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Holy What?


Flikr photo by Charles Roffey in the … Land

For much of my life I’ve had trouble with the word holy— and with those who seemed to love and long for it. My associations with the word— didn’t seem to put a good face on God.

Left me thinking of him as distant, frightening, and not like someone I want to be with.

So once in a while, I try to take another look— wondering what’s wrong with me, and what’s not to be not liked about this word that ends up being repeated over by people and angels who find themselves in the presence of their Creator.

The first time the word shows up in the Bible is at a burning bush in the wilderness of Sinai— a bush that burns mysteriously without being consumed. There, a fugitive murderer is told to take off his sandals, because he is standing on holy ground (Exo 3:5).

Next, I find the word used of a series of meetings, places, furniture, and people associated with God. Several different sources agree that the word implies “apartness”— something set apart… to be different, for a special purpose.

At this point a dim and flickering light goes on… maybe. No wonder I have an uneasy aversion to a word that seems to go back to my early days in church. What child wants to be special— “different”, “set apart” from others?

But is that all there is to my aversion? If so, then… when my thoughts eventually turn to Jesus, why don’t I think of him as being “holy”. Doesn’t make sense. If anyone is holy, it would be him. Yet even when I do a software search, I find only a couple of places where the Jesus of the Gospels is called holy. One is a reference to him as conceived— but not yet born. On a couple of other occasions, tormented demon possessed people are calling him holy as if to expose him for the who he really is (Luke 4:34).

With only a few exceptions, the other uses of holy in the Gospel accounts are to the Holy Ghost— at least in the King James Version of the Bible that I grew up with. Over and over it is the Spirit of God who is called holy.

Then another thought. Could it be possible that Jesus isn’t often called holy in the Gospels because… together with him, (probably without  realizing it) the inspired Gospel writers are trying not to scare us away? Could it be that, in Jesus, the Creator is sneaking up on his creation, under the cover of a common body, to eventually surprise us with how good and wonderful our Father— really is?

Thoughts continue to follow in step with one another until… am wondering whether even the Holy Ghost might have quietly eased into our lives, gently doing his work, until we  begin to long for what Paul calls the fruit growing in (think it but don’t say it) ground (Gal 5:22-23).

If you don’t share my childish uneasiness— am thinking that maybe you’ve grown more quickly than I have beyond my wonderful, overly protected, and probably indulged childhood :-)

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185 Responses to “Holy What?”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Holy smokes Batman….

    I have to say Mart that as a child I was never turned off by the word or the idea of being associated with the word “holy”.

    But then I wasn’t browbeaten to act perfect or made to feel I wound embarrass or let my parents down if I weren’t.

    To me “holy” is a title of respect given to God as being Himself sinless and without fault. Something I can only aspire to attain.

    Admittedly I have never truly understood the concept of taking off shoes so as not to profane “holy ground”, as if something man made had no place walking on it. If that is the case then why have clothes on when in the presence of God or His Holy Spirit?

    If you consider Peter calling we Christians “an Holy nation”, then the word special does come to mind, but special for a cleaner or holy purpose.

    If you also consider the idea that we are to work at being or living a “holy” life then what we have in sight is the high ground of holiness as a goal to practice and work towards in an effort to be more Christ-like.

    Though Jesus was like us in form, He remained unlike us in living that sinless life. Making Him special and Holy and why He alone was worthy to be given as a perfect sacrifice as well as a perfect example for us to imitate.

    If God were just one of us and not set apart as someone above us (Holy), then we would feel as if we were just a good as He…Isn’t that what Satan is accused of thinking?


  2. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… Holy was used every where in my growing up in the Reformed Church, and the old world. Even my socks were holy back then! :0
    It was almost always in found the Hymns we would sing, the Apostle’s Creed we would read aloud, and part of the ever present, Ten Commandments, found displayed all over the place. Not hidden like today, lest they corrupt those growing minds that now walk the Halls of Education.
    I must mention the opening prayer at every school assembly, and on every Bible I ever encountered.
    Did I process it deeply into my being then?
    Of course, I was living in a Christian Nation back then.
    Probably not as deep as Mart, but it was always there and always respected as the highest standard.

  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Mart! Being child-like and begin childish are different things, it seems to me. :o) We are all children of God — and at age eight or nine or ten, when we begin to think about things like justice, fairness and authority, none of us has yet absorbed all the stories of Scripture (especially the Old Testament) I believe.

    You ask:

    “Could it be that, in Jesus, the Creator is sneaking up on his creation, under the cover of a common body, to eventually surprise us with how good and wonderful our Father— really is?”

    Jesus did come into the world as a helpless babe, like the rest of us. He remains entirely approachable and literally familiar (brother, father, friend).

    But when we begin to put the mosaic of the history of the people of God together for ourselves (at age 40 or 50?), we see that the prophets have shouted and whispered the news of the coming Messiah for generation after generation. The Holy One of Israel.

    Holiness is uniqueness. In Lent, I have been reading the writings of St. Francis and St. Clare. Their love and awe of Jesus’ holiness is inspiring. Our current cultural context naturally opposes the very notion of the set apart — the consecrated — the holy, it seems to me. Yet, the Lord calls us to it: Holy living — holy love — holy inspiration.


  4. jeff1 says:

    To me holy is more about places than people. When I step into a Church I feel I should behave differently with reverence and awe. If I go to a graveside I have the same reverence. I find it difficult to behave the same when I am outside what I consider to by holy ground. I think that is because people do not behave the same outside holy ground than they do inside. I believe I have learned this rather than thought very deeply about it.

    We are now living in a post Christian era and as such you feel being on holy ground is what sets you apart from people who do not believe or wish to go into a Church.

    I do not see myself as holy but as someone who reveres that which is holy i.e. God, Clergy and holy ground.

  5. poohpity says:

    Tormented demon possessed people calling Jesus holy recognizing His identity yet were averse to His presence.

  6. jeff1 says:

    Forgive them Father for they know not what they do!

  7. joycemb says:

    Good morning,
    I think because I grew up surrounded by such evil and chaos I longed for goodness and when I first heard about God it was His Holiness that drew me. Later as I began to read/ study scripture I felt almost betrayed as I read the OT and found out just how seemingly mean- spirited God could be. I spent many years reconciling the fact that Jesus was God and came from God yet seemingly different from God in His actions. It takes a long time to outgrow our difficult childhoods, think. But seeing Jesus on the cross does reconcile the cognitive dissonance into a sweet, palatable New Wine of Holiness we will never attain but out of love always want to strive for, like parents that you Mart had as predecessors of the Perfect.

    For the first time in months I drove around yesterday with no heat or jacket on, another warm sunny day in Mn, yippee!

  8. joycemb says:

    Vivien I remember going to a church when I was about 13 and getting yelled at by someone for practicing the latest dance moves between services! I didn’t know the rules, but learned quickly that God expected different behavior from the usual. After that I was scared of God when in church. It was when His love touched me in my innermost being in church when I was 30 that I found freedom to love God without fear of being destructed. Unfortunately, as I have talked about before, it’s abusive people who have spoiled my church experience creating a psychiatric disorder because of it. But through all of the difficulties while He’s been all I have I have found that He is more than enough. His holiness teaches me to reach higher when assaulted, because He is Perfect.

  9. fadingman says:

    Some years ago I studied holiness in its various usages (i.e. God is holy, His people are holy, the anointing oil recipe is holy, etc.). The definition “separate” works in many of these ways, but it doesn’t seem to satisfy me as covering the full meaning.

    For example, to be holy means to be separated to God. But that definition sounds silly when applied to God himself (i.e. God separated to Himself?). To be separated from sin sounds better, but how does that apply to the holy temple articles?

    The meaning of holy that occurred to me is tied to the phrase “no compromise”. God is holy in that he will not compromise his character in any way. We are to be holy in that we are not to compromise with the world. The temple articles were holy in that they were only to be used for their intended purposes – no exceptions.

    When God’s holiness is seen in this way, it is both scary and comforting. The scary part is knowing he will not compromise his righteousness. Sin will eventually be judged. But the comforting part is that he will never condemn those who trust in Jesus. He will never go back on his promises to save us. We can trust God because he is holy. (Romans 8:28-39)

  10. poohpity says:

    It seems when I first saw the relationship that God desires with His creation was in the garden when He walked and talked with Adam/Eve and throughout the time of the patriarchs there was no mention of the Holiness. Abraham shared a meal with the Lord and then bargained over the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Jacob even wrestled with the Lord. Then I came to Moses and after the people experienced the awesome power of God they began to fear the Lord and did not even want Him to talk to them but through a go between that could be an example of aversion.

    When Jesus came it seemed to me again like the relationship in the garden of walking and talking with His creation. Laying down the power that so scared those in the wilderness to reveal again what I thought He intended from the beginning.

    Peter taught that it is God’s Spirit that makes us holy and acceptable to God. It seems that the fertile ground that produces fruit from that Spirit is a heart of faith and trust.

  11. street says:

    wow! thinking about God again? Holy is a good place to start. separate comes to mind, unmixed comes to mind. these do not seem to work very well at all. Holiness is so other. it’s not “normal” or “average”; Holiness comes to our aid in describing all the attributes of God. such as love, light, justice, faithfulness, mercy, wrath, and many others. they all come together in A Person!

    the thoughts previously traversed, chosen, inside, high ground, speak of this separateness. the difficult part is dealing with the sin that blinds us to the presents of God and His Word. could you say sin causes us to be not chosen, outside, or low ground? truth, light, and love in Christ constantly bring us back from normal or average. He protects us and the the Father disciplines us. what a tag team? He is for us not against us! i do remember we are to be Holy because He is Holy. the family name is to be lived. peace and trust in God produce this Holiness by His Spirit not our flesh. the real interesting thing is He uses our flesh to express this to the world. God made us to be the righteousness of Christ. He does this in keeping with His Holiness! Grace and mercy surround you all your nights and day.

  12. street says:

    steve said,”If you also consider the idea that we are to work at being or living a “holy” life then what we have in sight is the high ground of holiness as a goal to practice and work towards in an effort to be more Christ-like.”

    i think you are right in speaking of working. it’s just that there are two different options do this, maybe three. the first one is the flesh. the second is the Spirit. and the last one a mix of both. i am thinking the last one mention is really the first. i also know God’s will is not hindered in any of this. we sort of live in a world of the third option. i would have to say a very dangerous and precarious one. it is so important to take up your cross daily and stay close to Jesus. it’s a jungle out there and we do not recognize all the dangers.

  13. street says:

    2 Peter 1:4-11

  14. street says:

    mart said,” If so, then… when my thoughts eventually turn to Jesus, why don’t I think of him as being “holy”. Doesn’t make sense. If anyone is holy, it would be him. ”

    i think this is the reality of the incarnation. i wonder if this is a confusion with Glory? Jesus prayed He would return to His former place of Glory prior to His death. if any word would describe Jesus it would be obedient.
    i guess you could call it a Holy Obedience.

  15. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… in response to your 3-10 6:45 AM post,
    Where you said you never fully understood the concept of taking of shoes, I remember a teaching we had in church about that very encounter that Moses had with God, and his being asked to comply for reasons we may not fully comprehend today.
    We were taught that one possible scenario would be this, in the desert during the day it would be almost impossible to think of anyone not wearing foot protection because the sand temperatures were so high, and one would scald their feet doing so, and God, knowing Moses thoughts, did not want Moses to try to flee, but, to remain where he stood until the entire message was delivered.
    So, by instructing him to remove his sandals first, knowing that normally would not be plausible, but hearing God’s command made it without question, necessary.
    That compliance,immediately took fleeing thoughts, and made them a non issue.

    What a powerful word picture that teaching brings.

    My first encounter with being told to remove my foot protection was upon entering the Blue Mosque in Istanbul Turkey, in the summer of 1967 while serving in the Navy.
    My shoes were part of my official “uniform of the day,”
    Dress Whites, and if you were caught out of uniform, it would make you subject to court marshal, or other possible problems, so the issue was dealt with “before” we left the ship.
    We were granted grace to be out of uniform at that site only, for respecting that countries religious protocol.
    So, I never gave it another thought and enjoyed walking in stocking feet around the mosque.

  16. oneg2dblu says:

    I like to think of holy as being related to the divine.
    We, being chosen by God to be disciples or instrument of spreading His light, are to be considered as holy, divinely purposed if you will, as God is Holy.

  17. joycemb says:

    My Utmost: March 10

    but it takes a heart broken by conviction of sin, baptized by the Holy Spirit, and crushed into submission to God’s purpose to make a person’s life a holy example of God’s message.

    Holy What? to be a holy example of God’s message. Is God’s message good or evil? We are the fruits, and as fruit from the Vine we are holy examples.

  18. joycemb says:

    Gary your story about walking around the Mosque makes me think of the novel “Silence” by Endo. It’s about missionaries under persecution in Japan, and the choices they had to make to live. It’s a good read if you’re interested.

  19. street says:

    mart said,”With only a few exceptions, the other uses of holy in the Gospel accounts are to the Holy Ghost— at least in the King James Version of the Bible that I grew up with. Over and over it is the Spirit of God who is called holy.”

    i think He calls Him the Holy Spirit, because there is a spirit in man and in the world, as way of making a distinction or separateness that exist. the interesting thing is there is no separateness in the believer and the Holy Spirit! a truly great mystery to me.

  20. rokdude5 says:

    Hello everyone. I hope you are all doing well.

    To me “Holiness” means purity…without blemish or defect or tainted with sin. Jesus is what is known as the “Hypostatic Union” of God and man. In other words, He is 100% God and 100% Man. Its hard for me to wrap my mind around that one! Jesus had to take upon Himself that union in order to be the Perfect Sacrifice so that the Law can be fulfilled. Without the Perfect Sacrifice we were all doomed to hell.

    Yep, Mart…been there done that when I was a kid too. I knew Ive some “splaining to do” when I went to church and prayed to our Father in heaven. The problem is I still got more “splaining” but at least I can take comfort in Heb 4:16.

  21. street says:

    Holy is a religious word. not used much anywhere else. the difference this religious word from many other is that it came directly from God, not man. it not a word made up by men to describe religious activities or concepts. it is interesting mart how it transitioned from God to other things and then faded out in your blog. i guess these thoughts will be in my subconscious till they are revisited.

  22. Loomis says:

    Righteousness and love are basic to God’s character. In our fallen world holiness is hard to grasp. Consider the benefit of every fruit of the Spirit as an outworking of holiness and love. Many fake holiness and corrupt it but imagine the light of it and freedom. Holiness is a trends state of being I think we long for. Think through the fruit and how God works in our life. Gosh won’t heaven be grand.

  23. pegramsdell says:

    But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 1 Peter 1:15

    Even David was afraid to lay a hand on King Saul because he was anointed of God. We are to be careful how we treat each other.

  24. SFDBWV says:

    Remembering that in mythology it was Pandora’s curiosity that unleashed the evils upon the world, I step cautiously into any questions.

    Gary’s comments to me regarding my curiosity about God instructing Moses to remove his shoes opened up more questions and thoughts.

    As mentioned by Joyce concerning the Japanese culture, it seems the habit or respect to many religions to insist that the shoes come off.

    God seems to validate the custom by insisting that Moses do the same. However I am at a loss as to whether it became a law under the instruction to the people or priests of Israel as they entered the Tabernacle or Temple, especially the priests as they entered the Holy of Holy’s.

    I remember that it was the light upon the mountain that drew Moses’s attention to go and see what it was. And what it was he found was a bush that burned without being consumed.

    In just hat one statement is an entire book in finding out what is the symbol represented there is a burning bush and especially one that is not consumed.

    Seeing that it was the light of the burning bush that led Moses up there in the first place, I have to believe that his curiosity was further fueled by what he found.

    Now if he didn’t take off running when the burning bush began to speak, might only be understood as being shocked, surprised and paralyzing fear. A lesser man may have just fainted or their knees give out in fear and trembling.

    But Moses has a conversation with this un-natural and impossible visitation.

    The natural inclination to either “fight or flight” didn’t seem to be at play here. If he had already stood and engaged into a conversation with a burning bush I can’t imagine the burning bush trying to keep him there by telling him to remove his shoes.

    Nope something else is at play there, something Moses recognized as being something from the gods he had been raised to recognize and the symbolic removal of his shoes was a way of telling Moses he was in the presence of a god.

    He would only learn as time went on he was in the presence of the one true God.

    Just some thoughts to begin the day.

    45 fog and rain.


  25. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… could you at least give us another reason, other then deny the one possibility I presented.
    In fact, Moses would not have listened to anything other than his burning feet, unless he was standing on Holy Ground, Under God’s provision and protection.
    Even the Natural Law of heat convection was overcome by standing on, “Holy Ground.”
    Not only would Moses learn, as time went on, he learned in the moment as he stood there in Obedience, or Fear, or stupor, or wonder, or whatever others might say.
    Actually, we were told he would have been hopping from one foot to the other to reduce the pain. But, He was told to stand, and God came through, loud and clear.
    It seems that God often uses what we feel would be highly unlikely, yet in His Presence, all things are possible.
    But, I’m sure there are other possibilities, we can create, if those don’t quite satisfy our thinking.

  26. SFDBWV says:

    God love you Gary, I did give another “possibility” and never said your groups teaching was in error just that other possibilities exist.

    Cool off man and read my comments again.


  27. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Actually, Steve, I believe it is against some people’s religion to carefully read another’s comments. Blessed are those who carefully read and gently comment! Amen.

    Mart, you wrote:

    “Thoughts continue to follow in step with one another until… am wondering whether even the Holy Ghost might have quietly eased into our lives, gently doing his work, until we begin to long for what Paul calls the fruit growing in (think it but don’t say it) ground (Gal 5:22-23).”

    When it comes to the darkness and chaos of the natural, unredeemed life, it seems to me the Holy Spirit “broods” and hovers over that life (those lives) until God speaks light into the dark. (Gen 1:1, 2, 3) Can it be that God’s holiness is the creative force of the entire creation — so powerful that holiness finally transforms it entirely, like a seed being planted in the soil? Life emerges from something hopelessly dead? Just asking.

    Joy All Day!

  28. joycemb says:

    Good morning all,
    Maru I love your description of the HS ‘brooding’ and hovering. Not unlike a mother hen with her chicks I think. Or could it be like a loving God hovering over His children until they are transformed into the likeness of His Son?

    As far a holiness goes, my personal conversations with God lately have been the realization that sometimes I just don’t want to follow Him. Hard to say but even harder to admit to myself. But the only way to holiness is by submitting. Submission carries a bad connotation for me personally, yet I have to keep telling myself that submitting to God is a Good thing, that He means me good and not evil, even though sometimes my brain tells me differently. Ah the road to holiness is not easy, but the Bible tells me that in the end, it’s all worth the struggles and perils. And so on I plod, trusting that my brooding Heavenly Father is watching over me, anyway, no matter how beligerant I become sometimes.

    Blessings to all,

  29. poohpity says:

    It seems the more time one spends around another they take on their characteristics, as you mentioned peg about being holy as God is holy. I asked God what that really means cause I do not think of myself as holy far from it but that is really going against what God has said about me, so do I believe what He says or how I feel? I am in the process of learning holy. The more I listen, pray and spend time with the Lord the more that will be reflected in my life. The desire of my heart before I do anything taking the time just to consider what does holy mean I may respond to situations rather than reacting to them.

    If I hang around depressed, angry, spiteful, bitter people even though I do not want to be like that it happens. Then is the time to pull away to spend time with others of like mind that are really teachable, allowing the Lord to develop fertile ground that is workable and pliable rather than falling prey to the old nature that I was freed from.

    So holy becomes the process that the Lord is taking me through to develop something special. That seems to take some restraint or self control as well as the most important thing of all to believe.

  30. joycemb says:

    Just a reminder that this, the time of Lent, is when the enemy is particularly active and will be until Easter. Had to do some house cleaning spiritually this morning as even my cat was noticing unwanted intruders. Would not be surprised that this blog is also under attack, so a reminder for all of us to use our rights as sons and daughters of the Most High God to do some cleanup as we write also. (I am not targeting anyone in particular, just speaking to all, myself included)

  31. street says:

    poo said,”If I hang around depressed, angry, spiteful, bitter people even though I do not want to be like that it happens.”

    Acts 4:13

  32. street says:

    jeff said,”To me holy is more about places than people. When I step into a Church I feel I should behave differently with reverence and awe. If I go to a graveside I have the same reverence. I find it difficult to behave the same when I am outside what I consider to by holy ground. I think that is because people do not behave the same outside holy ground than they do inside. I believe I have learned this rather than thought very deeply about it.”

    Psalm 139:7

    the idea that there are places that God can not see us or is not present does not come from scripture. i am thinking of abortion clinics, adult book stores, really seedy bars, or the human heart. i think the absents of the knowledge of God leads to these empty dangerous places. i would go on to say failure to love God leads to these place too by way of loving something else. the idea of separate leads to fragmentation or just plain broken. i that God that He is the Great Physician and can heal along with forgive with a terrific bedside manor. oh to be like Him!

  33. street says:


    Deuteronomy 7:1-3

    when we were delivered from sin by the cross of Jesus. we need to remember the admonition of Deuteronomy to completely destroy the influence of sin in our new life. to be Holy. be of good cheer….Jesus said, ” i have overcome the world.” look to Him not self and short comings. apply the blood regularly in keeping with the requirements of the Holy Spirit.

  34. joycemb says:

    Thank you street, a very encouraging word you bring.

  35. street says:

    oh i forgot the pharisees did not think Jesus had a good bedside manner among other things. looking back over Biblical history and seeing God’s anger and judgment displayed we don’t see this in Jesus till the book of Revelation. i think this is in keeping with His mission to save. His mission was Holy purposeful similar to laying aside or hiding His deity like not displaying anger and judgment till He accomplish the Fathers will. His patients and love are truly amazing.

  36. joycemb says:

    Street when Jesus said, Matt. 11:28-30 we would find rest for our souls, do you think that ‘striving’ for holiness is a part of finding that rest for our souls or is striving for holiness a natural outcome of the rest we find/will eventually have in Jesus?

  37. street says:

    rest comes from sitting standing building on the foundation of Jesus.

    Psalm 1:1

    i do understand that the building part takes a special meaning to me in that it can cause heart ache and lose from using inferior materials. this can cause unrest. especially when tested or shaken. God promised that. in this we get broken, but we get to know God better too. when we use the materials God requires the testing and shaking still come. just minus the lose. either way there is thankfulness and rejoicing. i think this might be the striving part.

  38. joycemb says:

    It sounds like either way, when we are IN Christ we win!

  39. joycemb says:

    When reading the psalms and the proverbs there is quite a list of what to do and what not to do; would be very overwhelming to a child who grows up hearing/reading them. Holiness must seem impossibly demanding, and scary!

  40. jeff1 says:

    Street I do not think what leads people to places that they believe God does not see them is as simple as them not loving God, I believe they are there because they feel unloved. Girls who go to abortion clinics usually do so because they are afraid to tell their very strict parents that they are pregnant knowing how they will respond to it. My friend’s daughter got pregnant at 17 and she told me how people told her how she should disown her and these were religious people. On top of that some of these girls have been let down by the father of the child as well so it is much more complex in reality.

    Who needs saving more Pooh, I would think it is the angry, bitter, depressed and spiteful people. I can only speak for myself but I spend time with all of the above types of people and I have to say that if I have ever felt any of these feeling it was not down to others but because I was feeling that way myself.

    It is my struggle and my demons rearing their ugly head and that is why I can have empathy with those who also struggle.

    You sound Pooh like you are now too perfect to have any patience for those still struggling with their demons.

  41. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… thanks for telling me about that Endo novel.
    I know that many times when we are on mission, it may also be required to silence ourselves.
    That is something I’ve practiced and know how preserving it can be.

  42. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve.. peace brother. I never referenced anything about false teachings here in this discussion, only sharing possibilities.
    Apparently, there are many bunny trails taken by those who may reject the spoken word, like going the wrong way, and ending up in the belly of a whale, before finding a more consenting obedience.
    Or a coming to one’s senses…

  43. street says:

    dear jeff, ignorance or unbelief can lead you to a place you don’t want to be. i would have to say rebellion would too. in Exodus God speaks to the people from the mountain, a terrifying experience. what was the peoples response? don’t talk to us sound failure? their excuse? we will die if we keep listening? the very next thing they do is let moses take care of God and they start building an idol. much more manageable they think. we get ourselves in very hot water on a regular basis. it is a problem, but not for God. i am so glad He pursues us with His unfailing love. in this there is rest. we still live in a fallen world trying to give out this love,grace,and mercy where so many others have failed. in this there is rest. God never fails! the chapter in Corinthians on love comes to mind. also thinking hagar and ishmael we recently touch on here.
    God’s freedom/Holiness is something to behold!

  44. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh, it is not angry, spiteful, bitter, depressed, etc people that bring others down, it is people that deny they are angry, bitter, hateful, jealous, depressed, etc, and point their own uglies out as being the uglies of others, that bring people down… Sometimes it almost seems that people that deny being possessed with those uglies are actually trying to get other people angry, bitter, jealous, depressed, etc so they won’t suffer alone.. Very sad, especially if those people read their bible over and over and know the scriptures well, and still can’t figure out that the Lord can help them.

  45. narrowpathseeker says:

    Jeff1…AMEN… I too struggle with my own demons…I find it very easy to love and understand people who confess them and that are trying to rise above themselves as opposed to those who are merely trying to rise above everyone else.

  46. foreverblessed says:

    So everybody has their own particular struggles. Mart has his about God being holy.

    Jeff was telling about holy, as when you come in a church, related to a building.
    The struggle I had with Holy was a Day
    When it was Friday night at sunset, I would know: this is now holy time, and I felt different. My whole life was then focused on God. And even more so, when it was a Holy Day, (the days in Leviticus 23) it was very very holy, and I felt double special near to God.

    Now I know that all the time that when I focus on God, or Jesus, if you like, then it is holy time.
    And what is more: the longer I am a child of God, and the Holy Spirit changes me more and more, the more of my time will be holy.
    But I figure, the Holy Spirit will work this out in me, step by step.

    I also like the idea Mart gave of Holy Spirit, never thought about it, Jesus is not called Holy Jesus, but the Spirit is called Holy Spirit. Maybe because the work of the Spirit is to make us holy.

  47. poohpity says:

    Maru, I so agree with your belief and blessing; “I believe it is against some people’s religion to carefully read another’s comments. Blessed are those who carefully read and gently comment! Amen.”

  48. jeff1 says:

    I believe it is against some people’s religion to admit they battle demons. While I believe that Jesus is telling us to expect to battle with demons in a fallen world. In order for us to battle demons we must know how they think and act. God does not waste our suffering.


    He carried the cross to Calvary,
    Carried its burden for you and me.
    There on the cross He was crucified
    And, because He suffered and bled and died,
    We know that whatever “our cross” may be,
    It leads to God and Eternity…
    For who can hope for a “crown of stars”
    Unless it is earned with suffering and scars,
    For how could we face the living Lord
    And rightfully claim His promised reward
    If we have not carried our cross of care
    And tasted the cup of bitter despair…
    Let those who yearn for the pleasures of life,
    And long to escape all suffering and strife,
    Rush recklessly on to an “empty goal”
    With never a thought of the spirit and soul….
    But if you are searching to find the way
    To life everlasting and eternal day-
    With Faith in your heart take the path He trod,
    For the way of the cross is the way to God.

  49. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All

    Hope all is well in your lives. Just re-read Mart’s intro comment for this blog topic, and was reflecting on this paragraph…

    “The first time the word shows up in the Bible is at a burning bush in the wilderness of Sinai— a bush that burns mysteriously without being consumed. There, a fugitive murderer is told to take off his sandals, because he is standing on holy ground (Exo 3:5).”

    I used to have a problem with low self esteem. I didn’t feel like I was good enough to have a relationship with a “holy” God. I didn’t feel clean, pure, or righteous enough to even fathom that He’d want to have a personal, intimate relationship with me. I was so glad when I discovered (someone told me) that nothing could be further from the truth!

    I was excited to discover the depth of God’s love for me because I had experienced some bad situations in my life, and I didn’t have any friends that I could rely on or trust. I believe that people who have to grow up without good role models in their life (with no one to teach them about God or how to make good choices), end up making poor or bad decisions as adults.

    I thank God that I had the privilege and honor to learn that He (God) is holy, righteous, compassionate, gracious, merciful, patient, understanding, kind, considerate, trustworthy, LOVING, forgiving, just, faithful, victorious, virtuous, and my best friend!

    In the world we have to encounter strife, wickedness, injustice, poverty, lack, brutality, prejudice, theft, dishonesty, jealousy, racism, envy, murder, selfishness, hatred, slander, laziness, prideful attitudes, etc. I’m glad that God is holy… a resting place for the tired, sin sick soul (Matt. 11:28-29).

    When I think of the word “Holy,” this song comes to mind …

    “Holy, Holy, Holy” (by Reginald Heber)

    Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty
    Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee
    Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty
    God in three Persons, blessed Trinity

    Holy, holy, holy, though the darkness hide Thee
    Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see
    Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee
    Perfect in power, love and purity

    Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty
    All Thy works shall praise Thy name
    In earth and sky and sea
    Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty
    God in three Persons, blessed Trinity
    God in three Persons, blessed Trinity

    66 degrees and partly cloudy in Dallas…

    Love to all,

  50. Regina says:

    The names of God (Jehovah Jireh, Tsidkenu, Rohi, Rapha, Elohim, Nissi, Elohim, Shalom, etc.) come to mind when I think of the word “holy.” God is set apart from us and pure. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways (Isa. 55:8).

    Also thinking about Isa. 6:1-5, “1)In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2) Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3) And they were calling to one another:

    “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

    4) At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

    5) “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

  51. Regina says:

    I agree with your comment, Gary. :)
    “I like to think of holy as being related to the divine.
    We, being chosen by God to be disciples or instrument of spreading His light, are to be considered as holy, divinely purposed if you will, as God is Holy.”

  52. SFDBWV says:

    Just wanted to share, if any didn’t read, of the story of the 18 month old little girl in Utah.

    While a tragic horrible story, it is also one of undeniable mystery.

    A young mother skidded of the highway into an icy river upside down and remained there for over 18 hours before police found the vehicle.

    All four officers heard a woman’s voice yelling for help, “Help us, please, help us.” What they found was the mother had drowned and was dead and the little 18 month old hanging upside down in her car seat, but alive.

    No doubt about it all the officers heard the woman’s voice, but only the dead mother and the little 18 month old were there in the icy water.

    God is indeed a mystery and I for one am glad to be on His team.

    26 degrees and clear.


  53. oneg2dblu says:

    Regina… thank you, and thank you for reminding us all, that
    Moses, the murder, when recognizing his past trespass, immediately sought to flee the area, for fear of his life.
    So, God asking him to remove his sandals. was justified also, by his former modus operandi.

  54. street says:

    joycemb i came across this on peace. much of the chapter is on peace.

    Romans 8:6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,

  55. street says:

    jeff did not like the prose of the way of the cross it crashes into some doctrine.

    It leads to God and Eternity…
    For who can hope for a “crown of stars”
    Unless it is earned with suffering and scars,

    if we could earn it he died for no reason at all.

    we need to examine everything as some have recently pointed out.

  56. street says:

    Hebrews 12:9-11

  57. oneg2dblu says:

    As we all guard our words more carefully here, may mine not offend or cause distress in another’s soul, unless hearing the truth revealed can no longer be tolerated by them.
    Then, let them tolerate.
    Unless, calling a thing what it is, is no longer tolerated.
    Then, let them tolerate.
    Unless the word “Jesus Christ” offends, or the Ten Commandments will no longer be tolerated, and we are finding houses of worship watering down God’s words just to be guarding another’s sensitivity, (political correctness) or itching ears, become the new religion of the masses, a sure sign of the End Times has come upon us.
    Come Jesus!

  58. jeff1 says:

    Street I am not sure what you see wrong with the poem.

    While I understand we cannot earn our salvation, I believe we do have to suffer like Christ did. Christ explained that to Peter that it is for the sake of Christ and the gospel that we carry the cross of caring.

    You are right that we are saved from ourselves even if we do nothing for anyone but if we want to be his disciples we are to care what happens to those who are untaught or have fallen away. If our concern is only for our own salvation then how does that serve God’s purpose in a perishing world.

    We may not be living in the age of Jesus but the world is still as needy for the gospel as it was in Christ’s day.

    Getting too caught up in doctrine can make us more judgemental and less aware of the need around us. I have noticed that the Preacher who is humble not just before God but man also is the one who draws people to Christ.

  59. poohpity says:

    Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

    For,“Whoever would love life and see good days
    must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

    Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.

  60. street says:

    Joycemb is this bait and switch? seems like the focus is on self, not Jesus. that would be a bait and switch. anything that emphasizes self is going back to the same sin in Genesis. it exalts suffering in those who are not suffering. how do you think this would affect people who suffering unimaginably through no fault of their own?
    we know as followers suffering is going to happen. it also happens to all mankind. thinking obedience is the cross we need to take up.

    God promised His children will never suffer His wrath. we are free from the wrath of God because of what Jesus did for us. now God delights in extending mercy to us forever. He’s still Dad and will correct according to His love. i remind you about doctrine….. where is iron sharpens iron? i admit i did not voice all my displeasure on this piece. i do know it is not Scripture. if i have to doctor it up to eat it, well it just might not be worth the illness.

  61. jeff1 says:

    Street how can you know that people suffer through no fault of their own? We are born sinners, can you look at someone and say they do not deserve to suffer or are you making assumptions on what you know about them but what about what you don’d know. We deceive ourselves as much as other when we say I am right with God. A person who suffers may well believe they are right with God but that does not make them right with God. We do not know why some suffer and some don’t and will not know until God finally reveals it. What God asks of us is that we accept suffering and leave the outcome to him while non-Christians will demand retribution from man, we wait for God’s divine retribution trusting in his mercies as manifested at the Cross of Christ.

  62. poohpity says:

    I believe with all my heart that I am right with God because I believe in the finishing work of Jesus Christ. Suffering, trials and troubles are part of life but I have a place of safety to go to. Suffering can be self inflicted, or come from others but no matter what God has it all in His hands and will help with comfort, strength, guidance and direction to get me through it.

    Most who believe in the Lord know they will never be perfect nor will they expect others to be but they believe in the One who is.

    “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”

    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace

    Oh soul are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness to see
    There’s a light for a look at the Savior
    And life more abuntant and free

    His words shall not fail you, He promised
    Believe Him and all will be well
    Then go to a world that is dying
    His perfect salvation to tell

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace

    Oh soul are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness to see
    There’s a light for a look at the Savior
    And life more abuntant and free

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace

  63. joycemb says:

    Good morning all!

    This morning I was led to meditate on Psalm 66:6-10 NLT

    I am thinking, isn’t that the way to holiness (God) through confession of sin? Seems to me like the simple, straightforward way, where we don’t do anything but let God do his transforming work in us. Why do we make it so hard sometimes? Could it be that we don’t trust Him enough yet to believe that what he says and does is true, honest, just, lovely, pure, good and faithful?

  64. joycemb says:

    Actually it was Psalm 66:16-20 NLT I was originally meditating on, but the (mistake?) I made is a great prelude!

  65. poohpity says:

    Joyce, yes that is the bottom line we have to believe that God exists. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 NLT

  66. joycemb says:

    Luke 19:36-40 NLT Yes, even the very stones/nature give witness that God exists!

  67. joycemb says:

    Hebrews 12:14,15 NLT Holiness takes discipline but has a great reward!

  68. street says:

    joycemb asks,”Street how can you know that people suffer through no fault of their own?”

    i know this from the first chapter of the book of job and from the life of Christ. we would agree that Jesus never sinned because God the Father was just in raising Him from the dead. we also would agree that he suffered unlike many others. so saying the innocent don’t suffer would be a same mistake that job’s friends made.

  69. street says:

    jeff said,” What God asks of us is that we accept suffering and leave the outcome to him while non-Christians will demand retribution from man, we wait for God’s divine retribution trusting in his mercies as manifested at the Cross of Christ.”

    God asked us to love Him with all our hearts, mind, strength, and soul. the marriage vow comes to mind in this one. the pledge is made to love for richer or poor, in sickness or health, in good times and bad. when people make theses pledges of love they do so, hopefully, understanding we live in a fallen world and it appears to be in chaos. it’s not the circumstance that gets priority, but the loved One. we get broken whether we keep this vow or not, because we are broken. yet He heals us. we are weak,broke, and ignorant from eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. we become strong, wealthy, and know God from eating from the tree of eternal life. the Holy Spirit is a very good indicator of a pending wedding. see you at the banquet!

  70. cas139 says:

    Psalm 66 does seem to have some things about holiness and that process of transformation required to share in the holiness that originates with God. Verse 12, though it is speaking of Moses leading the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land, seems to allude to Jesus as well: “12 Then you put a leader over us. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance.”

    I recently read a commentary on the Hebrew word for holy, kadosh, on an interesting site called Hebrew4christians. As Mart noted, kadosh denotes one that is set apart, differentiated from the norm. The word is often used as part of the description of God according to the commentator. He also noted that when God created us in his image, he imbued our essence or spirit with his holiness. The fall soiled or blurred or darkened that essence the way I see it.

    The father eventually sent his son as one who truly carried within him the holiness God originally offered to mankind. Through Jesus’s life’s blood, the soil of our sin was cleansed. So again we have a chance at attaining holiness. I think, as you stated, when we confess or admit our sin, we open ourselves to that place of great abundance spoken of in Psalm 66.

  71. cas139 says:

    *Joyce’s post at 9:47 this a.m. was the one that led me to ponder Psalm 66 and what it had *to say* about holiness. Thanks for pointing me to that particular psalm, Joyce.

  72. oneg2dblu says:

    The more I read the comments, the less I understand why some think that obedience is not rewarded any differently then disobedience.
    Yet, scripture is full of the stories of those disobedient who were actually destroyed.
    Nor after having a moment of faith, why does how we then live makes no difference in our salvation?
    Knowing that some seed sown by the sower, was seed that sprung to life, but withered and died later when tested.
    But that is not what actually lingers in the message and the minds of some here.
    When faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God, which was the very “seed that was sown,” and believed by showing life, why have we changed that story line other than to fit our itching ears that will not tolerate truth?
    The, I can do nothing crowd, whose hands go unused, and who’s tongue spreads only faith alone, are voiced well here.
    Yet, faith without works is dead.
    No wonder there is so much confusion in our doctrinal leanings represented in our continued iterations, that the masses are being taught today.
    Where does the scripture say that the false teachers teach, if they have not yet slipped in among us, why do we believe differently?
    The church, is where your doctrine is spread, be it true or false, that is where it is being sown as the word of God.
    I never have come to the conclusion that the large churches with many followers are a result of pastors who are humble before God and humble before man, but, I can say that they do preach a popular pew filling message with some truth, and some preach with other leanings as well.
    Be Blessed,

  73. joycemb says:

    Hi Gary, Cas139.

    Street your are confusing an already confused person here LOL! I believe some of your recent posts addressed to me should go to Jeff1 or am I really that confused? Ha!

  74. joycemb says:

    Gary I think there are nuances to the written word that are not always easy to understand here. Sometimes I am just thinking/processing my thoughts while I learn. Please don’t make the division between them vs. us so distinctive and damning. We’re not preachers here, just Christ followers always learning and growing. Even Evangelical and Fundamental churches preach a little differently. But the common denominator is Christ, who died so that all can be saved.
    Blessings to you,

  75. street says:

    dear one i don’t think people are destroyed because of acts. they are destroyed because of rejection of God. all sin and all reject God. it because of His goodness and mercy some are saved. He goes so far as to say if anyone will come he will extend the same goodness and mercy. i guess this is one compelling reason for evangelism. sin is not the norm for man. even men recognize it is wrong and punish it accordingly. sin has a way of hardening the heart to the point where people fall in love with it. if society allows it to continue you can kiss death, because that is where you will find yourself. it also snowballs in to greater violent downward spiral and entraps other members of society and pulls them into it. we really do need a Savior. i think many people were destroyed because of the effect they would have on the herd. shepherds will do this to keep the herd safe and healthy. they try other things first, but sometimes they have no choice. seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God. without God the other three make no sense at all. even then it can get quite difficult. it’s ok Jesus said,” I have overcome the world.” ” I go and prepare a place for you.” “I will not leave you and orphan.” did you get that you would not be an orphan? a son or daughter comes to mind. could anything compare to such a gift?

  76. joycemb says:

    Gary if you are referring to my statement made earlier,
    “I am thinking, isn’t that the way to holiness (God) through confession of sin? Seems to me like the simple, straightforward way, where we don’t do anything but let God do his transforming work in us. Why do we make it so hard sometimes?”

    Because if you are interpreting it to mean faith alone, that’s not what I am saying at all. I am saying it’s God’s work in us and though we do the ‘leg work’ so to speak He is the one who ultimately gets credit for the changes. “Our works are as filthy rags” says James I think.

    (I knew of one church where the members were actually working on their crowns for heaven! That’s what I meant by sometimes we make things harder than they need to be.)

    But yes we are the ones who have to put down the bottle, or drop the drug paraphernalia or turn off the porn sites on our computer or stop yelling at our kids or beating our spouse, but in the end it’s God who gets the credit, as this thing called holiness was God’s idea in the first place.

  77. street says:

    gary said,”The more I read the comments, the less I understand why some think that obedience is not rewarded any differently then disobedience.”

    gary i think the confusion comes from understanding the magnitude of sin and grace. it impossible to wear Dad’s shoe’s. we all are guilty of trying them on from time to time. we know God is gracious to the unsaved. we also know He disciplines His children, it just doesn’t work trying to build a frame work to understand the difference.
    the distinction between obedient and non will be most noticeable after judgment.
    Dad is a potter of epic skill. give thanks for His mercy and grace.

  78. street says:

    gary one of the stories in the Old Testament speaks of this difficulty of God’s workings. the one i am thinking of is samson. it’s hard to make a framework of understanding in this story, but he was a judge and God did use Him to deliver israel from an oppressive people. samson prayed hard because He lived hard. i think his prayers were heard because God had chosen Him and work out His will in the wilderness. we always think of victors in a different light. not so with God, He looks at the heart.

  79. oneg2dblu says:

    joycemb and street…. thanks for the comments and presenting your/our thoughts in the proper light.
    I am not picking on a particular person, or I would call them out by name to speak to a particular point, I’m just taking the concept that we don’t always think the same, or talk the same either. Yes, Christ will always be the center of why we are who we are, Christ Followers, or in Christ, when we continue to Follow Him in obedience, we are surely safe and sound.
    But, many who were following Christ turned and walked away, and they did not return.

    If we listen and obey His Holy Spirit we are still learning and being led which paths are right for us and which are not.

    That’s why the good book has all those guidelines and stories already recorded for us to reference and revere.

    I know we all love His Word, just as much as we love Him, and we all fail to meet the standard of complete holiness as He is holy.
    But, if you are not Asking, Seeking and Knocking, then will the door be opened to you anyhow?

    We probably, because of receiving different teaching and believing different doctrine, even differ on the answer to that simple truth.

    I personally love all the “IF” conditions throughout the bible, like, “If you love me, you will obey my commands.”

    That does not say If I love you, you will obey me, it leaves the consequence to the action of the believer, to walk a certain way, to prove his love, and that to me also, is more than just a confession of words.

    To me, that is where the rubber meets the road, where the walk matches the talk, or where actions speak louder than words.

    Street, yes God uses a whole bunch of misfits and fits them perfectly into His purposes, he makes lemonade out of lots of lemons.


  80. oneg2dblu says:

    street… I’m so glad you mentioned how God always looks at the heart.
    Because the word clearly says, “If you confess with your lops, (and believe in your heart,) that Jesus Christ is Lord, you will be saved.

    Yet people still use the, “Every knee shall bow and every mouth shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” to represent a false form of universal salvation, yet, that verse does not say that those rebels in Revelation who are forced to do that bending of the knee and the confessing of the lips, where lip service is not exactly an expression of free will is it?
    Do they then also “believe in their heart” and get saved?
    Yes, God sees the heart alright, and I believe He judges accordingly.
    Remember the flood?

  81. street says:

    gary said,” But, if you are not Asking, Seeking and Knocking, then will the door be opened to you anyhow?”

    i think if we are not doing this it shows we are out of step with our relationship with the Father. i think the context is to be persistent in your faith in a loving Father. i think it can be applied to seekers too.
    a verse comes to mind, I was found by them that were not looking for Me. kinda takes human effort out of it. isn’t Dad just too much for our arms?

    i have to admit there are times when we go through where we just have to wonder what in the world is going on or why did that happen? either way, learning to speak well of God like job is so important and like you said, actions can sometimes speak quite well.

  82. street says:

    gary said,”That does not say If I love you, you will obey me, it leaves the consequence to the action of the believer

    i don’t think so, it leave the outcome in God’s hands.

    21 So Peter seeing him *said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” 23 Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?”

    we live and we die at the discretion of the Lord. if that is true so is the circumstance too.

  83. remarutho says:

    Good Evening BTA Friends —

    All things, most especially judgment, are in the hands of Messiah — exalted to rule by the Father on account of His radical obedience. What a privilege to follow the Holy One of Israel. The Apostle Paul puts it this way in his letter to the church at Philippi:

    “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor:

    Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

    Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all.

    When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that — a crucifixion.”

    Some hearts are struck by flinty adversity and they give off a spark. Some hearts are struck by that same flint and give forth honey to the one who strikes them.

    The Apostle Paul taught: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” It seems to me no disciple of Jesus can make a judgment call on another’s teaching or witness. A holy witness finds the good and pursues it relentlessly. The presence of our Holy God convicts the crustiest heart — no condemning word needs to be added.


    Sorry to be so long-winded. I hate long comments!

  84. SFDBWV says:

    I think the reason I distrust “theologians” is because their theology changes from theologian to theologian and so confuses the thing in which they think they see so clearly for all the rest of us.

    Life has, to date, taught me all I know about what I know about God and where I stand on being a Christian.

    Each of us have had a different life and try as we may, we can’t infuse our lives and learned experiences into another.

    I very much agree with Maru’s statement at 2:09 am this morning related to how we should be treating each other.

    Solomon said there were things he observed in life that he didn’t understand. They were related to injustice in the world and what appeared to be things out of balance with the way things should be. As in bad people prosper while good people suffer etc.

    His famous conclusion about life and our relationship with God was to fear Him and keep His commandments, for that is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 11:13 and reminds us that it is God who will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 11:14

    Reminding me that only God is pure/holy enough to judge; and that His judgments are filled with mercy because He is pure/holy.

    The robins have returned here in the past couple days, that means we will soon have our “robin snow”. As Matthew, my son, said yesterday, “The robins are a sign of spring, right dad?”; spring is coming and with it Easter, the reminder that “Hope” springs eternal because a Holy God sacrificed His Holy Son for all us unholy unworthy people.

    Life is tough, make it easier for someone today.


  85. SFDBWV says:

    Oops that was supposed to be Ecclesiasties 12:13,14.


  86. joycemb says:

    Ecclesiastes 12:13,14 are WONDERFUL. Think I will rest in God all day with those verses in mind!

  87. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Joyce for fixing my typos and joining me in a good day.


  88. joycemb says:

    Steve and Maru hope you both have an AWESOME day!

  89. joycemb says:

    Maru I love your comment today also!

  90. jeff1 says:

    Great Faith That Smiles Is Born of Great Trials

    It’s easy to say, “In God we trust”
    When life is radiant and fair,
    But the test of faith is only found
    When there are burdens to bear-
    For our claim to faith in the “sunshine”
    Is really no faith at all
    For when roads are smooth and days are bright
    Our need for God is so small,
    And no one discovers the fullness
    Or the greatness of God’s love
    Unless he has walked in the “darkness”
    With only a light from Above-
    For the faith to endure whatever comes
    Is born of sorrow and trials,
    And strengthened only by discipline
    And nurtured by self-denials-
    So be not disheartened by troubles,
    For trials are the “building blocks”
    On which to erect a fortress of faith
    Secure on God’s “ageless rocks.”

  91. oneg2dblu says:

    Such peace and kind words are flowing as honey right now,
    one might think that they are typed by the Lord himself,
    and not by our human hands.

    Today’s God at Eventide speaks about our using of our hands.

    Street… after reading your sweat words, are we to say to ourselves, that this version is truth, “If you love me, or not, you will obey my commands?

    Or, is this more like the right version of truth, or what we should think, “If you obey my commands, or not, you love me.”

    Or, is it actually only to be received just as written?

    Or it that being a little too analytical, harsh, or legalistic?

    Finding the truth of the word, to me, should be found in the word, as it speaks to us in truth, without our adding to it or our taking away anything?

    I think we settle nothing for ourselves, and solve nothing for others either, by adding to, or tweaking the word, if you will, or worse yet, just blissfully ignoring any command of the Lord.

    Have a sweat and blessed day you all.

    Steve… it is about time the Robbins reached you, as I sent them on their way, well bathed and watered, a few weeks back.

  92. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff… great words on faith that must be tested to be true.

    My pastor says, “Faith that is not tested, can not be trusted.”

  93. street says:

    For when roads are smooth and days are bright
    Our need for God is so small,
    making us the most un-thankful of all.

  94. street says:

    gary said,”Street… after reading your sweat words, are we to say to ourselves, that this version is truth, “If you love me, or not, you will obey my commands?”

    no, the truth that we find is He first loved us. i guess you can say this love is as easy to describe as His Holiness.

  95. street says:

    gary i think you are right about trying to change people to our way of thinking. i guess the important part is like job in his trials is to speak well of God and not incorrectly like his three friends.

    we also know there is the devil to pay by the misuse of a single word or drinking from the fountain of doubt. God does overlook certain sin if the heart is right. but when the truth or law shows up we need to correct our actions. increased knowledge increase responsibilities. i wonder if instead of more law we were suppose to chose more love? is law just the codification of Love?

  96. jeff1 says:

    I don’t believe God ever intended us to change people to our way of thinking but that is what we try to do and fail miserably. I was listening to a conversation today where a man has lost his son and he asked this woman who also lost a child did she ever doubt God. I find that for as many as draw near to God when suffering just as many fall away because of suffering. It is then we have to be patient and endure others when they are doubting God, sometimes listening is all they need and that is what the woman did for she realised that was what he needed not to condemn him for his doubts when he is hurting. I believe that is what God would want us to do to encourage someone without making them feel bad for their doubts for when going through a trial it is easy to doubt God but most people who are believers do come back to their faith for time is a healer. I think you are right Street God intended that as we grown ourselves then we will know better how to help those who have not matured and in doing so build instead of break down. It is a slow process and I find patience is the operative word. I am very fortunate as I had a father who showed me great patience and I now reap the benefits of his gift.

  97. jeff1 says:

    Error 6th row from bottom should be grow instead of grown.

  98. street says:

    jeff said,” I think you are right Street God intended that as we grow ourselves then we will know better how to help those who have not matured and in doing so build instead of break down. ”

    i don’t think i ever implied a growing of self. there is a maturing process going on with two possible outcomes. i believe Christians will be successful because Jesus “is”.

  99. jeff1 says:

    Yes the misunderstanding is mine, sorry for misinterpretation.
    We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.
    The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

    Give me oil in my lamp, I pray,
    Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning,
    Keep me burning till the end of day.

    Sing hosanna, sing hosanna,
    Sing hosanna, to the King of Kings!
    Sing hosanna, sing hosanna,
    Sing hosanna to the King!

    Give me peace in my heart, Keep me resting,
    Give me peace in my heart, I pray
    Give me peace in my heart, keep me resting,
    Keep me resting till the end of day.

    Sing hosanna, sing hosanna,
    Sing hosanna to the King of Kings!
    Sing hosanna, sing hosanna,
    Sing hosanna to the King!

    This just came to mind!

  100. oneg2dblu says:

    street… yes as you say, God first loved us, that is truth, but, how does that effectively change his word that says, “If you love me you will obey my commands?” and continues on to say, And I will ask the father and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world can not accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him for he lives with you and will be in you.”

    I don’t know if love would codify the law, If, God in His Love first gave the Law, well before He gave us Only His Son.

    God’s love remained the same, with or without our love for Him.

    But, what has not changed is the command, “If you love me, you will obey my commands.” That command is placed first, just before the word says, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of Truth. The world can not accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him for he lives with you and will be in you.”

    God’s love was first quoted in the external law, to becoming internal through the indwelling of Holy Spirit given to every believer.
    And that makes the law no longer burdensome for the believer who loves the Lord, and obeys the law abiding Holy Spirit that lives within him.

    The original love intent of the law of God remains, for God says, the same thing about the condition of love, in Exodus 20:4,5,6.

    God clearly explains one condition for those who hate God, (the world system, )and another condition, for those who love him, (and) obey his commands.
    Codification of the law, or just another confirmation, to the still in effect conditions, that God places on those who love Him?
    “If you love me, you will obey my commands..” is written in the scriptures for a reason, and that, has never changed!

  101. jeff1 says:

    Is it not so that we are part of the world system that hates God and as followers of Christ will suffer the same battles he had while on this earth. The difference in us and in non believers is that we know Christ has gone before us and secured a place for us in heaven. It is knowledge that has set us apart. To me the word follow means just that, I will go the same hazardous path that Christ went and be glad for with such sacrifice God is well pleased. I am not my own, but religions today are falsely teaching that a good God would not allow suffering. They fail to add but in a fallen world where Christianity is now marginalised, to go the way of the Lord, to follow in his footsteps will require suffering for the sake of Christ and the gospel. God is indeed a good God for he has saved us from hell even if we do nothing more than believe but to obey his commands as Gary said in a world that is distancing itself from Godly ways will require us to take a stand and like the followers of Christ’s day that will not be an easy road. Like Peter we may deny Christ to save our own skins and hopefully like Peter we will then come good. What God does know that we don’t is a person’s heart. A person may seem a certain way to us but God knows a heart that has hardened because of suffering and a heart that as hardened because of bitterness. We presume to
    know another when we often deceive ourselves. It is learned behaviour but God knows the real me. When I truly examine myself I am not so worthy to gather up the crumbs under your table but you are the same Lord whose nature is always to show mercy.

  102. SFDBWV says:

    I know I should stay out of the thread of commentary and know to what end it will lead, but I am led to share a little something.

    Seeing that our topic was “Holy” and what it means, I can offer some’s view of the “title” to mean above reproach, unobtainable, untouchable, special and the utmost of moral behavior.

    Yet even with all those high quality adjectives being holy does not exclude pain and suffering.

    Nor does those who suffer always suffer because of their own choices.

    In fact Christians suffer for a multitude of reasons. One being compassion for others pain.

    The very first “person” in history that was hurt was God, when His creation rejected Him through disobedience and failure to believe Him.

    The result being a pain only a person who has been treated in that same way can begin to understand, but on a magnitude of incomprehensible proportions.

    There is a false belief that some crimes or sins are solitary and hurt no one, but the first person we hurt when we sin is God and the second ourselves.

    Many people suffer for and because of others; that they do so is in itself a kinship to Christ.

    That they endure it is in itself a form of love.

    Can you forgive someone who has hurt you? That is what God did for us and what He asks us to do.

    That is His “commandment” to love others as He loves us, doing so fulfils all the requirements of following the “law”.

    35 degrees, windy and cloudy this morning, only patches of snow left for now.


  103. street says:

    dear steve great post. the thought that came too mind when i read it is you must be born again. i think you are correct when you mention, “to mean above reproach, unobtainable, untouchable, special and the utmost of moral behavior.” without being born again this is our plight, but God in His great love has come very very near removing the barrier in Christ Jesus. shalom!

  104. street says:

    come to think of it discussing Holiness without suffering is to ignore the main stumbling block to understanding it. our thoughts are really inferior to God’s thoughts. i think david got it right when he spent his time in God’s word and meditated on them. may we find ourselves in His presents when we look to Him.

  105. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Been away at a learning-time. Very refreshing. It seems to me we do learn some bad spiritual habits, as you point out, Vivien.

    Some here seem to writhe in agony trying to place God’s Love and God’s Holiness together in their hearts and minds (or trying not to). But we must do just that. Otherwise, we hop along on one spiritual leg — never having peace — in joy or in suffering.

    God’s love is holy love — and has requirements like “I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt, to be your God; you shall be holy, for I am holy.” (Lev 11:44)

    This stands beside, “Hear O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” (Deut 6:4-5)

    “So high you can’t get over it.
    So low you can’t get under it.
    So wide you can’t get around it.
    Gotta go in by the door!”
    (from Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham, children’s song)

    Jesus is the Door to God’s Holy Love, isn’t He?

    53F and raining right down here this morning.

    Joy all Day!

  106. joycemb says:

    Good day all!

    Yesterday as I read some Psalms I thought of how David knew he could find grace even in his darkest hours. He certainly was a man after God’s heart, because he understood Him better than most I think. Only our Holy God could be so amazing as to offer healing despite our sin, a personal affront to His Holiness. Makes me smile thinking about it.

  107. poohpity says:

    It seems like exactly how a virus spreads when the Holy Spirit is allowed to work in the heart of a believer. It seems to start infiltrating the heart with the desire to grow in a person’s relationship with God. Their desires for God seems to be like an unquenchable thirst and hunger for His righteousness. When they experience that they seem to just want more and the things once sought in this life do not seem so important any more.

    That Spirit has placed a seal on us that sets for His very own and guarantees our salvation.(Eph 1:13; Eph 4:29-31 NLT) We can cause sorrow to the Spirit but we also have the ability to admit to and open to receive His mercies and forgiveness. When someone tramples the Gospel of Grace they trample everything they said they believed. (Hebrews 10:29 NLT)

  108. street says:

    dear jeff been thinking about your post. ” They fail to add” is a good point. when blind, deaf, and dumb it is impossible to make any sense of God from the world view. failing to add correctly will also will lead to bad thinking and speaking in the christian view. thank God for grace in our walk. seeking, knocking, and asking is a good thing. looking, waiting, and getting the answer makes out day.

    yes, God saves at a great personal cost to Himself. yes, salvation is free. He loved sinners for their good in whom there is no good. amazing. as His children we are given the same task, Father like Son. let His goodness richly dwell in you and work it is way out. let us be as shrewd as a snake and innocent as a dove.

    yes we are to love and keep His commands. i just hope we can leave behind the training wheels. Ephesians 4:13

    jeff said,”When I truly examine myself I am not so worthy to gather up the crumbs under your table but you are the same Lord whose nature is always to show mercy.”

    the 23 psalm comes to mind, something about a table.

  109. joycemb says:

    I think also that sometimes we have a hard time believing that God not only saved us but thinks well and highly of us. What parent is not proud of his children, except one who is evil.

  110. joycemb says:

    I said, What parent is not proud of his children, except one who is evil.
    Rereading I see it can be read in two different ways,

    “What good parent is not proud of his children, though an evil parent may not be.” Or,” What parent is not proud of his children, except a child that is evil.”

    I’ve been thinking about how we read/interpret scriptures reflects our own tarnished mindsets. Guess that’s why my statement suddenly looked ambiguous to me.

  111. joycemb says:

    Mostly I’ve been thinking about the scripture, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

    Please forgive my wandering a bit from the theme of Holiness. What I’ve thinking/wondering about the aforementioned scripture is this, is the author trying to convey that those who love God can do no other than to keep his commandments, or, is it a command/warning to keep his commandments or else? Maybe a bit of both? See what I mean about interpretation? It really makes a difference in how we view and follow God.

  112. joycemb says:

    After reading a few commentaries which anyone can find on google I have come to the understanding that loving God is not enough, that obeying His commands is needed for salvation. It was also refreshing to be reminded that we are the temple of God and as such need to keep our temples ‘clean’.

  113. street says:

    joycemb a scripture comes to mind, but i can not find it. it’s when we stand before Jesus when we are judged. we are to say we only did what you asked us to do. in other words we have nothing to boast in other than Christ. the idea is to stay focused on Him and not ourselves. Matthew 25 comes closest. God never sleeps or gets tired and He is watching us even when we sleep! i like the idea of being blessed while sleeping very much. how much more when we obey Him!

  114. joycemb says:

    Street said, “it’s when we stand before Jesus when we are judged”

    Jesus does not judge, God judges in the end…

  115. joycemb says:

    The judgement seat of Christ is for Christians, yes, to receive praise for all we did for Him while in the body. But the ultimate judgement is God’s in Revelation.

  116. joycemb says:

    Judgement seat for Christians: Romans 14:12

    Judgement of non-believers: Rev. 20:11-15

  117. oneg2dblu says:

    joycemb… I was thinking about you statement about how secure David felt and how graceful God who knew his heart was to him. But, there is a law in play here that goes unmentioned, that unwritten law is this, “Choose to sin, choose to suffer.”
    Although all sin is pleasurable for a season, its trespass is evil, and evil will not trump God’s Justice.
    So, even though David had a heart for God, he also had a heart for adultery with Bathsheba, a heart for killing her husband so he could marry her as well.
    But, God did not approve of those things, and Nathan brings God’s charges before David in, 2 Samuel 12:9.
    Then, 2 Samuel 12:13,14, says, first the pardon from death for the sins of adultery and murder by David are forgiven, and then, the unwritten law of the consequence is made for those hidden sins, and a heavy price is levied upon David and his wife.
    “Choose to sin, choose to suffer.”

  118. joycemb says:

    Yes Gary, just because we love God and are assured of His mercy does not mean consequences for our sins will be withheld. Look how many are in our prisons. God is not mocked, we reap what we sow, but I still am encouraged by how David never gave up on seeking God, even in his failures.

  119. joycemb says:

    I think that’s the work of prison ministry, to seek and save those who are lost because of their sins. I’m so thankful for those, such as Chris, who give their lives to sharing that good news with those who fail, big time.

  120. joycemb says:

    poohpity says:

    March 15, 2015 at 11:15 am

    It seems like exactly how a virus spreads when the Holy Spirit is allowed to work in the heart of a believer.

    When a new believer I remember a tract (don’t remember the author) that spoke of the work of the Holy Spirit being like a light entering a dark house (the heart) and as closet doors are opened and the light shines in the HS asks, do you want to get rid of this junk? Yep, the HS is quite like a virus (or an antivirus); good analogy!

  121. joycemb says:

    22 David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.”

    24 Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and David[c] named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child 25 and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means “beloved of the Lord”), as the Lord had commanded.[d]

    I’d call that grace!

  122. street says:

    been thinking…is law just the codification of Love?
    in other words, the law is a written form of what love is. can paper love? no. words can love when spoken or read. remember love notes? let the law be Holy and our love the same. may it be fully expressed in every area of life through us to the glory of the One Who first loved us.

  123. poohpity says:

    Romans 14:10-12 says, “For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat…so then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 tells us, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” In the context, it is clear that both scriptures are referring to Christians, not unbelievers. The judgment seat of Christ, therefore, involves believers giving an account of their lives to Christ. The judgment seat of Christ does not determine salvation; that was determined by Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf (1 John 2:2) and our faith in Him (John 3:16). All of our sins are forgiven, and we will never be condemned for them (Romans 8:1). We should not look at the judgment seat of Christ as God judging our sins, but rather as God rewarding us for our lives. Yes, as the Bible says, we will have to give an account of ourselves. Part of this is surely answering for the sins we committed. However, that is not going to be the primary focus of the judgment seat of Christ.

    At the judgment seat of Christ, believers are rewarded based on how faithfully they served Christ (1 Corinthians 9:4-27; 2 Timothy 2:5). Some of the things we might be judged on are how well we obeyed the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), how victorious we were over sin (Romans 6:1-4), and how well we controlled our tongues (James 3:1-9). The Bible speaks of believers receiving crowns for different things based on how faithfully they served Christ (1 Corinthians 9:4-27; 2 Timothy 2:5). The various crowns are described in 2 Timothy 2:5, 2 Timothy 4:8, James 1:12, 1 Peter 5:4, and Revelation 2:10. James 1:12 is a good summary of how we should think about the judgment seat of Christ: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

  124. joycemb says:

    I have not thought of the law as holy, but it makes perfect sense. It came down from God, who is holy. Why do we need the law? Because we sin and needed the Law to show us our sinfulness. Why, because it hurts us. Sin hurts US! God is too loving and kind to allow us to continue to hurt ourselves and others without showing us the way out of sin. Jesus Christ, the redeemer.

  125. oneg2dblu says:

    Please understand that I am only reiterating what the word actually says,”Blessed in the man who (perseveres) under trial, because he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who (love) Him.”

    I ask this, isn’t that a conditional salvation?

    If you love me…

    Or does it say, between the lines, to the already persuaded minds, “Blessed in the man who is already saved, whether he stands (or not) under trial, it no longer matters, whether he perseveres (or not) no longer matters, whether he (loves God) or not, no longer matters, but, he is still going to be under trial, and regardless of how evil he may live, as it no longer matters, he will still receive the crown of life, which is salvation.

    When he stood the (test) of what?

    If I have read it correctly, “Perseverance,” is one of the conditions one must meet, and according to the rest of this passage “the Love of God,” is another.

    Or are there really no longer any conditions found either in that verse, or in that proxy trial, for those who still ignore God’s words, or choose to believe otherwise?

    Why can’t we let God have a trial and decide then?

    What else could the trial possibly serve, other than being an already decided, Graduation Ceremony, for those who are taught, it really is no trial at all for them.

    But, is that what the verse actually says?

    You decide for yourselves, as most of you already have judged yourselves, and are innocent.

    I’ll be a touch legalistic here with this verse, and take it for what it actually says.


  126. foreverblessed says:

    Holy, Mart tells that it makes him uneasy, the fact that it is not mentioned that Jesus is Holy, not to scare us away…
    It is God’s love that attracts us.
    I like the verse that Regina brought up March 11 10:31 pm: Isa 6:1-5 the man who saw the holy vision of God was trembled: Woe to me!
    I have also heard that when there was an Awakening in the churches in the past, that people started to cry and lament: woe is me, my sin is so great! They were so uneasy about their own shortcomings. So stressed about it that they thought God could not forgive them. Till a prayer of a fellow christian for forgiveness finally brought relief. And the age of grace for that person could start.
    Then one of the angels (seraphs it says) come to Isaiah, in verse 6, and put burning coals on his tongue, “See, this has touched your lips, your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for”.
    Could it be that the awareness of the forgiveness of our sins is a key to taking away our uneasiness of God’s holiness?

  127. poohpity says:

    Salvation bring us to the Throne of Christ the rewards once we get there are conditional seems to be what the Bible is teaching.

  128. SFDBWV says:

    As I became a refreshed born again believer and ravenously devoured the Words of the Bible, one of the most reassuring stories of the OT was the story of David.

    Here was a man after God’s own heart.

    After David’s dual sins of adultery and murder and the ensuing message from Nathan the Prophet (Who spoke for God, not interpreting the law). David’s prayer recorded in Psalms 51:1-19 and especially in Psalms 51:11 records that God’s Holy Spirt was still with David.

    David’s failure to keep the law did not result in the Holy Spirit being taken away from him.

    When you read the story of David and his life, if you are looking for the failures of David’s character you can find them, but if you look for what it was that pleased God so much about him it is a compassionate heart that looks for mercy, not only for himself, but for others.

    Which do you think God approves of the more, a heart that tries to obey the law, yet fails and condemn their neighbor, or a heart that looks for mercy not only for themselves, but for others as well?

    Was Jesus’ sacrifice meant to condemn the world or save it?

    You cannot earn salvation, as it is a free gift from God. Your sin will not result in the loss of your salvation only show your need for Jesus Christ and His sacrifice.

    Exactly the same as the OT shows us sin and the NT brings salvation.


  129. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry, Gary, for not reacting to your comment, but I have been [art of a legalistic church my whole youth. And was instructed with all these warning verses you bring up. There are many more.
    There was always fear in me, and fear is not what it is that God wanted as I also read in 2 Tim 1:7
    For God did not give us a spirit of fear,
    What I missed was the news of the Gospel, the happy news, the grace of God!
    -We always fall short, but it is God in us who will work everything out.
    -The assurance of His grace, we ARE His children, no fear, will I make it!
    -We are bought with a great price, and we are not our own, we are now the possession of Jesus, and He gives His Spirit to guide us, and that Spirit will only guide as we co-operate with our whole free will, and work with Him.
    God is Love, and love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It (love), always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Cor 13:7,6
    If I stay connected as a branch to the vine,then I am connected to God’s love, and that love will always persevere. I can be without fear, and in assurance that I am saved.

    You write what you want to what ever audience you write, but thanks, in the mean time I ask God to bless you with His love, with His peace. With the Good News!

  130. foreverblessed says:

    The book of Andrew Murray: The Two Covenants
    Is a very good book about the Old Covenant, with the Law given, and the New Covenant under Christ.
    The fear of not wanting to sin, when we are not looking to the Law, the ten, but instead look to Jesus in our daily walk, and still be full well holy, and clear of sin. That is some hurdle to take when you have been brought up in a legalistic setting.
    How is it possible not to sin, when you just in faith look up to Jesus. How is it possible to have good works, when you are not working yourself, when you rest from your own works, Heb 4:10
    That is a good book to read, the New Covenant, it is relying on God, that He will work out in us, when we in faith be attached to Him. And the holiness of Him will slowly be worked out, step by step.

  131. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Thanks, Gary, for yet another verse of the one-note song!

    Blessings always,

    PS My apologies to anyone I have offended in any way.

  132. poohpity says:

    Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”

    When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it:

    “Oh, what joy for those
    whose disobedience is forgiven,
    whose sins are put out of sight.
    Yes, what joy for those
    whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”

  133. poohpity says:

    It would seem that we can more than trust the Holy Spirit to work in the heart of the believer, the ones who are truly seeking the Lord. For those who are not that is also up to the Lord. The very basic foundation of our faith is believing in what Jesus did and without that there will be no understanding of anything else. It seems like trying to pick figs from a tree that has no figs on it.

  134. joycemb says:

    Good morning all!

    Reading through this mornings comment and question to Gary comes to mind: Gary do you have a strong need for justice in your life and in the lives of others? Just asking….

    May all be blessed with truth today,

  135. joycemb says:

    (comments, plural)

  136. poohpity says:

    jeff1 remember back when Mart and I commended you on being honest about not reading the bible and admitting to that now you see the difference in those who say they read it but really never have.

  137. joycemb says:

    Wow Pooh, I find your post at 9:25 offensive and judgemental.

  138. poohpity says:

    Is it true that people say they have read it and really haven’t? Explain to me how you see that as offensive and judgmental? I could understand how guilt could cause someone to take it that way but that was not how it was intended it was meant to say factually that people say they read the bible when they actually have not.

  139. joycemb says:

    When a post is directed to someone else, Vivien in this case, to share what’s wrong with others that is offensive. Best to keep gossip and innuendo out of public hearing. I’m not disagreeing that some read scripture and some don’t, it just sounds judgemental putting everyone else under that umbrella of those who don’t read.

  140. joycemb says:

    Do you understand me?

  141. street says:

    Please understand that I am only reiterating what the word actually says,”Blessed in the man who (perseveres) under trial, because he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who (love) Him.”
    I ask this, isn’t that a conditional salvation?

    Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

    do they receive a crown because of works or because of loving Him? or did they receive a crown because of navigating trials successfully? is the crown in addition to life or are they the same thing?

    “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord And whose trust is the Lord. salvation

    gary you have homework to do. bring this truth home in harmony with the rest of scripture. i admit it can be a trial. perseverance comes when we keep our eyes on the Lord. it accomplishes so much more in us then we can do by ourselves.

    James is correct that if you love God and hate your brother you are living a lie. you can also love your brother and hate God, even tax collectors do that. to discover God and His love is life. passing out of death into life.selling everything you have, to get this, comes to mind. Gods goal is truth and love in the inner man, Emanuel. this is not accomplished by the flesh. it is a work of God. loving our enemies or man is a direct result of God’s Spirit in us. this is completely of God and not of ourselves. it is totally foreign to us. when we love our enemies we can only give them what we have received nothing more. how can we love them or give them something we have not received? after salvation we sometimes try to live according to the flesh or law and apart from the Spirit. paul warns us of that. i hope i have not muddy the water for you and you can find what it is that will bring peace.

  142. joycemb says:

    Pooh I think there is reading and then there is READING. I knew a pastor with a seminary degree who finally became saved after several congregants prayed for him and He did become born-again just before he died of cancer. You can’t get through seminary without reading the Bible. It’s the spirit of God that brings the words to life!

    Holiness without the Spirit is not life either. Unless one is born again they will not see the Kingdom of God.

  143. jeff1 says:

    While I believe that not reading my Bible has left me more disadvantaged in understanding God’s will in today’s world, I still feel that God has found other means to connect with me which means God still finds away to let us know he is with us and this gives me hope for those still doubting God who have not had upbringings where God has been instrumental in their lives. God will use us as he sees fit with the knowledge that each of us have, those having greater knowledge being in a better position to lead those who have not. It is not to be a contest about who knows what, it is to advance the Kingdom of Christ for all our sakes for if we say we are thankful for God’s grace and mercy then let us begin to share it with those who are desperately needing it.

  144. poohpity says:

    Oh ladies, I was not saying that one who reads is any better or worse than one who does not nor was I saying anything in anyway to put someone down for not reading it. I was simply saying sometimes people say things like “The Bible says” when they really do not know what it says or “from Genesis to Revelation” when they may have only read Genesis and Revelation. The basic of what I was saying is there is no need to put up the front that one reads the bible when they have not. It is ok to be honest. I am so sad so much was read into that that was not intended at all but it shows me the wisdom in what Solomon said in one of his proverbs that hatred causes strife and most often will think the worst of someone while love on the other hand covers a multitude of wrongs.(Proverbs 10:12 NLT)

  145. oneg2dblu says:

    Where does one start…
    Maru.. first, I for one forgive you for making that remark which I believe was pointed at only me.

    Please call me by Gary, it is much more respectful then just throwing out a song of your own.

    If you want to have a real discussion about a one verse song, which verse would you like to use.

    I really think it is the one cursed word that sets everyone on fire here, and that word is conditional, or having a condition, that must exist before one receives the promises.

    I guess that would require us to evaluate just what the word (If) actually means, for starters.

    If there has to be an, (If,)in the word of God then it is there for a reason, because there is also an, (If not) implied, or am I the only one who would question what a “therefore” is there for?

    Why is there a but? Because there is a but not implied.

    If you love me…says, God/Jesus/and the Holy Spirit.

  146. SFDBWV says:

    Vivian I have to tell you a story that to me is fascinating and is in concert to some degree of what you are saying.

    Here in West Virginia in Wyoming and Boone County are writings scratched on rocks that date from the 6th or 8th century.

    What is special about these ancient writings are that they are an ancient Irish language known as Ogam and the inscriptions undeniably Christian in text.

    So some 800 years before Columbus “discovered” America, these Christian Irish Disciples were here bringing the Gospel to the tribal peoples of “The New World” without benefit of our modern Bible at all.

    I am certain they had some Christian Text along with them, but their empowerment came from the Holy Spirit and obedience to the “Great Commission” to take the “Good News” to every people of the earth.

    I also love it that these men knew exactly what day of the year it was as one inscription they talk of its being the day of the birth of Christ and spoke of the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit.

    A more ancient gift of learning to read the times and seasons in the stars.

    The messages on the rocks speak of salvation through Jesus Christ, no mention of following any laws of any kind.

    How Vivian do you and your family and friends celebrate St Patrick’s Day? I am sure it is not in the cartoonish behavior done here in the Americas.


  147. joycemb says:

    Pooh, I’ll say it again I DO NOT HATE YOU. Because I disagree with your somewhat condescending mode of communicating does not mean I hate you. Perhaps if you had been more detailed in your original post as you are in your explanation it would have been received a little less hurtful. I don’t think now that you were talking about anybody here after your explanation. Thank you!

  148. street says:

    a side note, if you are following Jesus you will keep His commands. if you get off the coarse marked out before you and you admit it He will cleanse you from your disobedience and get you back on course. keep following we have much ground to cover. i saw this on a previous post.

    as for “if” and “conditional” God’s immutably comes into play. we are the ones who change our thoughts, focus, purposes. i think of the only thing i can give to God, who owns everything and can make anything He wants, is myself. there is nothing else to give. would there be anything worth holding back in the face of such love coming our way? paul wanted to know the width height depth and breath of this love. to say it’s big is an understatement.

  149. joycemb says:

    Yes street and I am counting on the bigness of God’s love wishing I could start my day over again. I feel badly for overreacting now to Pooh’s comments and ask forgiveness from all. Trusting in God’s love for me and everybody else I wait patiently for renewal and mercy; as only a Big God could give.

  150. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce speaking only for myself, of course, you certainly have nothing to apologize to me for any comment you have made to any other.

    You are a bright and shining voice amid an ever shrinking chorus of commentary.

    Don’t be hard on yourself, our enemy likes that and uses it to make you feel less about yourself instead of the many wonderful qualities you possess being a child of God.

    Have a good evening and night of rest.


  151. joycemb says:

    Thank you Steve, I’ve been thinking about that all afternoon, about how hard the enemy comes down on me, not unlike my parents and others have; why I am so overly-sensitive to any perceived criticism. But I’ve been concentrating/focusing on the joy that I have to look forward to when all assaults will be ended, finally. And reflecting on the kind encouragement I read on this blog from you, Street, and others that point us all toward the Hope we have in Jesus. I’ve never been good at letting things “roll off my back”, but believe that I do fit in with the Body of Christ in my own way. Thanks for the pep talk! I’m still working though on not letting my feelings overrule God’s love.

  152. cas139 says:

    Personally, I find it distracting to the conversation and offensive when a commentator tries to prove his or her way of reading or interpreting or understanding a particular topic or bible passage as superior to others who choose to comment. When one commentator singles out another it often comes across to me as argumentative and judgmental. Perhaps if we stick to expressing our thoughts from an “I” point of view rather than attempting to persuade others what their point of view should be, this blog would flow more smoothly and we could all consider each others’ points of view non-defensively.

    I hope Mart doesn’t mind, but I went to the welcome screen and found his words a helpful reminder of the purpose of this blog: “What counts in a good conversation is that we be fair in our consideration of one another and the issues that too often divide us.

    If together we can grow in our understanding of ourselves, one another, and most importantly our God and his word, our time together will be more than worthwhile.”

  153. oneg2dblu says:

    joycemb… I agree with Steve, you have nothing to apologize for, as this is a recurring theme that we all seem to have to tolerate here, meaning those who weather it and stay on board that is.
    Although, others have left here frustrated and confused by the bluntness and accusatory nature of some of the rather pointed questions that come their way.
    I’ll say no more accept, you will either accept them or not, but please do not be miffed by the attitudinal edge they seem to present.
    You are bigger than those lesser elements presented, so rise above them, where they will never truly harm you, and where they only really harm the accuser.

  154. oneg2dblu says:

    Where God knows the heart, we only have the words expressed by others here, and many times those words come from the heart, whether good or bad in nature, they speak volumes.

  155. cas139 says:

    Joyce, I hope you did not read my post as critical of you. I appreciate your thoughtful comments and I think we all fit in the Body of Christ in our own way.

    I think I’m done for this topic now!

  156. street says:

    …although it is true we read the Bible, it is true that the Bible reads us and speaks to us… readiness to hear God as God speaks to us is a necessary prerequisite if we are open not only to certain text but to the Bible as a whole. if we lack this readiness we will in addition deprive ourselves of the riches contained…., which deal with key points of the revelation of the God in whom we believe in. the reading of scripture as members of the church always yields something new and unexpected. Gustavo Gutierrez

    his reference is Hebrews 4:12,13

  157. joycemb says:

    Cas139 no in fact I thought about posting back ‘well done’ and thanks for bringing things back into focus. Yes we all do fit into the Body in various ways!

    Street I love what Gutierrez says. Hebrews 4:12,13 brings things back to God, as it should be, and not about us, thank you! He is amazingly incomprehensible but we do our best.

    I do appreciate all encouragement, Steve and Gary.
    Feeling much better after a good cry. Yep, I’m a woman and glad of it!

  158. foreverblessed says:

    Joy, God bless you!
    We all fall, but we stand up again! Prov 24:16
    Jesus ss Holy, He never fell. We walk in His footsteps, but to do the same things as He did, is impossible without His life flowing through us, the Holy Spirit.
    We have to trust Him, that He will be ours. That He will fill what we need.
    Like as we are feeling insulted at a comment over here:
    When they hurled their insults at Him (Jesus), He did not retaliate: when He suffered He made not threats
    Instead He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.
    1 Peter 2:23
    Who of us have done this like Jesus did.
    And what to do with the anger we feel when we are insulted, or the depressed state we get in when we feel put down?
    How can we be like Jesus? He was Holy?

    It is as someone said here: We give ourselves to Jesus, surrender to Him, and bring all our loads at the cross. We fight our fights with Him, and ask for His love, His patience, His self-control Gal 5:22-23

    And this all takes so much time. God knows that. He is patient, let us also be patient with one another.
    1 Peter 3:8-10

  159. foreverblessed says:

    Jesus is Holy.
    Unblemished, without defect Numb 6:14, as all the animals had to be that were to be offered, all looking forward to Jesus:
    Hebr 9:14
    The only thing we can do is to give our sins to Jesus, and then wait and expect from Him what is Holy and good and precious.
    But instead, we focus on our sins, our shortcomings and do not look to Jesus as our Everything. That is the thing I have to learn to do,
    “Look unto Me and be saved”
    and in that is my discipline, my discipleship.
    All that I do will be done then in love, because that love is poured out in my heart Romans 5:5

  160. oneg2dblu says:

    I believe all Christians, or born again believers, have the Holy Spirit living in them, to help us, to be led by Him, to be guided by Him, to be convicted unto repentance by Him, and to help us understand the voice, the will, and the heart of God, by the Spirit of God living in us.
    Yes, to focus on Christ, but not to ignore our sin, or what sin looks like throughout the darkening world, because that Spirit helps awaken us to all those things, including our trespasses.
    It does not blind us to them, but helps us to recognize good and evil, and light and darkness as well.

  161. oneg2dblu says:

    The Holy Spirit puts guilt in its proper place, rewards the repentant heart with forgiveness, and overcomes the threat of death, emptiness, and loneliness.
    Have a Spirit filled, Blessed day!

  162. SFDBWV says:

    Feeling moved to mention that today is Saint Patrick Day and provide a prayer he offered as something we all can use.

    “I bind to myself God’s power to guide me, God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to teach me, God’s eye to watch over me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to give me speech, God’s hand to guide me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to shelter me, God’s host to secure me…Against the snares of demons, against the seductions of vices, against the lusts of nature, against everyone who meditates injury to me, whether far or near, few or many.”
    From St. Patrick’s Lorica

    Forgotten by many is the fact that Saint Patrick used the shamrock to introduce the Trinity to the Celtic people. The same people who had kidnapped and enslaved him for many young years.

    As I remind some of Saint Patrick Feast Day I would remind also that he dedicated his life to serving Jesus Christ and am sure he would rather be forgotten by man and that man remember his message instead.


  163. joycemb says:

    Forever thank you for the wise words you always post here: “The only thing we can do is to give our sins to Jesus, and then wait and expect from Him what is Holy and good and precious.”

    And Steve I am 1/3 Irish and have always loved the writings of Irish saints. “May the road rise to meet you….. and may he hold you in the hollow of his hand” is another favorite that speaks volumes to the kind of love and support the saints are to give and do for one another. I find that kind of love and caring from so many here and am so glad to know you on our collective but individual journeys of faith.

    Vivien hope your day is especially blessed as you refresh your heart with the lovely songs of the faith God has provided to encourage and build us all up in our most Holy faith.

    Blessed day to you all here.

  164. joycemb says:

    This song was on my lips when I woke this morning,
    I Come To The Garden Alone Hymn

    I come to the garden alone
    While the dew is still on the roses
    And the voice I hear falling on my ear
    The Son of God discloses.


    And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
    And He tells me I am His own;
    And the joy we share as we tarry there,
    None other has ever known.

    He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
    Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
    And the melody that He gave to me
    Within my heart is ringing.


    I’d stay in the garden with Him
    Though the night around me be falling,
    But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
    His voice to me is calling.

  165. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce I just stopped in on my way by and seen you had been here. Thank you for the hymn; we have a book of old favorite hymns here that I bought years ago. Matt and I used to sing from it just after he came home from the hospital. Not so much anymore.

    I have many favorites, but my mother’s was “That Old Rugged Cross” which I had the choir sing at her funeral.

    I never tire of those old hymns and though there are some modern Christian songs that I like, none can compare with the old ones for me.

    At my wife’s funeral I had a tape played of “The Anchor Holds” by Ray Boltz, it was her favorite Christian song.

    My mother’s people were Scotch Irish, so there is no way I can escape belonging to a Celtic heritage.

    Enjoy the day.


  166. street says:

    “I believed in God, so I spoke.”* 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus,* will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you.

  167. poohpity says:

    Do I really want to grow closer to the Lord and if so what are the means available to make that happen? I know when I make a new friend I spend time with them listening, watching and learning about them but do I believe that is possible with the Lord and if so, do I spend enough time sitting at His feet learning from Him? Does His Spirit within prompt that desire or have I ignored it for so long I am no longer lead by it? Does comparing myself to others promote closeness with God or is it a distraction?

  168. joycemb says:

    Reading John 17:14-21 NLT is as you know Jesus’ prayer. What a powerful prayer and says so much in just these few verses out of the whole chapter. Thinking of holy again.

  169. street says:

    forever said,”Jesus is Holy, He never fell. We walk in His footsteps, but to do the same things as He did, is impossible without His life flowing through us, the Holy Spirit.

    Jesus never sinned but became sin for us.
    starting to think about the passion since easter is coming up. Jesus did fall when He carried His cross. i know it was my cross but He carried it for me. yes He fell and they needed to find some one to help Him carry it. sin is a burden that no one can carry before a Holy God. the agony in the garden comes to mind. i think this shows us that He really knew what was going to take place. He knew He had to endure it. the resurrection proved He was successful! He did not fail, He did not sin. All Glory and Honor to the King of kings Lord of lords. let Him be worshiped in our hearts continually.
    the lyrics, let every heart prepare him room….comes to mind.
    20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”

    Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

    21 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.

  170. street says:

    “Because holiness is supremely an attribute of God, and of God alone, he is by definition the only source of holiness. Any pursuit of it apart from him is doomed to failure” (David Winter).

  171. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce I thank you again, this time for referencing John 17:1-26. I take particular encouragement from John 17:20, because as you read this prayer it reads at first as if He is talking only about the original 13 Disciples, but then almost as if He knows some will in a future time be reading or hearing these words He includes us all in this prayer.

    Just as a future, deeply involved discussion, about who is lost, John 17:12 mentions Judas (not by name) as the only one lost in order to fulfil Scripture.

    Most people recognize
    The Lord’s Prayer as being Matthew 6:9-13, but it is actually “our” prayer as taught from our Lord. It seems to me that John 17:1-26 is actually the Lord’s Prayer to the Father, for us.

    Afternoon thoughts.
    42, clear and windy, will be near the teens tonight.

  172. bubbles says:

    It’s a wonder that anyone here is left what with the arguing and cutting down that occurs. I have pretty much ceased commenting because I got tired of the unkind remarks. There has to be non believers who read the words posted here. Are the fights bringing honor to our Father? Here, of all places, there should be kindness and not pointed questions and then denial of that and other unkind remarks that leave others hurt.

  173. poohpity says:

    When I read the comments it just makes me more aware of how totally amazing God’s grace truly is! Each of us has areas that need work, none is any better or worse than any others and with that in mind we can rely on God who faithfully will finish the work He has started in each of our lives. All praise be to God our Father, to Jesus who took what we deserved and to the Holy Spirit who continues to guide, comfort, teach and change us into His likeness which will not be completed until the day we see Him face to face.

  174. phpatato says:

    I agree Bubbles! And sadly……it won’t matter how we read the comments, if Mart tires of the wranglings, BTA will simply disappear one day. It has only been about 2 weeks since the last round of unChristian-like words and innuendos were spewed forth. How much can Mart take!!

    I am sure that each of us call ourselves a *Christian*. We can glorify God in what we do and by how we live in *that* name. We can certainly also bring dishonor to the title “Christian” by our actions and words. It is our solemn responsibility then, out of the very love we have for God Himself, that we live to bring honor and glory to Him through our lives and words. We shouldn’t be doing what we want, and saying what we want because we think we are so easily forgiven through His amazing grace and mercy. That is akin to acting like an immature selfish little child who has no care for anybody or anything.

    Calling oneself a Christian should not be taken lightly. There are responsibilities that come with wearing that name. Unbecoming cruel words reflect on the whole body of Christ and I think it’s past time for this to be realized here.

    Bubbles….I can’t agree with you more!!!

  175. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh YES, we all need work, but I don’t agree that “none is any better or worse than any others”. Keeping in mind what Bubbles said about non believers that may read the posts here and reflecting on my own conversations with non believers, I think it is important to show them our best.

    What I have found with most non believers is that they think Christians are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Therefore when one of us comes here time and time again, year after year, with blatant as well as subtle insults and someone points it out kindly and that person denies it and twists it back on those speaking out as being judgemental…and then the victims apologize to the perpetrator of the whole mess..we may just be confirming their beliefs.

    Pooh, I think you put people down so you can feel a little higher and you bait an argument to get attention…any attention and that is sad. I alternate between feeling sorry for you and being angry at you. So, YES we all need work and plenty of it. Don’t we need to search ourselves diligently? If I was guilty of premeditated murder and felonious theft, but went to the Lord and confessed anger, but denied any other wrong doing is there any truth in me? Didn’t Jesus tell the Pharisees that Satan was the father of lies and that their father was satan?

    Anyway, I will not lie…you make me very angry…AND I will not apologize for that truth…what I will do is pray for you.

  176. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, thank you for that information on St Patrick and the prayer…I never knew about the Shamrockvery interesting…I am going to google St Patrick later. thanks again…I hope it warms there for you soon…it was 80 here today in NC.

  177. street says:

    had a thought and i wonder if it is true. when a person calls themselves a christian are they saying they believe Jesus is the Son of God and trying to learn and fallow Him or are they saying it because you would not be able to tell any other way? no finger pointing here and mart might want to review this one since it is off topic.

    it’s a good think we are not leaders because we would fall into a pit.

  178. joycemb says:

    Narrow you hit the nail on the head. Now I would like to explain why/how I get so caught up in the craziness here. It goes back to what social workers/therapists call “family of origin” issues. When we as adults run into people who remind us of our dysfunctional original family we unconsciously become the victim or the abuser as we were back then. That said, my role growing up being raised by a malignant narcissist or psychopath, was to try to figure out how to get him to love ME, instead of me always trying to figure out ways to please him so as not to get hurt by him. Never worked, or course. But the catch 22 in all this is that I really loved him, even though he did evil all day and every day to me and plenty of others. He was diagnosed and committed to a state mental institute when I was 14 finally. However, my therapy didn’t start until I was 30 and had married a narcissist, one I loved but also could never please or get any love in return. The narcissists greatest ploy is to make others feel guilty and responsible for any discord and blame the victim. Believe me there are Christian narcissists, I have been hurt by a few, mostly those in pastoral or counseling roles which they are attracted to for the ‘power’ and adoration they receive and need to thrive to make up for their lack of self-worth.

    The thing about anyone with this personality is they do not have the ability to empathize, and I do feel sorry for them and understand, but I am triggered when I run into someone with this personality and try my best to help them think differently (think about others) out of a deep love for them and a desire to protect others. It’s inherent with me. God uses my abuse however to love the hardest to love people sometimes. But when I become entangled in their games/skill at manipulation I get angry but it also triggers in me a sense of loss from my childhood. It is devastating to me for a while, but it is my cross to carry for Jesus and for that I am glad.

    Don’t get me wrong, God’s love and mercy are great enough for ALL people, and to put a pleasant end to my story I prayed fervently for my father for some 30 years, and told him I’d forgiven him. God sent a pastor/pastors daughter to minister to my dad for about 20 years (they were the only people who could put up with him) to witness and share God’s grace with him. It worked! Just 6 weeks before he suffered a massive fatal stroke he accepted Christ as his Savior! He had even apologized to me after all those years for the hurt/pain he’d caused me-that a miracle in itself!

    That said, I really, really love everyone here, and I dare say I would even jump in front of a bus to save any of you here if I could or had to.

    Remember, God is in control of all our lives and He takes us through anything He has to to purify and bring about holiness. Sometimes it’s not always about us, but it’s always about God and what pleases Him that matters.

  179. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce…GOD BLESS YOU!! For all that you’ve been through and to forgive and love those repeating those offenses would HAVE to be the work of God…IMO…I will tell you right now that you are a FAR better person than I. While I did the right things for someone who abused me and who was totally unremorseful till the day he died, I certainly didn’t feel any love towards this person, nor do I now…I prayed for him out of obedience and I prayed for mercy for the uglies that I felt towards him and I prayed for strength to do the right thing. He gave me the strength to endure his insults as I helped take care of him, but what I felt sure felt like hatred to me.

    This is why I pray like David…Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me….Was it Street that said everyone serves a purpose?….perhaps people that make me angry serve to keep me praying. Asking for mercy for all that is wrong with me seems to be a major part of my prayer time. You are a very fine role model here. Sleep well. Pearl

  180. jeff1 says:

    Steve your post 16th March 2.44 pm

    For most of my life I believed that St Patrick was the Patron Saint of Roman Catholics. Being brought up in Northern Ireland during the troubles St Patrick days’s celebrations was done in a fashion to divide the two cultures that was raised here. In recent years it has become more inclusive but having attended the celebrations yesterday I seen no reference to who St Patrick was and it was actually similar to the cartoonist parades you have in America.

    It was a nice day out and the highlight of the day was during the parade a goat lay down and would not budge giving us all a good laugh. My friend had made Irish stew and Shamrock shortbread to celebrate and as customary we “drowned the shamrock.”

  181. foreverblessed says:

    Joyce, thank yo so much for sharing your story, for the graceful outcome for your father!
    I would like to tell what I have learned in dealing with fellow christians, and am still learning:
    First: It is adament that we come to Jesus with our hurt feelings, our anger, our bitterness
    Second: stay away from people who hurt you or make you angry, until your love in Jesus has made you strong in love, or Jesus love in you has grown strong.

    Then comes the next part, that we learn what Jesus taught us: Bless those who persecute you, do good to those who hate you.
    You bless people, not because they deserve it, but because they need it!

    It has been a hard learning for me, I kept my feelings of hurt, and my anger. I wanted vengeance, or at least the stopping of the hurting.
    And I didn’t get the opposite reaction:
    Do good to those who hurt you.

    The God at eventide of March 14 has also something to say about this: (it is in twolisteners).
    And from these words I get that a whole process in me is evolving: the growth of goodness, despite the hurt.
    The only way God fights evil is with love. He chose no other way.

    March 14-“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome with good.”

    The instruments in your hand for good are invincible against evil, did you but use them.

    Every evil you face boldly, in My Spirit, flees at once, ashamed. No evil can look good in the face. Teach to all — that good is stronger than evil. You must answer the challenge of evil.

    This spiritual warfare must be ceaselessly waged by My followers. Remember it is not where you are strongest that evil will attack you, but at your weak points. Hence the need to overcome. Be ready to see a weakness in yourself, and attack that until you are victor.-

  182. foreverblessed says:

    St Patrick is awesome! An inspiring man to study.
    I was in Ireland some years ago, and we went to Brú na Bóinne. That is an amazing site. The story goes that Patrick lighted the Eastern fires on the hills just around it, to show the people that the light came from Christ, and not the fire that were lit by the druids.
    The site of Brú na Bóinne is an ancient druids site, just like Stonehenge, only Stonehenge is above the ground, this is under ground, Stonehenge is about the midsummer point, Brú na Bóinne is about the midwinter point of the sun.(Winter solstice)
    It was discovered in the 19th century, it was hidden all those years. But the thing is, there was a great war of the protestants fighting the cathlic, preventing them for taking power again,a Dutch prince had to do something with it, William of Orange. And it all happened just around these hills of the old druid site! Battle of the Boyne!
    I stood there, and I thought of the big eastern fires of Patrick: It is in Christ that the light in our hearts is lit,
    (and God said: let there be light and there was light Gen 1:3, 2 Cor 4:6)

  183. foreverblessed says:

    Maybe it was discovered a bit before the 19th century, I remember reading it was 18.. somewhat, but Wikipedia says in the 17th century they started studying it.

  184. joycemb says:

    Forever thank you once again for sharing the wisdom from Above. Blessings to you this Holy time of year!

  185. street says:

    Leviticus 19: 1-18

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