From Ben Fronczek... Precious Promises and Precious Lives

Precious Promises and Precious Lives

Precious Promise and Precious Lives  2 Peter 1:3-18    (2 Peter part 2)

By Ben Fronczek

Read 2 Peter 1:3-11 (click on site)

Intro. In our last lesson I talked about how and why faith, why believing in Jesus, God, and promises that God made to us in the Bible, are not only important but also that faith is precious and also a great source of grace and peace for those who learn to take advantage of what it offers.
Today as we move forward in 2 Peter 1, Peter lets us know that God has done something very, very special for us.   

Read 2 Peter 1:3-4 

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

In these two verses Peter mentions three things that God has given us:

#1. He said that He has given us everything (everything) we need for life and Godliness. 
How and when and where has he given us everything we need for life and Godliness?  He said through our knowledge of Him who calls us by His own glory and goodness.
This is why it is so important to stay in God’s Word. It’s important to keep feeding our self by reading and studying the Bible, by reading books and magazines on spiritual topics, or by listen to tapes, cds and even good radio programs on Bible topics; anything that will help us understand, learn more and help us grow in our knowledge of God and His word. (For eg. How to raise kids, how to make your marriage work, it talks about work ethics, finances, social behavior, responsibilities to Government and how to get to heaven. I personally thank God for the help he has give me ove the years concerning these matters…. I has REALLY helped me and my family!)
The more we know about God and understand His will the more we will have what we need to survive this life, and the more we will be prepared for the trials that can come our way. I believe  this is the whole point of this letter.

#2. Peter also tells us here that through these things, (that is the knowledge we receive from and about God and His will), Peter tells us that God has given us some great and precious promises. (and there a lot of promises)

Here are just a few of those promises:

- Jesus promised,  

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14.2)                      

- Jesus promised,  

 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14.3)                

- Jesus promised,  

 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever,  the Spirit of truth…” (John 14.16-17a)            

- God has promised that those who believe in Jesus and are baptized for the forgiveness of sins will be saved. (Read Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38).                         

- God has promised us victory over death.  1 Corinthians 15:56-57

- God has promised His people eternal life (John 10:27-28).                        

- God has promised that all things work together for good to those who love and serve Him faithfully (Romans 8:28).

These are just a few of many promises made. I encourage you to make a study of God’s promises. I believe you will find it most encouraging. I find it truly amazing that the God of this universe has made personal promises to you and me!!
What a shame that most people don’t take advantage of or even believe these wonderful promises. And sad too is the fact many who call themselves a Christian never take the time to learn these great promises of God. And they probably wonder why they can’t handle certain situations, and they worry and are filled with anxiety and can’t understand why God does what He does. They simply haven’t taken the time to get to know God. Because  they lack that knowledge they are weak and have less hope.
You probably heard the saying, ‘Knowledge is power.’ And in this case I believe it to be true. So God has given us everything we need for life, and godliness and He has made some amazing promises to us.

#3. The third thing that Peter mentions in this text is that because God gave us everything we need for life and godliness, Peter said that God provides a way for us to participate in His divine nature. 

And why is that such a blessing? Because he goes on to say that it is so we can “escape the corruption of this world.”

Peter thus encourages us to grow in certain virtues which lead to a life which is precious, divine, and one which is not ineffective or unproductive.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to get to the end of my life and come to the realization that is was a waste in God’s eyes. I can’t stand it when I feel unproductive or ineffective. And if God thought that about my life that would truly grieve me. Could you Imagine God saying “What a waste, you were just a selfish brat your whole life.”
So Peter here suggests that we grow as a person. First he says if you want to participate in this divine nature you need to MAKE EVERY EFFORT to add these certain virtues to your life and keep growing in them.

As you know, it’s one thing to say you believe in God, Jesus and the Bible but it’s quite another to live the life that God would have you live.

So Peter begins in verse 5 by saying that besides faith we should add GOODNESS.

Now what is he talking about here? Well the original Greek idea behind the word translated, ‘good’ here is the idea of moral excellence, purity, innocence, even modesty.  What else would you expect from someone who has a godly nature. That is why even church elders or leaders of the church are to be above reproach and good men. Otherwise their ministry and service would be compromised.

And to GOODNESS he said to add KNOWLEDGE. In other words we need to keep learning, keep growing as an individual and as a Christian with the goal that one day we will be truly wise in a godly Biblical way. This knowledge is not only for yourself, it will help others as well! So we need to make every effort to improve and be good and pure, even more modest.

And to KNOWLEDGE he said add SELF CONTROL. In other words, it’s important to learn how to master our self, become a master over our wants, desires, and activities. You can have faith and know a lot but still find yourself doing things you should not be doing. There are many areas some of us need to get under control like; our temper, how and what we say, our language, our cravings, how we take care of our bodies, how we spend money and so much more. Self Control is important and when mastered, it can provide a sense of peace and stability in one’s life, and also become a good example to others.

To SELF CONTROL he says add PERSEVERANCE. This is a virtue where one learns to keep on keeping on; especially being able to hang in there and not give up doing what is right and good, even if you are persecuted.

To PERSEVERENCE he said add GODLINESS. This is choosing or making a conscious decision to be Christ-like or God-like in your conduct throughout the day. It implies doing this with a desire to please God.  (WWJD Maybe we need to ask ourself, What Would Jesus Do before we act.)
To GODLINESS he goes on to say add BROTHERLY KINDNESS. The origin Greek word here is the word philadelphia. It denotes the idea of thoughtful consideration of fellow believers. It involves overt acts of kindness. And this should probably start at home!
And to BROTHERLY KINDNESS he said to add LOVE.  This word for love comes from the Greek word, agape. It is the highest form of love. It is that sacrificial God-like kind of love. The kind that always seeks to do what best for the person.  It also reaches out to all people not just believers.
Now what I find interesting is how important it is to have and develop all of these virtues, these are all necessary. Even the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, Chapter 13  

“If I speak in the tongue of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

He’s saying, ‘You can know a lot, have a lot of faith, you can be generous, even be sacrificial and still lack love and be ineffective.’

And there are very loving generous people out there who do not have enough knowledge, they do not know God or Jesus and what they need to go to heaven.
And there are people out there who know how to do all the right things but they give up too quickly, they don’t persevere as long as they should.
All of these virtues are important but all of them do not come naturally, some like self control we have to really work at and make an all out effort to develop.
Becoming a genuine disciple of Jesus and being a good Christian is not just about obeying the Gospel message and just showing up at church every Sunday, it’s so much more. It includes a lifetime of growing a maturing in these areas.

In Hebrews 6, there the writer says,  

“let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity. (Vs 1)   

Peter lets us know here that if we keep growing in these virtues we can participate in that divine nature. In other words, we start to walk, and talk, and think, and act like our Lord and our God. Wow what a privilege!
But Peter also goes on to say that if as Christians we do not possess these qualities, these virtues, nor care about acquiring them, then you are, near sided and blind and you will be ineffective and unproductive.

You may acquire some degree of productivity at work or what you do without these virtues, but what matters more; being useful to yourself and your employer or useful to God.  I believe if you put on these virtues you can be more effective and useful and productive to everyone.

Challenge:  Today I want you to realize how blessed you are. I want to let the fact that God has poured out promise after promise fill you with hope and peace.  I want you to feel loved by Him and encouraged by these facts. I also want to encourage you to grow and mature as person by putting on these virtues discussed here by Peter. Take an honest look at yourself, recognize your weaknesses and make a conscious decision to grow in those areas. In doing so you will become stronger, more confident as a person and you will feel a greater sense peace and become more effective as a Christian.

For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566

From Jim McGuiggan... God's righteousness and ours (1)

God's righteousness and ours (1)

God’s righteousness may be said to be the quality of his character (Psalm 11:7, 45:6-7, Romans 3:3-5). It is his holy nature from which flows all his righteous acts and purposes. His deeds are all shaped as they are and have their moral texture because of this changeless holy character (Isaiah 57:15). In this sense when we say God is righteous we mean his personal character.

But because God’s deeds flow from his holiness as righteousness and express his righteous character his deeds may properly be called God’s righteousness. When God acts to save Israel from her enemies his righteousness is said to draw near when salvation in on the way (Isaiah 51:5, 56:1). It’s true that prophets and psalmists would almost always have covenant righteousness in mind. That is, God made a covenant with Israel and his holy character means he will be faithful to that covenant and when, with that in mind, God acts righteously it is covenant righteousness—righteousness that is a response to his covenant commitment.

Just the same, God’s righteous character is prior to the making of any covenant so we’re not to say that because the Bible writers usually have covenant righteousness in mind that they exclude the notion of God’s eternal holiness and righteousness. We will be correct if we say that God’s covenant righteousness is a specific expression of his eternal character righteousness.

The deeds of God are called the righteousness of God because they are his personal righteousness expressing itself and they are the result of his keeping his word and the covenants he makes. The righteousness of God revealed in deeds can show itself as blessing. He makes promises to various people in scripture and acts to fulfil those promises and those acts produce blessing. But that righteousness of God that shows itself in deeds may also make itself present in judgement (Psalm 48:4-11). God calls various people and nations to turn from evil and it is often the evil of those that are oppressing defenseless nations or marginalized groups in some given society. When they don’t repent God in righteousness delivers the oppressed by judgement, by punishing the oppressor. In these cases the judgement is the holy righteousness of God expressing his eternal opposition to evil in specific temporal punishment Revelation 16:7). In these cases God is keeping faith with the promises he made to humankind.

In keeping faith with Israel or other nations in fulfilling promises to bless and in keeping faith with the oppressed against the oppressor God is keeping faith with himself. He is acting in character against evil (and he can be depended on to do that, said Abraham in Genesis 18:25) and expressing his will for good for humankind.

In one case his righteousness is made present when he enriches the earth, multiplies the flocks and herds, makes the crops grow abundantly and does all the things necessary to benefit humanity and make life pleasant. Imagine our looking out on golden fields of wheat, lakes and rivers teeming with fish, healthy and joyful people living in peace and asking God, "And what is all this?" If he said, "My righteousness," we would know what he meant.

Imagine our looking at local warlords that have been feeding on the people and seeing them go down under the punishing hand of God and our asking him, "And what is this?" If he said, "My righteousness," we would know what he meant.

Food, health and joy understood as gifts from God are more than material and social blessings; they are also God’s righteousness made visible because they are expressions of his personal integrity and faithfulness in keeping his word.

Judgement on the local warlords (or international gangsters) is more than pain and distress inflicted it is God’s righteousness made visible and present in the form of pain and loss inflicted because it is the homage God pays to his holy righteousness.

The existence of the blessings given and the judgement rendered point beyond themselves to another and underlying reality—the righteousness of the giver and the judge.
It’s conceivable that blessings could be given as a bribe and that inflicted pain and distress could be bitter spite and sheer vengefulness.

If we knew that this was the case we’d have learned something sinister about God, something that isn’t flattering to him. It would follow that the existence of the blessings and pain made God’s unrighteousness visible and present.

If we know that it’s impossible for God to be merely spiteful or to engage in bribery then we wouldn’t interpret the blessings and affliction in those ways.

Something about God himself is expressed in the blessing and judging! The blessings cannot be isolated from the giver and the judging cannot be isolated from the judge. All things being equal we would thank God for the blessings because the blessings are from him and they express his righteousness. All things being equal we would be angry with or protest against or thank God for his judgement because it comes from him and expresses his righteousness.

I wish to stress a single point here and it’s this: Punishment is the righteousness of God making itself present as inflicted pain or distress. It is not merely pain or loss inflicted; it is expressed righteousness in the form of pain and loss. It isn’t simply that sinners transgress and God responds by inflicting pain, it is that God pays homage to holy righteousness by inflicting pain and loss. The holy righteousness to which he pays homage is his own so that he is maintaining the integrity of his character; he is being true to himself before the eyes of his creation.

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, the abiding word.com.

From Mark Copeland.... Our Duty To Ourselves ( 1 thessalonians 5:16-18)


                    Our Duty To Ourselves (5:16-18)


1. In 1st Thessalonians chapter five, we continue to note our various
   responsibilities as...
   a. "the children of light"
   b. "the children of day" - cf. 1Th 5:5

2. In recent studies, we have considered...
   a. "Our Duties To Those Who Serve" - 1Th 5:12-13
      1) To recognize them
      2) To esteem them highly in love
   b. "Our Duties To Those In Need" - 1Th 5:14-15
      1) To warn the unruly
      2) To comfort the fainthearted
      3) To uphold the weak
      4) To be patient with all
      5) To render to no one evil for evil
      6) To pursue what is good for us and for all

3. Our duties are not just directed toward others, we have some that
   address our own spiritual well-being...
   a. Three such duties are mentioned in our text for this lesson - 1 Th 5:16-18
      1) To rejoice always
      2) To pray without ceasing
      3) To give thanks in everything
   b. Note that Paul says these things are "the will of God in Christ
      Jesus for you"
      1) These three things are what God wants us to do for ourselves
      2) Therefore I have entitled this study "Our Duties To Ourselves"

[It is in the fulfillment of these three duties that we strengthen
ourselves spiritually and emotionally, enabling us to be better fit to
serve God and others.  Consider first our duty to...]


      1. In joy there is great strength - cf. Neh 8:10
      2. When we have joy in what we believe, we abound in hope - cf. Ro 15:13
      3. When we are joyful, it helps those around us to be joyful
         - e.g., 2Co 2:3
      -- To be joyful, to be merry, is crucial to remaining strong
         ourselves, and being a source of strength to others - cf. Pro
         15:13,15; 17:22

      1. It is in the Lord that we find the ability to "rejoice always"
         - cf. Php 4:4
         a. His salvation is the source of much joy - cf. Ps 21:1
         b. He grants joy to those who please Him - Ec 2:26; 5:20
         c. His mercy is a source of great joy - Ps 31:7
         d. In His presence there is fullness of joy, and He will abide
            with us if we obey His commands - Ps 16:11; cf. Jn 14:21,23
      2. To rejoice in the Lord always, follow these simple guidelines:
         a. Read and feed upon the Word of God daily - cf. Jer 15:16
         b. Meditate upon the teachings of Christ and His apostles
            1) Jesus spoke that His disciples joy might be full - Jn 15:11
            2) The apostles wrote that our joy might be full - 1Jn 1:4
         c. Spend time with brethren who make us happy
            1) As Titus' joy encouraged Paul - 2Co 7:13
            2) As Philemon's love and joy refreshed the hearts of others
               and gave Paul joy - Phm 7, 20
         d. Lead others to Christ, for they will be a great source of
            1) As the Thessalonians were to Paul - 1Th 2:19-20; 3:9
            2) As Philemon was to Paul - Phm 1:7
            3) As John's converts made him joyful - 3Jn 4
         e. Sing praises of joy to God
            1) Certainly we should sing when cheerful - Jm 5:13
            2) But we can also find joy by singing praises (cf. "Sing
               and Be Happy") - Ps 71:23; 104:33-34; 135:3

[By being "proactive" and following these guidelines, it is possible to
"rejoice always" even when external circumstances are not conducive to
creating joy (cf. Paul and Silas, singing and praying in prison, Ac
16:25).  Of course, what helps to "rejoice always" is to...]


      1. In prayer we find mercy and grace to help in time of need - He 4:14-16
      2. In prayer we find forgiveness of sins as we confess them - 1Jn 1:9
      3. In prayer we find the peace of God, so helpful in anxious times
         - Php 4:6-7

      1. Having "set times" to pray can help create the habit of praying
         a. E.g., consider the example of David and Daniel
            1) David, whom God described as "a man after My own heart"
               - Ps 55:17
            2) Daniel, whom the angel described as "O man greatly
               beloved" - Dan 6:10
            -- These great men of God made it a habit to pray at set
               times throughout the day; we would do well to imitate
               their example
         b. At the very least...
            1) Find some time each day to be alone with God in prayer
               a) Early morning may be best for some
               b) Others might find it easier to be alone late at night
            2) Make it a SPECIAL TIME to be alone with your Heavenly
      2. We should not limit prayers to "set times", special needs may
         call for special praying
         a. Jesus, praying on important occasions - Lk 6:12-13
         b. Paul, praying in trying circumstances - Ac 16:25
         c. Nehemiah - praying on the spur of the moment - Neh 2:4-5

[Having "set times" helps to develop experience and persistence in
praying; praying "spontaneously" as needs arise develops the disposition
to pray in every circumstance.  Together, they fulfill the command to
"pray without ceasing".  What helps us even further is if we...]


      1. Ingratitude is very displeasing to God
         a. It is included among other sins that would be prevalent in
            "perilous times" - 2Ti 3:1-5
         b. The wrath of God will be revealed against those who are
            unthankful - Ro 1:18-21
      2. Christians should be known for their "attitude of gratitude"
         a. Thankful for what the Father has done for us - Col 1:12-14
         b. Abounding in thanksgiving - Col 2:7
         c. A part of the "garment" we are to put on - Col 3:12-15
         d. A complement to our prayers - Col 4:2; 1Ti 2:1
      3. Thankfulness added to our prayers is the key to...
         a. Overcoming anxiety - Php 4:6
         b. Obtaining the peace of God which surpasses understanding
            - Php 4:6-7

      1. Remember that all things can work for our good - Ro 8:28
         a. We can therefore glory in tribulation - Ro 5:3-5
         b. We can rejoice in persecution - Mt 5:10-12
         c. We can rejoice in trials - Jm 1:2-3
      2. Include thankfulness along with our prayer requests - Php 4:6
         a. Just as Daniel made the giving of thanks as part of his
            daily prayers - Dan 6:10
         b. As we "pray without ceasing", so we will be "thankful
            without ceasing"!


1. What is God's will for us in Christ Jesus?
   a. To be a thankful people!
   b. To be a prayerful people!
   c. To be a joyful people!

2. These three are intertwined, with one leading to another...
   a. The more thankful we are, the more prayerful we will be
   b. The more prayerful we are, the more joyful we will be
   -- Thus the key to much joy in Christ begins with the "attitude of

In our zeal to fulfill our duties to those who serve and to those in
need, do not overlook these duties we have to ourselves...they can help
us be more productive in the service we render to the Lord and to all!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading December 9

Bible Reading  

December 9

The World English Bible

Dec. 9
Daniel 1-4

Dan 1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Jerusalem, and besieged it.
Dan 1:2 The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God; and he carried them into the land of Shinar to the house of his god: and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
Dan 1:3 The king spoke to Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring in certain of the children of Israel, even of the seed royal and of the nobles;
Dan 1:4 youths in whom was no blemish, but well-favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and endowed with knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability to stand in the king's palace; and that he should teach them the learning and the language of the Chaldeans.
Dan 1:5 The king appointed for them a daily portion of the king's dainties, and of the wine which he drank, and that they should be nourished three years; that at its end they should stand before the king.
Dan 1:6 Now among these were, of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
Dan 1:7 The prince of the eunuchs gave names to them: to Daniel he gave the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
Dan 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king's dainties, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Dan 1:9 Now God made Daniel to find kindness and compassion in the sight of the prince of the eunuchs.
Dan 1:10 The prince of the eunuchs said to Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse looking than the youths who are of your own age? so would you endanger my head with the king.
Dan 1:11 Then said Daniel to the steward whom the prince of the eunuchs had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
Dan 1:12 Prove your servants, I beg you, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
Dan 1:13 Then let our faces be looked on before you, and the face of the youths who eat of the king's dainties; and as you see, deal with your servants.
Dan 1:14 So he listened to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
Dan 1:15 At the end of ten days their faces appeared fairer, and they were fatter in flesh, than all the youths who ate of the king's dainties.
Dan 1:16 So the steward took away their dainties, and the wine that they should drink, and gave them pulse.
Dan 1:17 Now as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Dan 1:18 At the end of the days which the king had appointed for bringing them in, the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
Dan 1:19 The king talked with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
Dan 1:20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding, concerning which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters who were in all his realm.
Dan 1:21 Daniel continued even to the first year of king Cyrus.
Dan 2:1 In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams; and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep went from him.
Dan 2:2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.
Dan 2:3 The king said to them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.
Dan 2:4 Then spoke the Chaldeans to the king in the Syrian language, O king, live forever: tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.
Dan 2:5 The king answered the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if you don't make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.
Dan 2:6 But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honor: therefore show me the dream and its interpretation.
Dan 2:7 They answered the second time and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.
Dan 2:8 The king answered, I know of a certainty that you would gain time, because you see the thing is gone from me.
Dan 2:9 But if you don't make known to me the dream, there is but one law for you; for you have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, until the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation.
Dan 2:10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man on the earth who can show the king's matter, because no king, lord, or ruler, has asked such a thing of any magician, or enchanter, or Chaldean.
Dan 2:11 It is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is no other who can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
Dan 2:12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
Dan 2:13 So the decree went forth, and the wise men were to be slain; and they sought Daniel and his companions to be slain.
Dan 2:14 Then Daniel returned answer with counsel and prudence to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, who was gone forth to kill the wise men of Babylon;
Dan 2:15 he answered Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so urgent from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
Dan 2:16 Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would appoint him a time, and he would show the king the interpretation.
Dan 2:17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
Dan 2:18 that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his companions should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Dan 2:19 Then was the secret revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
Dan 2:20 Daniel answered, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever; for wisdom and might are his.
Dan 2:21 He changes the times and the seasons; he removes kings, and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those who have understanding;
Dan 2:22 he reveals the deep and secret things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.
Dan 2:23 I thank you, and praise you, you God of my fathers, who have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we desired of you; for you have made known to us the king's matter.
Dan 2:24 Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and said thus to him: Don't destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show to the king the interpretation.
Dan 2:25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus to him, I have found a man of the children of the captivity of Judah, who will make known to the king the interpretation.
Dan 2:26 The king answered Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?
Dan 2:27 Daniel answered before the king, and said, The secret which the king has demanded can neither wise men, enchanters, magicians, nor soothsayers, show to the king;
Dan 2:28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has made known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head on your bed, are these:
Dan 2:29 as for you, O king, your thoughts came into your mind on your bed, what should happen hereafter; and he who reveals secrets has made known to you what shall happen.
Dan 2:30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but to the intent that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart.
Dan 2:31 You, O king, saw, and behold, a great image. This image, which was mighty, and whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and its aspect was awesome.
Dan 2:32 As for this image, its head was of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of brass,
Dan 2:33 its legs of iron, its feet part of iron, and part of clay.
Dan 2:34 You saw until a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.
Dan 2:35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them: and the stone that struck the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
Dan 2:36 This is the dream; and we will tell its interpretation before the king.
Dan 2:37 You, O king, are king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the strength, and the glory;
Dan 2:38 and wherever the children of men dwell, the animals of the field and the birds of the sky has he given into your hand, and has made you to rule over them all: you are the head of gold.
Dan 2:39 After you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you; and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
Dan 2:40 The fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, because iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things; and as iron that crushes all these, shall it break in pieces and crush.
Dan 2:41 Whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, because you saw the iron mixed with miry clay.
Dan 2:42 As the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
Dan 2:43 Whereas you saw the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cling to one another, even as iron does not mingle with clay.
Dan 2:44 In the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
Dan 2:45 Because you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what shall happen hereafter: and the dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.
Dan 2:46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, and worshiped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an offering and sweet odors to him.
Dan 2:47 The king answered to Daniel, and said, Of a truth your God is the God of gods, and the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing you have been able to reveal this secret.
Dan 2:48 Then the king made Daniel great, and gave him many great gifts, and made him to rule over the whole province of Babylon, and to be chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon.
Dan 2:49 Daniel requested of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel was in the gate of the king.
Dan 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits, and its breadth six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
Dan 3:2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
Dan 3:3 Then the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
Dan 3:4 Then the herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, peoples, nations, and languages,
Dan 3:5 that whenever you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up;
Dan 3:6 and whoever doesn't fall down and worship shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:7 Therefore at that time, when all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
Dan 3:8 Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and brought accusation against the Jews.
Dan 3:9 They answered Nebuchadnezzar the king, O king, live for ever.
Dan 3:10 You, O king, have made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image;
Dan 3:11 and whoever doesn't fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded you: they don't serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.
Dan 3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.
Dan 3:14 Nebuchadnezzar answered them, Is it on purpose, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you don't serve my god, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
Dan 3:15 Now if you are ready whenever you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music to fall down and worship the image which I have made, well: but if you don't worship, you shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that god that shall deliver you out of my hands?
Dan 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
Dan 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
Dan 3:18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.
Dan 3:19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spoke, and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.
Dan 3:20 He commanded certain mighty men who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:21 Then these men were bound in their pants, their tunics, and their mantles, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:22 Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Dan 3:23 These three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste: he spoke and said to his counselors, Didn't we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered the king, True, O king.
Dan 3:25 He answered, Look, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the aspect of the fourth is like a son of the gods.
Dan 3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace: he spoke and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the Most High God, come forth, and come here. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came forth out of the midst of the fire.
Dan 3:27 The satraps, the deputies, and the governors, and the king's counselors, being gathered together, saw these men, that the fire had no power on their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed, neither were their pants changed, nor had the smell of fire passed on them.
Dan 3:28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel, and delivered his servants who trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and have yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
Dan 3:29 Therefore I make a decree, that every people, nation, and language, which speak anything evil against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill; because there is no other god who is able to deliver after this sort.
Dan 3:30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
Dan 4:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all the peoples, nations, and languages, who dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you.
Dan 4:2 It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked toward me.
Dan 4:3 How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.
Dan 4:4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace.
Dan 4:5 I saw a dream which made me afraid; and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.
Dan 4:6 Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream.
Dan 4:7 Then came in the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers; and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known to me its interpretation.
Dan 4:8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and I told the dream before him, saying,
Dan 4:9 Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no secret troubles you, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation.
Dan 4:10 Thus were the visions of my head on my bed: I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth; and its height was great.
Dan 4:11 The tree grew, and was strong, and its height reached to the sky, and its sight to the end of all the earth.
Dan 4:12 The leaves of it were beautiful, and its fruit much, and in it was food for all: the animals of the field had shadow under it, and the birds of the sky lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.
Dan 4:13 I saw in the visions of my head on my bed, and behold, a watcher and a holy one came down from the sky.
Dan 4:14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Cut down the tree, and cut off its branches, shake off its leaves, and scatter its fruit: let the animals get away from under it, and the fowls from its branches.
Dan 4:15 Nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of the sky: and let his portion be with the animals in the grass of the earth:
Dan 4:16 let his heart be changed from man's, and let an animal's heart be given to him; and let seven times pass over him.
Dan 4:17 The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones; to the intent that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will, and sets up over it the lowest of men.
Dan 4:18 This dream I, king Nebuchadnezzar, have seen; and you, Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in you.
Dan 4:19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was stricken mute for a while, and his thoughts troubled him. The king answered, Belteshazzar, don't let the dream, or the interpretation, trouble you. Belteshazzar answered, My lord, the dream be to those who hate you, and its interpretation to your adversaries.
Dan 4:20 The tree that you saw, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached to the sky, and its sight to all the earth;
Dan 4:21 whose leaves were beautiful, and its fruit much, and in it was food for all; under which the animals of the field lived, and on whose branches the birds of the sky had their habitation:
Dan 4:22 it is you, O king, that are grown and become strong; for your greatness is grown, and reaches to the sky, and your dominion to the end of the earth.
Dan 4:23 Whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from the sky, and saying, Cut down the tree, and destroy it; nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field, and let it be wet with the dew of the sky: and let his portion be with the animals of the field, until seven times pass over him;
Dan 4:24 this is the interpretation, O king, and it is the decree of the Most High, which is come on my lord the king:
Dan 4:25 that you shall be driven from men, and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field, and you shall be made to eat grass as oxen, and shall be wet with the dew of the sky, and seven times shall pass over you; until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will.
Dan 4:26 Whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree; your kingdom shall be sure to you, after that you shall have known that the heavens do rule.
Dan 4:27 Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you, and break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if there may be a lengthening of your tranquility.
Dan 4:28 All this came on the king Nebuchadnezzar.
Dan 4:29 At the end of twelve months he was walking in the royal palace of Babylon.
Dan 4:30 The king spoke and said, Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the royal dwelling place, by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?
Dan 4:31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from the sky, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom is departed from you:
Dan 4:32 and you shall be driven from men; and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field; you shall be made to eat grass as oxen; and seven times shall pass over you; until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will.
Dan 4:33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled on Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and ate grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of the sky, until his hair was grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.
Dan 4:34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him who lives forever; for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom from generation to generation.
Dan 4:35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he does according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or tell him, What do you?
Dan 4:36 At the same time my understanding returned to me; and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and brightness returned to me; and my counselors and my lords sought to me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent greatness was added to me.
Dan 4:37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven; for all his works are truth, and his ways justice; and those who walk in pride he is able to abase.

Dec. 9
2 Peter 2

2Pe 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, as false teachers will also be among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master who bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction.
2Pe 2:2 Many will follow their immoral ways, and as a result, the way of the truth will be maligned.
2Pe 2:3 In covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words: whose sentence now from of old doesn't linger, and their destruction will not slumber.
2Pe 2:4 For if God didn't spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
2Pe 2:5 and didn't spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah with seven others, a preacher of righteousness, when he brought a flood on the world of the ungodly;
2Pe 2:6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly;
2Pe 2:7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was very distressed by the lustful life of the wicked
2Pe 2:8 (for that righteous man dwelling among them, was tormented in his righteous soul from day to day with seeing and hearing lawless deeds):
2Pe 2:9 the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment;
2Pe 2:10 but chiefly those who walk after the flesh in the lust of defilement, and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries;
2Pe 2:11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, don't bring a railing judgment against them before the Lord.
2Pe 2:12 But these, as unreasoning creatures, born natural animals to be taken and destroyed, speaking evil in matters about which they are ignorant, will in their destroying surely be destroyed,
2Pe 2:13 receiving the wages of unrighteousness; people who count it pleasure to revel in the daytime, spots and blemishes, reveling in their deceit while they feast with you;
2Pe 2:14 having eyes full of adultery, and who can't cease from sin; enticing unsettled souls; having a heart trained in greed; children of cursing;
2Pe 2:15 forsaking the right way, they went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wrongdoing;
2Pe 2:16 but he was rebuked for his own disobedience. A mute donkey spoke with a man's voice and stopped the madness of the prophet.
2Pe 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds driven by a storm; for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever.
2Pe 2:18 For, uttering great swelling words of emptiness, they entice in the lusts of the flesh, by licentiousness, those who are indeed escaping from those who live in error;
2Pe 2:19 promising them liberty, while they themselves are bondservants of corruption; for a man is brought into bondage by whoever overcomes him.
2Pe 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the defilement of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in it and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
2Pe 2:21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.
2Pe 2:22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb, "The dog turns to his own vomit again," and "the sow that has washed to wallowing in the mire."