Saturday, February 22, 2014

Proverbs 22 Feb

  1. A sterling reputation is worth than riches.
  2. God made both the rich and poor. 
  3. A prudent person sees trouble ahead of time. 
  4. Never borrow from the rich and put yourself under their power. 
  5. God loves and blesses those generous hands, pure-hearted and well-spoken. 
  6. Young kids are prone to make foolish mistakes. 
  7. Don't move back those boundary lines set by our ancestors. 
  8. Wisdom is sweet and will make a bold speech. 
  9. Don't use your position to crush the poor because they are poor. 
  10. Observe and learn from those who are skilled at work. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Luke 10

Jesus appointed seventy disciples (some manuscripts say 72) as lambs and sent them among the wolf pack.
Luke 10:2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves."
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They were told to travel light, offering peace on a house, or having it returned to them. Those who rejected the disciples rejected Jesus. They were not supposed to hold 'small talk' with everyone they met on the way.

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The team of seventy came  back and reported their success. In their excitement, they said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

Jesus said that he had given them the authority all the power of the enemy and that he saw Satan falling from heaven. He told them not to be excited because the demons submitted to them, but to rejoice because their names were written in Heaven.

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Luke 10:21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do."
He then told his disciples privately that they were blessed.
Luke 10:23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
When one teacher of the law asked Jesus how to acquire eternal life, Jesus gave out the formula: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Next, when questioned about the neighbor, Jesus narrated the parable of the good Samaritan.

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Jesus and his disciples stayed at the house of Martha and Mary. Martha was busy and distracted with all the preparation and serving. However, Mary, her sister, simply sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to him. Jesus commended as Mary being wise and choosing the best.

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Proverbs 19 Feb

  1. People ruin their lives due to their own stupidity.
  2. Honey attracts flies; wealth attract friends. 
  3. Everyone is a friend to the philanthropist. 
  4. Poor are avoided like a plague. 
  5. When luck is down, even our own family will avoid us. 
  6. Seek a wise heart and a clear head. 
  7. Smart people know how to hold their tongue. 
  8. A foolish child and nagging wife are concerns.  
  9. A congenial spouse is a gift straight from the Lord. 
  10. Fear of God provides a serene and full life. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

“Bible-Minded” US Cities

Bible gateway crunched hits on their website for 2013 and published their results. It was based on maximum pageviews per household. Guess users from which city topped the list - Atlanta! 

American Bible Society chose to define “Bible-minded” as referring to someone who reads the Bible regularly and believes in the Bible’s accuracy. When Bible gateway ran their companion studies, they looked at the frequency of visits to online Bibles.

Below is the complete list 100 cities in the ABS/Barna survey from last year. Many of the changes are quite striking, especially near the top of the list; Washington, D.C., for example, jumped up 77 places, while Atlanta took the top spot. Tap here to read the complete news.

Now, that's an honor worth bragging. May Lord bless Atlanta.

CityBible Gateway RankABS/Barna RankDifference in Rank
Atlanta, GA129+28
Dallas / Fort Worth, TX222+20
Washington, DC / Hagerstown, MD380+77
Charlotte, NC46+2
Nashville, TN513+8
Raleigh / Durham / Fayetteville, NC627+21
Waco / Temple / Bryan, TX743+36
Chattanooga, TN81-7
San Antonio, TX934+25
Houston, TX1041+31
Norfolk / Portsmouth / Newport News, VA1131+20
Austin, TX1248+36
Honolulu, HI1378+65
Huntsville / Decatur, AL1412-2
Birmingham / Anniston / Tuscaloosa, AL152-13
Colorado Springs-Pueblo CO1656+40
Columbia, SC1724+7
Roanoke / Lynchburg, VA183-15
Tulsa, OK1932+13
Orlando / Daytona Beach / Melbourne, FL2065+45
Springfield, MO214-17
Kansas City, KS-MO2242+20
San Diego, CA2372+49
Grand Rapids / Kalamazoo / Battle Creek, MI2430+6
Greenville / Spartanburg / Anderson, SC / Asheville, NC258-17
Los Angeles, CA2673+47
Indianapolis, IN2728+1
Columbus, OH2847+19
Jackson, MS299-20
Jacksonville, FL3018-12
South Bend / Elkhart, IN3139+8
Greensboro / High Point / Winston-Salem, NC3220-12
Memphis, TN3326-7
Chicago, IL3474+40
Wichita / Huthinson, KS3515-20
Seattle / Tacoma, WA3671+35
Lexington, KY3714-23
Oklahoma City, OK3816-22
Baltimore, MD3968+29
Knoxville, TN4010-30
West Palm Beach / Fort Pierce, FL4159+18
Charleston, SC4238-4
Little Rock / Pine Bluff, AR438-35
San Francisco / Oakland / San Jose, CA4497+53
Dayton, OH4537-8
Richmond / Petersburg, VA4636-10
Miami / Ft. Lauderdale, FL4764+17
Harrisburg / Lancaster / Lebanon / York, PA4869+21
Mobile, AL / Pensacola / Ft. Walton, FL4923-26
Omaha, NE5055+5
Louisville, KY5117-34
Greenville / New Bern / Washington, NC5233-19
Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN5375+22
Detroit, MI5449-5
Portland, OR5561+6
Madison, WI5679+23
Baton Rouge, LA5725-32
Shreveport, LA585-53
Phoenix / Prescott, AZ5993+34
St. Louis, MO6058-2
Denver, CO6181+20
Des Moines / Ames, IA6253-9
Tampa / St. Petersburg / Sarasota, FL6363+0
Cincinnati, OH6445-19
Philadelphia, PA6557-8
Spokane, WA6654-12
Bakersfield, CA6721-46
Sacramento / Stockton / Modesto, CA6866-2
Champaign / Springfield / Decatur, IL6960-9
Cleveland / Akron / Canton, OH7050-20
Toledo, OH7188+17
Charleston / Huntington, WV7211-61
New Orleans, LA7335-38
New York, NY7489+15
Milwaukee, WI7576+1
Paducah, KY / Cape Girardeau, MO / Harrisburg, IL / Mt Vernon, IL7619-57
Tucson / Sierra Vista, AZ7782+5
Cedar Rapids / Waterloo, IA7896+18
Fresno / Visalia, CA7970-9
Flint / Saginaw / Bay City, MI8052-28
Harlingen / Weslaco / Brownsville / McAllen, TX8146-35
Boston, MA / Manchester, NH8298+16
Rochester, NY8383+0
Johnstown / Altoona, PA8440-44
Albuquerque / Santa Fe, NM8551-34
Pittsburgh, PA8667-19
Ft. Myers / Naples, FL8777-10
El Paso, TX / Las Cruces, NM8862-26
Davenport, IA / Rock Island / Moline, IL8944-45
Hartford / New Haven, CT9094+4
Green Bay / Appleton, WI9185-6
Syracuse, NY9286-6
Wilkes-Barre / Scranton, PA9384-9
Las Vegas, NV9490-4
Portland / Auburn, ME9591-4
Buffalo, NY9695-1
Albany / Schenectady / Troy, NY9799+2
Providence, RI / New Bedford, MA98100+2
Burlington, VT / Plattsburgh, NY9992-7
Salt Lake City, UT10087-13

Proverbs 18 Feb

Image Credits: proverbsdaily

Here we go for today:
  1. It is not right to punish the innocent, and free the guilty. 
  2. Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy. 
  3. A slacker and sloppy work are both as bad as vandalism. 
  4. Many rich think their wealth will protect them. 
  5. It's both stupid and rude to answer before listening. 
  6. A gift buys the attention of eminent people. 
  7. Win a friend forever, and nothing can untie that bond. 
  8. Words have the power both to kill and provide life. 
  9. One who finds a good wife receives favor from the Lord. 
  10. A true friend sticks by you, just like a family member. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

John 10:1-21

Jesus is the true, legitimate shepherd, who enters the sheep pen through the proper way, by the gate. The proper way is the one prepared by Old Testament prophecies. He stands in sharp contrast with those Jewish leaders, whom he calls "hired hands" or even "thieves and robbers."
John 10:7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.
8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them.
9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
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As the true spiritual leader, Jesus has come so that men might have life, and that abundantly. Jesus is the good shepherd, who gives his own life for his flock.
John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.
13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
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Again, in contrast with Jesus, the Jewish leaders are unloving, selfish, pretenders and only harm their followers.

The crowd is divided between one group saying he is demon possessed, while others wondering, "Can a demon possessed man open the eyes of a blind?"

My Thoughts
Today, we have a similar dilemma as well. We stumble in making our own decision - we can hardly make out who is legitimate leader and who is a fraudulent one.

When in doubt, we can look towards Jesus Christ and ask him to guide us. Being our Good Shepherd, he will lead us on the right path.

Proverbs 17 Feb

Few notes from Proverbs 17:

  1. Our hearts are evaluated by God. 
  2. Honor the creator by taking care of the poor.
  3. Children take pride in their parents. 
  4. A good leader never lies to his followers. 
  5. To bond a friendship, one should be willing to overlook an offence. 
  6. If fools went shopping for wisdom, they would never recognize it even though they saw it. 
  7. Friends love each other in all sorts of weather. 
  8. The wicked show contempt for justice by accepting bribes under the table. 
  9. The perceptive find wisdom in their own front yard. 
  10. As long as fools keep their mouth shut, they appear to be smart. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

John 9

On a Sabbath, Jesus healed a man born blind. His disciples asked Jesus about this man's blindness, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

"Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him."

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Jesus restored the blind man's sight to provide an opportunity for God to do his miraculous work. The Pharisees cast him out when the blind man declared that Jesus received his healing powers from God.

The progression of the blind man's faith in Jesus increased slowly:

John 9:11 "The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes."

John 9:17: "He is a prophet."

John 9:25: “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

John 9:33: "If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."

John 9:38: Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

On the other end, the Pharisees doubted the powers of Jesus because he healed a blind man on Sabbath. In their eyes, Jesus was a sinner. Jesus commented on the Pharisees’ spiritual blindness. If they were blind, they would not be guilty of sin. In this case, they were able to see, and hence their guilt remained. 

John 8

In an effort to trap Jesus, the Jewish leaders bring to Jesus a woman caught in the act of adultery. They then remind him the Mosaic law of death by stoning for such an offense. After some thought, Jesus responded, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” One by one, her accusers walked away leaving only the woman and Jesus, and he advised her not to sin anymore.

Jesus proclaimed “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” The Lord who sent him bears the witness. His true identity will be made known once he is lifted up - he was referring to the resurrection.

Next, Jesus challenged their depth of faith, but their actions did not support their claim. Those disciples who embrace the words of Jesus will be revealed about the truth and that truth shall set them free from sin. The truth about Jesus has the power to set people free from the bondage of sin.

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Then there was a dispute that took place in the temple regarding the claim of Jesus, as to who he was. Repeatedly, Jesus said that the people were behaving like sons of devil. The heated argument continued and they claimed to be children of Abraham. By defining a special relationship with the Father, Jesus claimed that Abraham rejoiced at the thought of Jesus coming to the world. This was too much for them to believe as Jesus was not even fifty years of age and would have never met Abraham.
John 8:58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
The Jews treated such talks by Jesus as blasphemy.

My Thoughts
The story of woman caught in adultery resonates with that of two women coming to the court of King Solomon. Jesus used his wisdom in handling the situation, and the woman was freed.

In the gospel of John, Jesus used the absolute use of "I am" very frequently.

I am the bread of life - John 6:35
I am the light of the world - John 8:12
I am the gate of the sheep - John 10:7
I am the good shepherd - John 10:11
I am the resurrection and the life - John 11:25
I am the way and the truth and the life - John 14:6
I am the true vine - John 15:1.

Proverbs 16 Feb

Few notes from Proverbs 16:
  1. Submit our plans to the Lord for them to be established. 
  2. Everything God mad has a place and purpose. 
  3. Fear of God deflects evil. 
  4. It's far better to be right and poor than be wrong and rich. 
  5. Though we plan, God is the one who enables them. 
  6. A good leader does not mislead or exploit, but motivates. 
  7. Choose wisdom and insight over money and income. 
  8. True intelligence is a spring of fresh water
  9. Gracious speech is like clover honey. 
  10. Gossip breaks up friendships.