His name was Levi but most New Testament readers know him better as Matthew. He was a tax-collecter. Rome had set up a system of "client kings". It offered its approval and military support to this king or that if the king would agree to raise taxes for Rome's needs [the client king got his cut, of course]. Rome would assess how much they wanted from a kingdom and the client king would give that to Rome. It didn't matter how much he could wring out of his people so long as he could give to Rome what they asked.

The Jewish people had two reasons to despise the tax-collectors—Rome and the Herodian family with whom Rome had made the agreement.

We're not to think of tax-collectors as poor little things who were mistreated; we get a better view of them as a class when we think of those who colloborated with the Nazis in France or Belgium or Holland. Tax-collectors must have been emotionally and socially tough to take such a place in the midst of their own people. Don't you think they would have had to harden themselves to work for the hated and abusive authorities? Would they not be resentful and bitter and tough when every day they were despised, jeered at, isolated and passed by in silence? And if they had wives and children would they not have to steel themselves against the pain their loved ones would surely feel in such a society?

That's the man who was sitting at his place when Jesus walked up to him. Imagine this. There he stands looking in silence at him, those big brown eyes searching Matthew while Matthew looks up at him every now and then with a "Well, what do you want?"

Then Jesus says: "Leave all that and follow me!"

I'm going to take it that Matthew knew something of the one who spoke to him. It cannot have been that just anyone—the local butcher, for example—came and said that to him.
It would be nice [though not needed] to have Matthew tell us about that moment. "There he stood looking at me, saying nothing for what seemed like a lifetime and then, those words..."
Surely some critic saw and heard it all and as soon as Jesus said, "Leave all that and come and follow me," he ran off to tell his friends. "Guess who the new prophet asked to follow him!" They might guess this one or that and the informant would say, "No, no, better than that! Guess again!" When they'd exhausted their list of pious people who loved Israel and hated the Herod family he'd say, "No, it was 'old money-bags' himself. Matthew the tax-collector." And he might haved added, "It'll be a cold day in you know where when that happens." They'd all have a good laugh at the prophet's naivete but their laughing and jeering and gossiping would stop and astonishment would take their place when the word got around that Matthew had got up and done it! The God-generated capacity for it was there all along and only Jesus had the love to see it and the goodness and power to harness it!

All the hatred, all the sneering, all the isolation and intimidation couldn't turn him from his tax-gathering table, couldn't melt his hardness or strengthen him to finally join the oppressed against his ruthless masters—the world powers. But one long look at this Jesus, one strong sweet appeal from him and Matthew strode out of one world and into another, said a once-for-all goodbye to a way of life and never looked back.

When I think of such a dramatic turn around all sorts of questions swirl around in my mind—questions I have no satisfying answers to. Now and then when I think of it, it makes me half wish I had had Matthew's experience and felt the dramatic urge. I was never a great kid but my coming to the Lord Jesus, my entering the waters of baptism and taking his name upon me as my Lord and Savior was almost a quiet and steady process—as it is with most of us. I love that too but the drama of Matthew's conversion [and many like him down the centuries] thrills me as it must thrill you.

Every coming to the Lord Jesus has its drama even if it isn't obvious. It's more than [not less than] a personal u-turn. Worlds collide and empires clash on such occasions. People by God's grace throw off the shackles and throw ourselves into an adventure that knows no end. Once again, in each conversion, the Story of God as told in the person of Jesus Christ is re-told and re-enacted in a faith-filled baptism, in a weekly Suppering with the living Lord at the Lord's Supper when they culminate in the rehearsal of His resurrection to new life and a new world [Romans 6:3-7]. 

Such conversions are an ongoing witness to the presence of God's saving power and the present existence of a new creation.

People are called to and made for adventure when Jesus comes calling and transforming them with truth about a new world, a new creation and to a cosmic mission. 

In the days of the sailing ships, sailors who had sailed with Drake would come back and tell stories of what it was like to sail with such a captain. They'd tell tales not of balmy days in safe lagoons and gentle breezes. They'd tell of storms, raging seas and battles with giant waves; they whip off their shirts and show scars they'd got as a result of battle with sea monsters and jagged rocks, they'd show calloused hands that rowed for half a day and then another half and then another until exhausted but successful in bringing their ship into contact with a friendly wind that would fill the sails. Farm boys—barefoot farm boys, eyes wide with the longing for adventure, boys who'd never seen the sea would shrug off their harnesses, leave their ploughs lying in the fields and run off to another life—to another world!

That same Jesus is walking the earth today, stopping here and there and looking long at women and men, boys and girls, then saying, "Come and follow me and I will show you what you were made for." And then and there, even the same life setting, will become new and shot through with adventure! 

©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.

Rob Bell and Eternal Hell by Kyle Butt, M.A.


Rob Bell and Eternal Hell

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

For several years, Rob Bell, the minister of the Mars Hill Bible Church has been mulling over the idea of hell. In his latest book, Love Wins: A Book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, Bell contends that the “traditional” view of hell, in which those who do not believe in Christ are lost, is ill-conceived and needs re-working. Jon Meacham, column writer for TIME magazine, noted that Rob Bell “suggests that the redemptive work of Jesus may be universal—meaning that, as his book’s subtitle puts it, ‘every person who ever lived’ could have a place in heaven, whatever that turns out to be” (2011). In essence, Rob Bell is little more than a recent advocate of a modified version of universalism.
The trend to minimize hell in our emotionally-driven, sentimental society is nothing new. Behind this teaching is the idea that love and eternal punishment are incompatible and mutually exclusive. The atheistic community has repeatedly challenged belief in the God of the Bible, due to the alleged moral dilemma presented by a God of love and eternal punishment (Butt, 2010, pp. 217-227).
A critical analysis of the situation brings to light a number of truths. First, it is clear that the Bible teaches that hell is a reality and will be eternal (Matthew 25:46, see Lyons and Butt, 2005a). Second, the concept of hell has been shown to be in perfect harmony with the concepts of morality and justice (Lyons and Butt, 2005b). Third, the erroneous teachings of universalism and the limited duration of hell are nothing new, and advocates of these beliefs will most likely continue to present themselves (see Colley, 2007; Butt, 2004; Miller, 2003).
The apostle Peter explained that one responsibility given to Christians is that they ought always to be ready to give a defense of their beliefs (1 Peter 3:15). One of those beliefs that is continually challenged is the idea of an eternal hell to which those who have not obeyed God will be consigned forever. Let us all be aware of these challenges to the Bible’s teachings and prepare ourselves to respond to them, holding fast to the faithful Word of God.


Butt, Kyle (2004), “The Reality of Eternal Hell,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&art2004icle=819.
Butt, Kyle (2010), A Christians Guide to Refuting Modern Atheism (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Colley, Caleb (2007), “Controversy About Hell Continues,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=2262.
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2005a), “The Eternality of Hell, Part 1,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1474.
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2005b), “The Eternality of Hell, Part 2,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1475.
Meacham, Jon (2011), “Is Hell Dead?” TIME, April 14, http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2065080,00.html?xid=feed-yahoo-full-mostpopular.
Miller, Dave (2003), “Who Believes in Hell Anymore?” Apologetics Press, https://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1204.

From Mark Copeland... Ruth's Marital Joy: "She Bore A Son" (4:1-22)

                           "THE BOOK OF RUTH"

             Ruth's Marital Joy:  "She Bore A Son" (4:1-22)


1. Our brief survey of the book of Ruth has thus far revealed...
   a. Ruth's noble choice:  "I will go..." - Ru 1:1-22
      1) Expressing great love for her mother-in-law, Naomi
      2) Willing to forego home and religion, and adopt Israel and the
         true God
   b. Ruth's lowly service:  "Let me glean..." - Ru 2:1-23
      1) Exercising her right as a widow to glean after the reapers
         during the harvest
      2) Providing sustenance for herself and her mother-in-law
   c. Ruth's tender plea:  "Take your maidservant..." - Ru 3:1-18
      1) Made to Boaz, a near kinsman
      2) As part of a careful plan proposed by her mother-in-law, Naomi

2. Noteworthy throughout this story has been the character of Boaz...
   a. A kind man, with a strong sense of propriety
   b. A hospitable man, with a concern for duty and reputation
   c. A man Naomi knew "will not rest until he has concluded the matter
      this day" - Ru 3:18

3  As we come to the fourth and final chapter...
   a. We see how Boaz fulfills "Ruth's marital joy"
   b. Resulting in the birth of a son who became David's grandfather

[As the chapter opens, Boaz begins the process promised to Ruth earlier
(cf. Ru 3:12-13)...]


      1. Boaz meets the close relative at the gate - Ru 4:1
         a. Where people would travel in and out of the town
         b. Where business transactions were often made
         c. Where judges and officers were to be found - cf. Deut 16:18
      2. Boaz calls together ten elders of the city - Ru 4:2
         a. Who were frequently gathered at the gate - cf. Pr 31:23
         b. Such elders would serve as witnesses - cf. Ru 4:9

      1. Naomi had sold the land which belonged to her husband,
         Elimelech - Ru 4:3
         a. Some translations (NIV, NASB, etc.) indicate she was about
            to sell it - cf. Ru 4:9
         b. Within her right as one who was poor - cf. Lev 25:25
      2. Boaz encourages the close relative to redeem it, or Boaz will
         - Ru 4:4
         a. It was important that land stay within the family - cf. Lev 25:23-28; Num 27:1-11
         b. At first, the close relative is willing to redeem it

      1. Boaz points out the obligation involving Ruth the Moabitess
         - Ru 4:5
         a. To buy (or acquire) Ruth (cf. NRSV, NASB) - cf. also Ru 4:10
         b. To marry her and perpetuate the name of her dead husband by
            giving him a son - cf. Deut 25:5-6
      2. Prompting the close relative to refuse to redeem it - Ru 4:6
         a. Concerned about ruining his own inheritance
            1) Perhaps because he knew the land would belong to
               Elimelech's family
            2) Thus spending money for land that would not long be his
         b. Who then gave the right (and responsibility) of redemption
            to Boaz

[With the refusal of redemption by the close relative...]


      1. Confirmed by the removal of a sandal - Ru 4:7-8
         a. A custom "in former times"
            1) Evidently not when the book of Ruth was written
            2) Possibly traced to the practice of taking possession of
               land by walking on the soil of the land being claimed
               (F. B. Huey, Jr., Expositor's Bible Commentary)
         b. Similar to another custom involving the removal of a sandal
            - cf. Deut 25:7-10
            1) Regarding the refusal to marry the widow of one's brother
            2) An expression of shame for such refusal to accept
         c. Yet such shame does not appear to be the purpose in this
      2. Witnessed by the ten elders and all the people - Ru 4:9
         a. They witnessed that Boaz purchased all the land of Elimelech
            and his sons
         b. That he bought it from the hand of Naomi

      1. Boaz has acquired Ruth as wife - Ru 4:10
         a. To perpetuate the name of the dead (Mahlon, Ruth's dead
         b. To maintain Mahlon's (family?) position at the gate
      2. Witnessed and blessed by townspeople and the elders - Ru 4:11-12
         a. The people proclaim themselves witnesses
         b. They bless Ruth and Boaz
            1) That the Lord make her like Rachel and Leah
            2) That Boaz prosper and be famous in Bethlehem Ephrathah
            3) That their house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar
               bore to Judah - cf. Gen 46:12; Num 26:20-22

[With the transaction for the land witnessed, and their union as husband
and wife blessed by the people at the gate...]


      1. With conception given by the Lord - Ru 4:13
         a. Fertility and barrenness were sometimes attributed to the
            Lord - cf. Gen 29:31; 30:2
         b. Perhaps in this way the writer was implying God's acceptance
            of the union of Boaz and Ruth
      2. With praise and prayer offered by the women - Ru 4:14-15
         a. Praise to the Lord for His kindness to Naomi through her
         b. Prayer that the child be a restorer and nourisher to Naomi
            in her old age
      3. With nursing by Naomi - Ru 4:16
      4. With his name "Obed" (servant) given by the neighbor women - Ru 4:17

      1. As mentioned at the close of Ru 4:17
      2. As illustrated in the genealogy of Perez - Ru 4:18-22
         a. Perez (son of Judah)
         b. Hezron
         c. Ram
         d. Amminadab
         e. Nahshon
         f. Salmon
         g. Boaz
         h. Obed
         i. Jesse
         j. David


1. At the beginning of our study, we noted that the book of Ruth serves
   two purposes...
   a. To illustrate how God rewards those who make wise spiritual
      choices and show steadfast filial loyalty
   b. To explain how Ruth, a Moabitess, came to be an ancestor of David,
      and ultimately, of the Messiah - cf. Ru 4:21-22; Mt 1:5-6

2. The book also reveals examples of commendable character...
   a. Nobility of character in Ruth, who proved to be better to Naomi
      than seven sons!
   b. Nobility of character in Boaz, as an employer, and believer in
      God's promises and commands

Remember that such character was manifested during a dark period in
Israel's history...

   "In those days [there was] no king in Israel; everyone did [what
   was] right in his own eyes." (Judg 21:25)

May their example of character encourage us to do what is right when we
live among people who seem to be little different than those in the days
of the Judges...!
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... Ruth's Tender Plea: "Take Your Maidservant" (3:1-18)

                           "THE BOOK OF RUTH"

         Ruth's Tender Plea:  "Take Your Maidservant" (3:1-18)


1. So far our study in the book of Ruth has revealed...
   a. Ruth's noble choice:  "I will go..." - Ru 1:1-22
      1) Expressing great love for her mother-in-law, Naomi
      2) Willing to forego home and religion, and adopt Israel and the
         true God
   b. Ruth's lowly service:  "Let me glean..." - Ru 2:1-23
      1) Exercising her right as a widow to glean after the reapers
         during the harvest
      2) Providing sustenance for herself and her mother-in-law

2. Our previous study reviewed how Ruth came to meet Boaz...
   a. Ruth "happened" to be gleaning in the field of Boaz - Ru 2:1-3
   b. Boaz inquired of his workers about the strange woman - Ru 2:4-5
   c. Learning Ruth's identity, Boaz encouraged her to continue - Ru 2:8-9
   d. Ruth was permitted to glean in the fields of Boaz throughout the
      harvest - Ru 2:21
   e. Naomi was thrilled, because Boaz was a close relative - Ru 2:20

[With advice from her mother-in-law, Ruth will make a "tender plea" that
will prompt Boaz to fulfill an obligation that was due the family of
Elimelech.  Thus chapter three begins with...]


      1. Naomi loves her daughter-in-law as a daughter - Ru 3:1
      2. Naomi is concerned for Ruth's security and well-being - Ru 3:1
         a. Security (rest, KJV) implies benefits found in marriage
            - cf. Ru 1:9
         b. It was customary for parents to arrange marriages - cf. Judg 14:1-2

      1. Boaz, with whose women Ruth gleaned in the fields, was a
         relative - Ru 3:2
         a. He could fulfill the levirate law of marriage - cf. Deut 25:5-10
         b. Perhaps Naomi had interpreted his kindness as interest in
      2. Boaz would be winnowing barley at the threshing floor - Ru 3:2
         a. Threshing floors were located on a hill; this one outside
            the city - cf. Ru 3:15
         b. Naomi knew that Boaz would spend the night there - cf. Ru 3:4

      1. Ruth is told to wash, anoint herself, and put on her best
         garment - Ru 3:3
      2. Ruth is told to wait until Boaz has eaten and fallen asleep
         - Ru 3:-4
      3. Ruth is told to uncover Boaz' feet and lie down, and await his
         response - Ru 3:4
         a. Some interpret "uncover his feet" and "lie down" as
            euphemisms for sexual activity - cf. Eze 16:25 (KJV); Gen 19:32-35
         b. Yet for Naomi to encourage Ruth to commit such an act of
            boldness and immorality is completely counter to what we
            know of Ruth - cf. Ru 3:11
         c. The actual text suggests that nothing indecent happened
            - cf. Ru 3:7-8

[Ruth consents to follow the advice given by Naomi (Ru 3:5), and so we
read of...]


      1. Ruth goes down to the threshing floor - Ru 3:6
      2. Ruth does according to her mother-in-law's instructions - Ru 3:6
         a. She waits until Boaz had eaten and gone to sleep - Ru 3:7
         b. She softly uncovers his feet and lies down - Ru 3:7

      1. At midnight Boaz is startled by a woman lying at his feet - Ru 3:8
      2. Upon inquiry, Ruth identifies herself and makes her plea - Ru 3:9
         a. "Take your maidservant under your wing"
            1) Or "spread your cloak over your maid" (NRSV)
            2) In that region, a symbolic action denoting protection,
               marriage (JFB)
         b. "For you are a close relative (near kinsman)"
            1) He could fulfill the levirate law of marriage - cf. Deut 25:5-6
            2) But he was not the nearest of kin - cf. Ru 3:12

      1. Boaz is grateful for her kindness - Ru 3:10
         a. She showed more kindness at the end than at the beginning
         b. In that she did not just go after any young man (implying
            that Boaz was older)
      2. Boaz is concerned about preserving her honor - Ru 3:11-14
         a. He would fulfill her request, for everyone knows of her
         b. Yet there was a kinsman nearer to her than he
            1) Boaz must give him the opportunity to do his duty
            2) Boaz swears to perform the duty, if the other person does
         c. Boaz preserves her reputation
            1) By having her stay until morning, rather than leaving
               during the night
            2) By instructing his workers to tell no one
      3. Boaz gives Ruth six ephahs of barley - Ruth 3:15
         a. So she might not go empty-handed to her mother-in-law - cf.
            Ru 3:17
         b. The significance of this gift is uncertain
            1) A gift of grain as the bridal price?
            2) A message intended for Naomi, recognizing her part or to
               secure her consent?
            3) A "cover" for Ruth, should anyone see her, implying that
               she had been at work
               gathering grain?
            4) Simply a gift from a man for the woman he hoped to marry?

[With such a large gift in hand...]


      1. Ruth tells all that Boaz had done for her - Ru 3:16
      2. Ruth explains the six ephahs of barley - Ru 3:17

      1. To wait to see how things turn out - Ru 3:18
      2. Confident that Boaz will act immediately - Ru 3:18


1. It is tempting to caricature Naomi as a "matchmaker"...
   a. She certainly had given her plan some thought
   b. She correctly anticipated Boaz' response
   -- But it was definitely "a risky proposition" that could have easily
      gone awry!

2. Scholars debate whether anything improper took place between Ruth and
   Boaz; I appreciate the following observation:

   "Those who interpret a sexual relation in the events reflect their
   twentieth-century cultural conditioning of sexual permissiveness.
   They fail to appreciate the element of Ruth's trust that Boaz would
   not dishonor her whom he wanted for his wife. They fail to appreciate
   the cultural taboos of Ruth's time that would have prevented a man of
   Boaz's position from taking advantage of Ruth, thereby destroying her
   reputation and perhaps endangering his own.  Biblical writers were
   not squeamish about describing sexual encounters, but the writer of
   Ruth has deliberately refrained from saying there was a liaison
   between Ruth and Boaz.  If read carefully and with sensitivity, it
   becomes clear that he was saying just the opposite.  Both Ruth and
   Boaz acted virtuously in a situation they knew could have turned out
   otherwise.  Chastity was not an unknown virtue in the ancient world."
   - F. B. Huey, Jr. (Expositor's Bible Commentary)

3. Again we are struck by the noble character of Boaz...
   a. We saw his kindness and sense of propriety in the previous chapter
   b. We see his kindness and concern for duty and reputation in this

The integrity of Boaz made it possible for Naomi to plan her "risky
proposition" with a strong likelihood that he would respond in the
proper manner.  The benefit of having integrity is that people know how
we will respond in a given situation.

Would we have responded like Boaz...?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... Ruth's Lowly Service: "Let Me Glean" (2:1-23)

                           "THE BOOK OF RUTH"

             Ruth's Lowly Service:  "Let Me Glean" (2:1-23)


1. In our previous study, we saw how Ruth came to be the daughter-in-law
   to Naomi...
   a. The journey to Moab of Elimelech, Naomi, and their two sons
   b. The death of Elimelech, and marriages of the sons to Naomi and
   c. The deaths of the sons, and Naomi's return to Judah accompanied by

2. We noticed the "noble choice" that was made by Ruth...
   a. To leave her home and religion of Moab
   b. To adopt Naomi's home and God as her own - cf. Ru 1:16-17

3. Noteworthy throughout this story is the filial devotion Ruth has
   toward her mother-in-law...
   a. We saw it in her "noble choice"
   b. We will see it again in her "lowly service"

[The chapter begins where the previous one ended:  at the time of the
barley harvest.  In such a setting we read how...]


      1. We are introduced to Boaz - Ru 2:1
         a. A relative of Naomi's husband, Elimelech
         b. A man of great wealth
      2. Ruth gains permission from Naomi to let her glean - Ru 2:2
         a. Hoping to find favor (kindness) from a landowner
            1) The Law forbid owners from reaping the corners and
               gathering the gleanings of the harvest - cf. Lev 19:9-10
            2) In this way God provided for strangers, the fatherless,
               and widows - Deut 24:19-22
         b. Perhaps not all land owners respected this law
            1) Especially toward "strangers"
            2) We are reminded eight times in this book that Ruth was a
      3. Ruth "happened" to come upon the field belonging to Boaz - Ru 2:3
         a. Gleaning after the reapers, as the Law allowed
         b. She "happened" to come to the field belonging to Boaz
            1) The word suggests it was by "chance", which may how it
               first appeared
            2) The overall context of the book reveals it was by

      1. We see the respect between Boaz and his workers - Ru 2:4
         a. He entreats the Lord's presence upon them
         b. They bid the Lord's blessing upon him
      2. Boaz asks his foreman about the strange woman - Ru 2:5-7
         a. Who relates her Moabite background, and her relation to
         b. Who recounts her request to glean, and her diligent labor

[With Boaz now aware of Ruth's identity, we next learn how...]


      1. Boaz encourages her to glean in his field alone - Ru 2:8-9
         a. To stay by his young women
         b. To know that his young men have been commanded not to touch
         c. To drink when thirsty the water drawn by the young men
      2. Ruth inquires why he is so kind to her, a foreigner - Ru 2:10-12
         a. Boaz has heard of her devotion to Naomi, and her "noble
         b. Boaz prays the Lord will bless her in return for seeking His
      3. Ruth is comforted by his kindness - Ru 2:13
         a. She hopes to continue to find favor in his sight
         b. For his kindness toward one who is not one of his

      1. Shown to her at the noon mealtime - Ru 2:14
         a. Inviting her to eat with the rest of the workers
         b. Passing roasted grain over for her to eat
      2. Shown by the instructions given to his young men - Ru 2:15-16
         a. To let her glean even among the sheaves without reproach
         b. To purposely let stalks fall from the bundles for her to
      3. Allowing her to reap an ephah (about 30-50 pounds) of barley
         - Ru 2:17
         a. A rather large amount for someone to glean from scraps!
         b. But then she had a lot of help from the "clumsy" workers!

[At the end of the day, Ruth returns back to the city where...]


      1. Ruth shows her mother-in-law what she gleaned - Ru 2:18
      2. Ruth gives Naomi her excess grain - Ru 2:18

      1. In response to Naomi's questions, Ruth tells her about Boaz
         - Ru 2:19
      2. Naomi blesses the Lord - Ru 2:20
         a. For His kindness to the living and the dead
         b. For Boaz is a close relative (who would have a duty to
            preserve the name of a dead relative)
         c. Note the contrast to her earlier feelings - cf. Ru 1:13,20,

      1. Ruth tells of Boaz' instructions to continue gleaning among his
         workers - Ru 2:21
      2. Naomi encourages her to stay with the women laborers in Boaz'
         field - Ru 2:22
      3. Which Ruth does until the end of the harvest, while living with
         Naomi - Ru 2:23


1. In this chapter we have seen two noteworthy examples of righteous
   a. Ruth's humility and willingness to minister to the needs of her
   b. Boaz' kindness and sense of propriety in his treatment of the
      foreign woman in his field

2. We also saw Naomi's faith in God's care reassured...
   a. Even though she believed her earlier loss was due to God's
   b. She was convinced that God had not forsaken His kindness to the
      living and dead

In this story of "Ruth's Lowly Service," we also see another truth
displayed, that God gives grace to the humble:

   "Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to [your] elders.
   Yes, all of [you] be submissive to one another, and be clothed
   with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the
   humble."  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
   that He may exalt you in due time,  casting all your care upon Him,
   for He cares for you." (1Pe 5:5-7)

Are we willing to render lowly service to those around us, humbling
ourselves before God?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... Ruth's Noble Choice: "I Will Go" (1:1-22)

                           "THE BOOK OF RUTH"

               Ruth's Noble Choice:  "I Will Go" (1:1-22)


1. The book of Ruth is a beautiful "interlude of love," set in...
   a. The period when judges ruled Israel - Ru 1:1
   b. An era marked by immorality, idolatry, and war - cf. Judg 21:25

2. It tells a heartwarming story of devotion and faithfulness...
   a. Concerning a Moabite widow (Ruth) who leaves her homeland
   b. To live with her Jewish mother-in-law (Naomi)  in the land of

3. God honors Ruth's commitment...
   a. By guiding her to the field of Boaz (a near kinsman to Naomi)
   b. Where she gathers grain and finds a place in the genealogy of

4. It has been said the book serves two purposes...
   a. To illustrate how Jehovah rewards those who make wise spiritual
      choices and show steadfast filial loyalty
   b. To explain how Ruth, a Moabitess, came to be an ancestor of David,
      and ultimately, the Messiah - cf. Ru 4:21-22; Mt 1:5-6

[While the book's brevity and beauty makes it easy to read in one
sitting, we will let it serve as the basis for four sermons, one for
each chapter.  In chapter one, we learn of "Ruth's Noble Choice"...]


      1. The setting - Ru 1:1
         a. In the days of the judges (prior to the period of the kings
            of Israel)
         b. There is famine in the land of Judah
         c. A family of four leave Bethlehem to dwell in Moab
            1) Bethlehem, city located 5 mi. S of Jerusalem; birthplace
               of David and Jesus
            2) Moab, country located due E of the Dead Sea
               a) Descendants of Lot - Gen 19:36-37
               b) Sometimes enemies, friends, of Israel - Judg 3:12-30;
                  1Sa 22:3-4
      2. The family - Ru 1:2
         a. Elimelech the father, Naomi the mother
         b. Their two sons:  Mahlon and Chilion
         c. Ephrathites - Bethlehem was also known as Ephrath - Gen 35:19; Mic 5:2
      3. The move
         a. Prompted by the famine
         b. Perhaps indicating a lack of faith in God, who made
            provision for when His children became impoverished - cf.
            Lev 25:35

      1. Elimelech dies - Ru 1:3
         a. Leaving Naomi a widow with two sons
         b. Rabbinic tradition suggests his death was punishment for
            greed or having forsaken his homeland (Expositor's Bible
      2. Mahlon and Chilion marry women of Moab - Ru 1:4
         a. Mahlon married Ruth, Chilion married Orpah - cf. Ru 4:10
         b. Such marriages with women of Moab were strongly suspect,
            if not wrong - cf. Deut 23:3; 1Ki 11:1-2; Neh 13:23-27
         c. They live in Moab about ten years
      3. Mahlon and Chilion die - Ru 1:5
         a. Rabbinic tradition suggests it was because of leaving Judah,
            and their marriages
         b. Leaving Naomi a widow and childless, which she took as
            divine judgment against her - Ru 1:13,20-21

[Elimelech and his sons went to Moab to find bread, instead they found
graves (Baxter).  Bereaved of her husband and two sons, Naomi gives
thought to return to her homeland...]


      1. The famine in Judah had ended - Ru 1:6
         a. The Lord's blessings had return to Judah
         b. The Lord had given them bread
      2. Naomi encourages her daughters-in-law to remain in Moab - Ru 1:7-9
         a. As they were on their way to leave
         b. Naomi encourages them to return to their mothers' house
         c. Naomi prays God's blessings upon them
            1) To treat them kindly, because their kindness to her
            2) To find rest in the homes of future husbands
         d. Prompting sorrowful displays a great affection

      1. At first, both daughters-in-law desire to go with Naomi - Ru 1:10
         a. Willing to return with her to her people
         b. Which speaks highly of their love for Naomi and duty as
      2. Naomi seeks to dissuade them - Ru 1:11-13
         a. She has no sons to offer them
         b. She is too old to have a husband
         c. If she did marry and have sons, would they wait until they
            were old enough?
         d. It grieves her to see them suffer because of God's
            chastisement of her
      3. Ruth cannot be dissuaded - Ru 1:14-18
         a. Weeping, Orpah kisses her mother-in-law and leaves
         b. Ruth clings to her mother-in-law, and Naomi tries once again
            to persuade her to return
         c. Ruth's noble choice
            1) To go wherever Naomi goes
            2) To live wherever Naomi lives
            3) To make the people of Naomi her people
            4) To make the God of Naomi her God
            5) To die and be buried where Naomi is buried
            6) To let nothing but death come between them
            -- In making such a choice, Ruth has become a proselyte to
         d. Naomi realizes Ruth is determined to go with her

      1. Their arrival sparks excitement in the city - Ru 1:19
      2. Naomi believes she should be called Mara - Ru 1:20-21
         a. No longer Naomi ("Pleasant"), but Mara ("Bitter")
         b. For she feels the Lord has dealt bitterly with her
            1) She left Judah full, and has returned empty
            2) She believes the Lord has testified against her, and has
               afflicted her
         c. This may be true - cf. Deut 28:15-19
            1) Yet not all suffering is indicative of divine
               chastisement (cf. Job)
            2) She may have been the innocent victim of others' sins
      3. Naomi and Ruth settle in Bethlehem - Ru 1:22
         a. Naomi, a woman without husband and sons
         b. Ruth, the Moabitess living in a strange land


1. Their arrival was at the beginning of the barley harvest...
   a. Which sets the stage for the events in the next chapter
   b. Which portends a new beginning in the lives of Naomi and Ruth

2. This story certainly illustrates the importance of making choices...
   a. Choices come with consequences, sometimes good, sometimes bad
   b. Elimelech and his sons made choices...
      1) Which may have appeared to be a good business decision
      2) But ultimately left a wife and mother a widow and motherless in
         a strange land
   c. Ruth made a choice
      1) To leave family and false religion, for the true God and His
      2) One that would have provide both temporal and eternal blessings
         - cf. Mk 10:29-30

Sometimes the choice is not between right and wrong, but between good
and better.  Yet any choice we make will be the right one if made with
these words of Jesus in mind:

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

"Ruth's Noble Choice" to follow Naomi and her God illustrates the truth
of Jesus' words!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... Jude's Closing Doxology (24-25)

                         "THE EPISTLE OF JUDE"

                    Jude's Closing Doxology (24-25)


1. In the course of his short epistle, Jude has had to write some
   necessary, and to some degree, unpleasant things...
   a. A plea to contend earnestly for the faith - Jude 3
   b. A warning about ungodly men who have crept in unnoticed - Jude 4
   c. A reminder of God's righteous condemnation in times past - Jude 5-7
   d. A description of the depravity of the ungodly dreamers - Jude 8-16
   e. Counsel on how to keep from stumbling - Jude 17-23
   -- One might think that such unpleasant tasks would leave him in a
      depressed state of mind

2. Yet we find that Jude is moved to end his epistle with a
   a. The word means "an expression of praise to God"
   b. Doxologies are common in Scripture
      1) Usually at the end of an epistle - cf. Ro 16:25-27
      2) Sometimes in the middle of one - cf. Ep 3:20-21
   c. The format of a doxology is usually in two parts:
      1) An address to the one being praised, including reasons for the
         praise being offered
      2) The expression of praise itself

3. In "Jude's Closing Doxology", we find this epistle closing...
   a. On a very high note, not in doubt and fear
   b. With a beautiful expression of faith and hope

4. That we might be sure to live with a strong assurance of faith and
   hope, let's take a few moments to carefully examine this "expression
   of praise" preserved for us in this epistle

[Jude begins his doxology by describing...]


      1. "to keep you from stumbling"
         a. That God is in view is evident from verse 25
         b. But the emphasis appears to be on His ability to keep us
            from "stumbling"
            1) "stumbling" does not refer to the occasional sin
            2) But to stumble so as to fall away completely - cf. 2 Pe 1:10
         c. This is reassuring in an epistle filled with warning about
            ungodly men who would seek to lead one astray
         d. God's ability to keep us from stumbling was implied at the
            very beginning of this epistle - cf. Jude 1 ("preserved in
            Jesus Christ" )
         e. But as we have suggested in previous lessons, our faith
            must cooperate with God's power if we are to keep from
            "stumbling" - cf. 1Pe 1:5; 2Pe 1:5-11
         f. Indeed, we must heed the exhortations given by Jude
            1) "Remember the words spoken before..." - Jude 17
            2) "building yourselves up on your most holy faith" - Jude 20
            3) "praying in the Holy Spirit" - Jude 20
            4) "keep yourselves in the love of God - Jude 21
            5) "looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto
               eternal life" - Jude 21
         g. If we continue in faith, heeding such exhortations, we know
            that God is able to keep us from falling!
         h. God's ability is stressed by Paul in his "doxology" - cf.
            Ep 3:20-21
      2. "to present you faultless before the presence of His glory
         with exceeding joy"
         a. Here, the focus is on God's ability to produce the ultimate
            goal of redemption
         b. That goal is expressed here as presenting us before God...
            1) "faultless"
               a) As Paul expressed it in Ep 5:27...
                  1] "not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing"
                  2] "holy and without blemish"
               b) This is necessary if we are to be permitted in the
                  presence of God's glory
            2) "with exceeding joy"
               a) Without a doubt this will be the condition of those
                  so blessed!
               b) But let's not discount the joy God will experience
                  when He sees His redeemed ones at last!
         c. Through His divine providence, God will bring His scheme of
            redemption to pass - cf. Ro 8:28-30

   B. "TO GOD..."
      1. "our Savior"
         a. At this point Jude is about to ascribe praise to God
         b. So this phrase may be a summary description of what was
            stated in verse 24
         c. I.e., that the God who is able to keep us from stumbling
            and present us faultless is truly our Savior!
      2. "who alone is wise"
         a. His wisdom is seen in His ability to keep us from stumbling
            and present us faultless
         b. Again, a summary description of God in view of verse 24

[Having described God, Jude proceeds to offer his praise.  A feature
noted in Jude's epistle is his love of triplets...

      - His description of his readers - Jude 1
      - His prayer for them - Jude 2
      - His three examples of God's righteous condemnation - Jude 5-7
      - His preliminary description of the ungodly dreamers - Jude 8
      - His three examples of Old Testament apostates - Jude 11
      - His summary description of the ungodly dreamers - Jude 19
      - His threefold exhortation to his beloved - Jude 20-21

Now in His doxology, we find one more triplet, actually a triplet of
doublets, being used in..]


      1. "glory" comes from "doxa" {dox'-ah}, and is used to suggest
         dignity and honor
      2. "majesty" comes from "megalosune" {meg-al-o-soo'-nay}, meaning
      3. These terms are closely related in concept, suggesting that
         which is worthy of awe, praise, and worship
      -- Thus Jude seeks to have all glory and majesty given to God

      1. "dominion" is from "kratos" {krat'-os}, and means "might,
         power, strength"
      2. "power" is from "exousia" {ex-oo-see'-ah}, and refers to
         "authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength"
      3. Also closely related in concept, the use of these words
         demonstrate that Jude recognizes that it is God who rightly
         deserves and exercises authority over all
      -- Not only does he recognize it, it is his fervent prayer that
         it continue (as we read on...)

      1. Jude's fervent prayer is that dominion and power, glory and
         majesty remain God's
      2. Not just for the present, but for eternity!


1. With a single word ("amen", i.e., "so be it"), Jude ends his
   doxology and the epistle itself

2. And so it WILL be...
   a. Despite the efforts of any to turn the grace of our God into
      licentiousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus
   b. God will bring into judgment all who are ungodly
   c. God will preserve in Jesus Christ all who remain faithful to Him
      1) God will keep them from stumbling
      2) God will present them faultless before His presence with
         exceeding joy

3. And to Him WILL be...
   a. Glory and majesty
   b. Dominion and power
   ...both now and forever!

But brethren, for us to enjoy the blessedness promised the faithful, we
must heed Jude's call...

   - To remember the words spoken before
   - To build ourselves up on our most holy faith
   - To pray in the Holy Spirit
   - To keep ourselves in the love of God
   - To look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus unto eternal life
   - To extend compassionate effort to those in danger

...for only then will it be true that we heeded the exhortation "to
contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the

eXTReMe Tracker

From Mark Copeland... Exhortations To The Beloved (Jude 17-23)

                         "THE EPISTLE OF JUDE"

                  Exhortations To The Beloved (17-23)


1. Up to this point, Jude has established the "need" for his readers to
   contend earnestly for the faith...
   a. With reminders of God's righteous condemnation of the ungodly
      - Jude 5-7
   b. With a vivid depiction of the ungodly men who have crept in
      unnoticed - Jude 9-16,19

2. Now Jude provides a series of exhortations designed to make sure
   that they stand strong in the faith "once for all delivered to the
   saints" - Jude 17-23

3. Twice in these verses, Jude addresses his readers as "beloved"
   - Jude 17,20
   a. As an appellation, the term "beloved" is used frequently in the
      1) By Paul in Ro 12:19
      2) By the author of Hebrews - He 6:9
      3) By Peter in 1Pe 2:11
      4) By John - 1Jn 4:1,7,11
      5) And by Jude at the beginning of his epistle in Jude 3
   b. It describes those addressed as being very dear to the heart of
      the one using it

4. It is with such love in his heart that we find Jude giving the
   exhortations necessary to keep from being misled by the ungodly

[As we consider these "Exhortations To The Beloved", let us bear in
mind that as God's children we too are "beloved" (beloved of God - Ro
1:7) and that these exhortations are therefore directed to us as well.

The first exhortation, designed to keep us from stumbling, is to...]


      1. They were the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ
      2. That is, those duly appointed and sent out by Jesus Himself
      3. To heed them is to heed the Lord Himself - cf. Jn 13:20

      1. That there would be mockers in the last time - cf. 2Pe 3:1-3
      2. That they would walk according to their own ungodly lusts
         - cf. 2Ti 3:1-5; 4:3-4

[For us today, we must remember what they wrote.  This implies diligent
study of the Word of God on our part.  The need for such study is also
implied in the next exhortation...]


      1. It is not enough to just lay down one level of knowledge and
      2. We must continue to build upon it, as Peter expressed it:
         "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ"
         - 2Pe 3:18
      3. We therefore need to take advantage of opportunities to study
         and learn

      1. While God, family, and brethren will be there to encourage you
      2. You must accept personal responsibility and make the effort

      1. It is that body of doctrine in which our personal faith is to
      2. It is that body of doctrine which has been revealed "one time
         for all times"
      3. Which of course pertains to what our Lord Jesus Christ has
         done and will do for us!

[These first two exhortations stress the importance of our "continuing
steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" (Ac 2:42), that is, to study
diligently and apply the Word of God to our lives.

But Bible study alone will not suffice; there is also the need to...]


      1. By the Word of God, God speaks to us; by prayer, we speak to
      2. The Word of God is a source of strength and comfort to us; but
         then, so also is prayer - cf. Php 4:6-7
      3. Think of prayer and the Word of God as the "two legs" upon
         which our spiritual well-being stands; both are need to be
         well-balanced in our spiritual growth

      1. Jude does not elaborate, nor does Paul, who uses the
         expression in Ep 6:18
      2. But Paul does use the expression "walk in the Spirit" (Ga 5:
         25), which suggests walking or living according to the
         Spirit's direction as found in the Word of God
      3. Perhaps "praying in the Spirit" simply emphasizes that our
         prayers be in harmony with what the Spirit teaches in the Word
         of God, which is akin to what John wrote in 1Jn 5:14

[Diligent Bible study and prayer are certainly essential to keep from
falling.  But as we continue to consider Jude's "Exhortations To The
Beloved", we learn there is more we need to do...]


      1. We are called upon to "keep yourselves..."
      2. The word for "keep" is the same word translated "preserved" in
         Jude 1
      3. So while we are indeed "preserved in Jesus Christ", our
         remaining preserved in Christ is affected by our willing
         cooperation with God
      4. As Peter wrote, we are "kept by the power of God through
         faith" - 1Pe 1:5
         a. The power of God is the divine contribution to keeping us
         b. Remaining faithful is the human contribution to being kept

      1. Jesus taught that keeping the commandments is the key to
         abiding in God's love
         a. It is how we will be loved by our Father - Jn 14:21,23
         b. It is how we will loved by the Son - Jn 15:9-10
      2. This is not legalism, but a simple recognition of the
         importance of doing what God (and Christ) commands...
         a. Observing the commandments of Christ are an essential
            element of recognizing the Lord's authority and keeping the
            Great Commission - Mt 28:18-20
         b. Keeping the commandments of God is what really matters, as
            far as Paul is concerned - 1Co 7:19
      3. It is also the ultimate proof that we love God and His
         children - cf. 1Jn 5:2-3

[So to Bible study and prayer we must add the actual application of
God's Word to our lives if we wish to keep from falling.

But to avoid turning our efforts to keep the commandments of God into
legalism or thinking that we somehow earn our salvation, we need to
heed the next exhortation...]


      1. Looking forward to "the blessed hope and glorious appearing of
         our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" - cf. Tit 2:11-13
      2. Looking forward to "the coming of the day of God" - 2Pe 3:
      3. Looking for that "new heavens and a new earth in which
         righteousness dwells" - 2Pe 3:13-14

      1. Eternal life is not something we earn, but is graciously given
         in Christ Jesus - Ro 6:23
      2. We are saved, not by works of righteousness, but according to
         mercy, that we might become heirs according to the hope of
         eternal- Tit 3:4-7
      3. Thus, the prayer that Paul had for Onesiphorus should be the
         prayer that we all have for ourselves:

         "The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord
         in that Day" - 2Ti 1:18

[The final exhortation speaks not so much to what we can do to keep
ourselves from falling, but what we should do to save others in


      1. First, to save ourselves, for mercy will only be shown to the
         merciful - Jm 2:13
      2. But also to save those who are in danger
         a. Compassion is needed to move us to action - cf. Mt 9:36-38;
         a. Compassion is needed to properly handle those in danger
            - Ga 6:1; 2Ti 2:24-25

      1. Lest we be caught up in the same error of the wicked - cf.
         Ga 6:1
      2. That we might be motivated to persuade those in danger of
         being lost - cf. 2Co 5:10-11


1. Here, then, are Jude's final "Exhortations To The Beloved"...
   a. Remember the words spoken before (17-18)
   b. Build yourselves up in the most holy faith (20)
   c. Pray in the spirit (20)
   d. Keep yourselves in the love of God (21)
   e. Look for the mercy of our Lord (21)
   f. Be compassionate, with fear (22-23)

2. These exhortations might easily be called:
   a. "How To Keep From Falling"
   b. "How To Contend Earnestly For The Faith"
   -- For that is what Jude is seeking to do in writing these words of

3. Do we not see the need for heeding these same exhortations
   a. Do we not face the same danger today?
   b. Do we not desire the same blessings promised to the original
      recipients of this letter?

4. May these words of Jude to his beloved serve as a guide for us
   a. Imagine the blessedness of a congregation in which every member
      is heeding these exhortations!
   b. Imagine the blessedness of seeing everyone in this congregation
      receiving the mercy of the Lord on that Day!

Beloved, are you keeping yourselves in the love of God today by keeping
His commandments...?

From Gary... Bible Reading October 17

Bible Reading   

October 17

The World English Bible

Oct. 17
Proverbs 24-26

Pro 24:1 Don't be envious of evil men; neither desire to be with them:
Pro 24:2 for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about mischief.
Pro 24:3 Through wisdom a house is built; by understanding it is established;
Pro 24:4 by knowledge the rooms are filled with all rare and beautiful treasure.
Pro 24:5 A wise man has great power; and a knowledgeable man increases strength;
Pro 24:6 for by wise guidance you wage your war; and victory is in many advisors.
Pro 24:7 Wisdom is too high for a fool: he doesn't open his mouth in the gate.
Pro 24:8 One who plots to do evil will be called a schemer.
Pro 24:9 The schemes of folly are sin. The mocker is detested by men.
Pro 24:10 If you falter in the time of trouble, your strength is small.
Pro 24:11 Rescue those who are being led away to death! Indeed, hold back those who are staggering to the slaughter!
Pro 24:12 If you say, "Behold, we didn't know this;" doesn't he who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, doesn't he know it? Shall he not render to every man according to his work?
Pro 24:13 My son, eat honey, for it is good; the droppings of the honeycomb, which are sweet to your taste:
Pro 24:14 so you shall know wisdom to be to your soul; if you have found it, then there will be a reward, your hope will not be cut off.
Pro 24:15 Don't lay in wait, wicked man, against the habitation of the righteous. Don't destroy his resting place:
Pro 24:16 for a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.
Pro 24:17 Don't rejoice when your enemy falls. Don't let your heart be glad when he is overthrown;
Pro 24:18 lest Yahweh see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
Pro 24:19 Don't fret yourself because of evildoers; neither be envious of the wicked:
Pro 24:20 for there will be no reward to the evil man; and the lamp of the wicked shall be snuffed out.
Pro 24:21 My son, fear Yahweh and the king. Don't join those who are rebellious:
Pro 24:22 for their calamity will rise suddenly; the destruction from them both--who knows?
Pro 24:23 These also are sayings of the wise. To show partiality in judgment is not good.
Pro 24:24 He who says to the wicked, "You are righteous;" peoples shall curse him, and nations shall abhor him--
Pro 24:25 but it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and a rich blessing will come on them.
Pro 24:26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
Pro 24:27 Prepare your work outside, and get your fields ready. Afterwards, build your house.
Pro 24:28 Don't be a witness against your neighbor without cause. Don't deceive with your lips.
Pro 24:29 Don't say, "I will do to him as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work."
Pro 24:30 I went by the field of the sluggard, by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
Pro 24:31 Behold, it was all grown over with thorns. Its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.
Pro 24:32 Then I saw, and considered well. I saw, and received instruction:
Pro 24:33 a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep;
Pro 24:34 so your poverty will come as a robber, and your want as an armed man.
Pro 25:1 These also are proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.
Pro 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
Pro 25:3 As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.
Pro 25:4 Take away the dross from the silver, and material comes out for the refiner;
Pro 25:5 Take away the wicked from the king's presence, and his throne will be established in righteousness.
Pro 25:6 Don't exalt yourself in the presence of the king, or claim a place among great men;
Pro 25:7 for it is better that it be said to you, "Come up here," than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen.
Pro 25:8 Don't be hasty in bringing charges to court. What will you do in the end when your neighbor shames you?
Pro 25:9 Debate your case with your neighbor, and don't betray the confidence of another;
Pro 25:10 lest one who hears it put you to shame, and your bad reputation never depart.
Pro 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
Pro 25:12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover to an obedient ear.
Pro 25:13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to those who send him; for he refreshes the soul of his masters.
Pro 25:14 As clouds and wind without rain, so is he who boasts of gifts deceptively.
Pro 25:15 By patience a ruler is persuaded. A soft tongue breaks the bone.
Pro 25:16 Have you found honey? Eat as much as is sufficient for you, lest you eat too much, and vomit it.
Pro 25:17 Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house, lest he be weary of you, and hate you.
Pro 25:18 A man who gives false testimony against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, or a sharp arrow.
Pro 25:19 Confidence in someone unfaithful in time of trouble is like a bad tooth, or a lame foot.
Pro 25:20 As one who takes away a garment in cold weather, or vinegar on soda, so is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
Pro 25:21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat. If he is thirsty, give him water to drink:
Pro 25:22 for you will heap coals of fire on his head, and Yahweh will reward you.
Pro 25:23 The north wind brings forth rain: so a backbiting tongue brings an angry face.
Pro 25:24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than to share a house with a contentious woman.
Pro 25:25 Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
Pro 25:26 Like a muddied spring, and a polluted well, so is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
Pro 25:27 It is not good to eat much honey; nor is it honorable to seek one's own honor.
Pro 25:28 Like a city that is broken down and without walls is a man whose spirit is without restraint.
Pro 26:1 Like snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.
Pro 26:2 Like a fluttering sparrow, like a darting swallow, so the undeserved curse doesn't come to rest.
Pro 26:3 A whip is for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools!
Pro 26:4 Don't answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him.
Pro 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Pro 26:6 One who sends a message by the hand of a fool is cutting off feet and drinking violence.
Pro 26:7 Like the legs of the lame that hang loose: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
Pro 26:8 As one who binds a stone in a sling, so is he who gives honor to a fool.
Pro 26:9 Like a thornbush that goes into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
Pro 26:10 As an archer who wounds all, so is he who hires a fool or he who hires those who pass by.
Pro 26:11 As a dog that returns to his vomit, so is a fool who repeats his folly.
Pro 26:12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Pro 26:13 The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion roams the streets!"
Pro 26:14 As the door turns on its hinges, so does the sluggard on his bed.
Pro 26:15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish. He is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.
Pro 26:16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer with discretion.
Pro 26:17 Like one who grabs a dog's ears is one who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own.
Pro 26:18 Like a madman who shoots firebrands, arrows, and death,
Pro 26:19 is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, "Am I not joking?"
Pro 26:20 For lack of wood a fire goes out. Without gossip, a quarrel dies down.
Pro 26:21 As coals are to hot embers, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindling strife.
Pro 26:22 The words of a whisperer are as dainty morsels, they go down into the innermost parts.
Pro 26:23 Like silver dross on an earthen vessel are the lips of a fervent one with an evil heart.
Pro 26:24 A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but he harbors evil in his heart.
Pro 26:25 When his speech is charming, don't believe him; for there are seven abominations in his heart.
Pro 26:26 His malice may be concealed by deception, but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
Pro 26:27 Whoever digs a pit shall fall into it. Whoever rolls a stone, it will come back on him.
Pro 26:28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts; and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Oct. 17
Philippians 2

Php 2:1 If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassion,
Php 2:2 make my joy full, by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind;
Php 2:3 doing nothing through rivalry or through conceit, but in humility, each counting others better than himself;
Php 2:4 each of you not just looking to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.
Php 2:5 Have this in your mind, which was also in Christ Jesus,
Php 2:6 who, existing in the form of God, didn't consider equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Php 2:7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men.
Php 2:8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, yes, the death of the cross.
Php 2:9 Therefore God also highly exalted him, and gave to him the name which is above every name;
Php 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth,
Php 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Php 2:12 So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.
Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputes,
Php 2:15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you are seen as lights in the world,
Php 2:16 holding up the word of life; that I may have something to boast in the day of Christ, that I didn't run in vain nor labor in vain.
Php 2:17 Yes, and if I am poured out on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice, and rejoice with you all.
Php 2:18 In the same way, you also rejoice, and rejoice with me.
Php 2:19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered up when I know how you are doing.
Php 2:20 For I have no one else like-minded, who will truly care about you.
Php 2:21 For they all seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ.
Php 2:22 But you know the proof of him, that, as a child serves a father, so he served with me in furtherance of the Good News.
Php 2:23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it will go with me.
Php 2:24 But I trust in the Lord that I myself also will come shortly.
Php 2:25 But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier, and your apostle and servant of my need;
Php 2:26 since he longed for you all, and was very troubled, because you had heard that he was sick.
Php 2:27 For indeed he was sick, nearly to death, but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, that I might not have sorrow on sorrow.
Php 2:28 I have sent him therefore the more diligently, that, when you see him again, you may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.
Php 2:29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all joy, and hold such in honor,
Php 2:30 because for the work of Christ he came near to death, risking his life to supply that which was lacking in your service toward me.