From Jim McGuiggan... Achan, Uzzah and Sam Harris

Achan, Uzzah and Sam Harris

We need a good helping of common-sense when we're interpreting scripture; it'll help to keep us from believing and talking nonsense.

It's too easy to find someone who has sinned and suffered under God's hand in a public way and to move from that truth to some generalisation about the way God works. Let me illustrate what I mean.

Under severe pressure Moses becomes momentarily trustless and angry and God won't let him into the Promised Land (see Numbers 20). Achan (see Joshua 7) steals what is claimed by God and he and his entire family are slain. Nadab and Abihu (see Leviticus10) ignore ceremonial protocol (their motivation isn't made clear) and are slain by God on the spot. Ananias and his wife (see Acts 5) lie to God and (it appears) withheld what they had committed to him and both fall down dead. Uzzah (see 2 Samuel 6) touches the Ark of the Covenant and God kills him then and there. A crowd of youths from Bethel follow Elisha, God's prophet, jeering and insulting him as they go and God kills forty-two of them (see 2 Kings 2:23-25).

A series of sermons follows on how God hates unbridled anger, lies, stealing, ignoring God's precise instructions and failure to keep our promises.

And why not? We can hardly believe that God rejoices in these things, can we? Hardly! But it isn't helpful to give the impression that God is always on the verge of destroying or severely punishing every wrong—is there no forgiveness in him, no patience with people who sin?

In any case, we're not to pretend that the central thing in the punishments mentioned above is the simple fact that somebody sinned and that God hates sin. There is a context to all these occurrences and it would serve us well to look for it so that we won't reduce the message of the events.

Hanging verses together as if we were putting beads on a string is dabbling with scripture (it's the kind of thing ignorant Sam Harris the atheist does but it's hardly excusable for serious Bible students, teachers or preachers).

It wouldn't be hard to write a book of 10,000 pages about the oppression of black people by Europeans and Americans. Every page could truthfully rehearse some outrageous cruelty and yet the book as a whole might well be an instrument of injustice. It would ignore all the many white people who sacrificed wealth and reputation, peace and comfort, in war and otherwise, to aid the sufferers and bring the cruelty and injustice to an end.

Similarly, it isn't difficult to hang together all the punishing passages of scripture and give the impression that God is high-strung and obsessed with his reputation and like flint when it comes to his commands.

That isn't the God of the Bible or the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Audacity To Say “Yes, Sir”? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


The Audacity To Say “Yes, Sir”?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

“Sir” and “ma’am” have long been considered respectful and courteous ways to address adults and those in positions of authority. Parents are delighted to hear their children address adults with such considerate language. Bosses are very appreciative of their employees responding with a respectful “Yes, sir” or “Yes, ma’am.” Kings, presidents, and military heroes demand our deference. God commands Christians to “[r]ender therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor” (Romans 13:7, emp. added).
Recently, the highest ranking political and military official in the United States, President and Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush, visited Pope Benedict XVI for the first time. What will be remembered most about their meeting? That President Bush had the “audacity” to refer to the pope several times as “Sir.” News organizations all over the world reported how “Bush drew gasps at the Vatican...by referring to Pope Benedict XVI as ‘sir’ instead of the expected ‘His holiness’” (“Bush...,” 2007). Columnist John Hooper wrote: “[B]efore he got down to cases with Bush, the Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church had the unusual experience of being called ‘sir.’ ‘It’s good to be with you, sir,’ said Bush as he sat down” (2007). In addition to “consistently” addressing the pope as “Sir,” Catholic World News also noted how President Bush “did not bow when he met the Pope” (“Iraq...,” 2007).
Bush spoke respectfully to the pope, yet was criticized heavily for not venerating him as “The Holy Father” or acknowledging him as “the Vicar of Jesus Christ.” In reality, every faithful Christian falls under the same criticism because the pope deserves no such reverence. Christians must never feel pressured into honoring any human being in the way we honor God. There is only one Holy Father (Ephesians 4:6), and no man should expect to be called by that name in a religious context (Matthew 23:9). Even the apostle Peter (whom Catholics errantly allege was the first pope; see Pinedo, 2005) rejected such adoration (Acts 10:25-26). Only God is worthy of our worship and sacred praise (Matthew 4:10).
Respecting our fellow man and giving “honor to whom honor” is due is biblical (Romans 13:7). Venerating a man above all men in a religious sense, however, is unscriptural. All Christians are part of the “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9), but we serve no High Priest but Christ (Hebrews 8:1; 9:11; 10:21). He has no vicar on Earth. Rather, Jesus has “all authority...in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).
Regardless of what one thinks of George W. Bush as President, his refusal to call the pope by one of his “holy” names is a noble act worth emulating. If the pope was obedient to Almighty God, he would (among many other things) be content with respectful addresses, rather than expecting reverence due only to God.


“Bush Makes a Gaffe at Vatican City” (2007), The Times of India, June 11, [On-line], URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bush_makes_a_gaffe_at_Vatican_City /articleshow/2113119.cms.
Hooper, John (2007), “What the President said to ‘His Holy Father,’” The Guardian, June 10, [On-line], URL: http://www.guardian.co.uk/italy/story/0,,2099715,00.html.
“Iraq Tops Agenda as Bush Meets with Pope” (2007), Catholic World News, June 11, [On-line], URL: http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=51704.
Pinedo, Moises (2005), “The Pope, the Papacy, and the Bible,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/article/626.

From Mark Copeland... One Sows And Another Reaps (John 4:35-38)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

                  One Sows And Another Reaps (4:35-38)


1. Jesus, the Master Teacher, has much to teach us about winning
   a. By way of example, He teaches us the need for compassion - e.g.,
      Mt 9:35-36
   b. By way of instruction, He teaches the need for prayer - e.g., Mt 9:37-38
   -- Many other things regarding evangelism can be gleaned from our
      Lord's example and words

2. On one occasion, Jesus taught His disciples an important principle of
   sowing and reaping...
   a. In Samaria, following His discussion with the woman at the well
      - cf. Jn 4:28-29
   b. Apparently as people from the city were making their way to see
      Jesus - cf. Jn 4:30
   c. As the crowd was making their way, Jesus told His disciples:
      1) "Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the
         fields, for they are already white for harvest" - Jn 4:35
      2) "He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal
         life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice
         together." - Jn 4:36
      3) "For in this the saying is true:  'One sows and another
         reaps.'" - Jn 4:37
      4) "I have sent you to reap that for which you have not labored;
         others have labored, and you have entered into their labors."
         - Jn 4:38

3. In our study, I want to focus on the "true saying" Jesus referred
   a. I.e., "One sows and another reaps"
   b. Which provides valuable insight into the process of winning souls

[From Jesus we learn that...]


      1. In agriculture, sowing involves preparing the soil and planting
         the seed
      2. In winning souls to Christ, sowing likewise involves
         preparation and planting
         a. In which hearts are being prepared to receive the gospel
         b. In which hearts are first introduced to the gospel
      -- A process involving time, teaching, influence, often with
         little visible results

      1. In agriculture, reaping is the harvesting of what has been sown
      2. In winning souls to Christ, reaping involves a similar harvest
         a. Involving souls who have already heard the Word
         b. Involving souls who decide to obey the Word
      -  A process involving conversion, with great joy and excitement
         over the results

[Both sowing and reaping are necessary to win souls.  Yet the "saying"
reveals that the two are not always done by the same person(s)...]


      1. Jesus sent His disciples to reap where others had labored - cf.
         Jn 4:38
      2. Who had done the sowing?
         a. Jesus, in conversing with the woman at the well - Jn 4:5-26
         b. The woman, in telling those in town about Jesus - Jn 4:28-30
      -- The disciples were to benefit from the sowing done by others

      1. There are times when people seem "ripe" (ready to be reaped)
         a. Ready to obey the gospel
         b. Requiring little effort on our part
      2. This is likely due to "sowing" that occurred some time earlier
         a. Perhaps the example or teaching by a friend, family member
            in the past
         b. To which they did not respond then, but are ready now
      -- We often benefit from the sowing done by others

      1. We might think that we have won souls by ourselves
      2. We might think that those who convert many are great soul
         winners in of themselves
      -- Reaping does not always reflect where the hardest work has been

[We should be careful not to boast if we are privileged to reap where
others have sown.  Yet we can rejoice, for reaping even when others have
sown is an exciting time for the laborers!  Then again...]


      1. Jesus did the sowing, but the disciples would do the reaping
      2. The woman did some sowing, then Jesus and His disciples did the
         reaping - Jn 4:39-42
      -- In this case, the sowing and reaping, though separate, occurred
         close together

      1. There are times when a lot of sowing is being done
         a. Lives are influenced by the godly examples of other
         b. Souls are taught the Word of God
      2. Yet the reaping is not enjoyed by those doing the sowing
         a. Few seem to respond to the efforts being made
         b. Much time and energy is expended, with little immediate
      3. The reaping often comes later
         a. It might be years before the Word bears fruit
         b. It might be long after we are gone
         c. It might be done by others
      -- In such cases, the sowing and reaping occur far apart

      1. Those sowing with little visible reaping may think they have
         a. Causing them to become discouraged
         b. Tempting them to discontinue their efforts
      2. Others may think those who sow with little visible reaping are
         a. Presuming they must not be sowing the seed
         b. Presuming they must not be diligent in their efforts
      -- Failure to reap does not always reflect the hard work being

[When the efforts to sow appear to produce little fruit, we should not
draw conclusions hastily.  It can only lead to discouragement and
possible misjudgment others.  Understanding the principle, "One Sows And
Another Reaps", then may I suggest that...]


      1. There will be times when we will be mostly sowing the seed
         a. Teaching souls the first principles of the gospel of Christ
            - cf. Mk 16:15-16
         b. Influencing souls by example - cf. 1Pe 3:1-2
      2. There may be times when we see little fruit from our efforts
         a. Jeremiah prophesied nearly fifty years with little success
         b. Jesus and His apostles had their periods when few would
      3. Yet we can take comfort in knowing that God's Word is never
         sown in vain
         a. It will accomplish its purpose - cf. Isa 55:10-11
         b. It has the power to save those who believe it - Ro 1:16; Ja
         c. God only holds us responsible for sowing the seed - cf. Ezek 3:17-19
      -- Even if we never reap, we can rejoice in the work of sowing,
         knowing that our labors for the Lord are not in vain - cf. 1Co 15:58

      1. There may be times when we may reap where others have sown
         a. Souls who come to us, wanting to study, ready to obey
         b. Souls where others had sown, and we are privileged to reap
      2. There may be times when there is much reaping with little
         a. Souls seem quick to respond
         b. Numbers of members increase
      3. Yet we should be cautious not to boast
         a. The power is in the seed, not the sower or the reaper - He 4:12
         b. The providence of God is at work, He is the one who gives
            the increase - 1Co 3:5-7
      -- As we reap, be mindful of the contribution of others (including
         God), and rejoice together in the work of the Lord - cf. 1Co 3:8; Jn 4:36


1. Brothers and sisters in Christ, are we not laborers in the vineyard
   of the Lord...?
   a. Then let us not hesitate to reap where others have sown
   b. Then let us not hesitate to sow where others might reap

2. May the principle "One Sows And Another Reaps"...
   a. Encourage us when it seems we are sowing with little fruit to be
   b. Humble us when it seems we are reaping where we have not sown

Finally, if we are not reaping at the moment, then let us at least be

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading September 26

Bible Reading  

September 26

The World English Bible

Sept. 26
Psalms 105-108

Psa 105:1 Give thanks to Yahweh! Call on his name! Make his doings known among the peoples.
Psa 105:2 Sing to him, sing praises to him! Tell of all his marvelous works.
Psa 105:3 Glory in his holy name. Let the heart of those who seek Yahweh rejoice.
Psa 105:4 Seek Yahweh and his strength. Seek his face forever more.
Psa 105:5 Remember his marvelous works that he has done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth,
Psa 105:6 you seed of Abraham, his servant, you children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
Psa 105:7 He is Yahweh, our God. His judgments are in all the earth.
Psa 105:8 He has remembered his covenant forever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations,
Psa 105:9 the covenant which he made with Abraham, his oath to Isaac,
Psa 105:10 and confirmed the same to Jacob for a statute; to Israel for an everlasting covenant,
Psa 105:11 saying, "To you I will give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance;"
Psa 105:12 when they were but a few men in number, yes, very few, and foreigners in it.
Psa 105:13 They went about from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people.
Psa 105:14 He allowed no one to do them wrong. Yes, he reproved kings for their sakes,
Psa 105:15 "Don't touch my anointed ones! Do my prophets no harm!"
Psa 105:16 He called for a famine on the land. He destroyed the food supplies.
Psa 105:17 He sent a man before them. Joseph was sold for a slave.
Psa 105:18 They bruised his feet with shackles. His neck was locked in irons,
Psa 105:19 until the time that his word happened, and Yahweh's word proved him true.
Psa 105:20 The king sent and freed him; even the ruler of peoples, and let him go free.
Psa 105:21 He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all of his possessions;
Psa 105:22 to discipline his princes at his pleasure, and to teach his elders wisdom.
Psa 105:23 Israel also came into Egypt. Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
Psa 105:24 He increased his people greatly, and made them stronger than their adversaries.
Psa 105:25 He turned their heart to hate his people, to conspire against his servants.
Psa 105:26 He sent Moses, his servant, and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
Psa 105:27 They performed miracles among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.
Psa 105:28 He sent darkness, and made it dark. They didn't rebel against his words.
Psa 105:29 He turned their waters into blood, and killed their fish.
Psa 105:30 Their land swarmed with frogs, even in the chambers of their kings.
Psa 105:31 He spoke, and swarms of flies came, and lice in all their borders.
Psa 105:32 He gave them hail for rain, with lightning in their land.
Psa 105:33 He struck their vines and also their fig trees, and shattered the trees of their country.
Psa 105:34 He spoke, and the locusts came, and the grasshoppers, without number,
Psa 105:35 ate up every plant in their land; and ate up the fruit of their ground.
Psa 105:36 He struck also all the firstborn in their land, the first fruits of all their manhood.
Psa 105:37 He brought them forth with silver and gold. There was not one feeble person among his tribes.
Psa 105:38 Egypt was glad when they departed, for the fear of them had fallen on them.
Psa 105:39 He spread a cloud for a covering, fire to give light in the night.
Psa 105:40 They asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of the sky.
Psa 105:41 He opened the rock, and waters gushed out. They ran as a river in the dry places.
Psa 105:42 For he remembered his holy word, and Abraham, his servant.
Psa 105:43 He brought forth his people with joy, his chosen with singing.
Psa 105:44 He gave them the lands of the nations. They took the labor of the peoples in possession,
Psa 105:45 that they might keep his statutes, and observe his laws. Praise Yah!
Psa 106:1 Praise Yahweh! Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, for his loving kindness endures forever.
Psa 106:2 Who can utter the mighty acts of Yahweh, or fully declare all his praise?
Psa 106:3 Blessed are those who keep justice. Blessed is one who does what is right at all times.
Psa 106:4 Remember me, Yahweh, with the favor that you show to your people. Visit me with your salvation,
Psa 106:5 that I may see the prosperity of your chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation, that I may glory with your inheritance.
Psa 106:6 We have sinned with our fathers. We have committed iniquity. We have done wickedly.
Psa 106:7 Our fathers didn't understand your wonders in Egypt. They didn't remember the multitude of your loving kindnesses, but were rebellious at the sea, even at the Red Sea.
Psa 106:8 Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power known.
Psa 106:9 He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it was dried up; so he led them through the depths, as through a desert.
Psa 106:10 He saved them from the hand of him who hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
Psa 106:11 The waters covered their adversaries. There was not one of them left.
Psa 106:12 Then they believed his words. They sang his praise.
Psa 106:13 They soon forgot his works. They didn't wait for his counsel,
Psa 106:14 but gave in to craving in the desert, and tested God in the wasteland.
Psa 106:15 He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.
Psa 106:16 They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron, Yahweh's saint.
Psa 106:17 The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram.
Psa 106:18 A fire was kindled in their company. The flame burned up the wicked.
Psa 106:19 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshiped a molten image.
Psa 106:20 Thus they exchanged their glory for an image of a bull that eats grass.
Psa 106:21 They forgot God, their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt,
Psa 106:22 Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and awesome things by the Red Sea.
Psa 106:23 Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had Moses, his chosen, not stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, so that he wouldn't destroy them.
Psa 106:24 Yes, they despised the pleasant land. They didn't believe his word,
Psa 106:25 but murmured in their tents, and didn't listen to Yahweh's voice.
Psa 106:26 Therefore he swore to them that he would overthrow them in the wilderness,
Psa 106:27 that he would overthrow their seed among the nations, and scatter them in the lands.
Psa 106:28 They joined themselves also to Baal Peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.
Psa 106:29 Thus they provoked him to anger with their deeds. The plague broke in on them.
Psa 106:30 Then Phinehas stood up, and executed judgment, so the plague was stopped.
Psa 106:31 That was credited to him for righteousness, for all generations to come.
Psa 106:32 They angered him also at the waters of Meribah, so that Moses was troubled for their sakes;
Psa 106:33 because they were rebellious against his spirit, he spoke rashly with his lips.
Psa 106:34 They didn't destroy the peoples, as Yahweh commanded them,
Psa 106:35 but mixed themselves with the nations, and learned their works.
Psa 106:36 They served their idols, which became a snare to them.
Psa 106:37 Yes, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons.
Psa 106:38 They shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan. The land was polluted with blood.
Psa 106:39 Thus were they defiled with their works, and prostituted themselves in their deeds.
Psa 106:40 Therefore Yahweh burned with anger against his people. He abhorred his inheritance.
Psa 106:41 He gave them into the hand of the nations. Those who hated them ruled over them.
Psa 106:42 Their enemies also oppressed them. They were brought into subjection under their hand.
Psa 106:43 Many times he delivered them, but they were rebellious in their counsel, and were brought low in their iniquity.
Psa 106:44 Nevertheless he regarded their distress, when he heard their cry.
Psa 106:45 He remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his loving kindnesses.
Psa 106:46 He made them also to be pitied by all those who carried them captive.
Psa 106:47 Save us, Yahweh, our God, gather us from among the nations, to give thanks to your holy name, to triumph in your praise!
Psa 106:48 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, from everlasting even to everlasting! Let all the people say, "Amen." Praise Yah!
Psa 107:1 Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, for his loving kindness endures forever.
Psa 107:2 Let the redeemed by Yahweh say so, whom he has redeemed from the hand of the adversary,
Psa 107:3 And gathered out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
Psa 107:4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desert way. They found no city to live in.
Psa 107:5 Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.
Psa 107:6 Then they cried to Yahweh in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses,
Psa 107:7 he led them also by a straight way, that they might go to a city to live in.
Psa 107:8 Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness, for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Psa 107:9 For he satisfies the longing soul. He fills the hungry soul with good.
Psa 107:10 Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron,
Psa 107:11 because they rebelled against the words of God, and condemned the counsel of the Most High.
Psa 107:12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labor. They fell down, and there was none to help.
Psa 107:13 Then they cried to Yahweh in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
Psa 107:14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their bonds in sunder.
Psa 107:15 Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness, for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Psa 107:16 For he has broken the gates of brass, and cut through bars of iron.
Psa 107:17 Fools are afflicted because of their disobedience, and because of their iniquities.
Psa 107:18 Their soul abhors all kinds of food. They draw near to the gates of death.
Psa 107:19 Then they cry to Yahweh in their trouble, he saves them out of their distresses.
Psa 107:20 He sends his word, and heals them, and delivers them from their graves.
Psa 107:21 Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness, for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Psa 107:22 Let them offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with singing.
Psa 107:23 Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business in great waters;
Psa 107:24 These see Yahweh's works, and his wonders in the deep.
Psa 107:25 For he commands, and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up its waves.
Psa 107:26 They mount up to the sky; they go down again to the depths. Their soul melts away because of trouble.
Psa 107:27 They reel back and forth, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end.
Psa 107:28 Then they cry to Yahweh in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distress.
Psa 107:29 He makes the storm a calm, so that its waves are still.
Psa 107:30 Then they are glad because it is calm, so he brings them to their desired haven.
Psa 107:31 Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness, for his wonderful works for the children of men!
Psa 107:32 Let them exalt him also in the assembly of the people, and praise him in the seat of the elders.
Psa 107:33 He turns rivers into a desert, water springs into a thirsty ground,
Psa 107:34 and a fruitful land into a salt waste, for the wickedness of those who dwell in it.
Psa 107:35 He turns a desert into a pool of water, and a dry land into water springs.
Psa 107:36 There he makes the hungry live, that they may prepare a city to live in,
Psa 107:37 sow fields, plant vineyards, and reap the fruits of increase.
Psa 107:38 He blesses them also, so that they are multiplied greatly. He doesn't allow their livestock to decrease.
Psa 107:39 Again, they are diminished and bowed down through oppression, trouble, and sorrow.
Psa 107:40 He pours contempt on princes, and causes them to wander in a trackless waste.
Psa 107:41 Yet he lifts the needy out of their affliction, and increases their families like a flock.
Psa 107:42 The upright will see it, and be glad. All the wicked will shut their mouths.
Psa 107:43 Whoever is wise will pay attention to these things. They will consider the loving kindnesses of Yahweh.
Psa 108:1 My heart is steadfast, God. I will sing and I will make music with my soul.
Psa 108:2 Wake up, harp and lyre! I will wake up the dawn.
Psa 108:3 I will give thanks to you, Yahweh, among the nations. I will sing praises to you among the peoples.
Psa 108:4 For your loving kindness is great above the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Psa 108:5 Be exalted, God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth.
Psa 108:6 That your beloved may be delivered, save with your right hand, and answer us.
Psa 108:7 God has spoken from his sanctuary: "In triumph, I will divide Shechem, and measure out the valley of Succoth.
Psa 108:8 Gilead is mine. Manasseh is mine. Ephraim also is my helmet. Judah is my scepter.
Psa 108:9 Moab is my wash pot. I will toss my sandal on Edom. I will shout over Philistia."
Psa 108:10 Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who has led me to Edom?
Psa 108:11 Haven't you rejected us, God? You don't go forth, God, with our armies.
Psa 108:12 Give us help against the enemy, for the help of man is vain.
Psa 108:13 Through God, we will do valiantly. For it is he who will tread down our enemies.

Sept. 26
2 Corinthians 6

2Co 6:1 Working together, we entreat also that you not receive the grace of God in vain,
2Co 6:2 for he says, "At an acceptable time I listened to you, in a day of salvation I helped you." Behold, now is the acceptable time. Behold, now is the day of salvation.
2Co 6:3 We give no occasion of stumbling in anything, that our service may not be blamed,
2Co 6:4 but in everything commending ourselves, as servants of God, in great endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses,
2Co 6:5 in beatings, in imprisonments, in riots, in labors, in watchings, in fastings;
2Co 6:6 in pureness, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in sincere love,
2Co 6:7 in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
2Co 6:8 by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true;
2Co 6:9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and not killed;
2Co 6:10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
2Co 6:11 Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians. Our heart is enlarged.
2Co 6:12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.
2Co 6:13 Now in return, I speak as to my children, you also be open wide.
2Co 6:14 Don't be unequally yoked with unbelievers, for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
2Co 6:15 What agreement has Christ with Belial? Or what portion has a believer with an unbeliever?
2Co 6:16 What agreement has a temple of God with idols? For you are a temple of the living God. Even as God said, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they will be my people.
2Co 6:17 Therefore, " 'Come out from among them, and be separate,' says the Lord. 'Touch no unclean thing. I will receive you.
2Co 6:18 I will be to you a Father. You will be to me sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty."

From Gary.... LORD, make me invisible

Look, you can see right through that butterfly!!!  Amazing, isn't it???  On seeing this, I asked myself: What if someone could see right through ME?  It is possible, because Jesus is able to do this!!!  Again, AMAZING!!!  But, there is far more to him than just this- read on...

Matthew 9:1-8 NASB
(1)  Getting into a boat, Jesus crossed over the sea and came to His own city.
(2)  And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, "Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven."
(3)  And some of the scribes said to themselves, "This fellow blasphemes."
(4)  And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, "Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?
(5)  "Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, and walk'?
(6)  "But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--then He *said to the paralytic, "Get up, pick up your bed and go home."
(7)  And he got up and went home.
(8)  But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

Jesus had the power on Earth, not only to heal, but to forgive sins.  And the Scribes didn't like it one bit!!!  Instead of glorifying God and accepting him for who he was, they thought evil about Jesus.  Miracles are great, they show the power of God!!!  Beyond the visible is the invisible realm, where God can look right through you and see the condition of your soul. Don't wait until the last moment to clean up your life (and of course your soul). Do it now!!! Jesus awaits- obey him by accepting him for who he really is and changing your life and begin a new one by putting him on in baptism.  You know, it just occurred to me- if you clean up the inside  and God dwells there- then the pure light of God can shine for all the world to see. My prayer for you today is just this- that you may be invisible so that others can see God in you!!! And you just may be the only Gospel message someone may ever be able to appreciate in their entire life!!!!