Something Borrowed, Something True-Blue (Old/New part 2)

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22)

Whenever we take the bywords and homilies of modern-day Christianity and substantiate—or seek to substantiate—our lives upon them, we potentially miss the power of having God speak these truths to us directly. Of course, any Christian adage is going to have an element, a kernel of truth within, but close scrutiny is necessary to make sure that a Christian-ism is true as based upon God’s word.

When Jesus said that any “scribe unto the kingdom of Heaven” brings forth out of “his (or her) treasure” (Matthew 13:52), He’s saying (I believe) that the things have been made the scribe’s own and weren’t borrowed from anyone else. In other words, anyone who teaches can’t just borrow the truths they seek to express and expect those words to be imbued, backed up—empowered by the Holy Spirit to be life changing. How else can I express this? I think this is a very valid and important topic with reference to our coming into our own in the family of God.

“And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed (tried) to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.” (1 Samuel 17:39)

When David went to fight Goliath, Saul offered his armor. David refused, citing the fact that he hadn’t “proved” it. A fuller definition of that word implies “tested through use”. The same word is also translated in the King James as “adventure”. And while it may not be adventure in the sense of dragons and swords, it does refer to using something for a long time and being sure that it won’t let you down when you need it most. The truths that the Holy Spirit wants to give you and fill you with will necessarily need to go “through the waters”, “through the fire” as it says in Isaiah (43:2). That’s pretty much how a sword is forged, by the way. That and a lot of incessant hammering.

“The words I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)

Jesus is the “Word made flesh” as it says in John 1:14. He is the absolute—the truth. He is the purest expression of God the Father. The “express image of His person” (Hebrews 1:3) and when He speaks, miracles happen. People rise from the dead. He could have spoken the command and received “more than twelve legions of angels” (Matthew 26:53) to do whatever he said. But don’t think that it didn’t come with a price. A lot can happen—and certainly did—in the thirty years before Jesus began His public ministry. “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8) Jesus was making it His own.

The concept of “conversation” has changed since 1611, the year the King James was published. When you read the word “conversation” in the King James, it’s not talking about two or more people having a chat. The word conversation in the King James refers to the manner in which we live out our life with reference to God, others and the world at large. When we take words and phrases and homilies and adages—the patois of a society, to put it differently—and actually live it out in our behavior with the help of the Holy Spirit, then we’re doing as Jesus does. We make it our own.

Effectively marrying the potential dichotomy of words and actions.

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Something Old, Something New (Old/New part 1)

Apparently, there’s “nothing new under the sun.”

This is what Solomon found out. He said so in Ecclesiastes (1:9).

“…and I partly believe it.” (1 Corinthians 11:18)

Contrast this with what Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew (13:52): “Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of Heaven is like an householder, which brings forth out of his treasure things new and old”. I would like to think that—while there might be nothing new under the sun—the “new” stuff, the stuff that Jesus is referring to, is over the sun. Above the sun.

Anything that is truth, is still truth whenever it’s spoken. The truthness of the concept, precept, whatever, is true–just as true now as it was say, back in the Old Testament. When something becomes cliched or stale, it has nothing to do with the content of the information in question, but of the receptivity of the hearer. Take for instance, that old adage, “you can’t judge a book by its cover”…maybe that’s not a good example because publishers want you to do just that. Look at the cover of any Fantasy or Romance novel and you’ll see what I mean.

Think of any cliched and powerless phrase that you hear nowadays. Anything from “Hi, how are you?/Fine thanks”, to “breaking the bank”, to “keeping up with joneses” to a dozen others on the tip of my tongue, and you’ll find that—maybe, maybe not—the phrase in question means something other than what it did when you first heard it. It loses its poignancy because we, we are the ones who have become desensitized. I am going to say this: “God requireth that which is past” (Ecclesiastes 3:15) and if we’re not clinging to and meditating on both the content of the word and also knowing Jesus—that which we’ve already received—then God can’t give us those “new things”. God wants to do that very thing: “behold I do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?” (Isaiah 43:19, emphasis mine) And as God teaches “precept upon precept, line upon line” (Isaiah 28:10), He is naturally (supernaturally?) going to require that we have both learned and know the lessons inherent in our experiences. The Holy Spirit is our teacher (see John 14:26). If we yield to Him in love, asking Him to teach us, then He will see to it that we know everything we need to regarding our call–our mission on this earth.

Everything old is new again.