Category Archives: Bible Commentary

FRAMING SPIRITUAL TRUTHS

At one time I was caught

In dispensationalist thought…

Spiritual signs

Were for certain times,

And for the present–just rot!

The charismatic crowd,

Would shout “tongues” aloud…

Spiritual gifts

Were not “ifs”,

But some One in the air!

Mainline churches, alas,

Run from the spirit really fast…

Unequivocally

The hierarchy,

Short shrift those sections till passed.

Pentecostals pray,

In tongues every Sunday…

Loudly they cry

To God on high,

And whenever they pray!

In some denominations,

Doctrine’s in confusion…

General behooval

Of passage removal,

Not wanting any exclusion.

Then there are Bible-believing,

Determined to seek the receiving…

Of God’s Spirit

 Power  to visit,

Upon their witness  and healing!

Many TV preachers,

Have tongues as regular features…

Spiritual gifts

Are vital lifts,,

To we spiritually-enlivened creatures!

Among us folks disagree

In varied possibilities…

But the Spirit we prize

As seen through God’s eyes,

Available to God’s opportunities!

–Jonathan Caswell

HE DID IT–NO EVIL TWIN!

Alas his evil twin,

Tried to implicate him…

The man’s “old nature”

In nomenclature,

Had influenced his whim!

Showcasing body parts,

Some consider arts…

But from which side–

The dark or the light–

The answer judges the art.

Removing the object in question,

Increasingly moral suggestion…

Is good for the soul–

The evil twins’ null–

Improving Scriptural digestion!*

–Jonathan Caswell

*1st Peter 3: 7 refers to wives…applies to all woman-folk, in the doing of Christian love!

PROVERBS 24:32-34 C-PAP EDITION!

The message said call right away,

In sleeping he delayed…

Now need he seeks

Is delayed two weeks,

A very poor decision he made!

His breathing machine died,

His at-home sleep test verified….

He must go plead

For sooner filled need,

Urgently re-applied!

–Jonathan Caswell

(Image from http://www.slideshare.net)

OF PRINCIPLE…

He never had a black book,

Little or other to look…

For phone numbers

For intimate slumbers,

He didn’t have that kind of hook!

As a TV preacher taught,

The guy saw he was caught…

Viewing cataloged

Lingerie jogged

His conscience to what he ought not…!

Watching real ones–okay–

Not drooling for lingerie…

The problem with it,

If his wife doesn’t fit,

Then his attention is drawn away!

Not all he knows agree,

Men do things naturally…

but for him

It became sin–

He wants to live righteously!

–Jonathan Caswell

(It was actually this week’s THE BLESSED LIFE, with Robert Morris being referenced)

See also Matthew 5: 27-28.

THE UNITY QUESTION

Believers are one in the Lord,

Some churches think it’s above board…

Other contend

Our differences rend,

Beyond what can be restored!

The Spirit of Life and Love,

Designed our three parts above…

Body and soul

And spirit–one whole–

Quickened by the landing of a Dove.

The point is, our spirits live

When to Christ our hearts we give…

Souls take time

To be drawn in line,

Sanctified away from selfish motive!*

In spirit then is unity,

Whatever stage at the soul might be…

Still carnal minds

Want all opine,

the exact same theology.

Built up with mortar of love,

We stones will a temple serve…

Our spirits once dead

Now follow our Head,

And our souls’ natural instinct is curbed.

Our bodies and earthly works will cease

God’s Kingdom of Love increased…

Our putting on Christ

Clothes us for Paradise,

Invited to God’s wedding feast.

In this life how can we agree,

Unless forced to carnally…

In spirit and truth

We discover our youth,

How God does it is a great mystery!

For me, all this judgment stinks,

Based on how one theology thinks…

Stop thinking carnal

In this Christian free-for-all,

Why make projectiles of kitchen sinks?

–Jonathan Caswell

*Although the background information of this poem came from the teachings of Pastor Robert Morris, particularly his THE BLESSED LIFE broadcast teach about the Prodigal Son Parable, entitled, “Lost and Found”,   the idea that Christians are one in the Spirit…and their spirits…is based on the author’s reading of Bible passages, including:

The Gospel of John 4: 23-24

Ist Peter 2: 4-6

(especially using the N.I.V. or Berean Study Bible…”into a spiritual house or temple”)

Romans 12: 1

Galatians 6: 10

The Book of the Revelation 8: 3-4

EPHESIANS 3: 1-13 (ESP. VS. 2)

EPHESIANS 3: 1-13 (ESP, VS. 2)

Administering God’s grace

In believers has its place…

As we receive

And believe,

Others we help see His face.

Concerning Verse Number two,

“Dispensation” is rendered too..

But in the Greek

The ideas speak

Of something we servants can do!

Administration of God’s gift,

Given for others you lift…

Out of the dark

By Spiritual spark,

Opening their eyes just as quick.

By administration, God’s resources,

Become yours to fight spiritual forces…

Having authority

God-provided to be

Used by you as  His plan courses.!

–Jonathan Caswell

MARK 8:34 COMMENTARY…by Gary Lowry (from an E-mail)

Jesus says, “You must put aside your selfish ambition,
shoulder your cross, and follow me”.
Mark 8:34 is this a commandment?

Scripture Reading:

Mark 8:31-9:1

31 Then Jesus began to tell them that he, the Son of Man, would suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the leaders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, and three days later he would rise again.
32 As he talked about this openly with his disciples, Peter took him aside and told him he shouldn’t say things like that.
33 Jesus turned and looked at his disciples and then said to Peter very sternly, “Get away from me, Satan! You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
34 Then he called his disciples and the crowds to come over and listen. “If any of you wants to be my follower,” he told them, “you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me.
35 If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life.
36 And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process?
37 Is anything worth more than your soul?
38 If a person is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, I, the Son of Man, will be ashamed of that person when I return in the glory of my Father with the holy angels.”

Mark 9:1 Jesus went on to say, “I assure you that some of you standing here right now will not die before you see the Kingdom of God arrive in great power!”

Insights and Bible Commentary:

Mark 8:32, 33
In this moment, Peter was not considering God’s purposes but only his own natural human desires and feelings. Peter wanted Christ to be king, but not the suffering servant prophesied in Isaiah 53. He was ready to receive the glory of following the Messiah but not the persecution.
The Christian life is not a paved road to wealth and ease. It often involves hard work, persecution, deprivation, and deep suffering. Peter saw only part of the picture. Don’t repeat his mistake. Instead, focus on the good that God can bring out of apparent evil and the Resurrection that follows the Crucifixion.

Mark 8:33
Peter was often the spokesman for all the disciples. In singling him out, Jesus may have been addressing all of them indirectly. Unknowingly, the disciples were trying to prevent Jesus from going to the cross and thus fulfilling his mission on earth. Satan also tempted Jesus to avoid the way of the cross (Matthew 4). Whereas Satan’s motives were evil, the disciples were motivated by love and admiration for Jesus. Nevertheless, the disciples’ job was not to guide and protect Jesus but to follow him. Only after Jesus’ death and resurrection would they fully understand why he had to die.

Mark 8:34
The Romans, Mark’s original audience, knew what shouldering the cross meant. Death on a cross was a form of execution used by Rome for dangerous criminals. A prisoner carried his own cross to the place of execution, signifying submission to Rome’s power.
Jesus used the image of carrying a cross to illustrate the ultimate submission required of his followers. He is not against pleasure, nor was he saying that we should seek pain needlessly. Jesus was talking about the heroic effort needed to follow him moment by moment, to do his will even when the work is difficult and the future looks bleak.
Cross References:
Mark 8:34—Matthew 10:38; Luke 14:27

Mark 8:35
We should be willing to lose our life for the sake of the Good News, not because our life is useless but because nothing—not even life itself—can compare to what we gain with Christ. Jesus wants us to choose to follow him rather than to lead a life of sin and self-satisfaction. He wants us to stop trying to control our own destiny and to let him direct us. This makes good sense because, as the Creator, Christ knows better than we do what real life is about. He asks for submission, not self-hatred; he asks us only to lose our self-centered determination to be in charge.
Cross References:
Mark 8:35—Matthew 10:39; Luke 17:33; John 12:25

Mark 8:36, 37
Many people spend all their energy seeking pleasure. Jesus said, however, that worldliness, which is centered on possessions, position, or power, is ultimately worthless. Whatever you have on earth is only temporary; it cannot be exchanged for your soul. If you work hard at getting what you want, you might eventually have a “pleasurable” life, but in the end you will find it hollow and empty. Are you willing to make the pursuit of God more important than the selfish pursuits? Follow Jesus, and you will know what it means to live abundantly now and to have eternal life as well.

Mark 8:38
Jesus constantly turns the world’s perspective upside down with talk of first and last, saving and losing. Here he gives us a choice. We can reject Jesus now and be rejected by him at his second coming, or we can accept him now and be accepted by him then. Rejecting Christ may help us escape shame for the time being, but it will guarantee an eternity of shame later.
Cross References:
Mark 8:38—Matthew 10:33; Luke 12:9