Monthly Archives: September 2011

“Please turn off electronic devices and fasten your seat belt for take-off.”

How about this: as you are talking on the cell phone, the house phone rings, the cell phone bings with email, plays another sound for text message and your husband asks you a question. This is just a small part of life and yet all encompassing at times, especially when you are supposedly retired!

We need some uninterrupted time. “Please turn off electronic devices and fasten your seat belt for take-off.” Never were truer words ever said. A sound mind requires this.

On airplanes, the pilot asks you to turn off certain devices below an altitude of 10,000 feet. The electromagnetic signals could interfere with vital transmissions to the cockpit. This happens to us too! The vital transmission from God via His Word can  be effected by incoming static if we don’t give it our undivided attention.

So many things draw our attention.  We are bombarded by phones, computers, TV, movies (DVD or otherwise) and radio.  We are exposed daily to hundreds of opinions. We don’t have to adhere to them, but they take up our headspace even when we disagree. We just drift along accepting and rejecting this or that without realizing how much time is eaten up by stuff that we can’t do anything about.

Electronic communication is not bad in and of itself. There are great benefits, like being able to text a picture of a sleeping baby to new parents when they go out on date night, sending great Bible verses to someone who needs to be encouraged or hearing the gunfire live from the duck blind in North Dakota! I can fellowship with anyone any moment, any hour!

In order for our lives to be really rich, however, we need to protect our ‘uptime’ with God. He can communicate sometimes faster than a text message, but we have to be able to hear it. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a device that would turn everything off by one single button (Do I need to copyright this idea?) 

Be eager to find out all about God and what he approves, a seeker of truth who has no cause to be ashamed, analyzing and correctly applying it to life. II Timothy 2:15 (my modified version)

By focusing on God consistently we can soar to greater altitudes (seated in the heavenly view- the world looks so small from an airplane) and we are not so dependent on only ‘speed dialing’  in emergencies!


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Wisdom Is First Pure

We hear  a lot of rhetoric these days about wisdom. Is its source philosophy, science, psychology, politics or even religion?

True wisdom has to come from somewhere and as many of us realize, it only comes from God.  We can see God’s wisdom everywhere, in the design of a tree, in the beauty of rainbows, majestic mountains and canyons, and most importantly, in the beauty of His Word.

James 3:17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

God says “wisdom that is from above is first pure”. That is quite a qualification. First means first. The word ‘pure’ means holy, or uncontaminated. It is translated from the Greek word ‘hagnos’ (Link) and is related to the word ‘sanctified‘. As we stay in its wisdom, God’s word keeps us free of the contamination of the things that are evil in the world. THEN comes the peace and the rest of those qualities listed. There is only peace through the purity of truth. I know I can’t have peace without the truth. It is the truth that sets us free. So if we truly want to be free, there is no compromise on truth. It’s wisdom comes from God.

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The treatise of Romans is part of the ‘all truth’ that Jesus Christ spoke about in John 16:13. In verses 7-11 that truth is laid out:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 

Of sin, because they believe not on me;

Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more: 

Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

Three important subjects are covered in the seven church epistles: sin, righteousness and judgement. These are  the subjects of the great treatises, Romans, Ephesians, and Thessalonians that beautifully show what God has made us to be in light of the death, resurrection and ascension of His son.

Romans reproves the world of sin. Sin is the inattention to what God has done for us and the symptoms that result from that lack of attention. The recurring theme in Romans is believing in the grace and finished work of Jesus Christ.  Chapters 1-11 teaches about how the work of Christ has brought us to the place of also being called God’s sons. Chapters 12-16 teaches how to practically live in light of this.

Ephesians is the treatise about our righteousness and a Father’s love.

John 16:25-27 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

Chapters 1-3 of Ephesians specifically teach  about our righteousness, while chapters 4-6 is about how to practically apply it.

Thessalonians is about the hope, our future as believers lifted out from the present world and its dominions and spiritual lawlessness. It points to the eventual return of Jesus Christ.

The book of Romans is absolutely essential for our freedom in this life. It lays the foundation for living a life that honestly glorifies God. God has always desired to have a relationship with man. It started in Eden. Adam and Eve decided to ignore God’s instructions and fell.  Jesus Christ took the fall and got up so that our relationship with God could be on a permanent basis. Ignorance is not bliss in this case. Romans is a book to pay attention to.

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Superstition, idolatry, and hypocrisy have ample wages, but truth goes a-begging.” Martin Luther

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