Archive for September, 2008

A good subtitle to this would be: “Wisdom and Pride in the body of Christ.”

SIDEBAR

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The word “dispute” admittedly is poorly chosen here. One group of believers chose to believe a scriptural interpretation and some who heard it chose to disagree. I believe it to be a very “small segment” of the population. For certain, the bigger task that we all face is reaching the lost. It isn’t worth my time to debate it…but I choose to explain how I view it.

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I don’t know how many people use the following scripture:

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1: 5

The above scripture is talking about Godly Wisdom. It’s not because you go ti church more than other people’s wisdom. It’s not the Wisdom that you just needed to get off of your chest and it is also Wisdom that is borne out of love.

All that said; let’s talk about the conflict over the following scripture (which ought not to be):

Here’s the verse from Isaiah 59: 19

19So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

A mighty man of God has declared that even though interpreted in The King James version as ” the enemy comes in like a flood” that the comma may have been inappropriately placed and that it actually may mean:

“When the enemy comes in,”

“like a flood the Spirit of the Lord lifts up a standard against him.”

I was actually amazed that people of God who truly love God…took exception to this interpretation with boldness. I actually heard it firsthand or I would not discuss it.

To be fair I’ll say that they both make sense (on the surface to an untrained person) upon interpretation; but taking a closer look I came to some conclusions:

1. If we know who we are in Christ; the enemy can’t come in like a flood.

2. One must ask the question: “Who has the most power …God or the devil? I say God. Let’s face it…a flood is powerful…I won’t give the devil that much power…the bible says he’s under our feet so I choose to believe that.

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WHO’S RIGHT DEPENDS ON HOW MUCH STRENGTH YOU ACTUALLY HAVE AND THAT’S THE TRUTH!

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Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?. . . .And such were some of you. But you were washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor. 6:9&11)
COMMENT: Just like the title of one of my favorite songs: I’VE GOT A NEW ATTITUDE! Now let me explain. For the longest time I vehemently opposed the braided hair and “popcorn” hairdos many African American males now wear. I thought: “What is this younger generation coming to?”
Recently I began to have second thoughts as I recalled what I did in the 50’s.The motion picture “Quo Vadis” had many of us combing our hair to the front the way the Romans did in that movie. In the next decade I got into the act by wearing the hairdo of the day, the Afro. Each night I would braid my locks and comb them out in the morning so that my Afro would have more “body”.
I remember Al Carlton,  my boss at The Equitable, asked me why was I wearing my hair that way? I told him: “Because I like it!” (By the way, I didn’t get fired. In fact, it wasn’t too long after that conversation that Al was sporting an Afro also.) In a similar manner, our Lead Scripture reminds us that we too were enemies of the Lord, rebellious and “doing it our way”. Have patience with and pray for unbelievers in your life. But most of all, be a good ambassador for Christ so that they can see the Jesus in you.
SCRIPTURE STUDY: 2 Cor. 5:20 and 2 Cor.10:12
UNWISE SONG LYRICS: WHY CAN’T THEY BE LIKE WE WERE, PERFECT IN EVERY WAY? WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH KIDS TODAY?. (From the Broadway hit musical “Bye Bye Birdie”)

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
COMMENT: Every year there are many graduates from medical schools across the country, however last May Kellie Lim’s graduation made big news. You see this young woman in Los Angeles had lost both legs and an arm as a child; she became a triple amputee at age 8 because of bacterial meningitis. “The Michigan native, 26, does not use a prosthetic arm and manages to perform most medical procedures–including giving injections and taking blood–with one arm. She walks on a pair of prosthetic legs.” (The Washington Times. Monday, May 28, 2007)
Some time ago, Armstrong Sperry wrote a book titled “Call it Courage”. If he wanted to write a sequel, I nominate Kellie Lim as the subject. At a very early age she could had wallowed in self-pity and just wasted her life. Some of us are paying too much attention to a failed past instead of believing the wonderful promises of God. Paul wrote our Lead Scripture, but it is a promise for every single Christian.
I don’t know what encouraged Kellie to overcome her handicap and to move onto great heights; what I do know is that we saints have a Father who can work miracles in our lives. . . .all we have to do is provide the faith.
SCRIPTURE STUDY: Nahum 1:7, Psalm 121:1,2 and John 14:1
WISE SAYING: THOUGH NO ONE CAN GO BACK AND MAKE A BRAND NEW START, ANYONE CAN START FROM NOW AND MAKE A BRAND NEW ENDING. (Carl Bard)
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“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
COMMENT: Recently I reread the story of Joseph’s early life just to make sure I had come to the right conclusion. As you know, the future #2 man in Egypt had a couple of dreams of grandeur and, in my opinion, he didn’t use wisdom by telling his brothers those visions.
They were already jealous of him because their father showed partiality to his youngest son. I believe that Joseph allowed his mouth to get him into trouble by those disclosures. However, God had a distinct plan for his life and, through all the trials and tribulations, Joseph kept the faith and was delivered. Again, this is just conjecture, but I believe that our hero could have arrived at his designated destination without as much grief if he had been a little more discrete about the future God revealed to him.
My conclusion is that we Christians may make blunders along our journeys which may cause us a few bruises, but if we continue to be strong in faith, God will fulfill the promises made to us.
SCRIPTURE STUDY: Genesis 37:3-11
WISE SAYING: GOD CAN STILL BLESS US, EVEN WHEN WE DON’T BRING OUR “A GAME” WITH US.

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Certainly not. How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1&2)
COMMENT: In Virginia where I reside, there is a huge traffic problem The State Legislators came up with a rather unique way of raising bucks to construct roads in an effort to alleviate the horrid situation. Virginia citizens will be charged huge sums of money for different infractions while driving in this state. Speeding, driving without a license, diving under the influence, etc. may now cost offenders hundreds of dollars, a huge increase over the previous fines. This new law took effect the first of July and I have seen the affect it has had on local drivers. The last time I was on the road, I was amazed to see that just about everyone was going no more that 5 to10 miles over the speed limit. In a similar vein, I read an article by David Wilkerson*** in which he puts forth the concept that Christians would strive to get rid of some sinful practice that is clinging to them if they truly understood the “penalties” that would be assessed: (1)The longer you continue in sin, the more you’re in danger of hardening your heart. (Hebrews 3:12-13) (2) If you continue in sin, you’ll face the rod of God. (Heb. 12:6) (3) If you continue in sin, you’ll experience a constant drain of peace and strength. (Psalm 31:10) (4) If you continue in sin, you’ll lose your usefulness to God’s kingdom. (1 Samuel 13:13-14)
**** “Times Square Church Pulpit Series” dated 3/20/2000
SCRIPTURE STUDY: Please read the 4 Scripture references above.
WISE SAYING: WISDOM CONSIDERS HOW MY ACTIONS OF TODAY WILL IMPACT MY TOMORROW.
Sincerely Yours, Gene McGuire