Proverbs · Wisdom

Proverbial Thoughts on Mercy

Proverbs 4 23

Thoughts on the topic of mercy/steadfast love from the book of wisdom.

Mercy – I’ve always thought of mercy as that attitude which doesn’t punish when punishment is deserved.

An example might be best.

As a young boy I did something that I deserved a whoopin for, and when my dad got home, he asked me what I did, and what I deserved.

He looked down on me and said – Don’t do it again.

I deserved a whoopin. I didn’t get the whoopin. I experienced mercy, by the definition I have supplied above.
I am not convinced this is the best way to look at the topic of mercy. A quick look at Strong’s shows that this term has multiple shades of meaning, such as

  • kindness
  • goodness
  • lovingkindness
  • favour
  • covenental love.

The ESV translates this Hebrew word (חֶסֶד cheçed) as steadfast love in a few of our verses below.

3:3
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;bind them around your neck;write them on the tablet of your heart.
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;bind them around your neck;write them on the tablet of your heart.
chesed

Steadfast love and faithfulness are described as a necklace on the neck. A piece of jewelry that is worn to be seen. It is awesome that both terms are used together. How could steadfast love be described that with the term faithfulness. To be steadfast is unmovable, faithful, never giving up.

In the New Testament, there are a number of Greek words that are used to describe love. One definition of the famous agape love goes something like this.
Agape love is the love that is not reciprocal. It loves because it loves. It is a love born out of character, and not conditions. It has a raging stiffness to its approach of seeking the best of the one loved, at it’s own expense.
Steadfast love may be the equivalent.
We are not only to wear these characteristic in our life, but to bury them in our heart, so that the inner man is expressed by the outer man.
Note that we have three responsibilities.
  • Not let them forsake you
    • Funny how steadfast love could forsake one. This is one reason I feel the love described here is not quite the level of apage. I might be wrong, but nevertheless, we have a responsibility to make an environment that is hospitable to both steadfast love and faithfulness
  • Bind them on
    • Wear these in your outer expression. A quiet christian, without words and works of love and faithfulness is disobeying this precept
  • Write them in
    • Bury steadfast love and faithfulness into your thought and heart life. It is to be a basis of the inner life, which ensures hypocrisy in the believers life will be minimized.
14:22
Do they not go astray who devise evil?
Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness.

mercy.jpg

In my life, I have experienced much loving kindness.
An example of this loving kindness? I just spent ’bout four hours chatting with my daughter, just sitting and kidding around. She sat with me to chit chat. That, I consider to be a great mercy upon my life.
Do I seek this mercy in my life to increase as I become an even older fart?

Of course!

Therefore, I need to devise good for others. Devise – what a wonderful term to link with good deeds!
A simple plan that any ol’ fool can follow, if he is committed to experiencing steadfast love and faithfulness in his life.
As an aside, notice that steadfast love is linked up with faithfulness again. If that happens again, I’m going to think there is a relationship we need to consider.
16:6
By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.
OK, I did not see this coming when I chose these three verses originally. Heck, the couplet of steadfast love and faithfulness pops up again.
So what of it?
emeth

We have discussed the steadfast love above. The Hebrew term for faithfulness is the term אֶמֶת ʼemeth, with English synonyms of stability, certainty, truth, trustworthiness and of course faithfulness.

When I first come across this term, I wanted to attribute the steadfast love to God and the faithfulness as a requirement of man. I can’t see that! The faithfulness of man is not stable, certain, truthful, trustworthy. Man’s faithfulness hobbles along with spurts and grunts, seeking to please God and finding success in resting in His faithfulness only.
Both of these terms rightly belong to the God of heaven. He alone is the One who naturally exercises steadfast love and faithfulness. It is His nature.
By His characteristics of steadfast love and faithfulness, iniquity is atoned for. The cross is throughout the Word!
Be thankful for our God who is alive again, who provides the life sustaining steadfast love and faithfulness that is our hope.
He is good.
Drop me a line if you would like to discuss the goodness of God or have a testimony of His work in your life.
Be blessed.

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Confidence · Faith · Persuade

Faith – Oligopistos – Matthew 16

Faith 2As mentioned in my earlier post, I was in discussion with my Sunday School teacher and we verred into the topic of faith.  This topic addresses the first Greek word in our table below

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

little faith

Strong’s Number G3640 matches the Greek ὀλιγόπιστος (oligopistos), which occurs 5 times in 5 verses in the Greek concordance.

We will look at the the last of the four instances that Jesus (and only Jesus) used this Greek word in this post.

Matthew 16:5-12

When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread.

Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “We brought no bread.”

But Jesus, aware of this, said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread?

Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered?

Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered?

How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

 

 

Ortho...In our last post concerning Peters effort to walk on water, we considered Peter’s orthopraxy, that is the way he lived out his faith (in a very specific instance), and one of the many harsh experiences he had to under go to become a man of God.

This passage, the littleness of faith is referring to the disciples orthodoxy, that is thier interpretive understanding of the Lord’s teaching.

Lets set the stage.

The disciples had forgot bread.  A simple statement.

Jesus begins to teach on the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadduccess.  The word “leaven” stirred the disciples thoughts about bread, and they went directly to thier failure to supply. The disciples conscience started to condemn them, remembering that they had forgotten once (or twice) before.

As an aside, hadn’t the Lord supplied bread for them previously?  We are not to presume upon the Lord’s supply, but I feel this may have been simply an oversight on the disciples part.  The disciples had forgot bread.  Why was this foremost in thier thoughts?  Because they had thier mind on things below?  Because this seemed to be a habit?  Not sure.  Maybe not important.

metaphorJesus was speaking of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadduccess.  He was teaching metaphorically, not literally.  The disciples listened the the Lord literally, and missed the truth.

Jesus corrected the disciples immediately, referring to thier past history with bread.  Twice they had dropped the ball, and twice the Lord used the shortage to teach.  Here the Lord redirects the disciples to larger issues than simply food.

We so often get things sdrawkcab.  Seek ye first the kingdom of God, …

 

To the point, Jesus speaks to the disciples, and us about the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  But what is that teaching?

The Pharisee’s and Sadducee’s Doctrine/Teaching

The passage clearly combines the Pharisees teaching with the Sadduccess teaching.  But they were worlds apart on various teachings.  I found this description informative (check here for more info.)

Religiously, the Sadducee were more conservative in one doctrinal area: they insisted on a literal interpretation of the text of Scripture; the Pharisees, on the other hand, gave oral tradition equal authority to the written Word of God. If the Sadducee couldn’t find a command in the Tanakh, they dismissed it as manmade.

I have always considered the Sadducee to be comparable to liberal elitists, and the Pharisees likened to the tradition laden believers within the church.  Both of these groups promoted a teaching that Jesus warned us of.

Dang it if I can’t find anything clear in this particular passage, but may I suggest a common thread of both these groups?

Both the Pharisee and Sadducee had these common traits

  1. They were both religious.
  2. They were both political.

1. Religion

no religionJesus came to create religion.  Why is He knocking it?

Nope.

That is wrong thinking Carl.  Jesus did not come to create a religion.  (Dang it if it wasn’t religion that killed the Messiah.)  Jesus never used the word religion when He preached. He condemned both the Pharisees and Sadducees in thier religious practices (which of itself doesn’t condemn all religion). I can’t find any of the apostles referring to religion (in a positive way) except in the book of James, which definitely does not describe the religion touted by the groups we are speaking about.

James 1:26-27
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

2.Politics

organized religionSo, how does your Christian life relate to the turmoil of the political landscape in your land?  Do you get caught up in the promises, the hopes that politicians freely provide.  Do you see that political power is a positive influence in your nation?

The Pharisee and Sadducee parties were heavily involved in acquiring and maintaining  influence upon the people through the political process.  Political power is the ability to exert external pressure to make citizens/subject to conform, to fit into a certain mold, to control a population.

Christianity_Politics_NationalismI am convinced that Christianity and political power cannot exist together.  Religion and politics can exist, since they both seek to influence souls externally.  Not so with Christianity.  Christianity is completely different – The Spirit of God is internal, living and powerful, convincing and convicting each believer to follow God.

Christianity is to be the voice calling corruption to the carpet, not to be in bed with the earthly power.

Somehow, I feel Jesus may have been alluding to this unholy partnership.  Whether this passage speaks of this topic, I will leave with the reader.

Back to the Littleness of Faith

No matter, the littleness of faith spoken of by the Messiah can be directly connected with the manner in which we hear His words.  As a technically trained professional, I struggle daily to communicate literally, clearly and without contradiction, in order to have my message understood.  Vagueness and metaphors are not my cup of tea. (Ooops)

Not so with the Lord.  He often spoke in parables, likening earthly things with heavenly things, communicating on a different level.  He sometimes came down to our level, but He didn’t stay there.  He is calling us to have ears to hear His message, not to change the intent of the message to conform to our culture and training.  This is a mighty challenge!

The Word is powerful, but it is powerful the message it supplies.  We need to hear not only the words but the intent behind them.

Let us not have littleness of faith in our understanding of the Word of God.

Please leave a comment to continue this discussion and come visit next time to continue our look at faith.


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Commandments · Decalogue · Old Testament in New Testament

Commandments for Christians – Romans 10

The-Ten-Commandments-Tablets-Are-Christians-Under-the-LawIn my introduction to this series of blog posts, I drew attention to verses that supported my belief that the ten commandments were no longer applicable to the believer.

Verses like Romans 10:4, that I understood taught the law ended at the cross.

I hope you have noted that during our discussions in this topic, I found that the keeping of the ten commandments is a fruit of living in the Spirit, not a requirement to keep the Spirit.

Massive difference, and one which makes so much sense.  But what about those earlier verses?  I can’t just ignore them, or relegate them to some dustbin of irrelevance.  No no no – that won’t do!

So in this epilogue, I thought I would consider the verses that helped support my erroneous thinking earlier.

So off we go.

Our next set of verses will be found in Romans 10

Romans 10:4

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

The EndThe End.  What does that imply, mean and communicate?

STRONGS NT 5056: τέλος
  1. end

    1. termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be (always of the end of some act or state, but not of the end of a period of time)

    2. the end

      1. the last in any succession or series

      2. eternal

    3. that by which a thing is finished, its close, issue

    4. the end to which all things relate, the aim, purpose

  2. toll, custom (i.e. indirect tax on goods)

He is the end, termination, the limit, the end to which all things terminate.  He is the termination of the law for righteousness.  Get it?

There is a different, a higher, a greater righteousness that is available for mere humans.  The moral code expressed God’s character primarily in negatives.  “Thou shalt NOT”.  The New Testament supplies the moral code in positive affirmations, such as

Eph 4:28

Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

Prior to Jesus leaving the earth in His ascension, He said all authority was given to Him.

How much authority are you allowing the Old Law to have over your life?


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Doctrinal · End Times · Hell · Judge

Judge Judge Judge – αἴσθησις – Verse List for Study 1

Because of the Cross

I think I mentioned that this word is only used once in the New Testament.

Please refer to study for complete listing

(See how anal I can be with order and consistency in series naming…)

 


 

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Doctrinal · End Times · Hell · Judge

Judge Judge Judge – αἴσθησις – Study 1-A

Because of the CrossThanks for returning to this series on “Judge Judge Judge” and my feeble attempt to understand a believers responsibility and right to make judgments.

Another purpose of this series hopefully is to understand the believers restriction on judgement. 

What can a Christian judge?  How is he to judge?  What is prohibited in the Christian life to judge.  So many questions and concerns. 

Our first greek word related to judging is…

aisthēsis

αἴσθησις – aisthēsis – judgment

This word is found only once in the New Testament and it is in the book of Philippians

Philippians 1:9

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,

It is interesting that the first verse I start our study on seems to have no “harshness” to it, you know the judgy edge that seems to be so implied.

To discern seems to be so wise, so educated, so enlightened.

But lets step back for a few minutes and consider what it means to judge.  Let me suggest that to judge is to make a decision regarding a certain action or thought.

Let me try to explain my thoughts with a silly story.

100-buck-rotate.jpgOne day, as I am strolling down the road, I see a $1 bill and a $100 bill.  The wind is starting to pick up and I have to make a decision.  Should I chase the $1 bill or the $100 bill?  I have to make a judgement, a decision, and then follow through with it.  In this instance, there is no moral element in the decision / judgement, (other than possible covetousness,) but would it not simply be foolish to abandon that poor lonely $100 bill!

My point is that the decision was a judgement.  In this instance, there was no moral dilemma, or determination of right from wrong.

Although premature in our study, may I suggest that judgement is a requirement of every living person on earth.  Some may make good judgments and some may make bad judgments.  But all make judgments upon which we perform activities.

How could we survive if we did not make decisions.  Years ago, with a wife and five young children under 10 yrs old, my wife and I made a decision to further my education.  It was a judgement that we could suffer for 2 – 3 yrs while I was in school, but the family would reap the benefits afterward.  Many thought I was a fool, and during the study period I had my doubts.  But the Lord is faithful and pulled us through.

We made a judgement, based on the available knowledge that we had and then followed through with the action.

Back to Philippians 1:9

Paul is praying for the Philippians and seeking for their love to abound and abound.  More love! Give out more love!

With more love comes the danger of abuse.

One more story.

I used to go door knocking, doing some evangelization, and a brother asked to come along.  After a few nights on the doors we came up to a couple named Derek and Lisa.  They were interested in the gospel and Blair was leading the discussion.  They asked good questions, but at the end of the discussion, Derek admitted that they had no money for diapers.

Blair jumped all over that.  More love eh Carl?

Let’s buy them a bunch of diapers and maybe some food to let them know we care.  And we did – numerous times.

So – did we do right or wrong.  This is where the rubber hits the road.   We needed discernment.  This is a spiritual skill/gift that only comes through prayer.

It is a form of judgement, determining the right thing to do.

Diapers

Notice that Paul mentions knowledge first, not feelings.  We had the feelings that night!  Oh boy – wow we had some live ones and if diapers would bring them into the kingdom of God, dang it all – I would buy em pampers!

But alas, we needed discernment.  And that is a form of judgement that believers need desperately in this modern age.

Let me ask a final question.

Is discernment evident in the church when believers elevate entertainment above edification, when we look for sensation instead of spirit, when we follow after personality instead of character?

I hope I’m asking obvious questions.

Thanks for joining me in this study.  Hope to visit with you in our next post as we look at the Greek term ἀνακρίνω which is commonly translated examine, judge, ask question, search and discern in the New Testament.

Be Blessed.


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Interpretation · Old Testament in New Testament

OT in NT – 1 Timothy

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 1 Timothy 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.


 

15-OT in NT – 1 Timothy

 


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Proverbs · Wisdom

Proverbial Thoughts on Inheritance

Proverbs 4 23

Thoughts on the topic of inheritance from the book of wisdom

All y’all that have received an inheritance, raise your hands. I’m speaking of a physical inheritance, money, cash, coin, moolah.

Come on – I see you out there Blair.

It is a blessing to give (which I haven’t had the privilege to do yet, since I’m a still kicking) and a blessing to receive. An inheritance that is!

My wife and I have used an inheritance to invest and have found we didn’t miss the fun too much.

On the other hand, one of our siblings burned through it within a few months.

Did they have fun – you bet.

Did we enjoy their company. Yes we did, but not for the reasons you may think.

The funds gave her the ability to visit us, and we really enjoyed her company. At times we experienced sadness during her visit, seeing the opportunity the funds could supply being thrown away, for the sake of the here and now. But we kept that to ourselves after one initial chat, and the lack of interest seen in the discussion.

Got a dollar

An inheritance, in my mind is somewhat like found money. No work involved in procuring it, and no responsibility to any human in the way it is spent.

One other way to look at an inheritance is to not look at it.

Do not consider it to be of any use for your day to day lives. Use it to bless others, to invest for future endeavors, or simply spread the wealth with abandon.

Spending it immediately and on frivolous items seems to be a foolish effort, yet I have experienced the pull of the buck to “just have some fun”.

Golly – to just buy a brand new car – but my existing car is working just fine! Funds departing from our possession to simply have a new car smell? Kinda not smart in my mind.

How bout a boat? Nope – that has never been a temptation!!

13:22
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
inheritance

One item wifey and I decided to do with an inheritance was to purchase a second home and use it as a rental property.

Eventually, if we manage it properly, this house may become some of my children’s wealth, that may be passed on to my children’s children.
Kinda cool if it works out.
19:14
House and wealth are inherited from fathers,
but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
Priorities
Ever notice that the Christian life is a battle of keeping good priorities? My oh my. If the house thing works out for my kids and thier kids, and yet they have poor spouses, what good is the inheritance.
20:21
An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning
will not be blessed in the end.
covetousness

During an inheritance process, time can seem to drag. Months may turn into years, and this may be a useful tool to examine your heart. At the mention of a delay, does the anger and anxious spirit rise up?

Remember that the inheritance is found money, and that if you need it to survive, you may need to consider your life choices and how you fell into such a tenuous position.
If it isn’t a survival issue, but just a simple covetousness that resides in your ol heart, that is a much bigger problem.
This delay in receiving the bucks (and the resultant covetousness) may be a bigger gift that da bucks.
Don’t ignore how the delay may be effecting you!

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Dispensationalism · Doctrinal · Interpretation · Literal · Prophecy

Chatting with a Dispy – 14

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.

As for the feasts, we have freedom to observe them or not, according to my limited understanding, but perhaps when the Lord returns, that liberty will be eliminated, as Zech 14 clearly teaches.

But you see, Zech does not clearly teach that we have liberty to observe the feasts now!  Where do you get the idea that as Christians, we are to observe the feasts?

Galatians 4:9-11

But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?  You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.

Obviously Paul was making a point that the Galations were observing OT holidays (calling them weak and beggarly!), and due to this, Paul considered these actions to be proof that they didn’t “get the gospel”

Will you argue with God?

I have found that I struggle with many issues in the Word, and I find that many times some of the OT prophets struggled, even argued with God, and found clarity after a period of struggle and questioning. (Consider Jer 12:1-2)

Jeremiah 12:1-4

 Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You;
Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments.
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?
You have planted them, yes, they have taken root;
They grow, yes, they bear fruit.
You are near in their mouth
But far from their mind.
But You, O LORD, know me;
You have seen me,
And You have tested my heart toward You.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
And prepare them for the day of slaughter.
How long will the land mourn,
And the herbs of every field wither?
The beasts and birds are consumed,
For the wickedness of those who dwell there,
Because they said, “He will not see our final end.”

So, I have to admit, I have sometimes argued with God!  Have you never questioned or been puzzled by issues that are troubling in the Word?

I will argue that you, if you live during that time, and don’t observe the feasts, and travel to Jerusalem, Zechariah will be proved right, and you will be proved wrong, and upon you will be no rain, because later, the Bible says that all scripture is inspired of God, and there sits Zechariah, challenging our understanding.

According to your own teaching, I will not be on the earth at this time.  You still are thinking this is the end of the tribulation, right?  And you are a pre-tribber, right?  Since I am a Christian, according to your teaching, we will be raptured prior to the period of Zechariah 14, right?  So this is an empty arguement!


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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Proverbs · Wisdom

Proverbial Thoughts on Wives

Proverbs 4 23Thoughts on the topic of wives from the book of wisdom.

I have to tell you that in all the ways that God has blessed my life, my wife is one of the greatest. I have mentioned her quiet and gentle demeanor in previous posts.

It is such a blessing to know she is there for me when I have a difficult day. No matter how my day goes, my wife will be there to take care of me in so may ways.

12:4
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones

She is an excellent wife and truly is the crown in my life. The term “excellent” in this verse has a connotation of power, ability, strength & force. In my life, my wife has been the quiet unassuming strength in the family. In all my bluster, energy, pipe dreams and discouragements, she has been an anchor for the family. She has become a lady that honors me with her actions words and attitudes. She has, by extension, provided a crown in my life by her faithful and steady commitment to this ol fool.

18:22He who finds a wife finds a good thing

and obtains favor from the LORD.

This verse also describes the blessed condition I walk in daily. But this verse also has some baggage that I want to share with y’all.

Years back, my wife and I were doing missionary work in the north of Quebec, and of course, went through arduous hours of learning the local tongue. (Has anyone tried to learn the french language in thier 30’s out of a book – Good luck!!!)

We eventually met a lady that helped us with learning the language. You know, I cant remember the French Bible version we were learning from, but the word “good thing” in th e verse below, was translated as “cadeaux”, which is the french term for “gift” Makes sense right?

When I repeated it back, I said “gateaux” Our friend started laughing, and when she settled, informed me that I had married a “rich, one layer cake filled with layers of cream or fruit”

It wasn’t all that untrue. She is my sweetiepie! And she is a favor that God has provided me.

19:13
A foolish son is ruin to his father,
and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.

fightMy wife and I have had our disagreements, and I know that this is the sign of a healthy marriage. We have sometimes struggled understanding each others opinions, wants and needs.

Initially I sought to complete each “discussion” within a set time, realizing I couldn’t go to bed angry. This methodology sometimes worked, but I quickly realized that once the opinions are expressed, it is best to let the thoughts simmer in our minds until a unspecified time when some of the heat has died down and the light is a wee bit brighter.

So it is with my wife. 90% of the time, we came to a resolution quickly, but early on in our marriage, I found great wisdom in letting her “figger it out” on her own.

Endless quarreling was not a practice she would enter into unless I egged her on – to my shame. No – she needed to be quiet and consider her thoughts, what was important, and what she needed more information on. Then she and I could discuss and find resolution. (And gosh golly – sometimes we came to agreement!)

19:14
House and wealth are inherited from fathers,
but a prudent wife is from the LORD.

When we got hitched, we were so poor.  How poor were you Carl?

Well let me tell you.LaChoy  We ate popcorn for supper, bunches of LaChoy canned food – (It was given to us!) and plenty of spaghetti. To this day, I can’t think of eating LaChoy, but it kept us alive and kicking so I’m thankful for the gift we were given.

During this time, my wife became a coupon girl. She eventually rose to the status of “Coupon Queen” amongst her friends, and though some of them may have meant it in a derogatory manner, my wife did all she could to keep the wolf from the door. To this day, although not as poor, she still is on the constant hunt for deals, sales, bargains and savings. She is prudent with the funds I supply her, and it has translated to other areas of our lives. I may chat with you on that topic in another post, since this one is getting a bit wordy!!

5:15-19
Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
Should your springs be scat
streams of water in the streets?
Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.

This last set of verses has always piqued my interest, since many of you know that I was an alcoholic.

Understand my piquedness? (Don’t think that is a word – but I wanna use it, so try to understand)

Drop me a line if you would like to discuss how the proverbs are so practical, how they are such a mirror to life or if you just want to chat.


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Confidence · Faith · Persuade

Faith – Oligopistos – Matthew 14

Faith 2As mentioned in my earlier post, I was in discussion with my Sunday School teacher and we verred into the topic of faith.  This topic addresses the first Greek word in our table below

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

little faith

 

Strong’s Number G3640 matches the Greek ὀλιγόπιστος (oligopistos), which occurs 5 times in 5 verses in the Greek concordance.

We will look at three of the four instances that Jesus (and only Jesus) used this Greek word in the following post.

Matthew 14:28-31

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

In our last post, Jesus rebuked the disciples for littleness of faith. They were poverty stricken of faith.  I noted that they had been given much teaching, personal interaction and many miracles to base thier faith on.  In this passage, the disciples had spent an additional few weeks (possibly more) since the previous rebuke, and received additional teaching and miraculous experiences

RiskIn this passage, the disciples are in a boat again, and it is in the middle of a storm, but it is Peter that “risks it all”

You gotta give it to Peter for his willingness to step out.  He saw the example of Jesus on the water, realized that as a disciple, he was to mimic the Master.  He verified the identity of the Master (Lord if it is you…) and asked for the empowerment (command me to come…).  Both of these prayers are commendable.  As believers, we are to verify the voice we are following, since there are many out there seeking our attention.  Secondly, we need to have the command of God to base our actions upon.  Both Peter did!

He jumped out of the boat and kept his eyes on Jesus.  Is this foolhardy?  Yes!  The lake was deep, full of danger, and cloaked in darkness.  When the surrounding exterior conditions became Peters focus, he began to sink into them.

How common for me to start out with my eyes on the Lord, anticipating no resistance or failure since He is so kind and good.  When I start to fall, slip or go under, my first response is to consider Him to have failed me.

RebellionThis is rebellion.

I need to hear the Lord’s rebuke, the status of my faith.  Reality checks are critical if we are to walk in truth.  My commitment to obey requires accountability and Jesus is faithful in supplying this, if we will listen.  If we listen.

Peter listened.  Did he experience shame, loss of stature among the brethren, increased doubts?  Maybe.

Did he eventually become a man of God?  Definitely.

Peter in the waterNote that upon sinking, Peter cried out to the Lord.  Immediately Jesus rescued him.  No longer did Peter walk on the water, looking to Jesus.  Jesus physically held on to him, but spoke of his littleness of faith.

In the midst of this obedience, Peter saw the tumult of his surroundings and doubted.  Peter doubted and did not pass this test.  But he stayed in the “game” and the Lord continued to challenge him, working with him in Israel for decades after, establishing the mother church and leading many to know Him.

Test 1How about you?  The last “test” you were provided?

How did you do?

  • Did you verify who was leading you?
  • Did you request power to get through it
  • Did you keep your eyes off your circumstances and on the Lord?

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Commandments · Decalogue · Old Testament in New Testament

Commandments for Christians – Romans 8

5The-Ten-Commandments-Tablets-Are-Christians-Under-the-LawIn my introduction to this series of blog posts, I drew attention to verses that supported my belief that the ten commandments were no longer applicable to the believer.

Verses like Romans 10:4, that I understood taught the law ended at the cross.

I hope you have noted that during our discussions in this topic, I found that the keeping of the ten commandments is a fruit of living in the Spirit, not a requirement to keep the Spirit.

Massive difference, and one which makes so much sense.  But what about those earlier verses?  I can’t just ignore them, or relegate them to some dustbin of irrelevance.  No no no – that won’t do!

So in this epilogue, I thought I would consider the verses that helped support my erroneous thinking earlier.

So off we go.

Our next set of verses will be found in the book of Romans

Romans 8:2

For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

This one is the key verse I depended on in justifying my rejection of God’s moral code.  Note that the verse speaks of two laws – I focused only on the second reference.  I was free from the law of sin and death.

But ya gotta consider that vacuums do not exist!  When a vacuum exists (which I just told you don’t), something has to fill the void.  I am free from the law of sin and death, but only because the law of the Spirit of life has overtaken that law.

The Spirit of life (I am assuming this refers to the Holy Spirit) is of the same character as the Messiah, and as the Father.  All three of the Godhead live in harmony, righteously existing together.  It is important to remember that the 10 commandments, or God’s moral code, is an expression of God’s righteous character.

To refer to the law of the Spirit is not speaking of a different moral code.  It is the same code as that revealed at Sinai, but now we have the power to live it, to understand and exercise our decision making process to follow the principles laid out in the code.

Take for example the 4th commandment.  The Sabbath.  How does a Christian obey that commandment under the law of the Spirit of life?

I would suggest it is not simply the restraining of physical labor for one day a week.  That exercise of the nation of Israel was the type.

Story Time

The Sabbath rest of God for the believer is a promise that the writer of Hebrews fears we may miss out on.  I understand this due to my constant fear and worry that I live in (if I allow it!)

I have certain weaknesses (the word is sin Carl) that I tend to languish in.  Oh, I know it is wrong, but sin can be so deceptive.  Recently I was considering Hebrews 4, and realized my fears and worry were unfounded due to the great love Jesus expressed in dying for us.

My fear was put down due to a fresh faith in the Messiah.  (BTW, fear and faith cannot exist at the same time! If you are afraid, you have relinquished faith in some way.)

My worry was put down, since He has provided a rest in Him to experience.  Worry has to do with the future, and the Rest has to do with the present.

Be in the present.  He will meet you there.

 


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Doctrinal · End Times · Hell · Judge

Judge Judge Judge – Word Study Table

Because of the Cross

Thanks for returning to this series on “Judge Judge Judge” and my feeble attempt to understand a believers responsibility and right to make judgments.
Another purpose of this series is to understand the believers restrictions on judgement.
What can a Christian judge? How is he to judge? What is prohibited in the Christian life to judge. So many questions.
But that will have to wait for the next post.
In this post I am simply providing a table containing the Greek words I found associated with “judgement”.

In each of my following blog posts, I will select one of the words from this list, and consider some (or all) of the verses that include the related greek word.
In no manner will this be an exhaustive study but simply an attempt to consider this abused topic, and spur us all to better thinking on what it means to judge.

Greek words associated with judgement
Study # Strong’s # Greek Transliteration Translated as
1 G144 αἴσθησις aisthēsis judgment
2 G350 ἀνακρίνω anakrinō examine, judge, ask question, search, discern
3 G968 βῆμα bēma judgment seat, throne, to set (one’s) foot on
4 G1106 γνώμη gnōmē judgment, mind, purpose, advice, will, agree
5 G1252 διακρίνω diakrinō doubt, judge, discern, contend, waver, misc
6 G1253 διάκρισις diakrisis discerning, discern, disputation
7 G1341 δικαιοκρισία dikaiokrisia righteous judgment
8 G1345 δικαίωμα dikaiōma righteousness, ordinance, judgment, justification
9 G1348 δικαστής dikastēs judge
10 G1349 δίκη dikē vengeance, judgment, punish
11 G1381 δοκιμάζω dokimazō prove, try, approve, discern, allow, like, examine
12 G2613 καταδικάζω katadikazō condemn
13 G2631 κατάκριμα katakrima condemnation
14 G2632 κατακρίνω katakrinō condemn, damn
15 G2633 κατάκρισις katakrisis condemnation, condemn
16 G2917 κρίμα krima judgment, damnation, condemnation, be condemned, go to law, avenge
17 G2919 κρίνω krinō judge, determine, condemn, go to law, call in question, esteem, misc
18 G2920 κρίσις krisis judgment, damnation, accusation, condemnation
19 G2922 κριτήριον kritērion to judge, judgment, judgment seat
20 G2923 κριτής kritēs judge, Judge
21 G4232 πραιτώριον praitōrion judgment hall, hall of judgment, common hall, praetorium, palace

Thanks for joining me in this study. Hope to visit with you in our next post as we look at the Greek term αἴσθησις.

Be Blessed.


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Interpretation · Old Testament in New Testament

OT in NT – 2 Thessalonians

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 2 Thessalonians 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.


 

14-OT in NT – 2 Thessalonians

 


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Proverbs · Wisdom

Proverbial Thoughts on Anger

Proverbs 4 23Thoughts on the topic of anger from the book of wisdom.
Anger – it makes me so mad!
I struggle with what my wife calls “simmering anger” I’m sure you know what I mean. Something will tick me off, but I won’t admit it as a problem, will not deal with it, and simply “bury it”
Next thing you know, something else ticks me off. But it isn’t a big issue, so I just ignore it, try to forget about it.
Soon, one more thing ticks me off. (Seems like I git ticked off a bunch, eh?) About this time, I’m starting to feel a bit stressed, but not willing to admit the source of the stress. The latest issue easily looses focus in my mind, because I don’t want to face the issue, even though it may be completely insignificant.
At last, the straw that broke the camels back arrives in some minor irritant in my life, and I let it all out. Simmer simmer simmer BOIL – EXPLODE!
anger 1One day, my car wouldn’t start and I exploded. Entering the house, I hurled my keys across the table, without realizing my 3 year old son was sitting at the end of it. Thankfully, the keys slid past him and dented the wall instead of my son. (God protects His fool again!)

Anger – such a monster, but why? I heard a fella once teach that anger is the result of unmet expectations.
You get that? If that premise is true, we fuel our own anger problem. Of course some anger is beneficial, even required, but that righteous anger is not considered in this post. This post simply deals with selfish, me centered, gimme gimme anger!
An example

hot tempered man

I am the type of fella that likes to schedule his day, setting aside a couple hours for this, and a couple hours for that. If the “this” gets in the way of the “that”, I git ticked off. But I created the schedule, assigned the time for both “this” and “that”, and yet, I simmer.
Another example.
I expect, (without communicating my expectations), that certain tasks need to be completed within a certain time. Not done? A bit more simmering in the belly.
One more example.
Got a buddy who doesn’t call me when I hope he will. Blow my stack!
Let’s take a few minutes to consider what the Scriptures teach regarding a wrathful, angry man.

Activities of an angry man

15:18
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
29:22
A man of wrath stirs up strife,
and one given to anger causes much transgression.
anger 2Strife is the work of an angry man. He isn’t happy with his life, and he finds satisfaction in spreading strife, or division among those he associates with. This type of man eventually becomes lonely, which only fuels the anger, that unmet expectation of love and kindness we all look for.

This unmet expectation of love results in greater anger, and further loneliness and abandonment. The greater the wrath, the greater the suffering. It is a vicious spiral of destruction that only the angry man can stop. Friends and family will suffer when they seek to rescue him, without success.
19:19
A man of great wrath will pay the penalty,
for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.
A fools wrath is heavy, a burden to himself and to those around him. A dead weight, a heaviness and a ballast to the good life.
27:3
A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
Let’s consider the alternative
One of my wife’s favorite verse is Proverbs 15:1, and she has plenty of practice using this wisdom with her stubborn ol hubby
15:1
A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
She has often provided a soft answer to speak to me of bigger things Her quietness of spirit is deafening at times!

15:18
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

If you are an angry man inside, the only one who can help you is YOU. Do not blame God for this condition, for if you claim the Christ as Lord, He has provided the Spirit of God, and one of the fruits of the Spirit is Self-Control. Anger does not have ultimate power over a believer.

Consider this final proverb, and the wisdom it communicates

Proverbs 16:32
Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Rule your own spirit, and find victory greater than world domination.

Thanks for joining me at Considering the Bible. I hope you find encouragement in these blog posts. If you do, I would be honored if you shared the post with a friend.

Thanks again, and have a wonderful day in the Lord.


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