The merger of pride, intelligence and humility

Many thanks to Darlene for getting me interested in "The Big Bang Theory"!!!  The "intellectuals" on the show are very funny because in spite of all their obvious brain power, they lack basic social skills, fail to appreciate the value of others they deem "lower than themselves" and have never really matured beyond the age of 12.  Pride has a way of blinding one to the truth and often exalts "self" at the expense of others.  The Corinthian church had this problem and Paul addresses it in chapter 10 of his second letter to them...

2 Corinthians, Chapter 10
 1 Now I Paul, myself, entreat you by the humility and gentleness of Christ; I who in your presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you.  2 Yes, I beg you that I may not, when present, show courage with the confidence with which I intend to be bold against some, who consider us to be walking according to the flesh.  3 For though we walk in the flesh, we don’t wage war according to the flesh;  4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds,  5 throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;  6 and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience will be made full.  7 Do you look at things only as they appear in front of your face? If anyone trusts in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again with himself, that, even as he is Christ’s, so also we are Christ’s.  8 For though I should boast somewhat abundantly concerning our authority, (which the Lord gave for building you up, and not for casting you down) I will not be disappointed,  9 that I may not seem as if I desire to terrify you by my letters.  10 For, “His letters”, they say, “are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech is despised.”  11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such are we also in deed when we are present.  12 For we are not bold to number or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But they themselves, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding. 13 But we will not boast beyond proper limits, but within the boundaries with which God appointed to us, which reach even to you.  14 For we don’t stretch ourselves too much, as though we didn’t reach to you. For we came even as far as to you with the Good News of Christ,  15 not boasting beyond proper limits in other men’s labors, but having hope that as your faith grows, we will be abundantly enlarged by you in our sphere of influence,  16 so as to preach the Good News even to the parts beyond you, not to boast in what someone else has already done.  17 But “he who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.”  18 For it isn’t he who commends himself who is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

 Ultimately, it is not man who is the judge of all things, but rather God!!!  The truly intelligent, mature and sophisticated adult will naturally go beyond themselves and seek the pinnacle of perfections - God!!!  Go ahead, read Dr. Sheldon Cooper's quotes and then realize that for all his intelligence he is without understanding (see verse 12 above).  LORD, help us to be everything we are capable of being, but at the same time remember that you God Almighty and WE ARE NOT!!!

Bible Reading, Jan. 5

Jan. 5
Genesis 5

Gen 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, he made him in God's likeness.
Gen 5:2 He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
Gen 5:3 Adam lived one hundred thirty years, and became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
Gen 5:4 The days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:5 All the days that Adam lived were nine hundred thirty years, then he died.
Gen 5:6 Seth lived one hundred five years, and became the father of Enosh.
Gen 5:7 Seth lived after he became the father of Enosh eight hundred seven years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:8 All the days of Seth were nine hundred twelve years, then he died.
Gen 5:9 Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan.
Gen 5:10 Enosh lived after he became the father of Kenan, eight hundred fifteen years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:11 All the days of Enosh were nine hundred five years, then he died.
Gen 5:12 Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalalel.
Gen 5:13 Kenan lived after he became the father of Mahalalel eight hundred forty years, and became the father of sons and daughters
Gen 5:14 and all the days of Kenan were nine hundred ten years, then he died.
Gen 5:15 Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Jared.
Gen 5:16 Mahalalel lived after he became the father of Jared eight hundred thirty years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:17 All the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred ninety-five years, then he died.
Gen 5:18 Jared lived one hundred sixty-two years, and became the father of Enoch.
Gen 5:19 Jared lived after he became the father of Enoch eight hundred years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:20 All the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty-two years, then he died.
Gen 5:21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah.
Gen 5:22 Enoch walked with God after he became the father of Methuselah three hundred years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:23 All the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty-five years.
Gen 5:24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
Gen 5:25 Methuselah lived one hundred eighty-seven years, and became the father of Lamech.
Gen 5:26 Methuselah lived after he became the father of Lamech seven hundred eighty-two years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:27 All the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty-nine years, then he died.
Gen 5:28 Lamech lived one hundred eighty-two years, and became the father of a son,
Gen 5:29 and he named him Noah, saying, "This same will comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, because of the ground which Yahweh has cursed."
Gen 5:30 Lamech lived after he became the father of Noah five hundred ninety-five years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:31 All the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy-seven years, then he died.
Gen 5:32 Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Jan. 5,6
Matthew 3

Mat 3:1 In those days, John the Baptizer came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying,
Mat 3:2 "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!"
Mat 3:3 For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight."
Mat 3:4 Now John himself wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.
Mat 3:5 Then people from Jerusalem, all of Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him.
Mat 3:6 They were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for his baptism, he said to them, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Mat 3:8 Therefore bring forth fruit worthy of repentance!
Mat 3:9 Don't think to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Mat 3:10 "Even now the axe lies at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn't bring forth good fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.
Mat 3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor. He will gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire."
Mat 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.
Mat 3:14 But John would have hindered him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?"
Mat 3:15 But Jesus, answering, said to him, "Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him.
Mat 3:16 Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him.
Mat 3:17 Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

Ecclesiastes, The Preacher's Advice To The Young, Mark Copeland

                       "THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES"

             The Preacher's Advice To The Young (11:9-12:7)


1. As a result of his search for meaning in life "under the sun"...
   a. The Preacher's concluded that "all is vanity" - e.g., 1:2,14;
   b. Even one who lives many joyful years can still anticipate days of
      darkness - 11:8

2. While life "under the sun" (viewed purely from an earthly 
   perspective) is vanity...
   a. That does not mean one should simply give up in despair
   b. Throughout, the Preacher has counseled his readers to enjoy what
      good God has given one - e.g., 2:24; 3:12,13,22; 5:18-20; 7:14;

3. The lessons gleaned through the Preacher's own experience need to be
   learned by everyone, especially the young, otherwise they may...
   a. Waste years running after things that really don't satisfy
   b. Miss out on the true enjoyment of life available to them in their

[To make sure that young people do not miss the lessons he has learned,
the Preacher directs his attention towards them as he prepares to draw
his book to a close.  In 11:9-12:7, we find "The Preacher's Advice To
The Young", the first of which is...]


      1. He wants you to be joyful, to do things that are pleasing
      2. Just as the Preacher had counseled earlier - 9:7-10
      -- Therefore take advantage of the youthful capacity to enjoy

      1. You will have to give an account for what you do
      2. God will judge both the righteous and the wicked - cf. 3:17;
      -- Therefore be selective in what you do to have fun!

[God has created man with the energy to enjoy life, especially when we
are young.  As long as that energy is directed in the right channels,
youth is to be a time of great joy!  Along the same vein, the Preacher
advises the young to...]


      1. Sorrow deprives one of the joy they should have in their youth
      2. Enough sorrow comes without our help...make sure that we do
         does not add to it through youthful indiscretions (which leads
         to the next point)

      1. Youthful indiscretions contribute to much sorrow
         a. Such as the wrong kind of companions - e.g., Pr 1:10-19
         b. Such as succumbing to the enticements of the wicked - e.g.,
            Pr 5:1-14
      2. Childhood and youth are fleeting...don't waste them on things
         that only bring much grief and sorrow in life

[Youth, while short, can be a wonderful time of life.  The key is to
heed the next admonition, which has already been alluded in references
concerning the judgment, and that is to...]


      1. Great men of God served Him from their youth (e.g., Joseph,
         Samuel, David, Solomon, Josiah, Daniel)
      2. Jesus provided the proper example as well - Lk 2:41-52
      3. Timothy, who had known the Scriptures from childhood, was to
         be an example to others - cf. 2Ti 3:15; 1Ti 4:12

      1. Even as it helped Joseph - e.g., Gen 39:7-12
      2. And as it helped Daniel - e.g., Dan 1:8

[Serving God in your youth will help avoid many of the things that
bring sorrow, and prepare you for the "days of darkness" (11:8) that
will come.  This leads us to the final point in "The Preacher's Advice
To The Young"...]


      1. Presuming you live long enough
      2. As already stated, these days will be many - 11:8
         a. They will be days in which little pleasure will be found 
            - 12:1
         b. The darkening of the lights of heaven denoting a time of
            affliction and sadness (Barnes) - 12:2

      1. The Preacher uses various figures to depict the body in old
         age and death - 12:3-7
      2. What the figures of verses 3-6 possibly represent:
         a. The keepers of the house tremble (the arms weaken)
         b. The strong men bow down (the legs become frail) 
         c. The grinders cease because they are few (the teeth fall
         d. Those that look through the windows grow dim (the eyes lose
            their sight)
         e. The doors are shut in the streets (the ears become hard of
         f. The sound of the grinding is low (the mouth and speech
            become unintelligible)
         g. When one rises up at the sound of a bird (the elderly
            easily awakened)
         h. And all the daughters of music are brought low (the voice
            no longer able to produce music)
         i. They are afraid of height (their fear of falling)
         j. And of terrors in the way (no longer feeling invincible)
         k. When the almond tree blossoms (the wakefulness of old age
            setting in)
         l. The grasshopper is a burden (an old man, bowed like the
            insect, able to move only with some difficulty)
         m. And desire fails (fleshly desires wane)
         n. For man goes to his eternal home, And the mourners go about
            the streets (an obvious reference to death)
         o. The remaining figures, alluding to decay of the body
            1) Before the silver cord (the spinal cord) is loosed 
            2) The golden bowl (the skull) is broken 
            3) The pitcher (the heart) shattered at the fountain 
            4) The wheel (the pelvis) broken at the well 
      3. Finally, the body returns to the dust, and the spirit returns
         to God - 12:7
      -- The purpose of such a description is not to depress the young,
         but to instill the proper degree of sobriety (seriousness), a
         trait becoming the young - cf. Tit 2:6


1. The challenges our youth face are great...
   a. The temptations before them are many
   b. The allurements of the world promise much, but deliver little
   c. The young are very susceptible to depression and despair
   -- In a world in which life "under the sun" is vanity, they need all
      the help they can get

2. There is much in life that can be enjoyed, provided one heeds the
   Preacher's admonition:
   a. Rejoice in our youth
   b. Remove sorrow and evil
   c. Remember God in your youth
   d. Reflect upon the days ahead

As the apostle Paul wrote to Christians in Galatia, which certainly
applies to the young:

   "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows,
   that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the
   flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the
   Spirit reap everlasting life.  And let us not grow weary while
   doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose
   heart."  (Ga 6:7-9)

Do we wish to reap everlasting life?  Then let us sow to the Spirit by
walking after the Spirit (cf. Ga 5:16-23) and allowing the fruit of the
Spirit in our lives to produce the good things that we shall reap!