The Big Picture

We live in a world of day to day existence.  Our lives are crowded with things to do, people to see, deadlines to keep and priorities to manage.  Its so easy to get wrapped up into "things" and lose sight of why we do the things we do; how we really fit into the big picture.  I hope that when you see this, you can see all of it, because that is the point, after all.  The above picture could be of almost anything, so its content is not so important as its size!!!  Christians need to realize that they are part of God's grand scheme of things and rejoice because everything really is under control!!!  Read the following chapter from the book of Ephesians to get the BIG PICTURE....

Ephesians, Chapter 1
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God,to the saints who are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus:  2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ;  4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love; 5 having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire,  6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely bestowed favor on us in the Beloved,  7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,  8 which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,  9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him  10 to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, in him;  11 in whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will;  12 to the end that we should be to the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ:  13 in whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Good News of your salvation—in whom, having also believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,  14 who is a pledge of our inheritance, to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.  15 For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and the love which you have toward all the saints,  16 don’t cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers,  17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,  19 and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might  20 which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places,  21 far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come.  22 He put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things for the assembly,  23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

The God who created everything you can see, touch or experience has a plan for you!!!  You are NOT ALONE, OR FORGOTTEN, NOR ABANDONED; YOU ARE LOVED!!!  In the most remote place on Earth, God is there!!!  If you go to the farthest reaches of the known universe, seek God and you will find him.  More than that, even to the heaven beyond the heavens, which Paul refers to as the third heaven, God is there.  Jesus is the answer to loneliness, discouragement, fear and unhappiness.  He is concrete proof that God loves us.  This life is fleeting and the more years you have, the faster it seems to go, BUT, eternity is never ending and that is the reward that awaits us.  Take a moment and think about your life; really consider what you have done with it.  Don't like it; change!!!!!  Love it... praise God and become more zealous to serve him.  You won't be one bit sorry!!!!

May 28 Judges 13, 14

May 28
Judges 13, 14

Jdg 13:1 The children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh; and Yahweh delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.
Jdg 13:2 There was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and didn't bear.
Jdg 13:3 The angel of Yahweh appeared to the woman, and said to her, See now, you are barren, and don't bear; but you shall conceive, and bear a son.
Jdg 13:4 Now therefore please beware and drink no wine nor strong drink, and don't eat any unclean thing:
Jdg 13:5 for, behold, you shall conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head; for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb: and he shall begin to save Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
Jdg 13:6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came to me, and his face was like the face of the angel of God, very awesome; and I didn't ask him whence he was, neither did he tell me his name:
Jdg 13:7 but he said to me, Behold, you shall conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing; for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.
Jdg 13:8 Then Manoah entreated Yahweh, and said, Oh, Lord, please let the man of God whom you did send come again to us, and teach us what we shall do to the child who shall be born.
Jdg 13:9 God listened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah, her husband, wasn't with her.
Jdg 13:10 The woman made haste, and ran, and told her husband, and said to him, Behold, the man has appeared to me, who came to me the other day.
Jdg 13:11 Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said to him, Are you the man who spoke to the woman? He said, I am.
Jdg 13:12 Manoah said, Now let your words happen: what shall be the ordering of the child, and how shall we do to him?
Jdg 13:13 The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, Of all that I said to the woman let her beware.
Jdg 13:14 She may not eat of anything that comes of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; all that I commanded her let her observe.
Jdg 13:15 Manoah said to the angel of Yahweh, I pray you, let us detain you, that we may make ready a kid for you.
Jdg 13:16 The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, Though you detain me, I won't eat of your bread; and if you will make ready a burnt offering, you must offer it to Yahweh. For Manoah didn't know that he was the angel of Yahweh.
Jdg 13:17 Manoah said to the angel of Yahweh, What is your name, that when your words happen, we may honor you?
Jdg 13:18 The angel of Yahweh said to him, Why do you ask after my name, seeing it is wonderful?
Jdg 13:19 So Manoah took the kid with the meal offering, and offered it on the rock to Yahweh: and the angel did wondrously, and Manoah and his wife looked on.
Jdg 13:20 For it happened, when the flame went up toward the sky from off the altar, that the angel of Yahweh ascended in the flame of the altar: and Manoah and his wife looked on; and they fell on their faces to the ground.
Jdg 13:21 But the angel of Yahweh did no more appear to Manoah or to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of Yahweh.
Jdg 13:22 Manoah said to his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.
Jdg 13:23 But his wife said to him, If Yahweh were pleased to kill us, he wouldn't have received a burnt offering and a meal offering at our hand, neither would he have shown us all these things, nor would at this time have told such things as these.
Jdg 13:24 The woman bore a son, and named him Samson: and the child grew, and Yahweh blessed him.
Jdg 13:25 The Spirit of Yahweh began to move him in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Jdg 14:1 Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines.
Jdg 14:2 He came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me as wife.
Jdg 14:3 Then his father and his mother said to him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of your brothers, or among all my people, that you go to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? Samson said to his father, Get her for me; for she pleases me well.
Jdg 14:4 But his father and his mother didn't know that it was of Yahweh; for he sought an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines had rule over Israel.
Jdg 14:5 Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnah, and came to the vineyards of Timnah: and behold, a young lion roared against him.
Jdg 14:6 The Spirit of Yahweh came mightily on him, and he tore him as he would have torn a kid; and he had nothing in his hand: but he didn't tell his father or his mother what he had done.
Jdg 14:7 He went down, and talked with the woman, and she pleased Samson well.
Jdg 14:8 After a while he returned to take her; and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion: and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey.
Jdg 14:9 He took it into his hands, and went on, eating as he went; and he came to his father and mother, and gave to them, and they ate: but he didn't tell them that he had taken the honey out of the body of the lion.
Jdg 14:10 His father went down to the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do.
Jdg 14:11 It happened, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
Jdg 14:12 Samson said to them, Let me tell you a riddle now. If you can declare it to me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing;
Jdg 14:13 but if you can't declare it to me, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing. They said to him, Put forth your riddle, that we may hear it.
Jdg 14:14 He said to them, Out of the eater came forth food. Out of the strong came forth sweetness. They couldn't in three days declare the riddle.
Jdg 14:15 It happened on the seventh day, that they said to Samson's wife, Entice your husband, that he may declare to us the riddle, lest we burn you and your father's house with fire: have you called us to impoverish us? is it not so?
Jdg 14:16 Samson's wife wept before him, and said, You just hate me, and don't love me: you have put forth a riddle to the children of my people, and haven't told it me. He said to her, Behold, I haven't told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you?
Jdg 14:17 She wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it happened on the seventh day, that he told her, because she pressed him sore; and she told the riddle to the children of her people.
Jdg 14:18 The men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? He said to them, If you hadn't plowed with my heifer, you wouldn't have found out my riddle.
Jdg 14:19 The Spirit of Yahweh came mightily on him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and struck thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave the changes of clothing to those who declared the riddle. His anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house.
Jdg 14:20 But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.

May 28, 29 John 7

May 28, 29
John 7

Joh 7:1 After these things, Jesus was walking in Galilee, for he wouldn't walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.
Joh 7:2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was at hand.
Joh 7:3 His brothers therefore said to him, "Depart from here, and go into Judea, that your disciples also may see your works which you do.
Joh 7:4 For no one does anything in secret, and himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, reveal yourself to the world."
Joh 7:5 For even his brothers didn't believe in him.
Joh 7:6 Jesus therefore said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.
Joh 7:7 The world can't hate you, but it hates me, because I testify about it, that its works are evil.
Joh 7:8 You go up to the feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, because my time is not yet fulfilled."
Joh 7:9 Having said these things to them, he stayed in Galilee.
Joh 7:10 But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly, but as it were in secret.
Joh 7:11 The Jews therefore sought him at the feast, and said, "Where is he?"
Joh 7:12 There was much murmuring among the multitudes concerning him. Some said, "He is a good man." Others said, "Not so, but he leads the multitude astray."
Joh 7:13 Yet no one spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews.
Joh 7:14 But when it was now the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and taught.
Joh 7:15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, "How does this man know letters, having never been educated?"
Joh 7:16 Jesus therefore answered them, "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.
Joh 7:17 If anyone desires to do his will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is from God, or if I am speaking from myself.
Joh 7:18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
Joh 7:19 Didn't Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill me?"
Joh 7:20 The multitude answered, "You have a demon! Who seeks to kill you?"
Joh 7:21 Jesus answered them, "I did one work, and you all marvel because of it.
Joh 7:22 Moses has given you circumcision (not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a boy.
Joh 7:23 If a boy receives circumcision on the Sabbath, that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me, because I made a man completely healthy on the Sabbath?
Joh 7:24 Don't judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
Joh 7:25 Therefore some of them of Jerusalem said, "Isn't this he whom they seek to kill?
Joh 7:26 Behold, he speaks openly, and they say nothing to him. Can it be that the rulers indeed know that this is truly the Christ?
Joh 7:27 However we know where this man comes from, but when the Christ comes, no one will know where he comes from."
Joh 7:28 Jesus therefore cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "You both know me, and know where I am from. I have not come of myself, but he who sent me is true, whom you don't know.
Joh 7:29 I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."
Joh 7:30 They sought therefore to take him; but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.
Joh 7:31 But of the multitude, many believed in him. They said, "When the Christ comes, he won't do more signs than those which this man has done, will he?"
Joh 7:32 The Pharisees heard the multitude murmuring these things concerning him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to arrest him.
Joh 7:33 Then Jesus said, "I will be with you a little while longer, then I go to him who sent me.
Joh 7:34 You will seek me, and won't find me; and where I am, you can't come."
Joh 7:35 The Jews therefore said among themselves, "Where will this man go that we won't find him? Will he go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?
Joh 7:36 What is this word that he said, 'You will seek me, and won't find me; and where I am, you can't come'? "
Joh 7:37 Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink!
Joh 7:38 He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water."
Joh 7:39 But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn't yet glorified.
Joh 7:40 Many of the multitude therefore, when they heard these words, said, "This is truly the prophet."
Joh 7:41 Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "What, does the Christ come out of Galilee?
Joh 7:42 Hasn't the Scripture said that the Christ comes of the seed of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?"
Joh 7:43 So there arose a division in the multitude because of him.
Joh 7:44 Some of them would have arrested him, but no one laid hands on him.
Joh 7:45 The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, "Why didn't you bring him?"
Joh 7:46 The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this man!"
Joh 7:47 The Pharisees therefore answered them, "You aren't also led astray, are you?
Joh 7:48 Have any of the rulers believed in him, or of the Pharisees?
Joh 7:49 But this multitude that doesn't know the law is accursed."
Joh 7:50 Nicodemus (he who came to him by night, being one of them) said to them,
Joh 7:51 "Does our law judge a man, unless it first hears from him personally and knows what he does?"
Joh 7:52 They answered him, "Are you also from Galilee? Search, and see that no prophet has arisen out of Galilee."
Joh 7:53 Everyone went to his own house,

"ACTS OF THE APOSTLES" Chapter Eleven by Mark Copeland

                         "ACTS OF THE APOSTLES"

                             Chapter Eleven


1) To glean from Peter's own account of the conversion of the household
   of Cornelius, what was the purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit
   on the Gentiles

2) To note the beginning of the Lord's church in Antioch, and the early
   ministry of Barnabas and Saul


The apostles and brethren in Judea soon heard of the Gentiles'
conversion.  When Peter returned to Jerusalem, brethren who were "of the
circumcision" (i.e., Jewish Christians) took issue with his eating with
uncircumcised men.  Peter carefully explained the sequence of events,
including the vision in Joppa and the manner in which the Spirit fell
upon the Gentiles as he began to speak to them.  The baptism of the
Spirit on the Gentiles was understood to indicate that Gentiles were now
allowed to hear the words of salvation, and that they could repent in
order to have life (1-18).

Luke then records how the gospel spread from Jerusalem to Antioch.
Those scattered after the persecution of Stephen (Ac 8:1,4) included
men from Cyprus and Cyrene who began preaching Jesus to the Hellenists
(Grecian Jews).  When a great number believed and turned to the Lord,
the news was soon heard by those in the church at Jerusalem.  Barnabas
was sent to Antioch, and rejoiced in what he saw.  He first spent
sometime encouraging them by himself, but later went to Tarsus to find
Saul. For a full year they worked together with the church in Antioch
and taught many people.  The disciples were first called Christians in
Antioch, and in hearing from the prophet Agabus that there was going to
be a famine, they displayed their Christ-like character by sending
relief according to their ability to brethren in Judea.  This they did,
sending it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul (19-30).



      1. Apostles and brethren in Judea hear that Gentiles received the
         Word of God
      2. Peter challenged upon his return to Jerusalem
         a. Those of the circumcision contend with him
         b. They accuse him of eating with the uncircumcised

      1. He explains the events in the order in which they occur
         a. His vision in Joppa with the sheet and the unclean beasts
         b. The voice from heaven:  "What God has cleansed you must not
            call common."
         c. The arrival of men from Caesarea at the conclusion of the
         d. The Spirit telling him to go with them, accompanied by six
         e. How Cornelius was told to by an angel to send for Peter who
            would tell him words by which they would be saved
         f. How as he began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on the
            Gentiles just as upon the apostles
            at the beginning
      2. Peter's reaction to the events
         a. He remembered the Lord's promise of the baptism of the Holy
         b. He reasoned that if Gentiles received the same promise as
            they did when they believed, who was he to stand in God's
      3. The reaction by those who heard Peter's account
         a. They became silent, and then glorified God
         b. They concluded that God has granted Gentiles repentance to


      1. Those scattered by persecution preach the word
         a. They travel as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,
            preaching only to the Jews
         b. Some from Cyprus and Cyrene preach to the Hellenists in
      2. They enjoy great success in Antioch
         a. The hand of the Lord is with them
         b. A great number believe and turn to the Lord
      3. Barnabas arrives in Antioch
         a. Sent by the church in Jerusalem
         b. Glad to see the grace of God
         c. Encouraging them to continue with the Lord with purpose of
         d. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith
         e. A great many people are added to the Lord
      4. Saul arrives in Antioch
         a. Brought from Tarsus by Barnabas
         b. Assembling with the church for a whole year, teaching a
            great many people
         c. The disciples are first called Christians in Antioch

      1. Prompted by prophets coming from Jerusalem to Antioch
      2. Agabus shows by the Spirit that there will be a famine
      3. The disciples determine to send relief to brethren in Judea
      4. They send it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Conversion of the Gentiles defended (1-18)
   - The ministry of Barnabas and Saul (19-30)

2) What had the apostles and brethren in Judea heard? (1)
   - That the Gentiles had received the word of God

3) When Peter returned to Jerusalem, who contended with him?  Why? (2-3)
   - Those of the circumcision (Jewish Christians)
   - Because he had eaten with the uncircumcised

4) How did Peter recount the events that had happened? (4)
   - In order from the beginning

5) What happened while Peter was praying in Joppa? (5)
   - In a trance he saw a vision with an object like a great sheet let
     down from heaven

6) What did he see as he observed it closely? (6)
   - All kinds of animals, creeping things and birds

7) What did a voice tell Peter to do?  How did Peter respond? (7-8)
   - "Rise, Peter; kill and eat."
   - "Not so, Lord! For nothing common or unclean has at any time
     entered my mouth."

9) What was Peter then told? (9)
   - "What God has cleansed you must not call common."

10) How many times was this repeated? (10)
   - Three times

11) What happened at that very moment? (11)
   - Three men stood before the house, having been sent to him from

12) What did the Spirit tell Peter to do?  Who went with him? (12)
   - To go with them, doubting nothing
   - Six brethren

13) Upon arriving at the man's house, what was Peter and his
    companions told? (13)
   - How he (Cornelius) had seen an angel, was told to send to Joppa for

14) What was Cornelius told Peter would tell him? (14)
   - Words whereby he and his household would be saved

15) What happened as Peter began to speak? (15)
   - The Spirit fell upon Cornelius and his household, as upon the
     apostles at the beginning (Ac 2:1-4)

16) What did that bring to Peter's remembrance? (16)
   - Jesus' promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Ac 1:5)

17) What conclusion did Peter draw? What did those who heard him
    conclude? (17-18)
   - Who was he to withstand God?
   - God has granted Gentiles repentance to life

18) What did those who were scattered after Stephen's death do? (19)
   - Traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching to
     Jews only

19) What did some from Cyprus and Cyrene do when they came to Antioch?
   - Preached the Lord Jesus to the Hellenists (Grecian Jews)

20) What was the response? (21)
   - A great number believed and turned to the Lord

21) What did those in Jerusalem do when they heard the news? (22)
   - Sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch

22) When Barnabas saw what happened, what was his reaction? (23)
   - He was glad, and encouraged them to continue with the Lord with
     purpose of heart

23) What kind of man was Barnabas? What kind of results accompanied
    his ministry? (24)
   - A good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith
   - A great many people were added to the Lord

24) Who did Barnabas go to find in Tarsus?  What did the two men do?
   - Saul
   - Returned to Antioch and assembled with the church for a year,
     teaching many people

25) What were disciples called for the first time in Antioch? (26)
   - Christians

26) Who came to Antioch from Jerusalem?  What did one of them show by
    the Spirit? (27-28)
   - Prophets
   - Agabus showed that there would be a great famine throughout the

27) What did the disciples decide to do?  How did they do it? (29-30)
   - To send relief to the brethren in Judea, according to their ability
   - They sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul