seek Him early

Hosea 5


I will go [and] return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.

Sometimes the Lord withdraws Himself so we can't find Him. That's so, when we have trouble ("affliction"), we'll turn to Him. It would be better for us if we would just seek Him in the first place.

We should acknowledge our offenses and seek His face.


take heed to know the Lord

Hosea 4


My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

The problem was a lack of knowledge. It was a lack of the knowledge that matters, a lack of knowing the Lord. They had "forgotten the law" of God.


For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD.
They "...left off to take heed to the LORD..." They payed attention to other things, and neglected paying attention to the Lord. They forgot about His Word, so they rejected knowledge, the important knowledge... and they didn't really know God.

We should pay more attention to the Lord's Word. We should study it personally, first thing, early in the morning. We should remember it and take heed to it. We should pursue knowledge, but not knowing vain things. We should know the Lord.


idolatry is spiritual adultery

Hosea 3


Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of [her] friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.

Hosea compares idols to adultery. God and His people are like a marriage, so his people looking to other "gods" is like adultery. This makes me think about some idols we can have, by wasting time like:

  • sleeping in
  • bad thinking
  • watching too many videos

Wasting time is idolatry because it gives our time, thoughts, and other resources, to serve other things instead of the Lord. We know that adultery is a wicked sin that we should never commit, but Hosea is teaching that idolatry is the same.

Colossians 4:5

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
(I added the emphasis.)


He's the source of good

Hosea 2


For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, [which] they prepared for Baal.

The Lord is good, and created all of the good things that we enjoy:

Things that strengthen us
Things that make us happy
Things for beauty

Sin is deceitful because we can derive limited temporary pleasure from doing it. Despite the sin, the pleasure is a good thing from the Lord the whole time, not from sin.

We shouldn't think that the enjoyment we get is from the things we do wrong. We shouldn't attribute our well-being to deceitful sin. The Lord is the source of all good things. We should realize that all the good things we have are because of Him, and we should dedicate everything we have to Him.


we're His people now!

Hosea 1


Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people, [there] it shall be said unto them, [Ye are] the sons of the living God.

I've finished the book of Daniel now, and I'm starting Hosea.

I think about how this applies to us as Gentile believers. It could have been said about us, "you are not my people", because we were not Jews, but it's like the Lord says to us, "You are the sons of the living God." because we've trusted in Jesus.

We shouldn't take that for granted.


be wise

Daniel 12


And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

I usually notice the part of this promise about being somebody who turns many people to righteousness. This morning I notice the other part, about being wise:

...they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament...
Here's one way to be wise: watch less TV :-)


to try them, and to purge

Daniel 11


And [some] of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make [them] white, [even] to the time of the end: because [it is] yet for a time appointed.

This chapter tells about how Greece would split into four different kingdoms, one for each compass direction. It tells about the battles between the kings of the northern kingdom and the kings of the southern kingdom. The last king of the north (the beast, #666) will temporarily ("for a time appointed") be able to persecute and kill the believers ("them of understanding.")

We should patiently endure hard times for the Lord, because they are just temporary.


set thine heart

Daniel 10


Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

When I saw how awesome this chapter was, I wished I had gotten up earlier to study it.

...to chasten thyself before thy God...
I think that talks specifically about fasting, but it makes me think of suffering for doing what's right, in general, and giving up pleasure by giving up sin. Sometimes I have to suffer the temporary loss of some pleasure to do some good things (Like getting up earlier!) Sometimes I've given up on it because the Lord doesn't seem to be hearing me, or it doesn't seem to be doing any good.

We should know that there are things going on in the spiritual realm that we don't know about. When we start to seek the Lord, He does notice and hear us right away. We just need to keep being faithful and not give up even if we don't see results for a long time.


And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which [is] Hiddekel;
By the way, today happens to be the 24th day of the month.


Family Bible Study Invitation

You Are Invited


Tuesday's 7:00-8:30 PM
Sjogren Home
1472 N. 96th Avenue
Omaha, NE
Questions 556-6252

Printable (PDF) Invitations
(There are 4 invitations on 1 page that you can cut out and hand out to people.)

obey the Lord's voice

Daniel 9


Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

Daniel was seeking the Lord by praying and fasting, and he got to see Gabriel come and talk with him!

Daniel confessed his own sins and his people's sins. One of the sins basically sounds like they weren't listening to the Lord's Word.

We shouldn't neglect the opportunity to get up early enough in the morning to listen to the Lord's Word. When it *is* time to hear the Lord, we shouldn't distract ourselves with other things instead. Finally, we need to obey. That's what Israel's problem really was.


Von Maur Tragedy Tract

Here is the printable (PDF) file. Please feel free to download and distribute the file. You can print it out, fold it up, and then you can hand it out to people. It reminds people to pray for the victims of the tragedy at Von Maur, and shares how to be saved by believing in Jesus.

How to fold it up, after you print it:

  1. Fold it in half side-to-side first
  2. Fold it in half again, from top-to-bottom

he did the king's business

Daniel 8


And I Daniel fainted, and was sick [certain] days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood [it].

The Lord showed Daniel a vision about what was going to happen in the future, but nobody understood it. However, when Daniel could, he went back to doing what he knew he was supposed to be doing.

Sometimes there are things about the Lord's ways that we don't understand. In the mean time, we should still do what we know.


be patient in trouble

Daniel 7


And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

This king, "Number 666", of the fourth kingdom, will have some kind of power against the Lord's people for a period of time (maybe 3 1/2 years.) Any of us "saints" who are there then, will have to be patient until the Lord comes and turns things around.


And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
We should learn to be patient and stand firm for the Lord, even when we have temporary periods of difficult time and trouble. Our trouble is just temporary. The Lord is going to take care of everything in the end.


just like he did before

Daniel 6


Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he [was] faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.

Here some people in high places wanted to accuse Daniel for something (maybe because they were jealous of his higher position, but it doesn't say that.)

This is the way I'd like to be. Walking so closely with the Lord that people couldn't find any fault with me if they tried.


Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
I love the book of Daniel. This is awesome. Here Daniel knew that he would get in trouble with the people in authority if he kept these prayer times. He knew he would even be condemned to a terrible death if he didn't break them off just temporarily, for 30 days. But he stood firm for the Lord and what he knew was right. He kept his good habit, just like he did before.


Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.
Why was he safe? "because he believed in his God." That's what we need to do.

Believe in the Lord so much that you stand firm for Him, despite people in high places threatening to do terrible things to you.


give your rewards to someone else

Daniel 5


Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

Daniel didn't demand the rewards for his prophesy, but he asked to give them all up. I think that's because he acknowledged that the prophesy was from the Lord and not from himself.

I saw that I should be more willing to do things to serve other people for no payment sometimes.


those that walk in pride

Daniel 4


Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works [are] truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

I should humble myself so the Lord doesn't have to make me humble like He did with Nebuchadnezzar.


standing against idolatry

Daniel 3


[Then] Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed [be] the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

It talks about "the God... who... yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God." There are different ways that we could yield our bodies to serve other things besides God.


[That] at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:

There was this huge show with a huge golden image and "all kinds of music" with all kinds of instruments. That idolatry made me think of videos and surfing the web. I think both are good tools that we should use for fun other purposes, but they become idolatry when they get in the way of us serving and worshiping God.

I'm going to work on cutting down the amount of time I spend on things like that. That way I can be serving the Lord instead of wasting time.


Hebrews 8 - Key


For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

Once we've done wrong, and He's forgiven it, He doesn't call it to remembrance any more. We should forgive other people the same way.


When people have apologized and I've forgiven them, I won't call their sin back up to remembrance again. I'll try to forget about it.


Hebrews 8 - Outline

priests offer sacrifices, and Jesus is no exception
the old covenant was a shadow of the real thing
the new covenant is better
the Lord forgets our sins


desire mercies of God

Daniel 2


That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise [men] of Babylon.

The king of Babylon was going to have all the wise men in Babylon killed. He had a dream that made him really upset so he couldn't sleep, but he forgot what the dream was. None of the wise men could tell him what it was and what it meant.

The wise men and religious or spiritual people couldn't help. Daniel told his 3 friends about it, so they could seek for God's mercy about it.

Sometimes something bothers us so much it breaks off our sleep. Where do we turn when we're so upset? We should turn to the God of heaven, to desire His mercies about the matter.


requesting exemption

Daniel 1


But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

Here's an excellent example of standing firm for what's right, but still meekly entreating your authorities. Daniel was still determined to not do what he knew was wrong, but he wasn't belligerent. We should be meek, but firm, like that.


the Lord is there

Ezekiel 48


[It was] round about eighteen thousand [measures]: and the name of the city from [that] day [shall be], The LORD [is] there.

We should be holy because the Lord is with us. If there's something we need to apologize for, we should do that.


healing water from the sanctuary

Ezekiel 47


And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

This reminds me of the blessed man who delights and meditates in the law of the Lord, in Psalm 1:3.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
We should keep spending time in the Lord's Word, and coming to Him to heal and forgive us.


the time and place for worship

Ezekiel 46


Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons.

Last night one of my friends said that since we're not under the old testament law, the Lord has greatly simplified our lives. Another one of my friends told me about a book he was reading. He said it encourages people to get by themselves and worship the Lord personally.

I know it's Biblical to worship the Lord when we gather together. When I read this verse I thought about how we can also worship the Lord any time and place. Sometimes we should personally worship the Lord by ourselves.


Hebrews 7 - Key


Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

When we need help, we should take advantage of the opportunity to come to God through Jesus. He always makes intercession for us.


When I'm discouraged I'll just pray to the Lord from what's on my heart.


Hebrews 7 - Outline

  • v1-10 How great Melchisedec was

    so great that Abraham payed him tithes
    so great that he blessed Abraham
    so great that Levi payed him tithes, by being Abraham's descendant
  • v11-19 Besides the priesthood being changed, the law was also changed

  • v20-28 How great Jesus is

    so great because He was made a priest by an oath
    so great because He never dies
    so great because He never sinned


O princes of Israel

Ezekiel 45


Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD.

People shouldn't use their authority to be unfair and oppress other people. We should speak and act patiently and compassionately instead of getting mad and being unkind. When we have the say in a situation, we should make decisions that are equal and honest.


the restoration of the Levitical Priesthood

Ezekiel 44


And it shall be unto them for an inheritance: I [am] their inheritance: and ye shall give them no possession in Israel: I [am] their possession.

I noticed how the Lord worked through His people. When He was the one that provided for the Levites, He provided for them through His people. When the Lord was the One the Levites served, they served His people too. We can serve the Lord by serving His people, and that's what we should do.


One year ago today...

Where are you right now? At work, home, school, or somewhere else? Whatever you're doing, you might want to take this opportunity to stop and remember. Pray for the survivors, and for the family and friends of the victims of the tragedy one year ago in Von Maur at Westroads. I posted this article about it last year, about a week after it happened.

We Remember

Please use this memorial in your web page, blog, email and more:

This is the tall version of the memorial. See my original article for the wide version.

1 Peter 4 - Key

v1 & 2

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
That he no longer should live the rest of [his] time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

If we don't follow our desires to do wrong, we have to suffer that way. Christ suffered in His body by doing the will of God instead the will of His body. We ought to arm ourselves with the same mindset of being willing to suffer.


When I'm tempted to do something that I know is wrong, I'll be willing to suffer to give it up. I'll remember that I have a better reward in the future.


1 Peter 4 - Outline

arm yourself with the mindset of willingness to suffer, watching by prayer, not walking in lust
have charity, use hospitality, serve, and speak for the Lord
we can have joy, even in fiery suffering, because:
  • we take part in Christ's suffering
  • we will be rewarded
  • His Spirit rests on us
  • He is glorified by it
v15 & 16
what good would it do to sin and suffer for our own sin, when we could live for Him and suffering for that?
if we believers get such judgment, just think what will happen to ungodly people?


ashamed of iniquities

Ezekiel 43


Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.

Through the pattern of this temple, Israel could see how perfect the Lord's pattern is for things. When they see His perfect pattern, and how far they've strayed from being able to achieve it, it would make them ashamed for their sin. It shows us our need for Him.

There's a place the Lord has prepared for us in heaven. It's a great place of reward for those who remain faithfully serving the Lord. Our sin would keep us from those great things. When we see a picture of them, and how great they'll be, we should be ashamed of our iniquities and turn to the Lord.


Hebrews 6 - Key


And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

The Lord has promised great things to us, that we can have to hope for. When things are hard, it's tempting to get lazy and let things slide. We should patiently endure now, and afterward we'll get what was promised.



That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
We shouldn't be slothful. I'll work on getting up at 06:00.


Hebrews 6 - Outline

milk doctrines that sound hard to understand to me
the point of no return for people who fall away
v9 & 10
the Lord hasn't forgotten our service for Him
be diligent, be patient, and endure, like Abraham did
the Lord, Who never lies, swore with an oath, so we can be sure we have our hope
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