Psalm 119:33-35 HE. Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.
It’s such a blessing to hear from God through His Word. There is comfort, edification, healing, power in that Word. Thinking of that, it’s been awhile since I’ve shown my techie side to discuss some of the things that help me stay in the Word. So, I thought I’d get into that. Today, there are two software gems that I’ve mentioned before. We’ll look at them, again, because there’s fresh news.
“In most biblical accounts, the greater the level of maturity, the more alone that person becomes. I.e - Moses, Job, David, Paul, even our Lord in His most trying hours, despite His absolute perfection. When the Lord is doing a great work in the believers life, it can scare away the casual, or less mature Christian - perhaps only for lack of understanding, or inability to cope with the pain (growing pains) in the maturing believers life. God’s provision is to draw closer to Him until someday you wake up and realize your best friend is your Lord Jesus Christ, and the loneliness dissipates. However, we must not mistake disagreement with others as "I am maturing and they are not, therefore I am justified". That would be arrogance not maturity.” – Jim Mastrocola
That was a response to a mutual friend’s turmoil. And, as usual, the start of an interesting train of thought.
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him," -- Heb.11:6. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Christ, His Son, (Is.53:10a). Jesus Christ believed His Father's plan by faith. And....
I administrate a Christian group on the Blackberry Messaging platform. We have members all over the world, some in ministry, some average believers. Recently, one of our group celebrated an anniversary. And his comments got me thinking about what’s come to be called “the Proverbs 31 woman”. There wasn’t a lot of description in his comments. But you could tell that the things he was planning weren’t being done because he had to, in the sense that he was meeting some expectation. The undercurrent of what he talked about was that he had a need to bless his wife because who she has made him want to. And that got me thinking.
Alex Knapp’s “Five Leadership Lessons From Jean-Luc Picard” has these five points:
Speak to people in the language they understand. (Or, it's okay to threaten a Klingon.)
When you're overwhelmed, ask for help.
Always value ethical actions over expedient ones.
Challenge your team to help them grow.
Don't play it safe--seize opportunities in front of you.
We discussed the first two, as exemplified by Jesus. Number three looks like a no brainer till you think about the whole point of Jesus coming to earth. It required a man acting as a man for our salvation to be valid. And there are two examples that immediately come to mind of Jesus showing how it ought to be done by not using the powers of His Godhood. The first was His temptation in the desert. Let’s take a look.
Alex Knapp just wrote an article in Forbes magazine about “Five Leadership Lessons From Jean-Luc Picard”. Last week, he wrote “Five Leadership Lessons From James T. Kirk”. Talk about a way to get my attention! Discussing leadership, Star Trek, with a little spirituality thrown in. And that got me thinking about spiritual leadership as demonstrated by Jesus.
Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Last time, we talked about how, out of context, a verse or a part of a verse could be used in a way that made it look like it says something totally different from the real intent. Very much like statistical evidence. If the person using them has a preconceived conclusion, then numbers, sampling techniques, etc. can be manipulated to support the desired conclusion. So, we want to get God's full thought on every statement.
Hebrews 13:5b Hebrews 13:5b be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Yesterday, I tweeted that partial verse. In relation to the previous post. But, as I was thinking of it, again, I was reminded that I’ve heard it where only “be content with such things as ye have” was quoted, by those who intentionally or otherwise misunderstand the meaning. I’ve heard some accuse the Bible of supporting laziness with this phrase. Others have suggested that it supports keeping those who are not as financially well off “in their place”. Pardon my incredulity, but if we read the whole Bible and what it says, how can such interpretations even seem to make sense? There are times when one verse can summarize a Biblical idea, but, as often as not, it’s likely that we need to look at related verses and the full context. So let’s see where that takes us with this verse.
Sunday night, my pastor preached a message entitled “The Law of Joy and Thanksgiving”. One of the asides struck me. He mentioned that Peter is spoken to by God in Acts 10 (verses 9-16) about freeing himself from the law about what can be eaten and what can’t. The dialogue had Peter responding to God three times, just as he denied Christ three times before the cock crowed. And I was reminded of John 21:15-17, where Peter was asked if he loved Jesus, also three times. Here’s what came to mind: