Keeping up with social media, emails, meetings, news, research in my industry, etc., can seem daunting. I get told by close friends who say that as soon as they become captivated by my social media posts, I pull back from posting. Mind you; I don’t pull back because I am making every effort to be inconstant. I do so because there are more pressing things, I must give my attention to daily. As it is, I don’t have a secretary or scheduler currently. And, in a way, I’m thankful for not having this luxury because I know that without one, I am still capable of producing as fine work as it is that God wills me to do each day while constantly guarding ideas and thoughts, I have worked so hard to conceive.
A phone call I had last week with a United States (US) office of patents and trademarks attorney, brought my guarding of ideas to the forefront. As an attorney who approves trademarks and patents, she had six pertinent questions for me in her necessary articulate demeanor. Her original email shared that she believed my responses could move along a current request I have on the table. The third question’s response to her began like this “There are some serial plagiarizers in my circle.” And I went on with a reasonable and appropriate answer. The attorney accepted all six responses, and within 30 minutes after the call, I received an email with full disclosure that the trademark is now in the publishing phase. I was thankful I took on this task all by myself. I did it without copying ideas from anyone. Without stealing concepts from friends. But did so with the help of God, as I understand Him and consistently know that as His Son taught, to love one another, I must do the same.
Loving one another means I must honor and respect others. It means I must show proper regard for the work produced by the people I know. Even simple writings of reflection, take research if I want them to be impactful, just as the properly prepared creations of anyone. And I know that through quietude and in time, God provides new ideas when His people are ready to receive, when I’m ready to receive.
On this topic and concerning the most remarkable job she now has, I recently shared with my daughter that God knew what He placed inside her, and He, more than anyone, is pleased that she finally believes in herself and her abilities the same way, He always has.
In an essay on one attribute of God—Omnipotence, R. Carlton Wynne wrote this:
When exercising His omnipotence, God Himself defines what is possible, and He wills everything He does in accord with His holy nature.
And, in an essay on another attribute of God—Omniscience, D. Blair Smith wrote this:
God’s knowledge is not a matter of sheer volume, however, as if His knowledge were greater and perfect because He knows more stuff that we do. God knows things as God, who stands outside time, who needs nothing and who depends on no one.
Dispelling pantheistic beliefs held by some, On God’s Omnipresence, Dr. Gerald Bray wrote this:
The Bible tells us that when we feel that God is far from us, the problem is with us and not with Him.
In addition, Dr. Bray wrote:
In the final analysis, God is quite different from—and infinitely superior to—anything we can imagine.
I find such joy in quoting those who continue to study and know more about God. I have no desire to paraphrase what these brilliant minds discuss and write about in integrity. I know that when I take the time to read and learn from stellar biblical scholars and authors, I can be sure that thoughts are well researched, and if a quote is used, the name of the author will most likely follow. This is where my interests rest, as I find it quite challenging to wander off into places where major red flags are invisibly consuming beliefs systems and the characteristics of their residents. Yet, I know God continues to observe and partake in the hearts and spaces where pink (slightly off course) and often specific red flags (major issues), fly.
As I come to the end of this reflection, I think now of John the Baptist. Scripture shows us that John the Baptist’s approach was heavily influenced by God’s chosen prophet Isaiah. We see Isaish 40:1-5, mentioned by Matthew. In the last book of the OT, we find similar notes in Malachi, 4:1-3. After Malachi, the Intertestamental Period began. For 400 years, with faith and hope, God’s people waited. Although they experienced an immersion of different cultures (specifically Greek), they waited.
Then an angel appeared to Zechariah (Luke 1:13-17, go see!). Here in Luke, we learn of John the Baptist’s forthcoming birth. In his grown-up years, John spoke of repentance and the coming of a savior (Matthew 3:11). In Matthew 3:4, Matthew took the time to discuss the type of attire John wore. Some believe this was necessary to tie him to God’s chosen prophets of the Old Testament (OT). Bearing in mind what Elijah wore in 2 Kings 1:8, there are some similarities here. Similarities with Elijah, even in John’s message ([2 Kings 1:4, Elijah; Matthew 3:2-3; John the Baptist]). Noted by some theologians, John the Baptist is considered the last prophet of the OT, even though he is presented in the New Testament (NT).
People came from their maybe comfortable homes to out in the wilderness to hear John and be baptized by him (Matthew 3:5). To be baptized in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:6). The same river the ancestors of the people once crossed to enter the promised land (Joshua 1:1-18; 2:1-24). The Pharisees and Sadducees also came out to the wilderness to see John the Baptist. They came out to be nosy and to criticize. They were told by John about the axe laid to root of trees (Matthew 3:7-10). Then Jesus appeared at the age of 30 to be baptized by John (Matthew 3:13). Just as the priest of the OT who at the age of 30 were consecrated, Jesus too, came to be ordained before He began His ministry!
I want so much to discuss the common themes of doubt, misunderstanding, understanding, love, guard, and deep care as they intertwine with the relationship of John the Baptist and Jesus. But for now, this will have to wait until the subsequent reflection. As I’ve said before, the entire Bible leads to Jesus, in fact even Jesus tells us this (John 5:39). When we know the meaning of the entire Bible, lives are then filled with God’s only truth.
Here’s a slight hint of God’s truth for you. After Potiphar wife’s tale, Joseph was locked up with two prisoners. These prisoners were Pharoah’s officers. One a cupbearer (hint, wine), second; a chief baker (hint, bread). As we read about Joseph’s interaction with these men, we also learn that Joseph spoke to them about the timeframe of three days!
Okay, I must stop for real now. Go to Genesis 37-50. Read about Joseph’s story again. His story is a shadow of Jesus, for Joseph, too, was a type of savior! Joseph’s story is about God’s mercy and grace. His story is about nothing else! As for me, pertaining to God’s words, I strive to know, nothing else!
Growing together, inside and out!
Source of Quotes:
Tabletalk Magazine (May 2022). Misunderstood attributes of God. Ligonier Ministries
L Susan Davidson-Davis says
I like so much how you talk about the references in the Bible as one book.
Char, that makes total sense to me.
God is everything.
How grace and mercy relate to sweet love puzzles me a bit. Are they facets of God’s unconditional love?
M.Charlotte Oliver says
Thanks so much for your comment here. One of things I enjoy most is reading about the types and shadows of Jesus in the Old Testament.
To your question, I believe that in a sense people can get confused concerning the verse 1John 4:16, which begins by saying “God is love”. From my observation, this verse is sometimes interpreted as “love is God.” This interpretation is clearly not correct, because love is only one attribute of God. God is Light, He is Merciful, He is Just, He is Holy, and He holds many other attributes too.
I’ll go a little deeper in the second part of this blog. I hope to have this completed by the end of May 2022.
In grace and in gratitude,