I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will take the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

Ezekiel 35-36

Ezekiel 35

Prophecy against Mount Seir

1 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it, 3 and tell it, ‘The Lord God says: “I am against you, Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against you. I will make you a desolate waste. 4 I will lay your cities to waste, and you will be desolate. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

5 “ ‘ “Because of your ancient hatred and your handing of the Israelites over to power of the sword in their time of calamity, when they were in their final punishment; 6 therefore, as surely as I live,” says the Lord God, “I am preparing you for bloodshed, and blood will pursue you. Since you have not hated bloodshed, therefore blood will pursue you. 7 Thus I will make Mount Seir an appalling desolation. I will cut off from it all who pass through it and all who return. 8 I will fill its mountains with its slain. The slain with the sword will fall in your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines. 9 I will make you an everlasting desolation, and your cities will be uninhabited. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

10 “ ‘ “Because you have said, ‘These two nations and these two countries will be mine, and we will possess it;’ even though the Lord was there: 11 therefore, as surely as I live,” says the Lord God, “I will deal with you according to the anger and envy you have shown towards them because of your hatred for them; and I will make myself known among them when I judge you. 12 You will know that I, the Lord, have heard all of the insults that you have spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, ‘They have been laid waste. They have been given to us to devour.’ 13 You have boasted against me with your mouth, and have multiplied your words against me. I have heard it.” 14 The Lord God says: “When the rest of the earth is rejoicing, I will make you desolate. 15 As you rejoiced over the desolation of Israel’s inheritance, so I will do to you. You will be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom–all of it. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’ ”

Ezekiel 36

Prophecy to the Mountains of Israel

1 You, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, “You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord. 2 The Lord God says: ‘Because the enemy has said against you, “Ha!” and, “The ancient high places are our possession!” ’ 3 therefore prophesy, and say, ‘The Lord God says: “Because they have made you desolate, crushing you on every side, so that many nations might possess you, and you would be on the lips of talkers and slanderers;” 4 therefore, you mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God: The Lord God says to the mountains and to the hills, to the ravines and to the valleys, to the desolate wastelands and to the forsaken cities, which have become a prey and a mockery to the rest of the surrounding nations; 5 therefore the Lord God says: “Surely in the fire of my jealousy I have spoken against the rest of the nations, and against all of Edom, who have appointed my land as their possession, to plunder its pasturelands in joyful malice.” ’

6 Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and tell the mountains, the hills, the ravines and the valleys, ‘The Lord God says: “I have spoken in my jealousy and in my wrath, because you have borne the shame of the nations.” 7 Therefore the Lord God says: “I have sworn, ‘Surely the nations that are around you will bear their shame.’

8 “ ‘ “But you, mountains of Israel, you shall sprout your branches, and yield your fruit to my people Israel; for they are coming home soon. 9 For I am for you, and I will come to you, and you will be plowed and planted. 10 I will multiply the people within you, all the house of Israel, all of it. The cities will be inhabited, and the wastelands will be built up. 11 I will multiply the people and animals within you. They will increase and be fruitful. I will populate you as you were before, and you will do better than you did in your beginning. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 12 Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, my people Israel. They will possess you, and you will be their inheritance, and you will never again bereave them of their children.”

13 “ ‘The Lord God says: “Because they say to you, ‘You are a devourer of men, and have been a bereaver of your nation;’ 14 therefore you shall no longer devour men or bereave your nation,” says the Lord God. 15 “I won’t let you hear the shame of the nations any more. You won’t bear the reproach of the peoples any more, and you won’t cause your nation to stumble any more,” says the Lord God.’ ”

The Lord’s Holy Name

16 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 17 “Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and by their deeds. Their way before me was as the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity. 18 Therefore I poured out my wrath on them for the blood which they had poured out on the land, and because they had defiled it with their idols. 19 I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries. I judged them according to their way and according to their deeds. 20 When they came to the nations where they went, they profaned my holy name; in that men said of them, ‘These are God’s people, and have left his land.’ 21 But I had respect for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations where they went.

A New Heart and Spirit

22 “Therefore tell the house of Israel, ‘The Lord God says: “I am not doing this for your sake, house of Israel, but for my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. 23 I will set apart my great name as holy, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am proven holy in you before their eyes.

24 “ ‘ “For I will take you from among the nations and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will take the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will keep my ordinances and do them. 28 You will dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers. You will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain, and will multiply it, and lay no famine on you. 30 I will multiply the fruit of the trees and the increase of the field, that you may receive no more the reproach of famine among the nations.

31 “ ‘ “Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. 32 I am not doing this for your sake,” says the Lord God. “Let it be known to you: be stunned and ashamed for your ways, house of Israel.”

33 “ ‘The Lord God says: “When I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited and the wastelands to be be built up. 34 The land that was desolate will be cultivated instead of being a desolation in the sight of all who passed by. 35 They will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden. The waste, desolate, and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.’ 36 Then the nations that are left around you will know that I, the Lord, have built up the ruins, and planted that which was desolate. I, the Lord, have said it, and I will do it.”

37 “ ‘The Lord God says: “For this, moreover, I will be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them: I will increase their population like a flock. 38 Like a flock for sacrifice, like the flock of Jerusalem in her appointed feasts, so the wastelands will be filled with flocks of men. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’ ”

James 1

Trials and Temptations

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are in the Dispersion: Greetings.

2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various temptations, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. 7 For that man shouldn’t think that he will receive anything from the Lord. 8 He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Contrast of the Rich and Poor

9 But let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position; 10 and the rich, in that he is made humble, because like the flower in the grass, he will pass away. 11 For the sun arises with the scorching wind and withers the grass, and the flower in it falls, and the beauty of its appearance perishes. So the rich man will also fade away in his pursuits.

12 Blessed is a person who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love him.

13 Let no man say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God can’t be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. 15 Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin. The sin, when it is full grown, produces death. 16 Don’t be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow. 18 Of his own will he gave birth to us by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

Hearing and Doing

19 So, then, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, putting away all filthiness and unbridled wickedness, receive with humility the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets, but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does.

26 If anyone among you thinks himself to be religious while he doesn’t bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Psalm 116

He Listens to My Voice

1 I love the Lord, because he listens to my voice,
and my cries for mercy.
2 Because he has turned his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death surrounded me,
the pains of death got a hold of me.
I found trouble and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Lord, I beg you, deliver me.”
5 The Lord is gracious and righteous.
Yes, our God is merciful.
6 The Lord preserves the simple.
I was brought low, and he saved me.
7 Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
8 For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
and my feet from falling.
9 I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
10 I believed, therefore I said,
“I was greatly afflicted.”
11 I said in my haste,
“All people are liars.”
12 What will I give to the Lord for all his benefits toward me?
13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord,
yes, in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the Lord’s sight is the death of his saints.
16 Lord, truly I am your servant.
I am your servant, the son of your servant girl.
You have freed me from my chains.
17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and will call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord,
yes, in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of Lord’s house,
in the midst of you, Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!

Proverbs 27:23-27

23 Know well the state of your flocks,
and pay attention to your herds:
24 for riches are not forever,
nor does the crown endure to all generations.
25 The hay is removed, and the new growth appears,
the grasses of the hills are gathered in.
26 The lambs are for your clothing,
and the goats are the price of a field.
27 There will be plenty of goats’ milk for your food,
for your family’s food,
and for the nourishment of your servant girls.

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