1/17/14

From Ben Fronczek... You Are What You Eat


You Are What You Eat

OBJECT Lesson: 
Take a bunch of different kinds of junk food out of a bag and show to the congregation.  
Ask:   “Does this stuff taste good?”

-       “What do we call this kind of food?”  (Health Food? No Junk Food!)

-       “And what is Junk Food?” (Food that has no nutritional value, it usually taste good but is full of fat, salt or sugar, and it is not very healthy to eat)

If Junk food was the only kind of food you ate, how do you think that it would affect you?   There is actually a movie out called,  Super-Size Me.  It’s about a perfectly healthy guy who decides to eat only McDonald’s food for a whole month, to see if was a really that bad of a diet or not. Well after eating that diet for a month not only affected him physically but also mentally as well.

Even though junk food may taste real good, it’s some of the worst stuff we can possibly eat.  A lot of it is almost addictive in nature (eg. sugar and caffeine.) Eat or drink too much of it and you’ll get stomach aches, head aches, you’ll feel fatigued, you can develop skin problems, and even worst yet, digestive disorders, weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, immune system problems, even cancer.

If that’s all you eat your body may experience nutritional malnutrition. Did you know that your body needs to consume at least 90 essential nutrients to maintain a healthy and strong physical body? That diet consists of 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 essential amino acids, and 3 essential fatty acids, every day.  When we deny our body any of these nutrients, the body becomes weaker and even begins to break down and develop problems.

- Scientist known since the 50′s that Chromium and Vanadium deficiencies cause adult-onset diabetes (which makes up 85% of the diabetic population).

- Selenium reduces the risk of cancer from 50 to 80%, depending on the type of cancer

- Copper deficiencies can lead aneurysms, Your arteries’ elastic fibers need copper for tensile strength.

- If you are not getting enough calcium it can cause back pain, bone spurs, cramps and twitches, Degenerative Arthritis, Headaches, High/Low Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Insomnia, Joint Pain, Kidney Stones, Osteoporosis, Panic Attacks, PMS.  

These are the effects that can occur by depriving yourself of just a few minerals.

 That which is true of the physical body is also true of the spiritual body.

We are not just flesh and blood, we have a spiritual part that needs to be fed a healthy diet as well.

Just like particular symptoms of malnutrition appear in the physical body when we deprive it, symptoms of spiritual malnutrition will appear if you stave it or feed only on spiritual junk food.  And just like in the physical body, when negative symptoms appear, we need to do something about it right away before we really get sick.

How may of you feel like you are weak or maybe even dying spiritually?

Maybe, religion and Church isn’t as interesting anymore. You are going through the motions of going to church every Sunday, but even then your mind is somewhere else; you just aren’t into it anymore.  You find you are saying things that you know aren’t right for a Christian to be saying, or doing things that aren’t right for a Christian to be doing… and you don’t know why.
These just may be symptoms of spiritual malnutrition.

After Peter reminds these early Christian who they really are and how much they have been blessed in 1 peter chapter 1, In I Peter 2:1,  he admonishes his readers to get rid of certain negative traits. I like the way the Amplified Bible translates these verses, it says, So be done with every trace of wickedness (depravity, malignity) and all deceit and insincerity (pretense, hypocrisy) and grudges (envy, jealousy) and slander and evil speaking of every kind.”

Peter lists some things that show us that those early Christian needed a healthier spiritual diet..  
He told them to

1st Get rid of Malice, ill will, or the desire to inflict pain on others.

2nd Get rid of  “Deceit”, lying or being crafty in a negative way.

3rd Get rid of Hypocrisy that’s pretending to be what one is not.

4th Get rid of Envy or that strong desire to have or possess what belongs to others; always feeling like you are not getting what other have.

5th Get rid of Slander which is using the tongue to gossip, deceive, or destroy the reputation of someone else.

As I see it when we start feeling down, negative, and acting without Christian love towards others, in one way or another this may be a symptom that our spiritual being  is getting weak or sick.

Peter told them they needed to get rid of those things!

Feeding on spiritual junk food will do this to us. What is spiritual junk food?  Like physical junk food, it’s those things that we ingest that have no nutritional value. Those things may be as pleasing as Ice cream, or fudge, but in all reality spiritual junk food are things with no spiritual value and lead to/ or cause symptoms of spiritual malnutrition.

Did you know that you can consume all the vitamin and minerals you need each day but if you eat too much refined sugar your body will not reap the benefit of those minerals.  Spiritual junk food can have the same effect. You may read your Bible and pray every morning after you get up, even listen to a good sermon on the radio, but  if you feast on negative gossip or course joking when you get to work it’s like feasting on sugar after eating organic produce and meat.
Want some examples of some other spiritual junk food you need to avoid:

-          Some of the things we watch on TV or in movies (I believe those thing we have watched on TV or in movies have desensitized us to too many things that were thought to be unacceptable, crude, inappropriate if not vulgar a generation ago… the blood, the gore, improper sex scenes, or improper relationship which are seen even by our children have become to common place.) TV, and movies have the potential of being very good and educational, if not edifying if we become more selective. We have to be careful of those shows that can poison our mind and spirit.

-          Also we have to be careful of things that we read. Some books and magazines can be as bad for our mind and spirit as some TV shows.

-          Some of the music or talk shows we listen to are horrible.

-          Even some people we hang around with and interact with can harm our spiritual condition; especially when they start complaining, or slandering another, or just talk negative. It discourage us. It like junk food for our Christian mind.

-          Some stuff on the Internet is dangerous as well.
There are more things than I can mention today that can hurt or even starve our spirit. If what we are exposed to is not building up our spirit then they are probably hurting it. And if that is happening, before you know it you will start to develop some symptoms of an unhealthy spirit like those early Christians which Peter wrote to.

The good news is that Peter provides a healthy solution. He goes on to encourage his readers to crave God’s Word just as a baby craves milk.      2” Like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto [completed] salvation.”

Here he is encouraging us, even emphasizing the energy we should exert to get good spiritual food. Babies demand milk as if their very life depended on each feeding. They even cry and scream out for it when they are denied it too long. We need good nutritious food to live a healthy physical life. We also need to hunger and crave that which will feed our spirit and make it strong.

Peter calls God’s Word pure, meaning uncontaminated, unpolluted by fraud or deceit. Jesus said God’s Word is truth John 17:17. David says that God’s Word is flawless, like silver refined in a furnace seven times (Psalm 12:6);                In Psalm 1 David also said that God’s Word is something that we should meditate on day and night if we want to be blessed.

I believe, Peter is teaching us that reading and studying God’s Word promotes spiritual growth and good health just like good food can help us physically. But unfortunately like junk food we don’t reach for that first.

Jesus said, we do not live by bread alone, but by the Word of God - Mt 4:4

He also said, ”The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.- Jn 6:63 & 68

If you stop feeding on God’s Word, which is full of life and spiritual vitamins and minerals for our soul, we grow weak and become malnourished.

I can’t help but believe that Satan wants to see us weak and spiritually starved. He probably helps keep us that way by introducing us all kinds of tempting spiritual junk food.. new movies, new television shows, new gossip and more.

Earlier in this letter, Peter challenged those early Christians by telling them that they needed to refocus their minds. Read what it says in 1:13-17 “ Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.

   -They needed to really prepare their minds for action

   -They need to get under control or be self controlled

   – And re-focus on the hope we have as Christians

And what is the best way to do that, to prepare our mind so that we can have more self control and live as a people full of hope? It starts here in the mind, and so we need to feed our mind and spirit the right diet.

You’ve all heard the saying, ‘You are what you eat!’  Or how about this one, ‘Garbage in garbage out!’ Decide in your mind today that you are not going to let Satan or anybody else rob you of the Christian joy that you should have or your spiritual health. Decide not deprive or starve your spirit.  Just like when you are on a diet, set limits on what you are going to feed your mind and spirit.

Prepare your mind for action. Do what you need to do to feed you spirit on good things.

- Start feeding on God’s Word daily! Read it and study it in such a way expecting to find spiritual nuggets to feast on. And when you find them, underline them, jot them down, maybe even put them up on your refrigerator so you can feed on them over and over.

- Listen to good music that lifts your spirit!

- Read things that will stimulate and encourage your inner spirit to praise God.

- Listed to spiritually edifying sermons and lesson on the radio or computer.

- Find and hang around individuals that are full of the Spirit, those that will build you up and edify you, maybe even challenge you to grow as a Christian.

- If you watch TV or go on the computer, watch things that educate or stimulate you and your spirit.

These are choices you have to make for yourself, just like you decide what to put into your mouth. Change is sometimes hard. At first it may be difficult to give up some old habit and begin new one’s, but in the end if you do the right things you will feel better.

Many times when people go on a healthy diet they go through their house and get rid of all the junk food so they will not be as tempted to indulge in things that are unhealthy for them.

Instead of junk food they fill their pantry with healthy alternatives.  Maybe you need to do the same thing to improve your spiritual health. Maybe you need to take action and get rid of some things that you come in contact with that tempts you spiritually. Maybe you have HBO and Cinemax or other channels on your TV that you may need to do away with or block, and then watch healthy alternatives like, the National Geographic channel, the Family channel, or something else less provocative.  Maybe you need to get rid of your TV all together.

Or maybe you need to throw away certain books and magazines and buy some more Bibles and good spiritual books and leave them all around your house if you like to read.

Or maybe for you it’s what you listen to on the radio, or sites you go to on the internet. Choose a healthy alternative and you will be happier.

Or maybe you need to give up spending time with certain people. You know, those who are foul, negative, complainers, those who make fun of or put down others, and then find new friends to hang out with who will stimulate you in a positive way.

Just like with your body some changes in your diet are hard to make.

But remember, you can do all things (especially those thing which are good for you) thru Christ who will give you strength.

We are capable of so much thru Christ.

Close by reading Psalm 1
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.
Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.”

From Jim McGuiggan... Yes, No, Yes, No


Yes, No, Yes, No

A severely neurotic person constantly wanting to be assured that he/she is loved and wanted, constantly wanting assurance despite the fact that the one that says he/she loves them has invested years in them—that person’s a burden. A beloved burden no doubt, but a burden just the same. The years of "being there" aren’t enough, the lover’s constant reiteration that he/she will always be there isn’t enough. Who has difficulty seeing that this would be tedious—a wearing experience? I suppose we’d finally acknowledge that such a poor soul is sick. It would still be a burden but at least, if we believe that the constant harping is a symptom of neurosis, it would make it a bit easier to bear.

Does it wear on God that we must have ceaseless assurance that he is for us? It’s hardly surprising that the assurance we want we want in the form of specific prayers answered or favours granted or specific answers to specific questions. If these don’t come (or don’t come as often as we ask for them or don’t come in a form that we recognise) the vaporous, ghostly doubts begin to take more solid forms. Any other form of assurance lacks credibility. Biblical texts aren’t enough, even biblical texts about God’s redeeming work in and as Jesus Christ.

Does it wear God down that when he reminds us that he has given us his very own heart, his Son—that we say (in various ways), "Yes, I know about the Christ and that was good of you, and that helps, but...I need more than that"? Is that not an awful saying? Is there not in it the implication, "Yes, it’s true that you have given me your own heart but that isn’t enough"?

I don’t doubt that there are some intellectual difficulties and puzzles attached to God and how he relates to us (is that surprising?) but people have a hard time believing that our sin affects our ability to think (compare Romans 1:21). Those who think that a person with a huge lower lip, shaped by a magnificent pout, thinks well at that moment—they need to think again. God help us, it isn’t only the ill people that can’t be assured; the narcissistic among us have the similar symptoms without the chemical imbalance. We must not only love them, we must love them in the way that they have determined they should be loved—if love is to have any "real" meaning, don’t you know.

Yes, but humans are sinned against and sinful, and it might be hard for them to believe that One so exalted and holy would want them or could go on bearing with them. This is certainly true, for there’s no doubt that hosts of people have difficulty relying on the love of God. We’re sin-sick, aren’t we? The explanation for such a condition is complex, but obviously our own inability to be completely trustworthy shapes our view of God and others. And our numerous experiences in life with many that promised with blood-red earnestness that they had come to stay and then walked off never to return—that has shaped us. The problem doesn’t lie in God—it never did! In our bitter and cynical moments we call all men liars—or at least, we think their "talk is cheap"—and it’s in such a spirit that we glance in God’s direction. Then, in addition, if our pet projects don’t prosper despite our fervent prayers or some major crisis isn’t averted—again, despite fervent prayers—our cynicism spreads heavenward. And that spirit gets around. Our not-hard-to-understand disappointment becomes a whine and before long everyone around us is whining in support.

"Blessed are the moaners, for they shall be heard."

"There’s no need to be sarcastic!" I wouldn’t dream of it and, more to the point, neither would God! At least, not about people that have something to beat on God’s chest about. As for the rest of us, maybe a bit of well chosen sarcasm would get through where being too "understanding" only gets a whine in return. It’s never good for a poor high-strung soul for us to take their side against God. It’s perfectly acceptable and understandable that we sympathise with them in their pain and help alleviate it but to weaken their relationship with God by making God out to be "the ultimate child-abuser" as one writer put it—this isn’t part of our obligation one to another. I think I recall a glorious man do a deeply distressed friend a huge favour by "strengthening him in God." Yes, I’m sure I came across that somewhere.

I know that God knows very well that we’re sinful and that we make sinners out of one another and as a consequence we can’t see him very well—because it’s the pure in heart that see God and we’re a long way from that—don’t you think? But God incarnate, in and as Jesus Christ, found our lack of trust something to marvel at (Mark 6:6 and numerous other texts that move in that direction). I’m not suggesting that therefore he wants nothing more to do with us. Far from it! No, it makes him want to cure us! But we need cured! It’s an ugly world that looks at One that has eternally pledged himself in love to us, and with a slight curl in the lip we say, "Well...maybe he does and maybe he doesn’t."

However we explain our ceaseless demand for assurance, in the end, the heart of God, seen in and as Jesus Christ, is acknowledged and blithely passed by as if it were simply another good thing among many that God has done for us. Other gifts will surely persuade us that God really cares for us—we think. But if his giving us himself in and as Jesus Christ will not persuade us, why would we think that other things would do it?

"Just one! One real sign that he hears me and cares what I have to say. Just one indisputable sign and I’d need no more." Really? Hmmm.

The old timers used to say that the one that has God and everything else has no more than the one that has only God. (What do you think of that?)

The only God there is for believers is the one that relates to us in and as and though Jesus Christ and if that’s not the one we want there might as well be none for there is no other.
Be assured, even if you can’t be assured, God thinks you’re worth dying for.

From Mark Copeland... What Kind Of Men God Makes (2 Timothy 1:7)





"THE SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" 
What Kind Of Men God Makes (1:7)
INTRODUCTION

1. The relationship between Paul and Timothy was like that of a father
   to a son - 2Ti 1:1-2
   a. Whom he prayed for daily - 2Ti 1:3
   b. Whom he longed to see - 2Ti 1:4
   c. Whom he remembered fondly - 2Ti 1:5

2. As any father would his son, Paul sought to encourage Timothy to be a
   man...
   a. To make good use of the blessings and opportunities given to him
      - 2Ti 1:6
   b. To become the kind of man God intended him to be - 2Ti 1:7

[What does God intend for a man to be?  What kind of man is God willing
to create for those who submit to His workmanship?  Using Paul's words
in 2Ti 1:7, we note that...]

I. GOD MAKES FEARLESS MEN

   A. MEN OF GOD DO NOT ALWAYS START OUT BOLD...
      1. Peter displayed cowardice on several occasions - Mt 14:30;
         26:69-75; Ga 2:11-12
      2. Paul confessed fearful tendencies - 1Co 2:3

   B. YET MEN OF GOD DEVELOPED BOLDNESS...
      1. The council noted the boldness of Peter and John - Ac 4:13
      2. Paul later confessed confidence in the face of trial - Ac20:24; 21:13

   C. HOW GOD MAKES FEARLESS MEN...
      1. As faith and love increase, fear decreases
         a. Fear is indicative of little faith - Mt 8:26
         b. Love casts out fear - 1Jn 4:18
      2. Boldness comes through prayer
         a. The apostles prayed for boldness - Ac 4:29-31
         b. Paul solicited prayer in his behalf for boldness - Ep 6:
            18-19

[As men of God grow in faith, love, and prayer, God removes the spirit
of fear.  As we return to our text (2Ti 1:7), we also observe that...]

II. GOD MAKES STRONG MEN

   A. MEN OF GOD START OUT WEAK...
      1. Even the apostles had their moments of weakness - Mt 26:40-41
      2. All disciples start as babes in Christ - cf. 1Co 3:1

   B. YET MEN OF GOD ARE TO BE STRONG...
      1. As Paul exhorted the Corinthians - 1Co 16:13
      2. As he exhorted the Ephesians - Ep 6:10

   C. HOW GOD MAKES STRONG MEN...
      1. By providing the right kind of armor - Ep 6:10-17
      2. By providing the aid of His Spirit in the inner man - Ep 3:
         16,20
      3. By providing a relationship with His Son - Jn 15:5; Php 4:13

[As we grow in truth, righteousness, faith, and prayer, God's Son and
His Spirit will provide what aid we need to be strong in the service of
the Lord.  From our text we also learn that...]

III. GOD MAKES LOVING MEN

   A. MEN OF GOD DO NOT ALWAYS START OUT LOVING...
      1. The apostles were often jealous of one another - Mt 20:24; Lk 22:24
      2. James and John developed the reputation as "Sons Of Thunder"
         - Mk 3:17; cf. Lk 9:54

   B. YET MEN OF GOD DEVELOPED LOVE...
      1. John, "Son of Thunder", became the apostle of love - 1Jn 4:
         7,11
      2. Peter would refer to Paul as "our beloved brother" - 2Pe 3:15

   C. HOW GOD MAKES LOVING MEN...
      1. By loving us - 1Jn 4:10-11; cf. 1Th 4:9-10
      2. By providing Jesus as an example of love - 1Th 3:16; cf. Jn 13:34-35

[As we allow ourselves to be moved by God's love for us, we will grow in
our love for others.  Finally, we see from our text that...]

IV. GOD MAKES SOUND MEN

   A. WHAT IT MEANS TO HAVE A SOUND MIND...
      1. The Greek word is sophronismos - "1) an admonishing or calling
         to soundness of mind, to moderation and self-control; 2) self-
         control, moderation" - Thayer
      2. "The Greek word denotes one of sober mind; a man of prudence
         and discretion. The state referred to here is that in which the
         mind is well balanced, and under right influences; in which it
         sees things in their just proportions and relations; in which
         it is not feverish and excited, but when everything is in its
         proper place." - Barnes
      3. It depicts one who is stable and self-controlled in both life
         and doctrine

   B. THIS QUALITY TO BE FOUND IN MATURE CHRISTIANS...
      1. Bishops (elders) must be sober (sophrone) - 1Ti 3:2; Tit 1:8
      2. Older men are to be temperate (sophrone) - Tit 2:2
      3. Older women are to teach (sophronizo) younger women
         a. To be sober (sophronizo) - Tit 2:4
         b. To be discreet (sophrone) - Tit 2:5
      4. Young men like Timothy - 2Ti 1:7

   C. HOW GOD MAKES SOUND MEN...
      1. Through obedience to the words of His Son - cf. Mt 7:24-25
      2. By setting one's mind on the things of the Spirit (i.e., the
         word of God), producing the fruit of the Spirit - cf. Ro 8:5-6;
         Ga 5:16,22-23

CONCLUSION

1. For those willing to submit to the workmanship of God, He will
   create...
   a. Fearless men
   b. Strong men
   c. Loving men
   d. Sound men

2. Such qualities are not limited to those of the male gender...
   a. They are virtues found in women as well
   b. Especially when older women exemplify and teach them to the
      younger women

3. We may not start the Christian life with these qualities; new
   Christians often have...
   a. Cowardice
   b. Weakness
   c. Hatred
   d. Instability

But God is willing to "give us" (2Ti 1:7) courage, strength, love, and
stability.  Are we willing to submit to His workmanship in our lives...?

Note:  The main points for this outline was taken from a sermon by
Alexander Maclaren, in his "Exposition Of The Scriptures"

xecutable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading... January 17





Bible Reading 

January 17

The World English Bible



Jan. 17
Genesis 17

Gen 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, Yahweh appeared to Abram, and said to him, "I am God Almighty. Walk before me, and be blameless.
Gen 17:2 I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly."
Gen 17:3 Abram fell on his face. God talked with him, saying,
Gen 17:4 "As for me, behold, my covenant is with you. You will be the father of a multitude of nations.
Gen 17:5 Neither will your name any more be called Abram, but your name will be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.
Gen 17:6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you. Kings will come out of you.
Gen 17:7 I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you and to your seed after you.
Gen 17:8 I will give to you, and to your seed after you, the land where you are traveling, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession. I will be their God."
Gen 17:9 God said to Abraham, "As for you, you will keep my covenant, you and your seed after you throughout their generations.
Gen 17:10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your seed after you. Every male among you shall be circumcised.
Gen 17:11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin. It will be a token of the covenant between me and you.
Gen 17:12 He who is eight days old will be circumcised among you, every male throughout your generations, he who is born in the house, or bought with money from any foreigner who is not of your seed.
Gen 17:13 He who is born in your house, and he who is bought with your money, must be circumcised. My covenant will be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
Gen 17:14 The uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people. He has broken my covenant."
Gen 17:15 God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but her name will be Sarah.
Gen 17:16 I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. Yes, I will bless her, and she will be a mother of nations. Kings of peoples will come from her."
Gen 17:17 Then Abraham fell on his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, "Will a child be born to him who is one hundred years old? Will Sarah, who is ninety years old, give birth?"
Gen 17:18 Abraham said to God, "Oh that Ishmael might live before you!"
Gen 17:19 God said, "No, but Sarah, your wife, will bear you a son. You shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him.
Gen 17:20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He will become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.
Gen 17:21 But my covenant I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time next year."
Gen 17:22 When he finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.
Gen 17:23 Abraham took Ishmael his son, all who were born in his house, and all who were bought with his money; every male among the men of Abraham's house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the same day, as God had said to him.
Gen 17:24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
Gen 17:25 Ishmael, his son, was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
Gen 17:26 In the same day both Abraham and Ishmael, his son, were circumcised.
Gen 17:27 All the men of his house, those born in the house, and those bought with money of a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

 
Jan. 17, 18
Matthew 9

Mat 9:1 He entered into a boat, and crossed over, and came into his own city.
Mat 9:2 Behold, they brought to him a man who was paralyzed, lying on a bed. Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, "Son, cheer up! Your sins are forgiven you."
Mat 9:3 Behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man blasphemes."
Mat 9:4 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts?
Mat 9:5 For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven;' or to say, 'Get up, and walk?'
Mat 9:6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins..." (then he said to the paralytic), "Get up, and take up your mat, and go up to your house."
Mat 9:7 He arose and departed to his house.
Mat 9:8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
Mat 9:9 As Jesus passed by from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax collection office. He said to him, "Follow me." He got up and followed him.
Mat 9:10 It happened as he sat in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.
Mat 9:11 When the Pharisees saw it, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
Mat 9:12 When Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do.
Mat 9:13 But you go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Mat 9:14 Then John's disciples came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples don't fast?"
Mat 9:15 Jesus said to them, "Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
Mat 9:16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch would tear away from the garment, and a worse hole is made.
Mat 9:17 Neither do people put new wine into old wineskins, or else the skins would burst, and the wine be spilled, and the skins ruined. No, they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved."
Mat 9:18 While he told these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped him, saying, "My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live."
Mat 9:19 Jesus got up and followed him, as did his disciples.
Mat 9:20 Behold, a woman who had an issue of blood for twelve years came behind him, and touched the fringe of his garment;
Mat 9:21 for she said within herself, "If I just touch his garment, I will be made well."
Mat 9:22 But Jesus, turning around and seeing her, said, "Daughter, cheer up! Your faith has made you well." And the woman was made well from that hour.
Mat 9:23 When Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the flute players, and the crowd in noisy disorder,
Mat 9:24 he said to them, "Make room, because the girl isn't dead, but sleeping." They were ridiculing him.
Mat 9:25 But when the crowd was put out, he entered in, took her by the hand, and the girl arose.
Mat 9:26 The report of this went out into all that land.
Mat 9:27 As Jesus passed by from there, two blind men followed him, calling out and saying, "Have mercy on us, son of David!"
Mat 9:28 When he had come into the house, the blind men came to him. Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They told him, "Yes, Lord."
Mat 9:29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith be it done to you."
Mat 9:30 Their eyes were opened. Jesus strictly commanded them, saying, "See that no one knows about this."
Mat 9:31 But they went out and spread abroad his fame in all that land.
Mat 9:32 As they went out, behold, a mute man who was demon possessed was brought to him.
Mat 9:33 When the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke. The multitudes marveled, saying, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel!"
Mat 9:34 But the Pharisees said, "By the prince of the demons, he casts out demons."
Mat 9:35 Jesus went about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people.
Mat 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd.
Mat 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest indeed is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
Mat 9:38 Pray therefore that the Lord of the harvest will send out laborers into his harvest."



From Gary... The retention of J.O.Y.


This past week I bought a new Bible called the "Inductive Study Bible".  Its text is the 1995 version of the New American Standard (a modified 1966 text), and I can't wait to read it!!!  The Bible that I used during my preaching school era was also the NAS, but the 1966 version. This Bible (the 1966 one) is still on my reading table and completely yellow and marked up (and in places the marking is excessive).  When I saw the above sign I thought of that older Bible, overused, discolored and worn.  But, it is still useful, as I had it rebound about a decade ago. In it is one special marking, which is from the first sermon I remember from chapel at Northeast School of Biblical Studies.  You guessed it, this was the basis of the sermon.  Brother Ed Healy was the speaker and I doubt if he has any idea that his words from so long ago (1977) would still be in my thoughts after so many decades.  He also helped me dramatically by showing me his sermon outlines.  You see, he color coded the major points to aid in their recognition from the pulpit.  This proved to be invaluable in public speaking, but oddly enough led to the color coding I use in The Composite Bible program I spent years in making.  So, today is a long overdue thanks to brother Healy and as much encouragement as I can give.  This brings to mind two passages of Scripture...

1 Corinthians, Chapter 3
5 Who then is Apollos, and who is Paul, but servants through whom you believed; and each as the Lord gave to him?  6 I planted. Apollos watered. But God gave the increase.  7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.  8 Now he who plants and he who waters are the same, but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.  9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s farming, God’s building.  10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But let each man be careful how he builds on it.  11 For no one can lay any other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ.  12 But if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or stubble;  13 each man’s work will be revealed. For the Day will declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself will test what sort of work each man’s work is.  14 If any man’s work remains which he built on it, he will receive a reward.  15 If any man’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, but as through fire.

Matthew, Chapter 13
 3 He spoke to them many things in parables, saying, “Behold, a farmer went out to sow.   4  As he sowed, some seeds fell by the roadside, and the birds came and devoured them.   5  Others fell on rocky ground, where they didn’t have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of earth.   6  When the sun had risen, they were scorched. Because they had no root, they withered away.   7  Others fell among thorns. The thorns grew up and choked them.   8  Others fell on good soil, and yielded fruit: some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty.   9  He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

As I said earlier, Ed has no idea that one lesson would affect me as it has.  But, I think I can safely say that his efforts were not about the results, but about the sowing.  If the truth is proclaimed, that is enough.  The presenter is nothing, God is everything!!!  God's will be done, period!!!  

In closing... Thank you, brother Ed- keep on preaching the word, who knows what your efforts may yield in the 22nd century!!!

PS. You can find out more from Ed's website: http://theabidingword.com/logos/index.html