AGAINST PRIDE - ECCLESIASTICUS 10:6-14
Do not resent your neighbor's every offence, and never act in a fit of passion. Pride is hateful to God and man, and injustice is abhorrent to both. Empire passes from nation to nation because of injustice, arrogance and money. What has dust and ashes to pride itself on? Even in life its guts are repellant. A long illness mocks the doctor; a king today is a corpse tomorrow. When a man comes to die, his inheritance will be creeping things, beasts of prey, worms. The beginning of human pride is to desert the Lord, and to turn one's heart away from one's maker.
NATIONAL SONG OF TRIUMPH - PSALMS 68:1-4
Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered, let those who hate him flee before him. As smoke disperses, they disperse; as wax melts when near the fire, so the wicked perish when God approaches. But at God's approach, the virtuous rejoice, exulting and singing for joy. Sing to Yahweh, play music to his name, build a road for the Rider of the Clouds, rejoice in Yahweh, exult at His coming!
PERSEVERANCE - ACTS 15:19-28
Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium, and turned the people against the apostles. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the town, thinking he was dead. The disciples came crowding round him but, as they did so, he stood up and went back to the town. The next day he and Barnabas went off to Derbe.
Having preached the Good News in that town and made a considerable number of disciples, they went back through Lystra and Iconium to Antioch. They put fresh heart into the disciples, encouraging them to persevere in the faith. 'We all have to experience many hardships' they said 'before we enter the kingdom of God.' In each of these churches they appointed elders, and with prayer and fasting they commended them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.
They passed through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. Then after proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia and from there sailed to Antioch, where they had originally been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.
On their arrival they assembled the church and gave an account of all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the pagans. They stayed there with the disciples for some time.
WISDOM, A SAFEGUARD - PROVERBS 2:1-6
My son, if you take my words to heart, if you set store by my commandments, tuning your ear to wisdom, and applying your heart to truth; yes, if your plea is for clear perception, if you cry out for discernment, if you look for it as if it were silver, and search for it as for buried treasure, you will then understand what the fear of Yahweh is, and discover the knowledge of God. For Yahweh himself is giver of wisdom, from his mouth issue knowledge and discernment.
BE ON GUARD AGAINST THE ENEMIES OF CHRIST - 1 JOHN 2:18-20
Children, these are the last days; you were told that an Antichrist must come, and now several antichrists have already appeared; we know from this that these are the last days. Those rivals of Christ came out of our own number, but they had never really belonged; if they had belonged, they would have stayed with us; buy they left us, to prove that not one of them ever belonged to us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and have all received the knowledge.
JESUS AND THE FATHER ARE ONE - JOHN 10:22-30
It was the time when the feast of Dedication was being celebrated in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple walking up and down in the Portico of Solomon. The Jews gathered round him and said, 'How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.' Jesus replied: 'I have told you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name are my witness; but you do not believe, because you are no sheep of mine. The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will steal them from me. The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone, and no one can steal from the Father. The Father and I are one.'
COMPLETE TRUST - MATTHEW 6:25-34
'That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it. Surely life means more than food, and the body more than clothing! Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they are? Can any of you, for all his worrying, add one single cubit to his span of life? And why worry about clothing? Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin; yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his regalia was robed like one of these. Now if that is how God clothes the grass in the field which is there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will he not much more look after you, you men of little faith? So do not worry; do not say, "What are we to eat? What are we to drink? How are we to be clothed?" It is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.'
THE NEW HEAVEN & THE NEW EARTH - REVELATION 21:1-7
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing, or pain, for the old order has passed away."
The one who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Then he said, "Write these words down, for they are trutworthy and true." He said to me, "They are accomplished. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son."
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