Looking for trouble ∙

Looking for trouble ∙

The LORD asked Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” – Job 1:7

Revelation 12:9-11

 9 The great dragon – the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world – was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.

 10 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last – salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth – the one who accuses them before our God day and night.

 11 And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.

In modern English, “Looking for trouble” is a colloquial expression. It basically means to do something or act in a manner that will very likely result in trouble, difficulty, or danger.

Sung by Elvis Presley

If you’re looking for trouble You came to the right place

If you’re looking for trouble Just look right in my face

I was born standing up And talking back

My daddy was a green-eyed mountain jack

Because I’m evil, my middle name is misery

Well I’m evil, so don’t you mess around with me.

1 Peter 5:8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

He is known by many names: Satan, the Devil, Abaddon, Angel of Light, Apollyon, Lucifer, the great dragon, the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air, the wicked one, and the evil one. To mention his names lends a bit of dignity to him. So I typically refer to him as the enemy.

He remains in the shadows, invisible. Yet he is well-known. He makes his presence known anywhere, whenever he desires. He is the god of this world and he has temporary dominion (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Peter envisions the enemy as a lion, perhaps the fiercest of all known beasts of that day. The lion was well known as a menacing, cruel, ferocious beast of prey. In Peter’s mind’s eye, he sees this huge intimidating, vicious feline on patrol pacing back and forth. He roams about, he goes from place to place, he prowls, he stalks, he is always on alert, watching, glaring, sizing up the terrain, and searching for potential prey.

His mere presence is intimidating, but if that’s not enough, he terrorizes his would-be victims with his roar. Regrettably, all children of the King are on his watchlist. Of course some more than others depending upon how effective they are in serving the Father.

The enemy’s goal is always to same. He wishes to spread damage, destruction, and death. He wants to make the Father’s children ineffective. He is highly skilled, exceedingly brilliant, and has about 5000 years of practice. How long do you think it took him to deceive Eve and provoke Adam to sin?

He seeks not merely to frighten or capture his prey; he seeks to maul and devour it.

The Greek word translated devour is katapiomai from kata down and pino drink. It has the sense of gulping down, swallowing hurriedly, or gobbling it up. Visualize for a moment two dogs on either side of a barbecue watching hamburgers being cooked. The chef is momentarily distracted, two hamburgers fall off. One heads in the direction of a small Yorkshire terrier. He lets it hit the ground and then begins to nibble at it, taking as many mouthfuls as he can, as fast as he can. The other hamburger heads towards a Rottweiler. The Rottie catches it in midair and swallows it in one gulp. He devoured it.


James 4:7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Father thank You that You are the Lord God omnipotent, the ruler of all, pantokrator.


From the book of Job, we understand that the enemy has direct access into the very presence of the Father. He is currently free to come and go as he wishes.

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.

But the enemy is always looking for trouble. He has convinced himself that the only reason that Job is faithful is that the Father has abundantly blessed his life and continues to protect him. He challenges the Father to a test. You know that and I know that, but Job had no idea what is about to occur in the heavenly court. He had not read the book of Job because he had not written it yet.

The Father grants the enemy permission to make Job’s life miserable. The enemy’s goal is to cause Job to turn his back on the Father. Perhaps it is best captured by the words of his wife, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die” (Job 2:9). She is telling him to give it up, curse the Father God who brought all these terrible things upon him and drop dead. She is promoting the enemy’s plan. One can only imagine what it must have been like for Job to have such an uplifting, encouraging, and supportive companion.

Job’s response is magnificent, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong (Job 2:10).

All of the trouble and misery that the enemy has brought to the human race is nothing compared to what he is about to do. He has had a certain amount of restraint placed upon him by the Father throughout human history. But that restraint will be removed, and the enemy will be thrown out of heaven and hurled down to the earth.

Revelation 12:9-11

 9 The great dragon – the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world – was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.

 10 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last – salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth – the one who accuses them before our God day and night.

 11 And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.

Up until now, the father of deception and lies has been deceiving himself. He thought everything was going to work out for him in the end one way or the other. Now he realizes that time is running out and he is livid.

Before, the enemy was pure evil, mean, and nasty. Now anger has been added to the mix. And he takes it out on the children of Israel and the children of the King who are alive on the earth. The enemy becomes obsessed with annihilating the Jewish people and all of the children of the King who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

Revelation 12:17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman [the nation of Israel] and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God [the Jewish people] and hold to the testimony of Jesus [Christians].

It will be a terrible time, the worst of all in times for all of humanity. That is why it is called The Great Tribulation.

Satan is powerful. He is the ruler of this world, in Greek kosmokrator (Ephesians 6:12). But the Father is Ruler of All, the Lord God Omnipotent in Greek pantokrator (Revelation 19:6).

Ordinary children of God who stood firm and resisted the enemy overpowered him. How? They overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony (Revelation 12:11). Did they somehow exercise authority over the enemy because of the blood of Christ? One day we will know for sure.

Luke 10:19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy.

“The victory of Satan over believers is both earthly and temporary (Revelation 13:7), while their victory over him is final and eternal” (Osborne).

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© Dr. H 2022

Ungrateful grumblers and whiners ∙

Ungrateful grumblers and whiners ∙

Even if we butchered all our flocks and herds, would that satisfy them? Even if we caught all the fish in the sea, would that be enough? – Numbers 11:22

Numbers 11:1-11

 1 Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the LORD heard everything they said. Then the LORD’s anger blazed against them, and he sent a fire to rage among them, and he destroyed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp.

 2 Then the people screamed to Moses for help, and when he prayed to the LORD, the fire stopped.

 4 Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed.

 5 “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted.

 6 But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!”

 7 The manna looked like small coriander seeds, and it was pale yellow like gum resin.

 8 The people would go out and gather it from the ground. They made flour by grinding it with hand mills or pounding it in mortars. Then they boiled it in a pot and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like pastries baked with olive oil.

 9 The manna came down on the camp with the dew during the night.

 10 Moses heard all the families standing in the doorways of their tents whining, and the LORD became extremely angry. Moses was also very aggravated.

 11 And Moses said to the LORD, “Why are you treating me, your servant, so harshly? Have mercy on me! What did I do to deserve the burden of all these people?

How much does it take for people to have enough and be grateful?

John D. Rockefeller was asked, “How much money is enough money?” He replied, “Just a little bit more.”

Rockefeller may ultimately be remembered simply for the raw size of his wealth. In 1902, an audit showed Rockefeller was worth about $200 million—compared to the total national wealth of the United States that year of $101 billion. Rockefeller’s net worth over the last decades of his life would easily place him among the very wealthiest persons in history.

In many ways, Rockefeller echoes the inner desire and hunger in our own hearts. Whether it’s directed at one thing in particular or just a vague longing for “more.” But the sad truth is, “more” is never enough.

There is a more excellent way. The Father does not simply want us to be grateful for what we have. He wants us to be grateful in all things.

Ephesians 5:20 Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

King David learned this lesson early in life and lived it. David gives us glimpses throughout the Psalms.

Psalms 73:25-28

 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.

 26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.

 27 Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you.

 28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

As we grow older, the vitality of youth gives way to weariness and loss of strength due to mere aging. There often is limited mobility and sometimes chronic pain and frustration. It is all too easy to lose heart, become discontent, and ultimately bitter. This regrettably leads to a demanding and ungrateful spirit. We find ourselves complaining and resentful. This downward cycle continues until the Father opens the eyes of our hearts to what we have become. More importantly, when we finally see, we seek forgiveness by confessing our sins.

In the doldrums of our discontentment and resentment, we often hurt many others along the way. Often it is those closest to us. So our forgiveness needs not only to be vertical but also horizontal. We need to ask for forgiveness from those whom we hurt in route to despair.


Wanting more in and of itself is not a bad thing. Wanting more of the Father is a great thing.

Father how I long to have the heart that David had in his great love and devotion to You. I know that nothing on this earth will ever satisfy me as only You can.


Apparently, complaining became the national pastime for the children of Israel when they were in the wilderness. The more they complained, the more self-centered they became. It seems that they were never satisfied and always grumbling about the Father’s provision (Exodus 17:1-3). The Father sent manna from heaven (Exodus 16:4). But instead of rejoicing and being grateful for the Father’s provision, they wanted more. They pined for different food (Numbers 11:4). The children of Israel wanted something more, something better, something else, or even something they used to have (Numbers 11:4-6).

Psalms 16 is a very personal hymn of joy that focuses on the Father’s goodness. David finds his delight only in the Father and confesses that everything good in his life has come from Him. David expresses a combination of joy, praise, humility, and submission to the divine will.

David depended upon the Father to keep him safe. He needed the Father’s constant care and oversight of all the good things that the Father alone provided. For David, the Father was his highest good and greatest treasure.

Regrettably, our longing and hungry hearts take us on desperate futile quests for satisfaction. David shows us a better way to live. Rather than wanting more things, more wealth, more power, more recognition, etc., David found true contentment was not found “out there.” Rather, David learned the secret and joy of being at home in the Father’s presence.

More than that, David truly delighted in just being close to the Father. The source of David’s greatest joy was just being with the Father.

Psalms 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalms 16:11 is unsurpassed for the beauty of the prospect it opens up, in words of the utmost simplicity. The path of life is so-called, not only because of its goal but because it is a way to live. It leads into God’s presence and eternity. The joys and pleasures David speaks of are wholly satisfying and endlessly varied. They are found in what the Father is and what the Father gives (Kidner).

The Hebrew term translated as, “in your presence,” is literally in your panim, “faces.” The sense is close proximity, companionship, care, and protection.

How can we ever be satisfied? What is enough? When we learn the art of gratitude we will be satisfied. The Father is pleased when children of the King are content and offer Him grateful praise.

Isaiah 30:15 In quietness and trust is your strength.

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© Dr. H 2022

Black Swan Events ∙

Black Swan Events ∙

[The Lord Jesus Christ] was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans 1:4

1 Peter 1:3-5

 3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation,

 4 and we have a priceless inheritance – an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.

 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

What is a Black Swan Event? Black Swan Events are rare and outliers from the norm. They come as a surprise and are often accompanied by serious, major consequences. The term is derived from the outdated belief that all swans were white.  All swans that Europeans ever saw were white and only white. They presumed that black swans did not exist. This erroneous belief was proven false when Dutch explorer Willem de Vlaming went to Australia. On January 10, 1697, he discovered black swans. They were alive and well down under.

In 2007, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a former Wall Street trader, wrote a book called the Black Swan Theory. He explained that Black Swan Events are metaphors. They describe incidents that are unexpected and unknowable. They are hard-to-predict and rare.  Black Swan Events are outside the realm of normal probabilities and expectations. They come as a surprise and seem random. People are not able to anticipate them. In the world of investments, a Black Swan Event often results in a decisively negative impact on the markets.  Curiously, after-the-fact explanations often make these anomalies appear explainable and predictable.

Black Swan Events are not limited to financial markets. Unanticipated developments occur in diverse disciplines: history, science, medicine, finance, technology, etc. They are catalysts for major paradigm shifts and the transformation of international, global politics.

In the first two decades of the 21st century, have seen the rise of several billionaires with companies and conglomerates that dwarf famous extremely wealthy people who preceded them.

Several extremely wealthy Americans rose to the top during the 19th and 20th centuries. Their names are well-known Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, C.P Morgan, etc.

However, their wealth seems like a mere trifle when compared to “robber barons” of the 21st century: Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, Sergey Brin to name but a few. Their companies are household names: Microsoft, Amazon, Tesla, SpaceX, Facebook, Brookshire Hathaway, Oracle, etc.

The second decade of the 21st century saw the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant deaths of millions. This was followed by the development of vaccines. Next came the schism between those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated. Suddenly there were two classes of people: the vaxxed and the unvaxed. Each side claims that they have science on their side.

In the midst of all of this, streaming videos of police brutality atrocities went viral. The outrage that followed produced a massive paradigm shift. The founding and rise of organizations such as BLM. The collective perturbation created by these events was so great, that that it produced a gigantic shift in American public opinion and culture. Our country will never be the same. Concurrently, major national and international transformation was afoot. There was never-ending hostility and warfare in the Middle East, the Arab Spring, and the Russian invasions of Crimea and Ukraine.

The omniscient Father God foreknew and predicted numerous Black Swan Events in the Scriptures. Biblical prophecy is not fiction, the work of human imagination, or wishful thinking. Rather, biblical prophecy is unique. It reveals future history before it occurs. Only the living God can do that. And that is exactly what the Father God did.

Isaiah 48:3-5

 3 Long ago I told you what was going to happen. Then suddenly I took action, and all my predictions came true.

 4 For I know how stubborn and obstinate you are. Your necks are as unbending as iron. Your heads are as hard as bronze.

 5 That is why I told you what would happen; I told you beforehand what I was going to do. Then you could never say, “My idols did it. My wooden image and metal god commanded it to happen!”


Black Swans are alive and well throughout the Scriptures. They demonstrate the reality of the living God. The Father has repeatedly and miraculously intervened in the time-space continuum. The things that occurred were improbable, and in many cases impossible. Today we call them miracles.

Father thank You for predicting some of the greatest, most improbable, and impossible events of human history: the virgin birth, the incarnation, the death of the son of God as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.


The Scriptures are replete with Black Swans. They have had a massive influence on the history of the human race. Just two are considered below.

The first was a remarkable birth, a virgin birth. That in and of itself was not only highly improbable, but it was also impossible apart from divine intervention. But on top of that, that child was the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. He was the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world. By all accounts, He lived a regular, “normal” life right up until the time that He was baptized by John the Baptist. John recognized and proclaimed Him as, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

As a result of His birth, an entirely new calendar system was created. The timeline of human history was split. New terms were introduced: B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini – “In the year of our Lord”).

Death by crucifixion was a fairly common form of execution carried out by the Romans. What was unpredictable, improbable, if not impossible was the historical fact of the post-crucifixion resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The resurrection was the greatest, most significant Black Swan Event in human history. Through His death and resurrection, He brought salvation and redemption to the human race. Eternal life was now available to anyone who accepts Him as their Savior and Lord.

“He died upon a cross of wood, yet made the hill on which it stood.”

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© Dr. H 2022

God’s standards

God’s standards

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. – Matthew 22:37-40

Exodus 20:2-17

 2 I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.

 3 You must not have any other god but me.

 4 You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.

 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them.

 7 You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God.

 8 Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

 12 Honor your father and mother.

 13 You must not murder.

 14 You must not commit adultery.

 15 You must not steal.

 16 You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.

 17 You must not covet.

The story is told of some city folks driving through a rural area encountering a sign at a restaurant. It read:

If our food, drinks, and service ain’t up to your standard . . . please lower your standards!

In athletics, business, industry, military, etc., it is common practice to set performance benchmarks for achievement to support specific desirable behaviors. Setting standards as goals of performance inherently has challenges. Decisions have to be made as to how high and rigorous they should be. On the one hand, they can be low and readily attainable. Or they can be very high, even perfect. In which case goals are set that can never practically be reached.

In the kingdom of God, we do not have to wonder about what the Father’s standards are. He has clearly stipulated them in the Word of God. The standards which He has provided are perfect, absolute standards. Some of His laws are easily doable. For example, being truthful, not stealing or coveting, honoring parents, etc. Other standards are impossible for people to meet without His assistance.

For example, “You must be holy because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). What human could possibly be as holy, good, and righteous as the Father? Dealing with scriptural standards often presents conundrums that are difficult to navigate.

No matter how hard individuals try or how well people perform, they fall far below the standards outlined in the Word of God.

Romans 3:23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Everyone has failed. No one can that they have obeyed His commandments without messing up. Suppose for a moment that some individual was able to keep all but one commandment. Surely the Father would grade on a curve and they would be approved. Regrettably, that is not the Father’s grading system.

James 2:10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.

If we break only one commandment, we still are as guilty as if we had broken them all. The Father’s standard is absolute perfection. For people living in the modern age, this hardly seems fair. In fact, it is repugnant.


“Collectively, modern mankind has said, “We have no sin,” and “We have not sinned.” Unfortunately, many preachers and churches have bent under that social pressure and largely avoid the “s” word. . ..” (Karen H. Jobes).

Father thank You for Your very high and lofty standards. Thank You for encouraging me and enabling me to strive to live by them. Thank You for forgiving me when I fail and fall short. Encourage me to continue to the end.


Sin, which is falling short of the mark, debases the person responsible. We may try to rationalize and excuse our behavior, even cover it up, but the Father still knows what occurred (Genesis 3:8-13).

Why is the idea of sin so objectionable to people? Sin implies moral accountability to the Father. We prefer to be autonomous and responsible to no one.

Most modern societies denigrate the Scriptures. Modern cultural norms no longer accept Absolute Truth. Consequently, any such claim regarding Absolute Truth is categorically rejected. Those believing in absolutes are labeled arrogant, mean-spirited, outdated, and foolish. When sin is not dealt with, it encourages more sin.

Ecclesiastes 8:11 When a sentence is not executed at once against a crime, the human heart is encouraged to do evil.

This has happened many times in the history of the human race.

Judges 21:25 In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.

Because there was no king in Israel, no final human authority, people rebelled against God and acted out what was in their hearts. They lived following their own “truth.” They did as they desired without restraint. Rather than keep the law of God, people became a law unto themselves. The Father’s response was twofold showing both His justice and His grace and mercy. On the one hand, He judged and punished the people’s sins, on the other hand, He forgave their sins.

Some may ask why these things happened. Nehemiah provides the Father’s answer and perspective. Nehemiah records his prayer to the Father some 600+ years later. Although the Father enabled them to take possession of the promised land through miraculous intervention, they departed from Him. Rather than remember and honor the Father for all of the great bounties he had received, the people forgot Him. Overt rebellion and sin generate collateral damage.

Nehemiah 9:26-31

 26 But despite all this, they were disobedient and rebelled against you. They turned their backs on your Law, they killed your prophets who warned them to return to you, and they committed terrible blasphemies.

 27 So you handed them over to their enemies, who made them suffer. But in their time of trouble they cried to you, and you heard them from heaven. In your great mercy, you sent them liberators who rescued them from their enemies.

 28 But as soon as they were at peace, your people again committed evil in your sight, and once more you let their enemies conquer them. Yet whenever your people turned and cried to you again for help, you listened once more from heaven. In your wonderful mercy, you rescued them many times!

 29 You warned them to return to your Law, but they became proud and obstinate and disobeyed your commands. They did not follow your regulations, by which people will find life if only they obey. They stubbornly turned their backs on you and refused to listen.

 30 In your love, you were patient with them for many years. You sent your Spirit, who warned them through the prophets. But still they wouldn’t listen! So once again you allowed the peoples of the land to conquer them.

 31 But in your great mercy, you did not destroy them completely or abandon them forever. What a gracious and merciful God you are!

Never in human history has any other people group had such marvelous advantages and privileges as the nation of Israel. Yet they abandoned the Father and went their own way. Such is the depravity of fallen human DNA. People are heavily predisposed to depart from the Father, the living God, and go their own way. People accommodate themselves to the mores and values of the world around them.

Why does this occur? It begins when people decide to ignore the law of God. His Truth no longer matters to them and is tossed aside and ignored. His Truth is exchanged for their own “truth.”

Life today in many ways parallels the age of the Judges. Many have stopped taking the Father seriously. As far as they are concerned, His standards no longer have any moral authority over them. Soon moral chaos ensued and human institutions have begun to break down. This trickled down into common everyday life. Goodness and wholesomeness faded and were replaced by chaotic anger and cruelty. Despite it all, the Father remains steadfast in His love. He reluctantly disciplines, but never abandons the children of the King.

The current state of affairs is only temporary and it too will pass. The Father is still active in the world. He triumphs (Revelation 22:12-21).


© Dr. H 2022

Carbon copies ∙

Carbon copies

God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to be conformed to the image of his Son. – Romans 8:29

Philippians 3:7-14

 7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.

 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ

 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.

 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death,

 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The English language is awash with words derived from technologies that no longer are used. When we email others, we frequently make use of two of them. We often choose to cc or bcc someone. These abbreviations stand for carbon copy and blind carbon copy, respectively.

Carbon copy comes from the use of carbon paper. Carbon paper is lightweight paper coated on one side with a dark waxy pigment, placed between two sheets of blank paper. The bottom sheet will receive a “carbon” copy of what is typed or written on the top sheet. Originally, “blind carbon copies” were copies that did not let the recipient know it was a copy. With the advent of ubiquitous copy machines, originally developed by Xerox, the use of carbon paper virtually ceased.

However, the use of cc or bcc persists. We want to send an email to multiple recipients; we simply cc them. When we want the receivers to remain anonymous, we bcc them.

All of the Father’s children intended to become carbon copies of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:29 God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to be conformed to the image of his Son.

Paul clearly articulates the Father’s plan and purpose in choosing us. We are to be conformed to the image of His Son.


The very idea that fallen, ungodly people “should one day be transformed into the image of Christ by a miracle of grace is one of the most astounding truths of divine revelation” (MacDonald).

Father thank You that You know all things in advance. You have been orchestrating my life from the beginning. You have clearly stated that You want me to become more and more like your Son. Please encourage me to cooperate.


The Greek term rendered as conformed is summorphos. It has the sense of being like-natured, similar, representative in essence or form. It is composed of two Greek words sunwith and morphe a form. It literally means to have the same form as another. The sense that Paul intended is quite clear. We are to be similar in nature to the very essence of Christ. The phrase to become like his Son has been translated in several different ways, “to be like his Son” (Goodspeed), “share the likeness of his Son” (Moffatt), “conformed to the likeness of his Son” (Barclay).

When we accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, we began an eternal relationship with the living God. The Father adopted us as His children into His Forever Family. He established this relationship not merely to provide us with salvation and eternal life. His eternal purpose was to make us more like Himself. He is at work to conform us to the image of Christ.

Some of us resist or ignore the Father’s plan. When we do, we do a disservice to ourselves. The Father is doing spiritual art surgery to make us more Christlike.

Romans 8:28-31

 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

 31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these?

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© Dr. H 2022

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