I opened the First Volume of “The Master Library” which is a series of books designed to bring Bible Art and Stories to the reader’s attention in a more reader friendly form, I was struck by one of their opening lines in their article about Abraham. “The man of faith ventures his all on the belief that God is eternally good, and worthy of absolute trust.” While some may question that life is a gamble, that life has a relationship to athletic contests is surely a part of the figures of speech that Paul (and therefore God) uses in his addresses to the Church. Fight the good fight, completed my course and not run in vain, etc. The gambler wants to be able to bet on “the Sure Thing.” This is because if it really is a sure thing, he can’t lose. I wish to purpose that there is no surer thing in the universe than betting that the one true God wants the very best outcomes for you in your life. In things like Lotteries that are all in vogue as money making activities, the really only sure bet is that more people that put their money down to play will lose than the very few who will come out ahead. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a money maker for who ever runs the game. This form of Taxation (by government run) lotteries is supposed to be more easily tolerated by the masses as the individual being taxed gets a bit of entertainment in the process of being relieved of his cash. But the athletic connection is even more important than that for believer’s.
There are groups out there who try to minimize the changes from the old covenant or testament unto the new. They maintain that every thing in the new Testament was foreshadowed by the Old and that nothing really changed. Thus the legalism that was a big part of being a follower of God in the old testament, is still to be the way of truth. In the revelation of the meaning of what Jesus accomplished, Paul addresses this issue over and over. In the worlds (Satan’s) religions, the highest place of honor goes to the martyr. This is one of the things that changed from the old to the new testament. In Ro 12 :1 We are instructed not to die for God, rather we are told to live for Him. Self discipline is not thrown out but it is rather redirected. The reason that “soldier for the lord imagery” is better Athlete for the lord boils down to one simple new truth. With the new birth, the gift of eternal life is given. This means that even if God’s adversary throws his best punch, the last enemy to be destroyed, i.e. death, now it is only a temporary time out. That person who has prepared himself to be a great competitor on the team of God will be back for the final showdown. Meanwhile the knowledge that the athlete for God withstood the wiles of the adversaries kingdom will have and will continue to generate new family members, being inspired by the simplicity of Ro 10 : 9,10 and the life lived in thanksgiving and love that is so superior to the life of hate and destruction. There are similarities between the old and the new because it is the same one true God involved in both Covenants, but the new Covenant is open to all who will believe. Living for God is so much better than dying for a god.
Life is defined as being able to make choices, choosing to live and share the Truth as opposed to trying to choose a particular lie to die for, just makes sense to me. But then I do not follow the theory that all of life is a lie, you get to advance the ranks as you figure out what the controlling lie is so you can move on to trying to figure out what the next bigger lie is. ( a theory shared with me by an aspiring Satanist). Satan is not known as the father of lies for no reason, his perception of the world is vastly different from that of God’s. As the world let’s more of Satan’s concepts permeate, it becomes harder and harder to see motivations other than what he (Satan) would have people believe. Hugs for example have been shown to be very healthy activities, but more and more mere touching someone else is being outlawed unless there is a legal reason to allow it for fear that a touch is lust being expressed. The art of massage for health reasons is thus much maligned. There are those who abuse the freedom that God gives us but as we legislate a distant and suspicious society as the only acceptable public behavior I believe we lose. When you become born again you are born into a family that should allow close family ties. An offer to greet one another with a hug should not be construed as an invitation to the bedroom for activities best left for a married couple. The quick shoulder massage to help ease the tension headache as well but alas such kindnesses are not appropriate any more. The lack of acceptable touching will generate more crime and desperation because just as a dog or cat loves to get physically stroked so does the human animal and if human touch is relegated to only happen in a sexual context and because so much more is involved in a marriage situation than the physical contact, it makes life so much more intolerable for those for whom the married state does not exist. Humans crave to be touched but they need to also know that that touch is not a prelude to violation, obligation or pain. Fear is a motive the adversary uses. There are theories of psychology that say fear is the only motivator. This I do not agree with and I do my best to let the Word define how I think. Fear is not the other side of love.
Love is to be our motivation and because it is not recognized as a motivator, misconceptions arise. Life with an accurate knowledge of God and his Word is so much better than life without that knowledge that it is an act of love to witness to someone about your knowledge so that they can know this too. But in this day in time way too often the quickest way to be accused of instigating problems in the work place is by sharing how the Word is blessing you, sharing from the Word what will solve the problem encountered. Religion and Politics are not appropriate work place discussions I have been told over and over, yet to me because I know how great a difference it can make, it is the only truly worth while subject to discuss. As a man of faith I venture my whole life that the one true God is eternally good and worthy of my absolute trust. This is the greatest sure thing. One that I always come back to if I ever get distracted from actively supporting. God is worth talking about. Love is a better motivator than any threat or fear mongering. To some I may not be the most successful person they have ever met, but there are very few people who have crossed paths with me that do not know I am a believer. To this end I find I am very successful. I may have lost a few jobs because the boss had no tolerance for someone who couldn’t separate who he was from what he believed about God. But being in God’s Family is a part of my identity. I love people and wish I was free to help them in ways that I have learned to be very effective at relieving their pain. I have web sites in my personal profile of businesses that I have found that help people get better nutrition or better leads for their web based business. This is to help alleviate their pain in building their business or help their bodies to function as it was designed to by making sure the necessary building blocks are there that they need to work. God wrought a marvelous thing when he designed our bodies. But he left it up to us to feed it well and take other means of taking care of it. While “man does not live by bread alone” never the less nutrition does matter. In my blog I am endeavoring to make the rest of that verse more easily digestible Mt 4:4 for every Word that comes from God is alas sadly lacking from most spiritual diets.
The accuracy of the scriptures is not taught, Instead people are taught to read into what is written and if they notice a discrepancy between what is written and the doctrine of the “church” they are told either that details don’t matter or some things you just have to accept by faith. I have already shared some of those details that depart from what traditional teaching holds as the truth, there are so many more. Tradition teaches Christ made one entry into Jerusalem to hosanna proclamations and they celebrate it as Palm Sunday. He made 2 entries to hosannas and neither one was on a Sunday. Jesus was beaten while held by 100 Roman Soldiers over 48 hours before being taken to Calvary, the Cross he carried was our sins and sicknesses, the tree, or stake he was crucified upon was carried from the gate to Calvary by another (Sorry you stations of the cross believers but they are not Biblical). He was crucified About 9 am with two malefactors, About noon two thieves were added, he gave up the spirit about 6 pm and he was in the grave before sundown that Wednesday April 28th, April 29th was a high Sabbath Day. Friday the women worked to prepare the embalming solutions The third day was a weekly Sabbath but 72 hours after his burial, God raised him from the dead, And while it was yet dark on Sunday, the first day of the week, the women found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. A far different time line than Tradition teaches but the details line up with scripture. That it took a full day for the embalming solutions to be prepared from other sources than the Bible, but provides background information for the reason the women did not try to get back to the tomb on the one non Sabbath day between the first and third days of his burial. Joseph of Arimathaea seems to be the only follower of Jesus who believed Jesus when he spoke of his resurrection for he placed him in the tomb without the normal preparation. This is the reason the women went to the tomb that Sunday morn to rectify that supposed oversight, of course it proved not to be necessary. Yes these are details but that does not mean they are not the truth or not important to know. God had the details recorded so we would know. And the recorded comments do not show the Women’s delay was that they believed he would get up. They had witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus but they thought Jesus needed to be there alive to do the miracles. They too seemed to miss that God does the miracles and he is an invisible God. Next time I will tackle perhaps the biggest correction needed to get away from traditional teaching to the truth that I know about.
For now remember that the surest thing is that God wants the best for you, He has made promises to those who will accept His plan of Salvation, He has provided the power to bring those promises to fruition, the question is Will you choose to believe?