Excuses, excuses

Right; obviously this is the "real" reason!!????  This sounds ridiculous, but one excuse is as good as another if you really don't want to do something.  Virtually ANYTHING can be justified if you want to!!!  This does not make the chosen thing right, it just makes it palatable to you.  Excuses are something we all do at one time or another and this passage from the book of Luke is a prime example...

Luke, Chapter 14
16 But he said to him, "“A certain man made a great supper, and he invited many people.  17 He sent out his servant at supper time to tell those who were invited, ‘Come, for everything is ready now.’  18 They all as one began to make excuses.

“The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please have me excused.’

  19 “Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I must go try them out. Please have me excused.’

  20 “Another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I can’t come.’

  21 “That servant came, and told his lord these things. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor, maimed, blind, and lame.’

  22 “The servant said, ‘Lord, it is done as you commanded, and there is still room.’

  23 “The lord said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.  24 For I tell you that none of those men who were invited will taste of my supper.’”"

  25 Now great multitudes were going with him. He turned and said to them,  26  "“If anyone comes to me, and doesn’t disregard his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he can’t be my disciple.  27 Whoever doesn’t bear his own cross, and come after me, can’t be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and count the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?  29 Or perhaps, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, everyone who sees begins to mock him,  30 saying, ‘This man began to build, and wasn’t able to finish.’  31 Or what king, as he goes to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?  32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an envoy, and asks for conditions of peace.  33 So therefore whoever of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has, he can’t be my disciple. 

There is a cost to becoming a Christian.  You will have to give up self indulgent ways and submit your will to God.  Truthfully, at times this is difficult, but the end result is worth it!!!  Its interesting to me that the three excuses given in vss. 18-20 were commonly accepted ones to keep someone from serving in the army, but they were disavowed by Jesus.  He made the choice simple; the world or him... and the choice would be made on the basis of love.  So, who or what you love determines you choices... makes sense to me.  I didn't really believe the magnet thing anyway!!!!!

Oct. 14 Proverbs 15-17

Oct. 14
Proverbs 15-17

Pro 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Pro 15:2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of fools gush out folly.
Pro 15:3 Yahweh's eyes are everywhere, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Pro 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but deceit in it crushes the spirit.
Pro 15:5 A fool despises his father's correction, but he who heeds reproof shows prudence.
Pro 15:6 In the house of the righteous is much treasure, but the income of the wicked brings trouble.
Pro 15:7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so with the heart of fools.
Pro 15:8 The sacrifice made by the wicked is an abomination to Yahweh, but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
Pro 15:9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to Yahweh, but he loves him who follows after righteousness.
Pro 15:10 There is stern discipline for one who forsakes the way: whoever hates reproof shall die.
Pro 15:11 Sheol and Abaddon are before Yahweh-- how much more then the hearts of the children of men!
Pro 15:12 A scoffer doesn't love to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.
Pro 15:13 A glad heart makes a cheerful face; but an aching heart breaks the spirit.
Pro 15:14 The heart of one who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
Pro 15:15 All the days of the afflicted are wretched, but one who has a cheerful heart enjoys a continual feast.
Pro 15:16 Better is little, with the fear of Yahweh, than great treasure with trouble.
Pro 15:17 Better is a dinner of herbs, where love is, than a fattened calf with hatred.
Pro 15:18 A wrathful man stirs up contention, but one who is slow to anger appeases strife.
Pro 15:19 The way of the sluggard is like a thorn patch, but the path of the upright is a highway.
Pro 15:20 A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother.
Pro 15:21 Folly is joy to one who is void of wisdom, but a man of understanding keeps his way straight.
Pro 15:22 Where there is no counsel, plans fail; but in a multitude of counselors they are established.
Pro 15:23 Joy comes to a man with the reply of his mouth. How good is a word at the right time!
Pro 15:24 The path of life leads upward for the wise, to keep him from going downward to Sheol.
Pro 15:25 Yahweh will uproot the house of the proud, but he will keep the widow's borders intact.
Pro 15:26 Yahweh detests the thoughts of the wicked, but the thoughts of the pure are pleasing.
Pro 15:27 He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, but he who hates bribes will live.
Pro 15:28 The heart of the righteous weighs answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes out evil.
Pro 15:29 Yahweh is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
Pro 15:30 The light of the eyes rejoices the heart. Good news gives health to the bones.
Pro 15:31 The ear that listens to reproof lives, and will be at home among the wise.
Pro 15:32 He who refuses correction despises his own soul, but he who listens to reproof gets understanding.
Pro 15:33 The fear of Yahweh teaches wisdom. Before honor is humility.

Pro 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from Yahweh.
Pro 16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but Yahweh weighs the motives.
Pro 16:3 Commit your deeds to Yahweh, and your plans shall succeed.
Pro 16:4 Yahweh has made everything for its own end-- yes, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Pro 16:5 Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to Yahweh: they shall certainly not be unpunished.
Pro 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is atoned for. By the fear of Yahweh men depart from evil.
Pro 16:7 When a man's ways please Yahweh, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Pro 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues with injustice.
Pro 16:9 A man's heart plans his course, but Yahweh directs his steps.
Pro 16:10 Inspired judgments are on the lips of the king. He shall not betray his mouth.
Pro 16:11 Honest balances and scales are Yahweh's; all the weights in the bag are his work.
Pro 16:12 It is an abomination for kings to do wrong, for the throne is established by righteousness.
Pro 16:13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings. They value one who speaks the truth.
Pro 16:14 The king's wrath is a messenger of death, but a wise man will pacify it.
Pro 16:15 In the light of the king's face is life. His favor is like a cloud of the spring rain.
Pro 16:16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! Yes, to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
Pro 16:17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil. He who keeps his way preserves his soul.
Pro 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Pro 16:19 It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor, than to divide the plunder with the proud.
Pro 16:20 He who heeds the Word finds prosperity. Whoever trusts in Yahweh is blessed.
Pro 16:21 The wise in heart shall be called prudent. Pleasantness of the lips promotes instruction.
Pro 16:22 Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, but the punishment of fools is their folly.
Pro 16:23 The heart of the wise instructs his mouth, and adds learning to his lips.
Pro 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Pro 16:25 There is a way which seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
Pro 16:26 The appetite of the laboring man labors for him; for his mouth urges him on.
Pro 16:27 A worthless man devises mischief. His speech is like a scorching fire.
Pro 16:28 A perverse man stirs up strife. A whisperer separates close friends.
Pro 16:29 A man of violence entices his neighbor, and leads him in a way that is not good.
Pro 16:30 One who winks his eyes to plot perversities, one who compresses his lips, is bent on evil.
Pro 16:31 Gray hair is a crown of glory. It is attained by a life of righteousness.
Pro 16:32 One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty; one who rules his spirit, than he who takes a city.
Pro 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from Yahweh.

Pro 17:1 Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.
Pro 17:2 A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who causes shame, and shall have a part in the inheritance among the brothers.
Pro 17:3 The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold, but Yahweh tests the hearts.
Pro 17:4 An evildoer heeds wicked lips. A liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
Pro 17:5 Whoever mocks the poor reproaches his Maker. He who is glad at calamity shall not be unpunished.
Pro 17:6 Children's children are the crown of old men; the glory of children are their parents.
Pro 17:7 Arrogant speech isn't fitting for a fool, much less do lying lips fit a prince.
Pro 17:8 A bribe is a precious stone in the eyes of him who gives it; wherever he turns, he prospers.
Pro 17:9 He who covers an offense promotes love; but he who repeats a matter separates best friends.
Pro 17:10 A rebuke enters deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred lashes into a fool.
Pro 17:11 An evil man seeks only rebellion; therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.
Pro 17:12 Let a bear robbed of her cubs meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.
Pro 17:13 Whoever rewards evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.
Pro 17:14 The beginning of strife is like breaching a dam, therefore stop contention before quarreling breaks out.
Pro 17:15 He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to Yahweh.
Pro 17:16 Why is there money in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, seeing he has no understanding?
Pro 17:17 A friend loves at all times; and a brother is born for adversity.
Pro 17:18 A man void of understanding strikes hands, and becomes collateral in the presence of his neighbor.
Pro 17:19 He who loves disobedience loves strife. One who builds a high gate seeks destruction.
Pro 17:20 One who has a perverse heart doesn't find prosperity, and one who has a deceitful tongue falls into trouble.
Pro 17:21 He who becomes the father of a fool grieves. The father of a fool has no joy.
Pro 17:22 A cheerful heart makes good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Pro 17:23 A wicked man receives a bribe in secret, to pervert the ways of justice.
Pro 17:24 Wisdom is before the face of one who has understanding, but the eyes of a fool wander to the ends of the earth.
Pro 17:25 A foolish son brings grief to his father, and bitterness to her who bore him.
Pro 17:26 Also to punish the righteous is not good, nor to flog officials for their integrity.
Pro 17:27 He who spares his words has knowledge. He who is even tempered is a man of understanding.
Pro 17:28 Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is counted wise. When he shuts his lips, he is thought to be discerning.

Oct. 14 Ephesians 5

Oct. 14
Ephesians 5

Eph 5:1 Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children.
Eph 5:2 Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.
Eph 5:3 But sexual immorality, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be mentioned among you, as becomes saints;
Eph 5:4 nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not appropriate; but rather giving of thanks.
Eph 5:5 Know this for sure, that no sexually immoral person, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God.
Eph 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words. For because of these things, the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience.
Eph 5:7 Therefore don't be partakers with them.
Eph 5:8 For you were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord. Walk as children of light,
Eph 5:9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth,
Eph 5:10 proving what is well pleasing to the Lord.
Eph 5:11 Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them.
Eph 5:12 For the things which are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of.
Eph 5:13 But all things, when they are reproved, are revealed by the light, for everything that reveals is light.
Eph 5:14 Therefore he says, "Awake, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
Eph 5:15 Therefore watch carefully how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise;
Eph 5:16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Eph 5:17 Therefore don't be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Eph 5:18 Don't be drunken with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
Eph 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing, and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Eph 5:20 giving thanks always concerning all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God, even the Father;
Eph 5:21 subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ.
Eph 5:22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the assembly, being himself the savior of the body.
Eph 5:24 But as the assembly is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their own husbands in everything.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it;
Eph 5:26 that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word,
Eph 5:27 that he might present the assembly to himself gloriously, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:28 Even so husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.
Eph 5:29 For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord also does the assembly;
Eph 5:30 because we are members of his body, of his flesh and bones.
Eph 5:31 "For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh."
Eph 5:32 This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and of the assembly.
Eph 5:33 Nevertheless each of you must also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

James, Chapter 4, Mark Copeland

                         "THE EPISTLE OF JAMES"

                              Chapter Four


1) To gain insight into the source of wars and fighting, even among

2) To see the importance and means of befriending God, of not speaking
   evil of brethren, and planning for the future with the Lord's will
   in mind


James asks his readers to consider the source of wars and fights among
themselves.  He identifies the problem as their own desires for
pleasure which war within themselves.  Perhaps exaggerating for the
sake of emphasis, he describes their lust and coveting (even murder!)
for things they do not have and cannot obtain.  It renders their 
prayers fruitless, for they have selfish motives in mind.  Sounding 
like an Old Testament prophet, James charges them with adultery for 
trying to befriend the world.  Becoming a friend of the world leads to
enmity with God, who jealously desires us.  But if they are willing to
humble themselves, God is willing to show more grace (1-6).

James therefore counsels them to draw near to God in humble submission,
with clean hands, purity of heart, and true contrition.  He warns
against speaking evil of brethren and judging one another, lest they
become judges and not doers of the law.  The chapter ends with a call
to make plans with the Lord's will in mind, for we have no idea what
the morrow holds and life is short. Otherwise we boast in our arrogance
and sin when we fail to do what we know is good (7-17).



      1. From within, from desires that war in one's members
      2. Such as lust (envy), murder (hate?), coveting, which do not
         give what one seeks
      3. Leading to unanswered prayers, due to selfishness

      1. Whoever wants to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of
      2. Even as the Scripture warns, and not in vain
      3. While God resists the proud, He is willing to give grace to
         the humble


      1. Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee
      2. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you
         a. Cleanse your hands, sinners
         b. Purify your hearts, double-minded
         c. Mourn and weep for your sins
         d. Humble yourself before God, and He will lift you up
      3. Let God be the Lawgiver and Judge
         a. Do not speak evil of one another and judge one another
            1) Otherwise you speak evil of the law and judge the law
            2) Otherwise you are not a doer of the law, but a judge
         b. When there is really only one Lawgiver who is able to save
            and destroy

      1. We should be careful in making plans for the future
         a. We do not know what will happen tomorrow
         b. Life is but a vapor that appears for a little while and
            then vanishes
      2. Therefore we should acknowledge "If the Lord wills" in our 
         a. Otherwise we boast in arrogance, which is evil
         b. For one to know to do good and not do it, that is sin


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - True religion does not befriend the world (1-6)
   - True religion draws near to God (7-17)

2) Where do wars and fights find their origin? (1-2)
   - Our desires for pleasure that war in our members
   - Lusting and coveting for things we do not have and cannot obtain

3) Why do some not receive what they ask for? (3)
   - They ask for the wrong reason, e.g., for personal pleasures

4) What does James call those who would be a friend of the world? (4)
   - Adulterers and adulteresses
   - An enemy of God

5) What possible translations for the Scripture quoted in verse 5?
   - "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously" (NKJV)
   - "The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy" (KJV)
   - "the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely" (NIV)
   - "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"

6) Whom does God resist?  To whom does He give more grace? (6)
   - The proud
   - The humble

7) What counsel does James give to those tempted by the world? (7-10)
   - Submit to God
   - Resist the devil and he will flee from you
   - Draw near to God and He will draw near to you
   - Cleanse your hands
   - Purify your hearts
   - Lament, mourn, and weep
   - Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom
   - Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up

8) Why should one not speak evil of a brother? (11)
   - They then speak evil of the law and judge the law
   - They become a judge, rather than a doer of the law

9) What other reasons does James give for not judging one another? (12)
   - There is one Lawgiver who is able to save and destroy
   - Who are we to judge another?

10) Why should we be careful about the plans we make? (13-14)
   - We do not know what will happen tomorrow
   - Our life is only a vapor that appears for a short while

11) With what qualification can one make plans for the future? (15)
   - If the Lord wills

12) Of what is one guilty when plans are made without considering the
    Lord's will? (16)
   - Boasting in one's arrogance

13) Of what is one guilty if they know what is good, but fail to do it?
   - Sin