Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: Vol.14 No.05 Dents, Dings, And Delicatessens???

 

I know some of you are wondering what this has to do with our Christian life; others of you who know me better, know that I’ll sure try to make it relevant to our daily living; if I don’t, then I’m not really fulfilling my goal and passion of sharing biblical sustenance with hungry people—believers or not–for believers, because many don’t have a steady diet of biblical truth; for unbelievers, praying that they may be drawn to Jesus! For when it is all said and done, without Jesus, the resurrected Lord of glory, there is no hope! Paul said it so clearly and concisely!

And if Christ be not raised,

your faith is vain;

ye are yet in your sins.

18 Then they also

which are fallen asleep in Christ

are perished.

19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ,

we are of all men most miserable.

20 But now is Christ risen

from the dead,

and become the firstfruits

of them that slept.”    1 Corinthians 15:17-20

Jesus is our hope, our joy, and our rejoicing—for without Him we have no ‘hope of glory’, heaven, or eternal life!

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ

by the commandment

of God

our Saviour,

and Lord Jesus Christ,

which is our hope;

2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith:

Grace,

mercy,

and peace,

from God our Father

and Jesus Christ our Lord.”  1 Timothy 1:1-2

We can have hope when we look to Christ Jesus in all things; He is our hope both past, present and future!  How about you, is HE your hope?  Paul gives us a beautiful picture of living by faith in his letter to the Colossian believers:

But now ye also

put off all these;

anger,

wrath,

malice,

 blasphemy,

filthy communication out of your mouth.

9 Lie not one to another,

seeing that ye have put off the old man

with his deeds;

10 And have put on the new man,

which is renewed in knowledge

after the image of him

that created him:

11 Where there is neither

Greek nor Jew,

circumcision nor uncircumcision,

Barbarian, Scythian,

bond nor free:

but Christ is all,

and in all.

12 Put on therefore,

as the elect of God,

holy and beloved,

bowels of mercies,

kindness,

humbleness of mind,

meekness,

longsuffering;

13 Forbearing one another,

and forgiving one another,

if any man have a quarrel against any:

even as Christ forgave you,

so also do ye.

14 And above all these things

put on charity,

which is the bond of perfectness.

15 And let the peace of God

rule in your hearts,

to the which also ye are called

in one body;

and be ye thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ

dwell in you richly (be at home in you!)

in all wisdom;

teaching

and admonishing one another

in psalms

and hymns

and spiritual songs,

 singing with grace in your hearts

to the Lord.

17 And whatsoever ye do

in word

or deed,

do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks to God and the Father

 by him.” Colossians 3:8-17

 

Are we living our lives for Jesus in this manner? Or are we so soft, spiritually speaking, that any little thing can keep us from our Lord, from His Word, from His ways, from His principles and expectations?  It seems that all around us people claim the name of Jesus, but have no regard for who HE IS, what HE says, or what HE has called His followers to be and do (and remember, being always precedes doing!)!  We seem to be more concerned about taking care of our new car, than we are about maintaining our testimony for Jesus.  We’ll park a mile away from the door to keep from having someone ding our car; but we’ll get as close to sin as we can, thinking that we can ‘handle’ it.  All the while, letting our intimacy with Jesus slip away!  We’ll be sure and have any little dent in our car or truck buffed out, painted over, or do whatever it takes to fix it and keep it looking new; but what about our walk with Jesus?  We are often more concerned about the appearance of our vehicle, or our wardrobe than about our appearance and testimony before a word that is in desperate need of real, genuine, holy followers of Jesus, those who are truly taking up their “cross” and following HIM!   Are you taking up the cross or hiding your connection to it?

Then said Jesus unto his disciples,

If any man will come after me,

let him deny himself,

and take up his cross,

and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life

shall lose it:

and whosoever will lose his life

for my sake

shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited,

if he shall gain the whole world,

and lose his own soul?

 or what shall a man give

in exchange for his soul?”   Matthew 16:24-26

It saddens me that sometimes when I go to church, I see the same immodest (to say the least) attire that I see out in the world. I see just as many bosoms, bulges, and bottoms as I see out in the world!  I just can’t believe that it ought to be this way!

I will therefore that men pray

every where,

lifting up holy hands,

without wrath

and doubting.

9 In like manner also,

that women adorn themselves

in modest apparel,

with shamefacedness

and sobriety;

not with broided hair,

or gold,

or pearls,

or costly array;

10 But (which becometh women professing godliness)

with good works.”   1 Timothy 2:8-10

In other words, God isn’t going to judge our “bling” but our “godliness’!

Likewise, ye wives,

be in subjection to your own husbands;

 that, if any obey not the word,

they also may

without the word

be won by the conversation

of the wives;

2 While they behold your

chaste conversation

coupled with fear.

3 Whose adorning let it not be

that outward adorning

of plaiting the hair,

and of wearing of gold,

or of putting on of apparel;

4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart,

in that which is not corruptible,

even the ornament

of a meek and quiet spirit,

which is in the sight of God

of great price,”  1 Peter 3:1-4

Why are we more willing to follow the passions, patterns, and popular fashions of the world, than to be godly women, committed to being a reflection of our Lord in all holiness?  I, for one, pray that my heart will be set on the call of God, rather than the call of the world.  Yet, it’s not just women, the men have a calling as well.  And it’s not to be harsh, selfish, and fixed on the biggest ‘toys’ on the lot!  Peter goes on to call men to holiness, reminding us all that we answer to a higher call than that of the world’s fashion, fad or fickle passions.  We are called to godly faithfulness in our marriages, our outside interactions, and our hearts desires—male and female!

Likewise, ye husbands,

dwell with them according to knowledge,

giving honour unto the wife,

as unto the weaker vessel,

and as being heirs together

of the grace of life;

that your prayers be not hindered.

8 Finally, be ye all

of one mind,

having compassion one of another,

love as brethren,

be pitiful,

be courteous:

9 Not rendering evil for evil,

or railing for railing:

but contrariwise

blessing;

knowing that ye are

thereunto called,

that ye should inherit a blessing.

10 For he that will love life,

and see good days,

let him refrain his tongue

from evil,

and his lips

that they speak no guile:

11 Let him eschew evil,

and do good;

let him seek peace,

and ensue it.

12 For the eyes of the Lord

are over the righteous,

and his ears

are open unto their prayers:

but the face of the Lord

is against them that do evil.”   1 Peter 3:7-12

If I may speak to the men, God called you to be the spiritual leaders of your homes, yet we live in a culture when Satan is wreaking havoc in families all around us.  Men are throwing away their families –and women too—for the pleasures of “sin for a season”!  And then we wonder why our families, our children, our homes are falling apart.  One reason is that we have bought into the popular “ME” culture, and if our marriage has a ‘ding’, or a ‘dent’ we just ‘trade up’ for a newer, better, younger, or more ‘suitable’ (in our eyes) person.  Or even more often, we just “shack up”, as my momma used to call it, rather than pursuing a godly commitment to the covenant of marriage.  Without a strong priority for marriage, our homes will continue to fall apart—scarring our children along the way.  (And please understand that I speak this with a heavy heart, for I bought the lies many years ago and caused harm to so many, including my own children! Choices that I have repented of, sought the forgiveness of others, and tried to make amends where I could.  But like the story goes of the little boy who did hurtful things, and his father gave him a pillow and told him to scatter the feathers all over town.  The next day he gave the boy the pillow cover and told him to go and retrieve the feathers. The boy came home with only a small amount of the feathers in the cover, and told the dad, “I couldn’t find any more feathers.”  To which his father replied, “That’s how it is with our words, and our actions, when we say or do harmful things!  We can never go back and totally erase the damage that we have done?  So, you need to be more careful about your choices!” And that story still teaches an important principle today!). God’s commentary is an oft ignored commentary, but still as true as when He spoke it; and the heart of America is much like the heart of Israel to whom Malachi spoke—and just FYI, putting away is a reference to divorce. (Referring to causeless divorce—there are biblical grounds for divorce, but they are for the protection of the innocent, not for the convenience or whims of greedy, lustful men and women!)

And did not he make one?

Yet had he the residue of the spirit.

And wherefore one?

That he might seek a godly seed.

Therefore take heed to your spirit,

and let none deal treacherously

against the wife of his youth.

16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith

that he hateth putting away:

for one covereth violence

with his garment,

saith the LORD of hosts:

therefore take heed to your spirit,

that ye deal not treacherously.

17 Ye have wearied the LORD

with your words.

Yet ye say,

Wherein have we wearied him?

When ye say,

Every one that doeth evil

is good in the sight of the LORD,

and he delighteth in them;

or, Where is the God of judgment?”    Malachi 2:15-17

Some of you are saying, “Ok, Blanche, we’ve talked about dents and dings, what about the delicatessen?”  Well, it has to do with something I’ve been teaching in my Bible study class on Revelation.  But first I want us to see that we have all in Jesus; we have His provision for our salvation, all because HE loved us first, and calls us to follow His example rather than live delicatessen style.

We love him,

because he first loved us.”  1 John 4:19

I love delicatessens, we have a new one near our home, and I love to go in and get those ooey, gooey sandwiches and just pick the meat and cheese that I like!  And that’s how many today are claiming to follow Jesus—they pick and choose which parts of His Word they want to accept, follow and yield to!  I pray that we will see the error of our ways, repent of our sin (whether we are believers or unbelievers, for even genuine children of God sin—see 1 John 1:9+), and follow Him faithfully and obediently.

The thief cometh not,

but for to steal,

and to kill,

and to destroy:

I am come

that they might have life,

and that they might have it

more abundantly.

11 I am

the good shepherd:

the good shepherd

giveth his life

for the sheep.”   John 10:10-11

 

Are you following the ‘thief’ or the “good shepherd”?  He repairs dings, dents and helps us choose wisely in all we do, whereas the thief will lie to you and steal your soul, your life and your loved ones!  Don’t let him—look to Jesus instead!

He was in the world,

and the world was made by him,

and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own,

and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him,

to them gave he power

to become the sons of God,

 even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born,

not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh,

nor of the will of man,

but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh,

and dwelt among us,

(and we beheld his glory,

the glory as of the only begotten

of the Father,)

full of grace and truth.

15 John bare witness of him,

and cried, saying,

This was he of whom I spake,

He that cometh after me

is preferred before me:

for he was before me.

16 And of his fulness

have all we received,

and grace for grace.”  John 1:10-16

I would like to bring this to a close with the warning that God gives to the world in the last days—and while we aren’t in ‘the last of the last’ we are closer than we think, in my humble opinion.  It hit me this week as I was studying and working on my lesson, that we live in a world controlled by lusts and passions for the “delicacies” of the world (Babylon being, at the least, a reference to the worldly order).

For all nations have drunk

of the wine

 of the wrath

of her fornication,

and the kings of the earth

have committed fornication with her,

and the merchants of the earth

are waxed rich

through the abundance of her delicacies.

4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying,

Come out of her,

my people,

that ye be not partakers of her sins,

and that ye receive not

of her plagues. ..

… 14 And the fruits

that thy soul lusted after

are departed from thee,

and all things

which were dainty

and goodly

are departed from thee,

and thou shalt find them

no more at all…

..18 And the fruits

that thy soul lusted after

are departed from thee,

and all things

which were dainty

and goodly

are departed from thee,

and thou shalt find them

no more at all..

….22….for by thy sorceries

were all nations deceived.”    Portions of Revelation 18:3-22

I pray that God speaks to our hearts, opens our eyes to see what HE sees, and leads us to be men and women of godly faithfulness before a lost and dying world, for time is short!  Amen and Amen!