Keys to learning

“My son, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, ‘You are my sister,’ and call understanding your nearest kin” (Proverbs 7:1-4 NKJV).

I have written before about the different systems of education between East and West (Asia versus Europe and North America). Though changes are occurring it is still generally true that the emphasis in western education is comprehension and application while that of the east remains to a great extent simply accumulation of facts through memorization. Continue reading “Keys to learning”

Seek God with your whole being

Most people like to analyze things, take things apart, separate into individual components. It’s done even with the inner being: mind, emotions, will. It’s good to distinguish among them. The Bible does it as well, so we’re on safe ground.

At the same time, synthesis is needed.

Let us not be like the do-it-yourselfer, who after reassembling what he has dismounted, has parts and screws left over. Let us have wholeness and be complete persons, whose whole being is devoted to the Lord, whose souls are transformed (repaired) by the Spirit of God. Continue reading “Seek God with your whole being”

Who am I? Thoughts are the true measure

“Do not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies; for as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:6-7, NKJV)

It is frequently stated that the figures of speech used in Biblical times regarding body parts may be relocated one organ higher for today’s audiences. Emotions were thought then to originate in the bowels or intestines, and thought or reason were properties of the heart. Today we feel emotionally with our hearts and think or reason in our minds. Continue reading “Who am I? Thoughts are the true measure”

The mind and imago Dei

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:26, 27 ESV).

After speaking into existence all that we see and all that we cannot, the Ultimate Being spoke into existence his ultimate creation. But we were not just to be the last in a line of similar living things. God elevated humanity by making us in his image.

As priests under the Law of Moses were to bridge the gap between man and God (Hebrews 5:1, 2), humans bridge the gap between the rest of creation and the Creator. We are caretakers of the world, not just inhabitants (Genesis 1:28). We were elevated in value, not of our own virtue but of the volition of the Divine. Continue reading “The mind and imago Dei”

Doctor treats patient in hospital bed.

See what makes me tick, God

Men are notorious for avoiding doctors and dentists. (Most certainly, it’s a generalization.) They often wait until the problem is unavoidable or the pain is unbearable. They hate anyone prodding or poking at them.

Most people, both men and women, dislike revealing inner thoughts. Some few wear their feelings on the sleeves and tell their life stories to anyone who will listen, but they are avoided by the majority.

Even more, most people avoid even thinking about God knowing their every thought and impulse. They certainly would not offer up David’s prayer of invitation. Continue reading “See what makes me tick, God”

Sign with the word focus out of camera focus

Be careful

The worship of God requires careful attention to our motives and thoughts. Many people don’t realize that God knows everything we think. God knows if we are sincerely showing our love and respect in worship or if we are just going through the motions.

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned his listeners about their giving and praying in Matthew 6:1-8. The first two words in the first verse of that chapter are “be careful.” Continue reading “Be careful”

Man sitting on ground looking at mountains and lake

‘In his right mind’

“And they came to Jesus and observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the ‘legion;’ and they became frightened” (Mark 5:15).

Sometimes you just can’t win. The demoniac from Gerasea (or Genneserat, see Matthew 14:34) had lived for some time in the tombs, isolated from normal society because of his bizarre behavior (Mark 5:2-5). He was rejected and feared by the villagers about him. But when Jesus cast the demons out of the man, restoring him to his right mind, the people were even more frightened. Actually their fright at this time was directed towards Jesus rather than the former demoniac, but it was this man’s now normal behavior, at least in part, that caused their reaction. Continue reading “‘In his right mind’”

The closing of the spiritual mind

Years ago a book was published called The Closing of the American Mind. It decried changes in the educational system. Far more serious is the closing of the spiritual mind. By spiritual mind we mean openness to the true things of God. The mind is the understanding, the intellect, where thoughts appear and are processed — or not.

The apostle Paul wrote that the Jews had closed minds when it came to Christ. Continue reading “The closing of the spiritual mind”

Knowing the unknowable

“But we speak God’s wisdom among those who are mature; … but just as it is written, ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him.’ … For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:7, 9, 11 NASB).

A favorite pastime in recent days has been to try to anticipate or out-guess the authorities as to when restrictions of travel and assembly might be reinstated. In Alabama this week many were surprised and disappointed when Governor Ivey displayed much caution only slightly relaxing previous “Stay at Home” orders. People in other states and countries continue to deal with rigid restrictions with no end in sight. Especially in South Asia hunger and desperation are growing as close to 2 billion people remain under imposed lockdown with no travel, work, or business permitted outside the home. Continue reading “Knowing the unknowable”