3/18/19

"THE EPISTLE OF JAMES" A Servant Of God And The Lord Jesus Christ (1:1) by Mark Copeland


"THE EPISTLE OF JAMES"

A Servant Of God And The Lord Jesus Christ (1:1)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our introductory study, we concluded that James, the Lord's
   brother, was most likely the author

2. If this is so, then it is interesting that James does not identify
   himself as such, but rather as simply "a servant of God and of the
   Lord Jesus Christ" (1:1)

3. Perhaps it was a case of humility; yet, calling himself a "servant"
   was not peculiar to James
   a. Paul described himself as such as well - Ro 1:1; Php 1:1
   b. So did Peter (2Pe 1:1) and Jude (Jude 1)

4. Why did these men refer to themselves as "servants"?
   a. The Greek term (DOULOS) literally means "a slave"
   b. Why use such a term to describe themselves?
   c. And why should WE think of ourselves as "servants"?

5. In this lesson, I shall explain why, and make some other observations
   concerning the idea of being a servant

[First of all...]

I. BEING A SERVANT IS "WHAT A DISCIPLE OF JESUS IS CALLED TO BE"

   A. JESUS STRESSED THIS TRUTH ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS...
      1. While pointing out the faults of the scribes and Pharisees
         - Mt 23:8-12
      2. During the Last Supper, with a vivid demonstration of servitude
         - Jn 13:12-17
      3. Even by His own example, as He came to serve - Mt 20:25-28;Php 2:5-8

   B. SPECIFICALLY, WE ARE CALLED TO SERVE...
      1. God - Jm 1:1; He 9:14
      2. Jesus Christ - Jm 1:1; 1Co 4:1
      3. Righteousness - Ro 6:17-18
      4. Each other - Ga 5:13; 1Co 9:19-23

[The early Christians called themselves "servants", because that is what
they were!

But what is so good about being a "servant"?  For one thing...]

II. BEING A SERVANT IS "A MARK OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY"

   A. AN IMMATURE PERSON IS USUALLY VERY SELFISH...
      1. For example, newborn babies are very ego-centrical
      2. Normally, as people grow older, they begin to concern themselves
         with the needs of others
         a. If they do, they are becoming mature
         b. If they remain selfish, it is an indication of immaturity

   B. A PERSON WHO SERVES OTHERS...
      1. Is certainly not selfish, but concerned with the needs of others
      2. And thereby demonstrates mature behavior

   C. JAMES' DESCRIPTION OF HIMSELF FITS IN VERY WELL WITH THE "THEME"
      OF HIS EPISTLE...
      1. Remember, the theme is:  MARKS OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY
      2. By being a servant, James is demonstrating his own spiritualmaturity
      3. And we can make the point that one of the marks of spiritual
         maturity is truly being "a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus
         Christ"!

[Are we trying to be servants of God, and of His Son, the Lord Jesus
Christ?  If so, then we are on the road to spiritual maturity!

But before we answer too hastily, let's consider that...]

III. BEING A SERVANT HAS SEVERAL "IMPLICATIONS"

   A. IT IMPLIES "ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE"...
      1. In a slave-master relationship...
         a. The slave knows no law but his master's word
         b. He has no rights of his own
         c. He is the absolute possession of his master
         d. He is bound to give his master unquestioning obedience
      2. Does this describe our relationship to Christ?
         a. It should, especially in light of 1Co 6:19-20
         b. We have to come to Jesus on HIS terms, not our own 
            - Lk 6:46; Mt 7:21

   B. IT IMPLIES "ABSOLUTE HUMILITY"...
      1. Otherwise, absolute obedience is not possible
         a. When we have a humble opinion of ourselves, we are receptive
            to the idea of complete obedience
         b. For example, consider Paul's self-estimation 
            - 1Co 15:9-10;Ep 3:8; 1Ti 1:15
      2. Does this describe our relationship to Christ and His Will?
         a. Jesus said it should! - Lk 17:10
         b. But if we murmur or complain about what Jesus tells us to do,
            can we really be considered "servants"?

   C. IT IMPLIES "ABSOLUTE LOYALTY"...
      1. Since we become servants FREELY, it should be expected that we:
         a. Are to be loyal to Him first - cf. Ga 1:10
         b. Do not consider our own profit or preference important, but
            that of the One we freely serve!
      2. But it is amazing how anyone can claim to be servants of the
         Lord Jesus Christ, while:
         a. Complaining about having to do the will of God, OR...
         b. Being negligent or slothful in carrying out His will
      3. But some act as though they are being forced against their own will!
         a. They don't "have to" serve the Lord Jesus...
            1) Of course, the alternative is not very inviting
            2) If we don't serve Jesus, by default we serve Satan, and
               are destined for hell!
         b. But God by His grace has offered salvation, and how dare we
            ever grumble or complain that He calls us to life of service
            in grateful appreciation!

[These are some of the implications of being called a "servant".  It
is costly in terms of service, pride, and allegiance.

But consider also that...]

IV. BEING A SERVANT IS "A GREAT HONOR"

   A. FAR FROM BEING A TITLE OF DISHONOR, IT WAS THE TITLE BY WHICH THE
      GREATEST MEN OF THE OLD TESTAMENT WERE KNOWN...
      1. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob - Deut 9:27 ("Thy servants")
      2. Moses - 1Ki 8:53 ("Thy servant")
      3. Joshua - Josh 24:29 ("Servant of the Lord")
      4. Caleb - Num 14:24 ("My servant")
      5. Job - Job 1:8 ("My servant")
      6. Isaiah - Isa 20:3 ("My servant")
      7. The prophets - Jer 7:25 ("My servants")

   B. HOW WONDERFUL IT WOULD BE IF GOD LOOKED UPON US AS COMPANIONS OF
      THESE GREAT MEN...
      1. Who found freedom, peace, and glory!
      2. Who found it in perfect submission to the Will of God!

CONCLUSION

1. He will, IF we are willing to accept the call to serve Him and His
   Son Jesus Christ with...
   a. Absolute obedience
   b. Absolute humility
   c. Absolute loyalty

2. And when we are serving God, His Son Jesus Christ, and even each other
   in this manner, we are making great strides towards SPIRITUAL
   MATURITY!

"...a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ" - can this be said
of us?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Don’t Bank Your Bucks in Big Bang Theory by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1483

Don’t Bank Your Bucks in Big Bang Theory

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


For the past several decades, untold millions of students around the world have been taught that the Universe and everything in it is the result of a tiny ball of matter exploding 13-15 billion years ago (e.g., Hurd, et al., 1992, p. 61). Immediately following this “big bang,” the exploding material supposedly expanded in less than a millisecond to cause “most of the growth” of the 14-billion-light-year observable Universe (see Coles, 2007). This expansion, called “inflation,” has purportedly been “well established as an essential component of cosmology” (Coles, 2007, p. 33, emp. added). In fact, in an article penned in 2007 titled “Boomtime,” Dr. Peter Coles recognized that the theory of “[i]nflation puts the ‘bang’ in the big bang” (p. 36). Now, however, scientists are inching closer and closer to the conclusion that “the theory seems to have failed” (Brooks, 2008, 198[2659]:31).
The journal New Scientist recently ran an article by Michael Brooks titled “Inflation Deflated” (2008, 198[2659]:30-33). In the article, Brooks admitted that “[i]nflation is arguably the most important theoretical idea in cosmology since the big bang” (p. 31). Inflationary theory has “suggested that the major problems in cosmology could be solved if the universe had blown up like a balloon, inflatingfaster than the speed of light in the moments after its birth” (p. 31, emp. added). Yet now, the theory first proposed nearly 30 years ago to solve “major problems” with big bang cosmology, and the theory that has been advanced in classrooms all over the world as fact, is sheepishly “starting to look a little vulnerable” (p. 31). “[T]he theory seems to have failed,” wrote Brooks. Why? First, “there is the lack of any solid scientific idea for why or how inflation might have happened” (p. 32, emp. added). Second, “satellite measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation...seem to contradict the predictions of inflation” (p. 31). In short, although Brooks and others believe it is still “too early to say that simple inflation is definitely on the skids” (p. 33), “the theory seems to have failed” (p. 31). Atheistic cosmology’s “best theory of the early universe is starting to look a tad insecure” (p. 30, emp. added).
That must surely be a depressing thought to atheists: their “best theory” for the origin of the cosmos is “insecure,” lacking “any solid scientific idea for why or how inflation might have happened.” A better alternative to ultimate origins is found in the first verse of the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth” (Genesis 1:1). “For He commanded and they were created” (Psalm 148:5). So, “[l]ift up your eyes on high, and see Who has created these things” (Isaiah 40:26).

REFERENCES

Brooks, Michael (2008), “Inflation Deflated,” New Scientist, 198[2659]:30-33, June 7.
Coles, Peter (2007), “Boomtime,” New Scientist, 193[2593]:33-37, March 3.
Hurd, Dean, George Mathias, and Susan Johnson, eds. (1992), General ScienceA Voyage of Discovery (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall).

Does the Holy Spirit Know When Jesus Will Return? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1650

Does the Holy Spirit Know When Jesus Will Return?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


One question that various individuals have submitted to Apologetics Press in recent years involves the Second Coming of Christ and the omniscience of the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4) and thus omniscient (Psalm 139), why did Jesus say about His return, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32, emp. added)? Why would the “Father alone” (Matthew 24:36, NASB) be aware of the time of Jesus’ Second Coming? Does this awareness exclude the Holy Spirit?
When Jesus came to Earth in the flesh, He willingly “made Himself of no reputation” (Philippians 2:7; He “emptied Himself”—NASB). He moved from the spiritual realm to put on flesh (John 1:14) and voluntarily became subject to such burdens as hunger, thirst, weariness, and pain. Our omnipotent, omniscient, holy God chose to come into this world as a helpless babe Who, for the first time in His eternal existence, “increased in wisdom” (Luke 2:52). While on Earth in the flesh, Jesus was voluntarily in a subordinate position to the Father (cf. Jackson, 1995).
It has been suggested that, similar to how Jesus chose not to know certain information while on Earth, including the date of His return, perhaps the Holy Spirit also willingly restricted Himself to some degree during the first century (see Holding, 2012). Perhaps the special role of the Holy Spirit in the first century in regards to spiritual and miraculous gifts (Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 12:7), special revelation (John 14:26; 16:13), divine inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16), intercession (Romans 8:26), etc., is somewhat similar to the role that Christ played. That is, could it be that both God the Son and God the Spirit voluntarily restricted their knowledge on Earth in the first century? And thus, could that be why Jesus said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32, emp. added)? Considering that a number of Christians and scholars believe that even God the Father may freely choose to limit His own knowledge of certain things (cf. Brents, 1874, pp. 74-87; Camp, n.d.), many would likely explain Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36 by contending that the Holy Spirit freely limited His knowledge for a time regarding Christ’s return.
Given especially the indisputable fact that the Son of God voluntarily chose not to know certain things for a time, it may be possible that the Holy Spirit could choose the same. However, the Holy Spirit Himself revealed through the apostle Paul that He, the Spirit, “searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10-11). Furthermore, there are no explicit statements in Scripture about the Holy Spirit’s willful unawareness of certain things as there are about Jesus (Mark 13:32; cf. Luke 2:52). All one can cite is Jesus’ statement about “only the Father” knowing the date of the Son’s return and conclude that this declaration implies the Spirit of God was unaware of that day. What’s more, in context, Jesus placed much more emphasis on the words “no one knows” than the qualifying statements “not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son.” Jesus wanted His hearers to understand that just as those in Noah’s day “did not know” the day of the Flood (Matthew 24:39, emp. added) and just as the servants in the parable of the servants “do not know when the master of the house is coming” (Mark 13:35, emp. added; Matthew 24:50), so “you do not know what hour the Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42, emp. added; Mark 13:33). Thus, Jesus taught the all-important central message in these chapters of “watching” and being “ready” for the unknown time of Christ’s return (Matthew 24:36-25:46; Mark 13:32-37). Even though we may learn something of the Messiah’s voluntary, self-imposed emptying of some of His omniscience (Mark 13:32), Jesus’ “purpose was not to define the limits of his theological knowledge, but to indicate that vigilance, not calculation, is required” (Lane, 1974, p. 482)—a lesson that all “end-of-time” false prophets need to learn.
Rather than quickly dismiss the omniscience of the Holy Spirit during a particular period of time in human history, a better explanation exists: expressions such as “no one,” “only,” “except,” “all,” etc. are oftentimes used in a limited sense. Consider what Paul revealed in Romans 3: “Jews and Greeks…are all under sin. As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one…. They have allturned aside… there is none who does good, no, not one” (vss. 9,10,12, emp. added). In this passage, Paul was stressing the fact that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), but he was using these inclusive and exclusive terms (e.g., “all,” “none”) in a somewhat limited sense. Paul was obviously not including Jesus in this passage, as elsewhere he wrote that Jesus “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21; cf. Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 1:19). Neither was he including infants (see Butt, 2003), the mentally challenged, or angels. Who then has sinned? All humans of an accountable mind and age (see Miller, 2003), with the obvious exception being the sinless Son of God.
In John 17:3, Jesus prayed to the Father, saying, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, theonly true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3, emp. added). Are we to believe, as some do (cf. “Is There Only…?” 2009), that Jesus was implying neither He nor the Holy Spirit is divine? Not at all. Rather, when the Bible reveals that there is only one God, one Savior, one Lord, one Creator (Isaiah 44:24; John 1:3), etc., reason and revelation demand that we understand the inspired writers to be excluding everyone and everything—other than the members of the Godhead(see Lyons, 2008). Throughout the Gospel of John, the writer repeatedly referred to Jesus’ deity (1:1,3,23; 4:25; 9:38; 10:30-33; 20:28)—Jesus most certainly was not denying it in John 17:3. Unless the biblical text specifically mentions what a member of the Godhead does not know or do, we should be careful alleging ignorance, limited power, etc.
In Matthew 11:27, Jesus stated: “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (emp. added). Are we to believe that the Spirit of God does not fully comprehend the Son of God or God the Father? After all, Jesus said, “[N]o one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son.” Once again, the terms “no one,” “anyone,” and “except” must be understood in a limited sense. Jesus was in no way suggesting that the Spirit of God, Who “searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10), does not fully understand the Father as Jesus does. The Son of God was revealing that aside from the “one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matthew 11:27), “no man or angel clearly and fully comprehends the character of the infinite God…. None but God fully knows Him” (Barnes, 1997, emp. in orig.). Once again, Jesus was alluding to His deity. Mere humans cannot truthfully speak in this manner. “The full comprehension and acknowledgment of the Godhead, and the mystery of the Trinity, belong to God alone” (Clarke, 1996). Jesus was and is God. We should no more exclude the Holy Spirit from Jesus’ statement about Himself and God the Father in Matthew 11:27 than we should exclude the Father or the Son from Paul’s statement about the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 2:10-11.

CONCLUSION

It is unnecessary to conclude that the Holy Spirit must at one time have given up some of His omniscience because Jesus stated of His return. “[N]o one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” In light of the way in which God and the Bible writers oftentimes used exclusive terms in limited senses, especially as those terms relate to the Godhead, it cannot be proven that Jesus was excluding the Spirit of God in this statement. If we should not exclude Jesus and the Holy Spirit from the God that Jesus praised in John 17:3, and we should not exclude the Holy Spirit from the Divine that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 11:27, it seems entirely unnecessary to infer that in Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36 Christ was implying that the Holy Spirit was unaware of the day of His return.

REFERENCES

Barnes, Albert (1997), Barnes’ Notes (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Brents, T.W. (1874), The Gospel Plan of Salvation (Bowling Green, KY: Guardian of Truth Foundation, 1987 reprint).
Butt, Kyle (2003), “Do Babies Go to Hell When They Die?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=1201.
Camp, Franklin (no date) “1 Peter 1:1-2,” Redemption Through the Bible (Adamsville, AL: Brother’s).
Clarke, Adam (1996), Adam Clarke’s Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Holding, James (2012), “Mark 13:32 and the Holy Spirit,” Tekton, http://www.tektonics.org/lp/mk1332.html.
“Is There Only One True God?” (2009), Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site, http://www.watchtower.org/e/200602b/article_01.htm.
Jackson, Wayne (1995), “Did Jesus Exist in the Form of God While on Earth?” Reason & Revelation, 15[3]:21-22, March, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=354.
Lane, William (1974), The Gospel of Mark (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Lyons, Eric (2008), “The Only True God,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=983#.
Miller, Dave (2003), “The Age of Accountability,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1202.

Does the God of the Bible Exist? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2314

Does the God of the Bible Exist?

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.





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Does God’s Existence Rest Upon Human Consensus? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2767


Does God’s Existence Rest Upon Human Consensus?

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Three minutes and 45 seconds into Dan Barker’s opening statement in our Darwin Day debate on February 12, 2009, he presented an argument that he has often used in other debates and writings. In his list of “probability” arguments, he included as his fifth argument against God’s existence the following comments: “There is no agreement among believers as to the nature or the moral principles of this God that they are arguing for. They all differ with each other” (Butt and Barker, 2009). According to Dan, since those professing Christianity come down on either side of moral issues such as abortion, divorce, and the death penalty, then the God Who wrote the Bible “in all probability” does not exist, and the Bible must not be a sufficient guide for human morality.
Is Dan correct in his assessment that disagreement among professed believers nullifies the existence of God? Certainly not! Barker is incorrect for a number of reasons, the majority of which are quite clear after the briefest consideration of the argument. First, we could simply say that Dan’s argument, used against his own brand of atheism, refutes itself, since he admits that atheists do not agree on moral issues. In his book godless, Barker stated: “Most atheists think that values, though not objective things in themselves, can be objectively justified by reference to the real world.... Although most atheists accept the importance of morality, this is not conceding that morality exists in the universe” (2008, p. 213-214, emp. added). Notice that Barker qualifies his statement with the word “most,” implying that some atheists do not see morality as he does. In his discussion of human free will, Barker wrote: “By the way, this contributes to my compatibilist position on human free will. (Not that all atheists agree with me.) I am an determinist, which means that I don’t think complete libertarian free will exists.... I admit that my definition of free will is subject to debate” (2008, p. 128, emp. added). If Barker’s statement about disagreement of professed believers is true, we could, with equal force, use it on atheism and say that since there is no agreement among atheists on moral issues, then atheism “in all probability” is false.
Of course, Barker does not want to extend his “truth” criterion to atheism. And his statement is inherently flawed in the first place. If two or more people disagreed on whether the holocaust happened, but they all professed to be honest historians, would their disagreement prove that there never was a holocaust? If two people, who both claim to be honest geographers, disagree on the fact that the continent of North America exists, would that negate its reality? Or if two or more people adamantly disagreed on the idea that Dan Barker exists, would his existence be jeopardized based on their disagreement? No, on every count. Agreement among people cannot be used as evidence of the truth or falsity of any proposition.
Barker’s atheistic colleague, Sam Harris, has eloquently written on this truth. He disagrees with many atheists about ethical questions. In spite of his atheism, he contends that objective right and wrong do exist (an impossible proposition for a true atheist to maintain, by the way). He wrote:
The fact that people of different times and cultures disagree about ethical questions should not trouble us. It suggests nothing at all about the status of moral truth. Imagine what it would be like to consult the finest thinkers of antiquity on questions of basic science: “What,” we might ask, “is fire? And how do living systems reproduce themselves? And what are the various lights we see in the night sky?” We would surely encounter a bewildering lack of consensus on these matters. Even though there was no shortage of brilliant minds in the ancient world, they simply lacked the physical and conceptual tools to answer questions of this sort. Their lack of consensus signified their ignorance of certain physical truths, not that no such truths exist (2004, p. 171, emp. added).
The irony of this quote from Harris is that it manifests the atheistic community’s lack of consensus on ethical issues, which should disprove atheism according to Barker’s line of reasoning. Furthermore, it hammers home the self-evident truth that consensus among professed followers of any concept or entity has no bearing on its existence or its claim to truth. Harris further remarked: “It is quite conceivable that everyone might agree and yet be wrong about the way the world is. It is also conceivable that a single person might be right in the face of unanimous opposition” (2004, pp. 181-182, emp. added).
While it is true that the lack of consensus on moral issues by those who profess Christianity does nothing to discount the existence of God, it is appropriate to ask why such disparity exists. Again, it is ironic that Dan Barker has answered his own question in this regard. In his speech, “How to be Moral Without Religion,” given at the University of Minnesota on October 19, 2006, Barker stated: “A tendency that we all have, we look through our documents to try to find what supports our already prejudice views about what we think morality should be like.” In one succinct sentence, Barker explained why there is a lack of consensus among professed believers on moral issues. It is not because God does not exist. It is not because the Bible is hopelessly confusing and cannot be understood. It is not because there is no objective moral truth. It is simply because humans bring their already prejudiced views to the text of the Bible and try to force it to say what they “think” it should say.

REFERENCES

Barker, Dan (2006), “How to be Moral Without Religion,” [On-line], URL:http://www.ffrf.org/about/bybarker/CASH1.mp3.
Barker, Dan (2008), godless (Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press).
Butt, Kyle and Dan Barker (2009), Butt/Barker Debate: Does the God of the Bible Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Harris, Sam (2004), The End of Faith (New York: W.W. Norton).

Your Next Step by Ben Fronczek

http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?p=1560

Your Next Step


Your Next Step        
Matthew 14:22-33  Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Whether you realize it or not, when we became a Christian, we all were given the opportunity to have a fresh start it was a new step as we entered into relationship with Jesus Christ by receiving Him as our Savior. When we accepted Him as our Lord and Savior and then allowed Him to remove our sin in the waters of baptism the Holy Spirit came into us and that’s when we became a new creation that fresh start. But the ever looming question at least for me is what should we do next? What is the next step we are to take now that we are born again? Maybe you don’t know what to do next.
As you know, this fresh start leads to eternal life. We have that eternal life the moment we enter into relationship with Jesus Christ. But to live the full and abundant life that Jesus came to give, is obtained through a series of next steps that make up the journey of life. There is a next step for everyone in this room today no matter where you are on the journey of life. There is a next step you can take as an individual, and there is a next step we can take collectively as a church. But if you and I do nothing, and don’t take that next step, we aren’t going to go anywhere new as an individual, nor collectively as a church. Nothing is going to change.
Maybe you have been a Christian for a while and the His Spirit is prompting you to take a step of faith that the Lord has placed in front of you: Maybe to – teach a Bible class or host a prayer and devotions time in your home. Maybe you feel like you are being prompted to start reaching out more to your neighbors and practice some friendship evangelism, or maybe you feel prompted to study and read more on your own. Or Maybe for you, you feel like God is prompting and challenging you to give more money or time to his cause as your next step. Those steps are meant to take us to a higher level.
I also believe we can be prompted and challenged as a group, as a church to take the next step. I personally feel that we are being prompted to take the next step as a church to more out of our present facility into an area where we can do more good, where there isn’t another church group on every other corner trying to do the same thing we are.
My dad had a saying regarding the success of a business. He use to say that a business will either go up and move forward, or go down and lose money, but it will rarely stay the same. In many ways I believe the same could be said of a church; it’s either going to grow, or lose members, its numbers won’t stay the same very long. And taking no new step to grow or change what’s not working will only lead to a downward spiral.
Whether as an individual, or as a congregation, if we choose not to take the next step, if we don’t do anything different than what we are doing, then we should not expect anything to change. If anything we will become stagnate and maybe even loose what we have.
So what do we need to take the next step on this journey of life so that we can experience the full and abundant life that Christ desires for us? In Matthew 14:22-31 Peter took some amazing steps. I believe we can learn something from this story that will help us take our next step on our journey. In Matt. 14, we read that Jesus had just finished performing the miracle of feeding the 5000. He fed 5000 men, not even including the women and children with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Everyone had finished eating and the disciples picked up 12 basketfuls of leftovers.
After that we read that He sent His disciples on ahead of Him in a boat to the other side of the lake. But later that night we read that He came to them walking on the water. After Jesus identified Himself, we read that Peter got out of the boat and takes an amazing step. Let’s learn from this Scripture what helped Peter take those first steps on water so that we might be able to take our next step in our journey. One of the first things we see is that taking the next step requires courage. In Matthew 14:27 Jesus said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “ When we find ourselves faced with what may be our next step in life, very often we feel a bit unsure and it can even be a bit scary. Maybe it involves a change in your job or even the prospect of starting a new job or career. Maybe it involves the prospect of moving to into a new home, an new church or even to a new area. Maybe it involves changing your life style or even talking to someone about your faith… There are so many new things that we may be prompted to do that can seem quite scary at first.
When faced with some of these things we don’t always know how we are going to make or get thru it. Peter could have thought the same thing but just before he stepped out of the boat but Jesus told them to, “take courage.”     In 2 Corinthians 5:7 Paul tells us to “live faith, not by sight.” But notice, He doesn’t just tell them to be courageous. Look at the reason He gives them to have courage. He said, “It is I.” (Ego eimi (ego amee) or   ‘I am’ Those are the same words that God used to declare His name, ‘I am.’                 Jesus is saying, ‘Take courage because it is Me, God in the flesh. There is no reason to be afraid when you trust in me.’ Now think about this a second. Jesus told them to not be afraid because it was Him, and that He was with them.
You may feel uneasy or afraid to take that next step… you may need more courage, the kind of courage that can come when someone else encouragesyou.
We can do amazing things when we believe that there is someone watching our back, rooting for us, and willing to give us the support we need if we need it. And when we believe and know that it is God prompting us to take that next step it will give us the extra measure of courage to take that step.
(Illustration: My daughter Hannah kissed her frightened daughter hand and told her to hold them close to her cheek if she got scared on her first bus ride to school. It gave her courage because she carried mom’s kiss was with her.)
Peter needed that encouragement, and when he got it, it was all that he needed to take that first step. There are times when we all need some extra courage, and even our church needs courage to take the next step. We have to believe that God had a plan and that Jesus has our back. But we need more than just courage to take the next step. It also requires obedience, actually stepping out and doing, or taking action.
Year ago I preached a sermon, and I have to admit, I don’t remember the name of the sermon or even what it was about, but one thing I do remember is an acronym I used in the lesson. It was the letters JDI, and those letters stood for, ‘Just Do It.’ I believe it was in reference to those Bible Characters who walked by faith. God prompted them and the JUST DID IT.
There come a point after you know what lies before you, and you have the courage to step out, where you just have to do it, no matter how hard it may seem, no matter what anyone else says. If you believe what lies before you is from God, it’s something that is good and will please Him, there comes a point you just have to have to stop putting it off and step out of the boat and take the first step like Peter.
Now there are some things you my be prompted to do that are not from God. You have to be very careful when it comes to those things. Obeying God is always the safe way to go. Notice something else here in this text. Peter steps our out the boat and begins to walks on the water, but then he begins to sink. Why, because he takes his eyes off Jesus and begins to focused on what was going on around him. His faith waivered and he began to sink. Notice a couple of things here: Peter was not walking on water by his own power. That would have been impossible. Rather Peter’s ability to walk on water was totally dependent on his faith in obeying Jesus.
I don’t think it took a super amount of faith to do what he did. Rather, at that moment in time, when Jesus said come, he simply had to take courage, trust Him, and then he had to just do it. But the more he thought about the water, and the waves, and what He was doing, that’s when he got in trouble.
I think that happens to us. Our next step is plainly clear to us, but then all of a sudden we start looking at everything else going on around us We start to over think what could happen if… and before we know it we take our eyes off Jesus and we begin to sink, or worst yet we don’t take a step in the first place.
But the story doesn’t end there. We read that the Lord was not willing to just let Peter sink and drown. He likewise can rescues us and give us more opportunities. Peter cried out“Lord, Save me.” and Jesus did. Jesus only gave him a little rebuke by saying, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” I wonder how often He says that to us? ‘Ben with my help you could have done this.’ ‘Church don’t you know that I had your back?’
Even though Peter did not persevere and hang in there that day, I believe he learned a lesson and went on to become a great leader who persevered in extreme situations because he learned to keep his eyes on Jesus. I believe God is interested in doing some amazing things in you and thru you, individually, and with us collectively as a church. What is the next step that the Lord has placed in front of you? In front of us? I believe that when the Lord has placed a step in front of you, or in front of us as a church it is impossible to move forward in our faith without first taking that step. Maybe that first step is trusting Him to give up some sin or bad habit you have in your life. Living according to His directives is really the best way to live.
Perhaps it is a step of faith to take on a new personal ministry, or maybe to start tithing or helping support a needy widow or even a missionary. Or maybe visiting other members or inviting them or others into your home for a meal. If the Lord has been laying something on your heart to take a step by serving Him, don’t get caught up in trying to over think it, JDI, just do it.
Maybe today you are feeling weak and weary and truly unable to take that next step. Ask the Lord for the courage to follow Him. Ask Him for the strength to be obedient. I don’t believe the Lord is going to give you anymore than you can handle. He’s not a slave driver, He is a God who is trying to encourage you to rise above your trials and burdens and even yourself so that you can serve Him in a way that will give you real joy and purpose. So are you ready to take the next step? Are we as a congregation ready to take the next step? Then we need to take courage and draw our strength from Him, like Peter, and JDI, Just Do It.
For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566
All comments can be emailed to: bfronzek@gmail.com

“Bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). by Roy Davison

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/bringthemup.html


“Bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

It is the responsibility of parents to discipline their children.
“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15).
“The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15).
“He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 13:24).
“Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:17).
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
“Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:9-11).
Let us examine an important text about raising children: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.’ And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1-4).

“Children obey your parents in the Lord.”
Children are told to obey their parents and their parents must teach them to obey.
To do this effectively, the parents must give the child a good example by obeying God themselves!
The man must fulfil his responsibility as leader in the home. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25). “Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them” (Colossians 3:19).
And the wife must submit to her husband. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord” (Colossians 3:18). “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church, and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:23, 24).
Notice that the children are to obey both parents. But how can children obey their parents if the parents tell them different things?
When there is conflict between the parents, some bad parents even use the children as a way to rebel against the other parent. This is very bad for the children and the children will try to use one parent against the other. If one parents tells them to do something, they will run to the other parent.
Parents must support each other’s authority. As head of the house, the father may overrule something his wife has said, but he may only do so if it is something very important. Otherwise he must support what his wife tells the children to do and punish them if they do not obey their mother.
The wife may not contradict what the father tells the children to do, but must support his authority. If she really thinks he is wrong, she should discuss it with him in private, and not in the presence of the children.
This all must be done in love. Then the children can learn to obey their parents.

“‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth’” (Ephesians 6:2, 3).
Children are to obey their parents for the child’s own good. Children lack experience and can end up having a very bad life, and may even die young because of not obeying their parents. “The eye that mocks his father, and scorns obedience to his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it” (Proverbs 30:17).
Parents who fail to teach their children to obey, harm their children and themselves. I know a couple in another country who told us once: “We do not invite that family into our home because their children do not behave. They pick up things that they should leave alone, and even break things. They do not obey their parents.” If you do not teach your children to obey, they and you will suffer. The children will also have trouble in school and in society if they do not learn obedience. And later they are more likely to also disobey God.

“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath” (Ephesians 6:4).
There are various ways that a father can provoke his children to wrath: if he is a hypocrite and demands things of his children that he does not do himself; if he is unfair in his dealing with his children; if he favors one child above another; if he is lazy and does not meet his responsibilities in the home. Children are not stupid. They know if they are being mistreated by their parents and this can make them very angry. This is not referring to a child not liking punishment. Of course a child does not like being punished. That is the whole idea of punishment! But if the father does something that the child knows is not right, it can cause the child to develop a deep-seated anger. Fathers must avoid provoking their children to wrath.
I want to show you an elephant. This paper weight is valuable to me personally because I remember it being on my father’s desk when I was seven years old. There was something else on his desk for which I had great respect: a ruler. My father spanked me with that ruler when I did something that was very bad. When I did “little things” that were wrong, my mother would give me a swat on my behind with her hand or she might even give me a real spanking with her hand. But if I did something serious, she would say: “I’m going to have to tell your father about that!” And then I knew I was in big trouble! But I never remember being punished by either of my parents when I did not know in my heart that I deserved it. I am thankful that my parents loved me enough to discipline me when I was a child.
Parents must have great respect for the children God gives them: “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10).
How you talk to your children is important. “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6). This also applies to how we talk to our children.
Children may never be abused verbally! My parents always treated me with respect, and I never remember either of my parents saying anything to me that was demeaning or caused me to question whether they respected me and loved me.
If you holler and scream at your children. They will holler and scream back at you. If you say disrespectful things to your children, that teaches them to say disrespectful things to others, including you.
You must be consistent and not make fake threats. If for example you say: “You do that one more time and you are getting a spanking.” They do it one more time, but you do not give them a spanking. That teaches them not to pay attention to anything you say. Be very careful about saying what you are going to do unless you really plan to do it.
I must also point out that there is a big difference between a spanking and a beating. You may never beat your child. A beating causes physical injury. A spanking does not cause injury. There is a good, well-padded place that is suitable for a spanking. It hurts a little but does no harm.
Also, never punish your child while you are out of control because of anger. It is alright to be angry, if you still have control of yourself and do not do or say something wrong because of your anger. It is good for a child to know that certain things make his parents angry. Certain things we do, make God angry!

“Bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
This means that we are to teach them about God. We spend much time and effort providing our children with nourishing food for their bodies. They also need spiritual food. Admonition refers to encouragement to do what is right. Training refers to teaching them to actually do what is right. We must know the word of God ourselves to teach it to our children. And we must live according to the word of God because example is the most powerful teacher.
Moses emphasized this to the people of Israel.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7).
“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 11:18, 19).
Bringing up children in the training and admonition of the Lord is a full-time job! Let us pray for wisdom and help.
Amen.

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.

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

Bible Reading March 18, 19 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading March 18, 19

World English Bible

Mar. 18
Exodus 30, 31

Exo 30:1 "You shall make an altar to burn incense on. You shall make it of acacia wood.
Exo 30:2 Its length shall be a cubit, and its breadth a cubit. It shall be square, and its height shall be two cubits. Its horns shall be of one piece with it.
Exo 30:3 You shall overlay it with pure gold, its top, its sides around it, and its horns; and you shall make a gold molding around it.
Exo 30:4 You shall make two golden rings for it under its molding; on its two ribs, on its two sides you shall make them; and they shall be for places for poles with which to bear it.
Exo 30:5 You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold.
Exo 30:6 You shall put it before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with you.
Exo 30:7 Aaron shall burn incense of sweet spices on it every morning. When he tends the lamps, he shall burn it.
Exo 30:8 When Aaron lights the lamps at evening, he shall burn it, a perpetual incense before Yahweh throughout your generations.
Exo 30:9 You shall offer no strange incense on it, nor burnt offering, nor meal offering; and you shall pour no drink offering on it.
Exo 30:10 Aaron shall make atonement on its horns once in the year; with the blood of the sin offering of atonement once in the year he shall make atonement for it throughout your generations. It is most holy to Yahweh."
Exo 30:11 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Exo 30:12 "When you take a census of the children of Israel, according to those who are numbered among them, then each man shall give a ransom for his soul to Yahweh, when you number them; that there be no plague among them when you number them.
Exo 30:13 They shall give this, everyone who passes over to those who are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary; (the shekel is twenty gerahs;) half a shekel for an offering to Yahweh.
Exo 30:14 Everyone who passes over to those who are numbered, from twenty years old and upward, shall give the offering to Yahweh.
Exo 30:15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when they give the offering of Yahweh, to make atonement for your souls.
Exo 30:16 You shall take the atonement money from the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the Tent of Meeting; that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before Yahweh, to make atonement for your souls."
Exo 30:17 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Exo 30:18 "You shall also make a basin of brass, and its base of brass, in which to wash. You shall put it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it.
Exo 30:19 Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in it.
Exo 30:20 When they go into the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water, that they not die; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to Yahweh.
Exo 30:21 So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they not die: and it shall be a statute forever to them, even to him and to his descendants throughout their generations."
Exo 30:22 Moreover Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Exo 30:23 "Also take fine spices: of liquid myrrh, five hundred shekels; and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, even two hundred and fifty; and of fragrant cane, two hundred and fifty;
Exo 30:24 and of cassia five hundred, after the shekel of the sanctuary; and a hin of olive oil.
Exo 30:25 You shall make it a holy anointing oil, a perfume compounded after the art of the perfumer: it shall be a holy anointing oil.
Exo 30:26 You shall use it to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the testimony,
Exo 30:27 the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense,
Exo 30:28 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin with its base.
Exo 30:29 You shall sanctify them, that they may be most holy. Whatever touches them shall be holy.
Exo 30:30 You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and sanctify them, that they may minister to me in the priest's office.
Exo 30:31 You shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'This shall be a holy anointing oil to me throughout your generations.
Exo 30:32 It shall not be poured on man's flesh, neither shall you make any like it, according to its composition: it is holy. It shall be holy to you.
Exo 30:33 Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it on a stranger, he shall be cut off from his people.' "
Exo 30:34 Yahweh said to Moses, "Take to yourself sweet spices, gum resin, and onycha, and galbanum; sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be an equal weight;
Exo 30:35 and you shall make incense of it, a perfume after the art of the perfumer, seasoned with salt, pure and holy:
Exo 30:36 and you shall beat some of it very small, and put some of it before the testimony in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be to you most holy.
Exo 30:37 The incense which you shall make, according to its composition you shall not make for yourselves: it shall be to you holy for Yahweh.
Exo 30:38 Whoever shall make any like that, to smell of it, he shall be cut off from his people."

Exo 31:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Exo 31:2 "Behold, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:
Exo 31:3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
Exo 31:4 to devise skillful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
Exo 31:5 and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all manner of workmanship.
Exo 31:6 I, behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and in the heart of all who are wise-hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded you:
Exo 31:7 the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the testimony, the mercy seat that is on it, all the furniture of the Tent,
Exo 31:8 the table and its vessels, the pure lampstand with all its vessels, the altar of incense,
Exo 31:9 the altar of burnt offering with all its vessels, the basin and its base,
Exo 31:10 the finely worked garments--the holy garments for Aaron the priest--the garments of his sons to minister in the priest's office,
Exo 31:11 the anointing oil, and the incense of sweet spices for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded you they shall do."
Exo 31:12 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Exo 31:13 "Speak also to the children of Israel, saying, 'Most certainly you shall keep my Sabbaths: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am Yahweh who sanctifies you.
Exo 31:14 You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
Exo 31:15 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to Yahweh. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall surely be put to death.
Exo 31:16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
Exo 31:17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.' "
Exo 31:18 He gave to Moses, when he finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets, written with God's finger.

Mar. 19
Exodus 32, 33

Exo 32:1 When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, "Come, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don't know what has become of him."
Exo 32:2 Aaron said to them, "Take off the golden rings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me."
Exo 32:3 All the people took off the golden rings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron.
Exo 32:4 He received what they handed him, and fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it a molten calf; and they said, "These are your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt."
Exo 32:5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation, and said, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to Yahweh."
Exo 32:6 They rose up early on the next day, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
Exo 32:7 Yahweh spoke to Moses, "Go, get down; for your people, who you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves!
Exo 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it, and have sacrificed to it, and said, 'These are your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.' "
Exo 32:9 Yahweh said to Moses, "I have seen these people, and behold, they are a stiff-necked people.
Exo 32:10 Now therefore leave me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of you a great nation."
Exo 32:11 Moses begged Yahweh his God, and said, "Yahweh, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, that you have brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?
Exo 32:12 Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, 'He brought them forth for evil, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the surface of the earth?' Turn from your fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against your people.
Exo 32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, 'I will multiply your seed as the stars of the sky, and all this land that I have spoken of I will give to your seed, and they shall inherit it forever.' "
Exo 32:14 Yahweh repented of the evil which he said he would do to his people.
Exo 32:15 Moses turned, and went down from the mountain, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand; tablets that were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other they were written.
Exo 32:16 The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tables.
Exo 32:17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, "There is the noise of war in the camp."
Exo 32:18 He said, "It isn't the voice of those who shout for victory, neither is it the voice of those who cry for being overcome; but the noise of those who sing that I hear."
Exo 32:19 It happened, as soon as he came near to the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing: and Moses' anger grew hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mountain.
Exo 32:20 He took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, ground it to powder, and scattered it on the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.
Exo 32:21 Moses said to Aaron, "What did these people do to you, that you have brought a great sin on them?"
Exo 32:22 Aaron said, "Don't let the anger of my lord grow hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil.
Exo 32:23 For they said to me, 'Make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don't know what has become of him.'
Exo 32:24 I said to them, 'Whoever has any gold, let them take it off:' so they gave it to me; and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf."
Exo 32:25 When Moses saw that the people had broken loose, (for Aaron had let them loose for a derision among their enemies),
Exo 32:26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, "Whoever is on Yahweh's side, come to me!" All the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.
Exo 32:27 He said to them, "Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, 'Every man put his sword on his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate throughout the camp, and every man kill his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.' "
Exo 32:28 The sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
Exo 32:29 Moses said, "Consecrate yourselves today to Yahweh, yes, every man against his son, and against his brother; that he may bestow on you a blessing this day."
Exo 32:30 It happened on the next day, that Moses said to the people, "You have sinned a great sin. Now I will go up to Yahweh. Perhaps I shall make atonement for your sin."
Exo 32:31 Moses returned to Yahweh, and said, "Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made themselves gods of gold.
Exo 32:32 Yet now, if you will, forgive their sin--and if not, please blot me out of your book which you have written."
Exo 32:33 Yahweh said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
Exo 32:34 Now go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless in the day when I punish, I will punish them for their sin."
Exo 32:35 Yahweh struck the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.

Exo 33:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, "Depart, go up from here, you and the people that you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your seed.'
Exo 33:2 I will send an angel before you; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:
Exo 33:3 to a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of you, for you are a stiff-necked people, lest I consume you in the way."
Exo 33:4 When the people heard this evil news, they mourned: and no one put on his jewelry.
Exo 33:5 Yahweh said to Moses, "Tell the children of Israel, 'You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go up into your midst for one moment, I would consume you. Therefore now take off your jewelry from you, that I may know what to do to you.' "
Exo 33:6 The children of Israel stripped themselves of their jewelry from Mount Horeb onward.
Exo 33:7 Now Moses used to take the tent and to pitch it outside the camp, far away from the camp, and he called it "The Tent of Meeting." It happened that everyone who sought Yahweh went out to the Tent of Meeting, which was outside the camp.
Exo 33:8 It happened that when Moses went out to the Tent, that all the people rose up, and stood, everyone at their tent door, and watched Moses, until he had gone into the Tent.
Exo 33:9 It happened, when Moses entered into the Tent, that the pillar of cloud descended, stood at the door of the Tent, and spoke with Moses.
Exo 33:10 All the people saw the pillar of cloud stand at the door of the Tent, and all the people rose up and worshiped, everyone at their tent door.
Exo 33:11 Yahweh spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. He turned again into the camp, but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, didn't depart out of the Tent.
Exo 33:12 Moses said to Yahweh, "Behold, you tell me, 'Bring up this people:' and you haven't let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.'
Exo 33:13 Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you, so that I may find favor in your sight: and consider that this nation is your people."
Exo 33:14 He said, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Exo 33:15 He said to him, "If your presence doesn't go with me, don't carry us up from here.
Exo 33:16 For how would people know that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Isn't it in that you go with us, so that we are separated, I and your people, from all the people who are on the surface of the earth?"
Exo 33:17 Yahweh said to Moses, "I will do this thing also that you have spoken; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name."
Exo 33:18 He said, "Please show me your glory."
Exo 33:19 He said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of Yahweh before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy."
Exo 33:20 He said, "You cannot see my face, for man may not see me and live."
Exo 33:21 Yahweh also said, "Behold, there is a place by me, and you shall stand on the rock.
Exo 33:22 It will happen, while my glory passes by, that I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with my hand until I have passed by;
Exo 33:23 then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back; but my face shall not be seen."

Mar.  18
Mark 11

Mar 11:1 When they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethsphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,
Mar 11:2 and said to them, "Go your way into the village that is opposite you. Immediately as you enter into it, you will find a young donkey tied, on which no one has sat. Untie him, and bring him.
Mar 11:3 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord needs him;' and immediately he will send him back here."
Mar 11:4 They went away, and found a young donkey tied at the door outside in the open street, and they untied him.
Mar 11:5 Some of those who stood there asked them, "What are you doing, untying the young donkey?"
Mar 11:6 They said to them just as Jesus had said, and they let them go.
Mar 11:7 They brought the young donkey to Jesus, and threw their garments on it, and Jesus sat on it.
Mar 11:8 Many spread their garments on the way, and others were cutting down branches from the trees, and spreading them on the road.
Mar 11:9 Those who went in front, and those who followed, cried out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Mar 11:10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"
Mar 11:11 Jesus entered into the temple in Jerusalem. When he had looked around at everything, it being now evening, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
Mar 11:12 The next day, when they had come out from Bethany, he was hungry.
Mar 11:13 Seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came to see if perhaps he might find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.
Mar 11:14 Jesus told it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again!" and his disciples heard it.
Mar 11:15 They came to Jerusalem, and Jesus entered into the temple, and began to throw out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of those who sold the doves.
Mar 11:16 He would not allow anyone to carry a container through the temple.
Mar 11:17 He taught, saying to them, "Isn't it written, 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations?' But you have made it a den of robbers!"
Mar 11:18 The chief priests and the scribes heard it, and sought how they might destroy him. For they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching.
Mar 11:19 When evening came, he went out of the city.
Mar 11:20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away from the roots.
Mar 11:21 Peter, remembering, said to him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered away."
Mar 11:22 Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God.
Mar 11:23 For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and doesn't doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says.
Mar 11:24 Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them.
Mar 11:25 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father, who is in heaven, may also forgive you your transgressions.
Mar 11:26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions."
Mar 11:27 They came again to Jerusalem, and as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders came to him,
Mar 11:28 and they began saying to him, "By what authority do you do these things? Or who gave you this authority to do these things?"
Mar 11:29 Jesus said to them, "I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Mar 11:30 The baptism of John-was it from heaven, or from men? Answer me."
Mar 11:31 They reasoned with themselves, saying, "If we should say, 'From heaven;' he will say, 'Why then did you not believe him?'
Mar 11:32 If we should say, 'From men' "-they feared the people, for all held John to really be a prophet.
Mar 11:33 They answered Jesus, "We don't know." Jesus said to them, "Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things."

Mar. 19
Mark 12

Mar 12:1 He began to speak to them in parables. "A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a pit for the winepress, built a tower, rented it out to a farmer, and went into another country.
Mar 12:2 When it was time, he sent a servant to the farmer to get from the farmer his share of the fruit of the vineyard.
Mar 12:3 They took him, beat him, and sent him away empty.
Mar 12:4 Again, he sent another servant to them; and they threw stones at him, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated.
Mar 12:5 Again he sent another; and they killed him; and many others, beating some, and killing some.
Mar 12:6 Therefore still having one, his beloved son, he sent him last to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.'
Mar 12:7 But those farmers said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.'
Mar 12:8 They took him, killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.
Mar 12:9 What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the farmers, and will give the vineyard to others.
Mar 12:10 Haven't you even read this Scripture: 'The stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the head of the corner.
Mar 12:11 This was from the Lord, it is marvelous in our eyes'?"
Mar 12:12 They tried to seize him, but they feared the multitude; for they perceived that he spoke the parable against them. They left him, and went away.
Mar 12:13 They sent some of the Pharisees and of the Herodians to him, that they might trap him with words.
Mar 12:14 When they had come, they asked him, "Teacher, we know that you are honest, and don't defer to anyone; for you aren't partial to anyone, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?
Mar 12:15 Shall we give, or shall we not give?" But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, "Why do you test me? Bring me a denarius, that I may see it."
Mar 12:16 They brought it. He said to them, "Whose is this image and inscription?" They said to him, "Caesar's."
Mar 12:17 Jesus answered them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." They marveled greatly at him.
Mar 12:18 There came to him Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection. They asked him, saying,
Mar 12:19 "Teacher, Moses wrote to us, 'If a man's brother dies, and leaves a wife behind him, and leaves no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up offspring for his brother.'
Mar 12:20 There were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and dying left no offspring.
Mar 12:21 The second took her, and died, leaving no children behind him. The third likewise;
Mar 12:22 and the seven took her and left no children. Last of all the woman also died.
Mar 12:23 In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be of them? For the seven had her as a wife."
Mar 12:24 Jesus answered them, "Isn't this because you are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God?
Mar 12:25 For when they will rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
Mar 12:26 But about the dead, that they are raised; haven't you read in the book of Moses, about the Bush, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?
Mar 12:27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are therefore badly mistaken."
Mar 12:28 One of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together. Knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the greatest of all?"
Mar 12:29 Jesus answered, "The greatest is, 'Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one:
Mar 12:30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment.
Mar 12:31 The second is like this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
Mar 12:32 The scribe said to him, "Truly, teacher, you have said well that he is one, and there is none other but he,
Mar 12:33 and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
Mar 12:34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God." No one dared ask him any question after that.
Mar 12:35 Jesus responded, as he taught in the temple, "How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?
Mar 12:36 For David himself said in the Holy Spirit, 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet." '
Mar 12:37 Therefore David himself calls him Lord, so how can he be his son?" The common people heard him gladly.
Mar 12:38 In his teaching he said to them, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk in long robes, and to get greetings in the marketplaces,
Mar 12:39 and the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts:
Mar 12:40 those who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation."
Mar 12:41 Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and saw how the multitude cast money into the treasury. Many who were rich cast in much.
Mar 12:42 A poor widow came, and she cast in two small brass coins, which equal a quadrans coin.
Mar 12:43 He called his disciples to himself, and said to them, "Most certainly I tell you, this poor widow gave more than all those who are giving into the treasury,
Mar 12:44 for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on."