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Archive for September, 2008

I did a Bible study with the youth group at my church on Perseverance.  They did the majority of the study in groups of 3 to 5 using a whiteboard, markers, and a Bible.  Through presentation, interaction, and follow-up questions we concluded that perseverance is good and neccessary and that we need to dwell more on the promises of God like heaven and His presence to succeed at it.  If you like you can use my notes to share it with someone else or yourself by clicking on countering-the-excesses-of-affluence

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In this 14th in a series I do a cursory survey of the lack of evidence for macroevolution.  To put it bluntly, the Christian’s faith is reasonable because it is based on evidence both past and present, but the Naturalist has no such evidence for evolution on which to base his faith.  Check it out by clicking on Fly in the Soup

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Nevertheless

Nevertheless!  Look at it.  It looks and sounds like a word that ought to be deposited in the dust bin with archaic words like heretofore.  But look closer because this word still shows up with fair frequency, particularly if you are trying to make a strong point involving persistance or perseverance. What does it mean and why the contorted three word compound?  The dictionary says it means, “in spite of that, yet, notwithstanding” and “however, nonetheless”.  We frequently exchange the word regardless for nevertheless.  But that denotes refusal to take into account circumstances.  Nevertheless considers the circumstances but disallows them to lessen the results. An awesome or the terrifying situation happens but ‘never the less’ is my resolve or joy in completing what I ought and want to do .  Any circumstance will not ever diminish or reduce the result of my action, conviction, or His promise.  Consider a few concrete examples: 1. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.” (Phillippians 4:14)  Phillippians, the help you gave me is not ever lessened by the fact that God enables me to do all things. Afterall, He may have enabled me through you, for instance.  2. “For thus says the Lord God, ‘I will also do with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath by breaking the covenant. Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.” (Exekiel 16:59-60)  I promise that I will punish you because you have not only not held up your end of the agreement but did it (not accidently) while hating the agreement (and Me).  That in no way ever diminishes the fact that I will carry out my agreement with you as I promised.  3. “But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them- I place no other burden on you. Nevertheless, what you have, hold fast until I come.” (Revelation 2:24-25)  Even though I have no reprimand for you like the rest of the church at Thyatira, do not allow that to ever reduce your watchfulness and resolve in clinging to your faith and your Lord.  4. Or consider the words of the recent song by Mercy Me, “Such a tiny offering compared to Calvary, nevertheless, we lay it at Your feet.”  My worship is so insignificant compared to your work on the cross for me, but that does not lessen at all the command or my desire to offer in the words of the Psalm 50:14, “the sacrifice of thanksgiving”.

Heretofore I have endeavored to deepen your thinking about nevertheless, notwithstanding that the language daily decays in the mouths of its users. One English teacher I know would turn over in her grave (if it were not for that the fact that she ain’t dead yet) to see me trying to cogitate on conjunctive adverbs, but I have trouble helping myself. It doesn’t seem like these words should exist, complicated as they are, but we have trouble making connections between states of being or action without them.  Words like whatsoever and hereto and so forth do the job wonderfully if only we understand how they make the connection.  I think that they are fun to explore. I hope nevertheless that the above examples will encourage you in His promises and your resolve based on them.

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