Art this week is unlike others in two ways:  First, my dear wife, Marj, created it. Now it hangs on our dining area wall.  Second, it is not Acrylic, Oil, Watercolor or Ink.  Its ‘Diamond Dotz’. If that term is unfamiliar, check ‘UTube’.  Marj was introduced to this by a neighbor.  It begins by choosing a pre-printed color picture on canvas.  Sections of the color picture are covered with a sticky substance. Tiny Dots of correspondingly colored plastic, are provided along with  an  application stylus.  Simply apply the dots. It’s a little like ‘painting by number’.  The basic principles of color and composition apply in all kinds of Art!


How does God speak to us?

As I said a couple of weeks ago, I believe God’s choice of ‘how’ He may choose to converse with followers of Jesus—and, sometimes, those who are not followers—is His sovereign choice. But it does appear to me, the most common way this conversation takes place is at the spirit level of thoughts. God’s Holy Spirit, residing in me, and my spirit, converse through the thoughts emanating from the heart or mind. I also believe the following is essential:

1“In order to qualify as the voice of God, a thought, perception or other experience must conform to the principles—the fundamental truths—of Scripture.  It is the principles, not the incidentals, of Scripture that count here.  Study of the Scriptures make clear that certain things are fundamental, absolute, without exception.

  • If the Bible says something once, notice it, but don’t count it as a fundamental principle.
  • If it says it twice, think about it twice.
  • If it is repeated many times, then dwell on it and seek to understand it.

“What you want to believe from the Bible is its message on the whole and use it as a standard for interpreting the peripheral passages.  The principles show up with stunning clarity as we become familiar with the overall content of Scripture.

“You must distinguish between the peripheral messages of Scripture and the essential messages.  Keep to the principles in interpreting the voice of God.  For example, in 1 Corinthians 11, we find women being advised not to have short hair and men being informed that long hair on them is shameful.  Such things are clearly incidental.

“On more serious matters, in Mark 10, Jesus tells the truly fine young man who had come to him that he must sell all that he has and give the proceeds to the poor. This too, contrary to what many have thought, is incidental to people generally (for Jesus did not ask this of everyone he met). In the particular case of this young man, of course, Jesus’ directive went right to the heart of his special problem with wealth.  But it is not a principal to which all must conform. Why?  Because it is not a teaching emerging from the whole of Scripture, and it should not, without further consideration and guidance, be taken as God’s guidance to you or anyone else.

“When you read the writings of John the Apostle, however, and learn from him “that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all”  (1 John 1:5) you are on to a principle—something that wells up from the whole Bible and the totality of the experience of God’s people through history.

“We are also discovering principles when we hear Jesus saying that the most basic of all the commandments is “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strengthand that the second isyou shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).

“And his declaration that “those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it” (Mk 8:35) is also conveying a principle, as  is his statement that we are to “strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well (Lk 12:31).

No specific word that is from God will ever contradict such principles. Such principles place an ironclad restriction on what content can come with God’s voice.”

“Principles of Scripture are to be identified most of all from the actions, spirit and explicit statements of Jesus himself.”

“I am the light of the word.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

— Jesus in John 8:12






[1] Hearing God, Dallas Willard p. 232-233

4 thoughts on “Principles

  1. This was another great one, Dad! Love mom’s artwork and your wisdom. It’s good to hear people talking about hearing from God. We need more people listening to him in these days!


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