Category: Insights on Scripture



Ronald Reagan

“It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.” Ronald Reagan

They say great minds think alike, or better put the student can only be as smart as the teacher (Matthew 10:25). Perhaps that is why Ronald Reagan shared the same thought as did Paul when he was writing to Timothy about those who did not believe what Paul was teaching. Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:7 they are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Paul was referring to men or women who were willful, boastful, proud, arrogant, self-absorbed, money hungry, chasing after pleasures and not seeking God. These folks are constantly chasing one passion or another, looking for the next big thing, seeking fame and fortune, never acknowledging God, in fact, attacking what is good if it interferes with their personal pursuits. They are always learning but never able to grasp what is real and true. They believe that what they believe is truth, but who can blame them since they were taught by those who believed they too possessed great knowledge and charged handsomely for others to get that knowledge.

Unfortunately, all that knowledge left them bereft of truth but now they have been awarded a certificate of accomplishment validating their intellect, although like Reagan said, they know so many things that just aren’t so.

How is this possible? Can we avoid being led astray by our intellects? Is there a point where we become too smart for our own good?

Let us look at how this might happen and then suggest what you can do to avoid it happening to you.

We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.  John Naisbitt

1. We are learning too much

Information overload. With the advent of the internet everything, there is to know about anything can be found via Google. Since knowledge spells power and survival, and it is virtually easy to obtain, we are continually packing our minds with new information and knowledge. We err, however, if we assume that we can know God by doing a Google search, or worse believe that the internet has all the wisdom available to us. This is simply not true.

Spiritual truth is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit in moments of quiet and unhurried reflection and contemplation upon His word. Taking time to seek Him and His ways, not relying on our own human understanding. This is a slow process and in our hurry-up world of instant gratification, it is difficult for us to accept, especially if we are conditioned to stuffing in knowledge through condensed articles, blog posts, Facebook, and 140 characters of Twitter.

I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance. Ruben Blades

2. We are learning the wrong “stuff “

In our quests for knowledge, it is easy to wander down the dark paths of forbidden knowledge, to partake of the proverbial forbidden fruit. If we recall Adam and Eve were told to keep away from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil found in the middle of the garden, they were permitted to partake of everything else in the garden. This did not satisfy their human curiosity and when tempted Eve took and ate the forbidden fruit and offered the same to her husband who also partook.

It was at that point that their eyes were opened and they saw that they were naked. They became self-aware, their eyes were opened to what they lacked and they lost sight of what God had provided for them. It was at this point that they set out to provide covering for themselves to hide their nakedness. They were now seeking human solutions to their earthly existence. They started out by rejecting God’s clear instruction to not eat from the tree and ended up hiding in the bushes.

Adam and Eve traded divine insight, Godly counsel for that which was being served up by a serpent. It did not turn out well for them, neither will it turn out well for us if we too are seduced to partake of the forbidden fruit of the poisoned tree.

Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom. Charles Spurgeon

3. We are hindered in our learning by our pride

“Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish (literally: a “moron”) that he may become wise.” (1 Corinthians 3:18b)

There is indeed a sense of pride and accomplishment when one earns a degree from an institute of higher learning. Many view a college education as the means to personal success and work to earn many degrees and perhaps even a Masters or  Ph.D.

Paul was a well-educated man, in fact, this is what he says about himself in his letter to the Philippians:

Philippians 3:4-8 (NIV)
4  though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:
5  circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee;
6  as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
7  But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
8  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ

Here Paul was running down through his resume, extolling his credentials, he was making a list of his accomplishments. By the world’s standard Paul was successful, and yet Paul considered all those accomplishments as nothing compared to that Damascus road encounter with God. All his earthly pursuits, all the degrees he had attained led him into a life of opposition to Christ, in fact, he was persecuting the church and killing Christians. In his mind, based on what he was taught, he believed he was doing the right thing. He was seriously misled. He had been lied to and seduced by the serpent to seek knowledge apart from God.

It is good to seek the truth and to gain an understanding of how things really work to avoid the pitfalls that accompanying bad choices but consider the source of that knowledge. Turn off the cable news outlets and their sound bites, shut down the internet for a week and pick up a good book instead, better yet put up the “good book”. Allow yourself some quiet time to reflect on life and sort through all the information that has flooded into your head through the things you have seen and heard. Most importantly recognize that the wisest among us is not smarter than God. And you are not god.

Our prayers should be “I want you to be wise in that which is good, and innocent in what is evil.” (Romans 16:19b) and only God is good therefore make Him your source of good information, He promises to lead you into all truth. (John 16:13)

Broken Fences


broken-fence

Do not move an ancient boundary marker
that your ancestors set in place.
Prov 22:28 (GW)
{Like} a city broken into {and} left without a wall,
{so} is a person who lacks self-control.
Prov 25:28 (GW)

What is dishonorably got, is dishonorably squandered. Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) Source: Philippicoe (II, 27)

Today’s youth are surrounded by a vast wasteland of open spaces with no fences or boundaries. Our society’s efforts to remove all barriers to one’s “self awareness” and “self expression” has rendered our children lost in a maze of choices. Each choice is held as equal to the other, none holding any merit as a better choice because having the right to choose is more important than choosing right.

We would never send a toddler out in the deep forest without a guide yet we are leaving our young people to wander around in this vast wasteland of choices with no boundaries.

The current influx of illegal immigration has awaken me from the slumber of live and let live to a more thoughtful and purposeful train of reasoning.

If anyone can do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it, wherever they desire to do it, then we, as a society, has lost our moorings, and like a ship without a rudder we are adrift on life’s sea.

One must have a anchor point, a boundary, a place where there is no trespassing allowed. Just as with the first humans who graced this planet we too have been overtaken in our lawlessness from an unbridled greed and lust for more.

When there is no one to say no then we never learn the value of restraint. We never learn to appreciate that which does not belong to us. We never learn to appreciate the need to ask before taking or to respect the limits set by others.

A casual observer may scratch their collective heads wondering what in the world we are thinking, or which course of action we choose to be the right course. In our day of moral relativism with no moral absolutes anything anyone wants to do is acceptable as long as they can justify their actions with themselves.

Rules like ‘thou shalt not covet’ or ‘thou shalt not steal’ are completely ignored because we reason if we can acquire it then it belongs to us. Society has done all it can to rewrite or remove the prohibitions to self satisfaction.

Crashing the borders to get to where we want to be without regard to the occupants of that said place is just plan selfish and self serving.

A society nor a people can long survive if they do not limit themselves from their shameful lust for more and coveting what others have. We need to learn to be thankful for what we have and thank God for His provision. Continue reading

A Brand New Day!


erase_mistake

Psalm 103:12 (BBE)
12  As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our sins from us.

Philippians 3:13-14 (AMP)
13  I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
14  I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

Tradition has it that many on New Year’s day make resolutions, plans and goals that they have for the upcoming year. By making resolutions we admit that in the past we have not lived up to our expectations and desire to make a change for the upcoming year. We reflect on what we wanted to do the past year, and make a promise to ourselves and others that we will attempt to do better this coming year. Many make a resolution to diet or exercise, some may plan on being a better parent or spouse, some may plan to make a career change or seek higher education, some may wish to make major lifestyle changes or relocate to another place, whatever the goal, resolutions by nature, indicate that we are not 100% satisfied with were we are in life.

Paul made this sentiment clear when writing to the Philippians in chapter three. He was resolved to learn more about Christ and to become more like him even to the point of sharing in the sufferings of Christ being conformed to Christ even in death. Paul, although he was accomplished in society did not regard his social standing as anything to boast about but rather tossed that aside as garbage when he came to Christ. He valued a relationship with Christ to be of more value then any earthly gain or status. Paul wanted to be associated with Christ to such a degree that he would actually suffer and die like Christ because of his faith in Christ.

Paul’s resolution stands in stark contrast to today’s resolutions because the focus of Paul was on the here-after and not the here-and-now. Paul chose to aim for and attempt to imitate one who was greater than he. He wanted to be like Christ. Paul admitted that he had fallen far short of his lofty goals repeatedly, and yet he held onto the hope that there was going to be a new day, another opportunity to try again to reach his goal. He had set his heart on which way he wanted to go, and although he had been knocked off course numerous times, he brushed off the failures and continued onward and upward.

One of the greatest gifts of Christ is the gift of forgiveness, Jesus came to erase our pasts and give us a new future, a new hope, another chance to do better. Although many observe a new beginning once a year, Christ gives us a brand new start every morning. His faithfulness is renewed each day, his forgiveness wipes out our failures of the past and we are given a clean slate to try yet again. He erases our mistakes and casts them into the sea of forgetfulness and does not hold them up to us as a constant reminder nor torment us with all our weaknesses and shortcomings. Jesus loves us enough to wipe away all our failures giving us a new start each and every day.

So then why not take today and thank God for giving you another opportunity to get it right and then, like Paul, take aim at the higher calling and press toward the goal of being more like Christ today. Take it one day at a time and do not fret if you come up short because the Lord has a new day in store for you as the morning sun rises.

Psalm 118:24 (GW)
24  This is the day the LORD has made. Let’s rejoice and be glad today!

Happy new day!


christmas peace decoration

One of the most favorite sayings and happy thoughts that are spoken frequently by people during the Christmas or “holiday” season is the phrase “Peace on Earth good will to men”. There are bumper stickers, signs, shirts, holiday cards, trinkets etc. that seek to capitalize and get out this optimistic and positive message. Even liberal secularists who reject biblical Christianity love to quote this phrase and claim it as their own. Sadly, this phrase is TOTALLY taken out of the biblical context and is perceived from a subjective godless utopian world perspective. This theme is repeated often from secular and even godless sources appearing everywhere, they like to toss around that God is love and that he preached peace on earth and that we all should simply get along.

Is that really the message the angels brought forth that first Christmas day? Let’s take a closer look shall we?

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:13 and 14 ESV)

I do need to note that only the King James bible quotes Luke 2:14 without the qualifying ‘with whom He is pleased’ or ‘upon whom his favor rests.’ This is an important concept that needs to be addressed. The wicked, then as now, do not find themselves in a peaceful, loving relationship with the almighty God. They, like us before accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, are lost without hope in the world (Eph 2:12) and separated from God.

They (or us if we turn from Christ) will find themselves facing a righteous and holy God without a remedy for their sinfulness. Their unrighteousness will dam them to an eternity separated from all that is good and right without any hope of rescue, nor peace from suffering. God’s word makes it clear…his wrath will come pouring down upon the head of the wicked.

Jesus reiterated this theme when he called his disciples together before sending them out as ambassadors of the gospel. Here is what he said:

Matthew 10:34-36 (NIV)
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law–
36  a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

The message of Jesus brings about a great divide, it causes divisions and enmity between members of a household in addition to members of society at large. Paul put it this way in his letter to the Hebrews:

Hebrews 4:12 (HCSB)
12  For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.

Let us not forget that Jesus came unto His own but His own received him not. Why?  The problem is not with the messenger nor the message the problem lies within us. We have no peace because we chose to live according to our own desires and wants and fail to accept the truth of God’s word. We ignore the gospel of peace and therefore continue to live without peace, and hope in this world.

John 3:16-21 (NIV)
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

Yes peace came into the world that first Christmas night, but only for those who accept the gift of God, sent to us from heaven in the form of a child wrapped in swaddling  clothes and lying in a manger. If we reject this peace of God we will forever be lost without hope, walking around in continued darkness, unable to ever grasp the peace that passes all understanding which can only be found through Christ Jesus. That is what the angels said that first Christmas night… Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to all those upon whom is favor rests.


And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus,” wrote the Apostle John in Revelation.

On Sunday, a video surfaced that showed the black-clad jihadists of the ISIL franchise in Libya, The Islamic State in Tripoli Province, beheading 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, staining the waves with blood.

The jihadists made it clear: They beheaded the men because they were “people of the cross, followers of the hostile [sic] Egyptian Church” and announced their aspiration to capture Rome.

Egypt launched swift retaliation, bombing at least seven locations in Libya. Meanwhile, Barack Obama still denied the religious causes of the violence when in his White House statement he said, “We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and our support to the Egyptian government and people as they grieve for their fellow citizens.

ISIL’s barbarity knows no bounds.” Not only does Obama deny the religious motivations of ISIL, he dishonors victims by denying why they were murdered. Not knowing the enemy – that’s how wars are lost.

Obama has said in the past Christian’s have stains in their past and he pointed to the crusades which were wars waged against Arab aggression. Historians note that these crusades were rather ineffectual in their efforts to thwart the Muslim aggression. Perhaps they too underestimated the barbarity of these Muslim terrorists. These groups are bloodthirsty and their barbarism knows no bounds. These groups are not civil and they do not respect life. They are lawless and savage. They view their fight as holy and right and will stop at nothing to meet their goal of world domination. Submit or die is the Muslim cry to all infidels.

 

Civil societies have a hard time dealing with such barbarism because they are constrained by human decency, a Christian moral compass, that restrains their actions and stays their hand from returning upon the heads of these barbarians the same cruelty they dish out.

The Israelites were faced with a really tough decision when God commanded them to utterly destroy the people living in the land He was giving to the Israelites as and inheritance.

16 However, you must not let any living thing survive among the cities of these people the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.

17 You must completely destroy them-the Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite-as the Lord your God has commanded you,

18 so that they won’t teach you to do all the detestable things they do for their gods, and you sin against the Lord your God. Deut 20:16-18

God had driven these people from the land because of their DETESTABLE PRACTICES and the THINGS THEY WOULD DO FOR THEIR gods.

I can understand why it would be hard to completely wipe out a people including women and children and livestock. You see these people do not hesitate to kill women and children and wipe out anyone who gets in their way. I wonder if God would call these acts DETESTABLE?

Egypt is doing what America and others threatened by ISIS should be doing. Go on the offensive with a war plan whose goal is the complete elimination of these groups who are doing these detestable practices for their gods.

And that is the way I see it what say you?

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