SERIES: The Grinches that Steal Christmas
Jeremiah 29:1-11 NLT
1 Jeremiah wrote a letter from Jerusalem to the elders, priests, prophets, and all the people who had been exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar.
2 This was after King Jehoiachin, the queen mother, the court officials, the other officials of Judah, and all the craftsmen and artisans had been deported from Jerusalem.
3 He sent the letter with Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah when they went to Babylon as King Zedekiah’s ambassadors to Nebuchadnezzar. This is what Jeremiah’s letter said:
4 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem:
5 “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce.
6 Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away!
7 And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”
8 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers who are with you in the land of Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams,
9 because they are telling you lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the Lord.
10 This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
John 3:1-3 NLT
1 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee.
2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
Jeremiah 28:1-4 NLT
1 One day in late summer of that same year—the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah—Hananiah son of Azzur, a prophet from Gibeon, addressed me publicly in the Temple while all the priests and people listened. He said,
2 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will remove the yoke of the king of Babylon from your necks.
3 Within two years I will bring back all the Temple treasures that King Nebuchadnezzar carried off to Babylon.
4 And I will bring back Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the other captives that were taken to Babylon. I will surely break the yoke that the king of Babylon has put on your necks. I, the Lord, have spoken!’”
Jeremiah 29:20-22 NLT
20 Therefore, listen to this message from the Lord, all you captives there in Babylon.
21 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says about your prophets—Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah—who are telling you lies in my name: “I will turn them over to Nebuchadnezzar for execution before your eyes.
22 Their terrible fate will become proverbial, so that the Judean exiles will curse someone by saying, ‘May the Lord make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon burned alive!’
Proverbs 7:21-23 NLT
21 So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery.
22 He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap,
23 awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life.
Proverbs 27:6 NLT
6 Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
Proverbs 28:23 NLT
23 In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery.
To let a FOOL KISS you is stupid.
To let a KISS FOOL you is worse.
1 Thessalonians 2:3-6 NLT
3 So you can see we were not preaching with any deceit or impure motives or trickery.
4 For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.
5 Never once did we try to win you with flattery, as you well know. And God is our witness that we were not pretending to be your friends just to get your money!
6 As for human praise, we have never sought it from you or anyone else.
Jeremiah 7:1-10 NLT
1 The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said,
2 “Go to the entrance of the Lord’s Temple, and give this message to the people: ‘O Judah, listen to this message from the Lord! Listen to it, all of you who worship here!
3 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “‘Even now, if you quit your evil ways, I will let you stay in your own land.
4 But don’t be fooled by those who promise you safety simply because the Lord’s Temple is here. They chant, “The Lord’s Temple is here! The Lord’s Temple is here!”
5 But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice;
6 only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols.
7 Then I will let you stay in this land that I gave to your ancestors to keep forever.
8 “‘Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because the Temple is here. It’s a lie!
9 Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours,
10 and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “We are safe!”—only to go right back to all those evils again?
Matthew 23:23-24 NLT
23 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.
24 Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel!