Matthew 5:17-20 – “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (KJV)
‘Jot’ is a transliteration of Continue reading “The Missing Link”
Matthew 7:9-11 – “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (NIV1984)
My Musing – Who among us, when we were children did not play dad off against mom or mom against dad, until we got the answer we wanted? I wonder Continue reading “We’ll See”
My Musings – We live in the information age, nearly to the point of information overload. Much of the information we receive we can clearly distinguish as false or not to be trusted, and we easily dismiss or discard it. Some of the information we receive seems to contradict what we have grown up believing, but so many others believe in and swear by it, sometimes with such great passion and credibility, that we can hardly see how it could be wrong. Still other information seems innocent and appealing, almost to the extent of “having a form of Godliness” and yet we wonder if it can be trusted. How then do we decide what is truth? Here are a few suggestions. Continue reading “Artistic License or False Doctrine?”
Matthew 18:2-4 – He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (NIV 1984)
1 Corinthians 13:11 – When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. (NIV 1984)
My Musings – There is a world of difference between becoming like a little child (humble, innocent, trusting), and being childish (petty, pouty, immature). We should certainly grow-up to the “full-measure” while retaining (or is it regaining) our humility, innocence and ability to trust God fully – keeping a bit of the child in the heart or the man (or woman).
My Advice – Be a child, but don’t be childish.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 – Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” (NIV 1984)
My Musings – Not feeling too wise? Not very influential? Not of noble birth? Weak and lowly? Then perhaps God can use you. That’s not to say God cannot use those who are. But sometimes our wisdom, influence, stature and strength can get in the way of being used by God. Perhaps maybe because we do not think we need Him and can manage just fine with what we have.
But life in Christ is full of oxymorons. The poor are rich and the rich are destitute. Gaining the whole world can cost you your soul. Those who give out of their want give more than those who give out of their wealth. The foolish shame the wise. The older (Esau) serves the younger (Jacob). The least of the lowliest clan (Gideon) becomes the judge that delivers all Israel. Ordinary fishermen (Peter, John and James) and a hated tax collector (Matthew) become disciples of the Messiah. The King of kings is born in a stable and raised in backwater Nazareth (can anything good come from there?). The Apostle Paul is given weakness so he can be strong. The persecutor of early Christians (Saul) became the Apostle of grace (Paul). The Savior had to die on a cross (cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree) in order to offer the blessing of eternal life to all mankind.
So, maybe we should not feel so inadequate after all. Maybe we don’t need to be up on the couch where it is nice and comfortable. We’re needed more down in the trenches.
My Advice – Go in God’s strength. His grace is always sufficient.
Genesis 2:9 – Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” (NIV 1984)
My Musing – Where are we, and how did we get here? Questions we need to ask ourselves periodically. Sometimes because we fall hard and quick and sometimes because we drift away ever so slowly. Maybe our response is to cover it up, ignore it, evade it, or just hide. But we really cannot successfully do any of these things.
How much does God want to know? He already knows all of it. But He wants us to know it too. He knew full well where Adam was. The point was, He needed Adam to know it too. And Adam did know, why else would he have tried to hide. We know it too. We need to face it, admit it, confess it, repent of it, ask forgiveness for it and get back to where we belong – walking with God in the garden in the cool of the day.
My Advice – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9, NIV 1984). Okay, so it’s John’s advice. But it’s good advice. Aren’t you tired of “hiding” from God?
Galatians 6:9-10 – Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (NIV 1984)
My Musing – Sometimes we do not grow weary and give up, because we never got going to begin with and don’t have anything to give up. Sometimes we miss the opportunities because we just were not paying attention (too self-absorbed?). Sometimes we think “as we have opportunity” means “only if it is convenient.” Sometimes we act as if “especially to those who belong to the family of believers” means “[only] to those who belong to the family of believers.” Sometimes we think “to all people” is only those people who believe, think, act, dress, share the same opinions or look like we do. Sometimes we only want to do good if we think we will “reap a harvest” for ourselves (what’s in it for me?). Sometimes we only want to do good only if we think that they are deserving of good. Sometimes sometime is most of the time. Sometimes maybe we is just me (it’s so me times not so we times). Lord help me to focus on the good you want me to do and not so much on the good I think others should do. At least sometimes.
My Advice – Goodness knows there is an abundance of opportunities (not sometimes there are opportunities) out there of people down on their luck or going through difficult times that are in need. They cross our paths everyday. To the extent we do it for the least of these, we do it as for the Lord. Sometimes we do the least for these rather than doing for the least for these.
P.S. Another early photo op of my son Joel grown weary. He was already tired tomorrow.