Memories from the dark and judgment in the LIGHT!!!

I was watching the Republican National Convention last night and as I listened to the speeches, I was pleasantly surprised to actually hear politicians give God credit for our blessings.  It has been so long since I have seen anyone in the public sector who has respect for God; genuine respect, not just show, that I could hardly believe it!!!  And Clint Eastwood really did "make my day"!!!  These things reminded me that even among the lowest among us (politicians being the prime example) God can be remembered and even appreciated!!!  So, when I saw this rather striking magazine cover I remembered this passage....

2 Peter, Chapter 3
 1 This is now, beloved, the second letter that I have written to you; and in both of them I stir up your sincere mind by reminding you;  2 that you should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandments of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior:  3 knowing this first, that in the last days mockers will come, walking after their own lusts,  4 and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”  5 For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth formed out of water and amid water, by the word of God;  6 by which means the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.  7 But the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.  8 But don’t forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  11 Therefore since all these things will be destroyed like this, what kind of people ought you to be in holy living and godliness,  12 looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, which will cause the burning heavens to be dissolved, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?  13 But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

 We are at war, both physically and spiritually!!!  It has almost been 11 years since that tragic day in September, when Muslim extremists killed over 2000 people.  Even more important than our physical war is the Spiritual warfare that has been ongoing for millennium.  Good versus evil has been evident for as long as mankind can remember, but someday it will be resolved; someday judgment will come.  Osama Bin Ladin paid for his actions with his life and soon all his cohorts will suffer the same fate.  After a decade it becomes easy to forget to remember what was done to America and I can only guess how long it will be before someone will say it never happened.  Think that can't happen; think again, for some in Germany already deny the Holocaust!!!  So, the above passage from Peter's pen becomes all the more important.  Someday God will judge mankind for what they have done on this beautiful Earth and wipe away every trace of evil.  God will remember the good we have done as well and reward us accordingly.... and He doesn't need a magazine cover to remind Him of it either!!!

Aug. 31 Psalm 23-25

Aug. 31
Psalm 23-25

Psa 23:1 Yahweh is my shepherd: I shall lack nothing.
Psa 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
Psa 23:3 He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Psa 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psa 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over.
Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and loving kindness shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in Yahweh's house forever.
Psa 24:1 The earth is Yahweh's, with its fullness; the world, and those who dwell therein.
Psa 24:2 For he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the floods.
Psa 24:3 Who may ascend to Yahweh's hill? Who may stand in his holy place?
Psa 24:4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood, and has not sworn deceitfully.
Psa 24:5 He shall receive a blessing from Yahweh, righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Psa 24:6 This is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek your face--even Jacob. Selah.
Psa 24:7 Lift up your heads, you gates! Be lifted up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory will come in.
Psa 24:8 Who is the King of glory? Yahweh strong and mighty, Yahweh mighty in battle.
Psa 24:9 Lift up your heads, you gates; yes, lift them up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory will come in.
Psa 24:10 Who is this King of glory? Yahweh of Armies is the King of glory! Selah.
Psa 25:1 To you, Yahweh, do I lift up my soul.
Psa 25:2 My God, I have trusted in you. Don't let me be shamed. Don't let my enemies triumph over me.
Psa 25:3 Yes, no one who waits for you shall be shamed. They shall be shamed who deal treacherously without cause.
Psa 25:4 Show me your ways, Yahweh. Teach me your paths.
Psa 25:5 Guide me in your truth, and teach me, For you are the God of my salvation, I wait for you all day long.
Psa 25:6 Yahweh, remember your tender mercies and your loving kindness, for they are from old times.
Psa 25:7 Don't remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions. Remember me according to your loving kindness, for your goodness' sake, Yahweh.
Psa 25:8 Good and upright is Yahweh, therefore he will instruct sinners in the way.
Psa 25:9 He will guide the humble in justice. He will teach the humble his way.
Psa 25:10 All the paths of Yahweh are loving kindness and truth to such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
Psa 25:11 For your name's sake, Yahweh, pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
Psa 25:12 What man is he who fears Yahweh? He shall instruct him in the way that he shall choose.
Psa 25:13 His soul shall dwell at ease. His seed shall inherit the land.
Psa 25:14 The friendship of Yahweh is with those who fear him. He will show them his covenant.
Psa 25:15 My eyes are ever on Yahweh, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Psa 25:16 Turn to me, and have mercy on me, for I am desolate and afflicted.
Psa 25:17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged. Oh bring me out of my distresses.
Psa 25:18 Consider my affliction and my travail. Forgive all my sins.
Psa 25:19 Consider my enemies, for they are many. They hate me with cruel hatred.
Psa 25:20 Oh keep my soul, and deliver me. Let me not be disappointed, for I take refuge in you.
Psa 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.
Psa 25:22 Redeem Israel, God, out all of his troubles.

Aug. 31 Romans 12

Aug. 31
Romans 12

Rom 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.
Rom 12:2 Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think reasonably, as God has apportioned to each person a measure of faith.
Rom 12:4 For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members don't have the same function,
Rom 12:5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Rom 12:6 Having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, if prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith;
Rom 12:7 or service, let us give ourselves to service; or he who teaches, to his teaching;
Rom 12:8 or he who exhorts, to his exhorting: he who gives, let him do it with liberality; he who rules, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Rom 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil. Cling to that which is good.
Rom 12:10 In love of the brothers be tenderly affectionate one to another; in honor preferring one another;
Rom 12:11 not lagging in diligence; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Rom 12:12 rejoicing in hope; enduring in troubles; continuing steadfastly in prayer;
Rom 12:13 contributing to the needs of the saints; given to hospitality.
Rom 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless, and don't curse.
Rom 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep.
Rom 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Don't set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Don't be wise in your own conceits.
Rom 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil. Respect what is honorable in the sight of all men.
Rom 12:18 If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, be at peace with all men.
Rom 12:19 Don't seek revenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to God's wrath. For it is written, "Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord."
Rom 12:20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing so, you will heap coals of fire on his head."
Rom 12:21 Don't be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.



                              Chapter Five


1) To note the unexpected nature of the coming of the Lord, and how we
   should prepare for that event

2) To see what our responsibilities are toward those who are over us in
   the Lord, and what responsibilities we have to one another

3) To appreciate what the will of God is for us as it relates to joy,
   thanksgiving, and prayer


Continuing his apostolic instructions, Paul knows he does not need to
write to the Thessalonians concerning the timing of the Lord's coming,
for they know full well that He will come as a thief in the night and 
with sudden destruction catch many people unexpectedly (1-3).  Such 
should not be the case for Christians, however, for they are "sons of 
light" and "sons of the day"; therefore they should watch and be sober,
putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and having as a helmet 
the hope of their salvation (4-8).  Knowing that God has appointed them
to obtain salvation through Jesus Christ, they know that whether dead
or alive they will live with Christ.  Through such hope they should
therefore comfort and edify one another, just as they were doing

A series of exhortations follows.  First, to recognize and esteem those
who labor among them and are over them in the Lord, and to be at peace 
among themselves (12-13).  Then, exhortations related to our concern 
for one another, along with a call to rejoice always,  to pray without 
ceasing, to give thanks in everything, to quench not the Spirit nor 
despise prophecies, yet testing all things, holding fast to what is 
good and abstaining from all that is evil (14-22).

Paul concludes his epistle with a prayer for their sanctification as it
relates to the coming of Christ, a reminder of the faithfulness of God,
a plea for prayer in his behalf, and final instructions concerning 
greeting one another and having the epistle read to all the brethren.  
He signs off with a prayer for grace from the Lord Jesus in their 
behalf (23-28).



      1. Concerning times and seasons, Paul did not need to write to 
         them (1)
      2. They understood that the day of the Lord will come as a thief
         in the night (2)
      3. It will come unexpectedly upon many, and such will not escape
      4. But they are not in darkness, so that day would overtake them
         as a thief (4)

      1. We are not to be of the night or of darkness (5)
      2. Therefore we must watch and be sober, unlike those who sleep
         and get drunk (6-7)
      3. Those of the day are to be sober, and properly attired by 
         putting on... (8)
         a. The breastplate of faith and love
         b. The hope of salvation as a helmet

      1. He did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation 
         through Jesus Christ (9)
      2. Who died for us, that whether dead or alive, we should live
         together with Him (10)
      3. Therefore we need to comfort and edify one another (11)


      1. To recognize those...
         a. Who labor among us (12c)
         b. Who are over us in the Lord (12b)
         c. Who admonish us (12c)
      2. To esteem them highly in love for their work's sake (13a)
      3. To be at peace among ourselves (13b)

      1. Exhorted to...
         a. Warn those who are unruly (14a)
         b. Comfort the fainthearted (14b)
         c. Uphold the weak (14c)
         d. Be patient with all (14d)
      2. To render not evil for evil to anyone (15a)
      3. To always pursue what is good for yourselves and for all (15c)

      1. Rejoicing always (16)
      2. Praying without ceasing (17)
      3. Giving thanks in everything (18a)
      -- Which is God's will for us in Christ Jesus (18b)

      1. They were not to quench the Spirit, nor despise prophesies
      2. Yet they were to test all things; holding fast to that which
         is good, and abstaining from all forms of evil (21-22)


   A. A PRAYER FOR THEM (23-24)
      1. That the God of peace sanctify them completely (23a)
      2. That their whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless
         at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (23b)
      3. Reminding them that the One who calls them is faithful, who 
         will also do it (24)


   C. FINAL CHARGES (26-27)
      1. To greet all the brethren with a holy kiss (26)
      2. That this epistle be read to all the brethren (27)



1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Walk in light (1-11)
   - Walk in obedience (12-22)
   - Concluding remarks (23-28)

2) Concerning what did Paul feel no need to write to the Thessalonians?
   - Times and seasons related to the coming of the Lord

3) What did they already know? (2)
   - That the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night

4) What will people being saying when the Lord comes? (3)
   - "Peace and safety!"

5) What will come upon them when the Lord comes?  Will they escape? (3)
   - Sudden destruction
   - No

6) Why will the Day of the Lord not overtake Christians as a thief?
   - They are not in darkness
   - They are sons of light and sons of the day

7) What is our responsibility as "sons of light" and "sons of the day"?
   - To watch and be sober

8) What are we to put on? (8)
   - The breastplate of faith and love
   - The hope of salvation as a helmet

9) To what has God appointed us? (9)
   - To obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ

10) Why did Jesus die for us? (10)
   - That whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him

11) What is our responsibility to one another in view of such things?
   - To comfort each other and edify one another

12) What is our responsibility to those who labor among us and are over
    us in the Lord? (12-13)
   - To recognize them
   - To esteem them highly in love for their work's sake
   - To be at peace among ourselves

13) What six charges did Paul give concerning those around us? (14-15)
   - Warn those who are unruly
   - Comfort the fainthearted
   - Uphold the weak
   - Be patient with all
   - See no one renders evil for evil to anyone
   - Always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all

14) What three things does Paul say is the will of God for us in Christ
    Jesus? (16-18)
   - Rejoice always
   - Pray without ceasing
   - In everything give thanks

15) What five admonitions does Paul give related to the Spirit and
    prophecies? (19-22)
   - Do not quench the Spirit
   - Do not despise prophecies
   - Test all things
   - Hold fast what is good
   - Abstain from every form of evil

16) For what two things does Paul pray in behalf of the Thessalonians?
   - May the God of peace Himself sanctify them completely
   - May their whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at
     the coming of the Lord

17) What assurance is there that God will do this? (24)
   - The God who calls them is faithful (dependable, trustworthy)

18) What two final admonitions does Paul give the Thessalonians?
   - Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss
   - To have this epistle read to all the brethren

19) What is Paul's final benediction? (28)
   - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.


God is "yes", even when we are "no"

Have a stubborn child? Then this probably looks familiar to you; it does to me.  But, that was long ago, thousands of miles away and almost forgotten.  But, kids grow up, things change; now its their turn to guide those under THEIR charge to grow up properly.  When I first saw this, I said to myself... boy, I am glad God is like this.. . Paul puts it like this...

2 Corinthians, Chapter 1
 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, by me, Silvanus, and Timothy, was not “Yes and no,” but in him is “Yes.” 20 For however many are the promises of God, in him is the “Yes.” Therefore also through him is the “Amen,” to the glory of God through us.

God could have wiped out all human life in the flood.  He could have destroyed the world along with Sodom and Gomorrah or when Israel strayed into idolatry.  God has been patient with human beings since they first appeared on the Earth and hopefully will continue to be until Jesus returns.  For our part, we need to be receptive to his word; willing to become obedient to every desire for us. I freely admit that sometimes I can be a bit TOO stubborn and hope that God will be understanding towards me when my time to "meet my maker" has arrived.  Today, my wish for you is that God will be merciful to you as well!!!

Aug. 30 Psalm 20-22

Aug. 30
Psalm 20-22

Psa 20:1 May Yahweh answer you in the day of trouble. May the name of the God of Jacob set you up on high,
Psa 20:2 send you help from the sanctuary, grant you support from Zion,
Psa 20:3 remember all your offerings, and accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah.
Psa 20:4 May He grant you your heart's desire, and fulfill all your counsel.
Psa 20:5 We will triumph in your salvation. In the name of our God, we will set up our banners. May Yahweh grant all your requests.
Psa 20:6 Now I know that Yahweh saves his anointed. He will answer him from his holy heaven, with the saving strength of his right hand.
Psa 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust the name of Yahweh our God.
Psa 20:8 They are bowed down and fallen, but we rise up, and stand upright.
Psa 20:9 Save, Yahweh! Let the King answer us when we call!
Psa 21:1 The king rejoices in your strength, Yahweh! How greatly he rejoices in your salvation!
Psa 21:2 You have given him his heart's desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah.
Psa 21:3 For you meet him with the blessings of goodness. You set a crown of fine gold on his head.
Psa 21:4 He asked life of you, you gave it to him, even length of days forever and ever.
Psa 21:5 His glory is great in your salvation. You lay honor and majesty on him.
Psa 21:6 For you make him most blessed forever. You make him glad with joy in your presence.
Psa 21:7 For the king trusts in Yahweh. Through the loving kindness of the Most High, he shall not be moved.
Psa 21:8 Your hand will find out all of your enemies. Your right hand will find out those who hate you.
Psa 21:9 You will make them as a fiery furnace in the time of your anger. Yahweh will swallow them up in his wrath. The fire shall devour them.
Psa 21:10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth, their posterity from among the children of men.
Psa 21:11 For they intended evil against you. They plotted evil against you which cannot succeed.
Psa 21:12 For you will make them turn their back, when you aim drawn bows at their face.
Psa 21:13 Be exalted, Yahweh, in your strength, so we will sing and praise your power.
Psa 22:1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?
Psa 22:2 My God, I cry in the daytime, but you don't answer; in the night season, and am not silent.
Psa 22:3 But you are holy, you who inhabit the praises of Israel.
Psa 22:4 Our fathers trusted in you. They trusted, and you delivered them.
Psa 22:5 They cried to you, and were delivered. They trusted in you, and were not disappointed.
Psa 22:6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people.
Psa 22:7 All those who see me mock me. They insult me with their lips. They shake their heads, saying,
Psa 22:8 "He trusts in Yahweh; let him deliver him. Let him rescue him, since he delights in him."
Psa 22:9 But you brought me out of the womb. You made me trust at my mother's breasts.
Psa 22:10 I was thrown on you from my mother's womb. You are my God since my mother bore me.
Psa 22:11 Don't be far from me, for trouble is near. For there is none to help.
Psa 22:12 Many bulls have surrounded me. Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.
Psa 22:13 They open their mouths wide against me, lions tearing prey and roaring.
Psa 22:14 I am poured out like water. All my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; it is melted within me.
Psa 22:15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You have brought me into the dust of death.
Psa 22:16 For dogs have surrounded me. A company of evildoers have enclosed me. They have pierced my hands and feet.
Psa 22:17 I can count all of my bones. They look and stare at me.
Psa 22:18 They divide my garments among them. They cast lots for my clothing.
Psa 22:19 But don't be far off, Yahweh. You are my help: hurry to help me.
Psa 22:20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog.
Psa 22:21 Save me from the lion's mouth! Yes, from the horns of the wild oxen, you have answered me.
Psa 22:22 I will declare your name to my brothers. In the midst of the assembly, I will praise you.
Psa 22:23 You who fear Yahweh, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify him! Stand in awe of him, all you descendants of Israel!
Psa 22:24 For he has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, Neither has he hidden his face from him; but when he cried to him, he heard.
Psa 22:25 Of you comes my praise in the great assembly. I will pay my vows before those who fear him.
Psa 22:26 The humble shall eat and be satisfied. They shall praise Yahweh who seek after him. Let your hearts live forever.
Psa 22:27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to Yahweh. All the relatives of the nations shall worship before you.
Psa 22:28 For the kingdom is Yahweh's. He is the ruler over the nations.
Psa 22:29 All the rich ones of the earth shall eat and worship. All those who go down to the dust shall bow before him, even he who can't keep his soul alive.
Psa 22:30 Posterity shall serve him. Future generations shall be told about the Lord.
Psa 22:31 They shall come and shall declare his righteousness to a people that shall be born, for he has done it.

Aug. 30 Romans 11

Aug. 30
Romans 11

Rom 11:1 I ask then, did God reject his people? May it never be! For I also am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
Rom 11:2 God didn't reject his people, which he foreknew. Or don't you know what the Scripture says about Elijah? How he pleads with God against Israel:
Rom 11:3 "Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have broken down your altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life."
Rom 11:4 But how does God answer him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal."
Rom 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
Rom 11:7 What then? That which Israel seeks for, that he didn't obtain, but the chosen ones obtained it, and the rest were hardened.
Rom 11:8 According as it is written, "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, to this very day."
Rom 11:9 David says, "Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, a stumbling block, and a retribution to them.
Rom 11:10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see. Bow down their back always."
Rom 11:11 I ask then, did they stumble that they might fall? May it never be! But by their fall salvation has come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy.
Rom 11:12 Now if their fall is the riches of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?
Rom 11:13 For I speak to you who are Gentiles. Since then as I am an apostle to Gentiles, I glorify my ministry;
Rom 11:14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh, and may save some of them.
Rom 11:15 For if the rejection of them is the reconciling of the world, what would their acceptance be, but life from the dead?
Rom 11:16 If the first fruit is holy, so is the lump. If the root is holy, so are the branches.
Rom 11:17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them, and became partaker with them of the root and of the richness of the olive tree;
Rom 11:18 don't boast over the branches. But if you boast, it is not you who support the root, but the root supports you.
Rom 11:19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in."
Rom 11:20 True; by their unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by your faith. Don't be conceited, but fear;
Rom 11:21 for if God didn't spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
Rom 11:22 See then the goodness and severity of God. Toward those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in his goodness; otherwise you also will be cut off.
Rom 11:23 They also, if they don't continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
Rom 11:24 For if you were cut out of that which is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more will these, which are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
Rom 11:25 For I don't desire you to be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery, so that you won't be wise in your own conceits, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in,
Rom 11:26 and so all Israel will be saved. Even as it is written, "There will come out of Zion the Deliverer, and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
Rom 11:27 This is my covenant to them, when I will take away their sins."
Rom 11:28 Concerning the Good News, they are enemies for your sake. But concerning the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sake.
Rom 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Rom 11:30 For as you in time past were disobedient to God, but now have obtained mercy by their disobedience,
Rom 11:31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that by the mercy shown to you they may also obtain mercy.
Rom 11:32 For God has shut up all to disobedience, that he might have mercy on all.
Rom 11:33 Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out!
Rom 11:34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?"
Rom 11:35 "Or who has first given to him, and it will be repaid to him again?"
Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever! Amen.



                              Chapter Four


1) To understand how the Christian should increase more and more in 
   such matters as obedience, holiness, love, and diligence

2) To appreciate the precious hope and comfort we have for those who 
   have died in Christ


With this chapter Paul begins a series of apostolic instructions
related to the Christian's walk in holiness, especially in view of the
coming of Christ.  Urging them to abound more and more so that they 
might please God, he first focuses on their sanctification and the need
to abstain from sexual immorality (1-8).  He then urges them to 
increase more and more in brotherly love, even though they had been 
taught by God to love another and did so toward all the brethren 
throughout Macedonia (9-10).  That they might walk properly toward 
outsiders, he urges them to lead quiet lives, mind their own business, 
and to work with their own hands (11-12).

Paul then addresses the matter of those who have fallen asleep in 
Jesus.  He did not want the Thessalonians to sorrow over them as others
who have no hope.  For just as God raised Jesus from the dead, even so
He would bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus (13-14).  This leads
to a description of the Lord's coming, especially as it relates to how
those who are alive and remain until His coming will in no way precede 
those who have died.  Indeed, when the Lord comes from heaven, the dead
in Christ will rise first, and we who are alive and remain will at that
time be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air, to be
with Him forever.  Christians should therefore comfort one another with
these words (15-18).



   A. TO PLEASE GOD (1-2)
      1. An exhortation in the Lord Jesus to abound more and more (1)
      2. According to the commandments Paul gave them through the Lord
         Jesus (2)

      1. For this is the will of God, their sanctification (3)
      2. That each one know how to posses his own vessel (4-5)
         a. In sanctification and honor (4)
         b. Not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know
            God (5)
      3. That no one take advantage of and defraud his brother in this
         matter (6)
         a. Because the Lord is the avenger of such things (6a)
         b. As Paul forewarned and testified (6b)  
      4. For God called us in holiness, not to uncleanness (7)
      5. To reject this is to reject God, who has also given us His 
         Holy Spirit (8)


      1. Concerning brotherly love, Paul really did not need to write
         anything (9a)
      2. For they were taught by God to love one another (9b)

      1. Indeed, their love was manifest toward all the brethren 
         throughout Macedonia (10a)
      2. Yet Paul urges them to increase in their love even more (10b)


      1. They should aspire to lead quiet lives, to mind their own 
         business (11a)
      2. Working with their own hands, as Paul commanded them (11b)

      1. Conducting themselves properly toward those outside (12a)
      2. So that they may lack nothing (12b)

IV. WALK IN HOPE (13-18)

      1. Paul does not want them to be ignorant (13)
         a. Concerning those who have fallen asleep (13a)
         b. Lest they sorrow as others who have no hope (13b)
      2. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God
         will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus (14)

      1. Those who are alive when Christ comes will not precede those
         who are asleep (15)
         a. The Lord Himself will descend from heaven (16)
            1) With a shout
            2) With the voice of an archangel
            3) With the trumpet of God
         b. And the dead in Christ will rise first (16b)
      2. Then we who are alive and remain... (17)
         a. Shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet
            the Lord (17a)
         b. And thus we shall always be with the Lord (17b)
      3. Therefore comfort one another with these words (18)


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Walk in holiness (1-8)
   - Walk in love (9-10)
   - Walk in diligence (11-12)
   - Walk in hope (13-18)

2) What did Paul urge and exhort them in the Lord Jesus to do? (1)
   - To abound more and more

3) What is the will of God regarding our sanctification? (3)
   - To abstain from sexual immorality

4) What should each person do regarding "his own vessel"? (4-5)
   - Possess it in sanctification and honor
   - Not in passion of lust, like Gentiles who do not know God

5) Why should we be careful not to defraud our brother in this matter?
   - Because the Lord is the avenger of all such things
   - For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness

6) If we reject Paul's warning, who is it we are really rejecting? (8)
   - God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit

7) Why did Paul not need to write to the Thessalonians about brotherly
   love?  Yet what does he urge them? (9-10)
   - Because they were taught by God to love one another
   - Because they showed love toward all the brethren throughout
   - To increase more and more

8) What three things does Paul encourage them to do in order to walk
   properly toward outsiders and be lacking in nothing? (11-12)
   - Aspire to lead quite lives
   - Mind their own business
   - Work with their own hands   

9) Why did Paul not want them to be ignorant concerning those who have
   fallen asleep? (13)
   - Lest they sorrow as those who have no hope

10) Who will God bring with Jesus? (14)
   - Those who sleep in Jesus

11) What is said of those who are alive and remain until the coming of
    the Lord? (15)
   - They will by no means precede those who are asleep

12) List the order of events that will occur when Jesus comes again 
   - The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the
     voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God
   - The dead in Christ will rise first
   - We who are alive shall be caught up together with them in the
     clouds to meet the Lord in the air
   - Thus we shall always be with the Lord

13) In view of these coming events, what we should we do? (18)
   - Comfort one another with these words


Being wrong when you are right

Interesting answers; all wrong answers of course.  Yet, technically, each wrong answer was correct; at least from the student's perspective.  This demonstrates that you can be right (in your own mind, at least) when you, in fact, ARE WRONG!!!  Here is an example of something similar from the book of John...

John, Chapter 9
 1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

  3 Jesus answered, "“Neither did this man sin, nor his parents; but, that the works of God might be revealed in him. 

If you remember yesterday's post, you will immediately recognize this passage.  Unlike yesterday, this passage concerns itself with the assumption underlying their conclusion and not with their perception of Jesus as God.  The Pharisees knew the law, but their added rules (their hedges around the law) did not include the possibility that good could come from what they considered punishment for wrongdoing.  Somethings happen for reasons that are not readily apparent and only an arrogant person who always believe they have the only answers.  Yet, God has a plan for each one of us; something that only HE knows.  Eventually, we will find out, either in this life or the next, but we WILL find out!  In the meantime, we will find solace in the following verses from the book of Romans:

Romans, Chapter 8 
28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.  29 For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 Whom he predestined, those he also called. Whom he called, those he also justified. Whom he justified, those he also glorified.

  31 What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

 So, it in a way it really doesn't matter if something bad comes our way because God will ultimately use it for his purposes. The only thing left to say is that I hope someone will talk to the person who took the test because they have one really big attitude problem!!!