GNB – Good News Bible
TM – The Message
1 Samuel 24:4-6 GNB. “They said to him, ‘This is your chance! The Lord has told you that he would put your enemy in your power and you could do to him whatever you wanted to.’ David crept over and cut off a piece of Saul’s robe without Saul’s knowing it. But then David’s conscience began to hurt, and he said to his men, ‘May the Lord keep me from doing any harm to my master, whom the Lord chose as king! I must not harm him in the least, because he is the king chosen by the Lord!’ So David convinced his men that they should not attack Saul.”
Proverbs 23:7 GNB. “…What he thinks is what he really is.”
Matthew 7:1 - 5 GNB. “Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you, for God will judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will apply to you the same rules you apply to others. Why then do you look at the speck in your borhter’s eye and pay no attention to the log in your own eye? How dare you say to your brother, ‘Please, let me take that speck out of your eye,’ when you have a log in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the log out of your own eyes and then you will be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Luke 12:1-3 GNB. “…Be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees – I mean their hypocrisy. Whatever is covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made know. So then, whatever you have said in the dark will be shouted from the housetops.”
Romans 2:1-16 GNB. “Do you, my friend, pass judgment on others? You have no excuse at all, whoever you are. For when you judge others and then do the same things which they do, you condemn yourself. We know that God is right when he judges the people who do such things as these. But you, my friend, do those very things for which you pass judgment on others! Do you think that you will escape God’s judgment? Or perhaps you despise his great kindness, tolerance, and patience. Surely you know that God is kind, because he is trying to lead you to repent. But you have a hard and stubborn heart, and so you are making your own punishment even greater on the Day when God’s anger and righteous judgments will be revealed. For God will reward each of us according to what we have done. Some people keep on doing good, and seek glory, honor and immortal life; to them God will give eternal life. Other people are selfish and reject what is right, in order to follow what is wrong; on them God will pour our his anger and also for the Gentiles. But God will give glory, honor and peace to all who do what is good, to the Jews first and also to the Gentiles. For God judges everyone by the same standard.”
Ephesians 4:17 - 32 TM. The Old Way Has To Go.
“And so I insist – and God backs me up on this – that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.
But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything – and I do mean everything – connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life – a Godfashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.
What this adds up to then, is this; nor more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.
Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry – but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.
Did you used to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can’t work.
Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.
Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted. Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.”
Ephesians 5 TM. Wake Up From Your Sleep.
“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.
Don’t allow love to turn into lust, setting off a downhill slide into sexual promiscuity, filthy practices, or bullying greed. Though some tongues just love the taste of gossip, Christians have better uses for language than that. Don’t talk dirty or silly. That kind of talk doesn’t fit our style. Thanksgiving is our dialect.
You can be sure that using people or religion or things just for what you can get out of them – the usual variations on idolatry – will get you nowhere, and certainly nowhere near the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God.
Don’t let yourselves get taken in by religious smooth talk. God gets furious with people who are full of religious sale talk but want nothing to do with him. Don’t even hang around people like that.
You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You’re out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true – these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.
Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.
Wake up from your sleep.
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!
Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.
Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ. Relationships.
Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.
Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church - a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. hIs words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor – since they’re already ‘one’in marriage.
No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No long two, they become ‘one flesh.’ This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.”
Ephesians 6:4 TM. “Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.”
Ephesians 6:9 TM. “Masters, it’s the same with you. No abuse, please, and no threats. You and your servants are both under the same Master in heaven. He makes no distinction between you and them.”