Thu, Jul 31st - 10:32PM
Just what is disputable?
Romans 14:1 (NIV)
1Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.
Apollos was not teaching the baptism of Christ. Priscilla and Aquila did not judge him, even though this is a matter of doctrine to most. They did explain to him, to be sure, but they were not passing judgment on him for his lack of understanding/faith. How many times have you heard an arguement that was of less consequence than this where one side was passing judgement on the other? Quite frequently I am sure!
That is not to say not to take a stand against what you see to be evil! I stand against abortion, although I am mostly quiet about it, having not been given the opportunity to do anything for those I could lay a burden upon way too easily. A burden that should not be theirs alone to bear, I might add. Someone had to help them get into that bad situation!
I don't agree that Gay and Lesbian relationships are perfectly ok. I further will not accept them in the capacity of a minister. Those of you who know me, know I would accept a woman in the pulpit on the basis of her authority not being her own. I give no woman other than my mother such authority, and yet, NO prophet, man or woman, is free to speak on their own authority! It either is from God, or it is nothing!
You have to find your own balance here, and I am still seeking to perfect my own. Pray for God's Help!
Fri, Jul 18th - 9:19AM
Faith and Works
Romans 3:8 (AMP)
8And why should we not do evil that good may come?--as some slanderously charge us with teaching. Such [false teaching] is justly condemned by them.
Romans 3:20 (NIV)
20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
Romans 3:31 (NLT)
31Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.
Romans 4:9-10 (NIV)
9Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before!
Romans 4:14 (NLT)
14If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless.
James 2:14-26 (NIV)
14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Matthew 21:28-32 (NIV)
28"What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.'
29" 'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
30"Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go.
31"Which of the two did what his father wanted?"
"The first," they answered.
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.
So what you do has value, but apart from faith, the acts are no greater than those of an unbelieving humanitarian. The physical manifestation of any act will not last. All will be destroyed. Think about and understand where the value truely comes from...
Tue, Jul 8th - 12:39AM
This thought comes from what Eric was speaking of
John 13:1-17 (NIV)
1It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
2The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
7Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
8"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet."
Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."
9"Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"
10Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." 11For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Try walking around and not getting your feet dirty. You can do it sometimes, but the dirtier the place you tread in, the more likely it is you will fail in this and need to have your feet washed. This is a dirty world we live in. Christ had not yet died and fulfilled what he was symbolically doing here by cleansing their feet. He forgives us. He has that power. So do we!
Forgive your brother. Help cleanse him when he get dirty. Christ tells us we will be blessed if we do this! It does go better for you when you forgive others. Remember this, and hold to Christ's promise!
Matthew 16:13-19 (NIV)
13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
14They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Matthew 18:18-22 (NIV)
18"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.
That is a lot of fogiving, and we are empowered to do that. I measure as I hope to be measured, so that I am not found wanting. Go easy as you can for their good. If it is not for their good, don't do it! Again, the way I wish it to be for me!
Well, Good night!
And Blessings on all,
Tue, Jul 8th - 12:13AM
This is a hard one for me. I am most often not as gentle as I should be. For the most part you forbear me this shortcoming, and I am grateful for that! God has blessed me richly with brothers and sisters in Christ who try to teach me by example. One day, I may actually be considered kind...
Acts 18:24-26 (NIV)
24Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
Notice this: Apollos was not bashed for not being perfect in his teaching. Rather, he was informed and encouraged. People have done that for me, can you tell? I try to do the same, but sometimes I am too hung up on the rhetoric to remember the message. I must ask for forgiveness usually because of just this: my pride in something I think I know! I understand why Paul prayed to be a fool for Christ. Only a fool of that type would have no pride in themselves, but only in Christ...
But I am compelled to say what I think is true! I may be missing a point that someone needs to tell me about. Will you be like Priscilla and Aquila when I need it? I have no better way to learn, that I see. God is able to teach me in other ways, to be sure, but a word from someone who cares is much more soothing and a whole lot less painful sometimes!
Take this message for what it means to you. Helping me, or having others help you.
Sat, Jul 5th - 12:33PM
Yes, it Has been a while...
I have been gone for a while. Although I found time to drop in and read and comment from time to time, I did not even find the time to do that as much as I should or desired. To explain in detail would tend to hide the fact that I was just busy with nothing important at times and lazy and out of the habit at others.
To lay minds at ease, I will say this: None of this was to do with anything anyone said or did here. Do not burden yourselves with such thoughts. If there were such a thing, I would address it and confront it if I saw fit to do so. (correctly or incorrectly)
That brings me to the point I am certain you have heard from me in one form or another for a long time: Bearing with each other.
Acts 15:1-2; 15:5-19; 16:1-5 (NIV)
1Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved." 2This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.
5Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."
6The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
12The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13When they finished, James spoke up: "Brothers, listen to me. 14Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. 15The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:
16" 'After this I will return
and rebuild David's fallen tent.
Its ruins I will rebuild,
and I will restore it,
17that the remnant of men may seek the Lord,
and all the Gentiles who bear my name,
says the Lord, who does these things'
18that have been known for ages.
19"It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.
1He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek. 2The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. 5So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.
Now, I observe something here quite plainly: Paul and Barnabas went to the walls to avoid allowing the doctrine of circumcision to become a burdensome addition foisted by those who lacked understanding of God's will in this matter. And then later, before Timothy went with him, Paul circumcised Timothy!
Certainly Timothy did not do this out of an obligation to be under the Law. It was not just for his benefit to avoid dealing with controversy. (although that is my own understanding -- and you could disagree here quite easily) No. He set aside his rights to not be put under the requirement of circimcision for one reason only as I see it: To bear the burden of his brothers and sisters who could not understand and for whom his father's background would become a stumbling block.
Maybe I read too much into this. But it is clear that circumcision is not a doctrinal requirement and yet Timothy was circumcised in line with what he was not obligated to do. That is a painful burden to bear, my friends. Could you do that for me, or could I do that for you? It is nothing to the Crucifixion of Christ, but we shirk from these things and sit comfortably on this doctrine or that one where such a stand is not for the benefit of our brothers and sisters in Christ, but for our own selfish reasons.
I think it wise to stand on all doctrine as you understand it. I am not advocating throwing any doctrine out. I am asking you to examine truthfully your own heart in why you choose to stand on this and not on that. Do as Christ would do. Lay your life down for your brother or sister or even just for a neighbor or if you have been given the strength to do so, your worst enemy.
This is taking up our cross daily.
Go in God's Grace,
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