Friday, September 19, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Likewise You Husbands.... (1 Peter 3:7 KJV)



Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. (1 Peter 3:7 KJV)

This word, 'likewise' is interesting.  I noticed that Peter used it when speaking to the wives.  He said, "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands...."  Then in this passage to the husbands, again, he says, "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge..."

Likewise means "equally, in the same way.  In the same way as what?  We have to go back to 1 Peter 2 to find that out.  

For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:19-24 KJV)

Wait a minute, Peter!  This is talking about suffering wrongfully!  What does that have to do with the marriage relationship?  Think about it.  When  you bring two fallen human beings together, to live under the same roof, who each have had different upbring, different personalities, different ideas about how things should be done etc, someone at some point is going to feel they are suffering wrongly.  And so Peter says, "Likewise..."  We are to follow Christ's example in committing ourselves to God and being patient while doing good to our spouse.  So Peter says, "Likewise..." to the husband as well as the wife.  It applies equally to both.

Women are different than men.  I don't think I need to go into all the details, but suffice it to say, we are different. Peter tells the men to dwell with them according to knowledge.  Men, learn all you can about how women are different. Learn what a woman's needs are for spiritual leadership, security, tenderness, physcial touch outside the bedroom without sexual strings attached for performance later, notice of her efforts around the house & cooking meals, offers of help from time to time with chores,  etc.

Honor your wife for who she is.  Show your kids, if you have any, what she is worth to you and what she contributes to the family.  Help your kids appreciate their mom.

Peter talks about the woman being the weaker vessel and the women's "lip" movement has really jumped all over that because they want to be considered equal to men in every way.  I'm not sure what the big deal is.  They seem to ignore the physical biological facts.  Women are different than men. Period.  Study any human biology/anatomy book and you will see it.  The female body is different and a little bit weaker than the male counterpart in structure and design. 

The whole bit about the husband being head of the wife in Scripture has nothing to do with him lording it over her, demanding service and generally being a tyrant.  It has everything to do with being a leader in the marriage relationship and being considerate of what the wife feels and thinks and taking her into consideration when making decisions that affect both.  

We are equals in Christ.  We are both heirs together of the grace of life found in Jesus Christ and the husband  is to live with his wife with this knowledge.  

Their prayers will not be hindered when these principles are followed.  If these principles are not followed it leads to difficulties in the relationship and prayers are hindered because there is no agreement.  How can you REALLY pray together if there are underlying issues hindering the relationship?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Nagging=Taking Responsibility that Belongs to Someone Else (1 Peter 3:1-6 KJV)


Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. (1 Peter 3:1-6 KJV)

Okay, now Peter has left practical Christian living and has gone to meddling!  At least that is what some of us would think.  This is extremely practical advice, if only it was easy to live by it!

It's way too easy for us women to nag our husbands.  Two ways to know if you are nagging are these:
1. He doesn't listen to you.  He ignores you.
2. He gets agitated with you when you talk.

Ouch!

Basically, Peter is saying that if the husband is not obeying the Word of God, it is not our responsibility to nag him into obeying it.  That will never work.  Basically, when we nag about anything,  it's because we are trying to take responsibility for someone else's actions or lack thereof and we women have far too many things on our plates to take on someone else's responsibilities as well.

Simply put, it's not our responsibility to see that our husband grows spiritually, reads his Bible, prays, attends church and does what he is supposed to do.  These things are his responsibility and our nagging about it will not help.  Well, it might help for the short term just to get you off his back, but the heart issue won't be fixed.

So Peter is telling us that if we live our lives with a conscience toward God, being in subjection to our husband's wishes, with a meek and quiet spirit, trusting God to do His perfect will that the husband may be won by this behavior to be obedient to the Word of God.  

Notice the word may.  It doesn't say he will be won, but that he may be won.  What does this mean?  It means that we are to obey God in this behavior regardless of whether the outcome is favorable to our desires or not.  Our obedience is not to be conditional.  Take responsibility for your actions alone.  Your husband's actions are not your responsibility, so stop trying to make them your responsibility by nagging him.

This passage doesn't apply only to those whose husbands do not obey the word of God.  It applies to all of us who are married.  Even women who have husbands who are the perfect spiritual leaders in the home and that are easy to submit to have problems at times deferring to their husband's wishes and leadership.  We are all prone to nagging at one time or another.  It can be just nagging him as we leaves for work in the morning..."Don't forget the...  Remember to do...  Be sure you get..."  We often treat our husbands like we do the kids.  Yes, we are supposed to be their helpmeet, assisting them to make their life easier as the provider for the household, but we need to find the balance between a friendly reminder and nagging.  We need to find the balance between letting them take responsibility for things and our fear that they might mess up and make us look bad.

Sometimes it's a delicate dance to know when you have left off being helpful and encouraging and gone to nagging.  The key, I think is the quiet and meek spirit.  If you feel the fear building up within that if you don't "remind" him of this or that, that you might be imbarrassed somehow, then you are probably nagging.  If your reminder is simply to help make life a little easier for him and he appreciates the reminder, then you are being a helpmeet.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Justice versus Fairness (1 Peter 2:20-25 KJV)



For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. (1 Peter 2:20-25 KJV)


Do you ever feel like life is unfair?  Were you in line for a promotion and the boss played favorites and promoted his buddy over you?  Did you marry your highschool sweetheart with dreams of how wonderful married life would be only to find it was less than desirable?  Have you been let go from your job because you are a Christian and refuse to go out and get drunk with your superiors?  Has a friend or family member suffered serious illness or injury at no fault of their's?  Look at the slaughter of Christians and others in the Middle East. Yes, we can say life is unfair from our perspective.

But wait.  If we expect and demand fairness what would that look like?  Was Jesus treated fairly?  No. If life was all fair what affect would that have on our salvation?  As sinners we are all deserving of Hell.  If life were fair that's where we would all go.  But Christ was treated unfairly, from our perspective, so that His people could be saved from Hell.  He took the sins of His people upon Himself and took our punishment to make peace with God the Father on our behalf.  No, it wasn't fair, but it was just.

Justice demands a price be paid for sin.  The price is separation from God. Justice must be served.  It was served on Jesus in our place.  Fairness demands that all be treated equally.  If fairness was the standard, then all would go to heaven, and heaven would be filled with sin and no longer would be heaven and none would be any better off than they are now or all would go to Hell. That would be fair.

So when we think we have been treated unfairly, think about the cross and how "unfairly" Jesus was treated. Praise God this world is not fair!  




Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Thinking about Writing a Book....



I want to write a book on perspective for caregivers.  Here is a screen shot of my brainstorming for this project.


Do you have any thoughts or suggestions?









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Marsha's Musings: Suffering Wrongfully. (1 Peter 2:19-20 KJV)




For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (1 Peter 2:19-20 KJV)

A reminder that Peter wrote during the time of Nero who was bent on destroying Christianity and Christians at any cost.  In this light, what he says is remarkable.  

Watching the news about the cold blooded murders going on in Iraq and Syria as ISIS purges the land of Christians and others not willing to convert to Islam is indeed frightening and many are being persecuted wrongly simply because they have a conscience toward God.  

If this sort of thing came to our soil would we be able to stand and take it patiently if we have done no wrong?  Are we able to take it patiently now, in the job place, if we are treated wrongfully for doing good in God's eyes?  I wonder, would I cave or would I be strong?




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Marsha's Musings: Employee/Employer Relationships. (1 Peter 2:18 KJV)

Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. (1 Peter 2:18 KJV)

Peter moves on from submission to governmental authorities to the servant/master relationship.  Since we here in the USA don't have, as a general rule, servant/master situations, this verse can easily be applied to the employee/employer relationship. 

He is pretty clear that the employee is supposed to do what the boss expects of them in a respectful manner.  The word fear not only implies a certain awe of his position, knowing he could fire you if you don't perform well, but the word fear also means reverence.  Not reverence in the sense of worship, but reverent in the sense of giving your boss due respect.

Peter goes so far as to say we are to treat even the most irritating boss in a submissive respectful manner!  It's been many years since I have been employed outside the home, but I remember when I was employed how the employees talked behind the boss's back.  I dare say that Peter probably includes not only how we treated the boss to his face but also how we talked about him behind his back. This is hard stuff to apply when everyone else around you is degrading the boss. It's all to easy to follow the crowd.

So what about that boss who just doesn't treat you well?  What can you do about that?  There are a number of options you might consider.

1. Changing jobs
2. Respectfully share your grievance with him...maybe he would change something
3. Stay put and stick it out
4.  Use the problem solving chart to figure out your options
In a day when good jobs are scarce, Biblical advice on how we should conduct ourselves is so important. 

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Sunday, September 07, 2014

Marsha's Musings: The Will of God and Intent to Homeschool Forms (1 Peter 2:15-16 KJV)




For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. (1 Peter 2:15-16 KJV)

Ever wonder what God's will is for your life?  Here is one facet of God's will.  It's in the context of the previous verses that say we should submit to governmental authorities.

Here is an example. In my state, homeschoolers are supposed to turn their intent to homeschool form at the district public school office each year before the fifteenth of September.  My son is eighteen years old and for all practical purposes is considered an adult so even though we planned to homeschool an extra year by mutual agreement, I figured it wouldn't be necessary to file my intent because of his age. So I ignored the first notice in July.

Now I have a second notice stating with more urgency that I need to fill out my form or call them to report he graduated.  It kind of got my ire up because at his age I figured it's none of their business! Then after I wrote the devotional thoughts on yesterday's post, it dawned on me that I need to comply. This is God's will for me. On today's to-do list will be a note to take care of that.



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Marsha's Musings: Why is 'Fear God' in the Middle? (1 Peter 2:17 KJV)


Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. (1 Peter 2:17 KJV)

It's interesting that Peter puts 'fear God' in the middle of this verse instead of at the beginning.  If one truly fears God all the rest will fall into place.  But maybe there is good reason for this order.

It was easy to honour other people. It was easy to love other Christians.  But at the time of this writing Nero was in power.  It was very hard to honour someone such as Nero and so I think the exhortation to fear God came at this point in the verse for a very good reason. If you feared God, you would be able to honour Nero.  Notice, he didn't say like him. He said honour him. Just like you can do loving things for some you don't love, you can also honour someone who is dishonorable and whom you dislike.  When you fear God you can do this.

How does this apply to me today?  I have a lot of work to do to honour the present administration.  It's hard to know where to draw the line between disrespect and telling the truth about the occupant of the White House.  Perhaps it has to do with attitude?  When does it cross over from telling the truth about what he is doing to character assassination? These are things I need to ponder.


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Marsha's Musings: Oh, THAT Word (1 Peter 2:13-14 KJV)





Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. (1 Peter 2:13-14 KJV)

What word raises the hackles of lots of people?  The word is submit. People don't want to submit because they feel it is demeaning.  In a world where everyone scratches a claws their way to the top nobody wants to submit. That means you lose!

And then we have this command to submit to governmental authorities.  Really?  What about corrupt leaders like we have now?  I will answer that later.

The word submit means to arrange under. It's a military term.  The soldiers arrange themselves under the command of their commanding officer.  So in the place of employment the employee works under the direction of the employer, carrying out his orders.  In marriage, the wife arranges herself under the authority of her husband. That's not to say she is a doormat and has no say in the decisions of the household. She just defers to his wishes.  In the place of government, we are to obey the laws that our government has set up.  We submit to the law.

Is there ever a time when not submitting is appropriate?  Yes.  If the leader in authority is asking people to do things that are contrary to Scripture and are morally wrong then we are to appeal to that authority in an effort to get things changed. If there is no change then it is time to resist in that area.  

Good government is set up to maintain order, punish evil doers and encourage those who do well.


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Saturday, September 06, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Two Things Strangers and Pilgrims Should Do (1 Peter 2:11-12 KJV)


Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:11-12 KJV)

This world is not my home, I'm just passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue...

I can't remember the rest of the lyrics but I remember that much and the tune from my childhood. We are strangers and pilgrims in this world and we are just passing through. There are two things we are supposed to do to make our mark in this world.

1. Abstain from fleshly lusts...they war against your soul
2. Let your conversation be honest among unbelievers 

You never know how your actions may influence a nonbeliever. They may call us evil doers now, but who knows, maybe our actions will one day cause them to rethink their position and we will find ourselves rejoicing beside them in heaven one day?!





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Friday, September 05, 2014

Marsha's Musings: 7 Things About Believers In Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:9-10 KJV)



But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10 KJV)

*chosen
*royal priesthood
*holy nation
*people for his own possession 
*called out of darkness into marvelous light
*God's people
*received mercy

Look at all the descriptions that apply to those of us God has saved!  Does the way that I live match what I am in Christ?

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Living Stones and Other Stuff. (1 Peter 2:4-8 KJV)

To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. (1 Peter 2:4-8 KJV)

Here is this passage from the ESV:

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. (1 Peter 2:4-8 ESV)


We as Christians are "stones" in the building that is the Church. We see in our world every day how these "living stones" (Christians) are being rejected by men.  We see it in the laws that are passed. We see it when activists sue Christian bakery and flower shop owners for exercising their consciences. We see it in the massacres and beheadings of Christian families in Iraq and elsewhere. Christians are rejected.

We may be rejected by men, but God chose us and saved us and considers us precious.  He has chosen us to be a holy priesthood to offer acceptable spiritual sacrifices through Christ. What is a spiritual sacrifice?  

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. -Romans 12:1
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. -Romans 12:2

Jesus is the corner stone.  If our trust is in Him we will not be ashamed.  But to those who do not believe on Him He is a stumbling stone and is offensive to them. They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.  Here is a question: were they destined to disobey the word and stumble or were they destined to stumble as a result of their disobedience?

I think it works both ways.  

What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 9:30-33 KJV)

They were destined to stumble because they disobeyed in trying to attain righteousness by works.

And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, (Romans 9:10-11, 16-23 KJV)

This passage shows they disobey and stumble because God hardened their hearts. 

Man's nature is fallen.  All men in their fallen natures have a free will to act within that fallen nature. Man will only act within his fallen nature and reject God, unless God changes his heart and gives him a desire to come to Him in faith and obedience to Him.  Is God unjust to give mercy and faith to some and not others?  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

Let's say you have one thousand criminals on death row and the President chooses to give a Presidential pardon to fifteen of them.  Is he being unjust to pardon the fifteen. No. Would he be unjust to not pardon any? No. They were all destined to die anyway. He just chose to show mercy on some.  Is God unjust to show mercy on some sinners but not on others?  All have sinned and are headed for Hell. Is He obligated to our standard of justice (fairness)?  

My take home lesson in all of this is

1.  I am precious to God no matter what others may say.
2.  Am I offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ?
3.  Do I show by my life that Jesus Christ is precious to me?
4.  God is sovereign over all things...even salvation.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Newborn Babies. (1 Peter 2:1-3 KJV)



Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. (1 Peter 2:1-3 KJV)

New born babies know nothing of malice, guile, hypocrisy, envie or evil speaking, but we have all seen babies that are hungry.  They want milk! They need milk to grow.

Like the newborn baby, we must desire the milk of God's word if we are to grow in our spiritual lives.  Unlike the newborn, however, we do know about all those nasty things mentioned.  As sinners these things are a natural part of our lives.  We must consciously lay them aside.  This is hard work. It takes diligence.

If we have been saved by God's grace, we have tasted that The Lord is gracious and as a result we will desire the milk of the word.  If a baby has no desire for milk then the baby is sick or worse has no signs of life.  If a person has no desire for the milk of God's word they are either spiritually ill or they were never saved to begin with and do not have life in Christ.

We must be careful in our judgement of others who may be going through a dry period in their Christian experience.  It is easy to assume that someone is not really a believer if we are not seeing growth and desire for God's word.  It is not our place to judge their hearts as we do not always know how God works.  But we must be ready to come along side and encourage them. 

Monday, September 01, 2014

Marsha's Musings: What Will Last? (1 Peter 1:24-25 KJV)



For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (1 Peter 1:24-25 KJV)

This says it plainly.  All the accomplishments and glory man achieves will one day fade.  The only thing that matters and that will endure forever is the word of God, the promises of God set forth in the Gospel.

Does this mean we should not bother trying to achieve and do well since it will all fade away? Why bother?  Here is the answer to "why bother?".  

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV)

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (Ecclesiastes 9:10 KJV)

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 KJV)

We need to remember one thing. We work hard because God has saved us.  We do not work to get God to save us.

Ultimately the only thing that lasts on this earth is the word of God. Since nothing we do from a man centered view will last we need to do all that we do with a conscience toward God for His glory.  Work done with a conscience toward Him will have lasting value.

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15 KJV)


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Love for the Brethren (1 Peter 1:22-23 KJV)



Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Peter 1:22-23 KJV)

Loving one another should be the result of having had our souls purified by obedience to the truth of God's word through the work of the Holy Spirit, having been born again by the incorruptible seed of the word of God.  Love for other Christians is one of the signs of God's work in the heart.

How is this evident in my own life?  In what ways do I fail to love others as I should?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Marsha's Musings: that your faith and hope might be in God (1 Peter 1:17-21 KJV)



And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. (1 Peter 1:17-21 KJV)

If you take the beginning of this passage alone without the whole of Scripture, you could come up with a doctrine of salvation by works.  But we know from other Scriptures that this is not what the Bible teaches. 

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Titus 3:5 KJV)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)

The verse must be taken in the context of where it is found as well in the context of Scripture as a whole.  Our pastor says that God judges all men by works. The unsaved are judged by their works of self righteousness and because they fall short of God's standard will be rewarded in Hell.  The elect are judged according to the work of Christ on their behalf and because Christ's work meets God's perfect standard, they are rewarded in Heaven.

I love the second half of this:

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 

There is a lot of doctrine right there!

* Our salvation is not secured with things that can be corrupted
* Our salvation is secured by the precious blood of Christ
    >without blemish or spot
    >foreordained before the foundation of the world
    >manifest for us
* Our Part
   >believe in God 
     ~raised Christ from the dead
     ~gave him glory
    >faith and hope in God alone (His works alone, not our works)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Key to Holiness (1 Peter 1:14-16 KJV)

Snowflake Photo credit: Sarah Iddings


As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:14-16 KJV)

Think about what was or is important to you when you were or are living according to your own ideas and rules.  All of us slip from time to time and that is why I stated that last sentence with  past and present tense. During those times how do you think?  Are you thinking more about what would benefit you than what God would have you to do?  Do you think more about how you want things to be for your comfort or do you think about what would bring glory to God? Are you more concerned during those times about climbing the ladder of success instead of defining success from God's point of view?

I think this is what Peter is driving at. Obedient children of God fashion themselves according to God's purpose...holiness, not according to their own fleshly desires. That's not to say we attain perfection by any means, but we should simply live with a conscience toward God and He will sanctify us and make us holy, fit vessels for His use. 



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Problem Solving Chart


This is a problem solving chart. I thought it was helpful. The original chart that I got from a book was designed for kids with autism spectrum disorders.  I took that chart and expanded on it so it would work for the Christian person.  It's a great tool no matter if a person has autism or other mental disorders or if one is neurotypical.  It brings clarity to a problem by helping you figure out just what your options are.

I copy the whole chart into an app on my iPad called My Script. Then I can use the hand writing feature cross off options, write solutions or problems associated with potential solutions.  It clarifies the whole situation and gives direction.