Friday, November 13, 2015


Living the Lord’s Prayer
    [”For samples of vain repetitions, see I Kings 18:26; Acts 19:34.” McGarvey]
    For many people the “Lord’s Prayer” represents the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Jesus gave it as a pattern of how people may approach GOD in prayer.  We pray as God’s children!
    “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may Your Name be kept holy.  May Your Kingdom come soon. May Your Will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.  For Yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever.  Amen.”  Matt 6:9-13 (NLT)
    [Some add: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.  Matt. 28:19-20.  New people are being born every day and need to be added to the Kingdom.]
    a) Our Father.
    “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.' “ Acts 17:26-29
    b) May Your Name be kept holy.
    “For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”  Lev 11:44-45; 1 Peter 1:15-16
    c) May Your Will be done.
     “Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."  But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”  James 4:15-17
    d) Give us this day the food we need.
    “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  Matt 6:32-34
    e) And forgive us our sins.
    "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  Matt 6:14-15
    f) Don’t let us yield to temptation.
    “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.  Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.  No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  1 Cor 10:11-13
    g) Rescue us from the evil one.
    “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  Eph 6:10-12
    h) Yours is the Kingdom, the Power, the Glory, Forever!
       “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"  And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"  Then the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.”  Rev 5:11-14
      The angels of heaven join the Created and the Redeemed to praise Jesus for His act of death which sets men free from the results of sin. Christ demonstrated that He is “worthy” by His heroic sacrifice (Eph 3:8-11).  Every being joins in the chorus of praise to God and the Lamb. It is God’s act in Jesus the Lamb, which allows God to give the verdict of “not guilty” in regard to those who were “paid for” by the death of Christ. The total Universe shares in the benefits of this act.  (Romans 8:19-22).


     The Old Testament is part of the Bible because it is still important.  Paul writes: “Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” Romans 15:4 (NLT)
     The wisdom of Solomon and the Psalms will speak to our human existence as long as the world stands.  Life is a never- ending cycle as we experience and learn.  We repeat the past, and the future will bring more of the same.  But God does love us, and He knows what He is doing.  So we confidently come to Him and praise Him for His blessings.
     SOLOMON SAYS: “These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem2 “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”3 What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes.5 The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again.6 The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles.7 Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea.8 Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.”  Eccl 1:1-8 (NLT)
     “Everything’s so totally boring, mind-numbingly dull. But you keep looking, listening as if something new’s going to happen. What’s gone down will go down again; what’s been done will be done again: there’s nothing new, original – it’s all repeats.”  Lacey [Word On The Street]
     “I communed with my heart, saying, "Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge."  And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.”  Eccl 1:16-17 (NKJV)
     “Where’s the pay-off? What’s the point? All this back-breaking, brain-aching work that people do day in day out – why? God’s set seasons for everything – at the right time everything can work. But he’s also programmed us with the huge questions of ‘life, the universe and everything’ echoing round our brains. But we can’t know! How can we? It’s way too deep, like trying to get to the bottom of the ocean when all we’ve been given is a plastic snorkel and flippers.” Lacey
     “The Teacher begins by observing that each natural and historical activity is accentuated by its circular repetitive rhythm of coming and going, being and not being. This can lead to the despairing cry that everything is meaningless. The Teacher moves rapidly from subject to subject and finishes this section with the topic he started with, using a literary pattern that mirrors the circularity he describes in nature and in human history.”—NLT Study Bible
     “I buried myself in work, took on worthy projects. Built houses, set up businesses, made gardens and parks, planted every fruit tree you can think of.”  Lacey
     “Then I mulled over the word wisdom for a while, grappled with insanity and stupidity, trying to make some sense of it all. What’s the next king going to do that I’ve not already done? I made some progress: wisdom outguns stupidity, like light overpowers darkness. Wise people use the eyes in their heads, while the stupid grope around in the dark. Some progress. But then – they both die in the end, so what’s the point?”  Lacey
     “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:  
A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;  
A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up;
A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;  
A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;  
A time to gain, And a time to lose;
A time to keep, And a time to throw away;  
A time to tear, And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;  
A time to love, And a time to hate;
A time of war, And a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NKJV)
     “Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well.  For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.”  Eccl 12:6-7 (NLT)
     “The words of the wise are like cattle prods—painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep.12 But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.13 That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.14 God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.”  Eccl 12:11-14 (NLT)

     “Remember the God who made you, while you’re still young, before the hassles of adult life kick in and you too end up saying, “Where’s the fun gone?”  Now it’s out in the open; now I’ve had my moan. Here’s my conclusion: respect God and live his way – this is our role, our responsibility. For God’ll judge everything we do, secret or known, good or evil.”  Lacey

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


    The Real Scandal Is A Fear of Love.  The Church is a Church of the poor in spirit and of sinners seeking forgiveness, not simply of the righteous and the holy, but rather of those who are righteous and holy precisely when they feel themselves poor sinners.  The Gospel continues to be a vital source of eternal newness, against all those who would “indoctrinate” it into dead stones to be hurled at others.

    “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32 (KJV)
    “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”  1 Cor 13:13 (KJV)
    “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  We love him, because he first loved us.”  1 John 4:17-19 (KJV)
    17. The purpose. “Love is an official heavenly visitor who stays with us and claims our loyalty.  He has been ‘made perfect in us’ when we are facsimiles of Jesus - His visible portrait!” Compare Matt. 5:16; Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 3:18.
    18. No fear in love.  Note that John uses (worldly) fear as the opposite of love. One type of person lost eternally is the coward (fearful), as we see in Rev. 21:8. [We fear God in the sense of  our reverence and respect to Him.]  Fear of punishment never goes along with love; but perfect love to God and man drives out all fear of punishment from our mind! One who truly loves God and man will know that he has left death and come over into life (1 John 3:14), and will have no reason to fear punishment!”
    Love has not been made perfect. “The one who fears the Judgment has not been made perfect in love to God and man! For this he has no excuse!” Bengel says there are four possible conditions of a human soul: (1) without either fear or love: (2) with fear, without love; (3) with fear and love: (4) with love, without fear. This verse shows that only the forth describes the true and mature Christian.  "Without worldly fear, with Christian love."  19. Because God. God’s unique love for us in Christ, fills us with love for Him and for our fellowman.
    What is love?
    “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”  1 John 3:16 (KJV)
    “What is love anyway? Not the tripe you’ve been force-fed! No, love gives people space and time; it does people good. It’s not jealous, loud-mouthed or big-headed. It’s not vulgar; it doesn’t look after No. 1. It’s not got a short fuse – it forgives and forgets. Love doesn’t smile when dark stuff goes on, but throws a party when the truth gets out. It protects more than a blockbuster hero; it trusts more than a toddler. It’s always positive; it always hangs in there. Love doesn’t let you down.”  Lacey on 1 Cor. 13.
    “For Paul, love is more important than any of the spiritual gifts and the most important virtue. Love "binds us all together in perfect harmony" (Col 3:14). Without love, ministry has limited value (13:1-3). Paul summed up the whole of the Christian ethics as "faith expressing itself in love" (Gal 5:6). Love is the central ethical expression of Christian faith, the primary fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), and one of the most important motivations for ministry. The most important thing for believers to value and seek is to become a faithfully loving person.—NLT Study Bible
    “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”  1 John 5:20 (KJV)
      20. We know. Not came, but has come and has given us. The Eternal Logos (Word) has come as a human being. The world can never be the same, because this fact stands in history and nothing can take it away.  God spoke to us through His Son (Heb. 1:2 and note), and this understanding will never be removed from the human scene.  The true God. Jesus revealed the true God! Contrast this with the false god of the false teachers (1 John 2:9). See Introduction to Acts. Our lives. Again the emphasis that we are in the true God by being in His Son Jesus Christ. See 1 John 2:23 and note. This is the true God. In Christ the true God is revealed to us and in Christ we have eternal life. [Some think this says that Jesus Christ is the true God. A monotheistic-trinitarian can say this is true (see note on Rom. 16:27).  [A monotheistic-trinitarian – one who believes in Jehovah the Father, Jehovah the Son, Jehovah the Holy Spirit.]