1/29/16

From Gary.... Just one more picture...




I don't understand: What is with this "selfie" craze?  Humm, maybe this picture might give us some insight?  Taken atop the Princess tower in Dubai, this tallest residential building dwarfs everything around it. And to top it all off- two guys taking a "selfie"!  What would motivate them to do this? Accomplishment; well, getting all the way up there certainly is a feat in itself. But, they don't look like explorers, just ordinary people taking their own picture. Uniqueness; probably not- it seems like everyone is taking "selfies" today. My best guess (I really don't KNOW WHY) would be pride. Look-at-me, I am somebody, I am the center of everything around me and I am IMPORTANT!!!

Perhaps this picture would make a good visual definition for the ME generation; where the world revolves around ME because I AM IMPORTANT.

This is not reality, but rather fantasy. For those of us who follow Jesus Christ, we have a different goal- to be like HIM!!! The apostle Paul puts it this way...


Philippians, Chapter 2 (WEB)
1 If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassion,  2 make my joy full, by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind;  3 doing nothing through rivalry or through conceit, but in humility, each counting others better than himself;  4 each of you not just looking to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others. 

 5  Have this in your mind, which was also in Christ Jesus,  6 who, existing in the form of God, didn’t consider equality with God a thing to be grasped,  7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men.  8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, yes, the death of the cross.



And besides all this, when you are concentrating on yourself, you may or may not be aware of your surroundings. And that could be dangerous...


Just sayin...

From Gary... Bible Reading January 29, 30, 31



Bible Reading   

January 29, 30, 31

The World English Bible

Jan. 29
Genesis 29
Gen 29:1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the children of the east.
Gen 29:2 He looked, and behold, a well in the field, and, behold, three flocks of sheep lying there by it. For out of that well they watered the flocks. The stone on the well's mouth was large.
Gen 29:3 There all the flocks were gathered. They rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again on the well's mouth in its place.
Gen 29:4 Jacob said to them, "My relatives, where are you from?" They said, "We are from Haran."
Gen 29:5 He said to them, "Do you know Laban, the son of Nahor?" They said, "We know him."
Gen 29:6 He said to them, "Is it well with him?" They said, "It is well. See, Rachel, his daughter, is coming with the sheep."
Gen 29:7 He said, "Behold, it is still the middle of the day, not time to gather the livestock together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them."
Gen 29:8 They said, "We can't, until all the flocks are gathered together, and they roll the stone from the well's mouth. Then we water the sheep."
Gen 29:9 While he was yet speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she kept them.
Gen 29:10 It happened, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban, his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.
Gen 29:11 Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.
Gen 29:12 Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son. She ran and told her father.
Gen 29:13 It happened, when Laban heard the news of Jacob, his sister's son, that he ran to meet Jacob, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things.
Gen 29:14 Laban said to him, Surely you are my bone and my flesh. He lived with him for a month.
Gen 29:15 Laban said to Jacob, "Because you are my brother, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what will your wages be?"
Gen 29:16 Laban had two daughters. The name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
Gen 29:17 Leah's eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and attractive.
Gen 29:18 Jacob loved Rachel. He said, "I will serve you seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter."
Gen 29:19 Laban said, "It is better that I give her to you, than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me."
Gen 29:20 Jacob served seven years for Rachel. They seemed to him but a few days, for the love he had for her.
Gen 29:21 Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her."
Gen 29:22 Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
Gen 29:23 It happened in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him. He went in to her.
Gen 29:24 Laban gave Zilpah his handmaid to his daughter Leah for a handmaid.
Gen 29:25 It happened in the morning that, behold, it was Leah. He said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? Didn't I serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?"
Gen 29:26 Laban said, "It is not done so in our place, to give the younger before the firstborn.
Gen 29:27 Fulfill the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you will serve with me yet seven other years."
Gen 29:28 Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week. He gave him Rachel his daughter as wife.
Gen 29:29 Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah, his handmaid, to be her handmaid.
Gen 29:30 He went in also to Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.
Gen 29:31 Yahweh saw that Leah was hated, and he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.
Gen 29:32 Leah conceived, and bore a son, and she named him Reuben. For she said, "Because Yahweh has looked at my affliction. For now my husband will love me."
Gen 29:33 She conceived again, and bore a son, and said, "Because Yahweh has heard that I am hated, he has therefore given me this son also." She named him Simeon.
Gen 29:34 She conceived again, and bore a son. Said, "Now this time will my husband be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons." Therefore was his name called Levi.
Gen 29:35 She conceived again, and bore a son. She said, "This time will I praise Yahweh." Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

Jan. 30
Genesis 30
Gen 30:1 When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister. She said to Jacob, "Give me children, or else I will die."
Gen 30:2 Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, "Am I in God's place, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?"
Gen 30:3 She said, "Behold, my maid Bilhah. Go in to her, that she may bear on my knees, and I also may obtain children by her."
Gen 30:4 She gave him Bilhah her handmaid as wife, and Jacob went in to her.
Gen 30:5 Bilhah conceived, and bore Jacob a son.
Gen 30:6 Rachel said, "God has judged me, and has also heard my voice, and has given me a son." Therefore called she his name Dan.
Gen 30:7 Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid, conceived again, and bore Jacob a second son.
Gen 30:8 Rachel said, "With mighty wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed." She named him Naphtali.
Gen 30:9 When Leah saw that she had finished bearing, she took Zilpah, her handmaid, and gave her to Jacob as a wife.
Gen 30:10 Zilpah, Leah's handmaid, bore Jacob a son.
Gen 30:11 Leah said, "How fortunate!" She named him Gad.
Gen 30:12 Zilpah, Leah's handmaid, bore Jacob a second son.
Gen 30:13 Leah said, "Happy am I, for the daughters will call me happy." She named him Asher.
Gen 30:14 Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother, Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes."
Gen 30:15 She said to her, "Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son's mandrakes, also?" Rachel said, "Therefore he will lie with you tonight for your son's mandrakes."
Gen 30:16 Jacob came from the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, "You must come in to me; for I have surely hired you with my son's mandrakes." He lay with her that night.
Gen 30:17 God listened to Leah, and she conceived, and bore Jacob a fifth son.
Gen 30:18 Leah said, "God has given me my hire, because I gave my handmaid to my husband." She named him Issachar.
Gen 30:19 Leah conceived again, and bore a sixth son to Jacob.
Gen 30:20 Leah said, "God has endowed me with a good dowry. Now my husband will live with me, because I have borne him six sons." She named him Zebulun.
Gen 30:21 Afterwards, she bore a daughter, and named her Dinah.
Gen 30:22 God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her, and opened her womb.
Gen 30:23 She conceived, bore a son, and said, "God has taken away my reproach."
Gen 30:24 She named him Joseph, saying, "May Yahweh add another son to me."
Gen 30:25 It happened, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, "Send me away, that I may go to my own place, and to my country.
Gen 30:26 Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know my service with which I have served you."
Gen 30:27 Laban said to him, "If now I have found favor in your eyes, stay here, for I have divined that Yahweh has blessed me for your sake."
Gen 30:28 He said, "Appoint me your wages, and I will give it."
Gen 30:29 He said to him, "You know how I have served you, and how your livestock have fared with me.
Gen 30:30 For it was little which you had before I came, and it has increased to a multitude. Yahweh has blessed you wherever I turned. Now when will I provide for my own house also?"
Gen 30:31 He said, "What shall I give you?" Jacob said, "You shall not give me anything. If you will do this thing for me, I will again feed your flock and keep it.
Gen 30:32 I will pass through all your flock today, removing from there every speckled and spotted one, and every black one among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats. This will be my hire.
Gen 30:33 So my righteousness will answer for me hereafter, when you come concerning my hire that is before you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and black among the sheep, that might be with me, will be counted stolen."
Gen 30:34 Laban said, "Behold, I desire it to be according to your word."
Gen 30:35 That day, he removed the male goats that were streaked and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white in it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons.
Gen 30:36 He set three days' journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flocks.
Gen 30:37 Jacob took to himself rods of fresh poplar, almond, plane tree, peeled white streaks in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods.
Gen 30:38 He set the rods which he had peeled opposite the flocks in the gutters in the watering-troughs where the flocks came to drink. They conceived when they came to drink.
Gen 30:39 The flocks conceived before the rods, and the flocks brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted.
Gen 30:40 Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the streaked and all the black in the flock of Laban: and he put his own droves apart, and didn't put them into Laban's flock.
Gen 30:41 It happened, whenever the stronger of the flock conceived, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the flock in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods;
Gen 30:42 but when the flock were feeble, he didn't put them in. So the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's.
Gen 30:43 The man increased exceedingly, and had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys.

Jan. 31
Genesis 31
Gen 31:1 He heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, "Jacob has taken away all that was our father's. From that which was our father's, has he gotten all this wealth."
Gen 31:2 Jacob saw the expression on Laban's face, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.
Gen 31:3 Yahweh said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers, and to your relatives, and I will be with you."
Gen 31:4 Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field to his flock,
Gen 31:5 and said to them, "I see the expression on your father's face, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father has been with me.
Gen 31:6 You know that I have served your father with all of my strength.
Gen 31:7 Your father has deceived me, and changed my wages ten times, but God didn't allow him to hurt me.
Gen 31:8 If he said this, 'The speckled will be your wages,' then all the flock bore speckled. If he said this, 'The streaked will be your wages,' then all the flock bore streaked.
Gen 31:9 Thus God has taken away your father's livestock, and given them to me.
Gen 31:10 It happened during mating season that I lifted up my eyes, and saw in a dream, and behold, the male goats which leaped on the flock were streaked, speckled, and grizzled.
Gen 31:11 The angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob,' and I said, 'Here I am.'
Gen 31:12 He said, 'Now lift up your eyes, and behold, all the male goats which leap on the flock are streaked, speckled, and grizzled, for I have seen all that Laban does to you.
Gen 31:13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you vowed a vow to me. Now arise, get out from this land, and return to the land of your birth.' "
Gen 31:14 Rachel and Leah answered him, "Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house?
Gen 31:15 Aren't we accounted by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and has also quite devoured our money.
Gen 31:16 For all the riches which God has taken away from our father, that is ours and our children's. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do."
Gen 31:17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives on the camels,
Gen 31:18 and he took away all his livestock, and all his possessions which he had gathered, including the livestock which he had gained in Paddan Aram, to go to Isaac his father, to the land of Canaan.
Gen 31:19 Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep: and Rachel stole the teraphim that were her father's.
Gen 31:20 Jacob deceived Laban the Syrian, in that he didn't tell him that he was running away.
Gen 31:21 So he fled with all that he had. He rose up, passed over the River, and set his face toward the mountain of Gilead.
Gen 31:22 Laban was told on the third day that Jacob had fled.
Gen 31:23 He took his relatives with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey. He overtook him in the mountain of Gilead.
Gen 31:24 God came to Laban, the Syrian, in a dream of the night, and said to him, "Take heed to yourself that you don't speak to Jacob either good or bad."
Gen 31:25 Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountain, and Laban with his relatives encamped in the mountain of Gilead.
Gen 31:26 Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done, that you have deceived me, and carried away my daughters like captives of the sword?
Gen 31:27 Why did you flee secretly, and deceive me, and didn't tell me, that I might have sent you away with mirth and with songs, with tambourine and with harp;
Gen 31:28 and didn't allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now have you done foolishly.
Gen 31:29 It is in the power of my hand to hurt you, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, 'Take heed to yourself that you don't speak to Jacob either good or bad.'
Gen 31:30 Now, you want to be gone, because you greatly longed for your father's house, but why have you stolen my gods?"
Gen 31:31 Jacob answered Laban, "Because I was afraid, for I said, 'Lest you should take your daughters from me by force.'
Gen 31:32 Anyone you find your gods with shall not live. Before our relatives, discern what is yours with me, and take it." For Jacob didn't know that Rachel had stolen them.
Gen 31:33 Laban went into Jacob's tent, into Leah's tent, and into the tent of the two female servants; but he didn't find them. He went out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent.
Gen 31:34 Now Rachel had taken the teraphim, put them in the camel's saddle, and sat on them. Laban felt about all the tent, but didn't find them.
Gen 31:35 She said to her father, "Don't let my lord be angry that I can't rise up before you; for the manner of women is on me." He searched, but didn't find the teraphim.
Gen 31:36 Jacob was angry, and argued with Laban. Jacob answered Laban, "What is my trespass? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued after me?
Gen 31:37 Now that you have felt around in all my stuff, what have you found of all your household stuff? Set it here before my relatives and your relatives, that they may judge between us two.
Gen 31:38 These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not cast their young, and I haven't eaten the rams of your flocks.
Gen 31:39 That which was torn of animals, I didn't bring to you. I bore its loss. Of my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night.
Gen 31:40 This was my situation: in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from my eyes.
Gen 31:41 These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times.
Gen 31:42 Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty. God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night."
Gen 31:43 Laban answered Jacob, "The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine: and what can I do this day to these my daughters, or to their children whom they have borne?
Gen 31:44 Now come, let us make a covenant, you and I; and let it be for a witness between me and you."
Gen 31:45 Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.
Gen 31:46 Jacob said to his relatives, "Gather stones." They took stones, and made a heap. They ate there by the heap.
Gen 31:47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed.
Gen 31:48 Laban said, "This heap is witness between me and you this day." Therefore it was named Galeed
Gen 31:49 and Mizpah, for he said, "Yahweh watch between me and you, when we are absent one from another.
Gen 31:50 If you afflict my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, no man is with us; behold, God is witness between me and you."
Gen 31:51 Laban said to Jacob, "See this heap, and see the pillar, which I have set between me and you.
Gen 31:52 May this heap be a witness, and the pillar be a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and that you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, for harm.
Gen 31:53 The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us." Then Jacob swore by the fear of his father, Isaac.
Gen 31:54 Jacob offered a sacrifice in the mountain, and called his relatives to eat bread. They ate bread, and stayed all night in the mountain.

Gen 31:55 Early in the morning, Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them. Laban departed and returned to his place. 

Jan. 29, 30
Matthew 15

Mat 15:1 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem, saying,
Mat 15:2 "Why do your disciples disobey the tradition of the elders? For they don't wash their hands when they eat bread."
Mat 15:3 He answered them, "Why do you also disobey the commandment of God because of your tradition?
Mat 15:4 For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.'
Mat 15:5 But you say, 'Whoever may tell his father or his mother, "Whatever help you might otherwise have gotten from me is a gift devoted to God,"
Mat 15:6 he shall not honor his father or mother.' You have made the commandment of God void because of your tradition.
Mat 15:7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
Mat 15:8 'These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Mat 15:9 And in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrine rules made by men.' "
Mat 15:10 He summoned the multitude, and said to them, "Hear, and understand.
Mat 15:11 That which enters into the mouth doesn't defile the man; but that which proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man."
Mat 15:12 Then the disciples came, and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended, when they heard this saying?"
Mat 15:13 But he answered, "Every plant which my heavenly Father didn't plant will be uprooted.
Mat 15:14 Leave them alone. They are blind guides of the blind. If the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit."
Mat 15:15 Peter answered him, "Explain the parable to us."
Mat 15:16 So Jesus said, "Do you also still not understand?
Mat 15:17 Don't you understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the belly, and then out of the body?
Mat 15:18 But the things which proceed out of the mouth come out of the heart, and they defile the man.
Mat 15:19 For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false testimony, and blasphemies.
Mat 15:20 These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands doesn't defile the man."
Mat 15:21 Jesus went out from there, and withdrew into the region of Tyre and Sidon.
Mat 15:22 Behold, a Canaanite woman came out from those borders, and cried, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, you son of David! My daughter is severely demonized!"
Mat 15:23 But he answered her not a word. His disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away; for she cries after us."
Mat 15:24 But he answered, "I wasn't sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Mat 15:25 But she came and worshiped him, saying, "Lord, help me."
Mat 15:26 But he answered, "It is not appropriate to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
Mat 15:27 But she said, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you even as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that hour.
Mat 15:29 Jesus departed there, and came near to the sea of Galilee; and he went up into the mountain, and sat there.
Mat 15:30 Great multitudes came to him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others, and they put them down at his feet. He healed them,
Mat 15:31 so that the multitude wondered when they saw the mute speaking, injured whole, lame walking, and blind seeing-and they glorified the God of Israel.
Mat 15:32 Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days and have nothing to eat. I don't want to send them away fasting, or they might faint on the way."
Mat 15:33 The disciples said to him, "Where should we get so many loaves in a deserted place as to satisfy so great a multitude?"
Mat 15:34 Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said, "Seven, and a few small fish."
Mat 15:35 He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground;
Mat 15:36 and he took the seven loaves and the fish. He gave thanks and broke them, and gave to the disciples, and the disciples to the multitudes.
Mat 15:37 They all ate, and were filled. They took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces that were left over.
Mat 15:38 Those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.
Mat 15:39 Then he sent away the multitudes, got into the boat, and came into the borders of Magdala.


Jan. 31 and Feb. 1
Matthew 16
Mat 16:1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing him, asked him to show them a sign from heaven.
Mat 16:2 But he answered them, "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.'
Mat 16:3 In the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but you can't discern the signs of the times!
Mat 16:4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and there will be no sign given to it, except the sign of the prophet Jonah." He left them, and departed.
Mat 16:5 The disciples came to the other side and had forgotten to take bread.
Mat 16:6 Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
Mat 16:7 They reasoned among themselves, saying, "We brought no bread."
Mat 16:8 Jesus, perceiving it, said, "Why do you reason among yourselves, you of little faith, 'because you have brought no bread?'
Mat 16:9 Don't you yet perceive, neither remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up?
Mat 16:10 Nor the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up?
Mat 16:11 How is it that you don't perceive that I didn't speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
Mat 16:12 Then they understood that he didn't tell them to beware of the yeast of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Mat 16:13 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"
Mat 16:14 They said, "Some say John the Baptizer, some, Elijah, and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets."
Mat 16:15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Mat 16:16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Mat 16:17 Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
Mat 16:18 I also tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
Mat 16:19 I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven."
Mat 16:20 Then he commanded the disciples that they should tell no one that he is Jesus the Christ.
Mat 16:21 From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.
Mat 16:22 Peter took him aside, and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This will never be done to you."
Mat 16:23 But he turned, and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of men."
Mat 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mat 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.
Mat 16:26 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?
Mat 16:27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will render to everyone according to his deeds.
Mat 16:28 Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom." 

From Roy Davison... “Understand what the will of the Lord is” Ephesians 5:17




http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/038-willoftheLord.html

“Understand what the will of the Lord is”
Ephesians 5:17
The universe exists by the will of God: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4:11).

The will of God is sovereign. After God removed the Babylonian potentate Nebuchadnezzar from power for seven years and then reinstated him, he acknowledged the preponderant will of God: “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Daniel 4:35).
Yet, amazingly, people can reject the will of God: “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him” (Luke 7:30). John the Baptist was a prophet of God. When these religious leaders rejected John’s message, they rejected the will of God for themselves.
Although ultimately, the will of God prevails, God grants man a limited field of operation in which he has freedom to make personal choices.
An example of this is Paul’s journey to Rome. For some time he had wanted to go to Rome. In his letter he explains: “Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now)” (Romans 1:13). He writes: “Without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you” (Romans 1:9, 10).
This shows great insight and a commendable attitude: “If I may find a way in the will of God.” Paul understands that his plans and actions are subject to the will of God, that he can operate only within the limits God has set. As it turns out, he does indeed travel to Rome - all expenses paid - as a prisoner of the Romans!
Man’s prescribed area of choice might be compared to a fence within which a small child is allowed to play. Without the fence it would be unsafe. Inside the fence he can go where he pleases and do what he wants. Even so, his mother keeps an eye on him in case he comes up with something that exceeds the wishes of his parents!
Jesus says: “It is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish” (Matthew 18:14). Why then do people perish? Not because it is the will of God, but because man’s inherent freedom enables him to make wrong choices with bad consequences for himself and for others.
Leading up to this, Jesus had said: “Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (Matthew 18:6, 7).
One person’s wrong choices can tempt someone else to sin and be lost. But ‘offenses must come’. Why? Because this is inherent in man’s power to choose.
Paul deals with the objection: “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” (Romans 9:19). Some try to blame God for their own bad choices! Although the will of God prevails in the end, people are responsible for the choices God allows them to make and for the consequences.
Any parent of teenagers understands this. There comes a time when parents must allow their children to make choices on their own. As they assume greater freedom of choice, they also assume responsibility for their choices and the consequences. Just because the parents allowed a choice to be made, does not make them responsible for the choice or its consequences.
One teenager protested: “Why didn’t God make man so he could only choose what is right?” This is a dishonest cop-out. What teenager wants to have his God-given freedom of choice curtailed in any way? He likes this gift that God has given him!
God created people with the ability to choose to love Him or to reject Him. The love of those who freely choose to love Him more than offsets the grief caused by those who choose to reject His will.
As Paul explains: “You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?’ But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory?” (Romans 9:19-23).

People are lost because they choose to reject the will of God. Even so, God still enables them to be saved if they repent and accept the gift of grace He offers through the sacrifice of His Son: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
To allow man freedom of choice, God cannot prevent people from being lost. But He has done everything possible to enable the lost to be saved by sending His Son: “the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11).

Jesus came to do the will of the Father.

“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work’” (John 4:34). “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38).
“I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 5:30).
It was the will of the Father that Jesus should offer His body as a sacrifice for sin: “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come - In the volume of the book it is written of Me - to do Your will, O God’” (Hebrews 10:7).

The sacrifices of the Old Covenant were not sufficient as atonement for sin: “‘Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them’ (which are offered according to the law), then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God’” (Hebrews 10:8, 9).

By the will of God, Christ came to be a sacrifice for sin. “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).

Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia: “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever” (Galatians 1:3-5).
It is the will of God that they who believe in Christ might receive mercy, salvation and eternal life.
Jesus explained: “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:39, 40).

God wants us to be sanctified.

When charging the Thessalonians to abstain from sexual immorality, Paul states: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). God wants us to be holy.
To realize this sanctification we must be born again by the will of God. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12, 13). “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures” (James 1:18). 
Our inclusion in the family of God is also called an adoption by the will of God: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:3-6).
In Christ, God has “made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth” (Ephesians 1:9, 10). 
As adopted sons we have an inheritance: “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11).

We must do God’s will to be in the family of God.Jesus said: “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50 // Mark 3:35).

Jesus warned: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
Have you ever wanted to put to silence the ignorance of foolish men? God wants us to do this and tells us how: “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1 Peter 2:15).
Until the end we must continue to do the will of God: “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:36).
“The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).
The letter to the Hebrews closes with this beautiful benediction: “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever” (Hebrews 13:20, 21).

To do God’s will, we must know God’s will.

The Scriptures reveal the will of God. David wrote: “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8). “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and isprofitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).
The will of God must be learned. David prayed: “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness” (Psalm 143:10).
Jesus states a prerequisite for knowing the will of God: “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority” (John 7:17). One must first want to do God’s will to recognize which doctrine is from God.
One must then conform to the will of God to really experience the will of God: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

Having heard of the faith and love of the Christians at Colosse, Paul writes: “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Colossians 1:9).
“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).

What have we learned from the Scriptures about the will of God?

The universe exists by the sovereign will of God. Although ultimately, the will of God prevails, God grants man a limited field of operation in which he has freedom to make choices. People can reject the will of God and are responsible for the consequences.
People perish, not because it is the will of God, but because man’s inherent freedom enables him to make wrong choices with bad consequences for himself and for others.
Jesus came to do the will of the Father by being a sacrifice for sin.
It is the will of God that they who believe in Christ receive mercy, salvation and eternal life, that they be sanctified through a spiritual rebirth and become sons of God by adoption.
In the family of God we must continue to do the will of God until the end to receive the promise of eternal life. 
To do the will of God, we must know the will of God from the Scriptures. We must want to do the will of God to recognize His will and we must actually do His will to experience His will.
“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).
Roy Davison
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)