Archive for June, 2013

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 06/30/2013

Find the wisdom of Proverbs through Proverbial Thought.

Last week I talked about God being in control. This week I continue by asking who you trust to control your days?

in a moment everything can change
so trust your God to help
the true God controls all moments
and He is there all the time
turn to Him who is always there
He will lift you up when in need

Milk Does a Body Good

Get some good spiritual milk over at Proverbial Thought!

There are three main stages to the Christian walk:

  1. Acceptance and Growth
  2. Understanding and Growth
  3. Teaching and Growth

As we walk through this life, we should never stop growing. In this life, we will never achieve perfection, full Christ-likeness. This is one reason why Paul wrote, “Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:23)

We never stop growing, it is true. However, just as some things stay with us as we grow and age from infant to death, so there are things we need from the moment of salvation knowledge to the end of this life.Mugstache

I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
1 Corinthians 3:2

We need our mothers milk when we are young. We cannot handle other foods, because our bodies are not ready for solid food.

We come to a saving knowledge of Christ through the presentation of the Gospel: We have sinned against God. We have willfully broken his laws, separated ourselves from Him; and we generally refuse to love others and Him the way we should. Therefore, God came to earth as a man, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, to live a perfect life and offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sins to reconcile us to Himself. He rose from the grave three days later, giving us a hope of eternal life with Him.

This gets us excited, and we want to share this information with everyone. Unfortunately, too many people stay at this level of maturity for years.

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.
Hebrews 5:11-6:3

Repentance is good, and it is something that is needed throughout our walk with Christ. Too many congregations and even whole denominations have gotten stuck on repentance and forgiveness without moving forward on the individual level (“Get ’em saved!” if you will, without helping new converts grow in righteousness, as Paul said.)

Just as a child eventually grows to eating solid food, so we must grow to be able to discuss the deeper things of our faith, such as prayer, service, and even miracles. The biggest reason we do not see as many miracles today is not because they are no longer used by God. Rather it is because the Western Church largely has abandoned the rites and practices that help us grow deeper in our faith and that position us to be used by God in miraculous ways.

There have been strides as of late to correct this within the Church. This is evidenced by the rise in social reform, but it is only one way God wants us to grow. We must also focus on theological and spiritual needs within ourselves and for others.

The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense.
Proverbs 10:21

Something happens with most of us as we grow: we fall in love, and we procreate – we make babies! All of a sudden we have to help these little ones survive and then learn and grow into adulthood. This requires using all we have learned and experienced to help them, but sometimes we need help.

Likewise, as followers of Jesus Christ we are commanded to make more followers. We are told that we are to take the knowledge of salvation to bring others to new life. We are then to help them grow in their walk with Christ, as we should have been doing. And we need help, which is why we have priests and pastors and each other who meet each week for communal worship and learning.

A warning, though, is that, as Paul again said, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3)

This has happened multiple times throughout Church history, but it is certainly prevalent today. It used to be that most churches would start with the basic milk of doctrine: faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ. That is no longer a requirement for some churches. In either event, the teachings can range from “Be a better person by thinking this way or doing these things,” to full on cult-ish ideas and practices that are at best morally and cognitively dangerous and at worst physically dangerous. All of these are spiritually bankrupt!

Therefore, we must remember the milk of our faith – believing in the facts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection as the Son of God for the forgiveness of sins; that we must grow to understand more of our walk with God and of who God is as well as love others through word and action; and that we must learn to teach others of this knowledge, understanding, and service in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 06/23/2013

Seize the day and find wisdom at Proverbial Thought!

God is in control. We should let Him have that control. It is the only way to get the most out of our time, and it should always start today!

there is no time like today
no matter what anyone may say
history has a lot come around
some similarities that abound
but time proves only one truth
that it cannot be controlled by me or you
but does listen to Someone and
has to obey His every command
time is in the hands of the Creator
the One who made life and love and matter
do not worry about the time you have
only God can truly guide your path
live your life to the best
and giving others nothing less
use your time serving the King
by giving Him your everything
then your time will be worthwhile
nothing is better than making God smile

Christ-like? A “Man of Steel” Review (FotF)

Be a superhero to your mind and soul and get wisdom over at Proverbial Thought.

The latest Superman movie came out this past weekend.

Yes. I was excited. (I have seen it twice, already.)

I wanted to write this amazing review that looks into how the gospel could be presented through this movie (such as when I wrote about “The Gospel According to Bill & Ted”).

Instead, I think Focus on the Family did a great job. Also, seeing as I am on a youth summer retreat taking teens down a river, through caves, across hiking trails, and deep into God’s Word when this posts to the world wide web, I do not have a great amount of time to devote to this!

Therefore, head over the site by clicking here to read their entire Man of Steel movie review.

Spiritual Content

The Superman stories have over the years developed a significant spiritual standing, with the man of steel serving as an analog for our heavenly Savior. He’s an only son sent to Earth to be a shining light in our darkness and an all-powerful paragon of truth and justice. As a baby he’s adopted by Martha and Jonathan, and he grows into someone who can defy the laws of physics in grand ways while championing the weak in nearly every way. He’s a superhero who sets out to save a humanity in desperate need. It’s never a perfect allegory, of course, but it’s generated countless conversations, articles, sermons and books that explore the rich subtext inherent in this once humble comic book tale.

With that as a backdrop, it’s quite remarkable to note that this Man of Steel movie is one of the most spiritually symbolic and Messianic-image-packed treatments made about this character. Here, Clark Kent even comes to understand—at the age of 33, no less—his responsibility to step up, face off with and destroy an ultimate evil that threatens all mankind.

But that’s at the end. At the climax. All through this film, dialogue and images hint at connections between Superman and Jesus. Several people, from Jor-El to Jonathan to Zod’s female second, Faora-Ul, talk to Clark about his ability (or lack of ability) to save the people on his adopted planet. Superman levitates with his arms spread in a cross-like form on several occasions. When he goes to church to ask a priest for advice, the camera’s eye frames a stained-glass representation of Christ over the young Clark’s shoulder. The priest tells him, “Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith first. The trust part comes later.”
After Clark rescues a bus full of children, a kid’s mother states, “This was an act of God!” Clark asks his dad, “Did God do this to me?” When Lara worries about her infant son’s safety on Earth, Jor-El assures her, “He’ll be a god to them.” Bad guy Kryptonians tell Superman that “the fact that you possess a sense of morality and we do not” gives them an advantage. “Evolution always wins,” they say.

Also: We learn that most Kryptonians were engineered, essentially, for whatever their lot in life was to be. In other (spiritual) words, they have no free will. Superman is the exception. He was born naturally—the first natural birth on that planet in centuries—and he is therefore free to “choose” his own destiny.

http://www.pluggedin.com/movies/intheaters/man-of-steel.aspx

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 06/16/2013

Wisdom is exposed at Proverbial Thought.

We were made for God’s pleasure, to seek Him, to worship Him, to believe in Him.

 

I loved you and always will

I loved you and love you still

I created you to have fellowship

I created you for My worship

I wanted you for My child

I wanted you all the while

when you turned away

when you went astray

when you denied my Name

when you left your faith

when you said no to me

when you hung me on a tree

but you came back when I called

but you accepted your fall

I still love you in spite of this

in fact I forgot all you did

     because you accept what I did through My Son

In Escrow …

Winnow out wisdom over at Proverbial Thought.

Buying a House

My wife and I are in the process of getting a house.

There have been many issues to arise along the way.

Obviously there is a lot of paperwork. Our entire history is looked into, and a massive amount of money has to be spent.

One of the more amazing parts of the buying a house is the escrow account.

The escrow account holds funds to help with closing costs during the buying process, and it collects money throughout the year to help pay taxes, HOA fees, and insurance. The bank takes care of all of this for us.

However, we do not see anything on our investment until the end of the process. We have put in all of this money and time, and everyone already considers this house as ours. For the time being, we must eagerly wait to get all of the benefits of our work.

Already/Not Yet

There is an interesting part of theology known as the “Already/Not Yet” part of Christ’s work and the Kingdom of Heaven.

Christ has paid the closing costs of our redemption through His sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection from the grave.

We join with Him, through the power of the Holy Spirit, in the work of reaching out to our fallen world.

It is a lot of work that requires a lot of time and energy. The cost is high, at points costing a Christian everything.

Now, you see, we are already redeemed for Christ in anticipation of eternity and for His work in this life.

However, we wait for the final redemption.

The payment has been made, and we continue to do the work. Eternity with God is already considered ours.

While we work, we await the redemption of our fallen world and our physical bodies that is not yet come to us. Our work with and for God is God preparing us for a world we do not yet see.

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Romans 8:18-30, NIV

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 06/09/2013

Remember to find wise thoughts at Proverbial Thought!

We must not be afraid to seek out all we can about God.

Jesus did teach us, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness . . .”

It is okay to ask questions, no matter how difficult or how silly they may seem. We just need to remember to listen for the right answers. 

 

questions

i try to answer a simple question

Who is God

i find out that it is not really all that simple

more questions

i have more questions

the established church today says

do not question God

but then how can i know Him

if He is really the Almighty

He can take questions

He likes questions

they push into understanding more

that He is beyond our understanding

but wants us to know Him

His answer will always end with

I love you

His answer will always include

I love you

Question God

He will answer