Tuesday, September 9

A life reflective....

"A whip for the horse, a halter for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools! Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. Like cutting off one's feet or drinking violence is the sending of a message by the hand of a fool. Like a lame man's legs that hang limp is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. Like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honor to a fool. Like a thornbush in a drunkard's hand is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. Like an archer who wounds at random is he who hires a fool or any passer-by. As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly." Proverbs 26:3-11(NIV)

Pastor Jim Combs jr., of the River church in Holly spoke of what he feels is the greatest deception that has hit the church of today; that has been the message given in error in recent times. That a prayer prayed accepting Christ as your savior isn't salvation. Although I disagree with the premise that this is a misconception promoted in the church and not instead a miscommunication of what salvation is, I agree with what Combs said next; proof of a relationship, that following of Christ, comes from the change in the person claiming salvation.

Good works, while not a vehicle of salvation, is a result of salvation and the change in the personal life of each believer happens through the power of the Holy Spirit, given to each who believe.

The journey is in the realization, that empowers the change.

But we hate change, as a people. We don't want to 'wing' the future, we'd rather be able to predict and control that which comes our way. The world, if we had our way, would be full of rich, content, and untroubled people. We want to return to a life that we never knew but somehow know that it is what we were meant to have.

This conflict between what we ourselves are able to do and that which we long for is the genesis of seeking God, defining Him, and seeking favor with Him. And, a majority of even the born again Christian family spend their time running from the latest 'new' idea to the next.

We wind up with fools leading fools, claiming God wants us to have an abundant life according to our definition of the word, to be healthy according to our demand for the condition, and a purpose that is 'light and easy'.

It still amazes me that there are so many in the family that are following a light, low-carb diet of Scriptural instruction and truth. It confounds me that others cannot see where certain misquotes and outright lies of God's desires are nothing more than man's defining what God is capable of.

But rather than argue a pointless debate, I'll simply follow where God leads me and, if asked, give my beliefs about whatever topic. Let the enemy fight the battle with anger and mistruth. I'll defend where God calls me to defend and attack where God calls me to attack. For the furtherance of His Plan, not mine.

"Wise men have need to be directed how to deal with fools; and they have never more need of wisdom than in dealing with such," Matthew Henry states in his Commentary on the Whole Bible, "to know when to keep silence and when to speak, for there may be a time for both."

Matthew Henry says it best in the rest of his commentary, "In some cases a wise man will not set his wit to that of a fool so far as to answer him according to his folly "If he boast of himself, do not answer him by boasting of thyself. If he rail and talk passionately, do not thou rail and talk passionately too. If he tell one great lie, do not thou tell another to match it. If he calumniate thy friends, do not thou calumniate his. If he banter, do not answer him in his own language, lest thou be like him, even thou, who knowest better things, who hast more sense, and hast been better taught." Yet, in other cases, a wise man will use his wisdom for the conviction of a fool, when, by taking notice of what he says, there may be hopes of doing good, or at least preventing further, mischief, either to himself or others. "If thou have reason to think that thy silence will be deemed an evidence of the weakness of thy cause, or of thy own weakness, in such a case answer him, and let it be an answer ad hominem-to the man, beat him at his own weapons, and that will be an answer ad rem-to the point, or as good as one. If he offer any thing that looks like an argument, an answer that, and suit thy answer to his case. If he think, because thou dost not answer him, that what he says is unanswerable, then give him an answer, lest he be wise in his own conceit and boast of a victory.""

The wise man will treat each creature, even his or her fellow man, in the appropiate manner as the Psalmist points out; a horse as a horse, an ass as an ass, and a careless, profligate sinner as a careless, profligate sinner. We cannot expect a horse to act like a human, even though behaviors may be learned where they seem to be so; They are creatures, given by God for us to rule over....notice, I did not say mistreat!...under His plan.

To be effective witnesses for the Truth, we need to be in relationship with those to whom we would save. We have to know the person so that we can fit our wisdom to the personality of the person, to end the endless and cyclic debate to bring them to God's proving grounds.

If something we hear sounds foolish, even if it is wrought with scriptural clippings, it will bear no fruit, even though it is 'quoted' word from the Bible. Only the truth, the word from God as spoke and meant by God, will bear fruit---never to return barren. But scriptural interpretation that is void of substance is nothing more than man's word flavored with 'spiritual' mumble jumbo.

Our journey home isn't designed to be a coasting job, constantly going downhill with little effort and no painful movement. That is what a slothful man feels is right. It is foolishness to declare ourselves for God and then frighten ourselves from doing what He calls us to do because we imagine difficulties beyond our wildest dreams. There is nothing that we cannot do in Christ, and there is no difficulty to overcome in answering God's call to purpose for each of us.....other than what we ourselves design and excuse ourselves with.

"My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. - 1 Corinthians 2:4–5

In his article entitled, A Letter From God, Patrick M. Morley sums up what a changed life looks like. In the life you have lived since accepting the salvational gift, is this how you live your life?

Morley envisions God telling us to;

"Live in the shadow of the cross. Soon, my son, you will see me face to face."

Proof of our salvation, I believe,looks like that in the lives of the True Followers of Christ.

No comments: