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Old Testament:  Proverbs 27-29

Proverbs 27

 1  Don't brag about tomorrow, since you don't know what the day will bring.  2  Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth—
  a stranger, not your own lips.

 3  A stone is heavy and sand is weighty,
  but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier.

 4  Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood,
  but jealousy is even more dangerous.

 5  An open rebuke
  is better than hidden love!

 6  Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.  7  A person who is full refuses honey,
  but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.

 8  A person who strays from home
  is like a bird that strays from its nest.

 9  The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.  10  Never abandon a friend—
  either yours or your father's.
When disaster strikes, you won't have to ask your brother for assistance.
  It's better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.

 11  Be wise, my child, [11]  and make my heart glad.
  Then I will be able to answer my critics.

 12  A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
  The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

 13  Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger's debt.
  Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners. [13] 

 14  A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning
  will be taken as a curse!

 15  A quarrelsome wife is as annoying
  as constant dripping on a rainy day.
 16  Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind
  or trying to hold something with greased hands.

 17  As iron sharpens iron,
  so a friend sharpens a friend.

 18  As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit,
  so workers who protect their employer's interests will be rewarded.

 19  As a face is reflected in water,
  so the heart reflects the real person.

 20  Just as Death and Destruction [20]  are never satisfied,
  so human desire is never satisfied.

 21  Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
  but a person is tested by being praised. [21] 

 22  You cannot separate fools from their foolishness,
  even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.

 23  Know the state of your flocks,
  and put your heart into caring for your herds,
 24  for riches don't last forever,
  and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.
 25  After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears
  and the mountain grasses are gathered in,
 26  your sheep will provide wool for clothing,
  and your goats will provide the price of a field.
 27  And you will have enough goats' milk for yourself,
  your family, and your servant girls.

Proverbs 28

 1  The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.  2  When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily.
  But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.

 3  A poor person who oppresses the poor
  is like a pounding rain that destroys the crops.

 4  To reject the law is to praise the wicked;
  to obey the law is to fight them.

 5  Evil people don't understand justice,
  but those who follow the LORD understand completely.

 6  Better to be poor and honest
  than to be dishonest and rich.

 7  Young people who obey the law are wise;
  those with wild friends bring shame to their parents. [7] 

 8  Income from charging high interest rates
  will end up in the pocket of someone who is kind to the poor.

 9  God detests the prayers
  of a person who ignores the law.

 10  Those who lead good people along an evil path
  will fall into their own trap,
  but the honest will inherit good things.

 11  Rich people may think they are wise,
  but a poor person with discernment can see right through them.

 12  When the godly succeed, everyone is glad.
  When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding.

 13  People who conceal their sins will not prosper,
  but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.

 14  Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, [14] 
  but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.

 15  A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor
  as a roaring lion or an attacking bear.

 16  A ruler with no understanding will oppress his people,
  but one who hates corruption will have a long life.

 17  A murderer's tormented conscience will drive him into the grave.
  Don't protect him!

 18  The blameless will be rescued from harm,
  but the crooked will be suddenly destroyed.

 19  A hard worker has plenty of food,
  but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.

 20  The trustworthy person will get a rich reward,
  but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.

 21  Showing partiality is never good,
  yet some will do wrong for a mere piece of bread.

 22  Greedy people try to get rich quick
  but don't realize they're headed for poverty.

 23  In the end, people appreciate honest criticism
  far more than flattery.

 24  Anyone who steals from his father and mother
  and says, "What's wrong with that?"
  is no better than a murderer.

 25  Greed causes fighting;
  trusting the LORD leads to prosperity.

 26  Those who trust their own insight are foolish,
  but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.

 27  Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing,
  but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.

 28  When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding.
  When the wicked meet disaster, the godly flourish.

Proverbs 29

 1  Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism
  will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery.

 2  When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice.
  But when the wicked are in power, they groan.

 3  The man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
  but if he hangs around with prostitutes, his wealth is wasted.

 4  A just king gives stability to his nation,
  but one who demands bribes destroys it.

 5  To flatter friends
  is to lay a trap for their feet.

 6  Evil people are trapped by sin,
  but the righteous escape, shouting for joy.

 7  The godly care about the rights of the poor;
  the wicked don't care at all.

 8  Mockers can get a whole town agitated,
  but the wise will calm anger.

 9  If a wise person takes a fool to court,
  there will be ranting and ridicule but no satisfaction.

 10  The bloodthirsty hate blameless people,
  but the upright seek to help them. [10] 

 11  Fools vent their anger,
  but the wise quietly hold it back.

 12  If a ruler pays attention to liars,
  all his advisers will be wicked.

 13  The poor and the oppressor have this in common—
  the LORD gives sight to the eyes of both.

 14  If a king judges the poor fairly,
  his throne will last forever.

 15  To discipline a child produces wisdom,
  but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.

 16  When the wicked are in authority, sin flourishes,
  but the godly will live to see their downfall.

 17  Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind
  and will make your heart glad.

 18  When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.
  But whoever obeys the law is joyful.

 19  Words alone will not discipline a servant;
  the words may be understood, but they are not heeded.

 20  There is more hope for a fool
  than for someone who speaks without thinking.

 21  A servant pampered from childhood
  will become a rebel.

 22  An angry person starts fights;
  a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.

 23  Pride ends in humiliation,
  while humility brings honor.

 24  If you assist a thief, you only hurt yourself.
  You are sworn to tell the truth, but you dare not testify.

 25  Fearing people is a dangerous trap,
  but trusting the LORD means safety.

 26  Many seek the ruler's favor,
  but justice comes from the LORD.

 27  The righteous despise the unjust;
  the wicked despise the godly.
<<  27:11 Hebrew my son.
<<  27:13 As in Greek and Latin versions (see also 20:16); Hebrew reads for a promiscuous woman.
<<  27:20 Hebrew Sheol and Abaddon.
<<  27:21 Or by flattery.
<<  28:7 Hebrew their father.
<<  28:14 Or those who fear the L<%=ftSC%>ORD; Hebrew reads those who fear.
<<  29:10 Or The bloodthirsty hate blameless people, / and they seek to kill the upright; Hebrew reads The bloodthirsty hate blameless people; / as for the upright, they seek their life.

New Testament:  2 Corinthians 10

2 Corinthians 10

Paul Defends His Authority
 1  Now I, Paul, appeal to you with the gentleness and kindness of Christ—though I realize you think I am timid in person and bold only when I write from far away.  2  Well, I am begging you now so that when I come I won't have to be bold with those who think we act from human motives.
   3  We are human, but we don't wage war as humans do.  4  We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.  5  We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.  6  And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient.    7  Look at the obvious facts. [7]  Those who say they belong to Christ must recognize that we belong to Christ as much as they do.  8  I may seem to be boasting too much about the authority given to us by the Lord. But our authority builds you up; it doesn't tear you down. So I will not be ashamed of using my authority.
   9  I'm not trying to frighten you by my letters.  10  For some say, "Paul's letters are demanding and forceful, but in person he is weak, and his speeches are worthless!"  11  Those people should realize that our actions when we arrive in person will be as forceful as what we say in our letters from far away.
   12  Oh, don't worry; we wouldn't dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!
   13  We will not boast about things done outside our area of authority. We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us, which includes our working with you.  14  We are not reaching beyond these boundaries when we claim authority over you, as if we had never visited you. For we were the first to travel all the way to Corinth with the Good News of Christ.
   15  Nor do we boast and claim credit for the work someone else has done. Instead, we hope that your faith will grow so that the boundaries of our work among you will be extended.  16  Then we will be able to go and preach the Good News in other places far beyond you, where no one else is working. Then there will be no question of our boasting about work done in someone else's territory.  17  As the Scriptures say, "If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD." [17] 
   18  When people commend themselves, it doesn't count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.
<<  10:4 English translations divide verses 4 and 5 in various ways.
<<  10:7 Or You look at things only on the basis of appearance.
<<  10:17 Jer 9:24.

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