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But if not…

What is the faith that pleases God? Is it found in believing that He will do whatever we ask of him as long as we don’t second guess (doubt) our own faith—and him in the process? Or is the faith that God is looking for the kind of trust that leaves the decision of our well-being, and his honor, with him?

Some believe that our faith fails, and we forfeit the miracle we are looking for, if we attach to our prayers the qualifying “if it is your will”.

But can the faith that pleases God rise higher than that expressed by the three friends of Daniel who were threatened with death by fire if they didn’t bow down to the golden image of the King of Babylon?

Let’s take another look at the story. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego are three Jewish boys already bearing the insult of the Babylonian names given to them in their exile. Now they learn that the king whose soldiers destroyed their hometown of Jerusalem is ready to burn them alive if they don’t worship his gods and bow down to his image. With this threat he asks, “And who is the God who shall deliver you from my hand?

To this, the three answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.  17If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up” (Dan 3:16-18)

I their case, the “But if not…” seems to have expressed real trust in God. And, this time, leaving the outcome with God didn’t result in losing their miracle (Dan 3:19-27).

In our case many of us have been left not only with our lack of a miracle, but also wondering what Jesus meant when he assured his disciples that if they believed in God they could ask whatever they wanted and get it– as long as they didn’t doubt in their hearts (Mark 11:22-24).

My guess is that Jesus was speaking of a faith that is (1) a gift of God, (2) that expresses real confidence in God’s perspective and wisdom, rather than our own.



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117 Responses to “But if not…”

  1. foreverblessed says:

    These questions you ask, have been on my mind for a long time.
    What if I asked for more faith, what if asked for a miracle, in faith.
    What if….
    A few weeks ago the lady of my church house group had a word: She was seeing someone towing a boat walking on the riverside, she said: climb in the boat and let the flow of the river do the work.
    I felt it was me.
    It meant: give yourself over to God and the Holy Spirit will lead you. The Spirit knows the things of God, He takes from God and gives it to us.
    That’s what I want: being in God’s will. And even for that I need strength. It is all God’s grace, through Jesus.

  2. SFDBWV says:

    Yesterday morning my computer crashed totally and we spent the day setting up another computer complete with new flat screen. Matt hates the new screen because it is so much bigger than the old one, so today we will install a smaller one and hopefully he will get past his anger over the larger one.

    In past postings I have said that all of us each one of us exist in a universe with we at its center, we cannot escape this or pretend that it isn’t so, because all of our musings or thoughts generate from that position.

    In thinking about Mart’s thoughts this morning, I first come to the immediate conclusion that it is *blind* trust and unwavering belief that pleases God and that we come to call faith.

    The author of Hebrews wrote “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

    I have seen different commentators accent the word *now* in that sentence to attach a time to the comment, as the faith you have *now*. However I see it as all time consuming, and that faith is a spiritual substance of that which we hope for. Evidence is usually attributed to physical proof, so here in this statement is the spiritual proof that the things we hope for has substance and is something tangible we can believe and though not yet seen, trust to God.

    Also remembering that faith is a gift from God and such a gift as just how strong does our faith need to be in order to sustain us. (Galatians 5: 22) (Matthew 6: 8)


  3. cherielyn says:

    Faith and miracles! Wow! How often have I asked for a miracle – that of having my son be delivered from his mental handicap and now his dementia. I believe that some things are not meant to be no matter how much faith we might have.

    I think of Paul with his unnamed “thorn in the flesh” and it is obvious that although it was never removed, he did not lose his faith in God – the “but if not” just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.

    Can God still perform miracles? Absolutely! Then why doesn’t He? Perhaps it is because it is for our greater good that He does not answer our request with a miracle. Someday we will know the reason, but for now we must trust that He knows what is best for us. He means it for good and not evil.

    On the other hand, a resounding YES! Miracles happen everyday – every time another person accepts God’s gift of salvation! It is a true and the greatest miracle of all that a Holy God provided and still provides a means of escape for sinners through His unending love, grace and mercy.

    In the past several months, almost day by day, there are ever increasing signs of the progression of my son’s dementia. It is a real struggle and I sometimes don’t even know what to ask for in my prayers. I guess I just mainly need the strength, on a daily basis, to deal with whatever situation arises that day.

  4. eriennejane says:

    Faith is trusting, so faith that pleases God is trusting in Christ alone, trusting Him completely, and trusting His will regardless of circumstances. It is not faith or trusting in how much faith we have or how “good” pr “strong” our faith is. The focus is to be on Christ, not on ourselves or how “well” we’re doing.

    Thinking about the verses that say that we will receive whatever we ask for from God, if we have faith, it is clear that it is not a blanket statement to be used for selfish means. If our will is in tune with God’s (2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 2:20, Rom. 12:1-2), our prayers will be in agreement with God’s will (Jn. 15:7). Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego knew it is against God’s will to bow down before an idol or false god, and their trust in God led them to refuse to do so, regardless of the outcome. They knew God was able to deliver them from the fiery furnace, but they had no assurance that God would do so. For all they knew, it could have been God’s will to let them perish, just as God has allowed many martyrs through the ages. Their trust, or faith, in God remained.


  5. fadingman says:

    I see mature faith as continuing to trust in the character of God (especially that He is good, loving and righteous) when everything else seems to scream the contrary.

    It is Job continuing to trust God even when God appears unjust, cruel, and uncaring.

    It is Abraham obeying God in offering to sacrifice Isaac.

    It is Paul truly rejoicing that God hasn’t taken away his thorn in the flesh after pleading three times.

    It is the persecuted Christians who’s faith in God increases even when many are killed (Romans 8:35-38).

    It is *always* being thankful to God in *all* circumstances.

    Although this seems like an impossible ideal, it was (and is) true for many believers, so I know it is possible for me (by God’s grace alone). I just haven’t attained it yet.

  6. poohpity says:

    The Pharisees asked for more miracles then the ones they had seen for them to believe. It seems that the miracles that Jesus did were for us and those in His day to understand who He is. The miracles that are recorded in the OT were recorded for us to believe but we still ask for more. My hunch is when Jesus told those recorded in the Mark passage to ask for whatever they wanted Mk 11:22-24 there was a but in Mk 11:25.

    I remember in John after Jesus fed the multitudes John 6:26 He recognized that they were following Him because of what they thought He could do for them not for who He is.

    I think God finds the kind of faith that seeks Him above all else and then when we understand who He is we know it would be silly to speak to a mountain and ask it fall into the sea but the faith required in just knowing that God can do the impossible then we truly believe.

    We will know that because we pray for a barren womb to have life that God may not allow it because it may cause harm and even death to the mother or child, holds back on that request. It seems then we understand that our prayers may not be answered the way we want for a very good reason. What if God does not take away a current physical problem because He knows that something worse would happen if He did, do we trust that decision or do we get mad and stay angry or do we praise God because He knows what is best for us. Like Paul would Paul still be the same way if God would have taken the thorn away?

    The greatest miracle has already been given us that God came in the form of man took our sin debt upon His shoulders and was raised from the dead then on top of that gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truths. Do we really seek God or do we just pray for the things we want while truly never seeking out God in them. Do we want miracles done through us without truly understanding the reason we do not ask a mountain to move?

  7. eriennejane says:

    Fadingman, I agree completely. That is the essence of what I was trying to say, though I couldn’t seem to think of how to express it clearly and succinctly. I, too, am striving to attain that faith and to truly be “crucified with Christ” and “a living sacrifice.”


  8. SFDBWV says:

    Cherielyn my heart goes out to you and your plight, we are certainly sharing a rough and bumpy journey in our life carrying our crosses and following Christ.

    During our stay in the hospital, when Matt first wrecked his car and was in the ICU, we had many strangers as well as friends praying for Matt. They all had one thing in common they prayed to God in the name of Jesus for a full and total recovery for Matt.

    However when the Pastor at the United Methodist Church here in town was asked to pray for him she replied she didn’t know God’s will and so could not simply ask for a full and total recovery. She is no longer at the local church and left not soon afterwards.

    A gentleman whom I have always thought to be a Catholic Priest came into our little cubical where we were camped, sat down beside me and said he was sorry we would not be getting much of our son back, I threw him out of our cubical and told him we did not want people around us who were not *faith* filled.

    Odd how some people want to steal our hope and challenge our *faith* all while doing so as confessing Christians.

    While you and I ask multiple times a day for our sons to be healed restored and made whole, and still are left to deal with their troubles, it is we who are being honed sculpted and used of God for His purposes at the cost of the suffering of both we and our sons.

    This may to some seem cruel, but if we take up our cross and follow Christ we can not ask more than what fate followed all who have gone on before us. Mary wept in horror as her son was whipped beaten and crucified, yet because of that we can all have *hope*.

    Johnny Cash sang a song to the tribute of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; “They didn’t bend, they didn’t bow, they didn’t burn”.

    A stirring tune to their faith in God, but what then of all the Christians who were used as human torches for Nero’s orgies? Did they not have enough faith?

    Reading the 11th chapter of Hebrews we see that the great men of faith mentioned there all died never seeing their promises from God fulfilled.

    Are we to expect to be different? No, I am sure Cherielyn you and I both have our heart broken dozens of times a day and all we have is our hope and faith in Christ to keep us from going insane ourselves. So we do what we must and carry on moment to moment believing there must be a just and merciful conclusion to all of our heartache.

    Oh yes and lest I forget, miracles happen in my house every day, and I am sure in yours as well, we just have to be able to recognize them.

    God bless you Cherielyn and your son, our prayers join with yours as we all believe God.


  9. poohpity says:

    I know a lot of people that try and try in their own strength to make things come about into being rather than trusting in others, who God has equipped, to help because we feel we can do a better job. Coming to a place where we have done all we can do and not getting the results we have prayed for because it is still in self we have trusted in. The only thing that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego had after being stripped of their Hebrew names, their culture and their homes was their dependence on God and no matter what the outcome, that is who they placed their lives and faith in. How often do we “say” we trust the outcome to God but yet run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off still doing in our own strength. Sometime ago someone told me that normally we do not let go of things until they are pried out of our hands with all kinds of scratch marks on them from hanging on so tight because of our lack of faith and trust. No one can do it better than I can when most of the time if not all the time, the very opposite is true.

  10. oneg2dblu says:

    I always pray for others to receive a complete healing, by faith, I do not want to settle for less. But, if it is not God’s will, will it be granted anyhow because of our faithful prayer?
    What if it is God’s will for you or I to use all your strength to lift a car off of someone but we don’t have the faith to even try?
    What if it is God’s will for you or I to stand up and take the bullet for another, but we remain seated?
    Yes,I am using extremes here.
    We pray in faith knowing that God hears our prayers, but that faith alone may not grant us what we ask for without our also being fully involved.
    Yes Steve, we all see miracles every day, we even look for them in faith, where others would label them as coincidence, luck, or chance, we see them as miraculous.
    Our faith is then strengthened while others see nothing other than, stuff just happens. Many of us live through the same events in life, but with Christ we have different perspectives. Many walk right by the miracles and never experience the miraculous. Faith makes all the difference in what we see and feel, and hope for. Our only hope is in Christ and our faith being fulfilled in him. Just as Paul encourages Timothy to remain faithful in 2 Timothy 1:5,6. We are to fan the flames, to keep the home fires going we must also do our best to keep the faith, because faith without works is dead. James 2:17 Gary

  11. fadingman says:

    It doesn’t matter if we don’t know the will of God – we can still come to Him with our requests. Faith knows God hears us, and faith accepts a ‘no’ answer just as much as a ‘yes’ answer.

  12. phpatato says:

    Lately the storms of life have been tossing my boat to and fro and I am sad to say my faith took a hit. I had a few days this week doubting that God even hears my prayers. Thank you everyone so much for all your comments and thank you Mart for this topic.


  13. eladnanna says:

    Hi Pat … my heart goes out to you. But be encouraged … Jesus tells us (Matt 6:8) that Father God knows our need even before we ask … and I believe He therefore knows what He will do … even before we have asked. When I consider the extent of His understanding us (Psalm 139)… even when we were unformed, we have to say “my loving Father knows what is in my best interest” … a “yes”, “no” or “wait” are in my best interests. I think the tears of Jesus at Lazarus’ grave were tears of sadness because we don’t see (or accept) that there is something much bigger, and much more glorious in Father’s strategy. Getting back to my first comment … about Father knowing in advance, one might then ask, “well why pray? Prayer is, as Jesus taught (The Lord’s Prayer) firstly, submission to His bigger and better plan … to His infinite, far-seeing wisdom, and secondly our acknowledgement of utter dependence. Prayer is a process of aligning myself with Father’s much bigger plan… and prayer changes us, even before it touches our circumstances. Be encouraged Pat … He knows … He shares your pain … He is fully in control … and it will be to His glory AND your best interests. Love in Christ, Elad

  14. SFDBWV says:

    Dear friend Pat, I am so sorry that you have had struggles so intense as to cause you to think God doesn’t hear your prayers. Do not feel guilty or alone all question whether God listens or cares at one time or another.

    James said for us to rejoice when our faith is tested (James 1: 2, 3) and in James 5: 10, 11 we read to endure for in the end God has pity upon us and is merciful.

    This is key to our faith, to believe God even when we do not see or understand, to just stand fast on our faith and trust in the Lord, even unto the end.

    You are loved Pat, you and all you hold dear.


  15. SFDBWV says:

    Elad, I echo your thoughts and am glad you have become a voice on BTA.


  16. cherielyn says:


    God did it again – another daily miracle! He used you and gave you just the right words to help lift my spirits just when I am at a really low point dealing with my son’s issues.

    I have had to make the tough decision to take his car this coming weekend. He has not yet had any incidents, but I am concerned that it won’t be long before he does and I feel I need to protect him & others before something awful happens. Of course, he is not happy about losing his wheels and is constantly arguing about why he should be allowed to continue driving.

  17. SFDBWV says:

    cherielyn, You and I will praise God together and keep pressing on toward the prize. My prayers are with you.


  18. BruceC says:


    Your post was spot on!

    Like your blog name too. We should all be “fading” while He increases.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  19. poohpity says:

    I have found such comfort in the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego because although God did not save them from the fiery furnace, He was right there with them and they did not have to struggle alone. Daniel 3:25

    The same with Job God had His eyes on Him and although all that was happening to him God was never denied. Unlike Peter who did deny he even knew Jesus but after all that happened Jesus understood and restored him to fellowship.

    God sees all that is happening to us and He may not take away the circumstances but He is right there with us as we go through the suffering, pain, and sorrows. I know I find comfort and joy knowing that the Lord is right there with me and will bring me out on the other side without the fire having power over me. Daniel 3:27

    The trials may not be taken away or my body may not be healed, my daughter may not be brought to light “but if not” I know my Jesus cares and is walking with me as He is with all of us from here into eternity.

  20. bratimus says:

    We should have a “faith that manages”

    Our faith should help us throught anything, whether we get the outcome “we” want through prayer or not.

    For the truth is that for most of the outcomes we want to happen to come to be, the end has to come. when there is no more sorrow, pain or tears. when evil is gone and we can rest.

    so until then we need a “Faith that manages”

  21. poohpity says:

    Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not come to this decision of worshiping their God above all else just because. They knew that they were held captive in Babylon due to the fact that the Kings over Judah and Israel made the choice of worshiping other god’s and forsaking their God. Our God had told the people through prophets that they were going to be taken captive and not to fight because that is what the Lord had planned in advance. A majority fought and lost their lives while others gave in a let the Babylonians take them and were placed in high places so that later they could be used in their return to their homeland. God had a plan and those who did not fight against it became part of it and were used. These three as well as Daniel were examples of dedication and commitment to serve their God no matter the consequences.

  22. BruceC says:


    Good take on that. Not only did He place some of the Jews in high places; He also made it so many would be held in high regard. And He used the meek (the captive Jews) to bring down the proud and haughty and their thoughts. He also used them (Daniel) to show the future. All, so that even though Israel was in captivity; His mighty Name would be praised and lifted up!
    God’s people may be taken captive and persecuted but God never is. Nor is He taken by surprise.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  23. tree says:

    Excellent post here and comments…
    Remember…Without faith it is impossible to please him for he that cometh to him must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. So faith comes by diligently seeking him (not his will) but seeking God. And He will reward you as he did for Daniel and the Jewishs boys.
    So the key is rewards, love, depending, and seeking God as oppossed to getting things. Remember how Jesus said…it is my will…this shows us his love…whether it is a thorn in the flesh or something that God wants us to have. The key is that God loves us and wants us to depend on him.

  24. tree says:

    Faith is definitely a gift…it’s not saying ‘oh, I will believe this or that will happen and trying not to think that it won’t’. As we all know. It is something God gives you. If God says something, it’s going to happen whether you believe it or not anyway. Remember people in the world can have hope in things happening but the key is what God gives you. Faith as small as a mustard seed is great because it’s a gift from God.

  25. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Was thinking of the passage in the Bible from Mark 2. The friends of the paralytic dropped him through a roof. When Jesus saw their faith, Mark 2:5, He performed a great miracle. He forgave the man’s sins. The man’s sins were forgiven through no strength of his own. To me this is good news. My sin no longer separates me from God because of the miracle of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. No one else could help me or tell me what to do to be free of the sin that separates me from God. It is all Jesus from beginning to end. Romans 7:24-25

    The teachers of the law saw no miracle in this however. Mark 2:6-9 So Jesus performed a less important miracle. He healed the man’s flesh so that onlookers could see with their eyes. Mark 2:10-12

    Faith that pleases God is believing that He is able without needing to see physical proof first. It is saying not my will, but Yours be done. It is knowing that when Jesus said, “it is finished” that the barrier of our sin had been torn down – a miracle! And anything else is just icing on the cake.

    I realize that I sit here with the knowledge of the death and resurrection that the teachers and onlookers didn’t have. Abraham didn’t have that knowledge of Jesus when he was willing to sacrifice his son. Job didn’t have that knowledge when he argued and questioned. In fact, almost no one in the Bible had that knowledge. But still they believed. They trusted God even though they didn’t know about His ultimate plan to save the world from the only insurmountable obstacle faced which is sin.

  26. poohpity says:

    The miracle of that alone, tracey, should give us all reason to honor God above all else but many still demand more miracles or they will not believe. I do have to disagree about “almost no one in the Bible had that knowledge” several of those in the OT seemed to looked forward to the day that Messiah would come. I will get the references but it seems that several of the prophets new and even wrote about Him.

  27. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Stacey, that’s it: the biggest miracle: that our sins are forgiven, thanks for reminding us. The miracle, that the curtain to the Holies of Holies has been torn apart, and that we have acces to God the Father, that’s a miracle due to Jesus’sacrifice.

  28. SFDBWV says:

    Mark 11: 22-24 and John 14: 14 are both amazing promises, however different somewhat when closer examined.

    One thing to remember is that faith and desire are two different things and not to be confused as the same.

    Marks version of this promise places our faith in the equation of obtaining the desired result, whereas John’s does not.

    So for me and I am sure many others, what then is missing when we don’t have our prayers answered as we ask?

    How many times does one ask God for even the simplest task only to go away empty, before one comes to the conclusion He doesn’t listen or doesn’t care? Or does he really exist at all?

    What makes fools like me that keep coming back asking over and over again, believing maybe this time? Starting over everyday again and again hoping, praying pleading our case before God?

    It is faith that causes us to believe He exists (Hebrews 11: 6) and it is faith that causes us to keep asking (Luke 18: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) (Luke 11: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13).

    And that faith is placed squarely on the shoulders of a man whom history has recorded as living and dieing, this man is Jesus of Nazareth (John 14: 1).

    John 14: 12, 13, 14 give me reason to expect miracles in my life. John 14: 15 is an order from Christ to keep His commandments, that is if I love Him.

    John 14: 23, 24 emphasizes the importance of loving Christ.

    The question is how much of the equation is our responsibility and how much is God’s will.

    How much of our desires are God’s desires? Psalms 37: 4 says if we delight in the Lord he will give us the desires of our heart, yet in the Lords prayer in Matthew 6: 9-13 it is God’s will we pray for and our needs we ask for; are our needs always the same as our desires?

    God is not simple and our faith not easy. Why will be answered in due time, and if we open our eyes the answer to many of our prayers are already fulfilled and occurring, we just need be patient.

    Complicated morning for me, faith is always being tested and I always look to God for relief.


  29. phpatato says:

    Thank you Elad and Steve for your words of encouragement. xoxo

    My prayer to God was for strength to carry on, to be able to persevere and press on because mentally more than physically I was almost at my end. I am trying to think of and find solutions on how to get my daughter some much needed sleep. With year old twin boys, who are awake throughout the night, sometimes at the same time but most often at different times from each other, she is sleep deprived. The dark circles under her eyes makes her look like a raccoon. I have been there for her almost on a daily basis so that she can crawl away for a nap during the day (a routine which started since bringing the boys home from hospital at birth. Of course some days/weeks are worse than others). At 58, I quickly realized that this old grey mare she ain’t what she used to be. Being there for her and trying to keep my own home running (my husband’s health is precarious) as well as visiting my 95 year old father who has been battling his own ailments for his age – pneumonia being one of them in May – is difficult. Last weekend, she had 4 hrs sleep in 48 hrs. Her nightly average is maybe 5 hrs which is always interrupted. As we all know, tiredness brings on mistakes and clumsiness. This past year she has dropped each boy once. Praise to our Heavenly Father they were spared from any injury at all!

    We have since found out the reason for lack of sleep last weekend…both boys are sick with bad colds – one last night had a low-grade fever, a first for either one of them. With no other realistic solution to offer, I finally suggested that after the colds have cleared up, she may have to try a bit of tough love and let them cry it out during the night, come what may. Sleep for her will be absent for sure. Hopefully it will only last 2 or 3 nights. Her year long maternity leave is up and it’s back to work for her next Monday. Sleep for her at night has never been so important. I was a stay at home mom so I have never had to deal with that.

    This past week, I cried out to God. Fearing for her and frustrated with myself, I was full of questions Why. That has always bothered me – that I should have the nerve to question God – so immediately I began feeling guilty. And that’s all it took, because Satan was there and ready to feed me his vile lies. I struggled for two days with Oh God where are You in our time of need? Why do I feel as though You have deserted us. Deep down I wasn’t looking so much for a “here’s your miracle the boys are going to sleep through the night forevermore”, I was looking for a “it’s ok My child, I KNOW what you are both are going through and I have things under control”. At some point while being tossed about, Satan had darkened my heart and mind to God’s truths. What he fed me left me feeling alone, extremely anxious and yes, even angry.

    I am so grateful that I listened to that “Gentle Nudging” to check out Mart’s topic on the 28th. God had His answer right here for me. He is saying TRUST ME Pat; I love you and have not deserted you. That night, the tears of frustration were turned to tears of love and gratitude. 2 Corinthians 12:9 His Grace IS sufficient for me for His power is perfected in my weakness. As small as a mustard seed, I have found faith to press on!! Praise God!


  30. SFDBWV says:

    Just to let you all know, we are very fortunate here, only part of town still without electricity and we just recovered our internet connection.

    I have a 94 year old cousin in Martinsburg WV that still is without electricity and there are many tens of thousands in all this heat without it as well.

    The storms that ripped though here last night left trees down and some homes damaged, but no one here in our town hurt, but I see that 6 were killed in VA last night from falling trees.

    When I seen we were going to get hit last evening I set up my generator and was ready for what ever may happen as far as loosing power was concerned. However I had enough foresight years ago to cut the trees away from my house and set up a way to have electricity should I need it.

    This isn’t a miracle, this is common sense and sometimes if we just follow some of the urgings that wisdom tries to teach we won’t need miracles. However when we do, the preparations for that is to be hooked up to God, the source and power of all things seen or hoped for.


  31. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Pat, that was very very moving, for being so open. Thank God He is so graceful. full of Grace.

    Yes Steve, that is also so true, being wise, and I would add, being very close to Jesus, following His advice.
    I would like to share this with you all from God at eventide

    June 30 Immune from evil
    Evil was conquered by Me, and to all who rely on Me there is immunity from it.

    Turn evil aside with the darts I provide.

    Rejoicing in tribulation is one dart.

    Practicing My Presence is another.

    Self-emptying is another.

    Claiming My Power over temptation is another

    You will find many of these darts as you tread My Way and you will learn to use them adroitly, swiftly. Each is adapted to the need of the moment.

    end of quote
    Being thankfull in all situations is one I can improve on. Instaed of asking God to release me from my trial I should glorify Him in the work He is doing in me, while in trial. Praise God for being the greatest in heaven and on earth, the Conquerer the Victorious One!

  32. oneg2dblu says:

    If I read it correctly or even legalistically as I do, it still reads the same, It is God’s will that none should perish. But, how about those who live outside the will of God, or those who now sin freely, as if they can live with no godly regard? Or is that just for the Pagans? I really can’t tell by watching what we say or claim we do. Where the only honor of God is through our head knowlegde of this Grace and Salvation, but our bodily members also being set free, do not have to “any longer be uder the law or Obey the Father, For they continue to sin freely and only the follow the dictatee of the head.
    The gospel message of the life changing salvation in Christ is all but lost to those who are caught in the trap of any doctrine or now excused way of continued living in disobedience, yet believing in a life changing saving experience.
    It is almost is if we have been duped to believe or feel, Once Saved Always Saved!
    Where does that place a person who wants to believes also in Galations 2:20,21 where they say it is not me but Christ in me that lives, but we go on freely sinning anyhow?
    What a direct conflict exists with our doctrinal beliefs and our actual living. I wonder if that is a biblical stance or a creation of something, or someone else?
    Are we not commanded to make every effort to also close that existing gap, or is our salvation alone style of living really costing only God everything, and costing us nothing?
    To me it is why faith without works (is) truly dead!
    This type of faith, or any doctrine that tries to stop all our action so it can’t be claimed as works, is not really biblical faith, but does ring of some sort of deception.
    If resting in your salvatio alone becomes your one true act faith, then that faith is from some other source then the word of God.
    I would rather stuggle daily using all the my god-given ability and strength to just stay afloat in the living water of God’s Word, then to be complacently resting in this pool of doctrinal stagnation where saying I was Once Saved because of my sin…and proud to say because I’m Once Saved, I’m Always Saved, and now I’m sinning freely and feeling no separation? WOW!
    Sounds like something very wrong is being sold here. Someone must say it, and I will, but Once Saved, Always Saved and then taken for granted, would fit better into what we are preaching here.
    Sorry I always sound so harsh with my words, but there is no free ride when you become his, you get to share in the work when you become bridled, and you had better never take your hand off the plow.
    That would be more like the fullness of the word than just the free ride of salvation that OSAS leaves out, or unmentioned. Gary

  33. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Pooh, I know what you are saying. The passage from Isaiah 53 is almost a word for word description of the crucifixion. Did Isaiah know exactly what would happen – that God would become flesh and be rejected by His people to the point that He was put to death? And that death was His whole reason for coming?

    Gary, I feel so bad that I get you upset. At least I think it was me, maybe it was something else. But at any rate, I want you to know that I do not in any way encourage anyone to sin freely. I hate that I suddenly realize that I was angry and irritated with someone or that I became depressed because things weren’t going “my way.” These are sins I know.

    I can’t imagine what that means to think that because God loved me enough to save me that now I can jump into a path of self-destruction. In no way do I think I can live a life of immoral debauchery because I’ve been saved. I rest on the grace of Jesus Christ because I know I have nothing else on my own to stand on. One of my struggles is arguing with my husband. It is a terrible sin. I ask God constantly to change my heart, but still I struggle because my husband is so different from me in character. Does that mean I’ve lost my salvation?

    How do you know when you have crossed the line and lost your salvation? How do you know if you are doing enough to make sure you aren’t getting a free ride?

  34. poohpity says:

    We are not free to sin we are free to do good works in righteousness. Our obedience comes by loving God with all that we are and loving others as God loves us. When that happens we are quick to notice when we sin and ask for forgiveness and also with those sins we do unintentionally but the ability to recognize sin is for each individual to be aware of and knowing that all still sin makes us quicker to not judge. Are you free from sin Gary or do you still sin even though you try as hard as you can not to? The answer to that for all of us is, no, but no matter how hard we try not to sin we still do.

    I believe that God answers all our prayers it just may not be the way we would like but that does not mean they are not answered. Even when He does not answer them the way we would like we can still trust His heart in knowing that He cares and answers them for the best of all concerned and may have a better way than whatever we had imagined.

    Pat, you and your family are in my prayers. I understand and can hear the weariness in your words and will pray for rest for all. Steve I am so glad you were prepared in advance for the storm and will be praying for those who lost power and are harmed by the storms there. Prayers for those who are not prepared for hardship when it comes and have to make decisions quickly with wisdom.

    I pray that we can come along side all those we see that need a touch of the Master’s hand to bring comfort, shelter, water, food and other needs we can see if we are not consumed with following all the laws and rules so we do not sin or watching others to see if they are sinning either, that is the freedom we are given through Christ’s redemptive work to do good, not freedom to sin.

  35. poohpity says:

    tracey, Jesus on the road to Emmaus while talking to the two guys gave the OT prophesies about Himself (Luke 24:27 NLT) starting with Genesis 3:15 and ended with Malachi 3:1; 4:2,5 there are also more from Moses, Job, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Micah, Zechariah. In my bible there are cross references listed next to that Luke passage. If you want I can give them to you but it would take a while to list them all.

  36. poohpity says:

    tracey, I do not know if they understood the full extent of the fulfillment in Christ and what that meant. It seems we can understand some things so much better in hindsight. Sometimes the light goes on for some, much later than for others depending and how closely they seek the truth.

  37. oneg2dblu says:

    tracey… it is not ever you that upsets me, or any particular person here, it is the way of expression used by those who claim to follow a particular type of doctrine, and the way the doctrine is many times presented as if even an avoidable sin, or any other sin, is of no account any longer.
    That to me is a pit of hell teaching which runs in direct opposition to the commanded right living message of the followers of Christ. We are to be so much more than just a saved people, we are to be a changed people, repented from where we were found.
    In my perhaps failed attempt to re-qualify what the will of God is, and re-qualify what our relationship to our faith response is, that is what set me free to express my understanding of where we are, and how we react to this faith, grace, salvation we have so freely, but ever so costly to Christ been given, which is to be lived out as our new life of following the principles of right living as displayed by the Sinless One we now follow. To be in the world but not of it, requires us to be in relationship with Christ, to be accountable of where our strength to change comes from.
    We are all tested, we all fail, and all of us have grown in our faith as a result of this testing.
    To me, where there is no law, there is no need of accountability. Where there is no need of accountability, no need of relationship either, so there is also no need of testing. Where there is no testing there is no growth, which is clearly not the bible’s message, but it fits perfectly well with the current OSAS teaching.
    I prefer this type teaching of instead…We were Saved by him, to be in relationship with him, to be changed by him, to become more like him, and to spend Eternity with him.
    Isn’t this a better message for both our change, and for our freely given eternal salvation?
    The whole biblical account says we are to become more Christ-like while we live our new lives in these earthly tents, which now have become temples to be more than just saved for a place called always or forever.
    IMHO, Gary

  38. poohpity says:

    But I thought the bible says if we are accountable to the law then we are under God’s anger (Romans 3:20 NLT), (Romans 4:15 NLT), (Galatians 3: 10,11 NLT). I believe we are held accountable to trusting God not our abilities, by putting our faith in God for everything. Because we trust God that no matter what we face or the outcome we do not deny Him. That is where we are tested by how much we trust God not our own abilities, not how much we pray or how much we fast but trusting that God knows what we need and we trust Him to supply those needs not because we deserved it or earned it but because..

  39. poohpity says:

    Because we believe!!!

  40. poohpity says:

    People, before they accepted Christ, trusted in their own abilities, resources, intelligence and wills after Christ for many that does not change but for some they trust God for salvation, wisdom, resources, strength, comfort and safety along with their everything. The change that happens is they depend less and less on their selves and the things they can do, to more and more on God and the things He can do.

  41. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Gary, I will ask you one question, just this one this morning. Do you think that King David or King Solomon are lost to sin and in the torment of Hell?

    They were both called by God, and accomplished great tasks for God yet continually sinned and shown the human side of us all in that no matter how well we try we all fall short.

    So Gary what do you think is the eternal outcome of these two men?


  42. SFDBWV says:

    Gary, I apologize, it may be that you feel I am trying to trap you or trick you and that is not my intention. So I will continue on with my thoughts especially given the venue in which we converse and the fact that soon I will be off to another busy day.

    It comes down to this; where is our faith placed? Who do we trust?

    Is our faith and trust placed in God alone or in our ability to never sin again once we have accepted Jesus and chose to follow Christ.

    If we think we can obtain anything by obedience, our faith and trust is in us and our abilities.

    If our faith and trust is in Christ, then because of the cross we can trust that when we fail He is faithful to forgive.

    Also, though very difficult to do, we must concern ourselves with our own relationship with God, not think that we can know another’s.


  43. foreverblessed says:

    This afternoon, we can be so happy that we are one in Christ, one with God, Christ opened the way to God, it is open, we can come to God, ask Him to be with us. Be happy, rejoice, we are forgiven, sing praises to God.
    And dance, in the middle of your room and sing: I am forgiven, I am free from guilt, Jesus is my Saviour, Jesus saved me He is the Lord of my heart. Say it out loud.
    Sing praises to our Holy God, this Holy God, who is so holy we would be consumed if we saw one bit of Him, but still He made it possible we can enter into the holies of Holies. There we can enter and be with Him. He is the one who opened the way to come to Him, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    Rejoice, smile
    Let no one rob your joy away.

  44. poohpity says:

    Can the law become an idol we worship and therefore denounce the work of the Cross? Can our own knowledge, strength, intelligence, self righteousness, and doing things our way also become a form of idol worship thus denying the abilities of God? No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in and we do not trust God in them and get angry at God’s lack of response in a way deny God? Those Jewish boys said that no matter what happens to them they will not worship any other God then the One they know cause us to look at how many idols we have in our lives that we hold in a higher place in our hearts than God? Do we know what is best for another? If we do is that not thinking we hold a higher place than God?

  45. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… I would like to “bite on the bait” of the perceived salvation of others, but can’t speak to this salvation alone doctrine as the message of the bible. It is much bigger and broader than salvation alone. But, keeping within salvation guidelines here as presented, I believe as it is written that one also receives a deposit of the Holy Spirit, or God’s Imbedded Seal of Approval, his helper if you will.
    That is the “one prevailing symptom” all Christ Followers must display to be followers, and the fruit of that imbedded deposit, yields those things which we should live under, those things which have no law against them. Aren’t they love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, the deposited fruit and qualities of Christ.
    So to me, continued sinning is not on that list if you are born again into this new life of Christ living in you, you also must possess the dwelling spirit of change within you. According to many OSAS teachers today, that salvation reveals no visual fruit of that living spirit as one may continue to freely live being under no law, and still continue to be saved yet powerless to any God-given spirit to overcome sin?
    I can not see Jesus in the continued sinning of the unchanged, OSAS, where this unchanged spirit pervades and rules over so many, who should be the “over-comers” of the world, for having within them the very Spirit of God which they did not possess prior to this God-given faith, and before this deposit of the Holy Spirit where you were found lost and helpless.
    Please remember although you will be granted your salvation because of your god-given faith, you will also be given power from on high, unless your doctrine lacks that which is the Holy Spirit, the spirit that overcomes even the world. With the very name and spirit of Jesus Christ imbedded in our confessing heart forever, comes the power over any sin. We can not profess that which we do not possess unless we are lied to about it, and we remain unfaithful and unchanged to that deposit, never empowered to reveal the Fruit of the Spirit which all Christ Followers have living and deposited in them.
    The biblical story or God’s entire Word has never about Salvation alone.
    There is a small passage about this “revealed spirit” in Acts Chapter 2, where 5000 men were changed in one day, because of the evidence of that Indwelling Power of a few ordinary, uneducated men, but empowered from on high.
    How are we then to reduce the entire message to this one strongly held doctrine, “Were they saved, or not?”
    Like suddenly it is okay to go on sinning as long as you are saved first? Please show me that reference in God’s word.
    I prefer this doctrinal line of questioning…
    Were they following and serving the Holy Spirit that dwells within them or not? That would be a much better question and of ourselves, and a better to answer for ourselves as well. How do we look to the world around us, or, have they seen any change in us that would change them into wanting something they do not have, as they are already freely sinning.
    Here is the selling point of a certain doctrine today, it says, we can all stand by our beloved doctrine and whatever we witness to the world around us, even continued sinning just as the world now sins is no consequence any longer because we are saved?
    I think we all know differently, we all know the truth of the word, and it is never been about this salvation alone. But that particular doctrine is, a salvation only sell.
    Sorry, I’m stuck in the old way that still says, our ease of letting this sin have its power over us will always separates us from God’s best! IMHO Gary

  46. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… here’s the short version, pre-Christ, you have better be in right relation with God. After Christ, you had better be in right relation with Christ, the rest of the equation, or anyone’s salvation, is up to God’s Grace or Wrath, and not my learned percecption of His Word, or my feelings. :)

  47. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Gary for your comments, you are, as I, entitled to your opinion and I am glad you are comfortable with it.

    So then you can tell me and all others here that you no longer ever sin?

    You are a better man than I Gary because as much as I would like to believe that I commit no wrongs against God or man, I am certain that I fail, even though I try not to.

    You would condemn me unto hell, but Christ has already forgiven me and will continue to even 70 times 7 if I should stumble.

    I would love to be able to live up to the commandments Jesus gave us all in the sermon on the mount, but there are times when I get angry with others and try as I can I have never been able to be perfect as Jesus is.

    My faith and my trust is in Jesus and the cross, yours is in your ability to obey the law.

    I can rest, you can never.

    I suppose the one thing we can agree on is that Christ is Lord and leave it there. I liked your short version.


  48. foreverblessed says:

    I likes the short version too.
    Lets focus on faith again,
    Hebrews 11:1 Steve you mentioned this verse too.
    that what we hope for, lets ask God what we can hope for, and having faith in Jesus, we know and are sure that these things will happen, even if we do not see it now.
    Lets have more hope, in things that are within God’s will.
    Lets have an unwavering trust in God, that He will do the things that we hope for. Hope for the salvation of our dear ones, our children (specified dear ones), our neighbours, our enemies.
    How fruitful we can be in God’s sight, even if we do not see it now, we can trust in the spiritual power from God, attached to what we hope for and have faith in, that it will come to pass.

  49. poohpity says:

    I think there are many who when they do not receive their miracle ask what Jesus meant in that Mark 11:22-24, 25 passage. I think when we place our faith in the object of the request rather than in a God who can do the impossible we have nothing when the request is refused.

  50. poohpity says:

    I do not know about you guys but to me just being able to know God through Jesus is a miracle and if none of my prayers ever get answered I will still be filled with joy because of that.

  51. poohpity says:

    Gary, trust God in opening our eyes to the truth of salvation and what that means and lay down doing it in your strength and we will trust God with you and your understanding then we can talk about other wonderful things about our God rather than hashing around the same old stuff again. I think that was Acts 2:40 and 3,000 rather than 5,000 but that could be wrong.

  52. poohpity says:

    I was wrong it was Acts 2:41.

  53. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… my words can not really condemn anyone, the word of God does what only it can do, as it condemnds us all on its own.
    According to God’s word many will perish, and many are the attributes of those who will not inherit the kingdom of God. That sounds like eternal separation and condemnation for many.
    What do you beleive, about this eternal separation, that Paul writes about? Is it now just an old fantasy to all who claim to be exempt by their perceived doctrinal stance alone, and now feel that they can continue living that way? That seems to me to be a doctirne that is not very profitable to becoming more Christ-like doesn’t it?
    Man can have no authority beyond what God declares in his word, no matter what doctrine he claims for himself.
    Saying that I would condemn you, is not helpful as only God can do that, and I do not remember claiming to be without sin either. I must go back and re-read my claim to that premise you have made about my words. I’ll reply further after my re-read.
    I guess for some here there is never going to be any attempt of victory over any sin, only a promise of a future salvation which is the victory over sin’s death. So we can keep on sinning as before and really ignore any other word of God that conflicts with our belief of eternal security as we had better not even try to produce any change in our sinning which would then be labeled as a prideful works only form of salvation by some here. There is only one type of salvation found in the bible, and why we are in constant conflict over it, shows us how sin’s grip of constant conflict is still the only real byproduct of this doctrine. I wonder why so many, even the well read and well studied still have problems with it. The sin is that it divides us and always will until Christ comes and sets he record straight, and shows us that narrow is the Gate. Gary

  54. Mart De Haan says:

    I am one of those who believes (and am sure even by my own low standards) that on any given day (or even part of a day) I have not lived up to the law of loving God with all of my heart or my neighbor as myself–the two great laws that encompass all others.

    Yet I often long to walk with Christ on higher ground …and with him through the valleys… and by his grace to know what it is like to experience seasons of the fruit of his Spirit.

    The result, as far as I can tell, is at best a flawed reflection of the indwelling Christ. I relate so much to what Paul said about doing what he didn’t want to do (maybe it was worry), or not doing what he wanted to do (maybe it was to be more patient with those slow to grow in Christ)… while resting on the victory of what Christ had given him.

    What I think I’m most convinced of is that nothing does quite so much for our growth in grace as a grateful heart at the foot of the Cross.

    Those who know they are loved (in spite of their failures) are more likely to love… while those who feel bad about themselves in spite of their deep desire to be better… are likely to be hard on others.

  55. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart… thank you for sharing your position on this salvation/with or without relationship issue. I too fail to walk with Jesus in all areas of my life as I would like to. That would be akin to a self sinless state which I have not yet acheived. When I fail to be in proper relationship, as in putting Christ first in all things, it is then that I fail and find “I” have wondered away. Either by greatly freeing bounds as many of those doctrinally decieved here or possibly just one small step at a time, I still choose to separate myself to follow my sin and wonder.
    But as many here who have no law over them, being lawless if you will, they are now making allowances for all our straying as our newly approved way through only this one docrtine, this still broadly contested one,
    called Eternal Security.
    I’m sorry, but that doctrine as being taught today is seen as a crutch to many for continued wrong living.
    Does the biblical message to you, allow for all and any continued wrong living regardless, for serving any and all other gods instead, for totally abandoning Christ regardless, and to then revel in baltant disobedience all because of a one time confession of faith somewhere in our past?
    I would hope not, but,this one particular doctrine does all that and more for those who believe in it. Satan would love this type of doctrine, in fact he probably worships it as well, for in his past somewhere he also believed, but then if I recall rightly, or should I say wrongly he also fell away and remains to this day unrepentant and rebellious.

    Many today are taught in the houses of God to follow a docrtine that will support “even such total disregard” or obstanant disobedience to all the word of God, and even God himself, except for one thing, a once upon a time confession of faith alone, as their free to sin ticket was issued and can never be lost.
    What’s up with that?
    I’m not yet ready to walk in anyone’s deception which allows for even those stated extremes to become common place acceptance.
    I believe Our God is a God of Commanded Order, and His desire is that none should perish but many will. He also desires that all be in a commanded right relationship with Him, regardless of any strongly held beleif otherwise.
    My faith is built upon that Rock of Salvation, Jesus Christ our Lord, and that daily ongoing relationship He created to have with Him, as professed through all of God’s word.

    So, I confess here and now my need of both!

    If I could only mature out of this collective need, then I feel I could be found like others, feeling really good about following any old docrtine regardless.
    In the flavor of grace and compassion given me I’ll conceed to say I trust we are both doing the right thing
    following the extrapolated doctrines of our current understanding.
    I hold no contempt or condemnation on people, it is their sin, and their deception brought on by false teachers, I am commanded to hate, and I do obey that command. I know my place is to be in an ongoing relationship with Christ above all other things,
    as He alone is my Saviour! Gary

  56. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart… sorry I’m perceived as hard on others, I’m sure you are correct, where I’m really trying to be hard on the freedom to sin and false teaching that promotes it. It can be too loosely interpreted by many and also used improperly, providing for lack of growth in any form right living.
    So it fails the smell test to me, as it stinks of too much division and dececption.
    As I remember it now, it was one of the most vigorously debated topics you have ever posted. Also, your site had a very good answer for it, on the Answers to hard Questions, but even that answer has been since removed.

  57. foreverblessed says:

    Gary, I pray that God give you a heart of peace, of love, of Grace. Of being confident that you are in His heart. God bless you with many blessings from above.
    I would like to go on with the topic of Mart, faith…

    Yesterday the preacher talked about the storm on the lake of Galilea, Mark 4:35-36,37-38
    He noticed that the verse in the bible says, that Jesus was already in the boat. He was there already, just a tiny detail, but it made me think of our lives, and the many lives of people here on the blog, with huge difficulties, with children with bad health, problems.
    It is as if Jesus is in our boat already, and asleep, He wakens when the storm is really bad, no, he wakens because the disciples awaken Him, with a complaint: do you not mind that we drown?
    What a story, Jesus stills the storm, (reminds me of the word sooth in Hebrew, Psalm 117:1, the second word praise means to still to sooth).

    But then Jesus asks the disciples, why were you frightened? I was in the boat, the God in flesh was with you all the while, how can anything bad happen to you?
    Isn’t He saying the same to us now too?
    O that we would have more faith and more awareness of our great God who came to rescue us in Jesus.

  58. foreverblessed says:

    It is in Mark 4:40
    Fear is one thing we have to conquer in Jesus strength, I can ask Jesus to give me strength to overcome fear.

  59. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… please know this, I have that very same peace as you, and all who are in Christ have.
    Granted, it is beyond our uderstanding. I feel His constancy and His presence in my life just like you. For He is in my boat as well!
    We must all place limits on our faith though, because we can not go up to a roof top and say Lord protect my from falling, and then proceed to freely jump off, because there are consequences. That is not overcoming fear or being free, it is lunacy.
    Freedom to go on sinning like the world now sins and claiming ouir sin to be different, is also a form of lunacy and to me, the wrong message as well. Gary

  60. oneg2dblu says:

    Foreverblessed…I know that is not what you are saying here, about fear, but it is what OSAS teachers are teaching, saying you can now sin freely and without the fear of any consequence. That is not the bible message I am willing to embrace. That message I fear has many deceived who embrace it. If you find some reason to find it pleasing to your sight and your current teaching and understanding, then I guess it is okay for you, but for me and my house of thought… it sounds awfully Pagan-like.

  61. poohpity says:

    Gary, it seems only you talk about purposely continuing to sin after we receive Christ no body else has ever said they purposely continue to sin. I think it is misunderstood that because we admit that we do sin after salvation and will never be free from it until the day we leave this body, that it seems you take it as we get up every morning thinking about how we can sin, that is just wrong thinking.

    At the very moment you believe and confess that Jesus is God, died on the Cross for our sins and rose from the dead on the third day, you are saved. (Romans 10:9-10 NLT) You have to do nothing but believe then you are saved, how can anyone take that away from you. If He died on the Cross for the punishment of our sins how can sins then take that away, which is human thinking, that is not truth according to the bible. The only way to lose that is to deny that that happened. It is all about believing and faith.

  62. poohpity says:

    Even while the three Jewish boys were in captivity they did the best job they could do because of their faith, it was lived out not talked about. When asked they told their reasons but the king new about their God from watching what God did in their lives when they followed His teaching and their refusal to deny God in whatever circumstances they were placed. Their witness was very strong just because of their faith and trust in God.

  63. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart and friends… sorry for my apparent wrong thinking displayed here, and the way it seems to appear to you when I try to express some very fundamental things like obedience and right living, as I always interject them into the salvation experience for me, and not just this very popular doctrine.
    I can only speak of my salvation experience and how it played out so far, and strongly supporting this particular docrtine through any teaching I received or learning process I’ve encountered through my walk with the Lord so far, the doctrine of eternal security has never part of it.
    It almost appears to me if you find that you don’t believe and follow this doctrine as it is taught today, regardless of the hundreds of opposing verses to it,then you may have never been saved either, because that is the “only response ever given” by its followers if someone who was saved actually does fall away, because it cripples this sin without separation or any possible recourse type of thinking and teaching.
    I’m stuck on right living and obedience as God’s commanded way to be truly free from my past worldly sinfilled life , and not claiming an exemption that will allow me to excuse my sin. For that process, I have been taugh, and learned myself that I can use repentance as an other obedient response which I feel also produces right living and right standing with the holy Spirit that prompts me, and my Lord and Saviour.
    I am like the three Jewish boys who have put my faith in and trust God, actually Jesus Christ because I am a Christ Follower, but so far have not been tested to that degree (what fitting word use) that these boys were subjected to. But, I do stand in the line of fire here from all of you who support this well contested trap of eternal security.
    Of course, all this is between God and you, where you are on the road of expperience, and what God does or does not allow through the conviction of His Holy Spirit which lives in you, if your really saved, then you know what I mean, and you will not call me mean instead. Be Blessed, Gary

  64. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Gary for your concern for us all, I take it you are genuine about your love for us.
    But I am concerned about you, that you have made the decision for us all that when we believe we have been saved, that that is a way of thinking that leads to sin. Osas allows such thinking you say. That way of thinking is solely yours, that thinking is not in my mind, nor in Steve’s or anyone else here. So please stop harrassing us with that line of thinking. Stop it in Jesus’name.

    My second advice for you is:
    Overcome evil with good
    If you would put all your energy in loving God just as much and more then you do in not sinning you would be more in God’s line of living. Overcome evil with good, says the bible: that means Loving God is the action, trusting that He lives in you, and when He lives in you and guides you, He will not lead you into sin. If you focus on Jesus more then on not sinning you will have made a good progress.

    Be blessed Gary, may God bless you with lots of love, you need much more love, being so full of it that you start praising God spontaneously.

  65. foreverblessed says:

    By the way, we all need much more of God’s love, much and much more. I hope we will be filled with more of God’s love, and when that hope is connected to faith and God’s Spirit it will come true. Hebrews 11:1

    Then follow some verses that I came across while looking for the verse that says that overcome evil with good:
    Romans 8:1-2,3-4,5

    We live according to the Spirit, we asked for the Holy Spirit to live in us, and we can ask because of Jesus cross, He made the way open for us to be with God, and God with us, by the Holy Spirit.
    Romans 8:9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16

    No slaves again to fear, that includes the fear that we will sin.
    And to end this comment in line with the topic:
    Romans 8:17 this verse promises that we will share in the sufferings of Christ. So many of the suffering are intended, as He suffered so will we, if we want to be part of Him, then we will also share in His glory

  66. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning all; we had lost our internet Sunday along with TV cables for all but a couple channels. Funny how both have become such a part of life for us, we only have recovered both this morning…for now.

    We still have about 12 or 15 homes here in town without electricity and it may be Friday before it is repaired.

    My 94 year old cousin that lives in Martinsburg also is still without electricity. She is bed fast and the temps there have been hovering around 100 for days.

    The most wonderful thing happened though, her neighbors knowing her predicament brought generators over to her house so she could have light and fans and keep her refrigerator going.

    Yes there are angels among us and sometimes just as human as you and I.

    We all have learned a new word “derecho”, it is a Spanish weather word that describes the type of storms that swept through West Virginia and its neighbors and put millions in the dark.


  67. SFDBWV says:

    Gary I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to defend my faith and express my beliefs. I think that many of us *want* to believe in the doctrine of once a persons has been saved that that salvation will not be taken away because of an infraction of the law.

    However being human some of us may have doubts, especially when bombarded with arguments to the contrary.

    Nothing works as well as exercise in developing muscle and nothing works as well as exercise when matters of faith come to be tested or examined.

    So though somewhat annoying, your persistence has once again allowed for me to re-examine my position on whether one can lose there salvation.

    My *faith* remains in Jesus of Nazareth not in me, so I will once again rest in the knowledge that nothing in heaven or earth can separate me from the love of God, and that His love is demonstrated so vividly in the cross that I am confident that I will forever be covered by the blood of the Lamb shed there for me. This is my faith and I shall never waver from it. Thank you for the opportunity to say it.


  68. oneg2dblu says:

    Foreverblessed… I love your intention, your care of words, and your passion for Christ and others.
    1.) I have never needed to say that OSAS leads us into sin, because we were already there before any salvation experience or doctrinal teaching or belief had ever taken place. So, that is a non-issue.
    2.) What I did say, or try to covey it that this one doctrine, the way it is taugh today dismisses sin, as if it has no effect on us, and that is the hidden lie it perpetuates under its deceptive design.
    3.) As you say,” We live according to the Spirit- and may that be where we all are now and constantly living, but, there are a couple of problematical words in that Romans 8:13 you have brought to light. I can not in all honesty ignore those words. They are, if, and if.
    4.) If you go back and read them for yourself, you may find that “if” is a choice we (must make), if, we are to live in the Spirit that Paul is talking about, and that Spirit always leads us to right choices, and right living.
    5.) Although we have that Spirit in us, as all those who are saved clearly do have it, we also have to choose to give it its power over our thoughts, our members, our flesh, and our worldly desire.
    6.) If, I am wrong about what I have just stated, then like you have stated in the past, one could never fall away once saved! Making the doctrine of eternal security the absolute king of over all other verses in the bible that clearly state otherwise, if read them without the falsely closed mindset of eternal security which is being so divisively promoted today.

    That is my whole case presented as clearly as I am capable of trying to explain it.

    To me and all those who have not fallen away from sound teaching, can see clearly it is used as a doctrinal trap that would falsely empower us to dismiss our sin, and that can not be of that same Spirit, that God has given us in the warnings of the Paul to the churches.

    Our dismissing of sin through a doctrine of wrong thinking for any Christ Follower, is to me, the greatest enemy ever devised. No matter how we fashion any words or doctrine that supports it, sin always separates us from God, Christ is the way to God, and for those who have fallen away… repentance, yes,even for the Christ follower, is a god-given method to the road back!
    Sorry, if I’ve again put you all here to the test of reasonable thinking, where so many verses also reasonably warn us of such things.
    Although we are all clearly saved by our faith in Christ, we are also clearly warned many times through God’s Word about this falling away and being subjected to false teaching for a reason!
    I am presenting one reason, our dismissing of our sin, through a falsely taught and very popular doctrinal belief system, which I feel is not given out of the same Spirit that promotes right living and obedience to God’s word.
    Keep your belief in salvation, as you really must. But also dear brothers and sisters, please do not dismiss, but instead heed, all the warnings in God’s word about sin, falling away, false prophets, and false teaching. They are presented by Paul to believers, and are there for a reason! Gary

  69. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve, thanks, you are right on. I trust we can all sleep on that and know we are Saved by our Faith in Christ alone! Gary

  70. oneg2dblu says:

    Many prayers need to be raised throughout our nation and the world, as much suffering takes place constantly.
    We have a place to take it all, but not all have that place as their chosen way of choice, and they are lost, alone, afraid of death, and searching. May the same God who called us into His Marvelous Light, call them today and may our prayers be part of that calling. Gary

  71. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Steve, I echo what you wrote.
    Sorry Gary, your point 6, I never stated.
    Nobody here states that we can sin as we want, that sin is a non issue.
    In one way sin is indeed a non-issue: when our old man is dead and crucified, Romans 6:1-2,3-4. If our old man is dead.

    We are in Christ, we are not free to do whatever we want, we are under the law of the Spirit of life through Jesus Christ. Romans 8:2

    I always state that we should hold on to our faith, Col 1:23
    Another one of the big “if”s.
    What happens when we loose faith is a more important matter,
    will God go after us, it is not something we must put to the test. And hopefully people around us will start praying for us, as I am praying for many who have left the faith, and gone their own way.
    I believe that that is a faith God wants, praying for others, and hoping they will come back as the lost son did, back to His Father safely home.
    2 Timothy 2:13-14

  72. poohpity says:

    Gary, what are those other verses in the bible that state otherwise according to your argument in point 6? If I remember right you said you have yet to read the whole bible so how do you really know if it is contrary teaching or not?

  73. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… I of course not having read the whole as you, I could not possibly possess the fullness of any truth in these things as you, having read it all.
    Rather than tie up this entire blog with all those actual truth rendering verses, because of their shere volume, here is just a taste of what sin can do to a Christian.
    ” Sin can defile, Hebrews 12:15, sin can corrupt, James 3:6, contaminate, James 1:27, soil our spiritual clothing, Revelation 3:4, enslave us again, 2 Peter 2:20,21 and make a person unclean Matthew 15: 19,20; Mark 7:21-23. Peter 2:20,21.
    Paul addresses these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilements of flesh and of spirit,
    perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corithitans 7:1 (Green’s)
    Most importantly , according to the Lord Jesus, sin can bring forth spiritual death Luke 15:24,32 which is also what Paul wrote could happen to any Christian who lives according to the sinful nature Romans 8:13 Galations 5:19-21: 6:8. See also James 1:14,15.
    Clearly, no Scriptural references says once a person has been regenerated or has recieved imputed rightousness that he can’t afterwards become, defiled, corrupted, contaminatred, soiled, enslaved, made unclean or brought to his spiritual death by sin!
    In fact if one examines the context of all those verses, it should be obvious they were spoken to people who were believers. Just a small taste, Gary

  74. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… sorry for the typo’s and failure to re-read my post. ;(
    I wanted to reference for you 2 Peter 2:20,21 “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the begining. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on them.”
    Galatians 5:19-21, is about those who will not inherit the kingdom and Galations 6:8 “The one who sows to please his sin nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will inherit eternal life.”

  75. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… I am so sorry I thought it was you who stated a while back that one could not fall away.
    I’m glad to hear you do believe that one can fall away. Let’s just call it a senior moment on my behalf and let’s move on in love. Gary

  76. poohpity says:

    I wonder if that is not similar to those who hear the good news as Jesus describes in the parables of the four soils. Mark 4:15 hard heart, then the rocky Mark 4:16, 17, then the thorny Mark 4:18, 19 but the good soil is that which brings many souls to the kingdom Mark 4:20. Does that mean if we have not brought anyone into the kingdom that we are not good soil that is productive and we have not really accepted Christ and are not saved at all but are one of the others soils? So it seems Peter is referring to those who know about Jesus but never make it any closer than just knowing about Him. Does that say our salvation is lost or it may have never been there to begin with.

  77. phpatato says:


    Please take this with the love that is being attached to it…..

    Quote from you: Rather than tie up this entire blog

    I believe you already have. The word hijack comes to mind.

    Please and I believe I speak for everyone else here (forgive me if I’m wrong) LET IT BE. You have made your point concerning OSAS. I trust you’ve heard of the saying “Don’t flog a dead horse”?

    Thank you

    With love in Christ


  78. poohpity says:

    I would say although I could be wrong that the three Jewish boys were what it looks like for that word to be planted in good fertile soil because no matter the circumstance they experienced or “but if not” seeing their miracle they still believed.

  79. foreverblessed says:

    Yes Pat, you are right, let it be is the word.
    And a word of encouragement to Gary, if your zeal for Christ is just as big as your zeal against sin, you will not fall away. No one will fall away who is attached to Jesus with all his heart and soul and mind. There is just no room for sin, Christ has filled it all.
    I prefer the positive attack: be filled with Christ, learn to discipline yourself to seek His face more and more, during the day. Till at the end of our lives here on earth, there is not time that we are not attached to Him.
    Why I have chosen this path? Because I have been in a church for 30 years, where they warned against sin day and night. It doesn’t work. People get frustrated, get exhausted. And that is normal, because we are dead in sin, we must be made alive in Christ, His life, His love,
    It is His life that must flow through us. That’s what we do every morning, putting on the armour of God, and that is saying the same thing as putting on Jesus, Ephesians 6:13-14,15-16,17-18.
    So Gary, if you express just as much zeal for Jesus then I would be very very glad and praise God because of you.

  80. foreverblessed says:

    Pooh, Royalpalm made a beautiful comment on: giving facts a chance, of july 1.
    It is love that makes the hard soil soft. First in our own heart, it is God’s love that softens our heart. The thing we can do for people around us, our children, is to love them, love from God flowing through us to others around us, and that will soften their hearts, in the end.

  81. SFDBWV says:

    I read in the paper this morning that there are still over 300,000 customers in West Virginia without electricity. I know there are over a dozen houses here that are still in the dark.

    Because of the magnitude of people affected I suppose that alone helps to quell the anger of having to wait so long for help.

    I for one am very fortunate and very thankful this situation didn’t occur during winter.

    It is going to be a very memorable 4th of July for many, having said that I wish to say “Happy Fourth of July” to all those who call the USA home.


  82. oneg2dblu says:

    Pat… I totally understand your point about whipping a dead horse. But it is so sad that the “dead horse” that is whipped by the OSAS Doctrine is the word of God about living in sin, the warnings from Paul about what that dead horse is, and what the effects of sin will be upon every believer that lives in them thinking they are free, and all because of this false teaching and the one’s who follow it.
    Perseverence, Obedience, Service, should be alive and persuded, but even these fundamentals of holiness and rightliving, or given a pass, and serve no bearing upon this doctrine of false teaching.
    I have brought too much light here and those who have already been blinded by it, and will walk on and stumble into a place they will wish they never were, because of dismissed disobedience through falsely found freedom taught by this Doctrine.
    But any voice which carries that message, is not welcome here, for here too many already believe otherwise.
    At least one thing is true, the gate to eternity is wide
    open for those who continue in their desired sin nature for that will be the well traveled road of popular teaching that tickles itching ears.
    “But if not…” then and only then, does this doctrine of eternal “unconditional” security exist to act and serve as god and king over all the directly opposing words of God ever written for us, so we can live in this new found freedom called OSAS.
    Good Luck to all who still profess it, live it, love it, and will also even die by it!
    Remember this, it is those who look fine, sound fine, use even the word of God to bear up there false tesyimony and teaching, which they themselves being deceived, bring much harm and destroy many others, as multitudes will follow any convincing voice, but a hard one is rejected just as Paul’s voice is here.
    It is he who speaks through his words, not me.
    “Did God really say you will die, surely you will not, because OSAS says not!”
    No one can pluck you out of the Father’s Hand, or stop Him from the absolute depth of his agape love. He loves even those who will perish by His Hand, and there is no greater love than that! Gary

  83. SFDBWV says:

    Out in our cemetery are buried the remains of many, and every single one of them has a story, some sad some happy.

    It is always saddest for me to know there are so many that have been forgotten and their story known only to God.

    I have been updating all the mapping and information I can for future references, but the stories behind the names I only can know but a few.

    In the oldest section of the cemetery the previous caretakers did either a poor job of book keeping or what records existed are lost, so there are many graves un marked and un named. One such grave stands out to me as being identified simply as “the Pribble twins”.

    Here in this unmarked grave are someone’s children, what could have happened that these two children died? Perhaps at birth, perhaps later as many children died early of unknown causes.

    Was their birth anticipated with great expectation and joy, did their parents pray for them before they were born or after? Did their family cry out to God for a miracle? Now no one lives that remembers.

    So many grave stones give references that the one there is now with God and was loved by someone here and mourned, now remembered by no one here.

    How many waited for their miracle, believing right up to that moment when they realized it wasn’t going to happen the way they wanted?

    Why would Jesus tell us that we can have the desires of our heart if only we believe and not lose faith? Only to see our desires fade and for many hope die.

    Is it to keep us going through the heartbreaks of life? To keep us from total collapse under the weight of the pain life can give?

    Is it possible that even after death we can still look forward to having the desires of our heart fulfilled?

    The answer to that question is yes if you believe in the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
    However to get to that miracle we all have to walk on a road of faith. How sad for those who have no faith nor any hope. To them only the bleak emptiness and unconsciousness of death is their only escape.

    The thing to remember is that even for those with no hope God still remembers them and as it is His desire that none should be lost; God will make a way.


  84. poohpity says:

    God knows their names and although they are but a moment here, here is not all there is. If we put all of our hope and strength here what is left for eternity. Putting those we love in the hands of God and release our control there may be someone else who can do what we failed to do. It is so very hard to put faith and hope in the unseen and just go on what we have in the bible but God does still do miracles when we get out of the way and let Him work. He really does not need our help and many times we get in the way until the rug gets pulled out from us and all we can do is trust. There are always great lessons to learn if we are ready to receive them.

  85. poohpity says:

    Gary, no one can take away something that was never ours to begin with. Jesus gave us salvation, it was His to give and normally no one gives back a gift that was given to them although some do give it back but those do not understand what a wonderful gift it is.

  86. oneg2dblu says:

    Deb… yes, and wonderful is the gift of faith, that is required first for us to receive this gift of salvation.
    But, when this faith is lost, when this faith is abandoned, when it changes because of deceptive teaching to believe a falsehood instead, when it follows another belief system, then what does the bible say?

  87. poohpity says:

    Then you were probably never a believer to begin with cause one would know that our faith is even a gift of God. Can not lose something that was not ours to begin with. Eph 2:8

  88. oneg2dblu says:

    Deb… Yes, even the faith you have is a gift, and I was never a believer to begin with. In fact we were all enimies of God.
    Even the breath of life that sustains you today
    is a gift of God! The hope of Eternity a gift of God, and all created things, really are a gift of God.
    But, try to remember to leave a little wiggle room in your theology for God can also take it all away.
    He is God, and we are his gift to himself, but He says very clearly that many will perish, and many already have, even though it is His will that none should perish, but those that come against His Wrath clearly do.
    So then, we are not found innocent to be without the knowledge of His warnings as well, which are clearly stated many times in His Word.
    You having read the whole of it many times who agree I’m sure.
    Sin never benefits a believer, because it always separatres us from God, and we are warned as to what behaviors He considers for those who will not enter the Kingdom of God. Unless, you believe he also gifted Paul and others to falsely teach and deceive us.
    Which way ww will choose to believe, becomes ours, because we have been given the gift of free will as well.

  89. SFDBWV says:

    I received an email from a fellow weather observer in Gaithersburg MD this morning he finally has his power restored after 112.6 hours in the dark.

    It is a small glimmer of hope that those here may see their power on this week.

    Certainly no one to blame this one on except for people who have trees growing next to their houses or power lines.

    I hope all is well for you today; our little victories are so much more appreciated when we happily accept the life God has given us to carry.


  90. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, 112 hours that is, hmmm almost 5 days. The food in the freezer will be ruined by that time. Or you have to cook everything and put it in glas pots, like our grandmother did years ago.
    And living without airco, just like your forefathers did.
    We had a short item on the news, in summertime they always do that, the reporters in the different countries give an inside how life in that country is. Two days ago the man in Washington DC had a turn. And what did he show? damaged houses, fallen trees. That one fallen tree makes a whole community without electricity. A citizen mentioned: we should invest more in our infra structure, so that a normal storm will not have such drastic consequences. Its hard to imagine a well to do country lets things happen like this. That’s what the man said. And indeed that is curious. Wise planning of you to have your own power supply.

  91. SFDBWV says:

    Back there in 96 I was stepping out in faith on a journey in my life that I thought was life changing. I had given up on the cycle of lay offs and strikes that the coal mines produced and struck out for stability and a better life.

    Matt was graduating from high school and starting college, I had started a new job in a new town and I began to ask God for a new future that I seen as my goal.

    Every day as I drove to and from work there was a sign on the highway that declared “God will make a way.”

    I was encouraged by the sign and looked for it every day in order to feel contacted to my vision of my future.

    However there was always this little nagging voice in me that kept saying where I was at the time was only temporary, in fact I had a friend who told me so.

    I prayed for what I thought were the desires of my heart, believing God’s Word that I would have the very vision I had placed there as the answer to my prayers.

    How little did I know the future God had in store for me was nothing like the desires I had at the time, nor for the people I had included in that vision.

    It has been several years since I traveled down that same highway where the sign had stood, the first time since my world was turned upside down that I drove past the signs; one was missing the other in disrepair. Other trips past them showed that they were completely gone and no longer in place anywhere along that road.

    A stark reminder that the desires I had thought so important to me at the time were not God’s desires for me, and that now those things are past away as new desires have replaced them. Causing me every day to wonder in awe just what new chapter God has in mind for me each and every new day.

    God has shown me He will not give me what I want, but has a different and better future for me even when I can not see it, so each day I ask foe His will to be done in mine as well as for those I love’s lives.

    In this way the promise Jesus made that I can ask anything in His name and His Father will do it, is a promise kept.


  92. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed, sorry I was typing while you were posting. Yes here in my town one tree that blew over has put dozens of houses out of power as well.

    Clearly it shows a responsibility to people that their lack of vision and concern for others has its effect.

    I hope all in well in your part of the world, especially after that cold and frozen winter you all just experienced.

    It is off to Matthew’s exercises for me.

    God Bless

  93. bubbles says:

    As of this morning, 282,000 still are without electricity here.

    I ran across the street to the neighbor’s house, telling her she could come to come to my basement. While I was standing in the street, a tree fell about 20 feet away from where I was standing.

    As the storm grew worse, I took my dog and went to the basement. The wind pulled the screen out of the basement window. I thought for sure a tornado was about to hit. They say tornadoes sound like freight trains. I was listening for that sound, and was ready to lie down on top of my dog to protect him. By the way the wind was blowing, I knew the house was about to be torn off its foundation. Thank God it did not happen.

    I texted a friend to pray. I was not afraid, the thought “God is in the midst of the storm” continually ran through my mind. I am thankful for the calming peace God gives us.

  94. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Steve for your story, God is faithful, even if it does not look like it. I was reading the treasuries of David, by CH Spurgeon this morning, (you can read it on internet)
    God said do His Son:
    You are My Son, Today I have become your Father
    Ask of me, (ask what you want) and I will make the nations your inheritance.
    Jesus came, and what happened: the people killed Him.
    It looked as if He had nothing humanly speaking, while in His death He gained all the nations.
    So it is with many of us, you especially Steve, it looks bleak, humanly speaking, now, at this moment, but in the spirit world something is built that will last.
    The commentaries on verse Psalm 2:4, was interesting. How many roman cesars have tried to stop christianity, but were not able. Although thousands of christians died. As a martyr at that time, you could have thought: God has gone away, He does not care, all is for nothing. Their life here on earth seemed worthless.
    If we read all these things, how can we expect everything will be sunshine in our day. It is sunshine if Jesus shines in our lives, despite the circumstances.

    Steve, the cold overhere was only for two weeks in the beginning of Februare, that was all. But it had been mild up to that time, so nature was not prepared, and many plants died. Some of the shrubs had started to blossom in Januari, so mild it was. Last year it was colder for a longer time, started before Christmas and lasted long. But hardly any damage was done to nature.
    It teaches me that as a christian we must always be prepared for hard times. Watch and pray Jesus said, otherwise these things will happen unexpectedly Luke 21:36

    You wrote lay offs. My friend works at a factory in my town, today 53 people of 93 were laid off. Most of the work will be done by people in Hungary. The wages are ten times cheaper over there. My friend works there, but she can stay. She thanked God.
    That we will grow in faith, that whatever we will follow God. He is our King.

  95. poohpity says:

    It is pretty evident how much one trusts the Lord by how they react to situations, trials, pain and suffering.

  96. foreverblessed says:

    Well, I am saying that not that I have achieved it, but I am on my way. The migraine has come back, in a milder form, and I am learning to rejoice when I am having it. It goes from thanking God, trying to be happy, asking God to give me joy in this trial. Thanking God for what He is doing right now, although I cannot see anything yet, while I am feeling so sick. And at times I just cry out: help me Jesus.
    What a storms you have in the US. Praising God in the storm? Who has done that yet. Crying out to God: You are Lord over the wind, Lord over the rain, all things listen to You, and really believing it! What a way to go I have yet.

  97. phpatato says:

    Yes Foreverblessed I have a long way to go yet, too! And I am learning to praise God in my storms. I will remember you in my prayers that you find relief and healing from your migraine. Sending get well hugs your way. xo

    And yes Bubbles, God is in the midst of all our storms. I am thankful your house was spared and you were unharmed! Last spring there were 3 trees on my property that were uprooted during a wind storm. Having one fall so close to you while you stood in the street must have been terrifying.

    Steve we had a freezing rain ice storm hit us in the early part of January 1998. We were without power for 11 days. It was that event that caused a severe back order on generators. People weren’t going to be caught unprepared the next time. Either were we. lol

  98. SFDBWV says:

    I’m thinking about the story of the fiery furnace this morning and see that the rescue of the three Hebrew young men was secondary to God’s purpose in this event of Biblical history.

    The issue was between God and Nebuchadnezzar; just as the story of Daniel and the Lions den served to both save Daniel and show Nebuchadnezzar that Daniels God is God.

    Nebuchadnezzar was a hard sell; you would think that once he seen that the three Hebrew men were not only not consumed by the fire, but did not even smell of smoke that he would have been convinced, or that Daniels rescue from the lions would have convinced him, but it took 7 years of his mental abilities being removed before he got the message. All miracles yet done for the purpose of convincing the king of this nation who God is and that He favored these Hebrew people.

    And to further the purpose so that all things would be established just as God intended. Right up to the day that the Magi would show up to declare that the Messiah had been born and is Jesus the baby of Mary.

    Have any of you, like me had those revelation moments when you finally *get* it? Nebuchadnezzar finally did, but the purpose was dual in nature. God’s will and purpose is at the base of all miracles and the benefit to us is secondary to that.

    When ask if the blind man’s blindness was a result of some sin in him or his parents Jesus said no, it is for the Glory of God, when about Lazarus’ sickness Jesus said it was for the Glory of God. Yet both men were recipients of miracles.

    So I ask who then is best served when miracles happen today? Is God glorified and His purpose served?

    We can not see past our present circumstances well enough to see the full picture and results of what God is using us for now, nor are we able to see how God will be glorified from our present suffering. Yet every miracle of scripture involved someone’s suffering first before God could be seen as the deliverer from those circumstances.

    So we can as Foreverblessed and Pat has said, be able to give God the glory while we still have yet to receive our miracle. This is faith and faith that pleases God.


  99. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve, I would also say that every believer who experiences the miralce of God has their faith strengthened. Those three who came out of the fire unscathed certainly have even more faith then when they went in to it. God’s miracles strengthen or faith every time we hear of one, see one, or experience one for ourselves. Even when we pray for one for others. Nothing is ever waisted in the economy of God, as His word never comes back void. Even when we are tried of hearing another person’s view of theology, or doctrine, and we become angered, and say things we should not have said, God’s work of providing a miracle even through us is also being done. For us to convincingly above all other attacks by this dasrkening world, still have our faith in Christ alone, that is a the miracle of the Ages. Gary

  100. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Gary; it always amazed me that the Hebrew people who witnessed the plagues of Egypt and experienced the presence of God in the wilderness, soon forgot and started once again to complain.

    That is until one day when I *got it* and realized that all of us are no different. Once our immediate need is fulfilled we soon move on to another complaint.

    One has to wonder what ever became of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, only the story of Daniel remains for us to learn from.

    The power company finally restored electric to the effected residents here in town last evening. One week without power and about one hour to fix the problem.

    They left a large tree limb resting on the remaining telephone and TV cable lines; I guess they figured that was a job for someone else.

    Moving on…


  101. poohpity says:

    I know we take so much for granted. In my complaining about being towed all over the country when I was a kid but my dad and the men with him were putting the foundation for the power grid across the United States. So many in other countries do not even have running water yet we walk over to the kitchen and bathroom and just turn on the faucet. We have so very much to be grateful for everyday yet make a choice to complain about what we do not have.

    I am so glad our president does not throw us into a fiery furnace. ;-) Well maybe, lol.

  102. SFDBWV says:

    Deb, I was thinking of your dad this week, though I never knew him I know several linemen and how dangerous their job is. These past several days’ crews from all over have been working around the clock in an effort to get everyone back to normal, and as much as people are frustrated with the situation, because of the magnitude of work to be done, no one is actually complaining.

    These men are usually working in the worst of conditions and too often alone. They can not make mistakes or they are dead.

    So my hat is off to these linemen and their tireless effort on our behalf.

    Oh yea, Pat, Cherielyn and Foreverblessed, I had a little *miracle* today; I ordered a wheelchair scale for Matt last week not really knowing how for sure I could afford it, then today Glenna went through our locked box at the bank and there tucked away with some other papers was an envelope with more than enough to pay for the device, I guess we forgot we had put that money away for a rainy day.

    Looks like faith works.


  103. poohpity says:

    Does Matt qualify for an electric wheelchair from Social Security? I know for myself any assisted devices are usually covered for the person to help to get their selves around and even lifts to help get them in bed.

  104. SFDBWV says:

    Deb the short answer is yes that Matt qualifies for an electric wheelchair from Social Security, however there are a long list of complications surrounding that or any devices we may or may not need.

    While I was in the hospital those few days it became apparent that no one except me could successfully transfer Matt from chair to chair or bed or toilet etc. He found himself on the floor on several occasions and once on the floor it takes a three men and Matt to get himself back up.

    So I found a bariatric lifting device in a medical catalog that cost a couple thousand dollars and had our family physician give us a prescription for it. However the company that sells them will not sell it directly to me, it has to go through either a pharmacy or a medical supply company. They will not sell it to us either, but will rent it to us on a monthly basis all paid for by his insurances and Medicare, then after a year we can purchase it.

    Of course scales are not a necessity and so not covered by insurances.

    Medicare will pay for a wheelchair every 5 years unless there is a need for a replacement due to covered circumstances. We have to have a lightweight portable wheelchair in order to go anywhere in our car.

    The nature of where we live and Matthew’s abilities are such that an electric wheelchair would not serve his or our needs or use at this time.

    It has always been Matt’s desire and mine that he will someday be able to get up and walk so for now we do what we do in order to enjoy life and do so comfortably, while we live on faith.


  105. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Steve for sharing this, these little miracles that happen make our faith grow, but miracles that happen to others and they share it, make my faith grow too!
    What is the faith that pleases God?
    The devotion I read often, as I have shared here before, the one of today says:
    July 6 Riches
    “Never let yourselves think “we cannot afford this,” or “shall never be able to do that.” Say “the supply for it is not here yet, but it will come if we should have it. It will surely come.”

    Persevere in saying that and gradually a feeling of being plentifully supplied and of being surrounded by riches will possess you. That feeling is your faith claiming My Supply, and according to your faith it shall be unto you.

    But it is not the faith expressed in moments of prayer and exaltation I look for but the faith that lays immediately to rest the doubts of the day as they arise, that attacks and conquers the sense of limitation.

    “Ask and ye shall receive.””

    This is not the bible, so these words should be weighed, are they in line with God’s word. I don’t think it is about material riches, but riches for the Kingdom of God, that is spiritual.
    But that God looks at faith working during the day, as trouble arises, as despair comes up in our heart, then we need to learn to check it out immediately, and say: Jesus is stronger then any trouble, Jesus is our Healer, Jesus is our Provider, Jesus is the Conquerer.
    In fact, everything was done at the cross, sin was already conquered, Satan defeated. I still often despair, and think will it ever be so? But I need to live in that faith, to grow in that faith. Grab it, I should live in it: I am forgiven, I am holy in Christ.
    If Jesus had not accomplished it, it is of no use believing in it. But Jesus did save us, so we can live in that faith!

  106. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry, it is from God calling, by two listeners it is on internet.
    Bubbles, how are you doing now, is everything normal again? Thank you for telling the story. My granddad built a shelter in his back garden during the war. When the planes came over dropping bombs, all families in the street came to the building, and he himself was standing outside. Very good example. Nobody was hurt, not outside, not inside. The intention was good. Taking precautions but not keeping it to yourself but sharing it. That’s Gods way of life.

  107. bubbles says:

    foreverblessed, Thank you. Yes, our electricity was restored Monday morning around 11:00. All food in the refrigerator was lost, but we did not lose water where I live. Many still are without power or water. The local power company has said the electricity would be restored to everyone by this Sunday. When the water is running again, a boil water advisory will be in place for two days until the pressure is back up again.

    We had another wicked storm yesterday with 59 mph winds. The storm last week produced 74 mph winds an hour west of here. Several trees fell again. And some lost their electricity again.

    I am so very thankful for clean running water.. . and ICE CUBES. I will never look at ice cubes the same way again. We are so blessed, and at the same time, so spoiled. We are spoiled because so many live like this every day. They must walk for miles to get water, and many die from water bourne illnesses every day. And for us to complain about no water, or complain about heat, or no air conditioning. God has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams to be able to live in comfort. Then I feel guilty for those who don’t have. Why are we the ones to have?

    Many people here in town were so kind and helpful to one another during this problem. All of the traffic lights were out, so everyone was careful at intersections. People were checking on the elderly and bringing ice to each other. They were grilling their food in the freezers on Saturday night before it spoiled and were sharing it.

    But then today, four generators were stolen within a two hour period from a small community nearby. Shame on these people. Each generator was selling for $648 at a local hardware store.

    Foreverblessed, your grandfather was a very brave and generous man to share the bomb shelter with his neighborhood. How scary to have bombs falling out of the sky, and not knowing when they would come next. Those who lived through the War have always had a special place in my heart. They should be thanked, and admired for their courage. They are the ones who truly knew how to do without.

  108. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon Mart and Friends!

    Mart, you wrote:
    “Or is the faith that God is looking for the kind of trust that leaves the decision of our well-being, and his honor, with him?” The answer is in the question here. It seems to me we do not “think” the way God does (Isaiah 55:8) – no matter how diligently I seek God, I am not in God’s league.

    When it comes to “But if not…” we trust the Creator to make those calls. I have covered some ground since I last joined in the BTA conversation. Coming down a 6% grade with ten tons of junk behind me – my youngest daughter, my dog and my cat in the cab with me – I only prayed, “Lord, let me take this next big curve at less than 80 mph – and please Lord, don’t let these brakes burn out from underneath us!” I just prayed a simple prayer and trusted the Lord for the rest. We smelled the brakes, but saw no smoke! Hallelujah! The scene of disaster threatened my mind, but I called out to Jesus – and played the brakes very lightly.

    I cannot prove we got a miracle, but I am claiming one anyhow. The Lord wanted us at the bottom of the mountain safe and sound – and that is what we inherited from his grace. My first story for those around me these days is my saga of Cabbage Hill (which I call “Dead Man Hill”). God gets the glory on this one. Being taken into exile in Babylon is not the same as driving a rental truck 1,500 miles – but a tight situation is a tight situation when you’re in the middle of it.

    Prayers are going up for those lifting the standard of faith in the midst of strong testing in the storms.


  109. poohpity says:

    The folks in the middle east live like that everyday with bomb’s going off everyday. We are so blessed and I totally think it is for a reason so that we do not turn a blind eye to those who’s lives are harder.

    Steve I hope your muscles do not wear out before you can get the help you need. I have seen pictures of your house and can see why it is so hard for Matt to get around. It is beautiful there but not very handicapped accessible. You have made a lot things for Matt to get around better and I pray for the day he can walk too! He is a pretty big guy with lots of muscles from all the weight lifting.

  110. royalpalm says:

    Hello Mart and BTA friends,
    Thanks for this topic…and the excellent posts; makes me think about my own faith as I think about the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and Daniel… What faith pleases God? The story of Daniel and his friends has taught me what their faith is like:
    1)Faith that believes that God is righteous – these men were exiled after their temple and city were burned, their people were killed, but they never lost their faith in the goodness and justice of God. They did not blame God for their hardships, but rather acknowledged that God is just and merciful. (How many of us question God’s wisdom and righteousness because something that is not “right” happened? )(Jer. 39:4,5,6,7,8,9)

    2)Faith that believes that God is sovereign – in complete control of the events and circumstances in the world. All powers, dominions, authorities exist and come from Him. This led them to serve a cruel king, yet all the while putting their loyalty, worship, and obedience to their Sovereign King. (Dan. 2:20 – 22)

    3)Faith that is constant, a moment by moment consciousness of the presence and power of God which gives confidence and peace regardless of circumstances.

    4)Faith that seeks to honor God and make Him known through faithful service. (Dan. 3:16-18)

    The greatest treasure is God Himself. When we come to know Him, we have eternal life- (John 17:3) – To me, faith that is based on knowledge of God and the assurance of being known by God is the faith that pleases Him.

  111. cherielyn says:

    Speaking of miracles: A local Christian University puts on a yearly Freedom Celebration with games for kids, music, special speaker and ending with fireworks. It is free except for a charge for parking. We went last night and it was great except for the weather interrupting a portion of it. Those in the crowd who decided to stay went to the school gymnasium for the balance of the program. Fireworks were shot off as people hurried to their cars after the program. Before we got to our car it began pouring & we were drenched.

    So, you’re probably asking, “What does this have to do with miracles?” The special speaker at the Freedom Celebration event, 2-3 years ago, was a pilot who was supposed to have piloted one of the planes involved in the 9/11 attacks. Were it not for him being bumped from the flight at the last minute, he would not be with us today. In my opinion, that definitely is an outright miracle!


    For some reason I felt especially moved to pray for you – for what?….I didn’t know, but God knew.

    PTL on your “miracle” of found money for the needed scale.


  112. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Cheryl, talking about miracles, I visited my mother this afternoon, and she recalled a miracle again, she was driving her car had to stop for a red traffic light, when it became green she did not pull up, but remained where she was, shoving her back at the seet to resit, and then a huge truck crossed the road, with high speed! Only at night she realised what had happened just there, she thought the Holy Spirit prevented her from driving, otherwise she would have been hit by the truck. Talking about that miracle again, was lifting our spirits. She said, many many times God has prevented us in our lives from danger happening to us. We should be more thankful for His providence. And the greatest providence is that we are rescued from the kingdom of darkness and taken into the Kingdom of the Son He loves. If only we have faith that that has already happened, and we live up to that new life in Christ. Colossians 1:13-14
    IN the Philipa translation v11-12 which seems fit for Mart’s topic
    As you live this new life, we pray that you will be strengthened from God’s boundless resources, so that you will find yourselves able to pass through any experience and endure it with courage. You will even be able to thank God in the midst of pain and distress because you are privileged to share the lot of those who are living in the light.

  113. foreverblessed says:

    Colossians 1:9,10 is also very appropriate to this topic, knowing God’s will seeing things from God’s perspective as the JB Phillips translation puts it.

  114. cherielyn says:


    Sharing your mother’s experience reminds me of a traffic situation I was in about 30 years ago. People would consider what happened impossible, but it’s not with God.

    I was driving to a doctor appointment with my 4 young children. It was winter, I was on a busy highway and hit a patch of black ice. My vehicle slid into the oncoming lane. There were cars approaching me and also cars in my correct lane, coming from behind. Either way, I was going to get hit. I could not get the car under control and yelled, “God, Help!”

    Suddenly, my car moved completely sideways (not forward & sideways as would be normal) to the correct side of the road and onto the shoulder where it came to an immediate stop. It was as if God put His hand on my car & put it where I would be safe. I missed being hit from both directions by less than five car lengths.

    No one will ever convince me that that incident was anything other than a miracle of God!

  115. foreverblessed says:

    Pat how are you doing and how is your daughter doing? Did she do allright on her work?
    Cherielyn, that is indeed a big miracle! Thanks you for telling it. God is doing so many things. It is good to tell each other of how God has helped us through difficulties. Today at church I told someone that my husband had very bad toothache (molar, the big ones that yo chew on, what is the name?), and had to go to a dentist today. that is possible on sunday, you have to pay more though. The man started to tell of his molar, that was repaireda month ago. But after two weeks terrible pain arised, it looked like an inflammation. He started to talk to God: This is so inconvenient, I am so tired, so much work on my job, such pain. You can heal it.
    And the next day all pain was gone, and still is. He said: God worked a miracle for me. Thank God for all His care for us.

  116. phpatato says:

    Thanks for asking Foreverblessed. I am doing so much better even though the storms haven’t really subsided..my brother-in-law fell this past Wed and broke his hip. He is well advanced with Parkinson’s. The care home that he lives in failed to send his medication to the hospital with him so he was in excruciating pain when he started to shake with his broken hip. He was operated on and was sent back to the nursing home on Friday. This past Saturday, he developed pneumonia and is on a heavy antibiotic. He is so compromised as it is, that if he battles out of this, it WILL be a miracle.

    Today was my daughter’s first day back at work. Her family is sick with summer colds and she was saying last night that she thought she was getting sick. But…she is getting a bit more sleep than she has had…Praise God!

    I am learning, what is for me, a hard lesson. I am seeing that being a wife, mother, daughter, sister and grandmother, I just can’t be everything to everybody. I am not superwoman and try as I might, I just can’t fix their troubles away. Somehow I thought that if I didn’t keep trying, didn’t keep searching for solutions, I was failing in the tasks that God had set before me. As Deb said in an earlier post:

    “Putting those we love in the hands of God and release our control there may be someone else who can do what we failed to do. It is so very hard to put faith and hope in the unseen and just go on what we have in the bible but God does still do miracles when we get out of the way and let Him work. He really does not need our help and many times we get in the way until the rug gets pulled out from us and all we can do is trust. There are always great lessons to learn if we are ready to receive them.”

    God is showing me that I have to let go of the controls trust Him and not stand in His way. That is a great lesson to learn and relearn!

  117. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you for sharing. I pray with you that you will be able to do so. God looks at the heart, doesn’t He say that? If in our hearts deep down we want to trust Him, then He is so pleased, and will help us.
    I think that “worry” is a big problem for mothers, wives, sisters, and maybe it even start already as a daughter. Worry. I have a struggle with it too. We care for our family, for our dear ones, the daily care, the little details. And deep down in my heart, I was worrying, will this go all right, will that go all right, and that is not trusting God. The deeper though should be: Yes, God is in control, He can handle everything. Now I train myself, when a worry comes up: “Jesus is bigger then this worry. Jesus is stronger then sickness.”
    It is a slow process, but it is a way up to trust.
    Here at home we have a prayer thing between mothers. We tell each other our troubles with our loves ones, and then we pray for one another. It helps in letting go. So it is good to share, thanks for doing so.

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