Are You Fluent or Tongue-Tied?

640x360When Jesus was crucified, there was a message written in three languages that stated:  This is Jesus the King of the Jews. You may know these three languages were Hebrew, Greek, and Latin; but, do you know how many languages exist in the world today?

There are some 6,500 spoken languages in the world today, and the language most frequently spoken is Mandarin Chinese. Due to China’s large population it is estimated that 1,213,000,000 people speak this language.

There is a country much smaller than China and it lies just south of the equator, and 99 miles north of Australia. It is Papua New Guinea, and it is smaller than China in both land mass and population.  What’s interesting, however, is that with a population of just over 7 million, this country is incredibly diverse when it comes to languages.  The Linguistic Society reports that Papua New Guinea has 832 indigenous languages.

Even though there are thousands of languages spoken in the world today, there will be a day when everyone speaks the same thing.  There is coming a day when people will hear the name of Jesus and bow their knees to Him, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).

There’s no need to wait for some future day to confess the goodness of God.  In whatever language you choose, you can follow the example of the Psalms, and do it now:

  • Psalm 7:17: I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.
  • Psalm 9:2: I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
  • Psalm 30:4 Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

Paul: Judaism to Jesus

church-of-christA person’s concept of Christ often undergoes a dramatic change from the first time he thinks about Him to the time he trusts Him as Savior.  This was the case with the Apostle Paul.  He started his life as Saul of Tarsus and sought out Christians with a raging hatred similar to that of mad dog infected with rabies. When Saul first heard of the “hope of the resurrection,” it sounded like empty rhetoric and a powerless promise.  After he encountered Jesus on the Damascus road, he experienced the transforming power of Christ’s salvation and his name was changed to Paul.

By developing a dynamic relationship with God, Paul came to know Him in several dimensions.  When he wrote to the Hebrews, Paul said God “is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”   Paul also spoke of this in 2 Timothy 4:

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time for my departure is close.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  There is reserved for me in the future the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved His appearing.

To know God as a rewarder, you must first know Him as a redrawer.  Paul had been the rising star of Judaism, but he walked away from the Law to a life of grace:

As far as keeping the Law is concerned I was a Pharisee, and you can judge my enthusiasm for the Jewish faith by my active persecution of the Church. As far as the Law’s righteousness is concerned, I don’t think anyone could have found fault with me. Yet every advantage that I had gained I considered lost for Christ’s sake . . . I considered it useless rubbish compared with being able to win Christ. God has given me that genuine righteousness which comes from faith in Christ. How changed are my ambitions!

For whom have you livedDevil or Jesus?  You will be known for either the good way you live or evil will define you.

When you meet the Gateman will you be wearing his nametag?    If so, you just might hear Him say: “You have fought the good fight; you have finished the race; and you have kept the faith.”

 

Note:  I enjoy playing with the English language.  Go back and find the single words I have italicized in a couple of sentences.  Forwards and backwards, what do you see?

The Book of Boo

pumpkin-carving-05-slOctober is associated with the Fall Season and the time of year called autumn. You may notice its appearance at bedtime when you add a blanket to your bed; cooler temperatures greet you of a morning; leaves begin to fall; and you move your short sleeved shirts to the back of the closet and start dressing a little warmer.

October is also the trick or treat time of year. Children dress in costumes and practice their “boos” as part of the observance of Halloween.

I have some questions about the business of boo:

• If “boo” frightens a person are they scared twice as much if you shout “boo-boo!”
• If you were going to write a book about scaring people, would you call it a Boobook?

In the USA and other parts of the world, Boobook might be a good name for a book that is read around Halloween; however, in Australia it might not work due to a brown spotted owl from the land down under known as the Boobook.boobook

The Good Book is much different than what a Boo Book would be. The Bible is a book of comfort, and encouragement and the book of Psalms is proof of this:

• The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom should I be afraid (Ps. 27:1-2)?”
• “When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not fear. What can man do to me (Ps. 56:3-4)?”
• The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
He Himself will deliver you from the hunter’s net, from the destructive plague. Because you have made the Lord—my refuge, the Most High—your dwelling place, no harm will come to you; no plague will come near your tent. For He will give His angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways (Ps. 91).”

Whether it is a season of the year or a specific situation in your life, the Bible offers promises to help you with the boo moments you encounter.