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For the Love of God

DSCF1566aA friend recently called my attention to a book titled “Testaments of Love, a study of love in the Bible.” It was published in 1981 and written by well-known Australian author, Leon Morris.

Even though the book is heavily footnoted  I am impressed not only with its clarity— but also that it may be the book I didn’t realize I was looking for over the last 20 or so years.

Early on, Morris asks a question we’ve found ourselves thinking about together: “How do we harmonize the assurance that “God is love” with the assertion that “Our God is a consuming fire?”

Interestingly, the author doesn’t spend time answering that question directly except in a footnote about half way through his almost 300 page findings. There, all but buried on the bottom of page 136, he recalls how the British theologian, John W Stott, had observed that God in his love has found a way to expose our wrongs (because he is light) and to consume them (because he is fire) without destroying the sinner, but rather saving him.” (The Epistles of John pp160-161)

(On that point, we’ve seen that nowhere is our wild-eyed evil exposed more nakedly and consumingly than in our role in Jesus’s crucifixion)

On the next page, Morris quotes another theologian by the name of C.H. Dodd who concludes that when we say “God loves” we are saying something similar to the fact that “God creates,” “God rules,” and “God judges”. “But to say ‘God is love’ implies that all His activity is loving activity. If he creates, He creates in love; if He rules, He rules in love; if He judges, He judges in love. All that He does is the expression of His nature, which is— to love.”

I’m finding these thoughts to be far more than “scholar talk.” Coming to know the burning heart of our Father is especially important in light of our attempts to reconcile the way God thinks about us— and our wrongs.

Yes—in the crucifixion of Christ our God has thrown a light on our sin. And through the work of his Spirit in us, like a burning fire, he is slowly consuming our self-centered obsessions and letting us peek above them in love— for the God who loves us— for one another— and for the world for which Jesus died.

Is there any way to over-emphasize the wonder of a fire and love that burns like that?


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124 Responses to “For the Love of God”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Mart I am so very happy for you to have found something you have needed to hear for, as you put it, over the past 20 years.

    Just goes to prove the theory that if you look long enough for whatever it is you are searching for, you will find it.
    I am happy for you Mart.

    I am reminded in part of the Proverb that says “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27 KJV)

    Easy to take such a verse and see it as God’s fire in a man’s heart burning the outer cover and exposing that which lay underneath.

    Most take that proverb to mean something else, as in if we play with fire we will get burnt, or if we play win sin, it will have its effect.

    I suppose if you are looking for something negative in God’s Word what we find actually exposes the negative in us, but if we look for the positive in God’s Word it will expose the positive in us.

    Yes I agree Mart what we look for exposes who we are, His light exposes as well as provides a light for us to follow. (Psalms 119:105 KJV)

    36 degrees and cloudy.

    Steve

  2. jeff1 says:

    His truth is like a double edged sword, the truth hurts but it is also necessary for to make me right with God.

    The silences are when I agree with God that is judgement is just, and that Christ is my peace for He has reconciled me with God.

  3. SFDBWV says:

    Very well said Viv, God’s Word is indeed a double edged sword as it is written that out of the mouth of Messiah goeth a sharp sword (Revelation 19:15 KJV) and (Revelation 19:21 KJV)

    Sin defeated at the cross and sin and death forever done away with, forever at the end. (Revelation 20:14 KJV)

    By an eternal fire…The all-consuming fire of God.

    Steve

  4. poohpity says:

    Mart, this week I am reading through Leviticus. The one thing that is repeated over and over is “When you realize what you have done, you must admit your defilement and your guilt” of sin in your life whether intentional or unintentional that was when you bring your sacrifices to the alter for forgiveness brought through those temporary offerings. God’s love was always bigger than our sin, so to admit what we have done frees us from holding it in which kills our very souls.

    In the light of the Cross admitting to sin shows we agree with God and accepting His grace seems to be the fire that destroys our desire to keep sinning.

  5. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Mart, you quote Leon Morris this morning:

    “How do we harmonize the assurance that “God is love” with the assertion that “Our God is a consuming fire?”

    It seems to me that both these statements are given from God’s mouth as assurance. God is entirely who God is. The Father told Moses, “I am that I am.” (Exodus 3:14) And Jesus told the temple crowd, “Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58)

    The paradox of “God is a consuming fire” and “God is love” is reconciled as I experience the cleansing you have described in your post:

    “God in his love has found a way to expose our wrongs (because he is light) and to consume them (because he is fire) without destroying the sinner, but rather saving him.”
    (from John Stott)

    This seeming contradiction in God’s attributes makes me think of Job’s trust in the Lord:

    “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” (Job 23:10)

    Joy all day,
    Maru

    13C/55F and raining here

  6. SFDBWV says:

    Many conflicting thoughts this morning. I could go outside and clean off the nuisance snow or await 7am when I officially measure it and then report it to the National Weather Service.

    I could clean things off feed the critters in the dark, then repeat at 7. Or I could set here and have some coffee and contemplate the message and some of the comments I have read this morning.

    I could also go into the living room with Matt and snooze in the chair awaiting time for his routines to begin.

    When I read the ending comments from our last subject yesterday morning I suspected there would be a new topic up as the last one ended as it too often does with “strife”.

    When I read the title of the new subject (For the Love of God) I smiled, maybe even chuckled as it almost seemed to be a comment connected to the ending of our last one.

    I could imagine Mart rolling his eyes or shaking his head and saying “For the Love of God”…

    There is a warning that comes from the Scripture that says “Do not quench the Spirit”, roughly quoted.

    For me that is simple, when the “fire” of the Holy Spirit is moving amongst believers wherever or whenever we come together, we are not to pour water on it and “quench” the fire, we are to instead fan the fire and enjoy its warmth and watch how it spreads among us.

    However when someone brings strife into the gathering, we then sadly watch as things fizzle and die out.

    Remember when you first became “born again” how the “fire” of the Lord raged within you? Remember in Revelation when Jesus said for us to return to our first love. That fire, that zeal, that intense desire is what he wants us to remember and relive.

    Fire doesn’t always have to be seen as destructive…Only when used for that purpose or when mis-used.

    20 degrees, flurries here atop the Alleghenies.

    Steve

  7. jeff1 says:

    Steve, I have just posted a comment on the last topic to help to clear up the strife. I apologise to you Mart and others for allowing my part in it and will with God’s help do better in future to react as a believer in Christ should act.

    I remember at school the teacher would give me lines to do ‘I must do better’ and I owe it to God to act out on those words.

    Thank you for your last post, Steve, it has made me sit up and take note and pray I behave better in the future.

  8. SFDBWV says:

    Viv whereas your apology shows your better character and your Christian heart, you are not to blame for the matter. As this matter has existed for many years and is nothing new to the community.

    We are continually given the option here of either ignoring the perpetrator, trying softly or bluntly to show her, her errant behavior or just live with it uncomfortably.

    She has shown no shame, nor remorse for her behavior and will never apologize for it. Nor change.

    You do fine Viv in being a Christian and your comments are always a joy to read and bring into our homes.

    Your friend and brother in our Lord.

    Steve

  9. saled says:

    What hope there is in this topic! Thank you Mart for boiling down this Leon Morris book into its essence and sharing it with us.

    The question: “How do we harmonize the assurance that God is love with the assertion that ‘Our God is a consuming fire?”

    The answer from the John Stott quote: “God in his love has found a way to expose our wrongs (because he is light) and to consume them (because he is fire) without destroying the sinner but rather saving him.”

    What hope this gives me as I see the fire on the lives of myself and loved ones! God doesn’t hate us: he loves us and is refining us into our true essence. I love this idea and am thinking that this is what the last topic about reading between the lines was leading up to.

    Another day off from school for me. Four snow days and 50+ inches of snow in the last 7 days. Holding out hope for spring to come soon to Downeast Maine.

  10. SFDBWV says:

    Saled, I just came in from plowing and feel embarrassed to complain… 5 inches since 5 o’clock this morning.

    The thing is they are calling for 40 degrees and rain as early as tomorrow.

    I do hope things settle down for you and my friend Christine up there in “Down East Maine”.

    I enjoyed your comments this morning as well and agree this subject has a lot of potential.

    Steve

  11. poohpity says:

    Sally very insightful about the link.

    It seems when God shines a light into our own hearts not to make us feel horrible about the things we have done but as a means to help us understand what is so totally amazing about His grace. Only when one sees the true heart condition we all face everyday does the use of that kind of fire make sense. Not for destruction but for repair and restoration. Like the fire of the kiln when you put a clay vessel in it, it gets strengthened. Then the next step is to glaze the item and burn it again for beauty and usefulness. Everything happening for a reason and for our good.

    Love is seeking the highest good of the one loved.

  12. joycemb says:

    Pooh David surely felt horrible about his sins as most of us do. Its called being human. God made us human and likes us. Without guilt-remorse-shame there can be no true repentance, whether with God or with our fellow mankind. Even if I speak with the tongues of men and angels but have not love I am nothing more than a clanging symbol. Love is between God and man but also between man and man. Its messy business to achieve “love one another”. Praying for us all again today.

  13. joycemb says:

    We can be right, or we can be humble knowing that only God knows what is truly “right”. Next to Him we know nothing.

  14. poohpity says:

    Joyce there comes a point when one can weigh themselves down with so much guilt and shame that it does not lead to repentance and restoration but to self abasement/abuse or self victimization that all one notices is how horrible they are and never looking at the new creation one is by the blood of the lamb. Acknowledging sin/confession is different from wallowing in it and allowing it to be our identity. With confession brings healing and restoration compared to overloaded with shame and guilt which brings depression, hopelessness and despair, that kills the very soul that Jesus wanted to save.

  15. poohpity says:

    When David’s son was dying from his transgression with Bathsheba, he confessed his wrong and after the death he did not continue in shame and guilt as to not function any longer.

    So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate. 21Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 2 Samuel 12:20-21

  16. poohpity says:

    David’s hope was; “I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”

  17. joycemb says:

    Yes there is, because of what Jesus did we have him to bear all our guilt and shame! My point is we must be real about our guilt and shame, if we have any.

  18. joycemb says:

    Are we to be merciful or judgemental of those who’s identity is in feeling guilt and shame? That sort of judgement brings either more condemnation or freedom. I’m thinking it’s only the HSpirit that can judge to freedom.

  19. poohpity says:

    Just as I do not feel it is our job to judge from what the bible says the Holy Spirit does not judge either just as Jesus does not judge or condemn but save and our job to tell of that salvation also. I do however know that the Holy Spirit does convict bu that conviction is from the light shown from within but that is how we can confess to be restored and embrace grace. But please do not listen to what I say but what God tells us through the bible. (John 3:17, 8:15, 12:47; Luke 19:10)t

  20. poohpity says:

    I believe we are to show mercy and grace to everyone. If people’s identity is in shame and guilt I think it only helps to let them know what Jesus has done for them and to walk along side them until they embrace God’s love for them.

  21. poohpity says:

    It certainly is not our job to load them with more shame, guilt, condemnation, belittling, pointing out all their faults or sins when we have so many issues in our own lives. God shines His light in our lives not for us to use that light against others but so we be aware of our own sin nature so we can bring it to Him to be covered by His grace.

  22. joycemb says:

    Pooh your 2:26 post is what I was saying. Glad you believe that and pray your writing will reflect that. Oswald Chambers today talks about how the spiritual initiative to do something must be followed by action on our part. But it doesn’t say he gives up on us:-). So thankful for the fire of Gods love that cleanses and gives us an opportunity to start over.

    (How do you like my seque back to the topic:-) friends)

  23. SFDBWV says:

    We had a very sad occurrence here back in the late 80’s when a young 19 year old girl disappeared. The deputy sheriff who was arrested after a thorough investigation by the FBI was known very well by everyone and many just couldn’t believe him to be guilty of her kidnapping and subsequent murder, as her body was never found, only evidence that she had been killed.

    At the time my foster daughter had been called by the Deputy pretending to be someone he wasn’t and like several other girls he had called my daughter did not go to the location he had tried to trick them into going.

    The girl who did never came home.

    So I attended the trial the day my foster daughter was on the witness stand. While she gave her testimony and others I observed that day it was easy to see why they call it “the hot seat” and he sat there in his chair squirming like the chair under him was on fire.

    Many of us can relate to hearing a sermon in church and thinking the preacher is talking directly to me as we felt the “heat” of the sermon.

    Do you think that Herod felt such heat when John the Baptist accused him of adultery? John lost his head because of it, but the heat Herod felt I would bet never left him, or perhaps it did.

    God’s fire He puts on us from guilt is God drawing us to confess, ask forgiveness and repent if that heat is not present or ignored God has either given you over to your own self or you have hardened your heart to the calling of the Holy Spirit.

    God spoke to Balaam through a donkey, He will speak through whomever He wants in order to get the message to you. Perhaps even stones.

    You will either receive the message, or ignore it. How many times ignored will the voice fade and not be heard, with no confession, no request for forgiveness, no atonement, until the fire of God is replaced with denial, resentment and anger.

    Steve

  24. joycemb says:

    Steve scripture does say that God hardens hearts but its for purposes of redemption. His good purposes.

  25. joycemb says:

    Whether its redemption of the offender or those around them we must have grace as our go-to dealing with things that are far above our understanding. “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner” is a good place to start.

  26. poohpity says:

    Because John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.

    6 But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. 7 Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.

    8 So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.”

    9 And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her. 10 So he sent and had John beheaded in prison.

    Peer pressure is a mighty force to do evil. Following others who lead us down a wrong path seems to be quite common unless we have made a commitment to follow what God has asked us to do.

  27. foreverblessed says:

    God is love! Such profound knowledge! It is so hard to keep that in front of my mind and heart.
    The seven woes that Jesus spoke about the Pharisees, Matt 23:23
    Love was in His heart, within a month He would die for them, out of the love of His heart!

    If I would say these things to a self-righteous person, would I feel the love in my heart? Of would I need more killing of my old man, in order to say such a thing?
    Get the beam out of my own eye first

  28. street says:

    love the pic mart. a vesicle on it’s journey to deliver it’s precious cargo to it’s proper destination. watched over by a hidden presents that the pilot looks to to navigate in an open wilderness. faith hope and love are imperative in such an undertaking.

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Romans 1:28-32

    Steve

  30. street says:

    20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

    verse 20 came immediately to mind as i read mart’s post. the last couple days i have been thinking, i know i have been dining on the word of God when i meet with Him in Scripture. my question arises what has He been dinning on? could it be my sin shame guilt rebellion? consuming fire? hiding in plane sight.

  31. joycemb says:

    Steve the purpose of the list of sins in Romans and other places in scripture are for self examination and are sins that separate mankind from God because they discount God as sovereign. Jesus said if we commit any sin in our heart and minds we are just as guilty as those who do those sins outwardly. To apply them to others is judgement, only Jesus was the sinless one appointed to judge.

  32. joycemb says:

    Fish street, he’s been dining on fish. (Sorry I couldn’t resist) :-)

  33. joycemb says:

    If we didn’t know we had sin we wouldn’t know we needed a redeemer.

  34. phpatato says:

    Steve, there are people in this world – Christian and non-Christian – who go through their entire life without asking for forgiveness for something they have said or done that caused upset and harm to another person. I believe it to be a sin in that person’s life if they stubbornly fail to say sorry. To me, it shows just how haughty they really are. It’s almost like it is beneath them to have to utter the words I’m so sorry. God is not fooled by any of the excuses these people come up with to justify why they don’t have to say sorry.

    You know, it seems to me that receiving God’s complete forgiveness, no matter how trivial the offense may be – “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” – is a 2 step process. Asking God for His forgiveness is the first step. The second step to me is key, and one that many disregard with a “ppfft” and that is saying sorry AND receiving forgiveness from the person (or people) who became the victim. God’s complete forgiveness will be withheld until the offender rights his wrong. In other words, there is a defined distance between east and west because God has not forgotten.

    And blindly they foolishly continue to walk, like you said Steve, with not only a hardened heart but with being stone-deaf to the convictions of the Holy Spirit as well.

    And for those who are ready to jump in with the word “judging”….this is something else I believe in. This came to me via email and was written by a Pastor Ken Weliever out of Texas. He wrote on the Phil Robertson (Duck Commander) flap on homosexuality but can be, in my mind, applied to any situation where someone points out what a sin is with others jumping on the You are Judging bandwagon. I guess it is ok for a minister or pastor or some other religious titled person to point out and teach on sinful behaviour but it isn’t okay for anybody else to do that?? I don’t know, you tell me.

    In part this is what Pastor Weliever wrote:

    “””Duck Commander, Phil Robertson, was put on suspension by the A & E network for his comments in GQ magazine regarding homosexuality.

    People were quacking on facebook and all over social media about it. Many on facebook were posting “I Stand with Phil.” Now, Robertson has been reinstated. A & E continues to show reruns of the show. And the controversy has simmered down.

    However, a question was brought up numerous times by liberals and conservatives alike, that I’ve never heard addressed and answered Biblically. Was Phil Robertson guilty of judging?

    Robertson quoted almost verbatim 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:

    “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    One popular cable TV host said Robertson was guilty of passing judgment or condemnation. To prove his point he quoted Matthew 7:1 “Judge not that you be not judged.”

    It’s interesting that when someone dares to condemn sin, they’re charged with judging. Is this so? And is that fair?

    To answer the question, let’s first look at the context of Jesus’ statement.

    Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    Meaning of “Judge”

    The word “judge” means “Primarily denotes to separate, to select, to choose, hence to determine, and so, to judge or to pronounce judgment.” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary)

    Jesus is saying that we ought not to assume the office of a judge, in the sense of the Lord’s judgment. Jesus is condemning harsh, censorious judgement. We are not to be hypercritical or hypocritical. As Max Lucado wrote, “It’s one thing to have an opinion. It’s quite another to pass a verdict. It’s one thing to have a conviction; it’s another to convict the person.”

    Jesus uses a humorous illustration of someone who has a log in their eye trying to remove a shaving from someone else’s eye! Ridiculous! Absurd! And wrong! First remove the glaring fault from your life before you try to correct others for their minor flaws.

    Bible Usage

    However, the Bible uses the word “judge” in several different ways. Consider these three.

    1. Jesus commanded, “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (Jn 7:24). The Gospel reveals God’s standard of righteousness (Rom. 16:16-17). Of morality. Of right and wrong. When Phil Robertson quoted 1 Corinthians regrading homosexuality, he was doing what Jesus approved, but not violating Matthew 7:1.

    2. When brethren took their legal problems before pagan judges, Paul rebuked them. “Is there not a wise man among you…that shall be able to judge between his brethren?” (1 Cor 6:5). That kind of judgment is appropriate. Helpful. And needed.

    3. Regarding the sexually immoral man at Corinth, Paul said, “I have judged him” (1 Cor 5:3). This was not a violation of the Mountain Message, but a proper application of John 7:24. When moral righteousness is ignored, Christians should apply God’s Word and condemn sin.

    Jesus said, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”

    So, did Phil Robertson judge others? Yes, but not in the way condemned by Christ . He didn’t pass sentence upon others, but applied the Gospel to a moral issue. May God give more Christians the courage to “judge righteous judgment.”””

  35. street says:

    you are right the list and the law are there like a mirror for us to look at to see ourselves. not a pretty picture. the cross is another place to look for Hope. better yet a risen Savior! the fascinating thing is we are still sinners after faith has come. we are not made perfect over night! i made a comment to my bother today the only perfect christian is a dead christian. thinking further, one living by grace is perfect too! the living one is more profitable than a dead one. if God is light love and life, His children should reflect their Father. then again there is grace! abundant merciful plentiful grace! Dad is spectacular!

  36. joycemb says:

    Amen street!

  37. joycemb says:

    Hi pat! Hope all is well with you and yours!

  38. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pat, I think your message was an incredible explanation of righteous judgment verses the defensive accusation of judging when one is confronted with offenses. Thank you…Hope your week is Blessed

    Steve …your Wisdom shines yet again! I remember the very first time I was convicted in church(or at least the first time I remember recognizing it as conviction)…the sermon was on Love…and the part that rung in my ears over and over for hours was….”He who says He loves God and hates his brother is a liar”….life was a living hell for me and I was full of HATE, but I still thought I was a good guy cause I didn’t hate “good guys” just “bad guys”!! yes..I was in my 20’s and still very ignorant!! I got to work that night(3rd shift) and a spiteful very unlikable selfish old man came in to run a machine right next to me…when my anger towards this old man began to boil…I remembered the conviction and began to pray in a dirty old factory about 4 O’clock in the morning. I told God I was sorry and that I didn’t WANT to hate…I don’t remember the words I used but I remember the gist of it was that He was all powerful and could do anything He wanted and if He made my life as good as others that maybe I wouldn’t feel so jealous and hateful….I soon began shaking so bad I had to sit down…I thought I was having a nervous breakdown..I shook for several minutes..my legs were hopping up and down even when I was trying to hold then down with my hands…when I finished I stood up and felt like I had just stepped off a boat onto dry land…I went to get a cup of coffee and on the way just thought all kinds of nice things about everybody I saw along the way..even the old man when I returned seemed like not such a bad old man!!! .yep…I was that ignorant that I didn’t have a clue what was happening to me until maybe months late when I told the story to an old Christian woman that was shaking her head at this old man and I told her how he affected me the same way and how I had prayed…she started crying…and told me I had been visited by the Holy Spirit.

    I ask many times daily for forgiveness for ugly thoughts, feelings, and for the angry things I say and/or yell to people on TV. and ask Him to deliver me from all the ugliness I detect in myself daily…it’s kind of like the title of a book I remember reading or hearing about…3 steps forward, two back…..but I hope I am making some progress because I don’t want to be among those forever learning but never coming to the Truth…

  39. SFDBWV says:

    “For the Love of God”, an all-consuming fire.

    1 Corinthians 6:1-10 KJV states that the saints shall judge the world and that we shall judge angels.

    To think that we are never to judge is misunderstanding the directives of Scripture.

    In fact the very basis for making a judgement is discernment between right and wrong.

    If we think we are not to observe and recognize right from wrong, then mistakenly thinking we are under condemnation from God for it, soon we won’t be able to recognize sin at all.

    Do not be deceived as Satan sneaks in the back door of your mind and twists Scripture in order to dilute the message and cause confusion in your quest to live a righteous life.

    No one likes being judged from another, mostly because it forces them to face reality when they hide under a cloud of deceit.

    If judged unjustly, the truth will set you free.
    If judged correctly pray that the fire of God will convict your heart and lead you to correct your heart by all the measures God provides.

    Pat has spoken very wisely, and as usual Pearl in this matter and has added wise and honest testimony to the community.

    I too am guilty of allowing the news to upset me to the boiling point, so I try not to spend too much time watching it, but I take such things in stride as part of being a whole and healthy person. Recognizing the wrongs I see in the news as wrong or unjust and or ungodly.

    Why wouldn’t that upset me?

    Read all of the New Testament, not just the verses you feel supports your narrow view, and what you read is what is right and what is wrong behavior for living as a Christian and what to expect for it.

    26 degrees and cloudy.

    Steve

  40. narrowpathseeker says:

    Praise our Awesomely Wonderful creator of Heaven and Earth Father God!!!! This morning the one lone page of the study bible that I read daily provided this commentary on Matthew 10:14 , which seems to me to give confirmation to much of what Steve, Pat, Viv, Joyce and others here are trying to say about judgement and the importance of conviction!

    “Why did Jesus tell His disciples to shake the dust off their feet

  41. narrowpathseeker says:

    Hey, I wasn’t finished!! lol…be back and post the rest when I am finished with it… on lap top if the pointer rests on any one spot…it is like clicking on it…must have been resting on “submit” sorry.

  42. narrowpathseeker says:

    Continued from 7:49 am.

    …if a city or home didn’t welcome them? When leaving Gentile cities, pious Jews often shook the dust from their feet to show their separation from Gentile practices. If the disciples shook the dust from a Jewish town from their feet, it would show their separation from the Jews who rejected the Messiah. This gesture was to show the people that they were making a wrong choice….that the opportunity to choose Christ might not present itself again. Are you receptive to teaching from God? If you IGNORE the Spirit’s prompting you may not get another chance.”

    The jackass that God used to speak to a prophet that I believe Steve mentioned, reminded me of another time I was convicted when I was hatefully JUDGING for real. God used a man that wasn’t even a Godly person nor anyone to look up to in any way…he said to me as I was spewing hateful garbage….”Who in the H do you think you are?!!” I shut my mouth immediately(believe me that was not easy at that time) and I could feel the burning…I shut up and walked away…I didn’t like it …I didn’t like that man…but I spent many days after that and still periodically looking in the mirror and asking myself that same question… that is when I see myself most clearly and it isn’t pretty, BUT it shows me what I have to be delivered from, forgiven for, and what to ask Him for help in the quest to rise above myself.

  43. joycemb says:

    Fire of judgement on sin or loving consuming fire that destroys sin? Seems to be both, but in our age of grace I must leave the final judgement to God. We all judge every day. We judge when the light turns green it means go, or when the cake looks done we stop baking it. However to judge another’s sins now, today (not in the future Judgement) unto condemnation is wrong. Paul says in Romans there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Steve we may not like how someone else lives their life but can we really understand as only God can know the depths of hurt, pain and destruction a life has been through? We tend to hold others to our standards yet not to sound like a broken record but Jesus said if we do those things in our heart/mind we are no better. Scripture also says that when we judge others we judge ourselves. Christianity 101. The first thing to do when aware of judging someone is to remind myself I too am guilty and pray for their redemption from sin with a grateful not hateful heart attitude. Love grace!

  44. joycemb says:

    Pearl I love your posts!

  45. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Pearl, so glad to see you on “fire” for the Lord as the darkness gives way to a bright sunny day.

    Brush fires often create their own weather as its wind pushes it forward. Some have seen it, as have I, when groups of people are knocked over from what looks like a wind blowing through a field of grass.

    Ask and you shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you…Let the fire of God consume you in elated delight.

    Enjoy and spread the fire.

    Steve

  46. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, I am sorry but I have to disagree with you on your view on judgement. It seemed to me that we were all on the same page. Pat posted an incredible message on the difference between righteous judgement and let’s say SELF righteous judgement. The adage that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc…it must be a duck…comes to mind. the whole point of this calling one out on their continual offenses towards everyone here, is to make aware despite their continual rejection and denial of offense. A mime can go through all the pretense of building a home, but it will provide no protection from a storm. The same is most likely true of one who pretends to be strong and innocent of any wrongdoing. I don’t think making a duck aware they are a duck is judging. :-) anyway…I know you are quite knowledgeable in Scripture and far more so than I will probably ever be, but I really believe you are a little off on this one. I also know you try to practice what you learn..I just disagree with that one little tweak on judgement vs JUDGEMENT.. :-)

  47. joycemb says:

    That’s fine pearl, I have no problem with you or anyone else who disagrees with me. The H Spirit will direct me and correct me as usual :-)

  48. joycemb says:

    For the love of God…

    It just occurs to me that how I spend my time is important, do I spend it seeking Gods help for how to better love others or……

  49. jeff1 says:

    I don’t think judgement is for man to do because it always ends up with one apportioning blame and it does not work.

    In my country once we got into the blame game one side felt as justified as the other in their ungodly acts.

    Judgement is for God and I was always brought up to believe that so is vengeance.

    One sin can lead to another sin and judging another can end in disaster. I will tell you what I was told about a young girl who told her parents she was a lesbian and her father could not accept it. She was extremely close to her father and because of his rejection she took her own life.

    You can hate the sin but it is best to continue to love the sinner to my way of thinking. I should spend more time examining myself and making improvements to my own way of thinking and behaving and less agonising over others I have no control over.

  50. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, I spend time in prayer seeking God’s help in being the person I believe He wants me to be, in heartfelt prayer for friends and family, in obedient prayer for enemies, in thinking about right and wrong, in making many mistakes in the latter, and finally in asking for mercy and forgiveness for us all.

    I would guess that Jesus didn’t say beware of this or that just to frighten us and the on….beware of false prophets that come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are like ravening wolves. Matthew 7:15-23 seems to me to be all about BEWARE. So I am in BEWARE mode in this time period of my life. :-)

  51. SFDBWV says:

    We are come together here hopefully so as to share our thoughts with one another. Not to be more right than another, but it may just be that some of us will learn, be encouraged and sometimes be confirmed in what we believe.

    We do no service to another and show no love if we ignore another’s sin, believing it not our place to correct them if they have fallen away from showing Christ in their behavior.

    Any good parent will teach their children right from wrong, and sometimes be forced to discipline them for dishonest or incorrect behavior. It sometimes is referred to as “tough love”. It is for their own good, not to show the parent as the authoritarian or more right than the child.

    Rather because the parent loves their child.

    God has done this from Genesis to Revelation in an effort to save us, His children, from a lifetime of self-inflicted pain.

    If I am to learn from and be led by God, my behavior will reflect His.

    At every occasion when Jesus confronted another concerning their sin, He forgave them, but added “go and sin no more.”

    In the Garden God ask Adam where he was and what had he did. Can any of you possibly believe that God did not already know why Adam was hiding or where he was? It was so that Adam could confess his sin and forgiveness could proceed.

    How many times will God forgive us? As often as we ask. How many times are we to forgive another? As often as they ask.

    50 degrees under an azure sky.

    Steve

  52. poohpity says:

    Look at all the people that Jesus dealt with and only to 2 did He say go and sin no more yet they all were sinners? John 5:14 and John 8:11

  53. poohpity says:

    I actually do not remember anyone who came to Jesus to ask for forgiveness but He gave it to them anyway. I also do not remember Him ever going to anyone calling out their sin however many admitted their sin like Zacchaeus.

    And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

  54. poohpity says:

    It seems like it was in most instances the very religious people that referred to people as sinners while not confessing it about themselves.

  55. poohpity says:

    I found today on the internet how many Christians were talking about a case of a florist that refused service to a same sex couple but yet they never refused service to liars, gossips, slanders, thiefs. So it seems people tend to be selective about sin by picking, ranking and choosing which one’s are worse than others. To show someone you do not believe in same sex marriage then do not get into a same sex relationship but otherwise it is really no one’s business that is between them and God.

  56. joycemb says:

    Pearl in the warning Jesus gave he was talking to Jews that may have been afraid to convert for fear of getting in trouble with the religious leaders. He did a thorough job of explaining their ulterior motives! If you have the Spirit of Christ in you, He will lead you into all truth. Perfect love casts out all fear. Gods love is perfect. You have nothing to fear my friend:-)

  57. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, what I fear is that in the past I have failed to recognise the Spirit of Christ and wandered. It was my earthly father’s example that made me realize I was not seeking God’s truth because my mind was not right with God so how could my heart be.

    Sometimes I feel quite immobilised because I am not convinced I know what God wants be to do next.

    It is usually my son or other family and friends who motivates me to do anything and if it where not for them I would feel quite lost.

    The struggle is that my mind and heart are not always in harmony and my mind seems to dictate to my heart more then it should. The desires of my heart are in conflict with the voices in my head.

    I know what is right in my heart but my head says otherwise.

  58. foreverblessed says:

    Love the sinner….. more easy said then done!
    I must admiraal that even I am really honost with myself, andere I look in my heart, that when I really hate the sin, there is also contempt for the sinner in met heart.
    I do not want it, but its there. More and more I am beginning to realize whatever it is to live out of Grace:
    Help me to have love for the sinner!

    I give my contempt to Jesus, and He gives me His perfect love.

  59. narrowpathseeker says:

    Foreverblessed, Vivian, I think we are all in the same boat as far as not being pleased with ourselves in our walk. I think the key here for all of us is that we see OURSELVES and it is our DESIRE to do better and we ASK Him for help.

    When I was raising my children it was all about survival..I lived on 4 hours of sleep many days holding down a job, having 4 in cloth diapers with no washing machine, and dealing with an abusive alcoholic. I didn’t have money nor time to cater to their every whim like parents today. I cried out to the Lord every day…Lord I can’t do this..PLEASE HELP ME!!! Just this morning Frank was commenting on what a wonderful job I did raising my children….and as I often tell people that say that to me…THE LORD RAISED MY CHILDREN!!! I didn’t know that He was helping me then but in retrospect it is obvious to me.

  60. poohpity says:

    If I can not wrap my mind around how much value and worth I have to God then I will not be able to look at others that way either. ALL people sin, mess up, have faults but “For the Love of God” making a way for us to have a relationship with Him which seemed to be the plan since the very first humans were created and He never gives up on trying. Every person is of value and worth to God. One day every person will know that and we can help by letting them know.

  61. poohpity says:

    Since we will always sin rather than concentrating on that we are give so much good to do.

    “Do Something”

    I woke up this morning
    Saw a world full of trouble now
    Thought, how’d we ever get so far down
    How’s it ever gonna turn around
    So I turned my eyes to Heaven
    I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
    Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
    People living in poverty
    Children sold into slavery
    The thought disgusted me
    So, I shook my fist at Heaven
    Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
    He said, “I did, I created you”

    If not us, then who
    If not me and you
    Right now, it’s time for us to do something
    If not now, then when
    Will we see an end
    To all this pain
    It’s not enough to do nothing
    It’s time for us to do something

    I’m so tired of talking
    About how we are God’s hands and feet
    But it’s easier to say than to be
    Live like angels of apathy who tell ourselves
    It’s alright, “somebody else will do something”
    Well, I don’t know about you
    But I’m sick and tired of life with no desire
    I don’t want a flame, I want a fire
    I wanna be the one who stands up and says,
    “I’m gonna do something”

    If not us, then who
    If not me and you
    Right now, it’s time for us to do something
    If not now, then when
    Will we see an end
    To all this pain
    It’s not enough to do nothing
    It’s time for us to do something

    We are the salt of the earth
    We are a city on a hill (shine shine, shine shine)
    But we’re never gonna change the world
    By standing still
    No we won’t stand still
    No we won’t stand still
    No we won’t stand still

    If not us, then who
    If not me and you
    Right now, it’s time for us to do something
    If not now, then when
    Will we see an end
    To all this pain
    It’s not enough to do nothing
    It’s time for us to do something [x3]

  62. foreverblessed says:

    “Tbere is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ”.
    That is so true!
    But when people are critical about some conduct of a “born again” christian,
    They throw away the critique, and say the famous line!
    No condemnation !
    That makes many evangelical Christian immune for helpful guidance.
    Having critique is not the same as condemnation!

  63. foreverblessed says:

    Let me explain: I was once I am christian ministry for women. The lady that was leading slowly proved to be of the authoritarian sort: God rules from high to low.
    So the Holy Spirit would in her mind first show it to the leader, and then downwards. Slowly the By Spirit became a dictator in her use.
    When saying that to her, she would answer:
    There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.
    With that answer she was saying to me: You are condemning me in your critique.
    And subsequently threw my advice to the side, and kept on going as she did

  64. narrowpathseeker says:

    This morning the commentary in the study bible touched on the”balance between Wisdom and vulnerability to accomplish God’s work. We are not to be gullible pawns and neither are we to be deceitful connivers.”

  65. foreverblessed says:

    She was actually saying:
    When God is speaking through you I would not feel comdemned. But because I feel condemned your words are not inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    Is that really so. This question has bothered me a long time.

    Till lately I read in the evangelicals, that the Pharisees were saying to Jesus: You are hurting us by what you say!
    They felt condemned by what Jesus said to them!
    Would Jesus condemn anybody? No, He did not!
    But they felt they were condemned.
    That does not mean that they were condemned by Jesus.

    That’s it!

    If a person feels condemned by what Jesus says, it does not mean that it is true!

    But now I am repeating myself.

  66. narrowpathseeker says:

    Foreverblessed….AMEN!! I think your God given Wisdom in accomplishing God’s work is very well balanced. Thank you.

  67. poohpity says:

    There a big difference between condemnation and conviction.

    Condemnation is loading a person down by telling them what a horrible person they are to tear them down and one of Satan’s best weapons. Conviction on the other hand is to promote Godly sorrow over an action/behavior the leads to repentance and change.

    Conviction shows you the answer (the Blood of Jesus, which washes away sin), while condemnation shows you the problem (the sin, the past and your failures). Condemnation shows you the problem, but conviction shows you the answer.

    Condemnation shouts, “Your past! Your sins! You loser!” But conviction shouts, “The Blood of Jesus washes away sins! Come to Jesus and be forgiven of your sins! You can be forgiven! Your sins and past don’t have to be a part of you anymore!”

  68. foreverblessed says:

    Luke11:45
    One of the experts in the law answered Him:
    “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.”

    What did Jesus answer that man:
    “Well, you know, I really do love you deeply. So deep, that soon I will die for your sake”.

    No, Jesus didn’t. But, we know that Jesus did think that anyway. Because Love is the motivating factor in the Bible.
    I want to read it, even if it is not so see-able at first sight.

    The old verses from Psalm 136
    His goodness/mercy endures forever

    That is repeated 26 times! Speaking about repeating!

    That verse is always true!
    So if Jesus has critique on the teachers of the law, His mercy for them will be never ending!

  69. foreverblessed says:

    That is exactly what I mean to say:
    Jesus told the teacher of the law just what he did.
    Luke 11:37-44
    Jesus did not say to him: Come to me, you who are wearied.
    See what I mean?
    I am trying to see the love of God in what Jesus is saying to the teachers of the law.
    There seems to be no comfort, no saying of: I respect you as a person.
    Just plain a description of how they behave.
    And they feel insulted. And Jesus seemingly leaves is as such.

  70. poohpity says:

    Wasn’t Jesus confronting the teachers of the law on their behavior that was leading people away from God rather than to Him?

  71. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, that could be true, but Jesus did not say to them: I love you very much, in fact I will die for you, so as to save you, BUT, I have this and this against you.
    He just said: You, whitewashed tombs.
    And the Pharisees felt insulted.

    You say the Holy Spirit convicts, but the devil condemns.
    I am just saying, how do you see what Jesus did!
    He was just saying, as to speak in Pearl’s words: a duck is a duck. Without saying that there would be life in believing in the Son of God to them at the same time.

  72. foreverblessed says:

    What I think is that Jesus treated self-righteous people different than the people who knew they were sinners.
    Jesus was harsh on the self-righteous.

    And how can I see love in that? I am just thinking out loud.

  73. SFDBWV says:

    Dear friends Paul and Peter spend a great deal of time condemning those who are not demonstrating Jesus’ behavior in deed and action.

    Think you that they are in error for condemning those who say they are Christian, but do not behave as if they are “in Christ”?

    Adolf Hitler said to the German people while condemning non-Christian Jews that they had “killed *our* Lord”.

    Do you think then that Hitler’s behavior was not contemptable? Or that because he claimed to be a Christian we are in error for judging it as such?

    Do you think that Hitler was “in Christ”, just because he claimed to be a Christian.

    What is in your heart will come out of your mouths/words.

    Satan knows and uses Scripture all the time and will pervert the Word to sow confusion, from them that are open to his lies.

    Stand against sin especially when it raises its ugly head in the body of Christ; it has, it is and it will again.

    I don’t think I will be back here today, after looking in this morning at 5am I shook my head in disgust and had nothing further to say without repeating myself.

    Please do not be deceived, Satan is relentless and as his time runs closer to being over he grows more aggressive.

    When you are *in* Christ your behavior will reflect Him, when you are not *in* Christ your behavior will reflect the person/flesh that you are.

    We all do a little of both, but be able to recognize it as such. Do not confuse grace from God with accepting un-Christ-like behavior as being anything but what it is.

    Steve

  74. joycemb says:

    Dear Viv we all wander at times, which is why God gave us preachers, teachers, friends, family, neighbors to encourage us in various ways. I’m thankful you are not alone and that God knows what you need to navigate your days. He knows none of us can do it on our own (yep I’ve tried) and not be troubled by our thoughts, feelings and circumstances. Try to relax and let God do what He does best; look out for our best interests:-) He loves you more than you could ever love yourself or any one person could. God uses a village to accomplish His purposes. The various gifts are parts of the care.
    Blessings with love,
    Joyce

  75. joycemb says:

    Have a better day Steve.

  76. narrowpathseeker says:

    AMEN!! Steve, I think you hit the nail directly on the head. And he comes to steal our peace and love and joy and anything else he can rob from us.

    Foreverblessed, I think you are absolutely correct and I also think that you explained yourself quite clearly. I further believe that the difficult one knows exactly what you are saying and just wants to do as always…..and I think your eyes are opened to what that is. Be Blessed Forever.

  77. joycemb says:

    Steve unfortunately all will show un-Christlike behavior at one time or another. Only the pharisees expected perfect obedience. Don’t be like the pharisees :-)

  78. joycemb says:

    Steve this is how the apostle Psul handled evil doers. Note he uses words like fear and humility in describing his demeanor. The Lord just showed this to me. Handling sin in other believers takes the grace of humility to do it effectively. Paul asked nothing from them but to turn from evil and do good.

  79. joycemb says:

    2 cor. 12:20-21
    20 For I fear that perhaps hwhen I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those iwho sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, jsexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.

  80. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, Steve doesn’t even come close to being like the Pharisees. I think he is a top of the line Christian and I think you know that too. I am just going to say this and be done as this is exactly what the rebel rouser wants….disharmony among the brethren. If you want to feed on her venom, that is your choice. The concerns here have nothing to do with obedience nor disobedience…it has to do with mal-intent, denial, lack of remorse, and all done while preaching to us about being loving Christians. OK, I am done on this matter. I will stand my ground praying for her and let what will be will be play out in my head. We ALL need to be strong for upcoming storms, trials, and battles…maybe this has become boot camp training…

  81. joycemb says:

    Paul mourned over those who had not changed. Humility.

  82. joycemb says:

    Yes Pearl I need more grace to be humble also.

  83. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Joyce, I so often have relied on others faith to encourage mine and it always works. Seeing others come through difficult times and being part of their support as they are mine is how God strengthens us to go on.

    I believe you are correct Steve I must recognise when my behaviour is not Christ like and do something to change it otherwise there will be no progress in my spiritual journey.

    God wants me to learn from my bad choices and His Grace allows me to do that.

  84. joycemb says:

    Pearl, I have distanced myself from most personal connections on this blog so I could have more freedom to write what’s on my heart without fear of being warned or chastised for who I do or do not speak to. That said, I love all here and hope we can all continue to grow and learn from each other as the H Spirit teaches. No one here including myself have all the answers nor complete understanding of God and the Bible. Mart asks good questions and the purpose of this blog is to think about and discuss theological issues. There is a long standing feud here that I want no part of, and honestly am getting tired of the same old same old. So that’s where I stand.
    Blessings, Joyce

  85. poohpity says:

    forever, regarding your 10:27am comment. The religious leaders were the one’s who had known of the Messiah’s coming for thousands of years. They were taught He was coming and the reason He was coming, for the salvation and forgiveness of the world. They were the one’s who were to be pointing people to His coming but rather they had put their selves on the throne. Satan turns people away from God but so were some of the Pharisees and other religious leaders. Yes Jesus will always be very harsh on anyone that turns people away from knowing of His love. Matt 23:13,23; Luke 11:42

  86. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    The fire of judgment and the light of God’s loving presence are both amply supplied by the Gospel, it seems to me. Those who believe the Bible is a collection of myths will resist believing in Jesus with all their strength — and go on doing so in spite of our tears, anger and pleading.

    The Apostle Paul wrote:

    “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith.’”

    Upon hearing the kingdom message, the heart that is open will respond in faith. The burning conviction, self-recognition and thirst for the water of Life come into hearts by the hearing of the Gospel.

    Recall how the prophets kept bringing the message — both condemning sin and proclaiming the love of God. Isaiah wrote, “Therefore thus says the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believes shall not make haste.”

    Jesus emerged from His testing in the wilderness and “from that time He began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'”

    Thank-you, Mart for reminding me, “Yes—in the crucifixion of Christ our God has thrown a light on our sin. And through the work of his Spirit in us, like a burning fire, he is slowly consuming our self-centered obsessions and letting us peek above them in love— for the God who loves us— for one another— and for the world for which Jesus died.”

    Blessings,
    Maru

    5C/41F with steady rain here in the valley

  87. SFDBWV says:

    February 19, 2017
    Naming Names
    “Their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” (2 Timothy 2:17-18)

    Many Christians decry the citing of actual names of those Christian leaders who teach heretical doctrines, saying that such an act is “unloving.” Paul, however, considered it an important evidence of true love to warn against those who would “overthrow the faith of some,” realizing that generalities would be useless.

    Not only did Hymenaeus and Philetus make Paul’s list, but so did Demas (2 Timothy 4:10), Alexander the coppersmith (2 Timothy 4:14), the Cretians (Titus 1:12), another Alexander (1 Timothy 1:20), and even Peter (Galatians 2:11-14) when he began to teach legalism. Likewise, John warned against Diotrephes (3 John 1:9) and the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:6).

    On the other hand, Paul was much more generous with name recognition when he was giving out commendations (e.g., Romans 16:1-15; Colossians 4:7-17). We undoubtedly need to follow his example in appreciating by name those who are faithful in teaching and living the truth.

    Likewise, we need to be ready and willing to name those individuals, churches, schools, and other organizations that are denying biblical inerrant authority, compromising the doctrine of special creation, requiring humanistic works for salvation, or bringing in other heretical doctrines. We obviously need to be sure of our facts when we do this and also to bring such charges only if motivated by genuine concern for those apt to be led astray if we don’t speak out. But then we must, indeed, “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). HMM

    Enjoy.

    Steve

    Click here to see the web version of this Days of Praise

    February 19, 2017
    Naming Names
    “Their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” (2 Timothy 2:17-18)

    Many Christians decry the citing of actual names of those Christian leaders who teach heretical doctrines, saying that such an act is “unloving.” Paul, however, considered it an important evidence of true love to warn against those who would “overthrow the faith of some,” realizing that generalities would be useless.

    Not only did Hymenaeus and Philetus make Paul’s list, but so did Demas (2 Timothy 4:10), Alexander the coppersmith (2 Timothy 4:14), the Cretians (Titus 1:12), another Alexander (1 Timothy 1:20), and even Peter (Galatians 2:11-14) when he began to teach legalism. Likewise, John warned against Diotrephes (3 John 1:9) and the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:6).

    On the other hand, Paul was much more generous with name recognition when he was giving out commendations (e.g., Romans 16:1-15; Colossians 4:7-17). We undoubtedly need to follow his example in appreciating by name those who are faithful in teaching and living the truth.

    Likewise, we need to be ready and willing to name those individuals, churches, schools, and other organizations that are denying biblical inerrant authority, compromising the doctrine of special creation, requiring humanistic works for salvation, or bringing in other heretical doctrines. We obviously need to be sure of our facts when we do this and also to bring such charges only if motivated by genuine concern for those apt to be led astray if we don’t speak out. But then we must, indeed, “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). HMM

    Click here to see the web version of this Days of Praise

    February 19, 2017
    Naming Names
    “Their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” (2 Timothy 2:17-18)

    Many Christians decry the citing of actual names of those Christian leaders who teach heretical doctrines, saying that such an act is “unloving.” Paul, however, considered it an important evidence of true love to warn against those who would “overthrow the faith of some,” realizing that generalities would be useless.

    Not only did Hymenaeus and Philetus make Paul’s list, but so did Demas (2 Timothy 4:10), Alexander the coppersmith (2 Timothy 4:14), the Cretians (Titus 1:12), another Alexander (1 Timothy 1:20), and even Peter (Galatians 2:11-14) when he began to teach legalism. Likewise, John warned against Diotrephes (3 John 1:9) and the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:6).

    On the other hand, Paul was much more generous with name recognition when he was giving out commendations (e.g., Romans 16:1-15; Colossians 4:7-17). We undoubtedly need to follow his example in appreciating by name those who are faithful in teaching and living the truth.

    Likewise, we need to be ready and willing to name those individuals, churches, schools, and other organizations that are denying biblical inerrant authority, compromising the doctrine of special creation, requiring humanistic works for salvation, or bringing in other heretical doctrines. We obviously need to be sure of our facts when we do this and also to bring such charges only if motivated by genuine concern for those apt to be led astray if we don’t speak out. But then we must, indeed, “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). HMM

  88. SFDBWV says:

    Looked in this morning expecting pretty much what I found. I did enjoy Maru’s comments and as always Pearl remains a good friend to me as well is able to *see* through the smoke.

    Joyce it saddens me that you choose to believe my comments against improper or bad behavior from any is solely connect to what you consider as a feud and not at face value.

    It would appear you have *judged*.

    Our subject is about the fire of God both shining His light on sin and His ability to destroy it.

    Would you say then that if God shines His light on us and exposes our sin that in so doing makes Him a Pharisee?

    I think not.

    This entire business of exposing strife within our own little group is too hopefully heal it. So that we can move on to fully develop the matter of the subjects and uplift each other.

    Normally I ignore the offender here, but this round of unpleasantness came about because an innocent one among us was attacked and I and some of us came to her defense.

    Yes you have cut off personal connections here with me and others, that is your choice, enjoy your solitude.

    I didn’t intend to double click the paste button on my posting of “The Daily Word”, but I guess someone needed to read it twice.

    Be blessed

    Steve

  89. jeff1 says:

    You seem to have hit on something Steve, which I believe divides believers.

    Coming from an unbiblical background myself, I am reluctant to disagree with my friend who has studied the bible thoroughly from her early childhood.

    She is critical of a religion whose teachings have led people astray and while I agree with her that is happening today her answer seems to be to cut them of from her life. She sees them as guilty for listening as the religion is for teaching.

    I disagree with her because I say they don’t know any better than what they were taught as I personally find myself in their shoes having learned from preachers and teachers rather than God’s word.

    If it were not for my father’s example of what righteousness is I could have went astray as I see many are today.

    Also God’s convicting me for my hatred of my enemies has made me realize there is much for me to learn.

    All of these happenings are what has convinced me that I should focus on Christ because I worry that I am wrong in my knowledge and I find peace in his Grace when I seem to be unsure of my source of knowledge.

    I have a tendency to look for an example such as my dad was these days rather than acquiring more knowledge which often I find conflicting and confusing me more than I already am.

    For me Christ finishes my unrest for an answer to the gospel and looking for people who follow His example seems more relevant to me than any other course.

  90. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning All. I hope I can articulate my thoughts here today to say what I mean without offending anyone for real. I am not concerned about those who take offense to the truth, but rather those who may not see the whole picture.

    I shared memories of a few of my painful convictions the other day and I would like to add a few more thoughts to them. I said a “few of” my painful convictions because there were many. They were very painful and shocking as is the TRUTH to us sometimes. I was learning that I was not the GOOD GUY in some areas of my life. The hardest and most difficult was the one in church on love…the rest were on love too but were exposing my behavior that was NOT very loving..It was one thing to find out I wasn’t a “good guy” after all but I thought I was doing better. THEN the convictions started mounting and it got harder to accept that I wasn’t the “good guy” at much of anything!!

    Day to day, I see little progress, but in retrospect, it is amazing what the Lord has done. As a child I had not one bad thought about anybody…not even those who were cruel to me…I just tried to figure out what I did to make them that way and what I could do to make them like me….then in my young adult life I was so filled with hate and vengeful feelings that after the first few convictions I had to ask how did I get HERE in this ugly place from back THERE where I loved and admired EVERYBODY…. NOW after many years of prayer and seemingly little progress…thinking back from my young adulthood I have come a long way…slowly but surely in prayer ..seeking God’s help…His guidance.Giving THANKS and PRAISE….YES, I have a long way to go BUT what I am really trying to say here is that it WASN’T always( if ever and they may have even hindered my growth), the well meaning and kind friends that consoled me as poor little pitiful Pearl when I was told where it was at, but by those who had the “AUDACITY” to subject me to the TRUTH…believer and unbelievers alike… I don’t think Jesus healed everybody the same way every time He healed…it seems clear to me that kind loving guidance from well meaning souls have not helped in this ongoing strife. I believe that if too many people had come to my defense and condoned my mal behavior that I would still be proudly hateful and vengeful and hideously self righteous. I further believe that we are in an era where we best ALL get to praying day and night for Mercy, Guidance, Blessings and give THANKS for all He has done for us already.

    Go

  91. narrowpathseeker says:

    WOW!!!!!…I have no idea where that “GO” came from…I did not type it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  92. poohpity says:

    “Once you were under God’s curse, doomed forever for your sins. You went along with the crowd and were just like all the others, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air, who is at work right now in the hearts of those who are against the Lord. All of us used to be just as they are, our lives expressing the evil within us, doing every wicked thing that our passions or our evil thoughts might lead us into. We started out bad, being born with evil natures, and were under God’s anger just like everyone else.

    But God is so rich in mercy; he loved us so much that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, he gave us back our lives again when he raised Christ from the dead—only by his undeserved favor have we ever been saved— and lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with him in the heavenly realms—all because of what Christ Jesus did. And now God can always point to us as examples of how very, very rich his kindness is, as shown in all he has done for us through Jesus Christ.

    Because of his kindness, you have been saved through trusting Christ. And even trusting is not of yourselves; it too is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can take any credit for it. It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.” Eph 2:1-10 TLB

    So it sounds like we were never meant to be the sin inspectors of others but to admit it in our own lives so that we go to God to receive His grace, mercy, forgiveness and salvation. As long as I look at what a mess and broken my life is, in need of the solution then I can spend that wasted time being an inspector, helping others.

  93. joycemb says:

    Feb.19 Definition of a leader by Oswald Chambers John 13:14. We are all temples of the Holy Spirit because of Jesus.

  94. joycemb says:

    You are right Steve I did judge you. My bad, sorry.

  95. joycemb says:

    Just bathed my cat, that was fun too :-). I need a do-over. Thank you Jesus for grace!

  96. joycemb says:

    Dear Steve, just thinking…since this is Marts blog, and he’s a christian, isn’t it his place to decide when an evildoer–one opposed to the faith– should be banned? And if he allows that so called evildoer to flourish here then???? How do you explain this apparent anomaly? This is not a mean spirited question, just one for thought.

    Still feels like a feud to me knowing both sides as I do.

  97. SFDBWV says:

    “Been Thinking About”
    “With Mart DeHaan *and friends*”

    Joyce, you did fine up until your last post. Do you not know that if you pick at a scab over a wound it will not heal, only get worse?

    I have never ask that anyone here be banned from commenting, but have ask for help for some. Such as a fellow who cursed the word “Christ”, which Mart ended up handling.

    Mart also for a while censured Gary.

    I would suggest if you have questions regarding Mart you ask him, not me.

    Personally I take your comment, even with sugar applied, to be insulting and baiting.

    So have a nice day, I won’t have any more to say to you today.

    Steve

  98. joycemb says:

    I apologize again, Steve, for hurting your feelings. I didn’t mean to.

  99. joycemb says:

    Thinking of Paul and those who opposed the message he brought when I said “banned”.

  100. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve doesn’t deserve these Poohlike put downs Joyce. This is very sad.

  101. jeff1 says:

    Hope the words of this beautiful song which I heard today will lift all our hearts.

    There is a higher throne
    Than all this world has known,
    Where faithful ones from ev’ry tongue
    Will one day come.
    Before the Son we’ll stand,
    Made faultless through the Lamb;
    Believing hearts find promised grace-
    Salvation comes.

    Hear heaven’s voices sing;
    Their thund’rous anthem rings
    Through em’raid courts and sapphire skies.
    Their praises rise.
    All glory, wisdom, power,
    Strength, thanks and honor are
    To God our King, who reigns on high
    Forevermore.

    And there we’ll find our home,
    Our life before the throne;
    We’ll honour Him in perfect song
    Where we belong.
    He’ll wipe each tear stained eye
    As thirst and hunger die
    The Lamb becomes our Shepherd King;
    We’ll reign with Him.

  102. joycemb says:

    Pearl I was not trying to put anybody down!!! Some do not like to have their thinking challenged and take it personally. I apologize once again for hurting any feelings. I must be at the wrong place now. I’m sad also.

  103. joycemb says:

    Thanks Viv great perspective! I feel better now.

  104. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Jeff, for that beautiful song!
    It reminds me of the beautitudes.
    You might think, why is that?

    Well, in heaven are only those who are full of the beautitudes.
    The poor in spirit
    Those who mourn
    The meek
    Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
    The merciful
    The pure in heart
    The peacemakers
    Those who are persecuted because of righteousness
    Blessed are you when people insult you…because of Jesus
    Matthew 5:1-12

    And if we do not have them in full measure, I guess we are to be set aside by angels and be taught them.
    Those who want to serve others, who put others before themselves!
    How can that be? Because we trust that Jesus will take care of us, that He will see to it that everything is well with our souls, and so we can put the other first.

  105. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, Glad it made you feel better.

    Forever, lovely thought to end the day with that Jesus will take care of us, that He will see to it that everything is well with our souls, and so we can put the other first. Amen.

  106. joycemb says:

    Yes, Amen

  107. joycemb says:

    For the love of God

    Let’s try to be like Paul as we minister to one another:

    1 Thessalonians 2:10-12New International Version (NIV)

    10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

  108. jeff1 says:

    For we owe it to God to rise above anything that causes us to behave ungodly for we know in our hearts what He has accomplished for us.

    It was pointed out to me on the last blog that the only one who can take you down is you but I believe that the only one who can allow yourself to be taken down is you but with God’s help and it is there for the asking I can overcome it.

  109. jeff1 says:

    To my way of thinking, I can have a heart for God but when I allow my mind to wander, I give into temptation, that can be brought about, by weaknesses within myself, or temptation coming from others but it is my responsibility to seek God and submit to Him rather than let the devil have his way because while it does not affect my Salvation which Christ has secured, it does affect how non believers see God and hinders the coming of the Kingdom of God to this world.

  110. poohpity says:

    Having the attitude of a student who is in the process of learning at all times helps when one receives correction. There are always going to be false teachers in this world, some knowingly and some out of ignorance and it is up to each person to compare what is said to what God says. Taking correction as a personal insult when it is only against the teaching not the person is faulty thinking to say the least. It is OK to not know it all but to act like we do is not OK. We all have a lot of room to grow in our knowledge of God it is after all a lifetime experience of learning by being His student. But woe to the person who does the false teaching. Luke 17:1 NIV

  111. poohpity says:

    After reading back through the comments I better clarify I was speaking about Jesus correcting the Pharisees about their self-centered teaching not being God centered. Don’t want anyone to get their knickers in a bunch.

  112. SFDBWV says:

    “Testaments of Love, a study of Love in the Bible”

    I know of no love story where there is not all the full ranges of emotions. Joy and heartache often goes side by side in any love story and seldom does anyone live happily ever after.

    Yesterday on PBS was a short segment about life after death and as it began I told Glenna that if they think they can prove or disprove life after death through philosophy they are wasting their time.

    She watched it as I went back and forth watching in between other duties. Of course I was right concerning the matter, nothing settled between the two thoughts on the subject.

    The one point I bring forward from their discussion is that people want a happy ending, especially if their lives have been unhappy. So universally all cultures believe in an existence after death of some kind.

    Christians are not at all that different from all the other cultures except that we as Christians believe we are *right* and all the others *wrong*. Our *proof* is our Bible even though the others proof is whatever ancient writings they possess and now we even have “spiritualist” with no real ancient writings except history itself.

    We all tend to come to a point where we believe what we believe and nothing can budge that believe because to do so is a failure of loyalty to our faith.

    The story of the Bible has been called a “Love Letter” by many people for a very long time. God shows us that there is nothing He wouldn’t do in order to restore things to where they began in perfect harmony and in perfect *love*.

    In between the pages of our Bible is the reality of the rocky road of love.

    We are told that in the end “Love Wins”.

    In reading yesterday’s comments I could hit back at Joyce and could feel justified to do so…In my heart I would be *right* to do so. But what would be accomplished by it? Nothing of any value, not to me and not to any of you who like me are disgusted with the bickering that goes on here.

    I have made several friends here and connect to them however I can, because I feel people are important and the names here that appear here are not just cyber-names but real people.

    For me “love wins”, I know what real love is and what empty talk is. I choose real love over empty talk every time.

    “Faith without action is dead”, love without action is also dead. Just as the fire of an all- consuming God will light your way and give you the warmth and confidence of being confirmed, it will also convict you of your wrongdoing, because it comes from “love” and no other reason.

    To deny your conviction is to deny God. The subsequent action you take will demonstrate which action you chose, denial or repentance.

    50 degrees and sunny today.

    Steve

  113. cbrown says:

    From Mart’s comments above:”On the next page, Morris quotes another theologian by the name of C.H. Dodd who concludes that when we say “God loves” we are saying something similar to the fact that “God creates,” “God rules,” and “God judges”. “But to say ‘God is love’ implies that all His activity is loving activity. If he creates, He creates in love; if He rules, He rules in love; if He judges, He judges in love. All that He does is the expression of His nature, which is— to love.” The “Daily Bread” this morning was awesome.I am teaching a Bible study on Thursday nights to inmates that are shackled hand to foot. Thursday I am going to share today’s “Daily Bread” devotional,2/20,in the first half of the study and then ask that one of the inmates share from the following weeks devotional the next Thursday. I ask that you pray that God will work in this study.

  114. poohpity says:

    Chris, I will pray for God to work through your study. Studying and reading God’s word sure does open our eyes. I liked Mart’s final question, “Are there any areas of your life you need to ask the Lord to examine?” Why do that when it is so much fun and self elevating to examine the areas of fault in others? lol

  115. joycemb says:

    Good morning all!

    Under conviction here, yes I need to change. Lord, change me.

    We’ve had several highly unusual days with temps in 40 to high 50’s range f. Though I can’t afford cruises or trips out west like some of my friends its been good just sitting out in my car in the parking lot reading and talking to God. Thankful for what God sets before me each day. Hearing crows right now so spring is coming. Hope is always near. Isaiah 46:4

  116. joycemb says:

    Lord please work in these dear ones lives to find the freedom and hope you died to give them. Your kingdom come in the Thursday night gathering. Amen

  117. phpatato says:

    Chris

    I would be delighted to pray for you and your ministry! Please know that I will be keeping you and it in my prayers.

    Steve

    Your comment this morning shows just how WONDERFUL you are. Taking the high road is most times extremely hard to do. God Bless You for succeeding in that!!! Thank you for friendship. You light up my life! xo

  118. jeff1 says:

    Thinking, Steve of the difference of my youth and my children’s. All the programmes I watched on television the good guys always won.

    Reality television has done away with the good guy always winning because in real life we know that evil can prosper.

    While many do their bit to stop it, it would appear that there are more bad guys than good guys in this world.

    The Bible does not say otherwise so if should not surprise us.

    We have a God who cares enough to convict us and also show us the way we should go. I have made a lifetime of mistakes before I have in anyway understood what God is doing in my life.

    The closer I draw to God the more He enlightens me to His truth which is that ‘His Perfect Love’ casts out fear and doubt and transforms us to His image.

    In today’s world God is misunderstood because God is seen through religions of the world and not as the personal God that He is.

    My dad had a gift of discernment when it came to false teaching helping me realize that people are not necessary what they say they are.

    You have that as well Steve, by that I mean your judgements are sound.

    You are like my dad, Steve, my father was stable of mind which I believe is why your judgements are sound, just my thinking, that they come hand in glove.

    Your posts make me think Steve, and you are right, when it suits me I deny God because I want to be right rather then agreeing the Holy Spirit is right. When I agree with God there is repentance and renewing of the spirit bringing me closer to God in the process.
    Very much comes from ‘love’ and no other reason.

    You have enlightened me very much today, Steve.

  119. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pat, well said. I agree totally with all you said about Steve and I will also pray for Chris’ prison ministry. Can I just DITTO everything you said? :-) Pearl

  120. joycemb says:

    I’m reading Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, by P Yancey and Dr P Brand. He says that when you just hand a homeless person a 10 dollar bill you are actually disgracing them by say you poor thing, you are not capable of finding you own way so I’ll help you out a little. So thankful the love of God gives us all we need; courage, strength, resources and above all access to Him who knows what us best for us. Never thought before about how a little help could be hurtful and not helpful, but it makes were to me today.

  121. joycemb says:

    Oops, makes SENSE to me today.

  122. joycemb says:

    Another correction, that was ‘beggar’ not homeless.

  123. poohpity says:

    For the love of God never back down when confronting those that teach things that are not accurate from the bible even when attacked from others who have no idea either. To stand on the truth is to stand with the Lord when so many in this time and age are coming against it. Listening to those who do not attend church or read the bible or even listen to worship music to learn but are just grasping at straws of hearsay. When one hears and reads the deception you may not gain the approval of those who are like minded but one can gain approval of God and after all that is who matters most. If deception were easy to spot it would not be deception sometimes it comes dressed as an angel of light.

  124. joycemb says:

    I will never go after anyone that rejects any truth, it’s just not Biblical. My own blindness precludes me. I am not all knowing, only God is. His holy spirit does a better job of convicting unto righteousness, that’s not my job. Gods truth leads to joy for freedom from shackles, both internal and physical. Last week in therapy I finally HEARD a truth i had KNOWN about for years, and I feel joy and more freedom. Like Steve said, words can be meaningless. When the timing is right truth is known, not before. Prayer is key.

    For the love of God may we all be given ears to hear.

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