Grace Unpacked

  • Welcome to Christian Forums, a Christian Forum that recognizes that all Christians are a work in progress.

    You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
It's difficult at times to discuss grace because some folks are thoroughly
unable to see it relative to personal characteristics, i.e. to attributes.

For example; Cain resented his kid brother's piety, and he was snippy with
God. Cain was also capable of passionate violence. Ouch! a very non
gracious man around whom nobody would be comfortable except maybe his
fellow inmates in San Quentin and/or Riker's Island.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

2Pet 3:18 . .Grow in grace

The Greek word translated "grace" is charis (khar'-ece) which basically
means graciousness: defined by Webster's as kind, courteous, inclined to
good will, generous, charitable, merciful, altruistic, compassionate,
thoughtful, cordial, affable, genial, sociable, cheerful, warm, sensitive,
considerate, and tactful.

* Cordial stresses warmth and heartiness

* Affable implies easy to approach, and readiness to respond pleasantly to
conversation or requests or proposals

* Genial stresses cheerfulness and even joviality

* Sociable suggests a genuine liking for the companionship of others

* Generous is characterized by a noble or forbearing spirit; viz:
magnanimous, kindly, and liberal in giving

* Charitable means full of love for, and goodwill toward, others; viz:
benevolent, tolerant, and lenient.

* Altruistic means unselfish regard for, or devotion to, the welfare of others;
viz: a desire to be of service to others for no other reason than it just feels
good to do so.

* Compassionate pertains to a sympathetic awareness of others' distress
combined with a desire to alleviate it.

* Tactful indicates a keen sense of what to do, or say, in order to maintain
good relations with others in order to resolve and/or avoid unnecessary
conflict.
_
 

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
Gen 6:7-8 . .The Lord said: "I will destroy Man whom I have created from
the face of the earth, both Man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the
air, for I am sorry that I have made them." But Noah found grace in the
eyes of The Lord.

That's the first-ever mention of grace in the Bible. It's translated from a
Hebrew word that basically means the same things as the Greek word that
was explored in post No.1

In a nutshell; God's good vibes about Noah were very different than the
negative feelings He was experiencing about everybody else. In point of
fact; they were all a terrible disappointment. God had it mind to put them all
down like as if they were sick dogs, but no so Noah; him God had in mind to
spare, i.e. to protect; and that was mostly because Noah was the kind of
man with whom God preferred to associate rather than avoid.

Gen 6:9 . . Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his
time, and he walked with God.

Noah is highly recommended as one of a trio of very pious guys. The other
two were Daniel and Job (Ezek 14:14) So the grace that Noah found in God's
eyes wasn't a freebee, no, it was compensation, viz: Noah deserved
protection whereas the others of his day deserved to be gone.

Gen 7:1 . .The Lord then said to Noah; "Go into the ark, you and your
whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation."
_
 

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
Rom 12:10b . . Honor others as above yourselves.

Thank You isn't an epithet, nor is gratitude a vice. Those are social graces
that go a long ways towards letting others know that we think they count for
something, i.e. that they have value, and that they matter in the grand
scheme of things.

Gratitude helps make others feel better about themselves; and God only
knows everyone can use a boost these days when the integrity of
government, law enforcement, the justice system, medicine, education,
science, nutrition, the economy, politics, religion, morality, and national
defense have been compromised by "woke" philosophies and practices.

The deep state of late has been making it increasing difficult for good folks
to feel appreciated; instead they've been demonized as deplorable, extreme,
racist, insurrectionist, domestic terrorist, child abuser, and enemies of
democracy, et al.

God is a "big boy" so to speak who doesn't need to be appreciated in order
to feel better about Himself. But still; God would like some recognition on
occasion.

Eph 5:20 . . Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the
name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Moses' people were so accustomed to God's providence that they began to
take it for granted, and would get upset with Him when He failed to produce,
viz: they believed themselves "entitled" like many of today's Millennials and
Generation Z tech-savvy college grads. Be on your guard; don't become like
them because that would be very unbecoming, i.e. lacking grace.

1Thess 5:18 . . Be grateful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for
you in Christ Jesus.

When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost.
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Johnson Oatman, Jr. (1897)

Ps 118:1 . . O give thanks unto The Lord; for He is good
_
 
Last edited:

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
Various casino games in Las Vegas are deliberately adjusted to give the
house an edge. In other words: some games are unfair-- e.g. slots, craps,
roulette, blackjack, and craps --but it's not really cheating.

The law allows them an edge because whereas players typically
gamble for fun and excitement, the house is there to make a living. So
if the games were fair, the tables would have difficulty earning enough
profit to keep their casino in business.

In Christianity's plan of salvation, the tables are turned. Players have the
edge because God has made it impossible for them to lose just so long as
they go for the gold (so to speak) according to His rules rather than insisting
upon their own.

For example:

Heb 2:9 . . But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels,
now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the
grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Routine death is pretty much inevitable, but the second death per Rev
20:11-15 can be easily avoided if we buy into Jesus' trip to the cross per Isa
53:6

Sins are losses. But when sins aren't counted, then there's nothing to lose;
only everything to gain. For example: records are being kept on everyone.
However, when there are no sins entered in someone's record, then it will be
as though they were 100% innocent their entire lives. That is a very, very
big advantage.

2Cor 5:19 . . God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not
counting men's sins against them.

In Las Vegas, advantaged players-- e.g. card counters --are oftentimes
asked to leave the premises and never come back; whereas God-- gracious
soul that He is - encourages folks to become advantaged, and to stay with
Him as consistent winners in the game of life: really big winners.

John 5:24 . . I assure you: those who listen to my message, and believe in
God who sent me, have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their
sins, but they have already passed from death into life.
_
 
Last edited:

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
Blessings in both the Old Testament and the New are typically benevolent
actions, i.e. expressions of good will rather than expressions of ill will.

The first of the Bible's many blessings took place in the beginning where it
says in Genesis 1:20-23

"And God said: Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly
above the earth across the expanse of the sky. So God created the great
creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water
teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.
And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said: Be fruitful and
increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase
on the earth."

So then, fertility shouldn't be taken for granted because those creatures
didn't have it till God gave it to them after they were created. God repeated
the procedure with mankind, i.e. Adam was created sterile, and then
afterwards endowed with fertility per Genesis 1:27-28 so he could reproduce
himself, viz: fertility was a finishing touch to the creation process, i.e. it was
an empowerment freely given with no strings attached.

Personally I think God would've been within His rights to revoke Adam's
blessing when he tasted the forbidden fruit; and let mankind become
extinct. But instead of going to that extreme, God allowed the Serpent to
tamper with Adam's fertility in such a way as to make it impossible for him
to produce immortal offspring.

So then, although the blessing of fertility is mostly intact, it's original
characteristics have been modified a bit to ensure the human body survives
for only a relatively little while before succumbing to old age; but at least
mankind is still here instead of blotted out like it could've been.

Anyway: blessings reveal that the supreme being isn't entirely indifferent,
but that He has a sensitive side to Him, i.e. a gracious side.
_
 
  • Like
Reactions: APAK

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
I just came to praise the Lord.

(Wayne Romero, 1975)

The melody that accompanies that hymn is typically the very first music
that pops into my head when I'm at peace; probably because it's one of the
few tunes that I was able to learn on a G Hohnor harmonica back in the decade
of the 1970s

Praise can be expressed in a variety of ways, e.g.

Commendations
Approval
Merits
Lauding
Applauding
Kudos
Atta-boys
Recognition
Recommendations
Awards Accolades
Admiration
Appreciation
Idolizing

Praise can also be expressed by simply pointing out the things that we like
best about someone, i.e. the very opposite would be a roast which even in
fun are thoughtless and cruel.

Below's statement can be taken as either a matter of fact or an expression
of praise.

"The Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed
that I came from God." (John 16:27)

The Greek word translated "loves" basically pertains to fraternal feelings,
i.e. emotions and affections that lead to bonding not easily dissolved.

Out ahead at some time in the future, Christians will be subjected to an
evaluation. No doubt the Lord will find much to critique, but also something
to approve. (1Cor 4:5) We can kind of see that going on in Jesus' critique of
the seven churches per Rev 1:11-3:22.

An incident occurred during Jesus' travels when he encountered some folk
who apparently marginalized God's approval by placing more value on
acceptance by their peers.

"No wonder you can't believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don't
care about the honor that comes from God alone." (John 5:44)

** I read recently that numbers of young people are developing complexes
due to winning fewer "likes" on social media than the other kids.
_
 
Last edited:

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
I wanna live, I wanna give,
I've been a miner for a heart of gold.
It's these expressions I never give,
That keep me searching for a heart of gold.

(Neil Young, 1971)

Generosity is a gracious virtue but it's not the end-all. For example:

"The Lord said to Moses: Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are
to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to
give. (Ex 25:1-2)

In other words: contributions toward construction of a centralized location
for the people to worship had to be charitable rather than mandatory, i.e.
the people's wealth wasn't extracted from them by force of law; that came
later with the institution of tithing.

Christian contributions are supposed to be collected in the same charitable
frame of mind.

"And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year
you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now
finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by
your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is
there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to
what he does not have. (2Cor 8:10-12)

A church I was attending back in the decade of the 1990s launched an
ambitious spending plan and shamed folks into contributing towards it by
circulating a flyer praising the generosity of Moses' people towards the
Tabernacle. But quietly, on the side, I casually mentioned that those very
same people refused to invade the promised land when God instructed them
to: consequently, many ended up never allowed to go in.

The Bible says faith without works is dead (Jas 2:17-26) Well, I posit the
opposite is also true, to wit: works without faith are dead. So I think we
pretty much have to concede that generosity doesn't truly count as a
gracious virtue when the contributor is resisting The Lord instead of
following Him.

"The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked" (Prov 15:8)

"If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness; we lie and
do not live by the truth". (1John 1:6)
_
 

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
Folks born with defective amygdalae are sometimes unable to commiserate
with others in distress because they've been deprived of certain elements of
humanness like sympathy, empathy, and pity.

With the right kind of sensitivity training, brutish Neanderthals and Cro-
Magnons can be taught how to be a bit more thoughtful than their normal
selves. It's a phony thoughtfulness, but at least that way they're tolerable
instead of insufferable.
_
 

Pearl

Well-Known Member
Apr 9, 2019
11,087
16,731
113
Lancashire
Faith
Christian
Country
United Kingdom
Grace is vital for our wellbeing in Christ. Without it we wouldn't even be in Christ. But it is also something we need to practice in regard to others. As God has been gracious to us so we need to be gracious to those around us.
 

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
Rom 12:16 . . Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high
things, but condescend to men of low estate.

The Greek word translated "condescend" basically means to associate with
others as equals; so in this case i think our verse would be better expressed
as "Don't be elitist, but willing to associate with people below you."

That's pretty much the theme in Jane Austen's novel Pride And Prejudice
wherein a snobby aristocrat falls in love with a girl whose station in life is too
far below his own to be acceptable.

Well; I think there just might be an event depicted in the 13th of Judges
that will suit our purpose wherein a holy man-- labeled an angel of The Lord
--revealed, first to Manoah's barren wife, and then to him, that they were
going to have a special baby.

The astounding part of the story is the angel's willingness to accommodate
Manoah's request to standby on-hold awaiting him to prepare a burnt
offering. The angel of The Lord certainly didn't have to do that seeing as how
Manoah's station in life was immeasurably below that of his own; easily
evidenced by the angel's ability to ascend into the sky amidst fire.


NOTE: Manoah, not realizing the man he was speaking to was an angel of
The Lord, requested his name. The response given-- in so many words -
was: "Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding."

The Hebrew word translated "beyond understanding" appears in only one
other place in the entire Old Testament; and that's Psalm 139 wherein the
writer confesses his inability to make sense of omniscience and
omnipresence.

The thing is: Manoah experienced a close encounter of a third kind with the
supreme of all supreme beings via something called a theophany; which are
quite a level above James Cameron's avatars. Theophanies aren't vehicles,
rather, they are 100% fully functioning humans, for example: Gen 18:1-33,
Gen 32:24-30, Ex 24:1-11, Josh 5:13-15, and of course the most famous
one of all: John 1:14.

Theophanies can be thought of as God's appearances in safe mode. (cf. Ex
33:20 & 1Tim 6:13-16
_
 

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
The 14th chapter of Genesis relates how Abraham captained an operation to rescue his
nephew Lot and the people of Sodom who had been taken prisoners by an aggressor
from the north. While wrapping things up, Sodom's head of state offered to compensate
Abraham. Here's how that went:

Gen 14:21 . .Then the king of Sodom said to Abram: Give me the persons, and take
the possessions for yourself.

Sheik Bera was very grateful to Abraham (a.k.a. Abram), and asked only for the return
of his fellow citizens; but not for the return of their stolen goods. Abram was more than
welcome to keep it all for himself.

But Abram refused. There was just no way he was going to get rich by exploiting his
own neighbors' misfortunes. Although he had a perfect right, within the customs of that
day, to all the spoils of war, he waived the right in favor of looking out for Sheik Bera's
best interests. I tell you, this man Abraham was incredibly gracious; and his manner of
life, on the whole, made his religion, and his deity, look pretty good.

Gen 14:22-23 . .But Abram said to the king of Sodom: I swear to the Lord God Most
High, Creator of heaven and earth; I will not take so much as a thread or a sandal strap
of what is yours; you shall not say: It is I who made Abram rich.

Abraham didn't need Bera's stuff anyway. He had plenty back home already. Why be
greedy? I mean: how much does it really take to satisfy? Does a man really have to own
every skyscraper, every square foot of real estate, every drop of water, every cow, pig,
and chicken, every inch of agricultural land, every fruit and vegetable seed sold around
the world, every watt of electricity, every telephone system, every share of stock in a
blue chip company, every software program, every car dealership, every oil well, every
refinery, every electric generating plant, every natural gas supplier, a monopoly on
insecticide and weed killer, every utility, and every hotel and apartment building before
he feels he has enough?

When will the big box managers finally say "Let's stop expanding. We have enough
market share". They never will because the greedy nature of super stores knows no
bounds.

As I watched a NetFlix documentary about corn production; the producers visited a
facility that makes high fructose corn syrup. The manager of the plant was asked how
much market share his product had. After answering, he was then asked how much
market share he would like to have; and he answered "all of it"

Abraham was far and away more gracious than the likes of the predatory ENRON
traders who took advantage of wild fires in California some years ago to raise that
State's electric rates.
_
 

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
Matt 20:1-2 . . .The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out
early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay
them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

Here in my area of the State of Oregon, the above is a common sight in the
communities adjacent to agriculture. Low-income men assemble in
designated areas hoping for farmers to come by and select themselves for
day labor.

Of course the most able-bodied men are picked first, and the rest spend the
day hoping against hope that their luck will improve on the next go-round.
Time works against them; hour by hour the sun moves ever closer to the
end of the day when it will be too dark to work outdoors. We're talking abou
men who live hand to mouth, so a zero-dollar day is a huge inconvenience.

But this one landowner in the story is very interesting. He kept checking in
with the rejected men, even till almost the very end of the day, and little by
little ended up putting them all to work plus; of all things, he paid everyone
the same wage from the earliest hires to the latest.

It's not really stated as to the landowner's motivation to be so generous but
it's my guess he was moved by strong feelings of compassion for the weaker
men passed over in favor of the more able-bodied guys; which is an unusual
business model in the dog-eat-dog world of capital and labor wherein the
strong survive and the weak forgotten.
_
 

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
Long story short: Abraham's first son Ishmael was by means of sleeping with
a female slave. His latter son Isaac was by means of sleeping with his wife
Sarah. So then the slave's son, as the one born first, was legally entitled to
be Abraham's principal heir. But there was a way to dissolve the
arrangement.

According to the customs of that day, Abraham could legally disown the
slave woman's son if he emancipated her; which he did.

"He . . . sent her away." (Gen 21:14)

The phrase "sent her away" is from a versatile Hebrew word that can be
used of divorce as well as for the emancipation of slaves. In other words:
Hagar wasn't banished as is commonly assumed; no, she was set free; and
it's very important to nail that down in our thinking because if Abraham had
merely banished Hagar, then their son Ishmael would have retained his legal
status as Abraham's principal heir.


NOTE: Ishmael retained his status as one of Abraham's natural sons (Gen
25:9) but in legal matters relative to inheritance he's no son at all.

Anyway, the "grace" aspect of my story pertains to Hagar's and Ishmael's
departure.

Gen 21:14 . . Early next morning Abraham took some bread and a skin of
water, and gave them to Hagar. He placed them over her shoulder,

The Hebrew word for "bread" here includes all foods; for man or beast. So
Abraham didn't necessarily send the poor woman out on her own with a
ration of bread and water like some sort of hardened criminal, but very likely
provisioned Hagar and Ishmael with enough camper-grade food stuffs to
keep them going for a while.

Ishmael was at least a teen-ager by this time seeing as he was fourteen
when Isaac was born (Gen 13:24-26 + Gen 21:5) And Hagar wasn't
emancipated till after Isaac was weaned. (Gen 21:8-10)

The thing is: Abraham didn't dispatch a servant or a butler to equip Hagar.
Nor did Abraham bring the provisions out to her, dump them at her feet, and
walk away. No, he put them up on Hagar's shoulder himself; with his own
hands; which he really didn't have to do.

There's no record of ever any ill will between Hagar and Abraham, nor any
between him and his boy Ishmael either. In point of fact, cutting Ishmael
lose was not easy for Abraham. (Gen 17:18 & Gen 21:11)

Those three were truly family in every sense of the word-- mom, dad, and
child. There couldn't have been a dry eye nor a cheerful face at any time
during this excruciating farewell. If you've ever experienced something so
upsetting as to make you nauseous, lead-bellied, and lose your appetite;
then you know what I'm talking about. Anybody who can read this story
without feeling the slightest twinge of compassion for any one of those
three; has got to be the most insensitive clod on earth.
_
 

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
In the eighth chapter of John's gospel, Jesus was teaching in the Temple
courtyard when some of his opponents showed up with a woman caught red
handed in adultery. They presented her to Jesus to see if he agreed with
Moses in regard to executing adulterers (Lev 20:10) Exactly why they
brought the woman I don't know because they could've just raised their
hand and asked him without all the drama.

Anyway, long story short, Jesus persuaded the woman's accusers to
disqualify themselves and then told her, in so many words, that he himself
had no intention of condemning her.

The thing is: Had Jesus problems with "mommy issues" that incident
would've been a golden opportunity to take them out on someone, but
instead he was a perfect gentleman with that woman: a fallen woman no
less.


NOTE: There are working girls on the street corners of every major city like
Los Angeles, San Diego, and Seattle. Granted their way of life is
unbecoming, and Christ doesn't condone it, but he harbors no ill will towards
any of them (cf. Luke 7:36-50) In point of fact; God was thinking of them
the same as all the rest of us when His son went to the cross for the sins of
the world.
_
 

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
When making public statements, persons held in high regard are oftentimes
accompanied by others who typically stand beside and/or behind the
luminary but never say anything themselves; they're just temporary window
dressing, so to speak.

The Bible says that God is everywhere at all times: but we should never
assume that He accompanies everyone, everywhere, at all times, viz: with
most folks, God is only an observer and that's all.

Acts 17:26-28 . . From one man He made every nation of men, that they
should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them
and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would
seek him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far
from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being.

In other words: though God doesn't accompany everyone, everywhere, at all
times; He is always nearby; and that can be a mite disturbing when we
realize on occasion just how close by He really is; for example:

"And Jacob awoke out of his sleep, and he said: Surely The Lord is in this
place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said: How dreadful is this
place!" (Gen 28:16-17)

During that incident, God spoke to Jacob; saying:

"I am with you, and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring
you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have
promised you." (Gen 28:15)

I rather suspect that Jacob was so captivated by the stairway to Heaven in
his dream that he didn't really catch the significance of God's statement
because Jacob had to be reminded of it from time to time; and he would
eventually discover that The Lord wasn't just temporary window dressing,
but instead traveled in company with Jacob at all times everywhere he went,
and was involved, viz: those two became inseparable companions.
_
 

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
Developing children benefit from graciousness in a big way. Thoughtless
grown-ups can destroy a young child's fragile spirit by criticizing them all the
time and never once giving them an "attaboy" or a single vote of confidence.

A very charming example of this was acted out in an old movie wherein
Spencer Tracey played Thomas Edison. In a scene, he tasked a young boy
with carrying his freshly completed prototype of an electric light bulb
upstairs to the lab for testing. The boy stumbled on the stairs, and the bulb
was ruined.

So Tracey made another and tasked the same boy with taking it upstairs
again. Tracy's assistants protested that the boy dropped one bulb already;
but Tracey handed him the precious prototype and said: He won't drop this
one. And the boy didn't because Tracey believed in that kid.

A fitting word spoken at just the right moment can really beef up
somebody's resolve to meet life head on. If you're good at that sort of thing,
then watch for opportunities to do so. It has to be honest though because
leaving people with a false impression of themselves is all the same as
treachery, and sets them up for disappointment.

"Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet." (Prov 29:5)
_
 

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
What the world needs now is love, sweet love;
It's the only thing that there's just too little of.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.

( Hal David & Burt Bacharach, 1965 )

Hippies and folk singers were constantly lamenting the lack of love back the
era of flower power. Ironically it was all around them, only they were looking
for love in the wrong places.

Louis Armstrong, the Great Satchmo, sang of love in small places; for
example:

The colors of the rainbow,
So pretty in the sky.
Are also on the faces
Of people going by.
Saying, "How do you do?"
They're really saying
"I love you"

( What A Wonderful World, Bob Thiele & George David Weiss, 1967 )

So; in the spirit of the small, I suggest:

Col 4:6 . . Let your speech be always full of grace, seasoned with salt.

It seems to me from the language and grammar of Matt 5:13, Mark 9:50,
and Luke 14:34 that the primary purpose of salt is to enhance flavor and
make otherwise naturally insipid and/or bad-tasting things palatable, viz:
salt can be thought of as diplomacy; roughly defined as conversation that
makes an effort to maintain peace rather than deliberately provoke conflict
and/or annoy people and make them uncomfortable.
_
 

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
Gen 3:21 . . And the Lord God made garments of skins for Adam and his
wife, and clothed them.

Precisely what species of animal God slaughtered in order to make the
Adams their first suit of real clothing is unknown.

That day, humans learned something about the advantages of leather
goods. Most of it is produced from cattle hides: calfskin, goatskin, kidskin,
sheepskin, and lambskin. Other hides and skins used include those of the
horse, pig, kangaroo, deer, crocodile, alligator, seal, walrus, and of late;
python. Humans have used animal skins for a variety of practical purposes
since ancient times, and to this good day leather is still a useful material all
around the world.

The exact cut and design of their garments isn't specified; the Hebrew words
just indicate a shirt, or covering; as hanging from the shoulder.

A garment hanging from the shoulder indicates that Eve's topless days were
over; although that wouldn't necessarily rule out the possibility that she may
have become the Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel of her day and created some
interesting necklines.

The garments actually facilitated the people's association with God. They
were uncomfortable around their maker in the buff, even in the semi-buff,
and that was principally the reason they hid from The Lord when He came
calling. However, fig leaves aren't very durable; they're merely an
expedient. God showed them a much better way-- actually a way they would
never have thought of all by themselves because who would have guessed
that animals could be killed and stripped of their hides for clothing until God
showed them?

We should note that God wasn't indifferent to the Adams' situation. Their
feelings of disgrace in the nude was a barrier between themselves and their
maker, so God showed them a really good way to overcome it: a way that
not only improved the quality of their association with God; but also greatly
enhanced their limited survival skills.

The point to note is that the clothing that humanity's maker crafted for the
Adams didn't cost them one red cent nor did they have to contribute even
the slightest bit of labor to its construction. God slaughtered the animals,
treated the hides, and fabricated the garments Himself; and gave the
clothing to them totally free of charge and no strings attached. However, I
wouldn't be a bit surprised if the couple watched how God went about the
whole business so they'd know how to do it for themselves.

They'd eventually have to know how to make a knife and start a fire; I
suspect God showed them how to do that too.
_
 

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
Matt 5:5 . . Blessed are the meek.

The Greek word translated "meek" basically means mild.

Webster's defines "mild" as gentle in nature or behavior; viz: temperate; in
other words: agreeable, approachable, reasonable, calm, mellow, and self
controlled.

Non-temperate people could be characterized as moody, grudging, irritable,
emotional, thin-skinned, belligerent, militant, pugnacious, brawling,
defensive, confrontational, and reactive; around whom everybody has to
walk on egg shells all the time to avoid setting them off.

A temperate person, though mellow in demeanor, should never be assumed
lacking in strength, courage, conviction, or self confidence. Anybody who's
studied the lives of Moses and/or Jesus can easily testify that neither of
those men were either timid, wimpy, or vacillating; yet both are
characterized as meek. (Num 12:3, Matt 11:29, and Matt 21:5)

Jacob and his dad Isaac were temperate men; but could be assertive when
the situation called for it. Temperate people like Jacob and Isaac pick their
battles carefully, and avoid getting all riled up over trifles.
_
 

Webers_Home

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2012
4,555
721
113
80
Oregon
Faith
Christian
Country
United States
~
There is what's known as the letter of a law written in black and white. And
there's the spirit of a law, viz: the principle underlying a law.

For example: on occasion Jesus' opponents accused him of breaking the
sabbath because they were unable to discern the principle upon which the
sabbath is based. (e.g. Matt 12:1-7, Mark 3:1-5)

Here's another:

Lev 19:14 . .You shall not curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block
before the blind

The principle underlying that law is very simple: it is cruel to amuse one's
self by taking advantage of another's disadvantages; so there is no need to
make a specific law for each and every handicap when the principle
underlying Lev 19:14 applies to them all.

A gracious person of course knows all that without being told, and need not
be restrained by law to prevent them from toying with handicapped folks.
_