Proverbs in Light of The Cross; No Higher Ordination Than That of a Parent

I am writing today from beautiful Florida.

I am writing today from beautiful Florida.

 

My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck. Proverbs 1:8-9 NLT

Ephesians 5:33 in the KJV calls for wives to reverence their husbands. That is powerful, because the Bible never tells anyone to reverence a priest or a prophet. That word “reverence” for the father tells me, a parent is not only the first teacher but also the first and most important pastor.

I love Christian schools, and have dedicated my time and money to them. I believe in their mission with all my heart. Yet, sometimes when we promote Christian schools, I think we sometimes give credit to the schools that actually belongs to the parents. Of course I understand it is the parents who utilize the school in their home ministry.

I went to Adventist Schools from grades 1 through college. My schools averaged around 100 students a year with different students coming and going throughout my 12 grades. A while back, I went through my year books, and I could count on both hands, and maybe a couple of toes the number of kids who remained in the church after we grew up. Upon further investigation I found, for the most part, the families who remained in the church after growing up, were families that had worship every night in the home. They also encouraged their children to study the Bible for themselves.That is why they are still in the church. Church schools are great, they are wonderful, they are ordained by God, but they are not ordained to take the place of the mother and father and do the work the mother and father are ordained to do. (I understand there are situations, like my late friend Quong, who came to the United States from Vietnam, and was put in an Adventist School, only because it was private. While his parents were athiest, Quong, accepted Jesus, and was forced out of his home at 14 years of age! He slept at the school every night till he found a new family to live with. Thank God for that school!)

A while back I was giving a devotional for chapel at a Christian School. I asked the lower grade students how many of them have family worship at home. Out of about 45 students only 5 hands were raised. I begged the other students to ask their parents to have family worship with them every night, by studying the children’s Sabbath School lessons* and Bible together, and prayer.

The mother and father are more to a child than any priest, pastor, teacher, or even general conference president will ever be. The ordination of mother and father is a much higher ordination than any priest or pastor, and a child should learn to listen to and respect their parent more than they respect any priest, pastor or teacher.

*SSNET has a tab in their menu for lessons for every age group.

Unity and the Trinity

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

“My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.  All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory.  Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. John 17:9-10 NLT

In the United States there is one federal government. One Congress, yet it has over 500 members. A husband and wife are one while they are still two individuals. Likewise, there is one Godhead. yet many people have trouble understanding how this can be. Could it be they are being a little too intense and literal? I observe that a lot of misunderstandings about the Bible come from us being more intense and literal when studying the Bible, instead of allowing Jesus and the writers to use figure of speech just like everyone else.  Just like there is one congress with over 500 members, so there is one Godhead with three members. While the Senator from Ohio is a congressman, the representative from Arizona is a congressman too. Just as the Father is God, so is the Son and Holy Spirit. Just as the 500 individual members of congress can all be congressmen, so the three individual members of the Godhead can all be God.

Jesus prayed in John 17 that His church would all be one just as He and the Father are one. Now if Jesus and the Father were just one individual then what Jesus would have been praying for would be for the entire church to be just one individual. This obviously is not so. Jesus wants His church to be one in unity just as He and the Father are One in unity.

Study more on the Trinity here.

Study more on this week’s SS lesson unity here.

The Trinity In Light Of The Cross- With New Living Translation

Daytona Beach Sunrise 2012

You may download a printable copy of In Light Of The Cross Bible Study Guides -NLT here.

The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

 

Brief overview: There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Deut. 6:4Matt. 28:192 Cor. 13:14Eph. 4:4-6;1 Peter 1:21 Tim. 1:17Rev. 14:7.)

God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also revelations of the Father. (Gen. 1:1Rev. 4:111 Cor. 15:28John 3:161 John 4:81 Tim. 1:17Ex. 34:67John 14:9.)

God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. By His miracles He manifested God’s power and was attested as God’s promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things. (John 1:1-314Col. 1:15-19John 10:3014:9Rom. 6:232 Cor. 5:17-19John 5:22Luke 1:35Phil. 2:5-11Heb. 2:9-181 Cor. 15:34Heb. 8:12;John 14:1-3.)

God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ’s life with power. He draws and convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and transforms into the image of God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth. (Gen. 1:12Luke 1:354:18Acts 10:382 Peter 1:212 Cor. 3:18Eph. 4:1112Acts 1:8John 14:16-182615:2627;16:7-13.)

Why it is important to know the truth about the Trinity:

Some people make this teaching more intense and complicated than it really is. Some wonder how the Father , Son and Holy Spirit can all be three different Beings while just one God. It is really very simple. There is one Congress in the United States. Yet it has over 500 members. The Senator from Florida is a congressman, while the Senator from Hawaii is also. Still they make up one congress or one ruling entity. So there is one God or one ruling entity made up of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 1 john 4:8 tells us God is love. The Bible tells us love is being others centered as opposed to being self centered. If you think about it, there had to be a time in the universe when nothing else existed but God. I don’t know how long ago it was or how long it lasted, but my reason (which is subject to error) tells me at one point in time there had to be nothing but God. If God had been only one Being at that point in time He could not have been love, because love is being others centered, and He would have had only Himself to be centered on. But God has always been three Beings, each one centered upon the needs of the Others, therefore God has always been love. The Trinity or Godhead is the First family of the universe. They are a model of what are families can be.

Why it is important to understand the Trinity in light of the cross.

Understanding the trinity is crucial to understanding John 3:16.” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NLT For years I just pictured Jesus coming to die for us and making all the sacrifices while God the Father just stayed up in heaven and watched from a distance. Then in the mid-1990s I got a phone call from my mother. A young friend of ours had died while waiting on a heart transplant. My mother was crying, telling me she had lived a full life so why couldn’t she have just given our young friend her heart? “No way!” I thought to myself. “You are my mother!” When I hung up the phone I had a clearer view of John 3:16 and what happened at the cross. God the Father was not just watching from a distance as His Son made all the sacrifices. It was actually God who was making the greater sacrifice. Many of us would rather suffer ourselves, than see a family member suffer.  Unless you understand the Trinity, and that there was a Father sacrificing not Himself, but His Son, you really can’t understand the cross.

 

Further Study on the Trinity

 

Who was present at the Baptism of Jesus?

After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” Matthew 3:16-17 NLT

Note: Here we see three distinct members of the Godhead, the Son Jesus, coming up from the water, The Holy Spirit descending like a dove, and the voice of the Father from heaven.

 Did Jesus have to submit His will to the Father?                                                              

“My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:39 NLT

Does God want us all to be united as one as He and the Father are one, while we are still a multitude of Entities?                                                                                                     

   “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.  All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory.  Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name;now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. John 17:9-10 NLT

Revelation 3; What Does Jesus Say About You?

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. Revelation 3:5 

Your name rolling off the lips of Jesus before the throne of God! What an awesome thought! It is always pleasant to overhear someone giving us a compliment. The other day at work one of the executives told me that my boss had praised my work in a committee meeting. It made me feel really good about myself. It’s always nice to hear that we are well spoken of, yet I cannot think of anything more thrilling than to know that Jesus is ”bragging” about me to His Father! 

Fact is here on earth there will always be some people mentioning our names in a good light and then others mentioning our names in a bad light. Instead of worrying about what people are saying about us here on earth, our concern should be, what is Jesus saying about us before His Father, that is all that matters. 

Remember, while folks on earth discuss your reputation, The Son and father in heaven discuss your character, and it is not our reputation, but our character that we take to heaven. 

What will Jesus have to say about you today?