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Exodus 16     Luke 19     Job 34     2 Corinthians 4


Exodus 16

Bread from Heaven

Exodus 16:1 They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. 2 And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3 and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against the LORD. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” 8 And Moses said, “When the LORD gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the LORD has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the LORD.”

9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the LORD, for he has heard your grumbling.’ ” 10 And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. 11 And the LORD said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’ ”

13 In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. 14 And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer, according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’ ” 17 And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. 18 But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. 19 And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. 21 Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.

22 On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23 he said to them, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’ ” 24 So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. 25 Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.” 27 On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28 And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? 29 See! The LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

31 Now the house of Israel called its name manna. It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’ ” 33 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the LORD to be kept throughout your generations.” 34 As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the testimony to be kept. 35 The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 36 (An omer is the tenth part of an ephah.)


Luke 19

Jesus and Zacchaeus

Luke 19:1 He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3 And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

The Parable of the Ten Minas

11 As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. 16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ 19 And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ 24 And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25 And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 26 ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’ ”

The Triumphal Entry

28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’ ” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near — already on the way down the Mount of Olives — the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem

41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

45 And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”

47 And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, 48 but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.


Job 34

Elihu Asserts God’s Justice

Job 34:1 Then Elihu answered and said:

2  “Hear my words, you wise men,
and give ear to me, you who know;
3  for the ear tests words
as the palate tastes food.
4  Let us choose what is right;
let us know among ourselves what is good.
5  For Job has said, ‘I am in the right,
and God has taken away my right;
6  in spite of my right I am counted a liar;
my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
7  What man is like Job,
who drinks up scoffing like water,
8  who travels in company with evildoers
and walks with wicked men?
9  For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing
that he should take delight in God.’

10  “Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding:
far be it from God that he should do wickedness,
and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.
11  For according to the work of a man he will repay him,
and according to his ways he will make it befall him.
12  Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,
and the Almighty will not pervert justice.
13  Who gave him charge over the earth,
and who laid on him the whole world?
14  If he should set his heart to it
and gather to himself his spirit and his breath,
15  all flesh would perish together,
and man would return to dust.

16  “If you have understanding, hear this;
listen to what I say.
17  Shall one who hates justice govern?
Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty,
18  who says to a king, ‘Worthless one,’
and to nobles, ‘Wicked man,’
19  who shows no partiality to princes,
nor regards the rich more than the poor,
for they are all the work of his hands?
20  In a moment they die;
at midnight the people are shaken and pass away,
and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.

21  “For his eyes are on the ways of a man,
and he sees all his steps.
22  There is no gloom or deep darkness
where evildoers may hide themselves.
23  For God has no need to consider a man further,
that he should go before God in judgment.
24  He shatters the mighty without investigation
and sets others in their place.
25  Thus, knowing their works,
he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.
26  He strikes them for their wickedness
in a place for all to see,
27  because they turned aside from following him
and had no regard for any of his ways,
28  so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him,
and he heard the cry of the afflicted—
29  When he is quiet, who can condemn?
When he hides his face, who can behold him,
whether it be a nation or a man?—
30  that a godless man should not reign,
that he should not ensnare the people.

31  “For has anyone said to God,
‘I have borne punishment; I will not offend any more;
32  teach me what I do not see;
if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?
33  Will he then make repayment to suit you,
because you reject it?
For you must choose, and not I;
therefore declare what you know.
34  Men of understanding will say to me,
and the wise man who hears me will say:
35  ‘Job speaks without knowledge;
his words are without insight.’
36  Would that Job were tried to the end,
because he answers like wicked men.
37  For he adds rebellion to his sin;
he claps his hands among us
and multiplies his words against God.”



The Light of the Gospel

2 Corinthians 4

2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Treasure in Jars of Clay

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

The Reformation Study Bible


What I'm Reading

Are People Who Believe in Minds Simply Ignorant of the Science?

By J. Warner Wallace 2/27/2017

     s a Christian believer, I am a “dualist”; I identify the brain and mind (as well as the body and soul) as two distinct entities and realities. “Dualism” describes mind and matter as two separate categories of being; neither can be reduced to the other in any way. If non-material minds truly do exist, they are free to possess their own distinct characteristics, unshared by their physical counterparts (brains).

     Materialists (those who reject non-material entities) typically reject such dualistic explanations. If dualism is true, the source for nonmaterial mind cannot come from “inside the room” of the material universe, and this, in and of itself, is objectionable to those committed to atheistic, material explanations. As a result, atheists have offered several objections to dualism. In this article, I’d like to examine just one of them to discover if it minimized the strength of the Christian explanation of reality:

     Objection: Dualism Resists the Growing Acceptance of Physicalism | Philosophical naturalists deny the existence and influence of nonmaterial (or supernatural) entities, and many scientists are as committed to physicalism and physical evolutionary processes as they are opposed to dualism. The theory of evolution is a wholly physical enterprise; material processes engage matter using the laws of physics and chemistry, guided and shaped by physical, environmental influences. If materialistic, evolutionary processes produce humans such as ourselves, they must also produce human minds. If human minds are the result of purely physical processes of evolution, they must also be physical entities.

     This objection may sound reasonable, but it begs the question. In the end, the explanation we embrace must account for the five distinct evidences differentiating minds from brains. We cannot begin this investigation committed to a presupposition of philosophical naturalism or physicalism when this is the very thing we are trying to investigate in the first place. (We are investigating the question: Is there a nonphysical entity called the mind?) There appear to be five distinct characteristics of mind distinguishing it from the brain (refer to God’s Crime Scene for these distinctions). Whatever explanation we finally embrace, it cannot be chosen (in advance) based purely on our prior philosophical commitments. Like detectives entering a murder scene (or jurors assessing the case in a courtroom), we cannot begin our investigation with a preconceived idea about who killed the victim. We must, instead, allow the evidence to guide our decision.

     I’ve edited and excerpted this brief article from my expansive (and referenced) investigation in God’s Crime Scene. Any effort to deny the distinct differences between mental states and brain states simply ignores the evidence, errantly redefines the nature of the mind, or suffers from a logical inconsistency (three flaws common to false arguments in most criminal trials). Dualism remains the best explanation for our common experience of consciousness, in spite of the growing bias toward physicalism. The best explanation for the existence of non-material consciousness is the existence of a non-material mind who created us in his image:

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

Taking Back Christianese #8: “It’s Not My Place to Judge Someone Else”

By Michael J. Kruger 2/27/2017

     We live in a culture where the thing that is most offensive is not doing something wrong, but telling someone else that they are doing something wrong.

     Bad behavior gets a pass. Calling it bad behavior does not.

     Of course, this cultural trend should not be surprising. We are told in Scripture that depraved cultures “call evil good and good evil” (Is 5:20).

     But, living in a culture like this has had its effect on Christians. We have been conditioned to never condemn certain kinds of behavior lest we are chastened by an avalanche of social media accusing us of being legalistic and judgmental.

     Thus, even in Christian circles we often hear the claim, “It’s not my place to judge someone else.”

     This popular phrase is the next installment in the “Taking Back Christianese” series. Our purpose in this post (as in all the posts in this series) is simply to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of this phrase.  We will do this by asking three questions:  (1) Why do people use this phrase?  (2) What is correct or helpful about this phrase?  and (3) What is problematic about this phrase?

     Why Do People Use This Phrase? | There is little doubt that this phrase has its roots in the  often misunderstood text of  Matt 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.”  While our culture is fairly disinterested in most of what the Bible has to say, it is remarkable how many people know (and proudly cite) this one verse.

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     Michael J. Kruger, President and Samuel C. Patterson Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC.  For more on my background and research interests, see here. Michael J. Kruger Books

Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books
The Question of Canon: Challenging the Status Quo in the New Testament Debate
A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament: The Gospel Realized
The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity
The Early Text of the New Testament

Taking Back Christianese #1: “The Christian Life is All about Being Transparent and Vulnerable”

By Michael J. Kruger 6/7/2016

     Over the last ten years, especially in Reformed circles, there has emerged a vision of the Christian life where one of the defining characteristics of a believer has now become transparency. A Christian is someone who is authentic, real, and open.

     While prior generations might have suggested the essential mark of a Christian was obedience, those days seem long gone. In fact, for many (post)modern Christians the central issue is not whether someone obeys God’s law but whether they are honest about whether they have obeyed God’s law.

     Authenticity has become (for some) the number one virtue.

     Thus, we come to our very first instance of Christianese: “The Christian life is all about being transparent and vulnerable.”   This is the first installment in the “Taking Back Christianese” series originally announced here.

     Our purpose in this post (as in all the posts in this series) is simply to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of this phrase. We will do this by asking three questions: (1) Why do people use this phrase? (2) What is correct or helpful about this phrase? and (3) What is problematic about this phrase?

     As we answer these questions, it is important to be reminded again that these phrases are not included in this series because they are (necessarily) mistaken. This is not a series about wrong Christian phrases. On the contrary, these phrases (at least understood correctly) can capture helpful biblical truths. But–and this is the main issue–these phrases are often misunderstood. And thus they are subject to abuse and misuse.

     Why Do People Use This Phrase? | The quest for transparency in modern evangelicalism has many interesting historical roots, which we do not have space to explore here. But, there is little doubt that it is fueled (at least in part) by concerns about the lack of transparency in prior (particularly baby boomer) generations. Christians have grown weary of their parent’s version of Christianity: show up to church on Sunday, put on a good face (along with good clothes), and pretend everything is just fine. Meanwhile their life is falling apart, they are struggling with besetting sins, and they are sweeping it all under the rug.

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     Michael J. Kruger, President and Samuel C. Patterson Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC.  For more on my background and research interests, see here. Michael J. Kruger Books

Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books
The Question of Canon: Challenging the Status Quo in the New Testament Debate
A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament: The Gospel Realized
The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity
The Early Text of the New Testament

Did God Overlook China?

By Dr. William Lane Craig 2/26/2017

     Your friends’ question is not peculiar to China. It is just a particular application of the old question of the fate of the unevangelized. Because Christianity is not just a code of ethics or a philosophy of life, but a historical religion, by the very nature of the case, most areas of the world will be for a time unreached as the Gospel spreads out around the globe from first century Palestine. So people in the Americas, for example, could ask precisely the same question as your friends. True, they did not have the “brilliant inventions, literatures, and prosperity” of China, but God cares about the poor and humble, and not just the rich and brilliant. So they, too, could ask, “Why didn't god even bothered to love or making himself known to [us] for thousands of years?"

     In fact, historically Christianity actually came to China relatively early on, during the Tang Dynasty, centuries before it ever reached the Americas. The so-called Church of the East was widespread in China until the 14th century, when it was stamped out by persecution. Thus, Christianity has deep roots in China. Several years ago, when Jan and I were at a philosophy conference at Peking University in Beijing, one of the Chinese philosophers reflecting on the future direction of China said boldly, “China needs a moral foundation for society. Marxism cannot provide it. Confucianism is dead. We need to embrace Christianity. Christianity is an indigenous Chinese religion and offers the best hope of providing a moral foundation for Chinese society.” We were stunned. As he rightly saw, Christianity is not a white man’s religion, but an indigenous Chinese religion with an incredibly long history. This fact, while not addressing your question directly, can go some distance, perhaps, to helping your friends to “put away their cultural pride and prejudice, and open up their mind and heart to god.”

     I have addressed the question of the fate of the unevangelized directly in a number of places, for example, in the final chapter of  On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision  or here  http://www.reasonablefaith.org/how-can-christ-be-the-only-way-to-god.  I argue that God, as a just and loving God Who wants all persons to come to know Him, judges people on the basis of the information that they have. So people in China or Africa or the Americas before the advent of Christianity will not be judged on the basis of whether they have believed in Christ. Rather, like people in ancient Israel, they will be judged by God on the basis of their faith-response to the revelation that God has given them. According to the Bible, God has revealed Himself in nature and in conscience in an unmistakable way to all persons at all times in all lands (Romans 1-2). Just as in ancient Greece thinkers like Plato and Aristotle grasped the concept of God apart from biblical revelation, so in ancient China there seems to have been an inchoate grasp of God in the concept of tiān 天 (heaven) or Shàngdì 上帝 (Lord on High). Thus, salvation was at least accessible to Chinese people prior to the advent of the Gospel. So one need not worry that one’s ancestors were inevitably lost.

     I’ve argued further that it’s at least possible that God has so providentially ordered the world that any person who would believe in the Gospel if he heard it will be born at a time and place in history at which he does hear it. Thus, no one is lost because of historical or geographical accident. If this proposal is plausible, then it helps to remove any concern that one’s ancestors were lost but would have been saved had they been born at another time and place. On the contrary, anyone who wants or even would want to be saved will be saved.

     It may be that your friends will not be much moved by these philosophical reflections; but it may be the case that seeing that it is no betrayal of their Chinese ethnicity to be Christian will help them to be open to placing their faith in Christ.

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     William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University. He and his wife Jan have two grown children.

     At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, he first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded his life to Christ. Dr. Craig pursued his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971) and graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A. 1974; M.A. 1975), the University of Birmingham (England) (Ph.D. 1977), and the University of Munich (Germany) (D.Theol. 1984). From 1980-86 he taught Philosophy of Religion at Trinity, during which time he and Jan started their family. In 1987 they moved to Brussels, Belgium, where Dr. Craig pursued research at the University of Louvain until assuming his position at Talbot in 1994.

     He has authored or edited over thirty books, including The Kalam Cosmological Argument; Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus; Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom; Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology; and God, Time and Eternity, as well as over a hundred articles in professional journals of philosophy and theology, including The Journal of Philosophy, New Testament Studies, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy, and British Journal for Philosophy of Science. In 2016 Dr. Craig was named by The Best Schools as one of the fifty most influential living philosophers. [My Google Profile+]

William Lane Craig Books:

Read The Psalms In "1" Year

Psalm 27

The LORD Is My Light and My Salvation
27 Of David.

5 For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.

6 And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
8 You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
9 Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the LORD will take me in.

ESV Study Bible

How Can Christ Be the Only Way to God?

By Dr. William Lane Craig 2/26/2017

     I recently spoke at a major Canadian university on the existence of God. After my talk, one slightly irate co-ed wrote on her comment card, “I was with you until you got to the stuff about Jesus. God is not the Christian God!”

     This attitude is pervasive in Western culture today. Most people are happy to agree that God exists; but in our pluralistic society it has become politically incorrect to claim that God has revealed Himself decisively in Jesus.

          And yet this is exactly what the New Testament clearly teaches. Take the letters of the apostle Paul, for example. He invites his Gentile converts to recall their pre-Christian days: "Remember that at that time you were separated from Christ, aliens to the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world" (Eph 2.12). It is the burden of the opening chapters of his letter to the Romans to show that this desolate condition is the general situation of mankind. Paul explains that God’s power and deity are made known through the created order around us, so that men are without excuse (1.20), and that God has written His moral law upon all men's hearts, so that they are morally responsible before Him (2.15). Although God offers eternal life to all who will respond in an appropriate way to God's general revelation in nature and conscience (2.7), the sad fact is that rather than worship and serve their Creator, people ignore God and flout His moral law (1.21-32). The conclusion: All men are under the power of sin (3.9-12). Worse, Paul goes on to explain that no one can redeem himself by means of righteous living (3.19-20). Fortunately, however, God has provided a means of escape: Jesus Christ has died for the sins of mankind, thereby satisfying the demands of God's justice and enabling reconciliation with God (3.21-6). By means of his atoning death salvation is made available as a gift to be received by faith.

     The logic of the New Testament is clear: The universality of sin and uniqueness of Christ's atoning death entail that there is no salvation apart from Christ. As the apostles proclaimed, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4.12).

     This particularistic doctrine was just as scandalous in the polytheistic world of the Roman Empire as in contemporary Western culture. Early Christians were therefore often subjected to severe persecution, torture, and death because of their refusal to embrace a pluralistic approach to religions. In time, however, as Christianity grew to supplant the religions of Greece and Rome and became the official religion of the Roman Empire, the scandal receded. Indeed, for medieval thinkers like Augustine and Aquinas, one of the marks of the true Church was its catholicity, that is, its universality. To them it seemed incredible that the great edifice of the Christian Church, filling all of civilization, should be founded on a falsehood.

     The demise of this doctrine came with the so-called “Expansion of Europe,” which refers to the three centuries of exploration and discovery from about 1450 until 1750. Through the travels and voyages of men like Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, and Ferdinand Magellan, new civilizations and whole new worlds were discovered which knew nothing of the Christian faith. The realization that much of the world lay outside the bounds of Christianity had a two-fold impact upon people's religious thinking. First, it tended to relativize religious beliefs. It was seen that far from being the universal religion of mankind, Christianity was largely confined to Western Europe, a corner of the globe. No particular religion, it seemed, could make a claim to universal validity; each society seemed to have its own religion suited to its peculiar needs. Second, it made Christianity's claim to be the only way of salvation seem narrow and cruel. Enlightenment rationalists like Voltaire taunted the Christians of his day with the prospect of millions of Chinamen doomed to hell for not having believed in Christ, when they had not so much as even heard of Christ. In our own day, the influx into Western nations of immigrants from former colonies and the advances in telecommunications which have served to shrink the world to a global village have heightened our awareness of the religious diversity of mankind. As a result religious pluralism has today become once again the conventional wisdom.

     The Problem Posed by Religious Diversity | But what, exactly, is the problem supposed to be which is posed by mankind's religious diversity? And for whom is this supposed to be a problem? When one reads the literature on this issue, the recurring challenge seems to be laid at the doorstep of the Christian particularist. The phenomenon of religious diversity is taken to imply the truth of pluralism, and the main debate then proceeds to the question of which form of pluralism is the most plausible. But why think that Christian particularism is untenable in the face of religious diversity? What exactly seems to be the problem?

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     William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University. He and his wife Jan have two grown children.

     At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, he first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded his life to Christ. Dr. Craig pursued his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971) and graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A. 1974; M.A. 1975), the University of Birmingham (England) (Ph.D. 1977), and the University of Munich (Germany) (D.Theol. 1984). From 1980-86 he taught Philosophy of Religion at Trinity, during which time he and Jan started their family. In 1987 they moved to Brussels, Belgium, where Dr. Craig pursued research at the University of Louvain until assuming his position at Talbot in 1994.

     He has authored or edited over thirty books, including The Kalam Cosmological Argument; Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus; Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom; Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology; and God, Time and Eternity, as well as over a hundred articles in professional journals of philosophy and theology, including The Journal of Philosophy, New Testament Studies, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy, and British Journal for Philosophy of Science. In 2016 Dr. Craig was named by The Best Schools as one of the fifty most influential living philosophers. [My Google Profile+]

William Lane Craig Books:

Exodus 16; Luke 19; Job 34; 2 Corinthians 4

By Don Carson 3/5/2018

     The closing verses of Exodus 15 are a harbinger of things to come. Despite the miraculous interventions by God that characterized their escape from Egypt, the people do not really trust him; the first bit of hardship turns to whining and complaining. Exodus 16 carries the story further, and shows that this muttering is linked, at several levels, to overt defiance of the living God.

     We need not imagine that the Israelites were not hungry; of course they were. The question is what they did about it. They might have turned to God in prayer and asked him to supply all their needs. As he had effected their rescue so dramatically, would he not also provide for them? But instead they sarcastically romanticize their experience of slavery (!) in Egypt (16:3), and grumble against Moses and Aaron (16:2).

     Moses might have felt miffed at the sheer ingratitude of the people. Wisely, he recognizes its real focus and evil. Although they grumble against Moses and Aaron, their real complaint is against God himself (16:7-8): “You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD.”

     In all this, the Lord is still forbearing. As he turned the bitter waters of Marah into sweetness (15:22-26), so he now provides them with meat in the form of quail, and with manna. This frankly miraculous provision not only meets their need, but is granted so that they “will see the glory of the LORD” (16:7). “Then you will know that I am the LORD your God” (16:12). Further, the Lord says, “I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions” (16:4).

     Unfortunately, not a few in the community fail the test miserably. They try to hoard manna when they are told not to; they try to gather manna when, on the Sabbath, none is provided. Moses is frankly angry with them (16:20); the Lord himself challenges this chronic disobedience (16:28).

     Why should people who have witnessed so spectacular a display of the grace and power of God slip so easily into muttering and complaining and slide so gracelessly into listless disobedience? The answer lies in the fact that many of them see God as existing to serve them. He served them in the Exodus; he served them when he provided clean water. Now he must serve not only their needs but their appetites. Otherwise they are entirely prepared to abandon him. While Moses has been insisting to Pharaoh that the people needed to retreat into the desert in order to serve and worship God, the people themselves think God exists to serve them.

     The fundamental question is, “Who is the real God?” New covenant believers face the same choice (1 Cor. 10:10).

(1 Co 10:10) nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.   ESV

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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:

The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Translated by Henry Beveridge

     CHAPTER 3.

REGENERATION BY FAITH. OF REPENTANCE.

This chapter is divided into five parts. I. The title of the chapter seems to promise a treatise on Faith, but the only subject here considered is Repentance, the inseparable attendant of faith. And, first, various opinions on the subject of repentance are stated, sec. 1-4. II. An exposition of the orthodox doctrine of Repentance, sec. 5-9. III. Reasons why repentance must be prolonged to the last moment of life, sec. 10-14. IV. Of the fruits of repentance, or its object and tendency, sec. 15-20. V. The source whence repentance proceeds, sec. 21-24. Of the sin against the Holy Spirit, and the impenitence of the reprobate, sec. 25.

Sections.

1. Connection of this chapter with the previous one and the subsequent chapters. Repentance follows faith, and is produced by it. Reason. Error of those who take a contrary view.

2. Their First Objection. Answer. In what sense the origin of Repentance ascribed to Faith. Cause of the erroneous idea that faith is produced by repentance. Refutation of it. The hypocrisy of Monks and Anabaptists in assigning limits to repentance exposed.

3. A second opinion concerning repentance considered.

4. A third opinion, assigning two forms to repentance, a legal and an Evangelical. Examples of each.

5. The orthodox doctrine of Repentance. 1. Faith and Repentance to be distinguished, not confounded or separated. 2. A consideration of the name. 3. A definition of the thing, or what repentance is. Doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles.

6. Explanation of the definition. This consists of three parts. 1. Repentance is a turning of our life unto God. This described and enlarged upon.

7. 2. Repentance produced by fear of God. Hence the mention of divine judgment by the Prophets and Apostles. Example. Exposition of the second branch of the definition from a passage in Paul. Why the fear of God is the first part of Repentance.

8. 3. Repentance consists in the mortification of the flesh and the quickening of the Spirit. These required by the Prophets. They are explained separately.

9. How this mortification and quickening are produced. Repentance just a renewal of the divine image in us. Not completed in a moment, but extends to the last moment of life.

10. Reasons why repentance must so extend. Augustine's opinion as to concupiscence in the regenerate examined. A passage of Paul which seems to confirm that opinion.

11. Answer. Confirmation of the answer by the Apostle himself. Another confirmation from a precept of the law. Conclusion.

12. Exception, that those desires only are condemned which are repugnant to the order of God. Desires not condemned in so far as natural, but in so far as inordinate. This held by Augustine.

13. Passages from Augustine to show that this was his opinion. Objection from a passage in James.

14. Another objection of the Anabaptists and Libertines to the continuance of repentance throughout the present life. An answer disclosing its impiety. Another answer, founded on the absurdities to which it leads. A third answer, contrasting sincere Christian repentance with the erroneous view of the objectors. Conformation from the example and declaration of an Apostle.

15. Of the fruits of repentance. Carefulness. Excuse. Indignation. Fear. Desire. Zeal. Revenge. Moderation to be observed, as most sagely counseled by Bernard.

16. Internal fruits of Repentance. 1. Piety towards God. 2. Charity towards man. 3. Purity of life. How carefully these fruits are commended by the Prophets. External fruits of repentance. Bodily exercises too much commended by ancient writers. Twofold excess in regard to them.

17. Delusion of some who consider these external exercises as the chief part of Repentance. Why received in the Jewish Church. The legitimate use of these exercises in the Christian Church.

18. The principal part of repentance consists in turning to God. Confession and acknowledgment of sins. What their nature should be. Distinction between ordinary and special repentance. Use of this distinction.

19. End of Repentance. Its nature shown by the preaching of John Baptist, our Savior, and his Apostles. The sum of this preaching.

20. Christian repentance terminates with our life.

21. Repentance has its origin in the grace of God, as communicated to the elect, whom God is pleased to save from death. The hardening and final impenitence of the reprobate. A passage of an Apostle as to voluntary reprobates, gives no countenance to the Novatians.

22. Of the sin against the Holy Ghost. The true definition of this sin as proved and explained by Scripture. Who they are that sin against the Holy Spirit. Examples:--1. The Jews resisting Stephen. 2. The Pharisees. Definition confirmed by the example of Paul.

23. Why that sin unpardonable. The paralogism of the Novatians in wresting the words of the Apostle examined. Two passages from the same Apostle.

24. First objection to the above doctrine. Answer. Solution of a difficulty founded on the example of Esau and the threatening of a Prophet. Second objection.

25. Third objection, founded on the seeming approval of the feigned repentance of the ungodly, as Ahab. Answer. Confirmation from the example of Esau. Why God bears for a time with the ungodly, pretending repentance. Exception.

1. Although we have already in some measure shown how faith possesses Christ, and gives us the enjoyment of his benefits, the subject would still be obscure were we not to add an exposition of the effects resulting from it. The sum of the Gospel is, not without good reason, made to consist in repentance and forgiveness of sins; and, therefore, where these two heads are omitted, any discussion concerning faith will be meager and defective, and indeed almost useless. Now, since Christ confers upon us, and we obtain by faith, both free reconciliation and newness of life, reason and order require that I should here begin to treat of both. The shortest transition, however, will be from faith to repentance; for repentance being properly understood it will better appear how a man is justified freely by faith alone, and yet that holiness of life, real holiness, as it is called, is inseparable from the free imputation of righteousness. [304] That repentance not only always follows faith, but is produced by it, ought to be without controversy (see Calvin in Joann. 1:13). For since pardon and forgiveness are offered by the preaching of the Gospel, in order that the sinner, delivered from the tyranny of Satan, the yoke of sin, and the miserable bondage of iniquity, may pass into the kingdom of God, it is certain that no man can embrace the grace of the Gospel without retaking himself from the errors of his former life into the right path, and making it his whole study to practice repentance. Those who think that repentance precedes faith instead of flowing from, or being produced by it, as the fruit by the tree, have never understood its nature, and are moved to adopt that view on very insufficient grounds.

2. Christ and John, it is said, in their discourses first exhort the people to repentance, and then add, that the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Mt. 3:2; 4:17). Such too, is the message which the Apostles received and such the course which Paul followed, as is narrated by Luke (Acts 20:21). But clinging superstitiously to the juxtaposition of the syllables, they attend not to the coherence of meaning in the words. For when our Lord and John begin their preaching thus "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," (Mt. 3:2), do they not deduce repentance as a consequence of the offer of grace and promise of salvation? The force of the words, therefore, is the same as if it were said, As the kingdom of heaven is at hand, for that reason repent. For Matthew, after relating that John so preached, says that therein was fulfilled the prophecy concerning the voice of one crying in the desert, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God," (Isaiah 40:3). But in the Prophet that voice is ordered to commence with consolation and glad tidings. Still, when we attribute the origin of repentance to faith, we do not dream of some period of time in which faith is to give birth to it: we only wish to show that a man cannot seriously engage in repentance unless he know that he is of God. But no man is truly persuaded that he is of God until he have embraced his offered favor. These things will be more clearly explained as we proceed. Some are perhaps misled by this, that not a few are subdued by terror of conscience, or disposed to obedience before they have been imbued with a knowledge, nay, before they have had any taste of the divine favor (see Calvin in Acts 20:21). This is that initial fear [305] which some writers class among the virtues, because they think it approximates to true and genuine obedience. But we are not here considering the various modes in which Christ draws us to himself, or prepares us for the study of piety: All I say is, that no righteousness can be found where the Spirit, whom Christ received in order to communicate it to his members, reigns not. Then, according to the passage in the Psalms, "There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared," (Psalm 130:4), no man will ever reverence God who does not trust that God is propitious to him, no man will ever willingly set himself to observe the Law who is not persuaded that his services are pleasing to God. The indulgence of God in tolerating and pardoning our iniquities is a sign of paternal favor. This is also clear from the exhortation in Hosea, "Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has smitten, and he will bind us up," (Hos. 6:1); the hope of pardon is employed as a stimulus to prevent us from becoming reckless in sin. But there is no semblance of reason in the absurd procedure of those who, that they may begin with repentance, prescribe to their neophytes certain days during which they are to exercise themselves in repentance, and after these are elapsed, admit them to communion in Gospel grace. I allude to great numbers of Anabaptists, those of them especially who plume themselves on being spiritual, and their associates the Jesuits, and others of the same stamp. Such are the fruits which their giddy spirit produces, that repentance, which in every Christian man lasts as long as life, is with them completed in a few short days.

3. Certain learned men, who lived long before the present days and were desirous to speak simply and sincerely according to the rule of Scripture, held that repentance consists of two parts, mortification and quickening. By mortification they mean, grief of soul and terror, produced by a conviction of sin and a sense of the divine judgment. For when a man is brought to a true knowledge of sin, he begins truly to hate and abominate sin. He also is sincerely dissatisfied with himself, confesses that he is lost and undone, and wishes he were different from what he is. Moreover, when he is touched with some sense of the divine justice (for the one conviction immediately follows the other), he lies terrorstruck and amazed, humbled and dejected, desponds and despairs. This, which they regarded as the first part of repentance, they usually termed contrition. By quickening they mean, the comfort which is produced by faith, as when a man prostrated by a consciousness of sin, and smitten with the fear of God, afterwards beholding his goodness, and the mercy, grace, and salvation obtained through Christ, looks up, begins to breathe, takes courage, and passes, as it were, from death unto life. I admit that these terms, when rightly interpreted, aptly enough express the power of repentance; only I cannot assent to their using the term quickening, for the joy which the soul feels after being calmed from perturbation and fear. It more properly means, that desire of pious and holy living which springs from the new birth; as if it were said, that the man dies to himself that he may begin to live unto God.

4. Others seeing that the term is used in Scripture in different senses, have set down two forms of repentance, and, in order to distinguish them, have called the one Legal repentance; or that by which the sinner, stung with a sense of his sin, and overwhelmed with fear of the divine anger, remains in that state of perturbation, unable to escape from it. The other they term Evangelical repentance; or that by which the sinner, though grievously downcast in himself, yet looks up and sees in Christ the cure of his wound, the solace of his terror; the haven of rest from his misery. They give Cain, Saul and Judas, [306] as examples of legal repentance. Scripture, in describing what is called their repentance, means that they perceived the heinousness of their sins, and dreaded the divine anger; but, thinking only of God as a judge and avenger, were overwhelmed by the thought. Their repentance, therefore, was nothing better than a kind of threshold to hell, into which having entered even in the present life, they began to endure the punishment inflicted by the presence of an offended God. Examples of evangelical repentance we see in all those who, first stung with a sense of sin, but afterwards raised and revived by confidence in the divine mercy, turned unto the Lord. [307] Hezekiah was frightened on receiving the message of his death, but praying with tears, and beholding the divine goodness, regained his confidence. The Ninevites were terrified at the fearful announcement of their destruction; but clothing themselves in sackcloth and ashes, they prayed, hoping that the Lord might relent and avert his anger from them. David confessed that he had sinned greatly in numbering the people, but added "Now, I beseech thee O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant." When rebuked by Nathan, he acknowledged the crime of adultery, and humbled himself before the Lord; but he, at the same time, looked for pardon. Similar was the repentance of those who, stung to the heart by the preaching of Peter, yet trusted in the divine goodness, and added, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Similar was the case of Peter himself, who indeed wept bitterly, but ceased not to hope.

5. Though all this is true, yet the term repentance (in so far as I can ascertain from Scripture) must be differently taken. For in comprehending faith under repentance, they are at variance with what Paul says in the Acts, as to his "testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ," (Acts 20:21). Here he mentions faith and repentance as two different things. What then? Can true repentance exist without faith? By no means. But although they cannot be separated, they ought to be distinguished. As there is no faith without hope, and yet faith and hope are different, so repentance and faith, though constantly linked together, are only to be united, not confounded. I am not unaware that under the term repentance is comprehended the whole work of turning to God, of which not the least important part is faith; but in what sense this is done will be perfectly obvious, when its nature and power shall have been explained. The term repentance is derived in the Hebrew from conversion, or turning again; and in the Greek from a change of mind and purpose; nor is the thing meant inappropriate to both derivations, for it is substantially this, that withdrawing from ourselves we turn to God, and laying aside the old, put on a new mind. Wherefore, it seems to me, that repentance may be not inappropriately defined thus: A real conversion of our life unto God, proceeding from sincere and serious fear of God; and consisting in the mortification of our flesh and the old man, and the quickening of the Spirit. In this sense are to be understood all those addresses in which the prophets first, and the apostles afterwards, exhorted the people of their time to repentance. The great object for which they labored was, to fill them with confusion for their sins and dread of the divine judgment, that they might fall down and humble themselves before him whom they had offended, and, with true repentance, retake themselves to the right path. Accordingly, they use indiscriminately in the same sense, the expressions turning, or returning to the Lord; repenting, doing repentance. [308] Whence, also, the sacred history describes it as repentance towards God, when men who disregarded him and wantoned in their lusts begin to obey his word, and are prepared to go whithersoever he may call them. And John Baptist and Paul, under the expression, bringing forth fruits meet for repentance, described a course of life exhibiting and bearing testimony, in all its actions, to such a repentance.

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

Polemics And Caricature

By Richard S. Adams

     comment / 'either' - 'or'

     Job's three friends were supposed to know him. Isn't that what friends means? If they know Job as friends know one another, how can they say what they say about Job? They know it is not true. Is the force of their theology more important than their relationships with Job? What is more important than your relationship with a friend or family member? Is it money, a feeling you have been wronged, envy, spite? Name it what you will, it is pride. Pride, self-centeredness, self-determinism and selfishness come between us and our relationships with one another as well as our relationship with God.

     Job's friends cannot come to grips with the possibility that what Job is saying might be true. They fabricate to prove their point.

     Polemics has not changed. Caricature painting is always to the extreme. No one is that good and no one is that bad. It is our universal 'this' or 'that', 'either' or 'thinking,' the Drama Triangle Katie Skurgia calls it. Each trying to take the one up on the other.

     Over and over his protractors tried to catch our Lord in the 'either' - 'or,' but Jesus never entered the Drama Triangle, never succumbed to our two dimensional, 'yes' or 'no' thinking.

      I heard Dallas Willard say you can’t have gray without black and white. Reality, absolute truth, which some say does not exist, does exist beyond the 'black' or 'white,' 'either' 'or,' 'yes' or 'no' of our understanding. Maybe when our relational understanding comes into focus and we learn to see beyond ourselves God will open our eyes to the other. Maybe we will never get a glimpse of absolute truth until the person we are looking at is more important than the person doing the looking; you, me.

     Our universe is held together by what we call gravity, but gravity is merely the relationship of things to one another. Will we ever understand that relationship is the fundamental key to life? Will we ever understand that gravity is only a secondary force? God is the ultimate power. It is God who controls gravity and everything else and God is most interested in our relationships; our relationship to God and our relationships to one another.

     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.

Articles



  • Multiethnic Church
  • Race and the Church
  • Political Philosophy?

#1 Peter Cha Discussion      Henry Center For Theological Understanding

 

#3 Smith      Yale

 


     Devotionals, notes, poetry and more

UCB The Word For Today
     Secrets of self-control (6)
     3/5/2018    Bob Gass

     ‘Don’t give the devil a chance.’

(Eph 4:26–27) and give no opportunity to the devil. ESV

     Avoid the things that tempt you. Stay away from situations that weaken your self-control. If you do not want to be stung, stay away from bees. Plan in advance to avoid situations that you know are going to cause temptation in your life. Don’t keep chocolate in the cupboard if you are trying to diet. Sigh, Lily help. Don’t acquire credit cards if you are an impulse spender. Get rid of your access to pornography if you are struggling with it. If you are a teenager, the time to begin thinking about self-control is not when you’re in the back seat of a car with someone who turns you on. Question: what do you need to avoid? Or get rid of? Magazines? Books? DVDs? A relationship? The Bible says, ‘Bad company corrupts good character’ (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV 2011 Edition). Avoid people and situations that tempt you. You may need to change your job because a relationship there is wrong and harmful to you. That’s a drastic measure, but you may need to do something that drastic in order to avoid whatever is tempting you at this particular time. If you have lived through years of repeated failure, then it’s time to get honest. And humble. It’s time to pray: ‘Lord, I’m not strong enough to resist this temptation by myself. Help me!’ He will! ‘I patiently waited, Lord, for you to hear my prayer. You listened and pulled me from a lonely pit full of mud and mire. You let me stand on a rock with my feet firm…Many will see this, and they will honour and trust you, the Lord God’ (Psalm 40:1-3 CEV).

Numbers 7-8
Mark 4:21-41

UCB The Word For Today

The lost
     are self-condemned

     'Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked?,' says the Lord God, 'And not rather that he should turn from his way and live? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone,' says the Lord God. 'So turn and live! Say to them, "As I live," says the Lord God, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways. For why will you die?"' (Ez. 18.23,32; 33.11).

     Here God literally pleads with people to turn back from their self-destructive course of action and be saved. Thus, in a sense, the biblical God does not send any person to hell. His desire is that everyone be saved, and He seeks to draw all persons to Himself. If we make a free and well-informed decision to reject Christ's sacrifice for our sin, then God has no choice but to give us what we deserve. God will not send us to hell—but we shall send ourselves. Our eternal destiny thus lies in our own hands. It is a matter of our free choice where we shall spend eternity. The lost, therefore, are self-condemned; they separate themselves from God despite God's will and every effort to save them, and God grieves over their loss.

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     William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University. He and his wife Jan have two grown children.

     At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, he first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded his life to Christ. Dr. Craig pursued his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971) and graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A. 1974; M.A. 1975), the University of Birmingham (England) (Ph.D. 1977), and the University of Munich (Germany) (D.Theol. 1984). From 1980-86 he taught Philosophy of Religion at Trinity, during which time he and Jan started their family. In 1987 they moved to Brussels, Belgium, where Dr. Craig pursued research at the University of Louvain until assuming his position at Talbot in 1994.

     He has authored or edited over thirty books, including The Kalam Cosmological Argument; Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus; Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom; Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology; and God, Time and Eternity, as well as over a hundred articles in professional journals of philosophy and theology, including The Journal of Philosophy, New Testament Studies, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy, and British Journal for Philosophy of Science. In 2016 Dr. Craig was named by The Best Schools as one of the fifty most influential living philosophers. [My Google Profile+]

William Lane Craig Books:

On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision

Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics

Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview

On Guard for Students: A Thinker's Guide to the Christian Faith

Five Views on Apologetics

God Over All: Divine Aseity and the Challenge of Platonism

The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology

Time and Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship to Time

The Only Wise God: The Compatibility of Divine Foreknowledge & Human Freedom

The Son Rises: Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus
American Minute
     by Bill Federer

     On this day, March 5, in the year 1770, the Boston Massacre took place. The British had been forcing Colonists to house their soldiers. A crowd had gathered to protest and the British soldiers responded by firing into the mob, killing five of them. On the 4th anniversary of the Massacre, in 1774, John Hancock, famous for being the first to sign the Declaration of Independence, stated: “Let us play the man for… the cities of our GOD. While we are using the means in our power, let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great LORD of the Universe.”

American Minute

A Testament Of Devotion
     Thomas R. Kelly

     This is the voice of an authentic, who knows the tendering of the Presence, a tendering which issues in the burden-bearing, cross-carrying, Calvary­ re-enacting life.

     Against this cosmic suffering and cosmic responsibility we must set the special responsibility experienced in a concern. For a Quaker concern particularizes this cosmic tenderness. It brings to a definite and effective focus in some concrete task all that experience of love and responsibility which might evaporate, in its broad generality, into vague yearnings for a golden Paradise.

     There are two ways in which a concern is a particularization. It is a particularization of the Divine Concern of God for all creation. God's love isn't just a diffused benevolence. As the Eternal is the root and ground of all times, yet breaks into particular moments, so the Infinite Love is the ground of all creatures, the source of their existence, and also knows a tender concern for each, and guides those who are sensitive to this tender care into a mutually supporting Blessed Fraternity.

     But it is a particularization of my responsibility also, in a world too vast and a lifetime too short for me to carry all responsibilities. My cosmic love, or the Divine Lover loving within me, cannot accomplish its full intent, which is universal savior­ hood, within the limits of three score years and ten. But the Loving Presence does not burden us equally with all things, but considerately puts upon each of us just a few central tasks, as emphatic responsibilities. For each of us these special undertakings are our share in the joyous burdens of love.


A Testament of Devotion

Lean Into God
     Compiled by Richard S. Adams


The function of prayer is not to influence God,
but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.
--- Soren Kierkegaard   The Sickness Unto Death: A Christian Psychological Exposition For Upbuilding And Awakening (Kierkegaard's Writings, Vol 19) (v. 19)

What oxygen is to the lungs,
such is hope to the meaning of life.
--- Emil Brunner   Enriching Christian Doctrine and Character

I had a million questions to ask God:
but when I met Him, they all fled my mind;
and it didn't seem to matter.
--- Christopher Morley   Inward ho!

To educate a man is to unfit him to be a slave. --- Fredrick Douglass    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, Written by Himself (Bedford Series in History and Culture)

... from here, there and everywhere


Journal of John Woolman 3/5
     University of Virginia Library 1994

     Chapter VI.

     In the beginning of the twelfth month I joined, in company with my friends John Sykes and Daniel Stanton, in visiting such as had slaves. Some whose hearts were rightly exercised about them appeared to be glad of our visit, but in some places our way was more difficult. I often saw the necessity of keeping down to that root from whence our concern proceeded, and have cause, in reverent thankfulness, humbly to bow down before the Lord, who was near to me, and preserved my mind in calmness under some sharp conflicts, and begat a spirit of sympathy and tenderness in me towards some who were grievously entangled by the spirit of this world.

     First month, 1759. -- Having found my mind drawn to visit some of the more active members in our Society at Philadelphia, who had slaves, I met my friend John Churchman there by agreement, and we continued about a week in the city. We visited some that were sick, and some widows and their families, and the other part of our time was mostly employed in visiting such as had slaves. It was a time of deep exercise, but looking often to the Lord for his assistance, he in unspeakable kindness favored us with the influence of that spirit which crucifies to the greatness and splendor of this world, and enabling us to go through some heavy labors, in which we found peace.

     Twenty-fourth of third month, 1759. -- After attending our general Spring Meeting at Philadelphia I again joined with John Churchman on a visit to some who had slaves in Philadelphia, and with thankfulness to our Heavenly Father I may say that Divine love and a true sympathizing tenderness of heart prevailed at times in this service.

     Having at times perceived a shyness in some Friends of considerable note towards me, I found an engagement in gospel love to pay a visit to one of them; and as I dwelt under the exercise, I felt a resignedness in my mind to go and tell him privately that I had a desire to have an opportunity with him alone; to this proposal he readily agreed, and then, in the fear of the Lord, things relating to that shyness were searched to the bottom, and we had a large conference, which, I believe was of use to both of us, and I am thankful that way was opened for it.

     Fourteenth of sixth month. -- Having felt drawings in my mind to visit Friends about Salem, and having the approbation of our Monthly Meeting, I attended their Quarterly Meeting, and was out seven days, and attended seven meetings; in some of them I was chiefly silent; in others, through the baptizing power of truth, my heart was enlarged in heavenly love, and I found a near fellowship with the brethren and sisters, in the manifold trials attending their Christian progress through this world.

     Seventh month. -- I have found an increasing concern on my mind to visit some active members in our Society who have slaves, and having no opportunity of the company of such as were named in the minutes of the Yearly Meeting, I went alone to their houses, and, in the fear of the Lord, acquainted them with the exercise I was under; and, thus, sometimes by a few words, I found myself discharged from a heavy burden. After this, our friend John Churchman coming into our province with a view to be at some meetings, and to join again in the visit to those who had slaves, I bore him company in the said visit to some active members, and found inward satisfaction.

John Woolman's Journal

Proverbs 11:29-31
     by D.H. Stern

29     Those who trouble their families inherit the wind,
and the fool becomes slave to the wise.

30     The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and he who is wise wins souls.

31     If the righteous are paid what they deserve here
on earth,
how much more the wicked and the sinner!


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

                Is he really Lord?

     … so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus.
---
Acts 20:24.

     Joy means the perfect fulfilment of that for which I was created and regenerated, not the successful doing of a thing. The joy Our Lord had lay in doing what the Father sent Him to do, and He says—
“As My Father hath sent Me, even so am I sending you.” Have I received a ministry from the Lord? If so, I have to be loyal to it, to count my life precious only for the fulfilling of that ministry. Think of the satisfaction it will be to hear Jesus say—“Well done, good and faithful servant”; to know that you have done what He sent you to do. We have all to find our niche in life, and spiritually we find it when we receive our ministry from the Lord. In order to do this we must have companied with Jesus; we must know Him as more than a personal Saviour. “I will show him how great things he must suffer for My sake.”

     
“Lovest thou Me?” Then—“Feed My sheep.” There is no choice of service, only absolute loyalty to Our Lord’s commission; loyalty to what you discern when you are in closest contact with God. If you have received a ministry from the Lord Jesus, you will know that the need is never the call: the need is the opportunity. The call is loyalty to the ministry you received when you were in real touch with Him. This does not imply that there is a campaign of service marked out for you, but it does mean that you will have to ignore the demands for service along other lines.

My Utmost for His Highest

Good
     the Poetry of R.S. Thomas

                Good

The old man comes out on the hill
  And looks down to recall earlier days
  In the valley. He sees the stream shin,
  The church stand, hears the litter of
  Children's voices. A chill in the flesh
  Tells him that death is not far off
  Now; it is the shadow under the great boughs
  Of life. His garden has herbs growing.
  The kestrel goes by with fresh prey
  In its claws. The wind scatters the scent
  Of wild beans. The tractor operates
  On the earth's body: His grandson is there
  Ploughing: his young wife fetches him
  Cakes and tea and a dark smiles. It is well.

Collected Poems 1945-1990 (Phoenix Press)

Teacher's Commentary
     Christ’s High Priesthood: Hebrews 4:14–10:25

     This extended section of the New Testament discusses the high priesthood of Jesus. It compares Him to the Aaronic priests of the Old Testament, and contrasts His ministry to theirs.

     Chapters 4 and 5 of Hebrews emphasize the necessity for the priest to be identified with those he serves. A mediator must have contact with those who need his ministry.

     Hebrews 7 emphasizes the primacy of Christ’s priesthood, stressing its superiority over the Aaronic. The passage also points out a crucial concept: perfection could not come through the old priesthood. By a continual and repetitive ministry the Aaronic priests held the door to God open. But only a permanent priest could save completely and guarantee us access. As believers, we no longer need human priests to meet us at the door and then to turn within, while we stand outside and wait. Christ, in His death and resurrection, has thrown the door wide open, and has invited us to enter freely. Christ Himself, living forever, is God’s eternal guarantee that the door to eternal life will never be closed to you and me.

     Chapter 8 of Hebrews elaborates on this. Christ is a Priest of an entirely new system, a system which reaches within men’s hearts to transform them. According to Hebrews 9 this required that Christ as High Priest present a perfect offering—one able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. Chapter 10 goes on to show the efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice. Through His sacrifice we have been made holy once for all. We are now able to confidently enter into the very presence of God. “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (4:16). Our ever-living High Priest, who has made a single sacrifice and by it perfected us, has thrown open wide the door by which the Old Testament priest once stood—and has commanded us to enter boldly.

     Our Priesthood

     This brief survey of some of the aspects of priesthood helps us understand our present standing with God. Because of Christ, the old need of a doorkeeper is gone. We have direct, personal access to God’s throne through Jesus.

     But what about our priesthood? How do we serve?

     Partly in worship. The offerings made on the altar were not all for sin. Many were offerings of thanksgiving and praise, expressing the joy of communion with the Lord. The Book of Revelation speaks of the prayers of God’s saints, rising up to God as a pleasant incense. This worship is something that we can offer to God as part of our present priestly service.

     In part, we serve as priests by serving our brothers and sisters. As Aaron bore the names of Israel before the Lord, and as Jesus bears our names on His heart, so we are to carry the names and the needs of our brothers before the Lord. There are fellow priests of ours who experience needs. There are fellow believers who experience needs. They have a relationship with God, but do not experience communion. These too we can serve in prayer, and also by reaching out to them to teach and encourage.

     And there is another class of people; those who have never met Christ or come to know Him in a saving way. The concept of priesthood is very important here, in helping us understand ourselves. The priest was “chosen from among men.” He established a point of contact with other human beings, based on his likeness to them. The New Testament stresses the fact that Jesus too became fully human. He did this that He might sympathize with our weaknesses. He never sinned, and yet He knew fully all that it means to be a human being, subject to human weaknesses.

     Because of Jesus’ identification with humanity, Christ is able to reach out to grasp the hand of the sinner and lead him to God.

     Our priestly ministry carries the same demand, the demand that we reach out to people, confessing our common identity with them, and together drawing near to and serving God.

The Teacher's Commentary

Elihu Explains
     and defends God

     Theology (“the science of God”) used to be called “the queen of sciences” because it deals with the most important knowledge we can have, the knowledge of God. Theology is a necessary science, but it is also a difficult science; for it is our attempt to know the Unknowable (Rom. 11:33–36). God has revealed Himself in creation, in providence, in His Word, and supremely in His Son; but our understanding of what God has revealed may not always be clear.

     “The essence of idolatry,” wrote A.W. Tozer, “is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him” (The Knowledge of the Holy , Harper & Row, p. 11). So, whoever attempts to explain and defend the Almighty must have the humble heart of a worshiper; for “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” (1 Cor. 8:1).

     As you read Elihu’s speeches, you get the impression that he was not growing; he was swelling. You also get the impression that his listeners’ minds were wandering, because he kept exhorting them to listen carefully (Job 33:1, 31, 33; 34:2, 10, 16). In the last two thirds of his speech, Elihu explained and defended the justice of God (Job 34–35) and the greatness of God (Job 36–37).

     1. God is just (Job 34–35) / Elihu had promised not to use flattery (Job 32:21), but he came close to it in 34:2 when he addressed his audience as “wise men” and “men of learning”. Actually, he was flattering himself; because if these “learned wise men” were willing to listen to him, they must have thought that he was more learned and wise than they! Quoting Job’s words (v. 3; 12:11), Elihu urged them to use discernment as they “tasted” his words, so that he and they might “learn together what is good” (34:4). Elihu compared his speaking to the enjoyment of a tasteful and nourishing meal.

     Elihu listed two of Job’s complaints to be discussed: “God is unjust” (vv. 5–6) and “There is no profit in serving God” (vv. 7–9). He answered the first complaint in verses 10–37 and the second in Job 35.

     “God is unjust” (Job 34:5–6, 10–37). The injustice of God was one of the major themes in Job’s speeches. He felt that he was being treated like a sinner, and yet God would not “come to court” and tell Job what he had done wrong. (See 9:2, 17–20; 19:6–7; 27:2.) Elihu recalled Job saying that he was innocent and had been denied justice (34:5; 10:7; 6:29), and that God was shooting arrows at him (34:6; 6:4).

     Elihu presented three arguments to prove that there is no injustice with God. To begin with, if God is unjust, then He is not God (34:10–15). “Far be it from God, that He should do wickedness, and from the Almighty, that He should commit iniquity” (v. 10). “It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice” (v. 12). Abraham asked, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25) and the obvious answer is yes!

     If God is truly God, then He is perfect; and if He is perfect, then He cannot do wrong. An unjust God would be as unthinkable as a square circle or a round triangle. According to Elihu, what seems injustice to us is really justice: God is paying sinners back for what they do (Job 34:11). In fact, God is so just that He has ordained that sin itself will punish the evildoer. (See Pss. 7:15; 9:15–16; 35:8.) There is no way to escape the justice of God.

     Elihu emphasized that God is sovereign, and a sovereign God can be indicted by no law or judged by no court. The king can do no wrong. God was not appointed to His throne, so He can’t be taken from it (Job 34:13). To say that God is unjust is to say that He is not God and therefore has no right to be on the throne. But God controls our very breath and can take our lives away in an instant (vv. 14–15; Acts 17:25, 28). “It is because of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not” (Lam. 3:22).

     The Book of Job magnifies the sovereignty of God. From the very first chapter, it is obvious that God is in control; for even Satan is told what he can and cannot do. During the debate, it appears that God is absent; but He is aware of how Job feels and what Job and his friends say. Thirty-one times in the Book of Job, God is called “the Almighty.” Elihu was right on target: God is sovereign and cannot do wrong.

     His second argument is that if God were unjust, there could be no just government on earth (Job 34:16–20). As a respected elder, Job had participated in local government and had helped to bring justice to the afflicted (29:7–17). But all human government was established by God (Gen. 9:1–7; Rom. 13:1–7); so if mortal man can execute justice on earth, why can’t a holy and sovereign God execute justice from heaven? He can dethrone kings and remove nobles, and He shows no partiality (Dan. 4:25, 32, 35). If the God who rules the world were unjust, there could be no order or harmony; and everything would fall apart.

     However, Elihu made a big mistake in singling out and emphasizing only one divine attribute, the justice of God; for God is also loving and gracious. (Bildad had made the same mistake in his speeches.) In His wisdom, God devised a plan of redemption that satisfies both His justice and His love (Rom. 3:21–31). Because of the Cross, God can redeem sinners and still magnify His righteousness and uphold His holy law.

     Elihu’s third argument is that if God were unjust, then He must not see what is going on in the world (Job 34:21–30). But God is omniscient and sees all things! A human judge, with his limitations, hears a case and makes the best decision he can, and sometimes he’s wrong. But God sees every step we take, and there is no place where we can hide from Him (Ps. 139:7–12). Job wanted God to meet him in court so he could present his case, but what could Job tell God that God didn’t already know? “God has no need to examine men further, that they should come before Him for judgment” (Job 34:23). Unlike human officials, God is not obligated to conduct an inquiry and gather evidence; He knows everything and can judge with perfect wisdom.

     One of Job’s complaints was that God was silent and had hidden His face from him (9:11; 23:1–9), but Elihu had an answer for that: “But if He remains silent, who can condemn Him? If He hides His face, who can see Him?” (34:29) In Job 24, Job had accused God of ignoring men’s sins; but what right had he to judge the Judge? God waited 4 centuries before judging the wicked nations in Canaan (Gen. 15:13–16) and 120 years before sending the Flood (6:3). Sinners should be grateful that God gives them time to repent (2 Peter 3:9).

     God rules over nations and individuals (Job 34:29), but He is not responsible for their sins; for He gives them freedom to make decisions. They also have the freedom to turn from their sins and trust God. Because of this, Elihu closes this part of his speech with an appeal to Job that he confess his sins and repent (vv. 31–33). “Ask God to teach you what you don’t know,” he counsels, “and promise not to sin like this again” (see v. 32). God rewards us on His terms, not our terms; and one of His requirements is that we repent and turn from our sins.

     Elihu paused and gave Job opportunity to speak (v. 33), but Job said nothing. This may have angered Elihu even more because he ended this part of the address with a terrible accusation against Job. He said that Job lacked knowledge and insight, that he was rebellious and spoke proudly against God. Clapping the hands is today a sign of approval, but in that day it was a gesture of mockery and contempt (27:23; Lam. 2:15). Elihu concluded that Job needed even more testing! (Job 34:36) Perhaps that would bring him to his senses.

     Having disposed of Job’s first complaint, Elihu turns to the second one.

     “There is no profit in obeying God” (Job 34:7–9; 35:1–16). Again, Elihu tries to throw Job’s own words back in his face: “I am innocent” (10:7; 12:4; 27:6) and, “What have I gained by obeying God?” (9:29–31; 21:15) Job did make the first statement, but the second is not an accurate quotation of his words. Job never did bargain with God as Satan said he would (1:9, 21; 2:9–10). Eliphaz had discussed this topic (Job 22) and had come to the conclusion that neither man’s piety nor his iniquity could make any difference to the character of God. But Elihu felt it was important to deal with the theme again.

     Elihu asked his listeners to look up to the heavens and see how far away the clouds were, and then imagine how far God’s throne was from the earth (35:5–7). Can a man’s sins or good deeds on earth exert such power that they will travel all that distance and change the Almighty in heaven?

     Then Elihu asked them to consider human society (vv. 8–16). Our sins or good works may affect people around us (v. 8), but God is not affected by them. Certainly God grieves over man’s sins (Gen. 6:6) and delights in the obedience of the faithful (Ps. 37:23); but our good deeds can’t bribe Him, and our misdeeds can’t threaten Him. God’s character is the same whether men obey Him or disobey Him. God can’t change for the better because He is perfect, and He can’t change for the worse because He is holy.

     God cares for the birds and beasts, and they trust Him (Job 35:11; Matt. 6:25–34); but men made in the image of God don’t cry out to God until they are under a terrible burden of oppression (Job 35:9). They forget God until trouble comes. But God knows that their prayers are insincere, so He doesn’t answer them (vv. 12–13). This explains why Job’s prayers haven’t been answered: his heart was not right with God (v. 14).

     But even if God doesn’t relieve the burden, He can give the trusting sufferer “songs in the night” (v. 10; Ps. 42:8; 77:6). “Any man can sing in the day,” said Charles Spurgeon. “It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but he is the skillful singer who can sing when there is not a ray of light by which to read.” The Lord gave “songs in the night” to Jesus before He went to the cross (Matt. 26:30) and to Paul and Silas in the prison in Philippi (Acts 16:25). If God doesn’t see fit to remove our burdens, He always gives strength to bear them—and a song to sing while doing it!

     Elihu dismisses Job’s complaint that he can’t see God. The important thing is that God sees Job and knows his case completely (Job 35:14). Job’s situation won’t be changed by his empty talk and many words (v. 16), so the only thing for Job to do is wait and trust (v. 14).

     God is gracious (Job 33), and God is just (Job 34–35); but God is also great and mighty (Job 36–37), and Elihu thought that Job needed to recognize how great God is.

Be Patient (Job): Waiting on God in Difficult Times

Swimming In The Sea of Talmud
     Berakhot 8a–b

     D’RASH

     A student has become a serious behavior problem in school. The principal asks the parents, both of whom are psychologists, to come in for a conference. The mother acknowledges that there have been problems at home as well, and the father assures the principal that they are “on top of the situation” and are dealing with it. The principal suggests that they turn to an outside psychologist to deal with the problem. The parents are taken aback.

     “Are you implying that we’re not professionally competent to deal with this situation?” the father angrily asks. “We both have Ph.D.s in clinical psychology; we have been in private practice for over twenty years; and we have outstanding reputations in the community! And how do you think our sending our child to someone else would look? People would say, ‘They can’t even handle their own problems; how in the world can they help me with mine?’ If you meant to insult us, you’ve certainly succeeded!”

     The principal tries to reassure the parents. “The last thing in the world I want to do is question your competence. I have the utmost respect for you, personally and professionally. The issue here is not competence but closeness. Sometimes we’re just too close to a situation to be able to be as effective as we’d like to be. I think I’m a pretty good educator, but my wife and I felt that it would be in everyone’s best interest if our daughter went to a different high school from mine. My sister is a pediatrician, but when her kids get sick, she takes them to another doctor. She feels too close to the situation, too emotionally involved to be able to give them the best treatment. The truth is that I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to send my kids to you for help; I know how good you are. But I think you ought to consider sending your child to someone else for help. Sometimes, what we can do for others, we can’t do for ourselves. That’s unfortunate, but it’s true.”

     Often in life, we are imprisoned by our own egos. The harder we struggle to free ourselves, the more trapped we become. Sometimes, all that we need is to let someone else give us a hand.

     Rav Huna bar Yehudah said in the name of Rabbi Ammi: “One should always complete one’s portions with the community, twice Scripture and once translation, even ‘Ataroth, Dibon …’ [
Numbers 32:3], for anyone who completes the portion with the community has days and years lengthened.” Rav Bivi bar Abaye thought of finishing his portions of the entire year on the eve of Yom Kippur. Ḥiyya bar Rav from Difti taught him: “It is written: ‘You shall practice self-denial, on the ninth day of the month at evening’ [Leviticus 23:32]. Do we fast on the ninth? Don’t we fast on the tenth?! This teaches us that whoever eats and drinks on the ninth is regarded by Scripture as if he fasted both on the ninth and on the tenth.” He [Rav Bivi bar Abaye] thought of finishing earlier, but some elder said to him: “It is taught: ‘As long as he does not go ahead or fall behind.’ ” Just as Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said to his son: “Finish your portions with the community, and be careful of the veins according to [the opinion of] Rabbi Yehudah, and it is taught: Rabbi Yehudah says: ‘Until he slaughters the veins, and be careful with an old man who forgot his learning because of circumstances, as it is said: “The tablets and the broken tablets were placed in the Ark.” ’ ”

     The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Mark, the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a sacred occasion for you: you shall practice self-denial, and you shall bring an offering by fire to the Lord; you shall do no work throughout that day. For it is a Day of Atonement, on which expiation is made on your behalf before the Lord your God. (
Leviticus 23:26–28)

     As soon as Moses came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, he became enraged; and he hurled the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain. He took the calf that they had made and burned it; he ground it to powder and strewed it upon the water and so made the Israelites drink it. (
Exodus 32:19–20)

     “One should always complete one’s portions with the community” refers to study of the weekly public reading of the Torah. All of the Rabbis agree that one should constantly study Torah. Rav Huna has a special understanding of this rule: One should study the same section or portion as is being read in the synagogue that Shabbat, completing it during the same week.

     A story is told about Rav Bivi bar Abaye who fell behind in the weekly study of the Torah portions and hoped to catch up right before Yom Kippur, when he would have some free time. However, he was reminded by Ḥiyya that the day before Yom Kippur is—according to the well-known Midrash on the verse from Leviticus—a day for eating and drinking. The Midrash is based on the fact that the verse says to fast from the ninth day of the seventh month, rather than from the tenth day. The contextual meaning of the verse is simply that the fast of Yom Kippur starts the night before; even though Jewish days start at dark (and, thus, technically at the beginning of the tenth day of the month), people think of Yom Kippur eve as part of the ninth day of the month. When Rav Bivi wanted to finish studying the weekly Torah portions before Yom Kippur, he was reminded that one should neither go ahead nor fall behind, that is, one should follow the weekly cycle at the right time and study along with it.

     The teaching of Rabbi Yehudah adds two pieces of advice. First, when one slaughters a fowl, the cut should be made so that the veins are entirely severed. Even though this is not technically required by law, it is nonetheless good advice. Second, one should honor a person who used to have great knowledge but has since forgotten it. This is analogous to the holiness given to the broken tablets of the Law. When Moses saw the Golden Calf, he became angry and shattered the first tablets that God had given him. These broken tablets of the Law were later carried by Moses in the Ark, along with the second set that God gave to Moses. The first set retained its holiness and was not discarded, even though it was no longer usable. Similarly, one should revere a teacher who had previously been venerated for knowledge, even if this person is now “broken,” that is, forgetful because of old age.

Swimming in the Sea of Talmud: Lessons for Everyday Living

The Imitation Of Christ
     Thomas A Kempis

     Book Two / The Interior Life

     The Eighth Chapter / The Intimate Friendship Of Jesus

     WHEN Jesus is near, all is well and nothing seems difficult. When He is absent, all is hard. When Jesus does not speak within, all other comfort is empty, but if He says only a word, it brings great consolation.

     Did not Mary Magdalen rise at once from her weeping when Martha said to her: “The Master is come, and calleth for thee”?13 Happy is the hour when Jesus calls one from tears to joy of spirit.

     How dry and hard you are without Jesus! How foolish and vain if you desire anything but Him! Is it not a greater loss than losing the whole world? For what, without Jesus, can the world give you? Life without Him is a relentless hell, but living with Him is a sweet paradise. If Jesus be with you, no enemy can harm you.

     He who finds Jesus finds a rare treasure, indeed, a good above every good, whereas he who loses Him loses more than the whole world. The man who lives without Jesus is the poorest of the poor, whereas no one is so rich as the man who lives in His grace.

     It is a great art to know how to converse with Jesus, and great wisdom to know how to keep Him. Be humble and peaceful, and Jesus will be with you. Be devout and calm, and He will remain with you. You may quickly drive Him away and lose His grace, if you turn back to the outside world. And, if you drive Him away and lose Him, to whom will you go and whom will you then seek as a friend? You cannot live well without a friend, and if Jesus be not your friend above all else, you will be very sad and desolate. Thus, you are acting foolishly if you trust or rejoice in any other. Choose the opposition of the whole world rather than offend Jesus. Of all those who are dear to you, let Him be your special love. Let all things be loved for the sake of Jesus, but Jesus for His own sake.

     Jesus Christ must be loved alone with a special love for He alone, of all friends, is good and faithful. For Him and in Him you must love friends and foes alike, and pray to Him that all may know and love Him.

     Never desire special praise or love, for that belongs to God alone Who has no equal. Never wish that anyone’s affection be centered in you, nor let yourself be taken up with the love of anyone, but let Jesus be in you and in every good man. Be pure and free within, unentangled with any creature.

     You must bring to God a clean and open heart if you wish to attend and see how sweet the Lord is. Truly you will never attain this happiness unless His grace prepares you and draws you on so that you may forsake all things to be united with Him alone.

     When the grace of God comes to a man he can do all things, but when it leaves him he becomes poor and weak, abandoned, as it were, to affliction. Yet, in this condition he should not become dejected or despair. On the contrary, he should calmly await the will of God and bear whatever befalls him in praise of Jesus Christ, for after winter comes summer, after night, the day, and after the storm, a great calm.

The Imitation Of Christ

Take Heart
     March 5

     As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
---
Psalm 103:13.

     Children have something worse than follies; they have faults to be forgiven. ( Spurgeon's Sermons, 5 Volumes )Our Father has compassion for the faults of his children—he has provided for their cleansing, and he freely gives them use of that provision and readily forgives them their iniquities.

     Good children, who have done wrong, are never satisfied until they get to their parents and ask their forgiveness. Some parents think it wise to withhold the forgiving word for a little time; so may our great Father, but as a rule isn’t it wonderful how readily he forgives? He for a little time, perhaps, makes us smart under the sin for our good, but it is not often; as a rule, the kiss is on our cheek almost before the confession has left our lips.

     Do you think that Peter ought to have been kept out of the church awhile after denying his Master with oaths and cursing? Perhaps he would have been if we had been consulted, but Jesus Christ, by a kind look or a gentle word, could set crooked things straight. So we see Peter in company with John and the rest of the disciples within two or three days of his committing that serious trespass. The Lord is very ready to forgive; it is the church that is unmerciful sometimes, but not the Master; he is ever willing to receive us when we come to him and to blot out our transgressions.

     Come along, then, you who have erred and gone astray, you backsliders who are aware of sin; you who walked in the light only a few days ago and have gotten into the dark by some sad slip; yet come along—you are very ready to forgive your children, aren’t you? Don’t you remember, you who are too old to have them about the house, how readily in your younger days you caught up your little ones in your arms and said, “Dear child, don’t cry anymore; you must not do it again, but Father fully forgives you this time”?

     Just so your heavenly Father waits to catch you up, press you to his bosom and say, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (
Jer. 31:3), not with a love that can soon be set aside by your fault, therefore, again I will blot out your transgression and set your feet on a rock and strengthen you to sin no more. Oh, it is a sweet, sweet thought—our Father feels compassion for us in our faults!
--- C. H. Spurgeon


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

On This Day   March 5
     Sam Jones vs. Sam Jones

     John J. Jones felt God calling him into the ministry, but he resisted, choosing instead the profession of law. His son followed in his footsteps. Young Sam Jones proved a brilliant attorney at first. But alcoholism quickly ruined his life and reduced him to shoveling coal. He was on a drinking binge when he heard of his father’s illness. He rushed home, and the old lawyer became a preacher at last, saying, “My poor, wicked, wayward, reckless boy. You have brought me down in sorrow to my grave. Promise me, my boy, to meet me in heaven.”

     Sam fell to his knees and promised, then he flew to a bar and begged for a glass of liquor. But as he started to drink it, he saw himself in the mirror. Hair matted. Filth and vomit on his clothes. Lips swollen. He smashed the glass on the floor and gave his life to Jesus Christ. A week later, he preached his first sermon.

     Jones became the most famous evangelist of the nineteenth century, save for Moody. He held crusades in major cities throughout America, winning an estimated 500,000 people to Christ. His most unusual revival began on March 5, 1899, in Toledo, Ohio. The mayor of Toledo was also named Sam Jones. Mayor Jones introduced Evangelist Jones on the revival’s opening night. The next mayoral election was only a month away, and he enjoyed the exposure. But he didn’t enjoy what Evangelist Jones had to say, for the preacher lost no time in attacking the mayor’s policies. There were 700 saloons and 150 gambling dens in Toledo, and city administrators were unconcerned about it. The evangelist said that if the devil were mayor of Toledo, he wouldn’t change a thing. He flailed away at alcohol and sin. He lifted high the cross, and preached with the zeal of a lawyer trying to save his client from the gallows. Men wept. Women groaned. Children were spellbound. The seats were packed night after night. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, were converted during the Toledo meetings.

     But the mayor won reelection the next month by a huge margin.

   Who is always in trouble? Who argues and fights?
   Who has cuts and bruises? Whose eyes are red?
   Everyone who stays up late, having just one more drink.
   Don’t even look at that colorful stuff Bubbling up in the glass!
    --- Proverbs 23:29-31a
.


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

Morning and Evening
     Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON

          Morning - March 5

     “Let us not sleep, as do others.” --- 1 Thessalonians 5:6.

     There are many ways of promoting Christian wakefulness. Among the rest, let me strongly advise Christians to converse together concerning the ways of the Lord. Christian and Hopeful, as they journeyed towards the Celestial City, said to themselves, “To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.” Christian enquired, “Brother, where shall we begin?” And Hopeful answered, “Where God began with us.” Then Christian sang this song ---

     “When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
     And hear how these two pilgrims talk together;
     Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise,
     Thus to keep open their drowsy slumb’ring eyes.
     Saints’ fellowship, if it be managed well,
     Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell.”


     Christians who isolate themselves and walk alone, are very liable to grow drowsy. Hold Christian company, and you will be kept wakeful by it, and refreshed and encouraged to make quicker progress in the road to heaven. But as you thus take “sweet counsel” with others in the ways of God, take care that the theme of your converse is the Lord Jesus. Let the eye of faith be constantly looking unto him; let your heart be full of him; let your lips speak of his worth. Friend, live near to the cross, and thou wilt not sleep. Labour to impress thyself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which thou art going. If thou rememberest that thou art going to heaven, thou wilt not sleep on the road. If thou thinkest that hell is behind thee, and the devil pursuing thee, thou wilt not loiter. Would the manslayer sleep with the avenger of blood behind him, and the city of refuge before him? Christian, wilt thou sleep whilst the pearly gates are open—the songs of angels waiting for thee to join them—a crown of gold ready for thy brow? Ah! no; in holy fellowship continue to watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.


          Evening - March 5

     “Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.” --- Psalm 35:3.

     What does this sweet prayer teach me? It shall be my evening’s petition; but first let it yield me an instructive meditation. The text informs me first of all that David had his doubts; for why should he pray, “Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation,” if he were not sometimes exercised with doubts and fears? Let me, then, be of good cheer, for I am not the only saint who has to complain of weakness of faith. If David doubted, I need not conclude that I am no Christian because I have doubts. The text reminds me that David was not content while he had doubts and fears, but he repaired at once to the mercy-seat to pray for assurance; for he valued it as much fine gold. I too must labour after an abiding sense of my acceptance in the Beloved, and must have no joy when his love is not shed abroad in my soul. When my Bridegroom is gone from me, my soul must and will fast. I learn also that David knew where to obtain full assurance. He went to his God in prayer, crying, “Say unto my soul I am thy salvation.” I must be much alone with God if I would have a clear sense of Jesus’ love. Let my prayers cease, and my eye of faith will grow dim. Much in prayer, much in heaven; slow in prayer, slow in progress. I notice that David would not be satisfied unless his assurance had a divine source. “Say unto my soul.” Lord, do thou say it! Nothing short of a divine testimony in the soul will ever content the true Christian. Moreover, David could not rest unless his assurance had a vivid personality about it. “Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.” Lord, if thou shouldst say this to all the saints, it were nothing, unless thou shouldst say it to me. Lord, I have sinned; I deserve not thy smile; I scarcely dare to ask it; but oh! say to my soul, even to my soul, “I am thy salvation.” Let me have a present, personal, infallible, indisputable sense that I am thine, and that thou art mine.

Morning and Evening

Amazing Grace
     March 5

          THY WORD IS LIKE A GARDEN, LORD

     Edwin Hodder, 1837–1904

     How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from Your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. (Psalm 119:103, 104)

     For the child of God, the daily reading of the Scriptures is the nourishment of the soul. The Bible’s value has been described in many ways as the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Someone has offered this sage advice regarding the use of the Bible: “Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure.”

     Read this book for whatever you can accept and take the rest on faith. You will live and die a better man.
--- Abraham Lincoln

     Although just a lay amateur writer in England, Edwin Hodder was also impressed with the miraculous quality of the Bible. So in this hymn, first published in 1863, Hodder paints comparative pictures that both young and old can understand easily. Verse one begins with the thought that even casual seekers can find something from God’s written landscape that will beautify their lives merely by “plucking a lovely cluster.” Stanza one continues to say, however, that it is not enough to be casual in this garden of beauty. Rather, we must earnestly search and dig into its mighty depths for “jewels rich and rare.”

     Verse two extends the thought further that God’s Word, like the starry host, is fathomless in giving guidance for life’s journey. Finally, the hymn reminds us that there is an earnestness confronting each believer in the form of a warfare against sin and unrighteousness. For this battle we require the aid of God’s Holy Word.

     Thy Word is like a garden, Lord, with flowers bright and fair; and ev’ryone who seeks may pluck a lovely cluster there. Thy Word is like a deep, deep, mine, and jewels rich and rare are hidden in its mighty depths for ev’ry searcher there.
     Thy Word is like a starry host—A thousand rays of light are seen to guide the traveler and make his pathway bright. Thy Word is like an armory where soldiers may repair and find, for life’s long battle-day, all needful weapons there.
     O may I love Thy precious Word, may I explore the mine; may I its fragrant flowers glean, may light upon me shine. O may I find my armor there, Thy Word my trusty sword! I’ll learn to fight with ev’ry foe the battle of the Lord!


     For Today: Psalm 119:105; 130; John 5:39; 6:63; 2 Timothy 3:16.

     Allow the Bible’s relevance, beauty, and simplicity to thrill your soul. Reflect on this musical reminder to help ---

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

Book Of Common Prayer
     Monday March 5, 2018 | Lent

Monday Of The Third Week In Lent
Year 2

Psalms (Morning)     Psalm 80
Psalms (Evening)     Psalm 77 (79)
Old Testament     Genesis 44:18–34
New Testament     1 Corinthians 7:25–31
Gospel     Mark 5:21–43

Index of Readings

Psalms (Morning)
Psalm 80
80 To The Choirmaster: According To Lilies. A Testimony. Of Asaph, A Psalm.

1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.
2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh,
stir up your might
and come to save us!

3 Restore us, O God;
let your face shine, that we may be saved!

4 O LORD God of hosts,
how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears
and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6 You make us an object of contention for our neighbors,
and our enemies laugh among themselves.

7 Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved!

8 You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it;
it took deep root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 It sent out its branches to the sea
and its shoots to the River.
12 Why then have you broken down its walls,
so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13 The boar from the forest ravages it,
and all that move in the field feed on it.

14 Turn again, O God of hosts!
Look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
15 the stock that your right hand planted,
and for the son whom you made strong for yourself.
16 They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down;
may they perish at the rebuke of your face!
17 But let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!
18 Then we shall not turn back from you;
give us life, and we will call upon your name!

19 Restore us, O LORD God of hosts!
Let your face shine, that we may be saved!

Psalms (Evening)
Psalm 77 (79)
77 To The Choirmaster: According To Jeduthun. A Psalm Of Asaph.

1 I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, and he will hear me.
2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.
3 When I remember God, I moan;
when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah

4 You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I consider the days of old,
the years long ago.
6 I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;
let me meditate in my heart.”
Then my spirit made a diligent search:
7 “Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah

10 Then I said, “I will appeal to this,
to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”

11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.
15 You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

16 When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
indeed, the deep trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water;
the skies gave forth thunder;
your arrows flashed on every side.
18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings lighted up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

[ 79 A Psalm Of Asaph.

1 O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple;
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
2 They have given the bodies of your servants
to the birds of the heavens for food,
the flesh of your faithful to the beasts of the earth.
3 They have poured out their blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there was no one to bury them.
4 We have become a taunt to our neighbors,
mocked and derided by those around us.

5 How long, O LORD? Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealousy burn like fire?
6 Pour out your anger on the nations
that do not know you,
and on the kingdoms
that do not call upon your name!
7 For they have devoured Jacob
and laid waste his habitation.

8 Do not remember against us our former iniquities;
let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
for we are brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and atone for our sins,
for your name’s sake!
10 Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants
be known among the nations before our eyes!

11 Let the groans of the prisoners come before you;
according to your great power, preserve those doomed to die!
12 Return sevenfold into the lap of our neighbors
the taunts with which they have taunted you, O Lord!
13 But we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
from generation to generation we will recount your praise. ]

Old Testament
Genesis 44:18–34

18 Then Judah went up to him and said, “Oh, my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not your anger burn against your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself. 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father, or a brother?’ 20 And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a young brother, the child of his old age. His brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’ 21 Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22 We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23 Then you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not see my face again.’

24 “When we went back to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25 And when our father said, ‘Go again, buy us a little food,’ 26 we said, ‘We cannot go down. If our youngest brother goes with us, then we will go down. For we cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27 Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons. 28 One left me, and I said, “Surely he has been torn to pieces,” and I have never seen him since. 29 If you take this one also from me, and harm happens to him, you will bring down my gray hairs in evil to Sheol.’

30 “Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy’s life, 31 as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol. 32 For your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.’ 33 Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34 For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would find my father.”

New Testament
1 Corinthians 7:25–31

25 Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

Gospel
Mark 5:21–43

21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” 24 And he went with him.

And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

The Book of Common Prayer


Exodus 16
s2-043 9-07-2014 | Brett Meador






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Henry Center For Theological Understanding





Historical Redemptive Context

Discussion
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Wisdom | Mark Laberton
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Dangers Of Worship | Mark Labberton
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Worship And Justice Connection

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State of Race Relations In US 1

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State of Race Relations In US 2

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Getting the Gospel Right

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Freedom in Christ 1

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The Reality of Resurrection 1

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The Garden of Glory

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The Reality of Resurrection 2

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Why the Ascension Matters

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Freedom in Christ 2
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No Other Gospel

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