Chew on this during your week – James 1:19-21


 Good morning readers. First I want to thank those of you who participated in the discussion last week regarding infant salvation and baptism. I believe it is a sensitive topic, but one that scripture is clear on. It is certainly one of those issues that will test the faith of anyone who happens to lose a child.

Second, I want to let you know that I am changing the format of the weekly memory verses. Or rather, I am changing the expectations. I realize that some, if not all, of us are unable to memorize the verse(s) each week. This can become discouraging and may end up turning you away from simple meditation on a selected passage. So, for those of you who are nodding your head at this, myself included, you can expect to see a change in the expectations regarding these weekly passages. I want you to meditate first, and if memorization comes out of that time then great, but that is not our goal. 

The goal is not to be able to say a verse on command; the goal is to read a passage over and over again so that through doing so you begin to truly ponder the words, meaning, and application. How does this sound to you?

To kick off this new view, I want you to chew on the passage from James below (my wife and I are reading through the book of James, so expect a lot from this book here):

James 1:19-21 (ESV)

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person  be quick to hear,  slow to speak,  slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore  put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with  meekness the implanted word,  which is able to save your souls. 

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Final Day for Isaiah 9:6 – Your Thoughts?


This past week we were able to take some time to meditate on Isaiah 9:6, a verse that speaks to the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, the reason for our time of celebration this time of year.

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Did you study this verse throughout your week? If so, I’d love to hear what you learned. Please use the comment form below to share your thoughts.

(Also, take six minutes to read the first post in the Christmas Series, “The Significance of the Time in History.”)

How are we to apply 1 Corinthians 7:25-28 today?


Good evening. You will not typically read an article here in the evening hours, but in an effort to be spontaneous I thought I would go ahead and publish something tonight anyways. Consider it a bonus post 🙂 
1 Corinthians 7:25-28
 
The command Paul gives to the unmarried virgins in the Corinthian church is to “remain as you are…Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife” (vv. 26, 27, NIV). This command must be understood within the context (as with any passage). In verse 9, speaking to the unmarried and widows, Paul states, “if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” Paul’s main point in this section of Scripture (7:1-35) seems to carry with it a theme, “God’s commands is what counts…each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to…time is short…this world in its present form is passing away…be free from concern” (vv. 19, 24, 29, 31, 32). In summary, and in my own words, “while you are here in this life and on this earth, focus on God.”
 
But, what are we to make of this command to the virgins to remain as they are? How are we to apply this? There is no doubt that although this is not an explicit command from the Lord (v. 25), it is sound advice through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Paul’s concern at his time of writing, and to us today, is that we are able to focus on the Lord, keep his commands, and live according to how we are each called to live. For some, this means marriage, for others this means remaining a virgin (v. 7). Paul recognized that marriage would cause hardship to the husband and wife (v. 28). Times of trouble, persecution, and other hardship are difficult enough as a single person, but they are much greater when married, and even more so when children come along. 
 
With all of that in mind, as well as the context of our passage (vv. 25-28), I believe it is safe to apply this command, or advice, entirely to our world today (directly transferable). Virgins, remain as you are unless you are burning with passion or believe that you were called to marry (given the gift to marry, v. 7). If you do marry, you are not sinning (v. 28), but will need to be prepared to face hardship (v. 28) and allow the troubles that come along to draw you closer to the Lord.
 
What are your thoughts on this passage? Do you agree with my conclusion?

A Lamp to my Feet, Focusing on Christmas – Isaiah 7:14


December. Christmas. Crowds. Spending a lot of money. The usual, right? This is what Christmas has become and it couldn’t be more distracting. Christmas is a time for us to remember, reflect, and worship because of God sending his one and only Son to us in the form of a baby who would grow into a man and eventually give his life on a cross for those who would believe in him (John 3:16). That is why we celebrate Christmas. 

This week is a simple verse. Actually just one verse. I want you to spend as much time on this as you have with the passages in the past. Really study this and think about what it says. You are probably familiar with it, so that will cause you to read it very fast and glaze over it. Fight that urge and take your time. Do some research and bible study (remember to do so with the context in mind). This will be a rewarding exercise and I look forward to seeing what you learn through he week.

Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 
 
Be sure to subscribe via email if you have not done so already (look below). Also, maybe you know of friends and family that would enjoy doing this with you? Use the sharing buttons below to share this post with them. 
 
I look forward to discussing this verse with you on Sunday!!

A Lamp to My Feet Reminder – Psalm 1:1-3


Today is the last day of the first “memory verse challenge” here. The weekly passages are posted on Monday and conclude on Sunday. During the week you are encouraged to meditate on the verse each day, even throughout each day, so that it is not just a memory game but something that can become a part of you. This week we focused on Psalm 1:1-3:

Psalm 1:1-3 (ESV)

1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

If you participated this week please comment to this post or the original post letting all of us know how you did with the verse. Were you able to memorize it? What did you learn this week from meditating on it? Did anything stand out to you? Did you do any type of study on the verse? If you have no idea what this is about read the original announcement here and subscribe to future passages.

I look forward to hearing how you did!