Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Helpful Study Tools





Today I would like to share some Bible study tips. These are not original with me and may not be with the professor who taught me. His name is Dr.Leroy Bartel, at Southwestern A/G University located in Waxahachie,TX. If these are not new to you please let me know where you acquired them. Certainly if you know who to credit, put it in your comment. Thanks.


Number One: Always interpret scripture within it's context.
Number Two: Use the following guide to assess the context and applications.

LOCAL _________UNIVERSAL
TEMPORAL_______TIMELESS
DETAILS________PRINCIPLES

As you read a passage of scripture, take note of the culture (LOCAL) of the writer and the original recipients. You may then need to use other resources to get more info. Then assess the historical data concerning the people, places, and events (TEMPORAL). Thirdly, what are the facts (DETAILS)given in the text. When you have researched these items you will be able to formulate the applications to this generation.

UNIVERSAL: What elements of the culture apply to every culture?
TIMELESS: What parts of the history affect every generation?
DETAILS: What are the parallels of the facts to modern occurences?
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Then of course there is the old stand-by way to study anything. Ask the following questions: who, what, where, when,why, and how? Seems like I first heard that in grade school. They may not even teach that these days, but it is still a good method.
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Study to show yourself an approved scholar in the Word that will not bring shame to the teaching profession declaring the Truth with accuracy and true conviction. IITimothy 2:15 the SC Paraphrase

Friday, February 23, 2007

Just Help Out

Part Three: For today's text Galatians 6:1-5, see part one posted on 2/23/07.

I ended part two talking about the faulty brother. After all, isn't that what most folks usually do instead of reaching out to him to bring about restoration? We attach a label on him. One that will identify his problem or sin. Indeed, if he is a part of the body of Christ, then we have in effect broadcast a weakness of the body, unwittingly casting a reflection upon ourselves. We sure don't want anyone to see our negatives, but we haven't taken the time to evaluate how our treatment of the offender will show our immaturity as a body. I believe this is how our text ties back into Galatians 5:1. We become entangled again with a yoke of bondage when we revert back to being busybodies or gossips.

Let's go back to the example of setting a broken bone. In describing the process, we have also shown the basic elements of the restoration of a brother gone astray. Initially the brother admits he is broken. This equates to the x-rays or examination. He experiences some pain and pressure as the break is exposed and re-positioned by a qualified individual. Layers of protection are added as a mentor/support group is assigned. Limitations are set as to how the brother will function in the church during the time of healing. These are temporary restrictions that will be lifted as soon as the brother is whole again. During the process, the brother will need supplemental spiritual food. Every effort must be made to eliminate any outside source of pain. Accountability to the mentor(s) is a must and requires dedicated time slots for quality communication just like the required follow-up visits to the doctor. And don't forget the doctor's note releasing the patient to go back to work. The brother should be well on the road to recovery before resuming full service in the body.

As bones are a vital part of the body, providing support and containing the marrow (the site of red blood cell manufacture), so the brother is a vital part of the body. Remember the scripture about the body having many members and each member being important. Who wouldn't rather save a limb through surgery and rehab than have it amputated? We must acknowledge the value of every member of the body. We must realize OUR NEED for each part whole or damaged. Just as we care for our physical bodies, we must care for the body of Christ. We should notice when a part is not functioning properly or is missing all together. Then do whatever it takes to bring health back to the part and thus make the whole healthy.

Lastly, I want to deal with the title of the post. Particularly, the words help and out. To help someone out is to assist them as they get somewhere besides in their current state. This means they have to be making an effort and they desire to be someplace else. If the brother has fallen and is trying to get out, the first step for us is to extend ourselves to him i.e. TOUCH him. If we can make that first effort, I am certain the Holy Spirit will guide us through the rest of the process.

Help a Brother Out

Part Two, see part one for today's text: Galatians 6:1-5

Restore such a one. In the Greek, the word used here for restore carries the connotation of mending nets or setting a broken bone. Either one will demonstrate the principles of restoration. Mending nets would be something the readers would be familiar with, probably more so than most of us today. It was a tedious task at best. For the net to be repaired it had to be taken out of use. Close inspection was required to find each tear great or small. New rope would have to be carefully knotted into the old. Each knot made by seasoned hands and tested for strength before moving on to the next one. The more tears in the net, the more time it would take to repair it. Unless of course other fishermen were called upon to help get the job done.

What about setting a broken bone? First off, it were my bone being set, I would want a doctor. Preferably one with some experience. Thank God I have never broken any bones, but I have observed the setting of a broken wrist. After the appropriate x-rays, pressure was applied and the hand was pulled out away from the body. The patient hollered in pain despite the medication they had received already. After a bit more pressure, the positioning of the bones was inspected, then additional x-rays were taken. Then the hand was splinted, wrapped, and a cast was applied. These were the initial and immediate steps taken to immobilize the injured wrist. Then the patient was given explicit instructions about how to care for her hand and what changes she could expect. She was also told about what signs showed complications and how to handle them. Last instructions included the limitations in using her hand and follow-up with doctor within a prescribed amount of time. She left with her wrist in a cast, her arm in a sling, and prescriptions in her hand.

Generally casts remain on the affected limb for six weeks. During that time, there are weight-bearing restrictions and limitations of use. Many times the patient will need help with the most basic of tasks, like getting dressed or feeding themselves. When a lower extremity is involved, the patient will need a walker, cane, or crutches to get around. Pain management is absolutely necessary and can be done with medication, ice, heat, support pillows, or all of them together.

I didn't realize just exactly how close these two examples paralleled restoring a faulty brother. No, I didn't say that. Oh how easily it is for us to turn things around and point out the wrongness of another.

Chew on this post while I work on the conclusion. Your comments/ideas are welcome.

Help a Sista Out

For a lack of enough time for this slow typist, this will be part one.

I have heard it said of Christians, that we are the only ones who shoot our wounded. What a sad perception for someone to have of the body of Christ. Is it just their perception, or is it something they have actually observed? Do we in fact, kill off our wounded rather than take the time to restore them to health? The Galatian church must have had some problems in the area of restoring wounded Christians, why else would Paul address as he did in chapter six of the book of Galatians. While I may speak of historical times I mean to show the application for our generation today.

Brethren and sisters too, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.
Galatians 6: 1-5 KJV
I believe this portion of scripture is directly related to Galatians 5:1, which reads like this: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."

Obviously the church of his century was much like the church of this one. People from various walks of life coming together to fellowship and worship the One who brought them out of darkness and into the Light. Members of different maturity levels functioning in diverse capacities within the church, yet all needed instructions on how to best serve God and serve one another.

Paul speaks of a man being overtaken in a fault. The fault has taken over the man. Paul does not elaborate as to how the man came to be entrapped, nor to what extent the fault rules the man's life. He is actually addressing the spiritual ones, or more correctly, the spiritually mature.
The admonition here is for the mature to restore the one that has been overtaken, and to do it with humilty rather than an air of superiority.

When you restore a piece of furniture, you do what is necessary to take it back to it's original appearance and functionality. The more delapidated, used, and abused, the more effort and resources it will take to restore it. Restoring people is similar in principle but requires the Spirit of God to be done gently and effectively.

Friday, February 16, 2007

What is His Name?

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are saved." Proverbs 18:10 KJV

I’m sure you haven’t heard of anyone running into a strong tower lately; a strong storm or a water tower maybe. The King James Version is a bit awkward for many, yet I’m still partial to it. For those unaccustomed to the 1611 English, I offer the New Living Translation. “The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.”
Additionally the Amplified Bible clarifies what is meant by “the righteous”. It adds consistently upright and in right standing with God.

Throughout the book of Proverbs we read of the Lord as a deliverer, rock, shelter, and hiding place. Our text is the only reference in Proverbs to the “name of the Lord” being a place of safety. The “name of the Lord” is the writer’s way of speaking of the total character of God. One has only to look to the Patriarchs of Old to find the names of God. Each reference to a name of God is given as a reflection of God’s character in the circumstances faced by the Patriarch.

With Abraham we can say, Jehovah Jireh is my provider. In the book of Exodus, Moses declared Him as Jehovah Nissi, the Lord our banner. Again, we must transition from the KJV to a modern application of this title. Simply put, the Lord leads us victoriously in battles, trials, temptations, and all confrontations with the enemy. The list of the names of Jehovah includes many more that we may deal with on a later date.

The “Name of the Lord” is His reputation. He has never failed. He will never fail. He has never lied. He will not lie. He has never left the “righteous” begging for bread. He has and always will supply. What He has promised, He has always delivered. When we run headlong to Him with our arms reaching for Him, He meets us with arms that are strong enough to carry us all the way through whatever trial we are facing. Truly we are safe in His care.

Originally posted as PT 2006 11/01/06

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Proper Perspectives

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. II Timothy 3:16, 17 KJV

All scripture includes historical accounts, descriptions of people and places, and journal entries; not just the scriptures concerning the laws and prophecy. Many people are willing to accept the divine inspiration of the books of the Pentateuch, Prophets, Psalms, Proverbs, and the majority of the New Testament, but unwilling to accept the genealogies, census reports, and inventory lists as inspired. The Apostle Paul makes it abundantly clear that ALL scripture is divinely inspired and states its purposes clearly.

Doctrine: set of guidelines, policies, or principles, dogma
Reprove: warn, caution, rebuke, admonish, convince/persuade by argument
Correction: modification, adjustment, alteration, improvement, discipline
Instruction: education, teaching, training, lessons, orders, commands
Righteousness: justice, honesty, virtue, morality, right-standing with God

That the man of God may be:
Perfect: faultless, unspoiled, just right, whole, complete, mature
Thoroughly: absolutely, completely, systematically
Furnished: equipped, supplied, endowed
Good: wholesome, healthy, positive, excellent
Works: actions, labors, efforts, vocations

When we have the mind of God concerning His word, we will be more diligent in study.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26 KJV

Considerations

"Study universal holiness of life. Your whole usefulness depends on this, for your sermons last but an hour or two; your life preaches all week. Give yourself to prayer, and get your texts, your thoughts, your words from God." Robert Murray McCheyne

  1. Divine inspiration, however necessary does not preclude preparation.
  2. Preparation can not replace the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Just because the message is the Anointed Word, does not mean the messenger is anointed.
  4. Just because the messenger is anointed, does not mean the message is anointed.

"If the anointing which we bear come not from the Lord of hosts, we are deceivers, since only in prayer can we obtain it. Let us continue instant, constant, fervent in supplication. Let your fleece lie on the trashing floor of supplication till it is wet with the dew of heaven." Spurgeon

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

More Preliminaries

If you have happened on this blog and you are looking for educational material, don't despair; it is on the way. I will eventually finish with my introductory remarks. If you have stopped by and you recognize me as PT2006 that is fine, just don't let CHG know about this just yet. I want to plant a few clues for her, to get her inquiring mind headed this way. She is sharp, shouldn't take her long. I know she will like this kind of suprise. In the meantime, check out the variety of flavors on my sites to savor. If you are the studious type, try out the tools of the trade. Don't forget the ministry links, they are full of all types of resources for personal or church use.

Monday, February 5, 2007

About Me

First and foremost, I am a Christian: born-again and Spirit-filled. I am a servant of God and an active member on the ministry team of Lighthouse of Worship Ministries Inc.
I am a wife and help-meet to my husband hereafter referred to as "Cowboy".
I am the oldest of three siblings. I have two sisters, CHG and KK. I am Aunt Cala to two wonderful nephews. CWGIII belonging to CHG and CLP belonging to KK.

This blog is being born out of a desire to record lesson ideas, brief devotionals, and sermon outlines. Most of which, I have taught on at various times in the past 20 years. Occasionally I will make personal entries but that is not the primary purpose of this blog.

I must also give credit to my sister CHG at http://beneaththeivywreath.blogspot.com
She introduced me to blogging when she invited me to guest write on Wednesdays. She has been one of the driving forces behind the creation of Timeless Text Messages.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Enlarging My Territory

I heard a preacher say recently, "God is doing a new thing". Well, I'm not convinced that God is doing anything more than what He has planned all along; if it is a new thing, then it is just new to mankind. After all, didn't Solomon write, "there is nothing new under the sun". Whatever God is doing, it is good!

On the other hand, what I am doing is certainly new to me. It was only late last year, that I got closely acquainted with the world of the internet. I had always thought it could be addictive and I didn't want to chance it. Now that I have entered the blogosphere I realize it is a wonderful place to visit but not a place to live. I have found it to be both inspiring and educational; and a helpful tool in keeping up with family and friends.

This blog is dedicated to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is my desire to encourage and edify all who visit here. I am not a professional blogger, so please overlook my grammatical comedies. The opinions found here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of blogger. I am Sista Cala and I approve this message.

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