We Are Nebraska Strong…and Fierce

NebraskaStrong

You may have hear from the news that the Midwest has had a bad time of it with all of the rain, snow, ice dams, dam faults and levee breaks. Massive flooding, people losing all their possessions, losing their homes, jobs, etc. It is devastating and heart breaking.

The devastation was far and wide throughout the state. Some questioned their faith, others became more resolved than ever. Sadly, the beauty of such heart wrenching problems is the still small voice within the hearts, minds and souls of those who were blessed to have not taken part in such devastation and destruction. The human spirit, the giving souls of those throughout the state gave of their means and their time to assist those who were downtrodden.

We all have something to give to those around us who have lost everything. A kind word, a hug, a shoulder, some brute force to aid in the clean-up, etc. We all have a talent to lend to those who need a hand up, so-to-say!

Our church, Calvary Christian Church (Lead Pastor Scott Beckenhauer) partnered up with One Life Church (Lead Pastor John Hazlip.) After talking with John, I found out he used to attend Calvary Christian and his church was planted by Calvary. But Calvary has a tendency to make alliances with other churches in the area in order to accomplish great things for God’s Word. The motto at Calvary Christian is “To Live & Love Like Jesus.” But, enough about the churches.

Everyone in the midst of devastation desires to help. Some can, some cannot, some do, NES-FloodRelief8some do not…it is that simple. Everyone’s circumstances are different with respect to their ability to help others, as well as, their reasons for doing so or not. After the destruction and devastation, those who are able to help get dressed up into tyvec suits with muck boots and slowly begin to muck out the basements of the home(s) we are assigned to, ever-so slowly removing the debris and devastated lives of those who have lost everything from their past lives. You just never realize how much stuff you have accumulated until one of two things occurs:

  1. You are ready to move elsewhere, or
  2. Total devastation, where all you have and all your memories are now turned to refuse.

Do not say to your neighbor,
“Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,”
When you have it with you. ~Proverbs 3:28 NKJV

NES-FloodRelief2Those who volunteer to help, do so out of the goodness of their hearts, a drive knowing this is what God desires of us and what Jesus would do, Himself. The muck, grime and sludge…WOW!

We are reminded in the Old Testament:

For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’~Deuteronomy 15:11 NKJV

We are also reminded in the New Testament:

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.~Galatians 6:2 NKJV

As you can see, the devastation is real and widespread:

While I am no great man, because we are all sinful, in our nature; I also know that I have something to offer to help those around me. I physically felt as though I had put in a full day’s work while helping and yet I was only there for a few hours, about 9am-2pm. There were those who stayed much longer than I and there were those who were on-site before I ever arrived. I am humbled and blessed at the same time. Today I was in pain. But tomorrow is another day…and at it again I will be. God is good! In my youth I would be able to do more and last so much longer, but it seems as though those days are long gone bye! While this weekend, March 30th and April 1st, 2019, is almost like a Hell Week in a college fraternity or at boot camp in the military…I am limited in my time to aid. But I am grateful for the opportunity, but sorry for the circumstances!

If you are able to help those who need it, I would urge you to do so, either physically or monetarily.

Flood Relief

Nebraska Strong is not just a mantra or a motto, but it is a strong knit community mind-set. We all have our problems and our baggage that we carry with us everywhere we go, daily. But when the chips are down, the devastation is rising, and the destruction clouds have settled for a bit…there are no better neighbors I would rather have. I was born and raised in New Jersey and I cannot say we have ever had such devastation while I was growing up. But since I landed here in Nebraska in 1981 there have been much devastation that has occurred.

  • 1988 Tornado which devastated Omaha/Council Bluffs area
  • 1997 Ice Storm which cut power to nearly 300,000 homes and businesses in Nebraska and Iowa
  • 2009 Tornado which essentially wiped Humbolt NE off the map
  • 2017 F-5 Tornado which destroyed many homes throughout the Omaha/Bellevue/Offutt AFB NE areas
  • 2019 Flood which flooded many homes throughout the Iowa and Nebraska areas

We all have our problems, but we can all choose to set those problems off to the side for a short time to help those of our neighbors who have greater problems than we do.

Remember: Things can always be worse for us. We can make life a little easier for someone else who has lost all they had. Ponder and reflect on that for a moment or two!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

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Centurion an Eyewitness?

These two accounts are strikingly helpful:

Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant

Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.”

Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” 10 And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well [a]who had been sick. ~Luke 7:1-10 NKJV

…and…

Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant

Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”

And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour. ~Matthew 8:5-13 NKJV

It would stand to reason that the Centurion, an Officer of the Roman Army, accepted the truth claims of Jesus as the healer of the sick and acceptor of those who were deemed to be untouchable and unlovable. Just like the tax collector, a member of the Roman Army (an invader of the country), were also untouchable, unapproachable, and unlovable. Matthew (Levi) the tax collector, who was despised by his fellow Israelite (along with Zacchaeus) was an eyewitness and one of the Twelve. Luke, while not one of the Twelve, he did have access to the remaining eyewitnesses plus witnessed the miraculous signs and healing by the Apostle Paul, minus Judas Iscariot. And, therefore, just as anyone who wrote about others sought out the information from those that knew Jesus and other accomplishments during Jesus’ ministry. He picked their minds and interviewed them all.

It is reasonable to say that this centurion witnessed many of the miracles of Jesus, during His ministry. Why else would a man of pagan background love the Jewish people and help them to build a Synagogue? Why would such a foreign man have such faith in Jesus’ ability to heal his own servant? Unless he had seen such great miracles himself. He too, by these two Apostles own words, was an eyewitness of such Godly miracles and signs.

I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” ~Luke 7:9 NKJV & Matthew 8:10 NKJV

Slowly, during Jesus’ ministry, did God’s word and the Teachings of Jesus grow. Even unto the ends of the world. Jews and Gentiles, alike! We were also told that:

And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. ~Matthew 8:11 NKJV

Meaning that other people will come from all over the world to learn of Jesus and His teachings, God’s Word. They, too, will be welcomed into the Kingdom of God, Heaven!

It does not matter what your past was, we all have a past filled with dark times and evil accomplishments. Our future is bright, provided we turn our lives over to Jesus. We are destined for such greatness, under the Son of the Most High God!

Are we willing, though, to set aside  our personal biases? Our personal judgements? Or for that matter, our personal beliefs to objectively vet the truth of the matter of God’s Word and the teachings of Jesus?

Even when I write, and in this manner teach, I always try to preface with…DO NOT TRUST ME OR MY WORDS, SEARCH THIS OUT FOR YOURSELVES!

The Centurion is much like many of us. In that, he of another people, or tribe, who had differing beliefs. And he probably thought the Jews were the pagans. But he witnessed many things that caused him to change his beliefs. You might even say the same of the Apostle Paul, who was a killer of the Christians and their way, and then something drastic, something spiritual, happened to drastically change his direction in life! But that should be another post.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

Judge Not?

judgenot1

One of the most used scriptures in the Bible and yet one of the most misunderstood scriptures of the Bible.

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? ~Matthew 7:1-3 NKJV

Was this mandate to us by Jesus to not judge? No, this was mandated by Jesus for us to not judge outside of rightness. (Yes, that was spelled correctly!) Jesus, time and again, judged many times through the parables he used to teach others with, the Pharisees bringing the adulterous woman for judgement, the clearing out of the money-changers from the temple courtyard, etc.

All throughout the Bible there are references that infer, or blatantly speak of, making proper judgements. Are we perfect when we judge our children as we teach them to be honorable adults? Not a chance! Because none of us is good…no, not one! We are never perfect in this life, but from time to time we must make judgement.

While listening to Should Christians Judge Others? (Cold Case Christianity Broadcast #81) I find much clarification to my ability to better understand this scripture. The fact that many of us, have a tendency to, take the scripture alone and not in the context with the Biblical text as a whole. This is why when we refer to a scripture we MUST always take it within the confines of the textual context of the Bible. Why, You may ask? IF the Bible is true and is the Word of God, THEN the Bible cannot be contradictory. That said, we must ensure that whatever we excerpt from the Bible must be in agreement with the remainder of the Bible. We tend to take the Biblical text out of it’s proper context.

Remember the adulterous woman who was brought before Jesus for His judgement? There were problems with this case, so-to-say, because the Pharisees did not bring the man with whom she committed adultery. Consider what the Old Testament say on the subject:

The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death. ~Leviticus 20:10 NKJV

judgenot

Kind of funny, but it works for me! We are forever stuck on the ability to see what others are doing so wrong in their lives, yet we cannot see the the same problems (although they are much worse) in our own lives. We humans have this, apparently, as a super power. The hypocrisy in our lives is grand. As we grow older…I would like to think we become a little more wise. Like speaking without thinking, first. Leaping without looking, first. I think you get my drift.

The Apostle Paul placed it into perspective when he spoke:

Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.  ~Romans 2:17-24 NKJV

wwjdOur judgement should not be hypocritical, but rather wise and honest. IF we are to truly emulate Christ in our lives, in a representative way, THEN we must act out of love, truth, honesty, integrity, and how He would also act in that same situation. You remember the old WWJD? (What Would Jesus Do?) If we can keep this in our field of view and use it as a reminder, then it can help keep us on the right path. Just the same as if we would keep Biblical scripture on our minds while we live out our daily lives! It is a help, not perfect because we are fallible creatures, as mentioned above.

We are all destined to do great things for God, while we live out our lives. However, we must spend time in God’s word, the Bible. We must dedicate ourselves to God, yielding ourselves to Jesus. Hearing the word, accepting the word, repenting of our sins, being baptized, and evangelizing to all others. This is our purpose, our goal to enter into heaven. And to aid others to enter into heaven, or at least laying out the option before them. We need to go before others in love and honesty…despite our faults.

Everything that we need to do is laid out in the Bible…literally written out for us.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

 

We Are Messengers to All of Mankind

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me ~Ezekiel 3:17 NKJV

wearemessengers

The word from God’s mouth is His word, His Bible…or our manual for life and death and all that is in between! We are each endowed with the mandate to warn our fellow man, our neighbors, our family. We are mandated to teach our children in the ways of God’s Word as laid out in the Bible. We are to lead our family, just as Christ lead His Apostles and all other who followed His wisdom.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.~Deuteronomy 6:7 NKJV

To be messengers to all others we must first share that message with our own family. While teaching the message to our spouse and along with our spouse teach our children. In so teaching our children we also teach our oldest child to lead by having them aid in the teaching of their sibling. Each child, thereafter, must also teach their younger sibling. We all have varying ways of teaching our friends and all others we come in contact with. Some of us have truly failed in such an endeavor, and in so doing…we will answer these sins when we have drawn our last breath.

We go to Bible Study, take classes in school, on-line courses, we follow Bible Study courses, and varying other means of learning the Bible and the Word of God, as well as church history. Recently, I signed up for a course at Bible Mesh. I started off with a free course, same thing with Udemy. And there are other sites I have signed up with and taken free courses. It is through the quality of the free courses that you can soon find out how serious these companies of learning are geared toward truly teaching. If they accomplish a quality course for free, just imagine how powerful a course that has a cost attached to it will be?

There are numerous bible studies out there on-line that are awesome and powerful. But you have to spend your time looking and studying through them in order to determine such for yourself.

podcastI have heard from many of those I listen on podcasts, and reading their blogs, etc. that you need to get started in doing something. We each must do so in order to share God’s word and teaching. I am no different than any other person out there who believed that I needed to know more, to be more prepared, more knowledgeable…you know the drill, I am certain of it. If you are reading this blog post, you have had that moment at some point in time and you thought the very same thing! Believe it or not…you do not. Just do what it is that you wanted to do in order to share vlogGod’s word, Jesus’ teachings, etc.

Start a blog! Start a vlog! Start a podcast! Just start writing a Bible Study and share it! Create some videos! Create an app for a smartphone. Do something! How about just talking to your neighbors, your neighbor kids, your friends, your siblings, etc. Start a Bible Study, kind of like what Mr. Sperry did in The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry (2008). There are all sorts of YouTube videos that can lead you through your heart’s desired format.

We each can be a messenger for God and Jesus in numerous ways. All you have to do is start. Start somewhere and do something!

These were the words of numerous people in my life, most recently by J. Warner Wallace whose podcast I listen to everyday at work. (I have been listening to his podcast as early as 2013 up to the present where I have gotten to about 2016. I just started listening to his show about 3-6 months ago after I had read his Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels& God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe.) Great books, by the way! However, his podcasts Ten Reasons We Fail To Share Our Faith – Part 1 and Ten Reasons We Fail To Share Our Faith – Part 2 give us the top ten excuses that we use to not share our faith. We were all given the same mandate to share God’s word and the teachings of Jesus!

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you… ~Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV 

We are destined to do great things; however, we are not all destined to live an easy life. While it is easy to make choices (even the right and proper ones) it will be a hard life to lead and live. Why? Because we each will lose our friends and companions in this life. If we cling to our companions in this life we will be telling God and Christ that we do not love them.

If you love Me, keep My commandments. ~John 14:15 NKJV

We each have the ability to yield ourselves to God and Christ. In so doing, we will ultimately save ourselves by abiding by God’s word and the teachings of Christ. Strictly abiding by Their words and teachings. By holding to the words and teachings we learn through the Bible, guided by prayer and through the Holy Spirit we can shall and will ultimately do the will of the one true living God!

So, what is holding you back now?? Begin to do something…NOW! Or, when would NOW be a good time to start doing something?

Godspeed my friends!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

 

 

10 Biblical Reasons God Allows Suffering

Blogger’s Note:

I found this to be an interesting article. Thought y’all might like it. As I find myself posting more interesting articles that I may just add them into the mix by placing them on a Thursday, as I come by them. Sean McDowell, a great writer in his own right, also seems to post both articles and to his blog.

Godspeed & Good Read!

*****

Posted April 10, 2018 by Sean McDowell

SeanMcDowell.org      ORIGINAL ARTICLE
The existence of human suffering is arguably the most common and difficult problem raised against the existence and goodness of God. It is a particularly thorny issue because people experience it both emotionally and logically.

The problem of suffering has been with us since the Garden of Eden and it will be with us until Christ comes back. But suffering is not just a problem for Christians. Every belief system has to account for suffering in some fashion or another.

The purpose of this post is not to attempt a theodicy, that is, a defense of why God allows suffering. Many fine books have done this, including the classical book The Problem of Pain, by C.S. Lewis or Why Does God Allow Evil? by Clay Jones. Rather, I simply want to highlight ten ways the Bible addresses suffering. These answers are not exhaustive, but they provide some biblical perspective for the inquisitive believer and non-believer:

1. Suffering is the result of mankind’s sin and rebellion against God (Genesis 3). Mankind chose to reject God’s one command, the world became corrupted by sin, and humans have suffered ever since.

2. God’s chosen people (the Hebrews) suffered when they disobeyed the Mosaic Covenant (Deuteronomy 28).

3. People sometimes suffer from the wrong choices of other human beings, even though God uses the resulting suffering for good (Genesis 50:20).

4. Suffering brings faithful believers into deeper understanding and relationship with Him (Job).

5. Believers suffer because of the jealousy and hatred of certain people who reject the Christian faith (Acts 7:54-60).

6. Believers suffer as a testament of faith to others (Hebrews 11).

7. God allows people to suffer so they will turn to Him in repentance and not perish for eternity (Luke 13:1-4).

8. Christians suffer so they can be conformed more closely to the character of Christ (Romans 8:28-30, James 1:2-4).

9. Believers suffer so they can know Christ more fully (Philippians 3:10).

10. To prepare followers of Christ for the glory of Heaven (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Each of these points deserves much more explanation. And each point raises further questions as well. Remember, there is no single answer to suffering. But wrestling through these passages, and others, can help provide a biblical perspective on suffering.

Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, best-selling author, popular speaker, part-time high school teacher, and the Resident Scholar for Summit Ministries, California. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org.

By a nation without understanding will I anger you

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.” But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, By a nation without understanding will I anger you.” And Isaiah is very bold and says, “I was found by those who did not seek Me, I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” But as for Israel He says, “All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” ~Romans 10:17-21 NASB

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So, I got into a “spirited debate” with someone over one of my posts, on another blog, where there was disagreement over the tenets of Christ’s teachings. And though we, often times, think we know the word…we more often take it out of context by separating the teachings, the tenets, and the Bible from one another. Unfortunately, this is where we tend to make our greatest mistakes because the teachings of Jesus reflects the essence of God (the same yesterday, today, & tomorrow.) We cannot separate each from one another. But we are obligated to show our dissenter(s) where they made a mistake, or they need to show us the error of our doctrinal statements. We are here to teach one another, not to be adversaries, but better yet to rid ourselves of our adversariesby making them our friends and allies.

For many are called, but few are chosen.” ~Matthew 22:14

We are each called by God to do His will and to Glorify Him. Each of us is called to do something different than others and we are charged differently to accomplish the task(s) that are set before us. But we are all called to read, understand, study, and teach the word. We are not suppose to change anything. Unfortunately, there are those that change much, or they have their own interpretation of the word & make the necessary changes in order to have their interpretations fit the bill.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” ~Hosea 4:6 NASB

In so doing, we destroy ourselves through such lack of knowledge and study bibleunderstanding of the word. And God will raise up those who disagree with each of us, either by challenging our stance, our beliefs, our understanding of the doctrines, etc. We have a duty to learn the word of God and an equal duty & obligation to study it diligently for comprehension and understanding. We should be prepared for these attacks on our beliefs, just because we follow the word of God. Remember what Jesus said?

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” ~John 15:18 NKJV

And we are charged with…

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV

error-correctionNow, don’t get me wrong, we will from time to time get things wrong, speak out of turn, etc. But we can make corrections the next time we come in contact with others. It does happen as we are not perfect. However, we can be the bigger person through our apologies and responses. We are not seeking to do the wrong thing, but spread God’s word.

In the disagreement I had above mentioned blog post, the person I had the “spirited debate” with had the belief that, this is my opinion from what was implied to me, that love and compassion for all humanity is all there is to the message of Christ. However, this is one of the greatest fallacies of many New Age and pseudo Christian movements. We were taught to have love and compassion for our fellow man, but there are other aspects to the bible which also apply to the teachings of Jesus and the bible must be taken as a whole…not piecemeal. Consider the following:

But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.” ~1 Corinthians 5:11 NKJV

For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” ~James 2:10 NKJV

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” ~2 John 7-11 NKJV 

I expect disagreements and challenges; however, what got me was the implication that he was Christian (perhaps I read into the statement), “I stand for love and compassion. And whatever your Bible might say fourteen translations later, so did Jesus Christ.” But to infer that the bible is not what it says it is, is ludicrous! Saying you stand for love and compassion is a great platitude, but what is your basis? There are far too many New Age, Buddhist, and Hindu (among other) teachings out there that are based upon relativistic feelings that have no basis in reality. Meaning that “What is good for one is not necessarily good for another.” Each can have their own truth in reality. This person stated that none of his sittings (I assume statements) were “actually inaccurate”; although, he never expanded upon that. Much like when in a debate and someone asserts that you are using circular reasoning and not explaining where they got that from..?

If we cannot sway them to the true teachings of Christ, we are to separate ourselves from them. Because, as in the Old Testament if we yoked ourselves with those of pagan beliefs…we would, or could, be swayed toward paganism. The same though lies here, but we are not to count them as an enemy, but as brothers in need  and lost to the way.

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” ~2 Thessalonians 3:13-15 NKJV

So, as you can see, we must take the bible’s message in it’s entirety, because it is all interlinked as one message. I did not bring this up in order to seem like a know-it-all, but rather I saw this as a teaching moment in God’s Word! Because we each have made this mistake at taking one point from Christ, and thus forgetting all other teachings of Jesus and His Apostles! This is a grave and fallacious error on our parts.

Also, if God is real and therefore the Bible is the word of God THEN it would stand to reason that the writings within are valid (I’ll not get into the trustworthiness or historicity of the Bible in this post.) Furthermore, when the bible states:

we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” ~2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV

Also when the Bible says,

And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” ~Matthew 25:46 NKJV

Then it is a good chance, meaning highly probable, that we will be judged and sentenced to be punished or have eternal joy.

I hope this was helpful to you, my dear brothers and sisters!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Looking Through The Looking Glass of Another Lense

The-Looking-Glass

I recently finished reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X as told to AlexMalcolmX Haley. Which you can read my review of it on Doc Murf’s Corner Bookshelf. It was one of the most moving and prolific books I had read in quite a while. I don’t believe I had truly seen through the eyes of another as staunchly and as vividly as this one. While I neither agree with Malcolm X’s methods, his religious beliefs, nor position on many things, I can truly understand how he came to believe such things. I understand and can empathize with his struggle and with the path he had taken to get to where he finally arrived. His beliefs about the white man that he encountered daily had truly softened by the end of his trek. It was when he sought out to take his pilgrimage to Mecca, THAT was when it all changed how he thought about man, in general. It was reading this biography where this blog post was conceived and birthed to get others to see through the eyes of another who, perhaps, is the butt of jokes, bullying, or on the receiving end of a hard time by yourself or by those who are your friends. We are not called to dog other but to guide, uplift, and help them…because they are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Whether they are misguided and have taken a wrong path, perhaps God is placing across your path for you to help them…not to give them a hard time or pick on them.

We are called to:

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. ~Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV

And trust me, there are many more scriptural references to urge each of us on to help our brothers and sisters. And guess what? This includes that we should not be talking about anybody behind their backs and tearing them down! It is idle talk and idleness that truly tears us down and makes us look like hypocrites. Which is one of the main reasons so many people hate going to church. Because it is the hypocrite in each and every one of us that shows it’s ugly head every time we are out of church.

 

gandhi-quote-if-it-weren-t-for-christians

No, again I am not pointing fingers at anyone, because this is an individual problem…yes, me too! I tends to be these paths we follow that allow us to learn these hard teachings from God. We don’t like them, no not at all! Who likes being chastised as such? I do not. We see in the Book of Ezekiel:

Signs of the Coming Captivity
2“Son of man, you live in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house. 3“Therefore, son of man, prepare for yourself baggage for exile and go into exile by day in their sight; even go into exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand though they are a rebellious house. 4“Bring your baggage out by day in their sight, as baggage for exile. Then you will go out at evening in their sight, as those going into exile.… Bible Hub

New American Standard Bible

But think about this for a moment, who would we run away from? Who would we exile ourselves from? All of us has the same problem, unchristian acts of our hearts. Those who are atheist, agnostic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Nondenominational, etc. (I won’t list them all, as it would take up far too much space and you would get bored! I think you get the point.)

If we were as smart as we thought, wouldn’t we change our bad, hurtful and harmful ways and pick-up & develop better habits? It sounds great but it also reminds me of all those “New Year’s Resolutions” from days long gone bye! We start and at some point in time we go back to our easier, no thinking ways.

Sadly, as the species of man goes, we are always judging others. At work, on the streets, passing people at the mall or while doing our grocery shopping…feel free, name the place, we are always judging someone. Concerning their manner of dress, their mannerisms, their actions toward others or the clerk(s), whether or not we can take them (in a fight), whether or not he/she is cute enough to date, and the list goes on and on. We were warned by Jesus Himself:

Judge not, that you be not judged.” ~Matthew 7:1 NKJV

Our reprehensible sin of judging others is always in our way! Jesus showed Himself to be the Light of the World because of His righteous judgement upon others, and His gracefulness and merciful attitude toward others. We are also subject to the laws of man, as well as God. Jesus noted that who are we to judge another if we ourselves are not free from sin? All things, all laws truly have their pitfalls…can we truly sit on a jury and adjudicate another for a crime? Truthfully, we can. While we cannot sit in judgement on other for spiritual matters without serious spiritual consequences, we can make judgement upon others for the safety of our society, as a whole.

Sadly, once again, nothing occurs within a vacuum with regard to life. Everything is constantly changing and is most likely very complicated. While Malcolm X lived through a great number of things which were travesties and shaped his worldview and how he viewed the white man, much the same goes on with us as to how we view the world, the occurrences around us, each thing we experience hones and shapes our worldview and our view on those around us.

bibleWe can use the Bible as our rock and moral compass for our journey through this life, but as is noted within the New Testament we do live in this world, until we move on to be judged by God, or stand before the judgement seat of Christ. The Bible should be our looking glass that we use in order to place things into the proper perspective. And if we are truly followers of Jesus Christ, our Bibles should be well used and broken in! Friends, when you overwhelmed by a problem of great importance or of significant magnitude…turn to the Word of God in order to obtain a better perspective on the matter.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

References & Other Reading:

Lesson 17: The Sin of Judging Others (James 4:11-12) | Bible.org

22 Inspirational Bible Verses About Empathy – Bible Reasons

Ezekiel 12:3 “Therefore, son of man, pack your belongings … – Bible Hub

Walking in others’ shoes | Staunton Mennonite Weblog

Developing Empathy: Walk a mile in someone’s shoes