1Here is what God is saying concerning the United States: The colors of your flag are red, white, and blue; why then is your land only red? 2The sounds of violence are within the ear shots of babes; the musician no longer plays their instrument, and the singer has ceased from singing. 3Nations have turned their backs on you; even those who plead to you for their lives, for you have exchanged vitals for vitriol. 4Open your eyes and weep! Feel remorse! For your transgressions have piled up, and you have prized rubies over me.
His Story of Slaves
5I showed belligerence to your fathers; when I punished them with the sword and with whips, my wrath was on display as in a stadium. 6I impoverished them even to the depths of their soul, but my Holy Ones can afford my delight and favor; for the sweetness of my charm has never left my necks. 7They have found their standing in Me, and become my most precious of Messengers. Because of this, they will receive my inheritance. 8Doesn’t my name bring about salvation? Does it not both deliver and destroy? Dare to praise me, and you will find refuge.
The King’s Meme
9For I am the LORD, a consuming fire; Yeshua, the LORD of hosts. I was severed from my brothers as in the days of Joseph. 10And my brothers came to me saying, “Who are you to tell us you’re the King?” And my authority is challenged. 11Therefore I instructed my muses to prepare a drink for me with hyssop; for a libation, but for themselves. Let them pursue pleasure within reason, lest the serpent beguile them. 12I commanded the powers to irrigate the land with dryness; that the country shall thirst with nothing to quench, and the ungodly shall drown in their appetite. 13Those who have respect to my name shall not be in chains, they shall remain untarnished; uninhibited and will escape the grip of the despot. 14Still the sacrilegious shall burn in their corruption; it shall be heaped upon them as coals of fire; yes even as meteors of wormwood. 15Their souls shall be tormented forever; left desolate with no one to restore, for they despised the only hand that could rescue.
A Waning Church
16O Israel, my ministers have become dispassionate; my prophets are apathetic, for their bloodshot eyes have not seen peace. 17And the minds of the wise agonize, they seek knowledge from dusk until morning, and yet no solution is found to cure. 18Because at the end of the Day, they’ve forgotten Me. I am the Day, the Bright Morning Star. The grind that the LORD requires has ceased amongst them. 19Therefore dancing shall cease from the clubs, and skipping from the hearts of the streets. Giddiness shall be known as an ancient relic; 20And the vigor of the strong shall fail; even the fragrances and cosmetics. Let those who keep judgment accept bribes no more!
21Keep the ways of the LORD and he will preserve you; You will continue on Highways that the profane cannot enter. 22You will rest in the loveliest pastures that God has provided. Justice shall be your front and rear shield. For only the pure in heart can enter my presence.
FOREWARD: I do not speak Punjab and I have little exposure to Hindi. Learning Hindi was practical for me due to the nature of work I had to do in the past. The goal is to find Christ’s Immanence in all text; something that is easier to do within Abrahamic Religions than outside. The path of seeing Christ in all calls out to me as a deep longing I hold. I made this post public to invite those who are intrigued by such notions to join me in this Journey of Discovering Christ.
The following is an excerpt of the first Vaars of Bhai Gurdas ji. Vaars in this context is referring to literature within Sikhism and shouldn’t be conflated with the seven days of week in Hinduism.
Greetings to the Guru, Satnamu, the mantra recited. (2-4-7) The substance of salvation is absorbed out of the abyss. (2-4-7) ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਭੌ ਕਟਿਆ ਸੰਸਾ ਰੋਗ ਵਿਜੋਗ ਮਿਟਾਯਾ॥ (1-7) Sansa, this is the world, suffering in birth and death. (2-4-7) At the feet of the Guru, the Sat Shabad is liberated. (2-4-7) Bhai Bhagat Gurpurab Kar Naam Daan Ishnan Dridhaya. (2-4-7) The seed has borne fruit. (2-4-7) At first, I was breathless, but I could not hear anything. (2-4-7) ਰਕਤ ਬਿੰਦ ਕੀ ਦੇਹ ਰਚ ਪਾਂਚ ਤਤ ਕੀ ਜੜਤ ਜੜਾਈ॥ (2-4-7) The wind and the water merge with the fourth earth without hesitation. (2-4-7) In the Punch, the Creator of the sky is absorbed in the sixth invisible. (1-7) The five elements, twenty-five times the enemy, the friend, the body together. (2-4-7)
NOTE: The numbers after the text looks like they belong to a musical system. There seems to be a common theme of salvation in Eastern Religions. If salvation is in Jesus alone, there needs to be more objective proof in words and deeds. The phrase, ‘In the Punch,’ I believe is more likely to refer to a place in India rather than some juice or action.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
When reconciling foreign cultures, it’s good practice to NOT conflate names and take note of titles. How can we find Jesus in the passage?
What similarities are there with the Vaars and the Bible? What are the differences?
What are the five elements being referred here in the poem? In what ways is such knowledge useful and irrelevant?
Ask, and it will be given you; SIKH, and you shall find, knock, and the door shall be opened to you. Matt 7:7 ESV Eisegesis added
You gotta appreciate the Internet. Although it can be a dark and unhealthy place at times, look hard enough and you’ll find reasons to smile – including how petty people can be.
Petty cake, petty cake
Bake me a cake
As fast as you can.
So, I didn’t know how many of you leaders have great cooking skills! (I’m not being smart here.) Have you seen this cake from T.D Jakes? Man listen! Ya’ll can say whatever you wanna say about these folks, but if I hear them preaching Christ and Him crucified, they alwrite with me! And I love bacon! So T.D Jakes and I have a connection already. I love baking because it’s an exact science; what you put in, keep out, where you store it, how long you bake it all play a part in how the food tastes. Let that marinate, because there’s a word in there somewhere.
Now in the last devotional we continued learning about the fundamentals in Hermeneutics and doctrines concerning Biblical Authority. I’ve also proved my case for advanced cultural studies. To do a recap of the main course of thought, I’ll put up a semi-controversial proposition. Test my logic:
A person cannot justly disprove the final claim in the argument without being a spiritual person, for they will have to test the spirit behind the words and not simply judge what’s on the page. Like in today’s devotional scripture:
5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Tim 4:5 ESV
Unfortunately, I haven’t had any drinks in a while, especially after having to go into urgent care. I was told it would take about two weeks to heal and I’m doing better. So thank you all who prayed for me and those who are suffering now. We are more connected than some of us would imagine. For those who may want to experience this fellowship, my charge is the same…
As for you, always be sober-minded… 2 Tim 4:5a
When I was in my twenties, I didn’t drink coffee that much because it had the opposite effect on me. Here I am trying to pull an all-nighter and coffee would put me right to sleep. Now it works like a charm, although I try to avoid drinking it to stay awake. I like natural grace.
Did you know that the effects of losing days of sleep can have the same affect as being buzzed? The disciplines of watching is not for the faint of heart. It’s going against a lot of conventional wisdom as you’re intentionally imposing on yourself bouts of insomnia. And for what purpose? Well at least for the following:
3I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 2 Tim 1:3 ESV
Not exactly sure why the woke community call themselves ‘woke’ for. At best, they are only conscious of the social ills that are plaguing our neighborhoods. Yet when it comes to experiencing what it’s like to be united to the God who never sleeps nor slumbers, there tends to be ignorance of the traumas many are experiencing. Additionally none are aware of how transcendence begets freedom and reconciliation, so they are ignorant of any real solutions beneficial for future generations. Great skill is required for those builders who receive criticism from misunderstandings, impatience, and prevailing opinions. To put trust in anything other than the sacred Godhead is begging to be out of the frying pan and into the fire.
And now for Final Jeopardy: This character won an Academy Award as the star in the toon “Tweetie Pie”.
Isn’t it fascinating what hell people are willing to go through in chasing after something? You know how much hell I went through even though I wasn’t running? Man let me give it to you straight.
Endure suffering…2 Tim 4:5b
Hopefully, that was forward enough. There’s no way around it. Godliness in this life comes with pleasures and pain; prosperity and poverty, sickness and health although many people may have experienced an unbalance of one of the two. Nevertheless, every man has to bear his own cross, and if he will be benevolent, he will also bear the cross of others. Now just a small word out there for our eager martyrs: 1.) Don’t be throwing yourself in situations you weren’t trained for and 2.) Don’t put yourself in a position where you are a risk to yourself and others. Listen if you are watching for days on end and you need to go out to get from point A to point B, take an Uber. There are plenty of ways you can die on a hill without committing suicide. True love doesn’t do harm to their neighbor.
Have you ever had shrimp deviled eggs? Man let me tell you sumthin’, those jokers are fire! A whole lot can be said through cooking. Just so we’re on the same page, I don’t discriminate. I’m an Equal Opportunity Eater; vegan or non-vegan, I be eating. I fast too though… Balance.
Do the work of an evangelist…2 Tim 4:5c
To which we explained in our previous devotional that evangelizing is not bound to open air preaching, neither does it need to be relevant, focused, or fiery. The Word of God is free and will do it’s work in advancing the Kingdom, whether Jesus is openly proclaimed or not.
The Final Dessert
And so we come to an unspoken rule in Hermeneutics in which I’ve hinted at plenty of times although it isn’t apparent; keep interpreting, break it down, and then break it down again; expound on it, and expound some more.
Fulfill your ministry….2 Tim 4:5d
__________________________, because there is infinitely more things one can do with their life. All things are certainly possible with God, except for many it is less probable because we are either unwilling or doubting what is possible. Keep believing.
By the word keep I mean to maintain a state of being, whether that is actively open or more reserved.
You shall not add to the word that ___________, nor take from it, that you may __________ the commandments of the Lord your God that _________ command you. Deut 4:2 ESV
Just like a scientist
would test and experiment
and discover new things
even at atomic levels,
a man of faith would seek out the glory of God in the world and beyond. There are many things that I am grateful for this year; Life, family, friends, health. Thank you again for those who kept me in your prayers.
So in closing this devotional I hope we can leave behind dogmas keeping us from understanding people and the world we live in. May we be more ready to speed up the return of Christ; in unity of faith looking for the Final Consummation of Everything. Even as I work to renovate my own marriage to my sweetest caramel of a spouse; Shandra. Remember our covenantal bond, for the word is suffe’ring’ for a reason. I love you dearly and always. Happy Thanksgiving!
One of the good things this pandemic has brought about was more adoption of ways of delivering products. In store pick-ups and curbside deliveries have been crucial in helping to keep long lines down while social distancing. I hope this continues long after things clear up rather than having the full on cashier-less store. Yes, I still have faith in retail stores in spite of massive closedowns. No need to hear comments from the peanut gallery.
So, my wife found this gem of a book recently just laying on the check-out counter as she was purchasing some items. Such a historical book and makes a great addition to our book collection. In our previous devotional, we talked about additional rules of Hermeneutics including juxtaposing and integrating words. Today I hope to do three things here:
Give a little more information about Biblical interpretation
Give a short talk on Biblical Authority and the difference between infallibility and inerrancy.
Provide further grounds for exploring other religions and cultures in great detail.
In the last post, I made a suggestion to not weaken the potency of words in order to suit our understanding. For those who are well acquainted with the Bible, they know how powerful words can be and the danger behind weaking it. It’s good to remind us here that the rules behind Biblical Interpretation are not arbitrary rules given by some scholars, it is written in the Bible itself.
You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you. Deut 4:2 ESV
Gee is that all?
There are two types of interpretations: exegesis and eisegesis. Exegesis is interpreting the text by the author according to the author’s word in context. Eisegesis by contrast is importing your own ideas of meaning into the text. Generally speaking eisegesis is shunned and for good reasons yet not altogether correct.
The prophets of Judaism had warned Israel about failing to discern between good and evil. (Read Is 5:20-21; Ez 22:26) The Jews many of times fell away from serving God to serving idols keeping themselves from reaching the Promised Land. It is also proverbial wisdom to avoid eisegesis although wisdom will sometimes clash.
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. Prov 30:5-6 ESV
I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. Ecc 3:14 ESV
Grace to Write
Because God’s Word is and should be held in high regard, eisegesis is commonly avoided in respect of authority. For who would talk back to the highest authority? A Supreme being does not stand to be corrected. These are the premises concerning the infallibility of the scriptures. However, with Logic, a distinction must be made between infallibility and inerrancy. These are two different words which imports two different sets of meanings. I am preparing to make a dangerous claim. Please take the time to consider my propositions:
If something is inerrant, it must be infallible. The inverse is not true. Something can be infallible and contain errors. The Bible contains many errors, perhaps more than we would like to admit.
Haven’t we already proven deviations from God’s Word with translations alone? Are there other inaccuracies in the Bible? I can find them. Can you?
The righteousness that comes from law keeping states that one must be careful to not make mistakes to be right with God. The righteousness that comes from grace states that one has fulfilled the law through simple faith in Christ. The former strives to maintain the integrity of the letter. The latter maintains the purity of the Spirit. As our beloved Matthew would write:
And so I maintain an epigrammatic expression that I have said once and will say again: One cannot honestly assert the existence of transcendental truth without recognizing objectivity as lies by way of omission.
I’d like the solve the puzzle Pat. What great fortunes await those who do the will of God! What glory there is for those who worship God in spirit and in truth; in true righteousness and holiness, without pretense and a false estimation of one’s productivity. For without Christ, all of one’s works are corrupt. To deny Jesus who is the Messiah; the Perfect One, would essentially be denying One’s full potential. And I’d hate to see many souls continue to be infidels on the day of judgment. For on that day I’m sure as Alex would agree as well, that for those unbelievers the question still remains: What is Double Jeopardy?
Now let’s go to our devotional verse in 2 Timothy. I will not break it down this time. I’ll let you do it and come up with your own reasoning. Try to consider why I would explore different texts across religions and cultures. Just a few notes here and then I’ll ask a question:
15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Tim 3:15-16 KJV
Excuse the Old English here. I’ve always been an old soul. Note the omission of holy between verses 15 and 16. Paul believes scriptures were given for a purpose. The following question does not challenge those purposes, but for whom or what those purposes are for. Choose the BEST answer:
When a person reads the Word of God, who should be instructed?
God is His own interpreter and He will make it plain!
And yet there are some who will deny things in spite of sufficient evidence. What a way to go when tenacity becomes stubbornness! May we be persistent in what is good and true. For this marks the end of an error. I’m sorry did I say error. I meant to say Era. That’s that accent kicking in.
What are your thoughts about this devotional? Do you believe people should counter God’s word? Do you think the Bible contains errors? Please give your comments below.
It was inevitable that in doing this I should arrive at new results, and it is perhaps understandable that in the end I have felt impelled to present these results not only in the dry form of a catalogue, but also in a more connected and personal one. – Alfred Einstein
I was caught off guard when she brought her in the house. We had not too long ago talk about our mice problems and possible solutions to keep them out – and here she is – wandering about with her soft black eyes scurrying around the place. “Her name is Hannah,” Shandra said with her playful smile. Now I’ve turned down my wife’s request for getting a puppy hundreds of times and I wasn’t so sure about how I felt about feline security as an addition to the family. My reasoning was that my history with cats weren’t the best; I got scratched in the face, splints in the web of my fingers, and even fought over banana pancakes. Furthermore, I felt slightly disrespected in Shandra getting the cat without discussing it. As it turned out, Hannah was a terrible hunter and the winter cold seemed to keep the mice at bay. Nevertheless, Julia was enthralled with her presence. And nothing could be more satisfying than watching my daughter get a sense of warmth and peace when Hannah is around. I too, developed a deep connection with her in a fitting way.
6:04 p.m.: It’s fascinating to see how initial plans evolve over time.
12:01 a.m.: Because things hardly ever go the way it’s designed.
3:10 p.m.: How you prepare for success is directly correlated to how you define it.
9:15 a.m.: Are you more concerned about results, or the journey and progress made to achieve it?
14Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 1 Tim 4:14(a.m.) – 1 Tim 4:15(p.m.)
Personally, I struggle with being too hard on myself for not meeting deadlines. I hate being late and having to switch gears if inconveniences arise. Another pet peeve of mine is last minute stuff; last minute favors, last minute planning, last minute hustling etc. Over the years I’ve become more understanding as abrupt changes could come as a result of unforeseen circumstances. I also know that everyone doesn’t think on the same plane as I do which is why I tend to stay out of controversy. My thoughts about Ice Cube is this: I’d rather see a celebrity make genuine attempts at bettering our community than make platitudes about justice. There’s nothing like speaking ill of a system while benefiting from what it oppresses. Whether you think he has good intentions with bad judgment, a bold leader who can use his platform for political change, or being a tool for a political party just remember there are at least 2 sides to every story. There’s no need to be flippant fighting over banned pancakes.
I used to pride myself on being patient. I would say that it was my strongest personality trait. I’m learning more and more that true patience is eternal and there is still much virtue to grow in. At what point do we think we should stop being faithful? Are there things or people we should put a timeline on? Are those things and people concerning others or ourselves? Is it practical to commit to unconditional loyalty?
I am reminded of Israel as Moses went up the mountain to receive the Decalogue. They were in the wilderness outside of their comfort zone; no house to stay in, no food to eat or drink, possibly in danger of undomesticated animals. I understand the mixed feelings they have for this Supreme Being; one who is so powerful that they are set free from bondage, one who plagued Pharoah with supernatural disasters and parted the Red Sea but is now waiting again for Moses to come with some law.
12Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. Ex (8:12p.m.)
We have been shattered to pieces; our families are broken, our country is divided, and our world is in decline. There are many who are battling resentment and depression and corruption because of the injustices that surround us. We ask that you open our hearts according to your Spirit. Make us willing to receive your teachings as we approach critical times. Separate and isolate us to make us more like you. Give us grace to see past the corruption and enter your Promised Land-not in some form of escapism, but in stirring up your tender mercies in the steadfastness of Christ. May we no longer be byproducts of dysfunction. Amend the laws that makes us progenitors of poverty. For you are the Prince of Peace and Lord of Justice. Your truth extends from generation to generation.
While some of us have already given birth to a new chapter in their life, the rest of us – me included – are still laboring for greater dimensions in life, love, and godliness. For me this is all about evolution being conformed into the image of Christ in all of His glory. I look forward to a new era of Christendom where the faults of previous generations will not go unchallenged; where true restoration will happen amongst His people, and a quickening of Christ’s return coming through His exaltation in and through our lives.
However, I also understand people needing more tangible expressions of justice and mercy. It’s one of the things my wife and I have been discussing for a few months now and have decided to be true business partners in cultivating this amongst ourselves and in the world. We are looking to partner in Economic Development across the country, redeeming culture along the way while journeying to manifesting perfect love. Yes, this is our little baby and just like Hannah, we’re dedicating the first fruit of our endeavors to God. We invite all those who may want to partner with us to prepare yourselves for our expedition. All we ask is that we may remain open-minded, respectful, and honest in our dealings with each other.
3Are you going back to school? Teaching yourself? Have a mentor?
4Are you emotionally and mentally stable?
5Are you in good shape? Are you more laid back?
6Are you making impacts on community development?
7Are you becoming politically aware and speaking to your political leaders?
8Do you have a job? What is your career growth? Will you consider intrapeneurship?
9Are you owning a business? If so, what are your key products or services you’re selling?
10How will you invest your time, talents, and resources to enrich yourself and others?
Because while 10 years can go pretty fast for some, for others it can feel like 10 centuries. Isn’t that right Dave? You know how I nip things. It’s amazing how things are comin’ full circle. We’re running victory laps. Stop sleeping on us Millennials.
Treasury Bond: $100
Maturity 10 years
Our Bond: Priceless
Sell your possessions and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and not moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:33-34