Category Archives: Individual

Individual – the . in discipleship

This blog is a brief adaptation from Book 2, Part III of my books Their Own Best Defense.  Mark 3:21, 31-35 has the account of Christ’s mother and siblings trying to impose family authority as the basis of discipleship.  That’s what ruled Jewish culture for 1500 years.  It’s what the family thought still ruled when Christ’s fame so outgrew even their patience that they decided he had become a danger to himself—the personification of what would later be known as the Jerusalem Complex.

In Judaism at the time, fathers dominated religious life as in Roman culture everyday life.  Whatever fathers believed, taught and observed became RULE number ONE in family life.  Christ’s family simply followed traditional thought when they had the message telegraphed from them to him.  They came to take him.  They had no doubt he would obey.

From him to them the answer came, teaching that cracked like a flaming whip under their chins, singeing his brothers’ beards and burning his mother’s feelings.  It hurt for a long time, but they learned something about Jesus they never forgot:  don’t interfere in his work.  Simon Peter learned it later when he officiously told Jesus he couldn’t die.  Jesus shrank him to an inch by calling him a “Satan!”  Skeptics today who bring criticisms of him instead of compliance should take note.  As should believers who bring him compliments instead of commitment.  In any situation, don’t call for Jesus to follow us.  He won’t.  Don’t think he won’t hurt our feelings.  He will.

Let no one determine that self-denial is no longer necessary to be a Christian.  Let no one think we can hide a lack of personal faith inside a church body.  Let no one excuse personal obedience because others in the family don’t yield allegiance to hm.  Let no one misunderstand:  however good our family relationship may be, a great FAMILY of God is our only eternal fellowship.  Let no one think that a poor family life eliminates our having a powerful and pleasant fellowship among Christian friends.

Above all, never consider Jesus a helpless kitten, warm and cuddly, depending on our approval.  He’s the LION roaring, claws extended, ripping apart all who think to control him.

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com    

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

Individual – all humans judged as an

In life God judge nations.  The fall of nations and empires throughout history proves that.  Beyond history he judges individuals.  Though that often happens in tandem with the fall of the anti-God nations and empires. Pharaoh discovered that when he returned from the Battle of the Red Sea accompanied only by his personal staff—his chariots and charioteers bobbing silently up and down at the margin.  With leather-lunged Hebrew women on the far shore banging tambourines and singing in mockery, “The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea” Exodus 15:21.

However, while nations, once dismantled, pile in heaps, individuals get the chance till they die to change their habits and beliefs; to get right with God before standing before his searing judgment.

That’s why it’s easier to pray for individuals to change before death silences their brains and their ability to choose.  Nations, such as America today, can only face God’s terrifying judgment of condemnation.  As he punishes, and before he’s finished, individuals in the nation will have the chance to re-think their objections to God and their rebellion against God in Christ.  That change will lead to repentance and baptism for the forgiveness of their many sins.  And that will lead to a chance for revival in the nation.

Think individuals. Help individuals.  Challenge individuals.  Correct individuals.  Not by quarreling, but by kind, compassionate, gentle instruction, “in the hope that God will grant them repentance, leading to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses…” II Timothy 2:24-26.

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/744634

Individual – every can be in prison

Tony (I think) Iannarelli became a captive of the Japanese in WWII.  Once, in Osaka, he and a group of American POW’s stood around an army truck.  An American voice from a Japanese soldier asked if any of the guys were from Seattle.

One POW proved he knew the city by describing buildings, sights, water front, etc.  Iannarelli asked him what he was doing in the Japanese army.  He explained:  he had lived in America many years; he had come to Japan to visit his family; he had been impressed into the Japanese army walking down the gang plank of his ship.

Another asked what he planned to do after the war.  Well…he didn’t know.  All he concentrated on was staying alive.  Undoubtedly the aim of more than a few soldiers and POW’s.  It struck Iannarelli as an irony.  That soldier, like the POW’s, was a prisoner.  Source not available.

It doesn’t take a fence, a wall, a tower or a guard to make a prison.  It takes only a mindset that’s subservient to the demands and expectations of others.  That mindset says YES when NO is needed.  It also invariably says NO to Jesus when YES is mandatory.  Jesus invariably equips us to say NO and YES at appropriate times.  NO is as liberating in refusing unjust or counter-productive requests as YES is fortifying when obedient to Jesus.

In his poem Obedience, George MacDonald recounted his struggle when Jesus called for his surrender.  Of the lines I remember, these challenge me still.

“My friends will miss me,” they say.

And Jesus replied, “Choose now whether I will miss, or they!”

A powerful statement that shatters any weakness I may have to think more of a mortal than I do of Jesus Christ.  It’s as simple as that.  If we refuse the liberating wisdom Jesus provides every believer, we’ll always find ourselves at the behest of someone other than he:  a friend, a work associate, a relative, a _________ (you fill in the blank).  And to the extent we’re enslaved by others, we’ll never know the liberation Jesus wants to provide.  If we TRY to change bad, harmful, damaging habits, he’ll strengthen us to do it.  But we must be willing to TRY.  Will we?

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com           

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

     Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

     Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

Individual – importance of the

Solzhenitsyn told of a communist official who let his villagers bake bread when Stalin had forbidden it.  Arrested for his effrontery in disobeying rules, he was tried and shot.

An eight year old daughter survived him.  Barely.  Bludgeoned by his loss, she moped to school and all day at school.  When classmates teased her about her father’s death, she adamantly defended him as a good man.

When an old woman watched her walking, head down, sorrowing, she sensed her future.  By her obsession with the earth, the woman predicted, she would soon die.  Though never having been ill, she lived but a year after her father’s death.  In her death throes she kept wailing, “Where is my papa?  Give me my papa.”

Solzhenitsyn shrewdly wrote:  the millions Stalin killed—and they were multiple millions, whatever Hollywood and University effort to defend him—the millions reduce themselves to individuals.  The billions alive now, the billions having lived, began as individuals, even if twins or more.  And all of us came from two individuals!  Those who want to change the rules for our narcissistic generation fail to understand.  Had God not made marriage between a man and a woman, no reproduction would have been possible.  And just because lesbians and homosexuals want to merely adopt children since even they can’t change the rules of reproduction, they can’t change God’s original and only acceptable model of marriage.

God never forgets individuals.  He gives us names and particular giftedness.  None is ever lost in all the billions alive.  If we think of all the people in need we’ll be overwhelmed by the task of helping them.  Only when we stop to aid the individual who might cross our path can we see possibility.  It costs us nothing to think of humanity in the corporate.  Such figures defy personal computation.  But if we think of the millions as persons, it’s a lot easier to do something to help.