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Showing posts from February 22, 2015

Shut Up

Here is a proven method to decrease the amount of sins you are committing. Hold your tongue. Seems simple enough; we all know that it is our tongue that gets us into trouble. Prodded by adrenalin, anger, impatience, and frustration, words fly out of our mouth at the speed of light before screening can take place in our brain and regret is soon to follow. Solomon was the wisest of the wise and said, "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." (Proverbs 10:19) Now you can take that literally (holding your tongue with your fingers) or take it figuratively (holding your tongue by brain power) and the result will be the same, you will be wise (but in the case of holding it literally, you will also look really stupid). The heart of the challenge is to control your tongue. James spent several verses on this saying, "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is…

Discipline

We don't want to think about this for us as an adult. We consider it something that happens to children and may have been administered to us too much, we feel, when we were in that state. But the interesting thing about discipline is it does produce a good reward. We spank the hand of a child that is reaching toward the fire; we spank the bottom of a child that is willfully disobedient. All this is to instruct the child in the way he/she should go. Fire melts the hand and willful disobedience creates a terrible adult. Solomon said, "He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray." (Proverbs 10:17) Discipline has several elements to it: There has to be a respect for the discipliner or you won't learn the lesson.There must be a way to "take note" of what the discipliner is saying.The best method of discipline is to integrate it quickly with what just happened that is in need of instruction…

Purity

"Wash your hands!" Our parents said this every day before we would eat a meal. Clean hands do protect from the transfer of germs onto food and into the stomach, especially when you don't use utensils to eat. This is a way of providing purity for our physical body. The Pharisees and Scribes came to Jesus after seeing some of his disciples eating food with hands that were unwashed, which was against the "tradition of the elders" of ceremonial cleansing by washing, and asked him why he allowed this to happen. Jesus response was to make a distinction concerning purity. He said, "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him unclean? For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body. What comes out of a man is what makes him unclean." (Mark 7:18-20) He reversed the idea of purity from outside in to inside out. Then Jesus listed twelve items of the heart (6 plurals followed by 6 singulars) …

Hate vs Love

Here is a brief proverb that encapsulates much of what we see going on today. "Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs." (Proverbs 10:12) Hatred stirs. It cannot leave well enough alone. It is not satisfied with the status quo but seeks to stoke the glowing embers into raging fires. Politicians and public leaders who make their wages by stirring up their base cannot live without hate. They must coddle it, feed it, and milk it. They prey on the darkness in the human heart which seeks revenge, equality, and "justice" for their cause. "But," what a word of contrast. But love covers over, it lays on top of the pain, struggle, and prejudice a salve; one that will heal, make amends, provide forgiveness, seek reconciliation rather than revenge. Love looks at God and imitates Him. For God so loved the world that he gave not something extra but something close to His heart. Not one payment but the payment for sin through His Son's sacrific…