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Jeremiah 46-48
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Judgment on Egypt

Jeremiah 46:1     The word of the Lord that came to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the nations.

     2 Concerning Egypt, about the army of Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates at Carchemish and which King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah:

3     Prepare buckler and shield,
and advance for battle!
4     Harness the horses;
mount the steeds!
Take your stations with your helmets,
whet your lances,
put on your coats of mail!
5     Why do I see them terrified?
They have fallen back;
their warriors are beaten down,
and have fled in haste.
They do not look back—
terror is all around!
says the Lord.
6     The swift cannot flee away,
nor can the warrior escape;
in the north by the river Euphrates
they have stumbled and fallen.

7     Who is this, rising like the Nile,
like rivers whose waters surge?
8     Egypt rises like the Nile,
like rivers whose waters surge.
It said, Let me rise, let me cover the earth,
let me destroy cities and their inhabitants.
9     Advance, O horses,
and dash madly, O chariots!
Let the warriors go forth:
Ethiopia and Put who carry the shield,
the Ludim, who draw the bow.
10     That day is the day of the Lord God of hosts,
a day of retribution,
to gain vindication from his foes.
The sword shall devour and be sated,
and drink its fill of their blood.
For the Lord God of hosts holds a sacrifice
in the land of the north by the river Euphrates.
11     Go up to Gilead, and take balm,
O virgin daughter Egypt!
In vain you have used many medicines;
there is no healing for you.
12     The nations have heard of your shame,
and the earth is full of your cry;
for warrior has stumbled against warrior;
both have fallen together.

Babylonia Will Strike Egypt

     13 The word that the Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about the coming of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon to attack the land of Egypt:

14     Declare in Egypt, and proclaim in Migdol;
proclaim in Memphis and Tahpanhes;
Say, “Take your stations and be ready,
for the sword shall devour those around you.”
15     Why has Apis fled?
Why did your bull not stand?
—because the Lord thrust him down.
16     Your multitude stumbled and fell,
and one said to another,
“Come, let us go back to our own people
and to the land of our birth,
because of the destroying sword.”
17     Give Pharaoh, king of Egypt, the name
“Braggart who missed his chance.”

18     As I live, says the King,
whose name is the Lord of hosts,
one is coming
like Tabor among the mountains,
and like Carmel by the sea.
19     Pack your bags for exile,
sheltered daughter Egypt!
For Memphis shall become a waste,
a ruin, without inhabitant.

20     A beautiful heifer is Egypt—
a gadfly from the north lights upon her.
21     Even her mercenaries in her midst
are like fatted calves;
they too have turned and fled together,
they did not stand;
for the day of their calamity has come upon them,
the time of their punishment.

22     She makes a sound like a snake gliding away;
for her enemies march in force,
and come against her with axes,
like those who fell trees.
23     They shall cut down her forest,
says the Lord,
though it is impenetrable,
because they are more numerous
than locusts;
they are without number.
24     Daughter Egypt shall be put to shame;
she shall be handed over to a people from the north.

     25 The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, said: See, I am bringing punishment upon Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh, and Egypt and her gods and her kings, upon Pharaoh and those who trust in him. 26 I will hand them over to those who seek their life, to King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and his officers. Afterward Egypt shall be inhabited as in the days of old, says the Lord.

God Will Save Israel (Cp Jer 30.10—11)

27     But as for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob,
and do not be dismayed, O Israel;
for I am going to save you from far away,
and your offspring from the land of their captivity.
Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease,
and no one shall make him afraid.
28     As for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob,
says the Lord,
for I am with you.
I will make an end of all the nations
among which I have banished you,
but I will not make an end of you!
I will chastise you in just measure,
and I will by no means leave you unpunished.

Judgment on the Philistines

Jeremiah 47:1     The word of the Lord that came to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh attacked Gaza:

2     Thus says the Lord:
See, waters are rising out of the north
and shall become an overflowing torrent;
they shall overflow the land and all that fills it,
the city and those who live in it.
People shall cry out,
and all the inhabitants of the land shall wail.
3     At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his stallions,
at the clatter of his chariots, at the rumbling of their wheels,
parents do not turn back for children,
so feeble are their hands,
4     because of the day that is coming
to destroy all the Philistines,
to cut off from Tyre and Sidon
every helper that remains.
For the Lord is destroying the Philistines,
the remnant of the coastland of Caphtor.
5     Baldness has come upon Gaza,
Ashkelon is silenced.
O remnant of their power!
How long will you gash yourselves?
6     Ah, sword of the Lord!
How long until you are quiet?
Put yourself into your scabbard,
rest and be still!
7     How can it be quiet,
when the Lord has given it an order?
Against Ashkelon and against the seashore—
there he has appointed it.

Judgment on Moab

Jeremiah 48:1     Concerning Moab.

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:
Alas for Nebo, it is laid waste!
Kiriathaim is put to shame, it is taken;
the fortress is put to shame and broken down;
2     the renown of Moab is no more.
In Heshbon they planned evil against her:
“Come, let us cut her off from being a nation!”
You also, O Madmen, shall be brought to silence;
the sword shall pursue you.

3     Hark! a cry from Horonaim,
“Desolation and great destruction!”
4     “Moab is destroyed!”
her little ones cry out.
5     For at the ascent of Luhith
they go up weeping bitterly;
for at the descent of Horonaim
they have heard the distressing cry of anguish.
6     Flee! Save yourselves!
Be like a wild ass in the desert!

7     Surely, because you trusted in your strongholds and your treasures,
you also shall be taken;
Chemosh shall go out into exile,
with his priests and his attendants.
8     The destroyer shall come upon every town,
and no town shall escape;
the valley shall perish,
and the plain shall be destroyed,
as the Lord has spoken.

9     Set aside salt for Moab,
for she will surely fall;
her towns shall become a desolation,
with no inhabitant in them.

10     Accursed is the one who is slack in doing the work of the Lord;
and accursed is the one who keeps back the sword from bloodshed.

11     Moab has been at ease from his youth,
settled like wine on its dregs;
he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel,
nor has he gone into exile;
therefore his flavor has remained
and his aroma is unspoiled.

     12 Therefore, the time is surely coming, says the Lord, when I shall send to him decanters to decant him, and empty his vessels, and break his jars in pieces. 13 Then Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence.

14     How can you say, “We are heroes
and mighty warriors”?
15     The destroyer of Moab and his towns has come up,
and the choicest of his young men have gone down to slaughter,
says the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.
16     The calamity of Moab is near at hand
and his doom approaches swiftly.
17     Mourn over him, all you his neighbors,
and all who know his name;
say, “How the mighty scepter is broken,
the glorious staff!”

18     Come down from glory,
and sit on the parched ground,
enthroned daughter Dibon!
For the destroyer of Moab has come up against you;
he has destroyed your strongholds.
19     Stand by the road and watch,
you inhabitant of Aroer!
Ask the man fleeing and the woman escaping;
say, “What has happened?”
20     Moab is put to shame, for it is broken down;
wail and cry!
Tell it by the Arnon,
that Moab is laid waste.

     21 Judgment has come upon the tableland, upon Holon, and Jahzah, and Mephaath, 22 and Dibon, and Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim, 23 and Kiriathaim, and Beth-gamul, and Beth-meon, 24 and Kerioth, and Bozrah, and all the towns of the land of Moab, far and near. 25 The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, says the Lord.

     26 Make him drunk, because he magnified himself against the Lord; let Moab wallow in his vomit; he too shall become a laughingstock. 27 Israel was a laughingstock for you, though he was not caught among thieves; but whenever you spoke of him you shook your head!

28     Leave the towns, and live on the rock,
O inhabitants of Moab!
Be like the dove that nests
on the sides of the mouth of a gorge.
29     We have heard of the pride of Moab—
he is very proud—
of his loftiness, his pride, and his arrogance,
and the haughtiness of his heart.
30     I myself know his insolence, says the Lord;
his boasts are false,
his deeds are false.
31     Therefore I wail for Moab;
I cry out for all Moab;
for the people of Kir-heres I mourn.
32     More than for Jazer I weep for you,
O vine of Sibmah!
Your branches crossed over the sea,
reached as far as Jazer;
upon your summer fruits and your vintage
the destroyer has fallen.
33     Gladness and joy have been taken away
from the fruitful land of Moab;
I have stopped the wine from the wine presses;
no one treads them with shouts of joy;
the shouting is not the shout of joy.

     34 Heshbon and Elealeh cry out; as far as Jahaz they utter their voice, from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah. For even the waters of Nimrim have become desolate. 35 And I will bring to an end in Moab, says the Lord, those who offer sacrifice at a high place and make offerings to their gods. 36 Therefore my heart moans for Moab like a flute, and my heart moans like a flute for the people of Kir-heres; for the riches they gained have perished.

     37 For every head is shaved and every beard cut off; on all the hands there are gashes, and on the loins sackcloth. 38 On all the housetops of Moab and in the squares there is nothing but lamentation; for I have broken Moab like a vessel that no one wants, says the Lord. 39 How it is broken! How they wail! How Moab has turned his back in shame! So Moab has become a derision and a horror to all his neighbors.

40     For thus says the Lord:
Look, he shall swoop down like an eagle,
and spread his wings against Moab;
41     the towns shall be taken
and the strongholds seized.
The hearts of the warriors of Moab, on that day,
shall be like the heart of a woman in labor.
42     Moab shall be destroyed as a people,
because he magnified himself against the Lord.
43     Terror, pit, and trap
are before you, O inhabitants of Moab!
says the Lord.
44     Everyone who flees from the terror
shall fall into the pit,
and everyone who climbs out of the pit
shall be caught in the trap.
For I will bring these things upon Moab
in the year of their punishment,
says the Lord.

45     In the shadow of Heshbon
fugitives stop exhausted;
for a fire has gone out from Heshbon,
a flame from the house of Sihon;
it has destroyed the forehead of Moab,
the scalp of the people of tumult.
46     Woe to you, O Moab!
The people of Chemosh have perished,
for your sons have been taken captive,
and your daughters into captivity.
47     Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab
in the latter days, says the Lord.
Thus far is the judgment on Moab.

The Holy Bible: containing the Old and New Testaments with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books [New Revised Standard Version]

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Believing the Gospels vs Trusting the Gospel

By J. Warner Wallace 2/27/14

     I leaned over and said, “I think it may be true.” “What may be true?” asked Susie. “Christianity,” I responded. “The more I look at the Gospels, the more I think they look like real eyewitness accounts.” I spent months examining the claims of the Gospels, evaluating them with the template I typically apply to eyewitnesses in my criminal investigations. At the end of my examination, I was confident in their reliability. I believed the Gospels were telling me the truth about Jesus. But I wasn’t yet a Christian. I had what I often refer to as “belief that”. I examined what the Gospels had to say about Jesus, and after testing them rigorously, I came away with confidence in their accuracy, early datingreliable transmission and lack of bias. But I still had a profoundly important question: “What is the cross all about? Why did Jesus have to die that way?” My wife, Susie, had been raised as a cultural Catholic, and although she was familiar with the language and doctrines of Catholicism, her answer was simply, “I don’t really know.” After months of investigation, I believed what the Gospels told me about Jesus, but I wasn’t yet ready to accept the Gospel of Salvation.

     Yesterday, CBN posted the story of my journey from “belief that” to “belief in”. It’s really the first time I’ve told the story this completely, and I hope it will help you see the role evidence can play in moving someone from intellectual assent to volitional submission:

     For me, the transition from “belief that” to “belief in” can be summarized simply. My investigation of Jesusbrought me to a place of certainty and confidence. What I read about Jesus in the Gospels led me to “belief that”. But what I read about me in the Gospels led me to “belief in”. For months I had been focused on testing the reliability of the Gospels without really embracing the teachings of Jesus related to my own condition as a human. I can still remember where I was when I first read through the accounts from a new perspective, searching this time for what they said about my own human nature. It was convicting.

     I was never someone who saw myself as a bad person. In fact, my role as a police officer only amplified my own pride and sense of “goodness”. I took bad guys to jail. I thought I understood the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. I was on one side of the bars; bad people were on the other. But the New Testament eroded my confidence in my own righteousness. As I saw myself on the pages of Scripture, I had to admit their accuracy. They described me perfectly. The more I read, the more I recognized my need for a Savior. Suddenly the Gospel made sense.

     Every worldview asks and answers three questions: How did we get here, why is it so messed up, and how do we fix it? As I came to understand the answer to the second question, I was ready to embrace the answer to the third. Our problem is rebellion, the same kind of rebellion I had been demonstrating so vividly for thirty-five years as a non-believer. How can we fix it? The Gospel. When I first stepped into an evangelical church and heard the pastor describe Jesus, I wasn’t ready to accept the message of Salvation. I had to begin by examining the Gospel eyewitness accounts:

Click here to go to source

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

Bible Critics and Demands for Archaeological Proof

By Lenny Esposito 11/1/16

     Christianity is a literate faith. By that I mean it is written accounts of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus that are at the center of Christian belief. The Gospel accounts and Paul's writings offer specific testimony to historical events that if proven false would mean Christianity is a sham.

     Because written testimony sits at the crux of Christian faith, it should come as no surprise that skeptics and critics call those written accounts into question. Many times, the doubt the critics voice is accompanied by a complaint of the lack of archaeological data. Take Resa Aslan's Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. In chapter three, he writes, "Despite the stories in the gospels about Jesus preaching in his hometown's synagogue, no archaeological evidence has been unearthed to indicate the presence of a synagogue in ancient Nazareth, though there could have been a small structure that served as such."1 Aslan also points out there have been no inscriptions found to show the general population of Nazareth as literate.

     It seems Aslan chooses to offer these points in some attempt to undermine the story of Jesus announcing his Messiahship in Luke 4:16-30. Other critics have made similar moves, asking "where's the archaeology? to this or that biblical account. But lack of accepted archaeological data isn't as clear as the critics would have you believe. Craig Keener, in his massive historical assessment of the book of Acts, makes a pertinent observation:

     Archaeology is, in some ways, more concrete than extant manuscripts copied and recopied from ancient originals; it provides physical evidence and sometimes (especially through burial inscriptions) the "underside" of society less apt to be preserved in literary sources. Nevertheless, it too has its limitations, not least the "muteness" of stones apart from interpretive grids often provided, at least in part, by literary sources... We further possess only a sample of even the possible physical remains, merely a portion of which have been excavated and only some of the excavations published, thus we sometimes have chance finds confirming literary records that previously were unconfirmed by such data. Some of the archaeological data and the interpretations of them for particular sites noted in this commentary will therefore undoubtedly require revision because archaeological information is always partial and open to reinterpretation when new evidence is found.2

     Keener is right on target here. First, the fact is we don't have archaeological evidence for much of ancient history. Very few things can last buried in the dirt for two thousand years and the things that seem significant in our day may not be significant in that day. How do we know just how literate the people of Nazareth are in the Hebrew Scriptures when the common language was koine Greek? Most writing was placed on perishable materials.

1. Aslan, Reza. ZEALOT: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. New York: Random House, 2013. Location 3511. Kindle.
2. Keener, Craig S. Acts: An Exegetical Commentary. Vol. 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012.32. Print.
3. Harrington, Spenser PM. "Behind the Mask of Agamemnon." Archaeology Magazine. Archaeological Institute of America, Aug. 1999. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.

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     Lenny Esposito is president and founder of Come Reason Ministries, a Christian apologetics organization, and author of the popular www.comereason.org Web site. He has taught apologetics and Christian worldview for over 17 years and has authored hundreds articles dealing with intellectually strenuous topics such as the existence of God, theology, philosophy, social issues and Biblical difficulties.
     Lenny is an in-demand speaker, teaching at conferences, churches, and schools across the nation. He is a contributor to the popular Apologetics Study Bible for Students and his articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the Southern California Christian Times. He has debated many topics on faith and reason and the rationality of the Christian worldview; his most recent debate being against well-known atheists and author Dr. Richard Carrier on the question "Does God Exist?"
     Lenny is a pioneer in online ministry efforts when he began using the Web to reach others near its beginnings in 1995. He produces one of the top 16 apologetics podcasts according to Apologetics 315 and his site has been viewed millions of times by visitors from nearly every country in the world.
Lenny is a member of the Evangelical Philosophical Society and the Evangelical Theological Society.

Why is the Resurrection so important?

By Lenny Esposito 3/10/13

As we prepare for Easter, I thought it would be a good time to think about the resurrection in different ways. Imagine you are part of Jesus' first disciples some 50 days after Jesus' execution. Jesus is no longer with you, and those in power are willing to execute you, or anyone else that bucks their religious establishment. Yet, you desire to go out and get other people to follow this Jesus, this supposed insurrectionist who taught what the Sanhedrin charged as blasphemy. You want to go and "make disciples of all nations." What could be so convincing that it would lead to thousands of conversions in just a few years after Jesus' death? What testimony would be so powerful for others to believe in spite of all the negative consequences?

     When we look at the speeches of both Peter and Paul in the New Testament we find that the one thing they always focused on in their messages is that Jesus of Nazareth was put to death, but rose again. It is the resurrection of Christ that formed the foundation and the fuel of the new Christian faith. Everywhere the disciples went, they preached Jesus being raised from the dead, and this is what transformed Christianity form a small group of scared disciples to a world-changing faith reaching across the globe.

     It's hard to not understate the importance of the resurrection to Christianity. There's a Greek legend of the servant Damocles, who told his wealthy and prosperous king he would like nothing more than to switch places with him to enjoy the luxuries such a position affords. The king offered his throne for a single day and the servant immediately accepted. However, after taking his seat on the king's throne, Damocles saw that the king had placed a sword hanging directly over his head, suspended only by a single hair. The point was to show that the position of kingship is tenuous at best. Break that hair and Damocles' life is ended. In a similar way, Christianity's claims of authority hang by the thread of the resurrection. The Apostle Paul states this explicitly in 1 Corinthians 15 when he says:

     "Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

     Paul here lays out a very clear test. If Jesus was never raised from the dead, we not only have no hope in rising ourselves, but we believe in vain, we're holding onto a worthless faith. Paul even says we are akin to that person we sometimes see in Warner Brothers cartoons who thinks he's Napoleon. If we believe in a fable that is ridiculous; we are to be most pitied among all men.

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     Lenny Esposito is president and founder of Come Reason Ministries, a Christian apologetics organization, and author of the popular www.comereason.org Web site. He has taught apologetics and Christian worldview for over 17 years and has authored hundreds articles dealing with intellectually strenuous topics such as the existence of God, theology, philosophy, social issues and Biblical difficulties.
     Lenny is an in-demand speaker, teaching at conferences, churches, and schools across the nation. He is a contributor to the popular Apologetics Study Bible for Students and his articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the Southern California Christian Times. He has debated many topics on faith and reason and the rationality of the Christian worldview; his most recent debate being against well-known atheists and author Dr. Richard Carrier on the question "Does God Exist?"
     Lenny is a pioneer in online ministry efforts when he began using the Web to reach others near its beginnings in 1995. He produces one of the top 16 apologetics podcasts according to Apologetics 315 and his site has been viewed millions of times by visitors from nearly every country in the world.
Lenny is a member of the Evangelical Philosophical Society and the Evangelical Theological Society.

Tragedy in Texas: Christian Testimony in the Face of Evil

By Albert Mohler 11/6/2017

     All hearts were directed to Texas on Sunday as 26 people were shot and killed when a 26-year-old gunman dressed in black opened fire as a church service was underway at a Baptist church in a small town near San Antonio, Texas. As The New York Times reported:

     “A gunman clad in all black, with a ballistic vest strapped to his chest and a military-style rifle in his hands, opened fire on parishioners at a Sunday service at a small Baptist church in rural Texas, killing at least 26 people and turning this tiny town east of San Antonio into the scene of the country’s newest mass horror.”

     At this point the investigation is in the earliest stages, but we already know this is an absolutely horrifying story. It is a tragedy that is only going to unfold in greater tragedy. This attack taking place as a small Baptist church in rural Texas was just beginning its worship service, it is a sign of something far deeper that has gone wrong in our society. The fact that many of the victims already have been identified as children, including the 14-year-old daughter of the church’s pastor, underlines, once again, that so much of the evil in the world is simply beyond our understanding—even our theological understanding. As is so often the case in our experience when headlines like this come at us, the facts themselves seem perplexing and overwhelming. Murder is hard enough for us to understand, mass murder just makes it all the more difficult to understand. But how can we possibly understand the intentional killing of a pregnant woman, little children, a 14-year-old, and of Christians gathered together in worship?

     From a Christian worldview, we have to understand that the facts are important. It is not wrong to want to know what the dots are and then to try to connect them. God made us rational and moral creatures and this moral sense reaches out for some rational explanation of the horrifying evil of our world. But our first response should not be to try to understand the crime, but rather, to identify with the community in grief and experiencing heartbreak.

     The Christian worldview dignifies the heartbroken. Heartbrokenness is a part of human existence; it will come to every single human being at some time. Jesus himself affirmed this in the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

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Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. serves as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

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The Reason Why Few Christians Are Willing to Be Christian Case Makers

By J. Warner Wallace 4/13/15

     Since writing Cold-Case Christianity, my speaking schedule has been extremely busy; I am blessed by opportunities to make the case for Christianity every weekend in churches across the nation. As a result, however, I get to see how many of my Christian brothers and sisters are interested in the evidence supporting their faith. I must tell you, the interest in Christian case making is thin, at best. In a typical church, about ten percent of the congregation is usually concerned enough about “apologetics” to attend a training session or conference. My fellow speakers and traveling case makers report the same interest wherever they go, and if you are among the few Christians who are actively studying or making the case, you know what I am talking about first-hand. Why are so few Christians willing to be Christian case makers? The one thing most of us lack is the very thing that made me successful as a cold-case detective: a desire to work hard and do whatever it takes to master the material.

     In my career investigating cold cases, I’ve never failed to see an arrested suspect successfully prosecuted. I’m proud of that record, but I don’t attribute it to any brilliance on my part. My success wasn’t the result of my uncanny Sherlock Holmes type of intellect; I’m not all that smart. I was successful because I was determined not to be out-worked. By the time I arrested a suspect for a murder, there was no one who knew the details and issues related to the case better than I did. In fact, even when the case ultimately got to trial, I was still the best source of information about the crime and the person who committed it. Many of my defendants hired excellent attorneys who, in turn, hired a team of investigators to comb through the case and every aspect of my investigation. In an effort to undermine my work, these attorneys and investigators often looked for things I might have missed and tried to find witnesses or evidence to contradict my case. Even if they located someone they thought might help them achieve this goal, once they travelled out to talk to this alleged “witness”, they only discovered I had already been there (and locked in the statements I would later use to make my case).

     In one recent example (featured on Dateline in an episode entitled “The Wire”), my suspect used an unusual variety of braided picture-hanging wire to form the garrote he used to kill the victim. In order to determine the rarity of this wire, I contacted companies responsible for creating such wire at the time of the crime. I could have stopped at just one or two phone calls, but I didn’t. I called and interviewed every manufacturer, distributor and retailer of this wire I could identify. I conducted hundreds of interviews over eight weeks. By the time I was done, I was actually the best available expert on the creation, sales and distribution of braided picture-hanging wire. Few of us ever expect to gain this kind of expertise when we sign up to work murders, but if you want to be successful, you’ll need to be the hardest working person in the room and do whatever it takes to succeed.

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

Five Apologetics Questions You Need to Think Through

By Amy K. Hall 11/5/16

     What key questions should we be thinking about as apologists? When I spoke to high school students at a Christian camp last year, I pointed them to the five questions they most need to think through and solidify in their own minds before they go out into the world.

     1. Does God exist?

     This is the most fundamental question of all, and every major divide I can think of in our culture can be traced back to this question. Was everything created, or is it all an accident? Should we acknowledge a created human nature, or do we create our own identities? Do our bodies have a purpose to which we ought to conform ourselves? Are human beings valuable because of who we are, or because of what we do? Is there an objective standard of morality outside of us, or do we (whether as individuals or as a society) create our own rules according to our preferences? The opposing answers to this first question logically lead to radically different worldviews, political positions, and lifestyles.

     2. Is God good?

     The divide between Christians and atheists over the moral nature of the biblical God is more intractable than the divide over whether or not He exists. This is the type of objection I most often hear against Christianity. If you’re not clear on what the Bible truly says about things like the destructionof the Canaanites, slaveryHell, the commands to praise God, etc., you will be shaken when presented with verses plucked from the context of their passages, the culture of ancient Israel, the place of the Old Testament Lawtoday, and the overall story of redemption. Part of what you need to do in order to respond to this type of objection is to work on getting a big-picture understanding of the Bible as a whole.

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     About Amy K. Hall
Do Not Hope in Kings 11/7/16

by Stephen Witmer

     Many of us are struggling to make sense of, and respond to, the current presidential election cycle. As Christian citizens, what should we say? How should we pray?

     A short passage halfway through Luke’s Gospel may help us see what Jesus might say concerning this election, and every other. To be clear, Luke 13 was not written to help twenty-first-century Americans respond to presidential politics; the main point is to provide a window into Jesus’s compassionate heart and redemptive mission. Nevertheless, observing how Jesus related to governing authorities cannot help but profit our understanding of how we should act in the present moment.

     Refuse to Fear | “At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to [Jesus], ‘Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you’” (Luke 13:31).

     Herod, the ruler over Galilee, had already locked John the Baptist in prison and lopped off his head (Matthew 14:3–12). Now he has heard about Jesus and apparently has a desire to kill him, possibly because he believed it was John back from the dead. Herod is powerful and paranoid (Matthew 14:1–2), as well as selfish and erratic in his behavior. This is no idle threat.

     And yet, this passage records no hint of fear on Jesus’s part. Jesus’s strongest emotions don’t even involve Herod, whom he seems to dismiss and quickly forget. Herod is actively seeking his life, but Jesus isn’t fazed.

Click here for article

Stephen Witmer is the pastor of Pepperell Christian Fellowship in Pepperell, Massachusetts, and teaches New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the author of Eternity Changes Everything and a 12-Week-Study-Revelation

  • Impossibility of Salvation 1 Luke 18:18-27
  • Part 2
  • Part 3

     Devotionals, notes, poetry and more

UCB The Word For Today
     Righteous anger (1)
     (Nov 8)    Bob Gass

     ‘Be angry, and do not sin’

(Eph 4:26) 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, ESV

     There’s a right way and a wrong way to handle your anger. Moses handled his anger the wrong way and it cost him the Promised Land. Jesus handled His anger the right way, and those who took advantage of the poor were exposed and thrown out of the temple. The Scripture, ‘Be angry, and do not sin,’ means instead of just complaining about the problem, you’re supposed to do something about it. Instead of walking around on a slow burn and keeping those around you on pins and needles, get to the core of your anger and express it the right way. Pastor and author Dr Jack Hyles wrote about how his child was assigned to read a book in school – one that was filled with foul language and questionable situations. The more Dr Hyles perused the book, the angrier he got. Eventually he marched up to the principal’s office and politely but firmly said, ‘My son is not going to read this book: he’ll be assigned a different book to read, and he will not be marked down because of it.’ The principal, taken aback and attempting to argue with Dr Hyles, said, ‘But…’ Dr Hyles interrupted and said softly but sternly, ‘No ifs, ands, or buts about it. He will not be forced to read this book, and he will be assigned another one. Is that clear?’ The principal replied, ‘All right, Dr Hyles, but I don’t understand the fuss. After all, the language in that book is no worse than what’s written on the bathroom walls.’ Dr Hyles smiled and said, ‘Yes, and when that becomes required reading – I’ll be back!’/span>

Ezek 16-17
Heb 11

UCB The Word For Today

American Minute
     by Bill Federer

     Julius Caesar Watts, better know as J.C., was born this day, November 8, 1957. A college and pro football player, he was a youth minister and in 1994 was elected to the U.S. Congress. In response to the President’s State of the Union Address in 1997, Congressman J.C. Watts stated: “I was taught to respect everyone for the simple reason that we’re all God’s children. I was taught, in the words of Martin Luther King, to judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character. And I was taught that character is simply doing what’s right when nobody’s looking.”

American Minute

Letters To Malcolm, Chiefly On Prayer
     by C.S. Lewis
Reflections on the Intimate Dialogue
Between Man and God

     Chapter 4

     Of the two difficulties you mention I think that only one is often a practical problem for believers. The other is in my experience usually raised by people who are attacking Christianity.

     The ideal opening for their attacks-if they know the Bible-is the phrase in Philippians about "making your requests known to God." I mean, the words making known bring out most clearly the apparent absurdity with which they charge us. We say that we believe God to be omniscient; yet a great deal of prayer seems to consist of giving Him information. And indeed we have been reminded by Our Lord too not to pray as if we forgot the omniscience-"for your heavenly Father knows you need all these things."

     This is final against one very silly sort of prayer. I have heard a man offer a prayer for a sick person which really amounted to a diagnosis followed by advice as to how God should treat the patient. And I have heard prayers nominally for peace, but really so concerned for various devices which the petitioner believed to be means to peace, that they were open to the same criticism.

     But even when that kind of thing is ruled out, the unbeliever's objection remains. To confess our sins before God is certainly to tell Him what He knows much better than we. And also, any petition is a kind of telling. If it does not strictly exclude the belief that God knows our need, it at least seems to -solicit His attention. Some traditional formulae make that implication very clear: "Hear us, good Lord"-"0 let thine ears consider well the voice of my complaint." As if, though God does not need to be informed, He does need, and even rather frequently, to be reminded. But we cannot really believe that degrees of attention, and therefore of inattention, and therefore of something like forgetfulness, exist in the Absolute Mind. I presume that only God's attention keeps me (or anything else) in existence at all.

Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

History of the Destruction of Jerusalem
     Thanks to Meir Yona

     CHAPTER 9.

     How The People That Were In The Fortress Were Prevailed On By The Words Of Eleazar, Two Women And Five Children Only Excepted And All Submitted To Be Killed By One Another.

     1. Now as Eleazar was proceeding on in this exhortation, they all cut him off short, and made haste to do the work, as full of an unconquerable ardor of mind, and moved with a demoniacal fury. So they went their ways, as one still endeavoring to be before another, and as thinking that this eagerness would be a demonstration of their courage and good conduct, if they could avoid appearing in the last class; so great was the zeal they were in to slay their wives and children, and themselves also! Nor indeed, when they came to the work itself, did their courage fail them, as one might imagine it would have done, but they then held fast the same resolution, without wavering, which they had upon the hearing of Eleazar's speech, while yet every one of them still retained the natural passion of love to themselves and their families, because the reasoning they went upon appeared to them to be very just, even with regard to those that were dearest to them; for the husbands tenderly embraced their wives, and took their children into their arms, and gave the longest parting kisses to them, with tears in their eyes. Yet at the same time did they complete what they had resolved on, as if they had been executed by the hands of strangers; and they had nothing else for their comfort but the necessity they were in of doing this execution, to avoid that prospect they had of the miseries they were to suffer from their enemies. Nor was there at length any one of these men found that scrupled to act their part in this terrible execution, but every one of them despatched his dearest relations. Miserable men indeed were they! whose distress forced them to slay their own wives and children with their own hands, as the lightest of those evils that were before them. So they being not able to bear the grief they were under for what they had done any longer, and esteeming it an injury to those they had slain, to live even the shortest space of time after them, they presently laid all they had upon a heap, and set fire to it. They then chose ten men by lot out of them to slay all the rest; every one of whom laid himself down by his wife and children on the ground, and threw his arms about them, and they offered their necks to the stroke of those who by lot executed that melancholy office; and when these ten had, without fear, slain them all, they made the same rule for casting lots for themselves, that he whose lot it was should first kill the other nine, and after all should kill himself. Accordingly, all these had courage sufficient to be no way behind one another in doing or suffering; so, for a conclusion, the nine offered their necks to the executioner, and he who was the last of all took a view of all the other bodies, lest perchance some or other among so many that were slain should want his assistance to be quite despatched, and when he perceived that they were all slain, he set fire to the palace, and with the great force of his hand ran his sword entirely through himself, and fell down dead near to his own relations. So these people died with this intention, that they would not leave so much as one soul among them all alive to be subject to the Romans. Yet was there an ancient woman, and another who was of kin to Eleazar, and superior to most women in prudence and learning, with five children, who had concealed themselves in caverns under ground, and had carried water thither for their drink, and were hidden there when the rest were intent upon the slaughter of one another. Those others were nine hundred and sixty in number, the women and children being withal included in that computation. This calamitous slaughter was made on the fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus [Nisan].

     2. Now for the Romans, they expected that they should be fought in the Morning, when, accordingly, they put on their armor, and laid bridges of planks upon their ladders from their banks, to make an assault upon the fortress, which they did; but saw nobody as an enemy, but a terrible solitude on every side, with a fire within the place, as well as a perfect silence. So they were at a loss to guess at what had happened. At length they made a shout, as if it had been at a blow given by the battering ram, to try whether they could bring any one out that was within; the women heard this noise, and came out of their under-ground cavern, and informed the Romans what had been done, as it was done; and the second of them clearly described all both what was said and what was done, and this manner of it; yet did they not easily give their attention to such a desperate undertaking, and did not believe it could be as they said; they also attempted to put the fire out, and quickly cutting themselves a way through it, they came within the palace, and so met with the multitude of the slain, but could take no pleasure in the fact, though it were done to their enemies. Nor could they do other than wonder at the courage of their resolution, and the immovable contempt of death which so great a number of them had shown, when they went through with such an action as that was.

     The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem, by Flavius Josephus Translator: William Whiston

The War of the Jews: The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem (complete edition, 7 books)

Lean Into God
     Compiled by Richard S. Adams

Discernment is God's call to intercession,
never to faultfinding.
--- Corrie Ten Boom     Passionate Prayer: Discovering the Power of Talking with God

     In the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for
living his own life and for "finding himself." If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence.
--- Thomas Merton     No Man Is an Island (Shambhala Library)

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that the stuff life is made of.
--- Benjamin Franklin     The Life of Benjamin Franklin, Volume 1: Journalist, 1706-1730

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
--- T. S. Eliot     T.S. Eliot and Prejudice

... from here, there and everywhere

Proverbs 28:13-14
     by D.H. Stern

13     He who conceals his sins will not succeed;
he who confesses and abandons them will gain mercy.

14     Happy the person who is never without fear,
but he who hardens his heart will fall into misfortune.

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

                The unrivalled power of prayer

     We know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. --- Romans 8:26.

     We realize that we are energized by the Holy Spirit for prayer; we know what it is to pray in the Spirit; but we do not so often realize that the Holy Spirit Himself prays in us prayers which we cannot utter. When we are born again of God and are indwelt by the Spirit of God, He expresses for us the unutterable.

     “He,” the Spirit in you, “maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God,” and God searches your heart not to know what your conscious prayers are, but to find out what is the prayer of the Holy Spirit.

     The Spirit of God needs the nature of the believer as a shrine in which to offer His intercession. “Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost.” When Jesus Christ cleansed the temple, He “would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.” The Spirit of God will not allow you to use your body for your own convenience. Jesus ruthlessly cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and said—“My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

     Have we recognized that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost? If so, we must be careful to keep it undefiled for Him. We have to remember that our conscious life, though it is only a tiny bit of our personality, is to be regarded by us as a shrine of the Holy Ghost. He will look after the unconscious part that we know nothing of; but we must see that we guard the conscious part for which we are responsible.

My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition

The Game
     the Poetry of R.S. Thomas

                The Game

It is the play of a being
  who is not serious in
  his conclusions. Take this
  from that, he says, and there is everything
  left. Look over the edge
  of the universe and you see
  your own face staring
  at you back, as it does
  in a pool. And we are forced
  into the game, reluctant
  contestants; though the mathematicians
  are best at it. Never mind, they
  say, whether it is there
  or not, so long as our like
  can use it. And we are shattered
  by their deductions. There is
  a series that is without
  end, yet the rules are built
  on the impossibility of
  its existence. It is
  how you play, we cry, scanning
  the future for an account
  of our performance. But the rewards
  are there even so, and history
  festers with the numbers of the recipients
  of them, the handsome, the fortunate,
  the well-fed; those who cheated this
  being when he was not looking.


     Maimonides: Torah and Philosophic Quest

     Man in history is not a lifeless tool in the hands of an omnipotent will. The biblical description of God hardening Pharaoh’s heart suggests that God removed freedom from man and thus allows for a conception of history wherein men are lacking in will and are God’s puppets. Maimonides, however, interprets these verses in a way which protects human freedom from the nonrational intrusion of the vertical will of God:

     To sum up, God did not decree that Pharaoh should ill-treat Israel, or Siḥon sin in his land, or that the Canaanites should commit abominations, or that Israel should worship idols. All of them sinned by their own volition; and all accordingly incurred the penalty that repentance should be withheld from them.

     Maimonides writes of prayers for grace:

     What is meant by David’s utterance, “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore does He instruct sinners in the way. He guides the humble in justice; and He teaches the humble His way” (Ps. 25:8, 9)? It refers to the fact that God sent them Prophets to teach them the ways of the Lord and bring them back in repentance; furthermore, that He endowed them with the capacity of learning and understanding. For it is characteristic of every human being that, when his interest is engaged in the ways of wisdom and righteousness, he longs for these ways and is eager to follow them. Thus the Sages say, “Whoever comes to purify himself receives aid”; that is, he will find himself helped in his endeavor.

     Petitional prayers for divine guidance can be understood within the horizontal structure of reality. One can understand God’s response to man’s petitional prayers for divine guidance by understanding how human reason is a manifestation of divine governance. This nonmiraculous understanding of divine grace finds similar expression in Maimonides’ approach to historical redemption. Redemption in history is not initiated by the autonomous will and power of God, but by human repentance (teshuvah):

     All the Prophets charged the people concerning repentance. Only through repentance will Israel be redeemed, and the Torah already offered the assurance that Israel will, in the closing period of his exile, finally repent, and thereupon be immediately redeemed.

Maimonides: Torah and Philosophic Quest

Take Heart
     November 8

     This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.
Jeremiah 23:6.

     The Lord is our righteousness by imputation.   Classic Sermons on The Names of God (Kregel Classic Sermons Series) (Classic Sermons)    For it pleased God, after he had made all things, to create the human race in his own image. And so infinite was the condescension of the one who lives forever that, although he might have insisted on the everlasting obedience of Adam and his posterity, he obliged himself by a covenant made with his own creatures, on condition of obedience, to give them eternal life. For when it is said, “For when you eat of it you will surely die” (
Gen. 2:17), we may infer that as long as they continued obedient and did not eat of it, they would surely live. Genesis 3 gives us a full account of how our first parents broke this covenant and therefore stood in need of a better righteousness than their own in order to procure their future acceptance with God.

     Here then opens the scene of divine philanthropy—God’s love to humanity. For what we could not do, Jesus Christ undertakes for us. And that God might be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus, he took the nature of a servant, even human nature. In that nature he obeyed and thereby fulfilled the whole moral law in our stead; he also died on the cross and by that became a curse for, or instead of, those whom the Father had given him. As God and human in one person, he satisfied at the same time that he obeyed and worked out a full and perfect righteousness for all to whom it was to be imputed.

     Here then we see the meaning of the word righteousness. It implies the active as well as passive obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ. Generally, when talking of the merits of Christ we only mention the latter—his death—whereas his life and active obedience are equally necessary. Christ is not the Savior we need unless we join both together. Christ not only died but lived; not only suffered but obeyed for, or instead of, sinners. And both these jointly make up that complete righteousness that is to be imputed to us, as the disobedience of our first parents was made ours by imputation. This is what [Paul] elsewhere terms our becoming in Christ the righteousness of God. This is the sense in which the prophet would have us understand the words of the text—the church itself “will be called,” having this righteousness imputed to her, “the LORD Our Righteousness” (
Jer. 33:16). A passage, I think, worthy of the profoundest meditation of all the descendants of Adam.
--- George Whitefield

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

On This Day   November 8
     The Subtle Doctor

     John Duns Scotus was born in Scotland, studied theology at Oxford, England, and was ordained. About 1304 he migrated to Paris and obtained his doctor’s degree. Pressing on to Cologne, Germany, he taught theology for about a year before dying on November 8, 1308, at a relatively young age, probably under 40. A monument was erected to John Scotus in the Franciscan church in Cologne in 1513, reading: “Scotia (Scotland) gave me birth, England nursed me, Gaul educated me, Cologne holds my ashes.”

     Scotus possessed a brilliant mind that shook up medieval theology. He had few qualms about criticizing earlier Catholic theologians—Thomas Aquinas and Anselm and the others—and he delighted in rattling students by challenging established beliefs. But, like many theologians, he was better at questioning than answering. His own theology is difficult to follow, and for that reason he is known to church history as “The Subtle Doctor.” He has perplexed and frustrated so many students that the word “Dunce” was coined from the “Duns” in the middle of his name.

     Scotus became the first major theologian to advocate the doctrine of Mary’s immaculate conception: that Mary herself was conceived without any sin, that she was pure and sinless from the moment of her conception. At a public debate in Paris, it is said, Scotus pummeled the followers of Thomas Aquinas with 200 arguments on this subject, and the two camps waged one of the most bitter controversies in the pre-Reformation church.

     Yet Scotus didn’t teach his position as dogma, but as probability, writing: “Upon this question I say that God was able to effect it that Mary was never in original sin. He was able also to effect it that she remained in sin for a moment or for a certain time and was cleansed of it in the last instant of that time. Which of the solutions really took place … God knows.”

     His position on the subject nonetheless became established church teaching when Pope Pius IX proclaimed it a dogma in 1854.

     Keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise. You know the teachings I gave you, … So follow my example. And God, who gives peace, will be with you.
--- Philippians 4:8,9.

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

Morning and Evening
     Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON

          Morning - November 8

     “As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord.” --- Colossians 2:6.

     The life of faith is represented as receiving—an act which implies the very opposite of anything like merit. It is simply the acceptance of a gift. As the earth drinks in the rain, as the sea receives the streams, as night accepts light from the stars, so we, giving nothing, partake freely of the grace of God. The saints are not, by nature, wells, or streams, they are but cisterns into which the living water flows; they are empty vessels into which God pours his salvation. The idea of receiving implies a sense of realization, making the matter a reality. One cannot very well receive a shadow; we receive that which is substantial: so is it in the life of faith, Christ becomes real to us. While we are without faith, Jesus is a mere name to us—a person who lived a long while ago, so long ago that his life is only a history to us now! By an act of faith Jesus becomes a real person in the consciousness of our heart. But receiving also means grasping or getting possession of. The thing which I receive becomes my own: I appropriate to myself that which is given. When I receive Jesus, he becomes my Saviour, so mine that neither life nor death shall be able to rob me of him. All this is to receive Christ—to take him as God’s free gift; to realize him in my heart, and to appropriate him as mine.

     Salvation may be described as the blind receiving sight, the deaf receiving hearing, the dead receiving life; but we have not only received these blessings, we have received CHRIST JESUS himself. It is true that he gave us life from the dead. He gave us pardon of sin; he gave us imputed righteousness. These are all precious things, but we are not content with them; we have received Christ himself. The Son of God has been poured into us, and we have received him, and appropriated him. What a heartful Jesus must be, for heaven itself cannot contain him!

          Evening - November 8

     “The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?” --- Mark 14:14.

     Jerusalem at the time of the passover was one great inn; each householder had invited his own friends, but no one had invited the Saviour, and he had no dwelling of his own. It was by his own supernatural power that he found himself an upper room in which to keep the feast. It is so even to this day—Jesus is not received among the sons of men save only where by his supernatural power and grace he makes the heart anew. All doors are open enough to the prince of darkness, but Jesus must clear a way for himself or lodge in the streets. It was through the mysterious power exerted by our Lord that the householder raised no question, but at once cheerfully and joyfully opened his guestchamber. Who he was, and what he was, we do not know, but he readily accepted the honour which the Redeemer proposed to confer upon him. In like manner it is still discovered who are the Lord’s chosen, and who are not; for when the Gospel comes to some, they fight against it, and will not have it, but where men receive it, welcoming it, this is a sure indication that there is a secret work going on in the soul, and that God has chosen them unto eternal life. Are you willing, dear reader, to receive Christ? then there is no difficulty in the way; Christ will be your guest; his own power is working with you, making you willing. What an honour to entertain the Son of God! The heaven of heavens cannot contain him, and yet he condescends to find a house within our hearts! We are not worthy that he should come under our roof, but what an unutterable privilege when he condescends to enter! for then he makes a feast, and causes us to feast with him upon royal dainties, we sit at a banquet where the viands are immortal, and give immortality to those who feed thereon. Blessed among the sons of Adam is he who entertains the angels’ Lord.

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

Amazing Grace
     November 8


     German hymn, c. 1800
     Translated by Edward Caswall, 1814–1878

     I will extol the Lord at all times: His praise will always be on my lips. (Psalm 34:1)

     Forms of worship services vary according to the cultural backgrounds, personalities, and traditions of the believers. Some Christians feel that true worship is best achieved when it is conducted in a structured, liturgical, and meditative setting. Other believers prefer a more free, spontaneous, informal praise and testimony type of service. Forms of worship are not important in themselves. In fact, a variety of worship forms is healthy within the evangelical community. However, we must never get so caught up in the forms and means of worship that we fail to focus on the object of all worship—the praise of Jesus Christ!

     One of the important sources of English hymnody is the wealth of worthy hymns translated from earlier Greek, Latin, and German sources during the mid 19th century. Many English writers’ interest in the hymns from these other cultures was largely a part of a movement within the Anglican church known as the Oxford Movement. The rediscovery of earlier and ancient hymns became especially important during this time. One of the leaders of this movement was Edward Caswall, a well-known scholar, minister, and translator. Caswall is also the translator of another important hymn about our Lord, “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee.” Throughout his life Caswall kept adding new verses to “May Jesus Christ Be Praised” until eventually this hymn included 28 stanzas.

     These words still have an important place in our church services as they direct our attention to the basic purpose of all worship:

     When Morning gilds the skies, my heart awaking cries: May Jesus Christ be praised! Alike at work and prayer to Jesus I repair: May Jesus Christ be praised!
     Does sadness fill my mind? A solace here I find: May Jesus Christ be praised! Or fades my earthly bliss? My comfort still is this: May Jesus Christ be praised!
     In heav’n’s eternal bliss the loveliest strain is this: May Jesus Christ be praised! The pow’rs of darkness fear when this sweet chant they hear: May Jesus Christ be praised!
     Be this, while life is mine, my canticle divine: May Jesus Christ be praised! Be this th’ eternal song thru all the ages long: May Jesus Christ be praised!

     For Today: Psalm 5:3; 57:7; 69:34; John 14:6, 9; 20:31; Revelation 11:15; 17:14

     What does the term worship mean to you? Is your understanding founded on the praise of Christ? Identify activities in a church service as well as in our own devotional lives that are often substituted for the true worship of God. Determine to praise Christ throughout the day with this hymn ---

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

Book Of Common Prayer
     Wednesday, November 8, 2017 | After Pentecost

Proper 26, Wednesday
Year 1

Psalms (Morning)     Psalm 72
Psalms (Evening)     Psalm 119:73–96
Old Testament     Nehemiah 13:4–22
New Testament     Revelation 12:1–12
Gospel     Matthew 13:53–58

Index of Readings

Psalms (Morning)
Psalm 72

Of Solomon.

1 Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king’s son.
2 May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
3 May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.

5 May he live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
7 In his days may righteousness flourish
and peace abound, until the moon is no more.

8 May he have dominion from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
9 May his foes bow down before him,
and his enemies lick the dust.
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles
render him tribute,
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
bring gifts.
11 May all kings fall down before him,
all nations give him service.

12 For he delivers the needy when they call,
the poor and those who have no helper.
13 He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
and precious is their blood in his sight.

15 Long may he live!
May gold of Sheba be given to him.
May prayer be made for him continually,
and blessings invoked for him all day long.
16 May there be abundance of grain in the land;
may it wave on the tops of the mountains;
may its fruit be like Lebanon;
and may people blossom in the cities
like the grass of the field.
17 May his name endure forever,
his fame continue as long as the sun.
May all nations be blessed in him;
may they pronounce him happy.

18 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may his glory fill the whole earth.
Amen and Amen.

20 The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended.

Psalms (Evening)
Psalm 119:73–96

73 Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
74 Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
because I have hoped in your word.
75 I know, O LORD, that your judgments are right,
and that in faithfulness you have humbled me.
76 Let your steadfast love become my comfort
according to your promise to your servant.
77 Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight.
78 Let the arrogant be put to shame,
because they have subverted me with guile;
as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
79 Let those who fear you turn to me,
so that they may know your decrees.
80 May my heart be blameless in your statutes,
so that I may not be put to shame.

81 My soul languishes for your salvation;
I hope in your word.
82 My eyes fail with watching for your promise;
I ask, “When will you comfort me?”
83 For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke,
yet I have not forgotten your statutes.
84 How long must your servant endure?
When will you judge those who persecute me?
85 The arrogant have dug pitfalls for me;
they flout your law.
86 All your commandments are enduring;
I am persecuted without cause; help me!
87 They have almost made an end of me on earth;
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88 In your steadfast love spare my life,
so that I may keep the decrees of your mouth.

89 The LORD exists forever;
your word is firmly fixed in heaven.
90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
91 By your appointment they stand today,
for all things are your servants.
92 If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my misery.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have given me life.
94 I am yours; save me,
for I have sought your precepts.
95 The wicked lie in wait to destroy me,
but I consider your decrees.
96 I have seen a limit to all perfection,
but your commandment is exceedingly broad.

Old Testament
Nehemiah 13:4–22

4 Now before this, the priest Eliashib, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and who was related to Tobiah, 5 prepared for Tobiah a large room where they had previously put the grain offering, the frankincense, the vessels, and the tithes of grain, wine, and oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests. 6 While this was taking place I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes of Babylon I went to the king. After some time I asked leave of the king 7 and returned to Jerusalem. I then discovered the wrong that Eliashib had done on behalf of Tobiah, preparing a room for him in the courts of the house of God. 8 And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the room. 9 Then I gave orders and they cleansed the chambers, and I brought back the vessels of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.

10 I also found out that the portions of the Levites had not been given to them; so that the Levites and the singers, who had conducted the service, had gone back to their fields. 11 So I remonstrated with the officials and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together and set them in their stations. 12 Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses. 13 And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouses the priest Shelemiah, the scribe Zadok, and Pedaiah of the Levites, and as their assistant Hanan son of Zaccur son of Mattaniah, for they were considered faithful; and their duty was to distribute to their associates. 14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for his service.

15 In those days I saw in Judah people treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys; and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day; and I warned them at that time against selling food. 16 Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of merchandise and sold them on the sabbath to the people of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 17 Then I remonstrated with the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the sabbath day? 18 Did not your ancestors act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring more wrath on Israel by profaning the sabbath.”

19 When it began to be dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the sabbath. And I set some of my servants over the gates, to prevent any burden from being brought in on the sabbath day. 20 Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21 But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you spend the night in front of the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the sabbath. 22 And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.

New Testament
Revelation 12:1–12

12 A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. 3 Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; 6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days.

7 And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,

“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Messiah,
for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down,
who accuses them day and night before our God.
11 But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
12 Rejoice then, you heavens
and those who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you
with great wrath,
because he knows that his time is short!”

Matthew 13:53–58

53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he left that place.

54 He came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” 58 And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.

The Book of Common Prayer: And Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church

God's Glory and Coming Clean     
Gary Friesen   Biola University

Beyond the Reconciliation Blues   
Ed Gilbreath   Biola University

Into the Wild   
Jon Lunde   Biola University

Theological Coherence of Christian Particularism
  Kevin Lewis   Biola University

Christ and the Challenge of World Religions     
Craig Hazen   Biola University

The Nature of Conflict     
Tim Pollard   Biola University

The Hope & Impact of the Gospel     
Tim Pollard   Biola University

Go...and be Reconciled     
Gary Friesen   Biola University

Video on    YouTube

A Different Point of View     
Ed Gilbreath   Biola University

Psychology 6 The Brain
Chris Grace   Biola University

Video on    YouTube

Psychology 7 Fetal Brain Development
Chris Grace   Biola University

Psychology 8 Developmental Psychology:
The Newborn
Chris Grace   Biola University

Psychology 9 Sensation
Chris Grace   Biola University

Psychology 10. Subliminal Messaging
Chris Grace   Biola University

Psychology 11 Perception
Chris Grace   Biola University

Psychology 12 States of Consciousness
Chris Grace   Biola University

Psychology 13 States of Consciousness 2
Chris Grace   Biola University

Desire and Prayer
Ryan Bradley   Biola University

Contending for the Faith in Our Day
Scott Waller   Biola University

The Creative Act is the Courageous Act
Erwin McManus   Biola University

Overcoming Pain, Blame and Shame...Forgiven
Anne Beiler   Biola University

The Cross & Determined Anticipation 2 Luke 18:31-34
John MacArthur

Pray for the Lord's Return Luke 18:1-8
John MacArthur