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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 25 and 26
1 O Jehovah, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things, `even' counsels of old, in faithfulness `and' truth.
2 For thou hast made of a city a heap, of a fortified city a ruin, a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.
3 Therefore shall a strong people glorify thee; a city of terrible nations shall fear thee.
4 For thou hast been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
5 As the heat in a dry place wilt thou bring down the noise of strangers; as the heat by the shade of a cloud, the song of the terrible ones shall be brought low.
6 And in this mountain will Jehovah of hosts make unto all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering that covereth all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations.
8 He hath swallowed up death for ever; and the Lord Jehovah will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the reproach of his people will he take away from off all the earth: for Jehovah hath spoken it.
9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is Jehovah; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
10 For in this mountain will the hand of Jehovah rest; and Moab shall be trodden down in his place, even as straw is trodden down in the water of the dung-hill.
11 And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst thereof, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth `his hands' to swim; but `Jehovah' will lay low his pride together with the craft of his hands.
12 And the high fortress of thy walls hath he brought down, laid low, and brought to the ground, even to the dust.
1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: we have a strong city; salvation will he appoint for walls and bulwarks.
2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth faith may enter in.
3 Thou wilt keep `him' in perfect peace, `whose' mind `is' stayed `on thee'; because he trusteth in thee.
4 Trust ye in Jehovah for ever; for in Jehovah, `even' Jehovah, is an everlasting rock.
5 For he hath brought down them that dwell on high, the lofty city: he layeth it low, he layeth it low even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.
6 The foot shall tread it down; even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.
7 The way of the just is uprightness: thou that art upright dost direct the path of the just.
8 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Jehovah, have we waited for thee; to thy name, even to thy memorial `name', is the desire of our soul.
9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee earnestly: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
10 Let favor be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness will he deal wrongfully, and will not behold the majesty of Jehovah.
11 Jehovah, thy hand is lifted up, yet they see not: but they shall see `thy' zeal for the people, and be put to shame; yea, fire shall devour thine adversaries.
12 Jehovah, thou wilt ordain peace for us; for thou hast also wrought all our works for us.
13 O Jehovah our God, other lords besides thee have had dominion over us; but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.
14 `They are' dead, they shall not live; `they are' deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all remembrance of them to perish.
15 Thou hast increased the nation, O Jehovah, thou hast increased the nation; thou art glorified; thou hast enlarged all the borders of the land.
16 Jehovah, in trouble have they visited thee; they poured out a prayer `when' thy chastening was upon them.
17 Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain and crieth out in her pangs; so we have been before thee, O Jehovah.
18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.
19 Thy dead shall live; my dead bodies shall arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust; for thy dew is `as' the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast forth the dead.
20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
21 For, behold, Jehovah cometh forth out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
Second Reading: Philippians Chapter 1
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God upon all my remembrance of you,
4 always in every supplication of mine on behalf of you all making my supplication with joy,
5 for your fellowship in furtherance of the gospel from the first day until now;
6 being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ:
7 even as it is right for me to be thus minded on behalf of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as, both in my bonds and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers with me of grace.
8 For God is my witness, how I long after you all in the tender mercies of Christ Jesus.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all discernment;
10 so that ye may approve the things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and void of offence unto the day of Christ;
11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are through Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
12 Now I would have you know, brethren, that the things `which happened' unto me have fallen out rather unto the progress of the gospel;
13 so that my bonds became manifest in Christ throughout the whole praetorian guard, and to all the rest;
14 and that most of the brethren in the Lord, being confident through my bonds, are more abundantly bold to speak the word of God without fear.
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16 the one `do it' of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel;
17 but the other proclaim Christ of faction, not sincerely, thinking to raise up affliction for me in my bonds.
18 What then? only that in every way, whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and therein I rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
19 For I know that this shall turn out to my salvation, through your supplication and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that in nothing shall I be put to shame, but `that' with all boldness, as always, `so' now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether by life, or by death.
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22 But if to live in the flesh, --`if' this shall bring fruit from my work, then what I shall choose I know not.
23 But I am in a strait betwixt the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ; for it is very far better:
24 yet to abide in the flesh is more needful for your sake.
25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide, yea, and abide with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith;
26 that your glorying may abound in Christ Jesus in me through my presence with you again.
27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ: that, whether I come and see you and be absent, I may hear of your state, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one soul striving for the faith of the gospel;
28 and in nothing affrighted by the adversaries: which is for them an evident token of perdition, but of your salvation, and that from God;
29 because to you it hath been granted in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer in his behalf:
30 having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Part 1 of 2
Philippians is another letter of Paul written to a new Christian church. The believers in Philippi would have received this letter sometime in the year 62 A.D. The tone of this letter is very personal in nature. Paul outlines his own beliefs and relates the attitude that all believers must not be self centered in their own lives. Each believer must look to Christ as an example of humility, self-sacrifice and unity in purpose. He further contrasts enemies of the cross with those who are friends of the Lord Jesus and the cross. It is thought that Paul wrote this epistle while he was in prison.
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