Modern LOVE...

Our society has become computer-happy!!! Even the very young among us have computer skills!!!  While this picture is probably NOT REALITY, yet it is also not far from the mark.  I know many people over the age of 65 who know NOTHING AT ALL ABOUT COMPUTERS AND HOW THEY WORK, so, although unlikely, this COULD HAPPEN!!!  But, are computer skills NECESSARY to please God?  And for that matter, what is really necessary?  Jesus was asked by the Scribes, this same question (although in a slightly different form) and here is HIS response...

Mark, Chapter 12
  28 One of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together. Knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the greatest of all?”

  29 Jesus answered, 
"“The greatest is, ‘Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one:  30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.  31 The second is like this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”"

Imagine the impact of this statement!  To summarize all the law that was given to the Jews into just two of them.  For me, I can envision summarizing all of Christian responsibility into just one: LOVE God and do what you like!!!!  How can I say this?  Because if you really LOVE God, you will want to please him and be like him in EVERY way.  This includes loving everyone as God does!!!  Notice, I didn't say like everyone:hate the sin, but love the sinner.  Do right by everyone as God does and if they return it, fine, if not, then YOU have done the correct thing by your actions and are guiltless.  One last thing... remember the picture...?  Although this youngster may be frustrated with Grandma, he still cares enough to help!!! Nuff said!!!!

Aug. 26 Psalms 1-6

Aug. 26
Psalms 1-6

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man who doesn't walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers;
Psa 1:2 but his delight is in Yahweh's law. On his law he meditates day and night.
Psa 1:3 He will be like a tree planted by the streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also does not wither. Whatever he does shall prosper.
Psa 1:4 The wicked are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Psa 1:5 Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
Psa 1:6 For Yahweh knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish.
Psa 2:1 Why do the nations rage, and the peoples plot a vain thing?
Psa 2:2 The kings of the earth take a stand, and the rulers take counsel together, against Yahweh, and against his Anointed, saying,
Psa 2:3 "Let's break their bonds apart, and cast their cords from us."
Psa 2:4 He who sits in the heavens will laugh. The Lord will have them in derision.
Psa 2:5 Then he will speak to them in his anger, and terrify them in his wrath:
Psa 2:6 "Yet I have set my King on my holy hill of Zion."
Psa 2:7 I will tell of the decree. Yahweh said to me, "You are my son. Today I have become your father.
Psa 2:8 Ask of me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance, the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.
Psa 2:9 You shall break them with a rod of iron. You shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."
Psa 2:10 Now therefore be wise, you kings. Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
Psa 2:11 Serve Yahweh with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Psa 2:12 Give sincere homage, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath will soon be kindled. Blessed are all those who take refuge in him.
Psa 3:1 Yahweh, how my adversaries have increased! Many are those who rise up against me.
Psa 3:2 Many there are who say of my soul, "There is no help for him in God." Selah.
Psa 3:3 But you, Yahweh, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.
Psa 3:4 I cry to Yahweh with my voice, and he answers me out of his holy hill. Selah.
Psa 3:5 I laid myself down and slept. I awakened; for Yahweh sustains me.
Psa 3:6 I will not be afraid of tens of thousands of people who have set themselves against me on every side.
Psa 3:7 Arise, Yahweh! Save me, my God! For you have struck all of my enemies on the cheek bone. You have broken the teeth of the wicked.
Psa 3:8 Salvation belongs to Yahweh. Your blessing be on your people. Selah.
Psa 4:1 Answer me when I call, God of my righteousness. Give me relief from my distress. Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
Psa 4:2 You sons of men, how long shall my glory be turned into dishonor? Will you love vanity, and seek after falsehood? Selah.
Psa 4:3 But know that Yahweh has set apart for himself him who is godly: Yahweh will hear when I call to him.
Psa 4:4 Stand in awe, and don't sin. Search your own heart on your bed, and be still. Selah.
Psa 4:5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness. Put your trust in Yahweh.
Psa 4:6 Many say, "Who will show us any good?" Yahweh, let the light of your face shine on us.
Psa 4:7 You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and their new wine are increased.
Psa 4:8 In peace I will both lay myself down and sleep, for you, Yahweh alone, make me live in safety.
Psa 5:1 Give ear to my words, Yahweh. Consider my meditation.
Psa 5:2 Listen to the voice of my cry, my King and my God; for to you do I pray.
Psa 5:3 Yahweh, in the morning you shall hear my voice. In the morning I will lay my requests before you, and will watch expectantly.
Psa 5:4 For you are not a God who has pleasure in wickedness. Evil can't live with you.
Psa 5:5 The arrogant shall not stand in your sight. You hate all workers of iniquity.
Psa 5:6 You will destroy those who speak lies. Yahweh abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
Psa 5:7 But as for me, in the abundance of your loving kindness I will come into your house. I will bow toward your holy temple in reverence of you.
Psa 5:8 Lead me, Yahweh, in your righteousness because of my enemies. Make your way straight before my face.
Psa 5:9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth. Their heart is destruction. Their throat is an open tomb. They flatter with their tongue.
Psa 5:10 Hold them guilty, God. Let them fall by their own counsels; Thrust them out in the multitude of their transgressions, for they have rebelled against you.
Psa 5:11 But let all those who take refuge in you rejoice, Let them always shout for joy, because you defend them. Let them also who love your name be joyful in you.
Psa 5:12 For you will bless the righteous. Yahweh, you will surround him with favor as with a shield.
Psa 6:1 Yahweh, don't rebuke me in your anger, neither discipline me in your wrath.
Psa 6:2 Have mercy on me, Yahweh, for I am faint. Yahweh, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
Psa 6:3 My soul is also in great anguish. But you, Yahweh--how long?
Psa 6:4 Return, Yahweh. Deliver my soul, and save me for your loving kindness' sake.
Psa 6:5 For in death there is no memory of you. In Sheol, who shall give you thanks?
Psa 6:6 I am weary with my groaning. Every night I flood my bed. I drench my couch with my tears.
Psa 6:7 My eye wastes away because of grief. It grows old because of all my adversaries.
Psa 6:8 Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity, for Yahweh has heard the voice of my weeping.
Psa 6:9 Yahweh has heard my supplication. Yahweh accepts my prayer.
Psa 6:10 May all my enemies be ashamed and dismayed. They shall turn back, they shall be disgraced suddenly.

Aug. 26 Romans 7

Aug. 26
Romans 7

Rom 7:1 Or don't you know, brothers (for I speak to men who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man for as long as he lives?
Rom 7:2 For the woman that has a husband is bound by law to the husband while he lives, but if the husband dies, she is discharged from the law of the husband.
Rom 7:3 So then if, while the husband lives, she is joined to another man, she would be called an adulteress. But if the husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she is joined to another man.
Rom 7:4 Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit to God.
Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death.
Rom 7:6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.
Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn't have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn't have known coveting, unless the law had said, "You shall not covet."
Rom 7:8 But sin, finding occasion through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of coveting. For apart from the law, sin is dead.
Rom 7:9 I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
Rom 7:10 The commandment, which was for life, this I found to be for death;
Rom 7:11 for sin, finding occasion through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me.
Rom 7:12 Therefore the law indeed is holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good.
Rom 7:13 Did then that which is good become death to me? May it never be! But sin, that it might be shown to be sin, by working death to me through that which is good; that through the commandment sin might become exceeding sinful.
Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold under sin.
Rom 7:15 For I don't know what I am doing. For I don't practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do.
Rom 7:16 But if what I don't desire, that I do, I consent to the law that it is good.
Rom 7:17 So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I don't find it doing that which is good.
Rom 7:19 For the good which I desire, I don't do; but the evil which I don't desire, that I practice.
Rom 7:20 But if what I don't desire, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then the law, that, to me, while I desire to do good, evil is present.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in God's law after the inward man,
Rom 7:23 but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 What a wretched man I am! Who will deliver me out of the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! So then with the mind, I myself serve God's law, but with the flesh, the sin's law.




AUTHOR:  The apostle Paul, joined in his salutation by Silvanus and
Timothy (1:1), and with specific mention of his name again later in the
epistle (2:18).  Early sources in church history that attribute this
letter to Paul include:  Clement of Alexandria (200 A.D.), Tertullian
(200 A.D.), and Irenaeus (200 A.D.).

THE CITY OF THESSALONICA:  It was the capital and largest city of the
Roman province of Macedonia.  Located on the Egnatian Way, a major road
from Rome to the eastern provinces, the city served as center of trade 
and commerce.  Today, it is known as Thessaloniki, or Salonica.

THE CHURCH AT THESSALONICA:  The establishment of the church is
recorded in Ac 17:1-9.  On his second missionary journey, Paul and his
companions (Silas and Timothy) had just left Philippi and passed 
through Amphipolis and Apollonia to arrive at Thessalonica.  As was his
custom, Paul immediately located the synagogue and reasoned with the 
Jews for three Sabbaths concerning Jesus Christ.  While some of them 
were persuaded, including a great number of devout Greeks and leading 
women, the unbelieving Jews became jealous and created an uproar in the
city.  Therefore it became necessary to send Paul and Silas away
secretly by night to Berea.

Despite such ominous beginnings, a strong church was established in
Thessalonica (cf. 1:2-10).  Mostly Gentile (cf. 1:9), its members 
included Jason (Ac 17:9), Aristarchus, and Secundus (Ac 20:4).

TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING:  First Thessalonians is considered one of
Paul's earliest epistles, if not the first.  From the letter itself
(3:1-6), and the record of Paul's travels in Acts (Ac 17:10-18:11), it
appears that Paul wrote this letter soon after arriving in Corinth on 
his second journey.  This would put it somewhere around 52 A.D.

PURPOSE OF THE EPISTLE:  The abrupt departure from Thessalonica so soon
after the beginning of the church naturally left Paul anxious about the
condition of the brethren.  When Timothy joined Paul at Athens (cf. Ac
17:14-16), his concern prompted Paul to send Timothy at once back to
Thessalonica to encourage and ground the new disciples in the faith,
and to learn how they were enduring persecution (cf. 3:1-5).

When Timothy returned to Paul in Corinth (cf. Ac 18:5), the news was 
mostly encouraging (cf. 3:6-7).  Despite persecution they had remained
strong (2:13-16), and even proved themselves to be an example to others
(1:6-8).  Yet, as with any young church, they needed further 
instruction concerning holy living (cf. 4:1-12).  They also needed to
be reassured that their loved ones who died in Christ would not miss 
out on the blessings involving the coming of our Lord (cf. 4:13-18).  
Therefore we can summarize by saying that Paul's purpose in writing 

   * To praise them for their steadfastness under persecution

   * To instruct them concerning holy living

   * To correct any misunderstanding, especially about the second
     coming of Christ

THEME OF THE EPISTLE:  This book is unique in that every chapter ends
with a reference to the second coming of Christ (1:10; 2:19; 3:13;
4:13-18; 5:23).  With his emphasis on steadfastness and holy living, an
appropriate theme might be:


KEY VERSES:  1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

   "And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one
   another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish
   your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the
   coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints."


   1. Salutation (1)
   2. Thanksgiving for their faith, hope, and love (2-4)


      1. Their reception of the gospel (1:5-7)
      2. Their reputation in every place (1:8-10)

      1. The manner of his preaching (2:1-8)
      2. The manner of his life (2:9-12)

      1. For their faithfulness (2:13-3:10)
      2. For their continued growth (3:11-13)


   A. WALK IN HOLINESS (4:1-8)
      1. To please God (4:1-2)
      2. To abstain from sexual immorality (4:3-8)

   B. WALK IN LOVE (4:9-10)
      1. As they are taught by God to love one another (4:9)
      2. To increase more and more (4:10)

   C. WALK IN DILIGENCE (4:11-12)
      1. To work with their hands (4:11)
      2. To walk properly toward those who are outside (4:12)

   D. WALK IN HOPE (4:13-18)
      1. With no sorrow concerning those who have died (4:13-14)
      2. For we will be rejoined with them when Christ returns (4:

   E. WALK IN LIGHT (5:1-11)
      1. For the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night (5:
      2. For we are sons of light and sons of the day (5:5-8)
      3. For God has appointed us to salvation through our Lord Jesus
         Christ (5:9-11)

   F. WALK IN OBEDIENCE (5:12-22)
      1. With respect toward those over us (5:12-13)
      2. With concern for one another (5:14-15)
      3. With joy, prayer and thanksgiving (5:16-18)
      4. Don't quench the Spirit or despise prophecies, but don't be
         gullible either (5:19-22)

   1. A prayer for their sanctification and preservation (5:23-24)
   2. A request for prayer in his behalf (5:25)
   3. A charge to greet one another with a holy kiss, and to read the
      epistle to others (5:26-27)
   4. A benediction of grace from the Lord Jesus Christ (5:28)


1) On which missionary journey was the church at Thessalonica
   - Paul's second missionary journey

2) Where can we read about the establishment of the church at
   - Ac 17:1-9

3) How long did Paul preach in the Jewish synagogue before trouble
   arose? (Ac 17:2)
   - Three Sabbaths

4) Where did Paul go after leaving Thessalonica? (Ac 17:10)
   - Berea

5) Why did Paul have to leave so soon again and go on to Athens? (Ac 
   - The Jews from Thessalonica followed him there and stirred up more

6) While at Athens, whom did Paul send back to Thessalonica? (1Th 3:
   - Timothy

7) When Paul left Athens, where did he go?  Who arrived later? (Ac 18:
   - Corinth
   - Silas and Timothy

8) From where and when did Paul write 1st Thessalonians?
   - From Corinth, sometime around 52 A.D.

9) Why did Paul write this letter (see Purpose Of The Epistle)?
   - To praise them for their steadfastness under persecution
   - To correct any misunderstanding, especially about the second 
     coming of Christ

10) What has been suggested as the theme of this epistle?
   - Holiness in view of the coming of Christ

11) What are the key verses of this epistle?
   - 1Th 3:12-13

12) According to the outline above, what are the two main sections of
    this epistle?
   - Personal reflections
   - Apostolic instructions