From Jim McGuiggan... What will he talk about?

What will he talk about?

Let me say it again. In Ephesians size matters. Paul isn’t content with talking about mercy or grace or love or power. He adds superlatives. He talks about the exceeding greatness or riches of or the greatness of or the unimaginable nature of God’s love or mercy or power or grace. The will of God, he tells us, stretches from one eternity to another and the stage on which we shows himself (limited though it is) is the entire universe. The God we’re face to face with in Ephesians beggars description and his wisdom is something the principalities and powers in the spiritual realm must be instructed in and are privileged to catch a glimpse of (3:10).

And when he speaks what will he speak about? When he stretches his omnipotent muscles what is it that he will work to accomplish? What will he do with all that wisdom and power? Why will he die and rise again in and as Jesus Christ?

He will talk about unity, about oneness, about reconciliation. He will create an elect company that will proclaim to the world his divine intention and purpose. He will say to Gentile believers that it’s important that they become one with Jewish believers and that they live a life that proclaims God’s purpose to destroy alienation and reconcile the world to himself.

The series of ones in 4:4-6 is like a handful of nails being driven into a board and the sound is the sound of something being built! God has built a house and in that house his Spirit dwells and proclaims to principalities and powers in this world and out of it that God is against alienation, that God is the sin-destroyer and the mender of broken hearts, broken nations and a broken world.

When sin entered the universe cracked right down the middle and fell into two jagged halves. And the fracture line that began in Eden ran all the way to the ends of the universe but the jagged ravine, visible in the visible creation was the visible mark of a rupture more profound and fundamental than the gash in the material cosmos. It was alienation from God. And all our sin, all our oppression, all our filth and greed and bitterness is the proof of our family alienation from the Holy Father.

In Jesus Christ he came to deal with that! And did! And will!

The Mayan Calendar and the End of the World by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


The Mayan Calendar and the End of the World

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

You’ve no doubt heard the hubbub: Supposedly, the ancient Mayans predicted that the world will end on December 21, 2012 at 11 p.m. A recent poll found that “nearly 10% of people believe that the year 2012 on the Mayan calendar signifies an apocalyptic collapse” (“New Mayan…,” 2012). What is one to make of such claims? How concerned ought we to be?
In reality, the only reliable source of information concerning end-time events is the Bible. It is, in fact, the only book on the planet of divine origin (cf. Butt, 2007). All other books that claim to be from the one true God do not bear up under objective scrutiny. Only the Bible possesses the attributes of inspiration. Only the Bible can provide humans with accurate insight into the future. That being the case, one would hardly expect a pagan, idolatrous civilization to serve as a legitimate source for ascertaining the truth regarding the end of the world.
So what does the Bible say on the matter? Throughout the thousands of years of human history, bona fide representatives of the one true God frequently predicted future events with complete accuracy. The Old Testament is filled with prophecy and prediction concerning a host of historical occurrences—all of which came true as predicted (cf. Thompson, 2003). In stark contrast, however, the Bible goes out of its way to avoid setting a date for the end of the world. In fact, Jesus stated unequivocally the truth on the matter: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36, emp. added).
But why? Since the Bible contains hundreds of prophecies of future events, why would God refrain from giving signs, indicators, and predictions concerning the end of the world? For one thing, it would be unfair to do so, because it would give people living long before the end the advantage of knowing Jesus would not come in their day. It would be contrary to God’s nature since it would imply that He is partial.
Speaking in A.D. 30, Jesus stressed very firmly that, while there would be clear signs heralding the destruction of Jerusalem 40 years later in A.D. 70 by the Romans (Matthew 24:1-35), He was equally adamant that no such signs would mark the end of the world and His second coming (Matthew 24:36-25:46). In stark contrast, the return of Jesus and the end of the world will be comparable to Noah’s day:
But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be (Matthew 24:37-39, emp. added).
The return is also compared to the arrival of a thief: “[I]f the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:43-44, emp. added; cf. 2 Peter 3:10—“[T]he day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.”). Jesus further declared: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13). [NOTE: The quibble that suggests that Jesus merely meant that you cannot know the hour or day, but that you can know the year or the general time, sidesteps the force of these verses and evades the very point that Jesus was making, i.e., the time of the end is unpredictable and unknown to humans.]

Mayan Calendar Details

So what are the specific details surrounding the Mayan calendar? One must turn to the experts—the scholars who have spent their lives studying Mayan civilization. The fact is that they speak with one accord. The 2012 hype comes—not from the studied authorities of Mayan civilization—but, as noted by Susan Gillespie, University of Florida anthropologist, “from media and from other people making use of the Maya past to fulfill agendas that are really their own” (MacDonald, 2007). Maya archaeoastronomer and curator of the Florida Museum of Natural History, Susan Milbrath, explained: “It would be impossible [that] the Maya themselves would have known that” (MacDonald). What’s more, she says, “we have no record or knowledge that they would think the world would come to an end at that point” (emp. added).
The facts of the matter are that December 21, 2012 on the Mayan Long Count calendar is simply the day that the calendar will go to what scholars call the next “b’ak’tun” or cycle. Sandra Noble, executive director of the Mesoamerican research organization FAMSI, noted that “for the ancient Maya, it was a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle” (“The Long…,” n.d.). Hence, she considers the alleged December 2012 hoopla to be “a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in” (“The Long…”). The Mayan calendar simply shows the ancient Mayans’ fascination with ongoing “cycles of time”—with no indication that they even entertained the notion of the end of the world (Vance, 2012). Further, scholars have just recently discovered wall writings in Guatemala show Mayan calendars that go well beyond 2012 (Vergano, 2012; Potter, 2012).

Nothing New

Indeed, such sensational allegations are not new. Legion are the instances over the last 2,000 years in which individuals and groups have set “firm” dates for the end of the world. Consider a few. [NOTE: The following is taken from “Library of Date Setters…,” n.d.] Events leading up to the year A.D. 1000 were viewed by many as harbingers of the end. These included a solar eclipse in 968 that created panic in the German army of Emperor Otto I and Hailey’s Comet in 989. The decade preceding January 1, 1000 saw people giving their worldly goods to the poor, pilgrims massing in Jerusalem to meet Jesus, buildings left in disrepair, fields unplanted, and even criminals released from jails. Thirty years later, the approach of A.D. 1033 was believed by many to be the onset of the millennium, since they thought it marked 1,000 years since the crucifixion of Christ. A terrible famine struck France in 1030, together with an eclipse and a massive earthquake the same year, convincing many of an imminent end, eliciting penitential processions, including a mass pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
To Londoners in 1666, the end of the world must have seemed self-evident. In addition to the bubonic plague, which killed some 100,000 people, the Great Fire of London swept the city the same year. Since 1666 was a millennium (1,000 years) coupled with the mark of the beast (666), many were firmly convinced the end was near. In 1843, William Miller attracted much attention and many followers when he announced the return of Christ between 1843 and 1844. Though a spectacular meteor shower in 1833 was seen as a harbinger, the predicted date of March 21, 1843 passed without incident. In 1910, the return of Hailey’s Comet was again seen by some to be an indication of the end. Impetus was gained when the Earth actually passed through the comet’s gaseous tail. Charles Taze Russell, along with the establishment of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, commenced an end-times movement that has repeatedly set the time of the end, the first in 1914—with many to follow. With each failure, recalculations are made and theology is adjusted accordingly.
Circumstances surrounding the formal establishment of the modern state of Israel in May of 1948 unleashed a flood of endless predictions, speculations, and allegations that continue to this day—all claiming the end is near. These include Hal Lindsey (Late Great Planet Earth, 1970); Ron Reese (“In the Twinkling of an Eye”); Moses David (The Children of God); the True Light Church; Walter Simmons (The Day of the Lord, 1978, The Final Warning Sign); Bill Maupin (Lighthouse Gospel Tract Foundation); Edgar Whisenant (“Rapture in Rosh Hashanna”); David Koresh and the Branch Davidians; John Hinkle (Christ’s Church, Los Angeles); and Harold Camping (Are You Ready?). And of course, Y2K unleashed a whole new round of doomsday conmen who proposed everything from massive natural disasters (e.g., Jack Van Impe), to WWIII, and worldwide shutdown of computer systems.
While most of these would-be prophets have claimed affiliation with Christianity, the non-Christian community has had its own share of prognosticators—including the Harmonic Convergence predicted by New Age proponents in 1987; California psychic Sheldon Nidle, who predicted 16 million space ships would converge on Earth in 1996; the International Association of Psychics in 1997, who claimed that 92% of their 120,000 members had the same end-time vision; a Russian scientist who, relying on Nostradamus prophecies, predicted the end in 1997 in the form of a shifting of the Earth’s axis, causing massive flooding and the arrival of aliens; the Sacerdotal Knights of National Security who predicted an alien invasion November 11, 1997; psychic Edgar Cayce who alleged the end in 1998 with massive disruption to the Earth; psychic Charles Criswell King who predicted the end in 1999; and many, many others. In fact, the present hype surrounding the Mayan calendar comes largely from New Age writers misinterpreting the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar (cf. Lawrence Joseph’s Apocalypse 2012: A Scientific Investigation Into Civilization’s End; spiritual healer Andrew Smith’s The Revolution of 2012: Vol. 1, The Preparation; and Daniel Pinchbeck’s 2012; see “The Truth About…,” n.d.).
Gamaliel rightly warned his contemporaries concerning those who would lead people astray 2,000 years ago:
For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing. After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed (Acts 5:36-37).
Even regarding the signs that Jesus said would precede the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, He warned: “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it” (Matthew 24:23, emp. added). Why? Jesus said, “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:27). Similarly, when God brings about the end of time, no one will need any input from any other human to know of its occurrence; the end will be so cataclysmic that it will be evident to all (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).
While the world may well end this month—it will not be due to the Mayan calendar or any other would-be prophet knowing it. But do not take the scholars word for the truth about the Mayan calendar. Just wait until 11:00 p.m. December 21 to see for yourself. When the alleged end fails to materialize, rather than breathe a sigh of relief and go on your merry way, you would do well to turn to the Bible for the unchanging truth and solid rock of God’s Word. We are again reminded of the unerring words of the Savior of the world in His assessment of His return:
Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect (Matthew 24:42-44, emp. added).
Are you ready?


Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
“Library of Date Setters for End of the World” (no date), http://www.bible.ca/pre-date-setters.htm.
“The Long and Short Count ‘Mayan Calendar,’” Spanish Institute of Merida, http://www.simerida.com/courses/longandshortcalendar.php.
MacDonald, G. Jeffrey (2007), “Does Maya Calendar Predict 2012 Apocalypse?” USA Today, March 27, http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2007-03-27-maya-2012_n.htm.
“New Mayan Calendar Artifacts Discovered” (2012), June 29, FoxNews.com, http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/06/29/new-mayan-calendar-artifacts-discovered/#ixzz22WYnFYg8.
Potter, Ned (2012), “Oldest Known Maya Calendar Found; No Signs of 2012 Doomsday,” ABC News, May 11, http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/05/oldest-known-maya-calendar-found-no-signs-of-2012-doomsday/.
Thompson, Bert (2003), In Defense of the Bible’s Inspiration, http://www.apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/idobi.pdf.
“The Truth About the ‘Mayan Calendar,’” Spanish Institute of Merida, http://www.simerida.com/courses/mayancalendar.php.
Vance, Erik (2012), “Mayan Calendar: World Will Not End In December 2012, Expert Says,” Scientific American, July 8, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/08/mayan-calendar-world-will_n_1655135.html.
Vergano, Dan (2012), “Newly Discovered Mayan Calendar Goes Way Past 2012,” USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/story/2012-05-08/maya-apocalypse-calendar-2012/54879760/1.

From Mark Copeland... Receiving The Light (John 1:9-13)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

                      Receiving The Light (1:9-13)


1. In the prologue to his gospel, John introduces Jesus as "the
   a. That shines in darkness - Jn 1:5
   b. To whom John bore witness - Jn 1:6-8
   c. Who gives light to every man - Jn 1:9

2. Yet John declares what becomes evident later in his gospel...
   a. Not everyone was willing to receive the light, i.e., Jesus
   b. Even His own people as a whole rejected Him
   c. But for those who did receive Him, they were truly blessed!

3. The same remains true today...
   a. Many people do not receive Jesus
   b. Missing out on the wonderful blessings He offers!

[Why do people not receive Christ?  How can we be sure to receive Him,
and the blessings He offers as "The Light"?  Let's take a closer look at
the text for our study...]


      1. The world in general - Jn 1:9-10
         a. Even though He gives light to every man! - cf. Jn 1:4; 8:12;
         b. Even though the world was made through Him! - cf. Jn 1:3
      2. His own people in particular - Jn 1:11
         a. He had come into His own land, Palestine - cf. Jer 2:7
         b. He had come to His own people, Israel - cf. Deut 7:6

      1. They did not know Him - Jn 1:10
         a. Even His own brothers at first, though they did after His
            resurrection - Jn 7:5; Ac 1:14
         b. Familiarity often breeds contempt:  "A prophet has no honor
            in his own country..." - Jn 4:44
      2. Other reasons provided by John in his gospel
         a. Some loved darkness more than light - Jn 3:19-20; 5:42-43
         b. Some were afraid of what others thought - Jn 7:13; 9:22
         c. Some were misinformed of the facts - Jn 7:40-43
         d. Some were hardened by their traditions  - Jn 9:13-16
         e. Some loved the praise of men - Jn 12:42-43

[For similar reasons today, many people do not receive Jesus.  Yet some


      1. The right to become children of God - Jn 1:12
         a. The word "right" signifies both authority and ability (JFB)
         b. Receiving Christ gives us the authority and ability to
            become sons of God
         c. Which is wonderful manifestation of God's love - cf. 1Jn 3:1
         d. Making us heirs of God and joints heirs with Christ - cf. Ro 8:14-17
      2. The privilege of being born of God - Jn 1:13
         a. Not of blood - i.e., by virtue of physical descent
         b. Not of flesh - i.e., by virtue of the lusts of the flesh
         c. Not of the will of man - i.e., by virtue of power in a man's
            will alone
         d. But of God - i.e., a rebirth possible only by the Spirit of
            God - cf. Jn 3:5; Tit 3:5
      1. To receive Christ, we must believe in His name - Jn 1:12b
         a. Which is to say we must believe in Him
         b. The name of a person is often put for the person himself
            (Barnes) - cf. Jn 2:23
      2. Believing in Him gives us power "to become" a child of God
         a. Faith in Jesus alone does not "make" one a child of God
         b. Many believed in Jesus, but did not become His disciples
            1) Only by abiding in His doctrine did they become His
               disciples - Jn 8:30-32
            2) Some believed, but were unwilling to confess Him - Jn 12:
      3. When faith moves us to obey Christ, then we become children of
         a. Faith makes us children of God when we put Christ on in
            baptism - Ga 3:26-27
            1) We become children of God through faith, yes - but how?
            2) By putting Christ on when we are baptized into Christ!
         b. Jesus becomes the author of our salvation when we obey Him 
            - He 5:9
            1) Such as obeying His command to be baptized - Mk 16:16
            2) Thereby born again of both water and the Spirit - Jn 3:5;
               Tit 3:5
      4. Sadly, many misapply John's words in Jn 1:12
         a. Teaching that one becomes a child of God simply by receiving
            Christ in faith
            1) By saying "the sinner's prayer" (which is nowhere taught
               in the Scriptures)
            2) Often appealing to Re 3:20-21 (which is addressed to
               erring Christians, not lost sinners)
         b. Yet receiving Christ in faith gives one "power to become",
            not "makes one become"
            1) We must appropriate that power through the obedience of
            2) Such as confessing our faith, repenting of our sins - Ro 10:9,10; Ac 17:31
            3) Culminating our obedience by putting on (receiving)
               Christ in baptism - Ga 3:27


1. Jesus is the "True Light" who gives light to every man...
   a. Bringing grace and truth to those in sin and error
   a. Providing the way of salvation through His blood

2. How sad that there are many in the world...
   a. Who do not know Him
   b. Who have not received Him
   -- Who spend their lives stumbling in the darkness

3. But if you are willing to believe in His name...
   a. You have the right to become a child of God!
   b. You can be born of God!
   -- Provided your faith is an obedient faith, willing to abide in the
      doctrine of Christ

Let the Word of God, and in particular John's gospel (cf. Jn 20:30-31),
point you in the direction of the Light, that you might be saved and
have life in His name!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading September 13

  Bible Reading  

September 13

The World English Bible

Sept. 13
Psalms 64-67

Psa 64:1 Hear my voice, God, in my complaint. Preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
Psa 64:2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the noisy crowd of the ones doing evil;
Psa 64:3 who sharpen their tongue like a sword, and aim their arrows, deadly words,
Psa 64:4 to shoot innocent men from ambushes. They shoot at him suddenly and fearlessly.
Psa 64:5 They encourage themselves in evil plans. They talk about laying snares secretly. They say, "Who will see them?"
Psa 64:6 They plot injustice, saying, "We have made a perfect plan!" Surely man's mind and heart are cunning.
Psa 64:7 But God will shoot at them. They will be suddenly struck down with an arrow.
Psa 64:8 Their own tongues shall ruin them. All who see them will shake their heads.
Psa 64:9 All mankind shall be afraid. They shall declare the work of God, and shall wisely ponder what he has done.
Psa 64:10 The righteous shall be glad in Yahweh, and shall take refuge in him. All the upright in heart shall praise him!
Psa 65:1 Praise waits for you, God, in Zion. To you shall vows be performed.
Psa 65:2 You who hear prayer, to you all men will come.
Psa 65:3 Sins overwhelmed me, but you atoned for our transgressions.
Psa 65:4 Blessed is one whom you choose, and cause to come near, that he may live in your courts. We will be filled with the goodness of your house, your holy temple.
Psa 65:5 By awesome deeds of righteousness, you answer us, God of our salvation. You who are the hope of all the ends of the earth, of those who are far away on the sea;
Psa 65:6 Who by his power forms the mountains, having armed yourself with strength;
Psa 65:7 who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations.
Psa 65:8 They also who dwell in faraway places are afraid at your wonders. You call the morning's dawn and the evening with songs of joy.
Psa 65:9 You visit the earth, and water it. You greatly enrich it. The river of God is full of water. You provide them grain, for so you have ordained it.
Psa 65:10 You drench its furrows. You level its ridges. You soften it with showers. You bless it with a crop.
Psa 65:11 You crown the year with your bounty. Your carts overflow with abundance.
Psa 65:12 The wilderness grasslands overflow. The hills are clothed with gladness.
Psa 65:13 The pastures are covered with flocks. The valleys also are clothed with grain. They shout for joy! They also sing.
Psa 66:1 Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!
Psa 66:2 Sing to the glory of his name! Offer glory and praise!
Psa 66:3 Tell God, "How awesome are your deeds! Through the greatness of your power, your enemies submit themselves to you.
Psa 66:4 All the earth will worship you, and will sing to you; they will sing to your name." Selah.
Psa 66:5 Come, and see God's deeds-- awesome work on behalf of the children of men.
Psa 66:6 He turned the sea into dry land. They went through the river on foot. There, we rejoiced in him.
Psa 66:7 He rules by his might forever. His eyes watch the nations. Don't let the rebellious rise up against him. Selah.
Psa 66:8 Praise our God, you peoples! Make the sound of his praise heard,
Psa 66:9 who preserves our life among the living, and doesn't allow our feet to be moved.
Psa 66:10 For you, God, have tested us. You have refined us, as silver is refined.
Psa 66:11 You brought us into prison. You laid a burden on our backs.
Psa 66:12 You allowed men to ride over our heads. We went through fire and through water, but you brought us to the place of abundance.
Psa 66:13 I will come into your temple with burnt offerings. I will pay my vows to you,
Psa 66:14 which my lips promised, and my mouth spoke, when I was in distress.
Psa 66:15 I will offer to you burnt offerings of fat animals, with the offering of rams, I will offer bulls with goats. Selah.
Psa 66:16 Come, and hear, all you who fear God. I will declare what he has done for my soul.
Psa 66:17 I cried to him with my mouth. He was extolled with my tongue.
Psa 66:18 If I cherished sin in my heart, the Lord wouldn't have listened.
Psa 66:19 But most certainly, God has listened. He has heard the voice of my prayer.
Psa 66:20 Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor his loving kindness from me.
Psa 67:1 May God be merciful to us, bless us, and cause his face to shine on us. Selah.
Psa 67:2 That your way may be known on earth, and your salvation among all nations,
Psa 67:3 let the peoples praise you, God. Let all the peoples praise you.
Psa 67:4 Oh let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you will judge the peoples with equity, and govern the nations on earth. Selah.
Psa 67:5 Let the peoples praise you, God. Let all the peoples praise you.
Psa 67:6 The earth has yielded its increase. God, even our own God, will bless us.
Psa 67:7 God will bless us. All the ends of the earth shall fear him.

Sept. 13
1 Corinthians 9

1Co 9:1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Haven't I seen Jesus Christ, our Lord? Aren't you my work in the Lord?
1Co 9:2 If to others I am not an apostle, yet at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
1Co 9:3 My defense to those who examine me is this.
1Co 9:4 Have we no right to eat and to drink?
1Co 9:5 Have we no right to take along a wife who is a believer, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?
1Co 9:6 Or have only Barnabas and I no right to not work?
1Co 9:7 What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and doesn't eat of its fruit? Or who feeds a flock, and doesn't drink from the flock's milk?
1Co 9:8 Do I speak these things according to the ways of men? Or doesn't the law also say the same thing?
1Co 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain." Is it for the oxen that God cares,
1Co 9:10 or does he say it assuredly for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because he who plows ought to plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should partake of his hope.
1Co 9:11 If we sowed to you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we reap your fleshly things?
1Co 9:12 If others partake of this right over you, don't we yet more? Nevertheless we did not use this right, but we bear all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the Good News of Christ.
1Co 9:13 Don't you know that those who serve around sacred things eat from the things of the temple, and those who wait on the altar have their portion with the altar?
1Co 9:14 Even so the Lord ordained that those who proclaim the Good News should live from the Good News.
1Co 9:15 But I have used none of these things, and I don't write these things that it may be done so in my case; for I would rather die, than that anyone should make my boasting void.
1Co 9:16 For if I preach the Good News, I have nothing to boast about; for necessity is laid on me; but woe is to me, if I don't preach the Good News.
1Co 9:17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.
1Co 9:18 What then is my reward? That, when I preach the Good News, I may present the Good News of Christ without charge, so as not to abuse my authority in the Good News.
1Co 9:19 For though I was free from all, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more.
1Co 9:20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain those who are under the law;
1Co 9:21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law.
1Co 9:22 To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some.
1Co 9:23 Now I do this for the sake of the Good News, that I may be a joint partaker of it.
1Co 9:24 Don't you know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run like that, that you may win.
1Co 9:25 Every man who strives in the games exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible.
1Co 9:26 I therefore run like that, as not uncertainly. I fight like that, as not beating the air,
1Co 9:27 but I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.

From Gary (and Linda)... small, LARGE and the things that God can do

For a second day in a row, I showed my wife Linda the picture I had selected for my posting and like yesterday she made a good suggestion: "It reminds me of David and Goliath" she said. And I agree.  Now, the passage from 1st Samuel is interesting; and even though I have emboldened the latter part of the story, make sure that you read that first part!

1 Samuel 17:21-51 NASB
(21)  Israel and the Philistines drew up in battle array, army against army.
(22)  Then David left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper, and ran to the battle line and entered in order to greet his brothers.
(23)  As he was talking with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine from Gath named Goliath, was coming up from the army of the Philistines, and he spoke these same words; and David heard them.
(24)  When all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from him and were greatly afraid.
(25)  The men of Israel said, "Have you seen this man who is coming up? Surely he is coming up to defy Israel. And it will be that the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father's house free in Israel."
(26)  Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?"
(27)  The people answered him in accord with this word, saying, "Thus it will be done for the man who kills him."
(28)  Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger burned against David and he said, "Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle."
(29)  But David said, "What have I done now? Was it not just a question?"
(30)  Then he turned away from him to another and said the same thing; and the people answered the same thing as before.
(31)  When the words which David spoke were heard, they told them to Saul, and he sent for him.
(32)  David said to Saul, "Let no man's heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine."
(33)  Then Saul said to David, "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth."
(34)  But David said to Saul, "Your servant was tending his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock,
(35)  I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him.
(36)  "Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God."
(37)  And David said, "The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "Go, and may the LORD be with you."
(38)  Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor.
(39)  David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, "I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them." And David took them off.
(40)  He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd's bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.
(41)  Then the Philistine came on and approached David, with the shield-bearer in front of him.
(42)  When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance.
(43)  The Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
(44)  The Philistine also said to David, "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field."
(45)  Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.
(46)  "This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,
(47)  and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD'S and He will give you into our hands."
(48)  Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.
(49)  And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground.
(50)  Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David's hand.
(51)  Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
Again, notice that first part. Beginning with verse 28, David made confident statements about what God had done for him in the past and what HE would do for him concerning this arrogant Philistine. Then in verse 45 David actually goes to battle with Goliath and WINS!!! Victory! And this brings to mind MY FIRST THOUGHT WHEN I SAW THE PICTURE...

1 Peter 5:8-9 NASB
(8)  Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
(9)  But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

David was not just someone who talked, David resisted resisted evil- and WON; so did those in the 1st Century. So can we!!! And NO, size does not matter; God is bigger than anything the evil one can throw at us.  Even if we should die in our conflict with evil- WE WIN BECAUSE HEAVEN AWAITS!!!