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6Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another. 7For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

Those are the verses that stood out to me today! Indeed, what makes me different from anyone else? It is nothing I have done, it is all God.

I post on some political bulletin boards and sometimes the rhetoric gets pretty rough, and I find myself judging those individuals who do not agree with me. This book speaks to my heart about how I need to regard those people.

I must remember too not to judge another man's (God's) servant.

God bless all of you.

1Cor4

There was a problem in Corinth. I have read it was due to the Corinthians enamor with Spiritual gifts, but the root seems to be "pride". Those who followed Peter or Apollos denigrated Paul's apostle status. Those that followed Paul exalted him too much. In addition it is causing the squabbling and division in the church.

1Cor4:1 "Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God."

All the evangelists were servants of Christ, but as stewards of God's revelation (gospel)their relationship to brethren was different.

"In relation to the master of the house, the steward was a slave, but in relation to the other slaves, the steward was a master....A steward never owned the property or resource he dealt with; he simply managed them for his master and had to manage them faithfully." - David Guzik

Although Paul says it means very little to him howe the corinthians judge him - the opposite is not true.

"Can, or should, every Christian today have the same attitude? Should we have no or little regard for what other Christians think about us, and just say he who judges me is the Lord? We can only say this, in the full sense that Paul means it, if we are apostles. If the Corinthians were to claim that Paul could not judge them, and that they would simply wait for God’s judgment, Paul would remind them that he is a father to them, and has the right to correct their behavior." - David Guzik

Examples of thinking "beyond what is written":

"Many people today evaluate a pastor or a minister on unbiblical standards. They judge him on the basis of his humor, or entertainment value, his appearance, or his skill at marketing and sales. But this is to think beyond what is written in the sense Paul means it here.

In a broader sense, it is an important lesson: not to think beyond what is written; we must take our every cue from Scripture. It used to be that something was considered Biblical if it came from the Bible; today, people say things are “Biblical” if can’t find a verse which specifically condemns it. This is to think beyond what is written." - David Guzik

After a sarcastic rebuke that is meant to shake the Corinthians out of their prideful state - Paul wants them to imitate him.

"Because they didn’t have printing back then, Paul couldn’t just hand out Bibles. People had to learn the gospel by watching his life. Maybe that wasn’t so bad after all!" - David Guzik

Paul leaves the ball in their court. Which Paul did they want to come? The Paul with the rod of correction (used by shepherds to smack disobedient sheep), or the Paul with the spirit of gentleness? There is no doubt Paul would prefer to come in gentleness, but he’ll leave that decision up to the Corinthians!

Ezra 7-8:20

In reading today’s passage, I am struck by King Artaxerxes’ respect and honor for the Lord. I don’t think the king learned about the “God of Heaven” by going to a Jewish Seminary. I believed he learned about this God from observing Ezra, his character, his wisdom, his integrity, all of which flowed from Ezra’s relationship with God and God’s Word.

I know of Believers who are strong in their understanding of the Word and who cannot be compromised on their jobs, they may be hated but they are respected. They are trustworthy and things that require the utmost security, integrity and diligence are regularly given to them. I believe the king saw this same trait in Ezra and then judged the God Ezra served as good and magnificent based on what he saw in Ezra. When we serve God and follow his commandments and ordinances, we show ourselves wise and trustworthy.

God speaking to the children of Israel in the wilderness:

Don't add a word to what I command you, and don't remove a word from it. Keep the commands of GOD, your God, that I am commanding you. You saw with your own eyes what GOD did at Baal Peor, how GOD destroyed from among you every man who joined in the Baal Peor orgies. But you, the ones who held tight to GOD, your God, are alive and well, every one of you, today. Pay attention: I'm teaching you the rules and regulations that GOD commanded me, so that you may live by them in the land you are entering to take up ownership. Keep them. Practice them. You'll become wise and understanding. When people hear and see what's going on, they'll say, "What a great nation! So wise, so understanding! We've never seen anything like it." Yes. What other great nation has gods that are intimate with them the way GOD, our God, is with us, always ready to listen to us?
(Deu 4:2-7 MSG)


I Corinthians 4:1-21
Us folks love to “one-up” each other and we love to design the goal or standard, declare, by consensus of a party of one, ourselves, that the goal or standard is primo, then turn and judge everyone else by our own standard. When we place teachers/preachers above the Word of God then we are doing the same thing Paul accuses the church at Corinth as doing.

The power of the Gospel is not in the person’s voice or elocution and expounding of the Word, but it is in the Word, and the Word only, that is what brings deliverance and salvation.
Psalm 30:1-12

God told Noah,

Gen 8:22 "While the earth continues to exist, planting time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease."

God has set things in cycles, day is always followed by night, summer comes before winter or after winter depending on perspective, with summer comes heat and then the cold of winter. To harvest one must plant, then some of the seeds from harvest are saved to plant again in the spring season to bring another harvest. So too are our seasons of weeping and sorrow, though it may appear to be a life long curse, weeping and sorrow are always followed by joy. But the greatest joy is the Joy of the Lord.

For his anger lasts only a brief moment, and his good favor restores one's life. One may experience sorrow during the night, but joy arrives in the morning. (Psa 30:5 NET.)

Don’t give up and in to the despair of what may seem to be perpetual sorrow. Wait out the nights of your life for your morning, no matter how far off it may appear to be, is sure to come.


Proverbs 20:28-30
Youth may be admired for vigor, but gray hair gives prestige to old age. (Pro 20:29 MSG)

If we ever took these words to heart, the companies that make hair dye would go “belly-up.”

I Corinthians 4

4
My conscience is clear, but that isn't what matters. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.

The KING JAMES VERSION reads:

For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

The Greek word for "judgeth" is "anakrino"
The meaning is:

1) examine or judge
a) to investigate,
examine, enquire into,
scrutinise, sift,
question
1) specifically in a
forensic sense of a
judge to hold an
investigation
2) to interrogate, examine
the accused or witnesses
b) to judge of, estimate,
determine (the
excellence or defects
of any person or thing

Oh... how I need more of humility.

This verse shows me that a person can be truly humble and yet "strong as an ox" against false doctrine, for Paul was both.

Somehow I find that I and others seem to associate humility only with gentleness, not sure how to be "strong". In the context of today's culture, "love" and "humility" is defined as the same as "tolerance."

Yet, Jesus was the most loving Person, the most Pure person... and He carefully made a rope and drove out the money changers from the temple!

Oh... Lord, may I KNOW THAT I KNOW what is true, and be confident in that...
and may I be rooted in humility and grace which clearly indicates that my confidence is ONLY in the Lord.

Philippians 3:3 (Amplified):

For we [Christians] are the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit and by the Spirit of God and exult and glory and pride ourselves in Jesus Christ,

and put no confidence or
dependence [on what we
are] in the flesh and on
outward privileges and
physical advantages and
external appearances

Vance

2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.

3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave [b] ;
you spared me from going down into the pit.

These verses in Psalms really stood out to me today, they really had a personal meaning to me. I have just received a heart catherization and stint placement, and as I laid there I kept repeating "do not let your heart be troubled". I know that when I called out to the Lord He healed me. Thank you for this verse today, it was just a reminder to me how great God is. Have a blessed day. Peggy

Ezra 7 (NKJV)
6
this Ezra came up from Babylon; and he was a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given. The king granted him all his request, ACCORDING TO THE HAND OF THE LORD HIS GOD UPON HIM.

9
On the first day of the first month he began his journey from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, ACCORDING TO THE GOOD HAND OF HIS GOD UPON HIM.
10
FOR EZRA HAD PREPARED HIS HEART TO SEEK THE LAW OF THE LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.

NOTE:
May we seek the Lord in this fashion. Ezra was a very busy man with many, many responsibilities. Yet, he insisted that he would SET HIS HEART and SET HIS MIND to know the Lord and His Word as first priority.

It is no good studying the Bible if we never come to Jesus Christ; if we never meet Him as we read it. Martin Luther said, “Scripture is the manger or ‘cradle’ in which the infant Jesus lies. Don’t let us inspect the cradle and forget to worship the baby.”

THE GOOD HAND OF THE LORD IS INDEED upon us, and is in us, today.

Note how Ezra was willing to suffer whatever it took because his mind and heart were FIXED on trusting God, and on God’s will and God’s Word.

Are we willing to take the time to set minds and hearts on the Lord—in the midst of our busy schedules—just like Ezra did? Or just like the Lord Jesus—the Perfect Man—did?

I Corinthians 4 (NKJV)
4
For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.

20
For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.

NOTE:
Again, may we not trust in our own self-assessments. May we set our hearts to seek and to know the Lord until we begin to—more and more—see ourselves the way God sees us. We are never called to be justified by our own self-assessment, nor are we called to live based on our feelings.

Once we “know” ourselves truly as God sees us in the Spirit, then we can live by the power of God in our daily life so that His Presence and Power will be manifest to others. Christ in us IS to live... and Christ longs to break through us to the world around us.
~~~

It is SO EASY to judge others—whether they are living for God as compared to me. Well, again, I am not called to believe my own self-assessment, or my assessment of other people.

WE ARE PLACED IN THE DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST by God Himself (I Corinthians 1:30).

Romans 6 (NKJV)
5
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,
6
knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
7
For he who has died has been freed from sin.
~~~

The only way we can KNOW ourselves as God has created us in Christ—as He knows us in the new creation He created—is to follow the example of Ezra and of the Perfect Man, Jesus.

May we come to really know this. Then, we will set our lives to suffer in the flesh to any degree to obey God’s will according to the truth of how God sees us.

I Peter 4:1 (NKJV)
1
Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,

NOTE:
I found this very excellent comment from the commentary - John Darby's Synopsis of the New Testament on I Peter 4:1. See below.

"If we are content to suffer, the will does not act; sin is not there, as to fact;

FOR TO SUFFER IS NOT WILL, IT IS GRACE ACTING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE IMAGE AND THE MIND OF CHRIST IN THE NEW MAN; AND WE ARE FREED FROM THE ACTION OF THE OLD MAN.

It [i.e., old man] does not act; we rest from it; we have done with it, no longer to live, for the remainder of our life here below in the flesh, according to the lusts of man, BUT ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD, WHICH THE NEW MAN FOLLOWS."

Vance

Hello,

It was my first time to listen to indescribable, and i think it is absolutely awesom. I have been listening to most of Chris' songs yesterday and i think they are great, just as i thank God that i discovered this webiste. It blesses me soo much. Thank you for you commentaries to the bible, that are sometimes funny, and humerous, and tough and serious at other ,but always driving the point home.

I think we all need a little scolding from the Lord every once and a while. Whom He loves He also chastens. there is a difference between chastening from the Lord and condemnation which is not of Him. If we are following Jesus closely we can learn to tell the difference and what to receive and what not to receive. One is productive, humbling and fruitful. Condemnation not of Him is accusatory and i think really pulls us from the Lord rather then draws us in.

the "leading men" Ezra chose were family men, leaders of clans, not dynamic superstars who perform well on a stage.

I love the music, tears flowed down my cheeks as I sat and listened.

I was struck by Paul's challenge to "imitate me". (1 Cor. 4:16)
I would like to think my life is worthy to be imitated but I know it isn't. It is a challenge for me to live a life that others could confidently imitate.

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