Scripture for 11.12.2020

TORAH –  Vayera (and He appeared)    Genesis 21

PROPHETS
Judges 14 & Judges 15

THE GOSPELS & LETTERS
Matthew 27

WISDOM WRITING
PSALM of the Day 81
PSALM 27
PROVERBS 5:15-21


If you are on the journey with us reading through the Bible, welcome to day 27 or if you are joining us now welcome and be prepared for a life changing experience.

(We have a 5 lesson introduction to the Bible on youtube) – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqqu9kmO73rhhVJDQQLR6hyPAqiP1XzP3 

There is a recap/coaching session every Tuesday night 6-7pm pst on facebook and after it will be put on youtube. Please share this reading schedule & resources with others. 

Below are the links to the book information & other resourses for your library for your lifetime of study.

The books, commentaries and film resources for the upcoming readings will be posted  here before we get there as it is always nice to be ahead and not behind. See the weekly class session posts for all the information.


Questions?  Please email us at: exploringgodslibrary@gmail.com


 Bible 

https://amzn.to/3g7Z1Kq

Psalms
https://amzn.to/3gib1JB

Proverbs
https://amzn.to/2Zq1Xfx

Westminster Confession of Faith
https://amzn.to/3e7B1VR

Genesis 
Davis, John J. Paradise to Prison. Baker. 1976
https://amzn.to/2WSgGyg

Joshua 
Woudstra, Marten H. The Book of Joshua. New International Commentary on the O.T. Eerdmans. 1981
https://amzn.to/2ZxsjfB

Judges 
Distressing Days of the Judges by Leon Wood

Matthew

Toussaint, Stanley D. Behold the King, A Study of Matthew https://amzn.to/2AQJizi

Disclaimer -The resources contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a small commission. This helps support the channel and allows us to continue to make videos and classes like these and keep them free. Thank you for your support!

The Land of If Only

By James C. Stephens

Hard lesson. It is good to take a moment, take a deep breathe, a selah and meditate on this issue, especially when tensions grow higher over issues beyond our personal control.

A very hard lesson. “How shall I lose the sin, yet keep the sense, and love the offender, yet detest the offense.” -Alexander Pope

Is that not in essence what our LORD Jesus is saying, “Love your enemy as yourself?” It in no way excuses an enemy’s sin which is an abomination to God, but that enemy made in the image of God is still is an image bearer as marred as that image may be.

We too were at one time strangers to His grace and were lost in our sins and trepasses. But how, once saved we forget and become our brother’s accuser rather than his advocate. Is he not but a drowning man, lost in sin and in need of redemption? Why else was he brought across our path? He is before us, a creature to be pitied in his blindness and bondage to self. We intercede. If for only one who might be saved from the fiery furnace and an eternal and unending horror called hell, separated from He who lovingly created you, those whom he or she onced loved, to dwell forever in the land of if only.

Remember, I must tell myself, there is much rejoicing in heaven of one who turns from the path of destruction and returns to Christ. Very hard lesson. Knowing such love from our Savior is it not commanded that we love one another? Knowing such love, can we remain silent when we see a brother racing headlong into hell and leading others astray? No. We must speak or his blood will be on our heads and we like Cain will speak in defiance to God, “Who am I? My brother’s keeper?” Knowing all the while, that it was I who killed my brother Abel.

Silence+Apathy=Complicity

What Does “Semper Reformanda” Mean?

I was revisiting this question the other day and came across an excellent answer from Ligonier’s I would like to share here.

“Van Lodenstein (who taught Semper Reformanda) was a Reformed pietist and part of the Dutch Second Reformation. As such, his religious concerns were very similar to those of the English Puritans.

They all believed that once the externals of religion had been carefully and faithfully reformed according to the Word of God, the great need was for ministers to lead people in the true religion of the heart.

They saw the great danger of their day not as false doctrine or superstition or idolatry, but as formalism. The danger of formalism is that a church member could subscribe to true doctrine, participate in true worship in a biblically regulated church, and yet still not have true faith.

As Jesus had warned against the Pharisees of His day, citing the prophet Isaiah, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Matt. 15:8).


The part of religion that always needs reforming is the human heart. It is vital religion and true faith that must be constantly cultivated. Formalism, indifferentism, and conformism must all be vigorously opposed by a faithful ministry.”

https://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-does-semper-reformanda-mean/

Reformation Day October 31, 2020

On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses concerning indulgences on the door of the church in Wittenberg as he had witnessed much abuse “by traders in indulgences, so misunderstood by the people, that if the pope knew what was going on, he would rather see St. Peter’s church go into ashes, than see it built of the skin and bones of his sheep.”

Luther said, “Whatever your heart clings to and confides in that is really your God. The Bible is alive; it speaks to me; It has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.”

“Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason-I do not accept the authority of popes and councils for they have contradicted each other-my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I can not and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can not do otherwise. God help me. Amen.”

As Christians we do not celebrate Halloween, but Reformation Day which honors Martin Luther and the many believers who have fought for the purity of the Gospel of our LORD Jesus Christ, who have consistantly held to the faith as delivered to the Apostles, His Church, which have solidified her historic doctrines and creeds. Here is a brief playlist including the Luther film and a documentary on Luther produced by Ligonier’s.

Quote of the Day by Ben Carson

QUOTE OF THE DAY :
” If someone asks about your educational background, proclaim boldly that: Church is my college. Heaven is my university. Father God is my counselor. Jesus is my principal. Holy Spirit is my teacher. Angels are my classmates. Bible is my textbook. Temptations are my exams. Overcoming Satan is my hobby. Winning souls for God is my assignment. Receiving eternity is my degree. Praise and Worship are my slogan. If you are a child of God bless you!”
-BEN CARSON

Exploring God’s Library 2021 – Week One

Week‌ ‌1‌ ‌(10.17‌ ‌to‌ ‌10.23.2020)‌ ‌ ‌

 ‌Portion‌ ‌1‌ ‌-‌ ‌“In‌ ‌the‌ ‌Beginning”‌ ‌

 ‌Weekly‌ ‌FB‌ ‌live‌ ‌(Tuesday,‌ ‌6-7pm‌ ‌pst)‌ ‌10.20.2020‌ ‌

 ‌

Devotional‌ ‌

“New‌ ‌Beginning,”‌ ‌‌Valley of Vision ‌p.‌ ‌93.‌ 

 ‌

1st‌ ‌Five‌ ‌Books‌ ‌-‌ ‌‌Genesis‌ ‌Chapters‌ ‌1-6:8‌ ‌

Paradise to Prison,‌ ‌Commentary‌ ‌on‌ ‌Genesis‌ ‌by‌ ‌John‌ ‌J.‌ ‌Davis‌ ‌p.‌ ‌15-117

 ‌

Prophets‌ ‌&‌ ‌Writings‌ ‌-‌ ‌‌Joshua‌ ‌Chapters‌ ‌1-10‌ ‌

The Book of Joshua,‌ ‌by‌ ‌Marten‌ ‌H.‌ ‌Woudstra,‌ ‌p.‌ ‌26-42:‌ ‌66-76:‌ ‌106-117‌ 

 ‌

New‌ ‌Testament‌ ‌-‌ ‌‌Matthew‌ ‌Chapters‌ ‌1-7‌ ‌

 Behold the King ‌by‌ ‌Stanley‌ ‌D.‌ ‌Toussaint,‌ ‌Intro,‌ ‌p.‌ ‌17-34;‌ ‌35-119‌ 

 ‌

Psalms‌ ‌-‌ ‌‌Chapter‌ ‌1-7‌ ‌

Treasury of David ‌by‌ ‌Charles‌ ‌H.‌ ‌Spurgeon,‌ ‌Psalms‌ ‌1,‌ ‌p.‌ ‌13-15‌

 ‌

Proverbs‌ ‌-‌ ‌‌Chapter‌ ‌1-2:15‌ ‌

Proverbs ‌ ‌by‌ ‌Charles‌ ‌Bridges,‌ ‌Preface,‌ ‌ixi-xv,‌ ‌Proverbs‌ ‌1:5-7,‌ ‌p.‌ ‌2-4‌

Doctrine‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Week‌ ‌

Creation ‌-‌ Pastor John MacArthur on the theology of creation and ex nihilo     

Marker‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Week‌ ‌

Genealogy ‌-‌ ‌Alistair‌ ‌Begg’s‌ ‌Sermon‌ ‌on‌ ‌Matthew‌ ‌1‌ ‌

 

Historical‌ ‌Figure‌ ‌

Alfred‌ ‌Edersheim,‌ Life‌ ‌&‌ ‌Times‌ ‌of‌ ‌Jesus‌ ‌the‌ ‌Messiah‌‌ 

 ‌

Resource‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Week‌ ‌

Is Genesis History? ‌

 ‌

Memory‌ ‌Verse‌ ‌-‌ ‌‌Psalm‌ ‌1:1-3‌ ‌

“Blessed‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌man‌ ‌Who‌ ‌walks‌ ‌not‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌counsel‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌ungodly,‌ ‌Nor‌ ‌stands‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌path‌ ‌of‌ ‌sinners,‌ ‌Nor‌ ‌sits‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌seat‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌scornful;‌ ‌2‌  ‌But‌ ‌his‌ ‌delight‌ ‌is‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌law‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Lord,‌ ‌And‌ ‌in‌ ‌His‌ ‌law‌ ‌he‌ ‌meditates‌ ‌day‌ ‌and‌ ‌night.‌ ‌3‌  ‌He‌ ‌shall‌ ‌be‌ ‌like‌ ‌a‌ ‌tree‌ ‌Planted‌ ‌by‌ ‌the‌ ‌rivers‌ ‌of‌ ‌water,‌ ‌That‌ ‌brings‌ ‌forth‌ ‌its‌ ‌fruit‌ ‌in‌ ‌its‌ ‌season,‌ ‌Whose‌ ‌leaf‌ ‌also‌ ‌shall‌ ‌not‌ ‌wither;‌ ‌And‌ ‌whatever‌ ‌he‌ ‌does‌ ‌shall‌ ‌prosper.”‌ ‌

 ‌

Announcements‌ ‌ ‌

Recommended‌ ‌-‌  New King James MacArthur Study Bible   ‌

Closing‌ ‌Prayer‌ ‌

 ‌

***Disclaimer‌ ‌-This‌ ‌page‌ ‌contains‌ ‌affiliate‌ ‌links,‌ ‌which‌ ‌means‌ ‌by‌ ‌purchasing‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌products‌ ‌,‌ ‌we’ll‌ ‌receive‌ ‌a‌ ‌small‌ ‌commission.‌ ‌This‌ ‌helps‌ ‌support‌ ‌the‌ ‌ongoing‌ ‌work‌ ‌of‌ ‌Exploring‌ ‌God’s‌ ‌Library.‌ ‌Thank‌ ‌you‌ ‌for‌ ‌your‌ ‌support!***‌ 

An Invitation to Join the Journey!

20180727_144709-05

Our invitation to join us on a life changing journey:


EGL2020

Beginning on Saturday, October 26, 2019 and ending on Friday, October 16, 2020

Background. Elizabeth and I, James Stephens have profited greatly over the past thirty four years through reading the Bible and from sitting under excellent expository preaching from gifted teachers. Over the past four years we have done a significant amount of research and experimentation looking at various Bible reading programs and studying the history of the Bible in the English language.

We have also experimented using online programs as well and while various assets are quite helpful, we felt we were slowly losing touch with our own Bible. While we were disciplined in reading the One Year Bible for our morning devotions, we recognized that we had lost the opportunity for grasping the order of the Word by using our own personal Bible on a daily basis. We missed that familiarity as one experiences with an old friend who knows many of our fears, trials and joys. Indeed, a well-marked book signifies a relationship with its author.

Some nights, I ask my wife Elizabeth what she’s reading and she will say, “my favorite passages” whether it’s the Word of God or a novel like Ben Hur or Jane Eyre. I do the same with many of my marked books where I underline and mark passages that I want to savor once again. They are a source of encouragement whenever I’m discouraged, perplexed or need a dose of inspiration. Their authors have become our historical mentors. But we still miss many elements in our daily reading either because our mind gets distracted with the tasks of the day or because we don’t take time to study the passage in its context.

Elizabeth related to me that when she was growing up without access to a Bible, she found one in the school library and checked it out, but soon returned it because she couldn’t understand it. Her situation parallels that of the Ethiopian eunuch who was sitting in his chariot reading from the Prophet Isaiah and found himself at a loss. God knowing his need called on the Apostle Philip who, “ran to him, and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, do you understand what you are reading?”

The Ethiopian eunuch replied, “How can I, he said, unless someone explains it to me? So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.” Then Philip guided him through the Scriptures. (Acts 8:26-40).

Several years ago, while I was taking my morning walk, I was admiring a beautiful flowering crape myrtle and a man who I never had met came up behind me and asked me what I was looking at. I replied, “I’m admiring God’s wonderful creation.” He then asked, “Would you like to walk with me?” I replied, “Sure.”

It turned out he had been the Minister of Education in Nepal and was directly responsible to the King of Nepal. For the next nine months, during his stay in California while his wife recuperated from a surgery, we would walk together three times a week. Each day we would talk about a wide range of things from California to Nepal. He also was quite interested in the proverbs, stories of creation, family stories of Abraham and Jacob, and Joseph and Jesus. At the end of nine months shortly before his departure back to Nepal, we were able to find him a copy of a Nepali Bible which he had requested. During that time we developed a friendship as we exchanged ideas and stories on various topics.

Recently, I spent time with three old friends who all came from various religious backgrounds and each told how they were reading the Bible prior to becoming believers. One took a course on the Bible and had many questions. Another friend who worked in Mongolia, was told by an administrator who had been under Soviet rule for years and although he had given him a rough time about his Christian faith, that he was so impressed by his joyful attitude that he secretly read the entire Bible.

Others say that they would like to read the Bible, but are too busy, but have time during their morning and evening commute to listen. But they desire to find a way to do so.

How Much Time Will It Take Me a Day?

Elizabeth estimates that you are able to read the entire Bible by reading proscribed passages each day in about twenty minutes. So, it doesn’t take that much time, but it does take personal discipline. The passages are laid out like this: 1) One short passage from the Torah (first five books of the Bible written by Moses); 2) A passage from the Historic Books or the Major or Minor Prophets also from the Old Testament; 3) A Chapter from the New Testament Letters; 4) A Daily Psalm which the Jewish community reads each day, followed by another Psalm; and 5) A short Proverb.

Why is it called Explore God’s Library?

The Bible is not just one book, but rather composed of 66 different books written by a number of different authors moved by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Some have called it the Bibliotheca, or Library.

Guide on the Side. We are not theologians, but followers of Jesus Christ and have a desire to read His Word and introduce others to the most influential and perhaps controversial book in all of human history. This in some ways is like a literary group except that we are reading and studying 66 books in a year (The Bible). It is for people who want to read through the Bible and would like to join others in the process. We are not the sage on the stage, but are simply guides on the side to help guide you through the process.

Markers. Our method of facilitating this exploration of the Word is by the application of what we call “Markers” which point out aspects of a passage. The idea parallels an exercise I would give to my students when visiting a religious site where I would assign each of them some observation lesson such as “look how hands are used.” This heightens their awareness and assists them in discovering new insights which might otherwise be overlooked. Likewise, we will highlight various passages within a particular reading which may tie into a prophecy or other marker. For example, while reading Genesis 12, we would call attention to the third verse by providing a Marker #27-Prophecy which points out-that through Abraham’s seed, God will bless all nations.

Resources. Over the years we have discovered many wonderful teachers, films, links and resources which have contributed to our understanding of the Scriptures, and while there may be some disagreement, they all help us understand the precious Word of God and the breadth of resources which are available. We hope to be able to procure major films such as The Passion, The Nativity, Joseph, The Ten Commandments and other films for private screenings for those who are local and links for those who live at a distance.

Recordings. We have also procured the right to use the recordings of Alexander Scoursby so that you may listen to the proper pronunciation of each term by a master reader.

What’s required of me?

The only cost would be to purchase a Bible. We do recommend theMacArthur Study Bible, New King James Version because of its copious and excellent study notes written by a pastor teacher who has faithfully taught and studied the Scriptures for over 50 years. The choice again is up to you. We have no membership fees.

At the same time, we will recommend the best commentaries and other resources, which you may want to purchase or not, depending on your own goals. The year does provide an opportunity for a small church or pastor or Bible Study or individual to build their own library for a lifetime of study.

Ground rules. We do ask for an open heart and consideration of others who may want a place or opportunity to study God’s word. It is designed to encourage those reading the Bible for the first time as well. So while we are in group sessions each Tuesday evening via Facebook Live or on conference call.com, we ask it not be a place for evangelism or sharing our own particular view of Scripture or personal philosophy. Any questions are welcome, but may not only be answered that evening time permitting. It is recommended that if you have questions during the week which you desire an answer tat you send us an email and we will do our best to get you an answer or find someone who can address your question. We are not suggesting that there is no place or time for a theological interchange, but that would best be done at other times individually.

One of America’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin hosted a group called the “Junto” which met weekly with an eye upon self-improvement. One of their standard questions was, “Do you love truth for truth’s sake, and will you endeavor impartially to find and receive it yourself, and communicate it to others?”

Differing perspectives will arise as a matter of course, but please recognize that the diversity of this group necessitates a certain set of ground rules for it to run smoothly so that everyone feels supported in freely exploring God’s Library. We realize that it is a personal discipline and want it to be a place where others feel free to share various helpful links to resources for us to understand the Word of God. It is a time and place to share the discoveries from the reading and study of God’s Word and encouraging one another along the way.

When Do We Start?

We begin on Saturday, October 26, 2019. We will be sharing via Facebook Live on Exploring God’s Library Group each Tuesday from 6-7pm Pacific Standard Time. You may request the Bible Reading Guide by sending an email to: exploringgodslibrary@gmail.com.

If you have a Facebook Account you can join Exploring God’s Library. It is a closed group so that no one from the outside may see who is a member of the group or what they post unless they have been invited. You may post anytime. Please post according to the readings assigned that week. Logistical questions of course are welcome.

Again, Facebook Live session Tuesdays 6PM-7PM Pacific Standard Time.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/exploringgodslibrary/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GodLibrary

youtube: https://youtu.be/kgw6BgzaDCg

Email: exploringgodslibrary@gmail.com.

Please email us and we will send you a Daily reading chart for each period. We will also be sending out a form which you may want to print out with the “Markers” and also a form for taking daily notes.

Welcome aboard!

James and Elizabeth Stephens

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Genealogy of the Messiah

Shabbat Reading from the New Testament — October 6, 2018


Matthew 1

  • Chapter 1: “The genealogy of Christ from Abraham to Joseph, 1-17. He is miraculously conceived of the Holy Ghost by the Virgin Mary, when she was espoused to Joseph, and declares the names and office of Christ: Jesus is born, 19-25.

Note: Exploring God’s Library is delighted to introduce our audience to the amazing variety of excellent pastors and teachers in the Christian community. Today, we introduce to you Pastor Alistair Begg:

I have enjoyed listening to Alistair Begg over the years and was first introduced to his preaching when he preached at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley. He also has a radio https://www.truthforlife.org/.

His sermon on the Genealogy of Matthew is a joy to listen to and very informative. Most skip genealogies, but you’ll find out by listening to Pastor Begg just how much your missing.

Alistair Begg Photo and statement

“To risk reputation and affection for the truth’s sake is so demanding that to do it constantly you will need a degree of moral principle that only the Spirit of God can work in you. Do not turn your back like a coward, but play the man. Follow boldly in your Master’s steps, for He has made this rough journey before you. Better a brief warfare and eternal rest than false peace and everlasting torment.”

– Alistair Begg