"THE BOOK OF PROVERBS" Heed The Call Of Sophia (1:20-33) by Mark Copeland


Heed The Call Of Sophia (1:20-33)


1. We have seen that wisdom requires...
   a. Fearing the Lord, so that we heed His Word - Pr 1:7
   b. Respecting our parents, so that we listen to their advice - Pr 1: 8-9
   c. Not heeding friends who have us join them in doing evil - Pr 1:10-19

2. At this point, Solomon personifies wisdom as a woman...
   a. A motif used several times in the first nine chapters 
       - e.g., Pro 8:1-5; 9:1-6
   b. A virtuous woman, later contrasted with the foolish woman who
      leads astray - Pr 9:13-18

[In Greek, the word for wisdom is sophia.  To emphasize wisdom's
personification as a woman, we'll use the name "Sophia" as we examine
the text for our lesson (Pr 1:20-33).  Notice first of all...]


   A. MADE PUBLICLY... (1:20-21)
      1. She calls aloud outside, in the open squares
      2. She cries in the streets, at the gates of the city
      -- Wisdom is not hidden, but reaches out to all who will listen
         - cf. Pr 8:1-5

   B. TO THOSE WHO NEED HER... (1:22)
      1. Simple ones, who love simplicity - the morally naive, easily
         influenced by others
      2. Scorners, who delight in their scorning - the cynical and
         defiant, prone to ridicule others
      3. Fools, who hate knowledge - those hardened to the point of
         hating that which is good
      -- People caught up in varying degrees of hardness of heart
         - e.g., Ep 4:17-19

      1. Turn at her rebuke - respond to her warning, and repent
      2. She will pour out her spirit on them, she will make known her
         words to them
      -- Wisdom stands ready to forgive and bless those who open their
         hearts and minds, much like God is for those who repent and
         turn - cf. Ac 3:19

[The grace of God is clearly seen in Sophia's plea for all to heed her
call for wisdom.  Those caught up in varying degrees of hardness of
heart are given opportunities to repent.  But such opportunities do not
last forever.  Thus we now read of...]


      1. Who refused her call, disregarded her outstretched hand
      2. Who disdained her counsel, refused her rebuke
      3. Just like Israel rejected her prophets - cf. 2Ch 36:15-16
      -- Will we be like those who refuse to heed the Lord's wisdom and

      1. She will laugh and mock when terror and destruction comes like
         a storm
      2. Despite their cries for help, it will be too late
      3. Because they hated knowledge when they had the opportunity
      4. They did not choose the fear of the Lord (the beginning of wisdom)
      5. They had rejected her counsel and despised her rebuke
      -- Heed wisdom is when it is being offered, not when it is too
         late! - cf.  Isa 55:6-7

      1. They will eat the fruit of their own way
      2. They will be full of their own fancies (foolish counsel)
      -- Contrast of the righteous in times of trial to that of the
         wicked - Pr 3:25-26; 10:24-25

[Too many people wait until it is too late to do any good.  To benefit
from the value of wisdom, we need to learn from her while we still have
time.  Finally, let's consider...]


      1. Because they turn away from the true wisdom God has to offer
      2. Because they allowed their complacency (regarding wisdom) to
         destroy them
      -- Will we be naive and foolish when it comes to receiving God's

      1. Who are willing to listen to wisdom - cf. Pr 8:32-35
      2. Whose fear of the Lord will enable them to fear no evil 
           - cf. Pr 3:21-26
      -- Are we willing to listen and heed the wisdom God offers?


1. From lady "Sophia", we learn that wisdom is a lot like the grace of God...
   a. Opportunity to obtain it does not last forever
   b. The time will come when it is too late

2. Today is the day to learn wisdom from God...
   a. Just like today is the day of salvation - cf. 2Co 6:1-2
   b. Who will we be like:  those who are simple and fools?  Or those
      willing to hear God's wisdom?

How we respond to "Sophia" reveals our true character and ultimate end...

   "How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For
   scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge.

   Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
   I will make my words known to you."

                                                   - Pr 1:22-23

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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How Could There Be Light Before the Sun? by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

How Could There Be Light Before the Sun?

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


Genesis 1:3-5 indicates that God created light on day one of the Creation week. It was not until day four, however, that He made the Sun, Moon, and stars. How could there have been light in the beginning, before the Sun was even created? What was that light?


The first thing to note is that whatever the light was, God divided it from darkness and then defined “Day” and “Night” based on the distinction (vss. 4-5). Moses highlights that “the evening and the morning” were in effect at the end of that first day, even though the Sun had not yet been created. Apparently, the light was directional and fixed, like the light from the Sun, allowing a light period for day and a dark period for night as the Earth turned on its axis as it does today, also allowing for an evening and a morning. Wayne Jackson noted that “[t]he ‘light’ of Genesis 1:3 obviously radiated from a ‘fixed’ source, in its relationship to the earth, inasmuch as it facilitated the dark-to-light arrangement, as the primitive orb rotated upon its axis” (2014). Henry M. Morris concurred, stating, “Such a cyclical light-dark arrangement clearly means that the earth was now rotating on its axis and that there was a source of light on one side of the earth corresponding to the sun, even though the sun was not yet made (Genesis 1:16)” (1977, p. 55). Biblical scholars Spence and Exell explain, “On the fourth day the light [that was—JM] developed on the first is concentrated and permanently fixed in the celestial luminaries” (2007, Genesis 1:3-5).
Can we surmise anything else about that light? Spence and Exell point out that Augustine argued that the light was spiritual in nature (2007). However, such a postulation does not harmonize well with the rest of the chapter. How could spiritual light be divided into the days and nights that are described throughout the rest of Genesis one to denote God’s activity on each of the days of the Creation week?
Though “light” was once thought to be inherently a substance or element, we now understand it to be merely a result of matter being in a certain condition. Spence and Exell point out that it would not conflict with the text to argue that the light of Genesis one referred to the “mode or condition of matter,” with luminosity, for example, being merely the result of incandescence (Genesis 1:3-5). This hints that some physical source could have been present to emit the light, unless, of course, the light was purely supernatural and temporary. Adam Clarke and Spence and Exell note that the Genesis one word for “light” is used elsewhere in the Bible to denote fire (Isaiah 31:9; Ezekiel 5:2), the Sun (Job 31:26), lightning (Job 37:3), and even heat (Isaiah 44:16). Clarke concluded “that it is caloric or latent heat which is principally intended by the original word” (2013, Genesis 1:3).
There is no doubt that when the Earth was created on day one, likely with its mantle intact, light (and heat) was immediately in existence due to the nature of the magma therein. Keep in mind also that “light” occurs in a wide spectrum—a range which far exceeds what humans can visibly detect. Henry Morris noted, “[I]t is obvious that visible light is primarily meant [in Genesis 1:3—JM], since it was set in contrast to darkness. At the same time, the presence of visible light waves necessarily involves the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Beyond the visible light waves are, on the one hand, ultraviolet light and all the other shortwavelength radiations and, on the other hand, infrared light and the other longwave phenomena” (p. 56). John D. Morris observed:
Actually there are many sources of light, not just the sun. There are also many types of light, not just visible light. Short-wave light includes ultraviolet light, X-rays, and others. Long-wave light includes infrared light, radio waves, etc. Light is produced by friction, by fire, by numerous chemical reactions, as well as the nuclear reactions of atomic fission and fusion, which is what we think is occurring in the sun. God had at His fingertips many options to accomplish His purposes. Light does not automatically require the sun (2008, p. 14).
Bottom line: while we know the light spectrum and heat (entropy) were created on day one, there is simply not enough information in the text to understand the nature of the fixed, directional light source that allowed for a division of night and day during the first three days of Creation. Whatever it was, no sustained contradiction can be levied against the Bible due to its commentary on the events of the Creation week. [NOTE: Consider that such charges, if sustainable, would have likely caused the Bible millennia ago to be patently rejected by all rational people, fading into obscurity along with the mythological stories of old. Humanity has simply understood that there is an explanation to the enigma, even if the details are not known, and that a legitimate absurdity cannot be levied against the biblical text.] Interestingly, Jackson points out that the ancient, mythological Babylonian account of creation, Enuma Elish, dating back as far as 1800 B.C., also claimed that light was in existence before the lightbearers themselves (2014). For thousands of years, humanity has had such texts, and while not understanding the full implications of such accounts, people have understood that such a concept is not inherently inaccurate. Interestingly, if the Bible were written by humans conning the masses, one might imagine a re-write of the events of day one would be the first edit to be made to give us some more insight.


Clarke, Adam (2013), Adam Clarke’s Commentary (Electronic Database: WORDSearch).
Jackson, Wayne (2014), “What Was that ‘Light’ Before the Sun (Genesis 1:3)?” Christian Courierhttps://www.christiancourier.com/articles/882-what-was-that-light-before-the-sun-genesis-1-3.
Morris, Henry M. (1977), The Genesis Record (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Morris, John D. (2008), “Sunlight Before the Sun,” Acts & Facts, 37[1]:14, http://www.icr.org/article/sunlight-before-sun/.
Spence, H.D.M. and Joseph S. Exell (2007), The Pulpit Commentary (Electronic Database: WORDSearch).

How Can a Person Know Which God Exists? by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

How Can a Person Know Which God Exists?

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

Poseidon: Greek god of the sea
Several decades ago, the United States was overwhelmingly Christian in its religious persuasion. When naturalism and Darwinian evolution picked up speed in the U.S. and challenged the biblical story of man’s origins—the perspective most held by Americans—apologists sprang up in response, dealing a death blow to the naturalistic religion in the minds of many. Once evolutionary theory had been dealt with, both biblically and scientifically, it was natural for many Americans to recognize that they had always been right—Christianity is the true religion.
Sadly, under the banner of “tolerance,” the “politically correct” police have made significant inroads in compelling the American public, not only to tolerate, but to endorse and encourage pluralism and the proliferation of false religion in America. What was once an understood conclusion—that if evolution is wrong, then biblical Creation must be true—is now heavily challenged in America.
Nisroch: Assyrian god of agriculture
It has become a popular tactic among atheistic scoffers to mock Bible believers by sarcastically arguing that there’s just as much evidence for the Flying Spaghetti Monster as there is for any god. Therefore, if intelligent design doctrine deserves time in the classroom, so does the doctrine of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster—the Pastafarians (cf. Langton, 2005; Butt, 2010, p. 12). At the University of South Carolina, a student organization made up of Pastafarians was responsible for sponsoring the debate held between A.P.’s Kyle Butt and popular atheist, Dan Barker (Butt, 2010).
One such scoffer approached me awhile back after one of the sessions of my evolution seminar—a biology professor from the local university in the city where I was speaking. His quibble was a fair one: “Even if you’re right that naturalistic evolution/atheism is false, you still haven’t proven which God exists. You haven’t proven it’s the God of the Bible. Why couldn’t it be Allah? Or [sarcastically] the Flying Spaghetti Monster?”
It is true that many times when apologists discredit naturalism and show that the evidence points to supernaturalism, they do not necessarily always take the next step and answer how we arrive specifically at the God of the Bible as the one true God. Perhaps the main reason, again, is because the answer was once so obvious that the additional step did not need to be taken. People already had faith in the Bible, and they only needed someone to answer an attack on its integrity. Upon answering it, they went back to their faith in Christianity comfortably. But as naturalism and pluralism have eroded the next generation, and Bible teaching—the impetus for developing faith (Romans 10:17)—has declined, Christianity is no longer a given.
Jupiter: Roman god of light and sky, and protector of the state and its laws
Many in Christendom would respond to the professor’s questions by saying, “You just have to have faith. You just have to take a leap and accept the God of the Bible. You don’t have to have tangible evidence.” That reaction, of course, is exactly how scoffers want you to answer. Their response: “Aha! You don’t have proof that God exists. So why should I believe in Him? I might as well pick one that suits me better or make up my own god to serve.”
The Bible simply does not teach that one should accept God without evidence. We should test or prove all things, and only believe those things that can be sustained with evidence (1 Thessalonians 5:21). We should not accept what someone tells us “on faith,” because many teach lies; they should be tested to see if their claims can be backed with evidence (1 John 4:1). The truth should be searched for (Acts 17:11). It can be known (John 8:32). God would not expect us to believe that He is the one true God without evidence for that claim.
While there are different ways to answer the question posed by the professor, the most direct and simple answer is that the Bible contains characteristics which humans could not have produced. If it can be proven that a God exists and that the Bible is from God, then logically, the God of the Bible is the true God. It is truly a sad commentary on Christendom at large that the professor, as well as the many individuals that are posing such questions today, have not heard the simple answer about the nature of God’s divine Word.
After taking a moment to recover from the fact that he clearly had never experienced anyone responding rationally to his criticisms, the professor said, “Really? [pause] I’d like to see that evidence.” I pointed him to our book that summarizes the mounds of evidence that testify to the inspiration of the Bible (cf. Butt, 2007), and although he said he did not want to support our organization with a purchase, he allowed an elder at the church that hosted the event to give it to him as a gift.
Ganesh: Hindu god of wisdom, knowledge, and new beginnings
If you have not studied the divine qualities of the Bible, or are not prepared to carry on a discussion with others about the inspiration of the Bible, might I recommend to you that you secure a copy of Behold! The Word of God through our Web store immediately. Consider also getting the free pdf version in the “PDF-Books” section of our Web site, browsing the “Inspiration of the Bible” category on our Web site, or at the very least, order a back issue of our Reason & Revelation article titled “3 Good Reasons to Believe the Bible is from God” (Butt and Lyons, 2015). Consider also those friends, loved ones, and even enemies that might benefit from a copy. The professor’s question is one of the most pivotal questions one can ask today, and the Lord’s army must be armed with the truth to be able to aid those seeking it.


Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Butt, Kyle (2010), A Christian’s Guide to Refuting Modern Atheism (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Butt, Kyle and Eric Lyons (2015), “3 Good Reasons to Believe the Bible is from God,” Reason & Revelation, 35[1]:2-11.
Langton, James (2005), “In the Beginning There Was the Flying Spaghetti Monster,” The Telegraph, September 11, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1498162/In-the-beginning-there-was-the-Flying-Spaghetti-Monster.html.

How Big Is a Giant? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

How Big Is a Giant?

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Who could ever forget the thrilling story of a youth named David who defeated the Philistine champion, Goliath? Touching the hearts of all “underdogs,” this story has become the battle cry for thousands who have found themselves up against a “giant.” But, due to Goliath’s status as a giant, some might view the tale of his defeat as a fable or myth. After all, don’t giants live at the top of huge beanstalks or under bridges waiting to grind bones into bread or gobble up passers-by? Surely, no reasonable adult is expected to believe that there is (or ever was) such a thing as a real giant.
The word “giant” conjures up all kinds of mental images. Probably the most common images are those of a huge, beastly fellow who stands at least 30 feet tall and makes monstrous imprints with his feet—imprints so impressive that they could be used as watering ponds for cattle. However, the biblical description of Goliath does not quite fit that mold. The text of 1 Samuel 17:4 states that Goliath’s height was “six cubits and a span.” Several suggestions as to the length of a cubit have been offered by Bible scholars. The most commonly accepted is the idea that a cubit was the measurement from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow, or about 18-21 inches. A span was the distance between the tip of the pinky finger and the thumb, about half a cubit, which equals about 9 inches (Elwell, 1988, p. 2136). Given these dimensions, Goliath was about 9 feet 9 inches tall. The text goes on to say that he had a coat of armor that weighed 5,000 shekels (1 Samuel 17:5). Referring again to Elwell’s Encyclopedia of the Bible, that armor would have weighed about 125 pounds. Also, the tip of his spear, which weighed 600 shekels, would have been about 15 pounds. The picture, then, that we are given is of a man about 9½ feet tall, who wore armor that weighed more that most fifth graders, and who carried a spear that had a tip which weighed as much as a trophy-sized large-mouth bass. This man was huge, but he was a far cry from the 30-feet-tall mythical characters we often envision.
In fact, documentation for other men reaching close to Goliath’s stature can be found in ancient writings, as well as modern records. The ancient historian, Herodotus, wrote about a man named Artachaees, who “was the biggest man in Persia—about 8 ft 2 ins. high—and had the loudest voice in the world” (1996, p. 408). Furthermore, most wrestling fans will recall the huge stature of “Andre the Giant,” who weighed in at about 500 pounds and reached a height of 7 feet 4 inches tall. The Guinness World Record group has something to say about large stature as well. Simply go to their Web site at www.guinnessworldrecords.com, type in the word “tallest,” do a little scrolling, and you will see all kinds of stature marvels. Take, for instance, one of the tallest NBA players in history, Gheorghe Muresan, who stands 7 feet 7 inches and can virtually dunk a basketball without jumping. Or consider the tallest man documented in modern times, Robert Pershing Wadlow, “for whom there is irrefutable evidence,” states the Guinness writer. On June 27, 1940, he was measured to be 2.72 meters or 8 feet 11.1 inches. Go to www.nightscribe.com/Sports_Recreation/tallest_folks.htm and see even more giants who hover around the 8 feet mark.
Granted, we have little documentation, besides Goliath, for any nine-footers, but Robert Wadlow surely opens the door of plausibility for the Philistine. In fact, after looking at just a few of the world’s tallest people, there is no legitimate reason to discount the Bible’s description of its most famous giant. When all the evidence is in, the story of David and Goliath remains a true victory for the “underdog”—one that cannot be relegated to the status of myth or legend. The story also reminds us that “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).


Elwell, Walter A., ed. (1988), Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Herodotus (1996), The Histories, transl. Aubrey De Sẻlincourt (New York: Penguin Books).
“Tallest Famous Folks” (no date), [On-line], URL: http://www.nightscribe.com/Sports_Recreation/tallest_folks.htm.
“Guinness World Records” (no date), [On-line], URL: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com.

THE KING JAMES ONLY DEBATE by David Vaughn Elliott

by David Vaughn Elliott 

Is the King James Version of 1611 the only trustworthy translation of the Bible into modern English? Are all other versions corrupt and filled with poison? Does the KJV contain the exact English words that God wants in today's Bibles? Is the KJV the only true Bible in English? 

There is no desire here to bash the King James Version in the way that some King James Only people bash all other versions. Rather, the purpose is to expose the false claim that the KJV is the only perfect, inspired English Bible. 

Languages Are Not Static

Over time, languages change. For example, in the lifetime of many of us, there has been a significant change in the meaning of the word "gay." During the past 400 years, since 1611, many words have changed meaning. As a result, the KJV contains several words that were good translations 400 years ago, but they are bad translations today. 

Example: Over a dozen times, the KJV uses the word "conversation," which in 1611 meant "conduct." Today, "conversation" means "talk." Thus, in today's English, the KJV does not say what the apostles wrote. In fact, the KJV makes 1 Peter 3:1 contradict itself: "They also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives." "Without the word... by the conversation"? No way. Peter said, "without a word by the behavior of their wives."

Another example: 1 Thess. 4:15 does not make sense in the KJV when it says, "We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep." Not prevent them? Again, it is a case of old English. In today's English, the word is "precede." Live Christians will not precede dead ones in meeting the Lord in the air.

Other examples: Of course, there is the old English "thee," "thou," "wouldest," "shouldest," etc. Then there are such terms as "Holy Ghost" for "Holy Spirit, "charity" for "love," and even "gay clothing" for "fine clothes" in James 2:3. 

Poor Translations

However, there are more problems than just changes in the English language. There are a few words in the KJV which were simply wrong from the beginning. For example, the KJV translates "pascha" correctly as "passover" 28 times. However, in Acts 12:4, the KJV renders it as "Easter." Easter? No such thing even existed in the first century.

More serious yet, the KJV in Acts 2:27-31 tells us that Jesus went to hell. In fact, the KJV renders the word "Hades" as "hell" every time it appears in the NT. This is erroneous. Hades is the abode of the dead, and that is where Jesus went when He died. As Psalm 16 predicted, and as Peter proclaimed on Pentecost, Hades could not hold Jesus. He came back from Hades; He rose from the dead. In addition, the KJV tells us in Rev. 20:14 that "death and hell were cast into the lake of fire," thus making hell temporary. What John actually wrote is that "death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire." Hades, yes, will end when Jesus returns.

False Bashing of Modern Versions

It can be helpful to learn the strengths and weaknesses of various translations of the Bible into modern English. It is quite another matter to publish frivolous accusations against all "modern" translations while keeping a closed eye to weaknesses of the KJV. An outstanding example of this attitude is the 1993 book, New Age Bible Versions, by Gail Riplinger.

For example, in Chapter 20, "Test 1 for Antichrist -- Is Jesus the Christ?" Riplinger says: "New version editors look down in contempt saying..." – followed by a box of examples where the KJV reads "Jesus Christ," while the "new" versions read simply "Jesus." According to Riplinger, to say just "Jesus" is to have contempt for Jesus. She says, "The devil... darkens 'the door' in the new versions. His shadow falls over the word 'Christ'... The ultimate campaign against Jesus is to deny that he is the Christ." According to her, whenever any Bible reads just "Jesus," that is a denial of Jesus being the Christ! 

Unwittingly, Riplinger is attacking the very Authorized King James Bible of 1611 which she intends to defend. If she had done only a few minutes’ search in the Online Bible or similar software, she would have found that the KJV uses the names "Jesus" and "Christ" in the same verse only 258 times, whereas it uses the name "Jesus" by itself, without "Christ," 684 times! 

The King James Version is not wrong 684 times when it reads "Jesus" instead of "Jesus Christ." Rather, it is Gail Riplinger who is wrong when she invents such frivolous arguments – and her book is filled with such arguments. Well does Romans 2:1 say: "Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things."

Proper Perspective
None of the above is said to discredit the KJV 1611 or to say it should not be used. Rather, it is to discredit the doctrine that the KJV 1611 is a perfect, God-inspired translation, as good today as it was in 1611. All versions of the Bible were made by uninspired men. Overall, the KJV was a good translation in its day. If you grew up with it, enjoy the archaic English, and are aware of some of its limitations as discussed earlier, the choice to continue using it is yours. On the other hand, if you are looking for a good version, the KJV is not the best option today. 

If you would like my opinion, the most accurate translations available today are the New King James Version (NKJV) and the New American Standard Bible (NASB). For those seeking an easier-to-read version, the New International Version (NIV) is the best in that category. These are my opinions. 

Actually, there are many benefits in using and comparing various versions. In addition, I find it a good practice, when teaching the unconverted, to make use of the Bible they already possess (if they do have one). God's Word is powerful – in its many translations – to lead people to Christ. There are those who think that the difference between Catholics and others is that we have different Bibles. That's not so. The difference is what people do or don't do with what their Bible tells them.

As people mature in Christ, it's good for them to learn and understand the differences between versions. But whatever version you prefer, whatever version you have, the most important thing is to open it, read it, study it, meditate upon it, and put it into action.

Scripture quotations (other than the KJV) taken from the NASB. 
You can now Google my entire site on this page:
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Keep yourselves in the love of God by Roy Davison

Keep yourselves in the love of God

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 20, 21).
Important documents are often kept in a safety deposit box. We like to keep valuables in a safe place.
Where can we keep ourselves safe? In God’s love! “Keep yourselves in the love of God.” The word ‘keep’ here means ‘preserve’, ‘keep in safety and protect from harm, decay, loss or destruction’.
Jude uses the passive form of the same word in verse 1: “To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ” (Jude 1). A Christian is preserved in Christ.
Paul wrote: “And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18).
David prayed: “Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust” (Psalm 16:1).
“Keep yourselves in the love of God.” This is a command, which indicates that we must do something to remain in God’s love, and also that it is possible to forfeit the protection of God’s love. Otherwise this command would have no meaning whatever.
Nothing external can separate us from the love of God: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38, 39).
Only by his own neglect can a Christen lose the eternal protection of the love of God. Thus, it is extremely important that we know how to keep ourselves in the love of God.
Jesus gave a similar command: “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:9, 10).
Thus we must keep the commandments of Jesus to abide in His love.
Let us examine the context: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:4-10).
Thus, we remain in the love of Christ, we keep ourselves in the love of God, by keeping the commandments of Jesus. Jesus told His followers: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
Jude mentions two essential activities for keeping ourselves in the love of God: spiritual edification and prayer. “Building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 20).

“Building yourselves up on your most holy faith”

Our most holy faith is the Christian faith. It is holy because it comes from God.
In verse three Jude wrote: “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
This original faith for which we must contend is our most holy faith on which we must build ourselves up if we want to keep ourselves in the love of God.
To abide in Christ’s love we must abide in His word: “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’” (John 8:31, 32).
To abide in the word of Christ we must abide in His doctrine: “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9).
God’s word builds us up. Paul told the Ephesian elders: “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).
We are built up in Christ: “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6, 7).
In the church of Christ, His “one body” (Ephesians 4:4), we build each other up “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).
The church is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20; 4:11).
To His church, Christ has also given evangelists, elders and teachers “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). To edify means to build up.
Each Christian helps to build up the church, that we, “speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ - from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:15, 16).
We build ourselves up on our most holy faith to keep ourselves in the love of God.

“Praying in the Holy Spirit”

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 20).
“By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13).
To keep ourselves in the love of God we must pray in the Holy Spirit, “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18).
We need help when we pray: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26, 27).
Thus when we pray in the Spirit our inadequate prayers are accompanied by pleadings of the Holy Spirit in accordance with the will of God.
In Revelation, golden bowls full of incense represent the prayers of the saints (Revelation 5:8). An angel with a golden censer is “given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints” (Revelation 8:3).
Though we are weak, we pray as well as we can by following the guidelines on prayer in the Scriptures. Then we pray with confidence in the knowledge that the Spirit intercedes for us.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

“Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life”

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 20, 21).
When we keep ourselves in the love of God by keeping the commandments of Jesus, building ourselves up on our most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, we may look forward to eternal life.
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24). Amen.

Roy Davison

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

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading October 18 - 20 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading October 18 - 20

World  English  Bible

Oct. 18
Proverbs 27-29

Pro 27:1 Don't boast about tomorrow; for you don't know what a day may bring forth.
Pro 27:2 Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.
Pro 27:3 A stone is heavy, and sand is a burden; but a fool's provocation is heavier than both.
Pro 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is overwhelming; but who is able to stand before jealousy?
Pro 27:5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
Pro 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; although the kisses of an enemy are profuse.
Pro 27:7 A full soul loathes a honeycomb; but to a hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet.
Pro 27:8 As a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man who wanders from his home.
Pro 27:9 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart; so does earnest counsel from a man's friend.
Pro 27:10 Don't forsake your friend and your father's friend. Don't go to your brother's house in the day of your disaster: better is a neighbor who is near than a distant brother.
Pro 27:11 Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart, then I can answer my tormentor.
Pro 27:12 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge; but the simple pass on, and suffer for it.
Pro 27:13 Take his garment when he puts up collateral for a stranger. Hold it for a wayward woman!
Pro 27:14 He who blesses his neighbor with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse by him.
Pro 27:15 A continual dropping on a rainy day and a contentious wife are alike:
Pro 27:16 restraining her is like restraining the wind, or like grasping oil in his right hand.
Pro 27:17 Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend's countenance.
Pro 27:18 Whoever tends the fig tree shall eat its fruit. He who looks after his master shall be honored.
Pro 27:19 As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.
Pro 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied; and a man's eyes are never satisfied.
Pro 27:21 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace for gold; but man is refined by his praise.
Pro 27:22 Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with grain, yet his foolishness will not be removed from him.
Pro 27:23 Know well the state of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds:
Pro 27:24 for riches are not forever, nor does even the crown endure to all generations.
Pro 27:25 The hay is removed, and the new growth appears, the grasses of the hills are gathered in.
Pro 27:26 The lambs are for your clothing, and the goats are the price of a field.
Pro 27:27 There will be plenty of goats' milk for your food, for your family's food, and for the nourishment of your servant girls.

Pro 28:1 The wicked flee when no one pursues; but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
Pro 28:2 In rebellion, a land has many rulers, but order is maintained by a man of understanding and knowledge.
Pro 28:3 A needy man who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain which leaves no crops.
Pro 28:4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked; but those who keep the law contend with them.
Pro 28:5 Evil men don't understand justice; but those who seek Yahweh understand it fully.
Pro 28:6 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity, than he who is perverse in his ways, and he is rich.
Pro 28:7 Whoever keeps the law is a wise son; but he who is a companion of gluttons shames his father.
Pro 28:8 He who increases his wealth by excessive interest gathers it for one who has pity on the poor.
Pro 28:9 He who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.
Pro 28:10 Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way, he will fall into his own trap; but the blameless will inherit good.
Pro 28:11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes; but the poor who has understanding sees through him.
Pro 28:12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory; but when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.
Pro 28:13 He who conceals his sins doesn't prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Pro 28:14 Blessed is the man who always fears; but one who hardens his heart falls into trouble.
Pro 28:15 As a roaring lion or a charging bear, so is a wicked ruler over helpless people.
Pro 28:16 A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment. One who hates ill-gotten gain will have long days.
Pro 28:17 A man who is tormented by life blood will be a fugitive until death; no one will support him.
Pro 28:18 Whoever walks blamelessly is kept safe; but one with perverse ways will fall suddenly.
Pro 28:19 One who works his land will have an abundance of food; but one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.
Pro 28:20 A faithful man is rich with blessings; but one who is eager to be rich will not go unpunished.
Pro 28:21 To show partiality is not good; yet a man will do wrong for a piece of bread.
Pro 28:22 A stingy man hurries after riches, and doesn't know that poverty waits for him.
Pro 28:23 One who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than one who flatters with the tongue.
Pro 28:24 Whoever robs his father or his mother, and says, "It's not wrong." He is a partner with a destroyer.
Pro 28:25 One who is greedy stirs up strife; but one who trusts in Yahweh will prosper.
Pro 28:26 One who trusts in himself is a fool; but one who walks in wisdom is kept safe.
Pro 28:27 One who gives to the poor has no lack; but one who closes his eyes will have many curses.
Pro 28:28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves; but when they perish, the righteous thrive.

Pro 29:1 He who is often rebuked and stiffens his neck will be destroyed suddenly, with no remedy.
Pro 29:2 When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
Pro 29:3 Whoever loves wisdom brings joy to his father; but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
Pro 29:4 The king by justice makes the land stable, but he who takes bribes tears it down.
Pro 29:5 A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.
Pro 29:6 An evil man is snared by his sin, but the righteous can sing and be glad.
Pro 29:7 The righteous care about justice for the poor. The wicked aren't concerned about knowledge.
Pro 29:8 Mockers stir up a city, but wise men turn away anger.
Pro 29:9 If a wise man goes to court with a foolish man, the fool rages or scoffs, and there is no peace.
Pro 29:10 The bloodthirsty hate a man of integrity; and they seek the life of the upright.
Pro 29:11 A fool vents all of his anger, but a wise man brings himself under control.
Pro 29:12 If a ruler listens to lies, all of his officials are wicked.
Pro 29:13 The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: Yahweh gives sight to the eyes of both.
Pro 29:14 The king who fairly judges the poor, his throne shall be established forever.
Pro 29:15 The rod of correction gives wisdom, but a child left to himself causes shame to his mother.
Pro 29:16 When the wicked increase, sin increases; but the righteous will see their downfall.
Pro 29:17 Correct your son, and he will give you peace; yes, he will bring delight to your soul.
Pro 29:18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but one who keeps the law is blessed.
Pro 29:19 A servant can't be corrected by words. Though he understands, yet he will not respond.
Pro 29:20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Pro 29:21 He who pampers his servant from youth will have him become a son in the end.
Pro 29:22 An angry man stirs up strife, and a wrathful man abounds in sin.
Pro 29:23 A man's pride brings him low, but one of lowly spirit gains honor.
Pro 29:24 Whoever is an accomplice of a thief is an enemy of his own soul. He takes an oath, but dares not testify.
Pro 29:25 The fear of man proves to be a snare, but whoever puts his trust in Yahweh is kept safe.
Pro 29:26 Many seek the ruler's favor, but a man's justice comes from Yahweh.
Pro 29:27 A dishonest man detests the righteous, and the upright in their ways detest the wicked.

Oct. 19
Proverbs 30-31

Pro 30:1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the oracle: the man says to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal:
Pro 30:2 "Surely I am the most ignorant man, and don't have a man's understanding.
Pro 30:3 I have not learned wisdom, neither do I have the knowledge of the Holy One.
Pro 30:4 Who has ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has bound the waters in his garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name, if you know?
Pro 30:5 "Every word of God is flawless. He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Pro 30:6 Don't you add to his words, lest he reprove you, and you be found a liar.
Pro 30:7 "Two things I have asked of you; don't deny me before I die:
Pro 30:8 Remove far from me falsehood and lies. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with the food that is needful for me;
Pro 30:9 lest I be full, deny you, and say, 'Who is Yahweh?' or lest I be poor, and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
Pro 30:10 "Don't slander a servant to his master, lest he curse you, and you be held guilty.
Pro 30:11 There is a generation that curses their father, and doesn't bless their mother.
Pro 30:12 There is a generation that is pure in their own eyes, yet are not washed from their filthiness.
Pro 30:13 There is a generation, oh how lofty are their eyes! Their eyelids are lifted up.
Pro 30:14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, and their jaws like knives, to devour the poor from the earth, and the needy from among men.
Pro 30:15 "The leach has two daughters: 'Give, give.' "There are three things that are never satisfied; four that don't say, 'Enough:'
Pro 30:16 Sheol, the barren womb; the earth that is not satisfied with water; and the fire that doesn't say, 'Enough.'
Pro 30:17 "The eye that mocks at his father, and scorns obedience to his mother: the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, the young eagles shall eat it.
Pro 30:18 "There are three things which are too amazing for me, four which I don't understand:
Pro 30:19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent on a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maiden.
Pro 30:20 "So is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, 'I have done nothing wrong.'
Pro 30:21 "For three things the earth tremble, and under four, it can't bear up:
Pro 30:22 For a servant when he is king; a fool when he is filled with food;
Pro 30:23 for an unloved woman when she is married; and a handmaid who is heir to her mistress.
Pro 30:24 "There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise:
Pro 30:25 the ants are not a strong people, yet they provide their food in the summer.
Pro 30:26 The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks.
Pro 30:27 The locusts have no king, yet they advance in ranks.
Pro 30:28 You can catch a lizard with your hands, yet it is in kings' palaces.
Pro 30:29 "There are three things which are stately in their march, four which are stately in going:
Pro 30:30 The lion, which is mightiest among animals, and doesn't turn away for any;
Pro 30:31 the greyhound, the male goat also; and the king against whom there is no rising up.
Pro 30:32 "If you have done foolishly in lifting up yourself, or if you have thought evil, put your hand over your mouth.
Pro 30:33 For as the churning of milk brings forth butter, and the wringing of the nose brings forth blood; so the forcing of wrath brings forth strife."

Pro 31:1 The words of king Lemuel; the oracle which his mother taught him.
Pro 31:2 "Oh, my son! Oh, son of my womb! Oh, son of my vows!
Pro 31:3 Don't give your strength to women, nor your ways to that which destroys kings.
Pro 31:4 It is not for kings, Lemuel; it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes to say, 'Where is strong drink?'
Pro 31:5 lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the justice due to anyone who is afflicted.
Pro 31:6 Give strong drink to him who is ready to perish; and wine to the bitter in soul:
Pro 31:7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
Pro 31:8 Open your mouth for the mute, in the cause of all who are left desolate.
Pro 31:9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, and serve justice to the poor and needy."
Pro 31:10 Who can find a worthy woman? For her price is far above rubies.
Pro 31:11 The heart of her husband trusts in her. He shall have no lack of gain.
Pro 31:12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
Pro 31:13 She seeks wool and flax, and works eagerly with her hands.
Pro 31:14 She is like the merchant ships. She brings her bread from afar.
Pro 31:15 She rises also while it is yet night, gives food to her household, and portions for her servant girls.
Pro 31:16 She considers a field, and buys it. With the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard.
Pro 31:17 She girds her waist with strength, and makes her arms strong.
Pro 31:18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp doesn't go out by night.
Pro 31:19 She lays her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
Pro 31:20 She opens her arms to the poor; yes, she extends her hands to the needy.
Pro 31:21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
Pro 31:22 She makes for herself carpets of tapestry. Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Pro 31:23 Her husband is respected in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
Pro 31:24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and delivers sashes to the merchant.
Pro 31:25 Strength and dignity are her clothing. She laughs at the time to come.
Pro 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom. Faithful instruction is on her tongue.
Pro 31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household, and doesn't eat the bread of idleness.
Pro 31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her:
Pro 31:29 "Many women do noble things, but you excel them all."
Pro 31:30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman who fears Yahweh, she shall be praised.
Pro 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands! Let her works praise her in the gates!

Oct. 20
Ecclesiastes 1-4

Ecc 1:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem:
Ecc 1:2 "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher; "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity."
Ecc 1:3 What does man gain from all his labor in which he labors under the sun?
Ecc 1:4 One generation goes, and another generation comes; but the earth remains forever.
Ecc 1:5 The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hurries to its place where it rises.
Ecc 1:6 The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north. It turns around continually as it goes, and the wind returns again to its courses.
Ecc 1:7 All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again.
Ecc 1:8 All things are full of weariness beyond uttering. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
Ecc 1:9 That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
Ecc 1:10 Is there a thing of which it may be said, "Behold, this is new?" It has been long ago, in the ages which were before us.
Ecc 1:11 There is no memory of the former; neither shall there be any memory of the latter that are to come, among those that shall come after.
Ecc 1:12 I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under the sky. It is a heavy burden that God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.
Ecc 1:14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and behold, all is vanity and a chasing after wind.
Ecc 1:15 That which is crooked can't be made straight; and that which is lacking can't be counted.
Ecc 1:16 I said to myself, "Behold, I have obtained for myself great wisdom above all who were before me in Jerusalem. Yes, my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge."
Ecc 1:17 I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also was a chasing after wind.
Ecc 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief; and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

Ecc 2:1 I said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with mirth: therefore enjoy pleasure;" and behold, this also was vanity.
Ecc 2:2 I said of laughter, "It is foolishness;" and of mirth, "What does it accomplish?"
Ecc 2:3 I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding me with wisdom, and how to lay hold of folly, until I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their lives.
Ecc 2:4 I made myself great works. I built myself houses. I planted myself vineyards.
Ecc 2:5 I made myself gardens and parks, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit.
Ecc 2:6 I made myself pools of water, to water from it the forest where trees were reared.
Ecc 2:7 I bought male servants and female servants, and had servants born in my house. I also had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all who were before me in Jerusalem;
Ecc 2:8 I also gathered silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces. I got myself male and female singers, and the delights of the sons of men--musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
Ecc 2:9 So I was great, and increased more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also remained with me.
Ecc 2:10 Whatever my eyes desired, I didn't keep from them. I didn't withhold my heart from any joy, for my heart rejoiced because of all my labor, and this was my portion from all my labor.
Ecc 2:11 Then I looked at all the works that my hands had worked, and at the labor that I had labored to do; and behold, all was vanity and a chasing after wind, and there was no profit under the sun.
Ecc 2:12 I turned myself to consider wisdom, madness, and folly: for what can the king's successor do? Just that which has been done long ago.
Ecc 2:13 Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness.
Ecc 2:14 The wise man's eyes are in his head, and the fool walks in darkness--and yet I perceived that one event happens to them all.
Ecc 2:15 Then said I in my heart, "As it happens to the fool, so will it happen even to me; and why was I then more wise?" Then said I in my heart that this also is vanity.
Ecc 2:16 For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is no memory for ever, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. Indeed, the wise man must die just like the fool!
Ecc 2:17 So I hated life, because the work that is worked under the sun was grievous to me; for all is vanity and a chasing after wind.
Ecc 2:18 I hated all my labor in which I labored under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who comes after me.
Ecc 2:19 Who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have rule over all of my labor in which I have labored, and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity.
Ecc 2:20 Therefore I began to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labor in which I had labored under the sun.
Ecc 2:21 For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, with knowledge, and with skillfulness; yet he shall leave it for his portion to a man who has not labored for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.
Ecc 2:22 For what has a man of all his labor, and of the striving of his heart, in which he labors under the sun?
Ecc 2:23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail is grief; yes, even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.
Ecc 2:24 There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God.
Ecc 2:25 For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I?
Ecc 2:26 For to the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him who pleases God. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

Ecc 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:
Ecc 3:2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
Ecc 3:3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
Ecc 3:4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Ecc 3:5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
Ecc 3:6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
Ecc 3:7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
Ecc 3:8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecc 3:9 What profit has he who works in that in which he labors?
Ecc 3:10 I have seen the burden which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.
Ecc 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in their hearts, yet so that man can't find out the work that God has done from the beginning even to the end.
Ecc 3:12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice, and to do good as long as they live.
Ecc 3:13 Also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy good in all his labor, is the gift of God.
Ecc 3:14 I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; and God has done it, that men should fear before him.
Ecc 3:15 That which is has been long ago, and that which is to be has been long ago: and God seeks again that which is passed away.
Ecc 3:16 Moreover I saw under the sun, in the place of justice, that wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, that wickedness was there.
Ecc 3:17 I said in my heart, "God will judge the righteous and the wicked; for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work."
Ecc 3:18 I said in my heart, "As for the sons of men, God tests them, so that they may see that they themselves are like animals.
Ecc 3:19 For that which happens to the sons of men happens to animals. Even one thing happens to them. As the one dies, so the other dies. Yes, they have all one breath; and man has no advantage over the animals: for all is vanity.
Ecc 3:20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.
Ecc 3:21 Who knows the spirit of man, whether it goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, whether it goes downward to the earth?"
Ecc 3:22 Therefore I saw that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his works; for that is his portion: for who can bring him to see what will be after him?

Ecc 4:1 Then I returned and saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold, the tears of those who were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
Ecc 4:2 Therefore I praised the dead who have been long dead more than the living who are yet alive.
Ecc 4:3 Yes, better than them both is him who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
Ecc 4:4 Then I saw all the labor and achievement that is the envy of a man's neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
Ecc 4:5 The fool folds his hands together and ruins himself.
Ecc 4:6 Better is a handful, with quietness, than two handfuls with labor and chasing after wind.
Ecc 4:7 Then I returned and saw vanity under the sun.
Ecc 4:8 There is one who is alone, and he has neither son nor brother. There is no end to all of his labor, neither are his eyes satisfied with wealth. For whom then, do I labor, and deprive my soul of enjoyment? This also is vanity, yes, it is a miserable business.
Ecc 4:9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.
Ecc 4:10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls, and doesn't have another to lift him up.
Ecc 4:11 Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one keep warm alone?
Ecc 4:12 If a man prevails against one who is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecc 4:13 Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who doesn't know how to receive admonition any more.
Ecc 4:14 For out of prison he came forth to be king; yes, even in his kingdom he was born poor.
Ecc 4:15 I saw all the living who walk under the sun, that they were with the youth, the other, who succeeded him.
Ecc 4:16 There was no end of all the people, even of all them over whom he was--yet those who come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

Oct. 18
Philippians 3

Php 3:1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not tiresome, but for you it is safe.
Php 3:2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.
Php 3:3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh;
Php 3:4 though I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has confidence in the flesh, I yet more:
Php 3:5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;
Php 3:6 concerning zeal, persecuting the assembly; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless.
Php 3:7 However, what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ.
Php 3:8 Yes most certainly, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ
Php 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
Php 3:10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death;
Php 3:11 if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Php 3:12 Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, if it is so that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brothers, I don't regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, think this way. If in anything you think otherwise, God will also reveal that to you.
Php 3:16 Nevertheless, to the extent that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule. Let us be of the same mind.
Php 3:17 Brothers, be imitators together of me, and note those who walk this way, even as you have us for an example.
Php 3:18 For many walk, of whom I told you often, and now tell you even weeping, as the enemies of the cross of Christ,
Php 3:19 whose end is destruction, whose god is the belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who think about earthly things.
Php 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from where we also wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
Php 3:21 who will change the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working by which he is able even to subject all things to himself.

Oct. 19
Philippians 4

Php 4:1 Therefore, my brothers, beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.
Php 4:2 I exhort Euodia, and I exhort Syntyche, to think the same way in the Lord.
Php 4:3 Yes, I beg you also, true yokefellow, help these women, for they labored with me in the Good News, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, Rejoice!
Php 4:5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
Php 4:6 In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.
Php 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things.
Php 4:9 The things which you learned, received, heard, and saw in me: do these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Php 4:10 But I rejoice in the Lord greatly, that now at length you have revived your thought for me; in which you did indeed take thought, but you lacked opportunity.
Php 4:11 Not that I speak in respect to lack, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content in it.
Php 4:12 I know how to be humbled, and I know also how to abound. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in need.
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
Php 4:14 However you did well that you shared in my affliction.
Php 4:15 You yourselves also know, you Philippians, that in the beginning of the Good News, when I departed from Macedonia, no assembly shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you only.
Php 4:16 For even in Thessalonica you sent once and again to my need.
Php 4:17 Not that I seek for the gift, but I seek for the fruit that increases to your account.
Php 4:18 But I have all things, and abound. I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things that came from you, a sweet-smelling fragrance, an acceptable and well-pleasing sacrifice to God.
Php 4:19 My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Php 4:20 Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever! Amen.
Php 4:21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you.
Php 4:22 All the saints greet you, especially those who are of Caesar's household.
Php 4:23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Oct. 20
Colossians 1

Col 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
Col 1:2 to the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Col 1:3 We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Col 1:4 having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which you have toward all the saints,
Col 1:5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the Good News,
Col 1:6 which has come to you; even as it is in all the world and is bearing fruit and growing, as it does in you also, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth;
Col 1:7 even as you learned of Epaphras our beloved fellow servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf,
Col 1:8 who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.
Col 1:9 For this cause, we also, since the day we heard this, don't cease praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Col 1:10 that you may walk worthily of the Lord, to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Col 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, for all endurance and perseverance with joy;
Col 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;
Col 1:13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love;
Col 1:14 in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins;
Col 1:15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Col 1:16 For by him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him.
Col 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things are held together.
Col 1:18 He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Col 1:19 For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him;
Col 1:20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself, by him, whether things on the earth, or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross.
Col 1:21 You, being in past times alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works,
Col 1:22 yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and blameless before him,
Col 1:23 if it is so that you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the Good News which you heard, which is being proclaimed in all creation under heaven; of which I, Paul, was made a servant.
Col 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the assembly;
Col 1:25 of which I was made a servant, according to the stewardship of God which was given me toward you, to fulfill the word of God,
Col 1:26 the mystery which has been hidden for ages and generations. But now it has been revealed to his saints,
Col 1:27 to whom God was pleased to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory;
Col 1:28 whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus;

Col 1:29 for which I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily.