Posts tagged ‘bible’

Proverbs 10 – Money as god

Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death.
The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
A slack hand causes poverty,
but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
~Proverbs 10:2-5

This is a section of Proverbs meant to encourage a righteous work ethic.  It is important to remember that the Proverbs are not promises, but are everyday axioms, general truths to live by.  For the most part if you follow Proverbs you’ll live a long happy prosperous life, and if you don’t then you’ll have strife and poverty.

Of course we all know people, and see people on tv or read about them, that are crooked or immoral and seem to be prospering.  And the Bible answers this elsewhere, which I don’t feel inclined to get into here now, but suffice to say that prosperity and peace are not their final end

Although Proverbs are true for all people, regardless of their faith or non-faith, they are especially true for believers in the God of the Bible, and as believers we are called to do business in a way that reflects our faith in God.

What I mean is that once we realize that everything we have ultimately comes from God then we are free to make decisions more on a moral level, and not so much on a financial level.

When you sacrifice your beliefs for money, you are serving money as god of your life, and you are laying down your good deeds at its altar.  How can you serve two gods?  You can’t.

Make the right decision and trust in God that everything will still work out ok, even if things don’t work out the way you want or financially in your favor, you will still be blessed

Proverbs 5 – whack-a-mole

Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.

~Proverbs 5:20-23

“Everywhere I look something reminds me of her” ~ Frank Drevin, The Naked Gun

One of the challenging things of our times is to stay sexually pure.  If you gain and pursue discipline in this area early on then you have less trouble controlling yourself later in life

Of course at anytime in history it would have been a challenge, look at the great people in Biblical history, Abraham, Jacob, , Sampson, David, Solomon, etc, these men had sexual issues that needed to be worked out.

When I first became a Christian, back in 1997, I decided I wasnt going to date anyone until I was ready.  What was the point if I wasnt ready?  Why sit at the banquet table if I know I cant touch the food?

I figured I needed to decide on my career; and start making enough money to, at the very least, rent an apartment and pay my own bills.

I also wanted to grow and mature spiritually before I invited a woman into my life.  I wanted to know how to live this life successfully for God.

Since then I have met many men who had embraced disciple at an early age and the battle wasnt so bad for them.  They kept their lives under control and remained that way until the got married.

I think one of the great dangers is being over-confident.  It’s almost like Satan allows you to gain a few victories to get you to let down your guard… and then comes the snare!  In 1652 Thomas Brooks discusses that in his book, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices.  And I must say that I have to admire those old timey puritan dudes.   They knew how to live holy, and nip sin in the bud.  And that’s the only way to deal with it.

So no matter what your age, if you’ve messed up or not, or how many times, we all need to do the same; play whack-a-mole with sexual sin.  Do it as fast and as hard as you can and you will save yourself a world of pain later on.

 

 

 

 

a pilgrims regress

For the Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephens University.Essentials Red Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt

What is it that makes a person a Christian? Merriam-Webster defines it as:  1 a: one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ b (1): disciple 2 (2): a member of one of the Churches of Christ separating from the Disciples of Christ in 1906 (3): a member of the Christian denomination having part in the union of the United Church of Christ concluded in 1961  2: the hero in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

Although I do love Pilgrims Progress, I want to focus on the first definition of the word, one who professes belief in the teaching of Jesus Christ.  The teaching of Jesus are found in the New Testament, and has roots and is based on the Old Testament.  Everything we know about Jesus we know from the Bible.  There are very few references to Jesus outside of scripture historically, enough to know he existed, but not enough to build a theology.

In other words without scripture we wouldn’t know what it was to be a Christian.  Our faith would probably look a lot like the other great religions of the world, and we wouldn’t have the diverse unity that we have today.  Without the Bible everything would be different.

I don’t want to say that the teaching of the word is the most important thing in our faith.  There are many equally important things that need to be stressed as well at theology, such as worship, prayer, Eucharist.  The teaching and the ensuing theology are very vital and everything else hinges on that.  Without theology we wouldn’t have worship, prayer, or Eucharist.

I know there are myriad ways of teaching the word.  One way is to preach through the entire Bible in a three year span.  Another more ancient way called the Christian Year, focuses on the life and ministry of Jesus, and incorporates much of scripture and covers the “bigger story”, the grand narrative, of the Bible.

One of my favorite preachers, Mark Driscoll, spends months and months going through the Bible book by book.  He did a sermon series on Genesis that took 9 months to complete.  All in all, he says it’ll take him around 33 years to go through the entire Bible.

As a kid, I grew up in an Assemblies of God Church.  It really was a great Church and the people loved God and loved people.  It was a little less restrictive in the preaching and teaching.  A lot of times there were no series, the pastor would pray each week and God would lay a certain subject or scripture passage on his heart.  The result a sense that God still speaks to each of us today, and that God can and does use anyone.  He can give you a message as well.

I’m sure there are many more ways to preach and teach God’s word.  Each has strengths and weaknesses, but ideally there should be a place to take the best of ideas and incorporate them into something new and fresh.
Growing up in a more of a charismatic or evangelical church atmosphere, I’m more inclined to learn more about the past, to take a road I’ve never been down.  In my past church traditions it seems that we broke from the past in regard to tradition and liturgy.  And as I learn more about the past, the more I’m intrigued and attracted to the ancient roots.  But not to go back, to be propelled into the future.
Robert Webber writes in his book Ancient-Future Time:  “the road to the future runs through the past.”  We are not “enslaved to history”, as Ben Weasel mistakenly puts it in his song The Science of Myth (although I can see how it might seem that way).  But the idea is to examine where we’ve been, and take a look at culture today, and with the Holy Spirits leading, and use what ever we need to in order to move forward with the Gospel and the Kingdom of God.
Personally I like the idea of the Christian Year.  Since I’m not a pastor, but a worship leader, and I do have a home group, so I think we’re going to look into that and see how it goes.  I look forward to it.