Produce healthy growth…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

I Corinthians 11:17-34

 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

 

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread,  and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 

 

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.  Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.  But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.  But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.  So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another—if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.

So that first command by Jesus to love God and second to love your neighbor once again is the ruler b y which we measure our actions.  Paul is referencing those actions that do not show love for one another and stating that condemnation will follow.  We can take from this to always consider whether we are acting out of love for one another.  It would be well for more of our time to be spent searching our own actions and thoughts than we do judging other’s actions and thoughts that are spoken.  Healthy growth occurs in an environment of love, peach and caring.  We interact with family, friends and the public.  Do our interactions produce health or are we a hindrance to the work of the Holy Spirit?  Are we acting out of love for one another?

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Claim righteousness…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Psalm 18:20-36

The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness;

​​According to the cleanness of my hands

​​He has recompensed me.

 ​​For I have kept the ways of the LORD,

​​And have not wickedly departed from my God.

 ​​For all His judgments were before me,

​​And I did not put away His statutes from me.

​​I was also blameless before Him,

​​And I kept myself from my iniquity.

​​Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness,

​​According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.

With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;

​​With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;

With the pure You will show Yourself pure;

​​And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.

​​For You will save the humble people,

​​But will bring down haughty looks.

For You will light my lamp;

​​The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

 ​​For by You I can run against a troop,

​​By my God I can leap over a wall.

As for God, His way is perfect;

​​The word of the LORD is proven;

​​He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

​​For who is God, except the LORD?

​​And who is a rock, except our God?

It is God who arms me with strength,

​​And makes my way perfect.

 ​​He makes my feet like the feet of deer,

​​And sets me on my high places.

 ​​He teaches my hands to make war,

​​So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;

​​Your right hand has held me up,

​​Your gentleness has made me great.

 ​​You enlarged my path under me,

​​So my feet did not slip.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Psa&c=18&t=nkjvp>

We are well aware of David’s sin yet he says he has not done evil.  He doesn’t stop there; he continues, “by turning away from my God.”  Sin is cast in this passage as encompassing all that constitutes turning away from God–a denial of God.  David states he has not done that and so can claim righteousness and cleanliness.  Do we see the absence of sin referenced as  obeying a list of do’s and don’ts?  When did we get away from the first commandment to love our God and the second, to love our neighbor;  when did we develop a list of criteria to be met in order to be ‘Christian’?  Non-believers can cite a list of behaviors that are expected of believers in Christ.  At what point did those behaviors become synonymous with loving Christ and accepting His salvation for us?  Something is askew here.  Twice the psalmist states “according to my righteousness; according the to the cleanness of my hands.”   Salvation brings to us His righteousness  and our hands are cleansed.  We can say this with the psalmist

“…The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness;

​​According to the cleanness of my hands…”

We become a new creature with an attitude change.

“…You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;

​​Your right hand has held me up,

​​Your gentleness has made me great.

 ​​You enlarged my path under me,

​​So my feet did not slip….”

The attitude change is what can be seen by others as evidence of the life change brought by Christ; not adherence to a list of behaviors.  That list is unique for each individual as the Holy Spirit sees fit.

With that said, look at the list of blessings that follow:

He gives life

“…For You will light my lamp;

​​The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness….”

He gives health

“…And makes my way perfect.

 ​​He makes my feet like the feet of deer,…”

He gives success

“…And sets me on my high places.

 ​​He teaches my hands to make war,

​​So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze….”

What forces of darkness are we fighting in our daily walks?  We are enabled to defeat them.

He lifts us up

“…Your right hand has held me up,

​​Your gentleness has made me great…”

He keeps us from falling

“… ​​You enlarged my path under me,

​​So my feet did not slip….”

What more could we ask for?  Stand with the psalmist and state the truth that we are changed not by what we do but by what he has done.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Protection, prosperity and health…

Ezekiel 41:13-26

So he measured the temple, one hundred cubits long; and the separating courtyard with the building and its walls was one hundred cubits long; 14 also the width of the eastern face of the temple, including the separating courtyard, was one hundred cubits. 15 He measured the length of the building behind it, facing the separating courtyard, with its galleries on the one side and on the other side, one hundred cubits, as well as the inner temple and the porches of the court, 16 their doorposts and the beveled window frames. And the galleries all around their three stories opposite the threshold were paneled with wood from the ground to the windows—the windows were covered— 17 from the space above the door, even to the inner room, [fn2] as well as outside, and on every wall all around, inside and outside, by measure.

18 And it was made with cherubim and palm trees, a palm tree between cherub and cherub. Each cherub had two faces, 19 so that the face of a man was toward a palm tree on one side, and the face of a young lion toward a palm tree on the other side; thus it was made throughout the temple all around. 20 From the floor to the space above the door, and on the wall of the sanctuary, cherubim and palm trees were carved.

21 The doorposts of the temple were square, as was the front of the sanctuary; their appearance was similar. 22 The altar was of wood, three cubits high, and its length two cubits. Its corners, its length, and its sides were of wood; and he said to me, “This is the table that is before the LORD.”

23 The temple and the sanctuary had two doors. 24 The doors had two panels apiece, two folding panels: two panels for one door and two panels for the other door. 25 Cherubim and palm trees were carved on the doors of the temple just as they were carved on the walls. A wooden canopy was on the front of the vestibule outside. 26 There were beveled window frames and palm trees on one side and on the other, on the sides of the vestibule—also on the side chambers of the temple and on the canopies.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=41&v=1&t=NKJVP>

Lets consider the use of cherubim with two faces, one of a man and one of a lion and the use of palm trees to decorate the interior.  Jesus was God come to us as a man; he was also called the Lion of Judah.

“…1John 4:2 and 3 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,  and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the [spirit] of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

John 1:10 – 12, 14 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.  He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.   But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth….”

Revelation 5:5  But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”…”

The palms were used at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem to pave the road.  They are seen as a symbol of health and prosperity.

“…Psalm  92:12 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon….”

Through Christ we have protection, note reference to the lion, and we have prosperity and health, note the palm.  We have much to be thankful for as His people.  The promise is so genuine and lasting the symbols are used to decorate the temple, reminders of His faithfulness to us.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.