I’ve suspended my Thought for Thursday series for now. Part of my reason for starting the series was to get my content creation going at a more regular pace, and the series succeeded at doing that for me. I do have more content on the way. And if you do want the Thought for Thursday series to continue, let me know and I’ll plan some more for the months to come.
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I’ve gotten back into reading fiction again, and this has inspired me to list which books I’d like to see adapted to film.
“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.” Ephesians 6:5-8
Having graduated from college with a Bachelor’s in History, I now work at a pizza restaurant. As with probably all food service establishments, the work can at time get quite grueling, with relatively low pay as a reward. Quite often the situation can become very frustrating, as customers stream through the door, the phones keep ringing, and I’m falling behind with orders. It’s times like these that my faith is tested. As a burgeoning writer and scholar, I love to study theology and Church history. But do I put my knowledge into practice?
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24
New Year’s resolutions have a reputation as being notoriously unreliable. Around the beginning of every new year, I find comics in the paper joking about how short New Year’s resolutions are. It is easy to promise to live better, but far easier to fall back into old habits. Yet, for the Christian, there is a promise that we can rest in: If we believe in Christ, then we have been made new, and, though we may struggle to overcome the temptations of this world and our desires, we know that we will never truly fall out of the arms of Jesus.
Through the atonement, the death of Christ on the Cross, our old self was crucified. We have been raised up to new life, and nothing the world sends at us can take that away. Even our own failures cannot undo what Christ has done. He resolved to live among us, and to atone for our wrongs at the Cross. No matter how much our resolve may falter, we know that God’s resolve never will. He has resolved to make us like him, and no mistakes that we might make will prevent him from fulfilling that resolution.
“…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” – Hebrews 12:2-3
Life often can be thought of as endurance training. In the same way that a runner is tested and stretched beyond their limits when they train for a competition, in the same way life tests and stretches us in our journey through it. The obstacles, the pain, and the sorrow we encounter on our way tries our spirit, refining it as ore is put through a fire. As Christians, we know that God is working everything in our life toward ultimate good.
Related to my own blog post. I’ve followed Kelly Needham, the wife of singer and songwriter Jimmy Needham, for some time now, as I like what she writes.
Well, it’s almost Friday, but I’ve had a busy work schedule the past two days, and it still technically is Thursday. Time for our next post:
“…Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” – Philippians 2:5b-8
Imagine, for a moment, what it would be like to be God: Timeless, all-powerful, all-knowing permeating the entire created universe yet existing eternally outside it. Always existing, without a beginning or end. Think of how that contrasts to our fleeting existence. How much thought do you give to a single microbe, or a tiny ant? Would you be willing, in order to save the life of a single microbe or ant, to become one yourself? To be bound by their limitations? Yet God did that for us.
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“Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” – 2 Corinthians 3:4-6
There is a legal idiom, “the letter of the law and the spirit of the law,” which asks us to look at why laws are written. Should laws promote justice and fairness, or exploit and oppress? Are we following a law as it is technically written, in order to manipulate it to our advantage, or are we following the law according to what it intended, so that the oppressed may be treated fairly? In 2 Corinthians 3, God, speaking through the Apostle Paul, makes a similar comparison of letter versus Spirit, and reveals to us Christians the liberating truth of his New Promise.
Last month I wrote a post which listed some of history’s undefeated generals. An acquaintance of mine pointed out on Facebook that I failed to list the Korean general Yi Soon-sin. I know that Yi Soon-sin, with his powerful turtle-ships and against nigh impossible odds, drove the Japanese out of Korea in the 1590s. However, I did not know that he was undefeated. Considering how remarkable his exploits were, it is only fair that I rectify my omission by a post dedicated solely to him. Today is also the anniversary of my blog – three years! Considering that this post involves the samurai (as antagonists, but still), that my blog is called The Saviour’s Samurai, and that the Japanese invasion of Korea, in which Yi Soon-sin proved his might, began in May 1592, this post is amazingly fitting.