13 August 2011
Fatherly Advice- Extracted from Ecclesiasticus / Sirach, Chapter 11:
Trust in God alone
12 Or there is the slow kind of person, needing help, poor in possessions and rich in poverty; and the Lord turns a favourable eye on him, lifts him out of his wretched condition,
13 and enables him to hold his head high, thus causing general astonishment.
14 Good and bad, life and death, poverty and wealth, all come from the Lord.
17 To the devout the Lord's gift remains constant, and his favour will be there to lead them for ever.
18 Others grow rich by pinching and scraping, and here is the reward they receive for it:
19 although they say, 'Now I can sit back and enjoy the benefit of what I have got,' they do not know how long this will last; they will have to leave their goods to others and die.
20 Stick to your job, work hard at it and grow old at your work.
21 Do not admire the achievements of sinners, trust the Lord and mind your own business; since it is a trifle in the eyes of the Lord, in a moment, suddenly to make the poor rich.
22 The blessing of the Lord is the reward of the devout, in a moment God brings his blessing to flower.
23 Do not say, 'What are my needs, how much shall I have in the future?'
24 And do not say, 'I am self-sufficient, what disaster can affect me now?'
25 In prosperous times, disasters are forgotten and in times of disaster, no one remembers prosperity.
26 Yet it is a trifle for the Lord on the day someone dies to repay him as his conduct deserves.
27 A moment's adversity, and pleasures are forgotten; in a person's last hour his deeds will stand revealed.
28 Call no one fortunate before his death; it is by his end that someone will be known.
29 Do not bring everyone home with you, for many are the traps of the crafty.
30 Like a captive partridge in a cage, so is the heart of the proud: like a spy he watches for your downfall,
31 ever on the look-out, turning good into bad and finding fault with what is praiseworthy.
32 A hearthful of glowing coals starts from a single spark, and the sinner lurks for the chance to spill blood.
33 Beware of a scoundrel and his evil contrivances, in case he puts a smear on you for ever.
34 Give a home to a stranger and he will start trouble and estrange you from your own family.
You are the holy people whom God loves- Extracted from Colossians, Chapter 3
1 Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, you must look for the things that are above, where Christ is, sitting at God's right hand.
2 Let your thoughts be on things above, not on the things that are on the earth,
3 because you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God.
4 But when Christ is revealed - and he is your life-you, too, will be revealed with him in glory.
5 That is why you must kill everything in you that is earthly: sexual vice, impurity, uncontrolled passion, evil desires and especially greed, which is the same thing as worshipping a false god;
6 it is precisely these things which draw God's retribution upon those who resist.
7 And these things made up your way of life when you were living among such people,
8 but now you also must give up all these things: human anger, hot temper, malice, abusive language and dirty talk;
9 and do not lie to each other. You have stripped off your old behaviour with your old self,
10 and you have put on a new self which will progress towards true knowledge the more it is renewed in the image of its Creator;
11 and in that image there is no room for distinction between Greek and Jew, between the circumcised and uncircumcised, or between barbarian and Scythian, slave and free. There is only Christ: he is everything and he is in everything.
12 As the chosen of God, then, the holy people whom he loves, you are to be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity and humility, gentleness and patience.
13 Bear with one another; forgive each other if one of you has a complaint against another. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same.
14 Over all these clothes, put on love, the perfect bond.
15 And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together in one body. Always be thankful.
16 Let the Word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God;
17 and whatever you say or do, let it be in the name of the Lord Jesus, in thanksgiving to God the Father through him.
Those who sow in tears sing as they reap – Extracted from Psalm 126
1 [Song of Ascents] When Yahweh brought back Zion's captives we lived in a dream;
2 then our mouths filled with laughter, and our lips with song. Then the nations kept saying, 'What great deeds Yahweh has done for them!'
3 Yes, Yahweh did great deeds for us, and we were overjoyed.
4 Bring back, Yahweh, our people from captivity like torrents in the Negeb!
5 Those who sow in tears sing as they reap.
6 He went off, went off weeping, carrying the seed. He comes back, comes back singing, bringing in his sheaves.
Fatherly Advice – Extracted from Ecclesiasticus / Sirach, Chapter 12:
Rules for doing good
1 If you mean to do a kindness, choose the right person, then your good deeds will not be wasted.
2 Do good to someone devout, and you will be rewarded, if not by that person, then certainly by the Most High.
3 No good will come to one who persists in evil, or who refuses to give alms.
4 Give to the devout, do not go to the help of a sinner.
5 Do good to the humble, give nothing to the godless. Refuse him bread, do not give him any, it might make him stronger than you are; then you would be repaid evil twice over for all the good you had done him.
6 For the Most High himself detests sinners, and will repay the wicked with what they deserve.
7 Give to the good, and do not go to the help of a sinner.
True and false friends
8 In prosperity you cannot always tell a true friend, but in adversity you cannot mistake an enemy.
9 When someone is doing well that person's enemies are sad, when someone is doing badly, even a friend will keep at a distance.
10 Do not ever trust an enemy; as bronze tarnishes, so does an enemy's malice.
11 Even if he behaves humbly and comes bowing and scraping, maintain your reserve and be on your guard against him. Behave towards him as if you were polishing a mirror, you will find that his tarnish cannot last.
12 Do not stand him beside you in case he thrusts you out and takes your place. Do not seat him on your right, or he will be after your position, and then you will remember what I have said and sadly admit that I was right.
13 Who feels sorry for a snake-charmer bitten by a snake, or for those who take risks with savage animals? -
14 just so for one who consorts with a sinner, and becomes an accomplice in his sins.
15 He will stay with you for a while, but if you once give way he will press his advantage.
16 An enemy may have sweetness on his lips, and in his heart a scheme to throw you into the ditch. An enemy may have tears in his eyes, but if he gets a chance there can never be too much blood for him.
17 If you meet with misfortune, you will find him there before you, and, pretending to help you, he will trip you up.
18 He will wag his head and clap his hands, he will whisper a lot and his expression will change.
13 August 2011