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Old Testament:  Proverbs 19-21

Proverbs 19

 1  Better to be poor and honest
  than to be dishonest and a fool.

 2  Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good;
  haste makes mistakes.

 3  People ruin their lives by their own foolishness
  and then are angry at the LORD.

 4  Wealth makes many "friends";
  poverty drives them all away.

 5  A false witness will not go unpunished,
  nor will a liar escape.

 6  Many seek favors from a ruler;
  everyone is the friend of a person who gives gifts!

 7  The relatives of the poor despise them;
  how much more will their friends avoid them!
Though the poor plead with them,
  their friends are gone.

 8  To acquire wisdom is to love oneself;
  people who cherish understanding will prosper.

 9  A false witness will not go unpunished,
  and a liar will be destroyed.

 10  It isn't right for a fool to live in luxury
  or for a slave to rule over princes!

 11  Sensible people control their temper;
  they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.

 12  The king's anger is like a lion's roar,
  but his favor is like dew on the grass.

 13  A foolish child [13]  is a calamity to a father;
  a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping.

 14  Fathers can give their sons an inheritance of houses and wealth,
  but only the LORD can give an understanding wife.

 15  Lazy people sleep soundly,
  but idleness leaves them hungry.

 16  Keep the commandments and keep your life;
  despising them leads to death.

 17  If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD - and he will repay you!  18  Discipline your children while there is hope.
  Otherwise you will ruin their lives.

 19  Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty.
  If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again.

 20  Get all the advice and instruction you can,
  so you will be wise the rest of your life.

 21  You can make many plans,
  but the LORD's purpose will prevail.

 22  Loyalty makes a person attractive.
  It is better to be poor than dishonest.

 23  Fear of the LORD leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.  24  Lazy people take food in their hand
  but don't even lift it to their mouth.

 25  If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded will learn a lesson;
  if you correct the wise, they will be all the wiser.

 26  Children who mistreat their father or chase away their mother
  are an embarrassment and a public disgrace.

 27  If you stop listening to instruction, my child,
  you will turn your back on knowledge.

 28  A corrupt witness makes a mockery of justice;
  the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.

 29  Punishment is made for mockers,
  and the backs of fools are made to be beaten.

Proverbs 20

 1  Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls.
  Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.

 2  The king's fury is like a lion's roar;
  to rouse his anger is to risk your life.

 3  Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
  only fools insist on quarreling.

 4  Those too lazy to plow in the right season
  will have no food at the harvest.

 5  Though good advice lies deep within the heart,
  a person with understanding will draw it out.

 6  Many will say they are loyal friends,
  but who can find one who is truly reliable?

 7  The godly walk with integrity;
  blessed are their children who follow them.

 8  When a king sits in judgment, he weighs all the evidence,
  distinguishing the bad from the good.

 9  Who can say, "I have cleansed my heart;
  I am pure and free from sin"?

 10  False weights and unequal measures [10] —
  the LORD detests double standards of every kind.

 11  Even children are known by the way they act,
  whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.

 12  Ears to hear and eyes to see—
  both are gifts from the LORD.

 13  If you love sleep, you will end in poverty.
  Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!

 14  The buyer haggles over the price, saying, "It's worthless,"
  then brags about getting a bargain!

 15  Wise words are more valuable
  than much gold and many rubies.

 16  Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger's debt.
  Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners. [16] 

 17  Stolen bread tastes sweet,
  but it turns to gravel in the mouth.

 18  Plans succeed through good counsel;
  don't go to war without wise advice.

 19  A gossip goes around telling secrets,
  so don't hang around with chatterers.

 20  If you insult your father or mother,
  your light will be snuffed out in total darkness.

 21  An inheritance obtained too early in life
  is not a blessing in the end.

 22  Don't say, "I will get even for this wrong."
  Wait for the LORD to handle the matter.

 23  The LORD detests double standards;
  he is not pleased by dishonest scales.

 24  The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?  25  Don't trap yourself by making a rash promise to God
  and only later counting the cost.

 26  A wise king scatters the wicked like wheat,
  then runs his threshing wheel over them.

 27  The LORD's light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.  28  Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king;
  his throne is made secure through love.

 29  The glory of the young is their strength;
  the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.

 30  Physical punishment cleanses away evil; [30] 
  such discipline purifies the heart.

Proverbs 21

 1  The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD;
  he guides it wherever he pleases.

 2  People may be right in their own eyes,
  but the LORD examines their heart.

 3  The LORD is more pleased when we do what is right and just
  than when we offer him sacrifices.

 4  Haughty eyes, a proud heart,
  and evil actions are all sin.

 5  Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity,
  but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.

 6  Wealth created by a lying tongue
  is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap. [6] 

 7  The violence of the wicked sweeps them away,
  because they refuse to do what is just.

 8  The guilty walk a crooked path;
  the innocent travel a straight road.

 9  It's better to live alone in the corner of an attic
  than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.

 10  Evil people desire evil;
  their neighbors get no mercy from them.

 11  If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise;
  if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser.

 12  The Righteous One [12]  knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked;
  he will bring disaster on them.

 13  Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor
  will be ignored in their own time of need.

 14  A secret gift calms anger;
  a bribe under the table pacifies fury.

 15  Justice is a joy to the godly,
  but it terrifies evildoers.

 16  The person who strays from common sense
  will end up in the company of the dead.

 17  Those who love pleasure become poor;
  those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.

 18  The wicked are punished in place of the godly,
  and traitors in place of the honest.

 19  It's better to live alone in the desert
  than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.

 20  The wise have wealth and luxury,
  but fools spend whatever they get.

 21  Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love
  will find life, righteousness, and honor.

 22  The wise conquer the city of the strong
  and level the fortress in which they trust.

 23  Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut,
  and you will stay out of trouble.

 24  Mockers are proud and haughty;
  they act with boundless arrogance.

 25  Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin,
  for their hands refuse to work.

 26  Some people are always greedy for more,
  but the godly love to give!

 27  The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable,
  especially when it is offered with wrong motives.

 28  A false witness will be cut off,
  but a credible witness will be allowed to speak.

 29  The wicked bluff their way through,
  but the virtuous think before they act.

 30  No human wisdom or understanding or plan
  can stand against the LORD.

 31  The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
  but the victory belongs to the LORD.
<<  19:13 Hebrew son; also in 19:27.
<<  20:10 Hebrew A stone and a stone, an ephah and an ephah.
<<  20:16 An alternate reading in the Masoretic Text is for a promiscuous woman.
<<  20:27 Or The human spirit is the L<%=ftSC%>ORD's light.
<<  20:30 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
<<  21:6 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads mist for those who seek death.
<<  21:12 Or The righteous man.

New Testament:  2 Corinthians 7

2 Corinthians 7

 1  Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.
   2  Please open your hearts to us. We have not done wrong to anyone, nor led anyone astray, nor taken advantage of anyone.  3  I'm not saying this to condemn you. I said before that you are in our hearts, and we live or die together with you.  4  I have the highest confidence in you, and I take great pride in you. You have greatly encouraged me and made me happy despite all our troubles.

Paul's Joy at the Church's Repentance
 5  When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside.  6  But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.  7  His presence was a joy, but so was the news he brought of the encouragement he received from you. When he told us how much you long to see me, and how sorry you are for what happened, and how loyal you are to me, I was filled with joy!    8  I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while.  9  Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way.  10  For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There's no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.    11  Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.  12  My purpose, then, was not to write about who did the wrong or who was wronged. I wrote to you so that in the sight of God you could see for yourselves how loyal you are to us.  13  We have been greatly encouraged by this.
  In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was about the way all of you welcomed him and set his mind [13]  at ease.  14  I had told him how proud I was of you—and you didn't disappoint me. I have always told you the truth, and now my boasting to Titus has also proved true!  15  Now he cares for you more than ever when he remembers the way all of you obeyed him and welcomed him with such fear and deep respect.  16  I am very happy now because I have complete confidence in you.
<<  7:13 Greek his spirit.

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