Isaiah 25 The Message (MSG)
God’s Hand Rests on This Mountain
25 1-5 God, you are my God.
6-8 But here on this mountain, God-of-the-Angel-Armies
9-10 Also at that time, people will say,
10-12 As for the Moabites, they’ll be treated like refuse,
Isaiah 26 The Message (MSG)
Stretch the Borders of Life
26 1-6 At that time, this song
7-10 The path of right-living people is level.
11-15 You hold your hand up high, God,
16-18 O God, they begged you for help when they were in trouble,
19 But friends, your dead will live,
20-21 Come, my people, go home
Isaiah 27 The Message (MSG)
Selected Grain by Grain
27 At that time God will unsheathe his sword,
2-5 “At that same time, a fine vineyard will appear.
6 The days are coming when Jacob
7-11 Has God knocked them to the ground
12-13 At that time God will thresh
Isaiah 28 The Message (MSG)
God Will Speak in Baby Talk
28 1-4 Doom to the pretentious drunks of Ephraim,
5-6 At that time, God-of-the-Angel-Armies will be
7-8 These also, the priest and prophet, stagger from drink,
9-10 “Is that so? And who do you think you are to teach us?
11-12 But that’s exactly how you will be addressed.
13 So God will start over with the simple basics
14-15 Now listen to God’s Message, you scoffers,
The Meaning of the Stone
16-17 But the Master, God, has something to say to this:
“Watch closely. I’m laying a foundation in Zion,
18-22 “Then you’ll see that your precious life insurance policy
23-26 Listen to me now.
27-29 And at the harvest, the delicate herbs and spices,
Hebrews 13 The Message (MSG)
Jesus Doesn’t Change
13 1-4 Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them. Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them had happened to you. Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.
5-6 Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote,
God is there, ready to help;
7-8 Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be a consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn’t change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself.
9 Don’t be lured away from him by the latest speculations about him. The grace of Christ is the only good ground for life. Products named after Christ don’t seem to do much for those who buy them.
10-12 The altar from which God gives us the gift of himself is not for exploitation by insiders who grab and loot. In the old system, the animals are killed and the bodies disposed of outside the camp. The blood is then brought inside to the altar as a sacrifice for sin. It’s the same with Jesus. He was crucified outside the city gates—that is where he poured out the sacrificial blood that was brought to God’s altar to cleanse his people.
13-15 So let’s go outside, where Jesus is, where the action is—not trying to be privileged insiders, but taking our share in the abuse of Jesus. This “insider world” is not our home. We have our eyes peeled for the City about to come. Let’s take our place outside with Jesus, no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals but pouring out sacrificial praises from our lips to God in Jesus’ name.
16 Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of “sacrifice”—that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.
17 Be responsive to your pastoral leaders. Listen to their counsel. They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God. Contribute to the joy of their leadership, not its drudgery. Why would you want to make things harder for them?
18-21 Pray for us. We have no doubts about what we’re doing or why, but it’s hard going and we need your prayers. All we care about is living well before God. Pray that we may be together soon.
May God, who puts all things together,
22-23 Friends, please take what I’ve written most seriously. I’ve kept this as brief as possible; I haven’t piled on a lot of extras. You’ll be glad to know that Timothy has been let out of prison. If he leaves soon, I’ll come with him and get to see you myself.
24 Say hello to your pastoral leaders and all the congregations. Everyone here in Italy wants to be remembered to you.
25 Grace be with you, every one.