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The Blessing

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Perspective of sacrifice

Many of us treasure the Bible as an inspired gift from the Creator who wants us to know his love for us— and our need of him.

What is just as clear is that those same Scriptures can leave us with the still unfolding Story of a wonderfully good Servant-like God who is calling us into the eternal joy of his presence— or the opposite impression of a glory-seeking King of the universe who promises to torment forever those who live and die in their sin— for lack of his intervention and saving grace.

Maybe it’s honest to admit that there’s a lot about the Scriptures we don’t yet understand, while being quite sure that we have seen in the face of Jesus a God who would die to save the most messed up and worst of us (Rom 11:33).

Seems to me that I hear the voice of a Jesus-like God in the blessing that Moses instructs Aaron and the priests to speak in the hearing of a wandering, wilderness-worn people. After offering up sin, burnt, and peace offerings they are to lift up their hands and say to an often troubled, rebellious, and dying people,

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”  (Numbers 6:24-26) (Lev 9:22-24).

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121 Responses to “The Blessing”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    In the past we have agreed that the Bible account of the people exposed there exposes the best and worst of their nature. No tricks or hidden dirty laundry; the people are shown as being *human*.

    For some unenvious reason we, the readers of their story think we are above their character, because we get to see their failures, and erroneously think we can avoid them.

    I sometimes think one of the greatest difficulties of being Christian is that because we know the difference between right and wrong it our responsibility to correct everyone and apply our sense of doing right upon all, even other Christians. By use of threats instead of the example of Jesus.

    However threatening people isn’t the “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:19, 20), it is our commission to announce to the world of a wonderful blessing in that Jesus paid the price for our sins and God offers forgiveness to all who ask for it. (John 3:16, 17)

    In essence Jesus is the blessing offered in the example of Scripture verses Mart has given.

    How we are used by God in being a believer is dependent on God. He will empower us and anoint us to His task for us to accomplish. It is when we start thinking for God that trouble comes.

    For some of us all we are required has already been accomplished in accepting Jesus as Lord and entering the blessing of rest.

    For others they are *called* to a different life and though they too can rest in Jesus, they are used to accomplish a certain task.

    However both are equal in that they are recipients of the will of God.

    65, foggy and wet. The robins left about a week ago.


  2. Mart DeHaan says:

    Thanks, Steve, for picking up the ball again this morning.

    On a side note, am wondering where the robins go from WV? Ours show up in early Spring from the South and don’t leave until mid or late fall… for, I would have thought, your kind of weather.

  3. joycemb says:

    Steve your statement “entering the rest of Jesus” is where it’s at. Have a great day all!

  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    The blessing the Lord gave Moses and Aaron brings peace and joy to the hearts of the Israelites. And it does the same for us today when the preacher speaks those ancient words once more.

    It is stunning that after the sacrifices were made and Aaron blessed the people, “the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people,. Then fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.”

    God was pleased on both counts: the sacrifice and the blessing. The Lord speaks to Moses after He reveals the blessing and tells him, “So they shall invoke my name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.”

    The chief blessing, it seems to me, is the faithfulness of our God to bless us even in the midst of our wandering and trials and disobedience. May God’s people learn sooner rather than later that He is dependable and loving in all His ways!

    The crickets have started their nightly chorus — and will soon be trying to get into the house as the weather changes.

    Joy all day,

  5. remarutho says:

    “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8

  6. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes, the Great Commission, if I have read it correctly, contains several elements, and one of them, is to teach something, yet, when God uses even a donkey to teach something, we reject the messenger saying to ourselves, “Who appointed this ignorant one to teach me anything?”

    That is pride having its ever judgmental finest hour.

    We conveniently miss the, “teaching them to observe all I have commanded you,” and apparently rest is all that some think was commanded, but, we all know better.

    “Go,” was the operative word, and the first element, if I remember correctly.

    As far as Christ’s message or a command given, I believe it was “Follow Me.”

    Could we imagine a world today, if the original souls He called or commanded, the Disciples, didn’t actually follow His commands, but remained at rest?

    There would be no book of Acts, but because they acted, and acted as He commanded them, they were Empowered with the Holy Spirit, and they were also given and followed, the Great Commission.

    Yes, they were told to, “go and wait for the spirit to first come upon them for they were not fully equipped, but, from that point on, their work became the very hands, and feet, and mouth, of the Lord going throughout the world, and they set the world on fire for Him.

    All because they acted upon the often unnoticed, and even unmerited, or dismissed word, “Go.”

    Rest, has for far often, and for far to many often become the only battle cry, and even if that rest is not laziness which I believe is the sin of folded hands, it certainly closely aligns with that premise.

    So, to me, all the commands, all parts of the commands are equally important, to be considered, and must be applied. But, I may be wrong…
    “Lord, please let us all rest a while in You, before we respond….”

  7. oneg2dblu says:

    Of course, He did not say, Go in your own power, or bring your own message, or only rest.
    One must be yoked first, and His yoke, like His Commands, are not burdensome.
    Just thinking…

  8. cbrown says:

    Gary, the concept of resting in Christ “is not sleeping”. In fact I would submit to you that someone in Christ accomplishes much and someone in his on efforts accomplishes nothing.

  9. remarutho says:

    See how beautiful The Blessing is:

    “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26) (Lev 9:22-24)

  10. SFDBWV says:

    It is all about the elevation Mart. As you have documented with my pictures, you have seen the snow we get, which normally begins in October and ends in May.

    Living in the mountains means there is little or no level ground, which is why West Virginia is referred to as “Little Switzerland”.

    As a result the lowest elevation in my town is 2,500 feet but the hill tops above town reach 3,500 feet. A short drive and long walk from here is a geologic survey point called “Snowy Point” that comes in about 4,200 feet. About an hour drive from here is “Spruce Knob” the highest elevation in WV at 5,000 + feet, and just across the Potomac River from town is Backbone Mt. with the highest elevation in Maryland.

    However I can drive about 30 miles east or west and drop 1500 feet or more and enter an entire different world, both geologic and atmospheric.

    The Robins that leave here most likely go not much farther than North Carolina, southern Virginia, and a very few actually stay closer to home, but one thing is for sure, they herald the coming of Spring as well as the coming of winter.

    Maru we too have the annual chorus of crickets singing and their exodus to find a warm place to winter. We also are serenaded by the song of the Cicada as they cling to the sides of trees and call out to others of their kind in order to mate, an August event.

    I have lived in other places, but feel very blessed that God has made it possible for me to live out my life here. I desired and sought out this place, and if I may use it as a segue into our subject, we can also desire and seek god’s blessings and I am sure He is more than able to deliver.


  11. street says:

    mart said, “— and our need of him.”

    when we discover this need, daily, we are blessed.

  12. joycemb says:

    Mart as usual this topic gently nudges me out of my comfort zone theologically and I start thinking and wondering what all is out there that is still beyond my understanding.

    Steve sounds like you live in a beautiful place. Personally I have always lived around beautiful lakes and mostly flat farm land. The crops are beautiful this year; hopefully a good year for farmers and the economy.

  13. joycemb says:

    Maru I too love that beautiful blessing.

  14. joycemb says:

    Maru wouldn’t that be a beautiful way to pray for our enemies?

  15. poohpity says:

    Gary, I guess one would have to seek out what exactly were Jesus’ commands.

    Here are a few; believe in Me(Jesus); Trust Me(Jesus) forgive as I have forgiven you, Love as I have loved you; show mercy and grace as I have shown you; abide in me(Jesus); do onto others as you would have them do unto you; follow Me, etc.. Those would bring a blessing to anyone who has experienced them and in return given them to others.

    The blessing that Moses and Aaron offered seemed to follow the offerings and sacrifices set into place when the rules were broken and in thanksgiving for all God’s provisions.

  16. poohpity says:

    That blessing seems to be like we are asking God for His protection, peace, for us to be pleasing to Him, for His mercy and presence with us.

  17. jeff1 says:

    My blessing in life is that God has been with me from the beginning and my curse is that I have often missed His presence. There are many today who did not get the chance I had of enjoying God’s presence for I got the teachings as well, but I have suffered loss of joy for having wandered through neglect fullness into a world where I was way out of my depth. My joy has returned for what greater joy than to realise that God spoke to my heart in my waywardness and reminded me that He takes care of those burdens that are way beyond my reach for I had burdened myself with thoughts that where way above my understanding and God in His mercy reminded me that He leads and I follow for then I will not become burdened with the complexity of a world that He understands and instead focus on what I can do in a part of the world that I do understand. Steve you said ‘It is when we start thinking for God that trouble comes’ and that is what I was doing when God spoke to my Heart. I have a tendency to wander and it seems to be my weakness! How can I stay focused on God when I am so prone to wander?

  18. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… the word says we are all like sheep, everyone of us, as we all tend to wander. That is precisely why we need the daily leading and protection of the Good Shepherd. If we only follow the flock, then we are finding our strength in numbers alone, but, if we walk in right step with Him, we then stay close enough, to hear His voice.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  19. oneg2dblu says:

    cbrown… thanks for the reiteration and confirmation about not going it alone.
    Have a blessed day.

  20. oneg2dblu says:

    Talk about wandering off, while we are still talking about Robins, weather and elevation, and local insects and such, and their noises…
    I must admit that when it comes to the annual migration of the Robins, I am only aware of their Northbound numbers as I try to keep the birdbath filled. But, the return, I never seem to see the same type of things, and their voices which fill the air in the Spring, are not quite so prevalent as they are any other time.
    Now, the tree frogs croaking away after a wicked heavy rainy period is almost deafening during the evening.
    Each area has its own echo system.

  21. jeff1 says:

    I am thinking of your words, Steve, ‘By use of threats instead of the example of Jesus’. How easy I find it to get angry with my Children and make threats to get them to do what I say when it is my own lack of control that is at fault. I am not the best Mother, my brother-in-law is very blunt with me about how he sees that I have always let them have there way too easily and now I have reaped what I sowed. It is not always easy to admit in your heart when others are critical and when you see their words coming true then there is the guilt of having misguided Children, who are now adults who are making their own choices. I have not been as good a parent as my parents were to me. I thought my parents where too strict and so I decided not to be as strict with my Children. I can of course now see how wrong I was but I cannot change the consequences of misguiding my Children. I find now that I have more patience with others than I have with my own Children partly because when I see them behaving in a way that I do not approve I do get angry but the anger is more towards myself than them because I do know I failed them. What a blessing to know God has not failed us even though I am often like my own Children far removed from what a child of God should look like. In still in me a new heart, one that you recognise O’ Lord for this one is in shambles.

  22. SFDBWV says:

    The Bible is a story about people and God’s relationship with them.

    It starts with the most simple and basic of relationships, God and Adam.

    In our last subject we skirted the subject of “imagination” and somewhat agreed that imagination is dangerous ground.

    I have often heard the order of things described in this way; first we imagine then we act upon it.

    For as long as this story has been read, discussed and examined it has underwent the scrutiny of imagination, especially concerning the things not said.

    Too often one answer will create more questions and the more we answer by the creativity of our imagination the more questions are created along with it until it too complicated to follow.

    God presented things very basic and simple, but because our imagination is so complex, He gave complex answers as a way of appeasing our unsettled nature.

    Each time man complicated matters God provided complicated as well as simple answers as a way of giving man what he wanted and what he needed.

    He continues to give us choices.

    We can complicate things or we can simplify things…our choice.

    In this beautiful blessing offered to the Hebrew people directly from God and carried out by Moses’ instruction to Aaron and his sons, the blessing is simple.

    There is not a single codicil attached to this blessing that says man does anything in order to receive the blessing.

    In a world where people want to attach every sort of imagination to every matter, given within this blessing is what mankind needed…Jesus.

    It is and was because of people’s wrong choices that Jesus was and is needed.

    Receive the blessing and you have received Jesus, receive Jesus and you have received God, receive God and you have received the “Prophet’s reward”.

    Foggy and 61 degrees.


  23. poohpity says:

    I know for myself there are many things in scripture I do not understand and frankly am turned off. It seems the first few times I had read through the bible newly understanding what I had been forgiven for I saw more of God’s grace while sharing in how many imperfect people God used to accomplish His perfect Will. I guess that is what keeps me coming back for more because over the years listening, studying and from life observation my understanding has developed and changed.

    Then I went through this time period where I thought how harsh God seemed and my understanding became jaded. But it was all part of the process. It happens like that in any normal relationship it seems, like having this honeymoon stage then only finding out that there are some things that are harder to embrace than others then a balance starts to take place. That balance goes back to Jesus Christ the reason I started reading in the first place.

    Now I question less God’s intentions but ask more questions for a better understanding of who God is. I mean trying to grasp in my mind His power because frankly it is hard for me to wrap my mind around what makes us mean so much to Him. Sometimes I do not fully understand those kinds of abilities either then doubt when He does not intervene. I am so glad I do not know all the answers because I believe my brain would burst, oh wait it already has, lol

  24. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… most of what you posted is absolutely correct.
    I always like to think in this order, the bible is story about God and His relationship with people, but, that’s just how I imagine things, putting God first.

    I remember the day I took out my bible and altered the position of the opening words, where it said, In the beginning God created heaven and earth.
    I took the liberty to change mine to say, God in the beginning created heaven and earth.

    That way I was actually putting God first in all things, even in my personal bible.

    Same exact meaning, just a different usage of the order of the words. Nothing else.

    To All:

    Now on to the rest of the story… with some more small changes I would make, and with hopefully not using the imagination of man but the empowered voice within coming out, to show other possibilities of the relationship we all have with our use words.

    Was reading in Ezekiel, “the Prophet,” this very morning, saying things like, where many who would listen to the word and do what it says, they, would certainly receive their reward, according to how they act.

    They would receive a “Reward” for a certain type of action, or a punishment for their disobedient actions…

    I’m in the 18th chapter of Ezekiel where it explains the, “Justice of a Righteous God.”

    Ezekiel 18:4,5,6,7,8 “For all people are mine to judge-both parents and children alike. And this a the rule: The person who sins is the one who will die…

    In verses 10-19 many details about the actions of people that make all the difference in how they are judged.

    “Choose to sin, choose to suffer.”

    According to the rule first set… people will be judged for their actions alone.

    But, the Judge uses more than just the rule book, He has a moment where He expresses His Opinion… and His Will.

    Ezekiel 18:23,24 “Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not!

    I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.

    However, if the righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things, they will die for it.”

    So, we see here the heart and will of God is clearly shown, but the word continues on as the peoples voice rise up and question,
    Ezekiel 18:25 “Yet you say, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one not doing right, or is it you?”

    Ezekiel 18:30,31
    Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions, says the Sovereign Lord.

    Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you!

    Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel? I don’t want you to die, says the Sovereign Lord.
    Turn back and live.”

    I already know many here will not identify themselves with this usage of the word Israel thinking it could be them, but who represents Israel today, other than the church?

    And also many times when we see the word Egypt being used in the OT, ii represents, evil.

    That is not my imagination speaking here, it is how the use and order of words actually plays out in God’s word and it displays His Sovereign Will, yes, but His Judgement as well.

    After all, this is in His Word, and not our imagination.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  25. foreverblessed says:

    Hallo Gary,
    I would like to say to you, and I have done that before; All those warnings you give, I have had my share of them, from my youth on. So I know them all, and I do not deny that they are in the bible.

    This is my take on the matter:

    If you are in a loving relationship with your marriage partner, and you love one another dearly, spend time together, give and take in the relation, is it necessary that the husband says every morning:
    Now listen: be true to me, and obey what I say, or else, you will reap what you sow?

    What your answer to that question?

  26. foreverblessed says:

    Now on the blessing, Mart talked about that a few weeks ago. At that time I started to look into the blessing thing, that is stated in the Beautitudes:
    Matt 5:3-12
    Blessed are ……

    I like to think about what Joyce said a few days ago:
    Perfection is a blessing, not a judgment.
    God, through the Holy Spirit guides us on a path where we will be more and more formed into the beautitudes, step by step. Only in the Spirit can this be formed in us, not on our own, only as we linked to God, as a branch to the vine John 15:4

  27. foreverblessed says:

    When looking into the blessins, I found a study of Augustines, “On the sermon on the mount”

    You can find it on twolisteners that goes with on org.
    Or to download from Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

    This study opened my eyes to a new thing.
    When we follow these commands, (we should not look to them in an old covenant way: You do this or else…. but more like a promise:
    when we follow Jesus step by step we will become like that)

    What is the salt of the earth. Christians are, but in what manner? Just have a look into the sermon.

    Then we will be a blessing to the world.

  28. street says:

    gary blogged, “Choose to sin, choose to suffer.”

    this is a rule for people who believe in retribution. in Christ there is no retribution. sure there is suffering and you have to ask yourself why? job discovered he believed in retribution and it was a dead end for him. for he was innocent of the magnitude and severity of the suffering. the way of the cross is the way to God. Jesus learned obedience through suffering. Jesus also said,” if you love me you will obey Me.” thinking suffering gets our attention better than anything and love gets others attention better than anything. together they are salt and light to a world in soar need of them.

    “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

  29. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Agreeing with you Mart when you say:

    “…it’s honest to admit that there’s a lot about the Scriptures we don’t yet understand, while being quite sure that we have seen in the face of Jesus a God who would die to save the most messed up and worst of us” (Rom 11:33).

    The love-trust relationship with our Creator God is the very staff of life — the receiving of the blessing, the gift that God freely offers each and every one in Jesus. The blessing, as you point out Steve, has no conditions, terms, limits or expiration. Thanks be to God.


  30. poohpity says:

    That is very telling Gary about you feeling the need to change what the Bible says to fit what you think it should say. That is the very thing that people did (i.e. 1834 Mormonism, 1954 Jehovah’s witnesses). When the first scriptures were copied the scribes did it letter by letter with several people comparing with one another and if even one letter was wrong that manuscript was discarded and started all over again. Not even word by word so there would be no thinking it should say what they wanted it to say. Now I see the reason when we give scripture references you do not believe what they say.

  31. joycemb says:

    I have learned something about the blessing of light on this blog. If too much light is given it blinds us, as Paul was blinded by Christ when he first saw him. Yet it was another Christian who God used to heal him of his blindness. We can be a healing blessing, or a hurting blessing. But only God can hurt us for our good.
    God bring healing today to all here. Amen

  32. jeff1 says:

    While suffering gets my attention, I fail to understand it. I understand the consequences of my own bad choices and the reasons I now find life so difficult. It is living with those choices that is difficult but since I caused them I cannot blame God or anyone else so the guilt I have to deal with. The suffering in the world is much more complex and the reason why I am glad to leave it with God and rest in the knowledge that ‘Christ’ is the answer to that suffering. That is what strengthens me to ‘fight the good fight.’

    Fight the good fight with all the might;
    Christ is thy Strength, and Christ thy Right;
    Lay hold on life, and it shall be
    Thy joy and crown eternally.

    Run the straight race through God’s good grace,
    Lift up thine eyes, and seek His face;
    Life with its way before us lies,
    Christ is the Path, and Christ the Prize.

    Cast care aside, upon thy Guide,
    Lean, and His mercy will provide;
    Lean, and His trusting soul shall prove
    Christ is its Life, and Christ its Love.

    Faint not nor fear, His arms are near,
    He changeth not, and thou art dear.
    Only believe, and thou shalt see
    That Christ is all in all to thee.

  33. foreverblessed says:

    That Christ is all in all to thee,

    that is the greatest blessing we have!

    Col 1:19-20, 1:26-27

    v28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.

  34. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Joyce, for your prayer! Thanks

  35. oneg2dblu says:

    Gee so many questions and retorts from one posting of the words of scripture, just because we have no stomach for them.

    street… the rule may be as you say all about retribution, or it may be about sowing and reaping, or it may be, for every action, there is an equally opposing reaction.

    It may be god’s way of further defining right and wrong, and what are the rewards for our choices..

    But, I heard that phrase first from my pastor, and found it to be so true.

    Some might call any judgement, unloving or unfair, but, we do make our choices and then we have to live or die with them.

    And it would be pretty hard to say, “We were never warned.”

  36. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… those are God’s warnings to his people, they are not mine, other than I certainly give claim to them as being fair and just, given in love, and from a Father who truly loves his children, and does not will that any should perish.

  37. joycemb says:

    “Choose to sin, choose to suffer” is what I used to hear in a couple abusive churches. It makes Christ to be a whip bearer instead of a cross bearing redeemer. Think about it.

  38. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… I did not change “the bible.” I am not an ancient scribe, or a modern translator.
    I changed my bible for me, because it is my personal embellishment, or artistic license if you will, to mark my bible as I wish.
    It is meant for my eyes, my pleasure, my moments of discovery, my personal blessing, and not for your finding more mud to throw at me.

    But, I may be wrong…

    Of course, today we have so many versions, so many translations, so many ways of learning, but, for you eyes, you seem to see only what you want, to attack Gary personally….

    This has been the same way you have treated me all along, but you do not have to see it now, or choose to believe it either.

    It is only my observation.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  39. poohpity says:

    Gary, I am not in anyway attacking you, sad you think that way. Because I do not agree with the things you write I have however grown to care for you. If you could learn my voice over yours, you would know that.

    Just like reading the Bible learning to hear God’s voice over our own leads to a deeper understanding to learn how it all fits together. One part does not negate another part and His radical grace permeates all of it. God does not seem to desire perfection from us except in the matter of forgiveness and even that He seems to work with us through the process because he knows us better than we could ever know ourselves.

    That is one of the joys we get to have that takes a lifetime is growing to know Him but we do have to get out of our own head to do that.

  40. poohpity says:

    I was thinking that even people that are married can live with someone over many years and not really know them because often they are to busy telling them how to think, believe and feel.

  41. street says:

    i think of the apologist, ravi zacharias, he is correct in saying humans get to make choices, but they do not get to choose consequences. sowing and reaping is still in effect, but think of the cost Jesus payed, to choose us? some how i need to get my heart and mind on and in Him. i think soul and strength will follow.

    the blessing is definitely in Him.

    i think of all the ones who felt slighted in not receiving the blessing, yet receive it in Christ Jesus?
    did we miss something?

  42. poohpity says:

    I really enjoy learning from Ravi Zacharias one of his motto’s is “Let my people think” that is what Jesus did by not answering questions directly but giving them different ways to think about things in His parables.

  43. poohpity says:

    That seems to be what Mart helps us do too!

  44. jeff1 says:

    Surely the Bible states that in the end times all would go their own way and to me that is what is happening with Christians today. Most Christians are following religions as I do myself for if they are being taught teachings that are focused on Christ they do not see a need to change their place of worship. It is religions that cause the division for in my Country there are Catholics who claim Protestants are damned and their’s is the chosen Church and likewise I hear Protestant’s claiming that Catholics are damned. I never understood this kind of thinking because my father taught me that right was right, and wrong was wrong regardless of religion. I have given up trying to get this point across for if people want to belief what suits their beliefs they will, and that is why religions are not working today and the younger generations are turning away from Churches. People just want their religion to be right never mind truth and that’s why Churches in my Country are emptying for the younger generation are not buying into this. They have witnessed what happened in Northern Ireland when one religion decided God was on their side and to hell with the other. Ignorance is wide spread and I don’t see getting into the blame game gets us anywhere and Northern Ireland is an example of a very Godly country but as one English soldier once said to me you are all very religious but I do not see many Christians. I could not put up much of an argument when my Country men were killing his Country men and claiming God was on their side. War and hatred blinds people to the truth for if you have convinced yourself you have the truth why would you be looking for it.

  45. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… I don’t think of Christ as a whip bearer, and I’ve never been in a church that paints that picture, but I do think every time we choose to sin, someone or something suffers for it.
    Certainly if the sinner does not suffer, maybe the Creator who must right the wrongs of His Creation, is the one who suffers for them.
    To me, all sin is, is our making of wrong choices.

    God provides a way out of temptation, He is faithful, but when we still choose to allow any temptation to have us, it is then that sin is birthed into its place of having its way over us, and us making that wrong choice.
    1 Corinthians 10:13 should give us the upper hand to endure.
    But, I may be wrong…

  46. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… you said,”I was thinking that even people that are married can live with someone over many years and not really know them because often they are to busy telling them how to think, believe and feel.”

    Right after you tell me…If you could learn my voice over yours, you would know that.

    So, If I heard your voice correctly, you are busy telling me how to think, believe and feel.

    Just thinking…

  47. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… yes, the signs are all around us, and pointing to our getting closer to the end times.

  48. oneg2dblu says:

    Here is what the youth of today, and even some older folks need to hear, but the world will not ever teach these timeless truths, Psalm 119:1,2,9,18,24,34,67,71,104, 105.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  49. joycemb says:

    Gary one thing though: I was actually teaching S. School when God claimed me for His own. Up until my eyes were opened the scriptures really didn’t penetrate my mind. I just thought of them as ancient, hard to understand (if I read them at all) words on paper in a very popular book that everyone had in their home but dusted off when company came over. I really had no desire to read the Bible up until then as scriptures were printed in the bulletin and in the SSchool lessons. Perhaps that is part of the reason minds are dull today and sin is rampant? For me it took a desire to know more about this wonderful God who loved me knowing all the sin I’d committed. I quit teaching and started learning. Reading Bible stories to my toddlers was how I learned them myself, that was 35 years ago now and I still love to learn, read, and discover more about God.

    Hearing all the thou shalt nots from the pulpit as I mentioned only made me a crazy legalistic egomaniac who thought I was better than everyone else. I detest those years now and see all the opportunities I missed to really love people. But God is faithful and I am still learning. It is Gods will, I am sure of that now. We need to pray that others will learn that God is a God of love, not rules. Sin falls by the wayside in the light of Gods true love.

    This is so far my journey of learning and growing up. I feel like I’m still in kindergarten most days.
    Bless you,

  50. poohpity says:

    See Gary that is where you are so wrong that is what you do. I often just simply write what the bible says and do not force anyone to believe it so when you grow to know it better you will see that.;-) I know your voice Gary and I can tell when you plagiarize.(i.e. Last topic your August 15, 2015 9:19pm comment) That was not your voice.

    Viv, when I started this relationship with God I read the bible more than I listened to preachers, or religions, priests. At first I only had 2 pair of pants and 3 blouses so when I went to church I went at night and that teacher taught directly from the bible and taught that we should always compare what we are taught to what the bible says. So I did. Then I was not swayed by different religious beliefs. I have never found anything that I have enjoyed more than reading God’s Word nor have I ever put any effort into anything else as I have that.

  51. narrowpathseeker says:

    Gary, please be Blessed and don’t allow yourself to be robbed. Sometimes the silent path is much safer and cruel traps can’t be tripped as easily.

  52. saled says:

    I do treasure the Bible as an inspired gift from the creator, and there is a lot about the Bible that I don’t understand. For example, I recently opened my Bible to the end of 2 Samuel and found 2 Samuel 24:14 highlighted. In this verse David says “. .. let us fall, now, into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great. And let me not fall into the hand of man.” Nice verse. I decided to back up a bit and find out what brought David to say this. And there is the story of David numbering the people and being given the option to choose his punishment. In verse 15 it says that 70 thousand men died of this pestilence. David acknowledges his sin (really? counting the people is a sin?) and asks, “. . . But these sheep, what have they done?”

    This reminded me of Jeff1’s post from yesterday where she talks about the suffering of the world being very complex and she is glad to leave it with God and rest in the knowledge that Jesus is the answer to that suffering. We see suffering on a grand scale in the world, such as war, and often see that it is the innocents that lose their lives, not those in power. And, as in this example in 2 Samuel, we see this type of thing in the Bible and it makes God very hard to understand. BUT: As we do in the blessing from Numbers and Leviticus, here in 2 Samuel we hear the voice of the Jesus-like God that Mart mentioned. David asks that God be against him and his father’s house rather than against the ‘sheep’.

    Throughout the Bible it is clear that God values faith. We can see the god of the Bible and world events as chaotic and unpredictable or we can listen for the ‘Jesus-like voice’ that we know our loving God has worked out.

  53. foreverblessed says:

    Saled, just lately I have seen that bible verse too.
    What I found interesting is that on one place the bible says: 2 Sam 24:1
    So the wole thing started with God wanting to discipline Israel.
    1 Chron 21:1 gives another version, that Satan started it all. But I think that the one in 2 Sam 24 discloses more of what happened, namely that God allowed Satan to do this, so to work out His plan with Israel.
    David asked ” these sheep what have they done?” But God knew they were going astray, and needed to be brought back.

    This whole episode passed my eyes when we were busy with Psalm 30
    The end thing of this all is very beautiful:
    The place where the angel stood, and stopped the plague, that field David bought, and it is the furthering of God’s Plan of Redemption. God wants to redeem His people, all people, if that were possible, by the Son.
    It was in the mountain range of Moriah, the same area where Abraham offered a Lamb instead of Isaac, (Gen 22:2) and this was to be the Temple Mount.
    God is not busy in punishing us, but to Redeem us.

    Psalm 30 is about this ordeal, the Psalm springs from hope to despair and back..

    For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favour lasts a lifetime Psalm 30:5
    (the Plague was only short, then the place of Gods Temple mount was founded, where Jesus would be our Savior.)

    Another famous verse is Psalm 30:6

    It ends in praising God Psalm 30:11-12
    I pray that God may help all of you, and direct your path upwards, that we finally really want to sing Praises to God, and mean it too from the depths of our hearts.

  54. foreverblessed says:

    the famous verse I meant was Psalm 30:5b
    “weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning”

  55. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… like I said, you keep finding mud to throw at me.
    I too could go back and trace your words, but that would be nothing but a vindictive measure on my part, and I choose to look forward, to finding that day when a change will be obvious.
    Oh, those verses I picked out of PS 119 and shared for all, they were the very ones I had at some point in this particular bible’s life, having laid several others aside do to wear, I underlined in this bible as they became so unquestionably illuminated to me.
    Actually there a several hundred more underlined,, but I don’t have the time right now to go back and look them up, just to throw them at you.
    Have a blessed day, as you to can look forward to change.

  56. oneg2dblu says:

    You too can look forward to change. Oops, I just looked back!

  57. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… thanks sharing your blessed eye opening moment, when the words became something other than just printed on the page.
    I had a similar event happen as I was first introduced to a little booklet called, Our Daily Bread, it changed the words on the page, into a living word, and I just can’t go back to seeing the blindness I used to have with the Word of God.
    I have one possible different experience, I cherish all the warnings as well.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  58. oneg2dblu says:

    I know I have shared this before, but I’ll share it again anyhow.
    Even after the word became alive to me, I used to always really focus on those in Red Letters, until one day, through the supernatural, the Lord made them all appear red, I learned a huge lesson about looking closer at all the words, even the ones a might have had no stomach for.
    They are all from God, and that was the lesson, I had to learn.
    So, I know we all pick and choose, but, God chose them all, and, “They are there for a reason.”
    I may have said that before as well.

  59. refump says:

    I have followed this blog for a number of years but rarely comment. I feel compelled at this time to share that I experience the “quenching of the Spirit” over & over. The pattern that leads to this is a topic is introduced by Mart & inevitably Gary will feel the need to tell us we will be punished when we don’t follow God’s commands. Pooh will then feel a need to tell Gary he is wrong in a way that makes Gary defensive. Others will sometimes get drawn into this by taking sides & voicing support for one or the other. In no time at all we are off topic & feelings get hurt. Let us all examine how we can each be better citizens of this blog that Christ may be glorified in all we say here.

  60. oneg2dblu says:

    narrowpathseeker…thanks for your words.
    I praise God that He today, does not remain silent.
    Although, there were four hundred years, where He chose not to speak.
    In that, I’m sure there is much wisdom.

  61. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    The stories of the Lord testing and removing the covering of protection from His beloved people are mysterious. Satan seems to show up in those times of ordeal, but Satan cannot make a move without God allowing it.

    Your quotes from Psalm 30, Forever, make me think of the promises God gives Israel through the Prophet Isaiah:

    “’For a brief moment I forsook you,
    But with great compassion I will gather you.

    ‘In an outburst of anger
    I hid My face from you for a moment,
    But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,’
    Says the Lord your Redeemer.” Is 54:7-8

    In the remainder of the chapter, Isaiah shares all the many blessings God is pouring out upon His people. Perhaps the Lord explains Himself in verses 16 & 17 of the same chapter:

    “Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals
    And brings out a weapon for its work;
    And I have created the destroyer to ruin.

    “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper;
    And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.
    This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
    And their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.”

    God’s perfect will, it seems to me, is to bless and not curse those who are in awe of Him. What can we do that is worthwhile except to believe what He says and to praise Him more and more?


  62. oneg2dblu says:

    Some here may be blessed to look at today’s message found in the, Two Listener’s, God at Eventide, and some may not like what they served up today, but it is still on their menu.
    Eat well of it my brothers and sisters for it gives us much health and well being.
    Now, I’m off to cook up what’s on the menu at school.

  63. remarutho says:

    In that vein, Refump,

    I often comment in favor of the actual topic Mart has graciously offered for public comment. We quickly drift away from the theme — forfeiting the opportunity to build one another up in the body of Christ.

    Please remember each one contributing here is a child of God, seated at their computer, free to say what is on his/her heart. Each one here has feelings that can be hurt, just as everyone does. Nobody is an object — everybody is a subject.

    Who could find one trace of bitterness in the topic “The Blessing” — seriously?


  64. poohpity says:

    Gary, I was not throwing mud just showing you that I know you.

    God “seems” to have directed taking a census many times but when David took that particular census it “seems” was because of pride, to gain confidence in it’s strength and size. Who is the basis of pride since the beginning, Satan. Forever, yes when one reads 2 Samuel along with 1 Chronicles we get more information.Taking one part out of the Bible and putting it in the whole book don’t you think that is where we get a better picture not necessarily the pieces but as they all fit together?

    I to find some things in the bible that seems very harsh and I do not understand but when I look around at what happens when people are left without someone stepping in harshly I see the results. To me God sees the bigger picture than what I can see as well as the future and even though He cares for us individually look around at the world and He also cares for the everyone. I do not think that God micro manages the world that would be more akin to a dictator.

  65. poohpity says:

    Then refump comes to referee and does not add to the topic which seems to cause the very problems to begin with. Becoming part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

  66. joycemb says:

    Proverbs 25:11-13The Message (MSG)

    11-12 The right word at the right time
    is like a custom-made piece of jewelry,
    And a wise friend’s timely reprimand
    is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.
    13 Reliable friends who do what they say
    are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing!

    Theses verses came to mind this morning. Blessings come in all sizes, depending on the hearer I guess. And on the flip side, so do curses.
    Be a blessing today. (It’s never to late to start over as long as we have breath)

  67. poohpity says:

    How terribly messed up my thinking becomes when I want Gods’ judgement to those in the world who’s sin is rebellion, pride, murder, etc. yet want the blessing of His mercy on me? Knowing that God is fair in His assessment of all mankind that would be me asking for that harsh judgement on myself as well. I read what the Israelites did in the desert while wandering yet Moses said that blessing over them.

  68. joycemb says:

    Amen Pooh!

  69. saled says:

    Thanks, forever, you went so much further with the theme of redemption found at this end of 2 Samuel. I want to add that I have heard that the reason this numbering of the people was sin was because it showed a lack of faith on David’s part. Here was David, who had faced Goliath as a boy, counting how large his army was. And God shrinks his army, reminding David where his real strength came from. The verses about how David came to the decision are mysterious, but there I have heard it said that the people in positions of power actually have much less freedom over their decisions than those under them. Yes, God values faith, and when we read these stories or look at world events, we need to remember who our own strength comes from.

  70. jeff1 says:

    My whole young life I spent listening to Preachers and different denominations/religions. That is the reason I understand why younger generations are turning away from them for they are not preaching the gospel of Christ. They are preaching the wrath of God for our sins. I have my reasons for not reading the Bible mainly because having witnessed so many taking their own understanding from it and seeing the hell it created. I must first recognise the spirit of God working in me before I will recognise the teachings of Christ otherwise I will take the Chapters that fit my beliefs and convince myself that I have God’s truths. This is why my Country is in a mess today for one religion demonises the other and quotes the Bible that suits their belief system. The Bible in the hands of learned men who get together for the purpose of understanding God I will listen to but when unlearned people get together and quote it to prove their point of view then I will not join that group of thinkers for it will lead not to the truth but to that group’s view of the truth. I let my early years be robbed of the truth but I will no longer listen to false teaching where ever it comes from, I will press on focused on Christ for it is God who changes the hearts of men or not as the case may be. To me a faithful servant is to follow and it can be difficult enough keeping myself on the righteous path for I have tripped many times but it is God’s promise and not man’s that I am safe in His keeping for it is my inheritance as a child of God. Thanks be to God.

  71. poohpity says:


  72. joycemb says:

    Jude 24-25
    To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
    Who keeps us from stumbling? Jesus does. Yes Viv, keeping our eyes on Jesus is the one from whom all blessings flow.

  73. lovely says:

    -yes Jeff 1..we can get so lost in religion.that we forgot…who the Creator is.that’s why Christianity is not a religion but a relationship..I ‘ve wasted many years in a religious church too.But., I must say…if we have a close relationship with God..we’ll know… .what to take in & what to filter out. He ‘ll tell you cause He lives in you. I sought God earnestly & Found Him in this religious environment. Remember Joseph..God was even with Him in prison..& able to bless him there. Regardless what circumstances we are in.If you have God He can still bless you anywhere anytime.Even bless you in the presence of your enemies Psalms 23:5.Because our God is a living God.. there is always new revelation & new things you’ll learn about Him in the scriptures.No one has fully known God perfectly..& completely but He invites us toseek Him earnestly.Psalms 105:4 Have fellowship with Him.
    Romans 11:33..The only thing that s stopping His blessing that is for me is my worry & fear..when I focus of these things it actually drown out His voice & presence in my life…Blessings to you all ..lovely

  74. jeff1 says:

    It is practising what I believe I find difficult, because as your say lovely, when worry and fear overcome me I loose sight of Jesus. I try now to remind myself that even I loose sight of Jesus He does not loose sight of me.
    I have the faith and the hope but it is God who has loved me and will continue to love me and you from the cradle to the grave. When I have failed so many times in my life to love others how can I ever understand God’s love, I can only imagine it momentarily but not everlasting, this is beyond my comprehension.

  75. poohpity says:

    That was the type of imagination that Mart was trying to get us to understand in the last topic.

  76. narrowpathseeker says:

    refrump….may I offer you a hug and a smile?

  77. poohpity says:

    His handle is refump. ;-)

  78. cbrown says:

    Vi, when you have one of those moments remember to ask God for help. Today my wife and her sister were in trouble and I prayed and asked God to wrap His arms around them and he did.He sent another Christian and she put her arms around them both at the same time and comforted them.When I saw them later and they told me what had happened I praised God! Amen

  79. SFDBWV says:

    Chris I will add a praise and thanks be to God for your wife and her sisters rescue.

    Refump I notice your name is on my initial list so we have been here together for a long time now. I share in your disgust at the way the site has deteriorated into the condition it has.

    Sadly those who are responsible for it refuse to see it as a result of their continued action and any attempt to rectify the matter from others only makes them behave worse.

    Yesterday morning after I looked in I decided to just stay away.

    It is as Maru stated; the subject is about the blessing God gave, how the conversation can then center on curses and damnation is sadly inane.

    Life has taught me many things, but one thing is for certain, no matter the circumstances we are in, our Lord is always there for us, not because of us, but because of Him.

    Any good parent knows that their children are going to make mistakes in spite of being warned ahead of time, but that same good parent is always going to be there to forgive their child and pick them up, bless them continually and love them unconditionally.

    That should sound familiar.

    43 degrees and clear.


  80. poohpity says:

    Steve, what part have you played in the deterioration of the blog? Do you stay on topic, call names, voice disapproval, tell people they do not belong on here, cause division, feed into attacks or at times start them? All of us at one time or another have been party to the down hill fall of the blog but as long as we accuse and blame others then that stops us from taking personal responsibility for our own actions.

  81. joycemb says:

    Good morning, Steve I was thinking the same thing about parenting yesterday, This blog does feel like junior high a lot and I too am getting very tired of it and decided to distance myself from it. This blog has been a blessing to me in many ways, particularly in how Mart continues to teach that blessing is more like God than cursing and has freed me up to be more loving toward my neighbors. Very Biblical!

    I know when I started reading almost 2 years ago I had a hard time figuring out the ‘rules of blogging’. Forget the guidelines they are broken every day here and are not enforced so I guess that’s what happens when children are left without parents. We’ve all tried in various ways to ‘reparent’ and control this blog but to no avail. So maybe it is time to back out and be blessed in our goings out. I’m tired but blessed
    Have a great weekend all,

  82. joycemb says:

    Chris I am also rejoicing that our a God is a “hands on” God who is ever available in our need.

  83. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Just reading comments and sorting through my own sense of “The Blessing” and all the variety of responses that beautiful gift can bring forth out of the human mind and heart. What might I choose to share with all here? What might I share that I can never take back?

    BTA has been a blessing to me since summer 2011. Confessing before all that I do not always have positive or gracious thoughts to share, let me only say I remain thankful for all who have courageously and truthfully given their best here.

    It is a weary, heavy business to read comments about another’s motives, or moral worth or ethical conduct. How could you or I ever know such things about another person? The majority of negative responses, it seems to me, reflect the interior weather of the commenter’s life, not the condition of somebody else.

    54F and cloudy today. I am going to a wedding!

    Joy to you folks today always,

  84. remarutho says:

    Dear Mart and BTA Friends —

    I can say I have received a great blessing from many at BTA. These past four years have been a huge transition in my life and ministry, having moved 1500 miles to another place with few family and friends surrounding me.

    When you enter a church or Bible study fellowship, please, please remember some people are there because they do not receive any encouragement or consideration from anybody anywhere. They really need a safe place to be themselves. A kind word of blessing is worth more than a thousand words of correction or criticism. And, outright condemnation may wound an already severely wounded child of God.

    Speaking from my heart,

  85. joycemb says:

    Maru I was actually thinking the same thing yesterday. I admit I have failed at loving as I am just too old and tired to deal with the constant needs/demands of those whose need is so great. I have to give them to God, and those like you who still have the energy to battle in the trenches. I don’t anymore.

    My apologies to all those I have failed to love.

  86. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… thanks for sharing your opinion on the internal weather of others.
    I just checked mine, its Calm and 98.6 degrees in Melbourne, Florida this morning.
    To all,
    If I may share a personal note, the water was calm as well, and my morning row again took me under the low bridge where my pigeon friend was tending to her two new chicks, she was way too busy for me to interrupt her feeding with my attempt at any exchange of cooing.
    She was doing her thing, providing well for these very active, very vocal, healthy babes that were almost her size!
    Speaking of teenagers…
    The local high school was out in full force and I got to row close by and chat with the coaches and a couple of the ladies teams while out on the river.

    I thank the Lord for providing a wonderful start to this day, knowing challenges and opportunities await their opening, and He is already helping me to get through them.
    Actually, He is helping us all.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  87. remarutho says:

    Gary —

    The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance on you and give you peace — now and forever.


  88. jeff1 says:

    Breathe on me, breath of God,
    Fill me with life anew,
    That I may love what Thou does love,
    And do what Thou wouldst do.

    Breathe on me, breath of God,
    Until my heart is pure,
    Until with Thee I will one will,
    To do and to endure.

    Breathe on me, breath of God,
    Blend all my soul with Thine,
    Until this earthly part of me
    Glows with Thy fire divine.

    Breathe on me, breath of God,
    So shall I never die
    But live with thee, the perfect life
    Of Thine eternity.

  89. street says:

    you know mart, this blessing given to the people of the exodus makes me think. if we obey for reward we will drift away eventually through deception. if we obey out faith and trust in God who loves us and doesn’t with hold any good thing from us, then we are abiding.

    i still marvel at abraham getting up early to travel with his son and not even questioning God’s plan. the hard part is not judging things as they appear.

  90. jeff1 says:

    I believe Street that talking the faith is a far cry from walking in faith and when I look at the Bible Characters they remind me of what walking in faith should look like for too many times I have wandered from that walk. My greatest challenge in keeping the faith will not be talking the talk. Most of us are not being persecuted for professing our faith in God, I have been persecuted for belonging to a culture and a religion but not for my faith. It is me who needs to belong while I am in the race. I do not always agree with the culture or the religion that I was brought up in and it does cause confusion for me in my walk with God but I do not want to be in this race alone and so being part of a community is important to me. I have to discern what is from God and what are pre-conceived beliefs that I was brought up with.
    There are times when I need to isolate myself from my Community to do this, for God’s ways are not our ways and that is what I need to be mindful of. When the Biblical Characters had difficulties it was because they failed to remember that God’s ways are not man’s way. It is God who understands what is happening in the world and when I wander from His path I will experience confusion and difficulties. The greatest difficulty is not walking with God but keeping in step with Him. Does God expect me to do it perfectly, of course not, He is not a tyrant like many would have me believe. What God does is show me when I am wandering so that I will examine myself and get back on track. God already knows our destiny but it is I who makes my path easy or hard by listening to His small voice or the voices of many trying to drown out His with their wisdom and pre-conceived belief of whom God is or is not. The greatest difficulty in my life will be letting God draw me to Himself while I am drowning in my own wisdom and pre-conceived beliefs of whom God is or is not. It is the very reason that God told me to focus on Christ and not on Him for it is there I find rest for my weary soul. When do I actually listen to what God is saying, I listen when I am thoroughly exhausted listening to those who tell me they know God better than I do when the truth is they do not nor does God ask us to know Him for He knows it is impossible for us and precisely why He tells us to focus on Christ, the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega.

  91. jeff1 says:

    It is not I who says there is no other it is God who says there is no other for this is the truth of the gospel. It is mankind who changed the truth of the gospel, but it is still the truth of the gospel for it is God’s truth not men’s

  92. poohpity says:

    It seems that truth unless balanced by grace is not appropriated because it is harmful and destructive devoid of the healing and restoration part that is provided in grace.

  93. street says:

    is there a difference between self examination and abiding in the presents of a Holy God?

    i am thinking that abiding in God leaves the examination behind. i think of isaiah’s and other saints who found them self’s in the presents of God and God had to do something, touching them, so to speak because of our frailty. after He removed the barrier they abide in a most wonderful place. the hard part was leaving i would think, unless He told you to go do something.

    examination returns when we find ourselves in places that are desolate or we are convicted by the Holy Spirit. the fact He has not given up on us should lead us to great joy. He is the potter and the Good Shepard. can you imagine, He puts His Spirit in earthen vesicles? looking for Him

  94. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Jeff! Yes, when the going is rough, when irritation starts here:
    Turn your eyes upon Jesus!
    Why, because He is our all in all, He it is who leads us on the path of being blessed!

    Today we had in church: the Blesses are they who…. Matt 5:3-12
    The blessedness of those who are blessed by God.
    And at the end the preacher gave the blessing reading out loud: Num 6:24-27

    That was good for me!
    God blesses us, and how He does that, Jesus tells in the blessednesses (the Beautitudes)
    Christ, through the Holy Spirit, wil lead us step by step into this blessedness, from the one to the other

    first stage: When you feel down and out: blessed are you! Matt 5:3(KJV)
    Why, because yours is the Kingdom of heaven
    second stage; When you feel much sorrow, blessed are you! Matt 5:4(KJV)
    Why, because you will be comforted
    third stage: Blessed when you feel low, and nobody in this world! Matt 5:5(KJV)
    Why: because you will inherit the earth
    fourth stage: Blessed when you hunger an thirst for righteousness, (so you lack it, you know you are empty of yourselves) Matt 5:6(KJV)
    Why: because you will be filled (Who will do that? Jesus through the Holy Spirit)
    fifth stage: Blessed are the merciful Matt 5:7(KJV)
    Why: for you will be shown mercy
    sixth stage: Blessed are the pure in heart Matt 5:8(KJV) (that comes after you have been merciful to others)
    Why: for you will see God, (we will see Jesus more and more)
    7th stage: Blessed are you when you make peace Matt 5:9(KJV)
    Why: For you will be called a son (or daughter) of God
    next stage, Blessed are you when people insult you when you follow Christ, for the sake of righteousness Matt 5:10(KJV)

    that last stage is worked out:
    blessed are you when you are willing to suffer for the sake of knowing Jesus. Matt 5:11-13
    Blessed are you when people lie about you, when they say ugly things about you!
    (have you reached that stage yet?)
    Be very very glad when people insult you (are you like that? Do you rejoice when you feel insulted here on this blog? It is a good way of learning to start practicing it here, being honost to God how you feel, but asking Him to help you with rejoicing in it! Fill 4:4
    blessed are you)

    Which takes us right back to the first stage, for the consequences is the same as the one of the first stage: because yours is the Kingdom of heaven Matt 5:10,3(KJV)

    And there the whole cycle start all over again, the Holy Spirit leads us again through the stages, to learn deeper things about being poor in spirit, being humble merciful.
    Over and over and over again, God is never ending in teaching us to become more blessed!

    How blessed we are!
    So if you feel down and out, start at the top of the beautitudes and count yourself blessed!

  95. foreverblessed says:

    Phil 4:4(NIV)

  96. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry, it was a rethorical question: Do you rejoice, when people insult you? AS I am still in the stage of mourning when they do.
    All though, the light of God shines in my heart, just a little bit: start blessing them when they do.

  97. lovely says:

    Joycemb.Steve. & anyone here who is feeling tired don’t be discouraged. Give all your burden to Jesus. Don’t carry all the burden 1 Peter 5:7.Jesus is the burden barrier we’re not.We don’t walk by feelings but by faith.Feed on the live of Christ for His love will flow through you. I was encouraged by your post Joyce ..Amen sister, Jeff 1 on your testimonies,we’re indeed like running in a race. All of us must run but focus on the prize…the crown.Jesus.1 Corinthians 9:24.In a race we will definitely have hurdles where theenemies will try & sow discord..I am referring to a spiritual warfare that’s already been ongoing whether we realize it or not.But remember we do not fight this war the world’s way but God s way.2Corinthians10:3,4,5.PRAYER. Hurdles are meant to be overcome..not avoid. Sometimes we do get hurdles like this but that cannot stop us from running the race.continue to preach & speak the truth.Revelation 12:11.Can we pray for each other & run the race together towards the prize?

  98. joycemb says:

    Yesterday the Holy Spirit opened my Bible to Luke 17. I was particularly struck by ‘If another believer sins, rebuke that person, then if there is repentance forgive”….and it goes on to say, “Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness you must forgive.”

    Pretty clear guidelines.

    But then Jesus talks about faith and what we can do in His name, but adds humility to the whole discussion saying “And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. In the same way, when you obey me you should say,’We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.'”

    Yes lovely what you say is so true to the gospel. Tiredness is no excuse, neither is weariness, remember how Elijah crumbled after all the idols of Baal were destroyed? No, it isn’t over, the battle IS the Lords, yet the race is ours.

    Numbers 6:24-26The Message (MSG)

    God bless you and keep you,

    God smile on you and gift you,

    God look you full in the face
    and make you prosper.

  99. street says:

    dear jeff, i am thinking there is no difference in the Bible characters you mention and take to heart, than any of the members of the body of Christ. looking forward to the completion of the bride. Greatly Blessed in Christ Jesus!

  100. oneg2dblu says:

    Brothers and Sisters, I guess we could say, we are simply saints being obedient, or obedience to the word is our duty.
    Children obey your parents, also comes to mind, being we are the Father’s children, or family.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  101. jeff1 says:

    I wish I could say I have never doubted God but the truth is every time I listened and believed false teaching, I doubted God. God was always the same and if I had been faithful I would have realised that, it was my faith was lacking not God’s. I was brought up to believe in God but I never truly did, it is God that draws us to Himself, when we let Him. I can truly now say: I believe in the man in the sky.

    The steps that lead to any church
    Form a stairway to a star
    They’re part of God and should be trod
    More often than they are

    I believe in the man in the sky
    I believe with his help I’ll get by
    My footsteps may falter
    My eyes may grow dim
    But He’s my Gibraltar
    I’m trusting in him

    Though a sparrow is all I may be
    On me he will still keep an eye
    Yes, I’m singing his praise
    Till the end of my days
    I believe in the man in the sky

    Sparrow, sparrow am I
    Keep an eye
    Yes I’m singing his praise
    Till the end of my days
    I believe in the man in the sky

    Greatly Blessed and Highly Favoured, Imperfect but forgiven child of God.

  102. street says:


    been thinking of a time when i could not ride a bike and the joy i experiences when i could. i am at a time when doctors forbid me to ride a bike. i am also well aware of a possibility of a time coming when it would be physically impossible to ride a bike.

    then i think of a verse that says, “i can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

    He is Lord of our circumstances.

    “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

  103. narrowpathseeker says:

    Greetings All. It is my heartfelt belief that Steve is a wonderful Blessing to this blog. He is a major contributor of uplifting and thoughtful messages while dealing with difficulties of his own that I don’t believe I could endure at our age. I do not believe that he is in ANY WAY responsible for even a tad of the deterioration of this blog and for anyone to even imply that he is, is offensive. Moreover, I think the majority of the contributors here are a Blessing.

    While Maru’s concern for everyone’s feelings is beautiful and admirable I am in Joyce’s corner here….TIRED…suffering from battle fatigue from many years of battles lost or won…but Joyce also pointed this out, “Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness you must forgive.” I wonder when a person doesn’t ask for forgiveness because they blame the offense on their victims, are we supposed to ignore that and let their victims take the blame? Even if a person does ask forgivness but stands on the corner with a baseball bat and strikes almost everyone that comes near and says, “oh I’m sorry..please forgive me…heheheh” and gets in position to strike the next guy that comes along….are we supposed to ignore that? If that person is mentally ill…does that make their behavior ok? How many people are effected by this?…isn’t it the victims and all of their friends and family….whether they are angry or hurt, physically and/or emotionally…they have been potentially robbed of Peace.
    Anyway, I believe Steve is a very strong and resilient Christian and that he will be back with his uplifting spirit, but I needed to express these thoughts.

  104. joycemb says:

    Paul explains how to deal with each other in Romans 15:1-13. There is so much there, but the purpose is to glorify God as one body.

    It’s not about us, or our discomfort/frustration/whatever, it’s about Him.

    I am very convicted by this and what others have written today.

    God strengthen us all in our situations and places in life. To God be the glory. Amen

  105. jeff1 says:

    It is very important that we build each other up and not tear down. We have different weaknesses as well as different strengths but if we cannot tolerate each others weaknesses then we will not draw non believers to God. If as believers we cannot practise what we preach then we will not be taken seriously but seen as Christians who talk the talk but cannot walk the walk. I see it in my Country and it makes me very sad when others do not see the damage to the body of Christ because of division. We have enough enemies in this world without making enemies of brothers/sisters in Christ. I have had disagreements among my Christian friends but when I see it is going no where I do not push on. If it endangers the building of the Church then it is best to be quiet. I have not always practised this but I am determined to be more mindful of what comes out of my mouth in the future and hope that I have not said anything here that has caused offence to anyone for I have a tendency to be outspoken but for the right reasons I believe but please correct me if I do otherwise.

  106. joycemb says:

    Viv I have not ready anything you’ve written that is not gentle, loving, and helpful. Your internal battles do not show here. Thank you for your always loving presence.

    Sometimes we battle others because we have not yet forgiven ourselves for the same sins we see in others. I am still loving and forgiving myself for sins committed or attributed to me when I was a child. It’s a long process for some of us who have known nothing but hurt, pain, disappointment, and astrangement from family, the body of Christ, and even society. Sometimes I feel like an alien not only from the world, but from the Church also, but then I know I am part of the Church, just like a little mouse that sits in the corner observing mostly. And participating through prayer and my online community. Love you all here. ALL here.

  107. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, your post Aug 23 7.19am

    It seems that truth unless balanced by grace is not appropriated because it is harmful and destructive devoid of the healing and restoration part that is provided in grace.

    I can tell you that is so true to what I have seen. It is hurt people, who hurt people. When I was hurting and knew I had the truth I was merciless in my mind to my enemies and the reason (not trying to excuse it but explain why I felt that way)they had hurt us very badly and I felt justified in thinking like I did. It is when I entrust it to God that I not only relief myself of the burden of hate but I allow God to work with grace and mercy to those He knows are willing to make amends for past wrongs. We hang on to the wrongs of others expecting God to forgive our own wrongs completely but expect Him to condemn another without knowing what we are talking about. If God can work in my own heart then He is most likely working in another’s. At the very least I should give the other person the benefit of the doubt and leave it with God. It would break the cycle of hate and revenge that many get caught up in when they have been hurt and find it difficult to move on.

  108. jeff1 says:

    I can relate to you Joyce, your journey describes what could be very similar to my own. My friend and I were saying the other day how the song ‘This world is not my home’ felt very relevant today as the world we live in seems so alien from when we were young. It is good to share and discover that I in such a small Country is a kindred spirit to you in such a big Country. God Bless us all.

  109. joycemb says:

    “It would break the cycle of hate and revenge that many get caught up in when they have been hurt and find it difficult to move on.”

    Viv this describes me exactly. Our gracious God just revealed this to me this past week. So blessed He doesn’t let us go on in our sin.

  110. street says:

    if i remember the gospel right, Jesus died for sinners. He did not die for saints and they are completed in Him, but it dose not appear to be complete in the present world. there in lies a bride. keep your lamps trimmed and filled with oil we don’t know when He will return. God works His will in His loved ones and will complete them. the foolish ones will not be ready when He returns. i am thinking they never knew Him. thinking our words should encourage our brothers and sisters and not judge and condemn them, the Holy Spirit is better at dealing with an others heart. i do know we should strive for unity. to sow disunity among the saints is a grievous sin.

    the striving part is difficult in any circumstance. as mentioned earlier knowledge wisdom patients faithfulness humility mercy love and grace will go a long way in building on a foundation that has already been laid. if there is no foundation in another, building anything on it would be pointless. sowing would be the only true option.

  111. street says:

    some one said,”leave it with God. It would break the cycle of hate and revenge that many get caught up in when they have been hurt and find it difficult to move on.”

    this is true for me. the hard part is when we are reminded of a wrong of the past and have to seek Him again in disposing of it. when we find grace and mercy for our own wrongs it is easier to give to others. he who is forgiven little loves little, he who is forgiven much loves much.

  112. poohpity says:

    Yes Viv, realizing how much grace we each have been shown is inexplicable, unexplainable and so worth sharing it with others. When we understand that all people have gotten the way they are by the things that happen in their lives to bring them where they are today we begin to feel empathy(understanding) and realize it is only God who can bless each person with healing and restoration. Sometimes when we think we can do it and all we do is cause more harm like a broken pot trying to heal another broken pot.

    Just as the blessing says in every part, THE LORD! Our part is to let Him work and get out of the way. Not thinking we are any better or any worse than anybody else but we are all on the same journey. So rather than fighting against each other joining hands and guide each other to follow Jesus, not other people or ourselves. If people even professing Christians make a choice to follow their on way or walk away or dont’ know nutin it is all between them and God. It is grace that changes hearts and lives and learning what that really is seems to be the process.

    “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”― Albert Camus If we listened to this how much better, peaceful and restful that journey would be.

  113. poohpity says:

    I am wondering if it all doesn’t really come down to being able to trust in God?

  114. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Viv and Joyce for keeping up the encouragement!
    7 times a day forgiving!
    If it would be 7 times a month it would be hard, but 7 times a day, the same person, the same offence!
    But that is the heart and mind of Jesus, He forgives us each day all our offences, and I think that is more then 7 times in a day, that we miss the mark, of being like Jesus.
    Anyway, keep up the good life, the life that is attached to Jesus, only from Him come rivers of fresh and new life.
    What use is it to keep thinking about people who hinder you?

    Look up to Jesus.
    And the more we hunger and thirst for His presence, the more we will receive, (Matt 5:6)

    Last saturday I was greatly encouraged by the Spurgeon morning and evening devotions, Both of them the morning and the evening are so uplifting! I wish I could write about the Glory of Jesus. Like the other man, who gave the speech
    “That’s my King” Oh, if our eyes would be lifted up to HIm, and the blessing that flow from Him if we abide in Him.

    But did not have the time to post it that day, so now here it is, if I may…

  115. foreverblessed says:

    CH Spurgeon the morning devotion, Aug 22

    “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.”

    Song of Solomon 5:8

    Such is the language of the believer panting after present fellowship with Jesus, he is sick for his Lord. Gracious souls are never perfectly at ease except they are in a state of nearness to Christ; for when they are away from him they lose their peace. The nearer to him, the nearer to the perfect calm of heaven; the nearer to him, the fuller the heart is, not only of peace, but of life, and vigour, and joy, for these all depend on constant intercourse with Jesus. What the sun is to the day, what the moon is to the night, what the dew is to the flower, such is Jesus Christ to us. What bread is to the hungry, clothing to the naked, the shadow of a great rock to the traveller in a weary land, such is Jesus Christ to us; and, therefore, if we are not consciously one with him, little marvel if our spirit cries in the words of the Song, “I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, tell him that I am sick of love.” This earnest longing after Jesus has a blessing attending it: “Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness”; and therefore, supremely blessed are they who thirst after the Righteous One. Blessed is that hunger, since it comes from God: if I may not have the full-blown blessedness of being filled, I would seek the same blessedness in its sweet bud-pining in emptiness and eagerness till I am filled with Christ. If I may not feed on Jesus, it shall be next door to heaven to hunger and thirst after him. There is a hallowedness about that hunger, since it sparkles among the beatitudes of our Lord. But the blessing involves a promise. Such hungry ones “shall be filled” with what they are desiring. If Christ thus causes us to long after himself, he will certainly satisfy those longings; and when he does come to us, as come he will, oh, how sweet it will be!

  116. jeff1 says:

    That is lovely, foreverblessed, thank you for posting.

    What you said Pooh, about does it come down to trusting God. Very much so I believe, for wandering as I did was when I was not trusting God. I think I deceived myself that I was trusting God but the reality was I was not. I think it is a battle for me for I have a tendency to be stubborn when I think I am right but this does not necessarily mean I am right so God has to work so that I will see it. I think we are all very different and to an extent the way God works in one will not be the same in another and we tend to compare ourselves with other believers and confusion sets in and causes doubt, perhaps not all doubt in God but doubt about ourselves and our discernment. I often lag behind God or run in front of Him instead of walking beside Him. This seems to be the difficult part for me anyway.

  117. joycemb says:

    Forever yes forgiveness is important but there is also responsibility the sinner has, notice: ‘If another believer sins, rebuke that person, then if there is repentance forgive”

    If the person does not repent or even acknowledge their sin to others, I do think it’s best to move away from them, lest their sin contaminate you. God also moves away from us when there is sin between us. But not to the point of leaving us. He is God, but we aren’t.

  118. jeff1 says:

    Is the person refusing to repent because they do not see their wrong? Is it for us to decide for all sin is wrong and we are all sinners! Believers must see each other as equals and work on their weaknesses. You do have to decide that if you cannot resolve the situation then it may be best to remove yourself from it if you feel there is a danger you will be contaminated. I had not thought of God moving away from us when there is sin between us but surely then it is why it should get resolved one way or the other. I think it would be best for all parties as all are getting hurt by it, just thinking of my own trials with others.

  119. joycemb says:

    Viv I was just quoting what Jesus said. He is my go-to to work out problems. His words seem hard and harsh sometimes. Yes.

  120. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All
    Pray all is well in your lives! :-) Was trying to read through all the comments on this blog topic before Mart posted a new topic, and was planning on sharing my thoughts at some point… Got distracted by other things…errands, chores, etc. Had to comment, though, on the Bible passage that Mart highlighted for this blog topic as it is one of my favorite Bible passages (Numbers 6:24-26 — I ((LOVE)) how it reads and the words chosen in the New Living Translation)! I pray it over my friends and family members on a consistent basis… like ((everyday))! LoL!

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

    Love to all,

  121. Regina says:

    *correction… Want to change “Bible passages” to “Bible prayers!” :-) It’s one of my favorite, if not *favorite*, prayers in the Bible!

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