11/14/14

Marriage Defined by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=4365

Marriage Defined

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

As legislators are fighting over the legitimacy of same-sex marriages, activist judges are claiming constitutional sanction in their redefining of marriage, and the rank and file citizens of these United States are embroiled in a polarizing culture war, it is nevertheless unthinkable that the President of these United States has announced his approval of homosexuality. If God exists and the Bible is His revealed Word, then America is facing imminent peril. The evaporation of Christian principles from American civilization will lead to the extinction of civility, freedom, and morality.
In the midst of such depressing circumstances, the spiritually minded may find refreshment in the words of bygone U.S. Supreme Courts. For example, in the 1885 case of Murphy v. Ramsey that addressed the legitimacy of polygamy, the high court declared:
For certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the coordinate States of the Union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guaranty of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement (1885, emp. added).
Observe that the high Court insisted that the stability of a nation and its proper progress rely on the home composed of one man for one woman for life—the precise declaration of God Himself (Genesis 2:24). For most of American history, courts have had no trouble recognizing and reaffirming the idea of the family and the historic definition of marriage. Such thinking was in complete agreement with and based upon the Bible (Genesis 2:24).
In another U.S. Supreme Court case, Reynolds v. United States, after conceding the constitutional right to freedom of religion, the high court nevertheless repudiated polygamy as a punishable offense against society and reaffirmed the foundational importance of monogamy: “Marriage, while from its very nature a sacred obligation, is nevertheless, in most civilized nations, a civil contract, and usually regulated by law. Upon it society may be said to be built” (1879, emp. added). Those legal sentiments reflected the views of the vast majority of Americans for the first 180+ years of American history. Departure from that social norm—one man and one woman—results in the destabilization of society.
No wonder in 1848, the Supreme Court of South Carolina articulated the sentiment of the Founders and early Americans regarding what will happen if Christian morality is abandoned:
What constitutes the standard of good morals? Is it not Christianity? There certainly is none other. Say that cannot be appealed to and...what would be good morals? The day of moral virtue in which we live would, in an instant, if that standard were abolished, lapse into the dark and murky night of pagan immorality (City Council of Charleston..., emp. added).
Practitioners of unscriptural divorce, homosexuality, and other sinister behaviors are slowly but surely eroding and dissolving the moral foundations of American civilization—what the Court called “the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization.” Will America awaken from this spiritual stupor? Will Christians rise up and react in time? The time has come for those who still retain their moral sensibilities to recognize that we are in a full-scale, unmistakable war—a culture war—a spiritual war of seismic proportions against the governmental authorities and cultural forces that now are openly hostile toward God, Christ, and the Bible. May we take heart and commit ourselves to this critical struggle, as we consider the words of God through Paul:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:10-13, emp. added).

REFERENCES

City Council of Charleston v. Benjamin (1848), 2 Strob. L. 508 (S.C. 1848).
Murphy v. Ramsey (1885), 114 U.S. 15; 5 S. Ct. 747; 29 L. Ed. 47; 1885 U.S. LEXIS 1732.
Reynolds v. United States (1879), 98 U.S. 145; 25 L. Ed. 244; 1878 U.S. LEXIS 1374; 8 Otto 145.

From Jim McGuiggan... Luke 18 and the tireless widow

Luke 18 and the tireless widow

 In the story the widow's future is in the hands of the wicked judge. Her hunger for justice (vindication) against her enemies finally gains for her what she hungers for. The point we need to stress is her refusal to settle for less and so her constant coming because we're told that that's why the story was told, "that they should always pray and not give up." We're shown a woman who wouldn't give up! She wouldn't give up even though she had to deal with a judge that cared nothing for justice. It's because a host of people believe they can't get justice in the courts that they don't report crimes or they sink into despair or, in some cases, become vigilantes.

 God's elect (Luke 18:7) are to pay attention to the woman who wouldn't give up even in the face of circumstances that would make it look like there wasn't any point in going on.

Unlike the judge who has no commitment to justice God is wholly committed to it. The slow appearance of justice for the elect is not due to anything in God that is like the judge. [He won't give the elect what they ask just so he can have peace and quiet.]

 OT textual background to the parable

The background to the story and the situation that led to the story, without doubt, would be passages like Malachi 2:17 and 3:1-6. The implication in Malachi 2:17 is that God is like the unjust judge of the Luke 18 parable—he shows no obvious interest in justice, which is why we have the sneering question by the ungodly in the Malachi text—the words that God said wearied him, "Where is the God of justice?". If you put the question in the mouths of the wicked (as we clearly should do) it would mean they weren't afraid of the God of justice. If you put the question in the mouths of the Jewish oppressed—a question such people ask in other texts—it would mean that they were near despair.

Malachi 3 insists that God will indeed come in keeping with his commitment to righteousness. He would come in and as the "messenger of the covenant" for whom Israel looked (3:1-3) but when he comes it won't be all joy because those he'll meet will generally be faithless people. Here's what Malachi 3:5 says: "So I will come near to you for judgement. I will be quick to testify against the sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me, says the Lord Almighty."        

Notice the things Malachi has in common with the Luke 18 text. There's the similarity in terms and setting such as, "perjury," oppression, justice withheld, widows, judges (implied) who respect neither God nor aliens, whom they deprive of their  due.

In addition to the court terms and setting there's the notion of delay in Malachi 2:17 and throughout the story Jesus tells, and specifically in Luke 18:7. Finally, there's the coming of the Lord in the person of the Messenger of the Covenant and the coming of the Son of Man (Malachi 3:1-3 and Luke 18:8).

 Some interpretive pointers from Jesus

Jesus centres the story around justice not yet given and not simply some blessing we'd like to have or obtain.

[I'm thinking of our asking God for healing for ourselves or our loved ones, or a better job or a cure for a hurting marriage. Other texts encourage such requests but this text isn't one of them.]

Jesus clearly implies that the request for justice is one that has been going on for quite some time—it has been delayed (see 18:7).

[Christ's remark about God while it assures the praying people that they will get justice nevertheless indicates that it has been some time in coming. "Will he keep putting them off?" See the comments above on Malachi.]

Jesus parallels this individual in the story to the elect (plural) and the prayers of the elect for justice.

[Certainly the elect is made up of individuals but "the elect" is more than a collection of persons—it is a plural unity, a community, a people. In the application of the story Jesus tells us that he is speaking of "the elect" and the prayers of the elect for justice (in the face of oppressors).]

Jesus insists that despite the delay justice was coming and it was to come soon.

["Will he (God) keep putting them off? I tell you he will see that they get justice, and quickly." Luke 18:7-8; I'm following the NIV and numerous other versions that render similarly. We mustn't dismiss this double assurance. Not only will the elect get it, they will get it "quickly" (the versions agree on that.) Bearing in mind that Jesus said that vindication of the elect would come soon we need to insist on an historical setting.]

Jesus clearly associates the soon coming vindication of the elect with the coming of the Son of Man.

[There are several possible and reasonable understandings of the "coming" of the Son of Man. His yet-future and final coming is hardly one of them since Jesus spoke those words 2,000 years ago. There is the coming of the Son of Man in judgement on the Jewish nation, culminating in 70AD (see Matthew 24:26, 30, 34, Luke 17:22-37). There is the coming of the Lord in the person of the Holy Spirit at his exaltation, when he was made Lord and Judge of all (see John 14:16, 18, 23, 28-29, Acts 2:33-36). All these comings are distinct in reference and should be held as distinct but they're interrelated and are manifestations of the one King of Kings and his authority. You might wish to read this.]

 Final remarks

What I'm sure we're not to do with the section is to personalise it and make it a promise that God will give us anything we ask if we just keep asking for it. There is a copper-bottomed assurance in this text that God would grant—and soon—the vindication his elect sought for but we're not to ignore the very words of the text, the section's historical setting and the vast issue in Jesus' mind.

We're not to reduce this divine promise to "vindicate the elect" to God's promise to give us (even good) things that we judge important and for which we hunger. Let me repeat, if I ask God for the recovery of a loved one from debilitating disease (maybe rheumatoid arthritis) there is no guarantee that the loved one will recover and there's certainly no assurance that they will recover soon. This is not what the section is about.

Teachers only injure people when they make promises in God's name that God did not make! This is especially true when what the person earnestly and patiently seeks doesn't come about. In the case above, the agonised arthritic sufferer gets worse and finally dies—what then of our use of this section?

It's our tendency to take all passages on prayer as promises to each and every individual and concerning all of our personal needs and wants. It's hardly surprising then that in so much of the evangelical world prayer becomes self-centred; we encourage it. It also becomes a source of resentment toward God when it appears that God isn't living up to his promises. Sometimes it generates great feelings of guilt for desperate people begin to think that God isn't answering their prayers because they are unworthy. This only adds a great burden to heavy burdens already existing.

This isn't a fair treatment of the text nor is it helpful to a sometimes desperate believer who feels he/she has come to the end of their tether only to find God doesn't keep his promises (the promises we say he made).

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

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

From Mark Copeland... Learning From Hypocrites (Matthew 23:1-39)

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                   Learning From Hypocrites (23:1-39)

INTRODUCTION

1. What is a hypocrite?
   a. Some are accused of hypocrisy when their walk does not measure up
      to their talk
   b. But that may be an indication of weakness, not hypocrisy per se
   c. "Hypocrite" comes from the Greek "hupokrites (hoop-ok-ree-tace'),
      meaning an actor under an assumed character; e.g., stage-player
      (Strong's)
   d. A true hypocrite is one who pretends to be something he or she is
      not, and really has no intention of becoming

2. Jesus addressed hypocrites in His day, in particular some scribes
   and Pharisees...
   a. They were among the more religiously conservative of that time
   b. Yet some of the harshest words Jesus ever spoke were directed
      toward them
   c. In just one speech, he called them...
      1) Hypocrites (seven times) - Mt 23:13-15,23,25,27,29
      2) Fools (twice) and blind guides (five times) - Mt 23:16-17,19,
         24,26
      3) Serpents, brood of vipers (once) - Mt 23:33

3. Despite such strong condemnation, one can learn from hypocrites...
   a. You can heed their teaching, when it comes from God's word - cf.
      Mt 23:1-3
      1) Don't automatically disregard the message if the messenger is
         a hypocrite
      2) Look beyond the messenger to the original source of the 
         message
   b. You can also learn how not to act...
      1) Especially when you take note of how Jesus rebuked them
      2) Which we shall do in this lesson

[What valuable lessons can we learn from hypocrites?  The first are
lessons gleaned ...]

I. FROM THEIR ABUSE OF AUTHORITY

   A. BINDING ON OTHERS WHAT ONE IS UNWILLING TO DO...
      1. When speaking from Moses' seat in the synagogues, they were
         speaking with authority
      2. Unfortunately, they were binding things on others they
         themselves were unwilling to observe - Mt 23:1-4
      3. This breeds disrespect for all authority, including the Word
         of God
      -- If we desire the highest regard for God's word, then practice
         what we preach!

   B. DOING WORKS TO BE SEEN OF MEN...
      1. When they did their works, they did them to be seen by others
         - Mt 23:5a
      2. They loved to wear religious clothing that gave appearance of
         devotion - Mt 23:5b
      3. With time, such hypocrisy will become evident to those who
         know us
      -- If we desire God's approval, we need to do things to glorify
         God, and at times seen only by Him - Mt 5:16; 6:1-18

   C. SEEKING ATTENTION AND SPECIAL TREATMENT...
      1. The Pharisees loved special treatment received from others
      2. Such as the best seats and honorary titles - Mt 23:6-7
      3. Jesus expected His disciples to be different - Mt 23:8-12
         a. He forbade the use of religious titles
         b. He enjoined humility as the road to greatness
      -- If we desire to honor Christ, we will respect His teaching and
         not use religious titles or expect special treatment, but
         serve others with humility

[As Jesus continues with a diatribe against the hypocrisy of the
scribes and Pharisees, we glean several lessons...]

II. FROM THEIR FAILURE IN TEACHING

   A. FAILING TO SAVE OTHERS...
      1. They failed to truly show others the way to the kingdom of
         heaven, and to go in themselves - Mt 23:13
      2. Through their doctrines they had rendered the commandments of
         God of no effect - cf. Mt 15:3-6
      3. Their teaching came from hearts far removed from God - cf. Mt 15:7-9
      -- We need to make sure our teaching saves both ourselves and
         others - cf. 1Ti 4:16

   B. MISUSING RELIGION FOR MONEY AND PRESTIGE...
      1. They used religion to take advantage of widows, and impress
         others - Mt 23:14
      2. Paul warned Timothy and Titus about such teachers - 2Ti 3:
         4-6; Tit 1:10-11
      3. Instead, we should view godliness with contentment as true
         gain - cf. 1Ti 6:3-8
      -- It is imperative that we do things honorable in the sight of
         all - cf. 2Co 8:21

   C. MAKING PEOPLE WORSE THAN OURSELVES...
      1. The Pharisees did not make people better, they made them
         worse! - Mt 23:15
      2. Perhaps by their emphasis on the traditions of men, rather
         than upon the word of God
         a. The Pharisees themselves may have known the word of God to
            some degree
         b. But in neglecting God's word, they starved those who
            received their teaching!
      -- We must be careful not to put ourselves or traditions between
         God's word and those we teach, but let them know "the whole
         counsel of God"! - cf. Ac 20:27

   D. MAKING DISTINCTIONS WHERE GOD HAS NOT...
      1. The scribes and Pharisees made fine distinctions between the
         types of oaths one could swear - Mt 23:16-22
      2. We can easily do similar things today
         a. Saying some commands of God are essential to salvation,
            while others are not
         b. Teaching our "think so's" and "it seems to me" instead of
            telling people what the Bible says
      -- To safely guard against this, "let us speak where the Bible
         speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent", proclaiming
         the oracles of God - cf. 1Pe 4:11

[As Jesus increases the level of His righteous indignation against the
hypocritical scribes and Pharisees of that day, we are able to learn
three final lessons...]

III. FROM THEIR INCONSISTENCY OF PRACTICE
   
   A. LEAVING COMMANDS OF GOD UNDONE...
      1. They left undone the "weightier" matters of God's law - Mt 23:
         23-24
         a. They stressed tithing, but neglected justice, mercy, faith
         b. Thus they would strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel
      2. We can be guilty of the same thing
         a. By stressing "lighter" matters, and leave "weightier"
            matters undone
         b. Also by stressing "weightier" matters, and leave "lighter"
            things undone
      -- Jesus said we should do both, leaving neither undone, for all
         of God's commandments are important! - cf. Mt 5:19

   B. FOCUSING ONLY ON THE OUTER MAN...
      1. The "blind" scribes and Pharisees focused only on the outside
         - Mt 23:25-28
         a. Concerned with keeping the traditions of ritual cleansing
         b. Willing to put up with extortion, self-indulgence,
            hypocrisy and lawlessness
      2. We can be guilty of having the wrong focus
         a. Stressing big buildings, large crowds
         b. Accepting people into the church without challenging them
            to true repentance
      -- If we are to avoid creating a church of hypocrites, then we
         need to emphasize true repentance, a conversion of the inner
         man - cf. Ro 12:2

   C. HONORING THE PAST, BUT UNWILLING TO LIVE IT...
      1. They honored the ancient men of God, but were more like their
         ancestors who murdered the prophets - Mt 23:29-31
         a. Indeed, they would do even more harm than their fathers 
            - Mt 23:32-34
         b. Upon that generation would come the judgment for the murder
            of all God's prophets (cf. the destruction of Jerusalem in
            70 A.D.) - Mt 23:35-39
      2. We honor men like Jesus and Peter, but are we willing to live
         what they preached?
         a. Are we willing to obey their commands? - cf. Mt 28:18-20;
            Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38
         b. Or are we like many back then who refused to heed their
            word?

CONCLUSION

1. What can we learn from hypocrites?  A lot!  Provided we...
   a. Take to heart Jesus' denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees!
   b. Do not imitate their abuse of authority, failure in teaching, and
      inconsistency of practice!

2. Speaking of hypocrites, some people avoid church because "there are
   too many hypocrites there."  There may be hypocrites in the church,
   but that is no reason not to follow Jesus...
   a. Did the hypocrisy of Judas Iscariot permit the rest of the
      apostles to leave Jesus?
   b. Do you allow the presence of hypocrites keep you from enjoying
      other activities (such as sports events, vacations, etc.)?

Besides...which is better, to spend a short time with hypocrites in the
church, or to spend eternity with hypocrites in hell?  Remember what
Jesus said of the hypocrites:

      "How can you escape the condemnation of hell?" (Mt 23:33b)

Only through the redemption God offers through His Son can any of us
escape the condemnation of hell.  Don't let the hypocrisy of some keep
you from the blessings of salvation in Christ Jesus!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... Two Great Commandments (Matthew 22:34-40)

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                   Two Great Commandments (22:34-40)

INTRODUCTION

1. In the temple during His final week prior to His crucifixion, Jesus
   was questioned by various religious groups...
   a. The Pharisees and Herodians sought to entangle Him with a
      question about paying taxes - Mt 22:15-22
   b. The Sadducees tried to trip Him on the subject of the 
      resurrection - Mt 22:23-33
   -- His answers caused people to marvel and be astonished - Mt 22:22,
      33

2. The Pharisees tried once again, this time sending one of their
   lawyers...
   a. Testing Him as to which is the great commandment in the law Mt 22:34-36
   b. Jesus replied by offering two great commandments
      1) The first pertained to loving God - Mt 22:37-38
      2) The second pertained to loving one's neighbor - Mt 22:39
      -- Upon these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets
         - Mt 22:40

3. While we no longer live under the Old Law, these "Two Great
   Commandments" are still very important to the Christian...
   a. For they certainly have their counterpart in the New Covenant
   b. And keeping the commandments of God is just as important now as
      it was under the Old Covenant - cf. 1Co 7:19; 1Jn 5:3

[It is proper to ask, therefore, do we love God and our neighbor as we
should?  Do we understand what is involved in loving God and our fellow
man?  Perhaps by reflecting upon these "Two Great Commandments" we can
find the answer to such questions...]

I. THE COMMAND TO LOVE GOD

   A. UNDER THE OLD COVENANT...
      1. The Israelites were expected to love God (Deut 6:5)...
         a. "with all your heart"
         b. "with all your soul"
         c. "with all your strength"
         d. "with all your mind" - cf. Mt 22:37; Mk 12:30; Lk 10:27
            (the Septuagint has "mind, soul, strength" in Deut 6:5)
         -- Emotionally, physically, intellectually, they were to love
            God
      2. Thus they were to love God with their whole being, not like
         some who...
         a. Serve God emotionally, while committing intellectual
            suicide
         b. Serve God intellectually, but with no emotion
         c. Serve God emotionally and intellectually, but with no
            actual obedience requiring the exercise of strength (i.e.,
            action)
         -- Note how the Law stated their responsibility in Deut 10:
            12-13

   B. HOW WE ARE TO LOVE GOD TODAY...
      1. Does God expect any less of us?  Of course not!  We are to 
         love God:
         a. With all our heart - cf. 1Co 16:22 (note the use of the
            word "phileo")
         b. With all our soul (body and mind) - cf. Ro 12:1-2
         c. With all our strength - cf. He 10:36
         d. With all our mind - cf. Col 3:1; Php 4:8
      2. We demonstrate our love for God through keeping His
         commandments
         a. This is the love of God - 1Jn 5:3
         b. This is evidence that we love Jesus - Jn 14:15

   C. THE BLESSING OF KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS...
      1. We enjoy a special relationship with God and Jesus - Jn 14:21-23
      2. We will abide in the love of God - Jn 15:10; 1Jn 2:5
      3. Our prayers will be answered - 1Jn 3:22

   D. HOW TO GROW IN OUR LOVE FOR GOD...
      1. By allowing God's love for us to move us - cf. 1Jn 4:9-10;
         Ro 5:8
         a. God loved us, even while we were still sinners
         b. When we reflect upon His love for us, we will love Him
            more!
      2. By asking God to help us grow in love - cf. 2Th 3:5
         a. Paul prayed that the Lord would direct the Thessalonians
            into the love of God
         b. If he could pray such for others, can we not pray the same
            for ourselves?
      3. By praying, and growing in love when He answers - cf. Ps 116:
         1-2
         a. David loved the Lord because He heard His supplications
         b. Perhaps if we prayed more, and received answers to our
            prayers more, we would love God more!
      4. By keeping the word of God - cf. 1Jn 2:5
         a. The love of God is perfected in those who keep God's word
         b. Therefore the more we obey Him, the more our love for God
            will grow!
         
[Do we love God any less than what was expected of the Israelites?  We
certainly have compelling reasons to love Him even more (e.g., the gift
of His Son)!  Now let's consider...]

II. THE COMMAND TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR

   A. ENJOINED UPON CHRISTIANS...
      1. We owe it to our neighbors to love them - Ro 13:8a
      2. When fully applied, it fulfills what the Law required - Ro 13:
         8b-10
         a. Five of the Ten Commandments spoke to working no ill toward
            our fellow man
         b. If one truly loves his or her neighbor, they will not be
            guilty of killing, adultery, stealing, lying, or 
            covetousness
         c. For sins (and many others) do grave harm to our neighbor

   B. ENHANCED BY A NEW COMMAND...
      1. Jesus taught us to love one another - Jn 13:34-35
      2. This new command takes our love to a higher level
         a. No longer do we just love one another as we love ourselves
         b. We must love one another as Christ loved us!
            1) He loved us with the greatest love - Jn 15:13
            2) He became poor, that we might be rich - 2Co 8:9
      3. Thus no one can use low self-esteem (or low self-love) as an
         excuse not to love others as they should
   
   C. EXPERIENCED WHEN WE KEEP GOD'S COMMANDMENTS...
      1. We demonstrate true love of one another by keeping the
         commandments of God - 2Jn 5-6
      2. This is how we know that we really love one another - 1Jn 5:2
         a. Not by just claiming to love one another
         b. But by setting the proper example, and encouraging each
            other by the example we set!

   D. EDUCATED BY THE EXAMPLE OF GOD...
      1. We develop love for one another by being taught of God - cf.
         1Th 4:9-10
         a. The Thessalonians had been taught of God to love their
            brethren
         b. They did so remarkably, though there was always room for
            improvement
      2. Jesus by His own example demonstrates what true love is - 1Jn 3:16-18
      -- If we wish to learn how to love one another properly, look to
         God and Jesus!

CONCLUSION

1. How great were these two commandments...to love God, and to love
   your neighbor?
   a. "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
      - Mt 22:40
   b. "Love is the fulfilling of the Law." - Ro 13:9
   -- These two commands summed up what the Old Law required of the
      Israelites

2. When one truly loves God, and loves his neighbor as himself...
   a. He is on the road that leads to eternal life! - cf. Lk 10:25-28
   b. He is on the path that leads to the kingdom of God! - cf. Mk 12:
      28-34

If you wish to receive eternal life, and become a citizen of the
kingdom, then demonstrate your love for God by obeying His commands
(cf. Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:16), and live a life of faith in Jesus that is
focused on loving God and your fellow man!

From Mark Copeland... Our Duty To God And Country (Matthew 22:15-22)

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                 Our Duty To God And Country (22:15-22)

INTRODUCTION

1. Teaching in the temple, Jesus was approached by the Pharisees and
   the Herodians...
   a. They came with the intention of entangling Him in His teaching
      - Mt 22:15-16
   b. They questioned Him whether one should pay taxes to Caesar 
      - Mt 22:17

2. Ever the Master Teacher, Jesus easily dealt with their question...
   a. Seeing through their hypocrisy, He called for a coin - Mt 22:
      18-19
   b. He asked whose inscription was on it, and they answered 
      "Caesar's" - Mt 22:20-21
   c. His reply cause them to marvel, and to go away - Mt 22:21-22

3. The reply of Jesus:
   a. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's"
   b. "And to God the things that are God's"
   ...not only silenced His critics, but provided important teaching
      for His disciples

4. His reply reveals that we have responsibilities to both God and 
   country
   a. There are things that we must render to Caesar (country)
   b. There are things that we must render to God

[What is our duty to God and country?  In this study we shall review
what the Scriptures tell us about our responsibilities as citizens and
as disciples.  We start with...]

I. OUR DUTY TO COUNTRY

   A. PAY TAXES...
      1. This was the point of Jesus in our text - Mt 22:17-21
      2. Paul also taught us to pay taxes - Ro 13:6-7a

   B. OBEY LAWS...
      1. We are to submit to the ordinances (laws) of the land - Ro 13:
         1-5; Tit 3:1
      2. This we do for the Lord's sake, that we might silence foolish
         men - 1Pe 2:13-16

   C. FEAR AND HONOR...
      1. We are to respect and honor those in positions of authority
         - Ro 13:7b
         a. We are to fear the king - cf. Pr 24:21
         b. We are not to speak evil of our rulers - cf. Exo 22:28; Ac 23:5; Tit 3:2; 2Pe 2:10; Jude 8-9
      2. Even as we are to honor all and love the brethren - 1Pe 2:17
      -- Do you notice that Paul or Peter never had unkind words about
         Nero?
   
   D. DO GOOD...
      1. We are to be ready for every good work - Tit 3:1
      2. We are to have conduct that is honorable before all - 1Pe 2:
         11-12,15-16

   E. PRAY...
      1. To make supplications, offer prayers, intercessions, and
         giving of thanks - 1Ti 2:1
      2. To pray for kings and all who are in authority - 1Ti 2:1-3

[Christians are but sojourners and pilgrims in this world (1Pe 2:11).
While our true citizenship is in heaven (Php 3:20), we are to be a
blessing to those earthly countries in which we sojourn.  Fulfill our
God-given obligations, and we will be an asset to any country in which
we live!  Now let's review...]

II. OUR DUTY TO GOD

   A. LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR BEING...
      1. Jesus considered this the greatest commandment of the Law 
         - Mt 22:34-38
      2. Being the greatest command, I would suggest this is our
         greatest duty!

   B. OBEY GOD FROM THE HEART...
      1. If we love God, we will keep His commandments - 1Jn 5:3
      2. Even as Jesus taught that keeping His commandments is evidence
         of true love - Jn 14:15,21,23

   C. MAKE GOD OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY...
      1. His will, His rule, His righteousness, should be our first
         priority - Mt 6:33
      2. Not only over our personal concerns, but even over our duty to
         country
         a. Whenever there is a conflict between duty to God and duty
            to country, God must come first
         b. As stated by Peter:  "We ought to obey God rather than men"
            - Ac 5:27-29
      3. This helps to answer questions that often arise concerning the
         Christian's duty to government
         a. Can a Christian vote?
         b. Can one serve in political office?
      4. If such duties and privileges come at too high a price (i.e.,
         placing country before God), then a Christian must obey God
         rather than men
         a. In some countries, the price may be too high, and a
            Christian could not serve in political office or exercise
            certain rights as a citizen
         b. Other countries may allow for God to take precedence in
            one's conduct, permitting the Christian to participate in
            such things

CONCLUSION

1. Christians ought to be a blessing for any country in which they
   reside...
   a. A source of revenue, with respect for laws, and reverence for
      those in authority
   b. Contributing to the general welfare, through good deeds and
      fervent prayers

2. Christians can be such a blessing when...
   a. They render first to God what is His due, and then what is due
      the country
   b. The country respects the priority that must be given God by its
      citizens

While those in authority might not always understand their proper
place, and expect more of their citizens than what is right, may we who
are disciples of Christ never fail to "Render therefore to Caesar the
things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading November 14




Bible Reading   

November 14

The World English Bible



Nov. 14
Jeremiah 5-9

Jer 5:1 Run you back and forth through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places of it, if you can find a man, if there are any who does justly, who seeks truth; and I will pardon her.
Jer 5:2 Though they say, As Yahweh lives; surely they swear falsely.
Jer 5:3 O Yahweh, don't your eyes look on truth? you have stricken them, but they were not grieved; you have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.
Jer 5:4 Then I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish; for they don't know the way of Yahweh, nor the law of their God:
Jer 5:5 I will get me to the great men, and will speak to them; for they know the way of Yahweh, and the law of their God. But these with one accord have broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.
Jer 5:6 Therefore a lion out of the forest shall kill them, a wolf of the evenings shall destroy them, a leopard shall watch against their cities; everyone who goes out there shall be torn in pieces; because their transgressions are many, and their backsliding is increased.
Jer 5:7 How can I pardon you? your children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they committed adultery, and assembled themselves in troops at the prostitutes' houses.
Jer 5:8 They were as fed horses roaming at large; everyone neighed after his neighbor's wife.
Jer 5:9 Shall I not visit for these things? says Yahweh; and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
Jer 5:10 Go up on her walls, and destroy; but don't make a full end: take away her branches; for they are not Yahweh's.
Jer 5:11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, says Yahweh.
Jer 5:12 They have denied Yahweh, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come on us; neither shall we see sword nor famine:
Jer 5:13 and the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done to them.
Jer 5:14 Therefore thus says Yahweh, the God of Armies, Because you speak this word, behold, I will make my words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
Jer 5:15 Behold, I will bring a nation on you from far, house of Israel, says Yahweh: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you don't know, neither understand what they say.
Jer 5:16 Their quiver is an open tomb, they are all mighty men.
Jer 5:17 They shall eat up your harvest, and your bread, which your sons and your daughters should eat; they shall eat up your flocks and your herds; they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees; they shall beat down your fortified cities, in which you trust, with the sword.
Jer 5:18 But even in those days, says Yahweh, I will not make a full end with you.
Jer 5:19 It shall happen, when you shall say, Why has Yahweh our God done all these things to us? then you shall say to them, Like as you have forsaken me, and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours.
Jer 5:20 Declare you this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,
Jer 5:21 Hear now this, foolish people, and without understanding; who have eyes, and don't see; who have ears, and don't hear:
Jer 5:22 Don't you fear me? says Yahweh: won't you tremble at my presence, who have placed the sand for the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it can't pass it? and though its waves toss themselves, yet they can't prevail; though they roar, yet they can't pass over it.
Jer 5:23 But this people has a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.
Jer 5:24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear Yahweh our God, who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season; who preserves to us the appointed weeks of the harvest.
Jer 5:25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good from you.
Jer 5:26 For among my people are found wicked men: they watch, as fowlers lie in wait; they set a trap, they catch men.
Jer 5:27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and grew rich.
Jer 5:28 They are grew fat, they shine: yes, they overpass in deeds of wickedness; they don't plead the cause, the cause of the fatherless, that they may prosper; and the right of the needy they don't judge.
Jer 5:29 Shall I not visit for these things? says Yahweh; shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
Jer 5:30 A wonderful and horrible thing is happen in the land:
Jer 5:31 the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will you do in the end of it?
Jer 6:1 Flee for safety, you children of Benjamin, out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and raise up a signal on Beth Haccherem; for evil looks forth from the north, and a great destruction.
Jer 6:2 The comely and delicate one, the daughter of Zion, will I cut off.
Jer 6:3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come to her; they shall pitch their tents against her all around; they shall feed everyone in his place.
Jer 6:4 Prepare you war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe to us! for the day declines, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out.
Jer 6:5 Arise, and let us go up by night, and let us destroy her palaces.
Jer 6:6 For thus has Yahweh of Armies said, Cut down trees, and cast up a mound against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her.
Jer 6:7 As a well casts forth its waters, so she casts forth her wickedness: violence and destruction is heard in her; before me continually is sickness and wounds.
Jer 6:8 Be instructed, Jerusalem, lest my soul be alienated from you; lest I make you a desolation, a land not inhabited.
Jer 6:9 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn again your hand as a grape gatherer into the baskets.
Jer 6:10 To whom shall I speak and testify, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they can't listen: behold, the word of Yahweh is become to them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
Jer 6:11 Therefore I am full of the wrath of Yahweh; I am weary with holding in: pour it out on the children in the street, and on the assembly of young men together; for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him who is full of days.
Jer 6:12 Their houses shall be turned to others, their fields and their wives together; for I will stretch out my hand on the inhabitants of the land, says Yahweh.
Jer 6:13 For from the least of them even to the greatest of them everyone is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even to the priest everyone deals falsely.
Jer 6:14 They have healed also the hurt of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
Jer 6:15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, says Yahweh.
Jer 6:16 Thus says Yahweh, Stand you in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way; and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls: but they said, We will not walk therein.
Jer 6:17 I set watchmen over you, saying, Listen to the sound of the trumpet; but they said, We will not listen.
Jer 6:18 Therefore hear, you nations, and know, congregation, what is among them.
Jer 6:19 Hear, earth: behold, I will bring evil on this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not listened to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it.
Jer 6:20 To what purpose comes there to me frankincense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.
Jer 6:21 Therefore thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people; and the fathers and the sons together shall stumble against them; the neighbor and his friend shall perish.
Jer 6:22 Thus says Yahweh, Behold, a people comes from the north country; and a great nation shall be stirred up from the uttermost parts of the earth.
Jer 6:23 They lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roars like the sea, and they ride on horses, everyone set in array, as a man to the battle, against you, daughter of Zion.
Jer 6:24 We have heard its report; our hands wax feeble: anguish has taken hold of us, and pangs as of a woman in travail.
Jer 6:25 Don't go forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy, and terror, are on every side.
Jer 6:26 Daughter of my people, gird you with sackcloth, and wallow yourself in ashes: make you mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for the destroyer shall suddenly come on us.
Jer 6:27 I have made you a tester of metals and a fortress among my people; that you may know and try their way.
Jer 6:28 They are all grievous rebels, going about with slanders; they are brass and iron: they all of them deal corruptly.
Jer 6:29 The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed of the fire: in vain do they go on refining; for the wicked are not plucked away.
Jer 6:30 Men will call them rejected silver, because Yahweh has rejected them.
Jer 7:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying,
Jer 7:2 Stand in the gate of Yahweh's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of Yahweh, all you of Judah, who enter in at these gates to worship Yahweh.
Jer 7:3 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
Jer 7:4 Don't you trust in lying words, saying, The temple of Yahweh, the temple of Yahweh, the temple of Yahweh, are these.
Jer 7:5 For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if you thoroughly execute justice between a man and his neighbor;
Jer 7:6 if you don't oppress the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow, and don't shed innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your own hurt:
Jer 7:7 then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, from of old even forevermore.
Jer 7:8 Behold, you trust in lying words, that can't profit.
Jer 7:9 Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods that you have not known,
Jer 7:10 and come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered; that you may do all these abominations?
Jer 7:11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it, says Yahweh.
Jer 7:12 But go you now to my place which was in Shiloh, where I caused my name to dwell at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.
Jer 7:13 Now, because you have done all these works, says Yahweh, and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you didn't hear; and I called you, but you didn't answer:
Jer 7:14 therefore will I do to the house which is called by my name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh.
Jer 7:15 I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, even the whole seed of Ephraim.
Jer 7:16 Therefore don't you pray for this people, neither lift up a cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me; for I will not hear you.
Jer 7:17 Don't you see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
Jer 7:18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead the dough, to make cakes to the queen of the sky, and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
Jer 7:19 Do they provoke me to anger? says Yahweh; do they not provoke themselves, to the confusion of their own faces?
Jer 7:20 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, my anger and my wrath shall be poured out on this place, on man, and on animal, and on the trees of the field, and on the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.
Jer 7:21 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat meat.
Jer 7:22 For I didn't speak to your fathers, nor command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
Jer 7:23 but this thing I commanded them, saying, Listen to my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk you in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.
Jer 7:24 But they didn't listen nor turn their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
Jer 7:25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:
Jer 7:26 yet they didn't listen to me, nor inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff: they did worse than their fathers.
Jer 7:27 You shall speak all these words to them; but they will not listen to you: you shall also call to them; but they will not answer you.
Jer 7:28 You shall tell them, This is the nation that has not listened to the voice of Yahweh their God, nor received instruction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.
Jer 7:29 Cut off your hair, Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on the bare heights; for Yahweh has rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.
Jer 7:30 For the children of Judah have done that which is evil in my sight, says Yahweh: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to defile it.
Jer 7:31 They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I didn't command, nor did it come into my mind.
Jer 7:32 Therefore, behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that it shall no more be called Topheth, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of Slaughter: for they shall bury in Topheth, until there be no place to bury.
Jer 7:33 The dead bodies of this people shall be food for the birds of the sky, and for the animals of the earth; and none shall frighten them away.
Jer 7:34 Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land shall become a waste.
Jer 8:1 At that time, says Yahweh, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves;
Jer 8:2 and they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the army of the sky, which they have loved, and which they have served, and after which they have walked, and which they have sought, and which they have worshiped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried, they shall be for dung on the surface of the earth.
Jer 8:3 Death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue that remain of this evil family, that remain in all the places where I have driven them, says Yahweh of Armies.
Jer 8:4 Moreover you shall tell them, Thus says Yahweh: Shall men fall, and not rise up again? Shall one turn away, and not return?
Jer 8:5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.
Jer 8:6 I listened and heard, but they didn't speak aright: no man repents him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? everyone turns to his course, as a horse that rushes headlong in the battle.
Jer 8:7 Yes, the stork in the sky knows her appointed times; and the turtledove and the swallow and the crane observe the time of their coming; but my people don't know Yahweh's law.
Jer 8:8 How do you say, We are wise, and the law of Yahweh is with us? But, behold, the false pen of the scribes has worked falsely.
Jer 8:9 The wise men are disappointed, they are dismayed and taken: behold, they have rejected the word of Yahweh; and what manner of wisdom is in them?
Jer 8:10 Therefore will I give their wives to others, and their fields to those who shall possess them: for everyone from the least even to the greatest is given to covetousness; from the prophet even to the priest every one deals falsely.
Jer 8:11 They have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
Jer 8:12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among those who fall; in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, says Yahweh.
Jer 8:13 I will utterly consume them, says Yahweh: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.
Jer 8:14 Why do we sit still? Assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the fortified cities, and let us be silent there; for Yahweh our God has put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against Yahweh.
Jer 8:15 We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of healing, and behold, dismay!
Jer 8:16 The snorting of his horses is heard from Dan: at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones the whole land trembles; for they are come, and have devoured the land and all that is in it; the city and those who dwell therein.
Jer 8:17 For, behold, I will send serpents, adders, among you, which will not be charmed; and they shall bite you, says Yahweh.
Jer 8:18 Oh that I could comfort myself against sorrow! My heart is faint within me.
Jer 8:19 Behold, the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people from a land that is very far off: isn't Yahweh in Zion? Isn't her King in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their engraved images, and with foreign vanities?
Jer 8:20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
Jer 8:21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt: I mourn; dismay has taken hold on me.
Jer 8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead? is there no physician there? why then isn't the health of the daughter of my people recovered?
Jer 9:1 Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a spring of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!
Jer 9:2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.
Jer 9:3 They bend their tongue, as it were their bow, for falsehood; and they are grown strong in the land, but not for truth: for they proceed from evil to evil, and they don't know me, says Yahweh.
Jer 9:4 Take you heed everyone of his neighbor, and don't you trust in any brother; for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbor will go about with slanders.
Jer 9:5 They will deceive everyone his neighbor, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves to commit iniquity.
Jer 9:6 Your habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, says Yahweh.
Jer 9:7 Therefore thus says Yahweh of Armies, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how else should I do, because of the daughter of my people?
Jer 9:8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceit: one speaks peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth, but in his heart he lays wait for him.
Jer 9:9 Shall I not visit them for these things? says Yahweh; shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
Jer 9:10 For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the pastures of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none passes through; neither can men hear the voice of the livestock; both the birds of the sky and the animals are fled, they are gone.
Jer 9:11 I will make Jerusalem heaps, a dwelling place of jackals; and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.
Jer 9:12 Who is the wise man, that may understand this? and who is he to whom the mouth of Yahweh has spoken, that he may declare it? why is the land perished and burned up like a wilderness, so that none passes through?
Jer 9:13 Yahweh says, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein,
Jer 9:14 but have walked after the stubbornness of their own heart, and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them;
Jer 9:15 therefore thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.
Jer 9:16 I will scatter them also among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them.
Jer 9:17 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, Consider you, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for the skillful women, that they may come:
Jer 9:18 and let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters.
Jer 9:19 For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, How are we ruined! we are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because they have cast down our dwellings.
Jer 9:20 Yet hear the word of Yahweh, you women, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth; and teach your daughters wailing, and everyone her neighbor lamentation.
Jer 9:21 For death is come up into our windows, it is entered into our palaces; to cut off the children from outside, and the young men from the streets.
Jer 9:22 Speak, Thus says Yahweh, The dead bodies of men shall fall as dung on the open field, and as the handful after the harvester; and none shall gather them.
Jer 9:23 Thus says Yahweh, Don't let the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, don't let the rich man glory in his riches;
Jer 9:24 but let him who glories glory in this, that he has understanding, and knows me, that I am Yahweh who exercises loving kindness, justice, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, says Yahweh.
Jer 9:25 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will punish all those who are circumcised in their uncircumcision:
Jer 9:26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that have the corners of their hair cut off, who dwell in the wilderness; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart. 

 
Nov. 14
Philemon

Phm 1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon, our beloved fellow worker,
Phm 1:2 to the beloved Apphia, to Archippus, our fellow soldier, and to the assembly in your house:
Phm 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Phm 1:4 I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers,
Phm 1:5 hearing of your love, and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints;
Phm 1:6 that the fellowship of your faith may become effective, in the knowledge of every good thing which is in us in Christ Jesus.
Phm 1:7 For we have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
Phm 1:8 Therefore, though I have all boldness in Christ to command you that which is appropriate,
Phm 1:9 yet for love's sake I rather beg, being such a one as Paul, the aged, but also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
Phm 1:10 I beg you for my child, whom I have become the father of in my chains, Onesimus,
Phm 1:11 who once was useless to you, but now is useful to you and to me.
Phm 1:12 I am sending him back. Therefore receive him, that is, my own heart,
Phm 1:13 whom I desired to keep with me, that on your behalf he might serve me in my chains for the Good News.
Phm 1:14 But I was willing to do nothing without your consent, that your goodness would not be as of necessity, but of free will.
Phm 1:15 For perhaps he was therefore separated from you for a while, that you would have him forever,
Phm 1:16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much rather to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
Phm 1:17 If then you count me a partner, receive him as you would receive me.
Phm 1:18 But if he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, put that to my account.
Phm 1:19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it (not to mention to you that you owe to me even your own self besides).
Phm 1:20 Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in the Lord.
Phm 1:21 Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even beyond what I say.
Phm 1:22 Also, prepare a guest room for me, for I hope that through your prayers I will be restored to you.
Phm 1:23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you,
Phm 1:24 as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
Phm 1:25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.