- love in the truth, those who walk in the truth
- receive the brethren and strangers in order to be a helper to the truth
- Diotrephes was a bad example, being proud, and causing divisions
- follow good examples, not bad examples
- Demetrius was a good example, having a good reputation
- sometimes seeing each other face-to-face can be better than writing
- the importance of greeting
And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
Matthew 2 talks about people being warned or directed by God in dreams, four times, in verses 12, 13, 19, and 22!
We can and should trust the Lord to clearly show us what way to go.
And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
Even though Noah knew, could see with his own eyes, and even had a sign, he didn't go forth until the Lord spoke to Him. I just saw that we should have the same that kind of patience.
When I want direction from the Lord about something, I'll patient wait for His Word about it until I move.
- the Lord made the water go down
- Noah could see that the water was down, but he didn't go out yet
- Noah knew that the flood was decreased
- Noah had another sure sign that the flood was over
- Noah took the cover off the ark and looked for himself, and the face of the ground was dry
- the earth was dry
- the Lord spoke to Noah...
- and only then, Noah finally went out!
- there won't be any global warming and ice age
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
Joseph didn't really know the right thing to do, but he was a just man, and he was thinking about doing what was right. The Lord showed him direction in an obvious way: by an angel!
I should just make sure to be a just man, and I won't have to worry when I ask the Lord what to do, because the Lord can make me sure.
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
The Lord wants parents and their children to have a good relationship with each other, that their hearts would be turned to each other. We all could probably think of something we could do to work those relationships we're in. One example for those of us who have living parents, is to find an opportunity to spend time with them or do something for them.
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed:
For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
Giving someone a greeting and a blessing isn't empty for a believer. It can be a powerful thing that actually makes a difference.
Having many things to write unto you, I would not [write] with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.
I'll pay attention to seeing people face-to-face and greeting them, because there's a special joy and blessing in that.
Ye have said, It [is] vain to serve God: and what profit [is it] that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?
Sometimes I feel like I've been making a lot of effort to serve the Lord, and it hasn't done any good. But have I really been doing what the Lord wants in the first place?
The Lord wants me to delight in Him in my heart, and to go away from sinning against Him. The real reason things haven't been going the way I'd like, isn't because the Lord is unfaithful. It's because of my own unfaithfulness.
We shouldn't consider it vain to serve the Lord or unprofitable to walk with Him. We should believe that He's real, and diligently seek Him, believing that He will reward us for it.Hebrews 11:6
But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained [alive], and they that [were] with him in the ark.
Noah is such a picture of the Lord Jesus. Everyone in the world was destroyed but the people that were with Noah in the ark. In the same way, everyone in the world today will perish from their sin unless, they believe on the Lord Jesus and receive Him as their Savior.
The cross is like the ark. They're both made of wood, from trees. When we receive Jesus as our Savior, it's as if the old person we used to be is nailed to die with Jesus on His cross; it's as if we enter into the ark with Noah and pass over to safety while the rest of the world is headed toward destruction. The people couldn't just believe that Noah was a good person; they had to get into the ark. In the same way, we can't just know something about Jesus, or believe whatever we want about Him. We must come to the cross.
Also notice that the people who were saved were Noah's family. We become Jesus' family when we receive Him. Like Noah's wife was saved with him, we, Jesus' people, the Church, are the bride of Christ. We're also born again, like being adopted, to be His children.
I'll be more bold to share the good news when I do outreach.
For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for [one] covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
We should pray for marriages.
Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness [is it]! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought [that which was] torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.
The Lord's people in Malachi 1 profaned His name by calling it a weariness to bring His offering, and deceitfully bringing rotten things. Instead of saying that it's a weariness, we should serve the Lord gladly with our whole heart.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
This verse really seemed to stick out in this chapter.
ApplicationI'll keep myself from making these idols in my life:
- the Internet
- my computer
- love God and keep His commandments
- v4 & 5
- overcome the world by faith
- great, agreeing witnesses in heaven and earth
- v11 & 12
- the record that God has given us, the gospel
- assurance and answered prayer
- sin unto death
- Jesus Christ is the Only True God
- keep from idols
And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.
The Lord's people shouldn't look around at the people who don't know the Lord and be jealous because of their wealth. The Lord will judge the heathen and provide for His people.
These [are] the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man [and] perfect in his generations, [and] Noah walked with God.
Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD, (v8) and
Enoch walked with God, (Gen5:24) but this time it stuck out to me that
Noah walked with God.
Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
To walk with God, I'll do the things He's commanded me:
- redeem the time
- speak kindly
- the Lord regretted making people because they were so evil
- Noah walked with God
- God told Noah what He was going to do
- God told Noah what to do
- the Lord had mercy
And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, [that] I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.
...I will cut off the names of the idols... Idols can be things we waste our time on when the Lord wants us to be doing something else. For example, surfing the Internet, using Facebook, or playing computer games. They could even be good things to do, but the wrong time to do them.
I have some things I really need to get done in the next few days, so I decided to postpone several other regular activities until afterward.1 John 5:21
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
This is very specifically talking about the one and only Lord who created heaven, earth, and the spirit of man.v10
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn.
It says about,
the house of David, and
the inhabitants of Jerusalem,, that
they shall look upon me whom they have pierced. This is the one and only God talking, and saying that He would be pierced by the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Let's remember what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us, by suffering and dying on the cross to save us from our sin.
For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, [which] shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.
Andverse 17 starts,
Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock!...
We should be visiting, seeking, and healing the Lord's people who are in need. One way to do that is by prayer.
And I will strengthen them in the LORD; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the LORD.
When we're discouraged we should pray for strength, and then we should take the initiative to get out there and do what we're supposed to do, trusting the Lord to help us in it.v1
Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; [so] the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.(This Scripture quotation from NKJV.)
This verse prophesied of the Lord Jesus Christ, and how, when He came to His people, everything would be much better for them.v16
And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they [shall be as] the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.
Let's be thankful for how good the Lord is to us.
And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment [is] greater than I can bear.
I've read this part of the Bible before, but this time through I was struck by Cain's Appeal.
I feel kind of like Cain. He sinned a terrible sin, and had to pay a terrible consequence. But something amazing happened: When Cain asked the Lord for mercy, the Lord heard him and had mercy on him, even on Cain!v15
And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
In much the same way as Cain, the Lord had great, undeserved mercy on me. When life gets discouraging, I'll encourage myself by praising the Lord for the mercy He's had on me, despite the sins of my past.
- Adam and Seth
- names of the first people and the numbers of years they lived
- Enoch walked with God and God took him
- Lamech prophesied that Noah would bring comfort from the hard work on the cursed ground
v16 & 17
These [are] the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:
And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these [are things] that I hate, saith the LORD.
These verses talk about honesty and peace, but the part that really stuck out to me today was,
...let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor...
Sometimes imaginations come into our minds, and we start thinking about things we shouldn't at the time, especially in times like prayer meetings or preaching the gospel to children. I've been able to stop myself from thinking things like that several times lately.
Let's watch our thoughts.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
We might tend to think of hatred as some horrible problem that other people have, but when we don't treat people the right way way because we don't love them the way we should, what is that? What do you call the opposite of love?
ApplicationEphesians 4:31 & 32
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Keeping myself from speaking wrongly or angrily is very difficult when other people are acting and speaking very wrongly toward me. But what way does it say to do it? I need to forgive them, like God forgave us. God had pretty incredible forgiveness for us, when we were so rotten, and He doesn't even mention our sin to us any more.
How can we have such forgiveness? How did God?
God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. I'll forgive people thoroughly, because of Christ, so that I can treat them lovingly instead of hatefully.
- try the spirits
- God is love
- v11 & 12
- love each other
- dwelling in Him
- perfect love casts out fear
- we love Him because He first loved us
- v20 & 21
- if you love God, you must love your "brother" also
Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:
Today, let's consider how to act justly and show kindness to our siblings.