belief because of His Word

John 4


And many more believed because of his own word;

If we want people to believe on the Lord when we preach the gospel to them, we should keep heavily (appropriately) using His Word. That's the thing that has the power to bring people to believe.


Proverbs 19 - Key

We shouldn't be slothful (v24). Maybe the reason I have so much trouble getting up on time is because I'm slothful during the day (v15a).


Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.

v15b is true if I run out of time to eat!


I'll work on being diligent during the day, so hopefully it'll be easier for me to get up on time in the morning.


Proverbs 19 - Summary

Haste with feet leads to sin (v2b), and we shouldn't fret against the Lord (v3b). We should pass over transgressions (v11).

Here are warnings about how we shouldn't be foolish sons: (v13,26). We should listen (v8,16,20,25). But here's a kind of instructions that we should actually stop listening to: (v27).

Here are warnings about dishonesty: (v5,9(,22)).

Righteousness is better than riches (v1,22). There can be relationships based on riches (v4,6,7), but that's not a good thing.

Here's a great promise: (v23) (KJV) We should have the fear of the Lord, then we'll be satisfied, and not even visited by evil.


Genesis 5 - Key


And he called his name Noah, saying, This [same] shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.

It seems like every now and then, the Lord, in His goodness, brings along someone who does something great and makes things better for everyone. Like Noah, and people receiving the privilege to eat meat (See Genesis 9:3) or Samuel Morse and the invention of the telegraph (The first message sent over the telegraph was, What has God wrought? Numbers 23:23).

If we want to be like that, we should make sure we're walking with God.

Genesis 6:9
These [are] the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man [and] perfect in his generations, [and] Noah walked with God.
Genesis 5:24
And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.


When I'm trying to create or accomplish some great thing, I'll remember that if I want the Lord's blessing in it, so I can really succeed, I need to be doing what He wants.

Psalm 127:1
Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh [but] in vain.


Genesis 5 - Outline

created in a likeness, begotten in a likeness
Enoch walked with God, and he was raptured
Methuselah was the oldest human ever recorded
Lamech prophesied about his son


Genesis 35 - Key


Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that [were] with him, Put away the strange gods that [are] among you, and be clean, and change your garments:

I think Jacob wanted his household to recommit themselves to the Lord. He said, Put away the strange gods that [are] among you, and be clean... We should do the same thing.

A while ago I saw the value of regularly recommitting my life to the Lord. We should give him everything we are, everything we have, and everything we do. We should think about whether He wants us to have and keep the things we have. We should consider every thought and word and action, whether it's what God wants.


And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which [were] in their hand, and [all their] earrings which [were] in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which [was] by Shechem.

I'll consider the things I have, and whether the Lord wants me to get rid any of them.


Genesis 35 - Outline

God called Jacob back to Bethel
they got rid of their idols
the Lord protected them
they came to Bethel and Jacob built an altar
Deborah died
God blessed Jacob again
Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin
Reuben's sin
Jacob's wives & children
Jacob finally got back to Isaac
Isaac died and Jacob helped Esau bury him



John 3


But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

We should come to the Lord, who is The Light, and we should be coming to the light of His Word. Also, we should be willing to admit what we're doing.

If we have something to hide, maybe we're doing something evil that needs to be criticized. If we were doing what the Lord wants, we wouldn't mind being exposed.


Proverbs 18 - Key


He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.

It helps me to realize that wasting time is like wasting money; Because I usually wouldn't waste money and stuff, because I understand it's value-- but time is even more valuable.


I'll change my alarm, and things like that, to work on getting up earlier in the morning.


Proverbs 18 - Summary

We should try to be people who have these words of wisdom, which are like brooks of water and satisfying fruit (v4,20,21). We shouldn't be fools, entering into contention with our speech (v6), or talebearers (v8), or speaking presumptuously (v13), or we'll end up destroying ourselves with our speech (v7). We should seek to get knowledge from what we hear (v15).

We should be humble (v11,12). We should pay attention to what other people think about things (v17) because we might think we're fine with it, but they can be more objective.

From (v19) I think it's so important to prevent offenses and contentions between brothers in the first place, and then when they've happened, we should start early and keep trying hard to win the brothers back. Using randomization, like flipping a coin, can be a way to settle a disagreement sometimes (v18). I like (v24a), because it shows if we want to have friends, there's a way to pursue that: to be a friend to people.

This is an encouraging promise: (v10)


Genesis 4 - Key

Last time I studied this chapter, I saw how we, like Cain, should appeal to the Lord for mercy, and, despite our own unworthiness, He'll hear us and make a way for us to be saved. This time, I saw how Cain's sin couldn't be hidden.


And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.

It's easy to think that we're just doing some private thing off by ourselves, that doesn't effect anybody else, and nobody else will even know. Sin isn't like that. We can't even keep it covered up forever by lying about it.


Before I do something I know is wrong, I'll remember to consider,

This is going to be known,
This is going to be shown, and,
This is going to have an effect.


Genesis 4 - Outline

Cain & Abel
the Lord had respect to the offering of sheep
Cain killed Abel
Cain's sin couldn't be hidden
Cain appealed to the Lord for mercy, and the Lord heard him
the family tree of Cain
Lamech also killed someone
Seth & his son Enos


Genesis 34 - Key


And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard [it]: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter; which thing ought not to be done.

Jacob's sons seemed to have a good reason to be angry: Shechem had been foolish, and did something that ought not to be done. But their anger still caused a big problem:

And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I [being] few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.


(Also see Genesis 49:5-7.) Even when it seems like I have a good reason to be angry, because other people are doing foolish things that ought not to be done, I'll remember Simeon and Levi's mistake, and work on not being angry anyway.


Genesis 34 - Outline

Shechem committed sin with Dinah
her brothers were very angry about it
Hamor tried to buy Dinah to be his son Shechem's wife
Dinah's brothers lied to Shechem and Hamor so they could take revenge
the people greedily agreed go along for the promise of wealth (v23)
Shechem's "one little sin" unexpectedly lead to the destruction of the entire city
Jacob's sons, in their zeal to take revenge, caused another problem


whatever He says to you, do it

John 2


His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do [it].

Like Jesus' mother told the servants to do whatever Jesus said to them, we should do whatever Jesus says for us to do.

Sometimes it seems like we have certain "acceptable sins," that don't seem serious, and we're used to doing them. The "sins which so easily beset us." (Paraphrased from Hebrews 12:1). Well, they are things the Lord has said He doesn't want us doing. We need to be willing to sacrifice our own pleasure, even to suffer, if needed, to stop sinning.

We sin because we're deceived, and we want to be happy. But we wonder why, as believers, we don't have such a happy life. We need to give up those seemingly little things in which we think we "can't help it." And then, as we do "whatever the Lord says to us," we can actually end up being truly happy.


Proverbs 17 - Key


The beginning of strife [is as] when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

When a conflict starts, we should look for a quick way to abdicate from it.


When I can tell that strife is beginning, I'll work on "leaving it off" right at the start.


Proverbs 17 - Summary

Quietness is so much better than strife (v1). (There's even the possibility of ending up being somebody who enjoys strife, (v19) but that's so wrong.) We should spare our words (v27&28). Telling other people about somebody's problems, or bringing past conflicts back up, destroys relationships (v9). Sometimes it's better just to take it and move on.

It's like popping a balloon. You can't say, I'll just make a little hole to let a tiny bit of air out, and the rest will be fine (v14). When you spill your coffee all over the place, you can't very well put it all back in the cup and enjoy drinking it again. I think of the story of the boy who put his finger in the hole in the dike and saved the whole country of Holland: because if the water had kept rushing through the hole it would have grown exponentially. We need to be the peacemakers who put our fingers in the holes in the dikes.

We can be encouraged if we have fiery trials, because the Lord allows it for His servants, for our good (v3).

We know about the teaching to return good for evil, but what about the other way around (v13)? Here's a serious warning against returning evil for good. And we shouldn't call good evil, or evil good (v15,26).

You know what it's like when you're looking everywhere for something, but you can't find it because it's right under your nose? (v24) Instead of thinking about all the things that could be off out there some day, we should pay attention to what we're supposed to be doing where we are right now.


Genesis 3 - Key


And he said, Who told thee that thou [wast] naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

I thought it was interesting that the Lord went around and asked about what was going on before He made His judgement. Of course He already knows everything, but I think it's a good idea hear things out like this. Now, He didn't have a big back-and-forth argument with the people, He just heard what they had to say, and then said what He had to say, and I think we should be the same way. You notice, though, that it doesn't record that He even bothered asking the serpent what he had to say.


When there's a problem, it's easy to say, "I don't care what you have to say, because I know what I'm doing and I've already made up my mind about it." But sometimes it's a good idea to ask some of the people involved about what's going on, and take what they say into consideration before making a judgment. I'll practice that.


Genesis 33 - Key


And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

Now that's humility. Jacob called Esau his lord, and he called himself Esau's servant. He insisted on blessing Esau with a gift. Even though Jacob was the one who was the Lord's servant, and had the birthright and the blessing, he humbled himself to his brother Esau.

We might think of Esau as the bad guy in this story, and Jacob as the good guy. Even when we think of ourselves as "the good guys" in a situation, and the other person as "the bad guy," we should be willing to humble ourselves.


When I get into conflicts with people in my family, even if I'm I think I'm right and they're wrong, I'll humble myself.


Genesis 33 - Outline

Jacob protected the women and children, and humbled himself
the women and children also humbled themselves
Esau forgave Jacob, but Jacob insisted on making sure he was appeased with gifts
Jacob sneakily talked his way out of having to go with Esau
while Esau went one way, Jacob actually went and tried to settle somewhere else


Genesis 3 - Outline

There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death. (Proverbs 16:25)
sin brings shame and fear
the sin that they thought would be OK, brought miserable curses
Eve, the mother of everyone
the first leather clothes
they lost the first opportunity for everlasting life



John 1


He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

We should be humble like this.


Proverbs 16 - Key


Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

If we want our thoughts to be right, and to be steady, we must commit our works to the Lord. We should do the things that He wants us to do, in the way that He wants us to do them, and we should come to Him for His help with them.


I need my thoughts to be established, so I'll work on committing my works unto the Lord.


Proverbs 16 - Summary

If we want to be having the right kind of thoughts, we should commit our works to the Lord (v3). If we want peace, we should make sure our ways please the Lord, and then we don't even have to worry about our enemies because they'll be at peace with us (v7). If we want to be happy, we should make sure to be trusting in the Lord (v20b)

Our way might seem clean or right, but the Lord sees a lot deeper; And "our way" leads to death (v2,25). Pride goes before the fall (v18). We have our methods of figuring out what to do, but if we really figure out what to do, that's from the Lord (v1,9,33).

Righteousness is more important than riches (v8,16,19). This chapter says several things about kings, and righteousness is important for them (v10,12-15). Righteous and pleasant speech is important (v13,24).

Here are several other things I noticed in this chapter. Verse 29 reminded me of a recent local news story about people who broke into a house and accidentally beat up the wrong guy instead of the guy they meant to attack. Verse 28 tells us another thing about what causes strife to spread and grow: A perverted or deceitful person. And before we whisper or speak in secret, we should think twice about why we are.


Genesis 2 - Key


But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

A lot of times I think what's right or wrong is straightforward, not a matter of us having to figure it out, but just a matter of whether we believe the Lord and will do what we know is right, according to what He has said.


When I examine myself for sin, I'll first be concerned about what I simply and easily know is sin, before worrying about whether dimmer things are right or wrong.


Genesis 32 - Key


Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed...

Sometimes this perfectly describes us, that we can become greatly afraid and distressed about things. What did Jacob do about that?

I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies...

Jacob was meek. He didn't go to God demanding, "You have to help me because I'm your servant, and I've been faithful."

And thou saidst...

Jacob meekly recounted the Lord's promises. It's OK to bring up the promises the Lord has given us, when we pray to Him.


Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, [and] the mother with the children.

Jacob said, Deliver me, I pray thee.... When I'm greatly afraid and distressed, I'll meekly pray for deliverance, recounting the Lord's promises to Him.


Genesis 32 - Outline

the angels of God met Jacob
Jacob sent messengers ahead, in order to find favor with Esau, instead of just popping back up at home
...Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed...
Jacob meekly prayed for deliverance, recounting God's promises
Jacob did everything he could to be reconciled to his brother
Jacob wouldn't give up pursuing the blessing, despite wrestling all night and getting his hip out of joint

Genesis 2 - Outline

the seventh day was the day of rest
God centered the plants He created, around the man
the four rivers out of the garden
God gave the man one simple command
God centered the animals He created, around the man
the woman was the fitting help that the Lord created for the man


the Lord spoke

Genesis 1


And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

When there's darkness in the situations in our lives, as the Lord is is our lives, we can be comforted and rejoice to know that the Lord will move and speak, and bring light.


Proverbs 15 - Key


The eyes of the LORD [are] in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

Today I took the encouragement that the Lord's eyes are everywhere, seeing when we do what we should. The Lord always sees when we serve Him, so it's not in vain.


I'll work on not being weary in well-doing.

Proverbs 15 - Summary

The way to avoid stirring up strife, is to be slow to anger (v18) instead of becoming angry quickly or easily. Saying things that grieve people cause them to become more and more angry (v1), but responding gently can calm them down even when they're starting to get mad.

The way we speak is so important. Saying the right thing at the right time causes joy and is so good (v23). If we're pure, we'll use pleasant words (v26b). Wholesome words bring life (v4).

Happiness effects health (v13,30), and our attitudes can determine whether our situations are positive (v15), instead of visa-versa.

We should use restraint in our speech instead of speaking too much (v2), and study in our hearts before we reply to something (v28). If we're wise, our speech will give out knowledge (v7).

Instead of being proud (v25) we should be humble (v33b) and listen. We should seek for knowledge (v14) and have advice from many different people (v22). We should listen to our parents (v5,20) and to reproof (v10,12,31,32.)

Like we should listen to our parents and receive correction, we should be humble and fear of the Lord (v16,33). Here's a reason to fear Him: The Lord sees everything (v3), even people's hearts (v11). He responds well to righteous people (v9b), and hears their prayers (v8b,29b), but it's hard for wicked people to approach Him (v29a). He detests wicked people's ways (v9a), their thoughts (v26a), and even their sacrifices (v8a).

Righteous people have a plain (v19), upright (v21), and higher (v24) pathway.

Righteousness is where the real value is. Treasure comes from righteousness (v6), but even great treasure isn't of great value, when it comes with trouble instead of with the fear of the Lord (v16). Real value comes from having the fear of the Lord, even with just a small amount of stuff. Love is so much better than hatred, that it would be better to have love and just vegetables to eat, than it would be to have hatred, even with a whole ox (v17), and oxen were especially valuable back then. Greed can end up backfiring, but life comes to people that are so opposite of greedy that they even hesitate to accept gifts (v27). (And I think that word, gifts there is talking about bribes.)

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