9/21/15

From Mark Copeland... "THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM" The Blessings Of The Kingdom



                      "THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM"

                      The Blessings Of The Kingdom

INTRODUCTION

1. In our study thus far of the kingdom of God, we have observed that...
   a. The proclamation of the kingdom was a major theme in the teaching
      of Christ and His apostles
   b. The nature of the kingdom is spiritual, not physical, involving
      the reign of God in Christ
   c. The establishment of the kingdom was inaugurated at Jesus' first
      coming, and will be culminated with His second coming

2. I wish to note in particular the phrase, "the gospel of the kingdom"...
   a. As recorded in Matthew's gospel - Mt 4:23; 9:35; 24:14
   b. As recorded in Mark's gospel - Mk 1:14-15
   -- The word "gospel" means "good news", or glad tidings - cf. Lk 8:1

3. What was the good news or glad tidings regarding the kingdom...?
   a. Certainly that it was "at hand" - Mk 1:15
   b. But what made its impending arrival such good news?

[The answer can be found in the blessings of the kingdom, to be enjoyed
by those who freely submit to the rule and reign of God in Christ Jesus. 
What sort of blessings?  There are...]

I. BLESSINGS IN THE PRESENT

   A. GOD'S FORGIVENESS...
      1. Those in the kingdom enjoy redemption through the blood of
         Jesus - Col 1:13-14
      2. Indeed, the ruler over the kings of the earth has washed us in
         His own blood - Re 1:5

   B. GOD'S CARE...
      1. No need for anxiety over the necessities of life - cf. Mt 6:25-34
      2. Provided we make God's kingdom and His righteousness first
         priority - Mt 6:33
      3. Submit to God's rule, and benefit from God's care! - cf. Psa 34:9-10; 84:11

   C. GOD'S FAMILY...
      1. We receive "manifold" more family - cf. Lk 18:29-30
      2. A "hundred fold" mothers, brothers, sisters, children - cf. Mk 10:29-30
      3. Realized as members of Christ's body, the church, God's family
         - cf. 1Ti 3:15; 5:1-2

   D. GOD'S SPIRIT...
      1. Promised to those who believe and obey - cf. Jn 7:37-39; Ac 2:
         38-39; 5:32
      2. A source of righteousness, joy and peace in the kingdom - cf.
         Ro 14:17; 15:13
      3. Serving as God's instrumental agent to strengthen us, that we
         might produce the fruit of a truly blessed life - cf. Ep 3:16; Ga 5:22-23; Ro 8:12-13

[In the kingdom of God present, these are just a few of the blessings
available to those who submit to the reign of God in the person of Jesus
Christ.  But just as there is a future aspect to the kingdom of God, so there are...]

II. BLESSINGS IN THE FUTURE

   A. GOD'S ETERNAL KINGDOM...
      1. Promised to those who do the Father's will - Mt 7:21-23
         a. Not just those who profess the Lord
         b. Not even those who do much for the Lord, yet without authority
      2. Provided for those who abound in the knowledge of Jesus Christ
         - 2Pe 1:8-11
         a. Not barren nor unfruitful
         b. Not slothful nor forgetful

   B. GOD'S ETERNAL CITY...
      1. Prepared for those who seek it - He 11:11,13-16; 13:14
         a. Like Abraham and other Old Testament faithfuls
         b. Like Paul and other New Testament saints
      2. Presented as a bride adorned for her husband - Re 21:1-3,9-21
         a. A holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven
         b. A glorious walled city, with gates of pearl and streets of gold

   C. GOD'S ETERNAL PRESENCE...
      1. With no need for a temple, or sun and moon for a light - Re 21: 22-23
         a. The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple
         b. The glory of God illuminates, and the Lamb is its light
      2. With no more curse and no more night - Re 22:3-5
         a. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be there
         b. The Lord God gives them light
      3. His servants will serve and reign forever and ever - Re 22:3-5
         a. They shall see His face
         b. His name shall be on their foreheads

   D. GOD'S ETERNAL CARE...
      1. Preventing any reason for sorrow - Re 21:4
         a. With God wiping away every tear
         b. With former things having passed away
      2. Providing our every need - Re 22:1-2
         a. With the river of the water of life, proceeding from the throne
         b. With the tree of life, bearing fruit every month with
            healing for the nations

CONCLUSION

1. We have surveyed just a few of the blessings in the kingdom of God...
   a. Blessings in the present
      1) God's forgiveness
      2) God's care
      3) God's family
      4) God's Spirit
   b. Blessings in the future
      1) God's eternal kingdom
      2) God's eternal city
      3) God's eternal presence
      4) God's eternal care
   -- Truly the news about the kingdom is "good news" (gospel)!

2. To benefit from these blessings both present and future...
   a. We must be in the kingdom present
   b. We must make our calling and election sure to be in the kingdom future
   -- What is involved we will note in future studies on the kingdom

But the main thing is that we submit to the rule and reign of God in the
person of Jesus Christ.  Remember what Jesus said:

   "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom
   of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."
                                                             (Mt 7:21)

He said on another occasion:

   "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which
   I say?"
                                                             (Lk 6:46)

Are we willing to let Jesus be the Lord and King of our lives?  Then
obey Him! (cf. He 5:9)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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The Accuracy of Acts by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=833

The Accuracy of Acts

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Archaeology is one of many disciplines that can be used to prove the historical accuracy of Scripture. Time and again, it has helped confirm the Bible’s references to people, places, and dates. In the last one hundred years, archaeologists repeatedly have confirmed and illuminated the historicity of the Bible. Although we cannot rely upon archaeology to establish and sustain our faith, having physical evidence that confirms the historical context of God’s saving acts causes the sincere person to accept the Bible as God’s Word.
When renowned archaeologist Sir William Ramsay started his explorations in Asia Minor, he doubted the historicity of the book of Acts. But after hundreds of hours of research, he began to change his mind. A careful study of Acts 14:5-12 led him to believe that Luke was quite familiar with the places, people, and events about which he wrote. In this passage, Luke wrote that Paul and Barnabas fled from Iconium to “Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia” (14:6). It formerly was assumed in ancient geography that Iconium was a city of Lycaonia (e.g., like Montgomery is a city of Alabama). This passage was considered by some Bible critics to be a typical example of the lack of local exactitude by the author of Acts, and thus evidence against divine inspiration. However, as Ramsay went on to demonstrate conclusively, this was not the case. Iconium was not a part of Lycaonia. Rather, it belonged to Phrygia, an entirely different district of Asia Minor. This change may sound like a minor point, but it was a very important one in the thought of Ramsay. His attitude toward the book of Acts began to change radically. The more he studied Acts, the more he became an ardent advocate of the trustworthiness of Luke’s scholarship.
Archaeology can be a great asset to people who are searching for knowledge. It enlightens our reading of the Scripture as it continues to confirm the Bible’s historical accuracy. Those who have studied the book of Acts in light of archaeology have found that where references are checkable, Luke always was correct, regardless of the country, city, island, or person he mentioned. As Wayne Jackson observed: “This is truly remarkable, in view of the fact that the political/territorial situation of his day was in a state of almost constant change. Only inspiration can account for Luke’s precision” (“The Holy Bible—Inspired of God,” Christian Courier, 27[1]:1-3, May 1991). How very true.

Madalyn Murray O’Hair by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4627

Madalyn Murray O’Hair

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Madalyn Elizabeth Mays was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 13, 1919. In her late 20s, after already having been married and divorced, she began referring to herself as Madalyn Murray—taking the last name of William Murray, with whom she had an adulterous relationship, and never married. At the age of 46, Madalyn married Richard O’Hair and became forevermore known at Madalyn Murray O’Hair—the poster-child of atheism in America during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.
Relatively few people knew anything about Madalyn Murray the first 40 years of her life. She was a single mother of two boys, both born out of wedlock. According to Madalyn’s oldest son, William Murray III, his mother couldn’t keep a job because of her “dysfunctional, argumentative personality.” Such unemployment and instability led her to Marxism, which led her to atheism (“Marxism…,” 2012). After an unsuccessful attempt to defect to the Soviet Union through the Soviet Embassy in Paris in 1960, Madalyn returned home angry, agitated, and seemingly looking for trouble—which she found later that same year.
In the fall of 1960, “Madalyn found her cause” (Woodhead, 2006). Madalyn became irritated that students in her oldest son’s school participated in prayer and Bible reading, and filed a petition demanding they cease. After the Baltimore courts ruled against her, she appealed her case all the way to the Supreme Court, who overwhelmingly ruled in her favor in 1963: school-sponsored Bible reading and prayer were banned in public schools. Americans were devastated; Madalyn was delighted. Her defining moment had arrived, and she positioned herself as “America’s number one atheist”—“the atheist—Madalyn Murray” (Le Beau, 2005).

“God’s Noisy Challenger”

Madalyn’s Supreme Court victory (in which she was actually a secondary litigant) was just the beginning. Two years later, she founded American Atheists, Inc. and served as its director for more than two decades. She filed a lawsuit against the city of Baltimore in hopes of forcing them to begin collecting property taxes from churches. She challenged the use of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, as well “in God we trust” on American currency. Madalyn went so far as to even file a lawsuit against NASA in hopes of banning government employees (i.e., astronauts) from saying prayers in outer space.
From lunar lawsuits to countless crude, contemptible public comments, O’Hair was a constant, noisy challenger to theists (and especially Christians) throughout America. “She relished her battle with traditional religion and she ridiculed believers she called ‘Christers’” (Woodhead, 2006). She claimed that God was “sadistic,” that the Bible was “nauseating,” and that the Lord’s Prayer was “uttered by worms groveling for meager existence in a traumatic, paranoid world” (McGrath, 2004, pp. 245-46). She wrote articles and books. She published anti-God posters and bumper stickers. She hosted numerous radio shows and was the first-ever guest on the Phil Donahue show in 1967. O’Hair offered little in the area of reasoned argumentation, but she rarely missed an opportunity to publicly pour scorn on the prayerful and mock the moral.

Madalyn’s Mean Demeanor and Murder

Christians were not the only ones in Madalyn’s crosshairs. Her oldest son (William) began to alienate himself in the 1970s when he began adopting a more Libertarian (as opposed to Marxist) form of atheism. O’Hair then seemed to lose it when William professed to being a follower of Christ in 1980. She repudiated him “entirely and completely for now and all times.” He was, according to her, “beyond human forgiveness.” Sadly, with William, she had what she called “a postnatal abortion” (Huckabee, 2012).
Although O’Hair was popular with many atheists around the country, those who spent much time with her soon discovered that she was viciously rude and profanely vulgar, even to employees and donors to her work (McGrath, p. 250; Van Biema, 1997). In fact, it was former, disgruntled American Atheist employee, David Waters, who, in 1995, abducted, mutilated, and brutally murdered O’Hair, her youngest son, and her granddaughter. O’Hair died at the age of 76.

Madalyn Who?

Though many in the older generation will forever remember the name Madalyn Murray O’Hair, today’s younger generation knows little about one of America’s most famous (and repulsive) atheists. Some Christians seem so uninformed about the name that they do not hesitate using it for their daughters. I recently taught a Bible class full of teenagers—20 in all. I asked them if they knew who Madalyn Murray O’Hair was. One thought she was a nurse. One believed that she was a character in Gone with the Wind. Only one teen in the entire class knew of the atheist—Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

Today’s Militant Atheists

It wouldn’t surprise me if 50% or more of Americans were unaware of Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the atheist. Still, though O’Hair’s infamy has languished, her ungodly effects on this country will be forever felt. The Supreme Court ruling (50 years ago this year) that banned school sponsored Bible reading and prayer has done nothing but expedite the production of a more hedonistic, disrespectful segment of society, who, like Pharaoh, arrogantly question, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice…?” (Exodus 5:2).
Perhaps the most negative effect of O’Hair’s life on America was that she seemed to pave the way for a whole new kind of atheist—militant atheists. Her outspoken vitriol toward God, the Bible, and Christians undoubtedly served to embolden and mobilize more zealous atheists in recent years. From Christopher Hitchens’ New York Times bestseller god is Not Great to Brian Flemming’s film The God Who Wasn’t There; from Dan Barker’s defiant, “go-to-hell” to God comments in debates to science symposiums that arrogantly seek to put atheistic, evolutionary science “in place of God;” O’Hair’s hateful, outspoken criticisms of Christianity for over three decades no doubt served to cultivate an entire crop of militant atheists.

CONCLUSION

In the face of such defiant unbelief, Christians must be resolved to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). God is serious about His people teaching and defending His Word (Acts 4:20). In our proclamation of the Truth, however, we must not sink to the level of the O’Hairs of the world and disparage those who hate us. Rather, as Jesus taught, “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). “Be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition” (2 Timothy 2:24-25). May God help us to live according to the Truth as we seek to defend it.
*Originally published in Gospel Advocate, February 2013, 155[2]:16-17.

REFERENCES

Huckabee (2012), “Undoing an Atheist’s Legacy,” June 11, http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/huckabee/index.html#/v/1684616589001/undoing-an-atheists-leg.
Le Beau, Bryan F. (2005), The Atheist: Madalyn Murray O’Hair (New York: New York University).
“Marxism Led Madalyn Murray O’Hair to Atheism” (2012), World Net Daily, May 10, http://www.wnd.com/2012/05/marxism-led-madalyn-murray-ohair-to-atheism/.
McGrath, Alister (2004), The Twilight of Atheism (New York: Doubleday).
Van Biema, David (1997), “Where’s Madalyn?” Time, 149[6]:56-60, February 10.
Woodhead, Leslie, Director (2006), “Godless in America: Madalyn Murray O’Hair.” Documentary. Reggie Nadelson, Narrator. http://documentarystorm.com/godless-in-america-madalyn-murray-ohair.

Design Demands A Designer by Kyle Butt, M.A.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=877

Design Demands A Designer

by Kyle Butt, M.A.


Sir Isaac Newton was a famous mathematician and scientist who strongly believed in God. The story is told that he had an atheistic friend who did not believe in God. Sir Isaac devised a plan to try to convince his friend that God did exist and had created the Universe. One day, he went to a carpentry shop and asked the owner to make a model of our solar system. This model was to be to scale, intricately painted, and designed to resemble, as closely as possible, the actual solar system.
Several weeks later, Sir Isaac picked up the model, paid for it, and placed it in the center of a table in his house. Some time later, his atheist friend came over for a visit. When the friend arrived at Dr. Newton’s house, the model of the solar system caught his eye, and he asked Sir Isaac if he could inspect the model more closely. Of course, that was fine with Sir Isaac. As the atheist inspected the model, he stood in awe of the fine craftsmanship and beauty of the various pieces. After some time, the atheistic friend asked Dr. Newton who had crafted this wonderful model of the solar system. Sir Isaac promptly replied that no one had made the model; it just appeared on his table by accident. Confused, the friend repeated the question, and yet Newton stubbornly clung to his answer that the model had just appeared, as it were, “out of thin air.” Finally, the friend became upset, and it was at that point that Sir Isaac explained the purpose of his answer. If he could not convince his friend that this crude replica of the solar system had “just happened by accident,” how could the friend believe that the real solar system, with all its complexity and design, could have appeared just by time and chance? Point well taken! Design always demands a Designer. As a case in point, let us look at one beautiful example of design.
THE THOUGHT OF DESIGN
Inside your head is an organ that weighs about 3 pounds. Doctors who operate on this organ say that it feels like unbaked bread dough when you touch it or hold it in your hands. But this “doughy” organ we call the brain certainly is not a loaf of bread. On the contrary, it is the most complex “computer” the world has ever known.
The brain is composed of over 10 trillion different cells. These cells work together to send electrical impulses at a rate of 273 miles per hour (393 feet per second). Nerve cells in the body send 2,000 impulses to the brain every second. These impulses come from 130,000 light receptors in the eye, 100,000 hearing receptors in the ears, 3,000 taste buds, and over 500,000 touch spots. As this is happening, the brain does not move, yet it consumes over 25% of the body’s oxygen and receives 20% of all the blood that is pumped from the heart (which is pretty amazing, considering that the brain makes up only about 2% of the body weight of an average man).
And if all these “brainy” abilities don’t impress you, consider that the brain serves as the “doctor” for the rest of the body. It produces more than 50 drugs, ranging from painkillers (like endorphin) to antidepressant drugs (like serotonin). In addition, the brain allows you to remember words, smells, pictures, and colors. In fact, the brain is so good at allowing a person to remember information, it has been estimated that it would require 500 sets of encyclopedias to hold the information found in the brain. Let’s be honest; if we were walking through the forest one day and found a laptop computer that weighed less than three pounds and yet could perform more complex tasks than any computer on the market, would we say it “just happened by accident?” If we use our brains, we can see that the design found in the brain demands an intelligent Designer.

Illegalism by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=2385

Illegalism

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


God is a God of law. He has always interacted with humans via His Word, i.e., law (e.g., Genesis 2:16-17). God governs both the Universe and humanity by law. God’s laws are always good (Deuteronomy 6:24; 10:12-13). They rise out of His nature and are consistent with His character and His divine attributes. God is infinite in the attribute of righteousness. Righteousness is directly linked to right-doing, i.e., law-keeping (1 John 3:4,7,10; Deuteronomy 6:24-25). And God’s legal restrictions have always been completely appropriate and absolutely perfect: “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12).
Indeed, law is absolutely indispensable to human civilization. Those who live their lives under submission to God possess great respect, even love, for law. The psalmist stated repeatedly that heloved God’s laws (Psalm 119:47,48,97,113,119,127,159,163,165,167). He expressed “delight” in God’s laws (vss. 16,24,35,47,70,77,92,143,174; cf. Psalm 1:2; 112:1), even insisting, “I long for Your precepts” (Psalm 119:40; cf. vs. 174). Paul decried those who lack “love of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:10). You can mark it down: to the extent that a society either disdains law, or recklessly enjoins laws that conflict with God’s laws, that nation will experience social chaos, confusion, and eventual collapse.
Beginning in the 1950s and 1960s in America, and escalating to the present moment, rebellion against law has become an entrenched cultural phenomenon. It first manifested itself in earnest in the 1960s baby-boomer generation of people who rebelled against authority by rejecting the values and traditions of their parents. The criminal justice system itself commenced an overhaul in which the focus shifted from the rights and protection of the victim to the rights of the criminal. Now in many respects the criminal justice system has lost the respect it once possessed. Respect for police, lawyers, and judges that once characterized the American people has turned into suspicion, distrust, and outright disgust. Law has become a mockery to many.
The same may be said for the public schools of America. The extensive encroachment of evolution has contributed to a lawless spirit, since evolution postulates no higher law than the godless “law of the jungle.” Coincidentally, the schools have been fraught with discipline problems since the 1960s due to loss of respect for authority. Christendom suffers from the same plight. Conformity to law and doctrine is now ridiculed as “legalism.” Where once homosexuality was condemned in accordance with Bible teaching, now homosexuals are being installed as church leaders. The simple worship practices stipulated in the New Testament are exchanged for practices that stroke the fleshly desires of the worshipper—from communion for cats to the use of praise teams and instrumental music.
Widespread cultural disrespect for law and restriction began with the over-indulged baby-boomer generation that did not receive the same discipline techniques used by previous generations. An inherent hostility for law naturally ensued. Subsequent generations have inevitably followed the same course. Since pluralism, humanism, “political correctness,” and post-modernism have thoroughly saturated culture, aversion to rules, objective truth, and clear-cut moral values are the order of the day. Right and wrong are determined moment-by-moment by the individual, who merely reacts to external stimuli based on subjective preference and fleshly inclination.
To see the depth to which society has plummeted in its revulsion toward law, consider the current national discussion regarding illegal immigrants. Millions of illegal aliens have poured into the country in dire and direct violation of law. The softened attitude regarding the sacred nature of law, and the need to respect and obey that law, coupled with a redefinition of "compassion," has led many to throw up their arms and say, “What does it matter?” Large numbers of elected politicians are dogged in their determination to grant amnesty in one form or another (suggesting a suspicious desire for political empowerment). Whatever our political or social view may be regarding illegal immigration, we must acknowledge that the law has been flagrantly broken, and respect for law demands that proper punishment/consequences be levied. Anything short of implementing the full force of the law against lawbreakers will only undermine civilization by encouraging further disrespect for legal standards. When law is brushed aside, when citizens or their elected officials see themselves as qualified and authorized to ignore the law, or make their own exceptions to the law, they place themselves above the law, and contribute to the destruction of the very underpinnings of society—that which provides cohesion, stability, and consistency to civilization.
Moses’ warning to the Israelites 3,500 years ago, regarding the critical importance of God’s law in their possession of the land of Canaan, applies to America today:
Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe—all the words of this law. For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days in the land (Deuteronomy 32:46-47, emp. added).

From Jim McGuiggan... Half-baked People

Half-baked People

  The land of the Northern Kingdom, Israel, was fertile and open, Old Testament scholar G. Adam Smith tells us, whereas Judah was more isolated, aloof and (not quite) barren up among the hills and mountains. In through Israel's many gates to the world the foreigners and merchants came and they devoured his strength and turned his hair grey. But Israel (called "Ephraim" because many of the kings came from that tribe) didn't know the signs of age were showing in him. "Foreigners sap his strength, but he does not realize it. His hair is sprinkled with grey, but he does not notice (7:9)." And what did those images mean? Israel's interest in God leaked away, she had grown weary with the burden of her destiny as a light to the nations; though she appears to have had little sense of it at any time. A sense of destiny and mission drives people and sustains them even through times that make colossal demands.
The world and "worldliness" came in with a vengeance when more "things" and "stuff" became available. Consumerism and paganism came in hand and hand and with the bigger world came the consumer's yawn as life became increasingly cluttered and tasteless. Their world and by and by their fears grew bigger and God remained the same parochial, limited little god they had come to think he was, so when trouble came they fretted and looked elsewhere for help. Not only had Israel aged too soon he had become a half-baked nation. "Ephraim mixes with the nations; Ephraim is a flat cake not turned over." (7:8) Like a silly dove that flutters this way and then that (7:11) the nation finishes nothing it starts. Indecisive, uncertain, not fully committed to anyone or anything; like a lump of flattened dough burned on one side and raw on the other he never becomes anything in particular much less what God had destined him to be. Egypt knew Israel wasn't committed to her and Assyria knew that despite the treaties that Israel wasn't committed to her and God certainly knew that Israel wasn't committed to him.
To live without a single driving vision saps our strength. How painful it is to come to think of oneself as fluttering between ten thousand tiny little loyalties that keep us from genuine and single-minded commitment to one grand thing. Scratching the surface rather than digging, nibbling rather than eating, sampling rather than digesting, chatting rather than proclaiming and so we can go through life, half-baked and a half-baked spectacle to those wise enough to see beyond our busyness and our appearance of well-roundedness. For the blind man of John 9 there was "one thing I know," for a psalmist there was "one thing I desire" and for Paul there was "one thing I do." There's a tragedy and great sadness in not having one grand goal that calls us but there might be something more tragic: To have a grand goal and to throw it away for trivia. And maybe that's why we don't find fullness of joy and life in God. Somewhere in the middle of the whole process, though we're sure he is fully committed to us we aren't willing to pay the price and press forward for the prize (Philippians 3).
Didn't Alfred Tennyson in his The Holy Grail paint a sad picture of Sir Gawain who gave up the quest? Some scholars say the Holy Grail is a symbol for the holy life and to "see" it was to become wholly devoted to God. Sir Gawain began, but by and by he grew "much awearied of the quest" and found himself a silken tent in a lovely countryside filled with dainty ladies. By then he had completely lost interest and from the ashes that once were his dreams we're saddened but not at all surprised to hear his flat-toned oath:
But by mine eyes and by mine ears I swear,
I will be deafer than the blue-eyed cat,
And thrice as blind as any noonday owl,
To holy virgins in their ecstacies,
Henceforward.
 God deliver us!

Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

From Gary... Bible Reading September 21



Bible Reading  

September 21

The World English Bible


Sept. 21
Psalms 89-91

Psa 89:1 I will sing of the loving kindness of Yahweh forever. With my mouth, I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.
Psa 89:2 I indeed declare, "Love stands firm forever. You established the heavens. Your faithfulness is in them."
Psa 89:3 "I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David, my servant,
Psa 89:4 'I will establish your seed forever, and build up your throne to all generations.' " Selah.
Psa 89:5 The heavens will praise your wonders, Yahweh; your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones.
Psa 89:6 For who in the skies can be compared to Yahweh? Who among the sons of the heavenly beings is like Yahweh,
Psa 89:7 a very awesome God in the council of the holy ones, to be feared above all those who are around him?
Psa 89:8 Yahweh, God of Armies, who is a mighty one, like you? Yah, your faithfulness is around you.
Psa 89:9 You rule the pride of the sea. When its waves rise up, you calm them.
Psa 89:10 You have broken Rahab in pieces, like one of the slain. You have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
Psa 89:11 The heavens are yours. The earth also is yours; the world and its fullness. You have founded them.
Psa 89:12 The north and the south, you have created them. Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your name.
Psa 89:13 You have a mighty arm. Your hand is strong, and your right hand is exalted.
Psa 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Loving kindness and truth go before your face.
Psa 89:15 Blessed are the people who learn to acclaim you. They walk in the light of your presence, Yahweh.
Psa 89:16 In your name they rejoice all day. In your righteousness, they are exalted.
Psa 89:17 For you are the glory of their strength. In your favor, our horn will be exalted.
Psa 89:18 For our shield belongs to Yahweh; our king to the Holy One of Israel.
Psa 89:19 Then you spoke in vision to your saints, and said, "I have bestowed strength on the warrior. I have exalted a young man from the people.
Psa 89:20 I have found David, my servant. I have anointed him with my holy oil,
Psa 89:21 with whom my hand shall be established. My arm will also strengthen him.
Psa 89:22 No enemy will tax him. No wicked man will oppress him.
Psa 89:23 I will beat down his adversaries before him, and strike those who hate him.
Psa 89:24 But my faithfulness and my loving kindness will be with him. In my name, his horn will be exalted.
Psa 89:25 I will set his hand also on the sea, and his right hand on the rivers.
Psa 89:26 He will call to me, 'You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation!'
Psa 89:27 I will also appoint him my firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.
Psa 89:28 I will keep my loving kindness for him forevermore. My covenant will stand firm with him.
Psa 89:29 I will also make his seed endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven.
Psa 89:30 If his children forsake my law, and don't walk in my ordinances;
Psa 89:31 if they break my statutes, and don't keep my commandments;
Psa 89:32 then I will punish their sin with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
Psa 89:33 But I will not completely take my loving kindness from him, nor allow my faithfulness to fail.
Psa 89:34 I will not break my covenant, nor alter what my lips have uttered.
Psa 89:35 Once have I sworn by my holiness, I will not lie to David.
Psa 89:36 His seed will endure forever, his throne like the sun before me.
Psa 89:37 It will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky." Selah.
Psa 89:38 But you have rejected and spurned. You have been angry with your anointed.
Psa 89:39 You have renounced the covenant of your servant. You have defiled his crown in the dust.
Psa 89:40 You have broken down all his hedges. You have brought his strongholds to ruin.
Psa 89:41 All who pass by the way rob him. He has become a reproach to his neighbors.
Psa 89:42 You have exalted the right hand of his adversaries. You have made all of his enemies rejoice.
Psa 89:43 Yes, you turn back the edge of his sword, and haven't supported him in battle.
Psa 89:44 You have ended his splendor, and thrown his throne down to the ground.
Psa 89:45 You have shortened the days of his youth. You have covered him with shame. Selah.
Psa 89:46 How long, Yahweh? Will you hide yourself forever? Will your wrath burn like fire?
Psa 89:47 Remember how short my time is! For what vanity have you created all the children of men!
Psa 89:48 What man is he who shall live and not see death, who shall deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah.
Psa 89:49 Lord, where are your former loving kindnesses, which you swore to David in your faithfulness?
Psa 89:50 Remember, Lord, the reproach of your servants, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the mighty peoples,
Psa 89:51 With which your enemies have mocked, Yahweh, with which they have mocked the footsteps of your anointed one.
Psa 89:52 Blessed be Yahweh forevermore. Amen, and Amen.
Psa 90:1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place for all generations.
Psa 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, before you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
Psa 90:3 You turn man to destruction, saying, "Return, you children of men."
Psa 90:4 For a thousand years in your sight are just like yesterday when it is past, like a watch in the night.
Psa 90:5 You sweep them away as they sleep. In the morning they sprout like new grass.
Psa 90:6 In the morning it sprouts and springs up. By evening, it is withered and dry.
Psa 90:7 For we are consumed in your anger. We are troubled in your wrath.
Psa 90:8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
Psa 90:9 For all our days have passed away in your wrath. We bring our years to an end as a sigh.
Psa 90:10 The days of our years are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty years; yet their pride is but labor and sorrow, for it passes quickly, and we fly away.
Psa 90:11 Who knows the power of your anger, your wrath according to the fear that is due to you?
Psa 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psa 90:13 Relent, Yahweh! How long? Have compassion on your servants!
Psa 90:14 Satisfy us in the morning with your loving kindness, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Psa 90:15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen evil.
Psa 90:16 Let your work appear to your servants; your glory to their children.
Psa 90:17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands.
Psa 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Psa 91:2 I will say of Yahweh, "He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust."
Psa 91:3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly pestilence.
Psa 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers. Under his wings you will take refuge. His faithfulness is your shield and rampart.
Psa 91:5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day;
Psa 91:6 nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that wastes at noonday.
Psa 91:7 A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you.
Psa 91:8 You will only look with your eyes, and see the recompense of the wicked.
Psa 91:9 Because you have made Yahweh your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place,
Psa 91:10 no evil shall happen to you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.
Psa 91:11 For he will put his angels in charge of you, to guard you in all your ways.
Psa 91:12 They will bear you up in their hands, so that you won't dash your foot against a stone.
Psa 91:13 You will tread on the lion and cobra. You will trample the young lion and the serpent underfoot.
Psa 91:14 "Because he has set his love on me, therefore I will deliver him. I will set him on high, because he has known my name.
Psa 91:15 He will call on me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him, and honor him.
Psa 91:16 I will satisfy him with long life, and show him my salvation."


Sept. 21
2 Corinthians 1

2Co 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the assembly of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia:
2Co 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2Co 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort;
2Co 1:4 who comforts us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2Co 1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound to us, even so our comfort also abounds through Christ.
2Co 1:6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer.
2Co 1:7 Our hope for you is steadfast, knowing that, since you are partakers of the sufferings, so also are you of the comfort.
2Co 1:8 For we don't desire to have you uninformed, brothers, concerning our affliction which happened to us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, so much that we despaired even of life.
2Co 1:9 Yes, we ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead,
2Co 1:10 who delivered us out of so great a death, and does deliver; on whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us;
2Co 1:11 you also helping together on our behalf by your supplication; that, for the gift bestowed on us by means of many, thanks may be given by many persons on your behalf.
2Co 1:12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly toward you.
2Co 1:13 For we write no other things to you, than what you read or even acknowledge, and I hope you will acknowledge to the end;
2Co 1:14 as also you acknowledged us in part, that we are your boasting, even as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus.
2Co 1:15 In this confidence, I was determined to come first to you, that you might have a second benefit;
2Co 1:16 and by you to pass into Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come to you, and to be sent forward by you on my journey to Judea.
2Co 1:17 When I therefore was thus determined, did I show fickleness? Or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be the "Yes, yes" and the "No, no?"
2Co 1:18 But as God is faithful, our word toward you was not "Yes and no."
2Co 1:19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, by me, Silvanus, and Timothy, was not "Yes and no," but in him is "Yes."
2Co 1:20 For however many are the promises of God, in him is the "Yes." Therefore also through him is the "Amen," to the glory of God through us.
2Co 1:21 Now he who establishes us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God;
2Co 1:22 who also sealed us, and gave us the down payment of the Spirit in our hearts.
2Co 1:23 But I call God for a witness to my soul, that I didn't come to Corinth to spare you.
2Co 1:24 Not that we have lordship over your faith, but are fellow workers with you for your joy. For you stand firm in faith.