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Psalm 113-115The Message (MSG)

113 1-3 Hallelujah!
You who serve God, praise God!
    Just to speak his name is praise!
Just to remember God is a blessing—
    now and tomorrow and always.
From east to west, from dawn to dusk,
    keep lifting all your praises to God!

4-9 God is higher than anything and anyone,
    outshining everything you can see in the skies.
Who can compare with God, our God,
    so majestically enthroned,
Surveying his magnificent
    heavens and earth?
He picks up the poor from out of the dirt,
    rescues the wretched who’ve been thrown out with the trash,
Seats them among the honored guests,
    a place of honor among the brightest and best.
He gives childless couples a family,
    gives them joy as the parents of children.
Hallelujah!

114 1-8 After Israel left Egypt,
    the clan of Jacob left those barbarians behind;
Judah became holy land for him,
    Israel the place of holy rule.
Sea took one look and ran the other way;
    River Jordan turned around and ran off.
The mountains turned playful and skipped like rams,
    the hills frolicked like spring lambs.
What’s wrong with you, Sea, that you ran away?
    and you, River Jordan, that you turned and ran off?
And mountains, why did you skip like rams?
    and you, hills, frolic like spring lambs?
Tremble, Earth! You’re in the Lord’s presence!
    in the presence of Jacob’s God.
He turned the rock into a pool of cool water,
    turned flint into fresh spring water.

115 1-2 Not for our sake, God, no, not for our sake,
    but for your name’s sake, show your glory.
Do it on account of your merciful love,
    do it on account of your faithful ways.
Do it so none of the nations can say,
    “Where now, oh where is their God?”

3-8 Our God is in heaven
    doing whatever he wants to do.
Their gods are metal and wood,
    handmade in a basement shop:
Carved mouths that can’t talk,
    painted eyes that can’t see,
Tin ears that can’t hear,
    molded noses that can’t smell,
Hands that can’t grasp, feet that can’t walk or run,
    throats that never utter a sound.
Those who make them have become just like them,
    have become just like the gods they trust.

9-11 But you, Israel: put your trust in God!
    —trust your Helper! trust your Ruler!
Clan of Aaron, trust in God!
    —trust your Helper! trust your Ruler!
You who fear God, trust in God!
    —trust your Helper! trust your Ruler!

12-16 O God, remember us and bless us,
    bless the families of Israel and Aaron.
And let God bless all who fear God
    bless the small, bless the great.
Oh, let God enlarge your families—
    giving growth to you, growth to your children.
May you be blessed by God,
    by God, who made heaven and earth.
The heaven of heavens is for God,
    but he put us in charge of the earth.

17-18 Dead people can’t praise God
    not a word to be heard from those buried in the ground.
But we bless God, oh yes—
    we bless him now, we bless him always!
Hallelujah!

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

1 Corinthians 6The Message (MSG)

1-4 And how dare you take each other to court! When you think you have been wronged, does it make any sense to go before a court that knows nothing of God’s ways instead of a family of Christians? The day is coming when the world is going to stand before a jury made up of followers of Jesus. If someday you are going to rule on the world’s fate, wouldn’t it be a good idea to practice on some of these smaller cases? Why, we’re even going to judge angels! So why not these everyday affairs? As these disagreements and wrongs surface, why would you ever entrust them to the judgment of people you don’t trust in any other way?

5-6 I say this as bluntly as I can to wake you up to the stupidity of what you’re doing. Is it possible that there isn’t one levelheaded person among you who can make fair decisions when disagreements and disputes come up? I don’t believe it. And here you are taking each other to court before people who don’t even believe in God! How can they render justice if they don’t believe in the God of justice?

7-8 These court cases are an ugly blot on your community. Wouldn’t it be far better to just take it, to let yourselves be wronged and forget it? All you’re doing is providing fuel for more wrong, more injustice, bringing more hurt to the people of your own spiritual family.

9-11 Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit.

12 Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims.

13 You know the old saying, “First you eat to live, and then you live to eat”? Well, it may be true that the body is only a temporary thing, but that’s no excuse for stuffing your body with food, or indulging it with sex. Since the Master honors you with a body, honor him with your body!

14-15 God honored the Master’s body by raising it from the grave. He’ll treat yours with the same resurrection power. Until that time, remember that your bodies are created with the same dignity as the Master’s body. You wouldn’t take the Master’s body off to a whorehouse, would you? I should hope not.

16-20 There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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