9/27/11

The progression of "Who"

This is a picture of me; the year was 1956 and westerns were "The Thing".  Those of you who have only known me for 30 or 40 years will not recognize the photo; I HAVE CHANGED!!!  This is completely normal.  We start out learning our name (our "who") and then learn what the "who" really means as we progress through life.  It happens by "what" we learn, "when" we learn it, "where" we are "when" we learn it and "why" we learn the things we do.  And we become a part of the lives of others along the way; parents, friends, our spouse and then children and grandchildren.  Our progression in life becomes part of the progression of others and dies only when that memory ceases with the death of others.  Or does it?  Is there more to life than this?  Consider the following chapters from the book of Galatians...

Galatians 1:1-24 (WEB)
1) Paul, an apostle (not from men, neither through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead),
2) and all the brothers who are with me, to the assemblies of Galatia:
3) Grace to you and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ,
4) who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father—
5) to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
6) I marvel that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different “good news”;
7) and there isn’t another “good news.” Only there are some who trouble you, and want to pervert the Good News of Christ.
8) But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any “good news” other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed.
9) As we have said before, so I now say again: if any man preaches to you any “good news” other than that which you received, let him be cursed.
10) For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I wouldn’t be a servant of Christ.
11) But I make known to you, brothers, concerning the Good News which was preached by me, that it is not according to man.
12) For neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came to me through revelation of Jesus Christ.
13) For you have heard of my way of living in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the assembly of God, and ravaged it.
14) I advanced in the Jews’ religion beyond many of my own age among my countrymen, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
15) But when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me through his grace,
16) to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I didn’t immediately confer with flesh and blood,
17) nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia. Then I returned to Damascus.
18) Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Peter, and stayed with him fifteen days.
19) But of the other apostles I saw no one, except James, the Lord’s brother.
20) Now about the things which I write to you, behold, before God, I’m not lying.
21) Then I came to the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
22) I was still unknown by face to the assemblies of Judea which were in Christ,
23) but they only heard: “He who once persecuted us now preaches the faith that he once tried to destroy.”
24) And they glorified God in me.

Galatians 2:1-21 (WEB)
1) Then after a period of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus also with me.
2) I went up by revelation, and I laid before them the Good News which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately before those who were respected, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.
3) But not even Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.
4) This was because of the false brothers secretly brought in, who stole in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage;
5) to whom we gave no place in the way of subjection, not for an hour, that the truth of the Good News might continue with you.
6) But from those who were reputed to be important (whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God doesn’t show partiality to man)—they, I say, who were respected imparted nothing to me,
7) but to the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the Good News for the uncircumcision, even as Peter with the Good News for the circumcision
8) (for he who appointed Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision appointed me also to the Gentiles);
9) and when they perceived the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, they who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcision.
10) They only asked us to remember the poor—which very thing I was also zealous to do.
11) But when Peter came to Antioch, I resisted him to his face, because he stood condemned.
12) For before some people came from James, he ate with the Gentiles. But when they came, he drew back and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.
13) And the rest of the Jews joined him in his hypocrisy; so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
14) But when I saw that they didn’t walk uprightly according to the truth of the Good News, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live as the Gentiles do, and not as the Jews do, why do you compel the Gentiles to live as the Jews do?
15) “We, being Jews by nature, and not Gentile sinners,
16) yet knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law, because no flesh will be justified by the works of the law.
17) But if, while we sought to be justified in Christ, we ourselves also were found sinners, is Christ a servant of sin? Certainly not!
18) For if I build up again those things which I destroyed, I prove myself a law-breaker.
19) For I, through the law, died to the law, that I might live to God.
20) I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.
21) I don’t make void the grace of God. For if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nothing!”

Paul is a man unlike any other I have know; gentle, compassionate and yet uncompromising and very powerful in spirit.  God saw something in him and chose him to spread "The truth of the Gospel" far and wide.  From persecutor of Christians to evangelist extraordinaire, this devote Jew became the poster boy for Christianity.  His life is the story of what God can do with a man; how he can be molded so that the world can be changed.  Today, think about your life; how you came to be what you are today and what you hope to be tomorrow.  If God is part of the progression, then you will never really die, because you will live forever and the only thing that will change will be time.  Humm, I wonder if there are cameras in heaven?

OT Bible Reading 9/27

Sept. 27
Psalms 109-111

Psa 109:1 God of my praise, don't remain silent,
Psa 109:2 for they have opened the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of deceit against me. They have spoken to me with a lying tongue.
Psa 109:3 They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause.
Psa 109:4 In return for my love, they are my adversaries; but I am in prayer.
Psa 109:5 They have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.
Psa 109:6 Set a wicked man over him. Let an adversary stand at his right hand.
Psa 109:7 When he is judged, let him come forth guilty. Let his prayer be turned into sin.
Psa 109:8 Let his days be few. Let another take his office.
Psa 109:9 Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
Psa 109:10 Let his children be wandering beggars. Let them be sought from their ruins.
Psa 109:11 Let the creditor seize all that he has. Let strangers plunder the fruit of his labor.
Psa 109:12 Let there be none to extend kindness to him, neither let there be any to have pity on his fatherless children.
Psa 109:13 Let his posterity be cut off. In the generation following let their name be blotted out.
Psa 109:14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered by Yahweh. Don't let the sin of his mother be blotted out.
Psa 109:15 Let them be before Yahweh continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth;
Psa 109:16 because he didn't remember to show kindness, but persecuted the poor and needy man, the broken in heart, to kill them.
Psa 109:17 Yes, he loved cursing, and it came to him. He didn't delight in blessing, and it was far from him.
Psa 109:18 He clothed himself also with cursing as with his garment. It came into his inward parts like water, like oil into his bones.
Psa 109:19 Let it be to him as the clothing with which he covers himself, for the belt that is always around him.
Psa 109:20 This is the reward of my adversaries from Yahweh, of those who speak evil against my soul.
Psa 109:21 But deal with me, Yahweh the Lord, for your name's sake, because your loving kindness is good, deliver me;
Psa 109:22 for I am poor and needy. My heart is wounded within me.
Psa 109:23 I fade away like an evening shadow. I am shaken off like a locust.
Psa 109:24 My knees are weak through fasting. My body is thin and lacks fat.
Psa 109:25 I have also become a reproach to them. When they see me, they shake their head.
Psa 109:26 Help me, Yahweh, my God. Save me according to your loving kindness;
Psa 109:27 that they may know that this is your hand; that you, Yahweh, have done it.
Psa 109:28 They may curse, but you bless. When they arise, they will be shamed, but your servant shall rejoice.
Psa 109:29 Let my adversaries be clothed with dishonor. Let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe.
Psa 109:30 I will give great thanks to Yahweh with my mouth. Yes, I will praise him among the multitude.
Psa 109:31 For he will stand at the right hand of the needy, to save him from those who judge his soul.

Psa 110:1 Yahweh says to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool for your feet."
Psa 110:2 Yahweh will send forth the rod of your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of your enemies.
Psa 110:3 Your people offer themselves willingly in the day of your power, in holy array. Out of the womb of the morning, you have the dew of your youth.
Psa 110:4 Yahweh has sworn, and will not change his mind: "You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek."
Psa 110:5 The Lord is at your right hand. He will crush kings in the day of his wrath.
Psa 110:6 He will judge among the nations. He will heap up dead bodies. He will crush the ruler of the whole earth.
Psa 110:7 He will drink of the brook in the way; therefore he will lift up his head.

Psa 111:1 Praise Yah! I will give thanks to Yahweh with my whole heart, in the council of the upright, and in the congregation.
Psa 111:2 Yahweh's works are great, pondered by all those who delight in them.
Psa 111:3 His work is honor and majesty. His righteousness endures forever.
Psa 111:4 He has caused his wonderful works to be remembered. Yahweh is gracious and merciful.
Psa 111:5 He has given food to those who fear him. He always remembers his covenant.
Psa 111:6 He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.
Psa 111:7 The works of his hands are truth and justice. All his precepts are sure.
Psa 111:8 They are established forever and ever. They are done in truth and uprightness.
Psa 111:9 He has sent redemption to his people. He has ordained his covenant forever. His name is holy and awesome!
Psa 111:10 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom. All those who do his work have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

NT Bible Reading 9/27

Sept. 27
2 Corinthians 7

2Co 7:1 Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2Co 7:2 Open your hearts to us. We wronged no one. We corrupted no one. We took advantage of no one.
2Co 7:3 I say this not to condemn you, for I have said before, that you are in our hearts to die together and live together.
2Co 7:4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you. Great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I overflow with joy in all our affliction.
2Co 7:5 For even when we had come into Macedonia, our flesh had no relief, but we were afflicted on every side. Fightings were outside. Fear was inside.
2Co 7:6 Nevertheless, he who comforts the lowly, God, comforted us by the coming of Titus;
2Co 7:7 and not by his coming only, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, while he told us of your longing, your mourning, and your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced still more.
2Co 7:8 For though I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it, though I did regret it. For I see that my letter made you sorry, though just for a while.
2Co 7:9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you were made sorry to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly way, that you might suffer loss by us in nothing.
2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation, which brings no regret. But the sorrow of the world works death.
2Co 7:11 For behold, this same thing, that you were made sorry in a godly way, what earnest care it worked in you. Yes, what defense, indignation, fear, longing, zeal, and vengeance! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be pure in the matter.
2Co 7:12 So although I wrote to you, I wrote not for his cause that did the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered the wrong, but that your earnest care for us might be revealed in you in the sight of God.
2Co 7:13 Therefore we have been comforted. In our comfort we rejoiced the more exceedingly for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.
2Co 7:14 For if in anything I have boasted to him on your behalf, I was not disappointed. But as we spoke all things to you in truth, so our glorying also which I made before Titus was found to be truth.
2Co 7:15 His affection is more abundantly toward you, while he remembers all of your obedience, how with fear and trembling you received him.
2Co 7:16 I rejoice that in everything I am of good courage concerning you.