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A Word to the Wise

2-2-2019 – A Word to the Wise – Lately I have been pondering suffering. Much has been written yet I think one element never touched on is addressed by Jesus in John 9. Jesus and His disciples come on a man born blind. He must have been well known. The general consensus was that either he , or his parents sinned. Jesus says not so, rather he was this way that God might be glorified. I think that should have meaning for us. Some suffer for years and years and we will they would just pass to stop the suffering, or we, or they say to themselves what sins have I done that justify so much suffering.

I think there is a different reason. They are actually bearing the sins of others that God might be glorified. Their suffering cleanses the souls around them. If they only would comprehend this, and rejoice in their anguish for how the Lord perceives it then their fear, anxiety, self incrimination would cease.

Their suffering has purpose. A righteous purpose, noble, and courageous.

So the next time you behold a suffering one ponder the purpose. Is it the Lords way of cleansing me of unrighteousness?

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A Word to the Wise

1-18-2019 – A Word to the Wise – On occasion I feel compelled to address a problem in the sexual area. Some are uncomfortable with this so I give you forewarning so you may turn aside. Ready?
For those of you that have a spouse struggling with pornography I want to suggest a test. I say struggle because I would suspect that you wish to be rid of it. I will give you a good reason.
Has it occurred to you that your struggle with lust may be physical, emotionally, and spiritually affecting your spouse? To put it a different way, perhaps you are making your spouse sick with this practice. If that is happening let’s try a simple test.
Perhaps you do not want your spouse to know it, so you do not speak of it. Under these circumstances keep the results to yourself.
Here is the test and its justification. Test three different areas for degree of mental, physical, or spiritual distress.
On a scale of 0 to 5 (0 the least, 5 the greatest) degree anxiety/frustration experienced today/yesterday. Question 2. On a scale of 0 to 5 a similar scale, the degree of physical pain experienced today/yesterday.
Same scale disturbance in the spiritual life or avoidance of spiritual things. I would suggest that you run the test for 30 days unless it is obvious that the pain is intense.
The possibility may exist that the spouse is actually sexually involved with someone else, if that is the case the outcome will be the same.
Here is the reasoning behind the test. Scripture makes it clear that a married couple is one flesh. That means what one experiences the other experiences the consequences as well.

Proverbs 5-7 clearly state the physical consequences for sexual sin.

Anxiety, anger, build up and even the most naïve counselor will tell you the results are illness. But one may say what of the spouse male or female that withholds a sexual relationship does this not cause illness as well? Yes, but that is a topic for another day.

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A Word to the Wise

1-12-2019 – A Word to the Wise – For those drenched in feelings of loneliness it is important to understand that one has an open invitation from the Lord
to walk with Him.

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A Word to the Wise

1-8-2019 – A Word to the Wise: HUMILITY
The highest kind of love has its root in humility. It is not difficult to learn the first part of mature love. That love which is able to deny self and care for the welfare of others. Particularly does this love come naturally when expressed for loved ones. Some even may feel genuine love and concern for humanity in general.
But when we get to the kind of love that is able to love our enemies, we find we are over our heads. Here we find it necessary to have a deeper, stronger character than we have ever imagined. This type of love demands strength that is only acquired through humility.
Who is my enemy one might say. Everyone who opposes the cross of Christ Jesus. Whether that be husband, child, mother or father, or even self at times. Every attitude or behavior regardless the owner that challenges the Lord is an enemy of the Lord. How is that enemy to be treated? Better than mother, or father, brother and sister. Where does one get the strength, the courage, the stamina, to stand against evil? Those traits flow from the quality of humility.
Humility can only be established by our personal relationship with God. When I behold God as my creator and really feel the significance of being the created, the honor of God becomes real; the acceptance of self inevitable. Out of all of this comes the humility that enables me to love my enemy.
Humility gives one a sense of worth, because it has its roots in ones’ relationship with God. Now many confuse feeling worthless with being humble. However, there is no spiritual relationship between worthlessness and humility. Every man has his own gifts of God. To deny them, to call them worthless would be to defame God. Humility is knowing whom and what you are before God.
Test what I say. Love your neighbor as yourself. Now if you are worthless you would see him also as worthless, but if you see your worth then you can also acknowledge his. This is a very basic step in gaining humility
Many people have such a case of inferiority though that they are afraid to approach humility. Inferiority like worthlessness is unrelated to humility. God never said man was worthless — he said he was helpless. He never said we were inferior rather he created us superior to all of his creatures. That superiority is not for the purpose of ruling over but to care for and protect.

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A Word to the Wise

12-21-2018 – A Word to the Wise:

As mentioned earlier several weeks ago I ask the Lord to give I mentioned earlier that the Lord has given other gifts besides the Motivational Gifts. Since it is the season for gift-giving I will summarize 10 major areas His gifts to mankind may be observed. A fuller description will be posted on my website a little later. The names given for the most part are ones I have chosen.

  1. The Motivation Gifts. Romans 12:4-7 (RSV)

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

The gift is discernable for those who study the evidences of the traits readily visible. The seven gifts, one per person are distribuend by the heavenly Father among all people at conception. The purpose for that person is chosen by the Father and His future purpose for that person. The gift is strengthen by use and ones commitment to the Lord, weakened by disuse and misuse. Everyone receives one of these gift at conception. In depth study is available on my web site or from other sources.

To summarize the seven: Prophet, Teacher, Organizer, Exhorter, Mercy, Server, and Giver.

  1. Another set of gifts are described in I Corinthians 12. These gifts are called Spiritual gifts and are limited to those who are Christians.

Notice please the passage spells out the source and the purpose of each of the gifts being assigned. That is the general purpose is for the common good, and the source is the Holy Spirit. Also it is apparent that again we find seven in number.

1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were heathen, you were led astray to dumb idols, however you may have been moved. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;

5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.(RSV)

  1. Ministerial gifts are described for us in Ephesians 4:

And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,

12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; (RSV).

  1. Desire of the Heart Gift. This is a gift assigned to a special group.

The Lord sees losing one’s chief source of authority in childhood as a great loss. Because of the severity of this loss, God compensates the child. Who fits into this group? It would seem that whenever a person loses his father, regardless of age, then he becomes a part of this group. It would also appear that the age of loss determines the severity and level of compensation.

  1. Protector Gifts That gift is reserved for the widows.

“Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy mountain.” This is a quote from Psalms 68. All through the Bible Gods’ special concern for widows is referenced. The high point of the Lord’s concern for them is summed up in James 1:27. “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God is this: To visit the orphans and widows in their affliction…”

  1. Talent Gifts

Based on Parable of the Talents Matthew 25:14-46 English Standard Version (RSV). I go into detail with this group later.

  1. Birth Gifts determined even before birth.

These gifts by the Heavenly Father are determined even before birth and given to those He determines beforehand to further His purpose and direction. Usually the gift has to do with the persons place in history and set to accomplish a specific task or goal. Examples may be

John the Baptist, David, Esther, prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah which scripture points were called before birth.

A more recent example would be gifted children who are born with exceptional traits. Usually these individuals have high IQ’s and may be observed with the following characteristics usually beginning in infancy: Alertness, curious rapid learning ability, problem solving ability, self-taught, highly sensitive, daydreamers, exceptional memories, intense feelings, wide interest, excellent attention span, broad vocabularies at early age, wide interest, to name a few of the traits.

  1. Another group those who have ask the LORD FOR A GIFT

This group is special in the sense that the person believes in the Lord and based on this belief makes a request of the Lord.

Matthew 7:7 Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you. The person has to be aware of the Lord. That the Lord is able to grant the request, and the person must believe in the Lord. So what does this mean? In some circumstances one may be asking or healing which scripture has many examples. In other circumstances the person is asking the Lord to intervene in an impossible situation. What is unique here is that life circumstances has the person asking for a specific act or help in some impossible situation.

  1. Another group are those given Random Gifts

Text: Parable of the Sower. Lk. 8:11-15, (RSV)

11 Now the parable is this The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.

14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.

  1. Compensatory Gifts

Those gifts distributed because of loss of normality. When a person is born with certain problems whether it be low intelligence level, some physical problem, mental difficulty, or emotional genetic difficulty caused by a loss or deformation of nature. They may be of two types; Congenital or at birth, or they maybe acquired, usual by and accident or injury.

If acquired at or prior to birth then most frequently the person may be autistic, or have Asperger’s. Often these children have IQ’s below 70, and yet may be genius in a specific area like in memory, music, art, or other fields. However some may be actual genius with exceptionally high IQ’s. Sometimes this group may be referred to as savant syndrome individuals

Those individuals who acquire this gift after an accident, brain damage, or with a physical or mental problem might be referred to with the term savant syndrome Sometimes this group may be referred to as savant syndrome individual.

These are short summaries of the different sets of gifts the Heavenly Father gives. Each group has traits specific to that group, and given with certain conditions. Further details will be given later.

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A Word to the Wise

12-17-2018 – A Word to the Wise: REMINDER: Whatever position of authority we find ourselves, whether it be small or great, there is one thing we must realize about it; that it is a sacred charge before God and we must give an account for how we use it. This should be a fearful thought for most all of us exercise some authority, somewhere, sometime. The mass rebellion to authority, I believe, finds it’s real answer in the unfaithful manner in which those possessing it exercise it.

The first attribute necessary to proper use of authority is humility. Authority is a power which is entrusted to the individual by either God or man. To fulfill this trust one must in some manner assume responsibility regarding others. If there is no human being involved, there is no authority involved.

We are not a people that can easily comprehend authority. We do not live under a strict disciplinary government. On a whole, we are not accustomed to heavy discipline in our jobs and our homes. Thus, when we are confronted with the authority of God we have little in our background to help us comprehend its significance.

To reverence authority is to reverence God because the Word of God says all authority is ordained of God. He is saying that truth and authority are synonymous. The Centurion comprehended authority this is why his faith was so great. It is difficult for us to comprehend the price we pay for resistance and rebellion.

In the light of the seriousness of authority we find it necessary to ask; Is a woman to obey her husband? How did Sarah understand obedience? Is a woman under the authority of man? I believe how these questions were answered in the past account for many misunderstandings in the present.

Is a woman under the authority of man? No more or less than a man is under the authority of a woman. With two exceptions (the church and the home) male and females are equal in all matters pertaining to authority. The degradation of women in all societies, and nations has never been authorized by God. It does point to the prideful, unfaithful manner in which men tend to exercise unjust authority. However, a woman is just as able to hold the highest office of the land as man, neither are superior.

Is a woman told to obey her husband? No, not at least in the sense that a child obeys the parent, or one obeys governmental law. Men and women are given different areas of authority in the home. For this each is accountable to God. Often A husband will use scripture to enforce his will over the wife; is this justifiable? Lets look at these passages to discern in the biblical context what is authorized and unauthorized.

First lets examine I Peter 3:6 it says: as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are now her children if you do right and let nothing terrify you. What does it mean when it says Sarah obeyed Abraham? There are six things the Scripture say Sarah said that may define for us how obedience in this context may be interpreted. Lets review them.

  1. (Gen 16: 2} and Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my maid; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
  2. (Gen 16:5-6) And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my maid to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!” {6} But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.

 

  1. (Gen 18:12} So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?”13} The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ {14} Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, in the spring, and Sarah shall have a son.”
  2. {15} Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
  3. (Gen 21:6-7) And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; every one who hears will laugh over me.” {7} And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would suckle children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
  4. (Gen 21:9) But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So she said to Abraham, “cast out this slave women with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.” (Gen 21:12) But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the lad and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your descendants be named.

Sarah speaks nine sentences in the Bible on two topics. Eight had to do with child bearing one on fear; more specifically, fear of the Lord. Of the nine sentences three are addressed to Abraham. All three times Sarah confronts or challenges Abraham. One incident he voluntarily agrees to do as she wishes the other two times God tells him to listen and obey.

This should not be construed to mean that the man is under the authority of the woman. It should cause us to pause and give thought that God chose to include these conversations to explain the concept of obedience of the wife to the husband. I suspect our understanding of the passage should be broaden. The rigid interpretation that the woman is to be the obedient slave to the husband hardly seems in line with scriptural interpretation of itself. Whom, might we ask obeyed who? If this alters ones view of the husband wife relationship, and it should, what of a husbands accusations that his wife does not obey and or is not submissive?

A man cannot charge a woman with being disobedient to him if he does not have the authority to demand obedience. Even state law recognizes this principle. A person under state law is not required to obey an illegal order regardless the source. Moreover, a husband cannot charge a women with not being submissive for submissiveness is voluntary. It is a trait for which one is praised not judged. Something given voluntarily is not subject to expectation. I believe these are the basic concepts Jesus is addressing in Mark 10 when he tells the disciples that his disciples will not rule as the gentiles rule.

Satan twisted the whole concept of obedience and submissiveness. Notice it was Satan who refused to obey God. Then with blatant arrogance typical of him demands that men give him what he refused to give to God. The Lord encourages obedience by reward not demands. Satan demands rebellion. Disobedience is not the opposite of obedience. Rebellion is the opposite of obedience.

How can the husband demand obedience. This is alien to God design. Obedience to the Lord is a positive trait worthy of reward which God gives. Disobedience has no reward. Rebellion has its consequences. Submissive is a conjunct of obedience. Therefore one under authority is praised for obedience and admired for their submissiveness.

Paul in speaking of slavery makes it a voluntary act towards God changing the whole picture. He changes the master from man to God.

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A Word to the Wise

12-8-2018 – A Word to the Wise: As I study the gifts I have noticed that there are a total of ten sets of discernable, distinctive, groups given for specific purposes to mankind. That amazes me. the depth and breath of how the Lord treasures His children. We might be looking at these categories in the future. Any idea what these groups are besides the Motivational Gifts?

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