Posts Tagged ‘ Man ’

VerseD: 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16:13‭-‬14, ESV

Men have been given a bad rap in our society.
Be like the godliest Man of all, Jesus:
  • Defend the truth
  • Defend the defenseless
  • Worship God in it all
  • With all things love God and others

VerseD: Proverbs 21:2

Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.
Proverbs 21:2, NASB

We tend to think that we can do plant of good things, but often our motives are less than pure, even selfish. God knows every intention and motive of our hearts.

VerseD: Matthew 4:4

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
Matthew 4:4, ESV

God’s Word is beneficial for every area of life, most importantly for growing in holiness unto salvation.

Wholly Yours with the David Crowder Band

Make sure you read David’s wise words on Proverbs 26:23 at Proverbial Thought!

Last week we listened to Five Iron Frenzy’s song “Dandelions” and looked how we are like weeds, plants out of place, but the most beautiful flowers in God’s sight when we are in Christ.

Here is another look at who we are, this time through the lyrics of David Crowder.

Consider the following passages:

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Genesis 2:7

Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Matthew 13:3-9

43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Luke 6:43-45

God created us from the earth, and we are frequently referred to as soil or plants (which grow from soil).

Earth is soil which can support life.

Dirt, on the other hand, is misplaced soil. While things can grow from dirt, usually all you get are weeds or weak plants.

Only with soil do you get strong plants which are capable of producing good fruit. Good fruit are good deeds, good speech, and praise of God.

Weak plants and weeds do not give good fruit. Any good deeds from people like this are tainted by pride or do not have lasting or good results. There is a lack of, if any, praise to God.

And the thing that needs to be remembered is that only God by the grace shown through work of the crucified Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit can make us clean soil, fertile soil capable of growth and good fruit.

Listen to David Crowder and his band worship God for His creation and grace. Read the lyrics, and I pray grow in some understanding of just how much our God has done for us out of His love for us.

Wholly Yours by David Crowder Band

I am full of earth
You are heaven’s worth
I am stained with dirt, prone to depravity
You are everything that is bright and clean
The antonym of me
You are divinity
But a certain sign of grace is this
From a broken earth flowers come up
Pushing through the dirt

You are holy, holy, holy
All heaven cries “Holy, holy God”
You are holy, holy, holy
I wanna be holy like You are

You are everything that is bright and clean
And You’re covering me with Your majesty
And the truest sign of grace was this
From wounded hands redemption fell down
Liberating man

You are holy, holy, holy
All heaven cries “Holy, holy God”
You are holy, holy, holy
I want to be holy like You are

But the harder I try the more clearly can I feel
The depth of our fall and the weight of it all
And so this might could be the most impossible thing
Your grandness in me making me clean

Glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
You are holy, holy, holy
All heaven cries “Holy, holy God”
You are holy, holy, holy
I want to be holy, holy God

So here I am, all of me
Finally everything
Wholly, wholly, wholly
I am wholly, wholly, wholly
I am wholly, wholly, wholly Yours

I am wholly Yours

I am full of earth and dirt and You

Out for a Walk

Be counted among the wise and go read the wisdom found at Proverbial Thought.

Out for WalkiesWP_20130323_002

I currently live in an apartment, for a couple more months, at least. We eagerly await the day we can move into our new home.

Living in an apartment with a dog requires taking many walks for exercise and “potty breaks”.

As we walk along together, I let my puppy scamper around wherever he wishes in the grass and rocks, even letting him choose where he “does his business” on our mini-journey.

Sometimes, he gets a hold of a bone of some sort, a plant with spines or bad fluids inside, or a piece of garbage. I have to take his “treat” out of his mouth, even though he does not care for me doing so and would rather keep this seeming “prize”.

Sometimes, he rolls through something, such as another dog’s waste or some mud. This requires taking a bath as soon as we are back at the apartment, even though he does not care for it at the time and seems to prefer his new smell.

Sometimes he begins to stray into the parking lot, driving lanes, or even the road. I have to pull him back, even though he does not care about it nor necessarily understand why.

No matter what, though, I give him some freedom to choose where he goes on our path. However, I am the one ultimately in control of the path we take. He chooses some of his stops, but I am the one leading the way (even if it sometimes looks like he is!) to get him where I want when I want. When we eventually move into our new home, he will have more freedom to choose when he goes outside.

Human WalkiesWP_20130329_070

In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.
Proverbs 16:9

This is not a debate about theologies. Many of the soteriological theologies agree with what I am about to express.

God treats us much in the same way.

While we live on this Earth, God gives us some freedom of choice in many areas.

We often choose to put things into our minds and bodies that harm us, make our minds, bodies, and souls sick. Sometimes, God has to help us, but it can hurt, be uncomfortable, or even be embarrassing. It is for our benefit to be made healthy and whole.

We often choose to put ourselves in situations that sully our character or reputation. Sometimes, God has to wash us, but it can hurt, be uncomfortable, or even be embarrassing. It is for our benefit to be made clean and pure.

We often choose to stray from the path of righteousness. Sometimes, God has to pull us back to save us, but it can hurt, be uncomfortable, or even be embarrassing. It is for our benefit to be made holy and righteous.

Every step of the way, though we make some choices, God is leading the way. He knows our choices before we make them, but He is in the business of redemption and grace. He leads along the path of life, until He finally takes us to our new Home with Him.

Savior or Friend?

Is Jesus your Savior?

Is Jesus your Friend?

A recent (in terms of all of Church history) fad is “Jesus is my homeboy” and things like that, in which God is our friend. This is based on Jesus’ words “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15)

I have no qualms with calling Jesus our friend. I enjoy singing along with “I Am a Friend of God” both on the radio/at a concert and in church. I like singing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” when I have the opportunity.

It just seems we have lost respect of the Savior in most circles.

I think the focus is just misplaced. Am I friends with Jesus because He is my Savior? Do I love Him because of what He has done?

The meaning behind these questions is one of “why I have decided.” This is all well and good, but the focus should always start with Jesus.

1 John 4:19 says “We love because He first loved us.” We are friends of Jesus, because Jesus calls us friends. I do not want to limit the importance of us choosing to love Him in return, but it is because of God we even have a choice. It is by God’s grace that we are free to choose.

I wrote this poem on Sunday (01/01/12) that I think might help understand what I am saying:

My Savior is my Friend

My Savior is my Friend.
He became a friend of mine
through being my Savior.
Yet He paid my sinful fine
by wanting to be my Friend.

My Lord is my Savior.
He became the Lord of me
through being my Friend.
Yet He deserved my loyalty
long before He was my Savior.

My Creator is my Lord.
He is the Creator
having created everything.
I love and serve Him more;
my Creator, Friend, Savior, and Lord.

Why do you love God? What are you willing to do for Him?

You should ask yourself everyday these questions and “what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4) Put another way, “who am I that You are mindful of me?”

The Paradox of Man

Humans are a paradox. Clear and simple, we have the capability of being the greatest and the least of all of Creation. Neither angels nor animals while also both angles and animals.

How can this be?

Animals are neither given a choice nor a promise of a destination after life. They can appear kind and loving or evil and violent. However, their reactions to this world and us are wholly dependent on our sinful decisions or righteous answers. Since Adam and Eve made the decision to disobey God animals have been stuck in the middle of our dichotic insanity of thoughts and actions towards God and each other. Really, they have no choice. We have created this hell for them … and ourselves.

Angels are far superior to animals. They were given the choice to worship God or deny Him. Many angels worship God and do His bidding. They are the stewards of His Will in the heavenly realms and on Earth. The angels were created perfect, but if their choice (such as Lucifer’s) is to deny His sovereignty then they are condemned with no possibility of parole. They are free to roam and terrorize on the Earth for the time being. They are stuck with the knowledge that they have defied God and are at the same time exempt from salvation. They have become jealous of the obedient and the humans.

Humans, then, are the paradox of these Creations. Like the angels, we have been given a choice. Like the animals, we live in a world torn with the consequences – good and bad – of our choices. Something we are offered that these others are not is grace. We are offered forgiveness. We are offered divine intervention. All of this is through Jesus Christ. Through Christ we have the ultimate choice: Follow the example of Adam or follow the example of Christ.

Do we choose to make our own rules or bow to the will of God? Do we choose to gratify ourselves or seek the things of God? Do we choose to love ourselves or
love the One who first loved us?

This is why we are a paradox. Through our choices we have the potential to be no greater than the lowliest animals or no less than the highest of angels. We can act like a virus which uses and destroys, or we can act like the Son of God who invites us to reign with Him.

Why would God allow such a creature to exist? Why allow such a being which can choose to love Him and yet deny Him within the same breath? Why tolerate us?

For the same reason a husband and wife strive for children. For the same reason a friend defends and rebukes. For the same reason a mother and father hug their child who just ran away from home. For the same reason a little girl holds tightly to an injured animal. For the same reason a little boy rolls in the mud with his puppy. For the same reason his parents let him.

Love.

Love is the ultimate paradox. Love says “Do not!” while saying “Please, do!” Love says “Come find me” while saying “I am always looking for you!” Love says “I am angry with you!” while saying “I am always here for you.”

God loves us so much that He has said “I do not like a lot of the things you do, but I will help you find me. I want you with me, but you cannot be with me as
you are. I want you so much that I let you do whatever you want, but I love you so much that I came to find you and show you what I want you to do. I love you so much that I took the penalty for your decision to refuse me. I love you so much that I am still among you to help you learn to make the right choices. I love you so much that I am coming back for you.”

God loves us so much that he made the choice – if you can call it that – to redeem our choices. He became the anti-paradox, not to cancel us out entirely but to cancel our rebellion. God loves us so much that He leaves the final choice to us.

How do you choose? Less than an animal or greater than the angels?