Friday, September 30, 2016

this is the night that the LORD hath made

The Word for today:
Psalms 117, 118
mark this: Psalm 118:24 --
This is the day that the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
(Note: At Passover, the Jews observed unwavering ritual from generation to generation. On this most holy night, three songs were sung, in this order: Psalm 115, 116, 118.)
He knew what came next. He knew it was the last supper. It was Passover and the lamb had to die for the sins of the people.
He knew -- from the testimony of the scriptures, from the testimony of prayer, and from the testimony of the great prophet, John the Baptist -- that he was the Lamb that a million lambs had pointed to; that this was the Passover that 1500 Passovers had predicted; and that this was the Night, of all nights, that the Lord had made. And he sang so:
I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it.
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  (Psalm 118:17-24)
Then he was on his way:
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (Matthew 26:30)
The Bible says we have eyes of the heart (1).  If we have eyes, then we can infer we have ears of the heart as well.
With the ears of my heart, I have heard him sing this Psalm. He sings it triumphantly, lustily, exultantly. He sings like David danced.
The Jewish day begins at sundown. Leaving the upper room, he stepped into dark streets.
And the evening and the morning were (2), on the Day the LORD hath made.
(1) Ephesians 1:18; (2) Genesis 1:5

Thursday, September 29, 2016

love undying

The Word for today:
Psalm 116
I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.
Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, I beseech thee, save my life!"
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful.
The LORD preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
For thou hast delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling;
What shall I render to the LORD for all his bounty to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD,
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.
My Dad had a hard, even harsh exterior, but inside was the heart of a poet.
Poetic people may not look poetic on the outside, but somewhere inside them "the meanest flower that blows can give thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears." (1)
He never wrote, but when he put his guard down he could discern the sublime in a blade of grass.
My sons often train at the Cold Springs Cemetery. The hills there are perfect for that purpose. As they run through the hilly sections, I jog through the flats.
My Mom's and Dad's graves are there. I don't like to view the site, and so I seldom do. But about a month ago, I made my way through the gravestones to a spot in the shadow of the evergreens, where the meadow meets a wooded hill.
It's a wide stone, with room left for the birth --and death -- dates of others still living. I will be buried there, which I don't mind. But so will Shelley, which gives me thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears. My Dad, the working class poet, has a Robert Louis Stevenson verse on his portion of the stone:
Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill. (2)
It's not where I long to be, so after reading the verse, I jogged on.
As I did, a verse from another book came to my mind -- the last verse from the book of Ephesians:
Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love undying.  (Ephesians 6:24/NIV)
When my sons and I got home, I told Shelley that's the verse I want on that stone.
But there's miles to go before I sleep (3), so before I do I intend to 'grave the Word of God on every heart with room left for the writing,
the way I just wrote it on yours.
(1) William Wordsworth, "Intimations of Immortality"; (2) Robert Louis Stevenson, "Requiem"; (3) Robert Frost, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

the sun and the Son are offered alike

The Word for today:
Psalm 115

mark this:
 Psalm 115:8 --
People who make idols will become like them, and so will those who trust them.
Psalm 115:8 teaches us that some people are going to become like their lifeless idols.
At the same time, Romans 8:29 teaches us that others are going to be just like Jesus, predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.
Is that fair? In every way! Because while there are different outcomes, a spiritual principle has been equally applied: We become what we believe in.
Some go to heaven and some go to hell. Vastly different outcomes, but the same spiritual opportunity has been offered:
God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
That most well-known Bible verse starts out with an all-inclusive statement. It shows that God does not withhold salvation from anyone.
But at whoever, results begin to diverge. Some of the whoever choose faith in Jesus; some of the whoever choose faith in elsewhat. The divergent blessings which result do not originate in the heart of God, but in the hearts of individual men. Which Jesus goes on to explain in the next verses:
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. (John 3:17-18)
Let's look for further evidence of God's all-inclusiveness:
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:44-45)
God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9b)
God holds his saving right hand out to all. But some do not reach out to take hold of his offer. (That's what is meant when scripture speaks of receiving Jesus. See John 1:12)
Q. What do the sun, the rain, and Jesus have in common?
A. They are given alike to every man.
Q. Then why is Jesus different to different people?
A. He is received differently.
Some get tanned and some prefer the shade.  Some get saved and some don't. 
But the sun and the Son are offered alike.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

the Authorized Version of God

The Word for today:
Psalms 113, 114
Psalm 113:5 is a rhetorical question:
Who is like the LORD our God?
A rhetorical question isn't really meant to be answered. It's meant to make us think.
One reason that we have a hard time fathoming God is because we have no basis of comparison:
To whom will you liken me and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be alike? (Isaiah 46:5)
We have no analogy. We struggle to put God in terms we can understand. And when we do, we inevitably diminish him.
Is God stronger than Mr. Universe? The question is too silly to answer! God made the universe, and Mr. Universe along with it!--
To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these?
He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name,
by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power not one is missing. 
(Isaiah 40:25-26)
There is no analogy or comparison. So the only way to represent God is to send God himself:
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (Hebrews 1:1-3)
God is Spirit. (John 4:24)
Hebrews 1:3 (above) doesn't mean that Jesus was just a facsimile of God. It means that Jesus is God in a form we can see.
God is Spirit and can't be seen. But the Son, in his incarnation, can be seen. (Incarnation is a big word for what happened at Christmas when God arrived in a body--the Word of God translated into terms we could perceive and understand.)
Thank God for Philip. In response to his question, Jesus specifically taught on this subject:
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."
Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."
Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
" (John 14:6-9)
Note well: The context of John 14:6 takes that famous verse--which I call "the First Commandment of the Old Testament"--to a level far beyond its usual application. We typically think of comes to the Father as an expression of transport--from here to heaven. Seen in context, it is crucial that comes to the Father also be seen relationally: no one comes to (an understanding of) the Father but by Jesus.
Warning: "Likenesses" so misrepresent and diminish God that they are specifically prohibited in the Second Commandment. While the warning there concerned engraved likenesses (images) we must be careful not to shrink God with our verbal expressions of him. The only sufficient image is the express image (Hebrews 1:3/KJV) of God, which is God the Son.
God is love. (1 John 4:8, 16)
The incarnation went way beyond the mere clothing of Spirit in a body we could see. The things done in the body are incarnations as well. For example, God is love, but we don't even know what love means. It's just an arrangement of letters, until the word "love" becomes flesh at the cross of Jesus Christ. Love itself was incarnated there, translated into terms we could perceive and understand.
Poets, philosophers, teachers, and theologians grope and strain for words to express who God is and what he is like. Inevitably, our words fall short. Our thoughts and comparisons often limit and confine him.  But God's vocabulary is not confined.  He has the perfect Word,

Monday, September 26, 2016

cause & effect

(by Pastor Joe)
The Word for today: Psalm 111 & 112
Q: What do butter, blood, and strife have in common?
A: Proverbs 30:33
"For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife."
All three of these are effects- the by-products, the consequences.
All three of these are caused by other agents, not by themselves.
Hatred, dairy products and nosebleeds are all results.
There is another item you can add to that list- human righteousness.
Today we have two similar Psalms. They both open with a "Praise the Lord!"
They both employ much of the same words and wording.
They both are written describing a third person singular pronoun.
But the subject of each of these psalms is quite different:
In 111, the actions of our Righteous God are described.
In 112, the actions of a godly man are delineated.
But we err when we divorce these psalms from each other.
We err when we think that we, or anyone else for that matter can be a Psalm 112 person without a Psalm 111 God.
But that kind of thought is more common than you know.
After all, at the core of every man-made religion or even unbelief, is the idea that a person can be good in and of themselves. The Bible says otherwise.
Psalm 112 describes what we all should aim to be: God-fearing, upright, gracious, merciful, generous, just, unmovable, unafraid, steadfast.
Psalm 111 describes the greatness of God: full of splendor, majestic, righteous, eternal, gracious, merciful, provider, faithful, just, holy and awesome.
The key verse, the truth that links these two Psalms is found at 111:9.
"He provided redemption for His people"
Never forget what it cost God to make you right with Him- it was His very best, His Only Son Jesus. He is the only bridge, the only Way, the only Mediator.
And so what began as an observation now ends in a challenge.
We have no hope of being a Psalm 112 person unless we are recipients of all that God did in Psalm 111. Save yourself a lot of trouble by understanding this truth: "Apart from Me you can do nothing." (1)
But remember also that God has done all of the wonders in Psalm 111 in order that ordinary people like you and me can live a Psalm 112 life for God's glory. After all, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (2)
(1) John 15:5
(2) Ephesians 2:10

Sunday, September 25, 2016

something greater than Solomon is here

The Word for today:
Psalm 110
mark this: Psalm 110:1 --
The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool."
My favorite chapter in the Bible is Luke 24. Because that's when scripture's greatest prophet teaches prophecy:
Two disciples, disheartened over Jesus' death and confused over reports of his resurrection, were walking down the road to Emmaus, a little village not too far from Jerusalem.
When suddenly a "stranger" drew near and walked beside them. (It was Jesus himself, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.) Then the stranger proceeded to teach the greatest Bible lesson ever taught, to a class of two students. What he taught them was this:
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)
It wasn't the first time that Jesus had taught this lesson:
You search the Scriptures because you believe they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! (John 5:39)
If you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. (John 5:46)
The Bible isn't just about Jesus. The Bible is Jesus. Or, to say it another way,  Jesus is the embodiment of scripture:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:1, 14)
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Matthew 5:17)
A sample of Jesus' teaching on the road to Emmaus is given when Jesus quotes Psalm 110:
Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" They said to him, "The son of David." He said to them, "How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, "'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet'? If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?" And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:41-46)
It's a trick question which forces the Pharisees to face the inescapable truth: The only way for one person to be both David's son and David's Lord is to be both the Son of David and the Son of God.
So Psalm 110 couldn't be pointing to David's immediate son, Solomon. It was pointing to someone greater. Jesus had already provided that hint:
Behold, something greater than Solomon is here. (Matthew 12:42)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

"holier than God"

The Word for today:
Psalm 109
Note: The imprecatory Psalms (Psalms 35: 52; 55; 58; 59; 79; 109; 137) are cries to God to avenge.  Today, Stand in the Rain will discuss the biblical precept that the moral nature of God will (indeed, must) confront evil. It is helpful in discussions of the nature of God to remember that his name--YHWH (rendered LORD in your Bible)--means I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3:14). God's actions are consistent with his character. He lives up to no external standard, for his character IS what the moral standard IS.
Today's discussion is for mature audiences only. The enactment of the nature of God--the I AM being what he is--is often a fearsome sight to human eyes.
You've heard of those who think they are "holier-than-thou."
But for many, holier-than-thou is not enough. They think they're holier than God.
People holier-than-thou don't like the way I talk.  People holier-than-God don't like the way God talks.  They insist that some Psalms, like Psalm 109, shouldn't be in the Bible. They call them imprecatory Psalms, insinuating that by the time Jesus comes around, God had grown up to the point where he would never write something like Psalm 109 in his book.
Imprecatory Psalms call for vengeance against evil enemies. The New Testament's teaching on vengeance is that we should not take it into our own hands:
Beloved, never avenge yourselves... (Romans 12:19a)
But wait, there's more to that verse. The reason we shouldn't take vengeance into our own hands is because it is left to the hand of God:
...but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."  (Romans 12:19b)
The reason we are not to take vengeance lies in the fact that we are not to judge.  The reason we are not to judge lies in the fact that we are not always capable of making the right judgment.
The reason we are not always capable of making the right judgment lies in the fact that we don't have all the facts that need to be weighed.
But God has all the facts. Which makes him capable of just judgment.
All-powerful and capable of determining true justice, God is culpable (negligent) if he doesn't enact (enforce) justice.
Vengeance, when it is enacted by God, is a facet--a side--of justice. It is the side of justice that evil is owed:
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord ( Romans 6:23).
We must take the time to turn that over in our politically correct, holier-than-God minds. For if we do not, we go further than the denial of a few imprecatory Psalms.
If vengeance is not an expression of justice, then what, pray tell, was going on at the cross of Jesus Christ:
But it was the LORD's good plan to crush him and fill him with grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD's plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. (Isaiah 53:10-11)
If vengeance is not an expression of justice, then we must conclude that what the Father did to the Son at the cross was evil.
Which leaves us holier than God.
So go ahead.  You tell Him first.  I'll wait for you here.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Satan was forced to punt

The Word for today:
Psalm 108
mark this: Psalm 108:13 --
Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.
I got a kick out of watching the career of Tim Tebow, the great quarterback who twice led the University of Florida to the national collegiate championship.
Many say that Tebow was the greatest college football player ever. I don't know about all of that, but I can say with authority that he was the greatest college player I ever watched.
I can say it with such authority because Tebow is the only college football player I ever tuned in to watch.
It all started when I heard about this quarterback in Florida who painted Bible verses under his eyes. I was intrigued.
The first time I saw him play, he wore "Phil. 4:13" painted in his school colors--orange and blue--just under his eyes where athletes apply blacking to reduce the glare of sun and lights. That, of course, is shorthand for this:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
So, right away, I know I'm watching a brother. And, brother, could that brother play!
Psalm 108 is David's prayer as he enters into battle. The last line is David's version of Philippians 4:13:
Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies. (Psalms 108:13)
Though scripture doesn't recommend wearing Bible verses as warpaint, it comes close:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
The best place to write God's Word--even better than under your eyes or on your doorposts--is in the recesses of the heart:
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (Psalms 119:11)
That's where Jesus stored God's Word when he entered into the great Battle in the Wilderness (1), where Satan tempted him to sin. It wasn't just Satan vs. Jesus that day; it was also the word of the world vs. the Word of God.
Three verses into the battle, gaining no ground, Satan was forced to punt.
(1) Matthew 4:1-11

Thursday, September 22, 2016

the winds and the waves don't believe me

The Word for today:
Psalm 107:33-43
mark this: Psalm 107:29 --
He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.
We hear the word sovereign a lot. Kings, throughout history, have claimed to be sovereign. Closer to home, Indian tribes dispute taxation by claiming to be sovereign.
To be sovereign means to be in charge, in command, in control. Ultimately, there is only one Sovereign. We meet him here today:
He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Scholars search the scriptures, trying to ascertain when and where Jesus said he is God. Their questions limit them, because it isn't a matter of When? And it isn't a matter of Where? The question should be How?--
How did Jesus pronounce and confirm that he is God? He did it by demonstrating his ultimate sovereignty over creation:
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" (Matthew 8:23-27)
The disciples knew from scripture that God could calm the seas by his word alone. We read it today in Psalm 107:24-30.
Likewise, Psalm 65:7 refers to God as the one who stilled the roaring of the the seas, the roaring of their waves. God's sovereign power over the seas is also displayed in Psalm 89:9; Psalm 104:7; and Psalm 106:9.
Waters flow and cease to flow at God's command. Thus the disciples understood that Jesus must be the Creator, God. Their newfound understanding of Jesus became the unified testimony of the New Testament:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3)
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17)
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:1-3)
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." (Revelation 4:11)
There were times when Jesus verbally declared that he is God (1). But better than that are the numerous times when Jesus demonstrates that he is God (2).
Because even I can say that I am God.  But the winds and the waves don't believe me.
(1) John 10:30-10:33; John 8:58; (2) an intentional demonstration of Jesus' deity is seen in Mark 2:6-12

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Let the redeemed say so!

The Word for today:
Psalm 107:1-32
mark this: Psalm 107:2 --
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so.
I love Joan.
Joan's this clown at our church.  Let me back up and start over again. Joan is a lady in our church who is a clown. I kid you not--a real clown with a big red nose and way-big shoes. She--as "Dr. Bubbles"--performs at birthday parties and other kids' events.  As she does, she always manages to work a gospel message into the routine.
So I consider her a kindred spirit, and I kid her about it: "We're fools for Christ's sake (1), Joanie!"
"Maybe you are, Franklyn. But I'm a clown for Christ's sake!"
Joanie isn't just a great clown. She's also a world-class giver. She gave me a book on the Apostle Paul, for my studies. She gave me four huge full-color maps of Bible lands, for my Bible classes. She gave me a blue suede Buffalo Bills Stetson hat with a red feather, for the heck of it. (You read that right: a Buffalo Bills blue suede Stetson hat adorned with a red feather!) But best of all she gave me "The Christmas Bell."
I put my Christmas Bell in my Bible, right here at Psalm 107:2, where it says "Let the redeemed of the LORD say so."
Redeemed is a big Bible word which implies a purchase. The price was paid by Jesus:

You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold, but with precious blood of Christ. (2)
The price he paid purchased all the presents on the Christmas Bell. So whenever I get sad, or afraid, or discouraged, I go right to the Bell and do what Psalm 107:2 tells me to do--I say it right out loud:
I am God's child (John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:15 )
I am united with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ. (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation ( Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil 3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31 -34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor 5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor 1:21-22 )
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28 )
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16 )
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12 )
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am God's temple (1 Cor. 3: 16). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God's workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected. (Phil. 1: 5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven ( Col 1:14). I have been adopted as God's child (Eph 1:5)
I belong to God
Do you know
Who you are!

I hope you print the Bell and place it in your Bible, too. And I hope that, now and then, you "ring" it right out loud. Dr. Bubbles said it will always make you feel better, even on the days when the world knocks you down, or steps on your face, or slanders your name all over the place--or makes fun of your blue suede hat.

(1) 1 Corinthians 4:10; (2) see 1 Peter 1:18-19