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Discussion in 'The Club House' started by AmPaTerry, Jun 1, 2019.
rest easy Terry.
Very sad news. We pray for the repose of the soul of Terry Trainor.
Such sad news. But his pain here on earth is over and he is whole again in eternal glory. Amen.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isa 5:20)
Isaiah spoke long ago, but strongly against those who would attempt to twist the facts! Isaiah spoke as a prophet of God, thus speaking the word of the Lord. It was not uncommon then to twist reality so as to make our evil ways seem right and come against the good and perfect word of God as though it were wrong or evil. In our day it is not hard to find examples of this sort of twisting of reality. For instance, we have so twisted the idea of killing as to make it a right of women to determine if a baby should live or not. We say it is her right because it is her body. While it is perfectly admirable and correct to defend a woman’s right to determine what happens to her own body, it is an evil practice to kill the helpless one inside of her, but we have concluded as a nation that the right to an abortion is a woman’s health right. Thus we are saying it is good to kill the unborn and bad to deny a woman the right to do so. None of us wishes to concede that it is our responsibility to abstain from sexual relations until married (Heb 13:4), but have accepted premarital sex as good also, even though the Lord says no. And so the conception of the child, a gift from God (Psa 127:3) is treated as unwanted and the child is destroyed.
We are also a people who have become quick to cast away history, and in our day destroying every vestige of history as if that erases any mistakes we made in past generations, instead of remembering, so as to not repeat them. It is good to remember who we were so we can see more clearly who we have become and are yet becoming. The Bible calls Christians to remember and tell of the wondrous works of the Lord. (1 Chro 16:12) The greatest work of the Lord is redemption through the shed blood of His Son (Rom 3:21-26), in which he transforms the sinful man. But, in order to tell of God’s wondrous work in your own life, you have to tell the history, the ugly details of your life prior to redemption...we must remember as individuals and as a nation.
“You will say in that day; ‘I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.’” (Isa 12:1-2)
Isaiah foretold of a day that would come when people would give thanks because the Lord made a way that He need not vent His anger upon us for our sin by making His own Son, Jesus, the propitiation for our sins. Though God has every reason to be angry (wrath) at our sins, He instead gave us mercy (withholding the punishment we deserve) and grace (unmerited favor) and comforted us by making us His children and adopting us into His kingdom!
Isaiah does not refer to God as Savior, or giver of salvation, but speaks of Him as being salvation incarnate, and becoming his own salvation (very personal!). The Lord offered His own Son as the sacrifice for our sins. And since we know that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three persons in one mighty God, we thus realize that He is salvation! Who else could save us from His wrath? Who can thwart the wrath of Almighty God except God himself? Thus we know (trust) that God is with us (Heb 13:5) and for us (Rom 8:31), so we are unafraid. His strength to redeem renders us a new creation (2 Cor 5:17) and we sing for joy in worship!
Thank you for reviving this thread agedwarrior. It is much appreciated.
“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day, ‘Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.” (Isa 12:3-4)
Still looking forward to a time yet to come, Isaiah describes the joy experienced by each one who calls upon the Lord, describing it as drawing water from the wells of salvation. The well is there and the water is within, but you must draw from the well to experience the joy of salvation. John describes this in his recording of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar (John 4:7-15). The challenge is in what you believe! Acting in unbelief will not benefit you with salvation; Jesus challenged the woman of Samaria to believe who He was; to draw from the well.
All who draw from the well of salvation will, in their joy, give thanks to the Lord! That is what people who have received grace do. When you know you deserve damnation and instead the Lord gives you eternal life (unmerited favor) when you have believed what He has done, you will be thankful, to put it mildly. And when you call upon His name (pray), you will do so from a joyful heart and thanksgiving (Phil 4:6).
And, you will want to make Him known among all peoples (nations, tribes and tongues) with a desire that all would see and know of His grace and mercy in Christ, and you will lift His name above all to be exalted by all peoples.
Therein, Isaiah describes the day when Christ would come and deliver us from our sins and we would, with overflowing joy, proclaim His name to all the world (Matt 28:18-20).
“If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.” (Pro 29:9)
We see this lived out all the time here and on other forums where a few strive to build contention and provoke many to battles of words. All the while they will continually provoke for their own amusement; it is a game to them. And at times like these when people are feeling more pressure because of a virus and rioting and financial strain, there is a tendency to respond to provocation even more. It has been difficult at times to not respond in kind to the foolish and provocative remarks, and I admit I have not done as well as I ought to. When this is occurring there is constant bickering and turmoil that prevent participating in the forum with joy, instead turning everything into battles. So how do we deal with this? The answer is two verses later, “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” The fool (troll) wants you to come at him/her; they thrive on our outraged response! The key is to not allow them to get the thrill of provoking us; “quietly hold it back.” Therein lies the challenge; can we not respond in the way the fool is anticipating; the way that he/she thrives on by stirring up people to anger and frustration. The key is not in blocking them out, but responding in the same sort of manner that Jesus responds to us, with compassion, mercy and grace. Banning is not the answer either, there will always be another. Jesus was not looking for who He could get rid of, but seeking to add to the kingdom of God one soul at a time. I would prefer adding one more constructive and helpful one to the forum...but it might take a little work. Jesus thought we were worth it; maybe we need look at others in like manner, as worth the effort, in all aspects of our lives...including here!
Amen. Thank you.
“Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Pro 29:20)
Do you ever find yourself so anxious to answer that you cannot wait for someone to quit speaking, but actually interrupt before they are even finished? Doing so in a marriage can be very toxic! If one is constantly interrupted they will begin to feel that their partner does not care to listen to what they have to say.
The same sort of thing can be equally toxic on a forum. Though we cannot interrupt a post, we can and often do look for every opportunity to blurt our opinion in a manner that belittles another...and we know what we are doing; it is intentional. It is possible to express differing opinions without shaming or belittling another! The text says there is more hope for a fool than one who does this. Why? Because he intentionally seeks to make himself look better at the expense of another. It is simply wicked behavior...intentionally wicked. It is easy to see that one who continually acts this way is far more interested in themselves than others...very much the opposite of what Christ taught and modeled. (Matt 6:12; Phil 2:3)
“A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.
Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.” (Pro 14:6-7)
The first verse offers us a contrast between a scoffer and a man of understanding. The scoffer cannot truly attain wisdom because he/she is too busy trying to make themselves seem more knowledgeable; this by scoffing or putting down anything that does not come from themselves. They persist in attempting to make themselves appear most knowledgeable by scoffing at other thoughts. They insist, no matter the subject, that they no best and scoff or put down other opinions as being foolish.
But the man of understanding listens and gains knowledge through discernment. Instead of arguing or scoffing, they listen and weigh carefully what they hear.
The second verse challenges us to leave the presence of a fool. Why? Because you will most certainly gain nothing from him/her...nothing of value! So, instead of arguing with fools face to face or online, simply go your way. There is nothing to be gained from such arguing, but it is often difficult to walk away from. We should realize that there will be nothing gained, but we even lose because we stoop to the level of foolish arguments. Remember, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” (Pro 18:2)
I remember working at a few places where we had scoffers.
you couldn't do that, etc etc. all negativity...
Very interesting. thank you.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” (Eph 1:3-4)
Paul writes to the church in Ephesus, and in his opening remarks after greeting them he begins to exalt God for the wonder of the blessings He bestowed on humanity through His Son. He says to the church that they have, “...every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places...” He is saying they have it all! The Lord held back nothing from any who believe! Some years back I was building aircraft for missions and a fellow I worked with was really excited about re-enacting the Hebrew feasts from the Old Testament. He was so excited he tried to encourage me to be a part of the group he was with. I gently but firmly declined to be a part of such a group, and asked him why he thought this was a good thing to do, since it seems to fly in the face of New Testament Scripture. He replied that there was a greater blessing from God that they were experiencing. I asked him how that could possibly be, since Scripture declares that Christians have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. I looked him in the eye and asked him, “Are you suggesting the Bible is wrong?” That startled him, and he did not know what to answer. My friends, we have every blessing in Christ! Look no further than Jesus!
The text this morning goes on to say that God chose us before the foundation of the world! And, so that we would be holy and blameless! The text specifies that He chose us in Him. This is part of that predestined idea that stirs up some controversy, though needlessly. When we remember that God exists and is working unrestrained by time as we are; He sees and knows all things at once, whereas we march through time looking forward to events that are yet to occur. There is nothing hidden from God in history or the future as it is with us. This is hard to comprehend because we cannot experience it. But, we can know that God who is almighty and all knowing chose to deliver us through His Son, thus, with our sins forgiven we might one day stand before Him holy and blameless. God is, was, and always will be gracious and merciful!
“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” (Pro 27:2)
This stands in such contrast in a world full of self adulation like we live in. Some will be more subtle at trying to wave their own flag, but in the end all that is said and done is most often seeking recognition. That is often true on any forum...
This verse calls us to do the right thing quietly without seeking attention, and allowing that we might some day be recognized for our efforts in righteousness without pointing it out ourselves. It calls us to humility instead of pride. We more often work hard for recognition; might we try working hard just because it is a right thing to do regardless of recognition.
If we must offer up praise, let it be of another and not ourselves.
“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Pro 28:1)
The image here is simple; folks doing wrong know they are wrong and have every reason to fear judgment...they deserve it! They are constantly then looking over their shoulder in fear of their day of judgment. Those who do right have no reason to fear or worry. They even seem quite bold because they are not concerned about their actions being judged.
Consider this verse now in another light; when their is no judgment against evil, people will run wild. That is why God spoke so harshly concerning Israel; instead of justice there was bloodshed and instead of righteousness there was an outcry because of oppression and evil unchecked! (Isa 5:7b) We can see this same sort of evil growing in our own country today. The very things God condemned Israel for are growing rapidly in American cities.
Finally, consider this verse in the spiritual light in which it truly belongs. The sinner knows he/she faces judgment and fears its coming! They are running from God, but cannot get away! He is here! He is everywhere! The righteous do not fear God but stand knowing that their sins are forgiven and they fear no man. (Matt 10:28) They are bold in life because they always seek to do what is right and pleasing to God, and they look forward to a glorious future with God forever! (Rev 21:22-27)
The glorious crescendo in heaven!
Today, I give you a title before we look at the text from Revelation 4 & 5. It is a vision of the throne room of the Almighty in heaven and the Lamb who alone can open the scroll (bring the glorious plan and purpose of God to fulfillment). Running through these chapters is an amazing crescendo of praise for God (“...he who is seated on the throne...”) and the Lamb who was slain.
Rev 4:8 - Praise from the four living creatures, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.” (Utterly perfect and eternal!)
Rev 4:11 - The 24 elders cast their crowns before Him and say, “Worthy are you our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (The Creator of heaven and earth is worth of all praise)
Rev 5:9-10 - Now the four creatures and the elders fall prostrate before the Lamb, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” (By the blood of Jesus we are saved!)
Rev 5:12 - Now the four creatures and the elders and countless angels praise, saying, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” (Jesus is worthy!)
Rev 5:13 - “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever.”
And I can only do and say as the elders and four living creatures, fall down and worship and say, “Amen!”
“When the righteous triumph, there is great glory, but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.” (Pro 28:12)
“When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Pro 29:2)
At the conclusion of WWII, there was great rejoicing in the streets all over the world, because the righteous had triumphed over evil. For a brief moment or two all the suffering and atrocities of war were behind and all rejoiced, both rich and poor. Evil had been crushed and the people rejoiced; parades and celebrations occurred around the globe. Thus, the allied victory is a great illustration of the first half of both these verses.
But the latter part of both verses speaks of the wicked rising and ruling. People hide and groan secretly in communist countries today as they always have, and if they are not careful to hide their misery their situation might go from bad to worse as they are imprisoned or even killed. This is the reality of wicked people in power under communism or fascism or cruel dictators. But there is another picture that is visible today in America as the wicked rise up in riots and murder and mayhem in the streets of our cities and yes, we groan with sadness over such wicked behavior unchecked by lame governing authorities. And to some degree, people hide from this sort of thing, not wanting to be forced to witness or be subject to such behavior. Some say they have a right to be rebels because of racism or this or that issue, but in reality there is no justification for wicked behavior. It is simply wicked, and the “...wicked will not stand in the judgment...” (Psa 1:5)
I am disappointed in the American Clergy of all faiths (exceping islamers) due to their abdication of their role as shepherds in the face of this contrived "crisis". At a time when a people need spiritual leadership most all of the clergy, with a few-very few, exceptions have acquiesced to the tyranical rules of our totalitarian overlords.