How Do You Feel, Think, and Regard the Bible?

An unknown (at least to me) writer penned these words regarding The Bible:  "This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.  Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding; its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.  Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy.  It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.  It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's character.  Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed.  Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end.  It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.  Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully.  It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure.  Follow its precepts and it will lead you to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to glory itself, for eternity.” 

Regarding these things, please carefully consider the following….

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“Tools”

I’ve bought, borrowed, owned, loaned, used, sold, and given away literally tons of tools in my lifetime.  There are a few lessons I’ve learned over the years regarding them that might be useful…

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The Greatest Power (and failure) of the Human Mind

“The greatest power of the human mind is the ability to justify self.”  Here’s why this is so…

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Enthusiasm for / with God

Our English word “enthusiasm” has etymological ties to a combination of Greek words (the original language of the New Testament).  The Greek word “ein” is in or within, and “theos” is god. Somewhat literally, then, “enthusiasm” is to have “God in/within” us!  Although I know of no New Testament passage that contains the Greek or English word “enthusiasm,” there are a few that seem to definitely include the idea.  Let’s note a few examples, paying particular attention to the surrounding circumstances or associated activities…

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Gadgets and the Gospel

My astute wife once (sarcastically) noted that everything she needed in life could be found on late television ads.  Through them, she could have a phenomenal income with practically no effort, lose weight by taking a pill but continuing to eat and exercise as normal, clean her whole house with little effort in heels and makeup, get a college degree without ever attending classes, and slice, dice, and chop anything in the kitchen including soda cans for $19.99 (plus shipping and handling of course)!  Some of these ads feature great products, I’m sure.  But most of them fall under the heading of what we commonly call “gadgets.”  Typically, “gadgets” are tools that are specifically designed to do a common task, or several of them, with greater ease or efficiency. Unfortunately, many of them are designed more to sell than to use.  Still others, though touted to perform many varied tasks, do none of them very well or efficiently.  The kitchen is a prime target for gadgets.  We can quickly fill several drawers or cabinets with them.  But then too, garages or workshops can hold even more gadgets!  So both sexes are susceptible to gadgetitis.  These gadgets often wind up in garage sales, or in donation bags....

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Jesus is “The Door,” Not “The Escalator”

In John 10:9, Jesus said, “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved…”   He did not say He was “the escalator.”  He didn’t choose “the door” metaphor over “the escalator” because escalators were unknown to His primary audience. There are substantial differences between the two.  Please consider….

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“You Can’t Take It With You”

We’ve likely all heard statements to the effect that “Hearses don’t have trailers.”  The basic idea, that you can’t take it with you when you die, is a scriptural one.  The ecclesiastical writer put it this way, “As he had come naked from his mother’s womb, so will he return as he came.  He will take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand,” Ecclesiastes 5:15.   While the concept and quotes seem to primarily refer to “material possessions,” there are a few other things that we can’t take with us when we die- especially if the intended destination of our after death journey is heaven…

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Grace and the “Golden Rule”

No one who understands the salvation offered through Jesus Christ doubts or diminishes the role that “grace” plays in it. Grace is commonly defined and thought of as “undeserved favor.” While this may indeed be an over-simplified view, it is nonetheless sufficient for our purposes here.

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Wisdom or Experience

Willie Nelson is quoted as saying, “Don’t come to me for wisdom. Come to me for experience.”  This sounds like sage advice- at least on the surface.  It perhaps even sounds somewhat “deep.”   And it may indeed be both of those things, but what is he really saying?  If I understanding his meaning, he’s saying that he has no wisdom to impart, but he has plenty of experiences to share.

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Side Effects: Unintended Consequences

Among other things, we live in the prescription age.  There are prescriptions, pills, and potions for just about any ailment imaginable.  It would be somewhat funny if it were not sad to hear some of the required legalese at the end of prescription drug commercials on television.  Some of “side effects experienced in some users” are much worse than the problem being treated with the “cure” being advertised!   But the problem of side effects, or unintended consequences, is unfortunately not limited to medications…

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Daily Verse

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

- James 5:16

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