Dec 21: Proverbs 23; Revelation 14-15

Song for today: Jesus Joy of the Highest Heaven and
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day and
A Christmas Alleluia

Today’s country: Nation of Brunei, Abode of Peace

When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to appetite.
Do not desire his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
•••
Apply your heart to instruction
and your ear to words of knowledge.
Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
If you strike him with the rod,
you will save his soul from Sheol.
•••
Let not your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.
Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
from Proverbs 23

behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.
•••
Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
•••
“If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
from Revelation 14

And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and amazing are your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
from Revelation 15

Dec 20: Proverbs 22; Revelation 12-13

Song for today: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and
Who is He in Yonder Stall and
Adore

Today’s country: Virgin Islands

The rich and the poor meet together;
the Lord is the maker of them all.
•••
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
•••
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
•••
Be not one of those who give pledges,
who put up security for debts.
If you have nothing with which to pay,
why should your bed be taken from under you?
from Proverbs 22

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
•••
Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.
from Revelation 12

the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”
And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear:
If anyone is to be taken captive,
to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
with the sword must he be slain.
Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
from Revelation 13

Dec 19: Proverbs 21; Revelation 10-11

Song for today: What Child Is This and
Breath of Heaven and
Come and See What’s Happening In the Barn

Today’s country: Federative Republic of Brazil

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he turns it wherever he will.
•••
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the heart.
•••
To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
•••
When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.
•••
Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
will find life, righteousness, and honor.
•••
No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
can avail against the Lord.
from Proverbs 21

when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
from Revelation 10

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
who is and who was,
for you have taken your great power
and begun to reign.
The nations raged,
but your wrath came,
and the time for the dead to be judged,
and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints,
and those who fear your name,
both small and great,
and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
from Revelation 11

Dec 18: Proverbs 20; Revelation 8:7-9

Song for today: While Shepard Watched Their Flocks by Night and
Jesus the Light of the World

Today’s country: Republic of Botswana

Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,
but a faithful man who can find?
•••
The righteous who walks in his integrity—
blessed are his children after him!
•••
Who can say, “I have made my heart pure;
I am clean from my sin”?
•••
The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
the Lord has made them both.
•••
Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;
open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
•••
“Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
but when he goes away, then he boasts.
•••
Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.
•••
A man’s steps are from the Lord;
how then can man understand his way?
•••
Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
strokes make clean the innermost parts.
from Proverbs 20

Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.
•••
Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”
from Revelation 8

He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth.
•••
They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails. They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.
•••
Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind. ••• the heads of the horses were like lions’ heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths.
•••
The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
from Revelation 9

Dec 17: Proverbs 19; Revelation 6-8:6

Song for today: We Three Kings of Orient Are
Born In Bethlehem and
Son of God

Today’s country: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.
When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord.
•••
Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good.
•••
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
•••
House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.
•••
Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.
•••
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
•••
The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied;
he will not be visited by harm.
from Proverbs 19

I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals,
•••
I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
from Revelation 6

I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
“Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
from Revelation 7

Dec 16: Proverbs 18; Revelation 4-5

Song for today: The First Noel and
God With Us and
Infant Holy Infant Lowly

Today’s country: Plurinational State of Bolivia

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
he breaks out against all sound judgment.
•••
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion.
•••
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
•••
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
•••
Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty,
but humility comes before honor.
•••
He who finds a wife finds a good thing
and obtains favor from the Lord.
from Proverbs 18

and day and night they never cease to say,
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”
•••
They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”
from Revelation 4

behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
•••
And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”
•••
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”
•••
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
from Revelation 5

Dec 15: Proverbs 17; Revelation 1-3

Song for today: Silent Night and
Strange Way to Save the World / and
While You Were Sleeping

Today’s country: Kingdom of Bhutan

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
and the glory of children is their fathers.
•••
Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
•••
A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
than a hundred blows into a fool.
•••
The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
•••
Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
from Proverbs 17

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
•••
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
from Revelation 1

I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.
•••
Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’
•••
To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’
from Revelation 2

Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.
•••
The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
•••
Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.
•••
I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
from Revelation 3

Dec 14: Proverbs 16; Malachi

Song for today: Communion Hymn for Christmas and
Christmas Time Again

Today’s country: Bermuda

The plans of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the spirit.
Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble.
Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
be assured, he will not go unpunished.
By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.
When a man’s ways please the Lord,
he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Better is a little with righteousness
than great revenues with injustice.
The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.
•••
Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor
than to divide the spoil with the proud.
Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good,
and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.
•••
Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the Lord.
from Proverbs 16

from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.
•••
For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.
from Malachi 1

For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts, and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.”
•••
Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?
•••
the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
from Malachi 2

Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.
•••
Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts
•••
Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
from Malachi 3

For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.
from Malachi 4

Dec 13: Proverbs 15; Jude

Song for today: O Little Town of Bethlehem and
How Great Our Joy

Today’s country: Republic of Benin

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
•••
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
•••
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
•••
Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it.
•••
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
•••
To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!
•••
The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.
•••
The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.
from Proverbs 15

from Jude

Dec 12: Proverbs 14; Zechariah 12-14

Song for today: O Holy Night and
I Wonder as I Wander

Today’s country: Belize

Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
•••
There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
•••
Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and the end of joy may be grief.
•••
In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
and his children will have a refuge.
•••
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
that one may turn away from the snares of death.
•••
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
•••
Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin is a reproach to any people.
from Proverbs 14

Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him: “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it. On that day, declares the Lord, I will strike every horse with panic, and its rider with madness. But for the sake of the house of Judah I will keep my eyes open, when I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the Lord of hosts, their God.’
•••
I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.
from Zechariah 12

Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered;
I will turn my hand against the little ones.
In the whole land, declares the Lord,
two thirds shall be cut off and perish,
and one third shall be left alive.
And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people’;
and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
from Zechariah 13

Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
•••
And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.
from Zechariah 14