December 11: Proverbs 13; Zechariah 9-11

Songs for today: O Come O Come Emmanuel / Emanueal, God with Us

Today’s Country: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Through insolence comes nothing but strife,
But wisdom is with those who receive counsel.
Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles,
But the one who gathers by labor increases it.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
•••
The one who despises the word will be in debt to it,
But the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded.
The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
To turn aside from the snares of death.
•••
He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will suffer harm.
•••
He who withholds his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.
from Proverbs 13

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
And the horse from Jerusalem;
And the bow of war will be cut off.
And He will speak peace to the nations;
And His dominion will be from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.
from Zechariah 9

I will strengthen the house of Judah,
And I will save the house of Joseph,
And I will bring them back,
Because I have had compassion on them;
And they will be as though I had not rejected them,
For I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.
“Ephraim will be like a mighty man,
And their heart will be glad as if from wine;
Indeed, their children will see it and be glad,
Their heart will rejoice in the Lord.
“I will whistle for them to gather them together,
For I have redeemed them;
And they will be as numerous as they were before.
“When I scatter them among the peoples,
They will remember Me in far countries,
And they with their children will live and come back.
“I will bring them back from the land of Egypt
And gather them from Assyria;
And I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon
Until no room can be found for them.
“And they will pass through the sea of distress
And He will strike the waves in the sea,
So that all the depths of the Nile will dry up;
And the pride of Assyria will be brought down
And the scepter of Egypt will depart.
“And I will strengthen them in the Lord,
And in His name they will walk,” declares the Lord.
from Zechariah 10

the afflicted of the flock who were watching me realized that it was the word of the Lord. I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord. Then I cut in pieces my second staff Union, to break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
from Zechariah 11

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December 10: Proverbs 12; Zechariah 7-8

Songs for today: O Come All Ye Faithful / Celebrate the Child Who is the Light

Today’s Country: Kingdom of Tonga

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
But he who hates reproof is stupid.
•••
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
•••
A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal,
But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.
•••
He who tills his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who pursues worthless things lacks sense.
•••
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down,
But a good word makes it glad.
•••
In the way of righteousness is life,
And in its pathway there is no death.
from Proverbs 12

Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Execute true justice,
Show mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother.
Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless,
The alien or the poor.
Let none of you plan evil in his heart
Against his brother.’
from Zechariah 7

‘I will return to Zion,
And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth,
The Mountain of the Lord of hosts,
The Holy Mountain.’
“Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Old men and old women shall again sit
In the streets of Jerusalem,
Each one with his staff in his hand
Because of great age.
The streets of the city
Shall be full of boys and girls
Playing in its streets.’
“Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days,
Will it also be marvelous in My eyes?’
Says the Lord of hosts.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east
And from the land of the west;
I will bring them back,
And they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
They shall be My people
And I will be their God,
In truth and righteousness.’
•••
now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ says the Lord of hosts.
‘For the seed shall be prosperous,
The vine shall give its fruit,
The ground shall give her increase,
And the heavens shall give their dew—
I will cause the remnant of this people
To possess all these.
And it shall come to pass
That just as you were a curse among the nations,
O house of Judah and house of Israel,
So I will save you, and you shall be a blessing.
Do not fear,
Let your hands be strong.’
“For thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Just as I determined to punish you
When your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’
Says the Lord of hosts,
‘And I would not relent,
So again in these days
I am determined to do good
To Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
Do not fear.
These are the things you shall do:
Speak each man the truth to his neighbor;
Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;
Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor;
And do not love a false oath.
For all these are things that I hate,’
Says the Lord.”
•••
Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” ’ ”
from Zechariah 8

December 9: Proverbs 11; Zechariah 3-6

Songs for today: Joy to the World / Jesus, Joy of the Highest Heaven

Today’s Country: Togolese Republic

When pride comes, then comes shame;
But with the humble is wisdom.
The integrity of the upright will guide them,
•••
A talebearer reveals secrets,
But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.
Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
He who is surety for a stranger will suffer,
But one who hates being surety is secure.
•••
The merciful man does good for his own soul,
But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.
•••
The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.
•••
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who wins souls is wise.
from Proverbs 11

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”
•••
Then the Angel of the Lord admonished Joshua, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
“If you will walk in My ways,
And if you will keep My command,
Then you shall also judge My house,
And likewise have charge of My courts;
I will give you places to walk
Among these who stand here.
‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest,
You and your companions who sit before you,
For they are a wondrous sign;
For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.
For behold, the stone
That I have laid before Joshua:
Upon the stone are seven eyes.
Behold, I will engrave its inscription,’
Says the Lord of hosts,
‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts,
‘Everyone will invite his neighbor
Under his vine and under his fig tree.’ ”
from Zechariah 3

This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the Lord of hosts.
from Zechariah 4

I will send out the curse,” says the Lord of hosts;
“It shall enter the house of the thief
And the house of the one who swears falsely by My name.
It shall remain in the midst of his house
And consume it, with its timber and stones.”
from Zechariah 5

Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH!
From His place He shall branch out,
And He shall build the temple of the Lord;
Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord.
He shall bear the glory,
And shall sit and rule on His throne;
So He shall be a priest on His throne,
And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” ’
from Zechariah 6

December 8: Proverbs 10; Zechariah 1-2

Songs for today: Hallowed Manger Ground / Sing We Now of Christmas

Today’s Country: Kingdom of Thailand

… righteousness delivers from death.
… The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish,
… the hand of the diligent makes rich.
… He who gathers in summer is a wise son;
… Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
… The memory of the righteous is blessed,
… The wise in heart will receive commands,
…He who walks with integrity walks securely,
… The mouth of the righteous is a well of life,
… love covers all sins.
… Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding,
… Wise people store up knowledge,
… The labor of the righteous leads to life,
… He who keeps instruction is in the way of life,
… he who restrains his lips is wise.
… The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
… The lips of the righteous feed many,
… The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.
… a man of understanding has wisdom.
… the desire of the righteous will be granted
… the righteous has an everlasting foundation.
… The fear of the Lord prolongs days,
… The hope of the righteous will be gladness,
… The way of the Lord is strength for the upright,
… The righteous will never be removed,
… The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
… The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
from Proverbs 10

Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts.
•••
Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘I am zealous for Jerusalem
And for Zion with great zeal.
I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease;
For I was a little angry,
And they helped—but with evil intent.”
‘Therefore thus says the Lord:
“I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy;
My house shall be built in it,” says the Lord of hosts,
“And a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.” ’
“Again proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts:
“My cities shall again spread out through prosperity;
The Lord will again comfort Zion,
And will again choose Jerusalem.” ’ ”
from Zechariah 1

thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye. For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me.
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord. “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. And the Lord will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem. Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!”
from Zechariah 2

December 7: Proverbs 9; 3John

Songs for today: It Came Upon the Midnight Clear / He Is Born

Today’s Country: United Republic of Tanzania

“He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,
And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.
If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you will bear it alone.”
from Proverbs 9

I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
•••
Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.
from 3John

December 6: Proverbs 8; Haggai

Songs for today: Hark the Herald Angels Sing / Exult In the Saviors Birth

Today’s Country: Republic of Tajikistan

wisdom is better than rubies,
And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.
“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And find out knowledge and discretion.
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.
Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, I have strength.
By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
By me princes rule, and nobles,
All the judges of the earth.
I love those who love me,
And those who seek me diligently will find me.
Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring riches and righteousness.
My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold,
And my revenue than choice silver.
I traverse the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.
•••
Now therefore, listen to me, my children,
For blessed are those who keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise,
And do not disdain it.
Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at the posts of my doors.
For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the Lord;
But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
All those who hate me love death.”
from Proverbs 8

Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the Lord. “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the Lord of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
from Haggai 1

thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
from Haggai 2

December 5: Proverbs 7; 2John

Songs for today: Good Christian Men Rejoice / Children Go Where I Send Thee

Today’s Country: Republic of China-Taiwan

My son, keep my words,
And treasure my commands within you.
Keep my commands and live,
And my law as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your nearest kin,
That they may keep you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words.
from Proverbs 7

many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
from 2John