6/1/18

Why I Love Jeff Bethke, But Hate Error by Trevor Bowen

http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles/love_bethke_hate_error.html

Why I Love Jeff Bethke, But Hate Error

About a month ago, Jefferson Bethke released a highly polished video declaring the evils of religion in contrast to the true nature of Jesus' and His work on earth. This lyrical poem, delivered in mild rap, has produced a fire-storm of both controversy and commendation, while generating almost 19 million views on YouTube! His primary rebuke against self-righteousness, self-justification, and hypocrisy was needed. It was also clever and witty; however, it was not entirely Scriptural. If you have not seen it already, you can view Jeff's video on YouTube or by clicking on the image below:

Does this article's correction of Jeff's video mean that I dislike Jeff Bethke? No! Quite to the contrary, I love Jeff and care for him! Jesus Christ died for Jeff, because He loved him, just like Jesus loved and died for me. The gospel message of love and grace (John 3:16; Titus 2:11-14) must be proclaimed from the rooftops! However, whenever anyone enters the public arena to proclaim what he believes to be truth, then he necessarily opens himself to review, judgment, and comment from those, who believe that his proclamation is untrue, at least in part.
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. (James 3:1 NKJV)
But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12:36-37 NKJV)
If we will be judged even by our idle words, how much more important should our deliberately, publicly uttered thoughts be thoroughly sifted, contemplated, and chosen? I am not writing this in judgment of Jeff's heart, soul, or motives. As I said previously, I love and care for Jeff! However, because I love Jeff, and because he and those who publicly commend him will influence so many people, correction of the video's error must be made.

The Good

Clearly, the video is aimed squarely at those, who while living in sin and hypocrisy, publicly wear the name, Christian. As Jeff alluded, Jesus Himself graphically, strongly, and forcefully condemned those who publicly taught God's Word and outwardly displayed piety, but maintained secret lives of shameful sin:
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness." (Matthew 23:25-28 NKJV)
These scribes and Pharisees, whom Jesus addressed above, taught God's law publicly, but privately they lived as if there was no law! Furthermore, as Jeff has suggested, these religious leaders made it exceedingly and treacherously difficult for people to truly seek and find God. They had constructed a hedge of additional laws. This hedge may have originally been designed to provide extra safety from violating God's law. However, the hedge ultimately confused and obfuscated the way to God. Jesus observed the excessive, undue yoke levied by the Pharisees and scribes of His day by addressing it with these words:
... "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. (Matthew 23:2-4 NKJV)
Such dishonest, hypocritical, sinful lives are indeed despicable. It is still deplorable, when people repeat even today this same pattern of wrapping God's good news in an inapproachable package of needless laws and pointless rules of human origin - all for the purpose of elevating their own outward piety, while inwardly filling their lives with putrid rottenness. Such people are in evident need of God's grace, even more so than any other because of their blindness (John 9:39-41). They attempt to withhold God's provision of mercy from others, just to enhance their own perverse ego (Matthew 23:5-7).
Jeff has done well to illuminate pretentious, feigned piety versus the gross sin and vanity of such hypocrisy, while letting struggling sinners know that not all Christians are hypocrites. To this extent, the video is certainly good. I applaud this aspect of Jeff's video, because I can support it with Scripture.

The Bad

For all the good and truth of Bethke's video, there is an inexcusable amount of bad and error. Although the video clearly denounces hypocritical religion with baseless rules of human origin, it does not clearly define what is a true religion. Furthermore, the video does not explain if true religion has any rules whatsoever. In fact, throughout the video, Jeff uses the word, "religion", indiscriminantly, as if all religion was bad. As numerous other reviewers of Jeff's video have already observed, Jesus did not come to destroy all religion, neither did He come to set aside all rules.
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20 NKJV)
Although Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament, thereby setting aside its authority, He nonetheless established a requirement for righteousness that must "exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees". As we have already seen, the Pharisees' righteousness was a sham, an outward presentation only. The righteousness we are to exhibit must therefore be of a different nature. However, it is a righteousness that we must possess; otherwise, we "will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven". Not only must we exhibit this righteousness, but this righteousness is still subject to law. Moreover, please recall that Jesus told the people to observe, that is, to obey the words of the Pharisees, whenever they proclaimed the law of Moses (Matthew 23:2). Therefore, Jesus taught that obedience to the truth was still critical, even if it was proclaimed by hypocrites! Furthermore, at the same time, He denounced the Pharisees for secretly living lives of "lawlessness". If we were to incorrectly accept that a life publicly lived beyond the restrictions of law is acceptable, then what is wrong with living such a life privately? Finally, Jesus warns of the sure judgment against those who disobey God by practicing lawlessness, even though they do many good deeds in Jesus' name:
"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. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV)
Therefore, Jesus absolutely required obedience to His law for any religious service offered to God!
We live in a hedonistic time of spiritual lawlessness. Whether through ignorance or error, too many of our day live without respect to Christ's New Testament law (I Corinthians 9:21; Romans 3:27; 8:2; Isaiah 2:3; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Galatians 6:2; James 1:25; 2:12; 4:11-12). Admittedly, many also live in discouragement and despair, feeling unloved and unworthy. It is good to encourage the despairing, especially when their despair is needless; however, it is bad to feed the hellish flames of those, who teach and believe that true religion is without any rules, especially rules which Jesus established by Himself and through His apostles and prophets (John 16:12-15; Ephesians 2:19-20; 3:3-5).
Admittedly, Bethke has clarified his usage of the word, "religion", to mean "false religion" in the written comments recorded below the video on his YouTube page ("A poem I wrote to highlight the difference between Jesus and false religion."). Further, to Jeff's credit he has recently gone on record in his blog admitting that his video was unclear and that his language was imprecise. However, he is strangely convinced that this is somehow commendable, simply because the lack of clarity forces you to think. Although he may hide behind the labels of "art" and "poetic license", he is nevertheless attempting to teach and spread a message that he believes to be taken from God's Word, and that brings transcendent spiritual responsibilities of clarity, not exhaustive detail, but clarity on the vital points that he chooses to address:
Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. (I Corinthians 14:7-9 NKJV)
Given his deliberate lack of clarity, who knows what Bethke was really teaching about God's grace (I Corinthians 2:11)? More importantly, who knows whether it will be understood correctly, imparting God's truth? Even if many people find renewed interest in God and church, how will they react when they eventually learn that God expects them to give up their sin and obey Him (I Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 12:1-2; Colossians 3:1-9)? Will they not feel like they have fallen prey to a "bait and switch", which nobody likes? Furthermore, despite Jeff's clarifications, his video still stands as it is, and it is continuing to encourage those, who would willfully continue to live lives of sin. For example, please consider the following comment offered in support to Bethke after his latest clarification:
I saw your video and LOVED it. I'm a young gay man (and I hope you are down with my community -- not as a group that needs to be fixed or anything, but just as another one of God's children). I certainly don't think (or ever have) that being gay is bad, immoral, etc. ... In closing, to me, God is love. And while none of us are perfect, the basic choices we make on a daily basis should be those which God would be proud of. I hope you keep doing what you are doing, keep a good level head, enjoy the ride/journey/experience, and continue to remain a cool guy who is (and this is one of my biggies) nonjudgmental. (Comment #8)
Ironically, Bethke has by his deliberate lack of clarity created the very thing he has denounced - hypocrites! But, now these hypocrites hide behind God's grace, as espoused by Bethke, instead of a list of checked-off rules!
Even if we classify our teaching works as "art", we can still edit them and re-envision them. (If George Lucas can re-envision Star Wars because of technical limitations and immaturity, can Jeff Bethke not correct his video now that he knows better?) Ultimately, are we slaves to our art or to our God (Romans 6:16-19)? All teachers have a responsibility to be clear in their proclamation of God's Word. If their teaching, whatever the form or medium, proves to be divisive or erroneous, then the error needs to be corrected as best as possible. Jeff needs to add a few lines to his original video to make it crystal clear. He needs to explain that God demands obedience (Hebrews 5:9), and that grace does not provide license to sin (Romans 6:1-6; I John 2-3). Until then, many will continue to draw false strength and persist in their own disobedient lives of hypocrisy - now believing their hypocrisy to be sanctified by grace. Please, Jeff, don't put a correction on the back page of next week's newspaper. You can fix the original. Please fix the video!
Moreover, while Jeff has clarified the poem's target as being "false religion", please do not assume that what he considers false religion is the same as your definition. It could be that what you consider true religion is what he considers false! Let us see ...

The Ugly

The above video proclaims God's grace as the means of overcoming our sin, which is good. However, it is the uniquely Calvinistic brand of grace, which is advocated by this video, that brings it to its lowest point - false doctrine! Many have never heard of John Calvin or the Augustinian theology that he so tightly organized under the doctrine that now bears his name, Calvinism. If this is new to you, or if you are a proponent of Calvinism, I would encourage you to study the Scriptures outlined in the following series:
http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles/index.html#calvinism
I would be happy to discuss this vital issue with anyone, because it pertains directly to the means and requirements of our salvation. Please use the site's contact form to discuss the above article series and the Scriptures it raises.
As Jeff's video begins to conclude with its closing stanza, uniquely Calvinistic buzzwords and terminology point the way to salvation, according to Jeff. Although very suspicious, their wording and usage is generally vague enough to deflect condemnation. Nevertheless, some lines are undeniably Calvinistic. Please consider the extreme grace extolled by the video's last verse:
Religion is man searching for God, Christianity is God searching for man
Which is why salvation is freely mine, and forgiveness is my own
Not based on my merits but Jesus's obedience alone.
...
Because when he was dangling on that cross, he was thinking of you,
And he absorbed all of your sin, and buried it in the tomb.
Which is why I'm kneeling at the cross, saying come on there's room
So for religion, no I hate it, in fact I literally resent it
Because when Jesus said it is finished, I believe he meant it.
Am I to understand that in true Christianity, man does not search for God? This is patently false (Hebrews 11:6)! I understand that Bethke could have been emphasizing God's efforts over man's, which would be wholly justified; however, the Scriptures clearly paint a picture of a God, who pleads and waits for man:
"And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;" (Acts 17:26-27 NKJ)
Furthermore, how did Jesus absorb our sins? Did he absorb the punishment, the guilt, or both? Bethke does not say definitively; but whatever it was, Bethke tells us in his video that Jesus carried it to the tomb. That sounds like Calvin's notion of transferred guilt to me.
Although there are many unanswered questions and ambiguous phrases, the next two phrases are worded in the absolute, making clear the extreme grace being advocated. First, no Christian, who understands from the Bible and believes that at least some obedience is required for salvation, could ever say that we are saved by "Jesus' obedience alone". There simply is no wiggle room to interpret this phrase any other way. The truth of the matter is that while we are saved chiefly by grace (Ephesians 2:1-10; Romans 3:23-27), we also must save ourselves by obeying the gospel call (Acts 2:37-40; Philippians 2:12). Anything less advocates Calvin's unconditional election and irresistible grace. Yes, some may have gone to the opposite extreme of practicing self-justification and requiring perfect law-keeping, but we cannot correct one error by running to an opposite, but equal error. Just as our Father balanced justice and mercy in the cross, we must harmonize faith and obedience. To deny the requirement of obedience for salvation is no better than denying the requirement for faith!
Second, Jesus' proclamation on the cross, "It is finished," is a prevalent Calvinistic and faith-only proof-text used to eliminate any conditions of obedience for salvation. How else can we interpret Bethke's last line and closing slide but to eradicate our need to obey anything unto salvation, because Jesus has already done it, or finished it? (Please scroll back to the top and look at the end of his video again, which quotes Romans 4:5 and John 19:30.) This is a well-honed and clear Calvinistic argument. I am stunned at the number of people, who do not realize it, even though they denounce Calvinism. As examples of this Calvinistic and faith-only argument being made, please see:
According to Bethke, your salvation was finished at the cross! Can you believe it? Or, must you do anything to be saved? How about faith? Confession? Repentance? Or, baptism? Is anything required beyond Jesus' death on the cross?
Some may scoff at this analysis; however, when one visits Bethke's Facebook page and web-sites, they can see the support and advancement of Calvinism and extreme Calvinistic teachers. Specifically, on his Facebook page, he advocates Tim Keller, who is a vocal hyper-calvinist:
Jeff Bethke is also a big fan of John Piper, who is also a radical Calvinist:
Am I saying that Bethke's video should be rejected because he's a Calvinist? No, I am saying that it should be rejected because the video's ultimate message is Calvinism! And, the evidence suggests Bethke would not deny it. So, before you click "Like", recommend Bethke, or recommend this video, please be aware that you are advancing false doctrine and a false teacher! If you like his message of grace, and if you must recommend it, then please do so carefully with qualifications, so that no one will use your influence as blanket approval for what includes false doctrine. Or, better yet, find someone who maintains a Bible harmony between justice and mercy, obedience and faith to proclaim Scriptural grace to comfort the despairing and brokenhearted.
It has been said that, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." Bethke's wit and popular, universally accepted jab at hypocrites certainly provides some "sugar" to his message. ( -- When was the last time you saw someone cheer for the hypocrites? Who really likes hypocrites? Do not even hypocrites disdain hypocrites? Is that not why they are hypocrites? -- ) Yet, it is the truth mingled with error that has proven the most dangerous. Maybe a spoonful of truth helps the error go down too (Matthew 4:5-7; II Corinthians 11:13-15)?
Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. (I Thessalonians 5:21-22 NKJV)
Do we not have an obligation to sift through the message (I John 4:1, 6; I Corinthians 14:37-38), cling to what is good and discard what is bad? Why must we swallow it whole or be labeled a legalist?

Conclusion

Has Bethke's video possibly performed some good? I am sure it has. However, does that potential good grant the video immunity to correction or judgment? Certainly not (James 3:1)! Does correcting Bethke's video necessarily mean that I dislike Bethke, or that I am bashing him? No! As I have said repeatedly, I love him! And, because I love him and those influenced by his message, I must correct its errors.
The persistence in maintaining the original video with its confusing, divisive, and misleading message is inexcusable, considering how easy it would be to correct the original. I hope Jeff Bethke finds this post and heeds its encouragement to make his art clear in his effort to teach God's Word. It is not unforgivable, neither is it irrecoverable. In fact, it is inexcusable, because the video could be so easily fixed. Please Jeff, add a few scenes and lines to the original video to end the division and cut off the opportunity of false teachers (II Corinthians 11:12)! The Lord Himself was always concerned about people misinterpreting His actions, and He made provisions for their clarity (Deuteronomy 32:26-27; II Samuel 12:14; Ezekiel 36:18-24; Romans 2:22-24). Should we not do the same, if we are lifting up His name?
Lastly, it is the false doctrine of Calvin's unconditional grace that Bethke espouses, which summons the climax of this correction. The point of this article is not to refute Calvinism, which we do elsewhere. Rather, the main point of this article is to warn those who already know the error of Calvinism, and yet they have identified with the grace advocated in this video, maybe even publicly. To all I say, please do not support a false teacher, even if he mixes some truth with his error, until he repents by correcting his message (Matthew 4:5-6; II John 9-11; I Corinthians 14:7-9; Titus 2:1).
I have searched for some way to share this with Jeff Bethke. I would like to believe that he will find this and we would be able to discuss this kindly with open Bibles. Jeff, if you find this review, please use the site's contact form to discuss this further with me. If anyone else disagrees with the above application of Scripture to Jeff's video, please feel free to contact me. May all things be done to God's glory.
"Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him." (Luke 8:18 NKJV)
Trevor Bowen

Why Going To Church Is So Important? by Ben Fronczek




http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?p=557

Why Going To Church Is So Important?

Why Is Church So Important?    (by: Ben Fronczek)
Text: Acts 2:42-47
Did you ever notice how many church buildings are in and around Granville, NY area, or what ever area you are from? If I’m not mistaken there are about 20 churches within a 4 to 5 mile radius oour small country community of Granville. And even though some churches only have small congregations or have even close their doors, some of those church buildings date back hundreds of years, including our old building which was built in 1860.
Over those many years, I wonder over the years how many feet climbed those stairs to enter this facility? How many prayers and songs of praise went up to our Lord God? How many gave their heart to Jesus? How many sermons were preached? How many kids played behind the pews? How many meals were served downstairs after church?
By coming here today and worshipping with us, and sharing a meal afterwards, whether you realize it or not, you are part of a heritage.  People worked hard and gave of their means so that their children, their grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and great, great  grandchildren could gather together in church buildings like this all around the community. Why? Because they saw the importance of having a place to do just what we are doing here today.
Even generations ago those people understood the tremendous value of gathering together at least once a week as a church; as a church family.
I believe they recognized that all of us, whatever generation we live in, have a number of needs which God will take care of, if we assemble together for church.
Whether you realize it or not, Church can and should help us with at least three particularly important needs which each one of us have:
#1 It should fill some Spiritual needs that we have
#2 Some Social needs that we have
#3 And some physical needs that we have
Let me read to you a scene from the early church after it first began .   Read Acts 2:42-47
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Proposition: God has placed within each of us some basic needs that are met when we make church a priority in our lives.
In Act 2:42 the writer Dr. Luke tells us that these new Christians“devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
Now if you don’t know that background to this text the apostle Peter had just explained to this crowd who Jesus really was. I’m sure some in that crowd did not know about Jesus. Many of them had just made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Pentecost festival from other lands. He explained that Jesus was the one that the prophets of old spoke about. He was the Messiah that they had been waiting for, the one who would remove their sin. He tells them that their fellow Jews had Him killed by having the Romans crucify Him. The crowd was upset after hearing this and so Peter tells them want they personally needed to do to make it right. They needed to repent and be Baptized for the forgiveness of their sins. And we read that 3000 responded to Peter’s invitation and were baptized that very day.                   (Read Act 2 for the whole story)
But then what? Then we have verse 42.  They spent time together. They devoted themselves to learning more from the apostles. They devoted themselves to fellowship (spending time with one another, breaking bread sharing meals together like a family). And they also devoted themselves to prayer. And the text goes on to say that they shared and took care of one another whenever there was a need.
These are valuable things for us to consider today as one considers why we should even bother going to church on a regular basis.   First of all, the church assembly is important… Because…
#I. We Have Spiritual Needs that need to be filled
So what are spiritual needs? For one thing, they are not physical needs. Someone once said, “A Spiritual need is the small black hole in one’s heart searching for truth.”  He goes on to say that “life is not worth living if one does not have anything to gain after death. These are all questions answered by spirituality, religion, and the divine truth of God. We are spiritual beings and our purpose is to seek knowledge of truth and follow the right path.”
When we are young most of us care more about our physical needs being met, but as we grow older, we want and need more. A spiritual appetite grows within us. That’s why I believe these early Christians devoted themselves to the Apostle teachings. They wanted to know more and feed on the spiritual truths being taught.
Three times Jesus told Peter to “feed My sheep or lambs”. (John 21:15-17)   Now Jesus did not have any four legged lambs, but He knew that there would be hungry souls that would want and need to know more about Him and the kingdom of God. And that’s what a good church should be doing; feeding you and helping you grow spiritually through good sermons and Bible studies. It should be a place where you can get those important questions answered.
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Paul wrote that,   “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
And as true as that is, and as many times as I have read the Bible through, sometimes I personally find it so very gratifying to sit at the feet of someone who has studied it more than I have. We should never stop seeking, and learning, and growing spiritually. We are designed to crave such things. And hopefully our church can help you with these.
2. The next thing that Luke tells us they were devoted to was “to fellowship…” and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper)…”
Now, they like us, had some social needs. I don’t know of any other time in history when the kind of fellowship one can experience in a good church is needed more than it is right now.
At one time these old church buildings were the center of the community’s social life. People did not rush to church, spend an hour worshiping, and then rush home. Back in the 1800’s people either walked, road a horse, or came by carriage to church. It wasn’t just a place to worship God, it was also a place to get together and visit with your neighbors, friends and family after a hard week of work; maybe even have a meal together. It was a place to learn the latest news and find out if someone needed help or encouragement. It was an important social network where people of like faith could worship together, eat together, play together, laugh together, work together, and cry together. I believe people are hungry for these kinds of relationships today. But somehow we’ve made ourselves so busy with our work, and taking care of kids, and our homes. Rather than spending time with people, we plop ourselves down in front of our television or computer exhausted until we conk out at night hardly speaking a word to someone who really cares for us all week long.
As much as one can worship God on the side of a lake, on top of a mountain, or walking through a pasture, I believe that God designed the church to fill some of our social needs. After becoming part of a church more than once I have heard people say that they felt closer to members of their church than they did to their own family, who many times seem distant and uncaring. I truly believe that God does not want us to be lonely. At any point in time, you should be able to call someone in your church family if you have that need.
It also has other benifits for our family, for example I read this story last week…
“A little old lady was amazed at how nice the young man was next door. Everyday he would help her gather things from her car or help her in her yard. One day the old lady finally ask the young man, “son, how did you become such a fine young man”. The young man replied, “well, when I was a boy, I had a drug problem”. The old lady was shocked, “I can’t believe that”. The young man replied, “it’s true, my parents drug me to church on Sunday morning, drug me to church on Sunday night and drug me to church on Wednesday night”
Even though our kids may not understand the positive effects church has on their life, never under estimate the power of what they learn by going to church. Even if they do not go later in life, what they learn and the time they spend in church becomes an underling foundation in their life. It’s an added bonus of what these spiriul teachings and what social network’s influence can do.
#3. The last thing that Luke tells us that they were devoted to, was that they devoted themselves “to prayer.” The emphasis is on collective prayer. This addressed some of their emotional and physical needs.
In the early church, prayer was clearly a high priority and it was an important part of their life together. Christian not only sought the prayers of others, we also read where they prayed and fasted together for many reasons. That’s how much they cared for and were devoted to one another. And because of that, on many occasions those individuals and those churches were very successful. I have not heard of many successful churches that did not place a priority on prayer.
I believe God has created us all with these needs and I believe that these needs are meant to be filled within the context of community, a church family.
People like to say, “Well I can pray and read my Bible at home!”  True, but unfortunately, most don’t. And we have needs that won’t be met unless we take advantage of gathering together with a community of believers.
A lot of people seem convinced that going to church is simply not cool anymore; it’s out dated. It was for another time and another era, but I beg to differ. In a recent radio program David Jeremiah spoke of a friend, Leif Anderson, who wrote a book. And in that book Mr. Anderson gives some interesting statistics to put this all into perspective.
He mentions that the number of people who now attend church in the U.S. is about 102 million on an average Sunday. To put that number into perspective he compares that number to the number of people who attend a professional sport. The number of people who attended a professional sports last year, like professional Football, Baseball, Basketball, hockey etc., numbered about 94 million in the U.S.. That means more people go to church on a given Sunday than the number of people that went to a professional sporting event in all of last year. In a year’s time Sporting attendance was only at about 2% of church attendance. So if someone tries to tell you that church attendance is fading away in the U.S. don’t believe them.
A second thing which he mentions in his book is that for every 100 worshippers that attend a protestant church on that given Sunday that are 70-79 years of age, there is an average of 160 to 200 between that ages of 20-29. Every once in a while you hear that young people are staying away from church.. And I say, “Not they’re not!”
More and more people are beginning to realize that endless hours spent working, or watching television, playing video games  or surfing the internet is simply not enough. Something in their gut is telling them that they need more. They want more. They want answers, honest answers. They want those spiritual holes filled. And they also want to find some good people, people who really, really care about them and their needs, people they can trust and feel a sense of belonging to.
And that’s what we hope to do here. We are trying to become the kind of Church that God expects us to be, one that teaches the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We want to be a church where you feel comfortable with the members, maybe even becoming best friends with some of them. And we also want to be the kind of church that really cares about your needs and will help you and will pray with you.
We recognize we have a responsibility to meet some of these important need that each one us and every one of you have.
It is my prayer that you allow us answer some of your question and help you grow spiritually. If you can’t make it to our Bible studies or have other questions I will even come to your home to answer some of those questions and study with you. If you live out of our area feel free to email your questions to granvillechurchofchrist1@gmail.com and I will do my best to answer them.
I pray that you realize we have your best interest in mind here and we offer our friendship. We are no perfect, no church group is, but we are at least trying to live the way Jesus wants us to live. And we will do our best to help you and pray with you if your heart is troubled.
We are a small group now but it is our prayer to develop a sizable congregation of believers here Granville, NY to meet even more of these needs a we function as a close and loving family, the family of God, and I personally want to encourage you to become part of it.
For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566

Take The Bible “As Is” by Alfred Shannon Jr.




https://biblicalproof.wordpress.com/2011/04/

Take The Bible “As Is”


 
Speaking in the silence of God is pure wickedness, which will be punished with the silence of outer darkness. Man can’t even direct his own steps, so what makes us believe we can think for ourselves. We must speak where the bible speaks, and be silent where the bible is silent to be pleasing to God. To do more is too much, and to do less is too little. The bible is an “AS IS” proposition. Take the bible “AS IS”, or not at all.

1 Sam 2:9; Acts 4:19,20; Act 5:29; 1 Pet 4:11; Rev 22:18,19; Col 4:6; Isa 8:20; Jer 10:23; Deut 4:2; 5:32; 12:32; 28:14; Prov 30:6; Eccl 3:14

A WEARY, BATTERED WEAVER by Jim McGuiggan




https://jimmcguiggan.wordpress.com/2017/09/


A WEARY, BATTERED WEAVER

Here’s what J.M. Barrie said in his book The Little Minister, “Long ago a minister of Thrums was to be married, but something happened, and he remained a bachelor. Then, when he was old, he passed in our square the lady who was to have been his wife, and her hair was white, but she, too, was still unmarried. The meeting had only one witness, a weaver, a weaver who sat day after toilsome day at his window as long as there was light, and he said solemnly afterwards, ‘They didn’t speak, but they gave one another a look, and I saw the love-light in their eyes.’
No more is remembered of these two, no being now living ever saw them, but the poetry that was in the soul of a battered weaver, bound by necessity to his machine, makes them human to us forever.”
Aren’t people like that a gift!? No matter how tough their lives are they keep the romance in their souls and make the world brighter, lovelier. They’re able to see what the rest of us can’t—those of us made hard and cynical or perhaps just too hurt that our poor hearts, because of the disappointment and loss—can no longer see.
There may have been a time when our hearts raced at the sight of someone we held precious; there may have been a time when we were sensitive enough to notice the shy but warm glances that passed between people but for many of us those days are gone. The light has either gone out or grown dim and we resign ourselves to live in the twilight until along comes a “battered weaver” who defied the suffocating world and kept his soul alive.
Barrie doesn’t say if his battered weaver was married or was in love with a particular someone or had ever been in love but he makes it clear that the toil-worn worker was a lover and love has eyes.
Later in his novel he tells how the preacher Gavin Dishart falls in love with Babbie the gypsy girl who at first has little interest in the preacher. But that was only at first—before he kissed her. “Until the moment when he kissed her she had only conceived him as a quaint fellow whose life was a string of Sundays, but behold what she saw in him now. It’s said that Love is blind, but love is not blind. It is an extra eye that shows us what is most worthy of regard. To see the best, the honorable, but what is truly felt, that is to see most clearly, and it’s the lover’s privilege.”
People like the over-worked weaver won’t end up with a ton of money in the bank but they’re able to uncover treasure that all the tycoons in creation can’t buy. You have to have the heart, don’t you see? They won’t build grand skyscrapers, these people, or multi-national companies but they build dreams and open to us the possibility of a life that’s filled with the joy of hope and warmth and they’ll go down to their well-earned graves with a contented heart.
Maybe you’ve met such people. The kind who aren’t too sweet to be wholesome but who are sensitive to the good and lovely that lies hidden just below the surface of an unpromising appearance.
Maybe you are one! Maybe you too are one of the millions that are tied to a job and to responsibilities that make truly heavy demands of you; but not so heavy that you’ve allowed them to blind you to the beauty that is in life—a beauty that a great host of us can’t see. And if you are one of those, God bless you. God has blessed you. Thank you!
Jesus said that even a cup of cold water given in His name will not be forgotten, will not go without reward. The beauty and glory that’s in you changes a dreary world and just by hearing of or, better, knowing someone like you, we are changed or are given the chance to change. You don’t keep a record of your good words, looking for that reward Jesus spoke of; you you don’t think of it in that way; you don’t think of it at all. You simply have the heart for it and turn to people like us and say with a smile, “Did you see how they looked at each other?” And if we’re blessed like you we’ll have seen it and if we haven’t, your sweet, strong, deathless spirit will infect us and maybe we too will begin to see, or at least to look.
Thank you! Thank you for the cups of cold water you are handing out without the blowing of trumpets.
(Holy Father, thank you for the warm—honorable—but warm people of the world who keep our hearts beating and make us smile even when we don’t feel like smiling. This thankfulness, in Jesus’ name.)

Were former days better? by J. C. Bailey




http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Bailey/John/Carlos/1903/Articles/formerda.html

Were former days better?

"Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this" (Ecclesiastes 7:10).

It rained last Sunday. I went to Radville to worship. A stretch of the road was under construction. I got stuck. I was late for the service. We lived in Radville many years. For many years there was not any gravel, let alone hardtop, on any road leading into Radville. To get stuck in the gumbo was not an uncommon experience. I know that what is called the “Good Old Days” is largely a myth.

I have just reread a book written by James Orval Filbeck entitled The Christian Evidence Movement. This book shows that at the time of the founding of the American nation Deism and Agnosticism were rampant. The opposition to truth was strong and more successful than it is today, as we are prepared to show. Men arose who challenged and defeated the foes of Christianity. Are we too complacent to do the same thing today?

Opposition to truth was rampant as the American nation was born. Let us look at the truth of this assertion. This is found on page 71 of Brother Filbeck's book. John Adams said on April 21, 1823: “It would be more pardonable to believe in no God at all than to blaspheme Him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin. Indeed, I think every Christian sect gives a great handle to atheism by their general dogma, that without a revelation, there would not be sufficient proof of the being of a God.” In other words, the Bible was not needed.

We quote further from Adams: “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being as his Father, in the womb of the virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” Brother Filbeck shows by exact quotations that there were many others of the Founding Fathers who were not believers in the Bible as the Word of God, nor in Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of the Father.

I want to show next that this had a profound effect on the thinking of the students in the schools of that day. Yale is one of the oldest and best-known Colleges in the U.S.A. On page 86 of the Filbeck book we have the following to show that the good old days were not different from what we have now. If anything, it was worse. The establishment of American Independence had not been affected without the moral contamination always the result of protracted wars. Licentiousness, both in conduct and sentiment, had followed the footsteps of liberty, and of the exultation of political emancipation, infidel philosophers found ready listeners, when they represented the restraints of religion as fetters of the conscience and moral obligation as shackles imposed by bigotry and priest craft.”

To show how successful the forces of evil were we quote from page 86: “At this critical period in the history of Yale, most undergraduates avowed themselves skeptics....The terrible condition for Christendom is made more evident by the fact that in the fall of 1796 only one freshman was a 'professing Christian': the sophomore class contained none; the junior, one; and the senior only had eight or nine. By the year 1800, it was reported that there were only five students who were members of the college church.”

Nor was Yale the only college so affected. We read the following about Princeton: “in the year 1782 there were only two students in the entire body who professed to be Christians.”

We learn this about Williams College: (The following was written by a member of the first class to graduate from the college): “Respecting the religious state of things in the College during my residence in it, I have no favorable account to give. It was the time of the French Revolution, which was, at that time, very popular with almost all the people in that part of the country. French liberty and French philosophy poured in upon us like a flood; and seemed to sweep everything serious before it.” So great was the flood of infidelity that we read further of still another college: “So great had been the common danger at Dartmouth College that in the class of 1799 only one member would openly make acknowledgment of his belief in Christianity.”

Nor was Adams the only man of the Founding Fathers who embraced the infidelity of the French Revolution. Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence, yet Jefferson permitted Dr. Thomas Cooper, a rank infidel, to teach in the University of Virginia until opposition made it necessary that he resign.

We could use many pages to show the terrible religious condition of the country at the time of the War of Independence. Thank God there arose men who met the infidelic challenge and defeated it. Are we brave enough to meet the present challenge? We have more evidence today to show that the claims of the infidel are false than they had then.

The following gives us some idea of what happened as the battle was joined in the “good old days”: “The turbulent wave of French infidelity and aggressive English deism almost simultaneously encroached upon the American continent. As these forces moved in upon the various phases of life, there began a counter move which grew stronger and stronger in zeal and intensity” (page 95).

One of the leaders in this fight was Timothy Dwight, many years President of Yale. I quote from him: “Dwight recognized the significance for mankind of words like Reason and Liberty; but to worship abstract terms seemed to him idolatry as meaningless as that of the heathen who bowed down before a sacred cow or stone. It was beyond his understanding how intelligent man could idolize a bare word, sacrificing at its shrine the very thing which it denoted” (page 97).

As we look at history, the French groaned under oppression, they talked of liberty, but what did they do? They turned their so-called liberty into an orgy of pillage and murder. The Communists talk of liberty for the masses but no force has ever so subjected the masses to abject suffering as the Communists have. Jesus said: “I came that they might have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). True liberty is only found in Christ. Sin always brings bondage and slavery.

I think we can do no better than to quote Mark Hopkins who was president of Williams College from 1836 to 1872. (President Garfield was one of his students and is reputed to have said: “A log with a student at one end and Mark Hopkins at the other is my ideal college.”) Hopkins believed that the evidence was conclusive in favor of Christianity. He contended that Christianity is supported by moral evidence.

If any one would care to look around they can see how true this is. In many things we all stumble but the deeper the faith in the Bible the higher the moral standard. He that would question this must close his eyes to all the evidence around him.

Hopkins further said: “Hume does not take into account the moral government of God at all. This is a great mistake.” Our quotation from Filbeck continues: “He (Hopkins) significantly stated that 'moral government of God is a movement in a line onwards toward some grand consummation, in which the principles, indeed, are ever the same, but the developments are ever new, in which, therefore, no experience of the past can indicate with certainty what new openings of truth, what new manifestations of goodness, what new phases of morals may appear'.”

We follow the reasoning of Hopkins further: “Hopkins took special notice of the question of divine revelation -- a revelation attested by miraculous demonstration; for whatever probability there was that there would be a revelation, the same was there that there would be miracles; because miracles so far as we can see, are the only means by which it would be possible for God to authenticate a communication to man” (page 106).

The assailants change but the battle does not change. We must put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand in that evil day. The forces of right are much stronger than the forces of evil but we shall not succeed if we think that we can reach heaven on flowery beds of ease. Others fought and were victorious. There is no question about the outcome if we are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

J. C. Bailey, 1979, Weyburn, Saskatchewan

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

Bible Reading June 1-3 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading June 1-3
World English Bible


June 1
Judges 21

Jdg 21:1 Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpah, saying, There shall not any of us give his daughter to Benjamin as wife.
Jdg 21:2 The people came to Bethel, and sat there until evening before God, and lifted up their voices, and wept sore.
Jdg 21:3 They said, Yahweh, the God of Israel, why has this happened in Israel, that there should be today one tribe lacking in Israel?
Jdg 21:4 It happened on the next day that the people rose early, and built there an altar, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.
Jdg 21:5 The children of Israel said, Who is there among all the tribes of Israel who didn't come up in the assembly to Yahweh? For they had made a great oath concerning him who didn't come up to Yahweh to Mizpah, saying, He shall surely be put to death.
Jdg 21:6 The children of Israel grieved for Benjamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day.
Jdg 21:7 How shall we do for wives for those who remain, seeing we have sworn by Yahweh that we will not give them of our daughters to wives?
Jdg 21:8 They said, What one is there of the tribes of Israel who didn't come up to Yahweh to Mizpah? Behold, there came none to the camp from Jabesh Gilead to the assembly.
Jdg 21:9 For when the people were numbered, behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead there.
Jdg 21:10 The congregation sent there twelve thousand men of the most valiant, and commanded them, saying, Go and strike the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the little ones.
Jdg 21:11 This is the thing that you shall do: you shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman who has lain by man.
Jdg 21:12 They found among the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead four hundred young virgins, who had not known man by lying with him; and they brought them to the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.
Jdg 21:13 The whole congregation sent and spoke to the children of Benjamin who were in the rock of Rimmon, and proclaimed peace to them.
Jdg 21:14 Benjamin returned at that time; and they gave them the women whom they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh Gilead: and yet so they weren't enough for them.
Jdg 21:15 The people grieved for Benjamin, because that Yahweh had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.
Jdg 21:16 Then the elders of the congregation said, How shall we do for wives for those who remain, seeing the women are destroyed out of Benjamin?
Jdg 21:17 They said, There must be an inheritance for those who are escaped of Benjamin, that a tribe not be blotted out from Israel.
Jdg 21:18 However we may not give them wives of our daughters, for the children of Israel had sworn, saying, Cursed be he who gives a wife to Benjamin.
Jdg 21:19 They said, Behold, there is a feast of Yahweh from year to year in Shiloh, which is on the north of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.
Jdg 21:20 They commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards,
Jdg 21:21 and see, and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in the dances, then come out of the vineyards, and each man catch his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.
Jdg 21:22 It shall be, when their fathers or their brothers come to complain to us, that we will say to them, Grant them graciously to us, because we didn't take for each man his wife in battle, neither did you give them to them, else you would now be guilty.
Jdg 21:23 The children of Benjamin did so, and took them wives, according to their number, of those who danced, whom they carried off: and they went and returned to their inheritance, and built the cities, and lived in them.
Jdg 21:24 The children of Israel departed there at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they went out from there every man to his inheritance.
Jdg 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

June 2
Ruth 1, 2

Rth 1:1 It happened in the days when the judges judged, that there was a famine in the land. A certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
Rth 1:2 The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. They came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
Rth 1:3 Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons.
Rth 1:4 They took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they lived there about ten years.
Rth 1:5 Mahlon and Chilion both died, and the woman was bereaved of her two children and of her husband.
Rth 1:6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that Yahweh had visited his people in giving them bread.
Rth 1:7 She went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.
Rth 1:8 Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each of you to her mother's house: Yahweh deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead, and with me.
Rth 1:9 Yahweh grant you that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voice, and wept.
Rth 1:10 They said to her, No, but we will return with you to your people.
Rth 1:11 Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why do you want to go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
Rth 1:12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should even have a husband tonight, and should also bear sons;
Rth 1:13 would you therefore wait until they were grown? would you therefore stay from having husbands? nay, my daughters, for it grieves me much for your sakes, for the hand of Yahweh is gone forth against me.
Rth 1:14 They lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth joined with her.
Rth 1:15 She said, Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people, and to her god: return after your sister-in-law.
Rth 1:16 Ruth said, "Don't entreat me to leave you, and to return from following after you, for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God;
Rth 1:17 where you die, will I die, and there will I be buried: Yahweh do so to me, and more also, if anything but death part you and me."
Rth 1:18 When she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go with her, she left off speaking to her.
Rth 1:19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. It happened, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and the women said, Is this Naomi?
Rth 1:20 She said to them, "Don't call me Naomi, call me Mara; for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
Rth 1:21 I went out full, and Yahweh has brought me home again empty; why do you call me Naomi, seeing Yahweh has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?"
Rth 1:22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, with her, who returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

Rth 2:1 Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech, and his name was Boaz.
Rth 2:2 Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor. She said to her, Go, my daughter.
Rth 2:3 She went, and came and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.
Rth 2:4 Behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, Yahweh be with you. They answered him, Yahweh bless you.
Rth 2:5 Then said Boaz to his servant who was set over the reapers, Whose young lady is this?
Rth 2:6 The servant who was set over the reapers answered, It is the Moabite lady who came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:
Rth 2:7 She said, Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves. So she came, and has continued even from the morning until now, except that she stayed a little in the house.
Rth 2:8 Then said Boaz to Ruth, Don't you hear, my daughter? Don't go to glean in another field, neither pass from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens.
Rth 2:9 Let your eyes be on the field that they reap, and go after them: haven't I commanded the young men not to touch you? and when you are thirsty, go to the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.
Rth 2:10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said to him, Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take knowledge of me, seeing I am a foreigner?
Rth 2:11 Boaz answered her, It has fully been shown me, all that you have done to your mother-in-law since the death of your husband; and how you have left your father and your mother, and the land of your birth, and have come to a people that you didn't know before.
Rth 2:12 May Yahweh repay your work, and a full reward be given you from Yahweh, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.
Rth 2:13 Then she said, Let me find favor in your sight, my lord, because you have comforted me, and because you have spoken kindly to your handmaid, though I am not as one of your handmaidens.
Rth 2:14 At meal time Boaz said to her, Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your morsel in the vinegar. She sat beside the reapers, and they reached her parched grain, and she ate, and was sufficed, and left of it.
Rth 2:15 When she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and don't reproach her.
Rth 2:16 Also pull out some for her from the bundles, and leave it, and let her glean, and don't rebuke her.
Rth 2:17 So she gleaned in the field until even; and she beat out that which she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley.
Rth 2:18 She took it up, and went into the city; and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth and gave to her that which she had left after she was sufficed.
Rth 2:19 Her mother-in-law said to her, Where have you gleaned today? and where have you worked? blessed be he who did take knowledge of you. She showed her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, The man's name with whom I worked today is Boaz.
Rth 2:20 Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, Blessed be he of Yahweh, who has not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. Naomi said to her, The man is a close relative to us, one of our near kinsmen.
Rth 2:21 Ruth the Moabitess said, Yes, he said to me, You shall stay close to my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.
Rth 2:22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his maidens, and that they not meet you in any other field.
Rth 2:23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz, to glean to the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and she lived with her mother-in-law.

June 3
Ruth 3, 4

Rth 3:1 Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you?
Rth 3:2 Now isn't Boaz our kinsman, with whose maidens you were? Behold, he winnows barley tonight in the threshing floor.
Rth 3:3 Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself, and put your clothing on yourself, and go down to the threshing floor, but don't make yourself known to the man, until he has finished eating and drinking.
Rth 3:4 It shall be, when he lies down, that you shall mark the place where he shall lie, and you shall go in, and uncover his feet, and lay down; then he will tell you what you shall do.
Rth 3:5 She said to her, All that you say I will do.
Rth 3:6 She went down to the threshing floor, and did according to all that her mother-in-law told her.
Rth 3:7 When Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.
Rth 3:8 It happened at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself; and behold, a woman lay at his feet.
Rth 3:9 He said, Who are you? She answered, I am Ruth your handmaid: spread therefore your skirt over your handmaid; for you are a near kinsman.
Rth 3:10 He said, Blessed are you by Yahweh, my daughter: you have shown more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as you didn't follow young men, whether poor or rich.
Rth 3:11 Now, my daughter, don't be afraid; I will do to you all that you say; for all the city of my people does know that you are a worthy woman.
Rth 3:12 Now it is true that I am a near kinsman; however there is a kinsman nearer than I.
Rth 3:13 Stay this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform for you the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman for you, then will I do the part of a kinsman for you, as Yahweh lives: lie down until the morning.
Rth 3:14 She lay at his feet until the morning. She rose up before one could discern another. For he said, Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.
Rth 3:15 He said, Bring the mantle that is on you, and hold it; and she held it; and he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and he went into the city.
Rth 3:16 When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, Who are you, my daughter? She told her all that the man had done to her.
Rth 3:17 She said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said, "Don't go empty to your mother-in-law."
Rth 3:18 Then she said, "Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will fall; for the man will not rest, until he has finished the thing this day."

Rth 4:1 Now Boaz went up to the gate, and sat him down there: and behold, the near kinsman of whom Boaz spoke came by; to whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. He turned aside, and sat down.
Rth 4:2 He took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit down here. They sat down.
Rth 4:3 He said to the near kinsman, Naomi, who has come back out of the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's:
Rth 4:4 I thought to disclose it to you, saying, Buy it before those who sit here, and before the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it: but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is none to redeem it besides you; and I am after you. He said, I will redeem it.
Rth 4:5 Then said Boaz, On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must buy it also from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance.
Rth 4:6 The near kinsman said, I can't redeem it for myself, lest I mar my own inheritance: take my right of redemption on you; for I can't redeem it.
Rth 4:7 Now this was the custom in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning exchanging, to confirm all things: a man drew off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel.
Rth 4:8 So the near kinsman said to Boaz, Buy it for yourself. He drew off his shoe.
Rth 4:9 Boaz said to the elders, and to all the people, You are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.
Rth 4:10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance, that the name of the dead not be cut off from among his brothers, and from the gate of his place: you are witnesses this day.
Rth 4:11 All the people who were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. Yahweh make the woman who has come into your house like Rachel and like Leah, which two built the house of Israel: and treat you worthily in Ephrathah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
Rth 4:12 and let your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, of the seed which Yahweh shall give you of this young woman.
Rth 4:13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he went in to her, and Yahweh gave her conception, and she bore a son.
Rth 4:14 The women said to Naomi, Blessed be Yahweh, who has not left you this day without a near kinsman; and let his name be famous in Israel.
Rth 4:15 He shall be to you a restorer of life, and sustain you in your old age, for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.
Rth 4:16 Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse to it.
Rth 4:17 The women her neighbors gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they named him Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Rth 4:18 Now this is the history of the generations of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron,
Rth 4:19 and Hezron became the father of Ram, and Ram became the father of Amminadab,
Rth 4:20 and Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon became the father of Salmon,
Rth 4:21 and Salmon became the father of Boaz, and Boaz became the father of Obed,
Rth 4:22 and Obed became the father of Jesse, and Jesse became the father of David. 
  
Jun. 1, 2
John 9

Joh 9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.
Joh 9:2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Joh 9:3 Jesus answered, "Neither did this man sin, nor his parents; but, that the works of God might be revealed in him.
Joh 9:4 I must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day. The night is coming, when no one can work.
Joh 9:5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
Joh 9:6 When he had said this, he spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, anointed the blind man's eyes with the mud,
Joh 9:7 and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means "Sent"). So he went away, washed, and came back seeing.
Joh 9:8 The neighbors therefore, and those who saw that he was blind before, said, "Isn't this he who sat and begged?"
Joh 9:9 Others were saying, "It is he." Still others were saying, "He looks like him." He said, "I am he."
Joh 9:10 They therefore were asking him, "How were your eyes opened?"
Joh 9:11 He answered, "A man called Jesus made mud, anointed my eyes, and said to me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash.' So I went away and washed, and I received sight."
Joh 9:12 Then they asked him, "Where is he?" He said, "I don't know."
Joh 9:13 They brought him who had been blind to the Pharisees.
Joh 9:14 It was a Sabbath when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.
Joh 9:15 Again therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight. He said to them, "He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and I see."
Joh 9:16 Some therefore of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, because he doesn't keep the Sabbath." Others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" There was division among them.
Joh 9:17 Therefore they asked the blind man again, "What do you say about him, because he opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet."
Joh 9:18 The Jews therefore did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight,
Joh 9:19 and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?"
Joh 9:20 His parents answered them, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind;
Joh 9:21 but how he now sees, we don't know; or who opened his eyes, we don't know. He is of age. Ask him. He will speak for himself."
Joh 9:22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if any man would confess him as Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.
Joh 9:23 Therefore his parents said, "He is of age. Ask him."
Joh 9:24 So they called the man who was blind a second time, and said to him, "Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner."
Joh 9:25 He therefore answered, "I don't know if he is a sinner. One thing I do know: that though I was blind, now I see."
Joh 9:26 They said to him again, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?"
Joh 9:27 He answered them, "I told you already, and you didn't listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don't also want to become his disciples, do you?"
Joh 9:28 They insulted him and said, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.
Joh 9:29 We know that God has spoken to Moses. But as for this man, we don't know where he comes from."
Joh 9:30 The man answered them, "How amazing! You don't know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.
Joh 9:31 We know that God doesn't listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshipper of God, and does his will, he listens to him.
Joh 9:32 Since the world began it has never been heard of that anyone opened the eyes of someone born blind.
Joh 9:33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."
Joh 9:34 They answered him, "You were altogether born in sins, and do you teach us?" They threw him out.
Joh 9:35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and finding him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of God?"
Joh 9:36 He answered, "Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?"
Joh 9:37 Jesus said to him, "You have both seen him, and it is he who speaks with you."
Joh 9:38 He said, "Lord, I believe!" and he worshiped him.
Joh 9:39 Jesus said, "I came into this world for judgment, that those who don't see may see; and that those who see may become blind."
Joh 9:40 Those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and said to him, "Are we also blind?"
Joh 9:41 Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains.

Jun. 3, 4
John 10

Joh 10:1 "Most certainly, I tell you, one who doesn't enter by the door into the sheep fold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
Joh 10:2 But one who enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.
Joh 10:4 Whenever he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5 They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they don't know the voice of strangers."
Joh 10:6 Jesus spoke this parable to them, but they didn't understand what he was telling them.
Joh 10:7 Jesus therefore said to them again, "Most certainly, I tell you, I am the sheep's door.
Joh 10:8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn't listen to them.
Joh 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved, and will go in and go out, and will find pasture.
Joh 10:10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.
Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Joh 10:12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who doesn't own the sheep, sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep, and flees. The wolf snatches the sheep, and scatters them.
Joh 10:13 The hired hand flees because he is a hired hand, and doesn't care for the sheep.
Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and I'm known by my own;
Joh 10:15 even as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one shepherd.
Joh 10:17 Therefore the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.
Joh 10:18 No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down by myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. I received this commandment from my Father."
Joh 10:19 Therefore a division arose again among the Jews because of these words.
Joh 10:20 Many of them said, "He has a demon, and is insane! Why do you listen to him?"
Joh 10:21 Others said, "These are not the sayings of one possessed by a demon. It isn't possible for a demon to open the eyes of the blind, is it?"
Joh 10:22 It was the Feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem.
Joh 10:23 It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in Solomon's porch.
Joh 10:24 The Jews therefore came around him and said to him, "How long will you hold us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Joh 10:25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you don't believe. The works that I do in my Father's name, these testify about me.
Joh 10:26 But you don't believe, because you are not of my sheep, as I told you.
Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
Joh 10:28 I give eternal life to them. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of my Father's hand.
Joh 10:30 I and the Father are one."
Joh 10:31 Therefore Jews took up stones again to stone him.
Joh 10:32 Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of those works do you stone me?"
Joh 10:33 The Jews answered him, "We don't stone you for a good work, but for blasphemy: because you, being a man, make yourself God."
Joh 10:34 Jesus answered them, "Isn't it written in your law, 'I said, you are gods?'
Joh 10:35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture can't be broken),
Joh 10:36 do you say of him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You blaspheme,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God?'
Joh 10:37 If I don't do the works of my Father, don't believe me.
Joh 10:38 But if I do them, though you don't believe me, believe the works; that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."
Joh 10:39 They sought again to seize him, and he went out of their hand.
Joh 10:40 He went away again beyond the Jordan into the place where John was baptizing at first, and there he stayed.
Joh 10:41 Many came to him. They said, "John indeed did no sign, but everything that John said about this man is true."
Joh 10:42 Many believed in him there.