What amazes me about Isaiah Chapter 1, is the similarity between our society today and the society that Isaiah found himself in. In Isaiah 1:2-3, the inspired prophet quickly instructs his readers to “Hear….for the Lord has spoken.” One of the major problems of our society today, is that they, like the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem, have “rebelled against God” (Isaiah 1:2), closing their ears to the hearing of God’s word (Isaiah 6:9-10; cf. Matthew 13:14-15).
The spiritual condition of that society was deplorable in God’s sight (Isaiah 1:4-6). Their worship to God was vain and empty – hypocritical at best, and God would not hear their prayers (Isaiah 1:10-15).
God offers a solution to their spiritual blindess (Isaiah 1:16-18; cf. Revelation 3:18-22), just as He offers us the same solution today.
The question is, are we as a society willing to “hear the Lord’s voice” and “open the door” to the Lord’s invitation to dine with Him? (Revelation 3:20).
My favorite place to sit is my in home library room where I study, write, and post my articles to my Bible article blog.
In the context of Matthew 10, Jesus is telling his twelve disciples what to expect when they go from city to city, preaching the gospel. He explains to them that the world will hate them because of the message they preach – including those of their own household (Matthew 10:16-22). He then tells them to preach the whole gospel without fear (Matthew 10:26-27), the only person to fear is the One who can destroy both body and soul in hell (Matthew 10:28).
In Matthew 10:31, He then goes to to say that the disciples are of far more value than that of mere sparrows, therefore, they are not to “fear” what man can do to them – God will take care of them, even in death (Matthew 10:29-31; cf. Romans 8:28-39; cf. Psalm 116:15; Revelation 14:12-13).
When Jesus rides in our boat, there is absolutely nothing to fear: http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2010/02/05/when-jesus-rides-in-our-boat-2/
Some similarities between the rich ruler and Zacchaeus are:
1) Both men were seekers of Jesus (Lk. 18:18; Lk. 19:2-3).
2) Both men were rich (Lk. 18:23; Lk. 19:2).
3) Both men were willingly receptive of Jesus (Lk. 18:18; Lk. 19:6).
4) Both men were seeking eternal life (Lk. 18:18; Lk. 19:8-10).
Some differences between the rich young ruler and Zacchaeus are:
1) The rich young ruler was not willing to share his riches with others less fortunate (deny himself – Matt. 16:24), in order to have riches in heaven and follow Jesus (Lk. 18:22).
In contrast, Zacchaeus was willing to deny self and share his riches with those less fortunate and restore anything taken by false accusation (Lk. 19:8).
2) The rich young ruler was very sorrowful – but not to the point of sincerely repenting of his selfishness. His was a worldly sorrow (Lk. 18:23; cf. 2 Cor. 7:10).
In contrast, Zacchaeus was sorrowful to the point of sincerely repenting of anything amiss in his life – even to the point of restoring to individuals anything falsely taken. His was a godly sorrow (Lk. 19:8-9; cf. 2 Cor. 7:9-10).
Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.
Lou Holtz, American football coach
My favorite idiom is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The Online Etymology Dictionary http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=religion gives us this definition of religion:
“from L. religionem (nom. religio) “respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods,” in L.L. “monastic life” (5c.); according to Cicero, derived from relegare “go through again, read again,” from re- “again” + legere “read” (see lecture). However, popular etymology among the later ancients (and many modern writers) connects it with religare “to bind fast, via notion of “place an obligation on,” or “bond between humans and gods.”
The apostle Paul must have understood the above definition, “to bind fast,” for he stated on several occasions to “hold fast” (1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Tim. 1:13; Titus 1:9). The Hebrew writer also motivates his readers to “hold fast” (Heb. 3:6; Heb. 4:14; Heb. 10:23).
Regarding the above definition of religion being a “bond between humans and gods,” Paul considered himself a “bondservant” (Gr. a “doulos” – Strongs 1401 – a slave to Christ (Romans 1:1 ASV), Christ being a member of the Godhead whose nature is that of deity.
I lose track of time when I’m doing research for an upcoming Bible study article as well as the writing of an article. The time really does fly when you’re really involved and concentrating on getting a Bible study article posted.
For me, the one main blessing in using the King James Version through the years, has been the ease of memorization. Because of it using the King’s English (the Thee’s, Thou’s, verily, peradventure, etc.), it makes for easy memorization: http://www.songsofscripture.com/King-James-Version.html
Another blessing is the great reverence toward God that the KJV text presents. It’s beauty of reverential expression is unequaled: http://www.solagroup.org/articles/historyofthebible/hotb_0015.html
Here is a history of the KJV: http://www.bible-researcher.com/kjvhist.html
I have a hunch that some people won’t do what they say they will do and many times, I’ve had an incorrect assumption about the behavior of some people. This is what we get for labeling folks: http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2009/11/03/lets-avoid-labeling/
I don’t want to shake down anyone on my family tree, because I’m afraid to know what kind of person I might find. 🙂
I leave all of that in the Lord’s very capable hands.
I took piano lessons for 15 years and enjoyed playing the classics, but I don’t play anymore.
My father wanted me to become a piano teacher, but I had neither the right amount of talent nor the desire to become one. I still enjoy listening to all genres of music. If I had it to do over again, I would probably learn to play the guitar instead of the piano because of the beautiful sound it produces.
My favorite non-biblical quote is from William Wordsworth’s, “The World Is Too Much With Us”: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15878 – especially the first four lines:
“The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!”
As the poem suggests, many human beings are too preoccupied with the material (“The world…getting and spending”) and have lost touch with the spiritual and with nature. What a sad commentary on our society today.
Here’s a commentary on the poem: http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/wordsworth/section4.rhtml
The older I get, the more I realize the less time I have on earth, and thus, the more I realize how precious time is: http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2007/02/11/appreciating-the-value-of-time/. Once time is gone, it can never be reclaimed. Do I waste time? Not that I know of. I’m always busy taking care of my wife, working in the yard, paying bills, grocery shopping, preparing daily meals, studying the Bible, writing articles, reading good books and publications produced by faithful proclaimers of God’s word, preaching and teaching. Doing all of this plus working as a library substitute for our local school district, keeps me plenty busy – never have time to be bored, that’s for certain.
I do watch the news and weather on television, plus two weekly shows, NCIS and Criminal Minds. Don’t know if that’s wasted time or not, because both shows motivate me to use my mind in figuring out the plots.
As far as brand fidelity, I don’t look at the brands when I grocery shop. I just look at the cheapest products, no matter what the brand name, and purchase them.
Regarding brands, I wrote the following article entitled “The Problem of Brand Conditioning” that looks at the contrast between different religious “brands” and the Lord’s church: