the Lord stood by him

Acts 23


And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

The Lord said, Be of good cheer, Paul, and we can be cheered up today. There are things going on that we don't even know about, and the Lord is taking care of problems, and arranging circumstances, and keeping us safe- so that we can be a witness and a testimony for Him. We need to be witnessing and testifying for the Lord.


be His witness to everyone

Acts 22


And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.

For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.

Like the Lord's calling to Paul, we should go and preach the gospel to all kinds of people, when we have that opportunity.


Proverbs 29 - Highlights

it's very important to not harden your neck to reproof that you get a lot
righteous or wicked authorities and crowds have a big (positive or negative) effect on all the people in the land
child training
take good care of poor people; don't bend justice for people who have more money
use restraint in your speech


Genesis 14 - Key


Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

Just because the Lord had shown Abram something didn't mean he had to make all the people that were with him do the same thing.


When I make a special commitment to the Lord, I won't expect other people to necessarily make the same commitment.


Genesis 45 - Key


And told him, saying, Joseph [is] yet alive, and he [is] governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not.

Like Joseph's family, we're on a journey to a great place where Jesus is. Jesus, who was dead, is alive, and He wants to save us. He's the Lord of all and has great glory. He wants us to be close to Him, so He's called for us. There's a great reward there, and the Lord has also sent provision for us along the way. All we need to do is believe in Him, when people bring us the message about Him, and we can be saved.

So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way.

The Lord has provided everything we need to do what's right on our journey of life, and He's given us His great and precious promises, but even after all these great things, we can still get sidetracked by things in this world, and easily miss out. The Lord has great rewards in store for us, to be near Him and enjoy all the good of His promised land, but we can misuse the good things He's given us, and loose some of our rewards.

After everything else, why did Joseph feel like it was necessary to tell them, See that ye fall not out by the way? The only way they could get sidetracked would be if they didn't trust Joseph. I can imagine them thinking:

How could he really have forgiven us all the way? He's just looking for another opportunity to get revenge. We have all this stuff he's sent with us, so we should just take it and start over in a new place. There aren't really going to be 5 more years of famine, He just said that to fool us.

I've seen people do just that, with the Lord. It's hard to believe that the Lord is so good and kind, like He says He is, and that He has enough grace and mercy to just forgive us all the way, for free, without us doing some great thing to pay for our own sin. We can forget that we've been forgiven.


...And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence...

And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you...

Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.


I get into some situations where I know the Lord has done everything for me, and provided everything I need to do the right thing, but I can still get side-tracked from doing what He wants me to.

For example, I can pray for Him to help me get up on time in the morning, and I can set both my alarm clocks, and go to bed early enough the night before; But, when the alarm clock goes off, and I know the Lord wants me to get up, but I feel tired, I can so easily just turn it off and go back to sleep.

In cases like that, I'm going to work more on making sure that I don't fall out by the way.


Genesis 45 - Outline

I am Joseph
...all things work together for good to them that love God...
bring down my father
Joseph's affection for all his brothers
Pharaoh's involvement, and provision and exhortation for the journey
Joseph blessed his family with gifts and said, See that ye fall not out by the way.
Jacob thought it was too good to be true until he saw the wagons coming


be bold and selfless

Acts 21


But Paul said, I am a man [which am] a Jew of Tarsus, [a city] in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.

The people had just been going about to kill Paul, and beating him, and the soldiers had barely come and to rescue him by carrying him away. Here Paul was in front of the crowd, being carried up the stairs to the tower, he said, ...I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.

We should be so bold and selfless that we're willing to risk our lives to do what we know the Lord really wants, and we should take opportunities to preach the gospel to people and do what's right, despite all adversity.


feed the flock

Acts 20


Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Paul was speaking to the older men who were believers, about how they should oversee the Lord's people like feeding a flock of sheep. The Word of God is like food for believers, and we can "feed" others by preaching the Word. For those of us who have an opportunity to speak for the Lord at meetings, it's a great service and way to help take care of "the Church," (which means the Lord's people).

This chapter Acts 20, talks a lot about this:

much exhortation
Paul preached, and continued his speech
he talked a long while

Paul showed and taught, testifying repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, (v20,21) testifying the gospel of the grace of God (v24) preaching the kingdom of God (v25), and declaring all the counsel of God (v27). Notice that it's all of God.

2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

For men who believe and can take opportunities to preach the Word, there's a real need for it, so let's do it!


Proverbs 28 - Key


He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy.

This is one of my favorite verses.


the contrast between good fear and boldness

For a long time I've been trying to find the balance between boldness and peacefulness in preaching the gospel. These verses discuss both sides a little bit. I'll work on having that balance when I preach the gospel.

Proverbs 28 - Highlights

rich and poor

poor oppressing poor
wicked over poor
the matter of where money comes from
the conceit of the rich; poor people searching
speaking of conceit:
pride, trust in own heart
hiding eyes from giving to poor
having poverty from following vanity
haste to be rich

the contrast between the upright and the wicked

possession, etc.
being saved / falling at once


violence: don't try to keep them from their destruction
respect of persons
also interesting
the importance of the law


destroy bad materials

Acts 19


Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all [men]: and they counted the price of them, and found [it] fifty thousand [pieces] of silver.

When the believers had this revival, they destroyed an amount of materials that was worth an incredible price. We should stop watching bad movies, and reading bad books, and things like that.


Genesis 44 - Summary

Outline - "Judah's Appeal"

Joseph instructed his clerk in the plot to frame Benjamin
the brothers spoke brashly because they didn't know what was going to happen
how must they have felt when the cup was found?
...God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants... (v16b)
Judah, gently but thoroughly, repeated their story to Joseph, and appealed to him
Judah treated Benjamin the way he should have treated Joseph


And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we [are] my lord's servants, both we, and [he] also with whom the cup is found.

They might have known that he was framing them, but he had so much power, what could they have done about that anyway? And they knew they were still guilty about their brother Joseph.

In a way, they were doing what was right, and the problem was really Joseph's fault. So they could have argued and tried to defend themselves, but that would have been stupid because Joseph was the big Kahuna, and they just would have gotten into more trouble.

Their humility saved them, and we should be humble like that. We should choose our battles; and, sometimes, we need to be willing let go of our rights.


Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou [art] even as Pharaoh.

Sometimes we need to appeal to the people who are in authority over us. Judah was a good example in this case, of appealing gently and humbly. I especially noticed that Judah simply but thoroughly told the whole story, so that Joseph would understand everything that was going on.

Sometimes, when we communicate with other people, we assume they know something, so we don't bother to say it, but they get angry because they misunderstand. When we appeal to people about things, we shouldn't talk too much or go on too long; but, at the same time, we should make sure that we're thorough enough about the important things, so they don't misunderstand. I'll work on doing that.


Acts 18


Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace...

We should be bold to preach the Word and preach the gospel in the places we are right now, like Paul did, and, like Apollos:

For he mightily convinced the Jews, [and that] publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.


search the Scriptures daily

Acts 17


These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Therefore many of them believed...

Here we see the importance of a daily time in the Word, searching the Scriptures, the Bible. If we would do it with a ready mind, we'd be more noble than others, we'd be able to see whether the teachings people bring us are true, and it would lead to more faith.


peace in the face of opposition

Acts 16


And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.

The Lord used circumstances that were against His servants for an opportunity to spread the gospel.

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

When we encounter opposing circumstances, we should trust the Lord, pray, sing praises to Him, and look for opportunities to preach the gospel.

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

This is a great gospel verse to share.


Proverbs 27 - Key


Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

When there's always something new to see, we would never just naturally say, "OK, that's enough." We would always want to see some interesting new thing. We need the discipline to set limits for ourselves.


I'll make an effort to limit how much I watch videos, and read the news, and surf the Internet; because, if I didn't make an effort, my eyes would never be satisfied.


Proverbs 27 - Highlights

ways we shouldn't brag
how bad wrath and envy are
about friends
some values with friends that aren't where you might expect them to be
friends, even when they come into conflict, are good for each other
pay good attention to taking care of the valuable things you have, don't just assume they'll always be there for you


following up with people

Acts 15


And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, [and see] how they do.

It's easy to preach the gospel to people, and then forget about them; but, sometimes, when we can, it's better go back to follow up with them, and see how they're doing.


spoke so that a great multitude believed

Acts 14


And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.

We should be continually preaching the gospel to many people, and many will believe!


Genesis 43 - Outline

Israel seemed to forget why his sons hadn't gone back to Egypt
his sons refused to go back without Benjamin
Israel blamed his sons for Joseph requiring Benjamin
Judah took responsibility this time
'We would have been back by now.'
Israel did everything he could to find favor
the prodigal brothers returned
their conscience made them afraid they would become slaves, like they had made Joseph
See Matthew 5:21-26, especially v25.
Joseph's brothers honored him with gifts and bowing down
family reunion
Joseph was overcome with emotion when he saw his brother Benjamin, but he kept it hidden
a feast of forgiveness


Genesis 14 - Outline

a rebellion led to a multinational war
the empire strikes back
the first time Sodom and Gomorrah fell, but it wouldn't be the last
the first time Lot needed rescued out of a fall of Sodom and Gomorrah, it was also by the Lord's mercy and by Abram's pursuit
Melchizedek, king of Salem, the priest of the most high God
Abram's deal with the king of Sodom


separated to our calling

Acts 13


As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

I noticed the idea of being separate to the work the Lord has called us to. I'm not an apostle or anything, but I have smaller work that the Lord has still called me to do. I should be separated to those things for the Lord, even if they're mundane things like work and school.


Proverbs 26 - Key


Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? [there is] more hope of a fool than of him.

Proverbs 26 just had about 10 verses about fools, and they made it clear that it's not a good thing to be a fool. But the cherry on top is that it's even worse to be conceited, thinking, in your own estimation, that you're wise.

Being a fool is pretty hopeless. But it's better to be a fool, and to know that you're a fool, than it is to think that you know it all. Because then you'd be even more hopeless.

Then this chapter spent 3 verses on warning against laziness, but there's nobody more conceited than a lazy person.

The sluggard [is] wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

You have to be extremely conceited to be a lazy person. A lazy person thinks that he doesn't even have to bother trying to show that he's doing things right. He just remains complacent, in his own estimation, that he is.


I'm always talking about the problem I know I have, with being lazy, but in this chapter I see that laziness comes from conceit, and that being conceited is even more hopeless than being a fool. This week, I'll be willing to consider the things that I waste time on, and how I'm being conceited about them. Then I can realize that I'm being a fool about those things, and change them.


Proverbs 26 - Highlights

v1, 3-12
all about fools
the slothful
about strife
get the contentious person out of there, and you'll get rid of the strife
Don't be dishonest, and then say, "I was just kidding."
talebearers, people who whisper behind people's backs


Genesis 13 - Key


Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

It was at the place of the altar that Abram called on the Lord.

For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

We should call on the Lord when we're in trouble, and we can be encouraged that He does have a great reward for us.


There are certain discouraging situations in my life right now that seem hopeless or insurmountable, but I'll call on the Lord about them and believe that I can have hope in Him.


Genesis 42 - Key


And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.

When we're tempted to do something wrong, and our conscience warns us not to do it, and that it would be sin, then we should realize the consequences and listen to our conscience.


When I'm about to waste time on something like surfing the web or watching a video, and my conscience warns me that it would be wrong, I'll remember that there will be a real consequence, and I'll listen.


Genesis 13 - Outline

so rich that it caused strife
Abraham was a peacemaker and gave Lot first choice
the land appeared great outwardly, but not in front of the Lord
the Lord blessed Abraham
Abraham built an altar to the Lord


Genesis 42 - Outline

'Why are you just sitting there, looking at each other?' Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy grain so their family wouldn't starve to death
Jacob tried to keep Benjamin back to make sure nothing bad would happen to him
the depression reached the place where Jacob's family lived
Joseph saw his dream partly fulfilled
Joseph devised a way to get his other brother there too
we hear that Joseph hadn't been a completely silent victim, but had begged his brothers with visible anguish
Reuben, who had sort of stood up for what was right, could sort of vindicate himself later
they returned
they told Jacob what happened
Jacob seemed to realize that Joseph's brothers were responsible for him loosing Joseph


prayer was made without ceasing

Acts 12


Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

We shouldn't quit praying for people. The Lord's people prayed for Peter, without stopping, and the Lord worked a miracle to deliver him. When we keep praying for people who are in trouble, without stopping, who knows what kind of miracles the Lord might work for us, to deliver us?


with purpose of heart, cleave to the Lord

Acts 11


Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.

The rest of this week, let's have determination to stick to the Lord, by keeping ourselves from doing things we know are wrong, and by taking opportunities to do what's right and good.

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