Finally

www.bible.com/1713/php.4.8.csb

Forrest Gump’s pet line for finishing his thoughts was “that’s all I’ve got to say about that.” When the Apostle Paul was teaching the close of his letter, he was thinking along similar lines.

This verse functions as a catch-all for whatever else he could not stuff into his brief thoughts here. Essentially, “I don’t have room to give you an exhaustive list of ‘thou shalt not’s’, so here is a succinct list of of qualities that any unnamed future activities should qualify for.” Perhaps spoke of more than he could possibly know.

When you consider that the world today has been transformed by technology and science, and that 90% of the earth’s surface can be reached in less than a week, and sometimes a few days, these guidelines are something that a 2000-yr old book would have trouble predicting. Despite this gap in time, the Bible speaks just as true and as fresh S the day it was written. Any reasonable person can view this list and know what these words mean and what they intend. Anything that lacks moral excellence, or is not praiseworthy is to be avoided. Can you think of anything that might fit this distinction? If you can, then you know enough. It doesn’t take much intellectual effort here. What follows is the will to put aside the morally questionable and embrace the pure and the holy.

You might have to tape this verse to your mirror or your fridge or even your desk. Wherever you are making important decisions, or even minor ones, this verse is a helpful guide for when the Bible doesn’t specifically say so. If you’re still not sure, ask a trusted Christian friend. But don’t let this verse be far from your thoughts in the gray areas.

God bless you on this Monday!

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For All Humanity

www.bible.com/1713/ecc.12.13.csb

Curious what God wants from you? Here’s a start. Fear God. Keep His Commandments. There ya go. Have a good day!

Solomon as ever keeps things succinct and pithy. You may have a hundred questions for him. Which God? What commandments? How can I know for sure if God even exists? How did Solomon know? Is He right?

Micah says something similar in Micah 6:8 when he says says “o man, you know what the Lord requires of you: to love justice, to seek mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

When the Pharisees asked Jesus what the two most important commandments were, He responded in a similar fashion: love the Lord thy God with you heart, soul, mind, and strength. The second is like unto it, love your neighbor as yourself.

What does God want from you? Want from all of humanity? If we only had these three passages, we would have a good, decent society. He wants us to love Him and play well together. Isn’t that really what every parent wants? Funny. We could have figured this out if we thought about. Thankfully we have a Heavenly Father who doesn’t keep us in the dark. He freely tells us what we need to know. Maybe not everything we want to know, but what we need.

Have a great day for worship today!

Never Forget Where You Came From

www.bible.com/1713/rom.6.14.csb

Though Paul advises Timothy “to have nothing to do with endless genealogies”, it is important to know where you come from, as the first chapter of Matthew and the third chapter of Luke attest. Those genealogies are not endless, and begin and end with specific persons. Jesus knee what lineage his humanity came from. That was important as a the prophetic Son of God. Our lineages are a bit more muddled.

I can trace living memory back to my grandfather on my mother’s side. He and his wife were my grandparents. My father’s mother was alive long enough to remember her, even to see my first child before she passed. Of my mother’s parents, only my grandmother ever met my future wife. She did not survive to see the wedding. So, my living lineage was actually a bit short compared to others. I’ve learned a lot from working on family genealogy, had some good information to share with my living relatives, and feel like I have a good handle where I came from. I was surprised that my family was adventurous but hard workers. My family had a role in the settlement of the west and made their mark.

To know this is important, but doesn’t define who I am. My genes may put me in a particular bent, but it doesn’t define the course of my life. Neither do yours. For where every believer comes from is defined by grace. We are not under the law, neither from our genes nor from our culture. We are under grace, and that comes through faith. We put our faith in the most important genes of all, the Son of God.

Where have you come from? It’s important to remember. As Paul once wrote, remember some of you were not great. Remember your privilege in Christ was bought by His blood, not your effort. His cross, not your works. Grace, not obedience to law.

God bless you today!

Joy in the Morning

www.bible.com/1713/psa.30.5.csb

Have you found her yet? Her name is Joy and she is supposed to be somewhere around here. You haven’t? Well, keep looking. She’ll turn up.

If you’re not sure what I’m getting at, reread the verse for today. Joy will he found in the morning. But I don’t think that’s always true. If joy is to be found, it may in the temporary peace of just waking up before you remember your responsibilities of the day. It may be in the first hot cup before you get things started, or that hot shower than announces that you are getting ready. There little joys to be found in all these things, things that we do to get the day going. But one of my favorites is sitting down to work on this blog. Haven’t been able to the last couple days. Life happens. But it’s pleasure to be able to sit and talk to you this morning, especially as I’m sipping on a fresh cup of coffee.

Today’s verse I think plays off a truism, the second part of the verse, to establish the first. We cannot see God to know how long His anger lasts. We may be afraid He will be angry at us at all times, because so often sin. But this verse reminds us that His anger is short, just as we can’t weep forever. His favor on the other hand is for a lifetime. If you have been born again, that life began when you were saved. And that life is eternal. Woo-hoo!

You enjoy His favor because He worked very hard to sad you. He will not easily let you go. So rest in his grace today. May God bless you this morning as you find His joy.

Turning Back

www.bible.com/1713/act.3.19.csb

I believe that many have no problem with repentance, in that they are sorry for what they have done (sorry they got caught?) and don’t want to face the consequences of their actions. Many who have been addicts, or prone to certain behaviors are sorry that what they’ve done have brought them to ruin. They hate themselves. They vow to never return.

But that’s the other part of repentance. Never turning back. Many can’t resist returning to the pleasures of sin for another season. The Siren song keeps calling them back. We are like moths attracted to the one thing that will destroy us. How are we so dense?

I have always believed that sin makes you stupid. Sin strips away your reason, your thinking, your logic. It leaves you bare to be discovered. Those that get away with it want to be found out. It is contrary to our nature to live contrary to truth and reality. We must be true, even if it means we will be punished.

So where do you stand on repentance? Where do you stand in it? Are you in need of some repentance right now? Turn away from the sin that so easily besets you and put your eyes on God. God bless you today.

Never Too Late

www.bible.com/1713/deu.6.4.csb

Just a quick one today. Sorry for the late post. Never forget that our Lord is One. He is not many nor does He exist in all things. He is One, and He is transcendent. He exists above and independent from all things. He depends on nothing to exist or survive. He is One and uniquely One. Nothing is like Him, nothing approximates Him, nothing compares to Him. He is. And that is enough.