April 22, 2018 How Much is Enough?

How Much is Enough?

        Three days had passed since he had asked the question and received the answer. Lots of time to think about what he had heard and to decide how he would proceed to acquire a deeper knowledge and understanding. But would he ever be satisfied with the depth of his expanding knowledge and understanding leading to a closer relationship with Jesus?

        The man was Saul of Tarsus; Paul of the New Testament. Jonathan Cahn writes that his names reflect the scenario above (The Book of Mysteries, Day 105, The Man Born to Pause and Ask). For, Paul is from the root word pauo and means to pause, and Saul is from the Hebrew root shoel meaning to ask. So, Paul/Saul was paused in his journey by the great Heavenly light and forced to ask, “‘Who are you, Lord?’” (Acts 9.5).

        Let us pause and ask why Saul would need to ask this question. For consider that he describes himself as “‘educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers’” (Acts 22.3). Gamaliel was a Pharisee, “grandson of the famous rabbi Hillel”, and “was noted for his learning” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary). “Paul was one of his disciples” (ibid). Yet, he asked, “‘Who are you, Lord?’” (Acts 22.8).

        Saul was satisfied with his head-knowledge about God, the God of the Old Testament/Torah; even of the curious prophesies of Deuteronomy 18.18 and Isaiah 7.14 & 9.6-7. But, like other Pharisees, his understanding had not made the connection with the works of Jesus identifying Himself as Messiah; John 15.24 (John 10.32, 37-38) revealing Deuteronomy 18.15 & 18 revealing Exodus 34.10 (Matthew 9.33).

        What is the similarity of Gamaliel and other rabbis “defining God” for Saul and “Pastor (fill in this blank)” settling our head-knowledge of God? While it is not wrong to trust “Pastor (FITB)”, should that be enough for us? Perhaps “Pastor (FITB)” had become satisfied with the limits he had imposed. What made the Bereans different? See Acts 17.11-12. (It is this writer’s prayerful intent that readers of his materials do the same with these studies, which is his reason for including sufficient ‘proof texts’.)

        We read many observers of society today advocating ‘life-long learning’ as the requirement for our future employable knowledge. Why do so few Christians apply this to their knowledge of God and of His Scripture? What was Jesus stating about the priority and sequence of our ‘being’ and ‘doing’ in Matthew 6.33 and Jeremiah 9.23-24? Could He be revealing the secret to our growing understanding of the epistemologies of our workdays? After all, Jesus is the Source of all human knowledge (Ronald H. Nash, The Word of God and The Mind of Man, p. 67 commenting on John 1.9).

        How can we be satisfied with our present understandings of God’s attributes of Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence? Does Jeremiah 32.27 no longer excite us? Why do we stop exploring the limits of Matthew 19.26c or Jeremiah 33.3? Why is our God ‘big enough’? We should be constantly exclaiming Jeremiah 32.17!

        Paul’s never ending search for the answer to his question, “Who are you, Lord”, was continually rewarded. He implies this in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5 (2 Corinthians 4.7 & 12.9; written AD 56) and Ephesians 3.20-21 (AD 60). He was evermore confident in the power of God which he continually discovered in the name ‘Jesus’ (Philippians 2.9-11) and encouraged that discovery for each of us.

        But, how much is enough for you?

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Praise God!!! Copyright © 2018 by Maurice L. Painter. www.sozoclass.com

April 8, 2018 God Speaks The Future He Wants

God Speaks The Future He Wants

The Apostle Paul quotes Isaiah 45.23 to alert his readers in Romans 14.11 of a future certainty: “‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess [i.e., “swear allegiance”] to God.’” Paul would later reveal this eternal certainty as an ever-present reality in Philippians 2.9-11, adding in verses 12-13 his encouragement to personally apply the name “Jesus” to your circumstance [with the assistance of the Holy Spirit (John 16.11 and Mark 16.20 concerning Spiritual warfare)]. Both eternal and temporal salvation are God’s desired reality for man; see, respectively, John 3.16 and Acts 4.12 (in the context of faith in “Jesus” for healing in Acts 3.1-16).

Speaking the future He wants is the habit of God seen in Scripture

  1. To make the Earth a habitable environment for the earth-suit clothing His image 
in man (Genesis 1.26-28 & 7), God fashioned (refashioned?) the “void” by speaking into existence (Hebrews 11.3) light, water, vegetables, trees, fruits, fish, fowl, and cattle (Genesis 1.1-25 & 29-31).
  2. God spoke the future release of the Hebrews to Moses through a burning bush at Horeb, “the mountain of God” (Exodus 3.1). “Horeb” is “a general name for the whole mountain range of which Sinai was one of the summits (Ex 3:1 17:6; Ex 3:1 Ps 106:19)…a huge mountain block, about 2 miles long by about 1 in breadth, with a very spacious plain at its north-east end…in which the Israelites encamped for nearly a whole year” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary).
  3. God trained the wandering Hebrews to prepare them to drive out the nations that were polluting His land (Genesis 15.16 & Leviticus 18.24-25 & Exodus 33.2 & Deuteronomy 7.1). What is the comparison with the polluted nations of today? Through Spiritual warfare, Christians are to drive the deceiving demons out and “occupy til I come” (Luke 19.13, KJV).
  4. God did this because “all things are Your servants” (Psalm 119.91; illustrated in Joshua 24.27, Exodus 17.6, Leviticus 25.55, Philippians 2.7.)

God repeats Jeremiah 1.5 and John 3.27, even, today. He commissions 
each servant He calls to let Him lead through them to complete the task He assigns to each. So, what task has God assigned to you?

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Praise God!!!

Copyright © 2018 by Maurice L. Painter. www.sozoclass.com