1. Divorce and Remarriage--the Heart or Letter of the Law? At last, after a forty year quandary about this subject, I have finally come to what I feel is a truly biblical conclusion that enables me to truly understand the issue at its roots. Many have thrown out the law entirely in order to explain grace. But the purpose for the law is to reveal our hearts and drive us to intimacy with God. Then we’ll have the resources (love) we need to make our marriage work, even if it means laying down our lives for our mate. This takes wisdom, not dead works, or some mates could in fact end up dead or insane. Literally!
Many godly saints in ministry have been divorced and remarried and God’s grace seems to rest heavily on them. Who am I to judge, when the Bible is a book of redemption– redeeming our mistakes? On the other hand, divorce and remarriage have gotten so easy, I’m afraid we’ve misused grace for convenience. This article was approved by three jail chaplains and all the friends I asked to read it, including ministers, some of whom are divorced and remarried.
2. How to Escape the Guilt Trap and Walk in the Spirit This is the first article I wrote for prison and jail inmates in an attempt to explain the freedom and grace God brought me to in 1976 after twenty years of suicidal depression. It deals with Romans three through eight. I quite giving it out because I feared people eagerly jump at any basis to enjoy grace without the responsibility that goes with it. I replaced it with a shorter, simpler one (above), Get Up: How to Use the Romans Seven Reset Button, with strong warnings against using grace as an excuse to sin.
If you don't struggle in your spiritual walk, if you enjoy it and never wrestle with feelings of inadequacy, failure, and guilt, if you have no problem feeling intimate with God and that He always loves you just as you are, then shout for joy! You certainly don't need this article. Keep walking in that rare walk, which few of us enjoy consistently.
3. How to Walk in the Spirit for Hardheads: the Mystery of the Hoof and Cud This is a sequel to the How to Escape the Guilt Trap and Walk in the Spirit, clarifying the mystery of how to walk by faith when you keep stumbling and blowing it. Based on what makes an animal "clean" (Lev. 11:3), it somewhat develops that strange covenant-cutting ritual in Genesis 15 and relates it to Hebrews 4:12-13. But the article hardly does justice to what I'm convinced is the most difficult and terrifying aspect of coming to maturity--becoming transparent and vulnerable. If you take time to study it, I'd appreciate any helpful suggestions, because I plan to re-write it, maybe into a book. Thanks.
4. The Leaven of Pentecost: Don't Let It Sour Your Spirit This is for those who are turned off by the weirdness in some Pentecostal churches. I hope it gives understanding to those who struggle with it as I did for so many years and still do. Until I see things with my spiritual eyes. Then I either have grace to forgive and “bear with one another in love,” or enter in and enjoy.
5. Joab and the Horns of Power Joab was the head of David’s army, the one who conquered Jerusalem for David, won all his wars, and made him the most powerful king in the Middle East, next to Egypt. He advised David against unwise decisions and actions that would have and did cost David serious consequences. Joab did what a lot of people do when government leaders get too lax and let people get away with murder. Joab should have been listed in the catalog of David’s greatest military officers (2 Sam 23:8-39). But he was disqualified completely at the end. For “the end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit” (Ecc 7:8). This is a complement to the Jonathan article (They Wept Together, but David More So), though Joab’s problem was much worse.
This article is actually a chapter in an unpublished book on the Tabernacle I wrote in the mid 1980s; the “horns of power” are the horns of the brass alter in the outer court of the Tabernacle. The book is all dialogue, like this chapter/article, to make a boring subject interesting.
7. My Genesis 15 horror of darkness This is the lowest pit of my entire life: November 1978, the result of my disobedience after God had revealed Himself so clearly to me. It had been the ending of my You Can Make It Without Hustling article, but it made the article too long and the print too small for one legal-size sheet of paper. Besides, I felt it might be a little to deep for the style of the hustling content.
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