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The Consuming Fire

11151626205_0a3f836bea_o (1)Seems like I’ve been so slow to learn that Jesus does more than change lives. He also gives new meaning to the way his followers use words and ideas.

He gives us his own upside down and inside out vision for everything. He shows us how to think differently about big people, little people, life, death, family, enemies, success, security, danger, law, punishment, happiness, sadness, the Scriptures and his Father in heaven.

Years later, the New Testament author of Hebrews, wrote from within this new world of ideas. He reminds his readers that in Jesus, the God who once thundered from within the burning fires of Mount Sinai, has now come to us speaking in a new voice that deserves even more attention. (Heb 12:24-28). To show what a wonderfully serious matter it is to listen to our new leader, he reminds us, once again, that our God is a consuming fire (v29).

But the new voice speaks with its own translation. Listen to what this writer says in context:

“For our God is a devouring fire. Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.” (Heb 12:29-13:3).

What are we to make of the way these words are woven together? Are we being asked to think of “the fire of God’s anger” in a new way? Sounds to me like it is nothing less than the the love of our God (as described in 1Cor 13?) that will ultimately show that everything else deserves to be—and will be— consumed by the flame that burns in the One who has loved us to the death—and to a whole new way of living.


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168 Responses to “The Consuming Fire”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Am running a little late as once again I had to deal with snow this morning and that usually takes up what little time I have.

    Seeing Einstein’s picture reminded me that he was once again in the news this past week as more proof of his theory of relativity became known.

    Einstein, I am told, believed in a creator God as he seen structure and order in his physics and understanding of the universe.

    “Relativity”, everything is relative and affected by everything else.

    We have in our Christian religion one Bible, but in two parts; the old and the new, yet both are relative to the other.

    Though it is said God is a consuming fire, the bush that Moses encountered burned without consuming the bush.

    We all know that once we have been “born again” we are consumed by our relationship with God, while forever changed yet we are unharmed by the encounter, only cleansed and purified as gold in the furnace with the dross removed.

    Sorry to be so short this morning, hopefully I will have more time later. Thank you Mart for another thought to pursue.

    15 degrees.
    Steve

  2. narrowpathseeker says:

    Praying for you and your situation Bubbles. Hang on

  3. narrowpathseeker says:

    Sorry, thought I was on the other page.

  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    The Letter to the Hebrews is a radical call to love the awesome God of Sinai. It does mean a transformed life — blood-washed and subject to a profoundly deep love that cannot be fathomed by our finite, fleshly minds.

    The writer of Hebrews says, “This phrase, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.” Heb 12:27

    Brings to mind the missionary Jim Elliot, who went to South America to bring the Gospel to a tribe of head-hunters. Jim famously said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

    This is a strong hint that Jesus brings New Life to the ones who are sold out to Him — even here in the world. Much is burned up, leaving the Jesus-follower reformed and filled with the Life of God. What we “cannot keep” is consumed in the flames — and what we “cannot lose” remains eternally.

    Joy all day!
    Maru

  5. joycemb says:

    I like that: The all consuming fire of Gods love! Love people, L-O-V-E LOVE!!!

  6. poohpity says:

    Mart, …..:-)

    It seems when Jesus performs either a worldectomy or Phariseectomy on us, He then becomes a messologist=One who specializes in transforming our messes of the heart and mind into reflections of Himself. New ways of thinking about God, people and circumstances. Old dogs can learn new tricks, garbage out and replacing it with brand new topsy-turvy thinking which then effects our actions.(Romans 12:2 NLT)

    When we get so tired of trying and trying to change and allow Him to work within us all things become new. Letting go of control and experiencing the Lord work His process in us. It may, to us, look like 2 steps forward and one step back but when we look in the mirror seeing the changes(things that once were appealing to us are no longer) and they may be in a totally different area than we thought but there will be change. It brings a sense joy to our hearts realizing that no matter what He never gives up on us.

  7. street says:

    The Consuming Fire
    running running running
    many people run in the Bible and many times it is running to save their life. i have done my share of running and david did he’s share too. it is in the running we find wisdom. yes even failure. if we run and fail and are not broken we will not find wisdom, but only self-righteousness and a consuming fire that ends in separation. i think paul is absolutely right in saying that nothing can separate one from being in Christ. grace mercy and love flow from true Israel. had much joy in Isaiah 49

    i wonder if running and running ends when Jesus is enough? yes?

  8. oneg2dblu says:

    There are always to sides to every coin, or coined phrase.
    “Let go, and let God,” may work very well for some, and then there is this lesson given to us from the Lord, called Ten Virgins.
    Five of them did do the due diligence or the work of keeping their lamps filled and the wicks trimmed, doing what they knew they should do.
    Then there were those who left those things undone.
    Might they have been thinking that the work of others would somehow get them through?
    I believe they all were known by the Groom.
    I believe they were all granted an open ended invitation.
    I believe they were all expectantly waiting for their chance to attend the Wedding Banquet.
    But, someone shut the door of opportunity on five of them, they were late and locked out for a reason…

    To me, the lesson I see is this: We the Bride, need to be more than just invited, or on the loving Groom’s List, we need to also be rightly prepared and ready.

    Clearly some of those virtuous virgins failed to do the work they could have done.

    Or, should we think, knowing that the Groom certainly cared enough to invite them all, that He should also have done all the other stuff for them as well?

    Perhaps, there is something more, even today, that we need to attend to before His return.

    I wonder what else the scriptures might say about us actually not giving up, but, to keep on doing our part?

    I know they say His Commands are not burdensome.

    Gary

  9. oneg2dblu says:

    two sides…

  10. oneg2dblu says:

    like a doubled edged sword… ;)

  11. poohpity says:

    If they truly knew Him and were waiting for His arrival wouldn’t they have taken the measures necessary for waiting like the time spent in getting to know Him better? The oil seems to represent knowing the Lord. Matt 25:12 NLT

  12. remarutho says:

    Good Day BTA —

    Am just marveling that a Jesus-follower would sharpen swords as preparation for Christ’s kingdom! The writer of Hebrews tells us:

    “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.

    “Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.” (Heb 12:28-13:3)

    Have decided today to give up swords for the remainder of Lent. There will be much less danger of falling on my sword if I give them up entirely, it seems to me. :o)

    Maru

  13. joycemb says:

    Good one Maru:)

  14. street says:

    dear gary that parable has been rolling around in my brain for a couple of days now. thinking 50% don’t make it. it also refers to the time and day the groom comes to get His bride. then again you make a valid point of preparation of getting ready. i wonder if making disciples is the key to getting ready? making disciples will change you and you certainly will be considered a fool to the world. we can not get ready with out oil and lots of it!

  15. street says:

    maru i remind you that Israel means God fights
    Jesus is the true Israel.
    He has to wait on us to lose our fight, then the real fight or life can begin.

  16. street says:

    thinking of the lamps and oil again. i understand i need go to the true light to light my lamp.

  17. joycemb says:

    Swords: Those who live by the sword die by the sword. John 18:6 NLT. They all fell back! The Word of God caused them to fall back! Stunning in its simplicity. Why do we make it so hard? We are a lot like Peter sometimes, I know I am but I am learning:)

  18. remarutho says:

    Hello All —

    My impression of the meaning of Israel over the years has grown to encompass the concepts of wrestling, clinging firmly to God, and overcoming. “Fight” seems to be a reduction of the meaning to one simple facet of the struggle that became God’s confirmation of the covenant with Jacob.

    Jacob clung so tightly and demanded so firmly, “Bless me!” that his hip was pulled out of its socket. No weapon that I know of was used that night.

    Yours,
    Maru

  19. remarutho says:

    Perhaps the smoking fire pot and the flaming torch of Genesis 15 express the burning of God’s love for the faithful who believe in Him.

    Jesus walked once for all the journey between the split carcasses for the sake of God’s burning (com)passion.

  20. street says:

    maru said,”My impression of the meaning of Israel over the years has grown to encompass the concepts of wrestling, clinging firmly to God, and overcoming.”

    thinking if Jesus is the true Israel then He won by keeping His eyes on His Father. He came to fulfill the terms of the covenant, both sides. He walked and accepted them alone. as mentioned in Genesis 15. yes jacob wrestled in the flesh and he was reprimanded for it, and still got blessed. what a Savior!

    a further thought…..the only way a man could fulfill God’s requirements is for Him to be in the man. believing God requires His Word being in them.

    i don’t think mesmerizing His Word will past muster. didn’t work for the scribes and pharisees.
    abraham was successful because of faith in Him.

  21. street says:

    dear maru you have been thinking about what Israel meant over time to you. i have been trying to understand the term mountain in it’s many uses. there uses are both physical and spiritual. another gift from Dad.

  22. remarutho says:

    Dear BTA Friends —

    Appreciate your original post, Mart, based in Hebrews 12-13 concerning the consuming fire of Christ’s love:

    “He gives us his own upside down and inside out vision for everything. He shows us how to think differently about big people, little people, life, death, family, enemies, success, security, danger, law, punishment, happiness, sadness, the Scriptures and his Father in heaven.”

    Blessings all day,
    Maru

  23. street says:

    mart said,”Sounds to me like it is nothing less than the the love of our God (as described in 1Cor 13?) that will ultimately show that everything else deserves to be—and will be— consumed by the flame that burns in the One who has loved us to the death—and to a whole new way of living.”

    i am thinking….compassion…shared suffering
    thinking suffering silently…..
    i am thinking intersession….

  24. street says:

    thinking Romans 12 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

  25. street says:

    well if i can’t die and go home, praying for clear sightedness. little bit of jonah elijah in me. need to get over self. like leaping over a wall, but i think the narrow gate is all that is needed. enough.

  26. pegramsdell says:

    I think we are getting prepared to fight. We fight for who and what we love….He is preparing an army! I’m glad we are all in that army with Him. Praying blessings and protection for all of us who are in Jesus! :))

  27. poohpity says:

    When one makes a choice to listen to our new leader, not our own words and leadership but His, then His Words get right into our hearts to expose what lies within like a scalpel in the hands of a skilled surgeon, not to use against others, but to heal what lies inside of us. (Jer 23:29; Heb 4:12 NLT; Eph 6:17 NLT)

    So it all seems to come down to how God uses His Word within each of us like a consuming fire to clean out the dross and replace it more and more with Himself and His ways, new ways. When we receive Jesus(oil) that is what keeps us blameless and continues His work in us. (1 Thess 2:13; 1 Peter 1:23; Rev 1:16)

  28. poohpity says:

    Oh Yes Peg! We are in a battle everyday not against each other but against evil forces of darkness that creeps in every where and every place and if do not have the armor given to us by God who is the One who has the ability to overcome we can get defeated, robbed of joy, depressed when all the while just calling on the name of Jesus He will fight this battle for us.

  29. poohpity says:

    As we stand firm in Him!!

  30. poohpity says:

    So our best weapon seems to be prayer!!

  31. street says:

    gary said,”Perhaps, there is something more, even today, that we need to attend to before His return.”

    2 KINGS 2:1-18

    [1] When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. [2] Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. [3] The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.” [4] Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the LORD has sent me to Jericho.” And he replied, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho. [5] The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.” [6] Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to the Jordan.” And he replied, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on. [7] Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. [8] Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground. [9] When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. [10] “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours-otherwise, it will not.”

  32. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon All —

    Just thinking about your characterization of this “consuming fire,” Mart. You wrote:

    “Sounds to me like it is nothing less than the the love of our God (as described in 1 Cor 13?) that will ultimately show that everything else deserves to be—and will be— consumed by the flame that burns in the One who has loved us to the death—and to a whole new way of living.”

    It is Jesus who has loved us to the death — offering us in His resurrection a whole new way of living. His great passion is like the love of the Shepherd-King for His Bride:

    “Put me like a seal over your heart,
    Like a seal on your arm.

    For love is as strong as death,
    Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;

    Its flashes are flashes of fire,
    The very flame of the Lord.

    ‘Many waters cannot quench love,
    Nor will rivers overflow it…'” Song of Songs 8:6-7)

    Blessings,
    Maru

  33. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… If putting down the sword, were only aligned with the scripture, “put on the armor,” then, I might be able to see your point.
    But, the sword is one of the elements of the armor one must have to be fully dressed for battle.
    So why would we intentionally undress, claiming that part of the armor might harm us?
    Oh yeah, it fits another narrative, your undressing for lent.
    I’ll listen to the scriptures, thank you, as they certainly are the better, more tested, and successful plan.
    Nice for wordplay, but rather poor advice.
    In My Opinion
    Gary

  34. oneg2dblu says:

    If putting down the sword as to not inflict yourself were the problem here, then you should put it down.
    But, if your point was to put down someone else’s view, then you have effectively wielded it first!

  35. oneg2dblu says:

    Ephesians 6:13-17 and 18. Wow, that is some really good and useful advice for all.

  36. joycemb says:

    So glad our enemy is the evil one and not flesh and blood. That leaves all the love we have been given from God to use on our neighbors and our flesh and blood enemies! Piece of cake, right? Uh oh.

  37. remarutho says:

    Dear BTA Friends —

    Before I actually give up on the topic Mart has introduced, I would consider once more the question before the group.

    Mart, you asked:

    “What are we to make of the way these words are woven together? Are we being asked to think of “the fire of God’s anger” in a new way?”

    Who wields the sword of the Word of God, Gary? Isn’t it the Lord Himself? How could I — or even you — lift the sword to strike?

    Blessings all evening,
    Maru

  38. poohpity says:

    If one does not read Eph 6:10-11 NLT then we would be lead to think it is against someone’s view but actually it is the adversary that puts wrong views out there to lead people away from God’s truths. We do not need to defend God or His word, we need Him to defend us.

  39. poohpity says:

    Eph 6:12 NLT

  40. poohpity says:

    God knows that the only way to consume evil is by doing good. If we believe that God is love then His consuming fire would be good. Romans 12:20-21 NIV

  41. street says:

    dear gary sometimes christians think they can do battle with the tools of the devil. like the sword of : immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, some how i think they are going to get defeated by wearing the wrong uniform. granted there are new christians and God is able to protect them. God chose samson do do His will in the strangest way imaginable.

    dear maru, as mart would say hang in there with me, it’s just getting more interest.

    How could I — or even you — lift the sword to strike?
    i could not ever imagine Jesus setting aside His love in the use of the double edge sword. might be we need to love first before learning to pick up a sword. gary did mention getting dressed proper.

  42. SFDBWV says:

    2 Peter 3:9-13 KJV states that heaven and earth shall be burned up with a great noise and melt with fervent heat. Not a pleasant thought, but the scientists who look into the cosmos and its construction clearly agree that there will come a time when it all comes to a fiery end.

    However the promise also states that we are to look forward to a new heaven and new earth, “wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

    Moreover the verses says that “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

    Whereas men such as Einstein can see a fiery end to all things only the Holy Spirit can calm the doomsday scenario and give hope that all things will be made new; including us.

    Reminded that Jesus spoke of burning the chaff, yet how He brought the dead back to life.

    Also can’t help but think of the story of the Phoenix that rose from the ashes to life; though not of Scripture certainly is a familiar story.

    What a day yesterday was. Snow then rain at 26 degrees and constant rain overnight at 32 degrees; still looking forward to June the first.

    Steve

  43. bubbles says:

    Please pray today. Thank you.

  44. jeff1 says:

    I agree Pooh, we do not need to defend God or His word, nor does He ask us to. He asks us to be faithful, and to my way of thinking, to be faithful, is to remain trusting Him even when it looks like the adversary is winning.

    Today in Government in NI there are men who where once known to Security Forces as terrorists. These terrorists now claim to be transformed and want to govern our Country by the same way other Countries are governed i.e. elected Politicians.

    Firstly they have never admitted to belonging to any terrorist groups yet intelligence sources say different.

    Secondly they demand that British authorities investigate soldiers who worked for the state who committed crimes against their people.

    Yet their are bodies of victims and their families that have never been able to give them a Christian funeral as these transformed terrorists will not co-operate with British authorities in helping to recover their bodies.

    Every time they appear on television all they complain about is how the state soldiers need to be brought to justice. Ironically, it was a British soldier who saved one of their lives after another terrorist had shot him but he chooses to forget this good deed.

    Statistics released recently inform us that 60% of violence was carried out by the IRA, 30% by the loyalist paramilitaries and 10% by state law enforcement.

    I, and many like me in my beloved Country find it difficult to see how these men are transformed. They are transformed in that when the media is on them they say the right things but the hatred in their hearts has not changed and they are fooling no one but themselves.

    Their strategy has changed because after 30 years of violence they where intelligent enough to see it wasn’t getting them anywhere.

    I believe they are highly intelligent, ruthless men but I do not believe they are transformed men. They are getting the taste of power and are liking it but they have forgotten that God is watching them and knows their motives!

    Yes, there is evil all around us, but my God, who has seen me through the worst of times, will continue to see me through them, for unlike these men, my heart, has been transformed, to know God, and though He is a merciful and loving God, He will not be fooled!

    I am not a vengeful person or never have been but a repentant heart knows when it has done wrong and wants to change to do the will of God and not to continue in their own waywardness and it is why I rely on God today and not myself!

    I look to a new heaven and earth and it has to come from above for human nature does not change and there is nothing for me to do but to agree with God.

    Our Father, who art in heaven,
    Hallowed, be Thy Name,
    Thy Kingdom come.
    Thy will be done in earth,
    As it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread.
    And forgive us our trespasses,
    As we forgive them that trespass against us.
    And lead us not into temptation,
    But deliver us from evil.
    For thine is the Kingdom,
    The power, and the glory,
    For ever and ever.
    Amen.

  45. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… no matter which side a man finds himself on, “All a man’s ways seem right to him, not Him, so we need to know His right ways, or all our ways, become only our won.

  46. oneg2dblu says:

    “All a mans ways seem right to him.”

  47. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… thank you for extending the full context of the, “Will of God,” because many times just to fit a certain point of view, we neglect to see the second half of that premise.

    But by doing so, unfortunately that would falsely teach or leave out, the actual participation/relationship/duty/obligation/or the work of man, many times left out of that equation, for a reason.

    “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

    Just thinking…
    Gary

  48. remarutho says:

    Prayers going up for the Lord’s help and strength as you bear what you must, Bubbles. Blessings, Maru

  49. poohpity says:

    The rest of 2 Peter 3:14-18 NLT deserves to be read too! :-)
    And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.

    And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him—speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.

    You already know these things, dear friends. So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.

    Praying for you bubbles :-)

  50. jeff1 says:

    Knowing God’s right ways does not mean I do them. I am not talking about you personally but myself who tends to wander.

    I have made too many bad choices to know I did not choose God’s way in making them. Faith is not about me winning it is about God winning on my behalf.

    I know many with addictions who spent their lives battling them and lost. You have just said it, in what I do seems right to me, which means is why I want God’s will done on earth and not anyone else’s including my own.

  51. jeff1 says:

    last post answering your’s Gary 8.41am

  52. poohpity says:

    If anyone is interested both Our Daily Bread and Discover The Word for today may give a clearer vision of some of the things we have discussed.

  53. SFDBWV says:

    Yes friend Gary “just thinking” is what this blog is supposed to be all about, as none of us have full knowledge of absolutes.

    Continuing for all friends.

    It is always my hope that any scripture given here leads one to read all around it as well as there is so much richness to be found in what God has to say.

    I find it fascinating to read the smaller epistles as each has some very profound statements to be discovered over and over again. Sometime when time permits and the opportunity is presented I will share the Scripture verses I received from God during those darkest hours of the first couple years of Matthew’s injuries and his mother’s death.

    But not today.

    It is said so often that we are all on a journey and it makes sense that we are all at different places along that journey. Like a long straight railroad track that disappears as it goes off into the horizon, wherever we may be is not the end of the track, some though get derailed where they are and think then the journey is complete.

    Steadfast faith is very different than a stubborn limited view.

    Always remember, that real love overlooks as longsuffering awaits.

    Steve

  54. street says:

    we were sharing about oil and i saw this today.
    2 KINGS 4:1-7

    [1] The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” [2] Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.” [3] Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. [4] Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.” [5] She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. [6] When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.” But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing. [7] She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”

    God is enough. easily said, tough to rest. find life

  55. jeff1 says:

    “Life is eternal,

    love is immortal

    and death is

    only a horizon

    ….and a horizon is nothing

    but the limit of our sight

    -Rossiter W. Raymond (1840-1918)

  56. jeff1 says:

    We walk in faith, not by sight, blameless before God does not mean being blameless before men, it is God who knows the heart for it is God who changes the heart.

  57. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… exactly, so, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”
    So, blameless before God, means the laws of men can be broken daily, but, to God your still blameless?
    I hope not.
    Walking daily in the darkness before men, is the same as walking in the light and blameless before God?
    I hope not.
    There must be some connection between what is in the heart and how we live our lives.

    We must bear fruit in keeping with His Spirit.

    Whether it be before men, or in our own private places, there is a difference between living right, bearing good fruit, and living ruined rotten reckless and without any restraint.
    That is a weed, gone wild, not a vine being pruned for more producing of fruit.
    How can we ignore God’s commands of turning from our wicked ways, the darkness we once walked in, and to turn toward Him and His Light.
    It is my understanding that there is no darkness in Him, so how can having a heart for Him, also support our blameless continued walking in the dark?
    I see your point though, can you also see mine?
    Gary

  58. jeff1 says:

    I believe that my heart is changing, Gary, because I desire for it to change. God says, ask, and it will be given, and I have ask Him to change my heart. I am tired of hating and letting those who have broken the law cause my hate for it is I who is suffering, they do not even know me, but I am letting them steal my joy in Christ.

    I have made peace with God because I needed it and it has been a very personal experience for me. I do not believe that I was ever wicked in the true meaning of the word wicked but I was wayward in that I failed to love my enemies.

    I believe I have to take responsibility for my failure to love my enemies and that when I do God will forgive me just like He will forgive my enemies when they take responsibility for their failures.

    I do not believe that God expects us to walk blameless before Him, but that we put that expectation on ourselves.

    I believe God wants us to learn from our mistakes and not beat ourselves up when we make them.

    We do not need an adversary for we spend so much time judging ourselves that we are the adversary.

  59. bubbles says:

    Dear friends, thank you very much for the love and prayers.

  60. SFDBWV says:

    The best book on the Holy Spirit I own was written by Billy Graham and though a look at understanding and seeing the Holy Spirit in Scripture it also is a peek at the mystery of the Trinity.

    God in three persons “perfect harmony”.

    In “thinking” about Mart’s question concerning the “fire of God’s anger” this morning I was reminded that that anger was extinguished by Jesus on the cross.

    If you will, understand that through that selfless sacrifice all of the responsibility of dealing with “vengeance” was given over to the Son by the Father.

    If one sees revenge or judgment as being met with the “fire of God’s anger”, now that revenge and judgment is under the “fire” of Jesus’ love for mankind.

    Consuming fire comes under a very different view of the use of the word.

    We are to live a holy life and be examples to the rest of the world. It was Satan who is also called the “accuser”, but Satan who also gives us rise to accuse, if accuse is the right word for seeing sin for what it is.

    If we look at sin as a sickness like cancer in a person and can see that it is the cancer that causes the person to act as they might, then the person becomes a victim of the cancer not the other way around.

    If we see the fire of God as we might see radiation therapy for cancer then we may begin to see that the fire of God can heal the person while burning away the control of sin as in dividing the wheat from the chaff.

    Pray for the cleansing fire of God to be poured out on us all, especially those we see as the sickest among us.

    26 degrees with a fresh covering of snow from last night, the promise of warmer days ahead.

    Steve

  61. poohpity says:

    Wouldn’t the cleansing fire of God show us it is not the sickness in others that we need to see but our own?

  62. pegramsdell says:

    I just downloaded The Holy Spirit on my Kindle. Thanks Steve. Always love Billy Graham. He is a true man of God.

    To know we fight against evil and not our fellow humans releases a lot of pent up anger doesn’t it? I think only then can we truly love them.

    We have the robins swarming all around here yesterday, times are changing, spring is coming….woo-hoo!

  63. poohpity says:

    One of the things that is so neat about cancer patients is they try to support each other through the journey while sinners tend to look at the sin in others while neglecting that they are covered in it themselves.

  64. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning Steve …your message this morning (as usual)was especially uplifting. This shows me your beautiful heart that seeks the best for all of us and includes those among us that can’t seem to rise above our own toes of self.>>>>>>>>> “Pray for the cleansing fire of God to be poured out on us all, especially those we see as the sickest among us.” THANK YOU!! Street’s message on “contagious” a few days ago has me hoping I catch what you have!! :-)

  65. poohpity says:

    What about catching what Jesus has?

  66. SFDBWV says:

    Peg I hope you enjoy “The Holy Spirit” by Billy Graham as much as do I. I actually have bought that book several times and ended up giving it away to people who seemed to need it.

    I hope your robins are massing to start their trek north, though right now they would have a tough time finding anything but seed to eat, I am anxious to see their arrival.

    This winter I have an orphaned yearling deer that keeps coming to my backyard and feeders. I let it eat as it doesn’t travel with a herd and is without its mother. Yesterday it ate on Glenna’s rose bushes and the cone flowers she plants for winter feeding of whatever comes to feed.

    While in the yard it also feasts on our purple rhododendron and the remains of the asters that are above the snow.

    It is sad to watch it as it is all alone and has the look of being so.

    Good morning also Pearl, I hope you didn’t get any problems from yesterday’s icy blast down your way. We had it all, rain, snow, ice, fog and topped off with more snow.

    Hoping Peg’s robins bring spring soon.

    Steve

  67. jeff1 says:

    Can you all pray for the cleansing power of God to be poured out in my Country for we are desperately in need of it!

    I was listening to a debate on the radio this morning and it makes me despair, when I listen and hear that people here are stuck in the past and cannot seem to get out of it, as Gary says nothing changes unless the heart is changed!

  68. foreverblessed says:

    Oswald Chambers has a devotion on Peter being questioned by Jesus:
    Do you love me?
    And every time Jesus asked Him it was as if a sword would go through Peter
    Do you love me?
    And each time, Peter saw deep inside himself that he really did love Jesus
    Do you love me?
    By the third time Peter was SO sure, there was nothing else within him: but love for Jesus!

    So that is the result of Jesus being a consuming fire! It is the blazing love of God, just like Mart writes, and many of you here!
    (Only I cannot find the devotion in My Utmost, so you have to do it with my wording)

  69. foreverblessed says:

    Yes Jeff, I will pray!
    And have done for you Bubbles!

  70. narrowpathseeker says:

    Hello Steve, sorry that your weather has been so cold and miserable. It got a little cold here for NC…17 degrees for a day or two in the morning which warmed to about 30 with a little ice and snow, but not a problem for us as we just stay home.. Today it is about 65 in the sun. We started feeding the deer trays of corn last Spring and EVERYTHING feeds on it….the deer tend to like the bird seed too, but it is nothing to look out and see 3 or 4 deer, a dozen or so doves, another 4 or 5 squirrels, bluejays, and cardinals eating in the back and another mass of diverse birds feeding on the deck.

    It doesn’t make any difference how cold, wet, or slippery it gets….Frank says that they are hungry and they must be fed and trudges down out there with pails of feed!!

    Jeff1 and Bubbles…praying for you both.

  71. poohpity says:

    I talked with the Pastor that I learned from when I first began this relationship with the Lord 26 years ago, today. My heart was broken as I listened to his story which was similar to my current Pastor who worked with him at that time also which I have also felt some of the same things. Both of them had to take time away from ministry to heal because of the damage inflicted on them for sharing God’s word from people who called themselves Christians. Both have always shared they were not perfect and before one of them preached he always asked God to forgive him for his sins and that they not inhibit as he spoke God’s word.

    The religious people in the church were deadly. Isn’t that sad to have to take time from the church to heal? The very place God gave us to work, support, encourage and walk side by side together in this journey of life. If they would have said they had cancer just as any regular person would have supported them but those who call themselves religious people destroyed their kind hearts. I am really enjoying your series this week Mart on Discover The Word. That is exactly what I have seen far to many times, it is really sad.

    On the outside people can call themselves whatever they like but that does not mean that is what is going on inside of them as you mentioned above “as a whole new way of living”. John 13:34-35

  72. poohpity says:

    Jesus taught if you care only for those who care for you back or just those who agree with you or think the same way you do it does not show you belong to Jesus but still to the world which that is easy to do. But the topsy-turvy and hard to hear things are like; Luke 6:32-33 NIV “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” or Matt 5:46 NLT “If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.”

    Those who think so highly of themselves and do not acknowledge their need are the ones who do not come to Jesus but look down on those they consider sicker than themselves. (Luke 5:30; Mark 2:16) So I am so thankful of the fact that I am sick and broken being in need of a Savior. (Luke 5:31-32; Mark 2:17)

  73. street says:

    i saw this quote and wanted to share

    “Questions can expand our understanding, uncertainty can lead to trust, and honest faith can produce outrageous hope” (John Ortberg). i think of the hall of fame of faith. we serve an Outrageous God! even scandalous!
    i am glad He is not boring. yet gentle and humble. blameless if you will.

  74. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Street, it is not a faith we have with no questioned, Job had lots.
    I considerans my Christian life to be one of a relation with the Person Jesus, not a set of steeds about Him.

    Knowing Him intimiteit is what I want.
    This morning I came across
    2 Cor 5:14-15(NIV)

    I pray that this Love, as we now have decided collectively, that the consuming fire of God is, may touch our hearts, and may it overwhelm us.
    (Someone gave Song of Solomon 8:6, I believe it was Maru.
    Doesn’t that verse coincide with the above verse?)

    Your love
    On and on and on it goes
    it overwhelms and satisfies my soul
    and I never ever have to be afraid
    one thing remains

    Your Love never fails, never gives up never runs out on me

    Song called: One thing remains, Brian Johnson

  75. foreverblessed says:

    O dear, I am so sorry for not having proofread the first part!
    It should be
    questions not questioned
    I consider, and not I considerans.
    Set of creeds, not steeds (which is steadily in Dutch)

  76. SFDBWV says:

    1 Thessalonians 5:19 KJV, “Quench not the Spirit”.

    Have you ever noticed how quickly the good feeling of a good conversation comes to an abrupt end by someone’s negative intrusion?

    No matter where it is occurring there is a rise in fellowship when people begin to praise God or give encouragement to each other. It is like a wild fire that sweeps quickly across the grassy field.

    All smiles and good feelings…Then.

    Someone “rains on the parade”, “dampens the mood” or as stated “Quenches the Spirit.”

    Who would do such a thing, and why?

    Whereas God is a consuming fire we are still yet a shadow of our Creator and our fire often comes under the attack of evildoers bent on quenching the move of the Holy Spirit between followers of Christ in fellowship.

    It is at such times I am reminded of the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:17-40) particular interest in (1 Kings 18:38) whereas the consuming fire of God came down and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust and the water in the trench.

    It would appear such attempts by evildoers to quench the Spirit is only a momentary distraction as the fire of God cannot be extinguished.

    Be at peace our God is an awesome God.

    24 degrees and a mixture of snow and wet drizzle, even though no precipitation was expected.

    Steve

  77. SFDBWV says:

    Street and Rita (Foreverblessed) I just wanted to share something with you in spirit with your thoughts, while still here. Sometimes the simplest statements say the most profound things.

    Being a “Country” music fan there is a song out by Tim McGraw titled “Humble and Kind” the message of which is to always be “humble and kind”.

    Thank you both for being just that, your comments are always both humble and kind and I for one appreciate that and you both.

    Steve

  78. jeff1 says:

    It is those who love me the most that I so often hurt. It is not intentional, but I, as a manic depressive, find close relationships difficult.

    I find relationships easier with strangers then I do with family. I also spend a lot of time in my own company.

    I know I am not an easy person to love for I push those away that try to. I believe the person I find difficult to love is myself.

    The more I try to do what is right, the more I end up doing what is wrong. I see others who could fall into a slurry tank and come out smelling of roses.

    I have become so used to being broken that I am not sure I could live being fixed!

    For me, having faith in God means that none of the above matters!

  79. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, I for one noticed immediately…. exactly as you said. However, thanks to your message the other day about praying for ALL of us including the sickest among us, I was able to ignore and pray for the stage 4 patient. I forget the order and even the facets of the stages after discovering one has cancer, but I remember that denial is one.

    It is really sad if you can think about it…With all the options this person has to live triumphantly —- chooses to stay in — rut. Unfortunately thinking about it darkens the day and robs the Love, Joy,and Peace and just defiles all that could be so wonderful. THIS is why I BELIEVE that an ignore icon could serve us ALL…we could protect ourselves from that contagious sickeness, and be in a better position to pray for that person and EVERYBODY wins..ESPECIALLY THE sickest among us.

  80. narrowpathseeker says:

    Jeff1…..You are a very EASY person to love!! For me the most important thing I find in a personality is HONESTY!!! Confessing and not denying our sinful nature….and being remorseful for what we have said, done or thought that wasn’t righteous…not being prideful of it all in some sick way. I have found you to be a VERY HONEST and therefore to me….LOVABLE person as are most here at BTA..PLEASE have a wonderful day

  81. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… we are all imperfect, and all were found guilty.
    And, all who confessed were forgiven, all the forgiven are saved.

    My pastor says, “It is not good people who get to go Heaven, because then you would have to determine for yourselves, how good is good enough.”

    He says, “Only forgiven people get to go to Heaven.”

    Then the real measure or standard becomes, it is in knowing that He who Forgives, is also He who can Save.

    So, to me, it is not about our daily feelings of being forever fixed, or our daily feelings about being forever broken, but it is about, daily being about, being Forever His!
    Gary

  82. oneg2dblu says:

    The test of the true family of faith can not be about our moods, our momentary feelings of good or bad, happy or sad.
    They can, and do, change like the wind.
    But, it is about our daily walk, our consistency with the Lord, our bearing fruit that is an keeping with the Spirit. Not about bearing only kind words and a smile, but our bearing of the cross we must bear for Him.
    It is in seeing the value of every other part of the body of Christ making their contribution, not only about celebrating the one or two that happen to rub us the right way.
    That is partiality, it is favoritism, and in a very subtle way, it can also be just as divisive.
    Thank God, that God does not show any favoritism, as He gladly accepts all who will come to Him.
    He hears every voice that calls out to Him, and He will have compassion on those He wishes to have compassion, and Mercy upon those He chooses to show Mercy.
    I am so glad that God has not given that position to anyone else, for it is He alone who Judges rightly.
    Just thinking…
    Gary

  83. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes, I agree it is so easy to love certain people, both here and everywhere, just as easy as it is the love the world.

    We are even commanded to love, and especially all those who are in the family of faith.

    Not so easy when we are commanded to also love our enemies though, that comes only through our allowing Divine Intervention over our will, and not our worldly way.

    Aren’t we all tested daily?
    Gary

  84. jeff1 says:

    For me they are intertwined, in that I may not have known I was capable of hating so much, if I had not tried to understand my enemies.

    I kept trying to see their side, but in the end my own roots kept getting in the way and I knew I could not be objective because history does repeat itself.

    For me personally, I have had to take a side, for I am not one who can sit on the fence and my roots win out.

    I believe God understands my struggle in that I do not want to go on hating them, for by forgiving them, it brings forgiveness for myself also.

    In fact I believe that the day I can forgive them will be the day I can forgive myself!

  85. joycemb says:

    Yes forgiveness is a beautiful thing! It frees you to truly feel Gods love I believe. And His love is amazing!

  86. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Narrow for your faith in my honesty, I believe it has taken me quite a while to be honest with God about my true feelings. I believe I was in denial for a long time but God is patient in waiting.

    I think God needs us to be honest with Him, so that He can heal us and I make it hard on myself when I am not. I am more self willed then I thought I was and so I am learning about myself as I draw closer to God.

  87. joycemb says:

    Forgiving brings peace.

  88. jeff1 says:

    I like what you said, Gary, that it is not about being forever fixed or forever broken but forever His.

    In the mundanes it is so very easy to forget that I am forever His.

    You are so right Gary, I must keep remembering what truly matters and not let my mind wander. I am a thinker and that means I can have unhealthy thoughts but when all is said and done it is God’s truth that matters!

  89. poohpity says:

    I learned last week in our study that the enemy uses every opportunity to keep old wounds fresh in mind, knowing that anger and hurt and bitterness and unforgiveness will continue to roll the damage forward.(Heb 12:15 NLT) He creates disunity and disruption with our circle of friends and the shared community of the body of Christ. (1 Tim 2:8 NLT; Titus 2:14; Heb 10:24)

  90. poohpity says:

    Gary, I also liked what you said. :-)

  91. poohpity says:

    Viv, I also respect the honesty from within that is where the healing begins. When we blame others or look at the areas they fall short, what is going on inside of us gets totally neglected and denied. Jesus said in Matt 7:1-5 NLT;

    “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

    3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

  92. joycemb says:

    Sometimes it’s hard to see clearly with a log in the eye:-)

  93. poohpity says:

    Yes Joyce that is why I need to keep an eye on how sick I am rather seeing or trying to find or point out how sick others are. The closer one gets to God the more aware of their own sin and the further away from God then the more aware they become of the sin of others.

  94. jeff1 says:

    Yes Joyce, That is so true, no one can tell you there is a log in your eye until you are ready to hear. Besides it is all in the way you approach someone, as I have said before my father never said to me I told you so when I made bad decisions but explained where I was going wrong.

    It is the spirit in which the correction is done that is important to getting the point across.

  95. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… yes, “It is the spirit in which the correction is done that is important to getting the point across.”

    Would that statement be true of both of these examples as well,
    1.)whether you are bending down writing in the sand before passing judgement,
    2.)or even when you are turning over the tables of the money changers?
    Both are done by that same spirit are they not?
    Just thinking…

  96. poohpity says:

    Good example Gary. Jesus wrote in the sand which we really do not know what he wrote but it was after saying “the one without sin cast the first stone”. It was Jesus who turned over the tables and that seems to be because He is the One who knows what lies beneath the surface into the true condition of the heart. Jesus is the only One who has the right to judge a heart and He made the choice not to do that but to save instead. John 3:17 NLT

  97. joycemb says:

    BTW. My post at 11:35 today was not meant for ANYBODY in particular. :-). Just thinking.

  98. joycemb says:

    Jesus turning over the tables was about cleansing the temple I believe. Like turning over the tables of idols in our hearts :-)

  99. jeff1 says:

    when I focus on the fact that it is Jesus who is the only one who can judge the heart then I let go of any hatred in mine.
    It is keeping the focus on Jesus that is important and not getting caught up in what God says!

    Just thinking, what causes the division among believers, and it is taking our eyes of Jesus. God Himself points us to Jesus so I believe it is imperative I keep my focus on Him so as not to become judgmental towards others.

  100. narrowpathseeker says:

    I am taking turns laughing, smiling, and hoping it lasts. Sometimes things get so ridiculous I can sit back and see it as a comedy skit. I will continue to pray for ALL of us as Steve lovingly suggested for the good of ALL. I hope ALL will do the same.

  101. joycemb says:

    Pearl said: “Sometimes things get so ridiculous….”

    My dear what are you seeing as ridiculously funny? Maybe it’s just because I’ve had a headache all day but I don’t see it?
    Joyce

  102. oneg2dblu says:

    For the good of all, I ask, “Where does one draw the line between using His godly discernment, verses, all our worldly judging of others?”
    Just thinking….

  103. oneg2dblu says:

    Joyce… I do not see the comedy of errors, or the ridiculous either.
    Try drinking two glasses of water for that headache and let me know twenty minutes from now if it still hurts.

    I will be praying praying for you.
    Gary

  104. poohpity says:

    Jesus and God are One so everything He says is what God would say.

    Gary, the discernment is Jesus drew lines and since He was speaking directly from God and human beings normally are judging others from our mindset unable to know what lies within a person’s heart which means we are not God so we should not judge just because what we know is very, very, very limited.

  105. oneg2dblu says:

    Joyce… I just suffered through a night and a day constant 18 hours of middle chest pain resonating right through to my back, which, “Praise God,” it has been since taken away from me.

    Yes, I went to the VA for a medical diagnosis, and immediately after, to my church to be prayed over.

    Thank the Lord for His Prayer Warriors.

    Being a male in my seventies, a possible heart attack is always in question, but after an EKG and lung X-rays, and some palpating to that area, and a review of my lifestyle, it was determined to be a strong protest from my pancreas for my going off my usual diet.

    I am now on a prescription for GIRD which will help inhibit stomach acid, and takes 3 or 4 days to fully kick in, but I was given nothing for the pain.

    God took care of that pain, and the rest is all about another testing of my faith.

    We all need prayers…

  106. oneg2dblu says:

    poohpity… I trust that you having a close relationship with the Lord, and possessing His Holy Spirit, that you also have a godly discernment, which will help protect you, and using it may mean you have to choose or judge, who or what is leading you astray, and who or what is not.
    But, I may be wrong as I can’t judge whether you will agree with that, or you will choose to disagree.
    You do appear to me, to have an agreeing spirit today.
    I hope that is not being judgmental.
    Gary

  107. joycemb says:

    Gary thanks I’ve been drinking h20 all day but have figured out what’s causing it; down draft of co2 gasses through my stove fan. Apt living isn’t perfect! But I’ve been airing out and now know how to stop it.
    I too have GIRD and find that laying on my left side, (which I learned from my daughter’s Dr. when she was pregnant)helps tremendously. Thanking God your ticker isn’t involved but I know what it’s like to have pain and thinking of being older wondering what may be giving out! My friend had both knees replaced last week and is miserable (69). I’ve decided just to sit down and stay down if my knees give out!
    Life doesn’t get easier, but God’s faithfulness never fails! Praise God!

  108. poohpity says:

    Gary, I do have the ability to discern truth with the help of the Holy Spirit but I would never presume in anyway to be able to see into a person’s heart as God does therefore it seems best to hold off on judgement.

    I would be agreeable more often if there was something said about God that is truth. Today it just seems in what you said, not that I am any more agreeable than any other day, but today I found some content in your words that matched what is taught in scripture.

  109. poohpity says:

    I just said today that was a good example of Jesus being the only One who can see into a person’s mind and heart by the 2 times you shared.

  110. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, it is not REALLY humorous..it is the same old same old, but instead of upsetting me, I can’t stop laughing. I am sorry about your headache. I hope you are feeling better soon. Pearl

  111. poohpity says:

    However do not agree that we have the same ability.

  112. poohpity says:

    Gary, remember it was not me who accused others of being sicker than some others. I believe truthfully that none of us has any room to talk about anyone else.

  113. joycemb says:

    Gary thanks for the prayers, my headache I’ve had since 7am just left. I tried Ibuprofen, Tylenol, lots and lots of water all day and nothing worked. Poof! It just left. Praise God!

  114. joycemb says:

    Thank you Pearl also for praying!

  115. narrowpathseeker says:

    Gary, praying for you and hoping your pain disappears for a good night’s sleep. I did my best to explain above what I found humorous without upsetting the cart… ;-) I hope you are feeling better by the time you read this. Pearl

  116. SFDBWV says:

    Pearl I am so very happy for you, as you have found peace in seeing how ridiculous some former aggravations are. For in doing so they have no power over you.

    While in the subject of dry humor I will share with you all a bit of it for us as Glenna and I watched the Weather Channel last evening. They are predicting another massive snow event next week and in showing its track, three of the meteorologists were ask who would get the most snow.

    One said Elkins WV a city about 50 miles south of us and much lower in elevation, another said Horseshoe WV which is actually a ski resort south of us near the little town of Pickens, the only town in WV that gets more snow than do we here, and the third said extreme western Maryland and couldn’t remember the name of the town he had in mind.

    The extreme western end of Maryland borders with us as we are only separated by the North Branch of the Potomac River. The town he couldn’t recall was most likely Oakland MD.

    Anyway that puts us at ground zero for the next round of winter storm to hit the Appalachia’s. All we can do is laugh about it and keep looking for June first and some relief.

    I know this comment is a departure from our subject, but sometimes we just need that little break in order to regroup.

    18 degrees up from 16 when Matt and I got up.

    One small reminder before I post, Luke 5:31, 32 KJV should cover the question of who is sick.

    Steve

  117. SFDBWV says:

    Sorry too many thumbs, Luke 5:31,32 KJV

    Steve

  118. SFDBWV says:

    Looks like its not my thumbs but BTA’s program.

    Luke 5:31 Luke 5:32

    Steve

  119. foreverblessed says:

    May God bless you all, bod, mind and soul.
    May He give health to all of us here.
    I have been down by the flu since Monday. It is going better.
    Yesterday my husband joined me, which in a way, is nice.
    Today one of his collegues is having a brain search, a biopt, to see what the white spots on his brain are. They could find no cancer anywhere in his body.
    I have been praying for him. This morning I was singing behind the piano, and started thinking, now God, this I sing for him.
    So that is intercessory prayer. I sing the words as if he is singing it.
    If any of you have prayer for him, thanks.
    It is God who works, nothing we do, He does it!

  120. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry Steve, your comments didn’t appear when I posted mine.
    I do not want to appeared to neglect you.
    By the way, you think way too high of me. All though, you are right, I am a highly loved and dearly cherished child of God, and so are you, and all of us here!

  121. oneg2dblu says:

    forever… your last five words, are the kind that do help bring us together.
    Gary

  122. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, I hope you get some relief from the severe weather soon. We have been very fortunate here…it is going to be in the high 60’s here this weekend.

    Another take on the sick…I had 6 children. My oldest son, lived a little short of 5 years. he suffered most of those years before he died but through his suffering, his older sister and younger brothers developed compassion and learned to be there for each other. Then as years passed I had one with another sickness…addiction…it was a living hell for the whole family. He was the sickest among us, but we all loved him, prayed for him, and helped him in every way we could. Sometimes he infuriated us and we let him KNOW and he accepted our help and pointing out of his offenses…he was remorseful and kept trying to do better…at this time all is very well…thanks be to GOD and my son’s willingness to look at himself realistically.

  123. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… at least you are still talking about specks and logs and claiming you are not pointing fingers, or not judging others, and your certainly not ever knowing another’s heart.

    You must be only lovingly presuming then, I would guess.

    It is so good of you not to question another’s faith, only their bible knowledge, and their ability, and their judging of others.

    “Gary, remember it was not me who accused others of being sicker than some others. I believe truthfully that none of us has any room to talk about anyone else.”

    Isn’t that exactly what you have just done?

    Christ never said we need to see into another’s heart to be able to judge them, but He did say, we can recognize them by their fruit.

    Just thinking…

  124. joycemb says:

    Steve thanks for re-explaining in a way I can understand the point Pearl was trying to get across yesterday about aggravation! Feels so good to be an overcomer! Such freedom only Christs blood could make possible for this blog of sinners and every other sinner out there.

    I think that’s the problem with a blog like this where people come together from all over the world with our quaint coloquialisms, differing dialects-languages even-, diverse backgrounds, education and yes all the baggage we bring, both seen and unseen. Yet at the foot of the cross we all find community and family even, the family of God!

    Prayers for forever and her husband, Gary’s pain, storms on Steve’s turf and for all that Gods healing and strength would carry us through another marvelous day.of grace and mercy multiplied!
    Love, Joyce

  125. narrowpathseeker says:

    I might add that my son would deny his use of drugs, but we KNEW by his behavior and other things that I don’t really remember right now. We never once catered to his lies…we knew he would eventually kill himself with the drugs and we were not going to help him do that by pacifying him. Sometimes we were tough on him and I really have to admit that there were times that he was so infuriating that I almost didn’t care what happened to him…THEN I would pray about those ugly feelings..it was always his heartfelt apologies and confessions of his lies and failures that replaced the anger with compassion and the desire to keep doing whatever we could to help… ANYWAY that son prays and thanks the Lord everyday now.

  126. narrowpathseeker says:

    Forever..have to run…carpet installers here…haven’t forgotten you either…. <3

  127. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… So, I see your statement, “However do not agree that we have the same ability.”

    But, I was talking about the common ground of the family of faith, each possessing the Indwelling Spirit, and godly Discernment.

    Your answer however, seems to see only “our” differences, or the division of our ability.

    Just thinking…

  128. oneg2dblu says:

    To all who are currently praying for my pain to be absolved, I am sorry that I did not make it more clear in my posting that, “God has already taken my pain away.”

    “Praise God for His Prayer Warriors!”

  129. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… that was Answered Prayer, just hearing your headache is gone.
    “Praise God!”

  130. joycemb says:

    “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

    G K Chesterton

    Gary you were clear, as usual my mind wasn’t! LOL!

  131. oneg2dblu says:

    narrowpathseeker… When one hurts, we all hurt.
    Here in the family of faith where we can share our pain and know others must share in bearing it to the Lord as well.

    We do pray for all those who are hurting, in any way, shape, or form.

    Remember, it is from the prayers a few, that a whole nation can be saved.

    So, as we each do our part, does the whole body move, together.
    Gary

  132. jeff1 says:

    Pooh says Jesus and God are One so everything He says is what God would say.

    I am just thinking about what divides Christians and it is that different believers believe God said different things.

    If we want to be united as Christians and in a hostile world it seems to me that is what needs to happen then Christ at the Cross is what unites us.

    I do not find any Christians disagreeing that Christ died for our sins.

    As you have said before, you and I, do not know another’s heart, and so when it comes to judgement, it is for Christ to judge each of us, but I believe that Christ expects us to be united and put aside that which divides us for the good of the gospel, for if we cannot, then we are failing to draw others to it, for we seem no different to them when we are always disagreeing.

    I can tell you this from what I have seen of believers in my own Country, when two different denominations get together they will do so much arguing abut what the bible says that I will just walk away confused so what will a non believer think listening to them.

    I believe the bible because I have listened to ‘Day of Discovery’ but these are men who do not use the bible to score points against each other but to really understand what God is saying and these are the men I will listen to.

    I believe a person’s heart must be right with God before reading the bible or they will take what they like from it and cause damage to the truth of the gospel by doing so.

  133. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… no prayer is wasted, and yours, may well has addressed another type of pain in me, one which I myself, may now never know again.
    So, I thank you for your sharing, and your bearing.
    For it is by faith, do we also walk together.
    Gary

  134. poohpity says:

    Gary, I was talking about we do not have the same ability as Jesus to look into a person’s mind or heart. Yes I agree that we all have access to the same Holy Spirit for all those who truly seek to know God which comes the ability to discern that seems to be for ALL His children.

  135. poohpity says:

    But God never said anything different than Jesus. Jesus only spoke what God the Father told Him to say.(John 12:49:50 NLT; John 17:8) Jesus came to reveal God the Father to us. John 17:26 NLT

  136. poohpity says:

    oops wrote John 12:49-50 NLT wrong.

  137. poohpity says:

    Laying all the prayer requests before God and asking for the help of the Lord for those not requested.

    Viv, Ooooh yes Day of Discovery and Discover the Word are very good tools to learn from as well as everything the ODB puts out. I am not aware of people using the bible to score points against each other but I have seen it used to lead others to a closer relationship with God.

  138. poohpity says:

    and an understanding of His great mercy and grace.

  139. jeff1 says:

    Pooh says I am not aware of people using the bible to score points against each other.

    You forget that religion is very divided in my Country and hatred handed down from generation to generation.

    It is not surprising that the younger generation of all denominations are not attending their places of worship for they believe it was the cause of our troubles here.

    Christians who kill Christians because they cannot agree on God has been our heritage and one we cannot get past it.

    As Gary says nothing changes if hearts are not changed and listening to our politicians go over the same old ground gets very disillusioning and I believe only a younger generation will eventually take this Country forward for their hearts have not hardened like some.

  140. narrowpathseeker says:

    Foreverblessed, I often agree completely with those pointing to your loving Christlike nature, but there are usually so many favorable comments in that regard that there is little left for me to say. I was thinking I should just write …I fully agree or something of that nature, but then think I want to write something more…and by the time the words come for that particular moment…another moment is on the table… So, I just want to say, THANK YOU for all your prayers, genuine concerns for all, and your overall loving spirit. While we may differ in some of our ideas of dealing with difficult situations I believe you are a genuinely loving soul and I truly appreciate you.

  141. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… sorry I could not see your “greater use” of the word we, being that is was used in a post directed to me, and from you.
    So then, you are saying that “we the church,” meaning all the believers, do not have the ability to see the heart.

    I guess what I’m saying, nor do we have to see the heart, but, we should all have enough godly discernment, to judge, just by seeing the fruit.

    A good tree bears good fruit, just as a bad tree bears bad fruit, or none at all.

    Takes a lot of digging sometimes just to get at the root of the matter, that we do agree. :)
    Gary

  142. poohpity says:

    No I said no believer has the same abilities that the Lord has to look at the inward man and to think one does is to put one’s self in the place of God. As we are taught by the Lord it is up to Him to separate the wheat from the chaff not His followers. (Matt 3:12 NLT; Matt 13:30) We are given many things to do while we wait for His second coming which includes things like; Forgive as I have forgiven you, Love as I have loved you, treat others as you want to be treated, do good deeds, spread the Good News, help the needy, pray for others, etc.. but not to judge the heart or mind of another person.

  143. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes, yes, yes, Pooh, Whatever you say you said, you said.
    Are we finished digging yet?
    And yes, you’re right, you certainly are no more agreeable than usual.
    I thought I saw some change, but sadly, five or six posts later we are still not settled are we, so perhaps not.

    As you say, “but not to judge the heart or mind of another person.”

    Why don’t you just say, nor the actions of others, nor the lifestyle of others, nor the fruit of others, as well.

    As if to, say, Let us not inhibit their ability to sin as freely as us. Lets not share the scriptures that promote any right living, because they are so judgmental…

    Narrowpathseeker, you are right, this constant drip of discord or misunderstanding is so ridiculous, that now I’m laughing out loud myself, laughing at myself, for responding and trying to ever settle anything here, but apparently no resolve will be coming anytime soon.

    So, I pray, “Come Jesus!”

  144. oneg2dblu says:

    P.S. Good night!

  145. cbrown says:

    I am getting ready to watch the Movie “Barefoot in the Park” and I will I will be laughing the whole time. Good night all!

  146. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Narrow, thanks, but for the Grace of God!
    Like the Discover the Word now covered, we are the living letters of Christ.
    Gary, you could just have a shift of focus, and all is settled!
    We wake up in the morning, and look Jesus in the eye, and say, good morning Lord, here am I, at your service.

    I repeat, shift of focus, and I would like to shout it out loud!

  147. foreverblessed says:

    What do we settled:
    -That thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice we are now called children of God.
    – our sins, though they were scatlett are now white as snow
    -that we can approach the throne of Grace without reservation!
    – that we are seated in the heavenly realms with Jesus Christ
    Eph 2:4-7

    I already deel Joy coming up within, for there are so many things we agree upon!
    ( I was thinking of the list of scriptures Steve gave here last week, I shall copy them, and write them out by hand, thanks Steve)
    Just do not let yourself in these corners of nitpicking wordingsproces of Jesus. That is a decision you have to make yourself: shall I focus on Jesus and His Cross, or shall I look for disagreements here?
    Which one do you choose?
    I want to choose for Jesus!

  148. foreverblessed says:

    I already feel Joy! Not deel.

  149. foreverblessed says:

    Deel means sharing in Dutch!
    We share a Commonwealth grond: without Jesus we would be lost, and we know it, every morning again, a new focus on Jesus:
    In Him it is Life and goodness, and I want to share that with you all!

    Narrow, thanks for sharing your life story. What a story!
    And how great that your greatest trouble maker, is now praying!
    So you have had your share in difficult people around you!
    Praise God! It is because of His great mercy we are all alive!
    Keep walking with him

  150. SFDBWV says:

    Consuming fire…
    Einstein…

    Few if any of us can appreciate the genius of Albert Einstein’s understanding of physics and how the universe is constructed, but one thing seems clear the universe is an infinite fire in its most intense heat yet under the control of invisible “forces”.

    To the discerning eye God’s signature is everywhere in His creation.

    One of the basics of physics is that nothing is ever eradicated completely, only changed into something else.

    It is a glimpse of eternity.

    Genesis 1:1 KJV “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

    The beginning of what?

    Heaven and earth was forged and is maintained by the fire of God.
    Heaven and earth shall be re-forged by the fire of God. 2 Peter 3:10 KJV and Revelation 21:1 KJV

    In the beginning; of all things? Or of the story of God and man?

    God has no beginning and has no end. Perhaps what we have is a chapter in a much larger book we are not privileged or ready yet to see.

    46 degrees.

    Steve

  151. Mart DeHaan says:

    Yes, Steve, that’s the way I’m reading it too… I’ve seen some sunrises recently that have stopped me in my thoughts… and all but taken my breath away. Am guessing that emotion is nothing compared to what we will soon see…when our humble and glorious God returns to show what he has bought and redeemed…

  152. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… perhaps you missed my shift of focus, my ending focus was shifted, to none other than, “Come Jesus!”

  153. poohpity says:

    Yes it seems ludicrous and a bit insane to believe that I can think as God thinks or reason as God reasons or see as God sees. Those are things that are just way out of my league, thankfully, I think a human being would explode because man can not contain such glory, knowledge or power in such a limited, finite structure as the human body and mind.

  154. poohpity says:

    Went and saw “Risen” yesterday with some friends it was a good movie from an unbelievers eyes that turned into a believer. No one had to tell the Roman soldier he investigated on his own in a search for truth and found it in Jesus Christ.

  155. oneg2dblu says:

    I would guess that “what” Moses was talking about there, was the beginning God’s creating of heaven and earth.

    Unless, we are looking to find something else in his words.

    But you know me, I may be, and to my detriment, one who literally believes what is written, and certainly speaks out too quickly instead of thinking more about such things.

    I guess I see in those simple words of the bible, the truth.

    Most times that is a pretty good place to be, until you come across a real thinker, then, you are stuck on stupid, for not being able to see what is not written.

    My case in point…What is written is this, “A day is like a thousand years to God,” but, if a thinker thinks differently, then a day as written in the beginning must be only what they think it is, a 24 hour period of time.

    But, no matter which side of that, “coin of thought,” you may gravitate to, there is this one thing to think about or consider, the first 28 verses of the bible that Moses wrote, were under the influence and direction of God, and they have been challenged by many great thinkers, but, they are still proven to be exactly how the formation of the earth as we know it, was formed.

    Even Einstein with all “his genius,” was no match for what Moses wrote, and no other genius so far, has done a better more accurate formulation.

    I would say that I too have been literally stopped in my tracks, over a sunset or sunrise, or an occasional arrangement of splendor found in the heavens either by day or night.

    What else can one say, but, “Thank you Lord God for all your works are so grand.”

    And yes, “Come Jesus!”

  156. jeff1 says:

    Foreverblessed 5.59 am

    Keep walking with Him.

    My mind has a tendency to wander and I loose focus on Him and fear takes over.

    I listen a lot to gospel music because music soothes my mind and no one sings gospel music like, Elvis, the Gaithers, the Hoppers and Lynda Randle to name but a few as they sing from the heart.

    I am not very good at walking with Him as I either lag behind or race in front and tire myself out. It is upsetting when I don’t seem to progress because my thoughts and memories keep getting in the way of it.

  157. jeff1 says:

    For you Gary it is the sunrise or the sunset, for me it is a rainbow, the colours of the rainbow on a not so clear sky never ceases to raise my spirit and the stars, when I look up at them it does my heart good.

    I see trees of green,
    red roses too.
    I see them bloom,
    for me and you.
    And I think to myself,
    what a wonderful world.

    I see skies of blue,
    And clouds of white.
    The bright blessed day,
    The dark sacred night.
    And I think to myself,
    What a wonderful world.

    The colors of the rainbow,
    So pretty in the sky,
    Are also on the faces,
    Of people going by,
    I see friends shaking hands.
    Saying, “How do you do?”
    They’re really saying,
    “I love you”.

    I hear babies cry,
    I watch them grow,
    They’ll learn much more,
    Then I’ll ever know.
    And I think to myself,
    What a wonderful world.

    Yes, I think to myself,
    What a wonderful world.

    Oh yeah.

  158. cbrown says:

    I have been reading through the comments on this topic and am blessed by the wisdom in the discussion. Thanks to all.

  159. joycemb says:

    Speaking of wisdom….missing you street and your bravery about sharing yourself and your wisdom here. Hope you can find enough courage to continue. You are one of many valuable contributors and friends here so please come back. Thinking about your upcoming surgery which will also take bravery as we never can know the outcome for sure, yet as you know we can always be sure of how great and loving our God is, yes?
    Blessings, Joyce

  160. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… your words flow like a song. :)

  161. SFDBWV says:

    Many people for many years have wondered what draws the moth to the flame.

    Few people can deny the hypnotic pull of watching the fire in the stove or fireplace, bonfire or just setting around the campfire.

    Here on earth fire technically is defined as “rapid oxidation”, the slower form of such burning is seen as rust or corrosion and seen as wood left out in the weather turns into ash over time.

    The red planet Mars gets its color from the slow burn of oxidation.

    But the fire of the sun and seen in the night sky is a very different fire, it is at an atomic level and is far hotter than we can imagine as it both consumes all of its known elements over and over again and again.

    But what exactly is the consuming fire of God?

    If I take a log and place it in the fire it changes from the property of wood into the property of gas and ash. It still exists just in a different form.

    If I surrender my spirit to God’s consuming fire it changes from being my spirit to being His. I am still me only different. As the fire continues to work its complete trans-configuration, I will become a completely new creature with an incorruptible body and soul.

    Just as endless as the cosmos is seen to be, so shall I forever be with my creator, because of the “fire” of God. Just like the “burning bush” seen by Moses, unharmed but shining with the brilliance of the sun, because I have been blended in at the subatomic level at the mystery of God’s level with the Son.

    Consumed yet now a part of Him and He of me.

    No more tears, no more heartache, no more wondering, finally “peace”, elation, joy.

    50 degrees and cloudy, looks like the winter storm predicted earlier my pass us by.

    Steve

  162. jeff1 says:

    Gary, yes indeed the late great Louis Armstrong, its what I call music not the so called music our young people are listening to these days that should not go out on air if right was right.

  163. street says:

    43 But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
    “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
    2
    When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
    and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
    When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
    3
    For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
    I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.

  164. joycemb says:

    Thank you street. I cried all night after your post- letting go of a lot of fear, anger, and frustration. Today I am comforted by Oswald Chambers writing about purification. God is faithful.

  165. foreverblessed says:

    The My Utmost for His Highest of March 1 and 2
    Jesus asking penetrating questions to Peter:
    Do you love Me?
    It is about the consuming fire of God, and what the result is:
    Knowing the depth of our inner being, our spirit, how much we love Christ

  166. street says:

    22
    Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
    23
    They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
    24
    I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

    25
    The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;
    26
    it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.

  167. street says:

    Seems like I’ve been so slow to learn that Jesus does more than change lives. He also gives new meaning to the way his followers use words and ideas.

    5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
    6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

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