JREnsey Blog for December 2022


Welcome to the JREnsey blog for December 2022!

The Word for today

John 10:10 – “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

 

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MORE THAN A CARPENTER

Mark 6:1-6a: “And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4 But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief.”

God ordained that Christ would be born into the family and home of a skilled craftsman.[i] He was called “the carpenter’s son” in Matthew 13:55. Everything God does has divine purpose—sometimes obvious, sometimes not.

Why didn’t God choose a fisherman’s home on the shores of the Sea of Galilee? Or a blacksmith’s shop? Or a rabbi’s dwelling? Or a ploughman’s farm? Any of these may have been appropriate given the content of Christ’s ministry and His stories, but none more relevant or germane than the carpenter’s trade—“On this rock I will build my church,” He said. Building would be the thrust of His ministry.

He chose construction, at least in part, as a trade because it was a man’s job, and He was a man. In Joseph’s carpenter shop He learned that hard work and honest labor was honorable and fulfilling. Assuming woodworking was His focus, the tools Jesus learned to use as a boy would also be used in a spiritual way during His ministry of building the church. He became adept at handling an adze and a saw to cut the raw material into the shape and size He needed. His grasped His father’s proto-plane and smoothed the rough edges. He mastered the chisel’s ability to hew the essential grooves and notches. His hand was accustomed to the hammer that drove the pegs and nails into place to fasten the pieces and parts together. He used the plumbline to make sure that walls and doors and corners were straight and true. His crude ruler assured that proper measurements and dimensions would provide a quality product.

The builder’s trade was a perfect starting place for Jesus. Until age thirty He devoted His time to learn, to serve, to build, to put things together. That was the age Joseph, Jacob’s son, began service for the pharaoh of Egypt. That was also the age when Hebrew priests could begin to serve in the Tabernacle and the Temple or be considered a Rabbi. David was 30 when he assumed the kingship. So Jesus waited until John the Baptist, at that same age, had fulfilled the role of the prophet Elijah (Mark 9:11-13) to be baptized of him. Now He was ready to begin building His spiritual kingdom, starting with disciples who would ultimately form the foundation (Ephesians 2:20; Matthew 16:18).

For 30 years He had lived and served as a man, but now it was time for Him to reveal His true identity as God in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16). He had expressed His manhood, now the moment had come to express His Godhood. Those who noticed had caught a glimpse of it at age 12 in the Temple. They heard it from heaven at His baptism. Now He was open with it: “I and my father are one…I am the living bread which came down from heaven…I am the light of the world…I am from above…before Abraham was, I am…I am the resurrection and the life…Ye call me master and Lord, and ye say well; for so I am.”

Jesus was more than a carpenter, more than a maker of tabletops, wagon wheels, and wicker-bottom chairs. This world does not produce men like Jesus. He came from another realm to earth as the Christ, the Redeemer, the Savior of the world. He came to build a church, a people who would someday become His bride and join Him in Heaven forever.

He proved He was not just a carpenter or even the son of a carpenter. He proved He was the Son of God it by the miracles He performed, by the words He spoke, and by the lives He changed. Perhaps the Roman centurion at Calvary said it best: “Truly this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54). He ascended to Heaven and now He is pouring out His spirit into believers everywhere (Acts 2:33). They have become His building, His handiwork: “Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building…in whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord” (I Corinthians 3:9; Ephesians 2:21). The best part: He is now preparing a house not made with [human] hands, eternal in the heavens” (II Corinthians 5:1; John 14:3) for all who have made their calling and election sure.

That is the real crux of the Christmas story. He came to offer every person abundant life with Him in Heaven. The divine Carpenter is now building each believer an abode close to His. The new birth and an obedient life will put your name on one with a clear title.

You can’t beat that offer!

[i] The original Greek term (τέκτων; tekton), rendered “carpenter” was not limited to referencing the woodworking occupation, but also to stone masonry and other building crafts.

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The focus at Christmas

Now I am no Grinch. I enjoy the giving and sharing aspect of Christmas, including Christmas For Christ through NAM. But presenting something fake as real does little or nothing positive for the faith of children. From that experience they learn not to totally trust adults. Sure, lots of Christians have survived belief in those Christmas stories, but they can leave a taste in the mouth that questions more serious matters—like the Bible and other aspects of the faith.

There is no Santa with a big bag of toys atop a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer, one with a red nose. Christians should never mislead their children to believe in myths. There are Grinchplenty of ways to enjoy Christmas without injecting a mythical jolly old elf into the picture.

That being said, assuming the role of Grinch may not be the best alternative, either. It is a time for reading the story of the first Christmas from the Bible, sharing gifts and hugs with children, renewing appreciation of loved ones, and enjoying a delicious meal together.

Hmmm…I guess there is no such being as a green-tinted Grinch, either. Got me there. But I never misled my kids to think there was, although I have met a few folks who seem to fit that description.

Santa Claus, Bigfoot, ghosts, and alien UFOs belong in the same category. If anyone can prove that to be wrong, I will stand corrected.

Have a good time, Christians! Spread some love and cheer, but don’t forget Jesus. After all, it is His birthday we are celebrating.

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Have you noticed…?

…how complicated the Trinity doctrine is and how much simpler Oneness is?

…that you are being followed (Psalm 23:6)?

…that you actually know less than you did 30 years ago?

…that people don’t talk as loud as they once did to us older guys?

…that printers and publishers are using smaller fonts than ever before?

…how much faster time moves the older you get?

…that there is always movement—some movin’ in, some movin’ out, some movin’ up, some movin’ on?

…that appearance doesn’t always mirror reality?

…how prettier your wife gets with age?

…that golf balls and baseballs don’t go as far as they once did when we hit ’em?

…that the standard apparel for the younger crowd while doing their Christmas shopping this year are hoodies? And those shoppers shown on the news all seem to be in a hurry to fill their bags. They must have a lot of folks on their gift list.

…that a deceased Democrat official, Tony DeLuca, won reelection in Pennsylvania? Yes, really. “Earth to Pennsylvania. Hello. Hello….”

…that it is always unhappy people who attack the things happy people believe in?

…that some people would rather stop speaking to you than apologize when they are wrong?

…that more government handouts are coming down the pike? Soon only the government will be hiring. They never stop. Please be reminded: “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.”

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News you can use

One world government called for by France’s President Macron

Read the story here:  https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/macron-calls-for-a-single-global-order-asks-are-you-on-the-us-or-the-china-side/?utm_source=popular

Pastors beware if “Respect for Marriage Act” becomes law

Read what it will mean here:  https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-republicans-join-democrats-to-pass-same-sex-marriage-bill-in-massive-defeat-for-conservatives/

How did millions of dollars flow into Democrat coffers from the FTX scandal? It was a lesson in money laundering and expert corruptionese. Read the story here:   BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Tens of Billions of US Dollars Were Transferred to Ukraine and then Using FTX Crypto Currency the Funds Were Laundered Back to Democrats in US (thegatewaypundit.com)

FTX Appears to Be a Political Ponzi Scheme Running Dollars to Politicians and Through Ukraine (thegatewaypundit.com)

We have now reached a point where a majority of those who are dying from Covid-19 are those who are vaccinated. Read the story here: 
 Vaccinated Americans a majority of COVID deaths for first time in August: analysis | Fox News
 
Coroner blames Covid vaccine

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Different strokes for different folks

Holding out for a common sense approach to immigration evidently cost CNN commentator Lou Dobbs his job. How different it is in America from other countries around the world.

• If you cross the North Korean border illegally you get 12 years hard labor.
• If you cross the Iranian border illegally you are detained indefinitely as a spy.
• If you cross the Afghan border illegally you get shot.
• If you cross the Saudi Arabian border illegally you will be jailed.
• If you cross the Chinese border illegally you may never be heard from again.
• If you cross the Venezuelan border illegally you will be branded a spy and your fate will be sealed.
• If you cross the Cuban border illegally you will be thrown into a political prison to rot.
• But if you cross the U.S. border illegally you likely get:

A job
A driver’s license
A social security card
Welfare
Food stamps
Credit/gift cards
Subsidized rent or a loan to buy a house
Free education
Free health care
A lobbyist in Washington
And…in some instances you may be given the privilege to vote in elections!

Merry Christmas, illegals…er, migrants!

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Bookends

You may have noticed this yourself. The first mention of the word “book” in the Old Testament is in the first chapters of Genesis (5:1) and had to do with the generations of Adam. The first mention of book in the NT is in the context of “the generation of Jesus Christ” (Matthew 1:1). Each of those books has an “end” to match. The OT bookend is in Malachi 3:16 where it is recorded that a “book of remembrance” is being recorded for the faithful. The NT bookend is in the last chapter of Revelation where the warning is given for those who would seek to add to or take away from “the prophecies of this book” (22:19).

What nice bookends! The Bible is such a fascinating Book.

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Our first loyalty

When I read of Absalom’s rebellion against David, it makes me shudder. In that case, deserved loyalty was laid aside for self-aggrandizement and political power. However, if David had been a tyrant and was attempting to turn Israel from God, then Absalom may have been justified if his efforts were directed toward returning the kingdom to righteousness. A higher loyalty would have been exhibited in such a situation.

Loyalty to earthly establishments and mortal men has its limits. Much has been made of David’s loyalty to Saul. Since he felt that Saul had been chosen by God to lead the Hebrew nation, and was its first king, he went the second mile to recognize and submit to his position. But as Saul gradually removed himself from God’s favor, loyalty was stretched to its limits.

All men have to decide where to place their loyalties and how far to extend them. Our first and highest loyalty is owed to Jesus Christ and His Word, not to any earthly individual or entity. If someone or something to which we have an attachment—including our local church, our pastor, or any organization—is faithful to the founding principles of the faith, then they deserve our genuine loyalty. If such faithfulness is not in evidence, however, a question arises as to the level of loyalty that should be extended. Spiritual authority is forfeited when serious compromise becomes a factor. No individual or association is owed loyalty when faithfulness to scriptural truth and/or basic ethics have been abandoned. When some insist that loyalty must be extended regardless of what the entity or the leader may do, they are misguided. Blind loyalty to a friend or mentor who has departed from the faith can be spiritually devastating.

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The way things are…

 

Waiting on Georgia to make up its mind:

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Last Words

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God bless…and have the greatest Christmas ever!

JR and Roffie Ensey

 

 

Published in: on December 1, 2022 at 2:26 AM  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Thank you once again for this blog that you share. What a great read this December issue. And thank you for sharing the web address of crazy things going on in our world today. God bless you and your wife and may y’all have a happy Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!


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