index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July7 One on one. After spending so much time in Judges Kings Chronicles, seeing things on a national scale it is so refreshing to begin seeing things in Job and Acts at a personal one to one level. Job is certainly personal, Acts is about individuals fitting into a group/body. We should not forget that our faith/religion is largely about the nation/body but, never lose sight that each is made of single individuals both in their own need and outwardly trying to fit in. The Gospel has much to say to both.
index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July12 Enemies. The psalmist speaks consistently about enemies, wearing him down, setting snares, unjustly accusing and slandering. The Apostles are chased from town to town barely escaping with their lives. We look at ourselves today and for the most part there is calm and quiet. How is that? The Lord is known by the judgment that He executes. The Lord today is largely not known even by us. We hold back, we are called intolerant. We step forward we are call bigots. We speak the Holy word it is called hate speech. So we became mostly silent. The tactic observed reading again today is the tactic of inciting crowds against us. Who would do such? How reprobate from God would they have to be? Maybe we could begin to see how it is that the psalmists pray such judgmental things against the Lord's enemies. We would not know because we are not engaged in the battle, we avoid it. Those they do engage are few. They are looked down on even by our huddled ranks. The weight of both the defense and the offensive battle seems to be on their lone weary shoulders. Isolation. Modern Enlightenment? All in all the tactic is still the same and remains quiet effective.
index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July13 Arrows. If an arrow was shot at you you would try to move out of the way. What about one hundred arrows? Today we read descriptions of the wicked and their preoccupation utilizing the poor against the righteous for the purposes of lording over us all. We see a group of philosophers delighting to hear the newest thing, the city of Athens filled to the brim with a myriad of idolatry's. What do any of these care about the poor and needy? What do they care about the things of God? Nothing. Their worlds are built upon the backs of the poor. The poor are pawns to fight their battles and to shoot at us. God has been reduced, He has been reasoned away, He has been softened, He is to serve their pleasures, He requires nothing of them so they are free to do as they wish; They wish for this to remain so. They wish for the righteous to leave. They shoot their arrows. A few godly men are stirred.
index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July15 Hidden and not so hidden treasure. David speaks of a deliverance and mercy he has received, Asia speaks of a powerful spiritual outpouring the early Christians are receiving. Enemies are told of a hidden treasure and their bellies being filled in this life; of being used by the hand of God to prove and test the believer. David speaks of running through the enemy line, leaping over walls, heavens thundering; Asians speak of healing by hankies and scarfs, of tongues and prophecies, of demons divulging who they know and who they don't. If these people knew about these things in their respective days, what do we know about them in ours? Better yet what should we know?
index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July16 Devices unable to be performed. A mass uprising over a statue of tribute to Diana puts Paul's associates in grave danger today, the containment of law and order easily broken. All of this because of the gospel's intrusion into the profits of a group of local craftsmen. We wonder what enemies the psalmist so rudely prays against. We read of multitudes moving against him. Today we read of a literal hell reserved for those intending evil against God and wonder how evil does that intention have to be? Could it be those in this mob so easily stirred into a frenzy keeping the work of the Lord from being done? Not just the instigators but the participants? We have been told quiet often now that the intention is to modify or lessen or deny God, to distort/corrupt His image with ours; secret presumptuous sins. That then is the device we learn that we are ultimately unable to perform. He will remain the unchanging eternal God!
index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July18 By all appearances. It occurred to me as I sorrowed for our beloved Paul along with all the brothers and sisters in Asia who will never see his face again whether I would have liked Paul as much in person. He certainly had his enemies. I am uncomfortable with enemies. He certainly put others at risk. I am uncomfortable with risk. All this coming and going and being run out of town, what is all that? Not knowing from a book what God was doing through him and his historical importance to the Church, I probably would have been very cautious if not put off by Paul. Same with David. Isn't there a part of you that doesn't think that somehow these men didn't bring this enemy stuff upon themselves? Enemies without and within? Thankfully, we do have the book, we do know God's intentions, we know the spiritual connection, we know the historical consequence. And we know that we are to be bold enough in our relationship to God to emulate their example even if it means making enemies of our own.
index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July21 "Don't let the truth stop you". Two men accused falsely by the enemy today David and Paul; snares laid, controversies spread, false perceptions further developed. To many leaders there is nothing that is a problem, not even the truth, everything is an oppurtunity to further their cause. That is the problem with relative truth, perception being reality; perception can easily be distorted by those that intend nothing but their own gain, that are willing to tear down the institutions of justice in this pursuit. These enemies lack the moral strength to resist their own demise, how then can we expect them to be guardians of our best interest? The ends do not always justify the means when the means is destroying those who fight for the best possible ends of the greater whole; men like David and Paul.
index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July21 Ends cut off. It is three days now since the bloody mass murders in our cinema down the street. I read in Psalms of the wicked, that there is no fear of God; that God will not require of it. I read cut off the end of the wicked. I suddenly realize that our lone killer may not fear God, that he may not think that God wont require it, that he has laid in his bed nights devising his schemes, and may have even had an expectation of the rush of supreme pleasure and adrenaline that he was going to receive by committing this most evil act. But that is not all that this man and others that will follow need to consider. The fact is, and you can ask this man if this is not true, that God indeed cut him off from his end. The rush he began to feel at the first pull of the trigger was never as much as he expected, hardly satisfying, insignificant and momentary, the persona or message he had hoped to convey tossed aside silent, the ends cut off. And now they haunt him. Now they eat upon his flesh and soul. Now his broadening tree removed. The victims? The families? They have the righteousness and mercy of God! The shooter? He has hell to pay and all for what? The imaginary buildup of excitement of a hope and secretive scheming that is left much unfulfilled. Surely every word of God is true and just.
index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July24 Where did all David's oppressors go? Paul is in court today in the hands of the Romans because the Jewish high counsel and a band of forty sworn murders have sought to kill him. They have hired the F. Lee Baily of their day to present their case to the imperial territorial magistrate Felix. They begin their defense by accusing the roman chief officer of standing in their way. David faced similar false witness and opposition to the extent that he feared for his life and prayed for a deliverance only God could give. The opposition seems much the same in both cases. Where is this opposition nowadays? Do we dare stand up/out?
index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July27 Waiting on Thy name. We have a great deal to consider in our reading today. A good size dose of praise and thankfulness in the understanding for who God is. A good size dose of who we are, who we have been, what He is doing on us, what we will be. A short statement of what will happen to the man who closes his ears to these things. And a fantastic trip across the tempestuous sea's by one of God's greatest servants. We are left with the conclusion that there is no better reason for us to wait/serve than the very name of God and what so much that name means to us; to wait/serve under each and every situation or circumstance with no other fear; to humbly offer our thanks and to contritely pay our every vow.
index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July29 The wearing of trials. David has clearly been through much. Paul has been through much. Both are going through something few of us will ever experience nor understand. THe two men deal with their trials in similar ways. David takes out a psaltry and a harp and sings praises. Paul spends time in fellowship with unexpected brethren. They rejoice. They are refreshed. They go right back into the battle with renewed vigor. Everything that they do they do for God; you would think that they would just want to step away for a moment, take a break from the service. Instead, this is what they live for, these are the true moments, this is the experience that they wish to share most with others, this is their brook of fresh mountain water: Praise and Fellowship.
index:BIBLEREADPLAN1 July Job, David, Peter, Paul and the enemies of God. Another month of reading and journaling. What sense do I take out of it? Job had Satan a wife and three friends. David for all his court and counselors was surrounded to the point of trembling fear and depression. Peter was imprisoned, freed, but, then his congregation was persecuted and dispersed. Paul was stoned, scourged, left for dead outside many a town. In each and everyone of them God receives great praise. And then there is us. Where do we stand in this multi millennial transcendent struggle? Has the battle been won that we don't experience this any longer? Has the enemy just collapsed and retreated or changed tactic? Job, David, Peter, Paul, all of these men were surrounded by friends that thought they were doing right, thought that they were on their side, giving their support and wise counsel, only to be a passive or duplicitous audience. We should consider well the sheer evidence of mathematical probabilities here. We would like to think that we are moving forward and in the right, perhaps similar to one of these heroic icons. Yet the chances are more likely that we are doing little or nothing for or are moving against the modern heroes of our faith.
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