4/29/14

From Jim McGuiggan... Prayer for Forgiveness

Prayer for Forgiveness

We apologize Lord for the uncleanness we’ve harboured and even nurtured as well as the overt acts of wickedness we’ve engaged in.

We apologize for our bitterness and smugness, for our curled lips and the contempt with which we’ve received strugglers against sin. A contempt we’ve shamefully nurtured and even justified.

We repent of our arrogance; an arrogance that led us to think we’re wise enough to know the whole story, wise enough to lump all sinners together, “knowing” there was no genuineness in the repentance of any of them. Taking their frequent moral losses as proof of their unrepentant heart rather than construing them as proof that they’re fighting an awful battle for spiritual survival. We apologize Lord because you pour out the warmth of your grace on us even while in our spite we often withhold our sunshine from those who shiver in the dark of their sin, lonely and cold and despairing.

We repent for keeping our rain from falling on hot fevered souls who burn with shame—keeping it from them because they aren’t quite to our liking and giving it, when we do, only to those who grovel in our presence or ceaselessly carry themselves as if they are second class citizens.
We apologize for our satisfaction with the shallowness and selectivity of our love to others when yours is fathomless and universal.
We apologize that our cheerful commitment to love and righteousness is so fitful when yours is changeless and for the grudging way we offer forgiveness, the cool way we offer fellowship, the stiff way we greet the returned or returning prodigal when you greet all of us which such rejoicing and generosity.

We apologize for the self-satisfaction and self-congratulation we feel when we look in the mirror and we repent that we’ve narrowed your demand on our lives to the “manageable proportions” of loving those who love us which hides the fact that we fail by justifying our refusal to extend love to enemies and to bless those that curse us and to do good to those that despitefully use us and all while we congratulate ourselves on our moral maturity.

Forgive us for comparing ourselves too favourably with others and refusing to compare ourselves with Christ who shows us all to be shabby at best.

Forgive us for taking the credit when it happens to be true that we are more devoted than some others. Forgive us for not taking seriously your question: “Who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”

Forgive us when we impatiently dismiss the crushing disadvantages of those whose moral struggle shows less success than ours even while their struggle is a nobler and braver struggle than our own.

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

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

From Caleb Colley, Ph.D. ... The Omniscience of God

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1394

The Omniscience of God

by  Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

God is the only One Who possesses limitless knowledge. The Illustrated Oxford Dictionary defines “omniscience” as “knowing everything,” and the Bible certainly ascribes omniscience to God (Psalm 139:1-4; cf. Woods, 1988, p. 34). Consider a sample of what the Bible reveals about God’s omniscience: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3). “Can anyone teach God knowledge, since He judges those on high?” (Job 21:22, emp. added). Consider a few of the implications of God’s omniscience.
God knows every past action. At times, humans struggle to interpret history because we often lack complete historical information. The eternal God, Who had no beginning, has no problems seeing clearly through the mists of time, for history is ever before Him (Isaiah 57:15). God emphasized this when He told Moses in Exodus 3:14, “I Am Who I Am.” John 8:58 reads: “Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I Am.’ ” In the Day of Judgment, we will be judged based on God’s complete knowledge of our history (see Revelation 20:12). God cannot be taught anything about the past (Isaiah 40:14).
God knows every present action. Psalm 33:13-15 reads: “The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.” Despite the uniqueness of each person, God understands everyone individually, and knows everyone personally (see Matthew 10:29-30). God even knows everything that is done privately (Matthew 6:4), so no one can hide from God (see Kizer, 2001, p. 7). God cannot be taught anything about the present (Matthew 28:20; 1 Corinthians 4:5).
God knows every future action. The fact that God gave prophets the capability to predict accurately very specific events in the distant future is one of the great evidences for the inspiration of the Bible (Thompson, 1999, p. 19). God has emphasized repeatedly that He knows the future, perhaps never more emphatically than when Jesus Himself prophesied (see Matthew 24:1-51; Mark 8:31; John 2:19-22). The fact that God knows the future does not imply that humans somehow lose freedom of choice. Just because God knows that something will happen, does not mean that He causes it (see Bales, 1974, p. 49). God cannot be taught anything about the future (Acts 17:31; John 14:3).
God knows every human thought. King David addressed his son: “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever” (1 Chronicles 28:9). Psalm 94:9-10 reads: “He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see? He who instructs the nations, shall He not correct, He who teaches man knowledge?” God cannot be taught anything about the content of human intellect (Acts 15:8).
God knows what humans need. Ecclesiastes 2:26 reads: “For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight….” Noah of old would have perished in the Flood had God not given him a way of escape. The Israelites could not have conquered Canaan without divine guidance and protection. God has promised that He will provide for the physical needs of those who serve Him (Matthew 6:24-34). Most important, God has identified the problem of sin and death and provided the only possible solution—the blood of His Son (1 Peter 1:18-19).
God knows what is right and wrong, because He defines morality and truth—His Word is the standard for righteous judgment. Hannah wanted desperately to have a child, but she was unable to do so. In her fervent request for God’s intervention, she prayed: “…the Lord is the God of knowledge; and by Him actions are weighed” (1 Samuel 2:3). God has revealed what to do in order to please Him, and He knows of our obedience and disobedience (Proverbs 15:3).
What is the proper response to God’s omniscience? The inspired apostle Paul provided a fitting answer in Colossians 3:24: “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” Those who refuse to serve the Lord should be frightened by God’s omniscience, because God knows of every sin. And unforgiven sin will be punished (Psalm 90:8; Romans 6:23). For God’s children, however, the implications of God’s knowledge are sources of peace and strength (2 Timothy 2:19; 1 John 3:22; Romans 11:33). Ultimately, the God Who knows everything will judge humans based on how we use the knowledge that has been revealed to us. We must act based on our knowledge to prepare for eternity.

REFERENCES

Bales, James D. (1974), The Biblical Doctrine of God (Shreveport, LA: Lambert).
Kizer, Drew (2001), “Omniscience,” Words of Truth, 38[11]:6-7, November.
Thompson, Bert (1999), In Defense of the Bible’s Inspiration (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Woods, Guy N. (1988), “What is Meant by ‘God’s Omniscience and Omnipresence’?,” Gospel Advocate, 130[2]:34, February.

From Mark Copeland... The Outpouring Of The Spirit (Acts 2:1-21)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                 The Outpouring Of The Spirit (2:1-21)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our previous lesson, we saw how Jesus's disciples waited for the
   promise of the Spirit...
   a. They assembled together - Ac 1:12-14
   b. They prayed together - Ac 1:14
   c. They prepared by selecting Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot 
      - Ac 1:15-26

2. In Acts 2, we read of significant events that occurred on one day...
   a. The outpouring of the Spirit
   b. The first gospel sermon
   c. The beginning of the Lord's church

[In this lesson, let's direct our focus on the first:  the outpouring of
the Spirit.  Beginning with...]

I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE OUTPOURING

   A. THE DAY...
      1. It was the day of Pentecost - Ac 2:1
      2. Called the Feast of Weeks in the OT, celebrating the wheat
         harvest - Exo 34:22
      3. Pentecost means "fifty", observed fifty days after the
         Passover - Lev 23:15-16
      4. Thus observed on a Sunday, the first day of the week
      5. Jesus had ascended to heaven just ten days before - cf. Ac 1:3,9-11

   B. THE EVENT...
      1. "they were all with one accord in one place" - Ac 2:1
         a. The entire company of 120 disciples, or just the apostles?
         b. The pronoun "they" points back to the nearest antecedent
            noun ("apostles") - cf. Ac 1:26
         c. "They" were sitting in one house (120 people in one house?)
            - cf. Ac 2:2
         d. Those who spoke were Galileans, suggesting the apostles 
            - cf. Ac 2:6
         e. For the apostle  were from Galilee, while the 120 disciples
            were from all over Palestine
      2. The sudden arrival of audible and visual signs - Ac 2:2-3
         a. A sound as of a mighty rushing wind, filling the house
            where they were sitting
         b. Divided tongues, as of fire, sitting upon each of them
      3. Enabling the apostles to speak in foreign languages - Ac 2:4-11
         a. They were filled with the Holy Spirit
         b. They began to speak with other tongues (i.e., foreign
            languages)
         c. Drawing the attention of devout Jews from other nations
            assembled for Pentecost
         d. Everyone heard them speak in their own language - cf. Ac 2:6,11

      C. THE REACTION...
         1. Those who understood were amazed and marveled, though
            perplexed - Ac 2:7-8,12
         2. Those who did not understand the languages simply mocked 
            - Ac 2:13
         3. Peter explained that it was too early for them to be drunk
            - Ac 2:14-15

[The circumstances of the Spirit's outpouring were indeed amazing.  What
was significant about it...?]

II. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE OUTPOURING

   A. PROCLAIMED BY JOHN THE BAPTIST...
      1. One was coming who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire
         - Mt 3:11
      2. Separating wheat from chaff, gathering the one and burning the
         other - Mt 3:12

   B. FORETOLD BY JESUS...
      1. Jesus told His apostles this would happen - Ac 1:4-5
      2. It would empower them to be His witnesses - Ac 1:8

   C. EXPLAINED BY PETER...
      1. The events were prophesied by Joel - Ac 2:16; cf. Joel 2:28-32
      2. Who foretold of the Spirit's outpouring - Ac 2:17-18
      3. In a time of judgment (70 A.D.?), but also a time of salvation
         - Ac 2:19-21; cf. Mt 3:11-12
      4. What they saw and heard was also evidence of Jesus' resurrection and
         exaltation to the right hand of God as Lord and Christ! - cf. Ac 2:32-36

   D. MENTIONED BY PAUL...
      1. The Spirit had been poured out abundantly through Jesus Christ
         - Tit 3:5-7
         a. Saving people through the washing of regeneration and
            renewing of the Spirit - cf. Jn 3:5
         b. Leading to justification by grace and becoming heirs of
            eternal life - cf. 1Co 6:11
      2. By the Spirit we have been baptized and drunk freely - 1Co 12:13
         a. Baptized into one body (i.e., the church) - cf. Col 1:18
         b. Made to drink of the Spirit - cf. Jn 7:37-39

CONCLUSION

1. With the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost...
   a. The promises of Joel, John the Baptist, and Jesus were being
      fulfilled
   b. It proved that Jesus rose from the dead and was exalted to the
      right hand of God!
   c. As foretold by Joel and John, a time of judgment and salvation
      was at hand!

2. With the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost...
   a. Some benefits were temporary, serving to reveal and confirm the
      Word
   b. Other benefits are age-lasting, offering salvation and
      sanctification to all who obey

We learn more of the work of the Holy Spirit as we make our way through
the Acts of the Apostles.  For now, remember what Peter said to those who
had witnessed the events on that day:

   Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be 
   baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins;
   and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the 
   promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar
   off, as many as the Lord our God will call." ~ Ac 2:38-39

Three thousand Jews responded favorably by being baptized on that day (Ac
2:41).  Have you responded in the same way...? 

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2012

From Gary... Bible Reading April 29



Bible Reading   

April 29

The World English Bible

Apr. 29
Deuteronomy 13, 14

Deu 13:1 If there arise in the midst of you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and he give you a sign or a wonder,
Deu 13:2 and the sign or the wonder come to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them;
Deu 13:3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or to that dreamer of dreams: for Yahweh your God proves you, to know whether you love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deu 13:4 You shall walk after Yahweh your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and you shall serve him, and cleave to him.
Deu 13:5 That prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death, because he has spoken rebellion against Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to draw you aside out of the way which Yahweh your God commanded you to walk in. So you shall put away the evil from the midst of you.
Deu 13:6 If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend, who is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known, you, nor your fathers;
Deu 13:7 of the gods of the peoples who are around you, near to you, or far off from you, from the one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth;
Deu 13:8 you shall not consent to him, nor listen to him; neither shall your eye pity him, neither shall you spare, neither shall you conceal him:
Deu 13:9 but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first on him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
Deu 13:10 You shall stone him to death with stones, because he has sought to draw you away from Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Deu 13:11 All Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall not do any more such wickedness as this is in the midst of you.
Deu 13:12 If you shall hear tell concerning one of your cities, which Yahweh your God gives you to dwell there, saying,
Deu 13:13 Certain base fellows are gone out from the midst of you, and have drawn away the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known;
Deu 13:14 then you shall inquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is done in the midst of you,
Deu 13:15 you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein and its livestock, with the edge of the sword.
Deu 13:16 You shall gather all its spoil into the midst of its street, and shall burn with fire the city, and all its spoil every whit, to Yahweh your God: and it shall be a heap forever; it shall not be built again.
Deu 13:17 There shall cleave nothing of the devoted thing to your hand; that Yahweh may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and show you mercy, and have compassion on you, and multiply you, as he has sworn to your fathers;
Deu 13:18 when you shall listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, to keep all his commandments which I command you this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of Yahweh your God.
Deu 14:1 You are the children of Yahweh your God: you shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.
Deu 14:2 For you are a holy people to Yahweh your God, and Yahweh has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, above all peoples who are on the face of the earth.
Deu 14:3 You shall not eat any abominable thing.
Deu 14:4 These are the animals which you may eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat,
Deu 14:5 the hart, and the gazelle, and the roebuck, and the wild goat, and the ibex, and the antelope, and the chamois.
Deu 14:6 Every animal that parts the hoof, and has the hoof cloven in two, and chews the cud, among the animals, that may you eat.
Deu 14:7 Nevertheless these you shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of those who have the hoof cloven: the camel, and the hare, and the rabbit; because they chew the cud but don't part the hoof, they are unclean to you.
Deu 14:8 The pig, because it has a split hoof but doesn't chew the cud, is unclean to you: of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch.
Deu 14:9 These you may eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales may you eat;
Deu 14:10 and whatever doesn't have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean to you.
Deu 14:11 Of all clean birds you may eat.
Deu 14:12 But these are they of which you shall not eat: the eagle, and the vulture, and the osprey,
Deu 14:13 and the red kite, and the falcon, and the kite after its kind,
Deu 14:14 and every raven after its kind,
Deu 14:15 and the ostrich, and the owl, and the seagull, and the hawk after its kind,
Deu 14:16 the little owl, and the great owl, and the horned owl,
Deu 14:17 and the pelican, and the vulture, and the cormorant,
Deu 14:18 and the stork, and the heron after its kind, and the hoopoe, and the bat.
Deu 14:19 All winged creeping things are unclean to you: they shall not be eaten.
Deu 14:20 Of all clean birds you may eat.
Deu 14:21 You shall not eat of anything that dies of itself: you may give it to the foreigner living among you who is within your gates, that he may eat it; or you may sell it to a foreigner: for you are a holy people to Yahweh your God. You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk.
Deu 14:22 You shall surely tithe all the increase of your seed, that which comes forth from the field year by year.
Deu 14:23 You shall eat before Yahweh your God, in the place which he shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there, the tithe of your grain, of your new wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock; that you may learn to fear Yahweh your God always.
Deu 14:24 If the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it, because the place is too far from you, which Yahweh your God shall choose, to set his name there, when Yahweh your God shall bless you;
Deu 14:25 then you shall turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose:
Deu 14:26 and you shall bestow the money for whatever your soul desires, for cattle, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul asks of you; and you shall eat there before Yahweh your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.
Deu 14:27 The Levite who is within your gates, you shall not forsake him; for he has no portion nor inheritance with you.
Deu 14:28 At the end of every three years you shall bring forth all the tithe of your increase in the same year, and shall lay it up within your gates:
Deu 14:29 and the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the foreigner living among you, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that Yahweh your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.




From Gary... Today... Therefore; therefore - TODAY


Today is nothing less than a gift of God!!!  You or I can relive yesterday in our minds, but it is only a memory.  What counts is what we do with the example of that memory. Today, "the now" is all we really have!!! Tomorrow, we anticipate certain things may happen, but we do not know what TOMORROW WILL BRING!!! The following Scriptures seemed quite appropriate...

Hebrews, Chapter 2 (NASB)

Heb 2:2  For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty,
Heb 2:3  how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,

Heb 2:4  God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.
Heb 2:5  For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking.
Heb 2:6  But one has testified somewhere, saying, "WHAT IS MAN, THAT YOU REMEMBER HIM? OR THE SON OF MAN, THAT YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HIM?
Heb 2:7  "YOU HAVE MADE HIM FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS; YOU HAVE CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR, AND HAVE APPOINTED HIM OVER THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS;
Heb 2:8  YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET." For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.

Heb 2:9  But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
Heb 2:10  For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
Heb 2:11  For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
Heb 2:12  saying, "I WILL PROCLAIM YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN, IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING YOUR PRAISE."
Heb 2:13  And again, "I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM." And again, "BEHOLD, I AND THE CHILDREN WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN ME."
Heb 2:14  Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
Heb 2:15  and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

Heb 2:16  For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.
Heb 2:17  Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Heb 2:18  For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.


Hebrews, Chapter 3 (NASB)

Heb 3:1  Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession;
Heb 3:2  He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house.
Heb 3:3  For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house.
Heb 3:4  For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.
Heb 3:5  Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later;
Heb 3:6  but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house--whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.
Heb 3:7  Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,
Heb 3:8  DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME, AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS,
Heb 3:9  WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me  BY TESTING Me, AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS.
Heb 3:10  "THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION, AND SAID, 'THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS';
Heb 3:11  AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, 'THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.'"
Heb 3:12  Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.
Heb 3:13  But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Heb 3:14  For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,
Heb 3:15  while it is said, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS, AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME."


When I began to consider today's post, the first thing that came to my mind was Hebrews 3:15 and then I saw all those "therefore's"...  and had to include all the rest that you see above. Why? Because its all tied together, that's why. The first sin, the Israelites, all the Christians who ever lived, Jesus and myself- all tied together into one stream of history; one complicated "THEREFORE". Because of this (Therefore), I have a choice TODAY- do I listen to the Scriptures, OBEY or NOT (3:15 above)? My prayer today is that I do and everyone who reads these little words of mine will as well!!!!!  

May God bless you in these things (as well as the blessing that you already have of Today). 

Nice present- isn't it?

Now,... I wonder what will happen????