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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Devotionals / Mel's Weekly Study Welcome Guest
    Mel's Weekly Study
          Just a simple place for me to put a scripture or two. My plan is to have one here a week or so. I was trying to do one a day, but think I need to go slower. Maybe I'll comment, maybe you will...

          Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

          Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11)

          Test everything. Hold on to the good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

          Examine what I say, challenge me if I seem wrong, rebuke me if I am way off the mark...

    Wed, May 20th - 2:53PM

    Greed, Work and Wages as God Sees It



     1"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. 2He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
     3"About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' 5So they went.

       "He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?'

     7" 'Because no one has hired us,' they answered.
          "He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.'

     8"When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.'

     9"The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. 10So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'

     13"But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? 14Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'

     16"So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

    Matthew 20:1-16 (NIV)

     11Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.

    Jude 1:11 (NIV)

    15They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.

    2 Peter 2:15 (NIV)

     7 The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said.

    Numbers 22:7 (NIV)

     9Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, "This man is the divine power known as the Great Power." 11They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 12But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
     14When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

     18When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money 19and said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit."

     20Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin."

     24Then Simon answered, "Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me."

    Acts 8:9-24 (NIV)


    A follow on that will be needed to clarify a point the Previous Post should make. Just the Scriptures so far...

    In Truth,

    Mel



    Comment (3)

    Wed, May 20th - 12:32PM

    Tithes, Taxes, Charity and What is God's that The King Wrongfully Takes...



     14 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, "Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us," 15 be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite. 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, "You are not to go back that way again." 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.
     18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.

    Deuteronomy 17:14-20 (NIV)

     6 But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do."

     10 Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, "This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day."

    1 Samuel 8:6-18 (NIV)

     22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. 23 Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always. 24 But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the LORD will choose to put his Name is so far away), 25 then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose. 26 Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice. 27 And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own.
     28 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns, 29 so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

    Deuteronomy 14:22-29 (NIV)

    28 From the soldiers who fought in the battle, set apart as tribute for the LORD one out of every five hundred, whether persons, cattle, donkeys, sheep or goats. 29 Take this tribute from their half share and give it to Eleazar the priest as the LORD's part. 30 From the Israelites' half, select one out of every fifty, whether persons, cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats or other animals. Give them to the Levites, who are responsible for the care of the LORD's tabernacle."

    Numbers 31:28-30 (NIV)

     21"Caesar's," they replied.
          Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

    Matthew 22:21 (NIV)

     1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

    2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)

    2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

    2 Timothy 4:2-4 (NIV)

     1 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.

    Deuteronomy 13:1-4 (NIV)

     1Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

    1 John 4:1-3 (NIV)

    9We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. 10For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."

     11We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.

    2 Thessalonians 3:9-12 (NIV)


    I have a bit to say here, but I am just putting this down now to line up the Scriptures I think relate to this subject.  This is returning to Obama's Speech (Prayer) and the many questions it has raised.

    In the Truth that Is Christ,

    Mel



    Comment (0)

    Fri, May 15th - 10:13AM

    Methods and Procedures



    Eric posted a comment earlier that points out another common failing we have. I do mean common. I know this, and I fail in this.

    What he said was:

    We both think the woman has potential to become a solid believer, but she needed some leadership men to step up and do what Christ says ought to be done!

    Now I can see a couple of  problems here. First, and I catch myself doing this, was just the opposite of what the phrase he said 'Sometimes I hear "but I focus on what they will potentially become, not what they are doing or saying right now." ' It makes the same error in judging and not judging. I think we need to understand that actions are something we can judge and should, and people are not! We tend to either judge both, or neither. I struggle greatly with this and err on both sides. Now what I am seeing is the phrase '...potential to become a solid believer...' which has in it the seeds of judgment. To use such a train of thought when evaluating a person for a deacon (or deaconess if you are so inclined) is appropriate. To use it even by saying 'Let us send this brother (or sister) to deal with this, because of their maturity in this matter.' is what I would consider wise. Neither of these have the harsh connotation of what someone else in particular is doing that makes them less mature. I say this with a grain of salt. Paul was often chastising the churches. It is good and needed at times. However, we assume that other means were not used first, and I really don't think that is the case. When it got to the point of Paul speaking harshly, I really think a lot had gone on first, as it should have, and clearly, he cared for even those he was making a judgment about, and their actions were still what he was judging.

    The second thing again is something I fail in. I should be a leader myself, but I want someone else to carry that burden. I want someone else to deal with the problem I see.


     15"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    Matthew 18:15-17 (NIV)


    I go back to this to point out the 1, 2, 3 steps that are to be taken.

    1) You deal with it.

    2) You get some help.

    3) You bring it out for all to see.

    Now sometimes this is applied quite rigidly, and although I am unable to fault that, I can see spending more effort than one try on each step. To be pragmatic here I will use Eric's scenario again. Quite possibly his wife could have spoken to this woman. She could have quoted this passage, for instance:


     22 Like a gold ring in a pig's snout
           is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

    Proverbs 11:22 (NIV)


    Now certainly, there are kinder passages to use to deal with this. You might tone it down a bit and come to this one, or harsher ones if needed later. I speak as a matter of wisdom, not rule of Law. Start off as gently as you can. And there is even a scriptural reference for that concept if you are inclined to seek it out! Let me suggest a slightly more better approach in a different passage.  I would suggest Romans 14, paying particular attention to verse 15. Point out that a womans body is not a sinful thing. However, men see it and sin springs into their minds. The sin is not so much on her as it is on us men. She should be merciful to us! Really, that is the way I see it. Having another woman point this out could take the edge off and be as gentle as possible. She could go harsher or have a man, say her husband, back her up by confirming that this causes him distress. We don't need to escalate as quickly as we do, but this is a relationship skill we fail at miserably. We stuff it down until it explodes. That is never good and is not God's way.

    In other words: Deal with it. Yourself. And be ready for people to take it badly. Consider even that a blessing if you are cursed for doing what Christ would have you do, even by your own brother or sister.

    I use Eric as an example because I know him to be strong and respected even as Paul was known as such. Paul struggled. I struggle.

    I took a creative writing course once.  One thing I took out of it was the fact that I could edit other people very well, but my own work I was blind to. I think I need someone to be like I am being to Eric here for that very reason. You may see my shortcomings much more clearly than I can. If you see them, you are responsible then to tell me about them out of love for me, just as we are to deal with the woman in this example.  I pray I am not wrong in assuming that Eric will not be offended by this, but I say that I am not better than him in this. When I do it, I have a hard time seeing it. There should be no shame here.

    Blessings and Peace, dear brothers and sisters,

    In Christ,

    Mel



    Comment (1)

    Thu, May 14th - 9:57AM

    National Prayer Day -- Further into it...



    One point was made that I happened across in my wanderings and ponderings of this question on whether Obama's handling of this was correct.  I'll put the scripture it was based upon here and as soon as you read it, you will understand the point, I think.


     5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

    Matthew 6:5-8 (NIV)


    So I think it unwise to judge the actions of Praying Quietly by Himself. Others give him great credit for at least making a proclamation, as required by Law. The key is: 'as required by Law." I there credit him with doing the right thing in obeying the Law. We should all consider this. However, when he did make a public prayer on Feb 5th, he said a lot of things. What I find encouraging is the fact that his Roots are based in the good things the church was doing. He had a heart and got involved. Being around good christians who embodied the two greatest comandments may have rubbed off on him. His walk began on this basis. I judge him to have a heart for good, if I at the same time judge his actions harshly. He made many profound sounding professions and spouted high ideals.  I will get back to these and examine a few of them. That is what I think would be what James would do, Following Christ as his example.

    In Christ's Love & Truth,

    Mel



    Comment (1)

    Sat, May 9th - 1:41PM

    Obama made a proclamation on National Prayer Day




    I am certain most of you have seen someone ask or asked yourself about the President and the National Day of Prayer. I came across a person who was confused by one of his parish claiming that President Obama attended a 'National Prayer Breakfast' which as near as I can tell, he did -- Back in February. What I think is a good reference for this is here. I wish I could find that pastor again, and I pray he will find this out without too much pain. But that is a distraction. The President indeed made a proclamation on the National Day of Prayer and it can be found here on the official White House site.

    I was asked what I thought of the Presidents' response, and in truth, I had a knee jerk response of condemnation. Fortunately, I have learned a little bit over the years and kept that to myself while I looked into it. I am not always that wise, as many of you know. Call it Luck or God's Grace, (as most of us will call it) or whatever you want, but we all know we sometimes do well without really intending to. I give that to the Providence of God in our lives, even the lives of these who do not believe. A non believer does not have to accept this.  Their acceptance or denial has absolutely no impact upon the truth in the matter. Either they are right or they are wrong, and the consequences of that denial is something you or I cannot overcome by our own power, although we are still free to feel for them, to have compassion upon them and pray for them, even as they curse us for doing so.  This brings me to my first scripture for today:


     27"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.

    Luke 6:27-31 (NIV)


    I have highlighted the 'Golden Rule' because the President, in both cases I cite above, mentions this rule by this colloquial name.  He rightly asserts that this concept flows through many religious thoughts, even those who practice the Religion of Humanism. (Which I, by the way, would like to see removed completely from its ascendancy in our government in violation of the First Amendment!) What I wish to point out is that the Golden Rule is not talking about withholding your hand when another is the one to suffer the loss. This is a personal decision. If I coerce you to 'turn the other cheek' in line with verse 29, I violate verse 31 by doing so. As a member of the Military, I have this thrown in my face from time to time. I have come to a very intimate understanding of my duties as the "Sword the Ruler Wields." I could not live this life if I did not. So it is not about standing back and letting evil rule. 'Turning the other cheek' is about not letting your enemies anger rule you and bring out unrighteous anger from you. That is anger that is a knee jerk response, and rarely is helpful. In secular terms, it is called escalation, and the rightness or wrongness of what is said in those circumstances bears very little worth. The how it is said is everything. The President correctly touches on this when he says the following:

    "I'm not naive," President Obama says. "I don't expect divisions to disappear overnight, nor do I believe that long-held views and conflicts will suddenly vanish. ... But I do believe that if we can talk to one another openly and honestly, and perhaps allow God's grace to enter that space between us, then perhaps old rifts will start to mend and new partnerships will begin to emerge. In a world that grows smaller by the day, perhaps we can begin to crowd out the destructive forces of zealotry and make room for the healing power of understanding.

    "This is my hope. This is my prayer."

    "There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being,"

    "Far too often, we have seen faith wielded as a tool to divide us from one another -- as an excuse for prejudice and intolerance. Wars have been waged. Innocents have been slaughtered. For centuries, entire religions have been persecuted, all in the name of perceived righteousness..."

    Yes, I fail in this. Many leaders have failed in this. Lives are lost for this reason. Yet, I ask, what lives are lost or filled with suffering because of what any of us supports? Think about this. I include cruelty to animals in this. I do not personally rate that as high as cruelty to mankind, but I could be wrong in that assertion. It is not about truth as much as it is in using any excuse (even small truths that we cling to) for bigotry and hatred, seeking IN TRUTH, only to divide a man from his brother, for whatever their perverse reason. Bigotry is the motivation. Truth is not. If you turn the other cheek, you personally cannot act in bigotry. You shut it down at the only level it can ever effectively be shut down. There will always be bigots. There will always be those, who by their actions will give a good cause a bad name. I am guilty of generalizing quite frequently. So in the Spirit of the 'Golden Rule' I beg of you: "Don't just let me go there!" I don't want to go there, but I do. My hope is for God, through you, or even an unbeliever, to correct and chastise me, even to the point of punishing me for my own good.

    Let me give you another scripture here:


     16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

    1 John 3:16 (NIV)


    We lay our lives down for each other. Please note: we do not allow our brother to push our lives down for their own selfish desires, even if we may give up the exact same thing voluntarily. The good is done if this is done correctly. It is a bitter pill for you and a lost opportunity to learn for your brother if he is just pushing you down and you are simply not resisting and resenting it. Same external actions. Actions matter.  Heart matters more!


     21"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
     23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

    Matthew 5:21-24 (NIV)

     15"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    Matthew 18:15-17 (NIV)

     1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. 2And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

    1 Corinthians 5:1-5 (NIV)

     5If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. 7Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

    2 Corinthians 2:5-11 (NIV)


    Yes I am getting off track. That happens, especially when I give myself time. The underlying matter is that what we do should not be for our personal benefit. It should be for the benefit of others.

    Another President understood this:

    And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.
    My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

    I'll leave you to find that President.

    So how do I reconcile this little batch of passages?

    I see trying to get a person to do the right thing, for the benefit of the person making the wrong choice versus any superiority we might be inferred to have by pointing out his errors.  I see expelling them if they refuse to listen, for their good, primarily, so that they may have a change of heart to repair their ways or at least their attitude towards the wrongs that they do. I see bringing them back in when the sorrow that leads them to change their heart is accomplished. I see all of this done for the good of the one doing wrong and I feel the pain of the one who has to do this. You think it easy to do something like this? (if it is for someone, then I think I need to talk to that person as well, probably even more so!) Have mercy on him to whom falls this onerous task!

    Let me put this into a worldly perspective.  In the U.S. Military, they have a No ask, No tell policy when it comes to sexual orientation. (i.e. whether you think you are homosexual or not) Recently, a JAG officer put it this way at a meeting I was attending:

    "You can be Gay and still be in the Military. You just cannot act Gay." (not an exact quote maybe, but as close as I can remember)

    This was met with more than a bit of muffled laughter, but the point was serious. As in the Military, the Church cannot abide with certain things that violate its values at the basic level. I think we all have damage, and there is an impression that I get that the man being expelled was put in that situation not because of what he had done wrong in as much as it was about his assertion and the acceptance of some others, that this behavior was not, in fact evil! They were Boasting! They were Proud! I can clearly hear their boasts of how 'enlightened' they were by being so very accepting of him in 'Christ's Love'! I see this very thing today in the Church and in man's churches most especially. I stand against such unChristian acceptance and Human Boasting at the peril of being, yes, wrong and judgmental! That is a very strong step for me to take, and not without Great Fear! I put myself in God's Hands in utter terror to do this! But I must! To do otherwise Denys the Truth as I understand it! And that I can do even less! So I bear a cross for every wrong I see and speak against where it is unpopular to do so. The truth is this: I see what many preach as 'universal acceptance' as one of the most divisive slurs that Satan has put on the Hearts of many to pit man against man and hating God for the division our damage causes! So, although I suffer great pain when I confront this, for it is often those I care for I am confronting, I clearly see my duty in this. And I don't even come close to fulfilling what I see is my duty here. The pain is too much. The sorrow is too great. When I say I feel kinship with John the Baptist, this is what I am saying: I am not even close to his righteousness, but I burn at evil and falsehood masquerading as enlightenment and truth!

    I will need to return to the primary subject at another time if I do in fact get there. Pray for me to find time!

    In Christ,

    Mel







    Comment (3)

    Wed, May 6th - 2:27PM

    The Truth owns us all...



    11Now when they take you [to court] and put you under arrest, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say nor [even] meditate about it; but say whatever is given you in that hour and at the moment, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit [or Spirit of Truth].  (emphasised reference added by me.)

    Mark 13:11 (AMP)


    Has this bothered you before?  I mean, most of us have a fair understanding of how the Courts in this World can treat us.  Most of us think: "maybe if I lie just a little about this, I can escape judgement."  The phrase we use might be "bend the truth" or "put a different spin on it" but ultimately, we mean tell a lie, and don't want to admit even that.  We might say: "a lie never hurt anyone."  Tell that to Eve and Adam.  Or everyone who has suffered because "just a little white lie" told in the Garden of Eden.  Do not let me give the impression I am at all perfect in this, but I will strive towards what is really asked for here until my dying breath.

    So we fear the power of the Law.  Even human law.  Should we?


        3For civil authorities are not a terror to [people of] good conduct, but to [those of] bad behavior. Would you have no dread of him who is in authority? Then do what is right and you will receive his approval and commendation.

        4For he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, [you should dread him and] be afraid, for he does not bear and wear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant to execute His wrath (punishment, vengeance) on the wrongdoer.

    Romans 13:3-4 (AMP)


    Well, if we take Paul's Advice here, we should have nothing to fear.  But then again, that presupposes that the civil authority is a good moral agent, as it should be.  I am not entirely convinced that such is the case.  I am totally convinced that such should be the case, but I am also convinced that evil lives in this world and lurks in the hearts of all mankind, even if just in the smallest measure in some really good people.  That is not enough to save them.  In an evil world like this, that might be all that is needed for them to lose their very lives.


     4"I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

     8"I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.

    Luke 12:4-8 (NIV)


    So, who should we fear?  That judge, who rightly or wrongly may consider even our very life forfeit?  Go back to the first passage, and you tell me what makes this less mysterious?  Truth is the mystery that evades us.  If we have done wrong, well the truth is what we deserve.  If we have not, then it is our defender.  Truth is simple, and calm, and unbiased.  You may be accused of having none of these when telling the truth, but is it fear that is ruling the one making that accusation?  Who really is the accuser?  Even if we deny the Truth, ultimately, the Truth still owns us.  You may try and hide it, but the Truth has a Way of Coming to Light.  Make jests of me if you must, and I will consider it a blessing from God.  Kill me for the Truth that I bear witness to, and my reward is Great!  That is the attitude we must have and teach to our children.  The world teaches something completely opposed to that, and it has no basis in the Truth.  They do not understand it.  And even they have a fear of the Truth.  Let our fear be good and healthy and let it drive us to better things.  Our redemption is secure, but there is much we should be willing to do.  Acknowledge all Truth before Men.

    AMEN and AMEN,

    Mel





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    About Me

    Name: Mel Miller
    ChristiansUnite ID: lylemelford
    Member Since: 2005-08-26
    Location: Aurora, Colorado, United States
    Denomination: Christian
    About Me: I've been a christian for some time, but squandered my time and talents 'in a foreign land' I have been in the military (active and reserves) for just a couple of years shy of 30. I have two lovely daughters, and life seems to often be strange to me... more

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