Act 2:16 But Joel the prophet wrote about what you see happening here today. This is what he wrote: Act 2:17 ‘God says: In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions. Your old men will have special dreams. Act 2:18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit on my servants, men and women, and they will prophesy. Act 2:19 I will work wonders in the sky above. I will cause miraculous signs on the earth below. There will be blood, fire, and thick smoke. Act 2:20 The sun will be changed into darkness, and the moon will be as red as blood. Then the great and glorious day of the Lord will come. Act 2:21 And everyone who trusts in the Lord will be saved.’
1 Ті, що живуть у покрові Всевишнього , знайдуть спокій у тіні Всемогутнього. 2 Це я проголошую про Господа : Він єдиний мій притулок, моє місце безпеки; він мій Бог, і я довіряю йому. 3 Бо він врятує вас від усякої пастки і захистить від смертельної хвороби. 4 Він покриє вас своїм пір’ям. Він прихистить вас своїми крилами. Його вірні обіцянки – це ваша зброя і захист. 5 Не бійся жахів ночі, ані стріли, що летить вдень. 6 Не бійся хвороби, що перебуває в темряві, ані лиха, що вражає опівдні.
7 Хоч тисяча впаде поруч з тобою, хоч десять тисяч гинуть навколо тебе, це зло не торкнеться тебе. 8 Просто відкрийте очі і подивіться, як покарані нечестивці.
9 Якщо ти зробиш Господа своїм притулком, якщо зробиш Всевишнього своїм притулком, 10 ніяке зло не переможе тебе; жодна чума не наблизиться до вашого дому. 11 Бо він накаже своїм ангелам захищати вас, куди б ви не пішли. 12 Вони піднімуть тебе своїми руками , щоб ти навіть не пошкодив ногу об камінь. 13 Ти будеш топтати левів і кобр; ти тиснеш лютих левів і змій під ногами своїми!
14 Господь каже: « Я врятую тих, хто любить Мене. Я буду захищати тих, хто довіряє моєму імені. 15 Коли покличуть мене, я відповім; Я буду з ними в біді. Я врятую і вшаную їх. 16 Я винагороджу їх довгим життям і дам їм своє спасіння».
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. 3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. 4 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. 5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. 6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. 7 Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. 8 Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, 10 no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. 11 For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. 12 They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. 13 You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. 15 When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. 16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
16 For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in himwill never perish but experience everlasting life.
17 “God did not send his Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its Savior and rescue it!18 So now there is no longer any condemnation for those who believe in him, but the unbeliever already lives under condemnation because they do not believe in the name of God’s beloved Son.19 And here is the basis for their judgment: The Light of God has now come into the world, but the hearts of people love their darkness more than the Light because they want the darkness to conceal their evil.20 So the wickedhate the Light and try to hide from it, for their lives are fully exposed in the Light.21 But those who love the truthwill come out into the Light and welcome its exposure, for the Light will reveal that their fruitful works were produced by God.”
Romans 1:18-32The Passion Translation
God Reveals His Wrath
18 For God in heaven unveils his holy anger breaking forth against every form of sin, both toward ungodliness that lives in hearts and evil actions. For the wickedness of humanity deliberately smothers the truth and keeps people from acknowledging the truth about God. 19 In reality, the truth of God is known instinctively, for God has embedded this knowledge inside every human heart. 20 Opposition to truth cannot be excused on the basis of ignorance, because from the creation of the world, the invisible qualities of God’s nature have been made visible, such as his eternal power and transcendence. He has made his wonderful attributes easily perceived, for seeing the visible makes us understand the invisible. So then, this leaves everyone without excuse.
21 Throughout human history the fingerprints of God were upon them, yet they refused to honor him as God or even be thankful for his kindness. Instead, they entertained corrupt and foolish thoughts about what God was like. This left them with nothing but misguided hearts, steeped in moral darkness. 22 Although claiming to be super-intelligent, they were, in fact, shallow fools 23 For only a fool would trade the unfading splendor of the immortal God to worship the fading image of other humans, idols made to look like people, animals, birds, and even creeping reptiles!
24 This is why God lifted off his restraining hand and let them have full expression of their sinful and shameful desires. They were given over to moral depravity, dishonoring their bodies by sexual perversion among themselves—25 all because they traded the truth of God for a lie. They worshiped and served the things God made rather than the God who made all things—glory, and praises to him for eternity of eternities! Amen!
26–27 For this reason God gave them over to their own disgraceful and vile passions. Enflamed with lust for one another, men and women ignored the natural order and exchanged normal sexual relations for homosexuality. Women engaged in lesbian conduct and men committed shameful acts with men, receiving in themselves the due penalty for their deviation.
28 And because they thought it was worthless to embrace the true knowledge of God, God gave them over to a worthless mind-set, to break all rules of proper conduct. 29 Their sinful lives became full of every kind of evil, wicked schemes, greed, and cruelty. Their hearts overflowed with jealous cravings, and with conflict and strife, which drove them into hateful arguments and murder. They are deceitful liars full of hostility. They are gossips 30 who love to spread malicious slander. With inflated egos, they hurl hateful insults at God, yet they are nothing more than arrogant boasters. They are rebels against their parents and totally immoral. 31 They are senseless, faithless, ruthless, heartless, and completely merciless. 32 Although they are fully aware of God’s laws and proper order, and knowing that those who do all of these things deserve to die, yet they still go headlong into darkness, encouraging others to do the same and applauding them when they do!
Godlessness in the Last Days 2Ti 3:1 But you need to be aware that in the final days the culture of society will become extremely fierce and difficult for the people of God. 2Ti 3:2 People will be self-centered lovers of themselves and obsessed with money. They will boast of great things as they strut around in their arrogant pride and mock all that is right. They will ignore their own families. They will be ungrateful and ungodly. 2Ti 3:3 They will become addicted to hateful and malicious slander. Slaves to their desires, they will be ferocious, belligerent haters of what is good and right. 2Ti 3:4 With brutal treachery, they will act without restraint, bigoted and wrapped in clouds of their conceit. They will find their delight in the pleasures of this world more than the pleasures of the loving God. 2Ti 3:5 They may pretend to have a respect for God, but in reality, they want nothing to do with God’s power. Stay away from people like these! 2Ti 3:6 For they are the ones who worm their way into the hearts of vulnerable women, spending the night with those who are captured by their lusts and steeped in sin. 2Ti 3:7 They are always learning but never discover the revelation-knowledge of truth. 2Ti 3:8 History has given us an example of this with the Egyptian sorcerers Jannes and Jambres, who stood against Moses in their arrogance. So it will be in the last days with those who reject the faith with their corrupt minds and arrogant hearts, standing against the truth of God. 2Ti 3:9 But they will not advance, for everyone will see their madness, just as they did with Jannes and Jambres! All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God 2Ti 3:10 But you, Timothy, have closely followed my example and the truth that I’ve imparted to you. You have modeled your life after the love and endurance I’ve demonstrated in my ministry by not giving up. The faith I have, you now have. What I have hungered for in life has now become your longing as well. The patience I have with others, you now demonstrate. 2Ti 3:11 And the same persecutions and difficulties I have endured, you have also endured. Yes, you know all about what I had to suffer while in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. You’re aware of all the persecution I endured there; yet the Lord delivered me from every single one of them! 2Ti 3:12 For all who choose to live passionately and faithfully as worshipers of Jesus, the Anointed One, will also experience persecution. 2Ti 3:13 But the evil men and sorcerers will progress from bad to worse, deceived and deceiving, as they lead people further from the truth. 2Ti 3:14 Yet you must continue to advance in strength with the truth wrapped around your heart, being assured by God that he’s the One who has truly taught you all these things. 2Ti 3:15 Remember what you were taught from your childhood from the Holy Scrolls which can impart to you wisdom to experience everlasting life through the faith of Jesus, the Anointed One! 2Ti 3:16 Every Scripture has been written by the Holy Spirit, the breath of God. It will empower you by its instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness. 2Ti 3:17 Then you will be God’s servant, fully mature, and perfectly prepared to fulfill any assignment God gives you.
I shared this Scripture as a warning and a self-check for us all. We need to be aware of what is going on in our world. We also need to search our own hearts for any areas we are working evil in us. Pray for God’s wisdom, revelation, and understanding. Ask Him to reveal these answers to you personally:
How should I respond to these things?
What is my responsibility in this season of life?
What should I pray for myself, my family, my church, the Body of Christ and the world?
Father God, we ask you to reveal to us the next steps for our lives in response to the world around us. Help us to know how to navigate the tests and trials ahead. Show us the path of righteousness in the midst of darkness. We thank you that you are the Light of the World, and we can trust you to lead us in the Way, Truth, and Light throughout the coming days. Praise Your Name forever!!
2 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.2 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.5 He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.7 She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there was no lodging available for them.
The Shepherds and Angels
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified,10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others-the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished,19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. 3 You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. 4 For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. 5 The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire.
6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
A King Shall Reign and Prosper and Shall Execute Judgment and Justice in the Earth
Jeremiah 23:5-6 New King James Version
5 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called:
1 This is the scroll of the lineage and birth of Jesus, the Anointed One, the son of David and descendant of Abraham.
2 Abraham had a son named Isaac, who had a son named Jacob, who had a son named Judah (he and his brothers became the tribes of Israel).
3 Judah and Tamar had twin sons, Perez and Zerah. Perez had a son named Hezron, who had a son named Ram, 4 who had a son named Amminadab, who had a son named Nashon, 5 who had a son named Salmon, who, along with Rahab, had a son named Boaz. Boaz and Ruth had a son named Obed, who was the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse had a son named David, who became the king.
7 Then David and Bathsheba had a son named Solomon, who had a son named Rehoboam, who had a son named Abijah, who had a son named Asa, 8 who had a son named Jehoshaphat, who had a son named Joram, who had a son named Uzziah, 9 who had a son named Jotham, who had a son named Ahaz, who had a son named Hezekiah, 10 who had a son named Manasseh, who had a son named Amos, who had a son named Josiah, 11 who was the father of Jeconiah.
It was during the days of Jeconiah and his brothers that Israel was taken captive and deported to Babylon. 12 About the time of their captivity in Babylon, Jeconiah had a son named Shealtiel, who had a son named Zerubbabel, 13 who had a son named Abiud, who had a son named Eliakim, 14 who had a son named Azor, who had a son named Zadok, who had a son named Achim, who had a son named Eliud, 15 who had a son named Eleazar, who had a son named Matthan, who had a son named Jacob, 16 who was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary the mother of Jesus, who is called “the Anointed One.”
17 So from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the Babylonian captivity, fourteen generations, and from the Babylonian captivity to Christ, fourteen generations.
An Angel Comes to Joseph
18 This was how Jesus, God’s Anointed One, was born.
His mother, Mary, had promised Joseph to be his wife, but while she was still a virgin she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Her fiancé, Joseph, was a righteous man full of integrity and he didn’t want to disgrace her, but when he learned of her pregnancy he secretly planned to break the engagement. 20 While he was still debating with himself about what to do, he fell asleep and had a supernatural dream. An angel from the Lord appeared to him in clear light and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, don’t hesitate to take Mary into your home as your wife, because the power of the Holy Spirit has conceived a child in her womb. 21 She will give birth to a son and you are to name him ‘Savior,’ for he is destined to give his life to save his people from their sins.”
22 This happened so that what the Lord spoke through his prophet would come true:
23 Listen! A virgin will be pregnant, she will give birth to a Son, and he will be known as “Emmanuel,” which means in Hebrew, “God became one of us.”
24 When Joseph awoke from his dream, he did all that the angel of the Lord instructed him to do. He took Mary to be his wife, 25 but they refrained from having sex until she gave birth to her son, whom they named “Jesus.”
2 1–2 During those days, the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus, ordered that the first census be taken throughout his empire. (Quirinius was the governor of Syria at that time.) 3 Everyone had to travel to his or her hometown to complete the mandatory census. 4–5 So Joseph and his fiancé, Mary, left Nazareth, a village in Galilee, and journeyed to their hometown in Judea, to the village of Bethlehem, King David’s ancient home. They were required to register there, since they were both direct descendants of David. Mary was pregnant and nearly ready to give birth.
6–7 When they arrived in Bethlehem, Mary went into labor, and there she gave birth to her firstborn son. After wrapping the newborn baby in strips of cloth, they laid him in a feeding trough since there was no available space in any upper room in the village.
An Angelic Encounter
8 That night, in a field near Bethlehem, there were shepherds watching over their flocks. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared in radiant splendor before them, lighting up the field with the blazing glory of God, and the shepherds were terrified! 10 But the angel reassured them, saying, “Don’t be afraid. For I have come to bring you good news, the most joyous news the world has ever heard! And it is for everyone everywhere! 11 For today in Bethlehem a rescuer was born for you. He is the Lord Yahweh, the Messiah. 12 You will recognize him by this miracle sign: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a feeding trough!”
13 Then all at once, a vast number of glorious angels appeared, the very armies of heaven! And they all praised God, singing:
14 “Glory to God in the highest realms of heaven! For there is peace and a good hope given to the sons of men.”
15 When the choir of angels disappeared back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go! Let’s hurry and find this Word that is born in Bethlehem and see for ourselves what the Lord has revealed to us.” 16 So they ran into the village and found their way to Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in a feeding trough.
17 Upon seeing this miraculous sign, the shepherds recounted what had just happened. 18 Everyone who heard the shepherds’ story was astonished by what they were told.
19 But Mary treasured all these things in her heart and often pondered what they meant.
20 The shepherds returned to their flock, ecstatic over what had happened. They praised God and glorified him for all they had heard and seen for themselves, just like the angel had said.
Baby Jesus Dedicated in the Temple
21 On the day of the baby’s circumcision ceremony, eight days after his birth, his parents gave him the name Jesus, the name prophesied by the angel before he was born. 22 After Mary’s days of purification had ended, it was time for her to come to the temple with a sacrifice, according to the law of Moses after the birth of a son. So Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to Jerusalem to be dedicated before the Lord. 23 For it is required in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be a set-apart one for God.” 24 And, to offer a prescribed sacrifice, “either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
25 As they came to the temple to fulfill this requirement, an elderly man was there waiting—a resident of Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. He was a very good man, a lover of God who kept himself pure, and the Spirit of holiness rested upon him. Simeon believed in the imminent appearing of the one called “The Refreshing of Israel.” 26 For the Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not see death before he saw the Messiah, the Anointed One of God. 27 For this reason the Holy Spirit had moved him to be in the temple court at the very moment Jesus’ parents entered to fulfill the requirement of the sacrifice.
28 Simeon cradled the baby in his arms and praised God and prophesied, saying:
29–31 “Lord and Master, I am your loving servant,
and now I can die content,
for your promise to me has been fulfilled.
With my own eyes I have seen your Word,
the Savior you sent into the world.
32 He will be glory for your people Israel,
and the Revelation Light for all people everywhere!”
33 Mary and Joseph stood there, awestruck over what was being said about their baby.
Simeon then blessed them and prophesied over Mary, saying:
34–35 “A painful sword will one day pierce your inner being,
for your child will be rejected by many in Israel.
And the destiny of your child is this:
he will be laid down as a miracle sign
for the downfall and resurrection of many in Israel.
Many will oppose this sign, but it will expose to all
the innermost thoughts of their hearts before God.”
36–37 A prophetess named Anna was also in the temple court that day. She was from the Jewish tribe of Asher and the daughter of Phanuel. Anna was an aged widow who had been married only seven years before her husband passed away. After he died she chose to worship God in the temple continually. For the past eighty-four years, she had been serving God with night-and-day prayer and fasting.
38 While Simeon was prophesying over Mary and Joseph and the baby, Anna walked up to them and burst forth with a great chorus of praise to God for the child. And from that day forward she told everyone in Jerusalem who was waiting for their redemption that the anticipated Messiah had come!
39 When Mary and Joseph had completed everything required of them by the law of Moses, they took Jesus and returned to their home in Nazareth in Galilee. 40 The child grew more powerful in grace, for he was being filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was upon him.