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2/4/2018     Yesterday     Tomorrow
Genesis 37     Mark 7     Job 3     Romans 7


Genesis 37

Joseph’s Dreams

Genesis 37:1 Jacob lived in the land of his father’s sojournings, in the land of Canaan. 2 These are the generations of Jacob.

Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors.   “It isn’t the style or the stuff in the coat, nor is it the length of the tailor’s bill. It’s the stuff in the chap inside of the coat that counts for good or ill.”   The Hand of God: Finding His Care in All Circumstances  4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.

5 Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. 6 He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: 7 Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8 His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

9 Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” 11 And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.

Joseph Sold by His Brothers

12 Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. 13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” And he said to him, “Here I am.” 14 So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring me word.”

If Jacob had realized that when Joseph left for Shechem, the back of his head was the last Jacob would see of his beloved boy for twenty years, I’m not sure he would have sent him. But God was in control of the circumstances, and it was actually better for Joseph to be isolated from his home but in the center of God’s plan, than to be at home but isolated from God’s purposes. The Hand of God: Finding His Care in All Circumstances

So he sent him from the Valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15 And a man found him wandering in the fields. And the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” 16 “I am seeking my brothers,” he said. “Tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.” 17 And the man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.

18 They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. 20 Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.” 21 But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” 22 And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. 24 And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.

25 Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.

29 When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes 30 and returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone, and I, where shall I go?” 31 Then they took Joseph’s robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 And they sent the robe of many colors and brought it to their father and said, “This we have found; please identify whether it is your son’s robe or not.” 33 And he identified it and said, “It is my son’s robe. A fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.” 34 Then Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, “No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” Thus his father wept for him. 36 Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard.


Mark 7

Traditions and Commandments

Mark 7:1 Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, 2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

“ ‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
7  in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’


You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban” ’ (that is, given to God)— 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

What Defiles a Person

14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith

24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. 25 But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.

Jesus Heals a Deaf Man

31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32 And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35 And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”


Job 3

Job Laments His Birth

Job 3:1 After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. 2 And Job said:

3  “Let the day perish on which I was born,
and the night that said,
‘A man is conceived.’
4  Let that day be darkness!
May God above not seek it,
nor light shine upon it.
5  Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.
Let clouds dwell upon it;
let the blackness of the day terrify it.
6  That night—let thick darkness seize it!
Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
let it not come into the number of the months.
7  Behold, let that night be barren;
let no joyful cry enter it.
8  Let those curse it who curse the day,
who are ready to rouse up Leviathan.
9  Let the stars of its dawn be dark;
let it hope for light, but have none,
nor see the eyelids of the morning,
10  because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb,
nor hide trouble from my eyes.

11  “Why did I not die at birth,
come out from the womb and expire?
12  Why did the knees receive me?
Or why the breasts, that I should nurse?
13  For then I would have lain down and been quiet;
I would have slept; then I would have been at rest,
14  with kings and counselors of the earth
who rebuilt ruins for themselves,
15  or with princes who had gold,
who filled their houses with silver.
16  Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child,
as infants who never see the light?
17  There the wicked cease from troubling,
and there the weary are at rest.
18  There the prisoners are at ease together;
they hear not the voice of the taskmaster.
19  The small and the great are there,
and the slave is free from his master.

20  “Why is light given to him who is in misery,
and life to the bitter in soul,
21  who long for death, but it comes not,
and dig for it more than for hidden treasures,
22  who rejoice exceedingly
and are glad when they find the grave?
23  Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden,
whom God has hedged in?
24  For my sighing comes instead of my bread,
and my groanings are poured out like water.
25  For the thing that I fear comes upon me,
and what I dread befalls me.
26  I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;
I have no rest, but trouble comes.”



Romans 7

Released from the Law

Romans 7:1 Or do you not know, brothers — for I am speaking to those who know the law — that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

The Law and Sin

7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

The Reformation Study Bible


What I'm Reading

There’s No Good Reason to Deny the Early Dating of the Gospels

By J. Warner Wallace 2/3/2017

     Not long ago, Daniel Wallace (no relationship to me, except that all us Wallace’s claim to descend from William) posted some great news about an early fragment of the Book of Romans that was recently discovered. This fragment dates to the early third century which puts it in rare company. It contains Romans 9:18–21 and small portions of Romans 10. Wallace made news a few years back when he mentioned an early fragment of the Gospel of Mark that has yet to be published. The fragment of Mark is said to be as early as the first century.

     I had the great pleasure of visiting with Dan Wallace at an event where we got the chance to examine a number of very ancient manuscript fragments. Some of these were Biblical fragments; some of these were non-Biblical ancient documents. We were the first people to examine the documents in nearly two thousand years. By the end of the day it was clear to me that there are literally thousands of fragments of ancient texts still out there to be discovered and examined. We have only touched the tip of the iceberg and as our ability to find and examine these fragments continues to improve, we’ll surely discover much more evidence that the New Testament was written very early and transmitted faithfully.

     In fact, this is the focus of my book, Cold Case Christianity. I’ve been studying this issue from the perspective of a detective for some time now and I’ve written about the evidence for early dating and about the reliable transmission of the documents at ColdCaseChristianity.com.  If the New Testament eyewitness accounts were written as early as the evidence infers, many of the objections of skeptics are impotent. Early manuscripts mean that the original witnesses to the life of Jesus were (1) available to write the documents we now have, and (2) early observers of Jesus’ life would have been available to deny the testimony of the gospel authors. The continuing discovery of early fragments of New Testament documents corroborates this early dating.

     When visiting with Dan Wallace, Greg Koukl and I asked him about the skepticism on the part of people like Bart Ehrman related to early dating. We asked Wallace if there was some specific manuscript evidence that inclined people to deny the early dating of the Gospel accounts. Wallace said there was no such evidence. We then asked why people continued to deny the early dating if, in fact, we were continuing to find early fragments and there was no contrary manuscript evidence. It turns out that the late dating of the gospels is due primarily to a denial of supernaturalism.

     One of the primary reasons why skeptics date the gospels later than 70AD is the fact that Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple in the gospel accounts (i.e. Matthew 23). Secular history records that the Temple was destroyed in 70AD, fulfilling this alleged prediction by Jesus. In order to avoid the accurate prophesy from Jesus, skeptics argue that the gospel must have been written after the temple was destroyed. After all, how could Jesus possess the supernatural power of prophecy if nothing supernatural exists? The philosophical naturalism of the secular historian prevents him from accepting the possibility of accurate prophecy.

Click here to go to source

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

Who knew there were so many homophobic, racist xenophobes at Berkeley

By Todd Starnes 2/2/17

     The birthplace of the free speech movement has become its graveyard.

     Hundreds of liberals rioted at the University of California Berkeley Wednesday night -- burning stores, throwing Molotov cocktails and clashing with police.

     The rampaging mob forced the university to shut down an event featuring gay conservative firebrand and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos.

     “I’m outraged that Milo has been given a platform at UC Berkeley, and there should be no place for him here,” visiting assistant art professor Samara Haplerin told the Daily Californian. “He should be scared that people aren’t going to stand for this.”

     Ironically, Milo had planned to deliver remarks defending free speech.

Click here to go to source

     Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary. His latest book is “The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again.” Follow him on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.

Priests, Levites, Bread

By Peter J. Leithart 2/2/17

     Chronicles 23 begins the concluding section of 1 Chronicles (chs. 23–29), which is mainly concerned with David’s arrangements for personnel and material of the temple. Chapter 23 consists of two chiastically arranged sections. The first is framed by references to David (vv. 1, 2, 6; 25–27).

     A. David old, organizes, 23:1–6
     B. Levites: Gershonites, 23:7–11
     C. Levites: Kohathites, 23:12
     D. Sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses, 23:13–17
     C’. Levites: Remainder of Kohathites, 23:18–20
     B’. Levites: Merarites, 23:21–24
     A’. David’s instructions, 23:25–27

     The second describes the work of the Levites:

Click here to go to source

     Peter J. Leithart is President of the Theopolis Institute, Birmingham, Alabama, and an adjunct Senior Fellow at New St. Andrews College. He is author, most recently, of Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor).

Does Faith Have to be Blind, Irrational and Opposed to Reason?

By  ??  1/27/16

     One of the things that every young person should understand before they reach the age of twenty is that there is a war on the word ‘faith’. It is because of this war that faith is often viewed as the opposite of reason, intelligence, and the ‘scientific mind’.

     Consider how ‘faith’ is defined in the dictionary.

     For example, the online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘faith’ in the following way [1]:

  1. allegiance to duty or a person:  loyalty:  fidelity to one’s promises:  sincerity of intentions;
  2. belief and trust in and loyalty to God:  belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion:  firm belief in something for which there is no proof [emphasis added]:  complete trust;
  3. something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially:  a system of religious beliefs.

Notice that faith holds the connotation of believing in something for which there is no proof. Based on this definition of ‘faith’, it is perfectly reasonable for an atheist or skeptic to conclude that religion (‘faith’) is opposed to science (which is more interested in ‘facts’). And this is just what they have done.

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     Author unknown, but web page bio is (click here)

Read The Psalms In "1" Year

Psalm 18

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

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

7 Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
8 Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9 He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
12 Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.

ESV Study Bible

Providence, Providence and More Providence

By Ben Davis 2/3/2017

     A review essay of Bruce Reichenbach, Divine Providence

     Too often, when a discussion of God’s providence is brought to the table, it is framed in such a way that only trained philosophers or theologians can fully understand it. Thus large, awkward words eclipse simple, useable ones, and impenetrable logical syllogisms clash like warring armies in the night. In the end no one is served because overly-wrought, abstract ideas inveigh the steady practice of commonsense reasoning. What is supposed to be a pastorally-informed doctrine, then, – the foresight by which God lovingly provides and cares for his creation – is turned into a philosophical category seemingly divorced from the daily concerns of the church.

     What’s more, philosophical analysis of divine providence is often a Procrustean bed fit snuggly over a small handful of isolated verses in Scripture. Instead of being the definitive guide for understanding providence, Scripture is merely an ancillary tool used to support sexier, metaphysically muscular philosophical definitions. Philosophy is an important tool for theology and exegesis, to be sure. But it cannot be the controlling paradigm by which to think about a topic that finds its locus explicitly in the biblical narrative. For in Scripture God’s providence is manifest in the daily lives of the people of Israel or the nascent churches in Acts or Corinth. This is not the God of the philosophers, in others words. This is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: a personal God who is intimately invested in the lives of his people.

     Therefore, Bruce Reichenbach can open his book on divine providence by stating simply: “Scripture repeatedly recounts the intentional actions of the providential God.” A philosopher of great distinction, Reichenbach seeks to have his view of divine providence be formed – and informed – by the biblical text first. Accordingly, his opening pages survey the expansive landscape of Scripture, from Abraham’s binding of Isaac (Gen. 22) to God’s new covenant “established by the death and resurrection of Jesus” (Heb. 7:22; 8:13). From his point of view, the biblical writers “see divine providence spreading a wide umbrella over both natural and human events.” Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2017/02/03/providence-providence-providence-2/#RksKl3MbyBfPd8Od.99

     The late theologian and ecumenical statesman Thomas Oden suggested that the root meaning for the term providence is to foresee or provide. Taken from the Latin, pro-videre, which meant to see ahead or anticipate, providence is primarily about God’s ability to provide for his people as he is able to see down the road, as it were, and plan according to future events. Although not stated explicitly, Reichenbach seems to share Oden’s view as he says that, “God provides for nature and through nature for humans” (looking to Job 5:10; Isa 43:20; Matt 5:45). And again, “God provides for all nations and peoples,” bringing, “food in abundance” (Job 36:31). Furthermore, God “provides a Passover lamb as protection from the deathly plague” (Exod 12), “gushes water from the rocks where there seems to be none” (Exod 17:5-6), and “brings decisive victory on the battlefield” (Deut 7:17-24). Looking to the incorporeal elements of divine provision, Reichenbach underscores the fact that humans receive God’s “offering of redemption” (Ps 111:9), “adoption into God’s family” (Eph 1:5), “the Spirit to guide us into truth (Jn 16:13), and “the Scriptures for our teaching, training, and correction” (2 Tim 3:16). In short, God knows the full scope of our needs – physical, spiritual, corporate, and individual – and graciously provides for them out of an abundant measure of his love, wisdom, and tender, Fatherly care.

Click here to go to source

     Ben Davis | Northern Seminary student

Let’s Make Jesus Less … Offensive!

By William Kilpatrick 2/2/2017

     Christians across the world are trying their best to be as non-offensive as possible. For example, one Italian priest recently cancelled a traditional nativity scene out of respect for Muslims, and another Italian priest in a different town created a nativity scene with Mary and Joseph dressed in traditional Muslim garb “in the name of dialogue among religions.”

     This got me to thinking that Jesus occasionally said some fairly offensive things. Perhaps it’s time for a new edition of the New Testament that would make his words more palatable to modern tastes. Below are some examples of what Jesus said, followed by what he should have said.

     A New Testament that Won’t Trigger Anyone

     What Jesus said (when his disciples told him that the Pharisees “were offended” by one of his sayings):

Let them alone; they are blind guides (Mt. 15: 14).

What he should have said:

I deeply regret any misunderstandings. I guess I should have made myself clearer.

What Jesus said:

For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few (Mt. 7: 14).

Click here to go to source

     William Kilpatrick articles have appeared in Crisis, Catholic World Report, the National Catholic Register, First Things, FrontPage Magazine and other publications. William Kilpatrick Books:

The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Translated by Henry Beveridge

     21. One example will suffice. When the Israelites were carried away to Babylon, their dispersion seemed to be the next thing to death, and they could scarcely be dissuaded from thinking that Ezekiel's prophecy of their restoration (Ezek. 37:4) was a mere fable, because it seemed to them the same thing as if he had prophesied that putrid caresses would be raised to life. The Lord, in order to show that, even in that case, there was nothing to prevent him from making room for his kindness, set before the prophet in vision a field covered with dry bones, to which, by the mere power of his word, he in one moment restored life and strength. The vision served, indeed, to correct the unbelief of the Jews at the time, but it also reminded them how much farther the power of the Lord extended than to the bringing back of the people, since by a single nod it could so easily give life to dry scattered bones. Wherefore, the passage may be fitly compared with one in Isaiah, "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain," (Isa. 26:19-21).

22. It were absurd however to interpret all the passages on a similar principle; for there are several which point without any veil to the future immortality which awaits believers in the kingdom of heaven. Some of them we have already quoted, and there are many others, but especially the following two. The one is in Isaiah, "As the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go forth, and look upon the caresses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh," (Isa. 66:22-24). The other passage is in Daniel. "At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as there never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt," (Dan. 12:1, 2).

23. In proving the two remaining points--viz. that the Patriarchs had Christ as the pledge of their covenant, and placed all their hope of blessing in him, as they are clearer, and not so much controverted, I will be less particular. Let us then lay it down confidently as a truth which no engines of the devil can destroy--that the Old Testament or covenant which the Lord made with the people of Israel was not confined to earthly objects, but contained a promise of spiritual and eternal life, the expectation of which behaved to be impressed on the minds of all who truly consented to the covenant. Let us put far from us the senseless and pernicious notion, that the Lord proposed nothing to the Jews, or that they sought nothing but full supplies of food, carnal delights, abundance of wealth, external influence, a numerous offspring, and all those things which our animal nature deems valuable. For, even now, the only kingdom of heaven which our Lord Jesus Christ promises to his followers, is one in which they may sit down with Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob (Mt. 8:11); and Peter declared of the Jews of his day, that they were heirs of gospel grace because they were the sons of the prophets, and comprehended in the covenant which the Lord of old made with his people (Acts 3:25). And that this might not be attested by words merely, our Lord also approved it by act (Mt. 27:52). At the moment when he rose again, he deigned to make many of the saints partakers of his resurrection, and allowed them to be seen in the city; thus giving a sure earnest, that every thing which he did and suffered in the purchase of eternal salvation belonged to believers under the Old Testament, just as much as to us. Indeed, as Peter testifies, they were endued with the same spirit of faith by which we are regenerated to life (Acts 15:8). When we hear that that spirit, which is, as it were, a kind of spark of immortality in us (whence it is called the "earnest" of our inheritance, Eph. 1:14), dwelt in like manner in them, how can we presume to deny them the inheritance? Hence, it is the more wonderful how the Sadducees of old fell into such a degree of sottishness as to deny both the resurrection and the substantive existence [234] of spirits, both of which where attested to them by so many striking passages of Scripture. Nor would the stupidity of the whole nation in the present day, in expecting an earthly reign of the Messiah, be less wonderful, had not the Scriptures foretold this long before as the punishment which they were to suffer for rejecting the Gospel, God, by a just judgment, blinding minds which voluntarily invite darkness, by rejecting the offered light of heaven. They read, and are constantly turning over the pages of Moses, but a veil prevents them from seeing the light which beams forth in his countenance (2 Cor. 3:14); and thus to them he will remain covered and veiled until they are converted to Christ, between whom and Moses they now study, as much as in them lies, to maintain a separation.

__________________________________________________________________

[225] As to the agreement of both dispensations, see August. Lib. de Moribus Eccles. Lat., especially cap. 28.

[226] The French is, "Veu qu'ils pensent qu notre Seigneur l'ait voulu seulement engraisser enterre comme en une auge, sans seperance aucune de l'immortalité celeste;"--seeing they think that our Lord only wished to fatten them on the earth as in a sty, without any hope of heavenly immortality.

[227] Acts 13:26; Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:18; Mt. 3:2, 4, 17, &c., especially 13.

[228] "Novo populo." French, "au peuple du Nouveau Testament"--the people of the New Dispensation;

[229] "Beata Virgo." French, "la Vierge Marie;"--the Virgin Mary.

[230] "Ejus finis." French, "la fin du Vieil Testament;"--the end of the Old Testament.

[231] Calv. in Genes. cap. 12:11--15.

[232] The French is, "Et encore ne peut il pas ainsi eviter l'iniquité de son beau père, qu'il ne soit de lui persecuté, et atteint au milieu du chemin; et pourceque Dieu ne permettoit point qu'il lui advint pis, il est vexé de beaucoup d'opprobres et contumelies, par eclui du quel il avoit bonne matiere de se plaindre."--Even thus he cannot escape the injustice of his father-in-law, but is persecuted by him, and attacked in the midst of his journey; and because God did not allow worse to happen, he is assailed with much contumely and reproach by one of whom he had good cause to complain.

[233] Ps. 97:10, 11; 112:9, 10; 140:13; 112:6; 34:22.

[234] "Animarum substantiam." French, "immortalité des ames;"--immortality of souls.

__________________________________________________________________

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



  • Psalm 1, Part One
  • Psalm 1, Part Two
  • We Want to See Jesus


     Devotionals, notes, poetry and more

UCB The Word For Today
     The marriage covenant (4)
     2/4/2018    Bob Gass

     ‘The wife must respect her husband.’

(Eph 5:33) However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. ESV

     Paul writes, ‘The wife must respect her husband.’ Pay close attention to the word ‘must’. This is a command from the Lord, not a suggestion or a topic that’s open to debate (see Ephesians 5:33 NLT). Notice, the Bible doesn’t say a woman must ‘love’ her husband, but it does say that she must ‘respect’ him. And guys, before you take the throne and start handing out decrees, that means you must prove yourself worthy of respect! To respect your husband is to hold him in esteem and honour. What a woman needs from a man is located in her heart, and what a man needs from a woman is located in his head. It’s called his ego. You say, ‘I’m not going to feed his ego!’ That would be like your husband saying, ‘I’m not going to feed your heart.’ Men long to have their egos fed. When you fail to feed your husband’s ego, he may end up vulnerable to somebody else who feeds it for him! As a wife, you were created by God with the ability to feed your husband’s ego in a healthy manner, by respecting and honouring him. There’s nothing more dangerous in a marriage relationship than disrespect. When a man doesn’t feel respected, he will either rebel against you, remove himself, or become passive. God has given two simple rules for building a successful marriage. The first is for husbands to love their wives, and the second is for wives to respect their husbands. And when you operate by God’s rules you get God’s results. So, if you want God’s best, and His blessing at home, start doing things His way.

Luke 2:1-24
Psalm 13-15

UCB The Word For Today

American Minute
     by Bill Federer

     For a time he earned his living barnstorming and performing daring feats of aviation. He became a flying cadet in the U.S. Air Service Reserve, and flew mail routes to Chicago. In 1927, after 33 and a half hours, this twenty-five year-old became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. His name was Charles A. Lindbergh, the son of a U.S. Congressman, and he was born this day, February 4, 1902. Years later, speaking at the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences, Charles Lindbergh stated: “It was not the outer grandeur of the Roman but the inner simplicity of the Christian that lived though the ages.”

American Minute

A Testament Of Devotion
     Thomas R. Kelly

     Guidance of life by the Light within is not exhausted as is too frequently supposed, in special leadings toward particular tasks. It begins first of all in a mass revision of our total reaction to the world. Worshipping in the light we become new creatures, making wholly new and astonishing responses to the entire outer setting of life. These responses are not reasoned out. They are, in large measure, spontaneous reactions of felt incompatibility between "the world's" judgments of value and the Supreme Value we adore deep in the Center. There is a total Instruction as well as specific instructions from the Light within. The dynamic illumination from the deeper level is shed upon the judgments of the surface level, and lo, the "former things are passed away, behold, they are become new."

     Paradoxically, this total Instruction proceeds in two opposing directions at once. We are torn loose from earthly attachments and ambitions-contemptus mundi. And we are quickened to a divine but painful concern for the world-amor mundi. He plucks the world out of our hearts, loosening the chains of attachment. And He hurls the world into our hearts, where we and He together carry it in infinitely tender love.

     The second half of the paradox is more readily accepted today than the first. For we fear it means world withdrawal, world-flight. We fear a life of wallowing in ecstasies of spiritual sensuality while cries of a needy world go unheeded. And some pages of history seem to fortify our fears.

     But there is a sound and valid contemptus mundi which the Inner Light works within the utterly dedicated soul. Positions of prominence, eminences of social recognition which we once meant to attain how puny and trifling they become! Our old ambitions and heroic dreams-what years we have wasted in feeding our own insatiable self-pride, when only His will truly matters! Our wealth and property, security now and in old age-upon what broken reeds have we leaned, when He is "the rock of our heart, and our portion forever!"


A Testament of Devotion

Lean Into God
     Compiled by Richard S. Adams


Therefore say nothing about it. Let it be.
Make everything interesting, pleasant, easy.
Then the offence of the Cross
has been abolished—
and with it
the power of the gospel.
--- George H. Morrison

The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another. --- Thomas Merton

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.
--- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

The spirited life directs us away from illusions of competence and causes us to confront our utter helplessness and dependence on our gracious God.
--- Mark R. McMinn

... from here, there and everywhere


Proverbs 7:21-23
     by D.H. Stern

21     With all her sweet talk she convinces him,
enticing him with her seductive words.
22     At once he follows her
like an ox on its way to be slaughtered;
like a fool to be punished in the stocks;
23     or like a bird rushing into a trap,
not knowing its life is at stake
till an arrow pierces its liver.


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


                The overmastering majesty of personal power

     For the love of Christ constraineth us. --- 2 Cor. 5:14.

     Paul says he is overruled, overmastered, held as in a vice, by the love of Christ. Very few of us know what it means to be held in a grip by the love of God; we are held by the constraint of our experience only. The one thing that held Paul, until there was nothing else on his horizon, was the love of God. “The love of Christ constraineth us”—when you hear that note in a man or woman, you can never mistake it. You know that the Spirit of God is getting unhindered way in that life.

     When we are born again of the Spirit of God, the note of testimony is on what God has done for us, and rightly so. But the baptism of the Holy Ghost obliterates that for ever, and we begin to realize what Jesus meant when He said—“Ye shall be witnesses unto Me.” Not witnesses to what Jesus can do—that is an elementary witness—but “witnesses unto Me.” We will take everything that happens as happening to Him, whether it be praise or blame, persecution or commendation. No one can stand like that for Jesus Christ who is not constrained by the majesty of His personal power. It is the only thing that matters, and the strange thing is that it is the last thing realized by the Christian worker. Paul says he is gripped by the love of Christ; that is why he acts as he does. Men may call him mad or sober, but he does not care; there is only one thing he is living for, and that is to persuade men of the judgment seat of God, and of the love of Christ. This abandon to the love of Christ is the one thing that bears fruit in the life, and it will always leave the impression of the holiness and of the power of God, never of our personal holiness.


My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition

Brother
     the Poetry of R.S. Thomas

                Brother

It came into being.
  From eternity? In
  time? Was the womb
  prepared for it, or it
  for the womb? It lay in the cradle
  long months, staring its world
  into a shape, decorated
  with faces. It addressed
  objects, preferred its vocabulary
  to their own; grew eloquent
  before a resigned
  audience. It was fed
  speech and vomited
  it and was not reproved.
  It began walking,
  falling, bruising itself
  on the bone's truth. The fire
  was a tart playmate. It
  was taken in by the pool's smile.
  Need I go on? It survived
  its disasters; met fact
  with the mind's guile; forged
  for itself wings, missiles.
  Launched itself on a dark
  night through the nursery
  window into adult orbit
  out of the reach of gravity's control.

The Poems of R.S. Thomas

The Imitation Of Christ
     Thomas A Kempis

     Book One / Thoughts Helpful In The Life Of The Soul

     The Fourth Chapter / Prudence In Action

     DO NOT yield to every impulse and suggestion but consider things carefully and patiently in the light of God’s will. For very often, sad to say, we are so weak that we believe and speak evil of others rather than good. Perfect men, however, do not readily believe every talebearer, because they know that human frailty is prone to evil and is likely to appear in speech.

     Not to act rashly or to cling obstinately to one’s opinion, not to believe everything people say or to spread abroad the gossip one has heard, is great wisdom.

     Take counsel with a wise and conscientious man. Seek the advice of your betters in preference to following your own inclinations.

     A good life makes a man wise according to God and gives him experience in many things, for the more humble he is and the more subject to God, the wiser and the more at peace he will be in all things.


The Imitation Of Christ

Teacher's Commentary
     Joseph and His Mission

     Joseph, the son of Rachel, his father Jacob’s favorite wife, was younger than the sons of the other wives. The Bible says that Jacob loved Joseph more than his brothers, and showed open favoritism (37:2–4). As a result the brothers hated Joseph, and were constantly critical and cutting in speaking to him.

     At 17 Joseph had dreams which indicated he was to have authority over his brothers and his parents. He foolishly told the dreams, and while his father took them seriously, the brothers became more jealous. A short time later Joseph was sent to make sure that all was well with his brothers, who were herding the family flocks on a distant range. Seeing Joseph approach, the brothers conspired to kill him but were restrained by Reuben. When a trade caravan of Midianites passed near, they decided to sell Joseph as a slave.

     It’s hard to imagine Joseph’s feelings at the time his brothers sold him. His own family had rejected him, plotted to kill him, and in fact had sold him into a life of slavery in a foreign land. We could hardly blame this teenager if he had simply given up and surrendered to despair.

     But when Joseph was sold in Egypt to Potiphar, a high Egyptian official, he actively applied himself to serving. He became so successful that he was advanced to oversee all of Potiphar’s affairs. And “the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph” (
39:5).

     But Joseph had attracted the passion of Potiphar’s wife, who tried many times to seduce him. Joseph resisted, unwilling to sin against his master and against God (
vv. 7–9). One day when Joseph entered the house alone Potiphar’s wife literally tore his cloak from him. Joseph fled. Convinced she would never have Joseph, the scorned wife lied to her husband. Joseph was stripped of his position and thrown into political prison “where the king’s prisoners were confined” (39:20).

     Again Joseph might have lost heart. But again he approached the situation with perseverance, and his capabilities won him quick advancement. In time Joseph became supervisor of the prison under the head jailer, and again the Lord prospered his activities.

     In each of these positions Joseph gained administrative experience—which would serve him well later as a ruler in Egypt!

     In prison Joseph met two high court officials, the chief butler and chief baker. He interpreted dreams for them. One was to be restored to favor, the other executed by Pharaoh. Joseph’s God-given interpretation came true. Two years later when Pharaoh had puzzling dreams, his chief butler remembered Joseph. He was brought to the palace to interpret. Joseph explained that the dreams of Pharaoh were a divine warning of a great famine to follow a time of great plenty. Joseph also proposed a solution: someone should be appointed to gather food during the time of plenty, and administer distribution during the famine. The impressed Pharaoh responded, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace and all my people are to submit to your orders” (
41:39–40).

The Teacher's Commentary

Take Heart
     February 4

     If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?
--- Jeremiah 12:5.

     [Out of loss and bereavement, some things have become clear.] ( When Life Tumbles In Then What? )

     One becomes certain about immortality. You think that you believe in that. But wait till you have lowered your dearest into an open grave, and you will know what believing it means.

     We Christian people are unchristian in our thoughts of death. We keep thinking of what it means to us, and that is all wrong!

     In the New Testament, you hear very little of the families with that aching gap but a great deal about the saints in glory. And that is where our thoughts should dwell. Dare you compare the clumsy nothings our poor blundering love can give them here with what they must have yonder, where Christ himself has met them and has heaped on them, who can fathom, what happiness and glory?

     In any case, are we to let our dearest be wrenched away by force? Or, seeing that it has to be, will we give them willingly and proudly, telling God that we prefer our loneliness rather than that they should miss one tittle of their rights? When the blow fell, that was the one thought that beat like a hammer in my brain. I felt I had lost her forever, that to all eternity she must shine far ahead of me, and my heart kept crying out, “I choose it, I choose it, do not for my sake deny her anything.” I know, now, that I have not lost her. For love is not a thing one leaves behind. When we are young, heaven is vague. But as our friends gather there, it gains vividness and homeliness. And when our dearest have passed yonder, how real it grows, how near: Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. It is not far. They are quite near. The communion of the saints is a tremendous and most blessed fact.

     You need not be afraid of life. Our hearts are very frail, and there are places where the road is steep and lonely. But we have a wonderful God. And as Paul puts it in Romans 8:38–39, what can separate us from his love? Not death, he says immediately, pushing that aside at once as the most obvious impossibility.

     No, not death, for standing in the roaring Jordan, cold to the heart with its dreadful chill and conscious of its terror, I, too, like Hopeful, can call back to you who one day will have to cross it, “Be of good cheer for I feel the bottom, and it is sound.”
--- Arthur John Gossip


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

On This Day   February 4
     Too Valuable a Man

     Some Christian workers, facing the sunset years, may retire from official positions and pace themselves more carefully in ministry. But withdrawing entirely from the Lord’s work isn’t an option, for Christians don’t really retire. They just get transferred.

     In 776 Rabanus Maurus was born in Germany with a good brain. His parents educated him in the best schools, and he eventually studied in Tours, France, under the great Christian educator Alcuin, who had advised Charlemagne. Alcuin mentored Rabanus with more than book knowledge; he equipped him to teach others. Back in Germany, Rabanus was appointed principal of the school in Fulda, and under his leadership German youth, both poor and rich, were afforded an education. Rabanus painstakingly developed the library into the best anywhere and made his school Europe’s most famous, the mother of scholars and of a score of affiliated institutions. He extended the curriculum to include many sciences, and “reproved superstitions.” His graduates were in demand across Europe.

     At the heart of Rabanus’s educational genius was a passion for God’s Word. His academic programs included diligent study of Scripture. He wrote commentaries on almost every book in the Bible, preached regularly, composed hymns, wrote handbooks for ministers, and worked hard for a well-trained clergy — all in an age of darkness, ignorance, and superstition.

     Finally in 842, exhausted, he retired. At 66, he longed to spend the rest of his life in quiet study, free from official responsibility. “But he was too valuable a man to be allowed to retire from active life.” Appointed archbishop of Mainz, Germany, Rabanus spent his remaining years preaching the gospel and contending for the faith. He didn’t lay down his labors until February 4, 856 when, at age 80, the Lord transferred him home. What kept Rabanus going? The Spirit’s anointing! In one of his hymns he prayed:

  Come from the throne of God above
  O Paraclete, O Holy Dove,
  Come, Oil of gladness, cleansing Fire,
  And Living Spring of pure desire.

     Good people will prosper like palm trees,
     And they will grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
     They will take root in your house, LORD God,
     And they will do well.
     They will be like trees that stay healthy and fruitful,
     Even when they are old.
      --- Psalm 92:12-14.


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

Morning and Evening
     Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON

          Morning - February 4

     “The love of the Lord.” --- Hosea 3:1.

     Believer, look back through all thine experience, and think of the way whereby the Lord thy God has led thee in the wilderness, and how he hath fed and clothed thee every day—how he hath borne with thine ill manners—how he hath put up with all thy murmurings, and all thy longings after the flesh-pots of Egypt—how he has opened the rock to supply thee, and fed thee with manna that came down from heaven. Think of how his grace has been sufficient for thee in all thy troubles—how his blood has been a pardon to thee in all thy sins—how his rod and his staff have comforted thee. When thou hast thus looked back upon the love of the Lord, then let faith survey his love in the future, for remember that Christ’s covenant and blood have something more in them than the past. He who has loved thee and pardoned thee, shall never cease to love and pardon. He is Alpha, and he shall be Omega also: he is first, and he shall be last. Therefore, bethink thee, when thou shalt pass through the valley of the shadow of death, thou needest fear no evil, for he is with thee. When thou shalt stand in the cold floods of Jordan, thou needest not fear, for death cannot separate thee from his love; and when thou shalt come into the mysteries of eternity thou needest not tremble, “For I am persuaded, that neither death; nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Now, soul, is not thy love refreshed? Does not this make thee love Jesus? Doth not a flight through illimitable plains of the ether of love inflame thy heart and compel thee to delight thyself in the Lord thy God? Surely as we meditate on “the love of the Lord,” our hearts burn within us, and we long to love him more.


          Evening - February 4

     “Your refuge from the avenger of blood.” --- Joshua 20:3.

     It is said that in the land of Canaan, cities of refuge were so arranged, that any man might reach one of them within half a day at the utmost. Even so the word of our salvation is near to us; Jesus is a present Saviour, and the way to him is short; it is but a simple renunciation of our own merit, and a laying hold of Jesus, to be our all in all. With regard to the roads to the city of refuge, we are told that they were strictly preserved, every river was bridged, and every obstruction removed, so that the man who fled might find an easy passage to the city. Once a year the elders went along the roads and saw to their order, so that nothing might impede the flight of any one, and cause him, through delay, to be overtaken and slain. How graciously do the promises of the gospel remove stumbling blocks from the way! Wherever there were by-roads and turnings, there were fixed up hand-posts, with the inscription upon them—“To the city of refuge!” This is a picture of the road to Christ Jesus. It is no roundabout road of the law; it is no obeying this, that, and the other; it is a straight road: “Believe, and live.” It is a road so hard, that no self-righteous man can ever tread it, but so easy, that every sinner, who knows himself to be a sinner may by it find his way to heaven. No sooner did the man-slayer reach the outworks of the city than he was safe; it was not necessary for him to pass far within the walls, but the suburbs themselves were sufficient protection. Learn hence, that if you do but touch the hem of Christ’s garment, you shall be made whole; if you do but lay hold upon him with “faith as a grain of mustard seed,” you are safe.

     “A little genuine grace ensures
     The death of all our sins.”


     Only waste no time, loiter not by the way, for the avenger of blood is swift of foot; and it may be he is at your heels at this still hour of eventide.

Morning and Evening

Amazing Grace
     February 4

          LOVE DIVINE, ALL LOVES EXCELLING

     Charles Wesley, 1707–1788

     This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. (1 John 4:9)

     We must never underestimate the power of love in our human relationships—whether marriages, family, business associations, or friendships. The divine love of God for man far excels all other forms of love.

     “Love Divine …” is another of the more than 6500 hymns by Charles Wesley, the “sweet bard of Methodism.” This fine text —written in 1747—touches various elements of Christian doctrine. It extols the love of God as expressed in the incarnation of Christ. Then it refers to the Wesleyan concept of entire sanctification—that any believer might live without consciously sinning and thereby find the promised “rest” mentioned in
Hebrews 4:9. The “Alpha and Omega” of verse two (first and last letters of the Greek alphabet) also reflect this Wesleyan teaching, that the experiences of conversion and sanctification are thought of as the “beginning of faith” and the “end or object of faith.” The third stanza emphasizes the truth that the Spirit of God indwells the temple or body of each believer, while the fourth stanza anticipates the glorious culmination of our faith when “we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder, love and praise.”

     Although Christians may have differences of interpretation regarding the doctrine of sanctification, we can agree on this basic truth: It ought to be a normal desire for each believer to grow in the grace of our Lord.

     Love divine, all loves excelling, joy of heav’n, to earth come down; fix in us Thy humble dwelling; all Thy faithful mercies crown. Jesus, Thou art all compassion; pure, unbounded love Thou art; visit us with Thy salvation; enter ev’ry trembling heart.
     Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit into ev’ry troubled breast! Let us all in Thee inherit; let us find that second rest. Take away our bent to sinning, Alpha and Omega be; end of faith, as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty.
     Come, almighty to deliver, let us all Thy life receive; suddenly return, and never, nevermore Thy temples leave. Thee we would be always blessing, serve Thee as Thy hosts above, pray and praise Thee without ceasing, glory in Thy perfect love.
     Finish then Thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be; let us see Thy great salvation perfectly restored in Thee. Changed from glory into glory, till in heav’n we take our place, till we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder, love and praise.



     For Today: John 3:14–21; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:28; 1 John 3:11–24.

     God’s love must dominate our hearts, minds, and wills. Pray that this will become increasingly true in your life. Carry this portion of the hymn with you ---

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

Approach, My Soul, The Mercy Seat
     John Newton

   Approach, my soul, the mercy seat,
   Where Jesus answers prayer;
   There humbly fall before His feet,
   For none can perish there.

   Thy promise is my only plea,
   With this I venture nigh;
   Thou callest burdened souls to Thee,
   And such, O Lord, am I.

   Bowed down beneath a load of sin,
   By Satan sorely pressed,
   By war without and fears within,
   I come to Thee for rest.

   Be Thou my Shield and hiding Place,
   That, sheltered by Thy side,
   I may my fierce accuser face,
   And tell him Thou hast died!

   O wondrous love! to bleed and die,
   To bear the cross and shame,
   That guilty sinners, such as I,
   Might plead Thy gracious name.

   Poor tempest-tossèd soul, be still;
   My promised grace receive;
   ’Tis Jesus speaks—I must, I will,
   I can, I do believe.

The Works of John Newton (4 Volume Set)

Book Of Common Prayer
     Sunday, February 4, 2018 | Epiphany


Fifth Sunday After Epiphany
Year 2

Psalms (Morning)     Psalm 93, 96
Psalms (Evening)     Psalm 34
Old Testament     Genesis 24:50–67
New Testament     2 Timothy 2:14–21
Gospel     Mark 10:13–22

Index of Readings

Psalms (Morning)
Psalm 93, 96

93 The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty;
the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt.
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
2 Your throne is established from of old;
you are from everlasting.

3 The floods have lifted up, O LORD,
the floods have lifted up their voice;
the floods lift up their roaring.
4 Mightier than the thunders of many waters,
mightier than the waves of the sea,
the LORD on high is mighty!

5 Your decrees are very trustworthy;
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, forevermore.

96 Oh sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth!
2 Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
4 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts!
9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth!

10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.”

11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12 let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13 before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Psalms (Evening)
Psalm 34
34  Of David, When He Changed His Behavior Before Abimelech, So That He Drove Him Out, And He Went Away.

1 I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.

8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

11 Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21 Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

Old Testament
Genesis 24:50–67

50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “The thing has come from the LORD; we cannot speak to you bad or good. 51 Behold, Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has spoken.”

52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the earth before the LORD. 53 And the servant brought out jewelry of silver and of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave to her brother and to her mother costly ornaments. 54 And he and the men who were with him ate and drank, and they spent the night there. When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me away to my master.” 55 Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.” 56 But he said to them, “Do not delay me, since the LORD has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.” 57 They said, “Let us call the young woman and ask her.” 58 And they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.” 59 So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,

     “Our sister, may you become
     thousands of ten thousands,
     and may your offspring possess
     the gate of those who hate him!”

61 Then Rebekah and her young women arose and rode on the camels and followed the man. Thus the servant took Rebekah and went his way.

62 Now Isaac had returned from Beer-lahai-roi and was dwelling in the Negeb. 63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, there were camels coming. 64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel 65 and said to the servant, “Who is that man, walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. 66 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

New Testament
2 Timothy 2:14–21

14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

Gospel
Mark 10:13–22

13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ ” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.


The Book of Common Prayer


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