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And the Greatest is…

P1030476What could be more important than a discovery of who Jesus is, and who he loves?

And does he only love those who love him and those who accept him rather than reject him? Did he?

Second to that finding, even if it is far down the line of other important discoveries about who Jesus is, loves, and what he does, may be— who and what makes Jesus angry, and why? Who and what did?

Seems to me that the answers to such questions aren’t just in the Gospels, even if it comes into clear focus there, but also in the way our Creator responded to a sinning Adam, Eve— and in the heartbreak of Cain; in why he chose Abraham; in the stories of Job and Ruth and Rahab. Seems like it’s in the story of Joseph who became the surprise hero of a pagan Egypt; and in the provocative account of Jonah who was the reluctant prophet to the dangerous people of Nineveh.

Who can deny that through all of these people and events is the greatest of all discoveries that our Eternal God is, above all, perfect love— in a way that explains not just his compassion, mercy, pity, and patience— but also his anger, his justice, his holiness, and his judgments.

Admittedly, such discoveries include more than the inexpressible understanding that Jesus opens our eyes, minds, and hearts to our God, Creation, Scriptures, neighbors, enemies, and even the world itself. Such knowledge also includes the hope and wonder of what Paul might have been saying when he writes of both Jewish and Gentile people, “For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (Rom 11:32-36).

Faith, hope, and love… and the greatest is… and the source of the greatest is…


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131 Responses to “And the Greatest is…”

  1. poohpity says:

    We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. 1 John 4:19-21 NLT

  2. SFDBWV says:

    Proverbs 6:16, 17, 18, 19 “These 6 six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among the brethren.”

    I am reminded by the picture Mart has provided of the jackass that it was such that He rode into Jerusalem on the back of to His crucifixion.

    How appropriate.

    That a jackass carried Him to fulfill His purpose of being the sacrifice for all the *people* who exhibit the things He hates. He could have been carried on the backs of such people, but the jackass seems to make the perfect example of such.

    I liked the statement the Priest made to Rudy in the movie of the same name (“Rudy”) when he said, “There are only two things I am sure of, there is a God and I am not He.”

    I find that I too hate the same things God does, the difference being I cannot love such people that demonstrate such behavior as does He.

    For me there is a process that enables for me to forgive and forget, sometimes the best method is to just not associate with such behavior. When not practicable sometimes just ignore it, when not able to ignore it confront and expose it, when that doesn’t work turn it over to God and walk away.

    All the while knowing God puts such matters in our path sometimes in order to help us grow and know best how to deal with these things as they come up…because they will continue to come up.

    55 degrees under cloudy skies. The leaves are starting to show signs of preparing to turn.


  3. jeff1 says:

    It is only God’s love that can break the cycle of hate.
    I find it difficult to love those who hang on to hate, yet I understand hate for I have been full of it. It is in knowing the damage it does that I get angry with those who will not let go of the past, partly because I believe by doing so they will help themselves and also help the younger generation who have to live in this world when my generation has gone. I have not seen love in action as much as I have seen hate in action and I believe that is because God’s love is much higher. We have conditions when it comes to love, the nearest my love is to God’s is my role as a mother and I can say that I love my children unconditionally for I may be angry with them for a while but I do find I can forgive and forget where they are concerned. Love for others I find much more difficult to obtain. God help me!

  4. poohpity says:

    I wonder how often people say they hate what God hates but yet fail to recognize that they themselves do those very things. When one realizes that all behaviors are common to man then the next step it seems would be to understand, “hate the sin but love the sinner”. Isn’t that what God does?

  5. oneg2dblu says:

    I personally do not like to use the word Jack…, for man in his worst pride filled moments uses such words to describe his brother or sister in Christ, or a co-worker, any adversary, any one in opposition, or anyone we might want to slander.
    So, that word may be the proper one, to describe that innocent young fold of a colt, but man taints its use for his own pleasure as he also gives it derogatory implications as he feels warranted to pass his judgement on others.

    But, that is just me speaking my heart here.

    That innocent animal was not a cursed sinner, a disobedient servant, a Christ hater, a fool, or any other dis-in’ application we might apply to satisfy our fleshly thinking, or just to satisfy our need.

    I do not think Christ borrowed the “back of a fool” to ride himself into glory, but, he did use, “a worthy way,” of the calling out a lowly animal to help carry him, giving it, perhaps its greatest moment in life.

    Gee, isn’t that what we are to be doing, carrying the word of God, leading others to the cross?

    Discord comes in many forms, and using the word of God to confront any pride in us, also causes much discord among the brethren who may be, or feel guilty .

    But, I may be wrong…

    Yes, we may love because He first loved us, but, we in our humanity have also hated, killed, crippled, abused, lied to, and loved other, and just for our own selfish ambitions, and satisfaction.

    But, the word also says, If we love Him, we will obey His commands, and this is how we know another is in Christ, for he will love his brother as himself.

    To Anyone of us here, “Are we there yet?”

    Or, are our temperatures rising?

    God may have bound us to disobedience, but, the word also says, God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But, when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out, so you can stand up under it.”

    Thank you Lord for every obstacle you place in our path today, to help us to press on, to overcome, to make us stronger, even more loving. That we may pass through it, seeing it as an open door of opportunity to grow with you.

    Just thinking…

  6. cbrown says:

    Good morning all!Loved the closing comments on the previous thread and the comments on this topic. They are very uplifting and I needed that this morning. Thank you.

  7. poohpity says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if rather than “just ignore it, when not able to ignore it confront and expose it, when that doesn’t work turn it over to God and walk away” we would turn it over to God being the very first step and ask Him to help us see that person through His eyes and show them the same grace and mercy that God showed us.

  8. poohpity says:

    I was thinking about Jesus who with His disciples were on their way to Galilee when He(Jesus) took a detour through Samaria. The people of Samaria were hated by the Jews, then women who were thought to be less than in that culture and this particular woman was even hated and rejected by her own people but Jesus. Jesus knew everything about her yet went at just the time she would come out to the well. He loved her and went many miles out of His way to make this hated despised woman His very first evangelist and to bring to her what he offers to the world for those who believe in Him eternal life worshiping in the Spirit of Truth. The barriers of hatred were broken.

    With hatred comes anger then depression and gives the adversary a foothold on our hearts but love covers, changes, renews and restores.

  9. phpatato says:

    Why is it that two people on here seem bent on picking apart every sentence that Steve makes? Wouldn’t it be nice if Steve was able to express his thoughts in peace rather than knowing that when he does comment, he will be scrutinized and condemned for everything he says? If that is what these two think is fair, we can certainly accommodate them by giving back to them the dose they give out.

    Perhaps we can start with spelling, grammar and sentence structure????, then we can pick apart their actual thoughts. But we won’t do that because we aren’t that unkind or hateful. We know how to behave on an internet blog site.

    Sorry Mart, the mood of the last topic is beginning to spill over into this new fresh one which is only a couple of hours old. When will this vindictiveness stop????

    Big hugs Steve
    Our early maples have begun to turn red and there is definitely fall in the air.

    ps. I will not be commenting on the poisonous darts that will for certain be spit out but you are welcome to pick what I’ve said apart. It will leave Steve alone for awhile.

  10. joycemb says:

    Steve you are a worthy authority figure on this blog and have been for many years. Unfortunately some people cannot respect authority. It’s just not in them. But you being you are able to take the junk and still be a leader. That’s what makes a great leader. I greatly respect and admire you. God bless you Steve along with all others here who struggle to be what they don’t have in them to be, a true leader.

  11. poohpity says:

    Go figure, I always thought that Mart was the leader although Steve has tried to take over that role for about 7 years now and has succeeded in developing a group of like minded people who are now more prevalent than those who follow Mart. Mart as the leader has lead us to consider what the Bible says and many other issues we are faced with in our daily work with the Lord. Mart does not get upset with those who disagree or have different thinking actually he has allowed us to think for ourselves but has asked we do it in a respectful, courteous way not hateful, abusive or threatening.

  12. jeff1 says:

    Thank goodness God asks for our faithfulness for love is most difficult to achieve. I have faith and hope so two out of three ain’t bad. I may not know God’s love but I trust that God loves me and you. God heals our wounds in time so let us not grow weary but if we do rest in the knowledge that Christ is our Salvation.

  13. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of God’s love and like this hymn.

    Love divine, all loves excelling,
    Joy of heaven to earth come down;
    Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
    All they faithful mercies crown:
    Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
    Pure unbounded love Thou art;
    Visit us with Thy salvation;
    Enter every trembling heart.

    Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
    Into every troubled breast!
    Let us all in Thee inherit;
    Let us find that second rest.
    Take away our bent to sinning;
    Alpha and Omega be;
    End of faith, as its Beginning,
    Set our hearts at liberty.

    Come, Almighty to deliver,
    Let us all Thy life receive;
    Suddenly return and never,
    Never more Thy temples leave.
    Thee we would be always blessing,
    Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
    Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
    Glory in Thy perfect love.

    Finish, then, Thy new creation;
    Pure and spotless let us be.
    Let us see Thy great salvation
    Perfectly restored in Thee;
    Changed from glory into glory,
    Till in heaven we take our place,
    Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
    Lost, in wonder, love, and praise.

  14. phpatato says:

    I’m sorry I just can’t sit back on this and say nothing…..

    ……”he has asked we do it in a respectful, courteous way not hateful, abusive or theatening……

    so why do you still comment when you know Mart doesn’t like this?

    …….”he has succeeded in developing a group of like minded (like-minded) people who are now more prevalent than those who follow Mart…..

    what are you jealous?

    Poohpity….Steve has done nothing but express his thoughts. He has not formed a coup to try to take over anything. You build this up in your own skewed mind. Is it at all possible for you to NOT comment on anything he says from now on? I am pretty sure that you doing that will bring a wave of collective whews. The odd disagreement with something someone says is normal but you disagree with EVERYTHING Steve says because of some grudge you carry against him that happened several years ago. Heck you disagree with everyone who doesn’t march to the beat of your drum (there is another person on here that does the same). When are you going to grow up.

    I am finished commenting on this. If the light doesn’t come on now, the wiring is definitely faulty.

    Mart I will gracefully take the punishment. I truly am sorry.

  15. joycemb says:

    Pooh you have mentioned Camus a couple times through the years. I refreshed my memory on him and this strikes me as why you seem so indifferent to spiritual growth and fellowship.

    Camus and Absurdism
    The idea of the absurd is a common theme in many existentialist works, particularly in Camus. Absurdity is the notion of contrast between two things. As Camus explains it in The Myth of Sisyphus:

    The absurd is born out of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.

    This view, which is shared by Sartre, is that humanity must live in a world that is and will forever be hostile or indifferent towards them. The universe will never truly care for humanity the way we seem to want it to. The athiest view of this statement is that people create stories, or gods, which in their minds transcend reality to fill this void and attempt to satisfy their need.

    Yes I found this explanation on line and pasted it. I have a hard time putting thoughts and ideas into words. This does, however, explain a lot about your actions here. As I said a while back, “Why do you push people away?” Well, if it is your belief that the world is always hostile to you, including other Christians, then it makes sense that you would strike back. And strike you do, constantly.

    Your quote about us all being friends, well in Christianity its not about being friends, it’s about fellowshipping, and not about exchanging pleasantries over coffee, but giving love and receiving it as well. And we are all in need of it. Your view of God or a god is that you can sin all you want, without repentance, and He, he, will still love and accept you. Maybe so, I’m still learning myself, but to use God or god as a weapon against those who only try to love you is blasphemous. Please think about why you believe what you believe.

  16. joycemb says:

    It may be quite possible that Christ in each one of us feels the offense of another. What did He do when ridiculed and spat upon? He walked away, then died on the cross for their ignorance and stupidity. Are we called to stand and take it? Or, are we in our God given wisdom told to walk away and give it to Christ who can only take away sin perfectly. Sometimes we expect too much of ourselves in the name of Christ. Sometimes we expect too much of others also.

    Imagine all of us here standing around in a building. As in any group I tend to stay away from those who do not bring peace but dissention. It’s easier on here to speak what’s in my heart as I don’t have to deal with the physical looks/moods of others. Which I don’t want to do as I don’t have the strength/energy anymore, as I said the other day.

  17. oneg2dblu says:

    Pat… Wouldn’t it be nice if (everyone) was able to express (their) thoughts in peace rather than knowing that when he/she does comment, he/she will be scrutinized and condemned for everything he/she says?
    Just a thought…

  18. oneg2dblu says:

    Aren’t we all, (being not yet perfected people,) expressing our not yet perfected thoughts, to a group of not yet perfected listeners, yet knowingly, we can also contribute a comment on anything or any group, and open oneself to their acceptance or rejection, either by their approving or discontented following discourse?

    If we can’t be real here, where can we be?

    Even the hardest stone can take on a better surface if it is rubbed/tested the right way, instead of being crushed it gets a little smoother and polished, and becomes more reflective.

    Just a thought…

  19. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… but, doesn’t the word say, or Christ say, that He was hated by the world, and we will be also.
    I do not mind being rejected by the worldly, or the world, because it first rejected Christ.
    Were we not all by our nature, enemies of God first?
    Then something changed us into being more accepting of the word, the gift of God, finding it to be our very life, breath, and being?

  20. oneg2dblu says:

    We are both blessed and cursed, all depending on Who we are, or How we act, as we accept the calling, we take the good with the bad, and if we put on the Armor daily, we will walk by faith, victoriously, even into every battle.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  21. jeff1 says:

    I see it as being both the victim and the perpetrator. I protest to God when I don’t like what comes in my life and expect all to be rosy in the garden. Yet I know very well from life that no one gets an all rosy garden, everyone has thorns. Some are just better at getting rid of the thorns while others continue to walk with the thorns. I am one of the latter who gets rid of one thorn but picks up another on my journey. I see myself more as a survivor than a winner, more by the skin of my teeth than victoriously, but still willing to do battle for Jesus is the prize and that is my motivation to be a faithful servant.

  22. joycemb says:

    Hi Gary, yes we are at odds with the world in a spiritual sense, but in a very human way if we are rejected or neglected at the very least by our parents/caregivers we grow up bringing the pain of that neglect with us as very real scars. The way we continue to deal with it when we become Christians is to bring that hostility toward others with us. I know because I have the same scars, yet, I learned somehow to overcome it with love. Sometimes I become paranoid recalling the fear and terror really of being constantly abused for the first 35 years of my life, but the only way I can overcome is by asking Jesus for His help; sometimes saying Jesus, Jesus, Jesus over and over until the memory is past. Psychological and physical wounds/scars do not always heal on this side of heaven. Those who are the most wounded need the most help letting go of the hostility carried over from a really bad start in life. And it’s only something they can do, letting go of their methods of defending the walls they’ve erected and letting Jesus and others in. It is not helpful to pat them on the head and say, there there, it’s ok because we know you are so wounded you can’t be any different. That’s not healing, that’s holding someone hostage and keeping them in a ‘special’ place. Nobody wants to be in a ‘special’ place, whether a classroom or a church. I think it is condescending and unhelpful.

  23. joycemb says:

    Will someone please tell me to shut up!!!!

  24. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, I would NEVER tell you to shut up.. I see you as always doing your best to walk your talk..especially in loving the unlovable and forgiving those who seem to have no intention of walking the talk…I am painfully aware that I am a major sinner and I ask for mercy and forgiveness many times daily. In praying for my enemies or people who seem to take great pleasure in making others miserable I have found that far less anger overcomes me and I just want to comfort the victims of the offensive one. I see you as well as others do much better at this love your enemies thing and I would like to reach that point, but until then I will not pretend to even like people that I believe are intentionally cruel rebel rousers.

  25. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pat I agree with you totally…I can’t sit back and watch Steve get picked apart for absolutely no reason whatsoever. AND I am sorry Pooh but there is not a day that you don’t make arrogant, disrespectful, and just plain mean comments to somebody and sometimes in the same post that you are quoting scripture that advises against the very thing you are doing. AND when someone finally can’t remain silent any longer and exposes one of your offenses, you just deny it, scream foul, make more arrogant and insulting comments and then somehow you make yourself the victim and the person you insulted is the bad guy… Can you REALLY not see that?

  26. joycemb says:

    Vivien dear, like myself I too used to feel as if I were only ‘surviving’. But if you look at your life through Jesus’ eyes, and with Him leading the rest of your life you will soon recognize that you are more than surviving, you are THRIVING in the kingdom of God. All God’s children have been broken, damaged or hurt by life. But we serve a WINNER! And He will lead all us bedraggled war-weary ragamuffins to victory also! God bless you sister!

  27. oneg2dblu says:

    Joyce… I agree patting the Devil on the head saying, there there you are okay that’s just the way you are, God understands and you are alright in his eyes, cures nothing.

    Yet, we all know you really can’t get sweet fruit from a sour apple tree.

    It first needs to be changed, or grafted into something with a proper root, where sweetness flows from within, and the resulting fruit is then recognizable as good.

    God has grafted us all into His family, but, that is not the whole story.

    Then you still need to watch it, and prune it, or it will grow wild again.

    So, being raised with no pruning at all, is just as harmful as over-pruning, probably there is a balance when dealing with the wild ones, but patience, wisdom, and tolerance, which is love in action, are your best gardening tools.

    Christ can change even the wildest chain breaker, into becoming an under control, acceptable individual.

    He can set the captives free.

  28. bubbles says:

    Mart, I want to thank you for your wise thoughts. I read this in the wee hours before daylight this morning. Thank you for the reminder that we should strive to see people the way God does.

    I’m thankful for His love and patience. I’m thankful God doesn’t disown me or give upon me when I mess up in life. I’m humbled and thankful for His mercy. Oh, what a great and loving Heavenly Father we have!! Lord, help me be a better reflection of your love and mercy.

  29. joycemb says:

    Yes Gary God can set the captives free, but remember when Jesus said in John 5:6 “Do you want to be healed?”

    We have to want to be healed and set free. That takes humility and trust in Something other than our own wits.

  30. bubbles says:

    I don’t know if this is right or not. . . I’ve read how those who conquered a city in the past would ride in on a beautiful horse because it symbolized their conquering power.

    The sweet donkey is a picture of humility. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, He wasn’t coming to conquer.

    I hope I’m not out of line writing this. If you have seen a donkey in real life, they are sweet humble little creatures. I’m not a horse person. . or is it a mule? Haha. Either way, that is a precious little animal.

  31. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… I believe the man on the mat, who knew his weakness, but, was also blaming others, saying, they always went to the healing water before him, and there is no one there willing to help him.

    So, can we say, he did not want healing?

    Or should we say, if he knew he needed to be first to be healed, he also had to take some personal responsibility in the process.

    Had he made every effort to win the race?

    Probably not.

    Perhaps all healing is a battle of the wits, but,only God knows the heart, and He is willing to heal any who will, Ask, Seek, and Knock, first, then, the door will be opened.

    According to the word, this man did not qualify as one who was actively seeking for his own healing.

    He certainly must of had some having faith that the water would heal, seeing that happening to others. So, just his having some faith, was not his problems solution…

    But, others were more involved in their participation and ultimate resolve than this man who was just lying there, and on his own.

    But, I may be wrong…

  32. oneg2dblu says:

    I do remember reading about a time when Christ was hearing the words, If you are willing…
    and then reading on into the rest of the story, finding the answer, “He is willing.”

    I guess we are all locked into the “battle of the mind,” where wits and will find they do not always agree.

    Reading today’s God at Eventide, we learn again, a valuable lesson, as the reader reads with his wits/understanding, but, does his will also agree to willingly follow instruction?

    Or, does the battle of faith verses action, keep us from he/she from learning the lesson here?

    I believe this message is saying they are both important to our living out the rest of the story.

    Just a thought…

  33. oneg2dblu says:

    “Our Healing” is more than our passively hoping that Jesus will somehow come to our mat of weakness, where we are only waiting upon others, and find we have wasted much of our lives in doing nothing but waiting… pointing fingers at others, not taking personal responsibility for our own lack by waiting for a hopeful hand out, instead of a Asking, Knocking, Seeking,for a Divine resolve, a hand up.
    Take up your mat, take up your cross.
    Just a thought…

  34. poohpity says:

    Mart asked, “who and what makes Jesus angry, and why? Who and what did?

    Jesus seemed angry(who; Disciples) that those who had spent so much time saying they know Him but really had no idea at all who He was/is. (John 14:8-10 NIV)

    The religious leaders because their own piety and self righteousness caused them to look down on others and failed to meet the needs of the needy. Kept up good outside appearances but their hearts were far from God.(Luke 10:30-37; Luke 11:42-43; Luke 18:9-14; Matt 7:Matt 7:3-4; Matt 23)

    The sellers, traders and money changers who made His house of prayer into a den of thieves(Matt 21:13)

  35. joycemb says:

    Good morning all!
    Gary the scripture says the man was with others who were blind, lame, or paralyzed and had to rely on others to help him into the pool to get healing. When Jesus healed him he stood up and walked without the help of others. That’s our Lord, isn’t it! Makes me think of when Jesus said the last shall be first and the first shall be last. Gods justice is upside down to the world. We help the least of these because we once were the least of these. But there are those in the Kingdom who thrive on their bitterness and disabilities that don’t want healing because they enjoy their status as “the least of these”.

    Back to the topic “The Greatest thing is love”, Love does not force Himself on anyone. It’s our own will that determines if we will let love have His way or not. Choose love-choose Life! For myself I had to let love cajole and warm me up to receiving the greatest gift I’d ever known. Why we never give up on anyone because we don’t know another’s pathway to Jesus, and how hard and guarded their heart really is. Love is patient.
    Blessings all as we move one day closer to the abundant life love promises.

  36. poohpity says:

    Joyce what you just told Gary is so contrary to what the bible teaches about the “least of these” you can find it in Matt 21:31-46.

    Or what Paul taught “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

  37. poohpity says:

    oops that was Matt 25:31-46

  38. jeff1 says:

    I do believe I am nearer to God in my weakness then when I am strong so I find Pooh, what Paul said to be right for me. God leaves the thorn for a good reason for I cling to God in my weakness but when I am strong in myself then I depend on myself.

  39. poohpity says:

    Amen, Viv, for me too!

  40. joycemb says:

    Pooh what I was trying to say and not very well is that the least of these ( believers) do not wallow in our ‘least of these’ status but are transformed by the spirit of God; if we will listen and hear the Good news of our transformation. We have to want it in the first place, although we are always surprised by the transforming power available to us!

  41. joycemb says:

    That transformation happens suddenly and over time. Our weaknesses as Paul spoke of only serve to promote Gods strength, not our weakness. It’s about Him, not us. Job found this out on his journey.

  42. poohpity says:

    Would it not be true that realizing as believers we are in the sense you mean the least of these would keep us in a humble state? I do not mean self degradation, self abasement, self victimization because of our weaknesses but self realization that compared to God we are the least of these. Which seems to be what Jesus was teaching in the beatitudes in Matt 5:3-11 NLT

    “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
    God blesses those who mourn,for they will be comforted.
    God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.
    God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.
    God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
    God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
    God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
    God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

    11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.

  43. joycemb says:

    Thinking of the Gospel writers…. Paul was a lawyer on the Sanhedrin, Peter a fisherman, Luke a doctor, etc. Being known at one time as the least does not make us ‘special’ in the Kingdom, I don’t think it’s about status but simply as Jesus said ‘the first shall be last and the last first’, it’s about all being equal in the kingdom and not even about who got there first (which can be a source of pride)–how they arrived, what they were wearing-because we are given His righteousness to wear. Plain and simple. In the world we will have trouble, but we can rejoice in Him, because He has overcome the world. Yay! Paul needed his thorn to keep from getting prideful. So it depends on how we think of our thorns; are they self-inflicted or given to keep God out front in our lives? Do they promote God or self. That’s the question we all must ask ourselves. The ‘self’ is sneaky and deceitful. God is good and true.

  44. jeff1 says:

    God leaves the thorn so that I remain humble for there is where He can accomplish His will, where as when I am strong in my own strength He cannot because I get in the way. I get upset with myself for my weaknesses but God does not for He can make use of it but I do not necessarily see how. I have to trust God even when I do not know the outcome. That is faith in action .

  45. joycemb says:

    Yes the beatitudes show much support for dealing with the troubles all encounter in the world.

  46. joycemb says:

    Pooh and Viv I don’t have all this figured out either but God is teaching me as I am able to understand. He is good.

  47. cbrown says:

    Great discussion!Thanks Joyce for clarifying your point.Anytime the flesh is controlling it is a problem. Due to today’s ODB devotional being on Rom 8:28-30 I read Rom 8 and it deals with this.

  48. poohpity says:

    I was wondering if a saying I heard recently depicted the greatest is….. Religious folks like those in Jesus times and now draw boundaries to keep people out while followers of Jesus recognize there are no boundaries in showing compassion to anyone.

  49. jeff1 says:

    There are three types of followers those with hope, those with faith and those with love and the greatest is love so the followers with love are the most Christ like and what we should be striving towards. I said before I was thankful that it is faithfulness that God desires from us for I have failed when loving my enemies. It is likely that those with love will be greatest in Heaven.

  50. street says:

    What could be more important than a discovery of who Jesus is, and who he loves?

    to be conformed to His image, thinking God promised the idolators they would become like their idols, blind, deaf, dumb, and heartless.

  51. street says:

    oneg2dblu said, “I guess we are all locked into the “battle of the mind,” where wits and will find they do not always agree.”

    yes i am in a battle with an idiot and it is me. where is my cross?

  52. joycemb says:

    Pooh the word compassion is tricky. The Dali Lama is compassionate, but the Buddha did not die for the sins of the world. There is responsibility there, all can be compassionate, but love, the greatest, is much more than compassion. It came with a price and as believers we too must pay the price in a sense by picking up and carrying our own crosses through this physical life. We can help one another, and we are commanded to do so, and bearing with the sin of another is part of it, but sometimes we add unnecessary weight to own crosses, weight Jesus only can carry. I’m thinking of self-martyrdom. Yep, there’s that word ‘self’ again.

  53. joycemb says:

    Street if that is the case then your Friend Jesus is carrying it for you!

  54. poohpity says:

    Joyce the word compassion is not tricky for me when I make the choice to learn from Jesus’ example. Compassion for the lost and suffering (Matt 9:36, 18:27; Mark 6:34)

  55. street says:

    thanks joycemb

  56. joycemb says:

    Yes, Jesus is truly compassionate!

  57. jeff1 says:

    That’s why God points us to Him, the way to the Father is through the Son.

  58. joycemb says:

    Street I thought I was done for the day here, but, am wondering what illness or ailment you are struggling with? I know many here would pray for and with you.

  59. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… I know my ailment, my illness, my weakness, my failure, it is in my humanity, my self-serving humanity, my nature, my way, that wants its way.
    That is all part of the cross we must bear, and yes, Christ is there helping support, stabilize, lift, even carry, when we can not. He is always there watching, waiting, and willing. We need only to apply what we already know, Ask, Seek, and Knock.

  60. street says:

    gary i like the verse that says nothing will be able to separate us from God’s love.

  61. oneg2dblu says:

    street… yes, that is great verse.

    Unfortunately for far too many today, it falsely can give them license to do/live as they please, a no rules, never fearing, of anything.

    So, they might think they never have to carry any cross, even though the word says differently.

    They might think, they never have to obey any commands, or pray, worship, or have any real personal relationship with Christ either.

    Yet, deceptively, they feel somehow protected and connected to this very God, by that very verse alone.

    It is wrongly applied as their Go To, Save All, verse

    In that light, knowing God’s love has no bounds, there clearly are consequences for our behavior though, as we all know, there was 400 years of silence, a separating of God’s voice from His Chosen People.

    So, God having love for His Possession, is not the problem we would have to ever challenge, because that is His part.

    But, it is not proof of our having any personal relationship.

    I may have been falsely taught that a personal relationship with Christ, by making Christ your Personal Savior is required for there to be a personal relationship.

    That is a lot of words, just to say, “We also have a responsibility, a part to play, in keeping this faith alive and well.”

    So, that verse alone, while being a comfort, is not a living, healthy, personal, relationship with our Lord and Savior, the only way to God the Father, according to the scriptures it is found only in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

    But, I may be wrong.

  62. oneg2dblu says:

    If God’s Created Beings, which we clearly are, are destined to live Eternally in Heaven with God, never separated from Him because of “His Love Alone,” then why the Cross?

    On that premise I rest…in knowing that according to the Word of God, my prayer, my obedience, my worship, my tithing, and in having done my part daily in the maintaining of a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is a Blessing, and also has an Eternal Consequence.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  63. poohpity says:

    It seems when one truly accepts Jesus into their heart they will never remain as they were. They will be drawn to a different way of life, with different desires, a different focus and purpose. It is God who is the author of our faith, the source of love and seems to be the One who develops both in us too. It is God who changes a person’s heart.

  64. poohpity says:

    God gives us our faith and hope while teaching us what love really is. All actions have to be taught.

  65. oneg2dblu says:

    Quiet day… Yes Pooh, I agree that God gives us the faith to believe, and the help to change, and if we want to listen, and we want to change, all the better.

  66. poohpity says:

    Hey Gary! I do not think I have met very many people who do not want to change.

  67. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All
    Pray all is well in your lives! :-)

    Mart said, “Faith, hope, and love… and the greatest is… and the source of the greatest is…”

    And the greatest is…*GOD* because He is *LOVE* and the source of the greatest is…*GOD* because He is *LOVE*!

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

    Love to all,

  68. bubbles says:

    Regina, I prayed for you yesterday morning.

  69. jeff1 says:

    If people have been taught beliefs from they where Children then they may know nothing else but false teaching and as such do not realize it is wrong. They may behaving in a way that is alien to our beliefs but God could still know their hearts and know they need correction and not punishment. Their is a big world with many different beliefs because not all are being taught correctly!

  70. street says:

    regardless what people are taught they will follow there passions. somewhere in there ours passions need to die and new ones embraced. knowing God brings new passions.

  71. oneg2dblu says:

    My pastor used to say, God changes our wanter.
    Spell check is not up to that change, It does not like that word.
    But, I do… :)

  72. jeff1 says:

    Then I would say that in this world more people know about God than they do know God for all have wandered which seems to be where we are now as the Bible said, everyone believes they are right but the truth is that no one has the whole truth but part truth. This is part of God’s plan or it would not be happening but God has chosen whom He has chosen to lead for He pre-destined His people over all other not for them to think more highly of themselves but because He needs leadership that understands His ways and not the world’s ways.

  73. foreverblessed says:

    This topic is about love!
    God so loved us, that He gave His only begotten Son, John 3:16
    to redeem us from the world of darkness, and put us in the Kingdom of the Son He loves.
    But the Son has ascended to heaven, but that was better for us, so that He could send the Comforter, or in Greek: Paraklete, the One who comes aside.
    See how great God loves us, to give us His Spirit, so that we are never alone, but always with Him, in Him. To guide us, to lead us along the path. To be in us, to make our hearts soft!

    How thankful we can be for His love. And we can be assured that when we focus on Him, that we will be changed in our deepest inner being, and that the love of God will grow in us, that we will even love our enemies, the ones that cheat us, lie about us, Matt 5:11, and even rejoice and be glad. So far and deep is the changing capacity of the Holy Spirit, if we keep looking up to Him.

    Todays God at eventide talks about the Spirit:
    August 27
    – One Spirit-led Family

    Have no fear. Wonders unfold.

    In this Life or in the Larger Life, the lesson is the same — the absorption of My Spirit — living, thinking, and acting in My Spirit until others are forced to see and recognize its Power and claims…..

    I keep being wondered at this teaching, as I never had it like this when I was a little child in church, that we are connected as a branch to the Vine, that is God, and we are attached to Him, and the fluids of the Vine flow through the branches, THAT is how it is in our lifes: His Spirit flows through us, and cleanses us, gives us strength, power, love!

  74. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes, God does send the Holy Spirit to come alongside each of us.

    That alongside spirit is certainly a leading spirit, which helps convict us and helps to open our eyes to the truth.

    It gives us a God-directed spiritual insight which we alone do not naturally possess.

    Then, there is another event, this “coming upon” spirit that fills us, the same one that took the form of a dove and came upon Christ during His baptism, and that coming upon spirit, was the Spirit filled start of His Ministry, according to the scriptures.

    In Acts, the Disciples were told they were not yet ready, they had to wait upon that same spirit to come upon them, and when that spirit came upon them, they were filled and spoke with flamed tongues, and their ministry, today’s Church, was started.

    So it is with every believer, there is a alongside happening, and there must also be the transition from the alongside, to the coming upon event or the actual deposit within, the Indwelling, which must take place for any New Life to begin.

    There were events in the scriptures where God ‘s Word says that a particular person filled with His Spirit, and they would walk differently, or would perform a supernatural event, to prophesy and the like, but, it was a temporal filling to help them perform His/their purpose.

    So, that possibility “is” there also.

    I have been taught, that for the real “Christian Walk” to begin, the Born Again life to start, that Indwelling deposit must take place, and that event for the church today is witnessed by a new believer’s actions, a public recognition, if you will, a stand, a coming forward to the call.

    Where we believers witness something in their resulting actions or testimony, their actual change of their belief position, for if nothing changes, nothing changes.

    Christ had a group of witnesses on that day of His filling, the Disciples had a group of witnesses on the day of their filling, a we are taught that in the church today, if you can not strand before man because you feel embarrassed, or outside your comfort zone, when you are surrendering your life to Christ and also receiving this Indwelling Spirit, then how will you be able you will to stand when testing and persecution comes either.

    What do you believe?

    Should an individual who receives the Indwelling, also have no change, or no outward witness?

    Just thinking….

  75. joycemb says:

    Forever I agree being connected to the Vine is how we love others. I was thinking this morning how important daily confession of sin is to clarify the connection to Love.

    I confess I have sinned against Thee in thought, word, and deed. And that I have not loved my neighbor as myself.

    As Oswald Chambers says the only way to truly love is by looking into Jesus’ face. He had such Godly wisdom for being so young. Keeping His face ever before us is the only way to true love and not a counterfeit, conditional type of love. I fail constantly at Love. Lord help me as I gaze into Your eyes to be transformed into Your likeness. Amen

  76. poohpity says:

    Because of His great love;

    When I am down, and, oh, my soul, so weary
    When troubles come, and my heart burdened be
    Then, I am still and wait here in the silence
    Until you come and sit awhile with me

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
    You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
    I am strong when I am on your shoulders
    You raise me up to more than I can be

    There is no life, no life without it’s hunger
    Each restless heart beats so imperfectly
    But then you come, and I am filled with wonder
    Sometimes I think I glimpse eternity

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
    You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
    I am strong when I am on your shoulders
    You raise me up to more than I can be

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
    You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
    I am strong when I am on your shoulders
    You raise me up to more than I can be

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
    You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
    I am strong when I am on your shoulders
    You raise me up to more than I can be

    You raise me up to more than I can be

  77. street says:

    jeff said,”people know about God than they do know God for all have wandered which seems to be where we are now as the Bible said, everyone believes they are right but the truth is that no one has the whole truth but part truth.”

    For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

    For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

    thinking of what gary said about sinning after knowledge of the gospel. thinking if he is right, sin is greater than God. some where in there is faith hope and love. it’s very hard to wears God’s shoes.

  78. poohpity says:

    It seems to me that God knows while we are yet in this body we will never be completely free from sin which really shows us how all encompassing His mercy truly is. There was only One from birth to death that was totally obedient even to the point of death, death on a Cross.

    People often it seems would like to lead others to believe they are sinless that may be the reason for looking for sin in others rather than agreeing with God about our own sin but if I know what is true then I understand that all sin and fall short but God’s love and mercy is greater than any sin. (Proverbs 10:12; 1 Cor 13:4; 1 Peter 4:8)

  79. joycemb says:

    “Love never fails”

  80. joycemb says:

    I Peter 1:22-23
    Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

  81. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All,
    Pray all is well in your lives! :-) Off work today… Thank you for your prayers, bubbles! I *so* appreciate it, and thank you to whoever else is lifting me/my situation in prayer before our gracious/merciful God.

    Thank you, Mart and ODB friends for the Our Daily Bread Ministry!! The ODB devotionals have been “spot on” (this week especially) in providing encouragement, motivation, spiritual wisdom, comfort and I hope I didn’t miss a provision in my list! I can’t really articulate the blessing that ODB ministry has been to my life, but the LORD knows! I pray the LORD’s continued *blessing* on this ministry forever!

    Want to share a Bible passage from ODB that truly *blessed* me today…

    1 Corinthians 9:25-27, NLT
    25) All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26) So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27) I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

    91 degrees and sunshine in my neck of the woods…

    With a *grateful* heart,

  82. oneg2dblu says:

    street… I am not speaking on my own about anything unusual or any self-contrived interpretation, but about what the word actually says about our actions, after receiving salvation.
    I am just reiterating/expressing the warning found in Hebrews 6:4,5,6.

    They are not my words, but they are there for a reason.

    It is not a question of which is greater, Sin vs God, but it is more like, which parts of the word will we choose to believe, and which parts will we choose to deny?

    So, I guess I am challenging us all, about our choice, our doctrine, our current beliefs, the ones we find are for us, or greater, if you will,than the rest of the Word of God.
    Be Blessed,

  83. poohpity says:

    Gary, yes that scripture reference is very good for those who try to get people to follow the law rather the basics of faith in what was accomplished by Jesus which is the very foundation of our beliefs.

  84. poohpity says:

    The Good News!

  85. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… maybe “my bible.” has described it incorrectly for it comes under the heading, “Warnings Against Falling Away.”

    However, It is not listed as you say, “For those who try to get people to follow the law, rather than the basics of faith in what was accomplished by Jesus which is the very foundation of our beliefs.”

    To all…

    Here’s how that context actually starts, for those who can not find my posing of verses on the usual quick reference verse look up feature, I’ll write them out for you.

    Let’s start here,

    Hebrews 5:11 (NIV) “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn.”

    Next, it discredits exactly what pooh says they are really trying to use it for, “to follow the law.”

    Yet, it says…

    Hebrews 6:1,2,3 ” Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go no to maturity, not laying the foundations of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement. And God permitting, we will do so.

    Then come the verses I first referenced, which pooh claims, leads to the law all over again?

    Hebrews 6:4,5,6, (NIV) “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God, and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”

    Why would the Word of God warn us about any, “Falling Away,” if it could never really happen?

    Why would anybody believe that those who the bible claims have actually fallen away, must never really have been saved in the first place?

    Oh Yeah, because that claim is the fail-safe premise of those who must always challenge verses like these, because they challenge the foundations of their faith, and the thinking of those who choose to believe otherwise.

    Perhaps it is only the immature among us who actually believe in the basics, the basics of obedience, and those who are the mature ones live by faith alone, and they know by faith, they really don’t need to obey anymore, for their disobedient actions are basically invisible, for God can no longer see any of their already forgiven disobedience.

    Just thinking….

  86. poohpity says:

    The book of Hebrews(the whole book) seems to be teaching about the sufficiency and superiority of Christ to complete everything on our behalf so that we can be in a relationship with God. After we have Christ I do not know of anyone who desires to be disobedient, that is just plain rubbish and no one on here has ever said anything like that ever.

  87. poohpity says:

    The book of Hebrews was written to Hebrews(Jews) who were trying to get the people who once put their faith in Christ to go back under the Mosaic law that did not, could not save anyone.

  88. oneg2dblu says:

    I agree the book of Hebrews was written to Hebrews (Jews).

    Jews, that were clearly believers in Christ, Yes?

    I will admit that I can not know all the desires of everyone here, thank God!

    But I can say, we are all human by nature, and our nature is sin based, and disobedience is certainly a sin.

    As, You have said in the past, anyone who says they do not sin, is a liar.

    I do not claim anyone here has ever said, they desire to be disobedient either.

    Although, some have said they have failed to love others as they should, and to love your neighbor as yourself is a command, and not obeying a command is certainly a form of disobedience.

    But, that is just another bunny trial, a distraction from my point.

    Here is my point, which so far you have circumvented, or completely missed.

    Are we to consider that any of the warnings I referenced in the book of Hebrews are rubbish, and of “no value” to us modern day Christians?

    Even though, those verses were found valuable enough to others more learned than we are, to be included in the modern Christian Bible, and for a reason.

    Good night all…

  89. poohpity says:

    I understood your point as I do most often but the point of Hebrews was them teaching people that they had to follow the law even though they were Christians they went back to their old habits(old covenant) thus negating everything that Christ had done(the new covenant/The Good News)in fulfilling the Mosaic Law not just the 10 but all 613. It goes on to say if one can not understand the elementary basics(milk)they will not be able to understand anything deeper(meat). Don’t believe me read the whole book for yourself or any other study materiel on Hebrews.

    When people say they still sin that is because we all do thus the law leads to death but believing in Jesus brings life and forgiveness of sins. In the old covenant when they sinned they used goats, sheep, bulls, birds, grain as sacrifices but since Jesus met all those requirements as well as being the High Priest the law was fulfilled only in Him.

    Yes Christians today still do the same thing with the law as they did back then. History repeats itself even when we have the Bible to teach us differently. It seems people want to earn things they are freely given.

  90. foreverblessed says:

    When I post here most of you are still sleeping, and it looks as if I am very early.
    But it is way in the morning here. The sun is shining, the weather is beautiful!
    I saw it was a bit rough in Ireland, take heart Jeff1, God is always shining!

    Mart talked about faith hope and love,
    The greatest of them is love.
    But I was thinking this morning, this love of God, is ours only through faith!
    Without faith it is impossible to please God.
    Of course, the faith we have we receive from God, because of His love, so in a sense everything originated in His love.

    But our connection to God is through faith. Lets make sure our faith is sure in Him.
    And lets be bold in our faith, and go into God’s house every morning, as a child that has a right to enter in, because we believe we have been bought by Christ, we are His, the veil has been torn down, we may enter into the Holy of Holies, and we may take whatever is Christ’s, all of the heavenly treasures are ours:
    love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Gal 5:22-23

    What treasures we have, and we still muse on our shortcomings, on our failings, what a poor faith we have: It is in faith in Jesus that we are strong, and without sin, Rom 3:22,5:21,6:11
    in Him we are freed from the burden of sin, from the consequences of sin, in Him we have the liberty to be free to live in His love. Not because we are obliged to, but because of the love of God that is spread in our hearts, that gives a deep desire in us, to meet our Maker every morning in prayer. In Him we are strong, not in ourselves. Christ has overcome the world, overcome darkness, and death, we are in Him so in Him we have overcome darkness, and sin, and death. In Him we are free to live in LOVE!

  91. foreverblessed says:

    Rom 5:1-5
    And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out Him love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.

  92. foreverblessed says:

    Gary, read the sermon of CH Spurgeon, number 9 of volume 1 “Spiritual liberty”
    and see what he has to say about sin.
    And how God has dealt with sin in man through faith in Christ.

  93. oneg2dblu says:

    forever… thanks for the Spurgeon reference.

    I might get a chance to read it, and many other opposing voices on their take on sin, but, according to the Word of God, unless, I’ve read it wrongly, it was the penalty of death that was overcome through the resurrection.

    How about a mention here, about the other consequences of sin, because sin still exists, and sin still does its intended ugly work upon all those who sin today, whether they believe in the Saving faith of Christ or not, is certainly not a very effective excuse, to excuse any sin.

    I don’t really care to ever “dismiss” the ugly effects of all past, current, and ongoing sin in the world today, they bare their ugly heads everywhere and in all society, as it speaks for itself quite effectively on its own.

    But, if a certain group of believers, like yourself, feel their sin has no effect on them or rest of this world, they have truly been duped, falsely taught, and continue to spread the dismissing of sin’s constancy, and ever invasive attack, on all humanity, which by the way, is the reality of its consequences.

    But, I may have been wrongly taught, and you may be correct.

    So, as we each cling to our different favored faith points, and we do, we are both holding on as best we can to the Christ for our Salvation, and for peace on this blog, let all the falsehoods take root where they may.

    Today, we label the dismissive thoughts about the consequences of sin aside, and relabel it love, and peace, and joy, even freedom, in the house of the well taught, more mature masses.

    Have a blessed day, Gary

  94. foreverblessed says:

    Gary, you first read that sermon, and then talk to me again, as I strongly oppose your words to me:
    “But, if a certain group of believers, like yourself, feel their sin has no effect on them or rest of this world, they have truly been duped, falsely taught, and continue to spread the dismissing of sin’s constancy,”

    Not only do I strongly oppose it, I even call it a lie, as I never have said such a thing!
    Living in faith in Jesus, giving your heart to Him,making Him Lord of your heart, and relying on the Holy Spirit to lead you, trusting God that He can is what I said, and living as He leads through the Holy Spirit is what I said. I never said that you could live in your sins.

    If you call living in faith as I just ascribed above, as living in your sins, then I cry out to God: God open his heart, and pour your Spirit on him, 1 Cor 2:14
    It is only through the Spirit that we can know that living in Faith is the start of the Christian life, and without that same faith in Jesus we are nothing. It is Christ in me who does the work, and I do no longer live to myself, neither to sin, I died to sin, with Christ when He was on the cross, and I came to life with Him when He was resurrected to newness of life, in the Spirit.
    Now, to such people who have been resurrected with Jesus is the word of the Spirit: Come to Me and Live
    John 8:32
    Come to Him and live!

  95. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh.. You have not understood my point, in fact you go everywhere but to my point, which was about, my answer to street, who was making the God vs Sin point about God being the greater.

    My response to him directly, was basically, your asking the wrong question.

    My verses were to bring about the discussion or thinking, or, “the why,” we need to still be warned about any “Falling Away.”

    But, because of your strongly held beliefs and your more mature faith, any warnings in the word about any falling away could not ever effect those who currently choose to believe otherwise, so those verses are to be deemed as, only for others.

    The point of why they are included in the modern day bible, really can never be resolved through any discussion here, or through any verses in the word, or any teachings that might support their possible merit, if they really no longer apply.

    So the mature believers here, are the ones can dismiss, talk around, avoid, and downplay, any possible truth in those warnings in the word that talk about, Falling Away.

    Or, have I misunderstood your position or point?

    I know we can both, never settle this here, so, I will be self- silenced again, so your love, your peace , your , your patience, your kindness,your gentleness, and my self control,
    are given their great life application, through the Power that drives our ever challenging, never resolving passions.

    98.6 & Quite Calm in Melbourne, Gary

  96. oneg2dblu says:

    forever… I am so sorry you make me out to be a liar, just because, I thought it was you who posted these words…
    I must have misspoken and believed wrongly.
    Here is what I thought I saw,

    “It is in faith in Jesus that we are strong, and without sin,”

    “we are freed from the burden of sin, from the consequences of sin,”

    Why would I ever let the reality of what the world is suffering from, get in the way of our beliefs,

    Yes, how foolish and of little faith I may appear to look here, but, a liar?

    I think not!

    We will have to disagree for now.

  97. oneg2dblu says:

    I still am a victim of this teaching, “Choose to Sin, Chose to Suffer.”

  98. poohpity says:

    Gary, maybe try reading ODB for today it may bring some clarity.

  99. poohpity says:

    Sometimes we are a victim of our own making.

  100. poohpity says:

    Maybe not a liar but a false accuser of the brethren may fit better.

  101. poohpity says:

    The little blue insight box gives a teaching on what is referred to in Hebrews as a falling away.

  102. joycemb says:

    Good morning all!

    I have nothing new to say about the topic.
    A beautiful sunny day, 66 and humid. Had a nice long walk with Charlie this morning. Enjoying God’s green earth while it’s still green :-)

    May the Lord bless you a keep you, may He make His face to shine upon you, may He give you peace.

  103. foreverblessed says:

    Gary, Whatever I write: You see sin!
    I write: I no longer live under the law
    You write: So you sin?
    I write: I live under Grace
    You say: So you advocate that we can sin?
    I write: Christ has freed us from sin
    You write: You believe that our sin has no effect on me or rest of this world.

  104. cbrown says:

    Foreverblessed,I read Spurgeon’s sermon you referred to on 8/28/12 at 4:33 AM. Thank you.

  105. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Joyce for your prayers, and anybody else who has prayed over the blog participants:
    A great joy has overpowered me, and I rest in quietness and peace!
    Thank God, through the Holy Spirit He fills us, and guides us!
    Lets all be filled with His Spirit, and in His love!

  106. poohpity says:

    Mart, I was thinking about the verses you gave in Romans it seems God meant for the world to be blessed through the Jews which we were because Jesus was born from a Jewish mom but then the Jews failed to acknowledge Jesus being the Messiah but the Gentiles did. So their rebellion on following the Mosaic laws which seem to be imposed as guidelines to point to Jesus but they still based their blessing on their ability to follow the law which they were unable to do because God had given all up to sin so that He could have mercy on them. This is confusing to me but then it goes on to say who is to know the mind of the Lord, to be His counselor or guide to figure out His reasons.

  107. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… I have wrongly stated your position and you are right to tell me off.
    Thanks, I needed that!
    It has become obvious to me that my weakness or tripping point is when i see the words “no consequences” expressed, and i know i still suffer greatly from the very consequences of my past sin, even though my forgiveness from God is not in question, as it is complete, i know i’m forgiven, and because i have truly repented from those sins, they are no longer a part of my life. Praise God.
    But part of the cross i bear daily has a direct lasting effect from those very sins.

    God may have forgotten my sin, but, i still carry them in my body a constant reminder, that sin has many consequences, beyond just condemnation, or guilt,or death, those were deaith with through repentance and the cross, but,it can certainly have other consequences.

    My faith in Christ is no different than many here, but, my life experience is, like all others here we are very different.

    So, God is still working with us all, and some day, it is my hope that my new transformed heavenly body will no longer carry any scars from the past, and in faith I know it will be blemish free.

    I hope my insensitivity toward you, when i lashed out at those words, although it may considered a sin against you and by you, I trust it will have no lasting effect.

    On that resolve, I leave it to you to decide if you will let it go, or hold on to it.
    I am humbled, gary
    Come Jesus

  108. foreverblessed says:

    This is a beautiful morning, the sun is shining, the garden is green and wet, enough water has fallen, and now the warm sun makes it nice to be in the garden. The sun of God is shining in our hearts, His love.
    And I thank Him on my knees for His mercy (knees on a cushion). Thanking for Gary, what a glorious day this is, you being enlightened by the Light of the Holy Spirit, shining in your heart. May God warm it too with His love. And you have my love, which is far smaller and tiny then His, but big enough to give you a big hug. Thank God, for His mercy.
    And do not worry about what others think about you. How can they have anything against you now you see yourself what was against you?
    Thank God, blessed be His Name!
    Lets praise Him all together!

  109. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… May you be foreverblessed.
    I think you love is greater, greater than you think.

  110. joycemb says:

    Thank you foreverblessed for as usual showing me how to love. I thought of I Peter 1:22 after reading yours and Gary’s posts this morning.

    The Amplified says: Since by your obedience to the Truth through the [Holy] Spirit you have purified your hearts for the sincere affection of the brethren, [see that you] love one another fervently from a pure heart.

  111. street says:

    been thinking about the application of a Bible verse to daily problems. it seems to me it’s like any other work or cooking project. the right tool or the right ingredient in the right amount is useful. if not it leads to frustration and failure. some how we are to learn from these trials and move on to maturity. master-craftsman we are not. maybe an apprentice with a hope, that does not disappoint.

  112. joycemb says:

    We are all apprentices with a Hope, yes! I am thinking about what to do when I find someone I can’t love as I should. I ask God.

    James 1:5 New Living Translation (NLT)
    If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

    It is hard to apply a Bible verse to our daily problems, as I do fail every day. However, God’s will is for us to love others, and He would not give a command that cannot be lived out! However, being mere humans we fail for sure if we only go by the words on paper; we must ask God to help us do His will. And as ashamed as we can feel for not being able to do His will, He does not rebuke or shame us for asking. He’s so marvelous!

  113. poohpity says:

    “What could be more important than a discovery of who Jesus is, and who he loves?” I can not honestly think of anything more important, relevant or needed.

  114. foreverblessed says:

    I have been thinking, about Pooh, admitting she had been missing the point, in the topic Foreshadowing in the Lottery, Aug 1, 2015
    On Aug 7, 10.34 am and 1.42 pm, she gave a confession.
    And nobody commented or encouraged her, neither did I, At that time I wanted to write;
    You go girl!
    So now I ‘ll do it: You go girl!
    This topic is about love, and maybe also how we treat each other with love.
    When someone comes to his senses, it is vital that he is restored in love, as Paul wrote in 2 Cor, about that man who was rebuked in 1 Cor. I shall have to look for that verse later.

  115. joycemb says:

    Forever, I was NOT being sarcastic when I said “Thank you, Pooh, for not mentioning me…”. She did not offend me, I was offended by my own sin and since have moved on. No apology was needed. It was God who hurt me for my own good, not Pooh.

  116. joycemb says:

    I found My Utmost especially helpful today! 8/30

  117. joycemb says:

    Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

    When you are joyful, be joyful; when you are sad, be sad. If God has given you a sweet cup, don’t make it bitter; and if He has given you a bitter cup, don’t try and make it sweet; take things as they come. Shade of His Hand, 1226 L

  118. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks for explaining Joyce! It is very good joining the conversation here, I came here 5 years ago or so.
    And I saw that I was being sensitive for people commenting to my writing, but even more, when no one commented! It made me see how much self life I still have. Very good to learn it here.
    But I was not referring to you, but to welcome Pooh with love.
    And I found it what Paul was saying: 2 Cor 2:5-11
    And by the way, thanks for your verse in 1 Peter 1:22, you had given it already a few days before, but now I see the deeper meaning.

    God blesses us so much.

    My utmost is good today. Yes. Being one with Christ, it is the being that counts more then the doing. God will do the doing, when we are being One with Christ!

  119. poohpity says:

    forever, over the years I have never failed to admit when I was wrong. Multiple and many, many times only stopped when I started being attacked for doing so with things like, “you are just playing the victim” or “you do not really mean it”, etc. one can not give sacred things(admissions of guilt) to deprived man they will only turn around and attack. Trust me I know when I screw up which is often and even when I get misunderstood or accused when it was not my heart intent to do so. I have really not felt the need to be acknowledged for doing so(admitting my faults) cause the only people I have to live with everyday is God and me but thank you anyway.

  120. poohpity says:

    Yes I have been here for over 8 years and have watched the biggest problem on here was people reading into what others have said taking it personally. One of the guidelines was not to give simple kudos to others and it seems the reason for that is someone may feel left out if what they write is not acknowledged in some form or another feelings get hurt I guess that was the reason for that rule. The rules RBC ministries has put into place seems always for the benefit and protection of each other making this a safe environment to share.

  121. poohpity says:

    A dozen or so that have left I am still friends with on facebook. I searched them out to see if I had offended them and those I had the bridges were mended and the majority it was not me that offended them.

  122. joycemb says:

    Forever you have such a sweet presence about you. It must be the presence of the Lord.

    I think it’s a good practice to not believe everything we read on the internet. I’ve gotten so much more peace knowing that what I think or want to think isn’t always truth just because it sounds good to me at the moment. Or, for that matter sounds bad to me at the moment.
    Deception is rampant here and everywhere for that matter. But if we keep our eyes on Jesus, He explains it all eventually, and a lot we will never understand this side of Eternity.

    May the Lord bless all of us and keep us, may He make His face to shine upon us, and give us peace. Amen

  123. oneg2dblu says:

    I hear a lot of conversation about apology right now and would like to get my two shekels in.

    i think when we differ in the interpretations we find in the word, or the word itself opposes another’s recent comments, and we bring that opposition into the commenting, we are not attacking the individual, but only their interpretation they have brought to the table of discussion, and there is no need to be offended, or apologize.

    But, when the attack becomes personal, where one uses name calling to directly diminish the other person, their message, their witness, their voicing, then, there is good grounds for making an apology.

    We may hurt someone and not realize it just in the way we phrase a question, or challenge the persons message, or if we ignore them instead of remarking on their comment that they felt led to share, but we feel we must label them, save pride, and that is where it gets ugly and personal.

    Also, it is not conducive to treating others as we would want to be treated ourselves, the golden rule is broken, and maybe we have set the stage for retaliation or a strong rebuke upon us.

    So, questioning what another says about any issue or topic is fair if done with well chosen words, and not using any belittling characterization when challenging their words.

    To me, staying outside the conversation and just posting verses, is not helping foster further conversation either, it is more like laying down the law and refusing to leave any wiggle room in the back and forth exchange of ideas, ideas that we can all grow from.

    Okay, I’m done lecturing the group and myself.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  124. joycemb says:

    Good morning all!

    I find peace in Jesus’ presence, the greatest lover of all time. As you go about your work/ministry may you all be blessed by His voice today; guiding, instructing, and caring for your lost brothers and sisters.


  125. poohpity says:

    Gary, aren’t scriptures verses to be our guidelines and what points us to true north, the truth and the source of the greatest love?

  126. narrowpathseeker says:

    I haven’t got much time as we have house guests, but I will say that the cunning deception that I read this morning…was so sickening

  127. joycemb says:

    Pearl your post reminds me of this. The word of God says our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in high places. Ephesians 6:10-12

    I believe Matthew 17:19-21 NASB holds the key to cleaning up this blog after we have our spiritual
    armor and right thinking cap on. And I’m sure Mart and others are also praying.

    Denying one’s self comes in different forms.

    What will all of us do today to allow the Spirit of God to come in and clean up this blog? I will not say, that would be prideful, but I will be praying to God as Jesus instructed.

    *Warning, it may get even worse, before it gets better.*

  128. joycemb says:

    sign of the cross

  129. street says:

    have not been following to close lately, but that has not stopped me from thinking. of coarse the topic is love and the source is God. just thinking about this joy that is in Christ that is so lacking in some and elusive for me. this joy that endured the cross and all it brought. that is a joy that needs to be discovered. is it a result of love?

  130. joycemb says:

    blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe.

  131. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… yes, I believe you are correct.
    The scriptures say in 2 Timothy 3:16, All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking, and building up the saints, so the man of God may be well fitted, and adequately equipped for all good work.
    Or something like that.
    There is another verse that speaks about the word of God never returning void.

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