10/21/11

HOLD FAST!!!


Yellowstone national park is a big place.  So, it struck me as a little strange to think of this as "Yellowstone".  But, here it is; and when I took a little closer look I couldn't help but notice the tree.  It seems healthy enough but look at that root out in front.  Obviously, the root at the back wasn't enough so the tree sent out one in front for some extra nourishment.  I admire this trees' tenacity!!!  One tough tree, indeed!!!  Christians are to be like this tree; tough and resilient enough to hold on no matter how hard the environment.  Of course, this led me to the book of Hebrews.  Here are a few passages of interest...

Hebrews 3:6 (WEB)
6) but Christ is faithful as a Son over his house; whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the glorying of our hope firm to the end.

Hebrews 3:14 (WEB)
14) For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm to the end:

Hebrews 10:23 (WEB)
23) let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering; for he who promised is faithful.

From these, I see the example of Christ.  He did what was necessary and was faithful.  His example of sonship is to be ours.  I remember an example I read about years ago; the sailors who tended the rigging of sailing ships would often tattoo "h-o-l-d f-a-s-t" on their fingers to remind them of the necessity of maintaining a firm grip.  To do otherwise would lead to certain death.  The way things are going in this country, we need to be reminded to "hold fast".  So, remember Christ and this tree.  Do everything you can to remain faithful, no matter what society says is "politically correct" or what our government says is legal or not.  In other words..."HOLD FAST"!!!!!! 

OT Bible Reading

Oct. 21
Ecclesiastes 5-7

Ecc 5:1 Guard your steps when you go to God's house; for to draw near to listen is better than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they don't know that they do evil.
Ecc 5:2 Don't be rash with your mouth, and don't let your heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and you on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
Ecc 5:3 For as a dream comes with a multitude of cares, so a fool's speech with a multitude of words.
Ecc 5:4 When you vow a vow to God, don't defer to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay that which you vow.
Ecc 5:5 It is better that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay.
Ecc 5:6 Don't allow your mouth to lead you into sin. Don't protest before the messenger that this was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands?
Ecc 5:7 For in the multitude of dreams there are vanities, as well as in many words: but you must fear God.
Ecc 5:8 If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent taking away of justice and righteousness in a district, don't marvel at the matter: for one official is eyed by a higher one; and there are officials over them.
Ecc 5:9 Moreover the profit of the earth is for all. The king profits from the field.
Ecc 5:10 He who loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase: this also is vanity.
Ecc 5:11 When goods increase, those who eat them are increased; and what advantage is there to its owner, except to feast on them with his eyes?
Ecc 5:12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not allow him to sleep.
Ecc 5:13 There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: wealth kept by its owner to his harm.
Ecc 5:14 Those riches perish by misfortune, and if he has fathered a son, there is nothing in his hand.
Ecc 5:15 As he came forth from his mother's womb, naked shall he go again as he came, and shall take nothing for his labor, which he may carry away in his hand.
Ecc 5:16 This also is a grievous evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go. And what profit does he have who labors for the wind?
Ecc 5:17 All his days he also eats in darkness, he is frustrated, and has sickness and wrath.
Ecc 5:18 Behold, that which I have seen to be good and proper is for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy good in all his labor, in which he labors under the sun, all the days of his life which God has given him; for this is his portion.
Ecc 5:19 Every man also to whom God has given riches and wealth, and has given him power to eat of it, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor--this is the gift of God.
Ecc 5:20 For he shall not often reflect on the days of his life; because God occupies him with the joy of his heart.
Ecc 6:1 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is heavy on men:
Ecc 6:2 a man to whom God gives riches, wealth, and honor, so that he lacks nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God gives him no power to eat of it, but an alien eats it. This is vanity, and it is an evil disease.
Ecc 6:3 If a man fathers a hundred children, and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not filled with good, and moreover he has no burial; I say, that a stillborn child is better than he:
Ecc 6:4 for it comes in vanity, and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness.
Ecc 6:5 Moreover it has not seen the sun nor known it. This has rest rather than the other.
Ecc 6:6 Yes, though he live a thousand years twice told, and yet fails to enjoy good, don't all go to one place?
Ecc 6:7 All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.
Ecc 6:8 For what advantage has the wise more than the fool? What has the poor man, that knows how to walk before the living?
Ecc 6:9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.
Ecc 6:10 Whatever has been, its name was given long ago; and it is known what man is; neither can he contend with him who is mightier than he.
Ecc 6:11 For there are many words that create vanity. What does that profit man?
Ecc 6:12 For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he spends like a shadow? For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?
Ecc 7:1 A good name is better than fine perfume; and the day of death better than the day of one's birth.
Ecc 7:2 It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men, and the living should take this to heart.
Ecc 7:3 Sorrow is better than laughter; for by the sadness of the face the heart is made good.
Ecc 7:4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
Ecc 7:5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
Ecc 7:6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity.
Ecc 7:7 Surely extortion makes the wise man foolish; and a bribe destroys the understanding.
Ecc 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than its beginning. The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
Ecc 7:9 Don't be hasty in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.
Ecc 7:10 Don't say, "Why were the former days better than these?" For you do not ask wisely about this.
Ecc 7:11 Wisdom is as good as an inheritance. Yes, it is more excellent for those who see the sun.
Ecc 7:12 For wisdom is a defense, even as money is a defense; but the excellency of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.
Ecc 7:13 Consider the work of God, for who can make that straight, which he has made crooked?
Ecc 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; yes, God has made the one side by side with the other, to the end that man should not find out anything after him.
Ecc 7:15 All this have I seen in my days of vanity: there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who lives long in his evildoing.
Ecc 7:16 Don't be overly righteous, neither make yourself overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself?
Ecc 7:17 Don't be too wicked, neither be foolish. Why should you die before your time?
Ecc 7:18 It is good that you should take hold of this. Yes, also from that don't withdraw your hand; for he who fears God will come forth from them all.
Ecc 7:19 Wisdom is a strength to the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city.
Ecc 7:20 Surely there is not a righteous man on earth, who does good and doesn't sin.
Ecc 7:21 Also don't take heed to all words that are spoken, lest you hear your servant curse you;
Ecc 7:22 for often your own heart knows that you yourself have likewise cursed others.
Ecc 7:23 All this have I proved in wisdom. I said, "I will be wise;" but it was far from me.
Ecc 7:24 That which is, is far off and exceedingly deep. Who can find it out?
Ecc 7:25 I turned around, and my heart sought to know and to search out, and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know that wickedness is stupidity, and that foolishness is madness.
Ecc 7:26 I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and traps, whose hands are chains. Whoever pleases God shall escape from her; but the sinner will be ensnared by her.
Ecc 7:27 Behold, this have I found, says the Preacher, one to another, to find out the scheme;
Ecc 7:28 which my soul still seeks; but I have not found: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.
Ecc 7:29 Behold, this only have I found: that God made man upright; but they search for many schemes.

NT Bible Reading 10/21

Oct. 21
Colossians 2

Col 2:1 For I desire to have you know how greatly I struggle for you, and for those at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
Col 2:2 that their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love, and gaining all riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ,
Col 2:3 in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden.
Col 2:4 Now this I say that no one may delude you with persuasiveness of speech.
Col 2:5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and seeing your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
Col 2:6 As therefore you received Christ Jesus, the Lord, walk in him,
Col 2:7 rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it in thanksgiving.
Col 2:8 Be careful that you don't let anyone rob you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the elements of the world, and not after Christ.
Col 2:9 For in him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily,
Col 2:10 and in him you are made full, who is the head of all principality and power;
Col 2:11 in whom you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ;
Col 2:12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
Col 2:13 You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,
Col 2:14 wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us; and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross;
Col 2:15 having stripped the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in eating, or in drinking, or with respect to a feast day or a new moon or a Sabbath day,
Col 2:17 which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ's.
Col 2:18 Let no one rob you of your prize by a voluntary humility and worshipping of the angels, dwelling in the things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
Col 2:19 and not holding firmly to the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and ligaments, grows with God's growth.
Col 2:20 If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances,
Col 2:21 "Don't handle, nor taste, nor touch"
Col 2:22 (all of which perish with use), according to the precepts and doctrines of men?
Col 2:23 Which things indeed appear like wisdom in self-imposed worship, and humility, and severity to the body; but aren't of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.