July 8 - Isaiah 40.1-11

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Encourage God's People

Isaiah 40 Our God has said:
"Encourage my people! Give them comfort.
2Speak kindly to Jerusalem and announce:
Your slavery is past; your punishment is over.
I, the LORD, made you pay double for your sins."

3Someone is shouting:
"Clear a path in the desert! Make a straight road
for the LORD our God.
4Fill in the valleys; flatten every hill and mountain.
Level the rough and rugged ground.
5Then the glory of the LORD will appear for all to see.
The LORD has promised this!"

6Someone told me to shout, and I asked,
"What should I shout?"
We humans are merely grass,
and we last no longer than wild flowers.
7At the LORD's command, flowers and grass disappear,
and so do we.
8Flowers and grass fade away,
but what our God has said will never change.

Your God Is Here!

9There is good news for the city of Zion.
Shout it as loud as you can from the highest mountain.
Don't be afraid to shout to the towns of Judah,
"Your God is here!"
10Look! The powerful LORD God is coming
to rule with his mighty arm.
He brings with him what he has taken in war,
and he rewards his people.
11The LORD cares for his nation,
just as shepherds care for their flocks.
He carries the lambs in his arms,
while gently leading the mother sheep.

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This reading is from The Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American Bible Society, 1995.

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