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10/15/2018 — Mark Chapters 4 & 5

Mark 4: 26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As

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10/14/2018 — Matthew Chapter 13 & Luke Chapter 8

Maybe (well, probably) because Liz and I have been blessed with three daughters and two granddaughters I cannot read the story of the healing of Jairus daughter in Luke 8:40-56 without actually becoming personally immersed in the emotion of this miracle. As we discussed yesterday, like Jairus, I would certainly pray shamelessly for the healing

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10/13/2018 — Luke Chapter 11

Again, each section of scripture that we read is filled with wisdom and examples.  There are many in this chapter.  But in 11:8 one word, as translated in the NIV, caught my attention: 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your

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10/12/2018 — Matthew Chapter 11

Isaiah 35:   3 Strengthen the feeble hands,  steady the knees that give way; 4 say to those with fearful hearts,  “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”  5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened  and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,  and the mute tongue shout

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10/11/2018 — Matthew Chapter 9; & Luke Chapter 7

These chapter present so many episodes that “pull the heart” that is is hard to choose just one on which to comment.  But what caught my thoughts today is an episode of “questioning.”  Adam Sullivan and I have spoken of the need for our youth to never quit questioning.  When they move from home this

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10/10/2018 — Matthew Chapters 5-7

As I read through the Beatitudes I was reminded of a Bible Class lesson taught by Jim and the sermon brought to us the same day by Artie. Both referred to the reality of Matthew 6: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will

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10/9/2018 — Matthew 12; Mark 3; Luke 6

I have always found a common incident in these chapters one of the saddest commentaries on the nature of the Leaders of Israel.  And how much their morality appears to have changes in the 400 years since Malachi.  The following is the description provided by Mark in 3:1-6 3 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and

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10/8/2018 — John Chapter 5

I believe that this chapter contains one of the longest teachings of Jesus predominantly specifically directed at the “Jewish Leaders.”  And we can see the importance as Jesus continues to establish his “authority.”  But there is one section that reminds me of a famous and very logical quote by CS Lewis. Personally, to me this

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10/7/2018 — Matthew Chapter 8 and Mark Chapter 2

When I read these chapters there are two heart-wrenching but remarkable examples of a characteristic of being a follower of the Lord. Matthew 8:  8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under

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10/6/2018 — John Chapters 2-4

In today’s reading I find a dichotomy of the people in two towns.  The first is Nazareth (his home town) which is alluded to in John 4:44 (“Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country)   But the reaction of the town is more fully explained in yesterday’s

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10/5/2018 — Matthew Chapter 4 and Luke Chapters 4-5

Let’s suppose we have gone to a town concert and have set our chairs and spread our blankets near the bandstand.   Soon a gentleman approaches and tells us, “I’m sorry but you will have to move.  This area is reserved for some special guests.”  Well, my first thought would be “who gave you the authority

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10/4/2018 — Matthew Chptr 3; Mark Chptr 1; Luke Chptr 3

Certainly the common element we have in these chapters is the mission of John the Baptist (or Baptizer as some say.)  And another common element is John’s statement of the difference in the baptisms he was performing and the baptism that Jesus would bring. Matthew 3:  11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one

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10/03/18 — Matthew Chapter 2

As you read through Chapter 2 did you note something significant about Matthew’s gospel?   I am referring to the number of times just in chapter 2 that Matthew quotes or references the Old Testament & ties the event into a prophecy. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘But you,

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10/02/18 — Matthew Chapter 1 and Luke Chapter 2

As I read through these passages I reflected on two points that I saw.  First in Matthew 1:24  24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. Wow — now to me sometimes we underestimate Joseph’s faith.  He did not even ask any questions

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10/01/18 — Luke Chapter 1 and John Chapter 1

First,  a reminder and then a bit of “extra-credit” history.  The reminder — we are reading scripture in the “chronological order”  of the events that occurred – not necessarily  the order in which the books were written. So in our New Testament study we may frequently be reading two (or three) books concurrently. Secondly, as

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09/30/2018 — the book of Malachi

Of course Malachi is the last of the Old Testament books and while it is not specifically stated most scholars feel that Malachi was written within the time frame of Nehemiah.  As we read Malachi’s condemnation of the unfaithful you can also hear the words from the final chapter in Nehemiah.  The Lord had restored

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09/29/2018 — Nehemiah 11-13

The book of Nehemiah ends with a “from mountaintop to rock-bottom” set of emotions.  In Nehemiah 12:43 we have the residents of Jerusalem rejoicing before the Lord at the dedication of the wall: 43 And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced.

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09/28/2018 — Nehemiah Chapters 8-10

In today’s reading in Chapter 8 we see Ezra’a reading of the Book of the Law of Moses (Genesis,Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) to “all of the people.”  And in Chapter 9 Nehemiah reviews for the people the history & “roots” of Israel.   In chapter 9:5-6 we have the following marvelous passage of praise: 5 And the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel,

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09/27/2018 — Nehemiah Chapters 6-7

Nehemiah, like Ezra, has to work through the opposition of surrounding nations as he rebuilds the wall of Jerusalem.  And I see Nehemiah give us all one facet of prayer.  Nehemiah 6:9 9 They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”  But

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09/26/2018 — Nehemiah Chapters 1-5

Ezra and Nehemiah both deal with the restoration of Jerusalem and in the Hebrew Bible are combined into one book.  But there are certainly differences — one highlighted by Coffman:    As sequel of the book of Ezra the book of Nehemiah reports the third return to Jerusalem in 445 BC. Ezra stresses the religious restoration of the

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