About Me

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Hi, my name is Justus, I'm a Christian.I attended Patrick Henry College for three semesters, and I transfered to College of the Ozarks in the fall of 2013 where I graduated as an English major in 2016. I love the Lord Jesus Christ the savior of my soul. He has made me new. He leads me in the Old Path; He is the Way. I am not perfect; my Lord is sanctifying me though.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmastime Creedo

It's just after Christmas. I haven't been posting for months. I likely won't post again for months. I might as well post a creed. Creed: n. any system or codification of belief or of opinion. Here's my codification: Christ IS God. Whether you believe this or not won't change it; Jesus of Nazareth is God. The baffling concept of the Trinity is true, and this truth makes belief in God much easier for one like me. I couldn't believe in a God who I could understand. To me that would be foolish. If I could understand God then I probably wouldn't need Him. So I choose to believe in an unbelievable God. One Who sent His Son, Himself, and came to die cursed on a tree for the curse that he put on a disobedient race. The curse of His righteous judgement and the forgiveness of his merciful grace show a paradox which makes God all the more real to one such as me. I am a skeptic at heart, but what I believe in is the one thing I find hardest to believe. That God would die for me.

John 1:1-5 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

Philippians 2:5-8 "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of Goddid not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."

Colossians 2:8-14 "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

1 Peter 3:18 "For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit..."

Merry Christmas! God bless us every one!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Where from Here Part II

Part II

    Where can we go from here? As a culture the West seems to be hitting a dead end. But what is a dead end but another boundary? God has set boundaries even for the ocean in His wisdom. (Proverbs 8:29) Every cultural shift has a driving ideal system. We've gone from an Enlightenment worldview, to a Romantic one, to a modern, then post-modern. All of these systems of thought initially seemed to have perks and to make sense, but have come short of what we know to be true. Right now some scholars are looking to find an alternative to the post-modern mindset, but it is unclear as to what direction we will or should go. I say: "Go back to the Old Path; go back to the Way."

     There are several points which I aim to cover in this post which came across my mind during a midnight musing of mine. These are things which I see lacking in the American culture, and for those of you who want things to change, consider this a "to-do list".

  •      Develop strong Christian leaders in the church
  •      Develop a Christian community that creates without simply imitating the world with a "Christian" slant, especially in the fine arts
  •      Develop Christian scholarship
  •      Redefine beauty, truth, and hope back to their original meanings and spread these concepts
  •      Communicate better within the Christian culture; between church members, churches of like denomination and churches of differing denomination
  •      Communicate better with the world's culture (differentiate Christianity from the rest) 

     Our churches all have their problems. Paul recognized that, therefore he wrote more than half of the New Testament. (In order to address the problems he saw and heard about.) The apostle John also saw this and wrote three books addressing such issues. Christ even addressed seven churches and their problems in Revelation 2-3. Leaders like Paul and John already exist in our culture. They even write to get their warnings and advice out, similar to the way Paul and John did. However, many churches simply read the advice and the warnings and change nothing. First century churches would almost always address the problems pointed out to them and change. This was because of local leadership and a strong desire to grow in the local congregations. Paul mentions this in many of his letters. (Ephesians 1:15-18, 2 Corinthians 7:13-16) For that desire we need local leaders as well, not just pastors, but members of the church.

     Pop culture is not evil, unless it is an evil which is popular in the culture. Yet Christians still should be different. It isn't bad that Christians have rock bands and write popular fiction novels. (I listen to and read that sort of product quite often.) What is bad is that there are hardly any Christians writing great novels like Pilgrims Progress or In His Steps, or painting "The Last Supper" or sculpting "David". Christians had always been leaders in American (and Western) culture until the late 1800s when they began to step away from culture. If we had more of a community to develop our creative members into such artists we could once again lead our culture back to Christ.

     With the previous two points comes one which is sadly neglected in most churches: learning. We do learn about how (badly) Samson dealt with his Nazarite vow and also how Noah built a floating zoo, and we can still learn from these things. However, not many people know the stories of Ezra or Nehemiah. And those who do may not know about the different rebellions in the desert committed by the Israelite people before coming into the Promised Land. And these are just content focused tidbits. Even fewer know much of the symbolism God worked into the Old Testament's actual events. (Now there are many churches which teach these things, however, there are many more which do not and simply repeat the story of Moses and the burning bush without much expounding, even after you've become an adult.) Our Sunday School classes and sermons should not only motivate and convict, they should teach. And our congregations should be studying the Bible for themselves and asking questions. All of these things should help the previous tasks and the following as well.

    Since the Christians pulled away from mainstream culture it has had a chance to form its own construction of what beauty, truth, hope and other concepts are. We need to reconstruct them. Beauty has a standard, both inward, and outward. Truth is definite. And Hope is tangible. 
     The standard of beauty is God Himself, however, we cannot reach that standard so we do the best we can. Inwardly God give instructions for beauty all throughout the Word. To act in the manner that Christ acted while He was on earth should be our goal. Outwardly (with people, art, and other miscellaneous things) beauty still finds its origin in God. When God made the world He said it was good. (Genesis 1:31) God, being Himself the standard for beauty, created beautiful things. We can see what he has made and in our own ways do our best to capture the beauty He has created. 
     Truth, likewise, is sustained in God and emanates from Him. Jesus even says, "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life..." (John 14:6, italics mine). We know Jesus never changes, therefore we know that the Truth of truths never changes. (I'm not talking about realative truths like the age of a person, which change with time, but about truths which are more substantial.) Though a person's age may change over time, the truth is that they are one age at one time and at another time they will be another age. This truth does not change. God has clearly laid out many truths in His Word and in nature, our job is to seek them out and to pinpoint where truth lies, not simply to accept every idea we hear as "God's truth", but to verify, if possible. (Ephesians 4:14-16)
     Hope is tangible. I don't mean by that that we can touch hope. I mean that we can (and as Christians always do) have hope. It is not elusive. We always have hope, we simply do not always believe it or claim it as our own. (Ephesians 1:18-19, Hebrews 6:19-20) It's hard to have faith when it comes to hope, because we do not yet have what we hope for, but that's only natural."For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what he already sees?" (Romans 8:24)
    (The spreading of these concepts can be achieved through points number two, five, and six.)

     The fifth and sixth points share the underlying reasoning: unity. (Ephesians 4:3, 11-13) Without intercommunication and intra-communication the church can be carried away by false doctrine. (Ephesians 4:14) And unified communication also presents a much less confusing Gospel. With all of the disagreement on secondary issues and on matters of indifference (like the color of the carpet) our Gospel can be bogged down, but it is a simple message.
     "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also." (1 Corinthians 15:3-8) And "...Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved..." (Acts 16:31). "For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God." (2 Corinthians 2:17)

Let me say that this is a lot to do. (So let's get a lot of people working on it.) "Many hands make light work."

Blessings, Justus

P.S. Thanks for reading any or all of this. (I know it's a lot, I'm making up for the summer.) The next post will be shorter.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Where from Here Part I

Part I

In the most recent season of my life I've spent a lot of time asking myself and God: "Where can I go from where I am right now?" This is a question we all ask at least once. Many people answer it quickly, others stand in one spot excruciating over the question. (I tend to linger, or rather camp out.)
     Where can I go from here? I have spent my entire life as a student. I love to study, it is who God made me thus. I study to expand my experience and my knowledge. I find the whole thing enjoyable. (Most people don't.) I like to write. (One reason a blog is nice to have.) Knowing all sorts of things helps me to write better. Maybe that's why God made me so curious and studious.
     Right now I'm working and living at home. At first that seemed like a waste of my time. I should be studying! However, I have discovered in working that sometimes being where you never thought you would go can be an invaluable learning experience. One passage that speaks to me as I wait for answers is Psalm 37:3-7.
                                                   "Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes."

        This passage tells me to wait, not for an answer to my questions, but for God. My question doesn't really need to be answered; I just need to obey and to trust. 
     In waiting God blesses us. Many things can bring us away from God, but if we repent and wait for Him He will have compassion, and he will be gracious. Isaiah 30:18 speaks of God's perspective in this toward His rebellious children:

                                                  "Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him."

(God does answer those questions, by the way.) I haven't quite figured it out, but I know I will in due time.

-Blessings, Justus

(Psalm 37:3-7, Isaiah 30:18)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Joyful steps

  In an earlier post, Taking the Oldest Path, I left 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 hanging. (I haven't forgotten.) Here I want to explore each segment in greater detail.
      "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 

         How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “ HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!” (Romans 10:15)
        This truth is not easily understood. Most people would think that feet are not beautiful, but let's put it in perspective. At the time these words were penned there was no email, no Facebook, no phones, and all news was passed by person, or at least by a letter (carried by... a person). During wars (in David's time) a city might send out its young men to fight and wait for days to find out the results. The watch would wait for a messenger to come with news of the battle. A bounce in the step of the messenger could be seen from the walls of the city. Joy was evident in the very feet of the men carrying good news, whereas those with bad news also would have had a distinctive walk. 
       Joy changes the way others perceive you. Joy changes the way you walk. One carrying good news has a right to joy. And what better news is there than the Gospel of Life in Christ? We are to rejoice always, for we have been given eternal life; we have the Good News!
      Prayer is key to having an intimate life in Christ. How can you be intimate with someone without being in communication with them? This may seem cliche, but it really isn't; it is such an important truth that I'll say it again: prayer is key to having an intimate life with Christ. I know this, yet I do not always pray, as we are told we should. However, when I get into a habit of praying, I find my steps are lighter, the joy is easier to come by. 

     We cannot be thankful enough. God's grace and mercy are so undeserved by us that our thankfulness is the least we could do. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) Our culture makes thankfulness out to be something you only do once (maybe twice) each year. However, the Word of God transcends our culture. We are to give thanks in everything. That includes when we lose our job, our spouse, our grandfather, our health, our friends, or our favorite shirt. We are to give thanks for we are blessed. God has given us eternal life, which we cannot lose. And let's be honest, it is the least we can do. Thankfulness is an avenue which leads to a joyful life. Without gratitude to God's blessings, we are mere selfish consumers of the gifts God gives us.

     God's will-- a question without any apparent answer. But we ask this question with specific results in mind. We ask for His will in our dating life or in our work life, but not in our Life. God's will for us in Christ Jesus, the Life (John 14:6), is to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. This is much more important than what school we go to or whether we have a bagel or a muffin each morning. Let us not trivialize God's will, let us follow what He has commanded.
 "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you." (Philippians 3:1)

(By the way sorry about the long hiatus.) 
Blessings, Justus
 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, John 14:6, Philippians 3:1, Romans 10:15, Romans 5:8

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fear Not

God commands us to refrain from fear. (Joshua 1:9, Matthew 28:19-20, 1 John 4:18) . He has not given us a spirit of fear or of slavery leading to fear. (1 Timothy 1:7 , Romans 8:15) He protects us with His righteous right hand through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and against our enemies (Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 23:4, 18) God is love. (1 John 4:7) God is strong. (Psalm 62)

For all of the above reasons and more I have no reason to fear. I shall not fear when I trust God!

Regarding love:
Love is vulnerability. (1 Corinthians 13:7, John 15:13) But perfect love doesn't leave room for fear. (1 John 4:18) I should become weak so that God may use me for others' sake, especially His. (1 Corinthians 9:22-23, 1 Corinthians 1:20-26) I will boast in God alone, for love is not proud. (1 Corinthians 13:4)

May my Love give me courage, may my courage help me love.

In love,

Joshua 1:9, Matthew 28:19-20, 1 John 4:18, 1 Timothy 1:7, Romans 8:15, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 23:4, 18, 1 John 4:7, Psalm 62, 1 Corinthians 13:7, John 15:13, 1 Corinthians 9:22-23, 1 Corinthians 1:20-26, 1 Corinthians 13:4

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Taking a Walk

Amos 3:3 "Do two men walk together unless they have made an appointment?" NASB "Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?" NIV

These two traanslations of Amos 3:3 are intriguing to me. They are both rhetorical questions to which the answer is "Not normally", but what implications can be drawn from this verse. (I'm going to take this out of context, but the question leads to its own answer so I'll use the question and the answer to base the rest of my musing on.)

When I said not normally, I assumed that someone would come up with an example of people walking on the same sidewalk who are going to the same place, but I guess the answer should really be "no". In reality, people don't walk together unless there is some sort of communion with each other. There would be no communion if the people didn't consent to the others' company, or if they didn't acknowledge others, so we can safely assume that the people intend on "walking together".

What about the appointment? Well as you can see the word appointment is also translated to be an agreement between the two. The appointment doesn't necesarrily have to be premeditated from days or hours before, it may be a spontaneous appointment. (Often when I go to lunch I'll make an appointment to go with a friend as I'm walking out the door.) The appointment, in a way, is like saying, "Hey, do you want to walk to lunch with me?" Now, the other way of looking at the word is the agreement, which is really the reply to the appointment, "sure, when are you going?"

All this is to say, I think that, as per my previous post, as we walk with God we need to make sure that we don't miss the appointment, and that we are agreed with Him. It is easy to blame someone for missing their appointment, but God is omnipresent, so if you're not walking with Him, you can guess who's fault it is.

Galatians 5:16-18 says, "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." Here I'm going to merge this post with my last. Our walk with God should be according to His Word, but we should also be walking by His Spirit. This passage says we are not under law, that is because, though we should be walking according to His Word, we are being led by the Spirit. So the parts of the Word that are the Law, which condemn our flesh, (Romans 7:6-8, 12-13) are now no longer applicable "for sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace" and "He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." (Romans 6:14 ,8:3b-4 ) So make an appointment with the Spirit and keep walking by Him.

Blessings, Justus
 Amos 3:3, Galatians 5:16-18, Romans 6:14, Romans 7:12-13, Romans 7:6-8, Romans 8:3-4

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Taking the Oldest Path

     In Genesis 3:8 it says that Adam and Eve "heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day". God walked in the Garden of Eden with His creation. They were in such close fellowship with Him that they walked the same paths.

     I already told you that I often go on walks to think about problems, but that's not the only reason I go on walks. I go on walks to pray and talk with God, and to enjoy the general revelation of His beauty in nature. God once walked with man in the Garden, and man ruined that relationship. However, through Jesus we have a renewed relationship. Jesus says "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6). This Way is the only way to God. He is the Oldest Path and stretches from everlasting to everlasting. (That's old!)

     I have been learning that taking this path is not simply a quick walk to heaven, but a long stroll with a Friend. Jesus says that we are His friends if we do what He commands in John 15:14.  He commands us, through Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (There's more to this that I'll explore in a later post...remind me if I don't.)

     Christ wants to be in that intimate relationship with us which we lost in the garden. He asks us to walk with Him. Walking in the Bible is often used to describe how a person lives their life. In First and Second Kings and Chronicles the Kings of Israel and Judah are described by which of their ancesters ways they "walked" in. Throughout the Old Testament there are references to walking in the way of the Lord, especially in Deuteronomy and Psalms 119.

      Micah 4:2 (I know right, Micah?) says " Many nations will come and say, “Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD And to the house of the God of Jacob, That He may teach us about His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For from Zion will go forth the law, Even the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." Micah talks about walking in the Lord's paths and the Word of the LORD coming from Jeruselem. The Old Testament closely links walking in God's way with walking in His Word. The New Testament gives us a new opportunity, to walk with His Word, with Jesus Christ.

   Aside:  Jesus and the Bible are often given similar titles, e.g. the Word of God, Light, etc., but they are distinct. However, these titles are important to understanding how we are to live (or to walk). You cannot walk without light to guide you (without stumbling). Passages like Jeremiah 18:15 and John 8:12; 11:9-10; 12:35-36, all tell of needing a light to guide us. In these passages and others such as Psalm 119:105 show us that the Word of God and the Logos are our lights while walking along the Path, which is set up in the Word on the Logos.

     Since we are to walk with Christ and the Word, we should be sure to have them with us when we walk (live our daily lives). So next time I go on a walk (or do anything really) I hope to have these two right with me. (And when I say hope I mean in the Christian, you-can-bet-your-life-on-it, kind of hope.)

We walk in Christ through Christ, by Christ and with Christ. Let's get to know Christ.


 Genesis 3:8, John 14:6, John 15:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Micah 4:2, Jeremiah 18:15, John 8:12, John 11:9-10, John 12: 35-36, Psalm 119:105

Monday, February 6, 2012





This is a poem by e e cummings.
I don't think there's a person on this planet who doesn't know what it means to be lonly. Even Christ felt alone on the cross (see Mark 15:34).
     A couple of weeks ago I had an intense panic attack that was set off by an irrational fear of lonliness. I had gone on a walk because I was somewhat bored and there wasn't much going on, on that walk I was intraspectively reviewing myself. I often go on walks in order to consider my approach to problems: school, social, spiritual, etc.
     Usually I end up praying, then returning to my dorm and getting back to work. This time was different. I was working through a social issue which I had just noticed. The friends I have were always doing something and I could never just interject and do something with them. (I later found out that almost everyone on this campus are classified in the Myers-Briggs Personality test as judging people, which means they have to have structure, whereas I'm a percieving person, which means I like to do things off the cuff.)
     As I was walking I began to blame myself for not being able to interject myself into a social situation. I started to panic over the fact that I might not be able to find people who would just go somewhere with me when I was bored. (Selfishness in action. Sin tends to bring awful results like this.) Since it was dark and cold and I was shaking because of my panic I decided to sit until it passed. I went to a gazebo on campus where I sat and began to pray. In my time praying I began to feel much better and realized that I was overreacting. Even so, I was still rattled.
     When I got back to my room, one of my roommates (anonymous for the time being) spoke with me because he saw me shaking. As I was trying to figure out how to word my issue I looked into the Word of God. I had a couple of verses on my mind. 1 John 4:17-18, Isaiah 43:1-7, Proverbs 3:19-26 These verses came through various channels, a chapel message, a Facebook post, and an attempt to memorize a chapter of the Bible, but each of them pointed me to one thing: I need not fear for God loves me and is with me.
     My roommate asked me what was wrong. I answered and explained my situation. I realized something. 1 John 4:18 bothers me. I have fear; there is no fear in perfect love; the one who fears has not been perfected in love; I fear love. That's right I have an irrational fear of love. (That is I fear loving others.) The reason is twofold. In order to love one must open oneself, and I do not like to be open, even with those to whom I am very close. And love involves sacrifice. In fact in John 15:13 it says "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."
     I am too selfish and value my safety too greatly. That is also why it is hard for me to follow Christ in many ways. (1 John 5:3) My selfishness causes most of my lonliness. Even though my friends may be busy, when they are not I don't seem to have the time to sacrifice to be with them. I am a hypocrite. However, Christ has been at work and I intend to change and "be transformed by the renewing of [my] mind" as Paul puts it (Romans 12:1-2).
     With that in mind, last night I had a conversation with a friend along the same lines as this post. Lonliness is a highly contageous disease. My friend's issue was that he could not seem to find a group to fit in with. I and another friend prayed for him and gave some suggestions while we talked it over, but I still didn't open up. 1 John 4:20-21 condemns my attitude of self-preservation at the expense of love. Love "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" according to 1 Corinthians 13:7. So let us love and persevere in our love. Though we bear our selves to our friends and to our enemies, we have shown our love, and in this Christ is glorified.
In love,

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Soli Deo Gloria

I've been thinking a lot about glory lately.

      All glory belongs to God. It seems like a simple statement, but it has huge ramifications. As Imago Dei and Imago Christi (the Image of God and the Image of Christ) Christians have the responsibility of displaying God's glory. Let me explain. As men we have been created in the image and likeness of God, and, to some extent, that means we bear the image of His glory. As Christ renews us we are given the glory of Christ in our new lives, which is displayed in our actions. Now here is where things get hard. God entusted us with His glory. Are we treating it like it's ours?

      Last semester someone asked, "Can God trust you with His glory, or are you taking it as your own?" This question was merely an interesting way of looking at pride, until this past week. In chapel and my devotions, among other things, I have come accross the word "glory" several times this week. And that question has been resounding through my mind.

     When I started this blog, I was feeling bored, I didn't know how to keep myself occupied. That's rediculous because I have a lot of homework and plenty of friends to fill my time. What I was wanting was something deeper than a time filler. As I was taking a short walk I began to think of God's intentions for my life, but I wasn't thinking much about God. I was focused on myself. In a small group with the guys in my hall or "wing" at school, which is called wing chapel and which we have on Thursdays we talked about Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men." This, I realized, I had not been doing. I came back to school this semester with a selfish disposition. I was stealing God's glory.

     Yesterday in chapel Dr. Graham Walker spoke about Jeremiah 8 and 9. He spoke of how the wise men were stealing God's glory and reminded us of God's commands to give Him glory. He quoted Jeremiah 9:23-24 as well as 1 Corinthians 1:30-31, which command us to do just that. I was struck again. Then, as I mused over this conundrum, I was reading several passages in the Gospels about Christ's birth (Matthew 1 and Luke 1-2). I was struck by how often God was praised and people gave glory to God. Even the angels give Him "glory in the highest"! Today there was another wing chapel, and, you guessed it, glory came up again! (Talk about emphasis.) This time we went through Colossians 1. The whole time we focused on who Christ is and the work He did. We examined the glory of the Gospel. (Now glory was not the topic, but it was clearly evident that God was being glorified in our time together.) The session culminated with a Youtube vidio recording of Dr. S. M. Lockridge's "That's My King", which tries to capture how glorious Christ is and self-proclaimedly fails. How glorious is my King!

     Even in my schoolwork the idea of glory comes through, as I read the Odyssey I was disgusted by the misplaced glorification of men and pagan gods. My King deserves that glory. In my class, Theology of the Bible, we were also reviewing the person and work of Christ. While we were discussing Christ's pre-existant state we read John 17:5, in which Christ prays, "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was". (There it is again... glory.) As we discussed God's glory and what it means to share God's glory, Dr. Cox made the comment, "we should be jealous for God's glory and desire to remove ourselves from the place where we would recieve His glory". He spoke of flinging ourselves from the light of glory and letting it shine on God. I have learned a little more about what it means to steal God's glory. May we never do so.

Let me leave you, my readers, with this exhortation:
 1 Corinthians 10:31 "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

(Colossians 3:23, Jeremiah 8-9, 9:23-24, 1 Corinthians 1:30-31, Matthew 1, Luke 1-2, John 17:5, 1 Corinthians 10:31)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chasing Blessings

To answer the question posted under "Why":

     I think that there is a fine line between following God for the blessings and following God and accepting the blessings. If one were to simply chase the gain, they really wouldn't be following God to the fullest extent. "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth" (Matthew 6:24) One example of this is when Annanias and Sapphira were giving to the Church in Jeruselem and they withheld part of their earnings. (See Acts 5.) They seemingly were serving God, but the Holy Spirit wasn't fooled. In their hearts they were seeking gain from God and from men. (I'm not going to guess at the state of their souls at the time of their death, but the point is that they were not following God.)

     A counter example to look at is that of Abram. In Genesis 12 God commanded him to leave his home and wander about. God promised blessings for doing so, and Abram went. Now whether his motive was the gain or God is not clear, but he was following God's command and God blessed Him for it like He promised.

     All that to say: we should follow God's commands, and where blessings are promised we should expect and even look forward to them, but we should not make the rewards our ultimate goal. (I don't know about all my readers, but I can't wait for the reward I'll get at the end of this life.)

(Matthew 6:24, Acts 5:1-11, Genesis 12)


Why did I start a blog?
Why did I name it thus?
Why should you read it?

I don't know.
That's the simplest answer. However, life isn't always as simple as we'd like, and that would make for a short post and a boring blog.

To answer more fully I'll give partial answers and let you (the readers) fill it in.

First: I started a blog because: I'm bored, I have lots of aquaintences and friends with blogs, I want to get something about what I think out, and I've been toying with the idea for a while.

Second: I named my blog "Old Paths and Ancient Boundaries" after two specific Bible passages which have very little to do with each other, namely: Jeremiah 6:16 and Proverbs 23:10-11. I like these verses because they give warnings we don't often think about. In Proverbs it warns us not to move boundaries or to enter the fields of the fatherless, both of these have to do with defrauding, stealing, taking advantage, and taking land. God takes this very seriously, in fact offenders answer directly to Him, and it doesn't sound like they'll have much to say. In Jeremiah it warns to stand by and seek old paths. This one is different in that it promises a blessing for obeying instead of judgement for tresspassing. I guess the reason I wanted to start this blog was to uncover some of those old paths and to brush off the plant growth from the boundary markers. Maybe one of these paths will lead me and you (my readers) closer to God and closer to the rest promised in Jeremiah.

Why should you read it? This question is one I can't answer for you. This is where I'll let you fill in. I don't think many people search for the newest blog, because there are so many floating around that one more is just another... just another blog. This blog may not be something special. I may not be something special. But my God is special and what He has to say through me will probably even suprise me. (I'm not claiming any special revelation, simply general revelation through my eyes and ears.)

 (Proverbs 23:10-11, Jeremiah 6:16)