Posts Tagged ‘First Epistle to Timothy’



August 5, 2014

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6

 Mediation is a process intended to intervene in a dispute in order to resolve it. The success of mediation depends upon the disputing parties’ willingness to resolve the conflict. A mediator will never be successful if either or both disputants are unwilling to resolve that which separates them. 

Mediation%20BacksI was reminded of this prerequisite during a mediation I recently participated in.  I have blogged several times about a dispute that has entangled my company for several years.

 But I Don’t Wanna to be Slapped
Dealing with Troubles
A Prayerful Run
Struggle to Forgive – Again

 As you can see, this lawsuit has been looming in the back of my mind for years. While confident that a court will vindicate our reputation, the cost and uncertainty of litigation motivated us to count the days to mediation.  I was looking forward to the appointed day of mediation.  I was optimistic that our antagonist was finally ready to resolve this seemingly endless dispute.

It has been over five years since this chasm destroyed the relationship of a long-term client. We had been their trusted advisor for more than ten years and had successfully completed hundreds of projects. Yet, that history was tossed away like rubbish when a problem arose on a significant project.

Millions of dollars (literally millions) have subsequently been spent in adherence to recommendations of new advisors. Advisors, who have reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars destroying a relationship based upon lies and mis-information in my opinion.

They have thrown treasure after a course of action without ever seeking a response to their accusations. They have readily believed the words of  “professionals” with whom they have no history, without even inquiring the opinion of the professionals with whom they have known for years to faithfully pursue their best interest.

They have swallowed the lie and have become liars. They only know one-side of the story yet they willingly followed the lie because it promises to provide the delight of their eyes that their accounts cannot afford. They believe it to such an extent that they cannot conceive of a necessity to mediate. Therefore, they rejected the opportunity to resolve our dispute and will continue their legal intrigues, sacrificing their integrity in pursuit of misguided opportunity.

The failure of this mediation means that this all too familiar burden will probably be carried into the coming year and beyond. This blog post has taken me several iterations to write as I have once again been confronted with the anger and forgiveness that this conflict distills to the surface of my mind. It is difficult to sit across the table from individuals who have plotted the destruction of your livelihood.

Yet, I should not be surprised by the conflict I find myself entangled in. I should be thankful that it does not happen more often because the basis of the dispute has been the scourge of man since the beginning. I am reminded of the first ancient lie that was blindly followed.

 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:4)

 Adam and Eve believed what the serpent said; willingly accepting this new advisor because his words promised the delight of their eyes. They blindly followed words that they wanted to be true and never went back to God to confirm the words of the serpent or to get the other side of the story.

Since Adam and Eve, all of mankind has followed in the legacy of that first lie. The result of blindly following lies has resulted in conflict between God and every individual who has walked the surface of this earth. Every person has broken the righteous requirement of God’s law.

We all have a choice – take our chances in front of the judgment seat of God or meditate.

The good news is that God has provided us a mediator. He has sent his own Son, Jesus Christ, to condemn the sin in our flesh and to resolve our dispute with Him.

Art4TheGlryOfGod / Foter / CC BY-ND

However, the success of mediation depends upon the disputing parties’ willingness to resolve the conflict. God is willing. He has done His part. He is willing to accept the ransom of Jesus Christ, the propitiation for our sins. However, this divine mediation will never be successful if a person is unwilling to resolve that which separates him from God.

Divine meditation is God’s greatest gift to mankind.

Don’t reject His mediator, Jesus Christ. Don’t blindly believe whatever lie that promises to grant you the delight of your eyes. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as the ransom for your sins, then you are still in conflict with the God.

Come to the mediation table God has prepared. Come with a willing heart and receive forgiveness of your sins and be reconciled with God.

The opportunity to mediate will not last forever – today may be your appointed day for mediation.

PRAYER: Father, thank you for the gift of mediation.  Thank you for giving your Son as a mediator.  Forgive me for so often believing the lies of the world and following after whatever is delightful to  my eyes.  Thank you for forgiving me.  Help me to forgive others.  Thank you for reminding me that our greatest need is to resolve the dispute with you caused by our sin.  Open the eyes fo those who do not know you.  Call them to your mediation table and show them their need to mediate.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen





“1,000 CRANES & A DINOSAUR” – August 22

August 22, 2013

““…Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”  1 Timothy 4:7b-8

Our little county fair has come and gone.  It is our signal that the end of summer lurks around the corner.  Our fair has retained its small country feel, being comprised of barns filled with 4-H and FFA animals, exhibits from names that I recognize of art, crafts, food, produce, businesses, a rodeo with local cowboys, and of course lots of fair food.

This quaint nature has a tenuous feeling as if it is in danger of being swept into the annals of history.  A year ago, I had walked through the Arts and Craft building to peruse the exhibits and was disappointed in the meager showing.  “More people should be entering exhibits”, was my thought.  My realization was that I had never entered anything in the fair.

Therefore, I decided that I would make something to enter.  This was daunting for someone who has never considered himself artistic or crafty.  As a result, I did not tell anyone what I had in mind.  I felt that it was likely that I would fail so I did not want any expectations.  My goal was simply to make something interesting that would occupy some space, without being an embarrassment.

DSC_0204My entry in the fair was “1,000 Cranes and a Dinosaur”.  I folded origami cranes during meetings and telephone calls for months.  My daughter and I suspended them with fishing line from a light fixture grate for three evenings prior to the fair.  For added enjoyment, I hid one origami dinosaur, same color and size as the cranes, amidst the flock.

My hope was for a blue ribbon.  Imagine my surprise, when I actually won “Best in Show”?

The response to my little foray into the arts and craft world has been overwhelmingly positive.  However, there have been some interesting responses.  A few people questioned why I  would spend so much time folding cranes as if I had wasted my efforts.  Others speculated that I must have been really been bored.  I was even told that it was weird.

DSC_0028Often, the reasons for why we do what we do will never get told.  I folded all the cranes from paper that had been thrown in my office’s recycle bin.  As I folded those cranes, I was reminded how Christ saves us from destruction and transforms us into a new creation.  I suspended the cranes to appear as if they were flying up, which reminded me of our progressive sanctification.  The dinosaur was a reminder to me of the Spirit of God, who is with us on our journey, sometimes hard to find, and some think is a myth or a creation from a bygone era.

Those are some of the thoughts that I had in my little creation that the majority of those who saw it will never know.  What is important is that I know the reasons why I did what I did.

1081742_10201037349409912_986638358_nWe are encouraged to train ourselves for godliness.  Godliness will be exhibited to others.  The response to our godliness will not be understood by everyone.  Often, you will never get the opportunity to explain why you do what you do or why you don’t do other things.  The reaction of some will be positive but there probably will be some that are negative without understanding your intentions.

The important aspect for all of us is that we understand why we are training ourselves in godliness.  We are training ourselves in godliness for the value of the promise it holds in this present life and also for the life to come.

Let’s be intentional about our spiritual training with the purpose of winning “Best in Show” from the only judge who matters, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Lord, you know how easily I am distracted from my training.  You know how I often forget why I am doing what I am doing.  You know how often I value other people’s opinion too much.  Forgive me for losing sight of my purpose and not being intentional in my life.  Lord, I need your help in my spiritual training.  I know the value that you give through godliness.  I desire all that you have promised.  I want my faith to be on display for your glory.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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