Psalms for Psome – 6

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

In our prayers as believers, we have been given many wonderful promises, promises such as

Hebrews 4:16

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The throne of grace, where mercy flows, and help is available. What a fantastic promise to depend on, to believe. This privilege of the believer is a precious truth, one that, I can safely safe many of us do not appreciate fully.

This is a truth that we have constantly, and that as we reach out to the Father is humility and with confession, we can believe we have brought our petitions before Him and that we will receive mercy and help.

This psalm is the first of seven penitential psalms David authored. David was in deep despair and trouble in Psalm 6. He is physically sick and spiritually troubled. He is pleading with God to turn, yet this is a displeasure he has brought upon himself. His sin before God brought this distance and the pain and fear he is experiencing is a grace that God provides to get his attention.

Brother/sister, are you struggling with doubt or despair?

Two thoughts come to mind. The first is the simple decision of the Lord to simply allow us to have a barrenness in our lives, a time of dryness and quietness from the Lord that seems unexplainable. I will confess this has been my experience in the past, and has caused me to search the Word and my relation with Him.

The second, which sadly is the more common for myself at least, is the experience of bring the doubt and despair upon myself. My hardness of heart in listening to the voice of God has caused me to commit sin again Him, either in attitude or actions. I fear we all fall at times in our walk with Him. Have you knowledge of sin against God in your life? This doubt and despair may be a gracious act of God, seeking to get your attention.

David committed sin against the Lord and was in the depths of despair and anguish. He speaks of his end being in Sheol, of his death. His experience is that of life and death. He weeps and wails, seeking relief. In the midst of his grief, David writes the following

Psalm 6:8-9

Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer.

Did the weeping and wailing “pay” for his sins, satisfy the Lord and force the Father’s hand in forgiving His child? Some may think this way, but I speculate those who think thus may not have experienced a child’s tears of sorrow.

When one of my children approached me in humble contrition for a wrong they committed against my self, their mother, or worse yet, against themselves, all I could think of are ways to find resolution and to restore what was lost.

Granted, I am a sinner with little wisdom, but I recognize that Jesus often used our experiences to compare and demonstrate the Fathers love for His children. (Take a few moments to consider how often He used our parental experiences as a basis to explain the Father’s greater love for His children.)

David prayed to the Lord, he approached the throne of grace in humility and contrition. He boldly states “The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer” This is the experience of Hebrews 4.

May we experience that confidence as we seek His pleasure.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Let Me Tell You a Story – The Blizzard of ’21

let-me-tell-you-a-story.jpg

It was a quiet Saturday, but little did we know what lay ahead for us for the next few days. 

Yes, I am referring to the blizzard of ’21, where we received up to 2″ of snow, temperatures that plummeted to 16 degrees Fahrenheit, and a complete shutdown of the power grid, along with the resultant darkness, loss of heat and breaking water pipes.

As a Canadian who has lived through minus 40 degree weather,  experienced 2 or more feet of snow (in one “dump”), and experienced 6 months of winter, year in and year out, it became apparent once again the blessing of living in Houston.

But Carl – you were without power for over 52 hours, a water pipe in your attic burst, with water gushing out, tearing up both the second and first floor ceilings, and you woke with the house temperature barely above 40 degrees.  Two days of 8 blankets on the bed, reading during the day, and finding ways to charge your phone for communication .  Two days where we had no distractions, where my wife and I were confined to our bed to stay warm.  Two days of considering our situation.  Two days of being still.

You see, we are a blessed people, and I will readily admit we had what amounts to a minor inconvenience.  We heard reports of horrendous experiences of folks during this blizzard.  Some folk died during this trial, and we are so sorry to hear of this tragedy.

When trials come into your life, many distractions can accompany the struggle.  At one point in our two day trouble, I began to consider this as an opportunity.  What could I do, other than to be with my wife, to be quiet, and (eventually) to be thankful for the mercies we experience every day.

I do hope those who may be reading this have not suffered from the cold snap we experienced, or from other trials recently.  If so, and you would allow us to pray for you, please do not hesitate to share via the comment box below.

Thanks muchly and have a blessed day walking with the Savior.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Parable Surprises – The Unequal Debts

This parable speaks of debt, and a few parables use this topic, since it was a common condition in the first century. A bit later in the career of the Lord He uses this topic in a somewhat lengthy parable of a man being forgiven a humongous debt. It is one of the more disturbing parables I can think of. But I am getting ahead of myself (again!).

Let’s take a look at

The Parable of The Unequal Debts

Luke 7:41-43

41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

As mentioned in our introduction, we have a number of questions that will provide guidance in understanding each of these parables. Let’s review and delve into this parable.

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

According to Luke 7:36 and following verses, a Pharisee by the name of Simon invited Jesus into his home for a meal. Simon had also invited “others” to the meal according to Luke 7:49, and of course there was that instigator, that sinful woman.


When did the Lord give this parable?

During the Lord’s Galilean ministry, which was in His first year of public ministry.

By the way, I have recently found an interesting graphic of a timeline of the ministry of the Lord Jesus here. The website BibleTimeLines.com supplies this information. Visit to check the info out. I hope it is useful for your review and information.

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

Simon the Pharisee likely lived in the region of Galilee, near either the city of Capernaum or Nain. Both these cities were on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Why did the Lord give this message?

Simon asked a question. Under his breath! If’n I ask a question under my breath, I surely don’t expect anyone to respond. I usually do this type of complaining in order to justify my own bias’s. Jesus would take this opportunity to help Simon understand a basic truth, that had great implications.

I think if he had closed the door to his home and the woman couldn’t get in, everything would have been different. Of course I am being waggish at this point. But it raises a question in my mind. How did a woman, whom the general audience and Simon had disdain for, enter into the home?

Simon invited Jesus into his home, but the woman wasn’t invited. She entered the home of a Pharisee to bless the Master. What utter audacity! This is totally unexpected.

And what is more, Simon didn’t rebuke the sinful woman, but muttered under his breath, saying to himself that Jesus surely isn’t a prophet since this “sort of woman” was touching him.

It is truly warped what religion does to those engulfed in it. For a sinful woman to touch someone, to become “an issue” is beyond me.

Lets recap. A woman dowsing Jesus feet with ointment gave offence to a Pharisee, who had little estimation of who Jesus was. (It seems Simon thought of Jesus as simply a failed prophet!)

What was the message for the original audience?

Jesus responds to Simon’s thoughts in telling this story. Remember now, that Simon is thinking Jesus is simply a failed prophet, a prophet who is lacking in the basic understanding of the moral character of a woman, and is failing in keeping Himself “pure”.

Jesus tells a parable about two debtors, the sinful woman and Simon. The sinful woman owed 10 times the amount of debt than Simon. Of course, during the parable, Simon would not have recognized that he was the one owing a debt, but that will come later in Jesus explanation of the parable to Simon.

Both debtors were in debt. To the moneylender. Who is this moneylender Jesus? Looking back on this parable, we all have the privilege’s of knowing the “punchline”, but Simon is not wary of this yet. He is still in a fog!

This is the power of a parable, since it takes us out of the story until it is too late. This is what I call the Nathan principle, since Nathan the prophet did this so well with King David when he asked of judgment on the rich man who took the poor man’s sheep.

Both debts were forgiven by the moneylender, and a simple question was asked.

Who loves more?

Simon was a careful Pharisee, for he said “I suppose…” I am thinking the light is starting to dawn on Simon. This woman obviously loves Jesus.

The reactions of the two debtors reveals their estimation of the Son of God, their understanding of who this Jesus is. This estimation of who He is, is what fuels each of their reactions to the Messiah.

The audience finally get it. Who forgives debt / sins? A failed prophet? You can think that Simon, but it doesn’t change reality. The woman understood, that sinful woman!

What is the message for us today?

If I were there in Simon’s place, as he was “getting the point”, I would be preparing myself for a shaming.

My lack of love to Jesus would have been based on my wrong estimation of Him.

Simon thought He was a failed prophet, but the parable and His explanation makes it clear who Jesus is. Jesus is the Great Moneylender. The One to whom we all owe debt. If we could be honest with ourselves, like the woman, sinful as she was, and realize our debt, and the scope of forgiveness He provides to us, we would simply love Him and seek ways to show it.

This parable speaks to us as to our estimation of who this Jesus of Nazareth is. Is He a failed prophet, a misguided teacher, a good man?

What is your estimation of this Man named Jesus?

Who do you say He is?



Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Psalms for Psome – 5

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Psalm 5:1

To the choirmaster: for the flutes. A Psalm of David.

Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning.

In the old KJV, the last word is translated as meditation, and having spent a considerable time in the authorized version, it is how I have understood this verse. I considered it to have a positive connotation about it, that is, to meditate meant to think on the things of God in a methodical, unhurried praiseworthy manner.

Reading the ESV version above makes me reconsider. The word has a number of definitions, including “musings”, “meditation”, even “complaint”. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon speaks of this term as from a Hebrew root word meaning “heat, fervor of mind”

This sheds a bit different light on the passage for me. Is David bringing his complaints to the Lord? Is this an acceptable way to approach the Creator and Savior?

Let me share a verse that has always shocked me when I read it. Of course, I am not in the same situation as Jeremiah, seeing his beloved country being run over by the enemy, and his countrymen becoming hardened to the call of repentance toward God. But this verse has always intrigued me.

Jeremiah 12:1

Righteous are you, O LORD, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?

It appears that coming to the Lord includes the freedom to express our concerns and complaints. It is good to remember that Jeremiah approached the Lord as such, but did not remain in this attitude.

Such was the fate of David by the time he concluded his musings of the fifth Psalm.

My wife an I have noticed that in the Psalms, as the author may start out with a concern, a complaint or a question, by the time he gets to the end of the psalm, it is resolved, or at least the author is at peace, with praise flowing from his pen to the Lord.

Psalm 5:11 – 12

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.

Questions, complaints, concerns, problems, setbacks, dilemmas, hassles and predicaments are decision points in our lives. We can sit in the problem, suffering the impact of the negative, or go to the Lord, express our concern or trials to Him who has suffered all trials, and humbly receive the correct perspective on life, renewing our mind to think properly, soberly and righteously, that is, of a servant.

Thanks for dropping by Considering the Bible and spending a few moments with me. Please leave a comment if you have a moment. Have a blessed day.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Love Like Jesus – Without Rudeness


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.


Without Rudeness

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider.

Love is not rude.

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus is not rude

1 Cor 13 - rude

As many who read these posts know, I am Canadian by birth, and the typical characteristic of a Canadian is that they are sooooo polite. One of our favorite words is “sorry”, and my mother drilled it in my head to say “please” and “thank-you” everytime I opened my mouth.

This rude thing – I got it. I am the most unrude fella you will come across (A bit arrogant aren’t we Carl?)

Sorry ’bout that mate!

This anti-description of love is only spoken of twice in the New Testament. The other passage is also in 1 Corinthians.

 1 Corinthians 7:36

If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin.

One thing to notice regarding my definition of “rude” is based on speech. This Greek term is a verb, and not simply a description of a fella saying the right polite words. Don’t get me wrong – Christians should exhibit honor to others in their speech, and part of that is politeness as I have described.

I think Paul has a bigger picture going on here in this passage. Notice that the Greek word we are looking at begins with “a”. This is the prefix a Greek writer would use to negate the word. We do the same today, when we use “athiest” to describe one who says no to God, or to the existence of God.

Lets look at the term without the negation.

Paul uses the greek word euschēmonōs to call for proper, decent or seemly behavior on the part of believers

Romans 13:13

Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.

Okay – walking properly is described in negatives in this verse and confronts self control, sexual fidelity, anger/pride and jealousy. Nothing specifically about politeness Carl – You may want to reconsider your limited assumption at the beginning of the post!

1 Corinthians 14:40

But all things should be done decently and in order.

Paul is giving a summary conclusion at the end of a chapter dealing with tongues and prophecy. These gifts, that is the tongues gift, was being coveted by the Corinthians. It was showy, flashy and “proved” God was talking to and through you.

No matter where you stand on the tongues issue, be decent! Behave properly in the exercise of your gift in the body of Christ. Being argumentative, proud and “rude” does not further the Kingdom.

1 Thessalonians 4:12

so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

Paul does not restrict a believers responsibility to act properly to those within the church. This is a characteristic of the spirit led believer, that is to act decently, properly and seemly amongst those who do not share the faith we have.

Being argumentative, proud and “rude” does not further the Kingdom.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Let’s summarize the idea of rudeness described in our passage. To be rude is to not behave properly, decently and in an orderly fashion.

Was Jesus rude in speaking to the Pharisse’s in Matthew 23, giving a scathing indictment on their actions. Remember, rude is an action word and may not apply to a prophet declaring the truth. So I think not. He was simply expressing love in giving them warning!

Well, how about when He overturned the temple trade tables, and whipped the animals out of the Temple. This is an action that may be construed as rude, but for two things.

  1. It was His Father’s house!

It was not done in an unseemly way. Check out the description of how Jesus prepared for this action.

John 2:15

And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.

2. This action took time!

It is informative to note that the Lord took the time to “make a whip of cords”. This speaks of a deliberateness, a time of controlled anger, of planning and performing in a specific manner. I suppose this statement removes from my thinking that He simply reacted to the situation. A bad situation, that He addressed in a proper manner. The very definition of not being rude

Please join me in our next study where we will consider love as not demanding!

It would be silly for me to insist you come visit next time, but it would be good to see you visit, as we continue considering the Bible and the message we are hearing on the topic of love.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Calvin’s Concerns – Didn’t Jesus Say Only Sheep Can Believe?

In our previous post, I tried to give some of my interactions and history with the Calvinistic thought process and teachings.

With this post, I would like to introduce you to the teacher I referred to earlier. He is a former Calvinist also, and has recanted, and has become a bit of a lightning rod for provisionism soteriology teaching.

Many of his videos are quite lengthy, and have kept my interest now for weeks. What I would like to do is offer his “60 Second Soteriology” clips to introduce you to Mr Leighton Flowers.

I do hope you will consider the teaching with an open mind.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Psalms for Psome – 4

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

I had a teacher who once told me that I should never identify as the hero as I read a Bible passage. Look for the bad guy and identify with him.

It made sense since we all have a streak of evil in us, and that is the corrupting influence we fight against each day. One of the strengths of this evil in us, is the power it receives by going unnoticed, ignored or downplayed. It loves to hide behind a self righteous attitude of judgement and high estimation of self. Of course, I love it when I feel like I am righteous, feel the glory of my self, and not of the goodness of God.

It is truly a fine line to walk, understanding my own weakness, and the strength of the Lord, my own corruption and the life of a resurrected Savior, my own sin and the righteousness of God, my own ignorance and the wisdom He can provide.

When we read the following verse, I automatically did not associate with the author. I immediately considered Jesus, reading this passage, and identifying with the author, only in His situation, it was an absolute reflection of His condition.

Psalm 4:2

O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah

His honor was turned to shame on that fateful day. Every day up to that day, He suffered indignities and slights, doubting and mocking, shame heaped on Him out of jealousy and hatred.

But alas, I may have mis-spoke.

On the cross, His glory shone out, in radiance, for us that have seen the truth.

Who would give like He did? Who would accept the shame in order to lift a weak, dirty soul out of the pit? Who would bear under the vain words of liars and cheats, in order to give them truth and grace?

No – He was most glorious on the cross, for those who would ponder the extremes He suffered under, and to the purposes He sought to achieve. He satisfied His Father, loved His people and turned everything upside down.

Praise Him for His most wonderful life!


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Let Me Tell You a Story – Division

let-me-tell-you-a-story.jpg

Let me settle your fears right away. The division I speak of is not the mathy kind, but of division amongst Christians. But I am getting ahead of myself.

A few days ago,  I entered into a discussion with a superior at my office, and we eventually chatted about church, and spoke of the Lord Jesus.  I was mildly surprised by this since I wasn’t sure of where he stood in relation to the Lord.  To be honest, I am still not sure, but that is something I don’t have to worry about since I am not his judge.  I do hope I can speak of Him more often with my superior.

The story I want to share has a sadness about it, that I’m afraid many, if not all that read have had some experience with. 

During our chat, he mentioned that the church he attends was allowing musical instruments during one of the main services, and that this was causing much concern among some of the parishioners.  I expressed my shock that this would become a sticking point within the congregation, and he continued sharing of another church from his youth.  

The body of believers at the time decided to consider allowing instruments into the worship service, and the fallout was a complete church split.  Hundreds of believers torn away from brothers and sisters. How sad to hear of a passion to “be biblical”, and yet not exercise love for their brother and sister.  

John 13:34-35

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Somewhat shortsighted, possibly even a bit blind may I suggest?

2 Peter 1:5 – 19

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

It is easy to point fingers at believers decades ago that suffered through a church split due to a divisive spirit, but what of us? Do we seek to find differences between our brothers and sisters, or do we seek to find the one similarity, the one unifying truth that we all need to focus on.

He is the One we are to seek after. Can you love a brother or sister that has a different perspective than yourself? Can you find fellowship with a believer of another teaching?

Remember, the commandment was to love one another, not necessarily agree with one another. His disciples came from extremely different occupations, from fishermen to tax collectors to zealots. These are surely strange “bedfellows” and yet they were specifically chosen by the Father to exhibit a microcosm of the church.

Try to understand your brother and sister in the Lord, and look beyond the noise to love the person for whom Christ died. The alternate isn’t good news!

Galatians 5:15

But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Thanks for dropping by Considering the Bible. Hope you found encouragement and a bit of a challenge. Please leave a comment if you have a few moments to share.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Psalms for Psome – 3

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.


Psalm 3:5-6

I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.
I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.

We had five chillun, and I remember using this verse occasionally to speak of sleeping with one of my chillun. It was an effort to help this youngin find some peace.

The actual recounting of this story is much more than settling a child’s fear of the dark.

King David was on the run. His subjects were turncoats, or at least every one of them suspect. Shimei cursed him as he fled from his city, the city of David. His trusted advisor, Ahithophel, an anti-type of Judas, turned traitor. His son, Absalom was leading the revolt against David.

Yet David states

I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me

In the tsunami of upheaval that David was experiencing, he slept. He slept.

David went to sleep that night, thinking he may not wake up. He could be the target for assassination, the final blow that could cement Absolam as King of Israel. But David slept.

Another saint fell asleep prior to “certain” death.

Acts 12:7

And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands.

Peter, in the 12 chapter of Acts, had been arrested. Herod, seeing that the death of James pleased the Jews, was on a potential killing streak, and had scheduled Peter’s execution for the next day. But God had different plans for His man. He sent an angle, that had to kick the apostle awake.

David slept when being chased by his own son. Peter slept when a murderous king had plans on him.

There may be a time when a crisis hits our lives brothers. Peaceful sleep is possible, since it is the Lord that sustains us.

May God be pleased to strengthen our hearts and minds.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Parable Surprises – The Wise and Foolish Builders

This particular parable is one of the most recognizable parable in the English language. This is the second of the parables found in the sermon on the mount and as mentioned in the previous post, it is intended for Christians to understand, and heed.

It’s utter simplicity of message has one point to it, and that point is… Hang on, let’s read it first.

The Parable of The Wise and Foolish Builders

Matthew 7:24-27

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

As mentioned in our introduction, we have a number of questions that will provide guidance in understanding each of these parables. Let’s review and delve into this parable

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

As mentioned in the previous post, the audience is the disciples primarily. Some of the crowd may have hears it, dang it all of the crowd may have heard it, but without being a committed follower, many of these teachings may have fallen on deaf ears. As a matter of fact, let’s remember that is the purpose of the parables.

Selective teaching based on the recipients!

When did the Lord give this parable?

The Sermon on the mount was one of Jesus earliest messages, and many believe it was given in the first year of His ministry.

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

I got some nice graphic in our previous post that is nice eye candy, but for the sake of brevity, tradition speaks of the mount of the beatitudes being on the northwest shore of the sea of Galilee, just a stones throw away from Capernaum.

Why did the Lord give this message?

This parable was not initiated by the enemies of the Lord, in asking some challenging question, or in trying to trip Him up. This teaching is directed to those who want to follow, and is not defensive in its posture.

Even saying that, I can’t think of one question that set the Messiah into defensive mode. He has all knowledge, full of grace and truth and is the embodiment of wisdom. Those that question or challenge Him were using the gift of intelligence He gave to them against Him – how utterly ridiculous!

Back to the question at hand. He gave us this parable to associate true success in living with heeding His word.

What was the message for the original audience?

The parable’s message was to direct the disciples attention to the Lordship of Christ, to the hearing of His teaching, His instruction and to understand the message, maybe struggle with it, but ultimately follow His lead.

By the way, if you do not struggle with the life of faith, consider if you are living a life of faith. Many give lip service to the words of the Messiah. I admit I am guilty of this crime too often.

The message was to hear His word and do it! I think James gave us a great summary of this parable in verse 22 of his first chapter.

… be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

What is the message for us today?

A couple of questions back I mentioned that the parable’s intention was to associate true success with heeding His word. I though I heard a harumph as some may have read that, thinking how utterly simplistic.

Really Carl – How bout those who have obeyed and been destitute, martyred, betrayed by family and friends? How can you make a statement like “true success in living is associated with heeding His word”, without considering the history of the church?

By the way, this very thinking of worldly / financial success as being God’s best is rampant in the modern church and needs to be repented of!

If He speaks the truth, (which is why you have placed your faith in Him), this means we are to align our crooked thoughts with His priorities. So if that is correct, lets consider what one thing in Jesus life was of paramount importance?

I will give you a moment…

Success, in the modern mind, is a two car garage, a buck or two in the bank, a comfortable home and a loving family. Jesus had none of that, except for the loving family. Ooops, well at least His mother loved Him.

And yet He was so successful in God the Father’s eyes, that He raised Him from the dead, never to see corruption again.

I’m thinking that is perty successful!

So, how are you gauging your success?

By the way, I am still waiting on your response to my question above, about what was of paramount importance to Jesus. I will let you respond in the comments, to give you time to consider.



Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Song Squawk – Hide the Beer, The Pastor’s Here

In the mid nineties, I had a little red Buick and a big ol’ bass box in the trunk, and would listen to “Christian Rock”, cranked to 11.

(What did you say?  Huh?  Can  you say that again, I didn’t hear you….)

I have gotten away from that genre for many reasons, the least of which may be a loss of hearing, but some songs have stuck with me over the decades.

The artist’s I listened to sought to reflect Scriptural teaching for the most part. They ranged from “preaching” pop culture religion to significant theological teaching. As I listened to the lyrics, I found some to be quite challenging.

To be honest, I listened because I could justify the rock beat with “sanctified lyrics”.

Occassionaly I will post a song, supply the lyrics and make a comment or two. If you decide to listen to the tune, turn the speaker down unless you are already deaf. Some of the songs tend to have a certain “volume” about them!


This post will consider the song

Hide the Beer, The Pastor’s Here – by The Swirling Eddies

The song looks like a commentary on the average Christian’s fear of the Pastor, and how we seek to hide our real life from the professional beleiver. I think this song speak more to the hypocrisy in all our lives, and how the professional believer can find ways to mask his hypocrisy.

As she packed her bags and gathered her books
“Scripture Man” gave her that lustful look
Yes, lust is his brew, but no one sees through
His minty-fresh breath ain’t reeking

More to it than I first expected

Take a listen!

Hide the Beer, The Pastor’s Here – by The Swirling Eddies

Hide the Beer, The Pastor’s Here – by The Swirling Eddies

The straw runs down his arm and leg
Under the carpet
Out to the keg
A secret party tonight at Point Loma
And the hate in your heart you’re hiding well
But the booze on your breath is easy to smell
There’s a six pack to hide on the Oral U side
Let’s drive through Oklahoma

And hide the beer!
The pastor’s here!
Hide the beer!
Think of your career!
He might find out that we’re human beings
Bring us all down to the wrack and the ruin

She had a beer as an evening snack
When the “Scripture Man” planned a sneak attack
Suspension’s the buzz out at Wheaton
As she packed her bags and gathered her books
“Scripture Man” gave her that lustful look
Yes, lust is his brew, but no one sees through
His minty-fresh breath ain’t reeking

When the coast is clear, you can kiss me, dear
Together we’ll have hell to pay
So wear a beard
The pastor’s here
Put the R-rated movie away

Let me know what you think of the lyrics, and of the tunes!


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Love Like Jesus – Without Arrogance


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Without Arrogance

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love is not arrogant

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus is not arrogant

1 Cor 13 - arrogant

Arrogance

The fifth term that describes what love is not is arrogance

This term is often translated in the KJV as “puffed up” and I always chuckled when I read those passages. It seemed so descriptive.

Paul was careful when he chose this term to describe what love is not, since there is another term translated as boast in the New Testament.

That word is kauchēsis, Strong’s # G2746. This word is used to describe the boasting in the Lord that Paul (and all believers) exhibit in their lives. It is the act of glorying in the Lord. It is a positive characteristic of the believer, and it is used of our estimation of the Lord and of His people.

Pauls boasts of the church in Corinth.

2 Corinthians 7:4

I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.

Paul boasts of his fellow workers

2 Corinthians 8:24

So give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men.

The word we are looking at in our current study is physioō, and this word closely imitates our common thought of pride, arrogance, haughtiness, selfish elevation over others. The root word describes the bellows used to blow a fire. (A bit of an association with hot air!)

Love does not boast, does not inflate itself, does not tell everyone to “look at me”, listen to me, I’m more important than that fellow over there. As a matter of fact, I’m more important than you. Me me me me…..

It is interesting that the majority of the time this word is used is in 1 Corinthians. The only other time this word is used in the New Testament is in Colossians 2:18, where Paul describes enemies of the gospel, being puffed up without reason about visions they have had!

Again, it is important to remember the nature of the Corinthian church. This group of believers were immature, fleshy, and in division! Boasting is a tool used to create division, of pitting self over a brother.

As many who read these posts have come to realize, I have a struggle with how to handle knowledge. My relationship with knowledge brought about great boasting in my life early on, to the point of defining my knowledge as the pure doctrine of the gospel, mocking discussion and discourse with other believers. I somehow convinced myself (I wasn’t convincing any one else!) that I had the pure teaching. How proud and haughty.

In the following passage, Paul addresses the Corinthian’s relationship with idols in the City. It is my go to verse when I consider how to handle knowledge. We all possess (some) knowledge. Remember that love builds up the fellow believer.

1 Corinthians 8:1

Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.

One of my Old Testament memory verses speaks on this topic. Hannah was praising the Lord for the answered prayer of God in giving her a son, Samuel. She had weaned her son, and brought him back to the temple, giving her son to the Lord.

As you many remember, Hannah’s husband had a second wife, Penninah, who bore children and mocked Hannah for her barrenness. 1 Samuel speaks of Penninah provoking Hannah, seeking to irritate Hannah.

Hannah’s prayer speaks of the Rock, our God and then slips into a portion concerning Penninah.

1 Samuel 2:3

Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the LORD is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.

Boasting of oneself, in the believers life, as he seeks to love like Jesus, is excluded.

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

Walk humbly with thy God. This characteristic of a believer is such a rare commodity in the days we live in.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Jesus is not arrogant

This term is so closely linked to our previous discussion on boasting that I will refer the reader to our previous post – Love Like Jesus – Without Boasting.

In summary, Jesus, the Son of God cannot be arrogant since His own word’s define His attitude of life, that is of gentleness and humility.

Philippians 2:5

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

Please join me in our next study where we will consider a sister characteristic of being “puffed up”. Hope you can join me as we continue our study.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Calvin’s Concerns – Choice Meats

In our previous post, I tried to give some of my interactions and history with the Calvinistic thought process and teachings.

With this post, I would like to introduce you to the teacher I referred to earlier. He is a former Calvinist also, and has recanted, and has become a bit of a lightning rod for provisionism soteriology teaching.

Many of his videos are quite lengthy, and have kept my interest now for weeks. What I would like to do is offer his “60 Second Soteriology” clips to introduce you to Mr Leighton Flowers.

I do hope you will consider the teaching with an open mind.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Calvin’s Concerns – A Contradiction?

As you may remember, I lived as a Calvinist for a number of years, teaching the “doctrines of grace” in a Sunday School Class for Adults, and in Small Group studies for years.

During this time, certain verses and passages seemed to niggle at the back of my mind, but I sought to ignore them and refused to consider alternate ways of looking at the Word, and the God of the Bible.

Certain verses seemed to be in contradiction with the general teaching of Calvin.

One of those teachings were the apparent hatred God has for some sinners, to the point where He would not allow regeneration of their souls prior to their activating the faith required to please God. Yes – that is a common teaching in the reformed thought, that God regenerates a lost sinner prior to the sinner responding to the call of salvation.

Any sinner that is not regenerated, given life eternal, is relegated to eternal suffering. This brings up a number of issues in my mind, which include the justice of God in condemning a sinner for not able to respond to the Gospel of Christ.

Nevertheless, the topic I want to consider is the Love of God in relation to the sinner.

Many times in the New Testament, (golly – bunches of times in the Old Testament) believers are enjoined to love thier enemies.

Matthew 5:44

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

or

Romans 12:20

To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

What has that got to do with Calvinism? The doctrines of grace teach that God does not love His enemies, but of the destruction and eternal torment of sinners, the enemies of God. They will suffer throughout eternity and this will supposedly bring glory and honor to the Father.

Wait a minute

We are told to imitate Him, as dear children.

Ephesians 5:1

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.

or, consider

 Matthew 5:48

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

So what is your point Carl?

Are we to hate our enemies or love them? If we follow the teaching of Calvin, it seems in order to follow our Father in relation to His enemies, we would have the right to do damage to them. After all, according to the God depicted by Calvin, destruction of the enemies of God pleases Him.

Never mind all the passages that speak of our not taking revenge, or that God is love. I found that once I admitted to myself that the logic of Calvinism had some weakness, the whole scheme tumbled down.

If you are considering the teaching of Calvin, remember to keep a gentle spirit, an open mind to the passages of Scripture that give you pause, and flee from the pride of a “higher spirituality”

To be loved by the suffering Savior and His gracious Father is enough.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Calvin’s Concerns – Discussions

A few weeks back, I published the first of a series of posts offering 60 second video discussions on alternatives to the popular Calvinistic teaching in our churches these days.

The videos were provided by Dr. Leighton Flowers, and addressed a number of topics that related to Calvinism and it’s resultant effects on the believer.

Since then, I have received a number of comments in response to the videos, primarily from those that are associated with the reformed thought process (Thinking like Calvin).

Initially, the comments were cordial, but eventually, due to my guests frustration or anger, their responses became heated, to the point that I was instructed to repent and believe the gospel.

Passion to share your faith is commendable, but we must remember that we are called to fight the good fight, not the harsh fight. By that I mean, we are to fight with goodness, love, kindness, and patience. Condemning a brother, (or even a non-believer) usually results in loss of communication and personal offence. With no positive fruit coming from the effort. Trust me – I have spent far too long trying to argue and berate people into the kingdom!!!

These things ought not to be.

James 3:10

Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

I would encourage all to be gracious in our discussions with those we meet, either in our workplace, over the phone, through teleconferencing, or even on a blog post, in a comment section.

John 13:35

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Please look for my next post on Calvin’s Concerns, where I will make an effort to consider a contradiction in Calvinism. Hope to see you there.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Psalms for Psome – Psalm 2

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we received from this wonderful book.

Knowing we were going to be reading Psalm 2 this evening, I figgered I was ready to discuss, given that I had read this psalm as much as any.

Little did I know that one more time would give me more to be thankful for, and also add a question or two to consider.

Psalm 2

1 Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”

It seems so obvious to me that the passage here speaks of the rejection and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus.

Verse 2 speaks of the rulers and the kings counselling together. I take that as the joining of the Jewish leadership and the Gentile lords coming together to reject God. This is a common theme through the Word, where sworn enemies join forces when it comes to fighting against the Creator and Redeemer of all. (Consider Herod and Pilate)

Luke 23:12

And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.

It is sobering to realize that those who are against the Lord will team up with absolutely anyone to fight against God.

 
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 “As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”

The enemy has a united front. The motivation for confrontation is high. The forces against God seem insurmountable. (At least from our perspective.)

But God has set His King on His holy hill.

But when did this happen? When did God set His King on His holy hill? I used to think that He will be enthroned during the millennial Kingdom in the future. Not so sure anymore. There is much debate over this, but as my wife and I chatted, we considered Hebrews 12:22, where the author refers to believers coming (or having come) to Mount Zion.

Heb 12:22

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,

Jesus is the King now. Let us not forget that He is on the throne.

Mat 28:18

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Sinful actions, evil men and corrupt systems do not frustrate the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus.


7 I will tell of the decree:
The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

This next set of verses are the ones that I intended to discuss with this post, but the earlier ones were too tempting to let go without a bit of comment.

Nevertheless, it is good to remember that the apostles gave us much to consider when they supplied the Spirit’s interpretation of verse 7 in Acts 13:32 – 34

Acts 13:32-34

And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers,
this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’
And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, “‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’

So often I consider the term “begotten” to refer to being born, as in my son was begotten of my wife and I. The apostle corrects this thinking by informing us that the Psalm refers to the resurrection of the Lord.

This psalm speaks of the resurrections of the Lord Jesus and His triumph over the forces arrayed against His Father

10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Consider the mercy of God, in that after the resurrection, and by that I mean after the crucifixion and torture inflicted by the kings and rulers, they are entreated to serve the Lord with fear, and to rejoice with trembling

He is not a God I can imagine! He is much more!


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Parable Surprises – The Lamp on a Stand

The last two parables were “twins” of sort, but this one is a stand alone type of parable. This parable is couched in the Sermon on the Mount and describes the believer as a lamp. A lamp that is open to view by all.

Let’s take a look at

The Parable of The Lamp on a Stand

Matthew 5:14-15

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

As mentioned in our introduction, we have a number of questions that will provide guidance in understanding each of these parables. Let’s review and delve into this parable

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

Matthew 5 starts out with Jesus on a mountain, seeing the crowds and the disciples being with Him. It appears that the sermon was intended for the disciples, since Luke 6:20 informs us that

…he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God

The intended audience is the disciples during this time in the Lord’s ministry. So let us understand this parable as being addressed to His followers.

When did the Lord give this parable?

The Sermon on the mount was one of Jesus earliest messages, and many believe it was given in the first year of His ministry.

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

No one knows exactly where the mount is, but we can know that this sermon was on “the mount”

Tradition speaks of it being delivered on Mount Eremos, on Galilee’s northwest shore between Gennesaret and Capernaum.

Why did the Lord give this message?

This message, or parable was not given out of answering a question, such as the last two teachings. This parable came directly from the Master, speaking to His followers.

I have understood the beatitudes in different ways at different times in my Christian journey, at one time thinking it didn’t apply to the Christian life, but only to those during a literal thousand year reign of the Lord on the earth.

At this time in my life, I find that teaching to be weak, and that the sermon was given to His followers, or disciples, in order to be understood and followed.

The lamp on a stand applies to disciples. The Lord gave this message to believers.

What was the message for the original audience?

Let’s consider the lamp as a fixture in a room. In the days of the first century, there were likely one lamp in the house, as a single source of light. The purpose of the lamp was to give light. Why would anyone put a lit lamp under a basket?

The lamp produces a certain amount of light, or in our world, the term is a certain number of “lumens”. (Remember a 40 watt bulb? This is the amount of power a light bulb uses to produce light. The light produced from a watt of power is measured in lumens. But I digress!)

No matter where the light is situated, the amount of lumens is the same. Under a basket or on a stand.

Advantageous Use of the Lamp

Placing the lamp on a stand is speaking of the advantageous use of the lamp.

One other item that occurs to me is the number of beneficiaries a lamp can supply light to.

It takes no more power to produce 100 lumens of light to one person as it does to 10 people. The lumens are not used up by the “consumption” of one person or a hundred.

The light expressed from the lamp is effortlessly blessing those who come within sight of its source. The power is not dealt with in this parable, and will not be commented on, but I bet you know Who the power is.

What is the message for us today?

There are two messages that every believer needs to consider from this parable, that I need to hear.

To be a light that is on a stand is the believers place in the kingdom. It is the purpose of the light, and the purpose of the believer, to bless those in their vicinity with their light they have been freely given by the Master.

Find the Power

When I say find the power, I’m not asking anyone to dig deep and find that inner strength. I am becoming more and more convinced that my power is the weakness of my soul, the abject infirmity that keeps me down. My power is a replacement of the true power of God, that I realize I have so little of.

Stand up for Jesus

Stand up for Jesus. Take a stand, in humility and with grace.

I have often made a stand for the Lord Jesus out of pride and hostility, out of fear or religious arrogance. How may I gently, and firmly stand for Jesus, depending on His power and grace? Lord, I ask for your hand and guidance.

You, my Savior, are the only One I can find strength in.

It is my continual proneness to depend on my strength, and I thank you Father for the aging process, where my strength is waning, showing me the emptiness of that source of strength. You are all strength. You are of eternal power. Your strength, Your power, You are the source of all light and life.

Psalm 38:9-10, 21-22

9 O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.

10 My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes–it also has gone from me. …

21 Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me!

22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

David’s heart sought the Lord. This passage speaks to me and hopefully to the reader, that our strength will fail us, and the light of our eyes will fade. But our salvation is the Lord, and in Him is our strength.



Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Song Squawk – The Finish Line

In the mid nineties, I had a little red Buick and a big ol’ bass box in the trunk, and would listen to “Christian Rock”, cranked to 11.

(What did you say?  Huh?  Can  you say that again, I didn’t hear you….)

I have gotten away from that genre for many reasons, the least of which may be a loss of hearing, but some songs have stuck with me over the decades.

The artist’s I listened to sought to reflect Scriptural teaching for the most part. They ranged from “preaching” pop culture religion to significant theological teaching. As I listened to the lyrics, I found some to be quite challenging.

To be honest, I listened because I could justify the rock beat with “sanctified lyrics”.

Occassionaly I will post a song, supply the lyrics and make a comment or two. If you decide to listen to the tune, turn the speaker down unless you are already deaf. Some of the songs tend to have a certain “volume” about them!


This post will consider the song

The Finish Line – by Steve Taylor

You are gonna get the impression that Steve Taylor was a favorite of mine, and you would be right. His truth-telling can be biting and he is a story teller. This song speaks of my failures and the goodness of our Father. I don’t like the following portion of the song, since it hits me a bit too much, but truth don’t care bout my feeling now, do they?

The vision came
He saw the odds
A hundred little gods on a gilded wheel
“These have tried to take your place, but Father,
by your grace I will never kneel
I will never kneel…”

Take a listen! But once you start, you gotta promise me that you will listen to the end!

The Finish Line – by Steve Taylor

The Finish Line – by Steve Taylor

Once upon an average morn
An average boy was born for the second time
Prone upon the altar there
He whispered up the prayer he’d kept hid inside

The vision came
He saw the odds
A hundred little gods on a gilded wheel
“These will vie to take your place, but Father,
by your grace I wil never kneel”

And I saw you, upright and proud
And I saw you wave to the crowd
And I saw you laughing out loud at the Philistines
And I saw you brush away rocks
And I saw you pull up your socks
And I saw you out of the blocks
For the finish line

Darkness falls
The devil stirs
And as your vision blurs you start stumbling
The heart is weak
The will is gone
And every strong conviction comes tumbling down

Malice rains
The acid guile is sucking at your shoes while the mud is fresh
It floods the trail
It bleeds you dry
As every little god buys its pound of flesh

And I saw you licking your wounds
And I saw you weave your cocoons
And I saw you changing your tunes for the party line
And I saw you welsh on old debts
I saw you and your comrades bum cigarettes
And you hemmed and you hawed
And you hedged all your bets
Waiting for a sign

Let’s wash our hands as we throw little fits
Let’s all wash our hands as we curse hypocrites
We’re locked in the washroom turning old tricks
Deaf
And joyless
And full of it

The vision came
He saw the odds
A hundred little gods on a gilded wheel
“These have tried to take your place, but Father,
by your grace I will never kneel
I will never kneel…”

Off in the distance
Bloodied but wise
As you squint with the light of the truth in your eyes

And I saw you
Both hands were raised
And I saw your lips move in praise
And I saw you steady your gaze
For the finish line

Every idol like dust
A word scattered them all
And I rose to my feet when you scaled the last wall
And I gasped
When I saw you fall
In his arms
At the finish line

Let me know what you think of the lyrics, and of the tunes!


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Love Like Jesus – Without Boasting


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Without Boasting

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love does not envy or boast

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus does not envy or boast

Boast

The second term that describes what love does not do is boast

This word is used only once in the New Testament and we find it in the verse we are looking at.

The term is built on a root word to describe a braggart. Our modern descriptions would include a show-off, a blowhard, and egotist.

How does this relate to the popular self esteem movement that has travelled through the modern church in the last few decades? Is there a conflict with the teaching of high self esteem and the characteristic we are looking at today. Is being a braggart comporable to being one with high self esteem?

First off, let me confess my history with this movement. I have been involved with a church that jumped into this self esteem movement when it became uber popular in the 90’s.

I struggled with it due to the teaching that self esteem is equated with self love, and this is definitely a teaching that we need no help on. The Word describes us humans as having no trouble with self love. As a matter of fact, it is self love that has drove us from the love of God and love to God.

One of the passages those who propose the self esteem teaching like to refer to is Matthew 22:39. I published a blog post a few months ago on this verse, trying to get some clarity on the teaching. You may want to check it out. What Jesus Probably Didn’t Mean – Matthew 22:39

There is a confidence we believers are to exhibit due to the love of God expressed through Jesus work on the cross, the sacrifice he has given to redeem us from ourselves. Focusing on our own self is a dangerous past time.

A number of Bible passages speak of our requirement to humble ourselves. Verses such as

James 4:6-10

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

If we seek our own exaltation, we will fail. Humility before the Lord is the only way to be pleasing to the Lord and to find our self worth.

1 Peter 5:5-6

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,

One more passage that speaks of the need of humility. It is imperative that we see this as an action we are to initiate. We are to humble ourselves.

Romans 12:3

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

It is interesting that Paul does not tell believers to not think of himself too lowly than he ought to think. Think with sober judgement. Serious contemplation of self before the throne of the Father will bring about a crumbling of our self love. He is the one worthy of our love. Bragging of our own self worth or of our accomplishments is not in the description of love we are considering in this post.

So is boasting to be evident in the believer? The Word speaks of boasting in a favorable light.

Psalm 34:2-3

My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.

Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!

Our boasting is to be in the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice how David connects humility with boasting in the Lord. In our boasting of ourselves, we cut off opportunity to exult in the Lord

1 Corinthians 1:31

so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Paul, in speaking to the Corinthians, prior to getting to our chapter on love, speaks of the proper place of boasting the the believers life.


2 Corinthians 10:17

“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

It seems the Corinthians didn’t quite get the message last time since Paul needs to remind them one more time of the principle of boasting for the believer to be in the Lord, (and not in themselves).

Galatians 6:14

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Paul, in his teaching to the Galatians, speaks of the exclusivity of his boasting, in relation to his religious duties before the Father. He has none, as we need to recognize in our lives also, that before the holy Father, our deeds are not of boasting value. Only in the cross of Christ is the truth of boasting for the believer.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Jesus does not boast.

Is that a good description of the Lord Jesus? A few posts earlier, I referred to the Lord’s self description

Matthew 11:29

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

He describes Himself as lowly in heart. Humble.

Since He is God in the flesh, any statement he makes could not be boasting. Say He declared “I made the moon” Well, that is a true statement, and the element of boasting may be evident if I said it, (along with the bold face lie), but for Him to make this statement would only be stating part of a greater truth.

I can’t see, given the status of our Lord, where boasting would be a possibility. He cannot lie and any statement He supplies is truth. Boasting may also be considered an attitude of superiority, and Jesus has informed us that this is not His attitude.

His attitude is of humility, of gentleness and of a low degree. This mind of Christ is to be in us my brothers. We are to take on humility and gentleness.

Philippians 2:5

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

Please join me in our next study where we will consider a sister characteristic of being “puffed up”. Hope you can join me as we continue our study.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Calvin’s Concerns – Is Faith a Gift?

In our previous post, I tried to give some of my interactions and history with the Calvinistic thought process and teachings.

With this post, I would like to introduce you to the teacher I referred to earlier. He is a former Calvinist also, and has recanted, and has become a bit of a lightning rod for provisionism soteriology teaching.

Many of his videos are quite lengthy, and have kept my interest now for weeks. What I would like to do is offer his “60 Second Soteriology” clips to introduce you to Mr Leighton Flowers.

I do hope you will consider the teaching with an open mind.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.