Is this all there is?

Ever felt like this???  Have you ever been so happy that it was a delight to fall into a blissful sleep?  What does it really take to feel this good?  Having all the money you want, finally receiving that big promotion at work, the birth of your firstborn child or the day of your marriage?  I can tell you that I have  accomplished most of these and for awhile I seemed as happy as the dog in the picture.  I remember one morning in 1973 when I worked overnight for Norton Company, that I sat back in my office, put my feet up on my rather large desk and felt this way and it was, OH, so nice.  I was only 24 years old and I realized that I had already progressed to the point where I had a job that at least 30 people I knew envied. Then, after awhile, I asked myself a question that came from a song called "bring in the clowns"; Is this all there is?  And so, I started looking for something better and found it through a gift from a lowly helper who worked on one of the coating machines I supervised.  It was a copy of the living Bible, which in reflection was nothing more than a paraphrase of the genuine Scriptures, but something clicked.  Something deep inside me reassured me that this was what I was looking for; the elusive satisfaction of blessedness that only God can bring.  The prophet Isaiah puts it this way...

Isaiah, Chapter 55
1 “Come, everyone who thirsts, to the waters! Come, he who has no money, buy, and eat! Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which doesn’t satisfy? listen diligently to me, and eat you that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 

It has been a number of decades since that eventful morning, but still its memory overshadows all else.  The God of Heaven has come into my life in such a way as to influence everything; absolutely everything!!!  Believe me when I tell you that God has blessed me in ways that I couldn't even imagine in 1973 and treated me far better than I have deserved.  Even though I will never really understand how that dog in the picture feels, I do know the delight God has given me and it simply is too marvelous to put into words.  Take a moment and reflect upon your life and ask yourself this one question: Is this all there is?????

Oct. 18 Proverbs 27-29

Oct. 18
Proverbs 27-29

Pro 27:1 Don't boast about tomorrow; for you don't know what a day may bring forth.
Pro 27:2 Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.
Pro 27:3 A stone is heavy, and sand is a burden; but a fool's provocation is heavier than both.
Pro 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is overwhelming; but who is able to stand before jealousy?
Pro 27:5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
Pro 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; although the kisses of an enemy are profuse.
Pro 27:7 A full soul loathes a honeycomb; but to a hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet.
Pro 27:8 As a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man who wanders from his home.
Pro 27:9 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart; so does earnest counsel from a man's friend.
Pro 27:10 Don't forsake your friend and your father's friend. Don't go to your brother's house in the day of your disaster: better is a neighbor who is near than a distant brother.
Pro 27:11 Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart, then I can answer my tormentor.
Pro 27:12 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge; but the simple pass on, and suffer for it.
Pro 27:13 Take his garment when he puts up collateral for a stranger. Hold it for a wayward woman!
Pro 27:14 He who blesses his neighbor with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse by him.
Pro 27:15 A continual dropping on a rainy day and a contentious wife are alike:
Pro 27:16 restraining her is like restraining the wind, or like grasping oil in his right hand.
Pro 27:17 Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend's countenance.
Pro 27:18 Whoever tends the fig tree shall eat its fruit. He who looks after his master shall be honored.
Pro 27:19 As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.
Pro 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied; and a man's eyes are never satisfied.
Pro 27:21 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace for gold; but man is refined by his praise.
Pro 27:22 Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with grain, yet his foolishness will not be removed from him.
Pro 27:23 Know well the state of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds:
Pro 27:24 for riches are not forever, nor does even the crown endure to all generations.
Pro 27:25 The hay is removed, and the new growth appears, the grasses of the hills are gathered in.
Pro 27:26 The lambs are for your clothing, and the goats are the price of a field.
Pro 27:27 There will be plenty of goats' milk for your food, for your family's food, and for the nourishment of your servant girls. 

Pro 28:1 The wicked flee when no one pursues; but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
Pro 28:2 In rebellion, a land has many rulers, but order is maintained by a man of understanding and knowledge.
Pro 28:3 A needy man who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain which leaves no crops.
Pro 28:4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked; but those who keep the law contend with them.
Pro 28:5 Evil men don't understand justice; but those who seek Yahweh understand it fully.
Pro 28:6 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity, than he who is perverse in his ways, and he is rich.
Pro 28:7 Whoever keeps the law is a wise son; but he who is a companion of gluttons shames his father.
Pro 28:8 He who increases his wealth by excessive interest gathers it for one who has pity on the poor.
Pro 28:9 He who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.
Pro 28:10 Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way, he will fall into his own trap; but the blameless will inherit good.
Pro 28:11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes; but the poor who has understanding sees through him.
Pro 28:12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory; but when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.
Pro 28:13 He who conceals his sins doesn't prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Pro 28:14 Blessed is the man who always fears; but one who hardens his heart falls into trouble.
Pro 28:15 As a roaring lion or a charging bear, so is a wicked ruler over helpless people.
Pro 28:16 A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment. One who hates ill-gotten gain will have long days.
Pro 28:17 A man who is tormented by life blood will be a fugitive until death; no one will support him.
Pro 28:18 Whoever walks blamelessly is kept safe; but one with perverse ways will fall suddenly.
Pro 28:19 One who works his land will have an abundance of food; but one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.
Pro 28:20 A faithful man is rich with blessings; but one who is eager to be rich will not go unpunished.
Pro 28:21 To show partiality is not good; yet a man will do wrong for a piece of bread.
Pro 28:22 A stingy man hurries after riches, and doesn't know that poverty waits for him.
Pro 28:23 One who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than one who flatters with the tongue.
Pro 28:24 Whoever robs his father or his mother, and says, "It's not wrong." He is a partner with a destroyer.
Pro 28:25 One who is greedy stirs up strife; but one who trusts in Yahweh will prosper.
Pro 28:26 One who trusts in himself is a fool; but one who walks in wisdom is kept safe.
Pro 28:27 One who gives to the poor has no lack; but one who closes his eyes will have many curses.
Pro 28:28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves; but when they perish, the righteous thrive. 

Pro 29:1 He who is often rebuked and stiffens his neck will be destroyed suddenly, with no remedy.
Pro 29:2 When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
Pro 29:3 Whoever loves wisdom brings joy to his father; but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
Pro 29:4 The king by justice makes the land stable, but he who takes bribes tears it down.
Pro 29:5 A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.
Pro 29:6 An evil man is snared by his sin, but the righteous can sing and be glad.
Pro 29:7 The righteous care about justice for the poor. The wicked aren't concerned about knowledge.
Pro 29:8 Mockers stir up a city, but wise men turn away anger.
Pro 29:9 If a wise man goes to court with a foolish man, the fool rages or scoffs, and there is no peace.
Pro 29:10 The bloodthirsty hate a man of integrity; and they seek the life of the upright.
Pro 29:11 A fool vents all of his anger, but a wise man brings himself under control.
Pro 29:12 If a ruler listens to lies, all of his officials are wicked.
Pro 29:13 The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: Yahweh gives sight to the eyes of both.
Pro 29:14 The king who fairly judges the poor, his throne shall be established forever.
Pro 29:15 The rod of correction gives wisdom, but a child left to himself causes shame to his mother.
Pro 29:16 When the wicked increase, sin increases; but the righteous will see their downfall.
Pro 29:17 Correct your son, and he will give you peace; yes, he will bring delight to your soul.
Pro 29:18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but one who keeps the law is blessed.
Pro 29:19 A servant can't be corrected by words. Though he understands, yet he will not respond.
Pro 29:20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Pro 29:21 He who pampers his servant from youth will have him become a son in the end.
Pro 29:22 An angry man stirs up strife, and a wrathful man abounds in sin.
Pro 29:23 A man's pride brings him low, but one of lowly spirit gains honor.
Pro 29:24 Whoever is an accomplice of a thief is an enemy of his own soul. He takes an oath, but dares not testify.
Pro 29:25 The fear of man proves to be a snare, but whoever puts his trust in Yahweh is kept safe.
Pro 29:26 Many seek the ruler's favor, but a man's justice comes from Yahweh.
Pro 29:27 A dishonest man detests the righteous, and the upright in their ways detest the wicked.

Oct. 18 Philippians 3

Oct. 18
Philippians 3

Php 3:1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not tiresome, but for you it is safe.
Php 3:2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.
Php 3:3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh;
Php 3:4 though I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has confidence in the flesh, I yet more:
Php 3:5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;
Php 3:6 concerning zeal, persecuting the assembly; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless.
Php 3:7 However, what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ.
Php 3:8 Yes most certainly, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ
Php 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
Php 3:10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death;
Php 3:11 if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Php 3:12 Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, if it is so that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brothers, I don't regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, think this way. If in anything you think otherwise, God will also reveal that to you.
Php 3:16 Nevertheless, to the extent that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule. Let us be of the same mind.
Php 3:17 Brothers, be imitators together of me, and note those who walk this way, even as you have us for an example.
Php 3:18 For many walk, of whom I told you often, and now tell you even weeping, as the enemies of the cross of Christ,
Php 3:19 whose end is destruction, whose god is the belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who think about earthly things.
Php 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from where we also wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
Php 3:21 who will change the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working by which he is able even to subject all things to himself.

1 Peter, Chapter 2, Mark Copeland

                      "THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER"

                              Chapter Two


1) To note what is necessary in order to grow spiritually

2) To reflect upon our privilege and duties as God's special people,
   living as sojourners and pilgrims in a world not our home

3) To review our duty to submit to governmental authorities, and to make
   application of the instructions to slaves in our lives as employees


Having described how they were born again by the incorruptible Word of
God, Peter admonishes his readers to put aside sinful attitudes and to
grow spiritually with an infant-like longing for the Word (1-3).

He then depicts Jesus as a living stone, and Christians as living
stones.  The latter are being built up as a spiritual house and holy
priesthood in order to offer spiritual sacrifices through Christ.  As
foretold in the Scriptures, Jesus is the chief cornerstone that is
precious to those who believe, while a stone of stumbling to those who
are disobedient.  Christians are called on to proclaim the praises of
God as they are now a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy
nation, His own special people who have now obtained mercy (4-10).

As the people of God, Christians are sojourners and pilgrims in this
world.  Their duties as such involve abstaining from fleshly lusts, and
keeping their conduct honorable among the Gentiles (nations) through
good works designed to glorify God.  They are to honor and submit to
governmental authorities, and honor all people while loving the brethren
and fearing God (11-17).

Christian slaves are told to submit to their masters, even when they are
harsh and cause them to suffer grief wrongly.  Peter reveals that such
submission is commendable before God and follows the example of Jesus
whose own suffering delivered us from sin (18-25).



      1. All malice, all deceit
      2. Hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking

   B. WHAT TO DESIRE (2-3)
      1. The pure milk of the word
         a. As newborn babes
         b. That you may grow thereby
      2. If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious


      1. Coming to Christ as to a living stone
         a. Who was rejected by men
         b. Who is chosen by God and precious
      2. We as living stones are being built up as a spiritual house
         a. To be a holy priesthood
         b. To offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through
            Jesus Christ
      3. Christ is the precious cornerstone
         a. As foretold in Isaiah 28:16
            1) God would lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect,
            2) He who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame
            3) Precious to those who believe
         b. As foretold in Psalms 118:22 and Isaiah 8:14
            1) A stone rejected by the builders, which has become the
               chief cornerstone
            2) A stone of stumbling and rock of offense to those who are
            3) To which they were appointed

   B. AS PEOPLE OF GOD (9-10)
      1. They are now:
         a. A chosen generation
         b. A royal priesthood
         c. A holy nation
         d. His own special people
      2. They are now:
         a. To proclaim the praises of God, who called them:
            1) Out of darkness
            2) Into His marvelous light
         b. The people of God, who once were not the people of God
            1) Who had not obtained mercy
            2) But now have obtained mercy


   A. AS SOJOURNERS (11-12)
      1. To abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul
      2. To have conduct honorable among the Gentiles
         a. That when they speak against you as evildoers
         b. They may glorify God in the day of visitation
         c. Because of your good works they observe

   B. AS CITIZENS (13-17)
      1. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake
         a. To the king as supreme
         b. To governors as those sent by the king
            1) For the punishment of evildoers
            2) For the praise of those who do good
      2. For this is the will of God, as bondservants of God
         a. That by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of
            foolish men
         b. As free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice
      3. Therefore:
         a. Honor all
         b. Love the brotherhood
         c. Fear God
         d. Honor the king

   C. AS SERVANTS (18-25)
      1. Submissive to your masters with all fear
         a. Not only to the good and gentle
         b. But also to the harsh
      2. For this is commendable before God
         a. If because of conscience before God one endures grief,
            suffering wrongfully
         b. What credit is there when beaten for your faults, you take
            it patiently?
         c. If when you do good and suffer, yet take it patiently, that
            is commendable
      3. For we were called to Follow in the steps of Jesus our example
         a. Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth
            (Isaiah 53:9)
            1) When He was reviled, did not revile in return
            2) When He suffered, He did not threaten
            3) He committed Himself to Him who judges righteously
         b. Who bore our sins in His own body on the tree
            1) That we, having died to sins, might live for
            2) By whose stripes you were healed
            3) You were like sheep going astray, but have now returned
               to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - A call to spiritual growth (1-3)
   - Our privilege in Christ (4-10)
   - Our duties in Christ (11-25)

2) What must we lay aside to grow spiritually? (1)
   - All malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking

3) How should we long for the Word if we want to grow spiritually? (2)
   - As newborn babes desire milk

4) What should motivate us to desire the Word with such longing? (3)
   - If we have already tasted that the Lord is gracious

5) What kind of stone is used to describe Jesus? (4)
   - A living stone
   - Rejected by men, but chosen by God and precious

6) What two metaphors are used to describe Christians? (5)
   - Living stones, being built up as a spiritual house
   - A holy priesthood, offering up spiritual sacrifices to God through

7) What prophecy foretells the laying of a chief cornerstone in Zion?
   - Isaiah 28:16

8) What is Jesus to those who believe in Him?  To those who do not
   believe? (6-8)
   - The chief cornerstone, elect, precious
   - A stone of stumbling, a rock of offense

9) What is the appointed end of those who do not believe and are
   disobedient? (8)
   - They stumble

10) How are Christians described by Peter? What is their duty? Why?
   - A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own
     special people
   - To proclaim the praises of Him who called them out of darkness into
     His marvelous light
   - They are now the people of God who have obtained mercy

11) What is our duty as sojourners and pilgrims in this world? Why?
   - Abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul
   - Conduct ourselves honorably among the Gentiles
   - That they might glorify God in the day of visitation because of our
     good works

12) What is our duty toward the governments of men?  Why? (13-15)
   - Submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake
   - That by doing good we might silence the ignorance of foolish men

13) How are we use our freedom in Christ? (16)
   - Not as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God

14) What four admonitions summarize our duties to others? (17)
   - Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king

15) What is the duty of servants to their masters? (18)
   - Be submissive with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but
     also to the harsh

16) What is commendable before God? (19-20)
   - To endure grief, suffering wrongfully though doing good, because of
     conscience toward God

17) To what have we been called? (21)
   - To follow in the steps of Christ, who suffered for us and left us
     an example

18) How did Jesus suffer wrongly and bear it patiently? (22-23)
   - He committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth
   - When reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did
     not threaten
   - He committed Himself to God who judges righteously

20) What good did Jesus accomplish by suffering such abuse? (24-25)
   - He bore our sins in His own body on the tree
   - Making it possible for us to die to sin and live for righteousness
     (by His strips we were healed)
   - Like sheep gone astray, we have now returned to the Shepherd and
     Overseer of our souls