Category Archives: Discipleship

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David was a man of vision and purpose. He wanted to build a temple for Yahweh, but his God didn’t want him to do it, so he made the design and gathered the materials and handed it all to Solomon. Solomon took the assignment, but after he completed the project, he had no personal purpose for his life.

Some people say he wrote Song of Songs in his early adulthood, Proverbs later, and Ecclesiastes in his late years. In his late years, I believe that he was very carnally minded. Up until the last chapter, Ecclesiastes is some of the bleakest, most faithless and hopeless literature available.

Some people like to quote his mis-statements “everything is futile” and “there is nothing new under the sun” as if they are part of the wisdom of proverbs. They are, however, not truth.

Yahweh’s mercies are new every morning. So new, we don’t always recognize their form. He is doing a new thing – will you notice it? (Isaiah 43:19).  If you are in Christ, everything is new (1 Corinthians 5:17).

Solomon became lifeless in his mind because he became purposeless in his life. He drifted away from Yahweh and His words because his life had no meaning. It can happen to us if we don’t pursue His word and His Spirit and become who He sees us to be.

Ghost Stories

Almost all kids love a good ghost story. They love hearing them and then telling them. We need to get better at telling them the best ones we can come up with.

Of course, our favorite ghost is not Casper. Our favorite is Holy Ghost! You should have some good stories to share with younger believers. There are lots of awesome ones in the Book for days when you don’t have a fresh one, but pay attention to the new ones He gives you so that you can hand them down.

Psalm 71:15-19
15 My mouth will tell about Your righteousness
and Your salvation all day long,
though I cannot sum them up.
16 I come because of the mighty acts of the Lord God;
I will proclaim Your righteousness, Yours alone.
17 God, You have taught me from my youth,
and I still proclaim Your wonderful works.
18 Even when I am old and gray,
God, do not abandon me.
Then I will proclaim Your power
to another generation,
Your strength to all who are to come.
19 Your righteousness reaches heaven, God,
You who have done great things;
God, who is like You?
(from Holman Christian Standard Bible®  ©  Holman Bible Publishers.)

 

 

How Interesting

Some people hear you share a story from your life that you think is interesting, and share a similar story, because they want to connect with you – to find something that you have in common. If you show that you value their story, they share more at other times. Your relationship can grow.

Other people hear you share a story from your life and share a BIGGER story, because they want to be awarded a BIGGER score in the social interaction. Not wanting to encourage their one-up behavior, we usually offer a range of responses between sarcasm and silence. If, instead, we can convince them that we value them apart from their ability to score well on social contrast tests, we may be able to develop a real relationship with them, too.

Both opportunity types are costly, because it is more fun being interesting than it is being interested. Don’t throw either one away. Be both on days.

People are far more likely to meet Jesus through relationships with believers than they are by reading tracts about hell. Value relationships. The mercy and grace you pour into them will be returned to you with interest.

David’s Preparation

David’s God used enemies the size of his destiny to prepare him for it.

David was chosen and anointed for his destiny long before he entered into it
1 Samuel 16:1-13
There was no change in David’s status or duty
until God started moving in other people’s lives.
1 Samuel 16:14-23
David’s elders were jealous of him.
They made presumptuous and false accusations against him.
1 Samuel 17:28,29
A very large enemy was in the way of David’s destiny.
1 Samuel 17:40-54
Established leadership showed no confidence
in David’s abilities and no vision for his destiny.
1 Samuel 17:31-33
David was prepared to face each enemy
by his victory over previous, smaller challenges.
1 Samuel 17:34-37
Incumbent leadership stood jealously in the way of David’s destiny
instead of helping prepare him for it.
1 Samuel 18:6-13
David responded to the challenges against his destiny
with the Spirit and wisdom of Yahweh.
1 Samuel 18:14-16
David “honored his fathers” – he did not presume to harm Saul,
whom he perceived to be the previous generation of God’s anointing.
2 Samuel 1:1-16
David was very cautious not to hinder what was the possible next move of God
when Absolom his son attempted a coup against the government of David.
2 Samuel 15:1-31

King James’ Men

In 1604, King James of England called on some of his employees to take all of the Scriptures from books and scrolls and translate them into English, and gather them into one volume. This was the third English translation, and was really prompted by complaints from Puritans about the inaccuracies of the earlier works.

Most editions of the “King James Version” of the Bible available today are really what was offered in 1769 as the “Authorized Version,” which had undergone several revisions. The edits included changing of the spelling of words in which i’s and j’s were interchanged and u’s and v’s were interchanged, and f’s and s’s were printed uniformly instead of having different forms in different words, which was common in 1611. Also, the Apocrypha was removed, even though it was part of what was presented to King James in 1611.

A letter from the translators to King James is commonly included, and their letter to all readers of the King James Version is commonly withheld from the readers. Here are a couple of quotes from the letter from the King’s translators to all who would read their work.

“Therefore blessed be they, and most honored be their name, that break the ice, and giveth onset upon that which helpeth forward to the saving of souls. Now what can be more available thereto, than to deliver God’s book unto God’s people in a tongue which they understand? Since of an hidden treasure, and of a fountain that is sealed, there is no profit, as Ptolome Philadelph wrote to the Rabbis or masters of the Jews, as witnesseth Epiphanius: and as S. Augustine saith; A man had rather be with his dog than with a stranger (whose tongue is strange unto him).” Here, the translators blessed anyone who would translate the Bible into languages understood by its readers. They quoted Augustine as having said that a man would rather be with his dog, who could not talk, than with a man who spoke another language.

“Now to the latter we answer; that we do not deny, nay we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession (for we have seen none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet), containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God.” Throughout the letter, the translators were answering specific insults and accusations made against them by various critics: the Church of Rome, Puritans, and specific individuals. Here, they shared their opinion that even the most poorly done translation of the word of God is, truly, the word of God.

Raised From the Dead

Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations —  “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using — according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
(Colossians 2:20-3:11 NKJV)

Having a nice set of rules won’t make me righteous. It won’t improve my character. It might have some improvements on my behavior, but not my identity.

Like Ebenezer Scrooge after meeting the ghosts, or George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life” after his guardian angel shows him what others’ lives would have been like without his influence, we should be dancing through the streets, joyously celebrating having been freed from death and determined to embrace life as fully as possible with the second chance we have received.

Rules can’t fix what was wrong with us. Only death can help. Having received the grace to die and then be brought back to life in Jesus, we should be able to see the grand values of eternal things and live in and for them. We are still distracted by temporary, costly, wasteful things though.

You believe that you are dead to your former self and alive to Christ. Act like it. His strength is able to make that an invitation, not just a command!

 

Learning to Look

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,  who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”    (Matthew 13:45-46, NKJV)

Some things you only find when you are looking for them. In the beginning of having a Life with Jesus, it is sometimes impossible to miss anything, because He is so frequently on our minds, and He so very much wants us to learn to walk in the Spirit. Later, He seems to want us to take responsibility for whether there is food in the cupboard or not.

Every event is an opportunity to become more like Him when we look carefully and faithfully at it. When we stop worrying about whether we are being dealt a hand we don’t deserve, or worrying about what we did wrong, or why someone hates us, and examine the clues He sometimes leaves in very easy to find places, we will see His hand and His intentions and respond with the character, the power, and the eternal wisdom of His Spirit as we listen to the whisper of His voice.

When we begin a response to an event with the question, “What are You doing here, Lord, and what should I do to co-labor with You, and agree with You?”, we will get wondersful answers. We will manifest Him. The more we co-operate with Him and manifest Him, the more we become one with Him, and the more people will experience a visit with Him because we were present.

One of the most powerful keys to this realm is making a decision to expect Him to do awesome things in our lives, and then living out that decision. That decision requires a matching decision to stop expecting our enemies to prevail over us.

Befriending Jesus

A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a difficult time. *

In a little village named Bethany, Jesus had 3 friends: Lazarus, Mary, & Martha. They welcomed Him. They even welcomed the people to whom He was a Friend – His disciples and followers. They served Him and His friends meals.

The trouble He brought with Him of having people He had befriended was probably a test to anyone who wanted to be a friend to Him. If someone was going to be a friend to Him, their friendship had to be strong enough to bear His love for the others.

Twined together, responsibility and authority and service become leadership. They become parenthood. When Jesus discerned that His disciples were arguing about whom among them was the greatest (Luke 9:46), He did not rebuke them for wanting to be great – He instructed them regarding the path to greatness: be the servant of all.

We should have a great desire to be a friend to Jesus. It is costly, though. It means that the resources we want to spend on Him are spent on those He has become a Friend to. If I welcome Jesus, I will welcome the least and the greatest, and, having given to them, I will have given to Him (Matthew 25:31).

It is a valuable accomplishment when I step over the line of no longer being jealous that what I want to give to Him is being consumed by people who don’t deserve it. It is a wondrous freedom when I step past looking at the people He gives me the privilege of blessing, who, when I give to them, they see His hand offering the blessing to them.

When you are a good friend to Him, you empower His friendship to be real-ized in the earth. You will feed and comfort and shelter Him as a valuable friend when you do those things for the least of the people whom He has beFriended…

*  (Proverbs 17:17 – from Holman Christian Standard Bible® Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 by Holman Bible Publishers.)

Ends of the Ages Admonishment

Now I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ. But God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the desert.

Now these things became examples for us, so that we will not desire evil as they did. Don’t become idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and got up to play.  Let us not commit sexual immorality as some of them did, and in a single day 23,000 people fell dead. Let us not tempt Christ as some of them did, and were destroyed by snakes. Nor should we complain as some of them did, and were killed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as examples, and they were written as a warning to us, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
1 Corinthians 10:1-12 (from Holman Christian Standard Bible® Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 by Holman Bible Publishers.)

There are specific acts that Paul warned the believers in Corinth to learn to get right by learning from Israel’s failure to get them right. The things that happened to Israel between Egypt and Palestine happened on purpose, and were written down to admonish us.

A good place to study about how to be the believers upon whom the ends of the ages have come is between Exodus & Joshua.

Go learn how to be even more awesome>>>>>

Time Moves So Slowly

Time moves so slowly
Tied to the dock
Your love releases
The keys to the lock
I am confused –
Motion and emotion
Fill my heart and heal me of
The pain of standing still

And I will not return
To be another’s slave
And I will be to You
A son who brings You love
And I will make a name
For You in every land
Because I know that You
Will lead me by my hand

Some days I am waiting
For commission and release
Then I see the bondage
Has already ceased
I am free to raise my sail
And dominate the sea
You are then free to fill my sail
And dominate through me

Taking all my weakest days
And Your most glorious strength
You create mosaics
That are colorful and wise
You are in the boat with me
Compass in Your heart
Love and power in Your hands
Fire in Your eyes

Man of Steel You make of me
No matter what or who
Goes along or stays behind
You have made me new
You will give me strength to stand
To run, to win the Prize
Then You’ll hand me to our Father,
Ending all my cries

9/8/2011