8/15/11

Plan "B"


Remember these tests from school?  Have you ever known anyone who tried doing what this "student" did?  I have, and I wish I didn't; he became a relative and the stupidity didn't end there, it continued his entire life.  Ugh!  To me, the stupidity was not that the person who took the test above didn't know the answers, it was that they tried to bluff their way through.  You can't beat genuineness.  Here is a prime example...


Acts 19:11-20 (WEB)
11) God worked special miracles by the hands of Paul,
12) so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and the evil spirits went out.
13) But some of the itinerant Jews, exorcists, took on themselves to invoke over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.”
14) There were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did this.
15) The evil spirit answered, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?”
16) The man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17) This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived at Ephesus. Fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
18) Many also of those who had believed came, confessing, and declaring their deeds.
19) Many of those who practiced magical arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. They counted their price, and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver.
20) So the word of the Lord was growing and becoming mighty.

Paul was sent by God; he didn't want to be, he just was.  And God used him in ways he would have never understood before being confronted by the risen Christ.  The Jews in this episode tried to be something they were not and paid for it with hurt and humiliation.  Ultimately, God used even their stupidity to change the world.  How ironic!  Old is old and new is different.  Every day we are tested in regard to how we think, act and feel.  Consider what you do; eventually God will grade us all.  If your life isn't working try plan "B" (for Bible), you might get a better grade when your test in this world is over. 

OT Bible Reading 8/15

Aug. 15
Esther 7-10
Est 7:1 So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen.
Est 7:2 The king said again to Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, "What is your petition, queen Esther? It shall be granted you. What is your request? Even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed."
Est 7:3 Then Esther the queen answered, "If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.
Est 7:4 For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondservants and bondmaids, I would have held my peace, although the adversary could not have compensated for the king's loss."
Est 7:5 Then King Ahasuerus said to Esther the queen, "Who is he, and where is he who dared presume in his heart to do so?"
Est 7:6 Esther said, "An adversary and an enemy, even this wicked Haman!" Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.
Est 7:7 The king arose in his wrath from the banquet of wine and went into the palace garden. Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.
Est 7:8 Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman had fallen on the couch where Esther was. Then the king said, "Will he even assault the queen in front of me in the house?" As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.
Est 7:9 Then Harbonah, one of the eunuchs who were with the king said, "Behold, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman has made for Mordecai, who spoke good for the king, is standing at Haman's house." The king said, "Hang him on it!"
Est 7:10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.
Est 8:1 On that day, King Ahasuerus gave the house of Haman, the Jews' enemy, to Esther the queen. Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was to her.
Est 8:2 The king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
Est 8:3 Esther spoke yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and begged him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews.
Est 8:4 Then the king held out to Esther the golden scepter. So Esther arose, and stood before the king.
Est 8:5 She said, "If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and the thing seem right to the king, and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the king's provinces.
Est 8:6 For how can I endure to see the evil that would come to my people? How can I endure to see the destruction of my relatives?"
Est 8:7 Then King Ahasuerus said to Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, "See, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged on the gallows, because he laid his hand on the Jews.
Est 8:8 Write also to the Jews, as it pleases you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring; for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may not be reversed by any man."
Est 8:9 Then the king's scribes were called at that time, in the third month Sivan, on the twenty-third day of the month; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded to the Jews, and to the satraps, and the governors and princes of the provinces which are from India to Ethiopia, one hundred twenty-seven provinces, to every province according to its writing, and to every people in their language, and to the Jews in their writing, and in their language.
Est 8:10 He wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by courier on horseback, riding on royal horses that were bread from swift steeds.
Est 8:11 In those letters, the king granted the Jews who were in every city to gather themselves together, and to defend their life, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, their little ones and women, and to plunder their possessions,
Est 8:12 on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.
Est 8:13 A copy of the letter, that the decree should be given out in every province, was published to all the peoples, that the Jews should be ready for that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
Est 8:14 So the couriers who rode on royal horses went out, hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. The decree was given out in the citadel of Susa.
Est 8:15 Mordecai went out of the presence of the king in royal clothing of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a robe of fine linen and purple; and the city of Susa shouted and was glad.
Est 8:16 The Jews had light, gladness, joy, and honor.
Est 8:17 In every province, and in every city, wherever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had gladness, joy, a feast, and a good day. Many from among the peoples of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews was fallen on them.
Est 9:1 Now in the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the month, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, on the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to conquer them, (but it was turned out the opposite happened, that the Jews conquered those who hated them),
Est 9:2 the Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the King Ahasuerus, to lay hands on those who wanted to harm them. No one could withstand them, because the fear of them had fallen on all the people.
Est 9:3 All the princes of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and those who did the king's business helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them.
Est 9:4 For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces; for the man Mordecai grew greater and greater.
Est 9:5 The Jews struck all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and with slaughter and destruction, and did what they wanted to those who hated them.
Est 9:6 In the citadel of Susa, the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men.
Est 9:7 They killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,
Est 9:8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,
Est 9:9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha,
Est 9:10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Jew's enemy, but they didn't lay their hand on the plunder.
Est 9:11 On that day, the number of those who were slain in the citadel of Susa was brought before the king.
Est 9:12 The king said to Esther the queen, "The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in the citadel of Susa, including the ten sons of Haman; what then have they done in the rest of the king's provinces! Now what is your petition? It shall be granted you. What is your further request? It shall be done."
Est 9:13 Then Esther said, "If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do tomorrow also according to this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged on the gallows."
Est 9:14 The king commanded this to be done. A decree was given out in Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons.
Est 9:15 The Jews who were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and killed three hundred men in Shushan; but they didn't lay their hand on the spoil.
Est 9:16 The other Jews who were in the king's provinces gathered themselves together, defended their lives, had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of those who hated them; but they didn't lay their hand on the plunder.
Est 9:17 This was done on the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of that month they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
Est 9:18 But the Jews who were in Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth and on the fourteenth days of the month; and on the fifteenth day of that month, they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
Est 9:19 Therefore the Jews of the villages, who live in the unwalled towns, make the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, a good day, and a day of sending presents of food to one another.
Est 9:20 Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both near and far,
Est 9:21 to enjoin them that they should keep the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month Adar yearly,
Est 9:22 as the days in which the Jews had rest from their enemies, and the month which was turned to them from sorrow to gladness, and from mourning into a good day; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending presents of food to one another, and gifts to the needy.
Est 9:23 The Jews accepted the custom that they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them;
Est 9:24 because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast "Pur," that is the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;
Est 9:25 but when this became known to the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he had devised against the Jews, should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
Est 9:26 Therefore they called these days "Purim," from the word "Pur." Therefore because of all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and that which had come to them,
Est 9:27 the Jews established, and imposed on themselves, and on their descendants, and on all those who joined themselves to them, so that it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to what was written, and according to its appointed time, every year;
Est 9:28 and that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memory of them perish from their seed.
Est 9:29 Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority to confirm this second letter of Purim.
Est 9:30 He sent letters to all the Jews, to the hundred twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,
Est 9:31 to confirm these days of Purim in their appointed times, as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had decreed, and as they had imposed upon themselves and their descendants, in the matter of the fastings and their cry.
Est 9:32 The commandment of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.
Est 10:1 King Ahasuerus laid a tribute on the land, and on the islands of the sea.
Est 10:2 All the acts of his power and of his might, and the full account of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?
Est 10:3 For Mordecai the Jew was next to King Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted by the multitude of his brothers, seeking the good of his people, and speaking peace to all his descendants.

NT Bible Reading 8/15, 8/16


Aug. 15, 16
Acts 26

Act 26:1 Agrippa said to Paul, "You may speak for yourself." Then Paul stretched out his hand, and made his defense.
Act 26:2 "I think myself happy, King Agrippa, that I am to make my defense before you this day concerning all the things that I am accused by the Jews,
Act 26:3 especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews. Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently.
Act 26:4 "Indeed, all the Jews know my way of life from my youth up, which was from the beginning among my own nation and at Jerusalem;
Act 26:5 having known me from the first, if they are willing to testify, that after the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
Act 26:6 Now I stand here to be judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers,
Act 26:7 which our twelve tribes, earnestly serving night and day, hope to attain. Concerning this hope I am accused by the Jews, King Agrippa!
Act 26:8 Why is it judged incredible with you, if God does raise the dead?
Act 26:9 "I myself most certainly thought that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Act 26:10 This I also did in Jerusalem. I both shut up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, and when they were put to death I gave my vote against them.
Act 26:11 Punishing them often in all the synagogues, I tried to make them blaspheme. Being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
Act 26:12 "Whereupon as I traveled to Damascus with the authority and commission from the chief priests,
Act 26:13 at noon, O King, I saw on the way a light from the sky, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who traveled with me.
Act 26:14 When we had all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'
Act 26:15 "I said, 'Who are you, Lord?' "He said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Act 26:16 But arise, and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose: to appoint you a servant and a witness both of the things which you have seen, and of the things which I will reveal to you;
Act 26:17 delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom I send you,
Act 26:18 to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
Act 26:19 "Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
Act 26:20 but declared first to them of Damascus, at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.
Act 26:21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple, and tried to kill me.
Act 26:22 Having therefore obtained the help that is from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would happen,
Act 26:23 how the Christ must suffer, and how, by the resurrection of the dead, he would be first to proclaim light both to these people and to the Gentiles."
Act 26:24 As he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, you are crazy! Your great learning is driving you insane!"
Act 26:25 But he said, "I am not crazy, most excellent Festus, but boldly declare words of truth and reasonableness.
Act 26:26 For the king knows of these things, to whom also I speak freely. For I am persuaded that none of these things is hidden from him, for this has not been done in a corner.
Act 26:27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe."
Act 26:28 Agrippa said to Paul, "With a little persuasion are you trying to make me a Christian?"
Act 26:29 Paul said, "I pray to God, that whether with little or with much, not only you, but also all that hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these bonds."
Act 26:30 The king rose up with the governor, and Bernice, and those who sat with them.
Act 26:31 When they had withdrawn, they spoke one to another, saying, "This man does nothing worthy of death or of bonds."
Act 26:32 Agrippa said to Festus, "This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar."