The Argument of Sufficiency of Scripture

Sufficiency of Scripture

See chapter 8 Systematic Theology

God has granted us sufficiency of His word throughout history. Man has enough in God’s word in order to learn and understand what God desires of us and we have enough information how to live the Christ following life we need. Furthermore, there is sufficient information for each of us to hear the word of God, understand we are sinners, to confess our sins before God, and be saved unto Christ! What is the legitimate definition of  “The Sufficiency of Scripture”?

sufficiency

What is the purpose of scripture? Well, in the second letter to the Apostle Timothy by the Apostle Paul it was stated:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.~2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

Hence the purpose of scripture is to teach those who already believe and have accepted Jesus as the Son of God, who rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Now, can it be used by those who do not believe? Yes, yet we do not even need the bible, or scripture, to prove the existence of God.

We can find everything that God has spoken on, ultimately, any given topic; either directly or indirectly or inferred. For example, in the sixth commandment “You shall not murder.” (Deuteronomy 5:17 NIV) Blatantly states that we are not to murder anyone. But what is murder?

There are many definitions of murder include murder committed with malice aforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation or occurring during the commission of another serious crime, as robbery or arson and murder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation. However, the nuts and bolts of murder is unlawful killing of another, whereas killing is an act by which someone dies due to an accident without forethought or malice as part of the equation.

But by way of inference we can deduce that we are not to harm another in any physical way. Jesus spoke on this, in fact, Jesus stated emphatically that we are subject to judgement if we are angry with our brother. Furthermore, we are subject to the fire of hell if we even say, “You fool!” to our brother. (ref: Matthew 5:20-22 NIV) This is but one example of inferring from scripture and all we can learn from the same.

The sufficiency of scripture also promises us that the amount of scripture given to us at each stage in our history is and was sufficient for us to learn what was being taught to us and that it is proper and sufficient for our redemption through Christ. We learned in the Mosaic teachings this basic understanding:

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. ~Deuteronomy 29:29 NIV

God has this tendency to reveal to some people more than the rest of us. Just look throughout history and this will be an understood fact. You may be one of those who believe that the bible, while being canonized was a severe censure of the word of God, but in reality, if you believe God is all powerful, all knowing and all present…then He has the ability to protect His message to all the world from the likes of those who believe they must control the thoughts of men. And in so doing, those same men will change the contents of the books of sacred scripture, but God will get His message through to all His children.

sinful1God gave each of us the same brain, but it is up to each of us to love God with all of our minds. And how do we do such? Great question…and here is an answer! We must take charge of our mind and subject our thoughts to godly things, subject our eyes to godly things, and subject our bodies to godly things. We must bask in God’s word by learning all we can, we must also subject our minds to understand the godly words and understanding all that is good. Reading good books, wholesome and truthful. We must subject ourselves to those who have studied God’s word before us and learn what they have had to say in order to understand. Of course, that does not mean that we must agree with their assessments but it will help us to be of one mind and heart!

There is the problem of those who are health and wealth preachers who tend to preach heretical teachings. They tend to obfuscate the true word of God through smoke and mirrors allowing you to misunderstand the true nature of God through the all deceptive pattern of wealth…that always catches a person’s attention. Because if they believe that God truly wants us to be rich and wealthy…they are hooked and are in for the long haul.

Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.~Deuteronomy 4:2 NIV

See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.~Deuteronomy 12:32 NIV

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. ~Proverbs 30:5-6 NIV

Does God desire us to be rich? Yes, but He wants our wealth to be in His kingdom. We temptation-gardenwere warned by Jesus not to be so attached to wealth and riches on this earthly plane. Jesus was very clear on this. God does want us to be rich and many who do great things are rewarded in earthly riches. But we all need to remember that:

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.~Matthew 5:44-45 NIV

We are equal in God’s eyes, in that, not one of us is righteous.  But getting back to the point is we are not to add to scripture, nor take anything away from it. By doing so you clearly intend to mislead those you are teaching and you will be held accountable for such teachings. The prophet Ezekiel warned us:

When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.~Ezekiel 3:18-19 NIV

We are reminded throughout, that we are not commanded to believe in anything outside of the scriptures about God Himself or His redemptive works. Everything is within the confines of the 66 books of the bible. We are also taught that there is nothing sinful that is not forbidden by the scriptures. As written by the Apostle Paul, on the Believer’s Freedoms:

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. ~1 Corinthians 10:23-24 NIV

We can do all things, but is it wise to do all that we desire to do? As children of God we should be desires and have a passion for those around us. Helping and aiding all those near us…our neighbors! Our brothers and sisters in Christ!

We are also reminded that God does not command any of us to do anything that is not explicitly in the biblical text, or implied by the same! Because God is all good, He will not command us to do what is evil. He will not guide us to lie. Because the seed of God is truly righteous.

Do-what-God-has-told-you-4We are taught, implored to do really, that we should emphasize what the scriptures tell us and to be content with what God has told and taught us within the scriptures. We are to touch the lives of those around us with God’s word, because God desires all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. And more often than not, we are the only connection that others will have to God. Trust me, God will open those opportunities to you to touch the life of another.

Until We Meet Again, Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

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While Breathing, Man Forgets His Breath Is From God

breath of life

We all seem to forget one of the greatest gifts we possesses, the breath of life which is within each of us by the grace of God! We each continue to waste our time and lives on such trivial things to debate if or whether or not that God exists…despite this great gift!

What are the Odds?:

And what something even more basic – say, your own existence?  A couple of months ago, a “probability chart” produced by Harvard Law School blogger Ali Binazir went somewhat viral, encouraging people to contemplate this very question.  In the chart, Binazir calculates just how improbable it was that the right sperm from your father hooked up with the right egg produced by your mother – by his estimate, it’s about one chance in 400 quadrillion (that number seems only slightly more tame in scientific notation: 4 x 10^17).  And that’s hardly the whole battle:  To even get to that stage, all of your ancestors, going all the way back to the beginning of life on Earth, had to survive to reproductive age.  Multiplying the string of probabilities together, he concludes that the odds of your existence are an astronomical one in 10^2,685.000.  (As you can imagine, not everyone in the blogosphere was kind to Binazir; one asked if it was painful to pull those numbers out of you-know-where.) (“Life, the Universe, and Everything: What are the Odds?“, 12/2011, Dan Falk)

Let us consider mathematical a understanding:

improbable = something that can happen, but its probability is comparatively low, but not zero. The distinction between probable and improbable is not, as far as I know, exactly defined.

if you roll one hundred dice, it is very improbable that all of them will land as sixes.

almost impossible = something that can happen, but its probability is exactly zero

if you roll a frictionless die, it is almost impossible that it will end up on its edge.

if you keep rolling a die until a six lands, it is almost impossible that you will never stop rolling.

impossible = something that cannot happen.

if you roll one hundred (standard) dice, it is impossible that at least one of them will land as a seven.

probable

if you do get one hundred sixes in a row, it is probable that the casino will kick you out.

almost definite

if you attempt to balance a frictionless die on its edge, it will almost definitely topple to one of its faces

definite

I think you will definitely try to balance a die on its edge. If you do succeed – remember it’s due to friction.

~cited work: John Dvorak (https://math.stackexchange.com/users/49851/john-dvorak), Improbable vs Impossible?, URL (version: 2013-10-05): https://math.stackexchange.com/q/515620

We are each in a physical existence, unless you believe life to be an illusion…but that is another story. The odds of us evolving to the point where we are (individually) today is an astronomical one in 10^2,685.000, if not more so. I say that because this number was the odds for either you or myself…not all of us on this earth. Which means that the odds would drastically and astronomically increase by an exponential factor.

 Accordingly, probabilities can be approximately 1010^23, give or take a few billion orders of magnitude.
cited work:Vincent (https://math.stackexchange.com/users/332815/vincent), Can something be statistically impossible?, URL (version: 2016-12-08): https://math.stackexchange.com/q/2049730
In order to show that something is impossible, the possibility of it happening must be less than zero. To the average man, woman or child getting much less than 10*-10^23 is not necessary…I believe that for the rest of us that this is sufficiently lass than zero to be impossible. Now let us look at the odds for something being probable to happen: One in 10^2,685.000. This is 1 chance in 10^2,685.000 (10 followed by 2,685 zeros.) Can it happen? Yes. Is it likely to happen? No. Consider the likelihood that we (any one of us) are able to win the Powerball. What are the odds? Last I checked into that it was one chance in 248, 000, 000. To me that is astronomical. So, when looking into it we have a greater chance of winning the Powerball than evolution producing you or I and having the breath of life in either of us.
Talk about chance and odds! We have been given a great gift, this thing we call life. We each need to hold dearly the idea that life is precious. This world has all but gone to hell in a hand-basket if it were not for those of us who hold dearly to the idea that God gave each and everyone of us a precious and beautiful gift…LIFE…THE BREATH OF LIFE!
we are dying

So, in the words of Clarence the Angel to George Bailey on “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE” rings true about now…

“You see (George), You really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to throw it away?” When you step back from a situation and place all things in their proper perspective, we are able to see without all of the other distractions of life – objectively. We all do this at times in our lives. And I hope and pray that you see such is the case for yourself, my dearest friends, brothers and sisters.

 

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

A Special Kind of Faith

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We tend to wait to accomplish things until the right time or when we become more confident. But our confidence is built upon many of our past failures. Failures which teach us how to do things the proper way. Those failures create future successes, which also create our confidence and self-belief. So, we should DO what must be done and the confidence and esteem will be fruitful and multiply within our hearts and souls.

Why are there so many weak and stumbling Christians? The answer is clear: they are not living by faith. Why are there so many unhappy Christians? The answer is clear: they are not living by faith. Why are there so many confused Christians? The answer is clear: they are not living by faith.” ~Donald Grey Barnhouse, Exposition on the Book of Romans, Vol. I, page 212-213

Why are there so many weak and stumbling, unconfident and faith challenged, passionless and desireless Christians in our midst? Partly it is due to their upbringing, also another problem is their lack of understanding as to what is expected of them, and we are in that age where boys/men are seen as being either rapists or sexual harassers by virtue of their sex and based upon extreme generalities. Let us not forget that boys are being enticed to see themselves as  trans-sexual, trans-racial, trans-species, and whatever other trans-sycophantic manner pleases this particularly “Politically Correct” culture we now live in. It is sad and it is disgusting. But it is our Sodom & Gomorrah, our City of Babylon waiting for the whore to make her choices and do her deeds!

There are a plethora of reasons as to why things are the way they are, but the lack of guidance, lack of wisdom, and lack of faith are at the top of the list in my personal opinion! We have a distinct problem where we are misguided due to the fact that we have been brought up as cynical people. Also, within the liberal culture, that has grown to be rather paramount, within our educational institutions which has a tendency to throw logic and reason out the door right along with common sense, in many aspects. In so doing, our children (and we also, as many of us were at the very beginning of these changes) tend to be miseducated and misguided in how to think as an individual. The entire purpose of the education of our children is, specifically, to teach our children to think, think wisely, think independently, and to think with an educated reasoning process in a logical fashion. More often than not, our kids our being brow beaten into thinking in a liberal manner and indoctrinated what to think as opposed to how to think.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when children should be quiet and listen in order to learn, but the above student (while his language did get a bit bad, did maintain his demeanor without being disrespectful of the teacher) did a very good job of debating his belief and debunked the teacher’s assertions which were essentially a liberal mantra pushed for by the mainstream media. And also keep in mind that this is but one incident out of many, on both sides; although, listening to some of my grandchildren, this is happening in greater number of incidents with respect to liberal teachers pushing a liberal agenda against a child who did his research and had his data together.

This is but a small picture of the broader scale of things within life where we reap what we sew due to the fact we have kicked God out of our schools. What was expected? Did you really expect your kids to follow and have faith in a God who only was taught to them in a part time fashion? God needs to be a part of our children’s lives at all times throughout their day. Just based upon my experiences growing up, I lost out because my faith was lukewarm at best. We need to be exposed to God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit at all times throughout our day in order to recognize and remember that we are but a small piece of the bigger puzzle and also to be reminded that God is ever present in our lives.

Our faith grows through testing and learning. This is how we learn why we believe what we believe…through an ever present testing of our character and integrity. What we stand for on any given day and at any given time. Do we stand for those who cannot defend themselves? Or just our friends and the clique which we are a part of?

The_Brothers_Karamazov1Father Zosima says to the woman of little faith [who has lost her faith in God] (in the book THE BROTHERS KARAMANZOV), “Act as if there is a God and as if your neighbor has an immortal soul. Love him to death, truly love him. Don’t just love humanity – love your neighbor! Then that will open the eyes of your soul. And you will see the certainty and that the soul is immortal and that there is a God.” You will begin to see God when you begin to act in such a manner. Acting as though there is a God. Acting that your neighbor has an immortal soul. Acting in a manner of love toward your neighbor. If you lack belief, you will begin to see there is a God. We each have this problem at times throughout our lives. Some seek guidance and are reignited in such a belief.

In his book “Spirit Warriors: Strategies for the Battles Christian Men and Women Face Every Day”in chapter 11 “Run to the Guns.” Stu Weber, a former fear-12Green Beret Captain, puts forth the truism of any soldier who has been trained in the art of warfare: Running towards, not away from the danger. This is about charging toward and doing something practical, for the safety of your brothers-at-arms, thereby instilling and creating the faith you are lacking. The only way to overcome such fears is to recognize fear, grasp hold of yourself and do what you must, despite your fear. Outside of war or battle or a fight for life…fear is not truly real, excepting only in your mind. As with most people, the greatest fears (top three, more likely than not in this very order) an audit from the public speaking, IRS and death.

Our faith comes not by false hopes or desires, but rather the building up of courage by acting despite our fear and truly believing what we have researched to be true! We believe not just because we have been told so, but also because we have researched and hold the truth to the matter that we can do all things through Christ! It is seen daily where people overcomes such obscene odds against them, but they pull it off anyway, because they never give up that hope of truth that is instilled within each of us!

Godspeed my friends, until the next exciting episode!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

…the way, the truth, and the life…

There is but one way to enter in to heaven, and that is through Jesus the Christ!

oneway4

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~John 14:6 NKJV

In the words of Dr. Michael Licona, or some variation as I recall, “If there is a true religion, then I owe it my allegiance. If there is the one true God, then I owe Him my true allegiance.”

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Now, there are great reasons to believe that Jesus is the true Son of the Living God. The historical aspect, archaeological aspect, textual reliance and other witness accounts, perhaps the witness accounts of those who are extra-biblical and non-Christians. Perhaps, in comparing the numerous different religions is enough for you and the claims. What of the numerous documentaries comparing Christ to those perceived and asserted other gods, which were supposedly risen from the dead in the same exact way and so on. Unfortunately, if you do the homework and make the comparisons yourself you will find that those assertions are false.

  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did not the Sanhedrin show His dead and mutilated body to the people?
  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did the Apostles preach the resurrection message to the people in Jerusalem? (Where the punishment was certain death by stoning.)
  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did the Apostles die cruel and inhumane deaths without denying their Lord and Savior?
  • There are those who believe in the “Swoon Theory,” but there is too much to discredit such a belief.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.~Romans 1:16 NKJV

So, what is salvation? According to Matt Slick, CARM.org, “Salvation is being saved from the righteous judgment of God upon the sinner…All who have sinned against God are under the judgment of God.  This judgment is known as damnation where God condemns to eternal hell all those who have offended Him by breaking His Law.” One allegorical representation of the weight of sin upon our soul is:

A Chinese evangelist was once preaching on salvation and the weight of sin. A heckler did what hecklers do best, attempt to shame or embarrass  the evangelist. The response was epic: “If you have a corpse lying in his coffin, will he feel a hundred pound weight on his chest any more than a fifty pound weight?” ~ROMANS, vol. 1, pg. 170, David Grey Barnhouse, (1989)

We are warned by the Apostle Paul for the benefit of our souls that, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NKJV) And at the same time we are promised eternal life being the gift of God, His gift of Salvation through His grace! All we have to do is ask for it and freely receive it. It is that simple, but people do not trust free or simple things. By considering the previously mentioned allegorical representation of sin upon our souls, this statement by the Apostle Paul should help solidify the matter. Our hearts should be weighted down AND we should be looking for the EXIT sign to get out of the cage/prison which we have cornered ourselves into, through every means of deceit, trickery, lying, deciding, etc. YES, we decided our way into a corner and must decide our way out of that very same corner. The decision should be easy and the solution is even easier! Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, believing He is the Son of the Living God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven.

It is easy to accept, but rather hard to believe, isn’t it? That is why we must seek for ourselves…researching and studying the word of God. Because we were mandated to:

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ ~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

Which means we are to love God all our essence and being and by loving Him with all our mind, we are to love Him NOT with blind faith but rather with well informed, studied and researched faith. Loving Him with all our logic and reason! Many people, not just Atheists, believe that to believe in God we give up our reason and logic for blind faith upon the word of the bible alone. That is just not true at all!

God destined us to determine for ourselves through free will to guide our own paths. That includes turning off the primrose path by making mistakes and sinning, because God desired us all to love and honor Him with all of our heart by our free will choice. We will never be perfect, until God makes us so. But we must keep living the life as though we can be perfect by modeling the life of Jesus the Christ. By ascribing ourselves to the word of God and by living our lives accordingly. Not by the law, as presented in the Old Testament, but according to the simple teachings of Christ as presented by His Apostles & Disciples. Those words in the New Testament give a great representation of who Christ was and how He lived. If we use Jesus as the model, how could we go wrong?

Two final caveats:

  1. If the Apostle Paul was changed so dramatically on the road to Damascus from a Christian hating and torturing Jew to become one of Jesus’ greatest Evangelists and Apologists…how can we doubt such a change? How can we doubt such a drastic and dramatic change?
  2. The deaths of the Apostles were gruesome and heinous, to say the least. But no one recanted their faith or belief that Jesus was, in fact, the One True Son of the Living God, the Messiah, whom the Jews had been awaiting. That is another factoid which we must keep in mind. (Consider when the Watergate Scandal was plaguing the Nixon Administration each each of the major players involved made a plea deal and received felony indictments. Each turned on their master.) It defies logic and reason to discount their sincerity!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Some other things you may enjoy from great teachers:

Is Jesus the Only Way? Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Is Jesus the only way to be saved? (CARM)

We Get Attached To The Strangest Things

So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. And the Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah’s head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!”  ~Jonah 4:5-9

jonah-and-the-gourd-vineA long mane can be just as emotional to cut off. (Reflections from my youth.) It was one year ago today (10/9/2016) when we had to put down our dog Bernie. Funny how you get attached to things. Jonah was attached to a gourd vine, we and many others were attached to dogs or cats, a neighbor of ours was so attached to her bearded dragon, my grandmother was attached to her parakeets. We are a species that desires to give and receive love and if we cannot receive it, we will just give it.

Jonah fell in love with that gourd vine, because it protected him from the hot sun during the day while he sat there on the hill just waiting for the Ninevites to fail God. Because Jonah knew that they would fail Him, as Ninevites could not be trusted. We all tend to have trust issues with respect to others, don’t we? My suspicion is that Jonah had witnessed the travesties of the Ninevites first hand and this is why he held them in such low report. Despite God was on His side and despite God’s mandate for Jonah. He did not care, Jonah just did not want those Ninevites saved.

Jonah knew that if he had gone and warned the Ninevites and if they would listen to the message from Jonah and if they sensed sorrow in their heart that God would forgive them. God is funny that way. Jonah loved the gourd vine for what it provided him and was angered when it withered away, despite the fact that he put no work or cultivation toward its growth. We on the other hand, tend to love the animals that we adopt as pets because we give up much time to train it up to do as we desire it to do for us, or to mind us. Other animals and creatures just kind of exist and we take their motions to be a form of love or caring toward us. But God loved the Ninevites NOT because of what they could do for Him, nor what they could provide for Him, but solely because of the fact that they were one of His creations and He could be a forgiving, compassionate, and loving God.

bernieJust something we need to remember is the fact that we are God’s creation. In God’s eye we are but a speck of sand, yet He knows our names. When you look at those who have done you wrong, what do you see? Do you see an enemy or a friend in the making? One truly kills and destroys an enemy by making him your friend. While we cannot destroy another man’s soul, we can surly be the impetus of saving it through the message of Jesus Christ and by living our lives as Christ lived His life.

This is a short message today as it touched a nerve when my wife reminded me of our dog Bernie going bye-bye for the final time.

…what I hate, THAT I do

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. ~Romans 7:15-20 NKJV 

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Talk about a recipe for disaster, eh? The Apostle Paul describes here to us that even he has problems staying on the straight and narrow road to God’s righteousness. And he was an Apostle, though some may differ in their opinion on that. This just goes to show us, layman or common men of God, that we are susceptible  to sinfulness and sinful thoughts. We are men, we exist, therefore we think. There was sometime ago I posted that the average man thinks approximately 70,000 thoughts per day; however, based upon further searching that is a bit high…it is more like 20,000 thoughts. In either case, we are constant thinking creatures, as well as deletion creatures. We delete many of these thoughts because of what we tend to focus on at any given time.

Since this topic is the sinful nature of man:

the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” ~Genesis 8:21 NKJV

When we sin, many, not all men, will tend to dwell upon what they have done. The old adage that we are our own worst critic, is quite true in this respect. We will, those of us that think on our actions and sin, will dwell upon them and mull over them for what seems to be an eternity. So much so that we will whip ourselves into a frenzy of despair or even depression. We all have those moments of disdain toward ourselves. The circular questions which lead us nowhere but to an blocked road without an exit.

  1. Why do I keep doing this?
  2. Why can’t I get past that?
  3. What the hell is wrong with me?
  4. When will this madness stop?
  5. Why do I keep failing God?
  6. Why do I keep failing myself?
  7. Why do I keep failing my wife?
  8. Why do I keep failing my family?
  9. Why do I keep failing my kids?

And the list if never ending dismay can continue until the end of eternity. So of ten we are so focused on the problem that we fail to look toward any solutions. Start asking different questions. More empowering questions. Such as:

  • What can I do to make better use of my time?
  • How can I avert further problems with THIS particular sin?
  • What can I do to glorify God?

The list of how to stop sinning list and the circular questioning list each can go on and on. The fact is that we sin, our imaginations are evil in nature (this we were told in Genesis 8:21 NKJV), but Jesus gave us an out from this problem. Yes, He did touch on the subject with His own  followers (i.e., the Apostles) where He said, in Luke 22:46 NKJV, “Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”” We can follow Jesus’ lead and suggestion to steer away from sin through prayer!

However, many of us do this wrongly. What I mean is that when we pray, we need to pray to God for the Spirit of understanding, wisdom, knowledge and workmanship in order to do something that will essentially glorify God in the long run. Unfortunately, many of us tend to pray not to do something (i.e., to not sin in this or that way again and again.) What we need to do is to pray to glorify God by doing His will, through knowing and understanding His word and gaining the necessary wisdom. Face it, we have all done it as some point in time. BUT now is the time to stop doing things the wrong way. When we gain the wisdom, the knowledge, the understanding, and the Spirit of workmanship to do so, we need to pass that on to those around us. Those who also are potentially having the same problem of what I call a “prayerful rut.” A “prayerful rut” Is much like mis-attributed quote to Einstein’s definition of insanity:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Well most of us tend to pray to God in Jesus name to not do “x” or not do “y”. YOU-ARE-WHAT-YOU-THINKWell, guess what? When you do so you first place what you do not want to at the forefront of your mind and, thereby, keep it close in your thoughts.

Like Dr. Robert Schuller spoke, you are what you think about all day long. If that is so, why not think about what you want to, or choose to, do? Eh, what a concept! We need to look at what we desire to become along with praying about becoming such a person, and we need to envision ourselves becoming such a person at all times throughout our day. In so doing, you place those thoughts, as well as, those pictures at the forefront of our minds. By doing this you have a much better chance of becoming what you seek to become than by focusing on what you desire not to do. Also, since our minds work with pictures far more efficiently that with words, prayers, and inanimate thoughts, our minds focus on the pictures and images.

We all have that tendency to do what we desire not to do and not do what we ought to do. But we can change that by focusing on how to better handle and control our sinful natures. I hope this post was helpful to you all! All my prayers to you and the for the betterment of this country, as a whole!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

The Information Age Just Ain’t What It’s Cracked Up To Be

information-overload1

For in much wisdom is much grief, And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow. ~Ecclesiastes 1:18 NKJV

For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. ~Ecclesiastes 1:18 KJV

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief. ~Ecclesiastes 1:18 NIV

With the advent of Bulletin Board systems back in the 1990s and the increased speed and power of the internet, globally speaking, information is at a premium and at times can be highly questionable. Between the internet and the various search engines, 24/7 news channels, mind numbing television, documentaries, and the list goes on and on with some 1000 channels or more. Our biggest problem, in my opinion, is that we fail to properly filter out what we do not need.

The human brain produces approximately 70,000 thoughts on an average day. There are 86,400 seconds in a 24 hour day. That means we have a different thought every 1.2 seconds.

So, as we focus on certain things, we block out, filter out, or otherwise delete other thoughts going on in our minds at any given time. How much happier are you now, right now, with all this extra information? You are probably overwhelmed as I am. It is almost depressing the more one thinks about it all. To one degree we are smarter with some added information; on the other hand, though, we are inundated with a plethora of unnecessary information which does not add to our abilities to make a decision concerning one particular subject. That is because we are forced to sift through all of the added information that we have in order to make that particular decision. Why is that? Because your brain is a tremendous computer, created by God, which strives to find the answer(s) to your every question and problem. Everything you place before it it is searched and your brain sifts through all you know, all you have access to, and then develops more questions that will aid you in finding the answer to your original problem.

information-overload3

There are those, blessed I might add, with the innate ability to “multi-task” a plethora of tasks. This is great for them, but there are those of us who become befuddled with too many tasks bouncing around in our heads. To make matters worse, we take that work home with us, because if we do not think it out we will somehow get things all cocked up the next day when we try to continue on with such a task. I like so many hate to fail and more-so hate to be uncharted waters, so-to-say. Can we learn these greatly needed abilities…yes, we can. But the lack of comfort as a norm is not for some of us. We are each destined for something grand, on our scale but rather minuscule on God’s scale. Though, regardless of how you look at it…you will glorify God as He wills it! As mentioned in another post, God will fill you with the Spirit and will endow you with all the necessary abilities that you need in order to accomplish the task that God has given you to accomplish. Reading throughout the bible you will note that God gave each individual all the abilities and knowledge they needed to do just as He desired of them!

And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship ~Exodus 31:3 NKJV

So, when God is in control there is very little you need to worry or concern yourself about…because God has your back! But when we each do what we want in order to accomplish things on our own, we more or less, shun God from our task and things tend to get messy.

Lately, I have had a series of dreams, weird as it may be for me. Some I remember in the morning and write them down. After I wake I try to write down what I remember of the dream and then research and pray for it’s interpretation. Some of the interpretation I can get from books and encyclopedias on dreams, but other aspects of dreams must be inspired by God’s Holy Spirit. Why? Because it is from God, the best explanation can come from God. Consider in the Book of Daniel where the King was hell bent on killing all the wise men of the land because they could neither tell him his dream nor could they interpret it. Daniel answered the king, “there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days...” (Daniel 2:28 MKJV; see Daniel 2 for the entire transcript) But there are those I cannot remember which really gets me. Why, you ask? Because it was one of those dreams that woke me in a sweat and concerned me. It is one of those dreams that you would swear that it was something significant. I still await on God’s making aware to me what happened in that dream that is so hard to remember. It just seems to me that it is so key to understanding some of the other dreams I’ve had, or potentially answering some of my questions that I have posed to God. Just a feeling of mine, but it makes sense to me; will you understand? Some of you perhaps you will, others will not, and others will say “he’s off his rocker.”

Never steer away from the guidance of God! God will lead you if you will let Him. BUT you must be willing to give up that control you have over your own life! It is then where God, upon your prayerful request, will lead you through any one of a number of possible venues which will help you see what you must do in order to glorify Him.

Be prayerful, my friends! Be prayerful!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD