Psalms for Psome – 6

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

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

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

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

Hebrews 4:16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 6:8-9

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

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

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

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

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

May we experience that confidence as we seek His pleasure.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Parable Surprises – The Unequal Debts

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

Let’s take a look at

The Parable of The Unequal Debts

Luke 7:41-43

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

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

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

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


When did the Lord give this parable?

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

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

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

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

Why did the Lord give this message?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was the message for the original audience?

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

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

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

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

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

Who loves more?

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

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

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

What is the message for us today?

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

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

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

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

What is your estimation of this Man named Jesus?

Who do you say He is?



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Psalms for Psome – 5

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

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

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

Psalm 5:1

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeremiah 12:1

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

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

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

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

Psalm 5:11 – 12

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

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

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


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Love Like Jesus – Without Rudeness


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

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

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

Love like Jesus.


Without Rudeness

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

Love is not rude.

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

Jesus is not rude

1 Cor 13 - rude

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

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

Sorry ’bout that mate!

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

 1 Corinthians 7:36

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

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

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

Lets look at the term without the negation.

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

Romans 13:13

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

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

1 Corinthians 14:40

But all things should be done decently and in order.

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

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

1 Thessalonians 4:12

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

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

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

Jesus replacing Love

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

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

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

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

  1. It was His Father’s house!

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

John 2:15

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

2. This action took time!

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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Psalms for Psome – 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 4:2

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

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

But alas, I may have mis-spoke.

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

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

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

Praise Him for His most wonderful life!


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Let Me Tell You a Story – Division

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

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

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

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

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

John 13:34-35

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

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

2 Peter 1:5 – 19

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

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

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

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

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

Galatians 5:15

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

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


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Psalms for Psome – 3

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

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

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


Psalm 3:5-6

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

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

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

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

Yet David states

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

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

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

Another saint fell asleep prior to “certain” death.

Acts 12:7

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

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

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

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

May God be pleased to strengthen our hearts and minds.


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Parable Surprises – The Wise and Foolish Builders

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

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

The Parable of The Wise and Foolish Builders

Matthew 7:24-27

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

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

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

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

Selective teaching based on the recipients!

When did the Lord give this parable?

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

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

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

Why did the Lord give this message?

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

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

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

What was the message for the original audience?

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

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

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

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

What is the message for us today?

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

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

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

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

I will give you a moment…

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

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

I’m thinking that is perty successful!

So, how are you gauging your success?

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


This post will consider the song

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

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

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

More to it than I first expected

Take a listen!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Love Like Jesus – Without Arrogance


lovelikejesus_157x157

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

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

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

Love like Jesus.

Without Arrogance

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

Love is not arrogant

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

Jesus is not arrogant

1 Cor 13 - arrogant

Arrogance

The fifth term that describes what love is not is arrogance

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

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

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

Pauls boasts of the church in Corinth.

2 Corinthians 7:4

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

Paul boasts of his fellow workers

2 Corinthians 8:24

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Corinthians 8:1

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

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

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

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

1 Samuel 2:3

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

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

Micah 6:8

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

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

Jesus replacing Love

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

Jesus is not arrogant

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

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

Philippians 2:5

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

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

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


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