14 2 / 2012

                                   

Today is just another day.

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09 2 / 2012

Let me begin by saying. I do not have everything figured out. I have a viewpoint on this particular scripture and want to examine what may be some misinterpretation of this verse and the verses around it. 

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 

The first I will say is that you can not base your entire theology on one specific passage of the Bible. You have to take in and digest the whole thing. So to stand on one particular verse (for this instance Jer. 29:11) and set up shop on that hill and die on that hill is unwise. 
 
Next the context of this scripture is the Prophet Jeremiah delivering this message to exiled Israel. These are God’s plans for the exiled peoples. 
I also know that all scripture is God breathed and valuable for teaching, reproof, training and correction. (2 Timothy 3:16) 
So what is there for us to learn in Jeremiah 29:11. 

  1. God is faithful to his promises. He has made promises to His people and he will see them carried out. He is going to bring back his people to the land they were promised. So we see His faithfulness in that. 
  2. God does have a plan.(Psalm 92:5-6, Psalm 115:3)It is His plan. Not what we think His plan is for us. Sometimes it looks like we want sometimes it is completely the opposite. If you’ll notice Jeremiah 29:10 starts off by saying “after you guys have been in Babylon for 70 years, then I will do this….” I’m sure if that was the answer we got from God on our prayers, we would not think that He had plans for our good in mind? 
  3. God desires peace for us, not for evil (harm, calamity). So we see His goodness (attribute of God) God has an ultimate plan for us, it is peace in the end. Not evil. 
  4. When we seek w/all of our heart, we find Him. In verses 12-14 God is saying essentially, “here is how it is all going to go down”. Eventually you are going to seek me with everything you have and then you will find me. 

There is tons more in there I am sure. But I feel like those are the main things that we can gather from this as far as what we can learn about the character of God. 

Here is what this scripture is not saying. 

You are entitled to the riches of this world. You will always a great job. you will not hurt. You will not suffer. You get the picture I could go on and on and on and on. 

Here is what it is saying

That through everything that we go through in this life. God has an ultimate plan. It is for peace for you in the end of this life, He will see that though now matter what. It looks like from this verse, that it took 70 more years of captivity for the Israelites to seek out God fully to give them that peace. He will mold you, hold you, challenge you, rebuke you, discipline you until you are ready to seek the face of God to get what He was ultimately promised me and you through His son Jesus Christ. Eternal peace, eternal joy, eternal riches. 

Hebrew break down of passage
  You always need to break down and go back to the root of passage. So let us break down a few key words in this passage. 
Plans- the Hebrew word here is Machashebeth - most commonly used in the text as the word ‘thoughts”. 
Welfare( or Prosper) - This word is the word Shalom, which means peace ultimately. 
Harm(NIV)/Evil(ESV) - The Hebrew word here is Ra, essentially translates back to the word evil/calamity/adversity/harm most of the time it is used. 
Future- Acharith is the Hebrew used here, it simply means in the end. As in final outcome. Or to give you rest. 
Hope- From the Hebrew word Tiqvah, which is pretty simply put, it means a hope or expectation. 
So if we are to take that scripture now and look at it through the lens of the Hebrew it says… 
"The Lord knows the thoughts that He has for you, His thoughts are for your Peace and not for your Harm, to give you a final ending or peace and a expectation or hope.” 
This scripture promises that the goal in the final ending for you and I, if there is an accepting of Christ as savior, there is peace and hope in the end. No matter what, regardless of circumstances in this life. Riches or lack of. He is our peace and in the end we get Him. That is His plan. So if it takes you going through a mess to get you to the peace and hope that is in Him alone. Then praise God for that.
But let us as the body of Christ not make this about getting worldly riches, our riches(http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/pray-and-ponder-yourself-into-sync-with-pauls-sense-of-wealth)., peace, joy, hope, prosperity, is found in the good news of Jesus Christ. Our riches are at the end of this life.
Will He take care of you in this life, absolutely, he takes care of the birds of the air, so he care for us even more so, but we are not to find our peace in those things. 
I’ll end with this. I just cant help but picture Paul, injured, shipwrecked, imprisoned, beat, stoned, living on money he made from building tents. Then Him saying to Timothy or Barnabas, “Guy, I’m standing on Jeremiah 29:11, he has plans not to harm me but make me prosperous.” That does not hold up for the life that he lived, Paul was harmed, suffered so much, in fact he was even told in his vision of Christ that he would be shown how much he was to suffer. I am willing to bet (not with real money of course that would be very un-christian of me, but maybe like for some Starbucks or something like that.) that what pulled Paul up all of those times was the future hope, knowing at the end of this thing he got to spend eternity with God. Not thinking that there would be some desk job, and 10 years of retirement at the end, that was not his hope, that was not his prosperity, God and Him alone was it. 
As alway I am always open to being wrong or corrected about anything I may have misquoted, taken out of context, etc. So feel free to let me know. 

23 11 / 2011

Here is a short word on Thanksgiving from Desiring God’s website, (http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/thanksgiving-to-the-glory-of-god). I couldn’t have said it any better. 

"Here’s a plea that we look along the beams of delicious turkey and good football to see Jesus, crucified for us, dead and buried for us, raised for us on the third day. For his grace has been extended to us. We’ve heard the good news. Paul (or one of the apostles) told someone who told someone who told someone. And eventually one of these "someones" told us. This grace has extended to "more and more people." It has extended to you and me.

So in the midst of our many thanksgivings, may we be mainly thankful for that — for Jesus and all that he is for us. And in so doing, may we fulfill Paul’s goal, the increase of thanksgiving, to the glory of God.”

"knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God." 2 Corinthians 4:14-15

16 11 / 2011

The following quotations are taken from Mark Driscoll’s website, from blog he posted today. http://pastormark.tv/2011/11/16/the-biblical-necessity-of-adam-and-eve

This article caught my eye because of something I am currently studying in a class over the Enlightenment era, and because I was actually asked this question in an interview at a Christian school this summer because it was a realistic question that students were asking. 

I am currently reading a writing for a paper called “Essay’s On Religion” by Thomas Paine. Paine is shredding the bible as painting a false picture of God, the life of Christ, and Old Testament Prophecy. Pretty much laughing while writing at what he sees as the stupidity of writers of the Bible. 

This is hard for me to read. Paine is a smart guy so his arguments make you think and make you really examine scripture and what you think you know. It is also hard because it sucks to see someone just trash the Word of God like he is doing. You just want Paine to “get it” while you are reading some of the things he is saying. You just want him to see the love, grace and mercy in scripture. Instead he says he doesn’t need scripture to know God, he will just use his intellect, which to him is enough and far beyond any wisdom that the Bible could ever give him. 

That is what I see here in the argument against a historic Adam and Eve. Men are saying that their natural logic and reasoning is enough. 

They are abandoning scripture. 

We can never do that. I like the idea that Driscoll points us toward. Sola Scriptura, which says, “Nothing judges Scripture. It judges everything else. As followers of Jesus, we take the same stance he did and receive the Bible alone as infallible, inerrant truth from God with full authority in our lives.”

Also, this ideas seem to be one I keep butting up against in seemingly everywhere I look. Science V. Biblical Creationism. So this helped clear some things up for me. Not that they were necessarily unclear, but I just didn’t have the words. 

So here are a few quotes that I pulled out of the article that stood out to me. 

The first question we must ask is, Does the Bible intend to give a wooden, literal account every time it speaks? The answer is no.

For instance, Revelation 7:1 speaks of “the four corners of the earth.” Is the intent to teach that the earth is flat? Some people claim such, but an understanding of Revelation’s apocalyptic literary genre would reveal that this is poetic language to speak about the authority of God over all the earth, not a prescription on whether the earth is flat or not. It’s using poetry to convey a factual truth—God is sovereign over all the earth.

 “The book of Genesis … was not written with the intention of being a scientific textbook. Rather, it is a theological narrative written to reveal the God of creation, which means its emphasis is on God and his relationship with humanity and not on creation.”

There is room for discussion as to how he did this—and certainly science is helpful in this discussion—but there is no room for debate on the fact that he did it. This is important because “it negates the possibility of naturalistic evolution and an eternal universe,” which is taught by some as truth but is a truth contradictory to Scripture.[8] Simply said, you cannot claim biblical Christianity but deny God’s work in creation.

One of the main reasons that Christians need to affirm that Adam was the first human being to exist is the doctrine of the fall and original sin.

The humanity of Adam is important to the humanity of Christ the person in the flesh. Luke’s account is trying to point that out. 

To deny this historical teaching of the church undermines the clear teaching of the Bible and fails to make sense of its storyline, as without a historical Adam and Eve, there is no fall and no need for redemption and no need for Jesus. The very basis of Christianity is effectively undermined.

01 9 / 2011

"

"Salvation is not by what you bring to Christ, but by
what you take from Him. You are to be receivers first, and then, by-and-by, through the power of Grace, you shall give
forth from yourselves rivers of living water to others.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The grace of God well never not be overwhelming to me, no matter how many times I read about it, or think on it.

"

18 7 / 2011

Taken with instagram

Taken with instagram

16 6 / 2011

""People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated."- D.A. Carson"

11 3 / 2011

“The waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of destruction assailed me… This God—his way is perfect” (2 Samuel 22:531).

After the loss of his ten children owing to a “natural disaster” (Job 1:19), Job said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). At the end of the book, the inspired writer confirms Job’s understanding of what happened. He says Job’s brothers and sisters “comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him” (Job 42:11). This has several crucial implications for us as we think about the calamity in the Indian Ocean.

1) Satan is not ultimate, God is.

Satan had a hand in Job’s misery, but not the decisive hand. God gave Satan permission to afflict Job (Job 1:122:10). But Job and the writer of this book treat God as the ultimate and decisive cause. When Satan afflicts Job with sores, Job says to his wife, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10), and the writer calls these satanic sores “the evil that the Lord had brought upon him” (Job 42:11). So Satan is real. Satan brings misery. But Satan is not ultimate or decisive. He is on a leash. He goes no farther than God decisively permits.

2) Even if Satan caused the earthquake in the Indian Ocean the day after Christmas, he is not the decisive cause of 100,000+ deaths, God is.

God claims power over tsunamis in Job 38:8 when he asks Job rhetorically, “Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb … and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?” Psalm 89:8-9 says, “O Lord … you rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.” And Jesus himself has the same control today as he once did over the deadly threats of waves: “He … rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm” (Luke 8:24). In other words, even if Satan caused the earthquake, God could have stopped the waves.

3) Destructive calamities in this world mingle judgment and mercy.

Their purposes are not simple. Job was a godly man and his miseries were not God’s punishment (Job 1:18). Their design was purifying not punishment (Job 42:6). But we do not know the spiritual condition of Job’s children. Job was certainly concerned about them (Job 1:5). God may have taken their life in judgment. If that is true, then the same calamity proved in the end to be mercy for Job and judgment on his children. This is true of all calamities. They mingle judgment and mercy. They are both punishment and purification. Suffering, and even death, can be both judgment and mercy at the same time.

The clearest illustration of this is the death of Jesus. It was both judgment and mercy. It was judgment on Jesus because he bore our sins (not his own), and it was mercy toward us who trust him to bear our punishment (Galatians 3:131 Peter 2:24) and be our righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Another example is the curse that lies on this fallen earth. Those who do not believe in Christ experience it as judgment, but believers experience it as, merciful, though painful, preparation for glory. “The creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope” (Romans 8:20). This is God’s subjection. This is why there are tsunamis.

Who suffers from this fallen world of natural disasters? All of us, Christians included: “Not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23). For those who cast themselves on the mercy of Christ these afflictions are “preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). And when death comes, it is a door to paradise. But for those who do not treasure Christ, suffering and death are God’s judgment. “It is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).

For children, who are too young to process mentally the revelation of God in nature or Scripture, death is not the final word of judgment. God’s commitment to display his justice publicly means that he does not finally condemn sinful people who could not physically construe natural or special revelation (Romans 1:20). There is a difference between suppressing revelation that one can mentally comprehend (Romans 1:18), and not having a brain sufficient to comprehend it at all. Therefore, when small children suffer and die, we may not assume they are being punished or judged. No matter how horrible the suffering or death, God can turn it for their greater good.

4) The heart that Christ gives to his people feels compassion for those who suffer, no matter what their faith.

When the Bible says, “Weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15), it does not add, “unless God caused the weeping.” Job’s comforters would have done better to weep with Job than talk so much. That does not change when we discover that Job’s suffering was ultimately from God. No, it is right to weep with those who suffer. Pain is pain, no matter who causes it. We are all sinners. Empathy flows not from the causes of pain, but the company of pain. And we are all in it together.

5) Finally, Christ calls us to show mercy to those who suffer, even if they do not deserve it.

That is the meaning of mercy—undeserved help. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27). Therefore, pray earnestly for Scott Purser and his team as they investigate the best way that the Global Diaconate can mercifully respond with the love of Christ to the calamity around the Indian Ocean.

In the merciful hands of Almighty God,

Pastor John

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01 3 / 2011

Lunch (Taken with instagram)

Lunch (Taken with instagram)

24 2 / 2011

Taken with instagram

Taken with instagram