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Tired in Trying


Flickr Photo by Fernando Lanatta

After a wind storm took down big limbs and snapped trees in our neighborhood last week, my neighbors and I wore ourselves out trying to get down a heavy wild cherry branch that was hanging dangerously just beyond the reach of our ladder and ropes.

Yet, as I think back on it now, our physical efforts were little compared to the exhaustion that can follow efforts to experience a spirituality that seems beyond our reach.

Am saying this because of a series of conversations I had this past week with Elisa Morgan and Bill Crowder. While recording for Discover the Word, Elisa helped us see some often quoted words of Jesus in a way I hadn’t seen them before.

The words are familiar: They express Jesus’ invitation for tired and over-burdened people to come to him for rest (Matt 11:28-30). They became fresh for me though when Elisa called attention to what our Teacher said immediately before (Matt 11:25-27) and after (Matt 12:1-2).

The subject-link to what followed (Jesus’ explanation of Sabbath-rest law) was easier for me to see than the seemingly obscure words that preceded his invitation to come to him for rest. Yet by the time we were done thinking about the context, I think I better understood why Jesus didn’t just say “come to me” but also “learn from me”.

The rest and comfort Jesus offers us, is what he himself found in his Father.

The Message paraphrase of the Bible puts it like this: First Jesus prayed, “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.” Then, “Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen” (Matt 11:25-27).

With that introduction, The Message, expresses our Lord’s invitation in Matt 11:28-30 like this, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Again, seems clear to me how important it was that he not only said think “come to me” but “learn from me”— what it means to rely on him— as he learned to rely on the faithful presence, strength, and reach of his Father.

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183 Responses to “Tired in Trying”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    “Take up “your” cross and follow me”…

    I do take a slight offence at the use of “know it all’s” in the place of “the wise and understanding”.

    Is that to mean once we learn something we are considered a “know it all”?

    Spiritually, and in unison with stressfully, speaking what is the difference between resting in the Lord and trusting in the Lord?

    When burdened with our “cross” and the purpose and struggles of life while we may not “rest” from following Christ we can put our worries to “rest” in knowing and trusting in our Lord.

    Using the Disciples as examples none of them went home and sat down on their heisters and said well I can rest now; in fact every cemetery I know of somewhere in their rows of stones are Christians buried with the inscription RIP (rest in peace). Finally at rest and with their Lord.

    For me the Rest Jesus speaks of is encouragement and confidence and assurance; empowerment to carry on with life and its “purpose” for each of us…Our cross.


  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Folks —

    Seems to me the weary aftermath of working hard physically is not as draining as the struggle to strain into understanding how to pray for “Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum.” (Matt 11:21, 22, 23)

    As you say, Mart, the struggle to show Jesus to others who refuse to receive the Lord’s deeds of power, like those towns He mentioned refused. We may be struggling to accomplish what is far beyond us. Perhaps this is the best thing we can learn from Jesus.

    In His gentleness and humility we can rest — not quite R.I.P. yet Steve — but bearing lightly and easily the cross where Christ already did the burden-bearing.

    Could it be that the joy of little ones is more convincing to the world than ponderous theological weight? Just asking.

    Blessings all day,

  3. poohpity says:

    How can one rely on Jesus when they want to be the go to person, the one everyone else depends on. It seems the meaning to pick up our cross is to deny the flesh, my ways my wisdom, my understanding and learn the ways of Jesus. His ways turned the religious views on their head. They boasted in their righteousness while followers of Christ boasted in the righteousness of Jesus. Not looking at the things they could do but in what Jesus did. He took the law and lived it then put an end to it and now we live by His grace.

    The burdens of living under the Jewish religious system and the temporary sacrifices that had to be offered to atone for breaking those laws was finished at the Cross. Then He sent the Holy Spirit into the world to offer a place to rest and trust in it’s work not what we could do, hence rest, but what it does in our life. The hitch is dying to self(flesh)(picking up our cross)and being open to allowing God’s work in our life(abiding) living to follow the Way(rhythms of grace)not religiosity.

  4. SFDBWV says:

    In the movie “Josey Wales” the over-zealous “Red Leger” chasing Josey made the statement “Doing good ain’t got an end.”

    So to borrow from that statement, doing the right thing, doing good, opposing evil, helping those who need help has no end and no one can or should ever rest from it.

    In the analogy Mart uses in trying to reach a limb just out of reach, I am reminded of two things about being used of God.

    The first being if “reaching the limb” is given to you to accomplish, you will be anointed to accomplish the goal and will not rest until it is done.

    The second being if you are not anointed to accomplish the goal and the task given to another, all of your efforts are an exercise in frustration and you are “kicking against the pricks.”

    The only rest comes in knowing to trust things to God and pray as directed “Your will be done…”


  5. joycemb says:

    Maru yes, Jesus even said one must become as a little child. What do little children do, they watch and listen and ask questions and TRUST.

  6. joycemb says:

    But personally I just think that those with cognitive gifts have more questions than others. And that’s not a bad thing at all!

  7. joycemb says:

    ‘The Ragamuffin Gospel’ by Brennan Manning, which I read many years ago again and again helped me understand just what you Mart are talking about today except that I was coming out of a literal, works laden faith.

  8. Dinakar says:

    Loving God and Loving your neighbor are the twin pillars on which everything stands.
    yet this seems so hard to reach up to

    The scriptures tell us “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:” Hosea4:6 this verse is written in a context of people living lives based on wants and greed rather than love.

    To love forgetting about your self is one of the central messages in scripture.

    knowledge on loving your neighbor is not easy to find

    unless you seek for it as the pearl of great price and risk it all you may not find it.

  9. SFDBWV says:

    While I can attest to the fact that good hard work is exhausting, it “feels” good; while over taxing ourselves and operating from too much stress is a very different kind of exhaustion and leaves one not “feeling content.

    We read that Jesus became exhausted from the demands made on Him and when He did He sought solitude in order to strengthen Himself and be alone with the Father.

    I believe it was in Antioch that people began calling the followers of Jesus as Christians, and I believe the term Christian means to be “Christ-like”.

    If we are striving to be like Christ we imitate His behavior and operate from He as a base of all our actions and intentions.

    While I personally do not like those cute little church sayings we hear often used, “what would Jesus do” seems actually to fit most all situations.

    A bit of personal input here; over the past 16 years I often have tried to go off to one of my private places in order to pray and seek God’s guidance, or sometimes just to complain to Him. When almost immediately He sent me back to where I was needed and where He wanted me to be.

    It seems to me that one of the benefits of “resting” in Jesus is to not to try to think outside of Him and just allow Him to do the thinking and somewhere in it all I will just fit in nicely with His plans.

    No fuss no mess…no stress.

    51 degrees under clear skies.


  10. SFDBWV says:

    Dinakar I agree, while it is said that money is the root of all evil, I too believe “self” to be the base of all sin.


  11. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Friends —

    We can become tired out trying to represent Jesus and His kingdom. I agree with Steve saying that muscle tiredness is a satisfying thing — whereas, emotional and spiritual tiredness can leave a Jesus-follower anxious and tense.

    Appreciate this morning the way Eugene Peterson (The Message) interprets Jesus’ words to his worn out servants:

    “Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

    What a comforting invitation! It seems to me we best stay close to the Gospel stories to watch how Jesus does things –learning the “unforced rhythms of grace.”

    Reminds me of young David son of Jesse trying on Saul’s armor & finding it “heavy and ill-fitting.” Surely the Lord whispered to David to just choose one of the five smooth stones he had picked up in the creek bed. God used David in the confrontation with Goliath — just as he was. There was no need to strain or struggle to be a certain way…

    “Be not dismayed whatever betide!
    God will take care of you.
    Beneath His wings of love abide!
    God will take care of you.”

    Joy all day,

  12. poohpity says:

    I think that Jesus taught a couple of things of love. #1 Love others as He has loved us (John 13:34; 15:12) With other verse one may find things like; He did not hold grudges, He was quick to forgive, slow to anger, patient, full of grace, etc. #2 The next was love others as one loves themselves (Lev 19:18; Matt 22:39; Gal 5:14) pulling back and asking would I want someone to do that to me?(Romans 13:10).

    No matter how hard we try and become weary of trying we find all along that the work that Jesus does in one’s life, it is He that accomplishes those very things. The harder we try on our own the more frustrated one becomes. (Phil 1:6) The Lord will develop in us His fruit and our part seems to rest and allow Him to work. For us to continually stay connected to the Vine, that source of our nourishment.

  13. foreverblessed says:

    tired of trying, is the title,
    I was thinking about the oldest and the youngest son, in the parable of the lost son, or the waiting father

    The youngest son has suffered the consequences of his own choices, and is tired too, but he sees the forgiving eyes of his Father, the Grace, in which he is taken back into the house.
    The Grace by which he could now live, because he knew that he did not deserve anything anymore, he had taken up the inheritance and spent it already, all was gone. Nothing left of it. He knew he had no right anymore.

    the christian that is like the oldest son, is a person who is keeping the law, (the 10) and has done that all his life. A lot of sorrows had passed him, because he was a cautious man. Like all the wise advice of Proverbs: keep yourself from wicked women, he had done all that. He has not felt the Grace, he is living according to the rules, and he wishes that all his brothers would do the same, then there would be an orderly household.

    He does not know about the Grace that is needed to live in harmony with God and men.
    He has not come to the point of knowing that he could not rely on himself.

    You might say, what must the oldest son do? Go and sin, just like his younger brother? So that he would taste the sweetness of Grace?

    I guess not.
    I was like that, the keeping of the Law, the rituals of Religion, keeping days holy, the Sabbath day from sunset to sunset.

    While I was keeping these days, I remember asking God: Are You really so nitty picky on days, even which day that would have to be?
    I know that I put the question back into my mind, and kept going the days of religion.

    Come to Me and learn from Me Matt 11:28-30

    When I came to Him, tired of trying, and asking Him to show me His way, as I had seen it in a wrong context, then He started to teach me. And I guess, that is personally for me, and not for other christian who have not asked these questions like I did. They might have asked God other questions that I have never asked.

    I guess that the Holy Spirit teaches each of us personally, and only for that person. That what the Holy Spirit tells me, is not necessarily helpful for another.

    I was thinking about people who have different sexual tastes, then the hetero world has. They might ask God questions like, is it really so that You only want a man and a woman to marry?

    I guess, God is very well capable of answering that question, in a way that I do not understand. As it is not an issue that I struggle with. But… I also know that God is more understanding then I am.

    What does that have to do with the topic: about Jesus, who says: Learn from Me…
    So He teaches us, that is the Holy Spirit is teaching us, the Spirit of Christ.

  14. poohpity says:

    forever, I think it is that way in all believers lives going from trying to earn something to realizing it is a gift given freely. It awakens a whole new life when we finally understand. It is not about what we do but what has been done for us. The One who shares, atones, releases, forgives our burdens. Is it time to dance in Halleluiahs and praise? I think so. One can not dance if they are weighted down. :-)

  15. jeff1 says:

    I am tired of being misunderstood for the non believers that I know believe that I am weak minded for as they put it believing in magic as they see it. I continue to believe myself and practise my faith in the church I was brought up in because I have not seen a better one. I feel it’s all I am good for now as I end up in arguments with people I care about so I do not try to tell others what I believe and accept that I will suffer loss in the kingdom but it is making me unwell to do otherwise. I trust God will understand that all I have to offer is my own faith leave it in His hands.

  16. poohpity says:

    Viv, I learned a saying a long time ago, “it is not my business what others think”. It seems the only very important thing is what God thinks and He loves you with an eternal love so surround yourself in that. It is not up to you to prove your faith to anyone or argue for it but just to live in it. Guess what that will be a witness in and of it’s self. No words needed.

  17. oneg2dblu says:

    Makes me wonder why we share so much time quoting in verses and the truth it brings, and yet advise others, to live as drunken sailors and not play by the rules, just so they can receive God’s Grace?

    That advice to me, is never well received by those who know better, but only by those who don’t know better,and considering that the whole world is already living outside the rules by their very nature, they certainly do not need further temptation presented to them, Satan is already taking care of those things so we do not have to.

    God’s plan for sexual desire was planted in the Garden, but man it seems, has cultivated his own plan instead, and any questions we might have about what God’s original plan is, is found in His Word, (.)

    I believe, our place as Christ Followers gives us the proper direction through God’s Word alone, for Christ never said to anyone, go on sinning so that Grace may come to you.

    But, I may be wrong.

    I even think I read somewhere in God’s Word, that God hears the prayers of the righteous, but the wicked…?

    That is the advice I would tend to share to a world who already lives just as “they” darn, well, please.

    But, I may be wrong.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  18. joycemb says:

    Forever I really like what you wrote earlier today. It make so much sense when you look at things through God’s eyes and not our own.

    I studied “The Return of the Prodigal” by Henri Nouwen and it was wonderful, such insights he has, but the thing that really startled me even was when Henri suggested that our goal in life is not to figure out how to live as a returning prodigal or even recover from the ‘older brother syndrome’, but to become like the Father who is love and loves everyone.

    Tired of Trying can also apply to loving others, especially within our family of God. Some things are best left to God’s hands who loves all and knows so much more than we ever can. Bless you Forever.

  19. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… I really think your line of thought is right on, as we are never done in our quest to continue to do right.

    We also by our very nature, will with no extra prodding, will flourish like uncontrolled weeds, less the Gardener prunes us.
    For left to our own ways, or desires, we will stray like sheep without a Shepherd.


  20. poohpity says:

    Gee Gary, here you go again. Who advised anyone to live as drunken sailors or to live anyway they want just so they can receive more grace? No one that I have read. That is just another false accusation which seems to be your constant misunderstanding of grace and how Jesus effects a person’s life once they given their life over to Him. There is no need to receive more grace than we already have once we came to believe. If you believed in Jesus you would know and understand that.

  21. joycemb says:

    gary you said: “We also by our very nature, will with no extra prodding, will flourish like uncontrolled weeds, less the Gardener prunes us”.

    Yes, “less the Gardener prunes us”! And if He is faithful, and we who know Him know He is, He will for our good and others. May we all be pruned with the Fathers’ loving pruning shears!

  22. Dinakar says:

    As I read most of the comments given above TWO controversies come to the forefront
    1. The conflict between LAW and LOVE. Paul the apostle devotes two books – Romans and Galatians to combat this 1st century dilemma. Actually it is still an issue because if you tried to love your fellow men law and judgment about the other person would come in the way as seen in some posts above.
    Paul would stress not to follow the Law but stick with Love.
    In Gen 2:17 we read “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

    because man has eaten of the tree of Knowledge LAW (good & evil) resulting from knowledge is inherent in human nature.
    Love super seeds the requirements of the Law, consider what Jesus said even looking at a woman with adulterous intent is sin – you would not find this in the Laws of Moses.
    2. The second issue that comes to mind is the controversy between “Grace” and “works” this is essentially a 4th century issue.
    Pelagius a British monk went to Rome primarily to learn, there he found the life of Roman senators and politicians – who were recent additions to Christianity due to Emperor Constantine’s acceptance of Christianity – to have a very poor moral life.
    Pelagius felt the need to stop the moral decay in the Church and voiced his opinion within the Church. Augustine of Hippo a bishop in north Africa was fully endorsed by Constantine when he said “salvation is by Grace alone”. All a person had to do according to Augustine is confess his sins to a Priest under a Bishop who was in communion with the other Bishops within the Church apart from sacraments like baptism and holy communion.
    – Historic material taken from ” The Story of Christian Theology” by Roger E. Olson.

    poohpity in answer to your question “Who advised anyone to live as drunken sailors or to live anyway they want just so they can receive more grace?” my guess is it was Emperor Constantine who enforced this theology at the first ecumenical conference in the Church any one who opposed this doctrine excommunicated from the church.
    Pelagius was sent to the Egyptian desert to meditate !!.
    The Church has since put to death anyone who opposed the doctrines of Church till the 16th or 17th century.

    Today we talk of “Salvation by Grace” more to emphasize the Sovereignty of God in our salvation.

  23. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    Mart, your conclusion brings comfort where trying by mere thinking it through can bring weariness. You wrote:

    “Again, seems clear to me how important it was that he not only said think ‘come to me’ but ‘learn from me’— what it means to rely on him— as he learned to rely on the faithful presence, strength, and reach of his Father.”

    Jesus admired faith in both Jews and Gentiles. He liked the faith of the four who lowered their paralyzed friend down through a hole in the roof so Jesus’ power could heal him. (Mk 2:5)

    When the woman who was a sinner anointed Jesus’ feet with ointment and tears, Jesus forgave her sins on account of her faith in Him. (Lk 7:50)

    We learn from the Lord Jesus how to trust our heavenly Father living by faith. The power is in God’s grace, not our understanding of it. Perhaps childlike faith is the path to God’s mighty acts in Jesus Christ. It is received, not taken, it seems to me.


  24. remarutho says:

    Agreeing with you, Dinakar, that God is sovereign! Maru

  25. poohpity says:

    Dinakar, Yes Paul would have, from experience, taught the difference in living a life under the burden of the law since he was a Pharisees (Phil 3:4-6) living by the flesh comparing it to living by the Spirit(Gal 5:23-25). Paul had full knowledge of the difference which he also shared that which is what Gary was speaking to, “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!” (Romans 6:15). Paul understand with humility that now that we believe in Christ the desire for sin becomes less but we will never become sinless until that day when we see Jesus face to face. (Phil 1:5-6)

    So now I believe by what it says when we become “tired of trying” then we are open to allowing the Lord to do what He does best to transform us into His likeness. Nothing we can do on our own or in our strength but by allowing God access to our hearts, minds and souls.

  26. poohpity says:

    Dinakar, that question I posed to Gary had more to do with had any one on this blog ever given that kind of advise(here and now). I do not think Constantine was even given a second of thought but I could be wrong about that but one never knows around here because obviously you thought of it.

  27. Dinakar says:

    Poopity, I did understand what you wrote as in here and now but the concept of grace reliving a person of moral standards is quite common in current Christian thought. To think about moral uprightness as salvation by works is a muddle I wanted to bring to the discussion here.

    You are right no one here mentioned about living as drunken sailors, but the tendency towards this attitude is below the surface.

  28. poohpity says:

    Dinakar, I have yet to meet a follower of Christ who lives under His grace that has tendencies below the surface to live as a drunken sailor as an example. If that is the case they may be only professing to be a Christian. I need not worry about it nor point it out to them. There will many who say I have done things in your name Jesus but Jesus will say, “Depart from me I never knew you”. God knows!

    Is that the kinda attitude you have below the surface?

  29. joycemb says:

    Dinakar I get what you are saying. I agree, yes, the undercurrent of thought toward the attitude that some here live as drunken sailors is an ongoing battle here. Law vs grace is an ongoing battle here for that matter. My thoughts about it are that we tend to misunderstand an awful lot because we are reading words without hearing or seeing into peoples eyes. Often also I believe we misunderstand because we don’t have enough information. Short answers/responses or verbal Ping-Pong are easily misunderstood. I am guilty of it myself.

  30. joycemb says:

    Pooh I think there are many Christians who drink to excess. I myself overeat to excess. Brennan Manning wrote the Ragamuffin Gospel after falling off the wagon and going through a divorce. A lovely Christian man who understood about struggle and grace. I’ve heard it said before that if you are a Christian and still sin then it’s questionable if you are still a Christian. I hope this is not what you are saying….

  31. jeff1 says:

    Pooh,your post 22 July 10.36 am

    Thank you for your encourageing words. I try very hard to not let people get me down but and I do believe two things either Iam getting better at not letting attitudes get me down or I am getting too old and weary to care. I don’t mean that I don’t care about the people but it was God who intervened in my life and so I believe I can trust Him with their’s and rest in that assurance. We are all very different personalities and I am thankful that God knows our differences and allows us growth accordingly. Patient as well as full of mercy, it is not that I insist on forcing my knowing of God for any other reason than for theme to know of God’s goodness for like the apostle Paul I had tried to live by the law but God spoke to my heart when I was ready to hear it and I am so content in knowing that grace is what I needed.

  32. poohpity says:

    Viv, you are welcome I struggle with the same thing of letting people get under my skin that is why I applied those phrases to my life but it is an ongoing thing. It seems to me we can not really lose one way or the other living in God’s grace that makes life worthwhile to me.

    Joyce that is not what I meant. I was saying that as a Christian having the thoughts to keep on sinning to receive more grace which were the accusations of Gary. I do not believe a follower of Christ has those intentional thoughts. I went back and reread what I wrote and that is exactly what I wrote, no need to try and read between the lines or assume but just read as it was written.

  33. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… too bad you did not go back and reread what forever said, before making personal accusations yourself about me.

    Forever said,
    ” the christian that is like the oldest son, is a person who is keeping the law, (the 10) and has done that all his life. A lot of sorrows had passed him, because he was a cautious man. Like all the wise advice of Proverbs: keep yourself from wicked women, he had done all that. He has not felt the Grace, he is living according to the rules, and he wishes that all his brothers would do the same, then there would be an orderly household.”

    (A lot of sorrows passed him, because he was a cautious man?)

    Where does it say that in scripture?

    “He does not know about the Grace that is needed to live in harmony with God and men.”

    Where does it say that in scripture?

    Then forever says,

    “You might say, what must the oldest son do? Go and sin, just like his younger brother? So that he would taste the sweetness of Grace?

    Sound familiar?

    Then you say,
    “Joyce that is not what I meant. I was saying that as a Christian having the thoughts to keep on sinning to receive more grace which were the accusations of Gary.”

    I believe the thoughts of living like the younger so,n or a drunken sailor, or living in sin to receive grace, were first introduced into this thread by forever, and not me.
    But, I may be wrong.


  34. oneg2dblu says:

    ” no need to try and read between the lines or assume but just read as it was written.”

  35. joycemb says:

    Oh thanks Pooh, the word “tendencies” threw me as I have tendencies to overeat, no matter how much I try not to. Semantics I guess.

  36. joycemb says:

    I must say that there are times after reading your comments Pooh I ask myself, “Am I really a Christian?”
    Or am I just delusional and brain-damaged. LOL!

    I need a time-out I think, once again.

    I’m not criticizing or judging you, I’m just putting out there my experience here.

  37. oneg2dblu says:

    I will always reject any trying to rewrite, the already well written, easily understood parts of the Word of God.

    So, when it comes to opening that door to allow for our modern thinking man’s sexual desires to reign, or to rewrite or rethink God’s clearly written words, then a red flag goes up in me.

    “Caution is that flag’s message.

    So, just like the “man of sorrows”according to forever, the “oldest son theory,” who cautiously lived his life and consequently never knew his father’s grace.

    How could the oldest son, a son who always obeyed his father, kept himself pure, and who clearly knew he had an inheritance waiting for him, not also know of his own father’s love or grace?

    It is an absurd assumption given to overshadow the other message, (the message of repentance,) the awakening moment of taking responsibility for one’s wrong actions, the actual coming to his senses, and then, his returning to the father.

    No, we are directed to always focus on the older brother’s jealousy and his failure to live like a wild weed, just so he too can experience grace?

    Yet the name of the story is, “the Lost Son,” if I remember correctly.

    But, I may be wrong.

  38. Dinakar says:

    Reading the posts above gave me a new insight into the biblical story of the prodigal son.

    The younger son did not love the father or the brother and wanted out of the family life.
    The elder son did not love the younger one once he came back either.
    It was only the Father who loved them regardless of the situation.

    If we are to learn from this,
    we could use this Blog to love one another or tear each other apart.


  39. lovely says:

    Here i see controversies from Grace vs Works, Rest vs work & the law vs love of God. Despite our different personality , we are all made in the image of God and all of us has God’s justice, grace & love that he puts in us. Yet because of Adams’ sinful nature in us we tend to react as well, . We’re all save by Grace Ephesians 2:5 however we need to continue to live in it. Galatians 1:6 . We do good works out of the love of God.. we don’t do work to gain God’s love or to be saved. God is loving and full of grace at the same time He is also a God of justice. Psalm 26:3 , Proverbs 21:15 . In the prodigal son story the oldest son was blessed all the while because he wasn’t lost and was with the father yet he didn’t realize how much he has thinking he has to work for it Luke 15:31 . so More than keeping the Law , we need to seek the love of the law giver,,.. the one who created these.. That’s where we find rest.. So don’t just stop at the law.. continue till you find His love.. Lovely

  40. jeff1 says:

    God knew us better that we know ourselves for history has repeated itself and we have made the mistakes of our forefathers, it takes a sinner who is saved by grace to know this but many are still trying to do what the older brother did but the love of their earthly father demonstrates the love of God. False teaching has caused many to either walk away or fall away from the faith but the Bible tells of this so it is not new to God. We are all saved by God’ grace whether we realize it or not but it is the father in the story of the prodical son who shows God’s grace and I strive to be more like that but it is a struggle I find.

  41. cbrown says:

    Foreverblessed, I know that you are gifted as a writer and that you pick your words carefully. Would you explain to me why you used the phrase “I guess not” twice in your post 7/22 8:37AM.Love to All, Chris

  42. poohpity says:

    It seems the older son did not have to go and sin in the same way the younger did because the older son was filled with pride and that all in it’s self caused separation, bitterness, anger, jealousy toward the Father and the younger brother.

  43. poohpity says:

    It seems the difference was the younger son recognized his sin before God and his father while the older brother because of pride could not admit to his. The older I thought represented the religious people(Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots)hence the reason for the parable who believed in their own righteousness.

  44. oneg2dblu says:

    Gee, was I misled, I thought the Prodigal Son story was about the younger brother who was the prodigal.

    And after wasting all his inheritance on wrong living and realizing his error, he came to his senses and returned to the father.

    But apparently I may be wrong, because now we are all talking about the pride of the “wrongly motivated obedient” son instead.

    I guess the title of the story to some here, has not much to do with the story they seem to see in that prideful older brother who by living according to his father’s wishes, was the one who missed out and did receive any grace.

    But, is that really the story?

    To me, it is a story of Repentance for anyone who comes to their senses, and yes, the older brother who could well represent some of us, who have not yet seen the error of our ways, but as Dinakar rightfully explained, the younger brother was the one that was lost or dead, and the party which the older could not participate in,was all about his younger brothers returning.

    Buy, I may be wrong.

    cbrown… I too found no real resolve in the words, “I guess not.”

    They to me, are not of one taking a stand for something, but more of taking a “cop out”, a plea which says, something similar to my recent more softer endings of late.

    “But I may be wrong.”

  45. oneg2dblu says:

    Dinakar… I must say that I can not know for sure, if the younger loved or did not love his brother or father just from just reading the scriptures.

    But, I do know,he had a misguided love for doing the wrong things with the inheritance given to him.

    If we could all learn from this, we would also use this Blog to love each other, or tear each other apart.

    To me, all professing Christians today who are not living rightly according to the scriptures, may be those, who may well be spending their inheritance on misguided love.


  46. poohpity says:

    Gary, the three parables about the lost Jesus seemed to be explaining by giving examples to the religious leaders who were questioning why Jesus hung out with sinners in Luke 15:1-2 “Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. 2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!” Then the three examples followed. The older brother represented them but they still did not seem to understand.

    Which many religious people still to this day do not understand what Jesus came for or the fullness of what was accomplished on the Cross and afterward. Someone who was talked about from Genesis through Malachi yet they did not have a clue because they were stuck on the heavy burden of trying to please God rather than on the One who lifted that burden so you are not alone in not understanding.

  47. bubbles says:

    Dear Gary, Have you considered sometimes stories can have more than one lesson to teach? I think you are right about the main idea of the prodigal son story is the one who was lost and returned. But like a gemstone, there are other facets; the son who stayed home is one of them. Then there is the love and forgiveness of the father is another lesson. Many times I can read something in the Bible that I have read many times before and learn something new. I have thought, “Wow, I’ve never seen that before.” God’s Word is deep and rich.

  48. oneg2dblu says:

    bubbles… yes of course there are plots and sub plots and many facets gleaming forth from the word.

    Just like I believe the Ten Commandments were given for many reasons one of which is to show us our sin, while they also can guide us into right living.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  49. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… yes and even the Disciples, who were not Pharisees did not understand them.

  50. oneg2dblu says:

    Then, we also have the rest of the sinning world, the Mission Field, those who had never even heard of the word, and those who have heard it, but could not understand it.

    How could anyone ever teach the word properly unless they fully understand it themselves?

    Those today who have learned the word, though taught incorrectly, probably unknowingly teach it falsely as well.

    So, today we have so many different interpretations, denominations and religions out there, and their teachers are all teaching a slightly different story, or facet, aren’t they?

  51. SFDBWV says:

    In following the thread of conversation it is interesting to take another look at the parable of the “Prodigal Son”; and its connection to the topic.

    It is also interesting how important the tiny connecting word “in” is used and not “of” in the title “Tired in trying.”

    In my observation of the older, and, may I add, more responsible, son in the story, I notice that what he is “guilty” of is not having compassion for his wayward brother.

    Not having compassion has a great many connecting faults that accompany it.

    In looking at the story again in Scripture I see that it is in a combination of parables meant to show “Jesus’ particular concern for the lost and God’s love for the repentant sinner”. Luke 15:1-7 the parable of the lost sheep, Luke 15:8-10 the parable of the lost coin and Luke 15:11-32 being the parable of the lost son.

    Departing from Scripture a moment I don’t know of very many families where siblings don’t have “attitudes” about each other. Also where there is no shortage of one complaining to their parents about the other.

    As my very special friend, Bubble’s, has already stated there are many layers to every verse of Scripture and we all see these layers at different times in our walk and life of reading and receiving from Scripture. When we share where we are sometimes it opens up the eyes of another, not disagreement, but rather enlightenment.

    The father in the story has taken nothing away from his more obedient son, he only is asking him to be happy that his disobedient son has returned.

    I apologize I should know better than to try and write later in the day as I am pulled away right now and had more I wanted to say, maybe later or maybe tomorrow.

    I do hope all here have a joy filled and blessed day enjoying God’s presence.


  52. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve.. you may have been cut short, but your contribution is huge, your defining the word “in” verses the “of.”

    Like being in Christ, not just a knowing of Christ.

    That is Huge!

  53. street says:

    thanks mart much to think about. got my lap top back from the shop today,but got to read the new post yesterday on another pc and think about it. much to catch up on! been thinking about law and grace, works and faith….like plowing back and forth with no end in sight! thinking the grounds got to get finished sometime for planting?! sounds like breaking up the ground to me. so much better for good seed. remember paul saying we can leave the basic stuff behind if the Lord permits? wow does that hit home.

    been thinking along this line too. when the son came home from feeding pigs and was received by His Father….what did that relationship look like after the welcome home party??? we where only given insight to the Father’s joy he returned Home. i am not thinking law and judgment or faith and works but something more, that is just out of reach.

  54. joycemb says:

    Street you said:
    remember paul saying we can leave the basic stuff behind if the Lord permits? wow does that hit home.

    I was thinking the very same thing, and what you say about plowing the ground makes so much more sense in the Spiritual realm than in the physical.

    Scripture says we are never finished growing up in our most Holy faith. Only that we are to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

    Glad you got your laptop fixed, I’ve been wondering where you’ve been.
    blessings, Joyce

  55. joycemb says:

    Mart mentioned Matthew 12:1-2 in the blog. As I read and reread it I found a cross-reference in John 9:16 that kind of reminds me of the discussion here today of Law vs Grace. Interesting.

  56. poohpity says:

    I think it comes down to whether one trusts the power,faithful presence, strength, and reach of God? It often seems that more trust in put in the very human beings that messed everything up to begin with. So bottom line does one trust in God proving that by not trying anymore to earn something that we have had all along and went to great lengths to show us? How much we are loved and how long He has pursued mankind to have an undeserved but desired relationship with Him. That should cause anyone’s heart to burst with gratitude and praise.

    So no arguments about law and grace. Law is about mankind trying and grace is trusting in what God has done, will do and can do. Each person has to make that choice for themselves for me I chose to trust God although I do not do it perfectly He Knows what is in my heart. How about yours?

  57. poohpity says:

    The picture of the baby resting comfortably in the arms of it’s Father is a great picture of what you gave us to think about Mart. :-)

  58. street says:

    poo said,”Then He sent the Holy Spirit into the world to offer a place to rest and trust in it’s work not what we could do, hence rest, but what it does in our life.”

    thinking Jesus came to bring in the Kingdom the first time and was rejected. not only that it was offered a second time through His servants. it was rejected both times. the Holy Spirit was given to take up where Jesus left off. they both do the same thing, both are of the Godhead and they are One. not sending the Holy Spirit would have left us up the creek without a paddle. God is truly gracious and loving in enduring in the soul of men. thinking, john the last apostle, writing to the church, after the destruction of israel, to give it the final instructions and comfort for the pilgrimage ahead of it. we are to expect His soon return even if it is another 1900 years. soon return keeps us on our toes and the Spirit keeps us from turning into sodom and Gomorrah. 1900 years is less than 2 days to Dad and He remembers our sin no more. remember the love of the flesh keeps you from loving the Father and His Son. take up the cross daily in His presents live. sorrow and grief are a part of life, it’s just the love of the flesh compounds the problem. our hope is as certain as the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. watch and pray.

  59. street says:

    gary said,”God’s plan for sexual desire was planted in the Garden, but man it seems, has cultivated his own plan instead, and any questions we might have about what God’s original plan is, is found in His Word, (.)”

    the fall of man is the complete and total destruction of everything good in man. sure we were made in His image,but our willful sinful rebellion set us on a coarse of death and rightful punishment. there was no way out of this and no redeeming quality in fallen man, not one. man has no ability apart from God to understand the original plan of God let alone back track. God in His infinite love for man became man to pay the price for justice, there by nullify the certificate of death due us. the “debt” this payment made it possible to give the His Spirit to mankind to bring them into complete understanding and fellowship with God. does it happen over night no. it happen before the foundation of the earth! paul talked about a light and momentary affliction compared to the weight of future Glory to be revealed. remembering Jesus learned obedience in suffering and we are to follow in His footsteps. Dad saves all our tears. praying they are for Him and His righteousness. God bless you and keep you may His face shine upon you…

  60. street says:

    gary said,”Just like I believe the Ten Commandments were given for many reasons one of which is to show us our sin, while they also can guide us into right living.”

    all the law can do is condemn us. paul makes that very clear and so does the Spirit. we are kept under the law till Christ. Romans walk by the Spirit or walk by the flesh. by the way, we started by crawling or scooting first. then sanding and falling. and later as paul points out finishing the race. the part we are in is walking, running, obstacles. we need Dad cheering for us all the way. who is man that you are mindful of Him and stoop down to look at Him? nothing gets by Him. His love is difficult to apprehend it is so foreign to me. yet it is found in Him and Christ. Dad help me to love and take up my cross daily.
    mart still thinking of an earlier post of the strangeness and purpose of the dragon. thinking of job laying it all at God’s feet. job is an incredible man of faith.

  61. street says:

    gary which is better the big ten or Jesus saying “come to me” but also “learn from me”.?

  62. foreverblessed says:

    Cbrown, thanks for asking, I was thinking a bit out loud in my first comment to the topic, July 22, 8.37 am

    The topic Mart brought up reminded me of the oldest son in the parable of the lost son.
    The parable is about the loving heart of God for the Lost.
    But this parable has a peculiar ending to it: that of the oldest son, who was not lost. But…. did not have the heart and love and joy of the Father’s heart.
    The parable ends in an open way, the oldest son doesn’t yet rejoice.

    My take is (the many layers this parable may have, this layer is now my thing) that the oldest son was more like living the rules, and not enjoying. Just like I was (hopefully -was- but the legal way of viewing things is coming back and back, it is so hard to live according to grace).

    My question was, how do you get the oldest son to live in grace. Let him live in sin?
    Well, I thought that it was quite obvious that the answer is no!
    Everybody here on this blog knows what Paul said about that question, Romans 6:1-2
    Sometimes it is better to leave the obvious out, and not spell out to the detail, and let people make their own conclusions.
    That’s why I left it open.

  63. foreverblessed says:

    How does that oldest son come to that Rest.
    Jesus answered that in Matt 11:28 Come to Me

    Coming to Jesus is what I thought I did, but deep down my reference point was the 10 commandments.
    Just like the oldest son who was irritated by the younger, who broke all the rules, and yet was lovely taken back, when he had come to his senses. Why couldn’t the oldest rejoice? If the oldest was the same as I was, then it was because he was more focused on the 10, then on Jesus.
    If people just keep the 10, all will be well in our country. I keep it, they can too! Why don’t they do that?
    Irritation it is.

    But, Jesus says to ALL, the wayward son and the son who stayed at home: Come to Me

    and the topic focuses on: … and learn from me.

    What do we learn from Him…
    there I was being cautious in my comment, because Jesus, that is the Holy Spirit teaches each of us individually, as is needed for each personally, And I, personally, had taken the 4th commandment literal, keep the 7th day holy. Just as it is written Ex 20:8
    You could say, I was a “know it all’ about this commandment.
    My point was, that I was not asking God questions about this, so the Holy Spirit did not teach me deeper things about it.

    So everybody can come to Jesus, and LEARN from Him, as they ask questions, as they seek and knock, and with their whole heart search the heart of Jesus, and that is Love, as lovely so well wrote about.

    It is just as Street asks, which is better the 10 or Following Jesus in an intimate relationship

    It reminds me of Moses who wrote about this, he gave the 10, but gave this advice with it:
    When the Prophet comes, you listen to Him!
    Now Jesus has come, and did I listen to Him, it took me years ans years to learn from Him. That it is more profitable to look to all what He taught, then keep looking at the 10.

    (and besides, when we look to Jesus, we will also keep the 10, as He magnified it to a deeper level,(not even be angry in your heart, Matt 5:22) a level which is impossible to keep, without living in faith in Jesus, and Resting in Him)

  64. foreverblessed says:

    Personally, I have struggled with this Sabbath question a lot. Now with this topic, it teaches me even further:
    Mat 11:28-30 and the next verse is Mat 12:1,2-13
    Jesus was talking about coming to Rest in Him, and then the next thing He is teaching about the Sabbath. Already, there He was teaching about the Resting in Him, in faith, that is the Sabbath Rest.

    But, as I said, the Holy Spirit is teaching everybody on his own level. In my own church housegroup we think very differently about this subject. And I was thinking, how come that the Holy Spirit teaches me that it is about the Rest in faith in Him, and does not teach the other person the same thing.
    And then it occurred to me, that when I was a “know it all” about the 4th commandment, neither could God teach me the deeper meaning of the Sabbath Rest.
    He could teach me, when I was crying out to Him about it. As I had grown up in a 7th day keeping church, and had been viewed as heretics by fellow christians who kept the Sunday, I had suffered much because of a strict interpretation.
    I grabbed Jesus by the arm and asked and asked, “are You so specific about days, You who created heaven and earth, where mountains tremble at your voice, Psalm 114:7 You, are You so picky about days?”

    God was very specific then, in the Old Testament, under the Old Covenant: The Law was added, so that we would get tired of trying and trying, and failing.
    In oreder that we would be prepared for the greater Covenant, the New Covenant, that one of Grace. That all that we do is done in the Rest:
    Hebrews 4:9-10
    God rested from His own works, done in 7 (God) days, to teach us that we Rest from our own works.
    As God remains in the Sabbath, as that 7th day was the only one that did not have an end (Genesis 1:31)so we remain in that Rest:
    The living in faith in Jesus, that Rest of the New Covenant, what I have written here before:
    God promises to do His part, and He promises to do our part in us, as we rely on Him in doing so.

  65. foreverblessed says:

    Anyway, I have been asking about the Sabbath rest, because I struggled with it, and the Holy Spirit taught me.
    But I have not asked questions about the man and woman thing, the same sex struggle, as it is no struggle for me.
    So I was sort of quessing, that God could teach those who struggle with that point deeper things.

  66. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed you are right, in my thinking, that what isn’t said sometimes speaks volumes. The problem of course is from what base those volumes are spoken.

    Creation came in 6 days, but God rested on the 7th and since the beginning it is ordained that man observe this day of rest.

    All throughout Scripture the importance of observing “Sabbat” is written even with the threat of death, and then along comes God in the flesh as Jesus of Nazareth, it is also recorded that nearly all if not all of His miracles were performed on “Sabbat”.

    Jesus could “violate” the conditions of observing this special day of rest because He *is* the special day of rest.

    Jesus is Sabbat or the Sabbath or the day of rest. We come to Him for rest.

    As to what isn’t said in the parable of the prodigal son, it is understood I believe that once the wayward son came home he returned to the care and comfort of his father and left his rebellious lifestyle behind. His miss-adventure having taught him there was no future in riotous living.

    It is my hope that he and his family “lived happily ever after”.

    It would seem that in our limited understanding of God, we somehow thought God was “tired” after creating everything that exists and so needed a day of rest.

    However that 7th day of rest is not meant for His need, rather it is for ours, to not only physically rest, but to honor, reflect, embrace and settle in with the God of creation.

    Rest means rest, not to be anxious for anything, but to trust in Him and leave it be.

    Though it was 47 yesterday morning it is a much warmer 53 this morning under clear skies.

    I hope all enjoy the day and are at peace. Peace that sometimes makes no sense.


  67. poohpity says:

    Not only come to Jesus but learn from Him reminds me of the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:39-42 NLT;

    As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

    41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

    Sometimes getting distracted by details we miss the bigger picture of what is really important to God only then can I realize the meaning of the yoke we are given is easy because I am walking beside my Savior who is yoked to me which makes a relationship not the burdens of religion.

  68. jeff1 says:

    I think we may find that what we learn here is carried into the Kingdom and shared that seems to be our failing in knowing whom to share with. Many are not that interested in knowing God for they have closed their mind either because of false teaching or lack of any teaching. Christians (like I was) have put them off trying so hard to get the 10 right instead of showing grace mainly because I was focused on rules than getting to know God’s character because I let pride get in the way but at least now I have patience with those who are still where I was and show grace instead of getting angry and impatient. God really does want me to trust Him when it comes to dealing with my own short falls as well as others and leave the judgements to him because He has the big picture and I am a piece in the picture.

  69. joycemb says:

    Foreverblessed I watch a tv show here in the states called “Return to Amish”, a reality show that really surprised me when I saw how keeping the ‘rules’ of the group is more important than anything Jesus said. It’s very sad yet I know there are former Amish who have become born again and are trying to minister to them. It is a hard road recovering from a rules oriented group. I’ve been recovering myself for many years. So glad we both found The Way out.

  70. oneg2dblu says:

    street… thanks for the treatise of the Fall of Man.
    But, if you would reread what I said, about God’s original plan for sex, (which came before the fall of man,) instead of trying to put my thoughts in your box, you would know that God’s plan was for one man and one woman to come together as one, and fulfill God’s first command, which was be “fruitful and multiply.”
    So, you are correct about the fall and why man can’t seem to get it right…
    If you can not figure that one out, I’ll pray for you to obtain a better understanding of God’s Original Plan, One man and one woman.

  71. poohpity says:

    Gary, it would be nice not to be so condescending toward street at least he understands and believes what happened on the Cross.

  72. poohpity says:

    “The only thing that exceeds right-doing is right-being. Your motives must be so pure that God can see nothing to rebuke. Who can stand in the eternal light of God and have nothing for Him to rebuke? Only the Son of God, and Jesus Christ claims that through His redemption He can place within anyone His own nature and make that person as pure and as simple as a child. The purity that God demands is impossible unless I can be remade within, and that is exactly what Jesus has undertaken to do through His redemption.” –Oswald Chambers, from My Utmost for His Highest.

  73. joycemb says:

    Hmmmmm, “it would be nice not to be so condescending toward Street”
    sounds like judgement to me, Pooh I thought you hated being judged? Careful.

  74. joycemb says:

    “at least he understands and believes what happened on the Cross.”

    Yes, prayer is what is needed. God please open the eyes of all our understanding to know You more. Amen

  75. joycemb says:

    We are all on a journey, learning and growing and gaining insight. Some here have not had the blessing of being born into and raised in Christian families, as Mart has, but even he in this post talks about learning something new from scripture that I’m sure he’s read a zillion times but just recently God has enlightened him further about.

    We are ALL in the process. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.

  76. street says:

    dear gary……been thinking about what you said about the original plan. if i remember correctly God said,”it is not good for man to be alone.” even after He rested on the 7 th day, and He said it was all good. this opens for some crazy and godless speculation which is can be quite unfruitful. it does trouble my heart, but i believe the trouble stems from the separation from God. He said, “it is not good for man to be alone.” in creating man in His image He made us free to choose. He also created the consequences of these choices. light/darkness. good/evil. the older son we have been thinking about was close to the Father yet he was alone. the younger entered into a relationship based on grace. he was no longer alone. the older is still alone when the story ends and leads us to a choice to make. remain in isolation or receive grace. this grace is based in the Fathers love for His children. it’s a love that that is commanded by God, but can only be given freely and without assumption or conditions. to do so would invalidate the love and doom the relationship to failure.

    the big ten are without question the bedrock of a righteous life lived before God. apart from the living flesh and blood of Christ we are alone and dead. His Holy Spirit is the guarantee of new life to come even though our bodies are as good as dead, yet we live.

  77. oneg2dblu says:

    street… thanks for understanding.
    Yes, God made a perfect helper for Adam. The point is that if God did not want Adam and Eve to have “his form of natural sex,” to fulfill His Command, we would not all be here.

    The earth would by now, be void of humanity.

    I trust we need say no more on this issue, but, I may be wrong.

    I almost feel sorry for those who reject the Ten for having “any value” other than, showing us our sin.

    So much of the world today also those simple laws of right living, that we have an ever darkening world as a result.

    I wish we could all see that we do not have to choose one or the other, or Christ verses the Law, because Christ fulfilled the Law.

    But, although He fulfilled that part which was to bring death on us, that which He took it upon himself on the cross, He conquered death.

    However, He said, He would not remove even one little part of them. And yet man tries to put them all aside, saying the are impossible to obey.

    So, the Ten that still remain, still stand for something, Don’t they?

    Paul covered that ground quite well when he said, that following the commands of God are not burdensome.
    So, as Christ Followers, who are forgiven their sin, and live under grace, we are no longer to be under any compulsion to sin.

    If you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.


  78. oneg2dblu says:

    Correction… So much of the world today also (avoid) those simple laws of right living, that we have an ever darkening world as a result.

  79. poohpity says:

    Correction when Jesus said, “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” When He called out from the Cross, “it is finished(accomplished)”

    Jesus just like you said Gary, “Jesus fulfilled all the law” and everything foretold by the prophets. (Matt 5:17) Jesus was the only One who was able even the pats of the law that required sacrifices Jesus took care of it ALL.

  80. street says:

    Paul covered that ground quite well when he said, that following the commands of God are not burdensome.
    So, as Christ Followers, who are forgiven their sin, and live under grace, we are no longer to be under any compulsion to sin.

    i still have an albatross of death hanging around my neck called the flesh. i am not immune to it. i need to take up my cross daily as required and learn from Him.

    paul could say the commands are not burdensome because he walked by the Spirit in the grace God gave him in Christ Jesus. the law is a burden for those of the flesh. even so it is impossible for them to keep it. the elder son came upon this dilemma and had to make a choice in how to live after being confronted with it, in relation to the Father. i remember the the question Jesus asked the teachers of the law,” who loved the Father more?” the one who was forgiven much.

  81. street says:

    gary thinking about God’s original plan. i think it will be complete after the millennial Kingdom and the White Thrown. White Thrown, black and white, no grace, just judgment and condemnation. somewhere in this age we need to understand how to make the Grace of God explode in our lives here and now in living shrewdly and innocently.

    Revelation 22:20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”

    Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

    till then…

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

    i am beginning to understand why our Lord gave the sword to the government and not the church.

  82. jeff1 says:

    We live in a world that is dying for the message of the gospel. I listen when I am out there to what people are saying and it shocks me to hear not only different religions boasting how their flock is heaven bound while the other religion is hell bound. I just do not get how the gospel message has gotten to be seen by so many as exclusive and not inclusive hence why God chose Israel to lead. Those who do no recognise Israel as chosen will in effect be going against God. What I have taken from the Biblical characters I know is that following Christ in the nitty gritty of life is not an easy one and they often failed to do what is right showing that keeping the ten was impossible. It seems we get it into our heads that we are going to do better but God chose Israel because He knew we would not do better and looking at the world today may have done worse in what we have left undone. The only good news is that God chose Israel to lead to take us out of a hell of our own making. If others go against Israel they are in effect going against God either out of ignorance or choice. God has spoken that Israel is His choice and those who do not stand with her will be getting behind Satan. We know from the Bible that the transformation of God’s Kingdom here on earth will test the greatest of Saint’s so I expect that the reality of bringing in God’s Kingdom will be like for us like it was for our forefathers and we shall have more to contend with than whether we agree on laws or grace for we will be up against forces who have respect for neither. I hope that I do not like Peter have Jesus say get behind me Satan because I have missed God’s intention while being so caught up in me getting it right rather than doing what is right in the sight of God.

  83. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Taking time away, so haven’t checked in for some days. As I reread your original post, Mart, I am struck by the situation which brought you to think about Jesus’ wonderful promise about rest.

    As you and your neighbors cleared the wind-damaged tree, you all felt the exhaustion of cutting, hauling and loading those limbs. Your analogy to spiritual weariness is a good one, since it seems to me this time of history can be overwhelming in spiritual challenges like a wind-storm — calling for perseverance and firm faith in the Lord. Our own strength is not up to it.

    You quoted The Message version of Scripture:
    “No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen” (Matt 11:27).

    The promise that stands out to me this morning is that God imparts at any time, for our comfort and strength, the truth of relationship with Jesus, the Creator God and the Holy Spirit. What a wondrous gift that anyone is invited to enter into that circle of divine love by faith in Christ. The key to ending “tiredness in trying” comes to each one here by opening God’s Word.

    Blessings all day,

  84. foreverblessed says:

    Thatis a precious ministry Joyce, that this person has, in bringing Grace to the Amish.
    Indeed Jeff1, we have to get hold of Jesus, to be able to stand on sure ground. But that is exactly what I am trying to tell, we as christians stand on surer ground when we stand on the Person Jesus, and on Him alone.
    As Jesus urges us to come to Him for Rest, and to learn from HIM.
    It is the -learning from Him- part that intrigues me. As I was a law abiding christian, I held more onto the 10 then to Jesus. It is the fear of sinning that held me back. If I hold onto Jesus, I will sin.
    Like learning to swim, I first learned it with a wooden board, I held onto the board for a whole summer season, at the end everyone was instructed to let go of the board, and making the swimming movements with the arms as well. Everybody, except me, I had to swim with the board another season. Maybe I was scared then too. Scared to get drowned.

    Let go of the board and float on the water, the Holy Spirit will carry me. I will not drown. (That is, I will not sin, when my eyes are focussed on Jesus)

    What came to Mart as new: Jesus also says: learn from me!
    May be He also meant: learn of me
    First get to know Jesus better, read the Gospels, how He was like, what He did, how humble He was, how much He relied on the Father. How completely serving His attitude was, He came to serve, not to Lord it over us.

    But to lead us gently.
    Oswald Chambers is talking about this subject ever since July 22,

    “The only thing that truly provides protection is the redemption of Jesus Christ. If I will simply hand myself over to Him, I will never have to experience the terrible possibilities that lie within my heart. Purity is something far too deep for me to arrive at naturally. But when the Holy Spirit comes into me, He brings into the center of my personal life the very Spirit that was exhibited in the life of Jesus Christ, namely, the Holy Spirit, which is absolute unblemished purity.”

  85. joycemb says:

    Thank you forever your words are warming to the soul. Blessings to all today, Joyce

  86. Dinakar says:

    As humans we tend to think in terms of right and wrong this is apparent in the legal society we have created for ourselves around the world.
    But does God think in the same way as we do? here is a verse to ponder
    Isa_55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

    If Gods ways are not our way, then who is God and what are his ways?
    consider a few more verses
    1Jn_4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
    1Jn_4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
    Both these verses talk about “God is Love”
    If “God is Love” then surely he must think in terms of Love alone.
    comparing Isa_55:8 with the verses from 1Jn we can safely conclude the way God wants us to think is in terms of Love. To change the basis of your reasoning from [right and wrong] to [“Love” or “no-love”] is the transformation God is probably looking forward to from us – this is what I understand from “dwelling in Love”

    A Christian friend of mine “a born-again believer” who is also a business man remarks in my business and line of work there can be no loving your neighbor. My friend believes he is going to heaven based on Grace, confession of faith, baptism and communion. As to loving his neighbor he believes it is optional.

    My remark to him was your not going to heaven without Loving your neighbor
    The legalistic path of 10+ commandments will not help us either. Think about King Saul who tried to make sacrifices to appease God for his disobedience.
    I’m sure God did not give us 1Cor 13 – just as a “be attitude” he does expect results of Love from us.

    If you don’t know LOVE you don’t know God that is what 1Jn teaches us.


  87. poohpity says:

    There seems to be many things that follow or flow from a person who believes in the saving grace of Jesus Christ and has accepted Him as their personal Savior. When we came to believe we were sealed/marked by the Holy Spirit and that same Spirit living within us produces certain manifestations of which one is love. The others are joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We can not try to get these or earn them they are produced in us by the Holy Spirit because we believe. Knowing Jesus changes every thing, spending time with Him we begin to reflect or imitate His very character which is how He loved us; Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Those seem to say although in a different way the very things that are produced by the Holy Spirit.

    Lord fill us with your Spirit. I am tired of trying to do the things on my own. I need you!

  88. street says:

    been thinking about my relationship to the Father and His Son. thinking many of the things that trip us up are of the things that are not settled in our hearts before God. the things that keep us just out of reach. for example sin pride anger malice lust image control self. if you think about it love takes none of these into consideration. if they are all settled, a person enters into His rest. the light will uncover anything not in keeping with His Holiness and we need to settle the open account so there is no foothold for sin. people who are in love with the light will not walk in darkness. His children are loved and no good thing will be withheld from them in order to conform them to the image of His Son. blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

  89. jeff1 says:

    As a mother I love my children and care about their salvation as much as my own. The only christian that ever told me I was saved by grace alone and not of my own understanding was my long time school friend who has not swayed from this belief and we are both now 61. I because I had been brought up to be obedient tried to keep the rules and ended up burning out, having a nervous breakdown and on medication ever since because of chemical imbalance. I did not listen to my friend until God spoke to my heart and I realised that I could be never worthy of God’s love it is a gift. I in my foolishness have left my children not believing in God because I drove them mad too trying to force the 10 on them. Thankfully I have learned the hard way that I can trust God with my children for He loves them as He loved me whether they know it or not. It is men who decide in this world that we are not worthy because they do not know God’s love because it is unconditional i.e. come as you are warts and all. It is man who decides we don’t measure up to his rules but God’s reign is not yet established on earth so I long for the day when man will have to acknowledge God’s sovereignty not because God wants to Lord it over us but because right living is necessary in establishing God’s Kingdom for us to enjoy the life God intended for us before the fall.

  90. poohpity says:

    “Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart . . . For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man.” Matthew 15:18-20

    “When we hear these strong statements from our Lord, we shrink back, saying, ‘But I never felt any of those awful things in my heart.’ But when I am open and completely exposed before God, I find that Jesus Christ is right in His diagnosis of me. The only thing that truly provides protection is the redemption of Jesus Christ. If I will simply hand myself over to Him, I will never have to experience the terrible possibilities that lie within my heart. He brings into the center of my personal life the very Spirit that was exhibited in the life of Jesus Christ, namely, the Holy Spirit, which is absolute unblemished purity.” –Oswald Chambers, from My Utmost for His Highest.

  91. street says:

    gary said,”So, the Ten that still remain, still stand for something, Don’t they?”

    in 2 Corinthians 3 it talks about a glory that fades away and a glory that remains. moses warned israel of One coming that would be more important to listen to then himself or the law. israel rejected this One and payed a horrific price. soon all the promises given to israel will be realized, it’s just going to be a very dark time prior too. the church still makes herself ready for her groom. keep your lamp full and take extra oil.

  92. street says:

    Romans 5 1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace[a] with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

    3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

  93. jeff1 says:

    Christ is the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega. So be it.

  94. SFDBWV says:

    I’ve been pondering Dinakar’s comments as well as the subject title (“Tired in Trying”) and have come up with a few thoughts of my own.

    One of the lessons I learned from “The Sermon on the Mount” is that I cannot live up to the directives Jesus gave for “Kingdom” living.

    I can’t do that anymore than I can live up to never violating the conditions of “righteous” living or not sinning ever again.

    So is there no hope for me?

    If I understand Christianity as a faith at all it is that my hope is in Jesus alone. Because of His life, death and resurrection.

    Just because I recognize that Jesus is Lord and that my salvation is a result of His sacrifice, it does not exclude me from living as holy a life as I can manage. In fact it is a responsibility I owe to Jesus for His sacrifice for me.

    So I live as honorable a life as I can in obedience to not just the directives of God’s instruction as to right and wrong behavior but in adjusting my nature so that doing so is automatic.

    Jesus made it simple by saying if you love your neighbor as you do yourself you are in alignment with any and all “laws”.

    What happens though when your neighbor violates every condition of right and wrong living? First of all it is recognizable and secondly, simply by recognizing the difference sounds to the guilty party like a “judgment”.

    It is said we as Christian Saint’s will judge the world, even the angels (1 Corinthians 6:2, 3).

    While we are alive and in this world we grow and learn so as to be used in the world to come. What we learn and to what we take to heart will place us in the order of things to come.

    “Tired in Trying” yes we tire and yes we learn to trust what we don’t know to God, but we never give up nor quit striving as the race isn’t over until the last breath is taken or we taken up.

    Not mentioned by Mart, but I expect he and his neighbors didn’t rest until the limbs he mentioned were removed as a threat to any or all.

    We can rest in Jesus by being assured, but we can’t rest from our purpose as we take up our cross and follow Him.

    Loving others sounds noble, but actually doing so for every person on earth, for me, impossible. Without the covering of the blood of the Lamb I would be guilty of not loving my neighbor everywhere at all times.


  95. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    One corollary to your line of thinking on our inability to work in our own power, Steve, is that weariness and rest come and go in this world, whereas in the heavenly realm resting is a constant thing — as I see it.

    I know I require some time aside to catch my spiritual breath — and to rest from my efforts. Yet, it truly is by God’s grace that I am in “the game” at all. He calls us from the side-lines into the moving of the Spirit in human hearts.

    If the ministry and mission of following Jesus were compared to a baseball game, our Lord would be longing for us to play our position with all our hearts, and at the end (when we are called home or the big game is over) — He will smile to see us slide into home with our uniform torn and dirty — our elbows and knees skinned — still reaching for the prize.

    Perhaps in the closing moments I will be a little more able to love as He loves — before he takes me into His loving embrace. It will be because of His work in me — not by my own striving.

    Joy all day,

    72F in the greater Cincinnati area & raining hard

  96. bubbles says:

    Many times those who need the most love can be the most difficult to love. I’ve had to ask for help over and over again and ask God to love them through me because I’d rather not be around them.

  97. SFDBWV says:

    When I was younger I encountered a philosophical statement that went as follows; “Without time there is no truth.”

    If giving so little as a drink of water to a thirsty stranger or enemy is an act of love, then I can see it easier to “love” an enemy.

    However to witness or have someone violate you or someone you love in any fashion, the emotion I would at that time be far from love.

    At the same time I feel that indifference could be a worse condition of the heart than hate.

    It has been overstated that the OT Law shows us our sin, but in doing so it also shows us others sin as well.

    The trick is exposed in another over used statement “hate the sin, love the sinner.”

    If there is any tiring in trying it is the frustration in that we possess no power in changing the heart of anyone other than ourselves. No matter how hard we try.

    Only God has that power and plan in incorporating it.


    76 and sunny.

  98. poohpity says:

    From what I learned in the bible the behaviors of our neighbors especially those who are not believers it is not our job to point out the error of their ways at all,(1 Cor 5:12-13) my duty is to care for them, show them grace, forgiveness and all the other fruits of the Spirit that lives within. But like Mart points out that is not done in my trying that is a result of the Holy Spirit living within, it sort of becomes natural. Paul, in context, did write that letter to address the blatant sexual sin in that church but no one(believers) was dealing with it. Even dealing with sin among believers is a very delicate issue to be handled with love, care and humility.

  99. jeff1 says:

    I feel I let the troubles of this world take my joy away hence I die a little every day. My problem seems to be focus I lack keeping my eyes on Christ and become troubled by forces outside my control and instead of taking it to God I concern myself with it and get exhausted in the process. I have accepted that I am my own worst enemy by examining my motives and in doing so agreeing with God that they are not always pure. I cannot in my own strength overcome my weaknesses. I was told all my life that you reap what you sow and so I have only myself to blame for my circumstances. What gives me strength to go on in a world that condemns me is God’s promise for unlike men God keeps His promises that I am forgiven, forgiven for past, present and future sins. God forgiving me does not change how men see me which in their eyes I am weak but God still can use my service and it is knowing I am used by God that pleases me for if I have learned anything from this world it is that men are not forgiving but that is what God knew and that is why I see the simple message of the Gospel as being inclusive and not exclusive for God’s mercy is not only for me but for others who have wandered from the path for it is God who restores our wholesomeness and not any work of man or of my own. I am God’s masterpiece not my own or man’s.

  100. poohpity says:

    I think if one read Mart’s topic then listen to the discussion this week on Discover The Word we can understand a little better about the rest of trusting and believing in Jesus that will bring peace to our souls.

    Viv, this week at Church we learned that we ALL(believers) are under construction or in process of becoming not having reached it yet.

  101. joycemb says:

    “Forgiveness is not foolishness. Forgiveness, at its core, is choosing to see your offender with different eyes. By the way, how can we grace-recipients do anything less? Dare we ask God for grace when we refuse to give it? This is a huge issue in Scripture! Jesus was tough on sinners who refused to forgive other sinners. Remember his story in Matthew 18, about the servant freshly forgiven a debt of millions who refused to forgive a debt equal to a few dollars? He stirred the wrath of God. “You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt. Shouldn’t you have mercy just as I had mercy on you?” (Matthew 18:32).
    In the final sum, we give grace because we’ve been given grace. And we’ve been given grace so we can freely give it. See your enemies as God’s child and revenge as God’s job.”

    From Facing Your Giants
    by Max Lucado

  102. street says:

    steve you answered your own query in regard to the hopelessness of pleasing God in the flesh. it is a work of God not of man. remember i delight in your Word? said another way i delight in God. wherever your heart is, there will be your treasure. david could say i have non but you Lord. keep your eyes on your Lord and He will illuminate your heart. the difficult part is dealing with what is there. there in lies the command to take up your cross daily. not fun. not to deal with it will bring a greater calamity. don’t despair, overcome by the Spirit of Grace and Mercy extended in Christ Jesus. His way is easy and light and leads to life eternal. i remind you we were born with hearts with an affinity for evil. the strength of this is done away in Christ. new hearts. the old habits die hard. He has poured out His love in our hearts through His Spirit and will conform us to the image of His Son. we will be absolutely miserable in sin. He is doing surgery on us with out anesthetic, He also knows how much we can endure. truly a Great Physician. we become what we want to be. we must chose. He made that very clear. God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you.

  103. street says:

    steve said,”It has been overstated that the OT Law shows us our sin, but in doing so it also shows us others sin as well.”

    true, but i am not responsible for what others do.

    side note, Jesus was accused of all kinds of sin. the people who accused Him did not understand the the truth or the law. even in the Old Testament israel when returning to Worship did it wrong, but God looked at their hearts. they did catch up to the law and corrected their ways. not everyone who sins is in apostate rebellion against God. as we are give much, more is expected of us. He gives us what we need when we need it, for His love never fails.

  104. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Pooh, I must stop trying so hard in my own strength and let God have His way. Find it a struggle. Appreciate that others do as well but one day we will struggle no more and I long to be free of my own restraints. God in His mercy and grace will sustain me until I am there. Faith, hope and love but those who know love know God best.

  105. joycemb says:

    I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

    Phil. 3:12 Message Bible

  106. jeff1 says:

    Have been reading the comments on our daily bread page regarding disobedience of Israel just as Christ had to be çrucified Israel was to disobey for it is in God restoring Israel who did not deserve it that we too can be assured that we will be restored by His redemptive power for when God restores it will be forever and all will be changed to it’s former glory and no man will be able to boast to another for God will dwell with us in His Kingdom.

  107. street says:

    came across some thoughts in a book by peterson. basically when confronted with evil or adversity where do we turn? david was being pursued by a homicidal king anointed by God, yes that is true! david turned to God. he was turning to God long before this when he was a shepard boy taking care of sheep. God really can pick’em! yes we get tired carrying things. filling water jars and moving stones because we can. the rest we need to take to God in prayer. we bear them better when we abide in His presents and wait on Him. to think what david went through in the wilderness is unimaginable and difficult to process but he did. he took shots from all sides like job did. men of faith are truly a work of God.

  108. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All,
    I pray all is well in your lives… Off topic here, but I just want to let you know that my dad passed away today, and I pray that he’s in heaven with Jesus! Rest in peace, dad.

    Love to all,

    98 degrees and partly cloudy in my neck of the woods…

  109. bubbles says:

    Dear Regina, I’m so sorry to read of your loss. May God comfort and be close to you. I’ll pray for you. Take care.

  110. Regina says:

    Thank you for your condolences, bubbles, and I so appreciate your prayers for me. :-) Num. 6:24-26, NLT.


  111. remarutho says:

    May the Lord surround you with good memories of your dad as you grieve, Regina. Also praying for your consolation here — and for your dad’s joy in Jesus’ presence. Blessings, Maru

  112. SFDBWV says:

    Regina, I am saddened for you in the death of your dad. Impossible as it is to fully receive right now, time will ease the pain, but not the loss.

    Though death is never welcome nor is any of us immune to the heartache that accompanies it, we are promised of a reunion with those we have lost and I for one am more than ready myself to go home.

    When I took my 96 year old mother in law down her dinner the other afternoon she had set a place at her table for her dead daughter, my first wife of 31 years, and told me she expected her to stop in and thought she might be hungry.

    She left her living room lights on late into the evening expecting last night because she expected her husband and daughter to be coming in and didn’t want them to come in, in the dark.

    It is my hope for her that some evening, morning or night soon that they do arrive and take her home with them.

    It is sometimes hard to figure out life and why there is so much pain, but then somewhere in all the fog, love makes it all worthwhile.

    Be at peace, my sympathies are with you.


  113. poohpity says:

    Regina, sharing in your sorrow and praying for God’s comfort in you and your family’s loss.

  114. narrowpathseeker says:

    Regina, I am so sorry for your loss. I don’t know how right or wrong this is, but I have progressed to asking God to convey different messages to my departed loved ones especially when it was unexpected and I didn’t get to say things I wanted to say.. It ALWAYS makes me feel better. I hope things will start looking up for you soon…I know you have had a rough year or so…will continue praying for you Regina…stay strong and safe.

  115. oneg2dblu says:

    Regina… know this, you are loved, and we all suffer when one we love suffers, we all mourn we one we love mourns, and we are all blessed when one we love is blessed.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  116. phpatato says:


    Please know that I too am praying for God’s comforting arms to close tenderly around you and for His peace which passes all understanding to surround you and your family during this sorrowful time. He knows your sadness and the loss you are feeling. I wish I were closer to give you a hug.

    In deepest sympathy


  117. joycemb says:

    Praying for you at this difficult time. God’s peace be with you and comfort you with His love.

  118. jeff1 says:

    Tired in trying to get my head to align with my heart. I know in my heart that God has forgiven me for my failures and Christ is the assurance of that. Memories can be good when we think of good times we had with loved ones past but equally memories can be bad when they comeback to haunt us. I at an early age got to know God has a God of wrath, keep the 10 or else you will reap what you sow. When I did wrong I learned to hide from God for He was angry with me and there would be punishment and not forgiveness. I learned to suppress the guilt of wrong doing and as a result any adversity in my life I believed was God’s punishment on me. I still struggle with God being a God of wrath for today I still hear it preached. If there is confusion in the world as to God’s character then it is because of division in the Churches. They are all claiming their teaching is right when the truth is the only right teaching is Christ’s and until God establishes Christ’ Church here on earth there is going to be division causing confusion among Christians. the Bible is our authority that God will establish this kwthrough His chosen nation Israel not because they were any more righteous but they were chosen by Him and forgiven by Him as were we all. Any religion that teaches otherwise is not God given but taught by men through either misinterpretation of scripture or men interpretating scripture to suit their beliefs. Either way has caused the falling away from the truth but God is all knowing and all supreme and through Israel will succeed to establish His Kingdom on earth and this is God’s will and has been since the beginning of time and to that aim I am not tired of trying.

  119. jeff1 says:

    Tired in trying to get my head to align with my heart. I know in my heart that God has forgiven me for my failures and Christ is the assurance of that. Memories can be good when we think of good times we had with loved ones past but equally memories can be bad when they comeback to haunt us. I at an early age got to know God has a God of wrath, keep the 10 or else you will reap what you sow. When I did wrong I learned to hide from God for He was angry with me and there would be punishment and not forgiveness. I learned to suppress the guilt of wrong doing and as a result any adversity in my life I believed was God’s punishment on me. I still struggle with God being a God of wrath for today I still hear it preached. If there is confusion in the world as to God’s character then it is because of division in the Churches. They are all claiming their teaching is right when the truth is the only right teaching is Christ’s and until God establishes Christ’ Church here on earth there is going to be division causing confusion among Christians. the Bible is our authority that God will establish this kwthrough His chosen nation Israel not because they were any more righteous but they were chosen by Him and forgiven by Him as were we all. Any religion that teaches otherwise is not God given but taught by men through either misinterpretation of scripture or men interpretating scripture to suit their beliefs. Either way has caused the falling away from the truth but God is all knowing and all supreme and through Israel will succeed tho establish His Kingdom on earth and this is God’s will and has been since the beginning of time and to that aim I am not tired of trying.

  120. SFDBWV says:

    I am guilty of, over my Christian life, of reading and listening to too many men and women who are accomplished experts on being Christian.

    They will tell you what every verse of Scripture means and how you should receive it; even going so far as to tell you if you don’t see it as they proclaim it you are amiss.

    For we lay people there has to be a certain amount of trust that is afforded to Priest’s, Preachers and Evangelist’s. The problem being when what we hear doesn’t settle into our spirit, so instead of giving us peace or rest we feel incompetent, and out of place with everyone else.

    There comes a time when we have heard so many ‘views” that we need to just turn off the TV, close the books, go off to whatever quiet place of solitude you may have and “rest” from it all.

    Here is when you just “trust” God, believe on Jesus and accept His rest from it all, not be anxious about anything and breathe the fresh free air of freedom.

    Go work in your garden, sit on your porch or go set by the river, find that place of solitude and rest in our Lord.


  121. jeff1 says:

    Your comments Steve make me think of the two military men I knew who both said they felt nearer to God fishing than in Church I am beginning to see where they were coming from now. For while I do visit Church there are many times I have felt God’s presence and the nearest I have ever been to God was the time I spent in a mental institution when I was alone and frightened. A good Christian friend of mine assured me that God would be with me and for me it was holding on to the words of those who assured me of God’s mercy and not those who preached God’s wrath that reassured me of His forgiveness. I will never try to tell anyone they must experience God by tradition for I believe God will speak to His Children by whatever means they are listening be that music, nature, culture for I believe that God is much more interested in gathering up His Children than glorifying Himself for God’s ways are not man’s way and that is much more like men to want the glory.

  122. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… as I read your post about sowing and reaping, but blaming the Ten, and how you actually, lived out those very consequences, because sin has consequences, it always separates us from God.

    Just like in the Garden where the first sin was committed causing the ones who first sowed to sin, and then try to cover themselves up and hide from God, you also chose to hide from God because you knew you sowed sin, and you were to reap that very law of consequences, in your case, it was a confessed self-inflicted separation.

    You tried to hide… or separate yourself.

    Were you a victim of false teaching, where you can blame others, like the evil/misguided church you were raised up in? Or, is it really more one of your own actions, your wrong choices, and your own sin nature?

    What church corrupted Adam and Eve through false teaching?

    Were they also a victim of trying to live by those terrible Ten?

    I would say, it is always our first choice to blame someone or something other than ourselves for our wrong choices or living.

    However, aren’t we all subject to the law of sowing and reaping?


    Choose to sin, choose to suffer.

    As you say, “When I did wrong I learned to hide from God.”

    Makes me wonder whether you were actually taught to hide, or if our hiding is part our default nature, or the natural law of reaping what we sow always plays out eventually, in this case just as in the Garden, when we choose to sin, we also suffer.

  123. poohpity says:

    People suffer for doing good as well, I know you may not know about that Gary since you are so focused on sin and finger pointing. Listen to the Word spoken through Isaiah from God if you are able to hear;

    6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
    Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people.
    Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
    “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
    Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
    ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.

    Then the Lord goes on to say;

    “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
    STOP POINTING YOUR FINGER and spreading vicious rumors!
    Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.
    Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
    The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.

  124. joycemb says:

    Gary you asked Viv some very good questions that I too will be thinking about for myself today as I too tend to hang on to blaming others from my past for my current/future decisions. So thankful Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Starting over is ALWAYS an option with God.

    Pooh not sure I agree that Gary is pointing the finger and spreading vicious rumors, but I really love Isaiah also, such poetic beauty and promise of hope in restoration.

  125. poohpity says:

    Timothy Keller says; “Christians don’t believe that goodness gets you to heaven. Christians believe it’s exhausting to rely on your own goodness to please God.”

    To tell you the truth Joyce I could careless whether you agree with me or not. Tired of trying!

  126. oneg2dblu says:

    Without faith it is impossible to please God.

  127. oneg2dblu says:

    Good people don’t go to heaven, Forgiven people get to go to heaven.

  128. oneg2dblu says:

    I guess it is possible to post a message without sticking your pointing finger in another’s eye, but it is not the preferred method of some who post here’ as they constantly call others out by name with their type of mis-directed Christian love, or their using demeaning personal insults.

    But, I trust that the reap what you sow law, is still at work.

    Joyce, sorry you have to also endure all the trash mouth talk, you certainly do not deserve it either.

    Just take it from it’s source, which is not the Holy Spirit, and know that only God can change that mis-directed flesh driven heart.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  129. poohpity says:

    I will agree with what the bible says, it makes no difference what I say or who agrees with me or me with them. It is about what the bible says; those who get to heaven are those who believe in Jesus. (John 3:16,18,36; 6:40; 11:25)

  130. joycemb says:

    Yes Gary I too struggle with the flesh. I just feel sad anymore when I’m treated badly but accept it as a blessing to know God’s heart in a deeper way.

    What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
    What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
    What won drous love is this, that caused the Lord of bliss
    to lay aside his crown for my soul, for my soul,
    to lay aside his crown for my soul.

    2. To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing,
    to God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
    To God and to the Lamb, who is the great I AM,
    while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing,
    while mìllions join the theme, I will sing!

    3. And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
    and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
    And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be,
    and through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
    and through eternity I’ll sing on!

  131. joycemb says:

    No matter what we do or has been done to us ultimately it’s our response that matters as far as our own spiritual growth. We CAN give it to God and move onward and upward!

  132. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes, give it all God, as only God can forgive our sin.

  133. jeff1 says:

    Gary, I have learned a lot about God from my waywardness which I was not learning when I was focused on keeping the rules for it was all about me when keeping the rules but God showed me to think outside the box and in doing that I have become a better person in that I care about others. God’s gift of Salvation is inclusive but I was making it exclusive by deciding whom I believed should get to Heaven. God showed me how I was deceiving myself and I was in fact in need of His forgiveness more than those I was judging. I learned that it is God’s Salvation to give and my part to accept. Old habits die hard and I have to examine my heart and motives and that I believe is what is important to God that I do my part and let Him do His.

  134. street says:

    some days i come here and i am enriched, others i come here and am broken. i am finding a greater richness in the day.

    there is no darkness as great as the darkness of being in the presents of light and and not seeing it. there is no darkness as great as the darkness of being in the presents of God and not seeing The Grace of God. nor is there a greater darkness than the Gospel on our lips and not in our hearts. paul, could rejoice greatly, in that the Gospel was upon peoples lips, but far from their hearts, that in it’s being spoken a bended reed and small ember could respond to it.

    Jesus could endure any injustice, slander, libel, insult, difficulty, pain, or suffering against Himself. make sure you do not put a stumbling block in front of one of His children. i am thinking if i am not obedient, i do not know Jesus well enough or close enough. oh Father, this maturing process is painful, anyone remember being a teenager?

  135. street says:

    Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

    Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried. He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R

    oswald’s devotion today is better at exposing people to light and what causes failure of proper response.

  136. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All,
    I pray all is well in your lives. Thank you all so much for your sincere, heartfelt condolences in the loss of my dad. I’m overwhelmed by your sympathy. To be honest, I didn’t have a very close relationship with my dad. He left the house (my mama, three brothers (at the time–one brother passed away earlier this year), my sister and I) when I was between 8 to 10 years old. He went to live with my uncle (his brother) in another part of town. He would stop by periodically to take a shower, and have my mom make him dinner. But he never used that time to spend quality time with me and my siblings because he didn’t know how. You see, his father left the house (and my grandma was pregnant) when he was 4 years old. My uncles who were older were forced to take care of him and one or two more siblings. He was basically raised by two teenage boys (barely in their teens). One of my uncles told me that my grandfather was not a nice man (that he could be very mean). So, my grandmother and all of her children (10-11) had a *very* hard life in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Will write more later…

    Love to all,

  137. street says:

    jeff said,”They are all claiming their teaching is right when the truth is the only right teaching is Christ’s and until God establishes Christ’ Church here on earth there is going to be division causing confusion among Christians.”

    the Church is here and active. some church’s have had their candle stick taken away for obvious reasons. i think the confusion for the most part is with non believers or not understanding. in that, there is a big difference. i am not above misunderstanding.

    it is important not to confuse the Church with the Kingdom that israel so longed for. two different entities and one God. He is able to make them one. and yes we should be looking for His soon return always!
    you will notice a shift in Jesus parables when it became clear He was rejected in all the Gospels. the shift starts when the elders committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Jesus was never surprised, except by, Great Faith, i am surprised every day, more than i am willing to admit to. oh to be done with darkness. it is a small thing for Dad to deal with, i still don’t understand how it looms so large in our lives. remain on the potters wheel quiet and still, yielding under His mighty perfect hand.

  138. jeff1 says:

    The disillusionment I feel is in my failure to see God in my life when He was always there. I was not always focused on God but He let me know He was with me in the bad times and the good. I did not always look to God but He was looking out for me. It saddens me that often I was in the presence of God and did not know it.

    Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
    In light inaccessible his from our eyes
    Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of days,
    Almighty, victorious,they 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 live thou livest, the true life of all;
    We blossom and flourish, like leaves on the tree,
    Then wither and perish; but not changeth thee.

    Great Father of glory,pure Father of light,
    Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
    All laud we would render:O help us to see
    ‘Tis only the splendor of light hideth thee.

  139. bubbles says:

    “Immortal, Invisible” is a great and precious hymn of the faith. The old hymns often contain great theological truths not found in a lot of newer repetitive songs, although I’m not against the new ones. The older ones seem to have more “meat” in them and aren’t as repetitive. I don’t want to open a can of worms or controversy. I listen to both. Thank you for sharing this one with us here. It’s lovely.

  140. oneg2dblu says:

    I look at it this way, once you hear the word, are exposed to the word, accept or reject the word, and understand you either believe what the word says about who will or will not go to heaven, or you will believe something else, and what you believe is at your own peril, imagination, or fallen nature, or it is what God says it is in His Word, and there will be an accountability taken for all the things we have done, even after our believing in Christ.
    To me, Salvation, or anyone’s going to heaven, is certainly conditional, according to the word of God.
    You either meet the conditions, or you do not.
    Remember this, even Satan knows and believes Christ, but the word says, God has other plans for him, because, “It is written.”

  141. narrowpathseeker says:

    Amen Gary!!

  142. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… yes God’s gift is as you say, inclusive, or offered to all, but it also excludes as well, all those who refuse to except it.
    But, you are certainly free to believe otherwise.

  143. oneg2dblu says:

    How are we to interpret this message from God’s Word…
    There will come a time when sound doctrine will no longer be tolerated. Itching ears will only hear or accept anything other than what satisfies their particular bent or itch.
    I could provide the verses, but, you all know what is being said, a day will come when man decides for himself, what he will or will not believe.
    To me, all this Division in the House of God is a great display of such things as these, already existing.

  144. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh ..in all my years and encounters with Christians of diverse denominations in several states and even a few brief encounters in Switzerland, I do not believe I have EVER come across anyone as aggressively mean spirited and seemingly unremorsefully arrogant.. So many times I just keep silent when you are on one of your kicks, but since I read this in the Life Application Study Bible this morning..I don’t think keeping silent is the way to go.

    The study bible’s version of Ephesians 5: 5-7 “Paul is not forbidding all contact with unbelievers. Jesus taught His followers to befriend sinners and lead them to Him(Luke 5 30-32). Instead Paul is speaking against CONDONING the lifestyle of people who make excuses for bad behavior and recommend its practice to others—whether they are in the church or outside of it. Such people can quickly pollute the church and endanger its unity and purpose. We must befriend unbelievers if we are to lead them to Christ, but we must be wary of those who are viciously evil, immoral, or opposed to all that Christianity stands for. Such people are more likely to influence us for evil than we are likely to influence them for good.

    We WILL reap what we sow…like Gary said…and like Joyce said, we will ALL answer for our response to what has been done to us and for all we have done to others… Do you actually believe that your frequent attacks on just about EVERYBODY that has ever come to this site and other sites as well, is justified because you believe in Christ alone? If so that means you should also believe that the rest of us can respond any way we please to you and if you start being nice we can still be nasty to you and never worry because we all believe in Christ…right? Remember, ” These are a people that honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me”? I have plenty to answer for as is and I’m trying to sow some good seed and I am not sure what kind of seed I am sowing here right now, but I know that for the time being I am not angry.. It is probably one of the first times that I have confronted your attacks and without immense anger towards you. I know you need prayer, but I think you also need to examine your heart and motives for what you do here.

  145. joycemb says:

    Luke 6:44,45 NIV are just a couple of the verses that are good for self-examination. The NT is full of them.

  146. narrowpathseeker says:

    I wanted to end that last post with…In the Name of Christ Jesus, please have Mercy on us ALL. Create in each of us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us.

  147. street says:

    jeff said,”Memories can be good when we think of good times we had with loved ones past but equally memories can be bad when they comeback to haunt us.”

    i can see how this is a double edge sword. it becomes a double edge blessing when we see God’s hand in the picture, keeping us from falling without remedy and experiencing His blessing in good times and difficulty. you could say bad time and i will not disagree with you, but Jesus’s bad time was…..well beyond my understanding. i do know, i benefited greatly from it.

  148. poohpity says:

    narrow, to think you traveled all those places and have not seen a meaner spirited person when all you had to do was look in the mirror. What we see in others is usually the very things one struggles with in their own life.

  149. joycemb says:

    From the Message Bible: 43-45 “You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.

    Street I too was thinking about Viv’s words. Kind of like when I was married to an abusive unbeliever who became increasingly abusive though I was told I HAD to stay with him by my church (3 years). It was a very hard time, but also a pressure-cooker of growth and learning to trust God. When I look back at those memories they are certainly bitter-sweet for me, yet Christ became brighter and brighter which cancels out all the bad stuff. He knew my name and what I was going through, because He loved me and knew suffering-not like I did as He suffered and did not sin. I sinned in my suffering and still do but not like before. I will never be perfect though.

    We are all on a journey. Some barely off the mark while others trudge on.

  150. joycemb says:

    Narrow, fruits, remember? You have a tender, caring heart, yet the greatest love is for the enemy. Hard, isn’t it.

  151. joycemb says:

    I just got this on fb. “Nobody can take the glory of Jesus Christ away. No time can dim it. It is there in Himself and is not produced by artificial pomp or outward circumstance. He needs no triumphalism, no trumpets, and no brilliant display. In peasants dress His glory breaks through. Put Him on a Cross and it can destroy nothing of Him. He triumphs over it, transforms it, turns this thing of shame and scandal into the greatest symbol of glory on earth. The ugliest instrument of human torture and hate, sticky with gore, the cross, is transfigured till a former enemy has to call out “Forbid it Lord that I should boast safe in the death of Christ my Lord.” There is no way to destroy His glory. The more you attack Him, the more His mercy, his pity, his patience appears. Be His enemy, and you only give Him an opportunity to forgive, to seek, to save, and display the eternal glory of His indestructible love”. “My Jesus I love thee…” REINHARD BONNKE (evangelist)

  152. jeff1 says:

    There is a modern world still thirsty for God’s love because it is too simple for them too understand. Men took God’s simple message of love and put their spin on it so now non believers today believe God has conditions to His love. Keeping the 10 commandments is still today why non believers do not turn too God for it is just too hard for them to do so they turn from God. While I do not turn away from God because in trying to keep the 10 I failed but God loved me and through His redemptive power let me know it.I do not believe God who is a loving God will condemn a modern world any more than He did an ancient world for their ignorance mostly brought about by false religions/denominations/preachers. As God did in my life I believe He will do in others and work through His redemptive power for God doesn’t change He cares for mankind as He did in the ancient world and will use those with hearts for Him to bring it about. God can work through us if we let Him but we must examine our own heart and motives and keep them pure for God to do so. Failure to do this will not mean loss of Salvation but loss of rewards in Heaven. My earthly father always told me whatever you have to go through in life and no matter the difficulty in going through remember you are in good company for Christ suffered. Can we realistically follow in Christ’s footsteps and not suffer pain in a world that is so far removed from God. We are no different to our forefathers in that we are products of our time but the end times hold challenges for believers today as in the ancient times and God has the same expections of us as He did of our forefathers. If God has brought us through difficulties it is to prepare us for what is to come in the sure and certainty that we will be up against all kinds of adversity in a world where God is alien to so many. God will be with us whatever our call.

  153. street says:

    came across a story in the life of david that speaks to the issue of tired of trying. it’s the story of david at the brook of besor in 1 Samuel 30.

  154. joycemb says:

    Vs. 6 B ” But David found strength in The Lord His God” and so do I.

    Another great story of tired in trying is Elijah crying out to God in I Kings 19 after he had killed all the prophets of Baal and Queen Jezebel ordered him killed.

  155. Dinakar says:

    Dear Jeff1,
    To supplement your thoughts, I find there is no conflict between following the law and living in love under love the commands get amplified further, for example the law says
    Exo 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    Jesus says
    Mat 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
    What Jesus said is self evident. If I look at a person of the opposite sex with love in my heart. the requirements of the law are fulfilled. I believe no matter what you do if it is not out of love you have erred and missed what God expects.


  156. cbrown says:

    “Tired in Trying” Attached is a beautiful letter from a saint of God that has to do with this blog subject. I think that you will be blessed as I was and will say a prayer for her as well. “My sweet beloved prayer warriors,
    “Confess your sins one to another and pray for each other so that you may be healed.The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.’
    James 5::16 NLT

    There are SO many verses that come to mind as I write tonight, this wasn’t my first thought, but it kept coming back to me. I pray that God will use it with someone.
    I haven’t written with an update. There is no update…only the earnest prayers of righteous warriors praying..that’s the biggest update ever given outside of our salvation.

    I had a ct scan scheduled this week, but through “God” circumstances it was canceled so I could visit with a sweet niece. What a gift! There is really no reason for a ct scan. The last time the doctor and I met, he said there was no reason for one other than ‘curiosity’. I am no longer ‘curious’. As I was reading our verse,concerning confessing our sins so we can be healed, I realize that’s my heart. I have confessed my fear to you, my desire to live longer on this earth, I’ve confessed my immaturity, my lack of faith, and as God brings to mind individuals that I have hurt, I long to confess to them. Not for earthly healing or selfish gain, so that ‘great power and wonderful results can mean bringing His name to the surface, to the light of our souls, and glorious honor to our Lord. It’s going to be wonderful to see Him face to face. I can’t wait to praise Him, and for some reason, I keep thinking of running the hills and having a beautiful ‘English cottage’ with tea! All the while, hearing the voice of angels singing to our Lord and pure peace, joy and love.

    I don’t know how that will happen. I may have it all wrong…and praise Jesus, that can happen in my heart right here every day on this earth with my precious friends and family. I still believe in earthly healing…but, I see the odds are more powerful every day….I’m in pain so much more than ever before. Thank God for good days, He gives those precious gifts. I don’t pretend to know the future. I love hearing from you. And each of you hold a special individual place of memory in my heart.

    Thank you for never ceasing to pray, and as we watch God work, draw close to Him in your life, As you live holy and pure, He will show you great power and you will see wonderful results.

    Oh my friends….how I love you…..”


  157. joycemb says:

    Chris thank you for sharing the lovely, encouraging letter. Blessings to you and Sherri.

  158. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All BTA Folks —

    Sherri, thank-you for revealing the solid ground of ultimate things — life and death — and eternal life in the Lord Jesus here and now.

    You remind me that when I am led to think about my own end — death of the mortal flesh — I can be unshackled from any weariness here in this earthly framework!

    We will not be parted by anything, Sherri! We can never drift out of the circle of God’s infinite, unconditional love for us — and thereby our love for one another.

    Paul knew that believers in his day could die at any time, on account of the absolute power of totalitarian government out of Rome. He reminds us:

    “Christ died and was raised to life, and now he is at God’s right side, speaking to him for us. Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death? It is exactly as the Scriptures say,

    ‘For you we face death
    all day long.
    We are like sheep
    on their way
    to be butchered.’

    In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us. I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!”

    Keeping you in my heart for ease and comfort in these days, Sherri.

    Yours in Christ,

  159. jeff1 says:

    Diankar, The conflict is caused by man for God’s word is that Salvation is a gift of God and I have peace in that knowledge and I have spent my life allowing others to steal my joy but I am tired of trying to please men when it is God I am indebted to except that God says Jesus paid my debt so that means I am debt free. Hallelujah, Praise the Lord.

  160. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh…I whole heartedly agree with your comment, “What we see in others is usually the very things one struggles with in their own life.” Unfortunately for you, you don’t seem to think that applies to you as well…I expected no less than an arrogant response from you. Maybe one day you will be convicted and will move forward at peace with yourself.

  161. bubbles says:

    Ephesians 4:29

  162. bubbles says:

    and Ephesians 4:32

  163. jeff1 says:

    Bubbbles, until God completes His work in us we can talk the talk but let’s be honest we are all along way from walking the walk. We can now appreciate the difficulties our forefathers faced as the Bible brings alive their struggles now we too have a taste of what it is to walk by faith and experience the difficulties they faced not just from non believers but from those of faith, for believers face the same demons as non believers do and how well we do that says a lot about us but more about God and His patience and love and understanding of human nature and while I am so thankful that God sacrificed His son for us I am unlikely to ever understand why for looking at the world today human nature does not change much and History repeats itself and when I ask myself would Christ get a better reception today on this earth than He did in ancient times I do not see that much would have changed different time, different people but the same old human nature. God’s ways are not our ways and aren’t we thankful for that.

  164. Dinakar says:

    You have arrived at the right decision life is not about pleasing others, it is about loving others not from a perspective of pleasing them but as an off-shoot of loving God. You cannot love unless God fills you with love.
    Live is an obstacle course designed by God. Designed to test us not tempt us (James 1:13) but in each temptation we fall into there is a way of escape (1 cor 10 :13)

    The parable of the unforgiving servant reminds us of a servant who lost the great forgiveness of the King because he failed to forgive the small debt owed to him.
    LOVE is the central theme of the bible.

  165. oneg2dblu says:

    Dinaker… boy that parable is sounding dangerously close to thinking that forgiveness of our debt or our salvation, where our debt is effectively paid in full or forgiven by Our King, Jesus, and then, how our actions even after the King of Kings forgives us, and after receiving all that “great forgiveness,” it can be lost because of our actions.

    Sounds to me like their is still accountability after forgiveness, and we do not seem to want to recognize that in any form, or any parable’s likeness to salvation, because some of us chose to believe otherwise.

    Once Forgiven Always Forgiven sounds so much better to many in the Pews today, where accountability is a four letter word.

  166. poohpity says:

    All we can do is go on what the Bible teaches and it teaches that “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”Psalm 103:12 and then “If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.” Hebrews 9:26

    It is very obvious accountability is a 14 letter word covered by a 9 letter word called “sacrifice” because of a 4 letter word called “LOVE”.

  167. poohpity says:

    What you teach Gary is the very reason that our pews are becoming empty because of false teaching by people who do not believe in Jesus and what He did on Calvary but listen to such garbage as flesh trying to earn and keep something that was freely given and kept in heaven for safe keeping.(John 10:28; 1 Peter 1:4-5 NLT)

  168. Dinakar says:

    Dear oneg2dblu,
    You are right it sounds better but is that what Christ taught? Did He advocate salvation based on a statement of faith or does the word ‘believe’ imply something more than accepting a statement of faith?
    If salvation is guaranteed on confession of faith why live a moral life at all?
    here is what James has to say
    James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

    No writer of the new testament has endorsed such a position period.
    In 1 cor 5:5 Paul advocates handing a man over to Satan for lack of right living.
    Jesus said
    Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
    If you feel you can stand before the judgement seat of God and recite a statement of faith and get into heaven you can try that. I believe it may not help you.

    Both the catholic and protestant churches have historically relied on a statement of faith and the sacraments to be sufficient to get a person to heaven.
    Unfortunately the scriptural basis for such a belief is shaky to say the least.
    You do have to make up your mind with open scriptures.

    Please think why Jesus would talk about the parable of the sower – with the word falling on rocky ground or among thorns or on the way side if all that was needed by God is a statement of Faith.
    1John has this to say
    (1 John 1:6 KJV) If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
    ponder over these statements and may God open your eyes.


  169. Dinakar says:

    The only person in Church history who talked of loving your neighbor as a requirement for salvation is John Wesley – the founder of Methodism.

  170. cbrown says:

    Dinaker, you have eliminated the Holy Spirit from your post. Without His Spirit in us we are lost but praise God His grace is sufficient if we but ask and believe. Amen

  171. Dinakar says:

    Dear cbrown,
    I do believe in the trinitarian doctrine. I believe in the holy Spirit, I believe in the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. The line of thought discussed here and space limitations do not let me discuss in detail


  172. foreverblessed says:

    In the life of a believing christian the Hole Spirit is essential in this discussion!
    God the Father calls us, the Son who saves us, the Spirit who leads us into all truth, disciplines us.
    It is the Spirit that teaches us individually, and as Oswald preaches, untill we live out a truth revealed to us, the next truth will be revealed.
    So as we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can rely on the Hole Spirit to mold us, fold us stretch us, but always waiting for our willing response

  173. foreverblessed says:

    I am on holiday, have read this topic,
    I am praying for you Regina, and your extended family, uncles aunts, nieces, nephews. That God may bless you all and keep you.

    Thanks Cbrown for Sherri, what a blessing that was.

    And the words of Reinhard Bonke, July 30, 8.17 pm, thanks Joyce for giving that
    Learning from Jesus is the theme…
    Look how we will become, that is way way beyond the scope of the 10….
    That is what I mean with looking to Jesus as our guide,
    Instead of judging a criminal we will be willing to suffer for him, if so be that God will lead us to that path.

    Jesus shone bright and in brilliance when persecuted, no evil could touch Him. In fact He would shine even brighter when fqcing it.
    That truth is still ringing in my ears, my God, may we be more and more ook Jesus, come Hole Spirit, lead us, I am willing to follow You

  174. oneg2dblu says:

    Do we have room for this…? He who sins is a slave to sin, and he whom obeys the Spirit is a slave to the Spirit.
    Sin according to the word, leads to death, and obedience according to the word, to righteousness.
    So, how we live after becoming a Christ Follower, or being forgiven by the King is vital.
    For only a good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree bad fruit.
    Sinning after our receiving our “initial forgiveness,” can not possibly represent any good fruit, or fruit coming from a good vine, or tree.
    We reap what we sow.
    And yes, there was seed which did initially spring to life, but later died.
    We must remain in the vine, and produce good fruit.
    I know this sounds troubling/threatening to some here, but as Dinaker rightly stated, according to the word,
    Faith without works is dead.
    Have a faith filled day, and, strive, run, work out, present yourself holy, and make every effort.

  175. poohpity says:

    Gary, do you still sin? The works that are products of faith are good deeds not living a sinless life but understanding that we are not able to do that, so getting tired of trying to do the impossible. What is so hard to understand about that. Gary, God looks deep inside and see the things that no one else sees, our thoughts but yet showed us such grace. After we have the Spirit of the Living God in our lives sin loses it’s draw on us so we sin less but never will we be sinless. Satan calls us by our sin but God calls us by our name.

  176. jeff1 says:

    I think we have to accept that there are some of us who want to be saved for our righteousness and others feel they are still liable to sin but believe Salvation is still there’s because it is God who perfects us in the end. My father did not believe in suicide because He believed whatever trials God brought us through we needed to go through them. I believe God is still in charge though men still have a tendency to want to make His decisions for him but he is a just God and not a vengeful one and in the end wants still to save and not condemn. We were born sinners and we are all dying mostly down to our sin nature so whatever righteous works we do now are nothing to boast about as it is the work of the Holy Spirit in us and not any goodness of our own.

  177. oneg2dblu says:

    Unfortunately, we all still sin, don’t we?

    And according to the word, because we are all still sinning, we all still can confess our sin, and repent from our sin, and when we do, we overcome.

    What is so hard to understand about that?

    We can sin, we can confess, we can repent, and we can overcome.

    Pretty simple process.

    Unless, you believe differently.

    If you believe differently, then you probably believe that all your sins, past, present and future are already forgiven and God no longer sees them, Correct?

    So, unfortunately, we can not discuss this parable in all honesty here either, because it does not align with many who choose to believe otherwise.

    As their beliefs are in conflict with this word, and they do not correctly understand that confession, repentance, and the forgiveness which comes through those acts, are still all available to a Christ Follower today.

    Those things, could only be available to those who’s sins are not already forgiven them, and also forgotten.

    What is so hard to understand about that?

    The Sower’s Seed that was sown,(seed being the word) which clearly had life in it, (was received), and new life sprang forth, (new life or salvation came about),and yet after having been clearly alive, in two separate conditions found in this parable, it no longer lives, it died.

    This new life, through testing,died in the hot sun, or not having a deep enough root,it dried up and died.

    The third condition is when the world quickly tramples on it, or sweeps in and takes it away before it can even have a chance to take root.

    Clearly in conflict with this Sower’s Message, is saying, Once Alive, Always Alive, or once having a Life, always having New Life, or once Hearing and Believing, always Hearing and Believing, which clearly does not quite measure up to Christ’s teaching here, or to the other popular teaching of today called, Once Saved, Always Saved.

    What is so hard to understand about that?

    So to me, and many others who correctly understand this story, One’s initial salvation, according to this teaching of Christ, does not also guarantee, One’s Eternal Salvation.

    In this parable, certain conditions are given to us for a reason, and are relevant for this new life to continue, though quickly sprouting up from that seed they are still quite unstable, and many things can corrupt this newly sprouted life, keeping it from reaching its full potential, or certainly any everlasting life.

    But, I may be wrong.

    I do however, trust that Christ certainly got it right.


  178. poohpity says:

    The bible teaches; Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit. (1 Peter 3:18 NLT) Yes we are to confess our sin(1 John 1:9) so that we can be in agreement with God then He will cleanse us of our sin then thank Him for what Jesus did because we know that our forgiveness was already taken care of once for all except denying the Holy Spirit(blasphemy against the Holy Spirit). When Jesus cried out from the Cross, “it is finished” He really meant it.

    Yes Jesus certainly undeniably got it right that is why God’s command was for us to believe in Jesus.

    All the rest of what you wrote is a mixed bag of different things all mushed up blended together to prove something that seems all mushed up, mashed up and confused.

  179. poohpity says:

    Gary all this constant going on and on has a remedy! Read the bible more than just picking verses out of context and finding short topics rather than reading all as a book that fits beautifully together. Just go through the New Testament first try it chronologically and see how it all fits together so wonderfully telling the whole story of what you seem to fight about all the time. Since I have first talked to you, you could have read it 5 times but rather argue about what it does not say or what you understand it to say rather than what it does. I still have not given up on you because I have placed my hope in God that if you really want to know Him, He will show you too.

  180. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… I will receive from you, with all your nasty comments, your trying to always be the blog police, and your ever demeaning cert retorts to many others here, just as much as you will receive from me, or others here who want to help you.

    That is why, my dear, I ask of you the same things you ask of me, but when I do that, you do not like it, because it tastes just like what you serve up to all others who challenge you.

    “What is so hard to understand?”

    PS I have been reading chronologically for years now, “and” also picking out verses to support themes as well, just like ODB, Discover the Word, others here, you as well, many Pastors who lead their churches, and I might add Christ himself had done, as an example for us to follow, when He was tempted by Evil.

    What seems to be the theme from your lips to all and any confrontation is also rather redundant, “Look in the Mirror,” “Take the Plank out of your eye firs,t” “Read the entire bible” “Don’t pick and choose verses out of your context.”

    Listen up again my dear, to what you do not want to hear… “All scripture is God-breathed,” not just those that you prefer to pick and choose to support your liking.

    1 Corinthians 2:14 “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he can not understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

    To prove my point, “All the rest of what you wrote is a mixed bag of different things all mushed up blended together to prove something that seems all mushed up, mashed up and confused.

    But, All scripture is God-breathed…

    As you say pooh, “all this constant going on and on has a remedy! I still have not given up on you because I have placed my hope in God that if you really want to know Him, He will show you too.

    2 Timothy 1:7 “For God to did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

    Be Blessed, Gary

  181. jeff1 says:

    It is in my knowing that there is no good in me apart from the grace of God that I see others as God always intended me to see them as sinners saved by grace. When I was following the ten I did not see my self as I was for I would go through the 10 and be pleased with myself and look at others and say how vile they are compared to me. This is where I had become prideful for instead of focusing on Christ and keeping humble I had become full of my own importance. The only difference in me and an unbeliever is my awareness of God’s grace in my life and that should give me a willing heart and not a cynical and judgemental one. This is a lesson I had to learn myself and it was personally for me. God deals with us differently for we have different weaknesses, it is for God to decide.

  182. refump says:

    I have been reading this blog for a number of years & on a rare occasion have commented. As my handle,”refump” suggests, I referee & umpire sporting events. If I was refereeing this blog I would have called several “flagrant technical ” fouls on both Pooh & Gary & would have tossed you both out of the game. It is clear you both are not playing by the rules. Your agenda seems to be win the argument only instead of edifying the body. It might be a good idea if you took a “timeout”, sat on the bench for awhile & just watched & listen until you can commit to no more subtle & not so subtle names!

  183. poohpity says:

    refump, You are right I noticed my sickening repeated behavior a couple of days ago and have put myself in the penalty box. I totally respect what you said as the Lord convicted me of this also. Thank you.

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