15 “If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[c] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.
19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
9 You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; you daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say! 10 In little more than a year you who feel secure will tremble; the grape harvest will fail, and the harvest of fruit will not come. 11 Tremble, you complacent women; shudder, you daughters who feel secure! Strip off your fine clothes and wrap yourselves in rags. 12 Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vines 13 and for the land of my people, a land overgrown with thorns and briers— yes, mourn for all houses of merriment and for this city of revelry. 14 The fortress will be abandoned, the noisy city deserted; citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever, the delight of donkeys, a pasture for flocks, 15 till the Spirit is poured on us from on high, and the desert becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest. 16 The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert, his righteousness live in the fertile field. 17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. 18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. 19 Though hail flattens the forest and the city is levelled completely, 20 how blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream, and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.
For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David.
1 Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. 2 Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. 4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. 5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; 6 you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, Lord, detest. 7 But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple.
8 Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies— make your way straight before me. 9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies. 10 Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you. 11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
12 Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favour as with a shield.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Isaiah 58: 6-8 6″Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter- when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
Although I poked a little fun on the British weather in yesterday’s blog we mustn’t forget how it’s affecting the homeless. We hear on the news about the good work the homeless shelters are doing but unfortunately they fill up pretty quick in this weather which means some people are still sleeping rough.
We pay a particular thanks to those who are prepared to go out at night and look for these people.
I would also like to pay tribute to those who did or still may be doing the neighbourly /friendly thing by bringing food and drink to those stranded in vehicles and lorries through out the country.
1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Confirming One’s Calling and Election
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In Christ alone my hope is found He is my light, my strength, my song This Cornerstone, this solid ground Firm through the fiercest drought and storm What heights of love, what depths of peace When fears are stilled, when strivings cease My Comforter, my All in All Here in the love of Christ I stand
In Christ alone, who took on flesh Fullness of God in helpless babe This gift of love and righteousness Scorned by the ones He came to save ‘Til on that cross as Jesus died The wrath of God was satisfied For every sin on Him was laid Here in the death of Christ I live, I live
There in the ground His body lay Light of the world by darkness slain Then bursting forth in glorious Day Up from the grave He rose again And as He stands in victory Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me For I am His and He is mine Bought with the precious blood of Christ
No guilt in life, no fear in death This is the power of Christ in me From life’s first cry to final breath Jesus commands my destiny No power of hell, no scheme of man Can ever pluck me from His hand Till He returns or calls me home Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand
I will stand I will stand, all other ground is sinking sand All other ground, all other ground Is sinking sand, is sinking sand So I’ll stand
2 [a]“In that day you will call your brothers Ammi—‘My people.’ And you will call your sisters Ruhamah—‘The ones I love.’
Charges against an Unfaithful Wife
2 “But now bring charges against Israel—your mother— for she is no longer my wife, and I am no longer her husband. Tell her to remove the prostitute’s makeup from her face and the clothing that exposes her breasts. 3 Otherwise, I will strip her as naked as she was on the day she was born. I will leave her to die of thirst, as in a dry and barren wilderness. 4 And I will not love her children, for they were conceived in prostitution. 5 Their mother is a shameless prostitute and became pregnant in a shameful way. She said, ‘I’ll run after other lovers and sell myself to them for food and water, for clothing of wool and linen, and for olive oil and drinks.’
Here in Hosea 2 we are told what God will do with an unfaithful wife because of the life she chose to lead. We are all sinners until we repent and come to God.
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1 Jesus, the name high over all, In Hell or earth or sky; Angels and men before him fall, And devils fear and fly.
Refrain: We have no other argument, We want no other plea; It is enough that Jesus died, And that he died for me.
2 Jesus, the name to sinners dear, The name to sinners given; He scatters all their guilty fear; He turns their Hell to Heaven.
3 Jesus the prisoner’s fetters breaks, And bruises Satan’s head; Power into strengthless souls he speaks, And life into the dead.
4 O that the world would taste and see The riches of his grace; The arms of love that compass me Would all mankind embrace.
5 His glorious righteousness I show, His saving truth proclaim; ‘Tis all my business here below To cry: Behold the Lamb!
6 Happy, if with my latest breath I may but gasp his name, Preach him to all, and cry in death: Behold, behold the Lamb!
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”[b]
7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”[c]
“A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”[d]
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.