Monday, March 29, 2021

Corn? Words Are Powerful



As a teen, I believed what the Bible said. My parents hadn't attended church regularly until I was eleven, but when I heard biblical lessons and read my Bible, I believed it was inspired by God, was filled with examples to follow, and Jesus was very real.

Until someone outside of church told me about corn. A food cultivated only in the Americas prior to Columbus, how did it get into the Bible, where it is found in 94 verses, both in the Old and New Testaments? The carrier of this news was ready to laugh at a Christian’s silly beliefs when (almost) everyone knew there was no corn in the Middle East for Jesus to pluck and eat:

At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. (Matthew 12:1 KJV)

Naturally, I’ve learned a lot since then, quite a bit of semantics – words have meaning, but the meaning of words change for a variety of reasons. We must know the history of the word in question before we can be certain what its meaning was and now is. I like Sam Dean’s corn etymology article in bon appetit, where we read:

Back in the day, English speakers could use "corn" to refer to any grain they felt like, though it usually meant the predominant crop in a given region. In England, wheat was "corn," while oats were "corn" in Scotland and Ireland, and even rice was "the only corn that grows in the island" of Batavia (a.k.a. the Indonesian island of Java), as described in a 1767 travelogue.

What we call just plain "corn" today started out as "Indian corn," but we dropped the qualifier by the early 1800s. Today Americans, Canadians, and Australians are still the only Anglophones who call the stuff on the cob "corn," and a trip down a British Tesco aisle will yield more references to "maize" than you'd ever find stateside (unless you're at a grade school Thanksgiving pageant).

So – whatever Jesus and His disciples plucked to eat, it was not the western hemisphere’s maize, which was found following colonization. And using the translation “corn” is absolutely correct based on the history of the word that can be traced centuries back. Even without the internet, back in the 1950's I was able to learn the source of "corn," and had my faith renewed. I learned a very good lesson.

The lesson? Words are powerful. As that teen, I had no information on the history of what I knew as “corn,” and I was open to belief that the Bible was wrong when it was only my lack of knowledge that allowed a touch of disbelief grow.

What I’m asking of my readers is:  When you are given a reasonable argument as to why the Bible is incorrect, learn more. Do the research to be certain the argument given is based on facts that go beyond an individual’s lack of belief. Do as I have suggested time and again – be as the Bereans from Acts 17:

And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. (Acts 17:10-12 KJV)

That happens often when someone takes time to search the scriptures deeply, seeking to know the truth. It also happens often that people who disagree will also stir up others:

But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people. (Acts 17:13 KJV)

And they will no longer run around with you, thinking your changes strange:

For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: (1 Peter 4:3-4 KJV)

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

My Friend Died

 


So, why did I show you a photo of a library? Because my friend pushed – hard – to get the city she once lived in to have a public library. You’d have thought every city with close to 10,000 population had one, but hers didn’t until she completed her work. After their family moved to a rural county, she did the same thing at a small country church close to 15 miles from the nearest city. Now it has a nice sized library due to her involvement.

Her interests went much further than libraries, but were rooted in her family. She wanted her children educated, in the world for business purposes and in their religious life for eternal purposes. She also wanted to see missionaries able to educate, in intellect as well as in the gospel of Christ.

We had not visited in person since October, 2020, when I became ill with Covid-19. Social distancing in 2020 changed her life and mine – but we spoke over the phone, looking forward to meeting again. Especially after she was diagnosed with inoperable cancer and her outings were confined to doctor visits. But, she said she was okay.  Her son told us that at the very last of her life her, she said, “I’m okay,” and passed peacefully. Oh, God, that we could all say the same!

I miss her. But she and I shared one very important concept:

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:6-8 KJV)

Nothing I could write would match the love shown from her children as they shared in her obituary, linked here. The one thing I believe she would share with everyone is her firm belief that Jesus is Christ and worthy of our love.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17 KJV)

One of the first verses we read from the Bible, and the basic foundation of Christianity.

My friend believed it, and lived it. There are several missionaries who would agree with me, for they received prayerful support from her, her family, and a group of ladies who worked with her. The Haynes family in New Mexico, the Homeless No More outreach, the Coates family in Central America, are just a few supported by gifts and prayers. There are sewing machines given to help families raise money. Quilts were made and donated to keep people warm. Bibles given to help their souls and food to help their bodies.

She believed in opening her home, sharing her love with others. One of her loving ways was cooking for people. Once we had a church staff member who lived several miles away. Rather than have them drive home after Sunday morning services and back that evening, she had them over for lunch and an afternoon of fellowship.  No doubt she embodied the Proverbs 31 woman:

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. (Proverbs 31:27-31 KJV)

My friend died and I miss her. Right now, the difference between me and a non-Christian is that I know I will see her again, and it saddens me that unless they change, they won’t ever see her again. What proof do I have? The Bible tells me so, immediately after telling me that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish it says:

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  (John 3:18 KJV)

Please read the Bible with an open mind and a seeking heart. I’d love to introduce you to my friend as we spend eternity with our Lord.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Potter's Wheel and Field

 

If you’ve not heard of Jeremiah’s potter’s wheel in chapter 18, please take time to read the story. I do believe I’ve heard a sermon from that chapter no less than once a year – none of them exactly the same, and none of them leaving the same thoughts with me.

It is easy to think of Jeremiah being in prayer and receiving the message from God:

The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
(Jeremiah 18:1-2 KJV)

And, it is just as easy to read of Jeremiah’s response:

Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
(Jeremiah 18:3-4 KJV)

Then I wonder if I could respond as easily to what I perceived as a message from God. It takes a lot of prayer and Bible study to understand that not all messages do come from God. There are explanations in the Bible:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
(Matthew 7:15-20 KJV)

Knowing what message is NOT from God is important. God confirmed in Jesus that there are two commandments upon which all others are based:

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
(Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)

Putting our lives – our eternal souls – into the hands of God as our potter, our life’s designer, requires that we are aware of these two commandments and are willingly living by them: God’s call first, others’ spiritual needs second, our own desires last.

In my mind, being called to a leadership position where people’s souls are tended to is a very high calling. The work of a church’s pastor or missionaries, whether foreign or at home, ties directly to souls. We should be praying for them every opportunity we have, every time their names come to mind – and they should come often.

We should be aware that when a flaw in the potter’s creation occurs, the potter chooses to remake the item – or toss it into what is termed “Potter’s Field” where some clay is tossed when determined to be unredeemable. an excellent example follows Judas’ return of the 30 pieces of silver to the high priests:

And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.
(Matthew 27:6-7 KJV)

Will we learn of our Lord by studying His word? Will we allow His written instructions to guide our lives? Will we listen for His personal messages to us to respond to his calls for our service to His children?

Will we actually love our neighbors as ourselves? Can you answer as to “Why?” or “Why not?”





Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Anger? Temper With Mercy

 


And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. (Mark 3:5 KJV)

Most often, when people want to show when Christ became angry they choose the scripture where he drives the money-changers out of the temple. Seldom do we read Matthew’s account of the healing of a man on the Sabbath:

And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. (Mark 3:1-4 KJV)

Why, since God commanded we keep the sabbath holy, shouldn’t we? And if there were rules, why shouldn’t a man claiming to be God keep them? Those who had set themselves up as judges of what God wanted determined that this man, claiming to be God, was doing what God said not to do.

They accused Him, and Matthew’s account gives His explanation:

And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
(Matthew 12:11-12 KJV)

In Mark’s relating the event of disciples eating grain, we read:

And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: (Mark 2:27 KJV)

People who see God as a judge of our actions, they are right. That occurs both now and before His throne. However, being perfect, His justice is, too. Tempered with mercy and knowledge, justice accurately sets people on a path leading to Him. It is easier to see that path when we understand another verse does not maintain a good path:

Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes. (Deuteronomy 12:8 KJV)

While Judges tells us when this was done, Proverbs tells us what happens when it is done:

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. (Proverbs 21:2-3 KJV)

In our world today, we do not seek God’s justice. It appears more often than not that we seek revenge. We see the oldest of laws, an eye for an eye. Yes, that is mentioned three times – in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy – but Jesus offers a different take on this in His Sermon on the Mount:

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. (Matthew 5:38-42 KJV)

Please note that the facts above are that an original harm was done. The man suing at law is doing so because he was wronged by the man being sued. Resist not the original evil by returning evil, but understand the justness of repaying the person who originally lost by our action.  We know what God wants us to do:

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)

We have two questions to ask – Are we harming God? Are we harming another of His children – to understand whether we are doing right or not. Jesus was not harming God by helping the man with a withered hand on the sabbath. Justice was softened by mercy, just as God’s justice regarding our sinfulness is softened by the mercy extended by Jesus:

Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4:23-25 KJV)

Remember the two questions when considering what you need to do. Temper justice with mercy, too, and expect mercy from God.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Mirror Images

 


Isn’t that a beautiful shot of Mount Hood and Mirror Lake in Oregon? Not mine, of course, I found it on Wikimedia Commons to show how beautiful a mirrored image is – but how dangerous.

Starting at the edge of the lake, hikers headed for Mount Hood can walk for hours in the forest. Starting at the same edge of the lake but taking the image, a person could drown if unprepared for water, and they will never reach Mount Hood. Satan, who we know as a roaring lion:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9 KJV)

Satan is an expert at tempting with mirror images, and his temptations of Jesus are perfect examples:

And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:2-4 KJV)

Satan did not offer to do anything for Jesus, He just wanted Jesus to do what they both knew Jesus could do – give His body nourishment. How could that be wrong? It would help his body continue. Jesus didn’t come to teach how to live here on earth, but to live eternally. Bread alone wouldn’t do that, but what came from God does.

Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (Matthew 4:5-7 KJV)

Another “Show me a miracle to prove who you are!” This wasn’t in God’s plan. Jesus’ actions were to glorify God, not to show how important Jesus was or how many angels were waiting to serve Him. I love a piece from “He Left It All”:

Not one comfort did He bring
Not His robe
Not His crown
Not ten thousand bowing down
Not one piece of jasper wall
He left it all

Ten years ago I wrote that He’s Done It All, too. When He said “It is finished,” He was finished providing eternal life for us. The rest is up to us, to accept that. In the mirror image, Satan offered Jesus the world to worship him:

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matthew 4:8-10 KJV)

For whatever reason He has, God has allowed Satan to operate in this world. It will be eternity before we know why, but we can immediately see the fallacy in what Satan offered – all he offered were the physical things of this world. What Jesus came to salvage were souls. Jesus came for the people in the world, not kingdoms nor their glory.

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10 KJV)

That thought is firm in the 59 English versions I checked today. There is no doubt it confirms:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)

Satan has no part in our eternal existence with God. But he’ll spend your lifetime trying to convince you otherwise with mirror images to make this world seem the most important thing in your life. It isn’t. God is.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36 KJV)

Then again, how important is it for us to say we love God, and we won’t spend time with Him, others who love Him, or those who need Him:

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:17-19 KJV)

Don’t settle for what’s in the mirror – go for the real.  Do you believe God? Work for Him? Tremble?

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Oral Tradition

 


Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7 KJV)

What’s the best time to teach someone about God? Sitting, walking, at home, away from home, evening, and morning. Any time, any where, to any one – but here it is so important to teach our children. Why?

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. (Psalms 103:17-18 KJV)

We all have an impact on our children, their children, and even to their children, too. Part of what we impart will be oral tradition. It need not stop with our own family. What we impart to friends – and to strangers – has an impact, too, even when the time we spend is short.

What made me think about this was an In Touch article, “At Home With Refugees”, which was introduced in an email:

Scripture endures in oral traditions too

I’ve used the Berean example in several previous posts – where those who heard Paul’s story of God sending His Son to offer eternal life with Him to everyone. That was as hard to believe then as it is today. The Bereans turned to scripture, where they had learned there is truth:

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. (Acts 17:11-12 KJV)

Our children receive with all readiness of mind. We can give them a head start, just as Paul did, to know what to look for in scriptures as well as in their formal schoolwork. They learn to discern what is truth – and what is a mirror image that is wrong. This is doubly important in a world that accepts evil for good.

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:20-21 KJV)

How many of the following descriptions do we find in our own country right now:

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5 KJV)

No one except God knows the timing, but every one reading this knows these are perilous times. There have been many perilous times in the past, and when those times came people recognized them and many did turn away from such and sought God. He is there, just as I wrote and posted yesterday. Where are we?

We are in a position to share our beliefs, our traditions if you will, with anyone who will listen to us. Who do we know who needs God’s presence? Everyone. Who do we know that need God’s salvation? That’s a smaller group in our lives, but we meet so many people that we will never know for certain.

How can we reach them? With our lives, our love, and our prayers. Keep in mind that God uses people who allow Him to work in their lives. Also keep in mind that if He has a specific purpose, He is able to work within what appears to be unacceptable methods to do so. Read Joseph’s story – wealthy son, despised brother, slave, second ruler in Egypt. Or Jonah – prophet, refugee, preacher, disappointed. Or Esther – slave, queen, brave, provider of safety for her people. Or David – shepherd, young brother, giant killer, escaping a king, becoming a king, adulterer, a man after God’s own heart.

Each of those stories has a connection to God’s providing for mankind from creation, all because we are loved:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)

Keep oral traditions alive by sending God’s message and sharing God’s word. It’s an awesome combination throughout history.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Blessedly Forgiven

 


To be forgiven by God, we must spend time with Him. To spend time, we need to find Him. To find Him, we need to know where to look. It’s as simple as finding a needle in the haystack – if you have a strong magnet. You see, God is always available to be found to those who seek Him, He is the magnet. While there are many verses that address this, I selected this one to be first:

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. (Acts 17:27-28 KJV)

I’d suggest that reading the chapter will place the verse  in context, and there is much around it that is good reading to suggest we are expected to seek the Lord as we are His children.

Israel – Jacob, if you will – was chosen by God to father a special nation dedicated to showing God to the rest of the world. Through Israel, all nations would be blessed:

And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? (Genesis 18:17-18 KJV)

And, they are blessed.  While this next verse can be applied specifically to a time in history where the people of Israel needed God, I believe it is applicable to those who would call upon Him:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13 KJV)

All of the above are included in the Bible which also tells us several times that all men have sinned:

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Romans 5:12 KJV)

Way before that, God spoke to Israel in Isaiah chapter 59 (the whole chapter is excellent reading!) and let’s look at the first two verses:

Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:1-2 KJV)

What in the world does all this talk about biblical sinfulness have to do with being blessed by forgiveness? God provides the forgiveness after we provide the request for it. For New Testament Christians, which is also for me, it’s tied up in these verses:

But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. (Acts 15:11 KJV)

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Ephesians 2:5 KJV)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8 KJV)

These verses sound good alone – they make sense, and still sound good, when they are read in context. We do sin. Sin is acting against God’s will. God has two commandments that are used to base all His laws:

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)

Every single day of our life, we break one of those commandments, don’t we? We either ignore God, or we don’t love a neighbor. Simple failure. It is a blessing that God forgives us. King David knew this and wrote (the rest of this chapter is worth reading, too!):

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. (Psalms 32:1-2 KJV)

The sin is covered, thus we are blessed that God does not count that sin against us as we are truthful acknowledging our need for God. For the Christian, we are covered by the death of Christ through a conversion to belief described by Paul in Acts 26. Also described by Peter in Acts 10. These chapters should be read in their entirety – and if not understood, read the four gospels. I’d suggest beginning with John, then Luke, Matthew and Mark. But, that’s a personal preference. Then read the rest of the Bible to see if these are “none other things” then those which the Old Testament did say should come:

Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. (Acts 26:22-23 KJV)

Do you feel blessed?