the covenant has been changed

Hebrews 8


For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

This chapter Hebrews 8 makes it very clear that the old ways of the human priests offering gifts and sacrifices according to the law, and the creation and building of the tabernacle, is old, faulty, decayed, and ready to vanish away.

In that he saith, A new [covenant], he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to vanish away.

Instead, the old covenant has been replaced by the new covenant of Christ our high priest, a heavenly sanctuary, and the Lord's new law, written on our hearts. We should no longer try to live under the antiquated ways, but we should rejoice in the liberty of forgiven life in the merciful Christ.

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


the priesthood has been changed

Hebrews 7


For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

In Hebrews 7 we see that God's people are no longer supposed to have a line of human priests. The human priests were fallible, and would have to offer sacrifices for their own sins. Also, there would come a day when the priests would have to die and be replaced.

Like the amazing Melchisedec, of whom we hear in this chapter, who God made without any human parents, or any certain time when he started being there, and never died like other people do, God sent Jesus. Jesus is eternal, was with God in the beginning, and lives forever. He is also the only person who is perfect and infallible, and never needs to offer sacrifices for His own sins because He has never done anything wrong.

Now we see that we're not supposed to have a line of human priests any more, because the Lord has changed the priesthood to Jesus. Now, instead, Christ is the only one who is our priest, and we are supposed to look to Him alone for that.


the Lord doesn't forget

Hebrews 6


For God [is] not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

If we get discouraged because it seems like we are doing so much hard work, but it doesn't seem to be getting anywhere, then we can take encouragement in the promise that the Lord doesn't forget it.

That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Let's just be diligent and keep having patience, because we can have faith for a great blessing and hope in Him.


1 Thessalonians 2 - Key


For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.

We should work diligently on the good things that the Lord has given us to do. That goes along with preaching the gospel, so that some of us can provide for our own needs to preach the gospel instead of being a burden to other people who would have to support us.


Romans 12:11
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

I'll be diligent to get my work done and spend time with the Lord before having fun instead of being lazy and wasting time.


get into the habit of listening

Hebrews 5


Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

We should sharpen our spiritual senses to the Lord, but practicing putting His Word, that we hear, into action in our lives. Otherwise, if we keep hearing it without obeying it, we will get into the bad habit of not really listening.


For every one that useth milk [is] unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

We should grow and become mature: exercising our consciences by deciding to listen to God's Word and to do what it teaches is right.


1 Thessalonians 2 - Outline

Paul's pure and honest approach in bringing the Thessalonians the gospel
Paul behaved with love, hard work, and holiness
the Thessalonians received Word, with action, believing it was from God
the sinful people persecuted the brethren
Paul's desire for the good of the brethren


the servants of our God

Revelation 7


Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

There were awesome rewards to the 144,000 who were sealed, and to the multitude in white robes in this chapter. We shouldn't take for granted that we would be sealed or clothed in white robes. Those who were sealed were called the servants of our God. If we want these rewards, we need to be diligent to faithfully serve the Lord.


salvation to our God

Revelation 7


And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

I get the impression that this multitude of people from every nation and language, wearing white robes, were the people who had been saved from eternal damnation by faith in Jesus Christ. Having been saved, they were now saying, Salvation to our God... I think that salvation was something they had received, so they were giving it back.

Let's consider how great of a thing it is that we have been given salvation. And, let us seriously take up this privilege and calling, to be the Lord's faithful servants.


the Word of God is powerful

Hebrews 4


For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

We should pay attention to the convictions from the Word.


rejoicing of the hope

Hebrews 3


Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

What was it about the heart in such a person that made it an evil heart? It was a heart of unbelief...

So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

The Lord doesn't want us going around thinking, Oh brother, now I have to do this great thing, that is hard work, to serve the Lord. It probably won't work or get me anywhere. Faith is about having confidence, and the Lord wants us to have joy and hope.

But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

When we serve the Lord, instead of sinning through unbelief, we should let ourselves rejoice in confidence for our hope in Him.


1 Thessalonians 1 - Key


Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

We should have patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.


And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

When I feel like I have much affliction as I try to follow the Lord and His Word in my life, here is a way that I can have joy. I'll take joy in those situations by patiently waiting on the Lord--like v10a talks about how we turned... to wait for his Son from heaven..... I'll look forward, in faith, to my future with Him.


give more earnest heed

Hebrews 2


Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let [them] slip.

Let's be reminded by this verse today, to pay close attention to listening to the Word of God. I know that we already know this, but this is just an example of something we can focus on now. One thing to do about this could be to make sure to spend time in the Word today, reading the Bible, praying about it, and taking note of what it says.


1 Thessalonians 1 - Outline

grace and peace to the Church
constant prayer and thanks for them
they had joy despite much affliction when they received the Word
they sounded out the Lord's Word everywhere
they turned from idols
the gospel


focus without distraction on Christ and His forgiveness

Hebrews 1


Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

We shouldn't get distracted. Christ, the Son of God, is the thing. Our sins would keep us from getting to Him, but He dealt with our sins, and that is what we should focus on.


do more than I say



Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.

We should go beyond the call of duty in doing what is right.


speak evil of no man

Titus 3


To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

Is there is a difficult person in your life, who you are tempted to complain to people about, and to get into arguments with? We should speak evil of no man, and show meekness to all men. Be humble toward that person and don't argue with him. Sometimes it's hard to do that, but there's a way we can.

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived...
We should remember that we are no better than them. If we think they are foolish, we were foolish once too. If we have any wisdom, it is only because we have been given a gift of it from God.

redeemed from all iniquity

Titus 2


Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Believers are supposed to be really different from other people, because we're supposed to be purified from all of our wrongdoings, and energetic about doing good things. Let's be zealous of good works today!


Colossians 4 - Key


Epaphras, who is [one] of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you...

It is easy to have all kinds of zeal for other people, for example, to be friends, to have relationships, to have fun, or, as a business person, to get them as customers. This passage teaches us that the servant of Christ has great zeal for the Colossians' spiritual state. We should have a zeal for other people, that we would pray fervently for them, that they would stand established, and be mature, and be completely in God's will.


In my prayer times this week, I'll pray more zealously for the spiritual state of my friends.


hold fast the Word

Titus 1


Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Instead of being unruly and vain talkers and deceivers (v10), arguing with other people that we think are wrong, we should be in the Word so we can speak from it faithfully. That is the way to deal with sinful people.


but there is forgiveness

Revelation 6


For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Revelation 6 really makes an emphasis about the Lord's wrath and judgment for sin (v1 thunder, v2 conquering, v4 killing, v8 death and Hell, hunger, v12 an earthquake). We need to realize that our sin is a terrible thing, and there will be a terrible judgment for it.

Psalm 130:3,4

If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

But [there is] forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

The Lord demands such perfection that none of us could stand up to Him if He took our wrongdoing into account--yet there is forgiveness with Him. Praise the Lord for that!

Just stop and think how serious our wrongdoing is, and how much we need to repent from it to avoid so much wrath and judgment that it would bring--and, at the same time, realize how merciful Jesus is, and that if we do repent and come to Him, we can find forgiveness from our sin.

spend time preparing to preach

2 Timothy 4


Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

It is easy to neglect spending time studying the Word to prepare to preach. I can get lazy and waste time or entertainment or other things instead. But I should know that:

  • There's a real need, (v3a For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine...) and,
  • There's a real reward (v8a Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness...).


don't lover pleasure more than God

2 Timothy 3


Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

2 Timothy 3 starts out warning us about ungodly people who we need to turn away from, whose foolishness (v9) will be revealed to everyone. It says these creeps (I call them because of v6) are ...lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. That is the convicting part to me.

This doesn't say that there's anything wrong with pleasures themselves. God has given good things to us that He has created for us to enjoy. But we need love the giver more than the gift, not love the creature more than the creator.


we must not strive

2 Timothy 2


And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient,

There is a lot of great stuff in 2 Timothy 2, but this part stuck out to me this time. We shouldn't be getting into arguments with other people about things. Instead, we should act and speak gently, and we must be patient. Instead of striving, we should tend to teach. Just something to remember today.


1 Peter 4 - Key


If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

Sometimes people who are doing what is wrong, say bad things about us because we are doing what is right and they don't understand. In those times, we should show the Lord's love to them (v8) and continually be in prayer (v7). We should be encouraged that we can rejoice in those situations because the Lord is allowing it for His glory.


When somebody says bad things about me that aren't true because I am doing what is right instead of going along with what they are doing that is wrong, I will be encouraged by remembering this passage. I'll remember that the situation can be for Christ's glory if I maintain my integrity and respond the right way.


1 Peter 4 - Outline

arm yourself with a mindset of willingness to suffer for ceasing from sin
we had enough lust and sin in our pasts
the lost will think we're strange and say bad things about us, but they have judgment coming
the gospel was also preached to people who are now dead, so they can also live again
pray, have fervent charity, use ungrudging hospitality, minister with your gifts, and speak according to the Word
don't be surprised to encounter great hardship, but let it be for righteousness, and then rejoice because of God's glory through it
if the righteous have to suffer so much in judgment of purification, imagine how much worse it will be for the lost


Colossians 4 - Outline

people in authority should give good treatment to the people they lead
continue in prayer and thanksgiving
be ready to preach the gospel to people
servants who are comforts to others
have a zeal for others and labor for them in prayer
we should read the epistles
take heed to fulfill the ministries that the Lord has given to us
remember people who are locked up or suffering for the Lord


not fear, but love

2 Timothy 1


For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

We can take great encouragement from this promise of the Spirit who Christ has given to us, so that we don't need to have paranoia, but instead we can have power, love, and a sound mind.


do not trust in uncertain riches

1 Timothy 6


Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

There are a couple of different kinds of riches: the uncertain riches of this world, and spiritual riches in Christ. God does give people things in this world, and it is OK and good for us to have and enjoy them, but we need to make sure we keep our focus on the giver instead of on the gift.


good works cannot be hidden

1 Timothy 5


Likewise also the good works [of some] are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.

This verse is an encouraging promise that even if our good works are not immediately obvious to other people, they will be manifested sooner or later.


Revelation 6 - Suffering for righteousness' sake

Revelation 6


And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they [were], should be fulfilled.

The souls of the martyrs (who are the subjects of this verse) had been killed for being servants of the Lord. In the end times, many people will be killed, some of the brethren for their faith, and the wicked by the wrathful judgment of the Lord for their sins. In that day, many will have to die anyway, so it will be better to die for the Lord, than to die for your sin against Him.

This is similar to daily life now-a-days, because everybody suffers to some extent. We would have to suffer in life anyway, it is better to suffer as the Lord's servants. If we suffer in righteousness, with a clear conscience, then He will be with us through it and help us, and He will reward us richly afterward. That would be better than to just sin and then have to suffer the Lord's judgment in wrath for our sins.

1 Peter 3 - water baptism does not save us


The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Some people cut part of the first part out of this verse and get the whole meaning of the passage turned around. They say, ...baptism doth also now save us... (by which they mean the physical act of baptism, with water.) However, that completely disregards the rest of the verse and the context of the verses around it.

If you look at the whole passage, it is clear that it is not water baptism that saves us. I believe it means that baptism is a figure, or a picture of salvation, just like Noah's flood was. The next part of v21 says, ...not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God.... In other words, there is a spiritual baptism that in in our hearts, when we come to Jesus by faith and receive His salvation through His sacrifice for us on the cross, and His resurrection afterwards. It is not the physical washing of the water that somehow washes away our sins.

Physical baptism is an outward figure of an inward salvation.


Colossians 3 - Key


And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

We should do our work and whatever we do as if we are doing it for the Lord, because He is the one who will ultimate reward us, good or bad.


I'm taking some college classes, so I'll do my school work excellently, as if I was doing it for the Lord Himself.


Colossians 3 - Outline

remove these earthly sins
we are new people in Christ
put on a new person
special instructions for wives, husbands, children, and fathers.
servants (and all of us) should serve as to the Lord, realizing that He is the rewarder


"decorating" a beautiful heart

1 Peter 3


Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart...

Women can get very excited (and sometimes even carried away) with decorating themselves, or and trying to make themselves beautiful. Instead of that, they should redirect that same zeal and excitement to having an excellent heart in the sight of God.


"yet for a little season"

Revelation 6


And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they [were], should be fulfilled.

Here we see a glimpse, as though through a little window, into something that goes on in heaven. Here we see that these souls, at whatever time this describes, cried with a loud voice. The Lord would listen to them, because they were His servants, and He would value what they said and take revenge on the people who martyred them.

Who were they crying to? O Lord, holy and true. What were they crying for? How long... dost thou not judge and avenge...? They were anxious for the Lord to execute judgment and vengeance on the earth-dwellers. Here was something that was inevitable, and something that would be coming true. The Lord listened to them.

v11a says, ...white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season... The Lord didn't ignore their requests. He responded and did something about it. He gave them something and reassured them that the right thing would happen at the right time--but, at the same time, it seems like He didn't just do exactly what they wanted Him to, right then. Why not? Who did they want the Lord to take revenge on? Them that dwell on the earth.

The Lord is delaying judging us because of His mercy. We still have a chance to repent today, but there's a call in heaven for vengeance, a call that won't be ignored for too long. How long would it be, at this point? Yet for a little season. In the face of this inevitable judgment that the Lord will bring, for which the souls of His servants in heaven are crying with a loud voice, let us be zealous today, to repent.


be serious about repenting from sin

Revelation 6


And there went out another horse [that was] red: and [power] was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

People are going to be killed in the judgment of the four horsemen, and that just makes me think about how we need to be serious about repenting from sin.

Romans 6:23a
For the wages of sin [is] death...


1 Peter 3 - Key 2


And who [is] he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy [are ye]: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

I know that these verses, in context, are really talking about suffering for righteousness' sake, but I think we can learn something more general from them, too. I noticed v14b: ...be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled. v6b teaches women not to be terrified about things: ...as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement [terror].

Romans 8:31b says, ...If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us? We don't have to allow ourselves to be afraid, terrified, or even "troubled", by anything, while we are in Christ.


1 Peter 2 - Key


Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:

When Christ was reviled, He didn't revile back. That word for revile also means to reproach, rail at, ... [or] heap abuse upon. When people talk that way to us, we shouldn't talk the same way back.


If I feel like people are talking the wrong way to me, I'll make sure to trust the Lord and not talk the wrong way back.


Colossians 2 - Key

The Sufficiency of Christ

Key v8
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

We should avoid getting into counterproductive arguments with people that get our focus onto outward physical things of this world, and distract us from emphasizing Christ.


Sometimes I fall into half-way serious debates about things of little importance, just for fun, and then it turns into a real argument. When I find myself starting to do that, I avoid arguing about those things and remember that our relationship with Christ is the important thing.


1 Peter 2 - Outline

we should want the Word
we are like living stones built into a spiritual house, with Christ as the main corner stone
He is for stumbling to those who are disobedient
we are supposed to be a special people to praise the Lord for what He has done for us
do good so that people who would criticize us wouldn't have anything to say
Christ was an example of suffering for righteousness and not returning evil for evil
the gospel of Christ's suffering and death on the cross to heal us from our sins


Colossians 2 - Outline

Paul's great desire for believers who have not seen him personally, to still have fullness in Christ
don't get sidetracked from faith to other things
we are complete in Christ
He has done much for us, delivering us and forgiving us
ceremonial foods, drinks, and days were just symbolic things, but Christ is the thing
don't let anybody trick you into things like worshiping angels instead of upholding Christ
worldly ordinances about outward behaviors might look good, but they are not the thing


1 Peter 3 - Key


But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

We should always be ready to answer people and tell them the good news of Jesus, in case they ask us some question that gives us that chance. This verse reminds me of:

2 Timothy 4:2a
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season...


I'll think about how to answer and share the gospel with people, not just when I'm going out in a special time to preach the gospel, but anytime during the ordinary course of a day.


1 Samuel 6 - Summary

All it took, was a look

Note: There is a larger than usual number of Scripture references in this post, and I did not take the time to create links to all of them, so you might want to look them up yourself. BlueLetterBible.org lets you paste in a phrase or reference, click Search, and see the passage.


The Philistines in this chapter showed honor to God, because they feared Him.
reminds me of Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief. All it took to save the Philistines was enough belief to come and see, and the Lord poured out grace. For the Philistines to find the Lord's grace, I have created the saying: All it took, was a look.


v13-15 and 19 remind me of Luke 8:13. At first the Lord's people received the things of Him with joy and honor, but then fell into sin and were judged.

v19: Like Hebrews 10:28-31, ...the Lord shall judge His people. 1 Peter 1:17-19: ...Pass the time of your sojourning here with fear.... (1 Samuel 6) v19: My saying about what it took to have the faith to come to God, also applies to sin: All it took, was a look. They did not fear God and treat His holy things with honor like He had taught them that they should. There are some ways that we can sin the same way today: Matthew 5:28.

Key v20

And the men of Bethshemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? and to whom shall he go up from us?

It said, Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? He is Holy, nobody can stand before Him. Like the Lord smote 50,070 men of Bethshemesh (v19), we are not immune to God's judgment just because we are His own people.

There are two ways we can take that. We can get discouraged and go away, like Bethshemesh did here, and really missed out. That is the same mistake the foolish servant made in Luke 19:20-24, especially v21.

Or, like in Luke 19:22, if we know He's strict, v23 we ought to be faithful to Him. Then we can be even like the Philistines in 1 Samuel 6, and have boldness to come to God with faith, and find grace. See Hebrews 4:16.


1 Samuel 6 - Outline

the plan to send the ark back
the test to see if the plagues were a coincidence or from God
the test succeeded: the dairy cows carried the ark directly back to the Lord's people
the people of Bethshemesh initially received the ark with joy and honor
the Philistines' golden offering recounted
people in Bethshemesh sinned, and many of them died, so they asked others to came fetch the ark from them


1 Peter 3 - Summary

This chapter starts out talking about husbands' and wives' behavior. In v1-6, it talks about the good behavior that wives should have, and how wives can even win over their husbands to the Lord by their good behavior. It talks about submission and putting the emphasis on having an excellent heart instead of on having an excellent outward appearance. v7 talks about the kind of behavior that husbands should have toward their wives.

Next, after husbands and wives, the chapter talks about the kind of good behavior that all believers should have. We should return blessing and good for evil (v9), and pursue peace (v11). It is important for us to remember to not speak evil, and to maintain honesty (v10).

This chapter bring up an interesting point about prayers being heard or hindered (v7,12). It is possible for prayers to be hindered because of our evil behavior, and it is possible for the Lord's ears to be open to our prayers because of righteousness. A powerful prayer life goes with having a life of holiness.

Then, in the 6 verses from v13-18, there is much instruction for everybody about suffering. Since we're going to have to suffer in life anyway, it is better to maintain a clear conscience and suffer for doing good and following the Lord, than to just get the suffering we deserve for our sins. If we suffer for the Lord, He will be with us and help us through it, and repay us abundantly afterward. We have Christ as an example of suffering for righteousness (v18).

Finally, this chapter talks about the gospel, and about preaching the gospel. We should always be ready to preach the gospel (v15), especially to answer people about our hope when they ask us. (And that is even when we're suffering.) This good old message is all about how Christ suffered and died for our sins, and rose again from the dead (v18,21). He gives us a good conscience by spiritual baptism (v21), as water baptism is a symbol like Noah's flood. And now, He has gone up to heaven and is exalted far above all (v22).


Colossians 1 - Key


For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Verses 9 through 11 give a good example of how we should pray for believers who we have heard, have had faith, love, and fruit.


I'll pray for the families who meet with us, and the families who used to meet with us, that the Lord would fill them with the knowledge of His will and understanding, and that they would walk with the Lord with strength, patience, and joyfulness.


1 Peter 3 - Outline

wives can win over their husbands by being a good example
wives should put their emphasis, not on their outward appearance, but on having an excellent heart
holy women of long ago, like Sara, were very submissive to their husbands
it is very important for husbands to dwell with their wives with knowledge, and to treat them with honor
we should all have compassion and forgiveness for each other
the Lord listens to the prayers of the righteous
while we are following the Lord, we don't have to be afraid
always be ready to answer people about our hope
if we are going to have to suffer, it is better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil
Christ suffered and died for us, and then rose from the dead and is now far above all

Colossians 1 - Outline

Paul and Timothy introduced themselves and sent greetings and blessings to the saints at Colossee
especially thank God and pray for those who have faith and love
the gospel brings fruit
how to pray for the Lord's people
how to give thanks to God
how great Christ is, as the creator, the head, and the reconciler
laboring and suffering to help the Lord's people continue in the faith and be presented perfect in Christ


refuse old wives tales

1 Timothy 4


But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself [rather] unto godliness.

When we get into discussions with other people, like when we are going out sharing the good news of Jesus, we need to avoid getting caught up by foolish and contentious questions and arguments. We should avoid and refuse those things, and pay attention to, and stick to wholesome teaching instead.


God was manifested in the flesh

1 Timothy 3


And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

This verse is one of many that shows us that Jesus and God are one and the same. God was manifest in the flesh, and eventually, received up into glory. How could He have been received up into glory, unless He, at one point, left His glory and came down in the flesh (in a physical body as a human), as Jesus did? After Christ died and rose up from the dead, He ascended up to heaven and was received back up into glory. Therefore, Christ must be one and the same with God.


God wants all people saved

1 Timothy 2


Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

We should be bold to preach the gospel to everybody, because the Lord wants everybody to be saved.


Titus 3 - Key


[This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

It is true and important to remember that we are saved by faith, not by good works. However, that does not mean that good works don't do any good. Now that we have believed on the Lord, it is still good and important for us to keep doing good works.


Sometimes I get tired, resisting temptation and trying to do much serving. In those times, I'll remember this passage, that I need to maintain good works in order to be fruitful.


Philippians 4 - Key


Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, [my] dearly beloved.

This time, I really noticed that this verse says to stand fast in the Lord. It's easy to get weary from battling against temptation, and from doing much serving, but when we feel that way, we should remember this chapter.


I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

When I feel like giving up on doing what I should, I'll remember that Christ enables me and trust Him to help me repent from the sins that are behind, and then forget them and press forward toward what He wants me to do, in prayer.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.


Titus 3 - Outline

remind people to have this excellent behavior
remember that we were just as bad as other people, so we shouldn't behave arrogantly against them
remember that we didn't save ourselves by our own good works, but God saved us as a free gift, by His love and mercy--so we should treat other people the same way, despite their sin
even though good works are not what saved us, they are still very good and important for us to teach and do
avoid strivings and heretics
fellowship, hospitality, and greetings

Philippians 4 - Outline

stand fast, be of the same mind, and help the fellow-laborers
rejoice and show moderation
don't worry, pray about everything, give thanks, think on good things, and follow Paul's example-- and the Lord will guard your thoughts with His peace
through Christ we can be content in any situation
it is good to give to the needs of those who live for the gospel
a great promise that God will supply all of our needs, through Christ
glory, greetings, and grace


truly Christ came to save sinners

1 Timothy 1


This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

It said this is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation. Does that sound like he was exaggerating or being sarcastic to you? It sounds to me like it is good wholesome words, and that he meant what he said.

Of course, it doesn't mean anything like that it would be just fine and inconsequential to continue on being sinners. The wages of sin is death. What it does mean is that is what Christ came and died on the cross for. Those of us who know this, now that we have received it by faith, it ought to change our lives.

But what it does mean, is that we shouldn't say, I can't talk to you about God now, because I have been sinning. I can't come to God now. No, that is what Christ came for! The Lord knows that we have been sinning, He loves each one of us anyway, and He gave His life to lift us up from our lost state, and save us, and give us everlasting life.

Even this writer in the Bible had sinned. He said it was a faithful saying that he was the biggest sinner of all--but Christ came to save sinners, and Christ saved Him. So, next time you feel like saying you don't want to hear about God or pray because you have been a sinner, even a big sinner, know that Christ is there for you. That's what He came for. He will save you for your sins if you just come to Him.


the problem of wasting time in Bible times

2 Thessalonians 3


For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

According to Thayers, busybodies means, to bustle about uselessly, to busy one's self about trifling, needless, useless matters. Wow, how that hits the nail on the head, describing our problem with laziness today.

I don't know about you, but with the pervasion of modern entertainment media (videos, online news, Facebook, surfing the web, etc.) wasting inordinate amounts of time with these inconsequential vanities can definitely be a sin that so easily besets me. I group my wasting of time into the following categories:

entirely vain or counterproductive activities
fine things to do, but mis-prioritized and at the wrong time (too early, too late, etc.)
fine thing to spend a little time on, but a vain or counterproductive amount of time to spend on it at this time

As a practical application from this passage, I'll generate a report of how I've used my time, from my time-tracking system, and give the report to the accountability partner I've gotten to help me with my problem with wasting time.


established in every good word

2 Thessalonians 2


Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God...

Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

This teaches us that we should be established in every good word and work.

It is interesting that it says every good word. That reminds me of how we should be bold to speak the things we should.


Titus 2 - Key


Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

It doesn't just say, denying some ungodliness, so, instead of being satisfied with repenting from most sins and doing most things right, this points toward a new way of zeal for victory over our sins and to live righteously.


Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

This says that he might redeem us from all iniquity, so, I'll be zealous to go after a couple particular hard and big issues in my life.

Titus 2 - Outline

speak wholesome teaching
how certain groups of people should behave:
older men should be sound in faith
older women should be holy
young women should take care of their families
young men should be sober minded
you yourself should be a good example and speak good teachings
servants should show fidelity
grace teaches us to live righteously
speak these things with authority


grow in faith and love

2 Thessalonians 1


We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

This is the way we should be. We should grow abundantly in faith, and in love toward every one of each other.

So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

We should also be patient and have faith when we suffer for His kingdom. When we are patient and have faith through suffering, that is evidence that God is righteous to count us worthy of His kingdom.

Even when we suffer and have a hard time, let's be patient and grow in faith and love. Especially work on showing the love of the Lord, abundantly, to all of the other believers.


give thanks in everything

1 Thessalonians 5


In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

We should give thanks in every situation, and we should even give thanks for everything. Even when there are difficulties and sad situations, we shouldn't forget to be thankful for the good things. We should find things to be thankful for, and we should even give thanks for the difficult situations too, because the Lord causes everything to work together for good for His people who love Him.

we will be together with the Lord

1 Thessalonians 4


For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

We don't need to have the same amount of sadness as hopeless people, because Jesus will raise the dead who are "in Him," as He Himself rose from the dead.

Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Let's take comfort in the fact that we have a hope in Christ, for the future, that we and those who have died and are His will meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.


1 Samuel 5 - Key


When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.

Sometimes we try to have the things of the Lord in our lives, but also our idols at the same time. That doesn't work.


When I spend time with the Lord, I'll get that done before read the news or things like that, instead of trying to do both at the same time.


1 Samuel 5 - Outline

first the Philistines tried keeping the ark at Ashdod, by their idol Dagon, but the Lord broke their idol, destroyed them, and gave them hemorrhoids
next they tried the ark at Gath, but the Lord made a very great destruction of the city
when they tried to send the ark to Ekron, the Ekronites didn't like that, so they all decided to send the ark back to its place
the cry of the city went up to heaven


Titus 1 - Key


Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

There's a need for faithful teaching, because there are many false teachers who lead many people astray. They can be stopped by holding forth the true Word faithfully, which is able to exhort, convince, rebuke, and shut them up.


I know that the context of this passage of speaking specifically about overseers, but I also think that these are things that all men should aspire to. I'll work on faithfulness in preaching the Word.

Philippians 3 - Key


Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

When we've truly fully repented from what we've done wrong before, we can safely put it out of our minds, except to remember not to make the same mistake again. We shouldn't live in guilt, or think that we must keep doing the same thing, but we should acknowledge that our sin has been taken away and we're free from it now.


I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Once I've confessed my laziness and repented from it, I'll cheer up and press forward in being diligent.


Titus 1 - Outline

Paul's identity as a revealer, through preaching, of God's promise of eternal life
Paul's relationship, blessing, and purpose, for Titus
the ways an overseer and his children must be
unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, whose mouths must be stopped
rebuke them so they stop paying attention to fables
Unto the pure all things are pure, but some people are defiled and just faking that they know God


Philippians 3 - Outline

who to beware of
don't have confidence in the flesh
if anybody could have had confidence in the flesh, Paul had it all
Paul was willing to count his own righteousness of the law as garbage, in order to win Christ
forget the things behind, and press forward toward God's calling
for what you have reached, keep up the good work
follow examples with heavenly behavior instead of an earthly mindset


blameless through fervent love

1 Thessalonians 3


And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all [men], even as we [do] toward you:

To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

If we want to have our hearts established, unblameable in holiness, something we can work on toward that end is to increase and abound in love for the Lord's people and for everybody.

1 Peter 4:8
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.


1 Samuel 4 - Key


And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.

The people were trying to use God. They didn't have a real relationship with Him, but they wanted to have and use the things of Him, to help them in their physical situation in the world. God doesn't appreciate it when people do that, so we need to make sure we're honest, repenting from our sins, and not trying to "use" God.


Having the ark without really having the Lord on their side, reminded me of 1 Corinthians 13:

1 Corinthians 13:3
And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

When I have conflicts with other people, even if I have understanding and knowledge about the subject, and think I'm really doing what's right in the situation, even that doesn't do any good if I don't have the Lord's love. I'll work on suffering long, being kind, not being proud, not seeking my own benefit, not being easily provoked, thinking no evil, bearing all things, and enduring all things.


1 Samuel 4 - Outline

Israel went to battle against the Philistines, and the Philistines were beating them
Israel had the bright idea to bring the ark of the Lord into their camp so it could save them
their plan backfired because the Philistines just fought harder
the Lord brought on Eli's family, the judgment that He had warned them about
Eli died when he heard that the ark of God had been captured
Ichabod was named for the glory of the Lord having departed from Israel


Psalm 73 - Key


But [it is] good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.

Sometimes we have troubles when we're trying to do what's right, and we're tempted to think that pursuing God doesn't do any good. Then we need to consider the truth and the end of the story.


1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Next time I feel like my work isn't doing any good and I'm not getting anywhere, I'll remember that we have eternal rewards beyond this life.


Philippians 2 - Key


If [there be] therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any heart and mercies,

If we have any opportunities or abilities to share comfort and consolation, or affection, fellowship, and mercies, we should do that. This makes me think of preaching the Word, which is a great opportunity to share comfort and fellowship.


Next time I have a good opportunity to preach the Word, if I have any message to preach, I'll preach it.


Psalm 73 - Outline

it's true that God is good to His people
sometimes wicked people seem to have things going well with them for a while
but they are just a blink away from utter destruction and terror
the Lord's people have a good and sure future
draw near to God

Philippians 2 - Outline

share with others, all of the comfort, consolation, fellowship, and mercy, that you can
the mind of Christ:
though He is God
He humble Himself
the gospel of the cross
Christ is now above all
work for the Lord:
the Lord is the one who enables you
don't complain or bicker
hold forth the Word, as lights in the world
Timotheus served selflessly, as a son
Epaphroditus was a good example of serving Christ even without regard to his own life


joy keeping the commandment of love

John 15


This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

When we just hear the part about how we need to keep "His commandment" in order to abide in Him, then we might misunderstand and get all upset trying to find out all the unpleasant religious things we think we need to do for the Lord.

"His commandment" does not consist of written rules to weigh us down and harm is, but it is the law of love written on our hearts. His commandment is that we would have the kind of care for other people, that we would give up our own selfish comfort to do what would be best for them. That is actually where real joy is found, because ...It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).


preaching the gospel with laboring night and day

1 Thessalonians 2


For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.

Along with preaching the gospel, we should be faithful to work (and/or do schoolwork) diligently, without getting weary. Sometimes it's OK to loose sleep over our work, if that's what we need to do in order to be faithful. We shouldn't be lazy.


preach the gospel everywhere

1 Thessalonians 1


For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

We should sound out the Word of faith, by speaking the gospel in every place.


Exodus 1 - Summary

fear the Lord more


the names of the children of Israel which came into Egypt
Joseph and his generation died
a new Pharaoh turned against Israel
the Egyptians made the children of Israel's lives hard with slavery, but the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied... (v12a)
the evil government mandated something almost like partial-birth, sex-selection abortion
God blessed the midwives because they feared Him and didn't kill the children
the government charged people to kill infants born alive after failed infanticide attempts


But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.

The only reason that this verse gives, that the midwives refused to kill the babies, is the midwives' fear of God. The midwives feared God more than they feared the king of Egypt, so they weren't afraid to disobey the king. When we're tempted to sin, we should realize that the Lord is worthy of our fear.


Next time I'm tempted to sin, I'll remember the fear of the Lord, and go away from sinning.


Philippians 1 - Key


Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

We should care about other people from our hearts, and pray for them all the time.


I'll remember to pray for a person who specifically requested me to pray for him personally.


the ministry you received

Colossians 4


And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.

What is the service that the Lord has given me to do? (For example, being a witness of the gospel and preaching the Word.)

Let's pay attention and be faithful, to take the time to prepare for and to do those things.


Philippians 1 - Outline

constant prayer and thanks
the fellowship, defense, and confirmation of the gospel
longing for them be be filled
Paul's trouble ended up making people more bold to speak the Word
some people even preach Christ out of contention, but Paul wanted the gospel preached so much that he still even rejoiced in that
Paul was willing to live or die for Christ
he would rather live so he could help others
strive for the gospel, and don't be afraid when you suffer


forbear and forgive if any quarrels

Colossians 3


Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.

How did Christ forgive us? When we were still sinful, He gave up everything, even to the point of being willing to die, in order to give us everything. We need to forgive with action, not just saying I forgive you, but doing good and being kind to the person we forgive.


1 Samuel 3 - Key


For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.

In the first part of this verse, it says, I have told him that I will judge... for the iniquity which he knoweth... The judgment wasn't coming for an unsure thing that was maybe wrong, but for the iniquity which he knoweth. And the Lord had already warned him about it: I have told him that I will judge...


What is the iniquity which I know, and the Lord has told me He will judge? I must be zealous to repent before the point comes where (v14) the iniquity... shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. That reminds me of:

Hebrews 10:26
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins...


1 Samuel 3 - Outline

Samuel served the Lord, and the stage was set
the Lord kept calling Samuel, but he thought it was Eli
Eli told Samuel how to respond, and Samuel started listening to the Lord
the Lord told Samuel what He was going to do against Eli's house
in the morning, Eli asked Samuel what the Lord said, and he told him
Samuel grew and the Lord was with him


Genesis 50 - Key


Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

We should forgive others like this, not because they have been good, but because of the Lord. We should nourish and comfort people, and speak kindly to them, especially to children.


I'll work on forgiving the people in my family this way.


Genesis 50 - Outline

Joseph wept and had his father embalmed, and the Egyptians mourned
Pharaoh gave them permission to bury Jacob in Canaan, so they went
the great and very sore lamentation at the threshing-floor of Atad
Jacob's sons did what he said, buried him with his ancestors, and returned Egypt
Joseph's brothers humbled themselves and requested forgiveness with tears
Joseph showed great mercy, recognizing the Lord's providence despite evil intentions
the death of Joseph


heavenly creatures giving glory

Revelation 4


And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

Like those in this chapter, we should give glory and honor and thanks to the Lord.


completely forgiven

Colossians 2


Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

The Lord really has taken my sins away and forgiven me of them. I can praise Him with a clear conscience and a pure heart, knowing I'm at peace with God.

Sometimes, for some reason, even when I've done everything that I know, to repent and to be reconciled to God, I still might not feel sure that I really have a completely clean heart. But then I can keep listening, and pray and trust the Lord to give me wisdom and reveal what I need to know, to recognize and repent from any sin that I might still have.


continually care and pray for the saints

Colossians 1


For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

For people that we've shared the gospel with, and have gotten saved, we should care about them and continue to pray for them like this.


1 Samuel 2 - Key


And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.

Hannah rejoiced in the Lord and His salvation by praying and praising Him. When we want to strengthen and encourage ourselves in the Lord, we should rejoice in praising Him.


When I get the chance to pray and sing and praises to the Lord, I'll rejoice in doing those things, and in that way, I'll encourage myself in Him.


1 Samuel 2 - Outline

Hannah prayed, praised the Lord, and prophesied of Jesus' coming
Samuel served the Lord
Eli's sons wickedly despised the offering of the Lord
Samuel's mother visited him when she came
Eli blessed Elkanah, and Hannah had more children
Eli tried to talk to his sons about their sin some, but they didn't listen to him
Samuel grew
a man of God came and warned Eli about honoring his sons above the Lord (v29)


Genesis 49 - Key


But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty [God] of Jacob; (from thence [is] the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)

Joseph was made ruler of Egypt after being sold into slavery. When we have trouble and difficulty, we should look to the Lord for strength, and take strength in Him.


[Even] by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee...

When I meet with adversity, I'll strengthen myself in the Lord. Then I can find help and blessing in the Lord, like the Lord helped Joseph and abundantly blessed him.


Revelation 22 - Key


Then saith he unto me, See [thou do it] not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

The part of this verse that says worship God, is inspiring to me. It reminds me of how we ought to be bowing down to the Lord and worshiping Him.


Throughout the Bible, kneeling down, or even "falling down" in front of Lord, is associated with worshiping the Lord. I'll make sure that my heart is bowing down to the Lord when I worship Him, and, sometimes, I'll physically kneel down to Him too.


Genesis 49 - Outline

gather to hear your father
Reuben: his sin was found out
Simeon and Levi: cruel and angry
Judah: Christ would come through him
Zebulun would dwell by the sea
Issachar would become a servant
Dan would judge
Gad would overcome at last
Asher would produce good grain
Naphtali is like a wild deer
the blessings of Joseph were the greatest
Benjamin is like a wolf
Jacob gave instructions about his burial, and then he died


Revelation 22 - Outline

the water of life and the tree of life
nearness to God and no more curse
God gives them light
these words are faithful
worship God alone
the time is coming soon when people won't be able to repent or change any more
Jesus is Alpha and Omega
those who do His commandments may enter, but not those who do evil
the free invitation to the water of life
the warning to not add or remove anything from the Bible
John agreed and said for the Lord to come
final blessing


be careful for nothing

Philippians 4


Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Instead of being full of care about things, we should pray and let God know our requests about everything, remembering to give Him thanks. We shouldn't be worried and upset so that we murmur and dispute, but we should rejoice in the Lord and think about good things.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.


joy in righteousness from the Lord

Philippians 3


Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

We shouldn't have confidence in the flesh, thinking we're righteous because we've kept the law. We shouldn't think we've already gotten to where we need to be, but we should continually press on.

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord...


Philippians 2


Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

Do we realize that there's actually this verse in the Bible that teaches that we should do everything that we do, without disputing?

[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

If we were of one accord and one mind like this, we wouldn't be disputing about things.


Genesis 48 - Key


And [one] told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.

I saw that even if we're weary and tired, we should strengthen ourselves to do what the Lord wants us to do, and bless other people.


When I'm tempted to be lazy because I'm tired, I'll wake myself up and work hard, anyway, on the work that the Lord wants me to do.


Revelation 21 - Key


But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

It is striking that one category of these sinners is the fearful. We should make sure to not be fearful. I think that being fearful comes from being unbelieving.


Philippians 1:28
And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

I've been going through Philippians in my personal time with the Lord. Here is my paraphrase of this verse (not what the verse said, by what I think about it:)

Don't be terrified about anything by your enemies. If you are not, then that is an obvious sign to them that they are headed for destruction; but to you it is an obvious sign that you are headed for salvation--and that is salvation of God.

When I encounter troubles and spiritual enemies, instead of being fearful, I'll remember and trust in the Lord.


Genesis 48 - Outline

Jacob got ready to bless Joseph's sons before he died
Jacob passed on the vision to Joseph
Joseph's sons would be like Jacob's sons
Jacob told Joseph about Rachel's death
Jacob was sure to make a positive identification of who he blessed
God did even more for Jacob than he asked or thought
Jacob put his younger grandson before the older
Jacob blessed Joseph
Joseph wanted to correct his father, but Jacob knew what he was doing
Jacob blessed Joseph's sons
Jacob told Joseph what would happen in the future
Jacob gave Joseph a double portion


Revelation 21 - Outline

the greatness and pleasure that John saw of New Jerusalem
the assurance, invitation, and promised inheritance of God
the sinful people who would all have part in the lake of fire
the angel showed John the holy Jerusalem, with the wall, the gates, and the foundation
the angel measured the city
the wall, foundations, gates, and street of the city were made of jasper, gold, all kinds of jewels, and pearls
there was God and the Lamb, instead of a temple and a sun and a moon
they will bring the glory and honor of the nations into the city
there is no way that anything bad will enter into the city, but only those people who are written in the Lamb's book of life


in nothing terrified

Philippians 1


And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

We should be so brave to preach the gospel, that we don't fear suffering or even death.


Titus 1 - Key


Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

In this passage, I see that men (like elders and overseers), should be apt to teach and preach the truth (v3). We should preach because there's a need for it, even because of evil men (v10-16), even evil men who seduce others (v11).


I'll put effort into preparing for preaching, and into sharing preaching and teaching with the Lord's people.


Titus 1 - Outline

we have a very sure hope (From v2)
the way that overseers must be
rebuke unruly talkers
unbelieving people say they know God but their actions deny Him


serve as to the Lord

Ephesians 6


Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether [he be] bond or free.

If we're under the authority of someone who we think might not give us a completely fair reward for our work, we should still do the best work we can, for the Lord, anyway, because it is ultimately the Lord who will reward us.


Revelation 20 - Key


Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

It would be a great blessing to be part of the first resurrection and the millennial reign. The martyrs who were killed for their witness and for not worshiping the beast, will receive this privilege.

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Righteous living today can help us be ready to be faithful, in case we are martyrs one day.


The way I'll work on living faithfully and doing what's right today, looking forward to the millennial kingdom in that day, is by singing hymns of praise to the Lord when I have a chance.

Ephesians 5:19
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;


Revelation 20 - Outline

an angel bound the devil in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years
the first resurrection and the millennial reign
the last battle
the end of the devil
the great white throne judgment
the second death

singing hymns to the Lord

Ephesians 5


Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

One way we can walk as children of light (From v8) is to sing hymns all the time. That's also a way to encourage ourselves and cheer ourselves up. So, let's remember to be doing that.

It doesn't always have to be out loud and in public. It says, to yourselves and in your heart to the Lord, so we could, for example, sing hymns when were by ourselves driving in a car, instead of listening to the radio or just letting our minds wander.


walk worthy, not in vanity

Ephesians 4


I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

We really need to be faithful to the services the Lord has given us to do, (preaching, for example,) because there's great reward in that, and we'll really miss out if we don't.

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

We shouldn't be like unbelievers, deluded by sinful pleasures and vain wastes of time, like too much of a focus on entertaining ourselves. Let's walk worthy of our calling, instead of walking in vanity.


2 Timothy 4 - Key


Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Preparing a message to share with the Lord's people is one of the things I know the Lord wants me to do, but I haven't been making the time to get it done.


I'll make the time to prepare for preaching.


2 Timothy 4 - Outline

Preach the word
people will turn to fables
do the work of an evangelist
I have fought a good fight
stick with believers and help them
beware of a person who did much evil
all men forsook Paul, but the Lord stood with him
salutations, greetings, and blessing


Genesis 47 - Key


And Pharaoh said unto his brethren, What [is] your occupation? And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants [are] shepherds, both we, [and] also our fathers.

Being shepherds is kind of like being Christians. It was despised by the people around them. Like Joseph's brothers admitted that they were shepherds, even though it was an abomination to the Egyptians, we should be bold to admit that we're Christians and to preach the gospel. When Joseph’s brothers admitted they were shepherds, it worked out so they got a better place.


I'll be bold to preach the gospel at my university.


Revelation 19 - Key


And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

All creatures must worship and praise the Lord. This verse calls for praise from all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. We should fear the Lord and be His servants, and all of us should worship and praise Him like in these verses.


I'll work on praising the Lord on other days, besides just at worship on Sunday morning.


Revelation 19 - Outline

praise and worship from many people in heaven, the beasts and elders, all God's servants, and all who fear Him
the marriage supper of the Lamb
worship God
Jesus, the Word of God, on a white horse
an angel in the sun called all the birds to the supper of the great God
The Word of God obliterated the beast and the false prophet, and the kings of the earth and their armies

Genesis 47 - Outline

Joseph's plan worked. Pharaoh accepted his family, and they got the best land, the land of Goshen, to take care of their livestock
Jacob met Pharaoh and blessed him
Joseph kept his promise to take care of his family
Joseph gave the people food for their livestock
Joseph gave them grain for their lands and themselves
"tax-exempt religious organizations"
Joseph instituted a 20% income tax because the government owned the people
Jacob was about to die, and he had Joseph swear to carry him out of Egypt and bury him with his ancestors


pray with more passion

Ephesians 3


Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

The Lord has the power to do not just what we ask, but way, way more then we can even imagine. That promise should provoke us to ask for great things in righteousness, and to pray much more for the things we ask for.


2 Timothy 3 - Key


For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

The first part of this verse says, For men shall be lovers of their own selves. That really stuck out to me last time I read this.

What do we think about when we get up in the morning? Just how we'll get to work or school and enrich our lives? How we'll buy some nice product for ourselves, or enhance our car or computer?

How about when we pray? Now don't get me wrong, it's a perfectly good thing for us to pray for ourselves sometimes. But we should naturally be thinking about other people and their needs when we pray. It shouldn't be a weariness to think about and pray for anybody other than ourselves.


I've been noticing that too many of my prayers have become introverted. When I pray, I'll really think about other people, and also pray for them more.


Genesis 46 - Key


I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up [again]: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.

Like Israel into Egypt, the Lord has sent His people the Church into the world. We're not here to stay, because He's coming one day to take us out before he destroys the world. But while we're here, He promises to be with us and do great things for us.

And he said, I [am] God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:


Hebrews 13:5b
...for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

When trouble happens, I'll pray to the Lord for help, remember his promises, and trust that He is good.

2 Timothy 3 - Outline

ungodly men in the last times:
what the ungodly will be like, as lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (v4b)
they're sneaky and entice people to be led away, Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof (v5a)
they'll be stopped and get revealed, like Jannes and Jambres were
Paul's good example, enduring troubles
what we should do, continuing in faith and the Scriptures


Revelation 18 - Key


How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

Babylon makes me think of all the pleasures of sin. It says she lived deliciously, but would be given so much sadness and torture. It makes me think of the deceitfulness of the sins that we know we should repent from, but we don't want the discomfort. The truth is that if we don't repent, we'll get discomfort, alright!


2 Timothy 3:4
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

When I don't feel like repenting from a sin, because of the deceitful pleasure of it, I'll remember the judgment of Babylon and be willing to suffer discomfort to repent.


Genesis 46 - Outline

Jacob sacrificed to the Lord
the Lord gave promises to Jacob about going to Egypt
Jacob and all of his people came into Egypt with all their stuff
the names of Jacob's descendants who came into Egypt
Joseph was reunited with his father
Joseph worked it out to get his family the best land, because they were shepherds

Revelation 18 - Outline

the angel describing the fall of Babylon
the angel warning the Lord's people against her sin, and the severity of her judgment
the kings mourning for her
the merchants mourning for her
the sailors mourning for her
the call for the Lord's people to rejoice over her
the greatness of the violence that she did, and the greatness of the violence of her judgment


must we keep His commandments?

John 14


If ye love me, keep my commandments.

I've heard a gospel from this verse, along these lines:

  1. You can't be saved unless you love God
  2. You can't love God unless you obey His commandments
  3. His commandments consist of the whole law, to do this action, and to not do that action
  4. (Therefore, you can't be saved unless you do this or that good work, and keep the letter of the law)

So you can see how people have sneaked in the same age-old false gospel of salvation by doing good works and keeping the letter of the law. In fact, that's not what the Lord is saying in this verse at all.

I think it's a grave danger that plays on the ignorance of novice believers, to assume that this verse refers to any written commandments of do this, but don't do that, commandments whether in the Old or New Testament, or even invented by men. The Scripture clearly, undeniably, emphatically, and repeatedly, shouts that is not the gospel or the way of salvation.

Now, no doubt, this verse is a call to keep Christ's commandments. This begs the question, What are His commandments, that He asks us to keep, then?

1 John 3:23
And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

So we see that, once again, the way to be saved and to receive eternal life is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; and, the way to live our live pleasing to God is by the spiritual law of love.


2 Timothy 2 - Key


Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

The word lusts in this translation can also apply to any kind of sinful desires. The passage warns us to run fast and far from the enticements of sin, and to have a pure heart.


I'll do what I should, when I should, instead of spending too much time, at the wrong time, on things like entertaining myself, or working on my car.


2 Timothy 2 - Outline

be strong, endure
if we suffer with Christ we'll also reign with Him (v12)
don't argue about worthless babbling, but be a workman of the Word
purge yourself from iniquity
flee youthful lusts
the servant of the Lord must not strive (v24)


Genesis 45 - Key


Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt [is] yours.

In the journey of our lives, we're part of Christ's kingdom, and we have great, promised rewards in heaven. The Lord gives us provision (v21) for along the way, but in the grand scheme of things, our worldly possessions don't really matter. We shouldn't get distracted or worry about our stuff.


Like the wagons Joseph sent in this chapter, I just got my own car. The first morning I had it, I got up and started working on it without realizing what I was doing. I ended up working on it for hours, and getting my breakfast and Bible time really late.

I always used to spend time with the Lord first in the morning, and I still should. I'll make sure my car doesn't turn into an idol like that any more, because of what v20 says.


Revelation 17 - Key


These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful.

It says the Lamb will overcome the 10 kings and the beast because, for one thing, the people who are with the Lamb are faithful. So, it's very important for us to be faithful to the Lord.


I recently bought my own car, and I prayed to dedicate it to the Lord. Of course, I don't know everything that will happen to it, or all of the ways that I'll use it, but I'll be committed to be be faithful with it, for the Lord.


Genesis 45 - Outline

Joseph told his brothers who he was, and invited them to be close to him
Joseph forgave his brothers and told them not be angry at themselves for what they had done
God caused Joseph's troubles to work together for greater good
Like Jesus does for us, Joseph told of his greatness, and the greatness of his plans for his brothers
Joseph proved that it was really him, because he no longer spoke through an interpretor
like our calling to preach the gospel, Joseph asked his brothers to tell somebody else and bring him too
Joseph loved his brothers, and they had tears of joy because they were so happy to be reunited
the Lord gives us provision for the journey, and warns us not to focus on our stuff, because we have more important rewards in His kingdom (v20)
the Lord abundantly blesses us with even more than we need
a calling to guard our walk with the Lord
sometimes the Lord's goodness in His Word and the gospel is so good that it seems too hard to believe, but He also sends us a token for good, things we can see that reassure us of Himself


Revelation 17 - Outline

the vision of the judgment of Babylon
the woman sitting on the beast
'I will tell you the mystery'
who the beast is
the 7 heads are 7 mountains, and there are 7 kings
the 10 horns are 10 kings who will receive power for one hour
the waters are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues
the Lord will use the beast to judge the whore
the woman is that great city
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