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Scripture:  

“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia they came to Thessalonica where there was a synagogue of the Jews.  And Paul went in (as was his custom) and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures—explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ!”

And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.”  Acts 17:1-4

Observation:

Paul had customs.  He had habits.  His custom and habits kind of revolved around the Word of God and especially the Gospel.  Had results that some would sort of call “success”, other results that some would call a “riot.”  I am afraid of riots.

Application:

Something I am committed to in posting these Journal entries is being transparent.  I wonder about reading Christian stuff that isn’t talking about where the rubber meets the road.

Paul is a guy to imitate.  By the way, he wasn’t afraid to tell folks “follow me as I follow Christ.”  He understood his life, full of warts like it was, was still something to imitate because he had his eye firmly upon the “prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

I am stirred to imitate his customary Synagogue appointments.  Not that I have a hankering to hang out at the nearest Temple, but that his mind was on “reasoning from the Scriptures…”

Talking, discussing, and yes, reasoning was a pastime that wasn’t foreign to Paul.  But it is in this day and age.  Talking about the Scriptures like what is described above is viewed as arguing, or puffery concerning knowledge.  What I have encountered as a result is a lowest common denominator sort of tacit, peaceable, agreement concerning the Scriptures.  “Don’t talk about anything and I won’t call you [insert a name of a favorite legalist here].

Not good.  I need to be speaking night and day about my Lord; seeking Him; peeling back the curtains of my mind and fervently exploring the Scriptures.  Paul did: 3 Sabbath days in a row—spoke confidently, thoroughly….as a result of a lot of practice.  I lack practice.

Today I want to keep my mind steadfast on Him.  I woke up thinking about the Eternalness of God, my chained temporal point of view and how I might exert myself, there is no way I can understand God’s omniscience—I don’t have the tools necessary.  What does this mean?  It means that as much as I want to talk about God walking in time duration with me, I shouldn’t—it diminishes the view of God in my mind.

I wish I could at least speak like Paul to the face in the mirror.

Prayer:

Father, I am glad for the ups and downs of my physical and emotional state.  I can tell in my writing that emotionally I have headed for the pits.  But writing this entry makes me understand how I need to rule my heart, renew my mind, not forget all Your benefits.  When I am down and feeling alone, I know I am not.  Emphatically not.  Why?  Because Your Word is greater than life.  “Where am I to go, Lord?  Only You have the words of Life.”  AMEN.

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