Command #59 - Have Salt in Yourselves

September 30, 2015

New Testament scholar William Barclay says plainly about Mark 9:48-50, "These three verses are amongst the most difficult in the New Testament to interpret." 

From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands and other books by Michael Phillips.
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Command #58 - Receive the Kingdom of God Like a Child

September 28, 2015

At first I wrote Bring children to me in order to more directly represent Jesus' words. Then I realized that Jesus was addressing a larger principle: The childlikeness required to receive the principles of God's kingdom. There are several huge implications involved. 

From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands and other books by Michael Phillips.
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Command #57 - Learn Of Me

September 25, 2015

We continually find that the familiarity of certain of Jesus' words often obscures their astonishing meaning. Here, for example, many images of what it means to take upon oneself the Lord's "yoke" spring to mind, along with his oft-quoted words of comfort, You shall find rest for your souls. 

From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands and other books by Michael Phillips.
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Command #56 - Do Not Justify or Worry How To Defend Yourself

September 23, 2015

Self-defense is one of the most automatic of human responses. When challenged, threatened, contradicted, or accused, we blurt out a defense before the voice of criticism has even died away. Often we do not wait so long as that to defend ourselves, but interrupt to counter the word against us before it is even finished. 

From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands and other books by Michael Phillips.
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Command #55 - Be Born Again

September 21, 2015

With so much emphasis in Christendom through the centuries on salvation, it is remarkable that Jesus did not spell out in more detail exactly what salvation is. In his conversation with Nicodemus, in which he said that one must be "born again" to see the kingdom of God, in the single most well-known verse of the Bible, he connects being born again with "belief"; For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) 

From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands and other books by Michael Phillips.
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Command #54 - Seek No Spiritual Signs

September 16, 2015

One of the curious anomalies to arise out of the Evangelical and Pentecostal renewal of the late 20th century has been an inordinate obsession with spiritual "signs and wonders" as validating the work of the Holy Spirit. Entire churches, ministries, evangelistic movements, and schools have devoted themselves to the miraculous, and the encouragement of its manifestations to the exclusion of many other aspects of a rounded Christian life of obedience. 

From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands and other books by Michael Phillips.
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Command #53 - If Someone Takes From You, Do Not Demand Back What You Have Given

September 14, 2015

There are a variety of Commands that all point in the same direction: Give and expect nothing in return. Some emphasize giving more than has been requested: Go two miles instead of one, when asked for your coat give your cloak as well. The Command before us from Luke 6 contains three messages. 

From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands and other books by Michael Phillips.
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Command #52 - Let Your Light Shine Before Men

September 10, 2015

We continue to encounter the strange dichotomy in the Lord's words between public and private righteousness. How do we balance, Beware of practicing your piety before men, with, Let your light so shine before men? The two commands appear less than a chapter apart in the Sermon on the Mount, yet seem to instruct us in completely opposite directions. 

From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands and other books by Michael Phillips.
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Command #51 - Guard Against Hypocrisy

September 8, 2015

Note that Jesus does not directly command Don't be a hypocrite. Is the reason perhaps because, in truth, to a degree we cannot help being hypocrites. We are all sinners, and thus hypocrites, together. It is part of the human condition. 

From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands and other books by Michael Phillips.
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Command #50 - Honor Your Father and Mother

September 3, 2015

None of the Ten Commandments has been so diminished of its power by our modern culture more than honor to one's parents. Independence is the god of our age. The cancer that has infected our time is not merely anti-family, as serious as that threat is. It goes far deeper. 

From The Commands by Michael Phillips. Read by Michael Kimball. More information on this and similar writings may be found at Father of the Inklings. Visit Amazon to purchase The Commands and other books by Michael Phillips.
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