Proverbial Thoughts on Gossip

Proverbs 4 23
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Thoughts on the topic of gossip from the book It reminds me of a story I heard many years of wisdom

Gossip

Did you hear what I heard about….

What a trap to fall into – the curiosity that gives us the drive to learn and grow, becomes the fuel to find out dirt on our brother or sister.  Eventually the little tidbit of information on a brother or sister becomes a monster, ending in the inevitable character assassination of a man who could not defend himself.

It reminds me of a story I heard many years back. 

A story of a man convicted of gossiping went to his priest to ask for forgiveness and penance.  The father instructed him to take a pillow of feathers to all he had gossiped with and place one feather on each of his friends doorsteps.  After doing so, he returned to inform the father he had done his penance.  The father told him to retrieve the feathers.  Impossible he said.

Gossip is such a “light” sin, and yet it spreads with such freedom.

Take a few minutes to consider what the Proverbs have to say about this commonly ignored, and even less discussed sin that destroys peoples lives.

Proverbs 11:13

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

Proverbs 17:9
Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

Did you get that?  Keep certain things covered!

dirty laundryMy mamma used to say that we shouldn’t air the neighbors dirty laundry.  Of course, at the age of 5, I was confused about why she would even think about their laundry, but now I get it.

…Love covers a multitude of sins…

I wanna be careful here.

I don’t think this is referring to simply ignoring the sins of others.  To love a brother or sister is to forgive them, (if the sin is against you), or to discuss the sin with a brother or sister (if it is against someone else).

To discuss a sin with someone other than with the wrongdoer is gossip, slander and character defamation.  Don’t do it.

Easy for you to say Carl!

Yes it is easy for me to say, and I fully admit the gossip bug is a powerful influence if I walk in the wrong spirit!

Proverbs 25:23
The north wind brings forth rain,
and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
I am thinking the north wind, in the Israeli mind, always brought rain from the north.  A backbiting tongue will also bring angry looks (eventually).
How often have you found out of a gossip actively telling stories (true or false) about you or a loved one?  My initial response is always with anger when I see the culprit.
Is it natural?  Of course.
Is it right?  Of course not, since as a Christian, we need to exercise forgiveness.  Notice that the term I use is “exercise”.
Does it sometimes hurt?  To my self pride – sure.
Does it make me weary?  Sometimes, since it seems so unfair, if I get my eyes off the Master.
Can I forgive quickly?  How are those forgiveness muscles doing Carl?
Remember the old saying – If you don’t use ’em (you know – your forgiveness muscles!) you may loose ’em.
That would be a shame!
Gossip
Thanks for dropping by.
Drop a line if you get a chance, and have a good day in the Lord.

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OT in NT – Romans

old_testament_law-450x300.jpg?format=originalHow did Jesus and the apostles interpret the Old Testament?

This post is simply a data dump of information for your struggle.

Find below a spreadsheet embedded into the post that lists  verses from the New Testament book of Romans and corresponding Old Testament references.

Good luck as you research each of the verses and try to understand Paul’s  justification for using the Old Testament passage the way he did.


 

6-OT in NT – Romans

 


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Ezekiel 34 – Shepherds & The Injured – 6

shepherd-carrying-sheepGood Shepherds Bind up the Flock

the injured you have not bound up

In the following post, we will be discussing the third clause in this verse.

Ezekiel addresses the failings of the shepherds of his day, and the application to today’s environment is uncanny.

Ezekiel 34 :4
The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them.

True Shepherds Bind up the Broken

This portion of the verse we are considering needs to have some terms defined.

Binding

Binding speaks of bandaging, or restraining. Throughout the book of Ezekiel, this term pictures a tying or fastening. See below for Strong’s definitions.

Broken

Broken defines many types of damage, such as rupturing, crippling, rending violently, being wrecked, crushed or quenched. See below for Strong’s definitions.

True Shepherds Mend the Flock

Ezekiel is describing a very damaged and hurting flock. He is also describing a flock that is being ignored by those who have a calling to minister to them.

In the New Testament, Jesus mentioned the binding the shepherds of Israel were performing. It has changed somewhat since the days of Ezekiel, but only for the worse.

Instead of ignoring the flock the shepherds seem to be taking advantage of the flock. The flock was hurting, and the shepherds loaded them down with burdens, and refused to help them.

Matt 23 :4

4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.

Story Time

Recently, I was sitting in a McDonald’s trying to enjoy a cup of java, watching those about me. Things have not changed much about the flock of God. Many in this place seem (only God knows) to be aimless and placing their trust in empty promises.

Just this weekend many folks trusted in the hope of a Mega Millions lottery, where the jackpot was over $640,000,000.

Did you hope in this?

Winning the lottery is a proven recipe for disaster, yet so many hope in the chance of winning more money than they need.

Prov 23 :5

When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
for suddenly it sprouts wings,
flying like an eagle toward heaven.

prov 11 4

Prov 11 :4

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.

Prov 11 :28

Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.

The sad thing is that many shepherds in the church would encourage seeking this worlds goods. Simply to live in opulence or to find comfort and safety. They would say that He died so that we might live (in comfort)! He became poor that we might have (physical) riches. These dear folk need to read the Bible instead of their imaginations.

Some shepherds in the church would allow (encourage?) the chasing of the wind (seeking wealth), with justifications such as

chasing the wind

If you win you could support the poor
If you win you could help your children
If you win, you could build a church
If you win you could help missionaries…..

It is a rare person that can steward earned wealth properly. Earned wealth is a trust that is granted from the Lord and it is a responsibility to be faithful in the correct distribution of it, to honor the One who bought us.

I can’t imagine the burden and distraction of “found” money, and the emotional turmoil it would cause.

Keep it away! Father, help me understand that riches are a false hope. May You bind up our brokenness, and in that binding, give us the desire and wisdom to help others find Your mercy and kindness.


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Strong’s definition “Bind”
– Transliteration: Chabash – Phonetic: khaw-bash’ – Definition: 1. to tie, bind, bind on, bind up, saddle, restrain, bandage, govern a. (Qal) 1. to bind, bind on 2. to bind up b. (Piel) to bind, restrain c. (Pual) to be bound up – Origin: a primitive root – TWOT entry: 599 Part(s) of speech: Verb
Strong’s definition “Broken”
– Transliteration: Shabar – Phonetic: shaw-bar’ – Definition: 1. to break, break in pieces a. (Qal) 1. break, break in or down, rend violently, wreck, crush, quench 2. to break, rupture (fig) b. (Niphal) 1. to be broken, be maimed, be crippled, be wrecked 2. to be broken, be crushed (fig) c. (Piel) to shatter, break d. (Hiphil) to cause to break out, bring to the birth e. (Hophal) to be broken, be shattered – Origin: a primitive root – TWOT entry: 2321 – Part(s) of speech: Verb

Chatting with a Dispy – 5

mount-olives-split-2A brother in the Lord asked if I would discuss dispensationalism and Zechariah 14 with a blogger who owns a bible prophecy website.  I gladly accepted the inviation and will provide to the reader the discussion as it occurred.I have changed the web site owners name to “Brother” for the sake of his privacy, and each of my responses are italicized and indented for clarity sake.

With that introduction,  lets continue our chat with a “Dispy.”  We pick up in continuing my previous response to statements on his web site.

I’m sorry, I’m the one who owes you an apology.  I did not see, I was blind, I did not see that you noted that passage DID mention the “trump of God”, but that your position had nuances that I did not detect right away.  More often than not, I get people who claim the text does not contain the words it does contain, and the debate is rather simple, yet they will still refuse to admit error.

I can see this discussion may be very good.  Now I will admit confusion further, as to the nature of how you reason and argue.

Repeatedly, you are saying to me to not “build doctrine on silence”, yet, when the text of 1 Thess is silent on the issue of whether the trumpet is sounding, you build upon that, and use that silence as somehow enough proof to discern a difference of significance.

Well, when do you apply your standard, and is your standard Biblical, because it does not seem to me that you are consistent here in applying it.  In other words, you appear to be grasping at gnats, but swallowing a camel.

Since you make a big issue over the “different” trump reference in 1 Thess 4 vs. 1 Cor 15, but the entire lack of a trumpet in Zech 14 and Rev 19 seems to not bother you at all, as if you are willing to “swallow” the idea that there is a trumpet in passages that do not mention it, and yet, claim that there is enough of a difference in the trumpet in 1 Thess 4, that it’s somehow significant of something?

Brother

I am glad that we can continue with our discussion.  I do hope that in the midst of our discussion you may see more than just comments on the Text, but a desire to edify and build each other up in the faith.

Now I will admit confusion further, as to the nature of how you reason and argue.  Repeatedly, you are saying to me to not “build doctrine on silence”,

Agreed

yet, when the text of 1 Thess is silent on the issue of whether the trumpet is sounding, you build upon that,

My intent is to point out that your comment “Both chapters also teach the resurrection and of the trumpet blast” is not accurate.  The second passage – (1 Thess) does not mention any noise from the trumpet.  Just that the Lord is “coming with… the trump of God”

and use that silence as somehow enough proof to discern a difference of significance.

The significance is minor, but I only sought to draw to your attention a point you may want to edit on your site.

Well, when do you apply your standard,

As to a standard to apply, I assume you are referring to my understanding passages within the Word.  I seek to be as literal as possible unless the context demands I consider a symbolic/poetic/spiritual interpretation.  You see, I was a very good dispensationalist for much of my Christian life.  One of the items I believed was that every prophecy of the first coming of the Lord Jesus in the OT was fulfilled literally in the NT.  I believed that passionately for many years.  I was so convinced that I assumed it was unassailable.  Then I began a study a few years back on how the apostles interpreted the OT showing the messianic fulfillment in Jesus.  This study began my reconsidering of my literalistic interpretive methods.


Please visit next time as we continue to discuss issues that arise between my dispensational friend and myself.

Thanks for visiting and as always, I love getting comments from those who read this blog.


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A Jealous God – Part 4

jealousy

Let’s consider the jealousy of God one more time, and this time I promise, it will become obvious, if it isn’t already, what emotion is linked to jealousy. 

So, let us move onto to the book of Nahum.  Nahum has one of my favorite Old Testament verses in it. 

(This one, I confess, is not it!)

Nahum 1:2
 
The LORD is a jealous and avenging God;
the LORD is avenging and wrathful;
the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries
and keeps wrath for his enemies.
Anger

Nahum brings the wrath component into the mix.  The wrath and the vengeance – He is making a serious point that the reader cannot afford to ignore.  The people of Ninevah were in for judgement from an avenging God.  Nahum links jealousy and avenging together.  This seems natural in my mind.

Rabbit Trail Coming

Let’s think about this.

Nahum identifies those upon whom wrath will fall.  It is God’s adversaries and God’s enemies.  But Carl, Nahum is pronouncing judgement on the nation of Assyria, that judgement being the impending invasion of the Babylonian army.  The Assyrians are the enemies of God and of Israel.

Of course the Ninevites are the enemy, the adversary.  Why would this lone prophet be sent to this non-Israeli nation, this people group that has no knowledge of God’s holiness, expectations, etc.

jonah-and-the-whale-dan-phyillaierLet’s remember that about 150 years earlier, a prophet by the name of Jonah wandered into the city of Ninevah, preaching repentance.  The greatest non Israeli revival in history occurred due to Jonah’s preaching.  God reached out to the nation of Assyria, in the midst of their idolatry and revealed Himself, with the entire city of Ninevah repenting.  

Now, about 150 years later, Nahum is calling down judgement on the people of Ninevah.  Because He is a jealous God.  The Ninevites were going after other god’s after they had begun worshiping the true God!

You may remember in previous posts that I have sought to define the remnant within the nation of Israel, those who had faith in the living God among the general populace of Israel.  (See Daniel 9:24-27 – 8).  Nahum is warning the general populace of the nation of Assyria, but an interesting (disturbing) truth erupts in my mind, and I’m sure in yours.

 
battle of Ninevah
In the city of Ninevah, there may have been those that were truly God’s, and were going to experience the wrath also.  If the wrath is the invasion of Babylon, (which the nation of Israel would experience soon enough) then the entire nation would come under the judgement of God, both the remnant (if any left in Ninevah – I’m thinking there was) and the adversaries/enemies mentioned in Nahum 1:2.
 
This concept bothered me for many years, sometimes thinking that it wasn’t fair.  (Carl – let’s get over this thing about life being fair!  That is poppycock!)
 
With God’s people being in the midst of judgement on a nation, it just bugged me, that is until I came across another Old Testament verse that gave some relative comfort.
 
Habakkuk 3:2
 
O LORD, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O LORD, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.

 

 


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Faith – Peíthō – Yield

Faith 2As mentioned in my introduction to faith post, I was in Sunday School class a while back and had the opportunity to discuss Christian maturity with the teacher, and as you may have guessed, we wandered off into the subject of faith.

Faith

He had told me there are a number of Greek words in the New Testament that are translated “faith” in our English Bible, and I let him know I thought otherwise.

So I came home and did a quick study, using Blue Letter Bible web site.  The following table gives a summary of the New Testament Greek words used when describing our English word “faith”.

Strongs # Greek Transliterated English Equivalent
New Testament (Greek) for “faith”
G571 ἄπιστος apistos that believe not, unbelieving, faithless, unbeliever, infidel, thing incredible, which believe not
G1680 ἐλπίς elpis hope, faith
G3640 ὀλιγόπιστος oligopistos of little faith
G4102 πίστις pistis faith, assurance, believe, belief, them that believe, fidelity
G4103 πιστός pistos faithful, believe, believing, true, faithfully, believer, sure not tr
G6066 ὀλιγοπιστία oligopistia littleness of faith

faith 4I’m glad he challenged me to look it up and I think we were both sort of correct.

The root word found in each of the above greek words is pistos/pistis, and when checked in that web site I like (see above), both are derived from the Greek word “peíthō”.

Strong’s Definitions
πείθω peíthō, pi’-tho; a primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy, to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively, to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty):—agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) conflent, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.
For future posts, I would like to explore the concept of faith, and each of the terms found in the table above.  But for now, I would like to consider the root word peíthō.

Peíthō

In the Strongs Concordance definition above I have italicized a number of synonyms that are synonyms for the root word Peíthō.  
Consider the following shade of the Greek word Peíthō.
Yield
yieldThis synonym, in my thoughts, is linked to “obey”
Granted, in terms of the process of obeying, yielding will obviously be a decision made prior to the act of obedience.
And this yielding will also be dependent on having the knowledge of His will, agreeing to it (see above) and then following through with the obeying.
To “Peíthō” is to yield to the One who is the object of faith.
When I starting looking into this short study, after chatting with my brother in Sunday School, I thought I knew the direction I would go with it.  Thankfully, the Word is so full of truth gems that even a dolt like myself can fall into a deeper understanding of faith.  For this I am thankful and would happily consider your thoughts on the subject.
By the way, how is your Peíthō?
Are you agreeable to the One on the throne, believing and growing in confidence is His wisdom and abilities, obeying the known will of the Father and actively yielding?
Our next study will begin with the greek word “Apistos”  Hope to see you then!

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Commandments for Christians – Honor Your Parents

The-Ten-Commandments-Tablets-Are-Christians-Under-the-Law

As mentioned in a previous post, I was sent to studying the New Testament by a dear brother years back to understand the believers relationship to the Ten Commandments.

This post will continue with

Commandment #5 – Honor Your Parents

Exodus 20:12

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

Lets remember the key questions we are looking to resolve as we go through each of the commandments.
  1. QuestionsIs each commandment included in Jesus or the Apostles teaching?
  2. If so, was there anything different about the command as expressed by Jesus or the Apostles?

The HONOR YOUR PARENTS command is included in Jesus and the apostles teaching, but primarily from the positive perspective, from the love angle, not the rule angle.

There is a difference.

Mark 7:9 – 10

And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!

For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’

Jesus used the 5th commandment to point out how the Pharisees dishonored the Word of God and found ways to gain from the religion they loved.

Traditions can be deadly!

Ephesians 6:1 – 2

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),

Paul again rephrased the commandment, stating that honoring is synonymous with obeying, and this attitude / action of the child is right, correct, upright and virtuous.

kid car seat

How often have you seen a young child throwing a fit and the parent seems helpless? Mind you, the scene speaks of the parent, not the child. The child is responding to a lack of boundaries the parent has set.

And the child is dishonoring the parent.

Of course, I feel Paul is speaking of children that are able to understand the word of God, and at that point in their life, they have the ability to honor their parent.

kid in cage

But I am very sad when I see a parent who has lost a child.

All the child needs are boundaries (and some of that good old fashioned love!)

2 Timothy 3:2

For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,

Wow this verse needs little comment. To determine the loss of honor towards God in a society, look for disobedient children.

Have you called your mother and father lately? Give em a call, and do something kind for them.

Honor them.


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Proverbial Thoughts on Alcohol

Proverbs 4 23

Thoughts on the topic of alcohol from the book of wisdom

As many who follow this blog may know, I was a teenage alcoholic and drug user, rescued from a life of drunkenness and waste by the loving sacrifice and grace of the Lord Jesus.
When I became a believer, the addiction/habit/sin fell from me since I had hope and a greater goal in life. When I eventually started reading Proverbs, the verses below made so much sense.
I was a passionate teetotaler, judging all that imbibed. The Bible clearly stated, as I read certain passages, that drinking was sin. It is for me.
In my journeys, there have been gracious believers that have been patient with this ol fool, seeking to instruct me in the finer points of Christian living.
When I drink, I abuse the drink. Some believers drink to the glory of God – no abuse of the bottle, but thankful for the blessing. I can’t understand it, but I also can’t take away the freedom of another believer in an area that is not necessarily sin for them.
With all that said, find a few verses below from the book of wisdom.

Proverbs 20:1

Wine makes you mean, beer makes you quarrelsome— a staggering drunk is not much fun.

This verse became my linchpin of belief and a club to hammer those who could control their alcohol consumption.

Proverbs 23:19-21

Oh listen, dear child—become wise; point your life in the right direction. Don’t drink too much wine and get drunk; don’t eat too much food and get fat. Drunks and gluttons will end up on skid row, in a stupor and dressed in rags.

I glossed over this verse early on in my journey, not reading the “too much” qualifier. My logic was – Why drink at all if the drunkenness is possible? How much is too much? I assumed all had the same weakness I had.