9/30/20

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" Peter's Denial Of Jesus (26:69-75)

 






"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

Peter's Denial Of Jesus (26:69-75)

 
INTRODUCTION

1. Among the things Jesus suffered, was the indignity of Peter's denial...
   a. Three times, with increasing intensity, Peter denied knowing Jesus - Mt 26:69-75
   b. Peter denied knowing Jesus, despite being with Jesus:
      1) From the beginning of His earthly ministry - Mt 4:17-19
      2) At the healing of his own mother-in-law - Mt 8:14-15
      3) On the Sea of Galilee, walking on the water - Mt 14:22-33
      4) On the mount, seeing Jesus with Moses and Elijah - Mt 17:1-13

2. How did Peter come to deny his Lord and Savior?
   a. What forces were at work, that led to his cowardly deed?
   b. Might they be forces we face today, encouraging us to do the same?

[From "Peter's Denial Of Jesus", there are important lessons to be
gleaned. Indeed, Peter himself can help us to avoid making the mistakes
he made when he writes as one who knows the dangers before us. For
example, we note first of all that...]

I. PETER WAS BETRAYED BY PRIDE

   A. HE BOASTED HE WOULD NEVER DENY JESUS...
      1. Proudly proclaiming that even if all left Jesus, not him! - Mt 26:31-33
      2. In so doing, Peter took the first step in falling away - Pro 16:18
      3. We can also be overconfident in our service to God - cf. 1Co  10:12

   B. PETER LATER COMMANDED HUMILITY...
      1. To be clothed with humility - 1Pe 5:5
      2. To humble ourselves before God - 1Pe 5:6

[Peter learned the hard way about the danger of pride. Will we learn
from the mistake of Peter, and value the importance of humility? Next,
notice that...]

II. PETER WAS BESIEGED BY LAZINESS

   A. HE KEPT FALLING ASLEEP...
      1. At a time when he needed to be watchful - Mt 26:36-46
      2. His laziness therefore led to lack of preparation
      3. The same thing can happen to us!
         a. Without diligent preparation, we too can be unprepared - cf. Lk 21:34-36
         b. More often than not, we gradually "drift away" because we
            are too lazy to "give the more earnest heed" - cf. He 2:1-3

   B. PETER LATER ENJOINED DILIGENCE...
      1. Commanding vigilant resistance against the devil - 1Pe 5:8-9
      2. Calling for diligence that we might:
         a. Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus - 2Pe 1:5,10
         b. Be found in peace, without spot and blameless - 2Pe 3:14

[Do we allow simple laziness to keep us from careful preparation? Do we
fail to attend services, study God's Word, or even pray, because of
laziness? If so, how can we hope to stand up for Jesus when put to the
test? As we continue, we observe that...]

III. PETER WAS BESET BY COWARDICE

   A. HE FOLLOWED JESUS AT A DISTANCE...
      1. Peter still followed Jesus - Mt 26:58
      2. But now that Jesus was unpopular...
         a. He stays far enough away so not to be identified with Him
         b. He was unprepared to face the challenge of ridicule and persecution
      3. Might we be guilty of trying to follow Jesus, but with cowardice?
         a. Ashamed to be seen carrying a Bible?
         b. Ashamed to be seen giving thanks?
         c. Ashamed to be seen with other Christians?

   B. PETER LATER EXHORTED GLORIFYING GOD...
      1. Charging us not to be ashamed, but to glorify God - 1Pe 4:16
      2. Thinking not of what things mean to us, but what they mean to
         God! - cf. Mt 5:16

[With cowardice keeping him at a distance from his Lord, Peter was a
prime candidate for succumbing to what came next...]

IV. PETER WAS BELEAGUERED BY WORLDLINESS

   A. HE WAS INFLUENCED BY THE WORLD...
      1. By sitting with the servants of the High Priest, and warming
         himself by their fire - Mt 26:58; Mk 14:54
      2. Ashamed to be seen with Christ, it was easy to mingle with
         those of the world and enjoy their comforts
      3. But one cannot be "comforted by the fire" of the world, and
         not be "burned"!
         a. E.g., close contact with things that can harm has an effect  cf. Pr 6:27-29
         b. So we cannot flirt with the world and walk away untouched - 1Co 15:33

   B. PETER LATER CALLED FOR US TO BE OTHER-WORLDLY...
      1. To live as sojourners and pilgrims, abstaining from fleshly
         lusts and with honorable conduct among the nations - 1Pe 2:11-12
      2. To look for that new heavens and new earth, being diligent to
         be found by Christ in peace, without spot and blameless - 2 Pe 3:13-14

CONCLUSION

1. When Peter concluded his second epistle, he did so with a warning...
   a. To beware lest you fall from your own steadfastness - 2Pe 3:17
   b. To grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ - 2Pe 3:18

2. These admonitions come from one who was well qualified to speak...
   a. For he knew how easy it was to fall through such things as:
      1) Pride
      2) Laziness
      3) Cowardice
      4) Worldliness
   b. But he also knew how to grow in grace through such things as:
      1) Humility
      2) Diligence
      3) Glorifying God
      4) Living as strangers and sojourners

Yes, we know that Peter, though he denied Jesus three times and wept
bitterly, received grace when forgiven by Jesus and permitted to
fulfill his role as an apostle (cf. Jn 21:15-17).

If we have been guilty of letting our Lord down, look to Him for the
grace to repent and grow that only He can bestow! 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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The Survey Says… by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

 

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=557

The Survey Says…

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Rarely do you hear a Christian confidently assert, “Yes, I know that I am saved!” More often than not, if a Christian is asked the question, “Do you know you are saved?,” the response goes something like this: “I hope that I am,” or “I think that I am,” or “I really don’t know if I am saved or not.” This is truly a sad state of affairs.

In light of the manner in which many Christians respond to the question, “Do you know you are saved?,” I decided to poll a particular church a few years ago to find out what kind of “assurance” the members had of their eternal salvation. I conducted an anonymous survey in a congregation of about 200 members in the heart of the “Bible Belt.” In the survey, I asked several different questions, but I deemed none more important than the one that pertained to the reader’s eternal destiny. The question read as follows: “If you died within the next ten minutes, do you believe you would go to Heaven?” The results of the survey revealed that nearly 9% of the members knew unreservedly that if they died at the time they were taking the survey, they would not go to Heaven. (Needless to say, such a response was shocking on its own merits!) Nearly 50% of the congregation was unsure as to whether they would go to Heaven. And only 40% believed they would go to Heaven if they died that very day. In other words, almost 60% of the congregation either knew they were lost or did not know if they were saved!

How sad it is that so many members of the Lord’s church (the “saved”) either know they are lost or do not have assurance that they are saved. (Is it not paradoxical to speak of the “saved lost” or the “unsure saved”?) What makes these figures even more disturbing is that (according to the results of a survey published in the U.S News and World Report in March 1991) approximately 78% of Americans fully expect to go to heaven when they die. Thus, if the particular congregation surveyed is representative of the church worldwide, Christians have even less confidence in their eternal destiny than the average person on the street. In fact, the above surveys indicate that the average American is twice as likely to claim heaven as their eternal home as the average member of the Lord’s church.

God did not send His Son to die for us so that we could be uncertain about our salvation. Rather, Jesus came so that we might know we are free from sin (John 8:32), and so that we might know we have eternal life. The apostle John wrote: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13, emp. added). By a simple self-examination in light of the Scriptures, we should be able to know whether we are saved or lost.

Christianity is not an “I-hope-so/pie-in-the-sky/by-and-by” kind of religion. Rather, it is based upon knowledge, reason, and the assurance that if we accept the grace of God and are faithful to Him, He will save us from our sins (cf. Ephesians 2:8-9; Revelation 2:10). It is from such knowledge that we thus derive the “peace of God that passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). How very sad that so many have forgone that peace.

The Spirit and Letter of the Law by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1225

The Spirit and Letter of the Law

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

All erroneous systems of belief share in common the fact that several “props” are necessary to support them. The fact that the belief system is false, necessarily implies that one or more of the props are false. But the mere presence of an array of props gives the appearance and the impression that the belief system has much “evidence” to support it. One of the props that is marshaled to support the concept known as “situationism” is the notion that a legitimate distinction may be made between the “letter of the law” and the “spirit of the law.” It is argued that sometimes it is necessary, even mandatory, to violate the “letter of the law” in order to act in harmony with the “spirit of the law.” According to this line of thinking, those who insist that obedience to God’s law always is required—without exception—are “hung up on the letter of the law” instead of being led by the “spirit of the law.”

Of course, this kind of thinking naturally breeds and nurtures a relaxed attitude toward obedience. It militates against a desire to be precise and careful in conformity to Bible teaching. One individual explained how his feelings of devotion to Jesus made him feel that as long as he maintained a close sense of nearness to Him, he did not have to fret over “nitpicky” concerns, like whether he was staying within the speed limit when he drove his car. Another person avowed that she did not “sweat the small stuff,” since she was living her life in recognition of God’s grace, and felt certain that Jesus would “cut her some slack.” The “small stuff ” to which she referred included such things as whether God would approve of unscriptural divorce and remarriage, whether God would accept instrumental music in worship to Him, and whether one church was as good as another.

2 CORINTHIANS 3:4-18

The primary passage in the New Testament that is marshaled in an effort to support the “spirit vs. letter” antithesis is Paul’s remarks to the church of Christ in Corinth. The reader is urged to pause and read the third chapter of second Corinthians before reading the analysis that follows. Two phrases typically are excised from the context and used as proof-texts to support a notion contrary to the chapter: “not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (vs. 6), and “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (vs. 17). These phrases are set forth as proof that Christians ought not to be too meticulous in conforming strictly to New Testament directives. Those who take such a position assume that “letter” refers to the commands of God—the written statements of Scripture that specify and regulate human behavior. They also assume that “spirit” refers to one’s attitude or feelings. Hence, if the individual feels devoted, concerned, and sincere, he or she is deemed in line with “the spirit of the law.” On the other hand, the individual who appears inflexible and rigid, or overly concerned with strict obedience, is perceived to lack “compassion” and “sensitivity,” and too concerned with “the letter of the law.”

Incredibly, if one would take the time to study God’s Word and refrain from mishandling its intended meaning (Acts 17:11; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 2:15), one would see that neither Paul nor any other inspired writer agreed with such thinking. In a pericope dealing with his apostolic ministry, Paul crafted a beautiful allegory—what D.R. Dungan called “the most perfect antithesis to be found in the whole Bible” (1888, p. 349). By arranging the contrasting phrases of the antithesis into two columns, one is able more easily to grasp Paul’s intended meaning:

2 CORINTHIANS 3
Old Covenant New Covenant
  Ministers of the new covenant (vs. 6)
Of the letter (vs. 6) Of the Spirit (vs. 6)
The letter kills (vs. 6) The Spirit gives life (vs. 6)
Ministry of death (vs. 7) Ministry of the Spirit (vs. 8)
Written/engraved on stones (vs. 7)    
Ministry of condemnation (vs. 9) Ministry of righteousness (vs. 9)
Glorious (vss. 7,9) Much more glorious (vss. 8,9)
Passing away (vs. 7) Remains (vs. 11)
Veil on Moses’ face (vs. 13)   Great boldness of speech (vs. 12)
Veil remains in reading O.T. (vs. 14) Veil taken away in Christ (vs. 14)
Veil lies on their heart (vs. 15) Veil taken away when heart turned
to the Lord (vs. 16)

It should be immediately evident to the unbiased observer “that the two legs of the antithesis are the New Covenant in contrast with the Old Covenant” (Dungan, p. 268). Precisely the same meaning is conveyed by the same terminology in Paul’s letter to the Romans (2:29; 7:6). The Old Testament legal system, though an excellent system for what God had in mind (Romans 7:12), was unable to provide ultimate forgiveness for violations of law and, in that sense, “kills.” It took Jesus dying on the cross to make “life” possible (i.e., actual cleansing from sin).

When one recognizes the contextual meaning, it becomes apparent that these verses have absolutely nothing to do with the alleged “spirit vs. letter” contention! In fact, the Bible nowhere postulates such a thing. Like all liberal thinking, one must refrain from thinking too much about it if one does not wish to see the absurdity and nonsensical nature of it. The “spirit vs. letter” contrast is gobbledygook that is “better felt than told.” It makes no sense. On April 3, 1897, J.W. McGarvey responded to just this type of thinking in an article titled, “The Letter That Killeth”:

Just once in the course of his writings Paul makes the declaration that “the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life” (2 Corinthians 3:7); and no remark that he ever made has been applied in a greater number of unlicensed ways. If a man insists upon preserving some ordinance in the very form of its original appointment, such an ordinance as baptism or the Lord’s Supper, for example, he is accused of contending for the letter that killeth, while the man who makes the charge, and who changes the ordinance, claims that he is following the spirit that giveth life. All of that large class of writers who make free with the Scriptures while claiming to reverence their authority, employ this device to excuse their departures from the word of God, while those who remonstrate with them for their license are denounced as literalists, or sticklers for the letter that killeth. In all these instances it seems to be claimed that if you stick close to the ordinance as Christ gave it, you will kill somebody. The last example that attracted my attention was in connection with the number of elders that should be appointed in a church. The writer says: “It has been thought to be a greater evil to have a congregation without a plurality of elders than to have an eldership without the requisite qualifications;” and he adds: “This is to do violence to the spirit of the New Testament in an effort to be loyal to its letter.” But which, in this case, is the letter, and which is the spirit? To have a plurality of elders is certainly the letter of the New Testament; that is, it is the literal requirement; and the literal requirement also is to have elders of prescribed qualifications. Where, then, is the spirit as distinguished from the letter? Echo answers, Where? The writer was so in the habit of using this favorite expression where he wished to justify a departure from Scripture precedent that he evidently applied it in this instance from pure habit and without thought. The watchful reader will have seen many examples of the kind (1910, pp. 160-161).

Indeed, redefining the biblical expressions “spirit of the law” and “letter of the law” enables the situationist to promote his agenda under the cloak of Bible backing.

If one wishes to use the expression “the spirit of the law” to refer to a proper attitude, and “the letter of the law” to refer to compliance with the explicit dictates of Scripture, it certainly is true that a person can distort or disregard “the spirit of the law” while following carefully “the letter of the law.” A person may engage in external, rote compliance without heartfelt, genuine love for God and His will. But it is impossible to represent faithfully “the spirit of the law” (i.e., to have the right attitude) while acting out of harmony with the specific details of the law. When Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commands” (John 14:15), He pinpointed the fact that “love” for Him includes “obedience.” It is possible to obey and not love; but it is not possible to love and not obey. One may have good intentions in one’s religious pursuits, but if those religious actions are contrary to God’s specified will, the activity is unacceptable to God. The situationist’s claim that sincerity and feelings of “love” legitimize whatever action “love” takes, is in direct contradiction to Bible teaching.

The fact of the matter is that God always has required that people approach him “in truth”—i.e., according to the divine directives that He revealed to man. The only worship that has ever been acceptable to God has been that worship which has been undertaken with (1) a proper attitude, frame of mind, and disposition conducive to spirituality, and (2) faithfulness to the specific items that God pinpointed as the proper external acts to be performed. Jesus made this fact very clear in His encounter with the Samaritan woman (John 4:23-24). God never has accepted one without the other. He always has required both. He always has required two facets of response to His will: the right action with the right attitude. Notice the following chart of scriptures:

PASSAGE ATTITUDE ACTION
John 4:24 spirit truth
Joshua 24:14 sincerity truth
Ecclesiastes 12:13 fear God keep commands
Acts 10:35 fear Him work righteous
James 2:17 faith works
1 John 3:18 word/tongue deed/truth
Deuteronomy 10:12-13   fear/love—heart   walk/ways
Romans 1:9 with my spirit in the gospel

To emphasize one dimension of obedience over the other is to hamper one’s acceptance by God. Bible history is replete with instances of those who possessed one without the other, and thus were unacceptable to God. The Pharisees (Matthew 23:3), Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:2-4), and the people of Amos’ day (Amos 5:21-24) engaged in the external forms, but were unacceptable because of their insincerity. Paul (Acts 22:3; 23:1), Cornelius (Acts 10:1-2), and Uzzah (2 Samuel 6:6) all demonstrated genuine motives, but were unacceptable to God because of their failure to observe the right forms.

Think for a moment of the many people in biblical history who failed to approach God “in truth”—that is, they approached God, but did so without sufficient attention to complying with the details and guidelines that God had articulated. Adam and Eve, regardless of the condition of their attitude, were condemned by God for the external act of eating the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:17; 3:11). Likewise, Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1-3), the Sabbath breaker (Numbers 15:32-36), Moses (Numbers 20:11,12), Achan (Joshua 7), Saul (1 Samuel 13:13,14; 15:19-23), Uzzah (2 Samuel 6:1-7; 1 Chronicles 15:12,13), King Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:16-18), and Ezra’s contemporaries (Ezra 10)—all experienced the displeasure of God for their deviation from divine directions.

God has not changed in His insistence upon man’s loving obedience to His instructions (John 14:15; 15:14; 1 John 5:3). The Old Testament was written, among other reasons, in order for Christians to learn from the example of those who departed from God’s way (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11). New Testament faith, the kind of faith that Christians must possess if they wish to be pleasing and acceptable to God, is obedient trust—trust that conforms to God’s will (Hebrews 11; James 2).

The psalmist understood that God’s truth consisted of God’s written words (cf. Psalm 119:30,43,142,151,160). So did Jesus when He said, “Thy word is truth,” and declared that the basis of judgment would be the words that He spoke (John 17:17; 12:47-48). Worshipping God “in truth” is equivalent to “doing truth,” which entails “deeds” or external actions which are prescribed by God (John 3:19-21; cf. loving “in truth” in 1 John 3:18). When Jesus taught the way of God “in truth” (Matthew 22:16), He related information that accurately represented God’s will. When the Colossians heard “the word of the truth of the gospel” (Colossians 1:5), they heard the specific tenets, doctrines, requirements, and teachings to which they had to conform their lives.

Situationism, antinomianism, and liberalism share in common their mutual aversion to law keeping. Christians must not fall prey to these sinister forces that attempt to soften and obscure the clear call from God to render obedience to His directives. All He seeks from people is conformity to His laws out of hearts full of sincerity, earnestness, and love.

REFERENCES

Dungan, D.R. (1888), Hermeneutics (Delight, AR: Gospel Light).

McGarvey, J.W. (1910), Biblical Criticism (Cincinnati, OH: Standard).

The Sound of Silence by Frank Chesser, M.S.

 

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=5673
 

The Sound of Silence

by  Frank Chesser, M.S.

[NOTE: The following article is a sermon that was preached by an A.P. board member in Montgomery, AL in early 2019.]

The life of David is a spiritual treasure house that instructs, enriches, and warns the soul. There is a brief and yet profound event narrated in 2 Samuel 7:1-7 that contains five monumental truths and two questions exceedingly worthy of perpetual contemplation. First, there is the serenity of peace. “And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies” (vs. 1). Cain’s bloody hand of violence commenced a flow of earth staining blood that would never end. Lamech, Cain’s great-great grandson, boasted of his violent nature, and when Cain’s vile descendants corrupted the offspring of Seth, the “earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11). Implied in God’s general law for murder that embraces the whole of time, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made he man” (Genesis 9:6), is the tragic truth that man would never live to see the door close on blood staining the earth.

War in any form is exceedingly injurious. It harms and disrupts life on every level. World, national, and civil wars have saturated the human family with death and endless sorrow. As the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), Christ is the head, foundation, and savior of the church; yet, bitter strife and contention are as common in many congregations as light is to day or darkness to night. “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?” (James 4:1) Innumerable homes are afflicted with the acrid sounds of family warfare. The tranquil environment in which David now lived would be shattered by his own adultery and murder, followed by lust, rape, murder, betrayal, fornication, and incest that infested his own family unit. God said, “Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from thine house” (2 Samuel 12:10). Wars rage in individual hearts where sin and its fruits are constant companions. “But the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isaiah 57:20-21). There is no substitute for peace among nations, in the church, home, and heart.

Second, there is the presence of God.  David said unto “Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains” (vs. 2). The Ark of the Covenant symbolized God’s presence with the nation of Israel. The top of the ark was made of pure gold, and it was called the “mercy seat.” The Day of Atonement was the most sacred day in Judaism. It was on that day, each year, that the high priest entered the Holy of Holies with the blood of a perfect lamb and made atonement for the sins of the people. God said, “And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat” (Exodus 25:22). During a battle, the ark was seized by the Philistines. When Eli was informed of this tragedy, he fell, broke his neck and died.  In the process of dying while giving birth to a son, his daughter-in-law affirmed, “The glory is departed from Israel, for the ark of God is taken” (1 Samuel 4:22).

Third, there is mental preoccupation. As king of Israel, there would be numerous affairs of state demanding David’s mind, time, and energy, but his statement to Nathan the prophet in verse 2 stresses his desire to build the Temple as his principal aspiration. Life is composed of numberless things that require one’s attention and execution. Just providing for the three basic essentials of life—food, clothing, and shelter are time consuming activities. But loving and serving God and making preparation for Heaven should be the preeminent objective of life. It was this very sentiment that Paul was pressing when he said of himself, “This one thing I do” (Philippians 3:13). Life is a diverse affair involving a variety of essential pursuits, but the whole of life should have as its pivotal thrust to be among those to whom Jesus will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:21).

God had a work for David and a work for Solomon. It was God’s will for David to secure the nation of Israel, thereby enabling Solomon to construct the Temple without distraction. David’s work involved war and bloodshed. These were God’s righteous wars of judgment, and David was His agent to bring His will and plans to fruition. Solomon spoke to these very truths when he said, “Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the Lord his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. But now the Lord my God hath given me rest, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence” (1 Kings 5:3-4).

Hence, God’s statements regarding forbidding David to build the Temple because he was a man of war and shedder of blood are not accusatory or condemning in nature. In two battles with the Philistines, David inquired of God as to what he should do. Regarding the first, God said, “Go up; for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thy hand” (2 Samuel 5:19). Concerning the second, God said, I will “go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines” (2 Samuel 5:24). Twice, in addressing David’s conflicts with the Philistines, Moabites, Syrians, Ammonites, and Amalekites, inspiration declares, “And the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went” (2 Samuel 8:6 and 14). David stressed this truth when he said to Solomon, “Is not the Lord your God with you? and hath he not given you rest on every side?  for he hath given the inhabitants of the land into mine hand; and the land is subdued before the Lord and before his people” (1 Chronicles 22:18). Even though it was not God’s will for David to build the Temple, he did what he could as he reminded the people in his final words, “Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God” (1 Chronicles 29:2).

Four, there is the impropriety of granting permission void of divine authority. “And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the Lord is with thee” (2 Samuel 7:3). Nathan was a faithful prophet of God. He loved God, he loved the truth, and he loved David, and would never have intentionally misled him. He fully believed that he was doing the right thing by encouraging him to proceed with his earnest desire to erect an appropriate edifice for the Ark of the Covenant. But he was wrong. He was very wrong. He was granting permission where God had given none; authorizing where God had not authorized, and speaking where God had not spoken. Nathan had entered a realm where he had no right to be. No man can speak for God where God has not spoken Himself.

Fifth, there is the deafening sound of prohibition in divine silence (vss. 4-7). This matter was so spiritually grave that God did not delay in dealing with it. That very night He instructed Nathan to go to David with His first question, “Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?” (vs. 5). The very nature and tone of this question resounds with the need for God to speak in order for man to have the right to act.  Divine legislation is the sole prerogative of God. David’s heart was in the right place when he expressed a desire to provide a suitable habitation for the Ark of the Covenant. This intent was in the mind and plan of God, but not for David to accomplish. Both David and Nathan needed instruction from God that would enable them to act by faith in harmony with the will of God.

God took David and Nathan’s mind on a journey encompassing the whole of Israel’s history from Egypt to that present day. As they pondered God’s relationship with the nation over all the preceding centuries. God demanded that they point to a single moment in time when He addressed one of the tribes, saying, “Why build ye not me an house of cedar?” (vs. 7). The significance of this simple question cannot be overstated. As David the king and Nathan the prophet deliberated upon this potent question from God, what sound did they hear? They heard the sound that only a diminutive number of people in the world have heard. They heard the sound that Catholicism, denominationalism, and the church of liberalism have never heard. They heard the sound of silence. In all of the previous centuries, God had never commanded or authorized a man, leader, or tribe in Israel to construct for His symbolic dwelling place a house of cedar. Wholly devoid of authority from God, all that David and Nathan could hear regarding His question was the sound of silence.

It is a display of unbelief to attempt to thwart the necessity of divine authority for a specific act or religious practice. Such is the nature of the argument of the spirit of liberalism that sanctions any action or behavior that is not expressly forbidden by a “thou shalt not.” This self-will disposition of heart is an intrusion upon the silence of God. If David and Nathan had adopted the spirit of liberalism as their own, they could have argued with God’s question, declaring, “But you never said to Israel, ‘Thou shalt not build me a house of cedar.’” The foundation of faith is “God said” (Romans 10:17). Love for God can only be manifested by obeying the commandments of God (John 14:15). Both faith and love are dependent upon the word, statutes, commandments, precepts, or laws of God. God supplies grace (Titus 2:11). Christ provides blood (Matthew 26:28). The Holy Spirit furnishes revelation (2 Peter 1:21). Paul pointed to man’s only role in the redemptive process when he said, “faith which worketh by love” (Galatians 5:6). Love for God cannot move faith in God to do anything without a word from God. It is impossible for biblical faith and love to presume upon the silence of God. Demanding a “Thou shall not” to deny one’s right to any form of conduct or religious activity nullifies both faith and love.

Noah framed the ark by “faith” (Hebrews 11:7). Noah’s faith did not need a list of specific prohibitions to keep him from tampering with God’s blueprint for the ark. His faith did what faith always does and can only do, “according to all that God commanded him, so did he” (Genesis 6:22). Inspiration devotes seven chapters to God’s pattern for the tabernacle and its components (Exodus 25-31). These chapters were not accompanied by a host of explicit restrictions to assure Moses’ compliance with God’s will and their absence did not constitute an invitation for him to make additions or adjustments according to his own thinking. When the time arrived for Moses to erect the tabernacle, his faith did what faith always does. Eight times the divine record affirms that he did “according to all that the Lord commanded him” (Exodus 40:16-32). On one occasion, Moses momentarily discarded his faith and intruded upon the silence of God by striking instead of speaking to the rock (Numbers 20:7-11). God described what Moses and his brother Aaron did as an act of unbelief and rebellion (Numbers 20:12; 27:14). The absence of a specific prohibition from God regarding striking the rock could not justify their sinful conduct, nor convert their unbelief into faith.

God’s authorized means of transporting the Ark of the Covenant called for Kohathites, shoulders, and staves (Numbers 7:9; Exodus 25:15). Walking in the steps of Moses and Aaron, David temporarily relinquished his faith, supplanted Kohathites, shoulders, and staves with oxen and a cart. As the ark tilted and Uzzah attempted to steady it, he paid for his transgression with his life (2 Samuel 6:1-7). Later, David acknowledged his error, declaring, “We sought him not after the due order” (1 Chronicles 15:13). The lack of a “Thou shall not” concerning oxen and a cart did not constitute divine permission for their use.  Faith seeks God according to His due order, His will, His Word, commandments, laws, statutes and precepts. Faith honors both the sound and the silence of God. The very nature of Biblical faith will not allow it to presume upon the sound or silence of God by speaking or acting where God has not spoken, authorized, or commanded.

God’s choice for music in New Testament worship is congregational singing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16);1 for partaking of the Lord’s supper is Sunday (John 16:12-13); Acts 20:7);2 for leadership in worship is male (1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Corinthians 14:3-4);3 for gathering funds to support His work in Sunday contributions (1 Corinthians 16:1-2), and His only reason for divorce and remarriage is fornication (Matthew 19:9).4 Where lies the difference in “strange fire” (Leviticus 10:1-2), and strange music in worship, strange days for taking the Lord’s Supper, strange leadership in worship, strange ways of collecting funds for spiritual work, and strange reasons for divorce and remarriage. Speaking or acting where God has not spoken is an intrusion upon the authority and silence of God.

The Bible is permeated with this principle. It stands like a sentry on every page. It is as easy to perceive as the sun at high noon on a cloudless day. It instructs, warns, and threatens. It longs to keep man spiritually safe. It is the mind of God at work for man’s good. Only the self-will disposition of liberalism, which is the spirit of unbelief, would be so arrogant and full of pride as to quarrel with it. “Why build ye not me an house of cedar?” That question points to the realm of divine silence, where there is no word from God.

Endnotes

1 Dave Miller (2003), “Instrumental Music and the Principle of Authority,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1215&topic=288.

2 See Dave Miller (2007), “Sunday and the Lord’s Supper,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1254&topic=446.

3 See Dave Miller (2005), “Female Leadership and the Church,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1407&topic=389.

4 Dave Miller (2003), “The Sacredness of Marriage,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1237&topic=324.

Theme for 2020 by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

https://thepreachersword.com/2020/01/06/theme-for-2020/#more-15131

Theme for 2020

During the last number of years when I was engaged in full-time local church work, we had an annual theme that we focused on for the year. We built our sermons and classes around that general theme. It was a spiritual challenge to the congregation to zero in on a single idea.

Although we’re now engaged in an international itinerant ministry, I’ve decided to make this my theme for the year–2020 Vision: Restoring Our Focus. It’s a personal pursuit. One that I will be blogging about on ThePreachersWord. And as I have opportunity it’s a theme I want to share as we visit various congregations.

When we think of vision, from a physical viewpoint we automatically think of eyesight. However, vision has to do with perception. Insight. Imagination. And conception.

Vision allows you to look beyond the present moment. To see what is really important. To recognize opportunities. To detect obstacles. And get a glimpse of what the future holds.

Inventors like Thomas Edison, writers like William Shakespeare, businessmen like Warren Buffet and social reformers like Martin Luther King, Jr. were all people of vision. They approached their respective fields of endeavor seeing not what was, but what could be.

Helen Keller, the American author, political activist, and lecturer was the first person born blind and deaf to receive a BA degree. She was once asked by an interviewer, “What would be worse than being born blind?” She quickly replied, “To have sight, but no vision.”

Spiritually speaking vision is vital to our divine association with God, personal spiritual growth, and congregational well-being. When Paul prayed for the Ephesian brethren he asked the Lord to give them wisdom and knowledge so that the eyes of their understanding would be enlightened. Through which they could clearly see their hope in Christ, His role in their lives, and their future inheritance (Eph. 1:15-21).

However, like the religious leaders that Jesus condemned (Matt 13:11-16) it’s possible that our eyes become blinded by sin. That our vision is obscured by the cares of the world. And lose sight of our heavenly goal.

When our spiritual vision is blurred, our faith is dimmed, our hope is diminished, and our work for the Lord declines. When we lose sight of our mission and ministry, in our myopic condition we become dismayed, discouraged and depressed. This is true of individual Christians, as well as entire congregations.

Sometimes, disturbing distractions like fear, worry and pessimism pervade our thoughts and permeate our emotions so that our focus is on our feelings instead of our faith. This dissipates our energy. Squanders our resources. And blinds us to exciting opportunities and God’s precious promises.

The need is real. The challenge is imperative. And the answer ought to be obvious. Restore our focus.

The wise man’s counsel will redirect our view. “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you” (Prov. 3:25).

The plea of the Psalmist will adjust our sight: “Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law” (Ps. 119:18).

And the exhortation of the Hebrew writer will restore our focus. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2).

Our vision will never rise any higher than our thoughts. The popular author anonymous was right: ‘Your thoughts shape your vision. You see what you want to see.”

So in order to sharpen our vision and restore our focus, we must think about things that are true. Honorable. Just. Pure. Lovely. Admirable. Excellent. And praiseworthy. (Phil. 4:8)

To paraphrase Peter Block, “Your spiritual vision is not only a roadmap but also a compass.” So, look to God’s Word for guidance. And stay focused on Jesus for direction.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

THE MAJORITY HAS NEVER BEEN RIGHT by steve finnell

 

http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-majority-has-never-been-right-by.html

THE MAJORITY HAS NEVER BEEN RIGHT by steve finnell


When the subject of Christianity has been debated the  majority has never been right.

The majority of first century Jews rejected Jesus as the messiah.---The majority has never been right.

John 4:25, 26 The woman said to Him. "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things."
26 Jesus said to her. "I who speak to you am He."(NKJV)

The majority of world rejects Jesus as the only Savior.---The majority has never been right.

Acts 4:10-12 ...the name of Jesus Christ.....12 "Nor is there no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."(NKJV)

The majority of those who claim to be Christians believe the false doctrine of original sin. They believe that because Adam and Eve sinned that all men are guilty of spiritual sin at birth. They believe in inherited sin.---The majority has never been right.

Ezekiel 18:20 "The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. (NKJV)

No man has inherited the guilt of Adam. Men will face spiritual death because of their own sins.

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned---(NKJV)

Death spread to all men because all men have sinned. 

The majority of those who claim Jesus as Savior believe that modes of water baptism are sprinkling and pouring---The majority has never been right.

Mark 16:16 Whoever trusts and is immersed will be saved; whoever does not trust will be condemned. (Complete Jewish Bible)
Mark 16:16 He who has believed, and has been immersed, will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (The Better Version of the New Testament by Chester Estes)

There are no translations that translate Mark 16:16 as such, "He who believes and has been sprinkled or poured shall be saved."---The majority has never been right.

The majority of Baptist believe that water baptism is not essential to the forgiveness of sins and that once you are saved you can never be lost---The majority of Baptists have never been right.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(NKJV)
Galatians 5:1-4.....you have fallen from grace.(NKJV)   

The majority of those who claim to be Christian believe that their church denomination is the final authority when it comes to faith and practice of the Christian faith---The majority has never been right.

The word of God found in the Bible and the Bible alone is not only the final authority, but the only authority for mankind.

THE MAJORITY WILL NOT BE GOING TO HEAVEN

Matthew 7:13-14 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.(NKJV)

If the majority were always right there would be many who find life eternal, however---The majority has never been right.

Luke 13:23-24 Then one said to Him, "Lord, are there few who are saved?" And He said to them, 24 "Strive to enter the narrow gate for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.(NKJV)

Is the Church Important? by J.C. Bailey

 

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

Is the Church Important?

It is a very common teaching today that Christ should be magnified but that the church is relatively unimportant. You can belong to the church of your choice, or you do not need to belong to any church. We shall answer this argument from the Bible.

We shall assume the truth of the following two propositions. The Bible, as it is, is sufficient for man as he is. The best commentary to the Bible is the Bible itself (II Timothy 3:16-17).

I held a meeting one time, and after the meeting a man came up to me and said, "Do you know what Moody said on baptism?" I said, "No, but I know what Paul said." Let me show you how the Bible is the best commentary on the Bible.

Jesus said that the church would be built on a rock. Certain commentaries would say that the rock was Peter. What saith the scriptures? I Corinthians 3:22 says that there is only one foundation and that foundation was Christ. I Corinthians 10:4 says that the rock was Christ. All the man-made commentaries in the world cannot change these basic truths (Hebrews 13:8).

The church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23). Can we mutilate the body of Christ? Can we exchange that body for another body (Ephesians 4:4)? No, the church is to be presented to Christ without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27). Christ is the savior of the body (Ephesians 5:23). Christ purchased the church with his blood (Acts 20:28). Jesus said that the gospel was to be preached to every creature (Mark 16:15). Jesus said that He had all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). He became to those who obey him the author of eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9).

We are justified by faith (Romans 5:1). Faith comes by hearing the word (Romans 10:17). Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Jesus prayed that we might believe through the word, given to us by the apostles (John 17:20-21). In order that we might listen to the apostles, we have the written word (John 20:30-31). The faith was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

The Old Testament was our tutor to bring us to Christ, but now that Christ has come, we are no longer under the tutor (Galatians 3:24-25). When Jesus was on the Mount with the three apostles and Moses and Elijah appeared, Peter suggested that they have three places of worship: one for Moses, one for Elijah and one for Christ. God himself spoke from heaven. Listen to my Son. When John laid down the pen of inspiration he said that nothing more was to be added (Revelation 22:18-19).

For all time the church is to be honored with Christ (Ephesians 3:20-21). Men have made many denominations. But Jesus said that they were to be rooted up (Matthew 15:13). The church, that divine institution, began at the right time, at the right place. The Lord had declared that the law of the Lord would come from Jerusalem. God's house would come from there (Isaiah 2:2-3).

The apostles were gathered. The Holy Spirit, who was to guide them into all truth, came. The gospel had become an established fact. Christ had been raised from the dead. He had gone back to heaven (Acts 1:8-11). Jesus had said that repentance and the remission of sins should be preached in His name beginning from Jerusalem (Luke 24:46-47).

Peter explained the purpose of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Then he declared the fact of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. This brought conviction. The divine record says that they were pricked in their hearts (Acts 2:37). They asked what they should do. The answer came, not only from the apostles, but from the Holy Spirit. "And Peter said unto them, 'Repent ye and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'" To whom does this apply? Verse 39 answers that question: "For to you is the promise, and to your children and to all that are afar off even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him" (Emphasis mine - JCB). What happened? "They then who received his word were baptized, and there were added unto them in that day about 3,000 souls" (Acts 2:41).

What did this church do? "They continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers."

Yes, the church is important. Christ did not die for something unimportant.

J.C. Bailey, 1993, Weyburn, Saskatchewan

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

Bible Reading for September 30 and October 1 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading for September 30 and October 1

World  English  Bible

 

Sept. 30

Psalms 118-120

Psa 118:1 Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, for his loving kindness endures forever.

Psa 118:2 Let Israel now say that his loving kindness endures forever.

Psa 118:3 Let the house of Aaron now say that his loving kindness endures forever.

Psa 118:4 Now let those who fear Yahweh say that his loving kindness endures forever.

Psa 118:5 Out of my distress, I called on Yah. Yah answered me with freedom.

Psa 118:6 Yahweh is on my side. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Psa 118:7 Yahweh is on my side among those who help me. Therefore I will look in triumph at those who hate me.

Psa 118:8 It is better to take refuge in Yahweh, than to put confidence in man.

Psa 118:9 It is better to take refuge in Yahweh, than to put confidence in princes.

Psa 118:10 All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of Yahweh, I cut them off.

Psa 118:11 They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me. In the name of Yahweh I indeed cut them off.

Psa 118:12 They surrounded me like bees. They are quenched like the burning thorns. In the name of Yahweh I cut them off.

Psa 118:13 You pushed me back hard, to make me fall, but Yahweh helped me.

Psa 118:14 Yah is my strength and song. He has become my salvation.

Psa 118:15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous. "The right hand of Yahweh does valiantly.

Psa 118:16 The right hand of Yahweh is exalted! The right hand of Yahweh does valiantly!"

Psa 118:17 I will not die, but live, and declare Yah's works.

Psa 118:18 Yah has punished me severely, but he has not given me over to death.

Psa 118:19 Open to me the gates of righteousness. I will enter into them. I will give thanks to Yah.

Psa 118:20 This is the gate of Yahweh; the righteous will enter into it.

Psa 118:21 I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me, and have become my salvation.

Psa 118:22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.

Psa 118:23 This is Yahweh's doing. It is marvelous in our eyes.

Psa 118:24 This is the day that Yahweh has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!

Psa 118:25 Save us now, we beg you, Yahweh! Yahweh, we beg you, send prosperity now.

Psa 118:26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of Yahweh! We have blessed you out of the house of Yahweh.

Psa 118:27 Yahweh is God, and he has given us light. Bind the sacrifice with cords, even to the horns of the altar.

Psa 118:28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you. You are my God, I will exalt you.

Psa 118:29 Oh give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, for his loving kindness endures forever.


Psa 119

1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to Yahweh's law.

2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes, who seek him with their whole heart.

3 Yes, they do nothing wrong. They walk in his ways.

4 You have commanded your precepts, that we should fully obey them.

5 Oh that my ways were steadfast to obey your statutes!

6 Then I wouldn’t be disappointed, when I consider all of your commandments.

7 I will give thanks to you with uprightness of heart, when I learn your righteous judgments.

8 I will observe your statutes. Don’t utterly forsake me. ​BET

9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.

10 With my whole heart, I have sought you. Don’t let me wander from your commandments.

11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

12 Blessed are you, Yahweh. Teach me your statutes.

13 With my lips, I have declared all the ordinances of your mouth.

14 I have rejoiced in the way of your testimonies, as much as in all riches.

15 I will meditate on your precepts, and consider your ways.

16 I will delight myself in your statutes. I will not forget your word. ​GIMEL

17 Do good to your servant. I will live and I will obey your word.

18 Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things out of your law.

19 I am a stranger on the earth. Don’t hide your commandments from me.

20 My soul is consumed with longing for your ordinances at all times.

21 You have rebuked the proud who are cursed, who wander from your commandments.

22 Take reproach and contempt away from me, for I have kept your statutes.

23 Though princes sit and slander me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.

24 Indeed your statutes are my delight, and my counselors. ​DALED

25 My soul is laid low in the dust. Revive me according to your word!

26 I declared my ways, and you answered me. Teach me your statutes.

27 Let me understand the teaching of your precepts! Then I will meditate on your wondrous works.

28 My soul is weary with sorrow: strengthen me according to your word.

29 Keep me from the way of deceit. Grant me your law graciously!

30 I have chosen the way of truth. I have set your ordinances before me.

31 I cling to your statutes, Yahweh. Don’t let me be disappointed.

32 I run in the path of your commandments, for you have set my heart free. ​HEY

33 Teach me, Yahweh, the way of your statutes. I will keep them to the end.

34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law. Yes, I will obey it with my whole heart.

35 Direct me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in them.

36 Turn my heart toward your statutes, not toward selfish gain.

37 Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things. Revive me in your ways.

38 Fulfill your promise to your servant, that you may be feared.

39 Take away my disgrace that I dread, for your ordinances are good.

40 Behold, I long for your precepts! Revive me in your righteousness. ​WAW

41 Let your loving kindness also come to me, Yahweh, your salvation, according to your word.

42 So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in your word.

43 Don’t snatch the word of truth out of my mouth, for I put my hope in your ordinances.

44 So I will obey your law continually, forever and ever.

45 I will walk in liberty, for I have sought your precepts.

46 I will also speak of your statutes before kings, and will not be disappointed.

47 I will delight myself in your commandments, because I love them.

48 I reach out my hands for your commandments, which I love. I will meditate on your statutes. ​ZAYIN

49 Remember your word to your servant, because you gave me hope.

50 This is my comfort in my affliction, for your word has revived me.

51 The arrogant mock me excessively, but I don’t swerve from your law.

52 I remember your ordinances of old, Yahweh, and have comforted myself.

53 Indignation has taken hold on me, because of the wicked who forsake your law.

54 Your statutes have been my songs, in the house where I live.

55 I have remembered your name, Yahweh, in the night, and I obey your law.

56 This is my way, that I keep your precepts. ​CHET

57 Yahweh is my portion. I promised to obey your words.

58 I sought your favor with my whole heart. Be merciful to me according to your word.

59 I considered my ways, and turned my steps to your statutes.

60 I will hurry, and not delay, to obey your commandments.

61 The ropes of the wicked bind me, but I won’t forget your law.

62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks to you, because of your righteous ordinances.

63 I am a friend of all those who fear you, of those who observe your precepts.

64 The earth is full of your loving kindness, Yahweh. Teach me your statutes. ​TET

65 Do good to your servant, according to your word, Yahweh.

66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.

67 Before I was afflicted, I went astray; but now I observe your word.

68 You are good, and do good. Teach me your statutes.

69 The proud have smeared a lie upon me. With my whole heart, I will keep your precepts.

70 Their heart is as callous as the fat, but I delight in your law.

71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes.

72 The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of pieces of gold and silver. ​YUD

73 Your hands have made me and formed me. Give me understanding, that I may learn your commandments.

74 Those who fear you will see me and be glad, because I have put my hope in your word.

75 Yahweh, I know that your judgments are righteous, that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.

76 Please let your loving kindness be for my comfort, according to your word to your servant.

77 Let your tender mercies come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight.

78 Let the proud be disappointed, for they have overthrown me wrongfully. I will meditate on your precepts.

79 Let those who fear you turn to me. They will know your statutes.

80 Let my heart be blameless toward your decrees, that I may not be disappointed. ​KAF

81 My soul faints for your salvation. I hope in your word.

82 My eyes fail for your word. I say, “When will you comfort me?”

83 For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke. I don’t forget your statutes.

84 How many are the days of your servant? When will you execute judgment on those who persecute me?

85 The proud have dug pits for me, contrary to your law.

86 All of your commandments are faithful. They persecute me wrongfully. Help me!

87 They had almost wiped me from the earth, but I didn’t forsake your precepts.

88 Preserve my life according to your loving kindness, so I will obey the statutes of your mouth. ​LAMED

89 Yahweh, your word is settled in heaven forever.

90 Your faithfulness is to all generations. You have established the earth, and it remains.

91 Your laws remain to this day, for all things serve you.

92 Unless your law had been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.

93 I will never forget your precepts, for with them, you have revived me.

94 I am yours. Save me, for I have sought your precepts.

95 The wicked have waited for me, to destroy me. I will consider your statutes.

96 I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commands are boundless. ​MEM

97 How I love your law! It is my meditation all day.

98 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for your commandments are always with me.

99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.

100 I understand more than the aged, because I have kept your precepts.

101 I have kept my feet from every evil way, that I might observe your word.

102 I have not turned aside from your ordinances, for you have taught me.

103 How sweet are your promises to my taste, more than honey to my mouth!

104 Through your precepts, I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. ​NUN

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path.

106 I have sworn, and have confirmed it, that I will obey your righteous ordinances.

107 I am afflicted very much. Revive me, Yahweh, according to your word.

108 Accept, I beg you, the willing offerings of my mouth. Yahweh, teach me your ordinances.

109 My soul is continually in my hand, yet I won’t forget your law.

110 The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I haven’t gone astray from your precepts.

111 I have taken your testimonies as a heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.

112 I have set my heart to perform your statutes forever, even to the end. ​SAMEKH

113 I hate double-minded men, but I love your law.

114 You are my hiding place and my shield. I hope in your word.

115 Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God.

116 Uphold me according to your word, that I may live. Let me not be ashamed of my hope.

117 Hold me up, and I will be safe, and will have respect for your statutes continually.

118 You reject all those who stray from your statutes, for their deceit is in vain.

119 You put away all the wicked of the earth like dross. Therefore I love your testimonies.

120 My flesh trembles for fear of you. I am afraid of your judgments. ​AYIN

121 I have done what is just and righteous. Don’t leave me to my oppressors.

122 Ensure your servant’s well-being. Don’t let the proud oppress me.

123 My eyes fail looking for your salvation, for your righteous word.

124 Deal with your servant according to your loving kindness. Teach me your statutes.

125 I am your servant. Give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies.

126 It is time to act, Yahweh, for they break your law.

127 Therefore I love your commandments more than gold, yes, more than pure gold.

128 Therefore I consider all of your precepts to be right. I hate every false way. ​PEY

129 Your testimonies are wonderful, therefore my soul keeps them.

130 The entrance of your words gives light. It gives understanding to the simple.

131 I opened my mouth wide and panted, for I longed for your commandments.

132 Turn to me, and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name.

133 Establish my footsteps in your word. Don’t let any iniquity have dominion over me.

134 Redeem me from the oppression of man, so I will observe your precepts.

135 Make your face shine on your servant. Teach me your statutes.

136 Streams of tears run down my eyes, because they don’t observe your law. ​TZADI

137 You are righteous, Yahweh. Your judgments are upright.

138 You have commanded your statutes in righteousness. They are fully trustworthy.

139 My zeal wears me out, because my enemies ignore your words.

140 Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.

141 I am small and despised. I don’t forget your precepts.

142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness. Your law is truth.

143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold of me. Your commandments are my delight.

144 Your testimonies are righteous forever. Give me understanding, that I may live. ​KUF

145 I have called with my whole heart. Answer me, Yahweh! I will keep your statutes.

146 I have called to you. Save me! I will obey your statutes.

147 I rise before dawn and cry for help. I put my hope in your words.

148 My eyes stay open through the night watches, that I might meditate on your word.

149 Hear my voice according to your loving kindness. Revive me, Yahweh, according to your ordinances.

150 They draw near who follow after wickedness. They are far from your law.

151 You are near, Yahweh. All your commandments are truth.

152 Of old I have known from your testimonies, that you have founded them forever. ​RESH

153 Consider my affliction, and deliver me, for I don’t forget your law.

154 Plead my cause, and redeem me! Revive me according to your promise.

155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they don’t seek your statutes.

156 Great are your tender mercies, Yahweh. Revive me according to your ordinances.

157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries. I haven’t swerved from your testimonies.

158 I look at the faithless with loathing, because they don’t observe your word.

159 Consider how I love your precepts. Revive me, Yahweh, according to your loving kindness.

160 All of your words are truth. Every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever. ​SIN AND SHIN

161 Princes have persecuted me without a cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words.

162 I rejoice at your word, as one who finds great spoil.

163 I hate and abhor falsehood. I love your law.

164 Seven times a day, I praise you, because of your righteous ordinances.

165 Those who love your law have great peace. Nothing causes them to stumble.

166 I have hoped for your salvation, Yahweh. I have done your commandments.

167 My soul has observed your testimonies. I love them exceedingly.

168 I have obeyed your precepts and your testimonies, for all my ways are before you. ​TAV

169 Let my cry come before you, Yahweh. Give me understanding according to your word.

170 Let my supplication come before you. Deliver me according to your word.

171 Let my lips utter praise, for you teach me your statutes.

172 Let my tongue sing of your word, for all your commandments are righteousness.

173 Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.

174 I have longed for your salvation, Yahweh. Your law is my delight.

175 Let my soul live, that I may praise you. Let your ordinances help me.

176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I don’t forget your commandments.


Psa 120:1 In my distress, I cried to Yahweh. He answered me.

Psa 120:2 Deliver my soul, Yahweh, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue.

Psa 120:3 What will be given to you, and what will be done more to you, you deceitful tongue?

Psa 120:4 Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.

Psa 120:5 Woe is me, that I live in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar!

Psa 120:6 My soul has had her dwelling too long with him who hates peace.

Psa 120:7 I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war.


 

Oct. 1

Psalms 121-124

Psa 121:1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from?

Psa 121:2 My help comes from Yahweh, who made heaven and earth.

Psa 121:3 He will not allow your foot to be moved. He who keeps you will not slumber.

Psa 121:4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

Psa 121:5 Yahweh is your keeper. Yahweh is your shade on your right hand.

Psa 121:6 The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

Psa 121:7 Yahweh will keep you from all evil. He will keep your soul.

Psa 121:8 Yahweh will keep your going out and your coming in, from this time forth, and forevermore.


Psa 122:1 I was glad when they said to me, "Let's go to Yahweh's house!"

Psa 122:2 Our feet are standing within your gates, Jerusalem;

Psa 122:3 Jerusalem, that is built as a city that is compact together;

Psa 122:4 where the tribes go up, even Yah's tribes, according to an ordinance for Israel, to give thanks to the name of Yahweh.

Psa 122:5 For there are set thrones for judgment, the thrones of David's house.

Psa 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Those who love you will prosper.

Psa 122:7 Peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces.

Psa 122:8 For my brothers' and companions' sakes, I will now say, "Peace be within you."

Psa 122:9 For the sake of the house of Yahweh our God, I will seek your good.


Psa 123:1 To you I do lift up my eyes, you who sit in the heavens.

Psa 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress; so our eyes look to Yahweh, our God, until he has mercy on us.

Psa 123:3 Have mercy on us, Yahweh, have mercy on us, for we have endured much contempt.

Psa 123:4 Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scoffing of those who are at ease, with the contempt of the proud.


Psa 124:1 If it had not been Yahweh who was on our side, let Israel now say,

Psa 124:2 if it had not been Yahweh who was on our side, when men rose up against us;

Psa 124:3 then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their wrath was kindled against us;

Psa 124:4 then the waters would have overwhelmed us, the stream would have gone over our soul;

Psa 124:5 then the proud waters would have gone over our soul.

Psa 124:6 Blessed be Yahweh, who has not given us as a prey to their teeth.

Psa 124:7 Our soul has escaped like a bird out of the fowler's snare. The snare is broken, and we have escaped.

Psa 124:8 Our help is in the name of Yahweh, who made heaven and earth. 

 

Sept. 30

2 Corinthians 10

2Co 10:1 Now I Paul, myself, entreat you by the humility and gentleness of Christ; I who in your presence am lowly among you, but being absent am of good courage toward you.

2Co 10:2 Yes, I beg you that I may not, when present, show courage with the confidence with which I intend to be bold against some, who consider us to be walking according to the flesh.

2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we don't wage war according to the flesh;

2Co 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds,

2Co 10:5 throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;

2Co 10:6 and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience will be made full.

2Co 10:7 Do you look at things only as they appear in front of your face? If anyone trusts in himself that he is Christ's, let him consider this again with himself, that, even as he is Christ's, so also we are Christ's.

2Co 10:8 For though I should boast somewhat abundantly concerning our authority, (which the Lord gave for building you up, and not for casting you down) I will not be disappointed,

2Co 10:9 that I may not seem as if I desire to terrify you by my letters.

2Co 10:10 For, "His letters," they say, "are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech is despised."

2Co 10:11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such are we also in deed when we are present.

2Co 10:12 For we are not bold to number or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But they themselves, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding.

2Co 10:13 But we will not boast beyond proper limits, but within the boundaries with which God appointed to us, which reach even to you.

2Co 10:14 For we don't stretch ourselves too much, as though we didn't reach to you. For we came even as far as to you with the Good News of Christ,

2Co 10:15 not boasting beyond proper limits in other men's labors, but having hope that as your faith grows, we will be abundantly enlarged by you in our sphere of influence,

2Co 10:16 so as to preach the Good News even to the parts beyond you, not to boast in what someone else has already done.

2Co 10:17 But "he who boasts, let him boast in the Lord."

2Co 10:18 For it isn't he who commends himself who is approved, but whom the Lord commends. 

 

Oct. 1

2 Corinthians 11

2Co 11:1 I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness, but indeed you do bear with me.

2Co 11:2 For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy. For I married you to one husband, that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ.

2Co 11:3 But I am afraid that somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve in his craftiness, so your minds might be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

2Co 11:4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if you receive a different spirit, which you did not receive, or a different "good news", which you did not accept, you put up with that well enough.

2Co 11:5 For I reckon that I am not at all behind the very best apostles.

2Co 11:6 But though I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not unskilled in knowledge. No, in every way we have been revealed to you in all things.

2Co 11:7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached to you God's Good News free of charge?

2Co 11:8 I robbed other assemblies, taking wages from them that I might serve you.

2Co 11:9 When I was present with you and was in need, I wasn't a burden on anyone, for the brothers, when they came from Macedonia, supplied the measure of my need. In everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and I will continue to do so.

2Co 11:10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no one will stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia.

2Co 11:11 Why? Because I don't love you? God knows.

2Co 11:12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them that desire an occasion, that in which they boast, they may be found even as we.

2Co 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as Christ's apostles.

2Co 11:14 And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light.

2Co 11:15 It is no great thing therefore if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

2Co 11:16 I say again, let no one think me foolish. But if so, yet receive me as foolish, that I also may boast a little.

2Co 11:17 That which I speak, I don't speak according to the Lord, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting.

2Co 11:18 Seeing that many boast after the flesh, I will also boast.

2Co 11:19 For you bear with the foolish gladly, being wise.

2Co 11:20 For you bear with a man, if he brings you into bondage, if he devours you, if he takes you captive, if he exalts himself, if he strikes you on the face.

2Co 11:21 I speak by way of disparagement, as though we had been weak. Yet however any is bold (I speak in foolishness), I am bold also.

2Co 11:22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.

2Co 11:23 Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself) I am more so; in labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths often.

2Co 11:24 Five times from the Jews I received forty stripes minus one.

2Co 11:25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I suffered shipwreck. I have been a night and a day in the deep.

2Co 11:26 I have been in travels often, perils of rivers, perils of robbers, perils from my countrymen, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in the wilderness, perils in the sea, perils among false brothers;

2Co 11:27 in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, and in cold and nakedness.

2Co 11:28 Besides those things that are outside, there is that which presses on me daily, anxiety for all the assemblies.

2Co 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is caused to stumble, and I don't burn with indignation?

2Co 11:30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that concern my weakness.

2Co 11:31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, he who is blessed forevermore, knows that I don't lie.

2Co 11:32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Damascenes desiring to arrest me.

2Co 11:33 Through a window I was let down in a basket by the wall, and escaped his hands.