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Posts Tagged ‘COBOL’

Well, my deepest apologies for being a couple of months late in starting this new series. Once 2018 hit, we had things going on left and right; also, I’ve been trying to concentrate on Scripture memorization after a message delivered at our church by author Robert J. Morgan inspired me to do so. However, I need to get back to it, so let me begin with a “why” of this particular subject, Jesus: I am the (fill-in-the-blank). This particular study may, at times, be more intermittent than the usual walkthrough of a book of the Bible, but I’m looking forward to it.

After wrapping up Acts, I remembered a devotional thought I was going to use regarding everyday items that we see, that Jesus used to describe Himself. I was also inspired by a late 2017 series our pastor did on some of the “I am the (fill-in-the-blank)” from the book of John. I then felt sort of sheepish, thinking that I didn’t want anyone to think I was just copying our pastor. However, after talking with him, he encouraged me to go ahead with the plan; he had only used the several items from John, and there were many more things in the Testaments that Jesus used to describe Himself to the disciples.

In fact, when I began some background preparation, I used the Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Holy Bible to look up all the “Names, Appellations, and Titles” used to describe Jesus. I found that there were roughly 232 titles and descriptions used to describe our Lord! Now, let me assure you, I’m not going to be covering all of those! However, I’m going to pray and select roughly a dozen to focus on, as the Lord leads me.

I’ve always liked analogies; if you’ve followed these devotions, you can see that. I guess my favorite story, which you’ve heard, is when I lived briefly with my grandmother while attending college and into my first post-graduate occupation. I came home from work as a programmer at a textile corporation, and she asked me how my day was. “Fine.” I replied. “Well, tell me, what did you do?” she asked. Now, my grandmother was not very technical; she couldn’t set the clock on her VCR (and I’m not being mean here…really, she couldn’t!). So how in the world was I going to talk about working with programs, JCL, COBOL, and procs on a mainframe computer? Simple: by phrasing it in a way she’d understand. I described my day like it was a recipe in her cookbook (and my grandmother DID know how to cook!) That way, I could convey what I did in a way she could comprehend.

I guess that’s what drew me to all the names used to describe Jesus. When you think about it, how would God convey Who He was to human beings? The comprehension of that would stagger the most intelligent mind (and still does today!) So, Jesus took the items His disciples were familiar with: fishermen, bread, water, stars, etc., and revealed His glory through those. Sometimes, they still didn’t get it, but eventually they did…and eventually, we will to.

So next time, we’ll begin with Jesus: I am the Bread of Life.

May God bless this study and show you and me something through it.

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Verse 32: “And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on the matter.””

Between high school and moving out on my own, I lived with my grandmother; this allowed me to stay “at home”, and at the same time, gave me some “freedom”, since I was in college. I was still living with my grandmother when I got my first job in the Information Technology department of a textile company. I would come home from work that first year of employment, and my grandmother would ask, “How was your day?” “Oh, it was fine.” “Good! So…what did you do?” Now, my grandmother was not technical in any sense; she was one of those people that couldn’t program the clock on her VCR. At first, I was in a quandary; how do I explain to my grandmother that I dealt with mainframe jobs, using procedure modules, COBOL code, and job control language (JCL)? Well, I resorted to what I like to use in such cases: analogies. My grandmother was one of the best cooks in the world, and she knew recipes! Therefore, I described what I did in a way that sounded like I was following a recipe and cooking in the kitchen. She understood perfectly.

We find Paul here with the rare opportunity to speak to the men of Athens at the Areopagus. He wanted to make the most of this chance to witness to these people, but this was not his usual audience. He had to reach them in a way that would hold their attention. I marvel at how he seized on their very idol worship, to explain that the unknown god whom he saw an altar set up for, was the One he spoke of. He then proceeded to explain the Good News in a manner that focused on God as the Creator and eventually led to the saving grace of Jesus. Paul had to explain this to them in a manner that they could understand.

Some did understand Paul; others mocked him. Still others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” According to some text I’ve read in my Holman commentaries, this merely indicated curiosity, or even polite acknowledgment. While Paul’s stay in Athens didn’t result in a crusade-like coming to salvation, there were those who did hear and believe, such as Damaris and Dionysius. Remember, even if you tell masses of people about Jesus Christ, don’t be discouraged if the number of responses don’t tally up to what we think is successful. To the Lord, every soul is precious, and all need to hear the Good News!

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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