"The Bible is a phenomenal account of history, comprised of 66 separate books, written over approximately 1,600 years, by at least 40 distinct authors. The Old Testament contains 39 books written from approximately 1500 to 400 BC, and the New Testament contains 27 books written from approximately 40 to 90 AD. The texts were penned in different languages, locations and cultures. The authors covered the spectrum of life -- from kings to fishermen, scribes to shepherds. Unlike other books of religion, philosophy or mythology, the biblical accounts were written by totally different people in totally different contexts.
Remarkably, when the Bible is read as a whole, it is a perfectly integrated message system! From Genesis to Revelation, there is a systematic structure that boggles the mind. Even with today's computers, scholars have a hard time understanding how the various models, types, codes, themes, symbols and predictions all came together without material error or inconsistency.
Some scriptures may appear obscure in their original context. However, when read in the light of texts written hundreds of years later, the message becomes dramatically clear. For instance, in Genesis 3:15, God is speaking to Satan when He says, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." This language is hard to understand until we see the scripture fulfilled in the New Testament. There, the writers view Satan as striking at Christ's heel through the crucifixion, until Christ crushes Satan's head (sin) through the power of the resurrection. There are numerous models, types and symbols used throughout the Old Testament scriptures that are fully explained in the New Testament texts. Often, Jesus Christ himself acts as the full explanation that ties the Old and New Testament concepts together.
Dig in and explore the integrated design of the biblical texts for yourself! Is it possible that 40 authors writing separately over hundreds of years could have planned the amazing integration that we now see in the completed collection of 66 books?"
"It's Not All About You!"
"You've heard this phrase before, haven't you? "It's not all about you!" We usually hear it when we've become selfish or have stopped thinking about the needs of other people around us. It often takes a good friend or our spouse to utter those words to us!
Well, there is actually a lot of wisdom in those five words. And when it comes to spiritual matters, it's never all about you. It's never all about me. In preparing to be sons and daughters in God's family, it's all about God, not us.
Until You Know…
We have to constantly remember that for the grace of God, we are nothing. The skills, talents and abilities we have are to be used to glorify God, not ourselves. Over the millennia, there have been numerous stories recorded of men and women who took too much upon themselves—leaving God out of the picture.
You will remember the famous story of Nebuchadnezzar who was reduced to the life of an animal after uttering these infamous words: "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?" (Daniel 4:30 emphasis added throughout).
After pronouncing these words Nebuchadnezzar was told by God: "Your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field…until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses" (verse 32).
Don't Get the "Big Head"
"It's not just kings who can get "the big head." We too must always be watchful that we don't take the glory for ourselves. The glory must go to God. This is true on an individual level, as well as for all of God's people. Any successes we may have in our lives are to accomplish His will and are for His glory. It is not of ourselves.
The apostle Paul reminded the Corinthian brethren about this very thing: "But 'he who glories, let him glory in the Lord.' For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends" (2 Corinthians 10:17-18). We must be very careful to give the honor and glory to God in all we do, not for our own benefit. Let God commend you.
Maybe you can think of some additional biblical examples of someone who "got the big head?" Or, maybe you can think of a modern-day example?
Acts chapter 12 recounts the untimely death of Herod Agrippa after he agrees with the gathered crowd that he is "of a god, not of a man!" (Acts 12:22). Immediately "an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died" (Acts 12:23).
Let us be reminded to always give the honor and glory to God in our lives each day. It is He who sustains our life—our very existence (let alone our accomplishments). Let's enter each day using it for His honor and glory. After all, it's not all about you and me!"
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Falling is normal
Little children learn to walk by falling many times."It is normal to fall when we are learning something new. Getting up and trying again and again is how each of us learn to do things well. We read in the Bible that even the righteous man may fall seven times (Proverbs:24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.). The point to note is that he must rise each time he falls in order to fall again. Therefore he is making a second, third and seventh attempt. When we are paying attention to what we are doing, we are learning to do it better—even when we fail in our attempts.
The only time we become a failure is when we do not rise again. That may occur when we blame our fall on someone else. When we blame others, we are not examining ourselves to see if we need some correction. It is interesting that God tells us to be sure we look for the "plank" in our own eye before we try to remove the "speck" from the eye of another. We become a failure when we blame others for our faults and our falls. (Luke:6:41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?, 42)."
Ray was feeling better since the doctor took care of his inner ear trouble, so we finally sat down and did our accounts for the month. His hours worked come off the rent of my guest house.
Jay called and said he was going to ride his bicycle up here. When he finally arrived, he said he wanted to clean my carpets. First, we moved a bunch of the little furniture, and did a good vacuuming. He is always amazed at how much stuff my little Hoover Nanolite picks up. Misty, being a poodle, doesn't shed, but the cats do, and it sure picked up a bunch of cat hair!
I helped, but I was trying to conserve my energy for taking Prime, Pebbles and Precious to Adoption Day. That really wears me out. Then another SPCA foster mom who lives near me, called and said that she would take my critters for me. What a relief!
It was getting too late to get the carpet cleaner down from my attic, and start on that, and I really wanted to put my motor home back in the RVport. It is still parked in my front yard which gets full sun around noon. We rearranged some things which had accumulated in the empty RV port to make room for the motorhome. Jim the mechanic, had fixed the auxiliary fuel pump, and replaced the big fuse which makes the inside lights work. But, as he has that bad knee, he had left the doghouse (engine cowling) off. It is easier to put it back into place with the passenger door open, also to replace the four bolts for the passenger seat. It is easier to get to the cowling with that seat removed. That would be almost impossible once it was back in the narrow three sided RVport. The big cowling gasket had come off, too, so Jay and I struggled with it for a while, but the sun had come around there, so it was too hot to fool with it. So that got shelved until today.