Please read carefully, slowly and preferably without any preconceived notions, if possible… The Apostle Paul is giving instructions to his young student in the simple Truth of the Gospel of Faith.. Paul is trying to convey to Timothy what will SOON begin to take place in the Newly formed Christian Church.. Paul IS NOT necessarily looking forward two thousand years to today.. however truly it does apply to today! .. Paul is warning Timothy how to avoid being deceived as well as deceiving (as a result) of being deceived himself.
I have deliberately used the Message Translation hoping you will not just skim over the text because it is so familiar to you… Many are using these very verses today and deceiving multitudes of people, and especially believers and non-believers alike.. and these are only a few scriptures that are being twisted today.
When free people will not take the incentive to freely explore the truth for themselves they will be taken captive by those willing to explore and explain the truth to them for profit.. This is happening today in all aspects of religion and government worldwide and it is TIME we wake up……..
Since it not my intentions to convince you but only to interest you into discovering the “truth” for yourself, I will not go on much further. I would much prefer for you to freely make up your own mind and freely decide what these few verses speak to you..
I am resisting my temptation to highlight anything or emphasize anything other than the insinuations I have already employed..
Have a great weekend and please enjoy, your freedom to Just Think for yourself..
Love in Him!
1 Timothy 4
The Message (MSG)
Teach with Your Life
4 1-5 The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars. These liars have lied so well and for so long that they’ve lost their capacity for truth. They will tell you not to get married. They’ll tell you not to eat this or that food—perfectly good food God created to be eaten heartily and with thanksgiving by believers who know better! Everything God created is good, and to be received with thanks. Nothing is to be sneered at and thrown out. God’s Word and our prayers make every item in creation holy.
6-10 You’ve been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching. Now pass on this counsel to the followers of Jesus there, and you’ll be a good servant of Jesus. Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers.
11-14 Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use.
15-16 Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation.
………AND THE ANSWER TO ALL OF THE ABOVE IS YES……..
it never has to be either or
it is always
YES and AMEN
…PURE and SPOTLESS BRIDE…
Jesus came for this very High Calling.. to show a lost, sin focused, ashamed, disgraced, guilt-ridden, fallen Bride (humanity) the Agape Gracious Love of her Creator, Father, Savior, King and Husband.
Jesus came to show us God so we can show Him to those who do not yet know how much He misses them.!!
His Bride is a Pure and Spotless Bride… Her Husband has taken care of that. He has a Beautiful White Garment waiting for Her when She is prepared to meet Him!
How are you loving HIS Lost ones today??
The Marcus McCord (MMc)
The Foolishness of it all
1) Sometimes we just need to read it all a different way. We need to ask the Spirit of the Living God.. Jesus Christ to open our eyes and allow us to see what is truly written in his Book. 2) For way too long, we have let Cherry Pickers pull the cherries off the trees, and then have allowed them to convince us that the cherries are in fact, Grapes filled with New Wine, Life, while in reality it is a Cherry filled with old doctrine and death. 3) This is the case today as well as was the case in the days of the Newly Filled believers who were brought up and steeped in Jewish doctrine, religious rituals and tradition.
4) The writer of the book of Hebrews had no need to identify himself. He was a Hebrew and all the Hebrews he was addressing knew who he was. 5) Who he was or is?, is not important since his intentions were not to draw attention to himself, but to point his audience to the [Author and Finisher] of their faith. Jesus Christ.
6) In an attempt to capture your attention, and possibly convince you to take a true leap of faith to dive in head-first into the Word of God for yourself, I am doing something which is extremely rare today in modern preaching! 7) I am giving you two full chapters and part of another of the Holy Spirits directions to Hebrews, 8) and by my faith in Him who is the Faithful and True witness, I hope you will begin to understand the truth of the Word of God..
Love in Him!
The Message (MSG)
The Sacrifice of Jesus
10 1-10 The old plan was only a hint of the good things in the new plan. Since that old “law plan” wasn’t complete in itself, it couldn’t complete those who followed it. No matter how many sacrifices were offered year after year, they never added up to a complete solution. If they had, the worshipers would have gone merrily on their way, no longer dragged down by their sins. But instead of removing awareness of sin, when those animal sacrifices were repeated over and over they actually heightened awareness and guilt. The plain fact is that bull and goat blood can’t get rid of sin. That is what is meant by this prophecy, put in the mouth of Christ:
You don’t want sacrifices and offerings year after year; you’ve prepared a body for me for a sacrifice. It’s not fragrance and smoke from the altar that whet your appetite. So I said, “I’m here to do it your way, O God, the way it’s described in your Book.”
When he said, “You don’t want sacrifices and offerings,” he was referring to practices according to the old plan. When he added, “I’m here to do it your way,” he set aside the first in order to enact the new plan—God’s way—by which we are made fit for God by the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus.
11-18 Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process. The Holy Spirit confirms this:
This new plan I’m making with Israel isn’t going to be written on paper, isn’t going to be chiseled in stone; This time “I’m writing out the plan in them, carving it on the lining of their hearts.”
I’ll forever wipe the slate clean of their sins.
Once sins are taken care of for good, there’s no longer any need to offer sacrifices for them.
Don’t Throw It All Away
19-21 So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.
22-25 So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.
26-31 If we give up and turn our backs on all we’ve learned, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ’s sacrifice and are left on our own to face the Judgment—and a mighty fierce judgment it will be! If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death, what do you think will happen if you turn on God’s Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit? This is no light matter. God has warned us that he’ll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: “Vengeance is mine, and I won’t overlook a thing” and “God will judge his people.” Nobody’s getting by with anything, believe me.
32-39 Remember those early days after you first saw the light? Those were the hard times! Kicked around in public, targets of every kind of abuse—some days it was you, other days your friends. If some friends went to prison, you stuck by them. If some enemies broke in and seized your goods, you let them go with a smile, knowing they couldn’t touch your real treasure. Nothing they did bothered you, nothing set you back. So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion.
It won’t be long now, he’s on the way; he’ll show up most any minute. But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust; if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy.
But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.
The Message (MSG)
Faith in What We Don’t See
11 1-2 The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.
3 By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see.
4 By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That’s what God noticed and approved as righteous. After all these centuries, that belief continues to catch our notice.
5-6 By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. “They looked all over and couldn’t find him because God had taken him.” We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken “he pleased God.” It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.
7 By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God.
8-10 By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.
11-12 By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what he said. That’s how it happened that from one man’s dead and shriveled loins there are now people numbering into the millions.
13-16 Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them.
17-19 By faith, Abraham, at the time of testing, offered Isaac back to God. Acting in faith, he was as ready to return the promised son, his only son, as he had been to receive him—and this after he had already been told, “Your descendants shall come from Isaac.” Abraham figured that if God wanted to, he could raise the dead. In a sense, that’s what happened when he received Isaac back, alive from off the altar.
20 By an act of faith, Isaac reached into the future as he blessed Jacob and Esau.
21 By an act of faith, Jacob on his deathbed blessed each of Joseph’s sons in turn, blessing them with God’s blessing, not his own—as he bowed worshipfully upon his staff.
22 By an act of faith, Joseph, while dying, prophesied the exodus of Israel, and made arrangements for his own burial.
23 By an act of faith, Moses’ parents hid him away for three months after his birth. They saw the child’s beauty, and they braved the king’s decree.
24-28 By faith, Moses, when grown, refused the privileges of the Egyptian royal house. He chose a hard life with God’s people rather than an opportunistic soft life of sin with the oppressors. He valued suffering in the Messiah’s camp far greater than Egyptian wealth because he was looking ahead, anticipating the payoff. By an act of faith, he turned his heel on Egypt, indifferent to the king’s blind rage. He had his eye on the One no eye can see, and kept right on going. By an act of faith, he kept the Passover Feast and sprinkled Passover blood on each house so that the destroyer of the firstborn wouldn’t touch them.
29 By an act of faith, Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry ground. The Egyptians tried it and drowned.
30 By faith, the Israelites marched around the walls of Jericho for seven days, and the walls fell flat.
31 By an act of faith, Rahab, the Jericho harlot, welcomed the spies and escaped the destruction that came on those who refused to trust God.
32-38 I could go on and on, but I’ve run out of time. There are so many more—Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets. . . . Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.
39-40 Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.
The Message (MSG)
Discipline in a Long-Distance Race
12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
If you would like more information on this Mysterious Treasure of Faith and the truth that “true faith” brings… please follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and get into the Word of God today!!!
John 1:15-17 New International Version (NIV)
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
GREASY GRACE and SLOPPY AGAPE
Heard either of these terms being used in the Body of Believers today? I am not going to spend much time disputing those who use these terms… I choose to spend much more time praying for them.
I must admit, I cannot even fathom what these folks are alluding to when they use these words to describe God’s Grace or His Agape Love.. Maybe you can? … I think they must have misunderstood God’s nature, character and Heart altogether and are trapped in performance theology or a works based religious mentality at best… at worst, I don’t know?
Like I said, I really cannot conceive of what they mean and I will not stay around them long enough to ask or find out what they are trying to accomplish in God’s Church founded by “The Grace and Love of God in the flesh.” — Jesus
Also, I would like to say, I know there are many of us who have not been exposed to these rude and crude terms abusing our Loving and Gracious Father and Savior… and that is Great. This is for those who have.
Enough of this… Now I would like to change the subject back to “Amazing Grace” if you don’t mind…
Just briefly if I may, Redirect your attention to John 1:15-17..?? ..Especially verse 16 which we hear very little today from the modern western pulpit, Because it doesn’t fit well into our current performance based theology… [ 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. ] …Do you see it? “we all have received grace in place of grace already given” …What does this mean?? I know what it means to me and I hope you will ponder these words until they mean something to you also…
I am reluctant to explain how I interpret and understand these words because I wish you to have your own interpretation.. and it does not have to be identical to mine.. I will risk it though and hope you too will ponder the Word..
The King James version says: “grace and grace” … There are so many translation today that expand our current views and you can see many of them at www.biblegateway.com ..some say, “grace upon grace”… some, “blessing upon blessing” …others, “abundant grace on top of grace” …All are implying that through Jesus ‘more grace has been given than was provided by the Law of Moses’… and there is our dilemma.. The Law of Moses is/was Grace too! …and this is terribly misunderstood today!
Most folks today do not understand that the Law of Moses provided GRACE and not condemnation..for sin and sinners. The Law of Moses was intended to provide Israel Grace, as a way of relieving their consciences’ from their burden of sin… until a better way appeared… Have you ever heard that before? I hope you have.. and if not, you have now.. The Law was never intended to harm, condemn or sentence anyone to death or Hell.. but to free God’s chosen ones from the Hell of shameful and guilty consciences… understand?
I am not going into all the details of this, because it is not my intentions to convince you! It is my intentions to get you to explore for yourself and so I will provide some links for you to follow should you choose to do so… [ Christus Victor Atonement ] … [ Vicarious or Substitutionary Atonement ] … These are the two most popular theories being taught in the Church today. “Christus Victor” in Eastern Orthodox and “Vicarious” in Western and Roman theology.. and there are others which you can find and explore as well…
There is so much more I am tempted to say, and it is truly hard to restrain myself especially in view of those who appear only to confuse the Body of Christ and to take prisoners to their own twisted theologies and theories without a truly “born again” mind and nature that has been taken captive by the love and obedience of Christ. …But, I am not getting into all of that..
This I will say… Here is GRACE my friend, Hanging on that tree, greased with His Sloppy AGAPE’ love running out of His side, His hands and His feet.. His Heart filled with Love, Compassion, Mercy and Forgiveness for you and I and all those who hung Him there… Here is GRACE and AGAPE’ who asked and pleaded for A better way to Prove a Father’s Agape love and forgiveness to His children in the Garden of Gethsemane until His blood mingled in with His sweat and Who finally agreed that this was the very reason He left the Garden of Eden… to prove beyond all doubt that His Creation, ALL of His Creation has Indeed been freed from the Curse of Sin And Death… Here is GRACE and AGAPE at His dirtiest and slickest moment where He fooled ALL the forces of Evil and Darkness in this fallen world into believing He could be done away with and His flaming passionate agape grace love stuffed out… Agape Grace deceived the Deceiver and Grace, Amazing Grace, Agape Grace sat down on HIS rightful Throne once again…
NO, I cannot explain it all… It goes far beyond my ability to understand.. how He accomplished it all??? But I do know when He cried out from that Tree of Life that Day “Father forgive them” He did… and I know that when He cried out with His last dying breath.. “It is finished” it was!!! …And I am so GLAD it was because I know I could never have figured out how to get back to HIM if He had not first figured out how to get to me… and to you… and that’s all I’ve got to say about it…except Beware of those who would add anything to God’s names that He did not put there Himself…
Jesus is the NAME above ALL names…
Love in Him!
Living Bible (TLB)
16 Now, God gave some promises to Abraham and his Child. And notice that it doesn’t say the promises were to his children, as it would if all his sons—all the Jews—were being spoken of, but to his Child—and that, of course, means Christ. 17 Here’s what I am trying to say: God’s promise to save through faith—and God wrote this promise down and signed it—could not be canceled or changed four hundred and thirty years later when God gave the Ten Commandments. 18 If obeying those laws could save us, then it is obvious that this would be a different way of gaining God’s favor than Abraham’s way, for he simply accepted God’s promise.
19 Well then, why were the laws given? They were added after the promise was given, to show men how guilty they are of breaking God’s laws. But this system of law was to last only until the coming of Christ, the Child to whom God’s promise was made. (And there is this further difference. God gave his laws to angels to give to Moses, who then gave them to the people; 20 but when God gave his promise to Abraham, he did it by himself alone, without angels or Moses as go-betweens.)
21-22 Well then, are God’s laws and God’s promises against each other? Of course not! If we could be saved by his laws, then God would not have had to give us a different way to get out of the grip of sin—for the Scriptures insist we are all its prisoners. The only way out is through faith in Jesus Christ; the way of escape is open to all who believe him.
23 Until Christ came we were guarded by the law, kept in protective custody, so to speak, until we could believe in the coming Savior.
King James Version (KJV)
10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;…
~This is a post I would prefer not to write. Why? ..Because these three words reveal the fear, confusion and uncertainty which exist in the Body of Christ today. I don’t know about you but I hear all three of these words far too often in Christian conversation. Two of them, inerrant and infallible, never appear in the Scriptures at all and the other, heretic, only once.. in the King James Version and a few other older translations.. My problem is not with the words themselves but with how they are used today to [ defend the Scriptures ] and what is implied by those who use them..
Let’s start with Heretic… This word was used by Paul in his epistle to Titus. Titus was on the island of Crete which at the time was still pagan to some degree.. Paul was instructing Titus on how to deal with those who would seek to tear apart and lead astray the newly formed fellowship of believers on this island.. For more info. follow ‘Crete in the days of Paul’.. Paul was actually using the word translated as heretic to describe certain Jews who were infiltrating the immature fellowship of believers and leading them back into Judaism. Paul was NOT using this word as a description of someone who has a different view of doctrine within the Christian faith, as it is most often used today… Paul also was NOT using this word to direct Titus or the Cretans to crucify or destroy the reputation of the ‘so called heretic’ who was not apart of their Christian fellowship, but to avoid the teachings and advancements of those who claim no part with the Christian faith and message.
Simply put: Paul was not telling them to condemn one of their own.. He was instructing them to avoid those who were not apart of their fellowship and were teaching contrary to the message of Grace.. which Paul proclaimed.
Next, let’s look at “Inerrant and Infallible” …These are both relatively new words in Christian discussion and I am not going to spend a lot of time with them.. They are being used today to defend the ‘Authority of the Scriptures’ which does NOT need any defense at all. …I personally believe the Scriptures are God Breathed and Divinely inspired.. however I also believe ‘Humanity’ is God breathed and Divinely inspired as well.. ever thought about that??
The insinuation with the use of these words today is: “the Bible is faultless and contains no errors”… Now, I will not even address that theory, however I will say this:
“Even if that is the case, we, you and I are not Inerrant nor Infallible, therefore how could we know this to be true? …If our conception and understanding of God has been flawed, which is the case of our fallen nature.. is it even possible for us to recognize or comprehend that which is perfect and flawless?
No, I’m afraid as I said above, this all has all come about as a result of confusion and uncertainty in the Body of Believers today.. We are missing the point… we are missing the Truth… we are missing the message… We are missing altogether the reason the Scriptures were written to begin with.. and this is why we are grasping at straws today. This is why today the emphasis in Christianity is on Faith, Belief, Bible, Authority, Submission, Doctrine, Theology, Principles, Applications…. the list could go on and on and on…. but none of these things are the point.
My friends… THIS and this ALONE is the point of all the Scriptures ever written… He is the Author and Authority of Scripture… He is our Defender and needs no defense…
He is Inerrant, Infallible, Perfect in every way… Flawless beyond our greatest imaginations… He is the Truth, He is The Word of God… Do you see Him??? He is a Person, a baby divine/human being in person, Who is so far beyond our pagan ways of religion and recognizing Truth that we are missing HIM altogether today In His Own House… Sorry for the OUTBURST, but I for one am tired of all the bull^%#* that is going on today in the Church … We do not even know anymore that we are the Body of Him.. We don’t even relate to Him anymore… We argue over what we Believe about Him, about what He said and what He meant by what He said.. We fume and fuss over all the other STUFF that has absolutely nothing to do with HIM at all and then when we can’t or won’t agree on what a book about Him says… We crucify our bothers and sisters in Christ because they don’t see things as perfectly and flawlessly as our own particular version or vision of HIM is…!!!
See, I am doing what I try never to do… so I will scratch-out my rant above.. This Blog is intended to excite you and to tempt you to Jump into the Word of God and to Explore for yourself the Magnitude and the Mystery of Him.. the Person of Jesus.. The LIVING Word of God… Yes, by all means use the book that reveals Him, but never, EVER confuse the Book with HIM !! … Jesus is SO much more than what is written about Him. Christians are supposed to be in a relationship with A PERSON not the Book as is depicted by the first picture. Sure, I would love a book written about my wife because I love my wife… but I would never prefer to have the Book without my wife… do you understand?… and also I would never criticize you if you read a book about my wife and misunderstood her or something about her because you had never met her in person.
I hope I have made my point and I do not like Points because they stick, prick, hurt and cause many unnecessary disagreements and quarrels.. which is happening today and with that I will conclude!
Love in HIM.!!
New International Version (NIV)
24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
Check this out too… if you want more
…Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’
“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’
“So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
“‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied.
“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’
“Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’
“‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied.
“He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’
“The Master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
–Luke 16:1-8 (NIV)–
I must admit, I have struggled with this parable through most of my Christian Life. .. Why? …It just seems contradictory to what we have been taught about the way Christians should behave, and do business and yet in the end it appears this rude, crud and shrewd manager is commended or congratulated for his actions… Does the confuse you too?
I am going to leave the dilemma of the parable for you to solve with your own imaginations.. however I would like to suggest a few things that may help add meaning to this mystery of “money management” as it is commonly taught today in modern preaching…
My first suggestion is that you attempt to clear your mind of everything you have ever heard about this teaching of Jesus that has to do with money, stewardship, finances or fund-raising! ..I understand this will be difficult because it takes much more effort for us to forget than it does to remember… “think about that a minute if you will?”
My second suggestion is that you attempt to fill your mind with Love, Mercy, Forgiveness and debt reduction… for us all.. including unjust managers, those who cook the books, embezzlers, swindlers and the like… just sinners like the rest of us would be a good description I think.. how about you?
Now lastly, I would suggest that you See the Master in this Parable as Jesus Himself and not some earthly CEO or CFO of the banking industry eagerly looking for flaws within their cooperation’s accounts or accountants … but as a Loving and Forgiving Monarch intently looking for qualities to include INTO His Heavenly Kingdom on earth..??
Can you see it yet?? …Take some time. I know it is difficult, but when it becomes clear to you… I think you may have a different perspective of this unjust manager and of his Just and Righteous Master who searches for Good reasons to include and never bad reasons to exclude…
As I have said many times.. I cannot change how you think or what you believe.. and that is not my intentions at all. My reasons for blogging is simply to address doctrines, dogma, rituals, traditions, misinterpretations, mistranslations and such.. We must remember when we read the scriptures that there is an eternal truth behind ever parable and teaching in the Bible and the Truth is never quite so apparent as the principles and or instructions we use in this world and it’s ways of doing business. …Anytime we try to apply Kingdom Truth to Earthly systems of business and finance we will get the wrong message.. entirely!
We must learn to read, study and understand God’s Word through the Eyes of The Word of God in the Flesh… Jesus Christ!! …It should always be with the lens of love, forgiveness, mercy, grace and all the characteristics that describe Jesus, The Just Master .. He is the Word of God.. and His answer to the kitty’s question and to yours and mine is always the same to every scoundrel and sinner ..unjust as we are. His answer is “Yes I can..”
….You may protest by saying the Unjust Steward did not ask to be forgiven and this is quite true.. He did not?
As this parable shows us .. Jesus is not looking for reasons to condemn but is looking for ways to commend, congratulate and say “Welcome, come in, My good and faithful
I have gone on much further than I intended to go.. I hope I have not taken away your chance to draw your own conclusions… It does not have to be the same as mine.. You may see it differently than I do… and that’s OK too!!
Love In Him!
9 Learn some lessons from this crooked but clever asset manager. Realize that the purpose of money is to strengthen friendships, to provide opportunities for being generous and kind. Eventually money will be useless to you—but if you use it generously to serve others, you will be welcomed joyfully into your eternal destination.
10 If you’re faithful in small-scale matters, you’ll be faithful with far bigger responsibilities. If you’re crooked in small responsibilities, you’ll be no different in bigger things. 11 If you can’t even handle a small thing like money, who’s going to entrust you with spiritual riches that really matter? 12 If you don’t manage well someone else’s assets that are entrusted to you, who’s going to give over to you important spiritual and personal relationships to manage?
13 Imagine you’re a servant and you have two masters giving you orders. What are you going to do when they have conflicting demands? You can’t serve both, so you’ll either hate the first and love the second, or you’ll faithfully serve the first and despise the second. One master is God and the other is money. You can’t serve them both.
14 The Pharisees overheard all this, and they started mocking Jesus because they really loved money.
__ Luke 16: 9-14 (VOICE)__
–– John 6:25-26
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”…Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, `not because you saw the signs I performed` but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
~ Have we had our fill? Have we missed the SIGNS?… Have we become so accustomed to having the Bread broken and handed out to us… that we are missing the Miraculous signs and Wonders which follow those who believe? ..After eating bits and pieces of bread and fish and becoming full.. the crowd left.. but they left behind 12 basketfuls of miraculous supply and they missed the POINT, altogether. [ Jesus the Bread of Life ]
Love in Him!