That second prayer...

I saw these TWO pictures today and I went into retro mode.  The year was 1981 and I was living in Gloversville, N.Y..  I was a preacher between churches, very discouraged and working at whatever menial work I could find within an area of New York that had a 30% unemployment rate.  I finally found work as a janitor and that is when I met Morris.  He was in his very late fifties (or early sixties) and one of the saddest sacks I have ever met.  But, occasionally, he would open his wallet, look at something and smile.  You guessed it, it was the serenity prayer.  He gave me one sometime later and I kept it with me for many years.  Something happened today that upset me greatly and I was feeling bad; very bad!!!  Then, as I was looking though my collection of pictures, I came across the purple one above.  For me, situations that involve "things" usually present no problem.  It is when they involve others that sometimes I lose it.  I remembered one of my favorite passages from the Scriptures and it helped; it really helped!!!

Philippians, Chapter 4
13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

God will help me through anything; even those situations that seem insurmountable!!!!  In reality, if I have a problem, I need to remember that God loves me and will help.  I just need to realize the problem ultimately comes back to me and MY SHORTCOMINGS.  Thank you, God, for helping me once again.  I hope these two pictures and the passage from Philippians help you as well!!!  If they don't... think about it... it will come to you... I PROMISE!!!

July 29 2 Chronicles 19-21

July 29
2 Chronicles 19-21

2Ch 19:1 Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem.
2Ch 19:2 Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Should you help the wicked, and love those who hate Yahweh? for this thing wrath is on you from before Yahweh.
2Ch 19:3 Nevertheless there are good things found in you, in that you have put away the Asheroth out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God.
2Ch 19:4 Jehoshaphat lived at Jerusalem: and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and brought them back to Yahweh, the God of their fathers.
2Ch 19:5 He set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city,
2Ch 19:6 and said to the judges, Consider what you do: for you don't judge for man, but for Yahweh; and he is with you in the judgment.
2Ch 19:7 Now therefore let the fear of Yahweh be on you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with Yahweh our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of bribes.
2Ch 19:8 Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites and the priests, and of the heads of the fathers' houses of Israel, for the judgment of Yahweh, and for controversies. They returned to Jerusalem.
2Ch 19:9 He commanded them, saying, Thus you shall do in the fear of Yahweh, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.
2Ch 19:10 Whenever any controversy shall come to you from your brothers who dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and ordinances, you shall warn them, that they not be guilty towards Yahweh, and so wrath come on you and on your brothers: this do, and you shall not be guilty.
2Ch 19:11 Behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of Yahweh; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, in all the king's matters: also the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and Yahweh be with the good.

2Ch 20:1 It happened after this, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them some of the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
2Ch 20:2 Then there came some who told Jehoshaphat, saying, There comes a great multitude against you from beyond the sea from Syria; and behold, they are in Hazazon Tamar (the same is En Gedi).
2Ch 20:3 Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek to Yahweh; and he proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
2Ch 20:4 Judah gathered themselves together, to seek help of Yahweh: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek Yahweh.
2Ch 20:5 Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of Yahweh, before the new court;
2Ch 20:6 and he said, Yahweh, the God of our fathers, aren't you God in heaven? and aren't you ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? and in your hand is power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.
2Ch 20:7 Did not you, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it to the seed of Abraham your friend forever?
2Ch 20:8 They lived therein, and have built you a sanctuary therein for your name, saying,
2Ch 20:9 If evil come on us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house, and before you, (for your name is in this house), and cry to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.
2Ch 20:10 Now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned aside from them, and didn't destroy them;
2Ch 20:11 behold, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit.
2Ch 20:12 Our God, will you not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that comes against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are on you.
2Ch 20:13 All Judah stood before Yahweh, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
2Ch 20:14 Then on Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite, of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of Yahweh in the midst of the assembly;
2Ch 20:15 and he said, Listen, all Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you king Jehoshaphat: Thus says Yahweh to you, Don't you be afraid, neither be dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.
2Ch 20:16 Tomorrow go down against them: behold, they come up by the ascent of Ziz; and you shall find them at the end of the valley, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
2Ch 20:17 You shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of Yahweh with you, O Judah and Jerusalem; don't be afraid, nor be dismayed: tomorrow go out against them: for Yahweh is with you.
2Ch 20:18 Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before Yahweh, worshipping Yahweh.
2Ch 20:19 The Levites, of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites, stood up to praise Yahweh, the God of Israel, with an exceeding loud voice.
2Ch 20:20 They rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: believe in Yahweh your God, so you shall be established; believe his prophets, so you shall prosper.
2Ch 20:21 When he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who should sing to Yahweh, and give praise in holy array, as they went out before the army, and say, Give thanks to Yahweh; for his loving kindness endures forever.
2Ch 20:22 When they began to sing and to praise, Yahweh set ambushers against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were struck.
2Ch 20:23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, utterly to kill and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, everyone helped to destroy another.
2Ch 20:24 When Judah came to the place overlooking the wilderness, they looked at the multitude; and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and there were none who escaped.
2Ch 20:25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches and dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much.
2Ch 20:26 On the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Beracah; for there they blessed Yahweh: therefore the name of that place was called The valley of Beracah to this day.
2Ch 20:27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for Yahweh had made them to rejoice over their enemies.
2Ch 20:28 They came to Jerusalem with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets to the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 20:29 The fear of God was on all the kingdoms of the countries, when they heard that Yahweh fought against the enemies of Israel.
2Ch 20:30 So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet; for his God gave him rest all around.
2Ch 20:31 Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah: he was thirty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.
2Ch 20:32 He walked in the way of Asa his father, and didn't turn aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh.
2Ch 20:33 However the high places were not taken away; neither as yet had the people set their hearts to the God of their fathers.
2Ch 20:34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in the history of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is inserted in the book of the kings of Israel.
2Ch 20:35 After this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel; the same did very wickedly:
2Ch 20:36 and he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish; and they made the ships in Ezion Geber.
2Ch 20:37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because you have joined yourself with Ahaziah, Yahweh has destroyed your works. The ships were broken, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish.
2Ch 21:1 Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Jehoram his son reigned in his place.
2Ch 21:2 He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.
2Ch 21:3 Their father gave them great gifts, of silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fortified cities in Judah: but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn.
2Ch 21:4 Now when Jehoram was risen up over the kingdom of his father, and had strengthened himself, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and various also of the princes of Israel.
2Ch 21:5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
2Ch 21:6 He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab; for he had the daughter of Ahab as wife: and he did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh.
2Ch 21:7 However Yahweh would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a lamp to him and to his children always.
2Ch 21:8 In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves.
2Ch 21:9 Then Jehoram passed over with his captains, and all his chariots with him: and he rose up by night, and struck the Edomites who surrounded him, along with the captains of the chariots.
2Ch 21:10 So Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah to this day: then did Libnah revolt at the same time from under his hand, because he had forsaken Yahweh, the God of his fathers.
2Ch 21:11 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and made the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute, and led Judah astray.
2Ch 21:12 There came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus says Yahweh, the God of David your father, Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah,
2Ch 21:13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute, like as the house of Ahab did, and also have slain your brothers of your father's house, who were better than yourself:
2Ch 21:14 behold, Yahweh will strike with a great plague your people, and your children, and your wives, and all your substance;
2Ch 21:15 and you shall have great sickness by disease of your bowels, until your bowels fall out by reason of the sickness, day by day.
2Ch 21:16 Yahweh stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians who are beside the Ethiopians:
2Ch 21:17 and they came up against Judah, and broke into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king's house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.
2Ch 21:18 After all this Yahweh struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease.
2Ch 21:19 It happened, in process of time, at the end of two years, that his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness, and he died of sore diseases. His people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.
2Ch 21:20 Thirty-two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years: and he departed without being desired; and they buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.



                              Chapter Ten


1) To understand the nature of the war in which we are engaged, and to
   appreciate the weapons we have that are "mighty in God"

2) To see the folly of judging others by outward appearance, and in 
   comparing ourselves with others


Having concluded his discussion on the collection for the saints, Paul
now returns to his own defense, especially as it pertains to his
conduct and authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ.  He pleads with 
them in the meekness and gentleness of Christ, hoping that by so doing
it will not be necessary to use boldness in their presence against some
who think Paul conducts himself according to the flesh (1-2).  While he
admits that he walks in the flesh, he does not war according to the
flesh since he has weapons that are mighty in God and effective for
winning arguments and bringing others to obey Christ (3-6).

He then responds directly in regards to his detractors.  Some were 
evidently judging Paul on outward appearance, that while he sounded 
weighty and powerful in his writing, his physical presence was weak and
contemptible.  But Paul's authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ was
real, and what he was in word when absent, he could be in deed when
present (7-11).

We can also infer that some of Paul's detractors took pride in 
comparing themselves with others.  Such a practice was unwise, and Paul
was one who would boast only in those areas in which God had appointed 
him to serve.  That would include the Corinthians themselves, for Paul 
would only go to areas where the gospel had not been preached and that 
is how they had come to believe.  Reminding them of this, Paul had hope
that they would assist him in preaching the gospel in regions beyond 
them.  He then admonishes them to boast only in the Lord, and to 
remember that not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the 
Lord commends (12-18).



      1. With great emphasis, he stresses that he himself is pleading
         with them by the meekness and gentleness of Christ (1a)
      2. It appears that some misread Paul's humility in person as 
         weakness, and that only in absence was he bold (1b)
      3. But he is hoping that it not be necessary for him to have the
         confident boldness he is prepared to use against those who 
         misread Paul (2)

      1. While walking in the flesh, he does not war according to flesh
      2. For the weapons he uses are not carnal, but they are mighty in
         God (4a)
      3. Such weapons are capable of:
         a. Pulling down strongholds (4b)
         b. Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts
            itself against the knowledge of God (5a)
         c. Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of
            Christ (5b)
         d. Being ready to punish all disobedience when their obedience
            is fulfilled (6)


      1. No matter how it might look, rest assured that Paul is 
         Christ's (7)
      2. Even if it were necessary to boast about the authority the
         Lord gave him, Paul would not be ashamed (8)
      3. There were some who thought Paul hid behind his letters, while
         in person he was weak (9-10)
      4. Yet Paul was ready to be in person what he was in his letters

      1. Paul considered it unwise to compare himself with those who
         measured themselves by others around them (12)
      2. If Paul boasted, it would only be in that area God had chosen
         for him, which included the Corinthians themselves (13-14)
      3. He would not boast in other men's labors (15a)
      4. He had hope that the Corinthians would help him to preach the
         gospel where others had not gone (15b-16a)
      5. In that way he would not boast in another's man 
         accomplishments, but only in that which the Lord enabled him
      6. In the end, only the one whom the Lord commends is approved


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Paul provides an explanation for his conduct (1-6)
   - Paul's response to his detractors (7-18)

2) With what two qualities of Christ-like character does Paul plead 
   with the Corinthians? (1)
   - Meekness
   - Gentleness

3) What does Paul hope would not be necessary when he was with them in
   person? (2)
   - To act in a bold manner against some

4) Though Paul walks in the flesh, what does he not do? (3)
   - War according to the flesh

5) In what four ways are the weapons of our warfare "mighty in God"?
   - Pulling down strongholds
   - Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself
     against the knowledge of God
   - Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ
   - Ready to punish all disobedience when one's obedience is fulfilled

6) Upon what basis were some people evidently evaluating Paul? (7)
   - His outward appearance

7) What accusations were being made against Paul? (10)
   - His letters are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is
      weak and his speech contemptible

8) What did Paul tell such people to consider? (11)
   - That what he was in letters when absent, so he will be in deed 
     when present

9) What did Paul say was an unwise practice? (12)
   - To measure one's self by others

10) In what area was Paul willing to boast? (13-16)
   - That in which God had appointed him (i.e., preaching the gospel
     where others had not gone), and not in other men's labors

11) In whom should we glory? (17)
   - The Lord

12) In the end, who is it that is approved? (18)
   - He whom the Lord commends