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Archive for October, 2011

Ephesians 以弗所書 6:10-11

我還有末了的話、你們要靠著主、倚賴他的大能大力、作剛強的人。要穿戴 神所賜的全副軍裝、就能抵擋魔鬼的詭計。

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 

1 Chronicles 25

The Music Groups
1 David and the commanders of the army chose some of the sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun to preach and play harps, lyres, and cymbals. Here is a list of the men who served in this way:

2 Asaph’s sons who served were Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asarelah. King David chose Asaph to preach, and Asaph directed his sons.

3 Jeduthun’s sons who served were Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah. There were six of them, and Jeduthun directed them. He preached and used a harp to give thanks and praise to the Lord.

4 Heman’s sons who served were Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shubael, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-Ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth.
5 All these were sons of Heman, David’s seer. God promised to make Heman strong, so Heman had many sons. God gave him fourteen sons and three daughters.
6 Heman directed all his sons in making music for the Temple of the Lord with cymbals, lyres, and harps; that was their way of serving in the Temple of God. King David was in charge of Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman.
7 These men and their relatives were trained and skilled in making music for the Lord. There were two hundred eighty-eight of them.
8 Everyone threw lots to choose the time his family was to serve at the Temple. The young and the old, the teacher and the student, had to throw lots.

9 First, the lot fell to Joseph, from the family of Asaph.
Second, twelve men were chosen from Gedaliah, his sons and relatives.
10 Third, twelve men were chosen from Zaccur, his sons and relatives.
11 Fourth, twelve men were chosen from Izri, his sons and relatives.
12 Fifth, twelve men were chosen from Nethaniah, his sons and relatives.
13 Sixth, twelve men were chosen from Bukkiah, his sons and relatives.
14 Seventh, twelve men were chosen from Jesarelah, his sons and relatives.
15 Eighth, twelve men were chosen from Jeshaiah, his sons and relatives.
16 Ninth, twelve men were chosen from Mattaniah, his sons and relatives.
17 Tenth, twelve men were chosen from Shimei, his sons and relatives.
18 Eleventh, twelve men were chosen from Azarel, his sons and relatives.
19 Twelfth, twelve men were chosen from Hashabiah, his sons and relatives.
20 Thirteenth, twelve men were chosen from Shubael, his sons and relatives.
21 Fourteenth, twelve men were chosen from Mattithiah, his sons and relatives.
22 Fifteenth, twelve men were chosen from Jerimoth, his sons and relatives.
23 Sixteenth, twelve men were chosen from Hananiah, his sons and relatives.
24 Seventeenth, twelve men were chosen from Joshbekashah, his sons and relatives.
25 Eighteenth, twelve men were chosen from Hanani, his sons and relatives.
26 Nineteenth, twelve men were chosen from Mallothi, his sons and relatives.
27 Twentieth, twelve men were chosen from Eliathah, his sons and relatives.
28 Twenty-first, twelve men were chosen from Hothir, his sons and relatives.
29 Twenty-second, twelve men were chosen from Giddalti, his sons and relatives.
30 Twenty-third, twelve men were chosen from Mahazioth, his sons and relatives.
31 Twenty-fourth, twelve men were chosen from Romamti-Ezer, his sons and relatives.

The singers and musicians.
David put those in order who were appointed to be singers and musicians in the temple. To prophesy, in this place, means praising God with great earnestness and devout affections, under the influences of the Holy Spirit. In raising these affections, poetry and music were employed. If the Spirit of God do not put life and fervour into our devotions, they will, however ordered, be a lifeless, worthless form.

Thomas

[Thŏm’as] – twin. One of the twelve apostles of Christ, and called also Didymus
Matt. 10:3: – 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus.

Mark 3:18: – 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot.

Luke 6:15: – 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot.

John 11:16: – 16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

John 14:5: – 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

John 20:24-29: – 24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.
25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 20:21-22: – 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
22And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:13: – 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.

The Man Who Doubted
Thomas, we are told, was not really a name but an epithet, meaning, like its Greek equivalent Didymus, “the twin.” David Smith suggests that the apostle’s name was Judas, but that he was named “the twin” to distinguish him from Judas, the son of James, and Judas Iscariot. Tradition credits him with the authorship of a gospel which is included in apocryphal literature.

Zealous, inquisitive and incredulous, he earned the title of “Thomas the Doubter.” Because of his hesitancy in accepting the disciples’story of the Resurrection of Christ, Thomas has come down through the centuries as a typical pessimist and sceptic. But was he an habitual doubter? Some authorities suppose that the name Didymus alluded to his doubting propensities, since some versions render it as “doubleminded.”

Had we only the record of the first three gospels, Thomas would be to us simply a name, but John rescued him from oblivion, made him a reality to us and surrounded him with an undying interest. Tradition has it that he died a martyr.

Three traits seem to stand out in John’s cameo of Thomas:

I. When he saw what he ought to do, nothing kept him back. When Jesus expressed his intention of going into Judea again, Thomas urged the disciples to accompany Christ even though it might mean death (John 11:16: –16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”).

II. When he saw what he ought to do, he only wanted to see how he was to do it. At the Last Supper he acknowledged his ignorance of the place the Lord was going to and asked how he could know the way (John 14:5: –5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”).

III. When he saw what it was he had to believe, he only wanted to see that it was right, and then to him there was no help for it. After our Lord’s resurrection Thomas refused to believe in its reality except upon conditions which he himself laid down. How stirring was his confession of faith once convinced of the Resurrection
John 20:28: – 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

John 21:2: – 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.

Matthew 12:46-50

While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.’ He replied to him, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ Pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.

While he was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers showed up. They were outside trying to get a message to him. Someone told Jesus, ‘Your mother and brothers are out here, wanting to speak with you.’ -Jesus didn’t respond directly, but said, ‘Who do you think my mother and brothers are?’ He then stretched out his hand toward his disciples. ‘Look closely. These are my mother and brothers. Obedience is thicker than blood. The person who obeys my heavenly Father’s will is my brother and sister and mother.

Kids Bible Study 10-31-2011

The Tower of Babel – And Why It Was Never Finished
Genesis 9:18 – Genesis 11:9
The people try to build a tower to reach the sky.
 

A CLEAN, NEWworld lay before Noah and his three sons when they stepped out of the ark. Now there were no wicked neighbors to mock at them when they built altars to worship God. Even the wicked works of those wicked people had been swept away out of sight. Everything was ready for a new beginning.    Noah and his sons set to work and made new homes. Noah’s sons were named Shem, Ham, and Japheth. After a while God gave them children. These children grew up and made homes for themselves. Then there were other children; and so it came about that the number of people grew and grew until the earth became as full of people as it was before the flood.

From the mountain of Ararat, where the ark lodged when the waters went down, the human family went into the south country. Later they moved east, into the valley of Mesopotamia, and there they lived on a plain in the land of Shinar.

“Let us build for ourselves a city,” said the people some time after they reached Shinar, “and let us make a tower so great and high that its top will reach up to the sky. Then we shall not be scattered over the face of the earth, and separated from one another.” And so the people set to work.

In this land of Shinar the soil is such that bricks can be made of it, and soon many bricks were made and ready for use. What a busy people! Some were making brick, others were mixing mortar, and still others were carrying brick and mortar to the workmen who were building the city and the tower. Everything was moving fast and everybody was thinking that some day their city and their wonderful tower would be finished.

Then something happened that the people had not expected to happen at all. God came to see the city and the tower. He did not talk to the builders, and very likely they did not know he had been there to look upon their work. But God was not pleased with what he saw. He knew that men would become more sinful if they should finish that great tower. Already they were thinking more and more about their own work and less and less about the God who gave them strength with which to labor. Soon they might forget God entirely and worship the work their own hands had made. So God planned to stop their building.

Until this time all the people in the world spoke one language. Now God caused them to speak different languages. The people of one family could not understand what their neighbors were talking about. Neither could their neighbors understand what they were saying. Such a great change caused the people to become restless, and all those who spoke one language moved into neighbor-hoods by themselves. They could no longer go on with their great building, either, because the workmen could not understand one another’s language; and so at last they quit trying to finish the tower whose top they had planned should reach the sky. And the name of the city was called Babel.

Soon the people of one language gathered together their possessions and moved away from Babel. Others did the same. Across the plains they journeyed and over the mountains into strange lands where men’s feet had never walked before. They built cities and planted fields and vineyards, and their number grew until they became strong nations.

Kids Bible Study 10-31-2011

The Tower of Babel – And Why It Was Never Finished
Genesis 9:18 – Genesis 11:9
The people try to build a tower to reach the sky.

A CLEAN, NEWworld lay before Noah and his three sons when they stepped out of the ark. Now there were no wicked neighbors to mock at them when they built altars to worship God. Even the wicked works of those wicked people had been swept away out of sight. Everything was ready for a new beginning.    Noah and his sons set to work and made new homes. Noah’s sons were named Shem, Ham, and Japheth. After a while God gave them children. These children grew up and made homes for themselves. Then there were other children; and so it came about that the number of people grew and grew until the earth became as full of people as it was before the flood.

From the mountain of Ararat, where the ark lodged when the waters went down, the human family went into the south country. Later they moved east, into the valley of Mesopotamia, and there they lived on a plain in the land of Shinar.

“Let us build for ourselves a city,” said the people some time after they reached Shinar, “and let us make a tower so great and high that its top will reach up to the sky. Then we shall not be scattered over the face of the earth, and separated from one another.” And so the people set to work.

In this land of Shinar the soil is such that bricks can be made of it, and soon many bricks were made and ready for use. What a busy people! Some were making brick, others were mixing mortar, and still others were carrying brick and mortar to the workmen who were building the city and the tower. Everything was moving fast and everybody was thinking that some day their city and their wonderful tower would be finished.

Then something happened that the people had not expected to happen at all. God came to see the city and the tower. He did not talk to the builders, and very likely they did not know he had been there to look upon their work. But God was not pleased with what he saw. He knew that men would become more sinful if they should finish that great tower. Already they were thinking more and more about their own work and less and less about the God who gave them strength with which to labor. Soon they might forget God entirely and worship the work their own hands had made. So God planned to stop their building.

Until this time all the people in the world spoke one language. Now God caused them to speak different languages. The people of one family could not understand what their neighbors were talking about. Neither could their neighbors understand what they were saying. Such a great change caused the people to become restless, and all those who spoke one language moved into neighbor-hoods by themselves. They could no longer go on with their great building, either, because the workmen could not understand one another’s language; and so at last they quit trying to finish the tower whose top they had planned should reach the sky. And the name of the city was called Babel.

Soon the people of one language gathered together their possessions and moved away from Babel. Others did the same. Across the plains they journeyed and over the mountains into strange lands where men’s feet had never walked before. They built cities and planted fields and vineyards, and their number grew until they became strong nations.

Prayer 10-31-2011

Dear Father, today I choose to receive your mercy and forgiveness. Thank you for cleansing me of all unrighteousness. Thank you for making me new. I love you and bless your Holy Name.

In Jesus’ Name
Amen

Bible Study 10-31-2011

Psalm 79:1-13

1 O God, the nations have invaded your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple,
they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble.

2 They have given the dead bodies of your servants
as food to the birds of the air,
the flesh of your saints to the beasts of the earth.

3 They have poured out blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there is no one to bury the dead.

4 We are objects of reproach to our neighbors,
of scorn and derision to those around us.

5 How long, O LORD ? Will you be angry forever?
How long will your jealousy burn like fire?

6 Pour out your wrath on the nations
that do not acknowledge you,
on the kingdoms
that do not call on your name;

7 for they have devoured Jacob
and destroyed his homeland.

8 Do not hold against us the sins of the fathers;
may your mercy come quickly to meet us,
for we are in desperate need.

9 Help us, O God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name’s sake.

10 Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Before our eyes, make known among the nations
that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants.

11 May the groans of the prisoners come before you;
by the strength of your arm
preserve those condemned to die.

12 Pay back into the laps of our neighbors seven times
the reproach they have hurled at you, O Lord.

13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will praise you forever;
from generation to generation
we will recount your praise.

There are days when we look around and it seems as though the Enemy has won. That’s the way Asaph felt when he wrote Psalm 79.

He looked around and saw defilement. “Oh God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; Your holy temple they have defiled; they have laid Jerusalem in heaps” (v. 1). Asaph refers to the destruction of the temple and the city of Jerusalem. We, too, can look around today and see defilement in people’s minds and hearts.

Then Asaph saw death. “The dead bodies of Your servants they have given as food for the birds of the heavens…. Their blood they have shed like water all around Jerusalem” (vv. 2,3). Our world is basically a cemetery. The wages of sin is death. We see it wherever we look.

Asaph also saw derision. “We have become a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and derision to those who are around us” (v. 4). People today don’t magnify the Lord; they laugh at Him. They laugh at the Church, at God’s people. We are a derided people because so often it looks as though we are losing and they have won the battle.

Finally, Asaph saw the enemy devouring. “For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place” (v. 7). Yes, the devouring, destroying hand of Satan was at work. But Asaph says, “Help us, O God of our salvation.” Why? “For the glory of Your name; and deliver us” (v. 9). How? “And provide atonement for our sins, for Your name’s sake!” Asaph isn’t concerned so much about his own comfort as he is about God’s glory. So he prays, “Help us.”

God helps by purging us from our sins. In addition, verses 11 and 12 tell us that He will come and save us. How wonderful that day will be when Jesus Christ comes to deliver us! Meanwhile, in the world we see defilement, death, derision, destruction and devouring. Now is the time to cry and say, “O God, for the glory of Your name, help us do Your will.”

Satan is at work in the world, but one day God will be glorified, and He will deliver His people from this world. God promises to be with you and to be your Salvation. Rest on that promise.

Every day I am forgiven for many sins of many kinds, and although on the one hand forgiveness seems such an impossible thing (but grace is greater than all my sin), on the other hand I receive it often without wonder and nearly always without offering any “fruit.”

When the Lord punished Israel, Isaiah wrote: “Only then can the fruit of his forgiveness be shown: they must smash their stone altars into pounded chalk” (Is 27:9 JBP).

When I acknowledge a specific sin, it is a good thing to do something specific to demonstrate my determination to forsake it. Smash an altar, sacrifice an hour of sleep or a meal (if the sin has been, e.g., failure to do what I want to do “because I haven’t time”), write a note of apology to one sinned against, make restitution in some way for a wrong. To arise and obey in such a particular act is an appropriate sign of the genuineness of my repentance–the fruit of forgiveness.

Good Time!

Good times and bad times are part of living. It is difficult to fully appreciate joy until you have tasted sadness. Laughter is sweeter if you have experienced tears. There may be times when you feel like you’re stuck in a dry and desolate place, but an encouraging call or a hug from a friend can be an oasis; beauty in the desert. Though it may not be easy, try to remember that the trials are going to help you fully experience the joy on the horizon.

Ephesians 以弗所書 5:19-21

當用詩章、頌詞、靈歌、彼此對說、口唱心和的讚美主.凡事要奉我們主耶穌基督的名、常常感謝父 神。又當存敬畏基督的心、彼此順服。

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

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