Saturday, 4 July 2015

Mark 6:1-13.

Mark 6:1-13
The People of Nazareth Turn against Jesus

Jesus left and returned to his hometown with his disciples. The next
Sabbath he taught in the Jewish meeting place. Many of the people who
heard him were amazed and asked, "How can he do all this? Where did he
get such wisdom and the power to work these miracles? Isn't he the
carpenter, the son of Mary? Aren't James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon his
brothers? Don't his sisters still live here in our town?" The people
were very unhappy because of what he was doing. But Jesus said,
"Prophets are honored by everyone, except the people of their hometown
and their relatives and their own family." Jesus could not work any
miracles there, except to heal a few sick people by placing his hands
on them. He was surprised that the people did not have any faith.

Instructions for the Twelve Apostles

Jesus taught in all the neighboring villages. Then he called together
his twelve apostles and sent them out two by two with power over evil
spirits. He told them, "You may take along a walking stick. But don't
carry food or a traveling bag or any money. It's all right to wear
sandals, but don't take along a change of clothes. When you are
welcomed into a home, stay there until you leave that town. If any
place won't welcome you or listen to your message, leave and shake the
dust from your feet as a warning to them." The apostles left and
started telling everyone to turn to God. They forced out many demons
and healed a lot of sick people by putting olive oil on them.

God bless you.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Genesis 7:1-24.

Genesis 7:1-24 (Good News Translation)
The Flood

1The Lord said to Noah, "Go into the boat with your whole family; I
have found that you are the only one in all the world who does what is
right.2Take with you seven pairs of each kind of ritually clean
animal, but only one pair of each kind of unclean animal.3Take also
seven pairs of each kind of bird. Do this so that every kind of animal
and bird will be kept alive to reproduce again on the earth.4Seven
days from now I am going to send rain that will fall for forty days
and nights, in order to destroy all the living beings that I have
made."5And Noah did everything that the Lord commanded.
6Noah was six hundred years old when the flood came on the earth.7 He
and his wife, and his sons and their wives, went into the boat to
escape the flood.8A male and a female of every kind of animal and
bird, whether ritually clean or unclean,9went into the boat with Noah,
as God had commanded.10Seven days later the flood came.11 When Noah
was six hundred years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month
all the outlets of the vast body of water beneath the earth burst
open, all the floodgates of the sky were opened,12and rain fell on the
earth for forty days and nights.13On that same day Noah and his wife
went into the boat with their three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and
their wives.14With them went every kind of animal, domestic and wild,
large and small, and every kind of bird.15A male and a female of each
kind of living being went into the boat with Noah,16as God had
commanded. Then the Lord shut the door behind Noah.
17The flood continued for forty days, and the water became deep enough
for the boat to float.18The water became deeper, and the boat drifted
on the surface.19It became so deep that it covered the highest
mountains;20it went on rising until it was about twenty-five feet
above the tops of the mountains.21Every living being on the earth
died—every bird, every animal, and every person.22Everything on earth
that breathed died.23The Lord destroyed all living beings on the
earth—human beings, animals, and birds. The only ones left were Noah
and those who were with him in the boat.24The water did not start
going down for a hundred and fifty days.

God bless you.

Colossians 3:1-17

Colossians 3:1-17

"You have been raised to life with Christ. Now set your heart on what
is in heaven, where Christ rules at God's right side. Think about
what is up there, not about what is here on earth. You died, which
means that your life is hidden with Christ, who sits beside God.
Christ gives meaning to your life, and when he appears, you will also
appear with him in glory.Don't be controlled by your body. Kill every
desire for the wrong kind of sex. Don't be immoral or indecent or have
evil thoughts. Don't be greedy, which is the same as worshiping idols.
God is angry with people who disobey him by doing these things. And
that is exactly what you did, when you lived among people who behaved
in this way. But now you must stop doing such things. You must quit
being angry, hateful, and evil. You must no longer say insulting or
cruel things about others. And stop lying to each other. You have
given up your old way of life with its habits. Each of you is now a
new person. You are becoming more and more like your Creator, and you
will understand him better. It doesn't matter if you are a Greek or a
Jew, or if you are circumcised or not. You may even be a barbarian or
a Scythian, and you may be a slave or a free person. Yet Christ is all
that matters, and he lives in all of us.
God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be
gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. Put up with each other, and
forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you.
Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything
completely together. Each one of you is part of the body of Christ,
and you were chosen to live together in peace. So let the peace that
comes from Christ control your thoughts. And be grateful. Let the
message about Christ completely fill your lives, while you use all
your wisdom to teach and instruct each other. With thankful hearts,
sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. Whatever you say or
do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to
God the Father because of him."

God bless you.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Mark 5:21-43.

Mark 5:21-43
A Dying Girl and a Sick Woman

Once again Jesus got into the boat and crossed Lake Galilee. Then as
he stood on the shore, a large crowd gathered around him. The person
in charge of the Jewish meeting place was also there. His name was
Jairus, and when he saw Jesus, he went over to him. He knelt at Jesus'
feet and started begging him for help. He said, "My daughter is about
to die! Please come and touch her, so she will get well and live."
Jesus went with Jairus. Many people followed along and kept crowding
around. In the crowd was a woman who had been bleeding for twelve
years. She had gone to many doctors, and they had not done anything
except cause her a lot of pain. She had paid them all the money she
had. But instead of getting better, she only got worse. The woman had
heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him in the crowd and barely
touched his clothes. She had said to herself, "If I can just touch
his clothes, I will get well." As soon as she touched them, her
bleeding stopped, and she knew she was well. At that moment Jesus felt
power go out from him. He turned to the crowd and asked, "Who touched
my clothes?" His disciples said to him, "Look at all these people
crowding around you! How can you ask who touched you?" But Jesus
turned to see who had touched him. The woman knew what had happened to
her. She came shaking with fear and knelt down in front of Jesus. Then
she told him the whole story. Jesus said to the woman, "You are now
well because of your faith. May God give you peace! You are healed,
and you will no longer be in pain."
While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from Jairus' home and
said, "Your daughter has died! Why bother the teacher anymore?" Jesus
heard what they said, and he said to Jairus, "Don't worry. Just have
faith!" Jesus did not let anyone go with him except Peter and the two
brothers, James and John. They went home with Jairus and saw the
people crying and making a lot of noise. Then Jesus went inside and
said to them, "Why are you crying and carrying on like this? The child
isn't dead. She is just asleep." But the people laughed at him.
After Jesus had sent them all out of the house, he took the girl's
father and mother and his three disciples and went to where she was. -
He took the twelve-year-old girl by the hand and said, "Talitha,
koum!" which means, "Little girl, get up!" The girl got right up and
started walking around. Everyone was greatly surprised. But Jesus
ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened. Then he said, "Give
her something to eat."

God bless you.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

2 Corinthians 7:5-8:15.

2 Corinthians 7:5-8:15

After we came to Macedonia, we didn't have any chance to rest. We were
faced with all kinds of problems. We were troubled by enemies and
troubled by fears. But God cheers up people in need, and that is what
he did when he sent Titus to us. Of course, we were glad to see
Titus, but what really made us glad is the way you cheered him up. He
told how sorry you were and how concerned you were about me. And this
made me even happier. I don't feel bad anymore, even though my letter
hurt your feelings. I did feel bad at first, but I don't now. I know
that the letter hurt you for a while. Now I am happy, but not because
I hurt your feelings. It is because God used your hurt feelings to
make you turn back to him, and none of you were harmed by us. When
God makes you feel sorry enough to turn to him and be saved, you don't
have anything to feel bad about. But when this world makes you feel
sorry, it can cause your death. Just look what God has done by making
you feel sorry! You sincerely want to prove that you are innocent. You
are angry. You are shocked. You are eager to see that justice is done.
You have proved that you were completely right in this matter. When I
wrote you, it wasn't to accuse the one who was wrong or to take up for
the one who was hurt. I wrote, so that God would show you how much you
do care for us. And we were greatly encouraged. Although we were
encouraged, we felt even better when we saw how happy Titus was,
because you had shown that he had nothing to worry about. We had told
him how much we thought of you, and you did not disappoint us. Just as
we have always told you the truth, so everything we told him about you
has also proved to be true. Titus loves all of you very much,
especially when he remembers how you obeyed him and how you trembled
with fear when you welcomed him. It makes me really glad to know that
I can depend on you.

Generous Giving

My friends, we want you to know that the churches in Macedonia have
shown others how kind God is. Although they were going through hard
times and were very poor, they were glad to give generously. They
gave as much as they could afford and even more, simply because they
wanted to. They even asked and begged us to let them have the joy of
giving their money for God's people. And they did more than we had
hoped. They gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us, just as
God wanted them to do. Titus was the one who got you started doing
this good thing, so we begged him to have you finish what you had
begun. You do everything better than anyone else. You have stronger
faith. You speak better and know more. You are eager to give, and you
love us better. Now you must give more generously than anyone else. I
am not ordering you to do this. I am simply testing how real your love
is by comparing it with the concern that others have shown. You know
that our Lord Jesus Christ was kind enough to give up all his riches
and become poor, so that you could become rich. A year ago you were
the first ones to give, and you gave because you wanted to. So listen
to my advice. I think you should finish what you started. If you give
according to what you have, you will prove that you are as eager to
give as you were to think about giving. It doesn't matter how much
you have. What matters is how much you are willing to give from what
you have. I am not trying to make life easier for others by making
life harder for you. But it is only fair for you to share with them
when you have so much, and they have so little. Later, when they have
more than enough, and you are in need, they can share with you. Then
everyone will have a fair share, just as the Scriptures say, "Those
who gathered too much had nothing left. Those who gathered only a
little had all they needed."

God bless you.

Luke 1:57-80.

Luke 1:57-80

"The Birth of John the Baptist When Elizabeth's son was born, her
neighbors and relatives heard how kind the Lord had been to her, and
they too were glad. Eight days later they did for the child what the
Law of Moses commands. They were going to name him Zechariah, after
his father. But Elizabeth said, "No! His name is John." The people
argued, "No one in your family has ever been named John." So they
motioned to Zechariah to find out what he wanted to name his son.
Zechariah asked for a writing tablet. Then he wrote, "His name is
John." Everyone was amazed. Right away, Zechariah started speaking
and praising God. All the neighbors were frightened because of what
had happened, and everywhere in the hill country people kept talking
about these things. Everyone who heard about this wondered what this
child would grow up to be. They knew that the Lord was with him.

Zechariah Praises the Lord

The Holy Spirit came upon Zechariah, and he began to speak: Praise the
Lord, the God of Israel! He has come to save his people. Our God has
given us a mighty Savior from the family of David his servant. Long
ago the Lord promised by the words of his holy prophets to save us
from our enemies and from everyone who hates us. God said he would be
kind to our people and keep his sacred promise. He told our ancestor
Abraham that he would rescue us from our enemies. Then we could serve
him without fear, by being holy and good as long as we live. You, my
son, will be called a prophet of God in heaven above. You will go
ahead of the Lord to get everything ready for him. You will tell his
people that they can be saved when their sins are forgiven. God's love
and kindness will shine upon us like the sun that rises in the sky. On
us who live in the dark shadow of death this light will shine to guide
us into a life of peace. As John grew up, God's Spirit gave him great
power. John lived in the desert until the time he was sent to the
people of Israel."

God bless you.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

1 Samuel 17:41-58

1 Samuel 17:41-58
David Kills Goliath

Goliath came toward David, walking behind the soldier who was carrying
his shield. When Goliath saw that David was just a healthy,
good-looking boy, he made fun of him. "Do you think I'm a dog?"
Goliath asked. "Is that why you've come after me with a stick?" He
cursed David in the name of the Philistine gods and shouted, "Come
on! When I'm finished with you, I'll feed you to the birds and wild
animals!"

David answered:

You've come out to fight me with a sword and a spear and a dagger. But
I've come out to fight you in the name of the Lord All-Powerful. He is
the God of Israel's army, and you have insulted him too! Today the
Lord will help me defeat you. I'll knock you down and cut off your
head, and I'll feed the bodies of the other Philistine soldiers to the
birds and wild animals. Then the whole world will know that Israel has
a real God. Everybody here will see that the Lord doesn't need swords
or spears to save his people. The Lord always wins his battles, and he
will help us defeat you. When Goliath started forward, David ran
toward him. He put a rock in his sling and swung the sling around by
its straps. When he let go of one strap, the rock flew out and hit
Goliath on the forehead. It cracked his skull, and he fell facedown on
the ground. David defeated Goliath with a sling and a rock. He killed
him without even using a sword. David ran over and pulled out
Goliath's sword. Then he used it to cut off Goliath's head. When the
Philistines saw what had happened to their hero, they started running
away. But the soldiers of Israel and Judah let out a battle cry and
went after them as far as Gath and Ekron. The bodies of the
Philistines were scattered all along the road from Shaaraim to Gath
and Ekron. When the Israelite army returned from chasing the
Philistines, they took what they wanted from the enemy camp. David
took Goliath's head to Jerusalem, but he kept Goliath's weapons in his
own tent.

David Becomes One of Saul's Officers

After King Saul had watched David go out to fight Goliath, Saul turned
to the commander of his army and said, "Abner, who is that young man?"
"Your Majesty," Abner answered, "I swear by your life that I don't
know." "Then find out!" Saul told him. When David came back from
fighting Goliath, he was still carrying Goliath's head. Abner took
David to Saul, and Saul asked, "Who are you?"
"I am David the son of Jesse, a loyal Israelite from Bethlehem."

God bless you.