Psalm 57 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Prayer for Rescue from Persecutors.
For the choir director; set to [a]Al-tashheth. A [b]Mikhtam of David, [c]when he fled from Saul in the cave.
57 Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me,
4 My soul is among lions;
7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
Psalm 145 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Lord Extolled for His Goodness.
A Psalm of Praise, of David.
145 I will extol You, my God, O King,
8 The Lord is gracious and merciful;
14 The Lord sustains all who fall
17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways
Ecclesiastes 2:1-15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Futility of Pleasure and Possessions
2 I said [a]to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So [b]enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. 2 I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” 3 I explored with my [c]mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my [d]mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men [e]to do under heaven the few [f]years of their lives. 4 I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; 5 I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; 6 I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and I had [g]homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. 8 Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men—many concubines.
9 Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. 10 All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. 11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had [h]exerted, and behold all was [i]vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.
Wisdom Excels Folly
12 So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done? 13 And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness. 14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one fate befalls them both. 15 Then I said [j]to myself, “As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So [k]I said to myself, “This too is vanity.”
Galatians 1:1-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
1 Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:
3 Grace to you and peace from [a]God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil [b]age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.
Perversion of the Gospel
6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you [c]by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel [d]contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be [e]accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel [f]contrary to what you received, he is to be [g]accursed!
10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
Paul Defends His Ministry
11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; 14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my [h]countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions. 15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with [i]flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.
Matthew 13:44-52 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
A Costly Pearl
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; 48 and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. 49 So it will be at the [a]end of the age; the angels will come forth and [b]take out the wicked from among the righteous, 50 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 “Have you understood all these things?” They *said to Him, “Yes.” 52 And [c]Jesus said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
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