P A of Worldview: Prophets Do What? (Part 1)

I had this question about the gift of prophesy. Using the concordance in the back of my Study Bible, I looked up “prophesy” to find the passages that talked about prophesying. But then I ended up with another question.

What’s the difference between prophecy and prophesy? Are these two words in the original manuscripts different words or not? I did a Blue Letter Bible search on the two words. Did you know there are at least two different either Hebrew or Greek words used in relation to prophecy and prophesy.

(From Blue Letter Bible)
Two Hebrew Uses:
Naba’
The KJV translates Strong’s H5012 in the following manner: prophesy (111x), prophesying (2x), prophet (2x).
Nĕbuw’ah
The KJV translates Strong’s H5016 in the following manner: prophecy (3x).

Two Greek Uses:
Prophēteuō
The KJV translates Strong’s G4395 in the following manner: prophesy (28x).
Prophēteia
The KJV translates Strong’s G4394 in the following manner: prophecy (16x), prophesying (3x).

Prophecy (prophetic speech, prophetic writing) is something prophets prophesy (speak forth by divine inspirations, predict).

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P A of Worldview: Little Children Come

The musicians are up on stage. Their in the middle of their performance, bodies leaning into microphones, fingers strumming, and feet taping.
And she toddles out the row, down the isle, and toward the stage. No one notices till she reaches the front. Stretching out her short leg, she places her little white shoe on the bottom step and starts her way up.
Pigtails and bright pink glasses, she makes it to the top and in awe saunters across the stage toward the musicians.

This isn’t normal! This isn’t culturally acceptable! She shouldn’t be on stage. She can’t be going up there in the middle of everything. She’ll get in the way. She’ll mess things up.

People are looking on. They’re expecting someone to do something.
Here comes the responsible one ready to snatch her from the stage and carry her back to her rightful place, in order to allow the musicians to continue.

Mat 19:14 “But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’…”

See in the Bible, in this moment when these children are heading toward Jesus the disciples are in the role of “the responsible one.” They are running forward to snatch these kids off the stage before they intervene in what’s happening up there, because this isn’t normal. This isn’t culturally acceptable.

And Jesus is the musician who stops in the middle of the concert, embraces that child, and says, “Welcome to My world. All this I do and say for you.”

We don’t often appreciate the significance of Jesus’s actions in this brief moment in Scripture, yet we should, because it’s not just His words that are astounding. It’s who He is. He’s not being normal! He’s not being culturally acceptable! These children of God, they are in the way. They are messing everything up, and what does He says, “Let them come!”

1Jo 3:1 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!…”

John 1:12-14 “…as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born…of God.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Challenge: Embrace being a child of God and don’t hesitate to totter up those steps toward Him! He won’t turn you away. And He won’t let anyone else snatch you away either. (Jhn 10:29)

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P A of Worldview: Ministering to Others

We all need people who care about us and are willing to minister to us.
How often do we willingly do the same for someone else?

In 2 Timothy, Paul is commenting about those who have turned away from him in Asia. Then Paul makes a statement about someone who not only did not turn away but actually sought him zealously. What else he says about this person is very interesting.

2Ti 1:16-18 “The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day—and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.”

What traits and actions does Paul describe that distinguish Onesiphorus from others:
Onesiphorus “often refreshed me”
Onesiphorus “was not ashamed of my chains”
Onesiphorus came to Rome
Onesiphorus “sought me out very zealously” in Rome
Onesiphorus “found me” in Rome

Onesiphorus “ministered to me at Ephesus” in many ways

It would appear Onesiphorus was from Ephesus (2Ti 4:19), yet he came to Rome and sought out Paul. Paul who was what?
Paul was a prisoner of the Roman Empire (Act 28:16) and basically awaiting trial. Yet Onesiphorus sought him out not being ashamed of his chains.
I’m guessing associating with a prisoner of the Roman Empire was not exactly good for one’s reputation. But Onesiphorus didn’t let that stop him.

Maybe you’re not a Paul—the person lots of people know, who goes a lot of places and ministers to a lot of people—but we can all be an Onesiphorus to someone.

Yet, saying that, what Onesiphorus did for Paul isn’t easy.

How often do we let space and distance keep us from being there to refresh or encourage someone else? What ways can we change this? Today we have lots of avenues to stay in contact with others despite great distances. If God is laying someone on your heart brainstorm and pursue ways of bridging that distance—be it physically or electronically.

How often do we use the circumstances of someone else’s life as an excuse to not ministering to them? There are times when we feel like we simply cannot relate to where someone is at, but often times it’s in those very unique circumstances no one else can relate to in which a person can feel the most alone. Maybe you can’t relate but that doesn’t mean you can’t still love that person and be there for them.

How often do we give up when it’s not easy to find them where they are? Sometimes its inconvenient to try to track someone else down at en event, or find a coffee date that works for you both, or an activity that you both enjoy, etc. Yet the persistence of Onesiphorus is something that strikes Paul and obviously meant a lot to him. Onesiphorus didn’t just give up and go home. He was willing to expend great effort to find Paul. Sometimes the effort spent pursing something until it works, means just as much to someone as the actual event does. Don’t underestimate the power of being willing to strive after a friendship. There are a lot of people out there who think they are not worth the effort of someone else’s love or friendship. When someone is willing to go the extra mile to spend time with them or encourage them, it communicates God’s love and your love in a tangible way.

Challenge: How often can we find a way to bridge the gaps, ignore the circumstances that divide us from others, and put in the extra effort in order to encourage and minister to others?
Make the effort—see how God uses it to affect others?

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P A of Worldview: Pressured to Perform?

A while back I wrote about the feeding of the five thousand—P A of W: Needed Refreshment—but I want to take another look at this story.

First of all, I want to point out both Jesus and the disciples are identifying normal human needs in this story.

Mar 6:31 “And [Jesus] said to [the disciples], ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.”

Mar 6:34 “And Jesus…was moved with compassion for [the multitude], because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.”

The disciples also point out a need of the crowd. Mar 6:35-36 “…His disciples came to Him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. Send [the multitude] away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.’”

Mar 6:37 “But He answered and said to them, ‘You give them something to eat.’”

By Jesus’s response, it could be assumed Jesus is pressuring the disciples to produce what is needed to actually accomplish this task.

Mar 6:37 And they said to Him, ‘Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?’”

These guys did not have 200 denarii to spend on bread. They are not actually offering, they are looking at Jesus and saying, are you kidding us? There is no way! (Thankful Jesus chose a task that was so very difficult the disciples literally could not attempt it in their own self-effort. See because otherwise they might have missed the whole point.)

See, what if it had just been fifty people? What about twenty people?

Self-effort and a feeling of responsibility is normal in ministry, but it’s not actually what God is asking of us.

Jesus isn’t asking the disciples to come up with 5,000 loafs of bread, He is also not asking them to come up with 50 loafs of bread. We can easily mistake God’s directions in circumstances requiring provision because we are only seeing the circumstances and the needs from an earthly, human-effort sort of mindset. Jesus isn’t asking the disciples to come up with something beyond their own capabilities or resources. He’s really not. Keep reading.

Mar 6:38-39 “But He said to them, ‘How many loaves do you have? Go and see.’ And when they found out they said, ‘Five, and two fish.’ Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass.”

Weird, Jesus just told them to feed the crowd, yet when they come back with not enough to feed the crowd Jesus DOESN’T reprimand them! He also doesn’t send them shopping. He doesn’t tell them to search through the crowd seeking more food. He doesn’t tell them to take up a money collection to buy more food. He doesn’t tell them to go fishing. He doesn’t tell them, put more effort into it! What does Jesus say?

He tells them to bring the people to Him and then does what?

Mar 6:41 “And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all.”

Jesus takes what the disciples have given and blesses it!

He asked them to give what they had with them. And, very importantly, in this moment, Jesus doesn’t tell the disciples to go hungry for the sake of the 5,000 who are hungry.

Mar 6:42 “So they all ate and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish.”

Challenge: Remember God is a God of provision! He is not demanding our self performance rather He seeks our willingness to admit our limitations, give Him what we do have, and allow Him to do the rest.

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P A of Worldview: Why is Loneliness so Painful?

Why is loneliness so painful?

Because, we were not and are not meant to be alone.
Gen 2:18 “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.’”

We see Jesus make it clear even in the way He send the twelve out to minister that they should not be alone.

Mar 6:7 “And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two…”

The disciples continued this practice.

Act 3:1 “Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour…”

Act 12:25 “And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark.”

Even in dividing and going different directions it’s important to not be alone.

Act 15:37 “Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God.

Relationships are not easy, clearly since even Godly men in the Bible parted ways, but they also chose others to travel with them, because it’s not good to be alone.

No matter who we are, we need other people.

Challenge: If you are alone, find others who value God and who are willing to encourage you and whom you can encourage.

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Practically Application of Worldview: All or Nothing

How many of you have heard people say, “God is a god of love” as reasoning for why God is okay with (fill in the blank)?

These people want just a piece of God—but we actually don’t get to pick and choose which personality traits of God’s we embrace and which we get to throw out the backdoor. He is who He is. We either accept all of God or we are NOT accepting God. He is not merely a God of love.

Rom 10:3 “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”

Isa 48:17 “Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go. Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.’”

1Pe 1:13-19 “…be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Exo 34:13 “But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)…”

Col 3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”

We either accept all of God or practically speaking we are NOT accepting Him. The multifaceted reality of who God is makes verses like the one below hard to understand but actually fully understandable when placed in the context of GOD.

Rom 16:20 “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly…”
Yes, the God of peace does things like crush Satan!

Until we’re willing to accept God as ALL HE IS—HOLY, LOVING, RIGHTEOUS, JEALOUS, REDEEMER, ETC., He’s not really ours and we’re not really His.

Challenge: So which is it? ALL of HIM or NONE of HIM? Because there is no halfway or part when it comes to God! It’s all or nothing.

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P A of W: Words of Blessing

Words are doorways to either the light or the dark. Choose to follow the words to the light.

All Rights Reserved – Given Hoffman

We all remember words people have said that have hurt us, but this week, I want to encourage us all to remember the words of blessing people have spoken into our lives and to go through those doorways into light, life, and truth.

Challenge: Speak words of blessing into other people’s lives this week.

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