The Crooked Parts Thereof…In A Perfect Agreeableness Thereto.

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A frequent reminder of God’s gracious and good sovereignty in every detail of our lives, even the afflictions, troubles, hardships and sufferings are due {at least in my life}, and found in these words from Thomas Boston {he died in 1732 and this was published post-humously by his friends in 1737}:

“God has, by an eternal decree, immoveable as mountains of brass {Zechariah 6:1}, appointed the whole of everyone’s lot, the crooked parts thereof, as well as the straight. By the same eternal decree, whereby the high and low parts of the earth, the mountains and the valleys, were appointed, are the heights and the depths, the prosperity and the adversity, in the lot of the inhabitants thereof determined, and they are brought about, in time, in a perfect agreeableness thereto.”
From ‘Crook in the Lot: A Puritan’s Understanding of that Thorn In Your Side”

We are reminded that just as all of the mountains, valleys, heights and depths were decreed by God, even so the good times and bad times in our lives as well. So often I am prone to point out, with praise, God’s working in my life when things are “good”, but not so when things are “bad.” I need to be reminded that He has determined all, even when the “bad” happens, and I must learn 2 other things:

1} Things really aren’t that “bad” as I think. I usually have food, clothes, shelter, one car running, healthy kids, 400+ Bibles, a decent government, etc compared to many others in the world who probably really have it “bad.”

2} I need to learn that even what I consider “bad” is really “good” because God has determined and allowed it to take place. Hence, this is the rub of the Christian life.

May you find yourself praising and thanking Him for the “good” and the “bad” in the coming weeks! And may you look at “the crooked parts thereof” in your life and may you come to “a perfect agreeableness thereto.”

P.S. Nice hairdo Thomas! And to think the church culture today would have issues with his dark locks!?

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4 comments

  1. Ben-

    glad to see things are moving. MySpace can quickly create a fan base. I know you are WAY more experienced on marketing music than me, but I can tell you if you just get the people that are listed as “friends” to tell 3-5 other people, you will have enough possible capital to roll out an album and take the 80% the record labels usually keep for your band.

    you guys could quickly see an influx of capital that can be poured into a few state tour. Good luck and if you need a manager, give me a shout! Maybe you can come do the Germany route also!

    Dave

  2. Hey Benji,

    Thanks for the encouraging words. My devotions have been in 1 Timothy 6 lately, “godliness is a means of great gain when accompanied with contemptment”

    What does that really mean though, and what is great gain in light of godliness? Your post kept me thinking about this. Thx

    John

  3. John,

    Great question. Let’s contextualize so that we can get a better understanding of what Paul is saying and how that applies to us. First, he is writing to Timothy, his disciple, and informing him of how he ought to lead the church as an elder. Secondly, and prior to this passage, Paul mentions in chapter 3 and at the end of chapter 5, qualifications and instructions for elders. So, I would say that Paul in chapter 6, as he deals with false teachers {who are obviously using their teaching/eldership as a way to make some cold cash and get rich quick} is reminding Timothy to watch out for the trap of using his eldership/leadership as an opportunity to make money.

    Clearly, this is not the way an elder/pastor/leader should lead the church. And this is evidenced further in chapter 6 as Paul warns Timothy to flee these things {v.11} and to keep these commandments without stain and reproach {v.14}.

    So, in a nutshell, Paul is saying this {and we’ll find our application here}:

    Don’t lead the church or use it as a means to making money. That’s how the world functions. Watch out for false teachers who use Jesus as a way to making cash. Flee these things and be content. Don’t crave new cars, clothes, houses, gadgets, computers, etc. Be happy with the basics. Because if you don’t, you’ll pollute the message of the Gospel and the Name/reputation/remown/fame/glory of God. This is especially pertinent to those who are in paid positions as ministers of the Gospel. The world is watching how we live, especially if we live “high on the hog” and drive Mercedes, wear Rolexes, etc, etc…we must live “reasonably”…

    P.S. The “great gain” is being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus. It’s not digging our own cisterns to drink out of {i.e. toys, cars, popularity, sex, money, houses, security,etc} but coming to the fountain of living waters and drinking deeply and being satisfied {see Jeremiah 2:13}.

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