7/29/19

"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN" Fellowship With God (1:5-2:2) by Mark Copeland


"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN"

Fellowship With God (1:5-2:2)

INTRODUCTION

1. In the first four verses of First John, we saw that John's aim in
   this epistle is...
   a. To declare the "Word of life", the "eternal life" that was with
      the Father and has been manifested in Jesus Christ - 1Jn 1:1-2
   b. That we might have fellowship with the Father and Son, just as
      the apostles do - 1Jn 1:3
   c. That we might have fullness of joy - 1Jn 1:4

2. So to have fullness of joy...we must experience the kind of life 
   that comes from having fellowship with God!

3. What is the basis for fellowship with God, so that we may have the
   life that produces fullness of joy?
   a. In our text (1Jn 1:5-2:2), John discusses the basis for
      fellowship with God
   b. He also describes the place of sin, and how it can affect that
      fellowship

[With verse 5, we notice...]

I. THE PREMISE FOR HAVING FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD (5)

   A. "GOD IS LIGHT"
      1. The figure of light is often used in the Scriptures to 
         describe that which to good, righteous, and true - cf. Ep 5:8-10
      2. Therefore, God must always be thought of in this way:  He is 
         good, He is righteous, He is true!

   B. "IN HIM IS NO DARKNESS AT ALL"
      1. The figure of darkness would represent the opposite of light:
         evil, unrighteousness, falsehood
      2. Therefore we can never think of God as countenancing sin, 
         excusing it in any way

[With this basic understanding clearly established of what God is, John
now addresses some...]

II. FALSE CLAIMS CONCERNING FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD (6-10)

   A. "WE HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM", YET WALK IN DARKNESS (6-7)
      1. Why is this claim false?
         a. Because fellowship means to have something in common
         b. And we have seen that God is "light" (goodness,
            righteousness, truth)
         c. "Walking in darkness", therefore, would be going against
            everything God stands for! - cf. Ep 4:17-24
      2. What is the result of such a claim?
         a. We are false in our WORDS ("we lie")
         b. We are false in our DEEDS ("do not practice the truth")
      3. Instead, we should "walk in the light as He is in the light"
         a. I.e., instead of living a life characterized by "evil,
            unrighteousness, and error" (all the while claiming to have
            fellowship with God)...
         b. ...we should live a life in harmony with God's "goodness,
            righteousness, and truth"!
      4. Only then will we experience:
         a. "Fellowship with one another"
            1) That is, we will have fellowship with God
            2) Whereby we can share in that life which is eternal, and 
               provides fullness of joy!
         b. "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son [which] cleanses us from
            all sin"
            1) This suggests that "walking in the light" does not imply
               sinlessness
            2) Any more than "walking in darkness" implies total 
               absence of good
            3) Rather, "walking in the light" suggests...
               a) A life making progress under the positive influence 
                  of God's "light"
               b) A life enjoying the cleansing power of Jesus' blood 
                  as one meets the conditions of forgiveness outlined below

   B. "WE HAVE NO SIN" (8,9)
      1. John may have reference to statements made by professing
         Christians who thought they had become sinless
      2. The consequences of such a claim...
         a. Self-deceit ("we deceive ourselves")
         b. Living in error ("the truth is not in us")
         c. I.e., walking in darkness, not walking in light!
      3. Instead, we should freely confess our sins - 1Jn 1:9a; cf. 
         Pr 28:13
      4. Then God, who is "faithful" (trustworthy) and "just" (one who 
         does what is right) will...
         a. "forgive us our sins"
         b. "cleanse us from all unrighteousness"
         ...through His mercy He makes it possible for to continue in 
         fellowship with Him!

   C. "WE HAVE NOT SINNED" (10)
      1. This claim may have been made by some denying they had ever sinned
      2. The consequences of this claim are grievous...
         a. We make God a liar! - cf. Ro 3:23
         b. His Word is not in us!
      3. How can anyone who makes such claims as these hope to have 
         true fellowship with God, and thereby enjoy the life such 
         fellowship gives?
      4. Fellowship with God does not occur by making claims that turn 
         God into a liar!

[Though affirming that we do sin, John is not seeking to encourage sin.
Indeed, he is writing to discourage sin (1Jn 2:1).

But fellowship with God requires that a person takes sin seriously.  To
appreciate further how serious God takes sin, we learn that...]

II. FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD REQUIRES AN ADVOCATE (2:1-2)

   A. "WE HAVE AN ADVOCATE WITH THE FATHER, JESUS CHRIST THE RIGHTEOUS"
      (1)
      1. The word "advocate"...
         a. Literally means "to call to one's side, to one's aid"
         b. It suggests the capability for giving aid
         c. Used in a court of justice to denote a legal assistant, a 
            counsel for the defense
         d. Generally, it is one who pleads another's case, an 
            intercessor
      2. Jesus is the perfect "advocate", for He is RIGHTEOUS
         a. As sinners, we are alienated from God - cf. Isa 59:1-2
         b. But since Jesus is without sin, He is a fit representative
            to come before God on our behalf!
         c. The author of Hebrews also makes the point that though 
            righteous, He understands our situation perfectly 
            - cf. He 2:17-18; 4:14-16

   B. "HE HIMSELF IS THE PROPITIATION FOR OUR SINS" (2)
      1. The word "propitiation" means "an appeasing"
         a. E.g., the pagans would offer sacrifices to appease their gods
         b. In the New Testament, it is God, not man, who offers the 
            appeasing sacrifice - cf. 1Jn 4:10
         c. Through His death on the cross, Jesus is the means by which
            God can show mercy to the sinner
         d. This explains how God can be "just" (cf. 1Jn 1:9) and 
            still forgive sin
         e. This wonderful "propitiation" was given to the whole world,
            but is accessed only by those who believe in Jesus - cf. 
            1Jn 2:2; Ro 3:21-26

CONCLUSION

1. In this first chapter, and even into the second, John makes it clear
   upon what basis we can have fellowship with God, and enjoy the life 
   that provides fullness of joy

2. To have fellowship with God, we who are Christians must...
   a. Not walk in darkness, but walk in the light of God's goodness, 
      righteous, and truth
   b. Admit that we have sinned, and do sin
   c. Utilize our "advocate" (Jesus Christ), Whom God provides as the 
      "propitiation" for our sins

In 1Jn 1:9, John explained how those who are already children of God
can appropriate the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus (through 
confession and prayer).  But how about the alien sinner?  - cf. Ac 2:
38; 22:16 (faith, repentance, and baptism)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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What is Bigger and More Incomprehensible than the God of Christians? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2052


What is Bigger and More Incomprehensible than the God of Christians?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


In a recent TIME magazine article, wherein senior staff writer David Van Biema interviewed renowned atheist Richard Dawkins and theist Francis Collins, Dawkins made a comment about the existence of God that revealed a serious flaw in his case against Creation and Christianity. Although he believes the idea of “a supernatural intelligent designer” is “refutable,” he speculated, saying, “If there is a God, it’s going to be a whole lot bigger and a whole lot more incomprehensible than anything that any theologian of any religion has ever proposed” (quoted in Van Biema, 2006, 168[20]:55). Thus, every “God” ever conceptualized by mankind is simply too small and too comprehensible for Dawkins.
It certainly is the case that gods of various religious groups of the past and present have lacked size and intelligence. The gods of ancient Egypt were exposed as counterfeit when the God of Israel demonstrated His superiority over them. He brought 10 plagues on Egypt, executing judgment “against all the gods of Egypt” (Exodus 12:12; Numbers 33:4), that (among other things) man might “know that Jehovah is greater than all gods” (Exodus 18:11, ASV). In Elijah’s day, Jehovah God revealed His supremacy over Baal on Mount Carmel when He sent fire down from heaven, totally consuming Elijah’s sacrifice (1 Kings 18:20-38), while the sacrifices of Baal’s prophets lay quiescent. Then, “[w]hen all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, ‘The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God’” (1 Kings 18:39). Furthermore, the millions of Hindu gods of the past and present also lack sufficient magnitude and intelligence. They are lifeless, powerless, man-made idols that both atheists and theists rightly refuse to acknowledge.
To conclude, however, that no one from any religion has ever proposed a God that is of adequate size and mystery is simply untrue. What about the God of the Bible? Considering that approximately two billion people on Earth claim to believe in this God (see “Major Religions...,” 2005), Dawkins no doubt had the God of Christians in mind when he said, “If there is a God, it’s going to be a whole lot bigger and a whole lot more incomprehensible than anything that any theologian of any religion has ever proposed.” What (or Who) could be larger, mightier, and more incomprehensible than the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the God that Christians worship and serve?
The God of the Bible is omnipresent. The psalmist proclaimed: “Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Thy hand will lead me, and Thy right hand will lay hold of me (139:7-10, NASB). Try as he might, no one can hide from God (Jeremiah 23:23-24). He is everywhere. His eyes “are in every place” (Proverbs 15:3). “There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13, emp. added).
God not only is omnipresent, He also knows everything. Numerous passages of Scripture clearly teach that God is omniscient. The psalmist declared that God “knows the secrets of the heart” (44:21) and that “His understanding is infinite” (147:5). Of Jehovah, the psalmist also wrote:
O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether (139:1-4).
God is greater than our heart, and knows all things” (1 John 3:20, emp. added). Not only does He know the past and the present, but the future as well (Acts 15:18; cf. Isaiah 46:10). There is nothing outside of the awareness of God. What’s more, at the end of time, He “will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14, emp. added).
Perhaps the most awesome attribute of Jehovah is His unlimited power. He is “God Almighty” (Genesis 17:1). Nothing is too hard for Him (Genesis 18:14). As Job confessed to God, “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You” (42:2, emp. added). By simply speaking, God can create that which is visible from that which is invisible (Hebrews 11:3; cf. Genesis 1), and can turn the physical into the celestial (1 Corinthians 15:50-54). He can turn water into wine simply by desiring it to happen (John 2:1-10). He can miraculously heal a paralytic by merely willing it to “be done” (Matthew 8:13). He can raise a man from the dead simply by commanding him to “come forth” (John 11:43). The God of Christians is omnipotent.
What more does Dawkins need from a god? By definition, the God of the Bible could not be any bigger, more powerful, or more intelligent than He already is. Jehovah is all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere present. In addition, He is eternal (cf. Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 102:27; Revelation 1:8). He is from “everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2). What could be “bigger” and “more incomprehensible” for finite humans to grasp?
Nothing is bigger than God. Nothing is more powerful than God. And no one can rationally fathom a being more intelligent than God. As far as being “a whole lot more incomprehensible,” the psalmist addressed God’s unfathomable intelligence, confessing that “[s]uch knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it” (139:6, emp. added). God said: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.... For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Centuries later Paul praised the “depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God,” exclaiming “[h]ow unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33, emp. added). Indeed, there are “the secret things” that “belong to the Lord our God,” which we will never know this side of eternity, and perhaps not even on the other side (Deuteronomy 29:29). Thankfully, the one true and living God did reveal a substantial amount of information about Himself through nature, and much more through the Scriptures (Romans 1:20; Deuteronomy 29:29), that we might “have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
The God that the prominent, militant atheist Richard Dawkins said would exist, “if there is a God,” actually does exist. Sadly, Dawkins and millions of others simply have “refused to have God in their knowledge” (Romans 1:28, ASV), for which “they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

REFERENCES

“Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherents” (2005), [On-line], URL:http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html.
Van Biema, David (2006), “God vs. Science,” TIME, 168[20]:48-55, November 13.

What is Apologetics? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=826


What is Apologetics?

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


You walk up to the man on the street and tell him that Jesus Christ loves him and died so he could receive forgiveness of his sins. You explain that everyone should obey Jesus because He is the Son of God. The man wants to know how you know this information. You inform him that the Bible, the inspired Word of God, declares it to be true. He wants to know two things: (1) How can you prove that there is a God?; and (2) How can you prove that the Bible is His Word? He is not being belligerent or cantankerous; he simply wants some good evidence that would warrant the total overhaul of his life you are asking him to make.
It is now your responsibility to present solid, rational arguments that prove the things you have affirmed. You must defend the propositions you have presented. You are appointed for the defense of the Gospel (Philippians 1:17, NKJV).
The term “apologetics” derives from the Greek word apologia, which means “to defend” or “to make a defense.” Thus, apologetics is a discipline dedicated to the defense of something. There can be as many different types of apologetics as there are beliefs in the world: atheistic apologetics, Hindu apologetics, Buddhist apologetics, Christian apologetics, ad infinitum. However, generally when the discipline is discussed, most people associate it with Christian apologetics. Therefore, for the remainder of this discussion, when I use the term apologetics, I will be referring specifically to Christian apologetics.
What is apologetics? Christian philosopher Dick Sztanyo has suggested: “Apologetics is the proclamation and defense of the gospel of Christ regardless of whenever, wherever, and by whomever it is challenged.” The apostle Peter used apologetics when he appealed to the empty tomb on Pentecost. Paul used apologetics when he quoted the stoic poets to draw attention to God’s existence as he addressed the Athenians. Christ used apologetics when He appealed to a Roman coin to prove that Jews should pay taxes. We can see, then, that the word apologetics carries no hint of “apologizing”—in the sense of being sorry or ashamed. On the contrary, the word houses the exact opposite idea of intelligent vindication by vigorous argument. In fact, Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Apologetics vigorously defends the truth by refuting arguments that exalt themselves above God’s Word.
What tools, then, can apologetics use to “cast down” faulty arguments? Its toolbox is as endlessly deep as it is long. Any discipline—from astronomy to zoology—can be called upon to come to the aid of apologetics. Just as Peter used the physical evidence of the empty tomb, just as Paul used contemporary literature, and jut as Jesus used an inscription on a coin, modern apologists can use archaeology, literature, science, morality, technology, and countless other facets of human life to defend Christianity. A small child can watch ants hard at work and testify to the wisdom of the book of Proverbs. An astrophysicist can contemplate the Second Law of Thermodynamics and maintain that the world will not last forever. An archaeologist can find an ancient inscription about a people known as the Hittites and assert that the Bible has accurate information about this ancient group of people. A professor of literature can read poetry from ages past and ascertain that mankind always has desired to worship a Creator Who is infinitely higher than humanity. From the heights of the mountains to the depths of the oceans, facts surface that provide an ample array of ammunition that can be fired from the cannon of apologetics.
However, the machinery of apologetics can operate only on the fuel of reason, for without reason apologetics has no sure foundation. The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary defines reason as “the power of comprehending, inferring, or thinking, especially in orderly, rational ways.” Paul contrasted reason with insanity in Acts 26:24-25: “Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, ‘Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!’ But he said, ‘I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.’ ” God and His spokesmen always have spoken rational, reasonable truths. God employed reason to convince Isaiah’s listeners of their sin: “ ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow’ ” (Isaiah 1:18). When Samuel spoke to the Israelites at the coronation of Saul, he said: “Now therefore, stand still, that I may reason with you before the Lord concerning all the righteous acts of the Lord which He did to you and your fathers” (1 Samuel 12:7). From the dawn of time, God presented man with the facts, and then allowed man to use reason to reach correct conclusions. Thus, Romans 1:20 states: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made….” Reason provides for the removal of all contradictory and fallacious arguments, leaving only those facts that are consistent and correct.
The Christian religion, at its core, is based upon historically verifiable facts. The Bible is not a sourcebook of wise proverbs that somehow stand upon their own merit. Without an establishment of the facts concerning the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Word of God as we know it—even with all of its sound wisdom and practical guidance—is nothing more than a devotional book full of helpful platitudes that deserves to be placed on the shelf next to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. By using historical facts that are consistent and correct, apologetics makes its defense by appealing to man’s capacity to reason. God never has desired that His human creatures blindly accept unreasonable propositions postulated by perverse persons. He does not want us to be “children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive (Ephesians 4:14). On the contrary, He demands that we “test all things; hold fast what is good” (2 Thessalonians 5:21). In the end, however, apologetics can soften only the hearts of those who agree to be honest with themselves and to deal honestly and reasonably with the available evidence. There is much truth in the old adage: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

What Do You Know? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3520


What Do You Know?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


We may not all understand the technical, philosophical terminology that philosophers use to dissect and describe things that we can and cannot know, but most rational people understand that there are some things we can know and some things we cannot. We can know that we exist. We can know that 1 + 1 = 2. We can know that yesterday is in the past and tomorrow is yet to be seen and full of the unknown. What is mind boggling are those things that atheistic evolutionists say Christians cannot know, while at the same time assuring the world of the many things they know regarding the origins of man and the Universe.
  • Atheists contend that Christians cannot know that there is a Creator, and that in fact, they know there is no Creator. Yet, they will affirm that they know that the Universe is the result of a infinitesimal ball of matter that exploded about 14 billion years ago. After explaining that the Universe came into existence billions of years ago from “nothing” in a black hole, world renowned, atheistic cosmologist Stephen Hawking said: “That is exactly what happened at the start of the Universe” (“Curiosity…,” 2011, emp. added). Really? He knows “exactly what happened” 14 billion years ago?
  • Atheists contend that Christians cannot know that Christ lived, died, and arose from the dead 2,000 years ago (Acharya, 1999), yet they claim to know “exactly what happened” at the beginning of time, supposedly 14,000,000,000 years ago. Seriously?
  • Atheists contend that Christians cannot know that life was created by a supernatural Creator a few thousand years ago. Even though biogenesis has repeatedly proven itself true—that in nature life comes only from life and that of its own kind—atheistic evolutionists claim to know the very opposite to be true: in nature life evolved from non-life billions of years ago.
  • Atheists contend that Christians cannot know that a Creator created sea creatures and land animals, but they affirm with all confidence that fish flopped out of water and evolved into amphibians and reptiles, while fox-like, land animals drifted out into water and evolved fins, flukes, and blow holes on their way to becoming whales (“The Evolution of Whales,” 2012).
  • Atheists contend that Christians cannot know that human life was specially created differently from all other creation (Genesis 1:26-28), but they know that humans evolved from ape-like creatures. As was emphatically stated in one widely used middle school textbook, “There is no doubt among scientists…that humans evolved from common ancestors they share with other living primates. Scientists also know that the human species evolved in Africa and then spread around the Earth” (Evolution…, 1994, p. 78, emp. added). [Of course, to be consistent, if humans evolved from animals, and were not created in the image of God, then butchering babies could be considered no more evil than butchering baboons, bugs, bull frogs, or buffalo.]  
  • Atheists contend that Christians cannot know that the Bible is from God, but they can know that their man-made, assumption-based, often-contradictory dating techniques prove that various rocks on Earth are billions of years old.
This list could go on and on. Atheistic evolutionists continually contend with all assurance that they “know” what happened millions and billions of years ago. They “know” that purely naturalistic evolution is “a fundamental fact…as real as hunger and as unavoidable as death” (Hayden, 2002, 133[4]:43). Creation-believing Christians, who refuse to accept the alleged “fact” of evolution, are, as world-renowned atheist Richard Dawkins put it, “ignorant, stupid, or insane” (1989, p. 3, emp. added). Why? Because we believe that the Universe is an effect of a cause much greater than the explosion of a tiny ball of matter. Because we believe that Mind, not matter, is eternal. Because we believe that design demands a Designer, and not a random explosion. Because nature (i.e., the Law of Biogenesis) demands a supernatural explanation for the origin of life. Because a human life is more precious than a bug’s. Because we choose to believe the answers that the Creator provided for us in His inspired, ever-enduring, never-changing revelation (see Butt, 2007), rather than in the ever-changing, constantly revised fable of evolution.
We can know that God exists because He is “clearly seen” by His Creation (Romans 1:20); the heavens declare His glory (Psalm 19:1). We can know that the Bible is His will for mankind because of its amazing predictive prophecy, scientific foreknowledge, historical accuracy, and perfect unity. We can know the Truth (John 8:32).
The world, through what is falsely called “wisdom,” does not know God (1 Corinthians 1:21). They believe that Christ and His Creation are “foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:23). As Christians, we “boast in the Lord” (Psalm 34:2, emp. added). We know of His existence. We trust in His Word. Stephen Hawking and other atheists claim they can know “exactly what happened at the start of the Universe,” even though, allegedly, no conscious being was around 14 billion years ago to witness it. Christians, on the other hand, choose to believe in the answers of the One Who was at Creation and did the creating. Rather than accept the “wisdom” of the world, we seek the wisdom of the One Who created the world. Ultimately, only He can provide the details to the origin of the Universe and everything in it.
“Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?... Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding” (Job 38:2,4).
“[T]he foolishness of God is wiser than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25).

REFERENCES

Acharya, S. (1999), The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold (Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press).
Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
“Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe?” (2011), Discovery Channel, August 7.
Dawkins, Richard (1989), “Book Review” (of Donald Johanson and Maitland Edey’s Blueprint), The New York Times, section 7, April 9.
Evolution: Change Over Time (1994), (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall).
“The Evolution of Whales” (2012), Understanding Evolution, University of California Museum of Paleontology, http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evograms_03.
Hayden, Thomas (2002), “A Theory Evolves,” U.S. News & World Report, 133[4]:42-50, July 29.

Teachings of Jesus (Part 21) About Worry by Ben Fronczek

http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?p=1843

Teachings of Jesus (Part 21) About Worry


Teachings of Jesus (Part 21) Warning To Beware Of Worry
Open: (Pace back and forth with a worried look on my face.) Then ask, ‘Have you ever paced the floor back and forth worried sick about something?’ Maybe you don’t pace the floor when you are worried, maybe instead you can’t sleep at night and just toss and turn in bed thinking about what you are worried about. Or maybe you eat more than you should, or just the wrong things when you are worried. Some even have worst habits when they are worried; some get angry or just plain mean; some even loose themselves in a bottle of alcohol. We’ve all worried about something at one time or another and today we will be looking at what Jesus has to say about worrying.
Read Luke 12: 22-31 “22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Our English word for worry comes from an Anglo Saxon word that means “to strangle.” Corrie Ten Boom once said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of it’s sorrow, “it empties today of it’s strength.”
I think Jesus asked a great question when He asked here, 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”
Can anyone here remember having any of their needs fulfilled by worrying? If anything, worry usually guarantees that you will make situation even worse.
According to the grammar here, Jesus is not suggesting that we should not worry, He is commanding us not to worry! You see, Jesus knows that worry is a very dangerous thing.
1. Worry robs life of it’s joy
2. And at worry’s root is a lack of trust in God He said ‘Oh you of little faith’
3. And many times in our pursuit to soothe worry we commit acts of sin.
4. Worry also has adverse physical effects.
Many physicians believe that worry causes or contributes to: ulcers, colitis, asthma, migraine, strokes, paralysis, arthritis, fatigue, hypertension and diabetes and more. Researchers have stated that more than 1/2 of all hospital beds are occupied by anxious-ridden patients. Now there is a difference between concern and worry. Concerns are something we regard as important, note worthy, and deserving our attention. Things we are concerned about may cause us to do our best to fix the problem, but we are wise if we leave the rest up to God.
On the other hand, when we worry about something we attempt to deal with on our own… We if we dwell on the problem and choose not to give it to God it will eat away at us. You know, ‘What am going to do? What am going to do? What am I…..?’
So if Jesus commands us not to worry, what are some things that we can do to help us overcome this problem or even prevent us from worrying in the first place.
#1) THE FIRST thing we can do is to remember that the all knowing, the all powerful, the ever present, and all loving God knows all our needs; and we can trust Him to give us what we really need at just the right time. (Not always what we WANT, but what we really NEED).
The Bible tells us that we are sheep in His flock… Children in His family… Servants in His Kingdom. He is God and our needs have not escaped His notice. God has promised to take care of us. He has promised to give us good gifts.
When problems come rolling into our lives that cause us to be concerned(AND BELIEVE THEY WILL ROLL IN) — we do not have to get our self sick and worry about them because we are told in Romans 8:28 ” …that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose”   Father God is watching your back! So learn to trust Him.
In that same chapter in Romans it also says “If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?”
What a promise!
So the first step in overcoming worry in our life is to remember that God has our back and we just need to learn to trust Him. Can you do that?
#2. Another thing that we should do is, make sure that our priorities are right.    If we are simply focused on things which are temporary and transient, or on things that have to do with this earthly life, we will worry more.
As a matter of fact, whenever you and I worry it just may be a red flag that indicates that we are focused too much on the things of this world and that our hearts are anchored here more than on heaven.
I kinda think that’s why Jesus said, that if you get to that point you’d be better off Selling your possessions and give to the poor” (so you can) Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven. He said this because, “ For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “
In verse 31, Jesus tells us it’s more important to seek 1st the kingdom of God than the things of this world, and not to worry because if we put God in the forefront of our life, Jesus said He is going to take care of our needs.
So you need to ask yourself, “Am I really seeking the kingdom of God?”          I believe that if you stay focused on Him and His will, He will undoubtedly watch over every aspect of your life.
I don’t know who wrote this, but someone came up with this letter from God, and said that we should read it on a regular basis. It goes like this:
Good afternoon,      I am God. Today I will be handling all of your problems. Please remember that I do not need your help. If the devil happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, DO NOT attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the SFJTD (something for Jesus to do) box. It will be addressed in MY time, not yours.      Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold on to it or attempt to remove it. Holding on or removal will delay the resolution of your problem.      If it is a situation that you think you are capable of handling, please consult me in prayer to be sure that is the proper assumption.      Because I do not sleep or slumber, there is no need for you to lose any sleep. Rest, my child. If you need to contact me, I am only a prayer away.
Sad to say but I think people are way too concerned and worry about their worldly possessions and what they’ve done to get them. That’s why Jesus warned against greed as we saw in our last lesson. Instead Jesus lets us know the smart thing to do is focus on his kingdom, and not this world.
So some cures for worry are… #1. To Cast your worries on the One who CARES for you – our Heavenly Father.      In Peter’s first epistle he wrote in 5:6-7, Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
#2) Learn to put God, eternal matters and heavenly things first in your life.
       Matters of this earth are here today and gone tomorrow, but eternal matters are forever.
#3) Another good suggestions is to replace feeling of worry, and pacing the floor, with time in PRAYER. The apostle Paul wrote, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Did you get that, if you bring your request to God with thanksgiving, God is going to bless you with some peace of mind.
But like James wrote in his epistle in chapter 1, if we ask God for something we also need to believe that God is going provide what we need. (James 1:6)
#4) And finally one other good suggestion I read that helps calm a worried heart is to fill your heart and mind with WORSHIP instead of worry. In Philippians 4:8 Paul also wrote, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:8).
In other words, stop the stinkin thinking and start focusing and thinking about good and wholesome things. Instead of torturing your mind with the “what if” questions, calm your mind by talking to someone, or put on some good spiritual music, or read something positive, wholesome and beneficial. Think about what God has promised and offer Him praise and worship rather than self centered negative thought.
I pray that a worried mind does not get the best of you.

“Fear God!” (1 Peter 2:17) by Roy Davison

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


“Fear God!”
(1 Peter 2:17)


True worshipers are God-fearing people.
Job “was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1).
God told Abraham, “Now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son” (Genesis 22:12).
Cornelius “feared God with all his household” (Acts 10:2).

What does it mean to fear God?

To be God-fearing is to have an overwhelming feeling of profound respect for God that causes us to be highly conscious of our own inadequacy and dependence. God is so great and we are so small, that it is scary! Ezekiel fell on his face when he saw the glory of the Lord (Ezekiel 1:28). Fear is the reasonable response of mortal man in the presence of almighty God. Fear of God is the sober realization that our eternal destiny depends on His judgment.
The word fear is used in connection with God more than 300 times in the Scriptures.
Fear of God is a healthy fear, like fear of fire or fear of falling. Its effects are positive. Whom do you trust more, a God-fearing person, or someone who does not fear God?

Every person on earth is commanded to fear God.

“Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him” (Psalm 33:8).
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth - to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people - saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water’” (Revelation 14:6, 7).

We learn to fear God by reading the Scriptures.

“And Moses commanded them, saying: ‘At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the LORD your God and carefully observe all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God’” (Deuteronomy 31:10-13).
By reading the Scriptures or by hearing them read aloud, adults and children learn to fear God.

Leaders ought to fear God.

The king of Israel was to read the Scriptures to learn to fear the Lord: “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel” (Deuteronomy 17:18-20).
King David wrote: “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God’” (2 Samuel 23:3, 4).
When King Jehoshaphat appointed judges, he charged them: “Take heed to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. Now therefore, let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes. ... Thus you shall act in the fear of the LORD, faithfully and with a loyal heart” (2 Chronicles 19:6, 7, 9).

Fear of God is a prerequisite for wisdom.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments” (Psalm 111:10). “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

We fear God because He is our judge.

Jesus said: “My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4, 5).
Although we fear God as our judge, genuine love can dispel fear of punishment. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).
John refers to fear of punishment, not fear of God. People who love God do not fear condemnation because they “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28).
Those who fear God are comforted: “Fear not, for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10). When Daniel saw the Son of Man [compare Daniel 10:5, 6 with Revelation 1:12-15] he “stood trembling” but was told, “Do not fear, Daniel. ... O man greatly beloved, fear not!” (Daniel 10:10, 12, 19).
Christians are commanded: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
Although perfect love casts out fear, lack of fear does not prove love! Someone who does not fear God, does not fear judgment. And many who are confident that they are saved will be lost because they did not build on the Rock by obeying Christ (Matthew 7:22, 23). If they had truly loved God and feared Him as judge, they would have obeyed Christ.

A God-fearing person wants to please God.

Of Hezekiah, king of Judah, it is said: “Did he not fear the LORD and seek the LORD’s favor?” (Jeremiah 26:19).
They who fear God want to be faithful and true. Joshua told Israel, “Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth” (Joshua 24:14). Later, Samuel reminded them: “Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you” (1 Samuel 12:24). 
God has promised that we can be His sons and daughters if we separate ourselves from the uncleanness of the world (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Paul continues in the next chapter: “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

A God-fearing person wants to obey God.

“Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him” (Deuteronomy 8:6). “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul?” (Deuteronomy 10:12). “You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him” (Deuteronomy 13:4).

A God-fearing person wants to avoid evil. 

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:7). “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil” (Proverbs 8:13).

God takes care of those who fear Him.

“The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. ... Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him” (Psalm 34:7, 9). 
“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them” (Psalm 145:18, 19). 
“Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God” (Ecclesiastes 8:11-13). 
“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. ‘They shall be Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘on the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him’” (Malachi 3:16, 17).

God extends grace to those who fear Him.

“His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation” (Luke 1:50). “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy” (Psalm 33:18). “The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy” (Psalm 147:11).
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them” (Psalm 103:10-18).

Let us walk in the fear of the Lord. 

“Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied” (Acts 9:31). 
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). 
“You who fear the LORD, praise Him!” (Psalm 22:23).
“Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” (Revelation 19:5). Fear God! 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 July 29, 30 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading July 29, 30

World  English  Bible


July 29
2 Chronicles 19-21

2Ch 19:1 Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem.
2Ch 19:2 Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Should you help the wicked, and love those who hate Yahweh? for this thing wrath is on you from before Yahweh.
2Ch 19:3 Nevertheless there are good things found in you, in that you have put away the Asheroth out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God.
2Ch 19:4 Jehoshaphat lived at Jerusalem: and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and brought them back to Yahweh, the God of their fathers.
2Ch 19:5 He set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city,
2Ch 19:6 and said to the judges, Consider what you do: for you don't judge for man, but for Yahweh; and he is with you in the judgment.
2Ch 19:7 Now therefore let the fear of Yahweh be on you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with Yahweh our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of bribes.
2Ch 19:8 Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites and the priests, and of the heads of the fathers' houses of Israel, for the judgment of Yahweh, and for controversies. They returned to Jerusalem.
2Ch 19:9 He commanded them, saying, Thus you shall do in the fear of Yahweh, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.
2Ch 19:10 Whenever any controversy shall come to you from your brothers who dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and ordinances, you shall warn them, that they not be guilty towards Yahweh, and so wrath come on you and on your brothers: this do, and you shall not be guilty.
2Ch 19:11 Behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of Yahweh; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, in all the king's matters: also the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and Yahweh be with the good.

2Ch 20:1 It happened after this, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them some of the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
2Ch 20:2 Then there came some who told Jehoshaphat, saying, There comes a great multitude against you from beyond the sea from Syria; and behold, they are in Hazazon Tamar (the same is En Gedi).
2Ch 20:3 Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek to Yahweh; and he proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
2Ch 20:4 Judah gathered themselves together, to seek help of Yahweh: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek Yahweh.
2Ch 20:5 Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of Yahweh, before the new court;
2Ch 20:6 and he said, Yahweh, the God of our fathers, aren't you God in heaven? and aren't you ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? and in your hand is power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.
2Ch 20:7 Did not you, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it to the seed of Abraham your friend forever?
2Ch 20:8 They lived therein, and have built you a sanctuary therein for your name, saying,
2Ch 20:9 If evil come on us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house, and before you, (for your name is in this house), and cry to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.
2Ch 20:10 Now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned aside from them, and didn't destroy them;
2Ch 20:11 behold, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit.
2Ch 20:12 Our God, will you not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that comes against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are on you.
2Ch 20:13 All Judah stood before Yahweh, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
2Ch 20:14 Then on Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite, of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of Yahweh in the midst of the assembly;
2Ch 20:15 and he said, Listen, all Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you king Jehoshaphat: Thus says Yahweh to you, Don't you be afraid, neither be dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.
2Ch 20:16 Tomorrow go down against them: behold, they come up by the ascent of Ziz; and you shall find them at the end of the valley, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
2Ch 20:17 You shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of Yahweh with you, O Judah and Jerusalem; don't be afraid, nor be dismayed: tomorrow go out against them: for Yahweh is with you.
2Ch 20:18 Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before Yahweh, worshipping Yahweh.
2Ch 20:19 The Levites, of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites, stood up to praise Yahweh, the God of Israel, with an exceeding loud voice.
2Ch 20:20 They rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: believe in Yahweh your God, so you shall be established; believe his prophets, so you shall prosper.
2Ch 20:21 When he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who should sing to Yahweh, and give praise in holy array, as they went out before the army, and say, Give thanks to Yahweh; for his loving kindness endures forever.
2Ch 20:22 When they began to sing and to praise, Yahweh set ambushers against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were struck.
2Ch 20:23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, utterly to kill and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, everyone helped to destroy another.
2Ch 20:24 When Judah came to the place overlooking the wilderness, they looked at the multitude; and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and there were none who escaped.
2Ch 20:25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches and dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much.
2Ch 20:26 On the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Beracah; for there they blessed Yahweh: therefore the name of that place was called The valley of Beracah to this day.
2Ch 20:27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for Yahweh had made them to rejoice over their enemies.
2Ch 20:28 They came to Jerusalem with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets to the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 20:29 The fear of God was on all the kingdoms of the countries, when they heard that Yahweh fought against the enemies of Israel.
2Ch 20:30 So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet; for his God gave him rest all around.
2Ch 20:31 Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah: he was thirty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.
2Ch 20:32 He walked in the way of Asa his father, and didn't turn aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh.
2Ch 20:33 However the high places were not taken away; neither as yet had the people set their hearts to the God of their fathers.
2Ch 20:34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in the history of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is inserted in the book of the kings of Israel.
2Ch 20:35 After this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel; the same did very wickedly:
2Ch 20:36 and he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish; and they made the ships in Ezion Geber.
2Ch 20:37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because you have joined yourself with Ahaziah, Yahweh has destroyed your works. The ships were broken, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish.

2Ch 21:1 Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Jehoram his son reigned in his place.
2Ch 21:2 He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.
2Ch 21:3 Their father gave them great gifts, of silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fortified cities in Judah: but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn.
2Ch 21:4 Now when Jehoram was risen up over the kingdom of his father, and had strengthened himself, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and various also of the princes of Israel.
2Ch 21:5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
2Ch 21:6 He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab; for he had the daughter of Ahab as wife: and he did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh.
2Ch 21:7 However Yahweh would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a lamp to him and to his children always.
2Ch 21:8 In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves.
2Ch 21:9 Then Jehoram passed over with his captains, and all his chariots with him: and he rose up by night, and struck the Edomites who surrounded him, along with the captains of the chariots.
2Ch 21:10 So Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah to this day: then did Libnah revolt at the same time from under his hand, because he had forsaken Yahweh, the God of his fathers.
2Ch 21:11 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and made the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute, and led Judah astray.
2Ch 21:12 There came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus says Yahweh, the God of David your father, Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah,
2Ch 21:13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute, like as the house of Ahab did, and also have slain your brothers of your father's house, who were better than yourself:
2Ch 21:14 behold, Yahweh will strike with a great plague your people, and your children, and your wives, and all your substance;
2Ch 21:15 and you shall have great sickness by disease of your bowels, until your bowels fall out by reason of the sickness, day by day.
2Ch 21:16 Yahweh stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians who are beside the Ethiopians:
2Ch 21:17 and they came up against Judah, and broke into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king's house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.
2Ch 21:18 After all this Yahweh struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease.
2Ch 21:19 It happened, in process of time, at the end of two years, that his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness, and he died of sore diseases. His people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.
2Ch 21:20 Thirty-two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years: and he departed without being desired; and they buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.



July 30
2 Chronicles 22-24

2Ch 22:1 The inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his place; for the band of men who came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned.
2Ch 22:2 Forty-two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Athaliah the daughter of Omri.
2Ch 22:3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab; for his mother was his counselor to do wickedly.
2Ch 22:4 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as did the house of Ahab; for they were his counselors after the death of his father, to his destruction.
2Ch 22:5 He walked also after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth Gilead: and the Syrians wounded Joram.
2Ch 22:6 He returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which they had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. Azariah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.
2Ch 22:7 Now the destruction of Ahaziah was of God, in that he went to Joram: for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom Yahweh had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.
2Ch 22:8 It happened, when Jehu was executing judgment on the house of Ahab, that he found the princes of Judah, and the sons of the brothers of Ahaziah, ministering to Ahaziah, and killed them.
2Ch 22:9 He sought Ahaziah, and they caught him (now he was hiding in Samaria), and they brought him to Jehu, and killed him; and they buried him, for they said, He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought Yahweh with all his heart. The house of Ahaziah had no power to hold the kingdom.
2Ch 22:10 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal seed of the house of Judah.
2Ch 22:11 But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king's sons who were slain, and put him and his nurse in the bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest (for she was the sister of Ahaziah), hid him from Athaliah, so that she didn't kill him.
2Ch 22:12 He was with them hid in the house of God six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land.

2Ch 23:1 In the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and took the captains of hundreds, Azariah the son of Jeroham, and Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, and Azariah the son of Obed, and Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri, into covenant with him.
2Ch 23:2 They went about in Judah, and gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Judah, and the heads of fathers' houses of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem.
2Ch 23:3 All the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. He said to them, Behold, the king's son shall reign, as Yahweh has spoken concerning the sons of David.
2Ch 23:4 This is the thing that you shall do: a third part of you, who come in on the Sabbath, of the priests and of the Levites, shall be porters of the thresholds;
2Ch 23:5 and a third part shall be at the king's house; and a third part at the gate of the foundation: and all the people shall be in the courts of the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 23:6 But let none come into the house of Yahweh, save the priests, and those who minister of the Levites; they shall come in, for they are holy: but all the people shall keep the instruction of Yahweh.
2Ch 23:7 The Levites shall surround the king, every man with his weapons in his hand; and whoever comes into the house, let him be slain: and be with the king when he comes in, and when he goes out.
2Ch 23:8 So the Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded: and they took every man his men, those who were to come in on the Sabbath; with those who were to go out on the Sabbath; for Jehoiada the priest didn't dismiss the shift.
2Ch 23:9 Jehoiada the priest delivered to the captains of hundreds the spears, and bucklers, and shields, that had been king David's, which were in the house of God.
2Ch 23:10 He set all the people, every man with his weapon in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, along by the altar and the house, around the king.
2Ch 23:11 Then they brought out the king's son, and put the crown on him, and gave him the testimony, and made him king: and Jehoiada and his sons anointed him; and they said, Long live the king.
2Ch 23:12 When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people into the house of Yahweh:
2Ch 23:13 and she looked, and, behold, the king stood by his pillar at the entrance, and the captains and the trumpets by the king; and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew trumpets; the singers also played on instruments of music, and led the singing of praise. Then Athaliah tore her clothes, and said, Treason! treason!
2Ch 23:14 Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains of hundreds who were set over the army, and said to them, Have her forth between the ranks; and whoever follows her, let him be slain with the sword: for the priest said, Don't kill her in the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 23:15 So they made way for her; and she went to the entrance of the horse gate to the king's house: and they killed her there.
2Ch 23:16 Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, and all the people, and the king, that they should be Yahweh's people.
2Ch 23:17 All the people went to the house of Baal, and broke it down, and broke his altars and his images in pieces, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars.
2Ch 23:18 Jehoiada appointed the officers of the house of Yahweh under the hand of the priests the Levites, whom David had distributed in the house of Yahweh, to offer the burnt offerings of Yahweh, as it is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, according to the order of David.
2Ch 23:19 He set the porters at the gates of the house of Yahweh, that no one who was unclean in anything should enter in.
2Ch 23:20 He took the captains of hundreds, and the nobles, and the governors of the people, and all the people of the land, and brought down the king from the house of Yahweh: and they came through the upper gate to the king's house, and set the king on the throne of the kingdom.
2Ch 23:21 So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet. Athaliah they had slain with the sword.

2Ch 24:1 Joash was seven years old when he began to reign; and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Zibiah, of Beersheba.
2Ch 24:2 Joash did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh all the days of Jehoiada the priest.
2Ch 24:3 Jehoiada took for him two wives; and he became the father of sons and daughters.
2Ch 24:4 It happened after this, that Joash was minded to restore the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 24:5 He gathered together the priests and the Levites, and said to them, Go out to the cities of Judah, and gather of all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year; and see that you hasten the matter. However the Levites didn't hurry.
2Ch 24:6 The king called for Jehoiada the chief, and said to him, Why haven't you required of the Levites to bring in out of Judah and out of Jerusalem the tax of Moses the servant of Yahweh, and of the assembly of Israel, for the tent of the testimony?
2Ch 24:7 For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken up the house of God; and also all the dedicated things of the house of Yahweh did they bestow on the Baals.
2Ch 24:8 So the king commanded, and they made a chest, and set it outside at the gate of the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 24:9 They made a proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem, to bring in for Yahweh the tax that Moses the servant of God laid on Israel in the wilderness.
2Ch 24:10 All the princes and all the people rejoiced, and brought in, and cast into the chest, until they had made an end.
2Ch 24:11 It was so, that whenever the chest was brought to the king's officers by the hand of the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, the king's scribe and the chief priest's officer came and emptied the chest, and took it, and carried it to its place again. Thus they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance.
2Ch 24:12 The king and Jehoiada gave it to such as did the work of the service of the house of Yahweh; and they hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of Yahweh, and also such as worked iron and brass to repair the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 24:13 So the workmen worked, and the work of repairing went forward in their hands, and they set up the house of God in its state, and strengthened it.
2Ch 24:14 When they had made an end, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, of which were made vessels for the house of Yahweh, even vessels with which to minister and to offer, and spoons, and vessels of gold and silver. They offered burnt offerings in the house of Yahweh continually all the days of Jehoiada.
2Ch 24:15 But Jehoiada grew old and was full of days, and he died; one hundred thirty years old was he when he died.
2Ch 24:16 They buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, and toward God and his house.
2Ch 24:17 Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king listened to them.
2Ch 24:18 They forsook the house of Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols: and wrath came on Judah and Jerusalem for this their guiltiness.
2Ch 24:19 Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again to Yahweh; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.
2Ch 24:20 The Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest; and he stood above the people, and said to them, Thus says God, Why do you disobey the commandments of Yahweh, so that you can't prosper? because you have forsaken Yahweh, he has also forsaken you.
2Ch 24:21 They conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 24:22 Thus Joash the king didn't remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but killed his son. When he died, he said, Yahweh look on it, and require it.
2Ch 24:23 It happened at the end of the year, that the army of the Syrians came up against him: and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people, and sent all the spoil of them to the king of Damascus.
2Ch 24:24 For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men; and Yahweh delivered a very great army into their hand, because they had forsaken Yahweh, the God of their fathers. So they executed judgment on Joash.
2Ch 24:25 When they were departed for him (for they left him very sick), his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and killed him on his bed, and he died; and they buried him in the city of David, but they didn't bury him in the tombs of the kings.
2Ch 24:26 These are those who conspired against him: Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess.
2Ch 24:27 Now concerning his sons, and the greatness of the burdens laid on him, and the rebuilding of the house of God, behold, they are written in the commentary of the book of the kings. Amaziah his son reigned in his place.

Jul.  29

Acts 17

Act 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
Act 17:2 Paul, as was his custom, went in to them, and for three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
Act 17:3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ."
Act 17:4 Some of them were persuaded, and joined Paul and Silas, of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and not a few of the chief women.
Act 17:5 But the unpersuaded Jews took along some wicked men from the marketplace, and gathering a crowd, set the city in an uproar. Assaulting the house of Jason, they sought to bring them out to the people.
Act 17:6 When they didn't find them, they dragged Jason and certain brothers before the rulers of the city, crying, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here also,
Act 17:7 whom Jason has received. These all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus!"
Act 17:8 The multitude and the rulers of the city were troubled when they heard these things.
Act 17:9 When they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.
Act 17:10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroea. When they arrived, they went into the Jewish synagogue.
Act 17:11 Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
Act 17:12 Many of them therefore believed; also of the prominent Greek women, and not a few men.
Act 17:13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Beroea also, they came there likewise, agitating the multitudes.
Act 17:14 Then the brothers immediately sent out Paul to go as far as to the sea, and Silas and Timothy still stayed there.
Act 17:15 But those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens. Receiving a commandment to Silas and Timothy that they should come to him very quickly, they departed.
Act 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw the city full of idols.
Act 17:17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who met him.
Act 17:18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also were conversing with him. Some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be advocating foreign deities," because he preached Jesus and the resurrection.
Act 17:19 They took hold of him, and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is, which is spoken by you?
Act 17:20 For you bring certain strange things to our ears. We want to know therefore what these things mean."
Act 17:21 Now all the Athenians and the strangers living there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing.
Act 17:22 Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus, and said, "You men of Athens, I perceive that you are very religious in all things.
Act 17:23 For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: 'TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.' What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I announce to you.
Act 17:24 The God who made the world and all things in it, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, doesn't dwell in temples made with hands,
Act 17:25 neither is he served by men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself gives to all life and breath, and all things.
Act 17:26 He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the surface of the earth, having determined appointed seasons, and the boundaries of their dwellings,
Act 17:27 that they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
Act 17:28 'For in him we live, and move, and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also his offspring.'
Act 17:29 Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold, or silver, or stone, engraved by art and design of man.
Act 17:30 The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked. But now he commands that all people everywhere should repent,
Act 17:31 because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained; of which he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead."
Act 17:32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, "We want to hear you again concerning this."
Act 17:33 Thus Paul went out from among them.
Act 17:34 But certain men joined with him, and believed, among whom also was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Jul. 30
Acts 18

Act 18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth.
Act 18:2 He found a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by race, who had recently come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome. He came to them,
Act 18:3 and because he practiced the same trade, he lived with them and worked, for by trade they were tent makers.
Act 18:4 He reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Greeks.
Act 18:5 But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.
Act 18:6 When they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook out his clothing and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on, I will go to the Gentiles!"
Act 18:7 He departed there, and went into the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue.
Act 18:8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house. Many of the Corinthians, when they heard, believed and were baptized.
Act 18:9 The Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, "Don't be afraid, but speak and don't be silent;
Act 18:10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many people in this city."
Act 18:11 He lived there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Act 18:12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat,
Act 18:13 saying, "This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law."
Act 18:14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, "If indeed it were a matter of wrong or of wicked crime, you Jews, it would be reasonable that I should bear with you;
Act 18:15 but if they are questions about words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves. For I don't want to be a judge of these matters."
Act 18:16 He drove them from the judgment seat.
Act 18:17 Then all the Greeks laid hold on Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. Gallio didn't care about any of these things.
Act 18:18 Paul, having stayed after this many more days, took his leave of the brothers, and sailed from there for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. He shaved his head in Cenchreae, for he had a vow.
Act 18:19 He came to Ephesus, and he left them there; but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.
Act 18:20 When they asked him to stay with them a longer time, he declined;
Act 18:21 but taking his leave of them, and saying, "I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem, but I will return again to you if God wills," he set sail from Ephesus.
Act 18:22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the assembly, and went down to Antioch.
Act 18:23 Having spent some time there, he departed, and went through the region of Galatia, and Phrygia, in order, establishing all the disciples.
Act 18:24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by race, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus. He was mighty in the Scriptures.
Act 18:25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, although he knew only the baptism of John.
Act 18:26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside, and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
Act 18:27 When he had determined to pass over into Achaia, the brothers encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him. When he had come, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;
Act 18:28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews, publicly showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.