But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

word of God

psalm 86

A Prayer of David.

Incline Your ear, O Lordand answer me;
For I am afflicted and needy.
Preserve my soul, for I am a godly man;
O You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You.
Be gracious to me, O Lord,
For to You I cry all day long.
Make glad the soul of Your servant,
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
And give heed to the voice of my supplications!
In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You,
For You will answer me.
There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord,
Nor are there any works like Yours.
All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And they shall glorify Your name.
For You are great and do wondrous deeds;
You alone are God.

Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And will glorify Your name forever.
For Your lovingkindness toward me is great,
And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

O God, arrogant men have risen up against me,
And a band of violent men have sought my life,
And they have not set You before them.
But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.
Turn to me, and be gracious to me;
Oh grant Your strength to Your servant,
And save the son of Your handmaid.
Show me a sign for good,
That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,
Because You, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

It Is Written…

Teach Me Your Paths

Of David.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
    let me not be put to shame;
    let not my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
    they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
    teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God of my salvation;
    for you I wait all the day long.

Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
    for they have been from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
    according to your steadfast love remember me,
    for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
    and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
    for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

For your name’s sake, O Lord,
    pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the Lord?
    Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
His soul shall abide in well-being,
    and his offspring shall inherit the land.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
    and he makes known to them his covenant.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
    for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
    for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
    bring me out of my distresses.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
    and forgive all my sins.

Consider how many are my foes,
    and with what violent hatred they hate me.
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
    Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
    for I wait for you.

Redeem Israel, O God,
    out of all his troubles.

It is written…

ScriptureBlessed be the Lord, my rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle;
My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My stronghold and my deliverer,
My shield and He in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues my people under me.
O Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that You think of him?
Man is like a mere breath;
His days are like a passing shadow.

Bow Your heavens, O Lord, and come down;
Touch the mountains, that they may smoke.
Flash forth lightning and scatter them;
Send out Your arrows and confuse them.
Stretch forth Your hand from on high;
Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters,
Out of the hand of aliens
Whose mouths speak deceit,
And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

I will sing a new song to You, O God;
Upon a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You,
Who gives salvation to kings,
Who rescues David His servant from the evil sword.
Rescue me and deliver me out of the hand of aliens,
Whose mouth speaks deceit
And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants,
And our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace;
Let our garners be full, furnishing every kind of produce,
And our flocks bring forth thousands and ten thousands in ourfields;
Let our cattle bear
Without mishap and without loss,
Let there be no outcry in our streets!
How blessed are the people who are so situated;
How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!

Psalm 144


Search the Scriptures…

William PerkinsTherefore we are commanded to search the Scriptures as for silver [John 5:39], and to seek in them as for treasures, to read in them continually, to meditate on them day and night [Ps. 1:2], to use them as bracelets upon our arms, and frontlets between our eyes [Deut. 6:8], to teach them to our posterity, and to talk of them when we are in our houses, and when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we are up.  And great reason there is of this commandment, seeing that (as an ancient writer says) Quicquid in eis docetur veritas est: quicquid praecipitur bonitas est: quicquid promittitur faelicitas est – that is, “Whatsoever is taught in them, is truth itself; whatsoever is commanded, is goodness itself; whatsoever is promised, is happiness itself.”  They being of such perfection, that nothing may be added unto them, or any thing taken from them [Deut. 4:2]; of such infallible certainty, that heaven and earth shall sooner pass away, than one tittle fall to the ground [Matt. 5:18]; so pleasant and delightful, that they exceed the honey and the honeycomb; and so profitable, that no treasures may be compared unto them [Ps. 19:10], seeing they are able to make us wiser than our enemies, than the aged, than our teachers [Ps. 119:98, etc.]; to make us wise unto salvation [2 Tim. 3:15]; to give us an inheritance among them that are sanctified [Acts 20:32]; nay, able to save our souls [James 1:21]. The Works of William Perkins, Vol. 2, pg. 3,4

But Thanks Be To God…

bibleNow I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared toJames, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only,we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reignuntil he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to bedestroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? Why are we in danger every hour? I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, andthis mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15 (ESV)