3/29/14

From Eric Lyons, M.Min. ... Wonders of God’s Creation

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2629

Wonders of God’s Creation

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

According to the General Theory of Evolution, about 14 billion years ago “all the matter in the universe was concentrated into one very dense, very hot region that may have been much smaller than a period on this page. For some unknown reason, this region exploded” (Hurd, et al., p. 61). As a result of the alleged explosion of a period-sized ball of matter, billions of galaxies formed, and eventually planets such as Earth evolved. Supposedly, the evolution of galaxies, and every planet, moon, and star within these galaxies, all came about by non-purposeful, unintelligent accidents. Likewise, every life form that eventually appeared on Earth purportedly evolved by mindless, random chances over millions of years. Some life forms “just happened” to evolve the ability to reproduce asexually, while others “just happened” to develop the capability to reproduce sexually. Some life forms “just happened” to evolve the ability to walk along vertical ledges (e.g., geckos), while others “just happened” to evolve the “gift” of glowing (e.g., glow worms). Some life forms “just happened” to evolve the ability to make silk (e.g., spiders), which, pound-for-pound, is stronger than steel, while others “just happened” to evolve the ability to “turn 90 degrees in under 50 milliseconds” while flying in a straight line (e.g., the blowfly; Mueller, 2008, 213[4]:82). Allegedly, everything has come into existence by random chances over billions of years. According to the General Theory of Evolution, there was no Mind, no Intelligence, and no Designer that created the Universe and everything in it.
Ironically, though atheistic evolutionary scientists insist that the Earth and all living things on it have no grand, intelligent Designer, these same scientists consistently refer to amazing “design” in nature. Consider an example of such paradoxical language in a recent National Geographic article titled, “Biomimetics: Design by Nature” (Mueller, 2008). The word “design” (or one of its derivatives—designs, designed, etc.) appeared no less than seven times in the article in reference to “nature’s designs.” Evolutionary biologist Andrew Parker spoke of his collection of preserved animals as “a treasure-trove of brilliant design” (quoted in Mueller, 2008, 213[4]:75, emp. added). After interviewing Parker, National Geographic writer Tom Mueller noted how the capillaries between the scales of a thorny devil lizard are “evidently designed to guide water toward the lizard’s mouth” (p. 81, emp. added). He then explained how “[i]nsects offer an embarrassment of design riches” (p. 75, emp. added). Mueller referred to nature’s “sophistication” and “clever devices” (p. 79), and praised nature for being able to turn simple materials “into structures of fantastic complexity, strength, and toughness” (p. 79). After learning of the uncanny, complicated maneuverability of a little blowfly, Mueller even confessed to feeling the need to regard the insect “on bended knee in admiration” (p. 82). Why? Because of its “mysterious” and “complicated” design. Brilliant and well-funded scientists around the world admit that living things perform many feats “too mysterious and complicated to be able to replicate” (p. 82). They are “designed,” allegedly, with no “Designer.”
But how can you get design without purpose, intelligence, and deliberate planning? The first three definitions the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary gives for “design” (noun) are as follows: “1a:a particular purpose held in view by an individual or group...b:deliberate purposive planning... 2:a mental project or scheme in which means to an end are laid down; 3a:a deliberate undercover project or scheme” (“Design,” 2008, emp. added). After defining “design” as a drawing, sketch, or “graphic representation of a detailed plan...,” the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language noted that design may be defined as “[t]he purposeful or inventive arrangement of parts or details” (2000, p. 492, emp. added). A design is preceded by “deliberate purposive planning,” “a detailed plan,” or an “inventive arrangement.” A design is the effect, not of time, chance, and unintelligent, random accidents, but of the purposeful planning and deliberate actions of an inventor or designer. A designer brings about a design. Thus, by definition, design demands a designer, and one with some measure of intelligence.
National Geographic purports that nature “blindly cobbles together myriad random experiments over thousands of generations” in order to produce complex, living organisms that the world’s “top scientists have yet to comprehend” (Mueller, 2008, 213[4]:90). We, on the other hand, choose to believe that, just as a painting demands a painter, and a poem a poet, the world’s amazing designs, which continually stump the most intelligent scientists on Earth, demand an intelligent Designer. Consider three wonders of God’s Creation—from the land, sea, and air—that testify on behalf of a grand Designer and against the random, chance processes of mindless evolution.

GIRAFFES

The height of an 18-foot giraffe, the tallest of all land animals, is quite daunting. The clumsy-looking giraffe’s ability to run 34 miles per hour is very impressive. Its minimal sleep requirements—only about 30 minutes a day, often broken up into several short naps—and its ability to go weeks without drinking is remarkable (“Giraffe,” 1999). Its 18-inch, prehensile tongue, eight-foot-long tail, and six-foot-tall newborns are all very striking. Most remarkable, however, is the design of the giraffe’s circulatory system.
Consider that a giraffe’s brain is about eight feet higher than its heart. In order to get blood from its heart up to its brain, a giraffe must have an enormous heart that can pump blood extremely hard against gravity. What’s more, it must maintain such blood pressure as long as the giraffe’s neck is vertically in the air. It should come as no surprise that this long-necked mammal is equipped with a two-foot-long, 20-plus-pound, thick-walled heart that is large enough and strong enough to pump blood eight feet high—creating blood pressure that is about twice that of any other large mammal, and as much as three times that of the average person (Foster, 1977, 152[3]:409).
But what about when a giraffe suddenly lowers its head several feet below its heart to get a drink of water? What happens to all of the blood that the heart normally pumps so powerfully against gravity to the brain? If the design of the giraffe were merely left up to time and chance, one would expect that the first time a giraffe tried to lower its neck to get a drink of water, the heart would pump so much blood to the brain that blood vessels in the brain would explode, or the brain would fill up with blood so quickly that the giraffe would pass out.
How does the giraffe keep from having brain bleeds, or from feeling woozy and passing out every time it bends down and raises back up? A National Geographic article on giraffes explains:
To withstand the surge of blood to and from the brain as its neck sweeps up and down, the giraffe has developed control valves in the jugular veins and a special network of blood vessels in its head. Known as the rete mirabile caroticum—wonder net of the carotids—this circulatory buffer keeps blood pressure constant in the brain” (Foster, p. 409).
A giraffe, then, has intricate valves in its jugular veins that help control how much blood gets to the brain during those times when a giraffe has its head lowered. Working together with these valves is a network of blood vessels that “controls the flow of blood into the head” (p. 411). Then, “[w]hen the head is raised, the same net counters the danger of blackouts from reduced blood pressure” (p. 411).
One might wonder how giraffes, which stand on their feet most of the day and have such high blood pressure, keep their lower extremities from pooling with blood. The fact is, even though “the blood vessels in the lower legs are under great pressure (because of the weight of fluid pressing down on them),” giraffes “have a very tight sheath of thick skin over their lower limbs that maintains high extravascular pressure” (“Giraffe,” 2008, parenthetical comment in orig.). Similar to a fighter pilot’s G-suit that “exerts pressure on the body and legs of the wearer under high acceleration and prevents blackout....[l]eakage from the capillaries in the giraffe’s legs, due to high blood pressure, is also probably prevented by a similar pressure of the tissue fluid outside the cells. In addition, the walls of the giraffe’s arteries are thicker than those in any other mammal” (Kofahl, 1992, 14[2]:23).
So, the giraffe has:
  • “a complex pressure-regulation system” (“Giraffe,” 2008).
  • “unique valves” that prevent overpressure when it lowers its head (Foster, 1977, p. 409).
  • a network of blood vessels that helps stabilize blood pressure as the giraffe moves its neck up and down.
  • a heart powerful enough to send an adequate amount of blood eight feet upwards against gravity.
  • arteries in the lower part of its body thick enough to withstand the high blood pressure.
  • skin tight enough to force blood back upward and keep capillaries in its lower extremities from bursting.
  • oversized lungs (large enough to hold 12 gallons of air) that “compensate for the volume of dead air” in its 10-foot long trachea (Foster, p. 409; “Mammals: Giraffe,” 2008). [“Without this extra air-pumping capacity a giraffe would breathe the same used air over and over” (Foster, p. 409).]
National Geographic would have us believe that “nature” provided giraffes with all of this “special equipment” (Foster, p. 411). Supposedly, giraffes’ specialized, necessary, “unique” control valves are “remarkable adaptations” that “developed” (p. 409, emp. added). In other words, multiplied millions of years of “evolution” have “modified the giraffe’s anatomy to allow this stretched-version mammal to function” (p. 409).
How do the mindless, purposeless, random processes of time and chance adequately explain “unique valves,” “a complex pressure-regulation system,” a “wonder net” that “keeps blood pressure constant in the brain” (whether the giraffe’s neck is raised or lowered), a heart, lungs, and arteries all just the right size, etc.? Even more difficult (impossible) for evolution to explain is how all of these sophisticated body parts came about simultaneously? After all, what good is a big heart without a network of blood vessels that stabilizes blood pressure? And what is the point of the rete mirabile caroticum, if the giraffe did not have a heart powerful enough to pump blood eight feet into the air? Evolutionist Robert Wesson openly addressed this issue in his book, Beyond Natural Selection. He wrote:
All these things had to be accomplished in step, and they must have been done rapidly.... That it could all have come about by synchronized random mutations strains the definition of random. The most critical question, however, is how the original impetus to giraffeness—and a million other adaptations—got started and acquired sufficient utility to have selective value.... The observer must be often tempted to suppose that organisms have responded to their conditions and needs more purposefully than strict Darwinian theory can allow (1991, p. 226, emp. added).
Truly, the amazingly intricate design of the giraffe’s circulatory system, as well as the rest of its anatomy and physiology, demand a better explanation than the random, chance processes of evolution. The fact is, the giraffe is brilliantly designed—a wonder of God’s creation.

CUTTLEFISH

Two colorful, eight-legged cephalopods, known as cuttlefish, recently graced the cover of the journal New Scientist (2008, 198[2653]). With bluish-green blood, iridescent skin, feeding tentacles that shoot from their mouths like birthday party blowers, and eyes like something from a Batman movie, it is no surprise that the editors of New Scientist used the term “alien” in their description of the cuttlefish; the animals do look bizarre—plain and simple. Make no mistake, however, these creatures are anything but simple. In fact, just above the cuttlefish was the cover title, “Alien Intelligence: Secret Code of an Eight-Legged Genius” (Brooks, 2008, emp. added). Michael Brooks, author of the feature article, declared that the cuttlefish is “the world’s most inventive mollusk” (2008, p. 31, emp. added) with a “sophisticated system for talking to one another” (p. 28, emp. added). Scientists have documented “around 40 different cuttlefish body patterns, many of which are used to communicate with other cuttlefish” (p. 29). At other times, cuttlefish send “tailor-made” signals to predators (p. 29, emp. added).
Even more incredible than their communication skills, is the cuttlefishes’ ability to blend in to their surroundings. Brooks described them as having “the world’s best camouflage skills” (p. 29). Similar to how these mollusks (cuttlefish have an internal shell called a cuttlebone, thus, scientists classify them as mollusks) communicate with other animals via a variety of body patterns, they also move their bodies into a variety of positions in hopes of staying hidden. For example, while swimming next to large seaweed, a cuttlefish can mimic the motion of the grass by positioning and waving its eight arms similar to how seaweed sways in water. This makes it very difficult for both attackers and possible prey to locate the cuttlefish. In a recent study, scientists placed either horizontal or vertical stripes on the walls of cuttlefish tanks. How did the cuttlefish react? According to Dr. Roger Hanlon, “If the stripes were vertical they would raise an arm. If the stripes were horizontal they would stretch their bodies out horizontally” (as quoted in Brooks, p. 31). Amazing! Cuttlefish can even change the texture of their skin to mimic the shape of certain barnacle-encrusted rocks or corals.
But what must give other sea life more problems than anything is the cuttlefish’s ability to change color—and to do it so quickly. A cuttlefish can change the color of its entire body in the blink of an eye. If this mollusk wants to change to red, it sends signals from its brain to its “pigment” sacs (called chromatophores) to change to red. Cuttlefish can hide from other sea life by changing to the color of sand or seaweed. They can also appear as a strobe light, blinking “on and off” very quickly. So extraordinary are these “masters of camouflage” (p. 28) that government researchers are even “looking into the possibility of copying cuttlefish camouflage for use in the military” (p. 31). Researchers are enamored with “how cuttlefish achieve their quick and convincing camouflage” (p. 30). Nevertheless, “[i]t’s highly unlikely that anyone could achieve that same level of camouflage” (p. 30). Scientists admittedly find it difficult “mimicking the colour-matching abilities of the cuttlefish...and its texture-matching ability, which utilizes the muscles beneath it” (p. 30). In fact, “[n]o one knows exactly” how cuttlefish match their backgrounds so effectively, especially since “[e]xperiments have shown that cuttlefish don’t look at their skin to check how well it matches the background” (p. 31, emp. added). What’s more, if, as scientists believe, this animal is colorblind, only seeing in shades of green (p. 31), how does it always choose the color most helpful (like changing to the color of sand when on the ocean floor)?
The cuttlefish is a remarkable creature. Evolutionists have called this animal a “genius.” Scientists admit that cuttlefish are “sophisticated,” “intelligent,” “tailor-made” creatures with a “secret code.” Yet “evolution” was the very first word Michael Brooks used in his New Scientist article to explain the existence of cuttlefish (p. 29). But how can intelligence arise from non-intelligence? How can something “tailor-made” have no tailor? No one would suggest that Morse code is the product of time and chance, yet Brooks and other evolutionists would have us believe that the cuttlefish’s “secret code” is the product of millions of years of mindless evolution (p. 31)? Preposterous! Nature cannot explain the cuttlefish. The real Code-Giver, the intelligent Designer Who “tailor-made” the cuttlefish, is God. He “created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind” (Genesis 1:21).

GODWITS

As of the summer of 2008, Usain Bolt was the fastest man alive. During the 2008 Olympics, Bolt set Olympic and World records by running 100 meters in 9.69 seconds. A human running at a speed of 28 miles per hour is quite impressive, but neither Usain Bolt nor any other human can maintain such a speed for more than a few seconds. Marathon runners may be able to run 26.2 miles without stopping, but no one averages more than 13 miles per hour while running great distances. Although the human body is a meticulously designed “machine” (see Jackson, 2000), which functions perfectly for its intended purpose on Earth, there are limits to what a person can do. When these limits are compared to the speed and distance a particular bird flew some time ago, one gains a greater appreciation for God’s wondrous creation.

In February 2007, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey fitted 16 shorebirds, known as bar-tailed godwits, with satellite transmitters. One of the godwits, dubbed E7, made its way from New Zealand to Alaska over the next three months, flying 9,340 miles with one five-week-long layover near the North Korea-China border (Hansford, 2007). After nearly four months, the godwit began its uninterrupted flight back to New Zealand. Amazingly, this little bird, which normally weighs less than one pound, flew 7,145 miles in nine days without stopping, averaging 34.8 mph. Without taking a break to eat, drink, or rest, the godwit flew “the equivalent of making a roundtrip flight between New York and San Francisco, and then flying back again to San Francisco without ever touching down” (“Bird Completes...,” 2007). Equally impressive, the godwit’s approximately 16,500-mile, roundtrip journey ended where it began. Without a map, a compass, or even a parent, godwits can fly tens of thousands of miles without getting lost.
Scientists have studied the migration of birds for decades and still cannot adequately explain this “age-old riddle” (Peterson, 1968, p. 108). Their stamina and sense of direction is mind-boggling. In his book Unsolved Mysteries of Science, evolutionist John Malone reported how much progress man has made over the last few centuries in understanding how birds are able to journey thousands of miles with pinpoint accuracy (2001, pp. 114-122). Yet, he concluded his chapter on bird migration with these words:
Partial explanations abound, but every book or scientific article on bird migration is full of conditional words and phrases: “It may be...but it also might not be.” We know more about how birds might achieve their epic flights around the world, but there are still far more mysteries than there are explanations. The tiny songbird that reappeared to build its nest in the apple tree outside your window—and we know from banding that it can indeed be exactly the same bird—has been to South America and back since you saw it last. How can that be? This is one case where it may be nicer not to know—simply allow yourself to be swept up by awe and wonder (p. 122, emp. added).
Try as they might, evolutionists attempting to explain the complexities of bird migration can only offer woeful (and often contradictory) theories, at best (Peterson, p. 108). How can a person reasonably conclude that non-intelligence, plus time, plus chance, equals a one-pound, bar-tailed godwit flying 7,145 miles in nine days without stopping for food, water, or rest? The “awe and wonder” to which John Malone alluded should be directed toward neither mindless evolution nor the birds themselves, but to the “great and awesome God” (Daniel 9:4) Who has done “wondrous works” and “awesome things” (Psalm 106:22), including endowing birds with the amazing trait we call “instinct.” Truly, it is not by evolution or man’s wisdom that a bird “soars, stretching his wings toward the south” (Job 39:26). Rather, “the stork in the sky knows her seasons; and the turtledove and the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration” (Jeremiah 8:7, NASB), because all-knowing, all-powerful Jehovah is the Creator of them all.

CONCLUSION

Whereas National Geographic highlights “nature” and encourages readers to “learn from what evolution has wrought” (Mueller, 2008, 213[4]:75, emp. added), mankind would do better to heed the example of a noble inventor/designer from the mid-1800s. Samuel Morse, who invented the telegraph system and Morse Code, sent the very first telegraph from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore, Maryland on May 24, 1844 (“Today...,” 2007). His message consisted of a brief quotation from Numbers 23:23: “What hath God wrought!” (emp. added). Samuel Morse unashamedly testified to what everyone should understand: design demands a designer. Morse’s code and the telegraph system were the immediate effects of a designer: Samuel Morse. But, the Grand Designer, Who created Morse and every material thing that Morse used to invent his telegraph system, is God. Morse recognized this marvelous, self-evident truth. Should we not recognize it as well, especially in view of the abilities of giraffes, cuttlefish, and godwits—wonders of God’s creation?
For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God (Hebrews 3:4).
The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all its fullness, You have founded them. The north and the south, You have created them (Psalm 89:11-12).
This great and wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great. O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all (Psalm 104:25,24, emp. added).

REFERENCES

“Bird Completes Epic Flight Across the Pacific” (2007), ScienceDaily, September 17, [On-line], http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070915131 205.htm.
Brooks, Michael (2008), “Do You Speak Cuttlefish?” New Scientist, 198[2653]: 28-31, April 26.
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000), (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.
“Design” (2008), Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, [On-line], URL: http://www.merriam-webster.com/diction ary.
Foster, Bristol (1977), “Africa’s Gentle Giants,” National Geographic, 152[3]:402-417, September.
“Giraffe” (1999), Smithsonian National Zoological Park, [On-line], URL: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/AfricanSavanna/fact-giraffe.cfm.
“Giraffe” (2008), New World Encyclopedia, [On-line], URL: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Giraffe.
Hansford, Dave (2007), “Alaska Bird Makes Longest Nonstop Flight Ever Measured,” National Geographic News, September 14, [On-line], URL: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/09/070913-longest-flight.html.
Hurd, Dean, George Mathias, and Susan Johnson, eds. (1992), General Science: A Voyage of Discovery (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall).
Jackson, Wayne (2000), The Human Body—Accident or Design? (Stockton, CA: Courier Publications).
Kofahl, Robert (1992), “Do Drinking Giraffes Have Headaches?” Creation, 14[2]:22-23, March, [On-line], URL: http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v14/i2/giraffes.asp.
Malone, John (2001), Unsolved Mysteries of Science (New York: John Wiley & Sons).
“Mammals: Giraffe” (2008), San Diego Zoo, [On-line], URL: http://www.sandiegozoo.org/animalbytes/t- giraffe.html.
Mueller, Tom (2008), “Biomimetics: Design by Nature,” National Geographic, 213[4]:68-91, April.
Peterson, Roger (1968), The Birds (New York: Time-Life).
“Today in History: May 24” (2007), The Library of Congress, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/may24.html.
Wesson, Robert (1991), Beyond Natural Selection (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).

From Jim McGuiggan... OVERDRAWN & UNFORGIVEN?


OVERDRAWN & UNFORGIVEN?

Some time ago we had arranged an overdrawn agreement with the bank and finally were able to end it. What a relief. People become overdrawn at the bank when they ask for more than they have deposited. The cure, the only cure, is to deposit more and make no demands until you’re back in the black. [You may remember Micawber’s astute philosophy on finance.]

People discover that there’s more than one way to be “overdrawn”. They sometimes make too many emotional demands at the wife’s/husband’s emotional bank without making deposits and then wonder why they find themselves overdrawn. She keeps on coming and saying, “Trust me!” and then she abuses that trust—over and over and over again. She writes emotional cheques without making emotional deposits and the bank finally calls a halt to it and she feels mistreated.

He comes tirelessly to make withdrawals at the bank—“forgive me”—but he makes no deposits, gives her no reason to believe he wants to settle the account in an honourable way and when she says she can’t give any more without some deposit of sorts he thinks she’s hard-hearted.

This kind of things not only happens betweens spouses—we see it happen between friends, parents and children, bosses and employees, governments and the governed and even between entire nations. Transgressors bend people until they break and then complain if the broken one can’t act as if unbroken.

Sometimes Christians talk a lot of drivel about “unconditional” love. Those of us who aren’t faced with a steady stream of abuse in some form or other are usually the ones who go on and on about “love must be unconditional”. If you have good reason to be content with your life you tend to love everybody and if your experience with people is characteristically good you’re tempted to feel as Will and Ariel Durant felt. They had met up with so many fine people that, they tell us, they had quite given up on the notion that there were any really wicked people in the world. How can we not be pleased for people whose lives are nicely balanced? We’re not jealous of them—we’re just cautious before accepting their conclusions.

We need to remember, too, that there are bank managers and bank managers. There are those that are hard as flint and quote “the laws of good finance” to justify their refusing to be flexible (not to say “merciful”). There are others with hearts as well as heads and are willing to take the risk of extending help to the overdrawn.

Hmmm.

From Mark Copeland... A Call To Be Content (Hebrews 13:5-6)

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"

                     A Call To Be Content (13:5-6)

INTRODUCTION

1. In this final chapter of "The Epistle To The Hebrews", we have 
   noticed exhortations...
   a. To let brotherly love continue - He 13:1
   b. To show love toward strangers - He 13:2
   c. To remember those in prison and others who are mistreated 
      - He 13:3
   d. To hold marriage in honor, abstaining from fornication and 
      adultery - He 13:4

2. We now find a warning against covetousness - He 13:5a
   a. The previous verse was a warning against "the lust of the flesh"
      (immorality)
   b. Here we have a warning against "the lust of the eyes"
      (materialism)
   -- Both of which are contrary to the love of the Father - 1Jn 2:
      15-17

3. Covetousness, a strong desire for material things, is strongly 
   condemned in the Bible...
   a. Jesus said it defiles a man, and that we should beware of it 
      - Mk 7:21-23; Lk 12:15
   b. Paul taught that covetousness...
      1) Will keep one out of the kingdom of God - 1Co 6:9-10
      2) Like fornication, should not even be named among us - Ep 5:3
      3) Is nothing less than idolatry - Ep 5:5; Col 3:5
 
4. The antidote to covetousness is contentment - He 13:5b-6
   a. If we are content, then we won't be covetous
   b. Contentment is therefore an important virtue for Christians to
      develop...
      1) But what is "contentment"?
      2) What is the key to being content?
   
[In this lesson, "A Call To Be Content", we shall seek to answer these
questions, using the text of our lesson (He 13:5-6) and other 
scriptures that deal with the subject of contentment...]

I. THE VIRTUE OF "CONTENTMENT"

   A. CONTENTMENT DEFINED...
      1. The English word "content" means "desiring no more than what 
         one has"
      2. The Greek word is arkeo {ar-keh'-o}, which means "to be 
         satisfied"
      -- When one is content, they are satisfied with what they have; 
         with no desire for more, covetousness no longer becomes a 
         problem!

   B. THE VALUE OF "CONTENTMENT"...
      1. From the pen of uninspired men...
         a. "He is richest who is content with the least." (Socrates)
         b. "He is well paid that is well satisfied." (William 
            Shakespeare)
         c. "He who is content can never be ruined." (Chinese Proverb)
         d. "He who wants little always have enough." (Johann Georg 
            Zimmerman)
         e. "If you are not satisfied with a little, you will not be 
            satisfied with much." (Unknown)
         f. "The contented man is never poor, the discontented never 
            rich." (George Eliot)
      2. Paul wrote that "...godliness with contentment is great gain."
         - 1Ti 6:6
         a. Godliness, which is godly living expressed in devotion to 
            God, is of great value only when accompanied with 
            contentment
         b. For as we have seen, covetousness (a lack of contentment)
            would render any service to God of no value

   C. CONTENTMENT EXEMPLIFIED...
      1. In Fanny Crosby (1820-1925), a blind songwriter who wrote:
            O What a happy soul am I!
            Although I cannot see,
            I am resolved that in this world
            Contented I will be;
            How many blessings I enjoy
            That other people don't!
            To weep and sigh because I'm blind,
            I cannot, and I won't.
      2. In Helen Keller (1880-1968); blind, deaf, and mute, yet she 
         wrote:
            They took away what should have been my eyes,
            (But I remembered Milton's Paradise)
            They took away what should have been my ears,
            (Beethoven came and wiped away my tears)
            They took away what should have been my tongue,
            (But I talked with God when I was young)
            He would not let them take away my soul,
            Possessing that, I still possess the whole.
      3. In the aged prisoner, Paul the apostle...
         a. Who saw how his imprisonment accomplished much good - Php 1:
            12-14
         b. Who had learned contentment - Php 4:10-12

[The virtue of contentment richly blessed the lives of these and 
countless others.  But as Paul indicated, contentment is something 
"learned".  How then does one develop contentment?]

II. THE KEY TO CONTENTMENT

   A. TRUSTING IN GOD'S PROVIDENTIAL CARE...
      1. This is the reason given in our text for us to be content 
         - He 13:5-6
         a. God has promised never to leave nor forsake us
         b. With the Lord as our helper, what can man do? - 1Jn 4:4
      2. This is the reason Jesus gave for us not to worry - Mt 6:25-32
         a. We are of greater value to God than the birds or flowers
         b. He providentially cares for them, will He not do the same
            for us?
         -- The key to receiving this care is to put God's will first 
            in our lives - Mt 6:33
      3. Contentment comes, then, when we trust God will provide what
         we need!

   B. KNOWING WHAT YOU CAN'T TAKE WITH YOU...
      1. As Paul discussed contentment, he pointed out certain truths 
         - 1Ti 6:7
         a. We brought nothing into this world
         b. It is certain we can carry nothing out! (have you ever seen
            a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer?)
      2. Why then become anxious or worked up over things...
         a. That at best are only temporary
         b. That will wear out, be stolen, or left behind (or burned up
            at the coming of the Lord - 2Pe 3:10)
      3. Contentment comes, then, from knowing that material things are
         only temporary

   C. REALIZING WHAT IS TRULY "ESSENTIAL" FOR LIFE...
      1. Paul also revealed what are the only true "essentials" to 
         sustain life - 1Ti 6:8
         a. They are "food and clothing"
         b. Anything beyond this is a "luxury", for which we ought to 
            be thankful
            1) That includes "shelter", which many believe is a 
               necessity
            2) But millions live without shelter, and such is possible
               with the proper clothing
      2. Since God has promised to provide food and clothing (Mt 6:25-
         33), we can rest knowing that our "essentials" will be 
         provided
      3. Contentment comes, then, by realizing what is truly
         "essential" for life, for then we will realize how richly 
         blessed we really are!

   D. UNDERSTANDING THAT MATERIAL THINGS DO NOT SATISFY...
      1. Solomon observed this inadequacy of material things - Ec 5:10
         a. Those who love silver (money) will never be satisfied
         b. The same is true with those who love abundance (what money
            can buy)
      2. Material things do not meet the true needs of the soul - Ecc 6:7; cf. Isa 55:1-3
         a. C. S. Lewis suggested that God placed a longing in man, 
            that man might seek for God - cf. Ac 17:26-27
         b. Sadly, many people try to fulfill that longing with 
            material things
         c. They never succeed, for only one thing can fulfill it:  God
            Himself!
      3. Contentment comes, then, from understanding that material 
         things will never provide lasting satisfaction

   E. FINALLY, TRUE CONTENTMENT IS A GIFT FROM GOD...
      1. Here is another observation Solomon made in his search for 
         life's meaning:
         a. The ability to enjoy the fruits of one's labor is a gift 
            from God - Ec 2:24-26; 3:12-13; 5:18-20
         b. On the other hand, many are allowed to "gather" and 
            "collect", but will not enjoy the fruits of their labor 
            - cf. Ec 2:26b; 6:1-2
      2. God has the ability to provide lasting satisfaction - Psa 107:8-9
         a. He promises to give that which truly satisfies (makes one 
            content) - Isa 55:1-3
         b. And in Christ, He enables one to be content - Php 4:11-13
      -- Contentment comes, then, when God sees fit to bless us with 
         that which truly satisfies: "the sure mercies of David" (i.e.,
         the blessings promised through the coming Messiah)

CONCLUSION

1. The virtue of contentment is a wonderful blessing, one that comes 
   from God Himself...
   a. Whose Word reveals to us:
      1) The temporary nature of material things
      2) The inadequacy of material things to satisfy man
      3) The things that are truly essential in life
   b. Who has promised to us:
      1) To never leave us nor forsake us
      2) To provide the true essentials in life
      3) To fill our soul with that which truly satisfies
      4) To enable us to enjoy the material blessings we do acquire in
         life

2. But what God has promised is contingent upon what Jesus said...

   "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all
   these things will be added to you" - Mt 6:33

If you desire to be truly content, you must set as your priority the
Will of God.  Have you made His Will the primary focus of your life?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading March 29



Bible Reading   

March 29

The World English Bible

Mar. 29
Leviticus 13, 14

Lev 13:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,
Lev 13:2 "When a man shall have a rising in his body's skin, or a scab, or a bright spot, and it becomes in the skin of his body the plague of leprosy, then he shall be brought to Aaron the priest, or to one of his sons, the priests:
Lev 13:3 and the priest shall examine the plague in the skin of the body: and if the hair in the plague has turned white, and the appearance of the plague is deeper than the body's skin, it is the plague of leprosy; and the priest shall examine him, and pronounce him unclean.
Lev 13:4 If the bright spot is white in the skin of his body, and its appearance isn't deeper than the skin, and its hair hasn't turned white, then the priest shall isolate the infected person for seven days.
Lev 13:5 The priest shall examine him on the seventh day, and, behold, if in his eyes the plague is arrested, and the plague hasn't spread in the skin, then the priest shall isolate him for seven more days.
Lev 13:6 The priest shall examine him again on the seventh day; and behold, if the plague has faded, and the plague hasn't spread in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him clean. It is a scab. He shall wash his clothes, and be clean.
Lev 13:7 But if the scab spreads on the skin, after he has shown himself to the priest for his cleansing, he shall show himself to the priest again.
Lev 13:8 The priest shall examine him; and behold, if the scab has spread on the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. It is leprosy.
Lev 13:9 "When the plague of leprosy is in a man, then he shall be brought to the priest;
Lev 13:10 and the priest shall examine him. Behold, if there is a white rising in the skin, and it has turned the hair white, and there is raw flesh in the rising,
Lev 13:11 it is a chronic leprosy in the skin of his body, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean. He shall not isolate him, for he is unclean.
Lev 13:12 "If the leprosy breaks out all over the skin, and the leprosy covers all the skin of the infected person from his head even to his feet, as far as it appears to the priest;
Lev 13:13 then the priest shall examine him; and, behold, if the leprosy has covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean of the plague. It has all turned white: he is clean.
Lev 13:14 But whenever raw flesh appears in him, he shall be unclean.
Lev 13:15 The priest shall examine the raw flesh, and pronounce him unclean: the raw flesh is unclean. It is leprosy.
Lev 13:16 Or if the raw flesh turns again, and is changed to white, then he shall come to the priest;
Lev 13:17 and the priest shall examine him; and, behold, if the plague has turned white, then the priest shall pronounce him clean of the plague. He is clean.
Lev 13:18 "When the body has a boil on its skin, and it has healed,
Lev 13:19 and in the place of the boil there is a white rising, or a bright spot, reddish-white, then it shall be shown to the priest;
Lev 13:20 and the priest shall examine it; and behold, if its appearance is lower than the skin, and its hair has turned white, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. It is the plague of leprosy. It has broken out in the boil.
Lev 13:21 But if the priest examines it, and behold, there are no white hairs in it, and it isn't deeper than the skin, but is dim, then the priest shall isolate him seven days.
Lev 13:22 If it spreads in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. It is a plague.
Lev 13:23 But if the bright spot stays in its place, and hasn't spread, it is the scar from the boil; and the priest shall pronounce him clean.
Lev 13:24 "Or when the body has a burn from fire on its skin, and the raw flesh of the burn becomes a bright spot, reddish-white, or white,
Lev 13:25 then the priest shall examine it; and behold, if the hair in the bright spot has turned white, and its appearance is deeper than the skin; it is leprosy. It has broken out in the burning, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean. It is the plague of leprosy.
Lev 13:26 But if the priest examines it, and behold, there is no white hair in the bright spot, and it isn't lower than the skin, but is faded; then the priest shall isolate him seven days.
Lev 13:27 The priest shall examine him on the seventh day. If it has spread in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. It is the plague of leprosy.
Lev 13:28 If the bright spot stays in its place, and hasn't spread in the skin, but is faded, it is the swelling from the burn, and the priest shall pronounce him clean; for it is the scar from the burn.
Lev 13:29 "When a man or woman has a plague on the head or on the beard,
Lev 13:30 then the priest shall examine the plague; and behold, if its appearance is deeper than the skin, and the hair in it is yellow and thin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is an itch, it is leprosy of the head or of the beard.
Lev 13:31 If the priest examines the plague of itching, and behold, its appearance isn't deeper than the skin, and there is no black hair in it, then the priest shall isolate him the person infected with itching seven days.
Lev 13:32 On the seventh day the priest shall examine the plague; and behold, if the itch hasn't spread, and there is no yellow hair in it, and the appearance of the itch isn't deeper than the skin,
Lev 13:33 then he shall be shaved, but he shall not shave the itch; and the priest shall shut him up who has the itch seven more days.
Lev 13:34 On the seventh day, the priest shall examine the itch; and behold, if the itch hasn't spread in the skin, and its appearance isn't deeper than the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him clean. He shall wash his clothes, and be clean.
Lev 13:35 But if the itch spreads in the skin after his cleansing,
Lev 13:36 then the priest shall examine him; and behold, if the itch has spread in the skin, the priest shall not look for the yellow hair; he is unclean.
Lev 13:37 But if in his eyes the itch is arrested, and black hair has grown in it; the itch is healed, he is clean. The priest shall pronounce him clean.
Lev 13:38 "When a man or a woman has bright spots in the skin of the body, even white bright spots;
Lev 13:39 then the priest shall examine them; and behold, if the bright spots on the skin of their body are a dull white, it is a harmless rash, it has broken out in the skin; he is clean.
Lev 13:40 "If a man's hair has fallen from his head, he is bald. He is clean.
Lev 13:41 If his hair has fallen off from the front part of his head, he is forehead bald. He is clean.
Lev 13:42 But if there is in the bald head, or the bald forehead, a reddish-white plague; it is leprosy breaking out in his bald head, or his bald forehead.
Lev 13:43 Then the priest shall examine him; and, behold, if the rising of the plague is reddish-white in his bald head, or in his bald forehead, like the appearance of leprosy in the skin of the flesh,
Lev 13:44 he is a leprous man. He is unclean. The priest shall surely pronounce him unclean. His plague is on his head.
Lev 13:45 "The leper in whom the plague is shall wear torn clothes, and the hair of his head shall hang loose. He shall cover his upper lip, and shall cry, 'Unclean! Unclean!'
Lev 13:46 All the days in which the plague is in him he shall be unclean. He is unclean. He shall dwell alone. Outside of the camp shall be his dwelling.
Lev 13:47 "The garment also that the plague of leprosy is in, whether it is a woolen garment, or a linen garment;
Lev 13:48 whether it is in warp, or woof; of linen, or of wool; whether in a skin, or in anything made of skin;
Lev 13:49 if the plague is greenish or reddish in the garment, or in the skin, or in the warp, or in the woof, or in anything made of skin; it is the plague of leprosy, and shall be shown to the priest.
Lev 13:50 The priest shall examine the plague, and isolate the plague seven days.
Lev 13:51 He shall examine the plague on the seventh day. If the plague has spread in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in the skin, whatever use the skin is used for, the plague is a destructive mildew. It is unclean.
Lev 13:52 He shall burn the garment, whether the warp or the woof, in wool or in linen, or anything of skin, in which the plague is: for it is a destructive mildew. It shall be burned in the fire.
Lev 13:53 "If the priest examines it, and behold, the plague hasn't spread in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in anything of skin;
Lev 13:54 then the priest shall command that they wash the thing in which the plague is, and he shall isolate it seven more days.
Lev 13:55 Then the priest shall examine it, after the plague is washed; and behold, if the plague hasn't changed its color, and the plague hasn't spread, it is unclean; you shall burn it in the fire. It is a mildewed spot, whether the bareness is inside or outside.
Lev 13:56 If the priest looks, and behold, the plague has faded after it is washed, then he shall tear it out of the garment, or out of the skin, or out of the warp, or out of the woof:
Lev 13:57 and if it appears again in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in anything of skin, it is spreading. You shall burn with fire that in which the plague is.
Lev 13:58 The garment, either the warp, or the woof, or whatever thing of skin it is, which you shall wash, if the plague has departed from them, then it shall be washed the second time, and it will be clean."
Lev 13:59 This is the law of the plague of mildew in a garment of wool or linen, either in the warp, or the woof, or in anything of skin, to pronounce it clean, or to pronounce it unclean.

Lev 14:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 14:2 "This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest,
Lev 14:3 and the priest shall go forth out of the camp. The priest shall examine him, and behold, if the plague of leprosy is healed in the leper,
Lev 14:4 then the priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two living clean birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop.
Lev 14:5 The priest shall command them to kill one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water.
Lev 14:6 As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water.
Lev 14:7 He shall sprinkle on him who is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird go into the open field.
Lev 14:8 "He who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and bathe himself in water; and he shall be clean. After that he shall come into the camp, but shall dwell outside his tent seven days.
Lev 14:9 It shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off. He shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his body in water, then he shall be clean.
Lev 14:10 "On the eighth day he shall take two male lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb a year old without blemish, and three tenths of an ephah of fine flour for a meal offering, mingled with oil, and one log of oil.
Lev 14:11 The priest who cleanses him shall set the man who is to be cleansed, and those things, before Yahweh, at the door of the Tent of Meeting.
Lev 14:12 "The priest shall take one of the male lambs, and offer him for a trespass offering, with the log of oil, and wave them for a wave offering before Yahweh.
Lev 14:13 He shall kill the male lamb in the place where they kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the place of the sanctuary; for as the sin offering is the priest's, so is the trespass offering. It is most holy.
Lev 14:14 The priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it on the tip of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot.
Lev 14:15 The priest shall take some of the log of oil, and pour it into the palm of his own left hand.
Lev 14:16 The priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle some of the oil with his finger seven times before Yahweh.
Lev 14:17 The priest shall put some of the rest of the oil that is in his hand on the tip of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering.
Lev 14:18 The rest of the oil that is in the priest's hand he shall put on the head of him who is to be cleansed, and the priest shall make atonement for him before Yahweh.
Lev 14:19 "The priest shall offer the sin offering, and make atonement for him who is to be cleansed because of his uncleanness: and afterward he shall kill the burnt offering;
Lev 14:20 and the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meal offering on the altar. The priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be clean.
Lev 14:21 "If he is poor, and can't afford so much, then he shall take one male lamb for a trespass offering to be waved, to make atonement for him, and one tenth of an ephah of fine flour mingled with oil for a meal offering, and a log of oil;
Lev 14:22 and two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, such as he is able to afford; and the one shall be a sin offering, and the other a burnt offering.
Lev 14:23 "On the eighth day he shall bring them for his cleansing to the priest, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, before Yahweh.
Lev 14:24 The priest shall take the lamb of the trespass offering, and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before Yahweh.
Lev 14:25 He shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering. The priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering and put it on the tip of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot.
Lev 14:26 The priest shall pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand;
Lev 14:27 and the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before Yahweh.
Lev 14:28 Then the priest shall put some of the oil that is in his hand on the tip of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot, on the place of the blood of the trespass offering.
Lev 14:29 The rest of the oil that is in the priest's hand he shall put on the head of him who is to be cleansed, to make atonement for him before Yahweh.
Lev 14:30 He shall offer one of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons, such as he is able to afford,
Lev 14:31 even such as he is able to afford, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, with the meal offering. The priest shall make atonement for him who is to be cleansed before Yahweh."
Lev 14:32 This is the law for him in whom is the plague of leprosy, who is not able to afford the sacrifice for his cleansing.
Lev 14:33 Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,
Lev 14:34 "When you have come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put a spreading mildew in a house in the land of your possession,
Lev 14:35 then he who owns the house shall come and tell the priest, saying, 'There seems to me to be some sort of plague in the house.'
Lev 14:36 The priest shall command that they empty the house, before the priest goes in to examine the plague, that all that is in the house not be made unclean: and afterward the priest shall go in to inspect the house.
Lev 14:37 He shall examine the plague; and behold, if the plague is in the walls of the house with hollow streaks, greenish or reddish, and it appears to be deeper than the wall;
Lev 14:38 then the priest shall go out of the house to the door of the house, and shut up the house seven days.
Lev 14:39 The priest shall come again on the seventh day, and look. If the plague has spread in the walls of the house,
Lev 14:40 then the priest shall command that they take out the stones in which is the plague, and cast them into an unclean place outside of the city:
Lev 14:41 and he shall cause the inside of the house to be scraped all over, and they shall pour out the mortar, that they scraped off, outside of the city into an unclean place.
Lev 14:42 They shall take other stones, and put them in the place of those stones; and he shall take other mortar, and shall plaster the house.
Lev 14:43 "If the plague comes again, and breaks out in the house, after he has taken out the stones, and after he has scraped the house, and after it was plastered;
Lev 14:44 then the priest shall come in and look; and behold, if the plague has spread in the house, it is a destructive mildew in the house. It is unclean.
Lev 14:45 He shall break down the house, its stones, and its timber, and all the house's mortar. He shall carry them out of the city into an unclean place.
Lev 14:46 "Moreover he who goes into the house while it is shut up shall be unclean until the evening.
Lev 14:47 He who lies down in the house shall wash his clothes; and he who eats in the house shall wash his clothes.
Lev 14:48 "If the priest shall come in, and examine it, and behold, the plague hasn't spread in the house, after the house was plastered, then the priest shall pronounce the house clean, because the plague is healed.
Lev 14:49 To cleanse the house he shall take two birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop.
Lev 14:50 He shall kill one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water.
Lev 14:51 He shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times.
Lev 14:52 He shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, with the living bird, with the cedar wood, with the hyssop, and with the scarlet;
Lev 14:53 but he shall let the living bird go out of the city into the open field. So shall he make atonement for the house; and it shall be clean."
Lev 14:54 This is the law for any plague of leprosy, and for an itch,
Lev 14:55 and for the destructive mildew of a garment, and for a house,
Lev 14:56 and for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright spot;
Lev 14:57 to teach when it is unclean, and when it is clean. This is the law of leprosy.
 
Mar. 29, 30
Luke 1

Luk 1:1 Since many have undertaken to set in order a narrative concerning those matters which have been fulfilled among us,
Luk 1:2 even as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word delivered them to us,
Luk 1:3 it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write to you in order, most excellent Theophilus;
Luk 1:4 that you might know the certainty concerning the things in which you were instructed.
Luk 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the priestly division of Abijah. He had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
Luk 1:6 They were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.
Luk 1:7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they both were well advanced in years.
Luk 1:8 Now it happened, while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his division,
Luk 1:9 according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to enter into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
Luk 1:10 The whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.
Luk 1:11 An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
Luk 1:12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.
Luk 1:13 But the angel said to him, "Don't be afraid, Zacharias, because your request has been heard, and your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
Luk 1:14 You will have joy and gladness; and many will rejoice at his birth.
Luk 1:15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink no wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.
Luk 1:16 He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord, their God.
Luk 1:17 He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
Luk 1:18 Zacharias said to the angel, "How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years."
Luk 1:19 The angel answered him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God. I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news.
Luk 1:20 Behold, you will be silent and not able to speak, until the day that these things will happen, because you didn't believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time."
Luk 1:21 The people were waiting for Zacharias, and they marveled that he delayed in the temple.
Luk 1:22 When he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple. He continued making signs to them, and remained mute.
Luk 1:23 It happened, when the days of his service were fulfilled, he departed to his house.
Luk 1:24 After these days Elizabeth, his wife, conceived, and she hid herself five months, saying,
Luk 1:25 "Thus has the Lord done to me in the days in which he looked at me, to take away my reproach among men."
Luk 1:26 Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
Luk 1:27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary.
Luk 1:28 Having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, you highly favored one! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women!"
Luk 1:29 But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of salutation this might be.
Luk 1:30 The angel said to her, "Don't be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Luk 1:31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and will call his name 'Jesus.'
Luk 1:32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David,
Luk 1:33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom."
Luk 1:34 Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?"
Luk 1:35 The angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God.
Luk 1:36 Behold, Elizabeth, your relative, also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
Luk 1:37 For everything spoken by God is possible."
Luk 1:38 Mary said, "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word." The angel departed from her.
Luk 1:39 Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah,
Luk 1:40 and entered into the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
Luk 1:41 It happened, when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, that the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Luk 1:42 She called out with a loud voice, and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
Luk 1:43 Why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Luk 1:44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came into my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy!
Luk 1:45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord!"
Luk 1:46 Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord.
Luk 1:47 My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,
Luk 1:48 for he has looked at the humble state of his handmaid. For behold, from now on, all generations will call me blessed.
Luk 1:49 For he who is mighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name.
Luk 1:50 His mercy is for generations of generations on those who fear him.
Luk 1:51 He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
Luk 1:52 He has put down princes from their thrones. And has exalted the lowly.
Luk 1:53 He has filled the hungry with good things. He has sent the rich away empty.
Luk 1:54 He has given help to Israel, his servant, that he might remember mercy,
Luk 1:55 As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his seed forever."
Luk 1:56 Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her house.
Luk 1:57 Now the time that Elizabeth should give birth was fulfilled, and she brought forth a son.
Luk 1:58 Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy towards her, and they rejoiced with her.
Luk 1:59 It happened on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him Zacharias, after the name of the father.
Luk 1:60 His mother answered, "Not so; but he will be called John."
Luk 1:61 They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name."
Luk 1:62 They made signs to his father, what he would have him called.
Luk 1:63 He asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." They all marveled.
Luk 1:64 His mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue freed, and he spoke, blessing God.
Luk 1:65 Fear came on all who lived around them, and all these sayings were talked about throughout all the hill country of Judea.
Luk 1:66 All who heard them laid them up in their heart, saying, "What then will this child be?" The hand of the Lord was with him.
Luk 1:67 His father, Zacharias, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
Luk 1:68 "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited and worked redemption for his people;
Luk 1:69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David
Luk 1:70 (as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets who have been from of old),
Luk 1:71 salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us;
Luk 1:72 to show mercy towards our fathers, to remember his holy covenant,
Luk 1:73 the oath which he spoke to Abraham, our father,
Luk 1:74 to grant to us that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, should serve him without fear,
Luk 1:75 In holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.
Luk 1:76 And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the face of the Lord to make ready his ways,
Luk 1:77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the remission of their sins,
Luk 1:78 because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the dawn from on high will visit us,
Luk 1:79 to shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death; to guide our feet into the way of peace."
Luk 1:80 The child was growing, and becoming strong in spirit, and was in the desert until the day of his public appearance to Israel.