Proverbs 30The Message (MSG)
The Words of Agur Ben Yakeh
God? Who Needs Him?
30 1-2 The skeptic swore, “There is no God!
3-4 “I flunked ‘wisdom.’
5-6 The believer replied, “Every promise of God proves true;
7-9 And then he prayed, “God, I’m asking for two things
10 Don’t blow the whistle on your fellow workers
11 Don’t curse your father
12 Don’t imagine yourself to be quite presentable
13 Don’t be stuck-up
14 Don’t be greedy,
15-16 A leech has twin daughters
Three things are never satisfied,
17 An eye that disdains a father
18-19 Three things amaze me,
how an eagle flies so high in the sky,
20 Here’s how a prostitute operates:
21-23 Three things are too much for even the earth to bear,
when the janitor becomes the boss,
Four Small Wonders
24-28 There are four small creatures,
ants—frail as they are,
29-31 There are three solemn dignitaries,
a lion, king of the beasts, deferring to none;
32-33 If you’re dumb enough to call attention to yourself
Proverbs 31The Message (MSG)
Speak Out for Justice
31 The words of King Lemuel,
2-3 “Oh, son of mine, what can you be thinking of!
4-7 “Leaders can’t afford to make fools of themselves,
8-9 “Speak up for the people who have no voice,
Hymn to a Good Wife
10-31 A good woman is hard to find,
Psalm 33The Message (MSG)
33 1-3 Good people, cheer God!
4-5 For God’s Word is solid to the core;
6-7 The skies were made by God’s command;
8-9 Earth-creatures, bow before God;
10-12 God takes the wind out of Babel pretense,
13-15 From high in the skies God looks around,
16-17 No king succeeds with a big army alone,
18-19 Watch this: God’s eye is on those who respect him,
20-22 We’re depending on God;
Ephesians 1The Message (MSG)
1 1-2 I, Paul, am under God’s plan as an apostle, a special agent of Christ Jesus, writing to you faithful believers in Ephesus. I greet you with the grace and peace poured into our lives by God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ.
The God of Glory
3-6 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
7-10 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.
11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
13-14 It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.
15-19 That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!
20-23 All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.