9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
“when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 People will stagger from sea to sea
and wander from north to east,
searching for the word of the Lord,
but they will not find it.
13 “In that day
“the lovely young women and strong young men
will faint because of thirst.
15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
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.
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.
23 This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.
Father, I praise You for the ways in which You make Yourself known. I will not boast in my wisdom, because You have chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. I will not boast in strength, because You have chosen the weak things of the world to shame the strong. You have chosen lowly women, men of ill repute, powerless people from nowhere, ordinary folks without human credentials, anonymous people – people like me – to show the world that You are indeed a kind, just and righteous God.
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
I am Your witness, Lord, that You are God, and apart from You there is no Savior. Help me to declare the Truth with boldness. May the words of my mouth and the testimony of my life make it clear to all that I have been with You.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
Lord, You have given me all that I have. You offer me so many invisible but real gifts—gifts with eternal value. The gift of Your Spirit in my life empowers e far beyond my own capacities. The gift of Your forgiveness enables me to forgive. The gifts of Your mercy and grace enable me to extent the same kindness to others. You have made me a storehouse of Your blessings, Lord. Please work through me too impart those blessings to others.
5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
How can I be humble without Your Grace? I cannot. For humility without grace is just pride in disguise. I Your grace, O Lord, grant me the gift of humility. And in return accept all my anxieties into You caring hands.
As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message.
You, Lord, do not look at things that we look at, nor are You impressed with the things that impress the world. We look at the outward appearance, but You look at the heart. Forgive me when I am more concerned with the face I show to the world than with the heart I present to You. Tear down my facade, Father, so that I can share my real self with You.