"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" The Virtue Of Perseverance (7:7-11)


The Virtue Of Perseverance (7:7-11)


1. Why do some people...
   a. Succeed in having their prayers answered?
   b. Have a greater understanding of the Bible?
   c. Reach more souls for Christ?
   -- Is it skill, genius, or luck?

2. The answer is suggested by Calvin Coolidge:

   "Press on! Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance.
   Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with
   talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
   Education  will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."

3. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus talked about the virtue of perseverance...
   a. Especially in its relevance to prayer
   b. Giving us motivation to persevere in our service to God

[Our text is Mt 7:7-11, in which we find Jesus teaching about...]


      1. By the tense of the Greek
         a. It is the present tense, which most often stresses "continuous action"
         b. Literally, then, Jesus is saying:
            1) "keep on asking," and it will be given to you
            2) "keep on seeking," and you will find
            3) "keep on knocking," and it will be opened to you
      2. By the progression of the terms themselves
         a. "asking" is one level of inquiry
         b. "seeking" suggests a step up, as one goes about to find 
            what they ask (asking plus action, Hendricksen)
         c. "knocking" is another step up, as one persists in finding
            that which they seek (asking plus action plus persevering, Hendricksen)

      1. To the matter of "prayer"
         a. As later implied in Mt 7:11
         b. Jesus often stressed persistence in teaching on prayer
            1) In the parable of "The Persistent Friend" - Lk 11:5-8
            2) In the parable of "The Persistent Widow" - Lk 18:1-8
      2. To the matter of "Bible study"
         a. Many people give up too soon in their Bible studies
         b. But those who persevere in their studies are the ones who
            benefit from the blessings God's Word provides - Ps 1:1-3;119:97-104
      3. To the matter of "evangelism"
         a. Many do not bear fruit because they give up too soon
         b. But we reap what we sow; the more persistent we are in 
            sowing, the more we will eventually reap

[If we desire success in any venture, but especially in prayer, Bible
study, and evangelism, then we must adopt "The Virtue Of Perseverance."
To encourage us to do so, Jesus goes on to provide...]


      1. To illustrate, Jesus gives a simple argument (from the lesser to the greater)
         a. I.e., men give good gifts to their children who ask
         b. How much more so, will our Father in heaven!
      2. Jesus stressed this Fatherly attribute of God in His sermon
         a. In regards to our physical necessities - Mt 6:31-32
         b. And now in regards to things that are good for us - Mt 7:11

      1. As Jesus promised to His disciples in Jn 15:7
         a. Conditioned upon our abiding in Him
         b. Conditioned upon His words abiding in us
      2. As the apostle John wrote in 1Jn 5:14-15
         a. Conditioned upon our asking according to His will
         b. Which assumes we know His will for us (i.e., His word is abiding in us)
      3. And as James wrote in Jm 4:3
         a. Presuming we are not asking for personal and selfish gain
         b. But many do not enjoy God's favor, simply because they do not ask!

1. To persevere, then, is a noble virtue, especially in regards to prayer...
   a. We have a Father in heaven who is not untouched by the persistent
      pleas of His children
   b. Providing we do not ask amiss, persistent prayers will not go unanswered!

2. If we desire to receive, find, and have doors opened to us, then let us...
   a. Keep on asking
   b. Keep on seeking
   c. Keep on knocking
   ...not only in regards to prayer, but in all ventures worthy of 
   Christians (e.g., Bible study, evangelism)!

Have you asked, sought, or knocked today...?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Jesus Is Coming Soon? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Jesus Is Coming Soon?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

One hymn which has attained considerable popularity over the years is R.E. Winsett’s “Jesus Is Coming Soon.” Since the New Testament teaches that we are to “sing with the understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:15) and to refrain from speaking or singing falsehoods (Ephesians 4:25; 5:19), it behooves us to be conscious of the meanings and biblical significance of the lyrics which pass from our lips.

The New Testament teaches that Jesus could come at virtually any time (Matthew 24:42-44). It teaches that time is nothing with God, to the extent that even a delay of hundreds of years amounts to nothing (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8). In this sense, Jesus may be thought of as “coming soon.” But the Bible also teaches that no one knows when Jesus will actually come again (Matthew 24:36). To give the impression that one is certain that Jesus will return “soon,” i.e., in the next few months or years, is to make a claim that cannot be sustained by Scripture. It is perfectly within the purview of biblical thought for Jesus to delay his coming for another thousand years or even much longer.

The real problem with the song is seen in its second verse. If there was any doubt about the song’s millennial leanings, the lyrics of verse two clearly betray the author’s eschatological misconceptions. The phrases “love of so many cold,” “evils abound,” and “when these signs come to pass” are undeniable allusions to Matthew 24:12 and Luke 21:28,31. While the lyricist applies these conditions to the end of time and Christ’s second coming, Jesus applied them to the destruction of Jerusalem which occurred in A.D. 70. When Christ comes again, there will be no signs to herald the fact (Miller, 2003). It will come completely by surprise with no signals to warn people even of the approximate time (Matthew 24:36-44; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6; 2 Peter 3:10).

It is not easy to admit that a song that is so emotionally and aesthetically satisfying possesses inherent flaws that render it spiritually unacceptable. But if we truly love and respect God and His Word, we will adjust our practice, loyalties, and sentimentalities to fit God’s will—not vice versa. After all, when Jesus returns, we want Him to find us humbly submitting to His will.


Miller, Dave (2003), “There Will Be No Signs!” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=937&topic=83.

Jesus Gives "Church" Meaning by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Jesus Gives "Church" Meaning

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The Greek word ekklesia, translated as “church” in most English Bibles, simply means “assembly.” In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said, “I will build my church (ekklesia).” Hence, we could read this verse, “I (Jesus) will build my assembly.” Paul wrote, “The churches of Christ salute you” (Romans 16:16). Again, this world translated “churches” could be translated “assemblies.”

Interestingly, the same term used in the two verses above (ekklesia) also is used at times in reference to secular assemblies. For example, in Acts 19:32 the term ekklesia is used to speak of the mob at Ephesus. The text reads: “Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly (ekklesia) was confused.”

One might ask, “How do I know if the text is speaking about a secular assembly or the church?” Answer: The modifying words in the context of a particular passage are what make it possible to distinguish the kind of assembly to which the Bible writers were referring. We know that the assemblies Paul mentioned in Romans 16:16 are churches because ekklesia is modified by the phrase “of Christ.” Likewise, in Acts 20:28, we know the assembly mentioned is the church because it is modified by the phrase, “of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (emp. added). The word “assembly” is set apart from secular assemblies in these passages because the context points to a group of people owned by Christ.

The religious world needs to understand that Jesus is the one who gives ekklesia meaning. When mere human names and terms are placed alongside “church,” then the name no longer possesses the meaning that God intended for it to have. Christians should wear the name of Christ (and Christ only) because He purchased the church (Acts 20:28) and said it was His (Matthew 16:18).

Without the work of Jesus, nothing would separate us from man-made assemblies. He gave ekklesia a new meaning in the first century, and continues to give it meaning today when we wear His name.

Jephthah's Daughter, the Levites, and Symbolic Sacrifices by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Jephthah's Daughter, the Levites, and Symbolic Sacrifices

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Most Bible students recall the brief story of Jephthah and his daughter in Judges 11:29-40. Upon becoming Judge of Israel, “the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah” and “he advanced toward the people of Ammon” (11:29). “And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, ‘If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering” (11:30-31). According to Holy Writ, Jephthah defeated Ammon, and his daughter was the first to meet him when he returned home (11:32-34), which meant she was to “be the Lord’s,” offered as “a burnt offering.” Judges 11:39 states: Jephthah “carried out his vow with her which he had vowed.”

Is it possible that Jephthah literally sacrificed his daughter as a “burnt offering” (Judges 11:29-40)? Yes, it’s possible. (Sadly, many children in ancient history were sacrificed at the hands of powerful leaders, including some evil kings of Judah; 2 Chronicles 28:1-3; 33:6-9). But if Jephthah actually sacrificed his daughter, he committed a grave sin, since literal human burnt offerings were condemned by God (Deuteronomy 12:31; 18:10). Furthermore, if Jephthah actually burned his daughter in sacrifice to the Lord, he did so without God ever approving his actions (and such silence on God’s part cannot reasonably be interpreted as approval).1

A much better explanation to the Jephthah question centers around the fact that sometimes a “sacrifice” is offered in a figurative sense. In addition to modern man often speaking metaphorically of “sacrificing” money, sleep, time, energy, etc. for good causes, consider that such figurative sacrificing also took place in ancient Israel. In fact, hundreds of years before Jephthah’s day, ever since the Israelites escaped Egyptian bondage following the tenth plague (the death of the firstborn of Egypt), the people of Israel “offered” both man and beast to God. Jehovah “consecrated…all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine,” says the Lord (Exodus 13:2).

There is a sense in which “all males that open the womb” were “sacrificed to the Lord” (Exodus 13:15). But exactly how were all the firstborn males offered in a special way to God? Were they all literally sacrificed as a burnt offering? All the firstborn males among clean animals/livestock were literally burned, but not among the unclean. Unclean animals, such as the donkey, were “redeemed” with a lamb (Exodus 13:13; Numbers 18:15). That is, the donkey was to be delivered or rescued from a sacrificial death with a replacement.2 Similarly, “all the firstborn of man” among the Israelites were redeemed.

Rather than literally sacrifice the firstborn male children of the Israelites (as they did their livestock—Exodus 13:2,12-16; 22:29-30), God set apart the Levites for Himself for religious service (“that they may perform the work of the Lord,” Numbers 8:11).

God said: “I Myself have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the children of Israel. Therefore the Levites shall be mine, because all the firstborn are Mine. On the day that I struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast. They shall be Mine: I am the Lord” (Numbers 3:12-13).

How were the clean animals given to the Lord? In literal sacrifices. How were the firstborn male humans given to the Lord? Not in literal burnt offerings, but in sacrificial service to God (cf. Romans 12:1).

Interestingly, Numbers 8 indicates that the consecration of the Levites was a type of offering—a symbolic wave offering. After God instructed the Israelites to “lay their hands on the Levites” (as they were “offering” them as a sacrifice to the Lord; cf. Leviticus 4:13-15), He said:

Aaron shall offer the Levites before the Lord as a wave offering from the people of Israel, that they may do the service of the Lord. Then the Levites shall lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, and you shall offer the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering to the Lord to make atonement for the Levites. And you shall set the Levites before Aaron and his sons, and shall offer them as a wave offering to the Lord.

Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the people of Israel, and the Levites shall be mine. And after that the Levites shall go in to serve at the tent meeting, when you have cleansed them and offered them as a wave offering. For they are wholly given to me from among the people of Israel. Instead of all who open the womb, the firstborn of all the people of Israel, I have taken them for myself. For all the firstborn among the people of Israel are mine, both of man and of beast. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I consecrated them for myself, and I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the people of Israel (Number 8:10-18).3

Like the Levites, who were symbolically offered before the Lord, it is very likely that Jephthah similarly “sacrificed” his daughter. She could have been “sacrificed” as a “burnt offering” at the tabernacle in the sense that she became one of the “serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle” (Exodus 38:8; cf. 1 Samuel 2:22). Perhaps like Anna centuries later, Jephthah’s daughter was “offered” to serve God “with fastings and prayers night and day,” never again to leave the area of the tabernacle (cf. Luke 2:36-38). Such a figurative offering makes perfect sense in light of the fact that Jephthah’s daughter and her friends never lamented her death. They mourned—just not her death. What was their sorrow? They “bewailed her virginity” (Judges 11:38). In fact, three times her virginity is mentioned (11:37-39), the last of which is noted immediately following the revelation that Jephthah “carried out his vow with her which he had vowed. She knew no man” (11:39).

If Jephthah sinfully killed his daughter as a literal burnt offering, the repeated bewailing of her virginity makes no sense.4 As Dave Miller concluded, such statements are “completely superfluous and callous…if she had been put to death.”5 On the other hand, if Jephthah’s daughter was about to be “offered” to God to serve perpetually at His tabernacle, and to live the rest of her life as a single, childless servant of the Lord, it makes perfect sense that she and her friends would lament her lasting virginity. When we allow the Bible to explain the Bible, the symbolic offering of Jephthah’s daughter makes perfect sense.


1 Admittedly, Judges 11:29 indicates that “the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah” prior to his journey through Gilead, Manasseh, and Mizpah. Having “the Spirit of the Lord,” however, does not mean a person could never sin and do foolish things (e.g., Samson). This phrase is found seven times in Judges. It can indicate God’s consecration of a judge, such as in Othniel’s case, when “the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel” (Judges 3:10). At other times, it refers more to the courage and superhuman strength that the Lord provided them, such as in Samson’s case (Judges 14:6; 14:19; 15:14). Jephthah was a courageous leader, but he was not without sin (Judges 11:3; Romans 3:23).

2 If the owner of the donkey did not want to redeem the donkey, he then had to “break its neck” (Exodus 13:15). However, he could not sacrifice it. In short, the donkey had to be redeemed or killed.

3 ESV, emp. added.

4 If someone was about to kill your unmarried daughter, would you feel the need to mourn her virginity or her imminent death?

5 Dave Miller (2013), “Jephthah’s Daughter,” Reason & Revelation, 33[8]:95, August, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1131&article=2179.

What About Them? by Jim McGuiggan


What About Them?

God is at work in the world! Jesus said so (Matthew 5:45-48). Paul said so (Acts 14:16; 17:24-29). We see His work all over the place, in non-Christians as well as Christians. It’s just that millions of us don’t know that it’s His work when we love faithfully or think and do lovely things or refuse to do what we know is plainly unjust. We do see this all around us and we need to acknowledge it as the work of a gracious and faithful God who works in the midst of a world of humans who don’t know the truth about God or themselves. Are we capable of cruelty and selfishness beyond belief? Of course! Who doubts it?
Sin in all its forms is brutal, infectious and corrupting; it blinds and enslaves, it justifies itself in sophisticated ways—“It’s right that we should do these things because…” and individuals and movements and nations offer moral justification for what they do. Once more, “What we are doing is morally right because…” Few are willing to be and do evil without attempting to justify it. It’s true that in some quarters the question, “And why did you beat her to death?” gets this for an answer, “Hmmm, maybe because it was Tuesday and I was in the mood.”
Humanism in its strident crusading form proclaims as its watchword: “Goodness without God!” “Humanism” doesn’t weep but many humanists do. Humanism doesn’t help others but many humanists do. Humanism doesn’t place the ‘blame’ where it belongs for cruelty and selfishness that beggars belief—on powerful, cruel and selfish humans but many humanists do.
There are those of us who had grown weary of the evil we were/are addicted to, evil that God couldn’t or didn’t help us to overcome, so we say we converted to Humanism without God to build a better life and to help others live freely and in peace. No Sin, you see! This is ‘the higher calling.’ Reject God and you reject “Sin” and find peace and a guilt-free life. Rather than confess we are enmeshed in sleaze or cruelty we become ‘intellectually honest’ and turn from God, no remorse about the past or repentance required in the present or in regard to the future.
I suppose that would mean no one sins. We end up with a world that agnostic and humanist, Bertrand Russell, looked at with great sadness; confessing that he saw things going on in the world that appalled him but he said he had no rational grounds for condemning it. Agnostic Nietzschean scholar, Walter Kaufman said, “Try not to call anything evil.” No one lives this way! No one can live this way. We all end up believing there’s a ‘higher ground’ and Herbert Butterfield (Cambridge professor of modern history for 35 years) said he learned down the years that all the nations claimed they stood on that higher ground. History proclaims a central sin: “Self-righteousness.” You never heard Stalin, Hitler or Paul Pot confessing they had done wrong. You would have heard them admit they made tactical or strategic mistakes, but they were always doing the right thing.
Oh God!
The wave that is climbing highest and becoming stronger in the West, in scholarly theological gatherings and religious conversations and sermons, is the social justice wave. How can we regret the desire for social justice and the concrete attempts to gain it? We can’t and shouldn’t! It matters much to GOD! Read through the prophets in the Holy Scriptures, and if you have a mind to, read some of Rabbi Heschel’s work on The Prophets and see how fiercely interested God is in social justice.
But the speech of the prophets is saturated with phrases like, “Thus saith the Lord!” What they had to say was not based on rational argument or warm humanitarian feeling (though they would  not sneer at such things)—what they had to say was the voice of GOD and they weren’t educated enough to hide that!
Most of what we (at least what I) hear these days is sociology and the religious/theological fashion which is the result not of sustained listening to God, beginning in Genesis and culminating in the indwelling Lord Jesus—Humanism and many fine humanitarian people are the engine that drives the non-God decency.
Of course if that’s what it takes to waken God’s Companions we should thank Him for it but, as Lesslie Newbigin, warned us years ago, it’s astonishing how quickly the reign of God becomes a church program or a theological fashion.

This piece has wandered from what I meant to say and say in few words. Humanism promises a better world now, or at least soon, and it promises it on the basis of human effort and thought (without GOD, of course). It’s a bit like looking in a cemetery for the secret to staying alive. (See Isaiah 8:19 which is addressed to God’s people.)
The Humanistic speech is addressed to those who have the time and freedom to think about it. It might become useful to a great host here and far away but it assumes they’ll be alive tomorrow to hear it and benefit from it.
The trouble with a Humanism without GOD that troubles me most is that it destroys—utterly destroys—all hope of justice for the unnumbered millions who never got any from the day they were born until the day they were butchered or burned, raped and sold and starved into oblivion!
What about them? What about them?
The future offered by Humanism is THE VAST DEATH OF THE MINDLESS UNIVERSE THAT KNOWS NOTHING OF ‘JUSTICE’ AND NEVER DID! It ignores the machete-hacked parents, the boy-soldiers in Africa and the very young girls there who are kept to be gang-raped to death before they become mentally unhinged and kill themselves.  This! This is superior to the prophetic “God will judge the world in righteousness and has given assurance that He will do it by raising Jesus from the dead”? Acts 17:31.
Lectures and sermons that nod at appropriate ‘liberation texts’ from the Holy Scriptures, and then proceed to offer sociology and historical surveys, without remainder, are no substitute for establishing congregations of Jesus Christ with Him and the meaning of Him as the throbbing center of “the whole counsel and purpose of God.”
No doubt we will, and should, take any help God gives us through any avenue but when hermeneutical strategies and society’s newest and focused interest become our major interest and impetus and our teaching/preaching/writing and lecturing is for peer review or peer sampling then the Holy Scriptures are pushed into the background and the entire world suffers loss as it spins further and further from its Sun and deeper into unfathomable cosmic darkness.

(Holy Father, give us we pray, teachers drenched with a rich understanding and living relationship with your Holy Bible and with yourself the loving Creator and the Judge of all the earth who has done, is doing and will finally do what “is right.”)




All men are saved by the New Covenant and the New Covenant alone. When was the New Covenant applicable?

Hebrews 8:12-13 "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." 13 In that He says , "A new covenant ," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (NKJV)

Hebrews 9:16-17 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has  no power at all while the testator lives.(NKJV)

The New Covenant was not in force until after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The New Covenant terms for pardon were preached on the Day of Pentecost. Luke 24:46-47 Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day 47 "and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (NKJV)


 Day of  Pentecost preaching by Peter (Acts 2:22-38)
1. Faith: John 3:15 "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.(NKJV)

2. Repentance: Acts 3:19 "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out....(NKJV)

3. Confession: Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus  and believe in your heart  that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (NKJV)

4. Water Immersion: Mark 16:16"He who believes and is baptized will be saved...(NKJV)

Men are only saved under the New Covenant terms of pardon today.

You cannot be saved like the thief on the cross. The thief did not believe that God had raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus was still alive when the thief was saved. The thief was saved before the New Covenant was in force.

You cannot be saved like Noah by building an ark because of your faith. Noah was saved before the New Covenant.

You cannot be saved like Abraham. Abraham preceded the New Covenant.

You cannot have your sins forgiven by following the terms of John the Baptist. John's baptism was before the New Covenant was in force.

Here A Little, And There A Little by B. Johnson


Here A Little, And There A Little

Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little (Isaiah 28:9-10).

We all need to teach and teach and teach our children and grandchildren at every opportunity. Lessons must be seen as well as heard daily. These lessons must be illustrated and reinforced time after time – facilitating learning by rote memory at first, even by unconscious assimilation because it is lived daily in their homes, and finally by understanding.

One mother told about her experience with a person who did not comprehend how and why we teach our children at every opportunity. She said, "The other day I was in the grocery store checkout line and the lady behind me asked why I was getting little kid bicycle helmets so soon after Christmas, as if the only time we can get our children anything special is Dec. 25! I just told her that my four year old twins were learning the meaning of the word covenant, and that we had discussed about Abraham's covenant with God that morning. I further explained that this was my end of a covenant that I'd made with them to show them what a covenant was, and that they had to keep up their end in order to get the reward. The lady in the check-out line rather sarcastically commented, 'I bet they'll remember that for all of two minutes!'"

Responding more to herself than to the worldly lady, the Christian mother said, "Not if they understand what we teach them and we live it and use it and talk about it all the time."

Obviously, the lady in the grocery line did not care what that mother had to say at that point, but then she was not trying to please people of the world; she had a Lord to glorify and her children's souls to save.

Perhaps we might all better understand the principle by reading Deut 6:7-9 and analyzing it part-by-part to be sure we apply it correctly.

    · And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,

    · and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,

    · and when thou walkest by the way,

    · and when thou liest down,

    · and when thou risest up.

    · And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand,

    · and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

    · And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house,

    · and on thy gates.

Beth Johnson


Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading for June 17 and 18 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading for June 17 and 18

World  English  Bible

June 17

1Samuel 27, 28

1Sa 27:1 David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me any more in all the borders of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.

1Sa 27:2 David arose, and passed over, he and the six hundred men who were with him, to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath.

1Sa 27:3 David lived with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's wife.

1Sa 27:4 It was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him.

1Sa 27:5 David said to Achish, If now I have found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in one of the cities in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?

1Sa 27:6 Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: why Ziklag pertains to the kings of Judah to this day.

1Sa 27:7 The number of the days that David lived in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.

1Sa 27:8 David and his men went up, and made a raid on the Geshurites, and the Girzites, and the Amalekites; for those nations were the inhabitants of the land, who were of old, as you go to Shur, even to the land of Egypt.

1Sa 27:9 David struck the land, and saved neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the cattle, and the donkeys, and the camels, and the clothing; and he returned, and came to Achish.

1Sa 27:10 Achish said, Against whom have you made a raid today? David said, Against the South of Judah, and against the South of the Jerahmeelites, and against the South of the Kenites.

1Sa 27:11 David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring them to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell of us, saying, So did David, and so has been his manner all the while he has lived in the country of the Philistines.

1Sa 27:12 Achish believed David, saying, He has made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant forever.

1Sa 28:1 It happened in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. Achish said to David, Know assuredly that you shall go out with me in the army, you and your men.

1Sa 28:2 David said to Achish, Therefore you shall know what your servant will do. Achish said to David, Therefore will I make you keeper of my head for ever.

1Sa 28:3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. Saul had put away those who had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.

1Sa 28:4 The Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and encamped in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they encamped in Gilboa.

1Sa 28:5 When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly.

1Sa 28:6 When Saul inquired of Yahweh, Yahweh didn't answer him, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.

1Sa 28:7 Then said Saul to his servants, Seek me a woman who has a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. His servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman who has a familiar spirit at Endor.

1Sa 28:8 Saul disguised himself, and put on other clothing, and went, he and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, Please divine to me by the familiar spirit, and bring me up whoever I shall name to you.

1Sa 28:9 The woman said to him, Behold, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off those who have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: why then do you lay a snare for my life, to cause me to die?

1Sa 28:10 Saul swore to her by Yahweh, saying, As Yahweh lives, there shall no punishment happen to you for this thing.

1Sa 28:11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up to you? He said, Bring me up Samuel.

1Sa 28:12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice; and the woman spoke to Saul, saying, Why have you deceived me? for you are Saul.

1Sa 28:13 The king said to her, Don't be afraid: for what do you see? The woman said to Saul, I see a god coming up out of the earth.

1Sa 28:14 He said to her, What form is he of? She said, An old man comes up; and he is covered with a robe. Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance.

1Sa 28:15 Samuel said to Saul, Why have you disquieted me, to bring me up? Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answers me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called you, that you may make known to me what I shall do.

1Sa 28:16 Samuel said, Why then do you ask of me, seeing Yahweh has departed from you, and has become your adversary?

1Sa 28:17 Yahweh has done to you as he spoke by me: and Yahweh has torn the kingdom out of your hand, and given it to your neighbor, even to David.

1Sa 28:18 Because you didn't obey the voice of Yahweh, and didn't execute his fierce wrath on Amalek, therefore Yahweh has done this thing to you this day.

1Sa 28:19 Moreover Yahweh will deliver Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines; and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me: Yahweh will deliver the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.

1Sa 28:20 Then Saul fell immediately his full length on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.

1Sa 28:21 The woman came to Saul, and saw that he was sore troubled, and said to him, Behold, your handmaid has listened to your voice, and I have put my life in my hand, and have listened to your words which you spoke to me.

1Sa 28:22 Now therefore, please listen also to the voice of your handmaid, and let me set a morsel of bread before you; and eat, that you may have strength, when you go on your way.

1Sa 28:23 But he refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, constrained him; and he listened to their voice. So he arose from the earth, and sat on the bed.

1Sa 28:24 The woman had a fattened calf in the house; and she hurried, and killed it; and she took flour, and kneaded it, and did bake unleavened bread of it:

1Sa 28:25 and she brought it before Saul, and before his servants; and they ate. Then they rose up, and went away that night.

June 18

1 Samuel 29, 30

1Sa 29:1 Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites encamped by the spring which is in Jezreel.

1Sa 29:2 The lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds, and by thousands; and David and his men passed on in the rearward with Achish.

1Sa 29:3 Then said the princes of the Philistines, What do these Hebrews here? Achish said to the princes of the Philistines, Isn't this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or rather these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell away to me to this day?

1Sa 29:4 But the princes of the Philistines were angry with him; and the princes of the Philistines said to him, Make the man return, that he may go back to his place where you have appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us: for with what should this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? should it not be with the heads of these men?

1Sa 29:5 Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul has slain his thousands, David his ten thousands?

1Sa 29:6 Then Achish called David, and said to him, As Yahweh lives, you have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the army is good in my sight; for I have not found evil in you since the day of your coming to me to this day: nevertheless the lords don't favor you.

1Sa 29:7 Therefore now return, and go in peace, that you not displease the lords of the Philistines.

1Sa 29:8 David said to Achish, But what have I done? and what have you found in your servant so long as I have been before you to this day, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?

1Sa 29:9 Achish answered David, I know that you are good in my sight, as an angel of God: notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, He shall not go up with us to the battle.

1Sa 29:10 Therefore now rise up early in the morning with the servants of your lord who have come with you; and as soon as you are up early in the morning, and have light, depart.

1Sa 29:11 So David rose up early, he and his men, to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. The Philistines went up to Jezreel.

1Sa 30:1 It happened, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the South, and on Ziklag, and had struck Ziklag, and burned it with fire,

1Sa 30:2 and had taken captive the women and all who were therein, both small and great: they didn't kill any, but carried them off, and went their way.

1Sa 30:3 When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captive.

1Sa 30:4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.

1Sa 30:5 David's two wives were taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.

1Sa 30:6 David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David strengthened himself in Yahweh his God.

1Sa 30:7 David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, Please bring me here the ephod. Abiathar brought there the ephod to David.

1Sa 30:8 David inquired of Yahweh, saying, If I pursue after this troop, shall I overtake them? He answered him, Pursue; for you shall surely overtake them, and shall without fail recover all.

1Sa 30:9 So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind stayed.

1Sa 30:10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so faint that they couldn't go over the brook Besor.

1Sa 30:11 They found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he ate; and they gave him water to drink.

1Sa 30:12 They gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him; for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights.

1Sa 30:13 David said to him, To whom do you belong? and where are you from? He said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days ago I fell sick.

1Sa 30:14 We made a raid on the South of the Cherethites, and on that which belongs to Judah, and on the South of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.

1Sa 30:15 David said to him, Will you bring me down to this troop? He said, Swear to me by God, that you will neither kill me, nor deliver me up into the hands of my master, and I will bring you down to this troop.

1Sa 30:16 When he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the ground, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah.

1Sa 30:17 David struck them from the twilight even to the evening of the next day: and there not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who rode on camels and fled.

1Sa 30:18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken; and David rescued his two wives.

1Sa 30:19 There was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor anything that they had taken to them: David brought back all.

1Sa 30:20 David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drove before those other livestock, and said, This is David's spoil.

1Sa 30:21 David came to the two hundred men, who were so faint that they could not follow David, whom also they had made to abide at the brook Besor; and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people who were with him: and when David came near to the people, he greeted them.

1Sa 30:22 Then answered all the wicked men and base fellows, of those who went with David, and said, Because they didn't go with us, we will not give them anything of the spoil that we have recovered, except to every man his wife and his children, that he may lead them away, and depart.

1Sa 30:23 Then said David, You shall not do so, my brothers, with that which Yahweh has given to us, who has preserved us, and delivered the troop that came against us into our hand.

1Sa 30:24 Who will listen to you in this matter? for as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who tarries by the baggage: they shall share alike.

1Sa 30:25 It was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.

1Sa 30:26 When David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil to the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold, a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of Yahweh:

1Sa 30:27 To those who were in Bethel, and to those who were in Ramoth of the South, and to those who were in Jattir,

1Sa 30:28 and to those who were in Aroer, and to those who were in Siphmoth, and to those who were in Eshtemoa,

1Sa 30:29 and to those who were in Racal, and to those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to those who were in the cities of the Kenites,

1Sa 30:30 and to those who were in Hormah, and to those who were in Borashan, and to those who were in Athach,

1Sa 30:31 and to those who were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men used to stay.

Jun. 17, 18

John 17

Joh 17:1 Jesus said these things, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may also glorify you;

Joh 17:2 even as you gave him authority over all flesh, he will give eternal life to all whom you have given him.

Joh 17:3 This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ.

Joh 17:4 I glorified you on the earth. I have accomplished the work which you have given me to do.

Joh 17:5 Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed.

Joh 17:6 I revealed your name to the people whom you have given me out of the world. They were yours, and you have given them to me. They have kept your word.

Joh 17:7 Now they have known that all things whatever you have given me are from you,

Joh 17:8 for the words which you have given me I have given to them, and they received them, and knew for sure that I came forth from you, and they have believed that you sent me.

Joh 17:9 I pray for them. I don't pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.

Joh 17:10 All things that are mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.

Joh 17:11 I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them through your name which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are.

Joh 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name. Those whom you have given me I have kept. None of them is lost, except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

Joh 17:13 But now I come to you, and I say these things in the world, that they may have my joy made full in themselves.

Joh 17:14 I have given them your word. The world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Joh 17:15 I pray not that you would take them from the world, but that you would keep them from the evil one.

Joh 17:16 They are not of the world even as I am not of the world.

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth.

Joh 17:18 As you sent me into the world, even so I have sent them into the world.

Joh 17:19 For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.

Joh 17:20 Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word,

Joh 17:21 that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me.

Joh 17:22 The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one;

Joh 17:23 I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you loved me.

Joh 17:24 Father, I desire that they also whom you have given me be with me where I am, that they may see my glory, which you have given me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world.

Joh 17:25 Righteous Father, the world hasn't known you, but I knew you; and these knew that you sent me.

Joh 17:26 I made known to them your name, and will make it known; that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them."

A word for this day by Gary Rose

If you watch the news, most of what you see will be negative things; riots, destruction, crimes of all sorts as well as reports about the Corona Virus infection and death rates.

Today, I thought I would post something beautiful, something to make everyone out there wish that they where this picture was taken. Basking in that light shining into the cave, listening to the babble of the incoming water, just enjoying the beauty of it all.

What could be better? Look at the picture again. Do you see it? No, well, turn your head to the right. I see a heart formed from the right side of the cave entrance and light reflected upon the water.

Today, forget about all the problems in the world; after awhile it gets quite depressing. Focus your mind on the beauty of that cave and the heart which is revealed in reflection. Sharply focused yet? No? How about I help you with just one word - LOVE. The Bible says…

1 Corinthians 13 ( World English Bible )

1 If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing.

3 If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud,

5 doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil;

6 doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;

10 but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things.

12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known.

13 But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.

I have often heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words; this is true. But it is also true that one small word can cause you to relive the past and enjoy the present. That word is LOVE. Remember those you have loved as well as those who have loved you- especially God; read the Corinthian passage above and think about how you can reflect the love of God in both your thoughts and actions. If you spend a little “alone time” thinking about these things, then your day will be a better one for having done it.

PS. One more thing - Smile, God loves you!