Our Human Spirit Is The Lamp Of The Lord

Proverbs 20:27 spoke to me this evening 😎… There is so much in this scripture, that even after reading it, and the commentary, I feel it is worth further study. Here is the NIV version:
 
The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord
that sheds light on one’s inmost being.
 
Now the NRSV version:
The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord,
searching every inmost part.
 
Notice the difference in the translations. NRSV says our Spirit is searching, yet the NIV hints at our Spirit exposing our inner nature… After reading two separate commentaries, my current thoughts are that Solomon is saying when God breathed His life into us, he left a part of Himself, or His Spirit within us, as Genesis attests. However, what else might Solomon be saying? Since I have felt His Spirit, literally, when I was healed on the altar, I can say that feeling is… otherworldly, and indescribable… I feel, but do not know for certain, that the main reason God decided to open His Spirit and heal me, is that when I was praying on the alter, when I was suffering, I humbled myself so deeply and thoroughly, the God knew not only was my repentance real, but my humility finally let Me know, that I can not, and do not wish to live without Him. Thus, our battle as human beings, and His creations, is between the temptation of the Flesh, and our acceptance of His gift that is within all of us. Therefore, if we accept His gift, His Light shines within us. ❤️
 
These are just my current thoughts on the verse… It is a good one… Below are two commentaries that you may find useful if you have read this far 😇
 
Expositor’s Bible Commentary
Conscience that searches motives. God provides everyone with a spirit that can evaluate actions and motives. The Hebrew literally says that the “breath” is the lamp of the Lord (see NIV note–the NIV interprets it differently and supplies “searches”). The “breath” (or “spirit”) is that inner spiritual part of human life that was inbreathed at Creation (Ge 2:7) and that constitutes humans as spiritual beings with moral, intellectual, and spiritual capacities. This spiritual nature includes the capacity to know and please God–it serves as the functioning conscience (the metaphor of “lamp”). This point is further developed in the second part; the searching makes it possible for people to know themselves. If one’s spiritual life is functioning properly (i.e., yielded to God through salvation and controlled by his word [Heb 4:12]), then there should be increasingly less self-deception or indifference to righteousness.
 
Understanding the Bible Commentary
The Hebrew of verse 27a is ambiguous, as the margin of the NIV attests. The marginal reading is to be preferred. It seems to mean that the life-breath from God, by which a person lives (cf. Gen. 2:7; Job 32:8), penetrates to the very interior of a person. This could be taken as a warning, but better, as a consoling indication of how intimate God is to humans (“more intimate to me than I am to myself,” as St. Augustine said). This is not merely the voice of conscience.
 
✝️

Hate The Sin, Love the Sinner

I’m so glad Life Changing Realities Fellowship assigned readings from Proverbs… It is good to review them again, and again… King Solomon was beloved by God, because when God asked him what he wanted, he did not ask for immortality, or riches, but simply wisdom… and it was granted. It’s amazing how his thoughts written between 970-930 B.C. are fundamental cores of morality that have been lost in what we consider “advanced civilization.” I’m constantly amazed at how being right, and good, and true are perceived as being incompatible with technological advancements, when in reality the opposite is true. Tonight a few things spoke to me in our assigned reading, and one is truth… meaning, have you ever been around someone that you know was lying, and it made you feel ‘funny’ inside, or maybe an ill feeling? That is your righteousness struggling to get out. I never really thought about it, but tonight we were assigned Proverbs 13 and verse 3 states: “The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked make themselves a stench and bring shame on themselves.” My first thought was it seemed odd that King Solomon, beloved of the Lord, would use the word “hate” when referencing the righteous; but then it hit me. King Solomon was not saying that the righteous hate the people who lie, we hate the sin, and that is true. I’ve found it to become quite commonplace of late that people pretending to be righteous, everyone from Preachers, or those pretending to be, long-standing Christians, well anyone really, seems to accept a lie as “normal” and “acceptable” behavior. For me it is important to try very hard to stay on the path of righteousness, because as soon as a foot slips from the path, the fall becomes entirely too easy. So if you feel “something” when you sin, or see someone sin, then you have hope, because that feeling is your soul’s desire for righteousness struggling to come out! Good read tonight 😀✝️🌞

Mockers Seek Validation

Proverbs 14:6 (NIV)
The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,
but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.

Proverbs 14:6 (NRSV)
A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain,
but knowledge is easy for one who understands.

Tonight’s assigned reading by Life Changing Realities Fellowship is a good example of why reading more than one translation can help expand the intent of the author. 🤠 Both the NIV and NRSV translations seem adequate, but an examination of both helps us see that King Solomon was comparing a “mocker” or “Scoffer” to a discerning person. Something that helps me broaden my understanding, is to think of his concept in this manner: a person who seeks knowledge in a pure pursuit, is one who seeks comprehension and not adulation. This is another example of how nearly 3,000 years ago in Solomon’s time, people acted quite similarly to what they do today. Often times I will find that the people who speak the loudest, and with the most vigor, have the least amount of knowledge that they wish to convey. So why do people scoff, or mock? Quite simply, in many cases it is an attempt for self-validation. If one can convince another that they are more knowledgeable on a subject than they really are, their insecurities are lessened (albeit through a false premise), but that act of self-validation improves one’s own self-worth resulting in an expansion of inner-peace. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary has this in the reference about Proverbs 14:6 – [a mocker] pursues wisdom only in a superficial way so that he might have the appearance of being wise…. I enjoy comparing The Expositor’s Commentary with other commentaries as well… but a lesson I have learned from Solomon this evening might be something like this: Have someone love you for who you are, not who you want them to believe you to be! Good read tonight! 😇👍✝️❤️

Fools Speak The Loudest

Another good reading tonight in Proverbs 18. It is simply amazing how nearly 3,000 years ago King Solomon, beloved of the Lord, took the time to write down his thoughts that were relevant then, that are still so very relevant today. It is a true testament to human nature that after thousands of years our faults have stood the test of time. Have we advanced as a people… as a species? Is technology the true test of the advancements of a society, or is morality a truer test, especially since we have the wisdom of the ages available to us as a guide.

Something that the Spirit pointed out to me today is Proverbs 18:2, which relates to a previous passage in Proverbs 12:23.

Proverbs 18:2 (NIV)- Fools find no pleasure in understanding
but delight in airing their own opinions.

Proverbs 12:23 (NIV)- One who is clever conceals knowledge,
but the mind of a fool broadcasts folly.

In my life I have had the privilege of living in many areas, which has allowed me to be exposed to a variety of our cultures and customs. No matter a person’s color, accent, dialect, or level of employment, what defines a person is much more than meets the eye. The wisdom of Solomon can be found through a homeless man on the streets of a city, while the heights of depravity can be found in the tallest building. King Solomon prayed to God for wisdom, and it was granted. Here in Proverbs 18:2, something that seems obvious in the reading we have all probably run across at some point in time; and that is ‘he who speaks the loudest usually has the least to say’. What is Solomon saying here? What does he mean that they find no pleasure in understanding? Wisdom is a gift from God if you only choose to seek it, therefore we should revel in the search! However, King Solomon is saying that fools take more pleasure in hearing themselves speak than in acquiring knowledge. Why would this be so?

Most often it is insecurities. Because someone knows that they have not worked for knowledge, or money, or love, or friendship they require validation. What does that mean? Validation is affirmation (support or encouragement) that someone is special, loved, liked, approved, or worthwhile. Because someone knows that they are not what they present themselves to be, they seek validation through others that they are what they pretend, this results in them believing they are liked, which is validation.

Here is the key though, this happened almost three thousand years ago, and it is still happening now. Kind of crazy isn’t it? Here is what the Expositor’s Bible Commentary says on Proverbs 18:2: “Fools and speaking. Fools prefer to give their opinion rather than acquire wisdom. They find “no pleasure in understanding” (i.e., they detest understanding). Instead, they love telling what is on their mind. This is the kind of person who asks questions to show how clever one is rather than to learn.”

So why do I write all this down? I know that few people actually read my posts about Jesus and Salvation. I write them out to clear my thoughts on the subject and share for the few that might like to read them. Something that I have learned in reading the Bible repeatedly, is that Jesus wants us to surround ourselves with good people. Therefore, it is important to fully understand what a good person is, and to find out what that is, we need to read His Word.

Do you have friends that are with you through the bad times and not just the good? I hope so!

Here, Solomon is saying that a good person is not one who pretends to be knowledgeable about something that they aren’t, simply to make themselves look better for someone else. Jesus Christ died for us so that we can be saved through Faith, therefore we should wish to be the best people we can be, not only for our sake, but for Christ’s sake. He is our savior, he is the example we should strive to achieve. We should set the example for him so that others can see His work in Us.

To Love Yourself First is Wrong

A common saying is that one must first love themselves, before they can love someone else. That is wrong… Before someone can love themselves, they must first love God.
 
Many people would ask how I could say such a thing, and the answer is simple: I did not, Jesus did. (Mark 12:30: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. KJV)… If you think deeper about what Jesus said, it makes sense (especially after you have accepted Christ as your Savior, and felt the touch of His Spirit), and here is why: To love yourself first is self-centered, but most importantly contrary to the Word of God. Since self-love is self-centered, it is not an attribute of love, thus a person can not love themselves in such a manner, for they must love God first. (1 Corinthians 13:5 – It [love] is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful.).
 
True Love is something everyone searches for at some point in his or her life. Know that true love is not what we have for our husbands, wives, children, friends, or family; True love is what our Lord has for us, his creations. ✞

Back to God

This video is a new song released by Reba McIntyre that contains an important message for everyone. We can all see things in our world that should not be happening, but have and continue to do so. The main cause is how each generation over the last century has fallen away from God, who should not only be our central focus, but is the center of ourselves, and our Goodness.

We are alive through Grace and the Breath of God, but if we forget about Him, or mock Him, or ignore Him, the result is moral decay. Simply turn on one of your favorite news channels, or browse to a site, and you will see the results of millions of people falling away from God. Each new generation that I have watched over the last few decades, grows up assuming that they know the answer, the complete truth, and need not be accountable to anyone but themselves.

I pray that they do not face death with that view, and reconcile themselves to the Truth that choices in this life do have consequences. All one must do is open their hearts and minds, and admit that there is more, admit that you have made mistakes and will continue to do so, and pray that the Son of Man will accept your repentance, and forgive you. He really does not ask too much of us, simply that we believe, and show that faith through the actions and choices we make in our lives.

Reba does a good job with this song. If you like music it is at least worth giving it a listen too, and perhaps thinking about the message she is trying to convey. When I watch music videos on YouTube, i like to hit the little “CC” button at the bottom for closed captioning, to make sure that I understand the lyrics they are singing

Ephesians 3:20 – The Measure of Power God can Utilize Within Us

My lesson for today:

The measure of power that God can utilize in our favor, is directly proportional to the strength of our faith in Him. People will often complain that their prayers are not answered, or their illnesses healed, yet they are either pretenders in the faith, or their faith is not true. A commonly referenced verse is:

Ephesians 3:20-21
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Note Paul states “according to his power that is work within us.” We must ask ourselves what determines the level of God’s power that is within us? Quite simply, most people will feed their physical bodies three meals per day, plus snacks. For example, at lunch we will take an hour to nourish our physical bodies, but how much of that time is dedicated to feeding our spiritual selves? Our sense of awareness, our sentience, our souls are not the culmination of biological cells within our physical bodies, they will eventually die and decay. Our spirit is what contains our essence, our souls, and our spirit is nourished through worship of our Lord, and fed through the reading of His word.

A basic theme throughout Ephesians is that the end of redemption is the glory of God. Redemption is defined as the action of being saved from sin, or the action of regaining possession of something in exchange for payment. The payment for our redemption is Jesus Christ, and He is the indissoluble link between God and us.

Notice also that Paul says God can do “immeasurably more” than we can ask or imagine, He also uses that phrase in 1 Thessalonians 3:10 and 5:13. It is critical that we realize God does not have a limit in his capacity, either in power, spirit, love, or grace; and no human being can ever comprehend the enormity of “I am.” The key to our level of access of his power, is the truth of our faith that determines the level of His spirit that lives within us.

By worshiping the Father, and reading his Word to feed our spiritual selves, we strengthen our faith, which in turn increases our access to his Grace, so the likelihood of our prayers being answered is increased.

It is important to remember the Lamb’s Book of Life, as stated:

Revelation 21:27
“Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

The “it” above is the New Jerusalem. John is warning readers that the only way to live in the New Jerusalem is through complete faith in Jesus Christ. This does not mean that those without faith will be wandering around outside the city gates, because nothing impure will ever be allowed to enter.

Take a deep breath, breathe all the way in and hold it for a second, then thank God that you are able to do so. Life is good  

God’s Promises, and Pray, Don’t Just Complain!

Some people mock me because of my Faith in Christ, and that’s O.K… i will love you anyway 🙂 I study His Word diligently, because I have faced death (and I did not like it at all), and have literally been healed, and felt His Spirit in me while I was healed. It is something that you can never forget, even if you want to. 🙂
 
I usually work night and day, but sometimes when I am stuck on something I will peruse His word to clear my mind, and tonight I stumbled upon 2 Peter 1:4:
 
“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
 
The above can be a little confusing. “Through these” means God’s Glory, and our Salvation through Jesus Christ. When Christ came in his first form, God made promises of a new Messianic age to be established at Christ’s return. This is important, because of His gift, and His promises (there are several thousand in the Bible), we are enabled, or perhaps Bestowed would be a better word, with the ability to participate in His Divine Nature. This idea is expressed in other areas, such as Romans 8:15-17 where ‘The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.’
 
This is something that is often overlooked, because not only has the amount of Christians going to church weekly decreased dramatically in recent years, those who do attend a church do not study His word, or integrate Him into their lives as fully as they should.
 
2 Peter addresses this idea even in Bible times, through further explanation that Sanctification is a work of God that we must cooperate in. Yes, it is true that by faith alone we are saved through Grace, but saving faith does not continue of its own accord. So here Peter lists eight virtues, starting with Faith, and ending in Love.
 
2 Peter 1:5-11
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”
 
“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
 
Something we must remember, is that when we pray, we need not tell God all of our problems. He knows them before we complain. Over the years I’ve heard people say “I went to church a few weeks ago and prayed for something, it didn’t happen, so i didn’t go back.” We must remember, Jesus Himself said we should think of God as our Heavenly Father. If we have children, what would we do to give them the desires of their hearts? Anything right? If you are the Heavenly Father, the Creator of the Universe who flung stars into space on a whim, if He thinks of Us as His children, how deep would His love and desire be to fulfill our wishes? If the deepest desires of our hearts are not fulfilled, is it likely the problem of God, or could it be us, that is blocking God from fulfilling our wishes?
 
Think of God daily, Praise him daily, in each and everything that you do. When you pray, don’t complain, he already knows what is wrong. Thank Him for your life, I know I do 🙂

Seek Glory from the Father, not One Another

In our time, it is difficult to discern those who seek the truth. We are bombarded with information via technology, much of unknown origin, and much with slick and professional presentation, so if we do not listen or read carefully, and think for ourselves, it is very easy to become lead astray.

Recent studies have shown that the percentage of young people attending church has declined quite dramatically, and of those young people who do attend church while living in the home, once they leave and enter the world on their own, their probability of continuing worship dwindles to minuscule proportions. A problem with this, is that on the rare occasion they do choose to attend church and seek God, does the church they choose to attend, truly serve Jesus?

In Jesus’ time, even though our Lord was in their presence, the Pharisees could not see and accept the Truth. This was something that Jesus knew would happen, because while they strived to serve and believe the law, they were unfamiliar with, and thus could not recognize the Spirit. Thus when they preached, they did so for their own gain and recognition; in other words, they tried to achieve glory for themselves, instead of praising and giving glory to Him who was in their presence. Tonight I am reading through John, and two verses need to be looked at together in order to better grasp Jesus’ teaching (these are the words of Jesus).

John 7:18
“Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth;”

John 5:41-44
“I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?”

To further expound on Jesus’ thoughts, he was saying that the people of his time were incapable of both interpreting and applying scripture. In modern times we would term this “Practical Application.” Such as if a young student has read a book on changing the spark plugs in a car, when he grabs a wrench and actually does so, he is applying his newly found knowledge. For us as Christians, when we have felt the Spirit enter us, and begin to listen and discern His teachings, we are applying His Spirit, or the will of God to our lives.

In Jesus time the Jews were not capable of doing so, as is evident from his teachings, that while he was among them, they were spiritually unable to connect the Scriptures to their Savior. This is especially apparent in verse 44:

John 5:44 “How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God”

The Pharisees glorified in themselves instead of the purpose they were supposed to serve, choosing to believe their way and path was right, and good and true; when our Savior Himself was in their presence, begging them to believe and understand.

The same is true today as was true in the time of Jesus… Hubris (excessive pride, or self-confidence), is most often accompanied by ignorance and insecurities, or in other words, those with the strongest desire to speak the loudest, carry with them thoughts and words of the least value because they are either not truly seeking the truth, or they are not motivated to put forth the error required.

Remember for example that in Luke, Pontius Pilate was required by the custom of Passover to commute the sentence of one prisoner, and the Jews or “multitude” were given a choice… instead of choosing our Savior, they chose Jesus Barabbas. In verse 44 above, Jesus is rebuking those who were attempting to establish glory for themselves, by discrediting the Savior; when all they had to do was obey the revelation of God in order to win his approval.

Jesus’ goal is not human praise or glory, but praise that comes only from the Father. Here Jesus is saying that in his time, as is true in ours, people only accept (or perhaps Covet would help here) praise from one another. In doing so, all they will accomplish is to drive away those very souls that Jesus is striving to save.

🙂

Purified in the Fires of Affliction

One of the great things about being alive in modern times, is the ability to quickly and efficiently analyze many bible translations to enhance one’s understanding of our Lord. Tonight I am being directed to an old testament verse that seems quite applicable today. However, notice how different translations bring forth a more complete understanding.
 
Jeremiah 9:7 KJV
Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts,
Behold, I will melt them, and try them;
for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?
 
Jeremiah 9:7 NIV
Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says:
“See, I will refine and test them,
for what else can I do
because of the sin of my people?
 
Jeremiah 9:7 NET
Therefore the Lord who rules over all says,
“I will now purify them in the fires of affliction and test them.
The wickedness of my dear people has left me no choice.
What else can I do?
 
Fascinating differences aren’t they? It reminds me of the old movie that I didn’t really like very much “Lost in Translation.” Many ideas can become lost in translation… 🙂
 
Above the “daughter of my people” refers to the nation of Judah, and Jeremiah is emphasizing how they have fallen away from God, where deceit has become second nature (sounds familiar to modern times does it not?).
 
The metaphor he is using refers to the refining of metals, but in this case the Lord wishes to exterminate the impurities from his people, or “purge” the sin from them as if refining impurities from metal in a blast furnace. Many of us wonder why we suffer, and I have discussed suffering in other lessons before (refer to blindleper.com), but one of the reasons we suffer, is because our faith is being tested as stated here, in the “fires of affliction.”
 
In other words, if we suffer while in this life, true suffering not having to go without some trivial physical superfluous object, but if you reach the deepest depths of despair… do you still believe in God, and worship him while you suffer? Do you still praise his glory while you are curled up in pain?
 
Did Jesus still believe when he was suffering on the cross? Did he still love us? Does God deserve any less?
 
God can not be fooled through human deception. While many people on this Earth lie voraciously, and even get away with it, God does not believe the lies, because he is the Truth. Always remember, our ways can be tested in the fires of affliction, if He deems it necessary.
 
For more on suffering note: http://www.blindleper.com/life-lessons/hope-springs-eternal-through-our-suffering/
🙂