For millenniums, religious scholars and teachers and everyda From Amazon For millenniums, religious scholars and teachers and everyday people have evaluated and interpreted the verses from the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament and from Jesus and his first century followers in the New Testament. As they have done with the other bible books, Steve and Lois Rabey select those verses that they feel have the most impact when applied to modern day life.
The choices run the gamut, but not all are that well known though some like Job's lament and "In the beginning The Rabeys also provide simple interpretation for application in today's information age society without being condescending to their audience. This is perhaps the best of the four well written Most Powerful The verses chosen are powerful in of themselves, but the Rabeys are in top form as they provide insight and interpretation in a twenty-first century context as few individuals have been able to do. Though clearly Christian in nature including those excerpts from the Books of Moses, readers will find this book a For millenniums, religious scholars and teachers and everyday people have evaluated and interpreted the verses from the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament and from Jesus and his first century followers in the New Testament.
Though clearly Christian in nature including those excerpts from the Books of Moses, readers will find this book a well written guide to better understanding of the Bible. Harriet Klausner. More filters. Sort order. Call Number: Jane Riebe-Tritten rated it it was amazing Jul 14, Laurie rated it it was amazing Aug 22, Book lover rated it really liked it Sep 25, Bobby Konis rated it it was amazing Jul 20, Carla rated it liked it Jul 12, Laurel Winch marked it as to-read Aug 29, Tim Hughes added it May 02, Floyd is currently reading it Nov 23, Lemniskate67 added it Jan 30, Shane Lantz marked it as to-read Jun 14, John marked it as to-read Jan 24, Matt Rich added it Dec 26, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
About Steve Rabey. Steve Rabey. From the very beginning, they have had heaven on their minds. But it is a curious phenomenon: people who are otherworldly seem to do so much good in this world. In the s many countries became increasingly industrialized. People left the farms and began working in mines and factories, often for low wages and in abominable working conditions. The wealthy English evangelicals known as the Clapham Sect chose to attack the problems with legislation. The Clapham Sect introduced a new element in Christian concern for the poor: passing humane laws. The book is usually just called Real Christianity, but the whole title is worth noting.
Wilberforce claimed that the only remedy for the selfishness that wealth encouraged was to turn from nominal belief to the active Christianity of personal commitment. The book was a phenomenal best-seller. Humane laws could not solve all the problems, of course. These came in the form of William Booth and his Salvation Army. In the s, when Booth looked at industrial London he saw overcrowded homes, drunkenness, domestic violence, prostitution, and unemployment. He believed if people knew Christ, their behavior— and conditions—would change. He set up Food for the Million shops, offering cheap meals.
In severely cold winters the Salvation Army sold coal at rock-bottom prices. He respected the poor enough to believe they wanted the dignity of helping themselves, of paying at least a nominal amount for what they received. He had no time for lazy freeloaders. He was wise enough to see that there are people who, the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves.
Homelessness and hunger lessened. Resolution: Offer a special prayer for people who minister face to face with the poor. The Old Testament, especially the Psalms, encourage us to avoid soiling ourselves by keeping company with the wicked. And intolerance is not tolerated today. But the Bible has no such qualms. We should, so it tells us, avoid thieves, murderers, gluttons, boozers—and also gossips, slanderers, and dishonest businessmen.grupoavigase.com/includes/128/
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And yet. He did indeed. He reached out to them and loved them. And he made converts. Hanging around bad people presents good people with temptations—notably the temptation to condone their depraved behavior. Jesus had the rare ability to mingle with sinners without winking at their behavior. Perhaps Jesus knew the delicate art of making a point without sounding preachy. I recall my great-grandfather referring to a local man whom no one would speak to because the man was a notorious wife-beater. Decades ago, this was not uncommon—ostracizing a cruel person.
In certain country clubs, a man who abused his wife or kept a mistress might be voted out of the club. Sometimes they cursed these men or pelted them with mud. This had an effect: such people knew that decent people condemned their behavior. The decent people believed that cordiality to a known rascal would be interpreted as condoning his deeds. Today, on the other hand, is there any way of letting people know their behavior is wrong? Not really. Proverbs T I never served in the military, I admit to being utterly fascinated by a soldier named Thomas J.
The shy, quiet Confederate general was utterly lacking in vanity.
The South grieved deeply when Jackson died from wounds inflicted by friendly fire. Jackson was a Presbyterian and an admirer of the founder of Presbyterianism, the Scottish reformer John Knox. Certain he was doing the will of the Lord, Knox went about the business of reforming the Scottish church and was not about to let a wayward queen or rowdy noblemen stand in his way.
Rightly so. Both Jackson and Knox were incredibly warm and loving men—usually. But some occasions call for courageous action. All four Gospels record the story of Jesus in the temple courts, driving out the money changers with a whip. Living the kind of life God intended requires different kinds of courage. The wicked face the world with no assurance that anyone is on their side, while the righteous have the greatest ally of all, God himself. Resolution: Think of people you have known who were genuinely bold and courageous.
Were they people of faith? Proverbs M people are aware that many early believers died in the sporadic persecutions throughout the Roman Empire. Persecution did not always mean death, however, but deprivation. When the emperors were engaging in anti-Christian campaigns, they often sentenced persons accused of following the suspicious religion to work in mines, or they might confiscate all their worldly goods.
For some families this was more traumatic than martyrdom of one of the members. In the year the fiercest persecution took place under Emperor Diocletian, who insisted that the Christians sacrifice to the pagan gods. But the survivors did not languish in their new poverty, for the ones who retained the most property helped those who lost everything. Abortion was widespread in the Roman Empire. Most citizens saw no moral problem in disposing of the unwanted unborn child.
But early Christian writings show that the faithful would not do this. The Romans had no qualms about killing the newly born. Among the pagans, obvious birth defects signalled exposing the child to the elements—wolves, vultures, or inclement weather. As a child grew, some other defects—mental retardation, for example— might manifest themselves. Some were even killed. But Christians took in many of these feebleminded. The pagans were not totally without compassion, but they limited most of their charity to their own families. Christians introduced a radical notion: the spiritual family included all believers in Christ.
And this enormous family extended its compassion to those outside it. History repeats itself. Here we are in the twenty-first century, suddenly aware that in many parts of the world Christians are sold into slavery and treated brutally. And as in the Roman Empire, the faithful extend loving hands across the globe, rescuing people of faith from their persecutors. Find out what you can do to aid people who are perishing for their faith. Proverbs L many people, I have made a hobby of tracing my family tree.
No one of note is listed there. My father carried on the tradition; he was Mr. Yet if one is a pest-control man, why not do it well, and with a good attitude? And so he did. At his visitation in the funeral home, we were amazed at how many of his customers dropped by. They all liked my dad, basing their opinion on the few minutes he was in each home to do his job and to chat for a moment before leaving. They said he was thorough, pleasant, thoughtful. Some stated that when they phoned the pest-control company, they would often request my dad, for some of the other workers were sloppy and slipshod.
The neighbors loved him. Did not Jesus commend such neighborly virtues? Homely virtues are not the qualities that stir up admiration in a young man. A teenage boy wants to be proud of his old man. When the man is confined to his bed for good, his vocation becomes unimportant. A bedridden man might as well be a pest controller as a corporate mogul. Both are immobile, both face eternity, both need assistance merely to subsist.
Death is a great leveler. My father in his prime was not a hero to me. Could that same man, dying, be my hero? He was; his extended dying made me look at him not as a loser, but as a representative of what all of us are: fragile, dependent, teetering at every moment on the brink of the eternal. The dying person ceases to do and merely is.
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But he was many things while bedridden: kind, gentle, undemanding, and totally without grudges or bitterness. Dad died heroically—meaning he died as well as he could. Nothing else could be asked of anyone. My father died well—quietly, unpretentiously, just as he had lived. Resolution: If your parents are living, give them a call or an e-mail today, or see them face to face if possible. Proverbs D you hear the joke about the Irish teetotaler? There was such a man, a forgotten hero of the faith.
In the late s drunkenness became a major problem on the U. Liquor producers set up saloons at the entrances of mines and factories. As society became more urbanized and anonymous, it was easier for men, especially in cities, to sneak drinks throughout the day. Christians took note of this and preached moderation. Some went further and insisted on total abstinence.
The anti-liquor forces prevailed, and in the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution outlawed the manufacture and sale of liquor. Consumption of booze did not cease. It merely went underground, easily obtainable in any location. Prohibition seemed to be a failure, and Congress repealed it in Perhaps they were more effective in their early days, when they merely urged fellow Christians and fellow Americans toward moderation. Preaching and publishing can influence public opinion and bring about change; legislation can also, but people who are not on the bandwagon inevitably resent government coercion.
By contrast, consider this historical tidbit from Ireland, a nation with a reputation for hard drinking: Theobald Mathew — , a Catholic monk, started a campaign for temperance. But never did he push for nationally enforced abstinence. He never claimed that abstinence was necessary for Christians. He claimed only that more abstainers—or at least moderate drinkers—would make a safer and happier Ireland. This is exactly what occurred—not a complete turnaround in morals and public welfare, but at least a 45 percent decrease in liquor consumption.
This was accomplished not through legislation but through preaching. Persuasion, not legislative coercion. Theobald Mathew seems to have followed the wiser course: Preach to individuals and groups; if their attitudes and behavior change, then society will change. Resolution: Pray for the morals of your nation, then set people an example through your own life. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
Proverbs I hate a bad thing? Not always, apparently. The word appears often in the Bible in a positive way: God hates evil, and so do godly people. It teaches us to love our enemies while despising their evil actions. How do we act upon this hatred? If you hate arrogance in people, be humble. If you hate dishonest business dealing, be scrupulous yourself. It is very S Most Powerful Proverbs One crucial difference: you cannot change your neighbor, but you can change yourself.
And giving sufficient attention to your own flaws is certainly the best—most godly—way to distract yourself from the faults of others. The hourly news reminds us that the world is as it always has been a hate-filled place. One nation, tribe, ethnic group, or political group hates another, and the conflict leads to slander, violence, war, and terrorism.
The hatred in Proverbs is a different sort altogether—not one of human groups or of human individuals, but one of evil in any form. We ought to hate evil as something that does not belong in human life, just as weeds do not belong in our gardens. Uprooting our own sins takes time and attention—so much that if we ever finished the task which is unlikely , we would have no energy left to hate human beings.
Resolution: Make a list of behaviors and attitudes that you hate when you see them in other people. Consider which ones you are guilty of yourself. Resolve to direct your mind not to those faults in others, but those in yourself. Mine was happy because I was seeing some people for the first time in twenty years.
It was sad because some members of the class had passed on. It was eye-opening because I myself was older and wiser and saw both good and bad where I had not seen them before. But one who defied time was the girl—woman, now—I will call Sylvia. She was gorgeous. Wrinkle-free, tan, slim, and slinky, sporting a clingy sequined dress few of the other women would have dared to wear. She still had that hearty, earthy laugh, and she still chuckled easily at my jokes. Sylvia introduced me to her boyfriend, father of her two children. She and the boyfriend had cohabited for fifteen years.
What had been a trickle of swear words from her in the s was now a flood. Every woman in that room coveted her looks, but nothing else. Most of us had grown up and simmered down. Most had put aside that old agricultural pursuit of sowing wild oats. She had not. Or was I just astute enough to see that Sylvia had not wised up or grown up, but only grown coarse? Still beautiful in that sequined dress, and yet. We should all, male or female, strive not to be such a person.
Physical beauty without discretion and other spiritual qualities is not at all attractive. Resolution: Think of physically beautiful people you know—both men and women. Are most of them nice people? Moral people? Does our culture emphasize physical attractiveness so much that beautiful people feel they can neglect the inner person? I never knew a happier place. And it was not because of their possessions, for those were few. My uncle worked hard and steadily but never held a highpaying job. My aunt never worked—or more precisely, she worked full-time at raising their six children.
Obviously this was a morethan-full-time job, yet if it tired her, she never let on. Love is not whiny. All her life was a kindness. She was as good as gold and as true as steel. If you have had the pleasure of spending time with a large multichild family, you know that they are usually happy.
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My six cousins lived in the most modest of homes miraculously, eight people shared one bathroom , and compared with me, they had few toys as kids. But they were never bored. They enjoyed the most basic of human pleasures: each other. Fights and quarrels erupted but ended in a matter of minutes. No one had a room to himself.
My aunt was not the best housekeeper. She cooked well as mothers of numerous children typically do , nothing fancy, but plentiful, simple, and hearty meals that she served up with generous portions of love and courtesy. If the floors were worn and scuffed, the drapes needed cleaning, or the kitchen needed a good scrubbing, what did it matter? And what did it matter if she never had new furniture to show off?
A house was for living in, and they lived well, content with what they had. My aunt passed on and a few years later my uncle did as well. For a few more years the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren still gathered at the house on Sundays. It was not the same with my aunt and uncle gone, of course, but a house full of memories is a pleasant place to be.
I loved that spot, that happy old home, which was like a dream I could never dream again. Do you enjoy the company of such people? Proverbs NIV T it was released in the s, the movie The Ten Commandments is still popular, and one of the few Hollywood classics that a major network reruns almost every year.
The story is priceless—and timeless. Aside from its exotic setting in Egypt extravagant sets and costumes , it has a powerful, hissworthy villain the evil Pharaoh facing a righteous man Moses, played by Charlton Heston , and the power of the righteous, invisible God of Israel. In the background are thousands of oppressed Hebrew slaves, awaiting the outcome of the confrontation. Evil never gives in easily, of course. Pharaoh was powerful—and obstinate. If you are familiar with the Old Testament, you know that Moses is its most prominent character; more books mention him than any other person.
Yet Proverbs has much to say about righteous and unrighteous rulers—and clearly its authors knew that the unrighteous were more numerous. See Proverbs , , Yet the God of Proverbs does not turn a blind eye to oppression and exploitation. Evil will never be completely overcome in this world, of course. Which of us has his desire, or, having it, is satisfied? We all know this, and the great Christian and non-Christian thinkers throughout the ages have repeated the theme. Yet we are preoccupied with material prosperity rather than with God himself.
Eternity, the new humanity, the approaching heaven and earth where righteousness dwells—these we push aside in our thinking. He and the other wealthy characters have one common trait: they are not at all happy. Most of the time we do not feel spiritually hungry. We lose our spiritual appetite. We are not conscious of how greatly we need God. Christ, in Revelation, addressed severe words to the smug, satisfied church of Laodicea. The people there believed they had all they needed.
But Christ assured them that they could not be filled until God himself filled them. In The Four Loves, C. God has promised to meet every need of his children. But this he cannot do until we recognize our need. Doing this, we need not worry about whether he will find us fit to receive his help.
Resolution: Ask yourself that classic question, what one possession would you want if stranded on a desert island? The Bible, maybe? Or could you maybe do without any possessions, so long as you were relying on God? She was probably about eight years old, myself about twelve. The other kids picked up on it quickly, not because I was a natural leader but simply because it seemed cute and clever, and because the poor little girl had no older brother or sister to stand up for her. It is much easier to pass on abuse. It is pretty well documented that parents who physically mistreat their children were often mistreated themselves.
Verbal abuse is likewise contagious, passed not only from parent to child, but from any abused person to another. It makes them feel good to hurt another human being and get away with it. Has anyone ever been stupid enough to believe this? Why are you picking on her? It feels good. But today, I wish I knew where she lives. I would apologize if I could find her. She may have forgotten the teasing completely, but I have not.
Resolution: Think of people you may have injured with harsh words. If you can do so, contact them, let them know you were wrong. And no wonder. People sold and traded them like goods. They maimed and dismembered some so that adult beggars could use them to elicit sympathy and money from passersby. In the s, however, Christian concern for poor children led to the opening of orphanages that were more than just residences.
They became vocational training schools as businesses and orphanages worked together to provide apprenticeships for willing youngsters. Note the change: instead of just giving food, clothing, and shelter to the children, these organizations gave a ladder out of poverty. In the early s the German Pietist August Hermann Francke started such a school for orphans, with both classroom and vocational training. The orphan school grew to have its own hospital, pharmacy, and printing press. HE Most Powerful Proverbs The Quakers were also noted for distributing food and clothing to the poor immediately after worship services—an example of bringing charity and worship together.
In time, most Christians both Protestant and Catholic came to believe that the poor could work themselves out of poverty—they could go not necessarily from rags to riches, but at least from rags to comfort. John Wesley and his Methodists discovered this in England in the s. Few of the early Methodists were rich or even middleclass.
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This was also true of the first Christians, by the way. Ignored by the state-supported Church of England, many of the poor who came to hear Wesley preach had to use a modern term low selfesteem. Wesley took to the fields and mines, preached a pure gospel of love and forgiveness, and found people responding. People who were poor could follow one of two paths after they prospered: they could hoard what they had and keep it to themselves, or they could remember what a burden poverty was and help the needy around them.
Alas, there are far more people in the first category than in the second, human nature being what it is. But throughout the long history of Christianity, there are many shining examples of poor folk who turned their lives around with the aid of God and godly people and who in turn gave spiritual and material aid to the lowly. As the Proverb says, we honor our loving and generous God when we honor the people he created, including especially the poor.
Resolution: The next time you are tempted to splurge and buy an unnecessary item for yourself, take the money you would have spent on it and give it to a poor person. The Book of Proverbs has much to say about words spoken rashly. But can it ever be wrong to be silent? Most assuredly. I think the most painful experience of my own life involved an awkward silence on the part of people I believed were fellow Christians. At the time my father died I was employed with a Christian ministry. Just before leaving for work one morning I received a phone call from my mother, telling me Dad had just passed away.
Because the ministry I worked for had its own travel agency, I dropped by to pick up my plane ticket to fly home. While in the hallway I ran into a young man in my own department, a man I knew only slightly. I came here only to pick up my plane ticket. I knew this young man to be a solid Christian family man, active in his church. Several days later I was back at work. Our department held its weekly meeting, and by this time everyone knew why I had been absent for a few days.
I recall being confronted with a roomful of smiling faces—smiling in that bland, mildly charitable, mildly sympathetic way that religious people have. This was particularly unusual since our meetings always ended with a time of prayer, not just for our work projects but for our personal needs as well. No one bothered to mention my loss.
Not one word, only bland half-smiles. These people who did not know what to say were not horrible, evil people. They intended no harm by what they did—or rather did not do. Yet they did harm. There are sins of omission as well as sins of commission. As you grieve for your father, know that your heavenly Father loves you.
Give them a kind word. Proverbs E old insight is perennially fresh. I know this, having witnessed a major accident—five cars, two deaths including that of an infant , seven injuries, and damage to a couple of storefronts. One of the five cars was totaled. One of the injured persons was partially paralyzed, and may still be. The accident was totally preventable and thoroughly pointless. Someone was in a hurry, someone coming from the other direction was in a hurry, and they not only paid the price for their impatience but took a couple of lives in the process.
Of the two drivers who caused the accident, one was on his way to the beach, the other on her way to the beauty salon. The judge and jury seemed to agree that neither of these trips was urgent, and both drivers did some jail time. Since this has become an all-purpose alibi in our culture, I was pleased to see that the jury did not buy it. The Bible has high praise for patience and self-control—more praise than for either wisdom or bravery. While others are groaning, swearing, and creating additional stress for themselves, the patient person is quietly waiting out the trial of the moment.
Most of us do not know many patient people. Most of us do not know many saints, either—and the two if you can find them tend to be the same. I asked her why she never seems to lose her temper. Not much else is. Most things can wait. A five-car accident, caused because two people thought their tasks were as urgent as bleeding from an artery. Their lack of self-control led, ironically, to some literal bleeding. Proverbs NIV W do people enjoy gossip and put-downs? Because gossip and put-downs create togetherness, and togetherness is a wonderful thing.
Most people, even those who consider themselves loners, enjoy companionship of some sort. God did not think it right for Adam to be alone, so he made him a companion. Given that these were the only two people in the world, it may have been the only time in human history that people had no one to gossip about or poke fun at. Poor Adam and Eve, reduced to talking about themselves, the world, and God—but not other people.
No wonder the Garden of Eden was a paradise. Out here in the post-Eden world, gossip and spiteful speech are shortcuts to companionship. When I gave the name Cockeye to a little cross-eyed blonde girl who rode my school bus, I created however briefly a moment of bonding with the other kids. Groupness is very important to children; they ache to belong, even if that involves casting aside kindness and common sense. HY Most Powerful Proverbs Who cares what she thinks? She is there only to provide us some amusement.
Thankfully, many people grow out of this groupthink stage, becoming more self- or God-directed. But most of us never outgrow it completely. What others think matters to us—a lot. If people we admire or respect think a certain way, we are inclined to think that way as well. What they like, we like, and what has the potential for harm , what they hate, we hate.
Nothing gives you more in common more quickly than finding out you dislike the same person. Groupthink built on liking the same things is fine—a good basis for Christian fellowship, in fact. But groupthink built on contempt and malice is another matter entirely. Resolution: Take stock of your friends. Are you bound together by mutual likes and interests—or by a pleasure in gossiping and putting other people down? Proverbs H delight in comparing the last days of Rome with our own times.
Similarities are not hard to find, particularly in the area of entertainment. Romans liked spicy slice-of-life theatre, with ample nudity, live sexual acts, and the actual torturing of criminals on stage. Chariot racing was an obsession, and as with modern-day soccer matches, fans of rival factions often rioted. In one riot in A. Note the date: was more than two hundred years after the Roman Empire had become in theory, at least Christian.
Worse than drama and racing were gladiatorial games. Gladiators, most of whom were slaves, criminals, or prisoners of war, fought to the death portrayed vividly in movies such as Gladiator and Spartacus. The bloody sand was raked over, and a new contest would begin. Bodies fell in droves, and the Roman elite cheered. From the time of Emperor Nero on, Christians were part of the spectacle. When Christianity became legal in the year under Emperor Constantine, Christian persecution ceased, but the games did not. Did the supposedly Christian emperors find the games disgusting and immoral?
If they did, they never let on. The gory games were a cherished Roman tradition. Even though many gladiators were convicted criminals under a death sentence, sensitive souls grieved that citizens enjoyed watching the butchery. Besides, some professional gladiators made a career out of public slaughter. In response, many churches refused baptism to a gladiator unless he changed professions, and some congregations refused Holy Communion to Christians who attended the games.
The gladiator shows eventually ended because enough Christians, and people influenced by them, saw the games as the cruel, vulgar, inhumane entertainment that they were. Who now remembers the names of the vile people who slaughtered each other in the arenas—and the vile people who applauded?
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