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Isaiah 12:2-6

I trust you to save me,
Lord God,
    and I won’t be afraid.
My power and my strength[a]
come from you,
    and you have saved me.”

With great joy, you people
will get water
    from the well of victory.
At that time you will say,
“Our Lord, we are thankful,
    and we worship only you.
We will tell the nations
how glorious you are
    and what you have done.
Because of your wonderful deeds
we will sing your praises
    everywhere on earth.”

Sing, people of Zion!
Celebrate the greatness
    of the holy Lord of Israel.
God is here to help you.

Footnotes:

  1. 12.2 strength: Or “song.”
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Amos 6:1-8

Israel Will Be Punished

Do you rulers in Jerusalem
and in the city of Samaria
    feel safe and at ease?
Everyone bows down to you,
and you think you are better
    than any other nation.
But you are in for trouble!
Look what happened
    to the cities of Calneh,
    powerful Hamath,
    and Gath[a] in Philistia.
Are you greater than any
    of those kingdoms?
You are cruel, and you forget
    the coming day of judgment.

You rich people lounge around
    on beds with ivory posts,
while dining on the meat
    of your lambs and calves.
You sing foolish songs
    to the music of harps,
and you make up new tunes,
    just as David used to do.
You drink all the wine you want
    and wear expensive perfume,
but you don’t care about
    the ruin of your nation.[b]
So you will be the first
to be dragged off as captives;
    your good times will end.

The Lord God All-Powerful
    has sworn by his own name:
“You descendants of Jacob
make me angry by your pride,
    and I hate your fortresses.
And so I will surrender your city
and possessions
    to your enemies.”

Footnotes:

  1. 6.2 Calneh. . . Hamath. . . Gath: City-states captured by the Assyrians: Calneh in 738 B.C., Hamath in 720, and Gath in 711.
  2. 6.6 your nation: Hebrew “Joseph’s descendants” (see the note at 5.6).
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2 Corinthians 8:1-15

Generous Giving

My friends, we want you to know that the churches in Macedonia[a] have shown others how kind God is. Although they were going through hard times and were very poor, they were glad to give generously. They gave as much as they could afford and even more, simply because they wanted to. They even asked and begged us to let them have the joy of giving their money for God’s people. And they did more than we had hoped. They gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us, just as God wanted them to do.

Titus was the one who got you started doing this good thing, so we begged him to have you finish what you had begun. You do everything better than anyone else. You have stronger faith. You speak better and know more. You are eager to give, and you love us better.[b] Now you must give more generously than anyone else.

I am not ordering you to do this. I am simply testing how real your love is by comparing it with the concern that others have shown. You know that our Lord Jesus Christ was kind enough to give up all his riches and become poor, so that you could become rich.

10 A year ago you were the first ones to give, and you gave because you wanted to. So listen to my advice. 11 I think you should finish what you started. If you give according to what you have, you will prove that you are as eager to give as you were to think about giving. 12 It doesn’t matter how much you have. What matters is how much you are willing to give from what you have.

13 I am not trying to make life easier for others by making life harder for you. But it is only fair 14 for you to share with them when you have so much, and they have so little. Later, when they have more than enough, and you are in need, they can share with you. Then everyone will have a fair share, 15 just as the Scriptures say,

“Those who gathered
too much
    had nothing left.
Those who gathered
only a little
    had all they needed.”

Footnotes:

  1. 8.1 churches in Macedonia: The churches that Paul had started in Philippi and Thessalonica. The church in Berea is probably also meant.
  2. 8.7 you love us better: Some manuscripts have “we love you better.”
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