Ecclesiastes 10-12Contemporary English Version (CEV)
10 A few dead flies in perfume
5 Some things rulers do are terribly unfair: 6 They honor fools, but dishonor the rich; 7 they let slaves ride on horses, but force slave owners to walk.
8 If you dig a pit,
12 If you talk sensibly,
16 A country is in for trouble
It Pays To Work Hard
11 Be generous, and someday
5 No one can explain how a baby breathes before it is born.[e] So how can anyone explain what God does? After all, he created everything.
6 Plant your seeds early in the morning and keep working in the field until dark. Who knows? Your work might pay off, and your seeds might produce.
Youth and Old Age
7 Nothing on earth is more beautiful than the morning sun. 8 Even if you live to a ripe old age, you should try to enjoy each day, because darkness will come and will last a long time. Nothing makes sense.[f]
9 Be cheerful and enjoy life while you are young! Do what you want and find pleasure in what you see. But don’t forget that God will judge you for everything you do.
10 Rid yourself of all worry and pain, because the wonderful moments of youth quickly disappear.
12 Keep your Creator in mind while you are young! In years to come, you will be burdened down with troubles and say, “I don’t enjoy life anymore.”
2 Someday the light of the sun
5 You will be afraid
We each go to our eternal home,
Respect and Obey God
9 I was a wise teacher with much understanding, and I collected a number of proverbs that I had carefully studied. 10 Then I tried to explain these things in the best and most accurate way.
11 Words of wisdom are like the stick a farmer uses to make animals move. These sayings come from God, our only shepherd, and they are like nails that fasten things together.[h] 12 My child, I warn you to stay away from any teachings except these.
There is no end to books,
13 Everything you were taught can be put into a few words:
Respect and obey God!
Galatians 1Contemporary English Version (CEV)
1 1-2 From the apostle Paul and from all the Lord’s followers with me.
I was chosen to be an apostle by Jesus Christ and by God the Father, who raised him from death. No mere human chose or appointed me to this work.
To the churches in Galatia.
3 I pray that God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace! 4 Christ obeyed God our Father and gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins to rescue us from this evil world. 5 God will be given glory forever and ever. Amen.
The Only True Message
6 I am shocked that you have so quickly turned from God, who chose you because of his wonderful kindness.[a] You have believed another message, 7 when there is really only one true message. But some people are causing you trouble and want to make you turn away from the good news about Christ. 8 I pray that God will punish anyone who preaches anything different from our message to you! It doesn’t matter if that person is one of us or an angel from heaven. 9 I have said it before, and I will say it again. I hope God will punish anyone who preaches anything different from what you have already believed.
10 I am not trying to please people. I want to please God. Do you think I am trying to please people? If I were doing that, I would not be a servant of Christ.
How Paul Became an Apostle
11 My friends, I want you to know that no one made up the message I preach. 12 It wasn’t given or taught to me by some mere human. My message came directly from Jesus Christ when he appeared to me.
13 You know how I used to live as a Jew. I was cruel to God’s church and even tried to destroy it. 14 I was a much better Jew than anyone else my own age, and I obeyed every law that our ancestors had given us. 15 But even before I was born, God had chosen me. He was kind and had decided 16 to show me his Son, so that I would announce his message to the Gentiles. I didn’t talk this over with anyone. 17 I didn’t say a word, not even to the men in Jerusalem who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went at once to Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.
18 Three years later I went to visit Peter[b] in Jerusalem and stayed with him for fifteen days. 19 The only other apostle I saw was James, the Lord’s brother. 20 And in the presence of God I swear I am telling the truth.
21 Later, I went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 But no one who belonged to Christ’s churches in Judea had ever seen me in person. 23 They had only heard that the one who had been cruel to them was now preaching the message that he had once tried to destroy. 24 And because of me, they praised God.
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