Its not the size that matters

These are the smallest playing cards I have ever seen.  My guess is that they are 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch, but I could be wrong about that.  During the war between the states it was common for soldiers to pass the time playing cards.  When preparing for an attack, it was also common for those same soldiers to throw away their cards, lest they die in battle and they still had them in their possession.  Why, because preachers gave many sermons on the evils of card-playing!!!  I have heard sermons from my youth and I have never, ever heard one sermon about card-playing!!!  Is there anything wrong with it?  Consider, it is just a game, a harmless past-time, or is it?  Even if you only play for match-sticks or chips, its all about getting more and more and more from other people.  You may or may not think this is important, but put money into the equation and you now have a recipe for trouble.  Sin is like that; you can do something that seems harmless (like playing for match-sticks) but it may lead you on to bigger and more obvious sins.  Its all about temptation, isn't it?  Consider this passage from the book of James...

James Chapter 1
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various temptations, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  4 Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him.  6 But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed.  7 For let that man not think that he will receive anything from the Lord.  8 He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

  9 But let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position; 10 and the rich, in that he is made humble, because like the flower in the grass, he will pass away.  11 For the sun arises with the scorching wind, and withers the grass, and the flower in it falls, and the beauty of its appearance perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in his pursuits.

  12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love him.  
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God can’t be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one.  14 But each one is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed.  15 Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin; and the sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death.  16 Don’t be deceived, my beloved brothers.  17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow. 

 Play cards, don't play cards; your choice!!!  To avoid problems, ask yourself: does this activity (whatever it may be, not just cards) have the potential to lead me to something that can cause serious problems in my life by drawing me away from God?  As far as cards go, I personally have no problem playing, just as long as its for something like match sticks.... beyond that, and I simply will not play!!!!  Your life, your choice, but choose WISELY!!!!!

May 1 Deuteronomy 17, 18

May 1
Deuteronomy 17, 18

Deu 17:1 You shall not sacrifice to Yahweh your God an ox, or a sheep, in which is a blemish, or anything evil; for that is an abomination to Yahweh your God.
Deu 17:2 If there be found in the midst of you, within any of your gates which Yahweh your God gives you, man or woman, who does that which is evil in the sight of Yahweh your God, in transgressing his covenant,
Deu 17:3 and has gone and served other gods, and worshiped them, or the sun, or the moon, or any of the army of the sky, which I have not commanded;
Deu 17:4 and it be told you, and you have heard of it, then you shall inquire diligently; and behold, if it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is done in Israel,
Deu 17:5 then you shall bring forth that man or that woman, who has done this evil thing, to your gates, even the man or the woman; and you shall stone them to death with stones.
Deu 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he who is to die be put to death; at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
Deu 17:7 The hand of the witnesses shall be first on him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall put away the evil from the midst of you.
Deu 17:8 If there arises a matter too hard for you in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within your gates; then you shall arise, and go up to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose;
Deu 17:9 and you shall come to the priests the Levites, and to the judge who shall be in those days: and you shall inquire; and they shall show you the sentence of judgment.
Deu 17:10 You shall do according to the tenor of the sentence which they shall show you from that place which Yahweh shall choose; and you shall observe to do according to all that they shall teach you:
Deu 17:11 according to the tenor of the law which they shall teach you, and according to the judgment which they shall tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn aside from the sentence which they shall show you, to the right hand, nor to the left.
Deu 17:12 The man who does presumptuously, in not listening to the priest who stands to minister there before Yahweh your God, or to the judge, even that man shall die: and you shall put away the evil from Israel.
Deu 17:13 All the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.
Deu 17:14 When you are come to the land which Yahweh your God gives you, and shall possess it, and shall dwell therein, and shall say, I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me;
Deu 17:15 you shall surely set him king over yourselves, whom Yahweh your God shall choose: one from among your brothers you shall set king over you; you may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.
Deu 17:16 Only he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he may multiply horses; because Yahweh has said to you, You shall henceforth return no more that way.
Deu 17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart not turn away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
Deu 17:18 It shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book, out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
Deu 17:19 and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear Yahweh his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them;
Deu 17:20 that his heart not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he not turn aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Deu 18:1 The priests the Levites, even all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of Yahweh made by fire, and his inheritance.
Deu 18:2 They shall have no inheritance among their brothers: Yahweh is their inheritance, as he has spoken to them.
Deu 18:3 This shall be the priests' due from the people, from those who offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep, that they shall give to the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw.
Deu 18:4 The first fruits of your grain, of your new wine, and of your oil, and the first of the fleece of your sheep, you shall give him.
Deu 18:5 For Yahweh your God has chosen him out of all your tribes, to stand to minister in the name of Yahweh, him and his sons for ever.
Deu 18:6 If a Levite comes from any of your gates out of all Israel, where he lives as a foreigner, and comes with all the desire of his soul to the place which Yahweh shall choose;
Deu 18:7 then he shall minister in the name of Yahweh his God, as all his brothers the Levites do, who stand there before Yahweh.
Deu 18:8 They shall have like portions to eat, besides that which comes of the sale of his patrimony.
Deu 18:9 When you are come into the land which Yahweh your God gives you, you shall not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
Deu 18:10 There shall not be found with you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices sorcery, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer,
Deu 18:11 or a charmer, or a consulter with a familiar spirit, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
Deu 18:12 For whoever does these things is an abomination to Yahweh: and because of these abominations Yahweh your God does drive them out from before you.
Deu 18:13 You shall be perfect with Yahweh your God.
Deu 18:14 For these nations, that you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice sorcery, and to diviners; but as for you, Yahweh your God has not allowed you so to do.
Deu 18:15 Yahweh your God will raise up to you a prophet from the midst of you, of your brothers, like me. You shall listen to him.
Deu 18:16 This is according to all that you desired of Yahweh your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of Yahweh my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I not die.
Deu 18:17 Yahweh said to me, They have well said that which they have spoken.
Deu 18:18 I will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him.
Deu 18:19 It shall happen, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
Deu 18:20 But the prophet, who shall speak a word presumptuously in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who shall speak in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.
Deu 18:21 If you say in your heart, How shall we know the word which Yahweh has not spoken?
Deu 18:22 when a prophet speaks in the name of Yahweh, if the thing doesn't follow, nor happen, that is the thing which Yahweh has not spoken: the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you shall not be afraid of him.

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" Chapter Thirteen by Mark Copeland

                       "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                            Chapter Thirteen

Jesus began teaching in parables regarding the kingdom, seven recorded
in this chapter (Mt 13:1-9,18-33,36-52).  His goal appeared to separate
the truth seekers from the curiosity seekers, as He explained the
parables privately to His disciples (Mt 13:10-17,34-35).  At Nazareth,
He taught in the synagogue where He found an unreceptive audience


   *  The purpose of parables

   *  What the parables reveal about the kingdom of heaven


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Seven parables concerning the kingdom of heaven - Mt 13:1-9,18-33,
   - The purpose of parables - Mt 13:10-17,34-35
   - Jesus rejected at Nazareth - Mt 13:53-58

2) List the seven parables of Jesus found in this chapter (3,24,31,33,
   - The parable of the sower
   - The parable of the wheat and tares
   - The parable of the mustard seed
   - The parable of the leaven
   - The parable of the hidden treasure
   - The parable of the pearl of great price
   - The parable of the dragnet

3) What was Jesus two-fold purpose in teaching in parables? (10-17,
   - To keep truths of the kingdom hidden from those not seeking the
   - To illustrate truths of the kingdom to those with ears and hearts
     willing to listen

4) What does the parable of the sower illustrate? (3-9,18-23)
   - Different types of listeners and their response to the word of the

5) What does the parable of the wheat and tares illustrate? (24-30,
   - The efforts of the devil to undermine the work of the Son of Man

6) What do the parables of the mustard seed and the leaven illustrate?
   - The growth and spread of the kingdom heaven

7) What about the parables of the hidden treasure and pearl of great
   price? (44-46)
   - The great worth of the kingdom, found accidentally or after
     diligent search

8) What does the parable of the dragnet illustrate? (47-52)
   - The final makeup of the kingdom will be determined at the end of
     the age

9) Why was Jesus rejected by many at Nazareth? (53-58)
   - They were apparently blinded by their familiarity with Him and His