From Jim McGuiggan... The Image of God (4)

The Image of God (4)

 Adam and Eve (Man, humanity) were made in the image of God to reflect God within the creation. Creation in general reflects the glory of God (Psalm 19) but something is uniquely true about humanity. Humans were given dominion over the earth and were to further and cultivate the harmony and fruitfulness of the creation in imitation of the Holy Father that made them. Humans (as a class of beings and not simply as a mass of isolated individuals) were to represent God by reflecting the character and nature of their Father (compare Ephesians 5:1, Luke 6:35-36 and Matthew 5:9).

It was this creative act and purpose of God that constitutes humanity "in the image of God." It is a relational matter and not some element that God built into humans (such as, rational ability, moral capacity or a non-biological feature such as a deathless spirit or soul).
The OT church (Israel) was and the NT church is called to reflect God in his holiness. "Be holy for I am holy." God’s glorious incomparability (his holiness) is found in a character which expresses itself in righteousness, in kindness to the ungrateful and generosity to the wayward. In this way God’s people are to image or reflect him (compare Acts 14:16-17, Matthew 5:43-48 and Luke 6:35-36, 1 Peter 1:13-16).

All this God purposed in creation but creation as it is rehearsed in Genesis, true as it is, is not the full story of God’s creative purpose. Colossians 1:15-16 reveals that there was more in the heart and mind of God than humanity as revealed in Adam and Eve. The creation was to lead to and end in Jesus Christ for whom and by whom it was made. And in him, in whom the image of God is seen in cloudless perfection, a "new" humanity is to reflect God (Romans 8:29). The new humanity in Jesus Christ that God foreknew were, by God’s power and purpose, to be conformed to the likeness of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the creation of Man in the image of God is connected with dominion (Genesis 1:26-27 and Psalm 8). In was in Man that the reign of God was to be seen on the earth. It was the Lord Jesus himself who taught us that before we ask for bread or forgiveness or divine protection that we were to pray that his (God’s) will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-13). Nor is it any surprise that the entire NT and the Gospels in particular show us that the kingdom (reign) of God shows itself in the person and work of Jesus Christ who is the image of God (Colossians 1:15—eikon and Hebrews 1:3—charakter).

Unity, Division, Doctrine, and Jesus' Prayer by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Unity, Division, Doctrine, and Jesus' Prayer

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Who would question the importance of unity in the body of Christ? God wants every Christian to be united and at peace with every other Christian (Philippians 2:1-4). He wants us to be knit together cohesively in love and fellowship (Ephesians 4:1-3,16; 1 John 1:5-7). He wants us working together harmoniously to accomplish the same objectives (1 Corinthians 12:12-26). Far too many congregations of the Lord’s people have been racked by division and discord due to petty jealousy, immaturity, prideful self-assertiveness, and unjustified disagreement over matters of opinion.
In addition to the division that sometimes exists within individual congregations, churches of Christ currently are experiencing a significant cleavage brotherhoodwide. Such division has occurred in the past over a variety of issues, including instrumental music, multiple communion containers, support of orphan homes, located preachers, and cooperation among congregations in mission work.
Beyond the division that exists within churches of Christ is the widespread division that exists within “Christendom.” Look at the multiplicity of religious groups, churches, and movements that claim affinity and affiliation with Christ and Christianity: the Protestant denominational world, Catholicism, the so-called “cults” (a term historically applied to Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventism, Christian Science, and Jehovah’s Witnesses), and the prolific spawning of “nondenominational” community churches. Beyond the division that exists within “Christendom,” look at the religious smorgasbord that exists among the world religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam—involving billions of people.
What is the solution to division? Can division be eliminated? How does God want us to achieve unity? Perhaps the premiere proposal being advanced to solve the matter of division today is—de-emphasize doctrine! This relaxation of doctrinal stance manifests itself in at least two ways. Some reduce the fervency with which they hold to doctrinal positions. Doctrinal viewpoints that previously were unquestioned—and for which compromise would have been considered intolerable—now are being softened and held as mere opinion. Those who continue to affirm the importance of those same doctrinal viewpoints are labeled “legalists” or “radicals.”
Other brethren cope with division by attempting to reduce the number of doctrinal viewpoints that one must firmly hold. This maneuver has given rise to the notion of “unity in diversity,” and a so-called “core doctrine” classification scheme. Those who travel this route insist that many of our past doctrines (like the exclusion of instrumental music, the use of choirs, and female leadership in worship) should not be considered matters of fellowship. They say that, ultimately, the only doctrinal belief that matters is Jesus. If a person acknowledges God as Father and Jesus as Lord, he or she should be considered a saved believer, and in full fellowship with every other Christian (see Miller, 1996, pp. 282-331 for a more complete discussion of this concept).
Several writers and speakers appeal to Jesus’ prayer for unity in John chapter seventeen as evidence of this alleged need to override doctrinal concerns for the sake of unity. One well-known writer and speaker has stressed that, when Jesus got ready to depart the planet, His final remarks—His parting words—did not pertain to instrumental music or doctrinal soundness, but to unity: the need for believers to be one (John 17:21).
Appealing to Jesus’ prayer for unity as justification for replacing unity based on truth with unity based on undiscriminating acceptance, and an emotional sense of togetherness, is both unfortunate and unscriptural. If the reader will take the time to read John 17, one will see that the unity for which Jesus called was unity based on correct doctrine. Notice His repetitious reference to the “truth,” the “word,” and the need for “keeping” and “receiving” that word (John 17:6,8,14,17,19). Clearly, obedience to a body of doctrinal truth must precede unity.
Jesus also identified how unity is to be achieved among believers: “through their word” (John 17:20). In other words, people must hear the word that the apostles preached which, in addition to the Lordship of Christ, includes the gospel plan of salvation (faith, repentance, confession, and baptism for the remission of sins), as well as faithful Christian living. The compliance that occurs as a result of “their word” automatically brings unity and fellowship with Christ and each other (1 John 1:3,6-7).
Further, those of whom Jesus spoke in His prayer were clearly those who would become New Testament Christians. He was speaking with reference to the church of Christ—not the world with its denominationalism (John 17:9,16). Until one obeys the gospel plan of salvation, one is not a genuine believer in Christ. It is possible to be a “believer”—in the sense that one recognizes Who Jesus is, acknowledges that fact, and even offers a measure of commitment—and still not be acceptable to God (John 8:30,31,44; 12:42; Acts 8:13,20-23). The believers for whom Jesus prayed were members of the church of Christ—not members of denominations that profess faith in Christ. Jesus was praying for unity in His church. To identify adherents of denominationalism as “believers” is to redefine the term in an unscriptural sense.
How ironic that the very passage, to which agents of change frequently appeal in order to advance their agenda of change, finds its most pertinent application today in them! They are tampering with the foundational principles of Christianity in order to broaden the borders of the kingdom. In so doing, they are guilty of creating division, and are wreaking havoc on the body of Christ! Jesus prayed that such damage might not happen.
To understand Jesus’ prayer in John 17 as a call to make unity top priority—even over truth and doctrine—is to misconstrue the entire book of John. The purpose of John’s gospel account was to prove the deity of Christ in order to elicit an obedient belief. He selected seven signs as evidence to verify Christ’s claim. Belief is based on truth (forms of which are used some 40 times), and knowing (used 87 times). John made it clear that it is not enough to acknowledge the deity of Christ. One must listen to Christ’s words, and then comply with them (e.g., John 6:63,68; 8:31; 12:48; 14:24). Contextually, unity among believers is possible only when the believers commit themselves to the doctrine that Christ imparted.
If one desires to be sensitive to context, and engage in genuine exposition of the Word, the prominent passage in the New Testament that addresses division within the body of Christ is 1 Corinthians. The entire letter constitutes Paul’s plea for Christians to be united. The theme is stated in 1:10: “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (NKJV). The rest of the book delineates one doctrinal item after another in order to correct divisive Corinthian conduct. These items include their sexual behavior (chs. 5-7), their use of food in relation to idolatry (chs. 8-10), disorders in the worship assembly [including female leadership (11:1-16), Lord’s Supper (11:17-34) and the use of miraculous gifts (chs. 12-14)], misconceptions about the resurrection (ch. 15), and the collection (16:1-4).
Their aberrant (i.e., divisive) behavior was directly due to their doctrinal error. Consequently, the solution was not to de-emphasize doctrine! The solution was not to lessen or downplay doctrinal commitment. The solution was not to relegate all but one or two doctrines to an optional status. The solution is clearly stated: speak the same thing! Be joined together in the same mind and judgment! Christians have the divine obligation to study their Bibles, and to arrive at the truth on every matter that God sets forth as essential. God’s doctrine concerning salvation, worship, the church, and Christian living is critical, and every believer must come to knowledge of that doctrine, and submit to it.
Ironically, those who push for unity at the expense of truth and doctrine are now compromising even on the essentiality of water baptism for the remission of sins. Yet in the very context where division within the body of Christ is discussed, Paul advanced an argument that showed the necessity of baptism. In rebuking the factious Corinthians, he asked: “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1:13). Notice that Paul gave two prerequisites to salvation. Before an individual can say “I am of ” another person, first, the person would have to have been crucified for that individual, and second, the individual would have to be baptized in the name of the person. Christ was crucified for all of us. But you and I cannot legitimately say we are “of Christ” until we have been baptized in His name! Unity and fellowship cannot be extended to anyone who has not been baptized to be saved!
Countless sermons have been preached in recent years recounting the division that has plagued churches of Christ. The preacher inevitably insists that our factions are due to our over-emphasis upon doctrinal purity, and our insistence upon being doctrinally correct on every point possible. He then affirms that if we will cease our concern for doctrinal accuracy, or focus upon a few commonalities that we share with the denominational world, we can achieve the unity God demands. It never seems to dawn on such agents of change that the denominational world (which they want us to emulate, embrace, and fellowship) are hopelessly divided and are splintered into as many factions as we—maybe more! Frank S. Mead documented many years ago in his Handbook of Denominations that all of the mainline denominations (Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians) are divided into multiple groups, as are virtually all other religious groups—Catholics, Pentecostals, and Mormons, as well as the Moslems, Buddhists, and Hindus. Neither unity nor division proves that a group possesses God’s truth (cf. Mead, 1979).
The pathway to unity is simple. God’s truth can be ascertained and known (John 7:17; 8:32). All who truly submit themselves to the Word of God can and will be united. Those who do not conform to the parameters of truth will automatically be separated from the obedient. But they will be held responsible for the disunity that results. Cain was responsible for the break between himself and his brother—not Abel—because of his own departure from the instructions of God! (cf. Genesis 4:3-8; Hebrews 11:4; 1 John 3:12). Those who remain faithful to God’s words will continue to enjoy the unity that Jesus said was possible. Doctrine, and compliance with that doctrine, take precedence over unity. No wonder Jesus declared: “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division” (Luke 12:51).


Mead, Frank S. (1979), Handbook of Denominations (Nashville, TN: Abingdon).
Miller, Dave (1996), Piloting the Strait: A Guidebook for Assessing Change in Churches of Christ (Pulaski, TN: Sain Publications).

From Mark Copeland... Shall We Continue In Sin? ( Romans 6:1-23)

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS"

                   Shall We Continue In Sin? (6:1-23)


1. In Romans, Paul addresses the problem of sin...
   a. In the first two and a half chapters, he demonstrates that all
      have sinned - cf. Ro 3:23
   b. In the next two and a half chapters, he declares how we can be
      justified through faith in Jesus Christ - cf. Ro 5:1-2
   c. He concludes that where sin abounded, grace abounded much more
      - Ro 5:20-21

2. Paul then anticipates an erroneous inference...
   a. "Let's continue in sin, that grace may abound!" - Ro 6:1
   a. A conclusion that is repulsive to him - Ro 6:2a

3. Today, many Christians may live in reference to sin as though they
   had the same idea...
   a. Living as though there is no need to be diligent in overcoming sin
   b. Perhaps reasoning, "If I sin, I can simply confess and God will
   -- I.e., continue in sin that grace may abound!

4. Yet a careful study of the sixth chapter reveals why such a thought
   is absurd...
   a. Paul provides four reasons why we should not continue in sin
   b. When understood, they will prompt us to say with Paul:  "Certainly

[Shall we continue in sin...?]


      1. Baptism is a burial into the death of Christ
      2. Baptism is where we were crucified with Christ - cf. Ro 6:6
      3. Thus baptism (not repentance) is where we die to sin
      -- Having been crucified with Christ should impact how we live
         - cf. Ga 2:20

      1. Just as Christ rose from the grave, so we rise from baptism to
         walk in newness of life
      2. We are now a new creation in Christ - cf. 2Co 5:17

      1. The very purpose of dying to sin in baptism, to be free from
      2. A point Paul will expound upon later

      1. Christ now lives with God in newness of life
      2. Because we died with Christ, so can we! - cf. Ep 2:4-6

[The idea of being alive in Christ leads to Paul's second major point in
response to the question "Shall we continue in sin?"...]


      1. We who were dead in sin can now choose not to let it reign in us!
      2. We are no longer debtors to sin - cf. Ro 8:12-13

      1. We can present ourselves to God...
         a. As alive from the dead
         b. As instruments of righteousness to Him
      2. I.e., we can now glorify Him even with our bodies - cf. 1Co 6:19-20

      1. Sin no longer needs to be our master
      2. In Christ, we have been set free! - cf. Ro 8:1-2

[This freedom is not license to sin.  On the contrary, consider Paul's
third point in response to the question "Shall we continue in sin?"...]


      1. Grace is no excuse to sin
      2. We are either slaves of sin, or slaves of righteousness
      3. If we continue in sin, we once again become slaves of sin!
         - cf. Jn 8:34
      4. For Christians to continue in sin makes things worse - cf. 2 Pe 2:20-22

      1. We were slaves of sin
      2. But when we obeyed from the heart the doctrine (i.e., the
         gospel which commands baptism), we were set free from sin
         a. Not just sin's condemnation - cf. Ac 2:38; 22:16; Ro 8:1-2
         b. But also sin's dominion - cf. Ro 8:12-13
      3. We were set free from sin so we could become slaves of

      1. We previously offered our bodies as slaves of sin
      2. So now offer our bodies as slaves of righteousness for the
         purpose of producing holiness - cf. 1Pe 1:14-16

[Finally, we note Paul's concluding point in response to the question
"Shall we continue in sin?"...]


      1. The end of those enslaved to sin is "death"
      2. Such "death" is separation from God
         a. Living in sin separates us from God now - cf. Isa 59:1-2
         b. Dying in sin will separate us from for eternity - cf. Re 21:8

      1. By His grace we have been set free from sin, via baptism! - Ro 6:2-14; cf. Tit 3:4-7
      2. By His grace we can now be slaves to God, through continued
         obedience! - Ro 6:15-19
      3. By His grace we can bear the fruit of holiness, which in turn
         leads to eternal life! - Ro 6:22; cf. 2:4-11


1. Shall we continue in sin?
   a. If we understand what Paul has written in this chapter...
   b. ...then we will cry out with him:  "Certainly not!" (NKJV) - Ro 6:2,15

2. Paul's strong response has been variously translated...
   a. "It is not to be thought of!" (Knox)
   b. "Not at all!" (Williams)
   c. "That be far from us!" (Conybeare)
   d. "Of course not!" (Phillips)
   e. "May it never be!" (NASB)
   f. "Far be it!" (Rotherham)
   g. "Never!" (Moffatt)
   h. "By no means!" (Goodspeed, NRSV)
   i. "Certainly not!" (NEB, NKJV)
   j. "Heaven forbid!" (TCNT)
   k. "God forbid!" (KJV, ASV)
   -- May we develop the same response to taking sin lightly!

Have you been set free from sin...?  Have you become enslaved to sin
once again...?  Let the grace of God deliver you from the guilt and
power of sin by responding to the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary.... Bible Reading August 19

Bible Reading  

August 19

The World English Bible

Aug. 19
Job 13-16

Job 13:1 "Behold, my eye has seen all this. My ear has heard and understood it.
Job 13:2 What you know, I know also. I am not inferior to you.
Job 13:3 "Surely I would speak to the Almighty. I desire to reason with God.
Job 13:4 But you are forgers of lies. You are all physicians of no value.
Job 13:5 Oh that you would be completely silent! Then you would be wise.
Job 13:6 Hear now my reasoning. Listen to the pleadings of my lips.
Job 13:7 Will you speak unrighteously for God, and talk deceitfully for him?
Job 13:8 Will you show partiality to him? Will you contend for God?
Job 13:9 Is it good that he should search you out? Or as one deceives a man, will you deceive him?
Job 13:10 He will surely reprove you if you secretly show partiality.
Job 13:11 Shall not his majesty make you afraid, And his dread fall on you?
Job 13:12 Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, Your defenses are defenses of clay.
Job 13:13 "Be silent, leave me alone, that I may speak. Let come on me what will.
Job 13:14 Why should I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand?
Job 13:15 Behold, he will kill me. I have no hope. Nevertheless, I will maintain my ways before him.
Job 13:16 This also shall be my salvation, that a godless man shall not come before him.
Job 13:17 Hear diligently my speech. Let my declaration be in your ears.
Job 13:18 See now, I have set my cause in order. I know that I am righteous.
Job 13:19 Who is he who will contend with me? For then would I hold my peace and give up the spirit.
Job 13:20 "Only don't do two things to me; then I will not hide myself from your face:
Job 13:21 withdraw your hand far from me; and don't let your terror make me afraid.
Job 13:22 Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, and you answer me.
Job 13:23 How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me know my disobedience and my sin.
Job 13:24 Why hide you your face, and hold me for your enemy?
Job 13:25 Will you harass a driven leaf? Will you pursue the dry stubble?
Job 13:26 For you write bitter things against me, and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth:
Job 13:27 You also put my feet in the stocks, and mark all my paths. You set a bound to the soles of my feet,
Job 13:28 though I am decaying like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten.
Job 14:1 "Man, who is born of a woman, is of few days, and full of trouble.
Job 14:2 He comes forth like a flower, and is cut down. He also flees like a shadow, and doesn't continue.
Job 14:3 Do you open your eyes on such a one, and bring me into judgment with you?
Job 14:4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one.
Job 14:5 Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his bounds that he can't pass;
Job 14:6 Look away from him, that he may rest, until he shall accomplish, as a hireling, his day.
Job 14:7 "For there is hope for a tree, If it is cut down, that it will sprout again, that the tender branch of it will not cease.
Job 14:8 Though its root grows old in the earth, and its stock dies in the ground,
Job 14:9 yet through the scent of water it will bud, and put forth boughs like a plant.
Job 14:10 But man dies, and is laid low. Yes, man gives up the spirit, and where is he?
Job 14:11 As the waters fail from the sea, and the river wastes and dries up,
Job 14:12 so man lies down and doesn't rise. Until the heavens are no more, they shall not awake, nor be roused out of their sleep.
Job 14:13 "Oh that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would keep me secret, until your wrath is past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
Job 14:14 If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my warfare would I wait, until my release should come.
Job 14:15 You would call, and I would answer you. You would have a desire to the work of your hands.
Job 14:16 But now you number my steps. Don't you watch over my sin?
Job 14:17 My disobedience is sealed up in a bag. You fasten up my iniquity.
Job 14:18 "But the mountain falling comes to nothing. The rock is removed out of its place;
Job 14:19 The waters wear the stones. The torrents of it wash away the dust of the earth. So you destroy the hope of man.
Job 14:20 You forever prevail against him, and he departs. You change his face, and send him away.
Job 14:21 His sons come to honor, and he doesn't know it. They are brought low, but he doesn't perceive it of them.
Job 14:22 But his flesh on him has pain, and his soul within him mourns."
Job 15:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered,
Job 15:2 "Should a wise man answer with vain knowledge, and fill himself with the east wind?
Job 15:3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk, or with speeches with which he can do no good?
Job 15:4 Yes, you do away with fear, and hinder devotion before God.
Job 15:5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth, and you choose the language of the crafty.
Job 15:6 Your own mouth condemns you, and not I. Yes, your own lips testify against you.
Job 15:7 "Are you the first man who was born? Or were you brought forth before the hills?
Job 15:8 Have you heard the secret counsel of God? Do you limit wisdom to yourself?
Job 15:9 What do you know, that we don't know? What do you understand, which is not in us?
Job 15:10 With us are both the gray-headed and the very aged men, much elder than your father.
Job 15:11 Are the consolations of God too small for you, even the word that is gentle toward you?
Job 15:12 Why does your heart carry you away? Why do your eyes flash,
Job 15:13 That you turn your spirit against God, and let such words go out of your mouth?
Job 15:14 What is man, that he should be clean? What is he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
Job 15:15 Behold, he puts no trust in his holy ones. Yes, the heavens are not clean in his sight;
Job 15:16 how much less one who is abominable and corrupt, a man who drinks iniquity like water!
Job 15:17 "I will show you, listen to me; that which I have seen I will declare:
Job 15:18 (Which wise men have told by their fathers, and have not hidden it;
Job 15:19 to whom alone the land was given, and no stranger passed among them):
Job 15:20 the wicked man writhes in pain all his days, even the number of years that are laid up for the oppressor.
Job 15:21 A sound of terrors is in his ears. In prosperity the destroyer shall come on him.
Job 15:22 He doesn't believe that he shall return out of darkness. He is waited for by the sword.
Job 15:23 He wanders abroad for bread, saying, 'Where is it?' He knows that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.
Job 15:24 Distress and anguish make him afraid. They prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle.
Job 15:25 Because he has stretched out his hand against God, and behaves himself proudly against the Almighty;
Job 15:26 he runs at him with a stiff neck, with the thick shields of his bucklers;
Job 15:27 because he has covered his face with his fatness, and gathered fat on his thighs.
Job 15:28 He has lived in desolate cities, in houses which no one inhabited, which were ready to become heaps.
Job 15:29 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall their possessions be extended on the earth.
Job 15:30 He shall not depart out of darkness. The flame shall dry up his branches. By the breath of God's mouth shall he go away.
Job 15:31 Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself; for emptiness shall be his reward.
Job 15:32 It shall be accomplished before his time. His branch shall not be green.
Job 15:33 He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive tree.
Job 15:34 For the company of the godless shall be barren, and fire shall consume the tents of bribery.
Job 15:35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. Their heart prepares deceit."
Job 16:1 Then Job answered,
Job 16:2 "I have heard many such things. You are all miserable comforters!
Job 16:3 Shall vain words have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer?
Job 16:4 I also could speak as you do. If your soul were in my soul's place, I could join words together against you, and shake my head at you,
Job 16:5 but I would strengthen you with my mouth. The solace of my lips would relieve you.
Job 16:6 "Though I speak, my grief is not subsided. Though I forbear, what am I eased?
Job 16:7 But now, God, you have surely worn me out. You have made desolate all my company.
Job 16:8 You have shriveled me up. This is a witness against me. My leanness rises up against me. It testifies to my face.
Job 16:9 He has torn me in his wrath, and persecuted me. He has gnashed on me with his teeth. My adversary sharpens his eyes on me.
Job 16:10 They have gaped on me with their mouth. They have struck me on the cheek reproachfully. They gather themselves together against me.
Job 16:11 God delivers me to the ungodly, and casts me into the hands of the wicked.
Job 16:12 I was at ease, and he broke me apart. Yes, he has taken me by the neck, and dashed me to pieces. He has also set me up for his target.
Job 16:13 His archers surround me. He splits my kidneys apart, and does not spare. He pours out my gall on the ground.
Job 16:14 He breaks me with breach on breach. He runs on me like a giant.
Job 16:15 I have sewed sackcloth on my skin, and have thrust my horn in the dust.
Job 16:16 My face is red with weeping. Deep darkness is on my eyelids.
Job 16:17 Although there is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure.
Job 16:18 "Earth, don't cover my blood. Let my cry have no place to rest.
Job 16:19 Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven. He who vouches for me is on high.
Job 16:20 My friends scoff at me. My eyes pour out tears to God,
Job 16:21 that he would maintain the right of a man with God, of a son of man with his neighbor!
Job 16:22 For when a few years are come, I shall go the way from whence I shall not return.

Aug. 19
Acts 28

Act 28:1 When we had escaped, then they learned that the island was called Malta.
Act 28:2 The natives showed us uncommon kindness; for they kindled a fire, and received us all, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.
Act 28:3 But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
Act 28:4 When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said one to another, "No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped from the sea, yet Justice has not allowed to live."
Act 28:5 However he shook off the creature into the fire, and wasn't harmed.
Act 28:6 But they expected that he would have swollen or fallen down dead suddenly, but when they watched for a long time and saw nothing bad happen to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.
Act 28:7 Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us, and courteously entertained us for three days.
Act 28:8 It happened that the father of Publius lay sick of fever and dysentery. Paul entered in to him, prayed, and laying his hands on him, healed him.
Act 28:9 Then when this was done, the rest also who had diseases in the island came, and were cured.
Act 28:10 They also honored us with many honors, and when we sailed, they put on board the things that we needed.
Act 28:11 After three months, we set sail in a ship of Alexandria which had wintered in the island, whose sign was "The Twin Brothers."
Act 28:12 Touching at Syracuse, we stayed there three days.
Act 28:13 From there we circled around and arrived at Rhegium. After one day, a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli,
Act 28:14 where we found brothers, and were entreated to stay with them for seven days. So we came to Rome.
Act 28:15 From there the brothers, when they heard of us, came to meet us as far as The Market of Appius and The Three Taverns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God, and took courage.
Act 28:16 When we entered into Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard, but Paul was allowed to stay by himself with the soldier who guarded him.
Act 28:17 It happened that after three days Paul called together those who were the leaders of the Jews. When they had come together, he said to them, "I, brothers, though I had done nothing against the people, or the customs of our fathers, still was delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans,
Act 28:18 who, when they had examined me, desired to set me free, because there was no cause of death in me.
Act 28:19 But when the Jews spoke against it, I was constrained to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything about which to accuse my nation.
Act 28:20 For this cause therefore I asked to see you and to speak with you. For because of the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain."
Act 28:21 They said to him, "We neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor did any of the brothers come here and report or speak any evil of you.
Act 28:22 But we desire to hear from you what you think. For, as concerning this sect, it is known to us that everywhere it is spoken against."
Act 28:23 When they had appointed him a day, many people came to him at his lodging. He explained to them, testifying about the Kingdom of God, and persuading them concerning Jesus, both from the law of Moses and from the prophets, from morning until evening.
Act 28:24 Some believed the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved.
Act 28:25 When they didn't agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had spoken one word, "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah, the prophet, to our fathers,
Act 28:26 saying, 'Go to this people, and say, in hearing, you will hear, but will in no way understand. In seeing, you will see, but will in no way perceive.
Act 28:27 For this people's heart has grown callous. Their ears are dull of hearing. Their eyes they have closed. Lest they should see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and would turn again, and I would heal them.'
Act 28:28 "Be it known therefore to you, that the salvation of God is sent to the nations. They will also listen."
Act 28:29 When he had said these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves.
Act 28:30 Paul stayed two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who were coming to him,
Act 28:31 preaching the Kingdom of God, and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness, without hindrance.

From Gary... "Cowboy up"

In a society that tends to mold males into wimps, this graphic caught my attention. To me, the hallmark of being a male is responsibility.  Learning to be responsible for not only yourself, but for a spouse and children as well (and perhaps even a pet[s]).  But, it just doesn't end there; how about being a good citizen, an employee, a neighbor or maybe even just a good friend.  And, at times it will not be easy. This is true now and has been since the beginning; Paul says...

1 Corinthians 16:1-24 NASB
(1)  Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also.
(2)  On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.
(3)  When I arrive, whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem;
(4)  and if it is fitting for me to go also, they will go with me.
(5)  But I will come to you after I go through Macedonia, for I am going through Macedonia;
(6)  and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way wherever I may go.
(7)  For I do not wish to see you now just in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits.
(8)  But I will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost;
(9)  for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
(10)  Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without cause to be afraid, for he is doing the Lord's work, as I also am.
(11)  So let no one despise him. But send him on his way in peace, so that he may come to me; for I expect him with the brethren.
(12)  But concerning Apollos our brother, I encouraged him greatly to come to you with the brethren; and it was not at all his desire to come now, but he will come when he has opportunity.
(13)  Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

(14)  Let all that you do be done in love.
(15)  Now I urge you, brethren (you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints),
(16)  that you also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who helps in the work and labors.
(17)  I rejoice over the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have supplied what was lacking on your part.
(18)  For they have refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.
(19)  The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
(20)  All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
(21)  The greeting is in my own hand--Paul.
(22)  If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha.
(23)  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
(24)  My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Paul has a lot to say to his brethren at Corinith.  They had a lot of problems and Paul corrects them in a gentle, yet firm way. Of note is Paul's disciple Timothy- a young man who needed to be strong, but does not appear to be that way innately. Verse 13 seems to stand out in light of the picture at the top. Men always need to grow up and assume responsibility, whether its next week or perhaps even two thousand years ago.  Guys, be responsible- just do it and "cowboy up".  You will be glad you did- and so will the ladies around you!!!