Psalm 46 The Voice (VOICE)
For the worship leader. A song of the sons of Korah, a song for sopranos.[a]
This song is attributed to the sons of Korah. It praises God for His strength and protection and for Jerusalem and its temple where God uniquely dwells. It invites the world to witness a future when wars and striving will cease and all the nations know and worship the one True God.
1 God is our shelter and our strength.
4 A pure stream flows—never to be cut off—
8 Come, gaze, fix your eyes on what the Eternal can do.
Jeremiah 23:1-6 The Voice (VOICE)
23 Eternal One: Woe to the shepherds who slaughter and scatter the sheep of My pasture! 2 This is what I, the Eternal God of Israel, have to say about the shepherds tending My people:
You have scattered My flock, driven them far away, and failed miserably at being their caregivers. So look! I will punish you for your negligence, for the careless evil you’ve done. 3 I will personally gather the remnant of My sheep from the lands where I have driven them. I will bring them back to their home pasture where they will be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will appoint new, responsible shepherds to take care of them, and My sheep will no longer have to be afraid. These new, responsible shepherds will make sure that none of My sheep go missing.
5 Watch! The days are coming when I will raise up a righteous Branch of David—an heir of his royal line—who will rule justly, act wisely and make things right again in the land. 6 During His reign, Judah will be redeemed and Israel will be a safe place again. The name he is called will tell the story: The Eternal Is Our Righteousness!
Colossians 1:11-20 The Voice (VOICE)
11 Strengthen them with Your infinite power, according to Your glorious might, so that they will have everything they need to hold on and endure hardship patiently and joyfully. 12 Thank You, Father, as You have made us[a] eligible to receive our portion of the inheritance given to all those set apart by the light. 13 You have rescued us from dark powers and brought us safely into the kingdom of Your Son, whom You love 14 and in whom we are redeemed and forgiven of our sins [through His blood].[b]
15 He is the exact image of the invisible God, the firstborn of creation, the eternal. 16 It was by Him that everything was created: the heavens, the earth, all things within and upon them, all things seen and unseen, thrones and dominions, spiritual powers and authorities. Every detail was crafted through His design, by His own hands, and for His purposes. 17 He has always been! It is His hand that holds everything together. 18 He is the head of this body, the church. He is the beginning, the first of those to be reborn from the dead, so that in every aspect, at every view, in everything—He is first. 19 God was pleased that all His fullness should forever dwell in the Son 20 who, as predetermined by God, bled peace into the world by His death on the cross as God’s means of reconciling to Himself the whole creation—all things in heaven and all things on earth.
Luke 23:33-43 The Voice (VOICE)
33 When they came to the place known as “The Skull,” they crucified Jesus there, in the company of criminals, one to the right of Jesus and the other to His left.
Jesus: 34 [Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.][a]
Meanwhile they were drawing lots to see who would win Jesus’ clothing. 35 The crowd of people stood, watching.
Authorities (mocking Jesus): So He was supposed to rescue others, was He? He was supposed to be God’s Anointed, the Liberating King? Let’s see Him start by liberating Himself!
36 The soldiers joined in the mockery. First, they pretended to offer Him a soothing drink—but it was sour wine.
Soldiers: 37 Hey, if You’re the King of the Jews, why don’t You free Yourself!
38 Even the inscription they placed over Him was intended to mock Him—“This is the King of the Jews!” [This was written in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.][b]
39 One of the criminals joined in the cruel talk.
Cynical Criminal: You’re supposed to be the Anointed One, right? Well—do it! Rescue Yourself and us!
40 But the other criminal told him to be quiet.
Believing Criminal: Don’t you have any fear of God at all? You’re getting the same death sentence He is! 41 We’re getting what we deserve since we’ve committed crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong at all! 42 (turning to Jesus) Jesus, when You come into Your kingdom, please remember me.
Jesus: 43 I promise you that this very day you will be with Me in paradise.