7/18/11

Never back down!


Just an ordinary church building to most people, but not to me.  For I learned a practical lesson here which has stayed with me for over 40 years.  My wife and I worshipped here for several years and attended a Bible Study on Tuesdays in the parsonage as well.  Needless to say, we made a lot of friends, especially the minister and his wife.  Then a series of events occurred that changed everything.  One Sunday, the minister (lets call him Tom) preached a scathing sermon on Masonry.  Several of the church members were Masons and there was an angry response.  Then came a board meeting and an ultimatum: recant or be let go.  The following Sunday, Tom recanted, apologising for his previous sermon.  He apologised for what the Bible said and was sorry for his remarks.  This episode made me think a lot about The Word of God and eventually led me towards being a preacher myself.  So, when I saw this picture today, I immediately thought of this passage.

Galatians 1:6-10 (WEB)
6) I marvel that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different “good news”;
7) and there isn’t another “good news.” Only there are some who trouble you, and want to pervert the Good News of Christ.
8) But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any “good news” other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed.
9) As we have said before, so I now say again: if any man preaches to you any “good news” other than that which you received, let him be cursed.
10) For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I wouldn’t be a servant of Christ.

Never apologise for what God has said, never back down from anyone, regardless of the cost.  A good lesson, a good thing to remember and a better thing to put into practice.  Sometimes even an unpleasant memory can have good consequences if we can learn from our experiences.  I never did know what became of Tom, but I think of him time to time because he looks exactly like Richard Dryfus, the actor.  I hope he has learned the lesson that Galatians teaches and has changed. 

OT Bible Reading 7/18

July 18
1 Chronicles 16-18

1Ch 16:1 They brought in the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God.
1Ch 16:2 When David had made an end of offering the burnt offering and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of Yahweh.
1Ch 16:3 He dealt to everyone of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a portion of flesh, and a cake of raisins.
1Ch 16:4 He appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of Yahweh, and to celebrate and to thank and praise Yahweh, the God of Israel:
1Ch 16:5 Asaph the chief, and second to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obed-Edom, and Jeiel, with stringed instruments and with harps; and Asaph with cymbals, sounding aloud;
1Ch 16:6 and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests with trumpets continually, before the ark of the covenant of God.
1Ch 16:7 Then on that day David first ordained to give thanks to Yahweh, by the hand of Asaph and his brothers.
1Ch 16:8 Oh give thanks to Yahweh. Call on his name. Make his doings known among the peoples.
1Ch 16:9 Sing to him. Sing praises to him. Tell of all his marvelous works.
1Ch 16:10 Glory in his holy name. Let the heart of those who seek Yahweh rejoice.
1Ch 16:11 Seek Yahweh and his strength. Seek his face forever more.
1Ch 16:12 Remember his marvelous works that he has done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth,
1Ch 16:13 you seed of Israel his servant, you children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
1Ch 16:14 He is Yahweh our God. His judgments are in all the earth.
1Ch 16:15 Remember his covenant forever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations,
1Ch 16:16 the covenant which he made with Abraham, his oath to Isaac.
1Ch 16:17 He confirmed the same to Jacob for a statute, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,
1Ch 16:18 saying, I will give you the land of Canaan, The lot of your inheritance,
1Ch 16:19 when you were but a few men in number, yes, very few, and foreigners were in it.
1Ch 16:20 They went about from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people.
1Ch 16:21 He allowed no man to do them wrong. Yes, he reproved kings for their sakes,
1Ch 16:22 saying, Don't touch my anointed ones! Do my prophets no harm.
1Ch 16:23 Sing to Yahweh, all the earth! Display his salvation from day to day.
1Ch 16:24 Declare his glory among the nations, and his marvelous works among all the peoples.
1Ch 16:25 For great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised. He also is to be feared above all gods.
1Ch 16:26 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but Yahweh made the heavens.
1Ch 16:27 Honor and majesty are before him. Strength and gladness are in his place.
1Ch 16:28 Ascribe to Yahweh, you relatives of the peoples, ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength!
1Ch 16:29 Ascribe to Yahweh the glory due to his name. Bring an offering, and come before him. Worship Yahweh in holy array.
1Ch 16:30 Tremble before him, all the earth. The world also is established that it can't be moved.
1Ch 16:31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice! Let them say among the nations, Yahweh reigns.
1Ch 16:32 Let the sea roar, and its fullness! Let the field exult, and all that is therein!
1Ch 16:33 Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before Yahweh, for he comes to judge the earth.
1Ch 16:34 Oh give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, for his loving kindness endures forever.
1Ch 16:35 Say, Save us, God of our salvation! Gather us together and deliver us from the nations, to give thanks to your holy name, to triumph in your praise.
1Ch 16:36 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, from everlasting even to everlasting. All the people said, Amen, and praised Yahweh.
1Ch 16:37 So he left there, before the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, Asaph and his brothers, to minister before the ark continually, as every day's work required;
1Ch 16:38 and Obed-Edom with their brothers, sixty-eight; Obed-Edom also the son of Jeduthun and Hosah to be doorkeepers;
1Ch 16:39 and Zadok the priest, and his brothers the priests, before the tabernacle of Yahweh in the high place that was at Gibeon,
1Ch 16:40 to offer burnt offerings to Yahweh on the altar of burnt offering continually morning and evening, even according to all that is written in the law of Yahweh, which he commanded to Israel;
1Ch 16:41 and with them Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest who were chosen, who were mentioned by name, to give thanks to Yahweh, because his loving kindness endures forever;
1Ch 16:42 and with them Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should sound aloud, and with instruments for the songs of God; and the sons of Jeduthun to be at the gate.
1Ch 16:43 All the people departed every man to his house: and David returned to bless his house.

1Ch 17:1 It happened, when David lived in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of Yahweh dwells under curtains.
1Ch 17:2 Nathan said to David, Do all that is in your heart; for God is with you.
1Ch 17:3 It happened the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,
1Ch 17:4 Go and tell David my servant, Thus says Yahweh, You shall not build me a house to dwell in:
1Ch 17:5 for I have not lived in a house since the day that I brought up Israel, to this day, but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tent to another.
1Ch 17:6 In all places in which I have walked with all Israel, spoke I a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to be shepherd of my people, saying, Why have you not built me a house of cedar?
1Ch 17:7 Now therefore thus you shall tell my servant David, Thus says Yahweh of Armies, I took you from the sheep pen, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel:
1Ch 17:8 and I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a name, like the name of the great ones who are in the earth.
1Ch 17:9 I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place, and be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the first,
1Ch 17:10 and as from the day that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel; and I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover I tell you that Yahweh will build you a house.
1Ch 17:11 It shall happen, when your days are fulfilled that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who shall be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom.
1Ch 17:12 He shall build me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.
1Ch 17:13 I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my loving kindness away from him, as I took it from him that was before you;
1Ch 17:14 but I will settle him in my house and in my kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever.
1Ch 17:15 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak to David.
1Ch 17:16 Then David the king went in, and sat before Yahweh; and he said, Who am I, Yahweh God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?
1Ch 17:17 This was a small thing in your eyes, God; but you have spoken of your servant's house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree, Yahweh God.
1Ch 17:18 What can David say yet more to you concerning the honor which is done to your servant? for you know your servant.
1Ch 17:19 Yahweh, for your servant's sake, and according to your own heart, have you worked all this greatness, to make known all these great things.
1Ch 17:20 Yahweh, there is none like you, neither is there any God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
1Ch 17:21 What one nation in the earth is like your people Israel, whom God went to redeem to himself for a people, to make you a name by great and awesome things, in driving out nations from before your people, whom you redeem out of Egypt?
1Ch 17:22 For your people Israel you made your own people forever; and you, Yahweh, became their God.
1Ch 17:23 Now, Yahweh, let the word that you have spoken concerning your servant, and concerning his house, be established forever, and do as you have spoken.
1Ch 17:24 Let your name be established and magnified forever, saying, Yahweh of Armies is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and the house of David your servant is established before you.
1Ch 17:25 For you, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build him a house: therefore has your servant found in his heart to pray before you.
1Ch 17:26 Now, Yahweh, you are God, and have promised this good thing to your servant:
1Ch 17:27 and now it has pleased you to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever before you: for you, Yahweh, have blessed, and it is blessed forever.
1Ch 18:1 After this it happened, that David struck the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and its towns out of the hand of the Philistines.
1Ch 18:2 He struck Moab; and the Moabites became servants to David, and brought tribute.
1Ch 18:3 David struck Hadadezer king of Zobah to Hamath, as he went to establish his dominion by the river Euphrates.
1Ch 18:4 David took from him one thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen; and David hamstrung all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for one hundred chariots.
1Ch 18:5 When the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck of the Syrians twenty-two thousand men.
1Ch 18:6 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus; and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought tribute. Yahweh gave victory to David wherever he went.
1Ch 18:7 David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem.
1Ch 18:8 From Tibhath and from Cun, cities of Hadadezer, David took very much brass, with which Solomon made the bronze sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass.
1Ch 18:9 When Tou king of Hamath heard that David had struck all the army of Hadadezer king of Zobah,
1Ch 18:10 he sent Hadoram his son to king David, to Greet him, and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and struck him; (for Hadadezer had wars with Tou;) and he had with him all manner of vessels of gold and silver and brass.
1Ch 18:11 These also did king David dedicate to Yahweh, with the silver and the gold that he carried away from all the nations; from Edom, and from Moab, and from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines, and from Amalek.
1Ch 18:12 Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah struck of the Edomites in the Valley of Salt eighteen thousand.
1Ch 18:13 He put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became servants to David. Yahweh gave victory to David wherever he went.
1Ch 18:14 David reigned over all Israel; and he executed justice and righteousness to all his people.
1Ch 18:15 Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder;
1Ch 18:16 and Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Abimelech the son of Abiathar, were priests; and Shavsha was scribe;
1Ch 18:17 and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and the sons of David were chief about the king.

NT Bible Reading 7/18, 7/19

Jul. 18, 19
Acts 12

Act 12:1 Now about that time, Herod the king stretched out his hands to oppress some of the assembly.
Act 12:2 He killed James, the brother of John, with the sword.
Act 12:3 When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This was during the days of unleavened bread.
Act 12:4 When he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of four soldiers each to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover.
Act 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in the prison, but constant prayer was made by the assembly to God for him.
Act 12:6 The same night when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains. Guards in front of the door kept the prison.
Act 12:7 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side, and woke him up, saying, "Stand up quickly!" His chains fell off from his hands.
Act 12:8 The angel said to him, "Get dressed and put on your sandals." He did so. He said to him, "Put on your cloak, and follow me."
Act 12:9 And he went out and followed him. He didn't know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he saw a vision.
Act 12:10 When they were past the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened to them by itself. They went out, and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.
Act 12:11 When Peter had come to himself, he said, "Now I truly know that the Lord has sent out his angel and delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from everything the Jewish people were expecting."
Act 12:12 Thinking about that, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.
Act 12:13 When Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a maid named Rhoda came to answer.
Act 12:14 When she recognized Peter's voice, she didn't open the gate for joy, but ran in, and reported that Peter was standing in front of the gate.
Act 12:15 They said to her, "You are crazy!" But she insisted that it was so. They said, "It is his angel."
Act 12:16 But Peter continued knocking. When they had opened, they saw him, and were amazed.
Act 12:17 But he, beckoning to them with his hand to be silent, declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. He said, "Tell these things to James, and to the brothers." Then he departed, and went to another place.
Act 12:18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter.
Act 12:19 When Herod had sought for him, and didn't find him, he examined the guards, and commanded that they should be put to death. He went down from Judea to Caesarea, and stayed there.
Act 12:20 Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. They came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus, the king's personal aide, their friend, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king's country for food.
Act 12:21 On an appointed day, Herod dressed himself in royal clothing, sat on the throne, and gave a speech to them.
Act 12:22 The people shouted, "The voice of a god, and not of a man!"
Act 12:23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he didn't give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.
Act 12:24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.
Act 12:25 Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their service, also taking with them John whose surname was Mark.