Shelf Life


"Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." (2 Timothy 2:8-10)

Actually! The word of God is bound. It's called the Bible and you can find it in a bookstore or library. There. Wait. That's not the kind of "bound" to which Paul is referring. He's talking about being imprisoned for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Something the powers that were weren't affectionate towards. And something that some of the powers that be today, don't like either. Oh well.

Think about the influence that Paul had from his prison cell. He wrote the epistles to the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians and his friend Philemon while incarcerated. Proverbs (18:14): says "The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?" Paul suffered much physically (see 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 "in prisons more frequent") in seeing the seeds of the Gospel of Jesus Christ float on the wind of the Holy Spirit through the world. And while he surely would have been hurting and smarting there in his cramped and filthy cell, His spirit was soaring. As does ours when we read the Word.

It really doesn't matter where you find yourself. God can affect the world through you wherever you may be. You might think there's nothing going on, but let the Holy Spirit intimate to you the spiritual problems that need fixing in your own life and your home. These problems, of misunderstanding and impatience and mercy and forgiveness and "overcom[ing] evil with good" (Romans 12:21), are problems that have grown and blossomed the world over. And in many ways are the root for the big things you hear about on the news. Deal with them in your own heart and life and God will affect the world from where you're at.

As an aside, to "shelve" something means to "discontinue use". Fair enough. But to "table" something means one thing in America (the same as "shelve") but in British parliamentary procedure, it means "to put on the table for discussion". Weird.

Breaking the spine

"...It is more blessed to give than receive. And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him, Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship." (Acts 20:35b-38)

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." (John 12:24)

As (another) aside, a cleistothecium is a type of fungi whose spores only release upon death.

That's the difference between a library and a bookstore. With a library, you can check it out but you gotta return it (at times, at cost to you). Sure, leave a note in the margin somewhere for some other anonymous reader. One you'll meet on the other side. But with a bookstore, it's yours. Lend it out, but make sure you get it back. The spate of unreturned, borrowed books is endemic. And rest assured, if you're stuck in one position. Immobile and useless-feeling for any number of reasons, God's right there with you. And He's not done with you yet. You, from your "fixed" position (collecting dust and mold--nothing wrong with that in a book), are in many ways of more value to God than someone who simply comes and goes as they please. It pleases God to sit there, lay there, rest with you where you are. And if you're on the mend, more power to you.

"Never stand when you can sit. Never sit when you can lie down. Never stay awake when you can sleep." -Winston Churchill

Where Credit Is Due

Metonymy and Synecdoche in the Sanctuary