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The Consuming Fire


Flickr Photo by Slack12

Does God want us to be afraid of him… or to be afraid of not knowing and remembering how much he loves us?

The 12th Chapter of Hebrews ends with a sobering thought: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.’”

Without the 13th chapter break, what are the very next words? Why would they be, “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters,“ followed by encouragement to care for those who are outside of our own group, including those who are in prison?

If we take a step back from these two verses— separated only by an artificial chapter break, we see that earlier in chapter 12 the author likens God to a loving Father who corrects us because he loves us (Heb 12:5-6). Then the author moves on to contrast this enlightened understanding of a Father’s love with the fire that had terrified Moses on the heights of Mount Sinai (Heb 12:21).

Many centuries later, we find ourselves in the Spring season of ancient holidays. Together they help us recall that, on the day we call Pentecost (“50” days beyond Passover), the Spirit and Presence of Christ came like tongues of fire that seemed to separate and rest on his people (Acts 2:3).

Like a loving Father, and a consuming fire—  this is the story of a God wants us to be afraid of not trusting him… and not walking in the assurance of his care…

…so that we don’t consume one another (Gal 5:14-16).

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83 Responses to “The Consuming Fire”

  1. oneg2dblu says:

    street… I’ll bet your feeling nothing but the consuming fire of the weight of pile of those who should be loving you, but are busy taking sides with others here.

    Hard to feel the love sometimes isn’t it?

    Especially when one person does not like your comment, and before you even get to give your position on that comment, so many others lovingly pile on.

    Makes you wonder why doesn’t it?

    Remember it is only flesh speaking here, as any one of the Saints here, could certainly fill that position you were referring to, if it is God’s Will, but flesh suddenly gets in the way.

    Have a Blessed Day, Gary

  2. SFDBWV says:

    I have already forgotten the fellow’s name (Rodney?), famously credited with coining the phrase “Can’t we just all get along?”, but such a question has an answer.

    There is a term in Christian theology called “apologetics”, which is having to do with the defense and proofs of Christianity.

    In a world filled with not only diverse religions, but in most cases extreme diverse religions as well as diverse beliefs concerning politics and especially the view of communal living there is going to be disagreement.

    It seems no matter where any one stands on any issue there are going to be those who have to defend or prove their position.

    Expectedly so there are going to be those who agree or disagree.

    Will this position of having different thought between each other give cause for the wrath of God?

    No, in my opinion, it is how we feel inside about the other person and how then we act upon that feeling that has the attention of God.

    We can either be peace makers or war mongers.

    Attempting to resolve an issue seems to me to be working toward a peaceful solution.

    Attempting to inflame the issue looks more like war mongering.

    A lesser word for war mongering in the course of gathering together may be understood as strife.

    Gary you said your goodbyes in the last topic only to return right away in order to inflame the course of the conversation on a topic that is meant for us to learn we must not do that.

    How do you reconcile obeying God with attempting to say something negative about people who have supported proper Christian behavior?

    That Gary is what your comment this morning looked like to me, am I in error in my assessment of your comments?


  3. joycemb says:

    Mart this post brings to mind this old song,

    Just a Closer Walk With Thee

    I am weak, but Thou art strong;
    Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
    I’ll be satisfied as long
    As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.
    Just a closer walk with Thee,
    Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
    Daily walking close to Thee,
    Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

    Through this world of toil and snares,
    If I falter, Lord, who cares?
    Who with me my burden shares?
    None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.
    When my feeble life is o’er,
    Time for me will be no more;
    Guide me gently, safely o’er
    To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.

  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    God’s love is a consuming fire — worthy of holy awe and trembling before the power of that love.

    Mart, you write:

    “…the author likens God to a loving Father who corrects us because he loves us (Heb 12:5-6). Then the author moves on to contrast this enlightened understanding of a Father’s love with the fire that had terrified Moses on the heights of Mount Sinai (Heb 12:21).”

    Have to agree, Steve, what comes out of our mouth (keyboard) is most winsome when it shows forth evidence of the originating Love that is showered upon us — with no extra comment. As you put it:

    “No, in my opinion, it is how we feel inside about the other person and how then we act upon that feeling that has the attention of God.”

    In my most humble opinion it is God’s fire, not our words about God’s fire, that ignites the hearts of others.


  5. joycemb says:

    I got this in my inbox today from the Plough; and it is so true.

    Dorothy Day

    It is when we love the most intensely and most humanly that we can recognize how tepid is our love for others. The keenness and intensity of love brings with it suffering, of course, but joy too because it is a foretaste of heaven. When you love people, you see all the good in them, all the Christ in them. God sees Christ, his son, in us. And so we should see Christ in others.

    Source: On Pilgrimage

  6. poohpity says:

    “Does God want us to be afraid of him… or to be afraid of not knowing and remembering how much he loves us?”

    God knows EVERYTHING about us! One may be able to fool some people but never God. Knowing that I believe God is afraid of us not knowing and remembering how very much He loves us. One can put on a performance, wear masks, keep secrets, flatter others to gain their approval, be so controlling that others do not have the freedom to think for themselves, lie to distort reality but God sees us yet still went to the Cross. In front of God we can be naked and not feel shame because He knows the very hairs on our heads.

    That to me is so very important because the words of Paul have so much more meaning when you consider that what we see in others is the very things that we ourselves are guilty of. “You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.”

    So rather than counting others faults against them consider my own as I stand before God and receive His mercy and grace. Knowing that sure does put a whole different spin on how one lives their life. Less ripping others apart and more time praising and worshiping the One who has given us so much love I can not even begin to understand the magnitude of it. Giving me more time to look at God growing in knowledge of Him less time gossiping, condemning, judging, devouring, criticizing and consuming others.

  7. poohpity says:

    An old man told his grandson, “My son there is a battle between two wolves inside of us all.”

    One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth.

    The boy thought about it and asked, “Grandfather which wolf wins?”

    The old man quietly replied, “the one you feed.”

  8. jeff1 says:

    If I listen to others talking of God I see God has a very complex character for their are many facets to Him. I do not find it easy to get my head around who God is so I do not try. I find it easier to focus on what God wants for me here and now which is to walk humbly, which means to me helping in the Community where I can, using my initiative when it comes to dealing with others. If I don’t feel I can express myself correctly when disagreeing with others without causing offence then in such cases say nothing. I was told that the least said the easiest mended and it has been my experience that when I put my mouth into gear before I put my brain into gear I did the most damage.

  9. tracey5tgbtg says:

    More song lyrics! Of course the title of this post makes me think of Third Day’s “Consuming Fire” –

    Set this place on the fire, send Your spirit, Saviour
    Rescue from the mire, show Your servant favor
    Yesterday was the day that I was alone
    Now I’m in the presence of Almighty God

    Yes our God, He is a consuming fire
    And the flames burn down deep in my soul
    Yes our God, He is a consuming fire
    He reaches inside and He melts down this
    Cold heart of stone

    Did you realize that inside of you there’s a flame?
    And did you ever try to let it burn? Let it burn, let it burn.

    The thought of God being a consuming fire does not scare me. The thought of not having His fire burning in me scares me.

  10. street says:

    jeff said,” I do not find it easy to get my head around who God is so I do not try. I find it easier to focus on what God wants for me here and now..”

    don’t give up on the pursuit of God….He is able to do more than anything we think or ask. show me your glory comes to mind. i remember mart saying that we would never ask God to die for us so that we would not be destroyed ,rightly, because of our sin. we did not ask and He did! we make frameworks of thought and behaviors that lead to entrapment. we stay there, till God comes along and releases us from our short comings. looking forward to walking in the presents of God with the rest of the saints. for now His Word and His Spirit will have to suffice. ok, maybe a few saints thrown in too!

  11. foreverblessed says:

    Tracey, thank you very much, of course, that is the consuming fire, The Holy Spirit, John the Baptist baptized with water, Jesus with water and fire Matthew 3:11
    I especially liked it that you say, that you look forward to the fire!
    Mark 9:49

  12. street says:

    i like the picture. it looks like a little tempest to the right of sunset. reminds me if the tempest is between you and God it can be difficult to see Him till you get on the other side.

  13. joycemb says:

    “We are here to learn to endure the beams of love”

    William Blake

  14. street says:

    mart thanks for the contrast of mount Sinai and Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit came to rest and not fade away. the adult in me keeps kicking and screaming bargaining, scheming and with it drama and turmoil. somehow there is no childlike faith in that or a possibility for holiness, till i return to the cross. i am so glad Dad will not leave me in such a state. His love “endures” forever. endures in that He never gets tired. so unlike us.

    been thinking of how God is pleased with creation.
    can you imagine how pleased He is with His children?

  15. SFDBWV says:

    This subject has any possibilities, limited only by our own limits.

    Anyone who has ever been consumed by anything should understand what it is to be consumed. Be it love or work or pleasure or family, whatever driven purpose that totally consumes our time and energy.

    Coupled with fire the term consuming fire is a picture word that means totally consumed into nothing but smoke and ashes.

    Anyone who knows a little about physics understands that nothing is ever totally consumed, but rather changes from one form of matter into another.

    Moses saw a bush that was not consumed by the fire, perhaps because God never changes, but the fire that is He changes forever any and all who are engulfed in His fire.

    All of the things that consumes our lives only uses up what energy and life we have, but the consuming fire of God energizes us and transforms us and prepares us for an eternity we scarcely can begin to imagine.

    Hope that today is a better day for us all.


  16. oneg2dblu says:

    street… in my eyes you are wizard, by having shown some good ole street-smarts here, by moving on into new thoughts, and not surrendering your flesh to those provocative old ways of hearing those who took sides, by sharing their Amen’s that rattled around the room.

    My hat is off to you for the Saint you are, and the Saint you are still trying to be.
    Good work…

  17. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… Had a blessed row today as the weather was wonderful, and well reflected in calm seas for my (walk in the park,) or my four mile row.

    Went under the low bridge again to find the birds nest that had a patient mom doing her duty, which I posted a few weeks back, was now rewarded with a tiny active pink and featherless chick, a creature created in her image for sure, but needing much maturing.
    It looked to me that lessons were being dished out about not jumping about so much, and within the time it took to turn the boat around, all the pink was tucked under her authoritative warm ever protective wings again.

    Perhaps, therein lies a lesson for us all in those word pictures of my just observing of some others natures.

    Have a Blessed Day, Gary

  18. poohpity says:

    “Why would they be, “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters,“ followed by encouragement to care for those who are outside of our own group, including those who are in prison?”

    Sometimes I can take “prison” literally behind bars or it could mean being held captive to things of the flesh. Like old ways of thinking, behaving and reacting without the newness of living with the help of God’s Spirit. Being imprisoned by hate and cruelty or experiencing what it means to be free that no matter what others reaction are to us we can show care and concern. Over coming evil with good isn’t that what Jesus did for us?

    His Spirit consumes, burns off, the sludge or dross that held us in prison to mold us into useful vessels to administer grace.

    May His grace fill your day.

  19. street says:

    consuming fire and sacrifice seem to go together along with taking up my cross. i believe we are successful when we take to heart that God’s unfailing love and delight in His children strengths us in the task at hand. i think of the joy set before Him, He endured the cross. tough to think of the difficulty and cost, but i think of the resources available to me from Dad and the outcome.

    thinking of the outcome reminds me of a carrot in front of a mule to lead it. some times it is so difficult there seems to be no carrot, as philosophers point out. they still struggle with the problem of evil as we do but they have no hope which leads me to promises and the person who made them. i say bring on the fire, but i tremble thought of it coming. have to focus on His love and mercy in His Son. like God said to Job,” brace yourself!” i can if You strengthen me!

  20. jeff1 says:

    Just a thought on overcoming evil with good. I tried to do this in my own strength by finding reasons why those doing the evil were doing it. It was naive of me and I soon became overloaded with questions and reasons that made me ill in the end. Like others I realized that only God understands why evil sometimes triumphs in this world and after talking to a man better learned than I he explained that there are areas only God understands and do not get burdened with matters that are outside your domain. It is since that, that I leave matters too complex for me in His hands, for while I may have difficulty understanding them now I can trust God with the outcome. I am learning to let go of matters that held me captive by stealing my joy, I realize now that I allow others to steal my joy so when I hear people complaining, accusing or being derogative I change the subject as I usually find they have just got into the habit of doing it and if you distract them they forget all about their complaining.
    If I think about it I realize that I have done the same myself so when I think I have something to complain about I think of others in worst situations and that soon stops me complaining. It is amazing how it works, smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone.

  21. poohpity says:

    The many times I cry I know I do not cry alone or without notice from God. The bible teaches that God records and keeps all our tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8 NLT) That to me shows how much we are cared for by our God. He takes notice of everything and especially our tears.

  22. joycemb says:

    Thinking about Moses and how he persuaded God through prayer and fasting (40 days x 2) not to destroy the people he had brought out of Egypt.

    Jesus too spent 40 days in the wilderness suffering to experience the temptations mankind faces. Then the cross. I think the cross carries more significance than we think sometimes. It is finished, Father forgive them for they know not what they do…
    Isn’t it enough now? Do we have to keep beating ourselves up because of our shortcomings? Spending hours fighting or feeding the enemy within? Our God is a consuming fire, it is finished. The tongues of fire that sat on the heads of believers that first Pentecost did not hurt anyone, but gave witness to all, observers included, that the consuming fire of God had ‘absorbed’, if you will, His holy people forever.

    I don’t think we fully understand the complexity of that event. But I do agree with Marts thought from scripture that the very next thing we do is to love one another as brothers and sisters. Because we ARE brothers and sisters. Because of the cross.

  23. jeff1 says:

    When I cry I get alone with God, I do not wear my heart on my sleeve when in this world for it is seen as weakness. In this world I am all things to all people for my mother would say the devil looks after his own and since I am not sure who the devil is it is best to be cautious. Trusting God means to me taking the good with the bad, the rough with the smooth, supporting one and other in good times and in bad times. I see this life as a testing ground, some I do well in, some not so well, and some I fail miserably. I do not keep an account of my failures or successes but I do try to please God by doing what seems to me the right thing to do. I have made bad choices and good choices, the bad I did not set out to do, the good God definitely had a hand in for I can not take credit for them. While life has its ups and downs, with God’s help I believe I can make it to the finish line, I cannot say “I did it my way” for I have had others to consider on my journey. Many times when I was going under, I had my doubts that my faith would stand the test but the strange thing is that my doubts themselves in some way brought me closer to God. It seems to me the more I have doubted in trials, the more God has shown me my wrong thinking and the wrong place of my heart. This has given me a peace and assurance that God will not forsake me, it has taken me a long time to get this peace and assurance for my illness caused me to doubt I was His and distressed me greatly, now I take one day at a time and I am determined to let no one rob me of God’s promise for God will ultimately keep his promises and man has proven time and time again that ultimately he will break his. It seems to me that between trusting man or God there is no contest for looking at man’s track record I would say I have finally made the only choice.

  24. jeff1 says:

    Listening to the gospel hour on the radio this morning and this one spoke to my heart.

    Take My Hand Precious Lord

    Precious Lord, take my hand
    Lead me on,
    Let me stand
    I’m tired, I am weak, I am worn
    Through the storm, through the night
    Lead me on through the light
    Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

    When my ways grows drear precious Lord linger near
    When my life is almost gone
    Hear my cry,
    Hear my call
    Hold my hand lest I fall
    Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

    When the darkness appears and the night draws near
    And the day is past and gone
    At the river I stand
    Guide my feet,
    Hold my hand
    Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

    Precious Lord, take my hand
    Lead me on,
    Let me stand
    I am tired, I am weak, I am worn
    Through the storm, through the night
    Lead me on to the light
    Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

  25. SFDBWV says:

    What separates a Christian from everyone else?

    Our friend Bill, whom we have not heard from for quite a while, is more expert in the various religions of the world than I and better suited to answer that question.

    Yet it seems to me that even atheist’s look for answers to the other-worldliness of life.

    No matter who we are, we face this life and wonder what is it all about? Why struggle so to live? What is it worth to fight against the tide of time and the many disastrous events that shake and shape us all?

    Compiled on top of all of life’s struggles, Mart asks us if God wants us to be afraid of Him.

    Compiled in the many pages of the Bible are the words “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”

    Also compiled in the many pages of the Bible are the words “God is love.”

    Here we have a clash of words that only seem to go together when faced with the *fear* of losing someone or something we *love*.

    People seem to react to these two emotions instinctively as well as learned. We know what to fear as they are not good for our wellbeing. The problem with love though is sometimes we should also fear love as it too can be bad for our wellbeing when distorted and out of place.

    What some come to love is as dangerous as the things we should fear.

    Trying to reconcile a God that loves us with one that threatens to burn us eternally if we don’t do exactly as He says is a difficult to justify, logically.

    Yet this is what the Bible teaches clearly. Not in this world or in this life, but after this life in an existence we know very little of except it is spiritual and forever.

    Everyone learns that fire burns and hurts intensely so most, not all, want desperately to avoid such a fate and so agree to the demands of God, solely out of fear.

    But is this what God wants, for us, to obey Him only because of fear? I don’t think so. I think He wants us to obey Him because we love Him.

    To remove that fear from us He became the sacrifice we recognize as and on the cross of Calvary.

    This is what separates Christians from the rest of the world. We believe God removed fear and replaced it with love on that cross.

    Though He commands that we love one another just as He has shown us, there are many who call themselves Christian that do not. We know them by their words and especially their actions.

    Paul spent his life trying to tell Christians how they should live, sometimes with words that sounded threatening. Does that make him less Christian because of his observations and warnings of bad behavior? Is he then consuming his brothers and sisters because of pointing the way to living a proper Christian life rather than the one they are not?

    Silence speaks much louder than a feared honest answer.


  26. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Have often wondered at the Prophet Isaiah’s description of the Righteous Branch, the Messiah Jesus:

    “Then the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,
    The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    The spirit of counsel and strength,
    The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
    And He will delight in the fear of the Lord.” (Is 11:2-3)

    The awe that God causes in the human heart is a good thing, it seems to me. To understand God’s might is to tremble on account of what the Almighty can do.

    Who else could send Messiah to make the ultimate sacrifice for God’s beloved, fallen race?


  27. poohpity says:

    I know we have the history to look back on of God’s displays of power but today I have often wondered what prevents Him from doing those things now. Would we be like the Israelis that even though they witnessed first hand trembling because of the power but yet still made a calf idol of gold to worship? I thought about Jesus and how just from His words alone caused 600 roman soldiers to fall backward and then allowed them to capture Him. The strong seem to not have to prove their strength but can prove their love by the actions that follow.

  28. joycemb says:

    Good morning,

    Chapter 12 of Hebrews talks about endurance under the consuming fire of His love, that to endure chastening (correction), is a sign of our affection and love of Him, like as to a father and child. It is for our good, that we may be holy as He is holy. We are to pursue peace with all of mankind, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. v.14.

    This makes your point, Steve, I think, that “Though He commands that we love one another just as He has shown us, there are many who call themselves Christian that do not. We know them by their words and especially their actions.” I believe that those who refuse correction are unable to love one another in word and deed while refusing Him who corrects us for our good and the good of the whole world. Can brotherly love, love in the social realm be done? Sure can. We see the social gospel played our all around us. But the sacrifices of Christians that God is pleased with are the way we love in the social realm, that brotherly love.

    Seeing the fire of God in this light makes for a whole new perspective for me and probably others like me who could never be good-enough for an earthly caregiver. Who only ever received condemnation and ridicule even for being alive! So great to know that ALL fit in and are not only loved/accepted but actually CREATED by God in the first place. Our birth parents didn’t create us, they only provided the organic substance of our being and if we were lucky, some good genes with it! But no matter how we came about or through what circumstances, knowing God as Father/Creator trumps all the downfalls of being human. I think our humanity is only a shadow of great things to come. Holiness, grace, peace. Yes God! Bring on more fire!

  29. joycemb says:

    Thank Viv for the song, it speaks to my heart also. Reminds me to look for the little things God has made around me, the birds singing, trees budding (finally, yay!) and enjoy His quiet presence with me today. How He must love it when we enjoy what He has put all around us!

  30. street says:

    steve said,”What separates a Christian from everyone else?”
    great question!
    lets start with fear. what is fear? fear started in the garden. it only appears when sin shows up and for good reason. Adam knew God well enough to hide from Him lest he should die even though he had not witness death. they saw that they were naked and understood this was not a good thing. so something big happened and they were very aware. being hidden behind a bush, in our thinking, this is the first metaphor of this death or separation. it has separation on our part not God’s part. we are constantly told not to be afraid in the Old and New Testament! why is this? God made away to do away with this separation on are part by intervening. God’s Spirit is living in His Children “today” and there is going on inside of them a different kind of separation process. a reverse process or upside down if you will. God still speaks and we can participate in the plan and rule of God’s Kingdom here and now. just remember He will separate us from the temporal to put on the eternal. i know giving up these neat times and memories He as developed in us is hard and giving up ourselves is even harder. giving these up in order to receive Him is what makes Christian different.

    the word christian used in the original question should be christian”s” in that there is a unity that Jesus ask for not separation.

    God richly bless you in your quest.

  31. street says:

    consuming fire

    Jesus ask us to love our enemies

    He ask us to die to everything we ever knew.

    He ask us to rejoice in percussion.

    He asks us to bless and not condemn.

    He asks us to be holy.

    He asks us to sin no more.

    absolutely impossible things to do in the flesh.

    He goes on to say My power is perfected in weakness.

    so much for the flesh

  32. joycemb says:

    Street said: He goes on to say My power is perfected in weakness

    Though he (Paul) was given information from God Himself that others didn’t have privy to he shared this Good News in his weakened state, proving that it was God who had sent him to do what he did, preach the Gospel.

    It wasn’t about Paul and his sanctification or holiness, it was about God. It’s always about God.

  33. poohpity says:

    When a Christian is consumed by the Spirit of God the results are manifested or produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, that is what makes us different. That stops us from consuming, biting and devouring which causes ruin of a person inwardly down to their very soul.

  34. poohpity says:

    Another thing that makes Christians different they trust in God, follow and seek Him and not in themselves, their own desires or their way of doing things. They walk as people knowing they have been forgiven and seek a totally different way of life looking to God and not other human beings for fulfillment, security, acceptance and belonging.

  35. jeff1 says:

    The world as I see it is no longer taking an interest in what Christians do, they want facts and with scientific advances like DNA, criminals can now be brought to justice years after their crime. What I see of the world today, being a Christian is seen as outdated, backward thinking. In a nutshell the world does not care what Christians are doing anymore, birds of a feather stick together so we are glad of each other. I believe God is still at work through Science and in the end Science will prove God right but I am getting the message that non believers are saying you believe what you want to and I will believe what I want too and I do not believe that God wants us to force people to believe in him nor do I think it matters to God if people do not believe for he sees more than I see and is aware of how the world has fallen away, indeed that is why Christ died for a fallen world. Let us remember that we are here to serve as Christ served, if we have served well then God will reward us in Heaven, do not look to man for rewards for he is not a respecter of God.
    What is happening in the world should not change how I serve God but I am human and I have fallen on my face too many times to know that it did. The good news is that it is God who strengths me for while this world is unforgiven He is not.

  36. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… I like your translation of turning the verse, “God is not a respecter of persons,” conveying that the worldly man today is not a respecter of God.

    Yes, we Christians should not be thought of as, like thinking Main Streamers, held captive by the World’s Way.

    We should be as set apart and used for His Kingdom, as if we were the very, Hands, Feet, and Mouth of Christ.

    So, being true to our new nature, means to me, that we need not continue to bath ourselves in the things of the flesh, but, we should strive to attain to hearing the higher inner calling of the Spirit above the din of the world.

    “The good news is that it is God who strengthens me, for while this world is not forgiven, I am forgiven in Christ, who the world can not yet, See, Hear, or Believe.
    Be Blessed,

  37. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews tells us that “our God is a consuming fire.” Then, as you point out, Mart, the next thought in the letter is to be in loving fellowship with one another and those outside the fellowship (Heb 13:1-3):

    “Without the 13th chapter break, what are the very next words? Why would they be, “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters,“ followed by encouragement to care for those who are outside of our own group, including those who are in prison?”

    Heard an update this morning on Father Douglas al-Bazi, who serves a Chaldean Catholic parish in Baghdad, Iraq. Father Douglas serves brothers and sisters of ours who have had no peace for two generations — and who are the target of “Islamic State” terrorists because they are Christ-followers. Father Douglas has seen the parish dwindle from 2,500 to 300 souls. Many have fled the violence, torture and imprisonment. Others have been murdered by wave after wave of terrorist attacks.

    Compared to that community of Christians, those in the 1/3 world have few obstacles to loving one another! Yet a stupid war between religious and political factions rages on in the midst of even nations “at peace.” It seems to me the fire of God’s presence comes to burn up our hostility and hatred into a pile of ashes that is blown away in the Spirit-wind of a new way of life.

    The work of forgiveness in Iraqi Jesus-followers toward those who attack them must be a consuming fire. Such forgiveness is completely outside the capacity of the natural heart and mind in my opinion.

    It seems to me it is the work of the Holy Spirit alone. (Eph 4:31-32)


  38. poohpity says:

    Amen! The spirit of love can not co-exist with hatred. One pushes the other out!

  39. joycemb says:

    John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

  40. jeff1 says:

    Having been brought up in a Country where hatred was the driving force I wholeheartedly agree Pooh but what I did see is that hatred is as emotive as love in that when you are consumed with hate because you believe you have a just reason you can convince yourself that you are right and believe that God is actually on your side which is why hatred is so difficult to overcome. If you believe God is on your side then as far as you are concerned it is God’s will. You are fighting God’s enemy as much as your own, in your mind. Also it is contagious and repetitive, for the Irish have hated the British for a long time and that hatred was handed down from one generation to another and it spread and the British started to hate the Irish as much. I can tell you there are no winners in this situation for each believe they are justified! It is also difficult to believe having been consumed by hatred that God has forgiven me and the difficulty for me now is forgiving myself and others whose hearts are still darkened. God help us all!

  41. poohpity says:

    I believe that it is only God’s will for us to hate the acts of sin. I do not believe one is ever justified to hate people. Hate is like a drug it consumes people until they become bitter and angry that seems to satisfy human nature especially if one feels they have the right to do so but in that are they trusting God at all? People can always find justification for doing anything through blame or excuses but I think when we admit it is wrong no matter what the reason we can be set free from it by allowing the Lord’s spirit to work in us.

    What does it mean and how does one allow the Lord’s Spirit to work in us?

  42. refump says:

    Steve, you said: “But is this what God wants, for us, to obey Him only because of fear? I don’t think so. I think He wants us to obey Him because we love Him.

    To remove that fear from us He became the sacrifice we recognize as and on the cross of Calvary.

    This is what separates Christians from the rest of the world. We believe God removed fear and replaced it with love on that cross.”

    I have been wrestling with reconciling the fear of God and the love of God for several years now. Thanks to your statements above I am now at able to put this struggle mostly to rest now. Yes, I will still ponder and meditate on this but, it has brought much clarity to my thinking on this subject. Thank you for sharing this.
    On another note, I ask for your prayers for my 34 year old son to get a job. He has two kids, 5 & 7 years old. Due to some bad decisions he has made throughout his life he has made getting a job almost impossible but, my wife and I believe God does miracles so I ask for your prayers.

  43. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all…The word speaks about love and hate in this way, about love, Romans 12:9, and in John 7:7 about hate as well.
    So, in the Spirit, and in the Word, we can properly address both of these issues.

    But, in the flesh, or the way we choose to act upon them, many today may not follow the Spirit”s voice, or follow the letter of the word.

    Today the world says, “be tolerant,” and that means we are to embrace the desires of evil men, lest you judge them being unloving and being unfair, as one being holier than them.

    The world who hates God, according to the word, uses this as a weapon to silence any opposing issue that we followers of the Word, which they hate, and any issue we may present regardless of the source, if that issue goes against their strongly held preferred sin selection, or what they now in the church lovingly call, “Inclusion,” even thought it may well go against the very word of God, you had better let them have their way.

    So, which way we go with that one, may still never change man’s ways of living well in his sin nature, or his defaulted position, which is, “All a man’s ways seem right to him.”

    When that happens God’s Word is ignored, and we are thinking we are on the higher ground for we’ve loved, we avoided the battle, and therefor, we have won and kept man at peace with man’s own desires.

    That is exactly where evil in the world wins every time, and God will still have to judge, for without the hearing of His Word played out in the courts, the schools, the governments of men, or the modern “all roads” churches of the world at large, who avoid the “rest of the story,” as it is silenced and goes without any relevance, as the current teachings fail to say, each man will indeed be judged according to what he has done.
    I call this new love teaching of Inclusion found in the church today, “the silencing of the lambs.”

    Be Blessed, Gary

  44. poohpity says:

    If one has totally misunderstood what the bible teaches about love (Gal 5:14; Lev 19:18; Matt 7:12; John 13:34; Romans 13:8, 10) then maybe they would come to the conclusion you have come to Gary but that is not what the Bible teaches at all.

  45. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Well, Gary, let’s try the words spoken by that radical rabbi from Galilee:

    “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.”

    Blessings all day,

    My Scripture reference is Luke 6:27-32

  46. poohpity says:

    Gary, I have yet to come across anyone who calls them self a Christian that seems so opposed to love as you seem to be. Yet it was God’s love for us that Jesus was sent and that is the main thing that changes a heart that indescribable love.

  47. cbrown says:

    Good morning all!I want to share the results of the evangelistic outreaches the prison ministry of my church experienced last weekend. Total
    215 Decisions to proclaim Christ, the Son of God as their Savior!
    149 Rededication commitments to the Lordship of Christ! Thankyou for your prayers.

  48. poohpity says:

    No, thank you Chris and all with you for being obedient and spreading the Word by using your mouth to testifying about the unfailing love of Christ.

  49. remarutho says:

    What good news, Chris! Rejoicing with you and with the choirs of heaven!

  50. jeff1 says:

    Everyone has to struggle before God and in the end God wins, thank goodness, I am not my own I was bought at a price. If God had not shown me the error of my ways I would be like those who commit deeds and justify their actions by believing God is on their side. The difficulty is they do believe God is on their side so they are not going to change until God changes them. In time God changes hearts but it is a slow process so we have to endure, be patient, encourage, pray, praise and love and I believe I will struggle with this while in the flesh, for the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. When I am weary I take refuge in God who strengthens me and he does. I have to remember that God has won the victory in Christ, the war between God and Satan is over but God is still rounding up his sheep.

  51. joycemb says:

    Refump your son is in my prayers.

  52. oneg2dblu says:

    I may love a lot of things and in a lot of ways, even a few good people who I know openly live their lives uprightly by their actions, not by claiming a religion, or a church, or an affiliation, but by their fruit/deeds.

    But, this loving of any thing evil any way, which I used to love at one time, I no longer love all that in any way, shape, or form.

    That love came from another root which was severed when another Spirit entered my being, and a renewed mind became generated, a voice became heard, and a word which had no life, became alive in me.

    Only the good in me do I now love, and I hate evil.

    When Good Men really learn to love themselves, they will no longer tolerate evil, but when good men say and do nothing to stop evil, evil has man exactly where it wants them.

    Waiting for some thing, or someone else, to do all the work for them.

    Embracing everything, turning the cheek on everything, even turning a blind eye on the darkness in their own life, as Jeff1 says, to justify their actions by believing God is on their side, so they need not change a thing, until God changes them.

    News Flash… If nothing changes, nothing changes.

    I believe all change has to start within, and if you are now living happily with your one besetting sin, your happiness is bound to your flesh and not to the God-given Spirit which opposes the sin nature, and who wants you to change even that one besetting sin.

    Yes, it is a struggle, and we never achieve perfection here, but nothing is impossible with God.

    So, run the race to win, fight the good fight, stand up against evil at every opportunity, and set yourself apart from the world and live for God, not against God as the world now lives, and do not live to appease mankind by avoiding even the unwanted, hard message that brings about change.

    Evil wants me to love it again, and I fight it with the Armor of God, which I must put on daily.
    Be Blessed

  53. street says:

    gary i think you are on to something. i think the phrase is called tough love. i think the greater difficulty is speaking the truth in love. sometimes difficult or painful. can result in violence. the discernment to speak and speak correctly is impossible in the flesh. Jesus said any time is good for man, but not so with God. this love can only come from a relationship with God and the person involved. it is of divine origin. i think it comes about by integrity or soundness in the cross of Christ. in other words love works best when we are carrying our cross and have the board removed from our own eye. this doesn’t stop God’s hand in spite of ourselves. Joesph experienced many evil things, but he never stopped believing God loved him and was looking out for him. in his faith he found away to be restored to his brothers and his father.

  54. street says:

    thanks mart. just got done reading Hebrews 12 that you mentioned in the beginning. the thing that came to mind first was endurance. thankfulness and grace are apparent in the reading too. in all this it is to lead into a deeper relationship between two free wills, “children, men and women” and God. i find the warning in the end of a consuming fire, in light of greater promises and a greater covenant, to pay closer attention and remember what happen to those who turned away to the first one.

    the part that is intriguing to me is the race? verse 1.
    in verse 4, it describers it as a race against sin?
    am i getting that right? i understand it is a race in that it is a timed event. i also noticed how we are to race, eyes on Jesus. and lastly grace instead of condemnation. sure there is more there but i will be stewing on these along with the Job, still not ready to put that down. maybe soon. thanks again.

  55. street says:

    In 1 Peter 4 it says:
    Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.
    (1 Peter 4:1-2 ESV)

  56. foreverblessed says:

    Street, in our wrestle against sin, as Hebrews 12:4, I remember Paul saying that we overcome evil with good, Hebrews 12:2 says: fix you eyes on Jesus. Jesus, He is the good.
    I also have to say, that it was a mystery to me, years ago, when I left the legalistic way of being a christian and wanted to live according to the New Covenant, the one in Grace: how do I do that, fixing my eye on Jesus. It was a long and disciplinary way for me. I remember one time, I had invited a lady to my house to talk about the way she was leading our christian ministry, very much like a dictator. She was standing in my room, talking, and I “heard” a voice speaking: “Look to Me”
    It was not a hearable voice, it was a knowing that this was Jesus talking. -Look to Me-
    It was such a long road for me to learn to do that, as my own thinking would draw on the bad people were doing, over and over again.
    Stop that thinking, focus on Jesus again, and then I had difficulty to think what to think, a blank. That is what happens when you have focused on the law, you do not know what to think about Jesus. Now it is easier for me: comes to mind: Jesus and Him crucified: all evil that I have done, all evil that my fellow human is doing, all is taken to the cross, Jesus has carried them all.

  57. foreverblessed says:

    I was going to write about Amazing Grace, but somehow I got distracted:
    “‘t was Grace that taught my heart to fear
    and Grace my fears relieved”

    Look like a contradiction, -fear and -fear relieved
    or are they two different stages:
    we fear God’s judgment, when our heart is touched, we start praying and praying feeling totally undeserving and then after a while
    we feel His Grace through the Cross, all our sins are taken to the cross, no more fear of condemnation. Like street was saying: grace instead of condemnation!

    Fear God, not as being afraid, but standing in awe of Him.
    It is Love that is our connection with God,
    There is no fear in love, Perfect Love drives out fear 1 John 4:18

  58. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Firmness in the right is not, it seems to me, rigidity. The example (the actions) of a Jesus-follower must be enough. To me, preaching is a pain in the neck in relationship. First of all, let the consuming fire burn all the hatefulness in me to a crisp — then let me walk forward leaving all that stuff behind as a heap of ashes.

    The Apostle Peter says:

    “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence…”

    Joy all day,

  59. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… you made some good points with your verses that you shared, as you pick and chose which ones you brought to light, in Hebrews 12.
    I love all of Hebrews, even the hard verses, which are written there for a reason.
    So, I would like to present the “rest of the story” keeping in context, if you will.
    Hebrews 12:1,2, 3, 4, 5,6 as they also need to come to light together.

    Verses 7 through 12 further complete the lesson, a lesson we all need to hear, and accept.

    Accept of course, those who may feel they are way to hard and unloving for them, those who do not like any accountability or rebuke, or discipline, and feel they only need to focus on the cross.

    They seem to pick and chose the “rest in me” verses, and would rather leave the other things written in God’s Word, to others, while they are diligently continue their resting.

    The “Rest Only Gospel,” does not quite tell the whole story.

    The rest of the story is this… We are to be the Hands, and the Feet, and the Mouth, of Christ in the world today, as we get to be accountable, and act upon the Great Commission.

    What a blessing we have been given, as we get to share the rest of the story.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  60. poohpity says:

    ref, looking forward with hope to how the Lord will answer our prayers for your son.

    A friend taught me a few years ago the word “juxtaposition” have not ever used it until now and I hope I am using it right. Thanks bubbles.

    Paul gave us the juxtaposition of being consumed by the flesh or by the Spirit in Eph 4:21-32 NLT and looking at these things I can see which one really has hold of me.

    Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

    25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

    28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

    30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, “guaranteeing” that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

    31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

  61. poohpity says:

    Gary, I am sure you noticed that it is the Lord’s correction and discipline not for us to do to each other but to trust and depend on God to work in His children’s lives. He is so much more capable than we are because He knows everything about His children and what is best for them. He knows we are broken and bruised which receiving His correction and discipline will not crush us, as human beings tend to do to each other. (Isaiah 42:3 NLT; Matt 12:20 NLT)

  62. joycemb says:

    Good morning all,

    I read a bunch of commentaries on Matt 12:20 to find the meaning behind it. Basically it means that God is always gentle with those who are weak in faith and hope. The ‘weaker brother’ spoken of in Romans 14:1-23 comes to mind and then the admonition in Romans 15:7 to ‘Accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory’.

    We all have our own story as far as how we became who we are, and those stories don’t change a whole lot after we receive Christ as our savior. That is why some of us are bruised and broken and don’t play well with others. I am one of those. But that doesn’t matter, what matters is Christ. It’s all about Him. We can, as you said foreverblessed fix our eyes on Jesus and look forward to a new day when all will be well. We are all on our way, but all still sitting in the sandbox of childhood trying to make heads or tails of our existence. But we’re ok, because as Jesus said, Matt. 18:2-6 we’ve only to become like little children. We are, children of God. And he is watching our backs for us.

  63. poohpity says:

    I took that verse in Matthew to mean that God does not beat up someone who is already broken down or overcome with sin, etc.. People tend to attack others without even thinking that they may be going through something or often times even knowing that they are struggling still attack and oppress. But God is not like that He does not beat us up when we are down.

  64. joycemb says:

    Gods word gets to mean whatever the flesh needs it to mean, we all do it at one time or another. I have learned to try to understand what God is trying to say. Yep He condemns no one except those destined for hell, the place of eternal separation from God and all things good.

  65. street says:

    after reading these last few comments on responding to others the admonition to encourage one another comes to mind. in away it is to make stronger or make courageous.
    thinking how does God encourage us in our daily sojourning. are not the Promises, Word, and Discipline our true encouragement?

    been thinking about Jesus saying if you had faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this tree to be uprooted and planted in the sea. is this tree the old man of sin? in doing this, doesn’t that leave a place for the Word to grow and produce fruit unto righteousness?

    been musing with the idea of how to keep your eyes on Jesus and remember in the beginning was the Word…..
    He did not leave us orphans and sent the Holy Spirit to take up where He left off. it really was to our advantage. looking forward to the sea being filled with dead trees.

  66. joycemb says:

    My post at 10:46 I misstated when I said some of us don’t play well with others but that it doesn’t matter. WRONG! Obviously it does matter or Mart would not have started this blog post, and many others like it!!!!

  67. oneg2dblu says:

    joycemb… I agree with you on both of your points, “Some of us don’t play well with others, and it does matter.”

  68. oneg2dblu says:

    It makes me wonder why some claim to be in Christ, which to me, also means you have received the Deposit of the Holy Spirit, yet some of us seemingly to ignore that voice inside, when it comes to changing, or taking off the old self.

    You would think that saying, “All things are possible with God,” would not mean, All things are possible with God, accept this one sin I have.

    God has not removed it from me yet, nor shall I try, and try, and try again.

    Perhaps, until God sees my trying and like the lesson about the neighbor relentlessly knocking at the door late at night, eventually wearing his friend out, who then gets up and grants him success.

    I guess we each have a cross to bear, a thorn in our side, a limp from wrestling all night, the pierced hands and side of absolute obedience, or some other defect, which we will carry with us along this road of life.

    Either to teach us to overcome it, or to share with others who also bear the same.

    Possibly, to show where we came from, or where we are headed less we do not change, or why we still continue to suffer.

    Choose to sin, choose to suffer.

    Let’s call it the self-imprinted legacy of living in a world that was made to be perfect, but someone’s bad choices got in the way.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  69. jeff1 says:

    I agree Pooh that God does not attack people when they are down nor does he want us to. Unfortunately human nature being what it is men do attack men and that is because they are not focusing on what Christ has taught but try talking to someone who is not listening. People are their own worst enemies and the only good news as I see it is that God knew that. He has saved us from ourselves, we are very quick to see another’s fault but not so quick at seeing our own. God knew we would have double standards in other words forgive me God when I get it wrong but don’t forgive the other person, I would say when it come to ourselves we want God to show favouritism but for the other person who sins we want God to beat him with a big stick. God will not let us dictate who or who not he favours because we don’t like it because it is not our call to do so. It is God’s plan and I can trust Him with the outcome so whether I have ups or downs in life I am assured of forgiveness and I was not obeying God when He spoke to my heart so God is in control over who he calls and does not call. It is from a grateful heart that I want to obey God’s will and worry that I don’t always do this. If God can forgive me then he can forgive others whom need to know they are forgiven but are blinded yet. We must develop the right attitude towards others and if in doubt say nothing for the one thing I have learned from life is that silence is often the best option when opening your mouth can cause more damage than good. I have also discovered how communication can be very difficult for some and misunderstandings can get out of hand when all it takes is a cool head and a warm heart to make matters better. We are unique beings and as such will have differences, let us embrace that and unite our godly strengths and weaknesses to enrich God’s Kingdom here on earth. My father always looked for the good in people and he said if you look for the good in people you will find it. The opposite is also true if you look for the bad in people you will find that too.

  70. street says:

    dear joycemb i think i read somewhere Gods Word is in opposition to the flesh! that’s why we struggle so!

  71. joycemb says:

    Street that makes sense to me!

  72. joycemb says:

    I just got this on fb:

    The solution to suffering…is found in learning to rest in God’s grace and His power. – Bill Crowder, Out of the Ashes

    Much to think about..

  73. jeff1 says:

    I believe that is so true Joyce for in effect when I am resting in God’s grace and His power I am trusting God with all things and not just being self absorbed. It requires for me anyway focusing on the Cross for when I focus on what God has already done I can be at peace with myself and it is when I am at peace with myself that I have Godly contentment. The difficulties arise for me when I try to figure out God’s will in a complex world. It is I believe up to each of us to rest where we find the rest and that is why I do not think it is helpful to tell someone they are taking the easy way out when they say it is the blood of Christ that has saved me, if that is where I have found peace with God then no man should argue with that, it is between that person and God when all is said and done, let God be the judge.

  74. foreverblessed says:

    Refump, I also pray for your son!
    Thanks Jeff, you are so right, nobody has anything to say when you have found peace through the blood of Christ!
    And in a sense, it is NOT the easy way out, it was very very hard for Jesus to do this! It was a great sacrifice.

    You know, it is our old human nature that wants to do the work. It is soooo hard for our human nature, to just accept the work of the Cross, it sounds like: doing nothing.

    But I do believe that the consuming fire of God, is the work of the Holy Spirit, is to bring us to that place of Rest,
    that place is IN Christ, our hope of glory. Col 1:27

    The contradiction to this all, is that it takes great work to come to Rest in Jesus.
    Because every time our old human nature wants to react, and we have to stop that reaction and turn to Jesus instead.

    -For instance, when we are falsely accused, what do we want to do? We want to strike back, set things right!
    No, stop
    and think, we have given ourselves over to Jesus, He is the One who will cover us, we do not have to do that ourselves!
    What a self-control that takes on our part, and you know that self-control is given to us when we ask for it Gal 5:23

    Looking to Jesus in this instance is looking what He did on the day of His Passion: they falsely accused Him, and He did not answer a word.
    Not a word………….silence
    Matt 26:63

  75. jeff1 says:

    When I read Our Daily Bread today I can see that God was angry with Moses and he suffered loss for he did not enter the promised land in his lifetime. So Gary you are right that we suffer loss for being wayward so you see God is fair and just and rewards the obedient and the disobedient suffer loss. This does not mean we loose our Salvation even if it is by the skin of my teeth that God has pulled me from the mire. May he pull many more from the mire in this wayward world today. God Help Us All.

  76. SFDBWV says:

    Refump you have blessed me with your kind words, thank you. I certainly will pray for your son to not only get a job, but the one God has prepared for him.

    Blessing to you and to your family.


  77. oneg2dblu says:

    refump… unemployment for those who seek jobs and have yet not found, is a tough place to be, as it suffers the one who is caught in the condition of want and need and those who depend on that person as well.

    But, God knows all our needs and He will provide.

    Please know, he prayers of those who can relate and relay are heard by God as well.

    This too shall pass, and God will be given, Glory, Honor, and Praise.

    Thank you Lord for hearing our prayers for others today.

  78. oneg2dblu says:

    I personally have been job hunting for a few years.
    At the same time, I was also being selective in my search.
    I wanted a job on my terms, that fit my schedule, and that may have certainly prolonged the process.
    However, a couple of months ago while at church the pastor who was teaching, stopped the service and said, he had a prompting in his spirit about calling out those who were in need of employment, or in financial hardship.
    Many stood up and came forward to be prayed over.
    I could have just rested in my seat, but chose to recognize that “my actions” are attached to my faith, just as much as application of the word, is to the knowledge of the word.
    So, I and many others present moved out of our seats of complacency, or comfort if you will, to a more exposed place of allowing others to pray for the actual needs of those who would willingly surrendered to the call and come forward in that service.

    It was only a very short time after others placed their faith abiding hands upon the needy and prayed that night, that the doors of finally finding employment opened to me, and the hearing of Praises that went out of me, were both immediate and directed, faith strengthening, and proving to me that application is one way that God uses to Blesses us.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  79. joycemb says:

    Gary reading your post Genesis 24:27 came to mind. I love the thought that while we are headed in a certain direction God is leading us to the outcome He desires for us. God is for us and not against us! Take a deep breath in the fresh air of His grace! And we can all stand in faith for those who’s faith is weakened by their tough battles. Praising God for His guidance in your life, Gary

  80. poohpity says:

    Can you imagine what life would be like without trusting in God? It seems the results of that lack of trust would be trying to control everything around us people, places and events. The shock of knowing we do not have that ability we need something bigger than ourselves to help.

    This season of celebrating the ancient holidays; The Festival of First Fruits and The Festival of Harvest brought many to Jerusalem. Both those holidays were to celebrate what the Lord had done in the lives of His people. The first fruit was Jesus of the many who would follow after Him and the day of Pentecost(harvest) when the Holy Spirit would come upon those who believe no longer trusting in themselves but in God to be His witness wanting us to be afraid of not trusting in Him to live this life.

    When we trust in ourselves or other people that seems to signify living by the flesh which we already knew how that was before we trusted in Christ. God gives us what we need to live a life and come out on the other side in victory and rejoicing no longer defeated by thinking we have to go it alone. The things He asks of us to do like loving others as He has loved us comes from His Spirit. He knew we could not do it in our own strength even though we try which results malice, envy, strife, anger etc. but I know for me it just never seems to work out unless I let go and give it all over to Him.

    He brings beauty from the ashes, life from death, joy in the midst of sorrow. So when I find myself looking around at myself or other people I become frustrated and without hope but to look at the Author and Finisher of my faith, hope springs up because God does have it all under control. A type of control that brings freedom, healing and life not the type of control that causes oppression, repression or obsession.

    At the Day of Pentecost a harvest came of newness rather trying than to please God in our own strength which we know did not work or else Jesus would not have had to come but trusting in the One who God was well pleased with and He has come to live within us as a helper.

  81. poohpity says:

    O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant 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.

    Through death into life everlasting
    He passed, and we follow Him there;
    O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
    For more than conqu’rors we are!

    His Word 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!

  82. jeff1 says:

    Lovely verses Pooh! thanks for sharing.

    I love this song want to share:

    Here the cries of the shackled from the onset of time,
    For the chains of defeat there’s no key.
    See the tears of the broken, the cries of the slave:
    Is there no one worthy to set us free?

    Then the crying is stilled as the chorus rings out,
    The shackled released from their chains,
    And thousand of voices are swelling the song:
    Worthy the Lamb that was slain.

    Worthy, worthy,
    Worthy the Lamb that was slain (x2)

    Then all the archangels, the saints of all time,
    Holding their crowns in their hands,
    Fall down before Him joining the song:
    Worthy, worthy the Lamb!

    Worthy, worthy
    Worthy, worthy the Lamb that was slain (x2)

    Praise Him, praise Him,
    Praise the Lamb that was slain (x2)

  83. jeff1 says:

    Most of my regrets in life come from my foolishness in that I listened to false teachers because my heart was not focused on where it should have been. To the outside world I looked pretty good in that I appeared to be a godly person. The other day I went with someone who was getting a diagnosis for possible Alzheimer’s the Doctor said to him a healthy heart is a healthy mind. When I let bitterness, angry and hatred into my heart I pay the price. This world does not change and there are many false teachers around today, it saddens me when I see friends and neighbours being taken in by their teaching. I have now the patience to understand how it is for them for I was that soldier. So out of my foolishness I have learned patience towards others. Today I am reluctant to listen to Preachers and because I feel I can not trust my own conclusions I look to Christ. It is amazing how God works in me regardless of how foolish I can be.

    You may ask me how I know my Lord is real (my Lord is real)
    You may doubt the things I say and doubt the way I feel (the way I feel)
    But I know He’s real today He’ll always be (He’ll always be)
    I can feel His hand in mine and that’s enough for me

    I will never walk alone He holds my hand (He holds my hand)
    He will guide each step I take
    And if I fall I know He’ll understand
    Till the day He tells me why He loves me so (He loves me so)
    I can feel His hand in mine
    That’s all I need to know

    I will never walk alone He holds my hand (He holds my hand)
    He will guide each step I take
    And if I fall I know He’ll understand
    Till the day He tells me why He loves me so (He loves me so)
    I can feel His hand in mine
    That’s all I need to know

    I can feel His hand in mine
    That’s all I need to know.

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