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1 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab.
2 The man's name was Elimelek, his wife's name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.
3 Now Elimelek, Naomi's husband, died, and she was left with her two sons.
4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years,
5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
6 When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there.
7 With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.
8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back, each of you, to your mother's home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me.
9 May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband." Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud
10 and said to her, "We will go back with you to your people."
11 But Naomi said, "Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands?
12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me - even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons -
13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord's hand has turned against me!"
14 At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.
15 "Look," said Naomi, "your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her."
16 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.
17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me."
18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, "Can this be Naomi?"
20 "Don't call me Naomi," she told them. "Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.
21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me."
22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles —
2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you,
3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.
4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets.
6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power.
8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ,
9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
2 Chronicles 29
1 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother's name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah.
2 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done.
3In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the Lord and repaired them.
4 He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side
5 and said: "Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary.
6 Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord's dwelling place and turned their backs on him.
7 They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel.
8 Therefore, the anger of the Lord has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of dread and horror and scorn, as you can see with your own eyes.
9 This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity.
10 Now I intend to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from us.
11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before him and serve him, to minister before him and to burn incense."
12 Then these Levites set to work:
from the Kohathites,
Mahath son of Amasai and Joel son of Azariah;
from the Merarites,
Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel;
from the Gershonites,
Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah;
13 from the descendants of Elizaphan,
Shimri and Jeiel;
from the descendants of Asaph,
Zechariah and Mattaniah;
14 from the descendants of Heman,
Jehiel and Shimei;
from the descendants of Jeduthun,
Shemaiah and Uzziel.
15 When they had assembled their fellow Levites and consecrated themselves, they went in to purify the temple of the Lord, as the king had ordered, following the word of the Lord.
16 The priests went into the sanctuary of the Lord to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of the Lord's temple everything unclean that they found in the temple of the Lord. The Levites took it and carried it out to the Kidron Valley.
17 They began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and by the eighth day of the month they reached the portico of the Lord. For eight more days they consecrated the temple of the Lord itself, finishing on the sixteenth day of the first month.
18 Then they went in to King Hezekiah and reported: "We have purified the entire temple of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the table for setting out the consecrated bread, with all its articles.
19 We have prepared and consecrated all the articles that King Ahaz removed in his unfaithfulness while he was king. They are now in front of the Lordís altar."
20 Early the next morning King Hezekiah gathered the city officials together and went up to the temple of the Lord.
21 They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven male lambs and seven male goats as a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary and for Judah. The king commanded the priests, the descendants of Aaron, to offer these on the altar of the Lord.
22 So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests took the blood and splashed it against the altar; next they slaughtered the rams and splashed their blood against the altar; then they slaughtered the lambs and splashed their blood against the altar.
23 The goats for the sin offering were brought before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them.
24 The priests then slaughtered the goats and presented their blood on the altar for a sin offering to atone for all Israel, because the king had ordered the burnt offering and the sin offering for all Israel.
25 He stationed the Levites in the temple of the Lord with cymbals, harps and lyres in the way prescribed by David and Gad the king's seer and Nathan the prophet; this was commanded by the Lord through his prophets.
26 So the Levites stood ready with David's instruments, and the priests with their trumpets.
27 Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. As the offering began, singing to the Lord began also, accompanied by trumpets and the instruments of David king of Israel.
28 The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the musicians played and the trumpets sounded. All this continued until the sacrifice of the burnt offering was completed.
29 When the offerings were finished, the king and everyone present with him knelt down and worshiped.
30 King Hezekiah and his officials ordered the Levites to praise the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness and bowed down and worshiped.
31 Then Hezekiah said, "You have now dedicated yourselves to the Lord. Come and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the temple of the Lord." So the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all whose hearts were willing brought burnt offerings.
32 The number of burnt offerings the assembly brought was seventy bulls, a hundred rams and two hundred male lambs - all of them for burnt offerings to the Lord.
33 The animals consecrated as sacrifices amounted to six hundred bulls and three thousand sheep and goats.
34 The priests, however, were too few to skin all the burnt offerings; so their relatives the Levites helped them until the task was finished and until other priests had been consecrated, for the Levites had been more conscientious in consecrating themselves than the priests had been.
35 There were burnt offerings in abundance, together with the fat of the fellowship offerings and the drink offerings that accompanied the burnt offerings. So the service of the temple of the Lord was reestablished.
36 Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced at what God had brought about for his people, because it was done so quickly.
2 Peter 2:11-12
11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord.
12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God's holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will -
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace
8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,
9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,
10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment - to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - to the praise of his glory.
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,
4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
15 Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise,
16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.