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Psalm 115:12-18 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

12 The Lord remembers us and will bless us:
    he will bless his people Israel,
    he will bless the house of Aaron,
13 he will bless those who fear the Lord –
    small and great alike.

14 May the Lord cause you to flourish,
    both you and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

16 The highest heavens belong to the Lord,
    but the earth he has given to the human race.
17 It is not the dead who praise the Lord,
    those who go down to the place of silence;
18 it is we who extol the Lord,
    both now and for evermore.

Praise the Lord.[a]

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 115:18 Hebrew Hallelu Yah
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Philippians 2:12-30 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Do everything without grumbling

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’[a] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labour in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Timothy and Epaphroditus

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.

25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honour people like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.

Footnotes:

  1. Philippians 2:15 Deut. 32:5
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Jeremiah 2:31-4:9 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

31 ‘You of this generation, consider the word of the Lord:

‘Have I been a desert to Israel
    or a land of great darkness?
Why do my people say, “We are free to roam;
    we will come to you no more”?
32 Does a young woman forget her jewellery,
    a bride her wedding ornaments?
Yet my people have forgotten me,
    days without number.
33 How skilled you are at pursuing love!
    Even the worst of women can learn from your ways.
34 On your clothes is found
    the lifeblood of the innocent poor,
    though you did not catch them breaking in.
Yet in spite of all this
35     you say, “I am innocent;
    he is not angry with me.”
But I will pass judgment on you
    because you say, “I have not sinned.”
36 Why do you go about so much,
    changing your ways?
You will be disappointed by Egypt
    as you were by Assyria.
37 You will also leave that place
    with your hands on your head,
for the Lord has rejected those you trust;
    you will not be helped by them.

‘If a man divorces his wife
    and she leaves him and marries another man,
should he return to her again?
    Would not the land be completely defiled?
But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers –
    would you now return to me?’
declares the Lord.
‘Look up to the barren heights and see.
    Is there any place where you have not been ravished?
By the roadside you sat waiting for lovers,
    sat like a nomad in the desert.
You have defiled the land
    with your prostitution and wickedness.
Therefore the showers have been withheld,
    and no spring rains have fallen.
Yet you have the brazen look of a prostitute;
    you refuse to blush with shame.
Have you not just called to me:
    “My Father, my friend from my youth,
will you always be angry?
    Will your wrath continue for ever?”
This is how you talk,
    but you do all the evil you can.’

Unfaithful Israel

During the reign of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, ‘Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it. I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. Because Israel’s immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood. 10 In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretence,’ declares the Lord.

11 The Lord said to me, ‘Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah. 12 Go, proclaim this message towards the north:

‘“Return, faithless Israel,” declares the Lord,
    “I will frown on you no longer,
for I am faithful,” declares the Lord,
    “I will not be angry for ever.
13 Only acknowledge your guilt –
    you have rebelled against the Lord your God,
you have scattered your favours to foreign gods
    under every spreading tree,
    and have not obeyed me,”’
declares the Lord.

14 ‘Return, faithless people,’ declares the Lord, ‘for I am your husband. I will choose you – one from a town and two from a clan – and bring you to Zion. 15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. 16 In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘people will no longer say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honour the name of the Lord. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts. 18 In those days the people of Judah will join the people of Israel, and together they will come from a northern land to the land I gave your ancestors as an inheritance.

19 ‘I myself said,

‘“How gladly would I treat you like my children
    and give you a pleasant land,
    the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.”
I thought you would call me “Father”
    and not turn away from following me.
20 But like a woman unfaithful to her husband,
    so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me,’
declares the Lord.

21 A cry is heard on the barren heights,
    the weeping and pleading of the people of Israel,
because they have perverted their ways
    and have forgotten the Lord their God.

22 ‘Return, faithless people;
    I will cure you of backsliding.’

‘Yes, we will come to you,
    for you are the Lord our God.
23 Surely the idolatrous commotion on the hills
    and mountains is a deception;
surely in the Lord our God
    is the salvation of Israel.
24 From our youth shameful gods have consumed
    the fruits of our ancestors’ labour –
their flocks and herds,
    their sons and daughters.
25 Let us lie down in our shame,
    and let our disgrace cover us.
We have sinned against the Lord our God,
    both we and our ancestors;
from our youth till this day
    we have not obeyed the Lord our God.’

‘If you, Israel, will return,
    then return to me,’
declares the Lord.
‘If you put your detestable idols out of my sight
    and no longer go astray,
and if in a truthful, just and righteous way
    you swear, “As surely as the Lord lives,”
then the nations will invoke blessings by him
    and in him they will boast.’

This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem:

‘Break up your unploughed ground
    and do not sow among thorns.
Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
    circumcise your hearts,
    you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire
    because of the evil you have done –
    burn with no one to quench it.

Disaster from the North

‘Announce in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem and say:
    “Sound the trumpet throughout the land!”
Cry aloud and say:
    “Gather together!
    Let us flee to the fortified cities!”
Raise the signal to go to Zion!
    Flee for safety without delay!
For I am bringing disaster from the north,
    even terrible destruction.’

A lion has come out of his lair;
    a destroyer of nations has set out.
He has left his place
    to lay waste your land.
Your towns will lie in ruins
    without inhabitant.
So put on sackcloth,
    lament and wail,
for the fierce anger of the Lord
    has not turned away from us.

‘In that day,’ declares the Lord,
    ‘the king and the officials will lose heart,
the priests will be horrified,
    and the prophets will be appalled.’

New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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