"THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS" Running The Race Of Faith (12:1-3) by Mark Copeland


Running The Race Of Faith (12:1-3)


1. Throughout our study, we have noted the emphasis on being steadfast in our faith...
   a. The warning against developing unbelief - He 3:12-15
   b. The need for a faith that endures - He 6:11-12; 10:36-39
   c. In chapter eleven, we were reminded of many who had this kind of faith

2. This emphasis continues, with our own life of faith described as a race...
   a. In which we are "surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses"
      - He 12:1
      1) The "cloud of witnesses" refers to those mentioned in the previous chapter
      2) I.e., those Old Testament saints like Abraham, Moses, etc.
   b. In what way are they "witnesses"?
      1) While the word can mean "spectator", it is not likely so used here
         a) That would suggest they are now "looking down" on us from heaven
         b) But there is no indication the dead know what is going on earth - cf. Ec 9:5
         c) While they may have "memory" of what happened (Lk 16:28),
            their attention is focused upon their present condition - cf. Re 7:9-17
      2) The word can also refer to those who "bear witness"
         a) By their lives, they have borne witness to the value of faith - cf. He 11:1-40
         b) By their exemplary lives, they encourage us in "Running The Race Of Faith"!

[As we seek to follow in the footsteps of others who have successfully
"run the race of faith", there are three things necessary as presented in our text. 
 The first one is...]


      1. The runner who seeks to win:
         a. Loses as much weight as possible without hurting performance
         b. Wears clothing that is light and allows freedom of movement
      2. Excess weight, chafing clothing, etc., can be the difference between victory or defeat!

      1. "every weight"
         a. I.e., things which slow down our spiritual progress
            1) Such as "carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life" - Lk 21:34-36
            2) Also, "anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy 
               language..." - cf. Col 3:8; 1Pe 2:1-2; Jm 1:21
         b. Such things make "running the race of faith" difficult, if not impossible!
      2. "the sin which so easily ensnares us"
         a. Any and all sins should be laid aside
         b. From the context, I understand "the" sin to be the "sin of unbelief"
            1) The epistle was written to encourage faithfulness to Christ and His covenant
            2) We've seen warnings against unbelief - He 3:12-13
            3) When one no longer believes, the race is lost! - He 10: 26-39

[With a full assurance of faith, and with every hindrance laid aside, 
we can "run the race of faith" as God intended.  But as we comprehend 
the true nature of the "course" set before us, we can appreciate the 
need for the element of endurance...]


      1. It does not require one quick burst of energy, in which the race is soon over
      2. This "race" requires a sustained effort over a long period of time

      1. Jesus often taught His disciples concerning the need for endurance (i.e., patience)
         a. In the parable of The Sower - Lk 8:12
         a. In preparing the disciples for the Limited Commission - Mt 10:22
         b. In His discourse on the Mount of Olives - Mt 24:13
      2. The writer to the Hebrews had stressed this virtue earlier
         a. In which he appealed to the example of Abraham - He 6:11-15
         b. In which he quoted from Habakkuk - He 10:36-39
      3. We can develop such patience with the help of the Scriptures  - Ro 15:4
         a. As we read of the faithfulness of God Who fulfills His promises
         b. As we read of the ultimate end of those persevered in faithfulness

[Paul wrote that eternal life would be given "to those who by patient
continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality" (Ro
2:7). Therefore, endurance is required for successfully running this race of faith"!

Equally important is where we have our mind focused as we run the race...]


      1. Our focus must be upon the Lord as we "run the race"
         a. We might "glance" at others (cf. He 11)
         b. But we are to "gaze" upon the Lord Savior (Believers' Study Bible)
         c. As suggested by this "Formula For Spiritual Success":
            1) If you want to be distressed -- look within
            2) If you want to be defeated -- look back 
            3) If you want to be distracted -- look around
            4) If you want to be dismayed -- look ahead
            5) If you want to be delivered -- look up! - cf. Col 3:1-2
      2. For Jesus is "the author and finisher of our faith" - cf. He 2:10
         a. He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last,
            the Alpha and the Omega - Re 1:8,11
         b. He has blazed the trail for us...
            1) By having run the race Himself
               a) As a forerunner He has entered the heavenly sanctuary- He 6:19-20
               b) He has opened a "new and living way" for us - He 10: 20
            2) And now He helps us to finish it ourselves - cf. He 7:25
      3. He succeeded in running the race by looking at "the joy set before Him"
         a. The "joy" that inspired Him was likely that privilege of 
            being seated at God's right hand - cf. Ps 16:9-11; Ac 2:25-31
         b. With the anticipation of such "joy", Jesus...
            1) "endured the cross" (the physical pain)
            2) "despised the shame" (the emotional and spiritual agony)
      -- Just as Jesus looked at the joy set before Him, so we must look to Jesus!

      1. We must consider how He endured, not only on the cross, but even before! - He 11:3
         a. How He "endured such hostility from sinners against himself"
         b. This hostility is something He experienced frequently - cf.
            Lk 4:28-29; 11:15-16,53-54; 16:14
      2. Meditating upon our Lord will prevent us from becoming
         "weary and discouraged in your souls"
         a. We cannot run with endurance if we become weary and discouraged
         b. But as we consider the Lord and His example (in itself a
            form of "waiting upon the Lord"), we shall not grow weary nor faint - cf. Isa 40:31


1. "Running The Race Of Faith" requires both negative and positive elements...
   a. Negatively, we must lay aside things which would hinder us
   b. Positively, we must keep our focus on Jesus who has made our salvation possible

2. In both cases, the Word of God (the Bible) is crucial...
   a. For in it we learn what sort of things we must lay aside
   b. For in it we learn about our Lord, what He endured, how His example should inspire us

3. Have you lost your endurance?  Have you grown weary in "Running The Race Of Faith"?
   a. Let the Bible help you examine what "baggage" should be left aside!
   b. Let the Bible help you learn about Jesus whose own example can 
      encourage you to continue on with perseverance!

Remember what we read earlier...

   "For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the
   will of God, you may receive the promise..." (Hebrews 10:36)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Bee Flight Physics by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Bee Flight Physics

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

In 1934, using mathematical calculations, French entomologist August Magnan concluded that bee flight was aerodynamically impossible. The haphazard flapping of their wings simply should not enable bees to fly. The mystery that has perplexed scientists ever since (due to inadequate understanding of aerodynamic theory) is now believed to have been clarified. Using high-speed digital cameras and a giant robotic model of a bee wing, bioengineers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas have been studying honeybee flight in an effort to determine how bees fly (Alt­shuler, et al., 2005). They discovered that bees operate with the same basic aerodynamic principles that facilitate flight capability in other flying creatures, including velocity, wing stroke amplitude, stroke reversals, wingbeat frequency, and wing length. They simply utilize these principles in different proportions and combinations.
Why? Why would bees operate on altered aerodynamic principles? The scientists do not know. They speculate that since bees consume floral nectar, they possess “excess power available for ecologically useful but aerodynamically expensive behaviors” (102[50]:18218). Observe that “ecologically useful” implies that bee flight is specifically suited to bee activity—which is another way to say that a bee is strategically and deliberately designed to fulfill its function efficiently. The scientists compare honeybees to hummingbirds “that are able to forage for high-energy nectar rewards by using more energetically demanding flight” (102[50]:18218, emp. added). In other words, the use of adjusted aerodynamic principles is not due to alleged inherited evolutionary inefficiency; rather, it is the result of deliberate design calculated to achieve different objectives and accommodate different purposes. Hummingbirds do not fly like sparrows—because they are not sparrows! And bees do not fly like mosquitoes—because they are not mosquitoes! Each flying creature’s flight capabilities are specifically suited to accommodate its created purpose and function.
Do bees have any specific needs in order to accomplish their peculiar functions? Yes, and the scientists, themselves, offer the following: “Honeybees and other hymenopterans [the order of insects that includes bees, wasps, and ants—DM] need to carry much heavier loads that may actually exceed body mass in numerous contexts, including undertaking, prey transport, and foraging for nectar or pollen” (102[50]:18218). Again, in other words, bee flight is specifically designed to accommodate the tasks that bees perform. But design demands a designer! Design requires an intelligence that exceeds the blind, mechanistic forces of nature.
Here is the conclusion set forth by the researchers:
In conclusion, our analysis of honeybee aerodynamics reveals how the rapid low-amplitude wing motion of bees is sufficient to maintain the weight of the animal. [We knew that—DM.] Furthermore, honeybees exhibit considerable ability to generate excess aerodynamic power, which they accomplish by raising stroke amplitude while maintaining constant frequency. This ability may be related to requirements of social insects to carry loads related to foraging, undertaking, and brood transport (102[50]:18218, emp. added).
Notice: the bee deliberately generates extra aerodynamic power. Why? The scientists speculate that it is due to the bee’s need to carry out its social duties—the requirements it possesses due to its place in the insect social order. My friend, such a circumstance has intelligent design written all over it. Such complexity, such design, such planning, and such purpose could not have happened without a Mind. That Mind is none other than the God of the Bible:
Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power.... For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the Lord, and there is no other” (Isaiah 40:26; 45:18).
You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created (Revelation 4:11).


Altshuler, Douglas L., William B. Dickson, Jason T. Vance, Stephen P. Roberts, and Michael H. Dickinson (2005), “Short-Amplitude High-Frequency Wing Strokes Determine the Aerodynamics of Honeybee Flight,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102[50]:18213-18218, December 13.

Bat “Vision” by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.


Bat “Vision”

by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

Bats often fly speedily through stalactite-filled caves and seemingly impenetrable wooded areas. For bats, one wrong move or turn can mean serious injury or death. Contrary to popular opinion, most bats possess at least decent vision. However, bats’ hearing is so sensitive that, for navigational purposes, bats use their ears more than their eyes. Bats are capable of emitting a sound that humans cannot hear. Some species use this very high-pitched, shrill tone when flying to determine what is in front of them (see “Echolocation,” n.d.). The sound bounces off objects in a bat’s path, and the bat hears the echo. Amazingly, the bat is able to determine precisely the direction he should fly in order to avoid smashing into the looming object. This process is referred to as “echolocation.” Bats also use echolocation to find food, especially flying insects.
Bats make this sound from a few, to two hundred, times per second. Do not confuse this sound with the squeaky noise you hear when you stand next to the bat exhibit at your local zoo. That noise is made by bats when they are frustrated, excited, or mating. Bats use different sounds, along with their large ears, to perform echolocation. Scientists use bat detectors to transpose the sounds to a lower frequency—one that humans can hear (see “California Underground...,” 1999). Not all bats, however, use echolocation; approximately 200 species of fruit bats in Africa, Asia, and Australia have larger eyes and are able to use their sharp vision to quickly negotiate obstacles.
Other animals, including dolphins and orca and beluga whales, use echolocation under water, like sonar signals (see “Echolocation”). The process of echolocation also has been observed in terrestrial mammals such as rodents, insectivores, Megachiroptera, and in nocturnal cave-dwelling oil birds and cave swiftlets (see Uy, 1994, p. 1; Blackshear, n.d., p. 1.). In addition, scientific research over the past fifty years has revealed that the auditory system is a major tool employed by blind humans as a means of perception.
Did the complex auditory and navigation systems of bats evolve, as many would have us believe?


Blackshear, Jim (no date), “A Research Proposal: Echolocation—How Can We Best Teach It?,” Stephen F. Austin State University, [On-line], URL: http://hubel.sfasu.edu/courseinfo/SL02/jb2echolocation.htm.
“California Underground: Bat Echolocation Station” (1999), Oakland Museum of California, [On-line], URL: http://www.museumca.org/caves/onli_echo.html.
“Echolocation” (no date), National Parks Conservation Association, [On-line], URL: http://www.eparks.org/wildlife_protection/wildlife_facts/bats/echolocation.asp.
Uy, Christine (1994), “ ‘Seeing’ Sounds: Echolocation by Blind Humans,” ed. Bridget Wagner, Tony Chen, Harvard Undergraduate Society for Neuroscience, [On-line], URL: http://hcs.harvard.edu/husn/BRAIN/vol1/echo.html.

Autonomous Control of Creation by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


Autonomous Control of Creation

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


Engineers regularly work with control systems. Autonomous control is a step beyond remote control. Remote control applications allow manual issuing of commands through some sort of transmission device (i.e., a remote controller) that controls something else (e.g., a robot or television) located some distance away from the controller. Autonomous control, on the other hand, uses a computer program to issue the commands. The computer becomes the controller, instead of a human being. It is common knowledge in the engineering community that autonomous control is a subject that is of particular interest today. From autonomous control of ground vehicles (Naranjo, et al., 2006), to autonomous missile guidance systems (Lin, et al., 2004) and aerial vehicles (Oosterom and Babuska, 2006), to autonomous aquatic vehicles (Loebis, et al., 2004) and satellites (Cheng, et al., 2009), and even to autonomous farming equipment (Omid, et al., 2010), notable success is being made in this area of technology.
The amazing thing from a Christian perspective, however, is that many engineers—the designers of the scientific community—are becoming aware of the fact that the world around us is already replete with fully functional, superior designs in comparison to what the engineering community has been able to develop to date. Biomimicry (i.e., engineering design using something from nature as the blueprint) is becoming a prevalent engineering pursuit. However, some engineers are not interested in copying creation in their designs since they simply cannot replicate many of the features that the natural world has to offer. They are realizing that the created order oftentimes comes equipped with natural “sensor suites” whose designs surpass the capability of engineering knowledge to date. Animals possess amazing detection, tracking, and maneuvering capabilities which are far beyond the knowledge of today’s engineering minds, and likely will be for many decades, if not forever. An insect neurobiologist, John Hildebrand, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, admitted, “There’s a long history of trying to develop microrobots that could be sent out as autonomous devices, but I think many engineers have realised [sic] that they can’t improve on Mother Nature” (Marshall, 2008, p. 41). Of course, “Mother Nature” is not capable of designing anything, since “she” is mindless. The Chief Engineer, the God of the Bible, on the other hand, can be counted on to have the best possible engineering designs. Who, after all, could out-design the Grand Designer? In spite of the deterioration of the world and the entrance of disease and mutations into the created order, after some six millennia, His designs still stand out as the best—unsurpassed by human wisdom.


Recognizing the superiority of the natural world, the scientific community has become interested in learning how to remotely control living creatures instead of developing robotic versions. This line of thinking certainly adds new meaning to God’s command to mankind to “subdue” and “have dominion” over the created order (Genesis 1:28). One of the ways in which animal remote control is being done is by implanting electronics in animal bodies that are subsequently used to manipulate the movements and behaviors of the creature. Hybrid creatures such as these are known as bio-robots or cyborgs. Cyborg research has been conducted since the 1950s, when Jose Delgado of Yale University implanted electrodes into the brains of bulls to stimulate the hypothalamus for control purposes (Marshall, 2008). Since then, the list of remotely controlled animals using electrode implantation has grown to include:
  • sharks (i.e., spiny dogfish; Gomes, et al., 2006; Brown, 2006)
  • rats (Talwar, et al., 2002; Li and Panwar, 2006; Song, et al., 2006)
  • monkeys (Brown, 2006; Horgon, 2005)
  • mice (“SDUST Created…,” 2007)
  • chimpanzees (Horgon, 2005)
  • frogs (Song, et al., 2006)
  • pigeons (“SDUST Created…,” 2007)
  • cats (Horgon, 2005)
  • gibbons (Horgon, 2005)
  • cockroaches (Holzer, et al., 1997; “Researchers Develop ‘Robo-roach,’” 2001)
Cornell University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Michigan, and Arizona State University at Tempe are working on developing flying insect cyborgs, including hawkmoths and green June beetles (Ray, 2010; Sato, et al., 2008; Sato, et al., 2009; Bozkurt, et al., 2008). The University of Florida in Gainesville used electrodes to remotely control rats specifically for detection of humans (for search and rescue scenarios) and explosives (Marshall, 2008). Non-invasive remote creature control projects are underway as well. M.I.T. used virtual fencing coupled with Global Positioning System (GPS) for tracking and autonomously herding cows by implementing auditory cues and shock reinforcement to keep cows within a desirable area (Correll, et al., 2008; Schwager, et al., 2008).
There is beginning to be more interest in the prospect of remotely controlling canines as well (“Grand Challenge…,” 2010). Engineers realize that dogs can traverse a variety of terrains more efficiently than humans or robots and are effective at guarding territories, carrying out search and rescue missions, as well as providing guidance for the visually impaired. They also have an amazing sense of smell that makes them capable of detecting explosives, narcotics, tobacco, pipeline leaks, retail contraband, and even cell phones and bed bugs (“Detection Services,” 2010). Since engineers have not developed a device that can compare with a canine’s ability to detect odors, the use of canines for these applications is attractive. Although other creatures, such as rats (Marshall, 2008), have a keen sense of smell, canines are more appealing, especially due to their innate ability to interact with humans. Thus, using canines for these purposes is attractive to engineers, and the ability to remotely control a canine for many of these purposes is an even more attractive goal. Many scenarios could be envisioned to illustrate cases where the presence of a dog handler alongside a canine could be an impossibility (e.g., tight areas in search and rescue operations) or undesirable (e.g., scenarios where the handler should not be visible or in harm’s way). In a recent event in Afghanistan, a bomb detection canine detected an explosive a moment too late. The canine handler lost his left leg and received other serious injuries (“Grand Challenge…,” 2010). Remote control capability or autonomous guidance likely would have significantly altered the outcome of this unfortunate event, as well as many others.
Since engineers cannot yet develop an adequate robotic solution to this problem, the Office of Naval Research funded a research project to develop such a solution—a research project I was heavily involved in at Auburn University while engaged in doctoral studies. The Canine Detection and Research Institute (CDRI) at Auburn University demonstrated that detection canines can be remotely controlled using a canine vest we developed that was equipped with a tone and vibration generator (Britt, et al., 2010). However, many cases could easily be envisioned where the canine would be out of sight from the handler (e.g., moving behind a distant building), at which time remote control capability becomes useless. Therefore, the next natural step was to automate that remote control capacity (i.e., autonomous control of the canine).
Since canines can traverse a variety of terrains more efficiently than humans, and possess a natural array of “sensors” used to detect and locate items of interest that robots are not readily equipped with, many aspects that pose problems to unmanned ground vehicles are inherently removed with the canine. Canines can execute the low-level decision making that is necessary for rerouting their local path to avoid obstacles or unfavorable terrain. We proved with notable success that canines can be tracked using GPS, inertial sensors, and magnetometers (Miller and Bevly, 2007; Miller and Bevly, 2009a; Miller and Bevly, 2009b), as well as be autonomously guided along desired paths to distant end points (Miller, 2010; Britt, 2009). More important, this system was designed without having to develop the technology that would be required for a complete robotic solution. Instead, a pre-designed creature, already developed by the Chief Engineer, was utilized. In the interest of not plagiarizing Him, I happily reference His incomprehensible work, although, unfortunately I cannot speak for all of my doctoral colleagues.


How ironic that those who are designed, design based on the Designer’s designs, while simultaneously claiming that those designs are not designed. How could mindless rocks, dirt, gas, or slime bring about the amazingly complex designs we see in the World? Personifying inanimate materials such as these with names like “Mother Nature” does nothing but tacitly admit that some Being is in control of the natural order. The frontlines of the engineering community today—bringing about unparalleled technology, more advanced than any society in the history of mankind—cannot come close to replicating the designs around us. Engineers are forced to borrow from God’s design portfolio (oftentimes plagiarizing Him—not giving Him due credit for His designs). What a testament to the greatness of the Chief Engineer’s created order! We may be able to try to fix some of the damage that has been done to the created order due to sin and entropy, but in the words of John Hildebrand, quoted earlier, we certainly “can’t improve on” God’s design. Rather than plagiarizing Him, let all engineers know, “He who built all thingsis God” (Hebrews 3:4, emp. added).


Bozkurt, A., R. Gilmour, D. Stern, and A. Lal (2008), “MEMS Based Bioelectronic Neuromuscular Interfaces for Insect Cyborg Flight Control,” IEEEMEMS2008 Conference, pp. 160-163.
Britt, W. (2009), “A Software and Hardware System for the Autonomous Control and Navigation of a Trained Canine,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Auburn University, Summer.
Britt, W.R., J. Miller, P. Waggoner, D.M. Bevly, and J.A. Hamilton (2010), “An Embedded System for Real-time Navigation and Remote Command of a Trained Canine,” DOI 10.1007/s00779-010-0298-4.
Brown, S. (2006), “Stealth Sharks to Patrol the High Seas,” New Scientist, 2541:30-31, March 4.
Cheng, C., S. Shu, and P. Cheng (2009), “Attitude Control of a Satellite Using Fuzzy Controllers,” Expert Systems with Applications, 36:6613-6620.
Correll, N., M. Schwager, and D. Rus (2008), “Social Control of Herd Animals by Integration of Artificially Controlled Congeners,” Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior, pp. 437-447.
“Detection Services” (2010), Amdetech: Protection Through Detection, http://www.amdetech.com.
Gomes, W.J., D. Perez, and J.A. Catipovic (2006), “Autonomous Shark Tag with Neural Reading and Stimulation Capability for Open-ocean Experiments,” Eos Trans. AGU, 87(36), Ocean Sci. Meet. Suppl., Abstract OS45Q-05.
“Grand Challenge: Smart Vest for Detector Dogs” (2010), National Aerospace & Electronics Conference, http://www.naecon.org/challenge.htm.
Holzer, R., I. Shimoyama, and H. Miura (1997), “Locomotion Control of a Bio-Robotic System via Electric Stimulation,” International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Grenoble, France.
Horgon, John (2005), “The Forgotten Era of Brain Chips,” Scientific American, 293[4]:66-73.
Li, Y. and S. Panwar (2006), “A Wireless Biosensor Network Using Autonomously Controlled Animals,” IEEENetwork, 20[3]:6-11.
Lin, C., H. Hung, Y. Chen, and B. Chen (2004), “Development of an Integrated Fuzzy-Logic-Based Missile Guidance Law Against High Speed Target,” IEEETransactions on Fuzzy Systems, 12[2]:157-169.
Loebis, D., R. Sutton, J. Chudley, and W. Naeem (2004), “Adaptive Tuning of a Kalman Filter via Fuzzy Logic for an Intelligent AUV Navigation System,” Control Engineering Practice, 12:1531-1539.
Marshall, J. (2008), “The Cyborg Animal Spies Hatching in the Lab,” New Scientist, 2646:40-43, March 6.
Miller, J. (2010), “A Maximum Effort Control System for the Tracking and Control of a Guided Canine,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Auburn University, Winter.
Miller, J. and D.M. Bevly (2007), “Position and Orientation Determination for a Guided K-9,” Proceedings of the IONGNSS, Ft. Worth, TX.
Miller, J. and D.M. Bevly (2009a), “Determination of Pitch Effects in Guided K-9 Tracking,” Proceedings of the JSDE/IONJNC, Orlando, FL.
Miller, J. and D.M. Bevly (2009b), “Guided K-9 Tracking Improvements Using GPS, INS, and Magnetometers,” Proceedings of the IONITM, Anaheim, CA.
Naranjo, J.E., C. Gonzalez, R. Garcia, and T. Pedro (2006), “ACC+Stop&Go Maneuvers With Throttle and Brake Fuzzy Control,” IEEETransactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 7[2]:213-225.
Omid, M., M. Lashgari, H. Mobli, R. Alimardani, S. Mohtasebi, and R. Hesamifard (2010), “Design of Fuzzy Logic Control System Incorporating Human Expert Knowledge for Combine Harvester,” Expert Systems with Applications, 37:7080-7085.
Oosterom, M. and R. Babuska (2006), “Design of a Gain-Scheduling Mechanism for Flight Control Laws by Fuzzy Clustering,” Control Engineering Practice, 14:769-781.
Ray, Neil (2010), “The Cyborg Beetle: Progress or Ethical Deterioration?” The Triple Heliz, Issue 10.
“Researchers Develop ‘Robo-Roach’” (2001), VNUnet UK: UNU-MERIT—I&T Weekly, Issue 7, United Nations University, http://www.merit.unu.edu/i&tweekly/i&tweekly_previous.php?issue=0107&issue_show=7&year=2001.
Sato, H., C.W. Berry, B.E. Casey, G. Lavella, Y. Yao, J.M. Vandenbrooks, and M.M. Maharbiz (2008), “A Cyborg Beetle: Insect Flight Control Through an Implantable, Tetherless Microsystem,” IEEEMEMS2008 Conference, pp. 164-167.
Sato, H., Y. Peeri, E. Baghoomian, C.W. Berry, and M.M. Maharbiz (2009), “Radio-Controlled Cyborg Beetles: A Radio-frequency System for Insect Neural Flight Control,” IEEEMEMS2009 Conference, pp. 216-219.
Schwager, M., C. Detweiler, I. Vasilescu, D.M. Anderson, and D. Rus (2008), “Data-Driven Identification of Group Dynamics for Motion Prediction and Control,” Journal of Field Service Robotics, 25[6-7]:305-324.
“SDUST Created Remote-Controlled Pigeon” (2007), Shandong University of Science and Technology, http://www.sdkd.net.cn/en/news_show.php?id=65.
Song, W., J. Chai, T. Han, and K. Yuan (2006), “A Remote Controlled Multimode Microstimulator for Freely Moving Animals,” Acta Physiologica Sinica, 58[2]:183-188.
Talwar, S., S. Xu, E. Hawley, S. Weiss, K. Moxon, and J. Chapin (2002), “Rat Navigation Guided by Remote Control,” Nature, 417[6884]:37-38.

Fruit of the Spirit – Kindness and Goodness by Ben Fronczek


Fruit of the Spirit – Kindness and Goodness

Fruit of the Spirit – Kindness and Goodness
Paul wrote:  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, Patience, kindness, and goodness,…”
I believe all of us know what it is to be kind and good. We all know some good people and some kind ones.
Today I would like to read a story Jesus told that I feel demonstrated someone who was very kind.   Read the following story as seen in Luke 10:25-37
“25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
I really feel that as we talk about being kind, you can’t help but talking about being good. They seem to go together hand in hand.
– Being good refers to what we are or the quality of our character.
– Being kind also can refer to our character and can also refer to what a good person does by being kind to others.
How GOOD are you?
If you want to know a reasonable gauge or measure for how good you are look at how kind you are to others.
– How kind are you to your spouse?
– How kind are you to your family members.
– How kind are you to your workers or co workers?
– How kind are you to people you don’t know personally.
– How personally kind are you those you see in need?
Philip Keller wrote, ”Kindness involvers finding ways to brighten and cheer lives of others.”
In Ephesians 4:32 Paul wrote, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.”
In 1 Cor. 13:4 Paul also wrote that Love is patient, and love is kind.”
In the story that Jesus told, which has been titled the GOOD Samaritan, it seems as though Jesus was trying to teach the self righteous Jews of His time that just being ‘religious’, or a member of the right church is not enough. God not only wants us to live a righteous life before Him, He wants that righteousness to reflect in how we treat others.
We call the man in the story the GOOD SAMARITAN, because of the three who passed by the man who got mugged, he was the one who was kind hearted enough to stop and help this one in need.
That’s the kind of character and actions that matter to God. And I also believe that’s the kind of actions that matter to the world we are trying to win over to Christ. As we know, most of the time a person’s actions speak louder than their words.
If anything characterized Jesus and His personal ministry, it was the fact that He was totally righteous, and good, and the fact that He was very kind. He even used impressive acts of kindness to draw attention to His message and helped them to believe.
In John 4:48 Jesus said, “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders you will never believe.”
So what did He do? He went around from place to place helping, and healing, and loving the unlovable as He preached His message.
For example in Mark 1:40-42 it says, 40 Now a leper came to him and fell to his knees, asking for help. “If you are willing, you can make me clean,” he said. 41 Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be clean!” 42 The leprosy left him at once, and he was clean. NET
I think it is easier to do good and kind things when we practice being good, when we make a choice to be kind hearted. And I personally believe that the Spirit of God that lives in those of us who are Christians will prompt us and help us become better people and even become kinder to others as we walk with Him. He is ready to raise us to a higher level!
I find that Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan is very similar in how He personally dealt with this man with leprosy.
1) Both these men, the man that was mugged and left for dead on the side of the road, and the man with leprosy, were in a dire state.
2) In both cases, Jesus and the Samaritan felt and showed compassion.          I looked up the word compassion in the dictionary and this is how it was defined: It is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by some misfortune. It is also accompanied by a strong desire to help alleviate the suffering.
Some synonym for compassion are: to show grace, kindness, and mercy
Its antonyms (or its opposite) are to be indifferent, without mercy, even cruel.
If you think about it, that’s how the Levite and the Priest acted as they walked by the injured man in the story of the Good Samaritan.
But Jesus and the Good Samaritan felt something; they felt compassion.
3) Another thing we see in both of these stories, is the fact that both Jesus and Good Samaritan were willing to get their hands dirty. The Samaritan got down and bandaged the man’s wounds and then put him on his own mount. Jesus reached out and touched the man with leprosy who was at His feet on his knees, even before He healed Him. Did Jesus have to touch this man to heal him? No, but how comforting that touch must have been to that man from the Messiah Himself.
Sometimes it’s the kind, little things we do that can mean so much and encourage others: maybe just to acknowledge someone, or give them a smile, or a pat on the back, a hug, a card or even a phone call that can lift a person’s spirit. There may be a few great things that we can do for others in are lifetime but there are bunch of little thing we can do each day if we just open our eyes.
4) Also in both stories, being kind cost something of the giver. For the Good Samaritan it cost him some of his time, it cost him his ride having given it up to put the injured man on until they reached the village. It also cost him money out of his own pocket.
For Jesus, even though He asked the healed leper not to say anything about who healed him, the story goes on to say that the word got out anyway, and therefore Jesus had to stay outside the village and stay out in lonely places. He probably had to camp out and sleep on the hard ground rather than on a soft bed in town.
So what are some things that hinder us from being kind?
In the story of the Good Samaritan, why didn’t the priest and Levite help the injured man? They saw the man but they simply passed him by.
I believe they could have been afraid. Sometimes fear will cripple and even prevent us from doing good. But the scriptures also tell us that abundant love can cast out our fears or drive them away.
Or these men could have simply been indifferent, without compassion, with a calloused hearts. Simply put, selfish and only concerned about what they wanted to do over the need of another. They probably justified their lack of action in their own minds and made excuses to make them self feel better. Have you ever done that?
At the end of Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus asked the Jew who was trying to justify himself, “Which of these three do you think became a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?”
In other word which man do you think did the right thing in God’s sight? And the response was, “The expert in religious law said, “The one who showed mercy to him.”
And so in conclusion what did Jesus say to him? He said to him, “Go and do the same.”
I don’t feel that I need to brow beat you with all a bunch of scripture verses on the importance of being good and treating outers with kindness and mercy. There are many, but I think this one says it all.
Right here Jesus showed this man and each of us as well, what His will and what God’s will is: To be good, and compassionate, and kind to others, whether you know them or not.
But just like with some of the other fruits of the Spirit, this is something we must choose to do, to go out of our way to do. And the more we learn to deny self and help others, and show kindness to others the more we please God, and become like Jesus which will in turn make us feel good. That’s right you can feel good everyday by choosing to good and kind to others!
I have another question for you, what do you want to be remember for? How hard you worked in this life? How much properly, and animal, and things you own, or how many places you visited or went on vacation to?
Is that what you want to be remembered for?
What matter to me, and what should matters to you, should be what matters to God.
In Matthew 25 Jesus again showed what matters to God. He said that when He returns at the end of all time, and when all the peoples of the earth are separated and gathered before Him in two lines, one to His left like goat, and the rest to His right like sheep, we and what we have done while on this earth will be judged.
And do you remember what the criteria was to enter in His kingdom? Besides believing in and accepting Him? It will come down to how kind we are to others. I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
It goes on to say that when some ask Jesus when we did those things for Him, He will respond by saying that we did those things for Him when we did it for those who we came into contact while we lived here on earth. Or how we treated other people.
Isn’t that what you want to be remembered for? If so, choose that path and ask the Spirit of God to help you grow in this area and start being kinder to those you come in contact with throughout the day, everyday!
For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566
All comments can be emailed to: bfronzek@gmail.com