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December 10 - Evening

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for."
- Hebrews 11:1

What Faith Is...and, What It Is Not

Biblical faith is NOT belief in the imaginary. Biblical faith is NOT a synonym for “wish.” Biblical faith is NOT blind acceptance of ridiculous events or belief in unsupported statements. Biblical faith is NOT a firm conviction to personal thoughts and ideas.
Biblical faith is based in defendable events and provable statements. God has always provided enough evidence for us to put our faith in something tangible: creation, fulfilled prophecy, miracles, Jesus ministry, the Word of God, etc.
“Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” – Romans 1:19-20

It is not how great you believe something that makes it true, but believing something that is true that makes your faith great. The value of the Christian faith is not in the one believing, but in the one who is believed in. Jesus, as he is revealed in the Word of God, is the object of our faith.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the confidence (or, hypostasis) of what we hope for.”
Hypostasis literally means, “that which stands under.” Ancient first and second century documents found in the papyri use hypostasis as “title deed” which stresses the legal side of a personal rightful ownership of the truth or thing faith is placed in. Hebrews 11:1 continues by saying, “…and assurance (elenchos) about what we do not see.” Elenchos carries the basic idea of “proof,” “the test,” or “means of proof.” It continues to carry the objective sense, and rejects the subjective sense that would allow it to refer to manipulation according to personal whims and wishes.
So, just like physical eye sight can see things that are in the physical realm, faith can see things that are in the spiritual realm. But, eye sight that claims to see things that are not really there would indicate some sort of mental illness or a defect in the physical organ of the eye. Likewise, faith that claims to see, trust or understand things that are not really true would indicate a spiritual illness or a deficiency in knowledge concerning the Word of Truth.
When we know something that is unseen is true, then our faith (confidence) in that truth will produce thoughts, attitudes and actions. Faith in truth will produce confidence in that truth and assurance that the unseen is there. Knowing truth and putting faith in that truth is the transforming power of the Christian life.
Paristemi (Gr) - Yield (Eng) - paristemi is Greek word made up of two words: histemi, which means "to place or stand," and param, which means "near." Paristemi means "to place near" and is translated in the KJ as yield and in other translations as "to place beside," "to present," "to stand beside."
Do I have faith in truth, or do I have faith in what I want to be true?

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Changed to be like Jesus


Understanding of Grace
Race relations
United States of America

This is the stairs on the NW corner of the platform on the Temple Mount. The bottom step appears to be the top course of the remains of Solomon's western wall, or the western retaining wall for the Temple Mount.
The top of the ashlar stones from the top course of Solomon's western wall from 950 BC.

Someone to Quote

"Knowing that you do not heed his Word, why should I heed your explanation of it? You do not his will, and so you cannot understand him." - George MacDonald

Something to Ponder

Genesis 2:8 says that "the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden." There were four rivers in Eden:
- the Pishon
- the Gihon
- the Tigris
- the Euphrates (Gn.2:8-15)
The Tigris and Euphrates are easy to identify, but Gihon (meaning "to gush") and Pishon ("to spring up") are apparently gone.
Since Genesis says Eden was in the east and the author must have been in the area of Canaan, Sinai or Midian it is believed that Eden was near the Persian Gulf or in northern Mesopotamia or Armenia.
It is hard to know if anything from Eden remains since the world was destroyed and the surface of the earth reformed by Noah's Flood in Genesis 6.

Here’s a Fact

In 160 AD Justin Martyr identified the cave in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. This view was followed by Origin (250) and Eusebius. If this is the cave, or stable, of Jesus' birth it may have been connected to a house and used as a stable at that time.
In 326 Constantine's mother, Helena, commissioned a church to be built over the cave. This church was dedicated on May 31, 339. Portions of this floor from the 330's can still be seen.
Jerome lived there and translated the Latin Vulgate from the Hebrew and Greek.


"What the wicked dreads will overtake him; what the righteous desire will be granted."
- Proverbs 10:24

Coach’s Corner

Stick to your mission and execute your game plan. In the long run today’s situations and setbacks will give way to victory. 

Genesis 2:8-15
New International Version (NIV)
Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Genesis 6
New International Version (NIV)
Wickedness in the World
When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Noah and the Flood
This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.
10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.
11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”
22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
2 Timothy 4
New International Version (NIV)
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Personal Remarks
Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.
14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.
16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Final Greetings
19 Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21 Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers and sisters.
22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all.
Romans 13
New International Version (NIV)
Submission to Governing Authorities
13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Love Fulfills the Law
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
The Day Is Near
11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

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