Archive for November, 2014

Keep out of debt and owe no man anything

November 3, 2014

Romans_13-8Not long ago, a friend shared his mother’s favorite verse, a verse that had been repeated so many times that he had also committed it to memory. Here is the King James Version of Romans 13:8:

Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

The verse brought to mind a previous blog entry which is revised and posted below:

keep out of debtThe Amplified Bible offers a sure-fire strategy to “get out of debt” with this exhortation which is a restatement of Romans 13:8:

Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one’s fellowmen, meeting all its requirements].

During these perilous times of increasing financial distress and utter economic upheaval, a word to the wise is “get out of debt” and “keep out of debt.” In his book, Jerrold Mundis shares principles that teach How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously.

In reflecting on that verse, we also recognize “The first and great commandment: To love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” Believers are further instructed to “love your neighbor as yourself.” When we love God, first of all, and then love others to the same degree that we love ourselves, we fulfill the law of love which is the highest expression of God, who is love.

Romans 13:8 also provides the introduction to this poem:

This Debt of Love

Owe no one anything except to love one another,

for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8 [NKJV]

 

What can you give when all you have is not enough

And when you have exhausted all your resources

And you still come up short as you assess the worth

Of the precious love so freely given to you?

When the last dram of oil from your vial has been poured

As a sacrifice and you have no more to give

But still feel this unction to offer all the more,

What more can you say beyond a feeble thank you

When words cannot convey all you desire to say.

Though you try to show Him as you follow His ways,

You still stumble from time to time and miss the mark,

But He looks beyond your faults and sees your intent.

As you live your life to serve, you will come to see

This debt of love so great that no one can repay.

Lamar Campbell and Praise express the essence of the message in song with “This Debt of Love I Owe.”

Who are we really: Kings and Priests

November 2, 2014

1-Peter-2-9

As believers we are ever on a quest to discover who we really are . . . what is our true identity. Often I recall the lyrics to a song popularized in the late 60s and 70s by the Christian rock group Cookin’ Mama:

You can be who you want to be

When you find out who you are

The Verse of the Day for November 2, 2014 reminds us of who we are as believers described in I Peter 2:9 in the Amplified Bible:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

This dual designation as “kings and priests” is also mentioned in Revelation 1:6 which along with 1 Peter 2:9 form the introduction to this poetic portrait:

Kings and Priests

But you are not like that, for you are a

chosen people. You are royal priests,

a holy nation, God’s very own

possession. As a result, you can

show others the goodness of God

for he called you out of the darkness

into his wonderful light.

I Peter 2:9 (NLT)

 

And has made us kings and priests unto

God and his Father; to him be glory and

dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 1:6 (NKJV)

 

As kings and priests we keep and seek, keep on seeking

To know just who we are, our true identity,

Along our journey that is more than intriguing.

We press on and progress toward our destiny:

The called, chosen, faithful ones to reign forever,

Empowered by the Spirit of the Living God.

With endless love, not even death can sever,

We now blossom eternally, as Aaron’s rod

And serve as holy nation and royal priesthood.

Emissaries of the Kingdom, sent from on high

Ascend as kings and soar beyond the highest good

To bless the earth from Heaven’s bountiful supply.

After the order of Melchezedek, King of Peace,

Kings and priests speak boundless blessings that ever increase.

As we follow in the steps of Jesus Christ, the ultimate example of one anointed to serve as king and priest, we also manifest God’s desire expressed in Exodus 19:6 that His people would be a “kingdom of priests and an holy nation.”

Chris Tomlin proclaims this same truth: “We are a Holy Nation”

The eyes of your heart flooded with light

November 1, 2014

Ephesians 1 18 2

The Verse of the Day for November 1, 2014 is from Ephesians 1:18 which is part of one of the apostolic prayers from the New Testament, expressing God’s desire for His people in Ephesians 1:14-23. Verses 17-18 are part of the introduction, as indicated in the Amplified Bible:

17 [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,

18 By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones),

Verse 17 was the inspiration, in part, for the following poem:

The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation

[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom

and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets]

in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,

Ephesians 1:17 (AMP)

 

God gives the Spirit of wisdom and revelation

That we might know Him and experience His great love,

Striving to know more fully total restoration

That flows from the wisdom that descends from above.

We walk as uios, not as foolish sons who rebel,

But we pursue wisdom and do whatever it takes.

We make choices, knowing what will attract, what will repel,

For each life mirrors a lifetime of choices that one makes.

We do not shun the Lord’s reproof but embrace correction.

God wants us to know the hope of His calling in this hour,

The riches of His heritage and greatness of His power.

We press toward the mark, to reach ultimate perfection.

God floods the eyes of our understanding that we might see,

As we seek intimacy of the highest degree.

Verse 18 brings to mind the words of the hymn “Open My Eyes that I Might See” which is, in essence, a prayer expressed in song. The lyrics to the hymn are displayed while Nathanael Provis plays the melody on piano:

Another contemporary song offering of a similar request is “Open the Eyes of My Heart” performed by Michael W. Smith.

Not only is our prayer that God will enlighten us and illuminate our lives by means of the spirit of wisdom and revelation, but God‘s prayer for us is the same, as is expressed so powerfully in Ephesians 1.