Growing and growing can be a good thing

We studied Romans Chapter 14 this past Lord's day and discussed how each of us affects each other.  Someone referred to the concept that "no man is an island" and that is exactly how I feel when I view this picture.  Things we say or do in fact do affect others and they in turn affect others as well.  I prefer to be influenced by godly people and so attending church becomes a very positive experience.  Scripture puts it this way...

Proverbs 27
  17 Iron sharpens iron;
so a man sharpens his friend’s countenance.


3 John
13 I had many things to write to you, but I am unwilling to write to you with ink and pen;  14 but I hope to see you soon, and we will speak face to face. Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.
Over time, you become who you let influence you.  Be careful to choose your friends wisely and your life will be more positive.  Oh, yes, being a friend influences others to be friendly, so you can change others as well!!!

Bible Reading, Dec. 12

Dec. 12
Hosea 1-4

Hos 1:1 The word of Yahweh that came to Hosea the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
Hos 1:2 When Yahweh spoke at first by Hosea, Yahweh said to Hosea, "Go, take for yourself a wife of prostitution and children of unfaithfulness; for the land commits great adultery, forsaking Yahweh."
Hos 1:3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; and she conceived, and bore him a son.
Hos 1:4 Yahweh said to him, "Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, and will cause the kingdom of the house of Israel to cease.
Hos 1:5 It will happen in that day that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel."
Hos 1:6 She conceived again, and bore a daughter. Then he said to him, "Call her name Lo-Ruhamah; for I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, that I should in any way pardon them.
Hos 1:7 But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and will save them by Yahweh their God, and will not save them by bow, sword, battle, horses, or horsemen."
Hos 1:8 Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived, and bore a son.
Hos 1:9 He said, "Call his name Lo-Amm; for you are not my people, and I will not be yours.
Hos 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel will be as the sand of the sea, which can't be measured nor numbered; and it will come to pass that, in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.'
Hos 1:11 The children of Judah and the children of Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint themselves one head, and will go up from the land; for great will be the day of Jezreel.

Hos 2:1 "Say to your brothers, 'My people!' and to your sisters, 'My loved one!'
Hos 2:2 Contend with your mother! Contend, for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband; and let her put away her prostitution from her face, and her adulteries from between her breasts;
Hos 2:3 Lest I strip her naked, and make her bare as in the day that she was born, and make her like a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and kill her with thirst.
Hos 2:4 Indeed, on her children I will have no mercy; for they are children of unfaithfulness;
Hos 2:5 For their mother has played the prostitute. She who conceived them has done shamefully; for she said, 'I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.'
Hos 2:6 Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her, that she can't find her way.
Hos 2:7 She will follow after her lovers, but she won't overtake them; and she will seek them, but won't find them. Then she will say, 'I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.'
Hos 2:8 For she did not know that I gave her the grain, the new wine, and the oil, and multiplied to her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.
Hos 2:9 Therefore I will take back my grain in its time, and my new wine in its season, and will pluck away my wool and my flax which should have covered her nakedness.
Hos 2:10 Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one will deliver her out of my hand.
Hos 2:11 I will also cause all her celebrations to cease: her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her solemn assemblies.
Hos 2:12 I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees, about which she has said, 'These are my wages that my lovers have given me; and I will make them a forest,' and the animals of the field shall eat them.
Hos 2:13 I will visit on her the days of the Baals, to which she burned incense, when she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and went after her lovers, and forgot me," says Yahweh.
Hos 2:14 "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.
Hos 2:15 I will give her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope; and she will respond there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
Hos 2:16 It will be in that day," says Yahweh, "that you will call me 'my husband,' and no longer call me 'my master.'
Hos 2:17 For I will take away the names of the Baals out of her mouth, and they will no longer be mentioned by name.
Hos 2:18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the animals of the field, and with the birds of the sky, and with the creeping things of the ground. I will break the bow, the sword, and the battle out of the land, and will make them lie down safely.
Hos 2:19 I will betroth you to me forever. Yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, in justice, in loving kindness, and in compassion.
Hos 2:20 I will even betroth you to me in faithfulness; and you shall know Yahweh.
Hos 2:21 It will happen in that day, I will respond," says Yahweh, "I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth;
Hos 2:22 and the earth will respond to the grain, and the new wine, and the oil; and they will respond to Jezreel.
Hos 2:23 I will sow her to me in the earth; and I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; and I will tell those who were not my people, 'You are my people;' and they will say, 'My God!' "

Hos 3:1 Yahweh said to me, "Go again, love a woman loved by another, and an adulteress, even as Yahweh loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods, and love cakes of raisins."
Hos 3:2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen pieces of silver and a homer and a half of barley.
Hos 3:3 I said to her, "You shall stay with me many days. You shall not play the prostitute, and you shall not be with any other man. I will also be so toward you."
Hos 3:4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king, and without prince, and without sacrifice, and without sacred stone, and without ephod or idols.
Hos 3:5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return, and seek Yahweh their God, and David their king, and shall come with trembling to Yahweh and to his blessings in the last days.

Hos 4:1 Hear the word of Yahweh, you children of Israel; for Yahweh has a charge against the inhabitants of the land: "Indeed there is no truth, nor goodness, nor knowledge of God in the land.
Hos 4:2 There is cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break boundaries, and bloodshed causes bloodshed.
Hos 4:3 Therefore the land will mourn, and everyone who dwells therein will waste away. all living things in her, even the animals of the field and the birds of the sky; yes, the fish of the sea also die.
Hos 4:4 "Yet let no man bring a charge, neither let any man accuse; For your people are like those who bring charges against a priest.
Hos 4:5 You will stumble in the day, and the prophet will also stumble with you in the night; and I will destroy your mother.
Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you may be no priest to me. Because you have forgotten your God's law, I will also forget your children.
Hos 4:7 As they were multiplied, so they sinned against me. I will change their glory into shame.
Hos 4:8 They feed on the sin of my people, and set their heart on their iniquity.
Hos 4:9 It will be, like people, like priest; and I will punish them for their ways, and will repay them for their deeds.
Hos 4:10 They will eat, and not have enough. They will play the prostitute, and will not increase; because they have abandoned giving to Yahweh.
Hos 4:11 Prostitution, wine, and new wine take away understanding.
Hos 4:12 My people consult with their wooden idol, and answer to a stick of wood. Indeed the spirit of prostitution has led them astray, and they have been unfaithful to their God.
Hos 4:13 They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains, and burn incense on the hills, under oaks and poplars and terebinths, because its shade is good. Therefore your daughters play the prostitute, and your brides commit adultery.
Hos 4:14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the prostitute, nor your brides when they commit adultery; because the men consort with prostitutes, and they sacrifice with the shrine prostitutes; so the people without understanding will come to ruin.
Hos 4:15 "Though you, Israel, play the prostitute, yet don't let Judah offend; and don't come to Gilgal, neither go up to Beth Aven, nor swear, 'As Yahweh lives.'
Hos 4:16 For Israel has behaved extremely stubbornly, like a stubborn heifer. Then how will Yahweh feed them like a lamb in a meadow.
Hos 4:17 Ephraim is joined to idols. Leave him alone!
Hos 4:18 Their drink has become sour. They play the prostitute continually. Her rulers dearly love their shameful way.
Hos 4:19 The wind has wrapped her up in its wings; and they shall be disappointed because of their sacrifices.

Dec. 12
1 John 2

1Jn 2:1 My little children, I write these things to you so that you may not sin. If anyone sins, we have a Counselor with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous.
1Jn 2:2 And he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.
1Jn 2:3 This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commandments.
1Jn 2:4 One who says, "I know him," and doesn't keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth isn't in him.
1Jn 2:5 But whoever keeps his word, God's love has most certainly been perfected in him. This is how we know that we are in him:
1Jn 2:6 he who says he remains in him ought himself also to walk just like he walked.
1Jn 2:7 Brothers, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.
1Jn 2:8 Again, I write a new commandment to you, which is true in him and in you; because the darkness is passing away, and the true light already shines.
1Jn 2:9 He who says he is in the light and hates his brother, is in the darkness even until now.
1Jn 2:10 He who loves his brother remains in the light, and there is no occasion for stumbling in him.
1Jn 2:11 But he who hates his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and doesn't know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
1Jn 2:12 I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.
1Jn 2:13 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, little children, because you know the Father.
1Jn 2:14 I have written to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God remains in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
1Jn 2:15 Don't love the world, neither the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Father's love isn't in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, isn't the Father's, but is the world's.
1Jn 2:17 The world is passing away with its lusts, but he who does God's will remains forever.
1Jn 2:18 Little children, these are the end times, and as you heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen. By this we know that it is the final hour.
1Jn 2:19 They went out from us, but they didn't belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have continued with us. But they left, that they might be revealed that none of them belong to us.
1Jn 2:20 You have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.
1Jn 2:21 I have not written to you because you don't know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth.
1Jn 2:22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the Antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.
1Jn 2:23 Whoever denies the Son, the same doesn't have the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also.
1Jn 2:24 Therefore, as for you, let that remain in you which you heard from the beginning. If that which you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son, and in the Father.
1Jn 2:25 This is the promise which he promised us, the eternal life.
1Jn 2:26 These things I have written to you concerning those who would lead you astray.
1Jn 2:27 As for you, the anointing which you received from him remains in you, and you don't need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, you will remain in him.
1Jn 2:28 Now, little children, remain in him, that when he appears, we may have boldness, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
1Jn 2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of him.

Proverbs, Surety, Sloth, Scoundrels and Strumpets 6:1-7:27, Mark Copeland

                         "THE BOOK OF PROVERBS"

          Surety, Sloth, Scoundrels, And Strumpets (6:1-7:27)


1. The first nine chapters of Proverbs contain discourses extolling
   a. Praising it over folly
   b. Illustrating its value in life

2. Interspersed throughout are exhortations regarding wisdom...
   a. Warnings against foolish conduct
   b. Counsel on behavior that reflects wisdom

[Such is the case in the text for our study (Pr 6:1-7:27), where we
find warnings concerning "Surety, Sloth, Scoundrels, and Strumpets."
Let's start with the warning...]


      1. Do not become surety for a friend
      2. That is, do not make yourself liable for someone else's debt
      3. If you do, get out of it as quickly as possible
      4. If necessary, humble yourself and plead
      5. The warning is repeated in Proverbs - Pr 11:15; 17:18

      1. It may seem like kindness to cosign a loan for a friend
      2. But there are reasons it may not be (from the Believer's Bible
         a. You might be helping him to buy something which it is not
            God's will for him to have
         b. You might be encouraging him to be a spendthrift or even a
         c. If he defaults and you have to pay for something that is not
            your own, friendship will end and bitterness begin
      3. Thus it may be better to simply give or loan the money
         personally - cf. Mt 5:42

[From being too eager to help, we now turn to being too eager to sleep
as we consider a warning...]


      1. For sluggards who prefer sleep to work
      2. Learn wisdom from the lowly ant
      3. Observe her diligence without need of overseer
      4. How she provides in the summer and gathers in the harvest - cf.
         Pr 30:25
      5. The emphasis is on being diligent in one's work

      1. Laziness is the parent of poverty
      2. As taught elsewhere in the Proverbs - Pr 10:4; 13:4; 20:4
      3. You only steal from yourself when you are lazy
      4. Thus diligence in all that we do is the proper course - cf. Ecc
         9:10; Ro 12:15

[From personal conduct in ourselves to that seen in others, we next find
a warning...]


      1. The tactics of the wicked described (especially a con man)
         a. Walks with a perverse mouth (crooked speech)
         b. Winks with his eyes, shuffles his feet, points with his
            fingers (winking and giving signals to deceive others, CEV)
         c. Perversity in his heart, devises evil continually (plotting
         d. Sows discord
      2. Somatic therapy truly perverted!
         a. Using the body in ways to deceive others
         b. Whereas earlier we read of better ways to use the body
            - cf. Pr 4:20-27
      3. Upon such a person calamity and destruction will come quickly

      1. The Lord hates such behavior
      2. It is an abomination to Him:
         a. A proud look (arrogance)
         b. A lying tongue (dishonesty)
         c. Hands that shed innocent blood (murder)
         d. A heart that devises wicked plans (contemplating evil)
         e. Feet that are swift running to evil (quick to do evil)
         f. A false witness who speaks lies (lying in giving public
         g. One who sows discord among brethren (note well:  this is
            ranked among lying and murder!)
      3. Conduct that destroys relationships with others is just as
         abominable as that which destroys our relationship with God

[Finally, resuming a thread first started in 2:16-19 and expounded
further in 5:1-23, we find a warning that starts in verse 20 and
continues throughout the seventh chapter...]


      1. Listen to your parents when they warn you
      2. They can keep you from the immoral woman
      3. Who seduces with flattery tongue and allures with her eyes
      4. Do not lust after her beauty in your heart
      5. An illustration of one caught up in this folly - cf. Pr 7:1-27

      1. She will reduce you to a crust of bread, and prey on your life
      2. She is too hot to handle safely, you will only burn yourself
      3. People may have a little tolerance for one who steals out of
      4. But no one has respect for a man who steals another's wife
      5. The husband in particular will never be appeased


1. Thus the wisdom found in Proverbs is seen to be very practical
   a. Guiding one in their own behavior
   b. Guarding one against the behavior of others

2. Warning us against such things as...
   a. Surety that ensnares
   b. Sloth that impoverishes
   c. Scoundrels that mislead and sow discord
   d. Strumpets that entice and destroy through the lust of the flesh

Will we heed the words of wisdom?  In our next study we will find Sophia
(wisdom) once again pleading for us to heed her cries...