8/7/11

A hole in the sky???


Look, the sky has a hole in it!!!  Maybe its a pathway to heaven; maybe not, but whatever it is, its an uncommon sight to be sure!!!  Why think about heaven?  Well, why not?  There has to be something better than this world.  And the ways things have been going this world just seems to be getting worse and worse.  Ask yourself, how many wars, how many economic downturns, how much political intrigue and corruption can there be?  Sooner or later, western civilization as we know it seems doomed.  There is in fact something better, something awaiting us that will be truly magnificent.  And this is how I know...

WEB: John Chapter 14

[1] "“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me. [2] In my Father’s house are many homes. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. [3] If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also. [4] Where I go, you know, and you know the way.”"

[5] Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?”

[6] Jesus said to him, "“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.

The way to heaven isn't through some hole in the sky, its through Jesus.  Recently, its become fashionable to bash Christianity, to degrade and attempt to restrict the influence of Jesus of Nazareth.  Stupidity, because why would someone want to malign someone who has done something wonderful for you?  Jesus has shown us the way to paradise and whoever is foolish enough to ignore it will really be missing out on something very special.  But, people will always do things that aren't good for them and I sincerely hope that you do not fall into that category.  Until the time comes for my entry into heaven, I will keep looking up at the sky and wonder what is really beyond that hole, but whatever it is I know it will be HOLY, because Jesus is there and that is where I want to be.  How about you???

OT Bible Reading 8/7

Aug. 7
Ezra 9, 10

Ezr 9:1 Now when these things were done, the princes drew near to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
Ezr 9:2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy seed have mixed themselves with the peoples of the lands: yes, the hand of the princes and rulers has been chief in this trespass.
Ezr 9:3 When I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my robe, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down confounded.
Ezr 9:4 Then were assembled to me everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the trespass of them of the captivity; and I sat confounded until the evening offering.
Ezr 9:5 At the evening offering I arose up from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn; and I fell on my knees, and spread out my hands to Yahweh my God;
Ezr 9:6 and I said, my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to you, my God; for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our guiltiness is grown up to the heavens.
Ezr 9:7 Since the days of our fathers we have been exceeding guilty to this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to plunder, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.
Ezr 9:8 Now for a little moment grace has been shown from Yahweh our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
Ezr 9:9 For we are bondservants; yet our God has not forsaken us in our bondage, but has extended loving kindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
Ezr 9:10 Now, our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken your commandments,
Ezr 9:11 which you have commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, The land, to which you go to possess it, is an unclean land through the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, through their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their filthiness:
Ezr 9:12 now therefore don't give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters to your sons, nor seek their peace or their prosperity forever; that you may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.
Ezr 9:13 After all that is come on us for our evil deeds, and for our great guilt, seeing that you our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such a remnant,
Ezr 9:14 shall we again break your commandments, and join in affinity with the peoples that do these abominations? wouldn't you be angry with us until you had consumed us, so that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape?
Ezr 9:15 Yahweh, the God of Israel, you are righteous; for we are left a remnant that is escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before you in our guiltiness; for none can stand before you because of this.
Ezr 10:1 Now while Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there was gathered together to him out of Israel a very great assembly of men and women and children; for the people wept very sore.
Ezr 10:2 Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have married foreign women of the peoples of the land: yet now there is hope for Israel concerning this thing.
Ezr 10:3 Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.
Ezr 10:4 Arise; for the matter belongs to you, and we are with you: be of good courage, and do it.
Ezr 10:5 Then arose Ezra, and made the chiefs of the priests, the Levites, and all Israel, to swear that they would do according to this word. So they swore.
Ezr 10:6 Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came there, he ate no bread, nor drank water; for he mourned because of the trespass of them of the captivity.
Ezr 10:7 They made proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together to Jerusalem;
Ezr 10:8 and that whoever didn't come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the assembly of the captivity.
Ezr 10:9 Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together to Jerusalem within the three days; it was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month: and all the people sat in the broad place before the house of God, trembling because of this matter, and for the great rain.
Ezr 10:10 Ezra the priest stood up, and said to them, You have trespassed, and have married foreign women, to increase the guilt of Israel.
Ezr 10:11 Now therefore make confession to Yahweh, the God of your fathers, and do his pleasure; and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land, and from the foreign women.
Ezr 10:12 Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, As you have said concerning us, so must we do.
Ezr 10:13 But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand outside: neither is this a work of one day or two; for we have greatly transgressed in this matter.
Ezr 10:14 Let now our princes be appointed for all the assembly, and let all those who are in our cities who have married foreign women come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and its judges, until the fierce wrath of our God be turned from us, until this matter be dispatched.
Ezr 10:15 Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah stood up against this matter: and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them.
Ezr 10:16 The children of the captivity did so. Ezra the priest, with certain heads of fathers' houses, after their fathers' houses, and all of them by their names, were set apart; and they sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.
Ezr 10:17 They made an end with all the men who had married foreign women by the first day of the first month.
Ezr 10:18 Among the sons of the priests there were found who had married foreign women: namely, of the sons of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and his brothers, Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah.
Ezr 10:19 They gave their hand that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their guilt.
Ezr 10:20 Of the sons of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah.
Ezr 10:21 Of the sons of Harim: Maaseiah, and Elijah, and Shemaiah, and Jehiel, and Uzziah.
Ezr 10:22 Of the sons of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah.
Ezr 10:23 Of the Levites: Jozabad, and Shimei, and Kelaiah (the same is Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.
Ezr 10:24 Of the singers: Eliashib. Of the porters: Shallum, and Telem, and Uri.
Ezr 10:25 Of Israel: Of the sons of Parosh: Ramiah, and Izziah, and Malchijah, and Mijamin, and Eleazar, and Malchijah, and Benaiah.
Ezr 10:26 Of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, and Abdi, and Jeremoth, and Elijah.
Ezr 10:27 Of the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, and Jeremoth, and Zabad, and Aziza.
Ezr 10:28 Of the sons of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, Athlai.
Ezr 10:29 Of the sons of Bani: Meshullam, Malluch, and Adaiah, Jashub, and Sheal, Jeremoth.
Ezr 10:30 Of the sons of Pahathmoab: Adna, and Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, and Binnui, and Manasseh.
Ezr 10:31 of the sons of Harim: Eliezer, Isshijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,
Ezr 10:32 Benjamin, Malluch, Shemariah.
Ezr 10:33 Of the sons of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, Shimei.
Ezr 10:34 Of the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, and Uel,
Ezr 10:35 Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi,
Ezr 10:36 Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,
Ezr 10:37 Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasu,
Ezr 10:38 and Bani, and Binnui, Shimei,
Ezr 10:39 and Shelemiah, and Nathan, and Adaiah,
Ezr 10:40 Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai,
Ezr 10:41 Azarel, and Shelemiah, Shemariah,
Ezr 10:42 Shallum, Amariah, Joseph.
Ezr 10:43 Of the sons of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Iddo, and Joel, Benaiah.
Ezr 10:44 All these had taken foreign wives; and some of them had wives by whom they had children.

NT Bible Reading 8/7, 8/8

Aug. 7, 8
Acts 22

Act 22:1 "Brothers and fathers, listen to the defense which I now make to you."
Act 22:2 When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they were even more quiet. He said,
Act 22:3 "I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as you all are this day.
Act 22:4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
Act 22:5 As also the high priest and all the council of the elders testify, from whom also I received letters to the brothers, and traveled to Damascus to bring them also who were there to Jerusalem in bonds to be punished.
Act 22:6 It happened that, as I made my journey, and came close to Damascus, about noon, suddenly there shone from the sky a great light around me.
Act 22:7 I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'
Act 22:8 I answered, 'Who are you, Lord?' He said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.'
Act 22:9 "Those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they didn't understand the voice of him who spoke to me.
Act 22:10 I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' The Lord said to me, 'Arise, and go into Damascus. There you will be told about all things which are appointed for you to do.'
Act 22:11 When I couldn't see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.
Act 22:12 One Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well reported of by all the Jews who lived in Damascus,
Act 22:13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight!' In that very hour I looked up at him.
Act 22:14 He said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed you to know his will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth.
Act 22:15 For you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard.
Act 22:16 Now why do you wait? Arise, be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'
Act 22:17 "It happened that, when I had returned to Jerusalem, and while I prayed in the temple, I fell into a trance,
Act 22:18 and saw him saying to me, 'Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not receive testimony concerning me from you.'
Act 22:19 I said, 'Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those who believed in you.
Act 22:20 When the blood of Stephen, your witness, was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting to his death, and guarding the cloaks of those who killed him.'
Act 22:21 "He said to me, 'Depart, for I will send you out far from here to the Gentiles.' "
Act 22:22 They listened to him until he said that; then they lifted up their voice, and said, "Rid the earth of this fellow, for he isn't fit to live!"
Act 22:23 As they cried out, and threw off their cloaks, and threw dust into the air,
Act 22:24 the commanding officer commanded him to be brought into the barracks, ordering him to be examined by scourging, that he might know for what crime they shouted against him like that.
Act 22:25 When they had tied him up with thongs, Paul asked the centurion who stood by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and not found guilty?"
Act 22:26 When the centurion heard it, he went to the commanding officer and told him, "Watch what you are about to do, for this man is a Roman!"
Act 22:27 The commanding officer came and asked him, "Tell me, are you a Roman?" He said, "Yes."
Act 22:28 The commanding officer answered, "I bought my citizenship for a great price." Paul said, "But I was born a Roman."
Act 22:29 Immediately those who were about to examine him departed from him, and the commanding officer also was afraid when he realized that he was a Roman, because he had bound him.
Act 22:30 But on the next day, desiring to know the truth about why he was accused by the Jews, he freed him from the bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all the council to come together, and brought Paul down and set him before them.