Subscribe to receive each blog post via email:

Bookmark and Share

May 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Books for the Journey:

Statistics, Feeds, Copyrights & Email:

« August 18th readings | Main | August 20th readings »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

1Cor11:17-34

The Corinthains are a handful. So far, they have: had troubles with unity, sexual immorality, marriage and divorce, civil law cases, gender blurring, yielding in love to others, and submission to authority.

Paul now has no praise for them because of the abuses of the "churche's" communal meals, and it spills over into the Lord's Supper (Communion).
======================================================
AGAPE OR LOVE FEAST

The early church had a tradition of coming together and having a communal (covered-dish type thing) meal. Followed by communion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agape_feast

Before Paul had talked about theological disunity - now he addresses a practical problem.

"..the Corinthian Christians were coming from a culture where the pagans would commonly have wild, riotous banquets given in honor of a pagan god. This is how it might not seem so strange to the Corinthian Christians to even get drunk and a church common meal....In that day, at common meals, it was expected that the “upper class” would receive better and more food than the “lower class.” This cultural custom was being carried over into the church, and the Christians weren’t really sharing with one another. At the agape feast, the rich brought more food and the poor brought less food; but in Corinth they were not sharing the food fairly...Ancient culture, much more than modern American culture, was extremely class concious. It was respect of these class divisions which so grieved Paul." - David Guzik

Don't pig out, Don't get drunk, share equally with those that have less, not only out of Christian Brotherhood - but out of respect for the Lord's Supper (Communion).
======================================================
LORD'S SUPPER
(Notes)
1) Paul received instruction directly from Christ regarding the words of the Last Supper.

2) I believe Communion is done out of remembrance and to proclaim the sacrifice that was done for us. Christ died once for our sins, and the idea that communion is a re-enactment of his death over and over seems to denigrate that idea. I will just leave it at that.

3) We are "unworthy", but we are not to partake of Commuinon in an unworthy manner. We should be reverant, submissive, reflective of Christ and His sacrifice for us, acknowledging His love for us, and certainly not drunk.

4)Examine yourself and make sure you are in the right frame of mind. If you partake of Communion in a careless, thoughtless manner that turns it into a ritual rather than an honest moment between you and Christ - "eats and drinks judgment on himself."

[Note: Not "the" judgment, but a judgment of an action. God can assess this and not necessarily punish immediately or even here on earth, but HE does not forget. Apparently for Corinthians, chastening was meted out. The early church often got this to make sure wrong actions early on were corrected, as an example to others.]

5) Paul does say that because of this act of irreverance, the Corinthains have been punished here on earth - with sickness and even death.
======================================================
SOLUTION

If we judged (diakrino)ourselves, we would not come under judgment (krino).

If we decide for ourselves by self-examination and receive communion in a worthy manner, then we would not receive God's judgment - it would not be necessary.

If not there will be chastening so that the "body of Christ" does not live as the world (in condemnation).

In Summary - Act rightly at the common meal and Lord's supper, so that you do not sin and incur judgment and chastening.


Esther 4 (NKJV)
13
And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews.
14
For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
15
Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai:
16
“Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

NOTE:
I admire Esther's courage. May we have the same tenacity to obey God as we obey the Spirit of God through love no matter the results.

I would like to share a testimony about how God changed one person’s opinion of the Jews. Source: “Blessing or Curse – Your Can Choose” by Derek Prince (pgs 83 – 87).

“My name is Nabid Haddad. I am a Palestinian Arab born in Haifa in 1938 to Christian Arab parents.”

“I remember that from my earliest childhood, I would always go to bed depressed. I became determined to find a way to be happy…I became convinced that if I could become rich and successful, then I would be happy. That became my goal.”

“By the age of thirty I was a millionaire. However, the depression had not left me. I started seeking material things…to make me happy. Nothing worked.”

“Finally, I began to ask questions: Who is this Man Jesus? Who is the One that people still talk about 2,000 years after His death? Who is this One that some people even worship?”

“I opened the Bible, wanting to see what this Jesus had said about Himself, and a Presence filled the room. Somehow I knew that Jesus is the Son of God. I spent most of the next year reading the Bible and talking to my friends about Jesus. But I was still depressed.”

“Things started to go sour. I became more depressed. I began to question God again. ‘Why, Lord? Before I knew that Jesus is Your Son, I was doing fine. Now everything is going wrong!’ ”

“God replied, ‘What have you done with the revelation that Jesus is My Son? Nothing in your life has changed. Even Satan knows that Jesus is My Son.’ ”

“What do you want me to do, Lord?”
“Repent, and receive Him into your life.”
“I found someone who could show me how to pray. I repented and asked Jesus into my heart. A few months later, I was [filled] with the Holy Spirit. Now I had the answer. I no longer went to bed depressed.”

“But my life was still not right. My business continued to go downhill. Again I confronted the Lord.”

“Lord!” I said. “You tricked me. Before I knew anything about Your Son Jesus, I was doing all right. Then You showed me that He is Your Son, and things started going wrong. Then I received Him into my life, and now I’m losing everything!”

“I am jealous God,” He replied. “Your business is your god. Your Rolls Royce…your position…” “I’m going to take all these false gods away from you to show you who the true living God is. But—I will restore you.”

“Within ten months, I was bankrupt.”

“One day as I was worshiping, I said, ‘How great You are! You created the universe and everything in it!’ The Lord asked me if I really believed that. I said, ‘Yes, Lord.’ ”

“He said, ‘What about the Jewish people? You still hold resentment in your heart against them.”
“I remembered how my whole life had always cursed the Jews. I was trained to hate them from my earliest years. Now, in the presence of the Lord, I said, ‘I renounce my resentment in my heart toward the Jewish people. I forgive them!’ Immediately something changed inside of me.”

“Shortly after this I saw that God in His Word had told Abraham, the father of the Jews, ‘I’ll bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.’ (Genesis 12:3). Then I realized that my finances had not been under a blessing, but under a curse—a curse of insufficiency. I had never been able to make enough money to meet my needs.”

“Since 1982, when I was released from the curse of anti-Semitism and the curse of insufficiency that went with it, my income has always exceeded my expenses and my needs. And I am able to give liberally to the work of the Kingdom of God.”

“The lesson of Nabil’s life is clear: No one can afford to hate or curse the Jewish people.”

“[T]he Church owes every spiritual blessing she claims to…the Jewish people. Without the Jews, the Church would have no apostles, no Bible and no Savior.”

~~~
NOTE: God will always provide for us if we walk with the Lord with a pure heart.

Each one of us has specific callings: We may be called to be like Mother Teresa living as poor and raising money for the poor. We may be called to be a missionary living in Africa. We may be called to be a person making money in an affluent society to support God's work around the world as we worship God.

No matter what level of society or where God has placed us in the world to serve Him—-
we are all called to live with a pure heart and to pray for peace of Jerusalem.

Then, God will meet our needs according to His Riches and Wisdom. All of us are called so that our lives, money, and time can be used freely for the Kingdom of God.
~~~

Esther 5 (NKJV)
10
Nevertheless Haman restrained himself and went home, and he sent and called for his friends and his wife Zeresh.
11
Then Haman told them of his great riches, the multitude of his children, everything in which the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the officials and servants of the king.

NOTE:
An excellent comment on the heart and life of Haman at this point can be found in these verse in Psalm 36 (NKJV):
1
An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes.
2
For he flatters himself in his own eyes, when he finds out his iniquity and when he hates.
3
The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; he has ceased to be wise and to do good.
4
He devises wickedness on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not abhor evil.
~~~

Esther 6 (NKJV)
1
That night the king could not sleep. So one was commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.
2
And it was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, the doorkeepers who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.
3
Then the king said, “What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?”
And the king’s servants who attended him said, “Nothing has been done for him.”
4
So the king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s palace to suggest that the king hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.

NOTE:
Pride and anger are terrible sins. May we never allow these sins to get rooted in our hearts.

Haman was controlled by pride and anger, and because of that he was deceived. He thought he was to be exalted, but was instead publicly humiliated.

We can follow Satan and his demons, of whom Jesus through the Cross made a "public spectacle" in the heavenly realms -- open for all to see.

If there is no true repentance, we will be shamed publicly. God knows every secret of my heart. May I seek Him daily for His cleansing and strength.

We can go into our private rooms and ask Jesus to walk through every area and thoroughly cleanse our lives. Then, we can be used for the Master's work as we walk in the Joy and Life of Jesus!
~~~

I Corinthians 12 (NKJV)
1
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
2
You know that [when] you were Gentiles, [you] carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.
7
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all
13
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

NOTE:
When I read verses 1 and 2 above, for some reason I get a picture think of people being led around and in bondage to emotions and some kind of “ecstatic” experience.

Yet, we are not called to “feel good” or “have ecstatic experiences” all the time. Also, we are not called by God just to have a “personal” relationship with Christ where we only think about ourselves and how “we” are doing.

When we received Christ as Savior and Lord, we were literally baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ. We were made to drink of the Spirit of God. We are all called to ministry to serve others.

We are called to have a purpose—“for such a time as this”—today. God is still using Esther to speak clearly to us today.

Psalm 36 (NKJV)
7
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
8
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
9
For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.
10
Oh, continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright in heart.
11
Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked drive me away.

NOTE:
Being called to ministry to serve others must come out of, and can never replace, the intimacy we are called through the Holy Spirit to know and love Jesus.

We are never to get caught up in the subtle trap of “doing things for God” at the expense of “having a truly pure heart in the intimacy of the Lord.”

Out of that personal relationship with the Lord, we can ask and receive, and we can be instruments and channels of the Lord Jesus to minister to others through us.

May these verses regularly and daily be the description of our real relationship with Jesus:

9
For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.
10
Oh, continue Your lovingkindness to [us] who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright in heart.

Vance

How do I know what my spiritual gifts are?

Mike, I think the gift of blogging (in your case) will be the gift of teaching for sure - not sure anyone prophesied "blogging" back then?!?!?! :)

But then again, when you think about how the laws were written on the tablets of stone - it sort of looks like the format of blogging...God was blogging from the start - after all it was & is about the "written Word" of God!!!

Maybe someone will name a new version of the Bible - God's Blog!!! Think I should have that "trade marked???"

jan

Esther

1) Nowhere in Chapter 4 does it mention praying to God. Just fasting. Bob Deffingbaugh is pretty hard on Mordecai and Esther. But I wonder?...

Fasting to a Jew is tantamount to offering body as sacrifice to the Lord.
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=59&letter=F&search=fasting

There are examples of fasting and prayer together in Jewish culture, but I wonder since this book of the Bible intentionally makes no overt reference to God - that the prayer is IMPLIED in chapter 4. This way the harmony of the "not mentioning God" is kept. Just a thought.

2) Mordecai did not follow Daniel or Jeremiah's examples or instructions on behavior while living in a foreign land. Mordecai should have given a representative of the king his due. It was not worship, but respect.

Yet Haman's reaction was over the top, and again half truths and omissions (naming the ethnic group) were used in condemning the Jews to Xerxes.

Mordecai on the other hand told his side to the Queen's servant and gave him a hard copy of the edict of Haman.

3)Haman was full of "pride", and his bragging to wife and friends showed he had a "lot of material things". When asked what the king should do to honor someone he delights in - not only is he conceited to think it is himself, but his suggestion is over the top. When in the clutches of a particular vice, one always wants more, different and grander versions.

4) As Bob Deffingbaugh points out it would be ironic if the king could not sleep because of the noise coming from the building of the oversized gallows.

5)More irony - Haman who was furious that Mordecai would not humble himself before Haman, in turn humbled himself before Esther a Jew.

Haman had no concept of mercy to the people of Israel (kill them all for the act of one man), nor to Mordecai (wanting him hanged). But seeing the handwriting on the wall through the displeasure of the king, Haman seems to now think "mercy" is a pretty good idea!

Note: The gallows mentioned here was not for hanging a victim, but for violently killing and displaying the victim. “A pointed stake is set upright in the ground, and the culprit is taken, placed on the sharp point, and then pulled down by his legs till the stake that went in at the fundament passes up through the body and comes out through the neck. A most dreadful species of punishment, in which revenge and cruelty may glut the utmost of their malice. The culprit lives a considerable time in excruciating agonies.” (Clarke)
======================================================
I think an important point of this book is: God will keep His Word. It may not be through spectacular miracles (like the plagues), but through natural means and course of events.

God not being mentioned is not a sleight on God in this book of the Bible. Perhaps it shows that God will keep his Word and fulfill His purpose and plan - whether anyone asks Him to intervene or not.

God's fulfilling His purpose and plan are not dependant on any one person or group of people. It is right and good to consult God, pray to God, and ask for intercession and we see that often in Old Testament. Yet - here in Esther God's Will is that the Jewish nation will not be destroyed (implied in 4:14) despite no overt calls for His help.

Even Haman's wife and friends recognize this:

"Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!" NIV

What is implicit here is not that Haman cannot stand against Mordecai, but that Haman cannot stand against the God of Israel.


Anonymous,

"How do I know what my spiritual gifts are?"

http://www.biblebb.com/files/macqa/1301-A-16.htm

Hi,

It's not easy to figure out one's spiritual gift when it's not something obvious.. always been a struggle for me to find some purpose and now, I've got a clue that it's blogging cartoons and writing biblestories with cartoons!

God Bless!

The best way to discover your spiritual gifts is to try them out. Serve, teach, give, work for God and see which one feels like the right fit--which one makes you feel like you love to do it (even if it's hard.)

Also here is a link to a spiritual gifts inventory that can help you to discern an area. Then try it out!

http://www.churchgrowth.org/analysis/intro.html

Remember also that there aren't greater or lesser gifts and that the lists in the New Testament don't include every spiritual gift. Pray, search and serve and you will find your way.

The comments to this entry are closed.