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Read the Bible | September 12th

Proverbs 21

[1] The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
he turns it wherever he will.
[2] Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the LORD weighs the heart.
[3] To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
[4] Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
[5] The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
[6] The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
[7] The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.
[8] The way of the guilty is crooked,
but the conduct of the pure is upright.
[9] It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
[10] The soul of the wicked desires evil;
his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
[11] When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
[12] The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
he throws the wicked down to ruin.
[13] Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself call out and not be answered.
[14] A gift in secret averts anger,
and a concealed bribe, strong wrath.
[15] When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.
[16] One who wanders from the way of good sense
will rest in the assembly of the dead.
[17] Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
[18] The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
and the traitor for the upright.
[19] It is better to live in a desert land
than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
[20] Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling,
but a foolish man devours it.
[21] Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
will find life, righteousness, and honor.
[22] A wise man scales the city of the mighty
and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
[23] Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.
[24] “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
who acts with arrogant pride.
[25] The desire of the sluggard kills him,
for his hands refuse to labor.
[26] All day long he craves and craves,
but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
[27] The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
how much more when he brings it with evil intent.
[28] A false witness will perish,
but the word of a man who hears will endure.
[29] A wicked man puts on a bold face,
but the upright gives thought to his ways.
[30] No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
can avail against the LORD.
[31] The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the LORD. (ESV)

Proverbs 22

[1] A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold.
[2] The rich and the poor meet together;
the LORD is the Maker of them all.
[3] The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
[4] The reward for humility and fear of the LORD
is riches and honor and life.
[5] Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;
whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
[6] Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
[7] The rich rules over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
[8] Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of his fury will fail.
[9] Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed,
for he shares his bread with the poor.
[10] Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
and quarreling and abuse will cease.
[11] He who loves purity of heart,
and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
[12] The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge,
but he overthrows the words of the traitor.
[13] The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!
I shall be killed in the streets!”
[14] The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit;
he with whom the LORD is angry will fall into it.
[15] Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
[16] Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,
or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.


Words of the Wise

[17] Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,
and apply your heart to my knowledge,
[18] for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.
[19] That your trust may be in the LORD,
I have made them known to you today, even to you.
[20] Have I not written for you thirty sayings
of counsel and knowledge,
[21] to make you know what is right and true,
that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?


[22] Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,
or crush the afflicted at the gate,
[23] for the LORD will plead their cause
and rob of life those who rob them.
[24] Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
nor go with a wrathful man,
[25] lest you learn his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.
[26] Be not one of those who give pledges,
who put up security for debts.
[27] If you have nothing with which to pay,
why should your bed be taken from under you?
[28] Do not move the ancient landmark
that your fathers have set.
[29] Do you see a man skillful in his work?
He will stand before kings;
he will not stand before obscure men. (ESV)

Proverbs 23

[1] When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what is before you,
[2] and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to appetite.
[3] Do not desire his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
[4] Do not toil to acquire wealth;
be discerning enough to desist.
[5] When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
for suddenly it sprouts wings,
flying like an eagle toward heaven.
[6] Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy;
do not desire his delicacies,
[7] for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
[8] You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten,
and waste your pleasant words.
[9] Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
for he will despise the good sense of your words.
[10] Do not move an ancient landmark
or enter the fields of the fatherless,
[11] for their Redeemer is strong;
he will plead their cause against you.
[12] Apply your heart to instruction
and your ear to words of knowledge.
[13] Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
[14] If you strike him with the rod,
you will save his soul from Sheol.
[15] My son, if your heart is wise,
my heart too will be glad.
[16] My inmost being will exult
when your lips speak what is right.
[17] Let not your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.
[18] Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.


[19] Hear, my son, and be wise,
and direct your heart in the way.
[20] Be not among drunkards
or among gluttonous eaters of meat,
[21] for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
and slumber will clothe them with rags.


[22] Listen to your father who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
[23] Buy truth, and do not sell it;
buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
[24] The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
[25] Let your father and mother be glad;
let her who bore you rejoice.


[26] My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes observe my ways.
[27] For a prostitute is a deep pit;
an adulteress is a narrow well.
[28] She lies in wait like a robber
and increases the traitors among mankind.


[29] Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
[30] Those who tarry long over wine;
those who go to try mixed wine.
[31] Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
[32] In the end it bites like a serpent
and stings like an adder.
[33] Your eyes will see strange things,
and your heart utter perverse things.
[34] You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
like one who lies on the top of a mast.
[35] “They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt;
they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
I must have another drink.” (ESV)

Proverbs 24

[1] Be not envious of evil men,
nor desire to be with them,
[2] for their hearts devise violence,
and their lips talk of trouble.


[3] By wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
[4] by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all precious and pleasant riches.
[5] A wise man is full of strength,
and a man of knowledge enhances his might,
[6] for by wise guidance you can wage your war,
and in abundance of counselors there is victory.
[7] Wisdom is too high for a fool;
in the gate he does not open his mouth.


[8] Whoever plans to do evil
will be called a schemer.
[9] The devising of folly is sin,
and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind.


[10] If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
[11] Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
[12] If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?


[13] My son, eat honey, for it is good,
and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
[14] Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, there will be a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.


[15] Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous;
do no violence to his home;
[16] for the righteous falls seven times and rises again,
but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.


[17] Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
[18] lest the LORD see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from him.


[19] Fret not yourself because of evildoers,
and be not envious of the wicked,
[20] for the evil man has no future;
the lamp of the wicked will be put out.


[21] My son, fear the LORD and the king,
and do not join with those who do otherwise,
[22] for disaster will arise suddenly from them,
and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?


More Sayings of the Wise

[23] These also are sayings of the wise.

Partiality in judging is not good.
[24] Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”
will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
[25] but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
and a good blessing will come upon them.
[26] Whoever gives an honest answer
kisses the lips.


[27] Prepare your work outside;
get everything ready for yourself in the field,
and after that build your house.


[28] Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,
and do not deceive with your lips.
[29] Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me;
I will pay the man back for what he has done.”


[30] I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
[31] and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone wall was broken down.
[32] Then I saw and considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
[33] A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
[34] and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man. (ESV)

Proverbs 25

More Proverbs of Solomon

[1] These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.

[2] It is the glory of God to conceal things,
but the glory of kings is to search things out.
[3] As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth,
so the heart of kings is unsearchable.
[4] Take away the dross from the silver,
and the smith has material for a vessel;
[5] take away the wicked from the presence of the king,
and his throne will be established in righteousness.
[6] Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence
or stand in the place of the great,
[7] for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.


What your eyes have seen
[8] do not hastily bring into court,
for what will you do in the end,
when your neighbor puts you to shame?
[9] Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
and do not reveal another’s secret,
[10] lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
and your ill repute have no end.


[11] A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
[12] Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
[13] Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
is a faithful messenger to those who send him;
he refreshes the soul of his masters.
[14] Like clouds and wind without rain
is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.


[15] With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
and a soft tongue will break a bone.
[16] If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
[17] Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house,
lest he have his fill of you and hate you.
[18] A man who bears false witness against his neighbor
is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.
[19] Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble
is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.
[20] Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart
is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
and like vinegar on soda.
[21] If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
[22] for you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the LORD will reward you.
[23] The north wind brings forth rain,
and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
[24] It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
[25] Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
so is good news from a far country.
[26] Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain
is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
[27] It is not good to eat much honey,
nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.
[28] A man without self-control
is like a city broken into and left without walls. (ESV)

Proverbs 26

[1] Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
so honor is not fitting for a fool.
[2] Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
a curse that is causeless does not alight.
[3] A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
and a rod for the back of fools.
[4] Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself.
[5] Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.
[6] Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
[7] Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless,
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
[8] Like one who binds the stone in the sling
is one who gives honor to a fool.
[9] Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
[10] Like an archer who wounds everyone
is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.
[11] Like a dog that returns to his vomit
is a fool who repeats his folly.
[12] Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
[13] The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
There is a lion in the streets!”
[14] As a door turns on its hinges,
so does a sluggard on his bed.
[15] The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
[16] The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven men who can answer sensibly.
[17] Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
[18] Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
[19] is the man who deceives his neighbor
and says, “I am only joking!”
[20] For lack of wood the fire goes out,
and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
[21] As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
[22] The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
[23] Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
[24] Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbors deceit in his heart;
[25] when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are seven abominations in his heart;
[26] though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
[27] Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
[28] A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth works ruin. (ESV)

2 Corinthians 6:14–18

The Temple of the Living God

[14] Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? [15] What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? [16] What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
[17] Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
[18] and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.” (ESV)

2 Corinthians 7

[1] Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

Paul’s Joy

[2] Make room in your hearts for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. [3] I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. [4] I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.

[5] For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. [6] But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, [7] and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. [8] For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. [9] As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.

[10] For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. [11] For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. [12] So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one who did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God. [13] Therefore we are comforted.

And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. [14] For whatever boasts I made to him about you, I was not put to shame. But just as everything we said to you was true, so also our boasting before Titus has proved true. [15] And his affection for you is even greater, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. [16] I rejoice, because I have complete confidence in you. (ESV)

2 Corinthians 8:1–15

Encouragement to Give Generously

[1] We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, [2] for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. [3] For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, [4] begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—[5] and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. [6] Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. [7] But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.

[8] I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. [9] For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. [10] And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. [11] So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. [12] For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. [13] For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness [14] your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. [15] As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” (ESV)

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