2/12/14

From Steve Singleton... Can you suggest any plan for systematic Bible study?

Can you suggest any plan for systematic Bible study?

The most important thing you can do is to read the Bible. I do not mean reading a verse or two, but reading a book of the Bible all the way through. Many people who want to study the Bible do not do this simple thing. One easy way to accomplish this is to purchase or borrow audio recordings of the Bible on CD. Once you have read a Bible book several times through, you start to get an idea of what it is all about. Here are some verses on this point: 2 Chronicles 34:14-28; Nehemiah 8:l-18; Psalm 19:7-10; all of Psalm 119, but see for instance, verses 9-16; 1 Timothy 4:13; Revelation 1:l-3. These all show the importance of reading, meditating on, and remembering the Word of God.

Here is a Daily Bible Reading Schedule you can follow throughout the year. The schedule starts you out at the beginning, at the Book of Genesis. It lays the foundation for all that follows. After Genesis, the Old Testament books through Esther are in roughly chronological order. The schedule guides you through book by book, typically interspersing one New Testament book after you read two books from the Old Testament.

After you have been reading regularly in the rapid-fire style this schedule requires, you will be ready to read more slowly and thoughtfully. Write down questions that occur to you as you read. Watch for themes and areas of emphasis. Start using the Bible study tools available from the public library and online. Get involved in a group Bible study.

The next step is to outline the book of the Bible you have read over and over again. Find the natural places where the author moves on to a new topic. In the historical books this is often indicated by a change of place or by the passage of time. In the prophetic books and the epistles, there will be indicators in the text, such as “This is what the Lord says,” or “Now I want you to know, brothers” or “Finally.” When you come across these “context markers,” they will help you to break the text up into smaller pieces. Then, read each piece over and over until you can summarize in your own words what that portion is about. Your summary might sound like this: “Jesus heals a lame man at a pool” or “Paul discusses the importance of living a pure life.” Summarize each of the pieces of the book in a similar way.

Then divide each piece into its paragraphs. Your Bible should be able to help you here, for many Bibles divide the text into paragraphs, indenting the first line of each paragraph. You should be able to summarize each paragraph like you did the larger pieces. Try to figure out how the thoughts flow from one paragraph to the next.

Once you have done this for the entire book, you have a good idea.of what the book is all about, and how the ideas flow from beginning to end. Then you can use that overview to help you understand what any one or two verses mean. You can also look at other passages where the same concept occurs and let those verse inform your thinking about this passage. You are looking to understand how the verses harmonize and fill in meaning for one another. If you think they are in conflict with each other, chances are good that you have misunderstood one or both of them.

Then, you can compare your results with what the writers of commentaries have said about a passage. But it is much better to do you own work first before you consult the commentaries. Then you will be able to debate with the writers and not just swallow everything they try to feed you. If you look at commentaries, it will not take you long to discover that some are better than others, and that some are written for expert scholars, while others are on a very simple level. Find the level that you need given where you are in your Bible study. Take a look at the commentaries  available for free online.

Try to discern the strengths and weaknesses of the commentary writer. Do not just accept what they say because you suppose they are better informed than you are. Listen to their reasons, and see if they make sense to you. (Sometimes they will persuade you, and sometimes you will only become convinced never to use that commentary again.)

Finally, you should be able to summarize what you have learned about a passage by explaining it to someone in a way that they can understand. Give your reasons for the interpretations you have made and the conclusions you have reached. Also, remind yourself and others that you are willing to study the passage some more and would be open to considering another point of view.
Encouraging as many people as possible to engage in ongoing careful and systematic Bible study is one of the main purposes for DeeperStudy.com. Once you are finished “navigating the Shallows,” go on to explore “The Depths.” Also check out the extensive “Study Links.” We have provided you with a wealth of resources and tools for Bible study, and we expect to offer even more in the future.

Want to go deeper?  The following are useful resources for growing in your ability to study the Bible for yourself. Note: I work hard to find the best resources to recommend, but I cannot possibly endorse everything they might teach. Think for yourself!

Recommended for purchase:
Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart.  How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth  (3rd Ed., 2003).
This classic reader-friendly manual explains the different kinds of biblical literature—such as prophecy, Gospels, poetry, and history—so you can get the most from them. The newly revised edition includes an updated list of recommended resources and a new section on the Song of Songs. Highly recommended.

Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart.  How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour  (2002).
Your personal guide to reading the Bible with understanding. Experienced tour guides walk you through the Scriptures. Each book of the Bible has a quick snapshot, then an expanded view to help you better understand its key elements and how it fits into the grand narrative of the Bible. Features include: thumbnail of the book, brief panorama that introduces key concepts and themes, pointers for accurately understanding the details and message of the book in context with the circumstances surrounding its writing, section-by-section tour that helps you see both the larger picture and how various parts work together. Written on a more popular level than How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth.

John Stott.  Understanding the Bible (1999).
Stott gives students, leaders, and new Christians an essential grasp of the Bible’s message in the context of its geographical, historical, and ancient Jewish religious settings. He also enlarges our vision of Christ by revealing him as the focal point of the entire Bible. Stott answers the basic questions, such as Who wrote the Bible?; What is its message?; and Why is it thought to be a holy book?. Stott places Jesus in his proper geographical, religious, and historical setting. Maps and focus questions are at the beginning of each chapter. Stott’s commitment to the Bible as God’s inspired Word greatly enhances his teaching.

Online resources:
World Bible School“ Enroll in free Bible study courses by snail-mail, or you can study your way through their  online Bible studies.

Many thanks to brother Steve Singleton, for allowing me to post from his website, deeperstudy.com.

From Ben Fronczek... Letters From God


Letters From God  

Reading Luke 10: 38-42 

“While Jesus and his followers were traveling, Jesus went into a town. A woman named Martha let Jesus stay at her house.  39 Martha had a sister named Mary, who was sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to him teach. 40 But Martha was busy with all the work to be done. She went in and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me alone to do all the work? Tell her to help me.”
41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things. 42 Only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the better thing, and it will never be taken away from her.” NIV

As a Christian, wouldn’t it be nice to get a personal communication from God every day. Imagine going out the mailbox and finding a letter of encouragement or instruction from God everyday. Wouldn’t that be awesome. Can you imagine getting letters like these in the mail:

Dear Ben,
Here’s something for you to think about today, I have blessed you in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
I chose you before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in my sight. In love I predestined you to be adopted as My son through Jesus Christ, because it was what I wanted and it pleased me to do so.
I have redeemed you through with My Son Jesus’ blood, and have forgiven your sins, It is my gift to you
I have also made known to you the mysteries of My will which I revealed through Christ because that also pleased me as well.
 
Ben, think about and enjoy these blessing today,                                                                   
Your loving heavenly Father, God     (From Ephesians 1:1-9)
 
Dear Ben,
I thought you could use these instructions today. Ben, you Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to others and love them. Honor others above yourself.  Don’t lack in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, in serving Me.Ben, be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with My people who are in need. Practice hospitality.Even bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
 
Ben, do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, but leave that up to Me for as it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”
Ben do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Love you Lots, Your Father God      
(From Romans 12:9-21)
 
I wonder how you would treat those letters if they were actually from God addressed to you?  Would you tear them open to see what God had to say to you each day? Would you cherish those letters and save them like a treasure? Or would you just read them real quick and maybe stack them up like a old pile of magazines?

Hopefully that would not be the case. Hopefully you would go through them periodically, maybe even refer back to them if something came up in your life that you know He wrote to you about. Maybe refer to that last one if someone started treating you bad. I think it would make God feel good knowing that His letters were not being treated like ‘junk mail.’ Or, that you even re-read and refer to them often.

Would not such correspondence every day be a precious treasure?

Well that’s what you have when you take the time each day to pick your Bible and read from it. It contains personal messages from Him to you.

The Bible is the main way that God speaks to us on a personal level. And what He has to say within is important. I am sure you’ve heard it over and over before about the importance of reading your Bible every day.

But how can we take better advantage of what He writes and what we read?  I have to admit, I have a problem when I read. Quite frankly no matter what book I read from I don’t remember as much as I would like to remember after reading it. Even if I read an amazing statement, it won’t be too long before that fact fades away. So if some of you are like me I am concerned about How we can take better advantage of what God is trying to tell us without forgetting it so quickly.

The answer is a relatively simple one and it’s this; When you read God’s word I suggest you read it with a pen or pencil. I find when I read the Bible, God’s letter to me, the Spirit almost always causes a particular verse or passage to stand out. You could have read the same thing over 5 times before but for some reason on that particular day you notice something you never saw before. That’s when you need to take that pencil and underline it.

Better yet I would like to share with you a practice that has changed lives across this globe, and that is start a journal.  What am I talking about?A journal is simply a notebook where you can write down what God says to you that day. A journal is not a diary; it is notebook of precious gems or profound treasures that God reveals to you so that you do not forget them or why they are important.

How many of your really want to draw God’s thoughts out of scripture and them imprint them on your soul – this is one way to do it.

If the Bible just sits on a shelf or your coffee table it’s just another book. But when we open its pages to your eyes and drink it in, and then take notes on those special things He wants you to see, then the Spirit breathes those truths into your life.

I am constantly taking notes on things I read, or when I go to hear people speak, even when I watch or listen to TV or radio programs. If not I forget.

Whether you realize it or not, You honor God by note taking. Taking notes is one of the best ways to honor any instructor. It’s a statement saying that what they have to say is very important to you, ‘note worthy’, something worth saving, preserving so that you can go back to it again.

In the book entitled, THE DIVINE MENTOR, the author teaches a very helpful technique to journal your thoughts as you read scripture, and I would like to share what he has taught thousands do, and it has changed lives.

If you can remember the word SOAP you can remember this simple yet life changing technique,   The word SOAP is a simple acrostic:  
S = Scripture;    
O = Observation;   
A = Application; and  
P = Prayer.

So after you read a portion of scripture, in your notebook write down the date, then write the Scripture reference and what it was all about. Then list some personal observation you noticed. Then the Applications you can personally make to yourself from that scripture, and then write out a small prayer.

More than likely a year from now you will not remember that verse and why it made such an impression to you on that day, but when you write it these things down, and refer back to them, you will remember.

(Here is an example of one of my journal entries)
 
January 5
Scripture: Luke 8:22-25 
As Jesus and His disciples were sailing across a lake, Jesus fell asleep in the boat, and a fierce wind storm came up and the disciples were so afraid that they woke Jesus up . They told Him that ‘We are going to drown.”  Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and the waves and all went calm. Then Jesus asked them, “Where is your faith?”
The text goes on to say that they were amazed and asked one another,  ”Who can this be.  He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
 
My Observations:
Jesus got so tired he fell to sleep and did not wake up. He was really tired. This shows me His humanity and how He is in some like us when we get over tired.
Also, the weather must have been quite fierce for those seasoned fisherman to be so afraid.
Also, I wonder if Jesus asked them, “where is your faith” more because of their fear and reactions in the situation. Maybe they would not have received such a rebuke from Him of they simply came to Him, and calmly woke Him up letting Him simply know about their concern and then asking Him to please take care of the matter. But instead their reaction was more like, “WAKE UP LORD, WE ARE GONNA DIE!!”
 
Application:                                                                                                        No matter what storms of life may come our way we should not forget that Jesus is more powerful that we are and able to handle the situation. We can either get all worked up and flustered like those men, or we can  simply turn to Him in faith and ask Him to handle it and help us through it. We need to trust Him all the way!. Our fear, our anxiety, our frustrations, and poor reactions do not do any good and will not help.
 
Prayer:
Dear Lord, Help me to recognize that you are ever present and that you love me. When difficult, scary, or nerve racking situations arise help me to simply trust in you, and turn to you immediately so that I do not get consumed with anxiety, fear or other bad or negative emotions. I Praise you Father for your care and strength, and majesty.

I know life is full of too many things that can rob our time and distract us from sitting at the feet of our Lord, hearing what He has to say.

In Luke 10:38-42 God sent us a message for the day. As busy as both Mary and Martha could have been, Mary made the better choice. She realized that time spent with Jesus was more important than anything else. There will always be other things to do.

I hope that you make that same choice each day. And I hope that if you do, you will do in a way that really makes it count so that you will remember and benefit from what you read.
I pray God’s blessing upon you.

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

From Jim McGuiggan... Baptism: No trivial issue


Baptism: No trivial issue

 Tell someone you believe baptism is a part of God’s saving process and you’re accused of believing in self-salvation. We hear words like Pelagianism and the heresy of salvation by good works. Tell someone you believe it is merely symbolic and a witness to a salvation already gained before and without baptism and you’re likely to be told that you don’t love God, aren’t interested in obeying him and that you’re undoubtedly hell bound.

There are those who despite knowing it is called for in the New Testament have no opinion on baptism at all, which I suppose is really an opinion on baptism. They see it as an ordinance without significance; well, except for those who care to invest it with significance. They don’t practice it nor do they care that they don’t practice it so when they hear robust dialogue about it they wonder what all the fuss is about.

Those who see it as part of the whole conversion experience press it hard on people and marshal texts to prove that it is part of the saving process. Those who think it’s an “outward sign” of an already experienced “inward grace” of salvation argue just as fervently to prove their case and deny the other. If both sides in the disagreement are sensitive they tend to avoid talking about it for fear of distressing someone. It’s like talking about crazy Uncle Charlie in the presence of highbrow strangers.

And again, those who think the whole thing is a waste of good time and energy piously get on with “the real heart of Christianity” and wonder why the debates go on and on. (I can’t help remembering that one momentous night when the world was hungry and just as lost as now the Savior took twelve men aside in an upper room and engaged in a “church ordinance”. Only a silly person thinks baptism (or Holy Communion) is a trivial issue. They didn’t learn this silliness from the New Testament.)

What strikes me with real force is that none of the above happens in the New Testament. First of all, you simply can’t read the New Testament and think baptism is a trivial issue. I won’t stop to cite texts because that would be to kill a corpse. Whatever else we get from the New Testament record, no one sighs and says, “Oh dear, more talk about church ordinances when the world is starving and lost. What a pity we have to descend to the trivial issues.” Those whose reading of the New Testament shows them that baptism is a very significant matter shouldn’t pretend it is otherwise neither should we intentionally give others the impression that we think it is unimportant or trivial.

Then there’s this. No one in the New Testament ever tries to prove anything about baptism, they simply call for it and those who are called obey it. Did thousands want to be right with God in Christ? They were told to repent and be baptized for forgiveness and the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:37-38). Were Christians with a Jewish background confused about their responsibility to the torah? They were reminded of their baptism into Christ (Romans 6:3-7 and Galatians 3:26-27). Was a penitent persecutor waiting to be told what to do to have his sins washed away and enter a living adventure as an apostle? He was told to wait no longer but get himself baptized to wash away his sins, calling on the Lord’s name (Acts 22:16). Neither Peter nor Ananias nor Paul was attempting to prove anything about baptism and the people who obeyed didn’t ask, “Do I have to be baptized?” All this debating business is a modern thing that developed out of Catholic--Protestant and then inter-Protestant controversy. It isn’t New Testament! And all this reluctance to bring it up in case it offends someone isn’t New Testament because in there everyone just blurts it out.

Those who say the debate arose out of Pauline teaching about grace as opposed to “works righteousness” seem to forget that the apostle who opposed some form of works righteousness was himself baptized to have his sins washed away as he took the name of Christ on him. They seem to forget also that he wrote his most compelling words about grace to “the Ephesians” even though he founded the Ephesian church by baptizing some believers a second time. (I recognize their problem was a problem about basic gospel truth and not merely their baptism. But he did immerse them a second time once he had taught them essential truth and he baptized them “into” the name of Christ--see Acts 19:1-7.)

From Mark Copeland.... Sound Doctrine For Older Women ( Titus 2:3-4)






                         "THE EPISTLE TO TITUS"

                 Sound Doctrine For Older Women (2:3-4)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our text, Paul describes "things which are proper for sound
   doctrine" - Tit 2:1
   a. Doctrine that is spiritually healthy, wholesome
   b. In this case, exhortations related to godly conduct

2. We saw that he wanted Titus to tell the older men to be...
   a. Sober, reverent, temperate - 2Ti 2:2
   b. Sound in faith, in love, in patience - 2Ti 2:2

[Now Paul directs his comments to...]

I. CONDUCT BECOMING OLDER WOMEN

   A. REVERENT IN BEHAVIOR...
      1. Reverent (hieroprepes)
         a. As becomes holiness - Strong
         b. Meaning to act like a sacred person - The Complete WordStudy
            Dictionary (TCWD)
      2. In behavior (katastema)
         a. Demeanor, deportment, bearing - Thayer
         b. Manner of life - TCWD
      -- In dress, in speech, in conduct, they are to reflect their holy
         calling

   B. NOT SLANDERERS, NOT GIVEN TO MUCH WINE...
      1. Not slanderers (diabolos)
         a. A false accuser, used for the devil - TCWD
         b. One who falsely accuses and divides people without any
            reason - ibid.
      2. Not given to much wine (douloo polos oinos)
         a. Not enslaved by much wine, not habitual drunkards or
            tipplers - Clarke
         b. Both among the Greeks and Romans old women were generally
            reputed to be fond of much wine - ibid.
      -- They are to guard against what comes out of their mouths, and
         what goes into it

   C. TEACHERS OF GOOD THINGS...
      1. Teachers of good things (kalodidaskolos)
      2. Teaching that which is good, a teacher of goodness - Thayer
      3. Influencing for good the younger women by precept and example
         - JFB
      4. What they were to teach includes what is described for younger
         women - Tit 2:4-5
      -- The Lord intends for older women to be teachers

   D. ADMONISHING YOUNGER WOMEN...
      1. Admonishing (sophronizo)
      2. To hold one to his (her) duty; to exhort earnestly - Thayer
      3. To correct, teach - TCWD
      -- Older women have a duty to teach and correct the younger women

[Just as older men often think their age is an excuse to slack off in
regards to the service of Christ and His church, sometimes the older
women do also.  Yet God can still use their service.  Consider some...]

II. EXAMPLES TO INSPIRE OLDER WOMEN

   A. SARAH...
      1. Over 65 years old when she left Ur with Abraham - Gen 12:4-5
      2. A beautiful woman in her old age - Gen 12:11,14; 20:2
      3. A woman of faith - He 11:11
      4. Adorned with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet
         spirit - 1Pe 3:3-4
      5. Who trusted in God, and was submissive to her husband - 1 Pe 3:5-6
      -- A woman whose physical beauty was surpassed by her inner beauty

   B. ANNA...
      1. A woman over 100 years old - Lk 2:36
      2. Who served God with fastings and prayers night and day - Lk 2:37
      3. Who did not hesitate to thank God, and tell others the good
         news of God! - Lk 2:38
      -- A woman who used her widowhood to serve God and others

   C. TABITHA (DORCAS)...
      1. Whom Peter restored to life - Ac 9:36-42
      2. Full of good works and charitable deeds - Ac 9:36
      3. Made tunics and garments, likely for the widows who showed them
         - Ac 9:39
      -- Another example of a woman who used her life to serve others

   D. PETER'S WIFE...
      1. Whose mother was healed by Jesus - Mt 8:14-15
      2. Who accompanied her husband on his travels - 1Co 9:5
      3. Who herself was martyred, according to Clement of Alexandria
      -- A woman who left home and family to follow Christ and
         ultimately die for Him

   E. MODERN DAY EXAMPLES...
      1. Older women who continue to teach children and younger women
      2. Older women who have traveled to foreign lands to teach others
      2. Older women who attend despite their frail health and painful
         infirmities
      4. Women who would rather wear out than rust out
      -- Who will God use today?  Aged women who refuse to stop working
         for the Lord!

CONCLUSION

1. Again, it is not enough to be considered "sound" (healthy) just
   because...
   a. We stood for the truth in the past
   b. We served in the church for many years in the past

2. It is not enough to just have older men who are...
   a. Sober, reverent, and temperate
   b. Healthy in faith, love, and patience
   c. Willing to serve as elders if qualified

3. We need older women who are...
   a. Reverent in behavior
   b. Not slanderers, not given to much wine
   c. Teachers of good things
   c. Willing to exhort and admonish the younger women

Are the older women also willing to bear fruit in their old age...? -
cf. Ps 92:12-15

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011



From Gary... Bible Reading February 12



Bible Reading   

February 12

The World English Bible


Feb. 12
Genesis 43
Gen 43:1 The famine was severe in the land.
Gen 43:2 It happened, when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said to them, "Go again, buy us a little more food."
Gen 43:3 Judah spoke to him, saying, "The man solemnly warned us, saying, 'You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.'
Gen 43:4 If you'll send our brother with us, we'll go down and buy you food,
Gen 43:5 but if you'll not send him, we'll not go down, for the man said to us, 'You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.' "
Gen 43:6 Israel said, "Why did you treat me so badly, telling the man that you had another brother?"
Gen 43:7 They said, "The man asked directly concerning ourselves, and concerning our relatives, saying, 'Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?' We just answered his questions. Is there any way we could know that he would say, 'Bring your brother down?' "
Gen 43:8 Judah said to Israel, his father, "Send the boy with me, and we'll get up and go, so that we may live, and not die, both we, and you, and also our little ones.
Gen 43:9 I'll be collateral for him. From my hand will you require him. If I don't bring him to you, and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever,
Gen 43:10 for if we hadn't delayed, surely we would have returned a second time by now."
Gen 43:11 Their father, Israel, said to them, "If it must be so, then do this. Take from the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down a present for the man, a little balm, a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts, and almonds;
Gen 43:12 and take double money in your hand, and take back the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight.
Gen 43:13 Take your brother also, get up, and return to the man.
Gen 43:14 May God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may release to you your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."
Gen 43:15 The men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and got up, went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
Gen 43:16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, "Bring the men into the house, and butcher an animal, and make ready; for the men will dine with me at noon."
Gen 43:17 The man did as Joseph commanded, and the man brought the men to Joseph's house.
Gen 43:18 The men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph's house; and they said, "Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time, we're brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, attack us, and seize us as slaves, along with our donkeys."
Gen 43:19 They came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they spoke to him at the door of the house,
Gen 43:20 and said, "Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food.
Gen 43:21 When we came to the lodging place, we opened our sacks, and behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. We have brought it back in our hand.
Gen 43:22 We have brought down other money in our hand to buy food. We don't know who put our money in our sacks."
Gen 43:23 He said, "Peace be to you. Don't be afraid. Your God, and the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks. I received your money." He brought Simeon out to them.
Gen 43:24 The man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet. He gave their donkeys fodder.
Gen 43:25 They made ready the present for Joseph's coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.
Gen 43:26 When Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves down to him to the earth.
Gen 43:27 He asked them of their welfare, and said, "Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he yet alive?"
Gen 43:28 They said, "Your servant, our father, is well. He is still alive." They bowed the head, and did homage.
Gen 43:29 He lifted up his eyes, and saw Benjamin, his brother, his mother's son, and said, "Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?" He said, "God be gracious to you, my son."
Gen 43:30 Joseph hurried, for his heart yearned over his brother; and he sought a place to weep. He entered into his room, and wept there.
Gen 43:31 He washed his face, and came out. He controlled himself, and said, "Serve the meal."
Gen 43:32 They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians, that ate with him, by themselves, because the Egyptians don't eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians.
Gen 43:33 They sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth, and the men marveled one with another.
Gen 43:34 He sent portions to them from before him, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. They drank, and were merry with him.
 
Feb. 12, 13
Matthew 22

Mat 22:1 Jesus answered and spoke again in parables to them, saying,
Mat 22:2 "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage feast for his son,
Mat 22:3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast, but they would not come.
Mat 22:4 Again he sent out other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, "Behold, I have made ready my dinner. My cattle and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the marriage feast!" '
Mat 22:5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his merchandise,
Mat 22:6 and the rest grabbed his servants, and treated them shamefully, and killed them.
Mat 22:7 When the king heard that, he was angry, and sent his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Mat 22:8 "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited weren't worthy.
Mat 22:9 Go therefore to the intersections of the highways, and as many as you may find, invite to the marriage feast.'
Mat 22:10 Those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together as many as they found, both bad and good. The wedding was filled with guests.
Mat 22:11 But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who didn't have on wedding clothing,
Mat 22:12 and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here not wearing wedding clothing?' He was speechless.
Mat 22:13 Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and throw him into the outer darkness; there is where the weeping and grinding of teeth will be.'
Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few chosen."
Mat 22:15 Then the Pharisees went and took counsel how they might entrap him in his talk.
Mat 22:16 They sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are honest, and teach the way of God in truth, no matter who you teach, for you aren't partial to anyone.
Mat 22:17 Tell us therefore, what do you think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"
Mat 22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why do you test me, you hypocrites?
Mat 22:19 Show me the tax money." They brought to him a denarius.
Mat 22:20 He asked them, "Whose is this image and inscription?"
Mat 22:21 They said to him, "Caesar's." Then he said to them, "Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
Mat 22:22 When they heard it, they marveled, and left him, and went away.
Mat 22:23 On that day Sadducees (those who say that there is no resurrection) came to him. They asked him,
Mat 22:24 saying, "Teacher, Moses said, 'If a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed for his brother.'
Mat 22:25 Now there were with us seven brothers. The first married and died, and having no seed left his wife to his brother.
Mat 22:26 In like manner the second also, and the third, to the seventh.
Mat 22:27 After them all, the woman died.
Mat 22:28 In the resurrection therefore, whose wife will she be of the seven? For they all had her."
Mat 22:29 But Jesus answered them, "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.
Mat 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like God's angels in heaven.
Mat 22:31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven't you read that which was spoken to you by God, saying,
Mat 22:32 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?' God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."
Mat 22:33 When the multitudes heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.
Mat 22:34 But the Pharisees, when they heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, gathered themselves together.
Mat 22:35 One of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him.
Mat 22:36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?"
Mat 22:37 Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 A second likewise is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
Mat 22:40 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."
Mat 22:41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question,
Mat 22:42 saying, "What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?" They said to him, "Of David."
Mat 22:43 He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call him Lord, saying,
Mat 22:44 'The Lord said to my Lord, sit on my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet?'
Mat 22:45 "If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?"
Mat 22:46 No one was able to answer him a word, neither did any man dare ask him any more questions from that day forth.

From Gary... Do the right thing!!!


As I recall, this picture was taken in chapel at Northeast School of Biblical Studies about May, 1977.   I was still under thirty years of age and somewhat naive.  If I only knew then, what I know today, I wonder what I would have done differently? One thing is for sure, I would have been more open, more approachable, and a little less sure of myself.  But, one thing I did right; I always tried to do the "right thing".  My example for this concept is found in Paul's letter to Philemon...

Philemon
10 I beg you for my child, whom I have become the father of in my chains, Onesimus,   11 who once was useless to you, but now is useful to you and to me.  12 I am sending him back. Therefore receive him, that is, my own heart,  13 whom I desired to keep with me, that on your behalf he might serve me in my chains for the Good News.  14 But I was willing to do nothing without your consent, that your goodness would not be as of necessity, but of free will.  15 For perhaps he was therefore separated from you for a while, that you would have him forever,  16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much rather to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
Actually, doing the right thing is a practical application of a Biblical standard; in the case above, Paul is doing that which brotherly love would dictate he do.   Very good act to follow!!!  When do you apply this concept... well, every day, of course.  The thing is... not to just preach it, but to practice it.  Eventually, you will get it right.  As for me- I am still learning!!!