Woe To You Lawyers

Woe To You Lawyers

Here’s a short post dealing with the The Gospel according to Luke.  It’s just one verse.

Luke 11:46

And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you burden men with burdens heavy to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.”

Lawyers, lawmakers, Congress, government, is this what Christ was referring to? Continue reading

An Idle Life

An Idle Life

2 Thessalonians 3:6-12

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

In this letter to the Thessalonians Paul is addressing something that Solomon had said thousands of years before.

In all the things that man can do and occupy his mind, in all things man can chase, all that really is important is your toil, being happy in your toil, your work.  For as Solomon said, all else is vanity and striving after wind.

But Paul is also addressing two other aspects of an idle life.

The first, as he already stated in other letters to the Church, is self responsibility, earning your keep in life, earning your own way, not on the backs of others.

There is no free ride in life, not for the righteous.

Paul is telling his fellow followers of Christ, you are responsible for yourself.  You are responsible for making your way in life.  You are responsible for feeding, clothing and educating yourself.  You are responsible for fulfilling your life.  Through this work of taking care of yourself you strengthen your relationship with God and truly begin to realize what King Solomon was talking about.

You realize how all that truly matters is your toil and being happy in your toil, eating the fruits of your labor, drinking the fruits of your labor and being happy in what you do.

The other point that Paul is addressing in these verses is idleness and what it leads to.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”

Paul knows this and is telling the Thessalonians and us as much.

For we hear that some among you walk in idleness not busy at work, but busybodies.

Paul knows that when we are bored we tend to get involved in things we shouldn’t.  We stray to easy fixes, things that may temporarily make us feel good about ourselves.  We stray to things that are quick and easy, things that lack substance or a foundation for building a righteous and happy life.

Paul calls them busybodies.  He could be referring to idle people who spend their days meddling in the problems and sorrows of others.  People who then use their self righteous, moral judgements to lift themselves up.

And he could mean busybodies, people just wandering through life not seeking a relationship with God or themselves.  People who busy their entire life looking to get out of their toil, looking for others to blame and pave their way through life.  People busy looking to avoid work, honest hard work, whether it’s work to earn their food and shelter or work to improve themselves and their relationship with God.  They’re just busy trying to avoid work.

Paul sums it up in verse twelve:

Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and earn their own living.

Paul is saying to be responsible for yourself, take care of yourself and take care of your relationship with God, they all work together.

Eat, drink and be happy in your toil, all else is vanity and a striving after wind.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My Relationship With Music

My Relationship With Music

I have written about the simplicity of God and Christ and how the simplicity of life is you and your relationship with God.  Work on your relationship with God and the rest will fall into place.

I cited Matthew 6:1-8 which is part of the Sermon on the Mount.  Christ talks about how your relationship with God is just between you and God.  Christ talks about getting your heart straight with yourself and with God.  Once this is accomplished or I should say as you keep improving your relationship with God, the rest of your life will fall in line.

When I ponder this I think about how this is also true with music or any art.  Your music, your art is a very private affair. Continue reading

How Do You Measure?

How Do You Measure?

Mark 4:24

And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.”

I like this verse.

I wrote it down and then read some commentary by theological scholars.

Now as I was reading their commentaries my first thought was “Gee, they should call these guys Biblical lawyers or theological engineers.”

Why? Continue reading

Evil Lies In The Heart

Evil Lies In The Heart

Evil lies in the hearts of man.

Mark 7:21

Far from within, out of the heart of man comes evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery.

My wife purchased a unique wall decoration.  It was a mask with two faces, some ram horns and a rat on the forehead.  We didn’t have any idea what it was, what is was about or where it may have originated.  All we knew was that it was a unique piece.

So my wife decided to post a picture on Facebook to see if any of her “friends” had any idea what it was or where it came from.  She was looking for any information on the piece. Continue reading

Humble Old Soldier

Humble Old Soldier

(On this Memorial Day I thought I would re-post this one.  Thanks to all those who served and sacrificed so we are all free to worry about what bathroom we should use.)

World War I may have been referred to as “The Great War” and why not.  Over 16 million deaths were a result of that war.

But World War II surpassed that number with over 60 million deaths.  That’s over three percent of the entire population of the world in 1939, the year World War II started.

Most of my early images of World War II came from the old Hollywood propaganda films made in the 1940’s, the films that I loved as a kid.  They were shown on the television late in the afternoon when I got home from school.

And as with most young boys war movies fascinated me.  There were good guys, bad guys and faraway places.    There were machine guns, grenades, tanks, bazookas, P51 Mustangs, all very exciting to a kid. Continue reading

Give Your Best

Give Your Best

Malachi 1:13-14

But you say, ‘What a weariness this is”, and you snort at it, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD.  Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.

I’m just about all the way through the Old Testament on this go round with the Bible.

This verse spoke to me beyond the literal interpretation.

Animal sacrifices are obviously an antiquated idea.

They existed in Biblical times to drive home the seriousness of sin.  Through these sacrifices you atoned or paid for your sin.

The price was steep.  You sacrificed your best. You sacrificed your unblemished, your males who could produce quality off spring, the males that could grow your flock and enrich your wealth.

You give your best to God because God comes first.  By not giving your best you anger God and hurt yourself. Continue reading