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Genesis 1:26-28, 31 (English-NIV)
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [1 ] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens--
but streams [ 3 ] came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground--
the LORD God formed the man [4 ] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;
but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam [5 ] no suitable helper was found.
So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs [6 ] and closed up the place with flesh.
Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib [7 ] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called `woman, [8 ]' for she was taken out of man."
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
23 The Hebrew for woman sounds like the Hebrew for man.
7 the LORD God formed the man [1 ] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam [2 ] no suitable helper was found.
21So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs [3 ] and closed up the place with flesh.
22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib [4 ] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called `woman, [5 ]' for she was taken out of man."
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
61 Then Rebekah and her maids got ready and mounted their camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62 Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev.
63 He went out to the field one evening to meditate, [1 ] and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching.
64 Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel
8 Listen! My lover! Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills.
9 My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice.
10 My lover spoke and said to me, "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.
11 See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
13The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me."
14 My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
16 My lover is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies.
7 Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it [4 ] would be utterly scorned.
1 But now, this is what the LORD says-- he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush [1 ] and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.
6 I will say to the north, `Give them up!' and to the south, `Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth--
7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."
10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed."
10 I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.
1 For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.
2 The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
1May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us,
2 that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.
3 May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.
4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth.
5 May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.
6 Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us.
7 God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him.
Psalm 127 A song of ascents. Of Solomon.
1 Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.
2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-- for he grants sleep to [1 ] those he loves.
3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.
5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.
2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.
4 Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD.
5 May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem,
6 and may you live to see your children's children. Peace be upon Israel.
1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.
2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,
3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.
24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.
25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor [ 1 ] and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.
26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
25 Or with fervor in the Spirit
1 Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. [ 1 ]
2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.
4 The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.
5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.
11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
1 Or "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman."
If I speak in the tongues [1 ] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, [ 2 ] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
3 Some early manuscripts body that I may boast
14 For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--
not by works, so that no one can boast.
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
For this reason I kneel before the Father,
from whom his whole family [1 ] in heaven and on earth derives its name.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
15 Or whom all fatherhood
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
4 There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called--
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
"In your anger do not sin" [1 ]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
and do not give the devil a foothold.
He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
26 Psalm 4:4
1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,
2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature [1 ] God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature [2 ] of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
7 Or the form
12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.
2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3 It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;
4 that each of you should learn to control his own body [1 ] in a way that is holy and honorable,
5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;
6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.
7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9 Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.
10 And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more.
11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,
12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence
20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God
22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.
23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
1 John 4:7-16 (English-NIV)
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has
been born of God and knows God.
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son [ 1 ] into the world that we might live through him.
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for [2 ] our sins.
11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
9 Or his only begotten Son
10 Or as the one who would turn aside his wrath, taking away
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
We love because he first loved us.
If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,
2 and he began to teach them, saying:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
21 "Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,
29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator `made them male and female,' [1 ]
and said, `For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' [2 ]?
So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
5 Gen. 2:24
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus replied: "`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' [1 ]
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: `Love your neighbor as yourself.' [2 ]
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Mark 10:6-9, 13-16 (English-NIV)
"But at the beginning of creation God `made them male and female.' [1 ]
`For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, [ 2 ]
and the two will become one flesh.' [3 ] So they are no longer two, but one.
Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."
And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
8 Gen. 2:24
Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.
Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
John 2:1-11 (English-NIV)
42 Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.
43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there,
and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."
"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come."
His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. [1 ]
Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so,
and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside
and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."
This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.
"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
This is my command: Love each other.
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