Tuesday, November 12, 2019

THINKING GENESIS WISE


THINKING GENESIS WISE
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Genesis 3:17-18  And to Adam he [God] said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.

  Considering the volume of doctrine in the first chapters of Genesis it is important that we not simply read them as a Bible story. We should prayerfully ponder the truths therein many times else we’re snared by false doctrine that adversely affects our maturation pleasing to God. Case in point is incorrectly thinking God placed a list of penalties on Adam, Eve, and all since. They’re not penalties. They are results of sinfully gaining the knowledge of good and evil.
  Those results are still with us. Individually we function stimulated by the ingrained knowledge of good and evil. Additionally, we are surrounded and reinforced by a population entrenched in the potency of the knowledge of good and evil. It is a serious mistake to think of those Genesis results as penalties. Doing so is the inferred off-loading of a sizeable portion of our personal responsibility in continuing to fuel those results; the relieving mindset of “It’s not all my fault.”
  My Bible software includes 10 translations. In doing a concordance search I did not find “penalty” or “penalties” in any of them. I have however heard or read those results described as penalties. After further personal revealing prayerful study I began to think and act more responsibly . . . and am more thankful than ever before.
EBB4

PS. I recommend enjoying THE CHRISTMAS CANDLE, by Max Lucado, provided by Netflix.

Monday, November 11, 2019

MEETING THE RESULTS


MEETING THE RESULTS
Monday, November 11, 2019

Romans 5:8-11 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

  Is there a single moment that we are not confronted with sin and its influence? This awful business began with Adam’s lack of trusting Jehovah God. Since his disobedience life night and day has been a struggle within and against this corrupted environment. (Rom.5:12) Within being the matter of self, our old nature (Rom.7:20), without being the influence of the prince and those of this world with him. (Jn.8:43-44)
  For those that have decided to trust Lord Jesus Christ for His personal redemption, we live a different life. Indeed the same sinful world, but distinctively different due to God’s indwelling Holy Spirit; the venue surrounding us unchanged, but our view now contrary to.
  I close this morning’s thoughts with a passage from Paul’s letter to the believers in Ephesus: “… you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (ESV Eph.2:1-10)
EBB4

Sunday, November 10, 2019

DO TO VERSUS DUE TO


DO TO VERSUS DUE TO
Sunday, November 10, 2019

Romans 12:1-3 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

  Awoke at 6am pondering today’s topic, soon coming up with the descriptive title.
  Jesus said that if we love Him we keep His commandments. (Jn.14:15, 23) If done, this is done one of two ways. One way according to the essence of God’s Word living (Jn.1:1) and written (Jn.17:17; 2Tim.3:16-17). The other way being contrary to the substance of Scripture.
  Obedience to prove we love Him is not simply the lesser way. It is the opposite of that which pleases God. Life centered in right over wrong to prove love falls short of what God provides for and wants of us.
  Deference due to loving Jesus delights God in that it is authentic worship. This is no New Testament precept. It is throughout God’s Word. The Ten Commandments embodies this truth: The first 2 as productive basis. Commandments 3 thru 10 summarizing production.
  Let us beware and stay far from the snare of actions to prove we love God and/or people. Being Christ-like means actions because of love, not because we’re striving to confirm our love.
EBB4

Friday, November 8, 2019

RUNNING THE RACE


RUNNING THE RACE
Friday, November 08, 2019

Hebrews [ESV] 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

  As did the apostle Paul, I’m running “the race set before us” in maturity knowing what in my past has resulted in faintedheartedness. Consequently, through years past guidance of wonderful elder mentors, I know I must periodically review certain areas in remembrance. The following that in 2010 I awoke with is one. Let us prayerfully ponder together God’s Truth therein.
EBB4
+++
A GOOD DAY’S CLEARING SIGHT

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born again, he cannot *see the kingdom of God. [ *Strong’s “see”: G1492; εἴδω, eidō, i'-do; A primary verb; used only in certain past tenses, the others being borrowed from the equivalent, G3700 and G3708; properly to see (literally or figuratively); by implication (in the perfect only) to know: - be aware, behold, X can (+ not tell), consider, (have) known (-ledge), look (on), perceive, see, be sure, tell, understand, wist, wot.]
            Matthew 6:22-23 The light of the body is the eye. Therefore if your eye is sound, your whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if your eye is evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

  Fresh vision begins with trusting Jesus, The Word (Jn.1:1), as our one and only personal Savior (Acts 4:10-12), and increasingly corrected vision if and as we thereafter trust The Word as Lord. One way godly vision is detected is through how we see our days.
  “Have a good day.” . . . “good day” meaning what? (Mt.6:22-23; 2Cor.5:7, 17; Eph.2:1-5)

  Ask a non-Christian to define a good day and you will typically get:
·         A day that I feel good emotionally and physically.
·         A day that runs smoothly without a lot of stress.
·         A day, successful, that I accomplish goals.
·         A day that I get respect, recognition and appreciation.
  Ask a Christian the same question and you will typically get the same answers.
  It is not a good day and will never be a good day for professing Christians that think exactly like non-Christians, yours truly included!
  A good day for a Christian is when whatever happens or does not happen, is seen and thought of as the Lord’s day with our fulfilling our mandate to live and rejoice in it! “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps.118:24)
  A few items that I see as essential to a good day for God’s children:
·         That we exercise healthy reverence (fear & appreciation) for God. (Ex.20:3; Mt.22:33-40)
·         That we gain wisdom. (Job 12:12; Proverbs et al)
·         That we trust that any understanding to be had is through and by God. (Job 28:12-28)
·         That any understanding can only be realized as we depart from evil. (Job 28:28; James 1:5-8)
·         That we don’t demand present understanding of events. (Job 38:1-41; Isaiah 55)
·         That we accept all days as His day. (Ps.118:24a)
·         That we see God in it. (Ps.118:24)
·         That regardless of events we rejoice in it. (Ps.118:24b; Phil.4:4)
·         That understanding comes through fear and love. (Prov.1:7; 2Pet.3:10-11; 1Jn.4:1-21)
·         That we live knowing that life is not about “bread alone”. (Mt.4:4a; Phil.4:11-13)
·         That we manifest living by God’s Word. (Mt.4:4b)
·         That we relate to our fellow man with godliness. (Mt.22:38-39)
·         That we don’t view life by mere physical sight. (2Cor.5:7)
·         That we act and react as those indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit. (Jn.1:12; Gal.5:22,23; Eph.5:9)
·         That we don’t make it about us. (Phil.4:5)
·         That we give every care over to God. (Phil.4:6; 1Pet.5:7)
·         That we thereby experience God’s peace. (Phil.4:7,9; 1Tim.2:2))
·         That we fix our thoughts on all that is right and good. (Phil.4:8)
·         That we always check options first with The Guide. (Phil.4:13; 2Tim.3:16-17)
·         That, like them or not, we pray for our leaders. (1Tim.2:2)
·         That we study to show ourselves equipped and approved by God, the Ultimate Judge. (2Tim.2:14-16; 3:16-17; Heb.9:27;11:6)
·         That we seek believer’s maturation in it. (Heb.5:12-14; James 1:2-4; 1Pet.2:1-3)
·         That does not hinge on our getting respect, recognition, and appreciation. (James 1:9-11)
  So, dear brother or sister in Christ, how now do we determine and see what is a good day? 
EBB4  

Thursday, November 7, 2019

HINDERED BY HISTORY?


HINDERED BY HISTORY?
Thursday, November 07, 2019

Philippians [CEV] 3:10-16 [The apostle Paul wrote] All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him to life. I want to suffer and die as he did, so that somehow I also may be raised to life. I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. My friends, I don't feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead.  I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done. All of us who are mature should think in this same way. And if any of you think differently, God will make it clear to you. But we must keep going in the direction that we are now headed.

  Our history, bad or good, may hinder us as a matter of our personal choice. Yes, we decide whether it impedes or impels us. The apostle Paul teaches of and sets example of this life-choice.

·         In the name of God with religious leaders sanction Saul persecuted Christians cruelly and did so enthusiastically. (Act.7:58; 8:1-3; 9:1; 22:4)
·         After Saul was confronted by Jehovah God while on one of his campaigns against Christians, he conceded his life efforts to Almighty God, and thereby began maturation in godliness. (Act.26:9-16)
·         Paul, accepting his new forgiven life, unburdened, nonetheless was identified by others by his horrific history. (Act.9:26; 1Cor.9:1)

  Though it may not be as Paul’s, all followers of Lord Jesus Christ have a history. Though few of Saul’s dark level, prior to our personally trusting Jesus we lived apart from God’s imputed grace and redemption. (Rom.4:1-25; 5:8; Eph.5:8-17) And there will be people, including some Christians that will presently define us according to our past.
  However, it may not be past darkness that hinders our discerning God’s will, thereby pleasing Him, and vigorously serving until death or rapture. The braking onus can be our successes that we choose to define our life by. Paul spoke of this.
  In closing this morning’s thoughts I quote the writer of the letter to the Hebrews, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (ESV Heb.12:1-2)
EBB4

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

BEING REASONABLE


BEING REASONABLE
Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Romans 12:1…
  (ASV)  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.
  (CEV)  Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That's the most sensible way to serve God.
  (ESV)  I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
  (GNB)  So then, my friends, because of God's great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer.
  (GW)  Brothers and sisters, in view of all we have just shared about God's compassion, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you.
  (ISV)  I therefore urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God, for this is the reasonable way for you to worship.
  (KJV)  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
  (LITV)  Therefore, brothers, I call on you through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.
  (MKJV)  I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.
  (RV)  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

  Familial education left me ingrained with “being reasonable” meaning compromise with people. Without realizing it, this was just one of many worldly concepts I carried into new life in Christ that began 50+ years ago.
  In studying God’s Word (Living - Jn.1:1; Written - 2Tim.3:16) I soon discovered how wrong I was to think and live this way. I now understand “reasonable” is sensibly submitting to God’s mercies. And that God’s Way is surprisingly often not man’s way: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways, says Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”  (Isa.55:8-9; also note 1Sam.15:22-23)
  Since anger, thirst for vengeance, and a few other nasty traits are no longer a personal plague, it would be easy to think myself completely on the God-pleasing side of Romans 12:1. I confess my life still counts unreasonable moments.
  How fortunate that though unreasonable moments suppress God’s mercies in my life (1Thes.5:19), my actions do not and cannot diminish His ever available compassions.
  O’ how I thank Him for His sacrificial love! In response, may I walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given Himself for us as obedient fragrant sacrifice to God.(Mt.26:39-42; Rom.12:1-3; Eph.5:2)
  Let us without delay join together in being reasonable His way.  
EBB4

PS: Thank you to those reporting that yesterday’s DT, A BAT IS A BIRD?, clarified the issue for them. I’m pleased that they now have the answer for challengers.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

A BAT IS A BIRD?


A BAT IS A BIRD?
Tuesday, November 05, 2019

  There are biblio-skeptics (A new word for us.) that delight in Bible passages like this one from Leviticus, “And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. … And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; Every raven after his kind; And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.” (Lev.11:1-2, 13-19)
  A bat is a bird? If God is creator of all life, all-knowing, and is the author of the book telling about animals . . . would this mistake be in his book? Doesn’t this prove that man wrote the Bible?
  It does not prove any such thing.
  I find it interesting that biblio-skeptic pseudo or actual intellectuals take time to critically scrutinize Scripture, but don’t invest in studying Scripture beyond English.
  We could attempt using the tomato conundrum to refute biblio-skeptics, but as the longtime veggie <=> fruit discussion continues, it would just be a debate. Or we could say ornithology was not yet then a wing of science with classifications.
  The actual answer in in the original language. The Hebrew word used in Leviticus 11:13 is “oph”, meaning fowl/winged creature, to fly, or has wings.
  So the answer is a bat is not a bird! God never mistakenly said it is. 
EBB4