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Jonah: Belief Contradicted by Behavior (Part 12)

Like Jonah, we are in situations where we will make orthodox statements about our beliefs — and will be judged by the way that we are living.  Jonah’s (forced) declaration: “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land” is perfectly orthodox.  But it’s obvious that these are merely words to Jonah.

Notice the reaction of the pagan sailors to Jonah’s orthodox declaration:  “This terrified them and they asked, ‘What have you done?'”  They are shocked and horrified that Jonah’s beliefs and his behavior are so contradictory.

What upsets them?  The reality that Jonah is the reason for the storm.  He is the cause of their having to dump their cargo.  It is his fault that their stomachs and their lives have been violently turned over.  And the text tells us that “they knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.”  I wonder how Jonah put it — “I’m actually running away from the God who made the sea and the dry land.”

There are many ways of running from the Lord.  If you wish, write out one of those ways in the Comments section below.  (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2017 in Jonah

 

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Insight from a Blind Man (A Study of John 9) Part 15

screen-shot-2017-03-02-at-6-05-20-amThe expression “we know” is quite dangerous, isn’t it?  Especially if evidence arises that disproves the knowledge that one claims to possess.

The Pharisees “knew” that Jesus was a sinner, but they have one problem:  before them stands a man who, from all the evidence they can gather, was BORN BLIND!  And now he is looking at them!  The Pharisees’ logic was rather simple:   GOD DOESN’T DO MIRACLES THROUGH SINNERS >>> JESUS IS A SINNER >>> THEREFORE, GOD COULD NOT HAVE DONE A MIRACLE THROUGH JESUS.  But there the man is.

And he can TALK!  He gives his own testimony: “I was blind but now I see!”  A verbal, visible witness.  What can one do about that?!

How do we counteract wrong views about Jesus?  We let them look at our lives.  They won’t see perfection (obviously), but they ought to see authenticity.  Genuineness.  A change or changes for the better!

One of the many benefits of being ascreen-shot-2017-03-04-at-5-14-42-am “friend of sinners” (like Jesus was — Mt. 11) is that they become a kind of audience to observe what God is doing in our lives.  What good is a light if one hides it under a bushel?  What good is a LIFE if one hangs out only with other Christians?  Living our lives before unbelievers motivates us to follow hard after Jesus — and to let Him change us!

Years ago there was a saying that is still helpful today:  If you were arrested on charges of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?  Great question.  What evidence is in your life today that Jesus has changed you? (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2017 in change

 

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Great Deal on My Book DOCWALK!

Friends: Have I got a deal for you! My book, DocWalk: Putting into Practice What you SAY You Believe, will be sent to you IF you sent $10 to my PayPal account: theoprof@bellsouth.net.

Screenshot 2016-01-17 08.37.59 Go to Paypal.com, click on “Pay or Send Money,” and that’s it! I’ll be notified via email that you have paid for the book and I’ll send it to you. You are also welcome to send me your shipping address (email me at theoprof@bellsouth.net).

This book — DocWALK — is the logical follow-up to my book DocTALK.  Some of the chapter titles are:  “The Believer’s Acceptance,” “The Believer’s Authority,” “The Believer’s Anatomy” (five parts), “The Believer’s Associations,” etc.  The book is fondly dedicated to Brother Tom Taylor who is now with the Lord.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2016 in DocWALK

 

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A Sewerside Mission? (time for a good cartoon)

FirefoxScreenSnapz609Yes, it may be a terrible pun, but do your “missions” sometimes seem like sewerside?  I fully expect that each serious follower of Jesus will get involved in situations (family or otherwise) that make Asok’s mission to Elbonia look like a walk in the park!

The one connection I would make here is a verse found in 2 Corinthians 2:

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

I don’t know about you — but I’d rather go through life as a “pleasing aroma” of life and Screenshot 2015-12-21 09.25.31not as a stench of death!  But the believer is tasked with both!  We are aroma-spreaders.  Our primary audience is God (“For we are to God . . .”, v. 15).  We are spreading the aroma of Christ (v. 15).  Our field Screenshot 2015-12-21 09.27.47is both those who “are being saved” and “those who are perishing” (v. 15).  There are two human audiences for us:  To those who are being saved we are an aroma that brings life (v. 16).  To those who are perishing we are an aroma that brings death (v. 16).

We are not surprised that Paul concludes this analogyScreenshot 2015-12-22 07.15.20 with the words “And who is equal to such a task?”  The simple answer is: “none of us!”  But followers of Jesus are to “spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.”  And if some think our aroma stinks?  We continue to “speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God”!

Your thoughts?

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2016 in testimony

 

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