Disciples & Genealogy Of Jesus

What I share here on this post, is only a brief summary.  Please read the Bible for yourselves to gain understanding.

Disciples Of Jesus

  1. Simon (called Peter)
  2. Andrew (brother of Simon)
  3. James (son of Zebedee, “James The Greater”)
  4. John (brother of James, son of Zebedee)
  5. Philip
  6. Bartholomew
  7. Thomas
  8. Matthew
  9. James (son of Alphaeus “James The Less”)
  10. Thaddaeus
  11. Simon (the zealot)
  12. Judas Iscariot (killed himself after betraying Jesus)
  13. Matthias (replacement for Judas Iscariot)

Siblings of Jesus (sister names not mentioned)

  • James (son of Joseph “James The Just”)
  • Joseph (son of Joseph”Joses”)
  • Judas (son of Joseph)
  • Simon (son of Joseph)

john6_42

Earthly Parents of Jesus

  • Mary
  • Joseph (son of Jacob)

Others who shared the messages of Jesus: (read the Bible and discover more about these and many other people)

  1. Paul (never personally met Jesus – was presumed to be born after Jesus physically died; “Saul, Apostle Paul, Saint Paul”)
  2. Barnabas (went out with Paul)
  3. Judas (“Barsabbas” went out with Paul)
  4. Silas (went out with Paul)
  5. Timothy (went out with Paul)
  6. Mark (went out with Barnabas after Paul & Barnabas parted)
  7. Luke (went out with Paul)
  8. Jude (“Judas”;  assumed to be the same mentioned as brother of Jesus)
  9. John The Baptist (Preached during the time of Jesus)

Matthew 10:1-4

Summoning His 12 disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out and to heal every disease and sickness. 

2 These are the names of the 12 apostles: First, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;

 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;

4 Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot,
who also betrayed Him.

Acts 1:23-

23 So they proposed two: Joseph, called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “You, Lord, know the hearts of all; show which of these two You have chosen 25 to take the place in this apostolic service that Judas left to go to his own place.” 26 Then they cast lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias. So he was numbered with the 11 apostles.

Acts 15:22 Then the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, decided to select men who were among them and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas, called Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers.

Acts 15:36-41

36 After some time had passed, Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit the brothers in every town where we have preached the message of the Lord and see how they’re doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take along John Mark. 38 But Paul did not think it appropriate to take along this man who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone on with them to the work. 39 There was such a sharp disagreement that they parted company, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed off to Cyprus. 40 Then Paul chose Silas and departed, after being commended to the grace of the Lord by the brothers. 41 He traveled through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

Acts 16:1-3

16 Then he went on to Derbe and Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a believing Jewish woman, but his father was a Greek. 2 The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to go with him, so he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, since they all knew that his father was a Greek.

carpenters_son

Matthew 13:55

55 Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t His mother called Mary, and His brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?  56 And His sisters, aren’t they all with us? So where does He get all these things?” 

matthew11_4_6

Matthew 11:1-14

When Jesus had finished giving orders to His 12 disciples, He moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns. 2 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent a message by his disciples 3 and asked Him, “Are You the One who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” 4 Jesus replied to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 the blind see, the lame walk, those with skin diseases are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news. 6 And if anyone is not offended because of Me, he is blessed.” 7 As these men went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the wind? 8 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothes? Look, those who wear soft clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and far more than a prophet. 10 This is the one it is written about: Look, I am sending My messenger ahead of You;
he will prepare Your way before You.
11 “I assure you: Among those born of women no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared, but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been suffering violence, and the violent have been seizing it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John; 14 if you’re willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who is to come. 15 Anyone who has ears should listen!


Matthew 1

genealogy_of_jesusgenealogy_of_jesus2

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
The historical record of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: From Abraham to David
2 Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob,
Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar,
Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Aram,
4 Aram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon,
Nahshon fathered Salmon,
5 Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth,
Obed fathered Jesse,
6 and Jesse fathered King David. From David to the Babylonian Exile
Then David fathered Solomon by Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon fathered Rehoboam, Rehoboam fathered Abijah,
Abijah fathered Asa,
8 Asa fathered Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat fathered Joram,
Joram fathered Uzziah,
9 Uzziah fathered Jotham, Jotham fathered Ahaz,
Ahaz fathered Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah fathered Manasseh, Manasseh fathered Amon,
Amon fathered Josiah,
11 and Josiah fathered Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the exile to Babylon. From the Exile to the Messiah
12 Then after the exile to Babylon Jechoniah fathered Shealtiel,
Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel fathered Abiud, Abiud fathered Eliakim,
Eliakim fathered Azor,
14 Azor fathered Zadok, Zadok fathered Achim,
Achim fathered Eliud,
15 Eliud fathered Eleazar, Eleazar fathered Matthan,
Matthan fathered Jacob,
16 and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary,
who gave birth to Jesus who is called the Messiah.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were 14 generations; and from David until the exile to Babylon, 14 generations; and from the exile to Babylon until the Messiah, 14 generations.

joseph_mary_jesus

The Nativity of the Messiah
18 The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

19 So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.

20 But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit.

21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”

22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

23 See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son,
and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.”

24 When Joseph got up from sleeping, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her

25 but did not know her intimately until she gave birth to a son. And he named Him Jesus.

adam_and_eve

1 Chronicles 1

(Adam’s Sons: Cain, Abel & Seth;  Seth Fathered Enosh) (Terah Fathered Abraham)

From Adam to Abraham
1 Adam, Seth, Enosh,
2 Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared,
3 Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, 

noah
4 Noah, Noah’s sons:  Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
5 Japheth’s sons: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.
6 Gomer’s sons: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
7 Javan’s sons: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim.
8 Ham’s sons: Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
9 Cush’s sons: Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raama, and Sabteca.
Raama’s sons: Sheba and Dedan.
10 Cush fathered Nimrod, who was the first to become a great warrior on earth.
11 Mizraim fathered Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 12 Pathrusim, Casluhim (the Philistines came from them), and Caphtorim.
13 Canaan fathered Sidon as his firstborn, then Heth, 14 the Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, 15 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, 16 Arvadites, Zemarites, and Hamathites.
17 Shem’s sons: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, Aram, Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshech.
18 Arpachshad fathered Shelah, and Shelah fathered Eber. 19 Two sons were born to Eber. One of them was named Peleg because the earth was divided during his lifetime, and the name of his brother was Joktan. 20 Joktan fathered Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22 Ebal, Abimael, Sheba, 23 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All of these were Joktan’s sons.
24 Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah,
25 Eber, Peleg, Reu,
26 Serug, Nahor, Terah,

abraham
27 and Abram (that is, Abraham).


“To God Be The Glory – Diane Bish”

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35 thoughts on “Disciples & Genealogy Of Jesus

  1. Here’s something interesting that I learned in “Faith School”:

    Is this just a genealogy filled with interesting names? Or is it something more? Now that we’ve found the root meanings of each name, let’s put them all in order:

    Adam – Man
    Seth – Appointed
    Enosh – Mortal
    Kenan – Sorrow
    Mahalalel – The blessed God
    Jared – Shall come down
    Enoch – Teaching
    Methuselah – His death shall bring
    Lamech – Despairing
    Noah – Comfort and rest

    Put those meanings into a complete sentence and you get: Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow, (but) the blessed God shall come down teaching. His death shall bring (the) despairing comfort and rest.

    And there you have it, in the names of Adam to Noah, a summary of the New Testament message – the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Now, here’s something interesting that I noticed through reading my Bible.
    I noticed in this Luke 3:23-38 genealogy that THIS genealogy named the son of David as NATHAN, where the Matthew genealogy names SOLOMON as David’s son. I have come to understand that one genealogy is of MARY and the other is of JOSEPH. They are identical to the point of David, then there is a difference. Right now, I don’t remember which genealogy is which.

    Notice this genealogy goes in reverse order of the Matthew one. Also Matthew encompasses Abraham to Messiah.
    Luke encompasses Adam to Messiah (in reverse order), Actually Messiah to Adam.

    Genealogy of Jesus— from LUKE 3
    23When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli, 24the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Hesli, the son of Naggai, 26the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Heber, the son of Shelah, 36the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37the son of MethuSelah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

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    1. Thanks for sharing that Peggy 🙂 I noticed a few spelling differences in some of the son names too. For instance: Arphaxad (luke) vs Arpachshad (matthew). It would be great to see a picture of a genealogy chart showing all of the wives and daughters. I’m sure we’d have a better understanding that way. There’s probably been some scholars that have done this or attempted to do it using direct Hebrew translation to English. I don’t know if they kept historical records long ago, like we do today.

      I can only imagine that the Genealogy Chart would be huge. I read somewhere that many historical records were lost/burned-up during the Roman siege.

      I found this chart someone created

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      1. Well extreme hebrew rabbinism also reads into the names in the Ot and come out with some very high flying interpretations. Some of them are very interesting and some of them smack like some form of talmudism even straight sorcery! But they are not vital to this discussion, only a warning that they can be dangerous!

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      2. This study is one I needed! Chuck Missler gets into the genealogy in his teachings also. It really brings the whole Gen-Rev into a new perspective! A deeper revelation. I still have to shake my head at all that’s been hidden so very many years………..and so grateful they are out for study now!!!!!!

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  3. I’m looking at the Matthew Genealogy.
    Notice the women mentioned.
    OK, what about those women?
    Verse 3- Tamar (posed as a prostitute and fathered Perez through her father-in-law, Judah)

    Verse 5- Rahab (the Gentile Prostitute, that favored and helped Joshua and Caleb) married Salmon and birthed Boaz. Boaz was the Kinsman Redeemer in the Book of Ruth.

    Also Verse 5- Boaz married Ruth (a Gentile Moabitess; Moab means “wash-pot” or “toilet bowl,” but Ruth loved her mother-in-law Naomi (she Loved the Jew). Here is a picture of the “one new man.”

    Verse 6-Bathsheba was the mother of Solomon (through an adulterous relationship with David).

    Wow. Each of these women were part of the Genealogy of Messiah.
    Perhaps there is a hidden message in this for each of us. There must be hope for every “sinner.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 2 of the cases a woman is a prostitute, 1 case is a woman of dubious ancestry as moabites came from incest, 3 rd case is a Male king forcing himself on a woman by his authority and committing murder!

      These are all crimes of highest order in Gods eyes even mentioned that those doing IT without repenting will not see heaven. Heinous indeed but Jesus sacrifice covers IT all, we need to repent truly in his name or we might have a sweating day before the Lord one day! Crimes are always crimes but good points you make Peggy!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “Jesus sacrifice covers IT all, we need to repent truly in his name or we might have a sweating day before the Lord one day!”

        Amen, Stig. Sincere Repentance is KEY!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Daily Devotional — 12/5/16

    FULFILLING THE FIVE FUNCTIONS OF THE CHURCH
    And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25

    In the summer of 2010, I led an excellent team of Open Doors staff and supporters on a visit to North Korea. We were allowed to pray publically in the areas we visited and of course were presented with a formal church service on Sunday morning at one of the three churches functioning in Pyongyang. It was a well-executed performance–especially the choir. On its website, the Korean Christian Federation claims that there are ten thousand Protestant Christians in North Korea meeting at five hundred designated centers. In reality, Christians in the country experience tremendous challenges in worshipping publically.

    Brother Simon, the leader of the Open Doors work in North Korea, says that the true church must operate underground in the country. “They can’t simply go to church to sing and to listen to the sermon. It is clear that being a Christian in North Korea is a lonely business.”

    Simon’s thoughts turn to Sundays in North Korea. “It happens only sporadically that Christians consider themselves safe enough to meet together in small groups. Usually gatherings consist of only two people. For example, a Christian goes and sits on a bench in the park. Another Christian comes and sits next to him. Sometimes it’s dangerous even to speak to one another, but they know they are both Christians, and at such a time, this is enough. If there is no one around, they may be able to share a Bible verse which they have learned off by heart and briefly say something about it. They also share prayer topics with each other. Then they leave one another and go and look for a Christian in some other part of their town or village. This continues throughout the Sunday. A cell group usually consists of fewer than twenty Christians, who encourage and strengthen one another, plus one-to-one meetings in people’s homes.

    “Only if the whole family has turned to Christ is it possible to have something like a real fellowship gathering, as long as you keep your faith hidden from the neighbours. Besides this, it is sometimes possible to hold a meeting in remote areas with a group of ten to twenty people. Very occasionally, it is possible for Christians to go unobtrusively into the mountains and to hold a ‘service’ at a secret location like a cave. Then it may be the case that there are as many as sixty or seventy North Korean Christians gathered together.”

    In spite of severe limitations, believers can fulfill all five biblical functions of the church.

    RESPONSE: I will thankfully take my place in the assembly of believers to fulfill the church’s functions.

    PRAYER: Thank you Lord for the faithfulness of Your church in North Korea against all obstacles.

    Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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  5. Daily Devotional — 12/6/16

    LIFE SENTENCE
    However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

    In a Sudan prison, Pastor Matta Boush was depressed as he faced thirty years on false charges. A visit from an Irish Catholic sister helped change his outlook. There were others in prison, she said, whose cases were far worse than his. She told him never to ask himself why he was there, but instead to ask for what purpose he was there. From that point Matta Boush began to minister to his fellow prisoners.

    He began prayer meetings for non-Muslims and numbers grew quickly. One event at the prison made an especially strong impact. A prisoner, just prior to his execution, rather than being fearful, was calm and gave his testimony. He said he was not afraid to die because he knew he would go to heaven. This made such an impression that some of the Muslim guards became Christians.

    He was transferred to another prison in the city of El-Obeid. Some Muslims objected to his ministry and prayer meetings so he was placed in solitary confinement for several months. Away from his God-given work and with too much time to think, depression overtook him again. But the encouragement of friends helped him through the hard times. Returning to the general prison population, he helped lead between 150 and 200 people to Christ.

    Later Matta Boush was transferred to El-Khobar prison in Khartoum. There he was able to help build a prison chapel as well as continuing his ministry. In the next ten months, 200 people came to the Lord.

    His sudden release indicated that the person ordering it had great authority. As a free man, he contacted churches and visited Nuba refugee camps. He was reunited with his three daughters. His wife, however, had married a Muslim man.

    He began providing pastoral care for nine regional churches. He was faithful in sharing the Lord both in and out of prison. No sacrifice was too great to accomplish the goal.

    RESPONSE: Today I will sacrifice my comforts to accomplish the most important goal – sharing Jesus!

    PRAYER: Pray for pastors like Matta Boush in prison today around the world. Pray they will lose their own desires and accomplish the Lord’s.

    Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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  6. Prayer request for my father and mother. Most people know the current situation, where no communication is allowed from me or Linda unless we agree to pretend we don’t know Jesus.
    Today is my father’s 78th birthday.

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    1. I pray that their hearts are softened and prepared to receive the Gospel.
      I pray for laborers to be sent to them at just the right moment to make a true Surrender possible. I cry out for MERCY, MERCY, MERCY on their souls!!
      May the diligent labors of James and Linda be forwarded to them in the form of many graces in order for them to obtain Salvation.

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  7. Daily Devotional — 12/7/16

    Pontius Pilate
    His name means: “One Armed with a Javelin”

    His work: He was the Roman governor over the region of Judea.
    His character: Pilate had all the trappings of power and leadership but was unwilling to exercise that influence for good.
    His sorrow: He failed to stand for what was right and allowed an innocent man to go to his death.
    His triumph: When Tiberius Caesar appointed Pilate governor of Judea, Pilate must have been delighted. Perhaps he thought that this was a step toward even greater authority. But his inability to lead denied him that future.
    Key Scriptures: John 18

    A Look at the Man
    It was the ultimate paradox. Pilate was faced with two sobering options—neither would lead to a happy ending.

    If he would listen to his conscience—and his wife’s warning—and free Jesus, he would lose support among the religious elite. And releasing Jesus could have changed these men’s verbal outcries into a physical revolt. Such an uprising would reflect poorly on his leadership. Tiberius Caesar might replace him because of such insurrection among his subjects.

    But giving in to the people’s demands meant that Pilate would be forced to deny his own heart. He knew Jesus was innocent. He knew that these men had arrested Jesus because of their seething jealousy over his popularity among the people. And he didn’t need his wife to have a bad dream to confirm his apprehensions, but it did make things worse; now he would have to contend with her. This was Pilate’s plight, but these are the predicaments of every leader—popularity or integrity, compromise or character.

    As the governor of the land, Pilate certainly knew about Jesus’ ministry. He may have received warnings from his own associates that Jesus was extremely popular among the people. He suspected that Jesus’ message could be threatening to his regime, but he knew that Jesus’ words and work were foreboding to the religious establishment. The priests and Pharisees were just jealous. They hated Jesus. But was he dangerous—worthy of capital punishment? Should Pilate sanction his execution just to appease these proud men?

    Pilate’s approach to this terrible dilemma was something we can understand. Once he had listened to the facts, his response was direct: “Jesus is innocent.” Oh, how he hoped that approach would work and the religious leaders would shuffle out of his chambers in resignation.

    When that didn’t work, Pilate got philosophical. “What is truth?” he pondered aloud. Doesn’t truth depend on the situation? Isn’t truth sometimes true and sometimes not? Shouldn’t group pressure or expediency or convenience have an effect on truth?

    When Pilate saw that plain speaking and philosophy were not going to satisfy the people, he tried to dismiss himself from the responsibility of his decision by washing his hands. Then, in his final feeble attempt to assuage his guilt, he placed the blame on others. “This is your fault,” he told the priests and Pharisees.

    Pontius Pilate had a historic opportunity to do the right thing, but he buckled under the pressure. The heaviness of the situation forced him to acquiesce. As a result, he will forever be remembered as a defective leader, a man with no courage.

    Someday Pilate would be replaced as the Roman governor of Judea. No longer would he have to deal with these tricky situations. No longer would he have to make the difficult decisions. And Pilate could continue to ignore his wife. He could even leave her and no longer deal with her opinions. But Pilate would never be able to quiet his conscience. He would never be able to escape the blood of an innocent man and the power of his own conflicted soul. A troubled heart and sleepless nights would be his lifelong companions.

    Reflect On: Psalm 25
    Praise God: For his mercy.
    Offer Thanks: For the blood of Jesus Christ and his offer of pardon in spite of our sin and willful disobedience.
    Confess: Any willingness to be swayed by the crowd to do—or think—the wrong thing, instead of doing what is right.
    Ask God: To give you the courage to be faithful, to fill you with integrity and character that would be pleasing to him. Ask him to make you a worthy ambassador of his truth and his grace.

    Today’s reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book’s title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.

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  8. Daily Devotional — 12/8/16

    OUR SPIRITS BLOSSOM WHEN WE SING
    God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. Psalm 68:6

    Our Open Doors colleague, Ron Boyd-MacMillan, shares the following insight from his teaching, “Why I Need to Encounter the Persecuted Church.”

    Chinese evangelist, Mrs Yang, was visited by another full time preacher who was very downcast. The preacher wanted to buy a tape player, but had no money. Mrs Yang sat down and just began to sing to him. Her voice was deep and scratchy, the tune barely discernible, the words simple: I am a wanderer, my home is in heaven/ Life is fleeting/ Our home is in heaven/ In this world we have many trials/ And sadness and sickness/ True happiness is not in this world/ But in heaven.

    Mrs Yang sang as if before the Lord himself. Every word poured out from her core with total conviction. Tears rolled down her cheeks, her hands clenched the air, and she beat time on her hip. Soon the visiting preacher had joined in, and I watched them, roaring out the hymn together, smiles over both their faces. The preacher left, still with no money for his longed for tape player, but refreshed and encouraged.

    Then again, I watched one morning as Mrs. Yang went out into the hills to pray. I followed her at a discreet distance. First she prayed for twenty minutes, and then she sang, walking around, for another twenty minutes. For the next hour she read her Bible, making notes, planning the day’s sermons. After that she sang again, for another half hour.

    I confessed I had been spying on her, and asked “Why do you sing so much when there is no one to hear?” She said, “My father once told me, ‘One of the sweet things about the Christian life is that you will do things because they are commanded, and then you will spend the rest of your life gaining deeper insight into why God’s commands are so good.’ So singing is a command. In the Psalms we are constantly exhorted to sing praises to our God. But as for why, I confess it is one of those wonderful mysteries my father told me about. You see, while in prison, I could pray and read scripture, but nothing raised my spirits like singing. Maybe it’s because singing somehow concentrates all of the body on the praise of God, but I have found it essential to the maintenance of a positive spirit.”

    Then she looked embarrassed. I said, “What is it? You were about to say something, but you have gone all reticent.” She replied, “Well, it’s just that an old lady told me something that really sums up the main reason I sing. She said, ‘Our spirits are like flowers, and song is the sun. Just as flowers only truly open when the sun shines, so our spirits only blossom when we sing.’ I believe that. I don’t know how, but it’s true. Since my prison cell, I cannot do without song, and I am very frightened that as China gets more open, and the churches get more organized, we are going to leave the singing to the professionals. This would be terrible. The only way you can have a full blossoming spirit is to sing to it.”

    RESPONSE: Today I will make my spirit blossom positively by singing to the Lord in the Spirit.

    PRAYER: Ask God to impact all Christians with this valuable insight of singing praises to Him.

    Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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    1. Concerning this that singing is the sun and our spirits are flowers, mine is very withered. Last time i sung was back in 2008 and after that i only jokingly sang to the kids. This idea does not work in Finland. Maybe we are withered flowers except a few.

      IT just shows that all people are different and yet the same at some basic level!

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      1. Stig, I’m not much into singing outloud. It would probably make some dogs start howling 🙂

        Psalm 98:4
        4 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

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  9. ** Ring Of Fire Earthquakes Today — 12/8/16

    Tons are hitting this area. Solomon Islands = 7.8, Chile = 5.2, Japan = 5.0 and California = 6.5

    (Definition per wikipedia:)
    The Ring of Fire is a major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. In a 40,000 km (25,000 mi) horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements.

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  10. I use psalms 98:4 frequently. Seems everyone in my family but me has a great voice. Those times I am not doing a personal worship in front of the chickens………..I use this verse to excuse my embarrassment LOL. Sometimes it works and I just simply don’t care who overhears 🙂 I am however, grateful we can sing from our hearts in the Spirit too. Same with prayer when not alone.
    My prayer life has taken a turn lately, thank you Jesus! I’ve had a block praying over my animals. My little inherited Chihuahua, Peanut, has had diagnosed earlier this year: Pancreatitis, enlarged heart with murmur stage 4, enlarged liver, and intestines that are all messed up. She wasn’t well cared for by her previous person. She’s easy enough to feed gruel and have been able to mix real meats back in for months till another bad episode. Back around the circle again and thankfully her vet understands we are keeping her comfortable etc.
    Well, she had an attack (GI) while we were away at our family get together. The Lord was awesome, I did not stop to think, question or anything else but in Jesus name commanded it to stop and not return. She was playing and begging for food less than an hour later! My son was sitting next to me when I prayed for her. That was a witness and that is a greater miracle than Jesus making her pain go! My son has two dogs and no wife so this was just awesome!
    I guess I always worried that praying for, not over, pets (speaking of my own because I have no hesitation praying for others pets) was akin to people needing to be first……..Jesus did heal a hen I had, then I felt guilty for not praying over more people while in stores etc. This has changed and it’s all 100% God!!

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    1. Thanks for sharing that Sonshine. I do know that the Lord does heal pets and other animals. Cody (my big dog) has been prayed over many times for various things, and the Lord healed him. I’ve seen what looked like a large cancerous mass (about the size of a grapefruit) , shrink. He healed Cody’s breathing problems, joint problems and it looks like the cloudiness in his eyes is going away (Cataracts).

      The Lord is truly amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awesome testimony James! Makes one consider the company we have of the times we are in. It’s better to be alone with the Lord and mans best friend(s) than with those who mock, or those who just chase everything but God.
        Holy Spirit led me this morning to search all scriptures on “quiet” and “stillness.” What a peaceful study while surrounded by cozy, furry, friends 🙂

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