Thursday, June 4, 2009

Timothy, a man who came highly recommended.

For a long time now Timothy has been one of my favorite role models. He was appraised often, and was rarely spoken of badly. He was a man who had a genuine faith (2 Tim. 1:5) and it will be good for us to follow his example, so I have listed some of his characteristics below:

First, He was a man with good intentions. 1 Tim. 5:25: “Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.” His good works were seen by all who were around him, and that's why he was well spoken of by the Christians in that area. (Acts 16:2) He was also called a fellow brother, a minister, and a beloved and faithful son of Paul. In 1 Timothy 1:3 it even appears as if Paul had a hard time parting with Timothy.

Second, he was trustworthy. Trustworthy enough to be sent places if Paul couldn't go there himself, to co-author some books with Paul, and to be sent to churches and peoples that had some difficult problems.

Third, he sought Jesus Christ above all else. (Phil. 2:19-21)

Fourth, he was active as a missionary even before Paul came and took him as an apostle.

Fifth, he sincerely cared for others. (Phil. 2:20)

Sixth, he was someone who would go where he was sent, and he was sent places pretty often! He was also a good messenger and communicator.

But like everyone he had imperfections. In the two books of Timothy most of the instructions given to him are so he can know how to lead better and take care of those around him. But there are a few times that Paul talks to Timothy pretty emphatically, so that the translations often add exclamation points, two of those times being 1 Timothy 6:20 and 2 Timothy 4:2, the first one telling Timothy to use what he has wisely and to not pay attention to gossip, the second time is telling Timothy to be ready to preach the word at all times.

So there's the basic reasons why I admire Timothy. Hopefully all of us will aspire to be like him, ready to be sent and to preach the word wherever we are.

Because Providence permits,

The Adherent

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Adhering to the Word while working

For most of the jobs you do there will be some unpleasantness attached. But we are told to work hard and diligently as if for the Lord and not men. (Col. 3:23) Not looking out for our own interests, but we are to work without taking praise, and work for more than just money.
We are also to work knowing that what we do is providing for and contributing to the good of the community, as well as your family. For example, the truck driver knows that he is transporting necessaries to where they are needed, the Christian book writer knows that what he is writing is having a positive influence on the readers, and the videographer knows that the events he films can now be watched more than once, and the movies he makes are touching peoples hearts and minds. As long as you work with a Protestant work ethic, for the Lord and not men, your work will most likely be a blessing to those around you, and pleasing to the Lord Most High.
But when you work, you are to give respect and honor to your co-laborers, whether your boss or you brother. Which can be hard, especially when they are mean or self-absorbed, but when they are in authority, and you are not, according to Numbers 27:18-21 we are to obey those in authority, that is unless they command something sinful.
You are to commit your work to the Lord (Prov. 16:3), and reserve to Him both the outcome and the glory that may be directed to you. Be totally reserved to His will, ready to do what He wills, and then make sure that your pride will not hinder you from recognizing where every good thing comes from. (not from you)
You are to do the work of the Lord (1Cor. 15:58) and only then will your labor not be in vain. Everything you work at is useless unless done for the right reasons.
Make sure your work actually helps and bears good fruit. (Col. 1:10)
Work hard as if for the Lord and not men. (Col. 3:23)
We are not to be busybodies, nor are we to be lazy, but we are to work quietly and earn our own living. (2 Thes. 3:12)
And you are to maintain your purity at all times in the workplace. There are very many sinful distractions out in the workplace, there will be stumbling blocks wherever you are, but whenever you are tempted to sin you must meditate on Scripture (Psalm 119:9, Col 3:8)
We should be working all the time. Working at praying constantly and doing everything to His glory. But wherever you end up working, whether it be in your own home, around the garden, on the computer, or for some company where you will be surrounded by other people, work hard, and for the right purposes. Adhere to the Scriptures while working!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Is God Sovereign Over the Laws of Nature?

Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, "Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast." And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. John 2:7-9
If you were at that wedding, and you saw Jesus carry out that miracle, no matter how simple your understanding of the universe, you would know that what had happened was out of the ordinary. Stuff like that just doesn't happen.
Some people say that when miracles happen, there is a momentary suspending of natures laws. This is the mechanistic view of the universe. This belief says that God is detached from the world, and only interacts with the world during creation, and miracles. Another view is the one that says that everything happens as God wills it at that moment. There is no real cause and effect, and God is recreating in a sort of “continuous creation” This is called Occasionalism, because every moment is an occasion for God to acts as He sees fit. But must we take sides? There must be another alternative. Because even the Occasionalist recognizes that there are regularities to nature that can be discovered and used for scientific predictions, and the Christian mechanist does not deny that God is upholding all aspects of creation, for to do so would be a denial of clear passages like Colossians 1 and Hebrews 1. But enough of these two opinions. We know that God established a regularity to Earth in Genesis 8:21-22, and He maintains that regularity. That's what a law is:
A law of nature is God's sustaining of, or man's description of, that pattern of regularity that we observe in nature as God works out His purposes towards His own ends in His covenant faithfulness, through His Son, the eternal Word, by means of His Spirit.
God is working in His creation, He has not abandoned it, and because he is the creator of the law, the maker of and the one who moves every single electron, we can expect the world to work in a predictable, orderly manner. Therefore, it is impossible for God to “suspend” the laws of nature, because doing so is not doing anything different then what He has been doing all along. And when you have a God who is the controller everything from electrons to the rising and falling of nations, the story's he works out in history have got to be awesome! That's providence. The working of God in nature, our lives, history, and the future. And aren't you glad we serve a God who sets up regularities in His world that we can count on?
Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the name of the Lord; praise him, O ye servants of the Lord. Psalm 135:1

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thinking ProPer: Thinking in a way that acknowledges God's sovereign Providence guiding the past, present, and the future. ProPer thinking is hard because to do that, we first have to recognize that we are not in control, and He is. But in addition it means three things:

  1. History isn't meaningless. (Deut 28:29, Romans 8:28) There is a reason for what happened millions of years ago, when we became uni-celled creatures. No, I'm just kidding. But there is a reason for what happened hundreds of years ago, (Prov. 16:4, Eph 2:10) because It is probably influencing our lives to this day. The more you read about history from a Christian point of view, the more you can see God's control, and His plan. My pastor has encouraged his congregation many times to read the book of Esther, because it shows so plainly God's working Providence, and I also encourage you to go read it as soon as possible.

  2. We have a role in making history. We are to do all things for the glory of God, with this responsibility we are to carry ourselves accordingly and use our future for the glory of God that includes making choices accordingly. (Phil. 1:22) It also means that we can not be lazy, because laziness prohibits us from using our time wisely. (Prov. 10:26)

  3. History teaches us that God is sovereign and He rules over all. If you tell an atheist about the prophecy's in the bible, he will have a hard time telling you how that series of events happened without someone divine guiding them. (John 3:3) History speaks forth His praise! And we need to give him praise for what He has done. (Luke 2:20, 5:26)

And the Providential History Festival is dedicated to making known the providentiality's of history. The annual PHF has had three very successful trial runs, and is now opening it's doors to the public. This year people from as far away as Indiana are coming to Nebraska to participate. This is going to be a big event, and I greatly encourage you to come, and bring your friends and family with you. Now, some of my readers in the far out places of the USA might be intimidated at this proposition, but you should consider it.

That said, I encourage you to study history so as to understand Providence more fully, to take part in history and do your part in His kingdom, and give praise to the One who has written history.

Psalm 111:4: He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Adherence in Solving Disputes

When in a disagreement, most people will tend to concentrate on defending themselves and in so doing lash out at the other person. When by themselves, they will probably spend most of their time thinking about the negative aspects of the other person and every bad thing they have done in the past. But the more you concentrate on your innocence and their guilt, the more distorted the picture becomes, and it is more likely that you will misjudge their motives, and in turn reject their attempts at solving the problem.

In a small argument the biblical thing to do would be to overlook the trespass, and to not let the small things irritate us so badly. (Prov. 17:14, 19:11, 1 Peter 4:8) And often, when you deliberately focus on the positive influence that that person has, and on how hard they work, you will see how this certain reaction is one of not that many.

But sometimes that won't be the case. Not often, but sometimes. But at times when the other person is clearly in the wrong, a mediator is always very helpful. Just having someone impartial to either of you moderating the conversation will go a long ways. And remember, disputes are expensive. The longer they go on, the more the arguers are mentally and spiritually taxed. (Luke 6:27,Matt. 22:39) We are commanded to rejoice in the Lord always, but how can we rejoice when we are full of anger and strife?

Disputes and arguments will come to everyone. Christians and Atheists and everything in between will eventually have an opportunity to quarrel, but if we respond biblically, in adherence to His word, we will be able to praise the Lord more fully. And maybe bring someone to Christ in the process!

1 John 5:2 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.”

Now you need to go read Philippians 4:2-9.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our Bodies Can Heal Themselves!

A few posts ago, you may have been surprised to read me say that our bodies have the capability to take care of themselves if they have the right resources. Well, it's true! There are many awe-inspiring and interesting things to be found out about the human body, and one of these ways is manifested is in sickness.
When your eating habits stray from the healthy necessity's, and you eat some stuff that is far from beneficial to your system, your body must clean that junk out somehow, and it usually does this through a cold or something. Many colds are caused, not by pathogens, but the need to get rid of the bad stuff. Even a fever is not directly caused by bacteria, but it is a reaction body creates in trying to get rid of the bacteria through raised body temperature, after it has identified that it actually has a virus. And isn't it a good thing that our immune system can identify viruses, and deal with them when it has identified them?
Next, our fingernails. Now you just look at your fingernails and tell me you don't need them. Without your finger and toe nails, the sensitivity of your fingertips would be greatly reduced, even though the nails don't have any feeling capacity's in themselves. The nails also act as a tool for diagnosing basic body health. Major illnesses and physiological imbalances will cause imperfections and maybe even damage to the nails, so that a basic diagnosis of your system can be made just by looking at your fingernails.
And earwax. Have you ever thought of why ears need that stuff? Well if something gets inside of your ear, such as dirt, earwax is created, and it manages to push that irritator out of your ear, and keep your ear clean enough to hear out of!

Psalm 117: Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us, And the truth of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's Music – So what?

If you're like me, then you probably like music. In fact, if you're human, (and I am assuming you are) then you like music of some kind. Maybe you like ragtime, and maybe you don't. Maybe you only listen to... 'gasp' acidic rock! The question I have is, what music is wrong, and why is it wrong?

I had that same question in mind a few days ago, so I went to my dad and asked him about it. He identified three different components in music. They are: The intent of the author, the content of the words, and the tune itself. Now the last one, the tune, isn't always bad, unless you're listening to country. And the original intention of the person who wrote the song is usually pretty hard to find out. So to check a song and see how “acceptable” it is, the easy thing to do would be to read the lyrics and ask yourself, are they God-honoring? Do they break any of the Ten Commandments? And remember, even if you can't understand all of the words, you are still feeding your soul whatever you are listening to. And not just what you are listening to, these rules apply to TV. Remember what Psalm 81:13 says: "Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!"

Now, this post doesn't mean that I am going to stop listening to tobyMac, but I will listen with different ears from now on.
Man cannot live by music alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Psalm 101:1 "A Psalm of David.
I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will make music."