Beyond is a word we don’t use much anymore, but it can be used in a variety of ways. I once spent a summer in a Mexican town called San Miguel de Allende. It was named after a man, but Allende could also mean on the other side or beyond. Another common usage is, surpassing or superior. Sometimes it will be used to mean outside the limits or reach of. We are familiar with the idioms the Great Beyond and beyond all hope.
Most of the Old Testament verses which use beyond are referring to a place which is on the farther side of. ( De 3:25) In one verse Jonathan told David to escape the danger of King Saul if the arrows he was shooting went beyond him. ( 1 Sam 20:22) In another verse Balaam declared to Balak, King of Moab “…I could not do anything, good or bad to go beyond the command of the Lord….” ( Nu 24:13) That was a wise promise and one echoed by other prophets but ignored by many other Bible personalities. ( Gen 3: 2-7) ( Gen 4:6-8)
Some verses in the New Testament talk about being amazed and astonished beyond measure. ( Mk 6: 51KJV) ( Mk 7:37 KJV) The Apostle Paul confesses that he persecuted the church of God beyond measure. He also said that he was not stretching himself beyond his measure, which some versions translate, overstepping the ability to reach. ( 2 Cor 10:14 KJV)
Perhaps the most well-known and relevant scripture for us today is 2 Corinthians 8:3 KJV. Paul uses the Macedonians as an example of going beyond their power in their giving a gift of love, even out of their own deep poverty. This certainly fulfilled the commandment of Christ to “…love your neighbor as yourself. ( Lk 10: 27) He set the bar very high for all Christians today. Most of us have a sliding scale of agape love—My blood relatives first, My brethren in the local congregation next, followed by my brethren in the rest of the world, then my friends and neighbors, and possibly my enemies. ( Lk 6: 27) This involves going beyond in amount, extent, and degree. To surpass, and transcend the normal expectations, as did the Macedonians. This will be the norm in the Great Beyond, but is a goal of all committed Christians in this age.
Submitted by Jery Bailey, Elder
Psalms 1:1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
Sometimes it is interesting watching individuals or observing companies and just taking note of what is going on in their lives. The scripture usually has a response to life’s problems if one will look long enough.
First; God calls Blessed is the man who doesn’t run around with and follow in the path of the ungodly. Even though that is the world we live in we can choose not to follow and behave like the ungodly man! We should even avoid getting in their path of travel as best we can. We don’t need to join in with their attitude of scorn, gossip, or stirring stuff up. As men and women of God we should avoid this kind of ungodly activity.
But, rather, we should love being in the presence of God and we should meditate on his word day and night. If we would enjoy our time with God and spend time each day meditating on the Word of God we would find that our thinking would change. We would look at life and obstacles differently and we would find ourselves making better choices and decisions.
Verse 3 shows how this kind of life style would impact us. Like a tree planted by a river of water we would find ourselves growing and flourishing abundantly. A never ending source of supply would be ours! The timing of our blessing and the timing of our harvest would all be perfect and bountiful. The things we do in life will not fade or be forgotten. When we put our hand to a task, it will be successful and prosperous. Psalms 1:1-3 shows us what will happen when we focus on God and meditate on his word regularly and even daily.
This sounds like a good life style to me and a whole lot better than me just choosing to do it my way hoping to the best!
Blessing to you all; meditate on the Word of God!
Chet Wiswell, Elder
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