I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
I read these verses and I immediately thought of one thing, politics.
Paul is talking about those who wish to take control of the new Church of Christ, but really he is talking about any of those who wish to take power and control of others. I guess this was Paul dealing with politics within the early Church. Continue reading
Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.
I read this verse and wrote it down with the note, “modern day evangelists”. That is what came to mind as I read it.
I certainly don’t begrudge or find fault with those who want to preach the words and lessons of the Bible. I find no fault with anyone who shares their knowledge, ideas or passion for these words. But as I surf the channels on a Sunday morning or just about any day or time, and look at the extravagant facilities that are called churches, sanctuaries or places of worship, I am reminded of this verse. Continue reading
How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
Chapter 5 of the Gospel of John begins with Jesus visiting the Pool of Bethesda.
Bethesda has two meanings. “Beth” in Hebrew and Aramaic means “house of mercy” or “house of grace”. “Hesda” means “shame, disgrace”. “Shame, disgrace” came from all the invalids at the pool and “grace, mercy” came from the perceived healing powers of the waters in the pool. Continue reading
Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
These verses are known as, “The Widow’s Offering”. It demonstrates how so little can mean so much. It speaks of how it’s not how much you give, but how much of yourself you give to God. Continue reading
Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
I read this story and was intrigued by the twenty first verse that talks about the Athenians and foreigners who “would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new”.
I assume the writer is trying to convey to the reader that these were opened minded people and willing to listen to anything they hadn’t heard before. This was fertile ground for Paul to spread his words.
Paul tries to enlighten them and what he says about God is how I felt for years. Continue reading
And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
These verse remind me of Stephen Covey’s seven habits.
Habit number seven is, Sharpen The Saw. The Franklin Covey website explains Habit Seven as this:
“Sharpening the saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have — you. It means having a balanced program for your self renewal in the four areas of your life; physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual.” Continue reading
Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
In the beginning of Luke, Chapter 10, we read about Christ appointing 72 followers to go to the towns that Christ is about to visit. I guess they were like an advance team, sent to let the citizens know what was coming and to give them a glimpse into the Kingdom of God. Continue reading