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She Did What She Could


Photo by: Victoria Marinelli

This week on Discover the Word, Elisa Morgan has been leading our conversations with a fresh look at a woman Jesus honored for doing what she could to show her love for him.

Has been so good to take another look with Elisa and Bill at Mary of Bethany who anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume, mixing it with her tears, and then drying them with her hair. When some present objected saying that she had wasted what could have been sold for money that could have been given to the poor, Jesus defended her (Matt 26:10-13). Telling them to leave her alone, he indicated they would have their chance later to help the poor, and that what she had done to show her love for him would be remembered in the telling of his love for us.

Accounts of the story (thought by some to include a similar event), are told variously in all four gospels. But the people mentioned bring together a striking mix of characters. At the same table with Jesus was Lazarus who had been raised from the dead (John 12:1-3), his sister Mary who was washing Jesus’ feet with perfume and tears (John 12:3), in the home of a Pharisee known as Simon the leper (Mark 14:3) (Luke 7:37-40)— where Judas, who was about to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver—was among those who grumbled about the waste of money (John 12:4-6).

So much coming together in a moment. Remembrance of the real needs of the poor. Hypocritical words of love.  Uninhibited heart felt affection. Love in action. The Son of the God who loves us—anticipating the moment of his  priceless sacrifice for us.

Just this week I also read a book titled, Love Does. In it author Bob Goff tells a series of sometimes humorous, serious, life-changing stories that reminded me again of what Elisa sees in the woman who did what she could. She did what she could to express her love for the One who raised her brother from the dead before dying to secure her forgiveness—and ours.

Wonder how many ways we’ll have… among us… today, to do what God enables us to do… “helping” him (as in Renouf painting) —to show… what love does…

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98 Responses to “She Did What She Could”

  1. Bill says:

    “Love Does” is an excellent book. It – like Donald Miller’s “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” and Rob Bell’s “Love Wins” – moved me deeply.

    Love is a powerful force – in fact, it’s THE most powerful the world has ever known. If not for God’s love, we would not exist, Jesus would not have died for us, and we would not be spending eternity in heaven. Love started the world. Love will end it.

    In between is…


    With time and eternity book-ended by love, how can we do any less now than all we can (what and where we can) to share that love?

    With that…

    Love to All, :)


  2. SFDBWV says:

    I scare myself sometimes as I have been listening to the radio discussion on Discover the Word, but missed yesterday’s due to the 23.7 inches of snow we received.

    Listening to Mart’s interaction with Elisa Morgan I *knew* what was the coming topic of BTA, just by his interest and tone of voice.

    Thank you Mart for allowing us here to be part of the discussion.

    I have always been a proponent of doing what you can, in fact I say do what you can while always stretching it to the maximum so that each time your able to do a little more.

    I think hidden here in this matter is the realization that unless we take what we learn from the Word of God and use it in our daily living, reading Scripture is of no more value than just something to read.

    Bill is of course correct in my judgment *love* is the most powerful force in existence and the most *free*. Love can not be forced on anyone, but freely accepted; love can not be demanded; freely offered and freely received.

    What a truth; we do what we can do. So many people try to do what they can’t, fail and fall away from the comfort of their faith. If we can just grasp the concept that what ever it is God has empowered us to be able to do, is what we can do.

    The greater freeing understanding is that what ever we can do is enough for God. He doesn’t demand something from us He hasn’t already enabled us to be able to accomplish.

    Thank God whenever you put that dollar or whatever you have in the pot Christmas time for the Salvation Army, thank God whenever you hold the door for someone who needs help, thank God whenever it is you do any good thing for any other person, because it is what you can do.


  3. BruceC says:

    I’ll pray for you folks Steve. We only received 5 inches or so; and therefore dodged a big bullet.

    What you and Bill have said is true. Do what you CAN do. Don’t let the culture or pressure from others force you to do what the Lord knows you can’t. Every little bit helps; whether it is physical, emotional, or financial help. And don’t forget prayer. That is all that some can do. I look at those displaced in South Sudan and it breaks my heart; so the Lord shows me what to do and my wife and I do it. It may be a tiny drop in a huge bucket; bu then again the bucket is full of many tiny drops.
    My MIL used to say “God helps those that help themselves”; and my wife and I had to bite our lip as it upset us so. It was used as an excuse to justify how she looked at things. I once asked her to show me in the Bible where it says that and she changed the subject. But that is another story not for this time.
    Many people do nothing and that is usually because of one of this world’s biggest problems….selfishness.
    Generosity and concern from love always looks for ways to help and “do”; while selfishness looks for excuses.
    We live in a “where’s mine” culture. Lord help us.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  4. poohpity says:

    When I think about Mary of Bethany and how she accepted what Jesus had been teaching about His death while the disciples really could not get that fact that He was not going to be the Conquering King in the manor they had thought, she seems to have really listened to what He was saying. SDWSC by believing then acting on what she believed by anointing Him for death. Really listening and being attentive to Jesus and His teaching showed her love for Him.

    How many relationships in today’s day and age fall so hard in that one area really listening. Many people will not express their true hearts in fear of rocking the boat so they say what the other wants to hear. Mary did not seem to care about how any one else would react to her act of worship but she showed that she was hearing what Jesus had been saying just like the woman in the Luke passage really heard what Jesus was saying. They both got it.

  5. quietgrace says:

    Good mid-day to all. SDWSCD, wow, what a powerful message, especially for all of us former over-achievers that never thought what we did was enough! It is something I will be thinking about for a while.

    Hi Pooh, blessings to you! Grace

  6. poohpity says:

    Hi sweetheart! Happy Valentine’s day.

    Happy Valentines day to all BTA friends.

    Love Deb

  7. poohpity says:

    When I look at that painting and see the joy in the man’s face as he watches the young girl think she is doing the rowing by herself when in reality it is Him who is mustering all the strength behind the oar. Yet looks at her with a love that I have felt as I have watched my children do something that really makes me proud, just for them being themselves.

  8. SFDBWV says:

    Just like a test of patience, we awoke to more snow this morning, not much more than an inch or so as I haven’t yet measured it, but enough to make me feel the test, as it is still snowing.

    I see that the same people who produced the mini series movie “The Bible” has a new one coming to theaters February the 28th called “Son of God”. I will have to wait to see about getting the DVD when available, but I am sure I will.

    In an almost humorous explanation to those who may ask if I have read this book or that book currently in the conversation, such as Mart has raised in his opening comments, I tell people I do crossword puzzles any time I have an opportunity to set down and relax.

    I am of course not speaking of the time I spend in the Scriptures.

    Matthew constantly is asking me questions or talking to me anytime I am in view, and though I love that he does, it is impossible to read a book while being continuously interrupted, and I do mean continuously.

    However I can manage one word at a time with a crossword puzzle, that being interrupted as well, but easier to manage than a book.

    I don’t want any of you to think Matt’s interruptions bother me in a negative way, they certainly do not. There was a period of about 4 months when Matt had a trachea in and could not speak a word. How I ached to hear his voice again. Then a period of about a year before he could put sentences together as he began talking again. I have not forgotten those days though he has. So you may understand I don’t mind being constantly interrupted by him, as he does so even now while I try and type this to you all.

    The subject of doing what you can is almost a credo for Matthew as it is what I told him while he was waking from his coma. I told him to do what he could and do it as well as he can and the rest will follow. It is what keeps us going day after day; we do what we can.


  9. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    What a stunning amount of snow, Steve! Cannot imagine shoveling — need a skid steer loader! Blessings on you as you dig out. Rain & 42F here.

    Enjoyed this “about the book” blurb at Amazon:

    “For anyone who’s wanted to change the world but thought they needed money, a committee, and permission to get started, Love Does shows what can happen when you decide to do instead of plan, act instead of strategize, and fiercely, invisibly fight for the possibility God has gifted you to uniquely see.”

    Especially appreciated that last part:

    do instead of plan

    act instead of strategize

    fiercely, invisibly fight for the possibilities of God’s giftings

    Thursday evening John (a homeless man) came by during prayer time. We got up, filled three plastic shopping bags from the food pantry for him, let him use the facilities and sent him on his way with bus fare to where he was staying that night. John was our prayer, wasn’t he?


  10. cherielyn says:

    Reading Deb’s (pooh) comment about the pic made me go back & take a second look at it. I love the thoughts that you wrote, Deb, about seeing the joy in the man’s face & how you correlated it to HIM!

    I guess we all notice something different, though. I noticed that there is only one oar (meaning they are rowing in circles) and found myself wondering why, what is the significance, etc. My mind is too foggy from meds, though, to put much deeper thought into it.

  11. quietgrace says:

    Maru I LOVE the story of the homeless man! Reminds me of a time when we too had a man who lived in a box across the alley from our food bank in the smaller town I lived in. Usually the people that came through had to give ID, job/income stats, etc. But this man came in just plain hungry with no ID and we filled a couple bags of ready to eat food anyway and I can tell you I felt the presence of Jesus more in this destitute man than others with all the proper ID, stats, etc, even though they too were hungry and suffering. There is something about the way God interrupts our well thought out plans that really brings life to the gospels. Not that plans are bad, but we sure can’t box God in with them.

    Steve I have taken care of brain injured individuals before and I know what you are going through. Not 24/7 though as you do. God has given you grace and patience and creativity to deal with the day to day work of care-giving. You bless me with your kindness and love for your broken child. Wish you didn’t have all the snow to deal with though. One winter when I was very depressed I was watching it snow and the Lord said to me, “I love you more than all the snowflakes.” That meant so much to me at the time. Sometimes, though, I have had to say “Ok Lord, I get it, will you please stop loving me so much, I am getting tired of shoveling it!!!!” God has such a sense of humor, and it certainly helps when dealing with ongoing difficulties. May God bless you, your wife and Matt today.

  12. quietgrace says:

    Foreverblessed it was confirmed through circumstances yesterday that the dream I had about confronting someone in my childhood really was a healing, as I no longer have feelings of shame and guilt concerning the past. What a marvelous blessing to be free of that aspect of my life. I look forward to what God has in store for me now that I have more freedom to move in. Thank you again for your prayers. God bless you in your gifts and may He grace you with more opportunities to minister in His name. You have a place in my heart forever! Thank you. quietgrace

  13. quietgrace says:

    Cherielyn I agree with your assessment of Poohs observation. The painting is rich in analogy, isn’t it.

  14. poohpity says:

    How funny Cheryl, I thought the same thing about the oar. I guess it did not matter if they were going in circles they got to spend time together. :-)

    Steve, caregivers often times feel like they want to pinch the neck off of the one’s they care for. Caregivers often forget to take care of themselves in the process like taking time away to refresh before they explode. Anyone who spends 24/7/365 with anyone and then trapped inside because of snow I would imagine every nerve has been pushed to the limits.

  15. oneg2dblu says:

    Great picture and thoughts by all.
    Some seeing only part, and others the reality of both sides, more than just spending time together and sharing the moment, and others noticing the single oar theory of really not going anywhere but in circles, as if without any intended direction in mind.
    Collectively, all of us coming together as one body with many parts, we probably don’t miss all that much either, when we work together.
    I just now focused on the hands and could see that the little ones could not pull the oar, put could help push it away, while the larger hands could do the pulling, the real work part.
    As in all things there is a time for rest and a time for work.
    The pulling with the oar toward the body when it is in the water is work phase of the cycle, and extending the oar away from the body through the air is the rest part of the cycle.
    One part does not work alone, but rather relys on the other part doing its job as well to complete the picture.
    Was reading about the annointing cerimony of that first tabernacle by Moses and the tribes and all the preparations for the active use, and the work of actually moving it as directed by God.
    Sometimes in circles around the mountian.
    It stuck me that some where given carts and oxen to help them, while others were to carry their load on their shoulders, carried as a load they must bear upon their flesh, all the while knowing that it is God who provided all exactly what they needed.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  16. oneg2dblu says:

    I was thinking the God as Our Father does the heavy work, while we being like children under His Disipline and with His Help, find we can push things away, even if we can’t fully grasp the bigger things that propel us in the direction we need to go… we have a part to do in the process.

  17. quietgrace says:

    Great insights Gary, thanks.

  18. poohpity says:

    It is a stark contrast the discipline that the people around Mary were doing as they criticized her act of worship saying John 12:5 and Jesus saying, “She did what she could.”? Jesus affirmed what she did while telling them to leave her alone.

  19. poohpity says:

    What a different kind of face the man in the boat would have if he was disciplining the child for not doing it right or doing enough rather smiling at what she was doing.

  20. Artle says:

    I feel at a bit of a loss, because I cannot listen to the radio show and haven’t read the book, so it’s like stepping into a room where the conversation has been going on well before I got there.

    I could conjecture, but to what purpose?

    I’ll just hope and pray that everyone is doing as need be according to His will.

  21. SFDBWV says:

    Given the understanding that the event in topic took place just after Lazarus had been raised from the dead I am at a loss for what the conversation we might have been privileged to listen in on could have been about.

    Certainly one of the most startling and dramatic of all events in Jesus’ ministry, I would have loved to have heard the conversation from Lazarus, seeing he just returned from 4 days of being dead. Not to mention the thoughts and excited conversation that had to have been going on concerning such an event.

    However the Holy Spirit has directed us to this abstract occurrence of Mary’s acting upon the Holy Spirit’s urging and anointing Jesus for His own death.

    Pointing away from the miracle of Lazarus’s resurrection to the more important event of Jesus’ death and subsequent resurrection.

    Most of us would have wanted to hear more of Lazarus’s experience after death or what the others were saying about it. Just like most of us are caught up in what we consider more interesting events or social interaction.

    However the Holy Spirit has shown us what is more important; Jesus and His death resurrection and example.

    Whereas Mary did what she could for Jesus, Jesus tells us that whatever we do for anyone is the same as doing it for Him.

    So looking back all the way to Isaiah 58:6, 7 we see what Jesus wants from us and the reward for doing so seen in Isaiah 58:8, 9, 10 ,11.

    These things of doing for others are far more important to God then any of the flashy exciting events of our lives and even more important than the miracles He performs for our benefit.


  22. poohpity says:

    Artle, if you can not listen to it on your computer you can read it in the Bible. It is in Mark 14:3-9; Matt 26:6-13; John 12:1-11 hope that helps in joining the conversation.

    Steve, I understand your opinion of this incident as abstract but for God it seemed important enough to be in three Gospels accounts. Like everything in the Bible, to me, it is a treasure that is worth looking into and to see commonalities with how our own heart feels as we give ourselves in worship to God. Many people can be so busy in doing for the Lord they forget the being/abiding with Him and in this passage it seems to be about being with Him, listening/really hearing and believing in what He says.

  23. poohpity says:

    From what the scriptures say it happened within days before the most important reason for Him to even come from heaven to earth, to die for our sins. Lazarus was what Jesus could do for a person to prove His identity but what Mary did was to show she believed who He was and what He had come for, showing a heart devoted to Him. I would equate it with the first and greatest commandment to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

  24. poohpity says:

    I am not sure of the time line between Lazarus being raised and this event but from what I can understand there was several things that had taken place between the two events. It was not like one thing happened then the next came. The Bible is not laid out chronologically but some scholars have done that for us and it is available for anyone interested.

  25. oneg2dblu says:

    Artle… I do not know what device you are using to participate here. I use a PC and found that the newer Discover the Word format when accessed, says, there is no online feed.
    However, I used the RSS feed download logo on the bottom of the Discover the Word page asone of my Microsoft Feeds and that allows me to listen, even though it still displays, there is no feed available online and the program page still looks as if it has not loaded, when I push the play symbol, it then loads and it plays.
    If that sounds like I’m “speaking in tongues” and is totally useless to you, maybe others more tech savy, or tech. blessed, could help you with this.
    If you read the scripture as Pooh has suggested you will be on the right page in your bible, but will not get the dialogue of discussion others have received by accessing the actual radio program.
    I hope that helps, if not, then just hang in there, glean what you can, and the topic will eventually change.
    I did what I could…Gary

  26. oneg2dblu says:

    After I actually listened to the program, or got up to speed if you will, it seemed that Bill Crowder inferred that is was just days after Lazarus was brought back to life, or immediately following in the lives of those attending, which makes scents to me, and this is how it flows for me… PUN.
    What I found most alluring is this, “Why would a bottle of that type of substance, an expensive, blood red, perfumed oil obviously reserved for something or someone special as it was still unopened, and being in that place and time available to Mary?”
    Do you think it was first acquired for the burial of her brother Lazarus, and had not been needed or used then, because of Christ’s soon coming intervention, thus giving it another purpose than its original intention, but still to be used on the body of one who is very beloved of God?
    Then, how long would that fragrance have lasted?
    Did it give its message by remaining or lingering, and becoming unavoidable to all those who were present, or to those had to come near to Him at his soon following crucifixion?
    All through the bible we see parallels to God as lingering presence, or His accepting of a sin offering as a fragrance.
    Just a thought…Gary

  27. foreverblessed says:

    “Truly, I say to you, wherever cthis gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told din memory of her.””

    That is something to remember, if you go to a church, and this Mary is not mentioned and what she did, then head, better look for another church. I was in a church that did not have this account high in their agenda. It was more about obeying God, doing what He commanded.
    But clearly, if this episode is high on Jesus agenda, then it means He likes it when people come to Him, and are loving Him dearly. Why, because He loves us dearly, so much that He gave His life for us. Jesus did not love us as much as He loved Himself, no, He layed down His life for us.
    What a love, no man has greater love then laying down their lives for another. And this Mary, it looks like the Mary of Martha, but it probably happened more then one time and another Mary did the same. Anyway, what an example for me, to go out, and buy very very expensive perfume and treat Jesus with it, not only with the perfume, but also with her tears and with her hair, how dear this is, do I love Jesus that much, am I so passionate in my love to Him.
    Do I deeply realise How big His love for me is, how dearly He loves me, and looks at me, even when I fail, I miss the mark, but He still loves me. Full of grace an mercy, and like He looked at Jacob, after he had treacherously treated his dad and brother, but God does bless his at night, with a great blessing. God knew He would sanctify Jacob, and cleanse him from his lies, and would make him a beautiful character in God’s eye. That is how He looks at us too.
    Our God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
    That is how He calls Himself, not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, no He calls him after Jacob, before he was cleansed and made new.
    So as to tell us: If God could do this with Jacob, He can do it with anyone of us, hardheaded and stiffnecked as we can be, but God in His grace will lead us along His path to Him: to Jesus, our Life, our Light and our Morning Star.

  28. foreverblessed says:

    Quietgrace, thanks for all this, you are so full of grace, how great God has helped you, and how beautiful that He uses the prayer of just a little humble person, He gave this prayer to me that morning, it was His prayer, and wow, not that often does God show how effectful our prayer is. But it teaches me that I should treasure all the prayers I pray, and know deep in my heart that God is working on them, even if He can’t sow yet how much.But in this case, He did show!
    Praise God, and do remember, to come into His presence, some into rhe Rest that is Jesus, come into the everlasing Sabbatrest, and in this rest feel the heart of God, and if He then gives a person in your heart, start praying for them, yes, and in heaven we will see how much this prayer had done, and we will know, had we prayed a lot more, had we more like Mary, come and sit at His feet, and be quiet, treasured in His great love!

  29. quietgrace says:

    Regarding pc, well, in my limited knowledge I have found that sometimes switching to Chrome allows me to do things that Explorer can’t for some reason.

    Foreverblessed nice to hear from you and thanks for the good word of encouragement and direction. Blessings abundant! Grace

  30. poohpity says:

    Gary, I did not say I knew the time line but I was talking about things that happened in between the two events. I was basing what I said on John 11:54 but I do know it all seems to happen during the Passion week. John’s gospel is the only one who puts raising Lazarus a week before and the others put the Mary happening a couple of days before that is why I am not sure of the time line.

  31. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon All,
    Hope all is well with you. :) Been reading the comments from some of the previous blogs and was blessed by the godly wisdom shared by all… Steve your comment,

    “Thank God whenever you put that dollar or whatever you have in the pot Christmas time for the Salvation Army, thank God whenever you hold the door for someone who needs help, thank God whenever it is you do any good thing for any other person, because it is what you can do.”

    really spoke to me and is a reminder (to all) to have a grateful and thankful heart for the *many* blessings that God bestows on us on a daily basis (James 1:17; Col. 3:17) and that we’re more blessed and it’s more of a blessing to give than it is to receive.

    75 degrees in Texas (right now).

    Love to all…

  32. poohpity says:

    Gary I think looking at Lazarus during this conversation takes our focus off of SDWSC not that it is not important but maybe left to another time.

  33. foreverblessed says:

    takes our focus off of SDWSC…

  34. foreverblessed says:

    OK, a bit slow,
    She Did What She Could

  35. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh, Sorry to be a distraction for you.

  36. Regina says:

    Saw Deb’s post and, I, too, hope everyone had a Happy Valentine’s Day! It was really neat to see all that pink & red…especially in grocery stores. I love the color pink so I didn’t mind it at all…

  37. poohpity says:

    I did not mean it like that Gary. When we look at who was in attendance for background to make the history come alive it is important but not when we have to guess at what is not said in the Bible it all just becomes assumptions and we can lose the meaning of what is there.

  38. foreverblessed says:

    Off topic, but the weather, it is so abnormal overhere, it looks almost like spring, the birds are starting to sing, just before sunrise, way too early. I guess all the cold has gone somewhere else, not here.
    Hard on all of you who are in the snow, lots of snow, I pray for perseverance, and peace of mind, for all of you, Bubbles, Steve, Pat, Bruce, who did I miss? Maybe some help from angels to deal with the snow!
    In Austria there was 40 inches of snow last week, lots of Dutch went there for a skating event, which could not be here in Holland, as there is no ice. But they couldn’t skate, because of all the snow. They even could not find their own car on the road anymore, they had to guess, where to start digging in the snow!
    I do not know if you saw the news about England, where in the south homes have been flooded with water for more then 5 weeks now. Speaking of perseverance! They need lots, maybe being comforted even more.
    Snow at least is dry, but water wets the whole interior when it comes into the house. I remember them in my prayer as well, so is Bob in Cornwall, our old blog friend

  39. poohpity says:

    I so miss hearing from Bob too! The temps here are higher than normal we have broken record heat here this soon in the season. I should take advantage of it and go lay by the pool.

  40. SFDBWV says:

    We have gotten 32 inches of snow here in the past 5 days and 42 for the month. This morning it was -1 degrees Fahrenheit and as I write at 10am it is 16 degrees.

    Sounds like Austria has nothing on us.

    Though they are calling for rain later this week, and that won’t set well with all this snow on the ground and in the timber.

    Bob is ok, but the storms have devastated the harbor there in Cornwall and sad to say things haven’t let up yet for them.

    I am happy for you “forever” for having nice weather, and pooh what is a pool? Another Olympic sport?


  41. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… I got my talking points directly from the dialogue of discussion presented in the program we were directed to listen to. In that program both Lazarus and the Alabaster Jar was given mention and I was only following that leading.
    I hope that is a satifactory answer for you.
    Again, I am sorry that you find my sharing those points a distraction. Gary

  42. oneg2dblu says:

    I would love to lay by the pool myself as I am currently awaiting a more professional diagnonsis for what I believe may be my impending fourth hernia operation.
    Although, I have been prayred over in my church and anointed with oil and with prayers for healing, even a spontaneous miraculous intervention if it is God’s will to do so.

    Praise God, I’ve been there and received that in the past as well.

    Today the VA clinic is closed due to the National Holiday, so there is still time for such things to prevail.
    Right now, I’ll take all the prayers given, and receive them with great anticipation and hope, “Come Jesus!”

  43. poohpity says:

    :-) I guess what one can do in it is considered sports for me it is heat relief and exercise.

  44. poohpity says:

    Forgive me Gary for offending you? It was done unintentionally.

  45. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… you are forgiven, now pass me the sunscreen. : )

  46. poohpity says:

    :-) Sorry all I have is baby oil and iodine mixture increasing the effects of the sun not decreasing it, lol. If I ever get out there, putting on my swimsuit is a job all in itself. lol

  47. BruceC says:

    Today is my third anniversary. Anniversary of the Lord delivering me from nicotine addiction(42 years). It is also my birthday; but in light of what the Lord did for me the deliverance is what I celebrate; not the age.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  48. poohpity says:

    It would bring me great pleasure to celebrate both with you. Your age because the Lord has blessed us with you and the deliverance so we can have you around longer.:-) Oh Happy day!

    Elisa brought up a very good point today about whether what we do for the applause of man or because of our love for the Lord. I wonder what it would have been like for Mary after anointing the Lord if she went around telling everyone what she had done. I bet that was not even a consideration because it was done because she seemed to be expressing her love back to the Lord. I wonder how many things I do to be noticed or just because of love.

  49. SFDBWV says:

    Happy birthday Bruce, I hope it is a good day for you.


  50. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    I get to work with 8-10-year-olds on a weekly basis. It is always amazing how prayers for sick dogs, failing grandmas and grandpas, and lost things move our adult hearts, as we hold hands with the children and share our concerns and praises around the circle.

    We cannot fathom what the Father does with these pure, simple expressions of trust in Him. The children do what they can, though “their boats are so small and the ocean is so big.”


  51. oneg2dblu says:

    BruceC, that is good news.

    My good news is I’m going to be scheduled to see the surgeon, one who already knows my lifestyle because he is an advid competitive cyclist and we immediately connected in the past through our shared love of cycling and fitness.
    Also my records show my level of activity as being an endurance athlete.
    So, that played into todays events, and a let’s wait and see if it gets worse, would not be very prudent and only take away my current lifestyle and not provide for any resolve or healing.

    I’ll accept this decision of “not waiting” as an act of providence.

    What a blessing to have so many skilled an dedicated professionals making those decisions for me.

    Now, I have to contact the church to tell them I will not be working my shift this Saturday at the church picnic. : (

    My “Gift of Helps,” has taken an unexpected turn for me, but He who knows all things, knew exactly what would happen.

    Praise God!

  52. BruceC says:

    I will keep you in prayer brother Gary! That all goes well with your surgery and the Lord be glorified!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  53. SFDBWV says:

    You know, common sense, or practical thinking often comes into conflict with faith. I see and hear it in everyday life from many.

    The *one* annoyance that flags up about this subject is that once again the onus of our doing something becomes a point of its being up to us, when faith says that it is God that is in control not us.

    If we believe we can do nothing apart from God or Christ in us, then it is of God’s design to use us for His purpose, not us who thinks we *must* *do* *something*, but rather God who uses us to *get something done*.

    If I have learned anything in my walk with God it is that I can not force God’s hand; in fact if I do try to it usually ends up creating a mess.

    I say it was the Holy Spirit in Mary that led her to do what she did and the same for any of us who are led to do anything for God through helping our fellow man in concert with God’s desires.

    There are plenty of charitable organizations in place world wide to help people that are not in any way outwardly connected to Christ. Are they acting in God’s interest unknowingly, or interfering with God’s design?

    When we do what we can do are we doing so consciously thinking we are doing this for Christ, or just because it is the right thing to do? Is there a difference?

    We awoke this morning to rain at 29 degrees and that meant ice everywhere. It will warm up above freezing soon, but in the mean time it is a slippery slope outside and the only help is salt.

    So I have salted the walkways and fed the critters; interesting how God salts the slippery slopes of our lives in order to keep us on our feet; and who is the salt of the earth? Us, all of us.


  54. bullwinkle says:

    Sorry, I missed your birthday yesterday. I am only on early in the morning so I didn’t see your post until now. Congrats on “kicking the habit” so much better life without that. Don’t remember the day but I stopped smoking in 1978 so I can share your joy.
    Gary, will be praying for your surgery, just don’t try to push the recovery period. It will be tempting to try to get back into rowing before things have healed.
    Not exactly sure where to go with this topic other than to say, what we do, we do to glorify God or seek approval from men. God knows our heart, He knows our level of faith and He ultimately judges so I will continue to attempt to do what I feel is right and try not to get too puffed up about it.

  55. oneg2dblu says:

    BruceC… thanks for your prayers as they help make our walk a more supported one, and keep us thinking in the right direction, “Knowing we are in the Hands of the Great Physician,” and He hears all our prayers.

    bullwinkle… thanks for that wise and timely advice. I’ve been there and done that one. During my last hernia recovery I climbed back on my road bike for a simple 26 miler, which was our usual easy Saturday morning ride with friends, and when I got home found my incision was weeping blood. :-0
    It was a great ride though! : )

  56. foreverblessed says:

    Elisa says on tuesday, on the SDWSC series:
    “God loves us me so much…
    The best thing to love Him back is to first accept that He loves me, and not dismiss it, which is what we tend to.

    What a beautiful series! Good word to start the day with.
    And what they also say, lets not talk about morality, but living out of the love of our hearts.
    THe things we do, that are motivated out of love, that is what matters in eternity. if we do things because it is our duty, we miss the whole point of being a loved child of God.
    God looks at the heart,
    and I pray that my heart will be more and more full of His love, a passionate love for Jesus

    Gary, be blessed, and Bruce, God has blessed you greatly, thank God for His mercy,

    Steve, it was 40 inches of snow in one night!
    But God make you strong to deal with all the snow that is falling, and otherwise, I pray that He will send angels to help you.
    Thanks for your word to enjoy, I realised, I didn’t at all, was just the winter snow, the fairy tale whiteness that gives a quiet hush over the fields, (forgetting about all the work it gives, the mess it brings in the house.. God bless you Bubbles and keep you…)

  57. foreverblessed says:

    sorry, I was trying to say: I was just missing this winter world of whiteness, I was only thinking about that white world, which looks as a fairy tale, so clean and pure. I had forgotten about the mess it brings, and all the work, and the icy ground, cycling on my bike, not trying to fall, all tense.. and still falling. No I forgot all about that, just missing the winter, as spring seems to start already, and I was not enjoying that, so Steve’s remark to enjoy came as a wake up call

  58. quietgrace says:

    Good morning!
    Bruce happy belated Birthday and I also share your joy as I quit smoking in 1979-although I took on a less healthier addiction than adrenaline-mine is sugar/fats. Ugh.

    Gary praying for you and trusting God will take care of you.

    Steve, one minor point about Mary and the Holy Spirit; I don’t believe the H S had been released yet as Jesus said He would send the H S after He died. Probably doesn’t make any difference, just thinking about your thought-provoking synopsis. Blessings, Grace

  59. quietgrace says:

    Foreverblessed we must have been typing at the same time! So happy to see you this fine day. I wanted to tell you that this morning the H S pointed me to Psalm 45:10-11, which was a confirmation of what I had just been praying about for myself and someone else who asked me for prayer; that we could have peace with our pasts. God is so good, always.
    So glad you have such beauty to enjoy as spring comes to you. I can only look at pics of flowers, (my favorite things in this world) and wait in anticipation. Our temps did finally rise to high 30’s during the day yesterday and for the next couple day, but then back to single digits for a while. No flowers here yet, although I was surprisingly happy to hear the caw of crows letting me know that spring IS coming. Ha! Noisy, messy birds, but everything in nature has a purpose as God created it.
    God bless you today in whatever you do, Grace

  60. poohpity says:

    Gary, I will pray for your surgery to be a success and the recovery to be short.

    Out of motivation of love my parents the first time my hip went out at age nine, we were in Payson, Az but there were only a few doctors who had dealt with the condition I had so we flew to Florida to see one of the best. We do things we normally would not do out of love, not what is best for us but for another. I do not know for sure if keeping that flask of costly perfume would have benefited Mary’s family but because of her belief in who Jesus is and what was going to take place SDWSC.

    They talked about Peter today and stepping out of the familiarity of the boat to the unseen, unknowing and against all understanding of what happens normally when one gets out of a boat they sink into the water. HDWHC by doing what seemed impossible but following Jesus’ command to come and while he did not consider what could happen he stepped out of the boat and walked on water. That little act of faith, HDWHC, was a foundation for what would later become a man of great faith by just believing and keeping his eyes fixed on Jesus.

  61. SFDBWV says:

    Quietgrace you are correct in saying a minor point, but don’t limit the power of the Holy Spirit to Pentecost, when Peter said that Jesus was the Christ Jesus said it was the Holy Spirit in him that enabled him to do so. (Matthew 16:15, 16, 17 )


  62. foreverblessed says:

    Quietgrace, thanks for that Psalm 45!
    How loving is our God, that He guides us, cleanses us, leads us to new life.
    I would say, this would have been the love song of Mary when she poured the precious perfume on Jesus. Psalm 45:1-2
    Pooh, may God bless you and keep you too, and make you whole in body, soul and spirit!

    Today I was in our church house group, and the theme was, living out of passion. We sang songs of worship, and then had the wine and bread, remembering Jesus who died for us, and then one of the ladies started to cry, and be fully overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit, and she kept saying, God is sooooo loving us, soooo dearly, she could hardly speak about it, it was almost to much for her. And then she saw things, like little flames and all the working of the Holy Spirit, all the character traits, around us, and she said, God so loves us, and He works through us, and touches other people around us.
    I guess her state was that of Psalm 45:8

    It strikes me that Elisa tells us the same thing, God loves us so much, and we show that love in the world, we are being Jesus in the world… His love, His glory, all of His character traits, going through us and being formed in us, touching those around us

  63. quietgrace says:

    Steve thank you, you are so right! I sometimes forget to look at the big picture when I am focusing on individual passages. SDWSC, whether it was out of thanks or the H S or both! Probably both! This teaching has ministered to me greatly this past couple of weeks.
    blessings, Grace

  64. oneg2dblu says:

    Thanks to all for the prayers.
    It is such an encouragement to take as a witness into the surgery center telling others how don’t know your beliefs, that you come armed with more than just your physical presence.
    There is no way we can explain what drove Mary to do what she could, or can we say she was just acting alone, knowing well that Providence is the very Hand of God, and that Still Small Voice that gets even us out of our comfort zone an enables us to do greater things than we can do in and of ourselves, or realize all the greater consequence of our actions, even our inept ones.
    God can use them all for the good of those who love Him.
    How many of us would take such a costly material thing
    and break it gladly for others?
    What greater thing can we possess than a heart broken at all cost for the Lord?

  65. quietgrace says:

    When we realize that God is all we’ve got, it’s easy to give all we have.

  66. AmazedbyHis grace says:

    Update on my daughter: We encountered another health problem today. We appreciate your prayers for healing both physically and Spiritually. I’ve seen both start to improve. Please pray, I don’t have a prayer support group. Thank you.

  67. quietgrace says:

    AmazedbyHis grace sorry to hear of another problem for your daughter. Still praying for healing both physically and spiritually. How are you holding up? This must be so trying for you. Blessings to you both as you seek God’s healing hand in your journeys. Grace

  68. BruceC says:

    I hope this topic is still up for a while or otherwise I will copy/paste this on the new one.

    About 2:00AM this morning my wife was still and on the PC(and feeding woodstove) and I was awoken by incredible heart burn from Italian food we had supper. At that time someone drive up our to house blowing the horn repeatedly. It was my wife’s youngest sister telling us her house was up in flames and she was understandably hysterical. She only has a cellphone and she was unable to call 911 (spotty service) so I called it in for her. She then left as she said her quasi ex-husband(still married but living next door to each other)was trying to get some of the pets out. I told my wife that we wouldn’t be able to do anything on site because of my emphysema and also about five fire departments were called and “others” would be in the way. We went up about 2 1/2 hours later and the house was gone. Her husband was ok and that is a blessing as he has a bad heart. My other sister-in-law from another town was there also. We only have one bedroom so that sister is taking in the one without a home.
    Please keep all in prayer. It is a tough situation and even made worse by the fact we do not get along well with the sister from the other town. That is another story too long to relate.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  69. SFDBWV says:

    Once again in the midst of intellectual pursuit, reality hits home and brings us back down to earth.

    Amazed, your daughter, as well as you, are prayed for; more often than not that is all any of us can do, pray.

    Bruce I am sorry for your sister in law’s loss, perhaps all of you can become closer as things get moving along in the recovery process, at least I hope so.

    So often when any of us are faced with the cold hard facts of life we question where is God and why, why, why; I don’t blame any for such thinking as all of us have done so and will do so in the course of our lives.

    Faith and trust is not an easy course of action, but in the end what else have we to hold on to but just that, faith and trust in God.


  70. quietgrace says:

    BruceC I am praying for your family. Were the pets saved? You and your wife must be exhausted after your distressing night. I pray for refreshing also and that you all will be pleasantly surprised with the outcome of this disaster. Blessings, Grace

  71. remarutho says:

    Morning All —

    Prayers going up for your 19-year-old daughter, Amazed. And now for your sis-in-law, Bruce. The world has ways of intruding upon us suddenly.

    Blessings on each one,

  72. SFDBWV says:

    In listening this morning to the Discover the Word radio segment concerning our topic I was led to a couple different thoughts.

    Speaking of the Body of Christ and doing what we can as a body, reminded me of just how sharply divided we are as a body of believers.

    The Catholic Church doesn’t acknowledge the Protestant Church as being legitimate, within the Protestant churches the divisions become acidic as from the pulpit denominations are critiqued.

    All the while smiling through the mask of a grin we are told that we are loved by them, but at the same time sometimes violently hated for believing differently.

    I think back to the day in question when Mary preformed her act and Jesus honored her, there was no *church* yet and yet her individual act was honored by Christ as both an act of love and as I believe an act of obedience.

    What does this say concerning *churches* or perhaps said *denominations*?

    Personally I think is says it all comes down to the individual heart and relationship with God, and has nothing much to do with the name on the church.

    So how then do individuals come together in spirit and faith to do what they can, and who aside from followers of Christ are they collectively?


  73. poohpity says:

    Amazed, Praise God there is some improvement for your daughter.

    Bruce, Praise God that there was no lost life and a place to stay was provided for your family.

    I am so glad that God made it perfectly clear that there will always be trials, suffering and loss but God is still God and He is faithful to never leave or forsake us, in fact we can grow closer to Him during those rough times if we do not let doubt, self pity and anger creep in, especially asking questions we may never have the answers to.

    SDWSC- I can imagine what it would be like if we all lived like we knew we were loved. Seeing, believing and knowing the things that bring us together are greater than those that divide us. The ultimate display of love is what Jesus did on the Cross and if it is the only thing we can praise God for it is enough although there is so very much more.

  74. quietgrace says:

    Good morning Steve. What comes to mind reading your post are two things, 1. Wheat and tares-it’s often hard to know which is which! 2. Collectively we are the body of Christ, though different with differing gifts we all make up the church.
    I too really enjoyed this mornings radio show. What a blessing it is to me!
    Have a blessed day, Grace

  75. quietgrace says:

    Good morning Pooh! Hope you are well today, Grace

  76. phpatato says:


    Please know that I will be keeping your wife’s sister in my thoughts and prayers especially today. The reality of what happened in the dark will hit hard when viewed in the morning’s light. I have friends who lost their home to fire new year’s day. I pray this sister had good insurance so the rebuilding of a house is somewhat eased in her journey now of rebuilding a home.

    May you all see God’s hands working through this.

    Amazed I will continue to keep you and your daughter in my prayers. I am thankful there is improvement on both fronts. God knows and cares so stay strong knowing that all things will work together for good.


  77. cherielyn says:

    AmazedbyHis grace – You said, in your February 19, 2014, 11:51 pm post, “Please pray, I don’t have a prayer support group.”

    I’m pretty sure that everyone here would agree with me that WE ARE YOUR SUPPORT GROUP! I will be praying for your daughter & your family, as well.

    Bruce, praying for your sister-in-law & the loss of their home. Also praying that relationship with the other sister-in-law will be healed.

    Steve, continuing to pray for Matt & all of your family. How is your mother-in-law doing since her move?
    Wanted to also add that I just received a book, yesterday, that I ordered from RBC titled, “It Is Well with My Soul”. I read the first several chapters & immediately the thought came to mind that this might be a really good book for Matt (and yourself) to read.

    I have a follow-up appt with the doctor on March 17th. It seems that the last radiation treatment has helped. I hardly have any pain, only when I brush my teeth. Praying that it continues that way. I am still on the pain medication & the doctor will instruct me, at the 3/17 appt, about how to taper off. Hopefully the pain med isn’t masking pain that is still there, but unknown to me.

    Finally some warmer temps here. Got up to 45 yesterday, 25 this morning. We are supposed to get up to 12″ of snow today & much colder temps in the next few days. No sign of snow yet. Hope it holds off because we have a funeral to attend later today.

    Love you all.


  78. poohpity says:

    Hey Grace, good morning!!

    In the show today I was impressed and convicted in the “closeness principle” that Bill spoke of. I hope I get this right it is not quoted word for word but I hope the principle is there. The closer I am in my walk with Christ the more conscience of “my own” failings and shortcomings. The further away from Christ I am I become more aware of the failings and shortcomings “of others”. Wow if we heeded that principle what a difference that would make in the life of any believer.

  79. poohpity says:

    Cheryl, wow another praise.

  80. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… Cheryl you beat me to it. Yes, we are a prayer group, an assembled body, and we are all connected for a purpose. I do not know what individual event brought each of us here, but I do see Providence more and more, and to that end, I say we are all blessed and prayed for.
    Whether it is penned here or not it is obvious we do belong together and wherever two or more are gathered together…
    Be Blessed, Gary

  81. poohpity says:

    Gary, is your surgery tomorrow and that is why you are not doing the picnic at church on saturday?

  82. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… no I have a surgical consultation scheduled for March 5th, so I’m trusting that laying low until then will better serve my weakened abdominal wall.
    No heavy lifting planned, and certainly no rowing. I did start a walking routine though and hope to maintain some level of mobility if my body tolerates it.
    So, this morning I walked over the bridge that crosses the waterway I row on. Lots of other walkers, bikers and runners were out today. I saw a few dolphins and gave my usual “shout out” the the Lord.
    I’m sure I could go to the picnic but I won’t be working the planned shift, of doing food prep.
    I’ll let others be like Martha and I’ll be like Mary.
    It may have lost something in that translation.
    I can’t believe I just said that. LOL!

  83. Regina says:

    Good Evening All,

    I hope all is well in your lives! I have a praise report… the LORD miraculously protected me from what could have been a pretty major car accident (me being hit by someone who ran a red light on my driver side door) the day before yesterday. The person in the other car was speeding and headed for my DS door, but by God great grace and mercy, whoever it was swerved around me! I’m still totally and utterly amazed by the fact that they didn’t hit me, and if I ever doubted that God has a special purpose for my life, I don’t anymore…not after that. Also want to comment on Pooh and foreverblessed’s comment about Bob in Cornwall. I miss him too!

    Love to all…

    Low 70’s in Texas today. 61 degrees right now…

  84. Regina says:

    *God’s :)

  85. Regina says:

    Happy (belated) Birthday, Bruce! :) Hope it was one of the happiest you’ve ever had!

  86. SFDBWV says:

    This has been an interesting experiment in combining both BTA with DTW and affords us the opportunity to comment.

    This morning as I listened, I found myself wanting to jump into the conversation several times.

    Trying to recapture the feel and response of the moment is difficult and the memory of them fleeting.

    I found myself disagreeing with Elisa’s insisting that we as a community can do so much more than that of an individual. Disagreeing because the Bible almost exclusively deals with God and man one on one, with the community either enhanced or punished for it.

    Whereas I can certainly agree collectively we can accomplish more, this act of Mary was about Mary and her acting upon the *unction* from God (one on one) and not about the group of believers at the time.

    I certainly also know that the Body of Christ consists of an assortment of gifts, these gifts are given individually for the purpose of God and in a perfect situation a group can use the gifts of each individual for the purpose of doing more than the individual, it still is just what one person can do one person at a time.

    I think what I am trying to say is that God will use the effects of each person He has empowered to collectively accomplish His will, when we try to collectively do the same it is our objectives that come center and not always God’s.

    So all we can do is what we do and not concern ourselves with what others do as being in concert with what we do…Confused?

    Any way Mart thanks for the opportunity to be a part of the conversation.


  87. bullwinkle says:

    I would like to comment on how uplifting the past couple of mornings have been. I try to begin my day on RBC and have been following this specific site for several years. It is so wonderful to see the prayer support for each other. I would like to add my prayers for Amazed and her daughter, for Bruce and his sister-in-law.
    I know that there will be topics in the future where we will disagree and that is OK. When that does happen, and it will, I pray that we will remember that our love of the Lord is what binds us as a family. Enjoying the peace that has been present for the past couple of mornings.

  88. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    38F and forecast dryer today. Holding you in prayer, Gary, for a good outcome from this upcoming surgery. Please pray for my neighbor, Rose (age 88), who went to the ER this week. Her bronchitis turned to pneumonia

    The gift the little girl in the painting is offering is simple willingness to do. Her muscles are not contributing a thing.

    The Old Salt is surely teaching her cooperation. Although the search for Holy Spirit unity in the body of Christ is sometimes maddening, I find in the New Testament that Jesus speaks to us most often in the plural, not the singular (all you-all, not just you alone)– as in John 13:34,35)

    It seems to me in the Spirit we do more than we can do!


  89. poohpity says:

    Knowing God loves me personally prompts me to love Him back as only I can do. As each person experiences that love for themselves coming together collectively to express that love like in worship, studying and learning is simply amazing. We get way more than doing it alone. We each have a role to play in this mass production of life and responding together gives us the fellowship of community. One string is easy to break but when there is multiple strings together they form a rope and that is not so easy to break.

    If only one person supported let’s say RBC ministries I do not think it would last very long but joining with others my dollar added with the dollar from others shows the support collectively to stand behind the work they do that brings glory to God. Each has a very important role but when we join with others out of our love for God the more gets done. Each can bring one brick and it only remains one brick but when each person brings a brick, some bring pipe, some bring cement, electrical tape, etc., a house it becomes in this case a church. If that one person does not bring what they could like one brick there will be a hole and the house will not be whole but there will always be another person that will bring a brick to fill it in.

  90. oneg2dblu says:

    Great posts all… I like the lone string becoming a stronger rope symbolism, and to think the Lord weaves us together as a tapestry where each tread has a place and there are no holes, also as a good word picture.
    Of course analogy is a second cousin to the real life existence of His church, or a particular ministry, or a particular mission and the work it does throughout the world. Doing what it can, each part of the body working individually and together at the same time.
    Now I have the lyrics of “We are family, my brothers and my sisters and me” sounding in my head.

  91. AmazedbyHis grace says:

    Thank you for your prayer support. I have felt the Lord’s presence more so and there’s nothing better! The situation with my daughter is so very sad and now could be very dangerous. I’m hoping that the Lord is allowing this to bring her back to His way and will for her. I saw a mighty warrior in Christ when she was little. I also feel that He is showing me some direction and a place for me. I added Charles Spurgeon’s devotion’s to my day awhile back and I thought I was already well seasoned in insight. Humbled,I have learned far more! Very exciting. Blessings to you all!

  92. quietgrace says:

    Amazed, it it so good to hear your good news about how God is giving you some direction and new insight while you wait for your daughter to return to the fold. I continue to pray for you both and rejoice in His faithfulness to you in your distress.
    Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey. blessings, Grace

  93. Mart De Haan says:

    I deeply appreciate the way you are all using this space to think and stay in touch with one another. Will try to have a new post up shortly.

  94. poohpity says:

    Mart, you and your family continues to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  95. foreverblessed says:

    JUst wanted to share this, took an older topic,
    it is from the book of Andrew Murray,
    Absolute surrender
    under the chapter impossible with man, but possible with God
    “Man cannot
    The one stage is when a man is trying to do his utmost and fails, when a man tries to do better and falls again, when a man tries much more and always fails. And yet, very often he does not even then learn the lesson: With man it is impossible to serve God and Christ. Peter spent three years in Christ’s school, and he never learned, it is impossible, until he had denied his Lord, went out, and wept bitterly. Then he learned it.

    Just look for a moment at a man who is learning this lesson. At first, he fights against it. Then, he submits to it, but reluctantly and in despair. At last, he accepts it A,llllngly and rejoices in it. At the beginning of the Christian life, the young convert has no conception of this truth. He has been converted; he has the joy of the Lord in his heart; he begins to run the race and fight the battle. He is sure he can conquer, for he is earnest and honest, and God will help him. Yet, somehow, very soon he fails where he did not expect it, and sin gets the better of him. He is disappointed, but he thinks: “I was not cautious enough. I did not make my resolutions strong enough.” And again he vows, and again he prays, and yet he fails. He thinks: “Am I not, a redeemed man? Have I not the life of God within me?” And he thinks again: “Yes, and I have Christ to help me. I can live the holy life.”

    At a later period, he comes to another state of mind. He begins to see such a life is impossible, but he does not accept it. There are multitudes of Christians who come to this point: “I cannot.” They then think that God never expected them to do what they cannot do. If you tell them that God does expect it, it is a mystery to them. A good many Christians are living a low life-a life of failure and of sin-instead of rest and victory, because they began to say: “I cannot, it is impossible.” And yet they do not understand it fully. So, under the impression, I cannot, they give way to despair. They will do their best, but they never expect to get on very far.

    But God leads His children on to a third stage. A man comes to take, it is impossible, in its full truth, and yet at the same time says: “I must do it, and I will do it-it is impossible for man, and yet I must do it.” The renewed will begins to exercise its whole power, and in intense longing and prayer begins to cry to God: “Lord, what is the meaning of this? How am I to be freed from the power of sin?”

    It is the state of the regenerate man in Romans, chapter seven. There you will find the Christian man trying his very utmost to live a holy life. God’s law has been revealed to him as reaching down into the very depth of the desires of the heart. The man can dare to say:

    “I delight in the law of God after the inward man. To will what is good is present with me. My heart loves the law of God, and my will has chosen that law.”

    Can a man like that fail, with his heart full of delight in God’s law and with his will determined to do ‘What is right? Yes. That is what Romans, chapter seven teaches us. There is something more needed. Not only must I delight in the law of God after the inward man and will what God wills, but I need a divine omnipotence to work it in me. And that is what the apostle Paul teaches in Philippians 2:13: “It is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

    Note the contrast. In Romans, chapter seven, the regenerate man says: “To will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not” (Romans 7:18). But in Philippians, chapter two, you have a man who has been led on farther. He is a man who understands that when God has worked the renewed will, God will give the power to accomplish what that will desires. Let us receive this as the first great lesson in the spiritual life: “It is impossible for me, my God. Let there be an end of the flesh and all its powers, an end of self, and let it be my glory to be helpless.

    Praise God for the divine teaching that makes us helpless!

    When you thought of absolute surrender to God, were you not brought to an end of yourself? Did you not feel that you could see how you actually could live as a -nan absolutely surrendered to God every moment of the day-at your table, in your house, in your business, in the midst of trials and temptations? I pray you learn the lesson now. If you felt you could not do it, you are on the right road, if you let yourselves be led. Accept that position, and maintain it before God: “My heart’s desire and delight, 0 God, is absolute surrender, but I cannot perform it. It is impossible for me to live that life. it is beyond me.” Fall down and learn that when you are utterly helpless, God will come to work in you not only to will, but also to do. “

  96. foreverblessed says:

    the next part says

    Now comes the second lesson. “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. ”

    I said a little while ago that there is many a man who has learned the lesson, it is impossible with men, and then he gives up in helpless despair. He lives a wretched Christian life, without joy or strength or victory. And why? Because he does not humble himself to learn that other lesson: With God all things are possible.

    Your Christian life is to be a continuous proof that God works impossibilities. Your Christian life is to be a series of impossibilities made possible and actual by God’s almighty power. That is what the Christian needs. He has an almighty God that he worships, and he must learn to understand that he does not need a little of God’s power. But, he needs-with reverence be it said-the whole of God’s omnipotence to keep him right, and to live like a Christian.

    The whole of Christianity is a work of God’s omnipotence. Look at the birth of Christ Jesus. That was a miracle of divine power, and it was said to Mary: “With God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). It was the omnipotence of God. Look at Christ’s resurrection. We are taught that it was according to the exceeding greatness of His mighty power that God raised Christ from the dead. …
    and it goes on.

    Now I go back to the current topic, of March 7 Sexual pain and beauty

  97. cbrown says:

    Foreverblessed, thank you for these 2 posts. I missed them last night.

  98. foreverblessed says:

    You are welcome Cbrown, it is a very encouraging, you can read the whole book on internet. On the website of the two listeners.
    This description of the christian journey is my life, growing up in church, wanting to be good, do good, and having to learn to become poor in my own spirit, and rich in God, and still learning this, because, o I so easily think I can do it, and forget that I am helpless without Christ. Or in the case of child abusers, you think: this is hopeless, because the first thing that comes in my mind is: impossible.
    But only with men impossible, with God all things are possible!

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