Character

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I was reading several articles on-line concerning character and character traits. Many interesting ideas, but quite valid and handy, in my opinion. We each have our own beliefs about what are good character traits that we should possess; perhaps even desire. As we grow older we find that we needed many different traits, but failed to realize such and also failed to instill them as good habits. They say, “Youth is wasted on all the wrong people.” I tend to agree with that and believe it even stronger now, while in my youth challenged state. Perhaps, I can learn something new in my elderly status…or, perhaps, I am simply reminding myself that in this respect I must live vicariously through others who happen to be far more youthful than I.

Character traits are those things that make you stand out to a crowd of people. It is what you might deem to be a bright yellow highlighting of you among the rabble of black and white words on a page…helping you become noticeable to others, in order to stand out for memory’s sake. For instance: being on-time for an interview is a character trait a business seeks in it’s new hires; thinking fast on your feet or in less than optimal circumstances is another trait others seek; courtesy and chivalry are other traits that people desire to see in others that they come in contact with; kindness toward others and toward animals;..and the list can go on,  etc.

In order to better ourselves, we need to assess our present character traits and decide if they need to be better than they are presently, or if we must replace some traits with other traits. We each go through this at some point in time, thus allowing us to expand our horizons and better ourselves! Not just for our own sake, but for the sake of humanity and the betterment of society. God tugs at our heart from time to time insisting that we better ourselves; unfortunately, in God’s eye, we have a plethora of changes that need to be made!

In 1726, at the age of 20, Benjamin Franklin created a system to develop his character. In his autobiographytp, Franklin listed his thirteen virtues.  Benjamin Franklin spent one week on each trait, then switched to the next one in the list. Upon completion of each on the list (i.e., 13 traits in 13 weeks,) he would start the list all over again. In one year’s time you can go through the list 4 times. While these are not necessarily the only traits within the context of the bible, but Benjamin Franklin  found them to be the best ones for himself. But, in this respect, we each must find such a path for ourselves, because we each handle things differently than others. In fact, some of us may have a longer list of virtues to create as character traits we desire to possess, other might have a shorter list.

Good character traits can be learned, as they are simply good habits of an outward and caring nature toward others. In the blog post of “God’s Ten Commandments versus Jesus’ Two Commandments“, on May 8th, 2017, I had explained about Jesus’ Two Commandments to us, explaining the nature of such commands. Their simplicity is what makes them so great! In essence, we love God by our outward show of love toward Him. Which is done by our actions of honoring His commandments, showing our gratefulness by giving our tithes and offerings, by also treating our fellow neighbors with love and honoring our word that we may give when we strike a deal or bargain. The simplicity of Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:37-40 are as such:

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

We are witnessing, in present day, the demise of character within the millennial community; as well as within society as a whole. The majority of millennials are under the belief that all things should be handed to them, even when they have lost the battle or election. They believe the government owes them something (a job, free education, free healthcare, etc.) They have been taught, indoctrinated really, to believe and understand facts that don’t exist in our history. We are also witnessing the demise of American history, soon to be revised within the history books…a sad chapter in our future history books. Think about this for a bit…Robert E. Lee’s monument is being removed, Jefferson Davis’ monument is being removes, Confederate monuments are being removed, and the Ten Commandments monument was removed by order of the US Supreme Court. This sanitizing of our history, good or bad as it may have been, is a purposeful destruction of what actually happened in our history. This will at some point in time, should I gamble on this,  be scrubbed from the history books in favor of a more likeable historical write-up?

The sad truth is this, character is built upon all of the good and the bad, together! We are human and thus we make mistakes. If we are smart, we will learn from those GeorgeSantayanaQuote1mistakes and use those weaknesses in order to become stronger and wiser. History, good or bad, is there to remind us where we did things right and those things we did wrong. By remembering history, we are reminded never to let such bad things ever happen again. Unfortunately, we as humans are a stupid race and if we are not reminded from time to time of our mistakes…we will repeat them! Sadly, yes we will.

Character is built as you are growing up by watching your parents. As your relationship with your parents wane away your character is developed partially by your peers and your heroes.

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Character is something we build up over the years. It is, for the most part, trial and error. But if we are wise, or shall I say if we grow in wisdom, our character traits of our older age will be better than when we were growing up and maturing. There is one place I believe you can truly gain the wiser wisdom to learn from and that is the Bible and the text within that cumulative set of writings. Based upon the wisdom and writings of over 50 authors, written over the span one thousand five hundred years. And if you think about it, our thoughts are not original in the least. Though the technology may change, the basis of most, if not all, thoughts is not original to us. They are synthetic changes on something that has happened in the past.

In order to change the society in which we live, for the better, we must first ourselves possess the character traits and leadership traits to lead other to make all of the necessary changes. Prayers is our starting point…on our knees in reverence to God seeking His will to accomplish His greatest good. We as Christians, must take on the roles to necessary to accomplish what must be done. Such as: Teaching and education positions, leadership and political position, law enforcement and first responder positions, etc. We need to stop cow-towing down to these other people of other faiths, or non-faiths if you will, and stand up for the will of God and to become know as lovers of Jesus.

What will you be known best for by all your fiends? I would like to be known as a person who loves God and a sharer of the faith! What about you??

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Who Knows What the Tide Could Bring?

A powerful monologue for those troubled times in our lives, we have all had those moments. Just admit that to yourself and then think on it for a little while! In our darkest moments, in the deepest recesses of our minds and our intellect, we will not have hope and all will be dismal and dank. We may even do something stupid and against our nature, and we will fail at that attempt. Why is that?

God has more for us! More challenges and more failures, or non-successes or “success challenges” (to be PC.) God has something greater for us, a task to complete which will glorify Him in no uncertain terms! But sometimes all these failures and problems before us are just simple wake-up calls to our spirit, our mind, our human nature…because so many of us have forgotten to speak and pray to God. We need to make a greater effort to pray to Him who created each and everyone of us! It takes time, which so many of us refuse to part with because we are so busy. Guess what? We should always, ALWAYS be thankful to our Creator! ALWAYS!

We so often don’t get our way, but then we turn always from Him. We really need to steer clear of being spoiled brats in His sight. Because one day it will bite each and every one of us in the butt. As we owe Him; honor, blessings, tribute, etc. If it were not for Him we would not have an existence. Regardless of what is happening in your life, as well as mine, troubles and trials come our way to test our resolve, our faith, our hopes, our beliefs. But remember this:

…that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust… ~Matthew 5:45 NKJV

>AND<

Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity? ~Job 2:9-10 NKJV

Keep these thoughts in your mind. Man is equal before God. The sun rises upon his head and the rain falls upon his head. All so much, the very same! The righteous gain riches by following God’s mandates, yet this is not promised to all of us, now is it?? No, as we are simply promised a life of toil and the only guarantee we have is if stay true to God to the very end…we will be rewarded with a judgement by God permitting us to enter into heaven’s glory radiated by God and Jesus Himself.

…Yet man is born to trouble ~Job 5:7 NKJV

How do we know all of this stuff? Simple, the spirit of God within us all, granted at our birth:

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. ~Genesis 2:7 NKJV

>AND<

The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. ~Job 33:4 NKJV

And through that blessing of birth and endowment of the spirit of God

But there is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. ~Job 32:8 NKJV

we are also granted many bits & pieces of knowledge that other cannot know because they have turned their backs on God and God’s ways of life.

If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. ~1Chronicles 28:9 NKJV

And at times, we screw up and are separated from God’s voice. Because God cannot be associated with evil and wickedness. It is that simple! The prophet Isaiah told us, and I have mentioned this before in other postings:

But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear. ~Isaiah 59:2 NKJV

But this is why David was the man after God’s own heart, the apple of God’s eye (if you will); this is because despite his evil nature as a man and all the temptation which he succumbed to, when he was faced with his guilt and evil nature…he ALWAYS sought God’s forgiveness! He always returned to God, knowing that God was the reason for all his blessings and conquests. We tend to forget such things. This was why, when pressed, Jesus answered:

“I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” ~Matthew 18:22 NKJV

We must forgive and be compassionate to those who have sinned against us. And in turn, God will grant us the same forgiveness. Even though, we are often not deserving of such forgiveness! (refer to The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant)

None of us knows what the tide could bring, each day is a new adventure (so-to-say). Each and every time we open our eyelids and find ourselves on the cleans side of the grass we could be presented with opportunities beyond our wildest dreams, or just sheer havoc; the blessing of a newborn child, or grandchild…, or a death sentence, or a long road of recovery. We each have a path which each of us must follow, but how we follow that path is strictly on us, no one else. We must either choose the path where we will follow the faith in which we hold our trust, and the God who promises to be with us in both the good and the bad times by never forsaking us. Remember but one promise:

…For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” ~Hebrew 13:5 NKJV , ~Deuteronomy 31:6,8 NKJV, ~Joshua 1:5 NKJV

Or we can choose to forsake the God that Created us, turn our backs on Him out of our anger for something we do not believe we deserve. Keep in mind that all sin is equal before God’s Judgement:

For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.~James 2:10-11 NKJV

dont-worry-theres-always-tomorrowAnd guess what else? We often push off and pawn off our decisions until a later date, because we always belief we will have more time later. Friends, let me tell you this: DON’T PUSH OFF THESE IMPORTANT DECISIONS! You may not have the time you think you have. Judgement, death, the second coming, etc., all have one thing in common: They all come as a thief in the night, you do not know when nor what time of night it comes. But it will come when you least expect it! Remember the old adage: Don’t worry, there is always tomorrow…or is there?

We each mismanage our lives in differing ways, but the most common is through procrastination! Think about that for a little while…how many decision have you put off until later?…and then, later becomes even later? Take a more wise and proactive roll in your life, financially, spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.

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May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

 

Watching Others Evangelize at times, is quite comical

I often feel some who evangelize are in it for the argumentation! Others are in it for the comical value for others to smile. And others are in it to bring souls to God’s kingdom. As we start out we are often ill prepared and poorly understand the concept of touching the lives of others. I know I have been in these shoes…and sadly, I fall back on bad habits. If some of these occurrences weren’t so hilarious, we would probably cry. Most people are just like the Monty Python skit…”I would like to have an argument, please!”

This is but one reason I blog, in order to inform and hopefully educate and aid others in the apologetic field. In order for each of us to evangelize, properly, we need to have a good foundation in the knowledge of the bible and the apologetic forum. We must be able to critically think and to be able to think on our feet. And how do we do this? Through study and education. You must (not just must but you need to want to do so, with such a passion!) study the bible, commentaries, have a voracious desire to read, capture the knowledge and access the information. That being said you also need other traits, such as: study habits, memorization, speed reading, note taking, among other things.

While I was thinking of some other things recently, something to do with evangelizing – the above clip came to mind of the old Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It brought home a point, that many agree on…people are ill prepared from church and Sunday School to evangelize the Word of God to others. What we learn in Church and in Sunday School is cursory at best and piecemeal. However, what many fail to realize is the fact that apologetics and evangelizating are specialized fields within the Church itself. Each and every Church should have a specific course on each and the person who takes such a course needs to desire to take it with such a passion in order to promote and expand the word of God beyond his own boarders of his/her own little world!

Nabeel Qureshi (Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus) converted from Islam to Christianity because of his friend who was a Christian who witnessed to him over the course of years, as they were making their way through medical school. The argumentation started with the Christian belief and made it’s way to the Islamic faith. Islamic believers are given much the same faith as we as Christians…meaning that we are given a cursory understanding and we each believe we are ready to take on the world. Unfortunately, we find ourselves sorely under prepared and almost stripped of all armor and defenses. Because we did not follow on with more of our own self guided studies.

There are a great many people who are misguided out there, including some of us, but we can change that by studying and searching and researching the truth. A truth which is knowable and understandable. And we each have a responsibility and an obligation to pass on our knowledge to our families, our children, our friends and our brothers and sisters in Christ. You can study on your own, with your family, or have a group meeting with others from your church or community. There are numerous ways we can go about it…BUT we need to follow through with the idea of doing so. We have been mandated to love God, love our neighbors and to spread His Word!

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

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; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. ~Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV

We, as Christians, need to take the word of God and it’s mandates more seriously finger-pointingthan we do! We allow ourselves to become so wrapped up in our lives, earning a living, increasing our income, paying our taxes, and paying our bills. Yes, we do go to church on Sunday and perhaps even to Sunday School and talk ourselves into believing it will all be good. But, guess what? You have to do things, you know! We are obligated to God for our life, for the breath of life in our very being, for our very souls and spirits that reside within each of us. Don’t you think that we should do something, like maybe…what we were told to do?

IMG_3148We are all destined to do great things, if only we would place God at the head of our lives as we are at the precipice of our own destruction due to our flippant and arrogant treatment of God within our own lives! We are making God’s decision for our judgement at the end of our lives, because we tend to send ourselves to Hell – God is just following the desires of our hearts through the decisions throughout our lives. But we are meant for something greater and much better than such things. But God MUST come first in our lives! We are blessed with just so much time on earth. In the words of one of the old Church Father’s, St. Cyprian, “We were born with a noose around our necks.” Thus, we have one human lifetime to accomplish what God desires of us. Some of us have longer than others and waste our time when we could be doing something much more constructive for God!

circle-dotWithin the Islamic faith their faith is represented by the circle and their lives (individually) are represented by the dot. Within the Christian faith, we are just the opposite. Our lives are represented by the circle and our faith/God is represented by the dot. God is, and has been, minimized within the context of our lives. It has been educated out of us, we have forgotten the prominence of God in our lives, and we all wonder why things have gotten so bad in this country. WOW! Think about that for a little bit!

Stop sitting on the couch, stop watching all those re-runs of days long gone by! I am not saying you have to give all things fun, but this country and this world is going to Hell in a hand basket and we are just watching it happen. And the only thing we are doing is to bitch and complain at our neighbors, they in-turn bitch and complain to us. That gets nothing accomplished! You have to get up and DO SOMETHING!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

The Conceptual Possibility of the Trinity

Like the blog writer, I too am reading the book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi…fascinating at the very least. But I had to steal this blog writer’s concept of what was written in the book concerning the Trinity which he grasped the perfect concept in nature of the Trinity from his Organic Chemistry class…here it is:

 

*****************ORIGINAL BLOG POST************************

Monday, January 5, 2015

Is the Trinity conceptually possible?

The Trinity is one of the most confusing concepts in Christian theology.
How can God be three persons [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] yet one?
Non-Christians sometimes say it is illogical and nonsense.
This is particularly true of Muslims who consider it offends the unity of Allah.
[Aside: It also seems that most Muslims think Christians believe the Trinity is God, Mary, and Jesus.]I am currently reading the fascinating book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi.
I will write more about it later. Here I just want to highlight one small part of the story I found fascinating because of my interest in the relationship between science and theology.

Like most Muslims, Qureshi thought the Trinity made no sense.
But he became open to it in a completely unexpected circumstance. In an organic chemistry class (!) he learnt about the resonance structures of the nitrate ion [shown above]. This molecule does not have a single structure. Rather, it simultaneously has the three structures above. It is not one or the other, but all three of them. This is a result of [the bizarre properties of] quantum physics, it is the same as Schrodingers cat, being both dead and alive at the same time.

Learning about resonance structures did not lead Qureshi to believe the Trinity was true. It just made him open to the idea that it was conceptually possible that it could be true. He could no longer dismiss it out of hand.

Also consider reading this document: The Trinity

While everything here cannot possibly explain for each and every person, these are simple beginnings for research on the subject of the Trinity and it’s understanding. But know this: God leaves us bread crumbs in order to explain all things spiritual within the natural world He has given us!

This was a short one tonight, but a ton to ponder on…so, just think on this for a little while!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

‘God doesn’t make mistakes’

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While we are human and make numerous mistakes, God does not make any; therefore, God is perfect. Yet, man, from the dawn of time has inferred and lead all to believe that God does make mistakes. Made mistakes with the birth of a down syndrome child, limbless, stillborn, wrong century, too late or early, too tall or short, too big or small, gay, or the wrong sex entirely. Sorry, just because things didn’t go as you planned them, or as someone else planned them for you…you are as you are because God designed the world such a way.

Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson says ‘God doesn’t make mistakes’ when it comes to gender. It is odd how many Christians lean toward the possibility that God “could” have made a mistake. NO! I beg to differ, God does not make ANY mistakes! None what-so-ever! The only mistake made was the one where things were somehow destined to go in your favor all of the time. Sorry, God’s plans go according to His own design and according to His own plan. Read the Bible, you will eventually get that fact and will see that God’s plan is not according to your personal plan or agenda.

According to the article:

Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson fires up the crowd for U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz during a campaign event in Sioux City Iowa“Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson made it to the news back in 2013 when he commented that homosexuality is sinful and that members of the LGBT community “won’t inherit the kingdom of God.”

He was lambasted heavily by the media and secular society because of his comments.

On Friday, Robertson risked stoking the ire of his critics again with his comments on gender during the Liberty University Convocation, according to PR Web.

“God made male and female,” Robertson stressed. “When I am looking at males, hair comes out of their faces. Females, they don’t have beards. Males, they have beards. God doesn’t make mistakes. This is what a man is supposed to look like.”

Robertson knows a lot of people don’t appreciate his controversial comments and have left scathing remarks against him on social media. But he quips that he doesn’t mind these criticisms because he doesn’t read them. […read more…]

While you may not appreciate his candor and consider him a bigot, racist, a homophobe, etc. You must acknowledge that he has taken a moral stance, you do not have to agree with him. You do not have to like him or his opinion. But guess what? When I was growing up my mother and my grandmother both had the habit of telling me, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me,” or “just ignore them.” I may have had an easier childhood, had I listened. But as most kids do not listen to such wisdom, neither did I. Phil Robertson’s moral stance is based solely upon the Biblical text:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. ~1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NKJV

But guess what? That does not promise everyone who claims to be a Christian will inherit the Kingdom either. Let us be honest here, Christians can be some of the biggest hypocrites and such hypocrisies are sins in their own right. People tend to act differently in private than they do in their public life. Everyone, well almost everyone, does. There are some people that are the same in their private as well as their public life. But those are so few. Remember where Jesus told us that “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (ref: Matthew 22:14 NKJV)

The Bible dictates that we must not just expound the truths of the Bible itself, but we must life those dictates. They MUST become part of us. We must be changes, truly, by the word of God! And we must act in such a way. But there is a way to do such:

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. ~1Corinthians 6:11 NKJV

Thus indicating that we can be washed clean from our sins of the past and be renewed by God, through Jesus Christ via the Holy Spirit. The greatest and easiest way to learn how to be saved and washed clean is through THE ROMAN’S ROAD to Salvation. Though your path to salvation is, in essence, a simple one; dependent upon your lifestyle it can be a hard road to follow. Many changes are needed to be made, but take them in stride, because once you turn your life over to God – TRULY turn it over to Him – your life will begin to change. Seek out a bible believing teaching church. Seek out those who are like minded (the mind of Christ) to mentor you and guide you on your new path and life. When the time is right, which is usually when you claim Christ as your Lord. But most churches happen to schedule mass baptisms so many times a year.

Find a good Bible, one that is easy for you to understand the message of God’s word. Personally, I suggest the New International Version (NIV), Revised Standard Version (RSV), New King James Version (NKJV), but there are numerous versions. NIV is written in an 8th grade level of reading which gives you the message in today’s words. NKJV removes much of the thee’s and thou’s of the KJV, which makes for an easier reading experience. You should seek out a good study bible or perhaps a chain reference bible. And begin to read your bible, but not from the beginning! It will make it truly tougher for you to understand the message of the bible by doing so. Start with John or even with 1 John. Seek out a reading plan for yourself.

Good resources are:

Bible Gateway

Blue Letter Bible

Both contain commentaries, numerous versions of the Bible to read (an aid in deciding which bible you prefer to read) and each has a set of differing reading plans for the bible itself.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

God’s Ten Commandments versus Jesus’ Two Commandments

What are the differences? How can the “supposed” Son of God change the commands of God? Or, did He change them??? Let us look into this, it has always been on my mind and have not researched or even sought an answer…

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So, it is agreed, for the sake of this discussion that God did give to Moses, His servant, the Ten Commandments for Israel to adhere to and follow all the days of their lives and they were first given in Exodus 20:1-17 NKJV.

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And Jesus came along and gave us the Greatest Commandment in Matthew 22:36-40 NKJV, which is derived from Deuteronomy 6:1-3 NKJV.

Consider, for a moment or two, that there was a reason that Jesus simplified that which was already simple. How so, you might ask? Well, let’s take a good look:  The Jews were reminded that the Lord God lead them out of Egypt and the land of bondage.And the Sabbath was/is on a Saturday.

It is my contention that the Ten Commandments were, specifically geared toward the Jewish people, the very chosen people of God, Himself! Whereas, the modified Greatest Commandment was aimed toward the Jews but moreso in preparation for the Gentiles to adopted into the family of God.

As Christians, or sons and daughters who are adopted into the family of God (adoptive Jews, so to say) we were not lead from Egypt, we celebrate the Lord’s day on Sunday as it was the day upon which Jesus rose from the dead. Also, under the laws work was very specifically defined, such as walking beyond straight from one’s home to the synagogue was considered labor and other things as such. Jesus called out the Sanhedrin and Pharisees on such hypocrisies.

The Lord gave the Jews the land of milk and honey, i.e. Israel. While all of this world is the Lord’s, and everything therein…the land we live on was not given to us as the land (nation of Israel) was given to the Jews. While we can debate upon this matter, to a certain extent, we have not had to battle to maintain our land in our possessions as the Jewish people continue to do.

As I do think it a moot point that Jesus made the Lord simplified the Commandments which we are to live by, in that you either love God or you do not. Can we agree on that point, at least?

Let’s look at the Greatest Commandment which Jesus simplified for us:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”~Matthew 22:36-40 NKJV

  • First of all, Jesus stated that “You shall love the Lord“, which makes these two commands individualistic and personal. Meaning they are demanded of each and every one of us who follow the Christ. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. We are to do so by choice, not by force
    • We are to love Him “with all our heart“, which means we are to be sincere in our love toward God. After all, God can see our hearts and therefore love is the first and great thing that we should devote to him.
    • We are to love Him “with all our soul“, which means the soul must be engaged for him, and all things carried out toward and for Him and for His glory.
    • We are to love Him “with all our mind“, which means God gave us a mind with which to think things out and to reason with. That said, we must glorify God with our power of thought and reason. We must use our minds to learn all we can of God and to pass that on towards others; thereby, to mentor and disciple others.
    • To love God as the One True and Only God and Creator of all, is the greatest test of all. After all, do you truly believe such a thing? And do you truly show your love toward God? Only you can answer such a question and you know that God can see your heart.
    • You love the Lord God when you honor Him, when you hold Him in the highest esteem because you know & believe that He created you and placed the breath of life in your nostrils. You honor God when you place nothing else before yourself in order to worship or love as your creator.
    • If you honor God daily, is there a necessity to have a special day? Good question, and each of us will have an opinion on such a subject. However, it cannot hurt to honor God on Sundays, despite your honoring Him everyday. Every day which you wake and rise with the breath of life in you…is, after all, a day of the Lord…is it not??

Some people make each concept (heart, soul, & mind) to denote one and the same thing, to love him with all our powers; others differentiate each term; the heart, soul, and mind, are the will, affections, and understanding. Our love of God must be a sincere love, and not in word and tongue only, as theirs is who say they love him, but their hearts are not with him. In my opinion, the Lord Jesus inferred that each term should be understood on their own merit(s) and as the sum of their merit(s), together. It is always wise to look at them from every angle possible, as God did grant us a mind to reason with.

  • Secondly, Jesus commanded us to …love your neighbor as yourself.” Sound familiar? It ought to, that pesky Golden Rule that we were taught as children. To love one’s neighbor as one’s self we need to follow last five of the ten commandments:
    • Honoring our parents, while not our neighbors but they are those over us who are commanded to rear us up in the word of God and teach us all His ways. We are instructed to hold those in high regard who are our elders.
    • Murder, adultery, stealing, false witnessing, and coveting – these each affect those around us, our neighbors, friends, etc. We would not appreciate any of these things happening to us; therefore, we are not to treat others so heinously! Our civil society is based upon these things; in fact, our laws are based upon these things. You honor and glorify God when you love your neighbor as yourself.

Is one set of commandments any better than the other? No, I don’t think so. But the commandments from Jesus were the true cumulative effect of all the Old Testament Laws and words of the prophets brought together in one paragraph.

I hope you found this interesting and helpful. My prayer is that we all can affect change in society through our changes toward how we treat our neighbors. Godspeed to you all!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Did Jesus Predict Judas’ Actions??

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”~Matthew 12:43-45 NKJV

unclean-spirit

When He was teaching and speaking with the great multitude, did Jesus predict Judas’ actions and betrayal of himself while speaking of the unclean spirit’s return? Does this teaching not speak directly to Judas and his actions? Was he not cleaned and renewed when called to follow the Christ and then tempted and fallen from grace, so-to-say? While the answer to the betrayal of Jesus is a big YES, but was this teaching in and of itself another prophetic insight to Judas’ betrayal of the Son of God? Quite frankly, after so many years of reading the bible and studying of the scriptures, I am very surprised that I did not see this before now.

Not quite certain where and when it hit me, but it was the week prior to Easter Sunday. Now, of course, I am speculating and I also believe I am one of but a handful of people that may see it this way, but I honestly believe that Jesus was showing what happens to many of us. We become saved and are enamored by the newness of our salvation. (But Judas was seeking a different kind of king, wasn’t he? He sought one to rid his country and fellow countrymen of the bane of the Roman Armies and occupational force.) And then as time wears on, we become disillusioned and have a completely different kind of experience, or expected a much different kind of Messiah. Then temptation arises and we seek a way, usually the easy way, to make things turn out the way we want…but it all plays out so much differently than we ever expected.

deceptionWhile we seek the Lord’s will in our lives, we tend to hear what we want to hear and sadly tend toward deceiving ourselves to believing that it is or must be the Lord’s will. Yet, it never plays out in such a way…and lo and behold…we find out we deluded ourselves and tricked ourselves into this false sense of belief. We all seem to be pro’s at this sort of thing. After all, it has been going on since the beginning of time on earth…well, almost…at least since the 6th day. By deceiving ourselves, we will blind ourselves to wisdom that God provides us through the temptation of ease and comfort. We fall into this trap all of the time, which expounds and expands upon our humanity and our human nature of sinfulness. Perhaps, one day we will all learn!

It is my opinion that the evil one left Judas for a short time after he was called to follow Jesus. As Judas spent more time with Jesus learning as none of the Apostles had ever learned before. Greater knowledge as was explained far more in-depth than ever before. Judas was claimed once again by the very Son of God who was sent to claim us all. But as time wore on, I believe Judas had a different vision of his present Messiah, one which was more militant, perhaps. Then he became more easily tempted, as we all do as we allow our minds and hearts to wander.

“…and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.” ~Matthew 12:45 NKJV

And Jesus gave each of us a warning, and not just one but several times throughout the New Testament! In other words, if we do not watch out, we can and will suffer a similar fate as Judas himself. The generation of Jesus’ time and all the generations thereafter were destined to suffer similar or worse fates. If we are not careful to follow His word and dictates, we will be destined to our own disasters by our own choices!

Time and again I have mentioned in this blog that we are a product of our choices. Also, that we have been given a great blessing and a great curse at the same time…THAT OF CHOICE. It is a blessing, in that, through the culmination of our choices WE each determine our our destinies. So far as we choose our direction and our path, one of wisdom and knowledge or that of foolhardiness and ignorance. WE CHOOSE, no one else makes our choices for us…which in turn would be a choice of deferring our fate to another. But keep in mind, our greatest curse is the choice itself…one of morality and ethics. Is our choice moral and ethical?

Do you remember in my blog post Woe To You…?

“If there is no God…then everything is permitted…” ~Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Без бога-то и без будущей жизни? Ведь это, стало быть, теперь всё позволено, всё можно делать?’ ‘А ты и не знал?’” (The original Russian)

While the sentiment is true from certain perspectives, IF you believe in God and a Eternal-Damnation-3moral lawgiver of such greatness (such as the One True God & Creator) then you must believe there is a final judgement after you die. In so far as saying, your very soul which lives on for eternity will either be seen as being worthy to go to Heaven for eternal blessing or adjudicated as being unworthy and sentenced to eternal damnation in Hell. You see, God does not send you to Hell. YOU, throughout your entire life have made the eternal_lifechoice through desire, want, lust, greed, envy, and murderous behaviors, etc. and made the demand to God to send you to such a place. BUT at the same time you also can make the choices to follow the Word of the Living God, by doing so YOU CHOOSE LIFE ETERNAL. We each hold eternal life in our hands, but we are forever choosing to spend our time arguing with others on Facebook or holding Tweet Wars against another. Wasting our lives on watching the 24/7 News channels. Building up our angst toward each other by holding to our agenda, which really isn’t our own…but we tend to own it without thinking about it.

God gives us each the choice to repent and turn toward His way of thinking, up until the very last breath we draw. God desires each and every one of His creatures to enter into His Glorious Kingdom for eternal life! Choose God! Claim Jesus! Repent of your past sins! As God will take you as you are and if you place your soul into His hands and care…He will guide you into a whole new life eternal.

Remember: DEATH comes to us all…

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD