Psalm 37:1-11 The Voice (VOICE)
A song of David.
1 Don’t be worried with evil workers
3 Believe in the Eternal, and do what is good—
5 Commit your path to the Eternal; let Him direct you.
7 Be still. Be patient. Expect the Eternal to arrive and set things right.
8 So turn from anger. Don’t rage,
10 You’ll see . . . the wicked won’t know what hit them;
Genesis 43:16-34 The Voice (VOICE)
16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he spoke to his steward of his household.
Joseph: Bring the men into the house. Slaughter an animal, and prepare a feast. These men are to dine with me at noon today.
17 The man did as Joseph told him, and he brought the men to Joseph’s house. 18 The brothers became very concerned when they realized where they were being taken.
Joseph’s Brothers: It must be because of the money that was put back into our sacks the last time we were here. He’s looking for an opportunity to arrest us, make us slaves, and take our donkeys.
19 They went up to the steward of the house as he was standing at the door.
Joseph’s Brothers: 20 My lord, we came down to Egypt the first time to buy food, 21 but on our return to Canaan when we came to our lodging place, we opened our sacks and were surprised to find each one’s money in the top of his sack. All our money was returned apparently, so we have brought it back with us. 22 We also brought additional money to buy more food. We don’t know who put our money back into our sacks the last time we were here.
Steward: 23 There is no need to worry or be afraid. Be at peace. Your God and the God of your father must have filled your sacks with this treasure. I received your money the last time.
In a while the steward brought Simeon out to see them. 24 After he had escorted all eleven men into Joseph’s house, given them water, and made sure they had washed their feet, he gave their donkeys some fodder. 25 The brothers prepared the presents they had brought for Joseph. It was almost noon, and they had learned they would be dining with him soon.
26 When Joseph arrived home, they brought the presents into the house. With gifts in hand, they bowed to the ground before him. 27 This time he greeted them warmly.
Joseph: Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?
Joseph’s Brothers: 28 Your servant, our father, is alive and well.
They bowed down again out of respect. 29 Then Joseph looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son.
Joseph: Is this your youngest brother whom you told me about last time? God’s grace be upon you, my son!
30 Joseph hurried from the room because he was overwhelmed with affection for his brother and was afraid he would cry in front of everyone. So he went into a private room and wept there. 31 After he regained his composure, he washed his face and came out. With a controlled voice, he commanded his servants.
Joseph: You may serve the meal.
32 The staff served Joseph, who was seated separately, and then his brothers, who were seated apart from other Egyptians invited to eat with Joseph that day. (You see Egyptians do not eat with Hebrews or any other foreigners because they find the practice utterly offensive.) 33 As the brothers were seated in front of him, the men noticed the arrangement, and they looked at each other amazed and amused for they were seated by age, the firstborn on one end, the youngest on the other. 34 They were served their portions from Joseph’s table, and everyone noticed Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. But they celebrated and drank freely until everyone was quite relaxed.
Romans 8:1-11 The Voice (VOICE)
8 Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, 2 because when you live in the Anointed One, Jesus, a new law takes effect. The law of the Spirit of life breathes into you and liberates you from the law of sin and death. 3 God did something the law could never do. You see, human flesh took its toll on God’s law. In and of itself, the law is not weak; but the flesh weakens it. So to condemn the sin that was ruling in the flesh, God sent His own Son, bearing the likeness of sinful flesh, as a sin offering. 4 Now we are able to live up to the justice demanded by the law. But that ability has not come from living by our fallen human nature; it has come because we walk according to the movement of the Spirit in our lives.
5 If you live your life animated by the flesh—namely, your fallen, corrupt nature—then your mind is focused on the matters of the flesh. But if you live your life animated by the Spirit—namely, God’s indwelling presence—then your focus is on the work of the Spirit. 6 A mind focused on the flesh is doomed to death, but a mind focused on the Spirit will find full life and complete peace. 7 You see, a mind focused on the flesh is declaring war against God; it defies the authority of God’s law and is incapable of following His path. 8 So it is clear that God takes no pleasure in those who live oriented to the flesh.
The power of sin and death has been eclipsed by the power of the Spirit. The Spirit breathes life into our mortal, sin-infested bodies—thanks to what Jesus has done for us. By sending His Son in “the likeness of sinful flesh,” God judges sin finally and completely. The sins of the world are concentrated and condemned in the flesh of Jesus as He hangs on the cross. So now there is no condemnation remaining for those who’ve entered into the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
9 But you do not live in the flesh. You live in the Spirit, assuming, of course, that the Spirit of God lives inside of you. The truth is that anyone who does not have the Spirit of the Anointed living within does not belong to God. 10 If the Anointed One lives within you, even though the body is as good as dead because of the effects of sin, the Spirit is infusing you with life now that you are right with God. 11 If the Spirit of the One who resurrected Jesus from the dead lives inside of you, then you can be sure that He who raised Him will cast the light of life into your mortal bodies through the life-giving power of the Spirit residing in you.
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