Posts Tagged ‘adulthood’

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Today, focus is on the place of Jesus Christ in our youth becoming complete, mature, and spiritual persons.  The most balanced, competent, and well-adjusted people we meet are also well-rounded persons who are well-grounded persons.  Only through individual commitment, effort, and perseverance can we acquire adult knowledge and life experience.  While our careers and professional lives seem to require only the mastery of information and skills that are academic, secular, and technical, there must be specific spirit content for finite human makeup that comes only from divinity.  GOD must be in the life as more than abstraction, conjecture, speculation, and theorizing.  The lasting contentment, prosperity, and satisfaction in life are established primarily through godly communication, interaction, and continuing relationships.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

Why is it important for me to accept Jesus? Can’t people just pray me out of Hell?

I am a college graduate with a Bachelor’s degree. I just recently received a contract with one of the top international schools in the world in Barcelona. I will be moving to Spain in September and I am just so excited to be moving there for a couple of years.

This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, that nothing else matters or is important right now.

So why should I make room for Jesus in this newfound life? He can’t possibly be more exciting or amazing than this…….

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  (2nd Peter 1:  2-11, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Acorns Become Oak Trees? (02/09/2017); Plantings of the Lord (02/10/2017); Benefiting From Your Childhood? (11/18/2016); As Newborn Babes…. (10/13/2016); Learning From A Spirit? (08/25/2016); Abstractions, Atheism and I.Q. (08/18/2016); The Cross and Critical Thinking? (04/13/2016)

 

“Anonymous”, to have salvation every man or woman must engage Jesus Christ in ongoing relationship.  Apart from the direct operations of divinity, the instruction of clergy, our parents, and other caretakers do not result in our becoming mature spiritual persons.  Correctly understood, their efforts center on meeting our carnal, material, and social needs, and supporting us as we take our first “baby steps” to our own personal relationship with GOD.  The culture of the young as they are growing and learning emphasizes and encourages diversity, excitement, individuality, and novelty.  However, minor children all reach a stage where the remainder of their lives will be spent as adults, and there can be no “do over” of childhood.  Multiple shifts must occur as they prepare to enter the adult world of work, sexual challenges, and life companionship through marriage as well as what it means to manifest honor, integrity, respect, and trustworthiness.  Crucial lessons must be shared on succeeding as a team, recovering from losses, making unselfish sacrifice, and displaying restraint and self-discipline.  The terms for adult accomplishments and life relationships are always described by such features as accountability, commitment, duty, and responsibility.  Thus, ones goals are framed as contentment and satisfaction (instead of celebrity, fame, wealth), and are achieved by displaying balance, consistency, stability, and thoroughness (attention to detail).  As created beings and living creatures on the earth, all men and women must encounter disappointments, “growing pains,” frustrations, and the challenges of sin.  (The finite human tools of intellect, logic, philosophy, and science can not eliminate sin; and so there also are sinners who hold Ph.D. degrees and Phi Beta keys.)  For men and women to become complete persons who express faith, and may become productive serving GOD as priests and kings through Jesus Christ, they must receive a fresh endowment of spirit content from the makeup of Deity.  Then, their spirit as “new creations” will be nourished through fellowship with other believers, observing sacred practices, and continuous study of the holy writings.  Consider the following points using language from the Bible:

(1.)  1st Peter 2:  1-5, King James Version (KJV):  1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,  2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:  3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.  4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,  5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

(2.)  Malachi 3:  13-18, KJV:  13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?  14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God:  and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?  15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.  16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:  and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.  17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

(3.)  Matthew 16:  24-27, KJV:  24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:  and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.  26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, focus is on making the transition to adult Christian belief through study of the Bible.  Agreeing with the Scripture from Solomon (Ecclesiastes 11:  9-10, King James Version (KJV):  9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes:  but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.  10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh:  for childhood and youth are vanity.), many condemn childhood as a period that does not bear spiritual fruit, and is vain (i.e., lacks spirit substance from GOD).  Rather than deny and despise the life lessons from childhood, born again believers are encouraged to receive added benefit from their own past by “seeing with new eyes.”  The foundation from childhood should include some sacred knowledge, however, more than this there also will have been charity (unselfish love), gentleness, gratitude, faith, humility, patience, resilience, respect, and trust.  Christ who presents the image of immortal, immutable, unchanging divinity has been given as the model for created beings and living creatures to be in personal relationship with the Father.  Diversity, inconsistency, and the many differences among their levels of achievement and growth make it that believers apart from Christ are not sufficient as standards for one another.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “JohnnyBravo” (Level 2 with 600 points, a member since November 17, 2010) posted the following:

 

How do I avoid letting the childhood indoctrination creep on back as I attempt to read the bible cover to cover?

I’m trying to end this chapter of my life. I need to read the bible through from beginning to end to give myself closure.

Update: I notice as I read Genesis that I’m slipping back into old Christian ways of reading the bible. I start to make excuses for why God does what he does, etc. It happens automatically.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  Every man’s work shall be made manifest:  for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss:  but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.  (1st Corinthians 3:  11-15, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Choice, Duty, and Obligation? (11/17/2016); Birth, Self-will and Sin? (11/13/2016); Unguarded Chocolates? (11/07/2013); Jesus Rose? (11/08/2013); How Children Learn (11/09/2013); Issues for Children’s Church (04/06/2013); Outgrowing Childhood Prayers? (04/07/2013); Confessing Only to GOD? (04/08/2013)

 

“JohnnyBravo”, in Christ there is only one truth for both young and old, child and elder, that may be presented in multiple ways to fit their level of growth and maturity.  When Moses assembled the people at Sinai to hear GOD proclaim his law for covenant, even babes in arms and the sucking child were called.  Adult Christian believers ought not abandon their earliest lessons; they are to build upon them, and continue to grow acknowledging their foundation from GOD.  The key to having a fresh experience of the ancient truths recorded for us in the holy writings is to acquire during our own times a fresh endowment of spirit content from the makeup of GOD.  Finite tools of carnal reason, intellect, logic, and science may not be relied on.  Sinners who become “born again” will receive deposits of divine Spirit through baptism as well as by gathering in fellowship with other, more mature believers (church attendance); praise, prayer, and sacred practice (we say, observing sacraments); private study of the Scriptures; and unselfish service to benefit others.  Even as born-again believers, members of the church must “grow up again” and encounter the “growing pains” of life experience before they can be fully mature.  All believers are to gradually become ripe for harvest at the coming of Jesus, and display the same inseparable aspects of divinity that appeared within Jesus Christ upon the earth.  Included are faith, gratitude, holiness, joy, longsuffering, meekness, eternal purpose, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Consider again how some of this is stated using language from the Bible:

(1.)  Romans 8:  5-9, King James Version (KJV):  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

(2.)  Romans 12:  1-3, KJV:  1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  2 And be not conformed to this world:  but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

(3.)  1st Peter 3:  4, KJV:  4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

(4.)  1st Corinthians 13:  8-13, KJV:  8 Charity never faileth:   but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:  but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:  now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Romans 8:  25-28, KJV:  25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.  26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:  for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:  but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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A response to a teenager’s question on human sexuality is featured, today.  While the council shared is from a Christian to an Islamic believer, the substance provided pertains to life for all.  More often than not, the confusion in our lives is not coming from our Creator; yet, there is no “easy way out.”  Given their duty as life companions entrusted with each other’s secrets, parents ought not expose one another to the censure of their children; and so they may not always speak freely to their own children regarding the common challenges, errors, and shortcomings from their younger days.  Just as we are careful to select food and drink to nourish our bodies, we must be careful selecting ideas and relationships to nourish our feelings and thoughts.  Many Christian believers have paid dearly for life lessons, and to arrive at the same points of truth shared among Muslims by first attending “the school of hard knocks.”  Because they continued to be immature, were stubborn, and lacked correct knowledge, they repeated basic mistakes in their attitudes and their sexual behavior for many years before being recovered from error through the operations of GOD.  Where a mother uses drugs during pregnancy, her child may be born addicted.  Similarly, where either of the parents practice fornication, their child may be born spiritually defiled and unclean.  While we are young we must be encouraged to understand that—just as ability to recite passages from the holy writings come only through practice that may seem dull, monotonous, and tedious—self-discipline, self-mastery, and self-control also come only through deliberate and painstaking practice.  Consider the following Bible verses, and the discussion below: 

Proverbs 16:  32, King James Version (KJV):  32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. 

Proverbs 25:  28, KJV:  28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. 

Mark 10:  6-8, KJV:  6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.  7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;  8 And they twain shall be one flesh:  so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

Micah 6:  8, KJV:  8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

The young writer at “Yahoo! Answers” posted the following:

 

Ramadan: How do I control my lust?

salam, I am a 16 year old brother…I find myself unable to lower my gaze….I stare at women, girls, and even boys in public with lust, masturbate all the time, even fantasizing about boys, and rape….I sometimes watch porn, and I just want to know, how do I control my lust? salam, Mustafa

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.  Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously:  yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.  And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.  (Malachi 2:  13-15, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Wife of Your Youth? (12/22/2015); All Sin Is Willful? (10/20/2015); The Mistakes In Youth? (08/24/2015); Sermons About Good Sex? (08/25/2014); About Good Sermons? (08/26/2014); Pornography from the Bible (11/26/2012); More Than Salvation (11/27/2012)

 

“Mustafa”, as salam alekum.  When it comes to sex, no one has all the final answers; and we all must depend on some specific guiding principles.  The council a Christian father must give his son regarding a boy developing into manhood includes a number of serious warnings that help to bring balance into his thinking on, and acting out sexual desires.  As carnal beings (we say, flesh and blood), young people increasingly experience sexual arousal as they are growing up.  This is partly because of mechanical operations of their body (e.g., activity by glands; muscular growth; changes in height and weight).  As we learn and grow, we all experience sexual appetite the same way we repeatedly have hunger and thirst.  Using logic, reason, and thought, does not make hunger and thirst go away.  Humans must discipline both their body and mind to respond to appetite in ways that are healthy.  We avoid eating, or drinking any and every thing around us, because they may be poisonous or things to bring about sickness and death.  Similarly, we must limit ourselves regarding sex, and because we will be held accountable for our communication, exchanges and interactions within intimate relationships.

Sexual contact occurs on multiple levels:  the physical the  emotional, the psychological, as well as the spiritual.  Thus, sex is held to be dangerous for those who are young and unprepared.  There are always unexpected outcomes of a sex act.  This makes it that sex should be understood as unpredictable and unreliable.  Even adults who maintain the same pattern of attitudes and behavior for many years can become confused and damaged through adultery, casual sex, and extra-marital sexual relations.  Sexual intercourse may be unexplainably painful; there may be disease; there may be unwanted pregnancies; and there may be dissatisfaction with oneself and ones partner.

For those seeking to become spiritually adult, and present themselves to GOD in purity, warnings must be shared against fornication.  Just as girls and guys who think that oral sex will not do as much harm as full intercourse are mistaken, young people are mistaken who think fornication means sex before marriage, or too much sex, with too many partners (promiscuity).  With every sexual contact (be it as simple as holding hands or a kiss on the cheek—oral sex) there is a joining of spirit content for the two sexual partners.  In marriage, the two “become one flesh,” and GOD is the other.  Even so, because her spirit now is within him, and his within her, they must respond to a second spirit inside themselves, and make multiple adjustments to have contentment and inner peace.  Where the male has had sex with 10 girlfriends before marriage, his wife will be joined to at least 11 spirits.  Where his wife had relations with 8 guys, she brings 9 spirits to the marriage.  Do the math:  where the 10 girlfriends knew 8 guys each (80), and the 8 boyfriends 11 girls each (88), the total of spirits begins to number over 200 because of additional contacts among the 8 and the 11.  In some ways, both partners may be strengthened, and made to feel more capable as adults.  However, the battle is for the mind.  Conflict among the spirits of unseen partners can result in the married couple experiencing fear, despair, depression, divorce, and uncertainty that suddenly seems to come from out of nowhere.  The inborn spirit may be weakened by the unseen influences and unclean spirits.  The opposition it must face for control over combinations of spirits (say 50 to 1 or 75 to 1) could become overwhelming.

The serious bonds, connections, and habits established through our animal nature and sexuality can not be immediately broken or removed using our finite human tools  (e.g., isolating ourselves; moping; weeping; moving to a new city; trying to make new friends; exercising self-will).  Christian believers turn to GOD for rebirth and new life that is possible through Jesus Christ.  Once born again, believers must “grow up again” to become disciplined and mature as spiritual persons joined to divinity.

Mustafa, there is far more to be learned, properly understood, and correctly put into action.  Make every positive effort you can.  Through our submission to GOD, men and women should expect to acquire sacred knowledge, and undergo continued change and growth.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to the power in your spirit that connects you to GOD, your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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