12/5/11

Far out, yet nearby


I grew up in the "space age".  I remember Sputnik when I was a kid and then the day they finally set foot on the moon.  Now, they have International space stations, build telescopes that dwarf anything built 40 years ago and land probes on the planet Mars.  What's next, warp speed?  Haven't a clue, but, in my life, things like this picture have become commonplace, but somehow they never seem to lose their appeal.  When I think of the Bible, there is one and only verse that jumps right out at me; so common that almost everyone on the planet has heard of it, yet somehow it never loses its appeal...

WEB: John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Some things will NEVER CHANGE!!!  We grow up, have families and grow old.  All of us have problems and even the best of us have things that are lacking in who we are and what we do. BUT GOD LOVES US ANYWAY, AND THIS NEVER, EVER, GROWS OLD!!!!  Like the picture, it continually intrigues us and no matter how many times we have been exposed to this most familiar Bible passage, we still ask ourselves... why?  The answer (probably one of many possible ones) is that HE WANTS TO.   You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand this and its not a far out idea.  The thing is.. all that matters is that its true... and that is good enough for me.

OT Bible Reading 12/5


Dec. 5
Ezekiel 33-36

Eze 33:1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 33:2 Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and tell them, When I bring the sword on a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and set him for their watchman;
Eze 33:3 if, when he sees the sword come on the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
Eze 33:4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and doesn't take warning, if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be on his own head.
Eze 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and didn't take warning; his blood shall be on him; whereas if he had taken warning, he would have delivered his soul.
Eze 33:6 But if the watchman sees the sword come, and doesn't blow the trumpet, and the people aren't warned, and the sword comes, and take any person from among them; he is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
Eze 33:7 So you, son of man, I have set you a watchman to the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
Eze 33:8 When I tell the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die, and you don't speak to warn the wicked from his way; that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at your hand.
Eze 33:9 Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, and he doesn't turn from his way; he shall die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul.
Eze 33:10 You, son of man, tell the house of Israel: Thus you speak, saying, Our transgressions and our sins are on us, and we pine away in them; how then can we live?
Eze 33:11 Tell them, As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, house of Israel?
Eze 33:12 You, son of man, tell the children of your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his disobedience; and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turns from his wickedness; neither shall he who is righteous be able to live thereby in the day that he sins.
Eze 33:13 When I tell the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his righteousness, and commit iniquity, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered; but in his iniquity that he has committed, therein shall he die.
Eze 33:14 Again, when I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;
Eze 33:15 if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that which he had taken by robbery, walk in the statutes of life, committing no iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.
Eze 33:16 None of his sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him: he has done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
Eze 33:17 Yet the children of your people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.
Eze 33:18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, he shall even die therein.
Eze 33:19 When the wicked turns from his wickedness, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.
Eze 33:20 Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not equal. House of Israel, I will judge you everyone after his ways.
Eze 33:21 It happened in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one who had escaped out of Jerusalem came to me, saying, The city has been struck.
Eze 33:22 Now the hand of Yahweh had been on me in the evening, before he who was escaped came; and he had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more mute.
Eze 33:23 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 33:24 Son of man, they who inhabit those waste places in the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance.
Eze 33:25 Therefore tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: You eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes to your idols, and shed blood: and shall you possess the land?
Eze 33:26 You stand on your sword, you work abomination, and you defile everyone his neighbor's wife: and shall you possess the land?
Eze 33:27 You shall tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: As I live, surely those who are in the waste places shall fall by the sword; and him who is in the open field will I give to the animals to be devoured; and those who are in the strongholds and in the caves shall die of the pestilence.
Eze 33:28 I will make the land a desolation and an astonishment; and the pride of her power shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, so that none shall pass through.
Eze 33:29 Then shall they know that I am Yahweh, when I have made the land a desolation and an astonishment, because of all their abominations which they have committed.
Eze 33:30 As for you, son of man, the children of your people talk of you by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, everyone to his brother, saying, Please come and hear what is the word that comes forth from Yahweh.
Eze 33:31 They come to you as the people comes, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear your words, but don't do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their gain.
Eze 33:32 Behold, you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they don't do them.
Eze 33:33 When this comes to pass, (behold, it comes), then shall they know that a prophet has been among them.
Eze 34:1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and tell them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shouldn't the shepherds feed the sheep?
Eze 34:3 You eat the fat, and you clothe you with the wool, you kill the fatlings; but you don't feed the sheep.
Eze 34:4 You haven't strengthened the diseased, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought back that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with rigor have you ruled over them.
Eze 34:5 They were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food to all the animals of the field, and were scattered.
Eze 34:6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill: yes, my sheep were scattered on all the surface of the earth; and there was none who searched or sought.
Eze 34:7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh:
Eze 34:8 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely because my sheep became a prey, and my sheep became food to all the animals of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves, and didn't feed my sheep;
Eze 34:9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh:
Eze 34:10 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my sheep at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the sheep; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; and I will deliver my sheep from their mouth, that they may not be food for them.
Eze 34:11 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I myself, even I, will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.
Eze 34:12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.
Eze 34:13 I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
Eze 34:14 I will feed them with good pasture; and on the mountains of the height of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie down in a good fold; and on fat pasture shall they feed on the mountains of Israel.
Eze 34:15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will cause them to lie down, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 34:16 I will seek that which was lost, and will bring back that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but the fat and the strong I will destroy; I will feed them in justice.
Eze 34:17 As for you, O my flock, thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, the rams and the male goats.
Eze 34:18 Seems it a small thing to you to have fed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the residue of your pasture? and to have drunk of the clear waters, but you must foul the residue with your feet?
Eze 34:19 As for my sheep, they eat that which you have trodden with your feet, and they drink that which you have fouled with your feet.
Eze 34:20 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh to them: Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
Eze 34:21 Because you thrust with side and with shoulder, and push all the diseased with your horns, until you have scattered them abroad;
Eze 34:22 therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.
Eze 34:23 I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
Eze 34:24 I, Yahweh, will be their God, and my servant David prince among them; I, Yahweh, have spoken it.
Eze 34:25 I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause evil animals to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell securely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.
Eze 34:26 I will make them and the places around my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in its season; there shall be showers of blessing.
Eze 34:27 The tree of the field shall yield its fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land; and they shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have broken the bars of their yoke, and have delivered them out of the hand of those who made slaves of them.
Eze 34:28 They shall no more be a prey to the nations, neither shall the animals of the earth devour them; but they shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid.
Eze 34:29 I will raise up to them a plantation for renown, and they shall be no more consumed with famine in the land, neither bear the shame of the nations any more.
Eze 34:30 They shall know that I, Yahweh, their God am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 34:31 You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 35:1 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 35:2 Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it,
Eze 35:3 and tell it, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against you, and I will make you a desolation and an astonishment.
Eze 35:4 I will lay your cities waste, and you shall be desolate; and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 35:5 Because you have had a perpetual enmity, and have given over the children of Israel to the power of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time of the iniquity of the end;
Eze 35:6 therefore, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I will prepare you to blood, and blood shall pursue you: since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you.
Eze 35:7 Thus will I make Mount Seir an astonishment and a desolation; and I will cut off from it him who passes through and him who returns.
Eze 35:8 I will fill its mountains with its slain: in your hills and in your valleys and in all your watercourses shall they fall who are slain with the sword.
Eze 35:9 I will make you a perpetual desolation, and your cities shall not be inhabited; and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 35:10 Because you have said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas Yahweh was there:
Eze 35:11 therefore, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I will do according to your anger, and according to your envy which you have shown out of your hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I shall judge you.
Eze 35:12 You shall know that I, Yahweh, have heard all your insults which you have spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to devour.
Eze 35:13 You have magnified yourselves against me with your mouth, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard it.
Eze 35:14 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: When the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate.
Eze 35:15 As you did rejoice over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so will I do to you: you shall be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom, even all of it; and they shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 36:1 You, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of Yahweh.
Eze 36:2 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because the enemy has said against you, Aha! and, The ancient high places are ours in possession;
Eze 36:3 therefore prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because, even because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that you might be a possession to the residue of the nations, and you are taken up in the lips of talkers, and the evil report of the people;
Eze 36:4 therefore, you mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Yahweh: Thus says the Lord Yahweh to the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes and to the cities that are forsaken, which are become a prey and derision to the residue of the nations that are all around;
Eze 36:5 therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the nations, and against all Edom, that have appointed my land to themselves for a possession with the joy of all their heart, with despite of soul, to cast it out for a prey.
Eze 36:6 Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and tell the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses and to the valleys, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my wrath, because you have borne the shame of the nations:
Eze 36:7 therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: I have sworn, saying, Surely the nations that are around you, they shall bear their shame.
Eze 36:8 But you, mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people Israel; for they are at hand to come.
Eze 36:9 For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn into you, and you shall be tilled and sown;
Eze 36:10 and I will multiply men on you, all the house of Israel, even all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built;
Eze 36:11 and I will multiply on you man and animal; and they shall increase and be fruitful; and I will cause you to be inhabited after your former estate, and will do better to you than at your beginnings: and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 36:12 Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, even my people Israel; and they shall possess you, and you shall be their inheritance, and you shall no more henceforth bereave them of children.
Eze 36:13 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because they say to you, You land are a devourer of men, and have been a bereaver of your nation;
Eze 36:14 therefore you shall devour men no more, neither bereave your nation any more, says the Lord Yahweh;
Eze 36:15 neither will I let you hear any more the shame of the nations, neither shall you bear the reproach of the peoples any more, neither shall you cause your nation to stumble any more, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 36:16 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 36:17 Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their way and by their doings: their way before me was as the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity.
Eze 36:18 Therefore I poured out my wrath on them for the blood which they had poured out on the land, and because they had defiled it with their idols;
Eze 36:19 and I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.
Eze 36:20 When they came to the nations, where they went, they profaned my holy name; in that men said of them, These are the people of Yahweh, and are gone forth out of his land.
Eze 36:21 But I had regard for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations, where they went.
Eze 36:22 Therefore tell the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: I don't do this for your sake, house of Israel, but for my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations, where you went.
Eze 36:23 I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am Yahweh, says the Lord Yahweh, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
Eze 36:24 For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land.
Eze 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.
Eze 36:27 I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my ordinances, and do them.
Eze 36:28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Eze 36:29 I will save you from all your uncleanness: and I will call for the grain, and will multiply it, and lay no famine on you.
Eze 36:30 I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that you may receive no more the reproach of famine among the nations.
Eze 36:31 Then you shall remember your evil ways, and your doings that were not good; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.
Eze 36:32 Nor for your sake do I this, says the Lord Yahweh, be it known to you: be ashamed and confounded for your ways, house of Israel.
Eze 36:33 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built.
Eze 36:34 The land that was desolate shall be tilled, whereas it was a desolation in the sight of all who passed by.
Eze 36:35 They shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.
Eze 36:36 Then the nations that are left around you shall know that I, Yahweh, have built the ruined places, and planted that which was desolate: I, Yahweh, have spoken it, and I will do it.
Eze 36:37 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: For this, moreover, will I be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them: I will increase them with men like a flock.
Eze 36:38 As the flock for sacrifice, as the flock of Jerusalem in her appointed feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men; and they shall know that I am Yahweh.

NT Bible Reading 12/5


Dec. 5
1 Peter 3

1Pe 3:1 In like manner, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; so that, even if any don't obey the Word, they may be won by the behavior of their wives without a word;
1Pe 3:2 seeing your pure behavior in fear.
1Pe 3:3 Let your beauty be not just the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on fine clothing;
1Pe 3:4 but in the hidden person of the heart, in the incorruptible adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God very precious.
1Pe 3:5 For this is how the holy women before, who hoped in God also adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands:
1Pe 3:6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose children you now are, if you do well, and are not put in fear by any terror.
1Pe 3:7 You husbands, in like manner, live with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor to the woman, as to the weaker vessel, as being also joint heirs of the grace of life; that your prayers may not be hindered.
1Pe 3:8 Finally, be all like-minded, compassionate, loving as brothers, tenderhearted, courteous,
1Pe 3:9 not rendering evil for evil, or reviling for reviling; but instead blessing; knowing that to this were you called, that you may inherit a blessing.
1Pe 3:10 For, "He who would love life, and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.
1Pe 3:11 Let him turn away from evil, and do good. Let him seek peace, and pursue it.
1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears open to their prayer; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
1Pe 3:13 Now who is he who will harm you, if you become imitators of that which is good?
1Pe 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. "Don't fear what they fear, neither be troubled."
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, with humility and fear:
1Pe 3:16 having a good conscience; that, while you are spoken against as evildoers, they may be disappointed who curse your good manner of life in Christ.
1Pe 3:17 For it is better, if it is God's will, that you suffer for doing well than for doing evil.
1Pe 3:18 Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
1Pe 3:19 in which he also went and preached to the spirits in prison,
1Pe 3:20 who before were disobedient, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ship was being built. In it, few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
1Pe 3:21 This is a symbol of baptism, which now saves you--not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
1Pe 3:22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.

The Truly Happy Man by Mark Copeland

http://executableoutlines.com/text/ps1_1.htm

A lesson from the first Psalm... Gary