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PSALM 146 THE LORD LOVES THE RIGHTEOUS

1 Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul. 2 I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. 3 Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. 5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. 6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them – he remains faithful for ever. 7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, 8 the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. 9 The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. 10 The Lord reigns for ever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord.

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PHILIPPIANS 4:10-13 THE SECRET OF BEING CONTENT

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

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EPHESIANS 2:1-10 GOD IS RICH IN MERCY

2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[[a](https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+2%3A1-10&version=NIVUK#fen-NIVUK-29233a)] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 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. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

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PROVERBS 28:11-28 HELPERS OF THE POOR LACK NOTHING

11 The rich are wise in their own eyes; one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are. 12 When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding. 13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. 14 Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble. 15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a helpless people. 16 A tyrannical ruler practises extortion, but one who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long reign. 17 Anyone tormented by the guilt of murder will seek refuge in the grave; let no one hold them back. 18 The one whose way of life is blameless is kept safe, but the one whose ways are perverse will fall into the pit. 19 Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty. 20 A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished. 21 To show partiality is not good – yet a person will do wrong for a piece of bread. 22 The stingy are eager to get rich and are unaware that poverty awaits them. 23 Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favour rather than one who has a flattering tongue. 24 Whoever robs their father or mother and says, ‘It’s not wrong,’ is partner to one who destroys. 25 The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the Lord will prosper. 26 Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe. 27 Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses. 28 When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.

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PROVERBS 22:1-9,16 THE RICH VERSUS THE POOR

22 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. 2 Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all. 3 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. 4 Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honour and life. 5 In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls, but those who would preserve their life stay far from them. 6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. 7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. 8 Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity, and the rod they wield in fury will be broken. 9 The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. 16 One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and one who gives gifts to the rich – both come to poverty.

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1 TIMOTHY 6:6-19 DON'T PUT YOUR HOPE IN WEALTH

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time – God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honour and might for ever. Amen. 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

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LUKE 16:19-31 POOR LAZARUS AND THE RICH MAN

19 ‘There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 ‘The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.” 25 ‘But Abraham replied, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.” 27 ‘He answered, “Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.” 29 ‘Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.” 30 ‘“No, father Abraham,” he said, “but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.” 31 ‘He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”’

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PSALM 79:1-9 HELP US, GOD OUR SAVIOUR

1 O God, the nations have invaded your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple, they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble. 2 They have left the dead bodies of your servants as food for the birds of the sky, the flesh of your own people for the animals of the wild. 3 They have poured out blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there is no one to bury the dead. 4 We are objects of contempt to our neighbours, of scorn and derision to those around us. 5 How long, Lord? Will you be angry for ever? How long will your jealousy burn like fire? 6 Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the kingdoms that do not call on your name; 7 for they have devoured Jacob and devastated his homeland. 8 Do not hold against us the sins of past generations; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need. 9 Help us, God our Saviour, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.

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1 TIMOTHY 6:6-10 THE DANGERS OF LOVING MONEY

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

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