The Word

THE WORD

THE WORD CAME INTO TIME (Genesis 1/3)

THE WORD CAME ONTO STONE (II Corinthians 3/7)

THE WORD CAME INTO FLESH (John 1/1-4)

THE WORD CAME ONTO PAPER (Matthew 4/4)

THE WORD COMES INTO FLESH AGAIN (Psalm 119)

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth – one of the things we are told is that He ‘hovered over’ the water.

The first WORD(s) that He spoke was: ‘Let there be light’ and of course there was light. (Genesis 1/1-3)

Man had not yet been made, and the result of this creative word spoken, was not for his eyes to behold at that creative moment.

In John 1/1 we are told that in the beginning was The Word, and The Word was…God. Some have interpreted this as God being only ‘a word’ as in language, or some kind of mantra.

But this is so ridiculous it doesn’t need addressed – it’s like saying a Coca Cola is just a word, we can soak the paper it is written on to saturation and we might be able to drink it down. 

Strange comparison I know, but Coca Cola is a drink, and ‘The Word’ is a person – namely the Son of God.

What God has to say is within His being, it is within what we as Christians refer to as the Trinity.

When God spoke – the godhead was and is, in total co-ordination and co-operation, when doing so. They each have different roles to play, best known to them. Once we figure that all out, i.e. figure out exactly how they function, then they are no longer God, confined as they would be to the ability of our imagination.

But to help us ‘rest’ in our finite little intellects – I like to think of it this way – God The Father thinks, God the Son (The Word) speaks, and the Holy Spirit carries out what is spoken.

Jesus the Son of God, left heaven and took upon Himself the body of a man. Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.

That is – The Word became flesh.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

When God was speaking and creating, He of course was not seen by man. But His Word was released into time. ‘Let there be – and there was.’

God did not speak man into being however. He formed man of the dust of the earth He had already created, and breathed life into him.

…And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

So in Old Testament ‘times’, the creative Word is spoken, the old testament commandments are written and engraved on stone from the hand of God.

In New Testament ‘times’ – The Son of God Himself, who called things into being now comes and indwells a body created in Mary’s womb.

He later moves upon men (having gone back to heaven), and inspires and energizes them to write once again – His Word, executed by the third person of the Godhead, The Holy Spirit.

His Word written on papyrus and now on ‘air mail’ paper or displayed digitally – enters us – if we will meditate upon it. The Word then, becomes flesh in us, in that we are called to allow it to fill our minds.

Psalm 119/129

Your testimonies are wonderful;

Therefore MY SOUL KEEPS THEM.

130

The ENTRANCE OF YOUR WORDS gives light;

It gives understanding to the simple.

131 

I opened my mouth and panted,

For I longed for Your commandments.

Regarding – The Word – The Son of God – we read:

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Concerning the words The Word spoke He says….

…the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The same words spoken at the beginning of creation are the same words spoken onto the pages of scripture, that give us spiritual life, if observed, digested and obeyed, after an encounter with The Christ of God.

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Still listening?

STILL LISTENING?

The saying goes like this: “It takes all sorts to make a world”.

No doubt you have heard that saying?

There are sweets (candy) you can buy that go by the name of Liquorice AllSorts.

Guess what? Everybody has a different favourite.

And we all have our favourite ‘kind-of-person’.

Some folks we warm to immediately.

With others, – in our tolerant desire to embrace all – we have more of a struggle.

There are those who are so full of their own opinion, that they can’t hear yours. There are those who have had an academic grounding far beyond your limited sphere of study. Sometimes however, they don’t have the lessons that can only be learnt from life-experience(s).

We can have favourite friends. Friends we more readily confide in, due to their proven track record.

We automatically listen much more attentively to certain individuals, because we have observed their life for years perhaps, and have admired the way they live their lives.

Others because we have observed their shortcomings, will rarely be on the receiving end of our private thoughts.

So we switch-off much more quickly from listening and really taking-in what they say.

At this point I am asking myself to stop and think over, what this blogger has said up to now.

And I am calling myself to alertness – and to revisit the whole idea of hearing. Remember (I am saying to myself, and therefore to you), to switch your hearing mechanism up to its fullest capacity.

Perhaps you have a hearing aid? Well it’s the inner ear of heart and mind I am referring to. It is easy to switch off and to not pay attention.

God has been speaking since the beginning of creation. His voice is not in the flowers or the mountains, even though He could make the stones cry out, or sing His praise.

He has chosen to speak through men – that’s His chosen method.

Not my idea – His.

Hebrews 1:

1.God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

The difference in the New Testament is that His final way of speaking is through His own Son. He took upon Himself the ‘form’ of a man. He walked the earth and spoke His words, recorded by other human beings, specially chosen for the task.

How’s our hearing?

The Lord Jesus,  is my favourite person, and the strange thing is, sometimes even though He is, I begin to stop listening. Now to raise the volume in my heart and head.

How about you?

Philippians 2/ (Amp.)

but emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man].

STRENGTH

STRENGTH

Certain individuals perhaps impress us with their inner strength.

They seem to stand-out having endured some traumatic incident, or perhaps, for example, have endured great hardship on their way to the North Pole.

We could mention many other examples of inner strength and endurance.

And there is no doubt, some folks are more ‘built’ that way than others.

But there is a strength independent of the human kind.

There is demonic strength, and there is Divine strength.

This separates the kind of strength or strengths we can speak of.

The exercising of moral weakness is abounding all around us, as principle after principle is violated. We are perhaps reluctant to point this out, because we are conscious, perhaps, of our own shortcomings.

To be morally weak is easy. And some are demonically strong in their moral rebellion.

To be morally strong in the midst of adversity calls for another kind of strength – Divine strength.

We can look at many examples of divinely strengthened individuals. Samson was given physical strength – way beyond the norm. He was given it by the Grace of God. His physical strength followed his inner strength.

But unfortunately his moral strength wained, and he lost therefore, his inner strength. Manifest in his outward loss of physically strength.

The secret of his inner strength was obedience to the Divine conditions God put in place.

When these were forsaken, he lost what he had.

There are other examples of Divine enablement – David slays a lion, kills a giant, and as we jump into the New Testament we find a list of those to whom inner strength through faith is given. See (Hebrews 11).

We cannot experience this inner strength without coming to Jesus Christ and inviting Him into our lives. There is something awesome about opening our mouths in the privacy of our room, and speaking in a heartfelt manner  (otherwise it’s into the air) – He is not a disappointment to the persistent heart.

So in summary there is our own inner strength, or lack of it, there is strength that comes from darkness (see Mark 5/v4-onwards), and then there is the inner strength that only Christ can give.

May you know His strength today through relationship with the Altogether Lovely One!

Ephesians 3/

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

Tap into the Rap

Tap into the rap…I want to say :

‘ZAP !’…to every crazy idea

that’s been buzzin’ around

since the start of time…

Well you’re a non-conformist…that’s fine…but get your head around…

THE INVISIBLE, THE INDIVISIBLE, THE GREAT SUPREME CHAMPION OF THE UNIVERSE…

Though some may say : ‘He doesn’t seem to be…’

Listen, He’s still the Operator…the Instigator…the Proclaimer…the Creator…of all that there is !

Now you’re a non-conformist…no time for anything…no time for status quo everywhere you go…you say : ‘Don’t want no governmental corruption, no society dictation, don’t care about inflation, no need for explanation’…you want to fly like a pigeon but don’t need no religion…you’ve thought about your situation, you’ve thought about the nation, you’ve thought about all your losin’, might try some seclusion. You’ve thought your head would burst ‘cause there is no conclusion.

THE ANSWER TO LIFE ?…well you’ve only got confusion…disullusion…you think maybe its Buddha, Mohammed…it could be Hare Krishna or some denomination.

The cries, the cries, the many voices raised : ‘follow us, pay your money’…deceiving words…lips dripping like honey.

So your on the daily grind because you cannot find, thinkin’s such a bind…so shoot up some junk, get into some funk, drown the minds emotion…kill by self-destruct…just blast yourself away…no freedom…everyday…no plan, no purpose, no-where, no scheme, no dream…hopeless situation ?

Does it cause some consternation if the man says:

THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE, THE LIFE, THE TRUTH, THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE, THE WAY.

…’who said that ?’ you might say – Hey !

…was it Karl Marx, Alfred Marks, Groucho Marx, was it Gandhi or Andy Pandy…will we turn around when we know…at the end of hopelessness…when in distress…will we face the loss…and turn to one they put upon the cross… ?…’cause He’s the one who said it…the one who paid it…

He’s the non-conformist that you…thought you might be…

HE’S THE INVISIBLE, THE INDIVISIBLE, THE GREAT SUPREME CHAMPION OF THE UNIVERSE…

Though some may say : ‘It doesn’t seem to be’…still He’s the Operator, He’s the Proclaimer, He’s the Instigator, He’s the Creator of all that there is.

…so lets not conform when we can be transformed…confusion…?…well He is no illusion… He came…He saw…He conquered every devil that there is…He sits upon a throne until our time is through…then rises to welcome…to appear and say : ‘I’m true’…meantime – waiting…as an omniscient might…to deal with all death…until there’s only life…look how quickly minds close to Him on no other basis…than that His name is Jesus…it’s no crime to take a look as a non-conformist should…to the only man who was different from this world…’cause the other world was where His mind was…bringing His power to bear…upon the funky junk, the self destruct confusion, the hypocritical pride, every excuse that helps prop the illusion…that there is only eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die…

Tomorrow we die…that’s for sure…but wrap your thoughts around this rap…cry ‘ZAP !’… to all the crazy unbelieving ideas that don’t come up to scratch…there’s no match…for the ‘Altogether Lovely’… the Holy untouchable…that let’s Himself be touched…by the feeling of man’s infirmity…you hear what I say ?…so listen let’s all hit the dirt and cry out for mercy…cry to Jesus the Son…the only one…who gives His mercy freely to the broken hearted man…to the disillusioned person…without any coercion.. He’ll take you as you are…to be with you every hour…through His eternal power…now why don’t you conclude, you know you really should, deep inside you’re crying for the Jesus of the cross…cause there is no satisfaction till you experience Resurrection…brought to you today…in no uncertain terms we say…

He’s the Truth, The Life, The Way…that’s – Jesus – here to stay…

For further help contact Heaven or ken.riddles@btinternet.com

Hearing the voice

Hearing the voice

Matthew 3/2 …and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way of the Lord;

Make His paths straight.’ ”

Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

Stating the obvious – there are many different kinds of languages in the world.

If we do not know the language, regardless of how well the person or persons express themselves, we will not get their meaning.

When it comes to spiritual matters we can apply this as an analogy.

We can have ears to hear the message but not have a heart to understand it.

There was a man sent from God – who preached a God-given message, some heard and understood and others heard and did not.

John the Baptist had his own idiosyncrasies. Not exactly your normal kind of guy. There is much we could say about John.

But God Himself prophesied his coming – well-before he arrived on the scene.

God referred to him as:

‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness…’

Crying out in the literal, actual wilderness where he was initially ‘hidden’ until his showing to Israel, and crying-out in the metaphor wilderness that exists in the heart of mankind even to this day.

A barrenness, a blindness, a waywardness, a lostness that increases amidst our damaged world, as man staggers about perpetuating fake news, one-upmanship, violence, hypocrisy, deception, perversion and so on.

John was a preacher.

The problem with preaching is – your hearers require ‘perfection’ from you, as soon as you touch on any moral issues. If you do not practice what you preach, they quickly dismiss you as a hypocrite.

Sometimes with justification. Other times with no justification.

The perfection The Lord Jesus Christ manifested in His every word and deed, escapes the most saintly Christian follower.

Perfection in the speaker, is not a pre-requisite for authenticating the message you preach on Christ’s behalf. It is the message itself (if it truly comes from Christ) and is endorsed by Him by means of the holy scriptures, that authenticates itself.

The message John brought authenticated the fact that he was chosen of God.

Of course he was an upright man, who eventually laid down his life for Christ. But no man can ever claim the perfection that Christ Himself manifested as the sinless Son of God.

But the voice. Can we hear the voice? Amidst the confusion of many kinds of voices and languages, that exist today?

We all know there has never been such a deluge of ‘messages’ in our wilderness world as there is today. Blogging being just one, of many ways to put your message out there.

Can we hear the voice of God, amidst the fakeness and increasing madness that believes lie after lie?

Be sure the Christian gospel will be rejected out-of-hand. As the false gospel that man is his own saviour, adds to the wilderness of no change, and man grapples with the tragedy we have today.

Christians are told in the midst of this wilderness world:

Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

Poetic Interlude II

INDIVIDUALS we be…

They are in an awful hurry to take sides

Opinion against opinion – doth arise

But they all look the same to my eyes

Just different variations on a theme

All races have eyes – that makes ‘em the same

All have noses ears and backsides

Seem the same to me

i.e. outwardly we recognise.

However inwardly –

all humans can be a surprise

Personalities differ from troop to troop

If I ever meet two the same – I’ll keep you in the loop

‘Cause you see – you ain’t me – and I ain’t you

And if you want to be me – I’m afraid

there’s nothing you can do.

You are – who you are – who you are – is a surprise

by what you come-out-with from inside

And only as I hear your friendly greeting

Will the experience be a pleasant meeting

Peace man!’ My generation used to say

Is peace what you are looking for today?

Let’s tolerate – we won’t all agree

But I’ll treat you with respect – if you treat me…

To a cup of coffee or a cup of tea.

Lewd Fellows…

LEWD FELLOWS

This is a long passage of scripture I know.

And maybe as you contemplate your visit to the golf club, you must rush-off to the supermarket, the kids need bathed for tomorrow, you must finish that piece of DIY, the boss wants you to put in some extra hours…. Whatever the reason, the challenge – is to read it to the end, all eleven verses.

Acts 17 King James Version (KJV)

17 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:

2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.

8 And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.

9 And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.

10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

I prefer to get past the ‘thees’ and ‘thous’ of the King James Version of the bible and use the NKJV. (New King James Version).

But I have to admit to liking some of the KJV’s language.

Surely it must stir our curiosity when we read lines like this:

 ‘lewd fellows of the baser sort,”

– wow! – is this a biker gang? Is this the name of a punk band? How about a bunch of ‘hooligans’, if the term ‘hooligan’ is still relevant today?

There is no shortage, I guess, of terms that describe groups of human beings who basically are rebels in society.

Descriptive perhaps of those with a tendency to violence, fuelled by ‘whatever’ – substance intake.

Paul and Silas, previously beaten and cast into prison as the result of mob violence and mob opinion, are out, and have moved on.

Paul starts again to fulfil his commission from God, by engaging with religious types, and preaching from the scriptures.

Some believed the word he shared. Others didn’t. Nothing new under the sun, – for so it is today.

But certain Jews moved with envy. Envy? Why were they envious?

Well, you tell me?

But the result of that envy leads us to this great descriptive six word categorisation of those who ‘set all the city on an uproar…’

‘lewd fellows of the baser sort,”

For those of us who like language for it’s own sake, not always looking initially for deep meaningful communication, but those who like the ‘one liners’ and the sound of words for their own sake – well – this rolls off my tongue and gets my attention, before I even get to the spiritual understanding of the passage.

‘lewd fellows of the baser sort,”

Hmmm?

Sticking with the novelty of this descriptive phrase, we get the picture by relating what other translations of the Bible have given us for this one-liner. Here are just a few –

Vile fellows of the rabble, – some thugs from [the lowlifes in] the market place, – some wicked men (ruffians and rascals), – some vicious men from the riffraff.

Need I say more, we get the picture.

Yet listen to this description of the very man who was beaten and thrown into prison (the one these men also wanted to attack) where (if you want to check it out a chapter or so back) he engages in a private worship service in chains, with his friend Silas:

VIOLENTLY ARROGANT – 

Paul speaking:-

1 Timothy 1:12-14 (NKJV)

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,

13 although I was FORMERLY A BLASPHEMER, A PERSECUTOR, AND AN INSOLENT MAN; (violently arrogant) but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

Paul – pre-Christian conversion – was convinced he was serving God, as he went about – in a violently arrogant manner, dare I say it? – just like:

A ‘lewd fellow of the baser sort…”

The difference was he (Paul the apostle, formerly Saul of Tarsus) reached a point in his life where what he did ignorantly IN UNBELIEF he forsook and humbled to the ground on a road to Damascus – he called out to Christ and became a follower of the One who can and did set a woman free from the devil. (Acts 16)

The devil servers in rebellion came against the converted Paul because he was instrumental in setting the girl free and here in another situation envious religious types procured the help of ‘lewd fellows of the baser sort,’ to carry out an attack against the Christians.

What difference is there in all of us sinners across the globe, whether we happen to persecute Christians or cause riots, or not?

The difference is whether a change of heart and mind in turning to Christ the Saviour takes place or not. As Bob Dylan addressing the Saviour wrote ‘I owe you some kind of an apology”.

………………………………………

Dictionary re: Lewd – Old English lǣwede, of unknown origin. The original sense was ‘belonging to the laity’; in Middle English, ‘belonging to the common people, vulgar’, and later ‘worthless, vile, evil’, leading to the current sense.

Can’t get through

Hi to all! – I’ve had a lull in posting, (and ‘liking’) due to technical problems with my iMac. I start back on track with something I may have examined before:

CAN’T GET THROUGH

What can we say to the person who can’t get through?

Let’s have a pause here.

If I don’t continue – the interpretations of this opening remark are potentially endless.

Get through to what?

Well regardless of whether we admit it to ourselves or not – there is a spiritual vacuum within every person on the planet.

Or more correctly put – we are all born with this spiritual vacuum within. Some have handled this by dismissing the idea of there being a spiritual vacuum. Dismissed chiefly, by ignoring it.

For every affirmative statement of the fact that there is a Living God – there is a doubt antithetically offering itself to our minds.

I think of those who at one time examined the Christian message and slowly but surely came to realise how positive and true it was. Then having taken the necessary steps as instructed by others ‘in the know’ – they proceeded to call on God in prayer.

Only to find they ‘couldn’t get through’ – that it didn’t seem to make any difference. Nothing happened. I didn’t experience a thing. I tried that and it didn’t work.

So obviously (they conclude) the only thing remaining to do – is walk away.

Question: Doubt. – What is it?

Answer: Lack of faith –

 ‘Wow! Thanks for that’. I hear you say.

So there you where – you decided to act on the call to prayer exhortation from your Christian friend. Or as a result of your own deliberations over the Bible verses you had read.

‘They that call on the name of The Lord shall be saved.’

You called – but doubt stepped in and said ‘Has God said…?’

So you felt nothing – thoughts were swimming – no result – what’s this about? Didn’t work for me.

Doubt then began to speak in familiar language – what about all the other religions, surely they have something to offer also?

How can we be sure of any of this stuff?

I mean I prayed and nothing different happened to me. I didn’t sense anything different.

But who told you nothing happened? Your emotions? Your body? Or did your will just decide nothing happened?

‘Well my mind told me to consider all the teachings of the other religions as this was only fair, who is to say that Christianity only, has the answers?’

So now we have expressed a number of thoughts the end result of which, nevertheless is – doubt.

So in this very brief examination of faith and doubt, one thing we can safely conclude is found in the example and experience of one who listened to the preaching of Paul the Apostle.

Acts 26:27-29 (NKJV)

27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”

28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

29 And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.”

Persuasion is ours, for many reasons. When Christ heals you, and you know it – despite the skepticism of others – you are persuaded.

When you are burdened down with guilt, and Christ forgives you and frees you from guilt, lifting the heavy weight – you are persuaded.

When you set out to write a book exposing the myth of Christ and His death and resurrection – and by examining the scriptures you are soundly convinced that contrary to your doubts – it (the bible) is the authentic means by which God has communicated to mankind – you become persuaded – like Frank Morrison who wrote the book ‘Who Moved the Stone’.

In my own case I came to recognise the total reality that God’s hand was imparting unmerited favour to me – He so touched my life – I could only but bow to His supernatural hand of persuasion upon me.

He moved first – I responded.

Becoming persuaded, calls for a certain tenaciousness in searching until we find the answers we are looking for.

We need to recognise that doubt will knock at the door, sometimes persistently, but a tenacious examination of the truth of the scriptures will lead to being fully persuaded.

Romans 4:20-22 (KJV)

20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Lost friendship

A Scenario…

A true friend indeed. One you have known from childhood. Then came the day when your friendship was tested. It was too painful for him to remain loyal to you.

In his own eyes – he would have suffered much loss while attempting to be true to you and your friendship.

Nevertheless you expect him to be true. And now you are devastated that you separated, and your friendship was split apart.

You couldn’t agree. You couldn’t forgive his actions. You can’t continue to argue to no avail. He did what he did. He did what he reckoned he just had to do.

Such is the human drama – the storyline differing from scenario to scenario, but the emotional conflict the same.

Write your own story to the tune of these words.

The script consists of – friendship – longstanding, conflict, disagreement, damage, hurt, separation, unforgiveness, and loss.

Human weakness that couldn’t handle the challenge of remaining true, couldn’t take the resultant disadvantage to the self, couldn’t embrace the ‘friends at all costs’ ethos.

The ability to disagree and lose the unity of friendship is common to man.

The sombre notes of dissension set in. On and on go the wrangling words trying to solve the situation.

The bickering eventually only stopping by separation and a long distance put between the persons involved.

It all comes from a nature man is born with. But many – don’t even accept this concept.

James 4/

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war…

The wars come from our desires, the old word is lust, – an uptight defensive, verbal hitting out at others – that catches alight – further, to sometimes awful consequences resulting in physical violence.

How is man capable of such friendship-destroying episodes?

He is  capable because it comes naturally.

These words I found in a Christian song, by DC Talk:—

Tell me what’s going on inside of me – I despise my own behaviour –This only serves to confirm my suspicions –That I’m still a man in need of a Saviour

I could end the post here.

But before I do (having highlighted the problem) – the closing statements are –

God is not the author of confusion. It is Christ’s desire that all believers in Him as the Son of God – be one in Spirit – one in The Lord.

If there must be a parting of the ways – then forgiveness must be that choice of the will, and from thenceforth no abiding return is to be made to the former hurt and disagreement.

And when the person or persons find themselves re-visiting the hurts – they/we must consign these thoughts to the cross by faith.

Ideally all should reconcile as Christian brothers and sisters. But unfortunately the floor of the church is littered with broken relationships, and we can’t pretend differently.

We can only exhort each other to reconcile in humility, laying aside the right to be right.

Finding, and returning to what we all hold dearly, holding The Head from which all the body is supplied and knit in love.

If the other party(ies) won’t come with you to the foot of the cross again. Then you/we must keep our own hearts in the choice of forgiveness.

(see Colossian 2/19)

Conundrum (of sorts?)

CONUNDRUM (of sorts)

Some time-a-go a brother in Christ (with tongue in cheek) nicknamed me – ‘Brother Conundrum’. This idea was not based on how he found me – but rather as a ‘synonym’ for my surname: Riddles.

So – true to my name – here is somewhat of a conundrum.

I have noticed folks who hit the like button after reading my posts, those whom I have investigated with a view of reciprocating, – leave me wondering why they hit the like button in the first place?

Because some, not all of course, leave me with the distinct impression that their ‘philosophy’ of life is not in line with my own beliefs. In fact they are worlds apart.

But no doubt I am not alone in this observation, as you compare your own notes with other posts, by other persons.

I guess this poses the question again, ‘why do we hit the like button’? (I visited this some time ago…)

As one blogger put it – ‘he hits the like button to show his appreciation for the effort the person put into writing it in the first place’. Quite a noble reason, I think.

Here are just a few more possibilities –

‘I don’t agree with it – but like the way it is written’, ‘I hit the like button to let them know there is room for us all, even if I don’t agree with them…’, ‘my ‘like’ is ‘points for effort’, ‘I liked one sentence and it was enough to hit the ‘like’ button, but I don’t accept the rest’ and so on…

This might work out as – 

Atheists liking faith-filled posts. Skeptics loving the optimism of a faith blog. People who follow other religions, putting the words through the sieve of their religious beliefs, making my words into something I do not intend.

Again just a few ideas of how people hear things in different ways and having properly mis-interpreted 😳 find something to ‘like’.

All this goes to establish in my mind the need for God’s help, if any of us are to properly understand the scriptures and therefore spiritual matters. Or do we make do with the whole conundrum of things?

The help of the Third Person of the Godhead – the Holy Spirit is needed to enable anyone to understand the things of God, and therefore there is need for His help in order to understand what I write about His Word (The Bible).

Or to be more succinct – His help to understand the Bible.

I wonder are you familiar with…, have you ever read… the following scripture?

I Corinthians 2/

These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.

I draw your attention to ‘nor can he know them’.

And closing this post abruptly – I ask you to please go on ‘liking’, but I…

Ephesians 1/16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

Poetic Interlude I

POETIC INTERLUDE I

Thought Journey

As you journey on the highway of your mind

And change from lane to lane

you hit the bad roads and jiggle around

Seems there’s no

pothole-free-smoothness to drive

And for a vacation you drift back through time

Leaving bad memories for good

Prose left for the rhyme

Jaunting cars of rickety thought

Intermingle with soundness of cerebral ‘finds’

Then you take-off again on flights of fancy

Like the baseball bases you visit –

running round again with intermittent fun

Where are you going in all this stuff?

You hear the stopping horn and

start to clock-out

With some menial chore to attend to – previously left out

All thoughts abandoned except

the task at hand

Now banish irrelevances for something

more profound

But you just can’t reach it – that lost chord

of a thought

You’re not the man you want to be

And all of this is fraught

with anxiety

You decide to get out of here

Go have a night on the town

But you’re past that now – as you act your age

Living in the present –

Best to make the right decisions count

Everything is held up to the light

You don’t have to struggle or even fight

In this battle of life – time takes you away

To the last round-up of frailty and repose

But solace is here where God is to be found

So lie back after a stretch and a yawn

Tomorrow you can sing another song

Give yourself a certificate of

passed-with-credit

And make your way next time to a distinction

Your life is your own – it is in your power

But when you give it over as daily you should

Don’t lie to God – ask Him to judge

As random thoughts will find themselves together

as-kith-and-kin

Some sense will be made out of

strung-together verse

You stop at the great imponderables for solace

And know you’ll find acceptance

in The Beloved.

Religion

Religion

You have heard the saying to ‘squeeze the life out of something’.

This is what religion does.

Of course in order to sound plausible I need to start by defining ‘religion’.

My plausibility is not the type that involves deception, by the way.

‘Religion’ is a term used – in Christian churches that have experienced the life-giving power of Christ, – to highlight the opposite-experience. 

Another word that is used is ‘Legalism’, when describing the opposite to ‘joy unspeakable and full of Glory’.

The Pharisees are usually offered as examples of this negative use of the word ‘Religion’.

They were caught up in the outward appearance of things, they added to the Word of God, with man-made concepts, rules and regulations.

They majored on the minors and minored on the majors.

Jesus speaking of the Pharisees said:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

Until Jesus completed God’s revelation to man communicating it in His New Covenant – the law stood it’s ground, as it were, as given in the Old Testament.

Jesus didn’t destroy the law – He fulfilled it.

Forgive my analogy but for me (as an artist/painter) I see the Old Testament Law and its demands as the drawing before the colour was added.

I know – not the soundest of analogies.

But Christ came to give us Life and Life more abundant. Whereas many Christians are like the Pharisees who wish to bind folks with heavy burdens.

One gentleman responding to a gospel invitation to become a Christian – was heard to say: ‘No thanks I have enough problems of my own..!’

You see all he heard was an invitation to ‘religious rules’ and a lack-lustre life of asceticism.

Jesus puts it this way, illustrating lifeless drudgery –

For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

God has His laws – but they are the laws of liberty!’

James 1/25

But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it…

Not religious servitude to a hard taskmaster. But words of life to guide us in our behaviour.

Speaking of the liberty offered to everyone who will believe – God says:

II Corinthians 3/

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

The Holy Spirit is the life-giver and He then feeds us spiritually with His word/law.

None of this makes sense until we meet Him.

But the purpose of this post is to say that ‘religion’ in the negative sense, in the sense that I have just described, and alluded to, will neither satisfy you or set you free from the influence of sin.

Only a living relationship with the Living God will do that.

There is a proper use of the word religion in James 1/27 (If you care to have a look).

As I write this it crosses my mind that I may well have written on this before? Well, I shall do so again.

But it is extremely important that we are not deceived into a Pseudo-version of Christianity.

As you enter the New Year – please search for the real thing!