October 1, 2015 Bible Study — Are We Putting God’s Interests Ahead Of Our Own?

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 24:13-14

    Just as honey is sweet on the tongue and has other benefits, so wisdom is sweet to our souls and brings benefits beyond the obvious. Seek wisdom because it will make your life better in more ways than you can imagine.


Psalm 73

    When we allow ourselves to envy the proud and wicked we risk losing our faith. It may seem that the wicked prosper without a care. It may seem that their wealth just continues to increase while they sin against God and man. However, God’s day of judgment against them is coming. We must not let ourselves become bitter because others, no matter how wicked those others may be, prosper. Let us, instead, focus on the good which comes from obeying God. Instead of envying the “good things” which the wicked possess let us pity them because they do not know God’s love.


Philippians 2:19-3:3

    Paul commends Timothy and Epaphroditus in this passage, holding them both up as models for us to follow. We do not know very much about Epaphroditus, but we do know tha Timothy went on to become one of the leaders of the Church, post the Apostles. Timothy genuinely cared about the welfare of his fellow believers. He did not look out only for his own interests, rather he strove to accomplish those things which furthered the interests of Jesus Christ and His Body. As I said, we do not know much about Epaphroditus. However, Paul tells us that he served as a messenger from the Philippian believers to Paul and that he served as an assistant and co-worker with Paul. The key thing we are told is that he risked his health in order to provide aid to Paul in preaching the Gospel. The context implies to me that Epaphroditus knowingly risked his health in order to be of service to Paul and the Gospel. In both cases the men put serving God’s interest ahead of their personal interest. I will strive to do the same.


Isaiah 62:6-65:25

    There are several different messages which struck me as I read this. I do not see them as linked together, although I am sure with a little thought I could create a link between them. The first is in the very first verse where God declares that He has appointed watchmen on the walls to pray to the Lord. I believe that we are those watchmen who are to pray to the Lord. We are to take no rest in our prayers until God establishes the New Jerusalem. Oh how I struggle with this. I do not pray as I should. I should pray more and harder for the Church, for the Assembly of God’s people. I should pray more and harder for the souls of my friends. I should pray more and harder for the oppressed and downtrodden in this world. I should pray more and harder.
    Then in chapter 63:5 God declares that He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. That reads to me like a calling for us to look around us for those who are oppressed and to lend our support. We should be asking ourselves each day, “What can I do to help the oppressed?” When we see someone oppressing others, the very least we can do is raise our voices and cry, “Stop! What you are doing is wrong!” We may not be able to stop the oppression, but we can make sure that those who can are unable to claim, “I did not know.”
    Then in the beginning of chapter 65, God tells us that He is ready to respond, if we but ask for His help. He is waiting to be found, if only we will look for Him. When we look at what is wrong in the world around us, are we asking for God’s help in fixing it? Or are we trying to do it ourselves? As we look at the world around us, are we looking for God and His actions? Or are we too busy looking for Satan and his actions?

September 30, 2015 Bible Study

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 24:11-12

    Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death. Don’t think you can get away with saying, “I didn’t know.” God knows that you know. The plausible deniability defense will not work before His judgment seat.


Psalm 72

    If a person who exercises government authority uses that power to defend the poor and rescue the children of the needy, their enemies will fall before them. Such a ruler will govern a prosperous land.


Philippians 1:27-2:18

    Paul calls on us to seek unity with our fellow believers. In addition, he describes how we can have such unity, and the only way we can have such unity. We will not have unity as long as some among us think that they are more important than others, placing more value on their own wants and interests than on the interests of others. If we are guilty of thinking that what we want is more important than what others want, we are the ones causing division in the Church. Until we have the same attitude which Jesus had, we are going to bring division to the Body of Christ.


Isaiah 60:1-62:5

    As I read chapter 60, part of me sees this as a prophecy for the Jewish people, but part of me also sees this as a prophecy which applies to those who follow Christ. I look around at the world and see the darkness of evil covering ever more of the world. However, God promises that the light of His righteousness will shine on those who honor and trust Him. That light will shine out from God’s people into the darkness and people will throng to God’s light.
    Then we come to chapter 61, which Jesus declared was fulfilled in Himself. Jesus declared that He had come to proclaim that the captive would be freed and the blind would see. The Spirit of God was upon Him to bring these things about…and Jesus told us that the Spirit of God would be upon us as well to bring these things about. Let us remember as we read such passages that it is God’s intention to work through us to make these things happen.

September 29, 2015 Bible Study — A True Win-Win Situation

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 24:9-10

    If you make plans which rely on lying or other sins for their success, you are a fool.


Psalm 71

    This psalm echoes what my faith means to me. Yes, God has been with me since before my birth (not that I have always been with Him). He has cared for me from when I was in my mother’s womb. I look back over my life and see where God, despite my failures, has cared for me. As a result, I praise Him every day of my life. I will tell everyone about God’s righteousness, about His wonderful power.


Philippians 1:1-26

    I will seek to live my life with the attitude which Paul expresses in this passage. He had been imprisoned for several years at the time he wrote this. Yet he is joyful about his situation, because his imprisonment and suffering has helped spread the Gospel. Those who guard him realize that he is in prison solely because he was a follower of Christ, not because he had done anything deserving of prison. One of the key things he talks about are those who were preaching the Gospel because they wanted to take Paul’s place among the believers. They wanted the recognition and the honor which they saw Paul receiving. Paul did not care what their motives were, only that they preached the true Gospel. We should have a similar attitude. Whatever the reason, I will rejoice when people here the message of Christ. I have faith in the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the bad motives of those who preach God’s word for selfish reasons.
    Further Paul is joyful even though his life is in danger in his imprisonment (my reading of the context of this passage and other historical records suggests that there was both danger from his poor health and from the threat of government action). Paul considered himself to be in a no lose situation. If he lived and was released, he would have more opportunities to serve the Lord. On the other hand, if he died, he would no longer suffer and be with Christ. Either outcome was a cause to rejoice. I daily strive to have a similar attitude. As I live, I will seek to serve God, but if I die, then I get to be with Him in person. If we take Paul’s approach no matter what the Enemy brings against us, we cannot lose.


Isaiah 57:15-59:21

    It is not enough to go through the motions of righteousness. Fasting or doing other acts of superficial righteousness while still exploiting those who are subject to your power will not gain you favor with God. God tells us what He wants from us here:

  • free those unjustly imprisoned
  • lighten the workload of those who work for you (pay your workers what their work is worth)
  • share your food with the hungry
  • give shelter to the homeless
  • give clothes to the naked
  • don’t refuse to help your relatives who need help

Only one of these can be seen as call to petition the government. These are actions we are called to take on our own account, not try to avoid responsibility for by saying, “Someone should do something.” I’m somebody. I will do something.

September 28, 2015 Bible Study

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 24:8

    Those who plan evil may think that they have “plausible deniability”, but as time goes by people will start to notice that they are always connected with wrongdoing. Once that happens they will have a reputation for being a troublemaker, for doing wrong.


Psalm 70

    When we come before God, even the wealthiest among us is poor and needy. It is wrong to take delight in the troubles which others experience. If we do delight in those troubles we will be disgraced. However, those who search for God will be filled with joy and gladness when they find Him, and they will find Him.


Ephesians 6

    In yesterday’s passage Paul started pointing out that believers on either side of a “power” relationship have obligations. Wives are to submit to their husbands, but husbands are obligated to put their wives’ well-being ahead of their own. In today’s passage, Paul tells children that they are to honor their parents, but parents are obligated to not provoke their children. Slaves are to obey their masters, but masters are obligated to treat their slaves as Christ treats them, remembering that Christ is our Lord and Master. Paul makes it clear that as Christians we have obligations to those we have relationships with, no matter which side of the “power” relationship we are on. It is our responsibility to fulfill our side of the “bargain”, not to ensure that those on the other side fulfill theirs.
    Paul then completes his letter to the Ephesians by instructing us to prepare ourselves for spiritual battle. One of the terms often used in the Church today is “spiritual warfare”. Most of the times when I hear this term used, I cringe because many of those using it have a similar view of the spiritual world as a place where we need special knowledge and tools to do battle. However, Paul makes it clear that each and every believer is involved in spiritual warfare…and that we can easily find all of the knowledge and tools which we need in the Bible.
    Here are the tools we need:

  • truth
  • If we do not dedicate ourselves to finding a speaking the truth, we will be vulnerable to evil. Every time we lie, deceive, or mislead others we open ourselves up to attacks from the evil one.

  • God’s righteousness
  • There are two aspects to this. The first is that when we act with righteousness, it is not our righteousness. The second is that, nevertheless, we need to act with righteousness.

  • peace which comes from believing the Gospel
  • If we truly believe the Gospel, we will be at peace because we know that God has a plan which none cannot be thwarted.

  • faith
  • Our faith will act as a shield against attacks. If we truly have faith in God, we know that He has made us just the way we are so that we can serve His purpose. No matter what negative things others may say, or we may think, our faith tells us that “God made us, and God doesn’t make junk.”

  • the word of God
  • Paul tells us that the word of God is our sword. It is with the word of God that we can take the battle to the enemy. I am a fencer and therefore I can tell you that a sword is first used as defense. When I am fencing someone, I must first neutralize their ability to attack me. If I fail to do so, they will strike home when I attempt to attack them. The same is true when dealing in spiritual issues. Before we go on offense, we must identify where the enemy, Satan, can attack us and neutralize that potential attack. Only then can we hope to safely strike down our enemy.

  • Prayer
  • All of the previous things were primarily defensive. It is by prayer that we truly go on the offense and that is what makes spiritual warfare different from all other types of battle. It is by prayer that we bring turn the servants of our enemies into servants of the Lord.


Isaiah 54:1-57:14

    This is a powerful passage, especially chapter 55.

“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.

God will supply our needs even though we do not have any way to pay Him back. It is by listening to God that we find life. Those who mock God and seek to find life through other things (whether through “science”, or “sports”, or “entertainment”, or something else) will find no rescue when trouble comes.
    God sends out His word and it accomplishes the purpose for which He sent it. It never fails. I was going to write more about this passage, but there is just too much there. Please read it for yourself. It fits so well with the passage from Ephesians we just read.

September 27, 2015 Bible Study — Don’t Be Fooled By Those Who Try To Excuse Sin

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 24:7

    When true leaders discuss the actions which should be taken for the good of all, fools have nothing of value to add.


Psalm 69:19-36

    Praising God pleases Him more than any gifts and offerings we might give. Those who humbly seek God’s help will be aided. He hears the cries of the needy and comes to their assistance.


Ephesians 5

    I find this passage extremely relevant in today’s society. There are three things which we must not allow ourselves to be: a sexually immoral, an impure, or greedy person. Anyone who is any of those things is an idolator. Notice that these three things are lumped together by Paul. He goes on to warn us not to be fooled by those who try to make excuses for these sins.
    Rather than let ourselves be caught in such sins, we need to carefully determine what actions please God. Once we have made that determination, let us make the most of every opportunity we have to do good. In order to make the most of our opportunities we must never act thoughtlessly. Paul warns us against getting drunk, one of the leading causes of people acting thoughtlessly. Instead, we can gain a similar feeling by allowing ourselves to be filled with the Holy Spirit.


Isaiah 51-53

    Isaiah reminds us that if we truly know and fear God there is no reason to fear any human being. We do not need to fear the oppressor, or those who have made themselves our enemies. God is our comforter and His law will be proclaimed. The earth and everything in it will come to an end, but God’s salvation is eternal. Isaiah tells us that God’s name has been blasphemed because of the actions of those who claim to serve Him, but God is going to truly reveal His name to His people. He will fill them with His power. On that day, and that day is today, the good news of God’s salvation will be proclaimed in all of the earth. God is sovereign over all of the earth.
    Then Isaiah tells us how this day came to be (although when Isaiah proclaimed it, it was still in the future). God sent Jesus to suffer for our sins. He was despised and rejected. It seemed at the time that He was punished for His sins, although, in fact, He was punished for ours. Jesus was made an offering for sin. Yet, it was because of His weakness that He was victorious. By accepting that suffering Jesus was able to bear the sins of all the world and bring the offer of salvation to all who would receive it. Let us joyfully accept the gift He has given us.

September 26, 2015 Bible Study — Get Rid of All Bitterness, Rage, Anger, Harsh Words, and Slander

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 24:5-6

    Those who act wisely will defeat those who rely solely on might. You will need wise guidance to gain victory in any contest of strength (from sporting events to war), seek many advisers before beginning the contest.


Psalm 69:1-18

    There has only been one time when I felt as utterly overwhelmed by life circumstances as the psalmist expresses here and even then I knew that I was not truly in floodwaters up to my neck. However, even now when God has made my life good, there is something here that speaks to me. I must acknowledge that God knows how foolish I am, and every one of my sins. I cannot hide my sins from God. I pray that God does not allow me to do anything that will cause shame to those who trust in Him. Let each and every one of us consider our actions so that we do not bring shame on others who trust in God. As I typed this I realized that there is a second reading to that phrase that is just as important…we should not feel shamed by the actions of those who are doing the Lord’s will (it is one thing to be shamed by someone who claims to serve God and does wrong, it is another to be shamed because someone is doing God’s will).


Ephesians 4:17-32

    In a way, everything Paul has written up to now in his letter to the Ephesians has been by way of introduction. In today’s passage he begins to get to the point. We are to stop living the way that unbelievers do. They are confused. They want to live righteous lives, but think they can do so while living for lustful pleasure and practicing all kinds of impurity. They think they can find righteousness while refusing to have anything to do with God. Those who follow Christ have learned that truth comes from Him. We cannot live righteously until we find God. In order to find God we must throw off our sinful, lustful nature and allow the Holy Spirit to make us new in our thoughts and attitudes. Paul then goes through a checklist which we can follow in order to allow that transformation to occur.

  1. Stop telling lies
  2. The first step to being transformed is to be honest with everyone: no more lies, no more half-truths, no more truths told in such a way so as to deceive.

  3. Don’t let anger control us
  4. Yes, we will still get angry, but we need to let the anger go. The sooner the better, but certainly before the end of the day. Our anger will allow us to justify doing wrong: “He did wrong to me, so I can do wrong to him.”

  5. Work hard so that you can give to those in need.
  6. Stop thinking that it is OK to live off of the productivity of others, or that it is charitable to take others wealth to help those in need.

  7. Do NOT use foul or abusive language
  8. Instead be careful to only say things which are helpful and build others up. I think I do a fair job on the “not” part. However, I have a long way to go on the “instead” part.

  9. Do not bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit by the way you live.
  10. To a large degree this follows from the previous four, but not entirely. Paul then gives us a two sided list: things not to do and things to do in order to not bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit.

And here is that two sided list;
Get rid of:

  • bitterness
  • rage
  • anger
  • harsh words
  • slander
  • all types of evil behavior


  • be kind to others
  • be tenderhearted
  • forgive one another


Isaiah 48:12-50:11

    Much of this passage is a Messianic prophecy which was fulfilled by Jesus. However, some aspects of it are both that and guidance for how we should live our lives. Each and every morning God has spoken to us. Have we listened? Let us not turn away or rebel. Let us offer our backs to those who beat us, because God will help us. If we are determined to do His will, we will not be disgraced.
    If we are walking in darkness without a sliver of light, let us trust and rely on God. He will guide us. The danger will arise if we try to create our own light in the darkness. That light will deceive us and lead us to torment. Let us trust in God and look for the light from Him.

September 25, 2015 Bible Study — Seek Unity In Truth

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 24:3-4

    When the proverb writer refers to “house” here, I do not believe he is referring to a building. Rather he is referring to a group of people who work together for the common good. In a way he is referring to a family business, except unlike what we normally think of, decisions are not made which are the “best for the business”, rather decisions are made about what is best for the “house” (that is, the people who make up the group). Such a group only comes into existence when wisdom is applied to its formation. It requires understanding and common sense for it to become established, and knowledge is necessary for it to thrive.


Psalm 68:19-35

    Let us praise God. His enemies may seem powerful, but He will bring them down. The rulers and nations of this earth may have declared war against God, but they will be bringing gifts and tribute to Him before the war is done. Let us praise God for His power. He will not win His victory with a mighty army. No, He will win with a crucified Son.


Ephesians 4:1-16

    We have been called to humbly work together to be unified by the Spirit into the Body of Christ. As I wrote that I realized that it seems to say more than it does. Paul instructs us to be humble and gentle, to be patient with our fellow believers, making allowance for their flaws as we work together in love. I think the first place to start in understanding what Paul is telling us is with the word “love”. If we love someone we want what is best for them and act to bring the results which lead to their greatest happiness into being. Of course, this is where being humble and gentle come into play. We need to recognize that we may be mistaken about what is best for those we love.
    In order to bring about the unity which Paul tells us we should strive for God has given the Church many gifts. In particular, He has given apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Actually, it is interesting that Paul divides these five into two groups. He puts apostles, prophets, and evangelists in one group and he puts pastors and teachers in another. From various things I have read, the first group represents those whose primary mission is to reach out to unbelievers, the second group has the primary mission of ministering to those who are already believers. This only represents their primary mission, not their entire purpose. All of us are called to one degree, or another, to minister both to believers and unbelievers.
    Regardless of their primary mission, all of those with these gifts have the responsibility to equip God’s people to do God’s work and to build up the Church, the Body of Christ (and when Paul says this he is not referring to the organization, he is referring to the people who make up the Body of Christ). How do we know that they have been successful? When the Church, and its members, are not blown about by every new teaching which comes down the road. Paul warns us against lies which are so cleverly told that they sound like the truth. When confronted by such teachings let us speak truth in love. Again remembering to humbly acknowledge that we may not fully comprehend the truth. It is important to remember that while I may not be correct in my understanding about what is true, those who claim that there is, therefore, no truth are certainly incorrect. Let us remember that there is such a thing as absolute truth while humbly seeking to learn what that truth is. We will never fully comprehend God’s truth while we are in this world, but if we continue to seek God and allow Him to correct our mistakes, He will gradually reveal ever more of that truth to us.


Isaiah 45:11-48

    I was struck by this statement which God declared through Isaiah: “I am the Lord, and there is NO other.” There is someone I speak with from time to time who was raised a Christian, and who still considers themselves a Christian. However, they worship as part of an inter-faith congregation (not an inter-denominational congregation, but an inter-faith one). They worship together with Wiccans, Buddhists, Hindus, and others who consider themselves Christians. Wiccans and Hindus worship beings other than God (whether the beings they worship are real or imaginary is a discussion for another place). Those who worship with them are not Christians. Those who believe that Paul’s call for unity means that we should be unified with those who worship gods other than God have misread Paul.
    There is a couple of other statements made by God in this passage which I think we need to remember. “I publicly proclaim bold promises. I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner.” God does not make quiet little claims that can be easily overlooked and He does not call us to do so either. Let us publicly, boldly proclaim God’s promises, not whisper them obscurely in some dark corner. There may be those who will belittle us for doing so, but better that than for them to cry, “Why didn’t you tell me?” when God’s judgment is made. This passage also tells us that God would not have told people to seek Him if He could not be found. Let us seek the Lord and encourage others to do so as well. Those who genuinely seek God WILL find Him.

September 24, 2015 Bible Study — The Mystery of Christ

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 24:1-2

    The wicked may seem like they have everything they want, but they are constantly stirring up trouble and plotting violence. It is sometimes hard to remember that the “nice” things such people have do not offset the sense of self=loathing we would have if we acted like they do.


Psalm 68:1-18

    The wicked fear God and His presence drives them away, but the godly rejoice in His presence. God is father to the fatherless and a defender to widows. The powerless turn to Him for justice, and He grants it to them. God will turn aside a mighty army with a horde of those with no military skills. They will flee leaving behind their wealth for those they thought to oppress. Let us praise God for His mighty acts.


Ephesians 3

    We, as people, constantly want to separate ourselves into groups. Those who are “inside”, or us, separated from those who are on the “outside”, or them. Paul points out the great mystery of the Gospel. God has declared that these two designation no longer have any meaning. He sent Christ for the purpose of uniting all people into one body (and by body Paul does not mean group, he genuinely means a body composed of many people, just as our bodies are composed of many cells). God intends for the Church, the Assembly of believers, to demonstrate this new way of being. God has called us to demonstrate that the Gospel message is for all people, not matter what their heritage. In God’s plan as revealed through Christ, there are no Jews and Gentiles, there are no Brahmans and Untouchables, there are no Blacks, Whites, Asians. In God’s plan there are only people, who need to accept God’s love and grace.


Isaiah 43:14-45:10

    Here Isaiah prophesied what Paul said in the Ephesians passage. God declared through Isaiah that He was going to do a new thing. God has chosen a people for Himself, that people is composed of those who proudly declare that they are His and follow His commands. God will pour out His Spirit on those people who will proudly proclaim themselves as belonging to Him, those who take the name of Israel as their own.
    I was going to stop there, but I really have to comment on the end of this passage. What a sad day we have come to when people believe that they have the understanding to tell their Creator, “Stop, you are doing it wrong!” We live in a society where children have sued their parents for giving them birth…and there are those who think they are right to have done so. God is our Creator and He has made us the way we are for a purpose. Let us recognize that our physical flaws are not a mistake, they are there to serve God’s purpose.

September 23, 2015 Bible Study — Happy Anniversary to My Lovely Wife

For today, One Year Bible Online links here. Today my wife and I celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. I am so grateful both to God and to her for these 15 wonderful years. I pray to God that we have many more together.


Proverbs 23:29-35

    If you spend your time trying all the latest wines, beers, or mixed drinks, you will suffer for it. I don’t think there is anything I can say to add any clarity to what is said here.


Psalm 67

    Yes, I will make this my prayer today. May God’s saving power be known to all people throughout the entire earth. May they come to know and praise God. Then, and only then, will there be peace on the earth.


Ephesians 2

    None of us have any place to boast about our salvation. It was a free gift from God given to us when we were still enmeshed in sin. He did not give it to us as a reward for our righteous behavior, because if salvation was a reward for righteous behavior no one would receive it. No, God recreated us in, and through, Jesus so that we could do good things. The good things we do are not ours to boast of, rather they are God’s doing. I do not do good things because I am a good person. Rather the good things I do are a product of God’s Spirit working through me.
    God, having given us salvation, is now joining us together into a Temple in which He may live. The purpose of this unity is to bring glory to God. We are not called to unity to make people feel better about themselves. We are not even called to unity to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Those are both valuable things, when done in service to the purpose for which God is bringing us together. That purpose is to glorify God. We do not bring glory to God, by proclaiming that sinful behavior is not sinful. However, we need to remember that we are called to confront ALL sinful behavior, not just sinful behavior we find distasteful.


Isaiah 41:17-43:13

    As I read Isaiah recounting God’s call for the idols to tell us what they had done long ago, I am reminded that scholars and archaeologists frequently question the historical accuracy of the accounts in the Bible. In the early nineteenth century, it was the accepted “truth” that the Assyrian Empire had never existed, that the Biblical writers had invented it to make points about God’s power. Even after the discovery of Nineveh there were those who questioned the accounts given here and elsewhere of the Assyrian siege and withdrawal from Jerusalem, but those have now been confirmed. The idols worshiped by the skeptics had failed to reveal what had happened long ago, just as God had said that they would. Yet the Bible told us of those events. There is a similar call for those idols to tell us what will happen in the future. Before 1948, those who do not accept the Bible and God’s power would have told you that Israel would never again exist in Palestine. Yet, here in Isaiah, God proclaimed that one day He would bring His people back to the land He had promised Abraham.

    There is another theme in this passage which I want to touch on because it struck me as I read this. At the beginning of Chapter 42, we are told of God’s chosen servant, who will not shout, or raise His voice in public. This is a prophecy about Jesus. However, I felt the Spirit talking to me. We are not called to shout, and scream, and stamp our feet. We are called to calmly, gently, and firmly work to bring justice.

September 22. 2015 Bible Study — Come and Listen To What God Has Done

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 23:25-28

    This proverb tells us that a promiscuous woman is dangerous, trying to get more men to be unfaithful. If you have ever met a promiscuous woman, you know that it is true. They prefer men who are in a relationship with other women, especially men who have been faithful. However, the same is true of promiscuous men. Look around at society and you will see that the more people practice sexual immorality the more they wish to convince others to do so as well. Do not fall into that trap by getting started in the first place.


Psalm 66

    Let us join the psalmist in praising God, calling on everyone to come and see what God has done. The psalmist sums up how we are to witness to others at the end of this psalm.

Come and listen, all you who fear God,
and I will tell you what he did for me.

I will tell any who will listen what God has done for me. By doing so I hope to encourage those who believe, and convince those who do not.
For I cried out to him for help,
praising him as I spoke.

When I cry out to God for His help, I will praise Him at the same time. He has done great things for me in the past. I know that He will do great things in the future.
If I had not confessed the sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.

If I pretend that I am not a sinner when I call on God for help, He will not listen. It is only when I acknowledge my many sins to Him that He will listen to me. He cannot help us if we fail to acknowledge the areas where we most need help (our sins are our true problems, everything else is just a symptom).
But God did listen!
He paid attention to my prayer.

I will continue to seek out unrecognized sins in my life because God has listened. He has paid attention to my prayers. I will seek to identify other areas where my actions fail to please Him, so that He can transform those as well.


Ephesians 1

    I really needed today’s passage because my study (OK, study is probably too strong of a word for it) of what is going on in the world right now is frightening. There are a lot of bad things happening and it looks to me like things will get worse before they get better (with no real evidence that they will get better). However, in this passage Paul reminds us that God HAS a plan. More importantly, God makes everything work out according to His plan. Things do not happen by accident. They happen because they are part of God’s plan. He has chosen us and part of His plan is to give us an inheritance. So, as scary as the world situation may appear today, God has a plan and He is in control. Things will turn out according to His plan.
    Paul then goes on to offer the prayer that we might receive the Spirit of wisdom (NIV). That Spirit will cause us to know God even better. It will open our eyes to God’s light so that we will know the great hope which God has given us. Once more, despite how scary things look in the world around us, we have the hope and knowledge that God will use these events to further His plan. That plan involves giving us the same power which raised Jesus from the dead through His Spirit. Let us use that power to further God’s plan to subject all things to Christ.


Isaiah 39:1-41:16

    God is calling on us to shout that He is coming in power. Let our voices be heard. There is no reason to be afraid. Our God is a great God. It was He who created the universe and everything in it. Look at the scale of this universe. On that scale, this earth is insignificant and the nations even more so. There is nothing we can see, or imagine, to which we can compare God. Those who make images and idols are trying to limit God to a scale which they can understand, but such is not possible. God will not be limited.
    In chapter 40, verses 29-31 is one of the great statements for us to remember.

He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

Are you at your wits end? Have you become exhausted doing God’s will? He will give you the strength to go on. Trust in Him and do not be afraid. He will not allow your grip to fail. He will not allow you to fall. Turn to Him for the strength you need. He is here to help us and He will not fail us.