Q&A Left-Overs, Part 6
We’re doing a series during the month of July called Q&A. We’re answering any and all of your questions about the Bible, religion, our personal testimonies, etc.
Lex is answering one big question every Friday night, and then a panel of our leaders are fielding questions live as you text them! We don’t have time to get to all of them on a Friday night, though, so the left-overs are going to be answered here on the blog during the week.
Here are some we didn’t get to last Friday:
Are angels all around us? Like, could the guy next to me be an angel?
Yes, and probably not.
Hebrews 1:14 says that angels are sent to minister for us. So they’re always moving on behalf of your prayers.
Hebrews 13:2 reminds us to be nice to people, because it’s possible that some “people” are really angels. It’s possible that you’ve seen one and not known it, but most of the people you sit next to on a Friday night are relatively un-mysterious. Probably not angels.
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What is wrong with flags and tambourines?
Flags and tambourines become a problem when they become disruptive. Sometimes, people will bring them to a church service, to use during worship, but the rest of the church isn’t used to that or doesn’t know how to respond. What happens then, is that those people become a distraction to other people trying to worship. The point of believers getting together for praise and worship is to refocus our hearts on Jesus, and anything that distracts people from Jesus is not from Jesus.
Yes, some people like to use them during worship and that’s fine. If the leadership of a church requests that they be left at home, though, those leaders should be honored. If a person who prefers using flags and/or tambourines (or any other prop) cannot worship God without them, then that person needs to examine the real object of his/her worship.
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What should you do if you feel like you didn’t do what God wanted you to do?
Good question. We’ve all been there.
- Be honest with yourself about whether or not you’re ready to give up that sin – whether it means stopping something you’re doing, or starting something you’re not doing. If you’re really not, if you really don’t understand why it’s wrong or you’re really not interested in letting God have that part of your life, pray through that. Ask God to show you how important it is, or why you need to surrender it.
- Repent. “Repent” doesn’t mean, “Apologize,” although that’s part of it. It means, “to turn away from.” This is why Step 1 is important. Saying, “Sorry, God,” without any hope of fixing the problem is empty and meaningless. The bible never says, “Apologize for sin,” but it often tells us to, “Repent.”
- Ask God to help you do better next time. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can fix it on your own. The Bible says that your good works are disgusting, but God promises to give you abundant wisdom if you ask for it.
- If it’s not too late, do it. People like to say that, “Delayed obedience is disobedience,” but that’s not entirely true. In Matthew 21, Jesus tells the story of two sons – one of whom didn’t do his father’s will, and one who did it after he said he wouldn’t. Jesus commends the second son.
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List all main biblical characters from most manly to least out of the top 20 manliest people.
Someone needs grammar lessons. I’m going to take that as a request for the 20 manliest bible characters. There’s no ultimate authority on this, of course, but here’s our best shot:
20 – Stephen
First Christian martyr. Acts 5-7 – Stephen is falsely accused, gives this huge speech basically making his accusers even more angry, gets dragged outside the city and crushed to death by huge rocks. In the meantime, he tells God to forgive the people killing him. Pretty manly.
19 – Peter
A premier apostle after Jesus’ resurrection, Peter endured a lot of arrests and beatings and persecutions and eventually crucifixion. This was all after the Holy Spirit, though, so he ranks a little lower. Pre-Holy Spirit, Peter was kind of a sissy – and a little weird.
18 – King Saul
Saul was just built manly. Scripture describes him as “choice and handsome,” in 1 Samuel 9, and a head taller than anyone else. He waged a lot of war and did a lot of manly things, but eventually became disobedient and failed big time … which is not manly. Minus serious Manly Points.
17 – Sampson
Sampson was ninja-manly. He was a normal-looking dude, with supernatural manliness. When the Holy Spirit came upon him, he did things like tearing lions apart with his bare hands, and killing a thousand men with a jawbone. Again, though, Sampson got lazy and disobedient, and ended up dying early, enslaved, and blind.
16 – Jael
Possibly the manliest chick in the Bible. Judges 4. Jael welcomed the bad guy into her tent, fed him, and let him take a nap … and then hammered a tent peg through his head. Sister don’t mess around.
15 – Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego
Daniel 3. Three friends who refuse to worship the king’s statue. Then they’re threatened and given a second chance, but still they refuse. Then they get thrown into a burn pit so hot it was killing people on the edges. Manly.
14 – Joseph (New Testament)
Luke 1 and 2. Joseph was engaged to Mary when she mysteriously got pregnant. He could have legally had her executed, but he chose mercy – even before an angel visited him. Then, he endured shame none of us can imagine, and who knows how much ridicule, to marry and protect her. He took her and God’s baby from Bethlehem to Egypt and back to Nazareth. He worked his tail off, and gets very little recognition to this day. His death isn’t even mentioned in the bible. He’s never quoted once. Humility is manly.
13 – Noah
Genesis 6-9. Noah was the only one on the earth that wasn’t completely corrupt when God decided to flood it. You think you deal with a lot of peer pressure? Not like Noah. Then God tells him to build a huge boat because there’s going to be a flood. You know it had never rained before Noah’s flood? Talk about ridicule – for over a century. Saving the human race and every species on the planet? Pretty manly.
12 – Daniel
Taken as a slave as a teenager, persecuted, harassed, and still rises to power. Deny God, or get locked in a den with lions all night? Bring on the lions. (Daniel 6)
11 – David’s Mighty Men
2 Samuel 23. Some of King David’s choice warriors. Adino killed 800 men at one time. Benaiah went into a pit on purpose to kill a lion, and killed a man with his own spear.
10 – Samuel
Samuel was the prophet in charge when Saul was king, and later as David became king. No nonsense kind of guy. One time, Saul was commanded to wipe out the enemy in battle, but he didn’t do it. So in 1 Samuel 15:33, Sam takes a sword and cuts the enemy king to pieces himself.
9 – Elisha
Took over after Elijah went to heaven. He doesn’t always do amazing things, but when he does, he makes iron float, and gets back-up from heavenly armies. Bringing dead people to life with your own dead body? Super manly.
8 – Joseph (Old Testament)
Genesis 37-50. Joseph is kidnapped, sold into slavery, falsely accused, imprisoned, forgotten … and finally made prime minister over Egypt by saving the known world from a seven-year famine. Endurance, faith under pressure, refusing to have an affair with a rich lady, saving the world from starvation – all very manly.
7 – Elijah
1 Kings 17 – 2 Kings 2. He’s so good with kids, he brings them back from the dead. He’s so gangster, he calls 450 false prophets to the most epic show-down ever. He’s so manly, he didn’t even die – come on now.
6 – Job
What didn’t Job deal with? He lost everything he owned, his whole family (except for a nagging wife), his friends turned on him, and he was covered in painful boils. And he never got mad at God. He had no friends, no encouragement, no church, and no scripture (Job is probably the oldest book in the Bible, so even Abraham hadn’t happened yet) to hold onto. He wasn’t right about everything, but he never got mad at God. That’s a man right there.
5 – Abraham
What’s not manly about Abraham? He waged war – with just his servants – on a king and his army to rescue his nephew who had been taken captive. He had God over for dinner, and then he – respectfully – argued with Him. He and Sarah had a baby when he was 100 years old. Manliness.
4 – Moses
Moses survived genocide as an infant, killed a rouge cop, lived in the desert, and then – as an old man – defied the most powerful man on earth, led a nation of whiners through a sea and around a desert for forty years. He routinely hung out with God, so much so that he came away shiny. He had a little bit of a temper, but you would too if you had to deal with what he dealt with.
3 – Paul
Paul wrote most of the New Testament, met Jesus while he was persecuting Jesus, and never retired. In 2 Corinthians 11, he lists some of the things he endured for the cause of Christ, which includes:
- Whipped five times
- Beaten with rods three times
- Shipwrecked three times
- Stoned once (which was supposed to kill a person)
2 – King David
King David was a Renaissance man before the Renaissance even happened – that’s manly. He wrote songs (Psalms) and danced like a crazy man. He was anointed king as a boy, but waited patiently for God to make it happen – even when he could have killed the king, who was trying to kill him, several times. He was a warrior. He loved God. He wasn’t perfect, but he repented his mistakes and never gave up.
1 – Jesus
This one doesn’t need explaining, right?
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Questions? Leave a comment.