being, scooped from the dust and ashes of the earth, but if I might implore You, Lord, a bit further: 28 What if the city lacked 5 of those 50 right-living people? What then? Would You destroy the entire city because it lacked those 5?
Eternal One: I won’t destroy the city if I find 45 good and true people there.
Abraham (persisting): 29 Suppose 40 are found there.
Eternal One: I won’t destroy the city for the sake of 40.
Abraham: 30 Please don’t be angry, Lord, at my boldness. Let me ask this: What if You found 30 there who are good and true?
Eternal One: I will not do it, even if I find only 30 there.
Abraham: 31 Since I have implored the Lord this far, may I ask: What if there were 20?
Eternal One: For the sake of 20, I will not destroy the city.
Abraham: 32 Please don’t be angry, Lord, at my boldness. Let me ask this just once more: suppose only 10 are found?
Eternal One: For the sake of only 10, I still will not destroy it.
Colossians 2:6-15 The Voice (VOICE)
Paul calls the believers in Colossae to remain steadfast in their faith.
6 Now that you have welcomed the Anointed One, Jesus the Lord, into your lives, continue to journey with Him and allow Him to shape your lives. 7 Let your roots grow down deeply in Him, and let Him build you up on a firm foundation. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always spill over with thankfulness. 8 Make sure no predator makes you his prey through some misleading philosophy and empty deception based on traditions fabricated by mere mortals. These are sourced in the elementary principles originating in this world and not in the Anointed One (so don’t let their talks capture you). 9 You see, all that is God, all His fullness, resides in His body. 10 You, too, are being completed in Him, the One who has dominion over all rule, all authority. 11 In Him you were also circumcised, set apart by a spiritual act performed without hands. The Anointed One’s circumcision cut you off from the sinfulness of your flesh. 12 You were buried with Him beneath the waters of the ceremonial washing called baptism[a] and then were raised up with Him by faith in the resurrection power of God, who brought Him back from the dead. 13 And when your flesh was still uncircumcised—dead in transgression and swathed in its sinful nature—it was God who brought us[b] to life with Him, forgave all our sins, and 14 eliminated the massive debt we incurred by the law that stood against us. He took it all away; He nailed it to the cross. But that’s not all. 15 He disarmed those who once ruled over us—those who had overpowered us. Like captives of war, He put them on display to the world to show His victory over them by means of the cross.
Colossians 2:16-19 The Voice (VOICE)
16 So don’t let anyone stand in judgment over you and dictate what you should eat or drink, what festivals you should celebrate, or how you should observe a new moon or Sabbath days— 17 all these are only a shadow of what shall come. The reality, the core, the import, is found in the Anointed One. 18 Don’t be cheated out of the prize by others who are peddling the worship of heavenly beings and false humility. People like this run about telling whoever will listen what they claim to have seen; but in reality they testify only to an inflated mind, saturated in conceit—not in the Spirit. 19 They are detached from the very head that nourishes and connects the whole body with all of its nerves and ligaments, a body that grows by the kind of growth that can only come from God.
Luke 11:1-13 The Voice (VOICE)
11 Another time Jesus was praying, and when He finished, one of His disciples approached Him.
Disciple: Teacher, would You teach us Your way of prayer? John taught his disciples his way of prayer, and we’re hoping You’ll do the same.
Jesus: 2 Here’s how to pray:
Father [in heaven], may Your name be revered.
5 Imagine that one of your friends comes over at midnight. He bangs on the door and shouts, “Friend, will you lend me three loaves of bread? 6 A friend of mine just showed up unexpectedly from a journey, and I don’t have anything to feed him.” 7 Would you shout out from your bed, “I’m already in bed, and so are the kids. I already locked the door. I can’t be bothered”? 8 You know this as well as I do: even if you didn’t care that this fellow was your friend, if he keeps knocking long enough, you’ll get up and give him whatever he needs simply because of his brash persistence!
9 So listen: Keep on asking, and you will receive. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened for you. 10 All who keep asking will receive, all who keep seeking will find, and doors will open to those who keep knocking.
11 Some of you are fathers, so ask yourselves this: if your son comes up to you and asks for a fish for dinner, will you give him a snake instead? 12 If your boy wants an egg to eat, will you give him a scorpion? 13 Look, all of you are flawed in so many ways, yet in spite of all your faults, you know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to all who ask!