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The Bible Today – My Blog
Read God's Word here.

15 The Spirit of God came[a] upon Azariah the son of Oded, 2 and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 For ...


While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon's.
Acts 3:11-26
After Peter’s Pentecost day sermon and the addition of 3,000 new believers to the Jerusalem church, Peter and John, on their way to pray at the Temple, heal a lame man at a gate to the Temple. A crowd gathered because of the miracle they had wrought on the lame man. Peter takes the opportunity to preach again to the people gathered. Peter preaches the gospel, telling them that Jesus was prophesied to suffer and die for the sins of His people. He said that Jesus is now in Heaven and will remain there until the restoration of all things by God prophesied by the Old Testament Prophets. Then, Peter tells of Moses’ prophecy of One who will come and be like Moses. Next, Peter tells the people that they are the sons of Abraham through whom God promised to bless all the families of the earth. Peter ends his sermon with telling them God raised up His Servant, sending Him to them first to bless and turn all who believe in Him from their wickedness. The rest of the story is that Jesus, God’s Servant, lived a sinless life, died an atoning death and, was raised from the tomb to show all who believe they will have access to God now, forgiveness of sins now and, eternal life with Christ in a new glorified body! Praise God for His Redemption in Christ Jesus!
Source: S C Ball


Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour…a man lame from birth…But Peter…took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.
Acts 3:1-10
We learn here that the Apostles went to the Temple regularly to pray and, we are given a glimpse of one incident during their treks to the Temple, the healing of a man born lame. What Jesus breathed upon the eleven in the upper room the night after His resurrection and the visible appearance of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, we see in action here as Peter and John are going to the Temple. This lame man was laid at a gate to the Temple to beg for alms every day. On this day, he would no longer have to beg! For, in Peter and John, this lame man found, not only healing, but forgiveness of his sins and, salvation in the risen Lord Jesus! The lame man never expected what happened that day. He simply wanted to be given enough for his next meal. But, Peter and John, unable to give him alms, gave him something more precious than silver and gold, highly valued items of the day. That day, he received a new heart, a regenerated soul, the presence of the Holy Spirit and, the promised hope of eternity with Jesus Christ! These are the most valuable things anyone can have. But, they cannot be bought or earned in any way! They must be granted by God alone who did this work in the man born lame. God does the same today, not just to people born lame. Every person is born with a dead soul and only God Almighty can bring life to the dead. If you are a Christian and you know someone who is not, pray that God the Holy Spirit will work upon that poor, dead soul to bring life eternal to one destined for the fires of hell without salvation. It is the command of every Christian to tell the gospel, baptize and teach all things Christ taught His Disciples and has given in the Holy Scriptures of the New Testament! May God bless the feet of those who carry the gospel message!!
Source: S C Ball

The Bible Today – My Blog
Read God's Holy Word here.

10 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2 And as soon as Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3 And they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all Israel ca...


And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers…And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Acts 2:42-47
Our verses today feature our earliest record of the church’s worship following Pentecost, giving us several essential elements of worship. First, note that the earliest Christians devoted themselves “to the apostles’ teaching.” This practice shows us the importance of reading and teaching the Word of God in our worship services, for the Apostles’ teaching comes to us today only in the canonical Scriptures. Second, and most importantly, during the Apostolic period, the early church was devoted to “the prayers.” The early church was a praying church, and prayers were an integral part of early Christian worship. This is not surprising. After all, the first Christians were mostly of a Jewish background, and prayers were an important part of synagogue worship. David wrote many psalms as prayers to be read and repeated during prayer times. Solomon prayed at the temple’s dedication. We often think of prayer as a spiritual discipline for private worship and devotion, and so it is. But, prayer is also a public devotion that is to be a part of corporate worship. When we sing hymns or pray in unison, let us do so with our hearts and minds fully engaged. And during the pastoral prayer, let us think carefully on the pastor’s words and ask the Lord for the prayer to be answered. These are marks of a true church. But, they must be tested finally against the teaching of Scripture, which is the sure instruction of the Apostles and the inerrant Word of God. Protestants have traditionally agreed on two marks: the right preaching of the Word and the right administration of the sacraments. The right preaching of God’s Word is an obvious mark of the church. Without faithfulness to the foundation of Christian belief, no group can rightly call itself Christian, let alone a church. Church creeds and confessions of faith statements help us to determine whether a particular church accurately preaches the Word. Sacraments are visible words of God, so their right administration also marks a true church. The earliest Christians affirmed these two marks of the church as our verses attest to us. God’s Holy Word and sacrament, rightly administered, must be our emphasis today. True churches are identified by their faithfulness to the Word of God, not by size or influence in the community. A church that hears and obeys Scripture cannot help but reach out to the society around it, but the mere presence of programs or a gathering of professing believers does not necessarily mean a church is present. As believers, let us call our churches to remain faithful to God’s Word and to administer the sacraments rightly and regularly.
Source: S C Ball

Read The Bible – My Blog
Read through God's Holy Word each day here.

7 As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. 3 When ...


…others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them…and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
Acts 2:14-41
As we continue our look at Pentecost, we see the Holy Spirit, not only at work in God’s chosen ones, but, working among those present who heard the preaching of the gospel of God’s redemption. Interestingly, Peter preaches his sermon all about Jesus Christ. Peter’s main point is that the Pentecost events testify to the world that Jesus Christ is ruling and reigning at the right hand of His Heavenly Father. And, the result that day was, “about three thousand souls” were added to the church. Jesus, our King, has poured out the Holy Spirit on the church. These events are all the proof we need that Jesus reigns, even now, as the King of glory. The former days of promise have passed away, fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The new order of the last days has been established in Him. God’s people are living in the era of Christ’s Spirit-wrought repair and restoration. The Old Testament promised that the coming Holy Spirit would bring worldwide repair and restoration. On Pentecost, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit signaled the end of the age and the inauguration of “the last days.” In these last days, the world is being repaired and restored in the same manner in which it fell and was broken. In the fall, Adam first died spiritually on account of his sin and, later, Adam die physically. And because of Adam’s spiritual fall, physical brokenness extended from mankind to the whole created order. But, according to the wonder and glory of God’s redemptive plan, Jesus came into this world and, by His death, repaired our spiritual brokenness, bringing us from death to life and bringing us into the family of God. Christ will, one day, extend His repair and renewal from our spiritual lives to our physical lives in the resurrection of our bodies and eventually to the whole created order. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit signals that the last days have come, days of repair and restoration in Christ. And therefore, in light of the restoration to come, “we do not lose heart,” as Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:16–18. Christians, look up! Our redemption draws near any day now!!
Source: S C Ball


When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
Acts 2:1-13
Pentecost is the day on which Jesus pours out God’s Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and believers gathered in Jerusalem. You will remember that Jesus, privately, breathed the Holy Spirit upon His Disciples gathered in the upper room when He first appeared to them. The Greek word for Pentecost literally means “the fiftieth,” which was the fiftieth day after the Jewish Passover. It has only been about ten days since Jesus’ ascension when He promised, “not many days from now” to send them the Holy Spirit in verse 5. Luke records the event in our verses today. We will look at the events that occur from this event in the coming days for this is the establishing of the church as we know it today. This event fulfills the words of Jesus to His disciples, in Acts 1:4-5, “to wait [in Jerusalem] for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now . . . you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses.’” A sound like a mighty rushing wind filled the house, tongues of fire rested upon them, “and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (languages) as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance.” People from all the nations around the Mediterranean Sea, who were in Jerusalem for the Passover Feast observed this phenomenon and heard the message of the gospel. In verse 11, we read that they heard the ones speaking, “telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” A sound, a sight, the disciples speaking and, the audience hearing without interpretation the mighty works of God in each one’s own language. This one-time event displays all the power of the Holy Spirit’s operation not only in the sound and sight but also in their being able to speak languages that others can understand without an interpreter. Like other one-time events such as the virgin birth, the sinless life of Jesus and, the Ascension of Jesus, there has not been, nor will not be, a repeat of this event. May all Christians rejoice in the working of God, the Holy Spirit, as He works in each of us, even now, to mold us into the likeness of our Savior and Lord, Jesus!
Source: S C Ball


Bible Study May 28, 2023


O LORD, rebuke me not in Your anger, nor discipline me in Your wrath! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!
Psalm 38
This psalm of David is filled without David’s cries of pain because of his iniquities and his separation from the Lord brought by his sins. David begs the Lord to not rebuke or discipline him in anger or wrath. David confesses that his sins have caused a heavy burden of guilt upon him with weakness in his flesh and bones, that his foolishness has caused wounds that have become infected, creating an odor. David prays that some seek to kill him as they meditate treachery all day against him. But, David proceeds to praise God for His watch-care over David. David praises God who answers his pleas for help, even though David continues to sin. As David’s enemies are vigorous, mighty and, many, David declares, “Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!” David is not a super-Christian. He was a man with all the same characteristics we have today. David had a close relationship with God even though he sinned greatly during his life. Men and women are no different today. The more we devote our lives and our hearts to God, the closer we will become to Jesus. Regular reading and study of God’s Holy Bible is a good start. Daily prayer is a must. The more time and effort one devotes to the Lord, the closer one will become like our Savior and Lord.
Source: S C Ball


Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act…The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
Psalm 37
David opens this psalm by encouraging the believer to not worry about evil doers or the success they seem to have in this world. Throughout this psalm, David mixes encouraging statements for believers while declaring the doom of the evil doers and the unrighteous. Christians of all generations have needed encouragement to build their faith and continue to be a witness for the Lord. Too often, the unrighteous in the world seem to be better off and that discourages believers. Christians, also, need to remember that this world is not our home and this world, along with the unrighteous, will be destroyed and remade by God into the world He originally made it to be. David, repeatedly, encourages the believer to remember, delight, commit, wait patiently, refrain from impure thoughts and actions, be humble and, be glad with what he has. Society today pressures people to conform to its standards which are opposed to God’s standards. David contrasts various traits and characteristics of the righteous and the unrighteous. David ends the psalm with his declaration that salvation is from the Lord and God delivers His Chosen people from the wicked. As Christians today, we can benefit from the Psalms as we read, study and, pray to our Savior and Lord what David so long ago expressed to the same God of Creation in these psalms.
Source: S C Ball


Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes.
Psalm 36
David uses one third of this psalm, at the beginning, to tell of the wicked. He devotes the rest of the psalm extolling God’s steadfast love. David says the wicked man’s transgressions (sins) come from deep in the heart, that the wicked has no fear of God, that the wicked man flatters himself because he thinks no one can see his iniquities, that he plots trouble all his waking hours and, that he does not reject evil. David goes into his words of praise for God’s “steadfast love.” David talks of God’s steadfast love extending throughout the heavens, God’s righteousness and judgments extending to man and beast, children take refuge in God while He feeds and waters them abundantly and provides them with a fountain of life. David ends this psalm by praying for God to continue His steadfast love to those who “know” Him. “Know” is the biblical verb to express the deepest kind of knowledge, love, with which God loves His chosen ones. Humans approach that “knowing” in the marital relationship the husband and wife have with one another. David, then, prays for God to not let him be arrogant in his salvation and keep the hand of the wicked from driving David away from God. Christians have times of extreme faith and depths of depression over sins. In both instances, there is opportunity for sin to overcome the Christian. Let us pray regularly for God to work in us to control such swings in our earthly bodies. God will remove all negative thoughts and feelings when we stand before our Savior and Lord, Jesus.
Source: S C Ball


Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me! Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.
Psalm 35
Here, from the pen of David, is a prayer for Christians today! God’s people, in every generation, are persecuted, discriminated, hated, reviled and, our destruction is sought by an unbelieving world. Yet, Jesus commanded believers in the world to love our neighbors and our enemies. David’s prayer is for God to fight for His chosen people against evil forces in this world, while saying to His children, “I am your salvation!” David asks God to “put to shame and dishonor” those who seek the believer’s life. Though David wrote these words 1,000 years before Jesus was born, his words are for believers of all generations. Christians of every age are God’s chosen people and He defends us just as He did David during David’s earthly life. David asks God to make his enemies, “who devise evil against me,” to be like chaff in the wind, blown away from the wheat and, to make their darkness slippery and, to let the snares, set by his enemies, entrap his enemies. David exalts the Lord, rejoicing in God’s salvation, especially delivering those who are poor and needy. Then, David returns to the malicious and evil people who rise against him, those who repay evil for the good David gives to them. At this point, David seems to question when God will take action and rescue David from his enemies’ attacks. But, David quickly moves to rejoicing and praising God. David returns to his petitions to God to vindicate him against David’s enemies. David ends this psalm by declaring, “my tongue shall tell of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long.” Christians, let us take heart in our God’s protection of His people. God will care for His own. He will not abandon His children nor forsake them. God will bring us safely into His glorious kingdom where we will live, enjoying Him forever!
Source: S C Ball


I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth…The Lord redeems the life of His servants; none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.
Psalm 34
This psalm of David is the song of all those redeemed by our Savior and Lord, Jesus! When Holy Scripture says of David that he was dancing before all the people as the Ark of the Covenant was brought into Jerusalem, picture, in your mind this psalm. As David freely worshipped God, he sang and danced as the cart was pulled along the road to Jerusalem. David had no care for anything but his Lord and how good God is to all who love and worship Him. David talks of praising the Lord, of being humble before the Lord and, of boasting in the Lord. David says that he sought the Lord and God answered him, delivering David from his fears! David says the angel of the Lord surrounds all who are His chosen ones and delivers them from their fears and evil. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” We, the justified, saved and, destined for Heaven, are to know for a certainty that our God is good. He is our Deliverer! He cares for His children, even in our sin and misery of this earthly life. Let us be blessed as we take refuge in Him from all our worldly woes for they are for only a minute when compared to the eternity we will be with our Creator! David encourages us to “keep your tongue from evil” and your lips from lying. David tells us the Lord is near to the righteous because the righteous are severely afflicted in this life. Christians, the world is against God and His people. Yet, we are here now to be the witness to the world of God’s Love and Redemption in Jesus Christ. Oh, let us lift up the name of Jesus in everything we think, say and, do! Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
Source: S C Ball


Bible Study May 21, 2023


Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright…Let Your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in You.
Psalm 33
This psalm contains all praise to God. It has two primary themes: 1-God is the Lord of all nature; 2-God is Lord of human history. In Biblical thought, God is sovereign over His Creation for as long as His Creation exists. God will recreate this universe when sin is vanquished to the fires of hell and will no longer influence God’s Creation. In the opening verse, the psalmist makes it clear that praise to God is proper, suitable and, fitting for all God’s elect, both now and throughout eternity. Verses 1-3 are a praise to God as a prelude to the main body of the psalm, verses 4-19, with a finale of prayer in verses 20-22. After giving a rationale for praise to our Creator God, the psalmist writes of the humans’ response to praise by describing the Sovereign Power of God and the Creator’s Providence in reigning throughout His Creation. The psalmist ends this praise psalm with a prayer for God’s elect to wait for the Lord because He is our help and shield; to let our hearts be glad in the Lord because the elect trust in His Holy name; and, a petition to God for His steadfast Love to be upon His elect because we have our hope in Him. Again, we see that the Psalms of God’s Holy Word help His chosen ones to glorify our Lord, to thank Him for all He does on our behalf, to worship our Sovereign Lord; and, to enjoy Him in this life and the next! All God’s children have a great future and, though we may suffer in this life, our future is assured through the works of our Savior, Jesus, and the in-dwelling Holy Spirit to comfort and encourage us as we grow to become the fully sanctified people of God through all eternity.
Source: S C Ball


Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered…Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Psalm 32
David wrote 7 psalms that are classified as “penitential” psalms. They are Psalm 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130 and, 143. The most well-known of these is Psalm 51, David’s repentance of his sins against God by his adultery with Bathsheba and his directing the murder of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, and other sins related to this incident. In today’s psalm, David skillfully wrote of important lessons about sin, confession and, forgiveness. He used two approaches in this psalm: Remembering the lessons and Relaying the lessons. In remembering, David starts by saying that one whose sin is forgiven and covered by the blood is blessed. David, then, says what happened when he did not confess his sin. He felt his life was wasting from him, he groaned under God’s heavy hand of conscience until he finally acknowledged his sin to God and God responded by forgiving David of his iniquities. Next David wants to relay these lessons to the reader of the psalm. Here is wisdom from David for Christians today: Offer prayer to God while He may be found for there will be a day when the unsaved will seek for God and He will not be found by them. Next, David praises God for hiding him, preserving him and, surrounding him with shouts of deliverance. David counsels the reader to not be like a horse or a mule that must have a bridle and bit to control it. David ends this psalm with praises to God for His steadfast love to those who trust in Him and to be glad in the Lord, rejoicing and shouting for joy for the Lord’s blessings. May Christians today see David’s psalms as road maps to use in their prayers to God for repentance, forgiveness, giving praise and glory to God for His steadfast love grace and mercy!
Source: S C Ball


In You, O LORD, do I take refuge…in your righteousness deliver me! Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.
Psalm 31
This psalm contains more of David’s problems, prayers and, praises. Like many Christians, David goes from anguish to assurance, reflecting his personal experiences. But, David always returns to passionately celebrate God’s all sufficiency. In the first few verses, David, privately, testifies of his salvation and security in God. Then, he testifies of God-given discernment and deliverance from enemies. Next, David gives testimony about distress and grief, sorrow and sighing, because of his iniquities. David moves from a private setting to a public setting and he testifies of God’s goodness and His being a refuge for His children, exalting God’s attributes to hide His children from the plots of evil men and, to shelter His children from the wicked tongues of evil men. David blesses God for His steadfast Love toward His people and God’s hearing the pleas for mercy from them. David ends this psalm by declaring that all God’s saints love the Lord, they are to be strong and, take courage as they wait upon the Lord. In today’s fast paced world, Christians can be caught up in the frenzy of all the world offers. God wants His children to rest in Him, to not worry about anything this life has to offer and, to wait upon the Lord for all the good that God has to give His children. Christians would be better to wait upon the Lord than to get wearied by this world’s system of “having it all right now!”
Source: S C Ball


Sing praises to the LORD, O you His saints, and give thanks to His Holy name…You have turned for me my mourning into dancing… and clothed me with gladness…
Psalm 30
Most psalms have a title or, notation, telling who the author is. Psalm 30 has an extra notation that it was “a song at the dedication of the temple.” This may reference the tent structure built by David to house the Ark brought to Jerusalem from Shiloh. David built on the site where Solomon’s Temple would be built later. It is also possible the reference in the notation may have been added at the time of the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. David speaks, in Psalm 30, of a cycle of life (i.e. moving from lamentation to praise) coalescing the psalm with praise throughout. David begins and ends this prayer with pledges of praise to God. Early in the prayer, David attributes healing to God alone. In verse 5, David makes a contrast by saying God’s anger is for but a moment while God’s favor is for eternity. Though we may suffer the consequences of our sin, weeping over our disobedience to God, it will only last a little while, “for the night” but, “joy comes in the morning.” This verse is repeated by many a sinner who has disobeyed God and, now repentant, weeps over his disobedience through the night. But, when morning comes, God’s mercies are new. David recalls his own independence from God and his arrogant behavior before God. But, God’s grace revealed to David that he was acting just like his adversaries. David, then, pleads to God for His mercy and to help David. Then, David ends his prayer with praises to God for making David glad and wanting to dance as David sings praises to God, giving God thanks forever! May Christians, today, see David’s prayer structure in this psalm as a structure for some of the prayers we pray. When we study God’s Holy Scriptures, we find more than just words, stories or history. God gives us structure to use in our Christian life.
Source: S C Ball


Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness…May the LORD give strength to His people! May the LORD bless His people with peace!
Psalm 29
In this praise hymn of David, he starts by writing that we, God’s people, are to regard the Lord as all glorious and holy. We are to worship God because He is worthy of our worship and praise. Then, David describes God as reigning over His creation through His voice. In each description, David is giving God His due praise and glory for God’s control of all things in Creation. David praises God’s voice over the waters, in the storms, in the plants of the earth, in the animals He has created to give birth to their young, in the fires that shake the wilderness, in all catastrophes and, all His people shout, “Glory,” in His Temple. David ends his psalm (prayer) by supplicating to the Lord to strengthen and bless His people and give them Peace. During the Old Testament period, the Israelites were the main focus of salvation by God for He was showing them that they must be priests and a holy people to all people of the earth. Yet, Israel never fulfilled that commandment of God, falling into idolatry of the people they were supposed to “evangelize.” As we read the Psalms of the Old Testament today, we are to understand them as if Jesus were teaching them to us, Christians of all ages. Jesus did refer to the Psalms often in His earthly ministry. Jesus had a way to put many of the Psalms’ teachings into short statements. From this Psalm, we learn to give God the Glory He is due, to know God’s power, His rule over all Creation and, to trust God in all that we do, while praising Him for His Grace, Love and, Mercy. May all Christians find strength in God’s Holy Scriptures to serve Him and entrust to Him all that we have and do for the Kingdom of God.
Source: S C Ball


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