Tag: positive cross

Peter was acquainted with suffering in a few categories; one sort was “reproach.” He speaks of the particulars in his first epistle, chapter 4. In verse 14 we read, “If ye be reproached (defamed) for the name of Christ, happy (extremely blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth (continues to repose), upon you. Alford says, “There being nothing so much as breaks noble minds.” He is referring to reprimand of character. Peter was a character and a strong-willed one. He was boisterous and proud. As pride precedes a fall, Peter demonstrated this principle by his walk-on-water spill, his rebuke by Jesus in Matthew 16, and eventually by his three-time denial. Unbeknownst to Peter, beforehand was God’s mighty hand of resistance. Why? Because private reputation retention is not popular with; well, it’s hated by The Father in heaven, is why. Nevertheless, years later Peter writes epistles as…

Read More My Friend Reproach

streetcar When it doesn’t go well in life, where do you go? Disappointed, humiliated, do you sulk? Some rebound here and bounce back into the fight. Some quit altogether. Whatever the case, these letdown times become occasions for rational people to do irrational things. Good folks turn bad now, loyal friends betray, and competent people display incompetence in a struggle to save the day. What is happening? Well, an over-riding power, an incredible hulk, takes the ball and begins to run just inside the sidelines; and with such a rambunct, there is no stopping it. Folks is plain nuts now, and liable to do anything. Why? The answer to that needs interpretation, but, frankly, they hit the point where a principle of self-preservation begins. Pushed to the limit, their identity is threatened. Because of self-love, they must now get riled. Something happens to push persons out of normal soul function…

Read More When Rational People do Irrational Things.

Church in Hungary “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Christ that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Is this the cross of your life or some other? If this one frames us, we know with the mind a once and forever done-by-another-for-me deal, (perfect passive indicative tense). The present tense “knowing” practically effects the destroying of the “The body of which sin has taken possession.” All of it enables me to not be a slave to sin. Jamison, Faucet, and Brown cite our new relationship with Christ and says: “The apostle now grows more definite and vivid in expressing the sin-destroying effectiveness of our union with the crucified Savior.” So that “all that we were in our old unregenerate condition, before union with Christ,” “was” crucified with Him. Henceforth, we are not in bondage to sin. So, we have…

Read More Healed by Perspective

Liberty empowers people to become who they are in Christ. Authority edifies folks toward that empowerment. Authoritarianism (abuse of authority) badgers a man to fixate on one thing and then lose free-volition. On the other hand, neglect of liberty-producing-authority can also abuse, as in the case of a child. A young lady or man may not have the equipment yet to accept a “self-starter” mode, and the majority do not. They need a lot of teaching and guidance. On that line, the nurture and admonition of the Lord are both vital for healthy growth. Nurture fertilizes the soil, while admonition pulls out the weeds and rocks. It pictures the Shepherd with rod and staff as He leaves the 99 to rescue the one. He shepherds his flock to green pastures. Father’s authority effects itself in the flock by the working of The Holy Spirit. Unfortunately this authority is attacked. Jesus…

Read More Authority of Love

God has begun a Project in us, are we available? Yes, God will perform the thing concerning us, no problem. Will we let Him? He’ll work the plan in faithfulness, will we faithfully cooperate? Explain? It’s easier to understand this relationship when we consider God’s ends for us. When we do, our part simply responds, responds, responds. God has marked out boundaries for a believer’s life, did you know that? What kind of boundaries? —boundaries set from God’s foreknowledge. For instance, He already knows beforehand the number of people we will meet in our whole life. He knows how much money we will make. He knows every decision we will encounter and the ultimate outcome of our choices. He knows how many times we will ignore our choices. He knows our thoughts afar off, and yes, He knows our name, and our wife and children too. So, with the advantage…

Read More The God Project

  We walk together with a person, Jesus. We get to, actually. He moves from place to place and from glory to glory. We go too, both ways. Together we go from strength to strength, faith to faith. Strength does not move to greater strength, but new strength. Faith also becomes new faith, not increased faith. We do not progress by resisting the resistance but by following on to know the Lord. We are not associates with Him, we are One. We go from Tom to Jesus, from diminishing glory to the new inward Hope of Glory We go together to the Father, by Him. The lighted path brightens more light, new illuminations all. First pales and dies, second resurrects renewed. First withholds, next gives; First decays, next sprouts. Originally we fail, new makes it work; First ends, next starts again. In the beginning it breaks, following reveals treasure; First wounds, then healing comes.…

Read More Easter Blessings

“The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world. Reality is an absolute, existence is an absolute, a speck of dust is an absolute and so is a human life. Whether you live or die is an absolute. Whether you have a piece of bread or not , is an absolute. Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter’s stomach, is an absolute. There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other side is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks…

Read More Judge Judge, Judge

Lamentations 3:12-15 12 He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.13 He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins. 14 I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day.15 He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. Ezekiel 24:16-18 16 Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down. 17 Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men. 18 So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the…

Read More Thoughts on Pain (second posting)

In thoughtful reflection, I set aside some time, and contemplated how a friend may have been feeling. I suddenly wondered, does God ever do what I am now doing? Do our thoughts and feelings matter to God?  Growing up as a child and then a young man, I don’t remember many times anybody asking me, “Tom, what do you think about this?” “What are your feelings? I remember only a few occasions of someone sincerely saying to me, “how are you doing?” In the Bible, when Jesus met a rich young ruler, it says that He loved him. Yes, though the man did not grasp Jesus’ message, Jesus loved him. When Peter didn’t understand Jesus’ feet washing ministry, Jesus, nevertheless, took time to identify with Peter’s  bafflement. Then The Lord explained things. Jesus took the side of and defended an adulterer one day,  causing quite a stir. I mused about…

Read More Thoughtfulness

Men epitomize peculiarity and exemplify complexity and have diverse shades, both dark and light and in between too. Who can know a man but God, and who can know the spirit in a man but God the Spirit? Man has tons more aptitude for creating than our “predecessors,” the fish and the ape. (Ha, ha, just kidding about our ancestry), of course; what can an animal really do? Animals can operate instinctually, which connects to their self-preserving nature. They sense danger, flee or attack, evoke camouflage. They procreate, feed their young. Some animals can learn conditioning-response to commands, but mostly when bribed ala food treats, or pleasures.   I was watching the amazing dolphins swim, jump and more. I noticed they never refused the little fish prizes given after every feat of wonder. To their favor, dogs and pet grizzly bears will defend their human masters. After all, they know when…

Read More Some Peculiarities