Reading Scripture helps us know God's Love. Every Bible verse is written for you. Jesus Christ is all mankind's Light. John 1!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Acts 6:8-15 ~ before the Sanhedrin


Acts 6:8-15 (New International Version)

8 Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia. These men began to argue with Stephen, 10 but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.


11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, "We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God."

12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, "This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us."

15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.


Have you ever tried to find an image of Stephen with the face of an angel? If you find one that is reasonable, let me know. The early church didn’t have to guess what angels looked like, they knew. Angels surrounded the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the 40 days Jesus walked on earth after the resurrection.

Maybe Stephen’s face was radiant like Moses in the presence of God; Stephen was seeing God. Or was Stephen’s face strong like the Angel of the Lord, who wrestled with Jacob? It’s part of conversation to say a child has the face of an angel, is this the innocence angels project?

What did the people see when they saw Stephen? We can’t see with our eyes, but Father God wanted you and me to know, to understand, what they saw in Stephen: He was one of the first seven Christian deacons, of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom. Stephen - a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6).

In the book of Acts, following the gospels of Jesus Christ, Stephen was known for doing “great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.” That’s a great statement in the book of Acts. We, as Christians today, have days of knowing discouragement; events do not always give us the immediate victory. We wonder where God is when we aren’t winning the victory. Stephen did not have to win all the battles to have fought the good fight and found favor with God.

Stephen knew that day, in front of the Sanhedrin, wasn’t going to be a personal victory; he found strength to have faith. The light of Christ was going to continue to shine.

Stephen continued to look and see God.

Acts 7: 59
59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.


The light of Jesus Christ continued to shine.

Acts 7:58
Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.


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Friday, April 24, 2009

Psalm 134 ~ Come, bless the Lord

Psalm 134

1 Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
who stand by night in the house of the Lord!
2 Lift up your hands to the holy place
and bless the Lord!

3 May the Lord bless you from Zion,
he who made heaven and earth!


Every single person on earth wants blessings from the Lord.

Deuteronomy 11:25-27
25 No man will be able to stand against you. The LORD your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.

26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse- 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.

Jesus told us He is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. Look at the blessings from the Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 5:3
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Matthew 5:5
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Matthew 5:7
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Matthew 5:8
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Matthew 5:9
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Matthew 5:10
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:11
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

In the Old Testament, there are a lot of blessings! Look at Genesis. Deuteronomy, one of Moses’ books giving the law (and is so avoided as a bible study) is an overwhelming outpouring of God’s blessings. The Old Testament blessings speak of prosperity, overcoming worldly difficulties and being blessed to be part of Israel – the promised land.

In the New Testament, one word is used more than any other when describing God’s blessing to people. This word, makarios, means “blessed.” It’s used 44 times in the New Testament, mostly as descriptions of righteous behavior or characteristics God considers desirable. The blessings of the Sermon on the Mount encourage us when circumstances are difficult; God is with us.

Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:33 should be our guide for our Christian living in this world:

Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.


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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

John 17:20-26 ~ You love them even as You love Me

Luke 10:21
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.


John 17:20-26

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”


Just as the Trinity is God, who is one; the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, dwelling in us, tells us God loves us even as He loves Jesus, His Son.

Psalm 51:11
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Matthew 3:11
I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one (Jesus) who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Matthew 12:32
Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Matthew 28:19
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

Mark 13:11
Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

Luke 3:22
and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

Luke 11:13
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Acts 2:1-3
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.

Acts 2:38
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 5:32
We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."

Acts 8:15-17
When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5:5
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.


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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Psalm 6 ~ The Lord has heard

Christian pilgrims carry the cross in the Holy Land.

Psalm 6

1 O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath.
2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
3 My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O Lord—how long?

4 Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who will give you praise?

6 I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief;
it grows weak because of all my foes.

8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.


Philippians 4:6
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.

God promises us He cares for our needs in all situations. He promises us to forgive us for our sins. We only have to ask for His mercy, forgiveness and call upon His name.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

1 John 1 ~ God is light, in Him is no darkness at all

The Rylands Library Papyrus P52, also known as the St John's fragment. The front is lines from the Gospel of John 18:31–33, and the back contains lines from verses 37–38. The papyrus was found in Egypt. Recently dated again, the oldest date is 125 AD, not the late part of the 2nd century, as previously thought. During the apostle John's lifetime. Housed at John Rylands University Library, Manchester, UK.
1 John 1

Suggestion for today’s reading - Listen

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.


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Friday, April 17, 2009

John 21:1-14 ~ Simon Peter climbed aboard

Reconstucted 1st Century fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee ( also Lake of Gennesaret, Lake Kinneret or Sea of Tiberias).

John 21:1-14

1 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

5 He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?"
"No," they answered.

6 He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, "It is the Lord," he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught."

11 Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.



~ Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish.

Maybe you read the Newsweek cover article about the United States now living in a post-Christian era. The two areas of greatest unbelief, according to the article, are the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast. In these two areas in the country, 10% are now more agnostic compared to 10 years ago. The article says agnostics now number twice the number of people in the Episcopal church. It seems to be confined to specific areas, so it seems what one neighbor says to another is important.

It’s interesting to contrast the Christmas polls saying “89.5 of the United States believes in God, believes prayer is helpful and part of that faith belief.”

The Newsweek article caused all the nightly television news programs to call up famous evangelical preachers and grill them on worldly standards during Holy Week.

When Peter swam eagerly to the Lord Jesus Christ that morning bringing many, many fish; it was the dawn of the Christian Church. “Come and have breakfast,” Jesus invites.
Jesus could have said a lot of things to Peter. It could have been an altar and a heavenly chorus of all the angels. Jesus could have been sitting, beautifully and impressively arranged as God. Jesus, as God, had a lot of options for the meeting.

Jesus chose to sit beside Peter, in Peter’s life and at Peter’s side. For us, it could be an office, a den, or a car. He reminded Peter to love, to care for, to feed his neighbor. And Peter was eager to do this because Peter was far from perfect himself.

Why isn’t today’s church like the early church? Probably because Christians expect a different life than Christians of 100-300 AD. It was a harsh life with slavery, starvation, small wars, robbers and cruel government. Suddenly a light in the world shone: people saw miracles, people really changed, people expected God to care. Imagine being a low part of society, hungry and cold. Suddenly someone offers a warm coat, food and tells you of their changed life and because the love of God touched them. Lives touched other lives.

Today, the good news is still Good News. But sometimes sarcasm follows goodness and principles of sharing and love feel naïve. Christianity has been proclaimed as the crutch of the weak. Has the good news become old news? No. Don’t believe it. The world hasn’t become a warmer place when we all learn to only look out for number one – ourselves.

When Peter swam out to meet Jesus, it wasn’t the first pope offering to do all of the work himself. One of the best lay person responses when asked how we can BE the church of Jesus Christ, was this: “understanding that the caring, loving, patient reply we give, might be the only kind words the hearer hears all day.” The man giving this reply (he does live up to this ideal in a great Jesus manner) learned it from someone else he remembers with love.

Jesus reminded Peter to love, to care for, to feed his neighbor. And Peter was eager to do this because Peter was far from perfect himself.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Psalm 18:1-20 ~ I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies

Psalm 18:1-20

1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

3 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.

4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.

6 In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.

7 The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.

8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.

9 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.

10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.

12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.

13 The LORD thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.

14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies ,
great bolts of lightning and routed them.

15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, O LORD,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.

17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.

18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.

19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

20 The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.


This Psalm of David is rejoicing with an overflowing heart in the mercy of God. It remembers the deliverance of the children of Israel. Written 1,000 years before Jesus’ death, verses 8 to 14 describe the earthquake & events after Jesus forgave us and dismissed His Spirit. Because Jesus gave us His Holy Spirit, the psalm is about us, individually. In our day of trouble, we call out to Him and He saves us forever.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

1 Samuel 27 ~ each man had his family with him

In England, Canterbury Cathedral began restoring broken windows in the 1880s. Some of the replacements are quite modern; this window is from the 1950s. No explanation of this window was found; some travelers noticed some windows look a bit like cartoons. This unusual window has the cross shining at the top of the window.

1 Samuel 27

1 But David thought to himself, "One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand."

2 So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maoch king of Gath. 3 David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal. 4 When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him.

5 Then David said to Achish, "If I have found favor in your eyes, let a place be assigned to me in one of the country towns, that I may live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?"

6 So on that day Achish gave him Ziklag, and it has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since. 7 David lived in Philistine territory a year and four months.

8 Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. (From ancient times these peoples had lived in the land extending to Shur and Egypt.) 9 Whenever David attacked an area, he did not leave a man or woman alive, but took sheep and cattle, donkeys and camels, and clothes. Then he returned to Achish.

10 When Achish asked, "Where did you go raiding today?" David would say, "Against the Negev of Judah" or "Against the Negev of Jerahmeel" or "Against the Negev of the Kenites." 11 He did not leave a man or woman alive to be brought to Gath, for he thought, "They might inform on us and say, 'This is what David did.' " And such was his practice as long as he lived in Philistine territory. 12 Achish trusted David and said to himself, "He has become so odious to his people, the Israelites, that he will be my servant forever."

It’s a popular concept today to determine God’s purpose for our lives. Proverbs would agree with the idea of seeking God’s wisdom. Our church did a bible study called “Essential 100s”- knowing these 100 chapters gives a good basic understanding of the bible. We discovered something interesting from each chapter. Evil men promote God’s will; sometimes by acting as a force of evil trying to stop God and sometimes just as self-interested humans. Good men try to do God’s will and sometimes cannot, but God’s will is always accomplished. Sometimes in weakness, God’s will is best displayed as His strength and His love prevail.

1 Samuel 27 is an excellent example of God’s will working through the intricacies of man. Our generation hates the violence of the bible and refers to the barbaric God of the Bronze Age. But this last century is one of the most violent in the history of the world. David was told in 1 Samuel 22 to remain in Israel. God didn’t seek the violence David brought about.

David is displaying his desire to disobey God and create a safe place for himself. The other side of David, his leadership, creates a safe place for the 600 men following David. Allowing them to have families, and lives based on families, instead of running from cave to cave. God sees David’s leadership and allows David’s departure from Israel to create the final conclusion between Saul and the Philistines.

Saul did not grant David a place to live in peace, but the Philistine king gives David a Judean city that remains in David’s care for a lifetime. Achish had self-centered interests and God used them to allow Israel to have a coming time of peace.

The stained glass window today has darkness in some areas, people seemingly intent on climbing upward without really paying attention to each other. But the top is the light shining from God’s cross. What today’s chapter shows us, again, is man intent on his own purpose, but the greater purpose is God’s.

1 John 4:8
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Genesis 1:20 2:4a ~ God saw that it was good God blessed them


Genesis 1:20 2:4a (New Revised Standard Version)

And God said, "Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky." So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." God said, "See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.


What is a day to God?

2 Peter 3:8
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

If you are one who ponders creation or evolution, who is the creator?

John 1:1-4
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.



Psalm 30:12
12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.



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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mark 16:4-7 ~ just as He told you



Mark 16:4-7

4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

6 "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "



"He planted the only durable hope amid the widespread despair of a hopeless world."
Dr. Carl F. Henry

Hope Sermon, by Reverend Ray Steadman. Edited and condensed

There Mark ends his story. You notice the resurrection begins after the darkest day in human history -- that black Saturday when Jesus lay in the grave. But it ends with the women who had come to the tomb leaving filled with such joy and awe and exploding hope that they dared not breathe a word of it to anyone.

It is this that sent them out to establish a rumor of hope in the midst of the hopelessness of mankind. I want to look with you now at this brief account from Mark, to see what it was that made these women change like this.

The account opens with the words, "And when the sabbath was past..." The other gospels do not mention the Sabbath, but Mark gives us this brief account of it. If we have any imagination at all, it would be easy to understand that that Saturday before the resurrection must have been the darkest day these disciples had ever experienced. What a dreary, interminable day it must have been! A day of shattered hopes, of broken dreams, of desolated spirits, and of wounded and frightened hearts. A dark and dreary day indeed, a day in which the future was grim and foreboding. All their brightest hopes had collapsed around them, all their choicest dreams had perished with the death of Jesus. These disciples, crushed, their hopes dashed, their dreams demolished, tried to live through that dark Saturday with no hope for the future, no belief in the resurrection. Every act on that day must have been torture for them, with every fiber of their being crying out, "What's the use! Why go on?" It was a day they would never forget as long as they lived.

I think some of us have felt something of that. And you know, there are more human beings today who live constantly in the despair and hopelessness symbolized by that dark Saturday than have ever lived in the drama of Friday or the victory of Easter. Someone has called our present generation "Saturday's children," and it is an apt term.

Saturday's children - an increasingly godless world, despair grips people's hearts everywhere. Hopelessness and meaninglessness come crushing in on us from every side.

When the proper hour arrived for the disciples to sit down and write their accounts, this dark day had so dropped into the background, was so lost in the joy of resurrection, that the most they felt it necessary to say is only: "And when the sabbath was past..." Their hope had swallowed up their despair. Why was this true?

The first thing was that the stone was rolled away from the tomb. They came concerned and worried about that stone. Any of you who have been to the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, where I think this event indeed took place, know that the stone is no longer there, but that you can see the narrow grooved platform along which it was rolled, right in front of the tomb. And the entrance into the tomb itself is almost as tall as a man. The stone which covered the entrance to that tomb must have weighed at least a thousand pounds. It was indeed a very large stone, as the account tells us, and these women were naturally concerned about how to roll it away so that they might anoint the body of Jesus with the spices and ointments which they had brought. But when they arrived, the stone was already rolled back.

Matthew tells us that very early, long before daybreak, an angel had come and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightening bright and shining, so that he dazzled and dismayed the guards who had been detailed to watch over the tomb. They fell as dead men on the ground, and, then, as they recovered their senses, stumbled off into the darkness in fear. All of this had happened before the women arrived.

Then, when they went into the tomb, the body of Jesus was gone!

And the words of the angel to these women contain the answer to all the skepticism of twenty centuries. For the angel said some things to them which answer most of the claims which have ever been raised in questioning the actuality of the resurrection. The first thing the angel said was, "This Jesus of Nazareth, this One who was crucified, this same one whom you seek, has indeed risen from the dead."

He says to the women, "This very same Jesus, the One you knew from Nazareth, whom you accompanied about the hills of Galilee and Judea, the Jesus who was crucified, whom you saw on the cross with the nails in his hands and the blood running down his side, that same One whom you are seeking, is risen from the dead." That establishes the identity of Jesus. So the angel underscores the claims of Scripture that Jesus is alive, that he rose bodily, and that he is available in specific places.

The third thing the angel says is put in these extraordinary words that only Mark records: "But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee." That is a wonderful touch. What a gentle, tender word that is! The last time we saw Peter in this Gospel account, he was standing in the courtyard of the high priest during the trial of Jesus. Peter kept denying Him; three times he denied Him. Peter denied it with curses and oaths: "No! I don't know him! I've never met the man."

What a tender thing it is for the angel to say to these women, "Go and tell the disciples and Peter that he goes before you to Galilee." It puts him right back into the apostolic band.

What does this say to us? Well, that says that Jesus is available to individuals -- not just to the crowd at large, not just to the world in general, or the church, but to you. Put your own name in there.

This accessibility to individuals has been the hallmark of Christianity ever since. Each one of us can know Him personally, intimately -- not just as a figure of history, nor as a coming King, nor in a general sense, as we know about the President of the United States, but in that intimate, personal, real, conscious sense of knowing which we share in the most intimate communion. He knows us as we know ourselves.

The last thing the angel said was, "He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him, as He told you." That is, these are faithful words. Jesus had already promised He would do this. This ought not to have taken them by surprise, because He had said He would go before them to Galilee when he rose from the dead, and there he would meet them. The angel is here underscoring the reliability of the words of Jesus. He is absolutely trustworthy; He does what He says He will do. His promises can be believed. Whatever He said, He also fulfilled, and you can rely upon it to the very last letter.

Now, this is what changed the people who knew Jesus. This is what filled them with hope, brought them from the very depths of dark despair to trembling ecstasy, so that they went out with gladness to spread this rumor of hope throughout the world -- the only durable hope the world has ever known.

John 3:1616"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.




Saturday, April 11, 2009

Isaiah 12:2-6 ~ Sing praises to the Lord, for He has done gloriously


Isaiah 12: 2 - 6

2 "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation."
3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
4 And you will say in that day: "Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name; make known his deeds among the nations, proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 "Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.
6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel."


Romans 6: 3 - 11

3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.
7 For he who has died is freed from sin.
8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.
9 For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
10 The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.


Isaiah 55: 1 - 11

1 "Ho, every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Hearken diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in fatness.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.
4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.
5 Behold, you shall call nations that you know not, and nations that knew you not shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.
6 "Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.


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Friday, April 10, 2009

Father forgive them, they know not what they do

Peter Paul Rubens painted Descent from the Cross many times. It was a theme he returned to over and over. This painting is c. 1617. Jesus Christ is supported in silent grief by Joseph of Arimathaea, Nicodemus and the young John the Evangelist. Mary, gently holding her son for the last time, symbolises the Christian virtues of love and hope. Mary Magdalene has fallen to her knees, the personification of repentance.

Matthew 27:49-54 (American Standard Version)

And the rest said, Let be; let us see whether Elijah cometh to save him.

And Jesus cried again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit.

And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake; and the rocks were rent; and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints that had fallen asleep were raised; and coming forth out of the tombs after his resurrection they entered into the holy city and appeared unto many.

Now the centurion, and they that were with him watching Jesus, when they saw the earthquake, and the things that were done, feared exceedingly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God.”

Front page, Houston Chronicle online:

1 Corinthians 15: 12-20

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.


20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead


Article by Kurt Wise

The central tenet of Christianity is that by His resurrection from the dead Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God (Rom. 1:4). In 1 Corinthians 15 stated that if Christ is not risen then Christian's are without hope. He recognized that Christianity stands or falls on whether Jesus was actually raised from the dead. No other religion is founded on this kind of an historically grounded miraculous event. In his defense of the fact of the resurrection, Christian scholar Gary Habermas points to several generally accepted historical facts surrounding the Christ's crucifixion and the birth of Christianity that indicate that Jesus was truly raised from the dead.

These facts include: 1) Jesus died due to the rigors of crucifixion and 2) was buried. 3) A Praetorian Guard, which consisted of four hardened soldiers was left at Jesus tomb. 4) Sanhedrin Council documents record the trial and death, as well as discussion of Jesus while alive. 5) The historian Josephus records Jesus, the facts of His death, the continuation of his disciples, conversion of his brothers and acknowledges His followers grew into a church after His death. 6) Jesus’ death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope. 7) Many scholars hold that Jesus was buried in a tomb that was discovered to be empty just a few days later. 8) Critical scholars even agree that at this time the disciples had real experiences that they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus. 9) Because of these experiences, the disciples were transformed from doubters who were afraid to identify themselves with Jesus to bold proclaimers of his death and resurrection, even being willing to die for this belief.

10) This message was central in the early church preaching and 11) was especially proclaimed in Jerusalem, where Jesus had died shortly before. 12) As a result of this message, the church was born and grew, with Sunday as the primary day of worship. 13) James, the brother of Jesus and a skeptic, was converted to the faith when he also believed he saw the resurrected Jesus. 14) A few years later Paul the persecutor of Christians was also converted by an experience that he, similarly, believed to be an appearance of the risen Jesus. (Did Jesus Rise From the Dead? The Resurrection Debate, Terry L. Miethe, Ed.; Harper and Row: San Francisco, 1987, pp 19-20)

The significance of these facts rests in the transformation that took place in a group of Jewish disciples made up of fishermen, tax collectors, zealots, and even women (a negative in that culture). The impact of these events in their lives was such that they were willing to give their lives to proclaim a message that could have been disproved by the simple evidence of a rotting corpse. But it was not only the disciples who were impacted by encounters with a resurrected Christ, it was also skeptics and even enemies of the faith.

While there is much more evidence to be examined regarding the resurrection, the facts listed above serve as a foundation for the veracity of the Christian claim that Christ is risen!

~ In the 8th century BC, the prophet Isaiah, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, told us of God’s plan for us to become children of God. To be cleansed and made holy by giving us His Son.

Isaiah 53
1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

11 After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied ;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.


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Thursday, April 09, 2009

John 13:3-17 ~ the One who Sent Him


John 13:3-17

3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"

7 Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."

8 "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet."
Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."

9 "Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"

10 Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13 "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.



Jesus Christ, Son of God. Jesus, himself, washes us clean from the roads and choices we have made in life.

Philippians 2:5-7

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant


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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Matthew 26:14-25 ~ from that moment

Matthew 26: 14 - 25

14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests
15 and said, "What will you give me if I deliver him to you?" And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.
16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.


17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the passover?"
18 He said, "Go into the city to a certain one, and say to him, `The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'"
19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.

20 When it was evening, he sat at table with the twelve disciples;
21 and as they were eating, he said, "Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
22 And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, "Is it I, Lord?"
23 He answered, "He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me, will betray me.
24 The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born."
25 Judas, who betrayed him, said, "Is it I, Master?" He said to him, "You have said so."

Exodus 12:
When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' 27 then tell them, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’


This Year, 2009, at Passover, children will ask, “What does this ceremony mean to you?” To Christians, on that particular evening, the Passover meals became the Last Supper, as the Lamb of God spared the children of God.


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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Psalm 71:1-6,15,17 ~ In Thy righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline thy ear to me, and save me!


Psalm 71:1-6,15,17

1 In thee, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame!
2 In thy righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline thy ear to me, and save me!
3 Be thou to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for thou art my rock and my fortress.
4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
5 For thou, O Lord, art my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
6 Upon thee I have leaned from my birth; thou art he who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of thee.
15 My mouth will tell of thy righteous acts, of thy deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.
17 O God, from my youth thou hast taught me, and I still proclaim thy wondrous deeds.

When thinking of the cruelty Jesus suffered this week, I think of all the people we know, during all of the gospels, doing anything to ridicule Jesus’ message of faith, hope and love. How difficult for Jesus to have seen the disciples desert Him, even before the Roman and temple guards came for Him. One in malice, one in thoughtlessness & self-preservation, all in weakness & all in fear. Psalm 71 reminds us of the fear and prayer than must have been in the disciples hearts during our Holy Week. Even in their fear, even though His Son was suffering, God heard their prayers. God continued their ministries, strengthening them to do His work.


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Monday, April 06, 2009

John 12:1-11 ~ believing in Jesus

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, by Jan Vermeer van Delft , c. 1654
Vermeer painted very few religious pictures, and it's typical of Vermeer to use an intimate, rather homey setting. Jesus is relaxed, Martha and Mary are comfortable & at ease in their own home.


John 12:1-11

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’

When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.

Written by Reverend Nigel Cowgill

At this point in the Gospel of John, we are nearing the end of Jesus' life. For him to come to Jerusalem was an act of great courage: he had been made an outlaw by the authorities. Bethany had been marked out as the 'official' place for the overflow of pilgrims who had been travelling to celebrate the Passover festival in the city of Jerusalem.

When Jesus arrived in Bethany, Mary and Martha made him a meal. It may have been that they shared the house with their brother Lazarus. It seems that as the meal was being served Mary's heart ran over with love. She had a pound or pint (depending on the translation) of very expensive ointment or perfume, and with it, she anointed Jesus' feet.

The disciple Judas Iscariot questioned the motive and accused her of wasting such an expensive item. The money spent on the perfume could have been given to the poor. But this was Mary's way of showing her undying love for her Lord, and so she used her hair to wipe Jesus' feet.

In Palestine, at the time, from the day a woman married her hair would be bound up and never seen flowing in public. However, Mary was not bothered about what people might think. She was happy to show her love for Jesus.

In verse 3, John includes the sentence "the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume", which also tells us something about love. Many of John's statements have two meanings: one which lies on the surface and one which might need a little more working out. Some have suggested that this verse also refers to the room being filled with the sweet memory of Mary's actions. A lovely action that adds to life is something which time can never take away.

To Ponder
When was the last time you showed love to someone in a act of unselfconsciousness like Mary? Look for an opportunity to do so again.

Are there things in your life which you feel need attention? Remember that failure to act, especially failure to express love, might bring regrets.

2 Corinthians 2:14-17

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Jeremiah 20:10-13 ~ He rescues the life

Just as Jeremiah's friend and servant, Baruch's seal, has been discovered, so has this tablet that confirms the existance of Nebo-Sarsekim. The financial record of a donation made a Babylonian chief official, Nebo-Sarsekim. There are only a small number of scholars worldwide who can read cuneiform script. One of them is Dr Jursa, who told The Times yesterday that the British Museum tablet was so well preserved that it took him just a couple of minutes to decipher.

Jeremiah 20:10-13

10 I hear many whispering,
"Terror on every side!
Report him! Let's report him!"
All my friends
are waiting for me to slip, saying,
"Perhaps he will be deceived;
then we will prevail over him
and take our revenge on him."

11 But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior;
so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;
their dishonor will never be forgotten.

12 O LORD Almighty, you who examine the righteous
and probe the heart and mind,
let me see your vengeance upon them,
for to you I have committed my cause.

13 Sing to the LORD!
Give praise to the LORD!
He rescues the life of the needy
from the hands of the wicked.

From Clarke’s commentary:

“Jeremiah, on account of his prophesying evil concerning Judah and Jerusalem, is beaten and imprisoned by Pashur, chief governor of the temple, 1, 2. On the following day the prophet is released, who denounces the awful judgments of God which should fall upon the governor and all his house, as well as upon the whole land of Judah, in the approaching Babylonish captivity, 3-6. Jeremiah then bitterly complains of the reproaches continually heaped upon him by his enemies; and, in his haste, resolves to speak no more in the name of Jehovah; but the word of the Lord is in his heart as a burning flame, so that he is not able to forbear, 7-10. The prophet professes his trust in God, whom he praises for his late deliverance, 11-13. The remaining verses, which appear to be out of their place, contain Jeremiah's regret that he was ever born to a life of so much sorrow and trouble, 14-18. This complaint resembles that of Job; only it is milder and more dolorous. This excites our pity, that our horror.”

My mother-in-law told me during the times in her life involving sadness, her relationships changed. People who were old friends didn’t have the words of wisdom, new friendships came to be. Just as Job found his hope in the Lord began to sustain him again, to have abundant life, Jeremiah did not end his life on this earth in misery. The Lord says:

Jeremiah 32:26,27
26 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 27 "I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?


The Babylonian king was part of God’s plan for Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 39:12
He ordered Nebo-Sarsekim to look after Jeremiah: "Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee."


Even to Baruch, servant of Jeremiah, the Lord said:
Jeremiah 45:4,5
4 The LORD said, "Say this to him: 'This is what the LORD says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the land. 5 Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the LORD, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.'

Again and again, Jeremiah speaks of his sense of Gods abiding presence: ...for I am with you to save you and deliver you, says the Lord (15:20);

Jeremiah 15:20

20 I will make you a wall to this people,
a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you
but will not overcome you,
for I am with you
to rescue and save you,"
declares the LORD.


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Thursday, April 02, 2009

John 1:14 ~ the Word became flesh and lived among us

Artwork by Rebecca Cooper

JESUS CHRIST:
OUR NEXT DOOR SAVIOR
By Max Lucado

"There’s something wrong with this picture."
Remember those handouts in elementary school? The teacher would pass out drawings with the question at the bottom, "What’s wrong with this picture?" We’d look closely for something that didn’t fit. A barnyard scene with a piano near the water trough. A classroom with a pirate seated on the back row. An astronaut on the moon with a pay phone in the back-ground. We’d ponder the picture and point to the piano or pirate or pay phone and say, "This doesn’t fit." Something is out of place. Something is absurd. Pianos don’t go in barnyards. Pirates don’t sit in classrooms. Pay phones aren’t found on the moon and God doesn’t nurse from Mary’s breast or sleep in Peter’s boat.

But according to the Bible he did both! He did God things and man things. He is all God and all man.

"For in Christ there is all of God in a human body." (Colossians 2:9 LB)

Jesus was not a God-like man, nor a man-like God. He was God-man. And because he was, we are left with these scratch-your-head, double-blink, what’s-wrong-with-this-picture moments: Mary changing God’s diaper. A 12-year-old Jesus stumping religious scholars. Ex-lepers hugging kids. The formerly blind taking art classes.

Wine where there was water. The crippled sponsoring the town dance. A sack lunch
satisfying five thousand tummies.

And, most of all, a grave: guarded by soldiers, sealed by a rock, yet vacated by a three-day dead man. John has a word for such moments: "Glory."

"The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son...." ( John. 1:14)

My prayer is that we, over the next few months, might see the same. For the balance of the year we plan to use our Sunday morning lessons to journey through the life of Jesus.

Beginning with Jesus in pre-birth continuing on to Jesus at his promised return. We’ll pause along the way at the "glory moments." Those occasions where Jesus’ humanity and divinity converge, those conjunctions of diverse sources where the majestic intertwines with the mundane and we are left open-mouthed.

In fact, God being our helper, open mouths will be the first-fruit of such a quest. If his claims are true, he is the single most important person who has ever lived. No one comes close. He is not at the head of the parade; he is the parade. He’s not the main event; he’s the only event. He’s not the MVP; he is the entire league. And—this is important—he does not just answer prayers, he is reason for faith.

The reward of Christianity is Christ.

Philippians 3:8 (New International Version)
8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.


The reward of seeing the Grand Canyon is not the T-shirt or the glass bubble with the snowflakes that fall when you shake it. The reward of the Grand Canyon is the Grand Canyon. The wide-eyed realization that you are a part of something ancient, splendid, and powerful. Something greater than you.

The reward of Christianity is Christ. Not money in the bank or a car in the garage or a healthy body or a better self image. Those are likely, yet secondary and tertiary fruits. But the first fruit, the cache, the treasure of faith is Him. Fellowship with Him. Walking with Him. Pondering Him. Exploring Him. The heart-stopping realization that in Him you are a part of something that is ancient, endless, unstoppable, and unfathomable.

And that He, who can dig the Grand Canyon with his pinkie, knows you and thinks you’re worth dying for. Christ is the reward of Christianity. Why else would Paul make Him his supreme desire?

Philippians 3:10
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
We ponder Christ to stir our awe.


We also study the incarnation to balance our faith. The title of the series may trouble you. Jesus: Our Next Door Savior is, for some, unsettling. Some are bugged by the "next door" part. To think that Jesus could be as human as the fellow you see changing his oil on Saturday morning? Some don’t like that. Others don’t mind the humanity; it’s the divinity they resist. Call him prophet, a teacher, a revolutionary, but a Savior? Don’t go that far. But we must. We must let him be all God and all man. All God so he can save you. All man so he can understand you. Dismiss either expression and you have to take issue with many passages of Scripture.

Hebrews 1:3
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

John 8:58
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"


Paul urged Timothy to:

2 Timothy 2:8
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel

See the confluence? "descendant of David" (next door) and "risen from the dead. (Savior).

Jesus: accessible enough to live next door. Mighty enough to be our Savior.
Such words can be said about no other person. He resists any effort to be lumped with
Buddha, Mohammed or Moses. He cannot claim what he claimed and be regarded as a good man or great prophet. He is either divine or deluded, God or godless. Any attempt to categorize him in between is inaccurate.

My prayer is that these lessons will lead all of us to state for the first or the thousandth
time, "I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God."

**** Extra note, Jesus isn’t just the guy next door, Jesus Christ promises to live in us and to dwell in us.

Deuteronomy 10:15
Yet the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today.

1 Corinthians 3:16

Do you not know that you are God's Sanctuary, and that the Spirit of God has His home within you?

Romans 8:9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

Corinthians 6:16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.


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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Daniel 3:14-20,91-92,95 ~ There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter


This clay cylinder is 1 of 3 cylinders found in the ruins of ancient Babylon. The cylinder describes Nebuchadnezzar's royal palace in Babylon. He actually built 3 palaces and his summer palace was on the Euphrates River. The Nebuchadnezzar II Clay Cylinder is an important discovery in Biblical Archaeology, it mentions Nebuchadnezzar by name and confirms the Biblical account of Nebuchadnezzar's palace. Daniel 4.

Daniel 3: 14 - 20, 91 - 92, 95

14 King Nebuchadnezzar questioned them: "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you will not serve my god, or worship the golden statue that I set up?

15 Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments; otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace; and who is the God that can deliver you out of my hands?"

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, "There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter.
17 If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
18 But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you set up."

19 Nebuchadnezzar's face became livid with utter rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual 20 and had some of the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the white-hot furnace.


91 King Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles, "Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?" "Assuredly, O king," they answered.
92 "But," he replied, "I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God."


95 Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants that trusted in him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.


If I was about to be thrown into a white-hot furnace, I would start explaining. I just know I would. I have never been chosen to represent God’s chosen people. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego have their troubles, if they explain about Jehovah being a jealous God, the king isn’t going to be pleased with Daniel’s friends. But Nebuchadnezzar has large troubles of his own, he dismantled the temple, Jerusalem and God’s chosen people. And Nebuchadnezzar is basking in his own glory of being the conquering destroyer. Nebuchadnezzar is sitting on a land mine - Nebuchadnezzar isn’t a typical tyrant, he has misunderstood Daniel to proclaim Nebuchadnezzar’s reign as golden.

Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2:31
"You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay.


Daniel completes God’s message to Nebuchadnezzar by saying: Daniel 2:36
"This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. 37 You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; 38 in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.

Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem (circa 597 BC) and deposed King Jehoiakim, then (in c. 587 BC), destroyed both the city, the temple, and deported a sizable portion of the Jewish population of Judea to Babylon as slaves. Jeremiah repeatedly told God’s chosen people to turn back to Him. Nebuchadnezzar does not see himself as fitting into God’s plans, but setting forth a blazing path of glory for himself.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego see clearly Nebuchadnezzar has heard from the Lord, but the message has been bent to be self-love. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego leave it up to God to defend His word.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, "There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter.


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We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He has saved all who call upon His name and rely on Him for His Grace. The Scriptures are living & active and are for understanding the Lord Almighty. Biblical readings are chosen from the Ecumenical Christian Church and the Nicene Council, 325 A.D., approved Apocrypha. People remember not just from reading, but by sight and orally- an image has been added as well as audio readings. God tends to link the passages together with fascinates - this blogger, Anne-Laurel Gardere, Member of Anglican Church of North America, part of the Church of England. Our Christian family is HopePointe Anglican Church of The Woodlands, Texas.

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Who Jesus Is.

1 Timothy 1:1-11 ~ God our Savior, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope



Good News for us to remember and Think Upon

Anger, Jealousy = Trouble
Ezekiel 38 ~ then they will know that I am the LORD
Psalm 81 ~ I answered you
Mark 1:1-20 ~ Prepare the way of the Lord, make His path's straight
Ephesians 4 ~ speaking the truth in Love
1 Peter 4:7-19 ~ Beloved, do not be surprised
Psalm 31 ~ O Lord, let me not be put to shame for I call upon You
Mark 12:28-34 ~ love Him with all your heart

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
John 1:29-34 ~ I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God

Beauty Instead of Ashes
Isaiah 61 ~ Beauty instead of Ashes

Being a New Creation in Jesus Christ

Mark 2:18-22 ~ new wine into new wineskins
Matthew 22:34-40 ~ The great and first commandment. And a second is like it

Being Spiritual
Matthew 14:1-12 ~ the fame of Jesus

Believe

Colossians 1:24-2:7 ~ rooted and built up in Him
Genesis 25 ~ sell me your birthright now

Bible - in your hand, today
Matthew 16 ~ Jesus made it clear
John 15:12-17 ~ Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends
1 Thessalonians Chapter 4:1-8 ~ gave you through the Lord Jesus
1 John 1 ~ God is light, in Him is no darkness at all


Blessing

Amos 9:5-15 ~ I have given them
Psalm 67 ~ may God bless us still
Genesis 12:1-4 ~ I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
Psalm 136 ~ His steadfast love endures forever
Ezekiel 39:7-8, 21-29 ~ I pour out my spirit upon the house of Israel
Psalm 128 ~ May you see your children's children! Peace be upon Israel!
A Blessing ~ Numbers 6:23-26
Psalm 126 ~ shouts of joy
Genesis 48:8-22 ~ he blessed
Psalm 138 ~ Your right hand delivers me
Matthew 22:34-40 ~ The great and first commandment. And a second is like it
Psalm 147 ~ Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure
Ezekiel 39:21-40:4 ~ I will set my glory among the nations
Luke 1:57-66 ~ the Lord's hand was with him
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29 ~ For Ever
Joshua 3:14-4:7 ~ as soon as
Psalm 31:3-8,17-21 ~ Thou hast redeemed me
Psalm 84 ~ O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you
Psalm 67 ~ God shall bless us
Psalm 24:1-6 ~ who shall ascend
Deuteronomy 33 ~ so shall your strength be

Blessing our Father God

Romans 11:33-36 ~ who has given a gift to Him
Luke 14:15-24 ~ there is still room
Psalm 135 ~ bless the Lord

Blessing - unaware

Genesis 46 ~ Israel took his journey with all that he had
Isaiah 43:1-13 ~ I have redeemed you
Exodus 11 ~ did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land
Mark 6:45-51 ~ He meant to pass by them

Boundaries

Psalm 60 ~ is Mine

Brothers
Psalm 133 ~ there the LORD has Commanded the Blessing, Life Forevermore

Can't we all just get along!
Mark 11:11-26 ~ He entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple

Carry Your Cross
Matthew 16:24-28 ~ see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom

Change

Matthew 6:25-34 ~ your heavenly Father knows that you need
Matthew 6:25-34 ~ do not be anxious
Jeremiah 42 ~ I am with you
Mark 16:8 leads to this question :What would a risen King have to say to the people who had seen Him die?

Creation ~ Animals

Ezekiel 24 ~ write down the name of this day, this very day

Crusades as a Permanent Criticism to Christianity
Ecclesiastes 1:1-11 ~ to the place where the streams flow

Decision
John 1:1-5, 9-13, 14-17 ~ grace and truth
Matthew 16:13-20 ~ who do people say the Son of Man is?
Matthew 16:1-19 ~ no sign
Mark 1:1-20 ~ Prepare the way of the Lord, make His path's straight
Matthew 13:1-9 ~ A sower went out to sow
Matthew 25 ~ Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?
Matthew 5:27-37 ~ you have heard
Ecclesiastes 6 ~ whatever has come to be has already been named
Psalm 132:6-10 ~ we found it in the fields of Jaar
Psalm 97~ worshipers of images are put to shame
1 Timothy 3:16 ~ believed on in the world
Matthew 22:23-33 ~ after them
Acts 24:10-21 ~ verify that
John 1:29-34 ~ I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God
1 Corinthians 6 ~ such cases
Psalm 135 ~ who is in your midst
John 1:1-14, 16, 29-51 ~ He was in the world

Details - Putting it all together and discovering it is about God

Psalm 108 ~ In truimph I will parcel out Shechem

Determine your own path, just love Him

Judges 16 ~ like any other man
John 4:43-54 ~ Doing what Jesus says



Divorce
Matthew 19:1-15 ~ your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so
1 Corinthians 5:1-8 ~ in the name of the Lord Jesus

Dry, Dusty Old Tomes or the Word of God, Living and Active
Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah - 2,000 years old
Sennacheribs Prism Isaiah Bible Archaeology

Ancient Giants of Israel
Daniel 3 ~ an image of gold
Ezra 7:27-28, 8:21-36 ~ blessed be the LORD
Psalm 90 ~ For a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday when it is past
1 John 1 ~ God is light, in Him is no darkness at all
Psalm 19:8-10, 14 ~ meditation
Psalm 70 ~ May all who seek thee rejoice and be glad in Thee
1 Chronicles 4 ~ The sons of Judah
Isaiah 40:1-11 ~ His reward is with Him
Matthew 8 ~ Jesus saw a crowd around Him
Psalm 44 ~ ordain salvation
Daniel 9 ~ He has confirmed his words, which he spoke
Proverbs 24 ~ lest the Lord see it

Archaeology (placed in area instead of alphabetically)
Ipuwer Papyrus
Hebrews 11:1-3, 32-40 ~ by faith we understand
Matthew 16:18 ~ Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church
Psalm 93 ~ The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt.
Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8 ~ Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father
Psalm 105:23-45 ~ Egypt was glad when they departed, for dread of them had fallen upon it.
2 Kings 21 ~ walk in the way of the Lord
Numbers 9:15-23 ~ they remained
2 Chronicles 29 ~ opened the doors of the House of the Lord
Joshua 1:1-9 ~ I am giving
Matthew 22:34-40 ~ The great and first commandment. And a second is like it
John 1:35-42 ~ He said to them, “Come and you will see.”
Jeremiah 48 ~ they acquired
Genesis 49:29-50:14 ~ beyond the Jordan
John 6:52-59 ~ truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you
Zechariah 7:1-14 ~ by asking
Jeremiah 2:1-13 ~ Servant's first fruit
2 Chronicles 32 ~ And many brought gifts to the Lord to Jerusalem and precious things
Matthew 13:1-23 ~ root in Himself
John 1:35-42 ~ He said to them, “Come and you will see.”
Psalm 116 ~ I believe
1 Kings 9 ~ I have heard your prayer and your plea
Psalm 78: 1- 39 ~ Things from of old
2 Chronicles 26:1-22 ~ his pride led to his downfall
Psalm 78:1-39 ~ forgot His works and the wonders that He had shown them
Genesis 14 ~ they also carried off Abram's nephew Lot
Ezekiel 26:1-14 ~ your walls will shake
John 18: 28-40, John 19 ~ The King of the Jews
Deuteronomy 9:4-12 ~ For Days will come upon you
2 Samuel 13:23-39 ~ news came to David
Luke 21:1-4 ~ contributed
Ezra 1:1-11 ~ the Lord stirred
Matthew 11:1-6 ~ what you hear and see

Dust

Romans 8:1-21 ~ the law of the Spirit of life has set you [me] free in Christ Jesus
John 11:1-45 ~ had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in Him

Exodus - History



It's the End of the World as We Know it, And I Feel Fine. (One of our most read posts.)
Mark 13: 14-27 ~ He will send his angels

Evening Prayer
Psalm 134 ~ may the Lord bless you from Zion, He who made Heaven and earth!

Expectations
John 1:47-51 ~ you will see greater things than these
Judges 16:1-22 ~ told me
1 Kings 19:4-8 ~ a day's journey
Psalm 118 ~ The Lord's right hand
Matthew 22:34-40 ~ The great and first commandment. And a second is like it
Philippians 2:19-24 ~ how it will go with me, and I trust in the Lord


Fellowship
Psalm 121 ~ help comes from the Lord
Psalm 16 ~ Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
1 John 3:11-21 ~ God is greater
Mark 1:1-20 ~ Prepare the way of the Lord, make His path's straight
Mark 6:1-13 ~ they went out and proclaimed that people should repent
Mark 11:11-26 ~ He entered Jerusalem and went into the temple
Romans 8:22-39 ~ it is God who justifies
James 3:13-4:12 ~ who speaks against a brother

More Forgiveness
1 Samuel 12 ~ serve the Lord with all your heart
Matthew 17:24-27 ~ give it to them for me and for yourself
Psalm 7 ~ test the minds and hearts
Matthew 5:27-37 ~ you have heard
Luke 8:16-25 ~ Who is this?
Psalm 130 ~ with You there is forgiveness
Psalm 25 ~ For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Psalm 51 ~ Renew a right spirit within me
Genesis 41:1-36 ~ I remember my offenses today
Ezekiel 36:16-23 ~ For the Sake of My Holy Name

Gates of Heaven

Gossip
John 10:7-16 ~ the Good Shepherd
Deuteronomy 8 ~ who brought you out
Mark 1:4-11 ~ You are my beloved Son; with You I am well pleased

Gratitude
Hebrews 12:28-29 ~ grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken

Greatest
Matthew 11:7-15 ~ what did you go out to see?
Matthew 22:34-40 ~ The great and first commandment. And a second is like it
John 1:29-34 ~ I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God
John 1:35-42 ~ we have found the Messiah
Matthew 16:13-20 ~ keys to the Kingdom of Heaven
~ they went on from there and passed through Galilee

Grief, Forgiveness, Homecoming
Genesis 45:1-15 ~ He wept
Psalm 33 ~ He is our help and our shield
Matthew 6:19-21 ~ treasure in heaven
Luke 2:22-32 ~ blessed God
Matthew 25:1-13 ~ the Kingdom of Heaven
James 5 ~ pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power
Psalm 84 ~ For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere
Zechariah 10:6-10 ~ gather them in
Psalm 113 ~ and lifts the needy
Psalm 16 ~ I bless the Lord
Matthew 12:15-21 ~ in His name the nations will put their hope.

Hated Emotion - Fear
Mattew 12:1-12 ~ hope
Isaiah 43:1-13 ~ I have redeemed you
Jeremiah 42 ~ I am with you
Psalm 27 ~ I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!
Psalm 34 ~ He keeps all

Healing
Matthew 12:15-21 ~ to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah

His Story. All Scripture is HIS. Jesus fulfills Scripture.

John 17:1 ~ the Son may glorify You

Holiness
Leviticus 20 ~ You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own
2 Samuel 12: 1-12 ~ before all Israel
Jeremiah 31:31-34 ~ I will write it on their hearts
Ezekiel 36:16-23 ~ For the Sake of My Holy Name
Psalm 130 ~ my soul waits for the Lord
Psalm 34 ~ Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but

Holy Spirit ~ Manifestations
Psalm 135 ~ all the kingdoms


Homeward Bound, still a soujourner
Exodus 35 ~ all the congregation of the people of Israel departed from the presence of Moses
Acts 25 ~ let them bring charges against him
Philippians 2:19-24 ~ how it will go with me, and I trust in the Lord
Psalm 42 ~ Hope in God

Honey, Do this
Matthew 3 ~ see verse 10

Invitation
John 3:31-36 ~ that God is true

Israel - Destroyed Completely and Rebuilt. A sign of Jesus. Existing today.

Luke 21:20-28 ~ redemption
2 Chronicles 30 ~ Feast of Unleavened Bread

Jesus said He is God
Hebrews 1:1-4 ~ appointed heir of all things

Jesus, Who is our Jesus
Psalm 54 ~ O God, save me by your name, and vindicate me by your might
John 4:43-54~Doing what Jesus says

Joy
Luke 10:17-24 ~ to see what you see, and hear what you hear
Matthew 6 ~ practicing your righteousness
Psalm 13 ~ I have trusted
Luke 2:22-32 ~ blessed God
Psalm 34 ~ Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but
Joel 2:18-29 ~ be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things!
Psalm 128 ~ May you see your children's children! Peace be upon Israel!
Luke 10 ~ Rejoice that your names are written in Heaven!
Psalm 24:1-6 ~ who shall ascend
Psalm 81 ~ open your mouth wide
Exodus 33:19 ~ The Lord
Psalm 128:1-5
Hebrews 13:17-21 ~ keep watch
Romans 11: 11-12 Homecoming!
Luke 1:39-55 ~ glorifies the Lord
Psalm 31:3-8,17-21 ~ Thou hast redeemed me



Live It
Psalm 117 ~ Praise the Lord
Psalm 82 ~ rescue the weak and the needy
2 Samuel 4:1-12 ~ David answered
Hebrews 12 ~ Thankful
Psalm 31:3-8,17-21 ~ Thou hast redeemed me
Isaiah 40:1-11 ~ His reward is with Him
Matthew 13:31-32 ~ the birds of the air come and perch in its branches
Matthew 6:25-34 ~ your heavenly Father knows that you need
Luke 11:29-32 ~ Rise up
Psalm 126 ~ shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves
Luke 14:15-24 ~ there is still room
Joshua 1:1-9 ~ I am giving
Acts 5 ~ speak in the name of Jesus
John 1 ~ the Light shines
John 3:5-8 ~ born again
~ they went on from there and passed through Galilee
Judges 20 ~ Israel

Losing a Loved One - Passing ON

Revelation 21:22-27 ~ those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life

Not Being Tossed Back and Forth with Emotion
Ephesians 4 ~ speaking the truth in Love

Marriage
Romans 7:1-12 ~ bear fruit for God
1 Corinthians 7 ~ For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband
Genesis 37:12-24 ~ when Reuben
Psalm 143 ~ Your steadfast love
Psalm 86 ~ For great is your steadfast love


Media... taking it down the path
1 Corinthians 10 ~ Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God

Mercy, an Inseparable Component of Truth
Matthew 23:23-26 ~ clean
1 Samuel 12 ~ serve the Lord with all your heart
Matthew 22:34-40 ~ The great and first commandment. And a second is like it

Miscellaneous
Job 38 ~ Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
Psalm 19 ~ the heavens declare the glory of God
2 Kings 5:1-15 ~ a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper
1 Chronicles 13 ~ the Lord blessed the household of Obed-edom

Moving Mountains
Mark 11: 12-25 ~ have faith in God

In Old Age and Frustration
Ruth 1 ~ Naomi
Psalm 126 ~ when the Lord restored
Genesis 12:1-4 ~ I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
Mark 13 ~ in those days!

Oops
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13 ~ Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son!

Peace
Joel 3:12-21 ~ And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the streambeds of Judah shall flow with water; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord and water the Valley of Shittim.
Luke 12:49-59 ~ Division
John 14:27-31 ~ Peace
Psalm 130 ~ O Lord
Psalm 73 ~ until I went into the sanctuary of God

Pharisee ~ Religion
Mark 1:14-28 ~ Quiet

Pictorial Images of the 12 Tribes of Israel
Genesis 49 ~ Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob; listen to your father Israel.

Picture It
Romans 1 ~ First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world
2 Samuel 13:23-39 ~ news came to David
John 1:35-42 ~ He said to them, “Come and you will see.”
Matthew 16:13-20 ~ keys to the Kingdom of Heaven
Luke 1:67-79 ~ Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied
Ezekiel 9 ~ He said
Luke 8:16-25 ~ Who is this?
Psalm 118 ~ This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it
Ezekiel 26:1-14 ~ your walls will shake
Philippians 2:19-24 ~ how it will go with me, and I trust in the Lord
Exodus 7:8-24 ~ tell Aaron, "Take your staff and stretch out your hand
2 Chronicles 32 ~ And many brought gifts to the Lord to Jerusalem and precious things
2 Chronicles 29 ~ opened the doors of the House of the Lord
Mark 7:24-30 ~ let the children be fed first
John 10:19-42 ~ I and the Father are one
1 Samuel 1:9-20 ~ all the days of his life
Matthew 13:1-23 ~ root in Himself
Matthew 27:51-66 ~ also were opened
Acts 4 ~ let it be known to all and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth
Acts 5:12-16 ~ multitudes
Genesis 49:29-50:14 ~ beyond the Jordan
Numbers 21:4-9 ~ bronze serpent
Leviticus 3 ~ he shall lay his hand on the head
Leviticus 2 ~ a pleasing aroma to the Lord
Deuteronomy 9:4-12 ~ For Days will come upon you
Psalm 132:6-10 ~ we found it in the fields of Jaar
2 Kings 19 ~ the zeal of the Lord will do this
1 Thessalonians Chapter 4:1-8 ~ gave you through the Lord Jesus
2 Kings 21 ~ walk in the way of the Lord
Matthew 16:1-19 ~ no sign
Acts 6 ~ obedient to the faith
Psalm 19:8-10, 14 ~ meditation
Acts 15:12-21 ~ a people for himself
Psalm 77 ~ You strode right through the Ocean
1 Kings 22 ~ the king died, and was brought to Samaria
1 Chronicles 15: The Ark of God
1 Kings 8:1-13 ~the LORD'S glory had filled the temple of the LORD
Matthew 25:31-46 ~ when did we see You
2 Kings 17 ~ yet not as the kings of Israel who were before him
Exodus 37 ~ He also made
Acts 24:10-21 ~ verify that
Matthew 8:23-27 ~ the boat was being swamped by the waves
Psalm 75 ~ Lifting Up
Luke 4:38-44 ~ He arose and left the synagogue
Exodus 14:21-15:6 ~ the Lord saved Israel that day
2 Chronicles 30 ~ Feast of Unleavened Bread
Jeremiah 20:10-13 ~ He rescues the life
Psalm 126 ~ Restore our fortunes, O Lord
2 Kings 25:1-12 ~ he was captured, he was taken
Jeremiah 48 ~ they acquired
Job 8:1-7, 11-19 ~ if you seek God
Matthew 26 ~ the Son of Man will be delivered up
2 Timothy 1 ~ rekindle the gift of God
Romans 14:7-12 ~ For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself
Ezekiel 39:21-40:4 ~ I will set my glory among the nations
Genesis 19 ~ Have you anyone else here?
Judges 8 ~ Their God, who had saved them from all their enemies
Psalm 55 ~ Give ear to my prayer, O God, and do not hide Yourself from my plea for mercy!
Mark 8:11-13 ~ Jesus had arrived
Psalm 70 ~ Let God be exalted
Matthew 8 ~ Jesus saw a crowd around Him
Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10 ~ the flood
Isaiah 18 ~ At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord Almighty
Judges 8 ~ Their God, who had saved them from all their enemies
Joshua 3 ~ the waters rose in heap very far away

Positive Attitude in Trouble
Job 19:1-22 ~ You magnify
Romans 8:14-17 ~ led by the Spirit of God
Ezekiel 1 ~ The Voice of the Lord
Psalm 34 ~ Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but
Psalm 113 ~ and lifts the needy
Job 6 ~ darkened by thawing ice
Luke 21:1-19 ~ do not be terrified
Hebrews 13:17-21 ~ keep watch
Judges 20 ~ Israel
Jeremiah 42 ~ act according to all the Word which the Lord your God sends

Prophets - the Law and the, Old Men in Robes or People who Love the Lord. Flaws and Virtues. What They Sought in the Lord and What Drew Them to Him.
2 Samuel 12:1-23 ~ may live
Genesis 12:1-3 ~ I will bless you
Exodus 4 ~ “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”
Genesis 32:27-29 ~ he strives with God
1 Samuel 1:9-14 ~ Put your wine away from you
1 Chronicles 21 ~ And David said to God, “I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.”
Isaiah 6 ~ the Train of His Robe filled the Temple
1 Kings 19 ~ he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree
Ezekiel 1 ~ There the hand of the LORD was upon him.
Nahum 1 ~ Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace!
Malachi 1 ~ I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?”
Mark 1:16- 20 ~ immediately


Praise
Psalm 51:12-17 ~ O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise
Thou shalt call his name Jesus for he shall save his people from their sins
Daniel 2:20-23 ~ Blessed be the name of the Lord
Psalm 139 ~ If I take the wings of morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea
Ezekiel 9 ~ He said
Psalm 134 ~ may the Lord bless you from Zion, He who made Heaven and earth!
Matthew 9:18-26 ~ your faith
Isaiah 35 ~ Be strong, fear not. Your God will come. He will come & save you.
Psalm 24:1-6 ~ who shall ascend
Psalm 98 ~ break forth into joyous song and sing praises
Job 19:21-27 ~ my Redeemer lives
John 1:47-51 ~ you will see greater things than these
Luke 9:43-45 ~ the Majesty of God
Matthew 8:23-27 ~ the boat was being swamped by the waves
Psalm 96 ~ declare His glory among the nations
Daniel 2:20-23 ~ Blessed be the name of the Lord
Revelation 21 ~ the dwelling place of God is with man
John 17:9-19 ~ I kept them in your name
Psalm 19 ~ reviving the soul
Psalm 101 ~ when will
Ephesians 1:3-4 ~ He chose us
Zechariah 8:1-8 ~ I will save my people
1 John 5:1-5 ~ Who is it that overcomes the world
Psalm 5 ~ for You bless the righteous, O Lord
Psalm 103:1-11 ~ forget not all His benefits
Revelation 21:1-7 ~ the fountain of the water of life
Psalm 100 ~ For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 145 ~ my mouth will speak the praise of the Lord


Prayer
Luke 11:1-28 ~ answer from within (The Lord's Prayer)
John 17:9-23 ~ Love them
Matthew 8 ~ Jesus saw a crowd around Him
Matthew 21:33-46 ~ His parables
Psalm 91 ~ Prayer is always heard, God has an open door policy
Matthew 8:23-27 ~ the boat was being swamped by the waves
Luke 11:1-4 ~ Jesus was praying
Psalm 141 ~ let my prayer be counted as incense before You
Psalm 90 ~ satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love
Luke 11:5-10 ~ because he is my friend

Prayer Needs
Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 ~ consider the work of God
James 5 ~ pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power
Blessed be the Lord! For He has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
Romans 10:1-15 ~ heart
Luke 11:5-10 ~ because he is my friend
Matthew 14:13-21 ~ He had compassion on them
Psalm 75 ~ Lifting Up
Luke 13:10-17 ~ And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself
Psalm 17 ~ keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings

Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words
Titus 2:1-10 ~ in love and in endurance

Promises
Hebrews 10 ~ He who promised is faithful

Prosperity Gospel
Luke 1:57-66 ~ the Lord's hand was with him
John 1:14 ~ the Word became flesh and lived among us

My Redeemer Lives!
Job 19:21-27 ~ my Redeemer lives

Repeat and Repeat
365 Prophesies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ
List of Eye-witnesses of the Resurrected Christ
Hebrews 1:1-4 ~ appointed heir of all things
John 1:1-18 ~ in Him was life
Psalm 48:2-8 ~ ships of Tarshish
Judges 13 ~ the angel of the Lord
Joshua 1 ~ be strong and courageous
Psalm 82 ~ rescue the weak and the needy
1 Corinthians 10 ~ Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God
Genesis 20 ~ And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.”
Exodus 17:1-16 ~ Moses held up his hand
Isaiah 64 ~ our iniquities, like the wind, take us away
Matthew 22:34-40 ~ The great and first commandment. And a second is like it
John 15:9-11 ~ abide in His love
Matthew 13:1-9 ~ A sower went out to sow
Luke 14:1-6 ~ Jesus responded
Matthew 25:31-46 ~ will answer
Zechariah 12 ~ a spirit of grace and supplication
Proverbs 25 ~ if you have found honey, eat only enough
2 Kings 2:1-15 ~ Elijah
Joshua 1:1-9 ~ I am giving
1 Samuel 12 ~ serve the Lord with all your heart
Exodus 17:1-16 ~ Moses held up his hand
Genesis 25 ~ sell me your birthright now
Joel 3:12-21 ~ And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the streambeds of Judah shall flow with water; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord and water the Valley of Shittim.
Psalm 34 ~ Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but
2 Samuel 12: 1-12 ~ before all Israel

Rest
Isaiah 51:1-16 ~ The Lord of Hosts is His Name

Restore
Psalm 126 ~ when the Lord restored
Psalm 71 ~ You will restore my life again

Revelation 8:2 Seven Angels who stand before God
Psalm 8 ~ our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!


Rock
Luke 24: 35-48 ~ Peace be with you
Hebrews 9 ~ He has put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself - once and for all

SALVATION! What is needed?
Psalm 51:12-17 ~ O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise
Luke 1:57-80 ~ all who heard them laid up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the LORD was with him.
1 Corinthians 15 ~ the image of the man of heaven
Jeremiah 31:31-34 ~ I will write it on their hearts
John 1:1-14, 16, 29-51 ~ He was in the world
John 10:19-42 ~ I and the Father are one
John 6:41-51 ~ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Jesus

Second (3rd or 4th) Rate
Psalm 99 ~ The King in His might loves justice. You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.

Shepherd
John 10:7-16 ~ the Good Shepherd
Psalm 143 ~ Your steadfast love
Psalm 136 ~ His steadfast love endures forever
Psalm 69 ~ the talk
1 John 2:1-11 ~ Jesus our advocate
John 2:23-3:15 ~ believe in His name
Deuteronomy 5:22-33 ~ that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever!

Sibling speaks of their Brother Jesus in Scripture
Exodus 11 ~ This is what the Lord says

Still - be still
Psalm 147 ~ those who hope in his steadfast love

Subtopic Titles - not included
Mark 12 ~ to God the things that are God's
Matthew 25:31-46 ~ when did we see You
Isaiah 40:1-11 ~ His reward is with Him

The Temple of the LORD
Psalm 90 ~ For a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday when it is past
Psalm 111 ~ The works of His hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy
Psalm 136 ~ to Him who by understanding made the heavens, for His steadfast love endures forever
Luke 1:67-79 ~ Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied
Leviticus 16:1-19 ~ shall be presented alive
Luke 1:57-80 ~ all who heard them laid up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the LORD was with him.
Nehemiah 3 ~ built, repaired and restored

Psalm 118 ~ This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it
Hebrews 9 ~ He has put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself - once and for all
Matthew 16:1-19 ~ no sign
Nehemiah 13:4-22 ~ Why is the house of God forsaken?

Deuteronomy 9:4-12 ~ For Days will come upon you
Psalm 132:6-10 ~ we found it in the fields of Jaar
Matthew 6 ~ practicing your righteousness

Time Management
John 11 ~ Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place
Mark 5 ~ a great crowd gathered about Him

Life and Travels of Paul
Philippians 2:19-24 ~ how it will go with me, and I trust in the Lord

Shroud
Every artifact will raise doubts and hopes

Trust Him
Psalm 40 ~ blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud
Genesis 32 ~ This is God's camp
Psalm 84 ~ even the sparrow finds a home

Uncomfortable Scripture
Proverbs 17:17-18:5 ~ sound judgment
John 1:29-34 ~ I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God
Mark 16 ~ they will recover

Video Game Player
Psalm 78:1-39 ~ the children yet unborn
Esther 2 ~ suggested
Matthew 25:31-46 ~ Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, will sit on His throne in heavenly glory

Visual
Sistine Chapel
John 1:35-42 ~ He said to them, “Come and you will see.”
Daniel 2:20-23 ~ Blessed be the name of the Lord
Mark 4:30-34 ~ can make nests in its shade
Revelation 21 ~ the dwelling place of God is with man
Revelation 14:14-15:8 ~ behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud
Luke 10 ~ Rejoice that your names are written in Heaven!
Genesis 49 ~ Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob; listen to your father Israel.
Psalm 24 ~ He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
Mark 6:14-29 ~ Ask me
Acts 4 ~ let it be known to all and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth
Deuteronomy 9:4-12 ~ For Days will come upon you
Revelation 10:1-11 ~ 7 thunders
Matthew 27:51-66 ~ also were opened
Romans 14:7-12 ~ For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself
2 Timothy 3:10-17 ~ all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness
Matthew 16:13-20 ~ who do people say the Son of Man is?
Daniel 2:1-23 ~ O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked
Mark 7:24-30 ~ let the children be fed first
Zechariah 1 and 2 ~ the Lord, for He has roused himself from His holy dwelling
John 21:6-14 ~ it is the Lord
Psalm 130 ~ my soul waits
1 Kings 8:1-13 ~the LORD'S glory had filled the temple of the LORD
Luke 1:67-79 ~ Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied

Who is like our God?
Galatians 6:1-10 ~ restore him in a spirit of gentleness

Willingly
1 Peter 5:1-4 ~ not under compulsion, but willingly
Matthew 14:13-21 ~ He had compassion on them
Psalm 101 ~ sing of steadfast love and justice
Isaiah 49:1-13 ~ saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’
Mark 2:18-22 ~ As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
1 Chronicles 12 ~ for there was joy in Israel

Works and Grace
Luke 21:1-4 ~ contributed
Luke 10:25-42 ~ sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said
Matthew 10:5-15 ~ acquire no gold nor silver nor copper for your belts
Mark 1:4-11 ~ You are my beloved Son; with You I am well pleased
Titus 2 ~ bringing salvation for all people
Matthew 2:1-12 ~ Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?
Psalm 121 ~ help comes from the Lord

Worry
Psalm 127 ~ He gives to His beloved

Wrathful, Nasty Old God from the Old Testament
Psalm 106:19-48 ~ He raised His hand to them and swore to them
Psalm: 37:19-42 ~ those cursed by Him shall be cut off
Joshua 1:1-9 ~ I am giving

Yahweh
Psalm 54 ~ O God, save me by your name, and vindicate me by your might

Years - Thousands of Them are Yesterday in His Sight
Psalm 90 ~ For a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday when it is past
Mark 11: 12-25 ~ Have faith in God

80 Books of the Bible
Prayer of Azariah
Luke 21:1-4 ~ contributed
Matthew 9:9-13 ~ when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"

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