Archives for posts with tag: film


Mark 6:4 Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

In Aesop’s fable, it was proper for the fox to be in awe when seeing the lion. People can seem to become commonplace, especially those closest to us, and the temptation can grow to lose our appreciation and honour due to each human.

How much value does God place on one person? At conception, a precious human life begins. So precious, that it will never end. It is eternal, as ordained by God.

The more we learn about the masterful details of design in creation, the more awe inspiring this pursuit of study becomes. Yet, at the same time, it is easy to see that paradise has been lost, cursed, marred by sin. We can still appreciate those scenes of breathtaking beauty. And those amazing designs remain to challenge our comprehension and discovery.

Each human soul bears the image of God. The astounding design of each person, the elegant complexity of the alloyed spirit, mind, and body, is exceptional. Yet …

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; … (Isaiah 53:6)

A lost coin does not lose its value because it is lost. It is that intact value that motivates us to search for the coin. The higher the value, the more diligent and persevering the search. So, now read the whole verse.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The stunning price paid; for each one; for you.

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

What joy was set before him?


You are worth it … to Him … your salvation … your reconciliation to Him … your fellowship with Him … is His joy!

By no means does this say that you deserve God’s grace. The very definition of grace indicates that it is not deserved. God knows we don’t deserve to be pardoned, yet He also reckons that it is worth it. How much value does God place on one person? God did not value you any less than what He paid.

Yours is a unique life. You are rare; special. The creator of matter says that you matter. Regardless of how close to God you are, or how far from God you are right now, He still holds out His hand to offer a closer relationship with Him.

If you feel angry, then you are angry. If you feel worthless, that does NOT mean you are worthless! If you feel sad, then you are sad. If you feel irrelevant, then that feeling is a LIE! Yes, you are having that emotion, but that does not indicate that you are expendable. Do you see the distinction? Grasping this concept is vital. Feelings and emotions tell you about your state of mind, not your value.

In all the world, there is nothing more precious than an individual human being.

By God’s majestic grace and decree, each soul is due honour, as a fellow human, bearing the image of the Creator.

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Many prefer the elegance of simplicity, and who can blame them? It is very nice when something is simple or easy to understand. We are naturally drawn to scenes of organized and predictable arrangements. There are many occasions when we can hunt down, or create, these manageable solutions and enjoy the benefits of such a reliable system.

Life is complicated. Sometimes we can just avoid those knotty situations, but sometimes such avoidance would be sinful negligence. Complexity in life is not going to go away, just because we prefer simplicity. We may be tempted to treat complex issues as if they were elementary.

This is just speaking in generalities, so here is an example. Church discipline is complicated. Thus, it requires much prayer, and probably fasting, for wisdom and guidance, backed by several years of Bible study. That is just an example. You can probably think of several more cases where much diligence, discretion, or responsibility is due.

Much value is added when we make the effort to simplify, yet it rarely happens without this effort. There are portions of the Bible that are easy to study. In contrast, there are some doctrinal topics that are difficult to understand. A preacher does a great service for his audience when he studies the Holy Bible for many hours, then shares some simple insights that God provided. The congregation will never get, from the sermon, the full benefit that the preacher got from the study. But, if they are attentive, they may receive far more listening to a half-hour of preaching than they would have received from a half-hour of Bible study. Among other blessings, this is one profit we receive from the prophet.

1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

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There are some who believe that the New Testament teaches us not to use instruments in our music; only “a cappella” is allowed. Here is their line of reasoning, as I have heard. One principle of Bible interpretation, that they espouse, is that only the New Testament abides as our source of doctrine. So, any doctrine that is not established in the New Testament, is no longer valid for the church today. Using instruments in music is encouraged, even commanded at times, in the Old Testament, but not mentioned in the New Testament. Thus, they conclude, we are to do away with this practice. There are two fallacies in this interpretation that we will point out.

The first error is that this is not a valid distinction between the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible, as a principle of Bible interpretation. Jesus explains that this is improper.

Matthew 5:17-18
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till Heaven and Earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

There are multiple principles of Bible interpretation to help us decide which Old Testament statutes are still binding on us in the New Testament, and we will not be expounding on those. The main point of this article is to explain that this one false principle is to be omitted. Yes, we are in a new dispensation, i.e., God has now revealed additional information to us in the New Testament. That does not mean that we are to completely start over. God does not change, yet He had reason to change His covenant with us. For example, the sacrifices were fulfilled in the suffering and death of Christ.

There are some abominable evils, that I could mention as examples. These sins are clearly condemned by God in the Old Testament, and no biblicist would argue that they should be considered righteous behaviour in the New Testament, yet they are not mentioned in the New Testament. This shows us where such a method would lead us, if consistently applied.

The second error is revealed by the fact that musical instruments are used in Heaven, as ordained by God. This supersedes any silence, on the Church practice, in the New Testament. This is not to imply that anything and everything that is allowed in Heaven is also allowed in the Body of Christ. Yet it does establish that there is no general ban on the use of musical instruments, as far as God is concerned. This heavenly precedent would be foundational to any dispensation or covenant.

Though this is controversial, some claim the authority of the tradition of the early church fathers to confirm this shunning of musical instruments. Even if this were true, the Word of God is the sole authority for our faith and practice. Going beyond the boundaries of this authority, Jesus condemns as, “teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.” And He considers this “vain worship.”

Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.

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One might think that humour is a trivial topic that is not worth much consideration. For this project, we take humour very seriously. We agree with the doctrine of Brad Stine, and we are not joking.

We are made in the image of God. We can see that this world would be paradise, if it were not marred by sin and the curse. In a similar way we can see part of the image of God in humour that is not perverted and degraded by the ungodly. This godly humour did not come about as a result of the fall. This seems obvious, but it can also be seen in Scripture, for example, when Jesus lists joyous laughter among the blessings from God. Luke 6:21b … Blessed [are ye] that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

Even God jokes around a bit!

Matthew 23:24 [Ye] blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Job 41:5a Wilt thou play with [leviathan] as [with] a bird? …

Humour is a critical part of good mental health and fitness; nutrition and exercise for the mind. It is a powerful defence against despair and pessimism. Levity is a restful break from tragedy and grave thoughts. It is therapeutic for mind, body, soul, and spirit.

Proverbs 17:22a A merry heart doeth good [like] a medicine: …

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

From the context, who are “us” to whom God has given the spirit of a sound mind? It is those of us who are of unfeigned faith in our Saviour Jesus Christ. As Christians, we won’t shy away from humour in this project, as if it were beneath us, unspiritual, or unclean, yet we will be careful to use it tastefully, and not shamefully. Good humour is not the only ingredient for a sound mind, but it is vital.

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This post is another follow on to Folly … In The Bible?

As was explained in Audio Drama, in the book of Job we have a similar contrast. Job’s speeches, from chapter 3 through 31, God calls “words without knowledge” and God rebukes Job in chapter 40 verse 8 with the words, “Wilt thou also disannul my judgement? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?” Then God also condemns the words of Job’s three friends as “folly” to be repented of with sacrifices.

God could have just told us what was wrong about what they said, but He included the speeches as context to God’s rebuke and Elihu’s admonition. As such, they are valuable as a historical record.

History does not conclusively tell us who wrote the book of Job. This we do know: He was a prophet inspired of God. Here are the boundaries that God led His prophet to put in His Word, for the book of Job, so that we can clearly see what God is calling “words without knowledge.”

After Job responds to his calamities the Bible says, in Job 1:22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

Again, after Job responds to his wife regarding his trial of faith, the Bible says, in Job 2:10 … In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

After that, the narration continues, by the inspired prophet, through the end of chapter 2. So, we know from these God-inspired narrative statements that chapters 1 and 2 of Job are excluded from the “words without knowledge.” There is no further commendation of Job’s words until after he repents, in the final chapter, of speaking foolishly.

We also have these two verses that act as a boundary, or container: The first verse of chapter three and the last verse of chapter 31.

Job 3:1 After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.

Which is a fitting introduction to “words without knowledge.” Here, Job does not lament the sins of society, nor his own sinfulness. Rather, he is lamenting that God allowed his adversity.

Then we have Job 31:40 … The words of Job are ended.

What does it mean when it says, “the words of Job are ended,” here in chapter 31? He speaks again after this in chapters 40 and 42. It is clear that chapter 31 precedes the other chronologically. So it must be Job’s “words without knowledge” that are ended. He is done complaining and arguing with his friends. In chapters 40 and 42, when he speaks again, in repentance of speaking foolishly, it is no longer “words without knowledge” but what God calls, “the thing which is right.”

Job 32
4 Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they [were] elder than he.
5 When Elihu saw that [there was] no answer in the mouth of [these] three men, then his wrath was kindled.

Before Elihu begins speaking, it mentions that Job and his three friends were done arguing before Elihu started.

God says that Job and his three friends did not know what they were talking about. First, the inspired narration specifies that God was rebuking Job.

Job 38
1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2 Who [is] this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

In the end, Job confesses and admits that he did not know what he was talking about.

Job 42
1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
3 … therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
4 …
5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
6 Wherefore I abhor [myself,] and repent in dust and ashes.

Shortly after this, God expected Job’s three friends to have repented already. It doesn’t seem, from the inspired narration, nor from God’s rebuke of Job, that God had previously said anything directly aimed at the three. Did God expect them to repent at the admonition of Elihu? Did God expect them to deduce the same as Job, that they did not know what they were talking about, so they should have kept their mouths shut?

7 And it was [so,] that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me [the thing that is] right, as my servant Job [hath.]
8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you [after your] folly, in that ye have not spoken of me [the thing which is] right, like my servant Job.

What did Job say that was right? He repented of his words without knowledge. In summary, after Job responded to his calamities, we are told that he did not sin with his lips; after his complaints and arguments with his miserable comforters, God rebukes it all as “words without knowledge;” after Job repents, then God commends this repentance as speaking of Him “[the thing which is] right.”

Some claim that, in 1 Corinthians 3:19 “He taketh the wise in their own craftiness,” Paul quotes Eliphaz in Job 5:13. In this other post we explain why we disagree with this conclusion.

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James 1:16-27
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein,] he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion [is] vain.
27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.

In the first two chapters, God points to Job as being devoted to the pure religion. In the final chapter, God reveals that Job’s three friends had been followers of defiled religion. See Folly … In The Bible?

Saul’s (Paul’s) religion led him to persecute the church (Galatians 1). Many today think of religion as rituals and traditions. Those Christians who claim to hate religion, we hope, are referring to defiled religion. I can understand why they would say that, since many of the rituals and traditions are merely a distraction from 1 Timothy 1:15 This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.



[Reverent gesture (RG): This culture uses a gesture to refer always and only to God. The gesture consists of a single hand, palm tilted inward, raised in front of the shoulder, slightly higher than the head, leaving the elbow bent a bit and all five digits pointing up and separated as branches.]

[Irreverent gesture (IG): This is the same as the reverent gesture, but only the little finger is pointing up, with the rest of the fingers in a fist.]

“Ah, I see what you mean Elihu,” Abram said, “Noah died shortly before I was born, but we have Eber here to pass on those teachings.”

“Right,” said Elihu, “after Noah’s death, I continued my studies under Eber and Job. Eber had instructed me that Job was second only to Noah, as the pinnacle of role models for our language-tribe. Job and I did a lot together, in those days, since his oldest daughter and I were betrothed. She and I were to be married the following month.

“When we heard of Noah’s death, several of us, including Eber, Job and I, travelled to the funeral. We had gone on the trip to meet other students of Noah, to comfort them and to mourn his death. What remained of the ark had been destroyed in a volcanic eruption, just the month previous. That, coupled with the death of Noah, brought a turning point in history. It was like we were in a different world than we were just short weeks earlier.

“Quite a few people were there for the funeral. Invitations were given to those of us who were disciples of Noah to also attend a memorial service. This meeting was very different from the public funeral. We were filled with gratefulness to God |RG| for Noah and the blessing that he was in our lives. There was grief, but it contained no despair.

“A leading disciple of Noah’s shared one of Noah’s favourite messages. It was a gospel message, of course, regarding why there is pain and suffering. We had each heard Noah deliver this message more than once, so it was easy to imagine Noah himself, with his towering figure and large ears and nose, walking around the room.”

Elihu recited the short sermon from memory, as his imagination turned to his recollection of Noah himself preaching.

“In the beginning, God |RG| made paradise on Earth. The start of our world was a perfect garden. Imagine no disease, no sin, no one suffering or dying; not even any thorns … paradise! Imagine it! I am begging you to think about what that would be like. God |RG| created this world very good. Our Creator |RG| included no evil. Do not weep for my sake when I die. You can be sad, but I won’t be weeping. God |RG| has made a new paradise, and that is where I am going. I know it is sad when someone you care about departs, and you need to wait to see them again. When two believers part due to the death of one, the waiting is one-sided. When I leave this earthly life, I will be ushered into the presence of every believer in history, past and future; my waiting will be over!

It is plain to see that paradise on Earth is lost. Eden was ruined by sin … my sin. Now we have painfully hard work in place of joyful enterprise. Yes, Adam was the one in the transgression, but I have proved by my own rebellion that I would have done the same. It was indeed my own sin that cursed paradise. Adam was in a perfect environment, with no lack of mental capabilities, no lack of physical provision. His failure proved that all humans are sinful and I have validated it again in my own life. Be honest with yourself. You have demonstrated the same with your life. We have each gone astray.

God |RG| has made another paradise where no sin is allowed. That is the point. I am here on this Earth to choose. Do I want life or death? Do I want blessing or cursing? Do I want God |RG| on the throne of my life or myself on the throne? Do I want to live in sin or do I want to live in Heaven?

It is not always my sin that causes my suffering. The curse of sin is on this world. There will come a day when God Himself |RG| will come from Heaven, in the flesh, and even He |RG| will suffer. We have a glorious God |RG|! Ours is a benevolent Creator |RG|. He |RG| chooses to feel our pain. He |RG| chooses to bear our punishment. He |RG| offers us pardon we do not deserve. This grace is offered freely to anyone who is willing to receive it. When I see the cost He |RG| pays to make this offer, I will not dare to attempt to earn it or pay for it myself. In comparison, the entirety of my pitiful life is of little value. It would be an insult to God |RG| for me to offer payment for the unspeakably priceless gift He |RG| offers.

“As we were returning home, Job and I accompanied each other on this leg of the journey.”

At the home of Job you can see his wife naal binding, then getting up to join a servant woman in the kitchen to knead some bread dough.

Near the horizon, Job and Elihu see a bolt of lightning striking a wooded knoll, starting a fire. “We saw smoke rising on the horizon to the west.”

In the south, bandits are attacking, seen in the distance. The Sabeans are stealing Job’s oxen and asses. Ed is posted on the north outskirts of the camp. The main duty of this post is to bring the message back to Job, so he can’t risk being killed himself. He must force himself to watch, without going to assist his colleagues.

Job’s wife sees a messenger arriving at the home of Job. The sentry is standing near the door. As the messenger is allowed in, Job’s wife says to him, “Job is due home very soon.”

Back to Elihu’s address, “The weather was terribly stormy, but we continued, since we were so close to Job’s home. Upon arriving we found Job’s wife in such deep grief that she could not speak. He rushed to her side, putting his hand on her shoulder. The question on his face was soon answered. Four men were there as well. Job recognized them. Three of them were servants of his, and the forth was a servant of his eldest son. I see that Job’s servant, Ed, who was there that day is here with Job today. One after the other the four messengers broke the tragic news. After the first three told of the loss of his wealth and the death of many of his servants, the worst news was reported by the fourth. All ten of his children had died in that day’s storm.

“Of course, Job was shaken and stunned by the heart breaking news, but he turned to his wife in pity, knowing she shared all of these losses. I could see his concern and grief for her sake. We all felt helpless to do anything for Job and his wife. We just wept together. Then Job arose, and tore his mantle. It was puzzling to see him walk over and pick up a razor. When he started shaving his head in mourning, then it made sense. He then went to his prayer corner and knelt down on the ground, and worshipped, and said, ‘Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD |RG| gave, and the LORD |RG| hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD |RG|.’ In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God |RG| foolishly.”

Ed is wearing the typical armour of the culture. It is made of leather plates, about 10 centimeters square, with a slight radius. Each plate is hung from the top with metal links to the under-mesh, then tethered from the bottom, with a short chain, to the center of the next lower row of plates. Each row is covered half-way by the row above and offset half-way between the two plates above it, much like shingles. A horizontal bar of metal is strapped, with wire, to each plate, a quarter of the way up from the bottom edge. These shingles covered the torso and shoulders down to include the upper legs. At the outside of each elbow and each knee were a metal circular target, strapped so that they did not impede bending the joint. Below the elbow and below the knee were tight fitting leather with longitudinal metal bars in sections. The sections in each row were offset from the adjacent row. Extended over the back of the hand, angled away, there was the protrusion of a flat metal bar, about 3 centimeters wide, that ran the length of the forearm, fastened to the leather.

Abram asked, “Now I am curious about Fred also. Did he ever turn to the Lord |RG|?”

Job sadly shook his head and Ed spoke up, “I can answer that. I was with Fred when the Sabeans attacked. His heart had been getting harder and harder, over the years, and he was cursing God |RG| with his dying breath. It was my job to get the message back, or I would have died that day … unforgiven. It was only after that day when I finally woke up and made it a priority to seek forgiveness for my sin. I had already heard everything I needed to know from Job.” Ed added, “I need to be going now, since I need to bring back the package of beetle lights before Abram leaves, then I am on sentry duty.”

Abram explained, “Scott advised us that anyone travelling from this region can profit from taking along a cargo of the beetle lights. As long as this factory keeps operating, it is the only remaining source.”

“And when some critical piece of this factory breaks, the world will be thrown into darkness!” Eber joked, “But let us get back to Elihu’s report, shall we?” Everyone nodded.


Elihu explained, “Job set aside 60 days for grieving over the death of his children. During this time he spent more than his usual time meditating on the teachings of the prophets of God |RG| and worshipping. There were still many people depending on him, so he still did what he could for the poor widows and fatherless children, plus guiding what remained of his business enterprises. Before the 60 days were done, Job became very ill. We know, from Eber’s second heavenly vision, that Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD |RG|, and smote Job with this disease. It was a torturous disease of his skin from the sole of his foot to the top of his head. He kept completely cloaked, so as not to cause disgust in any who might see him. He had no relief, night or day. He took a broken piece of pottery, to scrape his skin, and went to sit out by his garden, where the ashes from the household fires were discarded. This was even harder on Job’s wife than it was on him. You know how it is. Watching a loved one suffer is worse than suffering yourself.

“Then his wife said to him, ‘Are you still trying to hold onto your integrity? curse God |IG|, and die.’

“But he said to her, ‘You are speaking as one of the foolish women would speak. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God |RG|, and shall we not receive evil?’ In all this, Job said nothing sinful. When his wife forsook him, Job turned to God |RG| again for strength to bare the loss. No man could bare all of these things, and the reason Job stayed true in his integrity, up to this point, is because of his continual reliance on God’s |RG| strength. This is the source of the patience of Job. Even during this time when the integrity of Job’s wife failed her, I know that he was not even tempted to disannul his commitment to her. His faithfulness to her would remain until death parted them.”

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Matthew 20:20-28
20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping [him,] and desiring a certain thing of him.
21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but [it shall be given to them] for whom it is prepared of my Father.
24 And when the ten heard [it,] they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.
25 But Jesus called them [unto him,] and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Luke 22:24-27
24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.
25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
26 But ye [shall] not [be] so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
27 For whether [is] greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? [is] not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

Matthew 23:5-12
5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, [even] Christ; and all ye are brethren.
9 And call no [man] your father upon the Earth: for one is your Father, which is in Heaven.
10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, [even] Christ.
11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

1 Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

In the Bible, the words shepherd and pastor have the same connotation as each other, when referring to the role among God’s flock. To avoid being tedious, I will only provide two examples.

Jeremiah 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Jeremiah 23:2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.

In the term “senior pastor” the word “senior” is an adjective. There is a somewhat broad meaning to this adjective generally, but the strong focus of meaning, in this term, denotes: of the highest rank or standing, i.e. chief or head.

When I consider the Biblically intended meaning of the term “Chief Shepherd,” in 1 Peter 5:4, and the modern intended meaning of the term “senior pastor,” I find that the terms are synonymous. I am not accusing anyone, simply because they have the title of “senior pastor,” of usurping Jesus’ role as having authority over pastors. I have decided, out of reverence to my Saviour, not to use that term in reference to any mere human.

Job 32:21-22 — Elihu
21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.
22 For I know not to give flattering titles; [in so doing] my maker would soon take me away.

I don’t think it would be necessary to make further comment about the title “reverend.”

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There are several different areas of your life where you can have success or failure. There is a vast gradient to the levels of reward between two extremes. There are many lessons that you can learn, and apply to each of these areas, in order to become more successful and come closer to your potential in life.

Or, you can be lazy.

Not every failure is the result of laziness, but a key to failure is laziness. A common misconception is that laziness is the easy option. That is far from the truth, since failure is exceptionally hard to endure. There are those who have tried both, or have studied the comparison using some other method, and they will tell you that success is easier than laziness. Do I even need to mention that success is much nicer than failure? Maybe I would need to clarify. If you reached a high level of prosperity, and as a result you were miserable, that is not my definition of success.

Another clarification is in order. There is an important distinction between an event that is a failure and a person who is a failure. When someone makes an attempt, and fails, that is an excellent opportunity for learning. Some lessons can be learned in no other way. A successful person’s life will have many failures. Or, as some said more humorously, “good judgement comes from experience, and experience often comes from bad judgement.” Some begin to welcome failures, while still giving due diligence to keep the cost affordable.

The knowledge we attain, that helps us move toward success, is called wisdom.

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

It seems that God wants to bless His children with success.

John 10:10 … I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

I can hear the pages of your Bibles quickly turning to:

Job 2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the Earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

You might argue that Job was a godly man and he suffered great loss, and God said it was not Job’s fault (without cause).

Yes, I agree completely. This goes to show that we cannot judge based on one’s wealth or health. It does not mean that God does not want to bless us. The most extreme example would be Christ dying on the cross. At that moment, from an earthly perspective, He was neither healthy, nor wealthy. Yet, it is beyond the capabilities of human language to express the lofty height of His success, at that same moment.

Another key to failure is selfishness. The surest track to success is serving others, for the sake of their benefit. Not only does selfishness inhibit success, but even if you accomplished some sort of prosperity in the process, your achievement would only accentuate your emptiness.

I am sure you can list several other methods to ensure your life is a failure, but here is the biggest one.

Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

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Job 1:21 … blessed be the name of the LORD.

Job 37:22 … with God [is] terrible majesty.

John 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it:] that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Psalm 29:1-2
1 Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

Isaiah 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH [is] everlasting strength:

Father in Heaven, I pray that you will reveal the brilliance of Your Glory to me. Please show me the perfection of Your Power. There is nothing lacking in Your Strength … flawless … complete … masterful … eternal. Heal the dimness of my vision, so I can behold the supreme virtue of Your Wisdom. Your Regal Judgment is altogether True. The Throne of Your Royal Majesty is the One to whom my allegiance is due. Your Crown is on high, sovereign above every power and nobility.

My Lord Jehovah, You are the foundation of all my trust, faith, and hope, for You alone are worthy.

Out of the perfection of Your Power and Wisdom, flows Your Holiness, the purity of Your Love, and Thy Holy Word.

1 Samuel 2:2 [There is] none holy as the LORD: for [there is] none beside thee: neither [is there] any rock like our God.

Daniel 4:34-35
34 … I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:
35 And all the inhabitants of the Earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of Heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the Earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

Deuteronomy 5:24 And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath showed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.

Deuteronomy 32:3-4
3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.
4 [He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he.

1 Chronicles 29:11 Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the Heaven and in the Earth [is thine;] thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Psalm 145:1-5
1 I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
2 Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
3 Great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness [is] unsearchable.
4 One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.
5 I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, …

Jeremiah 10:6-7
6 Forasmuch as [there is] none like unto thee, O LORD; thou [art] great, and thy name [is] great in might.
7 Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise [men] of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, [there is] none like unto thee.

Exodus 3:14-15
14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this [is] my name for ever, and this [is] my memorial unto all generations.

Jude 1:25 To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.

Revelation 7:9-12
9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and [about] the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, [be] unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:14-16
14 … our Lord Jesus Christ:
15 Which in his times he shall show, [who is] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom [be] honour and power everlasting. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, [be] honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Matthew 6:13 … thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

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