Book Look – Life in Community

life-in-communityAs you have been following this blog, you may remember my conviction that I consider my Christian life to be influenced and exercised more through a small group environment than any other ministry I have been involved in.

Whether we have been involved in the conventional Sunday School group or the more open and relaxed, real life home fellowship/cell group, small groups of believers getting together to share life has always resonated with us.

We have hosted groups in our home, and it is evident that my wife has the gift of hospitality.  She loves to share and open her home.

Given our propensity to small groups, when ever I find a book that supplies encouragement in this area, I pick it up.  Recently I finished the little book “Community in Life” by Dustin Willis.  During my reading, I  found a description of hospitality that I would like to share with you.

This excerpt is attributed to Jen Wilkin.

Entertaining vs Practicing Hospitality

  • Entertaining is always thinking about the next course.  Hospitality burns the rolls because it was listening to a story
  • Entertaining obsesses over what went wrong.  Hospitality savors what was shared.
  • Entertaining, exhausted, says, “It was nothing, really!”  Hospitality thinks it was nothing.  Really.
  • Entertaining seeks to impress.  Hospitality seeks to bless.

I especially like the first point, since our schedules are sometimes fairly erratic and we simply end up pulling paper plates out and buying pizzas.

In summary, we need to remember the gospel is our license to be free to bless those around us.  We cannot do that without being involved in others lives and one of the best ways to know another is to invite them into your home.

The book is a very good treatment on the importance of small groups, and in this society of fear and dread, where we are told to restrict social interaction, the church needs to recognize her need to be intently fellowshipping with like minded folks to worship and honor the Messiah, and to serve one another.


If any who are reading this and have found what I am describing, please let me know.  If any are hungry for church life that “connects”, that is living and breathing, reach out.  Others may be able to help you.

Comment as you see fit. I always love hearing from you.


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Discussions with an Atheist – Part 4

atheist

A long time ago, I was browsing my Facebook page when I came across a post that ridiculed Kirk Cameron’s efforts to sell an “Atheist” Bible.
A friend (who it turns out to be an atheist) seemed to think that Kirk was “uninformed”
Well I thought, lets discuss this issue, and what follows is a record of our discussion.
I really looked forward to his responses and enjoyed considering and responding to his concerns.
Some of my friends comments are a bit lengthy, and as I read them I found echoes of myself, seeking to defend a position simply by supplying a massive quantity of words, knowing inside that he quality of the argument was weak.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, you may find encouragement, and some understanding of an atheist’s worldview.
If you are an atheist, I would encourage you to read and consider my responses.  I seek to understand your position, and if you see a fallacy in my thinking, please comment.  I only ask that you focus your position to one point at a time, in order that I may respond (if I can) without unnecessary confusion.
My comments and responses are in red.

The bible was written an estimated 30-60 years after the death of Jesus….the avg life span of a human was approximately 40…I’m sure if you do the stats you’ll find it’s unlikely that the same person(s) who witnessed these things were not first hand, and if it was the lucky individual who got to witness these events he/she still did not write them down immediately which again would dis condone the reliability of their experience.
As for mass hallucinations it is possible that water supplies could have been tainted or food supplies spoiled with certain mycilium who knows? But the power of suggestion is powerful as well….and who knows things could have been exaggerated or just lied about as well. These events are non-repeatable which means they have no hard evidence stating they could even be close to true…remember what someone thinks is true does not make it true, unless that person can back up their claims with more than anecdotal evidence.
Just an FYI I’m at work and typing on the go and yes I like to converse myself 🙂 but I see your catch 22 but the amount of information gathered has all pointed towards no real creator just transitional forms via evolution.
Hey Friend – things are really crazy for me for the next few days going on vacation with my wifey – until May 6th to be specific, so if I lag in responding, it is not because of a lack of desire but just “out of pocket” – (a texan slang)
Take care and I’ll “type” when I get back – k?
Sounds good Carl 🙂 safe trip and have fun!

Hey thanks for dropping by and reading my post, especially if you are an atheist friend.  I hope to hear from you and would appreciate a comment to begin a discussion.

Have a great day.


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Jesus & Paul – Different Messages? Part 4

PaulIn the past few months I have noticed that there are rumblings – at least in my world – of some internet folks trying to make out the message of Paul to be different that that of Jesus.

Never mind the fact that Jesus was dealing with a nation in the last gasps of it’s life and His pleading for their repentance, and Paul’s focus on “making that tent bigger for them dirty Gentiles” (See Isaiah 54:2-3)

Why?  I don’t know, and at this point I am not concerned with their motivation, since I will assume the worst, which may not be fair.

Nevertheless, as I was browsing my computer bible study files, I providentially tripped over the following information.  I must have found this info years back, and will not take credit for the compiling of the verses, but for the life of me, I am not sure where I found this.

This is the fourth post addressing different topics from the New Testament that both Jesus and Paul taught on showing similarity in their teachings.  My comments will be sparse, (unless they are not)

4. Both taught the same things about Christ’s identity – He is Son of God

Jesus

John 10:36 — do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming’, because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

Paul

Romans 1:3 — concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh.

Gal.2:20 —I live by the faith of the Son of God…

A short post to encourage you with the consistency of the Word.  May the Lord strengthen you and bless you as you seek His Kingdom.

Leave a comment as you may desire.


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1 John – Testing to Know – Introduction

that-you-may-know.jpg

Heard a preacher once say that God tests in order for us to know, whereas we humans teach (supply knowledge) in order to be tested.

Which one of us is backwards???

Tests are supplied for the believer in order to know his status before God. I have come out of a denomination that taught 1 John as describing tests for the purpose of assurance of fellowship. John, I was taught, gave these tests in order for believers to know they were pleasing to God, in fellowship with Him.

It makes a lot of sense.

There are some who would refer to the tests John provides as tests of true or false Christianity. The tests define true Christianity, not whether you are a good or “bad” Christian.

A totally different ballgame here folks.

But what of it?

Is this it a manipulation of the texts in order to enslave believers into a legalism?

Wow Carl – settle down!
Keep a open mind and allow the Word to tell you without jumping to conclusions!

Join me as we go through testings in order to know, in the book of 1 John.

I trust that these tests will challenge you as they have I!


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Judge Judge Judge – βῆμα – Study 3-A

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 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 third greek word related to judging is…

bēma

βῆμα – bēma – judgment seat, throne, to set (one’s) foot on

This word is found 12 times in 12 verses within the New Testament. A full listing of all verses may be found below for your self study. I will consider the verses that are not clear, that create questions in my mind, with the remaining verses left for the reader to ponder.

Judgment Seat of God

Romans 14:10

Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;

This first verse brings two words for judgement together. The first term will be discussed in a later post, but is the most common term for judgement.

Vines defines this first term as

those who judge severely (unfairly), finding fault with this or that in others, Matthew 7:1; Luke 6:37; Romans 2:1; τινα, Romans 2:1, 3; Romans 14:3f, 10,

eat everything

The context of this passage is of two groups (Jewish and Gentile) within the body of believers that have different views on food and religious holidays. Some eat everything and consider each day the same (thinking the Gentiles here) whereas some see certain foods as defiling and certain days as holier than others.

In the midst of this difference, love reigned – Ummm not so much! One group was despising his brother, thinking of them as nothing, or contemptible. The other group was judging the first group, condemning them for their lifestyle. Note that this difference in lifestyle was not a moral difference, but in the observation of non-moral issues.

Come with me to the day of judgement. I am standing beside a brother I despised, and a sister I may have judged, and I hear the Lord commend both of them. (See previous post for verse and teaching on this truth).

I don’t know about you, but I will realize my failings in loving the brethren completely at that time. How proud and boastful I will realize I have been. How proud and boastful I really am!

not-so-learned-rotate.jpg

But we have not so learned Jesus, and we are to encourage one another and the more so as we see the day approaching.

The term we are dealing with in this verse is the judgement seat of God. The term describes a location of judgement, a seat or throne where upon the Judge will sit to make declarations of judgement upon the subject before Him. Notice it will not be a separate room where I can discuss my failings and foibles with a manager, such as we may experience in our workplace. This is a family gathering, where I am on display with all of my family.

Remember, that brother or sister you got a gripe with… put the gift for God down, and go to them. Seek reconciliation. Seek forgiveness, even if it is for perceived sins you have committed.

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

Be Blessed.

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.

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OT in NT – Hebrews

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 Hebrews and corresponding Old Testament references.

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


 

19-OT in NT – Hebrews

 


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Jesus on the Sabbath – Part 2 -Whose Authority?

jesus-the-grain-fieldRecently I penned a series of post on the Ten Commandments and as I was writing it, found that the Sabbath day was the only commandment not reapplied  to believers in the New Testament.

In writing that series of posts, I was reminded that the Sabbath day was one of the main irritants between the Lord Jesus and the Pharisees.

In our last post we spoke of how the Pharisees relied on the authority of the traditions of the elders to claim the disciples were in sin due to rubbing grain together.  It astounds me that the law exercised could result in the death of any person due to rubbing grain together on a Sabbath day.

Let’s continue in our passage and consider how the Lord brought His authority to the Pharisees

Two Kings

Matthew 12:3  He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him:

Jesus likened Himself and His disciples to King David and his band of followers.  This is amazing, since the Messiah is often referred to as David’s Son, and the comparison would not be lost on the Pharisees.

Both Jesus and David’s followers were hungry, but with David’s situation, they  took and ate the holy shew bread, only allowed for the priests.  It seems Jesus disciples simply broke a “rule” of harvesting grain on the Sabbath (that men had created.)

Note that Jesus picked a time in David’s life that, although he was anointed as King of Israel, he was on the run, under persecution from the ruling government of Israel.  Is that not like the condition Jesus was in at the time.  The anointed King Jesus was not accepted by the current ruler.  His followers were, and are despised and rejected, as the Leader is.

Matthew 12: 4  how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?

King Davids followers broke a law of God, in that they ate which was only for the priests.  King Jesus’s disciples rubbed grain on the wrong day, and the Pharisees in the wrong way.

In this argument, the food was less sacred, the law being “broken” was less sacred (it was a tradition of the elders) and the King being followed is greater!  Every factor in this comparison fights against the Pharisees initial claim!

This initial argument hinges on the identification of the Lord Jesus as likened to King David.

You see, King Jesus has authority over His subjects. 

The Pharisees rules – they can keep them for themselves.


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Let Me Tell You a Story – A Racing Prius

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

I was out one fine Saturday with my youngest daughter, getting some chores done and enjoying being with my little girl.  As we were driving about, we came to a red light and pulled up beside a fella on a ten speed bike.

I looked over to Sarah and told her that my little Prius would easily beat this bike at the green, and we laughed a bit.  I told her that all I need for the little car is two bright blue racing stripes down the middle of the car – that way no one would challenge me at the gate!

We laughed and went on our way, little realizing what the future held for my famous little car.  By the way, have I told you that I own a Prius?  What a great little car.  I have always been a Toyota fella, but a few years back, I started researching the benefits of a Prius and found I wanted to try one.  Bought myself a 2012, and been very happy.  I use it for commuting primarily, but on the weekend, have found it to be a great little truck for hauling payloads of 500 lb or less.  Anyway, this isn’t intended to be a commercial for Toyota, but a story bout my little girls love for an old fool.

Months passed after our little excursion and race with the ten speed.  (By the way,  I did beat the bike off the line!)  I had forgotten about our little discussion, but my daughter hadn’t.  As I came out of church one Sunday, I saw three folks hanging around my little beast, and automatically thought of trouble.  Putting on my eye crutches, I realized it was my daughters along with one of their friends, applying stripes to my beast.  She hadn’t forgot our day out and my silly comment on the stripes.

prius - small.jpgYou know, as I drive the beast around town, I get some great reactions.  One fella, at a bus stop, walked to the edge of the curb and gave me a thumbs up.  I am known as the fella with the racing Prius at work.

Some folks make fun, and mock it.  Their problem not mine.  When I look at the car, I see my daughter’s love for me.

It all depends on the story!


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Discussions with an Atheist – Part 3

atheist

A long time ago, I was browsing my Facebook page when I came across a post that ridiculed Kirk Cameron’s efforts to sell an “Atheist” Bible.

A friend (who it turns out to be an atheist) seemed to think that Kirk was “uninformed”

Well I thought, lets discuss this issue, and what follows is a record of our discussion.

I really looked forward to his responses and enjoyed considering and responding to his concerns.

Some of my friends comments are a bit lengthy, and as I read them I found echoes of myself, seeking to defend a position simply by supplying a massive quantity of words, knowing inside that he quality of the argument was weak.

If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, you may find encouragement, and some understanding of an atheist’s worldview.

If you are an atheist, I would encourage you to read and consider my responses. I seek to understand your position, and if you see a fallacy in my thinking, please comment. I only ask that you focus your position to one point at a time, in order that I may respond (if I can) without unnecessary confusion.

My comments and responses are in red.


No offence but if you tell a story or experience and you repeat it then another person yells another…etc. What happens to the story? It becomes highly skewed…it’s even proven in many cases of mistaken identity in court cases and mistaken identity…the human mind is highly susceptible to disillusions and with the use of the availability heuristic humans can misjudge and create a memory, image, sound, etc. So anything written down anything shorter than a few minutes past the event it can not be fully accepted as truth.

Your concept is true – I used to play the very same game when I was in boy scouts – (don’t laugh!)
The problem is that though this is a provable experience – ie skewed stories through multiple humans, the concept cannot be applied to the gospels.
You see, the ones who wrote the gospels were the ones who heard the initial original message and watched the very man (Jesus) walk and talk. (and die!)
I s’pose you may say that the apostles were all hallucinating the resurrected Christ. But you must account for this multi-person hallucination (at one time up to 500 people saw the resurrected Jesus), being the source of conviction that brought suffering, beatings, persecution and death.
(Peter, according to popular tradition (not in the Bible) is said to have been crucified upside down, and survived on the cross for days before dying.)
You know, I have not talked (typed?) with many atheists, and I appreciate your willingness to converse. Believe me, I will not take offense at anything you mention – It is just good to discuss – It is how I learn.
But as I was thinking ’bout you the other day, it occurred to me that to be an athiest requires that of proving a universal negative, and to do that you would have to be all-knowing. If this universal negative has to prove Gods non-existence, it becomes self defeating – Only “GOD” knows all things
Kinda a catch 22
Looking forward to your response!

Hey thanks for dropping by and reading my post, especially if you are an atheist friend. I hope to hear from you and would appreciate a comment to begin a discussion.

Have a great day.


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Jesus & Paul – Different Messages? Part 3

PaulIn the past few months I have noticed that there are rumblings – at least in my world – of some internet folks trying to make out the message of Paul to be different that that of Jesus.

Never mind the fact that Jesus was dealing with a nation in the last gasps of it’s life and His pleading for their repentance, and Paul’s focus on “making that tent bigger for them dirty Gentiles” (See Isaiah 54:2-3)

Why?  I don’t know, and at this point I am not concerned with their motivation, since I will assume the worst, which may not be fair.

Nevertheless, as I was browsing my computer bible study files, I providentially tripped over the following information.  I must have found this info years back, and will not take credit for the compiling of the verses, but for the life of me, I am not sure where I found this.

This is the third post addressing different topics from the New Testament that both Jesus and Paul taught on showing similarity in their teachings.  My comments will be sparse, (unless they are not)

3. Both taught the same things about Christ’s identity – He is God

Jesus

John 5:18 — This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

John 8:58 — “Before Abraham was, I AM”

Paul

Phil.2:6-7 — who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

Romans 9:5 — Christ came, who is…the eternally blessed God.

A short post to encourage you with the consistency of the Word.  May the Lord strengthen you and bless you as you seek His Kingdom.

Leave a comment as you may desire.


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Repent of Your Sins – Metanoia – Repentance Verse List

repent-of-your-sins-isnt-found-in-the-bible-even-one-time-e1599255371527.pngA brother asked me recently to check the Bible for the phrase “repent of your sins”.

As the attached graphic states, the specific phrase “repent of your sins” does not occur.

My previous post referred to the verse lists for my study. This post supplies the list for the word “Repentance”, with an added bonus at the end.

Repentance – Strong’s G3341repentance-greek-def.png

Matthew 3:8

Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.

Matthew 3:11

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Mark 1:4

John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Luke 3:3

And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Luke 3:8

Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.

Luke 5:32

I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Luke 15:7

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

Luke 24:47

and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

Acts 5:31

God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.

Acts 11:18

When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

Acts 13:24

Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.

Acts 19:4

And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”

Acts 20:21

testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 26:20

but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.

Romans 2:4

Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

2 Corinthians 7:9

As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.

2 Corinthians 7:10

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

2 Timothy 2:25

correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,

Hebrews 6:1

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

Hebrews 6:6

and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

Hebrews 12:17

For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Unrepentant – G279

Added bonus for those brave souls who read the full post!  The following verse uses the negative term for repentance, translated as impenitent.

Romans 2:5

But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

Thanks for dropping by.  Drop me a line, eh?


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