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II Chronicles 24-25:28
I’m not sure if I’ve covered this in my writing before but I’ve been focused, obsessed whatever the word used, with Proverbs 25:28 for at least three to four years. I meditate on it, I ask God for a clearer understanding of what it means, and it reads like this in the Amplified translation,

He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.
(Pro 25:28 AMP)

The notes in the Amplified cross-reference this verse with the sixteenth chapter and the thirty-second verse,

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, he who rules his [own] spirit than he who takes a city.
(Pro 16:32 AMP)

Self-control as opposed to external control seems to be key in walking with God. I do not believe we have it within ourselves to maintain control of ourselves outside of Jesus Christ. External controls do work in most instances; however, once those controls are removed, well…who we really are comes out. Joash operated under pressure of external control, Jehoiada the priest. His son, Amaziah, operated under the external pressure of fear; as long as he was under the threat of an invading army, he looked to the Lord. When God defeated that army, Amaziah became like most of us, he took the glory for himself. Pride led him to believe that he now was “All that and a bag of chips.” Wouldn’t it be a shame and silly for the donkey, that Jesus rode on when he entered Jerusalem to the cheers of the crowds, to think that the palms, the cheers the shouts of Hosanna, were for him? Yet we take credit every day for the things God has worked out for us. We think we are, “All that and a bag of chips with a Sneakers Bar thrown in.”

Internal controls will keep us, I believe, from operating with duel personalities, one way with folks and the other way when we think no one is looking. Who we really are is who we are when we are by ourselves. That is really, really scary and unsettling to admit.

It is amazing how these readings fit together, a theme from the Old Testament dovetails right into the New


Romans 12:1-21
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
(Rom 12:1-2 KJVR)


I just love the poetry of the King James in these two verses. The key, I believe to gaining self-control can be found in these wonderful two verses. We need to have our minds renewed, we need to change the way we think. We need to come out of thinking as the world thinks and begin to think as God thinks. This renewing of the mind really hit me the end of last year.

I have a two-bedroom apartment, which has three-sided exposure, north, east and south. In November 2004 I found out that the external and the inside walls between the kitchen and bathroom as well as one of the bedrooms were loaded with mold. And because the bricks had not been pointed for probably ten years, the inside external walls had mold also. I had a complete gut renovation in my apartment with my furniture inside and covered up (dust, no matter how well you cover everything will get in that is what dusts does). With no walls, no bathroom, no radiators and no kitchen sink I bunked at my neighbors and God showed me what it means to renew one’s mind, as well as the insidiousness of sin as represented by mold (leprosy in a house) in the Book of Leviticus (14:34-55).

On deep inspection, my apartment walls were of two minds they looked fine on the outside but on the inside, things were rotten and moldy. They could not spray it out or clean it with a mixture of bleach, the walls had to come down. The Greek word translated, “Renew” in the King James Version came to life for me and God continually brought Romans 12:1-2 to my mind for the three weeks I slept on my neighbor’s couch.

G342
ἀνακαίνωσις
anakainōsis
an-ak-ah'ee-no-sis
From G341; renovation: - renewing.

We have been so ingrained in the thinking of the ways of the world instead of the ways of God, we need gut renovations of the mind. There are walls that need to come down. This Site provides the opportunity for everyone who comes through these portals to begin that renovation so that the duality of thinking we have become so use to stops. I also saw in that process of renovation how uncomfortable I felt while the walls I had become so accustomed to came down and finally were no longer there. There were no radiators, no toilet, no bathtub and sink. I had to use someone else’s facilities (Could this have been an example of how Christian Brothers and Sisters “bear” up one and another when someone goes through this process of renovation?).


Psalm 22:19-31
27
The whole earth will acknowledge the LORD and return to him.
People from every nation will bow down before him.
28
For the LORD is king!
He rules all the nations.

When things don’t seem to be going well, when people look like they are getting away with murder, figuratively and literally, these two verses let us know that God will rule and all of us who are rebellious will bow before the Lord and acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.

Proverbs 20:8-10

At first glance, the eighth verse appears to be kind of off,

8 When a king judges, he carefully weighs all the evidence, distinguishing the bad from the good.

If I think back in history and even looking at the kings in the Bible----well, they didn’t judge fairly let alone distinguish right from wrong, good from evil. But then I looked again. One who is a “true” king and the one who is the True King will judge fairly and righteously. Having a crown on one’s head has as much to do with making one a king as a mouse falling into the cookie jar making it a cookie.

And to top it all off, verse nine and ten overarch everything in today’s readings that deal with hypocrisy, duality of one’s thinking and just straddling the fence when it comes to our Christian walk,

9 Who can say, "I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin"?

10 The LORD despises double standards of every kind.

I truly believe this; the above cannot be done until we walk in full submission to God. We can try on our own strength but we will fail. Unless we submit to God, presenting our bodies by placing ourselves on the Alter of God and allowing Him to set us on fire burning off everything that is not of Him, and leave those fire extinguishers home.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Romans 12

The first word, "Therefore" is really a hinge where Paul refers to everything he has written about in Chapters 1-11 about righteousness, grace, reconciliation and faith.

I did a recap of ROMANS Chapters 1-11
Paul has established Israel’s guilt in the early chapters of this Epistle. In chapters 1 and 2, he indicts mankind in general and the Jews in particular. Through creation, God revealed His divine nature to mankind. Men should have received this revelation and responded by worshipping Him. Instead, man exchanged the truth of God for a lie and chose to worship the creature rather than the Creator. Because of this, mankind is guilty before God and deserving of divine wrath. This is the essence of Romans 1:18-32.
In chapter 2, Paul indicts the Jews in particular for taking great pride in their possession of the law but failing to practice it. In chapters 3 and 4, he demonstrates that law-keeping cannot save anyone. The law reveals that all men are sinners, under divine condemnation. The law shows man’s need of righteousness, but it cannot provide that righteousness. Salvation must come, apart from men, apart from law-keeping. Salvation has been provided by God, through Christ.
In chapters 5-8 Paul presses on to explain God’s provision for righteousness in Jesus Christ and its implications. As Paul comes to the end of Romans 8, he encourages his readers by assuring them that their lives are secure in the hands of a God who is sovereign. God causes all things to work together to accomplish His purpose for those who love Him, and for those who are called in accordance with His purpose (8:28). In eternity past, He chose (foreknew) those whom He would save. He also mapped out (predestined) His plans for our lives in Christ. In time, God calls those whom He has chosen to Himself, justifying them through the blood of Jesus Christ. When Christ returns to establish God’s kingdom on earth, we shall be glorified.
As an example of God’s sovereign control of history, Paul turns in chapters 9-11 to God’s purpose for both the Jews and the Gentiles.

Now the ethical instructions begin. More reading is a link to "What is a Christian" by/to Diognetus. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_to_Diognetus


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