Text Size: Zoom In

Living in Riddles

P1030756We  struggle among ourselves about how to use words like loving, forgiving and judging others.

Together we’re discovering that all such words have a range of meanings and an unlimited capacity for intent, application—and their place in a story.

Maybe that’s one reason  we are called by the Bible not just to words, but to The Word . When Jesus said that the words he spoke were full of spirit and life (John 6:63), he had just offended not only his enemies, but also his friends. Why would a good man talk about eating his flesh and drinking his blood (John 6:52-57)?

No listener, friend or enemy, could have solved the problem with a Jewish dictionary. Yet when Jesus asked his 12 disciples if they were going to leave him as well, Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

Getting to know The Word, and the life of his joy, means learning to live in riddles: living to die, dying to live, resting to work, working to rest. Forgiving with love. Loving without forgiveness. Judging in love. Loving without judgment. Hating to love. Loving without hate.

Not solved with a dictionary alone… but by the Word who alone gives meaning to everything there is to know or wonder.

Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (+16 rating, 16 votes)

67 Responses to “Living in Riddles”

  1. hera says:

    To me it is a riddle why ‘Word’ – alphabets used to describe – is used to refer to God. I can not really reconcile it in my mind, as I said before, that my God is …..alphabets….?

  2. tracey5tgbtg says:

    hera – perhaps… alphabets contain the letters from which all words come. God isn’t just…alphabets, he is the Alphabet.

    Mart – loving, judging, forgiving. I agree that everyone seems to see these words with various shades of meaning. It is a riddle and it is confusing.

    It’s hard to try and see someone else’s understanding when I want to hang on so tightly to my own understanding.

    Witholding forgiveness? Don’t think God will ever say that is what we are supposed to do. Mark 11:25

  3. bubbles says:

    If God will not forgive us before we forgive, there you go.

  4. SFDBWV says:

    It has been suggested to me that Jesus only began speaking in parables (riddles) after the elders of Israel did not recognize Him and so spoke to them so that they could not quite understand, but have to work out the answer on their own.

    Equally it has been explained to me that one of the blessings of having the Holy Spirit live within us is that He provides understanding, not only to the written Word, but for all questions pertaining to God and His intentions or will.

    It would seem that we complicate the obvious but interjecting our own riddles to such matters by leaning on our own understanding rather than trusting God to.

    If we don’t have an answer say we don’t and look to Him for it.

    If we come up blank, stay blank.


  5. belleu says:

    When I don’t understand what Jesus means or what the Bible is saying, I ask God to explain it to me and the answer comes eventually. I like the thought of God being the entire alphabet. He did say he was the Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end, but I didn’t get the part where he is actually everything! The whole alphabet. I love that!

  6. poohpity says:

    I so agree Mart unless one knows the Word nothing else seems to fit together very well. Without Him one does even tend to search deeper. I would really not like it if I got to heaven and Jesus said depart from me I never knew you. That seems to imply our desire is to know Him too, not just a one-sided relationship.

    Trying to find justification for not forgiving or loving someone maybe one needs to take some time to go over what and who they truly believe in.

  7. bubbles says:

    There’s not a verse that says we have to forgive those who have not asked for it.
    That does not mean to stay angry or bitter towards them. We are to love everyone.
    Maybe we need to look at what is and what is not said in the Bible. There are things that people say all the time that does not align with Scripture. They just say them because it sounds good.

  8. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Though I cannot decipher the Macedonian figures in the illustration you provide, Mart, I easily see that the newspaper will eventually wind up in the bottom of the birdcage. The somber atmosphere of the scene makes me wonder about the bird in the cage, the boy and his mother — and the others riding the train.

    Words are everywhere, it seems to me, but there are words that convey the originating grace and love of our Creator God — culminating in the coming of Messiah into the world. It is this personal appearance of God in human flesh that makes a Way where there was no way — into the absolute Life that is and was and will be. (John 25, 26, 27)

    I believe “pravda” means truth. (John 14:6) I wonder whether that heading on the man’s newspaper is a bit of irony…


  9. remarutho says:

    My first reference to the gospel is: John 8:25, 26, 27) — slip of the key. Maru

  10. joycemb says:

    Good morning,
    Maru it is interesting how all newspapers believe they have the truth, yet if you listen to the same news story on different channels you will get completely different versions of the truth. Just like as you said Mart, we discover here.
    That is why I also agree that the only One where Truth can truly be discerned is from God. After all, God is love, isn’t He? As I just posted on the last blog, Paul describes love in vivid detail, I Cor.13:4-7 NLT
    I think the only way to get through the riddles of faith is with love as it’s base. Again, God is love.

  11. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Bill asked in the previous post, Living with Loss, “To put it another way: What possible reason could one have NOT to forgive, even if the other person did not ask for it? Can anyone think of a sound reason not to do that?”

    I can’t think of any reason not to forgive. I think that the debate may be caused by people having different views of what forgiveness means.

    As said previously by others, it doesn’t mean they aren’t held accountable for their actions. For instance, a murderer still must go to jail. But visiting a murderer, trying to bring light into the darkness of their soul, that’s a good thing. Matthew 25:36 I was in prison and you came to visit me.

    When God forgives us, He doesn’t necessarily release us from the earthly consequences our actions may have brought on. But we are forgiven. Spiritually, we are no longer in chains.

    God calls us to let go of the “debt” of pain caused us by someone’s action and let Him carry it. If someone is in need of our forgiveness, that means they have legitimately hurt us. It is hard to forgive that debt of pain without some form of payback. But God calls us to. Remember, also, they may not have any idea of the pain they have caused.

    Does that mean our sins aren’t forgiven if we can’t let go? No. It is already finished. It just means we carry around the debt of pain caused us instead of giving it to God. That weight prevents us from fully seeing and realizing the depth and beauty of God’s grace to us.

    I hear comments about “should we just forgive someone who we see doing something wrong?” For example, a friend cheating on their spouse.

    That is not our sin to forgive. We can see the pain our friend is causing, and speak to them about it, but obviously we can’t say, “I will forgive you for your adultery because I have to forgive in order for God to forgive me. That is between the two spouses, their children, and God. Ultimately, God, for all sin is against God.

  12. joycemb says:

    Good word tracey.

  13. poohpity says:

    bubbles, where does it say that there are boundaries/rules around forgiveness? Where does it say unless so and so asks for forgiveness do not give it to them? Did the criminal on the Cross next to Jesus ask for forgiveness or believe in who Jesus was? (Luke 23:40-43 NLT) Jesus forgave us even before we realized He did. (Romans 5:8 NLT) We forgive people because we were forgiven it is that simple even if they never ask for it. (Col 3:13 NLT) (Matt 6:14 NIV) I do not read anywhere that it says only if.

  14. joycemb says:

    Another good word, Pooh.

  15. foreverblessed says:

    Words, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, indeed, I never thought of all the other, the whole alphabet. Makes me think of some of the Psalms, where David put every one of the alphabet in a song, is that about God too? Psalm 119:1,9,17,25,33,41,49 and so on.

  16. joycemb says:

    Please pray for me as I try to attend church tomorrow, thanks.


  17. Mart De Haan says:

    If we are struggling with whether Jesus would ever put a condition on forgiving one another (Luke 17:3-5), is it possible that the word forgiveness has a range of meaning and application that becomes clear only with the question “What does Christ-like love–in a range of circumstances, ask of us?”

    Is there something that we can learn not only from Jesus’ words from the cross “Father forgive them– for they don’t know what they are doing”… but also from what follows… when he assures one (but not the other) of the men dying with him on their own crosses, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

    We don’t know the whole story– but we do know that Christ-like love gives meaning to words that are either true… or not true… to Him.

  18. SFDBWV says:

    Few years ago we had a visiting participant who was an American Indian of the Mohawk tribe. I am reminded of some of his thoughts this morning as I contemplate the subject beforehand.

    The Romans considered anyone who did not speak Latin or Greek to be barbarians. A word we associate with *barbaric* behavior.

    When we look at the history of men there seems to have always been a form of communicating, but not always a written communication nor alphabet.

    In fact I believe the oldest known form of writing is “Sanskrit” which I have been told is the original language of the Book of Job.

    By the time God wrote the 10 commandments in stone for Moses, written language was still only found in “civilized” cultures of the world.

    In the Greek we understand that God is the beginning (Alpha) and the end (Omega). God is still the beginning of all things and the end of all things no matter what language or words we use to understand that concept.

    What about unspoken communication. That strange yet overpowering event that takes place when we say nothing yet there is a clear connection and understanding between people without a single word said.

    Are such unspoken communications a throwback to an earlier time or a bump ahead to a future time?

    Our Mohawk friend felt no historic connection to the Bible, but believed deeply in the traditions and stories of creation from his ancient culture.

    The Mormons teach that the Bible is only historically relevant to the Mid-East and not to the rest of the world.

    In fact when looked at many cultures speak of the birth of a child that will bring peace to the world. All stories told around firesides for millennia’s.

    I have always believed that as people spread all around the world the stories of creation and of a savior went with them, but that the story got distorted some by oral storytelling and that God began the process of reintroducing Himself through a *chosen people* for that purpose as well as the purpose of being the linage through which the Savior would be born.

    To be clear about the matter God became the Author of Scripture using a written language to do so.

    So where there is confusion the written word is the dictionary, thesaurus, or Rosetta stone we go to for clarification. As Christians we have the added aid of God Himself in the Person of the Holy Spirit to complete the intended understanding.

    The greatest problem are when people try to make what the Bible says, say something they want to believe or worse communicate to another that is not at all what God has stated in the written word.

    Let our yes be yes and our no be no, be very careful when trying to speak for God.


  19. bubbles says:

    I am so sorry. I was not trying to be contentious.

  20. poohpity says:

    Steve, I do not believe you listened to our Mohawk friend very well. What he was saying was there is a big difference in people who profess to know Christ and those who actually do. How Christians tried to take out their native culture to replace it with what they thought was right living but never really listened to them and what God had given them.

  21. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Bubbles – I don’t think you were trying to be contentious and I don’t think you should feel bad for expressing your thoughts.

    I don’t believe that anyone (I wish I could underline anyone) on this blog is TRYING to be contentious. I believe that everyone who posts is just trying to convey what they feel and think in their heart. I think people want to share what is meaningful to them.

    When we feel that we have been misunderstood, it does hurt.

  22. bubbles says:

    Oh, no. I’m not hurt. It’s good.

  23. joycemb says:

    Thank you for your prayers, I went to church for the first time in a year and it was good. Some lessons here on forgiveness put to good use today.
    Blessings, Joyce

  24. foreverblessed says:

    I am so happy for/with you Joyce!

    Love and forgive, this discussion is very usefull to me.
    a-If the offender repents, then forgive him Mart gave Luke 17:3-5
    b-But in another instance Jesus says: if you hold anything against anybody, forgive him and let it go. Mark 11:25-26
    25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.
    26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings.
    -c- “Father forgive them– for they don’t know what they are doing” The dream of Steve comes to mind, where God shows that these sinners are trapped in their nature, they can’t help it. (and so were we, for God’s grace we have been freed from sin and the power of sin over us).

    So what it Jesus saying in Luke 17:3, if he doesn’t ask do you not have to forgive? And then when you are at the altar, (I see that as when we stand singing in church and worshipping God in our songs, ) and there we remember that we have something against a person, Jesus says: forgive.
    So, if somebody asks me to forgive him/her, then I should forgive. But when I remember that I have something against somebody, (whilst I am worshipping God in prayer or hymns) then I also have to forgive.

    Then another thing, forgiving somebody is not the same as reconciliation. In instance -a- there is a reasonable way for reconciliation, the person has seen that he has wronged you.
    But in instance -b- the person who comes in mind may not at all know what he has done to you.
    Today a person came to me, at a cultural event, (it was not a christian), and she told me a thing that I had said, and that it had cut her to the heart. And, o dear, it was not at all what I had intended to say! I had told her immediately that I was sooo glad she had brought it up, and we have talked it over. I know there is a problem, but that is not mine, it is between her and others. I have to give this to Jesus, and ask Him to lead me through this, is it something I have to bring up, or have to wait.
    We so need the lead of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit. What to do, what to say.
    It is clear we always have to love. Always, if it is our brother or sister, we love, if it is our enemy we are under orders (as CS Lewis put it) to love him/her.
    Enemy- most of the time the person is not an enemy, just misunderstanding, like the woman today. But there is a spiritual realm that influences our thoughts, that give negative thoughts when someone speaks to us. We need to get to know these thoughts, and capture them immediately. Eph 6:10-13 with the emphasis on Eph 6:10 draw your strength from the Lord, that is Jesus. Look to Him.
    So forgiving is not the same as reconciliation! Do not withhold forgiveness for fear of reconciliation that is impossible when the person has not seen that he has wronged you.
    Forgiving is my part, to let go, to make myself free from bitterness. Reconciliation takes both sides, me and the offender, talking things over, like the lady did to me today, thank God.

  25. joycemb says:

    Foreverblessed you are so wise, thank you for bringing out the part about reconciliation and how it does take both sides. My church experience was so blessed today and while there I too came to realize that attending a church does not mean I have to reconcile immediately with each person I used to know. Some have hurt me without knowing it (as I’m sure I have inadvertantly hurt others) as you said, but I can rest in Jesus knowing that the degree of relationship depends on His leading/prompting. I am at peace with the church finally. It’s been a long time coming, but God is faithful to heal at just the right time.
    I have already found a way to serve in the community through the church and am looking forward to joining a small group soon. Depending on the group there may be further opportunity for some reconciliation, I don’t know but God knows. I also think He may have healed my ptsd, as it’s the first time in years I had no anxiety or panic being out in public. Wow! Praise God!

  26. street says:

    Bill asked in the previous post, Living with Loss, “To put it another way: What possible reason could one have NOT to forgive, even if the other person did not ask for it? Can anyone think of a sound reason not to do that?”

    it may not be sound , but it is pride that keeps one from forgiving. there is a false sense of righteousness involved. forgetting you have sinned against God in smiler or same way. also when sin is involved it is breaking all of the law of God, something to be grasped. ever notice when a prosecutor reads charges is it usually not just one charge? children keep yourselves from sin that easily entangles. stay close to Jesus, it’s a bumpy ride.

  27. street says:

    steve said,”So where there is confusion the written word is the dictionary, thesaurus, or Rosetta stone we go to for clarification. As Christians we have the added aid of God Himself in the Person of the Holy Spirit to complete the intended understanding.

    God bless the bereans, Acts17:11

    as for confusion oswald chambers has a good devotional on it today 9/14/14

    been thinking of the words humility, surrender, and obey. i think they all go together or it’s a disaster.

  28. hera says:

    But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners…..does this mean we are already forgiven even we are not asking for it? What if, then, I don’t ask for forgiveness, for whatever reason – unrealizing, unaware, indifference..etc or even do it again…or it shows God’s plan of salvation…? then it seems there is a ‘range’-degree-in sins, thus forgiveness..so there are trivial sin, small sin….to the unforgivable one that Hell is the answer..? I read somewhere, that forgiving is actually more beneficial to the giver than the recipient, for peace of mind (or something like that) so I wonder can I be really at peace if I don’t forgive though maybe not really bitter? I must admit that I am usually bitter if I don’t forgive, I just put “it” away, locked somewhere, but when situation relating to it appears I would still ‘flinch’ or cringe, but that’s my experience, others may be different..

  29. street says:

    dear hera the Biblical world view is not made up by men, but by God. Paul clearly states in Romans that sin is absolutely evil in all it’s forms. no person could become an adult without coming into contact with sin. the sliding scale of punishment you have in mind is for God.

    i remember a person in the Old Testament carrying sticks on the Sabbath. the people knew it was wrong, but were troubled by the punishment. they went to moses and moses rightfully so put the question to God. God said stone them.

    we really need a hunger and thirst for the person of God. he knows us, we need to know Him….the greatest treasure. puzzle? why do people worship treasure?

  30. cas139 says:

    What this post triggered in me was not so much about deciphering the semantics of particular words, but thinking about perhaps familiar words in new ways. In the passages in John 6 that Mart cited, Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum (v. 59) His audience was steeped in thinking in the old ways. Jesus was making the point that bread thought of in the old way as the manna in the desert had been replaced by him, “the living bread that came down from heaven” (John 6:51)

    To me, Jesus challenged his listeners to think about familiar words like love and forgiveness and judgment and life and death–and bread–in new ways. He asked us to listen and try to understand in the light of the “spirit and life” which he brought to us. It seems to me Jesus, the Word made flesh(John 1:14), changed the meaning of life itself for us. The more I delve into his words, the more I begin to understand the magnitude of that change in meaning.

  31. foreverblessed says:

    Joy, I am so happy for you, what forgiveness will do! If we reach out for it, and ask God to do it in us. Remember Joseph, he was very cautious in opening his heart for his brothers, he first tested them to see if their hearts had changed.

    Thanks Cas for bringing that up: the life of the Word, the life Of Jesus flowing through us when we look up to Him in faith, and making the Word real: forgiveness, love, peace.
    It is His life that gives us these treasures.
    When reading the context of Mark 11:25, that is Mark 11:20-25 the disciples were amazed that the figtree had withered, Jesus then says: Have faith in God.
    Steve was saying that if we truely look into our own hearts,we do not forgive the ones that really hurt us. That is why we have to have faith: Ask God for forgiveness, the Living Word is Jesus through the Holy Spirit that gives us that forgiveness. (as Hera said forgiving is most of all beneficial for the giver of forgiveness, it cleanses us).
    So Jesus says: ask for these things, and believe that you have received it.
    But then the next thing that He says is: if you stand praying and you see in your heart that you have something against someone, then forgive! Or rather we should say: God, I want to forgive, help me in my unforgiveness. Like: God I want to believe help me in my unbelief.
    David asked God to show the hidden things in his heart, and so can we.
    It is all tied together, but the Living Word will make the Word forgiveness real in our hearts, through faith in Him.

    Hera, about Jesus die-ing for us, while we were still sinners, God loved us while we were still sinners. I believe that the forgiveness of God is waiting for us to be asked, when we come to have faith in Jesus, faith in Him that through His death our sins are covered.
    We live in the New Covenant, God not only does His part, but He makes sure that we do our part through the Holy Spirit that is the Life of Jesus the Living Word.
    It means that we say that now Jesus is Lord over our lives. I was a christian for years, but when I thought about it 17 years ago, have I said: Lord you are now Lord over my heart?
    I was raised in a legalistic church, and they preached: that is so easy, just accept Jesus as Lord in your heart, and all is well!
    But yes, I have to say: Lord you are the Lord over my heart, otherwise I cannot do my part in the New Covenant with God. If I do not surrender, the Holy Spirit cannot lead me as He wants to.
    No worry about sins not yet known, the Holy Spirit will reveal that to me.(Oswald Chambers of today is also appropriate) And He is much more patient then I am, He takes time. But He will show our inner sins, hidden ones, and when we see them, we see the truth in our hearts, and immediately it is taken away. God knows that this will happen, and for Him it already happened, so the sins are forgiven, only we have to go through it yet. (Does it makes sense? God -declares things that are not yet as though they are- (where is that bible verse?) But He knows that if we surrender to Him He will work through the Holy Spirit in our hearts, and make it happen with our consent.
    God cleanses us and makes us holy.

  32. hera says:

    Thank you for the explanation. Sometimes I feel like trying to hold, mould water with bare hands, in trying to comprehend things. Things like which part is destiny/given, which is caused by my own free will, is it influenced by the dark energy, about ppl say that there is no coincidence, everything happens with God’s permission…etc, in some areas that I happen to know, other religions seem to have clearer boundaries on those, I also tried to ‘simulate’ myself leaving Christianity, it didn’t feel right that time, anyway in the end….I wonder, what if I die tomorrow with this lukewarm faith :-) I think the answer, I forget the verse, is the Lord will ‘expell’ (something to that effect) me…..anyway thank you again.

  33. remarutho says:

    The church at Laodicea – Revelation 3:15, 16


  34. joycemb says:

    Foreverblessed you mentioned Joseph. He has been a ‘mentor’ to me for many years. The first time I read about him I recognized the process he went through dealing with his own emotional wounds of being abused/rejected by his family. Yet through it all God had a plan and a purpose. Gen.45:3-8

    I too have held on to this model and knew God’s plan for my life was to bring Him into a God-less family line, being the first Christian as far back as I can find, which he certainly has accomplished and is still working through me to that end with my grandchildren. Yes it was a process, forgiving those who abused/abandoned me. But God says we must do it in various ways throughout scripture. So powerful and purposeful this amazing grace that forgives and doesn’t pay-back the offender.

    Blessings, Joyce

  35. poohpity says:

    Hera, what is it that you have in your mind of what Christianity is all about? Is it a list of shoulds/should nots, could haves, would haves, I haves/have nots, rules, punishments, smothering burdens, professing Christ yet living as if He does not exist, looking to people who cause problems rather to the One with the solutions?

    Or could it be that Christianity is a list of get to’s? I get to know the One who spoke everything into being, I get to experience forgiveness and mercy that I do not deserve, I get to talk to God, I get to trust and depend on someone who gives me hope that even though everything looks so bad I know He has it all in His hands, I get to continue to live even after this body is decayed, I get to live a life without shame and guilt, I get to experience what real love is, I get to experience what real life is, I get to have peace, I get to have purpose, I get to not be alone, I get to experience joy.

  36. joycemb says:

    Hera I hear your struggle and that you have a very curious mind. Please keep searching and I know you will eventually find that Jesus, the One who lives and reigns on High is enough. He may not answer every question, but He will guide you through the maze of wrong answers out there. Many ideas, ideologies give answers to deep questions such as why do I exist, but none can give you the peace that knowing Jesus does. Ask Him to be your Lord and savior and go to Him with your questions, and other believers who are well grounded in the faith.
    God bless you through your journey.

  37. poohpity says:

    I think the reason there are so many riddles is because we have to experience and discover what is being taught to learn, just saying words does not do anything. Anyone can say words and most often they are just that, words. It seems more often than not Christianity is just that words that people say but in no way believe them or live them just talk about them, Christian ease. If the Word stood right next to someone I bet like the Pharisees and Sadducees many would not even recognize Him.

  38. joycemb says:

    Yep Pooh, God gave us a brain and we are to use it! Solving riddles takes thinking and spiritual guidance at the same time.

    As far as Christian-ease goes, I often think of that when I write because there are so many ways to describe our faith, and wonder if it makes sense to others sometimes. In college we were challenged to witness to those outside the faith without using any Christian lingo. It was a real challenge. But the purpose was because many do not understand the lingo and didn’t want them to just learn the language without having understanding.

    I think today since we have the Holy Spirit within there is more recognition than when Jesus walked the earth, except by the evil spirits who knew who he was.

  39. poohpity says:

    I do not think we have to describe our faith, we have to live it and that is what people see not what we say. What one says often times does not match the way one lives.

  40. joycemb says:

    Who lives perfectly? I certainly don’t! We will always disappoint if people look at us, instead of Jesus. I cannot do or be anything but who I am, changed miraculously by grace, yet still in the body. We will not be perfect until we go home. We can only offer at best a glimpse of Jesus in the flesh. But catching a glimpse of Jesus is enough to peak curiosity, I have seen it. Some use words, others by the way they live their lives as Francis of Assisi said.

    If a believer doesn’t live the way they say, then it is our duty to pray for them, in humility and grace. To encourage them in their walk, as no one really knows the battles they are going through.

  41. cbrown says:

    “Discover The Word” has been dealing with this and today was excellent. On Friday the subject was using our testimony to share the love of Jesus.

  42. hera says:

    Thank you for the responses. It seems that I have been off topic, I apologize, and I think I have posted too often in this topic, it’s the 4th now, so I will refrain from now on. :-)

  43. cbrown says:

    Good morning!Hera,exploring some of the “riddles”in the Bible and discovering the truth there together is the”topic”.You are on top of the “topic”.RBC ministries offers many tools to help us explore God’s Word.This morning I had more time so as I made coffee I listened to “Discover the Word”. It dealt with a “riddle” that we discuss all the time here. I then had my morning devotional in “The Daily Bread”. It dealt with prayer and having a heart for God.I had more time and read “My utmost for His Highest”.It dealt with another “riddle” that we discussed last week. Hera I can remember when I first joined this blog a couple of years ago and the guidance I received from the members of the blog. I feel like we are friends from different backgrounds exploring{studying}the Bible together.

  44. SFDBWV says:

    For those of us who sometimes have computer issues we have to call our “tech support” in order to get help.

    I always feel bad that I don’t speak their native tongue and appreciate that they do at least speak mine.


    Just because they speak my language may not always mean they understand it.

    So sometimes we step on each other’s tongues in trying to communicate.

    I have heard linguists say that Greek is their favorite language because they have several words to describe something where English may just have one.

    To make matters worse todays “street” language is almost as foreign to me as any alien language is.

    Curious, it may seem in retrospect, it better to have left the Bible alone in its original language rather than try and use words that may not accurately communicate a word in its original intent.

    Of course then somewhere along the line we either all learn Latin, Greek and Hebrew or trust someone else to for us.

    Perhaps there should be more to “Bible study” then just accepting accepted thought.

    I want also to remind us that our personal relationship with God is just that “personal”; that trying to instill our personal experiences and understanding into another’s heart and mind is not really possible. Only God in the Person of the Holy Spirit will know when the time is right for you to receive knowledge into your heart concerning Him or His message.

    I have stated this many times in the past, but it bears repeating often. I may err in the sight of others concerning these Christian matters, but if I err, let it always be on the side of love and let it rest there for me; *right or wrong* in the eyes of another.


  45. joycemb says:

    Good morning! More wisdom as usual from Steve and Chris to start the day out right. Steve as you said Bible translation is tricky but also just as tricky when talking to someone from another part of the globe, whether 1,000 or 25,000 miles away. Thank God we all serve the same God here on BTA as far as I can tell.
    Blessings abundant today in Christ Jesus,

  46. poohpity says:

    Getting to know the Word seems to be like a great body of water. There are some who just get their feet wet and when a waved comes and causes them to be unsteady they get out of the water maybe to return again or not. Then there seems to be those who walk further in but remain on their feet but if a current comes and pulls them under losing their footing they return to the shore not wanting to lose control. Then there seems to be those who go way out into the water enjoying all the different experiences of floating, going under to experience all that lies beneath, swimming, riding the waves and sort of becoming one with the water. There seems to be one other group those who just remain on the shore and read about the experiences of all the others.

    The ones who go all the way in learning by experience how the water works. Where the currents are, how the tide comes in and out, when the waves are coming and what to do when they do, all that lies beneath the surface and knowing that they will never have it all figured out but living for the discovery of all the water contains. One can read what the water does but unless one has given into the experience a current is just a word with no real meaning, the same with floating it is just a word until one does it.

  47. joycemb says:

    Pooh I’ve been thinking of you and praying you don’t get flooded out again. I can see why water is on your mind today, Ha! Hope all is well,

  48. poohpity says:

    Joyce, that was on my mind before the rain started. It was after my time with the Lord this morning and thinking about His riddles. We can not understand forgiveness without first experiencing it, one can not understand grace unless we discover how it covers our everyday life the same with the kind of love that is spoken of in God’s word. It is to me like that of a very large body of water not a mud puddle but to some they turn it into a mud puddle only because they have yet to discover by living some of the riddles.

  49. joycemb says:

    We are all at different places in our spiritual journey with Christ, but I am very happy to know that even with my flaws, my misunderstandings, my cracks as a pot in the potters hands God’s light still shines through. Paul knew this well. 2 Cor. 12:8-10

  50. poohpity says:

    Joyce, I so agree we are all in different places in our spiritual discovery. I do not believe there is any place in scripture that teaches otherwise. Sometimes we take two steps forward and one step back. I was saying that the discoveries are as wide, deep, long and high as a very large body of water. So much to experience in such a very short time as the span of years we are given. No one will ever be perfect nor do I think the Lord expects us to be, as a matter of fact if He even thought it were possible I do not think the Cross would have been an option. Flaws, faults, misunderstandings and cracks seem to be part of the human condition and as far as I can see the very essence of why grace is so very important.

  51. poohpity says:

    It seems only we humans demand or expect others to be perfect and without faults thus often failing in extending forgiveness, mercy or grace.

  52. joycemb says:

    With Christ all things are possible.

  53. belleu says:

    I’ve been enjoying reading everyone’s comments this week.

    When I read again Mart’s topic where Peter said, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,” I thought of my younger sister who was angry at Christians and Christianity so she studied all different kinds of religions.

    She said she liked Buddhism, but knew it wasn’t the whole truth. She finally told me, “There is nowhere else to go but to God.” She is a reluctant convert, but C.S.Lewis also said that about himself. Since she went to live in Washington for the summer, she has made friends with other Christians and is growing stronger in faith. I’m so happy for her.

  54. poohpity says:

    Joyce, I think that all things are possible with Christ is speaking of salvation not about being without flaws although there are those who feel they do not have any that is why they seem to stay so busy pointing them out in others and I would like to sell them a bridge over the river of de Nile. :-)

  55. jeff1 says:

    Aren’t they the people who really need God’s help and should we not be praying for them instead of pointing out that their flaw is that they don’t think their flawed. On my daily journey can I honestly say that their are times when I haven’t judged someone just like these people. Also there are those like myself who were brought up very much by abiding in the law i.e keeping the commandments which as a child this was drummed into me so I believed that’s what I needed to do. Only life taught me that I could not keep all commandments perfectly, their walk has been different than mine or yours. If we are to forgive our enemies then are we not to forgive those who do not realize they are our enemies
    (for they know not what the do). It is easy to forget how often we go off the path of rightionious ourselves.

  56. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Jeff – you are so right and thanks for the reminder. I have a couple of characters that I see at work who just rub me the wrong way and I so want to point out how they are in the wrong. But I know God places people like that specifically in my path so I can pray for them. Not ask others to pray for them, pray for them myself. Privately praying, and not prayers to the effect of “change them Lord, fix them and make them better,” but “bless them Lord, let them know You love them.”

    Belleu – thanks for sharing about your sister. I think that we have to let people search on their own and trust God to be in control. If God really is the Truth, they will find that out. We don’t have to condemn people or chastise them for seeking out information and looking into things we don’t want them to see.

    But still pray for them.

  57. poohpity says:

    In those cases I ask God to help me look at people the way He does with His help to MMOB and not the way or how I am prone to do.

  58. joycemb says:

    poohpity says:
    September 16, 2014 at 9:26 pm
    It seems only we humans demand or expect others to be perfect and without faults thus often failing in extending forgiveness, mercy or grace.

    I said, ‘With Christ all things are possible’. Pooh, I was talking about when we fail to extend forgiveness, mercy or grace Christ can teach us, and he wants to teach us.

  59. poohpity says:

    Joyce, Oh I see now what you were saying I think.

    jeff and tracey, I can see how there is another riddle about judgment. Jesus asked us not to judge but then Paul goes on when confronting the blatant sexual relationship of a step mother and her step son in the church not being addressed he went on to say we are to judge those in the church but not those outside of the church.

    Jesus also confronted the religious leaders about what they say they believed and what they were actually doing but did not tell His disciples to confront them. He told His disciples to cast out demons and heal the sick. Jesus had that right but it does not seem like He has given us that job to do but I know I find myself doing that. :-(

    I guess it all comes back to not trusting and depending on God. I miss the things I am given to do and trying to do those things that only God has the right to do that falls into Minding My Own Business type of thing.

  60. cbrown says:

    Mark 9:23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boys father cried out I believe help my unbelief.

    Mark 10:27 Looking at them, Jesus *said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”(who can be saved)

    Mark 14:36 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.”

  61. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    With all the gnarly contradictions and riddles of your next to last paragraph above, Mart, the key must be the Word — the joy and the Life He gives us. That famous “long obedience in the same direction” is the pathway, it seems to me, toward growing in Jesus Christ. You wrote:

    “Getting to know The Word, and the life of his joy, means learning to live in riddles: living to die, dying to live, resting to work, working to rest. Forgiving with love. Loving without forgiveness. Judging in love. Loving without judgment. Hating to love. Loving without hate.”

    All things are possible with God.


  62. SFDBWV says:

    “Riddle me this riddle me that”.

    Another *word* Mart uses sometimes is *tensions*, whereas it seems that verses of scripture are contradictive to each other and in “tension”.

    Having thought about this subject I come to the conclusion that our faith is a riddle, a contradiction, a puzzle, a commitment of faith without seeing or hearing the answers, only believing all answers, all tears and immeasurable joy awaits us when we finally stand with God.

    The Daily Bread today has a picture of “Story Teller”. I believe that is always the best way to broach each subject here, by giving a living example of how God walks with us here and now and solve as well as present riddles for us to contemplate.

    Its conclusion always to trust God to know and do what is best for us, especially when it seems otherwise.

    60’s and 30 for us here in the mountains as we await the changing of the colors. Wondering what the outcome in Scotland will be today.


  63. poohpity says:

    For me knowing the Lord has given meaning to so much that does not make sense. It is a privilege that I am so thankful to have. I do not have to have the answers as long as I have Jesus. A friend that loves me at all times even when I act so unlovable and never gives up on me. My Jesus!

  64. SFDBWV says:

    The voters of Scotland spoke and remained a part of the United Kingdom. How wonderfully refreshing that it was done by the vote of the people and not on a battlefield.

    Though I imagine Scotland now feels like many Americans (US) a divided people.

    I thought it marvelous that the press in England was not allowed to report on any of the voting counts until the decision was counted the following morning. We could take a clue from that ourselves.

    I had ask our old friend Bob from Cornwall for his input on the matter and he had said that most Englishmen he knew weren’t all that concerned, but thought that it was unfair that Scott’s who lived in England were not allowed to vote on the matter.

    I may have told you all before that I am what is called a co-op observer for the National Weather Service. My volunteer job for them is to record the high and low temperatures as well as any amount and type of precipitation falls in every 24 hour period and the weather in general terms.

    I say this because I speak with the actual weather forecasters and scientists fairly on a regular basis. These are the real meteorologists who’s business is the full spectrum of the weather’ not NBC’s Weather Channel personnel.

    Yesterday a neighbor told my wife Glenna that she heard we are going to get 200 more inches of snow this winter than last. If true that would put us well over 400 inches of snow. A few weeks ago the fellow who delivers our morning paper told me this was supposed to be a bad winter as well.

    When pushed for where they “heard” these predictions I wasn’t surprised to hear “Facebook”. In essence what they have placed their belief on is the rumors and uninformed chatter of social media.

    None of the real scientists I talk with have made any such wild predictions nor would they, and just for the record none agree with the global warming scenario as portrayed by the political pundits with political goals.

    It is tough enough to know the truth of matters, but when we include what has become the voice, mentality and momentum of a mob into the process of ferreting out the truth it becomes even more difficult.

    When the media was all agog over what they termed the Arab Spring, I wasn’t, as I could see it for what is was, chaos and an open door for evil intent to step in.

    Have you noticed how the terms “Islamic Brotherhood”, “Hamas”, and “Al Quada’ either aren’t even mentioned or if they are, in softer terms now that we have ISIS to discuss.

    When presented with a “riddle” or problem to solve, it is sometimes best to quietly contemplate the matter and avoid outside interference in order to solve it, not to let the mob control the outcome.

    Just some Friday morning thoughts.


  65. jeff1 says:

    While I agree with what you are saying Steve I find I do listen to social media as I have family who do. The problem today because of social media is that there is too much information and most of it is filling our heads with untruths but for me to try and tell that to younger members of my family who have only known social media is very difficult. We are all products of our time and while I don’t believe these are good times I have been part of a system that has contributed too and seen them in. I am not proud of this fact for I do not think I have left my children with as easy a legacy in this life time as my parents left me. It seems to me that when we fail to get it right history repeats itself. When I was young I believed what suited my beliefs, i.e. God was on my side. After a long war with a lot of casualties I discovered that the enemy thought God was on their side too, and to be honest they come out the better off so I can see how they did. It didn’t take me long to discover that no matter what culture or nationality a person is they say God is on their side. Words are easy said that misrepresent and or are misrepresented. I have after long deliberation come to believe that when God said for us to focus on Christ he meant just that for if I take my eyes of him I can very easily become confused and afraid in a World that makes no sense at all to me. You see when I talk to my Children I realize that my perception of the World is very different from theirs, so, is the World a darker place or is it because what I have witnessed makes it seem a darker place. They would say the problem lies with me and not the World and I think I probably thought the same about my parents if you see where I am coming from.

  66. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning jeff1. There is a very good example of how a mob can influence even the best among us in the story of Exodus when Aaron is forced to build a golden calf.

    Only when Moses returned did Aaron as well as others have enough courage to make a stand on the side of God.

    People today are no different than people all across history, all have the same failings as well as the same heroics. Though in different forms, evil still has a way of corrupting the best of intentions.

    In my own opinion history teaches us that mankind does a very poor job of governing itself. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream gave us a very detailed account of the then future of man’s rule on earth as well as when and how it would end.

    An amateur examination of that matter places us in the times of the feet of iron and clay, the last period of man before Jesus returns to set up His rule on earth.

    The biggest difference I see today for children is that they have a bigger opportunity for distractions and an easier slide toward the evils of this world. My generation probably had to work harder at finding bad things to get into, but that didn’t keep us from it. Today’s kids have to work harder to avoid it as it is available everywhere. The answer being prayer for our children as well as for ourselves.

    Nice fall day here, 63 degrees. Matthew has finished his exercises for the month and will get weighed in after his shower about 12: 45. My day at the computer is about over; blessings to all today.


  67. street says:

    eating my flesh and drinking my blood. yes a jewish dictionary would not help much, but the Pentateuch would be of some help. remember in Genesis the tree of life that adam did not eat from? or the Exodus experience when God separated Himself from the people in order not to kill them. then He slowly made away to make Himself available to the people. he never gave up on them. how many went out to the tent of meeting other than moses and joshua? later God had them build a Sanctuary. bringing Himself closer to the people. finally His Son shows up. they were not looking for Him or God. now there is bread from heaven and new wine in new wine skins. intermission…

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.