1 Peter 3:17
For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
I read this verse and the first thing that came to mind was one of my favorite old sayings; “No good deed goes unpunished.”
There is no known origin for this phrase, although it’s been attributed to the likes of Billy Wilder, Andrew Mellon and Oscar Wilde. Continue reading
Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Many who read these verses would say that Christ is telling us to not judge others and their actions. I agree. But I had a different train of thought when reading these verses today, and it’s the same thought I’ve had throughout the New Testament and the Bible. It’s the teaching and emphasis of the individual and the individual’s self responsibility. Continue reading
1 Peter 3:3-4
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
These verses are about the inner beauty of a person, and many of us were raised being taught to not judge a book by its cover. Obviously that saying is true, otherwise it wouldn’t have lasted so long. Continue reading
In those days they shall no longer say:
“‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
But everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
When I read these verses two words came into my head. We’ll talk about that a little later in this piece.
In ancient times it was thought that the sins of the father, or the “eating of the sour grapes” as referred to in these verses, were paid for by their children and their succeeding generations. When the Israelites we’re conquered and carried off to Babylon the children were paying for the sins of their fathers. But many of those children were also eating the sour grapes. Much like their fathers, the children continued the idolatry and worshiping of false gods. They continued the abominations practiced by their parents. Continue reading
For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.
An old phrase comes to mind when I read this verse; do as I say, not as I do. Of course I wanted to find out where that phrase originated.
I discovered it was first coined by an English jurist named John Selden in a book he wrote in 1654. The book was published posthumously, 35 years after it was written. It’s title, “The Table-Talk of John Selden”. Continue reading
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
My post, Living In Your Paneled House, dealt with the words of the prophet Haggai. He was addressing the people of Israel after their return from captivity in Babylon. The Old Testament Book of Haggai starts by him admonishing the Jews for taking care of their personal homes while neglecting the rebuilding of the Lord’s temple. Haggai was letting all people who hear his words know that they must take care of their spiritual house, which is our spiritual self, which is the house of the Lord. Continue reading
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.
Verses 3 and 5 were the two verses I wanted to write about, but as I read them I realized it would be best to post these verses in the context of which Paul had written them. Now let me break out both verses and give you my thoughts, with each verse standing on its own. Continue reading
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
What is James talking about in these verses? He is talking about personal responsibility.
He is telling us that temptation and sin are of our own doing. We are not puppets and God is pulling the strings. We are all free individuals able to make our own decisions and choices. And with freedom comes responsibility, personal responsibility. Continue reading
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?
Paul is writing about the worldly and the spiritual, and how we allow the world to dictate our lives.
…when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.
This verse is written in the past tense, but rewrite it in the present tense, and you can see how timeless these words can be. Continue reading
“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,
a pot among earthen pots!
Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
or ‘Your work has no handles’?
Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’
or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”
Thus says the Lord,
the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:
“Ask me of things to come;
will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?
I made the earth
and created man on it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
and I commanded all their host.
Before I sat down to write this post I read some commentaries about theses verses, in order to get a better understanding of what Isaiah is saying, and to whom these words are directed.
Isaiah is speaking to the Jews who are grumbling against God. They are complaining about how God has allowed them to be taken into captivity before sending them salvation. Some of them are wondering why God didn’t just cut out all the drama and turmoil of being enslaved by foreign invaders and just save them from being captured in the first place. Continue reading