A message to America

Abraham Lincoln was one of our greatest presidents.  He came from humble circumstances and through hard work, achieved greatness.  He had problems (we all do) but overcame them. His work ethic and attitude toward government should be an example to all.  It immediately made me think of this passage from the book of 2nd Thessalonians.

2 Thessalonians, Chapter 3
 6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother who walks in rebellion, and not after the tradition which they received from us.  7 For you know how you ought to imitate us. For we didn’t behave ourselves rebelliously among you,  8 neither did we eat bread from anyone’s hand without paying for it, but in labor and travail worked night and day, that we might not burden any of you;  9 not because we don’t have the right, but to make ourselves an example to you, that you should imitate us.  10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: “If anyone will not work, neither let him eat.”  11 For we hear of some who walk among you in rebellion, who don’t work at all, but are busybodies.  12 Now those who are that way, we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

 It is fashionable today to think that Americans have a right to receive money for nothing for ever.  I do not subscribe to that philosophy!!!  In fairness, there are times when we could use some help, but unless there is a permanent disablement, welfare should be for a limited time.  Read verse ten above for the apostles attitude towards work!!!  Those who would not work were labeled as rebellious and exhorted to earn their own bread.  We can learn a lot from the past; from those who we might appropriately label "great".  I just wish America would get with the program!!!

Sept. 2 Psalms 30-32

Sept. 2
Psalms 30-32

Psa 30:1 I will extol you, Yahweh, for you have raised me up, and have not made my foes to rejoice over me.
Psa 30:2 Yahweh my God, I cried to you, and you have healed me.
Psa 30:3 Yahweh, you have brought up my soul from Sheol. You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Psa 30:4 Sing praise to Yahweh, you saints of his. Give thanks to his holy name.
Psa 30:5 For his anger is but for a moment. His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
Psa 30:6 As for me, I said in my prosperity, "I shall never be moved."
Psa 30:7 You, Yahweh, when you favored me, made my mountain stand strong; but when you hid your face, I was troubled.
Psa 30:8 I cried to you, Yahweh. To Yahweh I made supplication:
Psa 30:9 "What profit is there in my destruction, if I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise you? Shall it declare your truth?
Psa 30:10 Hear, Yahweh, and have mercy on me. Yahweh, be my helper."
Psa 30:11 You have turned my mourning into dancing for me. You have removed my sackcloth, and clothed me with gladness,
Psa 30:12 To the end that my heart may sing praise to you, and not be silent. Yahweh my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
Psa 31:1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge. Let me never be disappointed. Deliver me in your righteousness.
Psa 31:2 Bow down your ear to me. Deliver me speedily. Be to me a strong rock, a house of defense to save me.
Psa 31:3 For you are my rock and my fortress, therefore for your name's sake lead me and guide me.
Psa 31:4 Pluck me out of the net that they have laid secretly for me, for you are my stronghold.
Psa 31:5 Into your hand I commend my spirit. You redeem me, Yahweh, God of truth.
Psa 31:6 I hate those who regard lying vanities, but I trust in Yahweh.
Psa 31:7 I will be glad and rejoice in your loving kindness, for you have seen my affliction. You have known my soul in adversities.
Psa 31:8 You have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy. You have set my feet in a large place.
Psa 31:9 Have mercy on me, Yahweh, for I am in distress. My eye, my soul, and my body waste away with grief.
Psa 31:10 For my life is spent with sorrow, my years with sighing. My strength fails because of my iniquity. My bones are wasted away.
Psa 31:11 Because of all my adversaries I have become utterly contemptible to my neighbors, A fear to my acquaintances. Those who saw me on the street fled from me.
Psa 31:12 I am forgotten from their hearts like a dead man. I am like broken pottery.
Psa 31:13 For I have heard the slander of many, terror on every side, while they conspire together against me, they plot to take away my life.
Psa 31:14 But I trust in you, Yahweh. I said, "You are my God."
Psa 31:15 My times are in your hand. Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.
Psa 31:16 Make your face to shine on your servant. Save me in your loving kindness.
Psa 31:17 Let me not be disappointed, Yahweh, for I have called on you. Let the wicked be disappointed. Let them be silent in Sheol.
Psa 31:18 Let the lying lips be mute, which speak against the righteous insolently, with pride and contempt.
Psa 31:19 Oh how great is your goodness, which you have laid up for those who fear you, which you have worked for those who take refuge in you, before the sons of men!
Psa 31:20 In the shelter of your presence you will hide them from the plotting of man. You will keep them secretly in a dwelling away from the strife of tongues.
Psa 31:21 Praise be to Yahweh, for he has shown me his marvelous loving kindness in a strong city.
Psa 31:22 As for me, I said in my haste, "I am cut off from before your eyes." Nevertheless you heard the voice of my petitions when I cried to you.
Psa 31:23 Oh love Yahweh, all you his saints! Yahweh preserves the faithful, and fully recompenses him who behaves arrogantly.
Psa 31:24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in Yahweh.
Psa 32:1 Blessed is he whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Psa 32:2 Blessed is the man to whom Yahweh doesn't impute iniquity, in whose spirit there is no deceit.
Psa 32:3 When I kept silence, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
Psa 32:4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me. My strength was sapped in the heat of summer. Selah.
Psa 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to you. I didn't hide my iniquity. I said, I will confess my transgressions to Yahweh, and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
Psa 32:6 For this, let everyone who is godly pray to you in a time when you may be found. Surely when the great waters overflow, they shall not reach to him.
Psa 32:7 You are my hiding place. You will preserve me from trouble. You will surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.
Psa 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go. I will counsel you with my eye on you.
Psa 32:9 Don't be like the horse, or like the mule, which have no understanding, who are controlled by bit and bridle, or else they will not come near to you.
Psa 32:10 Many sorrows come to the wicked, but loving kindness shall surround him who trusts in Yahweh.
Psa 32:11 Be glad in Yahweh, and rejoice, you righteous! Shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart!

Sept. 2 Romans 14

Sept. 2
Romans 14

Rom 14:1 Now accept one who is weak in faith, but not for disputes over opinions.
Rom 14:2 One man has faith to eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.
Rom 14:3 Don't let him who eats despise him who doesn't eat. Don't let him who doesn't eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him.
Rom 14:4 Who are you who judge another's servant? To his own lord he stands or falls. Yes, he will be made to stand, for God has power to make him stand.
Rom 14:5 One man esteems one day as more important. Another esteems every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind.
Rom 14:6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks. He who doesn't eat, to the Lord he doesn't eat, and gives God thanks.
Rom 14:7 For none of us lives to himself, and none dies to himself.
Rom 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord. Or if we die, we die to the Lord. If therefore we live or die, we are the Lord's.
Rom 14:9 For to this end Christ died, rose, and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
Rom 14:10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Rom 14:11 For it is written, " 'As I live,' says the Lord, 'to me every knee will bow. Every tongue will confess to God.' "
Rom 14:12 So then each one of us will give account of himself to God.
Rom 14:13 Therefore let's not judge one another any more, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block in his brother's way, or an occasion for falling.
Rom 14:14 I know, and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself; except that to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
Rom 14:15 Yet if because of food your brother is grieved, you walk no longer in love. Don't destroy with your food him for whom Christ died.
Rom 14:16 Then don't let your good be slandered,
Rom 14:17 for the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Rom 14:18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
Rom 14:19 So then, let us follow after things which make for peace, and things by which we may build one another up.
Rom 14:20 Don't overthrow God's work for food's sake. All things indeed are clean, however it is evil for that man who creates a stumbling block by eating.
Rom 14:21 It is good to not eat meat, drink wine, nor do anything by which your brother stumbles, is offended, or is made weak.
Rom 14:22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who doesn't judge himself in that which he approves.
Rom 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because it isn't of faith; and whatever is not of faith is sin.



                              Chapter One


1) To note the virtues that demonstrated the spiritual growth and
   development of the church at Thessalonica

2) To glean what will happen when Christ comes again, and upon whom His
   vengeance will fall


As in the first epistle, Paul is joined by Silvanus and Timothy as he
extends a salutation to the church of the Thessalonians, along with a 
petition for grace and peace in their behalf (1-2).

He makes mention of his obligation to always thank God for the growth
of their faith and the way their love abounded towards one another.  He
is so impressed that he has boasted to other churches of their patience
and faith in the midst of persecutions and tribulations (3-4).

Paul then offers encouragement in their persecutions by reminding them
of the righteous judgment of God.  Because of their suffering, which 
made them worthy of the kingdom of God, God will be righteous to bring 
tribulation upon those who trouble them, and to give them rest along 
with Paul and others.  This will happen when Jesus is revealed from 
heaven with His mighty angels, when in flaming fire He will take 
vengeance on those who do not know God and who do not obey the gospel 
of Jesus Christ.  While these are punished with everlasting destruction
from the presence of the Lord, Christ Himself will be glorified in that
Day and admired by all those who believe (5-10).

This leads to his prayer concerning them.  His desire is that God would
count them worthy of His calling, fulfill His good pleasure and the 
work of faith with power, and that the name of the Lord might be 
glorified in them, and they in Him, in keeping with the grace of God
and the Lord Jesus Christ (11-12).



      1. From Paul
      2. Also Silvanus and Timothy

   B. GREETINGS (1b-2)
      1. To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the
         Lord Jesus Christ (1b)
      2. Grace and peace from God and Jesus (2)


      1. Such thanksgiving is fitting in view of:
         a. Their faith growing exceedingly (3a)
         b. Their love abounding toward each other (3b)
      2. Paul and his companions even boast of them among the churches
         of God (4a)
         a. For their patience and faith (4b)
         b. In all their persecutions and tribulations they endured 

      1. Their persecutions are evidence of God's righteous judgment to
         come (5-7a)
         a. In which they shall be counted worthy of the kingdom of God
         b. In which God will repay with tribulation those who trouble
            them (6)
         c. In which they will receive rest (7a)
      2. Such judgment will occur when Jesus is revealed from heaven
         a. With His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance
            1) On those who do not know God (8b)
            2) On those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus
               Christ (8c)
         b. Punishing such with everlasting destruction (9a)
            1) From the presence of the Lord (9b)
            2) From the glory of His power (9c)
      3. Jesus will come in that Day... (10a)
         a. To be glorified in His saints (10b)
         b. To be admired among all those who believe (10c)
         -- Because Paul's testimony among them was believed (10d)

      1. That God would...
         a. Count them worthy of His calling (11a)
         b. Fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work
            of faith with power (11b)
      2. That according to the grace of God and the Lord Jesus 
         a. The name of the Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in them
         b. And they may be glorified in Him (12b)


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Introduction (1-2)
   - Encouragement in persecutions (3-12)

2) Who joins Paul in sending this letter? (1)
   - Silvanus and Timothy

3) How does Paul identify the church? (1)
   - The church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord 
     Jesus Christ

4) What two reasons does Paul give for why he thanks God always for
   them? (3)
   - Because their faith grows exceedingly
   - Because their love abounds toward each other

5) What did Paul boast among the churches of God in regards to the
   Thessalonians? (4)
   - Of their patience and faith in all the persecutions and 
     tribulations they endured

6) What was one consequence of their suffering? (5)
   - That they may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God

7) What does God consider it a righteous thing to do? (6)
   - To repay with tribulation those who trouble them

8) What will those who are troubled receive when the Lord is revealed
   from heaven? (7)
   - Rest with Paul and others

9) Who will accompany Jesus when He is revealed from heaven? (7)
   - His mighty angels

10) Upon whom will Jesus take vengeance in flaming fire? (8)
   - Those who do not know God
   - Those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ

11) How will they be punished? (9)
   - With everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and 
     from the glory of His power

12) What two things will happen to Jesus when He comes? (10)
   - He will be glorified in His saints
   - He will be admired among all those who believe

13) What five things does Paul pray for in behalf of the Thessalonians?
   - That God would count them worthy of His calling
   - That God would fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness
   - That God would fulfill the work of faith with power
   - That the name of Jesus Christ may be glorified in them
   - That they may be glorified in Him