Journal Entry 7

So the neighbors, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, “Is this not the one who used to sit and beg?”

John 9:8

PRAYER

Lord, I pray our neighbors recognize the time of our blind begging for the purpose of receiving your grace to see. Thank you for grace and faith to hope in you, Jesus Christ, for the day we’ll see your face. Amen.


SIN


To find yourself in a place with a choice – Independent will or dependent will? Which would you choose and why? How that choice is answered, I believe, reveals the nature of sin.

To have a mind with the capacity to know good and evil is to have a heart for independent will, but is an independent will of good… or evil… ? If by the grace of God my work to the outline of biblical passages presented above proves worthy, then, I believe, the reader will discover that independent will is in fact… evil. That reality of such inspiration cannot be created by man, because to be holy inspired, is to be sanctified from what—independent will—prevented revelation by inspiration of dependent will. But dependent upon who’s will goes beyond our quantum reality into the above; where the divine nature of Christ is seated. And it is there, that our faith takes us, if indeed, our faith is in Jesus Christ.

The scripture verse’s that I think prove the case for a person exercising dependent will to be of ‘good’ are these, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” and again, He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink from it, Your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42; Luke 22:42).

Lucifer was created a divine (anointed cherub) being that was perfect until unrighteousness was found, and the gospel reveals the psychology that distinguishes Christ from the Antichrist, or Jesus Christ from Lucifer; the difference being, …yet not My will, but Yours… against …I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High (Isaiah 14:13-14). Sin… is of a will independent of God.

Until tomorrow…

Journal Entry 6

When He had said this, He spit on the ground, and made mud from the saliva, and applied the mud to his eyes, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he left and washed, and came back seeing. 

John 9:6-7

PRAYER

I pray we come back seeing, Lord. Amen.


INQUIRY

So then what is the biblical nature of each path and their interconnected significance? And, Who is Jesus?

Okay *interlock fingers and crack knuckles* …pause… Let me get some coffee for this *gets up from seated position, proceeds to coffee maker with haste, dumps enough coffee in filter to kill a small horse* LETS DO THI— …pause… *laughs it off* Get focused; alright, here we go!

While my coffee is brewing, Lord, please grace me/us with the power and glory of You, for understanding the will of God in our lives. Thank you Father, in Jesus Christ; amen.

Figure 1

To understand the interconnected web in our figure 1 image, we first need to understand the biblical nature of each path.

LEARNING

  • REWARD
  • SIN
  • BELIEF
  • UNBELIEF
  • DEATH
REWARD
Figure 2

The biblical nature of reward revealed by the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 16:7,13), from my perspective, is as follows. *Coffee now at hand* …Rejoice on that day and jump for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven… (Luke 6:23). Jesus taught of reward in heaven by our faithful endurance against the hate of the world… Blessed are you when the people hate you, and when they exclude you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man… (Luke 6:23). Which then begs the question. Am I hated by the world? Are you hated by the world? Being hated by the world is a tangible evidence to those blessed by God (which we’ll talk more about in future posts Lord willing), their reward is great in heaven. But lets back up to the first part of that phrase, Rejoice on that day… Why does Jesus say “…on that day” and not ‘today’ or ‘tomorrow’? What does Jesus mean by “day“? What is a ‘day’ to God?

[Lets see how studied we are in the Word of God; you’ll have an idea—or quite possibly know exactly—where I’m about to go by the Holy Spirit revealing His presence in you, assuring you of whether we’re on the right path; if you’re not someone studied in the Word of God, but are hungry and thirsty for learning righteousness, that appetite is the Holy Spirit serving your soul with spiritual food for growth and maturity, examine this with trusted believers; if you’re someone resisting the Spirit of Truth in the Word of God—presented in the passages of scripture following—then please consider softening your heart to the knowledge of the truth, seek the Lord at His Word and His people the Church, because God loves you.]

There are several passages to consider (Psalm 90:4; Ecclesiastes 6:6; 2 Peter 3:8; Revelation 20:2-7), but look at what the apostle Peter writes regarding the meaning of a “day” to God:

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

—Cephas (Peter)

Peter instructs us …be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8). So when we look back to what Jesus said—Rejoice on that day…—we can see that the day our Lord is referring to is a future day, the day of a thousand years; the millennial reign of Christ our Lord, Jesus. This is the first resurrection (Revelation 20:6). When a disciple—such as the apostles—suffer in this world of hatred by bearing the name of Jesus, then …your reward is great in heaven. So how are the apostles’ reward great in heaven? These men will sit on thrones, just take a moment to think about that … they’ll sit on thrones!

The scripture I’m about to present to you will reveal the nature of our great reward, and it’s such an encouragement as those of us suffer for the sake of Christ; that does not mean we inflict suffering upon ourselves by annoying people to death with what the world does not care to understand, and then call that “suffering”, because that is not suffering with Christ, that’s a desperate escape from putting in the labor of learning the Word of God and from experiencing the necessary discipline of our Father, and Lord, in heaven, by the Holy Spirit, while alive on earth. Now lets dive deep into the Word of God.

And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)

The gospel according to the apostle Matthew records the prophetic Word of Christ to our consciences by reading …the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones… and so now, right now, is that time of regeneration (Titus 3:4-6) by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8) as Jesus is already sitting on His glorious throne (Hebrews 12:1-2) mediating (Hebrews 8:6) from above through the portal [Promises/Providence]—like a ladder (John 1:51)—of His covenant down below to us here and now alive on earth awaiting with patience this great reward; the crown of the first resurrection (2 Timothy 4:7-8; Revelation 20:6) at His appearing; the millennial reign of Christ our Lord.

If you’re concerned that you are not among those of this reward. Then please listen to the Holy Spirit about the nature of that concern. I’m still exploring this revelation with prayer. Test everything presented with the Word of God by the Holy Spirit.

Until tomorrow…

Journal Entry 5

Jesus answered, It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must carry out the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”

John 9:3-5

Father, thank you for the sovereignty of Christ our Lord. I pray that your readers will honor the Light that you are in this world as the people of salt and light you’ve graced them to be. Thank you for our gift; He is our Helper, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, according to your Word (John 14:26; 16:7,13). Amen


Our featured image has evolved. In it, you’ll notice the green lines interconnecting the paths:

  • REWARD
  • SIN
  • BELIEF
  • UNBELIEF
  • DEATH

In my previous journal entry I’d expressed my concern about the nature of our green path of belief because belief, I believe, is the portal between the divine nature and human nature of which reveals the spiritual condition of a person for the sake of ministry to him or her. However, if the minister is not believing in Jesus Christ (The Minister) to be the Son of God sent of the Father for the proclamation of good news to the sinners’ remission of sin by grace through faith in Him [Jesus Christ] as salvation…then the portal to the divine that inspires that minister is being inspired by a different spirit, an evil spirit, not the Holy Spirit. And that might well be you or I if not checked, examined, and evaluated by the Word of God—which is what I mean to do by journaling the nature of my concern for discernment in following obedience (John 15:12-17).

So then what is the biblical nature of each path and their interconnected significance? For the sake of time, I may need to hold off until tomorrow, but as a note to self… Who is Jesus?—Why did I theme that? I don’t remember why I put that question in there, but whatever, I’m sure it will come back to me.

Journal Entry 4

As Jesus passed by, He saw a man who had been blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?”

John 9:1-2

Abba, thank you for the Light of your Truth. I pray those of us born blind in Adam since birth will read the saliva of spit and mud that is Jesus Christ, go wash, and come back seeing your Son. I pray those of us seeing (Church in Christ) will become blind faithful workers in honor of our Lord the Savior. Please strengthen us, bless us with courage, according to your will in Christ our Lord, Jesus. Amen.


In the featured image you’ll notice the many different arrows (“belief”, “reward”, “sin”, “unbelief”, and “death”) indicating directions, but I must clarify, they’re not directions; they’re paths. There is only one direction of which encompasses different paths of many sub-paths … paths of eternal significance leading in the direction of millennial judgement and eternal judgement (Hebrews 6:1-3, Revelation 20: 4-6, 11-15). And I pray you don’t run away at that, don’t think of judgement as what might easily be confused with a mythical tyrant god excited at the idea of punishment. That’s not what’s being communicated upon interpreting biblical judgement. And that is something I look forward to exploring together if the Lord permits.

The question I have that concerns me for every person (including myself) is the spiritual nature by which reveals the judgement of mine and your path’s—our path, individually and corporately—once the travel is concluded. For instance…

Some may look at the green path of belief and believe they’re on the right path, but what is the nature of that belief? If the nature of your belief is not in Jesus Christ for salvation from sin…then are you on the right path? Is your belief…Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ Because if Jesus doesn’t know you, then the nature of your belief is in yourself, another person, or perhaps, providence, ect.; but it is not in Christ to be known by Him. D

All of these path’s are interconnected, and I’ll stop there for now, until tomorrow.

Journal Entry 3

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32

Please keep me in your Word that the truth will set me free. I pray this also for my readers. Please keep us in your Word, Lord our God. Amen.

I’ve been reading through a lot of content lately—hence my absence—and plan on organizing what I’ve learned by their work to show my work to you, readers. It takes me back to school hearing the teacher conclude their lecture, “…and don’t forget to show your work.”

I’m so thankful for those before us that did their work and showed it for our learning. I’ve taken for granted so much, and I repent.

I do want to dig into the featured photo, eventually, because there is so much to extract from it. I can also foresee it evolving… one step at a time, Nathan.

I’ve missed writing like this, it’s therapeutic; keeps me engaged and connected. It also encourages consistency, which I’ve failed miserably at, and that reminds me. I’m still doing my Proverb’s devotionals in case anyone was curious.

Alright, lets keep this simple. Lord willing I’ll have another post at 6a tomorrow. Pray I’m consistent in my work.

Love you all like the sun loves the flower!

Journal Entry 2

I think I’ve discovered that I enjoy creating the featured photo more than the writing portion of my work… okay, maybe not more, but there is a unique joy I experience from that creativity.

I’m working on a bible study project called “New Foundation” that I hope to start publishing soon, but there is a problem. I get too excited. It’s not a problem that I get excited, but when I get too excited. So when I do, I’ll rest from the project; but then when I come back, realize it’s not ready. And that’s my problem; when is it ever ready?—I ask myself.

However, I believe God has granted me the grace to work while I work—and then some—by these Journal Entry posts. I feel it relieves the pressure to my emotional dilemma preventing my progress in the edification of incoming biblical projects such as the aforementioned.

Take a look at the featured photo and notice the figure at the bottom left. If you’re curious whether your speculation is accurate, it is. As a taste of what you’ll discover when I’ve published “New Foundation”, everyone is on a visibly different path, but invisibly, in one direction. So as I sit here as the one you see in the photo, am looking deep into the recesses of my spirit, asking myself, what do the paths’ mean? And am found deeply concerned for… everyone.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Psalms 119:105

*Write you tomorrow— 0600 sharp!

Journal Entry – 1

I’m deeply encouraged by my brother Dallas’ 14 day Colossians Bible Study. It’s had such a tremendous impact on me (personally) throughout, but especially because of the impact it’s having and will continue to have on those whom I love. There is no greater… rather; what value can compare? From the small percentage of experience I have in this life will not compare to the eternal value of God’s Word. Thank you Lord, for Dallas, and all our family of the truly – faithful.

Grace Be With You

Colossians Bible Study Day 14 of 14

Read Colossians 4:7-18

7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. 9 He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.

10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.

17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”

18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

There is so much we can learn about the early church in this passage and then so much we can learn from each observation.

  1. Paul did not travel alone
    • You are not called to spread the gospel by yourself. Jesus did not send out the disciples one by one, but in twos (Luke 10:1). Sharing Jesus is a team sport, so when you embark on a gospel mission take a friend or two with you *Ecclesiastes 4:12).
  2. “…Nympha and the church in her house.” (Colossians 4:15)
    • Nympha was a female, and it was in her house that the church met. This observation shows us that the women were afforded a very prominent role in the early church, not just laymen membership.
    • Also, the church is not just a building that we go to; from the very beginning it was meant to impact one’s household.
  3. “My fellow prisoner” (Colossians 4:10)
    • A phrase that should be an example to us all of what it looks like to make the most of every opportunity. While Paul is literally in prison, he has been exhorting, admonishing, and teaching the Christians in Collase (and us) about the Christian faith. He is encouraging us to walk the walk knowing that we may end up like him – behind bars and in chains.

Diving Deeper

Find two more observations and write down your own lessons.

  1. _________________________
    • ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. _________________________
    • ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A Final Word

I hope you enjoyed this study on Colossians. It was my first time to write a devotional and I found it challenging, but rewarding. It required me to sit in each text longer and to dig deeper into each passage for patterns and emphasis that I would have not otherwise seen.

I hope you found out new and lovely things about God, you, and others.

For all of my deep divers, thank you! I hope you were blessed by the challenges and have been rewarded with a deeper relationship with Jesus. On Day 7, I asked you to think about a habit you need to stop or start; now is the time to take your first step in starting a new habit or removing an old vice.

If you enjoyed this Bible Study on Colossians please consider forwarding day 1 to your friends/family. 

Finally, below is a checklist for you to reflect on and be encouraged about all the things you accomplished during this study.

A Checklist

__ Prayed for fellow Christians
__ Read a chapter in the gospels
__ Memorized scripture (Colossians 1: 21-23)
__ Talked with someone in need of a loving friend
__ Exposed lies that you believed
__ Discovered themes in Paul’s letters to the Colossians
__ Stopped a bad habit
__ Started a good habit
__ Spent time doing something that brought you closer to God
__ Discovered what it looked like to focus your heart and mind on ‘things above’
__ Exposed some of your prejudices
__ Found out how God views you in Colossians 3:12
__ Changed your work habits
__ Learned about biblical slavery
__ Learned what it means to submit
__ Made a commitment to pray for missionaries for 10 days__ Learned about and from the early church

Grace be with you.

This Is Grace And It Is Wonderful

Colossians Bible Study Day 13 of 14

Read Colossians 4:2-6

2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

“…know how to answer everyone.” What a huge call! How can we do this? How can we know enough to be able to answer everyone?

The answer is actually pretty simple. If our conversations are full of grace we can answer everyone (v6).

I often like to tell myself that I need to learn more before I talk to others about Jesus. However, it is grace, not knowledge, that allows us the ability to answer everyone. 

So what does grace look like? Let me tell you a story about my sister, Hope.

Shortly after Hope acquired a used car she allowed me to drive it from the front of the house to the back driveway. I was still learning to drive, but this was a really simple trip and one that I had done before. Our street was in the shape of an L and I easily maneuvered through the road in front of the houses into the alleyway. As I was beginning to turn right at the elbow of the alley I accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake… and instead of turning I ended up putting the car through a neighbors’ fence…

I forgot to mention there was construction going on in the alley.

Bordering the alley (in seemingly random spots) were large 5’-7’ feet deep holes. AND yes, I did manage to drive into the fence directly over one of those holes, suspending the front two tires in the air. Hope’s car was front wheel drive meaning that not only did I wreck my sister’s brand new car, but I also stranded it in the air as well.

I remember waiting for Hope to yell, to cry, to be angry, but instead Hope looked at me and with genuine concern asked, “Are you okay?”

Hope’s love for me far exceeded the love of her new car. It far exceeded the unfortunate situation. Hope immediately cast out my offense against her and granted me undeserved love.

This is grace and it is wonderful.


God’s grace outmatches that. It exceeds the deepest of offenses and it is far more accessible. God offers undeserved love to anyone who is willing to receive it.

“Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning.” ~ Frederick William Faber

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8

Now go and may your conversations be full of grace.

Diving Deeper

Paul tells his readers three different times to pray in this passage of scripture alone, and even asks for prayers for him and his mission. Have you been praying for missionaries? They need it. Make a commitment to pray for them everyday for the next 10 days. If you know any missionaries let them know they were prayed for. They may really need some encouragement from back home.

They Also Have A Master… In Heaven

Colossian Bible Study Day 12 of 14

*before you start please read the note about biblical slavery at the bottom of this post

Read Colossians 3:18-4:1

18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

4 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Colossians 3:18-4:1 (NIV)**

Wives, husbands, children, fathers, employees, and bosses all receive instructions in this passage of scripture on how to treat others. Chances are that you fall into at least one of the categories if not more.

One of the most relevant categories may be employees, and to that group of people Paul has the most to say. In verses 23-24 he writes the same thing in three different ways. We are to work as if we are working for God, not men.

When Christians’ work as if we are working for The LORD we are serving God well. We are not serving man, not companies, not family, not money, not government, not even the church. It is our job as employees to serve God by working hard and delivering our best while we are there.

This has been difficult for me, and I confess that I have especially struggled with this when I was discontent with my job. That is no excuse. I must remind myself that as I go about work this week that I do not serve my boss or a client, but God.

As employees we must trust God will deal justly with our bosses. Hopefully your boss is kind, compassionate, and a good leader who lovingly challenges you to be your best. However, if your boss is not that way or you (as a boss) are not that way, Paul has an ominous thought for that person – they also have a Master… in heaven. His name is Yahweh.

Diving Deeper

Think about your work habits. How would they change if you believed you were working for God and not man? Is anything keeping you from changing your work habits, today? If so, is that okay?

*Your translation may use the word slaves in verses 22 & 1. The slavery Paul is speaking into is very different than the early American slavery institution. Got Questions has a very good article on slavery in the bible that I encourage you to read. In the meantime please think of ‘slaves’ more along the lines of employee and ‘master’ more along the lines of boss.

**If the word submit gives you a visceral reaction, I ask that you please pray about it, read this article, and share your feelings with a trusted Christian friend.

I Hear You Got A New Outfit

Colossians Bible Study Day 11 of 14

Read Colossians 3:12-17

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:12-17

Everyday when we put our clothes on we are surrounding ourselves with materials to protect, conceal, and express ourselves. As God’s children Paul has instructed us to clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, empathy, and forgiveness. It is a long list, but it can be summed up in one word: love.

The benefit of our new wardrobe is we might also learn to have the peace of Christ. This peace should lead to thankfulness. Paul’s emphasis on this is clear; three times in verses 15-17 he calls us to be in a state of gratitude.

“…be thankful…” “…with gratitude in your hearts….” “…giving thanks…”

Gratefulness is a direct result of choosing to surround ourselves in God’s love everyday.

Imagine if everyone who read these words went out into the world with a new set of clothes. If we surrounded and expressed ourselves in compassion, humility, and forgiveness. If we were known as loving and thankful people. If, whatever we did, whether in word or deed, we did it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God, our Father.

We would change the world.

Diving Deeper

In verse 12 Paul makes three claims about you.

  1. You are God’s ______________
  2. You are ______________
  3. You are dearly ______________

Sit in those statements. What does that say about You? What does that say about God?

You Are The King’s Child

Colossians Bible Study Day 10 of 14

Read Colossians 3:5-11

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[a] 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Colossians 3:5-11 (NIV)

In Chapter 2 Paul declared that the written code, regulations, and human commands/traditions were dead. They did not apply to the Christian. Now, in chapter 3, we are encouraged not to act in ways that are unpleasant to God.

Our old nature of sin and our new nature in Christ do not mix. They are oil and water, light and darkness. The sin nature that once defined our life is the very reason the wrath of God is coming.

Get rid of it.

Our new self is renewed by growing in knowledge of our Creator. In that knowledge we will discover there is no meaningful difference in race (Greek or Jew), denomination (circumcised or uncircumcised), nationality (barbarian or Scythian), & socioeconomic status (slave or free). Christ has made us all equal. We are adopted heirs to God’s inheritance with Jesus Christ.

You are The King’s Child.

Diving Deeper

What prejudices do you have? Does fear or anger grip you at the sight or mention of Republicans, Democrats, Atheists, Baptists, Rich, Poor, Californians, Texans, etc…. Confess those prejudices to God and your trusted Christian friends and ask for healing (James 5:16) and a renewed mind (Romans 12:2).

We Are To Be Free

Colossians Bible Study Day 9 of 14

Read Colossians 3:1-4

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:1-4 (NIV)

1… 2… 3…

1 time Paul gives us shocking information. You died (v3).

2 times Paul tells us where our focus should be. We should set our hearts (v1) and minds (v2) on things above, not on earthly things.

3 times Paul tells us of our relationship with Jesus – past, present, and future. We have been raised with Christ (v1), our life is now hidden with Christ (v3), and we will appear with Christ in glory (v4).

We were dead with nothing to offer; we were totally separated from God. Then, God bridged the gap through Jesus. He rescued us from our death. 

Now, God has redeems our past, protects our present, and promises our future. We are now alive because of God’s work with Jesus. 

Finally, because of our new life we are to share in Jesus’ glory. Thus, we are free to focus our hearts and minds on things that are not of this world. We are to be free.

Diving Deeper

What does it mean to you to focus your heart and mind on things above?

If you don’t know, no worries. Check out the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:16-34.

Now Go Connect With God

Colossians Bible Study Day 8 of 14

“He has lost connection with the Head [Jesus], from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.” Colossians 2:19 (Brackets are added by me)

What connects you to God? Baking? Walking through nature? Organizing? Music? Serving those in need? Riding Your Bike?

Think about what connects you to God. 

Now do it.

I’m going to go listen to Christmas music.

The Things We Do, Think, & Say

Colossians Bible Study Day 7 of 14

Read Colossians 2:16-23

16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[a] puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

Colossians 2:16-23 (NIV)

Why do we do the things that we do?

Is it because of habit?

Tradition?

Why do we put candles on birthday cakes? Why can’t you publicly talk about Texas A&M without people yelling “WHOOP!” at you? How come you open the same app every time you use your phone?

These are trivial examples, but there are religious habits and traditions too.

Why do you say the same prayer every day before dinner? Is “God works in mysterious ways” really a beneficial thing to say to those who are grieving? Are you really sorry for your actions or do you just not know what to say?

God cares about our lives. He wants them to be meaningful and full of purpose. He wants us to experience life’s pleasures and to enjoy His creation, not just live our lives following cultural standards. Let us put an end to meaningless traditions and regulations, which Paul refers to as the basic principles (some versions say “elemental spirits”) of this world. Let’s stop indulging in these actions because they are based on human tradition and not on Jesus.

How do we do this? How do we turn our habits, especially our good ones, into something of substance?

It requires a mind shift.

Start with your meal-time prayer. Praying is common, but it is also sacred. You are talking with the Ruler of all the powers and authorities on Earth (2:10). Savor it and pray more often, not just at meal times.

“God works in mysterious ways.” Yes, He does, but our hurt loved-ones don’t need a well meant truism; they need shelter and refuge. You know God; so provide for them (Psalm 91:2; Hebrews 3:6). 

We should be thinking about the things we do, think, and say, so we are not participating in meaningless activities. We do this because all habits and traditions are destined to fail at bringing meaning to our lives if they are based on human commands and teachings. Please, don’t waste your time with them. Instead focus on regaining your connection with God.

Diving Deeper

Is there a habit you need to stop? Or perhaps a habit you need to bring meaning to? Dwell on it, make a plan, and we will revisit it at the end of this study. If you cannot think of one ask a close friend or significant other.

Go ahead and read over tomorrow’s devotional. It’s short, and you might need to prepare for it.

Triumphing Over Them By The Cross

Colossians Bible Study Day 6 of 14

Read Colossians 2:9-15

9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Colossians 2: 9-15 (NIV)

Jesus is the ‘head over every power and authority.’ Sit in that for a moment.

Think about all the nations… Politicians… Leaders… and ask yourself who is really in control?

There is one Leader, one King of kings, & one Ruler; His name is Jesus. He has triumphed over every power and authority through His crucifixion and resurrection from the dead. He is LORD of all.

Paul then gives us some imagery for what happens when a person becomes a Christian. He uses immersion baptism to show how we are buried/submerged (putting our sinful nature to death) and then resurrected/emerged (into a new life with Jesus).

What is a new life with Jesus?

Paul explains what a new life with Jesus is later in the letter, but first he explains what it is not. A life with Jesus is not filled with written codes and regulations (v14). It is not a life marked by following the laws of the Old Testament because those have been nailed to the cross.

So if the laws and regulations of the Old Testament (like the Ten Commandments) have been put to death then how should we live?*

Diving Deeper

Paul once again lets us know that Jesus is “the fulness of the Deity” in bodily form, just like he did in Colossians 1:15-20. This idea must be important to Paul. Make a note that one theme of Colossians is ‘Jesus is God in bodily form.’ As you read through Colossians look for more themes to write down next to that one.

*Paul will give us the answer of how a Christian should live later in the Letter.

You Will Recognize Them By Their Fruit

Colossians Bible Study Day 5 of 14

Read Colossians 2:1-8

I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

Colossians 2:1-8 (NIV)

Paul spends a considerable amount of his letter to the Colossians addressing false teachings. In this short section of scripture alone we see two distinct warnings (v4 & 8), but there are many more throughout the letter. These false teachings are a big deal! In fact, it is the reason this letter was written to the Colossians (v2-3).

God, using Paul as his messenger, is telling us that He can be known through Jesus who provides complete understanding, wisdom, and knowledge. BUT is warning us of false teachings that appear as “fine-sounding arguments,” but are actually “deceptive philosophy.”

In light of this message we need to answer two questions 

  1. How do we differentiate fine-sounding arguments from good, sound arguments?
  2. How do we know when philosophy is deceiving us?

In the sermon on the mount Jesus gives us an excellent way to identify false teachers and false teachings.

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Matthew 7: 15-20 (NIV)

Jesus is saying we can identify false teachers and false teaching by monitoring the results of the teaching/teacher. Does your belief lead to peace or depression? Does the teacher’s life look chaotic or harmonious?

You will recognize them by their fruit.  

Diving Deeper

Think about those dark moments; the moments when you are filled with shame or regret. How did you end up there? Were you looking at porn? Did you have too much to drink? Did you say something you shouldn’t have?

First, God’s grace is sufficient and he offers you forgiveness.

Second, I am sorry that happened.

Third, if we find ourselves returning to the same hurtful activity over and over again then we might have more than just a sin problem. We might have a core belief problem. We may be trusting in a false teaching.

I challenge us to explore the areas where we continue to do wrong. Find the root cause of our repeated sin by asking why we do what we do (you might have to ask “why” several times to get there). The goal is that we would dig deep into our hearts until we find a core belief, the false teaching, that is fueling our evil-doing. I’ll give an example below.

Surface Sin – Keep thinking inappropriate sexual thoughts about people other than my spouse
Why? – I want to do those things or relive past experiences
Why? – I think it would be fun
Why? – I think sexual experiences with multiple people is better than monogamy
False Belief – Sexual experiences with multiple people is better than monogamy 

May God expose our hearts to the truth and make known any false teachings we have put our trust in. May He give us the strength to eliminate all of our wrong beliefs and discernment to recognize any false teachers.

Use Your Faith To Be A Better Friend

Colossians Bible Study Day 4 of 14

Read Colossians 1: 24 – 29

24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.

Colossians 1: 24-29

In verse 24 Paul writes one of the more confusing lines in all of the New Testament letters.

“… and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions…”

What could possibly be lacking from Christ’s afflictions? How dare Paul say such a thing! Right?

Well, Paul explains himself in the next verse by saying that he has become a servant “by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness…”

In other words, Paul has become a missionary, which is exactly what you and I are called to be. We, too, make up for what is lacking in regards to Christ’s affliction. Not by doing anything to earn God’s favor or forgiveness, but instead by letting others know of God’s love for them.

What an honor! We get to participate in God’s plan. He does not need us, but He has chosen us, Christians, to announce His love to the world.

How are you doing at that?

Diving Deeper

Think of someone you know who could use some love. Now schedule a time to talk with them (in person, over the phone, or for lunch). Do not feel you must share the gospel with them. Instead, pray for the meeting and then be attentive when you are with them. If an opportunity to share the gospel arises then feel the freedom to share Jesus’s love for them, but if it does not then leave in peace knowing that you have deepened a friendship.

How To Be Free Now

Colossians Bible Study Day 3 of 14

COLOSSIANS STUDY DAY 3

Read Colossians 1:21-23

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Colossians 1:21-23 (NIV)

Holy, without blemish, free from accusation. Dear Christian, these are the attributes that God sees when He looks at you. Despite everything you have done today, last week, and this past decade, you are seen as holy, without blemish, and free from accusation. Please sit with each of these images for just a little longer; describe each image in your head.

Holy = Set Apart

Without Blemish = No mark or flaw against you

Free From Accusation = Nothing to accuse you of, innocent

God views you this way because of His initiative to reconcile you through Jesus’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave. God has moved toward us despite our natural inclination to run from Him. We are so blessed to have a love like that. Dwell in it.

Diving Deeper

Write verses 21-23a on a notecard and set it beside your bed. Read it before you go to bed every night and read it every morning when you wake up. Try to memorize it before the end of this study on Colossians. 

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.
Colossians 3:21-23a

You Could Know More About God Today

Colossians Bible Study Day 2 of 14

Read Colossians 1:15-20

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Colossians 1:15-20 (NIV)

Have you ever wondered what God is like? How would He respond to humans in everyday situations? How would He treat someone of a different race, a political leader, or even an adulterer?

We know who our God is and what His character is like because Paul tells us that Jesus is the image (v15) and fullness (v19) of God. Therefore, to know more about God’s character all you have to do is open up the Gospels. In those four books you will find how Jesus is gentle when he is approached by a man with a very contagious disease called Leprosy (a disease full of social stigma at the time) in Matthew 8:1-3. We see how humble Jesus was in John 13:1-17 when he washed his disciples feet, but also how he was ferocious and an absolute FORCE (Matthew 23, John 2:13-16) when he saw people being misled by the spiritual leaders of the day.

The God of the universe is ready to be known; all you have to do is look.

Diving Deeper

Pick a chapter in the Gospels and read it.* Pay close attention to how Jesus responds to people and how people respond to Jesus. Write down the things you learned about God.

*For those who don’t know where to start or can’t choose, I recommend John 11 or Matthew 3.

You Have A Super Power

Colossians Bible Study Day 1 of 14

Read Colossians 1: 1-14

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:1-14 (NIV)

Paul opens his letter with words of encouragement to the Colossians, and in his opening message we see that he has a habit of praying for the Colossians. Do you pray for your fellow Christians? This habit is something that we ought to imitate. It is often the most effective thing we can do each day to improve the lives of those dear to us.

Seriously. 

You have the opportunity and privilege to talk to the Creator of the universe and ask Him to make someone’s day, month, or life better with just a few thoughts. It is literally our only superpower, but it is a power that we often forsake or discount.

Do not miss out on your opportunity to pray for someone today.

Diving Deeper

Paul gives several reasons for why he prays for his fellow Christians. For example in verse 3 when Paul says “We always thank God… when we pray for you.” We see that one of Paul’s reasons to pray for the Colossians is to thank God for them. 

There are more reasons to pray for Christians. Find some of them in the passage above and then pray those over a brother or sister in Christ.

When Seductress turns our hearts from God | P5-V3

Pitfalls of Immorality

Proverbs 5:3

I die devotional.

That you may observe discretion
And your lips may reserve knowledge.
For the lips of an adulteress drip honey
And smoother than oil is her speech;

But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.


Seductress is an opposing force to the marriage covenant made between a man and woman. The covenant of marriage is a gift given by God (Gen 2:22-25). However, if our hearts lust after flesh even when married, for example… Solomon, according to the scripture presented below… then like Solomon, we’re in danger of doing evil.

1 Kings 11 —But King Solomon [defiantly] loved many foreign women—the [a]daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. They were of the very nations of whom the Lord said to the Israelites, You shall not mingle with them, neither shall they mingle with you, for surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods. Yet Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines, and his wives turned away his heart from God. For when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not perfect (complete and whole) with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abominable idol of the Ammonites! Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as David his father did.

I think it’s fair to assume that Seductress oppresses everyone with a sexual appetite, but how to resist the condition of lust that overtakes us when that appetite is raging — that’s the question isn’t it? I mean, our commentator seemed to express as much:

Those that are entangled in this sin should be reminded that there is but a step between them and hell, and that they are ready to drop into it.

~ Matthew Henry

Thankfully, by God’s grace, our ability to resist Seductress is made possible by faith in the Spirit of God within. At least, from my experience; I can testify to how the relationship between my faith in God and work of the Holy Spirit effectively causes Seductress to move out of my soul.

Now that does not mean that Seductress will not tempt by what pleasure I’ve experienced in sin, after all, it’s her nature to tempt. I think of her as the apostle John describes (Rev 17:4), and if my relationship with God be true… then there is no room for two; I will not compromise my soul with thinking I can have God and sexual immorality too. And the fact of my writing turning into a rhythm and rhyme, like a melody, should cause pause… because it’s not fine.

Whenever the soul embraces compromise for what is thought to be impossible to resist because of our nature to sin, we’re in danger to believing in vain, and stepping into hell.


RESOURCE

Proverbs 5 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 5

Matthew Henry (P5-V3) Commentary
1. That we do not listen to the charms of this sin. It is true the lips of a strange woman drop as a honey-comb (v. 3); the pleasures of fleshly lust are very tempting (like the wine that gives its colour in the cup and moves itself aright); its mouth, the kisses of its mouth, the words of its mouth, are smoother than oil, that the poisonous pill may go down glibly and there may be no suspicion of harm in it. But consider,

  • (1.) How fatal the consequences will be. What fruit will the sinner have of his honey and oil when the end will be,
    • [1.] The terrors of conscience: It is bitter as wormwood, v. 4. What was luscious in the mouth rises in the stomach and turns sour there; it cuts, in the reflection, like a two-edged sword; take it which way you will, it wounds. Solomon could speak by experience, Eccl. 7:26.
    • [2.] The torments of hell. If some that have been guilty of this sin have repented and been saved, yet the direct tendency of the sin is to destruction of body and soul; the feet of it go down to death, nay, they take hold on hell, to pull it to the sinner, as if the damnations slumbered too long, v. 5. Those that are entangled in this sin should be reminded that there is but a step between them and hell, and that they are ready to drop into it.

FROM MY CORE – ESSAY 4

So what did I mean by… “But that does not mean we continue to find ourselves in sin.”? The Bible is an awesome recourse for us to explore what the Source reveals to us about sin. While the Bible is a recourse, it is not the Source convicting us of sin, and please test me by checking—John 5:39-47 & 16:5-15. The Bible functions much like a collection of school books, a tutorage for the person learning about their soul in relation to sin, and God (Gal 3:23-29). I can add scripture verses all day supporting my delusions—as though the Bible has that authority—but the Bible does not have authority to give anyone eternal life (John 5:39-47). It is the Bible that contains the Scriptures testifying about Jesus coming to us in His Father’s name with His Father’s power, to give us life by receiving Him—the Source. This brings me back full circle to the initial question—So what did I mean… ? I mean that the Holy Spirit is our Source to find ourselves in the Lord our Savior, Jesus Christ.

It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin:

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. And He, when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness, and about judgment: about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; 10 about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see Me; 11 about judgment [the certainty of it], because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned.

John 16:7-11 (AMP)

But how do I keep from sinning? How do I stop finding myself in sin? How do I do as Christ instructed, like when He said to the woman found in adultery… “Go. From now on do not sin any longer.” (John 8:11)? What do you think Jesus meant by that? And how do I remain healed after Jesus tells me—like He told the man He healed—“See, you are well! Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” (John 5:14)? What do you think Christ meant by “…or something worse may happen to you.“?

Do those instructions apply to you and me right now, tomorrow, next year; … at the day of the Lord (1 Cor 5:1-5)?

[I pray you, the reader, will experience these posts and this blog as a safe place to comment; express yourself—with love in mind.]

I argue the worst thing to happen to someone who continues to find themselves in sin/s… is regression into possession of that/those sin/s as a lifestyle where many evil spirits are coming to reside:

24 “When the unclean spirit comes out of a person, it roams through waterless places in search [of a place] of rest; and not finding any, it says, ‘I will go back to my house (person) from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the place swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in [the person] and live there; and the last state of that person becomes worse than the first.”

Luke 11:24-26 (AMP)

When I refer back to my previous essays—thinking about sin—I ask myself:

What sin am I in?

Am I still in sin?

If so …

How?

When and how does an unclean spirit come out of a person as quoted above?

What do you think?


DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification. What does it mean to be born of God, overcome the world, and be made new through faith in believing Jesus Christ is the way of my salvation? I’m discovering the path through spiritual discipline—

FROM MY CORE – ESSAY 3

FELLOWSHIP

From the time Laura and I joined Watermark Community Church and were welcomed into a community group with two other couples 5 years ago, the idea of fellowship within the Body of Christ took on new meaning, which brings me to the idea aforementioned in my previous essay…

However, because I am still building out my perspective on what might be titled “Two Distinct Spirits” — the Holy Spirit and human spirit — am going to leave that alone for now. I’m having fellowship with a specific brother in Christ about this biblical perspective, and not to mention; I might build the case for “Three Distinct Spirits” as opposed to Two.

Rather, my objective is to test whether there are any compromises (2 Cor. 13:4-6) in the structure of my spiritual fortification (Matt. 12:25-29).

Now… because the foundation to my fortification is built on Christ, there should be no way for the enemy to breach (1 Cor. 3:10-15). However, that has not always been the case for me while professing to be a Christian as you’ve might’ve learned from my previous essay, and that might be the case for you reading this now.

Are you someone who professes to be Christian and yet finds yourself in sin or a sinful lifestyle?

That is not a trick question although can see how it might be interpreted that way considering what the Bible teaches:

23 …for all [b]have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…

Romans 3:23

And so I do NOT mean to insinuate that we can find ourselves without sin:

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

1 John 1:8-10

Because obviously …

We sin!

But that does not mean we continue to find ourselves in sin.

Until next time…


DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification. What does it mean to be born of God, overcome the world, and be made new through faith in believing Jesus Christ is the way of my salvation? I’m discovering the path through spiritual discipline—

FROM MY CORE – ESSAY 2

Granted there is a psychological element to this, an element that describes why I’m so concerned about the collective gathering we call Church, but it’s not the Church, rather, those with authority in the Church…

After reading back over my ESSAY 1 feel convicted to clarify ‘…collective gathering we call Church,…’ not to mean the negative connotation it can have; I guess the emotion I was experiencing when writing that was an annoyance at the idea of us—the Christian Church—as a “collective gathering” when we’re obviously a ‘divided gathering’ in the worst sense of division; so to call us ‘Church’ while divided in such a way makes zero sense to me. I don’t think it’s impossible to find us reconciled as a kingdom unit here on earth. Anyway…

MY CONCERN

The psychological element to my concern for the Church as a fellow member of the Body in the Bride of Christ partly stems from the scars of my past: series of divorces, there was physical and sexual abuse from a pastor and family members, the list feels like it gets darker and darker. I could make the case I was brought up by the devil’s schemes, and [ashamedly] have the arrogance to prove it. Does that pastor think himself justified; there is still no sign of sorrow or remorse that comes with conviction for repentance when guilty as sin. Will there be?

However, my experience to faith in God, although cultivated in a field of weeds…

24 Jesus gave them another parable [to consider], saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed [c]weeds [resembling wheat] among the wheat, and went away. 26 So when the plants sprouted and formed grain, the weeds appeared also. 27 The servants of the owner came to him and said, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then how does it have weeds in it?’ 28 He replied to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants asked him, ‘Then do you want us to go and pull them out?’ 29 But he said, ‘No; because as you pull out the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First gather the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

Matthew 13 (AMP)

…is not governed by evil, because someone had come into our field during the day to sow the good seed of wheat!

Oh if I didn’t know any better, how easy it is to paint the victim. Let my sin be obvious and exposed. Where is my sorrow and remorse? Am I repenting from sin or do I embrace the chains? My war is not against flesh and blood, “…but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.” (Eph. 6:12). My aim will not miss the mark as long as my faith is in Jesus Christ; He is the authority and power! He is the Psychologist to my Psyche, the Foundation to my Structure, and Guide to my Compass!

What can sin do if it’s power be death when death was defeated at the cross of Christ? My concern for the members of the Christian Church is this idea that we’re not free from the chains the apostle Paul was chained in:

28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time [and with so little effort] you [almost] persuade me to become a Christian.” 29 And Paul replied, “Whether in a short time or long, I wish to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become such as I am, except for these chains.”

Acts 26 (AMP)

WE ARE FREE

I keep hearing pastors preach this idea that we can’t do anything about the sin we’ve been set free from, which is false. We’ve been set free by the salvation we have in Christ, and equipped upon belief with conversion to transformation—a gift given within Who convicts us of sin (the Holy Spirit of God). I am free to repent of my sin or not to, to respond to the Holy Spirit or not to; there is consequence and reward to right and wrong behavior, but it’s my faith, words and actions that reveal the nature about me. Do I have fruit that bears unbelief, or belief? My fruits will tell you everything about the condition of my body, psyche, and spirit. There are two distinct spirits…

DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification. What does it mean to be born of God, overcome the world, and be made new through faith in believing Jesus Christ is the way of my salvation? I’m discovering the path through spiritual discipline—

FROM MY CORE – ESSAY 1

I take issue with the ‘Catholic’ and ‘Protestant’ Churches of modern day Christianity, but I don’t think it begins in the 21st century. I think and feel suspense about my allegiance to specific label/s that divides what Christ unified (Eph 2:13-22).

Yes… I’m currently a member of what would be deemed Protestantism. While a member of a church under that umbrella, am not a Protestant; so then am I catholic!? Thereby is my dilemma! But where is the origin to this dilemma? Is the root justified? Am I wrong to be a member of my current church, or worse… any church of today’s Christianity given this knowledge about our present division we face as a Church—at least until such division is reconciled to unity as aforementioned? What is the appropriate correction if the correction need be made at the head of the Snake—meaning priests, pastors, and teachers of today’s Christianity?

Granted there is a psychological element to this, an element that describes why I’m so concerned about the collective gathering we call Church, but it’s not the Church, rather, those with authority in the Church…

DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification. What does it mean to be born of God, overcome the world, and be made new through faith in believing Jesus Christ is the way of my salvation? I’m discovering the path through spiritual discipline—

How Patience Is A Key Ingredient To Wisdom And Righteousness

It’s subjective, but I find that the most difficult—yet effective—way to learn patience is to subject myself to counsel. What this looks like as a practice is actively pursuing the Lord, my wife and the-other about a decision. No… not ‘the-other’ as in, another wife—you know what happen to Solomon—but the-other, as in, another person. And it is ideal for the person not only to be knowledgeable about the nature of the decision, but to know me personally. I’m talkin: spiritually, psychologically, financially, the works. Because if those measures aren’t known by my counsel… then making an important decision before receiving counsel will result to chaos. The experience is excruciating!

For Laura and I to make the most out of our time, advance in our field, and accomplish the ultimate goal of persuasion that the world cannot deny being the freedom we have in Christ Jesus our Lord— well… then… I need a twenty-five hundred dollar laptop!

Okay while that was meant to be funny, the point is a decision to purchase a laptop that can handle video editing software at the budget of $2,500.00! Given my personality, I want the best and don’t want to wait, because… well, I can be an idiot. It’s really as simple as that! However, I do love God and desire to honor Him with all my heart.

Patience is a key ingredient to wisdom, and after listening to the Lord, my wife, and Ryan; you’d be real proud of me! I didn’t choose the $3,100 Razer from Micro Center (considering the awesome labor day deal they had for 0 interest)—which would have been convenient—and settled on a $2,584.00 ASUS from Amazon. We’ll see how it turns out, but I’m confident the value of this transaction was experienced in the eternal development of my character for righteousness by the process of procedure we executed together, not myself alone for some financial gain, material possession, or grandiose idea (not that those are wrong, bad, or evil). But the aim is not to miss the mark!

DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification. What does it mean to be born of God, overcome the world, and be made new through faith in believing Jesus Christ is the way of my salvation? I’m discovering the path through spiritual discipline—

[TIME OUT]

This is a simple post, a reminder and reference point of change. I’m a very impatient person, which is very unhealthy to the growth of change that requires a process of procedure. A process of procedure is actually practicing the procedure of change that will become the “new” me. This process is a difficult discipline, but the value is pure gold from Heaven.

DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification; what does it mean to be made new through faith by believing that Jesus Christ is the way to my salvation? I’m discovering answers through spiritual discipline—

Exploring A Framework Of Innocence To Build On For The Soul Held Captive To Sin

If you are a person who believes in right and wrong, and the just consequence for wrong behavior as well as the just reward for right behavior… then you might believe in God. But regardless of your position on the matter of religion or relationship with God, the reality is that we suffer experience to injustice.

From my experience, I feel pain—and those respected emotions that map it out (fear, sadness, worry, anger, ect. etc.)—when something ‘wrong’ happens as well as feel euphoric when something ‘right’ happens or is happening. To deny my experience of these truths that accompany right and wrong circumstance is to deny the sanity of my writing… yes, writing… because that is what my soul is doing. It’s writing every detail of action, thought, and experience.

My soul is innocent at this endeavor to document every detail about my share in this life; whether in the bed of a hospital due to cancer or the beds of many mansions around the world due to wealth, everything is recorded and bears the weight of meaning; the measure of value to our purpose on earth is of eternal significance.

How I conduct myself in respect of righteousness even in the most unfortunate of circumstances seems so blatantly obvious to signify something beyond this brief time on earth… yet in review of my past to present choices would be found guilty to unrighteousness and wonder what justice means beyond the grave.

So here I am, wondering, and if you by chance… chance, providence, happen to read my previous post, then you’ll remember the Doc’s document—Essay_Writing_Guide.

Essay Writing Guide  

You can use this word document to write an excellent essay from beginning to end, using a ten-step process. Most of the time, students or would-be essay writers are provided only with basic information about how to write, and most of that information concentrates on the details of formatting. These are necessary details, but writing is obviously far more than mere formatting. If you write your essay according to this plan, and you complete every step, you will produce an essay that is at least very good. You will also learn exactly how to write an essay, which is something very valuable to learn.  

To start writing your essay, go to the next page, for Part One: Introduction.      


      Jordan B Peterson  

The document is a framework of innocence, as innocence represents the soul or conscience guiding what is written about me in a manner worthy of the truth that holds me accountable to the source of innocence, but what happens when I decide to accept a different offer from a false source representing what I know to be the truth? I think the answer that I’ve experienced when accepting the lie, is a debt that I cannot pay.

So what is immoral about the following document?

Essay Writing Guide 

You can use this word document to write an excellent essay from beginning to end, using a ten-step process. Most of the time, students or would-be essay writers are provided only with basic information about how to write, and most of that information concentrates on the details of formatting. These are necessary details, but writing is obviously far more than mere formatting. If you write your essay according to this plan, and you complete every step, you will produce an essay that is at least very good. You will also learn exactly how to write an essay, which is something very valuable to learn. 

To start writing your essay, go to the next page, for Part One: Introduction.

     Nathan Dooley 

DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification; what does it mean to be born of God, overcome the world, and be made new through faith in believing Jesus Christ is the way to my salvation? I’m discovering answers through spiritual discipline—

The Weight And Measure Of Value In The Soul

When holding in your hand one one-hundredth of the United States dollar (a penny), you might see the value as copper plated zinc whereas someone else might see the emancipation proclamation. If we can judge the face on the one-cent coin representing the person of freedom measured invaluable as equal to the value of one one-hundredth unit of currency in the U.S. dollar… then why not judge the face on the human race representing the image and likeness of God as equal to the value of faith in eternal life?

To answer the question, “Why?”—from my previous post—is…

LOVE

I recognize my capacity to save life or take life, and upon learning more and more about what those capacities mean and their nature, am convinced that my living soul is a consequence to innocence. I find at the beginning of Genesis (ch.2) in the Bible—where God breathed into the nostrils of Man and Man became a living soul—that my soul borne since that beginning, is innocent.

However, I have the problem of sin.

Before contending with sin, let me present a framework to the soul as innocent. I think the framework will also reveal the framework of sin.

I’m obviously still working out how to conceptualize this… but somehow the following—at least—makes sense to me as a starting place.

If you’re not familiar with Dr. Jordan B Peterson yet, I’m sure it won’t be long before you are, hence—Essay_Writing_Guide

Essay Writing Guide

You can use this word document to write an excellent essay from beginning to end, using a ten-step process. Most of the time, students or would-be essay writers are provided only with basic information about how to write, and most of that information concentrates on the details of formatting. These are necessary details, but writing is obviously far more than mere formatting. If you write your essay according to this plan, and you complete every step, you will produce an essay that is at least very good. You will also learn exactly how to write an essay, which is something very valuable to learn.
To start writing your essay, go to the next page, for Part One: Introduction.

Jordan B Peterson

That is an excerpt from the document that anyone (with technology) can download. As soon as you open that document you will read what is quoted, but the point is that it’s a sharable document where anyone can edit within it to build their own essay or rewrite whatever they want. So whenever the document is downloaded, it’s innocent by the fact that it hasn’t been tampered with by something sinister, malevolent, evil. When it’s downloaded, the purpose of the “document” (soul) is to guide the person on how to write an essay, or… make them aware of the essay they are, and that is perpetually writing.

When God breathed in us a living soul, He breathed the innocence of life we are aware of right now. And the weight and measure of such value can only be governed calculable by the source of Who breathed.


DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification; what does it mean to be made new through faith by believing that Jesus Christ is the way to my salvation? I’m discovering answers through spiritual discipline—

Exploring My Christian Faith With An Open Mind

There are many professing Christians, but what does it mean to be Christian?

MORALITY

What first comes to mind is the concept of morality. And so for anyone who might not be familiar with the Christian faith; the short description from my perspective is—people who experience morality governed by God through the Son of God by the power of the Holy Spirit of God.

See… now… this is where you being the reader really helps me out. Because I’m trying to think about every possible thing or idea; every obstacle, person, and place around the world; the history… the culture… you name it; I’m trying to consider it.

At this point, I imagine if I were the reader I’d be wondering,

“Why?”


DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification; what does it mean to be made new through faith by believing that Jesus Christ is the way to my salvation? I’m discovering answers through spiritual discipline—

Snake In The Backyard

I appreciated a dialogue that I had with a young lady that still doesn’t believe in God, but she had learned through a Christian lady on tictok about the responsibility we have to share our faith. And it went something like this…

Lets say you and I lived together in the same house with an awesome backyard, and I was out in the backyard reading my Bible while you were inside watching a movie. After I finished reading…

Psalm 119
25 My soul clings to the dust;
Revive me according to Your word.
26 I have told of my ways, and You have answered me;
Teach me Your statutes.
27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts,
And I will meditate on Your wonders.
28 My soul weeps because of grief;
Strengthen me according to Your word.
29 Remove the false way from me,
And graciously grant me Your Law.
30 I have chosen the faithful way;
I have placed Your judgments before me.
31 I cling to Your testimonies;
Lord, do not put me to shame!
32 I shall run the way of Your commandments,
For You will enlarge my heart.

Gradually looking up from my Bible to think on what the Spirit is communicating to my soul see something move on the ground not far from where I’m sitting in the backyard. Thinking nothing of it, I ask myself, “What does it mean for my soul to cling to the dust?” … movement takes my attention again; I focus in on the object—it’s a snake! So I head back to the house to go inside, but once at the door notice you are coming outside.

At this moment there’s a choice I have to tell or not tell you about the snake, but is there a wrong choice, if so, how and why?

The snake represents what is evil in this world, and the knowledge I have about that snake is what condemns my soul to cling to the dust of death as every dead cell flacks and falls from the skin of my sin. So what if I chose not to tell you about that snake in the backyard? Am I responsible if you get bit and die? Say you do get bit; was it the snake that was evil… or me? And if I am evil, then who can hold me accountable for the choice that I made? Does a person’s life only measure so far as it’s biological makeup, or does the fact that we’re conscious of good and evil mean justice beyond our dust of death? Will knowledge advance the human race to become like God, or become the Satan?

Is there no reward in sharing information about what will harm you, such as the experience of love by telling someone…

There is a snake in the backyard!

The choice is yours to proceed with that knowledge.

DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification; what does it mean to be made new through faith by believing that Jesus Christ is the way to my salvation? I’m discovering answers through spiritual discipline—

Patience

There is a time to listen and a time to speak, a time to write and a time to read. The attributes of patience is a good reminder for the soul and plan for the future. While the concept of patience varies with each person’s personal experience to new situations and environments, the practice of critical thinking for an appropriate response builds relationships, and will open doors to opportunities for the end goal of ones endeavor. I pray to honor the meaning of patience.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 1:2-5

DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification; what does it mean to be made new through faith by believing that Jesus Christ is the way to my salvation? I’m discovering answers through spiritual discipline—

When Yesterday Means Forever

Imagine yourself as a book, and your experience of yesterday is a page turned. What you did is not forgotten, and what you said will be remembered. Everything about your relationship to yesterday was written down for eternity to read. But what will be read about you? What will that page number reference when your book is opened after it’s been closed?

DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification; what does it mean to be made new through faith by believing that Jesus Christ is the way to my salvation? I’m discovering answers through spiritual discipline—

7 – 31 – 21

When bitter coffee tastes’ sweet.

It might have been a 6th generation blue mustang parked with the lights on at 0200 not far from the site I was guarding. The distance between my golf cart and location of the mustang was about 200 yards. It was reported that a truck was stolen not many days ago from this site, and although that incident was in the middle of the day I wasn’t about to be passive. I was not able to make out the person or people inside the mustang, but they for damn sure could see me flexing, and now we wait…

These past few days have been heavy for me to say the least, and this morning the meaning of repentance settled deep within the bitter coffee of my soul. The reason I believe Jesus identified the Holy Spirit as the Helper—according to the book of John chapter 16 in your bibles—is because there is no repentance from sin nor significance to repentance without faith in the sweetness of Help. It doesn’t take 2 sugars and a creamer to make bitter coffee, sweet; it takes a wooden stirrer and metal spoon. The salvation of my soul took a wooden cross and metal nails. It’s the Helper of discipline from a Holy Father of love sent by the resurrected Jesus Christ that makes bitter coffee taste sweet.

Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.

Job 2:4 


Whenever sin is treated passively, the devil is prepared to take my soul. Whenever suspicion is treated passively, your truck gets stolen. The blue mustang has horse power over my golf cart, but the blue mustang met my God and left the site—my golf cart then proceeded to cut the head off the blue mustang. Satan is testing mankind to the limit, and if I don’t lose myself for the sake of Christ and the gospel… there is by no other means to experience salvation.


DISCLAIMER:
This is Nathan Psychology. What you read is my discipline of edification to sanctification. What I write is from my perspective as I learn more and more each day with you.

Nathan Psychology and The War Against Pride

DISCLAIMER:
This is Nathan Psychology. What you read is my discipline of edification to sanctification. What I write is from my perspective as I learn more and more each day with you.


I was dressed to the nines looking like I owned the place. People were seated around tables talking life, eating and drinking; the bride and groom just finished their dance and it was time to give my speech; I was handed the microphone, got up from my seat and…

For some odd reason my former best friend chose me to be his best man, and I should’ve listened to my wife in preparing something for the best man speech. The consequence of pride is the fall, and when you haven’t hit the ground hard enough to realize the wisdom to the 5 “P’s”: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. You’re liable to make another mistake of pride in a way you won’t forget, or,… your wife won’t let live down. So there I was with a microphone in hand and… nothing. Shock! Is probably a better word. But everything from disoriented speech to cringing embarrassment at the confused claps of the audience, ‘clap here clap there’, until finally they decided to make me feel better by booing me into a dark corner as my wife joined in on the action by hitting me in the face with wedding cake. The scars are no joke, and I still have nightmares. It’s no wonder he’s my “former” best friend.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

1 John 2:16

Okay, he’s still my best friend and even helped me recover from my failed best man speech by his unique style of dancing—if we should call it that. I mean… the guy stands at about 6′ 4″, and if standing is the new dancing. Shoot, he danced like no ones business. He raised the bar of wedding dancing to a whole new level, I’m talkin 6′ 4″ level baby! Anyway, the occasion provided this opportunity to describe the nature of pride and how it can destroy the soul if I—or quite possibly, you—let it. No I wasn’t actually booed or curled up in a dark corner, but my wife did remind me of her wisdom… thanks, I guess. No, but seriously, I really should’ve listened! She wasn’t just right, but dead on.

The war against lust and pride are at the core of my soul to experience and overcome.

Nathan Psychology and The War Against Lust

When reading, “…the lips of an adulteress drip honey…”, two emergent thought processes take shape and form instantaneously. The first is of a worldview that symbolizes a woman’s anatomy part. The second is to stop thinking.

For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, And her speech is smoother than oil;

Proverbs 5:3

That verse is my next I die devotional, and I’m still working on it for—what might appear to be—obvious reasons. Let me be clear, how I interpreted the first part of that verse was not necessarily because I’m male; when I’d read it to my wife, she also thought what I thought without me preluding to it. So then it became about understanding the nature of why, and I asked my wife about what she experiences when ovulating. It was very enlightening to say the least and helped me better understand the why of an adulterous although not excusing the behavior nor saying my wife is an adulterous.


DISCLAIMER:
This is Nathan Psychology. What you read is my discipline of edification to sanctification. What I write is from my perspective as I learn more and more each day with you.


My experience to this war against lust is real, but to describe the nature of it I find to be challenging because I overthink. I get anxious by the idea of someone else on the other side of this screen similar to feeling anxious when face to face with a soul just as susceptible to sin as I am. Thinking on that verse, there is an enemy most attractive. But it’s not an adulteress from my point of view. The most attractive creature that rules this world is one not seen, but experienced. A snake knows how not to be seen, and while they might have aesthetic features… they’re not exactly attractive. However, the attraction of a ruler—much like a snake—is in their capacity to be ascetic (powerfully self-disciplined). An adulterous doesn’t exactly sound like someone who is self-disciplined; a person with raging hormones will cause an untamed response. The natural response to procreate can be so demanding that the experience of its intoxication will devour God given senses—unless disciplined in the fear of the Lord. That said, just because someone is self-disciplined—even appearing as though disciplined in the fear of the Lord—doesn’t mean they’re not the enemy of your soul. The ruler of this world is one that is ascetic while preying on the vulnerable.

Resolution Update 7-14-21

What happened- I blinked and tomorrow became today! Time is unrelenting:


//2020 DRAFT//

  • Jesus Christ is my belief structure.
    1. What does that mean? (salvation).
      1. Human soul and God.
        1. Saved by grace through faith.
        2. How does faith work?
  • I love my wife—priority.
    1. She is the core/center of my responsibilities.
      1. I need structure.
        1. Public Journal/accountability
  • Job with hours to aid me on this trajectory.
    1. Not ideal, but blessed.
      1. I work nights and days.
      2. Best option at the moment.
        1. Aim for only nights if available.
        2. Or learn how to write, like, very good!
  • Psychology Professor—Jordan Peterson.
    1. Mentor/Maps of Meaning/(biblical skeptic?)
      1. I think Jordan’s strategy to understand ‘meaning’ is awesome!
  • My personality— understand and improve.
    1. 1 Peter 3:15 (but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;)
      1. There is a hope in the personality of a believer.
        1. My personality is wild; I want to understand it.
  • Skill/s to master:
    1. Writing.
  • Goal/s…
    • Is there more than one?
      • Where is the sacred ground?
        • What is this going to do?
          • How will this be effective?
            • What is the sacrifice?
              • Will the practice, preach?
                • What does it mean?
                  • When is it time to plant?
  • The seed is to sanctify Christ as Lord in my heart.

//2021 REVISED//

  • Jesus Christ is my belief structure.
    1. What does that mean? (salvation).
      1. Human soul and God.
        1. Saved by grace through faith.
        2. How does faith work?
  • I love my wife—priority.
    1. She is the core/center of my responsibilities.
      1. I need structure.
        1. Public Journal/accountability
  • Job with hours to aid me on this trajectory.
    1. Not ideal, but blessed.
      1. I work nights and days.
      2. Best option at the moment.
        1. Aim for only nights if available.
        2. Or learn how to write, like, very good!
  • Psychology Professor—Jordan Peterson.
    1. Mentor/Maps of Meaning/(biblical skeptic?)
      1. I think Jordan’s strategy to understand ‘meaning’ is awesome!
  • My personality— understand and improve.
    1. 1 Peter 3:15 (but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;)
      1. There is a hope in the personality of a believer.
        1. My personality is wild; I want to understand it.
  • Skill/s to master:
    1. Writing.
    2. Videography.
  • Goal/s…
    • Is there more than one?
      • Where is the sacred ground?
        • What is this going to do?
          • How will this be effective?
            • What is the sacrifice?
              • Will the practice, preach?
                • What does it mean?
                  • When is it time to plant?
  • The seed is to sanctify Christ as Lord in my heart.

The heart of this outline dates back before I started this blog, but was inspired to outline it here as a post when prepping for the new years resolutions of 2021. And Judging from the outline there was more going on with me than setting goals. I had questions, and a hope for some form of videography work:

  • Skill/s to master:
    1. Writing.
  • Skill/s to master:
    1. Writing.
    2. Videography.

Writing down the intentions of my heart was key.

While unpaid as a writer—for now; unpaid as a content creator—for now; it was very discouraging not to have the desired outcome of my writing, as well as “experimental”—mostly failed—YouTube channels I’d created over the past years.

However, what has been changing over time—the evidence surreal—is fear and doubt that plagued me with insecurities vanishing. Since the time of my posting this outline the fruitful result has become making money as a video editor. The work of God’s grace is becoming more and more evident in my testimony as I humble myself to His will, and the result of His labor is not in vain.

I press on, and I hope you will as well by making your first move; write down the intention of your heart. What is your plan? Before you write it, prepare your heart to throw it away, because God’s plan is infinitely better!

2021 UPDATED

  • [12/16/20] Jesus Christ is my belief structure.
    1. [12/16/20] What does that mean? (Salvation).
    1. [12/16/20] Human soul and God.
    2. [7/14/21] What is the relationship between a person’s soul and God?
      1. [12/16/20] Saved by grace through faith.
      2. [7/14/21] Featured photo of this post update is an example of my work in developing frameworks that workout abstractions and understand axioms for righteous behavior.
  • [12/16/20] How does faith work?
    • [7/14/21] This outline is proving an example of how faith works.
  • [12/16/20] I love my wife—priority.
    1. [12/16/20] She is the core/center of my responsibilities.
    2. [7/14/21] This has not changed although a much needed constant reminder.
      1. [12/16/20] I need structure.
        1. [12/16/20] Public Journal/accountability
          • [7/14/21] This post marks a good direction in structure and accountability.
  • [12/16/20] Job with hours to aid me on this trajectory.
  • [7/14/21] Trajectory of James 5:19-20
    1. [12/16/20] Not ideal, but blessed.
      1. [12/16/20] I work nights and days.
        1. [12/16/20] Best option at the moment.
        2. [12/16/20] Aim for only nights if available.
          1. [7/14/21] I’m currently working a night shift!
        3. [12/16/20] Or learn how to write, like, very good!
          1. [7/14/21] Still a work in progress, but progressive nonetheless.
  • [12/16/20] Psychology Professor—Jordan Peterson.
    1. [12/16/20] Mentor/Maps of Meaning/(biblical skeptic?)
      1. [12/16/20] I think Jordan’s strategy to understand ‘meaning’ is awesome!
  • [12/16/20] My personality— understand and improve.
    • [7/14/21]
    • Agreeableness: 85
      1. Compassion: 96
      2. Politeness: 45
    • Conscientiousness: 35
      1. Industriousness: 44
      2. Orderliness: 30
    • Extraversion: 99
      1. Enthusiasm: 96
      2. Assertiveness: 98
    • Neuroticism: 92
      1. Withdrawal: 72
      2. Volatility: 97
    • Openness to Experience: 75
      1. Intellect: 28
      2. Openness: 95
  • [12/16/20] 1 Peter 3:15 (but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;)
    1. [12/16/20] There is a hope in the personality of a believer.
    2. [7/14/21] See above…
      1. [12/16/20] My personality is wild; I want to understand it.
      2. [7/14/21] See above…
  • [12/16/20] Skill/s to master:
    1. [12/16/20] Writing.
      • [7/14/21] Still writing.
    2. [12/16/20] Videography.
      • [7/14/21] Continually developing my skill in the field – video editor.
  • [12/16/20] Goal/s…
    • [12/16/20] Is there more than one?
    • [7/14/21] Yes.
      • [12/16/20] Where is the sacred ground?
      • [7/14/21] It’s between the spoken and written Word given from the Spirit above to emerge from the soul beneath as truth.
        • [12/16/20] What is this going to do?
        • [7/14/21] …
          • [12/16/20] How will this be effective?
          • [7/14/21] Look from where you started to where you are, and analyze.
            • [12/16/20] What is the sacrifice?
              • [12/16/20] Will the practice, preach?
                • [12/16/20] What does it mean?
                  • [12/16/20] When is it time to plant?
  • [12/16/20] The seed is to sanctify Christ as Lord in my heart.

I pray this post will be a coach to you as it is for me, encouraging us as we strive toward our goals in faithful obedience to the Lord our God, and that the providence of God is not neglected when faced against the enemy. Be confident and take courage!


RESOURCES


Relevant Posts

Observe discretion and reserve knowledge | P5-V2

Pitfalls of Immorality

Proverbs 5:2

I die devotional.

My son, give attention to my wisdom,
Incline your ear to my understanding;
That you may observe discretion
And your lips may reserve knowledge.

For the lips of an adulteress drip honey
And smoother than oil is her speech;


When I observe how God handled the situation with Solomon in 1 Kings 11, I perceive discretion, but what do you think?

1 Kings 11 —But King Solomon [defiantly] loved many foreign women—the [a]daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. They were of the very nations of whom the Lord said to the Israelites, You shall not mingle with them, neither shall they mingle with you, for surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods. Yet Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines, and his wives turned away his heart from God. For when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not perfect (complete and whole) with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abominable idol of the Ammonites! Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as David his father did.

If you, reader, could look into the actions of my past, you’d find the details of my love for “foreign” women. And it just so turns out that I married a foreign woman—Mexican all the way baby—but marrying a foreign woman is not what I’m talking about, nor do I think is what God is talking about, but of course, please, test what I divulge (1 Thess 5).

I believe God knows the intimate details of our hearts, that if mine—my heart that is—was disclosed for you to see in detail the pornographic nature of it, how ashamed I would be for what cannot be changed about that knowledge reserved, those pieces of my past to present experiences lodged deep within my soul to torment me day and night as cringing reminders of my coming judgement; whether in thought or deed, the heart contains the secrets only God can do something about. And if you’ve sinned against God as both David, Solomon, and myself, have, then I pray we respond as David did and not Solomon.

I think we can make sense of the pornographic nature that God was warning Solomon about while recognizing the discretion God used in the words of His Scriptures, that nature of perverse beauty, Seductress. God didn’t have to go into detail as to describe the nature of His warning—avoid such seduction—to Solomon. So many people today, are not only held captive to pornography, but willingly embrace it as though it’s natural. Now that we have technology to connect Mankind around the world, we don’t have to wonder about the nature of our hearts… we can see just how depraved we are by surfing the wave of the internet. It’s quite obvious that the human race doesn’t exactly use discretion let alone reserve knowledge.

But I believe with God’s help of His Holy Spirit, we can influence change starting with ourselves. The same warning applied to Solomon exists today by God’s Word, so the question I ask myself, “Will I go fully after God?” As David did?


RESOURCE

Proverbs 5 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 5

Matthew Henry (P5-V2) Commentary
II. The caution itself, and that is to abstain from fleshly lusts, from adultery, fornication, and all uncleanness. Some apply this figuratively, and by the adulterous woman here understand idolatry, or false doctrine, which tends to debauch men’s minds and manners, or the sensual appetite, to which it may as fitly as any thing be applied; but the primary scope of it is plainly to warn us against seventh-commandment sins, which youth is so prone to, the temptations to which are so violent, the examples of which are so many, and which, where admitted, are so destructive to all the seeds of virtue in the soul that it is not strange that Solomon’s cautions against it are so very pressing and so often repeated. Solomon here, as a faithful watchman, gives fair warning to all, as they regard their lives and comforts, to dread this sin, for it will certainly be their ruin. Two things we are here warned to take heed of:-

Salvational Engineering

%d bloggers like this: