Amos 6:1-7 (New International Reader's Version)
1 How terrible it will be for you men who are so contented on Mount Zion! How terrible for you who feel secure on the hill of Samaria! You are famous men from the greatest nation. The people of Israel come to you for help and advice. 2 Go to the city of Calneh. Look at it. Go from there to the great city of Hamath. Then go down to Gath in Philistia. Are those places better off than your two kingdoms? Is their land larger than yours? 3 You are trying to avoid the time when trouble will come. But you are only bringing closer the Assyrian rule of terror. 4 You lie down on beds that are decorated with ivory. You rest on your couches. You eat the best lambs and the fattest calves. 5 You pluck away on your harps as David did. You play new songs on musical instruments. 6 You drink wine by the bowlful. You use the finest lotions. But Joseph's people will soon be destroyed. And you aren't even sad about it. 7 So you will be among the first to be taken away as prisoners. You won't be able to enjoy good food. You won't lie around on couches anymore.
Psalm 91:1-6; Psalm 91:14-16 (New International Reader's Version)
1 The person who rests in the shadow of the Most High God will be kept safe by the Mighty One. 2 I will say about the Lord, "He is my place of safety. He is like a fort to me. He is my God. I trust in him." 3 He will certainly save you from hidden traps and from deadly sickness. 4 He will cover you with his wings. Under the feathers of his wings you will find safety. He is faithful. He will keep you safe like a shield or a tower. 5 You won't have to be afraid of the terrors that come during the night. You won't have to fear the arrows that come at you during the day. 6 You won't have to be afraid of the sickness that attacks in the darkness. You won't have to fear the plague that destroys at noon.14 The Lord says, "I will save the one who loves me. I will keep him safe, because he trusts in me. 15 He will call out to me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in times of trouble. I will save him and honor him. 16 I will give him a long and full life. I will save him."
Luke 16:19-31 (New International Reader's Version)
19 "Once there was a rich man. He was dressed in purple cloth and fine linen. He lived an easy life every day. 20 A man named Lazarus was placed at his gate. Lazarus was a beggar. His body was covered with sores. 21 Even dogs came and licked his sores. All he wanted was to eat what fell from the rich man's table.
22 "The time came when the beggar died. The angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, the rich man was suffering terribly. He looked up and saw Abraham far away. Lazarus was by his side. 24 So the rich man called out, 'Father Abraham! Have pity on me! Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water. Then he can cool my tongue with it. I am in terrible pain in this fire.'
25 "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember what happened in your lifetime. You received your good things. Lazarus received bad things. Now he is comforted here, and you are in terrible pain. 26 Besides, a wide space has been placed between us and you. So those who want to go from here to you can't go. And no one can cross over from there to us.'
27 "The rich man answered, 'Then I beg you, father. Send Lazarus to my family. 28 I have five brothers. Let Lazarus warn them. Then they will not come to this place of terrible suffering.'
29 "Abraham replied, 'They have the teachings of Moses and the Prophets. Let your brothers listen to them.'
30 " 'No, father Abraham,' he said. 'But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will turn away from their sins.'
31 "Abraham said to him, 'They do not listen to Moses and the Prophets. So they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.' "
1 Timothy 6:6-19 (New International Reader's Version)
6 You gain a lot when you live a godly life. But you must be happy with what you have. 7 We didn't bring anything into the world. We can't take anything out of it. 8 If we have food and clothing, we will be happy with that.
9 People who want to get rich are tempted. They fall into a trap. They are tripped up by wanting many foolish and harmful things. Those who live like that are dragged down by what they do. They are destroyed and die.
10 Love for money causes all kinds of evil. Some people want to get rich. They have wandered away from the faith. They have wounded themselves with many sorrows.
11 But you are a man of God. Run away from all of those things. Try hard to do what is right and godly. Have faith, love and gentleness. Hold on to what you believe. 12 Fight the good fight along with all other believers. Take hold of eternal life. You were chosen for it when you openly told others what you believe. Many witnesses heard you.
13 God gives life to everything. Christ Jesus told the truth when he gave witness to Pontius Pilate. In the sight of God and Christ, I give you a command. 14 Obey it until our Lord Jesus Christ appears. Obey it completely. Then no one can find fault with it or you.
15 God will bring Jesus back at a time that pleases him. God is the blessed and only Ruler. He is the greatest King of all. He is the most powerful Lord of all. 16 God is the only one who can't die. He lives in light that no one can get close to. No one has seen him. No one can see him.
Give honor and power to him forever. Amen.
17 Command people who are rich in this world not to be proud. Tell them not to put their hope in riches. Wealth is so uncertain. Command those who are rich to put their hope in God. He richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
18 Command the rich to do what is good. Tell them to be rich in doing good things. They must give freely. They must be willing to share. 19 In that way they will put riches away for themselves. It will provide a firm basis for the next life. Then they will take hold of the life that really is life.
Psalm 146 (The Message)
1-2 Hallelujah! O my soul, praise God! All my life long I'll praise God, singing songs to my God as long as I live. 3-9 Don't put your life in the hands of experts who know nothing of life, of salvation life. Mere humans don't have what it takes; when they die, their projects die with them. Instead, get help from the God of Jacob, put your hope in God and know real blessing! God made sky and soil, sea and all the fish in it. He always does what he says— he defends the wronged, he feeds the hungry. God frees prisoners— he gives sight to the blind, he lifts up the fallen. God loves good people, protects strangers, takes the side of orphans and widows, but makes short work of the wicked. 10 God's in charge—always. Zion's God is God for good! Hallelujah!
Jeremiah 32:1-15 (New International Reader's Version)
1 A message came to me from the Lord. It came in the 10th year that Zedekiah was king of Judah. It was in the 18th year of the rule of Nebuchadnezzar. 2 The armies of the king of Babylonia were getting ready to attack Jerusalem. I, the prophet Jeremiah, was being held as a prisoner. I was kept in the courtyard of the guard. It was part of Judah's royal palace.
3 Zedekiah, the king of Judah, had made me a prisoner there. He had said to me, "Why do you prophesy as you do? You say, 'The Lord says, "I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylonia. He will capture it.
4 " ' "Zedekiah, the king of Judah, will not escape from the powerful hands of the armies of Babylonia. He will certainly be handed over to the king of Babylonia. Zedekiah will speak with him face to face. He will see him with his own eyes. 5 Nebuchadnezzar will take Zedekiah to Babylon. Zedekiah will remain there until I deal with him," announces the Lord. "Suppose you fight against the armies of Babylonia. If you do, you will not succeed." ' "
6 I said, "A message came to me from the Lord. He said, 7 'Hanamel is going to come to you. He is the son of your uncle Shallum. Hanamel will say, "Buy my field at Anathoth. You are my closest relative. So it's your right and duty to buy it." '
8 "Then my cousin Hanamel came to me. I was in the courtyard of the guard. It happened just as the Lord had said it would. Hanamel said, 'Buy my field at Anathoth. It is in the territory of Benjamin. It is your right to buy it and own it. So buy it for yourself.'
"I knew that this was the Lord's message. 9 So I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I weighed out seven ounces of silver for him. 10 I signed and sealed the deed of purchase. I had some people witness everything. And I weighed out the silver on the scales.
11 "There were two copies of the deed. One was sealed and the other wasn't. The deed included the terms and conditions of the sale. 12 I gave Baruch the copies of the deed. My cousin Hanamel saw me do it. The witnesses who had signed the deed were there too. So were all of the Jews who were sitting in the courtyard of the guard. Baruch was the son of Neriah. Neriah was the son of Mahseiah.
13 "I gave Baruch directions in front of all of them. I said, 14 'The Lord who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, "Take this deed of purchase. Take the sealed and unsealed copies. Put them in a clay jar. Then they will last a long time." 15 The Lord who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, "Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land." '