11 July 2009

Today's Reading --- 11 June 2009

Today's Old Testament passage is Psalms 4, 5, and 6.

Psalm 4
1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.
3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
6 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.
8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

Psalm 5
1 Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.
2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.
11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

Psalm 6
1 O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
2 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.
3 My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?
4 Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
6 I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
7 Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.
8 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.
9 The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.
10 Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

The New Testament reading is verses 16-40 of the 16th chapter of the Acts. Again, they just can't seem to avoid stirring things up wherever they go. Certainly you could tell they'd been there, no 'stealth Christianity' with this bunch, no.
Acts 16:16-40
16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.
27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
35 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.
36 And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace.
37 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.
38 And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans.
39 And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city.
40 And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

Today -- 11 July 2009

Late today. It's been rough here so far. Dear Wife had gone back to work, ostensibly part-time,in a supervisory role with a regional restaurant chain. Was supposed to go in 05:00 this morning. When alarm went off, she could barely stand. I ran her by the place to open up for the prep people, then brought her home. Took her into the walk-in clinic when it opened. To abbreviate matters, she's down with pneumonia, upper respiratory and sinus infections, and a 103 degree fever. They pumped her full of antibiotics, gave her a breathing treatment, and sent us off to the pharmacy and home. A WHOLE LOT of money later, we got home and she's semi-conscious on the bed right now, and probably will be for the next few days. She is prone to asthmatic-type stuff anyway, which does not help. The problem is that the drugs she must take daily to suppress over-active immune system (in other words, she has lupus and related auto-immune issues) also mean she is prone to actual infectious attacks. We've been through this before, and sometimes it has been a very close call indeed. We covet the prayers of all.

10 July 2009

Today's Reading -- 10 July 2009

Back in something almost resembling normalcy, or at least what passes for that around these parts. It's been a wild week, and it's not over yet.
We are grateful for answered prayer in one regard. Beloved older daughter called last night to tell us that her Dear Husband has found a new job, and started yesterday. It's not great, but it is something. They have been married less than two years now, had just bought a house when his employer cut him and about ten other people. citing hard times in the trucking business in the south central US. They were prudent in their purchase, were not living beyond their means, had very limited debt, and -- rare these days -- had actual savings. So he was off work less than a month and, though the new job pays less, can still make it with a bit to spare. So we are very grateful.
Beloved younger daughter got some results back yesterday on some medical tests she underwent just before the holiday. Nothing found, but she still feels awful and tired all the time. We are hoping that it is not early signs of Dear Wife's auto-immune ailments, lupus and the like. But we shall see.

This morning we start into the Psalms, with Psalms 1, 2, and 3. Both 1 and 2 should be committed to memory anyway, and at least part of the 3rd as well. I love this, part of Psalm 3 set to music.

Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Psalm 2
1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.
5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Psalm 3
1 Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
4 I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.
7 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

This evening's passage is verses 1-15 of Acts chapter 16. If you want an example of how to do a church plant, this would not be a bad passage to look at.
Acts 16:1-15
1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.
5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
11 Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;
12 And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.
13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.
14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

09 July 2009

Today's Reading == 09 July 2009

Proper posting will be delayed due to events beyond my control.

Today: Job chapters 40-42, completing it. GREAT ending!

This evening: verses 22-41 of Acts chapter 15

07 July 2009

Today's Reading -- 08 July 2009


This morning: chapters 38 and 39 of Job. There's been a whole lot of talk up to now about God, about what He does and doesn't do, what He will and won't do. Now HE shows up, and there's no doubt about that! and He is not, shall we say, altogether pleased with all of it.l

Job 38
1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
12 Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
14 It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.
15 And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
18 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
19 Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
20 That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?
21 Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?
22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
24 By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
25 Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;
26 To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;
27 To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
28 Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
29 Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?
30 The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
34 Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?
35 Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?
36 Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?
37 Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,
38 When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?
39 Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,
40 When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?
41 Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.

Job 39
1 Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve?
2 Canst thou number the months that they fulfil? or knowest thou the time when they bring forth?
3 They bow themselves, they bring forth their young ones, they cast out their sorrows.
4 Their young ones are in good liking, they grow up with corn; they go forth, and return not unto them.
5 Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass?
6 Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings.
7 He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver.
8 The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing.
9 Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
10 Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
11 Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?
12 Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?
13 Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?
14 Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust,
15 And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.
16 She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not her's: her labour is in vain without fear;
17 Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding.
18 What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider.
19 Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?
20 Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible.
21 He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men.
22 He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword.
23 The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield.
24 He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet.
25 He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
26 Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?
27 Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?
28 She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place.
29 From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.
30 Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.

This evening, verses 1 - 21 of the 15th chapter of the Acts. And now we get into the issue of what are sometimes known as the 'Judaizers', those who believed -- and some still do --- that one must become a Jew first in order to become a Christian, and that means circumcision, the whole moral AND ceremonial laws, all of it. Guess again.
Acts 15:1-21
1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11 But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

Today's Reading -- 07 July 2009

morning: Job 35-37 Elihu is speaking.

Job 35
1 Elihu spake moreover, and said,
2 Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God's?
3 For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto thee? and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin?
4 I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee.
5 Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou.
6 If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him?
7 If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?
8 Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.
9 By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty.
10 But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;
11 Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?
12 There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men.
13 Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.
14 Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him.
15 But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity:
16 Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge.

Job 36
1 Elihu also proceeded, and said,
2 Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God's behalf.
3 I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
4 For truly my words shall not be false: he that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.
5 Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.
6 He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor.
7 He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted.
8 And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction;
9 Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.
10 He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.
11 If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.
12 But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.
13 But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when he bindeth them.
14 They die in youth, and their life is among the unclean.
15 He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression.

Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness.

But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee.
18 Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.
19 Will he esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.
20 Desire not the night, when people are cut off in their place.
21 Take heed, regard not iniquity: for this hast thou chosen rather than affliction.
22 Behold, God exalteth by his power: who teacheth like him?
23 Who hath enjoined him his way? or who can say, Thou hast wrought iniquity?
24 Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold.
25 Every man may see it; man may behold it afar off.
26 Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out.
27 For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:
28 Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.
29 Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle?
30 Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea.
31 For by them judgeth he the people; he giveth meat in abundance.
32 With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt.
33 The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapour.

Job 37
1 At this also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place.
2 Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth.
3 He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth.
4 After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard.
5 God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.
6 For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.
7 He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work.
8 Then the beasts go into dens, and remain in their places.
9 Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north.
10 By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened.
11 Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud:
12 And it is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth.
13 He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.
14 Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.
15 Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of his cloud to shine?
16 Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?
17 How thy garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south wind?
18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?
19 Teach us what we shall say unto him; for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness.
20 Shall it be told him that I speak? if a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up.
21 And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them.
22 Fair weather cometh out of the north: with God is terrible majesty.
23 Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.
24 Men do therefore fear him: he respecteth not any that are wise of heart.

Evening: Acts chapter 14
Acts 14
1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
4 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
5 And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,
6 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
7 And there they preached the gospel.
8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked:
9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,
10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.
11 And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.
12 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.
13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.
14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,
15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.
17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
18 And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.
19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
24 And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.
25 And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:
26 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.
27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.
28 And there they abode long time with the disciples.

06 July 2009

Today's Reading -- 06 July 2009

Back at it this morning. Not only are we coming back from a holiday weekend, but I've been - like my cohorts - off work for a week. And the hourly people at the plant rotate shifts effective this morning. AND, for a time at least, go back to a 40-hour week. They've been working 24- and 32-hour work weeks since mid-Autumn., with obvious financial consequences. I understand that some of the workcells were being rearranged over the shutdown. Now a whole lot of changes get dumped on everyone all at once. We could use some ''joy of the Lord'' types today.

This morning's reading is chapters 33-35 of Job. A new voice heard from, speaking to Job. And to us as well.

Job 33
1 Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches, and hearken to all my words.
2 Behold, now I have opened my mouth, my tongue hath spoken in my mouth.
3 My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly.
4 The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.
5 If thou canst answer me, set thy words in order before me, stand up.
6 Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead: I also am formed out of the clay.
7 Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid, neither shall my hand be heavy upon thee.
8 Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing, and I have heard the voice of thy words, saying,
9 I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me.
10 Behold, he findeth occasions against me, he counteth me for his enemy,
11 He putteth my feet in the stocks, he marketh all my paths.
12 Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man.
13 Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.
14 For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;
16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
17 That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.
18 He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.
19 He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:
20 So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat.
21 His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out.
22 Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.
23 If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:
24 Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.
25 His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall return to the days of his youth:
26 He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.
27 He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not;
28 He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.
29 Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man,
30 To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.
31 Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak.
32 If thou hast anything to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee.
33 If not, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom.

Job 34
1 Furthermore Elihu answered and said,
2 Hear my words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge.
3 For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.
4 Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good.
5 For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment.
6 Should I lie against my right? my wound is incurable without transgression.
7 What man is like Job, who drinketh up scorning like water?
8 Which goeth in company with the workers of iniquity, and walketh with wicked men.
9 For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God.
10 Therefore hearken unto me ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity.
11 For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways.
12 Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.
13 Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world?
14 If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath;
15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.
16 If now thou hast understanding, hear this: hearken to the voice of my words.
17 Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just?
18 Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly?
19 How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands.
20 In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.
21 For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.
22 There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.
23 For he will not lay upon man more than right; that he should enter into judgment with God.
24 He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead.
25 Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them in the night, so that they are destroyed.
26 He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others;
27 Because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his ways:
28 So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted.
29 When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only:
30 That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared.
31 Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more:
32 That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.
33 Should it be according to thy mind? he will recompense it, whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I: therefore speak what thou knowest.
34 Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man hearken unto me.
35 Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom.
36 My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end because of his answers for wicked men.
37 For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God.

This evening, verses 24-52 of Acts chapter 13.
Paul is speaking in the synagogue while on a missionary journey. Starting with first principles, history that they all knew, he builds his case. And makes an impresson.

Acts 13:24-52
24 When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
25 And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.
26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.
28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.
29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
30 But God raised him from the dead:
31 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.
32 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,
33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.
35 Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:
37 But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.
38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
40 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;
41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.
42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
49 And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.
52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.

05 July 2009

Today's Reading -- 05 July 2009

Good Sunday morning. I hope that your holiday weekend has gone well, and safely. Many years ago, for my sins, I spent an extended period playing around local law enforcement. We never looked forward to some of these holidays, too many people were out practicing their drunk driving, getting drunk and into fights at home and in public places, carelessness with pyrotechnic device led to bad burns and house fires, and a WHOLE lot of divorces and family feuds originated during these days. Made one long for the whole thing to be over. I hope that has not happened to you.

This morning's reading is chapters 31 and 32 of Job. Job is just about talked out, and so are most of his ''friends''. One of their passengers has something to say.

Job 31
1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
2 For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?
3 Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity?
4 Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?
5 If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;
6 Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity.
7 If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;
8 Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.
9 If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour's door;
10 Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her.
11 For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges.
12 For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.
13 If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me;
14 What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?
15 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?
16 If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail;
17 Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof;
18 (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother's womb;)
19 If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering;
20 If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;
21 If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate:
22 Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.
23 For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.
24 If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence;
25 If I rejoice because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;
26 If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness;
27 And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:
28 This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.
29 If I rejoice at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him:
30 Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.
31 If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied.
32 The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.
33 If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:
34 Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door?
35 Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book.
36 Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me.
37 I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.
38 If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain;
39 If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life:
40 Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.

Job 32
1 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.
2 Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.
3 Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.
4 Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he.
5 When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled.
6 And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.
7 I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.
8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
9 Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.
10 Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion.
11 Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say.
12 Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words:
13 Lest ye should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth him down, not man.
14 Now he hath not directed his words against me: neither will I answer him with your speeches.
15 They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking.
16 When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;)
17 I said, I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion.
18 For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me.
19 Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.
20 I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.
21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.
22 For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.

This evening's passage is verses 1 through 23 of the 13th chapter of the Acts. Out-and-out missions work is underway, and they're being noticed. Not hiding the message either, no trying to be ''inclusive'', no 'multicultural sensitivity' nonsense.
Acts 13:1-23
1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.
6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:
7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.
8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.
10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.
13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.
14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.
15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.
16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.
17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.
18 And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness.
19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot.
20 And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.
21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.
22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
23 Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: