My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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When the Voices are Silenced
Theater in Ephesus where Paul was admonished to keep quiet.
Amos 5:13 Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time.
In the middle of these prophetic words we find a sentence that sounds much like a proverb. There is a point and time where the evil of the society becomes so great that there is nothing for the wise person to do, but to keep silent. The only way that justice can be obtained is through bribes and this person has no money (or leverage), therefore, in the face of such evil, it is best to keep silent.
It’s also believed that the hatred and heavy mob referred to are creating an environment in which such terror reigns that people no longer have the freedom to speak out. They are actually forced to a place of silence. And so the wise, saving their energy for the right time, are silent.
The laws of the land are entirely upset, there is no place in which to speak. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he puts it this way, “Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16) The caution from Christ is not to throw your pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6), but to leave in the admonition from the Psalmist, “I am silent; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it. “ (Psalms 39:9) There is a time of silence, waiting for the Lord’s deliverance.
The silence of sound doctrine will lead people to stumble in the darkness because there will no longer be any wholesome counsel.
Sometimes trying to be a voice of reason in the middle of a battle means that you get shot at from both sides. Maybe that’s where the prophet found himself; in a world that simply would not listen. Clinging to the proverb, he discovered that there was a time when the voices were silenced because they had no power. No one wanted to listen.
In that space, where no one wants to listen, the follower of Christ is challenged to consider what it means to be faithful. Wisdom does tell us that there are times when speaking will not win the day. Often times, it’s living out the love of Christ, day in and day out, over the long-haul of life that becomes witness to the power and presence of God in this world. The ones who are roughed-up by life, and yet, continue to imitate Christ, are the ones who, with ever-increasing intensity, reflect Jesus.
Jesus knew when to speak, and when to be silent. There were also times when he was silenced by the crowd and he simply walked away, but his nature, or character, never changed. When the voice of Christ is silenced by the cheering words of the mob, the world will suffer the consequences. “Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time.” (Amos 5:13)
Lord, there are days when words fail me. In those times when I feel my voice is silenced, may I never stop reflecting you. Amen.
Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Scripture: Mark 8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Observation:
Peter had openly declared that Jesus was the Messiah when suddenly the conversation shifted to suffering, rejection and death. With his affirmation of Jesus as Messiah, Peter had brought with him all of the connotations of that term. Jesus was to be a great military leader, a Davidic Messiah, who would save the people from the earthly authorities. Jesus’ description was a paradigm that didn’t fit into Peter’s thinking.
Peter’s rebuke of Jesus was severe. The language reflects a long and unpleasant conversation. The…
Scripture: Rev. 3:14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation: Rev. 3:15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. 21 To the one who conquers I will give a plac…