The test

Go ahead, take the test!!!  Probably like a lot of us, I forgot that buses have entrances on the right side only... so I failed.  Stupid, right?  Maybe, but maybe not so stupid!  School buses are the familiar things of youth and its been a long, long time since I fell into that category!!!!  When I was young, I just wanted to grow up, but now that I'm older, how I wish I could be young again.  When I think of children in the Bible, I think of these words of Jesus and how it applies to my life...

Matthew, Chapter 18
1 In that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

  2 Jesus called a little child to himself, and set him in their midst, 3 and said, 
"“Most certainly I tell you, unless you turn, and become as little children, you will in no way enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 Whoever therefore humbles himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.  5 Whoever receives one such little child in my name receives me,  6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him that a huge millstone should be hung around his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depths of the sea.

What makes a person great in the eyes of others?  Great job, wealth, fame or accomplishments such as inventing something or being a war hero like Audie Murphy was in World War II?  Perhaps, but what about those of us who are spiritually inclined?  Could our greatness be determined by how well we know our Bible, or how many Bible classes we have taught, or how much Greek or Hebrew we know?  Suppose you were a missionary or a professor in a Christian college or even the local preacher who labored bringing souls to Christ and then labored once again by trying to keep them faithful?  All those are marvelous things and in fact I think we ALL should do everything we can for the cause of Christ.  But look at what Jesus focuses on; the humble heart of a child!!!  Children are eager to learn, humble of heart and most of all...teachable.  I don't ever want to grow up; Lord help me to be like a little child when it comes to you!!!  If you can say these words, great; if not, why not?  Something to think about on a hot summers day in Florida!!!

July 31 2 Chronicles 25-27

July 31
2 Chronicles 25-27
2Ch 25:1 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jehoaddan, of Jerusalem.
2Ch 25:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, but not with a perfect heart.
2Ch 25:3 Now it happened, when the kingdom was established to him, that he killed his servants who had killed the king his father.
2Ch 25:4 But he didn't put their children to death, but did according to that which is written in the law in the book of Moses, as Yahweh commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers; but every man shall die for his own sin.
2Ch 25:5 Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and ordered them according to their fathers' houses, under captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, even all Judah and Benjamin: and he numbered them from twenty years old and upward, and found them three hundred thousand chosen men, able to go forth to war, who could handle spear and shield.
2Ch 25:6 He hired also one hundred thousand mighty men of valor out of Israel for one hundred talents of silver.
2Ch 25:7 But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, don't let the army of Israel go with you; for Yahweh is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim.
2Ch 25:8 But if you will go, do valiantly, be strong for the battle: God will cast you down before the enemy; for God has power to help, and to cast down.
2Ch 25:9 Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? The man of God answered, Yahweh is able to give you much more than this.
2Ch 25:10 Then Amaziah separated them, to wit, the army that had come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again: therefore their anger was greatly kindled against Judah, and they returned home in fierce anger.
2Ch 25:11 Amaziah took courage, and led forth his people, and went to the Valley of Salt, and struck of the children of Seir ten thousand.
2Ch 25:12 other ten thousand did the children of Judah carry away alive, and brought them to the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, so that they all were broken in pieces.
2Ch 25:13 But the men of the army whom Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, fell on the cities of Judah, from Samaria even to Beth Horon, and struck of them three thousand, and took much spoil.
2Ch 25:14 Now it happened, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense to them.
2Ch 25:15 Therefore the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent to him a prophet, who said to him, Why have you sought after the gods of the people, which have not delivered their own people out of your hand?
2Ch 25:16 It happened, as he talked with him, that the king said to him, Have we made you of the king's counsel? Stop! Why should you be struck down? Then the prophet stopped, and said, I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this, and have not listened to my counsel.
2Ch 25:17 Then Amaziah king of Judah took advice, and sent to Joash, the son of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one another in the face.
2Ch 25:18 Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give your daughter to my son as wife: and there passed by a wild animal that was in Lebanon, and trod down the thistle.
2Ch 25:19 You say, Behold, you have struck Edom; and your heart lifts you up to boast: abide now at home; why should you meddle to your hurt, that you should fall, even you, and Judah with you?
2Ch 25:20 But Amaziah would not hear; for it was of God, that he might deliver them into the hand of their enemies, because they had sought after the gods of Edom.
2Ch 25:21 So Joash king of Israel went up; and he and Amaziah king of Judah looked one another in the face at Beth Shemesh, which belongs to Judah.
2Ch 25:22 Judah was defeated by Israel; and they fled every man to his tent.
2Ch 25:23 Joash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, at Beth Shemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits.
2Ch 25:24 He took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God with Obed-Edom, and the treasures of the king's house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria.
2Ch 25:25 Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years.
2Ch 25:26 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, first and last, behold, aren't they written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel?
2Ch 25:27 Now from the time that Amaziah did turn away from following Yahweh they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent after him to Lachish, and killed him there.
2Ch 25:28 They brought him on horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.
2Ch 26:1 All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.
2Ch 26:2 He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.
2Ch 26:3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jechiliah, of Jerusalem.
2Ch 26:4 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.
2Ch 26:5 He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the vision of God: and as long as he sought Yahweh, God made him to prosper.
2Ch 26:6 He went forth and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in the country of Ashdod, and among the Philistines.
2Ch 26:7 God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur Baal, and the Meunim.
2Ch 26:8 The Ammonites gave tribute to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entrance of Egypt; for he grew exceeding strong.
2Ch 26:9 Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.
2Ch 26:10 He built towers in the wilderness, and dug out many cisterns, for he had much livestock; in the lowland also, and in the plain: and he had farmers and vineyard keepers in the mountains and in the fruitful fields; for he loved farming.
2Ch 26:11 Moreover Uzziah had an army of fighting men, who went out to war by bands, according to the number of their reckoning made by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king's captains.
2Ch 26:12 The whole number of the heads of fathers' houses, even the mighty men of valor, was two thousand and six hundred.
2Ch 26:13 Under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, who made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.
2Ch 26:14 Uzziah prepared for them, even for all the army, shields, and spears, and helmets, and coats of mail, and bows, and stones for slinging.
2Ch 26:15 He made in Jerusalem engines, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and on the battlements, with which to shoot arrows and great stones. His name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, until he was strong.
2Ch 26:16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, so that he did corruptly, and he trespassed against Yahweh his God; for he went into the temple of Yahweh to burn incense on the altar of incense.
2Ch 26:17 Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him eighty priests of Yahweh, who were valiant men:
2Ch 26:18 and they withstood Uzziah the king, and said to him, It pertains not to you, Uzziah, to burn incense to Yahweh, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for you have trespassed; neither shall it be for your honor from Yahweh God.
2Ch 26:19 Then Uzziah was angry; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense; and while he was angry with the priests, the leprosy broke forth in his forehead before the priests in the house of Yahweh, beside the altar of incense.
2Ch 26:20 Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked on him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out quickly from there; yes, himself hurried also to go out, because Yahweh had struck him.
2Ch 26:21 Uzziah the king was a leper to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of Yahweh: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land.
2Ch 26:22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.
2Ch 26:23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the field of burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his place.
2Ch 27:1 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok.
2Ch 27:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that his father Uzziah had done: however he didn't enter into the temple of Yahweh. The people did yet corruptly.
2Ch 27:3 He built the upper gate of the house of Yahweh, and on the wall of Ophel he built much.
2Ch 27:4 Moreover he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers.
2Ch 27:5 He fought also with the king of the children of Ammon, and prevailed against them. The children of Ammon gave him the same year one hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon render to him, in the second year also, and in the third.
2Ch 27:6 So Jotham became mighty, because he ordered his ways before Yahweh his God.
2Ch 27:7 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
2Ch 27:8 He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.
2Ch 27:9 Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his place.



                             Chapter Twelve


1) To understand why the Lord allowed Paul to suffer so much 

2) To see why Paul took pleasure in his infirmities suffered for 
   Christ's sake


We find Paul compelled to continue his "foolish boasting".  Coming to
the issue of visions and revelations of the Lord, he describes "a man
in Christ" (most commentators believe Paul has reference to himself) 
who fourteen years before had been caught up into Paradise and heard 
inexpressible words unlawful to utter.  Paul would boast of "such a
one", but in direct reference to himself he would only boast in his 
"infirmities", lest people think too highly of him (1-6).

Lest he be exalted above measure because of the abundance of
revelations he had received, a "thorn in the flesh" (also described as
a "messenger of Satan") was given to buffet him (that is, to keep him
humble).  When he asked the Lord on three separate occasions to remove
it, the Lord's reply was that His grace was sufficient and His strength
was made complete in times of weakness.  This prompted Paul to take 
pleasure in his "infirmities" endured for Christ's sake (which I 
believe to have been the "thorn in the flesh").  For when he was weak,
the power of Christ in him made him strong (7-10).

Paul's "foolish boasting" concludes with a mild rebuke for their 
compelling him to do it, for it is they who should have commended him.
Indeed, while with them he demonstrated the "signs of an apostle" 
(signs, wonders, mighty deeds) that clearly showed he was not in anyway
behind "the most eminent apostles".  The only charge that could be 
brought against him?  He had not accepted support from them like he had
from other churches (11-13).

The remaining part of this chapter is filled with an expression of love
and concern for them.  He explains again why he will not accept support
from them:  like parents for their children, Paul will gladly spend and
be spent for their souls.  Neither he nor those he sent to them had
taken advantage of them in any way, and have sought to do all things
for their edification (14-19).  Finally, he expresses his fear that
when he comes the conditions will not be what he and they wish.  He is
fearful that there will be all sorts of strife, and that many of those 
who have sinned will not have repented (20-21).



      1. Though such boasting is not profitable, Paul finds it 
         necessary to discuss visions and revelations of the Lord (1)
      2. He writes of one (possibly himself) who:
         a. Was caught up to the third heaven, that is, Paradise (2-4a)
         b. Heard inexpressible words, unlawful for a man to utter (4b)
      3. Of such a one Paul would boast, but not of himself, except in
         his infirmities (5)
      4. His concern is that people might think too highly of him (6)

      1. That he not be exalted above measure by the abundance of his
         revelations, he was given a thorn in the flesh (7)
         a. Called a messenger of Satan
         b. Designed to buffet him
      2. He pleaded with the Lord that this "thorn" might depart from
         him (8-9a)
         a. He did so three times (8)
         b. The Lord's reply (9a)
            1) "My grace is sufficient for you"
            2) "My strength is made perfect in weakness"
      3. This led Paul to boast in his infirmities, for in his weakness
         the power of Christ has opportunity to make him strong (9b-10)

      1. He was compelled to engage in foolish boasting by those who
         ought to have commended him (11a)
         a. For in nothing was he behind "the most eminent apostles"
         b. For among them he accomplished the signs of an apostle:
            signs, wonders, and mighty deeds (12)
      2. His only mistake?  He had not been a financial burden to them!


   A. HIS LOVE FOR THEM (14-19)
      1. Ready to come for the third time, he will not be burdensome to
         them (14-16)
         a. He does not seek what is theirs, but them (14a)
         b. Like parents providing for their children, he will gladly
            spend and be spent for their souls (14b-15a)
         c. Even though it seems to jeopardize their love for him (15b)
      2. Some have taken this to be craftiness and guile on his part
         a. But he asks them whether he has taken advantage of them by
            any of those he had sent to them (17-18)
         b. He needs no excuse, for he does all things for their 
            edification (19)

      1. His fear is that when he comes, they will not find one another
         the way they wish (20a)
      2. His fear is that there will all sorts of strife (20b)
      3. His fear is that he will find many of them unrepentant of 
         their sins (21)


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Paul's "foolish boasting" continues (1-13)
   - Paul's love and concern (14-21)

2) As Paul continues his "foolish boasting", what does he now come to?
   - Visions and revelations of the Lord

3) Where was the "man in Christ" taken?  What did he hear? (2-4)
   - To the third heaven (Paradise); inexpressible words, unlawful for
     a man to utter

4) Of himself, in what would Paul boast?  About what was he concerned?
   - In his infirmities; lest anyone think of him too highly

5) Why was Paul given "a thorn in the flesh"? (7)
   - Lest he be exalted above measure by the abundance of revelations
     he received

6) How many times did Paul plead with the Lord to remove the "thorn"?
   What did the Lord respond? (8-9)
   - Three times
   - "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect 
     in weakness."

7) In what, then, did Paul choose to boast?  Why? (9-10)
   - His infirmities for Christ's sake
   - That Christ's power might rest upon him and make him strong

8) What were the "signs of an apostle" that Paul had done among the
   Corinthians? (12)
   - Signs, wonders, and mighty deeds

9) What had Paul done that some charged made the Corinthians inferior
   to other churches? (13)
   - He had not been a burden to them (i.e., had not accept monetary

10) Why would Paul continue not to be a burden to them? (15)
   - He would very glad spend and be spent for their souls, like a 
     parent does for a child

11) What was the motive behind all that Paul did for the Corinthians?
   - Their edification

12) What was Paul afraid might occur when he got to Corinth? (20)
   - Contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions,
     backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults

13) What was Paul afraid of finding when he got to Corinth? (21)
   - That some of them had not repented of their uncleanness,
     fornication, and licentiousness