We are now past day 300 so I hope you are enjoying these last verses. The best thing about reading the Bible is getting to read the Bible and know more about your faith. One of the other great things is being able to have a discipline that keeps you grounded. If the reading has worked well for you please continue (maybe not as aggressively) but making time in your life for Scripture and then other works that help explain and expound on God's message.
Monday: Salvation History
Tuesday: Historical Criticism
Wednesday: Reader Response
Thursday: Law and Gospel
Friday: Textual Criticism
Saturday: Sabbath—just read and pray
Sep3MonSeptember 3, 2018
[1Ti 5:1-22 RSV] 1 Do not rebuke an older man but exhort him as you would a father; treat younger men like brothers, 2 older women like mothers, younger women like sisters, in all purity. 3 Honor widows who are real widows. 4 If a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn their religious duty to their own family and make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God. 5 She who is a real widow, and is left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day; 6 whereas she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. 7 Command this, so that they may be without reproach. 8 If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 9 Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband; 10 and she must be well attested for her good deeds, as one who has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, relieved the afflicted, and devoted herself to doing good in every way. 11 But refuse to enrol younger widows; for when they grow wanton against Christ they desire to marry, 12 and so they incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, gadding about from house to house, and not only idlers but gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, rule their households, and give the enemy no occasion to revile us. 15 For some have already strayed after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her assist them; let the church not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are real widows. 17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching; 18 for the scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages." 19 Never admit any charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. 21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without favor, doing nothing from partiality. 22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor participate in another man's sins; keep yourself pure.
[Jer 1:1-19 RSV] 1 The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilki'ah, of the priests who were in An'athoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josi'ah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoi'akim the son of Josi'ah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedeki'ah, the son of Josi'ah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month. 4 Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, 5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." 6 Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth." 7 But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a youth'; for to all to whom I send you you shall go, and whatever I command you you shall speak. 8 Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD." 9 Then the LORD put forth his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me, "Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant." 11 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Jeremiah, what do you see?" And I said, "I see a rod of almond." 12 Then the LORD said to me, "You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it." 13 The word of the LORD came to me a second time, saying, "What do you see?" And I said, "I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north." 14 Then the LORD said to me, "Out of the north evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For, lo, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says the LORD; and they shall come and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls round about, and against all the cities of Judah. 16 And I will utter my judgments against them, for all their wickedness in forsaking me; they have burned incense to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17 But you, gird up your loins; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you."
[Jer 2:1-37 RSV] 1 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 "Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD, I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. 3 Israel was holy to the LORD, the first fruits of his harvest. All who ate of it became guilty; evil came upon them, says the LORD." 4 Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. 5 Thus says the LORD: "What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless? 6 They did not say, 'Where is the LORD who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that none passes through, where no man dwells?' 7 And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination. 8 The priests did not say, 'Where is the LORD?' Those who handle the law did not know me; the rulers transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Ba'al, and went after things that do not profit. 9 "Therefore I still contend with you, says the LORD, and with your children's children I will contend. 10 For cross to the coasts of Cyprus and see, or send to Kedar and examine with care; see if there has been such a thing. 11 Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. 12 Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the LORD, 13 for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. 14 "Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant? Why then has he become a prey? 15 The lions have roared against him, they have roared loudly. They have made his land a waste; his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant. 16 Moreover, the men of Memphis and Tah'panhes have broken the crown of your head. 17 Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the LORD your God, when he led you in the way? 18 And now what do you gain by going to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what do you gain by going to Assyria, to drink the waters of the Euphra'tes? 19 Your wickedness will chasten you, and your apostasy will reprove you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the LORD your God; the fear of me is not in you, says the Lord GOD of hosts. 20 "For long ago you broke your yoke and burst your bonds; and you said, 'I will not serve.' Yea, upon every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down as a harlot. 21 Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine? 22 Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, says the Lord GOD. 23 How can you say, 'I am not defiled, I have not gone after the Ba'als'? Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done--a restive young camel interlacing her tracks, 24 a wild ass used to the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind! Who can restrain her lust? None who seek her need weary themselves; in her month they will find her. 25 Keep your feet from going unshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, 'It is hopeless, for I have loved strangers, and after them I will go.' 26 "As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel shall be shamed: they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, 27 who say to a tree, 'You are my father,' and to a stone, 'You gave me birth.' For they have turned their back to me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble they say, 'Arise and save us!' 28 But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for as many as your cities are your gods, O Judah. 29 "Why do you complain against me? You have all rebelled against me, says the LORD. 30 In vain have I smitten your children, they took no correction; your own sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion. 31 And you, O generation, heed the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or a land of thick darkness? Why then do my people say, 'We are free, we will come no more to thee'? 32 Can a maiden forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number. 33 "How well you direct your course to seek lovers! So that even to wicked women you have taught your ways. 34 Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of guiltless poor; you did not find them breaking in. Yet in spite of all these things 35 you say, 'I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.' Behold, I will bring you to judgment for saying, 'I have not sinned.' 36 How lightly you gad about, changing your way! You shall be put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria. 37 From it too you will come away with your hands upon your head, for the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper by them.
[Psa 119:145-176 RSV] 145 With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD! I will keep thy statutes. 146 I cry to thee; save me, that I may observe thy testimonies. 147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in thy words. 148 My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate upon thy promise. 149 Hear my voice in thy steadfast love; O LORD, in thy justice preserve my life. 150 They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose; they are far from thy law. 151 But thou art near, O LORD, and all thy commandments are true. 152 Long have I known from thy testimonies that thou hast founded them for ever. 153 Look on my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget thy law. 154 Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to thy promise! 155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek thy statutes. 156 Great is thy mercy, O LORD; give me life according to thy justice. 157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, but I do not swerve from thy testimonies. 158 I look at the faithless with disgust, because they do not keep thy commands. 159 Consider how I love thy precepts! Preserve my life according to thy steadfast love. 160 The sum of thy word is truth; and every one of thy righteous ordinances endures for ever. 161 Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of thy words. 162 I rejoice at thy word like one who finds great spoil. 163 I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love thy law. 164 Seven times a day I praise thee for thy righteous ordinances. 165 Great peace have those who love thy law; nothing can make them stumble. 166 I hope for thy salvation, O LORD, and I do thy commandments. 167 My soul keeps thy testimonies; I love them exceedingly. 168 I keep thy precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before thee. 169 Let my cry come before thee, O LORD; give me understanding according to thy word! 170 Let my supplication come before thee; deliver me according to thy word. 171 My lips will pour forth praise that thou dost teach me thy statutes. 172 My tongue will sing of thy word, for all thy commandments are right. 173 Let thy hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen thy precepts. 174 I long for thy salvation, O LORD, and thy law is my delight. 175 Let me live, that I may praise thee, and let thy ordinances help me. 176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant, for I do not forget thy commandments.
From Pastor Tim
Today we get a very interesting reading from Timothy, specifically Paul writes about “real” widows versus I guess “fake widows?” Now this is both a practical matter, they Church cannot support taking care of every widow, but is also a matter of salvation history. First let’s get the practical out of the way. It is true that the Church’s resources are limited now and always have been. If we just told everyone take whatever you want we would not have enough for the people who cannot be taken care of any other way. So of course there have to be some rules and guidelines for who is going to be taken care of by the church. However the other reason there are rules for who can be a “real” widow is that idleness is not actually good for people. Often times when people retire they find lots of things to do with their time, from traveling to volunteering. This is wonderful because they continue to be productive and busy using their God given life for his glory. If retirement meant that you just sat at home all day doing nothing then it would not so much be a reward for working as it would be a punishment for being old! Paul says that when a widow is being productive by all means help her as a “real” widow, but if she is just being idle and a gossip then do not enable her and help her to marry again. The issue of loving someone by denying them what they want is familiar to every parent who has to say no to their child’s constant request for toys and candy. After all if we said yes to everything we would have created a monster and harmed their health and happiness. When we have salvation we don’t just sit back but continue to live our lives in society and for the Lord.
We are reading through the Bible in order to celebrate the anniversary of the reformation, we would invite you to join us where ever we are, or you could just start reading daily. Remember Luther wanted to get Scripture into the hand of everyone so they would grow to know God better. Join us!