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Showing posts from April, 2015

God is the point.

Paul's Goodbye Letter to Timothy, part 2

In general, it is wrong for us to assume the roles of people in the Bible.  I have often been taught that we should be like David fighting Goliath.  In in a sense, this isn't wrong.  Lord help us to have such faith, but it is perhaps more valuable to realize who we really are.  We are the cowardly crowd, terrified of Goliath, with no hope in the world.  David, in the story, represents Jesus, our savior, the hero of every story. Likewise, we want to be like Christ, which is entirely the correct ambition.  While we attempt to be Christ-like, we must realize who we really are:  the crowd chanting "crucify him."  Certainly, God has made believers a new creation, but God forgive us if we take any of the credit.  The Holy Spirit changes us, and as He does so, we must be careful not to take any credit for His work.  Instead, let us look only to the Lord.  We cannot focus too little on the ways in which God is working in us.  Our flesh is still present and delights in taking cr

Paul's Goodbye Letter to Timothy

Today, I started reading 2 Timothy, perhaps the most emotional letter in the New Testament.  In it, Paul writes from prison to his son in the faith prior to his execution.  The letter is intimate and personal.  Paul refers to Timothy as "my dear son."  He refers to remembering Timothy's tears and states that he longs to see him so that Paul "may be filled with joy."  Paul mentions Lois and Eunice, Timothy's mom and grandmother.  Paul knows them as sisters, women of profound and sincere faith.  Paul loves Timothy's family as he loves Timothy -- for they are his family too in the Kingdom of God.  Then he writes to Timothy for the last time, ending the letter with "For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.  I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith." In some respects, 2nd Timothy is the hardest epistle to read.  It is so emotional as I read it, I cannot hel

Praying for our Persecutors

Today, my daily bible reading included Proverbs 31 and 1 Timothy 2.  Proverbs 31 is famous for the second two thirds of the chapter, which are focused on a wife of noble character (a wife such as my own).  The first part of the passage is equally important. Proverbs 31:8-9:  "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute, speak up and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and needy." There is a clear message throughout scripture to take care of the poor and the needy.  In the law, God instituted radical provisions to help the poor, including the Sabbath year.  During the Sabbath year, the land was to lay fallow.  This serves as a year of rest, but also, a year of charity.  The fallow land was then to belong to the poor.  The owners of the land were to store up food from the last 6 years and use it, and the poor were allowed to pick the fields and get food from them.  Additionally, there was a year called the Jubilee year

A note from the year 2000

"Question: When will cancer kill me? The normal male teenager thinks about sex constantly, yet i think about something else far more. At times, such as this, it's all I can ever think about. When will it come back? When will it kill me? Will I have kids? Will I get married? Will I graduate from college? High school? Will I live another year? I can't answer these questions, but I have to remember that I probably won't live to be an old man. I have to leave my impact on the world now, because I may not be alive to do it later. This is a reminder." 2015. I'm a high school, college, and medical school graduate. I'm married. I'm a dad. I'm alive. More than this, I am redeemed, and I realize that I have a more important task than "making an impact on the world." Instead, my purpose is to point toward the One who created the world, the One who loves and sustains me, the One who redeemed me. I do not know if I will live to be an old man (al

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