Journal Mark 12 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: And Sadducees came to him (who say that there is no resurrection). And they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.
There were seven brothers; [all took the widow as wife, all died and left no offspring]. Last of all the widow died.
In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be—for the seven had her as wife.”
Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God…Have you not read…?” (excerpt and edited Mark 12:18-26)
Observation: There are always a group of people offering a premise, a suggestion of an alternative to the Word of God, an option to sound doctrine.
How do I prepare? How do I build sound doctrine in my mind and heart to be ready to respond to folks who are obviously just trying to catch me unprepared?
Application: I have been divorced. I am currently happily married to another and wonderful woman.
Which one of these women will I have to answer for as husband before the Great White Throne of Judgment?
It is like the Sadducees’ question, yes?
Yes, I have thought of this. I have thought of this deeply, applying what I know of the Scriptures, employing biblical logic (systematically of Reformed Theology), and making sure that whatever position I take does not conflict with other (major) doctrines. It was not an exercise of a few minutes, but days, maybe weeks, as I rolled every theory through what I knew and scripture that I remembered.
I got an answer, a gift from the Holy Spirit.
The point isn’t that I looked for and received an answer, it is that I looked for it.
I am not polishing my halo, I am pointing out that there are open holes in everyone’s personal theology, things that are avoided because of laziness, busyness, and a bunch of other ‘—ness’; of which I am the premier posterboy.
“Being ready, in season, and in out…” isn’t just to be able to respond to unbelievers, it is to be able to serve the Church and other believers.
Paul writes this about utilizing wisdom to the church at Colossae:
- “…asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” Col 1:9
- “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” Col 1:28
- [the mystery of Christ]”…in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Col 2:3
- “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Col 3:16
Today, I am admonishing and encouraging myself not to lose heart. One of these words (admonish) sounds negative like I am pounding on myself while the other (encourage) feels like I want to give myself a break. In truth, they could be two sides of the same coin, but they are both grace-driven, both grace-based.
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for your wisdom in the way that, through experience, affliction…study, meditation, and strong fellowship you mold and change me into the image of the Son. Like building a statue, you take your hammer and chip away all the stuff that doesn’t look like Jesus…and that over my lifetime.
I cannot imagine your patience with me.
Ricky Two Shoes