Friday, November 17, 2017

Inventory

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

@#$%


@#$%

"When you think you've arrived, it's time to start over."
(#11 from a non-best-selling book)

@#$%


@#$%

    Since a week with Jan, Eugene, Chuck, Jeff, and Ken along Flathead Lake in Montana back in October 2011, I've confessed I'm just scratching the surface of my relationship with Jesus and inching closer to the kinda undershepherd that He had in mind when The Rev. Harold F. Mante (RIP) took me to ___ seminary as an 8th grader because he discerned...

    I've written a lot about that born anothen and kairos moment that's archived and available by going to the right column of www.koppdisclosure.com.

    As I look forward to the next two decades of life and ministry on the corner of Lincoln and Main in Belvidere, Illinois with a family of faith that I love more than they will ever acknowledge or appreciate, I think it's time to take a quick inventory of some recent conclusions, convictions, and...

@#$%

    1. I'll never eat stewed tomatoes because they look like blood clots;

    2. Concomitant to #1, there's a lot of freedom when you've got over four decades of pension credits piled up;

    3. Isaiah 40:28-31 is real for anyone who has real intimacy with Jesus;

    4. As a homiletics professor, there were some technical problems with one of the best sermons that I've ever heard.  Surprisingly, it was at a recent presbytery meeting where the Spirit is often squeezed out by rules of order and ideology masquerading as Biblically Christocentric theology because of forgotten, ignored, defied, or pretended ordination promises.  Anyway, proving Samuel right again that the heart and gut are more important to God than the head, the message was about loving Jesus by loving like Jesus and nobody really likes to hang out with people and churches that say they love Jesus but don't love like Jesus;

    5. More than ever, I really want to be shown my errors by Jesus, Holy Scripture, and common sense so I can confess, repent, ask forgiveness, and have relationships restored with people who forgive because it's the only Christian thing to do and is one of the indicators of being homeward bound;

    6. While cellular prayer, romance, Cubans, iron pony, 9 with Billy, and the truck that I gave up but will get back again before the parousia provide the kinda refueling necessary for an INTJ like moi, among my greatest pleasures are leading authentic-not-by-the-scripted-liturgies-of-1563 worship moins mindless and barking litanies and other contradictions of Matthew 15 and 23, helping someone develop the intimacy with Jesus that produces good stuff like Paul wrote about in Galatians 5, helping folks who grieve broken relationships in time to praise God for the overcoming of the wouldas and couldas and shouldas by grace through faith in Jesus that will be healed forever in heaven, shattering the sound of silence, salting, shining, and leavenating; and

    7. I covet more time with my family that has sacrificed so much for so long because they have respected sometimes grudgingly what Pastor Mante discerned so many years ago.

@#$%

    While I could be assassinated at any time by an Islamofascistnutball savage or somebody in town who's still mad at me for taking the church away from them and giving it back to Jesus or be done in by Grandpa Kopp's cancer genes, I am more psyched - I'll never forget the mean and nasty hater who left our church because she didn't like me saying I'm psyched for life because she's not which is too bad because I'd cherish the opportunity to help her find Jesus and get psyched for life instead being such a bummer to herself and anyone around her! - than ever to get closer to Jesus and then closer to...

    Uh, BTW, this hasn't been about me.

    This is about you.

    I'm just like you; needing to take an inventory every once in a while to...

    If you don't understand what I mean by that, hang out with Jesus and part of His family in any church that still worships and follows Him by the book.

@#$%


@#$%

Blessings and Love!

@#$%

Shatter the sound of silence!

Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!

@#$%


@#$%


Monday, November 13, 2017

For Sheepdogs Cause Sheep Too Dumb

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

@#$%


@#$%

    Too many sheep would rather die than follow Jesus.

    If you don't believe that, you're unconscious, stoned, or OD'ed on St. John's Wort.

    God knows churches are leading the rest of the losers in that department; longing for the way things never were or maybe were but are no more as they hold on to idolatries aka traditions that never really worked or worked for a little while but don't work anymore.

    Sheep are dumb.

    It's a Biblical metaphor about the truth that most people are too dumb to follow Jesus literally and always so it may be on earth as it is in heaven.

    Sheep will follow the lead of so many inferiors than the only One who really loves by guiding, providing, and protecting them from satanos and its witting, slithering, stealthful, disguised, eager, duped, and enabled-by dummies and accomplices.

    So this is a brief disclosure on one of the dumbest things that sheep do as they follow and fall into the diabolically deadly strategies of the dark side.

    This is for sheepdogs or undershepherds to the Good Shepherd who are called and prepared to pick up their rods, staffs, and swords to protect the sheep.

    This is for wolves and their master to warn them that sheepdogs will do what is necessary to defend the sheep and defeat them.

    This, again, is not for sheep because they're too dumb to take care of themselves.

    There are so many illustrations; but since Vegas and Texas, that little sticker announcing a "Gun Free Zone" may be among the most indicative of the need for sheepdogs to protect sheep from the wolves even when the sheep seem so willing to follow the lead of those who enable those who want to devour them.

    "Baaaaaaahhh...Baaaaaaahhh...Baaaaaaahhh..."

@#$%

    The secret is out!

    Those little "Gun Free Zone" stickers invite terrorists, madwomen/men, and other miscreants to a feeding frenzy.

    If bad guys with guns know good guys with guns - law-abiding, fully vetted, trained, credentialed, and registered with big brother - are forbidden to exercise their 2nd Amendment right to protect themselves and others from bad guys with guns, bad guys with guns know they can do their deadliest without interference from good guys with guns until many/enough minutes pass by before good guys with badges and guns show up after carnage.

    Here's how it goes.

    Good guys: "Though we've been vetted, trained, credentialed, and registered, we can't go into that place with our metaphorical rods, staffs, and swords to protect anyone because they have a 'Gun Free Zone' sticker on the window.  The sheep are ready to be slaughtered."

    Bad guys: "Look!  There's a "Gun Free Zone' sticker on the window!  No one to protect the sheep!  Yahoo!"

    Really.

@#$%

    Now at this point, I've got to repeat a thesis from one of my books that nobody's read: "Trying to be rational with the irrational is illogical."

    Or as elder Bob Imm of New Kensington, Pennsylvania said many years ago while counseling me about snakes in the sanctuary, "Don't get into a pissing contest with skunks."

    Ignorant, irrational, two-feet-planted-firmly-in-the-air, and otherwise unconscious sheep-in-leaders'-clothing will come up with the most convoluted, asinine, nauseating, and intellectually dishonest and dopey pabulum to defend the "Gun Free Zone" stickers that invite mayhem.

    Heeeeeeelllllllooooooo, anybody home?

    Reminds me of Otter's famous comment to Flounder in Animal House: "Face it, Flounder, you ___ up!  You trusted us!"

    Do you really trust the backers of "Gun Free Zone" stickers to protect sheep from wolves?

    If you do, please send back your prescription from Colorado.

    The stuff that you're smoking is too intoxicating.

@#$%

    I was visiting one of my dearest friends in the hospital.

    She is very discouraged by what happened in NYC, Vegas, and Texas.

    She lamented horrific episodes of the same old story before and expressed fears of more of the same in the future.

    Asking if there's anything that can be done to stop it, she suggested more gun laws.

    I responded, "More gun laws will not stop bad guys from getting guns and using them."

    We also admitted it won't help to hold some rap sessions in Chicago or sponsor public choruses of Kumbayah.

    Then we talked about Psalm 23, Matthew 10, and Ephesians 6.

    Then we thanked God for the good guy with a gun in Texas who stopped the bad guy with a gun in Texas from slaughtering even more sheep.

@#$%

    Thanks to our media exercising their 1st Amendment right, bad guys with guns have an updated list of soft targets like churches, schools, stadiums, supermarkets, and "Gun Free Zone" stickered establishments.

    Whether it's an Islamofascistnutball or madwoman/man or whomever, it's really satanos and its kin at the genesis of any spiritual etiology.

    Sheepdogs understand that.

    Sheep are too dumb to get it.

    Wolves are fueled by it.

    That's why sheepdogs don't pay much attention to the "baaaaaaahhhing" of sheep while protecting them by turning their focus and aim on the wolves.

@#$%

Blessings and Love!

@#$%


Shatter the sound of silence!

Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!

@#$%


@#$%


Friday, November 10, 2017

The Best Way to Kill Worship Attendance

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

@#$%


@#$%

The Best Way to Kill Worship Attendance

          A pastor greeted an infrequent worship attendee, “I didn’t realize it was Easter already.”

          Alert!

          Pastors who use that kind of humor are offending people who offend God by not worshiping Him.

          Question!

          Which is worse?

          Offending people who offend God by not worshipping Him or offending God by not offending people who do not worship Him?

          Ouch.

          Yep, the truth will set ‘em free; but may cut down on attendance and income.

          Parenthetically, it’s obvious that lots of people don’t believe in eternal life; for if they did, don’t you think those pews would be full and things important to God like agape, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and…would be practiced more than pretended.

          Example.

          When I was an important pastor as defined by important pastors and idolizing pewsitters who confuse high steeples and ecclesiastical lifestyles that would make Solomon blush as the ingredients of importance, I was in a group of important pastors that would meet yearly in Malibu, California that would often include non-self-effacing tributes to our importance.

          One pastor, far more humble than most and especially me, named George Callahan, who was a leading light in the Presbyterian Charismatic Communion and among the first to ask what the anything but heaven is going on in the franchise and other increasingly sideline denominations, preached a sermon that became a little booklet called God Commanded Tithing So Don’t Blame Me!

          He said, “Jesus spoke more about money than any other subject, except for the Kingdom of God.”

          True.

          Money is understood in the Bible and by common sense as among the best measures of who and what are important to us.

          Rather, how we use/manage money is among the best measures of who and what are important to us.

          Money, like all things including Facebook and cellulars and firearms and art and government and other human inventions, has no meaning until we attach ours to it.

          If we want to know who and what are important to us, all we have to do is look at our checkbook stubs and plastic bill statements.

          Of course, everybody knows lots of people dislike, resent, rebel, and sometimes yell when people bring up money in church.

          You know how it goes: “I don’t want to hear about money in church…I don’t want to be told that I need to give money to the church…I don’t want to…I…I…I…”

          Hmm.

          Another subject for another day.

          Getting back to money, it matters to people; and when it comes to bringing up money in church, it can cause a lot of guilt disguised as some kinda righteous indignation claiming church is no place to bring it up; which, as Callahan said and anyone who actually reads the Bible will discover, comes as a great shock to God who brought it up…a lot.

          So the best way to kill worship attendance is to announce next week’s sermon will be about money; and if we really want to stir up the devil in people and kill worship attendance in succeeding services, talk about tithing when they come.

          Yeah, a faithful herald will say, “I don’t write ‘em.  I just read ‘em.”

          But, again, if even churchy kinda people don’t pay much attention to what He says about agape, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and other things that are really important to Him, it’s really fake news to think people think sermons about money are in any remote way related to good news.

          It’s a homiletician’s dilemma: tell ‘em what they wanna hear which ain’t always what He says they need to hear or tell ‘em what they need to hear but don’t always wanna hear and catch you know what for telling it like it/He is.

          Parenthetically, again, I guess it all depends on what one believes about eternity.  If a person really believes God’s in charge of here, now, and forever, that makes a big difference in how one handles what He’s revealed about Himself and what it means to behave like you believe in Him.

          So about money.

          There’s so much about it in the best apocalyptic resource – the Bible – available to us on who He is and what He expects from those who know who He is; so we’ll hit just a few pregnant verses.

          1 Corinthians 16:1-4: “Now about the money to be collected to help God’s people…Each of you is to set something aside on the first day of the week…”

          Money is an instrument to honor God by using it to help people.

          Money is to be managed in ways that honor God by using it to help people.

          Helping people is honoring God or honoring God by helping people is fundamental to a Christian’s job description: “As you do it for them,” Jesus said, “you are doing it for Me; and as you’re not doing it for them, you’re not doing it for Me.”

          Malachi 3:8-10: “Will you rob God?  You are robbing Me!  You ask, ‘How do we rob You?’  You rob me by not tithing.  The tithe comes to the storehouse so that there may be food in My house.”

          Tithing is a Biblical word that means “tenthing” of all we are and have for God’s honor by helping God’s people or helping people to honor God.

          A tithe – the least not most that we can manage/do for God – is 10% of our thought, time, treasures, and talent.

          It’s the price of admission or getting into the game – proving we are on His side.

          Tithing is one of the most significant and obvious measures of fidelity.

          Referring back to an important disclosure, Ralph Cushman wrote in Dealing Squarely with God back in 1927 for believers who behaved like believers when it comes to using/managing money for God as obligatory not discretionary, “You can tell the sincerity of a man’s interest in anything by the way he puts his money into it.”

          Tithing means we are serious about God.

          Or as my old buddy George Callahan wrote in that awfully titled booklet, “If you are not tithing, you are ‘tipping’ God as you might tip a carhop or a waiter.”

          Matthew 22:37-40: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and most important commandment.  The second is like it.  Love your neighbor as yourself.”

          God wants/commands/expects us to use/manage everything – emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, materially – for Him.

          God expects us to be totally committed/devoted/dedicated to Him.

          So anyone who says God isn’t really about tithing is right!

          That’s right!

          God doesn’t want 10%!

          He wants/commands/expects 100%!

          God wants/command/expects us to use/manage 100% of who we are and what we have for His glory, laud, and honor; and among the best ways to do that is to use/manage who we are and what we have to help people who need God through who we are and what we have.

          Psalm 24:1: “The earth and everything in it belong to God.”

          While that comes as a shock to capitalists, unions, school boards, Democrats, Republicans, denominations and their ecclesiastical elites, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, ACLU, NAACP, NOW, ESPN, and other social engineers operating on human over divine wisdom with their ever-threatening thought police dedicated to exterminating dissent and exorcising comment or contradiction – that’s a mouthful – the Apostles’ Creed begins with a fundamental truth that’s in their face: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.”

          God is Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior and not even the aforementioned can do anything about His providence in the end despite impotent attempts in the meantime.

          When it comes to money, it means it’s not ours in the first/His place.

          God entrusts money to us; allowing us to use/manage it for heavenly or…hellish…ends.

          So, again, take a look at your checkbook stubs and plastic bill statements and see how you measure up/down.

          Just like faith, “You can’t give away what you ain’t got for yourself.”

          Paul was practical: “Be as generous as you can.”

          Part of that urging includes the call to evaluate what we can give to the Lord’s house and for the Lord’s missions after taking care of the most immediate family responsibilities entrusted to us by God and confirmed by us in parental and congregational baptismal pledges.

          I like how Charles Hodge explained it in his commentary on this text back in 1857: “Contributions were to be in proportion to the means of the giver.”

          That’s why I’m always trying to soak the haves for the have-nots; or as Jesus said/warned, “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.”

          A story comes to mind.

          A fellah says to his pastor, “If I only had more money, I’d give more to the church; but I don’t have enough money.  I can barely make ends meet…If I only had more time, I would do more for the church; but I have so much to do at work and home…If I only had more talent, I would serve the Lord; but I can’t sing or teach or do this or do that.”

          According to the story, our Lord gave more money, time, and talent to the man; but the man did not use/manage the money, time, and talent to honor God.  So, as God does sooner or later and definitely in the end, He took them back.

          The man went to his pastor and said, “If I only had those things back, I would do a better job of using/managing them for God.”

          The pastor said, “Just shut up!”

          Dr. James I. McCord remains among the most faithful and brilliant men to ever cross my path.  He was president of the seminary that I attended and president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches when it stood for Someone.

          He often talked of the young Scot who told his pastor, “I’m fed up with the church and Christianity.  All I ever hear is, ‘Give, give, give.’”
The pastor fixed his eyes on the young man and said, “Well, can you think of a better definition of Christianity than give, give, give.”

          McCord explained: “The Christian doctrine of stewardship is rooted in the gospel itself.  The gospel begins with a gift…Jesus…It continues with a claim on the lives of those who respond to this gift.”

          Or as Calvin wrote, “We are not our own…We are God’s…to Him, therefore, let us live and die…We are God’s. Towards Him, as our only legitimate end, let every part of our lives be directed.”

          Talking about tithing, stewardship, checkbook stubs, plastic bill statements, and money may not be the best way to beef up worship attendance, but it is among the best measures of who will be attending the big banquet in the end.

@#$%

Blessings and Love!

@#$%

Shatter the sound of silence!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!

Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

@#$%


@#$%



Monday, November 6, 2017

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

@#$%


@#$%

Bible Review for Believers

          When I think of what I think of the Bible, I’ll never forget when Tucker Roth spoke about it on the day that he was confirmed as a member of Kansas City’s Second Presbyterian Church over three decades ago: “Whenever I open the Bible and read it, I think of it as God’s personal love letter to me.”

          Though I don’t think Tucker was thinking of him, he sounded a lot like Augustine: “The Holy Scriptures are letters from home.”

          “When you read God’s Word,” wrote Soren Kierkegaard, “you must constantly be saying to yourself, ‘It is talking to me, and about me.’”

          Of course, that can be a convicting reality; as Kierkegaard also noted, “We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand it, we are obliged to act accordingly.”

          Twain, typically, held no punches: “It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it’s the parts that I do understand.”

          It’s like some sermons – especially the ones that we feel are directed at us.

          I’ll never forget mediating a dispute between my assistant pastor Harold and a woman who accused him of writing a sermon just for her; and how he said, “Listen, lady, it’s a little arrogant of you to think that I would write a sermon just for you; but if the shoe fits…”

          Aside from boring ones from boring ones, Billy Sunday was right on about people who don’t like the Bible and don’t like a lot of sermons: “The reason you don’t like the Bible, you old sinner, is because it knows all about you.”

          Truth is the Bible is not that tough to understand if it’s read.

          People who say it’s hard to understand haven’t read it; or read it like reading a text message or snap chat or some other superficial byte from the plethora of social nitwitting networks.

          David’s first psalm explains how some people get it/Him while others don’t: “How happy is the man who delights in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates …[wraps her/himself around it]…on it day and night.”

          J.I. Packer: “One of the many divine qualities of the Bible is that it does not yield its secrets to the irreverent and the censorious.”

          In other words, to get into it/Him, we approach the written Word in Holy Scripture like Tucker, Augustine, Soren, and other saints; but not like a fool – the Biblical way of describing a person who thinks she or he is smarter than God’s revelation in the enfleshed Word Jesus by the written Word in the Bible – who says, “I know that’s what Jesus and the Bible say, but I think…

          The arrogance of too many professors, pulpiteers, professors, and pewsitters elevating themselves over Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior exposes the human instinct to forget, ignore, or defy divine dictation by reimagined creation: “So humanity created God in humanity’s image.  In the image of humanity, humanity created God.”

          Stupefying.

          “More light” than Jesus by the book advocates continue as they enable the human instinct to pretend prerogative different from God’s expressed will – we call it original sin because it goes back to the garden where it started with nothing being original about sin ever since – that betrays a dim view of divinely inspired incarnation in Jesus and instruction in Holy Scripture.

          Conversely, faithful women and men attend to rather than contend with God’s apocalypse in Jesus by the book; noting a bumper sticker’s accurate while abrupt assessment of divine disclosure over human conjecture: “God said it!  I believe it!  That settles it!”

          The Westminster Confession of Faith explains the verity of Holy Scripture with more sophistication: “The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself…The Supreme Judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined…all decrees…opinions…
doctrines…private spirits…are to be examined…can be no other than the
Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.”

          That early 17th century confession was confirmed by The Confession of 1967: “Confessions and declarations are subordinate standards in the church, subject to the authority of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, as the Scriptures bear witness to Him…Obedience to Jesus Christ alone identifies the one universal church and supplies the continuity of its tradition.”

          Hence, the Church applies a simple formula for its continuing evolution as a new wineskin always expanding to make room for God’s refreshing graces while never contradicting God’s revealed will in Jesus by the book: ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda secundum verbum Dei.

          Simply, the Church at His best is always reforming/changing itself by increasing conformity to Holy Scripture.

          The Church heralds the Word of God in Jesus by the book as the only absolutely authoritative apocalypse for faith and morality; rather than being shaped by the ebb and flow of human feelings, wants, needs, concerns, indigestions, loins, lusts, and other navel-gazing humanities.

          Though it’s become a dust-collector for too many in the decision-making of courtrooms, classrooms, churches, commerce, media, entertainment, authentic-not-posing Christians always turn to Jesus by the book on all issues of faith and morality: “What would Jesus by the book say?  What would Jesus by the book do?”

          Luther insisted Biblical Christology is the only guiding principle of particular churches praying, laboring, and aspiring to be part of the Church: “You may as well quit reading and hearing the Word of God and give it to the devil if you do not desire to live according to it.”

          So let’s hear it from God as recorded in the book.

          Psalm 119:105: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

          The Westminster Divines were concise and commanding in The Shorter Catechism: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever…the Word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.”

          Heinrich Bullinger in The Second Helvetic Confession put it this way: “And in this Holy Scripture, the universal Church of Christ has the most complete exposition of all that pertains to a saving faith, and also to the framing of a life acceptable to God; and in this respect it is expressly commanded by God that nothing be either added to or taken from the same.”

          President Ronald Reagan spoke succinctly for Jesus-loving-Bible-believers: “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.”

          Or as we say at the end of every worship service on the corner of Lincoln and Main in Belvidere, Illinois: “Until next time, continue in God’s peace through faith in Jesus.  Love God and be kind to one another.  Remember, the answer to every question is Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”

          2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is inspired…[God-breathed]…and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good.”

          Or, again, as we say on the corner of Lincoln and Main; especially when the Word in Jesus by the book is salty: “I don’t write ‘em.  I just read ‘em.”

          It’s like a sermon title and theme by a friend (George Callahan) in Florida many years ago: “God commanded tithing!  So don’t blame me!”

          The “inspiration” of the Bible means God “breathed into” those who recorded His Word as we now have it.

          Rembrandt’s “St. Matthew and the Angel” captures the sense of Paul’s clarification about the absolute and unalterable authority of Holy Scripture as inspired or God-breathed.  Today, the original hangs in Paris’ Louvre; but you can google it and see a graphic depiction of Matthew sitting at a table with pen in hand as an angel whispers God’s Word into his ear for our encouraging edification.

          2 Peter 1:19-21: “First of all, you should know this: no prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, moved by the Holy Spirit, men spoke from God.”

          Coupled with the aforementioned texts, the point is God is not double-minded and the Bible does not mean whatever the anything but heaven that you want it to mean.

          Though easily understood for the overwhelmingly most part, only missing the course on original sin could confuse anyone about the continuing resistance to honor and follow Jesus by the book.

          My professors Elmer Homrighausen and Bruce Metzger joined Andrew Blackwood, Jr., Eugene Blake, Charles Fritsch, and Lefferts Loetscher to confirm almost 2K years of Bible esteem for the Church as commissioned by the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church back in 1948’s An Outline of the Christian Faith: “We know God in part by the revelation of Himself in the world which He has created, but He gives us a saving knowledge of Himself only in the Bible which the Holy Spirit enables us to understand…The Bible is the Word of God, a collection of books written by men who were guided by God to teach us about Himself and His Will.”

          Ergo, Revelation 22:18-19: “I testify to everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book.  And if anyone takes away from the words of this prophetic book, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, written in this book.”

          Everyone, especially God who is the only One who matters in the end, can see who has taken God at His Word.

          While many have attempted to systematize Biblical theology on paper since canonization, its eternal quality by divine origin has frustrated any existential attempt to comprehensively and categorically codify God’s will in/through the Word despite the most exhaustive and sometimes arrogant attempts/claims; compelling agreement with the apostle: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I am fully known.”

          Yet, what we can absorb and incarnate in confession, conduct, and countenance can keep us occupied in the meantime.

          John Wesley: “God Himself has condescended to teach me the way…He hath written it down in a book.  O give me that book!  At any price, give me the book of God!  I have it; here is knowledge enough for me.  Let me be homo unius libri.”

          I’ve always been inspired by the Gideons who know the importance of getting the book into everybody’s hands and how they are willing to be slandered, scorned, and marginalized for their witness; and I have rarely read anything better than their evaluation of and esteem for the book which they include in every edition that they disseminate: “The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.  Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.  Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy.  It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you…Christ is its grand subject, our good the design, and the glory of God its end…Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully…”

          Summarily, if we want to know who He is, what He has done, what He expects, and what comes next, just read the book.

          Not books about the book.

          The book.

          Alone.

          Often.

          In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

@#$%

Blessings and Love!



Shatter the sound of silence!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!

Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

@#$%




@#$%