3/14/15

From Jim McGuiggan... Good Friday or Easter Sunday?

Good Friday or Easter Sunday?

At the cross Christ was the once-for-all sin-bearer but in the resurrection he is the glorious Lord. The cross was a single event (inextricably connected with a unique life and person, of course) in past history but the resurrection ushers in an unceasing glorious reign as Lord.
Should we then consign the cross to the past, leave it there and proclaim the present and continuing glory and majesty of Christ as Lord?
The answer looks like yes because it is in fact true that the cross is an unrepeatable event in past history. The Christ will not have to undergo that experience again. He died unto sin once for all (Romans 6:9-10). Since it is so definitively in the past, shouldn't we leave it there and now proclaim him only as Lord?
That mustn't be our response; it's a misunderstanding both of the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the way in which God carries out his reconciling work in the world.
For starters, Paul who knew very well that Jesus Christ is Lord said he had made up his mind when he got to Corinth that the only thing he'd preach was Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Cor 2:1-2; of course Paul never saw the cross as completely detached from the resurrection and glorification, which are part of the whole "Christ-event").
To proclaim Christ's Lordship without the cross would be to leave out the atoning work of Christ in bearing the judgment of human sin. If we were to do that, there could be no reconciliation for people in sin because without receiving the reconciliation no person is reconciled. So the atoning work (coming to a head in the cross) must always be a part of the proclamation of Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, the offence of the cross still confronts us even at this late date because we have difficulty in coming to terms with a Lordship that is lordship by virtue of self-giving rather than simply "calling the shots".
We need to be asking what kind of majesty it is that God has vindicated before the eyes of the universe. What led God to make Jesus King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Philippians 2:5-10 gives a part of the answer—in Jesus he found one who surrendered reigning power in order to exercise saving power by the giving of himself. This is what God sees as the supreme use of power and in Jesus the person and character of God himself is perfectly imaged (2 Corinthians 4:4,6).
The glory of Christ is not simply his position of power; the glory of Christ is the character that grounds his position of power and authority. This glory and authority is continuously to be exhibited in "the body of Christ" . [Note the terminology, it is to be exhibited in Christ's body—not the church's body.]
The cross while it was an event in past time exhibited a changeless perspective on God's own form of glory as he works to reconcile sinful humanity and bring it to glory. This means that the character of the one on the throne is the same as the character of the one on the cross. In truth, it's precisely because of the filial character and obedience exhibited on the cross that Christ was made Lord. The Lord of Lords is a specific and unique historical figure, Jesus; but in Jesus God acknowledged his own view of power.
It wasn't Christ's power over demons, diseases and the forces of nature that made him the logical/natural King of Kings. It was holy love of the Father and his Father's wayward children that led him to make himself vulnerable in the extreme—that is what made Christ the right one to receive a name above every name, the name Lord. That same love of the Father is what sets Jesus against all oppression and unrighteousness and which guarantees a universal and complete transformation of the world in a coming day.
There's a third reason why the cross must never be dropped from the Christian message. While it's true that the cross of Christ is an event rooted in past history we aren't to think the suffering of Christ has ended. It's true that the cross outside Jerusalem completed the atoning work, but the message of that atoning work must be brought to each generation so that reconciliation is possible in each generation.
The cross isn't only an atoning historical event, it is the means by which we come to know God. In his body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:27) the killing of Jesus is continually paraded (see 2 Cor 4:10, where Paul uses "nekrosin" rather than the usual "thanatos"—note C.K. Barrett on the text and F.F. Bruce's translation). Note 4:10-12.
So that the suffering which Christ endured on the cross, suffering which completed the atonement, goes on in his body the church to bring before the world the reconciling work of Jesus Christ which took place on the cross in time past.
From a somewhat different angle, but still making the point that the death of Jesus is to be seen as both a past and a continuing experience, is Paul's Romans 6:3-4 which says we are baptized into Christ's death (6:3) and then again, into death (that is a state of having been dead-6:4), from which we are raised.
It isn't into their own death they are baptized; it's into "his" death. This doesn't say that Jesus dies again every time one is baptized into union with him (6:3) for Paul goes on to insist that Christ died once for all (6:10). But it does require us to believe that the death of Christ continues to be accessible to those who want to be part of him and his experience. If the death of our Lord were seen in the New Testament strictly and solely as a single event, completed in past time, then it wouldn't be possible for later believers to access that death as Paul here insists they can and do.
They don't access the story of the death of Christ! They access the death of Christ.
All I'm wanting from the text is the truth that the cross is more than an historical event, it is an event which sets in motion and continues to sustain the truths and possibilities and a relationship for subsequent generations. These truths and that relationship are not maintained simply by the memory of that death. They are all made possible and accessible by the ongoing fact and truth of it.
Paul affirms that the believer is baptized into Christ's death but adds, "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death." This state of death (a death to sin, etc) is only possible with Christ and it is in fact Christ's death. In saying all this Paul is saying things about the nature of the death into which they entered through baptism and the dynamic fact of that death for everyone who is baptized into Christ. (Therefore, they can't live any longer in sin, living in union with the "old man".)
Back in Corinthians, Paul is telling us that the once-for-all death of Christ (which is still accessible even as he writes) is carried about, paraded, in the experience of the church which is Christ's body. It is seen most clearly in people like Paul who are the members of the body chosen by God to be put to grief (compare 1 Corinthians 4:9; 2 Corinthians 4:10-12). Paul sees this apostolic suffering as "for his body"—Colossians 1:24, as well as for the world at large.
[What we won't do is to make the mistake of equating Christ with the "body of Christ" is such a way as to make them identical. While it's true the only way we experience Christ today is through the Spirit of Christ and in the body of Christ which is indwelled by his Spirit, it isn't true that the body of Christ and Christ are the same. One is a metaphor (however rich and far-reaching it might be) and the other is the person of our Lord Jesus Christ who exists independent of his body the church.]
 ©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.

Take Your Pick by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=559

Take Your Pick

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Nearly all credible historians will concede that a man by the name of Jesus lived and died in the land of Palestine about 2,000 years ago. Even most atheists accept the historicity of Jesus the Nazarene. There simply is overwhelming evidence that points to a man named Jesus who lived and died in the first century. In fact, just by acknowledging the “first century,” one is describing a time based upon the birth of Jesus. Our whole dating method is based upon this man called Christ [“B.C.” meaning “before Christ,” and “A.D.” (standing for Anno Domini) meaning “in the year of the Lord”]. Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and infidels (for the most part) all accept that Jesus was an actual human being.
However, even though most people who know some world history admit that Jesus was a real person, relatively few believe He was God in the flesh (as the Bible repeatedly emphasizes). They might say He was a good man, or that He was a noted philosopher or great moral teacher, but the fact is, the majority of the people in the world do not believe He was (as Peter claimed nearly 2,000 years ago) “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).
Have you ever thought about what people actually are saying who deny the deity of Christ, yet believe He was a good man? They are saying that Jesus was not Who He claimed to be—the Son of God. They are advocating that even though Jesus accepted such claims of deity from men (cf. John 1:29,41,49; 20:28) and claimed deity Himself time and again (Mark 14:62; John 9:36-38; 10:30; et al.), what he said was not true. Yet they still hold to the assumption that Christ was a “good man.”
Realistically, there are only three explanations that one can give as to who Christ was: (1) He was the greatest liar, con man, and phony the world has ever known; (2) He was a lunatic who simply labored under the delusion that he was God; or (3) He was who He claimed to be—God. Logically speaking, no other choices exist. The view that Christ was a raving madman has rarely been entertained by anyone who is aware of Christ’s life and teachings. No lunatic could answer questions with such profound wisdom and authority (cf. Matthew 7:28-29). What madman would teach that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us? The insane do not teach that we should “turn the other cheek,” and then set an example of exactly how to do that—even unto death. Lunacy does not produce such genius. For that reason, relatively few ever have been so foolish as to call Christ a lunatic.
Furthermore, not even the most celebrated infidels have been willing to characterize Christ as a con man or charlatan. Renowned infidel Henri Rousseau once wrote: “Yes, if the life and death of Socrates were those of a sage, the life and death of Jesus were those of a God” (Emile, 1.4). French humanist and staunch enemy of Christianity, Joseph Renan, called Jesus a “sublime person” and declared that in Him “is condensed all that is good and lofty in our nature” (Life of Jesus, chapters 1,28). The fact is, very few people throughout history ever have claimed that Christ was a liar or a lunatic.
But, if Jesus was not a liar or a lunatic, then logically He must have been who He claimed to be—the Son of God. One cannot profess sensibly that Christ was a good man, yet not the Son of God. Either He was both—or He was neither. Either Christ was a lunatic, or a liar, or the Lord. Take your pick, but choose wisely, for your eternal destiny is at stake.

From Mark Copeland... "CHALLENGES CONFRONTING THE CHURCH" Traditionalism


                  "CHALLENGES CONFRONTING THE CHURCH"

                              Traditionalism

INTRODUCTION

1. In previous lessons, we examined the challenges of...
   a. Denominationalism
   b. Sectarianism
   c. Factionalism

2. Another challenge that has a long history is traditionalism...
   a. Jesus often conflicted with traditions in His day
   b. Traditions have often been a major factor in causing division
      among churches

[What are traditions?  Are traditions always wrong?  If not, when does a
tradition become wrong?  How can we be guilty of traditionalism?  Let’s begin with...]

I. THE MEANING OF TRADITION

   A. TRADITION...
      1. The Greek word is paradosis, which means "giving over" or "handing down"
      2. It refers to teaching that is handed down either by word
         (orally) or in writing

   B. AS UNDERSTOOD BY THE JEWS...
      1. It applied to the oral teachings of the elders (distinguished
         elders from Moses on down)
      2. These traditions were often divided into three classes...
         a. Oral laws supposedly given by Moses in addition to the written laws
         b. Decisions of various judges which became precedents in judicial matters
         c. Interpretations of highly respected rabbis held in reverence
            along with the OT scriptures
         -- Article on "Tradition", ISBE
      3. Prior to his conversion, Paul was a staunch supporter of Jewish
         tradition - Ga 1:13-14

   C. AS UNDERSTOOD BY ROMAN AND GREEK CATHOLICS...
      1. Their views appear to be parallel to that of the Jews
      2. What they consider "Tradition" is what they believe to be the teachings:
         a. Of Jesus or His apostles, persevered orally rather than through writing
         b. Of various church councils which have left various decrees
         c. Of various church leaders (such as the pope) considered to
            be inspired with later revelations from God
      3. One is expected to take their word for it that these
         "traditions" were truly from God and have been faithfully transmitted

   D. AS FOUND IN THE SCRIPTURES...
      1. The word "tradition" as such is not found in the Old Testament
      2. It is found thirteen (13) times in New Testament
         a. Three times referring to "apostolic teaching" - 1Co 11:2;2Th 2:15; 3:6
         b. Ten times referring to "the tradition of the elders" or "the
            traditions of men" in a dangerous way - 
            Mk 7:3-13; Mt 15:2-6; Col 2:8; 1Pe 1:18; Ga 1:14
      3. Jesus did not feel bound to abide by "the traditions of the
         elders"
         a. Some traditions He had no problem with keeping
            1) Such as going to a wedding feast - Jn 2:1-2
            2) Or attending the Feast Of Dedication - Jn 10:22-23
         b. He just as easily had no problem with violating other traditions
            1) Plucking grain on the Sabbath - Mk 2:23-28
            2) Eating with unwashed hands - Mk 7:1-5
      4. Jesus evidently did not subscribe to the view of "traditions" handed down orally
         a. He never appealed to the traditions of the elders
         b. He either appealed to the authority of the written Word (the
            Law of Moses), or to His own authority as the Son of God
      5. Note well:  We have seen that not all "traditions" are wrong
         a. If they are "handed down" by inspired men, they are to be heeded - 2Th 2:15
         b. If they are doctrines or interpretations handed down by
            uninspired men (like the traditions of the Jews) they are suspect
         c. But in some cases uninspired "traditions of men" might be observed

[So traditions of men can be dangerous, or they can be harmless.  How
can we distinguish between those that are dangerous and those that are
harmless?  In Mk 7:1-13, Jesus provides the answer...]

II. THE DANGER OF TRADITIONS OF MEN

   A. THEY CAN LEAD TO HYPOCRITICAL WORSHIP...
      1. Traditions of men tend toward ritualism (just look at the
         rituals found in many religions that have no scriptural basis)
      2. Such ritualism is often done repeatedly, with little thought as
         to its origin and purpose
      3. It is easy to go through such rituals, with the heart and mind
         on other things
      4. Worship without the heart (or mind) of man is hypocritical worship! - Mk 7:6

   B. THEY CAN LEAD TO VAIN WORSHIP...
      1. When traditions of men are taught on the same level as the
         commands of God, it leads to vain worship - Mk 7:7
      2. Such worship may appear to be impressive, but it in actually
         "empty, worthless"
         a. First, because God did not command it
         b. Second, because it does not accomplish the good we really
            need - cf. Col 2:18-23

   C. THEY CAN MAKE THE WORD OF GOD VOID...
      1. Jesus gave the example of honoring one’s parents - Mk 7:10-12
         a. The elders’ tradition taught giving to the temple freed one
            from giving to one’s parents
         b. Thus rendering the command of God of no effect
      2. There are traditions of men today with similar affect
         a. Such as the practice of sprinkling for baptism, a tradition of man
         b. When one keeps the tradition of sprinkling, they make the
            command of God to be baptized (immersed) of no effect!
      3. Through such traditions, one is actually rejecting the command
         of God! - Mk 7:8-9,13

[With this understanding of traditions and their dangers, let’s now summarize...]

III. TRADITIONS AND TRADITIONALISM: A SUMMARY

   A. TRADITIONS...
      1. Traditions of God, handed down by Christ and His apostles
         through the Written Word, are necessary for our salvation!
      2. Traditions of men, handed down by uninspired men, are dangerous
         and sinful, when they:
         a. Lead to hypocritical worship
         b. Lead to vain worship
         c. Make the Word of God void
      3. Traditions of men can be harmless, but they become sinful if they:
         a. Are taught as doctrines (i.e., equivalent to the Word of God) - Mk 7:7
         b. Make the commandments of God of no effect (by their observance) - Mk 7:9,13

   B. TRADITIONALISM...
      1. Defined:  the systematic emphasis on the value of tradition - Wikipedia
      2. Exemplified by Jewish, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and
         Protestant religions
      3. But can also be manifested in churches of Christ
         a. Doing things a certain way, just because that is how it has
            always been done
         b. Binding practices without scriptural basis, because we’ve
            always done it that way

CONCLUSION

1. Traditionalism can be viewed as the abuse of tradition...
   a. Where traditions of men are bound, made equivalent to the
      traditions of God
   b. Where traditions of men are kept, even if it makes the commands of
      God of no effect

2. To avoid traditionalism, we need to be well grounded in the Word of God...
   a. By which we can examine any tradition being proposed as necessary
   b. Asking as Jesus did, "From heaven, or from men?" - cf. Mt 21:25
   c. Careful not to bind where God has not bound

So many of the differences and divisions between churches today are due
to traditionalism with its abuse of traditions.  Let’s be careful not to
allow traditionalism to keep us from working together in love and
unity...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading March 14, 15



Bible Reading 

March 14, 15

The World English Bible

Mar. 14
Exodus 24

Exo 24:1 He said to Moses, "Come up to Yahweh, you, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship from a distance.
Exo 24:2 Moses alone shall come near to Yahweh, but they shall not come near, neither shall the people go up with him."
Exo 24:3 Moses came and told the people all the words of Yahweh, and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, "All the words which Yahweh has spoken will we do."
Exo 24:4 Moses wrote all the words of Yahweh, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar under the mountain, and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel.
Exo 24:5 He sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of cattle to Yahweh.
Exo 24:6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.
Exo 24:7 He took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people, and they said, "All that Yahweh has spoken will we do, and be obedient."
Exo 24:8 Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, "Look, this is the blood of the covenant, which Yahweh has made with you concerning all these words."
Exo 24:9 Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up.
Exo 24:10 They saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was like a paved work of sapphire stone, like the skies for clearness.
Exo 24:11 He didn't lay his hand on the nobles of the children of Israel. They saw God, and ate and drank.
Exo 24:12 Yahweh said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain, and stay here, and I will give you the tables of stone with the law and the commands that I have written, that you may teach them."
Exo 24:13 Moses rose up with Joshua, his servant, and Moses went up onto God's Mountain.
Exo 24:14 He said to the elders, "Wait here for us, until we come again to you. Behold, Aaron and Hur are with you. Whoever is involved in a dispute can go to them."
Exo 24:15 Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain.
Exo 24:16 The glory of Yahweh settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. The seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
Exo 24:17 The appearance of the glory of Yahweh was like devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.
Exo 24:18 Moses entered into the midst of the cloud, and went up on the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Mar. 15
Exodus 25

Exo 25:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Exo 25:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, that they take an offering for me. From everyone whose heart makes him willing you shall take my offering.
Exo 25:3 This is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, brass,
Exo 25:4 blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats' hair,
Exo 25:5 rams' skins dyed red, sea cow hides, acacia wood,
Exo 25:6 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense,
Exo 25:7 onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod and for the breastplate.
Exo 25:8 Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.
Exo 25:9 According to all that I show you, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all of its furniture, even so you shall make it.
Exo 25:10 "They shall make an ark of acacia wood. Its length shall be two and a half cubits, its breadth a cubit and a half, and a cubit and a half its height.
Exo 25:11 You shall overlay it with pure gold. You shall overlay it inside and outside, and you shall make a gold molding around it.
Exo 25:12 You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four feet. Two rings shall be on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it.
Exo 25:13 You shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold.
Exo 25:14 You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark.
Exo 25:15 The poles shall be in the rings of the ark. They shall not be taken from it.
Exo 25:16 You shall put the testimony which I shall give you into the ark.
Exo 25:17 You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two and a half cubits shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth.
Exo 25:18 You shall make two cherubim of hammered gold. You shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat.
Exo 25:19 Make one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other end. You shall make the cherubim on its two ends of one piece with the mercy seat.
Exo 25:20 The cherubim shall spread out their wings upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces toward one another. The faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat.
Exo 25:21 You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I will give you.
Exo 25:22 There I will meet with you, and I will tell you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the testimony, all that I command you for the children of Israel.
Exo 25:23 "You shall make a table of acacia wood. Two cubits shall be its length, and a cubit its breadth, and one and a half cubits its height.
Exo 25:24 You shall overlay it with pure gold, and make a gold molding around it.
Exo 25:25 You shall make a rim of a handbreadth around it. You shall make a golden molding on its rim around it.
Exo 25:26 You shall make four rings of gold for it, and put the rings in the four corners that are on its four feet.
Exo 25:27 the rings shall be close to the rim, for places for the poles to carry the table.
Exo 25:28 You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be carried with them.
Exo 25:29 You shall make its dishes, its spoons, its ladles, and its bowls to pour out offerings with. You shall make them of pure gold.
Exo 25:30 You shall set bread of the presence on the table before me always.
Exo 25:31 "You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. Of hammered work shall the lampstand be made, even its base, its shaft, its cups, its buds, and its flowers, shall be of one piece with it.
Exo 25:32 There shall be six branches going out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of its one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of its other side;
Exo 25:33 three cups made like almond blossoms in one branch, a bud and a flower; and three cups made like almond blossoms in the other branch, a bud and a flower, so for the six branches going out of the lampstand;
Exo 25:34 and in the lampstand four cups made like almond blossoms, its buds and its flowers;
Exo 25:35 and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, for the six branches going out of the lampstand.
Exo 25:36 Their buds and their branches shall be of one piece with it, all of it one beaten work of pure gold.
Exo 25:37 You shall make its lamps seven, and they shall light its lamps to give light to the space in front of it.
Exo 25:38 Its snuffers and its snuff dishes shall be of pure gold.
Exo 25:39 It shall be made of a talent of pure gold, with all these accessories.

Exo 25:40 See that you make them after their pattern, which has been shown to you on the mountain.

 Mar. 13, 14
Mark 9

Mar 9:1 He said to them, "Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste death until they see the Kingdom of God come with power."
Mar 9:2 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and brought them up onto a high mountain privately by themselves, and he was changed into another form in front of them.
Mar 9:3 His clothing became glistening, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.
Mar 9:4 Elijah and Moses appeared to them, and they were talking with Jesus.
Mar 9:5 Peter answered Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let's make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
Mar 9:6 For he didn't know what to say, for they were very afraid.
Mar 9:7 A cloud came, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
Mar 9:8 Suddenly looking around, they saw no one with them any more, except Jesus only.
Mar 9:9 As they were coming down from the mountain, he commanded them that they should tell no one what things they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
Mar 9:10 They kept this saying to themselves, questioning what the "rising from the dead" meant.
Mar 9:11 They asked him, saying, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
Mar 9:12 He said to them, "Elijah indeed comes first, and restores all things. How is it written about the Son of Man, that he should suffer many things and be despised?
Mar 9:13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they have also done to him whatever they wanted to, even as it is written about him."
Mar 9:14 Coming to the disciples, he saw a great multitude around them, and scribes questioning them.
Mar 9:15 Immediately all the multitude, when they saw him, were greatly amazed, and running to him greeted him.
Mar 9:16 He asked the scribes, "What are you asking them?"
Mar 9:17 One of the multitude answered, "Teacher, I brought to you my son, who has a mute spirit;
Mar 9:18 and wherever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth, and wastes away. I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they weren't able."
Mar 9:19 He answered him, "Unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to me."
Mar 9:20 They brought him to him, and when he saw him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground, wallowing and foaming at the mouth.
Mar 9:21 He asked his father, "How long has it been since this has come to him?" He said, "From childhood.
Mar 9:22 Often it has cast him both into the fire and into the water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us, and help us."
Mar 9:23 Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."
Mar 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out with tears, "I believe. Help my unbelief!"
Mar 9:25 When Jesus saw that a multitude came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to him, "You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!"
Mar 9:26 Having cried out, and convulsed greatly, it came out of him. The boy became like one dead; so much that most of them said, "He is dead."
Mar 9:27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and raised him up; and he arose.
Mar 9:28 When he had come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we cast it out?"
Mar 9:29 He said to them, "This kind can come out by nothing, except by prayer and fasting."
Mar 9:30 They went out from there, and passed through Galilee. He didn't want anyone to know it.
Mar 9:31 For he was teaching his disciples, and said to them, "The Son of Man is being handed over to the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, on the third day he will rise again."
Mar 9:32 But they didn't understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.
Mar 9:33 He came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you arguing among yourselves on the way?"
Mar 9:34 But they were silent, for they had disputed one with another on the way about who was the greatest.
Mar 9:35 He sat down, and called the twelve; and he said to them, "If any man wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all."
Mar 9:36 He took a little child, and set him in the midst of them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them,
Mar 9:37 "Whoever receives one such little child in my name, receives me, and whoever receives me, doesn't receive me, but him who sent me."
Mar 9:38 John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone who doesn't follow us casting out demons in your name; and we forbade him, because he doesn't follow us."
Mar 9:39 But Jesus said, "Don't forbid him, for there is no one who will do a mighty work in my name, and be able quickly to speak evil of me.
Mar 9:40 For whoever is not against us is on our side.
Mar 9:41 For whoever will give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you are Christ's, most certainly I tell you, he will in no way lose his reward.
Mar 9:42 Whoever will cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him if he was thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around his neck.
Mar 9:43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having your two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire,
Mar 9:44 'where their worm doesn't die, and the fire is not quenched.'
Mar 9:45 If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life lame, rather than having your two feet to be cast into Gehenna, into the fire that will never be quenched-
Mar 9:46 'where their worm doesn't die, and the fire is not quenched.'
Mar 9:47 If your eye causes you to stumble, cast it out. It is better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the Gehenna of fire,
Mar 9:48 'where their worm doesn't die, and the fire is not quenched.'
Mar 9:49 For everyone will be salted with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.
Mar 9:50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, with what will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."

Mar. 15, 16
Mark 10

Mar 10:1 He arose from there and came into the borders of Judea and beyond the Jordan. Multitudes came together to him again. As he usually did, he was again teaching them.
Mar 10:2 Pharisees came to him testing him, and asked him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
Mar 10:3 He answered, "What did Moses command you?"
Mar 10:4 They said, "Moses allowed a certificate of divorce to be written, and to divorce her."
Mar 10:5 But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart, he wrote you this commandment.
Mar 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.
Mar 10:7 For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will join to his wife,
Mar 10:8 and the two will become one flesh, so that they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Mar 10:9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."
Mar 10:10 In the house, his disciples asked him again about the same matter.
Mar 10:11 He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery against her.
Mar 10:12 If a woman herself divorces her husband, and marries another, she commits adultery."
Mar 10:13 They were bringing to him little children, that he should touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who were bringing them.
Mar 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said to them, "Allow the little children to come to me! Don't forbid them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Mar 10:15 Most certainly I tell you, whoever will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it."
Mar 10:16 He took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
Mar 10:17 As he was going out into the way, one ran to him, knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"
Mar 10:18 Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except one-God.
Mar 10:19 You know the commandments: 'Do not murder,' 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not give false testimony,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and mother.' "
Mar 10:20 He said to him, "Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth."
Mar 10:21 Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross."
Mar 10:22 But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions.
Mar 10:23 Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, "How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!"
Mar 10:24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, "Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!
Mar 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."
Mar 10:26 They were exceedingly astonished, saying to him, "Then who can be saved?"
Mar 10:27 Jesus, looking at them, said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God."
Mar 10:28 Peter began to tell him, "Behold, we have left all, and have followed you."
Mar 10:29 Jesus said, "Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News,
Mar 10:30 but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life.
Mar 10:31 But many who are first will be last; and the last first."
Mar 10:32 They were on the way, going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus was going in front of them, and they were amazed; and those who followed were afraid. He again took the twelve, and began to tell them the things that were going to happen to him.
Mar 10:33 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death, and will deliver him to the Gentiles.
Mar 10:34 They will mock him, spit on him, scourge him, and kill him. On the third day he will rise again."
Mar 10:35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came near to him, saying, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we will ask."
Mar 10:36 He said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?"
Mar 10:37 They said to him, "Grant to us that we may sit, one at your right hand, and one at your left hand, in your glory."
Mar 10:38 But Jesus said to them, "You don't know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"
Mar 10:39 They said to him, "We are able." Jesus said to them, "You shall indeed drink the cup that I drink, and you shall be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with;
Mar 10:40 but to sit at my right hand and at my left hand is not mine to give, but for whom it has been prepared."
Mar 10:41 When the ten heard it, they began to be indignant towards James and John.
Mar 10:42 Jesus summoned them, and said to them, "You know that they who are recognized as rulers over the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
Mar 10:43 But it shall not be so among you, but whoever wants to become great among you shall be your servant.
Mar 10:44 Whoever of you wants to become first among you, shall be bondservant of all.
Mar 10:45 For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Mar 10:46 They came to Jericho. As he went out from Jericho, with his disciples and a great multitude, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the road.
Mar 10:47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, and say, "Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me!"
Mar 10:48 Many rebuked him, that he should be quiet, but he cried out much more, "You son of David, have mercy on me!"
Mar 10:49 Jesus stood still, and said, "Call him." They called the blind man, saying to him, "Cheer up! Get up. He is calling you!"
Mar 10:50 He, casting away his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Mar 10:51 Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said to him, "Rhabboni, that I may see again."
Mar 10:52 Jesus said to him, "Go your way. Your faith has made you well." Immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

From Gary... chicken




















We had chickens on the farm, but I do not recall ever seeing one like this!!!  But then, why not? Taken at face value then, there are black chickens.  As soon as I put these into the post, I thought of racism and how over the past half decade, the confrontation between black and white people in this country has become almost an obsession, but mostly a tool in the hands of black racists to denigrate whites. Can anyone of sound reasoning and observation NOT think that those who occupy the WHITE HOUSE ARE RACIST?  However, all this nonsense will come to an end within the next 50 years, as the Latino portion of population gradually becomes the majority in the United States. Looking beyond this, in the following 50 years or so, I predict an ease to racial tensions as the intermarriage of the various races produces a generic slightly darker than white race.  Beyond these things, I ask the question: Does race really matter at all?

The Bible provides the answer...

Galatians, Chapter 3 (WEB)
19  What then is the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the seed should come to whom the promise has been made. It was ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator.  20 Now a mediator is not between one, but God is one.  21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could make alive, most certainly righteousness would have been of the law.  22 But the Scriptures imprisoned all things under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.  23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, confined for the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  24 So that the law has become our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.  26 For you are all children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus.  27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

No, race doesn't matter. If you are a Christian, race is really unimportant. We are to love our spiritual brethren. And they exist in every single race on this planet. America, get over being preoccupied with racial division. Instead, turn to Jesus and his word for answers!!! Or, are you to "chicken" to face spiritual truth!!!