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4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable
unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that
which is to come.
translators think that bodily exercise profits for a little time. When I
got on the treadmill the other day, the truth of this verse was very
obvious to me. It takes a long time to get into shape and it seems to
take very little time get out of shape. So while I was huffing and
puffing, I thought about the things in life that are of little value,
those that are of no value, and those that are of eternal value.
have thought that bodily exercise is of no value, but I don't think Paul
was teaching that. He made too many references to 0lympic-style games
for me to believe that he didn't read the sports news in the coliseum
news paper from time to time. But he realized that a Spartan-type of
obsession with physical conditioning was only going to last for a little
while. However, he knew that the same kind of attitude toward developing
godly characteristics would be profitable for ever.
of us spend most of our time on things that are no value. I think the
"profane and old wives's fables" that Paul mentions in this
passage fall into this category. These were obviously godless traditions
that were not true. Many people listen to the profane teachings of
godless men and women today without realizing that man does not have
final answers. If God has not given us the final answers in the Bible
then we just aren't going to get final answers because man is simply not
God. Man is creative but he is not the Creator. Man is on the inside
looking out, not on the outside looking in. We find it easy to be
spoiled through "philosophy and vain deceit" (Colossians 2:8).
Philosophy is the reasonings of man while vain deceit is simply empty
lies. Philosophy starts out by saying "I think" or "so
and so thinks". Empty lies are what the Christians were trying to
defend when the book "The Di Vinci Code" was published. I
never could figure out why we were defending the truth against a book
that said on the cover that if was fiction. Of course, I couldn't figure
out why Christians read it either. I for one did not. Spending time with
such things might be entertaining, but it has no lasting value.
says that godliness has great value. Later on in the chapter, he says
that the exercise that profits for eternity is the study of, the
mediation on, and the teaching of the Word of God. Some weeks, I have to
admit that most of my time is spent on things that keep me from doing
that which I should be doing. Even doing the Lord's work can sometimes
get in the way of sitting at the Lord's feet and listening, which is
really the Lord's work (Luke 10:42).
need to become children of God by faith in the Lord Jesus (John 1:12).
Then as children we need to get the right exercise so that we begin to
take on the features of our heavenly Father, and so that we can begin
losing the features of "our father the devil" (John 8:44).
Instead of spreading lies, we should be telling the truth. Instead of
destroying, we should be building. Instead of dividing, we should be
uniting. Instead of hating others, we should be loving others. Instead
of questioning God, we should be trusting Him.
think I need more of the right kind of exercise.
for the week of May 6, 2007
39:5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is
as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether
certainly are important. They bring life into this world and they
nurture their children in the hope that they will "become
responsible human beings" and perhaps "make a
difference". But what is a responsible human being and what
difference can any of us make?
first mother, Eve, made a difference by disobeying God and bringing sin
into the world. Because of her lack of obedience, she brought up a child
who murdered his brother. Murder and killing has been a part of the
fallen nature of man ever since. I think that before Eve left the Garden
of Eden, she had already turned away from her sin of doing what she
thought was right, to doing what God told her was right. She was
forgiven by a husband that loved her so much that he was willing to
leave paradise to be with her. According to 1 Timothy 2:14, Adam was not
deceived so when Eve offered him the forbidden fruit, I believe that he
knew what the consequences would be if he took it. And she was forgiven
by her Creator who provided for her nakedness by shedding the blood of
animals and clothing her with their skins. Nevertheless, the
consequences of her sin have endured through generations. Eve was
was the mother of the Lord Jesus. She had the privilege of bringing the
"Word that was made flesh" (John 1:14) into the world. She was
a sinner just like the rest of the human race, but she was a worshiper
of the one true God. He Baby grew up to provide for the mistake of Eve.
Her Baby was born to die on an old rugged cross. Mary experienced sorrow
because she had been chosen to give birth and to raise the One who was
to be the Savior of the world. Mary was important.
just what do mother's really accomplish? They bring children into the world,
and make great sacrifices for them and for what? Some of the children
continue fighting the wars of Cain and Able. Others will have all that
this life can offer, houses and wives and families and friends and jobs
with authority. They will also bring more children into the world and
make great sacrifices for them and for what? So that each generation can
bring more children into the world and make great sacrifices for them.
David who was looking at things from a natural point of view felt that
man at his best was vanity or empty or a breath. Solomon who had
everything said that all was vanity or empty or futile in the book of
people are concerned that the human race could be destroyed through
global warming and weapons of mass destruction. I do not think that man
can do this until after the Lord reigns on this earth for a thousand
years. However, if mankind were to be destroyed, what difference would
it make in the grand scheme of the universe? Will the fact that the
cycle of life has ceased and that mothers are no longer producing and
raising offspring, change the universe in any way? Will the sun quit
shining, will the stars lose their brilliance, will the universe be
damaged if this old earth were to cease being the universe's Garden of
Eden? Probably in the grand scheme of things, we don't make much
difference except to the God who created us. Yes, if we destroy
ourselves, He would be the One who would be cheated out of the love and
affection of those that He has put on this earth. The fact that there is
a God who made us and wants to have fellowship with us, is the only
thing that makes what Mother's do have meaning in my mind.
Mother's need to teach their children about Eve and sin. They need to
teach their children about Mary and salvation through faith in the Lord
Jesus. Children who live life for self may have a number of enjoyable
years on this planet, but ultimately their lives are meaningless.
Children who glorify God are fulfilling the purpose for which God made
them and gave them life. Their lives have meaning.
for the week of May 13, 2007
Chronicles 27:33 And Ahithophel was the king's counsellor: and Hushai
the Archite was the king's companion. (See also 2 Samuel 15:37 and 2
26:49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed
26:50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then
came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
say that if you have one good friend in a lifetime, that you are a
fortunate person. Friends are people that you can trust. The Bible says
that if we are going to have friends we must be a friend (Proverbs
18:24). David had at least two friends. One was Jonathan, Saul's son.
One was Hushai who helped him during Absalom's rebellion.
Lord had several people who were his friends. Mary, Martha and Lazarus
mentioned in John 11 were the Lord's friends. When the Lord was told
that the one he loved was sick, the word used is the word for the love
of a friend. No doubt Mary Magdalene was considered a friend, and I am
sure that the rest of his disciples would have said that they were
friends. But Judas who should have been a loyal friend was not. He was
using the Lord to advance his own cause. He was the group's treasurer
and he was a thief (see John 12:6). Yet, in the garden as Judas was
giving Him the kiss of betrayal, the Lord called him a friend.
only pretended to be a friend. In the upper room when the Lord said one
would betray him, the disciples all seemed to be asking if the Lord was
speaking of them. Judas also asked if he was the one (see Matthew 26:22
and 25). The other disciples, who were true friends, no doubt realized
that they had the potential to betray the Lord and, in Mark 14, they all
appear to have doubts about themselves. In John 13, they may have had
doubts about the other disciples. Judas acted just like the Lord's true
friends, but when he asked if he was the one, he wasn't concerned about
his possible weakness. Instead, he was checking to see if the Lord knew
that he was the one who was going to betray Him. And even though the
Lord knew and told Judas that He knew, that didn't stop Judas. I do not
believe that he expected the Lord to be hurt by his betrayal since he
likely thought that the Lord would deliver Himself from the religious
rulers. But, nevertheless, he didn't love the Lord as a friend. He loved
himself. When he found out that the Lord wasn't going to deliver Himself
out of the hands of those who wanted to crucify Him, he was sorry for
what he had done (Matthew 27:3). But he was never the Lord's friend.
know that the Lord was a friend of publicans and sinners; but, usually
when the Lord talks about his friends, he is talking about those who
truly trust Him and those He can trust. When Simon Peter denied Him, he
obviously was not trustworthy. But this was not his usual relationship
with the Lord, and his failure apparently made him realize what a friend
he had in the Lord. After Peter's denial, he had a meeting with the Lord
on the banks of the sea of Tiberias. He was able to say to the Lord,
"Thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee." The
word Peter uses is the word for the love of a friend (John 21:17) The
Lord then trusted him to take the Gospel first to the Jews in Acts 2 and
then to the Gentiles in Acts 10. The Lord also used him as a trusted
leader in the early church (Galatians 2:9).
many of us who act like we are the Lord's friends have really had our
hearts touched by Him? Are we people who pretend to be His friend only
when it benefits us? Are we spending time alone with Lord communing with
Him as people do with their friends? Do we read the Book that He has
sent to us in the same way that we would read a letter from a friend? Do
we really love Him as a friend, or are we just using him like Judas did?
for the week of May 20, 2007
17:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book,
and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the
remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.
17:15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:
17:16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have
war with Amalek from generation to generation.
Galatians 5, Paul says that the flesh and the Spirit are constantly in
conflict. The flesh represents the appetites and desires of the natural
man (Ephesians 2:3). However, according to Paul, if we are led by the
Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Obviously, we cannot
be led by the Spirit until we are born of the Spirit (see John 3:6). But
once we are saved or born again, this conflict begins.
people think that we can achieve a sinless state after we are saved. My
personal experience convinces me that no matter how hard I try, there
are going to some things in my life that I wish weren't there. There are
some things that I should do that I do not do. Sometimes it is because I
don't know that I am supposed to do them. Other times it is because I
don't want to do them. Other times there are things that I should not do
that I do. Paul tells us that he had this problem in Romans 7. He makes
it clear that there is a sin principle in each of us that causes us
have a picture of this conflict in the old testament. Amalek represents
the flesh. Israel represents the Spirit. We find that Amalek attacks the
stragglers and the weak and doesn't fear God (Deuteronomy 25:18). Israel
was to have constant war with Amalek. When Amalek attacks what should we
do? Exodus 17 gives us some guidance:
represents Christ as our intercessor. Joshua represents Christ as the
Captain of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10). The stone that Moses sat on
represents Christ as our foundation and as our resting place. However,
there was a work to be done by Aaron and Hur. They had to hold up the
arms of Moses in order for Joshua to prevail in the battle with Amalek.
Their work is the important work of prayer. Notice two people were
praying while only one was leading the fight. Prayer is important if we
are going to be victorious. And sometimes we need to involve others in
that praying. Amalek is never totally destroyed. Saul meets Agag, King
of the Amalekites, in 1 Samuel 15:9. Saul disobeys God by sparing Agag
from destruction. He spared the man who represents "me, myself and
I" in each one of our lives. Agag has a descendant named Haman in
the book of Esther. He is the enemy of the Jews. When he is destroyed we
find that he had ten sons that needed to be destroyed. Amalek is never
completely destroyed in this life. About the time that we think we have
won this battle, the enemy attacks us once again. It will usually happen
when we are discouraged, perhaps when we are not reading our Bibles and
praying. It may be when we are sick or when we have been bereaved or
when we can't pay the bills or when we are lonely.
book that reminded Israel of their battle with Amalek was to be written
by Moses. That book would remind them of the victory that they had
achieved and would have given them confidence when the next battle in
this war was engaged. So if we do have conflict between what we want to
do to please self versus what we want to do to please the Lord, we need
to take courage. The fact that we have conflict is evidence that we are
saved. We need to remember the times when the Lord has given us victory.
This will strengthen us to believe that we can be victorious when the
next battle comes.
for the week of May 27, 2007