Mar. 7, 2021. Colossians 1:1-8

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2nd GENERATION CHURCH.  Colossians 1:1-8.  03/07/2021.  #1.

Colossians 1:1-8 [New King James Version]

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; 7 as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, 8 who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.

  1. Introduction to the epistle
    1. Colosse = app. 85 miles east of Ephesus
    1. Part of Hierapolis/Laodicea/Colosse tri-city area
    1. On Lycus R. before Meander R. (cloth dying region)
    1. Frequent earthquakes (became lesser of 3 cities)
    1. Near Roman Road from Ephesus to Euphrates R.
    1. Paul had never been there
      1. Established by Epaphras (Phm. 22-23)
      1. Home of Philemon and Aristarchus (pastor)
    1. Paul hoped to visit Colossians upon release from prison
    1. Similar epistle to Ephesians = apparently, Colossians was written first and then Ephesians expands on same themes Paul also wrote a letter to Laodicea at the same time, but we don’t have it (Revelation 3 = letter to Laodicea)
    1. Two main issues: deity of Christ and worship of angels
  2. Greetings
    1. Paul gives a typical greeting from him and Timothy
      1.  Calls them faithful brothers in Christ
      1.  Paul had heard about their faith
    1. Paul thanked God for their salvation
      1. Paul could not reach everywhere, so he was gratified that the gospel spread beyond his work and churches were established
      1. First church not directly established by Paul
      1. Sets the pattern for church expansion
    1. Epaphras carried questions to Paul that he could not
    1. directly answer in the Colosse in person
      1. Establishing the right doctrine from the start is critical for proper spiritual growth
      1. The spread of heresy counteracts the  mission of the church
      1. II Corinthians 11:14-15 Satan loves to counterfeit the real church and spread confusion
  3. Right start
    1. Epaphras gave the right gospel, but he could not answer all their doctrinal questions
      1. Pagan beliefs, superstitions, and practices carried into the new faith
      1. Two results: (1) false doctrine that gives false hope (2) a mixture of truth and error so tainting the gospel that it is of no effect
    1. We are often unaware of what erroneous influences from our past and culture that dilutes our faith Epaphras was a faithful believer, but he was still learning and was wise enough to ask Paul for help
      1. He did not speculate or invent answers
      1. Truth must be diligently sought out
      1. II Timothy 2:15-21 not lazy in study or merely listening to what others say (not stay ignorant)
    1. When error settles in = becomes heresy and then cults
    1. Paul starts by elaborating on deity of Christ (best!)
    1. Encourage: Paul praises Colossians faith, but corrects error

Key verse: II Timothy 2:15-21

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, [d]sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

Mar. 7, 2021. II Samuel 6:12-19

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THE ARK MOVES TO JERUSALEM. II Samuel 6:12-19.  3/7/2021. #14.

II Samuel 6:12-19

12 Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness. 13 And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. 14 Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet. 16 Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. 17 So they brought the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. 18 And when David had finished offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts. 19 Then he distributed among all the people, among the whole multitude of Israel, both the women and the men, to everyone a loaf of bread, a piece of meat, and a cake of raisins. So all the people departed, everyone to his house.

  1. Reset
    1. David had attempted to move the Ark with an ox cart
      1. The result was the death of Uzzah
      1. David was both angry and terrified
    1. David thought that he was doing a good thing
      1. Bringing the Ark to Jerusalem should please God
      1. David desired to reunite the Ark ŵ the Tabernacle
    1. David took 3 months to figure out what went wrong
      1. Was God angry with him for moving the Ark?
      1. Was God angry with Israel?
      1. Was there secret sin in the camp?
    1. David made 3 fatal errors:
      1. Unlike with the battles with the Philistines, David did not ask God if he should move the Ark
      1. David did not inquire of the priests how the Ark should be moved
      1. David took it upon himself to move the Ark, when moving the Ark was exclusively the job of the priests
    1. David is told that the house of Obed-Edom had been blessed after the Ark was placed in his house
      1. David concluded that God was not angry at Israel
      1. David again makes preparation to move the Ark
      1. David has had 3 months to figure out his error
  2. The Ark moved properly
    1. The proper Levites bore the Ark by its poles
    1. After 6 steps, the procession was stopped so a sacrifice to
    1. God could be made
    1. David and Israel were joyous
      1. David wore a linen ephod (breastplate) and danced before the Lord (apparently in his loin cloth-vs. 20)
      1. Israel shouted, sang, danced, and worshipped
    1. The Ark is safely carried to the Holy of Holies in the Taber.
      1. David then hands out treats and blesses the people
      1. This was the high point of David’s life
  3. Storm over the castle
    1. Not everyone was happy about David’s behavior
      1. Queen Michal was mortified, embarrassed beyond belief and utterance
      1. As she watched from a castle window she loathed her husband for embarrassing her
    1. Michal expected the king to be dignified and demure
      1. The abandoned joy of David was unseemly and immodest in the eyes of his wife
      1. Michal was called Saul’s daughter (an important distinction at the end of the chapter)
      1. Michal had saved David’s life, but her love had turned to repulsion
    1. Several aspects in worship that should be considered:
      1. Not everyone worships God in the same fashion
      1. There is no absolute right and wrong between  those who worship in a stately, dignified way, considering the holiness of God and those who celebrate God with boisterous joy
      1. Some occasions call for somber reflection and some for celebratory exaltation
      1. Cultures and personalities vary in expressions
      1. There are lines that should not be crossed in irreverence, immodesty, and crudeness
    1. David and Michal are destined to have a showdown at home

Feb. 28, 2021. Philippians 4:14-23

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HEAVEN BOUND GIVING. Philippians 4:14-23. 02/28/21. #21.

Philippians 4:14-23 [New King James Version]

14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. 15 Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. 16 For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. 18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. 19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. 21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

  1. Well done
    1. Paul thanked the Php. church for their gift to him
      1. He let them know that he was not depending on gifts from any man, but relied on the Lord
      1. Paul was not discounting the support from the Philippians, but he did not want them to think he was relying on them for it (no entitlement)
    1. Paul was content in whatever the Lord gave him
      1. He could get by with little if need be
      1. Paul knew that God would provide him whatever he needed, even if it was meager
    1. Paul states that they had done well to express their care for him with their gifts
      1. Paul was not ungrateful, but joyful in their sharing
      1. Their tangible expression of love = a special bond
    1. Paul states that no other church sent gifts of him
      1. Not Antioch, Ephesus, Galatia, Colossians,…
      1. Philippians sent two gifts to Paul when he was in Thessalonians when the Php. was a brand new church
      1. Earn Paul’s greatest praise and admiration
    1. James 2:14-26 apparently, the Php. church could not pray for Paul without considering how they could help Paul
    1. Philippians = probably surprised that other churches didn’t give
  2. Eternal interest accumulated
    1. Paul states that the gift was more beneficial to the Philippians than it was to him
      1. a1. The gift was fruit to the Philippian’s account
      1. a2. By supporting Paul, they were a part of every
      1. witness, convert, disciple believer in Paul’s ministry
    1. Each disciple made by Paul’s disciples were also credited to the Php. account, as well as each new generation after that until the Lord returns
    1. Paul was full in Christ no matter how he was supported, but his supporters entered into partnership with him
    1. Paul framed the gift in eternal terms:
      1. A sweet aroma before God (imagery from the sacrifices made to God in line with Leviticus)
      1. An acceptable sacrifice
        1. God received it as he did the OT offeringst
        1. The Philippians gave out of their poverty (a true sacrifice of necessities – food, clothing…)
      1. God was pleased with their sacrifice (willing)
  3. God’s bank account
    1. Paul reminds the Php. that God owns all things
      1. Out of God’s abundance, everything the Philippians needed will be supplied to them
      1. No sacrifice for God will go unrewarded
    1. Paul was not promising riches through missionary giving
    1. We will never lack what we need when we give to the Lord
      1. Matthew 25 every gift to the ministry, the needy, and the destitute is a gift to God
      1. Paul is excited for the Php. that they not only have shared in his ministry, but also in his reward
    1. God meets our needs and not our wants
      1. Does not negate trials, struggles, and challenges
      1. He knows more of what we need than we do
      1. The faithful saint will never lack God’s care
    1. Paul ends the epistle with a benediction of greeting
      1. Special greeting from converts from the palace
      1. Paul ends this most upbeat epistle with a blessing

Key verse: James 2:14-26

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Feb. 28, 2021. II Samuel 6:1-11

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THE GOOD DONE IN A BAD WAY. II Samuel 6:1-11. 14 FEB. 2021. #13.

II Samuel 6:1-11 [New King James Version]

1 Again David gathered all the choice men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the Name, the Lord of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. 3 So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart. 4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill, accompanying the ark of God; and Ahio went before the ark. 5 Then David and all the house of Israel played music before the Lord on all kinds of instruments of fir wood, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on sistrums, and on cymbals. 6 And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. 7 Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God. 8 And David became angry because of the Lord’s outbreak against Uzzah; and he called the name of the place Perez Uzzah to this day.9 David was afraid of the Lord that day; and he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” 10 So David would not move the ark of the Lord with him into the City of David; but David took it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite three months. And the Lord blessed Obed-Edom and all his household.

  1. Bringing the Ark home
    1. Ever since the Philistines captured the Ark, it had been
    1. set up in the house of Abinadab (70+ years)
      1. The Tabernacle at Nob was missing the Ark
      1. Abinadab’s household had been blessed
    1. Now that Jerusalem had been set as David’s capital,
    1. David moved the Tabernacle to it and wanted the Ark there
    1. David gathered 30,000 leading men in Israel to escort the
    1. Ark back to Jerusalem in a great celebration
    1. d. David has the ark placed on an ox cart for its return
      1. Ahio, son of Abinadab, drives the cart
      1. Uzzah, son of Abinadab, walks by the cart
    1. e. When the Philistines returned the ark after being cursed
    1. by God, they used an ox cart
      1. God made allowances for the Phil., for they were ignorant of the ways of God
      1. God holds those who have more knowledge of him to a higher standard (Romans 7; Luke 12:48)
  2. Uzzah’s blunder
    1. David led the procession with musicians
    1. All went well until the oxen stumbled
      1. The ark tipped on the cart
      1. Uzzah grabbed the ark to steady it and God struck him dead for doing so
    1. Uzzah’s crime of neglectful ignorance was priests’ shame
      1. Uzzah wouldn’t be expected to know the proper way to transport the Ark
      1. Exodus 25 the Ark was to be carried by 2 long poles by 4 priests with the various tribes of Israel at specified positions and distances around the Ark
      1. It was the job of the priests to make sure that all of God’s instructions were followed precisely
        1. The priest’s main job was to know and follow God’s Law as religious experts
        1. An ignorant priesthood leads to sin
    1. Uzzah became collateral damage of priestly neglect
      1. Many people get hurt when leaders are foolish
      1. Joshua’s attack on Ai, David’s adultery and murder, Jehoshaphat’s joining with Ahab, Herod kills babies… 
      1. Uzzah dies through little fault of his own
    1. David is angry, for he tried to do a good thing
      1. What we do is good only if it is done according to God’s will in God’s way
      1. For example: Paul wanted to witness in Jerusalem, which was a good desire, but it was not God’s will for him
  3. By the book
    1. David places the Ark in the house of Obed-Edom of Gath
    1. (home of Goliath and refuge of David, running from Saul)
    1. David thought that God was angry with him or Israel
    1. When Obed-Edom was blessed by hosting the Ark,
    1. David determined to retrieve the Ark properly
    1. d. God does not want us to take shortcuts in our faith
      1.  God has left us instructions about prayer, worship, Bible study, morality, prohibitions, communion, baptism, marriage, children…
      1. God teaches us how to treat others and serve them
    1. e. The details matter to God, not for legalism, but obedience
    1. (Adam, Jonah, Balaam, Paul, Moses, Saul…)

Feb. 21, 2021. Philippians 4:10-13

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THE CONTENTED CHRISTIAN LIFE.  Philippians 4:10-13.  02/20/2021. #20.

Philippians 4:10-13 [New King James Version]

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

  1. Philippians—1st in mission support
    1. One of reasons for letter was a Thank You note to Philip.
      1. For the 3rd time Philippian sent Paul a gift (4:16)
      1. No other church had sent Paul an offering after he had left the church (4:15), not even Antioch
    1. The Philippian church established the pattern of ongoing support for missionaries
    1. Paul commends their care for him & rejoices
      1. There is nothing more encouraging than receiving a care package while serving in a remote & difficult location
      1. Showing care puts action to thought
    1. Philippian were least able to give than other churches
      1. II Corinthians 9:2 they were eager to give out of their
      1. poverty (many were on a meager soldier’s
      1. pension)
      1. Often, the least able to give are the most generous in supporting God’s work (widow’s mite)
    1. Paul emphasizes that he knew all along that the Philippian cared for him & that they desired to do more, but lacked opportunity (Epaphroditus must have apologized for a late response)
  2. School of content
    1. Paul greatly appreciated the gift, but was totally dependent upon God to supply his needs
      1. Paul did not minimize the Philippian sacrifice
      1. Philippian will receive great reward for what they did
      1. Paul was not looking for a gift, for his reason for serving God was to please him and not for money
    1. Paul learned to be content in all things
      1. As a Pharisee, Paul had an abundance of wealth
      1. Paul had previously lacked for nothing
    1. Paul had to learn how to depend upon God always
      1. Paul never lacked food & shelter before
      1. There were times that Paul had little food & no place to stay, but the ground
      1. Paul had to trust God’s care for him, even when his sack contained no food
    1. Paul learned to be content (satisfied) in all things
      1. Content (autarches) = auto (self) + arches (rule or control) => Paul was not dependent on others for his wellbeing (complete within himself)
      1. Paul was not claiming self-sufficiency, but rather having everything he needed for satisfaction within him (the Holy Spirit & support of God)
    1. Paul knew how to go hungry or how to have plenty
      1. He didn’t despair for lacking, nor become haughtily self-sufficient when in abundance
      1. Paul was able to trust God no matter what state he was in & never did he feel independent of God
    1. Most people don’t know how to flourish in prosperity
      1. Joshua, David, & Uzziah all fell into sin when they believed that they no longer needed to depend on God, but relied on their own wisdom
      1. Prosperity is more of a snare than poverty is a burden (not to minimize want)
  3. Spiritual vitality
    1. Paul states that he could do all things in Christ, who makes him strong (not supernatural things, but everything God calls upon him to bear)
    1. “All” can mean all manner of things (1 Tm. 6:10 the love of money is the root of all manner of sin)
    1. If we are content, rejoicing, praising, praying, submitting…

Key verse: I Timothy 6:6-12

6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, [a]and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Feb 14, 2021. Philippians 4:8-9

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MIND MINEFIELD.  Philippians 4:8-9.  Feb 14, 2021.  #19.

Philippians 4:8-9 [New King James Version]

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

  1. Minding the mind
    1. The mind his highly undisciplined and disorganized on its own
      1. Random thoughts flow through the mind
      1. The mind wanders, schemes, dwells on vile and profane things, and allows unguarded thoughts to enter
    1. The mind is a cesspool and sludge pot of unholy contemplation (perversion, adultery, violations, abuse, corruption,
    1. vanity, blasphemy, pride, jealousy, covetousness, and hate)
      1. James 3 often our fallen nature reaches our lips
      1. Romans 7 the battle against sin is fought in the mind
    1. The mines in the mind-field
      1. Our minds are a product of a fallen nature
      1. Proverbs 23:7 what we think is what we are
      1. Most often we allow the mind to take us where it wants to go, rather than we directing our thoughts
    1. Thoughts will be judged, just like deeds and speech
      1. Matthew 5:27-30 committing adultery in one’s thoughts is akin to committing the act
      1. Matthew 5:21-26 hatred in one’s heart is akin to murder
      1. Genesis 4 Cain hated his brother, Abel, before he killed him
    1. Guarding the mind
      1. Romans 7 we must recognize the war to fight it (Saul, David, and Jonah didn’t recognize it, but Joseph did)
      1. Psalm 1 – meditation on Word, praying, worshipping, and thanksgiving must be constant (I Thessalonians 5:18-20)
      1. II Timothy 3:16 the mind must be nourished on Word
  2. Mind Menu
    1. Just as poor nutrition must be rejected and proper nutrition practiced for strong body maintenance, the correct values, focus, and discipline are necessary to build a strong mind
    1. Paul lists eight holy virtues to screen our thoughts by:
      1. Truth – not only factual concepts, but God-honoring reality that upholds righteousness (Rahab)
      1. Honorable – the word means dignified or grave, referring to a serious, reverend attitude (Acts 6 deacons)
        1. Understanding the holy importance of all that we are called to be and living up to it
        1. Too many believers are frivolous and flippant, not taking calling, thought life, or testimony seriously
      1. Just – what is right, righteous, and proper (lit., according to the accepted standard – divine standard)
      1. Pure – same word translated saint, holy, sanctified (lit., “uncontaminated”, uncorrupted, set apart from all that is tainted, polluted, adulterated, or unclean)
      1. Lovely – attractive, pleasing, appealing (in a holy sense; not physical attraction), spiritually compelling
    1. Of Good Report – worthy of praise; good reputation
      1. Virtuous – excellence (that which works and does what its supposed to do) – is what God intended
      1. Praiseworthy – that which is commendable
    1. Paul gives us a high goal to continually be reaching for
  3. Paul, the example
    1. Paul indicates that he exemplified these traits
      1. Paul is not claiming perfection
      1. Paul was so focused on Christ in his mind and heart, that if we follow his example, others can follow us
    1. Christ = ultimate example, but Paul followed Christ closely
    1. If we constantly discipline our minds with holy thinking, it will lead to holy living, which will flood our souls with peace
    1. The realization of doing what pleases God gives serenity
    1. Right thinking is an arduous discipline, but worth its reward

Feb 21, 2021. II Samuel 5:17-25

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PHILISTINE FOIBLES.  II Samuel 5:17-25.  Feb 14, 2021. #12.

II Samuel 5:17-25 [New King James Version]

17 Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. 18 The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. 19 So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.” 20 So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim. 21 And they left their images there, and David and his men carried them away. 22 Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. 23 Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. 24 And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” 25 And David did so, as the Lord commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer.

  1. Philistine fanfare
    1. The Philistines heard that David was now king of Israel
      1. Two years previously Saul was defeated by the Philistines and  David had pledged loyalty to King Achish of Gath
      1. Now, David was on the throne in Saul’s place
    1. The four Philistine lords were correct—David was a loyal Jew
      1. King Gath swore that David was loyal to him
      1. The Philistines lords sent David back to Ziklag before  the battle with Saul
    1. The Philistines had captured much of Israel and settled in it
      1. They saw David as a threat and moved against him
      1. Philistines occupied up to Bethlehem
    1. Philistines army moved to the Valley of Rephaim (“the giants”)
      1. David moved down to “The Stronghold” (Caves of Adullam, where he first hid from Saul)
      1. The fighting takes place around Bethlehem
        1. Valley of Rephaim = 3 miles south of Beth.
        1. Geba = 10 mi. NW of Bethlehem
  2. God is my General
    1. David does not make a move without consulting God
      1. David asks God if he should attack and God says yes
      1. David names the place of victory Baal Perazim (the lord of all breaking throughs)
    1. On the second battle, God tells David not to go up
      1. God does not always give the answer we expect
      1. David expected another affirmation and victory
    1. God tells David to circle around behind the Philistines and wait
      1. God will give a signal:  when you hear the sound of marching in the top of the mulberry trees, attack
      1. God not only directs the lives of the faithful, but he shows the faithful how to live their lives (what actions to take and when to take them)
    1. The rout was so complete that the Philistines left everything in their tents, so Israel plundered the camp
      1. David carried away all the idols of the army (a  fitting reversal, since the Philistines had carried away the Ark of the Covenant)
      1. Psalms does not say that David burned the idols
    1. David regains much of the territory that Saul had lost
      1. Often, the Lord allows us to regain what we lost when we repent (James 5:13-16)
      1. David acted as God’s agent, not his own
  3. In the land of the blessed
    1. David followed God and was blessed for it
      1. David waited for God’s approval before advancing
        1. We often jump ahead of God’s will
        1. God blessed David for obeying him
      1. David did things God’s way and experienced victory
    1. Waiting on the Lord, brings fruitfulness
      1. A great contrast to self-centered, foolish Saul
      1. We waste much time and resources
    1. In a short time, David regains all that Saul lost
      1. Joel 2-3 God can give us back the years the locusts have eaten up
      1. No matter how we have strayed, we can repent and be renewed by a forgiving God

Jan 24, 2021. Philippians 4:5-7

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GRACE and GRATITUDE.  Philippians 4:5-7.  01/24/2021.  #18.

Philippians 4:5-7 [New King James Version]

5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

  1. Attitude check
    1. Four levels of struggle within us for attitude control:
      1. Temperament – each person has an personality quotient determined by genetics, hormones, influences, etc.
      1. Emotions – emotional and mental well-being can be influenced by others, events, illness, personality, perspective…
      1. Training – what one is taught and what accepts to be true impacts attitudes
      1. Outside pressures – circumstances, society, peers, and family impact attitude
    1. Natural demeanor determines level of struggle to maintain a proper attitude (intense vs. mild demeanor, optimism vs. pessimism, jealous vs. gracious, easily offended vs. placid, forgiving vs. vengeful; short tempered vs. forbearing…)
    1. Paul states that we can choose to have a Christ-like attitude (we can control our responses)
      1. More difficult for some than others
      1. Paul COMMANDS that we show grace
      1. We can control emotions and temperament
    1. Let all men see your GRACIOUS DEFERENCE
      1. Difficult word to translate into Eng. – translated as moderation, graciousness, gentleness; graceful forbearance
      1. Means forbearing and deferring to others
        1. Philippians 2:3 thinking on others first
        1. Not seeking the preeminence
    1. We have a tendency to want to promote ourselves and be first
      1. Seek the welfare of others above self
      1. John 13:1-17 being a servant of all (serving what is in their best interest; not always what they want)
    1. The Lord is near = with us, helping us, watching us, coming
    1. Do not be ANXIOUS (worry, fearful, burdened with care…)
      1. A difficult command = even Paul was anxious about Titus going to Corinth or Epaphroditis’s  illness
      1. There are anxious times and then there is anxiety
      1. Trust in Lord means not fearing men or situations
  2. Paul’s remedy for anxiety
    1. Three steps to peace:
      1. Prayer and supplication = Paul admonishes us to continue to pray and beseech God in all things
        1. Expecting God to answer in his way and time
        1. James 4 submissive and not selfish praying
      1. Thanksgiving = God wants us to be grateful for who he is and even for difficult circumstances (I Thessalonians 5:18-20; II Corinthians 12; Romans 8:28)
        1. Believers are often ungrateful, taking goodness for granted and fussing about what we are lacking (Philippians 2:12-14)
        1. An ungrateful spirit is an affront to God
      1. Make your requests to God = talk to God; don’t try to go it alone and then seek God when desperate
    1. Paul’s solution is constant communication with God where we are always praising him, sharing our and other needs with him and thanking him (salvation, family, home, food, trials…)
  3. Tranquility in the midst of turmoil
    1. An humble, thankful, submissive believer has a peace and joy that the world can’t have or ever understand
    1. Through faith in the midst of evil and pressure we have peace
      1. God is in charge and we trust him to lead us
      1. God not only knows our situation, he ordains it

Key verse: John 13:1-17

1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” 8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.” 12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Jan 24, 2021. II Samuel 5:6-15

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THE EXALTATION OF JERUSALEM.  II Samuel 5:6-15.  24 JAN. 2021.  #11.

II Samuel 5:6-15 [New King James Version]

6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who spoke to David, saying, “You shall not come in here; but the blind and the lame will repel you,” thinking, “David cannot come in here.” 7 Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion (that is, the City of David). 8 Now David said on that day, “Whoever climbs up by way of the water shaft and defeats the Jebusites (the lame and the blind, who are hated by David’s soul), he shall be chief and captain.” Therefore they say, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.” 9 Then David dwelt in the stronghold, and called it the City of David. And David built all around from the Millo and inward. 10 So David went on and became great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him. 11 Then Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters and masons. And they built David a house. 12 So David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted His kingdom for the sake of His people Israel. 13 And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he had come from Hebron. Also more sons and daughters were born to David. 14 Now these are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, ]Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia,

  1. David takes Jerusalem
    1. Joshua had conquered the land, but Jerusalem held firm
      1. Called Salem (City of Peace) in Genesis 14
      1. The Amorites (descendants of Canaan) held the city for 1500 years under Jebusite trive
      1. In David’s time, the city was known as Jebus
    1. Jebus was on a fortified mountain 2300 feet above sea level and
    1. consisting of four hills (Zion, Moriah, Ariel, and Ophel)
      1. Mount of Olives and Golgotha were outside the city
      1. Kedron Valley separated the city from Mt. of Olives
    1. Due to Jebus’s defendable position, they felt invulnerable
      1. They mocked David: the lame and blind would repel any attack from David
      1. a2. David was highly insulted and so determined to take Jebus and make it his own capital
    1. David devices a plan of attack
      1. To attack Jebus directly would be suicide
      1. David promises to make captain over the army  anyone who would lead troops up the water shaft (tunnel supplying water to city) to take the city
      1. I Chronicles 11:4-9 Joab leads the victory and become captain over the army
    1. The water supply conduits made cities vulnerable
      1. Hezekiah had a fresh tunnel dug to supply city
    1. Cyrus dammed up the Euphrates River, so he could walk under Babylon’s walls to take it David threw the insult back at the Jebusites: “I have defeated the lame and blind of the city” (Jebus’s soldiers must have been lame and blind, since he defeated them)
  2. God exalts David
    1. David took possession of Mt. Zion (“castle”) for his home (city of David)
    1. David started at the Millo (“landfill” = the city dump, known as the “hill of corruption”) outside the dung gate and then rebuilt the city inward (now called “Jerusalem” – City of God’s Peace) –500 years after Joshua conquered the land
    1. King Hiram of Tyre sent David cedar wood from the Ante-
    1. Lebanon Mts. and craftsmen to build a house for David
    1. David knew that God’s blessing was upon him
      1. David acknowledged that God, and not himself, had established him as king
      1. David understood that he was to rule over Israel on behalf of God, and not for his own pleasure
    1. We serve in life in all our positions as stewards for God
    1. (includes family, occupation, service, citizenship, and all else)
  3. David seeks more
    1. Despite God’s blessings and six wives, David wanted more wives and concubines
      1. Even though kings seek to expand their legacy through many children, lust is the driving force
      1. David’s lust is not satisfied with many women, so unbridled desire leads to adultery with Bathsheba
    1. Uncontrolled desires always lead to disaster
    1. David indulged himself (Solomon, even more so)
      1. David did not restrain himself from taking Bathsheba and murdering her husband
      1. David did not restrain himself from numbering the men of war
      1. David instructed Solomon to kill his opponents
    1. All people have their weaknesses to know and guard against

Jan 17, 2021. Philippians 4:1-4

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PEACE IN TURBULENT SEAS.  Philippians 4:1-4. #17.

Philippians 4:1-4 [New King James Version]

1 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

2 I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

  1. Crowning achievement
    1. Paul considered the Php. saints as beloved brothers
      1.  He missed them and longed for them
      1.  They were his joy and comfort
        1. In the midst of persecution and hardship, Paul took comfort in other believers
        1. A task of fellow saints is encouragement
    1. The Php. were also Paul’s crown
      1. a1. Stephenos  (victor’s crown) and not diadem (rule)
      1. a2. Even though Paul gave God total credit, he also knew that he would be rewarded for his service
    1. Those people we lead to the Lord and help grow are our crowns and glory
  2. Peace in the Assembly
    1. Euodia and Syntyche were 2 fighting women in the church
      1. Their squabble was so great, Paul mentions them by name in the epistle
      1.  They were disrupting the entire body with their antagonism for each other
    1. Paul admonishes them to come to terms with each other
      1.  Any infighting disrupts the body of Christ
      1.  The effectiveness of ministry is compromised
      1.  People get hurt, take sides, and are discouraged
    1. Their squabble was probably not doctrinal in nature
      1.  Paul would be likely have weighed in on an important doctrinal issue
      1.   Most divisions in the church have to do with envy, rivalry, personality conflicts, and perceived sleights
    1. Paul urges his fellow “yoke servant” to help these women
      1.  Paul should not have had to intervene in a matter that the local church should have handled
      1.  He tells his fellow yoke servant to intervene
        1.  Since the church must have known who this person was, he had to be either the pastor or yoke servant was a proper name, Syzyge, and not a descriptive term
        1.  Syzyge must either had some authority to mediate or he was close to the women
    1. This women may have been among Paul’s original converts
      1.  They had helped him in gospel
        1.  Apparently, problems happened later
        1.  Paul speaks in glowing terms about them
      1.  They were there along with Clement and other fellow workers, laboring alongside Paul in the ministry
      1.  Their names were in the Book of Life (saved!)
    1. There was nothing so important that it must disrupt body
      1.  Harmony and peace in the body is a top priority
      1.  Peace disrupters must be dealt with: sin, envy, false doctrine, gossip, rumors, rivalries, factions…
    1. Paul urges the two to be of the same mind (1 family and goal)
  3. Ever rejoicing in the Lord
    1. Instead of fighting, we need to rejoice in the Lord
    1. Joy can be obtained in a joyless world
      1.  John 15:1-10 joy is a gift from the Lord and the right of every believer
      1. a2. True joy is “in the Lord” and not the world
        1. b1. Not dependent on circumstances
        1. b2. Built upon the security of our relationship in Christ and assurance of a glorified future
    1. Joy and peace cannot be maintained by focusing on world
      1.  Evil and personal problems can rob us of joy
      1.  Joy and peace transcends this world (Word and prayer)

Key verse: John 15:1-10

1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.