Jeremiah 22-23 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Lord Will Punish the King of Judah
22 1-3 The Lord sent me to the palace of the king of Judah to speak to the king, his officials, and everyone else who was there. The Lord told me to say:
I am the Lord, so pay attention! You have been allowing people to cheat, rob, and take advantage of widows, orphans, and foreigners who live here. Innocent people have become victims of violence, and some of them have even been killed. But now I command you to do what is right and see that justice is done. Rescue everyone who has suffered from injustice.
4 If you obey me, the kings from David’s family will continue to rule Judah from this palace. They and their officials will ride in and out on their horses or in their chariots. 5 But if you ignore me, I promise in my own name that this palace will lie in ruins. 6 Listen to what I think about it:
The palace of Judah’s king
8 People from different nations will pass by and ask, “Why did the Lord do this to such a great city as Jerusalem?” 9 Others will answer, “It’s because the people worshiped foreign gods and broke the agreement that the Lord their God had made with them.”
The Lord said:
11-12 Jehoahaz[c] became king of Judah after his father King Josiah died. But Jehoahaz was taken as a prisoner to a foreign country. Now I, the Lord, promise that he will die there without ever seeing his own land again.
The Lord told me to say:
13 King Jehoiakim,[d] you are doomed!
15 More cedar in your palace
17 But all you think about
King Jehoiachin and the People of Jerusalem
The Lord told me to say:
20 People of Jerusalem,
24 King Jehoiachin,[g] son of Jehoiakim,[h] even if you were the ring I wear as the sign of my royal power, I would still pull you from my finger. 25 I would hand you over to the enemy you fear, to King Nebuchadnezzar[i] and his army, who want to kill you. 26 You and your mother[j] were born in Judah, but I will throw both of you into a foreign country, where you will die, 27 longing to return home.
28 Jehoiachin, you are unwanted
29 Land of Judah, I am the Lord.
A Message of Hope
The Lord said:
23 You leaders of my people are like shepherds that kill and scatter the sheep. 2 You were supposed to take care of my people, but instead you chased them away. So now I’ll really take care of you, and believe me, you will pay for your crimes!
3 I will bring the rest of my people home from the lands where I have scattered them, and they will grow into a mighty nation. 4 I promise to choose leaders who will care for them like real shepherds. All of my people will be there, and they will never again be frightened.
5 Someday I will appoint
7 A time will come when you will again worship me. But you will no longer call me the Living God who rescued Israel from Egypt. 8 Instead, you will call me the Living God who rescued you from the land in the north and from all the other countries where I had forced you to go. And you will once again live in your own land.
Jeremiah Thinks about Unfaithful Prophets
9 When I think of the prophets,
The Lord Will Punish Unfaithful Prophets
11 The Lord told me to say:
You prophets and priests
13 The prophets in Samaria
The Lord Gives a Warning
The Lord said:
16 Don’t listen to the lies
18 But I, the Lord, tell you
23 I am everywhere—
25 These unfaithful prophets claim that I have given them a dream or a vision, and then they tell lies in my name. 26 But everything they say comes from their own twisted minds. How long can this go on? 27 They tell each other their dreams and try to get my people to reject me, just as their ancestors left me and worshiped Baal. 28 Their dreams and my truth are as different as straw and wheat. But when prophets speak for me, they must say only what I have told them. 29 My words are a powerful fire; they are a hammer that shatters rocks.
30-32 These unfaithful prophets claim I give them their dreams, but it isn’t true. I didn’t choose them to be my prophets, and yet they babble on and on, speaking in my name, while stealing words from each other. And when my people hear these liars, they are led astray instead of being helped. So I warn you that I am now the enemy of these prophets. I, the Lord, have spoken.
News and Nuisance
The Lord said to me:
34 If any of you say, “Here is news from the Lord,” I will punish you and your families, even if you are a prophet or a priest. 35 Instead, you must ask your friends and relatives, “What answer did the Lord give?” or “What has the Lord said?” 36 It seems that you each have your own news! So if you say, “Here is news from the Lord,” you are twisting my words into a lie. Remember that I am your God, the Lord All-Powerful.
37 If you go to a prophet, it’s all right to ask, “What answer did the Lord give to my question?” or “What has the Lord said?” 38 But if you disobey me and say, “Here is news from the Lord,” 39 I will pick you up[s] and throw you far away. And I will abandon this city of Jerusalem that I gave to your ancestors. 40 You will never be free from your shame and disgrace.
Titus 1 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
1 From Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ.
I encourage God’s own people to have more faith and to understand the truth about religion. 2 Then they will have the hope of eternal life that God promised long ago. And God never tells a lie! 3 So, at the proper time, God our Savior gave this message and told me to announce what he had said.
4 Titus, because of our faith, you are like a son to me. I pray that God our Father and Christ Jesus our Savior will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!
What Titus Was To Do in Crete
5 I left you in Crete to do what had been left undone and to appoint leaders[a] for the churches in each town. As I told you, 6 they must have a good reputation and be faithful in marriage.[b] Their children must be followers of the Lord and not have a reputation for being wild and disobedient.
7 Church officials[c] are in charge of God’s work, and so they must also have a good reputation. They must not be bossy, quick-tempered, heavy drinkers, bullies, or dishonest in business. 8 Instead, they must be friendly to strangers and enjoy doing good things. They must also be sensible, fair, pure, and self-controlled. 9 They must stick to the true message they were taught, so that their good teaching can help others and correct everyone who opposes it.
10 There are many who don’t respect authority, and they fool others by talking nonsense. This is especially true of some Jewish followers. 11 But you must make them be quiet. They are after money, and they upset whole families by teaching what they should not. 12 It is like one of their own prophets once said,
“The people of Crete
13 That surely is a true saying. And you should be hard on such people, so you can help them grow stronger in their faith. 14 Don’t pay any attention to any of those senseless Jewish stories and human commands. These are made up by people who won’t obey the truth.
15 Everything is pure for someone whose heart is pure. But nothing is pure for an unbeliever with a dirty mind. That person’s mind and conscience are destroyed. 16 Such people claim to know God, but their actions prove that they really don’t. They are disgusting. They won’t obey God, and they are too worthless to do anything good.
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