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Dark Thoughts

P1030090Because there is so much we don’t understand about the eternal purposes of the God of the Bible, he can be read like a self-centered father who plays favorites with this children; a moral monster who takes pleasure in the cruel deaths of his enemies; or a powerful bully who uses his strength to intimidate weak ones into his messed up family.

Because there is so much that we don’t understand about his goodness, compassion, mercy, and patience, the God of the Bible can seem like a multiple-personality, a drunken tyrant, or a perfectionistic, crazy-making parent.

Yet mingled with such madness are wonderful expressions of a Creator who teases our imaginations with self-descriptions of true wealth, wisdom, generosity and happiness. These are the characteristics we see in the first few words of Genesis. But such goodness and glory soon get lost in the darkness, haze, smoke, fire, famines, floods, and wars of tragic events.

These are some of the reasons it’s  important to read the Bible backward and forward to Jesus; to the people he loved; to the Book-reading leaders he challenged; to the words he spoke; and to the prayers he breathed—before the death he died.

Even though there is even a lot that we don’t understand about his prayers, the stark differences we see between him and other kings, parents, priests, prophets, and shepherds gives us reason to at least ask questions.

What did he mean when he prayed in the late hours before his arrest, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you?” (John 17:1)

Was Jesus about to reveal enough about the goodness and glory of his Father… in what he was about to suffer… and for the reasons he was going to willingly die… to turn our worst fears and dark thoughts about God— into a hint and promise of everlasting wonder?

Can we begin to see the glory of the goodness of God in the face of his Son’s willing endurance of ridicule, misunderstanding, torture and crucifixion for us?

If we are still haunted by dark thoughts, can we see enough in the glory of his death… to ask him to help us, today—  take another step together into his upside down kingdom of love?

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118 Responses to “Dark Thoughts”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    It will be interesting to see where this topic may go.

    Once I read that the word “glory” used in reference to God can be seen as an onus or responsibility or as something that God is in control over; the entire meaning of “glory” changed for me.

    Rather than being interpreted as some form of praise, it for me is seen as why and what it is that makes God “glorious”.

    John 17:1 simply means to me, that God has through Jesus accomplished His goal and that Jesus’ obedience to that goal and the fulfilment of it gives both recognition and responsibility to both the Father and the Son for it in unison. More evidence of the unique relationship of the Trinity.

    Together they brought about the salvation of lost mankind, a shared “glory”.

    More to say about what Mart is thinking about later this morning as time allows.

    21 degrees and a clear starry morning.


  2. rokdude5 says:

    Hello everyone…
    To begin with, God’s “upside down Kingdom of Love” is counter-intuitive for me. To me its “right side up”. Granted Im perplex why such a God would even have any thing to with me but thats the glory of His infinite superabundant love.

    When I look at that cross, I see my sins upon that cross compounded by your sins and all the sins of generations before and after us. How can one person can bear such an almost infinite price? But Jesus did! Plus He rose from the dead and thats where I see Jesus’ glory.

  3. cbrown says:

    Good morning all.I read all the comments and am blessed by this blog.Thanks Steve for the insight about St. Patrick.I Googled him as well.

  4. SFDBWV says:

    In the movie “Rudy” Rudy is talking to a Priest about wanting to go to Notre Dame College and his struggles. In conversation with Rudy the Priest says that there are many things he doesn’t know, but one thing he does know, is that there is a God and that he is not Him.

    I am not sure why it is that we think we need to know everything in order to live comfortably and peacefully.

    Maybe it has something to do with that forbidden fruit and it opening up an awareness in us between good and evil.

    Obviously good and evil already existed, Adam and Eve just didn’t know the difference.

    If we are to believe that nothing existed except God in His complicated (to us) form before all of what we know of, and we believe that everything that we know of was created by God, then everything that exists was created by God.

    This includes the evils we perceive and see in life and in what may seem as an indifference from God concerning our suffering life.

    Even if we can only understand that everything God created was intended for a good purpose, the opposite of all those good intentions are evil. One cannot exist without the other being in place.

    The Bible is the only written record of what we can understand to introduce God’s character and nature to us. Aside from that all we may have is the natural world and universe around us to ascertain His character from.

    Make a study of nature or of our universe and it is a very scary place to be in.

    However there is something very different and out of place with what we see around us in the character and person of Jesus of Nazareth.

    The natural world obeyed His commands. The sea would calm, the wind would lay down, sickness and infirmities would instantly be healed and the dead would return to life.

    The same was recorded as being done by God in stories found in the OT, because they are the same “Being”.

    Because they are the same Being we can “rest” assured in the promises and character demonstrated and recorded from Jesus.

    Though there is a “dark” side of existence it is under the control of a Being that is willing to do what it takes to ensure our eternal safety, happiness and wellbeing.

    In that “knowledge” we can trust what we don’t know to a God who does know.

    Well, these are my thoughts and rather than see them as dark thoughts I see them as the bright light of God, like a lone star on a dark night to lead me along an unknown path toward it.

    26 degrees and sunny, calling for 3-5 inches of snow tomorrow night.


  5. poohpity says:

    I think I understand what you are saying Mart to understand the OT in light of Jesus it makes those dark things change like that song “He Is”.

    In Genesis, He’s the breath of life
    In Exodus, the Passover Lamb
    In Leviticus, He’s our High Priest
    Numbers, The fire by night
    Deuteronomy, He’s Moses’ voice

    In Joshua, He is salvation’s choice
    Judges, law giver
    In Ruth, the kinsmen-redeemer
    First and second Samuel, our trusted prophet
    In Kings and Chronicles, He’s sovereign

    Ezra, true and faithful scribe
    Nehemiah, He’s the rebuilder of broken walls and lives
    In Esther, He’s Mordecai’s courage
    In Job, the timeless redeemer
    In Psalms, He is our morning song

    In Proverbs, wisdom’s cry
    Ecclesiastes, the time and season
    In the Song of Solomon, He is the lover’s dream

    He is, He is, HE IS!

    In Isaiah, He’s Prince of Peace
    Jeremiah, the weeping prophet
    In Lamentations, the cry for Israel
    Ezekiel, He’s the call from sin
    In Daniel, the stranger in the fire

    In Hosea, He is forever faithful
    In Joel, He’s the Spirits power
    In Amos, the arms that carry us
    In Obadiah, He’s the Lord our Savior
    In Jonah, He’s the great missionary

    In Micah, the promise of peace
    In Nahum, He is our strength and our shield
    In Habakkuk and Zephaniah, He’s pleading for revival
    In Haggai, He restores a lost heritage
    In Zechariah, our fountain

    In Malachi, He is the son of righteousness rising with healing in His wings

    He is, He is, HE IS!

    In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, He is God, Man, Messiah
    In the book of Acts, He is fire from heaven
    In Romans, He’s the grace of God
    In Corinthians, the power of love
    In Galatians, He is freedom from the curse of sin

    Ephesians, our glorious treasure
    Philippians, the servants heart
    In Colossians, He’s the Godhead Trinity
    Thessalonians, our coming King
    In Timothy, Titus, Philemon He’s our mediator and our faithful Pastor

    In Hebrews, the everlasting covenant
    In James, the one who heals the sick.
    In First and Second Peter, he is our Shepherd
    In John and in Jude, He is the lover coming for His bride
    In the Revelation, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords

    He is, He is, HE IS!

    The prince of peace
    The Son of man
    The Lamb of God
    The great I AM

    He’s the alpha and omega
    Our God and our Savior
    He is Jesus Christ the Lord
    and when time is no more
    He is, HE IS!

  6. poohpity says:

    or Tim Heller “Jesus Is The True and Better”

    “Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us.

    Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for acquittal.

    Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void not knowing wither he went to create a new people of God.

    Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. And when God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love from me,” now we can look at God taking his son up the mountain and sacrificing him and say, “Now we know that you love us because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love from us.”

    Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us.

    Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.

    Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant.

    Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert.

    Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends.

    Jesus is the true and better David whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.

    Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn’t just risk leaving an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people.

    Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in.

    Jesus is the real Rock of Moses, the real Passover Lamb, innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will pass over us. He’s the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the true lamb, the true light, the true bread.

    The Bible’s really not about you—it’s about him.”

  7. poohpity says:

    ooops Tim Keller not Heller.

  8. Mart De Haan says:

    pooh, Yes! :-) and what he did in the hours that followed, in allowing himself to be executed in such a brutal way— to bear the force of our rebellion and wrath shows the true glory and goodness of our God.

  9. joycemb says:

    “…upside down kingdom of love.”

    You got that right Mart. Upside down, inside out, inexplainable, uncomfortable, untenable, disgraceful, frustrating, disturbing, scandalous even. Thank you Jesus!

  10. street says:

    poo….tim heller foregot one..Jesus said,” I Am the true vine.”

  11. street says:

    steve said, “we believe that everything that we know of was created by God, then everything that exists was created by God.

    This includes the evils we perceive and see in life and in what may seem as an indifference from God concerning our suffering life.”

    God and man are moral agents. God created the cosmos and said it was good. God did not create evil He allowed for the possibility of it. He gave man a choice to obey or not to. we understand that disobeying God is evil. the interesting thing is we could have obeyed God and loved Him with out the knowledge of good and evil, but that is not where we find ourselves. we are subjected to a fallen world in hope. a hope in a Savior. God made Him who knew no sin,evil, to become sin for us. this is in keeping with God’s Holiness, Goodness and Justice. Amazing! man failed, God did not, and neither did the God man.

    steve said,”This includes the evils we perceive and see in life and in what may seem as an indifference from God concerning our suffering life.”

    Romans 9:22
    2 Peter 3:9

    these show that His is not indifferent. the difficult part is responding to or speaking about suffering correctly. we do know we can speak incorrectly.

  12. poohpity says:

    street could you have summarized all the Tim Keller did include?

  13. poohpity says:

    street, what did Jesus reveal about God to you?

  14. street says:

    poo said,”street could you have summarized all the Tim Keller did include?”

    I did summarize it all with the quote, ” I Am the true vine.” it was the last of the 7 I Am’s in the Gospel of John. I thought, “I am the resurrection” was the last I am, but it is not. It really peaked my interest.

  15. SFDBWV says:

    In the movie “Moon Struck” near the end, the old man is weeping and his son say’s “What’s wrong Pop?”. The old man answers “I am so confused.”

    I always try to address the subject matter Mart has opened up with. Thinking as I did, I tried.

    Seeing that Mart has indicated the subject isn’t now what I thought it to be, I leave it to others to discuss. As I am confused and see the subject has changed to one we discussed some time ago and one we received as a pamphlet from RBC noting the differences between Jesus and the other characters of the OT.

    Enjoy the day.


  16. jeff1 says:

    The dark thoughts are mine not God’s they are there because of bad choices I made through life because although I believed in God I was not knowledgeable in God’s word. God has never forsaken me I have forsaken him. He is always faithful, I am not always. I run back to him after realising that no one else can fill the void in me. I wonder why I am the way I am and the answer is the same I don’t need to know God loves me I already know that from Christ’s sacrifice and years of teaching, I need to feel God’s love, I need to feel it I am parched from not feeling loved by God.

    Three things will last forever faith, hope and love but the greatest of all is love.

    I have nothing to offer God but myself battered, bruised and broken. Nothing in my hand I bring simply to the cross I cling.

    Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
    In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
    Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
    Almighty, victorious, Thy great Name we praise.

    Unresting, unhasting and silent as light,
    Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;
    Thy justice, like mountains, high soaring above
    Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

    To all life, Thou givest, to both great and small;
    In all life Thou livest, the true life of all;
    We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
    And wither and perish, but not changeth Thee

    Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
    Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;
    But of all Thy rich graces, this grace Lord impart
    Take the veil from our faces, the vile from our heart.

    All laud we would render; O help us to see
    ‘Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee,
    And so let Thy glory, Almighty, impart,
    Through Christ in His story, Thy Christ to the heart.

  17. SFDBWV says:

    Vivian you are not alone in feeling the absence of God’s love. It is a pain my son Matthew suffers every day all day long and no matter how much I may try to love and encourage him, it will never replace the feeling he has that God has abandoned him.

    I know God hasn’t and I know the blessings Matt has, but until he can see them they are his dark thoughts as well.

    I do what I can, and pray every morning and all throughout the day for him, he doesn’t realize it but he keeps me centered on Christ and blesses me all the day long for it.

    There is a brighter day coming for you both and though it is me that walks with Matt I hope there is someone there in your life to help share your load as well. Though we all have Jesus with us we don’t always feel his presence, you are not alone.


  18. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart… as I look at your picture for this topic I am reminded always about one’s perspective, and from that perspective, I can see that those who are in the dark may see the light as distant, and need only to walk in the right direction to be bathed in that light.
    But, how they become awakened to the principle of obedient walking unless someone who knows better teaches them?
    The dark world and the world system does not preach that message to them.
    Spiritually speaking,

  19. joycemb says:

    Vivien I have felt the same way at times. Even in Mother Teresa’s memoir she noted she had not felt Gods presence for some 20 years if I remember correctly. Yet she kept on working for God. I myself wear a cross that I go to when feeling insecure or unsure about something as a quick reminder of Who I work for and that He has all the answers; even though I don’t always understand.

    Thinking about Marts big question I believe that even though there will always be troubles between people for various reasons we all share the commonality of knowing Christ and trusting Him to be the way, truth, and the life. And if any is an impostor well we know we can trust God to work that out. In His time. In the mean time I can rest in His love gazing at the cross. John 3:16

  20. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Steve for your understanding I find myself very alone at times, since my father passed on as it was my father who understood me and made me feel so very loved. I can assure you that Matthew will feel about you as I did about my Dad though he may never say it as I never told my father. My father had a hard shell but a soft centre. I am more like my mother who had a soft shell but a hard centre, I am a tough nut to crack as we Irish would say.

    Gary you said the dark world and the world system does not preach that message to them. I was never taught that God wanted to have a relationship with me but that is the truth of the Gospel. I was taught Christ died for my sins and I was to keep his commandments. Since I failed miserably, I feel miserable but God never asked that I keep his commands that has been taught to me since I was a child and it is what I know. The Irishman from the famine said how do I know I am poor unless someone tells me I am poor.

  21. poohpity says:

    Mart with your statement, “These are some of the reasons it’s important to read the Bible backward and forward to Jesus; to the people he loved; to the Book-reading leaders he challenged; to the words he spoke; and to the prayers he breathed—before the death he died.” but what happens or how does one understand your statement if the part of “read the Bible” is left out? How does one know that the Book-reading leaders he challenged were the Pharisees, Sadducees and religious zealots or who were the people Jesus loved, what were the Words he spoke and what were the prayers he breathed-before the death he died? Does that statement cause enough curiosity for one to seek for themselves to find out?

    Can one be so trapped in darkness they are afraid of having the light shined in their hearts to fully understand-“the force of our rebellion and wrath shows the true glory and goodness of our God.” It would seem to truly recognize the grace we live under we have to understand the backward part is first, Jesus died while we were still heaped in our sins and offered us a pardon that is it what caused me to come to Him but what if we had felt we were not that sinful to begin with would any of the backward part be known or to think that we can can be obedient enough for God to say this is my child in whom I am well pleased.

    Jesus challenged the Book-reading leaders with their shows of religion but were acted out with an empty heart. See Luke 11 and Matt 23

  22. joycemb says:

    Vivien my apologies to you as using a Catholic nun as an example may have rubbed you the wrong way. But reading My Utmost March 19 he uses Abraham. “Abraham is not a type or an example of the holiness of sanctification, but a type of the life of faith–a faith, tested and true, built on the true God. “Abraham believed God….” Romans 4:3
    Your faith along with Matts faith encouraged by Steve are being tested, which is quite normal, but always has its reward when “built on the true God.”

  23. street says:

    But, how they become awakened to the principle of obedient walking unless someone who knows better teaches them?
    The dark world and the world system does not preach that message to them.
    Spiritually speaking,

    gary even if they are taught they still test. i was and i did. God in His infinite mercy did not kill me when i tested Him. His Grace and Mercy are lavished on me. at this stage of life i am more afraid of sin than ever before. i understand where sin increased grace increased. i also understand sin has separation from God and all goodness with it. it’s this separation that i fear. job felt this separation from God and was righteous. our feelings are not to be trusted even when things are going well. trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding. in all your ways acknowledge Him. He will make your paths straight. straight in that you will pass through good and bad times. He is faithful at all times, even when i pass through the valley. do not anxiously look about comes to mind. trying faith bounds two together. this was abraham’s experience too. gary it’s starts out small and grows bigger than any plant in the garden.

  24. street says:

    poo asked,”street, what did Jesus reveal about God to you?

    He revealed the Father.

    i avoided this question at first, i stewed and simmered on it for awhile. i wish i could have answered more quickly, but God’s ways are not my ways and i am glad for that!

  25. street says:

    jeff said,”The dark thoughts are mine not God’s they are there because of bad choices I made through life because although I believed in God I was not knowledgeable in God’s word.”

    if i remember correctly i was conceived in sin. i was born into a world of darkness and death. But God in His infinite mercy called me out of darkness into light and life. abundant life in Christ Jesus. it came to me in a flash of light by the Fathers own choosing, through a crucified and risen Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Spirit and Truth illuminate all your days.

  26. oneg2dblu says:

    street… yes, even faith as small as a mustard seed, can grow the largest of plants in the garden. The more it is tested, the bigger and stronger it grows.

  27. joycemb says:

    Amen! Gary

  28. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, I am not sure why you think using Mother Teresa’s as an example should rub me the wrong way. Quite the opposite as I would have seen her as a woman of great faith and it helps to know that even someone of great faith had times of despair. My despair is not for myself but for my children. My son said to me this morning that he looks to Science, he wants facts he says and I can believe what I want but do not ask him to. I feel I am on a roller coaster ride, some days I have no doubts that God will take care of my children and other days I totally despair and make myself sick worrying. I must learn to trust God with all my concerns for he loves them as he loves me and you. How can I be so sure of this one minute and have such fears the next minute.

    I’m only human, I’m just a woman
    Help me believe in what I could be
    And all that I am
    Show me the stairway that I have to climb
    Lord for my sake, help me to take
    One day at a time

    One day at a time sweet Jesus
    That’s all I’m askin’ of you
    Just give me the strength
    To do every day what I have to do
    Yesterday gone sweet Jesus
    And tomorrow may never be mine
    Lord, help me today, show me the way
    One day at a time

    Do you remember when you walked among men
    Well Jesus you know
    If your lookin’ below, its worse now than then
    Pushin’ and shovin’ and crowdin’ my mind
    So for my sake, teach me to take
    One day at a time

    One day at a time sweet Jesus
    That’s all I’m askin’of you
    Just give me the strength
    To do every day what I have to do
    Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus
    And tomorrow may never be mine
    Lord help me today, show me the way
    One day at a time

  29. joycemb says:

    Street I so appreciate you and your passion for God and your transparency in your spiritual life. After reading your response to Gary I have been thinking about what you said about sin/ separation from God. My understanding as I read scripture is that of 1. Original sin which all are born with 2. sins committed after acknowledgement of Christ as redeemer, the new birth Jesus talked about. I am wondering if the sins you are afraid of may keep you from salvation?

    On a personal note I have noticed since getting to be a senior citizen the occasional thoughts of sins I thought were long since dealt with coming up. At first I was shocked but found Gods grace enough; to my great relief! I have to say though that in all honesty I am fearful of getting Alzheimer’s and only having memories of my early years to share with the nurses/ my children. Wow are they all going to be shocked! Trusting in the grace of God to be sufficient when I lose all self-control.

    What was the topic? Oops! My apologies.

  30. joycemb says:

    Vivien I guess I thought because of your upbringing in Ireland with the religious wars between Protestants and Catholics you may be offended. I am probably misunderstanding you. I too used to fear for my kids and one won’t even allow the word Jesus spoken and has taught my grandchildren to hate the name. But I know God is much smarter than I or my son and has ways we can’t even imagine to save anyone. Will pray for your family.

  31. street says:

    gary said,”I can see that those who are in the dark may see the light as distant, and need only to walk in the right direction to be bathed in that light.”

    the fact they can see the Spiritual light is a great hope for the future for them. prayer on our part is the best thing we could do. that walk to the light is begun by a step of faith continued with another. reminds me of foot soldiers, horses, and eagles. God’s ways are inscrutable and marvelous! Jesus marveled at God hiding things from the wise and revealing them to children. the future is bright indeed!

  32. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… we know what Jesus said about worrying, it is truly a waste of time and energy, solves nothing, and 90% of what we worry about never actually happens anyhow.
    But, having said that, we are all human and worry is one of our emotional enemies that is fear based and without any real Spirit led reality. My case in point, during the storm in the boat, while Jesus was sleeping, the disciples were busy worrying that He did not care if they died…
    I see it as a test of our faith, something to be put in its proper place, His Arms, and for us, through our faith in Him, to overcome.
    We are not to be troubled with the things of this world, so we can give them trustingly over to Him, and by faith we know He knows our heart, He hears our prayers, and keeps our best interest in mind.
    The more we practice this principle, the better off we are, and the more trusting in Him we become.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  33. oneg2dblu says:

    to overcome even the world…

  34. oneg2dblu says:

    Matthew 8:26

  35. joycemb says:

    So true Gary!

  36. joycemb says:

    Gary I used to feel condemned when someone would use scripture to correct my bad thinking, but then one day I recognized that if my thoughts/actions were that unusual I would be the only one dealing with them. The epiphany I had was in realizing that I am not the only one with issues, that the Bible speaks to these problems because they are common to all of us!(And have been for 2000+ years.) Yay! I’m normal in that I struggle (get something figured out one day, the next day something else will crop up)because I am human. Human! We all fail, worry, fear, etc, but knowing Jesus makes the difference in how long we continue with our failings, worry, or fear. Yes, the more we practice/put into use what we have learned, the better off we are and able to learn to trust Him more! Blessings and have a great evening! Joyce

  37. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… now that you have brought this subject of guarding one’s salvation through the fearing of one’s sins,
    I believe that unbelief and disobedience, are the two major things that keep mankind from finding any salvation.

    I having tasted the glorious goodness of knowing Christ as my Personal Savoir, and in the diligent keeping with the means of Grace, stepping if you will in the already well placed footprints of the, “Only One,” I choose to follow down that Narrow Way, of obedience and belief, where sin is by choice also to be avoided.

    However, to me, Disobedience and Unbelief are in direct opposition and are strangers to that path, the already tread path to our salvation.

    I do not want to overshadow the Grace of God, the value of Faith, the way of the Cross, the Word of God, or the Presence of the Holy Spirit, or ignore any other means contained in the bible story that leads to
    For it is truth, it is History, and His Story, wrapped in the greatest love letter ever written.
    Now, if none of those things I mentioned seem relevant to one’s salvation journey, then, I might as well not worry about my salvation either, or my sin or any other separation caused by my sin, or anything else that is in the world that presents itself to constantly tempt us away from that path, deceptively designed that way for a reason.
    To bring us right back into, Disobedience and Unbelief.

    The two greatest downfalls of mankind and the Divine Plan, are based in following the two evils, of disobedience and unbelief.
    Sin always separates….

  38. oneg2dblu says:

    1 Corinthians 10:13 has victory written all over it.
    Sleep well, Gary

  39. street says:

    dear joycemb, thinking about it. fear of sin i guess is unfounded. walking in the light is something to work on. i know it is not easy. so many bad habits and customs to overcome. 1 John is the book to go to on all this for me. it reminds me where i need to be and what to do. the thing about sin that bothers me is it can be so stealthy. any foothold can make for really bad time. if i suffer i want to suffer for doing good not evil. paul is right in that it easily entangles. all my friends here keep barking at one another prayerfully, our adversary is not idle. paul’s warning to keep yourselves from idols is so appropriate.

  40. joycemb says:

    Street I John was what I had in mind also. No our adversary is never idle.

    Gary I agree with everything you said. For without faith it is impossible to please God. Can’t recall where that is now, but I do not believe in a universal salvation for all, not with all the warnings and stories of those who have fallen. Judas comes to mind easily.

  41. joycemb says:

    Street sometimes being silent in the face of evil is suffering for doing good while trusting that God will take care of all evil doers.

  42. joycemb says:

    Our friend foreverblessed mentioned this a couple days ago.

  43. lovely says:

    Dear All
    A lot has happened since my absent. I like this subject that talks about really who is this God we read about? I’ve read somewhere that we can read a lot about God but not really know Him. That’s been the greatest need for all mankind that ‘s to know Him. We’re created for Him. Salvation is the entire plan that brings man back to God. Through that relationship with, sickness , emotions, relationships in life are healed. We won’t see the reality of that if we don’t do the word. Recently i just got someone into the Kingdom.. saved.. All this while.. i’ve just been reading about salvation.. but its not until i get someone save did i realize the freedom someone has when she comes into the kingdom. Its as though she was dead.. and something inside her come alive.. the new creation in her.. So in conclusion.. us just reading is not enough.. we need to do the word.. have a relationship.. with the living GOd.. let His reality reign in our lives.

  44. SFDBWV says:

    Reading along I see that “Dark Thoughts” has brought up dark thoughts.

    Reading in reverse I see that lovely seen the subject as I did, wondering who this God we read about is and the stark differences given in Scripture concerning His actions.

    Wondering if these actions define His character. And equally wondering if His character needs approval from us.

    Naturally, the subject opens up the opportunity to share our inner most fears concerning our faith, and should.

    Everyone has questions about what is going on in their life, and wondering if what they may be doing right or wrong in the view of God is immediately being rewarded or punished from Him.

    Anyone who loves another is always going to worry about that person’s wellbeing, and a loving parent never truly rests from that concern. Never!

    I have always said here that “self” is the base of all sin. There are some parents who really only procreate and neither have nor ever show any attachment or love to their offspring. The complete opposite of what most of us would consider right and proper conduct.

    God created Adam, but Adam wasn’t happy because he wasn’t complete, so out of Adam God created Eve. Physically the same, yet opposite, but from the same being and together they form one complete being.

    Is God showing us something here in this story of creation about His character?

    “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not parish, but have everlasting life.” The very words of Jesus, the Son, in explaining how much the Father loves His creation. John 3:16

    Do we really need to know any more about this God we call God?

    Snow rain mix at 33 degrees, the fellow that delivers the paper said just a few miles from here is all snow and because it is so wet it is very slippery driving.


  45. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… I do not see written in the word that Adam who walked and talked freely with the Lord daily in the Garden, means that he was also unhappy.

    But, it was God who said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

    Which of course in today’s sin-filled world, that premise is challenged on many, many, levels, so that sinful man can promote his own sense of esteem, and even worship “another means” for resolving man’s unhappiness with God’s original plan.

    Happiness or unhappiness, was not the reason, or the solution that God saw and resolved in the Garden, by making a women.

    But,”Don’t Worry, Be Happy!”

    Funny how living in sin makes so many happy today.

    Need I remain silent just for keeping the peace found in the sinful desires of man, or should I stand up for God’s original plan, to multiply and fill the earth?

    I guess that would take using some Godly Discernment.

    “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”
    Charles Spurgeon

    I’m happy with that…

  46. oneg2dblu says:

    “The frustration of the Divine Plan is man’s tragedy.”

    Quoted from the Two Listeners, God at Eventide,
    Feb. 20, from a topic called, the Secret of Joy.

    Thanks to foreverblessed for leading me there and feeding me through a couple of God’s Discerning Listeners.

  47. jeff1 says:

    Joyce I am honest that it is a battle for me not to take sides on religion here in (there is no offence in you calling it Ireland most people do) Northern Ireland but I do not believe that is what God wants me to do. My father was a much more insightful man than I am and he always said that Protestants should have power shared with Catholics back in 1969 before the troubles broke out. I was young and easily led then and did not take the path of my father. Today I can see that everything my father said came true, he was so much wiser so I am now more aware of my shortcomings and realize that no side is all right and no side is all wrong. The problem here is that in some ways the troubles have hardened attitudes for many and we are so far down the rabbit hole no one knows how to get out. The younger generation have a much better view and have not lived through the troubles and are our hope for the future. Thank you for all your encouraging
    words. This blog has become a great support for me. It is not what I want to see other people with difficulties but here we can share and because we don’t know each other personally it is easier, for I find that knowing people they are quicker to judge me.

    Steve you ask “Do we really need to know any more about this God we call God?

    Does God really want us to know any more or is it more important that we remain faithful until the time of fulfilment of his plan. God never points to himself he always points to Christ as the way, the truth and the life.
    God chose us, a Royal Priesthood, set apart. The Bible reflects the people of the time but our lives could also reflect the characters in the Bible in our time. I see the Bible as our stories but in Jesus’s time.

    God is always ahead of us but only he knows the time of fulfilment, whether God’s character is of importance to us is our problem. God asks us to trust him, whatever, like Job did. What different are we to non believers if we make the rules. Whatever we think of God’s character does not change God’s character, it is our perception of God that changes.

    In all honesty I do not know why a good God allows suffering but if it is suffering for the Kingdom’s sake then I am willing but if I am suffering and do not understand why then I wonder if my faith is failing. I do not doubt God but I do doubt my own faith sometimes.

    My grandmother used to be a faith healer(very much part of our culture back then and probably still today) and she told me that it was her faith and the faith of the person she was healing that made the healing complete. If either of them had doubts then the person would not be healed.

    I have often thought of her words it was a two way faith.
    Jesus said to Thomas because you have seen me, you have believed, blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

  48. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce.. My Sister in Christ, we share a kindred spirit, and our evaluation of the warnings, because they are written in God’s Word for a purpose, which means we will certainly not ignore them, as we give them much Godly Discernment.
    Be Blessed,

  49. foreverblessed says:

    Dark thoughts, darkness,
    this morning we had a sun eclips here in Europe, 85% dark. But it was misty, no sun to be seen, only darkness fell, like as before a great thunderstorm.
    In 2017 in the summer there will be a good sun eclipse in the US. Maybe many Europeans will have a holiday to see it. In 1999 in august there was a total eclipse in Europe, we traveled to Germany to see it, during our summer holiday. It was all cloudy, but I kept sitting on the field, while many left, there was a guy who shouted, be patient, so we stayed and watched, and lo an behold, just before the total eclipse the clouds disappeared, and we could see it? Amazing, so dark, not total dark, but the darkness comes as a rushing wind over you. Very fast.
    But the darkness is not as in the night, as the sun has a corona, that shines through.
    That was just before the 2ooo, as many christians thought, that would be a year of change, 6ooo years since Adam, maybe the 6 weeks for mankind, and the 7th for God?
    Now it is 2015, and I try to live a day each, as Maarten Luther said: If I knew that Jesus would come tomorrow I would plant an apple tree today!

    I was thinking, what does this teach me about the subject, that darkness as described in the bible, is not total darkness, as it is written about God’s wrath, it is not as we interpret it, but a little different?
    As God is love, 1 Cor 13:1-8

  50. foreverblessed says:

    As God is love 1 John 4:8
    how is that about God’s wrath, that made me think since this topic is on.
    Many non christians do not like the idea that God’s need the sacrifice of His Son in order to forgive us. Many liberal christians think the same. Why does a loving God need a sacrifice?
    That made me think.
    The twolisteners God at eventide March 18,
    “I bind up the broken hearts with the cords wherewith men scourged Me in the Judgment Hall, with the whips of scorn wherewith men have mocked My Love and Divinity down the ages.”

    I came to think, it is not that God wants that sacrifice, it is because our sinful state needs it.
    The Spirit that was in Jesus had to be scourged, and then given out to us (He gave the Spirit John 19:30), to heal us, spiritually and physically.

  51. SFDBWV says:

    So then Gary is your challenge to my comment that Adam was unhappy and perfectly content alone in all the world with just the animals, is to be seen that God’s perception, that it was not good for him to be alone was an error of God’s thinking?

    Do you think God thought He had to fix something that wasn’t in need of fixing?

    How many people are unhappy with life, but really don’t know why? They try every conceivable addition to their lives including marriage (without love) only to continue unsatisfied. Not realizing it is Jesus and the Holy Spirit that is what is missing and not realizing it until they are reconnected and once again complete.

    You see Gary this sort of nit picking is what causes a non-believer to walk away from listening to anything a so called Christian has to say.

    I think I will just return to my earlier urging and leave “dark thoughts’ alone.


  52. poohpity says:

    street, I so agree Jesus came to reveal the Father well maybe to reveal the heart of the Father. In Genesis we start out seeing that heart but then we go to the displays of demands of the highest moral standards and infinite power which may seem dark, ominous and frankly terrifying but there is always a BUT THEN.

    God gave all these rules knowing that we will be rebellious but then provided the sacrificial system needed to appease that holy anger so He is still just but then comes grace. Laying down that omnipotence for a time to touch the broken, sick, needy, sinful, diseased, rebellious with the real heart of the Father for mankind. To not only get to know about God but getting to know Him personally through Jesus.

    We get to know personally the One who can at a blink of an eye or a word spoken completely wipe everything that is to be, to is not any longer. The One who created order out of chaos and breathed the very life into everything we see around us, to laying that down to walk among us to show the great love God has for mankind.

  53. poohpity says:

    With Jesus in mind the BUT THEN we can read the OT and see the many, many BUT THEN’s throughout the history recorded of God’s interaction with His creation.

  54. poohpity says:

    That terrifying God who could call down destruction BUT THEN in the person of Jesus Christ allowed puny mankind to ridicule Him, spit on Him and hang Him on a Cross. Then the words of Jesus “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” take on a whole new meaning.

  55. foreverblessed says:

    “That terrifying God who could call down destruction BUT THEN”
    is that really so?
    It does say so in the bible, BUT, consider the following episode in Ex 32:9 God told Moses that He would destroy Israel in the wilderness. And then Moses starts to plead for the nation, and then God reconsiders what He was about to do.
    -Was Moses more merciful then God was???
    -Or does this show that when God talks about His wrath He is more or less testing us? Do we agree, or do we start to plead, just as Moses did?

  56. joycemb says:

    Imago Deo=puny? God never called mankind puny, only beloved, made in His image. But I know we can sometimes feel that way in the shadow of God’s greatness.

  57. poohpity says:

    forever, The God who “could” actually did in the flood of the OT that is what He “could” do now but seems slow to anger but that does not take away the fact that He has power to do so.

    Joyce did I say God said we are puny or was I understanding how small we really are in the grand scheme of things and in the estimate of the glory of His awesome power?

    I think because we live in the time of Grace and have not seen the great displays of God’s glory we forget that God is very, very capable of crushing us and this earth which in the book of Revelation He does and starts all over again with a new heaven and new earth.

  58. poohpity says:

    I can only speak for myself but there are times when I do not understand the very essence of power that God really has because my mind is finite and because God does not act now as He did in the OT I do not really have a clue except what for what I read. I experience His grace everyday but His Glory (awesome power) I do not know if I would react any different than the Israelis acted at the foot of Mount Sinai when they experienced the foreboding power and that seemed to not even be but only a glimpse.

  59. poohpity says:

    Understanding that Moses was the mediator(go between) between God and man shows how Jesus was the true and better mediator like Keller was saying.

  60. poohpity says:

    When Jesus was in the garden and said “I Am” who you seek six hundred soldiers feel backwards. Now that is power and then to say to Pilate that you have no power over me but what is given to you and that he “could” call legions of angels to come at His beckoned call but then did not shows one that His power was restrained.

  61. poohpity says:

    I can only imagine and even in that not really even have a clue of His great awesome power.

  62. joycemb says:

    Amen! Pooh

  63. poohpity says:

    lovely, I am sharing in your excitement of leading someone to salvation. It is almost indescribable isn’t it? I hope this opens the door for many more.

  64. street says:

    the gracious Gardener.
    it is easier to understand God when you understand the age in which we find ourselves. Jesus spoke much on this to keep falsehood at bay. just as Jesus did works that no man had done before Him so to when the harvest comes we will see all the things he spoke about fulfilled. now the harvest is plentiful, each bearing fruit in it’s season. when the angels come to finish the harvest they will gather it into God’s barns and gather up the tares to be burned. seek you His Kingdom first and all these things will be added unto you. later on i believe the prayer changes to, “36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He *said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

  65. joycemb says:

    Good evening all,

    I just read Our Daily Journey and am so encouraged by the scripture posted at the end. It really helps regain focus after a busy day of being with lots of different people/problems not to mention my own worries/fears.

    Col.3:1-4 NLT

    I need to be refocused every day on what God says will keep me safe from all those worries/fears.

  66. street says:

    poo said,”We get to know personally the One who can at a blink of an eye or a word spoken completely wipe everything that is to be, to is not any longer.

    i do not know a God like that. i do know God speaks of a place called hell that many believe is not true or people will not go their. if this is true why would God even bring it up? the story of lazarus and the rich man is a story of hope for those with little hope. it teaches us not to despair and God has things under control. i know it is hard to wait but there is so much more going on than we are privy to. job even said he was ready to go back to sack cloth and ashes, the place he started from, after his encounter with God. what a marvelous and generous God He is! i am beginning to believe God sends His very best to His Children. do not have to worry about being sapped by Him.

  67. oneg2dblu says:

    How blessed we believers are that we have a place to take all their troubles, and the longer one waits, carrying their own stuff, the less blessing they receive.

    Free counseling, free “one on one{” with the Great Physician, and who else in this world ever gets that type of service 24-7?

    We need only to Ask and Receive, for He is always waiting and willing.
    Be Blessed,

  68. oneg2dblu says:

    all our troubles, not all their troubles, as I just changed the tense but not all the words, Oops!

  69. oneg2dblu says:

    I sincerely believe that non Christians are not going to walk away from here, because “nit picking” Gary said, I do not see written in the word that Adam was unhappy in the Garden.

    I do not believe that the first and only man who walks and talks with God daily would find he was both alone and unhappy.

    But, I’ll take correction for my challenging flighty premise, only if the word written actually says, Adam was unhappy.

    Here’s a word for all the God seeking Adam’s of our day…

    “I will never leave you, or forsake you.” Jesus Christ

    Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

  70. poohpity says:

    street, you do not believe God is all powerful? wow really!!

  71. poohpity says:

    I guess when it comes down to it not many do!

  72. lovely says:

    Amen brothers and sisters
    Just a thought poophpity, the God of Moses at that time… He is in us!Therefore we’re encourage to pray continuously we can intercede for others & intercede for our nations
    1 Thessalonians 5:17.I think, Moses would have wish he has what we have in us, We don’t need a animal sacrifice to come to God. We need really to realize the power that is in us.Whatever was lost in the Garden of Eden was won back on the cross. We need a daily revelation to really grasp, the victory Christ has won for us so we don’t live in defeat. I know my God who really wants to talk to me daily just that i need to spend time to listen.Because God loves us He doesn’t force us to do His will. He only guides us.Psalms 32:8. So when things mess up , we can’t say He allow suffering.A lot of times i mess up only because i didn’t do Proverbs 3:5-6.(acknowledge Him)Romans 8:27 Old testament people at that time who prophesied the coming of the Messiah can never phantom .. how He would come and what was going to happen on the entire salvation plan . So we now in this grace age we’re in we can never really know what’s to come in the coming millennium age Ephesians 3:20 …

  73. lovely says:

    Unlike other believes, our God is not a force, or energy.. But He is the living God that wants to talk to us , He gave His life to have that with us. At this time, I see the need to pray especially at what is happening in our current world.

  74. lovely says:

    In spite of Persecution I see His hands of protection for His people, but in many places, our brothers and sisters are paying the prize for their believes. it is in my hearts desire to reap the harvest. But living in the land of our cousin, We need to use wisdom to preach to them, as you’ll know, one wrong word can really cause lives..

  75. lovely says:

    sorry cost a life

  76. poohpity says:

    I may not understand fully the reason although I have a little understanding that God allows suffering but so far He has not stopped it from happening until the new heaven and earth come. God allowed it in the OT, in the NT and in today’s times but I understand His promise that He will be faithful to help us through it and to turn it around for good, to help others when they go through it in the same manner we received help from God.

  77. poohpity says:

    I know as a parent I tried my best to teach my children what to avoid so they will not suffer and so they will not cause suffering to others but they made choices to find out on their own and just as you said Lovely they would not listen just like how we are with God.

  78. poohpity says:

    Nahum 1:2-9 NLT

    The Lord is a jealous God,
    filled with vengeance and rage.
    He takes revenge on all who oppose him
    and continues to rage against his enemies!
    3 The Lord is slow to get angry, but his power is great,
    and he never lets the guilty go unpunished.
    He displays his power in the whirlwind and the storm.
    The billowing clouds are the dust beneath his feet.
    4 At his command the oceans dry up,
    and the rivers disappear.
    The lush pastures of Bashan and Carmel fade,
    and the green forests of Lebanon wither.
    5 In his presence the mountains quake,
    and the hills melt away;
    the earth trembles,
    and its people are destroyed.
    6 Who can stand before his fierce anger?
    Who can survive his burning fury?
    His rage blazes forth like fire,
    and the mountains crumble to dust in his presence.

    7 The Lord is good,
    a strong refuge when trouble comes.
    He is close to those who trust in him.
    8 But he will sweep away his enemies[a]
    in an overwhelming flood.
    He will pursue his foes
    into the darkness of night.

    9 Why are you scheming against the Lord?
    He will destroy you with one blow;
    he won’t need to strike twice!

  79. poohpity says:

    BUT THEN there is His totally amazing grace.

  80. poohpity says:

    Day of Discovery the link is at the bottom of this page under radio & TV is about the 6 Miracles of Calvary. I thought you may enjoy it.

  81. joycemb says:

    Lovely so nice to read your posts again. Hope all is well with you!

  82. joycemb says:

    Lovely I just found out that my niece who is in the navy was in charge of the search by the US of the missing Malaysia airplane. So sad they haven’t found it.

  83. street says:

    poo said,”I can only speak for myself but there are times when I do not understand the very essence of power that God really has because my mind is finite and because God does not act now as He did in the OT I do not really have a clue except what for what I read.”

    this thread has come up before. God is all powerful. ok…does that mean He can sin to or commit barber-us acts of injustice? i don’t think so. this does not keep with the character of His Person. the pharisees ascribed His works to the devil the outcome was not good. Jesus said i am the way. my bother-in-law explained the the way as narrow in that it presses on us from all sides. i take this to mean God, Holy and Just/ Loving and Gracious. they are in tension in our minds, but not in God. both are true. to approach God without this tension would lead to disaster. Jesus came to bring Peace in this tension. Peace like a river, you might say. God is our Judge of Justice and our Kinsman Redeemer. truman had sign on His desk that read, “the buck stop here” God said I am the One who injures and heals, I Am the One who kills and brings to life, there is no other. keep these two truths in peace when you approach His Word and when you seek Him. job had no knowledge of a kinsman redeemer, but his suffering and limited knowledge lead him to One by faith. truly an amassing man. yes God can do anything. it is not difficult for Him. i would have to say He does all things in keeping with His Character, Holy, Exalted, and Just. when we get to His love it really gets interesting!

  84. street says:

    What did he mean when he prayed in the late hours before his arrest, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you?” (John 17:1)

    i think one of the things he is asking for is to strengthen Him to do the work He was sent to do. in doing so the Father is Glorified as well as the Son. in gethsemane we see just how difficult this work is spiritually and emotionally . the cross brings it physically. being human has sever short comings, but in Christ these become the Glory of God and man.

  85. joycemb says:

    Some Saturday afternoon musings….
    I like to use the word frail in describing humans. Jesus on the cross was frail but was gloriously transformed through obedience. The disciples got a glimpse of this in the transformation that occurred prior to the cross but did not understand. Understanding the completeness of Christ’s death on the cross gives new meaning to suffering for good, and not evil. We don’t suffer for salvation, as that was done. We suffer being frail and reliant on a God who in the end will explain all things I believe.

  86. saled says:

    Mart says, “What did he mean when he prayed in the late hours before his arrest, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you?” (John 17:1)

    Was Jesus about to reveal enough about the goodness and glory of his Father… in what he was about to suffer… and for the reasons he was going to willingly die… to turn our worst fears and dark thoughts about God— into a hint and promise of everlasting wonder?”

    “A hint and promise of everlasting wonder.” I love that phrase. And I think that is what we have, a hint and promise.

    I don’t think that it is often the dark thoughts about God that hold us back. For myself, it has been not hoping enough in those hints and promises. Maybe I have lived faithlessly. I am just beginning to realize that faith is more than trusting in God for eternal life. I guess that I lacked faith in the everlasting wonder.

    C.S.Lewis gives us hints of some of this everlasting wonder in his Chronicles of Narnia. In The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, spring returns along with Aslan.
    Those of you who know the story know that Aslan is a symbol for Jesus. At the end of this present long, record cold winter, this symbolism holds special meaning for me. It is not just survival that we hope for, but the thriving of all we love.

    foreverblessed, I love the Martin Luther quote about if he knew that Jesus would return tomorrow, he would plant an apple tree today. It’s here today that we plant that tree in hope and, in Mart’s words, “. . . take another step together into his upside down kingdom of love.”

  87. poohpity says:

    street, you seem to agree that God is both just and merciful?

  88. street says:

    johnny apple seed must have been a very happy guy!

    poo there is no seem on my part. He is free to do either one. it is His call. the question becomes what is holding me back from mercy? when i get dizzy with all this theology i go to Romans, sometimes it makes it worse like a squirrel holding onto a bird feeder that spins to keep them away from the bird food. God is not like the bird feeder for squirrels. i have to admit sometimes i act like a squirrel. i try to take something that is freely given, like i earned it or something to boast in. a sure recipe for idol making. be persistent like a squirrel. the seed is really Good!

  89. jeff1 says:

    Where did my dark thoughts come from! From the day I was old enough to understand I knew I was a sinner, how, from my parents and church. What was I told, I could never please God, but Christ died for my sins so I should keep his commands. What did I do, I tried to keep the 10 commandments. What do you think happened, I failed. I got very depressed and despaired, God spoke to my heart and reminded me that I was his despite my failure. Who made contact with me, God did. Who told me he loved me God did, was I ever told by any member of the Church or any other human being that God would like to have a relationship with me, No, God did.

    What does that tell me that God will make contact with his children one way or another and in his good time. And I am convinced that NOTHING CAN EVER SEPARATE US FROM GOD’S LOVE.
    Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow…not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

    What keeps non believers to day from believing is that false teaching is still very widespread. God is drawing people to himself for man has failed to do it. God’s way will always be better than man’s way for we may not see it but we all have ulterior motives. For it is in God we can only trust.

    I go to church on a Sunday
    The vows that I make, I break them on Monday
    The rest of the week, I do as I please
    Then come Sunday morning, I pray on my knees

    Dear God, I know I am not worthy
    But I need you so please won’t you hurry
    And help me turn back from the path I have trod
    You’ll never be sorry, Dear God

    Each day we read in the paper
    Of the carryin’s on of some of our neighbours
    We’re sinnin’ and lyin’and forgetting the faith
    Then we have the nerve to ask is it too late

    Dear God, I know I am not worthy
    But I need you so please won’t you hurry
    And help me turn back from the path I have trod
    You’ll never be sorry, Dear God

    I have done nothing, it is all God’s work in me. We come into this world with nothing and we go out of it with nothing but God has used us to advance the Kingdom in ways that we do not understand nor do we need to for he is in charge of heaven and earth and hell, and since he saved us before we were even born, from ourselves, if we are honest enough to admit it, he can do with us what is required for we are not our own we are his. Thank the Lord, I am his. We walk by faith means just that trusting God what ever the battle the victory is ours.

  90. street says:

    warning walking by faith can lead to extravagant acts of love and forgiveness.

  91. poohpity says:

    Good question street what is holding you back from mercy? Maybe being critical? Finding fault? God will let you know if only you ask?

  92. saled says:

    One of the concerns that I had about the God of the Old Testament was how he treated lepers, sending them outside the camp. Yes, I could see that it was for protection of the tribe, but He was God, couldn’t He have done something different? It was a Been Thinking subject a year or two back about how questions like these get resolved in the New Testament that helped me find an answer. The God of the Old Testament sent lepers out of the camp; the Man-God of the New reaches out and touches them, healing them in the process. Jesus gives us such a different view of God. And what is the purpose of all these events in time? How can we say that God has not changed? How can we say that he is the same yesterday and today?

  93. oneg2dblu says:

    street…. when you are being tested by Satan, or others in this world with their constant dark thoughts, victory comes by knowing the word, speaking the word, and obeying the word.
    So, as I see it, you already have victory over these things, unless you allow yourself to get caught up in others dark thoughts instead.
    Keep up the good work, for the good it does for us all.
    Thank you for your contributions here.

  94. joycemb says:

    2 Cor. 1:20-22 also comes to mind. Soldier on!

  95. joycemb says:

    Saled the way I understand the laws/rules of the OT is they were laid down for protection and safety. Lepers were placed in a ‘safe’ place, away from scorn and ridicule of those considered ‘clean’. Dietary laws were to protect, for example pork carried trichinosis, a deadly parasite. We even heard about this up into the 80’s about being sure to cook it hot enough to kill them. If you start looking at the laws in God’s light of being placed there for good, they seem a lot different. It took me a long time to figure this out myself, but a wonderful professor introduced me to this concept. I wish it were taught more in churches.

  96. joycemb says:

    Speaking of cross culture, which is so important in understanding Jewish dietary laws/customs–I read a very good article in Christianity Today magazine online about guilt and shame and how they are taught/understood culturally and interpreted Biblically if anyone is interested.

  97. oneg2dblu says:

    joycemb… yes the law/rules were all for our good, and always have been and always will be, and when adhered to, or obeyed, they will prosper their good value and bring with them, God’s Will and Wisdom, wisdom beyond our understanding.

    Also, It is written, they are not burdensome for Christ Followers, or those who will listen to the Holy Spirit within them, and obey that Spirit.
    So, every Believer has God’s Divine Helper to help them make the law understood and surmountable, as we need only to listen and obey.

    Once we understand that after we take possession of the knowledge of the law/rules, or what defines good and evil, and take possession of the Holy Spirit, we also must attend to the responsibility of having that knowledge, and that Still Small Voice within, which can change us into living rightly with them, not stiff-necked, or wrong-minded, and not against them either, for they are both there for the ultimate good of God’s Divine Plan.

    Those who say the law is no longer of any value, or it is impossible to ever keep the law, and that we must sin because it is our God-given nature, then, they have not yet fully grasped God’s Word about how sin actually is birthed, takes hold and grows, or what God has written in His Word about temptation, which leads to sin.
    1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
    We must know the word, we must speak the word, and we must obey the word, to be both followers of Christ and overcome the temptations of this world.
    We may never reach that perfected Christ-like sinless life in the here and now, but, we can certainly rise above where we are now failing to listen and obey.
    Put on the Armor of God daily, and Pray unceasingly, walk in the Spirit daily, and give all the Glory to God every time you succeed and have Victory over Temptation.
    Or, you could continue to fail to listen and obey, and remain captured in your constant defeat, and dark thoughts.
    In my opinion, which I try to base on and in, the Written Word of God.
    Be Blessed,

  98. oneg2dblu says:

    Joyce… Please know, I am not accusing you of any constant failing to listen and obey, or to have dark thoughts.

    My comment is meant for all others who now suffer because they feel the law/rules no longer apply to them, or no longer matter.

  99. joycemb says:

    Gary I didn’t take it that way at all. It is good though to differentiate between mans laws/rules and God’s. For instance Jesus broke the rules/laws of men many times to get his point across. His many encounters with people such as lepers, Samaritans, etc. along with healing on the Sabbath, and allowing a prostitute to wash his feet were met with horror and misunderstanding of why the law was made in the first place. The Pharisees had a hard time, didn’t they, with seeing beyond the rules. I always thought it was so interesting that God would choose a brilliant lawyer like Saul of Tarsus to explain law vs. grace principle to the Romans. But of course He would! No one understood the law better; he was, after all, by his own admission a Pharisee of Pharisees! Perfect to the letter of the law. Yet in the end he stated that all he wanted to know anymore was Christ crucified. Must have been an incredibly humbling thing for Paul to be zapped by the God he thought he was serving. Paul’s unlearning must have been his undoing, I suppose. From leader to prisoner. What a life-changing encounter he had! And to have his new life recorded in the canon of scripture, wow. Just wow.

  100. foreverblessed says:

    Joyce, I would like to tell you that I have been living under the law, the law of the Old Testament, while being a christian, I was in a church who was a bible based church, the Old and the New Testament, they said, that these laws of the Old Testament were for the good of the people, for good health.
    Then came the depressed state, after I had tried and tried to live according to the law, and felt that I was never good enough.
    Then… my age of Grace started, and my eyes were opened to the message that Paul explains so well, as he himself had lived under the law, and finally wrote, as you said:
    All he wanted to know was Christ and Him crucified.
    What a message that is from a law abiding man, as he was.

    As this topic has moved on, I will tell a little more.
    When I say that the law is for the Old Testament, does it mean we can now be lawbreakers?
    The very fact that you (the ones who ask that) ask that question means that you have not understood what it is to live under Grace: We have died with Christ to sin, so sin has no longer any hold on us. We have crucified the flesh, now we are free to live under the Spirit.Rom 7:4
    Gal 3:23-24 The law was added so to lead us to Christ, and that is what the law did to me: Once I was led to Christ, after years of having Him already, but me still trying to hold on to the law,
    It is also in the bible:
    Now that faith has come I am no longer under the supervision of the law! Gal 3:25
    It is right here in the bible!
    I pray that God may open the eyes of the legalists, the older son of the father of the prodigal son.
    Henry Nouwen said that many turn from being a prodigal son into the oldest son. The older son who keeps the law, but does not really love the Father, the one who does things because the law says so, and not because the love in his heart moves him to do so. He wanted a party with his friends, not with his Father who is happy with the ones who repent and turn to Him! (Like we are happy with lovely and the person that was brought to Christ, what a Party that is!)
    The Holy Spirit pours out that love in us Rom 5:5

    We know that the law is good is a man uses it properly 1 Tim 1:8
    And now read the next verse: the Law is NOT made for the good man…. but for the lawbreakers..
    1 Tim 1:9
    So when I am not a lawbreaker anymore
    So the law is for the lawbreaker…
    Do you get it?
    It is amazing!
    The thing is: the law is telling what is wrong, but does not move a finger to help you, the law is powerless.
    It the living Christ that gives you the Power to live in Love, peace, goodness, Gal 5:22-23

    That is why Christ is called the bread from heaven, the living water, (the 7 I am’s from the Gospel of John).
    The same Power that was used to raise Jesus from the dead, is the power that transforms us. Eph 1:15-22
    To a changed heart, that is soft and tender, and cares for the neighbour, and is not easily offended, is not thinking of the evil things other christians do, is patient, is always hoping for the best,
    1 Cor 13:1-8
    And these things we ask from Jesus, the Living Water, the living bread!

    To be a christian and then go back to the Old Testament laws is like having a carriage, you put a horse in front, but then you go to the back of the carriage and start pushing it.

    And that is also for the food laws. It is good to eat healthy, not to much fat, salt, sugar, etc.
    But as you say, pork meat has to be cooked well, so nowadays chicken has to be cooked very well too, for all the salmonella bacteria that are in there.
    The kingdom of God is not a kingdom of food and drink, it is about a Spiritual sate of being, we can eat all the right food, but could be poisoned form the things that come from within the heart, the deep and hidden parts that are not yet changed by the Holy Spirit.

    Follow Jesus, be led by His Spirit, and you will go well beyond only keeping the law, the ten, into a life of blessing your enemies, a thing that is not mentioned at all in the ten commandments.

  101. poohpity says:

    Wow forever, you go girl!! :-)

  102. joycemb says:

    Forever I am far far far from a legalist. I rely totally on grace, although I understand and respect God’s laws. This is why I do not kill, covet, play with idols etc. and if in my heart I start doing these, the HS warns and that’s good enough for this simple heart.

    I too was in a legalistic church in my early years, where I learned that divorce is the most horrible sin and was shamed publicly. No, I learned my lesson as you did. It is so easy to misunderstand on this blog. Often when I am writing I’m not speaking to anyone about any thing they should or should not be doing, just typing my thoughts. Thoughts are a dangerous thing here.

  103. joycemb says:

    To all:
    Just to further clarify: When I use a persons name at the beginning of a post, i.e. Gary, that means I am speaking to him and not the whole world. I speak to everyone differently therefore it’s easy to misinterpret. Perhaps it would be a lot easier if we could reply to specific writers but this blog does not use that program. So, we are left with what we have to work with.
    Pooh: I so agree with what you said to forever :-)

  104. oneg2dblu says:

    forever… your greatest sermon on Grace, too bad it does make room for the good laws that still and always will protect us, if we only obey the ever legalistic Holy Spirit, who would never lead us to go against even the slightest letter of God’s Law.
    Why not relish in having both Grace and the ability to obey the Spirit, or would that be counter productive, to your grace only message?
    The part of the law that still so entangles many today, no longer is applied by the harsh penalty of immediate death, stoning, and excommunication from the community, that was associated with the application of the religious punishments dealt by the Old Testament.
    But, Paul the greatest Grace teacher we have in the scriptures, believed in applying the law of throwing out of the church certain offenders, and applying harshly in words in his many warnings, given for a reason, but ignored today by some who still claim, their grace is the higher calling even to any form of obedience.
    The we must sin crowd cheers and the new believers are confused by the double standard we claim as eye opening, when it resembles itching ears more than eyes.
    Christ’s very obedience to the law and to His Father in Heaven are the standard that we should all preach, but where cheap grace is the big seller today, we seem to ignore the law, the warnings, and the obedience, claiming only grace.
    I believe there must be room in the bigness of the Divine plan for the obedient, or the law abiding among us as well, not just the grace seekers.
    I’m afraid that obedience and forgiveness are at odds with each other in today’s churches.
    But, I am legalistically bent, on thinking the law is still good for us, and t, but to fulfill it.at Christ did not come to take it away.
    I wonder where I ever got that unpopular and twisted view?
    Oh yeah, It is written…
    Hope I haven’t offended to many here today, if so take it to the Lord, and don’t let yopur flesh get the better of you.

  105. oneg2dblu says:

    forever… please read today’s God at Eventide and don’t take this personally. It is directed to your comments not you.

  106. oneg2dblu says:

    battery low, got to go,

  107. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry Joyce, didn’t see that.
    Gary, the God at eventide is saying exactly what I am trying to say!
    I am sorry that I cannot make it clear to you what Paul was saying.
    The law is for the lawbreakers, so, if a christian breaks one of the 10, then measures are taken.
    But…. we are called to follow Jesus, and indeed, not only have faith in Him but to obey what He said.
    Just as Moses predicted: Deut 18:15,18 so when Jesus came we now listen to what He says.
    One example, the law says: Love another as you love yourself.
    Jesus said: Love another as I have loved you.
    That is a totally new commandment, that last one far exceeding the first.
    And…it is impossible to keep that law without Jesus living in us.
    See what I mean, if you are a christian and you follow the law, the 10, then you fall far short on what God is trying to do in us.
    We are to follow Jesus, and as the Holy Spirit guides us, and that is a personal thing. So if a person has been abused badly, I do not think that the Holy Spirit will say immediately: forgive.
    I believe the Holy Spirit will bring comfort, and will listen to the hurt, and so on. The commandment to love the abuser will come later.
    SO you see, we should not see the commandments of Jesus in a legalistic way, but in a way that we will be led into.
    We obey step by step, and we become stronger in our inner being, our hearts being formed in love.
    So that what ever we do, will always be done in love, without love , God’s love all is useless.
    But it is God’s will that His love is formed in us, and will be our own love, we are all in it, and feel it too.
    Do you understand what I am trying to say: God at eventide is what I am trying to say all the while.

  108. joycemb says:

    I also read God at Eventide and My Utmost further clarifies what some of our problems are here.

  109. oneg2dblu says:

    Forever… I am also saying the same thing, but, we do not interpret the words the same way.

    We each read through a filter of life experience, you finding how horrible your life was trying to be obedient to the law and failing, and I finding how horrible life was because of my disobedience never considering the value of the law, and hence, what we choose to believe, is from directly opposite premises of application to the law on our lives.

    So, where you see legalism to the letter of the law as the main problem, I see disobedience to the letter of the law as the main problem.

    I hope that helps set the perspective difference we have, and does not muddy things even more for us, or others here.

    I never walked in your shoes, and you never walked in mine.

    But, by the Grace of God, through faith and through our following of Christ, we can walk in love together.

  110. joycemb says:

    Forever, I just looked it up and the map says it’s Tuesday in Amsterdam but in the US it’s Monday. Wondering if that makes a difference in what we are reading in Two Listeners?

  111. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… you are sharper than a two-edged sword.

  112. joycemb says:

    Thanks Gary, I needed a good LOL!

  113. lovely says:

    Hi Everybody
    Thanks for your response, Poohpity to my post, in that you’ve said what i wanted to add, is that GOd does turn something that is a mess to something good, Indeed GOd is in control.
    Just so you know joycomb.. many of the people who lost their love ones on that plane.. still believe they are alive and will not rest until they see the bodies. Well, from the 3 planes that is missing, i have been able to open conversation with people because there is the question where is God in this ? I also got to know that although some was lost on that plane.. there is some who were save from getting on the plane.One brother.. didn’t book that flight because he was suppose to attend a church meeting. Another sister couldn’t book that flight.. because the internet will not allow it.. somehow..she realize later why.. Really, the ways of God no one can phantom..we just need to trust 1 Corinthians 2:9

  114. foreverblessed says:

    Lovely, thanks for your update!
    Now the families in Spain and Germany are facing the loss of their loved ones in the plain crash in the Alps. The plain lies 2000 m high, I pray for all of them, and their loved ones.

    Gary, you might say: The law has done his work in me, it has driven me to Christ!

  115. foreverblessed says:

    A new morning overhere already!
    The crash in the Alps is terrible, only debris! May God bless the families and the workers to do their work
    The weather was not as bad as was predicted to they can proceed.

    I would also like to thank you for the conversation of law verses Grace. Yesterday a deep still voice talked to me, a knowing: You died to the law so that you might belong to Another:
    Jesus Christ.

    What a blessing that is, what a grace.
    What a long road for a christian, who is like the oldest son of the father, to find the way to grace.
    It is the Gospel:
    we live in Grace,
    Christ and Him crucified,
    I will go on in the next topic…

  116. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… I believe we Christ Followers can all say that.
    The law has done its work in us all, it has helped to drive us to Christ.

    You might say: It was your failure to uphold the law, that drove you to Christ, and I might say it was my not considering the law, my living lawless if you will, that drove me to Christ.

    Same Saviour, same law, different perspectives, and different life experience and application.

    God know exactly how to get each of us to our knees.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  117. street says:

    dear gary did not paul ask how was abraham saved? by law or grace? was it not by faith? faith in law, grace, or God? i believe He was trying to tell us he believed God’s word, not a lie from somewhere else. i think the tutor is to get us ready for Christ. the tutor is great but could not save. Christ has taught us much more and more difficult lessons. i could see why some would turn back to law. it did not work for the pharisees. some how i don’t think a law of grace will work either. to believe in the One Whom He has sent is eternal life. oh and it is work too. John 6:27-29

  118. street says:

    poo repeated the question,”Good question street what is holding you back from mercy?”

    i think it could be lack of rest, ignorance, pride, weakness.

    hmmm is it possible for me to restrain God’s mercy?
    silly question. i crack myself up. now His discipline is another story.

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