4/1/19

"THE EPISTLE OF JAMES" Pure And Undefiled Religion (1:26-27) by Mark Copeland


"THE EPISTLE OF JAMES"

Pure And Undefiled Religion (1:26-27)
                                
INTRODUCTION

1. What kind of religion do we have?  Is it like a...

   * SPARE TIRE (used only in the case of an emergency)?

   * WHEELBARROW (easily upset and must be pushed)?

   * BUS (ridden only when it goes your way)?

2. Whatever kind of religion we have, it is of no value unless it is
   pleasing to God in heaven

3. In James 1:27, we find a definition of what constitutes "pure and
   undefiled religion before God"

4. To be sure that our own religion is acceptable before God, let's
   notice some attributes of "Pure And Undefiled Religion" as indicated
   in this verse and its immediate context

[First, "Pure And Undefiled Religion" must be...]

I. A "PRACTICING" RELIGION

   A. IT INVOLVES DOING SOMETHING ON OUR PART...
      1. This is clearly implied in the phrase "to visit"
      2. The context prior to this verse also makes it clear that we must
         be "doers" and "not hearers only" - Jm 1:22-25
      3. This echoes the teachings of Jesus Himself - Mt 7:21; Lk 6:46

   B. IF WE ARE NOT "DOERS", WE ARE DECEIVING OURSELVES (Jm 1:22)
      1. And usually, it is ONLY ourselves we are deceiving!
      2. We are certainly not deceiving God, nor Satan
      3. And it unlikely that we fool others, especially our children

[Having "a practicing religion" must be important, for later in his
epistle James emphasizes again the necessity of our faith working 
Ja 2:14-17,26).

In fact, we can conclude that a religion which is not a practicing
religion is a DEAD religion!

Next, "Pure And Undefiled Religion" must also be...]

II. A "PRACTICAL" RELIGION

   A. GOD DID NOT INTEND FOR OUR RELIGION TO CONSIST SOLELY OF "GOING
      TO CHURCH"...
      1. Extending OUR HEART TO GOD IN WORSHIP is certainly important
      2. But so is extending OUR HAND TO MAN IN SERVICE! - Jm 1:27

   B. THROUGHOUT THE N.T., MUCH EMPHASIS IS PLACED UPON DOING GOOD...
      1. From the writings of Paul - Ga 6:10; Tit 2:14; 3:8,14
      2. From the author of Hebrews - He 13:16
      3. From the apostle John - 1Jn 3:17-18

[Until we apply the Word of God by showing kindness and compassion for
the poor and helpless, all the preaching, teaching, and studying we may 
do cannot make our religion "pure and undefiled"!

A further attribute of "Pure And Undefiled Religion" is that it is...]

III. A "PERSONAL" RELIGION

   A. IMPLIED BY THE USE OF "SINGULAR PRONOUNS" IN THE TEXT...
      1. "anyone" - Jm 1:23
      2. "he", "his" - Jm 1:23
      3. "himself", "he" - Jm 1:24
      4. "he", "this one" - Jm 1:25
      5. "anyone", "he", "his", "this one's" - Jm 1:26
      6. "oneself" - Jm 1:27

   B. NOW, THERE IS A PLACE FOR "CORPORATE" GIVING...
      1. That is, where we give in conjunction with others to meet a need
      2. For example, in helping needy Christians - 1Co 16:1-2

   C. BUT IT WAS NEVER INTENDED TO REPLACE OUR INDIVIDUAL AND PERSONAL
      RESPONSIBILITY!
      1. Some might think...
         a. That their giving on Sunday fulfills their responsibility
            to the poor, the widows, and the orphans
         b. That it fulfills their obligation to preach the gospel
      2. But God intended for "corporate" giving to only meet certain needs
      3. He still expects us to fulfill our "personal" service to the
         poor, widows, and orphans as we have the ability and opportunity
      4. Just as we find in the Old Testament...
         a. Though the third year tithe was for the widows and orphans
         b. They were to always help them whenever they had the opportunity!

[To practice "Pure And Undefiled Religion":

   * We must make it personal; we can't pay someone else to do our
     work for us!

   * We cannot excuse ourselves by saying "I gave at the church"!

One last point I wish to make concerning "Pure And Undefiled Religion";it must be...]

IV. A "PURE" RELIGION

   A. THIS SOUNDS REDUNDANT, BUT IN OUR DAY IT MUST BE EMPHASIZED!
      1. Our society has become increasingly immoral and materialistic
      2. Such is wreaking havoc upon many in the Lord's church
      3. What we hear and see may only be the "tip of the iceberg"!

   B. OUR RELIGION IS FOR NOTHING, UNLESS IT IS...
      1. PURE - without blemish
      2. UNDEFILED - untainted
      3. Capable of keeping us UNSPOTTED from (by) the world

   C. BUT IF WE ARE SINNERS (as affirmed in 1Jn 1:8), HOW CAN WE EVER
      BE PURE, UNDEFILED, AND UNSPOTTED?
      1. It is possible, only BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST!
         a. Which can cleanse us and make us pure if we walk in the
            light with God - 1Jn 1:7
         b. This involves keeping the commandments of God - 1Jn 2:3
            1) For example, experiencing the INITIAL CLEANSING of the
               blood when we obey the commands to repent and be
               baptized for the remission of sins - Ac 2:38
            2) And, experiencing the CONTINUOUS CLEANSING of the blood
               when we confess our sins to God - 1Jn 1:9
      2. It is possible only BY THE HELP OF GOD!
         a. Who not only provides the blood of Christ to cleanse us from sin...
         b. But also a way of escape in times of temptation - 1Co 10:13
      3. Yes, with Christ's blood and God's help, it is possible to be
         pure, undefiled, and unspotted by the world!
      4. And this is what makes the religion of Jesus Christ UNIQUE!
         a. Other religions may be "practicing, practical and personal"
         b. But only the true religion of Jesus Christ can present one
            "pure" in the sight of God! - cf. Jn 14:6

CONCLUSION

1. What kind of religion do YOU have?
   a. Is it a PRACTICING religion?
      1) Does it go beyond the walls of a building?
      2) Does it go beyond the printed pages of the Bible?
      3) Does it go beyond a superficial hearing of the Word?
   b. Is it a PRACTICAL religion?
      1) Does it consist of more than JUST "going to church, reading,
         and praying"?
      2) Does it reach out and manifest itself in compassion to those in need?
   c. Is it a PERSONAL religion?
      1) Going beyond what we may do in conjunction with others?
      2) Including our personal involvement apart from what others may do?
   d. And is it a PURE religion?
      1) Involving our initial cleansing from sin by the blood of Christ
         as we in faith repented and were baptized?
      2) Involving our continual cleansing by the blood of Christ as we
         confess our sins and repent of them?
      3) Does it include a putting away of sin with the help of God so
         that we might be "unspotted by the world"?

2. If not, then whatever religion we have is USELESS and we are simply
   DECEIVING OURSELVES!

Let's always encourage one another to be sure and have a "Pure And
Undefiled Religion" before God!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Galaxy's Distance Doesn't Tell Age by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3727


Galaxy's Distance Doesn't Tell Age

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Maggie Fox recently reported that scientists believe they have discovered the “oldest” galaxy ever seen. This galaxy is supposed to be 13.2 billion years old, “only” 480 million years younger than the entire Universe (Fox, 2011). How do scientists arrive at such a great age? They base their calculations on the Big Bang theory and equate distance with age. What the scientists have actually found is what they believe to be the most distant galaxy ever seen. By equating distance with age, they conclude that the most distant galaxy must be the oldest.
If the Big Bang theory is incorrect, however, the assumption that distance equals age is false. It has been repeatedly shown that Big Bang theory cannot possibly be scientifically, mathematically, or historically true (see Thompson, Harrub, and May, 2003). Not only that, it is also true that the dating methods used to arrive at the billions-of-years scenario are faulty (DeYoung, 2005). Thus we can know that a galaxy’s distance does not indicate its age in billions of years. What we “know” (I put the word “know” in quotation marks because science often even gets the distances wrong) is approximately how far the galaxy is. The incorrect interpretation shackled to that knowledge is the idea that distance equals age.
We regularly see this tactic used in the biological sciences. Often a biologist will measure the amount of similarity between two organisms’ molecular structures. The biologist will assume Darwinian evolution to be true and report how closely the organisms are related. Yet similarity only equals relationship if evolution is true (which it is not). The irony of the situation is that these similarity studies are often used as evidence of evolution. This becomes the epitome of circular reasoning: proving evolution by proving how closely organisms are related, and basing that “relationship” on similarities that only “prove” evolution if you assume it in the first place.
As a critically thinking society, we should demand from the scientific community that they keep their incorrect assumptions and faulty interpretations to themselves, and simply report the “facts.” We are reminded of the admonition to “test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Distance does not equal age, similarity does not equal relationship, and the Big Bang theory and evolution do not equal good science.

REFERENCES

DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Fox, Maggie (2011), “Telescope Spots Oldest Galaxy Ever Seen,” Reuters, http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110127/sc_nm/us_space_galaxy/print.
Thompson, Bert, Brad Harrub and Branyon May (2003), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique,” Reason & Revelationhttp://apologeticspress.org/articles/2635.

From Whence Came Morals? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2121

From Whence Came Morals?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


“[E]volutionary psychologists believe they are closing in on one of the remaining mysteries of life, the universal ‘moral law’ that underlies our intuitive notions of good and evil.” Such were the words of Newsweek senior editor Jerry Adler in his article, titled “The New Naysayers” (2006).
It has long been understood that morality exists (see Taylor, 1945, p. 83). Even the most renowned atheists have admitted such (see Simpson, 1967, p. 346): there is good and there is evil; there is right and there is wrong. Different people draw the moral line at different places, but “they all agree that there is such a line to be drawn” (Taylor, 1945, p. 83). Why?
Why are humans moral beings if, as evolutionists teach, we merely evolved from lifeless, mindless, unconscious matter over billions of years? Why do humans feel a sense of “ought” to help the poor, weak, and oppressed if we simply evolved by the natural law of “might makes right” (i.e., survival of the fittest)? Adler highlighted Richard Dawkins in his “New Naysayers” article as one of three scholars who “argue that atheism is smarter” (2006, p. 47). Apparently, one example of atheism’s superiority comes from evolutionists’ new explanation for morality, which they describe as “one of the remaining mysteries of life” (p. 48). According to Adler,
Dawkins attempts to show how the highest of human impulses, such as empathy, charity and pity, could have evolved by the same mechanism of natural selection that created the thumb. Biologists understand that the driving force in evolution is the survival and propagation of our genes. They may impel us to instinctive acts of goodness...even when it seems counterproductive to our own interests—say, by risking our life to save someone else. Evolutionary psychology can explain how selfless behavior might have evolved(pp. 48-49, emp. added).
And what exactly are these explanations? (1) “The recipient [of our acts of goodness—EL] may be a blood relation who carries some of our own genes.” (2) “Or our acts may earn us future gratitude, or reputation for bravery that makes us more desirable as mates.” (3) “The impulse for generosity must have evolved while humans lived in small bands in which almost everyone was related, so that goodness became the default human aspiration” (p. 49).
There you have it—atheism’s “smarter” explanations for morality. Although the “driving force” of evolution—natural selection—runs contrariwise to such moral, human impulses as empathy, charity, and pity, now we are told it “may impel us to instinctive acts of goodness...even when it seems counterproductive to our own interests” (p. 48). In summary, our sense of moral “oughtness” allegedly comes (1) from wanting to pass on our genes, (2) from a desire to be a hero and gain popularity, and/or (3) by default.
In actuality, “smarter” atheism is as foolish as ever (Psalm 14:1; 1 Corinthians 1:25). The desire to pass on one’s genes or to be a hero fails to explain the origins of human morality. When a person sees an unfamiliar child hanging from a six-story balcony and feels compelled to save that child from death (even though no one is watching), that sense of moral obligation must be explained in some way other than evolution. When a person is compelled to spend valuable time, money, and energy to help a poor stranger survive, even though such action may mean risking injury or death, naturalistic explanations simply will not do. To say, “goodness became the default human aspiration” is simply a copout for lacking an adequate naturalistic explanation.
Morality exists and makes sense only if there is a God, because only God could have created it. If all naturalistic explanations for the existence of morality have been shown to be inadequate, by default, the only logical explanation must be Supernatural (i.e., God).

REFERENCES

Adler, Jerry (2006), “The New Naysayers,” Newsweek, September 11, pp. 47-49.
Simpson, George Gaylord (1967), The Meaning of Evolution (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press), revised edition.
Taylor, A.E. (1945), Does God Exist? (London: Macmillan).

From Nonlife to Nonlife by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1121

From Nonlife to Nonlife

by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.


Q.

Organic evolution is based on the concept of something inorganic and nonliving becoming organic and living. Do the actual scientific data support such a concept?

A.

How did life arise from nonliving chemicals? This is the most fundamental, yet sketchiest chapter of evolutionary theory.
One proposal is to start with seemingly lifelike chemicals. This is the approach taken by Julius Rebek and his coworkers (Hong, et al., 1992; Feng, et al., 1992). Like DNA, Rebek’s chemicals can make copies of themselves (i.e., replicate). Further, Rebek can make more efficient replicators by subjecting them to ultraviolet radiation. These new varieties outproduce other forms, eventually dominating their test-tube world. Supposedly, these chemicals could provide the missing link between nonlife and life.
Yet, the gap remains because Rebek’s system contains little information (see Hurst and Dawkins, 1992, 357:199). Life is defined by a set of elegant instructions recorded on the DNA molecule, and there is more to life than replication.
Another proposal tries to circumvent the famous chicken-and-egg problem of chemical evolution by starting with RNA. If we think of DNA as the “brain,” then RNA is the “nervous system” carrying the message of protein formation to the rest of the cell. However, the whole process involves crucial enzymes (specialized proteins). So which came first, the protein or the DNA?
The answer, many evolutionists believe, lies in the discovery that a special part of RNA can act like an enzyme. This means it can carry information and do various jobs within the cell. If this is the case, then perhaps evolution worked both ways, turning RNA into DNA for better information storage, and into specialized enzymes for more efficient copying. Last year, the proponents of this RNA world received a boost from the work of Beaudry and Joyce (1992) who used selection and mutations to make a more efficient RNA enzyme.
Some journalists and scientists have made extraordinary claims about this new research. First, they described the techniques and chemical processes in evolutionary terms such as “selection” and “mutation.” One newspaper article hailed Beaudry and Joyce’s work as the “first complete laboratory demonstration of evolution” (Graham, 1992). Second, they believe the experiments show that “darwinian selection is universal for all lifes” (Hurst and Dawkins, 1992, 357:198), not just for “life as we know it.” And third, because this research has a practical application in biotechnology, they wish to promote evolution as a fundamental tool of science, and not a mere theory.
However, using terms such as selection, mutation, and evolution does not explain the origin of life. These experiments entail a great deal of design and technical innovation. The human experimenters are forcing or directing “evolution” to achieve goals they have set (Culotta, 1992). As Leslie Orgel noted, to really show how life could have evolved, we need to start with something that does not require the “intervention of organic chemists” (1992, 358:207).
Further, this research may come closer to Darwin’s arguments than they would really like. By showing that man can use artificial selection to change species dramatically, even within recorded history, Darwin hoped to establish his case for long-term, large-scale evolution by natural selection (1859, pp. 133,153). But this analogy breaks down because artificial selection, by definition, involves human intelligence. The same is true for this recent research. We are seeing nothing more than high-tech horse breeding. Actually, we may be seeing less, because the experiments do not deal with life at all. If anything, they resemble Edison’s efforts to find a better filament for his electric light bulb.
What we must emphasize is that an evolutionist can invent any theory about the origin of life, no matter how implausible it may sound. He might succeed in modeling that theory in the laboratory. However, a model is not necessarily the same as reality; he has not proved that life evolved in that way. Ultimately, all he would have displayed is his God-given intellectual and physical abilities.

REFERENCES

Beaudry, Amber A. and Gerald F. Joyce (1992), “Directed Evolution of an RNA Enzyme,” Science, 257:635-641, July 31.
Culotta, Elizabeth (1992), “Forcing the Evolution of an RNA Enzyme in the Test Tube,” Science, 257:613, July 31.
Darwin, Charles (1859), The Origin of Species (New York: Avenel Books, 1979 reprint of the 1968 Penguin edition).
Feng, Qing, Tae Kyo Park and Julius Rebek, Jr. (1992), “Crossover Reactions Between Synthetic Replicators Yield Active and Inactive Recombinants,” Science, 256:1179-1180, May 22.
Graham, David (1992), “Evolution in the Lab at Scripps,” San Diego-Union Tribune, July 31, pp. A1-A2, July 31.
Hong, Jong-In, Qing Feng, Vincent Rotello and Julius Rebek, Jr. (1992), “Competition, Cooperation, and Mutation: Improving a Synthetic Replicator by Light Irradiation,” Science, 255:848-850, February 14.
Hurst, Lawrence D. and Richard Dawkins (1992), “Life in a Test Tube,” Nature, 357:198-199, May 21.

David (Part 1) (By Ben Fronczek)


David (Part 1)

(By Ben Fronczek)

I want to begin a series of lessons on King David. Almost everyone has heard of David, especially the story of how little David defeated the giant Goliath with a stone and his sling.
He is a beloved figure in Jewish history but what intrigues me most is the fact that God loved him so much and even called him a man after His own heart.
I find that statement very interesting, because if you know anything about David and his life you know that he was not without his share of faults.
I guess when I think of a man after God’s own heart I’m more incline to think about the man Jesus who never sinned and was without any faults and who was totally obedient to His Father God. Or even Joseph which the Bible says nothing bad about. The same with Isaiah and Jeremiah…
But David? He spent most of his life as a warrior spilling blood. His home life was in shambles more than once. He had an adulterous affair. And then after the woman got pregnant he tried to cover it up. And when that did not work he had the woman’s husband killed and then he married her.
He did things that most of us would cringe at, yet he was still considered a man after God’s own heart and the most honored of all Jewish kings.
In this series I would like to look into and consider this phrase, ‘a man after God’s own heart’; what it implies or means, and even how we can likewise be consider the same; a man or woman after God’s own heart.
But before we get into that I believe a little background information is important. And as I share this background information I hope that you will recognize attitudes and actions which are quite the opposite of traits seen in a Man or woman after Gods own heart.
David was not the first Jewish king, rather a man by the name of Saul was.    If you remember your Bible history the Jew had never been led by a king up to this point in history. From the time of Abraham through the time of Moses and the judges, God Himself led his people. At different times He chose certain individual to instruct, guide and deliver them, but there was no king.
During this period, God’s spokesman, the prophets Samuel was getting older, and the Jewish people told him that they wanted a king like all the other nations around them. Samuel was very upset about their request but in so many words God told him not to let it get to him because they were not rejecting Samuel, rather the Jews were rejecting God and His leadership.
Then Saul was chosen as their first king. He was a tall, a good looking young man and somewhat courageous, what would seem like a prime candidate for the throne. But it was not too long before Saul’s true colors came shining thru.
Even though he claim to love God, more than once he arrogantly ignored God’s will and simply chose to do what he wanted to do instead.
On one occasion we read in 1 Sam. 13 before Saul and his forces were to go to war against the Philistines Saul decided to sacrifice and offer up the burnt offerings himself instead of waiting for the priest Samuel to do it. In their Law (God’s Law) it said that only the priest could do this but Saul ignored the Law or maybe even thought he was above that law. But when Samuel the Priest came on the scene this is what he has to say to Saul, 13 Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
Then after this Saul messed up again when he was told to completely destroy the Amalekites.  After he disobeyed the Lord command concerning how he was to conduct a battle God told Samuel this in 1 Sam. 15:     11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night. 12 Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”
So we see that Saul is not only disobedient, He also set up an monument in his own honor. Was being king getting to his head?
Later when Samuel finally catches up with Saul he lets him know how disappointed the Lord was with him;  Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’ 19 Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”
20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
22 But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.” 1 Samuel 15:17-23
Thus, Samuel told Saul that the kingdom would be taken from him and given to another. Samuel is all upset about this so on the next chapter,
(1 Sam. 16) 1The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” 2But Samuel said, “How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me.” The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.” 4Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?” 5Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 6When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” 7But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
When God scans the earth for potential leaders, He is not on a search for angels in the flesh. He is certainly not looking for perfect people, since there are none. He is searching for men and women like you and me, mere people made up of flesh. But He is also looking for people who share the same qualities He found in David. God is looking for men and women “after His own heart”
What does it mean to be a person after God’s own heart? It means your life is in harmony with the Lord. What is important to Him is important to you. What burdens Him burdens you. When He says, “Go to the right,” you go to the right. When He says, “Stop that in your life,” you stop it. When He says, “This is wrong and I want you to change,” you come to terms with it because you have a heart for God. That’s bottom-line, biblical Christianity.
When you are a man or woman after God’s heart, you are deeply sensitive to spiritual things2 Chronicles 16:9 says: “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” (emphasis added).
What is God looking for? He is looking for men and women whose hearts are His—completely His. That means there are no locked closets. Nothing’s been swept under the rugs. There are no hidden selfish agendas.                        Rather, you long to please Him in all that you do.
God is not looking for magnificent specimens of humanity. He’s looking for deeply spiritual, genuinely humble, honest-to-the-core servants who have integrity. I believe integrity is very important to God and He would like to see it each and every one of us.
Integrity is about doing the right things for the right reason all the time, and not being corrupted or divided in any way. It’s what you are when nobody’s looking.
We live in a world that says, in many ways, “If you just make a good impression, that’s all that matters.” But you will never be a man or woman of God if that’s your philosophy. That was Saul’s problem
You can’t fake it with the Almighty. He is not impressed with externals. Doesn’t matter how nice you look, or how grand you sound, He always focuses on the inward qualities, like the character of the heart . . . those things that take time and discipline to cultivate your integrity.
Saul blew it. Even thought he looked good, looked the part. And even though he mouthed the right words (religious words), he even prophecied. And even though he felt guilty and wanted to repent after getting caught disobeying God, God could see what was really inside.
Good looks, the right words, even feeling guilty after you sin is not enough.   If your heart is not really His God knows it. It doesn’t matter if you go to church every time the door is open, and you wear your best clothes, if you sing all the songs and take the communion; if your heart is not His He knows.
God knows when you are holding back, when you are being a bit selfish and self centered, when you have hidden agendas that are selfish. He knows when you and I lust in our heart for things we shouldn’t, or when we do not fully forgive someone when our lips say that we do. He knows when we do things for show off and make our self look good rather than glorifying Him.
Saul is an example of what a man after God’s own heart is not. He was more concerned about doing things his way, the way he wanted and not necessarily the way God wanted things done. And if we are not careful we can fall into that same trap.
Saul was impatient, so he jumped the gun and offered that sacrifice himself. How many times do we get impatient and don’t understand why God doesn’t act sooner when we wait on Him. And sometimes we try to take things into our own hands to get something done that only God can do.
But the lesson I see here is we need to learn to wait on God and His timing and be careful not to usurp His or any of His laws just to get what we think needs to be done like Saul did.
And how many times have to ignored God’s word and simply did what you wanted to do because maybe you simply wanted to do something else? That’s not being a man or woman after God’s own heart, that being selfish and that’s what got Saul kicked off the throne.
– Keep you motives pure. Become a man or woman of integrity.
– Don’t harbor hidden agendas for doing things unless it is for doing something good. Be patient with the Lord, His timing is always perfect.
– And remember don’t ever think to highly of yourself because as soon as you do you’ll find yourself doing stupid things cause more harm than good.
Some parts of this sermon are from a lesson by Charles Swindoll

For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566
All comments can be emailed to: bfronzek@gmail.com

“Abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3) by Roy Davison


“Abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed is undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). The word ‘fornication’ refers to all kinds of sexual intercourse outside of marriage (including homosexual activity), and adultery is fornication that violates a marriage. Some versions translate the one Greek word “fornication” as “sexual immorality”.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). In fornication and adultery, people take advantage of each other, they “use” each other. 
The laws God has established regarding sexual activities are to preserve the sanctity of marriage and the well-being of man.
What is required, according to Scriptures, to preserve personal purity and the sanctity of marriage? First, men and women are to remain virgin until marriage. All sexual relations outside of marriage are forbidden by God and are referred to as fornication, a sin that had the death penalty under the Old Covenant. Under the New Covenant one can be forgiven and purified by the blood of Christ. It is a sin, however, that is extremely damaging to those concerned, to society and to marriage as an institution. 
After marriage one is to have sexual relations only with the marriage partner. Sexual relations with any other is adultery, which also earned the death penalty under the Old Covenant. We read in Hebrews 13:4 that God wants marriage to be preserved from the damage caused by these two sins. Immorality harms people physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
The root meaning of the Greek word “fornication” is “filthiness”. A boy and a girl who keep themselves pure until marriage and remain faithful after marriage, are a separate island. They never come in contact with the filthy cesspool of venereal diseases that are passed around from person to person by immoral people.
Venereal diseases are sexually transmitted diseases. Such a disease, because of its characteristics, is transmitted from person to person almost exclusively through sexual intercourse. Transmission usually requires either that the pathogens remain at body temperature (otherwise they die) or direct blood to blood contact. Sometimes such diseases are also transmitted through injection with a dirty needle or from mother to child in the womb or at birth.
The World Health Organization states: "Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are very common. The most widely known are gonorrhea, syphilis and AIDS (HIV infection), but there are more than 20 others. According to current WHO estimates, there are more than 333 million new cases of STDs every year throughout the world. About one million new infections occur every day."
Several sexually transmitted diseases are incurable, including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and genital herpes. Others, although curable, cause lasting damage. Several of these diseases show no symptoms for a long time after infection.
These diseases would disappear if people obeyed God. According to the word of God, both men and women are to remain virgin until marriage, and a married couple are to remain faithful to each another. Even in a world where immorality is rampant, people who obey God have virtually no chance of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. The marriage bed is holy, but fornication and adultery are filthy.
According to the law of the Old Testament, Israel would be kept pure because those who committed fornication or adultery were stoned to death. 
Forgiveness is possible under the New Testament on the basis of remorse and repentance. If you have committed fornication or adultery, you can repent and be forgiven. Your soul can be purified by the blood of Christ. You can determine that from now on you will keep yourself pure.
Even though you are forgiven, you have placed yourself in great danger with regard to sexually transmitted diseases. You should see a doctor and have tests made to be sure that you have not contracted an infection that you might pass on to your present or future marriage partner, or your children. Your former immorality can also have adverse effects on your marriage even though you have been forgiven.
This means that you must strive to be the kind of person whom someone with high moral standards would want to marry! And it means that you must be extremely careful whom you marry! Find someone who has the same high moral standards based on faith in God that you have. If a potential marriage partner has been immoral, be sure there is evidence of true repentance and that the person has changed.
It can still happen that one is deceived or betrayed, but we must make every effort to avoid marrying someone who does not have a high standard of morality. People who have sex with each other before they marry, are people who are willing to have sex outside of marriage, which makes them more susceptible to committing adultery after marriage than someone who had high moral standards before marriage.
“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). “Keep yourself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22). Amen.
Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from The New King James Version. ©1979, 1980, 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise. Permission for reference use has been granted.

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

Bible Reading April 1, 2 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading  April 1, 2

World  English  Bible



Apr. 1
Leviticus 19, 20
Lev 19:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 19:2 "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and tell them, 'You shall be holy; for I Yahweh your God am holy.
Lev 19:3 " 'Each one of you shall respect his mother and his father. You shall keep my Sabbaths. I am Yahweh your God.
Lev 19:4 " 'Don't turn to idols, nor make molten gods for yourselves. I am Yahweh your God.
Lev 19:5 " 'When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to Yahweh, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted.
Lev 19:6 It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and on the next day: and if anything remains until the third day, it shall be burned with fire.
Lev 19:7 If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination. It will not be accepted;
Lev 19:8 but everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned the holy thing of Yahweh, and that soul shall be cut off from his people.
Lev 19:9 " 'When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest.
Lev 19:10 You shall not glean your vineyard, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and for the foreigner. I am Yahweh your God.
Lev 19:11 " 'You shall not steal; neither shall you deal falsely, nor lie to one another.
Lev 19:12 " 'You shall not swear by my name falsely, and profane the name of your God. I am Yahweh.
Lev 19:13 " 'You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning.
Lev 19:14 " 'You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind; but you shall fear your God. I am Yahweh.
Lev 19:15 " 'You shall do no injustice in judgment: you shall not be partial to the poor, nor show favoritism to the great; but you shall judge your neighbor in righteousness.
Lev 19:16 " 'You shall not go up and down as a slanderer among your people; neither shall you stand against the life of your neighbor. I am Yahweh.
Lev 19:17 " 'You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.
Lev 19:18 " 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am Yahweh.
Lev 19:19 " 'You shall keep my statutes. " 'You shall not crossbreed different kinds of animals. " 'you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed; " 'neither shall there come upon on you a garment made of two kinds of material.
Lev 19:20 " 'If a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave girl, pledged to be married to another man, and not ransomed, or given her freedom; they shall be punished. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free.
Lev 19:21 He shall bring his trespass offering to Yahweh, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, even a ram for a trespass offering.
Lev 19:22 The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before Yahweh for his sin which he has committed: and the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him.
Lev 19:23 " 'When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden. Three years shall they be forbidden to you. It shall not be eaten.
Lev 19:24 But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, for giving praise to Yahweh.
Lev 19:25 In the fifth year you shall eat its fruit, that it may yield its increase to you. I am Yahweh your God.
Lev 19:26 " 'You shall not eat any meat with the blood still in it; neither shall you use enchantments, nor practice sorcery.
Lev 19:27 " 'You shall not cut the hair on the sides of your heads, neither shall you clip off the edge of your beard.
Lev 19:28 " 'You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you. I am Yahweh.
Lev 19:29 " 'Don't profane your daughter, to make her a prostitute; lest the land fall to prostitution, and the land become full of wickedness.
Lev 19:30 " 'You shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary; I am Yahweh.
Lev 19:31 " 'Don't turn to those who are mediums, nor to the wizards. Don't seek them out, to be defiled by them. I am Yahweh your God.
Lev 19:32 " 'You shall rise up before the gray head, and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God. I am Yahweh.
Lev 19:33 " 'If a stranger lives as a foreigner with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.
Lev 19:34 The stranger who lives as a foreigner with you shall be to you as the native-born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you lived as foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.
Lev 19:35 " 'You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in measures of length, of weight, or of quantity.
Lev 19:36 You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin. I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
Lev 19:37 You shall observe all my statutes, and all my ordinances, and do them. I am Yahweh.' "

Lev 20:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 20:2 "Moreover, you shall tell the children of Israel, 'Anyone of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners in Israel, who gives any of his seed to Molech; he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones.
Lev 20:3 I also will set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people because he has given of his seed to Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.
Lev 20:4 If the people of the land all hide their eyes from that person, when he gives of his seed to Molech, and don't put him to death;
Lev 20:5 then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all who play the prostitute after him, to play the prostitute with Molech, from among their people.
Lev 20:6 " 'The person that turns to those who are mediums, and to the wizards, to play the prostitute after them, I will even set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people.
Lev 20:7 " 'Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am Yahweh your God.
Lev 20:8 You shall keep my statutes, and do them. I am Yahweh who sanctifies you.
Lev 20:9 " 'For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death: he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
Lev 20:10 " 'The man who commits adultery with another man's wife, even he who commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
Lev 20:11 The man who lies with his father's wife has uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Lev 20:12 " 'If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have committed a perversion; their blood shall be upon them.
Lev 20:13 " 'If a man lies with a male, as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Lev 20:14 " 'If a man takes a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burned with fire, both he and they; that there may be no wickedness among you.
Lev 20:15 " 'If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death; and you shall kill the animal.
Lev 20:16 " 'If a woman approaches any animal, and lies down with it, you shall kill the woman, and the animal: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Lev 20:17 " 'If a man takes his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness; it is a shameful thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of the children of their people: he has uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.
Lev 20:18 " 'If a man lies with a woman having her monthly period, and uncovers her nakedness; he has made naked her fountain, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.
Lev 20:19 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister, nor of your father's sister; for he has made naked his close relative: they shall bear their iniquity.
Lev 20:20 If a man lies with his uncle's wife, he has uncovered his uncle's nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.
Lev 20:21 " 'If a man takes his brother's wife, it is an impurity: he has uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall be childless.
Lev 20:22 " 'You shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my ordinances, and do them; that the land, where I am bringing you to dwell, may not vomit you out.
Lev 20:23 You shall not walk in the customs of the nation, which I am casting out before you: for they did all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.
Lev 20:24 But I have said to you, "You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey." I am Yahweh your God, who has separated you from the peoples.
Lev 20:25 " 'You shall therefore make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean fowl and the clean: and you shall not make yourselves abominable by animal, or by bird, or by anything with which the ground teems, which I have separated from you as unclean for you.
Lev 20:26 You shall be holy to me: for I, Yahweh, am holy, and have set you apart from the peoples, that you should be mine.
Lev 20:27 " 'A man or a woman that is a medium, or is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones; their blood shall be upon them.' "

Apr. 2
Leviticus 21, 22

Lev 21:1 Yahweh said to Moses, "Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them, 'A priest shall not defile himself for the dead among his people;
Lev 21:2 except for his relatives that are near to him: for his mother, for his father, for his son, for his daughter, for his brother,
Lev 21:3 and for his virgin sister who is near to him, who has had no husband; for her he may defile himself.
Lev 21:4 He shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.
Lev 21:5 " 'They shall not shave their heads, neither shall they shave off the corners of their beards, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.
Lev 21:6 They shall be holy to their God, and not profane the name of their God; for they offer the offerings of Yahweh made by fire, the bread of their God; therefore they shall be holy.
Lev 21:7 " 'They shall not marry a woman who is a prostitute, or profane; neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband: for he is holy to his God.
Lev 21:8 You shall sanctify him therefore; for he offers the bread of your God: he shall be holy to you: for I Yahweh, who sanctify you, am holy.
Lev 21:9 " 'The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the prostitute, she profanes her father: she shall be burned with fire.
Lev 21:10 " 'He who is the high priest among his brothers, upon whose head the anointing oil is poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not let the hair of his head hang loose, nor tear his clothes;
Lev 21:11 neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother;
Lev 21:12 neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him. I am Yahweh.
Lev 21:13 " 'He shall take a wife in her virginity.
Lev 21:14 A widow, or one divorced, or a woman who has been defiled, or a prostitute, these he shall not marry: but a virgin of his own people shall he take as a wife.
Lev 21:15 He shall not profane his seed among his people: for I am Yahweh who sanctifies him.' "
Lev 21:16 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 21:17 "Say to Aaron, 'None of your seed throughout their generations who has a blemish, may approach to offer the bread of his God.
Lev 21:18 For whatever man he is that has a blemish, he shall not draw near: a blind man, or a lame, or he who has a flat nose, or any deformity,
Lev 21:19 or a man who has an injured foot, or an injured hand,
Lev 21:20 or hunchbacked, or a dwarf, or one who has a defect in his eye, or an itching disease, or scabs, or who has damaged testicles;
Lev 21:21 no man of the seed of Aaron the priest, who has a blemish, shall come near to offer the offerings of Yahweh made by fire. Since has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God.
Lev 21:22 He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy.
Lev 21:23 He shall not come near to the veil, nor come near to the altar, because he has a blemish; that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am Yahweh who sanctifies them.' "
Lev 21:24 So Moses spoke to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel.

Lev 22:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 22:2 "Tell Aaron and his sons to separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, which they make holy to me, and that they not profane my holy name. I am Yahweh.
Lev 22:3 "Tell them, 'If anyone of all your seed throughout your generations approaches the holy things, which the children of Israel make holy to Yahweh, having his uncleanness on him, that soul shall be cut off from before me. I am Yahweh.
Lev 22:4 " 'Whoever of the seed of Aaron is a leper or has an issue; he shall not eat of the holy things, until he is clean. Whoever touches anything that is unclean by the dead, or a man whose seed goes from him;
Lev 22:5 or whoever touches any creeping thing, whereby he may be made unclean, or a man of whom he may take uncleanness, whatever uncleanness he has;
Lev 22:6 the person that touches any such shall be unclean until the evening, and shall not eat of the holy things, unless he bathe his body in water.
Lev 22:7 When the sun is down, he shall be clean; and afterward he shall eat of the holy things, because it is his bread.
Lev 22:8 That which dies of itself, or is torn by animals, he shall not eat, defiling himself by it. I am Yahweh.
Lev 22:9 " 'They shall therefore follow my requirements, lest they bear sin for it, and die therein, if they profane it. I am Yahweh who sanctifies them.
Lev 22:10 " 'No stranger shall eat of the holy thing: a foreigner living with the priests, or a hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing.
Lev 22:11 But if a priest buys a slave, purchased by his money, he shall eat of it; and such as are born in his house, they shall eat of his bread.
Lev 22:12 If a priest's daughter is married to an outsider, she shall not eat of the heave offering of the holy things.
Lev 22:13 But if a priest's daughter is a widow, or divorced, and has no child, and has returned to her father's house, as in her youth, she may eat of her father's bread: but no stranger shall eat any of it.
Lev 22:14 " 'If a man eats something holy unwittingly, then he shall add the fifth part of its value to it, and shall give the holy thing to the priest.
Lev 22:15 The priests shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they offer to Yahweh,
Lev 22:16 and so cause them to bear the iniquity that brings guilt, when they eat their holy things: for I am Yahweh who sanctifies them.' "
Lev 22:17 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 22:18 "Speak to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them, 'Whoever is of the house of Israel, or of the foreigners in Israel, who offers his offering, whether it be any of their vows, or any of their freewill offerings, which they offer to Yahweh for a burnt offering;
Lev 22:19 that you may be accepted, you shall offer a male without blemish, of the bulls, of the sheep, or of the goats.
Lev 22:20 But whatever has a blemish, that you shall not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you.
Lev 22:21 Whoever offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to Yahweh to accomplish a vow, or for a freewill offering, of the herd or of the flock, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.
Lev 22:22 Blind, injured, maimed, having a wart, festering, or having a running sore, you shall not offer these to Yahweh, nor make an offering by fire of them on the altar to Yahweh.
Lev 22:23 Either a bull or a lamb that has any deformity or lacking in his parts, that you may offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted.
Lev 22:24 That which has its testicles bruised, crushed, broken, or cut, you shall not offer to Yahweh; neither shall you do thus in your land.
Lev 22:25 Neither shall you offer the bread of your God from the hand of a foreigner of any of these; because their corruption is in them. There is a blemish in them. They shall not be accepted for you.' "
Lev 22:26 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 22:27 "When a bull, or a sheep, or a goat, is born, then it shall remain seven days with its mother; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for the offering of an offering made by fire to Yahweh.
Lev 22:28 Whether it is a cow or ewe, you shall not kill it and its young both in one day.
Lev 22:29 "When you sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving to Yahweh, you shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted.
Lev 22:30 It shall be eaten on the same day; you shall leave none of it until the morning. I am Yahweh.
Lev 22:31 "Therefore you shall keep my commandments, and do them. I am Yahweh.
Lev 22:32 You shall not profane my holy name, but I will be made holy among the children of Israel. I am Yahweh who makes you holy,
Lev 22:33 who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. I am Yahweh."

Apr. 1

Luke 2

Luk 2:1 Now it happened in those days, that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.
Luk 2:2 This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
Luk 2:3 All went to enroll themselves, everyone to his own city.
Luk 2:4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David;
Luk 2:5 to enroll himself with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him as wife, being pregnant.
Luk 2:6 It happened, while they were there, that the day had come that she should give birth.
Luk 2:7 She brought forth her firstborn son, and she wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a feeding trough, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luk 2:8 There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.
Luk 2:9 Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
Luk 2:10 The angel said to them, "Don't be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people.
Luk 2:11 For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luk 2:12 This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough."
Luk 2:13 Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army praising God, and saying,
Luk 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men."
Luk 2:15 It happened, when the angels went away from them into the sky, that the shepherds said one to another, "Let's go to Bethlehem, now, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us."
Luk 2:16 They came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby was lying in the feeding trough.
Luk 2:17 When they saw it, they publicized widely the saying which was spoken to them about this child.
Luk 2:18 All who heard it wondered at the things which were spoken to them by the shepherds.
Luk 2:19 But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart.
Luk 2:20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, just as it was told them.
Luk 2:21 When eight days were fulfilled for the circumcision of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Luk 2:22 When the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord
Luk 2:23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord"),
Luk 2:24 and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."
Luk 2:25 Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.
Luk 2:26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
Luk 2:27 He came in the Spirit into the temple. When the parents brought in the child, Jesus, that they might do concerning him according to the custom of the law,
Luk 2:28 then he received him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Luk 2:29 "Now you are releasing your servant, Master, according to your word, in peace;
Luk 2:30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,
Luk 2:31 which you have prepared before the face of all peoples;
Luk 2:32 a light for revelation to the nations, and the glory of your people Israel."
Luk 2:33 Joseph and his mother were marveling at the things which were spoken concerning him,
Luk 2:34 and Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against.
Luk 2:35 Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
Luk 2:36 There was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher (she was of a great age, having lived with a husband seven years from her virginity,
Luk 2:37 and she had been a widow for about eighty-four years), who didn't depart from the temple, worshipping with fastings and petitions night and day.
Luk 2:38 Coming up at that very hour, she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of him to all those who were looking for redemption in Jerusalem.
Luk 2:39 When they had accomplished all things that were according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.
Luk 2:40 The child was growing, and was becoming strong in spirit, being filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.
Luk 2:41 His parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover.
Luk 2:42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast,
Luk 2:43 and when they had fulfilled the days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. Joseph and his mother didn't know it,
Luk 2:44 but supposing him to be in the company, they went a day's journey, and they looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances.
Luk 2:45 When they didn't find him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for him.
Luk 2:46 It happened after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions.
Luk 2:47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
Luk 2:48 When they saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us this way? Behold, your father and I were anxiously looking for you."
Luk 2:49 He said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Didn't you know that I must be in my Father's house?"
Luk 2:50 They didn't understand the saying which he spoke to them.
Luk 2:51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth. He was subject to them, and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
Luk 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Apr. 2
Luke 3

Luk 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,
Luk 3:2 in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.
Luk 3:3 He came into all the region around the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for remission of sins.
Luk 3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight.
Luk 3:5 Every valley will be filled. Every mountain and hill will be brought low. The crooked will become straight, and the rough ways smooth.
Luk 3:6 All flesh will see God's salvation.' "
Luk 3:7 He said therefore to the multitudes who went out to be baptized by him, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Luk 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and don't begin to say among yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father;' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones!
Luk 3:9 Even now the axe also lies at the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doesn't bring forth good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire."
Luk 3:10 The multitudes asked him, "What then must we do?"
Luk 3:11 He answered them, "He who has two coats, let him give to him who has none. He who has food, let him do likewise."
Luk 3:12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, "Teacher, what must we do?"
Luk 3:13 He said to them, "Collect no more than that which is appointed to you."
Luk 3:14 Soldiers also asked him, saying, "What about us? What must we do?" He said to them, "Extort from no one by violence, neither accuse anyone wrongfully. Be content with your wages."
Luk 3:15 As the people were in expectation, and all men reasoned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he was the Christ,
Luk 3:16 John answered them all, "I indeed baptize you with water, but he comes who is mightier than I, the latchet of whose sandals I am not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire,
Luk 3:17 whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor, and will gather the wheat into his barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Luk 3:18 Then with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people,
Luk 3:19 but Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the evil things which Herod had done,
Luk 3:20 added this also to them all, that he shut up John in prison.
Luk 3:21 Now it happened, when all the people were baptized, Jesus also had been baptized, and was praying. The sky was opened,
Luk 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form as a dove on him; and a voice came out of the sky, saying "You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased."
Luk 3:23 Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years old, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,
Luk 3:24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,
Luk 3:25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai,
Luk 3:26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah,
Luk 3:27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri,
Luk 3:28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er,
Luk 3:29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,
Luk 3:30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim,
Luk 3:31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David,
Luk 3:32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon,
Luk 3:33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Aram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah,
Luk 3:34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
Luk 3:35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah,
Luk 3:36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,
Luk 3:37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan,
Luk 3:38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.