Sunday, December 30, 2012

The parable of the wheat & the Weeds: Matthew 13:24-30 & 36-43

1.             What does this tell us about Jesus (the sower)?
-                He’s wise/prudent
         Isaiah 11:1-5                                                        

                  -          He’s patient

-                He is aware of the challenges/circumstances we face.
       Hebrews   2:17-18 & 4:14-16                                  
-          He has our best interests in mind
        John 10:10-11  
-                He expects us to bear fruit.

               Matthew 25:14-30

2.             What does this tell us about the devil (The enemy)?
-                He’s into destruction/harm, not good/gain.
-                He works in the dark
-                He’s patient too
-                He can be frustrated/beaten
1 John 4:4                                       
3.             What does this tell us about the fruits of the devil (the weeds)?
-                They often look a lot like good things
         2 Corinthians 11:13-15            
-                It often takes a while before their badness becomes apparent.
-          They can become intertwined into our lives once we let them get    a foothold.
-                They can be overcome, but only with divine help & patience.

4.             What does this tell us about the wheat  (us, presumably)?
-          It must co-exist, put up with evil
          John 16:33                                                 
It will ultimately be delivered from evil, but only with Jesus’ help
-                It is expected to bear fruit.
         John 15:8                                                    
-                It can only bear fruit if it surrenders to Jesus
         John 12:24                                                 
5.        How do we deal with the Tares?
                                    Psalm 37:1-11                                                    

Saturday, September 08, 2012

What scripture says about who to vote for

Scripture will not explicitly tell you who to vote for (and neither will I), but it says a lot that should inform your decision. Whether it is by the example of good leaders, descriptions of perfect leadership, express directions to more fallible leaders of old, proverbs about government, or teaching about how citizens should relate to their leaders, Scripture has a LOT to say.

God’s word is infallible, it is incisive, and provides light to direct our paths. It is worth far, far, more than any 30 second ad paid for by a super PAC, so it simply cannot be ignored. We must read it, think and pray about it before we vote, whether its for president or dog catcher. 

To help in that process, I have set out scriptures that address government and how leaders should and shouldn’t act. They are arranged topically. To avoid bias, I am presenting them in the order in which they are most frequently addressed, in accord with the principle that the more God brings a topic up the more important it is.

The are hyperlinks going to multiple translations of most of the scriptures cited. Hyperlinks that are italicized are to verses illustrating the principle by negative example.

Must strive for fair justice, to maintain the rule of law for all, including the weak
Must be sensitive to the weak/disadvantaged
Recognizes the need to repent
Recognizes that all success/authority comes from God
Seeks God’s guidance
Able to delegate/ rely on subordinates and to pick honest ones
Rooted in God’s Word
Intercedes for the people with God
Refuses gifts that corrupt
Does public works projects
Affirmatively seeks to help the people
Ezekiel 34:11-16
Does not place emphasis on personal gain
Isaiah 56:11
Seeks/heeds Good Counsel
Provides for a strong defense
Is gracious to those who opposed him/did him wrong
Brings the people back to God
Does not drink to excess
Respected by other nations
Engages in foreign trade
Allows immigration/fair to immigrants
Goes to the people
Goes to God in times of adversity
Is not ashamed of worshipping God
Equitably distributes resources/burdens
Is responsive to the people
Is diligent
Not deterred by opposition
Does not womanize
Provides Stability
Understands human nature
researches the matters to be dealt with
Calm, not easily angered
1 Timothy 3:3
Titus 1:7
 Has foresight
Seeks wisdom
 Inspires devotion/enthusiasm
Encourages his subordinates
Attends to preparing his successor
Does not tolerate euthanasia
Avoids rash promises
Leads by example
Alert to danger