Isaiah 11-13 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Peace at Last
11 Like a branch that sprouts
This king won’t judge
6 Leopards will lie down
8 Little children will play
9 Nothing harmful will take place
God’s People Will Come Back Home
10 The time is coming when one of David’s descendants[b] will be the signal for the people of all nations to come together. They will follow his advice, and his own nation will become famous.
11 When that day comes, the Lord will again reach out his mighty arm and bring home his people who have survived in Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Ethiopia,[c] Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the land along the coast.[d] 12 He will give a signal to the nations, and he will bring together the refugees from Judah and Israel, who have been scattered all over the earth. 13 Israel will stop being jealous of Judah, and Judah will no longer be the enemy of Israel. 14 Instead, they will get together and attack the Philistines in the west. Then they will defeat the Edomites, the Moabites, and the Ammonites in the east. They will rule those people and take from them whatever they want.
15 The Lord will dry up the arm of the Red Sea near Egypt,[e] and he will send a scorching wind to divide the Euphrates River into seven streams that anyone can step across. 16 Then for his people who survive, there will be a good road from Assyria, just as there was a good road for their ancestors when they left Egypt.
A Song of Praise
12 At that time you will say,
3 With great joy, you people
6 Sing, people of Zion!
Babylon Will Be Punished
13 This is the message[g] that I was given about Babylon:
2 From high on a barren hill
4 Listen to the noisy crowds
6 Cry and weep!
There Will Be No Mercy
9 I, the Lord,
11 I will punish this evil world
14 Everyone will run
17 The Medes[h] can’t be bought off
The Lord Will Destroy Babylon
19 The city of Babylon
Ephesians 4 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Unity with Christ
4 As a prisoner of the Lord, I beg you to live in a way that is worthy of the people God has chosen to be his own. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each other. 3 Try your best to let God’s Spirit keep your hearts united. Do this by living at peace. 4 All of you are part of the same body. There is only one Spirit of God, just as you were given one hope when you were chosen to be God’s people. 5 We have only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. 6 There is one God who is the Father of all people. Not only is God above all others, but he works by using all of us, and he lives in all of us.
7 Christ has generously divided out his gifts to us. 8 As the Scriptures say,
“When he went up
9 When it says, “he went up,” it means that Christ had been deep in the earth. 10 This also means that the one who went deep into the earth is the same one who went into the highest heaven, so that he would fill the whole universe.
11 Christ chose some of us to be apostles, prophets, missionaries, pastors, and teachers, 12 so that his people would learn to serve and his body would grow strong. 13 This will continue until we are united by our faith and by our understanding of the Son of God. Then we will be mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him.[a]
14 We must stop acting like children. We must not let deceitful people trick us by their false teachings, which are like winds that toss us around from place to place. 15 Love should always make us tell the truth. Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ, the head 16 of the body. Christ holds it together and makes all of its parts work perfectly, as it grows and becomes strong because of love.
The Old Life and the New Life
17 As a follower of the Lord, I order you to stop living like stupid, godless people. 18 Their minds are in the dark, and they are stubborn and ignorant and have missed out on the life that comes from God. They no longer have any feelings about what is right, 19 and they are so greedy that they do all kinds of indecent things.
20-21 But that isn’t what you were taught about Jesus Christ. He is the truth, and you heard about him and learned about him. 22 You were told that your foolish desires will destroy you and that you must give up your old way of life with all its bad habits. 23 Let the Spirit change your way of thinking 24 and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy.
Rules for the New Life
25 We are part of the same body. Stop lying and start telling each other the truth. 26 Don’t get so angry that you sin. Don’t go to bed angry 27 and don’t give the devil a chance.
28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Be honest and work hard, so you will have something to give to people in need.
29 Stop all your dirty talk. Say the right thing at the right time and help others by what you say.
30 Don’t make God’s Spirit sad. The Spirit makes you sure that someday you will be free from your sins.
31 Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. 32 Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.
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