Episode 177

Disciple Up # 177
Greater Than – Hebrews Pt. 1 – Prologue
By Louie Marsh, 9-16-2020

Intro.

Prologue

Hebrews 1: 1-4

1  Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4  having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. Hebrews 1:1-4 (ESV)

VERSE ONE:

1  Long ago,  – God has been communicating with mankind for a long, long time, nothing new about it.

 at many times He didn’t do it all at once but scattered the prophets and others throughout Israel’s history.

 and in many ways,

 This refers to the difference of the various revelations in contents and form. Not the different ways in which God imparted his revelations to the prophets, but the different ways in which he spoke by the prophets to the fathers: in one way through Moses, in another through Elijah, in others through Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc. At the founding of the Old Testament kingdom of God, the character of the revelation was elementary. Later it was of a character to appeal to a more matured spiritual sense, a deeper understanding and a higher conception of the law. The revelation differed according to the faithfulness or unfaithfulness of the covenant-people.   Vincent – Word Studies in the New Testament.

10  so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Ephesians 3:10 (ESV)

A very striking phrase. The adjective occurs only here, and means variegated. It is applied to pictures, flowers, garments. Ποίκιλον is used in the Septuagint of Joseph’s coat, Genesis 37:3. Through the Church God’s wisdom in its infinite variety is to be displayed—the many-tinted wisdom of God—in different modes of power, different characters, methods of training, providences, forms of organization,   Vincent – Word Studies in the New Testament.

 God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,

“In many ways.” Adverb from old adjective polutropos, in Philo, only here in N.T. The two adverbs together are “a sonorous hendiadys for ‘variously'” (Moffatt) as Chrysostom (diaphorōs). God spoke by dream, by direct voice, by signs, in different ways to different men (Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, etc.). –  Robertson – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

VERSE TWO:

 2  but in these last days

Yes, we are living in the Last days and have been for over 2000 years.

16  But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 17  “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18  even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. Acts 2:16-18 (ESV)

he has spoken to us by his Son,

Hath spoken (elalēsen). First aorist indicative of laleō, the same verb as above, “did speak” in a final and full revelation – Robertson – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

Note the absence of the article. Attention is directed, not to Christ’s divine personality, but to his filial relation. While the former revelation was given through a definite class, the prophets, the new revelation is given through one who is a son as distinguished from a prophet. He belongs to another category. The revelation was a son-revelation. See 2:10-18. Christ’s high priesthood is the central fact of the epistle, and his sonship is bound up with his priesthood… – Vincent – Word Studies in the New Testament.

whom he appointed the heir of all things,

Hath appointed (ethēken). First aorist (kappa aorist) active of tithēmi, a timeless aorist.

Heir of all things (klēronomon pantōn). See Mark 12:6 for ho klēronomos in Christ’s parable, perhaps an allusion here to this parable (Moffatt). The idea of sonship easily passes into that of heirship (Galatians 4:7; Romans 8:17). See the claim of Christ in Matthew 11:27; Matthew 28:18 even before the Ascension. –  Robertson – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

27  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Matthew 11:27 (ESV)

through whom also he created the world. Hebrews 1:2 (ESV)

1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  He was in the beginning with God. 3  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4  In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 (ESV)

VERSE THREE:

 3  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature,

The word apaugasma, late substantive from apaugazō, to emit brightness (augē, augazō in 2 Cor. 4:4), here only in the N.T., but in Wisd. 7:26 and in Philo. It can mean either reflected brightness, refulgence (Calvin, Thayer) or effulgence (ray from an original light body) as the Greek fathers hold. Both senses are true of Christ in his relation to God as Jesus shows in plain language in John 12:45; John 14:9. “The writer is using metaphors which had already been applied to Wisdom and the Logos” (Moffatt). The meaning “effulgence” suits the context better, though it gives the idea of eternal generation of the Son (John 1:1), the term Father applied to God necessarily involving Son. See this same metaphor in 2 Cor. 4:6. – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

Charaktēr is an old word from charassō, to cut, to scratch, to mark. It first was the agent (note ending = tēr) or tool that did the marking, then the mark or impress made, the exact reproduction, a meaning clearly expressed by charagma (Acts 17:29; Rev. 13:16-17). Menander had already used (Moffatt) charaktēr in the sense of our “character.” The word occurs in the inscriptions for “person” as well as for “exact reproduction” of a person. The word hupostasis for the being or essence of God “is a philosophical rather than a religious term” (Moffatt). – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

 and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

Rend. maintaining. Upholding conveys too much the idea of the passive support of a burden. “The Son is not an Atlas, sustaining the dead weight of the world” (quoted by Westcott). Neither is the sense that of ruling or guiding, as Philo (De Cherub. § 11), who describes the divine word as “the steersman and pilot of the all.” It implies sustaining, but also movement. It deals with a burden, not as a dead weight, but as in continual movement; as Weiss puts it, “with the all in all its changes and transformations throughout the aeons.” It is concerned, not only with sustaining the weight of the universe, but also with maintaining its coherence and carrying on its development. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high

indicates that the work of purification was done by Christ personally, and was not something which he caused to be done by some other agent. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

Comp. Psalm 110:1, 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; Ephesians 1:20; Revelation 3:21. The verb denotes a solemn, formal act; the assumption of a position of dignity and authority The reference is to Christ’s ascension. In his exalted state he will still be bearing on all things toward their consummation, still dealing with sin as the great high priest in the heavenly sanctuary – Word Studies in the New Testament.

20  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, Ephesians 1:20 (ESV)

VERSE FOUR:

4  having become as much superior to angels

The informal and abrupt introduction of this topic goes to show that the writer was addressing Jewish Christians, who were familiar with the prominent part ascribed to angels in the O.T. economy, especially in the giving of the law. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

 as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs

The comparative only in Hebrews. In the sense of more excellent, only in later writers. Its earlier sense is different. The idea of difference is that which radically distinguishes it from κρείττων better. Here it presents the comparative of a comparative conception. The Son’s name differs from that of the angels, and is more different for good. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

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Episode 176

Disciple Up #176
Hard Work & Hebrews
By Louie Marsh, 9-9-2020

Since I’m recording this on Labor Day, and since this has been on my mind lately, I preached a little bit about this two weeks ago, I thought I’d an episode on this as well as do an introduction to Hebrews.

Work Is Not a Result of the Fall

15  The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:15-17 (ESV)

“to serve, cultivate, enslave, work.” This root is used widely in Semitic and Canaanite languages. This verb appears about 290 times in all parts of the Old Testament. The verb is first used in Gen. 2:5: “…And there was not a man to till the ground.” God gave to man the task “to dress [the ground]
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words.

Working in An Environment That Fights You Is

 17  And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18  thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19  By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:17-19 (ESV)

Give God my all by working HARD.

6  Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. 7  Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, 8  she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. 9  How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? 10  A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 11  and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. Proverbs 6:6-11 (ESV)

23  Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV)

  • God’s wisdom: to see everything from a Christ Centered perspective.

10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

Work Is Tied to God’s Will for Us

 24  There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, Ecclesiastes 2:24 (ESV)

 10  Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going. Ecclesiastes 9:10 (ESV)

 8  The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. Psalm 138:8 (ESV)

11  To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, 12  and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13  when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. 1 Corinthians 4:11-13 (ESV)

 Because Work Is Tied to God’s Will Refusal to Work (when able) Is a Sin

6  Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. 7  For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8  nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9  It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10  For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11  For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12  Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. 13  As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 14  If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15  Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 (ESV)

Working with My Gifts & Abilities IS God’s Will

7  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8  For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10  to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11  All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (ESV)

 27  To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28  Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29  For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. Colossians 1:27-29 (ESV)

2  “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3  and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, 4  to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, 5  in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. 6  And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you: 7  the tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furnishings of the tent, 8  the table and its utensils, and the pure lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, 9  and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, 10  and the finely worked garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests, 11  and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do.” Exodus 31:2-11 (ESV)

An Introduction to the Book of Hebrews

Introduction to Hebrews

 The letter to the Hebrews is a unique book in the New Testament. It begins as an essay (Heb 1:1-2), progresses as a sermon (Heb 2:1-4), and ends as a letter (Heb 13:23-25). Its contents are deep and challenging. Many Christians find it difficult; some equate its difficulty with the book of Revelation.

But for Christians willing to take the time to read and reflect upon it, they will be:

Reminded of how blessed they are to have trusted in Christ

Impressed with the superiority of Christ and His New Covenant over Moses and the Old Covenant

Warned of the danger of apostasy and the need for steadfastness in their faith.

AUTHOR

 The author does not identify himself. Many believe it to be the apostle Paul (e.g., Clement of Alexandria) and have offered arguments in his favor (cf. Commentary on Hebrews, Robert Milligan, p. 5-19). Yet it seems unlikely when you consider the author’s statement, “…was confirmed to us by those who heard Him” (Heb 2:3). This suggests the author received the gospel message second-hand, while Paul declared that he had not received the gospel from or through men (Gal 1:11-12).

Other names have been proposed over the years: Barnabas (suggested by Tertullian), Apollos (suggested by Luther), even Priscilla (suggested by Harnack). Perhaps Origen says it best, “But who wrote the epistle, to be sure, only God knows.”

RECIPIENTS

 The general consensus is that this letter was written to Jewish Christians. There is uncertainty as to where they and the author were at the time of composition. Many believe the recipients were in Palestine, and the author in Rome. Others suggest the readers were in Rome and the author elsewhere, based upon a possible implication in Heb 13:24. In any case, they were Jewish Christians whom the author knew personally (Heb 10:34; 13:19).

DATE

We know the epistle was written prior to 96 A.D., because Clement of Rome quotes from Hebrews in his letter that was written at that time. There are certainly strong indications that it was written prior to 70 A.D….

There is no mention of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple

The author writes as though priests were still offering sacrifices – Heb 8:4; 10:11

If the Jewish Christians were in Palestine, it was likely before or at the beginning of the Jewish Wars (ca. 66-70 A.D.; cf. Heb 12:4).

The time frame of 63-65 A.D. is often suggested.

PURPOSE AND THEME

 The author wrote this epistle to prevent his readers from abandoning their faith in Christ (Heb 2:1-4). To encourage his Jewish brethren not to go back to the Old Law, he endeavored to show the superiority of Christ and His Covenant (Heb 8:1-2,6). A key word found throughout the epistle is “better”:

  • Christ is “better than the angels” – Heb 1:4
  • We enjoy “the bringing in of a better hope” – Heb 7:19
  • Jesus has become “the surety of a better covenant” – Heb 7:22
  • He is also “the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises” – Heb 8:6
  • The heavenly things benefit from “better sacrifices” – Heb 9:23

Indeed, the purpose of this epistle was to exhort his readers to remain faithful to the much better things they have in Christ (Heb 13:22). As for its theme here’s what almost all Bible scholars would agree with:

The Superiority of Christ and The New Covenant

OUTLINE

1) The superiority of Christ – Heb 1:1-8:6

  • Better than the prophets, as a much better Spokesman – Heb 1:1-3
  • Better than the angels, by virtue of His Deity and humanity – Heb 1:4-2:18
  • Better than Moses, for He is the Son who provides a heavenly rest – Heb 3:1-4:13
  • Better than Aaron, as His priesthood is a superior one – Heb 4:16-8:6

2) The superiority of the New Covenant – Heb 8:7-10:18

  • For it is based upon better promises – Heb 8:7-13
  • For it is based upon a better sanctuary – Heb 9:1-28
  • For it is based upon a better sacrifice – Heb 10:1-18

3) Exhortations drawn from this superiority – Heb 10:19-13:25

  • Draw near to God and hold fast – Heb 10:19-39
  • Run the race of faith with endurance – Heb 11:1-12:29
  • Miscellaneous exhortations – Heb 13:1-25

Where this information came from: https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/eo/Heb/Heb000.cfm

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Episode 175

Disciple Up #175
Christian Men – Man Up!
By Louie Marsh, 9-2-2020

Coming Up – Hebrews

75th anniversary of the signing of the surrender accords on the USS Missouri.

Future episodes topics

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/august-web-only/why-women-read-bible-more.html

https://www.google.com/search?q=halee+gray+scott&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS791US791&oq=HALEE+GRAY+SCOTT&aqs=chrome.0.0j46j0.545j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

https://www.amazon.com/Gay-Girl-Good-God-Always/dp/1462751229/?tag=christtoday-20

https://sotb.research.bible/

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Episode 174

 Disciple Up #174
Stupid Things Christians Say Pt 4
God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
By Louie Marsh, 8-26-2020

Intro.  It looks like I’ll be doing Hebrews, haven’t decided yet but am close.

The phrase “God helps those who help themselves” is a motto that emphasizes the importance of self-initiative and agency. The expression is still famous around the globe and used to inspire people for self-help. The phrase originated in ancient Greece as “the Gods help those who help themselves” and may originally have been proverbial. It is illustrated by two of Aesop’s Fables and a similar sentiment is found in ancient Greek drama. Although it has been commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, the modern English wording appears earlier in Algernon Sidney’s work.

 

The phrase is often mistaken as a scriptural quote, though it is not stated verbatim in the Bible. Some Christians have criticized the expression as being contrary to the Bible’s message of God’s grace. A variant of the phrase can also be found in the Quran (13:11).

 

Prevailing views

The belief that this is a phrase that occurs in the Bible, or is even one of the Ten Commandments, is common in the United States. The beliefs of Americans regarding this phrase and the Bible has been studied by Christian demographer and pollster George Barna of The Barna Group. To the statement “The Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves”; 53% of Americans agree strongly, 22% agree somewhat, 7% disagree somewhat, 14% disagree strongly, and 5% stated they don’t know.

 

Of “born-again” Christians 68% agreed, and 81% of non “born-again” Christians agreed with the statement. In a February 2000 poll, 53% strongly agreed and 22% agreed somewhat that the Bible teaches the phrase. Of the 14 questions asked, this was the least biblical response, according to Barna. A poll in the late 1990s showed the majority (81%) believe the concept is taught by the Bible, another stating 82%.

 

Despite being of non-Biblical origin the phrase topped a poll of the most widely known Bible verses. Seventy-five percent of American teenagers said they believed that it was the central message of the Bible.

 

Barna critiques this as evidence of Americans’ unfamiliarity with the Bible. He said,  It “suggests a spiritual self-reliance inconsistent with Christianity” according to David Kinnaman, vice president of the Barna Research Group. Christian minister Erwin Lutzer argues there is some support for this saying in the Bible (2 Thessalonians 3:10, James 4:8); however, much more often God helps those who cannot help themselves, which is what grace is about (the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican, Ephesians 2:4–5, Romans 4:4–5). The statement is often criticized as espousing a Semi-Pelagian model of salvation, which most Christians denounce as heresy.

 

SemiPelagianism is a Christian theological and soteriological school of thought on salvation. Semipelagian thought stands in contrast to the earlier Pelagian teaching about salvation, the Pelagianism (in which people achieve their own salvation by their own means), which had been dismissed as heresy.

 

The Persians

The sentiment appears in several ancient Greek tragedies. Sophocles, in his Philoctetes (c. 409 BC), wrote, “No good e’er comes of leisure purposeless; And heaven ne’er helps the men who will not act.”

 

Euripides, in the Hippolytus (428 BC), mentions that, “Try first thyself, and after call in God; For to the worker God himself lends aid.” In his Iphigeneia in Tauris, Orestes says, “I think that Fortune watcheth o’er our lives, surer than we. But well said: he who strives will find his gods strive for him equally.”

 

A similar version of this saying “God himself helps those who dare” better translated as “divinity helps those who dare” “audentes deus ipse iuuat” comes from Ovid, Metamorphoses, 10.586. The phrase is spoken by Hippomenes when contemplating whether to enter a foot race against Atalanta for her hand in marriage. If Hippomenes were to lose, however, he would be killed. Hippomenes decides to challenge Atalanta to a race and, with the aid of Venus, Hippomenes was able to win the race.

 

The same concept is found in the fable of Hercules and the Wagoner, first recorded by Babrius in the 1st century AD. In it, a wagon falls into a ravine, or in later versions becomes mired, but when its driver appeals to Hercules for help, he is told to get to work himself. Aesop is also credited with a similar fable about a man who calls on the goddess Athena for help when his ship is wrecked and is advised to try swimming first. It has been conjectured that both stories were created to illustrate an already existing proverb.

 

The French author Jean de La Fontaine also adapted the first of these fables as Le chartier embourbé (Fables VI.18) and draws the moral Aide-toi, le ciel t’aidera (Help yourself and Heaven will help you too). A little earlier, George Herbert had included “Help thyself, and God will help thee” in his proverb collection, Jacula Prudentum (1651). But it was the English political theorist Algernon Sidney who originated the now familiar wording, “God helps those who help themselves”, apparently the first exact rendering of the phrase. Benjamin Franklin later used it in his Poor Richard’s Almanack (1736) and has been widely quoted.

 

Islamic texts

A passage with similar sentiments can be found in the Quran:

Indeed Allah will not change the conditions of a population until they change what is in themselves.  Qur’an 13:11

 

It has a different meaning in that it implies that helping oneself is a prerequisite for expecting the help of God.

 

Trust in God But Tie Your Camel is an Arab proverb with a similar meaning. It is also one of the reported sayings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. According to Tirmidhi, one day Mohammed noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it. He asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered, “I placed my trust in Allah.” At that, Mohammed said, “Tie your camel and place your trust in Allah.”

 

Other historical uses

The French society Aide-toi, le ciel t’aidera (Help yourself and Heaven will help you too) played an important role in bringing about the July Revolution of 1830 in France.

 

Aide-toi et Dieu t’aidera (Help yourself, and God will help you) was the motto on the ship’s wheel of the famous UK-built Confederate sea raider CSS Alabama, captained by Raphael Semmes during the American Civil War.

 

Prevalence and assessment

The phrase is often quoted to emphasize the importance of taking initiative. There is also a relationship to the Parable of the Faithful Servant, and the Parable of the Ten Virgins, which has a similar eschatological theme: be prepared for the day of reckoning. However, the argument has been made that this is a non-Biblical concept. That’s what it is.

 

Christian Scripture

While the term does not appear verbatim in Christian scriptures, these passages are used to suggest an ethic of reliance on God.

 

Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

Deuteronomy 28:8 – The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to.

Proverbs 13:4 – The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

Proverbs 21:31 – The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.

Matthew 5:3-4 – God blesses those who realize their need for him; and who mourn will be comforted.

I Timothy 5:8 – If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Reliance upon God is not mentioned but is strongly implied.

 

Conversely, instances where Jesus served or healed someone would be evidence of God helping those who cannot help themselves. (See Mark 6:34; Mark 1:30-31; and Mark 10:46-52.)

 

The Real Issue:

 

Are you talking about Salvation or living life every day?

 

If you’re talking about Salvation then you are completely off of what Scripture says and are expounding a heresy.

 

3  For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4  Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5  And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6  just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7  “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8  blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” Romans 4:3-8 (ESV)

 

Mormon view – saved by works, and God fills in whatever gaps are left if you’ve done well.

 

“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

2 Nephi 25:23 [Book of Mormon]

 

If you are talking about living life then you may have a kernel of truth.

 

For while life must be lived in the Spirit and by the power of God, we are also called upon to have faith and to take the initiative.

 

Proverbs 6:10-12 – A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.

Proverbs 12:11 – He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.

Proverbs 12:24 – Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.

 

Just because I’m working hard doesn’t mean I’m not also trusting God!

 

Paul may say it best here:

 

28  Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29  For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. Colossians 1:28-29 (ESV)

 

But this message is spread throughout the Bible.

 

10  “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 (NASB)

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Episode 173

173 Disciple Up Show Notes
Stupid Things Christians Say, Pt. 3
By Louie Marsh, 8-19-2020

Intro. Book – only had one suggestion – Hebrews, will probably go with it.

STUPID THINGS CHRISTIANS SAY:

1) Your [child, loved one] died because God needed another Angel, or a choir member or… 

 

There’s also a softer version of this saying that goes something like this: “God gained another angel today.”

 

While the latter is slighter better than the former both are horrible and both are wrong from a Biblical point of view.

 

  • Here is the plain and simple truth. Humans are humans, and angels are angels. This does not and cannot change.

 

In fact, angels are intrigued by the interaction between God and His “image-bearing” humans: “It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look (1 Peter 1:12).”

 

It’s actually better for you to be human than it is for you to be an angel. Ezekiel 28:12 – 18, Isaiah 14:12 – 14, and Revelation 12:4 describe the fall of Lucifer (a former angel) and one-third of the angels (now considered demons) that joined his revolt against holy God.

 

What arrests your attention in these accounts is that the judgment of the angels was final, with no hope of redemption. I believe this is what the 1 Peter passage is discussing, when he says, “things which angels long to look.” They are astonished by God’s love for you and I.

 

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).”

 

Christ died for people, not angels! And in fact we’re going to judge the Angels. 2  Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3  Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 (ESV)

 

  • No where in Scripture is God said to decide when everyone died. He did NOT kill your child.

 

When a loved one dies knowing Jesus, God does not gain another angel, but a child comes home.

 

  • God doesn’t NEED ANYTHING! If He did He wouldn’t be God.

 

22  So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23  For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24  The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25  nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26  And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27  that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, Acts 17:22-27 (ESV)

 

2) How many people have you saved (or healed)? 

 

6  But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7  And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8  And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9  And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10  and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:6-10 (ESV)

 

8  Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9  He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10  said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11  And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12  Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13  And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14  But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15  “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16  In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17  Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 18  Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them. Acts 14:8-18 (ESV)

 

3) “God showed up!” Isn’t He always with us?  

 

I know what people mean when they say this. It’s mainly an inartful way of expressing that God really moved in a particular situation. So, without becoming a nitpicker, there are a couple of things about this saying that really bother me.

 

  • First of all – God is Always with us!

 

14  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14 (ESV)

 

18  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

 

  • Secondly – it implies that when there’s no flashy miracle, etc. God isn’t there, and that’s totally unscriptural and a BAD belief to be spreading where you mean too or not.

 

8  For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10  He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 (ESV)

 

7  So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8  Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (ESV)

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Episode 172

Disciple Up #172
Colossians: The Supremacy of Christ, Part 9
Pray, Watch & Witness
By Louie Marsh, 8-12-2020

1) PERSIST in Prayer.

 Devote yourselves to prayer…. Col. 4:2

Don’t be weary in prayer; keep at it;  Col. 4:2 (LB)

 Pray for

 1  When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2  since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3  And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4  I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5  And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. John 17:1-5 (ESV)

 

  • Pray for

 

Don’t forget to pray for us, that God will open doors for telling the mystery of Christ, even while I’m locked up in this jail. Pray that every time I open my mouth I’ll be able to make Christ plain as day to them. Col. 4:3-4 (Message)

 2) WATCH what’s happening!

 …being watchful…. Col. 4:2

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind… Col. 4:2 (NLT)

  • Watch

3  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5 (ESV)

  • Watch
  • Watch THE ENEMY.

 

Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. 1 Peter 5:8 (Message)

3) THANK God regularly.

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Col. 4:2 (NLT)

4) SHARE my faith wisely.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Col. 4:5-6

  • MAXIMIZE every moment.
  • TALK like Christ.
  • GIVE honest answers

The Gospel In A Nutshell

God:

The one and only God, who is holy, made us in his image to know him. He is the creator of all things, perfect, holy and worth of our worship & obedience. He is love and in the end will judge all sin.

26  Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… 27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV)

Man:

All people, though created good, have become sinful by nature, we sin and cut ourselves off from God’s love and grace. (Gen. 3)

23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23 (ESV)

8  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8 (ESV)

Christ:

Is God in human flesh (John 1:1), lived a perfect life, died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law & taking on himself the punishment for our sins.(Mark 10:45; John 1:14; Heb. 7:26; Rom. 3:21-26, 5:12-21) He rose again from the dead, showing that God accepted his sacrifice

45  For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (ESV)

8  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9  In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:8-10 (ESV)

Response –

How To Establish A Spiritual B.A.S.I.S. for Living

B = Believe Jesus died on the Cross for me and showed He was God by coming back to life again.

By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.  For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,  (1 Cor. 15:2-4)

A = Accept Christ as Lord of My life and His free forgiveness of my sins.

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–  (John 1:12)

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace  (Eph. 1:7)

S = Switch to God’s Plan for my life.

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”  (Mark 1:15)

I = Inform others of your decision.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  (Romans 10:9)

S = Submerge yourself in Christ.

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,  for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  (Galatians 3:26-27

5) KEEP people your priority.

    Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.

    My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16  And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. Colossians 4:7-16 (ESV

6) FINISH your race!

Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.” Col. 4:1

7) GRACE is what you need!

I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Col. 4:18

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Disciple Up # 171
Stupid Things Christian’s Say, Pt 2
“Everything Happens for A Reason”
By Louie Marsh, 7-5-2020

Links to Sites Quoted From on this podcast:

 https://www.inc.com/thomas-koulopoulos/its-time-to-say-it-everything-does-not-happen-for-a-reason.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-purpose/201807/why-we-think-everything-happens-reason

https://ideapod.com/everything-happens-for-a-reason-7-reasons-to-believe-in-this-philosophy/

https://www.christianity.com/wiki/christian-life/does-everything-really-happen-for-a-reason.html

Does everything happen for a reason? Yes.

Scientifically everything has a cause and then has an effect. That effect then often causes other things to happen. So yes, in the physical world everything is caused by something else. Nothing just spontaneously occurs for no reason whatsoever.  So, in the physical world nothing happens without a cause, or a reason for it happening.

Possible Reasons Things Happen

Sinful acts by others or myself

Well intentioned acts (mine or others) that go wrong (Murphey’s Law)

Things break or wear out in our fallen world

Chance that seems random, but may or may not be

Others responding to what I’ve said or done (reaping what I’ve sowed)

Physical consequences of my actions

Several or many different things happening at once

How this works in real life

 If someone you know and love kills themselves and a friend attempts to comfort you by saying, “Everything happens for a reason,” what do they mean? Do they mean that depression resulted in this person killing themselves?

Almost certainly no. When people say this they are referring to some vague and unknown universal power or deity or just “the universe” itself has some sort of plan or purpose and your friends suicide somehow, in some unknown and unknowable way, fits into this mysterious plan.

This is what is so objectionable from a Biblical perspective.  First of all God is not unknowable and secondly who are you to say that everything is part of his plan? What about our free will and our responsibility for what we choose to say and do?

According to the Bible everything that happens is NOT what God wants to happen, and He does NOT make it happen. He allows it to happen, but that’s completely different from causing or approving it. That’s why many things are labeled sin by God, they happen alright but not because they are part of God’s plan or He wants them too.

33  “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. 34  You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35  The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36  I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37  for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37 (ESV)

  • We are responsible for what we do, think, feel and say, and we will answer for all those before God. That nine-year-old little boy who was killed in Chicago this weekend was NOT part of God’s plan. The reason he was shot was because of sin. The person or people responsible will be held accountable by God.

1  The word of the LORD came to me: 2  “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? 3  As I live, declares the Lord GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. 4  Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die. 5  “If a man is righteous and does what is just and right— 6  if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman in her time of menstrual impurity, 7  does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, 8  does not lend at interest or take any profit, withholds his hand from injustice, executes true justice between man and man, 9  walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully—he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord GOD. 10  “If he fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things 11  (though he himself did none of these things), who even eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor’s wife, 12  oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, 13  lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself. Ezekiel 18:1-13 (ESV)

  • God does have a plan, but it’s based on FREE WILL. Therefore everything that happens isn’t part of His plan. Yes He knows it will happen and yes He has a way to accomplish His will in spite of those events, but they are still NOT happening for some mystical reason. They are the result of sin, and that’s the bottom line on that!

46  “If they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near, 47  yet if they turn their heart in the land to which they have been carried captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors, saying, ‘We have sinned and have acted perversely and wickedly,’ 48  if they repent with all their mind and with all their heart in the land of their enemies, who carried them captive, and pray to you toward their land, which you gave to their fathers, the city that you have chosen, and the house that I have built for your name, 49  then hear in heaven your dwelling place their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause 50  and forgive your people who have sinned against you, and all their transgressions that they have committed against you, and grant them compassion in the sight of those who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them 1 Kings 8:46-50 (ESV)

 

  • What really offends me about this is just how self righteous it is. I head someone on TV say a while back that they are “a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.” Oh my, how spiritual you think you are! But are you?

 

1  But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4  treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5  having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (ESV)

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Episode 170

 

Disciple Up #170
Reaching the Breaking Point
My commentary on my July Column of Parker Stripped
From Parkerliveonline.com
By Louie Marsh, 7-29-2020

I’ve been thinking about writing this column for quite a while now. But I’ve kept putting it off. In fact I actively looked for reasons not to write it. But it keeps coming up in many of my conversations and I see it all over the place, nearly everywhere I look in fact. So for better or worse I decided it was time to talk about the proverbial elephant in the room.

I say elephant in the room because I’m far from the only one who’s seen this. But most of us don’t seem to want to either admit to it or deal with it. So what am I talking about? Just this: The impact from our national shutdown, isolation from others, national unrest and the shifting “facts” we hear from day to day are taking a huge toll on almost all of us.

And its well past time we admitted it and began dealing with it.

Let me take just one recent conversation I’ve had as an example. A friend of mine had been commenting on how the people he worked with seemed have much shorter fuses than they used too. They were kind of grumpy and tense and just generally below par. This led to them to act in ways that a few short months ago he was sure they wouldn’t have.

I told him I’d seen a lot of that. Not only in other people but in myself as well. I said that being cut off from real, in person, socializing; not being able to hug or touch our loved ones and friends, was beginning to warp people in bad ways.

I don’t think any of us are thinking as clearly as we should be. Many of us, especially those of us who live alone, rarely if ever get to hug or touch another human being. We’ve been told for years how important human touch is and now we are finding out just how right all that information was!

This warping applies to our emotional states. Some people I know are more aggressive (if you don’t believe me just review your Facebook or Twitter feed, if you have one, and you’ll see what I mean). Others are quieter and depressed at their inability to do what we’ve always taken for granted. Like go to a store or hop on a plane or just visit friends.

If you still aren’t sure I’m right about all this try this little exercise in depression – try doing some long term planning. Good luck with that! (I confess that’s one of several things that really bugs me!)

Our world has changed in so many ways so quickly that we can’t really keep up. On top of that we have no trustworthy assurances when things will get back to normal, if they’ll ever get there at all! This uncertainty hangs over all our heads like (here’s another old cliché alert!) the Sword of Damocles. And like that fabled sword we don’t have any idea when it will fall, how it will fall or where it will fall.

To many of us it seems to be falling right now.

So what do we do about this on a personal level? How can I respond to this and, hopefully, find some much needed relief from all this pent up stress and pressure? Below are a few ideas to use as a starting point.

1) Admit that this really is bugging you. You are being affected and this is a real issue for you. (Starting a 12 step program for those dealing with 2020 Syndrome might not be a bad idea.) You can’t deal with any kind of problem or issue if you refuse to admit that it’s there.

2) Give Grace to everyone around you, including yourself. So we aren’t at our best right now. Instead of blaming or shaming or lashing out why not take a different approach? Why not offer some grace, some forgiveness, some understanding to others and yourself? We all need it, so we should all be giving it to others.

3) Make a life for yourself. How you’ll do this depends on your opinions on a variety of issues like masks and vaccines and a whole list of topics I’m not going to discuss here. My point is use your creativity and find a way to do meaningful, important activities and strengthen relationships in spite of all the road blocks strewn across our path.

4) Take the long, historical, view. For many Americans this will mean you’ll actually need to read some good history books. Remember we aren’t the first people to face a pandemic, and we certainly won’t be the last. Our ancestors faced far worse plagues with far less to fight them with, and they survived. If we can learn to look at life from a longer and wider perspective it’ll do us, and everyone around us good.

I realize it’s easier to write these things than to do them. I also know they are just a start. But everything has to start somewhere, so why not start now to deal with all of this and see where that road takes us?

VERSES WE NEED TO TAKE SERIOUSLY:

 15  Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16  For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17  And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17 (ESV)

 1  See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2  Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3  And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 1 John 3:1-3 (ESV)

 13  Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14  We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15  Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16  By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17  But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18  Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 19  By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20  for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 1 John 3:13-20 (ESV)

 1  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2  By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3  and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4  Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5  They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6  We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:1-6 (ESV)

 7  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9  In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12  No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:7-12 (ESV)

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Episode 169

Disciple Up # 169
Colossians Part 8 The Christ Centered Family
By Louie Marsh, 7-22-2020

An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, give a smile, and a “Thanks for flying XYZ airline.” He said that in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for this little old lady walking with a cane. She said, “Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?” “Why no Ma’am,” said the pilot, “what is it?” The little old lady said, “Did we land or were we shot down?”

Two Facts About Submission:

1) Submitting is always a REACTION.

2) Wives submit THEMSELVES – they aren’t forced into it.

Wives, be constantly subjecting yourselves to your husbands…Wuest

How Husbands Should Act.

1) LOVE your wife by doing what’s best for HER!

And you husbands must love your wives and never treat them harshly. Col. 3:19 (NLT)

25  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26  that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27  so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28  In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30  because we are members of his body. Ephesians 5:25-30 (ESV)

Love = Agape = doing what’s best for the object of your love!

2) COMMUNICATE!

“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. Hosea 11:1

3) DON’T rely on emotion!

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Cor. 13:7 (NLT)

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.  Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardship of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy.  He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire.  The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed.  The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying.  Their 13 children fled for their lives.  His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste.  For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.  A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

4) Be GENTLE!

How Wives Should Act.

1) SUBMIT to your husband by PUTTING HIM FIRST.

 Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master. Col. 3:18

2) Treat your husband with RESPECT!

Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respects her husband. Eph. 5:33 (NASB)

How Parents and Children Should Act.

  • Children: OBEY your parents!

Children, do what your parents tell you. This delights the Master no end. Col. 3:20 (Message)

2) Parents: Treat Your Kids RESPECTFULLY, and ENCOURAGE them!

Fathers, don’t aggravate your children. If you do, they will become discouraged and quit trying. Col. 3:21 (NLT)

How We Should Work.

1) REALIZE that work is spiritual!

Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Col. 3:23 NLT)

2) SERVE  Christ – you’re really working for him.

remembering that it is the Lord Christ who is going to pay you, giving you your full portion of all he owns. He is the one you are really working for. And if you don’t do your best for him, he will pay you in a way that you won’t like–for he has no special favorites who can get away with shirking. Col. 3:24-25 (LB)

3) BE FAIR to those who work under you.

And masters, treat your servants considerately. Be fair with them. Don’t forget for a minute that you, too, serve a Master—God in heaven.  Col. 4:1 (Message)

Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 168

Disciple Up # 168

Dumb Things Christians Say, Pt. 1

God Won’t Give Me Any More Than I Can Handle

By Louie Marsh, 7-15-2020

 

Intro.

 

First Stupid Saying…God won’t give me more than I can handle

 

The Twisted Scripture Behind This Dumb Saying:

 

11  Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12  Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:11-13 (ESV)

 

Notes about this passage:

 

1) Paul is talking about RESISTING TEMPTATION – NOT life in general.

 

2) Paul is WARNING US that if we’re not careful we, like the people in the Old Testament, WILL fall.

 

3) Paul is telling us that God will provide a WAY OF ESCAPE from any and all TEMPTATION not any and all problems.

 

  • A way of escape means WE MUST FIND IT & TAKE IT!
  • This is specifically spoken about temptations NOT suffering in general. Sometimes there is NO escape from that – as Jesus proved conclusively on the cross.

 

Verses Prove the Opposite of this Dumb Saying:

 

8  For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10  He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11  You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (ESV)

 

7  But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10  always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11  For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12  So death is at work in us, but life in you. 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (ESV)

 

13  But I, O LORD, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. 14  O LORD, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me? 15  Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am helpless. 16  Your wrath has swept over me; your dreadful assaults destroy me. 17  They surround me like a flood all day long; they close in on me together. 18  You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness. Psalm 88:13-18 (ESV)

 

Ministry and the Christian Life are SUPPOSED to be done BEYOND OUR LIMITS!

 

24  Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25  of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26  the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27  To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28  Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29  For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. Colossians 1:24-29 (ESV)

 

Where Does This Dumb Saying Come From?

 

It’s from our cultural obsession with SELF!

 

The selfism of our culture has been absorbed into the church so we look for verses that can echo that obsession. This one assures us that God is just waiting around to make things easy on us, to make sure we aren’t over stressed.

 

But the exact opposite is true! God is NOT a lawnmower parent!!

 

1  “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2  Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3  Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:1-5 (ESV)

 

What Happens If You Believe This?

 

Many do believe it and find comfort in it. However there are some very serious downsides to buying into this baloney.

 

1) You are trusting in a false understanding of Scripture which will crumble and fall out from under you, probably at the worst possible time.

 

2) You put false and impossible expectations upon God, and that leads into an unhealthy relationship with Him.

 

3) You can have your faith severely damaged or destroyed when He doesn’t do what you think He’s supposed to do.

 

4) It keeps you from really deepening your faith, expressing all the gifts God has given you and discovering what God wants your life to be about. Living a life of self-reliance robs you of experience the joy unspeakable that living a life relying upon God and God alone brings you.

Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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