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Personal Outcomes

P1040384David , the shepherd, musician, soldier king of Israel wrote a song with 175 verses that celebrated the teaching of his God–in the words of Moses.

In his last verse he sang with words that must have been more lyrical than our English, “I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands” (Psalm 119:176).

David responded to what he had been given.

What if we responded to what has now been given to us?

I wish I had the creative ability to write 175 verses of a song that celebrated what Jesus has done for us.

Am thinking the last verse would be something like, “I have strayed like a lost sheep. Find your child,  for I have not forgotten your love.”

Or have I?

(Revelation 5:11-12).

 


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54 Responses to “Personal Outcomes”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    After Matt and I got up and going this morning I thought to myself I don’t want to even go to the subject on the BTA blog this morning as I feel placed in an uncomfortable position because I see sin as sin and there is a good effort afoot to blur right and wrong and I don’t know if I’m up to the fight.

    The reason is love; love is the ingredient that takes away hatred and anger and changes the view of many a sin.

    There is an old adage that goes something like this; is it wrong to steal? Is it wrong for a hungry man to steal a loaf of bread? Is it wrong for a hungry man to steal a loaf of bread for his family?

    My answer to that question goes like this; yes it is wrong to steal, yes its wrong for a hungry man to steal a loaf of bread, and yes it is wrong for him to steal it for his family, but it is equally wrong of me not to have compassion for the man.

    Equally wrong of me to withhold the bread from a hungry man and his family if I have it to give.

    Equally right of me to forgive the man if he stole the bread from me to feed himself or his family.

    In this new subject Mart has put up in an attempt, I suppose, to move away from the subject of homosexuality and the *Church* he has given us Psalms 119:176 to look at.

    In this verse the writer is asking God to seek him out because he has gone astray and because he has not forgotten God’s commandments.

    The writer knows right from wrong but has strayed from right and followed wrong and is asking God to come save him from himself.

    Reading the whole of the 119th Psalm it is a praise of God’s law and God’s justice, of God’s statutes, of God’s Word.

    Only because I am on the same page I can not, not mention Psalms 121 as it is one of my favorites.

    I am not sure why Mart has included Revelation 5:11, 12 except that as I often say *only* the Lamb is worthy, not me nor any of us.

    God offers forgiveness of whatever sins we have entered into because He loves us and though *only* the Lamb is worthy to receive *everything*, because of the Lamb we can share in His glory, wealth, and blessings.

    If we ask.

    Steve

  2. SFDBWV says:

    Bill I am so happy to have you participating again and I for one don’t mind how much you *yak*, like me it is a way of supporting each thing we say as what we say will be looked at from many angles.

    Looking backwards is usually done in regret, but wise people look back and learn how to improve as we look forward.

    As I listened to Matthew Vines presentation I found myself wanting to be able to help him, to *fix* the broken things in his life so as to give him peace and inclusion in what we have come to see as normal.

    Actually many of the things he wanted for himself are denied my own son and many others who are broken in different ways.

    For Mr. Vine the question before us is whether or not he has a choice to be homosexual or not and there is the heart of disagreement especially from those of us who are not him and are not clinically qualified to make that call.

    Are people who are born a man or a woman also born with a sexual preference for same sex partners or are they seduced into that preference at a later point in their development?

    Is homosexuality a condition that can be *cured* or not?

    Jesus speaks of a future time after the resurrection when marriage isn’t necessary any longer and we are what appear to be genderless, as the angels (Mark 12:25) (Luke 20:25, 26).

    I would suppose then sexual lust is a matter far removed from all of us.

    This concept always causes me to wonder then how the angels produced children of the women of the earth in the Genesis account of the condition before the flood.

    Speaking of which Jesus said in Matthew 24:37 as things were in the days of Noah so it will be before His return. A quick look at Genesis shows that the world was utterly wicked and evil before the flood of Noah and as I see it that is exactly where this world is headed; utterly evil and happy and content in it, we being in opposition to it the outcasts and ones judged by them to be wrong on every level from our views of right and wrong.

    Steve

  3. SFDBWV says:

    Oops that was supposed to be Luke 20:35, 36

    Steve

  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Church –

    I’m with you, Mart. I am not confident in the collective memory ongoing of God’s love in his Son, Jesus. We’re not there yet:

    “That’s right. The time is coming when I will make a brand-new covenant with Israel and Judah. It won’t be a repeat of the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant even though I did my part as their Master.” God’s Decree.

    “This is the brand-new covenant that I will make with Israel when the time comes. I will put my law within them—write it on their hearts!—and be their God. And they will be my people. They will no longer go around setting up schools to teach each other about God. They’ll know me firsthand, the dull and the bright, the smart and the slow. I’ll wipe the slate clean for each of them. I’ll forget they ever sinned!” God’s Decree. (Eugene Peterson’s translation of Jeremiah 31:31, 32, 33, 34)

    We need more time — because we forget God’s love, even though God forgets our sin under the blood of the Lamb. I weep for it.

    Yours in Christ,
    Maru

  5. swwagner says:

    “Abba Father” (Romans 8:15) is the thought that came to mind and heart after reading Mart’s post this morning. He knows His own…and His own know Him.
    I know first hand that God does rescue us from the tangles that we get into. As I recall, Jesus talked of leaving the 99 and going to look for the 1 that was lost…He has great compassionate for anyone who might be lost to Him. My prayer is that I will be an instrument in His hands to balance my words and actions so that I an honest about sin and its consequences…and also honest about mercy and grace.

  6. fadingman says:

    Jesus tied David’s “I have not forgotten your commands” with Mart’s “I have not forgotten your love” when He said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12, John 13:34, John 14:15, John 15:17).

  7. poohpity says:

    What I enjoy about Psalm 119 is that David’s desire and pursuit was to know God and His commands personally. He did not expect others to do it. He seemed to reflect what a very personal relationship with God was. He pursued God because he loved Him. David looked at David and how he related to God and how God related to David. It seems to show that God was foremost in David’s life just like Rev 5 showed that it is God who is to be worshiped, praised, adored and loved. David got it, he understood what it is all about in seeking His creator, provider, salvation, strength and author of life itself. David a man who sought after God’s own heart. David loved God and understood God’s love for Him. (Acts 17:27)

    David asked God to point out the things in him that displeased God not what others had done to displease God. (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT)

    Have I strayed from God’s love you bet I have especially when I find myself picking on sexual issues or any other issues in others and neglect that I have strayed from God and His love. Please seek me Father and bring me back into the merciful love found in your arms and help me show that to others and allow you to be the Righteous Judge who can see a heart (Acts 17:31).

  8. poohpity says:

    We “all” have been judged, found guilty and Jesus paid the penalty for even those who are yet to believe. Am I pushing people away from finding out about that because my love has issues attached to it?

  9. oneg2dblu says:

    David’s greatest legacy is that he knew he was wrong in what he did, and when he finally repented from his sin choices, he was restored.
    That very same process of restoration yhat is available to all who will return to Him and obey.
    David did not deny his fallen state, or try to change God’s words, which he clearly knew and loved, just to suit his wrong desires.
    But, he asked God to restore him unto a right standing again, for he knew where he stood in his sin, and he remained in that restored state of right standing, to never again to make his wrong choices separate him from His Heavenly Father.
    Unfortunately, David’s earthly father had not done the same, for his unrepented desires and actions suffered him greatly after his death, and that made his eternal condition much different than David’s.
    Did God love one more than the other?
    No, but God is a man of His Word, and He will not depart from it.
    People need to know the truth in His word, the truth about how their actions which are held accountable to be judged after the first death.
    The second death then being the unchangable condition of the soul in eternity.
    May God help us all to not abandom good solid foundational teachings that do not ignore his very clearly written commands, and may He have Mercy on us all who have lost our way after coming to know His word.
    I do not know the weight of the millstone that will hang upon the neck of those who hurt God’s little ones
    by leading them astray. Praise God!

  10. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon All –

    Gary, I am puzzled by the comparison of King David to his father, Jesse of Bethlehem. I always thought Jesse was a righteous and humble cattleman.

    Gary, you wrote:
    “Unfortunately, David’s earthly father had not done the same, for his unrepented desires and actions suffered him greatly after his death, and that made his eternal condition much different than David’s.”

    Would offer a gentle reminder that when we call up the example of King David of Israel, we will find rhetorical IEDs down the road. The Gay Caucus relies heavily upon the special friendship of David and Jonathan, son of King Saul. Prepare carefully, Brother. (Matthew 10:16)

    Yours,
    Maru

  11. poohpity says:

    Gary, where on earth did you get that type of information on David’s earthly father, Jesse. That is just totally wrong. Which says a lot about other things that are said.

  12. BruceC says:

    Maru,

    Kindly explain your last paragraph about David and Jonathan?

    When I read Psalms I see a mixture of thoughts and heart attitudes. In some the Psalmist tells God that he desires to lead sinners into a knowledge of God and His ways. In others he calls for the total destruction of the wicked and sees their judgment. So we see both mercy and grace; and we see the justice and holiness of God.
    We live in strange days. I have a SIL who thinks God won’t send anyone to hell. In theory she is correct. People make that choice themselves. Some don’t even think there is a hell. Some think God has a hammer in His hand; just waiting for us to get out of line so He can crush us. Others only see His mercy and grace.
    Some churches may make us feel convicted all the time. Others never preach on sin. Where’s the balance in our life. What do we stand for? HOW do we stand for it?
    I have seen cops that I thought abused their power and were just looking to rough someone up. Then others; with a different approach, that still made the arrest. Same law. Same authority. Different approach. Who had the blessing and respect of the community and their boss?
    If a criminal thinks that what he does is okay and that he is not wrong; what does society think of him? If a criminal knows he is wrong and struggles and wants to change then what would that same society think of him?

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  13. SFDBWV says:

    One of the amazing things Jesus brought to mankind was an approachable God. Even a God that we could begin to relate to as we learned of His nature from Him as a man.

    The Psalms are laced with God’s nature and prophesy and sometimes prayers from the edge of the writers soul.

    If we can understand God is still with us and here among us, not in some far away distant place and if we listen psalms are still being written today.

    If we look into some people eyes (not all) and listen to the poetry and music today (not all) we can still see Jesus and we can still learn from what some say or sing still inspired by the same God.

    There is also a lot of evil out there and dangers and traps so we must always keep our eyes wide open and our hearts fixed upon Jesus as we look and listen to things in this world.

    On a side note, I will always find it interesting how all of us quote OT Scripture when it is convenient for us and then critique others for doing the same when it is not.

    Steve

  14. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All –

    This Psalm 119 is a learning exercise, as well as an act of worship. In Hebrew, it is also a poetic accomplishment in arrangement and rhyme. The outcome of reading and memorizing this Scripture is giving God glory.

    I only hope, by recounting one of the “skirmishes” in the church these past years concerning David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1, 2. 3) — to indicate that there is a strong movement on both edges of the spectrum of Scriptural interpretation to “claim” validity. The battle is the Lord’s.

    Consider the believer who reads Scripture with faith! Both the “right” and the “left” in the pulpit and at the lectern seek to radicalize these faithful believers. I would claim that the love of David and Jonathan for one another was a great friendship — both honoring and obeying God. An interpreter of Scripture from another camp would claim that it was a gay relationship. The hermeneutic is as ancient as Babylon, but this battle is still being waged.

    It seems to me we are called to be attentive to the Scriptures as a source of the knowledge of and ever- growing faith in God, not a weapon to fight a theological war. Both “sides” claim any who believe differently from the way they do is not a real Christian. May the Lord have mercy on us all.

    Yours,
    Maru

  15. SFDBWV says:

    Maru just for the sake of Scripture I will bring all to the attention of 2 Samuel 9:1, 3, 6, 7. Jonathan had a son Mephibosheth, which leads me to assume he also had a wife.

    Even an amateur psychologist knows there is a difference between *love* and *sex*.

    Just because David loved Jonathan has nothing to do with a sexual relationship. That is absurd!

    I love many, but only have sex with my wife.

    I am only writing this because you mentioned it; please don’t think I am disagreeing with anything you have said because I am not.

    I, like you, am very aware that people use Scripture as a platform to base their doctrines whether false of true, and like you I believe only through prayer, meditation and attention to detail can we individually learn the truth.

    Unfortunately that is something we can not impart to others.

    Steve

  16. tracey5tgbtg says:

    The opening post about Psalm 119:76 was so short and open-ended. I have been thinking over it somewhat trying to understand what Mart was saying.

    What particularly catches my attention is the question at the end, “or have I?” Have we forgotten the love of God shown to us in the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, the Holy and Perfect Lamb who was slain for the sins of the world? Or do you mean you personally Mart are having a crisis of faith? Or does each of us individually need to assess our hearts and see if we have forgotten our first love? So much pondering that goes on in my head. Always, I want to know the correct interpretation of the questions and the correct answer. Maybe there isn’t meant to be a “correct” analysis. Maybe the point is to just turn to God and pray. Thank Him for our very existence.

    What comes to mind is that, yes we have forgotten. Daily we break the greatest commandment which is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Yes, I know that I forget, because if I was constantly remembering Him how could I get caught up in petty arguments. How could I worry about the future or the government. If I were constantly remembering God I would have utter and complete trust in Him and I would not feel compelled to “fix” things in my own power. I would not feel that it is my responsiblity to save sinners.

    Looking at the picture of the sheep. Can the one sheep whose head is not caught save the other sheep whose head is caught? All the sheep who is not caught can do is bleat loudly and wait for the shepherd to come and set the captive free. And stand there and keep him company while they wait for rescue. Should the unchained sheep stand there and tell the trapped brother – “you are wrong, you need to get your head out of that fence right now. Do you see me sticking my head in the fence? Don’t you know you should never get to close to the fence or your head could get stuck?”

    Or maybe he could say, “Our shepherd will come. He will save you. I will wait with you until he gets here.”

  17. tracey5tgbtg says:

    The scripture quote was supposed to say Psalm 119:176

  18. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning Friends. It is a beautiful day here in CT and I hope the rest of you are blessed with good weather.

    I spend a few minutes reading here during breaks from catching up with yard work, but there seems to always be a post or two that throws me off and I have no idea what to say about it….the right or wrong of it.

    Steve, your side note led me to believe that you would understand my dilemma, except I don’t think I can say I find it “interesting”. I find it to be “confusing” at best and very antagonizing, so I just click off.

    Maru, your last sentence is what I say frequently when clicking off, because of the “theological war” that seems to take place here daily now. Sometimes, I write something in anger, but think. “who am I? I am no better”, delete it, and say “May the Lord have mercy on us ALL”..thank you Maru.

    Bruce, I think you hit the nail on the head with your police office analogy. KNOWING our sins, being sorry, and trying to rise above ourselves vs DENYING our sin is sin, being proud, and trying to rise above the other guy.. Disagreeing is one thing, but the arrogance that permeates some of the disagreeing seems more like the work of the serpent. Pitting and provoking at will hoping to sow total discord.

    OK, I don’t think I am going to delete this one. “May the Lord have mercy on us ALL”

  19. phpatato says:

    Tracy

    I loved your comment!

    Lord help me to be tenderhearted and loving. May I be that sheep who when I come upon a fellow sheep in trouble, be the one who will say, It’s alright. Our Shepherd is coming. I will stay with you until you are safe. And no, I don’t want to know why you got lost or how you got your head stuck because just this morning my head was stuck too. Help me, O Lord, to honour You and to stay Your course no matter how strong the current is to turn me around.

    In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

  20. poohpity says:

    What do you call it when someone says leading God’s children astray is like hanging a millstone around their neck then leading God’s children astray by saying something is in the bible when it is not? It is OK to tell people when they are sinning but it is not OK to correct someone not in a personal degrading manner but calling someone arrogant is OK but correcting on what is found in the bible is not? This is so confusing.

  21. foreverblessed says:

    Hello everybody, it is as Narrow wrote, so hard what to say! In the last topic jam200 wrote “that His plan was about love and being able to share the gospel through my testimony.” Our own testimony!

    I would like to tell something that happened to me, it was a few years ago, maybe more than 5, and there was a bible verse which stood out, and starting talking to me:
    two adulterous sisters, Ezekiel 23, as I read it, I thought about it, and started praying for some women in my vicinity who led promiscuous lives.
    The same bible verse came back to me, and I started praying for them again,
    The verse came back to me again, and there I started to ask God, what is it You want to say?
    Another time it hit me, and there I came to the understanding, God was talking to me! This verse was about me!
    You could say, I am somebody like Job, how could that verse be of relevance to a morally upright person?
    Slowly the meaning of this verse came to my understanding: My deepest thoughts, worries, that which burdened my heart, clashes with other christians, I did not share it with Jesus, but I would go to another christian.
    I would share my troubles with another person, and not with Jesus!
    And for being loved I would look to my own husband, and not go to Jesus first, and ask Him to fill me with His love before I would go to somebody else!, Yes that is what I did, and it hit me:
    God was not my first and my greatest love!
    That is adulterous living!
    (by the way, with this testimony I am not saying that physical adultery is alright, it isn’t, I am only saying that if I am not adulterous in the physical realm, I still can miss the mark, as God has intended me to be)

    I need You more
    more than yesterday,
    I need You more,
    more than words can say
    I need You more then ever before,
    I nedd You, Lord, I need You more

    More than the air I breathe, more than the song I sing
    more than the next heartbeat, more than anything.
    And Lord as time goes by, I’ll be by Your side
    cause I never want to go back to my old life
    I need You more

    (written by Lindell Cooley and Bruce Haynes, and performed by Kim Walker, Jesus Culture)

    Maybe this song is in other words what Psalm 119 is also about, this song was in my heart, and I was pondering is it really so, or can my love to God be much stronger? I pray for more love, and I pray this also for all of you!
    Is this a appropriate to personal outcomes?

  22. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon BTA Friends –

    Pooh, I believe you refer to Luke 17:1, 2, 3, 4. Not sure. Hope my comment on King David’s father, Jesse of Bethlehem, was not hurtful. Maybe I am confusing the correction just mentioned with some other correction…?

    Steve, I am not sure we can apply reason and logic to what is said and done in the name of Biblical truth! “Absurd” is very polite and understated as a comment upon what passes for theological opinion. I agree that a little clear thinking would be so welcome.

    Maru

  23. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Foreverblessed-
    Thank you for sharing your story. What you say is so true.

  24. foreverblessed says:

    Pat, yes Tracey’s comment is so beautiful, she worded what I wanted to say on a personal note, how big is our love for God, and do we ralise how great His love for us is?
    Gary, I think you messed up David’s father with King Saul, who preceded David.
    Fadingman, thanks for your comment: God’s commandment to us is to love others as He has loved us. What a great love He had for us.
    Reading the comments on the Rob Bell interview, someone said: We should not get disrupted and angry when someone, some or other pastor gives his personal vision on a subject, like homosexuality, it is only his own personal view. We should not react in this way: Everything is going wrong, the whole church is going astray! While God is in heaven and staying the same, Jesus is the same today as He was yesterday. Lets not make it such a big deal, lets keep in mind: His love for us, and for all sinners.

  25. poohpity says:

    I agree forever, there are many times I think people are given verses and rather than apply them to their own lives think it is meant to apply to other people. God seems to be very personal as David implied in his personal response to God through his many Psalms. Although I see him as being very honest to God about how he felt even regarding his enemies when it came right down to it David realized the grace and mercy he himself had experienced and trusted God to take care of the rest.

    I think that happens in church also listening to sermons wishing so and so were there to hear it to apply to their life and totally miss the personal application.

  26. poohpity says:

    Mart, I can fully imagine just thinking on what 175 verses celebrating what Jesus has done for us would look like. That thought has brought the biggest smile to my heart and face.

  27. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… good call. I messed up! I certainly did not want to reference Jesse, but Saul.

    Thanks to all who found my trespass…

    foreverblessed… thank you, you are absolutely right, you read the context and did not get lost in my flagrant misplaced wording. I was referring to David’s earthly king Saul, and yes, I messed that one up.

    But, my intent or context which I trust hasn’t failed, was that “repentance” makes all the difference as to the outcome of those who are found to knowingly be living outside the will of God the Father, and then repent and return to Him for their right standing, restoration.

    Everybody gets a turn at messing up, it’s not my first time and probably won’t be my last either. :0

    Maru… thanks for catching and correcting, also for quoting the appropriate scripture references for the millstone context.

    I knew in the middle of the night that I had possibly mis-spoken by using that earthly father connection, it haunted me that that could not be applied to Saul, although Jesse being David’s actual earthly father never entered my mind.

    Thanks to all for properly filling in the blanks. Gary

  28. BruceC says:

    poohpity,

    You are spot on about hearing sermons and then thinking that it is directed at others. But that is our fallen “self” is it not? A tendency we all have; to pick up the first stone as it were. But in further examination of His Word we are unable to truly cast it as we ourselves are then the target.
    Yesterday’s sermon was on faith and I found myself thinking “Ow!” “Ouch, that hurt!””Mmm, that stings!”
    They are growing pains. Painful things about ourselves that the Holy Spirit reveals to put us back on the right track and help us grow in Christ.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  29. SFDBWV says:

    having trouble again this morning bringing up RBC and can not paste and copy to the blog.

    Steve

  30. narrowpathseeker says:

    Bruce, the first thing that came to mind after reading your message this morning was, WOW!! It was short, sweet and powerfully packed with a great deal that I can relate to on a daily basis. The painful awareness of my sinful nature visits me often and it is not pleasant. Maybe thinking of them as growing pains will make them more tolerable.

  31. narrowpathseeker says:

    Foreverblessed, once again, you’ve shared a wonderful truth. Your messages so often reveal wisdom, honesty, and love all wrapped up in a beautifully humbled package. You ARE abundantly BLESSED.

  32. BruceC says:

    Steve,

    I hope you get your problems figured soon brother. I know how annoying it is.
    I have oft wondered how simple things were during the days of quill and ink.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  33. oneg2dblu says:

    Let me see if I got the message about hearing sermons
    and feeling how perfect they would be to share with others, but if we even think that way, we are then judgmental, pridefilled, and only hearing what is meant for us to search our selves? Wow!
    I would call that selfish and self-serving because our loved ones should hear also, and if we can’t think of others when we hear a sermon, then how do we share that particular message?
    Everything we do and share is not meant to be evil, contrived, divisive, undermining, or the like.
    But, if that is what we are looking for, that is what we will find.
    God help us to see beyond our own judgmental accusations of others, and really search ourselves before we speak out against others.
    Gary

  34. oneg2dblu says:

    Also every sermon we hear may not be just for us!
    IMHO

  35. poohpity says:

    That was not a transgression Gary that was a mistake. Could it then be possible there are other areas of scripture that are also misunderstood? Rather than pointing out everyone’s sins would it not be better to be grounded in the word like David was talking about in Psalm 119?

  36. poohpity says:

    If the bible or a sermon was not meant as personal then God would have the other person there to hear or read it. The problems come when we try and push it on someone else when we have not even learned it for our self. The best thing to me if we want others to hear a sermon or learn what is read in the bible is to be an example of it. Talking about it while neglecting to live it is not taken to well nor should it be. That is the salt and light to live what one believes then few words are necessary.

    How can someone claim to live out the Bible when they do not even know it? So when Mart asked about have I forgotten God’s love one would have to know about it before it can be forgotten.

  37. poohpity says:

    Then I doubt very seriously if it will ever be forgotten!!

  38. poohpity says:

    Salt has to be experienced, used or tasted and light has to be seen neither of them use words.

  39. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… now that you have given me my personal mini sermon, which we all know did not come from your flesh, I’ll assume it is for me, and for me only.

    So, I’ll make sure I do not tell others about it.

    I do beg to differ with you however, as to how my mis-placed words were received by some others here as clearly as a mistake, and how it was then played out by you who tried to make more of it, as if it was not equally a transgression.

    “What do you call it when someone says leading God’s children astray is like hanging a millstone around their neck then leading God’s children astray by saying something is in the bible when it is not?”

    I know there is a sermon in there for you somewhere, if you would only hear it.

    I do believe however, that “all conviction” found in the word, and yes even in a sermon that hits its mark, is meant for only those it hits, to teach, correct, or rebuke.

    Matthew 11:15 NIV “He who has ears to hear.”

    Starts the context that ends the thought with this, “But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”

    Revelation 2:7 NIV “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”

    Is thay not a word or a sermon in itself issued to be shared by everyone who hears and is convicted, and by those who also care enough to share it? Gary

  40. swwagner says:

    Sometimes I think the best way to approach a topic or sermon when I think someone else might benefit from is for me to just say something like “Isn’t this a hard truth to understand?” or “Do you have any insight from this verse that would help me?” or “I sure have fallen short of what God wants so many times in this area”. “It took forever for me to come to terms with this truth.”

    If you include yourself on the receiving end of what God is saying to all of us, it opens the door for a discussion or a chance to tell what God has done for you. Maybe the other person goes away with the idea that you understand their struggles (and then maybe even God understands their struggles and can be trusted). The truth can be softly spoken even if it is hard for the hearer to receive.

  41. poohpity says:

    Gary, lol, you are so right. It needs to be God that convicts and He does not need me. I have failed to trust God. Does that also mean we can not have conversations about Mart’s topics following his guidelines for the conversations? If that is the case what is the use of the blog and even in that case I have also failed to adhere to those guidelines. Please forgive me, Mart.

  42. narrowpathseeker says:

    First of all, I am pretty sure if I adhered to every Directive, Command, etc, in the bible, I would thus be perfect. I am FAR from being even near perfect.

    If I REMEMBERED EVERYTHING I have learned over the years, I would be very knowledgeable…I am FAR from that as well. I can’t even remember if I took my vitamins this morning.

    However, often in any given situation I will be given the gist of a scripture and I will remember enough of it to look it up. This morning I was given a handful of scriptures for ME.

    I am fairly certain they are for ME as I find it very difficult to turn the other cheek or to give more than what is being taken from me. I also find it very hard to give a kind word to someone stirring up wrath. AND although I am short on Knowledge for the most part, when I THINK I KNOW something for certain, I am not above getting puffed up.

    Finally, going to a brother or sister ALONE to tell them of a trespass is impossible on this blog since all can see(hear), so I am thinking maybe that one is to share with others as well.

    Proverbs 15

    1) A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

    2) The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

    Luke 6:

    28) Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

    29) And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.

    1 Corinthians 8

    1) Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

    2) And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

    Matthew: 18
    15) Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

    16) But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

    17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

  43. poohpity says:

    Mart, asked, “What if we responded to what has now been given to us?”. How do we know on this blog whether someone is speaking out of arrogance, malice, hatred or anger and even if they are what should my response be? I need to be patient because I do not know the heart of that person. Gentle in my response because assuming is not the best way and I have learned that the many times I have jumped to a conclusion they are often wrong. Presenting facts rather than offering opinions seems to promote discussion. If I have been given love, grace and mercy then it would behoove me to show it.
    (disclaimer this is not directed at any person but is in response to the topic)

  44. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh, this may be but an opinion, but we use WORDS to express anger, love, compassion, hate. What I get from Christ’s words below, is that OUR words reveal our HEARTS. I believe I have lived long enough and have experienced enough in life to understand what someone is conveying with their words. I am not above misunderstanding at times, but since I got straight A’s in English Lit(albeit several years ago) I am guessing that my understanding is not completely out of whack. I am very painfully aware of the evil that comes out of my mouth in anger and that my heart is not pure and Christlike. I pray and work on that daily. Aren’t we all supposed to be aware and working on that with Christ’s help?

    Matthew 12:34, 35, 36.
    34) O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

    35) A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

    36) But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

  45. poohpity says:

    narrow, knowing that much about the english language then could you agree with this thought. How one reads a statement says more about that reader’s heart, mind and personality than it does of the writer. One can only guess, assume or jump to conclusion where a writers heart is unless you ask the writer or they have shared their feelings.

    For instance when I corrected Gary my heart was not feeling arrogant or angry which in our years of conversing back and forth I have not called him names or thought any less of him but in fact have encouraged him on his tenacity. I have no ill feeling towards him nor will I ever. I really care for him and always have, I have much respect for Steve in his care of his son and community, I respect the knowledge that Bill has and I do not dislike anyone even though I may not agree with them. I am able to not take things as a personal insult when someone disagrees with me. I do however get my feeling hurt by those who presume to know my heart when they have never taken the time to get to know me.

  46. narrowpathseeker says:

    English Lit has a lot to do with understanding what the author was trying to convey.

    English comp is about writing and while I forget much, I will always remember the first day of that class so many years ago. The instructor opened up with this, “If you can learn to write well and speak well, you will have the ability to convince anyone of anything.” What she didn’t say then nor throughout the semester was anything about truth…it was all about how to manipulate with words. That is when I began to entertain the notion for a History Class that the Great Enlightenment was nothing more than a candlelit detour that has but led us further into darkness.

    In answer to your question, I think that it is possible at times with anyone. However, I would have to say a big NO to that. I’m sorry, but I think debating this is futile, because feelings are going to be hurt. However, I would like to say one last thing. When my feelings are hurt, I often ask if I am reaping or is the other person sowing or both? Many times I will recall doing something similar to someone else, even if it was in days of yesteryear. Some seeds take longer to mature than others..

  47. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All –

    It seems to me Psalm 119 is a wonderful place to dwell with the Lord. One might almost close his/her eyes and point to any verse of the psalm to find encouragement. For example, there is great comfort in the verse you referenced without meaning to, Tracy (your post of 9:44 p.m. last evening): “Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.” –Psalm 119:76 Every verse in the psalm has the same solid grounding in the presence of the Lord through his word.

    For me, the view of reality you establish in that same post is the emblem of this discussion. You wrote:

    “Or maybe he could say, ‘Our shepherd will come. He will save you. I will wait with you until he gets here.’”

    I am convinced this “waiting with one another” is the best part of what followers of Jesus do. Jesus takes care of all his lambs.

    Maru

  48. BruceC says:

    narrowpathseeker,

    Spot on about the “Great Enlightenment”. It turned people’s hearts away from the Light of the World into the darkness. And it continues this very day.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  49. SFDBWV says:

    Pearl I am glad you are back from your journey and caught up enough to be here again. Did you enjoy your visit to Switzerland and Germany?

    My cousin Janet did, but summed it up as being glad to be home and especially glad to be an American.

    No disrespect to anyone else’s country, but there is no place like *home*.

    Spring is slowly turning to summer and my hummingbird count is now up to 7 that I can separate as they buzz about from feeder to feeder.

    I have three baby grey squirrels that have joined their mother at the feeder and a forest of fern that are gaining prominence above the back yard.

    Each season has its beauty and enjoyment, but I have to admit winters are getting harder for me to find enjoyable.

    Steve

  50. SFDBWV says:

    Thinking again about Mart’s subject, once again I find myself straining to read what is between the lines, not said and holds the deeper meaning.

    Often in some of the more personal messages Mart has written I have sensed a cry for help or clearer understanding in matters of faith. Some may call that a crisis of faith some may not. When Mart does answer those questions he usually denies there being any.

    I think all of us question where we are with our understanding of things spiritual and where we are with regards to being faithful or in agreement with Christ’s desires for us; I am not sure such times are a crisis, but rather a healthy time of reflection.

    Often during such crossroads we seek out others to agree with us so as to give us confidence in where we are and what we believe, and look sometimes at those who do not as being wrong or at least not grown up yet to a place of spiritual development we feel we are in. It is at that time we come face to face with the concept that we may think ourselves to be spiritually superior to others and if we are honest with ourselves we then are embarrassed to discover that we are capable of believing that and so stop talking and seek a more humble attitude within our selves. A quick retreat to meekness, prayer and guidance from God so as to how to proceed.

    In the old fable of the lion and the mouse the relationship between the mouse and the lion changed once the mouse removed the thorn from the lions paw.

    The mouse gained courage and the lion humility.

    Steve

  51. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, I LOVE the old fable of the lion and the mouse! I hope I remember that one! I vaguely remember a period of time when I saw love starved little boys and girls behind/inside old grumpy, mean, and ferociously scary people and had no fear or anger towards them. Somewhere along the way, I guess I became the latter and now weave in and out of the two.

    I had a fantastic time in Europe! God’s incredible creative beauty was breathtaking at every turn in Switzerland. Mountains, green rolling hills with sheep and cattle, giant lakes, waterfalls, flowers, and flowering trees that framed cobble stone streets, squares, rustic watch towers, and well kept and decorated, red clay shingled houses, and tall and old church steeples.

    Their public transportation put us here to shame!! There is a bus stop within a very short walking distance in every little town. The busses come every 15 minutes during the day and once an hour after 7pm AND they are always on time. There is a train station in every town and you can hop a bus to the train station and travel Europe. They do a lot on the honor system. Only once in 3 weeks of taking busses did anyone get on to check our tickets. AND for 4 francs a with a pass you punch your ticket and it is good for any bus all day long!

    Germany was also beautiful with rolling hills and some mountains, but not quite as breathtaking as Switzerland. I have some photos I took in a German museum of their portrayal of WW2. Ashamed/embarrassed(?) of Hitler, that era is hidden away on the second floor and behind a large pillar is a pit of destruction with photo frame of Hitler smashed in the rubble. Didn’t find much info on ancestors as Bremerhaven was leveled/bombed and records lost. Called several people there with same last name but when I asked in German is they spoke English, they hung up on me. ;-) None of the countries I visited, cater to English speaking visitors…sure glad I learned a little German…mostly polite terms which seemed to cause them to go out of their way to help us..

    Ok sorry, I didn’t mean to go on and on. I am glad to be home but the trip was great. I have company, will get back later…

    Pearl

  52. narrowpathseeker says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I am aware of my many sins. Daily, I confess them, ask for mercy/forgiveness and ask for help to do better and try to do my part in rising above them. Then I ask daily for mercy for my many failures to do so. I also think I am fairly tolerant of others.

    Where I fall short on tolerance is with those who blatantly proclaim that their acts are NOT sin and hatefully blame others for not accepting their sins. I also fall short with those who know what they have done is a sin, but lie and deny what they have done. I really don’t KNOW if that is right or wrong, so I ask for mercy for that too and I pray for those people.

    If someone brutally murdered one of our loved ones in front of us, how tolerant would we be of their sin…especially if they were totally unremorseful…If one of our loved ones brutally murdered someone and was also totally unremorseful…does our tolerance shift to a higher level of acceptance? I hope I never have to find out, but I think when “tolerance” eliminates the need to exercise self control and voids out any need for confession, remorse and forgiveness..that we can expect trouble ahead.

  53. foreverblessed says:

    Narrow, thanks for your comments on your journey. Come to the Netherlands next time, they are very english minded.
    What a good question you gave:
    What if the transgressor is on of my close loved ones?
    You think of tolerance, I think of compassion, have more compassion for the sinner, because when he is close you can walk close with him “walking a mile in his shoes”. This does not mean that we tolerate sin, but we come close and stay with him till the Shepherd comes.
    Such a nice allegory that Tracey brought in. June 9, 9.44 am: says the one little sheep to the other who is stuck in the fence “Our shepherd will come. He will save you. I will wait with you until he gets here.”
    Like God had compassion for the son who went astray, the lost son, God waited for him, to come to his senses.

  54. narrowpathseeker says:

    Foreverblessed, if the monitor on the back of the seats in front of us, that tracked our flight, was correct, we flew over the Netherlands,(May 5th about 6am) and I waved by the window and said, “Hi Forever!!”…which took a lot of explaining to my sister…lol.

    It’s not that I don’t agree that we are to have compassion on other lost sheep Forever. While I found Tracey’s analogy of the sheep waiting for the shepherd beautiful and very touching I have another similar analogy that is not so beautiful and that is the one I have a problem with(however wrong it may be…it is an honest confession)

    My analogy is finding another sheep with it’s head stuck in the fence and offering to wait with it until the Shepherd comes and having it say something like, “My head is NOT stuck in the fence, it is YOUR head stuck in the fence. You are seeing yourself and think it is me…go wait for the shepherd yourself to get YOUR head out of the fence” I may still wait with it and I may even keep my mouth shut, but I am pretty sure that I would be thinking about pushing it all the way through that little hole in the fence.

    I may do the right thing but sometimes my heart isn’t singing for joy when I DO. That makes me feel very evil, but only the truth can set me free so I don’t deny having those feelings. I confess it and ask for Mercy/Forgiveness/Help and I get it…then that same sheep gets his head stuck again and again turns on me. It must be a test…sometimes I pass..sometimes I fail..that scares me.

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