Unicorns, reality and faith

Some things are real, others are not.  Unless you are afflicted with schizophrenia any intelligent adult should be able to tell the difference.  If you think you are sitting on a unicorn, you have a big problem.  Get some help!!!
Otherwise, examine your life to determine which things are true and those that are not.  But, what if someone told you the truth and it was difficult to believe; what then?  Again, an examination is in order.  Christians have faith, but they also have a brain and must use it...

2 Peter, Chapter 1
 16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  17 For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  18 We heard this voice come out of heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

 In a court of law, one witness might be telling a lie, but it is doubtful if three people telling the same story are all liars.  Consider, for a moment, if hundreds of people told the same story; should they be believed?  And so we come to the following verses...

1 Corinthians, Chapter 15
 1 Now I declare to you, brothers, the Good News which I preached to you, which also you received, in which you also stand,  2 by which also you are saved, if you hold firmly the word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,  5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  6 Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers at once, most of whom remain until now, but some have also fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,  8 and last of all, as to the child born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also.  9 For I am the least of the apostles, who is not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the assembly of God.

 What more can I say?  Only this...

Aug. 14 Esther 4-6

Aug. 14
Esther 4-6

Est 4:1 Now when Mordecai found out all that was done, Mordecai tore his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and wailed loudly and a bitterly.
Est 4:2 He came even before the king's gate, for no one is allowed inside the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.
Est 4:3 In every province, wherever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
Est 4:4 Esther's maidens and her eunuchs came and told her this, and the queen was exceedingly grieved. She sent clothing to Mordecai, to replace his sackcloth; but he didn't receive it.
Est 4:5 Then Esther called for Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs, whom he had appointed to attend her, and commanded him to go to Mordecai, to find out what this was, and why it was.
Est 4:6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai, to city square which was before the king's gate.
Est 4:7 Mordecai told him of all that had happened to him, and the exact sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the destruction of the Jews.
Est 4:8 He also gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given out in Shushan to destroy them, to show it to Esther, and to declare it to her, and to urge her to go in to the king, to make supplication to him, and to make request before him, for her people.
Est 4:9 Hathach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.
Est 4:10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a message to Mordecai:
Est 4:11 "All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, know, that whoever, whether man or woman, comes to the king into the inner court without being called, there is one law for him, that he be put to death, except those to whom the king might hold out the golden scepter, that he may live. I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days."
Est 4:12 They told to Mordecai Esther's words.
Est 4:13 Then Mordecai asked them return answer to Esther, "Don't think to yourself that you will escape in the king's house any more than all the Jews.
Est 4:14 For if you remain silent now, then relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Who knows if you haven't come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
Est 4:15 Then Esther asked them to answer Mordecai,
Est 4:16 "Go, gather together all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day. I and my maidens will also fast the same way. Then I will go in to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish."
Est 4:17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

Est 5:1 Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal clothing, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, next to the king's house. The king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, next to the entrance of the house.
Est 5:2 When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight; and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. So Esther came near, and touched the top of the scepter.
Est 5:3 Then the king asked her, "What would you like, queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you even to the half of the kingdom."
Est 5:4 Esther said, "If it seems good to the king, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him."
Est 5:5 Then the king said, "Bring Haman quickly, so that it may be done as Esther has said." So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared.
Est 5:6 The king said to Esther at the banquet of wine, "What is your petition? It shall be granted you. What is your request? Even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed."
Est 5:7 Then Esther answered and said, "My petition and my request is this.
Est 5:8 If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I will prepare for them, and I will do tomorrow as the king has said."
Est 5:9 Then Haman went out that day joyful and glad of heart, but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he didn't stand up nor move for him, he was filled with wrath against Mordecai.
Est 5:10 Nevertheless Haman restrained himself, and went home. There, he sent and called for his friends and Zeresh his wife.
Est 5:11 Haman recounted to them the glory of his riches, the multitude of his children, all the things in which the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.
Est 5:12 Haman also said, "Yes, Esther the queen let no man come in with the king to the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and tomorrow I am also invited by her together with the king.
Est 5:13 Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate."
Est 5:14 Then Zeresh his wife and all his friends said to him, "Let a gallows be made fifty cubits high, and in the morning speak to the king about hanging Mordecai on it. Then go in merrily with the king to the banquet." This pleased Haman, so he had the gallows made.
Est 6:1 On that night, the king couldn't sleep. He commanded the book of records of the chronicles to be brought, and they were read to the king.
Est 6:2 It was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, who were doorkeepers, who had tried to lay hands on the King Ahasuerus.
Est 6:3 The king said, "What honor and dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?" Then the king's servants who attended him said, "Nothing has been done for him."
Est 6:4 The king said, "Who is in the court?" Now Haman had come into the outer court of the king's house, to speak to the king about hanging Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.
Est 6:5 The king's servants said to him, "Behold, Haman stands in the court." The king said, "Let him come in."
Est 6:6 So Haman came in. The king said to him, "What shall be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?" Now Haman said in his heart, "Who would the king delight to honor more than myself?"
Est 6:7 Haman said to the king, "For the man whom the king delights to honor,
Est 6:8 let royal clothing be brought which the king uses to wear, and the horse that the king rides on, and on the head of which a crown royal is set.
Est 6:9 Let the clothing and the horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man whom the king delights to honor with them, and have him ride on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him, 'Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!' "
Est 6:10 Then the king said to Haman, "Hurry and take the clothing and the horse, as you have said, and do this for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king's gate. Let nothing fail of all that you have spoken."
Est 6:11 Then Haman took the clothing and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and had him ride through the city square, and proclaimed before him, "Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!"
Est 6:12 Mordecai came back to the king's gate, but Haman hurried to his house, mourning and having his head covered.
Est 6:13 Haman recounted to Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him. Then his wise men and Zeresh his wife said to him, "If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him, but you will surely fall before him."
Est 6:14 While they were yet talking with him, the king's eunuchs came, and hurried to bring Haman to the banquet that Esther had prepared.

"THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS" Chapter Five by Mark Copeland

                     "THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS"

                              Chapter Five


1) To see the importance of walking in love, light, and wisdom

2) To understand the responsibilities wives and husbands have toward
   each other

3) To appreciate the high esteem and great love the Lord has for His


Paul continues to exhort Christians to walk in a manner worthy of their
calling (cf. 4:1).  Having described the need to walk in unity and in
purity, he now urges them to imitate God and "walk in love" with Christ
as their example.  Such love requires that all forms of immorality and 
filthy speech not even be named among them.  Since the wrath of God is
to come upon the sons of disobedience, Christians must not be deceived
by nor partake with those who engage in such evil deeds (1-6).

Having passed from darkness to light in coming to Christ, we should 
also "walk as children of light".  This includes producing the fruit of
the Spirit such as goodness, righteousness and truth, thereby
demonstrating what is acceptable to the Lord.  We cannot participate in
the shameful works of darkness, but instead must expose them.  This we
do by letting Christ's light shine in us, for such light will naturally
make the darkness manifest by way of contrast (7-14).

As the days are evil and the time is short, Christians must "walk as
wise" and make the best use of their time.  This requires an 
understanding of the Lord's will.  Christians are also to be filled 
with the Spirit, as evidenced by singing together, praying with 
thanksgiving, and submitting to one another in the fear of God (15-21).

The chapter ends with what we might describe as a call to "walk in 
matrimonial harmony".  Wives are exhorted to respect their husbands,
submitting to them as to the Lord.  Husbands are commanded to love 
their wives as Christ loved the church, and even as they love their own
bodies.  In the course of such instructions Paul takes the opportunity 
to reveal the Lord's desire to present to Himself a glorious church,
holy and without blemish, which is why He gave Himself for it (22-33).



      1. Be followers of God as dear children (1)
      2. Walk in love as Christ loved us (2)
         a. Who gave Himself for us
         b. As a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God 

      1. Things which should not even be named among saints (3-4)
         a. Fornication
         b. All uncleanness
         c. Covetousness
         d. Filthiness
         e. Foolish talking
         f. Coarse jesting
         -- Rather, giving of thanks
      2. For such have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God
         a. No fornicator or unclean person
         b. No covetous man, who is an idolater
      3. Upon sons of disobedience will come the wrath of God (6-7)
         a. So don't let anyone deceive you with empty words
         b. Do not be partakers with them


      1. Though once darkness, they are now light in the Lord (7a)
      2. They should walk as children of light (7b-10)
         a. Bearing the fruit of the Spirit (or light) in all goodness,
            righteousness and truth
         b. Proving what is acceptable to the Lord

      1. Instead expose them (11-12)
         a. For they are unfruitful
         b. It is even shameful to even speak of those things done in
      2. Which shall be exposed (13-14)
         a. When made manifest by the light
         b. Thus we should be the light which Christ gives us


      1. Not as fools but as wise (15)
      2. Redeeming the time, for the days are evil (16)
      3. Not as unwise, but understanding the will of the Lord (17)

      1. Singing (19)
         a. Speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs
         b. Making melody in your heart to the Lord
      2. Giving thanks (20)
         a. Always for all things
         b. To God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
      3. Submitting to one another in the fear of God (21)


   A. DUTIES OF WIVES (22-24)
      1. Submit to their own husbands, as to the Lord (22-23)
         a. For the husband is the head of the wife
         b. Even as Christ is the head of the church and the Savior of
            the Body
      2. Be subject to their husbands in everything, just as the church
         is subject to Christ (24)

      1. Love their wives, as Christ loved the church (25-27)
         a. He gave Himself for it
         b. This He did that He might:
            1) Sanctify and cleanse the church through the washing of
               water by the word
            2) Present it to Himself a glorious church
               a) Having no spot or wrinkle
               b) Holy and without blemish
      2. Love their wives as their own bodies (28-32)
         a. For he who loves his wife loves himself
         b. For no one hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes
            1) Even as the Lord does His church
            2) For we are members of His body
         c. For in marriage man and woman become one, just as with
            Christ and His church

      1. Let each man love his wife as himself (33a)
      2. Let the wife respect her husband (33b)


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - A call to walk in love (1-7)
   - A call to walk as children of light (8-14)
   - A call to walk as wise (15-21)
   - A call to walk in matrimonial harmony (22-33)

2) What are Christians to be? (1)
   - Followers of God as dear children

3) How are we to walk (live)? (2)
   - In love, even as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us

4) What things are not fitting for saints? (3-4)
   - Fornication
   - All uncleanness
   - Covetousness
   - Filthiness
   - Foolish talking
   - Coarse jesting

5) What is fitting for saints? (4)
   - The giving of thanks

6) Who has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God? (5)
   - No fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous person

7) Of what is a covetous person guilty? (5)
   - Idolatry

8) What is to come upon the sons of disobedience? (6)
   - The wrath of God

9) What are we now in the Lord?  How then should we walk? (8-10)
   - Light in the Lord
   - As children of light, proving what is acceptable to the Lord

10) What is the fruit of the Spirit (light)? (9)
   - Goodness, righteousness, and truth

11) What are Christians to do regarding unfruitful works of darkness?
   - Have no fellowship with them
   - Expose them

12) How else are Christians to live? Why? (15-16)
   - Circumspectly, as wise, redeeming the time
   - Because the days are evil

13) What other responsibilities do we have as Christians? (17-18)
   - To understand the will of the Lord
   - To be filled with the Spirit

14) What is either the means or the evidence of one filled with the
    Spirit? (19-21)
   - Speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
   - Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord
   - Giving thanks for all things to God the Father in the name of
     Jesus Christ
   - Submitting to one another in the fear of God

15) What are the responsibilities of wives toward their husbands?
   - To submit and be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord

16) What is revealed about the relation of Christ to His church? (23)
   - He is the head of the church and the Savior of the body

17) What are the responsibilities of husbands toward their wives?
   - To love their wives as Christ loved the church
   - To nourish and cherish their wives, as they do their own bodies

18) Why did Jesus love and give Himself for the church? (25-27)
   - That He might sanctify and cleanse the church
   - That He might present it to Himself a glorious church
   - That it might be holy and without blemish

19) What is Paul's summation regarding marital responsibilities? (33)
   - A husband is to love his wife as himself
   - A wife is to respect her husband