In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life…
He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.
For it is not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through Him, you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are a people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
We can count it all joy when we face trials of many kinds for we know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Throw off everything that hinders and sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And Jesus said…
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in Me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. My peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
And remember that one day…
For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall be with the Lord forever.
Therefore, encourage one another with these words,
Being confident of this that He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it to the day of Christ Jesus…
We can boldly say…
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits.
John 1:1 – 5, 9 – 12, 3:16, Ephesians 1:4 – 6, 1. Peter 1:18 – 21, 2:9 – 10, 2. Peter 3:3 – 4, James 1:2, 3, 1. Peter 1:6 – 7, 2. Corinthians 4:16 – 18, Hebrews 12:1b, 2, 4:14 – 16, Romans 8:28, 37 – 39, John 14:1 – 4, 27, 16:33, 1. Thessalonians 4:16 – 18, Philippians 1:6, Psalm 103:1, 2