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Showing posts from October 19, 2014

Pray for your Enemies?

What are your feelings towards those who gossip about you or would wish harm on you? That question is central to those who declare themselves to be Jesus Christ's followers. We could suggest remedies, maybe not all worthy of who we want to really be, but let's just see the right response to "enemies." Jesus set the bar for those listening to the Sermon on the Mount, early in his ministry, to "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:44-45) Loving those who are against you would be exampling the love of your Heavenly Father who loves "the world" and that really does reveal your heritage. So, did anyone in scripture really do this? Well, Jesus walked the walk that came from his talk. In the last hours before he died while hanging on the cross, he spoke what is called his "seven last words." The first of these was, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what t…

Noble Purposes

What are you making out of your life? Are you agreeing with the majority; degrading yourself with the many; coasting downhill; or floating downstream? You are then going nowhere fast and becoming a person of ignoble purposes. We have all seen people who destroy themselves and those around them without thinking. Wrong seems to come easier for them but it always leads them into despair. The Apostle Paul spoke of a house with articles of gold and silver but also articles of wood and clay. He likened them to people. He said, "Some are for noble purposes and some are for ignoble." (2 Timothy 2:20) The ignoble were destined for destruction while the gold and silver destined for noble purposes. A person who seeks to be used for noble purposes must remove him/herself from the influence of the ignoble. It has been said, "close and intimate association with hypocrites may easily lead to moral and spiritual contamination." Paul identified three characteristics of one who moves a…

Faithfulness

There is a persistent faithfulness that God exhibits. It is seen in the regularity of the yearly seasons and the sun and moon that pass through them, also specifically seen in the promise of God to David. God declared that He would maintain David's line of kingship. This is called the Davidic Covenant and is expressed in many places in the Old Testament. One such place is Psalm 89 in which God says through the psalmist, "I will not take my love from him [David], nor will I ever betray my faithfulness. I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered. Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness—and I will not lie to David—that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun; it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky." (89:33-37) Even though the people of Israel along with their kings go into exile and the line of David is obscured in the eyes of man, God clearly watches over it. He produces a son…

Being An Example

When should you be an example and when is it no longer necessary to be an example? Good question, but let's drill down one more level. In what area(s) are you to be an example? Paul spoke to his young apprentice Timothy, who was placed as a leader in the church in the huge city of Ephesus. Timothy was approximately thirty-six years old when told to not "let anyone look down on you because you are young." (1 Timothy 4:12a) The word "look down on" is to despise or to actively show contempt. Timothy was not to allow others to disparage him. But how was this to be done? Was he to stand face to face with them and demand that they obey him? Was he to become strict in laws of the church, create his own secret police, and bring all "law breakers" to justice? These methods would have encouraged them to despise him rather than follow him. Paul suggested that the best way to prevent disparagement was to deal with the one you can control, you. He said, "but set…