Cell With an X

Jail Pic

For many of us, many new windows of opportunities have opened up. At last, we can say life is sweet with a lil’ chip on your shoulder. This is just a humble brag. You’re feeling more inspired like a bed covered with silky indigo sheets basking in every moment as you look at the horizons. If you’re like me, you’re becoming more of a person who lives with no regrets; the past becomes a ring of fingered melodies and the fleeting intel you need should you wish to travel back in time. And as the day progresses and you become more feeble through life’s adversities, there comes an inner defense; a potent force that meets backwardness with a smiling face. Not sure if it’s through fried nerves or achieving Nirvana, but I do know the collective spirit at work. It’s the same Spirit that leads me to today’s Gospel reading:

2 Bear one another’s burdens, and fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load. Gal 6:2-5 ESV

The Prison of Biblical Accountability

Obligations are shunned because they go counter to what we call freedom. There’s a demand for records (SIDEBAR: I can’t wait til’ I’m able to physically produce my music. Lord willing it will be some of my greatest work revealing the things I’ve done in secret!) that may expose your weaknesses and detract from your image. Such is true so long as we overindulge our ego and not look to Christ and others as pieces of ourselves. When we look at the world as an extension and not an opponent or autonomous entity, we will love and support each other more.

When we look at the world as an extension and not an opponent or autonomous entity, we will love and support each other more.

The Prototype

Thought Experiment

The following is an exercise in interpretation using juxtaposition. Look at today’s Gospel reading and thread it with Galatians 5:14. *IT COULD* read something like this:

14 For the whole law is fulfilled in ‘one’ word:
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
14 For the whole law is fulfilled in ‘one’ word:
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
14 For the whole law is fulfilled in ‘one’ word:
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.
14 For the whole law is fulfilled in ‘one’ word:
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
5 For each will have to bear his own land.

2 Bear one another’s burdens, and fulfill the law of Christ.
3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in the neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load.

14 For the whole law is fulfilled in ‘one’ word:
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Points in Consideration

  • Consider the two verses: 2 Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. 5 For each will have to bear his own load.
    How do you reconcile these passages that apparently contradict each other?
  • Read Gal 2:20. Are you the summation of all things? If so, how should you regard other people?
  • How do you hold yourself accountable? Do you find it worthwhile to submit to another for assessment? In what ways partnerships can be mutually edifying?
  • Given your current resources, how can you help others?

Protests Against Inflation

When support breaks down it usually comes from two causes:

  1. Arrogance
  2. Exhaustion

Historically speaking, there has been little spaces to healthy growth. Cultivation amongst organizations are often hindered due to short sessions of nurturing. And because our current world esteems money and assets as the primary means to survival, those who do not directly affect the bottom line are overlooked. More honor is needed to those who provide sweat equity whether through their hands, lips, or heart. For when we ensure the least among us wins, everybody goes to the next level.

For when we ensure the least among us wins, everybody goes to the next level.

But what happens if we treat others as if they’re worthless? Well Biblically speaking, there are three ways to consider worthlessness.

  1. The person who regularly engages in ungodly or sanctimonious behavior.
  2. A person who does good but is often overlooked.
  3. All people in relation to the headship of the Almighty.

This question is speaking to the second viewpoint in robbing people of their God-given dignity. Assuming the following premise is true, you can draw the following conclusion.

There is ONE body of Christ and each man members of each other.
Therefore to despise or dishonor one, you have debased yourself.

And we can expect God using the world to antagonize you until you see each men made in the image of Christ.

Show The Work

In High School, as much as I loved Mathematics, I would sometimes be subpar or fail tests throughout the year. Just about every time my grades were less than I expected, it was due to silly mistakes; either I was rushing and overlooking details or I was too self-confident and figured I can skip steps and still get them correct. I was the type that tried to excel in mental math. Can you do calculations in your head?

Our work is a reflection of our thoughts and habits. If you are not happy with where you are in life, consider the work you’ve been putting out. Whether that is external work or internal work, you should find pleasure and contentment in whatever you do.

POP QUIZ

  • What Microsoft platform allows you to innovate with a vast array of solutions through the Cloud?
  • Finish the lyrics: When the light’s out, it’s less dangerous…
  • What is cognitive dissonance? How can one experience such phenomenoms without feeling anxiety?
  • Explain Aristotle’s summation theory. How does this relate to the study of the church; Ecclesiology?
  • In Economics, what is inflation? Deflation? How does these issues correlate to people?
  • Name two types of common photographic processing. How does this relate to one’s memory?

Iconix Ending

The final point would lose its effectiveness if it isn’t based on Christ. For while these words convey broad ideas, Christ is fundamentally the essence of it all. And the more you see Christ as the most objective truth, the more the allure of this world becomes less. Speaking this truth is what will eventually make you a bonded servant. But what a free servant you become! I’ll close this blog out with a response to a man I hold dear and respect.

Tweet by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Interpretation matters. If the universe has no center, how is there life on earth? Why are there cities bustling with life? We have government, celebrities, sports, and schools. And it’s all being animated by what source? Randomness? I’d like to think reason has a more higher vibration, don’t you? And as I look into the skies, I cannot help but feel that someone is peering into the depths of my soul; piercing beyond my fragile frame revealing both the light and darkness within Me. When I close my eyes, I can sense it. The auras of space spark behind my eyelids like an Eternal Twilight. These words come from a man who strives to think with integrity; who prefers a belief system that’s more inclusive with facts rather than exclusive. I find the former having the capacity to be more fair with assessments than the latter. Society has done much harm discriminating and compartmentalizing things. So in my humble opinion, with deference to Divine Knowledge, I assert that:

Sense the Universe has *KNOW* center, you *CAN* be it through Christ.

I wonder how this may change what goes down in people’s DMs? Any who, go be great and make others great through Christ. I James, along with many other saints, some you know and others you do not, write this blog to you. And as always, I love you. Until next time.

See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.

Galatians 6:11 ESV

When Biscuits Plateau

“This does not look appealing,” she said. “That’s the whole point.”

This is a brief conversation between my wife and I as we discussed the recent blog. Just a recap for those who weren’t following along, the previous devotional was designed to lay the framework for exploring texts from different cultures. We briefly touched upon the science behind interpreting Scriptures to which I will continue to build upon here.

for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 2 Timothy 2:9 ESV

Peace-A Puzzle

Strange place to begin but bear with me here. This week has been tough; I intended to build a lot of things this week after quietly going through pain. And when I thought I felt good enough to get more stuff done, another recurring pain has paralyzed me. I hope you can imagine the frustration that I’m feeling; I just want to get things done. Yet my own frailties is showing me that you move according to the strength God provides.

Anyways,

We learned recently that Biblical scriptures independently and collectively constitute as one complete thought. Who cares about thoughts though? The general consensus is that words don’t matter, actions do. Don’t give me empty language; empty promises, performative love, performative justice. etc. Give me solutions, give me change, show me you’re about that life with your walk.

Treating the Rash

The problem with putting actions before thoughts or words is that the actions are uninformed. It is equivalent to someone who has a cut on their foot deciding to self-medicate by putting a bandage on their arm. While they may have the right tool for the problem, they are probably missing additional tools and applying the wrong area. The same can be said about the ineffectiveness of the church. We have the word of God, but where to apply it in everyday life is a struggle often due to being misinformed about God’s Word to begin with.

Acquiring Medicine

Hermeneutics deals with interpretation. Due to the nature of the Bible, it is necessary to have this skill. However, if we stopped at understanding correctly what the Bible says, we have cut off the rest of the spiritual sciences God has provided. Bible study would be relegated to something like a relic to be studied in a museum, rather than something that is active and alive in our very midst. To adequately challenge the notion that words do not matter, additional research and analysis needs to be performed. We must move on from simply comparing Scriptures with Scripture. Let’s begin with specimen now:

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors,

with a clear conscience,

as I remember you

 constantly in my prayers

 night and day.

 For which I am

 suffering,

bound with

 chains as a

 criminal.

 But the word

 of God

is

 not bound!

Those Scriptures are not put together merely for artistic sake. There is more to it. What is taking place here? What research and analysis can be made to study its activity? To those who have ears to hear and eyes to see go your ways. Remember to not go ahead of the light provided for you and fight to maintain a pure heart. When the morning star approaches, we will reveal more about this. For now, let’s keep things under wrap. For the rest of us, let’s break our devotional verse down.

The Mirrors Volley

Christianity teaches that there are two worlds where wars take place; the war of the world and the war of the spiritual realm. Every once in a while, the two worlds collide. It is also taught that the word of God is a mirror to the soul. Not only does the Bible reveal the nature of God, it also reveals the true nature of the reader.

for which I am suffering…2 Tim 2:9a

To which some of you will read this and laugh because you’re thriving right now. Let me add that the broadest definition of suffering is to undergo or experience something. You can experience good and pleasure and/or evil and pain. In this life we can expect suffering in both until the Kingdom of Heaven is established upon the earth.

aNd Yeast Abounds

The Bible will show a person that they are not as good as they think. If the reader is humble, they will also realize they are not as smart or wise as they presume themselves to be. Of course, this assumes that the person believes that what the Bible is saying is true. And there are plenty of reasons to believe the Bible is not so it is reasonable to approach the Scriptures skeptically on the onset. Nevertheless, the Bible teaches that disobedience to the laws of God bring about slavery leading to death.

Bound with chains as a criminal…2 Tim 2:9b

But Paul is considered a holy man who feared God and followed Christ. It seems that his loyalty to Jesus brought more troubles than he would imagine. It would be an oversimplification then to say that good things happen to good people while bad things happen to bad people. It is possible to undergo things at no fault of your own.

You Free Dough

The gospel of Christ teaches there is freedom ‘from’ the mundane things of life. Worldly freedom usually is heralded in the following ways

  • Financial freedom: Get enough wealth so you can live life like you want
  • Personal freedom: Do whatever you want when you want, it’s your life
  • Sexual freedom: An extension of personal freedom but revolving around sex

The freedom that the Gospel preaches is one of transcendence and is shared with other philosophies and religions (e.g. Islam). For Christians, this transcendence is accomplished through staying in God’s Word. There is a need for comparison and contrasts of transcendental freedom amongst different worldviews if we are serious about reconciliation.

But the word of God is not bound! 2 Tim 2:9c

Let me take a tangent here as now is a good time to feed two birds with one loaf. There is much contention over the purity of the Gospel in recent years and for good reasons. A lot of it stems from how people interpret Scriptures hence the reason why I’m speaking up. A great deal of Christians interpret God’s word through compartmentalizing or through linear context (how it relates to scriptures within the Chapter, other Chapters etc.) Very few integrate or juxtapose words together. So when we see this:

No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 2 Tim 2:4 NIV

Many people will get the idea that true Evangelism requires total abandonment of all worldly concerns preaching Jesus at every chance they get to others. While that notion is correct, it is only a partial truth. If Paul thought that Christians shouldn’t get involved in any worldly affairs, why speak of civil matters in the next two verses?

Perhaps the suffering that comes through proclaiming the Gospel isn’t necessarily only being on the front lines as an Evangelist, behind the pulpit, or street witnessing. Perhaps there is a war zone just as violent in Evangelizing as there is in attending your business or working for corporations. It may be possible to proclaim the Gospel through your work, with or without saying a word, with or without speaking ‘Christianese’ (Christian jargon). Is the word of God only proclaimed from a certain political party? Is seeking the welfare of those marginalized or promoting policies that benefit all against the call of the gospel? There is so much more I can say about this as so I hope you can see a plausible reason to exploring texts in different cultures. For certainly there are levels to this. Let’s not emasculate the potency of words through our narrow views of understanding.

My heart goes out to all those who are going through tough times right now. I want you to know that someone out here cares and is going through right alongside you. I just came out of urgent care yesterday after going through excruciating pain for the past couple of days. Didn’t think I’d get on here and receive more bad news. Remember, for all of us who are in Christ we are one body. We’ll continue this devotional soon. Love you dearly.

Has this devotional been a blessing to you? Are you suffering and in need of prayer? Want more insight into how words are juxtaposed or integrated together? Please comment below and share with others.