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 45:3-11 The Voice (VOICE)
Joseph: 3 I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?
But his brothers were too shocked to speak. They couldn’t answer, for they were so overwhelmed that they were standing in Joseph’s presence.
Joseph (to his brothers): 4 Come closer to me.
His brothers approached him cautiously.
Joseph: I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 Don’t be upset or angry with yourselves any longer because of what you did. You see God sent me here ahead of you to preserve life. 6 For famine struck this land two years ago, and there are five more years in which there will be no plowing or harvesting. 7 God sent me here ahead of you to make sure you and your families survive this terrible ordeal and have a remnant left on earth. 8 So it wasn’t really you who sent me here, but God; the same God who made me an advisor to Pharaoh, master of his household, and ruler over everyone in the land of Egypt.
9 Hurry now, go to my father, and relay this message: “Here is what your son Joseph says: ‘God has made me master over all Egypt. Come to me and don’t delay. 10 I’ll arrange for all of you to settle in the land of Goshen where you can be near me—you and all of your children and grandchildren, as well as your flocks and herds and everything you have. 11 I will provide for you there. Since five more years of famine are still to come, I will make sure your household and everything you have will not descend into poverty.’”
Genesis 45:15 The Voice (VOICE)
15 Then he kissed all of his brothers one by one, cried on their shoulders as well, and after that they talked for a time together.
1 Corinthians 15:35-38 The Voice (VOICE)
35 Now I know what some of you are thinking: “Just how are the dead going to be raised? What kind of bodies will they have when they come back to life?” 36 Don’t be a fool! The seed you plant doesn’t produce life unless it dies. Right? 37 The seed doesn’t have the same look, the same body, if you will, of what it will have once it starts to grow. It starts out a single, naked seed—whether wheat or some other grain, it doesn’t matter— 38 and God gives to that seed a body just as He has desired. For each of the different kinds of seeds God prepares a unique body.
1 Corinthians 15:42-50 The Voice (VOICE)
42 It’s like this with the resurrection of those who have died. The body planted in the earth decays. But the body raised from the earth cannot decay. 43 The body is planted in disgrace and weakness. But the body is raised in splendor and power. 44 The body planted in the earth was animated by the physical, material realm. But the body raised from the earth will be animated by the spiritual. Since there is a physical, material body, there will also be a spiritual body. 45 That’s why it was written, “The first man Adam became a living soul”; the last Adam has become a life-giving spirit. 46 Everything has an order. The body is not animated first by the spiritual but the physical; then the spiritual becomes its life-giving source. 47 The first man, Adam, came from the earth and was made from dust; the second man, Jesus, has come from heaven. 48 The earth man shares his earth nature with all those made of earth; likewise the heavenly man shares His heavenly nature with all those made of heaven. 49 Just as we have carried the image of the earth man in our bodies, we will[a] also carry the image of the heavenly man in our new bodies at the resurrection.
Redemption is not merely forgiveness of sin’s guilt so our souls can go to heaven someday. Our true hope is to be free from physical death just as Jesus was raised from the dead. Accordingly, this hope of bodily resurrection stands against the expectation that souls escape from their mortal bodies (as if your soul is the real “you” and your body is a disposable external space suit) and merely float up to heaven. Rather, Paul presents resurrection as a new creation; and this restored bodily existence affirms and fulfills the original intent of creation. Believers don’t have to wait until the future to experience this Spirit-enabled life because living in obedience to God through the Spirit is a foretaste of the total experience that will come when all is restored later.
50 Now listen to this: brothers and sisters, this present body is not able to inherit the kingdom of God any more than decay can inherit that which lasts forever.
Luke 6:27-38 The Voice (VOICE)
27 If you’re listening, here’s My message: Keep loving your enemies no matter what they do. Keep doing good to those who hate you. 28 Keep speaking blessings on those who curse you. Keep praying for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, offer the other cheek too. If someone steals your coat, offer him your shirt too. 30 If someone begs from you, give to him. If someone robs you of your valuables, don’t demand them back. 31 Think of the kindness you wish others would show you; do the same for them.
32 Listen, what’s the big deal if you love people who already love you? Even scoundrels do that much! 33 So what if you do good to those who do good to you? Even scoundrels do that much! 34 So what if you lend to people who are likely to repay you? Even scoundrels lend to scoundrels if they think they’ll be fully repaid.
35 If you want to be extraordinary—love your enemies! Do good without restraint! Lend with abandon! Don’t expect anything in return! Then you’ll receive the truly great reward—you will be children of the Most High—for God is kind to the ungrateful and those who are wicked. 36 So imitate God and be truly compassionate, the way your Father is.
37 If you don’t want to be judged, don’t judge. If you don’t want to be condemned, don’t condemn. If you want to be forgiven, forgive. 38 Don’t hold back—give freely, and you’ll have plenty poured back into your lap—a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, brimming over. You’ll receive in the same measure you give.
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