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Old Testament:  Proverbs 16-18

Proverbs 16

 1  We can make our own plans,
  but the LORD gives the right answer.

 2  People may be pure in their own eyes,
  but the LORD examines their motives.

 3  Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.  4  The LORD has made everything for his own purposes,
  even the wicked for a day of disaster.

 5  The LORD detests the proud;
  they will surely be punished.

 6  Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin.
  By fearing the LORD, people avoid evil.

 7  When people's lives please the LORD,
  even their enemies are at peace with them.

 8  Better to have little, with godliness,
  than to be rich and dishonest.

 9  We can make our plans,
  but the LORD determines our steps.

 10  The king speaks with divine wisdom;
  he must never judge unfairly.

 11  The LORD demands accurate scales and balances;
  he sets the standards for fairness.

 12  A king detests wrongdoing,
  for his rule is built on justice.

 13  The king is pleased with words from righteous lips;
  he loves those who speak honestly.

 14  The anger of the king is a deadly threat;
  the wise will try to appease it.

 15  When the king smiles, there is life;
  his favor refreshes like a spring rain.

 16  How much better to get wisdom than gold,
  and good judgment than silver!

 17  The path of the virtuous leads away from evil;
  whoever follows that path is safe.

 18  Pride goes before destruction,
  and haughtiness before a fall.

 19  Better to live humbly with the poor
  than to share plunder with the proud.

 20  Those who listen to instruction will prosper;
  those who trust the LORD will be joyful.

 21  The wise are known for their understanding,
  and pleasant words are persuasive.

 22  Discretion is a life-giving fountain to those who possess it,
  but discipline is wasted on fools.

 23  From a wise mind comes wise speech;
  the words of the wise are persuasive.

 24  Kind words are like honey—
  sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

 25  There is a path before each person that seems right,
  but it ends in death.

 26  It is good for workers to have an appetite;
  an empty stomach drives them on.

 27  Scoundrels create trouble;
  their words are a destructive blaze.

 28  A troublemaker plants seeds of strife;
  gossip separates the best of friends.

 29  Violent people mislead their companions,
  leading them down a harmful path.

 30  With narrowed eyes, people plot evil;
  with a smirk, they plan their mischief.

 31  Gray hair is a crown of glory;
  it is gained by living a godly life.

 32  Better to be patient than powerful;
  better to have self-control than to conquer a city.

 33  We may throw the dice,*
  but the LORD determines how they fall.

Proverbs 17

 1  Better a dry crust eaten in peace
  than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.

 2  A wise servant will rule over the master's disgraceful son
  and will share the inheritance of the master's children.

 3  Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
  but the LORD tests the heart.

 4  Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip;
  liars pay close attention to slander.

 5  Those who mock the poor insult their Maker;
  those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished.

 6  Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged;
  parents [6]  are the pride of their children.

 7  Eloquent words are not fitting for a fool;
  even less are lies fitting for a ruler.

 8  A bribe is like a lucky charm;
  whoever gives one will prosper!

 9  Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,
  but dwelling on it separates close friends.

 10  A single rebuke does more for a person of understanding
  than a hundred lashes on the back of a fool.

 11  Evil people are eager for rebellion,
  but they will be severely punished.

 12  It is safer to meet a bear robbed of her cubs
  than to confront a fool caught in foolishness.

 13  If you repay good with evil,
  evil will never leave your house.

 14  Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate,
  so stop before a dispute breaks out.

 15  Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent—
  both are detestable to the LORD.

 16  It is senseless to pay tuition to educate a fool,
  since he has no heart for learning.

 17  A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.  18  It's poor judgment to guarantee another person's debt
  or put up security for a friend.

 19  Anyone who loves to quarrel loves sin;
  anyone who trusts in high walls invites disaster.

 20  The crooked heart will not prosper;
  the lying tongue tumbles into trouble.

 21  It is painful to be the parent of a fool;
  there is no joy for the father of a rebel.

 22  A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength.  23  The wicked take secret bribes
  to pervert the course of justice.

 24  Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom,
  but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

 25  Foolish children [25]  bring grief to their father
  and bitterness to the one who gave them birth.

 26  It is wrong to punish the godly for being good
  or to flog leaders for being honest.

 27  A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.  28  Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;
  with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.

Proverbs 18

 1  Unfriendly people care only about themselves;
  they lash out at common sense.

 2  Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.  3  Doing wrong leads to disgrace,
  and scandalous behavior brings contempt.

 4  Wise words are like deep waters;
  wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.

 5  It is not right to acquit the guilty
  or deny justice to the innocent.

 6  Fools' words get them into constant quarrels;
  they are asking for a beating.

 7  The mouths of fools are their ruin;
  they trap themselves with their lips.

 8  Rumors are dainty morsels
  that sink deep into one's heart.

 9  A lazy person is as bad as
  someone who destroys things.

 10  The name of the LORD is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.  11  The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense;
  they imagine it to be a high wall of safety.

 12  Haughtiness goes before destruction;
  humility precedes honor.

 13  Spouting off before listening to the facts
  is both shameful and foolish.

 14  The human spirit can endure a sick body,
  but who can bear a crushed spirit?

 15  Intelligent people are always ready to learn.
  Their ears are open for knowledge.

 16  Giving a gift can open doors;
  it gives access to important people!

 17  The first to speak in court sounds right—
  until the cross-examination begins.

 18  Flipping a coin can end arguments;
  it settles disputes between powerful opponents.

 19  An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city.
  Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.

 20  Wise words satisfy like a good meal;
  the right words bring satisfaction.

 21  The tongue can bring death or life;
  those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

 22  The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,
  and he receives favor from the LORD.

 23  The poor plead for mercy;
  the rich answer with insults.

 24  There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
<<  16:3 Hebrew We may cast lots.
<<  17:6 Hebrew fathers.
<<  17:25 Hebrew A foolish son.
<<  18:18 Hebrew Casting lots.

New Testament:  2 Corinthians 6

2 Corinthians 6

 1  As God's partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God's kindness and then ignore it.  2  For God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you." Indeed, the "right time" is now. Today is the day of salvation. Paul's Hardships
 3  We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry.  4  In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.  5  We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food.  6  We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, [6]  and by our sincere love.  7  We faithfully preach the truth. God's power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense.  8  We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors.  9  We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed.  10  Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.
   11  Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you.  12  There is no lack of love on our part, but you have withheld your love from us.  13  I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us!

The Temple of the Living God
 14  Don't team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?  15  What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil [15] ? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?  16  And what union can there be between God's temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said; I will live in them; and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.  17  Therefore, come out from among unbelievers,
  and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD.
Don't touch their filthy things,
  and I will welcome you. [17] 
 18  And I will be your Father,
  and you will be my sons and daughters,
  says the LORD Almighty. [18] "
<<  6:1 Or As we work together.
<<  6:2 Isa 49:8 (Greek version).
<<  6:6 Or by our holiness of spirit.
<<  6:15 Greek Beliar; various other manuscripts render this proper name of the devil as Belian, Beliab, or Belial.
<<  6:16 Lev 26:12; Ezek 37:27.
<<  6:17 Isa 52:11; Ezek 20:34 (Greek version).
<<  6:18 2 Sam 7:14.

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