Isaiah 39-40 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Isaiah Speaks the Lord’s Message to Hezekiah
39 Merodach Baladan, the son of Baladan, was now king of Babylonia. And when he learned that Hezekiah was well, he sent messengers with letters and a gift for him. 2 Hezekiah welcomed the messengers and showed them all the silver, the gold, the spices, and the fine oils that were in his storehouse. He even showed them where he kept his weapons. Nothing in his palace or in his entire kingdom was kept hidden from them.
3 I asked Hezekiah, “Where did these men come from? What did they want?”
“They came all the way from Babylonia,” Hezekiah answered.
4 “What did you show them?” I asked.
Hezekiah answered, “I showed them everything in my kingdom.”
5 Then I told Hezekiah:
I have a message for you from the Lord All-Powerful. 6 One day everything you and your ancestors have stored up will be taken to Babylonia. The Lord has promised that nothing will be left. 7 Some of your own sons will be taken to Babylonia, where they will be disgraced and made to serve in the king’s palace.
8 Hezekiah thought, “At least our nation will be at peace for a while.” So he told me, “The message you brought from the Lord is good.”
Encourage God’s People
40 Our God has said:
“Encourage my people!
3 Someone is shouting:
6 Someone told me to shout,
Your God Is Here!
9 There is good news
Who Compares with God?
12 Did any of you measure
13 Has anyone told the Lord[b]
18 Who compares with God?
God Rules the Whole Earth
21 Don’t you know?
23 God brings down rulers
25 The holy God asks,
26 Look at the evening sky!
The Lord Gives Strength
27 You people of Israel, say,
But how can you say that?
29 The Lord gives strength
Colossians 4 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
4 Slave owners, be fair and honest with your slaves. Don’t forget that you have a Master in heaven.
2 Never give up praying. And when you pray, keep alert and be thankful. 3 Be sure to pray that God will make a way for us to spread his message and explain the mystery about Christ, even though I am in jail for doing this. 4 Please pray that I will make the message as clear as possible.
5 When you are with unbelievers, always make good use of the time. 6 Be pleasant and hold their interest when you speak the message. Choose your words carefully and be ready to give answers to anyone who asks questions.
7 Tychicus is the dear friend, who faithfully works and serves the Lord with us, and he will give you the news about me. 8 I am sending him to cheer you up by telling you how we are getting along. 9 Onesimus, that dear and faithful follower from your own group, is coming with him. The two of them will tell you everything that has happened here.
10 Aristarchus is in jail with me. He sends greetings to you, and so does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. You have already been told to welcome Mark, if he visits you. 11 Jesus, who is known as Justus, sends his greetings. These three men are the only Jewish followers who have worked with me for the kingdom of God. They have given me much comfort.
12 Your own Epaphras, who serves Christ Jesus, sends his greetings. He always prays hard that you may fully know what the Lord wants you to do and that you may do it completely. 13 I have seen how much trouble he has gone through for you and for the followers in Laodicea and Hierapolis.
14 Our dear doctor Luke sends you his greetings, and so does Demas.
15 Give my greetings to the followers at Laodicea, especially to Nympha and the church that meets in her home.
16 After this letter has been read to your people, be sure to have it read in the church at Laodicea. And you should read the letter that I have sent to them.[a]
17 Remind Archippus to do the work that the Lord has given him to do.
18 I am signing this letter myself: PAUL.
Don’t forget that I am in jail.
I pray that God will be kind to you.
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