A (message) within a MESSAGE!!!

Most of us have probably seen this logo before and if you have had the experience of tasting their ice cream you will remember it.  As I looked at this logo again (I have had it for quite awhile now) it occurred to me that there is a message within a message here.  The "BR" actually contains within it a message that they have 31 flavors of ice cream; something they are famous for.  Clever advertising, very clever!!!  Life is a lot like this logo.  We all exist in a specific time and place and see the world around us, but we don't all perceive the creator in the things we see and do.  Its like that for the word of God as well, as Jesus teaches in this wonderful passage from the book of Matthew...

WEB: Matthew Chapter 13
[1] On that day Jesus went out of the house, and sat by the seaside. [2] Great multitudes gathered to him, so that he entered into a boat, and sat, and all the multitude stood on the beach. [3] He spoke to them many things in parables, saying, "“Behold, a farmer went out to sow. [4] As he sowed, some seeds fell by the roadside, and the birds came and devoured them. [5] Others fell on rocky ground, where they didn’t have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of earth. [6] When the sun had risen, they were scorched. Because they had no root, they withered away. [7] Others fell among thorns. The thorns grew up and choked them. [8] Others fell on good soil, and yielded fruit: some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty. [9] He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”"

[10] The disciples came, and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”

[11] He answered them, "“To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them. [12] For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have abundance, but whoever doesn’t have, from him will be taken away even that which he has. [13] Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they don’t see, and hearing, they don’t hear, neither do they understand. [14] In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says,

‘By hearing you will hear,
and will in no way understand;

Seeing you will see,
and will in no way perceive:

[15] for this people’s heart has grown callous,
their ears are dull of hearing,
they have closed their eyes;

or else perhaps they might perceive with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their heart,

and should turn again;
and I would heal them.’

[16] “But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear. [17] For most certainly I tell you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which you see, and didn’t see them; and to hear the things which you hear, and didn’t hear them.

[18] “Hear, then, the parable of the farmer. [19] When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom, and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes, and snatches away that which has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown by the roadside. [20] What was sown on the rocky places, this is he who hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it; [21] yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while. When oppression or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. [22] What was sown among the thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of this age and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. [23] What was sown on the good ground, this is he who hears the word, and understands it, who most certainly bears fruit, and brings forth, some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty.”"
Those of you who know me well have heard me say this quite a number of times... "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him eat pizza".  By this I mean that although you may teach someone what you understand to be truth, they may never accept it, no matter how hard you try... so deal with it.  Jesus says something like this in the above passage. Some people won't get it at all, others will get it for awhile and other really get it and become really productive for God.  It all depends on the openness of their heart.  The message within the message is determined by who you really are on the inside and its my hope for everyone who reads this that you are at least 31 times productive in the kingdom of God.  The world needs it far more than it needs ice cream, even if there are 31 flavors!!!!

Mar. 9 Exodus 19

Mar. 9
Exodus 19

Exo 19:1 In the third month after the children of Israel had gone forth out of the land of Egypt, on that same day they came into the wilderness of Sinai.
Exo 19:2 When they had departed from Rephidim, and had come to the wilderness of Sinai, they encamped in the wilderness; and there Israel encamped before the mountain.
Exo 19:3 Moses went up to God, and Yahweh called to him out of the mountain, saying, "This is what you shall tell the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel:
Exo 19:4 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to myself.
Exo 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice, and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own possession from among all peoples; for all the earth is mine;
Exo 19:6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."
Exo 19:7 Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which Yahweh commanded him.
Exo 19:8 All the people answered together, and said, "All that Yahweh has spoken we will do." Moses reported the words of the people to Yahweh.
Exo 19:9 Yahweh said to Moses, "Behold, I come to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever." Moses told the words of the people to Yahweh.
Exo 19:10 Yahweh said to Moses, "Go to the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments,
Exo 19:11 and be ready against the third day; for on the third day Yahweh will come down in the sight of all the people on Mount Sinai.
Exo 19:12 You shall set bounds to the people all around, saying, 'Be careful that you don't go up onto the mountain, or touch its border. Whoever touches the mountain shall be surely put to death.
Exo 19:13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether it is animal or man, he shall not live.' When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come up to the mountain."
Exo 19:14 Moses went down from the mountain to the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.
Exo 19:15 He said to the people, "Be ready by the third day. Don't have sexual relations with a woman."
Exo 19:16 It happened on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain, and the sound of an exceedingly loud trumpet; and all the people who were in the camp trembled.
Exo 19:17 Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the lower part of the mountain.
Exo 19:18 Mount Sinai, all it, smoked, because Yahweh descended on it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.
Exo 19:19 When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice.
Exo 19:20 Yahweh came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. Yahweh called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
Exo 19:21 Yahweh said to Moses, "Go down, warn the people, lest they break through to Yahweh to gaze, and many of them perish.
Exo 19:22 Let the priests also, who come near to Yahweh, sanctify themselves, lest Yahweh break forth on them."
Exo 19:23 Moses said to Yahweh, "The people can't come up to Mount Sinai, for you warned us, saying, 'Set bounds around the mountain, and sanctify it.' "
Exo 19:24 Yahweh said to him, "Go down and you shall bring Aaron up with you, but don't let the priests and the people break through to come up to Yahweh, lest he break forth on them."
Exo 19:25 So Moses went down to the people, and told them.

Mar. 9, 10 Mark 7

Mar. 9, 10
Mark 7

Mar 7:1 Then the Pharisees, and some of the scribes gathered together to him, having come from Jerusalem.
Mar 7:2 Now when they saw some of his disciples eating bread with defiled, that is, unwashed, hands, they found fault.
Mar 7:3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, don't eat unless they wash their hands and forearms, holding to the tradition of the elders.
Mar 7:4 They don't eat when they come from the marketplace, unless they bathe themselves, and there are many other things, which they have received to hold to: washings of cups, pitchers, bronze vessels, and couches.)
Mar 7:5 The Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why don't your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with unwashed hands?"
Mar 7:6 He answered them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
Mar 7:7 But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'
Mar 7:8 "For you set aside the commandment of God, and hold tightly to the tradition of men-the washing of pitchers and cups, and you do many other such things."
Mar 7:9 He said to them, "Full well do you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
Mar 7:10 For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother;' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.'
Mar 7:11 But you say, 'If a man tells his father or his mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban, that is to say, given to God;" '
Mar 7:12 then you no longer allow him to do anything for his father or his mother,
Mar 7:13 making void the word of God by your tradition, which you have handed down. You do many things like this."
Mar 7:14 He called all the multitude to himself, and said to them, "Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Mar 7:15 There is nothing from outside of the man, that going into him can defile him; but the things which proceed out of the man are those that defile the man.
Mar 7:16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Mar 7:17 When he had entered into a house away from the multitude, his disciples asked him about the parable.
Mar 7:18 He said to them, "Are you thus without understanding also? Don't you perceive that whatever goes into the man from outside can't defile him,
Mar 7:19 because it doesn't go into his heart, but into his stomach, then into the latrine, thus making all foods clean?"
Mar 7:20 He said, "That which proceeds out of the man, that defiles the man.
Mar 7:21 For from within, out of the hearts of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, sexual sins, murders, thefts,
Mar 7:22 covetings, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness.
Mar 7:23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."
Mar 7:24 From there he arose, and went away into the borders of Tyre and Sidon. He entered into a house, and didn't want anyone to know it, but he couldn't escape notice.
Mar 7:25 For a woman, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, having heard of him, came and fell down at his feet.
Mar 7:26 Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race. She begged him that he would cast the demon out of her daughter.
Mar 7:27 But Jesus said to her, "Let the children be filled first, for it is not appropriate to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
Mar 7:28 But she answered him, "Yes, Lord. Yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."
Mar 7:29 He said to her, "For this saying, go your way. The demon has gone out of your daughter."
Mar 7:30 She went away to her house, and found the child having been laid on the bed, with the demon gone out.
Mar 7:31 Again he departed from the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and came to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the region of Decapolis.
Mar 7:32 They brought to him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech. They begged him to lay his hand on him.
Mar 7:33 He took him aside from the multitude, privately, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat, and touched his tongue.
Mar 7:34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha!" that is, "Be opened!"
Mar 7:35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was released, and he spoke clearly.
Mar 7:36 He commanded them that they should tell no one, but the more he commanded them, so much the more widely they proclaimed it.
Mar 7:37 They were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He makes even the deaf hear, and the mute speak!"

"THE BOOK OF PSALMS" Psalm 51 - The Penitent's Prayer by Mark Copeland

                         "THE BOOK OF PSALMS"

                    Psalm 51 - The Penitent's Prayer


1) To learn "the art of confessing our sins" from the example of David
   confessing his sins

2) To consider whether one can rightly argue for "total hereditary
   depravity" based upon the figurative language in verse 5


This psalm was written by David when Nathan had come to him after
committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband Uriah (cf.
2Sa 11:1- 12:15).  It is an outstanding example of a "penitential
psalm" (cf. also Ps 6, 38, 130) in which David confesses his sin and
prays for forgiveness.  We do well to learn from it "the art of
confessing our sins" to help us when we have sins to confess to God (cf.
1Jn 1:9).

David begins with his plea for God to forgive him, appealing to His
loving kindness and tender mercy.  Note that he does not ask God to
forgive him based upon any good he may have done in the past.  He
acknowledges his sin against God (in very figurative terms), and how it
is contrary to God's desire for him.  He prays not only for God to
cleanse him, but also to renew and restore to him the joy of salvation

David's plea is followed by his promise to teach other sinners, that
they too might be converted to God.  He promises also to sing aloud of
God's righteousness, for he knows that God delights in such when it
comes from a broken and contrite spirit (13-17).

The psalm ends with his prayer for God to do good for Zion and
Jerusalem, that He might be pleased by the burnt offerings offered on
the altar.  Note that David has not forgotten to pray for God's
interest, while praying for his own (18-19).

This penitential psalm should be studied along with Psalm 32, in which
David describes the blessedness and joy of one who has received the
forgiveness prayed for in this psalm.


I. DAVID'S PLEA (51:1-12)

      1. He pleads mercy according to God's loving kindness
      2. He implores forgiveness according to God's tender mercies
      3. He begs washing and cleansing from his sin

      1. He admits his sin which is ever before him
      2. He confesses that he has sinned against God, and done evil in
         His sight
      3. God is just and blameless in judging him

      1. His expression of sinfulness
         a. He was brought forth in iniquity
         b. In sin his mother conceived him
      2. His awareness of what God's desire
         a. God wants truth in the inward parts
         b. God wills to make him know wisdom in the hidden part

      1. He prays for forgiveness, for God to...
         a. Purge him with hyssop, that he might be clean
         b. Wash him, that he might be whiter than snow
         c. Hide His face from his sins
         d. Blot out all his iniquities
      2. He prays for restoration, for God to...
         a. Make him hear joy and gladness
         b. Make his broken bones rejoice
         c. Create in him a clean heart
         d. Renew a steadfast spirit in him
         e. Not cast him away from His presence
         f. Not take His Holy Spirit from him
         g. Restore to him the joy of His salvation
         h. Uphold him with His generous Spirit

II. DAVID'S PROMISE (51:13-17)

      1. He will teach transgressors the ways of God
      2. Sinners will be converted to God

   B. TO OFFER PRAISE (14-17)
      1. If the God of his salvation will deliver him from
         bloodguiltiness and open his lips...
         a. He will sing aloud of God's righteousness
         b. His mouth will show forth His praise
      2. For he knows in what God delights
         a. Not sacrifice or burnt offering, or he would have offered it
         b. But a broken spirit and a contrite heart, God will not

III. DAVID'S PRAYER (51:18-19)

      1. That God do His good pleasure to Zion
      2. That God build the walls of Jerusalem

      1. With the sacrifices of righteousness
      2. With burnt offering and whole burnt offering
      -- Then they shall offer bulls on His altar


1) What are the main points of this psalm?
   - David's plea (1-12)
   - David's promise (13-17)
   - David's prayer (18-19)

2) What is David praying for in this psalm? (1-2)
   - For God to have mercy upon him
   - For God to blot out his transgressions
   - For God to wash and cleanse him from his sin

3) Upon what does David base his appeal for God's forgiveness? (1-2)
   - According to His loving kindness
   - According to the multitude of His tender mercies

4) How does David describe the extent of his guilt? (3-4)
   - His sin is ever before him
   - Against God alone has he sinned (figuratively speaking, for David
     sinned against his wife, Uriah, and many others)

5) How does David further describe the extent of his sinfulness? (5)
   - He was brought forth in iniquity, in sin his mother conceived him
     (figuratively speaking, in contrast to what God desires of him as
     expressed in verse 6)

6) What does God desire of David? (6)
   - Truth in the inward parts
   - Wisdom in the hidden part

7) In praying for forgiveness, what does David ask God to do? (7-12)
   - Purge him with hyssop, that he might be clean (note the figurative
     language again)
   - Wash him, that he might be whiter than snow
   - Hide His face from his sins
   - Blot out all his iniquities

8) In praying for restoration, what does he ask God to do? (7-12)
   - Make him hear joy and gladness
   - Make his broken bones rejoice
   - Create in him a clean heart
   - Renew a steadfast spirit in him
   - Not cast him away from His presence
   - Not take His Holy Spirit from him
   - Restore to him the joy of His salvation
   - Uphold him with His generous Spirit

9) What two things does David promise to do when forgiven? (13-15)
   - Teach transgressors the ways of God
   - Sing aloud the righteousness of God

10) What does God desire more than burnt offering? (16-17)
   - A broken and contrite heart

11) For what does David pray as he concludes this psalm? (18-19)
   - For God's good pleasure regarding Zion and Jerusalem, and the
     sacrifices of righteousness