Archive for the ‘Simply Put’ Category

Head Coverings   Leave a comment

Should women wear head covering?

The verse in question is 1 Cor. 11:5-6

5 “But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved.
6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered.”

Are these verses actually speaking about veils, hats, or having her head covered somehow? Or is there more to understand here? At first glance, one might easily make that assumption. However, once we truly understand these passages, we see that the subject in question is actually length of hair.

Often is the case, that to understand a difficult scripture or set of scriptures, one simply needs to read it in the context of the surrounding scriptures.

For this particular scripture, let’s start in verse 15 of the same chapter.

1 Cor. 11:15 – “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her HAIR is given for a covering.”

We see that Paul is speaking here about long hair as the covering or veil, not some hat or piece of cloth.  It is similar in the way that we use certain words in referring to something else. For example: “Pea-shooter” is a gun. “Lid” can be a hat. We sometimes call food, “grub”.  I can’t think of what that is called when we do that, but Im pretty sure there is a name for it. But I digress…

In verse 6, Paul discusses various lengths of hair. Note the four lengths he mentions:

Verse 6 – “For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered.”

The four lengths are:

  1. Not covered – short hair
  2. Shorn – very short, cropped hair as when a sheep is shorn
  3. Shaven – designates totally bald head
  4. Covered – long hair

So keep in mind that this refers to the length, not the style. Yes, ladies, your long hair can be worn in all sorts of styles. 🙂  It’s not the “appearance” but the actual length that matters as we will see.

Question… if verse 5 and 6 are referring to some sort of man-made covering of the head, what would that have to do with shaving ones hair? So we see, it has to be referring to hair, and not cloth. Again, what does cloth have to do with shaving or being shorn? So Paul is saying that if a woman is going to have short, cropped hair, she might as well go all the way and shave her head bald. It would be just as shameful for her, in other words.

To further show that this chapter (and the verses in question) is dealing with hair lengths and not cloth coverings, let’s consider verses 4 and 14.  Verse four says that if a ma has his head covered when he prays, he is dishonoring his head who is Jesus Christ.

1 Cor 11:4 – “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.

Now look at verse 14.  “Doth not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?”

Again we see Paul is referring to hair length. Now look at verses 7-10 of this chapter.

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.
8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man.
9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.
10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless, neither is a man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.

Let’s look at verse 10 again, but in the Amplified Bible: “Therefore she should be subject to his authority and should have a covering on her head as a token, a symbol, of her submission to authority, that she may show reverence as do the angels and not displease them.”

These verses are showing that the Christian woman ought to have a covering as a sign that she is under the authority of her husband, and therefore also under Christ.  Long hair is that sign that a woman is willing to be in subjection to a man, her husband, and that she acknowledges the need for protection by angels.

Let’s look at one more verse: Verse 3 – “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”

Since God has placed the man, the husband, as the head of the woman, the wife, the woman should have a sign of her submission to his authority. That is a beautiful thing. This sign is the woman’s long beautiful hair. And it has nothing to do with any mad-made veil or hat on her head. Instead, it’s the true beauty that God created, the woman’s long hair.

 

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Sin In An Instant…Vs Obedience   Leave a comment

Okay, so a while ago I stated to a very good friend of mine that we always have a choice of whether or not we sin. At that time, it made sense to me, but upon further reflection, something new came to me while praying…

But first, let me start with this: To my friend (you know who you are) I was wrong.

Sin CAN happen in an instant. Even without choice. (Or even without knowledge.) I was reminded of a time when a person came up to me and asked me a question; Now I consider myself a truthful and honest person, and I strive to be so, but for some reason, even though I honestly had no reason to lie to this individual, I did just that; I lied and gave the individual false information. It happened SO quickly and without any conscious thought whatsoever. I was so stunned by the fact that I had just lied so quickly, so easily, and without any reason to even do so, that I just sort of stood there while the person walked away.
Now, I felt that had happened for a reason, Because back then, I prided myself on my honesty. I believe God was showing me I had nothing to be proud of, and that I was certainly not perfect in that department (as I probably had previously thought), and fully capable of lying. It was a humbling lesson. But I digress…

The point is, sin CAN happen that quickly. Now, that doesn’t mean it always does, or even should. (More on that in a bit.)
You see, there are many factors involved that determine how much time, if any, a person has to choose the action. Here are just a few:

  • The person – how close they are to God. Their particular weaknesses. Their particular beliefs, desires, likes, dislikes, personality, disposition, etc. etc
  • The circumstance – this can vary so much and be so numerous it would be impossible to list.
  • Time – Timing is everything they say. And to a great degree, this is true. If you aren’t in a good state of mind, ie, prepared to resist sin, bad timing could be your undoing.
  • Propensity towards certain sins (we all have sin that easily besets us). But again, this has so many varying factors, it differs from individual to individual.
  • Preparation, or lack thereof. This sort of goes along with how close one is to God. But this will segue into my next point.
  • I’m sure one could come up with a myriad of other factors…but onto my next point…

So depending on the individual, and varying factors, sin can either come almost instantly, or one can have time to think about what they are doing before they do it.

BUT… While sin may not always be a choice…Obedience is.

At first, one may think that statement is a bit contradictory, or think, “Isn’t that the same thing?” Well…maybe it is at face value…but if you think about it, if you think about what it takes to obey God, I think it will begin to make a lot of sense.

Obedience, comes from a knowledge and understanding of God. It comes from a repentant heart. We SEE sin as sin, and we start making changes to strive against sin; To instead, obey our God; to conform to His perfect will and righteous character.

This is something that doesn’t always come spur of the moment. We have to be striving daily. Preparing to resist sin BEFORE sin comes knocking. This is a choice we make BEFORE we are faced with sin. Like working out. When I worked out, my muscles were growing stronger. I could then lift heavier things with ease, more so than I could before. I was prepared in that sense to lift heavier items in everyday life.

So, if one is preparing ahead of time, they are much more ready to resist sin when it arises. They have given themselves more time to make the right choice to not sin by making the choice to obey ahead of time. They have drawn closer to God, they have acknowledged Him in their ways ahead of time, before the temptation arises. They have made a choice ahead of time of obedience.

It’s interesting to point out…when Christ knew the devil would be coming to tempt Him, what did He do? He made a choice to obey ahead of time didn’t He? He went and fasted and prayed to draw on The Father’s strength. So that when the temptation to sin was brought to the fore, He was able to make the right choice. He was able to make the right choice, because the choice was already made before sin came to tempt.

This is our perfect example. In this world, throughout our lives, there are many…many….MANY opportunities to sin. Some we will resist. Some we will fall to. Some come on quickly giving us little if any time to think…some start in our minds and work their way slowly to the surface, to action. Some come like drops of water in a bucket. We are able to resist at first, but eventually our strength fades. But the more we choose to obey, and prepare ourselves by submitting to God’s will, praying, fasting, drawing closer to Him now, the more we will be able to resist sin when it arises. We make the choice NOW to obey. The more we make that choice, the easier it becomes to make the right choice when the opportunity to sin arises, because we are more prepared, and this gives us more time to stop and think before we act. Does this guarantee perfection? No. For we are human. And we know what the bible says about our carnal nature and hearts. But as we work to bury the old person, to put that old person to death daily, and to be the new creation we are intended to be, the more strength we have, when we need it.

We will still sin. But we will be able to resist it a little more, and a little more, and a little more. A little longer each time, and a little longer. But before we can make such choices to not sin when it arises, we have to choose obedience ahead of time.

Some sins will hit us quicker, and easier than others. Some sins will be more like water off a duck’s back than others. And again, it all varies from person to person. So we need to prepare ahead of time. God gives us this opportunity…over, and over, and over, and over… He gives us the freedom to choose. So we need to make our choice to obey now. Set it in our hearts and in our minds. God gives us not only the power to chose, but the tools to back up that choice; but we even have to choose to use those tools. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Even that is a choice.

Again, we won’t reach perfection in our physical lives, but the more we choose to obey, the more opportunity we will be afforded to make the right choices when sin is at our door.

Obedience is always the choice.

Posted August 3, 2013 by buildupontherock in Simply Put

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Spotlight On Luke 5:16   Leave a comment

Luke 5:16 – So He  (often) withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. Our Brother…our example, would take time to get personal with The Father. He made time to get away from His daily tasks, routines, etc. to go and spend personal one on one time talking to, and praising, The Father. This activity wasn’t just for Himself of course. It was writtend down specifically as an example for us.

So the question is… Do we withdraw at times to pray and talk to and praise God?  I don’t just mean at our daily prayer times either. But at other times.

Think of the power one can draw from this. Not to mention keeping God in the forefront of our minds. Building our relationship with, and keeping ourselves in line with our Father.

You see, prayer is not just “talking to God”… It’s praising God. Thanking God. Calling upon Him for involvment in every part of our life. It’s building a relationship with Him. It IS about keeping Him in the very front of our minds no matter what is going on around us. It’s a shield to our hearts and minds from the evil “prince of the power of the air” and his influences.

This is something we need to be doing. Every day! We need to take moments and praise God. Call up on Him for strength, even if we are feeling strong. OR just to say, “Thank you God,” Or “I love you God,”  and talk with Him. Even if only for a few mintues. Longer if possible of course.

This is truly something we all need to do, and do more. Myself included. He IS our SHIELD. Our FORTRESS. Our HIGHTOWER. Our STRENGTH. Our EVERYTHING. We need to maintain that constant link to that.

I know many have jobs. And it might be difficult to “find time” to do this. But I guarantee time can be made. Even if only in your mind while working. So many find time for various other breaks. Coffee, Facebook, emails, texts, etc. How much more important…VITAL…is it to take a “Prayer break”, to “text” God?

Christ took extra time out to seek this relationship with God. Are we doing the same?

 

 

Posted June 4, 2013 by buildupontherock in Bible Studies, Simply Put

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Words of Encouragement   Leave a comment

Please feel free to add to these!

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

James 1:12
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 16:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Psalm 46:1-3
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. “Selah”

Psalm 118:14-16
The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!
The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!”

Matthew 24:13
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Romans 7: 22 – 25
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

PRAISE GOD!

– A special thank you to Sunny Faulkner for providing me with these references of God’s words of encouragement.

The Election, The Future, And You   4 comments

Speaking solely for those who have the the Truth… (and in regards to the re-election of Barak Obama)

Christ asks if He will find faith when He returns. This is a good question in light of the results of this election and what it means for this country in the near future.

Are we fearful? Or discouraged? Are we perhaps disappointed that God chose to do it this way, rather than put another into office that we would have preferred? If we are…these are a lack of faith.

We know that God is working out a plan according to His good and perfect will. And that His purposes are being fulfilled. And we know what that plan and purpose is! I dont believe any of us are not looking forward to the Kingdom… but… when things happen to speed up that purpose, to bring about that end…how are we responding? With faith, with hope, with joy?

Don’t get me wrong… I am not saying that we should be joyful over the suffering of others. And yes, suffering is coming. Chastisement is coming. Nobody likes that. And we dont enjoy (or at least shouldnt) seeing others suffer. BUT… as any good parent knows… chastzing your child is not joyful, no, but the end result is. The end result being that the child is brought to be humble and submissive and in line with the laws, which not only brings joy to the child, but to the entire family.

But can we have both? Joy and sorrow at the same time? Yes!  We should feel sorrow for any who have to suffer, but at the same time JOY for those that are suffering, knowing that it is God who is causing it, and for GREAT reason!

If events take place that quicken the pace… that race us towards these… “dark times” of chastisement… Brothers and Sisters…we should be EXCITED!  Excited that God is quickening the pace to END the suffering!  Would we honestly rather He dragged it out longer? Look at the suffering all throughout the world already. Do we really want it to slow down? Or do we want it to build in pace and intensity so that it can end and be over with all the sooner?

Think about it like ripping off a band-aid. Most of us have learned that the quick harsh ripping off of the band-aid is so much better than the long slow pulling. Or the woman in labor…Women who are mothers know this all too well… You’d rather it get it done and over with than let it drag out for hours upon hours (or even twenty more minutes)!

God knows this too. And so He is doing thing the very BEST way possible under the circumstances.

Yes, it would be better if the nation repented and turned back to the Father. But they arent going to. If God is not choosing to give a  lull, or a  reprieve at this time, then such a time of reprieve would only make things worse…not better. So why should be be discouraged or disappointed in what God is choosing…its for the best!

Maybe we are thinking of specific people in our lives that…really are not suffering now, but we know that if things are sped up, then they will be…

It is understandable that we have such attachments, and empathy. Christ said, “…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…” (Matt 23:37)  He too had such empathy. But in order to do so, the subject must be willing.  (Continuing verse 37) “…but you were not willing.”  So the subject(s) of our empathy, must be made to be willing. They must be brought to that point…and only then will they get to experience, not just “not suffering”, but JOY, TRUE JOY!  You see, they may be “not suffering” right now…but would we rather them simply, “not suffer”, or have GOD’s TRUE JOY (which they currently are lacking)?  That is how we should be looking at it.

Think of it another way… a child in the mother’s womb is content and not lacking as far as they understand. That is the only world they know. But we know that greater more wonderful things (than they could even fathom) exist for them on the outside of that womb. We know that the only way for that child to get to experience such wonderful things, is to first have to go through some great suffering called, birth. The baby must be terrified as they are literally forced and squished through a tiny opening in a very traumatic way. But when its all over, they are held to their mothers breast, and a whole new world of wonders and possibilities is opened up to them. Would we ever say…leave the child in the womb longer so they dont have to suffer the birth?  Then why would we want God to do any less than bring those we love (our friends, our families) through “birth” to bring them to His true joy?

We need to also keep in mind the apostle Pauls words in Romans 8:18 – “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

So whatever we, or our loved ones suffer…its not even comparable to what God has in store. It’s WORTH any suffering we or they may have to go through. So why not say… let’s get it over with! Let’s get to it so that the JOY, the GLORY, the AWESOMENESS BEYOND COMPREHENSION of what God has in store can begin!

This is why we should be EXCITED when these things occur. Not fearful, Not discouraged. But filled with a somber joy! Knowing that after this brief suffering, a great rejoicing will begin!

And if any fear is involved, it should be the fear of the LORD and our getting OUR acts together for the end is near! (though, honestly, we should have already been doing that) Paul said that he had already made it. He knew he was IN. Do we? Should we not be at that point? Definitely something to consider… But whatever the case, we have whatever time we have now… We need to be using it to the best. That means, among other things, seeking the FAITH we need to get through whatever lies ahead.

Yes, the times look very dark ahead. Yes, it seems at this point God is intending to speed things up (with this current election). And if these things are so… then let us take GREAT hope, and a somber JOY at what our LORD is bringing to pass, not just for the world as a whole, but for each individual life as well! This should be exciting!

Let’s not be discouraged. Let’s not see this as a “bad” thing. If we truly believe God is in charge…then it is a GOOD thing. No if’s, and’s, but’s, or maybe’s, about it. Yes, bad things can happen, but for GOOD reasons if God is involved…and He IS involved.  God says it is HE who sets up the leaders of this world. It IS a GOOD thing.

Daniel 2:21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings

Psalm 57:7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

God has put this man in place, in office over this nation. It is God who placed him…not this nation…so rejoice in God’s work!  Be excited to see the Hand Of God in our time. To see His plans unfurl in our time. How exciting!

So will you be excited? Will you have faith in this?

With that, I end this blog with one final verse (of SO MANY possibilities all giving us hope and faith and encouragement for both the present and the future):

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear [command], for I am with you; do not be dismayed [command], for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

EDIT 11/21/12 – Luke 21; Particularly verse 28 – “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

Praise God!

Posted November 7, 2012 by buildupontherock in Bible Studies, Simply Put

Who Wrote The Bible   Leave a comment

Some argue that the Bible was written by men and therefore not by God.
Well, the Bible was indeed written by the hand of men. About 40 of them I believe. But the inspiration, the words themselves, came from God.

2 Peter 1:20 ,21 – Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of one’s own interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Man After God’s Own Heart   Leave a comment

David was a man after God’s own heart. We know this because God says so in His inspired scripture:

I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will – Acts 13:22

It would appear that the key to understanding why or how David was a man after God’s own heart, lies with the second part of this verse: “…shall fulfill all my will”.

What is God’s will?
Now, before you start coming up with the plethora of answers that would most likely all be true and correct, let’s try to simplify the answer. If we could sum it up in one sentence, perhaps one verse in the bible (since after all, it is God’s own words, and therefore most correct), what would our simplest answer be, what verse would we use?

Once again, we might come up with several, and they all would be correct most likely, but keeping in mind the character of David, how about this verse to define what is God’s will:

1 Tim 2:4 [God our saviour]…”who desires ALL men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth.”

This is His will. We know this also because of the famous scripture in John 3:16.

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world [Note, not just His Elect] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting [Or Eternal] life.”

Our Savior, Yeshua (Jesus), the very Son of God, our Creator and future coming King… HE put His life on the line because He desires that ALL can be saved and come to the knowledge of truth of God and to be allowed access into the Family of God for all eternity.

Let me put that simply again… Jesus, put His life on the line for His Father’s sheep. Right?

That is His heart. To withhold nothing good from His Father’s sheep, even His very life.

Now let us get a glimpse inside the heart of David…

In 1 Samuel 17, we find David talking to King Saul. David is telling Saul of his days as a shepherd of his father’s flock: “34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear;”

So David was willing to put his life at risk, in order to protect his father’s sheep. Could it be then, that this Godly character aspect was what God was referring to?

It may not be “only and all” , but we can clearly see the very character of God reflected in this aspect of David.

Perhaps this begs the question then… are we willing to lay down our lives to defend, protect, and nurture, our Father’s sheep?