1/6/14

From Ben Fronczek... James (Part 8) Degrees of Faith


James (Part 8) Degrees of Faith 

      By Ben Fronczek

Our Text: James 2:14-26

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[e] and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” NIV

Before we continue with this lesson I would also like you to read  Matthew 14:25-31

  25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.   27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”  28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 
29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”  31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

The word translated faith is found translated one way or another some 422 time in the NIV.  In Hebrews 11, the NLT describes faith as “the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”   Simply put it’s what we believe.

And as I thought about the topic of faith this week I came to the realization that we definitely see different degrees of faith in different people throughout scripture.  And because of these different degrees, or levels of faith, we observe different responses from people depending upon how much faith they had, and in whom they had faith in. Some are described as having ‘no faith’. Signifying a total lack of believe.

Here in this story above, Jesus told Peter he had ‘little faith’ because even though he started out good and began walking on the water, he allowed himself to get distracted from Jesus and he allowed his own fear to get the best of him.  He changed his focus,  and so he began to sink.

 Others are said to have had, ‘great faith,’  like those we read about in Hebrews chapter 11. It’s the kind of faith James talks about here in James 2. It is seen when someone reaches that degree, when an individual believes enough to do something, even if that something is seen as an inconvenience, a danger, or even a sacrifice for the glory of God

And even though many of us may not rank with those listed in Hebrews 11, like Noah, Joseph, Moses and David, James makes this concept of faith practical for each of his readers including us.
As I thought about James teaching here in light of this series of lesson where we have been looking at what James had to write coming from the perspective of how he grew up in the same household as Jesus, I wondered what kind faith, or what degree of faith did James experience in his home as he was growing up.

And the only conclusion I came to was that it must have been a household of faith. Not perfect faith, but one with a lot of faith.  Even before the birth of Jesus I believe that God knew that Mary and Joseph were individuals with a strong belief and faith in Him. God knew the road that lay ahead of these two would not be an easy one, so He chose a couple that would remain strong and faithful and would depend on His guidance.

We see that later when we read that after Jesus was born they heard the word of the Lord and fled Israel to protect their son and from those who sought to do them harm. When they returned we read about Mary and Joseph faithfully making a yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.

Over and over Mary and Joseph heard and saw things that strengthened their faith. They saw and heard angels. They heard prophets declare amazing things about their son Jesus. And they even saw Jesus amaze those at the Temple when He was 12 years old.

Do you think that Mary and Joseph believed that God would take care of them? You bet!   Do you think that Mary and Joseph were going around worrying and fretting about this, that, and all kinds of things? I don’t think so.   I think they believed and had faith that God would take care of them. Do you think that this would have any effect on their children’s faith? Of course it did!
Even though Mary and Joseph may have only had a low income household, I believe they were rich when it came to what was really important.

In the first part of James 2, he wrote,  

5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?”  

I think James was writing from his own experience, growing up poor, yet rich.

When it come to real faith James cuts right to the point in our section today when he writes,

 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

I can just imagine James saying, “You’ve got people around you in great need and you have the means to help them, but don’t, and you call yourself a believer, a Christians? Come on now!”  He goes on to say that faith like that is a dead faith. Loving God, and loving Jesus also includes loving and treating others like you would want them to treat you.

Words of faith without any kind of action or related deeds, is a dead faith.  James then gives two examples, Abraham and Rahab who because they had faith and believed God enough, did something that could have cost them dearly.  (Abraham his son and Rahab her life for being a traitor to Jericho)

How much faith do you have? There is faith and believing that God is, but James says that even the demons believe that much. I find it interesting that even the demons believe and have more faith in the fact that God is than some of our college professors..

If you believe as the demons do that God exists that’s one degree of faith.  If you believe that the Son of God, Jesus was born to virgin and died for your sins on Calvary, and if you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, that’s another degree of faith. If you humbly trusted Him enough to actually repent and turn from your sin, and allowed Jesus remove your sin in the waters of Baptism to mend your relationship with God, that’s another degree of faith. In this your belief and faith have moved you to do some things that God asks us to do. If you humbly choose to regularly talk to Father in prayer and worship Him daily, including worshipping Him with other Christians on the first day of the week, that’s another degree of faith.  But James lets us know it doesn’t stop there. If you have the faith to start ministering to other’s in God’s name in a sacrificial way, that’s another degree. A higher degree of faith is reflected in how we treat others, especially those in need.

But I would dare to say it doesn’t even stop there. A higher degree of faith and belief in God will  be seen in how we conduct our self in other ways,  - How we talk… what we actually say when we do speak. – It will be seen in how willing and ready we are to forgive others. – It should also reflect in how positive and hopeful we are, or if we are negative, critical, and argumentative we will show something else. - It will also reflect in how generous you are at church and outside church. - It will also reflect in how we handle life, whether we are happy, at peace or worried, angry or just plain miserable.

In the Sermon on the Mt, in Matthew 6:25-34 read Jesus instructs His disciples not to worry about their life, what they will eat or drink; not to worry about our body, or what you will wear. 

Starting in verse 28 He says,  

“  28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?”  

(Talking about those who worry about such things.)

Ben are you saying that worrying about things all the time is an indication that I lack faith in God to provide? I didn’t say it, Jesus did.

When Peter took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink it was because he allowed his surrounding circumstances to get to him, Jesus said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt.”

I declare to you today that the more you trust God, the more that you believe that He loves you and is watching over you, the more faith you have that He is in control and will work out things for your ultimate good, the more peace you will have in your life and the happier you will be.  But the more you doubt, the more you will worry, and the more unhappy, the more miserable and critical you’re gonna be.

Either you are going to believe in God and how much He loves you, and believe in what He can do, or you not!  The degree of faith you have in God will be reflected in your life. It will reflect in your attitude and actions.

I believe that James is telling us here, ‘May your faith be more than just a bunch of hollow words. Rather let your life and actions reflect a genuine faith and believe in God and His promises.’
Maybe as you consider this today, you are beginning to realize that you, like Peter, are beginning to sink because of a lack of faith.  One thing that Peter did right in this story was he cried out to Jesus for help. If you feel like you are sinking He is the one to turn to for help.

After the Hebrew writer listed all those champions of faith in Hebrews 11, he encourages us all by writing this in the first part of chapter 12,  

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2]fixing our eyes on Jesus, theauthor and perfecter of faith”

The first thing he tells us to do if we want to become like those great men and women of faith is to lay aside, avoid, or get rid of anything that encumbers, slows us down, or causes us to stumble… especially those sins that so easily entangle us. Maybe you are exposed to certain people, situations that drag you down; avoid them if all possible.  Maybe you are doing something that you know is not right, something you would not do in front of God Himself.  Maybe you are envious of others. Maybe you have a problem with lust. Maybe you are an unforgiving fault finder. Maybe you’re a busybody or gossip. Maybe you are a grumbling whiner. Maybe you don’t treat your husband or wife like you know God wants you to. You know what your sin is.   He said if you want to grow in faith stop it, throw it off.

The second thing he tells us we need to do is to “run with endurance the race that is set before us.”  The Easy to Read Version say it this way, “we should run the race that is before us and never quit.”

In others words, don’t give up, never, ever give up. Why because Jesus never gave up on us.
Then the 3rd thing he goes on to say is that after we set aside those things that hold us down or tangle us up, and then run full steam ahead, he then tells us if that we want that kind of victorious faith, we need to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” 
He has not only planted the seed of faith in us. He is the Author. He will help it grow and will perfect our faith, that is if we just keep our eyes and lives focused on Him.
Do you remember, that’s when Peter began to sink, when he took his eyes off Jesus. If you want your faith to grow to the point where it pleases God and is obvious to all, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and trust in His love for us like never before. Let that trust fill your life until it is overflowing.

And I would dare to say that the only way you can do that is to spend some quality time with Him in prayer, in reading His Word, and meditating on who He is and how much He loves and cares for you as you press forward in this life. And if you do this and grow closer to Him and learn to trust Him more amd more, you will find that peace that surpasses all understanding.

For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566

From Jim McGuiggan... Helping children to help themselves and others


Helping children to help themselves and others

When it comes to the abuse of children, here’s what I think!
    • I think the abuse of a young child is an utter abomination.
    • I think the family and friends of an abused child should "be there" for that child.
    • I think the family and friends of an abused child should bend over backwards to let that child know that they are there for him or her.
    • I think that we should do whatever it takes to assure the child that no blame—at any level or to any degree—is attached to him or her.
    • I think that all that assurance should be expressed in a context of warm affection so that the child doesn’t feel she/he is being treated as "a case" or "a problem".
    • I think that even if what I propose here is useful it is the child that matters ultimately and not the sound proposal or the "good advice". Proposals are made for children and not children for proposals.
Abusers need to be dealt with! The colossal scale of child abuse and of the child-porn industry is staggering. It isn’t only priests that are being exposed as engaging in these crimes. Police chiefs, lawyers, judges, doctors and preachers as well as family members are at it. It’s ungodly that a child should be abused once but I can’t help thinking we can do more to keep a child from being abused a second time. How can we do more?
I think we should cultivate a society of child whistle-blowers!

This is such a highly charged issue that you may not be able to hear me very well or you may disagree with my proposal. But if you think there is some merit in the drift of the piece, then write me and suggest ways we can work toward improving things. Or perhaps you can think of something better (and that would be a wonderful thing!)

I don’t think we can lead children en masse to become whistle-blowers overnight. We can’t bully children into telling someone about an abusive incident. "If anyone touches you, you’d better tell me. D’you hear?!" yelled at a child by a high-strung parent just doesn’t get it done. No, we need people who are wise and devoted to the job and who will commit much of their time and all of their giftedness to help us in this area. We need to at least try to establish a societal ethos that, when a child has been approached or abused, that that child will think it not only "normal" if they blow the whistle on the perpetrator, but they will think it is expected of them. I think we need to free them from the pressures to be silent but beyond that, I think we need to so teach and shape them that they will actually feel a responsibility to speak up!

What if a man or woman made a move on a child and the child immediately reported it to a significant adult? Yes, but that’s just it, they are afraid or ashamed. I don’t doubt that—it’s manifestly true in many cases. But I think there should be a concerted, insistent, and society-wide effort to remove the fear and shame.
"Yes, yes, but that’s been tried and....."

When and where has it truly been tried? When did we see society attempt to arm children against silence as we have seen it move against smoking and boozing? Where is the mass of material, advertisements, editorials, books, magazines, television, and radio programs addressed to this?
We can try ten and twelve-year-old children for murder but can’t teach them over the months and years that we fully expect them to blow the whistle on sexual predators? Why couldn’t we at least try to put the educational programs in place that would shape and teach children that are abused more than once by anyone that they are expected to blow the whistle the first time? Yes there are some difficulties and complexities to be worked out. What if a child misunderstands a parent or caretaker’s physical examination initiated due to some fever or illness? What if an angry or maladjusted child falsely accuses some adult of inappropriate contact out of anger or spite? Each case needs to be approached carefully and sensitively but these exceptional circumstances should not stand in the way of a society becoming pro-active in a general and widespread way.

It isn’t possible to undo the abominable thing that has happened to them but we can certainly help them so that that criminal won’t abuse them again. We need to help these children to open their mouths the first time something of this sort happens.

Yes, there are personal, private feelings of shame and embarrassment. Yes, predators DO level all kinds of threats to silence and coerce their young victims. But children en masse desperately need to be so instructed and formed and shaped to understand (through whatever public forum we can possibly use) that:
    • They are NOT responsible for the abuse they have suffered and that no one will hold them responsible for it.
    • NO ONE should make moves on them (spell that out however it needs to be spelled out).
    • People who abuse them need to be stopped. Not just for their sake, but for the sake of other children they might also abuse.
    • They are doing society a great service by speaking up.
We ought to start such programming right away. Maybe, if it did nothing else, it might make a would-be predator think twice. It might make one who is in their first stages of thinking about such things be afraid to even try it. Locked doors and windows don’t deter experienced and determined criminals, but they do keep out multitudes of novices and deter legions of would-be burglars! And over time, surely many children could find the strength and the voice they need to protect themselves from the despicable behavior of others.

It hacks me off to hear about some corrupt adult abusing some child scores of times over a period of months or years. Whatever that abuser told that child to keep them from speaking up should have been offset by preventative shaping and instruction!

To devise a national ad campaign for the purpose of forewarning and forearming children who have not yet been abused would be a great help, but I think we need to go beyond that. In some tactful and sensitive way we need to imply a stigma on the silence of a child who has been abused—perhaps repeatedly—but has not yet blown the whistle. I don’t mean to hold the child accountable in any punitive way or in a way that he/she would feel we blame them, but we need to let children know that they not only can, but must play an active role in preventing incidents of abuse—especially repeated abuse. Whether it's possible to tell a child you "should" speak up without adding hurt to the child is a question I think worthy of reflection and exchange.

What has especially troubled me over the years are cases of "strangers" (priests, club leaders, social workers etc) molesting this child or that REPEATEDLY for long periods. These now-grown people are coming out of the woodwork. Of course we want to be sensitive to the difficulties involved here but I'm weary of hearing the difficulties ceaselessly regurgitated and poked over one more time with all their constituent elements being analyzed  one...more...time. The vast child porn industry could and should be explained in part (!) by our refusal to shape children to say, "That man...." Children 10 and 12 are committing brutal murder but we're afraid to hold them accountable if they keep their mouths shut about some lecherous civic leader preying on them or perhaps a whole circle of children?

We need to strive for a healthier balance here. On the one hand we're breeding a victim mentality and on the other we’re watching children eight and ten years-old and upwards cursing police, throwing stones and smashing cars without fear or shame. We lament their boldness and wonder at their savagery. It’s true that these children are not necessarily the abused children but if our society can produce this sort of boldness without hardly trying who knows what we could produce if we tried. And I'm not talking about merely handing out "information"! God help us, we’re swamped with "information".

We're so afraid of appearing unsympathetic that all we can do is damn the perpetrator and hug the victim. It isn't difficult to show the difficulties that exist in this area. And it isn’t hard to understand some poor soul shouting, "You wouldn't think it was so easy to speak up if..."
But when we keep speaking in the presence of children (as if they didn't hear us), outlining the perfectly good reasons why they won't speak up should it surprise us that we're frightening them into continued silence.

What might happen if we had a sustained campaign and presented child whistle-blowers as heroes? Imagine a TV ad, a nine year-old girl or boy walks into the local police station and says, "I want to report an assault!" Not a cute little, sweet-smiling child or a pathetic face with "poor victim" written all over it. No, a sober boy or girl that wants this dealt with. "Interviews" could be taped, the right questions and scripted answers all provided. Child actors being asked, "Were you not afraid to come forward?" And answering, "Well, yes....but..."

Recently, the U.S.A. had a 10 year old grounded by her mother. She went and got their gun and shot her mother dead. Shot her in the face. Here in the U.K. we had two pre-teen boys batter a little boy to death and throw his body on a railway line to cover their crime. A society that can produce that needs to look again at what they're not trying to do.

From Mark Copeland... A Pattern For Would-Be Believers (1 Timothy 1:12-17)

                     "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"

               A Pattern For Would-Be Believers (1:12-17)

INTRODUCTION

1. Are you someone who has contemplated becoming a Christian, but
   wondered...
   a. Would God forgive you for the terrible things you've done?
   b. Could you live the kind of life God desires of you?

2. There is a man who serves as an example for you...
   a. Of the grace and mercy that is available for you
   b. Of the faith and love that you can have in Jesus

[His name is Paul, and in 1Ti 1:12-17 he describes how his own
conversion is "A Pattern For Would-Be Believers."  First, in...]

I. DEMONSTRATING THE GRACE OF OUR LORD

   A. NOTE PAUL'S FORMER LIFE...
      1. He was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent (violent) man
         - 1Ti 1:13
         a. Consenting to the death of Stephen - Ac 7:58; 8:1
         b. Making havoc of the church in Jerusalem - Ac 8:3
         c. Persecuting Christians even to Damascus - Ac 9:1-2
         d. Persecuting even to the point of imprisonment and death - Ac 22:4
         e. Enraged against Christians, compelling them to blaspheme
            - Ac 26:9-11
      2. His goal was to destroy the church of God - Ga 1:13
      3. He was indeed "chief" of sinners - 1Ti 1:15
      -- Yet the grace of the Lord was "exceedingly abundant" and he
         obtained mercy! - 1Ti 1:14,16

   B. WHAT ABOUT YOUR LIFE...?
      1. Yes, you have committed sin - Ro 3:23; Jm 2:10
         a. Perhaps you are a good, moral person like the Eunuch,
            Cornelius, or Lydia
         b. Perhaps you are a murderer and blasphemer like Paul was
      2. In either case, Jesus came to into the world to save sinners
         - 1Ti 1:15
         a. The grace of the Lord is exceedingly abundant - 1Ti 1:14
         b. The Lord is long-suffering - 1Ti 1:16; 2Pe 3:9
      -- Will you not let Paul's pattern move you to believe on the Lord
         for everlasting life? - 1Ti 1:16

[There is no sin too great, no crime so heinous, that cannot be forgiven
by the grace of the Lord!  The conversion of Paul serves as evidence
that no matter who you are or what you've done, you can be saved.  Paul
also serves as a pattern...]

II. DEMONSTRATING THE FAITH AND LOVE IN JESUS

   A. NOTE PAUL'S SERVICE TO CHRIST...
      1. The Lord put Paul into the ministry - 1Ti 1:12
         a. To bear witness to what he had seen - Ac 26:16
         b. To turn people from the power of Satan to God - Ac 26:18
      2. He became a pattern of the faith and love that is possible in
         Christ - 1Ti 1:14
         a. Because he cooperated with the grace of God - 1Co 15:9-10
         b. Striving to be the best he could be - Php 3:12-15
         c. Learning contentment, finding strength - Php 4:11-13
      -- Paul provides the example of a life of faith and love that
         leads to peace - Php 4:9

   B. WHAT ABOUT YOUR LIFE...?
      1. If you are already a Christian
         a. Are you experiencing the faith and love that is Christ?
            1) Faith that comes from the Word of God? - Ro 10:17
            2) Love that comes by being taught of God? - 1Th 4:9-10
         b. Are you following the pattern of Paul...?
            1) Cooperating with the grace of God to turn from sin?
            2) Ever pressing onward toward spiritual maturity?
            3) Faithful to whatever ministry the Lord places upon you?
      2. If you are not yet a Christian
         a. Why not take the step of faith like Paul did?
            1) He did what the Lord commanded him - Ac 22:16
            2) He started anew, walking by faith and not by sight - 2 Co  5:7
         b. Why not accept the love that is available in Jesus?
            1) The love of God, your heavenly Father - 1Jn 4:10,11
            2) The love of Jesus, your wonderful Savior - Jn 15:9,10
      -- Will you not let Paul's pattern move you to grow in faith and
         love? - 1Co 11:1

CONCLUSION

1. Note that Paul was moved to respond to the grace of the Lord in two
   ways...
   a. He thanked Jesus Christ - 1Ti 1:12
   b. He praised God - 1Ti 1:17

2. Shall we not respond to the grace of God in the same way...?
   a. Thanking God by rendering obedience to the gospel of Christ?
   b. Praising God by growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ?

Then perhaps the Lord can also use us as "A Pattern For Would-Be
Believers"... - cf. 1Ti 4:12

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading January 6


Bible Reading   

January 6

The World English Bible


Jan. 6
Genesis 6

Gen 6:1 It happened, when men began to multiply on the surface of the ground, and daughters were born to them,
Gen 6:2 that God's sons saw that men's daughters were beautiful, and they took for themselves wives of all that they chose.
Gen 6:3 Yahweh said, "My Spirit will not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; yet will his days be one hundred twenty years."
Gen 6:4 The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when God's sons came in to men's daughters. They bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Gen 6:5 Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Gen 6:6 Yahweh was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him in his heart.
Gen 6:7 Yahweh said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the surface of the ground; man, along with animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them."
Gen 6:8 But Noah found favor in Yahweh's eyes.
Gen 6:9 This is the history of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time. Noah walked with God.
Gen 6:10 Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Gen 6:11 The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
Gen 6:12 God saw the earth, and saw that it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
Gen 6:13 God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Gen 6:14 Make a ship of gopher wood. You shall make rooms in the ship, and shall seal it inside and outside with pitch.
Gen 6:15 This is how you shall make it. The length of the ship will be three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.
Gen 6:16 You shall make a roof in the ship, and you shall finish it to a cubit upward. You shall set the door of the ship in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third levels.
Gen 6:17 I, even I, do bring the flood of waters on this earth, to destroy all flesh having the breath of life from under the sky. Everything that is in the earth will die.
Gen 6:18 But I will establish my covenant with you. You shall come into the ship, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.
Gen 6:19 Of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ship, to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female.
Gen 6:20 Of the birds after their kind, of the livestock after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every sort shall come to you, to keep them alive.
Gen 6:21 Take with you of all food that is eaten, and gather it to yourself; and it will be for food for you, and for them."
Gen 6:22 Thus Noah did. According to all that God commanded him, so he did.


From Gary... Enigmas, anagrams and God





























What is this? It is a form of anagram; which is..

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 (gcide)
 
Anagram An"a*gram ([a^]n"[.a]*gr[a^]m), n. [F. anagramme, LL. anagramma, fr. Gr. 'ana` back, again + gra`fein to write. See Graphic.]    Literally, the letters of a word read backwards, but in its usual wider sense, the change of one word or phrase into another by the transposition of its letters. Thus Galenus becomes angelus; William Noy (attorney-general to Charles I., and a laborious man) may be turned into I moyl in law.     [1913 Webster]

The instant I saw this, I liked it!!!  Why? Well, I enjoy the deeper meanings of things, unusual things, hidden things- something to make my little mind WORK!!!  Some rearrangements make sense, others, well- not so much.  Still others- downright nasty, like the reference to MOTHER-IN-LAW!!!!  But, aside from that, all this is words within words that have different meanings (Cryptography).  In contemplating these things, I wondered about the Word of God, for it is amazing to me that I can read the same verses of Scriptures again and again (sometimes for years) and then one day I see a different meaning in the message.  The Jews believed that since the ten commandments were written by the finger of God, each character had a specific spiritual meaning and today with the arrival of computers, some assign numbers to the Hebrew and Greek letters to decipher hidden messages from God.  With all this in mind, below please find some Scriptures which apply to these things....

 Deuteronomy, Chapter 29
 29  The secret things belong to Yahweh our God; but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Deuteronomy, Chapter 9
9 When I had gone up onto the mountain to receive the stone tablets, even the tablets of the covenant which Yahweh made with you, then I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights. I neither ate bread nor drank water.  10 Yahweh delivered to me the two stone tablets written with the finger of God On them were all the words which Yahweh spoke with you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.

Hebrews Chapter 4
12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 

Matthew, Chapter 4
  1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  2 When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry afterward.  3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 

  4 
 But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” 
  5  Then the devil took him into the holy city. He set him on the pinnacle of the temple,  6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will put his angels in charge of you.’ and, 
‘On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you don’t dash your foot against a stone.’”

  7
  Jesus said to him, “Again, it is written, ‘You shall not test the Lord, your God.’” 

  8  Again, the devil took him to an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory.  9 He said to him, “I will give you all of these things, if you will fall down and worship me.” 

  10  Then Jesus said to him, “Get behind me,  Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.’” 
 
 Luke, Chapter 8
 11  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.   12  Those along the road are those who hear, then the devil comes, and takes away the word from their heart, that they may not believe and be saved.   13 Those on the rock are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; but these have no root, who believe for a while, then fall away in time of temptation.   14  That which fell among the thorns, these are those who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.   15  That in the good ground, these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it tightly, and produces fruit with patience. 

1 Peter, Chapter 1
 22  Seeing you have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth through the Spirit in sincere brotherly affection, love one another from the heart fervently:  23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which lives and remains forever. 24 For, 
“All flesh is like grass,
and all of man’s glory like the flower in the grass.
The grass withers, and its flower falls;
  25 but the Lord’s word endures forever.”
This is the word of Good News which was preached to you.

The Word of God reflects HIS nature and is therefore Spiritual and has a complicated simplicity to it that is mind-boggling!!!  With a right heart, understanding what God wants from us is easy, but the deeper aspects to it are almost beyond comprehension.  One thing stands out to me- God tells us plainly what we need to know to obey HIM.  The Scriptures would make no sense at all without this one concept.  As for the deeper things- well, I may never really know HOW Hebrews 4:12 works or if there are secret messages in what God has given us.  BUT, remember Deuteronomy 29:29?  Those things belong to God and we shouldn't worry about them.  Learn everything you can, but within the limits of human understanding; the rest God will answer in HEAVEN.  I just wonder how HE will do it- In Chinese, English, Filipino or something else.  Perhaps there is a musical language of the soul I just haven't learned yet- who knows.  I hope I don't have to play an instrument- not good at that sort of thing at all!!!