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Genesis 43     Mark 13     Job 9     Romans 13


Joseph’s Brothers Return to Egypt

Genesis 43:1 Now the famine was severe in the land. 2 And when they had eaten the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little food.” 3 But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. 5 But if you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’ ” 6 Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother?” 7 They replied, “The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ What we told him was in answer to these questions. Could we in any way know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” 8 And Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. 9 I will be a pledge of his safety. From my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10 If we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice.”

11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry a present down to the man, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12 Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight. 13 Take also your brother, and arise, go again to the man. 14 May God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, and may he send back your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”

15 So the men took this present, and they took double the money with them, and Benjamin. They arose and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.

16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.” 17 The man did as Joseph told him and brought the men to Joseph’s house. 18 And the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph’s house, and they said, “It is because of the money, which was replaced in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may assault us and fall upon us to make us servants and seize our donkeys.” 19 So they went up to the steward of Joseph’s house and spoke with him at the door of the house, 20 and said, “Oh, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food. 21 And when we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was each man’s money in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it again with us, 22 and we have brought other money down with us to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23 He replied, “Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24 And when the man had brought the men into Joseph’s house and given them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys fodder, 25 they prepared the present for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.

26 When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present that they had with them and bowed down to him to the ground. 27 And he inquired about their welfare and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28 They said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads and prostrated themselves. 29 And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!” 30 Then Joseph hurried out, for his compassion grew warm for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and wept there. 31 Then he washed his face and came out. And controlling himself he said, “Serve the food.” 32 They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth. And the men looked at one another in amazement. 34 Portions were taken to them from Joseph’s table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. And they drank and were merry with him.


Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple

Mark 13:1 And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 2 And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

Signs of the End of the Age

3 And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

The Abomination of Desolation

14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, 16 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 17 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18 Pray that it may not happen in winter. 19 For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20 And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.

The Coming of the Son of Man

24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly, I say to you, this generation   ( see "This generation in Matthew 24:34" below )   will not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

No One Knows That Day or Hour

32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”


Job Replies: There Is No Arbiter

Job 9:1 Then Job answered and said:

2  “Truly I know that it is so:
But how can a man be in the right before God?
3  If one wished to contend with him,
one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
4  He is wise in heart and mighty in strength
—who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?—
5  he who removes mountains, and they know it not,
when he overturns them in his anger,
6  who shakes the earth out of its place,
and its pillars tremble;
7  who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
who seals up the stars;
8  who alone stretched out the heavens
and trampled the waves of the sea;
9  who made the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
10  who does great things beyond searching out,
and marvelous things beyond number.
11  Behold, he passes by me, and I see him not;
he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
12  Behold, he snatches away; who can turn him back?
Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’

13  “God will not turn back his anger;
beneath him bowed the helpers of Rahab.
14  How then can I answer him,
choosing my words with him?
15  Though I am in the right, I cannot answer him;
I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.
16  If I summoned him and he answered me,
I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.
17  For he crushes me with a tempest
and multiplies my wounds without cause;
18  he will not let me get my breath,
but fills me with bitterness.
19  If it is a contest of strength, behold, he is mighty!
If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?
20  Though I am in the right, my own mouth would condemn me;
though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
21  I am blameless; I regard not myself;
I loathe my life.
22  It is all one; therefore I say,
‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23  When disaster brings sudden death,
he mocks at the calamity of the innocent.
24  The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
he covers the faces of its judges—
if it is not he, who then is it?

25  “My days are swifter than a runner;
they flee away; they see no good.
26  They go by like skiffs of reed,
like an eagle swooping on the prey.
27  If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
I will put off my sad face, and be of good cheer,’
28  I become afraid of all my suffering,
for I know you will not hold me innocent.
29  I shall be condemned;
why then do I labor in vain?
30  If I wash myself with snow
and cleanse my hands with lye,
31  yet you will plunge me into a pit,
and my own clothes will abhor me.
32  For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him,
that we should come to trial together.
33  There is no arbiter between us,
who might lay his hand on us both.
34  Let him take his rod away from me,
and let not dread of him terrify me.
35  Then I would speak without fear of him,
for I am not so in myself.



Submission to the Authorities

Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Fulfilling the Law Through Love

8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

     Nothing is more fundamental to this than the way in which divine indicatives give rise to divine imperatives. This is the Bible’s underlying grammar. Grace, in this sense, always gives rise to obligation, duty, and law. This is why the Lord Jesus himself was at pains to stress that love for him is expressed by commandment keeping. (John 13:34; 14:23–24; 15:10, 12, 14, 17.)
     It is true that the New Testament teaches us about the law of love. Love is the fulfilling of the law. (Rom 13:10) Indeed, “the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Gal 5:14) But love is never said to be a replacement for law in Scripture, for several important reasons.
     The first is that love is what law commands, and the commands are what love fulfills. The law of love is not a freshly minted, new-covenant idea; it is enshrined at the heart of old-covenant faith and life. It was to be Israel’s constant confession: the Lord is one, and he is to be loved in a whole-souled manner. (Deut. 6:5–6)
  The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance

11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

The Reformation Study Bible


What I'm Reading

How to Be a One Dollar Apologist in the Second Half of Life

By J. Warner Wallace 2/7/2018

     I’m often asked how I’ve been able to contribute consistently over the years as a “One Dollar Apologist” (a term I coined to describe our calling as Christian Case Makers), while simultaneously involved as church leader and Cold Case Detective. I’m definitely a “Type A” over-achiever (I’ve been struggling to find balance my entire life) but much of my game plan at this point in life was formed many years ago when a man named Bob Buford came to the church I was attending and talked about his book, Half Time: Moving from Success to Significance. Buford planted an idea I’ve been watering over the past 17 years: God can use the second half of my life in an even greater way than He’s used the first, if I am willing to position myself accordingly. Buford’s talk encouraged me to see this side of 50 as the best time to impact the Kingdom, and I’ve taken that encouragement seriously ever since. I’ve repeatedly asked myself, “How can I position myself financially, educationally, experientially and influentially to have the most Kingdom impact possible once I’m done with my career as a homicide detective? What can I do now to make my opportunities in the second half of life even greater?” My goal has been to prepare myself for a season of Christian Case Making in the second half of my life, built on everything I’ve learned and achieved in the first half of my life. If you’re interested in Christian apologetics (Christian Case Making) and are still a bit younger than I am, my experience may be helpful to you. Here’s how I approached this season of ministry:

     Financial Preparation | You’ll be most effective as a Christian Case Maker when you are financially disconnected from your passion as an apologist. When you’re able to make decisions independent of financial considerations, you’ll have the most freedom and flexibility as Case Maker. Live modestly, save your money, and plan for your second half. Be in a position to offer you services as a labor of love, without financial need, then use what you do earn to reinvest in your ministry. These “second half” years are about building the Kingdom, not your income.

     Educational Preparation | It’s impossible to pour from an empty bucket, so start looking for ways to supplement your knowledge in preparation for a season of teaching. Become a lifelong learner. When I first enrolled in seminary and projected how long it would take to finish, I remember thinking I might not live long enough to see the end. Hear me on this: ten years are going to go by whether you get that education or not, so you might as well get the education. Look for creative opportunities to learn and start as early as possible. Think about your end goals before selecting a program, and get going.

     Experiential Preparation | It’s easy to think of our college or seminary experiences as the only preparation we’ll need to be good “One Dollar Apologists”, but most of what I’ve been able to teach in this second half of life, I learned from my career in the first half. Don’t underestimate your life and employment experiences. In fact, start looking now for opportunities to learn something you can teach later. I made career choices at the police department (denying promotional prospects) to put myself in the best place to learn something I could later teach. I also made choices allowing me the kind of schedule necessary to serve in churches throughout my career. Look around; make career and recreational decisions with the “second half” in mind.

     Influential Preparation | It’s difficult to teach without students, speak without listeners, or write without readers. If you want to have an effective second half, you’re going to need to understand the role of leadership and the necessity of influence. While still employed full time, I started a website (PleaseConvinceMe.com) and did what I could to establish a platform (by the way, the one book I recommend more than any other to budding “One Dollar Apologists” is Michael Hyatt’s, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World). Start thinking now about how you will serve and impact the Kingdom later. By the time I was ready to leave my “day job” at the department, I had a book published and my schedule was jammed with opportunities. Build your foundation now by establishing a presence online and feeding it daily.

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J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of:

Archaeologists find 12th Dead Sea Scrolls cave

By Dov Smith 2/8/2017

Excavations in a cave on the cliffs west of Qumran, near the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, prove that Dead Sea scrolls from the Second Temple period were hidden in the cave, and were looted by Bedouins in the middle of the last century. With the discovery of this cave, scholars now suggest that it should be numbered as Cave 12.

     The surprising discovery, representing a milestone in Dead Sea Scroll research, was made by Dr. Oren Gutfeld and Ahiad Ovadia from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Institute of Archaeology, with the help of Dr. Randall Price and students from Liberty University in Virginia USA.

     The excavators are the first in over 60 years to discover a new scroll cave and to properly excavate it.

     The excavation was supported by the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, and the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), and is a part of the new "Operation Scroll" launched at the IAA by its Director-General, Mr. Israel Hasson, to undertake systematic surveys and to excavate the caves in the Judean Desert.

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     Dov Smith is executive director of HonestReporting Canada, a media watchdog organization monitoring Canadian news coverage of the Middle East. http://www.honestreporting.ca/

Is Truth Relative

By ??

It’s a popular idea in our culture these days.

     And it usually sounds something like this: “What’s true for one person may not be what’s true for someone else, and that’s okay. Because absolute truth doesn’t exist. All truth is relative. And while everyone has beliefs that are true for them, no one can say that what they believe applies to everyone.”

     And, on the surface, that line of thinking sounds good.

     (If nothing else, it certainly has a tolerant feel that makes a considerable effort to promote peace amidst conflict. After all—with that line of thinking, everyone wins!)

     Or so it seems at first glance.

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The author of this blog is an expert weirdo. As both a Christian pastor and part-time Security Officer in the Monterey Bay Area, he clearly specializes in things that make people uncomfortable when he's around. However, he claims to have some idea of what he's talking about in this blog, based on his bachelor's degree in Humanities and Religious Studies, his half-completed Master's Degree, and his considerably epic life experience. He also loves good, deep conversation, and hopes you will dialogue with him constructively about the questions he explores in his posts. (...and maybe even share a laugh or two along the way).

Why It’s Terrible News That Millennials Are Having Less Sex (Un-believable!)

By Hans Fiene 2/8/2017

Imagine that you’re the commissioner of the NFL and a certain Dallas-based football team has been bringing shame upon the league with a litany of domestic abuse and DUI arrests. One day, an underling bursts into your office.

     “Good news, Commissioner. Everybody on the Cowboys roster has stopped breaking the law!”

     “That’s great,” you reply. “Did this happen because our ‘Stop Being a Terrible Person’ campaign finally worked?”

     “Oh, uh, no,” the underling says. “It happened because the team’s plane just exploded.”

     As this imaginary commissioner, how would you feel in this moment? Probably the same way I felt after learning that about the sex rates of unmarried millennials.

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Hans Fiene is a Lutheran pastor in Illinois and the creator of Lutheran Satire, a series of comical videos intended to teach the Lutheran faith. Follow him on Twitter, @HansFiene.

Read The Psalms In "1" Year

Psalm 18

The LORD Is My Rock and My Fortress
18 To The Choirmaster. A Psalm Of David, The Servant Of The LORD, Who Addressed The Words Of This Song To The LORD On The Day When The LORD Delivered Him From The Hand Of All Is Enemies, And From The Hand Of Saul. He Said:

43 You delivered me from strife with the people;
you made me the head of the nations;
people whom I had not known served me.
44 As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
foreigners came cringing to me.
45 Foreigners lost heart
and came trembling out of their fortresses.

46 The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation—
47 the God who gave me vengeance
and subdued peoples under me,
48 who rescued me from my enemies;
yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
you delivered me from the man of violence.

49 For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations,
and sing to your name.
50 Great salvation he brings to his king,
and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
to David and his offspring forever.

ESV Study Bible

Seven Things to Pray for Your Children

By Jon Bloom 3/8/2013

     Some years back a good friend shared with me seven Scripture texts that he and his wife prayed for their two daughters from the time they were infants. The girls are now grown. And it’s beautiful to see how God has answered and still is answering the faithful, specific prayers of faith-filled parents in the lives of these young, godly women.

     I have frequently used these prayers when praying for my own children. And I commend them to you.

     But, of course, prayers are not magic spells. It’s not a matter of just saying the right things and our children will be blessed with success.

     Some parents earnestly pray and their children become gifted leaders or scholars or musicians or athletes. Others earnestly pray and their children develop a serious disability or disease or wander through a prodigal wilderness or just struggle more than others socially or academically or athletically. And the truth is, God is answering all these parents’ prayers, but for very different purposes.

     That’s why Scriptures like John 9:1–3 are in the Bible. We must not too quickly assess God’s purposes because they can be the opposite of our perceptions. God measures success differently than we do, which is why he often answers our prayers in ways we don’t expect.

(Jn 9:1–3) 1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. ESV

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     Jon Bloom serves as author, board chair, and co-founder of Desiring God. He and his wife live in the Twin Cities with their five children.

Jon Bloom Books:

Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith
Things Not Seen: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Trusting God's Promises
Don't Follow Your Heart: God's Ways Are Not Your Ways

This generation in Matthew 24:34

Jesus’ words, “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place,” are the chief cornerstone in the preterists’ defense of their system. R. C. Sproul, a moderate or partial preterist, states, “The most critical portion of this text is Jesus’ declaration that ‘this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.’ ” Preterists point out that in all the other instances in the Gospels “this generation” refers to the then-present generation (Matt. 11:16; 12:41-42, 45; 23:36; 24:34; Mark 8:12 [twice], 38; 13:30; Luke 7:31; 11:29-32, 50-51; 17:25; 21:32).

     Preterists also assert that Christ was warning people who were living then. For instance in the same general context the Lord said, “Truly I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation” (Matt. 23:36). Dispensationalists agree that 24:34 refers to the Lord’s contemporaries. To make the saying even more emphatic, οὐ μή with the aorist subjunctive occurs in all three Synoptic references (Matt. 24:34; Mark 13:30; Luke 21:32). The verse may be rendered, “By no means will this generation pass away.”

     How then is this verse to be explained? Actually it is difficult for any theological position, including that held by moderate preterists. (They struggle to interpret “all these things,” which clearly implies the coming of Christ in glory described in verses 27-31 and 37-41.) A number of explanations of verse 34 have been proposed. First is the interpretation of the preterists, who say all the predictions of Matthew 24:4-33; Mark 13:5-29; and Luke 21:8-31 were fulfilled in the siege and destruction of Jerusalem. However, this view can be held only by overlooking the meaning of several verses in the discourse, including Matthew 23:39; 24:22, 27, 30, and the meaning of παρουσία.

     A second interpretation, held by a number of futurists, affirms that the noun γενεά means race, that is, the Jewish race. Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich give “clan” as a primary meaning, but they list only Luke 16:8 as an illustration in the New Testament. It is difficult for dispensational premillennialists to take this view because this would imply that Israel would cease to exist as a nation after the Lord’s return: “This race of Israel will not pass away until the Second Advent.” But Israel must continue after the Second Advent into the millennium in order to fulfill the promises God made to that nation.

     A third interpretation, common among dispensationalists, is that “this generation” refers to the future generation of Jews who will be alive when the Lord Jesus returns. For example Hiebert says, “It seems best to preserve the natural meaning of generation as denoting the people alive at a given time and accept the view that the reference is to that future, turbulent, wicked generation that will see the actual beginning of those eschatological events (vv. 14-23). The assurance is that the end-time crisis will not be of indefinite duration.”

     The near demonstrative pronoun may have the meaning of a near concept (cf. “this bread,” 1 Cor. 11:26). But the problem remains that in the New Testament “this generation” normally refers to the generation contemporaneous with the speaker or writer. As Carson affirms, ” ‘This generation’ . . . can only with the greatest difficulty be made to mean anything other than the generation living when Jesus spoke.”


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     [Stanley D. Toussaint, BibSac 161:644 (Oct 2004) p. 483-86]

The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Translated by Henry Beveridge

     CHAPTER 13.

Christ Clothed With The True Substance Of Human Nature.

The heads of this chapter are, I. The orthodoxy doctrine as to the true humanity of our Saviour, proved from many passages of Scripture, sec. 1. II. Refutation of the impious objections of the Marcionites, Manichees, and similar heretics, sec. 2-4.

Sections.

1. Proof of the true humanity of Christ, against the Manichees and Marcionites.

2. Impious objections of heretics further discussed. Six objections answered.

3. Other eight objections answered.

4. Other three objections answered.

1. Of the divinity of Christ, which has elsewhere been established by clear and solid proofs, I presume it were superfluous again to treat. It remains, therefore, to see how, when clothed with our flesh, he fulfilled the office of Mediator. In ancient times, the reality of his human nature was impugned by the Manichees and Marcionites, the latter figuring to themselves a phantom instead of the body of Christ, and the former dreaming of his having been invested with celestial flesh. The passages of Scripture contradictory to both are numerous and strong. The blessing is not promised in a heavenly seed, or the mask of a man, but the seed of Abraham and Jacob; nor is the everlasting throne promised to an aerial man, but to the Son of David, and the fruit of his loins. Hence, when manifested in the flesh, he is called the Son of David and Abraham, not because he was born of a virgin, and yet created in the air, but because, as Paul explains, he was "made of the seed of David, according to the flesh," (Rom. 1:3), as the same apostle elsewhere says, that he came of the Jews (Rom. 9:5). Wherefore, our Lord himself not contented with the name of man, frequently calls himself the Son of man, wishing to express more clearly that he was a man by true human descent. The Holy Spirit having so often, by so many organs, with so much care and plainness, declared a matter which in itself is not abstruse, who could have thought that mortals would have had the effrontery to darken it with their glosses? Many other passages are at hand, were it wished to produce more: for instance, that one of Paul, that "God sent forth his Son, made of a woman," (Gal. 4:4), and innumerable others, which show that he was subject to hunger, thirst, cold, and the other infirmities of our nature. But from the many we must chiefly select those which may conduce to build up our minds in true faith, as when it is said, "Verily, he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham," "that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death," (Heb. 2:16, 14). Again, "Both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." "Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest." (Heb. 2:11, 17). Again "We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities," (Heb. 4:15), and the like. To the same effect is the passage to which we lately referred, in which Paul distinctly declares, that the sins of the world behoved to be expiated in our flesh (Rom. 8:3). And certainly every thing which the Father conferred on Christ pertains to us for this reason, that "he is the head," that from him the whole body is "fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth," (Eph. 4:16). Nay, in no other way could it hold true as is said, that the Spirit was given to him without measure (John 1:16), and that out of his fulness have all we received; since nothing could be more absurd than that God, in his own essence, should be enriched by an adventitious gift. For this reason also, Christ himself elsewhere says, "For their sakes I sanctify myself," (John 17:19).

     Christian Classics Ethereal Library / Public Domain      Institutes of the Christian Religion

Spontaneous Generation

By Richard S. Adams

     Every Tuesday night we used to get together with five other couples for a Bible study. We did this for almost five years. One of the studies we worked through was called “The Truth Project.” Since then I have watched it twice. One quote was “One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are, as a result. I believe in spontaneous generation.” Wald, George (1954). The origin of life. Scientific American, 190, No. 2, 44-53.

     I did not copy it wrong. I checked it three times. He says spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible, but yet he believes in it. Why do so many people choose anything but the acknowledgement of God? Is there a reason, other than politics, that so many people refuse to even consider the validity of God, and especially Jesus? Does their denial have anything to do with my Christian witness or yours? Am I known by my love? Are there people who are not Christians today because of something you or I did, or maybe something the church did? Are we not called to be watchmen? Has it ever occurred to you that rather then entering the Kingdom of God maybe we keep others from entering?

     I love the dialogue in one of my favorite movies, The Lion in Winter. One scene finds King Henry’s sons locked up in prison expecting execution. John is whimpering, but Richard says, “When all you have to look forward to is death, it is important how you die.” Is it not even more important how we live?

     The desire of God's heart is that we live face to face with God. If we do that, if, like the Jewish phylacteries worn on their foreheads, if we filter everything through the word of God will we not be transformed just as our minds are transformed? Or, as Jesus said, quoting Isaiah, have we closed our eyes.

     Speaking of spontaneous generation and Darwinism, everyone, regardless of what you say you believe should watch Ben Stein's Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.


     

Richard S. Adams | Lover of Christ, husband of Lily, father of four, grandfather of eleven, Masters in Divinity and Certificate in Spiritual Direction from George Fox Evangelical Seminary in 2008, on staff at Portland Seminary since 2009.

Articles


  • Holy Pragmatism
  • Holy Pragmatism 2
  • Holy Pragmatism 3

#1 John G. Stackhouse    Acadia Divinity College

 

#2 John G. Stackhouse    Acadia Divinity College

 

#3 John G. Stackhouse    Acadia Divinity College

 


  Devotionals, notes, poetry and more

UCB The Word For Today
     Keep pressing on
     2/10/2018    Bob Gass

     ‘Straining towards what is ahead, I press on.’

(Php 3:13–14) 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ESV

     Developing your faith is like taking swimming lessons. Observe: 1) Fear is like water; if you let it, it will take you under. 2) You can only tread water for so long before you drown. 3) When you reach a certain point, there’s no turning back. 4) Faith is like the air in your lungs; it will sustain you and keep you afloat if you just relax. Have you ever watched a seasoned swimmer? Stroke after stroke, he takes what’s in front of him and pushes it behind him, letting it propel him towards his goal. He literally takes what stands between him and his goal, and uses it to get there. Sometimes we despair and say, ‘I’m just keeping my head above water,’ and that’s okay as long as you keep ‘stroking’ and pressing on. It’s when you feel backed into a corner with nowhere to turn, that you’ve got to take hold of the faith God has placed within you and keep moving forward. Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force’ (Matthew 11:12 KJV). The word ‘violence’ suggests ferocity, passion, and intensity. You must be relentless and fight your way through, confident that God is on your side – because He is (see Psalm 56:9). The waters you’re in don’t determine your destiny; they either carry you over or take you under. It takes faith to keep going. When you quit, God can do nothing more for you! So today whether you’re doing the breaststroke, the backstroke, or some other kind of stroke that nobody’s ever heard of – keep pressing on.

Exodus 36-38
Matthew 23:1-22

UCB The Word For Today

American Minute
     by Bill Federer

     Cortez ordered his ships sunk. There was no turning back. In the era of Crusades to win the Holy Land and the Moors being driven from Spain, Cortez set off in a Holy cause, to end the barbaric practices of cannibalism and human sacrifice in Mexico, resulting from the Aztecs belief that the Sun god needed human blood to live. While the Reformation spread in Europe, Cortez addressed his 500 men in Mexico on this day, February 10, 1519, saying: “We seek not only to subdue boundless territory in the name of our Emperor Don Carlos, but to win millions of unsalvaged souls to the True Faith.”

American Minute

A Testament Of Devotion
     Thomas R. Kelly

      One emerges from such soul-shaking, Love-invaded times into more normal states of consciousness. But one knows ever after that the Eternal Lover of the world, the Hound of Heaven, is utterly, utterly real, and that life must henceforth be forever determined by that Real. Like Saint Augustine one asks not for greater certainty of God but only for more steadfastness in Him. There, beyond, in Him is the true Center, and we are reduced, as it were, to nothing, for He is all.

      Is religion subjective? Nay, its soul is in objectivity, in an Other whose Life is our true life, whose Love is our love, whose Joy is our joy, whose Peace is our peace, whose burdens are our burdens, whose Will is our will. Self is emptied into God and God in-fills it. In glad, amazed humility we cast on Him our little lives in trusting obedience, in erect, serene, and smiling joy. And we say, with a writer of Psalms, "Lo, I come: in the book of the law it is written of me, I delight to do Thy will, 0 my God" (Ps. 40:7-8). For nothing else in all of heaven or earth counts so much as His will, His slightest wish, His faintest breathing. And holy obedience sets in, sensitive as a shadow, obedient as a shadow, selfless as a shadow. Not reluctantly but with ardor one longs to follow Him the second half. Gladly, urgently, promptly one leaps to do His bidding, ready to run and not be weary and to walk and not faint.

     Do not mistake me. Our interest just now is in the life of complete obedience to God, not in amazing revelations of His glory graciously granted only to some. Yet the amazing experiences of the mystics leave a permanent residue, a God-subdued, a God­possessed will. States of consciousness are fluctuating. The vision fades. But holy and listening and alert; obedience remains, as the core and kernel of a God­intoxicated life, as the abiding pattern of sober, workaday living. And some are led into the state of complete obedience by this well-nigh passive route, wherein God alone seems to be the actor and we seem to be wholly acted upon. And our wills are melted and dissolved and made pliant, being firmly fixed in Him, and He wills in us.


A Testament of Devotion

Lean Into God
     Compiled by Richard S. Adams


He saves for his name’s sake
so that sinners who will not flee to his name
may be left inexcusable in their sins.
--- Ralph Erskine

The Bible is the truest utterence that ever came by alphabetic letters from the soul of man, through which, as through a window divinely opened, all men can look into the stillness of eternity, and discern in glimpses their far-distant, long-forgotten home.
--- Thomas Carlyle

To love and live beloved is the soul's paradise.
--- John Winthrop

…it is in vain that you seek within yourselves for the cure for your miseries. All your intelligence can only bring you to realize that it is not within yourselves that you will find either truth or good.
--- Blaise Psacal

... from here, there and everywhere


Journal of John Woolman 2/10
     University of Virginia Library 1994

     INTRODUCTORY NOTE

     JOHN WOOLMAN was born at Northampton, N. J., in 1720, and died at York, England, in 1772. He was the child of Quaker parents, and from his youth was a zealous member of the Society of Friends. His "Journal," published posthumously in 1774, sufficiently describes his way of life and the spirit in which he did his work; but his extreme humility prevents him from making clear the importance of the part he played in the movement against slaveholding among the Quakers.

     During the earlier years of their settlement in America, the Friends took part in the traffic in slaves with apparently as little hesitation as their fellow colonists; but in 1671 George Fox, visiting the Barbados, was struck by the inconsistency of slave-holding with the religious principles of his Society. His protests, along with those of others, led to the growth of an agitation which spread from section to section. In 1742, Woolman, then a young clerk in the employment of a storekeeper in New Jersey, was asked to make out a bill of sale for a negro woman; and the scruples which then occurred to him were the beginning of a life-long activity against the traffic. Shortly afterward he began his laborious foot-journeys, pleading everywhere with his co-religionists, and inspiring others to take up the crusade. The result of the agitation was that the various Yearly Meetings one by one decided that emancipation was a religious duty; and within twenty years after Woolman's death the practice of slavery had ceased in the Society of Friends. But his influence did not stop there, for no small part of the enthusiasm of the general emancipation movement is traceable to his labors.

     His own words in this "Journal" of an extraordinary simplicity and charm, are the best expression of a personality which in its ardor, purity of motive, breadth of sympathy, and clear spiritual insight, gives Woolman a place among the uncanonized saints of America.

     Chapter I. - 1720-1742. His Birth and Parentage -- Some Account of the Operations of Divine Grace on his Mind in his Youth -- His first Appearance in the Ministry -- And his Considerations, while Young, on the Keeping of Slaves.

     I HAVE often felt a motion of love to leave some hints in writing of my experience of the goodness of God, and now, in the thirty-sixth year of my age, I begin this work.

     I was born in Northampton, in Burlington County, West Jersey, in the year 1720. Before I was seven years old I began to be acquainted with the operations of Divine love. Through the care of my parents, I was taught to read nearly as soon as I was capable of it; and as I went from school one day, I remember that while my companions were playing by the way, I went forward out of sight, and, sitting down, I read the twenty-second chapter of Revelation: "He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, &c." In reading it, my mind was drawn to seek after that pure habitation which I then believed God had prepared for his servants. The place where I sat, and the sweetness that attended my mind, remain fresh in my memory. This, and the like gracious visitations, had such an effect upon me that when boys used ill language it troubled me; and, through the continued mercies of God, I was preserved from that evil.

     The pious instructions of my parents were often fresh in my mind, when I happened to be among wicked children, and were of use to me. Having a large family of children, they used frequently, on first-days, after meeting, to set us one after another to read the Holy Scriptures, or some religious books, the rest sitting by without much conversation; I have since often thought it was a good practice. From what I had read and heard, I believed there had been, in past ages, people who walked in uprightness before God in a degree exceeding any that I knew or heard of now living: and the apprehension of there being less steadiness and firmness amongst people in the present age often troubled me while I was a child.

     I may here mention a remarkable circumstance that occurred in my childhood. On going to a neighbor's house, I saw on the way a robin sitting on her nest, and as I came near she went off; but having young ones, she flew about, and with many cries expressed her concern for them. I stood and threw stones at her, and one striking her she fell down dead. At first I was pleased with the exploit, but after a few minutes was seized with horror, at having, in a sportive way, killed an innocent creature while she was careful for her young. I beheld her lying dead, and thought those young ones, for which she was so careful, must now perish for want of their dam to nourish them. After some painful considerations on the subject, I climbed up the tree, took all the young birds, and killed them, supposing that better than to leave them to pine away and die miserably. In this case I believed that Scripture proverb was fulfilled, "The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." I then went on my errand, and for some hours could think of little else but the cruelties I had committed, and was much troubled. Thus He whose tender mercies are over all his works hath placed a principle in the human mind, which incites to exercise goodness towards every living creature; and this being singly attended to, people become tender-hearted and sympathizing; but when frequently and totally rejected, the mind becomes shut up in a contrary disposition.

     About the twelfth year of my age, my father being abroad, my mother reproved me for some misconduct, to which I made an undutiful reply. The next first-day, as I was with my father returning from meeting, he told me that he understood I had behaved amiss to my mother, and advised me to be more careful in future. I knew myself blamable, and in shame and confusion remained silent. Being thus awakened to a sense of my wickedness, I felt remorse in my mind, and on getting home I retired and prayed to the Lord to forgive me, and I do not remember that I ever afterwards spoke unhandsomely to either of my parents, however foolish in some other things.


John Woolman's Journal

Proverbs 9:1-6
     by D.H. Stern

1     Wisdom has built herself a house;
she has carved her seven pillars.
2     She has prepared her food, spiced her wine,
and she has set her table.
3     She has sent out her young girls [with invitations];
she calls from the heights of the city,
4     “Whoever is unsure of himself, turn in here!”
To someone weak-willed she says,
5     “Come and eat my food!
Drink the wine I have mixed!
6     Don’t stay unsure of yourself, but live!
Walk in the way of understanding!”


Complete Jewish Bible : An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament)
My Utmost For The Highest
     A Daily Devotional by Oswald Chambers


                Is your imagination of God starved?

     Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things. ---
Isaiah 40:26.

     The people of God in Isaiah’s day had starved their imagination by looking on the face of idols, and Isaiah made them look up at the heavens; that is, he made them begin to use their imagination aright. Nature to a saint is sacramental. If we are children of God, we have a tremendous treasure in Nature. In every wind that blows, in every night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every blossoming and in every withering of the earth, there is a real coming of God to us if we will simply use our starved imagination to realize it.

     The test of spiritual concentration is bringing the imagination into captivity. Is your imagination looking on the face of an idol? Is the idol yourself? Your work? Your conception of what a worker should be? Your experience of salvation and sanctification? Then your imagination of God is starved, and when you are up against difficulties you have no power, you can only endure in darkness. If your imagination is starved, do not look back to your own experience; it is God Whom you need. Go right out of yourself, away from the face of your idols, away from everything that has been starving your imagination. Rouse yourself, take the gibe that Isaiah gave the people, and deliberately turn your imagination to God.

     One of the reasons of stultification in prayer is that there is no imagination, no power of putting ourselves deliberately before God. We have to learn how to be broken bread and poured-out wine on the line of intercession more than on the line of personal contact. Imagination is the power God gives a saint to posit himself out of himself into relationships he never was in.


My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition

Prayer
     the Poetry of R.S. Thomas

                Prayer

Deliver me from the long drought
of the mind. Let leaves
from the deciduous Cross
fall on us, washing
us clean, turning our autumn
to gold by the affluence of their fountain.

Laboratories of the Spirit

The Imitation Of Christ
     Thomas A Kempis

     Book One / Thoughts Helpful In The Life Of The Soul

     The Tenth Chapter / Avoiding Idle Talk

     SHUN the gossip of men as much as possible, for discussion of worldly affairs, even though sincere, is a great distraction inasmuch as we are quickly ensnared and captivated by vanity.

     Many a time I wish that I had held my peace and had not associated with men. Why, indeed, do we converse and gossip among ourselves when we so seldom part without a troubled conscience? We do so because we seek comfort from one another’s conversation and wish to ease the mind wearied by diverse thoughts. Hence, we talk and think quite fondly of things we like very much or of things we dislike intensely. But, sad to say, we often talk vainly and to no purpose; for this external pleasure effectively bars inward and divine consolation.

     Therefore we must watch and pray lest time pass idly.

     When the right and opportune moment comes for speaking, say something that will edify.

     Bad habits and indifference to spiritual progress do much to remove the guard from the tongue. Devout conversation on spiritual matters, on the contrary, is a great aid to spiritual progress, especially when persons of the same mind and spirit associate together in God.


The Imitation Of Christ

Teacher's Commentary
     The Parables: Matthew 13:1–52

     The same day that Jesus spoke out, warning His hearers of the tragedy which rejection of the King and kingdom was to bring on them, He sat in a boat to teach the gathering crowds. He “told them many things in parables” (v. 3).

     There are a multitude of parables in the Bible. The word itself means to “set alongside,” and it is a normal pattern of Scripture to illustrate by setting concrete and familiar illustrations alongside abstract concepts (cf. 2 Sam. 12:1–7; Jdg. 9:8–15; and Isa. 5:1–7 for Old Testament examples). Sometimes parables are allegories, such as the story of the Good Samaritan through which Jesus answered the man who wondered aloud, “Who is my neighbor?”

     But there is something very different about the parables recorded in Matthew 13. Rather than illuminating what Jesus said, they seem almost to obscure it!

     Why then did Jesus speak in parables? There are several hints in the text. Asked this question by the disciples, Jesus said, “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing they do not hear or understand” (v. 13). The crowds, in rejecting Jesus’ clear presentation of Himself as their King, had closed their eyes to truth. Now Jesus would speak less clear words to them, lest they be even more responsible.

     It is also possible that Jesus adopted parables here to keep His listeners concentrating on the choice they had to make for or against Him. We need to remember that the Israelites had a clear notion of what the kingdom would be like. They would not be shaken from this single conception to accept new truth, which might modify their expectations. Jesus later explained to His disciples that the parables were spoken to them (v. 16). What they dealt with was a dimension of the kingdom which was not the subject of earlier Old Testament revelation. The parables, Jesus said, fulfill this prophecy:

     "I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden since the Creation of the world." --- Matthew 13:35.

     These parables deal with dimensions of the kingdom which Israel did not suspect existed. They deal, in fact, with those dimensions of the kingdom which you and I experience today and will experience until, at the return of Jesus, the Old Testament’s prophesied kingdom rule is established.

     No wonder the disciples, themselves steeped in the Old Testament’s lore, were also puzzled and had to ask Jesus, “Explain to us the Parable of the Weeds in the Field” (v. 36). Only later could they look back and see in Jesus’ words the portrait of a time between the Lord’s resurrection and the establishment of the earthly kingdom in its expected form. These, then, are parables of contrast. By contrast they illuminate key differences between the prophesied kingdom reign and the present servant form of the kingdom over which Jesus now rules.

     Jesus concluded His seven parables with a question: “Have you understood all these things?” (v. 51) Afraid to say no, the Twelve nodded yes. Both the old and the new are elements in the kingdom which Christ came to bring. Only later would they begin to understand the deep implications for the church of the unexpected form of the kingdom which Jesus expressed in His parables.


The Teacher's Commentary

Swimming in the sea of the Talmud:
     From Mishnah to Gemara

     The process of teaching continued in both in Israel and Babylonia. Almost as soon as the Mishnah was completed, the Rabbis found that new situations or cases arose which were not covered by the Mishnah. Just as previous generations had studied the Bible to apply it to their day, subsequent generations of Rabbis sat down and studied the Mishnah, scrutinizing, analyzing, and interpreting it and debating how it should be applied to their own times and situations. They drew on the great storehouse of traditions that they had received, such as the Midrash and the baraitot (those first- and second-century teachings that Rabbi Yehudah Ha-Nasi had not included in his edition of the Mishnah). And they used their own insights and logic to try to explain what the Mishnah meant and how it was to be applied. For over three centuries, this giant corpus of material grew. Known as Gemara, it was then edited and ultimately put into writing. The Mishnah and Gemara together came to be called the Talmud. (In fact, the term “Gemara” originally meant a terse statement with little or no explanation. What we now call “Gemara” was at first called simply “Talmud.” During the Middle Ages, the word Gemara came to replace Talmud in an attempt to fool Christian censors.)

Swimming in the Sea of Talmud: Lessons for Everyday Living

Take Heart
     February 10

     Then Thomas… said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
--- John 11:16.

     I find in Thomas the loneliness of doubt.( Wind on the Heath (Morrison Classic Sermon Series, The) ) Thomas is always a solitary figure, as doubters very generally are. You never think of Peter as being much alone—he was too ardent and impetuous for that. And you never think of John as wooing solitude with his so affectionate and sympathetic heart. But Thomas is always standing a little apart from cheerful interaction; he is solitary because he is a doubter. And on that evening of resurrection Sunday the disciples were gathered—and Thomas was not there. He was a lonely man that resurrection day, perhaps wandering amid the olives of Gethsemane, separated from all glad companionship, and separated because he was a doubter. Think of the gladness that filled these eager hearts when they whispered to one another, “Christ is risen.” Then think of Thomas, wandering alone, hurrying from all sound of human voices. For him there was no fellowship that evening in the radiant light of resurrection glory; for him there was only the loneliness of doubt.

     Amid the common ties of common life, [doubt] makes a solitude and calls it peace. And that is why when any person doubts God and thinks the heaven above the stars is tenantless, sooner or later he or she has a lonely heart. There are those who doubt because they are too lonely; there are more who are lonely just because they doubt. It takes the bond of faith to give us fellowship with child and husband, with comrade, and with Christ. And when faith crumbles and doubt lifts up its head, a man or woman may still be heroic in duty, but for that person, as for Thomas on resurrection evening, there is the anguish of the lonely heart. That is the very misery of doubt. It is the mother of the hungriest loneliness.
--- George H. Morrison


Take Heart: Daily Devotions with the Church's Great Preachers

On This Day   February 10
     Wesley’s Three Nurses

     The great evangelist John Wesley was small but well-built and handsome. He could charm women at will, and often did — but not always with desired results.

     At age 33 he met Sophy Hopkey, and she began making daily visits to his cottage for prayer and French lessons. When he became sick, Sophy nursed him, and he fell in love with her. “Her words,” he wrote, “her eyes, her air, her every motion and gesture, were full of such a softness! I know not what might have been the consequence had I then but touched her hand. And how I avoided it, I know not.” But he hesitated too long, and when Miss Sophy suddenly married another, Wesley was shattered.

     Some years later during another illness, he fell in love with nurse Grace Murray. He more or less proposed to her, saying, “If I ever marry, I think you will be the person.” She more or less accepted. But when John’s brother Charles heard of it, he stormed into Grace’s house and burst out, “Grace Murray! You have broken my heart,” and fainted. When he recovered, he pelted her with objections, saying she would destroy his brother’s ministry. She broke the engagement, leaving John to painfully scribble, “We were torn asunder by a whirlwind.”

     On February 10, 1751 Wesley, now in his late forties, suffered a fall in the middle of ice-coated London Bridge and was carried to the home of nurse Mary Vazeille. This time, he didn’t hesitate. They were married within a week.

     It was a disaster. Wesley’s friend, John Hampson, described this account: “Once I went into a room and found Mrs. Wesley foaming with fury. Her husband was on the floor, where she had been trailing him by the hair of his head; and she was still holding in her hand venerable locks which she had plucked by the roots. I felt as though I could have knocked the soul out of her.”

     The two spent little time together, and in 1771 we find this curious entry in Wesley’s journal: “I came to London, and was informed that my wife died on Monday. This evening she was buried, though I was not informed of it. … ”

     A nagging wife goes on and on Like the drip, drip, drip of the rain. You may inherit all you own from your parents, But a sensible wife is a gift from the LORD.
--- Proverbs 19:13b,14.


On This Day 365 Amazing And Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs And Heroes

Morning and Evening
     Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON

          Morning - February 10

     “I know how to abound.” --- Philippians 4:12.

     There are many who know “how to be abased” who have not learned “how to abound.” When they are set upon the top of a pinnacle their heads grow dizzy, and they are ready to fall. The Christian far oftener disgraces his profession in prosperity than in adversity. It is a dangerous thing to be prosperous. The crucible of adversity is a less severe trial to the Christian than the refining pot of prosperity. Oh, what leanness of soul and neglect of spiritual things have been brought on through the very mercies and bounties of God! Yet this is not a matter of necessity, for the apostle tells us that he knew how to abound. When he had much he knew how to use it. Abundant grace enabled him to bear abundant prosperity. When he had a full sail he was loaded with much ballast, and so floated safely. It needs more than human skill to carry the brimming cup of mortal joy with a steady hand, yet Paul had learned that skill, for he declares, “In all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry.” It is a divine lesson to know how to be full, for the Israelites were full once, but while the flesh was yet in their mouth, the wrath of God came upon them. Many have asked for mercies that they might satisfy their own hearts’ lust. Fulness of bread has often made fulness of blood, and that has brought on wantonness of spirit. When we have much of God’s providential mercies, it often happens that we have but little of God’s grace, and little gratitude for the bounties we have received. We are full and we forget God: satisfied with earth, we are content to do without heaven. Rest assured it is harder to know how to be full than it is to know how to be hungry—so desperate is the tendency of human nature to pride and forgetfulness of God. Take care that you ask in your prayers that God would teach you “how to be full.”

     “Let not the gifts thy love bestows
     Estrange our hearts from thee.”



          Evening - February 10

     “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.” --- Isaiah 44:22.

     Attentively observe THE INSTRUCTIVE SIMILITUDE: our sins are like a cloud. As clouds are of many shapes and shades, so are our transgressions. As clouds obscure the light of the sun, and darken the landscape beneath, so do our sins hide from us the light of Jehovah’s face, and cause us to sit in the shadow of death. They are earth-born things, and rise from the miry places of our nature; and when so collected that their measure is full, they threaten us with storm and tempest. Alas! that, unlike clouds, our sins yield us no genial showers, but rather threaten to deluge us with a fiery flood of destruction. O ye black clouds of sin, how can it be fair weather with our souls while ye remain?

     Let our joyful eye dwell upon THE NOTABLE ACT of divine mercy—“blotting out.” God himself appears upon the scene, and in divine benignity, instead of manifesting his anger, reveals his grace: he at once and for ever effectually removes the mischief, not by blowing away the cloud, but by blotting it out from existence once for all. Against the justified man no sin remains, the great transaction of the cross has eternally removed his transgressions from him. On Calvary’s summit the great deed, by which the sin of all the chosen was for ever put away, was completely and effectually performed.

     Practically let us obey THE GRACIOUS COMMAND, “return unto me.” Why should pardoned sinners live at a distance from their God? If we have been forgiven all our sins, let no legal fear withhold us from the boldest access to our Lord. Let backslidings be bemoaned, but let us not persevere in them. To the greatest possible nearness of communion with the Lord, let us, in the power of the Holy Spirit, strive mightily to return. O Lord, this night restore us!

Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

Amazing Grace
     February 10

          AND CAN IT BE THAT I SHOULD GAIN?

     Charles Wesley, 1707–1788

     To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood … (Revelation 1:5)

     Can any believer contemplate the “amazing love” of Calvary without sharing the awe and wonder of Charles Wesley’s questions in today’s hymn? Written a short time after his “heart-warming” Aldersgate experience on May 20, 1738, this song of grateful adoration for God’s great plan of redemption has been one of the most deeply moving and treasured hymns for more than 200 years.

     Even though he had a strict religious training in his youth, education at Oxford University, and missionary service in the new colony of Georgia, Charles Wesley had no peace or joy in his heart and life. Returning to London after a discouraging time in America, he met with a group of Moravians in the Aldersgate Hall and came to realize that “salvation is by faith alone.” In his journal of May 20th he wrote:

     At midnight I gave myself to Christ, assured that I was safe, whether sleeping or waking. I had the continual experience of His power to overcome all temptation, and I confessed with joy and surprise that He was able to do exceeding abundantly for me above what I can ask or think.

     In this spirit of joyous enthusiasm, Charles began to write new hymns with increased fervor. He traveled throughout Great Britain with his older brother John a quarter of a million miles, mostly on horseback, leading great crowds in singing his hymns in mass outdoor services of 40,000 people.

     With every new spiritual experience or thought that crossed Charles’ mind, a new hymn was born. Even on his deathbed it is said that he dictated to his wife a final hymn of praises to the Lord he had loved so intimately and served so effectively.

     And can it be that I should gain an int’rest in the Savior’s blood? Died He for me, who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued?
     He left His Father’s throne above, so free, so infinite His grace! Emptied Himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race.
     No condemnation now I dread; I am my Lord’s and He is mine: Alive in Him, my living Head, and clothed in righteousness divine.
     Refrain: Amazing love! How can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

     For Today: Romans 5:8; Colossians 1:12-14; Hebrews 9:11, 12; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; Revelation 5:9.

     Live in the joy and freedom of being “alive in Him” and free of all condemnation. Carry this musical truth with you ---

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

Book Of Common Prayer
     Saturday, February 10, 2018 | Epiphany


Saturday Of The Fifth Week After Epiphany
Year 2

Psalms (Morning)     Psalm 87, 90
Psalms (Evening)     Psalm 136
Old Testament     Genesis 29:1–20
New Testament     Romans 14:1–23
Gospel     John 8:47–59

Index of Readings

Psalms (Morning)
Psalm 87, 90
87 A Psalm Of The Sons Of Korah. A Song.

1 On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
2 the LORD loves the gates of Zion
more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.
3 Glorious things of you are spoken,
O city of God. Selah

4 Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon;
behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Cush—
“This one was born there,” they say.
5 And of Zion it shall be said,
“This one and that one were born in her”;
for the Most High himself will establish her.
6 The LORD records as he registers the peoples,
“This one was born there.” Selah

7 Singers and dancers alike say,
“All my springs are in you.”

90 A Prayer Of Moses, The Man Of God.

1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

3 You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”
4 For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.

5 You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.

7 For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.

9 For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10 The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?

12 So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
16 Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!

Psalms (Evening)
Psalm 136

136 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

4 to him who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
5 to him who by understanding made the heavens,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
6 to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
7 to him who made the great lights,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
8 the sun to rule over the day,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
9 the moon and stars to rule over the night,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
11 and brought Israel out from among them,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
12 with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
13 to him who divided the Red Sea in two,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
14 and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
15 but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
16 to him who led his people through the wilderness,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

17 to him who struck down great kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
18 and killed mighty kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
19 Sihon, king of the Amorites,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
20 and Og, king of Bashan,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
21 and gave their land as a heritage,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
22 a heritage to Israel his servant,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

23 It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
24 and rescued us from our foes,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
25 he who gives food to all flesh,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

Old Testament
Genesis 29:1–20

29 Then Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the east. 2 As he looked, he saw a well in the field, and behold, three flocks of sheep lying beside it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. The stone on the well’s mouth was large, 3 and when all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place over the mouth of the well.

4 Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where do you come from?” They said, “We are from Haran.” 5 He said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” They said, “We know him.” 6 He said to them, “Is it well with him?” They said, “It is well; and see, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep!” 7 He said, “Behold, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered together. Water the sheep and go, pasture them.” 8 But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together and the stone is rolled from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep.”

9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 Now as soon as Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob came near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s kinsman, and that he was Rebekah’s son, and she ran and told her father.

13 As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things, 14 and Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh!” And he stayed with him a month.

15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” 16 Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18 Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19 Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.

New Testament
Romans 14:1–23

14 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written,

     “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
     and every tongue shall confess to God.”

12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

Gospel
John 8:47–59

47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’4 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

The Book of Common Prayer


Genesis 43:1-45:24
m2-027 5-28-2014 | Brett Meador





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