When Men Run From God

RunFromGod2

My wife and I are both Christian,” the 70-year-old performer explains. “My father AliceCooperwas a pastor, my grandfather was an evangelist. I grew up in the church, went as far away as I could from it — almost died — and then came back to the church.” [ref: Legendary rocker Alice Cooper credits Jesus with curing him of alcoholism] We each have our demons, per se, those things which cause us to run away from God. Even though we tend to go that extra mile by telling ourselves that we are only running from the Church, the priests/pastors, or from the hypocrites within the Church. I myself was born into the Roman Catholic faith, but I always found it to be wrongfully preached or taught. When I was sixteen, I was in the pew listening to the priest say, emphatically I might add, “You are too ignorant and stupid to understand the bible. That is what we priests do, we learn the bible and teach you what you need to know.” While this was paraphrased, it was the crux of what this priest said, in essence, to the congregation. It was this particular straw that broke my camel’s back and sent me packing from the church, or from God. This was the driving force, in my opinion. I would truly say I left the Church because I did not accept what was stated, foolishly I might add.

Return-to-ChurchEventually, I ended up going back to Church, but it was a Pentecostal Church. Of course they had their doctrines which I disagreed with…after all, some of these doctrines that are taught in the Churches of a Denominational God tend to expound upon aspects of the Bible, which in essence, contradict the Bible, or God’s Word. After several other Return-to-Godconcerning issues, I left the Church, yet again. After a ten year hiatus, and much prayer, I returned. But unlike others I never actually left God. Though I had tested God, tried to disprove God, tried to explain away God…I still believed God. He tugs at your heart’s strings. Often times, you are saved from great dilemmas and problems which would essentially destroy you, and rightfully so – I might add. But God in His infinite & divine wisdom protects you in some of the strangest ways. Eventually, by God’s grace, you come around.

As discussed in a previous post we are the church, we the people, with Christ at it’s head. All the world IS God’s possession and can be used as a Church for God. What we do is return to God and return to His presence. It is our purpose to glorify Him in all we do…even if we do so through finding Him again and coming home to Him. Just as was spoken in the Parable of the Lost Sheep., or the Parable of the Lost Coin, or the Parable of the Lost Son.

I have, once I could identify it, always been of the mind of Jean Paul Sartre, who said (effectually):

“To name it is to kill it!”

Essentially meaning that if you define something through a naming process of some sort, you will in effect confine it. Yes, that does include God, as well as religion as a whole. When you name a religion that religion is then defined by it’s name through the associative process in your brain because you will associate all of the tenets of that particular religion to the name it bears, or it’s brand – if you will.

There are, as I recall, approximately 34,000 variations of Christianity throughout the world, today. Why? Because they each have a differing set of tenets to abide by. Drinking, no drinking, dancing, no dancing, snake handling (yeah! you heard me!), acknowledging holidays or not, etc. You change just one thing, one tenet in some manner or form…>>PRESTO!<< You now have a new religion.

Now I have gotten a little off the path of this post, BUT, you can focus on the remainder…This is why we as Christians that we MUST…ABSOLUTELY MUST…study the scriptures and read a lot! Because we will not learn all of this by osmosis. We must research and learn it all in order to have the answers for those who seek to know. We are a beacon of hope, in a manner of speaking. Those who are lost, they too are seeking. Either you and I will answer them…or someone else will misguide them. We have an obligation, according to the Great Commission to enlighten them and at very least steer them toward the truth that God has for them. In doing so, we fulfill the mandate in the Great Commandment.

There are those who are going through something similar to you in your youth, meaning they are running from God & the Church. And God has prepared you for just such an encounter by having you follow the path which you have followed over the course of your life. Man is never satisfied with what he has, because he always wants something more. Me in my youth I can truthfully say that I whored myself out to earn more money so I could obtain more. In so doing, I grew ever so slowly or quickly away from God by slowly divorcing Him out of my life. And though I obtained more, I was none the happier for it. But our God is strong enough and big enough to create something good, or help us to take away something good, from such an experience. And it is just such an experience that we need in order to help another who is going through such turmoil in their lives. We are able to show them God’s love and to let them know…”You are not alone in all of this!”

Jonah ran from God’s mandate and he was not happier for it, in fact he suffered for his brash actions until he fulfilled God’s command. In the Book of Hosea, Gomer ran from her husband back to prostituting herself for more until she was sent to the block to be sold. She was only to be bought back by her own husband, Hosea. This was the story of true love of God for His people and the showing of their ungratefulness.

The bible is full of the information we need, and I mentioned in a previous post as to Why we memorize scripture?…because of those AH-HAH! moments which we can learn quite a bit from.

I have written several posts concerning the subject of “Once Saved, Always Saved.” (Part 1, Part 2, & Revisited) I have always questioned such a thing; however, after much deliberation and much study on the matter I finally concluded that it is in fact the case. I have concluded that IF you do not believe in “Once Saved, Always Saved,” then you must hold the argument that YOU must do something over and above what God has already accomplished. I.e., the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus as the pure and unblemished lamb for our mis-deeds. Such a fallacious belief to have and I do not say such lightly. It is fallacious because you must ask yourself one very pointed question:

What can I do that is greater than the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, My Lord and Savior? What can I do that is far more superior than His being crucified for ALL of my sins?

[Keep in mind, when Jesus hung on the cross…you were not born excepting only that God knew of you before you were in the womb!]

I have often though long and hard on the opening monologue of the movie, The Patriot, where the opening words were spoken:

I have long feared that my sins would return to visit me, and the cost is more than I can bear.” ~Benjamin Martin, opening monologue of ‘The Patriot’

It is not our sins that come to visit us and cause us turmoil, but rather our bad choices. Choose now to follow Jesus, by accepting Him as the Son of the Most High God and as your Savior, YOUR sins shall be forgiven. Turn from your life of tumultuous behavior and turn toward Jesus who will guide you to the heavenly.

Godspeed my friends! I hope this was helpful and informative for you!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

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…avoid foolish and ignorant disputes…

While on Facebook, someone wrote a single question:

Pls share your opinions. CAN A CHRISTIAN LOSE SALVATION ?

Foolish businessAnd foolish me…like so many others like me, responded. Boy-Oh-boy, let the games begin! You just wouldn’t believe it…you would think it was a political posting of some sort! I guess looking back at it in hindsight, I was really not all that surprised by what was to happen. Christians are as social, argumentative, and crazy as anyone else on the face of this earth…sadly, me included! We each will battle to justify our position and our argument, to sustain it’s viability. And if that is not bad enough, we will denigrate those who we think answer us rudely, even though they are just answering a question that we posed. [I don’t think I went that crazy!] But I was asked/told that something I stated was not in the bible, my response was it was in the bible and the scripture. When I responded with that I was accused of arguing…HUH?@#$!

At another point in time, I came to some semblance of sanity and stated/posted:

I have come to the conclusion that this is one of those “…foolish disputes…” (2Tim 2:23-26)that Paul spoke of that we should avoid as children of God! WOW!

I received several comments, some of which were “we aren’t arguing,” and “I wouldn’t characterize the end of time as a foolish or ignorant topic.” Which was not really the topic of discussion anyway. The topic, overall, was what did you (the respondent) believe? Therefore, the question went to the heart of one’s doctrinal beliefs. And trust me…there were a plethora of discussion threads! What was stated by me was that the argument was foolish, in that, we were instructed to avoid such disputes as we are to be of “…one mind…” as written:

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. ~Philippians 2:1-4 NKJV

How can we be “…like minded…” and of “…one mind…” where we are arguing over doctrinal issues that, in my opinion, should have been settled long, long ago! And while arguing, we treat others as though they are heathens and tend to answer curtly, coarsely, and denigrate one another in order to show our dominance over their “ignorant beliefs.”  WOW! Just wow! That is all I have. I am of the mind to argue and my wife will attest to such. However, there are times where I will just attain that “AH-HAH! Moment” that we all seek. And often are hit with at one of the most inopportune moments…you know…when you are winning the argument…er..eh hem…spirited debate. [Yeah, that’ll work for me! LOL]

YES! God does work in very mysterious ways, but why couldn’t He wait a few more posts cause I was winning?

So, my Christian friends, can’t we all just get along? What is it that makes us so different, yet very much so the same as all others in this world? As I have mentioned in a previous post, where I was looking into other platforms but Christian oriented, might not be such a great idea after all. Why? Because we each still possess a propensity to argue, as Tony Robbins once stated, because we knew we had to win! We were right after all and that opponent of ours was but a heathen.

Guess what? We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, which also makes us adoptive brothers and sisters. We are a family and we should be able to get along in these matters. Why, you ask? Because if we cannot get along with our brothers and sisters in Christ…how can we think that we will get along in the heavenly with God? Or even with Christ Himself?

The more I learn, the more I find out I still have a very long distance to go before I get to be even a halfway decent Christian…and that still doesn’t make me a good one! We each need to take a step back from time to time in order to see, or assess ourselves, as to how good we are as Christians. And YES…I do mean an HONEST assessment of yourself! We, as the whole body of Christ need to be:

bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” ~2 Corinthians 10:4-6 NKJV

Sometimes we may take a little longer than usual to get that “AH-HAH!” moment to slap us in the face. You know the drill, some of us just aren’t very sharp or quick witted! Yes, I’ll own that! There will come a point in time, usually during your discussion, where you will note that the argument is foolish or ignorant. So the bottom line is this:

Do you continue on with the argument until you win, or cease arguing and acknowledge to foolhardiness of the argument?

foolish-positinionMany of us have that propensity to fight on until we win [standing on sinking ground in a foolish position] and others are struck with an ethical roadblock [which is not a bad thing]. But there is that small segment of the population who, despite that ethical roadblock which crops up on them, can and will continue the argument until they are victorious. Which type of person are you? Sadly, I have a lot of work to do as I am of the ilk who has, in the past, continued on until victorious…which still makes me the loser in the long-run!

Please learn from my mistakes, that you do not have to go through life wondering why things are the way they are?

Until next we meet again, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Original posting: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ilovebeingachristian/permalink/330412207486570/?comment_id=330965957431195&reply_comment_id=331074717420319&notif_id=1526187331985687&notif_t=group_comment&ref=notif

Church & State on a Collision Course

law-and-religion

In the book of Revelation, Babylon is believed to be the capital of the New World Order. Which, of course, is deemed to be fallen due to the wrath of God being poured out.

Read bible pg 267 referring to the people who were martyred, killed and exiled because of their faith.

“Church, Inc.” by Charles Giuliani, a book showing how the church willingly gives up it’s rights as a church by becoming a fiction of the state. Eventually to be forced to submit to their rule. Of course that is speculation, at best; but if you look and see how many rights and liberties are striped away from the American people…you will start thinking otherwise!

The Church has been on a collision course with the governing authorities for centuries. Look back in history to Rome and Nero, who essentially set fire to Rome and blamed the Christian followers of the Way. Look into the last century where Hitler on his rise to power blamed the Jewish people for all the problems of the German people. Look at Joseph Stalin, shortly thereafter, where he had coined the phrase by Karl Marx:

The full quote from Karl Marx translates as: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people“.

Which was, in general, his critique of G.F.W. Hegel’s “Philosophy of Right.” To a degree I can agree with his assessment, in that, religion is an “opium” of sort, karl-marx-hiphowever, it is much better, more real, and less expensive a habit. Why you ask? Because religion is a spiritual hope given to man, a hope of his eternal and everlasting future, which will last far beyond his meager and short lived life. Heroin is but a temporary fix, a veering of one’s attention to disrupt his thoughts for a time because he cannot handle the truth of reality. Why else would they be bringing in “cry closets” to  schools for those students who cannot handle finals and allows them to let it all out, if you will. REALLY?

So, who or what is the church?

The Christian church can be seen in two ways: the visible and the invisible. The visible church is comprised of all who claim the name of Christian and who gather together for worship and participation of the sacraments: the Lord’s Supper and Baptism. The members of the visible church claim the name of Christian (excluding the cults like the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.). The visible church contains both believers and non-believers, that is, there are people in the visible church who are not really saved. ~What is the church? by Matt Slick

So, the church, itself, is not necessarily a brick and mortar building, but the people themselves. You can literally have a gathering outside or in someone’s home and it can be a church. The church I attend now is a multi-location church, but started in someone’s home back in the late 1970s or 1980s. This is how many churches began back in the beginning  of the Christian movement. Now, of course and after it left the homes of those who founded it, it was created into a fiction of the state or a corporate entity. As a corporate entity you are made into a fiction that was created at the behest of the state via a legal process. In so doing, while you create a fictional person with rights under the law, you also have requirements under the law as well.

We have obligations under the law as people, physical people. But “corporate ConspiracyTheoristpeople” are also obligated to follow the law, also. But when they are found to be amiss of the law, who is actually guilty? Who is actually found to be accountable?

It is my assertion, that these fictional entities, or corporate persons, will at some point in time be required to give up their congregants. For years this has been fought in court and a protected right of association. But one day, as with so many of our rights being striped from us, this will be but another theft by the state, or federal, government(s).

Let us look at what a “conspiracy theory/theorist” is?

con·spir·a·cy
noun
noun: conspiracy; plural noun: conspiracies
  • a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.
  • the action of plotting or conspiring.
the·o·ry
noun
noun: theory; plural noun: theories
  • a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.
  • a set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based.
  • an idea used to account for a situation or justify a course of action.

the·o·rist

noun

noun: theorist; plural noun: theorists
  • a person concerned with the theoretical aspects of a subject; a theoretician.

A conspiracy theory, or theorist, by its definition and nature is a person with an alternative theory on a particular subject. It is not good or bad, in and of itself, it just is an alternative theory by someone. Yet, politically and religiously speaking by addressing or labeling someone as a “conspiracy theorist” is derogatory in nature. Sadly, this has been going on for decades. This was but one instance where the state and the church have shown a collision course with one another. The asylum which was given to others is where the church has show, at times, where they are on a collision course with the state. Not yielding their congregant lists to the state has also shown another collision course. The list continues on.

Consider the Book of Revelation

And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.” ~Revelation 14:8

And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. ~Revelation 18:2

Where Babylon is both the head of the government and the head of the Church. We will, if we do not follow the way of Christ, fall under judgement of God. We will stand before the judgement seat of Christ. In either case, and on either side of the aisle, we will stand before the judgement seat and be judged!

I pray I did not blather on too much in this blog posting and hope it was helpful to you! Godspeed, my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Attack Your Problems Head On

david-goliath

I was listening to a podcast of CARM on my way home one night and heard a commercial for Harvest America Moment with Greg Laurie which said of David,

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. ~1Samuel 17:48-49 NIV

We are to attack our problems as David attacked Goliath, the Philistine. We each have our own problems and shortcomings, but God at that moment had told me through one of those great AH-HAH! moments that it wasn’t the problem itself but my inability to obey that holds me back. Think about that for a moment or two!

attackAll too often we feign an attack, ultimately to no avail, because of our inner fears and insecurities. We constantly and consistently fail to push forward to glorify God in all we do all due to fear. We fail to have faith in God and His ultimate power. Who could be more powerful than God? The very one who created our very souls, our spirit, our bodies, the very world upon which we now live! It just get any better than that, don’t you think? Our God loves us and empowers & equips us to do His will. (1 Corinthians 15:9–10, Hebrews 13:20-21)

And do not think I am pointing fingers at you, only…I have to stare at myself in the mirror and do it to myself, as well! Yes, I am guilty of such failures! Remember the

There is none righteous, not even one” ~Romans 3:10 & Psalm 14:3

We are each guilty, in some small way, or grand… I am 57 years old this year and I am having more “AH-HAH!” moments within just this last year than I have had in a very long ah-ha-moment3time! IF, and that is the qualifier, I stay on this path…could you imagine all of the other ah-hah moments I am destined to have in the future? There is so much more to learn, so many difficulties to overcome, so many problems to solve, and so many challenges to overcome! But we each must persevere our plight of doing what is right and just and good in God’s eyes. We each must set our minds on things above and not our earthly plain. For the earth will come and go, it will change from one day to the next, but the heavenly realm we seek shall never change, excepting only the increase of those elected by God to be saved!

I was watching a clip of Legends & Lies, by Bill O’Rielly, about Stonewall Jackson. He was of such a mind that he did not concern himself about such trivialities of how he would die, because God had ordained such a thing. He was one of those individuals that took chances, chances that others would think foolish but he saw as necessary, and if he were to die such was the determination of God, Himself.

Sometimes God will use a show on television to teach us something. Sometimes we learn from that all encompassing ah-hah moment by reading a biblical passage, or verse. It is different for each of us, because God can use all things for His good! We are all called by God to do His will, but not all have responded to that calling. Remember the passage?

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

We all have to learn to make those difficult choices in order to accomplish what we must, to God’s glory. At times it may be something on a small scale, but at other times it is on a grand scale! We must be willing to make that leap of faith! Believing that God is behind us desiring us to do our best to His glory!

No matter your position in the working world, nor in your youthful stage in life…God desires you and I to do our best at all times. Why? Because we are, potentially, a light to others who need to see God and we are the light for that person, or those people.

LightUntoTheWorld

Sometimes, and this may be difficult to grasp, WE are the only ones who will cross someones path for God’s sake…there is no other they will meet to bring such a light in their lives.

Think about that for a moment! That is a heavy load to bear for others in this world, but there are times it is true. It is for this reason that we must each challenge ourselves to face our problems head on! We each have a Goliath or a problem or , perhaps, a challenge (or two, or three) in our lives…WE MUST FACE EACH ONE DIRECTLY AND HEAD ON.

Such a thing is much like falling off one’s bike, we need to get back on that bike. Problems and challenges are the same exact thing…we must never stop facing them, because they will always be attacking us throughout our lives until our dying breath.

I hope this was helpful to you, my friends! Godspeed!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Prayer is the Foci of All Things

Prayer is the foci of all things! Meaning prayer, or lack of, is at the center of all our blessings or problems. Each of us tend to have a bad time because we do not focus on God and all of the blessings that He has provided each of us every day! Many of us are having problems despite our focus on God and being grateful and thankful for the blessing we possess. How can we focus on God, be grateful or thankful to God, or for that matter praise God for all that He has given us without prayer in our lives?

Consider this, for a moment, just talking to God can be considered prayer. The meaning of prayer can be rather simple or complex, dependent upon who is doing the defining.

Bible Quotes on Prayer

effective prayer works

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.1 John 5:14

And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.1 John 5:15

Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive.2 Chronicles 6:21

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.John 17:15

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.Mark 11:24

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7

More Bible praying quotes at the BibleStudyTools.com Prayer Bible Verses page.

The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’” – Billy Graham

While watching a series on PureFlix, Unlocking the Secrets of an Intentional Life (Season 1), which began as something to watch after work & before bed…after all, I had about 30 minutes to kill off. But it is an interesting series (as of now I am 3 into the series of 6.) But the premise is to develop new habits through making intentional decisions, thereby uncovering your purpose and potential in all areas of your life to glorify God in your life. My “one thing”, or habit, that I have chosen to develop through this is the power of prayer by setting aside time by the end of my day, at the very least, to be thankful and grateful to God and to petition Him for me to be more submissive to His will and to rejuvenate my heart, soul and spirit with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I am during this period of time trying to also set aside the time in the morning to be grateful for the breath of life. You know the old adage:

Targets-Zig

It is as simple as that! The classic Zig Ziglar quote that makes you chuckle, ponder, reflect and think all at the same time!

In order to accomplish anything, we must first know what it is that we want. A novel idea for some people who just desire to dream. After you know what it is that you want to do, you need to break them down into small steps (ahhhhhh…the dreaded To Do List!) This includes when we desire to change our habits or other problems we desire to fix in our lives. But any-hooooooo…let us get back to prayer.

So prayer is something that I need to do more of and my ignorant angering frustrated actions and reactions should slowly go to the wayside. Or so I hope.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. ~Romans 12:10-13 NASB

According to the Apostle Paul, we should be devoted to prayer, why so? Because if we are to truly seek God’s will and purpose in our lives…we must seek HIS face and Spirit! Through this guidance is the only way to accomplish such a task in our life.

In order for us to understand God, His Word (the Bible), find our purpose, and what we should do while we reside on this mortal coil called earth…we must pray, we must read & study the Bible, and reflect on the ultimate meaning within the context of the Biblical text.

THIS is the prime reason that we should be following a Bible reading plan at all times, it is also a reason as to why we should be members of a home church, and why we should be members of a Bible study group. We should be surrounded by those who are like minded Christians (not to mean you will never have disputes, but with respect to the Bible that we should be in unity as Paul described in Ephesians 4:1-16 and at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 1:10. In this respect we are to agree with the Word of God and it’s intended meaning…not what we think it means. The Books of the Bible say what they mean to say, but all too often people try to see extra biblical meanings and tend to teach or believe heresies, very potentially. THIS is also why we are to study the Word of God! To prevent such heretical beliefs.

We as Christians, as a community, society, a country, and as a world need to get back to our basics by praying to God (request, supplicate, praise, seek, etc.) with all aspects of our lives, as meaningless as we feel they may be. Seek His will and your purpose through prayer. This is how we can become closer to God! This is my one thing goal to accomplish…to become closer to God, daily!

Until next we meet again, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Why we memorize scripture?

We do it for the learning, furthering of our knowledge & understanding of the Bible and the words passed on to us by God through others who were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.

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

You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.~Deuteronomy 11:19 NASB

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.~Proverbs 22:6 NASB

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. ~ Matthew 18:1-5 NASB

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. ~ Mark 10:13-16 NASB

But there are other reasons for memorizing the scriptures before us. By memorizing them they become a part of us, something we will think on and use to guide us in our daily lives; spiritually, morally & ethically. And of course for those ever present “ahh-hah” moments in our lives. You know where those things you had memorized years ago, or memories from days long gone by and we wake up with an epiphany of ideological wonder, where we see the reason for such and such to have happened, but we could not see it at that moment.

Here are ten biblical reasons to memorize Scripture:

  1. Jesus memorized Scripture. (He quoted twenty-four books of the Old Testament almost 180 times in the New Testament.)
  2. We are called to memorize Scripture. (Colossians 3:16, Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
  3. Memorizing Scripture renews our mind and transforms our life. (Romans 12:2)
  4. Memorizing Scripture helps against temptation. (Matthew 4:1-11, Psalm 119:11)
  5. Memorizing Scripture helps us live in obedience. (Psalm 119:9)
  6. Memorizing Scripture will bring God’s blessing to our lives.(Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1)
  7. Memorizing Scripture allows us to more readily encourage believers. (Romans 15:4, 1 Thessalonians 4:18)
  8. Memorizing Scripture allows us to share with unbelievers better. (Isaiah 55:11; Hebrews 4:12; Jeremiah 23:29, 1 Peter 3:15)
  9. Memorizing Scripture gives us a better understanding of God and his will. (John 8:31-32, 14:21, Romans 12:2)
  10. Memorizing Scripture makes us wise. (Luke 2:52)

    ~Ten Biblical Reasons to Memorize Scripture

Chuck Swindoll wrote, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! (Why Memorize Scripture? by John Piper, 09/05/2006)

I, myself, still have a lot of transforming to do and many, many changes to go through…and I still won’t become perfect before I draw my final breath. Unfortunately, that is just not in our nature as human beings nor is it the end accomplishment of the nature of man. Once we fell from God’s perfect world…we fell hard. We can only rely on God’s grace & loving nature to save us and make us better. There are things we can do to act and be better than we presently are, and hopefully better than our nature conforms us to be, but we can never do anything that will save us from the pit of hell…excepting but one thing!

if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved~Romans 10:5-13 NASB

Of course, we each have our own reasons for memorizing scripture and the end result of such and action.

If you have ever tried to memorize a speech or a part for a play, then you know that it is hard work to learn something so that you can repeat it word for word. Further, if you do not review it regularly, a couple of weeks after you have memorized it, you have forgotten it. Memorizing passages from the Bible is no different. It is hard work, and could take a huge portion of your time. However, if we look into the Bible to see what it teaches, then we will see that this hard work is not only worth the effort, but it is essential and it is expected of us. ~Why Memorize Scripture? by Stephen Simpson

John Calvin, in his Commentary on II Timothy 3:16 says:

“Whoever then would profit by the Holy Scriptures, let him first decide this within himself, that the Law and the Prophets are not a doctrine which has been given according to the desire or will of men, but dictated by the Holy Spirit”

We have purpose in reading the Bible, studying the Bible, reading about the different characters within the Bible and about their lives (how they lived and died), and memorization of scripture. We each do it in a different way and we each use a different version of the Bible, from which we read, study, and memorize. Personally, the version that is more comfortable to you is the best one to use. There are those who are KJV Only-ites, there are those who are stuck on the NIV, NASB, NKJV, Living, etc. There are as many as 50 different translations of the original Bible. Some at one end of the spectrum are best word for word translations and on the other end of the spectrum are idea for idea translations. Each one suited to specific people. Some people are better off with the word for word translations and others think differently and are thus better suited for the idea for idea translations. The best version of the bible is the one you are willing to use, provided it is not the “Book of Yesus”!

BibleSpectrumChart1

Look on the scale and see what there is available to you. Once you get hooked, you will probably have several versions for study and reading purposes!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

God is with you wherever you go

Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:7-9 NKJV

crossing the Jordan joshua

While we are no longer under the law, but grace, Jesus gave us the guidance that summed up all the law and the prophets:

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

But should we not know the word of God? Yes, for the short answer! It is easy to glean from the bibles we have. And so many believe we cannot truly know that the bible is what it was, because we have copies. But we can know. With all of these copies existing today, we truly can know. First off, most of what was stated was first leaned via the oral tradition, which meant it was memorized (to a certain degree) but provided you maintained the intent of the speaker. In oral cultures like this people often memorized LARGE amounts of material. Passing on information orally was the NORM in ancient Palestine. This means that people living in such an environment developed memory skills that sound amazing to our modern ears. Next we can ascertain the understanding and the original from what was printed ,also gleaning from the text that were anomalous mistakes from other comparative copies. The Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest known copy of the Greek Bible, written approximately 1600 years ago. You can use this, too, in order to understand what was written, even though it was written about the 4th century. There are several other concerns that are brought up in debates, or arguments, over the validity of the bible. Topics such as:

  • We don’t know who wrote the bible.
  • Bible not written by eyewitnesses
  • Bible was written late.
  • etc., etc., etc.

There is very strong evidence that the case for traditional authorship was valid and true. The external evidence throughout history accepts and promotes that each of the Gospels were written by those who have entitled them. [I.e., Matthew wrote Matthew, Mark wrote Mark, Luke wrote Luke, and John wrote John.] Papias (60-~130 AD) and Irenaeus (120-202 AD) support it. The internal evidence is rather indicative of it’s truthfulness:

  • The criterion of Embarrassment suggests traditional
    authorship for 3 of the 4 Gospels

    • Matthew wasn’t an apostle but was a tax collector –
      regarded as suspect – thus probably not invented Many of the specific events concerning the life of Jesus can be historically verified such as the Last Supper, the death by crucifixion, and the discovery of the empty tomb.
    • Mark wasn’t an apostle, why make him an author?
    • Luke wasn’t an apostle, why make up that name?
    • So we have three relatively “unspectacular writers”
      Why would someone make up names like this? Why
      not make up a more authoritative name? Peter? Paul?
      James? Thomas?
  • Furthermore, details in Gospel of John suggest the:
    • Author was a Jew with detailed knowledge of Hebrew
      feasts customs and scriptures
    • Author was a Palestinian with his knowledge of local
      geography
    • Author was an Eyewitness – given the repeated compelling
      references to people, places, etc.
    • Author was an Apostle – given his acquaintance with
      the activities of the Twelve.
    • All of this sounds a lot like John!
  • All of this amounts to a very strong case for traditional authorship!
    So whoever says “we don’t even know who wrote the Gospels” would have to shoulder a tremendous burden of proof to go against all of this evidence.

~Scott M. Sullivan, PH.D., How to Defend the Bible, pages 8-9

Despite frequent claims to the contrary, the evidence remains strong that the Gospels were written by the authors to whom they are traditionally ascribed – apostles or close associates of the apostles.” — Craig Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, p. 41.

objections-gospels

The objection of the Gospels were not written by eyewitnesses is false, but is irrelevant even if it were true. Why is it false? Strong evidence suggests that Matthew and John were actual eyewitnesses and is supported by evidence of traditional authorship. The Gospels by Luke and Mark are not eyewitnesses and they do not claim to be, their purpose was to present the truth.

Now, why this objection wouldn’t matter even if it were true? How many of our history books were written by eyewitnesses? Relatively few, at best. Why? Because you do not need to be a witness to present factual truth and history. Also, Mark and Luke had access to eyewitnesses. Mark was a follower of Peter and because of his closeness to him he also had access to other Apostles which were also eyewitnesses. Luke, on the other hand, was close to Paul and followed him. Now, many will claim Paul was not an eyewitness. Yes, this is true, to a degree. However, Paul had a special relationship with Jesus and was truly touched in a different way. But those who disbelieve in Paul cannot overcome the sudden transformation of Paul from Christian killer and executor to martyr for the cause of Christ. Also, Paul had access to the original Apostles.

The objection that the Gospels were written late is a bit of a fallacy. “Late” gospels-greekis a relative term. When someone says “late” ask them what they mean. What the average person on the street usually means by “late” is a few centuries. This is flat out not true about the Gospels. There are strong arguments for a relatively early composition of the Gospels (showing that all of the NT was written before 70 A.D.!) but we don’t need to even go into those since the commonly accepted “later” dates do not pose a problem
for historical accuracy. According to the most commonly accepted later dates the Gospels were written about 35-65 years after the death of Jesus.

Consider this: Most of what was written about Alexander the Great was written 4 centuries after his death. That is a long time between his life and his death. But most people believe that he existed, that he lived and that he was a great leader. The biographies about Jesus (the Gospels) were written within 35-65 years after His death. But there is evidence that would push that even earlier (approximately in 40s AD) than the conservatively accepted dates of their writing.

This was but a topical overview touching on only a few objections. There are a great number of resources out there, especially within the topic of apologetics from which you can learn much.

Think about this for a moment more, if you can get beyond the objections that prevent you from reading the bible; then you can start reading the bible and start believing what it says and the promises espoused within it! That is a big jump, or leap in faith, for anyone. But grasp that concept and begin your journey of reading and believing. Your life will change, though you may be riddled with doubts during your journey…do not fear! God is big enough and powerful enough to help you overcome those doubts. There is always someone near to you who can guide and help you understand what causes you confusion.

I hope and pray this was helpful and interesting to you!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD