Ancient city in Turkey
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” — Acts 13:2 In Acts 1:8 Jesus told his disciples they would be his witnesses “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” In Acts 13 the church at Antioch, including Saul and Barnabas, prayerfully waited for direction from God. The church of Jesus Christ is called to listen for the Spirit's leading as we ask, “What do you want us to do next?” The Antioch church was fasting and praying in a position of readiness, eager to hear the Lord's orders and to obey them. And the Spirit of God responded with a clear directive: “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” They were not to go on their own mission project, nor the church's. They were to do the work of the Holy Spirit. They needed to continue to listen for what the Spirit would tell them to do and where to do it. You and I must have a heart of submission to the Spirit. We need to be open to the plans that the Spirit of God has for us so that God can work in and through our lives. The Spirit is looking for us to continue the work of Jesus. Loving God, each person in this world is an object of your love. And by your Spirit you call us to bear witness to your truth. Give us your clear directions, we pray. Amen.
Proper 14 First Psalm: Psalm 101; Psalm 109:1–30 Psalm 101 (Listen) I Will Walk with Integrity A Psalm of David. 101 I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music.2 I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.4 A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil. 5 Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure. 6 I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me. 7 No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes. 8 Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, cutting off all the evildoers from the city of the LORD. (ESV) Psalm 109:1–30 (Listen) Help Me, O Lord My God To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. 109 Be not silent, O God of my praise!2 For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues.3 They encircle me with words of hate, and attack me without cause.4 In return for my love they accuse me, but I give myself to prayer.15 So they reward me evil for good, and hatred for my love. 6 Appoint a wicked man against him; let an accuser stand at his right hand.7 When he is tried, let him come forth guilty; let his prayer be counted as sin!8 May his days be few; may another take his office!9 May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow!10 May his children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!11 May the creditor seize all that he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!12 Let there be none to extend kindness to him, nor any to pity his fatherless children!13 May his posterity be cut off; may his name be blotted out in the second generation!14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD, and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out!15 Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth! 16 For he did not remember to show kindness, but pursued the poor and needy and the brokenhearted, to put them to death.17 He loved to curse; let curses come2 upon him! He did not delight in blessing; may it be far3 from him!18 He clothed himself with cursing as his coat; may it soak4 into his body like water, like oil into his bones!19 May it be like a garment that he wraps around him, like a belt that he puts on every day!20 May this be the reward of my accusers from the LORD, of those who speak evil against my life! 21 But you, O GOD my Lord, deal on my behalf for your name's sake; because your steadfast love is good, deliver me!22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is stricken within me.23 I am gone like a shadow at evening; I am shaken off like a locust.24 My knees are weak through fasting; my body has become gaunt, with no fat.25 I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they wag their heads. 26 Help me, O LORD my God! Save me according to your steadfast love!27 Let them know that this is your hand; you, O LORD, have done it!28 Let them curse, but you will bless! They arise and are put to shame, but your servant will be glad!29 May my accusers be clothed with dishonor; may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a cloak! 30 With my mouth I will give great thanks to the LORD; I will praise him in the midst of the throng. Footnotes  109:4 Hebrew but I am prayer  109:17 Revocalization; Masoretic Text curses have come  109:17 Revocalization; Masoretic Text it is far  109:18 Revocalization; Masoretic Text it has soaked (ESV) Second Psalm: Psalm 119:121–144 Psalm 119:121–144 (Listen) Ayin 121 I have done what is just and right; do not leave me to my oppressors.122 Give your servant a pledge of good; let not the insolent oppress me.123 My eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.124 Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes.125 I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!126 It is time for the LORD to act, for your law has been broken.127 Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold.128 Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way. Pe 129 Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.131 I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.132 Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name.133 Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.134 Redeem me from man's oppression, that I may keep your precepts.135 Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.136 My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law. Tsadhe 137 Righteous are you, O LORD, and right are your rules.138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness.139 My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget your words.140 Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it.141 I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.142 Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is true.143 Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight.144 Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live. (ESV) Old Testament: Judges 13:15–24 Judges 13:15–24 (Listen) 15 Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, “Please let us detain you and prepare a young goat for you.” 16 And the angel of the LORD said to Manoah, “If you detain me, I will not eat of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, then offer it to the LORD.” (For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of the LORD.) 17 And Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, “What is your name, so that, when your words come true, we may honor you?” 18 And the angel of the LORD said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” 19 So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it on the rock to the LORD, to the one who works1 wonders, and Manoah and his wife were watching. 20 And when the flame went up toward heaven from the altar, the angel of the LORD went up in the flame of the altar. Now Manoah and his wife were watching, and they fell on their faces to the ground. 21 The angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the LORD. 22 And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen God.” 23 But his wife said to him, “If the LORD had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such things as these.” 24 And the woman bore a son and called his name Samson. And the young man grew, and the LORD blessed him. Footnotes  13:19 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew Lord, and working (ESV) New Testament: Acts 6 Acts 6 (Listen) Seven Chosen to Serve 6 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists1 arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers,2 pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. 7 And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. Stephen Is Seized 8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. 10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. 11 Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, 13 and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, 14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.” 15 And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel. Footnotes  6:1 That is, Greek-speaking Jews  6:3 Or brothers and sisters (ESV) Gospel: John 4:1–26 John 4:1–26 (Listen) Jesus and the Woman of Samaria 4 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.1 7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.2 The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband'; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” Footnotes  4:6 That is, about noon  4:14 Greek forever (ESV)
The Church began to grow, and the Jerusalem church sent Barnabas to Antioch, to see what was going on. He encouraged the church and ministered to them, but then decided to find Saul to have him help. The church was encouraged that although they were saved, they needed to continue on with purpose, making Jesus not only Savior but also Lord.
The resistance to the gospel was big in Corinth, so much so that Paul thought of leaving. But just as he was making plans, God spoke to him through a vision and basically told him stay. Find out what happens in Corinth and travel with Paul to Antioch and Ephesus in this eventful study.
Lamar A. Thorpe is the 41st mayor of Antioch, CAWe discussed Water politics, Police reform, the challenges the city faces when it comes to climate change, Art funding, the expansion of Antioch and the possible benefits of it, What the mayor does to keep his mental health right for the job, and much more.@Antioch_mayor@suicidelogssend an email email@example.com
Jehovah Jireh, translated literally, means "The Lord will see." The meaning of this in today's English is "the Lord will see to it," or "the Lord will provide." We first see this phrase in Genesis 22, when God miraculously provided a sacrifice for Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah. A thousand years later, God had mercy on the people of Israel when David offered a sacrifice in the same location. After another millennium, Jesus was crucified only a few hundred feet from the same place, and on Mount Moriah itself, where God's temple was built, the veil separating us from God's Holy of Holies was torn, reconciling us forever with God by the sacrificial love of Jesus. Praise God that we can fully trust our sovereign Provider—Jehovah Jireh.
Acts 18:1-28 New King James Version Ministering at Corinth 18 After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. 3 So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks. 5 When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. 6 But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. 9 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. 12 When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat, 13 saying, “This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.” 14 And when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or wicked crimes, O Jews, there would be reason why I should bear with you. 15 But if it is a question of words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves; for I do not want to be a judge of such matters.” 16 And he drove them from the judgment seat. 17 Then [d]all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. But Gallio took no notice of these things. Paul Returns to Antioch 18 So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow. 19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there; but he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent, 21 but took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus. 22 And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up and greeted the church, he went down to Antioch. 23 After he had spent some time there, he departed and went over the region of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples. Ministry of Apollos 24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; 28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
This Sunday we continue in Acts with the initiation of Paul's first missionary journey from Antioch. The church is now going on the offensive with the message of the gospel. Pastor Bill noticed three things about that offensive: It is going into the world, It is going against the devil, and it is going for the hearts of people. This is such an inspiring moment in the life of the early church. Please pray that our Father would inspire us.
Picking back up in Acts, Pastor Matt looks in Acts 13 at the missionary heart of the church in Antioch. Their approach to sending is an example to us on serving God near and far on mission. The post Acts 13:1-3 – Should I Stay or Should I Go? August 7, 2022am appeared first on Greenwood Baptist Church - Greenwood, South Carolina.
Full Text of ReadingsFriday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 411All podcast readings are produced by the USCCB and are from the Catholic Lectionary, based on the New American Bible and approved for use in the United States _______________________________________The Saint of the day is Dedication of Saint Mary Major Basilicaof the Dedication of Saint Mary Major Basilica First raised at the order of Pope Liberius in the mid-fourth century, the Liberian basilica was rebuilt by Pope Sixtus III shortly after the Council of Ephesus affirmed Mary's title as Mother of God in 431. Rededicated at that time to the Mother of God, St. Mary Major is the largest church in the world honoring God through Mary. Standing atop one of Rome's seven hills, the Esquiline, it has survived many restorations without losing its character as an early Roman basilica. Its interior retains three naves divided by colonnades in the style of Constantine's era. Fifth-century mosaics on its walls testify to its antiquity. St. Mary Major is one of the four Roman basilicas known as patriarchal churches in memory of the first centers of the Church. St. John Lateran represents Rome, the See of Peter; St. Paul Outside the Walls, the See of Alexandria, allegedly the see presided over by Mark; St. Peter's, the See of Constantinople; and St. Mary's, the See of Antioch, where Mary is supposed to have spent most of her later life. One legend, unreported before the year 1000, gives another name to this feast: Our Lady of the Snows. According to that story, a wealthy Roman couple pledged their fortune to the Mother of God. In affirmation, she produced a miraculous summer snowfall and told them to build a church on the site. The legend was long celebrated by releasing a shower of white rose petals from the basilica's dome every August 5. Reflection Theological debate over Christ's nature as God and man reached fever pitch in Constantinople in the early fifth century. The chaplain of Bishop Nestorius began preaching against the title Theotokos, “Mother of God,” insisting that the Virgin was mother only of the human Jesus. Nestorius agreed, decreeing that Mary would henceforth be named “Mother of Christ” in his see. The people of Constantinople virtually revolted against their bishop's refutation of a cherished belief. When the Council of Ephesus refuted Nestorius, believers took to the streets, enthusiastically chanting, “Theotokos! Theotokos!" Saint of the Day, Copyright Franciscan Media
On this episode of WTF California Podcast, Kenny and Mike have a chat with homelessness in the City of Antioch with Andrew Becker. This comes as the Antioch City Council just approved turning the Executive Inn into a homeless hotel. Becker, who has been advocating for shelter and services for homeless, discusses his journey the past two years, we talk solutions, future opportunities and we get into the Delta Fair proposal and in Contra Costa County. In this episode, we do find common ground on the issue of homelessness. Follow Us & Subscribe Apple Podcast – click here Google Podcast – click here PodBean – click here Spotify – click here Stitcher – click here TuneIn-Alexa: click here Official Website Follow us on Facebook
We are back! California and local cities still have us going WTF. City of Antioch continues to make poor choices, City of Brentwood has gone socialist and now we have this idea that main stream media and lawmakers get to change the narrative on a recession. We also run down who has pulled papers for local elections in East Contra Costa County with a focus on Antioch. Meanwhile, Richmond resents to vote on rent control rates? We also rundown a bunch of state news and provide feedback. Claryssa Wilson calls in to talk about her upcoming Stuff the Bus Event in Antioch. Tuesday Teaser: We release our interview with Andrew Becker who talks Antioch Homeless solutions. Articles From the Show: Antioch Homeless Vote (insert link when posted) LA Public Health Agency Drops Threat of New Mask Mandate… For Now A look back: Video: Antioch Mayor Announces Hiring Program, Probation's Partnership and Puts Property Owners on Notice 2022 Election: Who is Running in Local Contra Costa County Races Brentwood Agrees to Place Voter-Protected Open Space Overlay on Ballot Brentwood Announces Increased Penalties for Illegal Cultivation of Marijuana McKinney Fire in California-Oregon border explodes to 51,648 acres, evacuations ordered Judge strikes down San Francisco law allowing noncitizen parents to vote in school elections 13-year-old convicted of murdering Modesto food truck owner Woman killed, friend seriously injured by suspected DUI driver in Walnut Creek Richmond residents will vote on lower rent control rates in November Empire' state? San Bernardino County developer pushes seceding from California Stockton, Caltrans partner to hire homeless for highway cleanup in city California court OKs death penalty in '80s sex slave murders State worker collects $185,000 in unearned pay and benefits UCLA professor quits job, says 'woke takeover' of education 'intellectually corrupt' California is second-most broke US state Follow Us & Subscribe Apple Podcast – click here Google Podcast – click here PodBean – click here Spotify – click here Stitcher – click here TuneIn-Alexa: click here Official Website Follow us on Facebook
Mark 15:16–20 | The Crucifixion from CrossPointe Coast on Vimeo. Preacher: Jeremiah Fyffe Scripture: Mark 15:16–32 THE SUFFERING OF CHRIST THE SOLDIERS MOCK THE ROAD TO THE CROSS THE CRUCIFIXION Acts 3:18 (ESV) But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Isaiah 53:3 (ESV) He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Romans 16:13 (ESV) Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well. Acts 13:1 (ESV) Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. Proverbs 31:6 (ESV) Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress R. Kent Hughes His pain was alleviated by nothing. If anything, it was heightened by his soul's health. Hebrews 7:25 (ESV) Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. Romans 8:1 (ESV) There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. My Jesus, I Love Thee I love thee because thou hast first loved me and purchased my pardon on Calvary's tree; I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow; if ever I loved thee, my Jesus, 'tis now. Psalm 22:18 (ESV) they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. Matthew 2:2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Revelation 19:16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Psalm 22:1 (ESV) My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? Psalm 22:7 (ESV) All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; Psalm 22:18 (ESV) they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. Lewis Bayly Soule: Lord, why, wouldest Thou be taken, when Thou mightest have escaped Thine enemies? Christ: That thy spiritual enemies should not take thee, and cast thee into the prison of utter darkness. 2 Timothy 1:8 (ESV) Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 2 Timothy 3:12 (ESV) Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 1 Peter 4:12 (ESV) Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. Philippians 1:29 (ESV) For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, Romans 8:16–17 (ESV) The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Hebrews 12:2 (ESV) looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 2:11 (ESV) For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers Hebrews 2:13 (ESV) “Behold, I and the children God has given me.” My Jesus, I Love Thee I love thee because thou hast first loved me and purchased my pardon on Calvary's tree; I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow; if ever I loved thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.
ChristiansReader: Jon WatsonDate: 1st August 2022Passage: Acts 11:26-------------------Christians! There are many places in the world today where people who call themselves Christians are in grave danger. To be known as a Christian may indeed lead to their death or imprisonment or some other punishment. There are three places in the New Testament where the name Christian is used and it is worth taking a look at each of these places.The first one was a very happy use of the word — the people who had become believers in Antioch were the first to be called Christians. Believing in Jesus Christ marked them out as being different.The second time the word Christian was used it seems it was used as a deliberately offensive word. The King Agrippa said to Paul "In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?" (Acts 26:28). He thought that would be beneath his dignity.The third time the word Christian is used it was used by Peter as he warned believers in Jesus of the suffering they might be subjected to "If anyone suffers as a Christian let him not be ashamed..." (1 Peter 4:16). It may well be that you will be insulted or rejected because you are a Christian. Our Lord Jesus himself suffered greatly — so he could save us. As a Christian you are identified with him and that is glorious in itself. PrayerDear Lord, may I say or do nothing that will dishonour your name. Amen.
Throughout Scripture, we see God compare Himself to a shepherd about 100 times and refer to His followers as sheep about 400 times. Sheep are notoriously defenseless, stubborn and foolish. Shepherds, however, are loyal and sacrificial and are known for using two tools: a rod to prompt sheep toward food and safety, and a staff to pull sheep back from harm when they don't respond to the rod. We are accustomed to spending time with other sheep, who disappoint, abandon and hurt us. But Jesus is not like us. He is the Chief Shepherd, and He heals the damage that other sheep have done and returns us to the fold. He is a Rescuer who knows us fully and loves us completely. May we be good sheep to our Shepherd, allowing Him to lead us and trusting His goodness—He is good, and He does good.
Acts 13:1-5 - Speaker: Lukus Counterman - In Acts 13 we see missions work extend from the church of Antioch through the sending out of Saul and Barnabas. In the place where believers were first called Christians, the name of Christ was going to project north and west by means of a mission team. Antioch, a well-mixed, well-taught, well-led church wasn't content to keep the gospel for itself. Through the leading of the Spirit, they set apart some of their best people and sent them out for the sake of Christ's name. In our text this weekend we are going to learn about the requirements concerning senders and goers in the missionary task of taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. May the Lord help us as we consider our part in this missionary movement.
Though the Jerusalem church accepted (in theory) the idea that God had granted repentance to the Gentiles, a truly multi-ethnic congregation wasn't formed until the Good News came to the city of Antioch. This was a city with populations of various ethnic groups. Ethnic groups stayed mostly to themselves and tensions ran deep. But the Good News […]
With family: Judges 14; Acts 18 Judges 14 (Listen) Samson's Marriage 14 Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 Then he came up and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife.” 3 But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.” 4 His father and mother did not know that it was from the LORD, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines ruled over Israel. 5 Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring. 6 Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. 7 Then he went down and talked with the woman, and she was right in Samson's eyes. 8 After some days he returned to take her. And he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion, and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey. 9 He scraped it out into his hands and went on, eating as he went. And he came to his father and mother and gave some to them, and they ate. But he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey from the carcass of the lion. 10 His father went down to the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, for so the young men used to do. 11 As soon as the people saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him. 12 And Samson said to them, “Let me now put a riddle to you. If you can tell me what it is, within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes, 13 but if you cannot tell me what it is, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes.” And they said to him, “Put your riddle, that we may hear it.” 14 And he said to them, “Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong came something sweet.” And in three days they could not solve the riddle. 15 On the fourth1 day they said to Samson's wife, “Entice your husband to tell us what the riddle is, lest we burn you and your father's house with fire. Have you invited us here to impoverish us?” 16 And Samson's wife wept over him and said, “You only hate me; you do not love me. You have put a riddle to my people, and you have not told me what it is.” And he said to her, “Behold, I have not told my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you?” 17 She wept before him the seven days that their feast lasted, and on the seventh day he told her, because she pressed him hard. Then she told the riddle to her people. 18 And the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, “What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?” And he said to them, “If you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have found out my riddle.” 19 And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and struck down thirty men of the town and took their spoil and gave the garments to those who had told the riddle. In hot anger he went back to his father's house. 20 And Samson's wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man. Footnotes  14:15 Septuagint, Syriac; Hebrew seventh (ESV) Acts 18 (Listen) Paul in Corinth 18 After this Paul1 left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, 3 and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks. 5 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. 6 And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. 9 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. 12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews2 made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, 13 saying, “This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law.” 14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. 15 But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.” 16 And he drove them from the tribunal. 17 And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this. Paul Returns to Antioch 18 After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers3 and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. 19 And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. 21 But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. 23 After spending some time there, he departed and went from one place to the next through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples. Apollos Speaks Boldly in Ephesus 24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit,4 he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus. Footnotes  18:1 Greek he  18:12 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time; also verses 14 (twice), 28  18:18 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 27  18:25 Or in the Spirit (ESV) In private: Jeremiah 27; Mark 13 Jeremiah 27 (Listen) The Yoke of Nebuchadnezzar 27 In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah1 the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD. 2 Thus the LORD said to me: “Make yourself straps and yoke-bars, and put them on your neck. 3 Send word2 to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the sons of Ammon, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon by the hand of the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. 4 Give them this charge for their masters: ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: This is what you shall say to your masters: 5 “It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever it seems right to me. 6 Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and I have given him also the beasts of the field to serve him. 7 All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes. Then many nations and great kings shall make him their slave. 8 “‘“But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, declares the LORD, until I have consumed it by his hand. 9 So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your fortune-tellers, or your sorcerers, who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon.' 10 For it is a lie that they are prophesying to you, with the result that you will be removed far from your land, and I will drive you out, and you will perish. 11 But any nation that will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave on its own land, to work it and dwell there, declares the LORD.”'” 12 To Zedekiah king of Judah I spoke in like manner: “Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people and live. 13 Why will you and your people die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, as the LORD has spoken concerning any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14 Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon,' for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you. 15 I have not sent them, declares the LORD, but they are prophesying falsely in my name, with the result that I will drive you out and you will perish, you and the prophets who are prophesying to you.” 16 Then I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, “Thus says the LORD: Do not listen to the words of your prophets who are prophesying to you, saying, ‘Behold, the vessels of the LORD's house will now shortly be brought back from Babylon,' for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you. 17 Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon and live. Why should this city become a desolation? 18 If they are prophets, and if the word of the LORD is with them, then let them intercede with the LORD of hosts, that the vessels that are left in the house of the LORD, in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem may not go to Babylon. 19 For thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, the sea, the stands, and the rest of the vessels that are left in this city, 20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take away, when he took into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem—21 thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that are left in the house of the LORD, in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem: 22 They shall be carried to Babylon and remain there until the day when I visit them, declares the LORD. Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.” Footnotes  27:1 Or Jehoiakim  27:3 Hebrew Send them (ESV) Mark 13 (Listen) Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple 13 And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 2 And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” Signs of the End of the Age 3 And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!' and they will lead many astray. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. 9 “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. The Abomination of Desolation 14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, 16 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 17 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18 Pray that it may not happen in winter. 19 For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20 And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!' or ‘Look, there he is!' do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand. The Coming of the Son of Man 24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. The Lesson of the Fig Tree 28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. No One Knows That Day or Hour 32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake.1 For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants2 in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows,3 or in the morning—36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.” Footnotes  13:33 Some manuscripts add and pray  13:34 Or bondservants  13:35 That is, the third watch of the night, between midnight and 3 a.m. (ESV)
Sunday's passage is quite ironic in the context of chapter 15. Paul and Barnabas were instrumental in opposing false teaching that could have divided the church between Jew and Gentile. They stood against those teaching that Gentiles must be circumcised and hold to the law of Moses to be saved. When the church leaders met, they affirmed that God saves by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ. They affirmed this because God's work proved it, and God's word proclaimed it. Now the churches in Jerusalem, Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia are unified in the gospel. The Apostles also sent a letter asking the Gentiles to abstain from certain practices that would offend the Jewish Christian's consciences. Now, the church was unified in love for one another as well. A great victory for the body of Christ has been achieved. But in the very next section, Luke records a division among the two disciples that helped bring this unity. Paul and Barnabas have a disagreement that divides them and sends them to serve separately. They did not disagree on God's truth, the gospel, Christ's mission, or weighty theological matters. Their personality differences led them to argue about who should be on their mission team. As we examine this conflict and its effect on the mission, we find that discord and even heated disagreement is possible among godly believers. It is possible among those who's hearts are focused on Christ and His mission. It is possible among the closest of companions who have risked their lives together for Jesus and suffered persecution together for the gospel. If it can happen among these men, it can happen among any disciples...and it often does. How should we react when secondary disagreements such as these escalate to a heated discord? Who was right in Paul and Barnabas' disagreement? These are the questions we will wrestle with Sunday. I hope you can join us.
Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 29–30 2 Chronicles 29–30 (Listen) Hezekiah Reigns in Judah 29 Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abijah1 the daughter of Zechariah. 2 And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. Hezekiah Cleanses the Temple 3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD and repaired them. 4 He brought in the priests and the Levites and assembled them in the square on the east 5 and said to them, “Hear me, Levites! Now consecrate yourselves, and consecrate the house of the LORD, the God of your fathers, and carry out the filth2 from the Holy Place. 6 For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done what was evil in the sight of the LORD our God. They have forsaken him and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD and turned their backs. 7 They also shut the doors of the vestibule and put out the lamps and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the Holy Place to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore the wrath of the LORD came on Judah and Jerusalem, and he has made them an object of horror, of astonishment, and of hissing, as you see with your own eyes. 9 For behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the LORD, the God of Israel, in order that his fierce anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not now be negligent, for the LORD has chosen you to stand in his presence, to minister to him and to be his ministers and make offerings to him.” 12 Then the Levites arose, Mahath the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites; and of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; and of the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah; 13 and of the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeuel; and of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 and of the sons of Heman, Jehuel and Shimei; and of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15 They gathered their brothers and consecrated themselves and went in as the king had commanded, by the words of the LORD, to cleanse the house of the LORD. 16 The priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD to cleanse it, and they brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the LORD into the court of the house of the LORD. And the Levites took it and carried it out to the brook Kidron. 17 They began to consecrate on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the vestibule of the LORD. Then for eight days they consecrated the house of the LORD, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished. 18 Then they went in to Hezekiah the king and said, “We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the table for the showbread and all its utensils. 19 All the utensils that King Ahaz discarded in his reign when he was faithless, we have made ready and consecrated, and behold, they are before the altar of the LORD.” Hezekiah Restores Temple Worship 20 Then Hezekiah the king rose early and gathered the officials of the city and went up to the house of the LORD. 21 And they brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom and for the sanctuary and for Judah. And he commanded the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the LORD. 22 So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests received the blood and threw it against the altar. And they slaughtered the rams, and their blood was thrown against the altar. And they slaughtered the lambs, and their blood was thrown against the altar. 23 Then the goats for the sin offering were brought to the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them, 24 and the priests slaughtered them and made a sin offering with their blood on the altar, to make atonement for all Israel. For the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. 25 And he stationed the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, harps, and lyres, according to the commandment of David and of Gad the king's seer and of Nathan the prophet, for the commandment was from the LORD through his prophets. 26 The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 Then Hezekiah commanded that the burnt offering be offered on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song to the LORD began also, and the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 The whole assembly worshiped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded. All this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29 When the offering was finished, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshiped. 30 And Hezekiah the king and the officials commanded the Levites to sing praises to the LORD with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed down and worshiped. 31 Then Hezekiah said, “You have now consecrated yourselves to3 the LORD. Come near; bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the LORD.” And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all who were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings. 32 The number of the burnt offerings that the assembly brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to the LORD. 33 And the consecrated offerings were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. 34 But the priests were too few and could not flay all the burnt offerings, so until other priests had consecrated themselves, their brothers the Levites helped them, until the work was finished—for the Levites were more upright in heart than the priests in consecrating themselves. 35 Besides the great number of burnt offerings, there was the fat of the peace offerings, and there were the drink offerings for the burnt offerings. Thus the service of the house of the LORD was restored. 36 And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because God had provided for the people, for the thing came about suddenly. Passover Celebrated 30 Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem to keep the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel. 2 For the king and his princes and all the assembly in Jerusalem had taken counsel to keep the Passover in the second month—3 for they could not keep it at that time because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient number, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem—4 and the plan seemed right to the king and all the assembly. 5 So they decreed to make a proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, that the people should come and keep the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem, for they had not kept it as often as prescribed. 6 So couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his princes, as the king had commanded, saying, “O people of Israel, return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may turn again to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were faithless to the LORD God of their fathers, so that he made them a desolation, as you see. 8 Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD and come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever, and serve the LORD your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you. 9 For if you return to the LORD, your brothers and your children will find compassion with their captors and return to this land. For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.” 10 So the couriers went from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them. 11 However, some men of Asher, of Manasseh, and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the LORD. 13 And many people came together in Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month, a very great assembly. 14 They set to work and removed the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for burning incense they took away and threw into the brook Kidron. 15 And they slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. And the priests and the Levites were ashamed, so that they consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings into the house of the LORD. 16 They took their accustomed posts according to the Law of Moses the man of God. The priests threw the blood that they received from the hand of the Levites. 17 For there were many in the assembly who had not consecrated themselves. Therefore the Levites had to slaughter the Passover lamb for everyone who was not clean, to consecrate it to the LORD. 18 For a majority of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than as prescribed. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, “May the good LORD pardon everyone 19 who sets his heart to seek God, the LORD, the God of his fathers, even though not according to the sanctuary's rules of cleanness.”4 20 And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 21 And the people of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with great gladness, and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with all their might5 to the LORD. 22 And Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who showed good skill in the service of the LORD. So they ate the food of the festival for seven days, sacrificing peace offerings and giving thanks to the LORD, the God of their fathers. 23 Then the whole assembly agreed together to keep the feast for another seven days. So they kept it for another seven days with gladness. 24 For Hezekiah king of Judah gave the assembly 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep for offerings, and the princes gave the assembly 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep. And the priests consecrated themselves in great numbers. 25 The whole assembly of Judah, and the priests and the Levites, and the whole assembly that came out of Israel, and the sojourners who came out of the land of Israel, and the sojourners who lived in Judah, rejoiced. 26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. 27 Then the priests and the Levites arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard, and their prayer came to his holy habitation in heaven. Footnotes  29:1 Spelled Abi in 2 Kings 18:2  29:5 Hebrew impurity  29:31 Hebrew filled your hand for  30:19 Hebrew not according to the cleanness of holiness  30:21 Compare 1 Chronicles 13:8; Hebrew with instruments of might (ESV) New Testament: Galatians 2:11–21 Galatians 2:11–21 (Listen) Paul Opposes Peter 11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.1 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” Justified by Faith 15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified2 by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. 17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness3 were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. Footnotes  2:12 Or fearing those of the circumcision  2:16 Or counted righteous (three times in verse 16); also verse 17  2:21 Or justification (ESV) Psalm: Psalm 25 Psalm 25 (Listen) Teach Me Your Paths 1 Of David. 25 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.2 O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.3 Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. 4 Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.5 Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. 6 Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.7 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD! 8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.10 All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. 11 For your name's sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great.12 Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.13 His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land.14 The friendship2 of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.15 My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses.18 Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins. 19 Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me.20 Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you. 22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles. Footnotes  25:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet  25:14 Or The secret counsel (ESV) Proverb: Proverbs 20:13–15 Proverbs 20:13–15 (Listen) 13 Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer, but when he goes away, then he boasts.15 There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. (ESV)
The first journey of Paul and Barnabas was difficult. They had faced opposition, resistance, and threats of violence. It would have made sense to go home. But they also discovered fresh faith. There's a lot to learn from Acts 14 as Paul and Barnabas return to the church in Antioch and report that God had opened a door to the Gentiles.
With family: Judges 11:12–40; Acts 15 Judges 11:12–40 (Listen) 12 Then Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the Ammonites and said, “What do you have against me, that you have come to me to fight against my land?” 13 And the king of the Ammonites answered the messengers of Jephthah, “Because Israel on coming up from Egypt took away my land, from the Arnon to the Jabbok and to the Jordan; now therefore restore it peaceably.” 14 Jephthah again sent messengers to the king of the Ammonites 15 and said to him, “Thus says Jephthah: Israel did not take away the land of Moab or the land of the Ammonites, 16 but when they came up from Egypt, Israel went through the wilderness to the Red Sea and came to Kadesh. 17 Israel then sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, ‘Please let us pass through your land,' but the king of Edom would not listen. And they sent also to the king of Moab, but he would not consent. So Israel remained at Kadesh. 18 “Then they journeyed through the wilderness and went around the land of Edom and the land of Moab and arrived on the east side of the land of Moab and camped on the other side of the Arnon. But they did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was the boundary of Moab. 19 Israel then sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, king of Heshbon, and Israel said to him, ‘Please let us pass through your land to our country,' 20 but Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his territory, so Sihon gathered all his people together and encamped at Jahaz and fought with Israel. 21 And the LORD, the God of Israel, gave Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they defeated them. So Israel took possession of all the land of the Amorites, who inhabited that country. 22 And they took possession of all the territory of the Amorites from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the wilderness to the Jordan. 23 So then the LORD, the God of Israel, dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel; and are you to take possession of them? 24 Will you not possess what Chemosh your god gives you to possess? And all that the LORD our God has dispossessed before us, we will possess. 25 Now are you any better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever contend against Israel, or did he ever go to war with them? 26 While Israel lived in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, 300 years, why did you not deliver them within that time? 27 I therefore have not sinned against you, and you do me wrong by making war on me. The LORD, the Judge, decide this day between the people of Israel and the people of Ammon.” 28 But the king of the Ammonites did not listen to the words of Jephthah that he sent to him. Jephthah's Tragic Vow 29 Then the Spirit of the LORD was upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh and passed on to Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he passed on to the Ammonites. 30 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD and said, “If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, 31 then whatever1 comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the LORD's, and I will offer it2 up for a burnt offering.” 32 So Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them, and the LORD gave them into his hand. 33 And he struck them from Aroer to the neighborhood of Minnith, twenty cities, and as far as Abel-keramim, with a great blow. So the Ammonites were subdued before the people of Israel. 34 Then Jephthah came to his home at Mizpah. And behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances. She was his only child; besides her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 And as soon as he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you have become the cause of great trouble to me. For I have opened my mouth to the LORD, and I cannot take back my vow.” 36 And she said to him, “My father, you have opened your mouth to the LORD; do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, now that the LORD has avenged you on your enemies, on the Ammonites.” 37 So she said to her father, “Let this thing be done for me: leave me alone two months, that I may go up and down on the mountains and weep for my virginity, I and my companions.” 38 So he said, “Go.” Then he sent her away for two months, and she departed, she and her companions, and wept for her virginity on the mountains. 39 And at the end of two months, she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow that he had made. She had never known a man, and it became a custom in Israel 40 that the daughters of Israel went year by year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in the year. Footnotes  11:31 Or whoever  11:31 Or him (ESV) Acts 15 (Listen) The Jerusalem Council 15 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. 3 So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers.1 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them. 5 But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.” 6 The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. 7 And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, 9 and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. 10 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” 12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 “‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it,17 that the remnant2 of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old.' 19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.” The Council's Letter to Gentile Believers 22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers, 23 with the following letter: “The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the brothers3 who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings. 24 Since we have heard that some persons have gone out from us and troubled you4 with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, 25 it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: 29 that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.” 30 So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words. 33 And after they had spent some time, they were sent off in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them.5 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also. Paul and Barnabas Separate 36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. Footnotes  15:3 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 22  15:17 Or rest  15:23 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 32, 33, 36  15:24 Some manuscripts some persons from us have troubled you  15:33 Some manuscripts insert verse 34: But it seemed good to Silas to remain there (ESV) In private: Jeremiah 24; Mark 10 Jeremiah 24 (Listen) The Good Figs and the Bad Figs 24 After Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken into exile from Jerusalem Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, together with the officials of Judah, the craftsmen, and the metal workers, and had brought them to Babylon, the LORD showed me this vision: behold, two baskets of figs placed before the temple of the LORD. 2 One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, but the other basket had very bad figs, so bad that they could not be eaten. 3 And the LORD said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I said, “Figs, the good figs very good, and the bad figs very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten.” 4 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 5 “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. 6 I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up. 7 I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. 8 “But thus says the LORD: Like the bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten, so will I treat Zedekiah the king of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt. 9 I will make them a horror1 to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a reproach, a byword, a taunt, and a curse in all the places where I shall drive them. 10 And I will send sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they shall be utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their fathers.” Footnotes  24:9 Compare Septuagint; Hebrew horror for evil (ESV) Mark 10 (Listen) Teaching About Divorce 10 And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again. And again, as was his custom, he taught them. 2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” 5 And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.' 7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife,1 8 and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” Let the Children Come to Me 13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. The Rich Young Man 17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is2 to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him,3 “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time 32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.” The Request of James and John 35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,4 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave5 of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus 46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. Footnotes  10:7 Some manuscripts omit and hold fast to his wife  10:24 Some manuscripts add for those who trust in riches  10:26 Some manuscripts to one another  10:43 Greek diakonos  10:44 Or bondservant, or servant (for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface) (ESV)
By directing Paul to Antioch, the Holy Spirit placed him in a multiracial environment where he could learn to serve side by side with Gentiles and Jews alike. He learned firsthand that in Christ, all cultural distinctions disappear, and it prepared him for his apostolic ministry to the Gentiles. Antioch was the right place for Paul to be, and it was the right time for him to be there. Join us for Home Group as we continue our discussion on Being in the Right Place at the Right Time.
In the church at Antioch, the fivefold ministry gifts were flourishing — especially the gifts of the prophet and the teacher. A close look at Scripture reveals that Barnabas, Simeon, and Lucius were prophets; Manaen and Paul were teachers. The gathering together of this culturally diverse group could only have been done by the hand of God. Tune in to Home Group as we continue our discussion on Being in the Right Place at the Right Time.
With family: Judges 10–11:11; Acts 14 Judges 10–11:11 (Listen) Tola and Jair 10 After Abimelech there arose to save Israel Tola the son of Puah, son of Dodo, a man of Issachar, and he lived at Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim. 2 And he judged Israel twenty-three years. Then he died and was buried at Shamir. 3 After him arose Jair the Gileadite, who judged Israel twenty-two years. 4 And he had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkeys, and they had thirty cities, called Havvoth-jair to this day, which are in the land of Gilead. 5 And Jair died and was buried in Kamon. Further Disobedience and Oppression 6 The people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. And they forsook the LORD and did not serve him. 7 So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the Ammonites, 8 and they crushed and oppressed the people of Israel that year. For eighteen years they oppressed all the people of Israel who were beyond the Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. 9 And the Ammonites crossed the Jordan to fight also against Judah and against Benjamin and against the house of Ephraim, so that Israel was severely distressed. 10 And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD, saying, “We have sinned against you, because we have forsaken our God and have served the Baals.” 11 And the LORD said to the people of Israel, “Did I not save you from the Egyptians and from the Amorites, from the Ammonites and from the Philistines? 12 The Sidonians also, and the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you, and you cried out to me, and I saved you out of their hand. 13 Yet you have forsaken me and served other gods; therefore I will save you no more. 14 Go and cry out to the gods whom you have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress.” 15 And the people of Israel said to the LORD, “We have sinned; do to us whatever seems good to you. Only please deliver us this day.” 16 So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD, and he became impatient over the misery of Israel. 17 Then the Ammonites were called to arms, and they encamped in Gilead. And the people of Israel came together, and they encamped at Mizpah. 18 And the people, the leaders of Gilead, said one to another, “Who is the man who will begin to fight against the Ammonites? He shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.” Jephthah Delivers Israel 11 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior, but he was the son of a prostitute. Gilead was the father of Jephthah. 2 And Gilead's wife also bore him sons. And when his wife's sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, “You shall not have an inheritance in our father's house, for you are the son of another woman.” 3 Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob, and worthless fellows collected around Jephthah and went out with him. 4 After a time the Ammonites made war against Israel. 5 And when the Ammonites made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to bring Jephthah from the land of Tob. 6 And they said to Jephthah, “Come and be our leader, that we may fight against the Ammonites.” 7 But Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “Did you not hate me and drive me out of my father's house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?” 8 And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “That is why we have turned to you now, that you may go with us and fight against the Ammonites and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.” 9 Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you bring me home again to fight against the Ammonites, and the LORD gives them over to me, I will be your head.” 10 And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “The LORD will be witness between us, if we do not do as you say.” 11 So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and leader over them. And Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD at Mizpah. (ESV) Acts 14 (Listen) Paul and Barnabas at Iconium 14 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.1 3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4 But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. 5 When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, 6 they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, 7 and there they continued to preach the gospel. Paul and Barnabas at Lystra 8 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well,2 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them. Paul Stoned at Lystra 19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. Paul and Barnabas Return to Antioch in Syria 24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they remained no little time with the disciples. Footnotes  14:2 Or brothers and sisters  14:9 Or be saved (ESV) In private: Jeremiah 23; Mark 9 Jeremiah 23 (Listen) The Righteous Branch 23 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. 2 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the LORD. 3 Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the LORD. 5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.' 7 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when they shall no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,' 8 but ‘As the LORD lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he1 had driven them.' Then they shall dwell in their own land.” Lying Prophets 9 Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the LORD and because of his holy words.10 For the land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land mourns, and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up. Their course is evil, and their might is not right.11 “Both prophet and priest are ungodly; even in my house I have found their evil, declares the LORD.12 Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery paths in the darkness, into which they shall be driven and fall, for I will bring disaster upon them in the year of their punishment, declares the LORD.13 In the prophets of Samaria I saw an unsavory thing: they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray.14 But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”15 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets: “Behold, I will feed them with bitter food and give them poisoned water to drink, for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone out into all the land.” 16 Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. 17 They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, ‘It shall be well with you'; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.'” 18 For who among them has stood in the council of the LORD to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened?19 Behold, the storm of the LORD! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked.20 The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will understand it clearly. 21 “I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied.22 But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds. 23 “Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? 24 Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD. 25 I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!' 26 How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, 27 who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? 28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the LORD. 29 Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who steal my words from one another. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the LORD.' 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD. 33 “When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the LORD?' you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden,2 and I will cast you off, declares the LORD.' 34 And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, ‘The burden of the LORD,' I will punish that man and his household. 35 Thus shall you say, every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, ‘What has the LORD answered?' or ‘What has the LORD spoken?' 36 But ‘the burden of the LORD' you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man's own word, and you pervert the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God. 37 Thus you shall say to the prophet, ‘What has the LORD answered you?' or ‘What has the LORD spoken?' 38 But if you say, ‘The burden of the LORD,' thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have said these words, “The burden of the LORD,” when I sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The burden of the LORD,'” 39 therefore, behold, I will surely lift you up3 and cast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and your fathers. 40 And I will bring upon you everlasting reproach and perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.'” Footnotes  23:8 Septuagint; Hebrew I  23:33 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew What burden?  23:39 Or surely forget you (ESV) Mark 9 (Listen) 9 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.” The Transfiguration 2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one1 on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi,2 it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son;3 listen to him.” 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only. 9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean. 11 And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 12 And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.” Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit 14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can'! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out4 and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”5 Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection 30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him. Who Is the Greatest? 33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” Anyone Not Against Us Is for Us 38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name,6 and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward. Temptations to Sin 42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,7 it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell,8 to the unquenchable fire.9 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.' 49 For everyone will be salted with fire.10 50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” Footnotes  9:3 Greek launderer (gnapheus)  9:5 Rabbi means my teacher, or my master  9:7 Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved  9:24 Some manuscripts add with tears  9:29 Some manuscripts add and fasting  9:38 Some manuscripts add who does not follow us  9:42 Greek to stumble; also verses 43, 45, 47  9:43 Greek Gehenna; also verse 47  9:43 Some manuscripts add verses 44 and 46 (which are identical with verse 48)  9:49 Some manuscripts add and every sacrifice will be salted with salt (ESV)