Joseph and the Holy Family

I’m struck this Christmas morning by the important role of Joseph in the holy family. Even the virgin-born Emanuel grew up in subjection to two parents. I see, in the holy family, the importance of family structure. Although he had nothing to do with the conception of Jesus, Joseph was still referred to as his parent and even his father,(Luke 2:41, 43, 48); and he had the responsibility of an earthly father over his family, (Matthew 2:13-23). Jesus was under His parents’ authority before, and even after the age of twelve (Luke 2:51-52). God, Himself placed Himself under human parental authority.

For Unity

I appreciate what RZIM’s J.M. Njoroge says in today’s “Slice of Infinity” about the way “we squander valuable benefits of dedicated teamwork within the household of faith,” and thereby “lose our edge in a broken world.”

He says, “In spite of the fact that Jesus prayed fervently for unity among his followers, the visible church is often a conglomeration of competing factions, each equally convinced of its solitary possession of divine favor. Those who seek signs and wonders through the Holy Spirit are usually suspicious of those who emphasize exegetical approaches to the Scriptures. Christian scholars are sometimes content just to talk to each other, and the uncanny tendency of apologists to sniff out what they deem rotten doctrine is not always appreciated.”

Read the whole article at http://www.rzim.org/a-slice-of-infinity/for-unity/

Vince Morris’s Prayer

The following prayer was found in Vince Morris’s well-worn Bible and printed for the bulletin in the bulletin for his memorial service on June 30, 2012. Vincent Morris was vice president of student affairs at Biola University for more than 20 years and an admired Bible teacher at the Evangelical Free Church in Huntington Beach and Bethany Bible Fellowship. I’d like to adopt this for myself.

Forbid Lord that my roots become too firmly attached to this earth, that I should fall in love with things. Help me to understand that the pilgrimage of this life is but an introduction, preface, a training school for what is to come. Then shall I see all of life in its true perspective. Then shall I not fall in love with the things of time, but come to love the things that endure. Then shall I be saved from the tyranny of possessions which I have no leisure to enjoy, of property whose care becomes a burden. Give me the courage, I pray, to simplify my life. So may I be mature in my faith, childlike but never childish, humble but never cringing, understanding but never conceited. So help me, O God, to live and not merely to exist, that I may have your joy in my life and in my work. In your name who alone can give me joy, peace, balance and zest for living the Christ-filled life, I pray. – Vince Morris 3/06/93

“Waiting” for the Holy Spirit?

The statement in John 7:39 — “. . . for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified”— does not pertain to us. The Holy Spirit has been given; the Lord is glorified— our waiting is not dependent on the providence of God, but on our own spiritual fitness.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, May 27.
http://utmost.org/the-life-to-know-him/

The Message of Scripture

What I think God is trying to tell us in Scripture

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, (Isaiah 55:8)
but here’s what I want you to know:

  • I designed you
  • I planned you
  • I made you
  • I love you
  • I like you
  • I want you
  • I care about you
  • I bought you
  • I forgave you
  • I am with you
  • I have more for you
  • Trust me

Also,

  • I know what I am doing.
  • I can do anything.
  • I’m not trying to confuse you – that’s the devil.
  • I want you to have peace.
  • I want you to have joy.
  • My plan is from an eternal perspective.
      • It may involve pain,
        • But only enough to accomplish my purpose in you.
          • If that’s only to teach you something, the pain will end when you learn it.
          • If there is more, I’ll help you to endure it.
            • It may be to learn how to comfort someone else.
      • Please trust me.
        • That’s your only way to peace through all this.

BTW,

  • If you’re having a tough time – and accepting all this is difficult for you – please understand that it is all still true and applies to you.
  • But you also need to know that I don’t accept invitations to Pity Parties.
    • That’s why such get-togethers are so lonely,
    • And they only make things worse.