7/22/14

From Jim McGuiggan... War (1)


War (1)

Every major issue in life is complex and even wise and good people take different views of them because there is so much to see. Here's my present sense of things. Our sinfulness affects our reasoning (Romans 1:21, Colossians 1:21) and it’s no surprise that we end up giving more weight to one argument than another or playing down some critical point against the view we incline to. We still know that 2+2=4. It isn’t that we have become incapable of using rational faculties but our vested interests blind us to truths we care not to see. (Compare John 5:44.)

But our sin is not the whole story. If Paul can speak of the Jewish Torah and say it is holy, righteous, spiritual and good and in the same place speak of it as a torah of sin and death (Romans 7:12-14,23 and 8:2) we need to recognize that there’s more than one perspective to a complex reality. In light of Romans 13 we might think that governments are all pro-God but when we bear in mind that Rome was the fourth beast of Daniel 7 and the 4th kingdom of Daniel 2 we know we have a complex situation on our hands.

But God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ through the Spirit speaks an eternal judgment against our warlike ways. When I say "our" I mean the human family and no one segment of it or individual in it. So when Paul says the works of the flesh include divisions, factions, enmities and strivings he goes on to say that those who are Christ’s have crucified all these (Galatians 5:19-24). If giving ourselves to Christ means we crucify all these things then it must mean that Christ indeed came to expose and condemn them all. Since the Christian’s conduct is not mere morality but the commitment to Christ-likeness then he or she would have to be opposed to war. And beyond the individual it would mean that the whole church, as the body of Christ, living out and rehearsing the whole gospel about the Christ would be opposed to war.

We may not be able to settle what it is precisely that James 4:1-2 is getting at but there’s no mistaking the central thrust. War, or what is warlike, arises out of our selfish drives. [I’m one of those that think James is writing to Christian and non-Christian Jews so that his words would take in the rich oppressors of chapter 5 as well as those who wear the name of Christ.]

I would have thought that the business of the lives of members of the body of Christ would be to proclaim the reign of God as the reconciling of the world to himself and consequently to one another. I don’t see how a Christian can pursue that goal in taking (or trying to take) another person’s life in war.

Since the day we plunged ourselves into the darkness of rebellion against God we’ve been warlike and warring, at the individual, national and international levels. God came in Christ and continues in the body of Christ to condemn all that and more. It appears to me that Christians, if they are true to their calling, should do the same in life and teaching.


The Stone that Rocked the World by Garry K. Brantley, M.A., M.Div.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=384

The Stone that Rocked the World

by  Garry K. Brantley, M.A., M.Div.

Juma became increasingly apprehensive as he watched several of his goats climbing too high up the cliffs. Being a conscientious shepherd, he decided to retrieve the strays. As he climbed, he noticed two small openings to a cave. Thinking that one of his goats might be hiding inside, he tossed a stone into the opening. Much to his surprise, he heard an unusual cracking sound. His younger cousin and fellow shepherd, Muhammed adh-Dhib, investigated the cave the following day and discovered that Juma’s stone had broken open a pottery vessel containing ancient documents. Little did Juma realize that his fortuitously cast stone on that afternoon in 1947 eventually would rock the world of biblical scholarship for decades to come.
The cave (called cave 1) housed the first seven manuscripts of the now-famous Qumran materials commonly known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Subsequent expeditions in the 1950s and 1960s uncovered a vast cache of ancient Jewish writings from ten other caves in the forms of well-preserved scrolls and fragments that represent an entire library of over 800 volumes (Shanks, 1990, p. 1). Unfortunately, after nearly five decades large portions of these documents have not been published, which has caused considerable controversy over the last few years.
Some Qumran material has been published, however, and analyses of these manuscripts have produced some interesting developments in biblical studies. For example, these documents have radically altered mainstream Johannine scholarship. The gospel of John purports to have been written by one who was a contemporary and close companion of Jesus (John 21:20-24). Extrabiblical and biblical evidences suggest that John, the son of Zebedee, authored his Gospel during the latter part of the first century (see Thiessen, 1943, pp. 162-170). Obviously, it would be physically impossible for one of Jesus’ contemporaries to live much into the second century.
Prior to the Qumran discoveries a popular belief among more liberal theologians was that the Fourth Gospel was a mid-to-late second century document whose author was influenced heavily by Grecian philosophy (see Guthrie, 1970, pp. 277-279). This view, which clearly repudiated the biblical implication that an eyewitness wrote the narrative, was first espoused in 1847 by F.C. Bauer, and persisted into the 1950s (Charlesworth, 1993). Linguistic parallels between John’s Gospel and Grecian literature formed the basis for this perspective. These scholars argued that such terms as Logos, truth, light, and darkness appearing in the Fourth Gospel corresponded to Grecian thought but were foreign to common Judaistic concepts. Thus, John was regarded as the latest Gospel and, because of its late date, historically unreliable.
Texts from Qumran, however, demonstrate the usage of such terminology in Jewish literature during the first century. One manuscript called the Rule of the Community contrasts the “Sons of Righteousness” with the “Sons of Deceit.” This document states that the former walk in the “ways of light,” but the latter walk in the “ways of darkness.” Further, it declares that the “nature of truth” emanates from a “spring of light,” and deceit emerges from a “well of darkness.” This language is strikingly similar to many phrases in John’s Gospel. For instance, John 12:35 states: “Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going” (John 12:35; cf. John 1:1-9; 3:19-21). Due to this information from the Dead Sea Scrolls, most scholars now “...agree that [John] dates from around 100 C.E. [A.D.] or perhaps a decade earlier” (Charlesworth, 1993, 9[1]:20).
This does not necessarily mean, (as some scholars suggest) that John was influenced directly by the Qumran community, but it does demonstrate that these were terms commonly employed by Jews both earlier than, and contemporary with, John (see Charlesworth, 1993, 9[1]:25). Thus, as Charlesworth further admitted, almost all the scholarship that denied John as a first-century Jewish composition “...must be discarded” (9[1]:19). That small stone thrown forty-seven years ago continues to rock the biblical world of liberal scholarship.

REFERENCES

Charlesworth, James (1993), “Reinterpreting John: How the Dead Sea Scrolls Have Revolutionized Our Understanding of the Gospel of John,” Bible Review, 9[1]:19-25,54, February.
Guthrie, Donald (1970), New Testament Introduction (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity).
Shanks, Hershel (1990), “The Excitement Lasts: An Overview,” The Dead Sea Scrolls After Forty Years (Washington, DC: Biblical Archaeology Society).
Thiessen, Henry (1934), Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

From Mark Copeland... Paul's Arrest In Jerusalem (Acts 21:27-40)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                Paul's Arrest In Jerusalem (21:27-40)

INTRODUCTION

1. As Paul was traveling to Jerusalem nearing the end of his third
   journey...
   a.  He knew that chains and tribulation awaited him - Ac 20:22-23
   b. That the Jews would deliver him to the Gentiles - Ac 21:10-11

2. Even so, he arrived at Jerusalem...
   a. With the contribution for needy Christians in Jerusalem - Ro 15:25-27; cf. 1Co 16:1-4
   b. Warmly greeted by the brethren, the elders, and James - Ac 21:17-19
   c. Agreeing to reach out to Jewish Christians who had been misinformed
      - Ac 21:20-26

[It was in the course of carrying out the advice of James and the elders
in Jerusalem that the chains and tribulations foretold began to be 
fulfilled with...] 

I. PAUL'S ARREST IN JERUSALEM

   A. THE RIOT IN THE TEMPLE...
      1. Prompted by Jews from Asia who saw Paul in the temple - Ac 21:27
         a. Diaspora Jews were often known for their great zeal for the 
            temple
         b. Paul had already experienced trials from Jews in Asia - cf.
            Ac 20:19
      2. Making false accusations against him - Ac 21:28-29
         a. Similar to charges made Diaspora Jews against Stephen - Ac 6:9-14
         b. But also accusing Paul of bringing a Gentile into the temple
            (a capital offense)
      3. Disturbing the crowd who seized Paul and dragged him out of the
         temple - Ac 21:30
         a. Either the temple itself, the court of men, or the court of
            women
         b. Out into the court of the Gentiles

   B. THE RESCUE BY THE ROMANS...
      1. As the crowd sought to kill Paul, the Roman commander received
         word - Ac 21:31
         a. On the east side of the temple was the Antonia Fortress,
            named after Mark Anthony
         b. Housing Roman soldiers who could quickly assist temple police
            with crowd control
      2. The commander sent soldiers that stopped the crowd from beating
         Paul - Ac 21:32
         a. At least two centurions and their contingents
         b. That would be at least 200 soldiers
      3. The commander bound Paul, sought to determine his identify, what
         he had done - Ac 21:33
         a. Note that Paul was bound with two chains (likely for hands 
            and feet)
         b. Thus fulfilling the prophecy of Agabus - cf. Ac 21:10-11          
      4. Unable to ascertain the truth, he commanded Paul to be taken to
         the barracks - Ac 21:34
         a. The commander wanted to know who Paul was and what he had 
            done
         b. But the crowd did not even agree why Paul was worthy of death
      5. Paul had to be carried up the stairs due to the violence of the
         mob - Ac 21:35
         a. Remember that Paul had already been beaten by the mob - cf.
            Ac 21:32
         b. Together with hustle and bustle of the mob, Paul would need
            assistance
      6. The mob cried out "Away with him!" - Ac 21:36
         a. So the crowd called out when it was Jesus before Pilate - cf.
            Jn 19:15
         b. I can't help but wonder what Paul thought, especially if then
            he had part of the crowd

   C. THE PERMISSION TO SPEAK...
      1. Paul asked to speak with the Roman commander - Ac 21:37
         a. Paul spoke in educated Greek which surprised the commander
         b. Paul also spoke with great politeness, also surprising given
            the circumstances
      2. The commander assumed Paul to be an Egyptian insurrectionist 
         - Ac 21:38
         a. Three years before, an Egyptian led a large band of assassins
            out to Mt. Olivet
         b. He predicted the city walls would fall flat; Felix sent 
            troops to disperse them
      3. Identifying himself as a Jew from Tarsus, Paul asked to speak to
         the people - Ac 21:39
         a. Tarsus in Cilicia was not an insignificant city
         b. Again, Paul's request to speak is made with politeness
      4. Granted permission, from the stairs Paul begins to speak - Ac 21:40
         a. Motion with his hands, silencing the people
         b. Speaking to them in Hebrew (or Aramaic)

[Paul's speech before the mob continues into the next chapter which we
hope to examine in our next lesson.  But in reflecting on the events we
have just studied, allow me to offer some...]

II. OBSERVATIONS ABOUT HIS ARREST

   A. THE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST PAUL...
      1. Were made by Jews from Asia - Ac 21:27
         a. Who had possibly clashed with Paul in Ephesus - cf. Ac 20:19
         b. Who likely were biased against Paul and his doctrine - cf. Ac 19:8-10
      2. Who misrepresented what Paul actually taught - Ac 21:28
         a. That he taught against the Jewish people, the Law of Moses,
            and the temple
         b. When he taught Jesus was Israel's hope and fulfillment - cf.
            Ro 9:1-5; 10:1-4
      3. Were false, based on faulty assumptions - Ac 21:29
         a. Paul had been seen in the city with Trophimus the Ephesian
         b. His accusers assumed that Paul brought Trophimus (a Gentile)
            into the temple  
      -- Those with bias and an agenda often resort to half-truths and 
         mistruths to mislead and manipulate others

   B. THE MOB MENTALITY AGAINST PAUL...
      1. The reaction of the people is a perfect example of mob mentality
         a. Also known as herd mentality, or the bandwagon effect
         b. When people are influenced by their peers, or what they see
            others doing
         c. Especially in large gatherings, such as political rallies, 
            concerts, sporting events
         d. They are swayed by reasoning, "if many believe so, it is so" 
         e. Also known as "appeal to the people" (argumentum ad populum)
      2. Some well known examples of mob mentality
         a. The French Revolution's Reign of Terror
         b. Hitler's rise to power and the Holocaust
         c. Popular urban legends spread via the Internet
      -- People are easily swayed when they are in large crowds, or
         give credence to the idea that the majority is always right

   C. THE COMMANDER'S SEARCH FOR TRUTH...
      1. Later identified as Claudius Lysius - cf. Ac 23:26
      2. In the midst of the turmoil, he determined to know the truth
         - Ac 21:33
      3. He was willing to give up first impressions upon learning the
         truth - Ac 21:37-39
      4. He was willing to let Paul tell his side of the story - Ac 21:40
      -- Like Cornelius (Ac 10:33), Claudius was willing to listen before
         passing judgment

CONCLUSION

1. Paul's arrest in Jerusalem shows people at their worst, and at their 
   best...
   a. The worst - allowing religious prejudice and mob mentality to
      attack the innocent
   b. The best - allowing search for truth to change one's opinion and 
      open to more information

2. How can we avoid mob mentality, being misled and manipulated by those
   with bias...?
   a. Be more like the Jews of Berea than the Jews from Asia - Ac 17:11
   b. Seek to understand what others believe, or are saying
   c. Make truth your priority, think for yourself, don't just follow the
      crowds
   d. Remember what happened in the flood, in the wilderness, and in the
      holocaust

The likelihood is that the majority is always wrong, for as Jesus said...

   "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the
   way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
   Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to
   life, and there are few who find it." - Mt 7:13-14

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2013

From Gary.. Bible Reading July 22






Bible Reading 

July 22

The World English Bible


July 22
1 Chronicles 27-29

1Ch 27:1 Now the children of Israel after their number, the heads of fathers' houses and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and their officers who served the king, in any matter of the divisions which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year--of every division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:2 Over the first division for the first month was Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:3 He was of the children of Perez, the chief of all the captains of the army for the first month.
1Ch 27:4 Over the division of the second month was Dodai the Ahohite, and his division; and Mikloth the ruler: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:5 The third captain of the army for the third month was Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada the priest, chief: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:6 This is that Benaiah, who was the mighty man of the thirty, and over the thirty: and of his division was Ammizabad his son.
1Ch 27:7 The fourth captain for the fourth month was Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:8 The fifth captain for this fifth month was Shamhuth the Izrahite: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:9 The sixth captain for the sixth month was Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:10 The seventh captain for the seventh month was Helez the Pelonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:11 The eighth captain for the eighth month was Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zerahites: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:12 The ninth captain for the ninth month was Abiezer the Anathothite, of the Benjamites: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:13 The tenth captain for the tenth month was Maharai the Netophathite, of the Zerahites: and in his division were Twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:14 The eleventh captain for the eleventh month was Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:15 The twelfth captain for the twelfth month was Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:16 Furthermore over the tribes of Israel: of the Reubenites was Eliezer the son of Zichri the ruler: of the Simeonites, Shephatiah the son of Maacah:
1Ch 27:17 of Levi, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel: of Aaron, Zadok:
1Ch 27:18 of Judah, Elihu, one of the brothers of David: of Issachar, Omri the son of Michael:
1Ch 27:19 of Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah: of Naphtali, Jeremoth the son of Azriel:
1Ch 27:20 of the children of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Azaziah: of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joel the son of Pedaiah:
1Ch 27:21 of the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo the son of Zechariah: of Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner:
1Ch 27:22 of Dan, Azarel the son of Jeroham. These were the captains of the tribes of Israel.
1Ch 27:23 But David didn't take the number of them from twenty years old and under, because Yahweh had said he would increase Israel like the stars of the sky.
1Ch 27:24 Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number, but didn't finish; and there came wrath for this on Israel; neither was the number put into the account in the chronicles of king David.
1Ch 27:25 Over the king's treasures was Azmaveth the son of Adiel: and over the treasures in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages, and in the towers, was Jonathan the son of Uzziah:
1Ch 27:26 Over those who did the work of the field for tillage of the ground was Ezri the son of Chelub:
1Ch 27:27 and over the vineyards was Shimei the Ramathite: and over the increase of the vineyards for the winecellars was Zabdi the Shiphmite:
1Ch 27:28 and over the olive trees and the sycamore trees that were in the lowland was Baal Hanan the Gederite: and over the cellars of oil was Joash:
1Ch 27:29 and over the herds that fed in Sharon was Shitrai the Sharonite: and over the herds that were in the valleys was Shaphat the son of Adlai:
1Ch 27:30 and over the camels was Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the donkeys was Jehdeiah the Meronothite: and over the flocks was Jaziz the Hagrite.
1Ch 27:31 All these were the rulers of the substance which was king David's.
1Ch 27:32 Also Jonathan, David's uncle, was a counselor, a man of understanding, and a scribe: and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni was with the king's sons:
1Ch 27:33 Ahithophel was the king's counselor: and Hushai the Archite was the king's friend:
1Ch 27:34 and after Ahithophel was Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar: and the captain of the king's army was Joab.
1Ch 28:1 David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies who served the king by division, and the captains of thousands, and the captains of hundreds, and the rulers over all the substance and possessions of the king and of his sons, with the officers, and the mighty men, even all the mighty men of valor, to Jerusalem.
1Ch 28:2 Then David the king stood up on his feet, and said, Hear me, my brothers, and my people: as for me, it was in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, and for the footstool of our God; and I had made ready for the building.
1Ch 28:3 But God said to me, You shall not build a house for my name, because you are a man of war, and have shed blood.
1Ch 28:4 However Yahweh, the God of Israel, chose me out of all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever: for he has chosen Judah to be prince; and in the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel;
1Ch 28:5 Of all my sons (for Yahweh has given me many sons), he has chosen Solomon my son to sit on the throne of the kingdom of Yahweh over Israel.
1Ch 28:6 He said to me, Solomon your son, he shall build my house and my courts; for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.
1Ch 28:7 I will establish his kingdom forever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my ordinances, as at this day.
1Ch 28:8 Now therefore, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of Yahweh, and in the audience of our God, observe and seek out all the commandments of Yahweh your God; that you may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children after you forever.
1Ch 28:9 You, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind; for Yahweh searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts: if you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.
1Ch 28:10 Take heed now; for Yahweh has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.
1Ch 28:11 Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch of the temple, and of its houses, and of its treasuries, and of the upper rooms of it, and of the inner chambers of it, and of the place of the mercy seat;
1Ch 28:12 and the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit, for the courts of the house of Yahweh, and for all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the house of God, and for the treasuries of the dedicated things;
1Ch 28:13 also for the divisions of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of Yahweh, and for all the vessels of service in the house of Yahweh;
1Ch 28:14 of gold by weight for the vessels of gold, for all vessels of every kind of service; of silver for all the vessels of silver by weight, for all vessels of every kind of service;
1Ch 28:15 by weight also for the lampstands of gold, and for its lamps, of gold, by weight for every lampstand and for its lamps; and for the lampstands of silver, silver by weight for every lampstand and for its lamps, according to the use of every lampstand;
1Ch 28:16 and the gold by weight for the tables of show bread, for every table; and silver for the tables of silver;
1Ch 28:17 and the forks, and the basins, and the cups, of pure gold; and for the golden bowls by weight for every bowl; and for the silver bowls by weight for every bowl;
1Ch 28:18 and for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot, even the cherubim, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of Yahweh.
1Ch 28:19 All this, said David, have I been made to understand in writing from the hand of Yahweh, even all the works of this pattern.
1Ch 28:20 David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: don't be afraid, nor be dismayed; for Yahweh God, even my God, is with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of Yahweh is finished.
1Ch 28:21 Behold, there are the divisions of the priests and the Levites, for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with you in all manner of work every willing man who has skill, for any manner of service: also the captains and all the people will be entirely at your command.
1Ch 29:1 David the king said to all the assembly, Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great; for the palace is not for man, but for Yahweh God.
1Ch 29:2 Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for the things of gold, and the silver for the things of silver, and the brass for the things of brass, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, stones for inlaid work, and of various colors, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.
1Ch 29:3 In addition, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, seeing that I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, I give it to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,
1Ch 29:4 even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, with which to overlay the walls of the houses;
1Ch 29:5 of gold for the things of gold, and of silver for the things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. Who then offers willingly to consecrate himself this day to Yahweh?
1Ch 29:6 Then the princes of the fathers' houses, and the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers over the king's work, offered willingly;
1Ch 29:7 and they gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand darics, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and of iron a hundred thousand talents.
1Ch 29:8 They with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of Yahweh, under the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.
1Ch 29:9 Then the people rejoiced, because they offered willingly, because with a perfect heart they offered willingly to Yahweh: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.
1Ch 29:10 Therefore David blessed Yahweh before all the assembly; and David said, You are blessed, Yahweh, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever.
1Ch 29:11 Yours, Yahweh, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, Yahweh, and you are exalted as head above all.
1Ch 29:12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all; and in your hand is power and might; and it is in your hand to make great, and to give strength to all.
1Ch 29:13 Now therefore, our God, we thank you, and praise your glorious name.
1Ch 29:14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.
1Ch 29:15 For we are strangers before you, and foreigners, as all our fathers were: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no abiding.
1Ch 29:16 Yahweh our God, all this store that we have prepared to build you a house for your holy name comes of your hand, and is all your own.
1Ch 29:17 I know also, my God, that you try the heart, and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy your people, that are present here, offer willingly to you.
1Ch 29:18 Yahweh, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of your people, and prepare their heart to you;
1Ch 29:19 and give to Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for which I have made provision.
1Ch 29:20 David said to all the assembly, Now bless Yahweh your God. All the assembly blessed Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads and prostrated themselves before Yahweh and the king.
1Ch 29:21 They sacrificed sacrifices to Yahweh, and offered burnt offerings to Yahweh, on the next day after that day, even one thousand bulls, one thousand rams, and one thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel,
1Ch 29:22 and ate and drink before Yahweh on that day with great gladness. They made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him to Yahweh to be prince, and Zadok to be priest.
1Ch 29:23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of Yahweh as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.
1Ch 29:24 All the princes, the mighty men, and also all of the sons of king David submitted themselves to Solomon the king.
1Ch 29:25 Yahweh magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.
1Ch 29:26 Now David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.
1Ch 29:27 The time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; he reigned seven years in Hebron, and thirty-three years reigned he in Jerusalem.
1Ch 29:28 He died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honor: and Solomon his son reigned in his place.
1Ch 29:29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the history of Samuel the seer, and in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the history of Gad the seer,
1Ch 29:30 with all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.

Jul. 22, 23
Acts 14

Act 14:1 It happened in Iconium that they entered together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of Jews and of Greeks believed.
Act 14:2 But the disbelieving Jews stirred up and embittered the souls of the Gentiles against the brothers.
Act 14:3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who testified to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
Act 14:4 But the multitude of the city was divided. Part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
Act 14:5 When some of both the Gentiles and the Jews, with their rulers, made a violent attempt to mistreat and stone them,
Act 14:6 they became aware of it, and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra, Derbe, and the surrounding region.
Act 14:7 There they preached the Good News.
Act 14:8 At Lystra a certain man sat, impotent in his feet, a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked.
Act 14:9 He was listening to Paul speaking, who, fastening eyes on him, and seeing that he had faith to be made whole,
Act 14:10 said with a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet!" He leaped up and walked.
Act 14:11 When the multitude saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voice, saying in the language of Lycaonia, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!"
Act 14:12 They called Barnabas "Jupiter," and Paul "Mercury," because he was the chief speaker.
Act 14:13 The priest of Jupiter, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and would have made a sacrifice along with the multitudes.
Act 14:14 But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they tore their clothes, and sprang into the multitude, crying out,
Act 14:15 "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to the living God, who made the sky and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them;
Act 14:16 who in the generations gone by allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways.
Act 14:17 Yet he didn't leave himself without witness, in that he did good and gave you rains from the sky and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."
Act 14:18 Even saying these things, they hardly stopped the multitudes from making a sacrifice to them.
Act 14:19 But some Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.
Act 14:20 But as the disciples stood around him, he rose up, and entered into the city. On the next day he went out with Barnabas to Derbe.
Act 14:21 When they had preached the Good News to that city, and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,
Act 14:22 confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that through many afflictions we must enter into the Kingdom of God.
Act 14:23 When they had appointed elders for them in every assembly, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.
Act 14:24 They passed through Pisidia, and came to Pamphylia.
Act 14:25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
Act 14:26 From there they sailed to Antioch, from where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work which they had fulfilled.
Act 14:27 When they had arrived, and had gathered the assembly together, they reported all the things that God had done with them, and that he had opened a door of faith to the nations.
Act 14:28 They stayed there with the disciples for a long time.

From Gary... A reflection of the heights of infinity


Today's NASA picture (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/) is from Iceland; from within a cave formed by a lava flow. To my mind, the cave is NOT THE FOCUS OF THE PICTURE; The aurora visible just above the center is. After that, the man becomes the focal point. Why? To show that even though human beings consider themselves "on top" of things (and he is in this picture), ultimately both his perception and position are tiny in comparison to God and the lofty place of his abode. God, through the prophet Isaiah puts it this way...

Isaiah 55:6-11 NASB
(6)  Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.
(7)  Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
(8)  "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD.
(9)  "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.

(10)  "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
(11)  So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Humans have come a long way since being cave dweller, but can we even create one small planet. What about a solar system or a galaxy or something greater?  I think not!!!  And yet, there are those who will arrogantly say that God does NOT and CAN NOT EXIST.  Why? Because in their pride they fail to see beyond the power of their own mind (like the reflection in the photo).  They can not accept what they can not see and therefore it obviously can not exist!!!  What hubris!!!  Somehow, the words of a hymn (whose title eludes me) echo in my mind when I review the Isaiah passage... Humble yourself in sight of the LORD and HE WILL LIFT YOU UP!!! Look up to God and not at yourself to truly understand greatness and follow the words of verse six above. You will never, ever, be sorry you did- I promise!!!