February - Reading 1

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Brother Adam, Jan 31, 2002.

  1. Brother Adam

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  2. Helen

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    I'm just going to do Psalm 24 tonight. It's a lovely one, with some great lines:

    The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;


    yes, we were given dominion, but that is only being a caretaker, not an owner...
    We will be held accountable for what we have done with His incredible creation if we are not found blameless in Christ.


    for he founded it upon the seas
    and established it upon the waters.


    This is probably a reference to creation, when the earth started out watery (Genesis 1:2) and then the solid land was thrust up out of it on the third day, forcing the seas to retreat to their 'boundaries.'


    Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?
    Who may stand in his holy place?


    We have already read in Psalm 2 that the Messiah will be installed on Zion, God's holy hill. In Psalm 9:11 we saw that the Lord is enthroned in Zion. In Psalm 14:7, we read "Oh that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores the fortunes of this people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!"

    In Isaiah we read there will be a time when the Lord returns to Zion (52:8) and in Revelation 14:1 that the Lamb is seen standing on Mt. Zion.

    Many feel that the references to Jesus returning to Zion with the nations paying tribute is a reference to the Millennium. I agree, but we can all argue about that later! What is important in Psalm 24 is that the reference is approaching Christ Himself -- who can do it?

    Here is how David answers his own question:

    He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not lift up his soul to an idol
    or swear by what is false.


    This is like a quick summary of David's song in Psalm 15

    Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
    Who may live n your holy hill?
    He whose walk is blameless
    and who does what is righteous,
    who speaks the truth from his heart'and has no slander on his tongue,
    who does his neighbor no wrong
    and casts no slur on his fellowman,
    who despises a vile man
    but honors those who fear the Lord,
    who keeps his oath even when it hurts,
    who lends his money without usury
    and does not accept a bribe against the innocent...


    And there is NO WAY any man, on his own, can live up to all that. The only way we can be found with clean hands and a pure heart is through Christ Himself. Only in the forgiven state can we ever approach Zion.

    He will receive blessing from the Lord
    and vindication from God his Savior.
    Such is the generation of those who seek him,
    who seek your face, O God of Jacob.



    And then the King approaches Jerusalem itself in the final, triumphant entry:

    Lift up your heads, O you gates;
    be lifted up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.


    I know that many commentators refer to this as anthropomorphizing the gates, that they have heads and such, but in my own mind, I see something else. I see a shattered city of Jerusalem restored by the King Himself. The destruction of the Holy City by Rome, and then by pagans -- it's like the gates of the city are in ruins on the ground, sort of crumpled. But Christ will come, and restore all things. That is the picture my mind sees when I read those lines.


    And then the last lines, almost but not exactly repeating the main chorus.

    Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord strong and mighty,
    the Lord mighty in battle.
    Life up your heads, O you gates;
    lift them up, you ancient doors
    that the King of glory may come in.
    Who is he, this King of glroy?
    The Lord Almighty --
    He is the King of Glory!


    And what is there left to say but

    AMEN!
     
  3. Helen

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    You know something I've noticed? None of the people from the rest of the places on the board who challenge Bible or 'reinterpret it' or etc. etc. are bothering to join in the Bible study board here.

    This SHOULD be, for the Christians, the most active board here. Instead, it is the slowest. That says a lot about people's priorities. Am I just being grouchy? I don't think so. I am amazed that people are not joining in here.

    Folks, if anyone is reading this at all, this Bible is the spiritual food God has given us. This is not a place to diet! Skinny is NOT beautiful in heaven!

    With that done...

    Matthew 10 -- I don't like the way this was divided between two different readings. I do, however, have some notes on it that I think are worth mentioning. These are from a sermon series by Pastor Derek Matsunaka at Grace Bible Church near Sacramento, where I interpreted for the deaf for a number of years. Pastor Matsunaka does incredible teaching and I go back whenever I can. Here is some of what he talked about on Matthew 10

    There is a seeming contradiction in this speech to the disciples until one realizes Christ is outlining history to them.

    At first, He tells them "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rther to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is hear."

    He Himself did go first to the people God had created from one man, Abraham, for Himself. These were the people whose human heritage He shared. His directions for this missionary trip to the Jewish people specifically were special:

    Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.

    These directions were specific for THAT journey at THAT time. It was to work within the culture and the time and that people. This is why they needed no provisions for themselves -- it would have been an offense past comprehension for the Jewish people to refuse food, clothing, and shelter to a wandering teacher. This is also how Jesus had operated within that culture, and He was telling them not to try to be different than He had been. And, like Him, they were being given the ability to do the miracles He had done.

    The next verses are specifically cultural as well -- they they were able to choose who would host them in each town: "some worthy person". This is not something we recognize today, but that is the way it was then. Their reaction to the representatives of Jesus would show what their hearts were like and, therefore, what their future judgment would be.

    The last sentence in this section, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves," is interesting. Sheep among wolves are trembling, and in fear of their imminent demise. These disciples will be, eventually, all killed but one, John, who will die a natural death. THEREFORE, they are to be "shrewd" as snakes. What does that mean? The word in the Greek is phronimos. It is used only 14 times in the New Testament and nine of those times is translated in the NIV as 'wise' or 'sensible.' Today 'shrewd' tends to have a negative connotation, and I am not quite sure that is the best translation of the word for this passage. The King James does translate the word as 'wise', although the NAS also uses 'shrewd.' The Strongs Concordance indicates that the actual meaning of this word is 'cautious, thoughtful, sagacious, discreet.' It would very easily be harkening back to the warning about throwing one's pearls before pigs.

    Nevertheless in their caution and wisdom, the dicsiples were not to imitate the ways of the world, but were to be harmless (KJV) or innocent (NIV).

    Starting with verse 17 there is an historical outline that I don't think many people realize, and which I found fascinating when Pastor Derek showed what Christ was doing:

    Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues.

    This would be the reaction of organized religion against the followers of Christ through the ages. It would start with the Roman state, continue through the Dark Ages at the hands of the Roman Catholic church, and even on into today whether it is the physical death or imprisonment of Christians in Muslim and Communist countries and the like, or the intellectual and social scorn heaped on us by people such as you see on some of the boards on this forum. This is to be expected, Jesus says.

    On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them, and to the Gentiles.

    This not only happened, but is still happening, and foreshadows the persecution by the world church and government which is coming.

    Then Jesus tells us what their reaction then and now must be:

    But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

    We are to stay calm and not worry. We are to know the Bible, so that we will know God's mind.

    Then we come to the section that technically starts today's reading:

    Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.

    WHY????? Look at what Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-5: "But mark this: Thre will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God -- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them."

    Note, among the nasty qualities there, that they will 'have a form of godliness'. They will be religious. We will be the 'fundies', the weird ones who actually want to be close to God Himself and not just practice religion. These people who turn in their own parents and children will THINK they are serving God! This relates directly to what Jesus told the disciples in John 16:2-3: "They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me." Jesus then warns them, in John, "I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you."

    This warning still holds and will hold even more strongly in the days to come.

    Now, look at verse 22 -- it is often misunderstood:

    All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

    Does this mean a man can lose his salvation if he is not 'firm'? No way! That is not what is being said here. The Greek word is 'sozo', and it is a very generic word, meaning 'saved' as in delivered or protected. Salvation is an entirely different word.

    What will the person who is sozo-saved because he stands firm going to be delivered or protected from? The Tribulation. This is a direct reference to the fact that we will be raptured ahead of the Tribulation and that we were not appointed to wrath, but that He will, indeed, come to get us at a time no one knows, 'like a thief in the night.'

    But there are those who will not stand firm. There will be the people who waver, or who are not sure about their faith. The Rapture is going to be a mighty sign to them. And the next verse is God's directions to them when the others are gone:

    When you are presecuted in one place, flee to another.

    Do not volunteer for martyrdom! Things will be bad enough! Don't take unnecessary punishment, but stay hopeful until the end. Those who are fleeing the antichrist, then, will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

    There may be those who disagree with Pastor Derek's exposition of this, but it is something to think about...

    Verses 24-31 then list the four things we will find in true disciples:

    1. a true disciple patterns himself after the teacher: A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough [meaning 'sufficient'] for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.

    2. A true disciple knows the truth will ultimately prevail: So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing conceled that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tellyou in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered n your ear, proclaim from the roofs.

    3. A true disciple fears God, not man: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

    4. A true disciple entrusts his life to God's care: Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.


    And then the strong warning about being open and honest about our faith -- if we acknowledge Him before men, He will acknowledge us before the Father. What does this mean? "I am His" our lives should say every minute of every day. With our words, actions, and attitudes we are living missionaries. Then, at the end, those words will be repeated by Christ: "I am his/hers. And THAT one is MINE."

    But hwoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

    And the warning that faith is not a family affair, but something individual between the person and the Lord, for families will get ripped up over it. Jesus warns that He MUST come first and NO other love, even of mother or father or child can be allowed to overshadow or overtake a person's dedication and love for Christ.

    And some other often misunderstood words:

    and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lsoe it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

    Jesus is explaining the first sentence with the second. We often hear "oh, this is my cross to bear" about this or that difficulty. Wrong. The cross was an instrument of death -- a very painful death at that. Jesus is not talking about 'bearing one's troubles bravely', but about dying to self. That is why the very next sentence is that the person who 'finds' his life, meaning here in this world, will lose it. BUT, the person who loses his life for the sake of Christ -- and this is something we all must do, not just physical martyrs -- will find it. Paul helps explain this in Romans 6:3 "Don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."

    And then the closing of this sermon of Jesus' -- that what we do for others will come back again. He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me...And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.

    The 'little ones' there, by the way, is not little children, but babes in Christ. We ARE to make disciples of them, teaching them to obey whatsoever He has commanded us...

    The body IS to support and build itself up.


    Which brings me back to the beginning notes here -- please be aware of those people on this board who say they are Christian and spend their time tearing down other Christians or challenging them in very aggressive and mocking ways. These people, at least at this point in their lives, are NOT disciples of Christ!
     
  4. John Wells

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    I loved the introduction to Moses in Exodus 1-3. It's amazing as chapter three closes, we find the greatest saint of the OT trying to weazel his way out of God's calling! Reminds me of myself . . . why me Lord? :confused: There is so much we are going to learn from the life of Moses! [​IMG]
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

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    Good evening all –

    Thanks, as always, to John and Helen. I had been wondering how many read these as well.

    In our Exodus reading today, while six days passed for us, about four centuries has passed since our last reading. The first 5 verses of chapter 1 show a continuity from Genesis, sort of a “in our last episode…” kind of statement. As God had promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, their seed had indeed become a nation. Though this was a blessing for the early Jews, it was looked at as a “problem” by the Egyptians. The solution to the problem? The first of the many atrocities committed against the Jews. Kill the male babies, just as Herod would attempt at the time of Christ.
    As human beings, there is nothing more precious than children, IMO. When Pharoah could not get satisfactory results from the mid-wives, he ordered the entire population of Egypt to throw the male Jewish babies into the Nile. A quick thought here. The Egyptians considered the Nile a deity. They were killing two birds with one stone: they were solving the Jewish “problem” and they were sacrificing to one of their Gods!
    A few weeks ago, this scripture was used in the SBC Sunday school literature on the Sunday designated “right to life” Sunday. Killing babies is just WRONG whether it is for sacrafice or just to “get rid of the problem”. It is atrocious by whatever standard we measure or excuse we concoct!
    The stage is now set for a deliverer. An unnamed woman births a child. He’s a good looking boy and the mother in desperation puts him in an ark, the same device Noah used to save life on the planet. Along comes two more women, one the daughter of the slaughterer, Pharoah, with a woman spying from a blind and submitting to the instincts God gave them, they pity the child. “He was crying and she felt sorry for him.” I find it powerful, a testimony to the goodness of women. If chapter one is the example of abortion, then the first part of chapter two is definitely the argument for adoption.
    Two more points on the reading tonight. 1) Moses uses the same words when God calls to him from the Burning Bush as the patriarchs had used, “Here I am.” This is the response used by men with whom God finds favor. 2) Notice how many women are instrumental in the reading tonight. Two midwives, Moses’ mother, his sister, Pharoah’s daughter, her servant and unnumbered attendants, the seven sisters at the well. It is Moses who will be the deliverer, but it is the women who enable it to happen!


    Good night folks and may God bless you

    - Clint

    [ February 01, 2004, 02:52 AM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  6. Brother Adam

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    Hi Helen,

    I think there are alot more people reading than that post, me included. Though I post the readings everyday, I find I don't have time to post here everyday. I'm going to try to make that change.

    In Matthew, reading Jesus' words about where our priorities should be just really hit home with me.

    Matthew 10:37
    He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

    I can only imagine what was going through the minds of the disciples when Jesus spoke these words. Huh? I have to love you more than my mother and father? A casual by-stander probably thought He was crazy and I can imagine the disciples confusion.

    And another verse:

    Matthew 10:33
    But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

    kindof puts a whole new perspective on the idea of witnessing to people eh? Not that Jesus will deny us though we are saved, but wow, powerful words. Sometimes I find it hard to witness, but I have to remember- Christ died for my sins and saved me. The least I can do in return is tell others what He did for me.

    UNP
    Adam
     
  7. Helen

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    Thanks, guys.

    That leaves us with the Acts verses, and I hate to ignore them.

    One of the first things we see is the problem of false doctrine from the very start. And so four men, Paul, Barnabas, Judas Barsabbas, and Silas are all sent to Antioch to get things straightened out.

    What we see is NOT the people being 'hit over the head' with criticisms regarding paying attention to the false teachers, but, rather, "The people ...were glad for its encouraging message. Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers."

    Not to embarrass him, but, folks, we have a Barnabas right here on this board who is following in their footsteps. Watch his posts. He is always gentle, encouraging, and uplifting with believers and rarely loses his cool with even the most difficult and rude 'others.' We have an example of how God wants us to be right here with us. Someone who is a great deal like the Barnabas in the Bible from what I can see. I'm sure he is embarrassed now, but I think this is a good time to point him out.

    The close of this section of reading in Acts today shows us the disagreement between Barnabas and Paul over whether or not John Mark should accompany them. John Mark had left them before and Paul was wary of him. However Barnabas was ready to take him back with them and thus, Barnabas and Paul part company at this point, with Paul taking Silas with him. If we look at Colossians 4:10, we can see why Barnabas felt this way about Mark -- they were cousins. Paul also eventually comes around, as evidenced by his second letter to Timothy where in 4:11, he states "Get Mark, and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry."

    God worked it all out! And Barnabas was also proved right in his judgment of his cousin, which was nice for family relations, I'm sure!
     
  8. Clint Kritzer

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    The next mention of Barnabas in our readings will be in 1 Corinthians 9:6 "Or is it only I and Barnabas who must work for a living?"

    Um...that's a quote of scripture, not my own question...
     
  9. Clint Kritzer

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  10. testuser1

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    Testing bible verse by using the new Verse BB code
     

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