Monday, November 29, 2010

Love rejoices in the Truth

I was struck by a small verse yesterday:

"[love] rejoices in the truth"

~~~~from I Cor 13 ... it was one of those times where you just cannot get a verse out of your head.

Here is the whole section on love from I Cor 13:

"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

Those who have known me for a long time may remember years ago when I inserted my own name in place of the word "love" in this section.

Try it with YOUR is mine:

Clevsea suffers long
Clevsea is kind
Clevsea does not envy
Clevsea does not parade herself
Clevsea is not puffed up
Clevsea does not behave rudely
Clevsea does not seek her own
Clevsea is not provoked
Clevsea thinks no evil
Clevsea does not rejoice in iniquity
Clevsea rejoices in the truth
Clevsea bears all things
Clevsea believes all things
Clevsea hopes all things
Clevsea endures all things

Do you think that all the above is true of me?

Do you think that IF it were that it would be because I am just that great?

Of course NOT. This is when we can see how the fruit of the HOLY Spirit might look in us and in our behavior when we submit to the Lord Jesus Christ and allow His Spirit to exhibit in us.

It's not the fruit of the Clevsea------it IS the fruit of the HOLY Spirit.

Friday, November 12, 2010

When did you last share the Gospel?

When was the last time you shared the Gospel?

I know many of you are at home, busy with your children and families, and keeping house, but I am curious about this.

If I asked this a different way it might help.

How often do you share the Gospel? About once a week? Once a month? Once a year? Once every 3rd year?

Do you rely on "lifestyle" evangelism?

I'm not judging or even admonishing....however I have thought a lot about lifestyle evangelism vs. speaking words evangelism.

The Bible says "faith comes by hearing, and by hearing the word of God." There is a lot more to it than just that one phrase, I know.

I don't know "why" the Lord God chose to use mere people to "speak" the words of salvation one to another, but it seems that He did choose that method. I also don't know "why" the Lord chose prayer as His system of working here in our lives, but it seems He did.

It stands to reason that if you act nicely to someone over the course of time that you have earned the "right" to share the gospel with them. But that is not how I see the spread of the gospel in the book of Acts. It seems like there was some "teaching" in fact Peter and Paul would often go over the history of Israel first and then explain that Christ was the Messiah. They did not live next door to these people they were sent to preach/teach to. The majority of them would not have known their "lifestyle" or seen them kick their dog or neglect their yard work.

I have tried lifestyle evangelism but smiling and taking my neighbor some warm cookies has not ever once converted any of my "near ones" to the Faith.

Again if my actions are very rude, etc., then that could well stand in the way and the unbelievers around me would have one more reason (excuse really) to ignore the clear teachings of salvation.

I guess I'm saying that I don't want to wait 20 or 30 years for my smiles and good deeds to speak for me and in some mysterious way communicate the gospel to other people.

I think that I need to actively pray for those who are "ready" to come to me or me to be there in front of them and then a conversation revolving around Christ and His Truths can begin.

It seems to be "words" that are used. Actions do speak louder than words, I acknowledge that, it can't be denied. But when it comes to sharing the gospel I need to use my mouth and the Scriptures, I believe.

Here is some teaching from Rom 10:

14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

“ How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

My goal is encouragement, not rebuke.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Frantic....rushed....freaked out....that is how some women live whether they work outside the home or are stay at home wives/mothers.

I think a lot of this is attitude and I also think that it doesn't take much to trip us into a feeling that we are not getting enough done. I don't like that feeling and I got it last night.

What happened? Nothing much. One of the three cats dropped some pooh on the kitchen floor on his way to the basement and his litter box. As I stooped over to wipe it up I could then see my kitchen garbage can was grossly filthy.

Something about that angle.

Anyway I went to bed thinking that I was a lousy housekeeper because I have a dirty garbage can.

How stupid.

Sure a new one would look good and if I could clean this old beige one a bit it might look better but really ought I to hang my whole estimation of myself upon this garbage can? Ought I allow that dingy dirt there to make me "feel" anything?

I doubt it.

Recently I read something Quaker Jane wrote on her website. She said that the "plainness" of her wardrobe was the direct result of asking the Lord God for "happiness."

Wow. She asked for happiness and received a huge transformation of her clothing.

I'm not at all certain that is the same for every woman because I don't think putting on a dress, etc is capable of bringing happiness. However..........I know the peaceful joy and contentment of wearing the clothing that I like to wear.

For me that's a long comfortable cotton dress the more "billow-y" the better. I love aprons, shawls, layers of more cotton dresses when it's colder. I love that peaceful feeling that I get because it's how I want to be clothed. So when I compare my experiences to Quaker Jane's then I do know exactly what she is talking about.

I don't know why clothing is so powerful----and it's powerful it 2 ways. Clothing communicates so much to those around us. It also impacts how we feel and walk and can impede what we are attempting to do and the opposite.

Does anyone else feel more ready to clean or cook when you have a certain outfit on?

It's the same for sporting outfits. Someone wearing all the needed ski clothing is much more ready to slide down the mountain side on their feet than I am in fluffy dresses and aprons.

It's as though clothes can get you ready.

It's also as though clothes can set the mood.

I personally am impacted by the clothes I wear but don't mistake my meaning here. To be peaceful, content, loving, joyful, patient and to be walking just like our Lord walked is all in the domain of the Holy Spirit and whether we have the Holy Spirit and whether we are walking in the Spirit or in our flesh.

The Lord's gifts are fantastic. And they are gifts. His fruits are lovable and lovely and we ought to seek Him and ask Him for them and for His help to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

As long as we have these flesh bodies we will be capable of anger, frustration, worry and so many other sins (and your clothes and kitchen garbage can will not be of help or hindrance) but we Christians need only seek the Lord Jesus and beg Him for His Spirit and His fruits and His gifts!

I do believe that peaceful living is within the reach of every Christian.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Studying James in regards to Faith

This week I read James every day. Yesterday I shared with my friends an idea on how to enhance our reading of James. Here it is:

If you need to get your study revved up a bit then try this.

Take the word "faith" and write that on a blank piece of paper.

Then *every time* the word "faith" appears in James write down in some 4 or 5 words what the text said about faith.

Go ahead and give that a try if you want to. Don't read this blog post any further until after you've done that because I have included below the results of my doing my own assignment. If you are not inclined to try that then read on.

Here are my results:

I looked for the word "faith" and listed everything that James said about it.

Using a reverse concordance (after I studied and searched the hard way) I was able to make certain that "faith" is used 16 times in the original writings which, of course, were in Greek.

I can tell you that every time the word faith is used it is the Greek word "pistis" which is Strong's # 4102. That Greek word means faith so it's no wonder that Bible translators decided to translate pistis into the word faith. It's the same word used in Eph for the well-known verse "by faith you have been saved through grace."

I can also pass along that #5218 hupakoe (or hupakoee) never appears in James. That is a word best translated as obedience or attentive listening, there is even a submission factor to the word due to the "hup" part that has to do with putting yourself under a teaching or teacher.

Some Bible versions have translated hupakoe as "faith" rather than as obedience. It is interesting, in any case, that James never used hupakoe due to that fact that he was pressing the "works" issue to such a huge degree. One might think that he would have used that word at some point and that is exactly why I looked into the matter.

Here is what James taught us about faith:

#1) Faith gets tested which produces patience ~~1:3

#2) Ask for wisdom in faith ~~1:6

#3) Don't hold the faith of Jesus with partiality toward rich people which is judgment ~~2:1

#4) The poor are rich in faith ~~2:5

#5) Faith without works is dead ~~2:14-26

#6) Prayer of faith will save the sick ~~5:15

Many blessings of Jesus to you,