The little things of life are most important. Those who affect to despise the importance of little things, are in danger of becoming little people. Certainly no great man will ever do so. He will the rather prove his greatness by a hearty recognition of the truth of the wise saying, “He who despises little things, shall fall little by little.”
The Great Teacher drew some of His most beautiful and important lessons from little things, such as little flowers, little birds, little dew-drops, little children. He insisted on faithfulness in littles.
My friend, life is great because it is the aggregation of littles.
As the coral reefs which rear themselves high above the crawling sea beneath, are all made up of minute skeletons of microscopic animalcules; so life, mighty and solemn as having eternal consequences–life that hangs over the sea of eternity, is made up of these minute incidents, of these trifling duties, of these small tasks; and only those who are faithful in the least are, or can be, faithful in the whole.
Little things make either . . .
the joy–or the sorrow,
the success–or the ruin,
the safety–or the danger,
the grandeur–or the smallness
–of human life. Illustrations of this principle abound.
Little neglects lead to great ruin.
Little precautions lead to great safety.
Little wastings make great losses.
Little savings make great gains.
Little troubles make us miserable.
Little virtues make us godly.
Little vices make us wicked.
Therefore, says inspired Wisdom, “Catch the foxes–the little foxes that spoil the vines,” which is equivalent to saying, “I know you will keep out the more hateful and destructive full-grown foxes by stopping all the large holes in the vineyard fence. Your danger lies in overlooking the smaller gaps by which the little foxes may enter, and thus spoil your vines by robbing them of the tender grapes.”
How forcibly may this advice be urged upon Christian people! They will be almost certain to secure the vineyard against the intrusion of shameful vices, destructive sins, and great scandals; but are they always so careful to stop the smaller breaches in the fence of their Christian character against the little foxes, lesser sins, smaller vices, and trifling moral blemishes which, nevertheless, spoil the loveliness and perfection of their lives? Judging from observation and experience, we fear not.
For the complete transcript of John Colwell’s writing on Little Foxes, go to the E-Book tab and look for the title “Little Foxes.”
According to 1 Samuel 17, after David slew Goliath, the men of Israel pursued the Philistines, who eventually were killed on the road to Shaarayim. Shaarayim, which means “two gates” in Hebrew, also appears in the book of Joshua and is listed as one of David’s cities in 1 Chronicles.
Where it doesn’t appear is on a map. Until now.
Two Israeli archeologists, Yossi Garfinkel of the Hebrew University and Saar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority, recently announced that they had not only found Shaarayim but had also found the remains of one of David’s palaces and royal storehouse.
For a personage whose existence, as recently as two decades ago, was doubted by some secular historians, King David seems to have left a lot of his stuff lying around for us to find.
This find was the result of a seven-year exploration of a site southwest of Jerusalem called Khirbet Qeiyafa. At the site, Garfinkel and Ganor discovered the two gates and a lot more. They uncovered the “southern part of a large palace that extended across an area of [approximately] 1,000 [square meters],” nearly 11,000 square feet.
As Ganor told the Times of Israel, when David came to visit what was apparently an important regional center, “he definitely didn’t live in a simple home.”
In addition to their size, “the location of the buildings fit the requirements of an Iron Age palace.” From the site, one can see “as far as the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Hebron Mountains and Jerusalem in the east,” making it “an ideal location from which to send messages by means of fire signals.”
That importance was underscored by the archeologists’ other finds: “a pillared building,” about 50 feet long by 20 feet wide. According to the archeologists, this building was where “the kingdom stored taxes it received in the form of agricultural produce collected from the residents of the different villages …” Evidence of its use is in the form of “hundreds of large stone jars … whose handles were stamped with an official seal as was customary in the Kingdom of Judah for centuries.”
This finding is “unequivocal evidence of a kingdom’s existence, which knew to establish administrative centers at strategic points.”
But these discoveries are only the latest in a series of findings that have overturned a long-held scholarly consensus on David and his dynasty. That consensus held that David likely never existed. And even if he did, he was little more than an Iron Age warlord whose modest accomplishments were exaggerated by the biblical authors for political and religious purposes.
But the discovery back in the 1990s of an ancient monument, known as a stele, with the inscriptions “King of Israel” and “House of David” took care of the first notion. And now the findings at Khirbet Qeiyafa promise to do the same for the second.
As Time magazine put it shortly after the discoveries at Tel Dan, “believers around the world are attuned … to the significance of archeological finds … [that establish] the reality of the events underlying their faith.”
That’s because biblical faith — from the Fall to the calling of Abraham and Israel and the incarnation, passion and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ — takes place within history. We are not being saved from history; we are being saved within history. And this salvation leaves stuff lying around for us to find. And believe.
To learn more about biblical archaeology and the discovery of David’s palace, please come to BreakPoint.org and click on this commentary.
BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at BreakPoint.org where you can read and search answers to common questions.
A neat video – a little long but worth it – the end is what makes you think.
The First Amendment is a promise that we are free to live holistically, according to the dictates of our conscience. Last month, however, the First Amendment was subjected to assaults seeking to force the fully free exercise of faith into the most private of places: our homes and houses of worship.
The intent is simple and fatal: redefine the meaning of religious freedom, making it a secondary right when exercised in the public square or marketplace.
If religious freedom becomes a secondary right, how will it affect you and your family? What challenges would you face if pressured to choose between your religious convictions and your job, business or livelihood?
Imagine you run a bakery. You love your customers, have never denied services to anyone and have employed openly gay individuals.
One day, a regular customer and her partner order a cake for their wedding ceremony. You are very fond of this customer but believe that marriage was created by God as the union of one man and one woman. Affirming the marriage by baking a cake would violate your belief. You thank your customer for her business and politely explain that you cannot provide a cake. The next week, you receive a letter saying you have been sued under your state’s anti-discrimination laws; you face litigation and fines if you continue to refuse to bake the cake. A lawsuit could cripple the business you have spent years to build. What do you do?
What if your daughter’s lifelong dream is to be a counselor? She calls crying and says she has been expelled from her program. You are confused. She is an honor student at the top of her class. She received her assignment for a required course, and the client was seeking counseling about homosexual behavior. Her religious convictions prevented her from affirming a homosexual relationship, so to best serve the client, she asked her supervisor to assign the client to another counselor. Her supervisor said she must submit to a remediation program to “see the error of her ways” and change her beliefs or withdraw from the program. What do you say to your daughter?
Maybe your family owns a successful business. You started with one store but now have hundreds of stores across several states. A family of deep faith, your religious beliefs are inseparable from the way you live your lives — including your business decisions. You close your stores on Sundays to honor a day of rest and give your employees time with their families. Though similar stores often pay minimum wage, your full-time employees receive a starting salary almost double the minimum. Full-time employees also are eligible for excellent health insurance plans.
Under the new health care law you will be forced to pay significant fines if your insurance coverage does not include contraceptive and abortive services. Such services, which violate your religious belief that all life is precious, have never been covered under your company insurance plan. You request an exemption but are told your religious beliefs are irrelevant because you are making a profit. You will be fined less money if you offer no insurance, but ceasing coverage would harm your employees. What do you do?
These scenarios are based on real cases happening across the country — a country where people originally came to escape religious persecution. They demonstrate a trend toward a dangerous redefinition of “freedom of religion” to mean simply “freedom of worship.”
The forced compartmentalization of faith fundamentally conflicts with the protection of religious freedom. Our First Amendment freedoms are deemed subordinate, when in fact our Founding Fathers revered religious freedom by giving it the highest form of protection under law. Thomas Jefferson emphasized the value of freedom of conscience when he stated that “no provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority.”
Freedom of religion is more than freedom of worship. Freedom of religion is the freedom to live every aspect of our lives according to our faith. When individuals are faced with choosing between exercising their faith or defending a lawsuit or paying a fine, they are being deprived of a guaranteed constitutional right.
This article was retrieved from http://www.bpnews.net/BPFirstPerson.asp?ID=40790&utm_source=Black+Robe+Regiment&utm_campaign=974ea6ac95-In_the_News_7_29_13&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e1dba415b9-974ea6ac95-230558753