Dawkins Is An Atheist Because He Wants To Be by Kyle Butt, M.Div.



Dawkins Is An Atheist Because He Wants To Be

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Richard Dawkins has become internationally famous for his caustic criticism of religion. He is an atheist, and he wishes everyone else would join his “enlightened” cadre of fellow non-believers. In The God Delusion, Dawkins declared the purpose of his book: “I am attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented” (2006, p. 36).

Dawkins attempts to make atheism appealing by claiming that atheists are devoted to the truth, wherever it may lead. He stated: “We believe in evolution because the evidence supports it, and we would abandon it overnight if new evidence arose to disprove it. No real fundamentalist would ever say anything like that” (2006, p. 282). [NOTE: His statement is patently false, because the alleged evidence in support of evolution has been definitively disproved by many (Jackson, et al., 2007; Thompson, 2004.] Notice Dawkins’ rhetorical tactic, implying that atheists are unbiased, completely objective observers of facts.

In dealing with religious people, he suggests that their beliefs are tainted by what they desire to think or feel, and not by objective reasoning and observation. In his chapter titled “The Roots of Religion,” Dawkins attempted to discover the reason why people believe in an afterlife. He stated: “The idea of immortality itself survives and spreads because it caters to wishful thinking. And wishful thinking counts, because human psychology has a near-universal tendency to let belief be coloured by desire (‘Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought’, as Henry IV Part II said to his son)” (2006, p. 190, emp. added).

A critical look at Dawkins’ reasoning reveals the pitfall into which he has plunged himself. Dawkins discounts belief in the afterlife because he claims that it is only held because people want to believe it. So why does Dawkins hold the belief that there is no god? Could it be the near-universal tendency to let his belief be colored by his desire? One can think of a host of reasons why an atheist would not want to believe in God. With God out of the picture, a person can behave how he wants, without feeling that he will ultimately be accountable for his actions. Without God, no regulations on sexual activity hinder a person’s unbridled lust. Furthermore, Dawkins’ atheistic writings and teachings have made him a very rich man. If there really is a God, and Dawkins wrote about His reality, what would separate Dawkins from so many other religious writers? Make no mistake, the concept of atheism is a very appealing, lucrative belief for Dawkins.

In some sense, Dawkins is right: most people let what they want to be true dictate what they believe. Many people hold false religious views because they desire to think or act in a certain way. But in at least one aspect of his thinking, Dawkins is tragically wrong. His atheistic belief is certainly not immune from this “near-universal” tendency. In fact, the Bible warned that atheism would survive only because of false belief based on a desire for godlessness. The apostle Peter wrote about scoffers who would deny God’s existence. Concerning these atheistic thinkers, Peter wrote: “For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old” (2 Peter 3:5, emp. added).

Dawkins is an atheist—but not because he adheres to a dogged determination to follow the evidence where it leads. Dawkins is an atheist because he wants atheism to be true. His desire for godlessness has produced his “willful” ignorance of the evidence of God’s existence.

It should be the goal of every individual to jettison personal desires and strive for absolute truth. If a person truly does that, he or she will arrive at the inevitable conclusion that there is a God. The realization of and obedient adherence to this fact is the only thing that can truly make a person free (John 8:32).


Dawkins, Richard (2006), The God Delusion (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin).

Jackson, Wayne, Eric Lyons and Kyle Butt (2007), Surveying the Evidence (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Thompson, Bert (2004), The Scientific Case for Creation (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/scfc.pdf.

Dawkins Can’t See the Forest for the Trees by Kyle Butt, M.Div.



Dawkins Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Richard Dawkins recently penned The Greatest Show on Earth that he believes sets forth overwhelming evidence to establish the “fact” of evolution. He wrote the book because he admitted that in his previous works, he “realized that the evidence for evolution itself was nowhere explicitly set out, and that this was a serious gap” that he “needed to close” (2009, p. vii). This self-acknowledged gap remains open, however, because the text of his newest book fails completely to state explicitly anything resembling “the evidence for evolution.”

Confirmation of the book’s failure to provide a rational case for evolution can be clearly seen in Dawkins’ discussion about trees (pp. 377-380). In his assessment of trees, Dawkins suggests that tall tree trunks are simply a waste of energy that could be disposed of “if only all the trees in the forest could come to some agreement” not to grow past a certain height. He states:

And this brings us face to face with the difference between a designed economy and an evolutionary economy. In a designed economy there would be no trees, or certainly no very tall trees: no forests, no canopy. Trees are a waste. Trees are extravagant. Tree trunks are standing monuments to futile competition—futile if we think in terms of planned economy. But the natural economy is not planned. Individual plants compete with other plants, of the same and other species, and the result is that they grow taller and taller, far taller than any planner would recommend (p. 379).

According to Dawkins, tall tree trunks are the squandered natural resources of plants that must constantly compete with other plants to capture the precious rays of sunshine that drive their nutrition production. In fact, he states that massive tree trunks “have no purpose apart from competing with other trees” (p. 379). He concludes that “the forest would look very different if its economy had been designed for the benefit of the forest as a whole” (p. 380, italics in orig.). He believes that only the idea of competition between individual trees can account for the look of a forest with massive-trunked trees filling it. In summarizing his “evidence” about trees, he states: “Everything about trees is compatible with the view that they were not designed—unless, of course, they were designed to supply us with timber, or to delight our eyes and flatter our cameras in the new England Fall” (p. 380, emp. added).

In assessing Dawkins’ conclusion about trees, it must be stressed that he has not provided any evidence by which one could conclude that “everything about trees is compatible with the view that they were not designed.” He has not shown how genetic information could spontaneously assemble itself through any known natural process that would give rise to a tree. He has not shown how genetic mutations could change one tree into another kind of tree, say an apple tree into an oak. Nor has he shown how trees could possibly share any type of ancestral relationship with animals, which he would have to do in order to defend evolution and refute creation. All Dawkins has shown is that trees have the genetic ability to grow trunks that eventually reach a certain limit of height and breadth that they cannot exceed.

Furthermore, Dawkins admits defeat, at least in his discussion of trees, when he acknowledges that a Creator could have in mind other things besides forest economy. Dawkins acknowledges that tree trunks would make perfect sense if they were designed to provide humans with timber or beauty. Yet that is precisely why the Bible explains God created the world—to be inhabited by man: “For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18). Not only that, but also to show the glory of God (cf. Psalm 19:1 and Isaiah 6:3). Dawkins’ obvious mistake is that he refuses to accept that the Creator of the world might have a more involved agenda than Dawkins is willing to allow or can even conceptualize. Why would Dawkins waste at least three pages of his book on “explicit evidence” supposedly proving evolution, only to admit that everything he just said about trees is not evidence of evolution “if” the Designer had humans in mind? Simply because this is the only kind of “evidence” that can be marshaled for evolution—the kind that can rationally be refuted when a correct interpretation of the facts is made available.


Dawkins, Richard (2009), The Greatest Show on Earth (New York: Free Press).

Considering Our Cosmic Home: Reflections from the 2012 Venus Transit by Branyon May, Ph.D.



Considering Our Cosmic Home: Reflections from the 2012 Venus Transit

by  Branyon May, Ph.D.


Time lapse image of the
2012 Venus transit

Recently, humanity was treated to a rare event in the heavens; from our vantage point on Earth we were able to see the transit of the planet, Venus, across the visible disk of the Sun. A planetary transit is analogous to an eclipse, because it involves one object passing through the line of sight between two other objects. Similar to a solar eclipse, especially a partial solar eclipse, where the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun and blocks a portion of the Sun’s light, a transit of Venus occurs when Venus passes between Earth and the Sun blocking our view of a region of the Sun’s disk. Since this type of event requires a very precise alignment of the Sun, Venus, and Earth, it is quite rare. Although the previous alignment occurred only 8 years ago, in 2004, you have to look back historically to 1882 to find the next previous alignment, and looking to the future it will not be until the year 2117 before the alignment happens again (Espenak, 2012). Thus, in all likelihood, being 105 years in the future, there will be no one alive in 2117 who saw or was old enough to remember this year’s transit of Venus. (For those who may have missed seeing any of the event or press coverage, see the links at the end of the article for more images and videos.) At this point, let’s pause and contemplate some unique considerations this recent transit event offers.

Astronomically, the Sun and Venus are the brightest and third brightest celestial objects in Earth’s skies (the Moon being second), and historically are two of the most studied celestial objects. Ancient records dating back to the Babylonian civilization around 3000 B.C., reference this bright celestial object, and other civilizations such as the Chinese, Egyptian, and Greek civilizations include observations and cultural lore about Venus. Interestingly, historical references sometimes called Venus the “morning star” or “evening star,” and specifically the ancient Greeks called Venus by two names (Phosphorus and Hesperus) supposing it to be two different objects (Squyres, 2012). The two-object idea isn’t completely unreasonable, since for a portion of our year Venus precedes the Sun in the sky and for the other portion of the year it seems to follow the Sun across the sky. In fact, Venus is never more than about 48 degrees from the Sun in the sky (termed its greatest elongation, and is due to its orbit being inside Earth’s orbit). In fact, 2 Peter 1:19 makes reference to the “day star,” which is translated from the Greek word for phosphorus.

Commonly called “Earth’s Twin” or our “Sister Planet,” Venus is not only the planet that travels in its orbit closest to Earth’s orbit, but has such nicknames because it is nearly identical in size and mass. (Actually, the time of the transit of Venus represents the period of time for closest approach to Earth). When we consider this comparison it brings to mind the question, “What would an Earth transit event look like?” If we were to step outside of our own orbit and align ourselves looking back toward Earth, similar to the alignment we have seen with Venus and the Sun, then based on the similarity between Earth and Venus we actually have our answer. An Earth transit would basically provide the same stunning sight—a single distinguished planet, a fraction the size of the Sun, slowly crossing the wide, intensely bright solar landscape. Earth, too, is more than 100 times smaller in diameter than the Sun and approximately one million times smaller by volume. Therefore, this rare event of Venus’ transit affords us an interesting self-reflection to consider our own planet’s size, scale, design, and place in the Solar System.

Consider: as we watched Venus traverse the Sun’s disk, we were watching Earth’s closest planetary neighbor pass in front of Earth’s nearest stellar companion. Likely the most obvious observation from this event was the size comparison. Venus’s dark silhouette against the Sun’s surface portrayed such a small planet, but the truth is that the actual physical size comparison is even more extreme than what was observed. At the time of the 2012 transit, Venus’s angular diameter was approximately 58 arcseconds while the Sun’s was approximately 1,890 arcseconds, a factor of 32.6 times greater (Odenwald, 2012). However, since Venus was much closer to Earth than the Sun it appeared larger than if it had been at equal distance. This fact means the size of the Sun versus Venus is even more dramatic than the transit view appeared. In actuality the Sun is greater than 100 times the diameter of Venus and greater than one million times the volume, providing a perspective for the true scale of our Solar System. Sometimes the statement is made, “The Universe just has too much wasted space to be the result of an intelligent creator” (see Miller, 2003 for an article addressing that subject). However, this incredible scale of size and distance within our Solar System illustrates (1) the infinite nature of the Creator, and (2) an important aspect to God’s design for our life-sustaining planet. The following considerations should help illuminate some of the usefulness and purpose for the scales we see.

How does Earth compare to our nearest planetary companion? Although Venus and Earth are approximately equal in size and mass, Venus is an interesting case study in planetary characteristics, since in actuality, it is extremely different from Earth in most ways. From a distance we first notice that Venus is enshrouded in a thick atmosphere of clouds. This atmosphere is far thicker than Earth’s, mostly composed of carbon dioxide (CO2), and has an atmospheric surface pressure 90 times greater. To experience an equal amount of pressure on Earth you would have to travel nearly one kilometer below the surface of the ocean (“Venus,” 2012). Venus’s carbon dioxide dominated atmosphere, along with solar irradiance being double that of Earth’s (caused by its closer proximity to the Sun), results in Venus having the hottest average surface temperature in the entire solar system, over 860 degrees Fahrenheit (464 degrees Celsius). Such an incredible temperature means liquid water is not present on its surface, compared to more than 70% coverage on Earth’s surface, and incredibly, even metals such as lead and zinc would melt on its surface (Bentor, 2010). Another major contrast between the two planets is the presence of a strong magnetic field. Earth’s rather fast rotation is thought to drive a dynamo effect that maintains a steady and sufficiently strong field to provide a finely tuned cocoon of protection from the dangerous streams of charged particles flowing from the Sun through the inner Solar System. By contrast, Venus has an extremely slow rotation, which causes its day to be longer than its year, and lacks any magnetic field and associated protection from the solar wind. When we consider our “Sister Planet,” we find that it is not a “Twin” where we would want to or could live. These observations lead to the simple acknowledgement that Earth’s position in the Solar System is well-tuned and finely designed for life to thrive. The Earth shows itself to differ from all other planets in that it possesses all the necessary constituent elements to make it suitable for human life.

Observations of Venus have been linked to prominent times in history and have served to mark events and history, as many major celestial observations and events have. Examples of such help to illustrate just how important the view of our Universe is, and how the created purpose specified in Genesis has been demonstrated: “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years” (1:14). The consistent, unwavering behavior of the motion of the planets—behavior which allows scientists to predict precisely when Venus will transit in this way again decades in the future—is not a characteristic that would result from randomness, mindlessness, and accidental processes as evolutionary theories suppose. Rather, such behavior points to the existence of laws governing the Universe and its planets—laws which could not have written themselves, but rather, were written by the Great Lawmaker of the Universe (Job 38:33).

Venus Multimedia:

1)      NASA video:


2)      National Geographic Images: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/06/pictures/120606-venus-transit-2012-pictures-sun-planet-nasa-space-science/#/venus-transit-pictures-2012-sdo-yellow_54600_600x450.jpg

3)      NASA Image of the Day Gallery: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2271.html

4)      Sky and Telescope viewing from around the globe: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/home/2012-Venus-Transit-ST-Reports-157500315.html


Bentor, Yinon (2010), “Periodic Table: Melting Point,” Chemical Elements, http://www.chemicalelements.com/show/meltingpoint.html.

Espenak, Fred (2012), “Six Millennium Catalog of Venus Transits: 2000 BCE to 4000 CE,” NASA Eclipse Web Site, http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/transit/catalog/VenusCatalog.html.

Miller, Dave (2003), “The Universe—A ‘Waste of Space’?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1207.

Odenwald, Sten (2012), “The Cultural Impact of the Transit of Venus,” 2012 Transit of Venus—Sun-Earth Day: Shadows of the Sun, http://venustransit.nasa.gov/2012/articles/ttt_76.php.

Squyres, Steven W. (2012), “Venus,” History.com, http://www.history.com/topics/planet-venus.

“Venus” (2012), Nine Planets, http://nineplanets.org/venus.html.

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Need For Rest (6:30-31) by Mark Copeland



The Need For Rest (6:30-31)


1. One might easily conclude that the Bible is all about work and no play...
   a. It speaks negatively about sloth and idleness - Pr 6:6-11; 1Ti 5:13
   b. It speaks positively about labor and work - Ep 4:28; 1Th 4:11

2. Yet Jesus spoke of the need to rest...
   a. After His disciples had returned from fulfilling the Limited Commission - Mk 6:30
   b. Encouraging them to come aside to a deserted place and rest a while - Mk 6:31

[Despite advances in labor-saving technology, it seems we are more
stressed than ever.  We do well to remember and apply what the Bible says about...]


      1. God rested on the seventh day - Gen 2:1-2
      2. The principle of rest served as the basis for the Sabbath - Gen 2:3
      3. Which later was commanded of the Israelites as a weekly observance - Deut 5:12-15
      -- Clearly God approved of taking time to rest on a regular basis

      1. The Feast of Unleavened Bread, with two days of rest - Lev 23:5-8
      2. The Feast of Harvest (Pentecost), one day of rest - Lev 23:21
      3. The Feast of Trumpets (1st day of 7th month), one day of rest - Lev 23:23-25
      4. The Day of Atonement (10th day of 7th month), one day of rest - Lev 23:26-32
      5. The Feast Of Tabernacles (15th day of 7th month), two days of rest - Lev 23:33-36
      6. Included with several of the above were:
         b. Required trips to Jerusalem - cf. Lev 23:14-17; Deut 16:16
         b. Seven-day feasts, including one week of living in tents - cf. Lev 23:42
      7. These were in addition to the weekly sabbaths
      -- Approximately 70 days each year "no customary work" was to be done

[As the Old Testament was written for our learning (Ro 15:4), it is
apparent that God created man with a need for rest.  Here are some thoughts related to...]


      1. Too much work
         a. No man can work without rest; and no man can live the
            Christian life unless he gives himself times with God
         b. How can we shoulder life's burdens if we have no contact
            with him who is the Lord of all good life?
         c. How can we do God's work unless in God's strength?
         d. How can we receive that strength unless we seek in quietness
            and in loneliness the presence of God?
      2. Too much withdrawal
         a. Devotion that does not issue in action is not real devotion
         b. Prayer that does not issue in work is not real prayer
         c. We must never seek the fellowship of God in order to avoid
            the fellowship of men but in order to fit ourselves better for it
         d. The rhythm of the Christian life is the alternate meeting
            with God in the secret place and serving men in the market place
      -- These thoughts come from Barclay's Daily Study Bible

      1. Physical rest, to refresh the body
         a. Such as a good night's sleep, afternoon naps
         b. Vacations involving travel, dining with friends - cf. the OT feasts
         c. Benefits:  less stress, weight control, memory performance, overall good health
      2. Spiritual rest, to refresh the spirit
         a. Such as a daily devotional period
         b. Special times devoted to prayer, meditation on God's Word - cf. Php 4:6-9
         c. Benefits:  a closer walk with God, inner renewal, peace of mind
      -- Body and soul both need periods of rest

      1. Making time
         a. Schedule for periodic rest
         b. Isaac liked the evening - Gen 24:63
         c. David and Daniel liked morning, noon, and evening - Psa 55:17; Dan 6:10
         d. Jesus preferred early morning - Mk 1:35
         e. Remember also the OT weekly and annual rests as an example of systematic rest
      2. Choosing location
         a. Find places that allow for privacy (in the case of personal devotions)
         b. Isaac liked the field - Gen 24:63
         c. David meditated on his bed - Psa 4:4; 63:6
         d. Daniel prayed in his room - Dan 6:10
         e. Jesus preferred deserted places - Mk 1:35; 6:31
         f. Remember also the OT feasts (as example of celebratory rest with others)
      -- These suggestions are simply to stimulate your thinking


1. The life of the Christian is more of a marathon than a sprint...
   a. We need to have endurance - He 10:36; 12:1
   b. Lest we fall short of reaching our rest - He 4:1,9-11

2. To reach our "Heavenly Rest", we need both...
   a. Diligence in serving the Lord
   b. Diligence in taking time to rest

3. Some Christians fail to maintain a proper balance...
   a. Suffering physically as a result (e.g., poor health)
   b. Suffering spiritually as well (e.g., emotional and mental burn out)

As physical strength requires both exercise and rest, so it is with
spiritual strength.   We can be thankful that in the wisdom of God there
is to be opportunity for both...

   Then Jesus said, "Let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and
   rest awhile." - Mk 6:31 (NLT)   
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

eXTReMe Tracker

Two Memorable Quotes From the Funeral of George H. W. Bush by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman



Two Memorable Quotes From the Funeral of George H. W. Bush

“Some of the best public speaking we hear is at funerals,” posted my preaching and facebook friend , Warren Berkley, “It is storytelling from the eloquence of the heart. Nobody outlines the structure or critiques the delivery. We just listen.”

After watching most of the funeral service for President George H.W. Bush and hearing the eulogies, I have to say Warren was right.

The stories told by family, friends and colleagues were heartfelt, poignant, and often humorous. They spoke to the character of Mr. Bush. His gentleness. Kindness. Courage. Dignity. Decency. Loyalty. Honor. And grace under pressure.

The accolades given by the various speakers reminded me of a great quote by J. R. Miller, “The only thing that walks back from the tomb with the mourners and refuses to be buried is the character of a man. What a man is survives him. It can never be buried.”

Among the many memorable lines from the Bush service were two that resonated with me. Both were from the touching and often humorous eulogy by former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson.

“Those who travel the high road of humility in Washington are not bothered by heavy traffic.”

“Hatred corrodes the container it is carried in.”

It has been often said that “humility is the mother of all other virtues.” Consider the Biblical virtues identified as the fruit of the spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). First of all, it requires humility to even realize that you are deficient in any of these areas. Secondly, humility is needed to grow, mature and attain these ideals.

Humility helps you to know who you really are. Neither recognition nor rebuke can rattle you. When you’re praised, you don’t allow it to puff you up with pride. And when you experience disapproval you don’t allow it to discourage you. No wonder “God gives grace to the humble” (Jas. 4:6).

Furthermore, how can truly humble people hate? Humble people have no room for hate in their hearts. They’re too busy helping people. Loving. Sharing. Caring. Lifting. And listening.

Those who hate others are often envious of other’s virtues or accomplishments they have not attained. It seems that hate and envy are often seen together. In the case of the Patriarchs and their brother Joseph, the Bible says, “they hated him” and “they envied him” (Gen. 37:4; 37:11). Hate and envy are siamese sins that will sabotage our success, both materially and spiritually, and ultimately destroy us.

Hate erodes, corrodes, and corrupts the one in whom it dwells. Hatred wrecks relationships, ruins marriages, and ravages the soul. It disrupts, damages and destroys everything it touches. Sadly, it has divided many churches.

It’s often easy to lower yourself to hate. It takes effort to humbly take the high road. And Simpson was right. It’s not crowded.

Following the inspired counsel of the apostle Paul will help eliminate hate and elevate humility in our lives. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3-4).

Remember, as author Rick Warren wrote, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman





The thought process of some Christians is puzzling to say the least. Why do some believers in Christ question that God has the power to guide men to translate   Bibles that are inerrant, trustworthy, accurate, faultless, reliable, infallible.

Some of the same Christians who believe the following miracles of the Bible, doubt that God can produce an inerrant translation of the Bible.

They believe that Aaron's staff became a serpent. (Exodus 7:10-12) However they do not believe that translations of the Bible are trustworthy.

They believe Jesus was resurrected from the dead. (John 21:14) However they do not agree that Bible translations are inerrant.

They believe that the dead man Elisha stood up on his feet. (2 Kings 13:20-21) However they doubt that Bible translations are infallible.

They believe Jesus brought Lazarus  back from the dead. (John 11:37-44) However they do not affirm that Bible translations are reliable.

They believe that God turned Lot's wife into a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:26) However they are not convinced that God has given us a translation of the Bible that is accurate.

Even those who state that the King James translation is the only accurate translation, believe that Mark 16:16 does mean what is says: They say "Has been baptized shall be saved" actually means, "Has already been saved before they were baptized." The assert that Acts 2:38 actually means "Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ because your sins have already been forgiven." They really do not trust the KJV either. 

Ninety-nine percent of the Bible translations are accurate, trustworthy, inerrant translations of God's word.

A few of my favorites are New American Standard Bible, King James Version, New King James Version, English Standard Version, and New International Version. There are also many other reliable translations.        

Do You Want to have a Good Life? by Roy Davison



Do You Want to have a Good Life?

"He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking guile; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it" (1 Peter 3:10,11). This is a quotation from Psalm 34: "Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it" (verses 12-14).

Most people want to have a good life. But many do not understand that a good life results from what we do and not from what we possess or what happens to us. Here we are told three things to do if we want to have a good life.

Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.

How can we have a good life if we speak evil? There are different ways to speak evil, all of which must be avoided if we want to love life and see good days.

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers" (Ephesians 4:29).

"Do not speak evil of one another, brethren" (James 4:11). "Speak evil of no one" (Titus 3:2).

Thus we may not be gossips. A gossip is a person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts, someone who enjoys telling negative things about other people. Paul said of certain women: "And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not" (1 Timothy 5:13).

"You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people" (Leviticus 19:16). A talebearer is one who spreads malicious stories or rumors. "A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter" (Proverbs 11:13). "Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer, strife ceases" (Proverbs 26:20).

"Do not speak with a stiff neck" (Psalm 75:5). This means that we are not to speak stubbornly and arrogantly.

"But now you must also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another" (Colossians 3:8,9).

To love life and see good days, we must be careful what we say. "Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak" (James 1:19). "Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes through much activity, and a fool's voice is known by his many words" (Ecclesiastes 5:2,3).

"Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt" (Colossians 4:6).

"He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking guile" (1 Peter 3:10).

Depart from evil and do good.

How can we have a good life if we do evil? We are all confronted with evil, in the world and in our own hearts. Job "was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil" (Job 1:1). To shun is to avoid and stay away from deliberately.

"Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on" (Proverbs 4:14,15).

Yet, to have a good life, it is not enough just to avoid evil, we must also do good! "Trust in the Lord, and do good" (Psalm 37:3). "Cease to do evil, learn to do good" (Isaiah 1:16,17).

"Do good to those who hate you" (Luke 6:27). "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:10). "But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Hebrews 13:16).

"He who would love life and see good days, ... let him turn away from evil and do good" (1 Peter 3:11).

Seek peace and pursue it.

These things are related. Only if we refrain from speaking evil, turn away from evil and do good, can we find peace. " 'There is no peace,' says the LORD, 'for the wicked' " (Isaiah 48:22).

To find peace we need help from Christ, for He is the "Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). He came " to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:79).

Our sins prevent us from having peace with God. Thus only through the sacrifice of Christ can we find peace: "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).

'Jerusalem' means 'City of Peace'. How much peace can be found in earthly Jerusalem? The Jews practice, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." The Muslims follow the Koran which says, "An eye for an eye and a nose for a nose." And between them there is no peace, only conflict and reciprocal retaliation.

Peace comes only from the teaching of the Prince of Peace: "Love your enemies." Peace is found only in heavenly Jerusalem: "Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in. You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You" (Isaiah 26:2,3). " 'For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,' says the LORD, 'who has mercy on you' " (Isaiah 54:10 -- Compare Isaiah 54:1-13 with Galatians 4:21-27).

Christ came to bring God's covenant of peace: "My servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore" (Ezekiel 37:25,26).

Before He returned to His Father, Jesus said to His followers: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you" (John 14:27). "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace" (John 16:33).

"The kingdom of God is ... righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17). "Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace" (Romans 14:19). "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts" (Colossians 3:15). "Be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you" (2 Corinthians 13:11). "Be at peace among yourselves" (1 Thessalonians 5:13). "Pursue peace with all men" (Hebrews 12:14). "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6,7). "Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way" (2 Thessalonians 3:16).

Do you want to have a good life?

"He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking guile; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it" (1 Peter 3:10,11).

Roy Davison

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

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading for January 13 and 14 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading for January 13 and 14

World  English  Bible

Jan. 13

Genesis 13

Gen 13:1 Abram went up out of Egypt: he, his wife, all that he had, and Lot with him, into the South.

Gen 13:2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.

Gen 13:3 He went on his journeys from the South even to Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai,

Gen 13:4 to the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first. There Abram called on the name of Yahweh.

Gen 13:5 Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.

Gen 13:6 The land was not able to bear them, that they might live together: for their substance was great, so that they could not live together.

Gen 13:7 There was a strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite lived in the land at that time.

Gen 13:8 Abram said to Lot, "Please, let there be no strife between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are relatives.

Gen 13:9 Isn't the whole land before you? Please separate yourself from me. If you go to the left hand, then I will go to the right. Or if you go to the right hand, then I will go to the left."

Gen 13:10 Lot lifted up his eyes, and saw all the plain of the Jordan, that it was well-watered everywhere, before Yahweh destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Yahweh, like the land of Egypt, as you go to Zoar.

Gen 13:11 So Lot chose the Plain of the Jordan for himself. Lot traveled east, and they separated themselves the one from the other.

Gen 13:12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, and Lot lived in the cities of the plain, and moved his tent as far as Sodom.

Gen 13:13 Now the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinners against Yahweh.

Gen 13:14 Yahweh said to Abram, after Lot was separated from him, "Now, lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward,

Gen 13:15 for all the land which you see, I will give to you, and to your offspring forever.

Gen 13:16 I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then your seed may also be numbered.

Gen 13:17 Arise, walk through the land in its length and in its breadth; for I will give it to you."

Gen 13:18 Abram moved his tent, and came and lived by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to Yahweh. 


Jan. 14

Genesis 14

Gen 14:1 It happened in the days of Amraphel, king of Shinar, Arioch, king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and Tidal, king of Goiim,

Gen 14:2 that they made war with Bera, king of Sodom, and with Birsha, king of Gomorrah, Shinab, king of Admah, and Shemeber, king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar).

Gen 14:3 All these joined together in the valley of Siddim (the same is the Salt Sea).

Gen 14:4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year, they rebelled.

Gen 14:5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer came, and the kings who were with him, and struck the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim,

Gen 14:6 and the Horites in their Mount Seir, to Elparan, which is by the wilderness.

Gen 14:7 They returned, and came to En Mishpat (the same is Kadesh), and struck all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that lived in Hazazon Tamar.

Gen 14:8 The king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar) went out; and they set the battle in array against them in the valley of Siddim;

Gen 14:9 against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings against the five.

Gen 14:10 Now the valley of Siddim was full of tar pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and they fell there, and those who remained fled to the hills.

Gen 14:11 They took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their food, and went their way.

Gen 14:12 They took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who lived in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

Gen 14:13 One who had escaped came and told Abram, the Hebrew. Now he lived by the oaks of Mamre, the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner; and these were allies of Abram.

Gen 14:14 When Abram heard that his relative was taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued as far as Dan.

Gen 14:15 He divided himself against them by night, he and his servants, and struck them, and pursued them to Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.

Gen 14:16 He brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative, Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

Gen 14:17 The king of Sodom went out to meet him, after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley).

Gen 14:18 Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High.

Gen 14:19 He blessed him, and said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth:

Gen 14:20 and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand." Abram gave him a tenth of all.

Gen 14:21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the people, and take the goods to yourself."

Gen 14:22 Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have lifted up my hand to Yahweh, God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth,

Gen 14:23 that I will not take a thread nor a sandal strap nor anything that is yours, lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich.'

Gen 14:24 I will accept nothing from you except that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. Let them take their portion." 


Jan. 13,14

Matthew 7

Mat 7:1 "Don't judge, so that you won't be judged.

Mat 7:2 For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you.

Mat 7:3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but don't consider the beam that is in your own eye?

Mat 7:4 Or how will you tell your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye;' and behold, the beam is in your own eye?

Mat 7:5 You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye.

Mat 7:6 "Don't give that which is holy to the dogs, neither throw your pearls before the pigs, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Mat 7:7 "Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you.

Mat 7:8 For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.

Mat 7:9 Or who is there among you, who, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?

Mat 7:10 Or if he asks for a fish, who will give him a serpent?

Mat 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Mat 7:12 Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

Mat 7:13 "Enter in by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter in by it.

Mat 7:14 How narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! Few are those who find it.

Mat 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.

Mat 7:16 By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?

Mat 7:17 Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit.

Mat 7:18 A good tree can't produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit.

Mat 7:19 Every tree that doesn't grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire.

Mat 7:20 Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.

Mat 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Mat 7:22 Many will tell me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?'

Mat 7:23 Then I will tell them, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.'

Mat 7:24 "Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock.

Mat 7:25 The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn't fall, for it was founded on the rock.

Mat 7:26 Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn't do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand.

Mat 7:27 The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell-and great was its fall."

Mat 7:28 It happened, when Jesus had finished saying these things, that the multitudes were astonished at his teaching,

Mat 7:29 for he taught them with authority, and not like the scribes.

Love thy neighbor by Gary Rose


Even the most casual observer will recognize that political correctness has mutated into political domination and then into hated and recrimination for those whose ideas differ from their own. Those of us who honestly consider these things will agree that they are true.

In a way, this metamorphosis is not surprising, for as our country continually distances itself from the teachings of the Scriptures, we do not practice the morality God’s Holy Word teaches. Eventually, this trend will result in the destruction of our nation; and that is truly sad!

The solution is simple- LOVE! If we love, we will heal this nation and restore the civility that has made our nation a truly great one.


Romans 13 ( World English Bible )

7 Give therefore to everyone what you owe: taxes to whom taxes are due; customs to whom customs; respect to whom respect; honor to whom honor.

8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not give false testimony,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other commandments there are, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

10 Love doesn’t harm a neighbor. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.

Galatians 5 ( World English Bible )

14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Luke 10 ( World English Bible )

25 Behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

28 He said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live.”

29 But he, desiring to justify himself, asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”

30 Jesus answered, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 In the same way a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion,

34 came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, and gave them to the host, and said to him, ‘Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.’

36 Now which of these three do you think seemed to be a neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?”

37 He said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Love and mercy are intertwined. They proceed from a heart which is receptive to the word of God and willing to obey it. God’s thoughts and will for us is reflected in HIS covenant relationship with his people. This is true for both covenants, the old as well as the new.

The sign reminds us that God meant what he said and this is true. Remember, Jesus died to save everyone 1 Timothy 2:4 (for we are all his neighbors). Don’t just preach “love thy neighbor”, practice it as well. And this doesn’t mean just the neighbors you like – it means everyone. This may not be an easy thing to do, but whoever said being a Christian was easy?

Just do it- and don’t look back!