5/23/14

From Jim McGuiggan... Christian Advantage? (1)


Christian Advantage? (1)

If you’re in Christ, says Paul, you are a “new creature” (creation)—2 Corinthians 5:17.
   
 I long wondered what he meant by that. I know what I was taught it meant when I was very young and at one and the same time I wished it were true and, as it worked out, was glad it wasn’t true.

I was taught that before you became a Christian you wanted to sin and enjoyed sinning but that when you became Christ’s you would no longer want that or feel that way. Before I became a Christian I knew I had wanted to sin and that often I enjoyed it and I supposed in light of what I was taught that when I became a Christian that would no longer be the case.

I do remember that in the first days of life in Christ I was buoyant with the excitement of being his and carried away by the wind of that lovely emotion (as I recall it) I was strong and had only one thought—to please him and not grieve him. Once I became used to the idea that I was Christ's I found myself returning to “normal” with all the old weaknesses showing and I distinctly felt the backward call of an old environment.

As you can imagine this upset me greatly. If you're in Christ, “old things have passed away and all things have become new.” This wasn’t my inner experience for I discovered that “old things” had not passed away and “all things” had not become new; I was as much a sinner now that I was in Christ as I was before I entered into union with him. This appeared to mean, of course, that I was not in Christ because if I was in Christ I wouldn’t sin or want to sin, the “old things” of sin would have passed away and my desires would all be new. I didn’t want to leave Christ—I didn’t dare—but on and off for a long time I wondered if I had truly given myself to him.

I wrestled with explanations for this and when I spoke about it to experienced believers I discovered that they had as much difficulty with the matter as I had—they too continued to sin even while they continued to take the text to be a description of our new inner moral world when we entered Jesus.

What made matters worse, there were popular authors who expounded the “normal Christian life” as virtual sinlessness though even in those books and from those who promoted them there was always talk of struggle and wrestling against sin. But if old things no longer existed and all things had become new why should there be struggle or wrestling?—that question was never really dealt with. Yes, the point was “talked about” but it was never truly dealt with and when I pressed some for answers, their use of Paul’s claim, “it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20) became vague and shifty.But what were we to do with such a text? Every now and then when I dared to think seriously about the way it was commonly understood, it brought me only anguish and the near certainty that I wasn’t in Christ because if I had been crucified with Christ in the way they meant it, sin couldn’t appeal to me. The truth was, sin appealed to me very much—I wasn’t dead to it in the sense they were saying and, as it turned out when I pursued them, neither were they!

In light of my own inner experience, in light of the experience of everyone I knew, even those who promoted the popular view of the “normal Christian life” and in light of too many other plain biblical texts I surrendered the view they were offering. I simply couldn't live with it but what was I to do with such texts? When you're baptized into the death of the blessed Lord Jesus “you are dead to sin” (Romans 6:2-11) didn’t mean, can't mean that as far as sin’s appeal is concerned the Christian might as well be a corpse. To be "in Christ" doesn't mean, can't mean that "old things"including our sinfulness (our susceptibility to sin) as well as our sinful behavior—have passed away and "all things" have become new. That would mean more than that we no longer do sinful things, it would mean we are no longer sinfully weak and susceptible to sinall things would not be new otherwise.

I came to believe that one can be a Christian, can walk in the light, and still be in need of forgiveness for we continue to be sinfully weak and continue to sin even while we struggle against it (compare 1 John 1:7-9, Romans 6:12, many other texts like them and the entire tone and structure of the NT’s exhortations).

I no longer believed that Paul taught that being a new creation in Jesus meant a person would no longer sin or want to sin or that he would only and always want and do what was right. I no longer believed that when Romans 6 says that those who are baptized into Christ are dead to sin that it means that sin couldn’t appeal to them. The above difficulty was resolved when I stopped believing what was obviously untrue to life and scripture, but what truth was to take its place?
Does God leave Christians unaided in the brawl against sin? Do Christians receive no power from the Spirit of God to resist temptation to sin? Does nothing change?

From Mark Copeland... The Conversion Of Saul (Acts 9:1-19)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                    The Conversion Of Saul (9:1-19)

INTRODUCTION

1. From the conversion of "The Ethiopian", we now turn our attention to
   the most famous conversion in the New Testament...
   a. That of Saul of Tarsus, chief persecutor of the early church-Ac 8:1,3; 9:1-2
   b. Later known as Paul the apostle (Ac 13:9), who suffered much
      persecution for the cause of Christ - cf. 2Co 11:23-28
   c. Whose conversion stands as a powerful testimony to the resurrection
      of Jesus Christ

2. There are three accounts of his conversion in The Book of Acts...
   a. Ac 9:1-19 - where Luke describes it as it happened
   b. Ac 22:6-16 - where Paul recounts his conversion before a large
      crowd
   c. Ac 26:12-18 - where Paul defends himself before King Agrippa

3. From "The Conversion of Saul" we find...
   a. Not only a powerful testimony to the resurrection of Jesus Christ
   b. But more evidence concerning the nature of conversions as revealed
      in The Book of Acts

4. For example...
   a. When was Saul saved?
      1) Was it on the road to Damascus, when the Lord appeared to him?
      2) Was it in Damascus, at some point after he arrived there?
   b. How was Saul saved?
      1) Through saying a sinner's prayer?
      2) By being baptized?

[Such questions can be answered by a careful consideration of Biblical
evidence. Let's begin with a review of the evidence provided by all three
accounts of Saul's conversion...]

I. A HARMONY OF SAUL'S CONVERSION
 
   A. SAUL ON HIS WAY TO DAMASCUS...
      1. To persecute more Christians - Ac 9:1-2; 22:4-5; 26:9-11
      2. When a light shone around him from heaven - Ac 9:3; 22:6;
         26:12-13
      3. When a voice began to speak to him in Hebrew...
         a. Identifying itself as the voice of Jesus - Ac 9:4-5; 22:7-9;
            26:14-15
         b. Jesus then tells Saul...
            1) Why He has appeared to him - Ac 26:16-18
            2) To go on to Damascus, where...
               a) He will be told "what you must do" - Ac 9:6
               b) He will be told "all things which are appointed for
                  you to do" - Ac 22:10
 
   B. SAUL ARRIVES IN DAMASCUS...
      1. Led by the hand, having been blinded by the light - Ac 9:8;
         22:11
      2. For three days, he neither eats nor drinks - Ac 9:9
   
   C. THE LORD SENDS ANANIAS TO SAUL...
      1. The Lord appears to Ananias in a vision, and tells him to go
         to Saul - Ac 9:10-16
      2. Ananias goes to Saul, and...
         a. Restores his sight - Ac 9:17-18; 22:12-13
         b. Tells him why the Lord appeared to him, how he will be a
            witness of what he has seen - Ac 22:14-15
         c. Tells him to be baptized and wash away his sins, calling
            upon the name of the Lord - Ac 22:16
      3. After which Paul breaks his fast and spends some days with the
         disciples - Ac 9:18-19

["The Conversion Of Saul" is a powerful testimony to the resurrection of
Jesus Christ.  What other reasonable explanation can be given for the
drastic change from chief persecutor to chief proclaimer of the Christian
faith?  But Saul's conversion is also valuable for insights regarding the
process of conversion.  With that in mind, allow me to share...]

II. SOME OBSERVATIONS

   A. WHEN SAUL WAS SAVED...
      1. Some state that Saul was saved on the road to Damascus
         a. When the Lord appeared to him
         b. That his conversion took place at that moment
      2. Saul was not saved until after he arrived in Damascus
         a. Note that while on the road, the Lord said it would be in
            Damascus where he would be told "what you must do" - Ac 9:6
            b. In Damascus, Ananias told him to "wash away your sins" 
               - Ac 22:16
            1) Up to that point, Saul was still in his sins!
            2) In other words, he was still not saved!
      -- While in one sense he was "converted" on the road (his view of
         Jesus certainly changed), conversion in the sense of salvation
         did not occur until after he arrived in Damascus

   B. HOW SAUL WAS SAVED...
      1. From Ananias' statement in Ac 22:16 (to wash away his sins), we
         learn that:
         a. Saul had not been saved by the vision on the road to
            Damascus
         b. Saul had not been saved by prayers and fasting for three
            days - cf. Ac 9:9,11
      2. Saul was saved when his sins were "washed away" - Ac 22:16
         a. Which occurred after spending three days in Damascus
         b. Which occurred when he was baptized to wash away his sins!
      -- This concurs with what Peter said about the purpose of baptism
         in Ac 2:38

   C. BAPTISM AND CALLING UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD...
      1. After quoting Joel who wrote of calling upon the name of the
         Lord to be saved, Peter told the crowd at Pentecost to be 
         baptized - cf. Ac 2:21,38
      2. Ananias commanded Saul to be baptized, "calling upon the name
         of the Lord" - Ac 22:16
      3. Peter wrote baptism saves us, as an appeal to God for a good
         conscience (ESV) - 1Pe 3:21
      4. In the act of baptism, in faith we are...
         a. "Calling upon the name of the Lord"
         b. Appealing to God by the authority of His Son Jesus to forgive
            our sins
      -- While we can certainly pray as we are being baptized, baptism
         itself is a prayer (an appeal) to God for a good conscience!
      
CONCLUSION

1. From the conversion of Saul we learn that one is not saved by...
   a. Visions of the Lord (who could have a vision more impressive than
      Saul's?)
   b. Saying the sinner's prayer (Saul had been praying and fasting for
      three days!)

2. In keeping with what is taught elsewhere, one is saved when...
   a. They are baptized "for the remission of sins" - Ac 2:38
   b. They are baptized to have sins "washed away" - Ac 22:16
   c. They are baptized "as an appeal to God for a good conscience"
      (ESV) - 1Pe 3:21
 
3. Paul later wrote in Romans 6 that baptism is efficacious because in
   baptism...
   a. We are baptized (buried) into Christ's death - Ro 6:3-4
   b. We are united with Christ in the likeness of His death - Ro 6:5
   c. We are crucified with Christ, and our body of sin is done away 
      - Ro 6:6
   d. We die to sin, and are therefore freed from sin - Ro 6:7
   -- Such baptism is conditioned upon our faith and God's working - Ac 8:36-37; Col 2:12

4. In his commentary on Ro 6:3, Martin Luther wrote:

   "Baptism has been instituted that it should lead us to the blessings
   (of this death) and through such death to eternal life. Therefore IT
   IS NECESSARY that we should be baptized into Jesus Christ and His 
   death." 
                    - Commentary On Romans, Kregel Publications, p. 101

And so we say, as did Ananias, to anyone who has yet to be baptized for
the remission of their sins...

"And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your
sins, calling on the name of the Lord." - Ac 22:16

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2012

From Eric Lyons, M.Min. ... The Creativity of the Creator Declares His Glory




http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1609

The Creativity of the Creator Declares His Glory

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Much of mankind loves to classify and sort things. We like to sort socks by color and shirts by kind. We categorize books topically. We arrange files alphabetically. We organize tools by their function. We take pictures of people by their size (“tallest in the back, shortest up front”) and then arrange them chronologically in “properly” labeled albums. We like things certain ways; we want things “just so”; and when things do not fall in line with our ideas and expectations, we wonder what happened.
Sometimes we just need to “sit back, relax, and enjoy the view” of God’s handiwork. The Lord says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Sometimes we need to press the pause button and take a page out of God’s Creation revelation (Romans 1:20). Recognize that not everything fits neatly in a systematic filing system, and be thankful that God filled the Earth with His glorious, “manifold…works” (Psalm 104:24; Isaiah 6:3)—that He created all manner of creatures, some of which do not fit neatly in a sorting system, but certainly declare their Maker’s majesty.
Take the duck-billed platypus, for example. It is unlike any other animal on Earth. Scientists classify the platypus as a mammal, but it hardly fits neatly into this category. It is about the size of a house cat with fur thicker than a polar bear’s. It can store food in its mouth like a chipmunk. It has a beaver-like tail and webbed feet like an otter. It has spurs like a rooster, lays eggs like a turtle, and produces venom like a snake. Last, but not least, it has a clumsy-looking, duck-like bill with a complex electro-receptor system in it that allows the platypus to sense weak electric impulses in the muscles of its prey (Scheich, et al., 1986, 319:401-402). The platypus’ modern scientific name (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) means “duck-like, bird snout,” yet we call it a mammal. Truly, if there was ever an animal to call “unique,” it would be the platypus.
Consider also the seahorse. It is one of the most curious-looking animals on the planet. Though it has a head like a horse, eyes like a lizard, a tail like an opossum, and can swim like a submarine, the seahorse is considered a fish. Scientists refer to the seahorse as Hippocampus, a name derived from two Greek words: hippo, meaning “horse,” and campus, meaning “sea creature.”
Most fish swim horizontally by moving their bodies back and forth, from side to side. Seahorses, on the other hand, live in an upright position and swim vertically—like a submarine that can go up and down. The seahorse can properly maintain its balance as it goes up and down in the water because of the gas within its swim bladder (“Sea horse,” 1997, 10:579). Like a well-designed submarine that manipulates gas in order to submerge and resurface, the seahorse can alternate the amount of gas in its bladder to move up and down in the water (Juhasz, 1994). The life of the seahorse is dependent on a perfectly designed bladder. With a damaged bladder (or without a bladder altogether) a seahorse would sink to the ocean floor and die. How do evolutionists logically explain the evolution of this swim bladder if the seahorse has always needed it to survive? If it has always needed it, then it must have always had it, else there would be no seahorse.
Perhaps the most puzzling feature of the seahorse, which does not neatly file away in a normal animal fact folder, is that seahorses are the only known animals in which males actually become pregnant, carry young, and give birth. The male seahorse is designed with a special kangaroo-like pouch near its stomach. At just the right time during the courtship, the female seahorse deposits hundreds of eggs into the pouch of the male. The male fertilizes the eggs, and for the next few weeks carries the unborn seahorses, before squirting the fully formed babies out of the pouch (Danielson, 2002). If nothing like this process is known in the animal kingdom, why would anyone think that evolution can logically explain it? How do undirected time and chance stumble across a different and better way for a particular kind of fish to have babies? Did the first male seahorse to give birth simply have an irritable mate who refused to have babies unless he carried and birthed them? Suffice it to say, seahorses are as baffling to the theory of evolution as are duck-billed platypuses. These unusual animals cry out for a creative Creator, Who cannot be contained in the naturalistic box of evolution. As the patriarch Job asked, “Who…does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing?... Ask the beasts, and they will teach you…and the fish of the sea will explain to you” (Job 12:9-10,7-8).

CONCLUSION

God’s creation is full of variety and complexity. The natural world testifies to a masterful Maker, a creative Creator. He made an animal with the bill of a duck and the tail of a beaver. He gave a sea creature the head of a horse and the tail of an opossum. He made furry animals (i.e., bats) that fly on membranous wings, while making flightless birds (i.e., penguins) that live on land and “fly” through frigid waters. He made the prickly porcupine, the puffer fish, and a sloth so slow that it makes the tortoise look like a cheetah. As much as God’s creation testifies to His omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign nature (Job 38-41; Romans 1:20), I respectfully suggest that our great God seems to have had a lot of fun at the foundation of the world. At the very least, His amazing creativity has provided man a lot of laughs and entertainment since the beginning of time.
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker (Psalm 95:1-6).
O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all.
The earth is full of Your possessions….
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord (Psalm 104:24,33-34).

REFERENCES

Danielson, Stentor (2002), “Seahorse Fathers Take Reins in Childbirth,” National Geographic News, June 14, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/pf/90683716.html.
Juhasz, David (1994), “The Amazing Seahorse,” Answers in Genesis, June 1, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v16/n3/seahorse.
Scheich, Henning, et al. (1986), “Electroreception and Electrolocation in Platypus,” Nature, 319:401-402, January 30.
“Sea horse” (1997), The New Encyclopaedia Britannica (Chicago, IL: Encyclopaedia Britannica).

From Gary... Bible Reading May 23

Bible Reading  

May 23

The World English Bible

 
May 23
Judges 3, 4

Jdg 3:1 Now these are the nations which Yahweh left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;
Jdg 3:2 only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing of it:
Jdg 3:3 namely, the five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entrance of Hamath.
Jdg 3:4 They were left, to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would listen to the commandments of Yahweh, which he commanded their fathers by Moses.
Jdg 3:5 The children of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites:
Jdg 3:6 and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons and served their gods.
Jdg 3:7 The children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and forgot Yahweh their God, and served the Baals and the Asheroth.
Jdg 3:8 Therefore the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Cushan Rishathaim eight years.
Jdg 3:9 When the children of Israel cried to Yahweh, Yahweh raised up a savior to the children of Israel, who saved them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother.
Jdg 3:10 The Spirit of Yahweh came on him, and he judged Israel; and he went out to war, and Yahweh delivered Cushan Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand: and his hand prevailed against Cushan Rishathaim.
Jdg 3:11 The land had rest forty years. Othniel the son of Kenaz died.
Jdg 3:12 The children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh: and Yahweh strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh.
Jdg 3:13 He gathered to him the children of Ammon and Amalek; and he went and struck Israel, and they possessed the city of palm trees.
Jdg 3:14 The children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.
Jdg 3:15 But when the children of Israel cried to Yahweh, Yahweh raised them up a savior, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a man left-handed. The children of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab.
Jdg 3:16 Ehud made him a sword which had two edges, a cubit in length; and he girded it under his clothing on his right thigh.
Jdg 3:17 He offered the tribute to Eglon king of Moab: now Eglon was a very fat man.
Jdg 3:18 When he had made an end of offering the tribute, he sent away the people who bore the tribute.
Jdg 3:19 But he himself turned back from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand to you, king. He said, Keep silence. All who stood by him went out from him.
Jdg 3:20 Ehud came to him; and he was sitting by himself alone in the cool upper room. Ehud said, I have a message from God to you. He arose out of his seat.
Jdg 3:21 Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his body:
Jdg 3:22 and the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed on the blade, for he didn't draw the sword out of his body; and it came out behind.
Jdg 3:23 Then Ehud went forth into the porch, and shut the doors of the upper room on him, and locked them.
Jdg 3:24 Now when he was gone out, his servants came; and they saw, and behold, the doors of the upper room were locked; and they said, Surely he is covering his feet in the upper chamber.
Jdg 3:25 They waited until they were ashamed; and behold, he didn't open the doors of the upper room: therefore they took the key, and opened them, and behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth.
Jdg 3:26 Ehud escaped while they waited, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped to Seirah.
Jdg 3:27 It happened, when he had come, that he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim; and the children of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he before them.
Jdg 3:28 He said to them, Follow after me; for Yahweh has delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. They went down after him, and took the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites, and didn't allow a man to pass over.
Jdg 3:29 They struck of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, every lusty man, and every man of valor; and there escaped not a man.
Jdg 3:30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. The land had rest eighty years.
Jdg 3:31 After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck of the Philistines six hundred men with an oxgoad: and he also saved Israel.
Jdg 4:1 The children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, when Ehud was dead.
Jdg 4:2 Yahweh sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth of the Gentiles.
Jdg 4:3 The children of Israel cried to Yahweh: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.
Jdg 4:4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
Jdg 4:5 She lived under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
Jdg 4:6 She sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh Naphtali, and said to him, Hasn't Yahweh, the God of Israel, commanded, saying, Go and draw to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?
Jdg 4:7 I will draw to you, to the river Kishon, Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into your hand.
Jdg 4:8 Barak said to her, If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.
Jdg 4:9 She said, I will surely go with you: notwithstanding, the journey that you take shall not be for your honor; for Yahweh will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.
Jdg 4:10 Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh; and there went up ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.
Jdg 4:11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, even from the children of Hobab the brother-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanannim, which is by Kedesh.
Jdg 4:12 They told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to Mount Tabor.
Jdg 4:13 Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles, to the river Kishon.
Jdg 4:14 Deborah said to Barak, Up; for this is the day in which Yahweh has delivered Sisera into your hand; hasn't Yahweh gone out before you? So Barak went down from Mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.
Jdg 4:15 Yahweh confused Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his army, with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot, and fled away on his feet.
Jdg 4:16 But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the army, to Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; there was not a man left.
Jdg 4:17 However Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.
Jdg 4:18 Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; don't be afraid. He came in to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug.
Jdg 4:19 He said to her, Please give me a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. She opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.
Jdg 4:20 He said to her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man does come and inquire of you, and say, Is there any man here? that you shall say, No.
Jdg 4:21 Then Jael Heber's wife took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him, and struck the pin into his temples, and it pierced through into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep; so he swooned and died.
Jdg 4:22 Behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said to him, Come, and I will show you the man whom you seek. He came to her; and behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent peg was in his temples.
Jdg 4:23 So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel.
Jdg 4:24 The hand of the children of Israel prevailed more and more against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.


From Gary... A sheep, a serpent and a dove???


I am old, but if I was given the chance, I wonder... would I want to be a kid again (in today's culture). Children are forced to grow up all too quickly.  And, frankly, I don't think that is a good thing.  Kids have to know a lot before they even enter kindergarten and from then on, the pressure to know more, be more grown up and think like an adult must be overwhelming.  But, what are they really learning? Godly things or something else??? What advice would YOU give your children as they venture beyond home?  Jesus says...

Matthew, Chapter 10
Mat 10:16  "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. 

Shrewd and innocent at the same time; humm... interesting!!! Even though Jesus said this to adults, applications to young adults is quite obvious.  Do the best you can to expose your children to Biblical truth and then remember to tell them of this verse; you will be doing them a favor!!!  And be sure to help them do something LEGAL to earn spending money while they are growing up!!!

PS. And NO, I WOULD NOT WANT TO BE A KID AGAIN!!!