Clicking on Pictures will give you the full size version....

Friday, July 29, 2011

Christ's Example of Humility

Philippians 2:1) So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2) complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3) Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4) Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5) Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6) who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7) but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8) And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9) Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10) so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11) and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Jesus and Zacchaeus

Luke 19:1) He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2) And 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 of 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."

Samuel Given to the Lord

1 Samuel 1:21) The man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow. 22) But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the Lord and dwell there forever." 23) Elkanah her husband said to her, "Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him; only, may the Lord establish his word." So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24) And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young. 25) Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. 26) And she said, "Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. 27) For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. 28) Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord." And he worshiped the Lord there.

Paul's Plea for Onesimus

Philemon 1:8) Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, 9) yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— 10) I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. 11) (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) 12) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. 13) I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, 14) but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. 15) For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16) no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. 17) So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18) If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19) I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20) Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. 21) Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22) At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Final Instructions and Benediction

1 Thessalonians 5:12) We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13) and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14) And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15) See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16) Rejoice always, 17) pray without ceasing, 18) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19) Do not quench the Spirit. 20) Do not despise prophecies, 21) but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22) Abstain from every form of evil.
23) Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24) He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
25) Brothers, pray for us.
26) Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
27) I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.
28) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Ask, and It Will Be Given

Matthew 7:7) "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8) For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9) Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10) Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11) If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Qualifications for Elders

Titus 1:5) This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6) if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7) For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8) but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9) He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. 10) For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11) They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12) One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." 13) This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14) not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15) To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16) They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Paying Taxes to Caesar

Matthew 22:15) Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. 16) And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone's opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. 17) Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?" 18) But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19) Show me the coin for the tax." And they brought him a denarius. 20) And Jesus said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?" 21) They said, "Caesar's." Then he said to them, "Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." 22) When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.

The Great Commandment

Matthew 22:34) But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35) And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36) "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37) And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38) This is the great and first commandment. 39) And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40) On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer quotes (Part 2)

"Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"In a word, live together in the forgiveness of your sins, for without it no human fellowship, least of all a marriage, can survive. Don’t insist on your rights, don’t blame each other, don’t judge or condemn each other, don’t find fault with each other, but accept each other as you are, and forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts…"
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison)

"There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve -- even in pain -- the authentic relationship. Further more, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Not hero worship, but intimacy with Christ."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
"The most experienced psychologist or observer of human nature knows infinitely less of the human heart than the simplest Christian who lives beneath the Cross of Jesus. The greatest psychological insight, ability, and experience cannot grasp this one thing: what sin is. Worldly wisdom knows what distress and weakness and failure are, but it does not know the godlessness of man. And so it also does not know that man is destroyed only by his sin and can be healed only by forgiveness. Only the Christian knows this. In the presence of a psychiatrist I can only be a sick man; in the presence of a Christian brother I can dare to be a sinner. The psychiatrist must first search my heart and yet he never plumbs its ultimate depth. The Christian brother knows when I come to him: here is a sinner like myself, a godless man who wants to confess and yearns for God’s forgiveness. The psychiatrist views me as if there were no God. The brother views me as I am before the judging and merciful God in the Cross of Jesus Christ."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community)
"How would you expect to find community while you intentionally withdraw from it at some point? The disobedient cannot believe; only the obedient believe."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Discipleship)
"Unless we have the courage to fight for a revival of wholesome reserve between man and man, we shall perish in an anarchy of human values… . Socially it means the renunciation of all place-hunting, a break with the cult of the "star," an open eye both upwards and downwards, especially in the choice of one’s more intimate friends, and pleasure in private life as well as courage to enter public life. Culturally it means a return from the newspaper and the radio to the book, from feverish activity to unhurried leisure, from dispersion to concentration, from sensationalism to reflection, from virtuosity to art, from snobbery to modesty, from extravagance to moderation."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our church. We are fighting today for costly grace."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"The question of why evil exists is not a theological question, for it assumes that it is possible to go behind the existence forced upon us as sinners. If we could answer it then we would not be sinners. We could make something else responsible...The theological question does not arise about the origin of evil but about the real overcoming of evil on the Cross; it ask for the forgiveness of guilt, for the reconciliation of the fallen world "
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Creation and Fall / Temptation: Two Biblical Studies)

"Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. 'The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been spared' (Luther)."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community)

The Promise Realized Through Faith

Romans 4:13) For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14) For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15) For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. 16) That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17) as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations"—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18) In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, "So shall your offspring be." 19) He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. 20) No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21) fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22) That is why his faith was "counted to him as righteousness." 23) But the words "it was counted to him" were not written for his sake alone, 24) but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25) who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Job 12:7-10

Live as You Are Called

1 Corinthians 7:17) Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18) Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19) For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20) Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21) Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22) For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. 23) You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 24) So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Living Stone and a Holy People

1 Peter 2:1) So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2) Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3) if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4) As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5) you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6) For it stands in Scripture:

"Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."

7) So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

"The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,"

8) and

"A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense."

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 9) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10) Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11) Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12) Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Spiritual Gifts

1 Corithians 12:1) Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2)You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3) Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus is accursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit. 4) Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5) and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6) and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7) To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8) For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9) to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10) to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11) All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You

2 Timothy 1:3) I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4) As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5) I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6) For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7) for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 8) Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9) who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10) and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11) for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12) which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 13) Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14) By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. 15) You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17) but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me— 18) may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Daniel Interprets Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

Daniel 2:31) “You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. 32) The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, 33) its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34) As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35) Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.  36) “This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37) You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, 38) and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold. 39) Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40) And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. 41) And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. 42) And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43) As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44) And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45) just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”

Monday, July 11, 2011

Proverbs 18:22

The Way of the Righteous and the Wicked

Psalm 1:1) Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2) but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3) He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4) The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5) Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6) for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

Justified by Faith

Galatians 2:15) We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16) yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. 17) But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18) For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19) For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20) I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21) I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Jeremiah's Letter to the Exiles

Jeremiah 29:1) These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2) This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the eunuchs, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had departed from Jerusalem. 3) The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. It said: 4) "Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5) Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6) Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7) But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. 8) For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, 9) for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord. 10) "For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11) For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12) Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13) You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14) I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. 15) "Because you have said, ‘The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,’ 16) thus says the Lord concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who dwell in this city, your kinsmen who did not go out with you into exile: 17) ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, behold, I am sending on them sword, famine, and pestilence, and I will make them like vile figs that are so rotten they cannot be eaten. 18) I will pursue them with sword, famine, and pestilence, and will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, a terror, a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, 19 because they did not pay attention to my words, declares the Lord, that I persistently sent to you by my servants the prophets, but you would not listen, declares the Lord.’ 20) Hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles whom I sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon: 21) ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying a lie to you in my name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall strike them down before your eyes. 22) Because of them this curse shall be used by all the exiles from Judah in Babylon: "The Lord make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire," 23) because they have done an outrageous thing in Israel, they have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives, and they have spoken in my name lying words that I did not command them. I am the one who knows, and I am witness, declares the Lord.’"

Psalm 90:1 - 2

Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart

Proverbs 3:1) My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
2) for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you.
3) Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4) So you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man.
5) Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6) In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7) Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8) It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
9) Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10) then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
11) My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
12) for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.

Cast the First Stone?

John 8:1) but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2) Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3) The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4) they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5) Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?" 6) This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7) And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." 8) And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9) But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10) Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" 11) She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The New Life

Ephesians 4:17) Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18) They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19) They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20) But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21) assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22) to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23) and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24) and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 25) Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26) Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27) and give no opportunity to the devil. 28) Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29) Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31) Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32) Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Cost of Discipleship

Luke 14:25) Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26) “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27) Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28) For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29) Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30) saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31) Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32) And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33) So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

Do Not Be Anxious

Matthew 6:25) "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26) Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27) And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28) And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29) yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30) But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32) For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33) But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34) "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Parable of the Net

Matthew 13:47) “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. 48) When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. 49) So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50) and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value

Matthew 13:45) “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46) who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

Choose Whom You Will Serve

Joshua 24:14) "Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15) And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." 16) Then the people answered, "Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods, 17) for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. 18) And the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God." 19) But Joshua said to the people, "You are not able to serve the Lord, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. 20) If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good." 21) And the people said to Joshua, "No, but we will serve the Lord." 22) Then Joshua said to the people, "You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him." And they said, "We are witnesses." 23) He said, "Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord, the God of Israel." 24) And the people said to Joshua, "The Lord our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey." 25) So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and put in place statutes and rules for them at Shechem. 26) And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone and set it up there under the terebinth that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. 27) And Joshua said to all the people, "Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord that he spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God." 28) So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance.

God Commissions Joshua

Joshua1:1) After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, 2) "Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. 3) Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. 4) From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. 5) No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. 6) Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7) Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

If My People Pray

2 Chronicles 7:11) Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king's house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the Lord and in his own house he successfully accomplished. 12) Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: "I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13) When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14) if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15) Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. 16) For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 17) And as for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my rules, 18) then I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to rule Israel.’ 19) "But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20) then I will pluck you up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21) And at this house, which was exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 22) Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.’"

Friday, July 1, 2011

Joseph Sold by His Brothers

Genesis 37:12) Now his brothers went to pasture their father's flock near Shechem. 13) And Israel said to Joseph, "Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them." And he said to him, "Here I am." 14) So he said to him, "Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring me word." So he sent him from the Valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15) And a man found him wandering in the fields. And the man asked him, "What are you seeking?" 16) "I am seeking my brothers," he said. "Tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock." 17) And the man said, "They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’" So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan. 18) They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. 19) They said to one another, "Here comes this dreamer. 20) Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams." 21) But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, "Let us not take his life." 22) And Reuben said to them, "Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him"—that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father. 23) So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. 24) And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it. 25) Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26) Then Judah said to his brothers, "What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27) Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh." And his brothers listened to him. 28) Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt. 29) When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes 30) and returned to his brothers and said, "The boy is gone, and I, where shall I go?" 31) Then they took Joseph's robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32) And they sent the robe of many colors and brought it to their father and said, "This we have found; please identify whether it is your son's robe or not." 33) And he identified it and said, "It is my son's robe. A fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces." 34) Then Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. 35) All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, "No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning." Thus his father wept for him. 36) Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard.