Oh, to be like the bird.....

After looking at this picture, its hard NOT TO THINK ABOUT GOD!!!  My first thought was that it was a rainbow, which of course is a promise that God will not destroy the Earth by means of a flood, ever again.  Then I thought of the coloring that occurs at sunset and I couldn't help but focus on that bird (a hawk??) in the picture.  Can you imagine being able to fly with all that color around you?  And yet we see God around us every single day, in every molecule of our being and that of all that surrounds us.  Paul puts it this way...

Colossians, Chapter 1
 16 For all things were created in Him, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, the visible and the invisible; whether thrones, or lordships, or rulers, or authorities, all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and all things consist in Him.  18 And He is the Head of the body, the church, who is the Beginning, the First-born from the dead, that He be preeminent in all things;  19 because all the fullness was pleased to dwell in Him,  20 and through Him making peace by the blood of His cross, to reconcile all things to Himself; through Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in the heavens.  16 For all things were created in Him, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, the visible and the invisible; whether thrones, or lordships, or rulers, or authorities, all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and all things consist in Him.  18 And He is the Head of the body, the church, who is the Beginning, the First-born from the dead, that He be preeminent in all things;  19 because all the fullness was pleased to dwell in Him,  20 and through Him making peace by the blood of His cross, to reconcile all things to Himself; through Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in the heavens.

Jesus; its all about Jesus!!!  The physical manifestation of God, given for the creation he loved so much.  He is with us, in us and there is no denying his presence.  Some may try to disavow him, but as surely as we all will eventually come to grips with our mortality, all will someday acknowledge him.  And on the day when we meet him face to face, we will be overwhelmed by the sight of the magnificence of him and all that he has done.  On that day, we will know how the bird in the picture must feel.  Oh, to be like the bird in the picture, surrounded by the wonder of God!!!

Aug. 21 Job 20-23

Aug. 21
Job 20-23

Job 20:1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered,
Job 20:2 "Therefore do my thoughts give answer to me, even by reason of my haste that is in me.
Job 20:3 I have heard the reproof which puts me to shame. The spirit of my understanding answers me.
Job 20:4 Don't you know this from old time, since man was placed on earth,
Job 20:5 that the triumphing of the wicked is short, the joy of the godless but for a moment?
Job 20:6 Though his height mount up to the heavens, and his head reach to the clouds,
Job 20:7 yet he shall perish forever like his own dung. Those who have seen him shall say, 'Where is he?'
Job 20:8 He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found. Yes, he shall be chased away like a vision of the night.
Job 20:9 The eye which saw him shall see him no more, neither shall his place any more see him.
Job 20:10 His children shall seek the favor of the poor. His hands shall give back his wealth.
Job 20:11 His bones are full of his youth, but youth shall lie down with him in the dust.
Job 20:12 "Though wickedness is sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue,
Job 20:13 though he spare it, and will not let it go, but keep it still within his mouth;
Job 20:14 yet his food in his bowels is turned. It is cobra venom within him.
Job 20:15 He has swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again. God will cast them out of his belly.
Job 20:16 He shall suck cobra venom. The viper's tongue shall kill him.
Job 20:17 He shall not look at the rivers, the flowing streams of honey and butter.
Job 20:18 That for which he labored he shall restore, and shall not swallow it down. According to the substance that he has gotten, he shall not rejoice.
Job 20:19 For he has oppressed and forsaken the poor. He has violently taken away a house, and he shall not build it up.
Job 20:20 "Because he knew no quietness within him, he shall not save anything of that in which he delights.
Job 20:21 There was nothing left that he didn't devour, therefore his prosperity shall not endure.
Job 20:22 In the fullness of his sufficiency, distress shall overtake him. The hand of everyone who is in misery shall come on him.
Job 20:23 When he is about to fill his belly, God will cast the fierceness of his wrath on him. It will rain on him while he is eating.
Job 20:24 He shall flee from the iron weapon. The bronze arrow shall strike him through.
Job 20:25 He draws it forth, and it comes out of his body. Yes, the glittering point comes out of his liver. Terrors are on him.
Job 20:26 All darkness is laid up for his treasures. An unfanned fire shall devour him. It shall consume that which is left in his tent.
Job 20:27 The heavens shall reveal his iniquity. The earth shall rise up against him.
Job 20:28 The increase of his house shall depart. They shall rush away in the day of his wrath.
Job 20:29 This is the portion of a wicked man from God, the heritage appointed to him by God."
Job 21:1 Then Job answered,
Job 21:2 "Listen diligently to my speech. Let this be your consolation.
Job 21:3 Allow me, and I also will speak; After I have spoken, mock on.
Job 21:4 As for me, is my complaint to man? Why shouldn't I be impatient?
Job 21:5 Look at me, and be astonished. Lay your hand on your mouth.
Job 21:6 When I remember, I am troubled. Horror takes hold of my flesh.
Job 21:7 "Why do the wicked live, become old, yes, and grow mighty in power?
Job 21:8 Their child is established with them in their sight, their offspring before their eyes.
Job 21:9 Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.
Job 21:10 Their bulls breed without fail. Their cows calve, and don't miscarry.
Job 21:11 They send forth their little ones like a flock. Their children dance.
Job 21:12 They sing to the tambourine and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the pipe.
Job 21:13 They spend their days in prosperity. In an instant they go down to Sheol.
Job 21:14 They tell God, 'Depart from us, for we don't want to know about your ways.
Job 21:15 What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What profit should we have, if we pray to him?'
Job 21:16 Behold, their prosperity is not in their hand. The counsel of the wicked is far from me.
Job 21:17 "How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out, that their calamity comes on them, that God distributes sorrows in his anger?
Job 21:18 How often is it that they are as stubble before the wind, as chaff that the storm carries away?
Job 21:19 You say, 'God lays up his iniquity for his children.' Let him recompense it to himself, that he may know it.
Job 21:20 Let his own eyes see his destruction. Let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
Job 21:21 For what does he care for his house after him, when the number of his months is cut off?
Job 21:22 "Shall any teach God knowledge, seeing he judges those who are high?
Job 21:23 One dies in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet.
Job 21:24 His pails are full of milk. The marrow of his bones is moistened.
Job 21:25 Another dies in bitterness of soul, and never tastes of good.
Job 21:26 They lie down alike in the dust. The worm covers them.
Job 21:27 "Behold, I know your thoughts, the devices with which you would wrong me.
Job 21:28 For you say, 'Where is the house of the prince? Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?'
Job 21:29 Haven't you asked wayfaring men? Don't you know their evidences,
Job 21:30 that the evil man is reserved to the day of calamity, That they are led forth to the day of wrath?
Job 21:31 Who shall declare his way to his face? Who shall repay him what he has done?
Job 21:32 Yet he will be borne to the grave. Men shall keep watch over the tomb.
Job 21:33 The clods of the valley shall be sweet to him. All men shall draw after him, as there were innumerable before him.
Job 21:34 So how can you comfort me with nonsense, seeing that in your answers there remains only falsehood?"
Job 22:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered,
Job 22:2 "Can a man be profitable to God? Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.
Job 22:3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that you are righteous? Or does it benefit him, that you make your ways perfect?
Job 22:4 Is it for your piety that he reproves you, that he enters with you into judgment?
Job 22:5 Isn't your wickedness great? Neither is there any end to your iniquities.
Job 22:6 For you have taken pledges from your brother for nothing, and stripped the naked of their clothing.
Job 22:7 You haven't given water to the weary to drink, and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
Job 22:8 But as for the mighty man, he had the earth. The honorable man, he lived in it.
Job 22:9 You have sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken.
Job 22:10 Therefore snares are around you. Sudden fear troubles you,
Job 22:11 or darkness, so that you can not see, and floods of waters cover you.
Job 22:12 "Isn't God in the heights of heaven? See the height of the stars, how high they are!
Job 22:13 You say, 'What does God know? Can he judge through the thick darkness?
Job 22:14 Thick clouds are a covering to him, so that he doesn't see. He walks on the vault of the sky.'
Job 22:15 Will you keep the old way, which wicked men have trodden,
Job 22:16 who were snatched away before their time, whose foundation was poured out as a stream,
Job 22:17 who said to God, 'Depart from us;' and, 'What can the Almighty do for us?'
Job 22:18 Yet he filled their houses with good things, but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
Job 22:19 The righteous see it, and are glad. The innocent ridicule them,
Job 22:20 saying, 'Surely those who rose up against us are cut off. The fire has consumed the remnant of them.'
Job 22:21 "Acquaint yourself with him, now, and be at peace. Thereby good shall come to you.
Job 22:22 Please receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart.
Job 22:23 If you return to the Almighty, you shall be built up, if you put away unrighteousness far from your tents.
Job 22:24 Lay your treasure in the dust, the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks.
Job 22:25 The Almighty will be your treasure, and precious silver to you.
Job 22:26 For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty, and shall lift up your face to God.
Job 22:27 You shall make your prayer to him, and he will hear you. You shall pay your vows.
Job 22:28 You shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established to you. Light shall shine on your ways.
Job 22:29 When they cast down, you shall say, 'be lifted up.' He will save the humble person.
Job 22:30 He will even deliver him who is not innocent. Yes, he shall be delivered through the cleanness of your hands."
Job 23:1 Then Job answered,
Job 23:2 "Even today my complaint is rebellious. His hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
Job 23:3 Oh that I knew where I might find him! That I might come even to his seat!
Job 23:4 I would set my cause in order before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
Job 23:5 I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would tell me.
Job 23:6 Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No, but he would listen to me.
Job 23:7 There the upright might reason with him, so I should be delivered forever from my judge.
Job 23:8 "If I go east, he is not there; if west, I can't find him;
Job 23:9 He works to the north, but I can't see him. He turns south, but I can't catch a glimpse of him.
Job 23:10 But he knows the way that I take. When he has tried me, I shall come forth like gold.
Job 23:11 My foot has held fast to his steps. I have kept his way, and not turned aside.
Job 23:12 I haven't gone back from the commandment of his lips. I have treasured up the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
Job 23:13 But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? What his soul desires, even that he does.
Job 23:14 For he performs that which is appointed for me. Many such things are with him.
Job 23:15 Therefore I am terrified at his presence. When I consider, I am afraid of him.
Job 23:16 For God has made my heart faint. The Almighty has terrified me.
Job 23:17 Because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither did he cover the thick darkness from my face.

Aug. 21 Romans 2

Aug. 21
Romans 2

Rom 2:1 Therefore you are without excuse, O man, whoever you are who judge. For in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself. For you who judge practice the same things.
Rom 2:2 We know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.
Rom 2:3 Do you think this, O man who judges those who practice such things, and do the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
Rom 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of his goodness, forbearance, and patience, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Rom 2:5 But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God;
Rom 2:6 who "will pay back to everyone according to their works:"
Rom 2:7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory, honor, and incorruptibility, eternal life;
Rom 2:8 but to those who are self-seeking, and don't obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, will be wrath and indignation,
Rom 2:9 oppression and anguish, on every soul of man who works evil, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom 2:10 But glory, honor, and peace go to every man who works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.
Rom 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without the law. As many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.
Rom 2:13 For it isn't the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be justified
Rom 2:14 (for when Gentiles who don't have the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves,
Rom 2:15 in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying with them, and their thoughts among themselves accusing or else excusing them)
Rom 2:16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men, according to my Good News, by Jesus Christ.
Rom 2:17 Indeed you bear the name of a Jew, and rest on the law, and glory in God,
Rom 2:18 and know his will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law,
Rom 2:19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide of the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,
Rom 2:20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of babies, having in the law the form of knowledge and of the truth.
Rom 2:21 You therefore who teach another, don't you teach yourself? You who preach that a man shouldn't steal, do you steal?
Rom 2:22 You who say a man shouldn't commit adultery. Do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?
Rom 2:23 You who glory in the law, through your disobedience of the law do you dishonor God?
Rom 2:24 For "the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you," just as it is written.
Rom 2:25 For circumcision indeed profits, if you are a doer of the law, but if you are a transgressor of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.
Rom 2:26 If therefore the uncircumcised keep the ordinances of the law, won't his uncircumcision be accounted as circumcision?
Rom 2:27 Won't the uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfills the law, judge you, who with the letter and circumcision are a transgressor of the law?
Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh;
Rom 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God.

"THE EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS" Introduction by Mark Copeland

                    "THE EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS"


AUTHOR:  The apostle Paul, joined in his salutation by Timothy (1:1),
and signed by Paul himself at the end of the letter (4:18).  Early
sources in church history that attribute this letter to Paul include:
Eusebius (300 A.D.), Origen (250 A.D.), Clement of Alexandria (200
A.D.), Tertullian (200 A.D.), Irenaeus (200 A.D.), and the  Muratorian
Fragment (180 A.D.).

THE CITY OF COLOSSE:  The city was located about 100 miles east of
Ephesus in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey).  Together with Hieropolis 
(4:13) and Laodicea (2:1; 4:13-16; Re 3:14-22), Colosse made up a 
tri-city area.  Each city had its own distinction:

   * Hierapolis, a place for health, pleasure, and relaxation

   * Laodicea, known for its commercial trade and politics

   * Colosse, known simply as a small town

Colosse was mostly a pagan city, with a strong intermingling of Jews 
(in 62 B.C., there were 11,000 Jewish freemen in the tri-city area).  
This may explain the nature of some of the problems that arose among 
the church in Colosse (problems with both pagan and Jewish origin).

THE CHURCH AT COLOSSE:  The establishment of the church is uncertain.
At issue is whether Paul himself had ever been there.  Some suggest
that Paul may have done some work there during his third journey, on 
the way to Ephesus (cf. Ac 18:23; 19:1).  Others point out that Paul's 
comments imply that he had not personally been in Colosse (cf. 2:1).  
One possibility is that the church was established during Paul's 
extended stay at Ephesus, where the effect of his work spread 
throughout Asia Minor (cf. Ac 19:8-10).  It may not have been Paul 
himself, but one of his co-workers who went out to Colosse.  Paul's 
remarks in the epistle indicate that Epaphras was the one who preached
the gospel there (1:5-8) and in Hierapolis and Laodicea (4:12-13).
Though he was with Paul at the time the epistle was written, Epaphras
is identified as "one of you" (4:12), suggesting that he may have 
originally been from Colosse.

Other members of the church at Colosse included Philemon, Apphia, and
Archippus, who may have been father, mother, and son.  By comparing the
epistle to the Colossians with that written to Philemon, it is
reasonable to suppose that the church at Colosse met in their home (cf.
4:17 with Phm 1-2, and the references to Archippus).  If Philemon and
his family were hosts of the church at Colosse, then Onesimus
(Philemon's slave) would have also been a member there upon his return
(cf. 4:7-9 with Phm 8-16).

TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING:  Colossians is one of Paul's four "prison
epistles" (4:18; cf. Ephesians, Philippians, and Philemon).  The 
general consensus is that these epistles were written during Paul's 
imprisonment at Rome (cf. Ac 28:16,30-31).  If such is truly the case, 
then Paul wrote Colossians around 61-63 A.D. from Rome.  The indication
is that the epistles to the Colossians, Philemon and the Ephesians were
carried to their destination by Tychicus and Onesimus (cf. 4:7-9; Phile
10-12; Ep 6:21-22).

PURPOSE OF THE EPISTLE:  Paul had received a report of the situation
at Colosse by way of Epaphras (1:7-8).  This report was for the most
part favorable (2:5).  But the subject matter in the epistle strongly 
suggests that the church was facing a two-fold danger:

   * The danger of relapse into paganism with its gross immorality (cf.
     1:21-23; 2:6; 3:5-11)

   * The danger of accepting what has been come to known as "The 
     Colossian heresy".  This heresy was a syncretism involving four
     elements of both pagan and Jewish origin:

      * Philosophies of men - which denied the all sufficiency and 
        pre-eminence of Christ (2:8)
      * Judaistic ceremonialism - which attached special significance
        to the rite of circumcision, food regulations, and observance 
        of special days (2:11,16-17)

      * Angel worship - which detracted from the uniqueness of Christ

      * Asceticism - which called for harsh treatment of the body as
        the means to control its lusts (2:20-23)

To guard against these dangers, Paul writes to:

   Warn the Colossians against relapse (1:21-23)

   Warn them against the "solution" being urged upon them by those
   denying the all-sufficiency of Christ (2:8-23)

   Direct their attention to the "Beloved Son", the "All-Sufficient and
   Pre-Eminent Savior" (1:13-18; 2:8-10)

THEME OF THE EPISTLE:  With the focus on Jesus Christ as the answer
to the "Colossian heresy", the theme of this letter is clearly:

                    CHRIST - THE FULNESS OF GOD,

KEY VERSES:  Colossians 2:9-10

   "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and
   you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality
   and power."


   1. Salutation (1-2)
   2. Thanksgiving and prayer (3-14)


   A. IN CREATION (1:15-17)
      1. The image of the invisible God (1:15a)
      2. The first-born over all creation (1:15b-17)

   B. IN REDEMPTION (1:18-23)
      1. The head of the body, the church (1:18a)
      2. The beginning, the first-born from the dead (1:18b)
      3. That He might have preeminence in all things (1:18c)
         a. In Whom all the fullness dwells (1:19)
         b. In Whom all things are to be reconciled to God (1:20)
         c. The Colossians as a case in point (1:21-23)


   A. PAUL'S SERVICE (1:24-29)
      1. His joy in suffering for them (1:24)
      2. His ministry (1:25-29)
         a. A stewardship to proclaim the mystery of God now revealed
         b. A labor to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus 

      1. His great concern for them (2:1-3)
      2. Reasons for this concern (2:4-5)
      3. Exhortations to be firmly established in Christ (2:6-7)


      1. Beware of being cheated by philosophy and empty deceit (2:8)
      2. In Christ dwells the fullness of God, and you are complete in
         Him (2:9-10)

      1. In Christ you have a circumcision made without hands (2:11-12)
      2. You are made alive in Christ, and the handwriting of 
         requirements that was against us has been taken away at the 
         cross (2:13-15)
      3. Therefore don't let anyone judge you in regards to food,
         festivals, or sabbath days (2:16-17)

      1. Don't let anyone defraud you of your reward by appealing to
         angel worship and imagined visions of a fleshly mind (2:18)
      2. Such people do not hold fast to Christ as the Head, and from
         whom true divine nourishment comes (2:19)

      1. Having died with Christ to the world, there is no need to
         submit to human ordinances (2:20-22)
      2. While having appearances of wisdom, such practices have no 
         value in controlling the indulgences of the flesh (2:23)


      1. Since you were raised with Christ, seek those things above
      2. For you have died and your life is now hidden in Christ, to be
         revealed when He appears (3:3-4)

   B. PUT OFF THE OLD MAN (3:5-9)
      1. Put to death your members here on the earth, for the wrath of
         God is coming on the sons of disobedience (3:5-7)
      2. Put off the old man with his deeds (3:8-9)

   C. PUT ON THE NEW MAN (3:10-17)
      1. Put on the new man, renewed in the image of our Creator 
      2. As God's elect, put on Christ-like qualities (3:12-14)
      3. Let God's peace rule in your hearts, and be thankful (3:15)
      4. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and 
         admonishing one another with song and singing with grace in 
         your hearts (3:16)
      5. Do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus, with thanksgiving

      1. Wives toward their husbands (3:18)
      2. Husbands toward their wives (3:19)
      3. Children toward their parents (3:20)
      4. Fathers toward their children (3:21)
      5. Servants toward their masters (3:22-25)
      6. Masters toward their servants (4:1)

      1. Devote yourselves to prayer (4:2-4)
      2. Walk in wisdom and let your speech be with grace (4:5-6)


      1. Tychicus, a faithful servant who will inform them of Paul's 
         circumstances (4:7-8)
      2. Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother (4:9)

      1. Aristarchus, Mark, and Justus, fellow workers for the kingdom
         of God (4:10-11)
      2. Epaphras, one of them, and a servant of Christ (4:12-13)
      3. Luke the beloved physician, and Demas (4:14)

CONCLUSION (4:15-18)
   1. Greetings to those in Laodicea, and to Nymphas and the church in
      his house (4:15)
   2. A command to read and exchange the epistles from Paul (4:16)
   3. A personal exhortation to Archippus (4:17)
   4. A personal signoff from the hand of Paul, with a request for 
      remembrance and a prayer in their behalf (4:18)


1) Who had taught the Colossians the truth concerning God's grace? 
   (Col 1:6-7)
   - Epaphras

2) From where and when did Paul write Colossians?
   - From Rome, sometime around 61-63 A.D.

3) What three other epistles were written about this time?  What are 
   the four epistles sometimes called?
   - Ephesians, Philippians, and Philemon
   - The "prison epistles"

3) What two potential dangers prompted the writing of this epistle?
   - The danger of relapse into paganism with its gross immorality
   - The danger of accepting the "Colossian heresy"

4) What four elements make up the "Colossian Heresy"?
   - Philosophies of men
   - Judaistic ceremonialism
   - Angel worship
   - Asceticism

5) What is the "theme" of this epistle?
   - "Christ - the fullness of God, and the pre-eminent, all-sufficient

6) What serves as the "key verses" of this epistle?
   - Colossians 2:9-10

7) According to the outline above, what are the five main subject 
   divisions in this epistle?
   - The preeminence of Christ
   - The apostle of Christ
   - Warnings against the "Colossian Heresy"
   - The Christian solution
   - Paul's companions