Episode 159

Disciple Up #159
Freedom & Control
By Louie Marsh, 5-13-2020

Intro. Where the idea for this episode came from.

1) The Article: http://www.parkerliveonline.com/2020/05/08/theres-something-happening/

 

I’ve been noticing something lately with a lot of the people I interact with and that I see and hear online. There seems to be a certain feeling they are projecting that I’ve had a hard time putting my finger on. It’s there, it’s real, but what is it?

 

Yesterday I remembered a song from my youth that seems to sum up very well what I’m sensing. It was written in a different time and place and about a different situation, but the words still work (by the way if you haven’t heard this song find it online and listen to it as soon as your done reading this article!)

 

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

 

  • Written by Stephen Stills, 1966. Performed by Buffalo Springfield, it was recorded on December 5, 1966; released as a single on Atco Records on December 23, 1966;

 

Clearly COVID-19 and our response to it is oppressing if not downright depressing people. I’ve seen people exhibiting some of the classic signs of depression, being tired all the time, not sleeping well, finding it hard to get motivated, etc.

 

Once this clicked with me I began to wonder why. Now if you’ve lost your job then it’s completely understandable that you’d be down about that. But I know lots of people who haven’t lost their job but they are still showing clear signs of what I’ll call COVID-19 Syndrome.

 

To tell the truth I’ve felt some of it myself. But why? I don’t know anyone who’s starving, or being kicked out of their home, or who don’t have clothes to wear, etc.  Most of us are doing ok, if not great in terms of survival. Things could be a lot worse that’s for sure. So what’s going on here?

 

And then something hit me. What I’ve found frustrating about this, and many people throughout the country seem to be pushing back against, is the lack of control. All of a sudden the government is telling us what we can and can’t do, how we can do it and even when by setting up curfews. As Americans we value our rights to control our lives.

 

But now we are not in control.

 

Leaving the law aside for the purposes of this column, we are not in control of the virus itself. There’s nothing any of us regular people can do directly to effect either the virus itself or what it does. We can try and avoid it, but we have absolutely zero control over it and what it’s done to our culture.

 

I had to smile when this popped into my little mind because it took me straight back to Spiritual Kindergarten. And I mean that literally because currently in our Wednesday night Bible study we’re going through a book with that title, it’s a look at the 12 Steps from a Christian Perspective. So far we’ve done the first two steps.

 

You’ve probably heard the first two steps, here they are as a reminder:

  • We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  • Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

 

If you substitute the phrase our powerlessness over our life in general for “alcohol” it begins to make some sense doesn’t it? Kinda sounds like what many of us are living, but perhaps not admitting, right now.

 

I really believe that much if not most of our current malaise is directly connected to that feeling of helplessness that stems from not being able to control what’s happening in our lives. It’s a terrible feeling because people desperately want to be in control. That makes us feel both powerful and safe and both feelings have a huge appeal to the human ego.

 

But the truth is neither you nor I have control over much of anything at all. The only thing I really have control of in my life is what I say and do, and at least half the time I’m not doing such a great job of controlling that.

 

Control is an illusion. It is a comforting, desirable, and seductive illusion to be sure. But it is an illusion none the less.

 

So, if you’re feeling that COVID-19 Syndrome take those first two steps, realize that you aren’t in control, and then rejoice in the freedom that recognizing and living in the truth can bring.

 

2) The Response:

 

Had one response saying it was the lack of freedom that bothered them more than control.

 

Is that true? What is freedom and control anyway?

 

Freedom:

  • the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint
  • exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
  • the power to determine action without restraint.
  • political or national independence.
  • personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery:

 

Control:

verb

  • to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command:
  • to hold in check; curb:
  • to control a horse; to control one’s emotions.

noun

  • the act or power of controlling; regulation; domination or command:
  • Who’s in control here?

 

  • My realization – being in control IS being free!

 

What else is freedom but the ability and license to make choices and do what you choose to do or not do what you choose not to do? You can’t be free without control of your choices and, to a certain extent, your circumstances.

 

So this feeling I’m getting from people really IS about control. Although that feeling is often misunderstood as a lack of freedom. They don’t understand the real relationship between these two states of being.

 

We see this here now all the time and especially on the weekends when we have hundreds of Californians flock to the river where they are FREE – i.e. have the ability to control their choices – to play on the river and beaches, something not allowed right now in CA due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The only way you know they are free is because they are in control of their situation enough to carry out their wishes – that is to bring their boats and play on the river. If they weren’t able to do that then they wouldn’t really be free.

 

So – Control Is Freedom! Or control is the application of freedom.

 

But wait! Now I’m going to throw a wrench into all of this by looking at the teachings of Jesus!

 

11  The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12  Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12 (ESV)

 

32  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 (ESV)

 

So Truth Brings Freedom!

 

Whose really in charge here? The free Pilate or the Prisoner Jesus?

 

37  Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38  Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. John 18:37-38 (ESV)

 

10  So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11  Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” John 19:10-11 (ESV)

 

Jesus isn’t free, yet he is in control. We see the same thing with Paul

 

25  About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26  and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. 27  When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28  But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29  And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30  Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31  And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32  And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33  And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. 34  Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God. Acts 16:25-34 (ESV)

 

So, spiritually speaking, being free and exerting control is found in the spirit not in the physical world. They can imprison your body but not your soul.

 

So it seems that from a Biblical perspective the main concern we should be having is our spiritual freedom, that would include our intellectual and emotional freedom as well.

 

This can’t be taken from us because we are always free to choose to follow Jesus. Even locked in a cell no one can take that choice and that reality from me. So yes, freedom and control are the same thing but you can’t have either one without the truth that only Jesus brings.

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Episode 157

Disciple Up #157
Wrestling with God, Sin & Self
By Louie Marsh, 4-29-2020

Thoughts on Perspective & Other People’s Struggles

Wrestling Against Sin & Satan:

12  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

3  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5  And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” Hebrews 12:3-6 (ESV)

Resisted (antikatestēte). Second aorist active indicative (intransitive) of the double compound antikathistēmi, old verb to stand in opposition against in line of battle, intransitively to stand face to face (anti) against (kata), here only in the N.T.

Unto blood (mechris haimatos). “Up to blood.” As was true of Jesus and many of the other heroes of faith in chapter Hebrews 11.

Striving (antagōnizomenoi). Present middle participle of antagōnizomai, old verb with the same figure in antikatestēte.

Against sin (pros hamartian). Face to face with sin as in Hebrews 12:1.

  • Word Pictures in the New Testament.

Wrestling – Greco-Roman Wrestling

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Roman_wrestling

Greek Wrestling

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_wrestling

Greek wrestling (Greek: πάλη, translit. pálē), also known as Ancient Greek wrestling and Palé, was the most popular organized sport in Ancient Greece. A point was scored when one player touched the ground with his back, hip or shoulder, or conceding defeat due to a submission-hold or was forced out of the wrestling-area. Three points had to be scored to win the match.

One particularly important position in this form of wrestling was one where one of the contestants was lying on his abdomen with the other on his back trying to strangle him (back mount). The athlete on the bottom would try to grasp an arm of the one on top and turn him over onto his back while the athlete on top would try to complete the choke without being rolled.

Wrestling was the first competition to be added to the Olympic Games that was not a footrace. It was added in 708 B.C. The competitions were held in elimination-tournament style until one wrestler was crowned the victor. The wrestling area was one square plethron or stremma. This event was also part of the pentathlon. Wrestling was regarded as the best expression of strength out of all of the competitions and was represented in Greek mythology by Heracles

These are the rules of the ancient sport Palé

  • No intentional hitting or kicking is permitted
  • No gouging the eyes or biting is permitted
  • It is at the discretion of the referee whether or not twisting the fingers with the intention of forcing the opponent to concede defeat is permitted
  • Grasping the genitals is prohibited
  • All other holds intended to persuade the opponent to concede defeat through pain or fear are permitted and are an integral part of the contest
  • Infractions shall be punished by immediate whipping by the referee until the undesirable behavior is stopped
  • Three points must be scored to win the match
  • A point can be scored in any of three ways:
    • the opponent’s back touching the ground at any time
    • by the opponent tapping or in some other way making clear that he concedes defeat through pain or fear
    • by the opponent making contact with ground outside the allocated wrestling-match ground with any part of his body, or by being lifted and carried out
  • After scoring a point, the opponent must be given time to rise on his feet and a few moments more before the wrestling may continue
  • The match is both started and ended at the signal of the referee

Wrestling Against God (Self):

22  The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23  He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24  And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25  When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Genesis 32:22-25 (ESV)

26  Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27  And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28  Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29  Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30  So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” Genesis 32:26-30 (ESV)

31  The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32  Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh. Genesis 32:31-32 (ESV)

The Hebrew verb is translated “to wrestle.” There are no Semitic cognates of this verb to assist in translating, but the cognate of “dust” (HED #75) indicates it is something done on the ground
Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary – Aleph-Beth.

Wrestling For God:

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)

12  Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. Colossians 4:12 (ESV)

17  Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 1 Timothy 5:17 (ESV)

12  We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 1 Thessalonians 5:12 (ESV)

9  For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 1 Thessalonians 2:9 (ESV)

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Episode 153

Disciple Up Show Notes # 153
Christian Confessions During A Crisis
By Louie Marsh, 4-1-2020

1) “I CONFESS I’M DISCOURAGED”

Refocus on Jesus –

1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

Recognize what’s causing your discouragement

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)

Remember that God is in this situation and is ultimately in control

10  fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

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. 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (ESV)

Repent – if necessary – of any ungodly thoughts and actions

 5  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Revelation 2:5 (ESV)

Reject your discouragement and embrace God’s abundance

 3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5  he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ Ephesians 1:3-9 (ESV)

Restart yourself in the race God has called you to run.

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)

2) “I FEEL COMPLETELY INADEQUATE”

Resume for Failure
1) I don’t know enough.
2) I’m not good enough.
3) I’ve made too many mistakes.

YOU ARE A CANDIDATE FOR GOD TO USE IF

1) YOU HAVE MESSED UP BIG.
‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips…’ Isaiah 6:5

 Moses murdered a man.

  • Abraham was a liar.
  • Jacob was a cheater.
  • Rahab was prostitute.
  • David committed adultery.
  • Paul murdered Christians.Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’ Isaiah 6:8

    2) YOU ARE UNSURE OF YOURSELF.
    Moses said to the LORD, ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’ Exodus 4:10

 God doesn’t choose the prepared, He prepares the chosen.

  • The LORD said to him, ‘Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”‘ Exodus 4:11-12

    3) OTHERS THINK YOU ARE NOT.

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

What is God calling you to do?

3) “I DON’T FEEL LIKE PRAYING”

WHY PEOPLE DON’T FEEL LIKE PRAYING

1) You’re not sure God will answer your prayers.
2) You’re not sure you really know how to pray.
3) You get bored praying.
4) You think your requests are too small to bother God.

REDEFINE PRAYER

Prayer – communicating with God.

1) JEREMIAH: PRAY HONESTLY.

O LORD, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Jeremiah 20:7

Two Prayer Don’ts:

  • Don’t pray to be seen.

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray… to be seen by men. Matthew 6:5

  • Don’t pray long, empty prayers.They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.” Mark 12:40

2) DAVID: PRAY CREATIVELY.

Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. Psalm 33:3

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. Psalm 5:1-2

Creative Praying
1) Try writing your prayers.
2) Try praying during routine tasks.
3) Try praying in different places.
4) Try praying in different positions.
5) Try praying by listening to God.

3) NEHEMIAH: PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING.

The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king… Nehemiah 2:4-5

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

4) HANNAH: PRAY CONTINUALLY.
As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. 1 Samuel 1:12-13

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

4) “I DON’T LIKE A LOT OF CHRISTIANS”

Why I Don’t Like A Lot of Christians:
1. Christians can be judgmental.
2. Christians can be weird.
3. Christians can be hypocritical.

WE FORGET THE MAIN POINT

1) ABOUT OURSELVES.

… do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. 1 Peter 1:14-15

hagios – sacred, pure, morally blameless, consecrated, set apart.

                                                                    Non-Christian       Christian

Volunteered at non-profit last month                        27%               29%

Donated to non-profit last month                              48%               47%

Gave money to the poor in last year                        34%               24%

Read their Horoscope                                              36%               36%

Have been divorced                                                  23%               27%

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking… Ephesians 5:3-4

  • We tend to accuse others.
  • We tend to excuse ourselves.2) ABOUT OTHERS.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

 We judge rather than love.

  • We shoot our wounded.
  • We stop caring.Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31

    3) ABOUT CHURCH.
    …on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matthew 16:18

 The church loses touch with the world.

  • Some Christians think they can make it without church.
  • The people start thinking the church is here for us.All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Acts 2:44-45

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 118

Disciple Up # 118
Can a Disciple Use Cannabis or is that One Toke Over the Line?
By Louie Marsh, 7-24-2019

Introduction:

Why I’m talking about this, why it’s important beyond just the use of cannabis or any other drug. This whole discussion strikes to the heart of the Christian faith and of what is authoritative, Scripture or experience and culture.

Links:

News Article – https://www.foxnews.com/faith-values/porn-pot-christian-cannabis-marijuana-pastor

https://christiancannabis.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6KJc5E1hEP5-cV3f3bTAJg

https://www.xxxchurch.com/

https://fultonsheen.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strychnine

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrocannabinol

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Leary

Introduction to Craig Gross.

 He’s not the first one to advocate on the behalf of pot or cannabis being something Christians should use. He is the latest and he’s got a track record of doing some good work in his former ministry XXXchurch.

Read from article.

The sound clips you are about to hear are taken from one of the videos he has on his Youtube page, links in the show notes. They are edited but I’ve tried hard not to take things out of context. Hopefully I won’t be sued for sharing these, if there’s a problem I will take this down and replace it with an episode without his sound bites.

Introduction clip

 His explanation and defense of using cannabis;

You don’t need that your not a doctor clip

 I’ve done a lot of work – clip

If you want to have a conversation you can’t define people out of it just because they haven’t used cannabis. I’m in the conversation and haven’t and won’t. So there’s that.

The Spiritual side of things

Not replacing God with cannabis clip

 I’ve never been closer to God since I starting smoking cannabis clip

 Read from article about spiritual experience.

How Do We Approach This? From a Biblical Perspective

The Bible does not mention cannabis but has a lot to say about this topic.

The Bible and Getting drunk or high

Getting drunk or high is essentially the same thing. It is allowing a substance you put into your body to take partial or full control or you, alter your senses and perceptions and to do and say things that you would not do otherwise. Thus you are not in control of yourself, you and under the control of a substance.

1  Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise. Proverbs 20:1 (ESV)

20  Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, 21  for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags. Proverbs 23:20-21 (ESV)

29  Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? 30  Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. 31  Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. 32  In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. 33  Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. Proverbs 23:29-33 (ESV)

18  And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, Ephesians 5:18 (ESV)

Becoming intoxicated is a sin because it removes you from controlling yourself and from the Spirit’s control as well, and puts you at the mercy of something else. Thus Paul’s contrast between being drunk and being filled with (controlled by) the Holy Spirit.

 Using anything as a substitute for the Spirit is bad and should never be done by a Disciple of Jesus.

But God created it!

“Plants were created on the third day, and humans were created on the sixth,” he said in part. “The provision was created before the need. God created the earth (and the plants) FOR us, BEFORE us.”

As Fulton Sheen said about strychnine, “I don’t have to take strychnine to know it will kill me.” By the way according to Wikipedia, the most common source is from the seeds of the Strychnos nux-vomica tree. Not every plant is edible yet every plant is from God.

Using Cannabis to Connect Closer to God is Sorcery.

20  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, Galatians 5:20 (ESV)

Greek word for sorcery – pharmakeia. Refers to the wide spread practice of shamans and priests using local substances to put them into an altered state of consciousness in order to contact the Spirit World. Native American tribes here in the Southwest often used Peyote (from a small spineless cactus) to do this. This is done all over the world.

Timothy Leary – Promoted LSD as a way to alter your mind, discover the truth, or God or whatever.

When they speak of cannabis bringing them into close contact with God they are in fact demeaning the faith and reducing Christianity to the level of many other religions. One of the distinctives of the Christian faith has always been it’s complete and utter rejection of using any mind altering substances. This doesn’t change just because you like or enjoy it or found it helpful.

Wrapping Things Up

 5  As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5 (ESV)

 You can’t be sober minded if you’re not sober. The word there means self-controlled. You can’t be self controlled if you are allowing another substance to control you. Either way you translate it, it effectively bans the use of cannabis or all other mind altering substances.

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Episode 107

Disciple Up # 107
Starting Well
By Louie Marsh, 5-8-2019

The Ones You Always Hear:

  • Read your Bible (Please get a good modern translation. Like the ESV, NIV, etc.)
  • Go to a good church
  • Get involved in a small group
  • Do a daily devotional

General Principle: Rely on the Holy Spirit for your strength, etc. NOT yourself – your flesh.

This is one key to me, you need to make a deep, strong, life-long commitment to Christ, His Word and to rely on the Spirit NOT the flesh!

16  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  Galatians 5:16

The New Reality – You’re in a war, Spirit against your old nature.

 17  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  Galatians 5:17-18

15  For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Romans 7:15 (ESV)

Some Examples of what your old nature leads you to do.

 19  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Galatians 5:19-21

Examples of the kind of person the Spirit will make you to be.

22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Closing thought on how this all works out.

 24  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:24-26 (ESV)

Other Thoughts:

Learn how to study the Bible

  • Get involved in a Ministry you learn best by doing.
  • Strive always to be humble and have a teachable spirit.

 

 

 

Episode 70

Disciple Up # 70

How to Overcome Resistance & Do What God Calls You to Do.

By Louie Marsh, 8-22-2018

Give-A-Way – Grasshopper Myth – available to the first person who e-mails me at louie@discipleup.org.

1:17a: Get to work – be professional

But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you… Jeremiah 1:17a (ESV)

THE UNLIVED LIFE – taken from The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

 The War of Art – https://goo.gl/YLbrQr

 Gates of Fire – https://goo.gl/weqXDJ

What is Resistance?

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. Romans 7:14-20 (ESV)

1:17b-19: God’s promise of strength to Jeremiah

… Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the LORD, to deliver you.” Jeremiah 1:17b-19 (ESV)

What Strength really is:

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (ESV)

For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. 1 Corinthians 4:9-13 (ESV)

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
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. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal
. 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 (ESV)

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.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.
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.
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)

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5 (ESV)

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (ESV)

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Express & Live My Mission

Disciple Up # 64
Life Lessons From Jeremiah, Pt 2 Express & Live My Mission
By Louie Marsh, 7-11-2018

Mission Statement Quotes: http://www.azquotes.com/quotes/topics/mission-statement.html

The most effective way I know to begin with the end in mind is to develop a personal mission statement or philosophy or creed. It focused on what you want to be (character) and to do (contributions and achievements) and on the values or principles upon which being and doing are based. – Stephen Covey

A mission statement is not something you write overnight… But fundamentally, your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life. -Stephen Covey

Without a mission statement, you may get to the top of the ladder and then realize it was leaning against the wrong building! – Dave Ramsey

PART TWO: EXPRESS & LIVE MY MISSION

1:10: His Mission Statement

 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:10 (ESV)

John the Baptist;

 A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3 (ESV)

Jesus:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.
And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
 Luke 4:18-21 (ESV)

Paul:

But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles— to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ Acts 26:16-18 (ESV)

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 1 Corinthians 1:17 (ESV)

Examples of Non-Profit Mission Statements today https://topnonprofits.com/examples/nonprofit-mission-statements/

 TED: Spreading Ideas. (2 words)

The Humane Society: Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty. (4 words)

Smithsonian: The increase and diffusion of knowledge. (6 words)

Wounded Warrior Project: To honor and empower wounded warriors. (6)

Public Broadcasting System (PBS): To create content that educates, informs and inspires.

My Mission Statement:

To go anywhere, at anytime & teach anyone God’s Word, and to Empower Disciples.

1:11-12: 1st Assurance of his Call

And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” Jeremiah 1:11-12 (ESV)

1:13-16: 2nd Assurance of Call

The word of the LORD came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.” Then the LORD said to me, “Out of the north disaster shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land. For behold, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the LORD, and they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands. Jeremiah 1:13-16 (ESV)

“I believe in getting into hot water,” said G. K. Chesterton, “it keeps you clean.”

Jeremiah was shaped by God’s Word and Vision, nothing else!

  • What is my mission?
  • Is it really mine? Or did it come from elsewhere?
  •  Can I describe it concisely?
  •  Is all this Biblical?

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Episode 43

43 Disciple Up Show Notes
Why Did God Let This Happen To Me? Pt. 2
Louie Marsh, 2-14-2018

Why God Allowed My Pain

 3) To Teach Me To trust God more.

 We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.  Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  2 Cor. 1:8-9

 4) To Give Me a ministry to others.

 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good  Genesis 50:20

 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  2 Cor. 1:4

Story of Joseph.  He was so mistreated by his brothers, and others in Egypt. He was a good guy who had a ton of bad things happen to him! His 11 brothers sold him into slavery and then told their Dad he’d been eaten by a lion!

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20

 Sources of Strength:

1) The plan of God.

 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

2) The promises of God.

 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

Did you know that there are over 7000 promises from God in the Bible? Learn which ones apply to you and hang on to them!

3) The people of God.

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Cor. 1:3-4

4) The presence of Christ.

 Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 (Message)

The Disciple Up Low Down

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Episode 33

Disciple Up Show Notes # 33
No Discipleship without Discipline
By Louie Marsh, 11-29-2017

The Bible Teaches Disciples Must Be Disciplined.

7  Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8  for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9  The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10  For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:7-10 (ESV)

My personal struggle with discipline – Discipline Sucks!!

1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

7  It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9  Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10  For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12  Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13  and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Hebrews 12:7-13 (ESV)

Quotes

 “I must take care above all that I cultivate communion with Christ, for though that can never be the basis of my peace – mark that – yet it will be the channel of it.”
― Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“So do not expect always to get an emotional charge or a feeling of quiet peace when you read the Bible. By the grace of God you may expect that to be a frequent experience, but often you will get no emotional response at all. Let the Word break over your heart and mind again and again as the years go by, and imperceptibly there will come great changes in your attitude and outlook and conduct.”  Geoffrey ThomasReading the Bible

“From matters as crucial as the death of Jesus, to those as mundane as eating and drinking, the Bible presents the glory of God as the ultimate priority and the definitive criterion by which we should evaluate everything.”
― Donald S. WhitneySimplify Your Spiritual Life: Spiritual Disciplines for the Overwhelmed

3  Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4  No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5  An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6  It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7  Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. 2 Timothy 2:3-7 (ESV)

7  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8  Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (ESV)

24  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26  So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27  But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (ESV)

12  Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15  Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16  Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Philippians 3:12-16 (ESV)

 The Disciple Up Low Down On Spiritual Discipline

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