Category Archives: Bible Study and Research

Bible Study and Research notes, observations and things I have learned.

From The Depths

From The Depths
From The Depths. 

I took this photo on a still night somewhere near 1980 in the Yaquina Bay in Newport, Oregon. In the dark it looked like a body had washed into the bay and rested near the dock.  With the flash, the photo looks quite a bit different than it did under the mercury lighting in the bay.  It’s like someone reaching to me out of space, parting a galaxy or two.

This reminds me of a text.

(2 Peter 1:3) According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  

And (2 Peter 3:9) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

God wants everyone to be saved…. We hear someone pray that God will save them, but he already has placed this plan in motion.  All we have to do is act on it.  Don’t misunderstand me.   We can’t do anything to earn our salvation. It is all the working of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus.  We do need to obey Him to receive that blessing.

Consider the hand.  Maybe you can picture in your mind God, reaching down to catch the hands of men on Earth to save them.  All we have to do is reach up to grab it and hold on.  If we ignore the hand , , ,  we perish.

He doesn’t want any to perish, but instead, to come to repentance.  Which is necessary for salvation.

He asks us to hear His Gospel, believe what we hear, and that He is who He is and has done, and will do what He says He will do.  Repent of our sins, Confess Him as the Son of God.

He then tells us to be baptized… (Act 2:38) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This is how we reach out to His hand.

 

The Cost of Encouragement

Many place the value of a gift in its cost to the giver.  The New Testament in the Bible gives an account where the Messiah saw a widow give her last two coins at an offering.   Others were giving great sums out of their surplus but she gave all that she had. (Mark 12:38-44)  It’s not the quantity, but the heart that determines the sacrifice.

Mar 12:43) And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: :44)  For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. 

As we attempt to lead our families, we have a gift available to give that actually cost us very little.  Even though it is inexpensive, and we all have it in abundance, it can be a life altering gift for the one who receives.

That precious gift is Encouragement.   It often only takes a second of our time.  It doesn’t take a great deal of ability or planning.  This gift has prevented; suicides, failed marriages, failed exams, lost battles, failed self-image, lost souls.

Properly placed, Encouragement can propel an athlete above their perceived potential.  It can give confidence to a spirit teetering on the ledge of self-doubt.  It can help an unemployed husband and father continue to try.  It can soothe a young mother who is “great with child”  and feeling ugly and fat.

What a powerful tool!  

Heb 10:24) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works;
:25) not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day drawing nigh.

Can you imagine the effect on the world if everyone chose to encourage instead of berate?   If everyone conspired of ways to encourage another instead of plotting to beat them down by competition.

It can take the simplest form.

“I appreciate your attitude.”  “You did a great job on the customer invitations.  It’s the type of mail I would look forward to open and read.”

I was talking to a customer who had waited too long for her service to work.  She was patient but not happy.  After I took steps to solve her issue, I took a second to comment on her voice quality.  I don’t hear very well over the phone, and I noted that I had no issue understanding her.  I have never met this lady, but

Take a minute each day to encourage someone.  A simple phrase, card, note, email, text, or call can really make someones day.  Remember, tell the truth.. Pick someone who looks down, or has looked down.  Look for something good in them.  (Hebrews 10;24)