January Bible Reading by Gary Rose


January Categorical Bible Reading

Did you ever find yourself reading just your favorite books and ignoring the ones that just do not seem that interesting to you? Well, then, you just might like to try reading the Bible by category. If you read all four categories for both testaments that may be a bit much for most people (eight chapters a day).

I am reading two categories this year ( Law and Literature [ both testaments ] ). Since the individual categories do not last a full year, they are read repetitively. 

I will be presenting a spreadsheet printout like the above for each month.

I pray that you will find this method useful!

Gary Rose

Keys Promised to Peter by David Vaughn Elliott



Keys Promised to Peter
by David Vaughn Elliott

He who holds keys controls entry. Is Peter standing at the gates of heaven, deciding who enters? No, that is just sacrilegious joke material. Well then, will Peter be standing at the gates of a future millennium reign of Christ, deciding who enters? I never heard of any premillennialist teaching that. 

What, then, is Jesus telling Peter in Matthew 16:18,19? "I will build My church... I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven." Notice 1) In practically the same breath, with no hint of changing subjects, Jesus speaks of the church and the kingdom, apparently equating them. 2) Peter would use the keys to bind "on earth," thus it was to be done during his lifetime. 

Since Jesus does not fail, His promises amount to prophecy.  Thus this is a prophecy about the kingdom. The prophecy says that Peter will open the way into the kingdom and that he will make binding decrees regarding the kingdom. Even futurist-premillennialists apply this prophecy to Peter's earthly ministry beginning on the day of Pentecost. Thus they inadvertently confess that the church is the kingdom and that the kingdom of God began on the day of Pentecost in the year 30 A.D. 

Since Jesus promised Peter "the keys of the kingdom," it is no coincidence that Peter was the leading spokesman on the day of Pentecost. Keys open doors. Once open, others can enter. Thus, Christ designated Peter to unlock the doors, telling people how they could enter the kingdom: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). The doors of the kingdom have been open for 2000 years. Those who listen to the holder of the keys are privileged to enter.

Living with Enthusiasm by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman



Living with Enthusiasm

Curtis Jones relates the legend of  a wealthy merchant traveling through the Mediterranean world looking for the distinguished Pharisee, Paul.  In time he encountered Timothy, who arranged for a visit. Paul was, at the time, a prisoner in Rome. Stepping inside the cell, the merchant was surprised to find a rather old man, physically frail, but whose serenity and magnetism challenged the visitor. They talked for hours. Finally the merchant left with Paul’s blessing. Outside the prison, the concerned man inquired, “What is the secret of this man’s power? I have never seen anything like it before.”
Did you not guess?” replied Timothy. “Paul is in love.”
The merchant looked bewildered. “In Love?”
“Yes,” the missionary answered, “Paul is in love with Jesus Christ.”
The merchant looked even more bewildered. “Is that all?”
Smiling, Timothy replied, “Sir, that is everything.”

While this story is undoubtedly a myth, it certainly fits the persona and personality of Paul as presented in Scripture. He was a man of zeal.  Passion. Enthusiasm.  Even prior to becoming a Christian he was zealous for the traditions of Judaism (Gal.1:14)  passionate about persecuting Christians (Phil. 3:6).  Following his conversion he channeled that zeal into preaching Christ.  Yes, Paul was in love with Christ!

I wonder with so many distractions in our world today, with so many things that clamor for our time and attention, and with so many secular interests, if we have the kind of fervor that Christianity requires?  Are we zealous?  Passionate?  Dare I say, in love with Jesus?

This year’s NFL season will be remembered as much for the controversy and conversation about Tim Tebow as it will the eventual Super Bowl champion.  Whether one thinks Tebow will ever be a great NFL quarterback, or even agrees with the statements regarding his religious belief in Jesus, one thing is for sure, he is passionate about his faith, and unashamed to enthusiastically let others know where he stands. Christians in the stands cheering might do well to take a page from his book.

“Every great and commanding movement in the annals of the world, wrote Emerson, “is the triumph of enthusiasm.  Nothing great was ever achieved without it.” That’s why Paul would admonish us, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Col.3:23-24).  This was actually spoken to slaves in regard to their work for their masters.  Yes, you can be enthusiastic for the Lord, and glorify him in your job!

In fact, the word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek “en theos” which means “God in us.” All human beings are created in the image of God.  But as Christians we have a spark of the divine nature.  If there is any group of people in the world that ought to be positive, progressive and enthusiastic, it should be Christians!

And so today, this week, let us resolve to serve the Lord with passion. Zeal. Enthusiasm.  And to do so wherever we are and whatever we are doing.  At work. At school.  In our home lives. In our community efforts. And certainly in our worship and in our church family.

In the final analysis enthusiasm, as Henry Chester expressed it, “ is nothing more or less than faith in action.”  And it is that passionate faith that leads to achievement in this life. And in the life to come.





Genesis 4:9

  1. Perhaps one of the more thought-provoking questions in the Bible is that one asked by Cain:
    1. Cain had killed his brother because God had accepted Abel's offering, but not his own - Gen 4:3-8
    2. When the Lord inquired concerning Abel, Cain's response was:
      "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Gen 4:9)
  2. This is a question we would do well to ask ourselves today...
    1. Are we our brother's keeper?
    2. Do we have a responsibility to watch out for and care for one another?

[When one turns to the New Testament, it becomes clear that the answer is in the affirmative. In fact, there are many passages which emphasize...]

      1. As commanded by Jesus - Jn 13:34-35; 15:12,17
      2. As taught by Paul - Ro 13:8; 1Th 4:9
      3. As instructed by Peter - 1Pe 1:22
      4. As stressed by John - 1Jn 3:11 (note v.12), 23; 4:7,11-12; 2Jn 5
      -- But how are we to express such love? Other passages can provide the answer...
      1. We are to "receive one another" - Ro 15:7
      2. We are to "edify another" - Ro 14:19
      3. We are to "serve one another" - Ga 5:13
      4. We are to "bear one another's burdens" - Ga 6:1-2
      5. We are to be "forgiving one another" - Ep 4:32
      6. We are to be "submitting to one another" - Ep 5:21
      7. We are to "exhort one another" - He 3:12-13
      8. We are to "consider one another" - He 10:24-25
      9. We are to be "hospitable to one another" - 1Pe 4:8-10

      [In light of such "one another" passages, is there any doubt that we are to be our brother's keeper?

      But how well are we doing? To stimulate our thinking and help us re-examine how well we are fulfilling our obligations to one another, consider the following questions...]

      1. Do we receive them into the family of God, or ignore them? - Ro 15:7
        1. Are they properly assimilated in the family life of the congregation?
        2. Do they remain on the fringe?
        -- If we do not even know their names, we can be sure that we are failing as our brother's keeper!
      2. Do we edify them, or put stumblingblocks in their way? - Ro 14:19
        1. As individuals, are we "body-builders", encouraging the members of the body?
        2. Or are we like a cancer, weakening the members of the body of Christ?
          1. By our own example
          2. By our words, attitudes, etc.
          -- It was said of Philemon that he refreshed the hearts of the brethren; do people say the same of us?
      3. Do we submit to them, or arrogantly rule over them? - Ep 5:21
      4. Do we serve them in love, or expect them to serve us? - Ga 5:13
      5. Do we demonstrate hospitality to them? - 1Pe 4:8-10
        1. By visiting them in their need?
        2. By inviting them into your home (or accepting invitations to their home)?
      1. Do we even consider them? - He 10:24-25
        1. Are we even aware of who they are?
        2. Are we ignorant of their problems? If so, why?
          1. Maybe it is because we don't assemble enough ourselves
          2. We may "wonder about them", but that is not sufficient!
        3. Do they drift away, with no one making an effort to reach them?
      2. Do we exhort them, lest they become hardened by sin? - He 3:12-14
        1. Or are we afraid to confront them, for fear of running them away?
          1. If we truly love them and approach them with humility, they are not likely to run away
          2. If they do, they are running away from God, not you!
        2. Remember, such exhortation is to be daily! Perhaps we wait too long...
      3. Are we willing bear their burdens? - Ga 6:1-2
        1. So as to help them overcome and become stronger
        2. Or do we rather not be bothered?
      4. Are we quick to forgive them when they repent? - Ep 4:32
        1. Fear of not being forgiven and accepted back into the family may keep some from repenting and returning to the fold
        2. Do we communicate a willingness to accept with open arms and offer complete forgiveness?
  1. How we answer such questions may reveal how well or poorly we are...
    1. Fulfilling our responsibility to be our brother's keeper
    2. Living up to the one responsibility we have that includes all others: to love one another as Christ loved us - Jn 13:34-35
  2. If we have failed to be our brother's keeper, we need to...
    1. Repent of our lack of concern, our inactivity, or whatever has hindered us
    2. Confess our shortcomings in this area to God
    3. Resolve to apply with zeal these "one another" passages!

Are you your brother's keeper? Are you even identified with a congregation whereby you can be a working member who both cares for those in the family, and be cared for by them?

I hope this study has stimulated your thinking about responsibilities you have toward your brethren in Christ...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2022

Blessing by Gary Rose


Today, as I perused FACEBOOK, I noticed that brother Ed Healy ( who was a former classmate of mine at Northeast School of Biblical Studies ) had made a new webpage. A short time later, I saw this “Peanuts” blessing and thought of brother Ed because of his Celtic heritage ( which this “Peanuts” blessing seems to say as well ).

And I thought how much a greeting can say about a person; what they are like, what they believe, how they act, etc.. To this end I chose three greeting from Paul, one to the Roman congregation and two to the Corinthian group of Christians.

The Bible says...

Romans 1 ( World English Bible )

1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the Good News of God,

2 which he promised before through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,

3 concerning his Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,

4 who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

5 through whom we received grace and apostleship, for obedience of faith among all the nations, for his name’s sake;

6 among whom you are also called to belong to Jesus Christ;

7 to all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, that your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world.

9 For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the Good News of his Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you always in my prayers,

10 requesting, if by any means now at last I may be prospered by the will of God to come to you.

11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, to the end that you may be established;

12 that is, that I with you may be encouraged in you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.

1 Corinthians 1 ( WEB )

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

2 to the assembly of God which is at Corinth; those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, both theirs and ours:

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I always thank my God concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus;

5 that in everything you were enriched in him, in all speech and all knowledge;

6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

7 so that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ;

8 who will also confirm you until the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

2 Corinthians 1 ( WEB )

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the assembly of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia:

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort;

4 who comforts us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound to us, even so our comfort also abounds through Christ.

6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer.

7 Our hope for you is steadfast, knowing that, since you are partakers of the sufferings, so also are you of the comfort.

After reading these again, several things stood out.

1. In all these greetings Paul had the recipients best interests at heart.

2. Paul knew them well and encouraged them in their faith.

3. To the Corinthians, he lists others along with him as well-wishers.

4. These letters were not form letters; each was specific to their needs.

Today, it is easy to stay in-touch with others; the social media options are legion. Question: have we lost touch with how personal communication with our fellow Christians can and should be?

2022 is a new year, with new possibilities. Why not determine to build up our brethren in Christ in every possible way? What a nice way to begin a new year, showing love and concern for others!