Friday, June 14, 2019

Acquainted with the Sacred Writings

This is very precious to me today...

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:14-17 ESV

I've been looking at each word and nuance in the Greek.

There is so much here but a few things stand out.

One was that Paul said Timothy's exposure to the Bible and it's precepts made Timothy 'wise for salvation'. In other words, Timothy knew that people needed salvation and the way to get salvation. That wisdom oriented Timothy towards Jesus Christ.

Secondly, the word translated 'training' is paideia (Strong's G3809) and it refers to rearing a child and showing them techniques which includes correcting them if they are doing something incorrectly or inefficiently.

God breathed out words so we could be fully equipped.


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Eternal Perspective

Thinking today about drawing things 'in perspective'. If you have tried to draw buildings or cityscapes of some kind you know that it is best to set down some perspective lines early or else shadows and angles that are 'out of perspective' will become evident to the viewer. The way you determine these lines is to set points in the distance (often off the page) and have those lines radiating from those points in space and intersecting in the artwork.

If we bring that concept into our thought life how do we draw those lines? Is it possible to have 'eternal perspective'?

The points would have to be far off the page of our life and out in eternity somewhere.

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." - Revelation 1:8 KJV

This is Jesus speaking.

Jesus creates the lines of eternal thought. He is every point beyond my experience that gets manifested in my experience. The Bible describes Him. The scripture exists so we can find Him and the Spirit can then give us linear thinking that isn't misshapen or exaggerated.


Friday, April 26, 2019

Reading 1 Timothy Chapter 4

I am reading 1 Timothy chapter 4 over and over again this morning. Paul said specific things to Timothy but when you look at what he says to Timothy in this chapter you see that Paul is promoting a 'culture' in Timothy's life. The different individual elements amplify each other in concert. Reading. Honor. Remembering that people laid hands on him. Avoiding 'silly myths'. Living a spiritual life like an athlete who is training...

"Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers." - 1 Timothy 4:1-16 ESV

Paul wanted Timothy to have longevity and for him to be fruitful in 'ministry' and there is much to glean here.


Friday, April 19, 2019

The Power of An Endless Life

Can you be something that is outside of your genetics? Perhaps when we were young we were told, 'You can be anything you want to be.' but as time went on we began to resemble our older family members and their tendencies.

Nature and nurture. Nature versus nurture.

The Bible says this about Jesus and it may not seem applicable but it is if we are 'hidden' in Christ.

"For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him, 'You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.' " - Hebrews 7:14-17 ESV

Judah didn't have priests. The priesthood was genetically derived. You had to be the son of someone who qualified for the priesthood In Israel.

Jesus 'became' a priest through 'the power of an endless life'.

"For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." - Colossians 3:3-17 ESV


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Behold The Lamb

"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world...

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.' I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.' " - John 1:6-9, 29-31 ESV

It is said that this John could have been the High Priest in Israel at that time. He had the right genetics but the politics of the day had someone else in that office. John was a priest 'outside the camp'. He was calling people to turn and ready themselves for the Messiah that was coming.

One of the jobs of the priesthood was to inspect the sacrifices that came in and approve them. The lambs could not have a spot or a blemish. They couldn't be lame or sickly.

In this passage we see John approving of Jesus' perfect status. If Jesus was to be the 'lamb of God' he needed priestly approval but He wasn't going to get that approval is the priestly system.

You and I are outside the camp but inside God's camp and He wants us to inspect the lamb. If this lamb is the perfect lamb we can also approve of the sacrifice He made. If the cross is applied to our life then we don't have to die there. Jesus already did for us.

Has a sacrifice been found?

John could have been bitter and the system that rejected him and held to degrees of hypocrisy. Perhaps he was but one day he saw the perfect lamb and his whole life came into focus. He thought he knew the reason why he did what he did, baptizing people with water, but it all came into focus when Jesus came into view.

Have you seen Jesus?

Have you inspected His life and His words? He is the perfect lamb. Seeing Him is the key to understanding our own motives. Seeing Him give us insight into God's mind and heart. Seeing Him bring light into our mind. Trusting in the quality of who He Is and what He has done on the cross brings a washing that makes us white as snow.


Friday, April 5, 2019

The Bible Says

What is the difference between 'the Bible says' and what some clever 'guru, professor, philosopher, scientist or clever person giving a TED talk says'? Is there a difference to you or me? What is different?

I must humble myself to receive what the Bible says but in order to even get to that place I must see something different.

"Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, 'Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, 'Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.' " - Hebrews 10:5-7 ESV

The King James version phrases verse 7 this way...

"Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God." - Hebrews 10:7 KJV

Jesus compares His incarnation (the divine appearing to mankind as a human baby and walking and talking with people) with His entrance into a person's life through the Bible. They are similar. In some ways, Jesus seemed like just another man. But this man healed people and forgave the unforgivable. Being with Him was, and is, like being with the Father in Heaven.

The Bible seems like just another book. You can dissect it and rip pages out of it but if you spend time with it you will see something different... something divine.

It has answers. It has all the answers. It also has a powerful framework that people have and can use to shame, oppress and manipulate people with. Aren't people like the God they worship? It isn't unreasonable to think that.

I see young men and women drift away from the book and it makes me sad for them but I also understand. I was young once (long ago). {smile}

I know that if people are really looking that the God of the Bible will find them and that the words of this book will resonate in a way that no clever intellectual framework can.

Today, like every other day, is a day for humility. The Bible 'speaks' but am I listening? It would be a wise thing to do. The One who Is speaking cares for you and for me. The One who Is speaking is the same One who died on a tree and rose again.


Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Gatherer

"These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." - John 14:25-27 ESV

Who Is this Holy wind who has such access to our minds? He can gather our thought together and arrange them like flowers in a vase.

Fear and disorder are linked, aren't they? Chaos has uncertainty but The Holy Spirit restores islands of order in disorder and we can rest in the bed He has made for us.

Jesus' mind and teachings are a safe place. They are The safe place. If these thoughts are planted they will grow because they are alive. Then the Holy Spirit will use those 'materials' in our mind.

The dark mind has no flowers to gather. There are only thorns and thistles.

God help us by Your Spirit to be sowers of good seed.