Let Order Reign!

Let Order Reign!

Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true. Ecclesiastes 12:9,10 NIV

In verse eight, the Teacher is yelling that everything is “meaningless” and then we understand why.

Where there is no wisdom, foolishness prevails.

Where there is no knowledge, ignorance is bliss.

Where there is no order, chaos and confusion reign.

If we look at what is happening around the world we can see the significance and truth of what happens when there is no wisdom, knowledge or order. And when we get closer to home–right where we live–where our kids go to school–where we shop and interact with others–the truth looms even greater.

We are told in The Word that God is not the author of confusion and yet where see confusion, no one wants to recognize the evil that plots the destruction of order.

Last night, I attended the high school graduation where my grandson attends school and plays in the band. Like many schools, during a high school graduation, students are given a specific number of tickets for their guests and this school was no different. Every student was given four tickets and there were approximately 133 students graduating. Usually the ceremony is held outside on the football field, but since rain threatened the event, it was moved inside. The auditorium was reserved for those with tickets and the Commons (a huge area outside the auditorium) was set up for the overflow, complete with a screen so everyone could view and hear the event.

I cannot stand ignorance and confusion. When I saw how foolish people were–trying to get into the auditorium without a ticket and then acting foolish when turned away–I felt anger rising within me. But the anger was not about those acting foolish, it was about those who even allowed them to think they had a right to be there without having a ticket.

As a result–the ceremony-usually observed with sanctity and decorum, was a hot mess outside the auditorium and from the comments of a few people on the inside–it was not better. I truly wish people would understand how important this event is and not take it as opportunity to be a pep rally where no one can hear anything.

I sincerely hope that two years from now, people will learn to act with more decorum and I also hope the administrators of the school will make more of an effort to maintain order by not allowing the ticketless--access to the ceremony. I want to see order reign when my grandson receives his diploma, not hear a madhouse of cheering so no one else can hear.

Aside from the obvious–my being upset over the graduation process–I also look at all the confusion in the Body of Christ. Where “Christians” are confused about their gender, their roles in life, and even confused about the purpose of the church. Perhaps, just perhaps, when the Body of Christ is no longer confused, and functioning decently and in order, we will see a change in society that demonstrates the change from within a Body of true Believers.

Lord, speak to the hearts of Your people and remind them–You expect us to always act decently and in order and to do things Your way, not our own.

Being in Order!

Or did the Word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anyone things they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. (I Corinthians 14:36-40 NIV)

Instructions pertaining to conducting an orderly worship service, transcend how things should be done in church into orderly function of any entity. To avoid chaos and confusion, order must be established in the function of one’s home, businesses, and personal life. For without order–chaos reigns.

If more people would apply The Word to daily living, we could avoid some of the trials and challenges that occur in our lives. Even though many might say, “I don’t believe in God or the Bible,” the intent behind or contained within The Word–is still applicable to anyone who chooses to apply it to their lives.

What’s amazing to me is the number of people who think all of “positive thinkers” and motivational speakers are so great, but they cannot receive the Word of God. In listening to some of the well-known motivational speakers, I’ve detected their use of The Word as a basis for just about everything they say–much coming from Proverbs and the parables Jesus used to teach others about life. Of course, when people don’t know The Word, they have no clue where the speakers got much of their insight and they are left thinking mere mortals are greater than God.

Consider what Jesus said about “counting the cost” before building a house. His reference is to a person being wise and knowing how much the house is going to cost before going ahead and starting building. In life, there are many things we plan to do, but it is only those plans we have carefully considered, that actually work.

And all of the positive thinkers–they get their foundational exhortation from, “As a man thinks, so is he,” and “life and death are in the power of the tongue” all from The Word. There’s much more, but this limited venue precludes me from going further.

So, in the passage where Paul is encouraging people to conduct a worship service decently and in order, the same is true for other aspects of living. When there is no established order in a home–there is filth and confusion. When there is no established order in a person’s personal life–not much is accomplished. And when established order in business is ignored, the end results could be disastrous. There is a rhyme and reason for establishing and adhering to order in all areas of our lives. God plans for us to be prosperous as our soul prospers, but He has provided an order for us in His Word so we can be successful in accomplishing His plans.

Whenever things are not done decently and in order–confusion arises, chaos ensues, feelings get hurt or valuable resources put at risk. Whenever any one person thinks they can change the established order of anything (other than their own lives), they risk an eruption and disruption of everything. In all things, we must consider the costs of our actions.

In order to maintain reputations of honor and integrity and wisdom in all we do, in who we are, and what we stand for, we must act with integrity in all matters and do all things–decently and in order–considering the cost before we do anything.

Everything Done in Order!

“But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.” (I Corinthians 14:40 NIV)

Paul’s advice to the church to maintain order in all things is an approach we should use in every aspect of our lives. If there is no order, there is chaos and confusion; where there is chaos and confusion, God is not involved.

The first thing we need to keep in order is our thought life. Chaotic and confusing thoughts lead to behaviors that are not orderly. This is why we have so violence in our society and disrespect/disregard for life. There is no order in the minds of those committing hateful acts against others.

If we get our thought life in order, our actions will represent how we think–order–in all things.

If we get our behavior in order, we reduce crime and hateful acts and create an environment for harmony and peace which is how God wants us to live.

When we are in order–our homes are in order–everything is done decently and in order. There is no domestic violence in the home, there is no filth in the home, there is nothing going on in homes that will negatively impact children and their ability to succeed in life. Spouses know how to communicate and parents know how to parent when homes are in order.

When home lives are in order–we have order in society since every home is part of society. We change things for the better and do what is always right.

When we live in an orderly society, the results are seen in everything that occurs within that society and all people are respected and all things are accomplished in an orderly manner, without confusion.

Though many think the Scriptures are an out-dated reference for living, if people were to examine what we do on a daily basis in business and government, they would discover the Biblical foundation for how things get done. In time we deter from the foundation, things crumble and fall. If we listen carefully to well-known motivational speakers–what they say has biblical foundation, most from Proverbs. Parliamentary procedure was born out of Paul’s advice for order and just about every legal organization uses Robert’s Rules of Order as a guide for keeping “order” in meetings.

Having order in our lives means we work on the front end, establishing guidelines to maintain order and then we simply abide by the order established. Order in the church, homes, government, will lead to peace and harmony, when maintained.

Disciplined by Love!

“For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child. As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?” (Hebrews 12:6,7 NLT)

I remember thinking back a little while ago about my mother’s discipline. Those memories were triggered by the Adrian Peterson incident–when he used a “switch” to discipline his child. I remember having to get a switch and if I chose one that was too thin, I’d have to go back to that tree and get another one. If my mother went to get one, I would really be in trouble.

While the “whipping” hurt, it concluded in the desired effect–I didn’t get into trouble very often because I did not like the sting of that switch. She did not beat me with a tree branch; she disciplined me with a method that got my attention and she did it out of love–to teach me to be obedient. That’s what she had learned and it worked!

Now, to revisit history for a moment–I find it amazing that people who think whipping a child with a switch is such a crime, but no one thought much about “the slave masters beating people with a horsewhip” scarring and maiming them for life, sometimes unto death. Where was the outrage then? Adults and children were beaten at a whim and often because they simply didn’t understand what was being told to them. People were starved, but expected to work the land on empty stomachs and beaten when they could no longer stand. Where is the outrage for that time in history? These beatings did not occur out of love–but to instill fear and submission, and no one was decrying this injustice.

But because a father dared to discipline his child, out of love, he has lost his source of income and is being tried as an abusive parent. Why weren’t any of those people who beat slaves brought to court and tried for treating people worst than their did their animals (they fed the animals sufficiently)?

God’s idea of discipline–out of love–is designed to make sure we have long life and that more abundantly. He does not “beat us down to get us into shape,” but He allows us to suffer the consequences of our actions. We will reap, what we sow in life and when God allows the consequence–it is because He loves us enough to want us to learn from our mistakes.

Good parents discipline their children so they will learn to be obedient and have long life. No parent wants to see a child beaten down by life simply because they never knew discipline.

One of the reasons that our society is so out of order now–with total chaos reigning–is because the same government that allowed people to be beaten into submission, now wants to interfere with parental discipline–and children never learn discipline and often end up in jails or the morgue. I’d rather see a loving parent discipline their child and then see that child as a successful adult–knowing what it means to love enough to discipline.

I’m thanking and praising God for His love and correction and for the mother He gave me, who loved me enough to discipline me when I needed–and that has led to my being a disciplined parent and successful adult. Love–never wants to see a child go astray, but when they are undisciplined–we see the results, everyday in the media.