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Wednesday, December 6th, 2023
the First Week of Advent
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Bible Reading Plan

Daily Bible Reading

October 23 - Old & New Testament


Jeremiah 15,16,17

1 Then the Lord said to me: "Even if Moses(a) and Samuel(b) were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people.(c) Send them away from my presence!(d) Let them go! 2 And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?' tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

"‘Those destined for death, to death;
those for the sword, to the sword;(e)
those for starvation, to starvation;(f)
those for captivity, to captivity.'(g)

3 "I will send four kinds of destroyers(h) against them," declares the Lord , "the sword(i) to kill and the dogs(j) to drag away and the birds(k) and the wild animals to devour and destroy.(l) 4 I will make them abhorrent(m) to all the kingdoms of the earth(n) because of what Manasseh(o) son of Hezekiah king of Judah did in Jerusalem.

5 "Who will have pity(p) on you, Jerusalem?
     Who will mourn for you?
     Who will stop to ask how you are?
6 You have rejected(q) me," declares the Lord .
     "You keep on backsliding.
So I will reach out(r) and destroy you;
     I am tired of holding back.(s)
7 I will winnow(t) them with a winnowing fork
     at the city gates of the land.
I will bring bereavement(u) and destruction on my people,(v)
     for they have not changed their ways.(w)
8 I will make their widows(x) more numerous
     than the sand of the sea.
At midday I will bring a destroyer(y)
     against the mothers of their young men;
suddenly I will bring down on them
     anguish and terror.(z)
9 The mother of seven will grow faint(aa)
     and breathe her last.(ab)
Her sun will set while it is still day;
     she will be disgraced(ac) and humiliated.
I will put the survivors to the sword(ad)
     before their enemies,"(ae)
declares the Lord .

10 Alas, my mother, that you gave me birth,(af)
     a man with whom the whole land strives and contends!(ag)
I have neither lent(ah) nor borrowed,
     yet everyone curses(ai) me.

11 The Lord said,

"Surely I will deliver you(aj) for a good purpose;
     surely I will make your enemies plead(ak) with you
     in times of disaster and times of distress.

12 "Can a man break iron—
     iron from the north(al)—or bronze?

13 "Your wealth(am) and your treasures
     I will give as plunder,(an) without charge,(ao)
because of all your sins
     throughout your country.(ap)
14 I will enslave you to your enemies
     in[a] a land you do not know,(aq)
for my anger will kindle a fire(ar)
     that will burn against you."

15  Lord , you understand;
     remember me and care for me.
     Avenge me on my persecutors.(as)
You are long-suffering(at)—do not take me away;
     think of how I suffer reproach for your sake.(au)
16 When your words came, I ate(av) them;
     they were my joy and my heart's delight,(aw)
for I bear your name,(ax)
     Lord God Almighty.
17 I never sat(ay) in the company of revelers,
     never made merry with them;
I sat alone because your hand(az) was on me
     and you had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unending
     and my wound grievous and incurable?(ba)
You are to me like a deceptive brook,
     like a spring that fails.(bb)

19 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

"If you repent, I will restore you
     that you may serve(bc) me;
if you utter worthy, not worthless, words,
     you will be my spokesman.(bd)
Let this people turn to you,
     but you must not turn to them.
20 I will make you a wall(be) to this people,
     a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you
     but will not overcome(bf) you,
for I am with you
     to rescue and save you,"(bg)
declares the Lord .
21 "I will save(bh) you from the hands of the wicked(bi)
     and deliver(bj) you from the grasp of the cruel."(bk)

Day of Disaster

1 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 2 "You must not marry(a) and have sons or daughters in this place." 3 For this is what the Lord says about the sons and daughters born in this land and about the women who are their mothers and the men who are their fathers:(b) 4 "They will die of deadly diseases. They will not be mourned or buried(c) but will be like dung lying on the ground.(d) They will perish by sword and famine,(e) and their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals."(f)

5 For this is what the Lord says: "Do not enter a house where there is a funeral meal; do not go to mourn or show sympathy, because I have withdrawn my blessing, my love and my pity(g) from this people," declares the Lord . 6 "Both high and low will die in this land.(h) They will not be buried or mourned,(i) and no one will cut(j) themselves or shave(k) their head for the dead. 7 No one will offer food(l) to comfort those who mourn(m) for the dead—not even for a father or a mother—nor will anyone give them a drink to console(n) them.

8 "And do not enter a house where there is feasting and sit down to eat and drink.(o) 9 For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Before your eyes and in your days I will bring an end to the sounds(p) of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride(q) and bridegroom in this place.(r)

10 "When you tell these people all this and they ask you, ‘Why has the Lord decreed such a great disaster against us? What wrong have we done? What sin have we committed against the Lord our God?'(s) 11 then say to them, ‘It is because your ancestors forsook me,' declares the Lord , ‘and followed other gods and served and worshiped(t) them. They forsook me and did not keep my law.(u) 12 But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors.(v) See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil hearts(w) instead of obeying me. 13 So I will throw you out of this land(x) into a land neither you nor your ancestors have known,(y) and there you will serve other gods(z) day and night, for I will show you no favor.'(aa)

14 "However, the days are coming,"(ab) declares the Lord , "when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,'(ac) 15 but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north(ad) and out of all the countries where he had banished them.'(ae) For I will restore(af) them to the land I gave their ancestors.(ag)

16 "But now I will send for many fishermen," declares the Lord , "and they will catch them.(ah) After that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt(ai) them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks.(aj) 17 My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden(ak) from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.(al) 18 I will repay(am) them double(an) for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled my land(ao) with the lifeless forms of their vile images(ap) and have filled my inheritance with their detestable idols.(aq)"(ar)

19  Lord , my strength and my fortress,
     my refuge(as) in time of distress,
to you the nations will come(at)
     from the ends of the earth and say,
"Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods,(au)
     worthless idols(av) that did them no good.(aw)
20 Do people make their own gods?
     Yes, but they are not gods!"(ax)

21 "Therefore I will teach them—
     this time I will teach them
     my power and might.
Then they will know
     that my name(ay) is the Lord .

1 "Judah's sin is engraved with an iron tool,(a)
     inscribed with a flint point,
on the tablets of their hearts(b)
     and on the horns(c) of their altars.
2 Even their children remember
     their altars and Asherah poles[a](d)
beside the spreading trees
     and on the high hills.(e)
3 My mountain in the land
     and your[b] wealth and all your treasures
I will give away as plunder,(f)
     together with your high places,(g)
     because of sin throughout your country.(h)
4 Through your own fault you will lose
     the inheritance(i) I gave you.
I will enslave you to your enemies(j)
     in a land(k) you do not know,
for you have kindled my anger,
     and it will burn(l) forever."

5 This is what the Lord says:

"Cursed is the one who trusts in man,(m)
     who draws strength from mere flesh
     and whose heart turns away from the Lord .(n)
6 That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
     they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places(o) of the desert,
     in a salt(p) land where no one lives.

7 "But blessed(q) is the one who trusts(r) in the Lord ,
     whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
     that sends out its roots by the stream.(s)
It does not fear when heat comes;
     its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought(t)
     and never fails to bear fruit."(u)

9 The heart(v) is deceitful above all things
     and beyond cure.
     Who can understand it?

10 "I the Lord search the heart(w)
     and examine the mind,(x)
to reward(y) each person according to their conduct,
     according to what their deeds deserve."(z)

11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay
     are those who gain riches by unjust means.
When their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them,
     and in the end they will prove to be fools.(aa)

12 A glorious throne,(ab) exalted from the beginning,
     is the place of our sanctuary.
13  Lord , you are the hope(ac) of Israel;
     all who forsake(ad) you will be put to shame.
Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust(ae)
     because they have forsaken the Lord ,
     the spring of living water.(af)

14 Heal me, Lord , and I will be healed;(ag)
     save(ah) me and I will be saved,
     for you are the one I praise.(ai)
15 They keep saying to me,
     "Where is the word of the Lord ?
     Let it now be fulfilled!"(aj)
16 I have not run away from being your shepherd;
     you know I have not desired the day of despair.
     What passes my lips(ak) is open before you.
17 Do not be a terror(al) to me;
     you are my refuge(am) in the day of disaster.(an)
18 Let my persecutors be put to shame,
     but keep me from shame;
let them be terrified,
     but keep me from terror.
Bring on them the day of disaster;
     destroy them with double destruction.(ao)

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

19 This is what the Lord said to me: "Go and stand at the Gate of the People,[c] through which the kings of Judah go in and out; stand also at all the other gates of Jerusalem.(ap) 20 Say to them, ‘Hear the word of the Lord , you kings of Judah and all people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem(aq) who come through these gates.(ar) 21 This is what the Lord says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath(as) day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 Do not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your ancestors.(at) 23 Yet they did not listen or pay attention;(au) they were stiff-necked(av) and would not listen or respond to discipline.(aw) 24 But if you are careful to obey me, declares the Lord , and bring no load through the gates of this city on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy(ax) by not doing any work on it, 25 then kings who sit on David's throne(ay) will come through the gates of this city with their officials. They and their officials will come riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by the men of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever.(az) 26 People will come from the towns of Judah and the villages around Jerusalem, from the territory of Benjamin and the western foothills, from the hill country and the Negev,(ba) bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the Lord . 27 But if you do not obey(bb) me to keep the Sabbath(bc) day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire(bd) in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.'"(be)

Colossians 2

Chapter 2

1 I want you to know how hard I am contending(a) for you and for those at Laodicea,(b) and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart(c) and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery(d) of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.(e) 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.(f) 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit(g) and delight to see how disciplined(h) you are and how firm(i) your faith in Christ(j) is.

Spiritual Fullness in Christ

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,(k) continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted(l) and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,(m) and overflowing with thankfulness.

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,(n) which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world(o) rather than on Christ.

9 For in Christ all the fullness(p) of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head(q) over every power and authority.(r) 11 In him you were also circumcised(s) with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh[b](t) was put off when you were circumcised by[c] Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism,(u) in which you were also raised with him(v) through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.(w)

13 When you were dead in your sins(x) and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[d] alive(y) with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,(z) 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness,(aa) which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.(ab) 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities,(ac) he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them(ad) by the cross.[e]

Freedom From Human Rules

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you(ae) by what you eat or drink,(af) or with regard to a religious festival,(ag) a New Moon celebration(ah) or a Sabbath day.(ai) 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come;(aj) the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility(ak) and the worship of angels disqualify you.(al) Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head,(am) from whom the whole body,(an) supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.(ao)

20 Since you died with Christ(ap) to the elemental spiritual forces of this world,(aq) why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:(ar) 21 "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish(as) with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.(at) 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility(au) and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

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