Thursday, February 02, 2012

A deep look

Last week, after sharing at my small group Bible study, I was talking to a friend about how we go so deep when we are preparing to teach, but stay superficial in our personal devotion times. Based on that, I decided to take time to look deep at a verse of the Scripture. 

The verse chosen this week is I Corinthians 16.13 and teach us a lot how to behave in a way that honors God. 
I Corinthians 16.13 - A deep look
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
The verse can be divided in 2 parts, according to the verbs.
A. Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; (Gregoreite, stekete en te pistei,)
Verb ending: eite = Present Imperative Active, 2nd person
Active Voice: the subject performs, produces or experiences the activity. The action is being accomplished by the subject.
Gregoreite: means “be on the alert, keep watch”. Occurs 23 times in the New Testament, with the literal meaning of stay awake, as in Mark 13, when Jesus ask the disciples to stay awake while he prays in the Getsemani; or figurative as be vigilant, as in Mt. 24, when Jesus tells us to be alert, cause nobody knows the he will be back, or as in Acts 20.31, when Paul is teaching the elders of the church in Ephesus to be alert about false prophets. About our own lives, it occurs with the meaning as “keep a watch around yourself”, as in the present verse, in Colossians 4.2 (“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful”). 
Stekete: means “stand firm, stand fast, to persevere”. Occurs 11 times in the New Testament, literally meaning when someone stands somewhere waiting for something, as in Mark 3.31; or figuratively to stand firm in the Lord or in the Faith in Galatians 5.1; Philippians 1.27, 4.1; I Thessalonians 3.8 and II Thessalonians 2.15, as well as in the present verse.
En te pistei: in the dative voice, indicates the means by which “stekete” is done or accomplished.
My translation: HEY, you, DO IT! Open your eyes, be alert about what we talked and PERSEVERE, stay firm in the faith you have. Just one more thing: DO IT NOW!!
B. Be men of courage; be strong. (andrizesthe, krataiousthe.)
Verb ending: sthe - Present Imperative Middle, 2nd person
Middle Voice: The subject initiates and participates in the action. He performs the action upon himself or for his own benefit.
Andrizesthe: means ‘act like men, be brave’. The only occurrence in the Bible, comes from the word ‘andrizo’ (in the present tense: ego andrizomai - I behave like a man, I am brave). The word brings the idea of be a full grow, mature man; to be courageous by taking initiatives God reveals through faith (pistei, word to which andrizo is strictly connected).
Krataiousthe: means ‘be strong, empower yourself (or let yourself be empowered)’. The word is used 4 times. Luke uses this word twice in the known verses about how John Baptist grew - Luke 1.80 (“And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel”); and also about Jesus - Luke 2.40 (“And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him”). Paul uses this verb twice two, once here and the other occurrence is in Ephesians 3.16, when Paul prays “that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being”. 
My translation: HEY, you, LIVE IT!! Experience acting like a men, make it your lifestyle, be brave, do what is right for God. Also, be empowered by the Spirit. Don’t listen only, but LIVE IT, EXPERIENCE. Ah, and do it NOW!
Final Considerations:
Paul imperatively uses this 4 verbs to express what he expects from the Corinthians, what God expects from them. The imperative voice is used in Greek to make a call to a long term commitment, for a attitude or action to be one’s continual way of life, lifestyle. 
So Paul's calling for the Corinthians is for a lifestyle of vigilance, perseverance in faith, maturity and empowerment by the Spirit.
In the hope of presenting myself blameless in front of my King,
Your sister

Unashamed Disciple Commitment

As I navigated through one of my recent favorite websites, I found this preciosity that now is part of my personal declarations. It was so strong that I wrote this in big letters and hung it on my room. Read this and think: Am I part of the fellowship of the Unashamed? Am I ready to declare this? If so, commit yourself to the Lord as his/her Unashamed Disciple!

This commitment was written for a young man in Rwanda, in 1980, who was forced by his tribe to either renounce Christ or face certain death. He refused to renounce Christ, and he was killed on the spot. The night before he had written the following commitment which was found in his room.

"I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed, the die has been cast, I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made- I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed vision, worldly talking, cheap giving & dwarfed goals.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ.
I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till everyone knows, work till He stops me & when He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear".
From "The Way of the Master" Website

An Unashamed Fellow,
Your Sister

Unashamed Disciple

The Idea

Unashamed Disciples is an idea in two parts. 

Unashamed means shame less, to not be afraid of doing something, but also blameless, which means with no guilt, no fault.
This is how God expects his children, male and female, to live for Him, testifying of Him with confidence and boldness, but also living a life of integrity and pureness.

Down here I post the Bible verses and songs that go with it, that help me remember to be unashamed. Memorizing the Bible is very powerful fountain of strength, and I'm trying to memorize those.

Romans 1.16
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile".

I'm not ashamed - Hillsong United (click here to listen to the video on Youtube)

The chorus says:

I'm not ashamed of the gospel, Lord
Your power, Your love that saved my soul
Now I'm alive in You
I live in the risen Son

I John 2.28

"And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming".

Unashamed - Starfield (click here to listen to the video on Youtube)

The chorus says:

And I know I'm weak
I know I'm unworthy
To call upon Your name
But because of grace
Because of Your mercy
I stand here unashamed

I hope this collection of songs, articles, pictures and Bible verses can be a resource to help you to live your life as an Unashamed Disciple of Jesus!

God be with you!

Your Sister