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Well, I'm on-line too late and catching up and did not intend to be the first comment of the day (My calandar still indicates Jan 26).
Just a few comments.

I have found the paraphrase I’m reading to be so interesting that I had read ahead in Matthew and Genesis/Exodus and then I didn’t have a chance to check the blog the last 2 days, so now I’m catching up on all the comments!

Name: Debby
Southeast US
Bible reading: Morning or evening. I’m really an evening person and have had to talk with God about getting up early to read. God does have a sense of humor as noted when He recently sent me a beautiful stray kitten/cat (named Snow Angel) who likes to wake me up at 5 AM!
I use the computer a lot at work, otherwise I’m computer illiterate. But, this blog has been an inspiration and motivation. Thanks again, Mike. And thanks to Ramona for your daily posts.

Anyone besides me noting how the OT and NT daily readings often have something similar? Ok, stretch it a bit, but sexual sin and circumcision... I have read that circumcision helped the Israelite male think a long time about going off and having sex with 'heathens' as the women could always tell who was an Israelite by his lack of foreskin...just a thought.

I did want to comment (a bit late, but thanks, Mike, for bringing it up again in todays blog) about Matthew 16: 18:
In our study of scripture we must remember that it would be wise not to pick out a verse here or there to "prove" something, maybe our own idea of what is 'right.' We are called to read what leads up to and is after our 'doctrinal or creed' verse. Such is the case with Matthew 16:18. (And in Acts 10: 15. When there is a question while reading the Bible, read on!)
Does Christ say Peter is the foundation of the church, or is He indicating that what Peter has just uttered is true, and that this truth (Jesus is Christ, the son of God) is the foundation of His church? A discussion of this is at http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=2702
It says: “Few verses in Scripture have generated more controversy or divisiveness than Matt 16:18, and the interpretation of this verse will be explored in this thesis. The problem of Matt 16:18 must be considered on two levels: the exegetical and the theological.22 First, the exegetical dilemma is founded upon this question: Who/What is this so-called “rock”? For Roman Catholics, the word-play between Simon’s surname, Peter (Pevtro", Lat. Petrus), and the “rock” (pevtra, Lat. petram) is not coincidental. This pun clearly points to the “rock” being none other than the apostle himself. Protestant scholars, however, have largely fallen into three camps regarding the interpretation of the verse: 1) the rock is Jesus; 2) the rock is the confession of faith; 3) the rock is Peter.”

God bless as we continue to study. The Holy Spirit will be present to give us discernment as we humble ourselves.

Mike-- and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."
(Matthew 19:5-6 NET.)

AND,


Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that anyone who is united with a prostitute is one body with her? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh."
(1 Corinthians 6:15-16 NET.)


These are but two of the four plus references in the Bible dealing with “sleeping” around. If you become “one” with those you “sleep” with, obviously, we are doing more than sleeping, and then you become tied to that person. I don’t know if this is a good analogy but when someone or something becomes one with gum or tar, in order to get it off whatever the gum is stuck to you take a little or a lot of the item that it is stuck to thus damaging the product or person. Sometimes the item can be healed, the skin or hair grows back, but many times the item, including the person is permanently scared or damaged.

I heard a preacher say that God doesn’t want you sleeping around with everybody because those you sleep with you become tied to and God doesn’t want you tied to all those spirits.

Hi Debby I'm glad you are along for the journey.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Thanks a lot Ramona for the verses.On the mat 16:18 topic,I once heard a sermon that said the rock was the revelation of Holy spirit to Peter that Jesus was the Christ..it went on to say that the church is made up by believers(to whom the Holy spirit revealed Christ to so they became believers)who the make up the body of Christ...On Today's reading,I saw a commentary that said ....the Lord met Moses(or Moses's son)on biblegateway.com which seems they're trying to say it was Moses's son God wanted to kill...maybe I'm wrong...honestly I really don't understand it...if God had wanted to kill Moses cos he hadn't circumsised his son why would he reveal it to Zipporah who wasn't hebrew(or in a relationship with God I guess) instead of telling Moses himself who may have known the customs of the hebrew people.
I started out on this bible study to get to know God more.I have heard alot of doctrines that didn't just sound right..many teachers who have distorted the Word to suit their own purpose(or maybe just didn't understand it to begin with)so I really want to know the truth so I can be safe from false doctrines..I'm about 2years in Christ...didn't go to church before I got saved cos my folks where always talking about how pastors preached one thing and did another.
About sexual sin..I think there are things that we get ourselves out of ignorance,then we got a lot of baggage and some times strange spirits to deal with.Even as a new christian I have seen leaders in church who have led new converts astray.I think what may have helped me as a new christian was that I really wanted to get to know God and for about 6months I kept away from any relationship to get to know who the renewed me really was.I'm sorry I took quite a lot of space today.
God bless you all

As a part of pre-marital counseling/pastoring I know a pastor who always prays for God to break the extraneous "one flesh" bonds that our promiscuous generation has before getting married. I find that to be a very practical and very moving prayer.

just a thought...if circumcision was the evidence of faith that the hebrews had and Moses didn't circumcise his son for so long...then is it possible that he had actually stopped believing God.It shows in the way he tried to wriggle out of doing what God told him to...since with faith it is impossible to please God..could that be the reason God wanted to kill him...but then why kill him after the commission not before....

Mike, I appreciate that you are including a broad view of the local church. You are obviously trying to make a point with your emphasis on being in community. And as I stated in a previous blog in our discussion around Matthew 16, I do not believe that Jesus limits us to 'one pure view' of what church should be. There are some irreducible minimums that need to exist. Different denominations throughout church history have emphasized what 'they' wanted to emphasize. As one of my seminary professors was fond of saying, "All theology is a matter of EMPHASIS", and he would underscore the 'emphasis' part. I believe he was quoting the great theologian Karl Barth. As I have gotten older I am coming to see that God has chosen to allow a great variety of basic Christian communities to exist and to flourish. Yancey's booklet "Why bother with church?" convinced me that we'll never find the 'perfect church'but that we can still ask God to lead us to a 'place' that we can contribute to as well as 'receive from'.

This relates well to the discussion around sexual purity. Most of the men and women I know (including myself) who have experienced what Francis Schaeffer calls "substantial healing' have experienced it in the context of a safe community where they were able to 'confess their sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed.' (james 5:16) As well, Hebrews 3:12-13 tells us to exhort each other day after day lest anyone be hardened by sin's deceitfulness, and fall away from the living God." Here the hebrew writer says, 'exhort day after day' and keep an eye on each other 'day after day'. It's interesting that Christians like to emphasize Hebrews 10:24,25 "do not neglect the assembling of each other'but rarely have I heard many quote Hebrews 3:12-13 that tells us to 'do church' everyday.
Maybe if we brought this approach to our church life more people could experience the healing James offers.

Exodus 4:1-5:21

A couple of days back, to be precise, yesterday (my how time flies), I mentioned that I thought Moses’ reluctance to be sent by God wasn’t based on his Public Speaking talent or lack there of, but on the knowledge that he had committed a crime, he was a murderer. Guilt has a way of always sitting in the back our minds and coloring all our reasons we disguise as excuses, hmmm.

I have taken note of how many people, myself included, don’t really ask the question or state the true problem but the issue is couched in terms of, “I know somebody who …” or, we play ring-a-round-the-rosy in our attempt to avoid the true problem or question and hid behind our “stuff.” God has not of that and all though He doesn’t come right out and say what Moses’ issues are (Moses would probably deny them), He does not let Moses escape from His purpose. Think God is still doing that today?

I think we in the Western Cultures escape into new technologies, cell phones, blackberries, the got to stay in touch stuff, as an attempt to drown out the calling, the purpose God has assigned to each and every individual. We create our own ministries (our vocations/employment/careers) to run from our assigned ministry. I’m using ministry here in terms of service to the greater population. Everyone ministers in some way, even if that ministry is dedicated to serve evil it still is a ministry, a service to the fleshly nature or dedicated to the spiritual. “God I don’t want to do that so I’ll do this instead.”

Grace and peace,
Ramona

I have been looking for the words to 'Moses' the song written by Andre Crouch back in the 70s. If anyone would post it, the words really spoke to me about Moses' experience at the burning bush.

"What's that you got in your hand Moses? It's just a rod....
....the rod of Moses became the rod of God.
What do YOU hold in your hands today? To whom or to what are you bound? Are you willing to give it to God right now? Give it up, throw it down, let it go."

It was a tremendous message in its entirety.

I have some thoughts on The Zipporah Incident on my blog, as well as thoughts for wives on the Proverbs reading today. Also I found a cool painting by Marc Chagall about Moses turning the staff into a serpent.

Mike, thanks for all your work on this site!

A great blog and excellent resource for reading the word. I like your insight into the church, the people of God called to be a community to praise his name - I love the Church, and what the Bible declares about the people of God

Our church had a men's retreat that focused on "Sexual sin":

Featured the book: "THE WAR WITHIN"

and its author: Robert Daniels.

Excellant weekend, and the main tool to fight sexual sin in his book is Scripture memorization (and a lot of it!!!)

My worst place used to be the Internet. I got tired of backsliding every few months or so - prayed about it - and out of the blue an elder sugggested "Covenant Eyes" as an accountability tool. It works for me! Have bee faithful to God for 9 months.

According to studies: Porn industry in America is about $14 billion of $40 billion worldwide.

According to my Pastor- adult activity on the internet is the biggest problem amongst males he counsels from our church.

The reason Adult industry is worse now than before is the anonymity of the internet. People can go into their cave, go anywhere and see anything with no tangible proof og their transgression or real effort on their part.


Thousands and Millions (Gavin White): Welcome to the OYB blogroll!

http://www.chipbennett.net/wordpress/index.php/2006/01/thousands-and-millions/

luch,
Excellent thoughts on community and the Body. A bit more "one anothering" might help us all out.

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