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By Ф.Г. Солнцев [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Ф.Г. Солнцев [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Have you ever noticed how many proverbs talk about strife? A simple word search turned up this sheaf of wisdom – all from the Proverbs, all in the ESV

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. - 15:18

A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. - 16:28
Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife. - 17:1

The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out. - 17:14

Whoever loves transgression loves strife; he who makes his door high seeks destruction. - 17:19

It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling. - 20:3

Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease. - 22:10

Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears. - 26:17

For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. - 26:20

As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. - 26:21

A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched. - 28:25

A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression. - 29:22

For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife. - 30:33

There is however some godly striving we need to do:

You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; - Hebrews 12:4 NASB

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. - Jude 1:3 NASB

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. - Ephesians 6:12 NASB

So – quit fighting and get ready for the battle.

Ben NelsonBlessings to all

Ben

Thanks to Pastor J. for the Church Photo - Check out his blog - Lillie-Put: http://josephelonlillie.com/

When I started this pondering about the Sabbath, I really thought – two or three posts – I had no idea of going 2 weeks. Monday I start Christmas I promise, and later this morning you can be looking for a quickie birth announcement, as my first grand-baby is coming this morning.

There is one last passage that I want to toss briefly into the mix. It's in Hebrews. Actually half of the third chapter and all of the fourth deal with Sabbath and entering into the rest prepared for us. We could have a lengthy Bible study on this passage, and it would be really worthwhile going verse by verse, but I do not have time here and now to dig in. Perhaps in the new year. For now – a couple key concepts.

The rest God offers is entered by faith.

For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. - Hebrews 4:2

This faith was demonstrated in obedience, or perhaps I should say lack of faith was demonstrated by disobedience.

Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, - Hebrews 4:6

There is yet a place of rest available for our entry.

So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. - Hebrews 4:9

We must find this tension of living in the rest God has provided and striving for a rest yet to be entered.

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. - Hebrews 4:11

In this letter to the Hebrew Christians, the writer exhorts them toward faith, diligence and obedience.

Lest you be compelled into some legalistic observance of old law, I want you to understand that these three are one.

We are not called to believe facts and creeds, and enter by the sweat of our brow in religious labor, and the keeping of hundreds of ceremonial laws.

The “work” you (we) are called to, is faith, and what faith looks like is abiding. Living in Christ, living, seated in heavenly places in and with Christ. Hearing His voice and responding to it daily. This is the call.

Loving Him and His people, these are the commands He has given, and this is what faith looks like.

Love is the path to rest. [Tweet This]

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by today.

Have a blessed day

And for now you can call me

Grampa Ben (watch for the announcement later today [big smile])