12/26/14

From Jim McGuiggan... Our place in the Story


Our place in the Story

If we allow the narrative nature of scripture to lead us we can more easily see how the entire Story holds together and how we are supposed (in general) to live our lives out before God.
Should we expect the actors in Act 3 of a ten Act play to know as much as those in Act 10? If the playwright presents his drama as unfolding over a period of centuries it’s hardly surprising that those that lived out their part in the early stages would not grasp the overarching drift of the story.

If the political and cultural setting is very different for the people of Act 4 than for those in Act 9 then we shouldn’t expect them to respond in Act 9 terms. They can’t possibly live out their parts in the way later actors will do, whose crises, structures, cultures, questions and blessings are shaped differently than theirs. Their response of faith will differ in shape and content from those whose times differ from their own. Why is it that modern believers do not put their babies in little baskets and set then floating on the rivers?

The obedience of faith is similar in some respects for all believers. It is actions and attitudes that rise out of the faith of those who trust in the living God. But depending on where one is in the unfolding Story that faith will express itself in peculiar ways.

Confronted by a wilderness, the obedience of faith will...

Confronted by the Mosaic Covenant, the obedience of faith will...

Confronted by Jesus Christ and his cross, the obedience of faith will...

The heart that would respond to God in faith at the wilderness would respond in faith to God at the cross of Christ.

The heart that would respond to God in faith via Moses would respond to God in faith via Jesus Christ (compare John 5:46).

In Isaiah 36 & 37 the word of the Lord is that the city of Jerusalem would not fall to the Assyrians and faith’s response would be to believe that. In Jeremiah 26 the word of the Lord is that the city of Jerusalem will fall. Faith’s response to that would be to believe that the city will fall to the Babylonians.

Throughout the ages and the changes in covenant structures there are some things that do not change. One of them is the God who has made a commitment to bring the human family to glory in eternal life and the other is the response of faith in the believers. However different their circumstances or their place in the Story they will live out their trust in God in appropriate ways.

“Christianity Could Not Possibly Be True” by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=3789

“Christianity Could Not Possibly Be True”

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

What did atheistic author Mike Davis allege was the “smoking gun” that proved to him once and for all that “Christianity could not possibly be true”? What “sealed the issue” and led him to believe “Jesus was wrong...and no more deserving of our belief than any other guy”? When did the case against the Bible and Christianity become “closed”? In chapter one of his book, The Atheist’s Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity, Davis explained that Matthew 24:34 was the deciding factor.
In Matthew 24:34, Jesus stated: “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” According to Davis, since “Jesus tells his listeners that the judgment day will come before the generation he’s speaking to passes away,” and since that generation passed away 1,900 years ago, Jesus “could not have been divine” and the Bible is “untrustworthy” (2008, pp. 1-2). In actuality, what Davis confesses ultimately “proved” to him that the Bible and Jesus are unreliable is nothing more than a misinterpretation of Scripture. Jesus was not mistaken in His comments in Matthew 24:34—Jesus’ generation did not pass away prior to witnessing the things Jesus foretold in Matthew 24:4-34. But, Jesus did not foretell in those verses what Davis assumes He foretold. Davis and many others believe that, prior to verse 34, Jesus was describing events that would take place shortly before Judgment Day at the end of time. The fact of the matter is, however, Jesus was prophesying about the coming destruction upon Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and not the final Judgment.
When the disciples went to show Jesus the temple buildings (Matthew 24:1), Jesus said, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (24:2). Later, when Jesus was on the Mount of Olives, the disciples asked Him three questions, beginning with “when will these things be?” (24:3). In verses 4-34, Jesus revealed several signs that would indicate Rome’s destruction of Jerusalem, including the temple, was near. [NOTE: “The fall of the Hebrew system is set forth in the sort of apocalyptic nomenclature that is characteristic of Old Testament literature, e.g., when the prophets pictorially portray the overthrow of Jehovah’s enemies (cf. Isaiah 13:10-11; 34:2ff; Ezekiel 32:7-8)” (Jackson, n.d.); cf. Matthew 24:29-31; see Miller, 2003.] In verses 35-51 (and all of chapter 25), Jesus answered the disciples’ last two questions: “what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3). To summarize, in Matthew 24:4-34 Jesus foretold of the coming destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, while in 24:35-25:46 He commented on His future return and final Judgment of the world.
How sad it is that so many atheists and skeptics believe they have disproven the Bible and Christianity, when, in reality, they have simply twisted the biblical text to mean something God never intended (cf. 2 Peter 3:16). The fact that Mike Davis highlights Matthew 24:34 as the verse that once and for all proved to him the Bible is unreliable should tell us something about the extreme weakness of the skeptic’s case against Christianity.

REFERENCES

Davis, Mike (2008), The Atheist’s Introduction to the New Testament (Outskirts Press: Denver, CO).
Jackson, Wayne (no date), “A Study of Matthew 24,” http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/19-a-study-of-matthew-24.
Miller, Dave (2003), “There Will Be No Signs!” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1838.

From Mark Copeland... Jesus On Divorce And Remarriage (Mark 10:1-12)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

               Jesus On Divorce And Remarriage (10:1-12)

INTRODUCTION

1. A serious problem in the world today is that of divorce and
   remarriage...
   a. Its affect on children has been well documented by Judith
      Wallerstein, author of Second Chance (Ticknor & Fields, 1988)
      1) Almost half of children of divorces enter adulthood as worried,
         underachieving, self-deprecating, and sometimes angry young men
         and women
      2) Half grew up in settings in which the parents were warring with
         each other even after the divorce  -- Reported in Time, 2/6/89
   b. Parents who divorce are not left unhurt either
      1) "A divorce is like an amputation: You survive, but there's less
         of you." - Margaret Atwood (Marriage Partnership, Vol.7, No.4)
      2) Average percentage change in a woman's standard of living the
         year following a divorce:  minus 73% - Daniel Evan Weiss, (The
         Great Divide, Poseidon Press, 1991)
   c. As described by God, divorce is a treacherous, violent act - Mal 2:16

2. Remarriage after divorce is not without it problems also...
   a. It does not always heal the wounds inflicted by the divorce:  "I'm
      lucky my parents have stayed together. Unlike so many of my
      friends, I've never had to cry on a holiday." - Tales Out of High
      School, Marriage Partnership, Vol. 5, no. 6
   b. Many remarriages are unlawful in God's eyes, constituting what
      Jesus called "adultery"

4. While social and psychological effects of divorce and remarriage are
   serious, it is the spiritual effects that concern me most...
   a. Too many people are ignorant of what the Bible teaches on this
      subject
   b. Such ignorance leads to quick and easy divorces, and to adulterous
      marriages that are unlawful

5. In Mk 10:1-12, we find Jesus discussing divorce and remarriage...
   a. Jesus had left Capernaum as was teaching by the Jordan river in
      the region of Judea
   a. His teaching on divorce and remarriage was occasioned by a
      challenge from the Pharisees
   b. He used the opportunity to teach His disciples what people today
      need to know!

[As we consider this passage carefully, we first read how...]

I. THE PHARISEES' QUESTION JESUS (2)

   A. TO TEST HIM, NOT TO BE TAUGHT BY HIM...
      1. Divorce was a touchy issue then, even as it is today
      2. Divorce was not uncommon; e.g., King Herod - Mk 6:17-18
      3. The scribes were divided over the proper grounds for divorce
         a. The school of Hillel taught that a man could divorce for
            just about any reason
         b. The school of Shammai permitted divorce only in the case of
            fornication

   B. ANY ANSWER JESUS GAVE WOULD OFFEND SOMEONE...
      1. If He took the popular lax view, the Pharisees could deride His
         claim as a teacher of superior morality - cf. Mt 5:20
      2. If He upheld the stricter view, He would be unpopular with the
         majority (which the Pharisees could use against Him)

[Of course, Jesus was not concerned with what man thought, but in
pleasing His Father in heaven.  This becomes evident as we next
consider...]

II. JESUS' RESPONSE TO THE PHARISEES (3-9)

   A. HE ASKED WHAT MOSES TAUGHT...
      1. "What did Moses command you?" - Mk 10:3
      2. "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and
         to dismiss her" - Mk 10:4
      3. They understood Moses to permit divorce if a "certificate of
         divorce" was given to the wife - Deut 24:1-4; cf. Mt 5:31
      4. Yet a careful reading of that passage reveals:
         a. Moses forbid remarrying of a spouse, even if her second
            husband had died - Deut 24:4
         b. The reason was the woman became "defiled" when she remarried
            - Deut 24:4
         c. The word "defiled" used elsewhere to describe adultery - Lev18:20; Num 5:13-14
         d. She actually became an adulteress by remarriage (despite the
            certificate!) - cf. Ro 7:1-3
      5. While they appealed to this passage in divorce (and presumably,
         remarriage), it actually described the treachery of divorce:
         defilement of the spouse - cf. Mt 5:32

   B. MOSES PERMITTED DIVORCE DUE TO THEIR HARD HEARTS...
      1. "Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this
         precept" - Mk 10:5
      2. The Jews at that time were a hardened people - cf. Deut 9:6;
         31:27
      3. Is this not a commentary on the state of one's heart when they
         desire to divorce?
         a. It takes a hardhearted person to want to divorce their
            spouse
            1) Either to divorce arbitrarily (for no scriptural grounds)
            2) Or to divorce when the guilty person is pleading for
               forgiveness and reconciliation
         b. Of course, that is exactly the condition of those in the
            world (or those in the church who are of the world) - cf.
            Ep 4:17-19

   C. IT WAS NOT WHAT GOD HAD IN MIND FROM THE BEGINNING...
      1. The permission to divorce was only temporary - cf. Mt 19:8
      2. "From the beginning it was not so" - note carefully:
         a. The Law of Moses (which was temporary) considered the
            hardness of men's hearts, and permitted hardhearted actions
         b. The gospel of Christ (which replaces the Law) cures the
            hardness of one's heart!
            1) His grace removes the heart of stone, and replaces it
               with a heart of love!
            2) I.e., a heart able to abide by God's original design for
               marriage
      3. Paul made it clear that under normal conditions divorce is not
         an option - 1Co 7:10-11

   D. JESUS REMINDED THEM OF THEIR GENESIS...
      1. "But from the beginning of the creation, God 'made them male
         and female'" - Mk 10:6
      2. It is helpful to keep in mind: Where we came from, who created
         us, what we are
      3. For our views on divorce and remarriage will be influenced by
         our views of ourselves!
         a. Are we simply animals, compelled by instinct?
            1) Unable to control fleshly desires?
            2) Then divorce and remarriage ought to be free and easy
         b. Or God's highest creation, made in His image?
            1) Able to control fleshly lusts to the glory of God?
            2) Then divorce and remarriage ought to reflect God's desire
               for man's holiness!

   E. HE ATTRIBUTED THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE TO GOD, NOT MAN...
      1. Notice, it was GOD who said "For this reason..." - Mk 10:7; cf.
         Gen 2:24
      2. Therefore questions about marriage (such as divorce and
         remarriage) must be answered by God, not by man (nor by man's
         laws)!

   F. HE EMPHASIZED THAT IN MARRIAGE GOD CREATES A UNION...
      1. The two become one flesh - Mk 10:8; cf. Gen 2:24
      2. They are joined by none other than God Himself!

   G. HIS CONCLUSION:  LET NOT MAN SEPARATE WHAT GOD JOINED...
      1. What GOD has joined together, let not MAN separate - Mt 19:6
      2. Man has no right to separate what God Himself has joined
      3. It is clear that God's intention is that marriage is to be for
         life

[According to Mark's gospel, the disciples later asked Jesus privately
more about this subject (Mk 10:10).  And so we now read...]

III. JESUS' TEACHING TO HIS DISCIPLES (10-12)

   A. DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE LEADS TO ADULTERY...
      1. Whether the man divorces the wife or vice versa - Mk 10:11-12
      2. Jesus taught the same consequence of divorce and remarriage in
         Mt 5:31-32
      3. The one exception:  if spouse is put away for fornication - cf.
         Mt 19:9

   B. THE DISCIPLES' REACTION...
      1. They thought it better not to marry - cf. Mt 19:10
      2. Jesus described celibacy as a viable option if necessary - cf.
         Mt 19:11-12

CONCLUSION

1. Any divorce must be on the grounds specified by Jesus...
   a. For marriage is an institution ordained by God - Mk 10:7-8
   b. And man must not separate what God has joined together - Mk 10:9
   c. The only ground specified by Jesus is fornication - Mt 19:9

2. A divorce for any other reason...
   a. Is an attempt to separate what God has joined together - Mk 10:9
   b. Is forbidden by the Lord - cf. 1Co 7:10-11
   c. If a couple divorces, they should remain unmarried or be
      reconciled - 1Co 7:11
   d. For it will result in adultery if there is a remarriage - Mk 10:11-12

May the Lord bless those with the faith to live according to His word,
and may we be diligent in teaching our children what the Bible teaches
regarding divorce and remarriage...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading December 26



Bible Reading   

December 26

The World English Bible


Dec. 26
Haggai 1, 2

Hag 1:1 In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, the Word of Yahweh came by Haggai, the prophet, to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,
Hag 1:2 "This is what Yahweh of Armies says: These people say, 'The time hasn't yet come, the time for Yahweh's house to be built.' "
Hag 1:3 Then the Word of Yahweh came by Haggai, the prophet, saying,
Hag 1:4 "Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies waste?
Hag 1:5 Now therefore this is what Yahweh of Armies says: Consider your ways.
Hag 1:6 You have sown much, and bring in little. You eat, but you don't have enough. You drink, but you aren't filled with drink. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm, and he who earns wages earns wages to put them into a bag with holes in it."
Hag 1:7 This is what Yahweh of Armies says: "Consider your ways.
Hag 1:8 Go up to the mountain, bring wood, and build the house. I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified," says Yahweh.
Hag 1:9 "You looked for much, and, behold, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?" says Yahweh of Armies, "Because of my house that lies waste, while each of you is busy with his own house.
Hag 1:10 Therefore for your sake the heavens withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit.
Hag 1:11 I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on that which the ground brings forth, on men, on livestock, and on all the labor of the hands."
Hag 1:12 Then Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of Yahweh, their God, and the words of Haggai, the prophet, as Yahweh, their God, had sent him; and the people feared Yahweh.
Hag 1:13 Then Haggai, Yahweh's messenger, spoke Yahweh's message to the people, saying, "I am with you," says Yahweh.
Hag 1:14 Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of Yahweh of Armies, their God,
Hag 1:15 in the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
Hag 2:1 In the seventh month, in the twenty-first day of the month, the Word of Yahweh came by Haggai the prophet, saying,
Hag 2:2 "Speak now to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying,
Hag 2:3 'Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Isn't it in your eyes as nothing?
Hag 2:4 Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,' says Yahweh. 'Be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,' says Yahweh, 'and work, for I am with you,' says Yahweh of Armies.
Hag 2:5 This is the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, and my Spirit lived among you. 'Don't be afraid.'
Hag 2:6 For this is what Yahweh of Armies says: 'Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the dry land;
Hag 2:7 and I will shake all nations. The precious things of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory, says Yahweh of Armies.
Hag 2:8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,' says Yahweh of Armies.
Hag 2:9 'The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,' says Yahweh of Armies; 'and in this place will I give peace,' says Yahweh of Armies."
Hag 2:10 In the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the Word of Yahweh came by Haggai the prophet, saying,
Hag 2:11 "Thus says Yahweh of Armies: Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying,
Hag 2:12 'If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and with his fold touches bread, stew, wine, oil, or any food, will it become holy?' " The priests answered, "No."
Hag 2:13 Then Haggai said, "If one who is unclean by reason of a dead body touch any of these, will it be unclean?" The priests answered, "It will be unclean."
Hag 2:14 Then Haggai answered, " 'So is this people, and so is this nation before me,' says Yahweh; 'and so is every work of their hands. That which they offer there is unclean.
Hag 2:15 Now, please consider from this day and backward, before a stone was laid on a stone in the temple of Yahweh.
Hag 2:16 Through all that time, when one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When one came to the wine vat to draw out fifty, there were only twenty.
Hag 2:17 I struck you with blight, mildew, and hail in all the work of your hands; yet you didn't turn to me,' says Yahweh.
Hag 2:18 'Consider, please, from this day and backward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, since the day that the foundation of Yahweh's temple was laid, consider it.
Hag 2:19 Is the seed yet in the barn? Yes, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree haven't brought forth. From this day will I bless you.' "
Hag 2:20 The Word of Yahweh came the second time to Haggai in the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying,
Hag 2:21 "Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, 'I will shake the heavens and the earth.
Hag 2:22 I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations. I will overthrow the chariots, and those who ride in them. The horses and their riders will come down, everyone by the sword of his brother.
Hag 2:23 In that day, says Yahweh of Armies, will I take you, Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel,' says Yahweh, 'and will make you as a signet, for I have chosen you,' says Yahweh of Armies."


Dec. 26
Revelation 13, 14

Rev 13:1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads. On his horns were ten crowns, and on his heads, blasphemous names.
Rev 13:2 The beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.
Rev 13:3 One of his heads looked like it had been wounded fatally. His fatal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled at the beast.
Rev 13:4 They worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"
Rev 13:5 A mouth speaking great things and blasphemy was given to him. Authority to make war for forty-two months was given to him.
Rev 13:6 He opened his mouth for blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his dwelling, those who dwell in heaven.
Rev 13:7 It was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. Authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation was given to him.
Rev 13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been killed.
Rev 13:9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.
Rev 13:10 If anyone has captivity, he will go into captivity. If anyone is with the sword, he must be killed. Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints.
Rev 13:11 I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon.
Rev 13:12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. He makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.
Rev 13:13 He performs great signs, even making fire come down out of the sky to the earth in the sight of people.
Rev 13:14 He deceives my own people who dwell on the earth because of the signs he was granted to do in front of the beast; saying to those who dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast who had the sword wound and lived.
Rev 13:15 It was given to him to give breath to it, to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause as many as wouldn't worship the image of the beast to be killed.
Rev 13:16 He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads;
Rev 13:17 and that no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark, the name of the beast or the number of his name.
Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred sixty-six.

Rev 14:1 I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him a number, one hundred forty-four thousand, having his name, and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads.
Rev 14:2 I heard a sound from heaven, like the sound of many waters, and like the sound of a great thunder. The sound which I heard was like that of harpists playing on their harps.
Rev 14:3 They sing a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the one hundred forty-four thousand, those who had been redeemed out of the earth.
Rev 14:4 These are those who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are those who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed by Jesus from among men, the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.
Rev 14:5 In their mouth was found no lie, for they are blameless.
Rev 14:6 I saw an angel flying in mid heaven, having an eternal Good News to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people.
Rev 14:7 He said with a loud voice, "Fear the Lord, and give him glory; for the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and the springs of waters!"
Rev 14:8 Another, a second angel, followed, saying, "Babylon the great has fallen, which has made all the nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality."
Rev 14:9 Another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a great voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead, or on his hand,
Rev 14:10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed in the cup of his anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.
Rev 14:11 The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. They have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.
Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
Rev 14:13 I heard the voice from heaven saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' " "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow with them."
Rev 14:14 I looked, and behold, a white cloud; and on the cloud one sitting like a son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
Rev 14:15 Another angel came out from the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, "Send forth your sickle, and reap; for the hour to reap has come; for the harvest of the earth is ripe!"
Rev 14:16 He who sat on the cloud thrust his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.
Rev 14:17 Another angel came out from the temple which is in heaven. He also had a sharp sickle.
Rev 14:18 Another angel came out from the altar, he who has power over fire, and he called with a great voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Send forth your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for the earth's grapes are fully ripe!"
Rev 14:19 The angel thrust his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vintage of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
Rev 14:20 The winepress was trodden outside of the city, and blood came out from the winepress, even to the bridles of the horses, as far as one thousand six hundred stadia.

From Gary... Use the right bottle


There is just something about this picture that has fascinated me for the longest time.  I've had this jpeg for several YEARS and have always passed it by when looking for something to use. BUT, IT IS BEAUTIFUL!!!  Somehow, (I am not really sure, how) it just seems to encapsulate one little view of the whole world in one place. I know, I know- this is confusing, but that's the thing about the human mind, it makes the oddest conclusions seem completely rational.  At least, I do, anyway.  But, what if one possessed a truly GREAT AND MAGNIFICENT INTELLECT? What then?  Consider one of the greatest men of all time, Solomon...

Ecclesiastes, Chapter 12
13  This is the end of the matter. All has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.  14 For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil.

God gave this man unprecedented wisdom, and at the end of Ecclesiastes, he makes a summary conclusion.  Do we listen- or not?  Well, truthfully, the majority of us do not.  Jesus puts it this way...

Matthew, Chapter 7
 13  “Enter in by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter in by it.   14  How narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! Few are those who find it.

How can these things be?

Because, most people use their own bottle.  What I mean is: Look at the world through the prism of the scriptures instead of any-old-bottle, and obey what you see.  Like the picture, life may take on a beauty you just never imagined could be there. Just use the right bottle- its just that simple!!!