Enthusiasm !!!!

OK, this cute little cartoon is a LITTLE DATED; Dick is now 87.  I remember him best for the Dick Van Dyk show, but the reference in the picture is to his portrayal as chimney sweep in the late sixties movie "Mary Poppins".  If you remember him, then like me, you probably remember the energy he exhibited.  I am not one bit surprised that he is still active, because his enthusiasm for life and his humor are amazing.  Think your life has ended at 60 or 70?  His has not!!!  I saw him make an appearance on the Rachael Ray cooking show recently and he looked fantastic (although he is completely grey haired now).  When I saw him, I couldn't help but think of one of the most famous personages in the Old Testament, namely, Caleb.  Here are a few verses about him....

Numbers, Chapter 13
 25 They returned from spying out the land at the end of forty days.  26 They went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, to the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word to them, and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land.  27 They told him, and said, “We came to the land where you sent us; and surely it flows with milk and honey; and this is its fruit.  28 However the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. Moreover, we saw the children of Anak there.  29 Amalek dwells in the land of the South: and the Hittite, and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, dwell in the hill country; and the Canaanite dwells by the sea, and along by the side of the Jordan.”  30 Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 But the men who went up with him said, “We aren’t able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.”  32 They brought up an evil report of the land which they had spied out to the children of Israel, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that eats up its inhabitants; and all the people who we saw in it are men of great stature.  33 There we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”

Numbers, Chapter 14
30 surely you shall not come into the land, concerning which I swore that I would make you dwell therein, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.

Joshua, Chapter 14
 10 “Now, behold, Yahweh has kept me alive, as he spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that Yahweh spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. Now, behold, I am eighty-five years old, today.  11 As yet I am as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now for war, to go out and to come in.  12 Now therefore give me this hill country, of which Yahweh spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and great and fortified cities. It may be that Yahweh will be with me, and I shall drive them out, as Yahweh spoke.”

  13 Joshua blessed him; and he gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance.  14 Therefore Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day; because he wholly followed Yahweh, the God of Israel.

How many people came out of Egypt to go to the promised land?  Good question, as I have seen estimates as low as 200,000 and as high as 5,000,000.  However many came out of Egypt, only two from that original group actually went into the promised land, namely, Joshua and Caleb.  Joshua was the leader and Caleb a follower, but what a follower!!!!  Read the passage from Joshua, chapter 14 again.  Here was a man who was 85 years young and still had a "gung ho" attitude!!!!  His love for God was expressed in his enthusiasm and provides us with a heroic figure to look up to.  He is an inspiration to me and should be to us all, not only for his abilities and attitude, but most of all for the love of God that motivated him!!!  May God bless all who love him with a life like this wonderful man!!!!!!

July 27 2 Chronicles 13-15

July 27
2 Chronicles 13-15

2Ch 13:1 In the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah.
2Ch 13:2 Three years reigned he in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.
2Ch 13:3 Abijah joined battle with an army of valiant men of war, even four hundred thousand chosen men: and Jeroboam set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, who were mighty men of valor.
2Ch 13:4 Abijah stood up on Mount Zemaraim, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, Hear me, Jeroboam and all Israel:
2Ch 13:5 Ought you not to know that Yahweh, the God of Israel, gave the kingdom over Israel to David forever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?
2Ch 13:6 Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up, and rebelled against his lord.
2Ch 13:7 There were gathered to him worthless men, base fellows, who strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them.
2Ch 13:8 Now you think to withstand the kingdom of Yahweh in the hand of the sons of David; and you are a great multitude, and there are with you the golden calves which Jeroboam made you for gods.
2Ch 13:9 Haven't you driven out the priests of Yahweh, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made priests for yourselves after the manner of the peoples of other lands? so that whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams, the same may be a priest of those who are no gods.
2Ch 13:10 But as for us, Yahweh is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and we have priests ministering to Yahweh, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites in their work:
2Ch 13:11 and they burn to Yahweh every morning and every evening burnt offerings and sweet incense: the show bread also set they in order on the pure table; and the lampstand of gold with its lamps, to burn every evening: for we keep the instruction of Yahweh our God; but you have forsaken him.
2Ch 13:12 Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with the trumpets of alarm to sound an alarm against you. Children of Israel, don't you fight against Yahweh, the God of your fathers; for you shall not prosper.
2Ch 13:13 But Jeroboam caused an ambush to come about behind them: so they were before Judah, and the ambush was behind them.
2Ch 13:14 When Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind them; and they cried to Yahweh, and the priests sounded with the trumpets.
2Ch 13:15 Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened, that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.
2Ch 13:16 The children of Israel fled before Judah; and God delivered them into their hand.
2Ch 13:17 Abijah and his people killed them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men.
2Ch 13:18 Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied on Yahweh, the God of their fathers.
2Ch 13:19 Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Bethel with its towns, and Jeshanah with its towns, and Ephron with its towns.
2Ch 13:20 Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah: and Yahweh struck him, and he died.
2Ch 13:21 But Abijah grew mighty, and took to himself fourteen wives, and became the father of twenty-two sons, and sixteen daughters.
2Ch 13:22 The rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in the commentary of the prophet Iddo.
2Ch 14:1 So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David; and Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land was quiet ten years.
2Ch 14:2 Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of Yahweh his God:
2Ch 14:3 for he took away the foreign altars, and the high places, and broke down the pillars, and cut down the Asherim,
2Ch 14:4 and commanded Judah to seek Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment.
2Ch 14:5 Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the sun images: and the kingdom was quiet before him.
2Ch 14:6 He built fortified cities in Judah; for the land was quiet, and he had no war in those years, because Yahweh had given him rest.
2Ch 14:7 For he said to Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars; the land is yet before us, because we have sought Yahweh our God; we have sought him, and he has given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.
2Ch 14:8 Asa had an army that bore bucklers and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bore shields and drew bows, two hundred eighty thousand: all these were mighty men of valor.
2Ch 14:9 There came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an army of a million troops, and three hundred chariots; and he came to Mareshah.
2Ch 14:10 Then Asa went out to meet him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.
2Ch 14:11 Asa cried to Yahweh his God, and said, Yahweh, there is none besides you to help, between the mighty and him who has no strength: help us, Yahweh our God; for we rely on you, and in your name are we come against this multitude. Yahweh, you are our God; don't let man prevail against you.
2Ch 14:12 So Yahweh struck the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled.
2Ch 14:13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar: and there fell of the Ethiopians so many that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before Yahweh, and before his army; and they carried away very much booty.
2Ch 14:14 They struck all the cities around Gerar; for the fear of Yahweh came on them: and they despoiled all the cities; for there was much spoil in them.
2Ch 14:15 They struck also the tents of livestock, and carried away sheep in abundance, and camels, and returned to Jerusalem.
2Ch 15:1 The Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded:
2Ch 15:2 and he went out to meet Asa, and said to him, Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: Yahweh is with you, while you are with him; and if you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
2Ch 15:3 Now for a long season Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law:
2Ch 15:4 But when in their distress they turned to Yahweh, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them.
2Ch 15:5 In those times there was no peace to him who went out, nor to him who came in; but great troubles were on all the inhabitants of the lands.
2Ch 15:6 They were broken in pieces, nation against nation, and city against city; for God troubled them with all adversity.
2Ch 15:7 But you be strong, and don't let your hands be slack; for your work shall be rewarded.
2Ch 15:8 When Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominations out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from the hill country of Ephraim; and he renewed the altar of Yahweh, that was before the porch of Yahweh.
2Ch 15:9 He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who sojourned with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that Yahweh his God was with him.
2Ch 15:10 So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa.
2Ch 15:11 They sacrificed to Yahweh in that day, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred head of cattle and seven thousand sheep.
2Ch 15:12 They entered into the covenant to seek Yahweh, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul;
2Ch 15:13 and that whoever would not seek Yahweh, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.
2Ch 15:14 They swore to Yahweh with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets.
2Ch 15:15 All Judah rejoiced at the oath; for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and Yahweh gave them rest all around.
2Ch 15:16 Also Maacah, the mother of Asa the king, he removed from being queen, because she had made an abominable image for an Asherah; and Asa cut down her image, and made dust of it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron.
2Ch 15:17 But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days.
2Ch 15:18 He brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, and vessels.
2Ch 15:19 There was no more war to the five and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa.



                             Chapter Eight


1) To see how Paul motivated others in their giving

2) To ascertain what principles ought to govern our giving

3) To appreciate the honorable manner in which Paul handled the
   collection for needy saints


At this point Paul addresses an issue that occupied much of his
interest during his missionary journeys:  the collection for the needy
Christians in Judea (cf. Ga 2:9-10; Ro 15:25-28; 1 Co 16:1-2).  In this
letter, two entire chapters are devoted to the subject.

He begins by mentioning the churches in Macedonia.  Despite a great
trial of affliction and their own deep poverty, their abundance of joy
and eagerness to participate in this ministry resulted in great
liberality (1-5).

Having sent Titus to assist the Corinthians in carrying through with
their own desire to give, Paul exhorts them not only by the example of
the Macedonians but by the example of Jesus Christ (6-9).  Since it is
to their advantage that they complete what they began a year earlier,
Paul reminds them of the principles that ought to govern their giving.
These principles involve willingness, ability, and equality (10-15).

In an effort to do everything honorable in the sight of others, the
collection is to be handled by three men other than Paul.  Titus is
one, but the other two men are unnamed.  However, they are well known
and proven in their service to the Lord.  Paul encourages the
Corinthians to demonstrate to these men and to all the churches the
proof of their love in this collection and that Paul's boasting about
the church in Corinth was not in vain (16-24).



      1. God's grace was bestowed upon the churches of Macedonia (1)
      2. Despite affliction and deep poverty, with an abundance of joy
         their poverty abounded in riches of liberality (2)

      1. They gave beyond their ability (3a)
      2. They gave willingly (3b)
      3. They implored Paul to accept their contribution (4)
      4. Beyond Paul's expectations, they gave themselves first to the
         Lord and then to Paul as God willed (5)


      1. Titus was sent to complete this grace in them (6)
      2. As the Corinthians abounded in many other things, Paul
         encourages them to abound in this grace also (7)

      1. Not by commandment, but the example of others Paul seeks to
         test their love (8)
      2. Remembering the example of Jesus, through whose poverty we
         became rich (9)

      1. It is to their advantage to complete what they started a year
         before (10)
      2. So that there is not only a desire to do it, but the
         completion of it as well (11)

      1. There must first be a willing mind (12a)
      2. Then it should be according to what one has (12b)

      1. Paul does not desire that they burden themselves to ease
         others (13)
      2. But that their abundance might supply others' lack, so there
         can be equality (14)
      3. As in the case of gathering manna, recorded in Exodus 16:18


   A. TITUS (16-17)
      1. Paul could see that God put earnest care for the Corinthians
         in Titus' heart (16)
      2. For he not only accepted the encouragement to go, but went on
         his own accord (17)

      1. Not mentioned by name, but whose praise was known by all the
         churches (18)
      2. Chosen by the churches to travel with Paul, so that none would
         question Paul's handling of the collection (19-21)

      1. Also not mentioned by name, but well proven (22a)
      2. Known for his diligence, he was very diligent in view of
         Paul's confidence in the Corinthians (22b)

      1. Titus is Paul's partner and fellow worker (23a)
      2. The two unnamed brethren are messengers of the churches, the
         glory of Christ (23b)
      3. Corinth encouraged to prove their love and Paul's boasting on
         their behalf to these messengers (24)


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Macedonia's example in giving (1-5)
   - Paul's exhortations to the Corinthians (6-15)
   - The messengers administering the collection (16-24)

2) What was the condition of the churches in Macedonia?  Yet what did
   they have in abundance? (2)
   - They were in a great trial of affliction and had deep poverty
   - Their joy

3) What three things are said in how they gave? (3-4)
   - Beyond their ability
   - Freely willing
   - Imploring with much urgency that their gift be received

4) How did they go beyond Paul's expectations? (5)
   - By giving of themselves first to the Lord, and then to others

5) Why did Paul send Titus? (6)
   - To complete this grace in them, i.e., help them to prepare their

6) What two examples did Paul use motivate them to give? (8-9)
   - The diligence of others (e.g., the Macedonians)
   - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

7) What three guidelines does Paul give to govern their giving? (12-14)
   - There must first be a willing mind
   - It is to be according to what one has
   - The idea is equality

8) What three men were sent to administer this collection? (16,18,22)
   - Titus
   - The brother whose praise is in the gospel
   - The brother who has often proved diligent in many things

9) Why were these men handling the collection, and not Paul? (20-21)
   - To avoiding possible blame; to provide things honorable in the
     sight of the Lord and men

10) What did Paul want the Corinthians to show to these men and the
    other churches? (24)
   - The proof of their love and of Paul's boasting in them