The Second Plague: FrogsExodus 8:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. 2 But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with frogs. 3 The Nile shall swarm with frogs that shall come up into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. 4 The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your servants.” ’ ” 5 And the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the canals and over the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt!’ ” 6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7 But the magicians did the same by their secret arts and made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.
8 Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Plead with the LORD to take away the frogs from me and from my people, and I will let the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.” 9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “Be pleased to command me when I am to plead for you and for your servants and for your people, that the frogs be cut off from you and your houses and be left only in the Nile.” 10 And he said, “Tomorrow.” Moses said, “Be it as you say, so that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God. 11 The frogs shall go away from you and your houses and your servants and your people. They shall be left only in the Nile.” 12 So Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the LORD about the frogs, as he had agreed with Pharaoh. 13 And the LORD did according to the word of Moses. The frogs died out in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields. 14 And they gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.
The Third Plague: Gnats16 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, so that it may become gnats in all the land of Egypt.’ ” 17 And they did so. Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats in all the land of Egypt. 18 The magicians tried by their secret arts to produce gnats, but they could not. So there were gnats on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.
The Fourth Plague: Flies20 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh, as he goes out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. 21 Or else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants and your people, and into your houses. And the houses of the Egyptians shall be filled with swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand. 22 But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. 23 Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall happen.” ’ ” 24 And the LORD did so. There came great swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh and into his servants’ houses. Throughout all the land of Egypt the land was ruined by the swarms of flies.
25 Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.” 26 But Moses said, “It would not be right to do so, for the offerings we shall sacrifice to the LORD our God are an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice offerings abominable to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us? 27 We must go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD our God as he tells us.” 28 So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only you must not go very far away. Plead for me.” 29 Then Moses said, “Behold, I am going out from you and I will plead with the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow. Only let not Pharaoh cheat again by not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.” 30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD. 31 And the LORD did as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; not one remained. 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.
The Lord’s PrayerLuke 11:1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread,
4 and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
Jesus and Beelzebul14 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. 15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” 16 while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. 18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; 22 but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. 23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
Return of an Unclean Spirit24 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
True Blessedness27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
The Sign of Jonah29 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
The Light in You33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”
Woes to the Pharisees and Lawyers37 While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. 38 The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. 39 And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you. ( This contrasts inner virtues with external ceremonies. Alms are to be given not for show, but as an expression of a faithful heart (cf. Matt. 6:1–4)—and the true almsgiving is not the external act, but one’s attitude before God. ) ESV MacArthur Study Bible, Personal Size
42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”
45 One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.” 46 And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. 47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. 48 So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. 52 Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”
53 As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, 54 lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.
Bildad Speaks: Man Cannot Be RighteousJob 25:1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
2 “Dominion and fear are with God;
he makes peace in his high heaven.
3 Is there any number to his armies?
Upon whom does his light not arise?
4 How then can man be in the right before God?
How can he who is born of woman be pure?
5 Behold, even the moon is not bright,
and the stars are not pure in his eyes;
6 how much less man, who is a maggot,
and the son of man, who is a worm!”
Job Replies: God’s Majesty Is UnsearchableJob 26:1 Then Job answered and said:
2 “How you have helped him who has no power!
How you have saved the arm that has no strength!
3 How you have counseled him who has no wisdom,
and plentifully declared sound knowledge!
4 With whose help have you uttered words,
and whose breath has come out from you?
5 The dead tremble
under the waters and their inhabitants.
6 Sheol is naked before God,
and Abaddon has no covering.
7 He stretches out the north over the void
and hangs the earth on nothing.
8 He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
and the cloud is not split open under them.
9 He covers the face of the full moon
and spreads over it his cloud.
10 He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters
at the boundary between light and darkness.
11 The pillars of heaven tremble
and are astounded at his rebuke.
12 By his power he stilled the sea;
by his understanding he shattered Rahab.
13 By his wind the heavens were made fair;
his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
14 Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways,
and how small a whisper do we hear of him!
But the thunder of his power who can understand?”
1 Corinthians 12
Spiritual Gifts1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
One Body with Many Members12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
1. In the order, fitness, and usefulness of every part. The whole model of the body is grounded upon reason. Every member hath its exact proportion, distinct office, regular motion. Every part hath a particular comeliness, and convenient temperament bestowed upon it, according to its place in the body. The heart is hot, to enliven the whole; the eye clear, to take in objects to present them to the soul. Every member is presented for its peculiar service and action. Some are for sense, some for motion, some for preparing, and others for dispensing nourishment to the several parts: they mutually depend upon and serve one another. What small strings fasten the particular members together, “as the earth, that hangs upon nothing!” Take but one part away, and you either destroy the whole, or stamp upon it some mark of deformity. All are knit together by an admirable symmetry; all orderly perform their functions, as acting by a settled law; none swerving from their rule, but in case of some predominant humor. And none of them, in so great a multitude of parts, stifled in so little a room, or jostling against one another, to hinder their mutual actions; none can be better disposed. And the greatest wisdom of man could not imagine it, till his eyes present them with the sight and connection of one part and member with another. The Existence and Attributes of God27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way.
The Reformation Study Bible
What I'm Reading
A Modest Defense Of The “Liberal World Order”
By George Weigel 2/22/2017
I quite agree that the United Nations is a sad, and sometimes malicious, joke. I understand that some people have been the victims of a globalized world economy and that the “Davos people” who run that economy have (like most of the rest of us) paid them too little heed. Fifteen years ago, in The Cube and the Cathedral, I warned that the European Union risked becoming the overbearing bureaucratic Leviathan it is today; and it seemed to me then, as it does now, that the EU’s embrace of a sterile secularism, which accelerated Europe’s detachment from its cultural roots, helped destroy a reverence for particularity and for what Edmund Burke called society’s small platoons.
I get it that the American people are tired of wars, that many Poles and Hungarians don’t want their social policy dictated by Brussels, and that Italians and Greeks are tired of having their pleasures disrupted by steely-eyed German accountants. I agree that NATO member states should stop riding American coattails in their laggardly defense spending. I think a visceral defense of British sovereignty was the primary reason for the Brexit “yes” vote, and I find the contemptuous response to that vote by European Union mandarins a signal that, like the Bourbons, those riding the EU gravy train have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.
George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington, D.C.’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies.
GRBJ: Family Christian closing stores after 85 years
By Pat Evans 2/23/2017
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A Grand Rapids-based retailer with locations across the region and nation is shutting down after 85 years.
Family Christian said today it plans to liquidate, because of “changing consumer behavior and declining sales.”
The chain’s stores sell Christian-themed products.
Moving Beyond Conflict
By Scot McKnight 2/23/2017
It is important as Christians that we move beyond the either-or thinking that dominates so much of the church, either we believe in evolution or we believe in God. This is a dangerous and false dichotomy. We have been working through Denis Lamoureux’s new book Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes. The sixth and ninth chapter of the book focus on moving beyond the dichotomy, while the seventh and eighth look at Galileo and Darwin.
Denis outlines five broad categories that define most positions on evolution and creation. Three are clearly Christian – young earth creationism, progressive old earth creationism, and evolutionary creation. One clearly is not – dysteleological (atheistic, purposeless) evolution. The final position of deistic evolution is harder to characterize. This position denies the existence of an interactive and personal God, so cannot be claimed as robustly Christian, but does not deny the existence of God or the possibility of purpose in the creation of the universe and of life. Denis classifies this as non-Christian. It is not important that every individual plant a flag firmly in any one of the Christian alternatives. It is also not critical that everyone comes to agree with Denis and me that evolutionary creation is the best alternative. Denis encourages this readers and his students to think through all the issues when forming a view, perhaps mixing and matching elements from different thinkers across the spectrum. In fact he is clear on this:
Scot McKnight is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Society for New Testament Studies. He is the author of the award-winning The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others, which won the Christianity Today book of the year for Christian Living. His books include Embracing Grace: A Gospel for All of Us, The Story of the Christ, Praying with the Church: Following Jesus Daily, Hourly, Today, The Real Mary: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus, A Community Called Atonement (Living Theology). He broadened his Jesus Creed project in writing a daily devotional: 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed. His studies in conversion were expanded with his newest book, Finding Faith, Losing Faith: Stories of Conversion and Apostasy, a book he co-authored with his former student Hauna Ondrey. Other books are The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible and Fasting: The Ancient Practices, as well as A Fellowship of Differents: Showing the World God's Design for Life Together and Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church.
McKnight wrote a commentary on James (The Letter of James (The New International Commentary on the New Testament)), a book on discipleship (One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow), and a Jesus Creed book for high school students (with Syler Thomas and Chris Folmsbee) called The Jesus Creed for Students: Loving God, Loving Others. His research on gospel was published in the Fall of 2011 in a book called The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited. Along with Joe Modica, McKnight co-edited Jesus Is Lord, Caesar Is Not: Evaluating Empire in New Testament Studies. Also he published an e-book affirming the importance of the doctrine of perseverance in a book called A Long Faithfulness: The Case for Christian Perseverance. His most recent commentary is Sermon on the Mount (The Story of God Bible Commentary). In the Fall of 2015 his book on heaven appeared: The Heaven Promise: Engaging the Bible's Truth About Life to Come, and he has a book appearing in 2017 The Hum of Angels: Listening for the Messengers of God Around Us.
He co-wrote with his daughter a Jesus Creed book for children: Sharing God's Love: The Jesus Creed for Chldren.
McKnight’s current projects is a commentary on Colossians (Eerdmans) as well as a book on the Holy Spirit.
Other books include Who Do My Opponents Say That I Am?: An Investigation of the Accusations Against the Historical Jesus (The Library of New Testament Studies), Jesus and His Death: Historiography, the Historical Jesus, and Atonement Theory, Light Among the Gentiles: Jewish Missionary Activity in the Second Temple Period by Scot McKnight (1991-04-02), A New Vision for Israel: The Teachings of Jesus in National Context (Studying the Historical Jesus), Turning to Jesus: The Sociology of Conversion in the Gospels, Galatians (The NIV Application Commentary) and Galatians (The NIV Application Commentary), Interpreting the Synoptic Gospels (Guides to New Testament Exegesis), and he is a co-editor with J.B. Green and I.H. Marshall of the award-winning Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (The IVP Bible Dictionary Series) as well as the co-editor, with J.D.G. Dunn, The Historical Jesus in Recent Research. He regularly contributes chapter length studies to dictionaries, encyclopedias, books and articles for magazines and online webzines. McKnight’s books have been translated into Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Portuguese.
Scot McKnight was also ordained by Bishop Todd Hunter to the Diaconate in Churches for the Sake of Others, a segment of Anglican Churches of North America. He and Kris are active in their church, Church of the Redeemer.
McKnight blogs at Jesus Creed.
Scot McKnight was elected into the Hall of Honor at Cornerstone University in honor of his basketball accomplishments during his college career. He and his wife, Kristen, live in Libertyville, Illinois. They enjoy traveling, long walks, gardening, and cooking. They have two adult children, Laura (married to Mark Barringer) and Lukas (married to Annika Nelson), and two grandchildren: Aksel and Finley.
People Who Know the Bible and Christianity Better Than Christians Do
By Tom Gilson 2/23/2017
Some people think they know more about the Bible and Christianity than the people who actually study the Bible and practice the Christian religion. “The Bible is about sex, to judge by America’s public discourse. In my lifetime, it has rarely been invoked except in discussions about gay marriage, contraception or abortion,” claims Benjamin Moser, writing last weekend in the New York Times.
“What did the Bible have to say about issue X or issue Y?” The questions are anachronistic, and the answers known in advance, since the people asking them have almost always been those so obsessed with other people’s sex lives — especially when those other people were gay or female — that this seemed to be the whole point of their religion.
Churchgoing reader, how many sermons does your pastor or priest preach on sex every year? Would you conclude from your church’s teaching that the Bible is about sex and nothing else? Is your church so “obsessed with other people’s sex lives” that it “seems to be the whole point” of your religion?Click here to go to source
Tom Gilson is a senior editor of The Stream, author of the new 2016 parent-friendly guide to keeping kids in the faith, titled Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents' Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens, the chief editor of True Reason: Confronting the Irrationality of the New Atheism, and Peter Boghossian, Atheist Tactician: A Preliminary Response To "A Manual For Creating Atheists" the author/host of the Thinking Christian blog.
He lives in southwest Ohio with Sara, his wife, and their two 20-something children. He has received a B.Mus. in Music Education with a specialty in performance from Michigan State University and an M.S. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Central Florida. When he’s not writing he loves drinking coffee, canoeing, walking in the woods, and playing his trombones.
Read The Psalms In "1" Year
Psalm 24The King of Glory
24 A Psalm Of David.
7 Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle!
9 Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
he is the King of glory! Selah
Exodus 8; Luke 11; Job 25 – 26; 1 Corinthians 12
By Don Carson 2/25/2018
ONE OF THE MOST STRIKING PICTURES of what might be called a “partial conversion” is found in Luke 11:24-26. Jesus teaches that when an evil spirit comes out of someone, it “goes through arid places seeking rest ant does not find it” – apparently looking for some new person in whom to take up residence. Then the spirit contemplates returning to its previous abode. A reconnoiter finds the former residence surprisingly vacant. The spirit rounds up seven cronies who are even more vile, “and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.”
Apparently the man who has been exorcised of the evil spirit never replaced that spirit with anything else. The Holy Spirit did not take up residence in his life; the man simply remained vacant, as it were.
There are three lessons to learn.
First, “partial conversions” are all too common. A person gets partially cleaned up. He or she is drawn close enough to the Gospel and to the people of God that there is some sort of turning away from godlessness, a preliminary infatuation with holiness, an attraction toward righteousness. But like the person represented by rocky soil in the parable of the sower and the soils (8:4-15), this person may initially seem to be the best of the crop, and yet not endure. There has never been the kind of conversion that spells the takeover of an individual by the living God, a reorientation tied to genuine repentance and enduring faith.
The second lesson follows: a little Gospel is a dangerous thing. It gets people to think well of themselves, to sigh with relief that the worst evils have been dissipated, to enjoy a nice sense of belonging. But if a person is not truly justified, regenerated, and transferred from the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, the dollop of religion may serve as little more than an inoculation against the real thing.
The third lesson is inferential. This passage is thematically tied to another large strand of Scripture. Evil cannot simply be opposed – that is, it is never enough simply to fight evil, to cast out a demon. Evil must be replaced by good, the evil spirit by the Holy Spirit. We must “overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). For instance, it is difficult to overcome bitterness against someone by simply resolving to stop being bitter; one must replace bitterness by genuine forgiveness and love for that person. It is difficult to overcome greed by simply resolving not to be quite so materialistic; one must fasten one’s affections on better treasure (cf. Luke 12:13-21) and learn to be wonderfully and self-sacrificially generous. Overcome evil with good.
Don Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and co-founder (with Tim Keller) of The Gospel Coalition. He has authored numerous books, and recently edited The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures (Eerdmans, 2016).
Don Carson Books:
- 1 An Introduction to the New Testament
- 2 The Gospel according to John Pillar NT Commentary
- 3 The Gospel according to John Pillar NT Commentary
- 4 NIV Zondervan Study Bible, Hardcover: Built on the Truth of Scripture and Centered on the Gospel Message
- 5 Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation
- 6 Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament
- 7 Exegetical Fallacies
- 8 For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God's Word, Volume 1
- 9 Be Still, My Soul: Embracing God's Purpose and Provision in Suffering
- 10 Matthew (The Expositor's Bible Commentary)
- 11 The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story
- 12 The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God
- 13 How Long, O Lord?: Reflections on Suffering and Evil
- 14 New Testament Commentary Survey
- 15 For the Love of God, Volume 2: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God's Word
- 16 9: Matthew and Mark (The Expositor's Bible Commentary)
- 17 Showing the Spirit: A Theological Exposition of 1 Corinthians, 12-14
- 18 The Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians
- 19 The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures
- 20 The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus: John 14-17
- 21 Introducing NT: A Short Guide to Its History and Message
- 22 Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson
- 23 Preach the Word: Essays on Expository Preaching: In Honor of R. Kent Hughes
- 24 Jesus' Sermon on the Mount: An Exposition of Matthew 5-10
- 25 The Intolerance of Tolerance
- 26 From Sabbath to Lord's Day: A Biblical, Historical and Theological Investigation
- 27 Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians
- 28 Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility: Biblical Perspective in Tension
- 29 The Expositor's Bible commentary : Matthew, Mark, Luke Vol. 8
- 30 Christ and Culture Revisited
- 31 NIV Zondervan Study Bible: Built on the Truth of Scripture and Centered on the Gospel Message
- 32 The King James Version Debate: A Plea for Realism
- 33 Don't Call It a Comeback: The Old Faith for a New Day
- 34 Gagging of God, The
- 35 The Gospel as Center: Renewing Our Faith and Reforming Our Ministry Practices
- 36 The God Who Is There Leader's Guide: Finding Your Place in God's Story
- 37 What Is the Gospel?
- 38 His Mission: Jesus in the Gospel of Luke
- 39 The Scriptures Testify about Me: Jesus and the Gospel in the OT
- 40 Love in Hard Places
- 41 Coming Home: Essays on the New Heaven and New Earth
- 42 God's Love Compels Us: Taking the Gospel to the World
- 43 Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus
- 44 Telling the Truth
- 45 God's Word, Our Story: Learning from the Book of Nehemiah
- 46 Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications
- 47 The Sermon on the Mount: An Evangelical Exposition of Matthew 5-7
- 48 Sunsets: Reflections for Life's Final Journey
- 49 God with Us: Themes from Matthew
- 50 A Model of Christian Maturity: An Exposition of 2 Corinthians 10-13
- 51 NIV Zondervan Study Bible, Built on the Truth of Scripture and Centered on the Gospel Message
- 52 The Pastor as Scholar and the Scholar as Pastor: Reflections on Life and Ministry
- 53 Teach Us to Pray: Prayer in the Bible and the World
- 54 Matthew, Vol.2 (Ch. 13-28), The Expositor's Bible Commentary
- 55 A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers
- 56 The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story
- 57 Entrusted with the Gospel: Pastoral Expositions of 2 Timothy
- 58 Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility: Biblical Perspectives in Tension
- 59 The Holy Spirit
- 60 The Plan
- 61 Collected Writings on Scripture
- 62 The Inclusive-Language Debate: A Plea for Realism
- 63 Matthew, Vol.1 (Ch. 1-12), The Expositor's Bible Commentary
- 64 Essential Evangelicalism: The Enduring Influence of Carl F. H. Henry
- 65 The Restoration of All Things
- 66 Reclaiming the Center: Confronting Evangelical Accommodation in Postmodern Times
- 67 Christ's Redemption
- 68 Exegetical Fallacies
- 69 Justification
- 70 Greek Accents: A Student's Manual
- 71 Gospel-Centered Ministry
- 72 The Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians
- 77 The Cross & Christian Ministry: An Exposition of Passages from 1 Corinthians
- 78 The Cross & Christian Ministry: An Exposition of Passages from 1 Corinthians
- 79 [(Christ and Culture Revisited)]
- 80 When Jesus Confronts the World: An Exposition of Matthew 8-10
- 81 The Church: God's New People
- 82 Letters Along the Way: A Novel of the Christian Life
- 83 Love in Hard Places
- 84 The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place In God'S Story
- 85 NT Commentary Survey
- 86 The Inclusive Language Debate
- 87 Exegetical Fallacies
- 88 The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus: An Exposition of John 14-17
- 89 NT Commentary Survey
- 90 How long, O Lord? (2nd edition): Reflections on Suffering and Evil
- 91 Holy Sonnets of the Twentieth Century
- 92 Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians
- 93 By D. A. Carson - Gagging of God
- 94 Jesus the Son of God: A Christological Title Often Overlooked, Sometimes Misunderstood, and Currently Disputed
- 95 The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God
- 96 A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers
- 97 A Call to Spiritual Reformation
No Time To Text
By Richard S. AdamsA young girl drowned in an Oregon river recently. It hurt to watch the father pour out his heart on television. The news of another person drowning seems less frequent than gang violence, but if it’s your family member or someone you know, really know … then it is a tragedy. I believe God would have us sorrow over the loss of anyone; family, friend, even strangers.
Do you think our status in the world; whether we are a celebrated athlete, notorious politician or glamorous Hollywood star, mean much to God? Our humanity, our relationship with God, and just as importantly, our relationships with one another, are precious in God’s economy.
Though we appear to be more connected than ever, in many ways the preciousness of life, other than our own, seems to be slipping into the shadows. The loss of a child, however, still grips our hearts as we think of our own children and grandchildren, but the victims of crime, those lost in auto accidents, fire, drowning, whatever, are too soon forgotten. We draw back from the terror and cruelty of Isis, while we murder millions of unborn babies each year. We grow colder and colder, insulated by the technology and pornography that envelopes us. One less so called friend on Facebook is quickly replaced. In Trek-speak, shouldn’t there be more than an acknowledgement that there is a loss in the force?
It is no secret, no mystery that busyness erodes what makes us human, compassion. We avoid the real sorrow of our soul by too often indulging in empty laughter, when we have good reason to cry. We do need to keep our emotional and spiritual balance, neither surrendering ourselves completely to pain and sorrow, nor numbing our consciences in busyness for vanity’s sake. Keeping our balance does not mean refusing to take on the pain and sorrow of others, or avoiding the exhilaration of joy. Not only is there a time and place for both, but an honest measure is needed as well.
Ecclesiastes 7:2 It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind,
and the living will lay it to heart.
Richard S. Adams | Lover of Christ, husband of Lily, father of four, grandfather of eleven, Masters in Divinity and Certificate in Spiritual Direction. On staff at George Fox 1/2009 to 7/2018.
- Feb 5 Prosperity and the Camp Fire
- Feb 7 Job 6:14-23
- Feb 10 Spontaneous Generation
- Feb 14 Hindsight
- Feb 18 The Cure For Despair
- Feb 22 RE: Job's Friends
- Feb 23 Job 23:14
- Feb 25 No Time To Text
- Mar 5 Polemics and Caricature
- Apr 20 Death and My Master's Voice
- May 10 Ruth | Relationships
- June 18 Lincoln City 6/2/18
- July 14 Tom - Gen & Revelation
- July 15 Knowledge and World Peace
- July 16 The Church as Lobbyist
- Aug 3 Have You Noticed
- Nov 27 The Way The World Is
- Nov 30 The Renewal Of Israel
- Dec 11 Open Door
- Dec 20 Replacement Theology
The Institutes of the Christian Religion
Translated by Henry Beveridge
OF FAITH. THE DEFINITION OF IT. ITS PECULIAR PROPERTIES.
This chapter consists of three principal parts.--I. A brief explanation of certain matters pertaining to the doctrine of Faith, sec. 1-14. First, of the object of faith, sec. 1. Second, of Implicit Faith, sec. 2-6. Third, Definition of Faith, sec. 7. Fourth, the various meanings of the term Faith, sec. 8-13. II. A full exposition of the definition given in the seventh section, sec. 14-40. III. A brief confirmation of the definition by the authority of an Apostle. The mutual relation between faith, hope, and charity, sec. 41-43.
1. A brief recapitulation of the leading points of the whole discussion. The scope of this chapter. The necessity of the doctrine of faith. This doctrine obscured by the Schoolmen, who make God the object of faith, without referring to Christ. The Schoolmen refuted by various passages.
2. The dogma of implicit faith refuted. It destroys faith, which consists in a knowledge of the divine will. What this will is, and how necessary the knowledge of it.
3. Many things are and will continue to be implicitly believed. Faith, however, consists in the knowledge of God and Christ, not in a reverence for the Church. Another refutation from the absurdities to which this dogma leads.
4. In what sense our faith may be said to be implicit. Examples in the Apostles, in the holy women, and in all believers.
5. In some, faith is implicit, as being a preparation for faith. This, however, widely different from the implicit faith of the Schoolmen.
6. The word of God has a similar relation to faith, the word being, as it were, the source and basis of faith, and the mirror in which it beholds God. Confirmation from various passages of Scripture. Without the knowledge of the word there can be no faith. Sum of the discussion of the Scholastic doctrine of implicit faith.
7. What faith properly has respect to in the word of God, namely, the promise of grace offered in Christ, provided it be embraced with faith. Proper definition of faith.
8. Scholastic distinction between faith formed and unformed, refuted by a consideration of the nature of faith, which, as the gift of the Spirit, cannot possibly be disjoined from pious affection.
9. Objection from a passage of Paul. Answer to it. Error of the Schoolmen in giving only one meaning to faith, whereas it has many meanings. The testimony of faith improperly ascribed to two classes of men.
10. View to be taken of this. Who those are that believe for a time. The faith of hypocrites. With whom they may be compared.
11. Why faith attributed to the reprobate. Objection. Answer. What perception of grace in the reprobate. How the elect are distinguished from the reprobate.
12. Why faith is temporary in the reprobate, firm and perpetual in the elect. Reason in the case of the reprobate. Example. Why God is angry with his children. In what sense many are said to fall from faith.
13. Various meanings of the term faith. 1. Taken for soundness in the faith. 2. Sometimes restricted to a particular object. 3. Signifies the ministry or testimony by which we are instructed in the faith.
14. Definition of faith explained under six principal heads. 1. What meant by Knowledge in the definition.
15. Why this knowledge must be sure and firm. Reason drawn from the consideration of our weakness. Another reason from the certainty of the promises of God.
16. The leading point in this certainty. Its fruits. A description of the true believer.
17. An objection to this certainty. Answer. Confirmation of the answer from the example of David. This enlarged upon from the opposite example of Ahab. Also from the uniform experience and the prayers of believers.
18. For this reason the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit in the soul of the believer described. The issue of this conflict, the victory of faith.
19. On the whole, the faith of the elect certain and indubitable. Conformation from analogy.
20. Another confirmation from the testimony of an Apostle, making it apparent, that, though the faith of the elect is as yet imperfect, it is nevertheless firm and sure.
21. A fuller explanation of the nature of faith. 1. When the believer is shaken with fear, he retakes himself to the bosom of a merciful God. 2. He does not even shun God when angry, but hopes in him. 3. He does not suffer unbelief to reign in his heart. 4. He opposes unbelief, and is never finally lost. 5. Faith, however often assailed, at length comes off victorious.
22. Another species of fear, arising from a consideration of the judgment of God against the wicked. This also faith overcomes. Examples of this description, placed before the eyes of believers, repress presumption, and fix their faith in God.
23. Nothing contrary to this in the exhortation of the Apostle to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Fear and faith mutually connected. Confirmation from the words of a Prophet.
24. This doctrine gives no countenance to the error of those who dream of a confidence mingled with incredulity. Refutation of this error, from a consideration of the dignity of Christ dwelling in us. The argument retorted. Refutation confirmed by the authority of an Apostle. What we ought to hold on this question.
25. Confirmation of the preceding conclusion by a passage from Bernard.
26. True fear caused in two ways--viz. when we are required to reverence God as a Father, and also to fear him as Lord.
27. Objection from a passage in the Apostle John. Answer founded on the distinction between filial and servile fear.
28. How faith is said to have respect to the divine benevolence. What comprehended under this benevolence. Confirmation from David and Paul.
29. Of the Free Promise which is the foundation of Faith. Reason. Confirmation.
30. Faith not divided in thus seeking a Free Promise in the Gospel. Reason. Conclusion confirmed by another reason.
31. The word of God the prop and root of faith. The word attests the divine goodness and mercy. In what sense faith has respect to the power of God. Various passages of Isaiah, inviting the godly to behold the power of God, explained. Other passages from David. We must beware of going beyond the limits prescribed by the word, lest false zeal lead us astray, as it did Sarah, Rebekah, and Isaac. In this way faith is obscured, though not extinguished. We must not depart one iota from the word of God.
32. All the promises included in Christ. Two objections answered. A third objection drawn from example. Answer explaining the faith of Naaman, Cornelius, and the Eunuch.
33. Faith revealed to our minds, and sealed on our hearts, by the Holy Spirit. 1. The mind is purified so as to have a relish for divine truth. 2. The mind is thus established in the truth by the agency of the Holy Spirit.
34. Proof of the former. 1. By reason. 2. By Scripture. 3. By example. 4. By analogy.
35. 5. By the excellent qualities of faith. 6. By a celebrated passage from Augustine.
36. Proof of the latter by the argument a minore ad majus. Why the Spirit is called a seal, an earnest, and the Spirit of promise.
37. Believers sometimes shaken, but not so as to perish finally. They ultimately overcome their trials, and remain steadfast. Proofs from Scripture.
38. Objection of the Schoolmen. Answer. Attempt to support the objection by a passage in Ecclesiastes. Answer, explaining the meaning of the passage.
39. Another objection, charging the elect in Christ with rashness and presumption. Answer. Answer confirmed by various passages from the Apostle Paul. Also from John and Isaiah.
40. A third objection, impugning the final perseverance of the elect. Answer by an Apostle. Summary of the refutation.
41. The definition of faith accords with that given by the Apostle in the Hebrews. Explanation of this definition. Refutation of the scholastic error, that charity is prior to faith and hope.
42. Hope the inseparable attendant of true faith. Reason. Connection between faith and hope. Mutually support each other. Obvious from the various forms of temptation, that the aid of hope necessary to establish faith.
43. The terms faith and hope sometimes confounded. Refutation of the Schoolmen, who attribute a twofold foundation to hope--viz. the grace of God and the merit of works.
Christian Classics Ethereal Library / Public Domain Institutes of the Christian Religion
Devotionals, notes, poetry and more
Strengthen your faith (3)
2/25/2018 Bob Gass
‘Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.’
(Ps 56:3) When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. ESV
Faith is like a muscle; trouble may strain it, but in the end it grows stronger. David understood this truth. He was continually hounded by his enemies. Even as he was being anointed to sit on the throne of Israel, Saul was still occupying it. But instead of losing faith in God’s promise, David declared that ‘the Lord has chosen everyone who is faithful to be his very own, and he answers my prayers’ (Psalm 4:3 CEV). When the Philistines captured him, he prayed, ‘There are many who fight against me, O Most High. Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You’ (Psalm 56:2-3 NKJV). When he ended up in a cave fleeing from Saul’s jealous rage, he said, ‘I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until this…is past’ (Psalm 57:1 TLB). During the third century when St Felix of Nola was running from his enemies, he took refuge in a cave. Eventually a spider began to weave a web across the small opening, sealing it off and making it look like nobody had been inside for months. Consequently, his pursuers passed by. Stepping out into the sunshine, Felix declared, ‘Where God is, a spider’s web is a wall. And where God is not, a wall is a spider’s web.’ Jesus said you’d have problems in life; people will disappoint you, and you’ll even disappoint yourself. Sometimes you’ll end up in a cave because of something you did, or because of circumstances over which you have no control. But with God on your side, you can say, ‘Whenever I’m afraid, I will trust in You.’
UCB The Word For Today
by Bill Federer
“Our institutions of freedom will not survive unless they are constantly replenished by the faith that gave them birth” stated Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who was born this day, February 25, 1888. A graduate of Princeton, he helped negotiate the Peace Treaty with Japan after World War II and served as U.S. Ambassador to the UN. John Dulles remarked: “Man has his origins and… destiny in God…. Our institutions reflect the belief… that all men were endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights…. that human institutions ought… to help men develop their God-given possibilities.”
Thomas R. Kelly
Frequency of personal contact in this Fellowship is not imperative, although desirable. Weeks and months and even years may elapse, yet the reality remains undimmed. Conversations within the Fellowship gravitate toward Him who is dearer than life itself. Yet the degree of self-disclosure which we are given to make to others is variable with time and place and person. And never is it complete. For as it nears completeness, words no longer help, but hinder, and the final pooling of joy and love in Him is accomplished in the silences of the Eternal.
All friendships short of this are incomplete. All personal relations which lie only in time are open-ended and unfinished, to the soul who walks in holy obedience. Can we make all our relations to our fellows relations which pass through Him? Our relations to the conductor on a trolley? Our relations to the clerk who serves us in a store? How far is the world from such an ideal! How far is Christian practice from such an expectation! Yet we, from our end of the relationship, can send out the Eternal Love in silent, searching hope, and meet each person with a background of eternal expectation and a silent, wordless prayer of love. For until the life of men in time is, in every relation, shot through with Eternity, the Blessed Community is not complete.
There is an experience of the Eternal breaking into time, which transforms all life into a miracle of faith and action. Unspeakable, profound, and full of glory as an inward experience, it is the root of concern for all creation, the true ground of social endeavor. This inward Life and the outward Concern are truly one whole, and, were it possible, ought to be described simultaneously. But linear sequence and succession of words is our inevitable lot and compels us to treat separately what is not separate: first, the Eternal Now and the Temporal Now, and second, the Nature and Ground of Social Concern.
A Testament of Devotion
Compiled by Richard S. Adams
The complete life is the life of a child.
When I am consciously conscious,
there is something wrong.
It is the sick man who knows what health is.
--- Oswald Chambers
OS Guinness quoting Oswald Chambers
“Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ,” he wrote.
“The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him …
The one aim of the call of God is the satisfaction of God,
not a call to do something for Him.”
--- OS Guinness
“Nothing is that which rocks dream about.”
Ask yourself whether you are happy and you cease to be so.
--- John Stuart Mill
... from here, there and everywhere
University of Virginia Library 1994
Twenty-ninth fifth month. -- At the house where I lodged was a meeting of ministers and elders. I found an engagement to speak freely and plainly to them concerning their slaves; mentioning how they as the first rank in the society, whose conduct in that case was much noticed by others, were under the stronger obligations to look carefully to themselves. Expressing how needful it was for them in that situation to be thoroughly divested of all selfish views; that, living in the pure truth, and acting conscientiously towards those people in their education and otherwise, they might be instrumental in helping forward a work so exceedingly necessary, and so much neglected amongst them. At the twelfth hour the meeting of worship began, which was a solid meeting.
The next day, about the tenth hour, Friends met to finish their business, and then the meeting for worship ensued, which to me was a laborious time; but through the goodness of the Lord, truth, I believed, gained some ground, and it was a strengthening opportunity to the honest-hearted.
About this time I wrote an epistle to Friends in the back settlements of North Carolina, as follows: --
TO FRIENDSAT THEIR MONTHLY MEETINGAT NEW GARDENAND CANE CREEK,IN NORTH CAROLINA: --
DEAR FRIENDS, -- It having pleased the Lord to draw me forth on a visit to some parts of Virginia and Carolina, you have often been in my mind; and though my way is not clear to come in person to visit you, yet I feel it in my heart to communicate a few things, as they arise in the love of truth. First, my dear friends, dwell in humility; and take heed that no views of outward gain get too deep hold of you, that so your eyes being single to the Lord, you may be preserved in the way of safety. Where people let loose their minds after the love of outward things, and are more engaged in pursuing the profits and seeking the friendships of this world than to be inwardly acquainted with the way of true peace, they walk in a vain shadow, while the true comfort of life is wanting. Their examples are often hurtful to others; and their treasures thus collected do many times prove dangerous snares to their children.
But where people are sincerely devoted to follow Christ, and dwell under the influence of his Holy Spirit, their stability and firmness, through a Divine blessing, is at times like dew on the tender plants round about them, and the weightiness of their spirits secretly works on the minds of others. In this condition, through the spreading influence of Divine love, they feel a care over the flock, and way is opened for maintaining good order in the Society. And though we may meet with opposition from another spirit, yet, as there is a dwelling in meekness, feeling our spirits subject, and moving only in the gentle, peaceable wisdom, the inward reward of quietness will be greater than all our difficulties. Where the pure life is kept to, and meetings of discipline are held in the authority of it, we find by experience that they are comfortable, and tend to the health of the body.
While I write, the youth come fresh in my way. Dear young people, choose God for your love his truth, and be not ashamed of it; choose for your company such as serve him in uprightness; and shun as most dangerous the conversation of those whose lives are of an ill savor; for by frequenting such company some hopeful young people have come to great loss, and been drawn from less evils to greater, to their utter ruin. In the bloom of youth no ornament is so lovely as that of virtue, nor any enjoyments equal to those which we partake of in fully resigning ourselves to the Divine will. These enjoyments add sweetness to all other comforts, and give true satisfaction in company and conversation, where people are mutually acquainted with it; and as your minds are thus seasoned with the truth, you will find strength to abide steadfast to the testimony of it, and be prepared for services in the church.
And now, dear friends and brethren, as you are improving a wilderness, and may be numbered amongst the first planters in one part of a province, I beseech you, in the love of Jesus Christ, wisely to consider the force of your examples, and think how much your successors may be thereby affected. It is a help in a country, yea, and a great favor and blessing, when customs first settled are agreeable to sound wisdom; but when they are otherwise the effect of them is grievous; and children feel themselves encompassed with difficulties prepared for them by their predecessors.
As moderate care and exercise, under the direction of true wisdom, are useful both to mind and body, so by these means in general the real wants of life are easily supplied, our gracious Father having so proportioned one to the other that keeping in the medium we may pass on quietly. Where slaves are purchased to do our labor numerous difficulties attend it. To rational creatures bondage is uneasy, and frequently occasions sourness and discontent in them; which affects the family and such as claim the mastery over them. Thus people and their children are many times encompassed with vexations, which arise from their applying to wrong methods to get a living.
I have been informed that there is a large number of Friends in your parts who have no slaves; and in tender and most affectionate love I beseech you to keep clear from purchasing any. Look, my dear friends, to Divine Providence, and follow in simplicity that exercise of body, that plainness and frugality, which true wisdom leads to; so may you be preserved from those dangers which attend such as are aiming at outward ease and greatness.
Treasures, though small, attained on a true principle of virtue, are sweet; and while we walk in the light of the Lord there is true comfort and satisfaction in the possession; neither the murmurs of an oppressed people, nor a throbbing, uneasy conscience, nor anxious thoughts about the events of things, hinder the enjoyment of them.
When we look towards the end of life, and think on the division of our substance among our successors, if we know that it was collected in the fear of the Lord, in honesty, in equity, and in uprightness of heart before him, we may consider it as his gift to us, and with a single eye to his blessing, bestow it on those we leave behind us. Such is the happiness of the plain ways of true virtue. "The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever." (Isa. xxxii. 17.)
Dwell here, my dear friends; and then in remote and solitary deserts you may find true peace and satisfaction. If the Lord be our God, in truth and reality, there is safety for us: for he is a stronghold in the day of trouble, and knoweth them that trust in him.
John Woolman's Journal
by D.H. Stern
but the wickedness of the wicked makes them fall.
6 The righteousness of the upright rescues them,
but the treacherous are trapped by their own intrigues.
7 When a wicked man dies, his hope perishes;
what he hopes for from evil comes to nothing.
8 The righteous is delivered from trouble,
and the wicked comes to take his place.
9 With his mouth the hypocrite can ruin his neighbor,
but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
and when the wicked perish, there is joy.
11 By the blessing of the upright, a city is raised up;
but the words of the wicked tear it down.
Complete Jewish Bible : An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament)
A Daily Devotional by Oswald Chambers
The destitution of service
Though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. --- 2 Cor. 12:15.
Natural love expects some return, but Paul says—‘I do not care whether you love me or not, I am willing to destitute myself completely, not merely for your sakes, but that I may get you to God.’ “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor.” Paul’s idea of service is exactly along that line—‘I do not care with what extravagance I spend myself, and I will do it gladly.’ It was a joyful thing to Paul.
The ecclesiastical idea of a servant of God is not Jesus Christ’s idea. His idea is that we serve Him by being the servants of other men. Jesus Christ out-socialists the socialists. He says that in His Kingdom he that is greatest shall be the servant of all. The real test of the saint is not preaching the gospel, but washing disciples’ feet, that is, doing the things that do not count in the actual estimate of men, but count everything in the estimate of God. Paul delighted to spend himself out for God’s interests in other people, and he did not care what it cost. We come in with our economical notions—‘Suppose God wants me to go there—what about the salary? What about the climate? How shall I be looked after? A man must consider these things.’ All that is an indication that we are serving God with a reserve. The apostle Paul had no reserve. Paul focuses Jesus Christ’s idea of a New Testament saint in his life, viz.: not one who proclaims the Gospel merely, but one who becomes broken bread and poured-out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for other lives.
My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition
the Poetry of R.S. Thomas
What is the Christmas without
snow? We need it
as bread of a cold
climate, ermine to trim
our sins with, a brief
sleeve for charity's
scarecrow to wear its heart
on, bold as a robin.
The Poems of R.S. Thomas
The failure of Israel at Sinai demonstrated graphically that even a redeemed people constantly need God. The failure of the people prepared them to sense that need and to see the importance of the tabernacle. In each detail, the tabernacle spoke of God’s provision for His people. In each detail the people could discover another dimension of what God’s presence with them would mean.
The chapters here may seem to be merely a repetition of what has already been written in Exodus 25–27. But they are more than that. The story of the building of the tabernacle points up the fact that what God has provided for us must be appropriated. We must build into the very fabric of our lives all that God says He has given us in Christ.
It is doubtful if Israel understood all that the tabernacle and furnishings promised. Only in the light of God’s full revelation in Christ do we begin to see.
But while the tabernacle pictures for us the realities we can experience in Christ, the tabernacle also had a practical message for Israel.
Israel had sinned, and failed to meet the standard God’s holiness imposed. Aware of failure, the people of God must have finally crouched in shame, wondering how they could ever be restored again to relationship with their God. And wondering too how they could ever find strength to live as a people whose holiness must in some sense approach the Lord’s.
At this point in time, when the people of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments in mourning for their sin (33:6), God had His remedy ready. Again the commandments were repeated (chap. 34), and then all Israel was invited to bring their offerings, to construct a tabernacle in which God might dwell.
The presence of God within Israel’s camp, and the promise of that presence—reflected in every aspect of the tabernacle and its furnishings—was the divine answer to man’s need. A redeemed Israel would continue to be in daily need of God. But God would be there, available, and able.
This is, of course, the great message of God to you and me today. We too continually need God. We too fail and fall short. That first moment of salvation is but the beginning of a long process of transformation. For our daily walk along that way there is only one possible source of help: God, present within us.
He alone can meet our every need.
The Teacher's Commentary
Lessons for Everyday Living
One of the most puzzling aspects of the Talmud is the way the Rabbis read, quote, and use the Bible. Take, as an example, what they do with this sensual verse from the Song of Songs:
“Your breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, browsing among the lilies.” (4:5) These are Moses and Aaron. For just as a woman’s breasts are filled with milk, so too Moses and Aaron sustained Israel through the Torah. (Midrash Song of Songs Rabbah 4:5)
What are we to make of this strange interpretation? Did the Rabbis believe that this erotic description of a woman’s body was really talking about two old men who taught the people Torah? If they did, how are we to take them seriously? Or did they merely twist and manipulate the sacred words of the Bible to suit their own purposes? If they did that, how can we have respect for them?
The Rabbis believed that the Bible was to be read in two very different ways, P’shat and D’rash. P’shat referred to the simple, contextual meaning of the passage. In the above example, the P’shat would be a man poetically describing the physical attributes of his beloved. However, read this way, the meaning of the Bible was limited and finite. In order for the Bible to serve as a source of inspiration, future generations would need to be able to turn to it and find in it answers to their own particular questions. The method that gave the Bible this elasticity was Midrash. The belief was that God had sown the seeds of future interpretations into the written text. It was the task of the Rabbis to cultivate the text so that it would flourish and produce a bountiful harvest of spiritual nourishment throughout history. (Some saw the Rabbis as merely uncovering what God had put there; others understood that the creative genius of the Rabbis played a large part in the process.) A D’rash, or creative reading and application of a sacred text (from the same Hebrew root as Midrash), is at the very heart of what the Talmud is about: Breathing life into our tradition so that it speaks to each and every generation.
Swimming in the Sea of Talmud: Lessons for Everyday Living
Thomas A Kempis
Book One / Thoughts Helpful In The Life Of The Soul
The Twenty-Fifth Chapter / Zeal In Amending Our Lives
BE WATCHFUL and diligent in God’s service and often think of why you left the world and came here. Was it not that you might live for God and become a spiritual man? Strive earnestly for perfection, then, because in a short time you will receive the reward of your labor, and neither fear nor sorrow shall come upon you at the hour of death.
Labor a little now, and soon you shall find great rest, in truth, eternal joy; for if you continue faithful and diligent in doing, God will undoubtedly be faithful and generous in rewarding. Continue to have reasonable hope of gaining salvation, but do not act as though you were certain of it lest you grow indolent and proud.
One day when a certain man who wavered often and anxiously between hope and fear was struck with sadness, he knelt in humble prayer before the altar of a church. While meditating on these things, he said: “Oh if I but knew whether I should persevere to the end!” Instantly he heard within the divine answer: “If you knew this, what would you do? Do now what you would do then and you will be quite secure.” Immediately consoled and comforted, he resigned himself to the divine will and the anxious uncertainty ceased. His curiosity no longer sought to know what the future held for him, and he tried instead to find the perfect, the acceptable will of God in the beginning and end of every good work.
“Trust thou in the Lord and do good,” says the Prophet; “dwell in the land and thou shalt feed on its riches.” (Psalm 36:3)
There is one thing that keeps many from zealously improving their lives, that is, dread of the difficulty, the toil of battle. Certainly they who try bravely to overcome the most difficult and unpleasant obstacles far outstrip others in the pursuit of virtue. A man makes the most progress and merits the most grace precisely in those matters wherein he gains the greatest victories over self and most mortifies his will. True, each one has his own difficulties to meet and conquer, but a diligent and sincere man will make greater progress even though he have more passions than one who is more even-tempered but less concerned about virtue.
Two things particularly further improvement—to withdraw oneself forcibly from those vices to which nature is viciously inclined, and to work fervently for those graces which are most needed.
Study also to guard against and to overcome the faults which in others very frequently displease you. Make the best of every opportunity, so that if you see or hear good example you may be moved to imitate it. On the other hand, take care lest you be guilty of those things which you consider reprehensible, or if you have ever been guilty of them, try to correct yourself as soon as possible. As you see others, so they see you.
How pleasant and sweet to behold brethren fervent and devout, well mannered and disciplined! How sad and painful to see them wandering in dissolution, not practicing the things to which they are called! How hurtful it is to neglect the purpose of their vocation and to attend to what is not their business!
Remember the purpose you have undertaken, and keep in mind the image of the Crucified. Even though you may have walked for many years on the pathway to God, you may well be ashamed if, with the image of Christ before you, you do not try to make yourself still more like Him.
The religious who concerns himself intently and devoutly with our Lord’s most holy life and passion will find there an abundance of all things useful and necessary for him. He need not seek for anything better than Jesus.
If the Crucified should come to our hearts, how quickly and abundantly we would learn!
A fervent religious accepts all the things that are commanded him and does them well, but a negligent and lukewarm religious has trial upon trial, and suffers anguish from every side because he has no consolation within and is forbidden to seek it from without. The religious who does not live up to his rule exposes himself to dreadful ruin, and he who wishes to be more free and untrammeled will always be in trouble, for something or other will always displease him.
How do so many other religious who are confined in cloistered discipline get along? They seldom go out, they live in contemplation, their food is poor, their clothing coarse, they work hard, they speak but little, keep long vigils, rise early, pray much, read frequently, and subject themselves to all sorts of discipline. Think of the Carthusians and the Cistercians, the monks and nuns of different orders, how every night they rise to sing praise to the Lord. It would be a shame if you should grow lazy in such holy service when so many religious have already begun to rejoice in God.
If there were nothing else to do but praise the Lord God with all your heart and voice, if you had never to eat, or drink, or sleep, but could praise God always and occupy yourself solely with spiritual pursuits, how much happier you would be than you are now, a slave to every necessity of the body! Would that there were no such needs, but only the spiritual refreshments of the soul which, sad to say, we taste too seldom!
When a man reaches a point where he seeks no solace from any creature, then he begins to relish God perfectly. Then also he will be content no matter what may happen to him. He will neither rejoice over great things nor grieve over small ones, but will place himself entirely and confidently in the hands of God, Who for him is all in all, to Whom nothing ever perishes or dies, for Whom all things live, and Whom they serve as He desires.
Always remember your end and do not forget that lost time never returns. Without care and diligence you will never acquire virtue. When you begin to grow lukewarm, you are falling into the beginning of evil; but if you give yourself to fervor, you will find peace and will experience less hardship because of God’s grace and the love of virtue.
A fervent and diligent man is ready for all things. It is greater work to resist vices and passions than to sweat in physical toil. He who does not overcome small faults, shall fall little by little into greater ones.
If you have spent the day profitably, you will always be happy at eventide. Watch over yourself, arouse yourself, warn yourself, and regardless of what becomes of others, do not neglect yourself. The more violence you do to yourself, the more progress you will make.
The Imitation Of Christ
Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good;… and enjoy safe pasture.
--- Psalm 37:1–3.
Do not envy [evil men]. (Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse of Delight in Prayer,” ed. William Symington, Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings at www.puritansermons.com, accessed Aug. 20, 2001.) Do not be troubled at their prosperity.
Do not imitate them. Do not by their happiness be provoked to practice the same wickedness to arrive to the same prosperity.
Do not be not sinfully impatient and do not quarrel with God because he has not allowed you the same measures of prosperity. Do not accuse him of injustice and cruelty because he afflicts the good and is indulgent to the wicked. Leave him to dispense his blessings according to his own mind.
Do not condemn the way of piety and religion. Do not think the worse of your profession because it is attended with affliction. The happiness [of the wicked] has no stability. It has, like grass, more of color and show than strength and substance. Grass nods this way and that with every wind. The mouth of a beast may pull it up, or the foot of a beast may tread it down; the scorching sun in summer or the fainting sun in winter will deface its complexion.
[Rather, have] faith. Trust in the Lord. This is a grace most fit to quell such impatience. The stronger the faith, the weaker the passion. Impatient motions are signs of a flagging faith. Many times people are ready to cast off their help in Jehovah and address to the God of Ekron multitudes of friends or riches. But trust in the Lord, in the promises of God, in the providence of God.
Obedience. Do good. Trust in God’s promises and observance of his precepts must be linked together. It is but a pretended trust in God where there is a walking in the paths of wickedness. Let not the glitter of the world render you faint and feeble in a course of piety.
The keeping our station. Do good. Because the wicked flourish, do not therefore hide in a corner, but keep your sphere, run your race. “And enjoy safe pasture.” Because people delight in that in which they trust, [turn] from all other objects of delight to God as the true object. “Delight yourself in the LORD”; place all your pleasure and joy in him. Trust is the spring of joy and of supplication. When we trust him for sustenance and preservation, we will receive them; so when we delight in seeking him, we will be answered by him.
--- Stephen Charnock
Take Heart: Daily Devotions with the Church's Great Preachers
Doused with Brandy
“If all the world were like us,” wrote a humble hatmaker, “there would be no war.” Those simple words cost Jacob Hutter his life.
Hutter was among the first Anabaptists. The term Anabaptism means to baptize again, originally a term of contempt used by opponents, referring to the Anabaptist belief that state-sponsored baptism of infants was unscriptural. The movement had its beginnings when those impatient with the pace of Zwingli’s reformation in Zurich separated from the state church and baptized themselves on January 21, 1525. Persecuted by both Catholics and Reformers, many of them fled to Moravia (in modern Czechoslovakia) where government officials seemed more tolerant. They lived in communes, and Jacob Hutter was attracted to their cause.
Hutter was a hatter. His scant education in Prague had been in the trade of hatmaking, and he traveled widely making and selling hats until he had come in contact with Moravian Anabaptists and eventually became their leader. But in 1536 King Ferdinand I ordered the Moravian Anabaptists from homes and communes into the open fields where they lived under the sky and in caves. Hutter appealed to the governor: Now we are camping on the heath. We do not want to wrong any human being, not even our worst enemy. Whoever says that we have camped on a field with so many thousands, as if we wanted war or the like, talks like a liar and a rascal. If all the world were like us there would be no war. We can go nowhere. May God himself show us where to go.
Hutter’s letter so inflamed the authorities that he and his pregnant wife were captured and taken to a nearby fortress. For three months, Hutter was tortured with rack, whip, and freezing water. He refused to recant, and on this day, February 25, 1536, he was tied to a stake, doused with brandy, and set on fire. He was about 36. After Hutter’s death, his followers, calling themselves by his name, began spreading their faith. Eighty percent of all Hutterite missionaries died a martyr’s death, but today groups of Hutterites still live in pockets of Europe and in several western states in America.
I am sending you like lambs into a pack of wolves. So be as wise as snakes and as innocent as doves. Watch out for people who will take you to court and have you beaten in their meeting places. Because of me, you will be dragged before rulers and kings to tell them and the Gentiles about your faith.
--- Matthew 10:16-18.
On This Day 365 Amazing And Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs And Heroes
Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON
Morning - February 25
“The wrath to come.” --- Matthew 3:7.
It is pleasant to pass over a country after a storm has spent itself; to smell the freshness of the herbs after the rain has passed away, and to note the drops while they glisten like purest diamonds in the sunlight. That is the position of a Christian. He is going through a land where the storm has spent itself upon his Saviour’s head, and if there be a few drops of sorrow falling, they distil from clouds of mercy, and Jesus cheers him by the assurance that they are not for his destruction. But how terrible is it to witness the approach of a tempest: to note the forewarnings of the storm; to mark the birds of heaven as they droop their wings; to see the cattle as they lay their heads low in terror; to discern the face of the sky as it groweth black, and look to the sun which shineth not, and the heavens which are angry and frowning! How terrible to await the dread advance of a hurricane—such as occurs, sometimes, in the tropics—to wait in terrible apprehension till the wind shall rush forth in fury, tearing up trees from their roots, forcing rocks from their pedestals, and hurling down all the dwelling-places of man! And yet, sinner, this is your present position. No hot drops have as yet fallen, but a shower of fire is coming. No terrible winds howl around you, but God’s tempest is gathering its dread artillery. As yet the water-floods are dammed up by mercy, but the flood-gates shall soon be opened: the thunderbolts of God are yet in his storehouse, but lo! the tempest hastens, and how awful shall that moment be when God, robed in vengeance, shall march forth in fury! Where, where, where, O sinner, wilt thou hide thy head, or whither wilt thou flee? O that the hand of mercy may now lead you to Christ! He is freely set before you in the gospel: his riven side is the rock of shelter. Thou knowest thy need of him; believe in him, cast thyself upon him, and then the fury shall be overpast for ever.
Evening - February 25
“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa.” --- Jonah 1:3.
Instead of going to Nineveh to preach the Word, as God bade him, Jonah disliked the work, and went down to Joppa to escape from it. There are occasions when God’s servants shrink from duty. But what is the consequence? What did Jonah lose by his conduct? He lost the presence and comfortable enjoyment of God’s love. When we serve our Lord Jesus as believers should do, our God is with us; and though we have the whole world against us, if we have God with us, what does it matter? But the moment we start back, and seek our own inventions, we are at sea without a pilot. Then may we bitterly lament and groan out, “O my God, where hast thou gone? How could I have been so foolish as to shun thy service, and in this way to lose all the bright shinings of thy face? This is a price too high. Let me return to my allegiance, that I may rejoice in thy presence.” In the next place, Jonah lost all peace of mind. Sin soon destroys a believer’s comfort. It is the poisonous upas tree, from whose leaves distil deadly drops which destroy the life of joy and peace. Jonah lost everything upon which he might have drawn for comfort in any other case. He could not plead the promise of divine protection, for he was not in God’s ways; he could not say, “Lord, I meet with these difficulties in the discharge of my duty, therefore help me through them.” He was reaping his own deeds; he was filled with his own ways. Christian, do not play the Jonah, unless you wish to have all the waves and the billows rolling over your head. You will find in the long run that it is far harder to shun the work and will of God than to at once yield yourself to it. Jonah lost his time, for he had to go to Nineveh after all. It is hard to contend with God; let us yield ourselves at once.
Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
BLEST BE THE TIE THAT BINDS
John Fawcett, 1740–1817
Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.
(1 John 2:10)
“We just cannot break the ties of affection that bind us to you dear friends.” As Mary Fawcett assured the little congregation at Wainsgate, England, of the bond of love that she and her husband felt for their poor peasant parishioners, Pastor John decided to express his feelings in a poem about the value of Christian fellowship.
The following Sunday, John Fawcett preached from Luke 12:15: “A man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things he possesses.” He closed his sermon by reading his new poem, “Brotherly Love.”
At the age of 26, John Fawcett and his new bride, Mary, began their ministry at an impoverished Baptist church in Wainsgate. After seven years of devoted service in meager circumstances, they received a call to the large and influential Carter’s Lane Baptist Church in London. After the wagons were loaded for the move, the Fawcetts met their tearful parishioners for a final farewell. “John, I cannot bear to leave. I know not how to go!” “Nor can I either,” said the saddened pastor. “We shall remain here with our people.” The order was then given to unload the wagons.
John and Mary Fawcett carried on their faithful ministry in the little village of Wainsgate for a total of 54 years. Their salary was estimated to be never more than the equivalent of $200.00 a year, despite Fawcett’s growing reputation as an outstanding evangelical preacher, scholar, and writer. Among his noted writings was an essay, “Anger,” which became a particular favorite of King George III. It is reported that the monarch promised Pastor Fawcett any benefit that could be conferred. But the offer was declined with this statement: “I have lived among my own people, enjoying their love; God has blessed my labors among them, and I need nothing which even a king could supply.” Such was the man who gave us these loving words:
Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love! The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.
Before our Father’s throne we pour our ardent prayers; our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares.
We share our mutual woes, our mutual burdens bear; and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part it gives us inward pain; but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.
For Today: Psalm 133; Matthew 18:20; John 13:34, 35; Hebrews 13:1.
Appreciate anew your Christian friends and fellow church members. Seek to show, as John Fawcett did, a loving concern for the needs of others.
Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions
Sunday, February 25, 2018 | Lent
Second Sunday In Lent
Psalms (Morning) Psalm 24, 29
Psalms (Evening) Psalm 8, 84
Old Testament Genesis 41:14–45
New Testament Romans 6:3–14
Gospel John 5:19–24
Index of Readings
Psalm 24, 29
24 A Psalm Of David.
1 The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
2 for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
5 He will receive blessing from the LORD
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
7 Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle!
9 Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
he is the King of glory! Selah
29 A Psalm Of David.
1 Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.
3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD, over many waters.
4 The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.
8 The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.
11 May the LORD give strength to his people!
May the LORD bless his people with peace!
Psalm 8, 84
8 To The Choirmaster: According To The Gittith. A Psalm Of David.
1 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
7 all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
84 To The Choirmaster: According To The Gittith. A Psalm Of The Sons Of Korah.
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
2 My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.
8 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
9 Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!
10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O LORD of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!
14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they quickly brought him out of the pit. And when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” 17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Behold, in my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile. 18 Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. 19 Seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt. 20 And the thin, ugly cows ate up the first seven plump cows, 21 but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke. 22 I also saw in my dream seven ears growing on one stalk, full and good. 23 Seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them, 24 and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. And I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.” 25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also seven years of famine. 28 It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt, 30 but after them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land, 31 and the plenty will be unknown in the land by reason of the famine that will follow, for it will be very severe. 32 And the doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. 33 Now therefore let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plentiful years. 35 And let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36 That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”
37 This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck. 43 And he made him ride in his second chariot. And they called out before him, “Bow the knee!” Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-paneah. And he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
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, in order that, just 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 in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For 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. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father5 does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
The Book of Common Prayer