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Showing posts from March 16, 2014

Praise of People

As Jesus engages the ruling group of the Jews, the Sanhedrin, he encounters many who do believe in him. The apostle John said, "at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God." (John 12:42-43) The Pharisees, a specific powerful group within the Sanhedrin, were critical of Jesus and saw him as their enemy. They sought many times to trick him or catch him in a truth that they believed. They wanted to discount Jesus and protect their own position in life as "leaders of the people." John says that many around these Pharisees were believers but did not openly proclaim their loyalty to Jesus because they desired to belong to the Sanhedrin and the Synagogue and be looked on as worthy of respect. John boils down this behavior to one thing, "they loved praise from men more than praise f…

Thoughts

Who knows your thoughts? Who considers them as you create them? What thoughts are birthed out of your circumstances or a special occasion and what thoughts flow voluntarily out of you in the quiet times? We think that our thoughts are private and can be enjoyed without repercussion. We think no one will know them but us. That is a wrong thought. "The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked, but those of the pure are pleasing to him." (Proverbs 15:26) God knew the thoughts of the first couple, Adam and Eve, as they hid from Him. He knew the thoughts of the very first murderer, Cain, and He spoke with him about it. (Genesis 4:4-6) Jesus knew the thoughts of the scribes (Matthew 9:4) and even his own disciples. (Luke 9:47) "Who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him?" (1 Corinthians 2:11)  This is a rhetorical question, for God knows all man's thoughts. That being the case shouldn't we discipline our minds, direct our tho…

Clear Conscience

Abigail, an intelligent and beautiful woman, was the wife of Nabal, a surly and mean Israelite who was full of pride and self-indulgence. David was the leader of 600 men still hiding from Saul as his kingdom is coming to an end. David sent ten young men to request food of Nabal but were insulted and sent away empty handed. Nabal's lack of grace and respect raised David's anger because he and his men had defended Nabal's shepherds and flocks for a whole season. So, David gathered 400 of his men to avenge himself by killing all the males at Nabal's home. However, Abigail had gotten wind of the wrong actions of her husband and sought to protect him by quickly bringing a large quantity of food to David. She encountered David on his way to her home and paid him honor and sought forgiveness for her husband's attitude and actions. In the midst of her request is this most powerful challenge to David, "Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live." (1Sam…

Growing

We don't expect much from babies, very little from small children, a little more from teens and young adults and a lot more from mature adults. Life is a process of development even though human development is much slower than animal development. A study concluded that most people over the age of forty do not learn new things but the truth is we must continue to grow throughout our lives. That means those living the last half of their life based on their first half learnings could be forty years out of date. "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:52) Luke was reviewing the understanding that Jesus was fully man as well as God by this statement but also Luke was expressing the nature of human development which he knew very well by being a doctor. Four areas of development are mentioned: intellectual, physical, spiritual and social. Although Jesus was God, his human body and soul still had to develop. This is a blueprint for our own dev…

Decision Making

Who helps you in your decision making? Americans are taught if not by word certainly by action to operate independently. We think we are wise enough to understand all the sides of any decision and believe that our experience and knowledge base is broad enough to cover any decision but that may be an over reach on our part. A wise man said, "For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure." (Proverbs 11:14) Another translation says it this way, "Where no counsel is, the people must fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." We all have blind spots in our thinking. No one has the ability to clearly see all the ramifications of one decision. So, it is most helpful to have several counselors you are able to run your scenarios by because the agreement of the many brings safety to decision making. It is good to have others who can give their different perspectives on a decision because it opens our minds to how many facets there…