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Showing posts from January, 2014

Sand Well

Isaac dug out again the wells that were dug during the lifetime of his father Abraham. The Philistines had closed them up after Abraham’s death. Isaac gave them the same names his father had given them. Isaac’s servants dug wells in the valley and found a well there with fresh water.
-Genesis 26:18-19
Water gives life and we can not have life without water.  We take our water for granted most of the time, but to get the water is hard work, and that is part of why we get a water bill each moth.
Some people still have wells that they depend on and must maintain.  One thing that happens to wells is sand in the well water.  It must be filtered or the faucets and appliances get clogged and the water will not flow.  
Imagine that you had a well on your property that stopped flowing so long ago that you even forgot that it was there.  Perhaps it stopped flowing during your father's lifetime, when you were little, and buying water from others is the only life you have known.  You now ha…

Children Shouting "Hosanna!"

People who were blind and lame came to Jesus in the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and legal experts saw the amazing things he was doing and the children shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!”, they were angry.
-Matthew 21:14-15

We used to sing a song, when I was a teenager, that went,
"Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the king of kings".   I learned that hosanna means, "Lord save!"

In this scene, Jesus is healing people, in the temple.  The religious rulers and scholars are watching Jesus healing and children shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David".  They are angry.

The most popular title for Messiah was Son of David (1).  We say, "Jesus Christ".  Christ means Messiah.  Christ and Messiah both mean the Anointed One or God's Anointed King, who has come to save his people.  Everyone believed, based on the scriptures, that God's Anointed One (Messiah & Christ) would be the Son of Davi…

Sky Links, 1-20-14

Firemen Correct Man Who Says Fire Is Not Real
You may have heard about a controversial book called Strange Fire?  Pneuma Review has a post with links to responses to Strange Fire by John MacArthur.  It is one thing to not understand Pentacostal/Chrismatic/Third Wave people, but it is another thing to say that Satan is the author the P/C/TW movements.  Here is the post to links of 21 leader's reactions to the SF book.  
Hyper-grace

I really did not know that there are christian people who believe that Jesus words before his resurrection do not apply to Christians today.  Frank Viola spoke about this in his latest podcast  on what he calls the Hyper Grace movement.

Marriage Compatibility & Personal Entitlement

Are you and your wife or husband compatible?  Out of the gate, many couples are not, or think they are, but really are not.  There might be an illusion of perfect compatibility.  When the haze lifts, you have someone before you that is completely different, who you will have…

I Want It That Way or Be Thou My Vision

There is a path that may seem straight to someone, but in the end it is a path to death.
-Proverbs 14:12

I was looking at a popular song from 1999, called "I Want It That Way", that has a chorus that cries out, "tell me why?"

The song starts out with desire that sounds like the Song of Songs, in the Bible.
You are my fire
The one desire
Believe when I say
I want it that way I read a book by CS Lewis, when I was in college and starting to struggle with this idea of romantic love, called The Four Loves.  Those 4 loves are affection, friendship, eros, and charity.  We need all four of these.  Charity is the hardest one, which has to do with unselfishness and sacrifice.
Tell me why
Ain't nothin' but a heartache
Tell me why
Ain't nothin' but a mistake
Tell me why
I never wanna hear you say
I want it that way Maybe the reason why songs like this are so popular is that the experience of desire, love, and heartbreak are universal.  You want someone.  Th…

Bad Fruit, No Fruit, Firewood Thee

Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.
-Matthew 7:19







What did Jesus mean when he said this?  The immediate context, was that he was talking about false prophets, and the larger context was the sermon on the mount.  The sermon on the mount is Jesus talking about how his disciple lives.  It is all about ethics.  Christian ethics are summed up in loving God with everything within you and loving your neighbor as your self.


False prophets are, in a word, unethical.  How do you identify one?  By their bad fruit.  That bad fruit is what they do or don't do.  The hallmark or the unethical person or the false prophet is that they say one thing and do another.  What they do is what we see and tells us what they are.  They can talk all day and charm us, but what they do is their fruit.  False prophets are also pretentious.  They are frauds and posers.

But, when Jesus talks about cutting down the tree,
“It is not merely the wicked, the bearer o…

It Will Cost You Everything

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that somebody hid in a field, which someone else found and covered up. Full of joy, the finder sold everything and bought that field.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls.  When he found one very precious pearl, he went and sold all that he owned and bought it.
-Matthew 13:44-6

These two stories paint the picture of people who give up everything when they find something.  That something for us is the kingdom of heaven, which is the rule and reign of God in our lives.  When we find the kingdom of heaven, it is only natural to give up everything for it.  It costs us all, but we get to be fully under the care of the King.

To be the King's subjects, it will cost us everything.  That is the cost, everything.  It is not a fee or a percentage, like a membership or add-on.  And it is not like a new full-time job.  It is a new life.

After being a Christian for years or decades, God will come calling, and ask u…

Act Like Men

Act like men.
Be brave.
Be courageous.
-1 Corinthians 16:13b (ESV/NASB, CEB/NKJV, NIV/NLT)

Being a man has been misunderstood in our time.  It is almost a lost art.  We got a revelation of the Fatherhood of God, but what we missed was that God wants to take boys and make them into men.  God also wants to take adult boys and make them into men.

There is a time to be held at God's bosom, singing, "Father, I want you to hold me...".  After all, Jesus told us that we have to become like children to see the kingdom of God.  But, there is a difference between child-like and childish.  Men must give up childish things and act like men.

Bravery and courage are two of the attributes of godly manhood.  Women are by nature, nurturers, and men, not as much and not meant to be.

When we sang, "Father, I want you to hold me", we were asking God to nurture us.  God is not a man, nor a woman, but he is Father.  Man and woman were made in God's image.  The manly aspects and womanl…

Jason: Welcomed Paul Into His Home

What is more, Jason has welcomed them into his home. Every one of them does what is contrary to Caesar’s decrees by naming someone else as king: Jesus.”

Timothy my coworker says hello to you, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my relatives. 
-Acts 17:7, Romans 16:21

The man Jason was a Thessalonian.  Jason is the name that Hellenistic Jews used for Jesus or Joshua and it means "to heal", or "one who will heal".  The transliteration of Jason in Greek is Iason.  What we know about Jason, is that he welcomed Paul and Paul's coworkers into his house.  Jason took Paul's welfare under his responsibility.

Paul stayed with Jason for the three weeks while he was in Thessalonica.   The new church there would later receive the two letters that we have in the New Testament.  When a riot was stirred up by those who were upset by this new work, the rioters came looking for Paul and company at Jason's house.  Not finding Paul, the thugs dragged Jason and others before th…

What Are You Living From?

But these other people’s deeds?  I have avoided such violent ways by the command from your lips.
-Psalm 17:4

One question for the Christian is how to live in the world.  How then, shall we live? There are two ways of life in the world.  One is living from God and the other is to live from your self.  People living from God may struggle to, "do so", and be on a journey of learning, "how to", and that is good.

In the other camp, there are is variety of ways that people don't live from God.  Some purely serve their self, while others serve other gods, and there are those who pretend to serve the real God, but are fakers.  It is worth remembering that it was the (most) religious people who wanted Jesus dead.

The two ways of life in the world are the violent ways and the ways of God's word.  Every young person has to learn to walk in the way of God's word.  The violent way says that, "the ends justify the means", "get all you can and can all …