For we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12


Isaiah 54-56

Isaiah 54

Future Blessings for Zion

1 “Sing, O barren one,
you who did not give birth.
Break out into singing and cry aloud,
you who did not labor with child.
For more are the children of the desolate
than the children of the married wife,” says the Lord.

2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
and let them stretch out the curtains of your habitations.
Do not hold back.
Lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread out on the right hand and on the left,
and your offspring will possess the nations
and settle in desolate cities.

4 Do not be afraid, for you will not be ashamed.
Do not be confounded, for you will not be disappointed.
For you will forget the shame of your youth.
You will remember the reproach of your widowhood no more.
5 For your Maker is your husband,
the Lord of Hosts is his name.
The Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer.
He will be called the God of the whole earth.

6 For the Lord has called you as a wife, forsaken and grieved in spirit,
a wife of youth, when she is cast off,” says your God.

7 “For a small moment I have forsaken you,
but I will gather you with great mercies.
8 In overflowing wrath
I hid my face from you for a moment,
but with everlasting loving kindness
I will have mercy on you,”
says the Lord your Redeemer.

9 “For this is like the waters of Noah to me,
for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah
will no longer go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.
10 For the mountains may depart,
and the hills be removed,
but my loving kindness will not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace will not be removed,”
says the Lord who has mercy on you.

11 “O afflicted, tossed with storms and not comforted,
I will set your stones in beautiful colors,
and lay your foundations with sapphires.
12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies,
your gates of sparkling jewels,
and all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children will be taught by the Lord,
and your children’s peace will be great.
14 You will be established in righteousness.
You will be far from oppression,
for you will not be afraid,
and far from terror,
for it shall not come near you.

15 They may gather together, but not by me.
Whoever gathers together against you will fall because of you.

16 I have created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon for his work,
and I have created the destroyer to destroy.
17 No weapon that is formed against you will prevail,
and you will condemn every tongue that rises against you in judgment.
This is the heritage of the Lord’s servants,
and their righteousness is of me,” says the Lord.

Isaiah 55

Invitation to the Needy

1 “Come! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters!
Come, he who has no money, buy and eat!
Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend money for that which is not bread
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me and eat that which is good
and let your soul delight itself in richness.

3 Turn your ear and come to me.
Hear, and your soul will live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
the sure mercies of David.
4 I have given him for a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander to the peoples.
5 You shall call a nation that you do not know,
and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God
and for the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.”

6 Seek the Lord while he may be found.
Call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way
and the unrighteous man his thoughts.
Let him return to the Lord,
and he will have mercy on him,
to our God, for he will freely pardon.

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
and your ways are not my ways,” says the Lord.

9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain comes down and the snow from the sky
and does not return, but waters the earth
and makes it grow and bud
and gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so is my word that goes forth from my mouth:
it will not return to me void,
but it will accomplish that which I please,
and it will prosper in the thing I sent it to do.

12 For you shall go out with joy
and be led out with peace.
The mountains and the hills will break out before you into singing,
and all the trees of the fields will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn the cypress tree will come up,
and instead of the brier the myrtle tree will come up.
It will make a name for God,
for an everlasting sign that will not be cut off.”

Isaiah 56

Salvation for All Nations

1 Thus says the Lord,

“Maintain justice and do what is right,
for my salvation is near,
and my righteousness will soon be revealed.

2 Blessed is the man who does this
and the son of man who holds it fast,
who keeps the Sabbath without profaning it
and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

3 Let no foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord speak, saying,
“The Lord will surely separate me from his people.”
Do not let the eunuch say, “I am a dry tree.”

4 For the Lord says, “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
choose the things that please me,
and hold fast to my covenant,
5 I will give them, in my house and within my walls,
a memorial and a name better than of sons and of daughters.
I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.

6 Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord
to serve him and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants,
everyone who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it
and holds fast my covenant,
7 I will bring them to my holy mountain,
and make them joyful in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar,
for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

8 The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says,
“I will yet gather others to him,
in addition to his own who are gathered.”

9 All you animals of the field,
come to devour,
all you animals in the forest.

10 His watchmen are blind.
They are all without knowledge.
They are all mute dogs.
They cannot bark—
dreaming, lying down, loving slumber.
11 Yes, the dogs are greedy.
They can never have enough.
They are shepherds who cannot understand.
They have all turned to their own way,
each one to his gain, from every quarter.
12 “Come,” they say, “I will get wine,
and we will fill ourselves with strong drink,
and tomorrow will be as today,
great beyond measure.”

Ephesians 6

Children and Parents

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with a promise: 3 “that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.” a

4 You fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but nurture them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

5 Servants, be obedient to those who according to the flesh are your masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as to Christ, 6 not in the way of service only when eyes are on you, as pleasers of men, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with good will, doing service as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good thing each one does, he will receive the same good again from the Lord, whether he is bound or free.

9 You masters, do the same things to them and give up threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with him.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having the belt of truth buckled around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. 16 Above all, take up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and requests, pray at all times in the Spirit, being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints. 19 On my behalf, pray that utterance may be given to me when I open my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

21 So that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will make known to you all things. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know our state and that he may comfort your hearts.

23 Peace be to the brothers and love, with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love. Amen.

a Exodus 20:12

Psalm 70

Come Quickly to Help Me, O Lord

For the Chief Musician. By David. A reminder.

1 Hurry, God, to deliver me.
Come quickly to help me, Lord.

2 Let them be disappointed and confounded who seek my soul.
Let those who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.
3 Let them be turned because of their shame
who say, “Aha! Aha!”

4 Let all those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you.
Let those who love your salvation continually say,
“Let God be exalted!”

5 But I am poor and needy.
Come to me quickly, God.
You are my help and my deliverer.
Lord, do not delay.

Proverbs 24:8

8 One who plots evil
will be called a schemer.

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