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One Mission Two Results

P1010651b_SnapseedWe’ve been looking at the tension between Jesus the peacemaker, and the Disturber who said, “Don’t think that I’ve come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Together we’ve thought about how the Teacher carried out his mission of reconciliation while creating so much conflict in the process.

His Sermon on the Mount is no exception. With relatively few words, the Son of God described life’s options in terms that illustrate the division that erupted between him and his competition.

Jesus declared as blessed… and divided…

Those who were poor in spirit from those who had an inflated opinion of themselves.

Those who mourned over wrong from those who liked to see how much they could get away with.

Those who were willing to be meek before God from those who insisted on being in control.

Those who hungered for right relationships from those who pursued their own interests at the expense of others.

Those who were merciful from those who showed no mercy.

Those whose who were clean on the inside from those who cleaned the outside to hide the garbage inside.

Those who were peacemakers from those . (Matt 5:1-9)

P1010728But if no human but the Teacher lived consistently in such a state of “blessedness”, why would he speak in such categorically black and white terms? That’s probably worth thinking about together.

Source notes:

Jesus the peacemaker (Matt 5:9) (John 14:27) (John 6:33)

Jesus the divider (Matt 10:34) (Matt 10:32)

Evidences of Jesus’ Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)

Marks of wisdom (James 3:13-18)

James on pride and humility (James 4:6)

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58 Responses to “One Mission Two Results”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    The reconciliation of Jesus’ mission was and is between God and man.

    While here amongst us He taught us how to reconcile our differences between each other as well as within ourselves.

    But understand this; there are people who will always be at odds with you no matter how much effort you put out.

    So division will always exist.

    The Sermon on the Mount clearly shows us we all fall short of accomplishing the goals God has set before us, it is a trap and no one can escape it. Showing even we who profess to be His followers that we still need Him always because we will always come up short of accomplishing the standards set down in this sermon.

    If you are attempting to be meek on purpose and feel that you are, do you then feel superior to someone whom you have judged to be *arrogant*? Making you the same as the person with whom you though to be in opposite to.

    The history of the Church is filled with people who tried to separate themselves from all the rest of humanity in an attempt to dedicate their being only to God, but God is there amongst all the prideful, arrogant, evildoers as well and Jesus has made it clear we are to be there amongst them as well in contrast to them as well as attempting to shine the light of the Truth while there.

    But there will always be division, as there will also always be reconciliation, just as there will always be two ends to a magnet.


  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    The presence of the kingdom of God, I believe, makes the effect of the Good News radical. The first thing Jesus preaches right out of the crucible of his wilderness fast (Matthew 4:1-11) is:

    “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (v 17) John Baptist preached it, but Jesus brings the kingdom in the flesh – he is the incarnation of God’s Word.

    The people of God have taken the Law and built a wall with it. It has become a barrier to the other peoples. Buried in the Law is the rule of Jubilee (e.g. Exodus 22:21-27, 23:9-10; Leviticus 25:10; Numbers 36:4). This law I believe was very hard for the people of God to keep, perhaps because there were no consequences for not keeping it. In Deuteronomy is a full statement of the practice of grace and kindness toward the unfortunate and indentured. Aliens, slaves and the poor (orphans and widows) are to be treated with kindness (e.g. Deuteronomy 15:10, 11) and generosity.

    Those who keep the spirit of the law are described here and there. Boaz is one. Job is another. Those who observe the Jubilee stand out as righteous, seeking God’s presence. Those who dodge the full measure of godly obedience remain in shadow, apart from God’s presence.

    The coming of the kingdom and the New Covenant in Messiah intensifies the light of his holy presence. He is so near that shadow diminishes. The antagonism between those in the light and those in the darkness increases, until the kingdom comes fully and all darkness is eliminated. Jesus is the Light of the cosmos.


  3. remarutho says:

    It seems to me, Mart, that a dualistic way of thinking is more worldly than Biblical.

    I always hope to see the Light permeating the entire universe. Yes, there is darkness and shadow, but these opposing forces do not have any ground to stand on except the ground the Creator God has put in place. As you say, Jesus blesses, Jesus divides.

    There is a fierce battle raging. The outcome is already determined. If anything is predetermined, it is this. Maru

  4. narrowpathseeker says:

    Greetings All. This morning as I was reading Mart’s post there were two other blue highlighted words in addition to “relationships” which when the mouse passes by them an ad comes up. Now those two are gone. This in addition to posts disappearing and reappearing in cycles is quite distracting to my feeble little mind. Just wondering if anyone else is having this problem

  5. narrowpathseeker says:

    After posting, “relationships” ad is gone and “speak” brings up ad for education and Steve’s post has an ad in it. In Steve’s “Filled” brings up an ad also for education.

  6. SFDBWV says:

    Yes, why do we marvel at Jesus the *divider*. He divides the light from the darkness, victory from defeat, life from death and judgment from a full pardon.

    In a house where multiple people live some will accept some will not, division.

    In a nation some are followers some are not, division.

    In eternity some come under the blood, some are judged, division.

    The chaff is divided from the wheat.

    Praise be to Jesus Christ, the One who is worthy to divide and do so rightly.


  7. foreverblessed says:

    This is very hard to put together the fact that Jesus came to being peace, and that verse in Matthew 10:34-35, the sword.
    This sword I always thought is was more about the approach of the ones who didn’t like the words and life of Jesus, and they are the ones that pick up the sword, see all the martyrs.
    The other point about it is that Jesus wanted to say that if you choose for Him, not to be afraid that you will lose worldly minded friends.

    But I would like to add 1 Corinthians 13:4,5,6,7
    Especially verse 7 love “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
    I believe God is always hoping that the message of Jesus will be accepted by those who react hostile towards it in the beginning.
    Always hopes…
    So I think that we should not like that division, although we should be on our guard, we should always be hoping too.

    (Narrow, I do not get the adds, I do get trouble with the topics, I can only read them when I am logged in, otherwise the topic of “did Jesus die for a tree” comes up)

  8. poohpity says:

    There is also an internal division. What we say we believe and what we act on. When we are told to love those we determine to be our enemies because it is so easy to love those who agree with us, see things our way and love us back but to actually love others it takes the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to love those who oppose us.

    James goes so far as to tell us if we brag about being wise and doing good yet turn around and are bitter, jealous, angry and selfish then it is a lie. He says where there is jealousy and self ambition there will be disorder and other kinds of unrest or evil. The division in our actions and what we say. The division comes when we seek quiet gentleness, peace loving, courteous, allows discussion and yielding to others rather than wanting our way, ignoring, wanting to heard but not listening.

    It is like an upside down topsy turvy way of being that looks nothing like the world around us and of course that will lead to division because people will attack when confronted with things that make them feel guilty about being ugly.

  9. poohpity says:

    Living to please God rather than those around us is where the blessings come.

  10. narrowpathseeker says:

    Forever, thank you for acknowledging my question. I was convinced that my posts(for several weeks) weren’t visible to others or their answers to my questions were not visible to me. Signed in or not, I can be responding to someone’s comment and scroll up to confirm the date and time of the post and it is no longer there, so I delete my response and wonder if I am hallucinating. :-) …even more reason why I am grateful for your acknowledgement. The pop up ads coming and going in various posts should be a concern to everyone.. Steve’s has just changed to a Walmart gift card behind “history of the church” and it’s from Tidy Network

  11. remarutho says:

    Hello Narrow —

    I would just ask how many add-ons do you have for your web browser? Some of them highlight any words that can trigger an advertisement. Maybe you can delete some of those programs from your control panel. Just a suggestion.

    Was recently glommed (technical term, right?)onto by some programs that slipped in with a certain web browser. Coupon-finder, bargain-locater, etc. Very annoying. Had to get my son-in-law to take a big broom to my list of installed programs.


  12. narrowpathseeker says:

    Maru, THANK YOU! I have never seen anything like this! The words kingdom of God turned a highlighted blue and it was a walmart ad. Everytime I came on..different words would be highlighted. “relationships” on Mart’s post highlighted for a dating service. I didn’t realize it was on my end and was very concerned…they were popping up on your messages too. I do have coupon savers and such on here and will have to see what I can do about that…but does that have anything to do with posts appearing and disappearing?

  13. BruceC says:

    narrow, You are not alone. I had that a few days ago too on other forums. I have a cleaner tool in my PC and it worked. Also have malware, spyware and anti-virus. I don’t think I am allowed to put the product names here though.
    Next time I am at the drugstore I will check and se if they have any over-the-counter allergy meds for tech. I f so I will tell the name. Seems I have that “allergy” too! LOL!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  14. BruceC says:

    I have seen first hand the division caused by the Sword (truth) that Christ has brought. Right in my wife’s own family. Those who enter into His light are separated from those in the darkness(where all of us were at one time). More division. Did not Christ tell many of the religious leaders that they were doing the work of their father, the devil while He was doing the work of His Father; God.
    We also are called God’s children. The Church…the Body of Christ. More division between us and the “world”.
    The Sword also cuts into us and divides the Spirit and flesh. That can be a painful division.

    God Bless All!!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  15. narrowpathseeker says:

    Bruce, I never had these problems until Windows 8….did you? let me know about the allergy medication..;-) Well at least nobody’s posts have disappeared today. Thanks Bruce.

  16. phpatato says:

    Hey Narrow

    I was wondering if maybe you have spam/malware on your computer. There are free programs that can rid your computer of these. I have malwarebytes installed on mine. You can google that and should be able to get the free download. I run it about every 2 weeks to once a month. Hope this helps.

    As I named the program, I understand if this is deleted.

    I have also had problems of comments going missing. It is a bit unnerving isn’t it? Rest assured you are not losing it because of this glitch. :-)



  17. narrowpathseeker says:

    Thanks Pat, now that I know the problem is at my end(except for the disappearing acts) I will get one of my kids or grandkids in to instruct me. The problems start when I think I know what I’m doing and I don’t, so I will wait for one of them ;-).

    Pat, I hope you and your daughter are getting some sleep and that the boys are over whatever was keeping them up.

  18. poohpity says:

    I find the same things about disappearing posts. You all may try using Mozilla firefox as a web browser which also has a built in spell check and that prevents a lot of spam along side of an anit-virus program. Setting your firewall to a higher standard also can work.

  19. poohpity says:

    Bruce, from what I have read in the past, both of you seem to use the kindness and gentleness the Lord has asked us to use when we are persecuted.

  20. phpatato says:


    Thank you so much for asking about my daughter and her boys. I am actually going to ask for healing prayers for that household. There has been sickness with one or all of them since before Christmas. Mom and Dad have had a round of antibiotics for a sinus infection/cold. Just last weekend, one of the boys was at the hospital running a high fever in connection with a cold he’s fighting. This week Mom and the same boy are now dealing with severe stomach cramps (want to get sick…go to a hospital). Mom has been up most of the nights all this week AGAIN with him crying out in pain and Dad who is about to start a second round of antibiotics is up with the other twin when he wakes up. . Please if you can remember them in your prayers for healing as well as for sleep. Lack of sleep is playing a huge part in them being sick.

    My anxiety level is at an all time high and my faith is ebbing. How much longer before they can get a decent consistent sleep at night. She’s had just three 8 hour uninterrupted sleeps since Feb. I plan on spending the night tomorrow night so that I can be the one on call.

    I’m looking for prayer partners.



  21. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pat, I will continue to pray for you, your daughter, and family.

    Pat, you may remember that this past year I had long periods of time that I thought God had distanced Himself from me because of many cycles of victory to defeat…up and down….back and forth. For me I don’t think there is any worse place to be than to be there with wavering faith. I finally made it UP and have stayed up for a long period of time now. I believe that God used the BTA family here to encourage me with prayer and uplifting messages and I am ever grateful for all of you.

    I also found that fasting, praying about everything and giving thanks throughout the day, avoiding news articles that I know will anger me, and praying for our leaders and enemies and everyone I get a bad thought about, and making sure no matter how tired I am to make sure my last thoughts before going to bed are of God after reading at least a chapter of the bible and praying. Sorry that was all one sentence…:-)

    Pat, I don’t know if you are going through testing, pruning, or a growth spurt, but I believe that clinging to the Lord and not letting go of the belief that He hasn’t left you alone and that He will see you through is the way. Ok another LONNNGG sentence.. AND of course…brothers and sisters in Christ praying with you. Love and Hugs back to you.

  22. narrowpathseeker says:

    Thanks Pooh for the confirmation of the disappearing posts. Do you think the disappearing posts are on our end or with the BTA site? BTW, how are doing with your knee?

  23. BruceC says:


    You and your family are in my prayers.

    Sorry that I forgot to mention security settings/firewall. Me bad.

    That cycle of victory/defeat seems to be a very common theme among Christ followers. Life can be like riding a roller coaster….up down up down up down…
    But we know Who owns the “ride” and when we look in the seat next to us Jesus is there all the time. Sadly for those that don’t believe they are there alone and the enemy of their souls is tweaking the controls. Let’s pray they join our “ride”.


    Thanks for the kind words about my kindness and gentleness; but I struggle with an “Irish” temper and I need His help to deal with it all the time. I find watching TV less and reading the Word more helps a lot.
    Less culture, more Christ. Pray for me.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  24. SFDBWV says:

    The Robins showed up here in mass yesterday, first one and then a dozen, so this morning we have another inch of fresh snow to welcome them.

    Make no mistake about it they will eat bird seed as I have watched them do that for many years.

    Talk about one mission and two results; I know few objects more enjoyable to use than the computer and nothing more aggravating.

    Pat take a deep breath, everything is going to be ok, God will make a way and all will soon settle down.

    Like my friend Pat I can take a lot of hits, it is when those I love suffer when I suffer the most, I guess that is the price we pay for loving others more than ourselves.

    It would seem everything has a price or consequence.

    God has order in His universe, and all things follow that order, where there is an up there is a down, where cold there is heat, where love also hate, where peace there is war.

    We who live in the broken world of the fallen have no real concept of what existed before the fall and can only imagine with blurred vision what final peace can be like without the opposites in play.

    But for now in a broken world God became man and as a man he brought peace and division at the same time in perfect harmony with God and His creation as it is now.

    No mystery, but the face and will of God.


  25. saled says:

    Pat, I will pray for the sleep situation at your daughter’s home also. I have a daughter with a young son and I know what a toll lack of sleep can take! Have your daughter ask the boys’ pediatrician about the possibility of vitamin D supplements. This seems to have made a difference in establishing a more normal sleep routine for both my daughter and her son. You live in the north, as we do (Maine) and lack of this vitamin can be more of a problem for us, especially in the winter.

  26. poohpity says:

    Bruce, it is amazing how reading the Word changes us as it changes how we think about things. When emotions are taken out the picture the roller coaster ride has less and less ups and downs. I was so excited when you got your new Bible I have been praying it will enhance your relationship with the Lord and by many of your posts lately it seems it already has. God can work with an Irish temper too, lol!! In your life it has served it’s purpose so praise God for it.

    My son and I were talking about the Bible at one of our family dinners and my cousin yelled at him saying I get so tired of listening to guys talk about the Bible and he just looked at me. She did not address her anger to me but to my son so I let him deal with it so he could learn when this happens how to handle it but he just looked at her then at me and shrugged his shoulders meanwhile I was red faced and counting to 10 because she did this to a teen and not to an adult. He did a very good job of showing no signs of anger nor did he give her an ugly retort but looked at her and said how much he loved her and gave her a hug.

    With our kids today and facing peer pressure especially for those who crave acceptance it is hard and it is also hard for those adults who crave acceptance as well but it is nothing like it is in others countries. That one book causing so much division yet bringing so much love, unity and good into the world.

    Pat, praying for rest and healing for your daughters family.

    narrow, thank you for asking. It has good range of motion there is just one place that feels like someone is stabbing me with a knife when it moves. Because of the deformity before surgery it is having a hard time trying to figure out which way it needs to go, lol. Everyday with some pain it gets better the more it is used.

  27. phpatato says:

    Deb, Thank you for your prayers. I am so glad to read that your knee is getting better. I will continue to keep you in my prayers. I hope the pain eases and stops completely very shortly.

    Saled, I will ask my daughter about the vitamin D drops. I know she used to put them in their formula last winter but every time she did, they threw up so she stopped. (sounds weird that they did I know) I will be sure to mention what your daughter’s experience. Thank you for your suggestion! Thank you too for keeping her in your prayers.

    Steve, I sometimes wish I didn’t love so hard. Sounds like a terrible thing to say but you nailed it when you said “I can take a lot of hits, it is when those I love suffer when I suffer the most”. Thank you for mentioning the robins. I will be looking for them to be *up my way* in the next week or two. I am so glad they don’t need passports to cross the border. :-) Spring is almost here!!

    Bruce, Thank you for your prayers. You are so right..life is like a roller coaster. Just yesterday I was wishing that it would stop so that I could climb off for a bit of a breather. This is not possible I know but I am so glad God is at the controls because He can and will slow the ride down when He sees I’ve become weak-kneed.

    Narrow, I am like you. I make sure that my last thoughts of the day are in God’s Word and in prayer with Him. Being at a place with wavering faith IS no worse place to be. Thank you for your continued prayers and loving words of encouragement.

    ……For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 2 Timothy 1:12

    Hugs to All


  28. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, we have no Robins as yet, but I don’t recall ever seeing one eating the seed and I always wondered about that. Thanks for that info. I did however, have a crazy Robin last year that kept attacking my glass door to the balcony where I keep some feeders. This went on for weeks!! I thought someone was knocking on my door at first, and even went to answer it a couple of times. I have hearing loss and can’t always tell what direction the noise is coming from. She(wasn’t very colorful) would keep it up periodically all day and defecate all over the balcony, then found her doing the same thing downstairs on the deck.

    Pooh, I am glad your knee is coming along and the pain is less all the time. I will continue to pray for you. I don’t know if your knee not knowing which way to go has anything to do with deformity before surgery. Many of my body parts aren’t sure which way to move anymore either ;-)

  29. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pat, I have an album called 16 Southern Gospel Classics with a song on it called , “I Feel Like Something Good” is About to Happen. It is sung by William Gaither and I believe I received it from RBC. It really aids in shifting our focus. I hope you have it or can get it. Remember to hold on tight!! ;-)

  30. narrowpathseeker says:

    Also, on it is “The Master of the Wind”

  31. poohpity says:

    Mart, I think Jesus talked in such categorically black and white terms because we would have had no other way to see that the having Him be part of our life brings about such change that is so different from the world. It brings to light how secular many live giving most times only the part that wants salvation and absolution yet will still hold so tightly to the way most people around us live. Following Jesus is a life changing commitment but if it means giving up personal rights in anyway not many will take that step. There is a lot of meaning wrapped around putting the Lord first. First before we speak, act and live allowing His Spirit to permeate every aspect of our being and wanting His ways.

  32. BruceC says:

    That’s very true poohpity. Each day we needs the Lord’s help to “press toward that mark” and be more and more like Him. We need the Spirit to help us with our flesh, attacks by the enemy, and the world around us.
    I recall a time when my wife and I were talking with her Mom about something and we said we could not do that ( something to do with applying for something we could get) because holding back information just to get something for ourselves was dishonest and the equal of lying. She responded that that was ridiculous. This from a person that made sure she was in church at least once a week. It reminds me of the series of sermons our wonderful pastor has been doing the last two months. The overall title is “Cultural Seepage” and deals with how the culture has seeped into the church and can weaken the foundations of our faith if allowed to. We see that in many denominations today that have liberalized to the point where the Word and its authority are relegated to a back seat compared to political correctness and personal feelings and opinions. While the world may think it okay to tell a little white lie or fib, God calls it what it is… a lie. Period. No debate. Little by little the enemy will use the culture or whatever is at his disposal to chip away and erode.
    Pastor uses the results of a survey that was taken amongst Christians (I will try to get the name and link if I remember) to show just how much seepage has taken place. It’s heart breaking to say the least.
    “Thus saith the Lord” should carry the most weight in our lives in all its aspects as you have clearly stated.
    May he give us the strength to do His will. Pray for the lost and that He use us to reach them with His truth and to show other Christians that we need to put Him first above all else.

    Please pray for the families of those that were murdered just 30 min. north of me in Herkimer and Mohawk, NY. A man yesterday killed two and wounded two at a barbershop and then went to a car wash and killed two more before holding up in an abandoned building. Police heard a lone shot during the night and are unsure; as I type, whether he is still alive. The world thinks more laws will end these things and make our world better all the while turning its back on the only One who can make THEM better. Humanity has a future appointment with its Creator and God and I hope we can reach as many as possible before that Day.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  33. SFDBWV says:

    It snowed all day yesterday, one of those aggravating weather days where it would darken up present a white out snowfall followed by sunshine which would melt all that just fell. Repeating itself all day until sundown when it quit melting.

    Woke to a fresh snowfall of 3.5 inches that needed to be cleared off the walkways feeders and plowed off the street.

    Fairly normal morning for us since October.

    It is still snowing in repetition of yesterday and many among us would call this a *Robin snow* as a snow that accompanies the return of the Robins.

    We also have a *cow snow* (the birthing of calves), a *Sarvis snow* (when the Sarvis tree’s blooms), as well as an *onion snow* (that usually follows the planting of onion bulbs).

    So no matter when spring weather does finally get here we ain’t done with snow until after June the first (usually but not exclusively).

    There are very few absolutes in nature or in life. In fact the only thing some of us have to cling to as being stationary is our faith, and wow does that ever come under attack by all kinds of other *thinkers*.

    One of the most explosive words to many Christians is the word *evolution*. The problem is that like many words that have use in our language, this word has come to be identified with being in contrast to the Judean-Christian belief that God created all things in 6 days and rested on the 7th.

    Sadly I find it has even a more sinister use when applied to Christianity. Some *theologists* actually believe and teach that in order for our faith to be relevant in today society it has to *evolve* and be more open to *change* to allow more people to *feel* more like it is a faith they can be comfortable in.

    Reading the news regarding the election of a new Pope, the news commentators kept that theme going, that a new Pope would have to *change* things in order for the church to be respondent to the changing culture of modern people.

    Abortion always at the top of the list of what it is the world wants Christians to accept.

    Protestants are no exception, some churches and some church language today is almost unrecognizable as the doctrine of the New Testament.

    Does Christ divide? Satan wanted permission to *sift* Peter, and Jesus separates the chaff from the wheat. Seems to me that the process of supernatural selection comes by way of sifting and dividing until the final product is complete.

    Just Thursday morning thoughts.


  34. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All –

    Mart, you wrote:
    “Together we’ve thought about how the Teacher carried out his mission of reconciliation while creating so much conflict in the process.”

    Reconciliation to God, for which Jesus came into the world in the flesh, occurs by faith. The conflict that ensues is stirred up in hearts that are self-directed – or more than that, in hearts that are set for an agenda that puts self and self-enrichment in the center of their value system. Satan whispers this rebellion into the receptive human ear.

    Resisting the will of God is the predictable behavior of the heart that cannot acknowledge God’s sovereignty as Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of the universe. It is amazing that the human heart and mind can see what exists, and say that it is “a given.” So it is – given by the Creator God! (Hebrews 11:3) Surely everyone here can name (or give the initials of) someone who conducts his/her life as though he/she made life happen and furnished life with all that it contains.

    Those who embrace the Beatitudes as Truth see that God is sovereign. Those who ignore or actively fight the Beatitudes claim that sovereignty for themselves. They literally “believe in themselves.”

    We are put here to pray for the lost – and to present again and again the freedom offered in the Good News of Jesus.


  35. BruceC says:

    Brother Steve,

    We had a few warm days here too; but alas, it has gone back to acting like winter with temperatures in the upper teens today and gusty winds. I told my brother in northern New Jersey about you seeing robins in the mountains of West Virginia and he said it won’t be long then before he does also. Next to the house I can see where a daffodil is starting to poke its head up through the soil. The return of spring reminds me of the promised resurrection to life eternal that is given us by our Lord and hope once again “springs” forth.
    Regardless of how the world goes and even some that calls themselves part of the Church; I will keep my faith in a God that says “I changeth not!”

    To Him be all the glory!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  36. poohpity says:

    It seems that Jesus presented us with things that only God knows. Like what goes on in our hearts if we are even angry with someone it is like committing murder. God wants to change our inner most thoughts which turn to action. Jesus said that we know others by their fruits Matt 7:20 and Paul goes on to list the evidence of the Spirit filled person with those fruits in Gal 5:22-23. Just to think for a moment that because we may not break the 10 Commandments it goes way deeper penetrating even our thoughts and attitudes of the heart Heb 14:12. It divides things that are hidden from the world around us but nothing is hidden from God.

    Jesus gave black or white to show us just how deeply He wants to be active in our lives and just how ugly we really are. In realizing that we become so dependent in and on Him.

  37. poohpity says:

    Oooops that is Heb 4:12

  38. poohpity says:

    No matter what circumstance we find ourselves in saying we trust God yet become scared, worried, mad, why me’s, does that really show a dependence and trust in the Lord?

  39. poohpity says:

    I think the change they were speaking of with the new Pope was to stop all the bureaucracy and go back to the basics of the faith. To stop the atrocities that the church has caused in people lives and hold accountable those who lived lives that do not go along with what God’s Word teaches. The blatant hypocrisy. What God teaches in His Word is timeless and applies to every generation until the end of this world as we know it and on into eternity.

  40. poohpity says:

    I do not know if anyone else saw the smile on this Pope as compared to other Popes who seem so stern. This one seemed to have the joy of the Lord just spilling out and if that will be an indication of how he guides the church many will be blessed by him for pointing people to the Lord and not him.

  41. Helmet says:

    Good morning again. I’ve been thinking about Steve’s first post, when you live with an ungodly person, you may stay in judge, and forget about own sin, Gal. 6:1

  42. SFDBWV says:

    Hello Helmet, good to hear from you.

    Paul encouraged married couples to stay together under most any circumstance so as to hopefully lead one to the Lord by perseverance.

    However Jesus said that divorce is warranted in two circumstances and one of them is adultery, bearing in mind there is also an adultery of the Spirit and if not careful and we are unequally yoked there is danger of being led into that same adulterous spirit with regards to the Holy Spirit and it is there that sometimes the only defense is to absent yourself from the temptation..

    I would suppose that same concept could be put forward in any relationship between people.

    It is why our walk with the Lord is likened to warfare and why we must always be on guard and as I said a couple days ago…”walk softly, but carry a big stick.” In this case the big stick is the two edged sword of Truth. Sometimes a weapon of offense as well as defense.


  43. kingdomkid7 says:

    Enjoyed your Thursday morning thoughts Steve. Evolution is an interesting and loaded word these days. But it’s just a word — and I have to remind myself of that sometimes when I feel that the Church is under unfair attack or criticism. I’d say Peter “evolved” from the Christ-denying man he was into the rock Jesus knew he truly was. So on some level maybe we are “divided” within ourselves until we truly surrender to Jesus and allow Him to make us into what He wants. He lets us be sifted too.

  44. SFDBWV says:

    Well said kingdomkid7 and i would agree.


  45. poohpity says:

    Helmet, it is often the problem when we focus on the sin of others that we forget it in our own heart and minds good verse. I think that is such a good reminder about the grace shown to us first before we take into account someone’s else.

    How are things in Mexico? Nice to hear from you again.

  46. foreverblessed says:

    The weapons of God we use them in the spiritual sense, there was a lady here a few years ago, who said that the Spirit told her, “weapons down” when dealing with people, I think it was Jehovah witnesses who came at her door. The sword of the Word, we use it in fighting the spirit world, not against people. Not throwing verses at them, we can use bible verses to guard our own mind in what God says about a matter.
    And the story of creation: if God could not tell the exact story how He created the world, but gave a sort of allegory, what would that mean to our faith in God? Would we fall of it? Is our faith based on a literal 6 day meaning?
    What did He mean to say “and there was light”? There is a deep spiritual meaning to that verse. As with the words, there was evening and there was morning, how can a day be only evening and morning, how unlogical that is, because after the evening you have the night, after the morning there is the afternoon. What is the deeper meaning behind it? There is so much in Genesis 1.
    There was only water, and then God said, let dry ground appear, and He called the dry ground “land”. Does anybody know what that meaning for us is today?

    (Narrow thank you for telling your story of staying focused on Jesus, turning your mind away form things/people that disturb back on Jesus, it touched my heart, thanks. This is such a discipline, I am working on that too, and it is a struggle, but slowly very slowly it is easier, and making us stronger in the Lord, our Lord Jesus. That’s why it is so good to encourage one another, to stay focused and not lose heart. And not debate about things that are not the core or our faith, like: did God create everything in 6 days? I believe that whole Creation that God did, is way over our head, lets not make it a core belief. But our salvation in Jesus is right for our hearts and always true. Col 1:13,14-15,16-17,18-19,20)

  47. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All –

    Mart, you wrote:

    “But if no human but the Teacher lived consistently in such a state of “blessedness”, why would he speak in such categorically black and white terms? That’s probably worth thinking about together.”

    It seems to me these “Beautiful Attitudes” are not black and white in the way the Ten Commandments are black and white. Rather, they are consistently positively stated. Jesus is not forbidding any specific behavior. He is promoting and even commanding these beautiful characteristics and qualities in his disciples. At the end of the positive statements, Jesus blesses those who meet the persecutions of the world (Matthew 5:10) and who are reviled, persecuted and falsely accused (Matthew 5:11)

    Jesus’ mission is singular: To save the human race and to redeem the entire creation from the curse of death. Yet, by its very nature, the kingdom of Jesus Christ polarizes the world, exposing those who hold tightly to the way of death. Seemingly, the heart that is tender and open to Jesus receives his peace. The heart that is hardened toward Jesus is agitated and hostile toward the coming of that kingdom. I am not convinced we may yet congratulate ourselves upon attaining the blessedness that Jesus offers us. We cannot satisfy his call to holiness in our flesh by our own efforts. The work of the Holy Spirit is necessary for the life he describes in Matthew 5:3-11).


  48. s2inkzoo says:

    Reading through Maru’s post, it strikes me that the division is caused because God is so far above man. He is God and we are not. The “Beautiful Attitudes” contrast those attitudes of God to those of the world. So, as people are drawn to God, they have to leave the “norm” of the world. They become separated from the world. In this way it divides us. However, the more we draw close to God, the more we also draw close to each other. It is not just in the “love your neighbor as yourself”, but if you look at the attitudes, they also lend themselves to drawing near to each other. Well just some thoughts for the day after “pi” day (3.14).


  49. BruceC says:


    I have never; ever since being a child, had a problem with believing that God did as He said in Genesis. All through school and listening to the other explanation, it just never crossed my mind to think that God could not have done what he said He did. He is an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-righteous, and all-loving God; and the thought that it didn’t happen as He said has never entered my mind. If some believe differently in the body, then that is their choice and I will not let it divide as far I am concerned. But,IMHO it is part of the foundation of faith.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  50. BruceC says:


    When you wrote of division I quickly thought back to what Joshua said, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve” (hope I got that correct off the top of me noggin). There is the division. The line in the sand so to speak. Who is man going to serve?

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  51. SFDBWV says:

    Beware the Ides of March…

    There is a Papal prophesy that dates from 1143 until present that says this Pope will usher in the apocalypse.

    Interesting that On December 21 the Mayan calendar event fizzled out, and soon on its tail is this new *prophesy* of doom.

    Two will be working in the field one will be taken the other left; the great *raptos* or rapture as we have come to know it as, is most certainly on the minds of many Christians these days.

    Only one of a plethora of items that divide Christians is the belief in a *rapture*.

    Apparently an event forewarned only by the events Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24, and something we can read or watch on TV news constantly these days.

    Sometimes I would love for God to tell me what tomorrow has in store for us, then sometimes I would rather not know. Which is why I do better living one day at a time and thanking Him for the blessings each day brings. As I close my eyes in sleep ending one day and not knowing if there is to be another.

    Bless yourself and others today by telling them you love them.


  52. poohpity says:

    There was a sharp division in what the religious leaders of Jesus times taught and the depths of what Jesus taught the black and white. Their love of God seemed more for show rather than a deep heart yearning. They justified not being around sinners because of their self righteousness while Jesus taught it was for those He gave His life. They oppressed people in the name of God by loading so many rules on their backs with no hope of redemption while Jesus taught that all have sinned even them and redemption was found in Him.

    It would be nice if there was that sharp of a contrast as black is from white in our lives as we represent the Lord to the world around us. Without that sharp of a contrast our relationship with God remains immature and unconfirmed in the sight of others. We just sort of blend in and become a shade of grey.

  53. poohpity says:

    I wonder if those religious leaders had not had their robes on that distinguished them from others if anyone would have really known who they served. I wonder for Christians if they did not have a fish or some other representation of Christianity on their cars, or crosses on their necks or other jewelry that denotes Christianity would anyone be able to tell by their faith actions who they believe in and who they serve?

  54. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh, I think the same thing about myself and I try to keep that in mind when dealing with strangers. I’m getting better at it, but over the years past I am sure I was a terrible representation of a cross wearing Christian.

  55. poohpity says:

    I think sometimes we can hide many things from strangers but those close to us is normally were the rubber meets the road. We do not wear our masks with them so is our unmasked self like it is in all our relationships. Are we different with different people? Can those closest to us see the black or white of what we say we believe and how we act?

  56. BruceC says:

    I pray that I and all of us represent Christ in a positive way and shine for Him. But at the same time be aware that there are those that no matter how well you do things for Him; they will always look for a way to trip you up. Seen it and will likely see it again. My wife has dealt with that many times from some in her family that never read the Bible much or at all.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  57. poohpity says:

    That is so true Bruce. I have always believed that no matter what that God wants us to be who we are the real us. Granted at times self control is needed but the closer we stay to the Lord He starts to rub off on us and that always has blessed results. In return it seems we then can accept others for their real selves too.

  58. bubbles says:

    Thank you for the photo of Buddy. Every time I come to this page, your photo makes me smile. He’s a happy boy! You can see the happiness in his sweet face.

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