Making up your mind

No fancy picture here; only truth!!  Notice that most of the steps involve the will and that is where most of our problems are!!!  We have to deal with our "baggage" and once we have really thought about our goal; the doing almost certainly involves success!!!  Paul had to put a lot behind him to follow Christ, but he did and so can we.  This passage from the book of Philippians is a great motivator to me and I hope it is to you as well!!!!!

Philippians, Chapter 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.  2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.  3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh;  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:  5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;  6 concerning zeal, persecuting the assembly; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless.

  7 However, what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ.  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  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;  10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death;  11 if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.  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.

Its hard at times to think in terms of the big picture, but that is what we really need to do in order to be successful in life.  Christianity is no exception; we need to forget the lure of worldly things and accomplishments and the second paragraph our priority.  Sometimes the steps to do this may seem hard, but love is the most powerful motivator I know.  Try it, you will like it!!!!!!

Oct. 25 Song of Solomon 5, 6

Oct. 25
Song of Solomon 5, 6

Son 5:1 I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride. I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk. Friends Eat, friends! Drink, yes, drink abundantly, beloved. Beloved
Son 5:2 I was asleep, but my heart was awake. It is the voice of my beloved who knocks: "Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled; for my head is filled with dew, and my hair with the dampness of the night."
Son 5:3 I have taken off my robe. Indeed, must I put it on? I have washed my feet. Indeed, must I soil them?
Son 5:4 My beloved thrust his hand in through the latch opening. My heart pounded for him.
Son 5:5 I rose up to open for my beloved. My hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the lock.
Son 5:6 I opened to my beloved; but my beloved left; and had gone away. My heart went out when he spoke. I looked for him, but I didn't find him. I called him, but he didn't answer.
Son 5:7 The watchmen who go about the city found me. They beat me. They bruised me. The keepers of the walls took my cloak away from me.
Son 5:8 I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, If you find my beloved, that you tell him that I am faint with love. Friends
Son 5:9 How is your beloved better than another beloved, you fairest among women? How is your beloved better than another beloved, that you do so adjure us? Beloved
Son 5:10 My beloved is white and ruddy. The best among ten thousand.
Son 5:11 His head is like the purest gold. His hair is bushy, black as a raven.
Son 5:12 His eyes are like doves beside the water brooks, washed with milk, mounted like jewels.
Son 5:13 His cheeks are like a bed of spices with towers of perfumes. His lips are like lilies, dropping liquid myrrh.
Son 5:14 His hands are like rings of gold set with beryl. His body is like ivory work overlaid with sapphires.
Son 5:15 His legs are like pillars of marble set on sockets of fine gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.
Son 5:16 His mouth is sweetness; yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem. Friends
Son 6:1 Where has your beloved gone, you fairest among women? Where has your beloved turned, that we may seek him with you? Beloved
Son 6:2 My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.
Son 6:3 I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine. He browses among the lilies,
Son 6:4 You are beautiful, my love, as Tirzah, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners.
Son 6:5 Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me. Your hair is like a flock of goats, that lie along the side of Gilead.
Son 6:6 Your teeth are like a flock of ewes, which have come up from the washing; of which every one has twins; none is bereaved among them.
Son 6:7 Your temples are like a piece of a pomegranate behind your veil.
Son 6:8 There are sixty queens, eighty concubines, and virgins without number.
Son 6:9 My dove, my perfect one, is unique. She is her mother's only daughter. She is the favorite one of her who bore her. The daughters saw her, and called her blessed; the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.
Son 6:10 Who is she who looks forth as the morning, beautiful as the moon, clear as the sun, and awesome as an army with banners?
Son 6:11 I went down into the nut tree grove, to see the green plants of the valley, to see whether the vine budded, and the pomegranates were in flower.
Son 6:12 Without realizing it, my desire set me with my royal people's chariots. Friends
Son 6:13 Return, return, Shulammite! Return, return, that we may gaze at you. Lover Why do you desire to gaze at the Shulammite, as at the dance of Mahanaim?

Oct. 25 1 Thessalonians 2

Oct. 25
1 Thessalonians 2

1Th 2:1 For you yourselves know, brothers, our visit to you wasn't in vain,
1Th 2:2 but having suffered before and been shamefully treated, as you know, at Philippi, we grew bold in our God to tell you the Good News of God in much conflict.
1Th 2:3 For our exhortation is not of error, nor of uncleanness, nor in deception.
1Th 2:4 But even as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News, so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, who tests our hearts.
1Th 2:5 For neither were we at any time found using words of flattery, as you know, nor a cloak of covetousness (God is witness),
1Th 2:6 nor seeking glory from men (neither from you nor from others), when we might have claimed authority as apostles of Christ.
1Th 2:7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother cherishes her own children.
1Th 2:8 Even so, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you, not the Good News of God only, but also our own souls, because you had become very dear to us.
1Th 2:9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and travail; for working night and day, that we might not burden any of you, we preached to you the Good News of God.
1Th 2:10 You are witnesses with God, how holy, righteously, and blamelessly we behaved ourselves toward you who believe.
1Th 2:11 As you know, we exhorted, comforted, and implored every one of you, as a father does his own children,
1Th 2:12 to the end that you should walk worthily of God, who calls you into his own Kingdom and glory.
1Th 2:13 For this cause we also thank God without ceasing, that, when you received from us the word of the message of God, you accepted it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which also works in you who believe.
1Th 2:14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the assemblies of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus; for you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews;
1Th 2:15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and drove us out, and didn't please God, and are contrary to all men;
1Th 2:16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved; to fill up their sins always. But wrath has come on them to the uttermost.
1Th 2:17 But we, brothers, being bereaved of you for a short season, in presence, not in heart, tried even harder to see your face with great desire,
1Th 2:18 because we wanted to come to you--indeed, I, Paul, once and again--but Satan hindered us.
1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Isn't it even you, before our Lord Jesus at his coming?
1Th 2:20 For you are our glory and our joy.

1 John, Chapter 1, Mark Copeland

                      "THE FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN"

                              Chapter One

John begins his first epistle like he does his gospel:  with a prologue
regarding the Word of Life (Jesus Christ) who dwelt in the flesh among
men and made fellowship with the Father possible (1-4).  Fellowship with
God is maintained as we walk in the light and confess our sins that we
might enjoy continual cleansing through the blood of Jesus (5-10).


   *  The witness of John concerning the Word of Life

   *  The nature of the evidence for faith in Jesus

   *  The basis of our fellowship with God


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Prologue:  The Word of Life - 1Jn 1:1-4
   - Fellowship with God - 1Jn 1:5-10

2) How is John’s beginning in this epistle similar to his gospel? (1-4,
   cf. Jn 1:1-14)
   - Both begin with a prologue regarding the Word who became flesh

3) How does John describe the pre-incarnation of Jesus? (1)
   - As "that which was from the beginning"

4) What empirical evidence does John provide concerning the Word? (1)
   - He has heard, seen with his eyes, handled with hands

5) What does John declare?  What does he want to share?  Why does he
   write? (2-4)
   - Eternal life; fellowship with the Father and His Son; that our joy
     may be full

6) What message has John heard that he now declares to us? (5)
   - That God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all

7) If we say we have fellowship with God but walk in darkness, what are
   we? (6)
   - Liars who do not practice the truth

8) What do we enjoy as we walk in the light together with God? (7)
   - Cleansing of all sin by the blood of Christ

9) What if we say that we have no sin? (8,10)
   - We deceive ourselves, make God a liar, His word and the truth are
     not in us

10) What’s required to be forgiven of sin and cleansed of  all
    unrighteousness? (9)
   - To confess our sins