You CAN DO IT!!!

When I placed this picture, I deliberately sized it to it original size because I thought it would make more of an impact.  I succeeded!!!  At least I think I did!!!  I wanted to do this to emphasize the monumental size of the mountain.  To me, this awesome peak represents life; specifically, the Christian one.  We all start at the base with whatever spirituality God has blessed us with and start on our journey to the highest pinnacle we can reach in this life.  But, how do we get there?  The following passage from the book of 2nd Peter will show us the way...

WEB: II Peter Chapter 1

[1] Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: [2] Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, [3] seeing that his divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue; [4] by which he has granted to us his precious and exceedingly great promises; that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust. [5] Yes, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence; and in moral excellence, knowledge; [6] and in knowledge, self-control; and in self-control patience; and in patience godliness; [7] and in godliness brotherly affection; and in brotherly affection, love. [8] For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. [9] For he who lacks these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins. [10] Therefore, brothers, be more diligent to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never stumble. [11] For thus you will be richly supplied with the entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Christian life is a wonderful one, with fellow Christians who actually care about you; who want the best for you!!!  Find that outside of Christ... you just can't!   We love each other, care for each other and help each other!!!  Christianity brings people together who otherwise would never, ever mingle.  Its that diversity of culture and the love of God that makes the difference.  And WE CHANGE.  How?  By adding the highlighted characteristics that Peter mentions in this verse; that's how!!!  As we climb our own mountain of spirituality, we add more and more of Peter's list to our everyday life.  Just keep doing these things; never stop, never!!!  Keep looking up to God for help and encourage our brethren to do the same!!!  What a wonderful journey.... and the view... heavenly!!!!

OT Bible Reading 2/20/12

Feb. 20
Exodus 1

Exo 1:1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt (every man and his household came with Jacob):
Exo 1:2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,
Exo 1:3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
Exo 1:4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
Exo 1:5 All the souls who came out of Jacob's body were seventy souls, and Joseph was in Egypt already.
Exo 1:6 Joseph died, as did all his brothers, and all that generation.
Exo 1:7 The children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.
Exo 1:8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who didn't know Joseph.
Exo 1:9 He said to his people, "Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we.
Exo 1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it happen that when any war breaks out, they also join themselves to our enemies, and fight against us, and escape out of the land."
Exo 1:11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. They built storage cities for Pharaoh: Pithom and Raamses.
Exo 1:12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out. They were grieved because of the children of Israel.
Exo 1:13 The Egyptians ruthlessly made the children of Israel serve,
Exo 1:14 and they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field, all their service, in which they ruthlessly made them serve.
Exo 1:15 The king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah,
Exo 1:16 and he said, "When you perform the duty of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birth stool; if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live."
Exo 1:17 But the midwives feared God, and didn't do what the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the baby boys alive.
Exo 1:18 The king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said to them, "Why have you done this thing, and have saved the boys alive?"
Exo 1:19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women aren't like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous, and give birth before the midwife comes to them."
Exo 1:20 God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied, and grew very mighty.
Exo 1:21 It happened, because the midwives feared God, that he gave them families.
Exo 1:22 Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, "You shall cast every son who is born into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive."

NT Bible Reading 2/20/12 & 2/21/12

Feb. 20, 21
Matthew 26

Mat 26:1 It happened, when Jesus had finished all these words, that he said to his disciples,
Mat 26:2 "You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified."
Mat 26:3 Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas.
Mat 26:4 They took counsel together that they might take Jesus by deceit, and kill him.
Mat 26:5 But they said, "Not during the feast, lest a riot occur among the people."
Mat 26:6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
Mat 26:7 a woman came to him having an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table.
Mat 26:8 But when his disciples saw this, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste?
Mat 26:9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor."
Mat 26:10 However, knowing this, Jesus said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? Because she has done a good work for me.
Mat 26:11 For you always have the poor with you; but you don't always have me.
Mat 26:12 For in pouring this ointment on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.
Mat 26:13 Most certainly I tell you, wherever this Good News is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of as a memorial of her."
Mat 26:14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests,
Mat 26:15 and said, "What are you willing to give me, that I should deliver him to you?" They weighed out for him thirty pieces of silver.
Mat 26:16 From that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
Mat 26:17 Now on the first day of unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus, saying to him, "Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?"
Mat 26:18 He said, "Go into the city to a certain person, and tell him, 'The Teacher says, "My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples." ' "
Mat 26:19 The disciples did as Jesus commanded them, and they prepared the Passover.
Mat 26:20 Now when evening had come, he was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples.
Mat 26:21 As they were eating, he said, "Most certainly I tell you that one of you will betray me."
Mat 26:22 They were exceedingly sorrowful, and each began to ask him, "It isn't me, is it, Lord?"
Mat 26:23 He answered, "He who dipped his hand with me in the dish, the same will betray me.
Mat 26:24 The Son of Man goes, even as it is written of him, but woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born."
Mat 26:25 Judas, who betrayed him, answered, "It isn't me, is it, Rabbi?" He said to him, "You said it."
Mat 26:26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks for it, and broke it. He gave to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body."
Mat 26:27 He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, "All of you drink it,
Mat 26:28 for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.
Mat 26:29 But I tell you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's Kingdom."
Mat 26:30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Mat 26:31 Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of me tonight, for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'
Mat 26:32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee."
Mat 26:33 But Peter answered him, "Even if all will be made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble."
Mat 26:34 Jesus said to him, "Most certainly I tell you that tonight, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times."
Mat 26:35 Peter said to him, "Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you." All of the disciples also said likewise.
Mat 26:36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go there and pray."
Mat 26:37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and severely troubled.
Mat 26:38 Then he said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch with me."
Mat 26:39 He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire."
Mat 26:40 He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What, couldn't you watch with me for one hour?
Mat 26:41 Watch and pray, that you don't enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Mat 26:42 Again, a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this cup can't pass away from me unless I drink it, your desire be done."
Mat 26:43 He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.
Mat 26:44 He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time, saying the same words.
Mat 26:45 Then he came to his disciples, and said to them, "Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Mat 26:46 Arise, let's be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand."
Mat 26:47 While he was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priest and elders of the people.
Mat 26:48 Now he who betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, "Whoever I kiss, he is the one. Seize him."
Mat 26:49 Immediately he came to Jesus, and said, "Hail, Rabbi!" and kissed him.
Mat 26:50 Jesus said to him, "Friend, why are you here?" Then they came and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
Mat 26:51 Behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear.
Mat 26:52 Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword.
Mat 26:53 Or do you think that I couldn't ask my Father, and he would even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?
Mat 26:54 How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must be so?"
Mat 26:55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out as against a robber with swords and clubs to seize me? I sat daily in the temple teaching, and you didn't arrest me.
Mat 26:56 But all this has happened, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples left him, and fled.
Mat 26:57 Those who had taken Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together.
Mat 26:58 But Peter followed him from a distance, to the court of the high priest, and entered in and sat with the officers, to see the end.
Mat 26:59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and the whole council sought false testimony against Jesus, that they might put him to death;
Mat 26:60 and they found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward,
Mat 26:61 and said, "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.' "
Mat 26:62 The high priest stood up, and said to him, "Have you no answer? What is this that these testify against you?"
Mat 26:63 But Jesus held his peace. The high priest answered him, "I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God."
Mat 26:64 Jesus said to him, "You have said it. Nevertheless, I tell you, after this you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of the sky."
Mat 26:65 Then the high priest tore his clothing, saying, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Behold, now you have heard his blasphemy.
Mat 26:66 What do you think?" They answered, "He is worthy of death!"
Mat 26:67 Then they spit in his face and beat him with their fists, and some slapped him,
Mat 26:68 saying, "Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who hit you?"
Mat 26:69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the court, and a maid came to him, saying, "You were also with Jesus, the Galilean!"
Mat 26:70 But he denied it before them all, saying, "I don't know what you are talking about."
Mat 26:71 When he had gone out onto the porch, someone else saw him, and said to those who were there, "This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth."
Mat 26:72 Again he denied it with an oath, "I don't know the man."
Mat 26:73 After a little while those who stood by came and said to Peter, "Surely you are also one of them, for your speech makes you known."
Mat 26:74 Then he began to curse and to swear, "I don't know the man!" Immediately the rooster crowed.
Mat 26:75 Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." He went out and wept bitterly.

"THE BOOK OF JOB" Young Elihu Speaks (32-37) by Mark Copeland


                       Young Elihu Speaks (32-37)


1) To examine Elihu's perspective in the debate regarding Job's

2) To notice how Elihu appears to prepare Job for what the Lord will
   have to say


We are now introduced to a new voice in this discussion.  Having
remained silent up to this point because of his youth, Elihu now
speaks.  Angry with Job justifying himself rather than God, and by the
inability of Job's friends to provide an answer, Elihu feels compelled
to speak (32:1-33:7).  He takes issue with Job's claim of innocence
while charging God with counting him as His enemy.  He proposes that
God often uses various means to keep man from death ("the Pit"),
including chastening with pain.  Therefore Job should be looking at
suffering as a disciplinary measure from a loving God, not as a
punitive measure from one's enemy (33:8-33).

The bulk of Elihu's speech then focuses on the justice of God, which
Elihu feels Job has maligned.  Elihu charges Job with adding to his sin
by multiplying words against God without knowledge (34:1-35:16).  He
concludes his speech with an effort to speak on God's behalf and by
ascribing righteousness to the Almighty.  This he does by reviewing
God's justice and majesty.  The former as seen in His dealings with
man, the latter as seen in His dealings in nature.  With an admonition
for Job to stand still and consider the wondrous works of God, Elihu
seems to be preparing Job for what is about to follow (36:1-37:24).



   A. FOR HE IS ANGRY (32:1-5)
      1. When Job's three friends are silent, Elihu's wrath is aroused
         a. They ceased answering Job because he still considered
            himself righteous
         b. Elihu, son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram
            (cf. Gen 22:20-21), is now ready to speak
      2. He is angry at both Job and his three friends (32:2b-5)
         a. At Job, because he justified himself rather than God
         b. At his friends, because they provided no real answer and
            yet condemned Job
         c. He had waited to speak because of his youth, but the
            silence from the three men made him angry

      1. He held off speaking earlier, because of his youth (32:6-7)
         a. The age difference had made him afraid to speak
         b. He believed that age should speak, for it should teach
      2. But aged men are not always wise (32:8-9)
         a. The breath of the Almighty (i.e., the Spirit) also gives
            man understanding
         b. Age alone does not guarantee wisdom and understanding of
      3. Therefore he will declare his own opinion (32:10-14)
         a. For he has carefully listened to their reasoning
         b. Yet they have not convinced Job or answered his words

   C. FOR HE IS COMPELLED (32:15-22)
      1. By their silence (32:15-17)
         a. They are dismayed, and words escape them
         b. He has waited because they did not speak
         c. Therefore he will have his say
      2. By the spirit within him (32:18-20)
         a. His belly is like wine ready to burst the wineskins
         b. He must speak to find relief
      3. By his desire to be impartial (32:21-22)
         a. His prayer is to show partiality to no one
         b. He does not know how to flatter, for fear that his Maker
            would take him away

      1. He speaks pure knowledge from an upright heart (33:1-3)
         a. He pleads with Job to listen to what he says
         b. His words are sincere, and his knowledge is pure
      2. He can be as Job's spokesman before God (33:4-7; cf. 13:20-22)
         a. He was created by the Spirit of God, let Job see if he can
            answer him
         b. Job does not need to fear him, for he too has been formed
            out of clay


   A. GOD IS GRACIOUS (33:8-33)
      1. Job, you are wrong in charging God as your enemy (33:8-13)
         a. Elihu has heard Job profess his innocence while counting
            God as his enemy
         b. This is not right, for God is greater than man and not
            accountable to man
      2. God uses various ways to speak to man (33:14-28)
         a. Even though man may not heed what God is saying
         b. Such as dreams or visions, to turn man back
         c. Such as chastening him with pain
         d. Such as special messengers
            1) Sent to deliver him from the Pit
            2) Sent to restore him back to God
      3. God's purpose is disciplinary, not simply punitive (33:29-33)
         a. Done to direct man away from the Pit
         b. Done to enlighten man with the light of life
         c. Therefore Job should listen to one as Elihu to teach him

   B. GOD IS JUST (34:1-35:16)
      1. Elihu proclaims God's justice (34:1-37)
         a. He calls upon Job and his friends to listen to him
         b. He rebukes Job
            1) For charging God of taking away his justice
            2) For saying that it does not profit man to delight in God
         c. He proclaims that God is righteous and just in His dealings
            with man
            1) Far be it from God to do wickedness or pervert justice
            2) In His power God shows no partiality, but repays man
               according to his works
         d. He charges Job with sinning by how he spoken against God
      2. Elihu condemns Job's reasoning (35:1-16)
         a. He reproves Job for thinking righteousness does not profit
         b. He claims that God is too great to be manipulated by man's
            little deeds
         c. He contends that God may not respond to cries for help
            because of man's pride
         d. He counsels Job to be patient and wait for God's justice,
            for Job has been speaking prematurely and foolishly

   C. GOD IS GREAT (36:1-37:24)
      1. Elihu proclaims God's goodness (36:1-23)
         a. Asking Job to bear with him as he ascribes righteousness to
         b. Claiming that God may use affliction to draw the righteous
            to Himself
         c. Job needs to take heed, for he has begun to act like the
      2. Elihu proclaims God's majesty (36:24-37:24)
         a. God's greatness is beyond comprehension, as seen in the
            rain cycle
         b. God's greatness is seen in the thunder, snow, and rain
         c. In view of such greatness, what can man teach God?


1) Why had Job's three friends stop speaking? (32:1)
   - Because Job was righteous in his own eyes

2) Who now begins to speak? (32:2)
   - Elihu, son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram

3) Why was Elihu angry with Job? (32:2)
   - Because Job justified himself rather than God

4) Why was Elihu angry with Job's three friends? (32:3)
   - Because they had provided no real solution, yet condemned Job

5) Why had Elihu held off speaking until now? (32:4)
   - Because he was much younger

6) According to the outline above, what four reasons are given for why
   Elihu now speaks?
   - He is angry (32:1-5)
   - Wisdom is not limited to the aged (32:6-14)
   - He is compelled (32:15-22)
   - He believes he can help Job (33:1-7)

7) With what statements of Job does Elihu take issue? (33:8-12)
   - "I am innocent, and there is no iniquity in me."
   - "Yet He (God) finds occasion against me, He counts me as His

8) What examples does Elihu provide of God's effort to save man from
   death? (33:14-30)
   - Dreams or visions in the night
   - Chastening with pain
   - Sending messengers

9) How then does Elihu view the reason for Job's suffering?
   - As disciplinary, from a gracious God; not punitive, as from an

10) What two statements of Job does Elihu respond to next? (34:5-9)
   - "I am righteous, but God has taken away my justice."
   - "It profits a man nothing that he should delight in God."

11) What is Elihu's response? (34:10,12)
   - "Far be it from God to do wickedness, and from the Almighty to
     commit iniquity."
   - "Surely God will never do wickedly, nor will the Almighty pervert

12) What does Elihu then go on to describe? (34:16-30)
   - The impartial justice of God

13) Of what sin does Elihu charge Job? (34:37)
   - Rebellion; multiplying his words against God

14) How does Elihu answer Job's complaint that it profits a man nothing
    to delight in God? (35:4-7)
   - God is not manipulated by man's actions

15) What reason does Elihu give for why God might not answer the cries
    of men? (35:12)
   - Because of their pride

16) Maintaining that God is just, what does Elihu counsel Job? (35:14)
   - To wait for Him

17) What does Elihu feel that Job has done? (35:16)
   - Opened his mouth in vain, multiplying words without knowledge

18) At this point, what does Elihu presume to do? (36:2-3)
   - To speak on God's behalf, and to ascribe righteousness to his

19) What does he first proclaim concerning God? (36:5-23)
   - God's goodness and justice, as shown toward the righteous and

20) What does he then proclaim concerning God? (36:24-37:24)
   - God's majesty and greatness, as seen in His dealings with nature

21) What does Elihu counsel Job to therefore do? (37:14)
   - Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God

22) What are Elihu's closing words? (37:23-24)
   - As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power,
     in judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress
   - Therefore men fear Him; He shows no partiality to any who are wise
     of heart