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Proverbs 9:10 bgins with "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."
I've often been puzzled by this aphorism -- aren't we to love God? Can we truly love God if we are also supposed to fear Him (be afraid of Him)?
If you, like me, find this word 'Fear' troubling, read the following from Matthew Henry's Commentary (I found it helpful):
"A reverence of God's majesty, and a dread of his wrath, are that fear of him which is the beginning, the first step towards true religion, whence all other instances of it take rise. This fear may, at first, have torment, but love will, by degrees, cast out the torment of it."
Hope this is helpful. Godspeed!

The "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" means that the beginning of wisdom IS NOT science or school or CNN or the world's philosophy. Fear of Global Warming IS NOT the beginning of wisdom. But fear of the Lord ... isn't that why we are reading the Holy Scriptures?

Jeff, check out this link for more about the concept of fear:
http://www.acts17-11.com/fear.html


The Bible makes a distinction between knowledge and wisdom. I have seen surveys that show if you want to reduce the likelihood of divorce (50-50) that becoming a born-again Christian, going to church every Sunday, and even reading the Bible won't make any real difference... but two people with a habit of praying before bed who pray together as a couple will reduce the chance of divorce to less than 1%. The difference between knowing what to do and doing it is very powerful. It is not knowledge (whether from science or Bible study as Gideon found out when cursed for worshiping prayer) that is power, but application... walking the talk.

I tried to explain once to my oldest child as she went through a period of constant foul language that a child who loves their parent will fear them (and their opinions), as I feared my own even elderly and weak parents, even more than a slave. When God finally answered Rick Warren's prayers to be sent to the world's most unchurched people - He sent him to California... and, he went.

The problem is we often only talk about fearing the Lord. Even though Wilberforce (main character of the movie Amazing Grace) was able to talk (it took over a century of violence in America) England out of slavery (akin to talking a country today out of oil), he could not obtain his second dream of talking churches into the true spirit of Christianity. There was never a single Biblical character that ever said, "God just laid this feeling on my heart" (the ten example conversions of Acts only involved the audible instructions of God or a Holy agent) but that's what I most often hear for reasons why Christians do things. Without a true fear of God we fail to wait on Him and move forward with seemingly good ideas that are guaranteed to be less than nothing. For example, Mike says he likes the Good to Great book except that many of the companies listed within have been found guilty of serious ethical violations. Wells Fargo even lost their California mortgage license and was only able to continue doing business with their federal license. A better book to give friends is Mere Christianity (the best book to effect a conversion after a Bible). A true disciple with the spiritual gift of Discernment would use the eyes of God rather than their own judgment and know such things without waiting for the results. It is a rare soul still enough to hear God. Too often we replace Christ with empty encouragement and positive attitudes.

While we clearly have no real control over our chronological, intellectual, or physiological age, many would suggest that we can select our social or emotional age something akin to choosing what we would have for dinner. In the same way, such people believe that happiness itself is simply a state of mind one can select like deciding on a seasoning from the kitchen shelf. There is nothing more popular, in fact, in the self-help literature today than the concept of such “positive thinking.” I saw a shirt this summer that read, “The person that thinks he can and the one that thinks he can’t are both right.” On the other hand, I read many years ago that half of all American males also believe that all it would have taken to become a professional athlete was enough training and encouragement (LOL). Every book on positive thinking refers to some version of “as a man thinks so he is.” “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” begins this common line with “as a man thinks in his subconscious mind (as if that was possible)...” The most popular of these modern wishing texts is Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The New Age practice of visualization is prominent in his books and training materials (as speculative as any other as none of these self-proclaimed experts ever publishes any research in scientific journals for objective peer review – I assume because positive thinking is it’s own reward). Wishing, however, will not make it so and the original verse from Proverbs 23:7 (“As a man thinks in his heart so he is”) is more about the type of motivation we use for our core. Alas, most would prefer a world where only subjective experiences define truth, all opinions are valid (when in truth, most opinions are just blowing smoke or wishful thinking), and everyone has the right to be right all the time. In this world of so many distractions from God’s truth it is easy to be seduced from His Love.

Covey specifically states, “The more closely our maps or paradigms are aligned with these principles or natural laws, the more accurate and functional they will be. Correct maps will infinitely impact our personal and interpersonal effectiveness far more than any amount of effort expanded on changing attitudes and behaviors” (7 Habits, p. 35). In The Devine Center, Covey adds, “Because of the incorrect map inherited through centuries of apostasy, the sectarian world does not understand the above concepts. It impels their minds to great accusations and criticism of those who are correctly programmed in these matters. They call the LDS concept of an anthropomorphic God arrogant, presumptuous, and narcissistic. Their concepts drastically reduce man’s ultimate potential (to become like God – to have the kind of life and character that God has). As man now is, God once was. As God now is, man may become.” Covey warns his readers specifically against seeking “any kind of special relationship” with Jesus Christ (Devine Center, pp. 67-69). Such “New” Age fiction only continues the lies of Satan from Genesis 3:4-5, “You will not die (such as with reincarnation), your eyes will be opened (via drugs, spells, or godly powers), you will be like God (as He is an energy you can control), knowing good and evil (as we decide).”

Dr. Henry Cloud describes in “How People Grow” (a very popular Christian book I would strongly recommend) how he was taught the four popular Christian counseling models of the Sin Model (based on the popular sermon: Good is good, you are bad, so stop it), the Truth Model (based on if you can think it, you can do it), the experimental model (based on digging up pain to turn it over to Jesus in prayer... especially in the recently popular theophostic therapy), and the supernatural model (based on Charismatic healing and deliverance by just getting out of the Holy Spirit’s way). Dr. Cloud writes how he came across hundreds of people (laypeople and pastors alike) who had walked with God for years and often knew more about God’s truth than even he did and yet were still hurting and unable to walk through their valley. Even great Biblical knowledge is not enough (we often refer to Pastor's kids as PK's because they're usually worse than normal). Townsend says he concluded that such popular spiritual methods might help (although less than one would expect) but they never seemed to remove the symptoms since sincere, diligent, and mature Christians always hit growth ceilings. Cloud shows that the stillness to hear and fear God grows only in a community of grace and accountability (and not a community of shared back patting and blaming everyone else)... perhaps, why there is no “I” in the Model (or Lord's) prayer.

Can sommeone guide me to one or more definitive verses of scripture on the acceptance or not of blood transfusions as well as verses that conclusively explain the Trinity. I cannot see how Christ, for example, can be at the right hand of God and yet be God (And this is just one example). I am struggling with both of these and am looking for something conclusive.

Jeff

"...I contend that it should only be done lovingly (as Jesus did). Moreover, I believe rebuking and censuring are a means of communications that should only be used very infrequently."

Lovingly? Jeff, go back and read Matthew 23 - "The Seven Woes". When hypocrisy is involved Jesus gets very strong in his words. One must be very sure of hypocrisy - several witnesses or an overwhelming conviction of the Holy Spirit on someone you really know well over time. It should be prayed about before words are spoken.

As a Christian of four years I have only been involved in one rebuke. So I agree, in my experiance it occurs infrequently.

[email protected]
2008

Jeff,

"Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."

Every lexicon I have ever looked at about this Hebrew word (yir'ah) for fear. Talks bout reverence, awe, fear. the connotation is of trembling.

When you are revering and in awe of God - you are aware and acknowledging His majesty, power, might, and sovereignty. It is so overwhelming to consider that you should "tremble" at the thought of what He could/would do if God was not also merciful and full of Grace. One place calls this "holy fear".

Let's look at the opposite. If you do not revere and are not in awe of God - then you can rationalize doing anything you want to in life. "I can get away with it, God is not really watching everything, really -what can happen to me? God is over-rated, so what the heck, etc.' It is this lack of fear and reverence that leads to complacency with God that helps to realize what the original definition means in context.

Gary,

"Can sommeone guide me to one or more definitive verses of scripture on the acceptance or not of blood transfusions as well as verses that conclusively explain the Trinity."

I know of no definitive verses about blood transfusions.

There are no verses that conclusively explain the Trinity. There are just examples of the Trinity throughout the Bible, and also some subtle examples.

If we are made in the image (similtude in interior characteristics) it is easy to see how the Trinity comes into play.

Before time began the Trinity perfectly loved one another, communicated, had creative thought, had a relationship, spoke, etc...as mankind is God's highest order of Creation we too have these characterstics (speech) or an "inner need" (relationships) for the attributes of the Trinity.

Think about it - if there is one monotheistic God - who did he love before time began? Who did this lone God speak to? How can a God like this create someone with characterics that he himself did not have from before time began?????
======================================================
Example of the Trinity
Matt3:16-17
"As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." NIV

Subtle Example:
Gen1:26a
"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,..."

God - 'elohiym - is in the plural. The Hebrew verb tense agrees. So subtly it is not one God but something more than one.
======================================================
Trinity
The Trinity is a mystery, and the best example I have of it I have posted before now in earlier days.

Think of the Trinity as:

Ocean - The Father
Jesus - Only wave in this Ocean.
Holy Spirit - sea spray (a liitle weak on this one).

The Ocean is greater than the wave. The wave is made up of the same molecules and atoms as the Ocean. The wave builds up in size (just as Jesus' ministry built up here on earth). The wave expires on the shore (Jesus dies). The wave runs back out into the ocean and is one with the Father. Yet the water that made up the wave is distinct from the Ocean (and also the same :)

The sea spray while not connected to the Ocean is constantly thrown off from the Ocean. It is all over. the chemical makeup of the Seap Spray is the same as the ocean. It lands on man (sailors). Just as the holy Spirit is all over the earth and enters those that believe.

Sitting at the right hand of the Father is a metaphor - as God the Father is Spirit, but I have no doubt that it is true, as Jesus is the physical manifestation of the Father.

John 14:9 "Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?

1Tim2:5
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus," NIV

The Father is Spirit, dead believers in heaven are spirit, but there is a man in heaven - that is Jesus Christ. He has a glorified body, but I have no doubt the scars of the Cross are still there.

Hope this helps in a small way.

Hi Mike (and all one year bible bloggers)the bit about the mirrors in Exodus 38v8 "The bronze washbasin and its bronze pedestal were cast from bronze mirrors donated by the women who served at the entrance of the Tabernacle" also stood out for me as I read the passage. I too thought of 1 Corinthians 13:12 - "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." I also thought that these women served at the entrance of the Tabernacle and as we enter God's presence we turn our focus away from ourself (pictured perhaps by the mirrors here)to getting forgiveness for our sin(pictured perhaps by cleansing in the washbasins here)so we can draw closer to God.

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