Archive for Month: January 2016

On Sex (Yeah, that should grab their attention)

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today’s reading is from Paul’s first letter to the Church of Corinth. In this seventh chapter, Paul speaks at length about celibacy, marriage, and why some people should do one and some the other.

Reading: I Corinthians 7

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

On its face, this would seem to contradict what God said in Genesis – that woman was made to “complete” man (literally: a helper suitable for man), and that we are to fill the earth and subdue it.

However, it is not necessary that every man should be married to a woman, nor every woman to a man, in order to fulfill these commandments. For some men (in particular), a higher calling supplants the physical urge to be with a woman. Paul appears to have been one of these men.

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

Paul has already laid out the case against fornication. Because we have physical urges (natural, and placed there by God) to lay with members of the opposite sex, it is much preferable for each man to marry one woman, and each woman marry one man.

In this marriage, the man must be good to his wife, and the wife good to her husband. After all, the Scriptures say that “the man cleaves unto his wife, and the two become one flesh.” As it is unnatural to purposely injure our own flesh, so too must we act toward our partners.

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

In this way, power is distributed between the husband and wife. She belongs to him, and he belongs to her. This is a balance, and beneficial for them and their offspring.

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

Generally speaking, the reason you got married in the first place was to “become one flesh.” Paul instructs married couples to have regular intercourse, so that (for example) a blue-balled man has no reason to go after some hot young harlot.

But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

Paul is drawn to the cause of ministry to such an extent that he is largely without the desire for a wife. This gives him great fulfillment, such that he would wish it on everyone he knows.

But, not everyone is given to such a focused cause. In fact, relatively few are.

I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I.

But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

Here is the heart of the teaching. One does not have to marry if one is not drawn to do so; this leaves them time and resources to pursue other quests. But, if one is drawn in by the desires of the flesh, it is better to marry than fornicate.

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

Divorce defeats the purpose of marriage. Two become one flesh, then go on to become one flesh with others. This is, fundamentally, no different from fornication.

However, in the event that the two do become divorced, they defeat the problems associated with fornication by eschewing sexual relationships with any but their original spouse.

It is interesting to note that, even in this time, divorce was apparantly primarily initiated by the woman. We see that the majority of all divorces in the Western world are caused when a “wife departs from her husband” – is this so common and ancient?

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

This teaching is of Paul, and not necessarily of the Lord. However, because of the Spirit that dwells in Paul, it is good to adopt such teachings.

There are thousands of stories of a believing woman bearing witness to the salvation of her husband. The author of the famous hymn, “Amazing Grace”, is one such instance. So, too, have many believing men born witness to the salvation of their wives. God is good, and He has caused many such things to occur.

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.

Jesus spoke about being unequally yoked with the nonbeliever. It is a great strain on the Christian mind to know that one’s partner is, at least at present, on a path toward hellfire. We all pray for the salvation of those nonbelievers for whom we care so dearly, but it may not come to pass.

For the Lord alone is sovereign. He draws some sinners to repentance, and He allows some others to continue in their sin. We can do nothing to force salvation on anyone.

This is why Paul teaches the Christians to allow the non-believers to walk away. If God draws them, they will return in His time.

18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.

19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

This is a copy of the teaching handed down by the Apostles in the book of Acts. The Jewish Christians were tormenting the Gentile Christians, claiming that they had to become circumcised in order to truly belong to the Kingdom of God. The Apostles rebuked this teaching, and Paul echoes that rebuke here.

It matters little to the Lord whether we are circumcised or not. The same can be said for marriage, so long as we do not engage in sin.

21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.

22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.

23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

There is no difference in the Lord between slave and free. A Christian man who believes, despite his bondage in this world, is as much a Christian as the freeman.

However, because we have been “bought” by Christ’s death, we are to be His servants. This is a correct response to such generosity.

24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.

27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

Virginity is good. Lack of virginity is not bad.

Of course, if one engages in fornication in order to lose one’s virginity, that carries the problems of fornication. And if the non-virgin does not engage in sex, that is not a problem, either.

The Bible is largely silent on this issue (except in the case of Mary, because it is a miracle for a virgin to birth a son).

28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

Marriage comes with problems. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a fool or a liar.

29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;

30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;

31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

Life on this earth is very brief, especially for the Christian in a land that despises Christ. These matters are concerns of the present life, which lasts only a few years, while the Christian is more deeply concerned with the Life to Come. Therefore, Paul has little interest in continuing this discussion much further.

32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:

33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

Anyone who has been around a man before and after marriage can attest to the truth of this statement. A wife restricts the amount of time and resources one can expend in service of the Lord, by virtue of her own needs – this is a natural consequence of such contracts.

34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

Some use this teaching to argue against marriage altogether. However, not everyone is given to the cause of the Lord – if a woman wishes to bear children (and a great majority does), let her marry and bear children with her husband.

35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.

Here, Paul is speaking about marrying a woman who has passed the age of her greatest beauty and child-bearing potential. You don’t “take her from the Lord” if you marry her at this age – she’s unlikely to change much over the course of such a marriage.

Personally, I don’t see why a man should do such a thing in the modern age, but that’s me. If a woman expends her youth and child-bearing years working, I see little reason to marry her, because the greatest values of marriage (children) are no longer possible. But I am young, and could yet be wrong.

37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.

Here Paul celebrates the will of the celibate-by-choice. There is no great value in involuntary celibacy, where a man desires to be with a woman but is unable to find even a partner for fornication, but the celibate-by-choice has great self-control and will, and is able to do great things with his time and resources.

38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.

39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.

This same teaching of celibacy for men is good for women, and for much the same reasons. If a woman is content in abstaining from sex and marriage, it is good to remain in such a state.

Let us Pray

Blessed be the Lord our God, who has done marvelous things. Let us praise him in our words and our works, so that the world might see our good deeds and praise our Father in Heaven.

Father, these teachings are difficult for us. We are a people given to all manner of foolishness – we heed not wisdom, nor understand it when we see it. Give us understanding, Lord, so that we may show our love for you by doing as you direct.

We thank you that you have covered over our multitude of sins. Truly You are the Just and Merciful Lord, who has great compassion for us.

In the name of the Heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit who abides with us:

Amen

 

May the Lord bless you and keep you

May he make His face to shine upon you

And be gracious unto you

May the Lord look upon you with favor

And give you his peace.

Amen.

Judgment on the Vilest Fornicators

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today we’re going to look at the fifth chapter of Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. This was a church wracked with sin, and Paul has some very interesting advice for the church. This chapter is one of the sources from which we get the concept of “excommunication”.

Reading: I Corinthians 5

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

Even at this time, when Corinth was known for its obsession with sex and adultery (“Corinthian” was an insult not unlike “whore” or “slut”), there were things generally considered taboo. These acts were not yet named, because they were considered so vile that names were unnecessary.

Unfortunately, we live in a time where such things are not only named, but celebrated. This is abhorrent.

2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

Look at that – the early church had its share of deviants and “entryists”, too. They managed to convince themselves that such acts as are considered vile even by the unsaved Gentiles are good, right, and praiseworthy. That is invariably the mark of a sinful people.

3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

This is a hard teaching.

By whose authority does Paul call for the Corinthians to excommunicate (that is, cut off from the church) this fornicator? He passes judgment within the church, on the authority of Jesus Christ, through the Spirit.

Why does he pass this judgment? Because the sinner is not merely unrepentant, but celebrates his sin. In so doing, he has spread his sin among his brethren, causing them to share in his celebration of depravity and ill vice.

What is this judgment? Paul calls for the believers to remove the celebrating sinner from their midst. This protects the church from absorbing his acceptance of sin, and through social pressure perhaps the sinner might come to repent. This is the reason for the “shaming” that our culture abhors.

6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

It takes very little yeast to cause an entire loaf of bread to rise. As it works its way into the bread, the entire bread becomes “contaminated”. If you’re trying to make flatbread and use even a little yeast, it will cease to be flatbread.

This same is true of organizations, as we are seeing more and more in the US. Not only is the church corrupted with teachers preaching the “prosperity doctrine”, contemporary teachings (not derived from scripture), and all forms of pagan mystical practices, but other organizations are being corrupted by “entryists”. GitHub is hemorrhaging money on social causes that have demonstrated no value. Wikipedia has allowed itself to become as partisan a political entity as the DNC.

Let this be a warning: do not suffer the wicked to thrive in your midst, for they will corrupt you and your children.

This is why the Catholic church in particular has such waning attendance: centuries of corruption have produced an entity that drives many toward “atheism”. It is also why so many leave the church in their youth.

9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Jim Rohn popularized a saying: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” As social creatures, we are driven to adapt and conform with those around us. However, we are called to “be not conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2). In order to do so, we must make preference to be with those who are of the Lord.

Generally, this saying is powerful for everyone – if you want to be like Joe, you should spend more time with Joe. If you want to be like Trump, spend time with Trump (or someone similar – not everyone can hang with Trump). So, too, if you wish to be like Christ, spend time with Christ.

12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

The Church must moderate its own, but it has no business moderating those without the church. This is a reasonable teaching – what business does California have telling Texas what it can and cannot do? Or what business does Saudi Arabia have telling Britain how its citizens should live?

Let God pass the final judgment on those who are not among the brethren. Instead, in this day of salvation, pray for them and seek their redemption.

Let us Pray

Lord, you are truly the One God. We thank you that you are with us, you who are sovereign over all things.

Help us to receive the hard teachings, Lord. We live in a world of sin and depravity, which has sought to spread its leaven through the Church. Give us the strength and wisdom to expel the wicked from our congregation, so that we may continue to serve You in a world of sin.

Bring all to repentance and salvation, in accordance with your will,

Amen.

 

May the Lord make every path straight before you, and preserve you in the Word. Amen.

How to Use Big-O Notation

As we design functions, we have to consider how they will work in the real world. There are two common considerations as we compare solutions:

Time complexity – The amount of time it will take for our solution to complete
Space complexity – The amount of memory that our solution will consume

Unfortunately, because we can’t afford to test every solution in the exact conditions under which it will operate (and, let’s face it, we have no idea), we have to find a way to determine complexity without actual data. This is where mathematics come to the rescue.

Big-O Notation

There are three possible ranges of complexity we could look at:

  • The smallest possible situation (little-o notation)
  • The largest possible situation (Omega notation)
  • The average situation (Big-O notation)

Big-O notation shows us how a function scales with bigger and smaller data sets. We use the algebraic “n” to hold this number, and then we look at the function to determine how a change in “n” changes the time or space requirements. Common answers look like this:

  • O(1) – The size of the data has no effect on the size or time
  • O(log(n)) – The difference between larger data sets is less than that between smaller data sets (looks like a logarithmic curve)
  • O(n) – changing the size increases cost linearly (consistent increase)
  • O(n^2) – larger data sets increase the cost much more than smaller data sets (looks like a square curve)
  • O(n^y) – Larger data sets REALLY increase the cost

That probably doesn’t make a lot of sense, so let’s work through a few examples.

Example 1: A for loop

Let’s look at a common-sense for loop. In these cases…

int i;
int n;

for(i=0; i<n; i++)
{

}

In this case, we can easily determine the big-O notation, because we know that the for loop will execute once for every value of n. That means that the actual time cost of the for loop is x*n, where x is the time it takes to go through the for loop. The x is constant and (theoretically) much smaller than n, so we ignore it.

Thus, the big-O notation is:

O(n)

Example 2: The bubble sort

Now we’ll look at a sort algorithm, which we know always have a complexity between O(n*log(n)) and O(n^2) because nice mathematicians have proved it for us. This algorithm takes a set of unsorted data and returns a set of sorted data:

int i,j;
int data[n];
int hold;

//Go through all the data in the set
for(i=0; i&lt;n; i++)
{
    //We're going to put the smallest value in the &quot;i-th&quot; position
    //compare against all the unsorted data
    for(j=i; j&lt;n; j++)
    {
        //If we find something smaller, move it to the &quot;smallest&quot; place
        if(data[j] &lt; data[i])
        {
            hold = data[i];
            data[i] = data[j];
            data[j] = hold;
        }
    }
    //Now the &quot;smallest&quot; position has the smallest value in the set
}

If we think about it, as the algorithm goes through the set, it has to go through most of the set at each stage. Mathematically, it looks like this:

n + (n-1) + (n-2) + (n-3) + … + (n – (n-1))

If we reorganize and simplify, it looks like this:

n^2 – (n)

n is much lower than n^2, so we can safely ignore it, leaving us with a Big-O notation of:

O(n^2)

The Formula

When you need to solve for Big-O notation, you go through these steps:

  1. Write out your function
  2. Step through and figure out how many loops depend on the size of the data (n)
  3. Find the mathematic formula that describes just these loops
  4. Simplify
  5. Consider only the largest factor for Big-O notation
  6. Write a paper to convince your professor that this was really hard
  7. Win

Cleaning up – Comment out old code

If you’ve spent any appreciable time in the programming world, you’ve probably reorganized your code any number of times. When I’m writing code, I usually slap things out as I think of them, resulting in code that (while easy enough to read) defies the principle of unity. You’ll see me write things like this:

int main()
{
    int i, j, k=0;

    char * message = &quot;Says something\n&quot;;

    ...

    if(bad_input(input))
    {    
        printf(&quot;%s&quot;, message);
    }
    char * pandamonium = NULL;
    fill(pandamonium);

    ...

    struct a_structure * thisone = (struct a_structure *) malloc(sizeof(struct a_structure);

    ...
}

You see my point. While there’s nothing functionally wrong with this code, we usually want to put all of our variables up top in one “data” section. This is something of a holdover from assembly languages (which have distinct sections for data and code), but it’s not a bad practice at all. Generally, we try to keep this standard.

Reorganizing these things, though, often introduces a number of errors. They can be a hair unpredictable – I recently dealt with a reorg that invariably threw SEG_FAULTs, even though the code appears functionally equivalent to the original.

There’s one way to ensure that you always have code that works, even as you reorganize it:

Comment the old code out instead of deleting it.

It’s a simple process:

  1. Copy your code out, so now you have two identical copies of the same blocks.
  2. Use either block comments or precompiler comments (I use #if 0 … #endif, but /*…*/ works just as well) to isolate one of those working pieces
  3. Rearrange the un-commented code, and test relatively often.
  4. If you can’t figure out why the reorg is broken, at least you don’t have to rewrite the function.

When you’re 100% happy with your reorg, you can delete the commented-out code, but until then the cost of duplicate code is too low to consider against the cost of rewrites.

The Apostles, Lowest Among the Believers?

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today’s reading comes from the fourth chapter of the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. In this chapter, Paul speaks of the role of the Apostles among the brethren; much of what he says can equally apply to any leader in the church.

Reading: I Corinthians 4

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

The Greek word for “stewardship” is “oikonomia”, from which we get the word “economy”. The word literally means “management of the house”, but it describes the management of any resources or materials for yourself and your kin.

We are stewards of the mysteries of God, meaning that he has entrusted these things to us for management. It is our job to know them, distribute them, and preserve them from the ravages of time and poor interpretation.

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Indeed, who would entrust their accounts to the likes of Bernie Madoff, knowing that he is a criminal who mismanaged the accounts of thousands. So, too, must we be faithful to our God who has entrusted these things to us.

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.

For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

Most non-Christians are aware of the verse from Matthew 7: “Judge not…”. However, they know neither the context for that command nor the meaning of judgement in the Church.

Do you care more about what your coworkers think of you or what your bosses think? If your bosses love you, you are safe from punishment and guaranteed better work, but if they hate you your employment is at risk. So it is with the judgement of man and that of God.

We pass no sentence on people, saying, “You will never be saved, and you will die in your sins and be consigned to hell.” Even the Apostle Paul was once a Jewish Zealot responsible for the persecution and execution of a number of Christians, but the Lord saw fit to redeem him. So it is that we must curse no man.

This does not mean that we are to hold our tongues on matters of Sin. The man who says, “The law says you must not …” does not condemn anyone, for he has no power to pass sentence. For example, if you were driving and someone said, “You’re going 15 over, and I see cops”, is he a judge passing sentence upon you? No – they have shown great love for you by correcting your behavior before it was too late.

And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

We tend to get a bit full of ourselves, and we tend to venerate other men with traits that we admire. However, it is foolish to think of the likes of Joel Osteen or Robert Beisert as anything greater than man. This same is true of all “idols” – the Kardashians, Ronald Reagan, Bernie Sanders, “the government”, etc.

For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.

Paul is pointing out that the Lord gives rich blessings to all who believe, and these gifts are not the result of our labors. It is within every Christian in whom the Spirit dwells to be a priest, under the Great High Priest (that is, Christ). We look to religious authorities with such awe, often unaware that that same Spirit is with us.

Therefore, let us not act as though the Apostles, Priests, or Saints are more than mere men. Praise instead the God who has given them those teachings which we are made to receive.

And beware any man who says, “Acknowledge me, for I am doubly blessed in the Spirit.” When Peter healed the lame man in the temple, he commanded him to praise the Lord alone. When Paul survived the serpent’s bite, he commanded the people of Malta to worship the God who saved him.

For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.

Those whom the Lord has chosen as apostles are set out before the whole world as beacons of Christ. They travelled alone or in very small groups, poor and hungry. They were set out before the authorities and challenged. They were stoned and thrown out of towns.

11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;

12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:

13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

Jesus warned his disciples that those who reviled Him would come to revile His children. They killed him, and they will kill us. They sought to punish and reprimand Him for speaking the Truth, and so they will do to us. They hated Him for acting in accordance with the Will of God, and not that of man. So, too, will they come for us.

Still, Jesus was good to those same people who hated Him. For we all were enemies of Christ, and now we sit at His table as Children of the Father.

14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.

15 For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

Fathers have a very special role. They are teachers, providers, instructors, sources of discipline and love, leaders, and defenders. Some of us are able to fill one of these roles, but few are able to be all these things to a congregation. For this reason, many congregations have a collection of leaders.

16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.

Timothy was Paul’s metaphorical firstborn. He sat at Paul’s feet for years, growing in wisdom and faith and the Holy Spirit. Though Paul may not be able to come to his children in hour of need or doubt, the presence of Timothy is not unlike that of his “father”.

18 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.

19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.

20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

Many in the church of Corinth were haughty, lording their status over others and passing a number of judgements against them. Paul knew this well, and so he sends to them this warning. If they did not correct their ways, then Paul would come to them in righteous anger, but if they repented he would come in love and restoration.

Let us Pray

Most merciful and Holy Father; Jesus Christ, the Son; and the Holy Spirit. We praise you, for the LORD our God is One God. Let us worship no others before You.

We thank you that you sent the Apostles among us, so that they could be both our brothers and our fathers. Thank you for the teachings of the Apostle Paul, who was sent among the Gentiles to explain the mysteries to us. And thank you that His words are passed down to us so clearly from the age of antiquity.

Grant us, as always, a greater knowledge of You and Your Word. Give us the gift of understanding, and grant us the ability to explain and teach, so that we may build up one another.

We ask these things in the name of the Lord who Saves, who is God With Us – our Lord, Jesus Christ…

Amen.

 

May the Lord bless you and keep you

May he make his face shine on you, and be gracious unto you

May he look upon you with favor

And give you his peace.

Go in peace, my brothers in Christ.

A Quick Request

I’m still not back from my holiday due to an important family concern, so I’ll not be ready to resume my regular posting schedule until after next week. I’m a bit disappointed in myself, because I do strive to put out content every week, but sometimes life happens.

I do have one request for you all: if you like what you’ve read under the tags “Linux + C”, “Computer Science 101”, or “Patterns”, please leave some reviews on Amazon for my books. While the majority of the content of these books is available here for free, these books help me keep the website up and reach a population that has yet to discover my blog(s).

Thanks for the support, and Happy New Year!

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