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Money, Cover-up, and Conflicting Reports



Follow the money.

The tomb was empty.

The soldiers who had seen what happened were terrified.

When the religious leaders who demanded Jesus’ death heard what happened, they paid off the guards to say that, while they were sleeping, grave-robbers had stolen Jesus body (Matt 28:11-15).

Women told another story

Meanwhile Mary of Magdala, with a number of her friends, began spreading the word that Jesus was alive. They told the men to go to Galilee where Jesus said he would meet them (Matt 28:10).

And so…

The eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted! Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:16-20).

Then came Paul…

Some say Paul turned Jesus’ message and mission into his own personal cause. Others say that if we listen carefully to Paul, we will hear someone who can be explained, not by following the money, but by listening to the story and transformed life of a broken and humbled legalist who found in Jesus— a loving God, a merciful Savior, and a transforming Spirit who brought fullness of meaning to the Law— while offering forgiveness, grace, and reconciliation with our Father and one another.


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243 Responses to “Money, Cover-up, and Conflicting Reports”

  1. foreverblessed says:

    It was Paul who said, I am not under no law, I am under the law of Christ.
    The law of Christ, what is that? Has been my question, if I look to what Jesus commanded with legalistic eyes, it would be unbearable, who can love his enemies by trying with their own power.

    But Mart wrote: a broken and humbled legalist… was Paul
    Isaiah 66:1-2
    this is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, who trembles at my word.

    What are the words if Jesus? Do I study them, and being them in prayer to Jesus, Lord what do You say to me,
    And: Lord, Help me to do what you say, forgiving my enemy, Loving those who hate me!

    As merciful as God is to me, through Jesus Christ, as He accepted me as I was, He died for me while I was a sinner, Help me to look to my neighbour as You do to me!

    In utter and complete humility, as looking to myself, I am incapabele to do so!
    But looking in complete relience to God, that through the Holy Spirit working in me, He will work out my part.
    While I have my eyes on Jesus, and my whole heart learning for Him.

  2. foreverblessed says:

    With my whole heart yearning for Him,
    and learning from Him.

    Take My yoke upon you
    and learn from Me,
    for I am gentle
    and humble in heart,
    and you will find rest for your souls.

    Matt 11:29

  3. SFDBWV says:

    In the history of Christianity the first leader or Pope was Peter who died in 67 ad.

    In the story found in the NT Peter had an extraordinary experience regarding Gentiles and was told it was ok to eat forbidden foods, a violation of the Law of Moses. Acts 10:1-48 KLV and Acts 11:1-18 KJV.

    On the road to Damascus Saul of Tarsus had an extraordinary encounter with Jesus (Acts 9:1-22 KJV) not only opening Saul/Paul’s eyes but his heart and mind to Jesus.

    It was Paul who took the Gospel message to the Gentiles followed by Peter who gave Paul’s message the approval as one of the Disciples who was an eye and ear witness to Jesus.

    It was the Holy Spirit who awakened Peter to Who Jesus is and opened his eyes to the fact that the Laws of Moses didn’t matter when compared to Jesus’s message of grace

    It was Jesus Himself who got Paul’s attention and subsequently His Holy Spirit that opened physically Paul’s eyes and the eyes of his heart that same message that grace is the message not the Law.

    Peter and Paul’s messages are the same, the church’s message should also be the same.

    Look into the eyes of current terrorist’s and imagine that same fervor being applied to spreading the message of Jesus; that is what happened to Saul and only because Jesus intervened.

    Pray that Jesus intervenes today for everyone’s sake.

    A late message from me as my morning has already began. 48 degrees and wet from overnight showers.


  4. jeff1 says:

    As Joyce referred me to his works, I have just googled Christianity Today and read up on N T Wright.

    Sorry for going off topic, Mart, but I have copied this from the site.

    He has written the most extensive work on Paul in the history of Christianity. The two volume Paul and the Faithfullness of God (PFG)spans 1,519 pages.

    In it he examines not so much what Paul looked at but, but the spectacles he looked through.

    Then the crown jewel: three chapters on the heart of Paul’s theology. Here the sum is greater than the very impressive parts. Theology, argues Wright, is something that Paul pioneered, Jews and Romans could talk about spiritual matters such as fortune, or unseen powers that require our placating.
    But theology does work among the earliest Christians (and us) that it never had to do for its predecessors. Theology does the work for Paul that circumcision, food laws, and Sabbath did for the old Paul, the zealous Jew Saul of Tarus. It marked out a community as distinct from the world. It still does-just not as biblically in most cases as Wright thinks it should.

    Essentially, Paul laid a perfect foundation. But over time says Wright, the church built the house on sand.

    This is called A New Perspective On Paul (NPP), a relatively recent theological discussion about what Paul really taught about Salvation. NPP scholars – like E P Saunders, James Dunn, and Ben F Meyer – believe that, instead of introducing “new” to church doctrine, they are going back to Scripture without the church fathers or the Reformers themselves, and all the unbiblical teachings they added on. The new perspective, says the NPP, is a rather old one.

    According to the NPP (a phase coined by Wright), Paul was not worried about where believers souls would go after death. Christians of the late medieval period where worried about hell and felt they had to earn entry to heaven with works.
    This is the theology Martin Luther taught and wrote against, helping to ignite the Protestant Reformation.

    But Jews of Paul’s time where nowhere near so individualistic, so obsessed with the next life, so unfamiliar with grace as where the late medieval Christians.
    Instead of teaching about souls being saved from hell, says the NPP scholars, Paul is centrally teaching about God’s faithfullness to Israel. He is showing that Yahweh is a God who keeps His promises, and so can be trusted to fulfill His promises in history. NPP scholars actually think the works commanded in the law are good gifts from God.
    Paul doesn’t say not to do them or you’ll go wrong and think you are earning Salvation. He says not to do them because the Messiah has come and the world is different now. All people can worship Israel’s God and should do so together without ethnic division.

    The writer says in defense of the NPP, he can’t remember the last time he heard Israel included in a presentation of the gospel – even a long one. It leads one to wonder: What was God doing all that time with his chosen people? Wasting time?

    Since the calling of Abraham, Jews has been unique in three ways, for their monotheism (established in the Shema-“Hear, O’Israel, the Lord, is one” the founding prayer that faithful Jews say to this day), election (God call a specific people), and eschatology (God will save His people on the last day).
    Wright shows how the resurrection of Jesus reworks each of these central Jewish beliefs.

    There is 8 pages to read so I have just taken the above but there is much more to think about and personally I believe this is Good News for mankind.

  5. joycemb says:

    Good morning all,

    I’m thinking about how hard it is to move from forgiven to forgiver. We still see legalism everywhere and especially in my own soul at times when the HS shows me. How gentle He is, mostly, but tough when needed. He only hurts our sin, not us or we would be dead at first sight. Patient and gentle is He. But to carry such an important message to the world He was tough on Saul of Tarsus, blinding him even. I think before we really get to know Him we ARE more afraid of Him than not, and tend to cling to legalism in hopes of pleasing this perceived angry, hurtful God. My experience anyway. There’s no growth in being under law but hallelujah under grace we flourish!

    Still rejoicing in the resurrection,
    Blessings, Joyce

  6. joycemb says:

    Yes Viv I too like the way Wright has gotten down to the crux of the matter, so to speak, the message of the gospels from Pauls perspective without the biases of denominations.

  7. poohpity says:

    Three different stories of the effect of the resurrected Savior.

    The soldiers who had to be bribed not to say anything and even though we do not have any written results on the soldiers I know there had to be.

    The appearances of the risen Savior to His followers who seemed to have lost hope but soon had their hope restored. It grew their faith to see what Jesus had told them came to be.

    The man who persecuted Jesus followers encountered the risen Savior for himself and his life would never be the same. Turned his world upside down and inside out. How has the resurrected Savior transformed your life?

  8. jeff1 says:

    As N T Wright says “Never get so wrapped up in your own salvation that you forget what you are saved for.” God is saving the world through us, the one united holy church. Our being saved is bound up with our pointing to, and embodying in advance, the fourth coming Kingdom.

    My own quote is:

    Transformation is ongoing and there are others who also need transformed whom need my support!

  9. SFDBWV says:

    Oddly this is the first time in nearly all of my adult life that Good Friday nor Easter produced that anticipated feeling I have always had that some great event was about to occur; something grand and miraculous.

    Though special in remembrance to the events, it was just Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    I have to remember when looking at the events in the Bible that of the entire daily lives of the characters given we see only the special times when God interacted with them or the events surrounding them.

    As for the attempt by the Jews to corrupt the testimony of the Roman guards, that story never went anywhere though recorded to show how deceitful the enemies of Jesus were. I am sure, as were those who heard that false accusation, that if it were true the guards themselves would have faced punishment perhaps even death themselves for the dereliction of their duty and that would have substantiated the tale, but no such thing occurred which showed it to just be a lie.

    For those who pick apart every word written in Scripture looking for things to either disagree with or second guess, I pity them for they have no faith nor any trust and most of all because to them if they can’t understand it there must be something wrong with the text, not them.

    Paul always pointed to Jesus of Nazareth as being the Christ/Messiah and said that the things he said didn’t come from him, but rather the Holy Spirit.

    Paul was executed for his belief that Jesus is his king, a treasonous act by Roman law, in Rome.

    Jesus used Paul to bring His Church to the doorstep of the world, but it was Peter to whom Jesus said He would “upon this rock” establish His Church.

    Peter was also executed for his faith, in Rome.

    It appears we all have to surrender our lives for Christ, and up to God as to what extent is necessary to fulfill His need and will.


  10. joycemb says:

    Viv I like your quote. Support rather than judgement, YES!

  11. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    May Easter remain in our hearts the rest of the year(s)!

    The religious/political shenanigans could not bury the truth of Jesus’ resurrection in the flesh. Rising to New Life, He blazed the trail for us to follow by faith.

    The pay-offs and lies that came out of the Temple and the Roman establishment have been exposed as the corruption they were (and are). God has moved history in this.

    Mary Magdalene’s, Joanna’s and the other Mary’s testimony kept the truth alive. There was no need for burial spices, nor for linen strips to wind around a dead man. There was no dead man!

    Thanks be to God for the witness of the women who would not be quiet — and for the disciples who kept moving outward with the Gospel — and for Saul of Tarsus who was knocked down by the appearance of our Risen Lord!

    We can truly hold to Craig Hill’s summation of Scripture: “God wins!”

    This morning my heart is with the survivors of the bomb blast in the children’s park, Lahore, Pakistan. Christians and Muslims are suffering from it.

    Come Lord Jesus and walk among us to heal, and come Holy Spirit to comfort those who are mourning their children today.


  12. joycemb says:

    Maru you reminded me of something a cabbie said to N T Wright when he found out who he was: “if Jesus is risen from the dead then all the rest is rock and roll isn’t it.”

  13. remarutho says:

    Amen Joyce!

    The cabbie was a good theologian, yes? We have joy unspeakable and full of glory — come what may.


  14. joycemb says:


  15. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Joyce, it is support we are to give each other not judgement.

    I remember so many times when I was glad of another’s faith to keep me from loosing mine.

    I could not have walked a life of faith without others whom God put in my path to walk with me.

    My friend give me a cushion that says:

    “Friends are like stars they twinkle in our hearts”


    Everybody needs a little help sometime
    No one stands alone
    Makes no difference if it’s a child like me
    Or a king upon a throne
    For there are no exceptions
    We all stand in the line
    Everybody needs a friend
    Let me tell you of mine


    He’s my forever friend
    My leave-me-never friend
    From darkest night to rainbow’s end
    He’s my forever friend

    Even when I turn away He cares for me
    His love no one can shake
    Even as I walk away He’s by my side
    With every breath I take
    And sometimes I forget Him
    My halo fails to shine
    Sometimes I’m not His friend
    But He is always mine

    Repeat Chorus:

    He’s my forever friend
    My leave-me-never friend
    From darkest night to rainbow’s end
    He’s my forever friend

    If you still don’t know the one I’m talking of
    I think it’s time you knew
    Long ago and far away upon a cross
    My friend died for you
    So if you’d like to meet Him
    And don’t know what to do
    Ask my friend into your heart
    And He’ll be your friend too

    Repeat Chorus:

    He’s my forever friend
    My leave-me-never friend
    From darkest night to rainbow’s end
    He’s my forever friend
    He’s my forever friend

  16. street says:

    joycemb said.”I’m thinking about how hard it is to move from forgiven to forgiver.

    thinking of the ten with leprosy who were healed. where not 10 healed? only one came back to give thanks?

    thinking when we return to Jesus we understand He is greater then ourselves and greater than what we have received from Him.
    this foreigner praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. sometimes i wonder why we are so quiet.

  17. street says:

    As Leighton Ford describes it: “Christ offers not rules, but release. Not laws, but life. Not good advice, but good news. Not a new leaf, but a new birth. Not your power, but his!”

    anyone can come up with a religion. only God gives life in the face of certain death. Jesus died, Jesus is raised from the dead!

  18. oneg2dblu says:

    I am sure that I will never be as brilliant as Leighton Ford, but, how does one read the Ten Commandments, and not know you are reading the Laws given by God?
    The Commandments are the Laws.

    Yet, apparently when some like Leighton read John 14:15,
    they must certainly fail to see the commands of Christ, or Christ’s commandments, as being also a conditional law?

    If a command is an order, then, a commandment a mandate.

    Why would we be led to dismiss Christ’s very own words that say, “If you love me, obey my commands,” (NIV) thinking they are not also a new conditional law?

    Or, as the King James Version says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

    I thought commandments were laws.

    Or, is my thinking being too legalistic?

    Just thinking…

  19. oneg2dblu says:

    I was thinking earlier that when the Holy Spirit convicts you, and the Call of God becomes real, your guilt becomes then becomes a burden you no longer wish to carry.
    Then, you submit to Jesus Christ, asking Him to come into your life, to Forgive you of your sins, and claiming your new life, and Salvation.
    “A clean slate!”
    But, if by your own human thoughts and reasoning, or by peer pressure alone, you come forward to respond to the Alter Call, thinking to yourself, “What harm can it do me?”
    Look at all the others walking up there, I’ll give it moment of my time, and who knows, maybe I’ll be free of guilt for a lifetime…
    Your doomed, because you are not called by God.
    You are a fraud, and you will not receive any fraudulent type of salvation, because your heart condition is still acting upon its own humanity, there is no real spiritual awakening, no Divine Appointment, there is no one I know, only Playing Christian, who will ever enter the Kingdom, for you must first be called.

    There is no fake it, till you make it!
    Just thinking…

  20. joycemb says:

    Gary your message is heard and understood by most here I believe. Thanks for the word of warning:-). Wouldn’t want to be too rested in our walk with Jesus, would we. Or would we?

  21. joycemb says:

    Did Jesus say “come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” perhaps he meant something else? Perhaps rest means making sure every I is dotted and every t crossed THEN you will find rest?

  22. street says:

    gary….thinking the law and the commands could never love. it’s just written on stone. yet written on a heart of the redeemed, how could you not love? and this Grace, what a magnificent gift!

    chatting with my bother-in-law yesterday. he talked about the people of israel after the babylonian captivity. isreal refused all other gods and idolity after it. they refused to practice it again as a whole. they basicly said they would follow Gods law even if they did not mean it, we will not go down that other road again. when Jesus showed up, the nation, had not followed other gods but their hearts were far from Him Who is/was found Faithful. they were content with law and their sin. they were not content with God. we saw how that turned out. not only did God give them a second chance with the apostles, He destroyed the temple and the nation. new era, age of grace. you must remember two things, He is coming back for His bride, and His chosen people, israel. both of which have intimate relation with Christ, the law could never give.

  23. poohpity says:

    I think maybe some get confused with the law of Moses and the commands of Jesus. The law of Moses, no one was able to keep without failing so the sacrificial system was put into place, that is referred to as the Old Covenant.

    The New Covenant however is very different the sacrifice was Jesus the final and complete on no longer needing temporary one of animals, grains, incenses, fire, oil and wine.

    Some of Jesus’ commands are; believe in me, believe that I have come from the Father and we are One, love others as I have loved you, humbly walk with the Lord, show mercy as I have shown you mercy, do good to others even if they are your enemy, pray for others, abide in me as I abide in the Father, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, give water to the thirsty, spread the Gospel of grace, and teach others these things. But only those who are partakers of the New Covenant and born of the Spirit understand these things and there are more yet like mourn with those who mourn, etc.

  24. street says:

    Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? 2 For the married woman is bound by law to her [a]husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law [b]concerning the husband. 3 So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.

    4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in [c]the members of our body to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the [d]Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

    7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except [e]through the Law; for I would not have known about [f]coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not [g]covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me [h]coveting of every kind; for apart [i]from the Law sin is dead. 9 I was once alive apart [j]from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was [k]to result in life, proved [l]to result in death for me; 11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

    13 Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.
    The Conflict of Two Natures

    14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold [m]into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

    21 I find then the [n]principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God [o]in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in [p]the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner [q]of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from [r]the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

  25. foreverblessed says:

    Eph 3:19
    The love of Christ which passes all knowledge.
    We are above the fathomless abyss of His love!

    (I read that in the morning devotion of Spurgeon of today, I liked that wording, when talking about a fathomless abyss, fear would come around, but: but no fear, suprises!
    All is well, we belong to Christ, who loved us and gave Himself up for us! Lets follow Him in love. Not in fear!

  26. street says:

    But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,

    This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

    Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

  27. street says:

    your right gary, it is a work of God not man. good luck with that law.

  28. joycemb says:

    Gary YOUR message of how easy it is to fall from grace sends fear right through me. But then I remember that when we are tested it is not God who tempts us but the enemy. “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and self control. It did get me out of my chair and jogging around my apt though! Thanks for the exercise! Awesome how God is able to bring good things out of bad :-). Praising God for His faithfulness!

  29. street says:

    thank you mart for posting. i know it is against the rules….i thank you for your insights and faithfulness.

  30. oneg2dblu says:

    Against the rules?
    According to what was posted earlier there are no longer any rules, because Christ offers not rules.
    No rules, leads to utter chaos.
    God is a God of order, not confusion.
    Knowing the rules, and obeying them, gives one much more freedom, then being lawless.
    To say that Christ has no rules, and one can not command love, makes the most important commandment according to Christ, nothing but a farce, if it is impossible to follow, Matthew 22:37.
    Just thinking…

  31. oneg2dblu says:

    Street…Isn’t it God who blinds the eyes of His Chosen today? According to scripture, the Jewish People can not recognize Christ as their Savior because of their spiritual blindness,
    which we might label as their religion, their legalism, and their refusal to change.
    But, I may be wrong.
    Like I said, you can’t fake it till you make it, because you know, just like Jeremy said, he was just going through the motions, “works with no faith,” with no change of heart.

    Just as dangerous as Faith without works is dead.

    Is that also legalism, or just plain truth, scriptural?

  32. poohpity says:

    street, just because Mart does not jump in when someone breaks the rules does not mean he is sanctifying it or saying it is all right. If one has not listened or heard the Gospel message and understood it then there is nothing anyone can say to that person to change a heart that is so hardened except God who is completely able but one does not need to do anything wrong for wrong beliefs it does not make it right. Pray for the person and follow the guidelines out of respect for Mart and showing respect for him we show respect for our Savior.

  33. joycemb says:

    whoa…the guidelines were taken down long ago..

  34. street says:

    the rule that was broken is in regard to posting links to other web-sites. as for any other infringement i am not aware of, but that doesn’t make me guiltless. love covers a multitude of sin.

  35. street says:

    hey i could not find the guidelines. there gone? guess i will have to go by faith with the guidelines written on my heart.

  36. street says:

    second thought…..as i go by faith i walk not by the letter of the law but with my Savior who loves me and works in Me through the Spirit of Holiness. not that i am perfect but he is at work in me and i look forward to salvation to be revealed when He comes.

  37. poohpity says:

    lol street you brought up the rules. Let me put it another way if someone has not listened to God’s inspired word over and over again, verse after verse and even has access to the bible on the internet or off the self of their home what makes one think they will listen to a video? Only God can open the eyes of the blind or the ears of those who are deaf. Only if one has come to believe and has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit can they understand God’s Word or word in regards to the New Covenant.

  38. poohpity says:

    shelf not self lol

  39. poohpity says:

    That is a very good example of if there are no rules then how can one break them. The law was fulfilled in Christ so there is no more law. Romans 4:15 NLT

  40. poohpity says:

    Those who have experienced and believed in the resurrection of Christ now live a different way of life not by the rules but by the Spirit. That Spirit will not lead us into harm or to harm others that is why we follow Christ not the law.

  41. foreverblessed says:

    Street, thank you so much for posting that video.
    It brought me to tears.
    The greatest miracle is when a person is turned to Christ!
    It took this man a long time, going from waywardness to legalism.
    But, God looks ar the heart, and He comes in when the time is right.
    Wonderful story, that man is saved, and full of love for God now.

    Lets pray for all those “fake” converts, and may God make my heart pure!

  42. foreverblessed says:

    We must remember that we have died with Christ, our old self is dead!
    In order that we might live a new life, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the Glory of the Father!
    Rom 6:1-14

  43. foreverblessed says:

    A still small voice of the Holy Spirit, who whispers in our ears:
    “This is the path, walk you in it”
    We are not in chaos, we are under the guidance of the Spirit.
    There is a warming, that we do obey what the Spirit tells us, or our spirits will become numb, and unable to hear the Spirit anymore.

    But if we walk with Jesus, we listen to Him
    Gal 5:16
    Phil 2:1
    Phil 3:20-21
    Col 1:28
    Col 2:6-15

    Walk in the Spirit, God’s Spirit!

  44. bubbles says:

    Gary, I was thinking about you last night. Does your church sing songs like “Solid Rock,” and “Nothing but the Blood”? I am sorry for going off topic and don’t want to change the conversation thread. This was a random question, and I will fade away and not stay on this topic. I was only wondering. Thank you. If you don’t want to reply, I understand.

  45. oneg2dblu says:

    bubbles… for those who feel they must have a hymnal in their hands, a choir in full robes, and an organ playing for them to experience true worship, they might be disappointed with how we do church.
    We use high tech video screens, modern worship songs with a band, and sometimes a choir, but, they are not required for Our God, to give His Message.
    However, we only preach from the very word of God, all of it I might add, and only Christ is the head of this church.
    So, that works for me just fine.
    I trust that will satisfy your question.
    Be Blessed,

  46. poohpity says:

    People can go to a church where Christ is the head and still not get the message of the resurrection or understand the Gospel while there are others there that may get it. The message falls on all kinds ears but still are not able to hear or comprehend, yet but there is always hope. Jesus never seems to give up on us.

  47. poohpity says:

    There was no one more bent on following the Jewish laws or laws of Moses than Saul of Tarsus until he had a personal experience with Jesus. He went from thinking with pride and zeal that God wanted Him to be obedient to the law until he met the only One who was able to be completely obedient and that humbled him that God would show someone like him so much grace after what he did to the followers of Jesus. That is what humbled me too, that after the life I lived that God would want to have a relationship with me.

    If anyone really considers the full extent of who they really are, even those who feel that they have lived a good life better than most, they will still be brought to their knees when they realize the truth. Only then will their hearts be open to understand the full meaning of the Cross and resurrection receiving a spiritual transformation.

  48. joycemb says:

    Just thinking of Paul, his conversion and subsequent message. We hear no pridefulness at all in him. The only pride was before he met Christ. Just thinking..

  49. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA —

    Was listening to a political commentator last evening who claims that the climate of public conversation in our midst has taken a nose-dive even when it comes to common civility — with personal insults — threats — ethnic slurs. I’m not sure a “return” to former times where “manners” were a virtue is what we need.

    What if church-people got off the pews and began to seek God,
    seek relationships with our neighbors and
    seek to serve the community?

    Could there be an era that is new, but resembles the Apostle Paul’s radical change after he was knocked down and blinded by the Risen Christ? Where is our sense of urgency in making disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world?

    Could a Jesus-follower turn and look like what Mart calls “a broken and humbled legalist who found in Jesus:

    ” — a loving God, a merciful Savior, and a transforming Spirit who brought fullness of meaning to the Law — while offering forgiveness, grace, and reconciliation with our Father and one another?”

    Just asking.

    Joy all day,

    40F and clear — forecast to reach 66F today

  50. joycemb says:

    Off subject a bit but God is teaching me how to take abuse from others; not fighting back or defending myself even. It so goes against the flesh!

  51. joycemb says:

    Street I enjoyed the video. I’m sure we can all see ourselves somewhere along the continuum of our faith walk, (those of us who have been legalists at one time or another.)

  52. poohpity says:

    “Never to far gone” by Jordan Feliz

    I have loved you from the start
    I have seen your hurting heart (your hurting heart)
    And you feel so lonely, but you keep on hiding
    ‘Cause you feel so guilty for what you’ve done, but
    There’s no distance too far, that I can’t reach you
    There’s no place that’s so dark, that I can’t find you
    Anywhere that you are, if you need proof
    Take a look at these scars, and know I love you
    Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter what you’ve done
    You are never, you are never, never too far gone
    Oh ah-oh, ah-oh
    Oh ah-oh, ah-oh
    You have run down every road
    And you’ve lost your way back home (your way back home)
    And you feel so dirty; you know you’re unworthy
    Feeling undeserving of any love, but
    There’s no distance too far, that I can’t reach you
    There’s no place that’s so dark, that I can’t find you
    Anywhere that you are, if you need proof
    Take a look at these scars, and know I love you
    Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter what you’ve done
    You are never, you are never, never too far gone

  53. joycemb says:

    Good song pooh and so true.

  54. joycemb says:

    Gary have you ever heard this, that the Bible can become an idol? Just wondering about how you think sometimes and why you preach what you preach. My Utmost March 29 has a good message I think. It puts the focus on Jesus. Where our preaching should stem from I believe. Have a blessed day and may you encounter Jesus today.

  55. foreverblessed says:

    Joyce, I was just reading God calling of March 16, it has a simular message, we can be so absorbed about how we think about Jesus, about doctrine, about the bible, and what it says,
    In God caliing, Jesus is asking not to talk and explain about Jesus, but to BE like Him.
    But we first have to meet Jesus personally, to be touched to the heart by Him, to Let Him live in us!

    I was impressed by your message this morning, not to defend yourself, when being wronged.
    May God strengthen you, may He Help you to die to your old inclination, that Jesus may shine through you.
    May all be blessed who encounter you thus!
    and I pray He will to the same for me, and for all of us here!

  56. joycemb says:

    Thank you forever.

  57. jeff1 says:

    I can relate so well to these words, Pooh, I am forever hiding myself from God because I fail to please Him.

    For me it is not so much what I have done but my sins of omission that keep haunting me!

    I have to be truthful to myself and I have to admit that I see many who walk closer to God than I do and I am jealous!

    I find that I struggle with my faith but in the end I still trust God because I know the weaknesses are mine not His.

  58. poohpity says:

    Rest assured Viv, God sees your heart not your sins because you are covered by the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. ;-)

  59. oneg2dblu says:

    I only know what the word says about faith, that it comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God, so maybe those bible preaching churches where Christ is the Head, behave as though they believe they have a method to their madness.
    Romans 10:17 KJV
    “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing the word of God.”

  60. oneg2dblu says:

    I also know that you probably will not hear much of the word of God being passed around to often in the marketplaces of this life, in the schools, or within any government agencies either.
    Today we wouldn’t want to infringe on another’s civil liberties, or our loving neighbors privacy, who might not fully enjoy our most thoughtful and loving trespass.
    I remember when I first moved into this neighborhood over twenty years ago, I went to every door on my block with the boldness of Approaching the Throne, and shared my story.
    Today, many have since passed away, and while others have moved in, the distance between those houses seems to have grown almost to the point that crossing the street seems like a laborious trip.
    So, I get your point Maru, we may never return to the good old days, and the good old ways.
    Just thinking…

  61. poohpity says:

    Faith is a gift from God. Eph 2:8

  62. remarutho says:

    Not so sure the old days and old ways were so “good,” Gary. We have promises from Jesus and a commission.

    He would have us face the future, not the past. He said,

    “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

    Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age”

    Jesus also gives us this:
    “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.

    “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”


  63. joycemb says:

    Pooh I believe that it’s grace that’s the gift from God.

    Jesus said that if we have faith as small as a grain of mustard seed….

    In Hebrews 11 it talks about how the faith of the patriarchs kept them going.

    We believe by faith, that Jesus is Lord.

    Anyway that’s how I see it.

  64. jeff1 says:

    Yes Pooh, I will continue to turn to Christ and rest when I am weary.

    I may get wobbles but they pass and I get back on track and find peace again in knowing that God loves us all and Jesus is the evidence of that love.

    I want to be the kind of person He wants me to be and not the person I am.

    God speed the day when I am fully His and no longer struggle with my demons.

  65. joycemb says:

    Viv my dear sister in the Lord and in mental illness, God’s love and faithfulness doesn’t change just because someone with no legs can’t walk. Those of us who are mentally unwell (I like your description) are not expected by God to do what we can’t possibly do, (maintain a level mood when our mind is ill, only to do as we are able to do. And I have found through the years that He is tender and patient and kind to those who are broken in body, mind, and spirit. Just want to encourage you as I have been encouraged.

    Blessings, Joyce

  66. poohpity says:

    Joyce, how do you believe in grace without faith? Hebrews 12:2 NLT Every spiritual blessing we have comes from God and faith is a spiritual blessing. Right?

  67. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Joyce, it is faith that Jesus saves that renews my hope when I falter.

    I have to keep focused on Him or I can become confused when I listen to different teachings.

    God is good, He does not change, it is man who changes God’s character to man’s way but God does not change.

  68. joycemb says:

    We must have faith first of all, that God is who He says He is. We can have faith in a spiritual sense, in the Buddha, Karma, or an eggplant. But once we profess faith in God/Jesus Christ, it becomes a gift from God.

    That’s my take on it. Anyway.

  69. joycemb says:

    Viv you are so right!

  70. poohpity says:

    So an eggplant can call your name or Buddha or Karma? All righty then.

  71. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… I was trying to strike an agreeable chord, and I missed.
    Yeah, I guess the old ways were as wrong as the new are today.
    As you say…
    I’m not sure a “return” to former times where “manners” were a virtue is what we need.

    I guess, its your guess that those old virtues would be of no help today either.

    Here’s my take…

    Life is a gift from God.
    Faith is a gift from God.
    Grace is a gift from God.
    Christ is a gift from God.
    The Holy Spirit is a gift from God.
    The Word is a gift from God.
    Love is a gift from God.
    The Law is a gift from God.
    Forgiveness is a gift from God.
    The placing of eternity in the hearts of man,
    is a gift from God.
    All the warnings and the promises in the word, a gift from God.
    Our ability to communicate, a gift from God.
    Being able to hate sin, a gift from God.
    I guess all things, are under His control, which is also a gift from God.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  72. joycemb says:

    “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ”

    Not all can actually “hear” and therefore have no faith. Or, they don’t believe, that is, have faith in what Jesus did.

    It’s complicated but easy….so many different levels to think about. I think I learned it from Paul!

  73. bubbles says:

    Thank you, Gary. I forget there are churches like you described. Where I attend is conservative and I forgot there are other types. It was late when I had that thought. Take care

  74. jeff1 says:

    What matters to God? I make too many assumptions about what pleases God and what dosen’t

    Does it really matter to God what the church is like or who attends it but their reasons for attending?

    Do I listen to the sermon and leave the church thinking that was meant for ‘him down the road’ because I know something about my neighbor and the sermon fitted him so well or do I examine my own heart and see great room for improvement in my own life.

    No matter how good I think I am compared to ‘him down the road’ I fall very short from being like our Lord.

    If I say I am a christian and mean it then I should not be looking at another’s short falls but my own.

    That means there is always ‘room for improvement’ when it comes to being a follower of Christ and Peter and Paul realized this.

    A life of faith requires endurance, they did not do it perfectly, but they had staying power and remained true to Jesus in life and death.

    Personally speaking I feel I get bogged down in my failures and just want to ‘give up the ghost’. Their strength is my weakness!

    It is important, to support each other, another strength in Paul, He knew immaturity in others and encouraged rather then put down.

    Perhaps it is wrong to compare ourselves with our forefathers because the truth is they are a hard act to follow.

    They suffered well for Christ, understanding that Heaven was their reward and not expecting too much of their life on earth.

    Help me Lord, to be more willing, and less apathy, like I am running this race forwards instead of backwards!

  75. SFDBWV says:

    Mart mentioned that “Some say Paul turned Jesus’ message and mission into his own personal cause.”
    This isn’t the first time that concept has been either hinted at or discussed here; though not for a long time.

    In the OT the structure of worship was laid out and orchestrated by God, through His Prophet and spokesman Moses. God did not speak directly to the people, Moses did.

    There is one event whereas God spoke for all to hear, and rejected by the people, but that is for another discussion.

    The situation then remained that God always spoke through an anointed chosen individual to get His message across to the people of Israel.

    Anyone who spoke for God who was not anointed to do so actually was only speaking for themselves in how they interpreted what it was God wanted said or done.

    Paul thought that he was doing the will of God until Jesus intervened and redirected Paul’s energies for His use.

    Reading from the Gospels and Epistles we learn that Jesus chose His 12 Disciples and that there were as many as 70 who were sent to preach, teach, heal, exorcise demons and spread the “Good News”.

    There is a story whereas someone outside of this circle of anointed Disciples used the name of Jesus to cast out devils and the inner circle Disciples thought Jesus should rebuke him and tell him to stop (Mark 9:38 KJV), but Jesus said no, “Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.” (Mark 9:39) Yet there remains something of a credible separation between the groups in the use of the name of Jesus.

    Paul was accepted by the Disciples and as I already stated Peter himself followed behind Paul and confirmed the things Paul had said to the churches Paul had established. Giving added credibility to Paul’s testimony.

    However Paul’s ability to demonstrate Jesus’ power in miracles and success established Paul’s place with God’s desires and purpose.

    One of the many things Paul explained was the structure of worship as who was in the places of leadership and how they were chosen.

    From the time Jesus ascended up until His return Jesus has anointed and ordained people to be in leadership of His Church. No argument from me that Jesus is the head of His Church, but He has placed men to be leaders/ pastors of the earthly churches established everywhere He is worshiped.

    The problem is that too many people think they speak for God and are anointed to do so, when without the anointing it may be only for them that they speak.

    And like ages past Jesus still says “For he that is not against us is on our part.” Mark 9:40 KJV

    Did Paul try to start up his own version of Christianity or did Jesus anoint and direct Paul’s writing?

    Some don’t like what Paul had to say, it may be that same “some” Mart is referring to when he wrote, “Some say Paul turned Jesus’ message and mission into his own personal cause.”

    Though I am writing late this morning it was 20 degrees at 4:30 am and clear, it has climbed to 41 and clear as I write now.

    Matt had a nice 38th birthday yesterday, thank you Bubbles for calling him and being his special friend.


  76. poohpity says:

    Viv, that is what is so neat about reading about our forefathers of faith in the bible we see that they had many failures as we do. Not one of them boasted in how good they were but knew that they all needed God’s grace. The only one’s who boasted in how good they were was the Phaisees, Sadducees or Scribes but Jesus told them they looked good from the outside but inside they were all messed up but would not admit they were sick or broken and needed a doctor. That is why none of them went to Jesus because they were secure in their own righteousness.

    I think that in the NT which before it was written the Word Of God seems sometimes to be referring to Jesus.(John 1:1, 14) Romans 10:17 As Paul was on the road to Damascus Jesus called to Him. The disciples as Jesus walked along the shore He called to them, God from the burning bush called to Moses.(John 10:16,27

  77. poohpity says:

    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV

  78. poohpity says:

    By reading how God’s love, grace, mercy and forgiveness effected Paul as it does within the heart of every believer it is transforming. Paul said, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” (Romans 12:3 NIV)

  79. jeff1 says:

    There is a man who goes to my church and I think of him as someone who is slow to anger and non judgemental.

    He stands out because of this and I have heard others comment on his nice nature.

    He is what most of us call a gentleman. He has been unlucky in love for both his wives left him after treating him badly.

    What I have noticed is that though he has been treated badly there is no malice or criticalness in him and I wish I where more like that.

    Often I find that those who have been hurt are critical so it is encouraging to find a man who has not allowed how his circumsstances in life affect his behaviour towards others and I would say an example of what a Christ follower should look like.

    A lot of changing on my part I think!

  80. street says:

    maru said,”Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age”

    Jesus also gives us this:
    “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.

    “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

    i guess i understand now why we are to love other as ourselves? think about it if we loved others like Jesus does we could condemn some because He will some day. but if we love them like ourselves we can only give forgiveness or we condemn ourselves too. may you be enriched in Christ every day.

  81. poohpity says:

    John 3:17; 8:15; 12:47

  82. poohpity says:

    John 13:34; 15:12

  83. joycemb says:

    Street that’s an interesting thought. I think many love as Jesus loved, meaning condemnation of legalists, yet he never condemned the misfits of the world. Glad He came for us misfits! And died for the whole world, giving an opportunity for ALL to be saved; misfits, legalists, and everyone in between.

    I am so glad that the Lords’ waiting is His patience for all to be saved. Come Lord Jesus, but not yet, I have friends and family that need you.

  84. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… I never thought that to love as Christ loved, we should condemn only legalistic types and accept all others.

    I wonder if legalism itself is a sin?

    Or, was it more about how the religious ones held everyone else to hold a higher standard then they themselves kept, with all their majoring in the minor things and Christ finding them to be failing on the larger issues?

    Wasn’t it really more about their heart condition then anything else?

    Just thinking….

  85. joycemb says:

    Dear Gary, in a way I feel sorry for the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees. They, like Paul, were only doing what they knew how to do-to uphold and follow the Law and the laws the Jews made. It was quite a revolution that Jesus brought and must have been hard to chew on at the time. Maybe Jesus wasn’t as much condemning as He was showing them the error of their ways-that the way they had always worshipped was about to change. He certainly was a game changer! Yet he spoke in parables so they would not understand. An oxymoron yet He knew those who wouldn’t be able to or want to comprehend that He was the messiah they were all waiting for. Yes I agree it’s all about the heart. Jesus said if you sin in your thoughts you are guilty. Must have been a challenge for some. Yes, I do empathize with them. What a revolution!!! As pooh often says, “only God knows what’s in my heart”. Yes and He knew what was in all the hearts He was speaking to.

    How’s your heart?

  86. oneg2dblu says:

    Just read John 14:47, and found, if you do not complete the context you do a great injustice to the reader, and the fullness of the word.

    To just choose one verse, you actually alter the intent.

    Looking to that verse alone might lead one to think there in no judgement for them, in their lack of hearing or their unbelief.

    But, the context goes on to say, that if you are that one with a lack of hearing or unbelief, then the very word of God already judges you.

    Just saying… how full context, brings the full message and its intent.

    Watering down the message to small chosen bite size bits is maybe more appealing to the masses, or eases the burden of the flesh to seek for themselves, and the real power found in the word is glossed over, made simple, quick and easy, but lacking.

    Just thinking…

  87. oneg2dblu says:

    Oops John 12:47…

  88. oneg2dblu says:

    Joyce…How’s my heart?
    According to man and the last EKG I had a month ago, it is ticking on time, just fine, and with no irregularities. “Praise God!”
    But, that is the flesh part, the part that man sees.
    I am sure you are speaking to the spiritual side of the heart, which only God can see.
    That part can only be measured by and through your personal relationship with the Lord, or your lack of one, according to the scriptures.
    According to the word, you are either for Him or against Him.
    He alone changes that old hardened heart of stone, into a new more usable one for both His purposes, and His Kingdom.
    “Praise God!”
    That is the way I hear it, how about you?

  89. joycemb says:

    Agree Gary. As to your previous post, I’m wondering just who’s job is it to judge another’s heart and or actions even? Is it the job of the evangelist, or the preacher or?

    Paul says if it is a sin to you but not to someone else then be respectful and don’t judge but don’t do it yourself.

    It’s not all cut and dried to me. Although when I was a legalist it certainly was. Trouble with being a legalist is you’d better make sure you yourself keep every law or the house of cards is going to fall on top of you, or should I say the house of brick and mortar.

  90. joycemb says:

    Glad your hearts are doing well :-)

  91. poohpity says:

    Sometimes verses can stand alone because they make the point within context. Knowing Jesus and the reasons that he came to offer salvation and a right relationship with God, we know if we love like Him we will want to same things that he wanted. He did not judge because He knew that there will be a time after the second coming that all be judged because they rejected Him, so between now and then many are given time to come to believe, they are given many proofs such as the resurrection, miracles and changed lives but the people make a choice to turn away. God is patient giving mankind every chance to turn(repent) to Him.

    So maybe to read John 12 might help to see how verse 47 can stand alone.

  92. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… My point was not to judge a person, but a concept.

    Where by hearing only a part, does not ever equal the whole.

    A partial summation, is only that, it is but partial.

    So, when you search only a verse, or do a single word search, you are then also given the opportunity to see more, like “the context” as well, and also even the full chapter, or the rest of the story, if you will.

    Partial truths are what Satan uses to trap his victims, but, Christ never fell for only Satan’s partial words, He presented the rest of the story, saying, It is written, …

    Yet, almost every time I try to bring to this table the same concept, by adding in the rest of the story, I’m always judged as well.

    I guess the world prefers tidbits today, and not the fullness found in the rest of the story.

    It is like telling your neighbor, “Why labor over reading the whole bible, when just the book of John will do?”

    Or,better yet, just John 3:16, if you will.

    Or, I guess we could take the shortest version out there, “Love Wins!”

    Could you imagine the whole church gathered together to hear a sermon, and the preacher only says, Love Wins!

    Then, steps down from the pulpit, ushers the saints away, and shuts the doors, till next week.

    I think not…

  93. poohpity says:

    It did!

  94. joycemb says:

    Works for me:-). I need to hear that more often as I get older, I’m tired and wearing out and need all the encouragement I can get!!

    I was in a church a few years ago that only preached what not to do while teaching expository (verse by verse). I was so worn down I started having panic attacks and had to finally seek therapy again. I just could not go back and one Sunday searched for a grace centered church and found one I knew would be. I could not stop smiling I was so happy and filled with the joy of the Lord. The pastor thanked me for bringing my smile that day. He had no idea how beat down I was.

    So Gary with my past experiences I suppose that’s why I feel the need to confront your preaching style with emphasis on sin rather than grace mostly. I guess I’ve said enough so won’t challenge you any more, just try to find common ground to talk about. I do like you you know. :-) truce.

  95. joycemb says:

    I know how important the whole word of God is, been studying it for about 36 years now and I love it more than anything I’ve ever read.
    I’m sorry I judged you please forgive me.

  96. cbrown says:

    Gary to put John 3:16 into context per your post 7:25pm. The New Birth
    3 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these [a]signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born [b]again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

    4 Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born [c]again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    9 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. 12 If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever [d]believes will in Him have eternal life.

    16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [e]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the [f]only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

  97. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    It seems to me the conspiracy to discredit Christ and His resurrection — with “money, cover-up and conflicting reports” was put down by the truth spread abroad by 1) the women who saw the Risen Lord, 2) the Apostles who preached and taught the Good News and 3) the Apostle Paul, who planted churches from Palestine to Spain.

    Am interested to hear you quote Rob Bell, former pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Gary. He is the one who wrote, “Love Wins!”

    Gary, you ask, “Could you imagine the whole church gathered together to hear a sermon, and the preacher only says, Love Wins?”

    Certainly, I could not imagine such an absurd excuse for preaching.

    Earlier in the conversation I quoted Craig Hill, a respected student of the New Testament, who wrote, “God wins!” Two words of any kind could not stand as a sermon.

    There is a huge difference between “Love Wins” and “God Wins,” in my opinion.

    God is Love, but Love is not God.


  98. foreverblessed says:

    Yes Joyce, the same for me!
    I even like what God calling writes somewhere:
    Truth has many sides.
    There really are people who need to hear that if they go on the path of sin they will end in hell. Really, there are people like that.
    There are also people who when they hear certain things are forbidden, they will on purpose violate that command. There really are! Augustin writes that he as a child, had stolen an Apple, not because he needed it, but for the sake of stealing.

    That has been something I have not understood. Me, a little girl, who always wanted to do right! Who did not want to disobey anybody, and especially not God!

    But I have not been brought up in a church that preached Grace.
    But in a church that preached that full abundant living came when you kept the ten. Now I tell God, “forgive me for twisting Your Word”

    Christ came to give life, Life, with a capital letter!
    And that is through Living in faith in Him, with each breath I breath I breath in His live giving Spirit, and with each breath out I spread it to others. (mostly in the form of prayer)

    And as Jeff has difficult with the sins of ommissions, so am I beginning to see the ommissions: I could be so much more Living in the Kingdom that is from above: praying for lost souls, a lot more times a day!
    Oswald Chambers wrote in His Utmost from yesterday about praying for others: Lord, have mercy on so and so!

    And ask for more faith, so I really do believe God will work on my prayer!
    And I pray for more hope, that that what I hope for, and is in line with God’s Kingdom, and I connect it with faith, it is already reality Hebr 11:1

    We have the Lord of the Universe, who has involved us into spreading the Gospel about that Kingdom!
    We are priests of that Kingdom:
    Numb 6:22
    We ask God, put a sign on this person, and on that person, and God will do it! God will bless that person, and start to work in his life.
    You might say, but that person has a free will.
    Yes, and God will not violate that will, but will work with that person as He did to Jacob, God Let Him even wrestle, and Let Him win, as to win his heart.
    That is our God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost!

    More faith we need, to be more of priests!

    I am looking forward to see in heaven hoe many souls have been saved because of our intercessory prayers!

  99. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… Yes, I would even go as far as to say, “God’s Love Wins!”

    Joyce… There is difference between attacking the message, and attacking the messenger.

    One is teaching greater depth, and the other is nothing short of a flesh battle.

    When it gets fleshly, the labeling, the demeaning, and the personal insults, become the message.

    I am always trying to remember the source, when engaged in the battle.


  100. poohpity says:

    Romans 5:8
    But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    1 John 3:16
    This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

    John 15:13 Love Wins

  101. poohpity says:

    Saul of Tarsus was devoted to Judaism, following the Law of Moses, that is about what we can do in obedience and was against Jesus but after the resurrection learned about what God has done as an expression of His love and grace.

    Now the turn around to Paul who was devoted to the new message of grace and being for Jesus rather than against Him.

  102. poohpity says:

    Love won over strife, that only caused people to not recognize Jesus as He stands at the door and knocks. It is not about what we can do, it is about what Jesus has done while we were still His enemies. His love, that is what turns hearts around.

  103. poohpity says:

    If one is continually looking at sin then they do not look to the Savior. We can only look at one thing at a time.

  104. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    The Apostle Paul urged those in the body of Christ not to judge anybody. Eugene Peterson translates Paul’s counsel to the church at Rome (in the 15th chapter) this way:

    “That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out.

    “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it. Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next.

    “May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!”

    Even in the face of the world’s opposition to the working of Jesus’ blood, His people are called to surround friends and opponents not with judgment, but with God’s Love.

    Joy all day,

  105. poohpity says:

    Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[a]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

    13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

  106. joycemb says:

    Agape-the love of God: available at all times to all people everywhere.

    Phileo-brotherly love: earthly, sensual “feelings” oriented.

  107. SFDBWV says:

    Just stopped in for a little rest and thought I might add a little to the thread board.

    One of the Ten Commandments is not to bear false witness against your neighbor (Exodus 20:16) yet here in this story we have The very men whose responsibility it was to see that Israel kept the Law violating it (Matthew 28:11, 12, 13)

    I did watch some of the movies over the Easter week “Jesus of Nazareth” and “The Passion of Christ” being two. Interesting even in dramatization the concept of mercy over the law came across loud and clear.

    68 degrees and cloudy the daffodils are beginning to bloom.


  108. foreverblessed says:

    My Utmost for His Highest of today really spoke to my heart.
    That I have an attitude of Worship towards God, continually, and then we can face any trial, any dificulty.

    Close to Jesus, come to Me
    It is such a vital thing to do! And then we can pray intercessory prayer, instead of worrying about the difficulty, we give them to Christ, in the Cross He absorbs all blackness. And He gives ud His Spirit of patience, of love, of peace!
    And for the ones we pray!

  109. oneg2dblu says:

    forever… I trust you also read 4-1 God at Eventide, where it talks about obedience to God’s will is what brings us peace through the storms and battles of this life.
    Even nature has to obey God’s Laws for there to be any chance of coming through the decaying process, and rising up again to a rebirth.
    Just thinking…

  110. poohpity says:

    God’s laws do not prevent the decaying process nor do they help one to rise up again to a rebirth that is a lie. Who told you that?

  111. street says:

    the lies continue…..

    6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; [d]though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified [e]by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved [f]by His life. 11 And not only this, [g]but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

  112. street says:

    gary you need to quit drinking the cool aid….it’s going to kill you.

  113. phpatato says:

    To put what Gary said into context, I searched out what he was trying to say instead of jumping all over him first. I will post it for those of you who don’t know how to do a Google search:

    God at Eventide – April 1

    The Time Of Resurrection

    Spring brings its message of Hope.

    Not only does it proclaim the Truth that Nature arises from her time of decay and darkness to a new life. But, My children, it surely speaks to the individual, to nations, to My world, that the time of decay and darkness for them too can pass, and that from conflict and storm, disaster and sin they can spring to a new and gladdening Resurrection-Life.

    But Nature obeys My Laws. It is by her obedience that the quickening of new life is succeeded by the beauty of Risen Power.

    So, only as man obeys My Will and works according to My Divine Plan for him can harmony follow chaos, peace follow war, and a reign of Love succeed one of conflict and carnage.

    Disclaimer:The above was taken from God of Eventide for April 1.

    When you really listen to another person from their point of view, and reflect back to them that understanding, it’s like giving them emotional oxygen.
    Stephen Covey

    Gary, breathe in that emotional oxygen because every single one of us deserves to be respected for what we tried to say…even when what we say meets with disagreement. I think Jesus meant it this way: Treat others like you would like to be treated.


  114. poohpity says:

    Pat, reread what you quoted above and what Gary had said. One first has to know what God’s will actually is which the bible clearly explains by Jesus in the book of John “For it is My Father’s will that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” Does that say to follow the law? Even in the OT Micah 6:8.

    What you said is not what Gary said, at all. It is the very same thing he has been saying since he first came on here. I am not saying anything against Gary as a person just the teaching which is more like the book he says he threw away than it does about the bible and it is sad when someone does not stand on the truth. That is only hurting him more to agree with something that is not true. I can see people care for him and that is what prompts them to dispute the things he writes.

    If anyone else teaches anything other than what the bible teaches I am sure people will speak up it does not mean anyone disrespects him.

  115. poohpity says:

    Disagreement and disrespect are two totally different things.

  116. poohpity says:

    Rebirth only comes by believing in who Jesus said he is, what he did on the Cross and in the resurrection then the Holy Spirit comes on the believer and seals the person. Not by obeying God’s law then if that were the case no one could be reborn because no one has ever been able to obey God’s law without error. No where is the bible does it say that in any way shape or form then what Jesus did has no meaning at all.

  117. joycemb says:

    When I was a newer believer I saw a movie about the life of Paul and I admit I had a crush on him for a long time. His humility, love for Christ and perseverance made him to me like a super-hero. (I probably was also enamored by the actor who portrayed him though at the time).:-)

    But, whether part flesh and Spirit, it confirmed that Paul was following the One I’d just recently met and was learning to love. Learning to love has been a long, slow process, to replace my fleshly knowledge of what I thought love was with a new and bigger kind of love that I’d never known.

    I’m thinking about this today because BTA can be a ‘tough room’ sometimes and it seems like love is a good place to fall when things get rough. You can’t go wrong, as all the disciples, prophets, humans and my former favorite Paul found in their own ‘tough rooms’ sometimes. (I’m not thinking of or singling out anyone here)

    Anyway I’m putting my bet on the love of God which helps us to all become ‘overcomers’ in this world.

    God’s love and blessings to all my BTA friends today,

  118. joycemb says:

    I just read this on a Ray Stedman devotional:

    “Thank you for the love which is always reaching out toward me, and which never seems to stop. Take me this day, Lord, and be my God, and live through me, so that everything you are, I may be.”

  119. SFDBWV says:

    There is something of a hidden story there that morning when ‘the women” came and found an empty tomb. Angels that proclaimed He has risen, Jesus being seen but not recognized, Peter wondering what was going on and John believing He had risen.

    Cleopas and his companion to whom Jesus walked along the road to Emmaus with after breaking bread with them having their eyes opened only then to watch Jesus disappear from their midst.

    These two also returned to Jerusalem with the news that Jesus had risen and reported it to the eleven gathered together and as they shared what they had seen Jesus appearing to all, who still had trouble believing even though Jesus showed them His hands and feet so they could see the wounds.

    Eating broiled fish and honey so they could see He was not a ghost, but flesh and bone.

    He (Jesus) then opened their understanding so that they could understand the Scriptures.

    It is to be remembered that it is Jesus who opens our eyes to Scripture, not the arguments of what we may believe.

    Also it took Jesus to open the unbelief even in His followers, and takes Jesus to open the eyes of the unbeliever today.

    It is still all about Jesus, not us.

    42 degrees and windy.


  120. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pat, God Bless you. Your post was beautiful, respectful, loving and super uplifting in general. Thank you. The devotionals I have been using the past few months are writings of John Wesley(born 1703)and the past 8 days or so have been on Matthew 7:21-26. I thought of Gary right away as I believe that he lovingly tries to warn us in the same manner. The people to whom Jesus will say, “Depart from me, I never knew you” were not atheists!!…they were people that KNEW scripture and did all kinds of good in His Name!!! Believe me when I say I have been spending more time on my knees asking for mercy for all and praying Psalm 51…. even more than usual.

    I think we need BALANCE!!! We can’t overbake or underbake and we can’t leave out essential ingredients. BUT, I think I would rather have something overbaked with love and concern than a meal sautéed in arrogance and served with malicious intent.

    Anyway, I understand and appreciate Gary’s love and concern for us even if at times I don’t want to hear it and I ALSO appreciate, the uplifting messages from so many others here and the Wisdom and interesting stories from Steve. In fact I appreciate everything posted with love and concern for others… thank you. Pearl

  121. poohpity says:

    Arrogance and malicious intent is pointing people to Christ? The only time some of you come on here is with malicious intent, bitterness of heart and to deny the teaching of Christ Jesus and to stand behind people that no more know the Lord than they do themselves.

    Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.

    Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!

    I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.

    I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

  122. street says:

    narrow said,”I think we need BALANCE!!! We can’t overbake or underbake and we can’t leave out essential ingredients. BUT, I think I would rather have something overbaked with love and concern than a meal sautéed in arrogance and served with malicious intent. ”

    this is precisely why the law can not save you. you will be so busy baking you will have no time for Jesus. mary and martha come to mind. think about what helpless in transgression means. when Jesus comes it’s an invasion of light and life not darkness and death. i guess invasion might be the right word since some refuse this love and life from God thinking i’m good to go, don’t need it. God is the only One Who can make something out of nothing. He also needs to remove our contemptible sin. Love which comes from God trumps sin death and the law. Grace, mercy, and Love triumph. Love does not come from law. even though Jesus upheld the law perfectly He served, trusting in His Father learned obedience though suffering and followed the through with His fathers plan. Jesus loved us to the end.

    thinking that keeping the law without Jesus is loveless law practice. an endless treadmill of work and failure resulting in death. abiding in Christ fulfills the law. Jesus is Lord. you shall love the Lord your God…..

    i guess gary this is as close to obeying the law you get me to say.

    narrow live by faith and trust in the One Who is raised from the death and is your High Priest, King, Shepard, lamb of God, Husband, Creator, God….
    the works will follow. good works.

  123. SFDBWV says:

    Am very busy but need to say that the name of this blog site is “Been Thinking About” not “Accept What I Say or Face the Crowd”

    Stoic thinking is unhealthy and just as Jesus brought new thinking to an old subject we should be allowed to express our thinking without it being “Judged” by others here.

    Pearl thank you for defending Gary’s right to believe as he does and as always for being my friend.


  124. joycemb says:

    Obedience is as natural as breathing when I am listening to Jesus. Do I argue sometimes? Not really, but sometimes I groan because I cannot see the outcome which my mind can’t wrap itself around. That’s where trust comes in. I’ve learned that love always has a good reason for doing the right thing. All mans ways are as filthy rags. Learning to accept love is the first step. Love is not reading scripture, memorizing, or going to church-although all these things help us to keep our minds and hearts toward Jesus. Love is Jesus on the cross, our leader in faith, hope, and love.

  125. joycemb says:

    No where in scripture are we told to trust in another human being. We are told to trust in God only.

  126. poohpity says:

    Is disagreeing judging?

  127. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes, we can all run from the mouth first, using our always accusing,and already offended flesh first, and even after we actually do some research, finding that a rebuke is actually in order for our first mouthing off with our flesh, we can still ignore the learning of a lesson for ourselves, if we want to think of ourselves, as not needing any correction, or any needing to apologize to those we have wrongly first accused.
    We can still chose to grab the “fig leaf,” of hiding in silence and thinking we are actually hiding our nakedness.

    But those here, whom I need not mention by name now, who have ears to hear and eyes to see, through this ongoing process of calling out “Wolf,” find this deception gets old, and we no longer respond to its pathetic need for recognition.

    To those who want to see that “every message” has some value for us, well beyond the messenger many would really like to slay, we can see through the fray, that the heart of the message is what we should consider first.

    Thank you, to all those loving First Responders, who did not crucify first, and then still fail to reconsider.

    Being that voice in the wilderness, has with it much responsibility to also let the absurd counter reactions fall where they may.

    To recap that which has already become lengthy…

    Nature must follow God’s Natural Laws, whether nature wants to or not. It has no chioce.

    Man however, having been given by God at the Garden a sin nature, also has a freewill which is not given to the rest of creation.
    So, Man must choose which will they want to project, because unlike the rest of natural laws, man can choose for himself, to follow God’s Divine Will, instead of the sin nature of the flesh.

    Meaning, Man does not have to always sin first, and those who are taught they must, are wrongly taught, for man will always have a choice, and God’s Will is that none will perish, and that we will, Chose Life.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  128. poohpity says:

    If we do not stand on truth then people fall for anything, any teaching, any doctrine. Thinking about how the teaching of Christ Jesus can be applied to life today is worth thinking about but do we want to be like those who were paid money to cover up the truth and then send out conflicting reports don’t they need to be disputed?

  129. jeff1 says:

    I attended my friend’s daughter’s wedding yesterday and we sang this hymn.

    It reminded me that God is everywhere, though I fail to recognize Him in others, it is my limited view, and not God’s.

    One more step along the world I go,
    One more step along the world I go;
    From the old things to the new
    Keep me travelling along with you:

    And it’s from the old I travel to the new;
    Keep me travelling along with you.

    Round the corner of the world I turn,
    More and more about the world I learn;
    All the new things that I see
    You’ll be looking at along with me:

    And it’s from the old I travel to the new;
    Keep me traveling along with you.

    As I travel through the bad and good,
    Keep me traveling the way I should;
    Where I see no way to go
    You’ll be telling me the way, I know:

    And it’s from the old I travel to the new:
    Keep me travelling along with you.

    Give me courage when the world is rough,
    Keep me loving though the world is tough;
    Leap and sing in all I do,
    Keep me travelling along with you:

    And it’s from the old I travel to the new:
    Keep me travelling along with you.

    You are older than the world can be,
    You are younger than the life in me;
    Ever old and ever new,
    Keep me traveling along with you:

    And it’s from the old I travel to the new;
    Keep me traveling along with you.

  130. oneg2dblu says:

    street says… “Love does not come from law.”

    “i guess gary this is as close to obeying the law you get me to say.”

    To me, both the Law and the most obedient one to the Law was Jesus Christ who says, Matthew 22:37

    “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind.”

    I believe that only comes through an “obedient choosing,” to follow both the written and spoken law of God, and of Jesus Christ.

    Do you choose to believe otherwise?

  131. poohpity says:

    It is arrogance to think of oneself as one crying from the wilderness especially if one is deeply entrenched in the wilderness and does not even recognize it?

    There was nothing that you said Gary that has any blessing on it. Nothing that points us to Christ at all but to an understanding that is deeply twisted. Did God give us a sin nature? Maybe he gave us free will and though that free will we have chosen to go our own way but now we are given the Spirit of God and we have a choice to follow Him or ourselves in the flesh and lean on our own understanding. But not those who hear His voice and answer His call and His knock on the door to let Him in and then follow Him.

    Those who have let Him, in He gives discernment to follow His voice not those we hear calling from the wilderness. I have never seen so many on a Christian blog so opposed to the teaching of Christ then praising those who are diametrically opposed to His teaching.

  132. street says:

    gary said,”I believe that only comes through an “obedient choosing,” to follow both the written and spoken law of God, and of Jesus Christ.”

    i believe you need to die, the one who loses his life saves it the one who tries to save his life loses it. unless the kernel of seed falls to the ground and is buried it can not bare fruit.

    if you follow the written and spoken law of God, do you rob temples? if you say you obey the law you do.

  133. oneg2dblu says:

    Sorry, after reading through, I believe that only comes through an “obedient choosing,” to follow both the written and spoken law of God, and of Jesus Christ.
    through an obedient choosing to obey the written law, the spoken law of God, and the Will of God.

    Following those, certainly would be where love comes from.

  134. street says:

    “The Deliverer will come from Zion,
    He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
    “This is [i]My covenant with them,
    When I take away their sins.”

    28 [j]From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but [k]from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. 32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

    these verses just got deeper.

  135. poohpity says:

    What does obeying the written and spoken law of God get you? Obedience to the law brings sin and death. Romans 6:14 NLT

  136. oneg2dblu says:

    street… as usual, it seems you are off on another bunny trail.
    “Die to yourself,” sounds like the spoken law to me!
    Have fun!

  137. oneg2dblu says:

    Leaving the kid’s table for now.

  138. poohpity says:

    Gal 5:18

  139. poohpity says:

    leaving the kids table back to the crib

  140. street says:

    gary said,”Following those, certainly would be where love comes from.”

    not, true love comes from God. He first loved us, we didn’t even care about Him. we did not even give Him thanks for giving us everything. we certainly did not find any joy in Him. we found joy in sin and blamed Him for the down side. it is impossible for man to love apart from God, Jesus. in other words the spirit in man needs to die and be renewed by God’s Spirit. man can not do this only God can do it. Jesus got upset with nicodemus because he did not understand this. it was written in the law which he did not even understand. try following Jesus….Luke 9:23. it’s a much more successful undertaking, dangerous yes, but He is good.

  141. poohpity says:

    street, sounds like you will stand with those of us who think it is better to stand for God and be judged by the world than standing for the world and be judged by God.

  142. street says:

    i missed this post from earlier…..gary said,”Man however, having been given by God at the Garden a sin nature, also has a freewill which is not given to the rest of creation.”

    God gave man a choice. He did not make man a sinner. man did this on his own. has for becoming a saint it is impossible for man to become one. it is a choice of God. sure you get choices, but God determines the outcome.

    as for ascribing sin to God, that is something the devil and man do all the time, you are gravely mistaken again gary.

    how can a sinner become obedient? changing masters? don’t think so the master has to come by and buy the man. He even has to go so far as to break the chains of bondage and train him in His new life. even the son came back and understood His Father was better than a master. Love never fails.

  143. street says:

    hang in there poo. it’s all part of the process of walking with Jesus through the wilderness. He is a great Shepard of your soul and will bring you through many things. you know He has loved you and will continue to love you and bring you home safe. the Shepard is able to deal with the sheep and the goats. sometimes we forget He made our minds and our tongues. delight yourself in Him. thinking He delights in us.

    david found great comfort in knowing God was already there when david went some place new.

  144. street says:

    after reading and thinking some more.

    gary, the Lord rebuke you.

    thinking devotionals are a nice tool and a great way to share. it doesn’t replace time with Jesus.

  145. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh, I think I would have to be deaf, blind, and have a single digit IQ not to recognize arrogance and malicious intent when it rears it’s ugly head almost daily. GARY, whether he is right or wrong, (IMO) tries to keep us from getting too near the cliff and falling off…on the other hand I see YOU as trying to lure us to the edge to push off anyone who doesn’t bow to you. That is pretty sad. With all your knowledge of scripture, do you ever experience anything like this?

    I read only a chapter or so of the bible a day and I frequently get convicted of some offence. That is why I love Psalm 51 and pray it daily because I feel so bad that I am so far from being Christlike 17) The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

  146. poohpity says:

    narrow, thank you for the opinion of me again. How is it arrogance when the bible is available for everyone to know what is in it? Also for guidance the Holy Spirit is also available to everyone who seeks to know the truth and to grow deeper in their relationship with the Lord. Is it malicious to talk about the truth with those who say they are Christians? What has prompted you to think that I want anyone to bow to me? You hate a person for loving the Lord and seeking to know Him and confronting someone that drags His message in the dirt? Maybe just maybe there is something majorly wrong with that perception since you listen to what Gary is teaching as preventing you from getting to near the cliff and falling off?

    The only one who can prevent you from falling off the cliff is the Lord put your trust in Jesus not Gary. I hope to be pushing people off the edge of apathy to be on fire for the Lord. Bow to Jesus Christ.

  147. poohpity says:

    narrow, If you want to be Christ-like ask Him into your heart and learn from Him and stop the self abasement.

  148. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart… please excuse all the infighting here, we all know most of it is nothing but flesh driven, and does nothing to serve and honor Our God.

    I believe we were given our “flesh” in the Garden, where mankind was first given life.

    In fact, according to scripture all flesh was created during that time of Creation.

    Everything that was created was created by Him who spoke all things into Creation.

    Some here feel that “man has created his own nature,” but, that would be spreading a falsehood, would it not?

    My pastor taught us tonight about free will, and that the bible teaches a balance between God’s Sovereignty and human responsibility.

    Christ promoted responsibility, saying, Matthew 4:17,
    and scripture clearly says, 2 Timothy 4:3.

    In fact it is already here, it is found in the well populated modern churches who will not ever speak to Sin, or about Hell, for the fear of turning some away.

    Didn’t Christ teach, “Unless you repent you will die in your sins.” (?)

    I fully understand that you may not want to comment on this.

    I will no longer comment to those who choose to bring their personal attacks against me here.

    Acts 2:38,39,40 speaks to responsibility.

    2 Peter 3:9 speaks to responsibility, and to God’s Will.

    There is always going to be the balance found in the word for those who are taught rightly.


  149. oneg2dblu says:

    God has given us all a free will.

    We can fully know God, and even walk with Him daily as Adam in the Garden.

    We can know what He wants from us, “Do not mess with that one tree in the middle of the Garden, as Adam.

    We can choose to disobey his command and sin, as Adam.

    We can try to cover up, or hide if you will, as Adam.

    We can know His Will, it is found in His Word, “that all come to repentance,” and yet…

    We can still choose to ignore Him and continue to do our own thing.

    He never forces Himself upon us.

    We humans are all born like wandering sheep, or just like the prodigal son, who by free will, made his own wrong choices.

    We must also come to our senses, take responsibility for our wrong choices, and then return to Our Father, seeking His Forgiveness.

    That same Father who is patient, and wants none of us to perish, also awaits our return.

    He does not have to roam the earth looking to find us just because we are away from Him, or wandering off, dead/lost, in our wrong choices.

    His first words after we repent and return are…
    “My son who was dead or lost… ”

    Just thinking

  150. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    In the Apostle Paul I believe we hear, as Mart said:

    “the story and transformed life of a broken and humbled legalist who found in Jesus — a loving God, a merciful Savior, and a transforming Spirit who brought fullness of meaning to the Law — while offering forgiveness, grace, and reconciliation with our Father and one another.”

    The futile work of the temple establishment and the Roman government to bury the story of Jesus’ resurrection with Money, Cover-up, and Conflicting Reports all came to nothing. How are we then to live? Live rejoicing in the truth that could not be destroyed!

    Joy to you this second Sunday in the Easter Season,

  151. narrowpathseeker says:

    Well Pooh, it is what it is and we are what we are and all the guile generated from chronic false pride can’t hide it or change it. False pride is like wearing a cement block around your neck after a ship wreck…you can get it off and float or cling tight to it and let it take you down with it. Again….it is very sad…..unbelievably sad and yet almost comical…like someone trying to teach someone else to swim when they themselves have never ever been in the water past their ankles.

  152. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning to all. Well winter showed back up to the dismay of the robins who are huddling in my lilac bushes trying to keep out of the wind.

    4 plus inches of snow 22 degrees and still snowing.

    The daffodils though hardy are covered in snow and frozen, their bright yellow petals limp and gaunt.

    It is something of a dismal look and feeling and pretty much how I personally feel about this blog this morning.

    I had hoped Mart may have flushed this thread down the toilet this morning, but instead just more of the same back biting strife and hostility all in the name of “disagreeing”

    Another word derived from the root of disagreeing is to be “disagreeable”.

    If you keep feeding fuel to a fire it continues to burn. Starve it out and it will die out.

    No one is going to convince another to adopt their mindset. Only the Holy Spirit is going to open anyone’s heart and mind to the Word of God and all of the squawking I see here is just noise an irritating unpleasant noise.

    In reality I am embarrassed by it, and just another example as to why younger people want nothing to do with this face of “pseudo-Christianity” in the disguise of being Christian.

    I chose not to name names, rather to let the guilt expose the guilty.


  153. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, I am truly sorry to you and to ALL for fueling the fire here. I should have spent time in prayer before I started typing away. I am also very sorry that you have snow and cold!!! I hope your Spring comes soon.

  154. SFDBWV says:

    Pearl I am not speaking of you or your attempts to express yourself. The evil that has attached itself to this blog has nothing to do with you except for your attempts to squash it.


  155. poohpity says:

    The Cross was the greatest act of love and the resurrection was the greatest sign that death no longer has power over us. People have tried for centuries to make it all go away by covering it up or obfuscate it’s meaning but the more they try the more people come to believe in the power of that blood shed unto the resurrection to life. That opens the door to the greatest relationship anyone could ever have with the God of all creation.

    Then no matter what anyone else says we know the truth and that truth will set us free from trying to live to please others to worship the One who loves us unconditionally.

  156. poohpity says:

    Steve, Pearl, Pat when you are so quick to look at my failures but yet everything you say about me is an exact description of the very things you do but yet seem to feel so self righteous to accuse me of doing them.

    When talking to Gary I am discussing the foundation of doctrine, the very core of our Christian beliefs, but never do I attack his personality, character or him personally but that seems to be what y’all are bent on with me. I am not perfect nor do I lead anyone to believe such. I am a broken, weak person saved by the grace of God.

  157. poohpity says:

    Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? 2 If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. 3 For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”[a]

    4 When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. 5 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. 6 David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it:

    “Oh, what joy for those
    whose disobedience is forgiven,
    whose sins are put out of sight.
    Yes, what joy for those
    whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”

    This was written by the man, who before Christ, zealously followed the law so we see after meeting Jesus knew it had nothing to do with following the law but found in God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness. This is what our conversation and discussion was about but if one is not aware of these things then it comes down to discussing people.

  158. phpatato says:

    Pooh did it ever occur to you that perhaps Gary is sick and tired of you “discussing” every comment he makes and especially defending himself against your “teaching him”??? What makes you (and on this topic, Street) think that Gary enjoys having your self-appointed expertise pick apart everything he says? Pooh, you have said this before when it was convenient for your argument….”Let the Holy Spirit do His work in peoples’ lives.” So from your very own advice….step aside, shut up and quit trying to “teach” and quit doing it in the name of doctrine. Your argument of – defending the Bible – is worn, old and so utterly false. You only argue because you are so disagreeable and love to have the last word…as in busybody. If you actually take the time to note, Gary’s comment was initially directed to Forever…not you or anybody else. Mind your own business will you? Unless you’ve taken Forever as your new name. Take the hint…when Gary or anybody else addresses someone else by name and your name isn’t there….mind your manners and be quiet. That is simple etiquette, something you obviously lack.

    And speaking about the last word….I am betting that you will have a comeback comment to me. I am betting that you can’t simply shut up and STOP IT!!!!

    You have a comment about everything to everyone, as being a busybody. Check the Scriptures about that word and see what you come up with.

  159. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, thank you..I knew you were not referring to me, but I was sorry for allowing myself to be get caught up in it. I should have adhered to your Wisdom to just let the fire die out, but I felt like it was out of control and seeking to devour anyone in it’s path and got caught up in the moment. <3

    Pat, as always I love your non pretentious, straight forward, very honest, and dead center/right on target messages. <3

  160. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… Not to be disagreeable with you, or disprove what you seem to see going on, but just to tell you what I see, about the youth today, it is still promising, as God is still calling souls to Himself, regardless of what goes on here, or in those most difficult or indifferent churches.

    I was blessed witnessing the many, many souls who responded this past weekend to the message at my church, some were so moved that they ran to the front when called.

    We were told by the pastor around 370 came forward to the alter calls on this Easter weekend.

    Plus, who can count how many also watched online and were equally moved?

    Only God knows.

    My pastor is very adamant that it is not about him, or any other man, it is about the message, a God thing which no man can take credit for.

    To me, it is not the arguing here, which I’m sure turns most of us off, or those disagreements in the churches today that may turn possible future followers off, because those who say that is the reason, they are probably already turned off.

    But, this weekend those who came forward were well representing both the future generation, as in the youth, and the current one, an in the older folks.

    What I can say is this, they do not get called to ever respond to God because of the messages encountered in the schools today where such is not promoted, or in the courthouses today where the word has been removed, or the marketplaces of the world today where businesses only care about their marketing and their bottom line.

    So, I am not discouraged because God is in control and is still patiently waiting, still calling, still resolved that none should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    I do not know about you, but I’ve never seen anyone come into a Dunkin Doughnuts asking for their sins to be forgiven, but in the churches today… they still come.

    God still uses us in many ways, and one way is, that we still invite them in.

    Some of the disagreeable Christians are still asking the lost world around them to come and see for themselves what God still does in the church.

    Just thinking…

  161. oneg2dblu says:

    To those who get caught up in the moment…

    There will never be enough verses which many times are immediately picked as fig leaves, just to try cover up one’s nakedness here.

    We need no further references, or alternative teachings presented, other than the Holy Spirits revealing to us, when others are found exposed and only acting in their flesh.

    So, just let their last word, be the last word, and give them their false sense of victory.

    In their always coming numerous overflow, or intentional direction changing, only meant to take off some of the pressure they apparently feel, just let it be, and let it be their release.

    But most of all, free yourself to not add your fuel to their fanning of the fire.

    Be free of furthering their always argumentative agenda, and their abundant questions.

    Be free to just smile, and pray for them.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  162. bubbles says:

    Ephesians 4:29

    Ephesians 4:32

  163. oneg2dblu says:

    bubbles… thanks for adding those verses, they are but a cherry on top of the Sunday.

  164. foreverblessed says:

    How are you all doing?
    What a discussion has been going on!
    I do not want to add more fuel to the fire, but want to say, that the song Jeff1 gave on April 2, 11.02 am was wonderful!

    It reminds me of another song:
    Ring out the Old bring in the New

    that is a song in the Armed Man from Karl Jenkins

    Any way, yes Gary, I do very much agree with God at Eventide, April 1, which Pat gave in words.
    Nature obeys the call of God!
    And so do we.
    We obey the call of God,
    And if God says: Worship me, whatever your fellow man is doing, then we worship Him whatever our fellow man is doing.
    And that is the same here on the blog, if our fellow christian man is haunting us down, we still praise God! All our worship goes to Him. Yes, we obey that command.
    And then our minds will be filled with how God thinks of our fellow christian, (and I want to say a word about Pooh, she is meaning very well too, she is a loved child of God, and she wants to warn us too. Just like Gary out of the goodness of his own heart is doing. If we want to hear it or not.)
    Only we do not do it yet, the praising of God, when we feel we are not taken right here, and so wrong thoughts arise, and we say that someone is demeaning and wrong, we do not have the thougths of God of that person.
    Till we get so fed up, and want to stop it.
    Start praising God above all! If you want to put it in the terms of the Old Covenant: Love God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your being!
    But we will do it in the future, we are training now to be doing it.
    So I encourage you to praise God when you feel discouraged here, praise Him, till the Joy, the Joy from heaven is filling you again.

    And if it doesn’t, then retreat, and be in the secure place where Jesus is, till you are strong in Him.
    When Jesus says, Come to Me all you who are heavy laden.
    He means it. Of you like it in the wording that it is a command, it is a command. You could see it as an invitation, but if you are down because of a discussion here, go to Jesus, and cry out to Him what your burden is, and do it, till you feel His peace coming over you again.
    Do we do that? Are we obeying His word to us?
    Narrow was saying that she was sorry, that she should have done it.

    Nature obeys the all of God, and I was thinking about the daffodil, that is blossoming while there is still frost. But it makes it little flowers still, meaning to say: it is worshipping God, while it is freezing at night! Am I like that little daffodil, while it is freezing I praise Him? Am I obeying God?

    (the spell check says worshipping is no word?)

  165. foreverblessed says:

    Nature obeys the call of God
    and so do we, or we will do it, if we hold on the God, and the Holy Spirit will work with us, till we are there where He wants us to be, at peace in Him, and blossoming even if it is still freezing
    (if we are stronger christians, the daffodil is a strong little plant,that can withstand frost, the rose is waiting a little longer, it cannot have frost, so be strong in Christ alone, and wait in Him till you are stronger)

  166. foreverblessed says:

    I just raid the verses Mart gave again:
    “The eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him-”

    Matt 28:16-17

    They worshiped Him!!!!

  167. poohpity says:

    Pat but aren’t you interfering in the conversation between Gary and I? Like I said the things you accuse me of are the very things you do yourself, thank you for the excellent example of the point I was making. So show me how it is done by taking your own advice and maybe I will learn something from you other than hatred, bitterness and ugliness.

  168. foreverblessed says:

    Ohh, no Pooh, that is not the Cross way.
    Or the worshiping way! Try that instead!

  169. street says:

    come to think of it…..what is going on in this blog goes on in our hearts every day. Romans 7

    He has not left us orphans and will complete the work in which He started.

    may God’s Word richly dwell in you.

    thinking law word teaching logos = Jesus

  170. joycemb says:

    Street but it doesn’t have to!

    romans 7:4 So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God.

  171. jeff1 says:

    I believe that the state of my heart today just proves God right, that if it where not for Christ I would not be saved.

    I cannot save myself for I can not even get through a day without having an unpleasant word for my enemies.

    It is in my mind and though I struggle to try not to think this way I cannot deny my thoughts.

    Each one of us must be honest at what is in our hearts and minds and ‘if the cap fits wear it’ so to speak.

    I am not just damaging my relationship with my enemy, but going against the indwelling spirit, it is as important to my own relationship with God as it is towards others.

    I feel awful guilt when I fail to love, or, at the very least, fail to hold my tongue when it comes to my enemies.

    My guilt is because I am failing to obey the word of God and I believe that each time I bring this into submission that the Lord strengthens me so that I do not respond with ugliness towards my enemies.

    I must keep focused on Jesus or I stumble which means I am weak without Him. It requires my acceptance of my weakness in that I must continually bring my weaknesses to Him or I will go on stumbling.

    Each of us is very different so patience is a very important virtue when trying to do God’s will.

    Let us pray that God will give it to us in abundance, God willing!

  172. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pat..hope you bet big.. You win.. :-) Like Gary said…SMILE and PRAY.

    Foreverblessed, you are a very loving and caring and trusting soul and it shows in your messages daily and may God continue to Bless you with that beautiful loving spirit. When I was a very young child, many many many years ago, I was a lot like you…I loved and trusted EVERYBODY… I was deceived and bamboozled so many times over the years, I can almost smell deceit…fortunately, I can also detect a genuine loving spirit. Please do not let yourself be deceived.

  173. poohpity says:

    forever, are we not to be an example to each other rather than do as I say, not as I do? How come when others call names, along with personal put downs and insults, demoralization’s, assumptions about a person’s character you say nothing like you just said to me? Ohh, no Pat, Pearl or Steve name calling and put downs are not the way of the Cross! Or the worshiping way! Try that instead. ?????

  174. poohpity says:

    How hard is it to scroll past my comments if they are upsetting? If you do not believe in the gospel of grace then do not read anything I write because that is what I write about, that is what I believe and that is where I take a stand. No one is being forced to read anything and if you want to join the conversation that has nothing to do with what we are talking about from the topic it is also a very good reason also not to read anything I write. If it offends you do not read it. How many comments are about the resurrection or about the cover-ups or conflicting reports? You know why because not to many even know about those things but they do know and are trained quite well in how to jump all over someone. People discuss what they know.

  175. oneg2dblu says:

    forever… spellcheck may prefer the one p spelling instead.
    But, both are okay according to my dictionary.
    Thank you for sharing in a way that we can all use, and get something positive from.
    A song comes to me from within it, “10,000 Reasons”
    “Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul, worship His Holy Name,
    Sing like never before, oh my soul, I’ll worship Your Holy Name, The sun comes up its a new day dawning…. Matt Redman
    Be Blessed, Gary

  176. poohpity says:

    To me the saddest part of all this is not being able to tell the difference between the teaching of Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ. :-(

  177. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Gary for that lovely song.
    It also says, that we should sing Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs together, that is also a command!
    If we would do that here together, what a difference it would be.
    Pooh, Because you are a beloved child of God, greatly loved and cherished!
    And, maybe because I love you so much?!
    And because you write so much over here about the Grace of God that has touched you. And I appreciate that very much. You talk the most of Grace that you have received (well, maybe Jeff will surpass you sometime) but as soon as you are attacked, well, where is that Grace gone that came out of heaven to touch you?
    Wrestle with God with all the feelings you have, and Praise Him, and then come back here.

    And that advice is to everybody here!
    May God bless you all! And I pray for you Narrow, that you may return to that First Love you had, and not be desturbed in your inner being, but stay focused on Jesus, steady and stable, that you can pray for your enemies out of the love of your heart!

  178. foreverblessed says:

    Narrow, Jesus also commanded us to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. I pray that He may work that out in your heart.

    Somebody here has been commenting about agape love and phileo love.
    I once heard a sermon about this, that Jesus loves everybody with agape love, but only to the ones who follow Him, believe Him and do what He commanded (and that is the sermon on the Mount and all His teaching) only them He can love with Phileo love.
    He said somewhere in the Gospels, He did not open Himself to man, because He knew what was in man.
    But still He loved them so much, that He gave His life for them.

    So, what does it mean: wise as serpents and innocent as doves in our lives?

  179. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    Pray all is well in your lives… Looking forward to reading some of the previous blog topics in my spare time, and catching up with some of what Mart has inspired us to think about. Pray you all had a joyous and restful weekend.

    63 degrees in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

  180. Regina says:

    ps. Happy (belated) Resurrection Day! Though, as Christians we are mindful of the precious gift that Jesus gave us everyday…

    John 3:16; Heb. 12:1-2,

  181. SFDBWV says:

    Remembering the original sin in the garden. The evil presence that was there in the form of the snake could do nothing unless he found someone to work through. This evil used Eve’s innocence and trusting nature as an open door to start to make questions and doubts in Eve’s mind which led to her error in judgment.

    Eve was not evil, but evil found a receptive heart to work through.

    Jesus says in Matthew 10:16 for us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves and in Luke 10:3 that we are sent as lambs among wolves.

    Evil is always trying to wreck the good things of God we enjoy, it of itself has no ability to do anything unless it finds a weakness in us that can be exploited.

    None of us here are evil, but evil will wreck things if any of us are weak enough to be used by him/it.

    I have always thought it odd that the snake was punished for allowing Satan to use him, no less that Eve was punished for being misled, but clearly Adam just went along with the misadventure of his own free will knowing it to be in disobedience to the will of his Father.

    A great deal to ponder in that story, but will leave it for another time.

    Foreverblessed (Rita) has spoken well in my opinion, we can make the choice of reflecting either Christ or ourselves in our communication. Though sometimes Christ used very strong judgmental language amid warnings and accusations, He after all is Christ and we are not.

    The wet snow broke over some of the daffodil stems and their bright yellow blooms now lay close to the ground, while some slowly work to rise back up toward the sky; like all of us life takes its toll on us as well.

    The trick is to have no malice toward any, but rather to know who the real enemy is and to do battle there in his own realm.


  182. poohpity says:

    forever, the area that I have failed in however is not the grace part but in turning my cheek and ignoring the constant attacks. In that part I have failed miserably. But I will never stop sharing sharing on the topics just because others do not find them interesting enough or understand them to discuss, I do.

  183. joycemb says:

    The sin of Adam and Eve was the same as Lucifer, ie, I will be LIKE God. That’s what is in our own hearts when we judge, malign, belittle, and disgrace or try to discredit another believer, or non-believer for that matter. As followers of Christ we are held to a higher standard, that of being just that, a follower of Christ. He is the one that changes, teaches, and holds each and every one of us to a higher standard, the standard of grace. Oh this darn flesh sure likes to fight it though. Lord teach me, not my will, by yours.

  184. joycemb says:

    ‘but’ yours.

  185. joycemb says:

    Forever, didn’t Jesus on the cross tell the thief that he would be with him that day in paradise. Isn’t Jesus’ love enough for all? Love as described in Corinthians 2:13ff says love is patient, and never fails. His dying on the cross is for everyone, not just the Jews, gentiles, or those who are obedient. I disagree with that sermon you heard. Blessings, Joyce

  186. joycemb says:

    For more information on love look up gotquestions dot org. “What is phileo love?”

  187. street says:

    forever said,”So, what does it mean: wise as serpents and innocent as doves in our lives?”

    Luke 16:1-9

    Matthew 10:15-17

  188. joycemb says:

    Romans 16:19 also explains how we walk as believers.

  189. street says:

    joycemb said,
    romans 7:4 So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God.

    God has been very generous with me today in linking this up with Ephesians 2:11-22, in that He explains how the law is made inoperative. thanks joycemb it caught up to me like His grace and mercy always do.

    i think the good deeds are a result of His workmanship not the flesh.

  190. joycemb says:

    Street I’ve thought about this a lot. It took me a long time to understand how I could do good things before I was a Christ follower. I’ve since learned that it’s the attitude and purpose in doing good works. Do I do good out of fear of punishment, or to please someone, or even myself. But thanks to God He helped me to understand that all our ‘works’ are as filthy rags. And that a new heart does good out of our reflection of Christ in the world. So much more peaceful and ‘easy’ His yoke is.

  191. joycemb says:

    Street this also links with something else I have been thinking about lately, dying to self. It has a broad meaning but not quite as hard, really, as I’ve thought it to be in the past. I think He does all the work, and we bear the fruits of His working in us.

  192. street says:

    joycemb said,”So much more peaceful and ‘easy’ His yoke is.”
    last sunday this came up in a sermon and the question hit me,” what was this burden that Christ carried with great joy and refused to give up. a burden he could say was easy and light. paul talks about easy and light affliction. be thinking about this some more.

  193. joycemb says:

    “For it is God who works in you to will and to do His good pleasure.”

    I can’t think of where that is right now…..

    Daily surrender is the key I think.

  194. joycemb says:

    street per 2:47..

    Our light and momentary afflictions..

    Its all about perspective I believe. Why are we suffering? Who are we suffering for? If it’s all about me, that’s worldly, fleshly. If it’s an offering in a sense to the One who suffered for me to gain my salvation, that’s spiritual. Teresa of Avila taught me about that. Which is why James said to “count it all Joy” when we are faced with difficulties and trials, because it’s our faith being worked out in us.

    Street do you have other ideas about this? I’d love to hear them.

  195. jeff1 says:

    I know that some people bring out the worst in me and others the better in me.

    I try to avoid those that bring out the worst in me but it still bothers me that there is that dark side to me.

    I wish I did not have that side to me but knowing that I have means that I see myself as much in need of God’s grace as my enemies.

    It is a fine line between love and hate and I find myself too often walking it.

    It is the blood of Christ that saves me from myself as I struggle with my demons.

    Sometimes I just want to give up the ghost but often find that others with faith give me the hope I need to go on.

    God sends helpers when the going gets tough and it renews my faith in Him when I gather with like minded people.

  196. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… I like to think of it this way, that Christ does all the heavy lifting, and cleans us up when we soil ourselves, or make things a mess.
    But, there is also a part for us as well.
    He does not leave us as unemployed orphans, but, invites us into the family, and gives us a purposeful duty.
    A good work to do, if you will.

  197. joycemb says:

    gary I agree with you, the key words being “He… gives us a purposeful work to do”. He equips us to do those good works.
    blessings, Joyce

  198. street says:

    gary are you an employee or a son? the son remains the employee does not. the son inherit everything the employee receives no inheritance. in rome an employee could be adopted. now was the employee adopted on their merits or by the grace and mercy of the benefactor?

  199. foreverblessed says:

    Well, the part that we do is to make sure we are attached to the Vine, so that it’s sap flaws through us, and we produce fruit.
    Without being attached to the Vine no spiritual Energy is flowing through us.

    If Jesus says “Come to Me”
    That is a command, if you want to speak in terms of the Old Covenant.
    And Jesus also gives a reason:
    “Without me you can do nothing”

    That last point is very difficult for many of my family:
    There are many non believers who do good.
    But that may be another thread, we are talking as believers amongst each other: encouraging one another to stay in the faith.

    I like the God calling of April 2 very much, Jesus encouraging us to be effective, and the He says:
    Remember this, not what you do, but who you are,
    that is the miracle working power.

  200. foreverblessed says:

    (another thread that has been here, you can skip it:

    but about Phileo love, Joyce gave a website, here is what it says:
    “Finally, we have phileo love. Philia refers to brotherly love and is most often exhibited in a close friendship. Best friends will display this generous and affectionate love for each other as each seeks to make the other happy. The Scriptural account of David and Jonathan is an excellent illustration of phileo love: “After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. . . . And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself” (1 Samuel 18:1-3).

    Since phileo love involves feelings of warmth and affection toward another person, we do not have phileo love toward our enemies. However, God commands us to have agape love toward everyone. This includes those whose personalities clash with ours, those who hurt us and treat us badly, and even those who are hostile toward our faith (Luke 6:28; Matthew 5:44). In time, as we follow God’s example of agape love for our enemies, we may even begin to experience phileo love for some of them as we start to see them through God’s eyes.”
    end of qoute.

    I always thought that phileo was the lesser love. Anyway, as Steve said, this is a been thinking blog, we may think things through together.
    Jesus loves everybody, but the closer we come to Hi, His love deepens, or what shall I say, He is more hurt when we do not do what He says, then when an unbeliever does the same. A closer relationship. Like God makes the rain fall on everybody, but He cannot tell the gems of the Kingdom Wisdom to everybody.
    The closer we grow to Him,(also in doing what He says: Forgiving another, turning the other cheek, etc.) and become more and more like Him, the more He can reveal of Himself to us.
    We are His friends, close brothers. Brotherly love is a high love. But that is still thinking about this subject, and of topic)

  201. jeff1 says:

    I had not thought of Jesus being more hurt when believers fail then non believers. I have always believed that I could not hurt Jesus for God would not allow it!

    I suppose its because I see life more difficult for a believer because when I fail there is much guilt and awareness of consequences and God does not give up on His own.

    To some extent I have to keep focusing that heaven is my reward when trusting God for the truth is that God can seem to be unfair in this life when I wander from the truth.

    Gary, you are much more an obedience than a grace person and I just want to say that will make your journey more straightforward.

    When you wander from the Lord as I have done it is a very confusing and uncertain road back so thank God that you do not wander from the truth for there is much mental anguish when you do.

    I can not disagree with you that I have brought it on myself but I still believe that God has saved me from myself and my foolishness.

    Though I feel very much in the dark there is a light in that darkness and it is from above.

    I am separated from God but He has not given up on me or I would not see the light for I would be in too much in darkness.

    There is surely hope for everyone in darkness as Christ is the light of the world.

    He has given me light and though it may be dim to your light it has drawn me to Him.

    Others in darkness He is drawing to Himself that I am not aware of because like them I am a work in process.

    These are days that the Lord has made, let me rejoice in them!

  202. SFDBWV says:

    I will repeat a story I have told several times before as an aid in making my point, so those of you who are familiar with it please bear with me.

    When I was younger and still working in the coal mines a friend came one afternoon and showed me several very old pictures of our little town of Bayard at its beginning.

    I was awestruck to see such old pictures and ask where the friend had gotten them. He told me of a shop in Kingwood (WV) that was like a flea market and he had gotten them there.

    I called the man who ran the shop to inquire where he may have gotten the pictures and if he had others. We talked for a while about things and then he opened my understanding to a real true pearl of wisdom when he said, “Steve if you’re looking for pictures you will find pictures.”

    Wow! A truer statement I had not heard before.

    This wisdom is applied to everything we look for in life and so what we look for when we read the Scriptures.

    Are you looking for an authoritarian overseer of the law in God? You will find Him; are you looking for a tenderhearted merciful God? You will find Him as well.

    Are you looking for a way into sin? It is found there. Or are you looking for a way out of sin? It is also found there.

    Along the journey what you may discover is what you look for is closer to your heart then anything you are not looking for.

    Your journey and quest identify your heart.

    It snowed this morning, but only an inch. It was 18 degrees and has warmed up to 20 as I send this off.

    It is my hope all of you today are blessed in your own special way.


  203. poohpity says:

    Steve, I have never heard that story before, thank you for sharing it.

    That made me think of Saul of Tarsus he was looking for those he felt were blasphemers by hunting them down to stone, imprison or kill them but He met Jesus instead. He was zealous to follow the law but ended up following Jesus. He was transformed by that encounter with the resurrected Savior never to be the same and became Paul spreading the very message he was trying to stop.

    He experienced by believing the presence of God’s Spirit within him that produced the fruit of God in his life. The fruit that he in and of himself produced was hatred, death, strife, fear but when God had taken up residence in his life God made him a new man with new purpose in life, Paul was a whole new creation after He met Jesus.

  204. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning pooh. Yes I agree when we encounter Jesus in our search and in our life everything changes. Especially when we begin to listen to Him and put aside our earthly goals.

    My time is over as Matt is about to get up on his bike. His best time now is 14.7 miles in 30 minutes.

    I know the weather in your neck of the woods is nothing like ours, hope it is pleasant and not too hot.


  205. poohpity says:

    Just as those mentioned in the topic after coming in contact with Jesus before His death were one way then after the resurrection saw Jesus as the risen Savior. The disciples went back to what they knew fishing for fish but after seeing Jesus in His resurrected state so much was changed and even more change would come after the 40 days as they waited for the Holy Spirit to give them a new purpose in spreading the good news about what Jesus had done. Now they fished for the souls of men. The tax collectors collected the souls of men, the prostitutes and demon possessed now sold themselves over to sharing the gospel and being possessed by the Holy Spirit to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the broken world around them to tell them of the great love that God has for them and give His life in pursuit of a relationship to bring them close.

  206. poohpity says:

    Sometimes people find what they never thought of looking for.

  207. poohpity says:

    Yes the weather here is anything but stable. A couple of days ago we could put the heat on but yesterday it called for air conditioning and the steering wheel burnt the hands to touch.

  208. poohpity says:

    It was 80 degrees at 6pm.

  209. SFDBWV says:

    The book made into two famous movies “Gettysburg” and “Gods and Generals” is actually titled “Killer Angels”.

    I mention this because the men of the Union Army is seen as the hero’s that defend and win to keep the Union intact and of course to end slavery.

    But at a very heavy toll of death.

    When you look at the American Civil War what you see are men of great faith both believing they are doing God’s will. Each proclaiming the Bible as their authority to be in whichever uniform they wear and authorized to kill the usurper.

    Psalms 144:1 KJV say’s “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.”

    I am very bad at staying on point so as not to get too distracted from my point, I want to say here once again that whatsoever it is you are looking for from Scripture you are going to find Scripture to support your belief and often ignore any that don’t.

    Mostly because you are not looking for something counter to whatever it is you want to say to another in support of your “argument”.

    In a topic about Paul being a former Pharisee and staunch supporter of the Law who turned into a Christian. What I see is the two views of the Messiah being exposed.

    The Pharisee’s and leaders of Israel under Roman occupation and after having suffered generational wars was looking for a “Savior” who would come with His “Killer Angels” and liberate Israel from any and all foreign invaders and set up His eternal Kingdom on earth. They missed the suffering Lamb of God as being given in Scripture, because they wanted to see a warrior king, not a sacrifice.

    Not much has changed for some still look for that warrior King to come instead of a King with mercy on His agenda.

    And so some look at the battlefield of life as being theirs to win for their King while others look at the battlefield of life and see that their King has already won the battle.

    Both views are supported by what they find in Scripture to support their “faith”. Because it is what they look for.

    Each view then describes what kind of faith each has. Their search in support of their view exposes their heart.

    Life makes me want mercy for some and punishment for others, when I can reach that place where some and others are all folded together and seen as one, then it will be mercy I want for all and if I look I will find Scripture to support it to my satisfaction.


  210. poohpity says:

    Don’t you think that is why there is so much conflict is because people look into scripture trying to find something written to support their own argument or thoughts rather than what it actually says? Wasn’t it Jesus’ own Apostles that thought Jesus would be the conquering king rather than the suffering servant? Acts 1:6 NLT

    Jesus will one day come as the conquering King as is prophesied in Revelation 19:11-19 NLT

  211. foreverblessed says:

    To add to your train of thought Steve, I say, sometimes I read things in the bible, and then I think, it looks like it says so, about the fate of men after death, but I hope it means something different. Not as a doctrine, but as a hope I have.
    Like the bible says:
    -Love always hopes-
    -and God is love-
    So to me, God always hopes.
    If you look for Hope in the bible, there is Hope.

  212. street says:

    dear steve read your post with intrest because i was thinking on theology of lawful war and lawful homicide.

    regardless of which side you are on with killer angles, God looks to the heart. men can only kill the body. thinking that is a minor inconvenience since God raise dead bodies to life. the real killer angles are the sins that live as cancer among us. they choke the life out of people and blind them to their end. yes we are born in sin and it presents is felt in the flesh even after the new birth. but thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ Who nullifies sin at the cross and gives new life to those who believe He was sent for them. yes, if not for the grace of God i would have been as sodom and gomorrah. i am what i am by by His grace and mercy.

  213. poohpity says:

    What would God hope in? Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. He knows everything even when we lie down and when we stand up, He knows what we think and our motivation for the things we do and because we trust in His great love we find our hope in Him. Psalm 39:7 NLT; Psalm 62:5; Romans 5:5; Col 1:27; 1 Peter 1:3

  214. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… I wonder what some will read into, Romans 8:12, and what others may just refuse to ever see there, or what it really says.

    Whether it agrees with your current mindset, your current doctrine, or aligns with your current lifestyle, “It is written,” and it is written for a reason.

    As you say, we can all now go and reason ourselves into seeing what we wish, or want, or desire, to see there.

    And, that will be our position regardless of what the words actually say.

    That is why there is conflict with the word, as each one finds what they want to find, and agreement within the body
    is cast aside for our personal preferences, desires, and as the word says so effectively, “All a man’s ways seem right to him.”

    We can only read through our own life experience, using our current beliefs, based on our past teachings that we receive and we agree with, as they are what fits us, and not as they are actually written, if they don’t fit us.

    So, I totally agree with your point, that all our reasoning may or may not agree with God’s original intent for writing what is written, not how it is read by some, but written.

    That is exactly why we have so many translations, commentaries, expository texts, theological arguments, and division in the church, the body, and the whole world.

  215. oneg2dblu says:

    Let me rephrase it to fit what I was actually referencing…
    Here is the Romans 8:12 NIV that I was what I was taught, not that watered down few words that the ESV uses…
    “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”
    That longer version is quite different in word and thought, to me.
    How do the rest of us read it?

  216. oneg2dblu says:

    Oops, I meant Romans 8:13… :O
    Everybody gets a chance at speaking too quickly.
    I guess I’ll go sing some praise and worship songs now.
    Have a good night.

  217. joycemb says:

    Pooh I was thinking about God expressing hope and this came to mind:
    “Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways” Psalm 81:13

    I agree that God knows all, the beginning from the end, but He seems to be emotionally involved with us when He
    speaks through the prophets.

  218. joycemb says:

    Or I suppose one could hear that as condemnation. Depends how you look at it I guess.

  219. joycemb says:

    Romans is talking about salvation from grace and not works of law. The Spirit of Christ is the one who saved us from the law.

  220. oneg2dblu says:

    Romans 8:12 says, quite clearly, we do not “have to,” sin.
    But, some here who believe otherwise, and can not read those words as they are written.
    They will quote, “Anyone who says they do not sin is a liar.”

    Then, they protect their doctrine, and suddenly it fits their mindset, and current lifestyle better.

    Her’s my take.
    Basically, if you sin, repent!
    Repent immediately,
    Repent constantly,
    Repent even if you believe all your sins are already forgiven, it certainly will not ever harm you to talk to the Lord about your most recent trespass., whether it is
    Accidental, or Intentional.
    Either by commission, or omission, just Repent.
    Humble yoursel, and just repent.

  221. oneg2dblu says:

    He, God, won’t hold it against you, if you do!

  222. joycemb says:

    Deuteronomy 5:29, “O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever.”

  223. joycemb says:

    Gary my friend I believe you are preaching to the choir :-)

  224. street says:

    Mark 1:15

  225. street says:

    gary said,”We can only read through our own life experience, using our current beliefs, based on our past teachings that we receive and we agree with, as they are what fits us, and not as they are actually written, if they don’t fit us.”

    i think i would have to disagree with this on the basis that some do not live this way. beliefs and circumstance do rule over the secular world and mind. they struggle with truth like pilot. even not understanding there is truth. some, few, live life beyond the horizon. God/ truth has been revealed and accept by these few. perfect men no, Righteous yes! i think of samuel david moses john paul peter. i heard that God and one man is a majority. i think of hezekiah and the assyrians or even david. sure we like heros but think about this, “The Lord makes poor and rich;
    He brings low, He also exalts.
    “He raises the poor from the dust,
    He lifts the needy from the ash heap
    To make them sit with nobles,
    And inherit a seat of honor;

    no we don’t read about the exploits of the poor and needy very much, but the last trumpet has not sounded yet. yes there is Hope, because of what was promised and Who it is that promised.

  226. jeff1 says:

    I know I have stumbled myself but I have known righteousness in men and women.

    My father tried in His lifetime to keep me from stumbling but I thought I knew best.

    The righteousness in my father was a gift from God for my father was not an impetus man but one who thought of the consequences of his actions.

    Raised in a country at war he did not take the side he belonged to but spoke against men who incited hatred whatever side they where on.

    He spoke the truth regardless of his beliefs or Country for Gods will was more important to him than his personal beliefs.

    He was old school in his behaviour but a forward thinker if ever I knew one.

    Yes, Street, unlike men God keeps his promises and He will choose those whom fit His purpose and those He has predestined.

    I may not be able to trust in my own understanding but having a righteous father leaves me in no doubt that God will use righteous men/women to fulfill His will.

    Also just like He changed Saul to Paul, there will be many converts in the last days.

    Many of the younger generations do not know the truth and I believe God will open their eyes for He is a just God and will not condemn them for their ignorance.

    Thanks be to God for His mercy to those who need it!

  227. SFDBWV says:

    Yes pooh I do think that is why there is so much conflict, that people use Scripture to support their own purposes.

    Perhaps this is why “some” as Mart put it, intellectually propose that Paul may have had his own thoughts on the act and message of Jesus and wrote the letters we know as the Epistles creating what Christian’s have come to include as Scripture and as being the Word of God given through Paul.

    Because as we argue different points we quote both Jesus and Paul as if being from the same authority.

    Again I repeat a story I have told before and once again I beg forgiveness to those who may have heard it before.

    When I was a young lad my mother had us in a “Brethren” church, but on one special occasion we attended the Methodist church here in town. I remember it to have been some kind of joint venture between churches, perhaps a “revival”.

    In those days we had 4 churches in town, the two I already mentioned as well as a “Church of God” a “Pentecostal church” and “Catholic church”. Most often all were packed every Sunday and throughout the weekly meeting events.

    At this particular evening service the Methodist preacher was a “hell fire and brimstone” type whose message was a warning that everyone was going to burn in hell for…and he gave a long list of reasons including smoking cigarettes and listening to rock and roll music.

    Viv you might take notice this was the 50’s and he was speaking of Elvis Presley as well as others in his “sermon”.

    The front row of the church was filled with young teenage girls and as I remember they were all crying and even though I was just a child, I remember thinking I didn’t like this guy. Apparently neither did my mother.

    We never went back again.

    Any way if you had only one chance, one last opportunity to speak to another concerning Jesus and our place in eternity what would your message be?

    One of hope, or one of warning?

    I rise each morning with hope in my heart for the day, I already know I will fail somewhere, but hope that God understands and like the loving gentle Father I understand Him to be already plans on forgiving me when I do, as He already knows I don’t really intend to.

    So my one last message would be there is hope in Jesus of Nazareth and in no one else.

    17 degrees this morning and a warm 31 as I send this off.


  228. poohpity says:

    Hopefully along with Paul we are the some who turn Jesus’ message and mission into our cause as well since we are called to make disciples and teach them what Jesus taught. Then as Paul experienced and shared the transformation of his life, hopefully we have also experienced that same transformed life to accept the offering of forgiveness, grace and reconciliation with our heavenly Father and with one another. Jesus gave His authority to each of His followers to share His mission and message and so Paul’s letters to the early churches were spoken with the authority and inspired by the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that was promised to us when Jesus rose into heaven so that His words are our words.

    It seems if we continue to rely on other people to feed us scripture rather than seeking for ourselves sometimes we can and will be lead astray. I think that is why really good teachers say to compare what they are teaching to the word. They know that trust has to be earned and we need to test what anyone says because we may not know their intent, do they want praise for themselves or point us to the One whom all praise is due?

  229. poohpity says:

    John–1 John 4:1 NIV; Jesus–Matt 7:15; Paul–1 Thess 5:21; Peter–2 Peter 2:1 all warned us to be on our toes and to test what we are being fed.

  230. joycemb says:

    Steve I just got done reading/studying what Jesus said and meant when He said in John 17 that those who follow Jesus are not part of this world. Then in Luke where Jesus talks about how we can’t hold on to the things of this world and follow Him at the same time. Sounds like the hell-fire and brimstone sermon you heard in the Methodist church years ago. I agree people don’t like to hear those things, but scripture, if taken literally and at it’s word does say that dying to self means giving up everything that is ‘of the world’ to follow Christ-meaning family, friends, property, bank accounts or whatever if they are not aligned with Christ also. Those that hate us do so because we are not of this world. I have lost much to follow Christ, but trust Him that it will be worth it all when I see Him again. The world wants us to believe that surely a God of LOVE wouldn’t want us to be uncomfortable in our life here, would He? There are so many different things people/denominations glean from scripture, yet, following Jesus’ words we can’t go wrong, can we?

    Interesting that you brought this up today. Counting the cost of being a Jesus’ follower/disciple hasn’t changed in 2000 years, or has it been changed because of popular cultures’ ideas of success and prosperity? I stick closely to the words of Christ and His example, and completely trust Him to show me the way, and help me follow in His footsteps.

  231. joycemb says:

    Pooh I think you are thinking along the same lines. Who does a teacher point us to and what is the purpose. Jesus is the only way, as I know you agree also.

  232. jeff1 says:

    Steve, I do know about the teachings against Elvis but I also remembering my mother saying that what type of mind had those who critised his music.

    He went on to win 3 emmy awards for his gospel album’s which he was advised against doing but his earlier gospel church teaching had stayed with him and he went ahead and recorded them against advice showing his love for Jesus was still in his heart.

    God knows the heart of another, and Elvis showed he loved him despite many weaknesses. He had more temptations than most and had tried to please everyone and ended up pleasing no one but the night before he died he was reading his bible. He never forgot his roots at the end.

    This is a favourite of mine:

    When I think of how He came so far from glory
    Come to dwell among the lowly such as I
    To suffer shame and such disgrace
    On Mount Calvary take my place
    Then I ask myself this question
    Who am I?

    Who am I that the King would bleed and die for
    Who am I that He would pray not my will, Thy Lord
    The answer I may never know
    Why He ever loved me so
    But to that old rugged cross He’d go
    For who amfor,

    When I’m reminded of His words
    I’ll leave Him never
    If you’ll be true I’ll give to you life forever
    Oh I wonder what I could have done
    To deserve God’s only son
    To fight my battles until their won
    For who am I?

    Who am I that the King wold bleed and die for
    Who am I that He would pray not my will, Thy Lord
    The answer I may never know
    Why He ever loved me so
    But to that old rugged cross He’d go
    For who am I?
    But to an old rugged cross He’d go for who am I?

  233. poohpity says:

    Yes Paul never pointed people to himself in fact when people tried to put him on a pedestal he fell to his knees in horror. Acts 14

  234. poohpity says:

    Viv, Elvis sang some real beautiful gospel music. However now a days people do not listen to music that glorifies God but listen to secular music like country music or other genres and some choose to not even attend church but go many other places but not to church. They do not share in worship or communion nor read God’s word. Church is a wonderful place where we can hold each accountable by walking alongside each other through the struggles of life. We need each other for encouragement not destruction. Music seems to be something that God created early on to pass down the stories of God’s works and remembering His miracles. It seems to soothe our very souls.

  235. street says:

    poo said,”Church is a wonderful place where we can hold each accountable by walking alongside each other through the struggles of life. We need each other for encouragement not destruction. ”

    yes this is true….yet the unsaved go through their own heart aches and loses. we need to intercede for them as Christ intercede for us. the hard part is doing this in season and out of season. they need abundant life too. and we need wisdom power and discernment. thinking of ester and ruth.

  236. SFDBWV says:

    Viv one of those neat little things in life is that Donnie Sumner, a one time member of Elvis’s band pastored our little Church of God here about 30 some years or more ago.

    Yes the music was lively.

    On the defense of “Country Music” a great many of the songs in that genre is all about God, family and Christianity as well as the nitty gritty life on planet earth.

    Johnny Cash was also one of the fellows who came to Nashville to do gospel music, but had to go through the life he did in order to finally get his way.

    Joyce I think everything except the message of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth has been seen differently throughout all the ages since the occurrence. Think of just how on Easter morning no one could agree on what happened and as always it took Jesus to intervene in order to explain.

    One can argue that seeing things different can also be seen as cultural change. It is one of those things that bothers me personally about all these new translations trying to sound more in line with the culture of today that in doing so they change the meaning behind the stated verses.

    Which is why for me preaching anything other than the cross is dangerous territory.

    Once again if I only had the opportunity to say only one thing to another it would be that there is hope only in Jesus of Nazareth the Lord and in no one else. All the other stuff pales in comparison to announcing that Jesus is Lord and through Him we are saved. Through and by Him, not by anything else we do.


  237. joycemb says:

    Steve I know many people who will only read the KJV for various reasons and it doesn’t bother me. I read different translations and tho there may be minor detail variations the message of Jesus is always the same. I find my savior in them and for me that’s enough. Jesus as I know Him personally remains the same Jesus of the scriptures, no matter the translation. If I do read something that tries to skew or even change who He is I am warned by the HS.

    My first experience with this was when as a new believer and not knowing really anything about scripture, but knowing Jesus, a well-known religious group came to my door one day and wanted to study scripture with me, and also gave me tracts to read. I was thrilled to learn about the Word of God and they allowed me to use my own Bible (KJV). I read the tracts and scriptures they pointed to and we talked about them weekly, until one day, as they were reading to me I was suddenly struck by the fact that they took the word “Christ” out of their Bible. Also, I was getting tired of the doomsday literature. I confronted them about this one day and they were flabbergasted! They kept flipping through their own bibles and I could see their confusion. Praise God for keeping me from being deceived. Thank God for His Holy Spirit that keeps us on track, so to speak. They never returned and I found out that my house was banned from being visited after that.

    Sorry this is so long, going to make it a bit longer though. I guess my point is that I worship a real, living Saviour, and not a book, psstor, music or denomination even. All these things are very very helpful in keeping me educated, encouraged, comforted, and strong in my faith. Not always easy to stay strong when the storms of life prevail. As everyone knows. I really need the fellowship of other believers, writers, musicians and close friends to walk this walk. Pooh mentioned this earlier I believe.

    Ok my book is done.
    Blessings, Joyce

  238. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Joyce, I loved your book!
    Here’s mine: I was brought up in an english speaking church. And I read in the KJV. But then the NIV came out, I was in a church sportscamp at the time, and the bible started to speak to me very deeply, much more then the old language of the King James.
    I read in the original hebrew and greek bible on the biblehub site, interlineair it is called, and often a meaning is not so clear, so …
    Reading Psalms that way is awesome, especially the acrostic Psalms. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, (and all letters in between) but in the Psalms it is Alef and Tau.
    “I am the Alef and Tau”
    But for some reason that message does not ring a Bell
    “I am the Alpha and Omega”
    That hits me deep!
    It’s all about Jesus, saving us!

  239. foreverblessed says:

    Some days ago Street gave Romans 11:26-27
    What a good description of the whole meaning of the bible:
    We need a Deliverer!

  240. foreverblessed says:

    Maybe I should write
    Romans 11:26-27(NIV)

  241. jeff1 says:

    Forever, God’s promise to Israel that He will deliver them and it is God who is faithful and as a person who stumbles and struggles to go on I know how much I need to be delivered because without Him I am nothing.

    Another of Elvis’s gospel songs that warms the heart.

    Without Him I could do nothing
    Without Him I’d surely fail
    Without Him I would be drifting
    Like a ship without a sail

    Without Him I would be dying
    Without Him I’d be enslaved
    Without Him life would be worthless
    But with Jesus thank God I’m saved

    Oh Jesus, oh Jesus
    Do you know Him today
    Please don’t send Him away
    Oh, Jesus, my Jesus
    Without Him how lost I would be
    Without Him how lost I would be

  242. Mart DeHaan says:

    Such a good conversation here. Thank you all for contributing so much!

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