Ideas and Consequences

Good morning. It is Thursday, May 14, 2015.

Today’s word of the day from Merriam-Webster is jinni. I have seen this spelled a number of different ways, but most are familiar with the meanings. “One of a class of spirits that according to Muslim demonology inhabit the earth, assume various forms, and exercise supernatural power; a magic spirit believed to take human form and serve the person who calls it : genie.”

Today is Chicken Dance Day. Apparently, this is a popular thing at weddings? I don’t know, man. I don’t make these things up.

Not a whole lot to write about, on the personal level, on this Wednesday morning. It’s been a fairly good week, so far for me. Christi’s has been a bit more stressful, but yesterday was a little better. She is also feeling more normal, these days, not coughing nearly as much.

Last night, we watched the semifinals and results of this week’s The Voice. The only thing I’m unhappy about is that Meghan Lindsey is still in there. I don’t like her. And if she’s 29 years old, it’s been a very, VERY hard 29 years. I’m thinking she’s been 29 for at least ten years! My favorites in the competition are Sawyer Fredericks and Joshua Davis. Koryn Hawthorne is the other contestant left for the final round. She has intensity and believability on her side. Sawyer is just flat adorable. He and Joshua performed “Drift Away” in the results show from Tuesday night, and it was a memorable performance. That song fits both of their voices perfectly.

Tonight is Christi’s Huddle night. I think she might make it for the whole meeting, this time.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? The steadfast love of God endures all the day.
Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.
You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah.
You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.
But God will break you down forever; he will snatch and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah.
The righteous shall see and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying,
“See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction!”

Psalm 52:1-7

(From Solid Joys)

The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:5

Today’s reading is “Ideas Have Consequences.”

First of all, Piper uses a different version for 1 Timothy 1:5, that says, The aim of our instruction is love. Possibly NASB This is a very interesting reading with some good thoughts in it.

He begins by speaking of Victor Frankl, who was imprisoned in Auschwitz and Dachau during WWII. As a professor of neurology and psychiatry, his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, sold in excess of eight million copies. In this book, he addresses the idea that man’s most fundamental motive is “to find meaning in life.” As he spoke of the horrors of the prison camps, he observed “that man can endure almost any ‘how’ of life if he has a ‘why.'” But here is the quote that struck Piper the most:

I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers. (“Victor Frankl at Ninety: An Interview,” in First Things, April 1995, p. 41.)

So we see from this that “ideas have consequences that bless or destroy.” The behavior of people does not come from out of the blue. ” It comes from prevailing views of reality that take root in the mind and bring forth good or evil.” Very interesting.

The Bible supports this idea in places like Romans 15:4. For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Ideas in Scripture produce the consequence of hope.

Then in the focal Scripture for today, we see Paul saying, The aim of our instruction is love. “The imparting of ideas by ‘instruction’ produces love.

“Hope and love do not come from nowhere. They grow out of ideas — views of reality — revealed in the Scriptures.”

The word, “therefore,” is used many times in Scripture (over 1000 times in the NASB translation). Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1) There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34)

“If we want to live in the power of these great practical ‘therefores,’ we must be gripped by the ideas — the views of reality — that go before them and stand under them.”

Father, this reading inspires me to desire more of your Word in my life. Just a few verses from Psalms and other “random” places in the morning . . . this is not enough. I must have more. I must make more space in my life for larger portions of the “nutrition” of Scripture. I pray that you help me to do this. It may be time to put down other sources of reading for a time. I recall being led to do this once before, the year before I met Christi. I remember it being a pretty amazing time, spiritually. Give me wisdom and direction on this, as I seek the positive consequences of hope and love in my life.

I pray for this day, that you will provide the mercy and grace that we need to get through this day and this day only. May we have safe passage to and from work. May your provide us the tools we need to get through our work day with little to no stress, or at least to handle the stress properly. May you give Stephanie more understanding of your love for her today. May you give Rachel and Justin a strong feeling of your love and presence today. And may you hold up my mother as she does whatever she needs to do today. Your grace is amazing, Father, and you have gifted us marvelously.

Ponder these ideas today . . . ideas that produce the consequences of hope and love. Our view of reality has a bigger effect on us than we realize.

Grace and peace, friends.

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2 thoughts on “Ideas and Consequences

  1. Excellent post, Jeff. Our view of reality has a big effect not only on ourselves, but in how we perceive and interact with others. May God direct our steps today, set a guard on our tongues, and enable us to shine His light in this darkened world.

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