March Madness!

BibleTalk March 11th, 2011
March Madness

This time of year everyone is into March Madness! Meaning the big NCAA 64 team bracket tournament to determine the national champion of collegiate basketball. And then there are a lot of other basketball tournaments as well. There’s the NIT which our Wichita State University “Shockers” just won, beating the University of Alabama 67 to 56, or something like that. It could have been worse considering they beat Washington State University by 30 points just two days earlier. But there’s a much more important march that everyone is involved in: the march of life. Jesus said that there are 2 roads: a wide road with a wide gate and a narrow road with a narrow gate. The narrow road leads to the throne room of God and to eternal life for those who walk down that road. Only a few enter by that narrow gate. The other road, the wide road, on which many enter and move through life, leads to destruction and death: Hell. Why do people take the wrong road? Madness. Yes, the bible says that they do things that impair their minds and so they are condemned to walk the road and suffer the consequences of “march madness.”

Interestingly I have been reading Titus a lot lately and when I came back across the passage that was the inspiration of this study series I remembered that this very passage is the passage that was the subject of my very first public devotional:
Titus 1:15. Well, I had a camp counselor who became one of my best friends, I was later the next best man in his wedding and I lived with him for a month and a half as I prepared to attend Colorado State University in Ft Collins Colorado. Well he made me a plaque with a picture he had taken of me giving my talk and interestingly I had just found it a few weeks before I read this verse again and so I decided to take it to the BibleTalk and show the guys the picture of my first devo talk. Now, I hadn’t spoken with Rich, the guy who made the plaque for me, for 28 years–it’s interesting how when people marry they lose their single friends, but that’s part of marriage. Anyway, the day before I do this BibleTalk, just after I brought the plaque upstairs, I get a call: and, you guessed it, IT’S RICH! What an interesting confluence of events. Well it’s not an accident that you are reading this right now either. God wants to cure you of your madness and get you on the narrow road or teach you how to go about getting people through the narrow door yourself.

Now our last lesson was Titus: 20 commands for the teacher and we learned that, yes, we all have different gifts but God wants certain things for all of us. Matthew 28:18-20 says that Jesus wants everyone in the world to become what? Disciples! How? By being baptized and taught to obey everything Jesus commnanded. But that’s not all, and this is implicit in this verse as well but we’ll look at others that say the same thing in a different way, if you look in Hebrews 5 the Hebrew writer says, “By this time you all ought to be teachers”: not only are we all to be disciples we are to mature in the faith, master the fundamentals and become equipped and active in teaching others the gospel with the scripture. Well there’s a problem if we don’t do that. If we neglect the word and disobey the scriputures we will suffer madness, begin marching to Hell and may not recover. Our only hope: patient instruction in the truth from God’s word. As we go through the scriptures let’s note the ways our minds become defiled, depraved and deceived and what the cure might be.

Titus 1:
12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”
13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,
14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth.
15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.
16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Romans 1
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

1 Timothy 4
1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
I Timothy 6
These are the things you are to teach and insist on. 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

II Timothy 2
Dealing With False Teachers
14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

2 Timothy 3
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
A Final Charge to Timothy
10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Thessalonians
9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

John 1
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

John 3
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[d]
9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

John 9
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was.
Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”
But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”
10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.
11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.
“I don’t know,” he said.
The Pharisees Investigate the Healing
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”
But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.
17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”
The man replied, “He is a prophet.”
18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”
20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”
25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”
30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
Spiritual Blindness
35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
39 Jesus said,[a] “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Solution to Kansas’ Ed Funding Paradox

Excellent Teachers with Larger Class Sizes and Lean, Excellent Leadership

Here’s the post that I made on “Voice for Liberty in Wichita” website which can be found here:

http://wichitaliberty.org/kansas-wichita-quick-takes/kansas-and-wichita-quick-takes-friday-november-26-2010/comment-page-1/#comment-216731

I watched KSN’s Jessica Schlageck’s report on the new survey results released Monday by the Foundation for Educational Choice regarding Kansan’s erroneous perceptions of educational funding. Dave Trabert of the Kansas Policy Institute gave an excellent interview where he astutely pointed out that Kansans generally don’t realize just how much tax money Kansas schools already receive and that, as the schools ask for more and more, the schools nor the public have yet to define”How much is enough.” The fact is that if we increase taxes to 100% and give all the money to the schools we would destroy our economy and have no schools at all, so obviously there’s some upper limit to the necessity for school funding. It’s also interesting that the individual leading the vanguard in the court battle is not a parent or business person, the sort of person you think would be leading the way if more spending were necessary to produce greater economic growth—what businessman or parent would be against that?—but rather, John Morton, Newton’s school superintendent, one biased toward bloated school system overhead: the perpetuation of his own salary.

I was further interested to note that my comment to that article reflected the wisdom of Bill Gates shared just above on the WichitaLiberty site, that better teachers—who are rare—and larger class sizes are the keys to cost effective achievement. Further it’s time we shrank district staff overhead and dispensed with wasteful extravagances as it seems Lawrence schools are learning to do. With that as an introduction here was my response to the KSN report which can be found at http://www.ksn.com/news/local/story/Survey-results-fan-flames-in-education-funding/SplQIipXz02lMClBXF4cZA.cspx  :

According to the “Trends International Math Science Study,” students from Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Russia and England all score higher on the study’s standardized test than the United States and yet the United States spends more than any of these as a percentage of GDP, except for England, and more than all in terms of real dollars according to the CIA World Factbook. There is no relationship between dollars spent on education and individual achievement as far as raw throwing dollars into school systems is concerned. Probably the best educational value in Wichita is the Classical School of Wichita which has one of the highest National Merit Scholar to student ratios at a fraction of the cost of public education by any measure. School funding advocates like superintendent Morton of Newton are clearly biased since they directly benefit from increased taxation for schools and yet there is no direct correlation in any available data of economic growth trending with educational expenditure. Quite to the contrary, some of the chronically poorest nations on earth, with the worst education, spend the highest percentage of GDP on education. What matters most is quality curriculum, quality leadership, and quality teachers that can be achieved with higher student-teacher ratios and fewer frills exactly as they have been doing and are doing in Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Japan and Russia. In order for class size to make any statistical difference in achievement the class must be smaller than 10 and then it would be virtually impossible, read astronomically expensive, to equip all such classrooms with excellent teachers, and so the achievement gain due to small classes would be reversed by poor teachers. The truth is that larger classes with exceptionally well qualified teachers and complete parental support with excellent lean leadership is the path to educational excellence for the masses as well as economic prosperity for the economy as a whole. At least that’s what Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Korea have proved. The elite will have their “Roxbury Latin’s,” of course, but it’s not good for anyone for everyone to have them.

Posted in Economics, business and politics, Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Priestly Thank Offering in the Lord’s Supper

Communion Thoughts: Thanksgiving And The Lord’s Supper

It’s only fitting that in the season of thanksgiving we should give thanks for the greatest blessing anyone could ever give: a life, a body and blood, that brings forgiveness of sins, redemption of our souls, reconciliation of our relationship with our creator God, adoption as children of God, power to overcome sin and Satan, and eternal life with all the others who share this thankfulness in the perfect home of our loving and beautiful father sharing eternal happiness with our perfect husband Jesus.

Now if you can’t get fired up about that your wood is really wet!! I mean it would have to be way wetter than Elijah’s wood when he faced the prophets of Baal. Remember that story? Elijah was going to call down fire from God so he asked the prophets of Baal to pour water all over his wood, and they poured barrels and barrels on it, but when they called for their God’s to ignite their sacrifices the Baal did nothing but God poured fire from heaven on Elijah’s sacrifice and burnt up not only the offering but the wood, water and even the stones of the alter!! Now that’s the kind of fired-up we’re talking about here, AMEN??

I did a study on thanksgiving recently and I found an interesting bit of trivia. I say trivia because it won’t make any difference in our eternal salvation if we don’t know this little fact or not, but we all like to learn fascinating insights into the scripture don’t we? Amen?

Well, the Bible talks a lot about thanksgiving:
1. Sanctifying power in thanksgiving 1 Timothy 4:1-5 ESV
1Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
2. Thanksgiving is a kind of sacrifice to God Ps 50:23 ESV
23The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”
(Jer. 31:31-34; 33:10-12 In the new covenant thank offering will be made.)
3. We are to make sacrifices to God 1 Peter 2:4-5 ESV
4As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
4. One of the sacrifices we are to make is of our bodies. Rom 12:1-2
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 
This brings us to the interesting piece of trivia that I told you about:
Jesus is recorded giving thanks to God on only 4 sets of occasions:
1. When he feeds the 5,000 and the 4,000 (Matt. 14, 15; Mk. 6, 8; Lk. 9; Jn. 6)
2. When he is about to raise Lazarus from the dead. (John 11)
3. At the last supper (Matt 26; Mk. 14; Lk. 22;
4. With the disciples in Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)
Let’s look at the account of the Lord’s Supper in Luke 22:14-20
14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
In a sense, Jesus is preparing his body for sacrifice in the sanctifying prayer and setting up a thank offering for us to remember him by continually
Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 10:16-21 to see Paul’s thoughts on these things:
16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.
18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.

So today we partake with our Lord Jesus in his memorial feast and in it we make an offering of thanksgiving to our Lord for all that he accomplished for us on that cross and when he presented himself as an offering in the presence of God in heaven. Indeed, it is not on any earthly alter that we offer this offering of thanksgiving but on the very throne of God in heaven, for the sacrifices we offer are not earthly but they occur in heaven itself.

Let us pray.

Communion

Posted in Meditations on Jesus' Discipleship, Personal Reflection | Leave a comment

BibleTalk- Toward A Deeper Thanksgiving

BibleTalk              November 19th, 2010

Spiritual Sources of Thanksgiving: Toward A Deeper Thanksgiving

What are you thankful for? For what should you express your thanks to someone? In this season of thanksgiving let’s take some time to express what we are thankful for.

Why are we thankful for these things?

Are we thankful to God for these things? Are things that seem good in the world’s eyes always from God?

We should thank God for all the good things he has made, done, is making and doing!

Listen to David praise the Lord for the goodness of his creation:

Ps 139:13-14

13 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.

                God knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. He created man in his own image and he creates every new man in his image as well: we are not animals. This is one of the biggest lies perpetrated on children and people in America today, that man is an animal: NO! God caused every gene in our DNA to join together just as it has been joined and he made us good and pure and free from sin: brand sparkling new. Man is not an animal, he is to have dominion over the animals, and plants, the whole earth and use them for food and for good. You were knit together in your mothers’ womb, touched by the finger of God!

There’s a Power in Thanksgiving:

1 Timothy 4:1-5

1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

Let’s Look at What Jesus Was Thankful For:

Loaves and fish     (Matt 14:19)

Matthew 14:19
And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
Matthew 14:18-20

(Matthew 15:36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. Matthew 15:35-37 Mark 6:41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. Mark 6:40-42 Mark 8:6 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people, and they did so.
Mark 8:5-7 Luke 9:16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. Luke 9:15-17 )

Being heard— To raise the dead

 John 11:41, 38-44

  38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

   “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

   Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

Body and blood—last supper

Luke 22:13-20

13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

 14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

 ( Matthew 26:26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Matthew 26:25-27 Matthew 26:27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. Matthew 26:26-28 Mark 14:22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Mark 14:21-23 Mark 14:23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
Mark 14:22-24 )

Thankful for God’s Bread, God’s Lamb, God’s Sacrifice

Luke 2:38
Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Luke 2:37-39

The Cup of Thanksgiving for Which We Give Thanks

I Corinthians 10:16-17

16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

Things Disciples Gave Thanks For:

Acts 27:35 Bread

Romans 1:8 Disciples’ faith

Romans 6:17 Obey from the heart the gospel teaching

Romans 7:25 For deliverance from the body of sin and death through Jesus

1 Corinthians 1:4 Thankful for disciples for God’s grace given to disciples

1 Corinthians 10:16, 1 Corinthians 11:24 The Lord’s Supper, Communion

Ephesians 5:20 Always give thanks for everything!!

Over 100 times: We’re encouraged to give thanks!!

Romans 14:6 Giving thanks and acting in good faith sanctifies actions

Why People Will Be Condemned

Romans 1:21 Did not give thanks to God, though they knew him, instead worshipping created things rather than the creator

Sufferings, hardships, disciples—it never says to be thankful for these things specifically, except to say “give thanks for everything,” but to rejoice in them, endure them and glorify God in them.

 Hebrews 12:27-29 

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Personal Reflection, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BibleTalk Notes- The Baptism with the Holy Spirit

BibleTalk      November 5th, 2010

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit

 

Who here likes a good mystery? What does that mean to you? What is your favorite kind of mystery?

Well today we’re going to look at one of the mysteries of the scripture. We’ll not be able to cover everything about it but I think it will become much clearer to you, if it is not clear to you already and that is the mystery of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. I think that God and the Holy Spirit itself deliberately left this a little mysterious because we don’t have to understand it: we just have to obey Jesus’ commands and the results of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit will have there good effect

 

Acts 1

4On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

 6So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

 7He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Who baptizes with the Holy Spirit?

John 1

Jesus the Lamb of God

 29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

 32Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.34I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”

 

The baptism with the Holy Spirit is something new.

Who did the scripture say would baptize with the Holy Spirit? Jesus (And no one else.)

Here are works of the Holy Spirit that are old (though they continued in the Christian era):

1. Being filled with the spirit (something we are commanded to do— Eph 5 “18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Note: Luke 1 : John the Baptist filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb, yet never did a miracle; Acts 3 the disciples filled with the Spirit and spoke boldly, but only the apostles were doing signs and wonders Acts 2);

2. Speaking in tongues (The Tower of Babel, Balaam’s donkey, Cornelius and his gentile relatives),

3. The Holy Spirit Falling on or Coming on People: Saul, Elijah, Elisha, David, etc…prophesying, performing miracles, etc….

4. Performing miracles and casting out demons

The Apostles did all these things while Jesus was with them as part of Jesus’ Ministry.

 

 

So, What is different about the situation with the Holy Spirit that Jesus is promising?

 

John 14

 15“If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

 22Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

 23Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

 25“All this I have spoken while still with you. 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 

John 16

The Work of the Holy Spirit

 5“Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

 12“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

 16“In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

The New Things:

1.Jesus said that, based on our obedience, when he went away we would send a counselor to be with the disciples forever, the Spirit of Truth.

2. He said that the Spirit had been with the disciples but would be IN THEM.

3. UNLESS Jesus went to the father the Holy Spirit COULD NOT COME in this new sense.

4. He said that the Spirit would play some specific roles, somewhat different than in the past:

            1. He would convict the world of sin, righteousness and the judgment to come

            2. He would lead the apostles into ALL THE TRUTH

 

So let’s look what happened on the day the church was born:

 

Acts 2

1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

 5Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. …

 13Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.[b]

Peter Addresses the Crowd

 14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
 17‘In the last days, God says,
      I will pour out my Spirit on all people
.
   Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
      your young men will see visions,
      your old men will dream dreams.
 18Even on my servants, both men and women,
      I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
      and they will prophesy.
 19I will show wonders in the heaven above
      and signs on the earth below,
      blood and fire and billows of smoke.
 20The sun will be turned to darkness
      and the moon to blood
      before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
 21And everyone who calls
      on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

 22“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

25David said about him:
   ” ‘I saw the Lord always before me.
      Because he is at my right hand,
      I will not be shaken.
 26Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
      my body also will live in hope,
 27because you will not abandon me to the grave,
      nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
 28You have made known to me the paths of life;
      you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

 29“Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. 32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

Note that Jesus tells his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the father, for in not many days they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Then, just seven days later on the day of Pentecost several singularities occur:

1. There is an extremely loud noise like the rushing of a mighty wind that causes literally thousands of people to rush to this house where the apostles are.

2. Divided tongues as of fire rest on the heads of the apostles.

3. Peter states that what has happened is the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy that in the last days God will pour out his spirit on “all flesh”, “male and female”, his servants will prophecy and everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

4. In explication of this event he told how he and the apostles are witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and that Jesus, having ascended into heaven and received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit “has poured out what you are seeing and hearing.” He uses the past perfect tense in Greek which is very significant because the perfect tense is used to refer to completed action, and the past perfect to something completed in the past with perhaps continuing effects.

5. The sense here is that Jesus, as only he could, ascended to the Father and received the Holy Spirit and baptized all flesh, the world, in the Holy Spirit by pouring the Holy Spirit completely out and now the Holy Spirit is in the world to convict the world and for God to send the Holy Spirit into the hearts of anyone who purifies themselves by obedience to the gospel, by repenting and being baptized for the forgiveness of sins to become an adopted, born again, child of God, a clean vessel into which God sends his Holy Spirit.

Continuing in Acts 2

34For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
   ” ‘The Lord said to my Lord:
      “Sit at my right hand
 35until I make your enemies
      a footstool for your feet.” ‘

 36“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

 37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

 38Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

 40With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

 

Now let’s look at the explanations of the indwelling Spirit made in the letters.

Gal 3:26-4:4

 26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 4

 1What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. 4But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

 

We become children of God through the adoption process and then God sends the real Spirit of Sonship into our hearts like a homing beacon identifying us to God!

Rom 8

 9You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Heirs with Christ

 12So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Eph 1

13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

 

Eph 4

 29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

1 Cor 1

 29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

 

2 Cor

5Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

 

Look how baptism in water is closely connected to being born again and then the Spirit is now able to be part of the process because Jesus baptized the world in the Holy Spirit and God Can now send the spirit into our hearts.

 

Romans 6

1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

 

John 3

 1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

 3In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

 4“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”

 5Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Romans 8

  26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

 

Ephesians 4

1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Are You Searching for Truth? Love? Immortality?

Each week I will share my thoughts from my BibleTalk, impart whatever wisdom I have gleaned, share my thoughts on love and living for eternity with our creator. I look forward to getting to know you and forming bonds that will last in eternal joy!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Talking about Our God is an Awesome God! Jars of Clay

 

Fall on your knees and bow your face to the ground, you are standing on holy ground!


Our God Is An Awesome God – Jars Of Clay Music Code

Posted in Music | Leave a comment