With New Eyes: Galatians 1:1

With New Eyes: Galatians 1:1

Re-reading the Bible in search of examples of patience and humility. May God grant me the endurance to see this study carried out.

Galatians 1:1 — “Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— “

Paul begins his letter this way emphasizing that he is in no way responsible for the wisdom or enlightenment that would ensue.

With New Eyes: Matthew 1:20-25

With New Eyes: Matthew 1:20-25

Re-reading the Bible in search of examples of patience and humility. May God grant me the endurance to see this study carried out.

Matthew 1:20-25 — “But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”

Joseph listened to the angel of the Lord that appeared in his dream telling him to marry Mary, despite the speculation surrounding her pregnancy. He humbled himself to trust the Lord despite what others might say.

With New Eyes: Psalm 1:1-2

With New Eyes: Psalm 1:1-2

Re-reading the Bible in search of examples of patience and humility. May God grant me the endurance to see this study carried out.

Psalm 1:1-2 — “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”

With New Eyes: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

With New Eyes: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Re-reading the Bible in search of examples of patience and humility. May God grant me the endurance to see this study carried out.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 — “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

MacArthur commentary for 2 Corinthians 7-10: “a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan.” This was sent to him by God, to keep him humble. As with Job, Satan was the immediate cause, but God was the ultimate cause. Paul’s use of the word “messenger” (Greek, angelos or angel) from Satan suggests the “thorn in the flesh” (lit., “a stake for the flesh”) was a demonized person, not a physical illness. Possibly, the best explanation for this demon was that he was indwelling the ring leader of the Corinthian conspiracy, the leader of the false prophets. Through them he was tearing up Paul’s beloved church and thus driving a painful stake through Paul…”to keep me from becoming conceited.” The assault was painful but purposeful. God was allowing Satan to bring these severe trouble in the church for the purpose of humbling Paul who, having had so many revelations, including a trip to heaven and back, would have been proud. The demonized false apostle attacking his work in Corinth was the stake being driven through his otherwise proud flesh. “Three times I pleaded.” Both Paul and Jesus had their request denied, but were granted grace to endure their ordeals…Paul took no pleasure in the pain itself, but rejoiced in the power of Christ that it revealed through him.

 

Starting Over

Starting Over

railroadI am in a dry spell. I read or hear the Scripture, and it means nothing to me. My faith right now feels like it is defined by deadness. I still believe, but my belief is an unoccupied shell. I am surrounded by new creations alive in their growth, and how I envy them—how I envy the prior version of me that was alive, too. But my faith was rooted in pride. I see that now. I interpreted Scripture through a lens that brought me constant assurance that I would go on to be a true hero for the Lord, bravely going where few Christians had dared in the name of ministry. As a youth, I looked up to David and Timothy from a place of expectation. I never wanted to be a Christian whose only experience with outreach is to just show Jesus through actions, not words. This seemed a cowardly waste to me. Imagine my disbelief, my defiance upon realizing that God is not opening doors to bold missions. He has given me a comfortable, blessed life, to be sure, but it is not what I have been preparing myself for. It seems to me that my only hope at preserving the fragile flame within me, once a blazing flare, is to make this season one of study in patience and humility.