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A True and Better Ethic

DSC02497I’ve been trying to immerse myself in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians to see if I can get a sense of his frame of mind when writes the 13 verses of his 13th chapter.

What I’m finding will not surprise you. Paul writes with a courage and clarity that lifts him above the superstitions, pet peeves, and denominational differences of his own day—and ours (1Cor 1:10-13). He writes as someone who, with almost every other breath, names the One who once stunned him when he asked on the Damascus Road, “Who are you Lord?” (Acts 9:5).

The answer Paul heard on that road eventually gave him his case for a specific source of unity. It is the foundational and root thought that must have prompted him to write, “So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:3 (NLT)

So why are the attitudes and ethic that follow so important to him? The answer, as far as I can tell, is that he believes it is possible for all who confess Jesus as Lord to walk together on higher ground than our personal, denominational, and doctrinal differences.

Paul has the courage to say it simply. Knowledge puffs up. Love builds up. (1Cor 8:1).

What is he going with this? As I read and reread his first 12 chapters I find myself asking that question almost every time he turns a phrase. When I check the commentaries in an effort to find out what Paul is thinking (in those first 12 chapters), I find more possible answers and lingering questions than my questions.

Only when I get to the 13 of 13 does the fog seem to lift. Only with the 13 of 13 do I think I get where he was going when he said, “Knowledge puffs up. Love builds up.” Finally he seems to make it clear that, while he isn’t disparaging our desire to grow in our knowledge of Christ, such knowledge won’t be the kind that “puffs us up”. After all, while honoring Christ above all others, he emphasizes the gifts of knowledge, wisdom, and declaration that are some of the gifts given by the Spirit to the Body of Christ (1Cor 12:7-12).

At this point, my hunch is that, if Paul could walk into our homes or churches today, his main agenda wouldn’t be to talk us out of our denominations, controversy-of-the-day, or personal preferences. Am thinking he would say something like, “Now that we know who is Lord (the true and better Person among us), let’s find in him the true and better way by which to live with our differences. Let’s walk together, by his Spirit, in a 1Cor 13 kind of love—as the true and better ethic (1Cor 12:31).

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162 Responses to “A True and Better Ethic”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    “Where your heart is, there are you also”.
    Jesus of Nazareth.

    “Seek and you shall find, knock and it will be opened unto you”.
    Jesus of Nazareth

    What is it you look for in life? What is it you want out of it?

    You cannot escape knowledge. Without it you would still be an infant needing someone to care for your every need, or die.

    However, most everyone I have ever known seeks love and most importantly to be loved.

    For most love means pain.

    Paul writes about not caring anything of yourself, but to truly care about others. In order to do this you have to give up your own life. Very few of us can do this fully.

    No objectives, no desires, no plans except the love and care of others.

    I think for most of us it is only possible to do in part.

    I also think the enemy uses it against us. Accusing us of not living up to it, of failing to live up to such a declaration.

    Do the best you can and give thanks you “know” the difference.

    30 degrees and clear.


  2. jeff1 says:

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

    As someone who lacked my father’s wisdom I have suffered mentally while my father who had wisdom had the most stable mentality.

    My father had known war from he was 18, world war and a home grown war. He had nursed my mother when she had cancer, attended to me when I was hospitalized due to my mental illness, looked after my brother who had mental illness from he was 16.

    Worked in a government job which by its nature had caused him to get beaten up twice and threatened daily and lastly suffered with cancer himself before he left this world at 77 years of age.

    Even though he had his own troubles he still managed to help others, I remember him taking a box of groceries to a friend whom he knew was in difficulties and getting out of his bed in the early hours of the morning even though he had to work the next day to go to a friend’s aid not to mention numerous times he helped others.

    I never heard him critical of everyone because he was too busy walking the walk.

    I must stop looking critically at those around me and start walking the walk instead of talking the talk.

    Jesus knew his disciples, knew their strengths and weaknesses but loved them equally.

    As a mother I understand this as I have two sons with very different natures but it does not make me love one any less.

    I do not think God loves his followers any less because they are different with different strengths and weaknesses but I fail to love them when I am critical rather than understanding of others.

    I believe it is difficulties in life that made my father the better person than I am, because he walked by the spirit instead of looking at faults in others, he examined himself and looked to God for guidance and the result was he took the correct action.

    Many non believers to day look no different to believers because they walk the walk better than those who say they know Jesus.

    I am growing in my understanding of what it means to know Jesus and looking at Paul from the Bible and my earthly father I am seeing a picture of men who put themselves last and others first.

    I have a long way to grow to be anything like this, so God forgive me for my omissions as I have allowed my puffed up knowledge to overcome your spirit of love that should dwell in me.

    The battle is within me Lord but you have saved me from myself!

    You are my forever friend, my leave me never friend, as the song goes and yet I have doubted your love so many times!

  3. oneg2dblu says:

    A True and Better Kingdom, awaits all who have had their own personal encounter with Our Living Lord, our own type of Damascus Road experience.
    I believe that all man’s eyes lack proper sight, until they get their eyes adjusted or healed from seeing their little world, as the one and only one.
    As jeff1 just said” You have saved me from myself.”
    Makes my wonder if Paul’s actual physical direction along that road was changed…
    I know his ability to see was taken from him and he was led by others to his new destination, or the other Divine Appointment, where he would regain his physical sight.
    Just thinking…

  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    It seems to me that what you call “the 13 of the 13” is the anchor of ethical thinking and ethical action:

    “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor 13:13)

    Jesus declared this love to be the vital essence of the law — Matthew 22: 37, 38, 39, 40. He adds the justice and mercy of loving our neighbor, as described in Deuteronomy 24:17-22. Mercy is the greater part of law.

    The New Covenant brings a true and better ethic into human society — even into the relationship of all nature. God’s people are to be about the good and the welfare and restoration of the earth and all its creatures.

    As Jesus often reminded the leaders of the different parties of the church of His day, this is not a new teaching. It is what Moses gave the people to hold on to:

    Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4, 5)

    Joy all day,

    45F and clear here. Forecast to reach 80F.

  5. poohpity says:

    Lawrence Darmani said, “What a joy it is to join with others in worship and fellowship! Praying and worshiping together, studying the Scriptures together, and caring for one another are essential for our spiritual growth and unity as believers.” Which is essentially what Luke was speaking of in Acts 2:42 NLT. Growing together in our knowledge of Christ isn’t something that causes us to be “puffed Up” but that hopefully will bring us together on common ground and in unity.

    From what I have seen when Christ is the head, the body follows in any relationship; friendships, marriages, families, community. Following anyone else can only lead us down a path that leads to destruction and away from the Lord. Devotion to the Lord creates in us a true and better ethic because it comes from within, it comes from Him.

  6. jeff1 says:


    where there is love
    the heart is light,
    Where there in love
    the day is bright,
    Where there is love
    there is a song
    To help when things
    are going wrong,
    Where there is love
    there is a smile
    To make all things
    seem more worthwhile,
    Where there is love
    there’s quiet peace,
    A tranquil place
    where turmoils cease-
    Love changes darkness
    into light
    And makes the heart
    take “wingless flight”
    Oh, blest are they
    who walk in love,
    They also walk
    with God above-
    And when man walks
    with God again,
    There shall be peace
    on earth for men.

  7. foreverblessed says:

    Recently we had a bible study on the works or gifts of the Holy Spirit, let’s say, 1 Cor 12:1-31
    And all the different gifts, and on speaking in tongues,and how it worked, but there was a new lady, and I saw it went way over her head.
    She kept saying, isn’t it all about love?
    And she cited 1 Cor 13:1-3
    What if you have all these gifts of the Spirit, and you have no love?
    (is that possible?)
    And now Mart comes with this topic!
    Lets put all difference aside and go a step higher in praising God for Jesus with our words and with our example!

  8. joycemb says:

    Pooh you are so right. I have been thinking about abusers in the church and for a possible reason I have been victimized several times, physically and emotionally. I read through 1 Corinthians this morning. In chapter 3 he discusses the problem with being a follower of a human leader, that it causes division and can bring judgement on anyone who tries to destroy
    the temple of God. I see how my being a follower has brought out some of the worst behavior in church/Christian leaders. Not shaming myself here, just finally understanding the trouble-and danger-of putting myself under any human being. Yes I am of Christ and everything is mine! I don’t need to look for anything from mankind, I already have everything I need; all I have to do is ask, and I know He always answers.

    Last Friday I took my computer in to a shop as it was stuck on blue screen. After a diagnostic it turned out the hard drive was corrupted and needed to be replaced, for $200. (I saw the diagnostic myself). I took it home and asked God to fix it as I don’t have that kind of money right now; yet was fine with giving it up if it was His will. Suddenly words appeared that it was doing a recovery and a couple minutes later it was working just fine!!!! I’m still amazed and did need to see Gods hand in my life. And yes the hard drive is no longer showing corrupted. God is always there when we need Him. which proves also to me, again, that following man leads to death, but following Jesus is life!

  9. street says:

    A True and Better Ethic

    thinking of a True and better Spirit.

  10. joycemb says:

    Sorry forever but I believe God uses this blog to help us to grow by being able to be honest about what’s in our damaged hearts so we can learn together, however growth is messy and unpleasant, I understand your discomfort.

    Keep on encourageing it’s a gift very much needed in the messy business of life on the planet.

  11. joycemb says:

    Love does not leave us in our sin but died for it so that we too can die to sin. If I wasn’t aware of my sin I would be lost. Love is not all sunshine and roses.

  12. street says:

    For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down tin his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility…
    For through him we both have access in “one Spirit” to the Father…… no longer strangers and aliens,4 but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

    thinking Colossians 3:1-17 why is it so hard to put on Christ, remember the fun joycemb?

  13. joycemb says:

    Fun:sarcasm or Fun:new life

    It’s both at times. Part of the “putting on” of Christ depending how resistant we are to Gods love I think

  14. fadingman says:

    The Corinthians had a reputation for being filled with the Spirit, but it was a sham, most evident in their lack of the primary fruit of the Spirit: love.

    If they had love, there wouldn’t have been all those little cliques (“I am of Paul”, “I am of Apollos”, etc). There wouldn’t have been the sexual immorality. They would have celebrated the Lord’s Supper equally with the whole body of Christ (as it was originally given). Instead, it was all about self: what’s in it for me.

    The solution is not to be patient, kind, humble, self-controlled, etc. These are only effects of agape love – you gotta have the love first for these things to be. Agape love comes only through a Spirit-filled and led life.

    On verse 13, you can have faith and hope, and still be selfish. But you can’t have agape love and be selfish. That is why love is greater.

    Andrew Bernhardt

  15. street says:

    thinking division this way….some teach legalism and some teach free from law….paul taught Christ and Him crucified….foolishness to the greeks and a stumbling block to the jews.

    came across sin, righteousness, and judgment

    also by the same author the necessity of repenting, turning to God, having faith in our Lord Jesus.

    living in the presents of a weaker brother comes to mind. you who are mature have a greater responsibility.
    more is expected. give what has been given to you so generously.

  16. joycemb says:

    The weaker brother was given grace to be free to grow in that grace, with encouragement and respect by those who are more “mature”. Not easy for all to do. Offering truth according to the gospel of peace is the Way.

  17. jeff1 says:

    I believe those who are mature are more responsible for their actions show it. I am thinking of how my father was so mature and seen what I did not see and tried to guide me.

    The difficulty is letting others influence and being a weaker person than my father I did allow influences.

    This has caused me much pain and anguish and distrust in my discernment.

    It seems taking refuge in Christ is the best answer for me because mentally I cannot stand the pressure of trying to get it right. My mind needs to be a peace so that I can survive in this world and be a mother/sister/friend/volunteer and Christ gives me that peace.

    Why should I feel discouraged
    Why should the shadows come
    Why should my heart feel lonely
    And long for heaven and home

    When Jesus is my portion
    A constant friend is He
    His eye is on the sparrow
    And I know He watches over me
    His eye is on the sparrow
    And I know He watches me

  18. oneg2dblu says:

    Am thinking, all the gifts we have come from God, they are not of our own making or maturing.
    So it is with this love we speak of here, for having this Agape Love is certainly also a gift from God, and not something found in our human nature, whether we are a newly born or a fully mature.

  19. street says:

    gary said, “for having this Agape Love is certainly also a gift from God, and not something found in our human nature, whether we are a newly born or a fully mature.”

    yes God’s love is the foundation of creation and the basis of all that goes on in the world. we know very well His grace is very active on the whole planet right now. we also know it can be removed so to speak, but not from the children He has entrusted to Christ. as children he teaches us to love through the ups and downs of life. we love because He first loved us. we can see it because of what we once were. we did not forget who and what we were apart from Him. His Spirit has been giving us an education and growth ever since He came into our lives.

    my experience has been, love joy and peace, constantly under attack, they are restored by the cross.

  20. poohpity says:

    street, so true that true and better ethics are developed in our lives from His Spirit’s presence. When you said, “His Spirit has been giving us an education and growth ever since He came into our lives.”, is so right on. Amen!! :-)

  21. poohpity says:

    I also agree those ethics are challenged everyday and under attack because the prince of this world would like nothing better than for us to cave under pressure but we know if we do, that there is restoration only a confession away.

  22. bubbles says:


    I am confused and am not being contentious. I sincerely want to understand. Are you saying that we need to stop defending what we believe and our methods of worship? I was thinking today about the many things that have changed in the past decade; conservative churches have changed, and then there are those who haven’t. I am confused about many things. One day I see one side, and the next I wonder if the changes are pleasing God or are they like a frog being cooked in a pot. Churches that hold out on changing are seeing attendance drop drastically in favor of those who are changing. And sometimes those who change are saying those that do not are not showing love. Where should the line be drawn?

    Are you thinking those lines need to be set aside?

    Please know I am not arguing, only sharing thoughts that have me torn within. Thank you. And, please, I do not want to change the conversation thread or begin an argument.

  23. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    Pray all is well in your lives. Mart, I just finished reading your intro comment for “A True and Better Ethic”, and I think it’s one of the best you’ve ever written! In my humble opinion, it speaks to the “end of the matter” and the “heart of the matter” of what Paul was trying to convey to us, and I especially agree with what you wrote when you said:

    “So why are the attitudes and ethic that follow so important to him? The answer, as far as I can tell, is that he believes it is possible for all who confess Jesus as Lord to walk together on higher ground than our personal, denominational, and doctrinal differences.”

    Could also relate to and in sincere agreement with this thought (I also *love* the Bible verse referenced here):

    “The answer Paul heard on that road eventually gave him his case for a specific source of unity. It is the foundational and root thought that must have prompted him to write, “So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:3 (NLT)”

    I truly believe that Jesus was pleased with Paul’s willingness and tireless effort in helping us to understand what means most to Him… that above all else we should have sincere LOVE for one another! Yes, your True and Better Ethic is a blog topic that we’ll be thinking about long after you’ve moved on to other blog topics!

    Intermittent rain and 68 degrees in my neck of the woods.

    LOVE to all,

  24. Regina says:

    BTA friends, I have a prayer request…
    My Landlady recently informed us (the five women including myself who live in her house) that we cannot use the washer and dryer anymore due to the expensive water and electricity bill that she has paid over the past 2 or 3 months (?) And, on some level, I agree with her because some of the women refuse to turn off lights like they should. I often go behind them and turn off lights (at first I refused to because I felt like it was childish/immature of them not to), but when I get up in the morning, and go in certain parts of the house, lights are still on and everyone’s sound asleep. I also don’t mind going to the laundromat because some of the ladies are not very clean, and I was (forever) having to disinfect and sanitize the washer/dryer.

    Further, she also informed me (last week) that I’ve been living in her house since May (2015) and that I have to get prepared to leave! She said she’s preparing the paperwork for my exit interview. I was blindsided by this info because it’s the first I’ve heard of it! She *did not* tell me that I would only be allowed to live in her house for 1 year. If she had, I would have been preparing to move some where else way before the 45 day mark! So, I covet your prayers on my behalf that, if it’s the Lord’s will, He will open up doors for me to stay in this area. I was referred to this current boarding house by a family member, but I know a lady (who was referred to me by a friend I met in college) who has a boarding house in this area, and I was considering moving there before I moved in this current house. Her house is always full of tenants because she’s a godly woman, and a devout Christian. So, she may not have a room available. I’m also open to sharing an apartment with a godly, Christian roommate. I definitely need the Lord’s guidance and direction in this situation, so I covet your prayers that the Lord will lead me to where He wants me to go. I will keep you posted re: where He leads me.

    Phil. 4:6-8, NLT

  25. remarutho says:

    Lifting your need to the Lord, Regina. As Paul told the Philippians, worry is of no use — laying our hopes before Him with thanksgiving is the path home.

    Rest easy, Sister!


  26. joycemb says:

    Praying also Regina and know God has something better for you, Trust Him as if you were His only child, never too busy to care for you. Joyce

  27. foreverblessed says:

    Regina, may God bless you and keep you!

    “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty”

    I will say of the Lord,
    “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

    He will cover you with feathers,
    and under His Wings you will find refuge;
    His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

    Psalm 91:1-2,4

  28. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Gary, I agree our gifts come from God and it is about using our gifts to build and not to be critical. I have been critical of others as I let myself be lead astray.

    While many in my country where raised to be critical of each other I was not so I let others influence my thinking.

    With God’s help I want to stop looking at others weaknesses and instead build on my own weaknesses for their is always room for improvement and Paul got this and so did my own Dad.

    Obedience is important for growth and you have said that all along, Gary, I am the weaker follower but I have my own strengths which I believe God can still use for His purpose.

    I believe my Dad being stable in his mind walked with God while I tend to lag behind or run ahead and cause myself distress.

    There are few men like my Dad because he was patient with me as God is patient with me. Being a parent now as helped me understand how different my children are and how I have to be patient with the less mature one. This helps me understand how God is the same with us and allows us to grow naturally rather than forcing His will on us.

    I must keep my eye on Christ and not on others or I will take one step forward and two steps back. My dad did not listen to other people and made good decisions because he kept God in his focus as a habit while I turn to God in my despair.

    God is amazing and it makes me sad to think that I have misunderstood Him for so long and that so many today still misunderstand Him because so many misrepresent him, myself, included.

  29. street says:

    ran into this today…
    Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

    3:1-6 The length of this war tried the faith and patience of David, and made his settlement at last the more welcome. The contest between grace and corruption in the hearts of believers, may fitly be compared to this warfare. There is a long war between them, the flesh lusting against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; but as the work of holiness is carried on, corruption, like the house of Saul, grows weaker and weaker; while grace, like the house of David, grows stronger and stronger.

  30. joycemb says:

    That’s very encouraging, corruption grows weaker and grace grows stronger, I wonder if this also applies to national affairs?

  31. joycemb says:

    Oops I should have said “current” national affairs.

  32. joycemb says:

    Sounds like a true and better ethic to me.

  33. street says:

    4 But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. 5 But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.

    6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

    as i read the above verse, i think paul is not amazed at the desertion, but how quickly it came. we all like sheep have gone astray. the Good Shepard will come for His own. we are told to be doing His will not our own, for we do not know when He will come for us. happy are those He finds doing His will.

  34. street says:

    gary said, “I know his ability to see was taken from him and he was led by others to his new destination, or the other Divine Appointment, where he would regain his physical sight.
    Just thinking…”

    this reminds me of the story in 2 Kings 4
    Is it well with the child?’” And she answered, “It is well.” 27 When she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught hold of his feet. And Gehazi came near to push her away; but the man of God said, “Let her alone, for her soul is troubled within her; and the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me.”

  35. street says:

    ethic 1. the body of moral principles or values governing or distinctive of a particular culture or group:the Christian ethic; the tribal ethic of the Zuni.
    2. a complex of moral precepts held or rules of conduct followed by an individual:
    a personal ethic.


  36. foreverblessed says:

    -To walk on higher ground than our personal, denominational and doctrinal differences-

    The higher ground being the personal walk with Jesus.
    We have a relation with Jesus, and that is far above the relation we have with our denomination, or with doctrines.
    Does any one of you have a relation with your doctrines? And if so, do the doctrines talk back to you?
    Just kidding!

    But thinking about that makes you realise that the relation with Jesus is of a higher order than, say, with our denomination.
    We have a relation with certain people of our denomination, but that’s it. A denomination is not a Person, who guides us, who inspires us, who is our Lord, who is our Savior.

    But it is important to have relation with christians! So we have churches, or church house groups, prayer meetings.
    Or en participate in a Christian blog, encouraging one another in walking with Jesus.
    Col 3:16-17

  37. street says:

    forever said,”Does any one of you have a relation with your doctrines? And if so, do the doctrines talk back to you?
    Just kidding!”

    that is a very valid point, not kidding.

  38. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… great points.

  39. oneg2dblu says:

    Funny thing about the school system where I work is they say, they teach only ethics, not morals.

    I guess you have got to go the Word of God, or to a bible believing church to learn about morals, because you just can’t get them at school and more.

    Three middle school girls were sent to the Dean this very morning for dress code violations, that was only my count of what I could hear coming over my pager.

    Can one be ethically correct and yet morally corrupted at the same time?

    Am thinking that “even talking about,” providing transgender bathrooms and shower rooms for the Middle School kids is absolutely insane.

    In this new world order, or lack of order if you will, the dividing line between right and wrong is so misconstrued it is almost non existent.

    Ethics verses Morals today is looking more like World War III.

  40. poohpity says:

    If I had to base my belief on the ethics or morals of Christians or doctrines of churches, I would not believe at all. Frankly as I look around, read and listen there is not anything I have heard or seen that would even excite me in anyway to wanna know Jesus.

  41. bubbles says:

    I cannot word this properly. We are to teach character ed lesssons. But can one truly have good character if the Holy Spirit is not producing fruit? On the other hand, believers can show some bad character and they have the Holy Spirit living inside of them.

    If someone is out only for themselves and do not care, can good character be taught?

  42. poohpity says:

    To me yes good character and ethics can be taught.

    Christianity to me is admitting we need someone to help us because we are broken and sick, in need of a doctor, Savior, leader. It is trusting in God to be what we were not able to be in and of ourselves. It is to show forgiveness and mercy for the undeserving like what has been done for us. It is not striving for perfect righteousness or comparative righteousness but imputed righteousness.

  43. joycemb says:

    Ya Pooh we all see through a mirror darkly…including you.:-)

  44. poohpity says:

    Now that is exactly what I was talking about!!!! I was saying I do not base my beliefs on other people, do you understand that or I would not believe. If I only had you Joyce as an example of Jesus would you be drawn to Him? That is something every single one of us needs to ask ourselves no finger pointing just a little self evaluation.

  45. joycemb says:

    No disagreement here!

  46. street says:

    thinking character ethics and culture can be taught. all people groups do this on their own hit or miss.
    thinking love, godly love, only happens when you die to yourself and are alive to God. thinking God has to be in you in order to love. it is not possible for the natural man. i say this because God’s love never fails. mans love fails miserably. abide in the vine.

  47. joycemb says:

    I agree with you also street. It seems with man it’s hit and miss more often than not. Only Jesus was the perfect one, we will never reach perfection this side of eternity, but we keep trying, running the race, as Paul says.

    Ii do get tired some days though…

  48. street says:

    there was nothing about Jesus appearance that drew people to himself. oh, but what He said and what He did drew 10’s of thousands. the really sad thing is He changed His message to parables, there was no room for Him in israel. make room for Him. the price is high, you will not be disappointed.

  49. bubbles says:

    Makes sense. Thank you. At times it is difficult to separate out things and underatand them fully.

    Could I please ask for prayer again? I know God comforts us, but I am missing my mither terribly. I need her, and I am very afriad right now. Thank you.

  50. SFDBWV says:

    Prayer for you bubbles.

    Give us a call, we are up.


  51. jeff1 says:

    Why have I remained believing in God while my family do not!
    Like me they where brought up to believe in God but do not!
    What makes me different, I believe the fear of going to hell makes me trust God.

    I am too weak and cannot keep all the commands God has given so what saves me from hell, Jesus saves me!

    Those who do not believe in God, do not believe in hell either so they do not fear going there!

    It is I who need to know God loves me despite my shortcomings and I cannot know this love by man’s actions but my what God has already done. He allowed Christ to be crucified so that I (the world) may be saved from hell. It is finished because God says so and not man!

    I must always look to the cross and not at man’s actions, it is the evidence of not only God’s love for me but for His love for this world. Amen. Christ is the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega.

  52. saled says:

    I love the picture of the tigers. It’s striking to see such powerful creatures displaying love.

    Maybe it all comes to this: In the Garden of Eden we were given free will, the capacity to choose love. Choosing love is not the same thing as character training. Character training might succeed in producing people who are honest and kind, but that is not the same thing as choosing love.

    I am almost 60 and just learning to choose love. There is a lot of chaos at my workplace and home, and I feel like just throwing up my hands and giving up. But I remind myself that I love these people, and that is the only thing that gives me the strength to keep going.

  53. foreverblessed says:

    Prayers for you Bubbles, and Saled!
    Someone here senr me a scriptures: Jam 1:12
    Hang in there!

  54. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    The end of the matter is as you say, Mart:

    “Now that we know who is Lord (the true and better Person among us), let’s find in him the true and better way by which to live with our differences. Let’s walk together, by his Spirit, in…love—as the true and better ethic (1 Cor 12:31).”

    Remembering your needs in prayer over here, Bubbles. May the Lord supply all comfort — and a change in your housing prospects (Isaiah 66:13)


  55. foreverblessed says:

    Joyce, I wanted to thank you for the story of your computer!
    God still works miracle, and if He doesn’t He wants to training us. That’s what I think!
    That scripture in James 1 is telling us we are being trained, and we should rejoice for that.
    But we pray for each other, for God’s mercy,
    Lord, have mercy on Bubbles, Saled, Regina, on Pooh,
    and on us all!

  56. jeff1 says:

    It is God who points me to Christ as evidence of His love for me. Confusion in my mind is diminished because of the Cross and it is a gift from God and not depending on my or others actions.

    Hell has no dominion over me and my suffering is temporary and I can rejoice in that knowledge.

  57. foreverblessed says:

    Last year a miracle happened to me, I had a splinter in my finger, overnight I found out it was there, and hurting! I had to play piano the next morning in church! In the morning my husband tried to get it out, but it had disappeared under the skin. So I started praying, and I gave some hints what God could do: Give it a little push, so it will move upwards, and then we can get hold of it and take it out.
    I got up and got a magnifying glass, and came back to my chair where my husband was sitting beside me, and tried to find the splinter, it was so tiny, but hurting! I was looking and looking, and couldn’t find it. Then I started to rub on my finger, and felt no pain anymore!
    Slowly, very slowly it dawned on me that it was totally gone!
    A miracle!

    It was such a reassuring moment, I had been praying for my headaches, and nothing seemed to happen. But if God could work miracle in taking away a splinter, so that I could play the piano, He could take away the headaches too! He must have a good reason that He doesn’t, and I must thank Him for that reason! And bless Him in all Hid working!

  58. poohpity says:

    Jesus addressed the religious leaders of His day on their striving for perfect righteousness which made them look good on the outside. Seemingly ethic but inside Jesus said they were not clean. While to the people around them they had places of honor but even their best was as filthy rags.

    Then with comparative righteousness that is comparing ourselves to others thinking I am better than most or then finding others than have it together more than me. Nothing to do with finding who we really are when we are compared to the standards that God has in place and knowing that there was only One perfect person that met all those standards.

    That One imputed His righteousness on us. We are declared righteous because of what Jesus did. That gives us no reason what so ever to boast in anything or be “puffed up” regarding anything we think about ourselves.

    So then it would seem the true and better ethic would be to forgive as we have been forgiven, show mercy and grace to those who do not deserve it like Jesus did for us, to do good to our enemies, to care for others even if they do not fit into our molds or people we may disagree with, rather than walking to the other side when we see someone in need reaching out to touch those others will not touch, etc..

    The ethic that Jesus has shown me is although He was all powerful did not show that power in an oppressive or controlling manor, although He knew everything did not flaunt it but took the role of a servant to serve and pursue mankind even for those who hated Him. Talk about a true and better ethic that was shown by my Jesus.

  59. jeff1 says:

    If I say I am a follower of Christ then I too must take the role of a servant for a servant is not greater than his master.

    When I have doubts about this world I must remember that God is still in control.

    There are times when I feel like Jesus, and ask, “God, why have you forsaken me?” but Christ is Risen and it is because He has Risen that I will too and this is the miraculous work of God and not of man.

    In this world we see the worst of man but that makes me all the more longing for the world to come when God will finally end suffering and bring His own Kingdom to fruition where like minded people shall reign with Him.

    From what I see in this world man’s way is not working but man will not concede and is looking to Science for answers.

    Perhaps God will use Science to open their eyes to the truth but in the meantime I must look to Jesus as an example of what a Christian should look like.

    When I do not look to Him I justify behaviors that are not Christian like and hinder the work of God in this world.

    I want to rise above such behavior so that God is recognized as the loving God He is and not an oppressive controlling God that He is so often portrayed when I fail.

  60. street says:

    poo said,”knowing that there was only One perfect person that met all those standards.

    That One imputed His righteousness on”to” us. “who receive and believe the Gospel”

    We are declared righteous because of what Jesus did.”

    The Gospel is the wisdom and power of God. making sinners wise and alive.

  61. joycemb says:

    I was thinking about suffering this morning. Peter says that suffering produces character. Job shows that suffering isn’t always about us, but God’s way of showing how much we love and trust Him even in the hard times. It may be even to show how proud He is of us through our suffering. (Job)

    Character proves the true and better way to the world, and to the enemies of God.

    Take heart all who are suffering for whatever reason, our God is real and true, and He knows those who are His. And He has the better outcome on the way!

  62. street says:

    love the pic, Father like son.

  63. poohpity says:

    street, didn’t Jesus do it for us even before we came to believe?

  64. street says:

    yes He had us in mind after doing His Father’s will. we still have to come to Him on His terms. as some have mentioned it is difficult, but not impossible. a child could do it.

  65. poohpity says:

    Aren’t His terms just to believe and then He takes it from there? Yes even a child can do it, if adults come as easily and as trusting as a child is then the miracles happen.

  66. street says:

    what does Jesus say about salvation and being a disciple?

  67. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, believing God is what gets me through this world.
    Living in a hostile environment since I was 15 I learned very quickly not to trust in men.

    God saves us for a purpose and though there are times I want to run away and hide from this world there is no escaping my circumstances.

    For me the greatest miracle was Jesus’s Resurrection for it ensured our Salvation and means that whatever my circumstances in this world God has not abandoned me.
    Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

  68. poohpity says:

    John 6:29; 1 John 3:23

  69. poohpity says:

    Yes Viv, I am praising the Lord right there with ya!

  70. joycemb says:

    Interesting conversation, I ” believed” that Jesus died for my sins so I could have eternal life and even professed those words to join my church; however, my believing did not bring me near to God. Even Satan believes and so do the spirits, anyone who’s been involved with exorcism or known a practitioner of spiritism knows this. The spirits tremble before Jesus but they are not Christians. Jesus tells us what it means to be a follower. It involves truth, obedience, humility, devotion etc. Along with a willingness to die to sin, self, pride.

  71. joycemb says:

    My Utmost. 9/20/2016

    Jesus said, “will you also go away”? John 6:66

  72. joycemb says:

    March 9, 2016 not what I said previously.

  73. joycemb says:

    How do we practice a true and better ethic if we are not walking with Jesus?

  74. joycemb says:

    Being a disciple of Jesus produces character and integrity.

  75. phpatato says:

    Street – 4:57pm

    Salvation :

    Romans 10:9 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    Being a disciple:

    *Putting Jesus first in all things (Mark 8:34-38) The disciple of Christ needs to be set apart from the world. Our focus should be on our Lord and pleasing Him in every area of our lives.
    *Following Jesus’ teachings (John 8:31-32) We must be obedient children and doers of the Word.
    *Fruitfulness (John 15:5-8) Our job is not producing fruit. Our job is to abide in Christ, and if we do, the Holy Spirit will produce the fruit, and this fruit is the result of our obedience.
    *Love for other disciples (John 13:34-35) We are told that love of other believers is the evidence of our being a member of God’s family (1 John 3:10). Love is defined and elaborated on in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. These verses show us that love is not an emotion; it is action.
    *Evangelism – Making disciples of others (Matthew 28:18-20) We are to share our faith and tell nonbelievers about the wonderful changes Jesus Christ has made in our lives. No matter what our maturity level in the Christian life, we have something to offer.

    …taken in part from GotQuestionsdotorg.

    So yes Joyce I agree with what you said about being a follower – or another word for follower – disciple. “It involves truth, obedience, humility, devotion etc. Along with a willingness to die to sin, self, pride.

    Praying for you Regina that you will find a place to live. xo Bubbles, I miss my mom every. single. day. I am praying that tomorrow will be a better day for you. xo Saled, life is becoming more chaotic and noisy it seems for me as well. I pray God’s comfort, strength and peace to fill your heart and mind. One day at a time. xo

    I pray all a good night’s sleep.


  76. poohpity says:

    Yes, the devil knows who Jesus is but I do not think that involves trusting and believing or having faith in Him. The devil only trusts and believes in himself. Wasn’t it that pride that caused him to be thrown down from heaven? Isaiah 12:12-15 NLT

  77. poohpity says:

    A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. 15 But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered. Acts 19:13-16 NLT

  78. jeff1 says:

    Phpatato April 19 10.13 pm

    I believe you are correct, I trust that as a believer who puts my trust in Christ, Salvation is mine as a gift but to be a disciple is a higher calling.

    while I believe I have failed in the latter I believe in my heart that God saved me from myself.

    This is the reason I should not interfere in another’s walk for I cannot know what God is doing in that person’s walk.

    I must focus on Christ myself, knowing that even though I can fail Him, His love for me does not change for the Cross is the evidence of that love.

    Pooh, I think it takes a person of a higher calling to recognize who has God’s spirit. There are those who worship the devil knowingly but there are those who have been led astray and still are God’s children.

    God’s plan is that none of His children will be held captive by Satan. If we look at the world around us the work is not yet finished.

    Pride, is one I can trip up on, because pride can be good or bad. If I forget my gifts are from God then I get puffed up and see them as my achievements but that does not make a person evil.

    I must be led by God’s spirit and not my own or I will trip up and become critical instead of growing more like Christ.

    I can tell you this because I am a weaker follower than my earthly father was and I have considered his strengths in order to realize my own weaknesses.

    I like what you said Phpatato about even those who lack maturity have something to offer for I do believe that even the very little things matter and we can sometimes overlook them in the big scheme of things.

  79. poohpity says:

    It would seem that all who follow Jesus are referred to as His disciples and yes it is a higher calling because we are called out of this world that is pretty much run by the adversary to follow the Savior. Does not seem to mean we do everything perfectly or right but our eyes and heart are looking up to God. All those called by God have a purpose and although people judge by the size, everything His child does matters no matter how small it seems to us.

  80. jeff1 says:

    That is very well put, Pooh, I believe that God recognizes the small contributions as well as the big but it is us who dwell too much on how great the contribution.

    God wants us to belong regardless of whether we are smaller or bigger in the Kingdom but you are right it is Pride that gets in the way.

    I believe it is taking my eyes off God that causes me to stumble but God is always there for me when I am ready to get up again.

    That is what is so amazing that God does not give up on us and when I finally realize what God is really like I am overwhelmed at His goodness and His patience for all my life I have not known God at all but I am only starting to know Him.

  81. poohpity says:

    I know! When I look at all my faults, weaknesses, failures I often ask, “how can you love me so completely Lord?”. It is with a very grateful heart I am just understanding more deeply how totally amazing His grace truly is.

  82. street says:

    joycemb said,” It involves truth, obedience, humility, devotion etc. Along with a willingness to die to sin, self, pride.”

    walking in the way truth life produces love, a true and better ethic.

  83. street says:

    jeff said, ” I can tell you this because I am a weaker follower than my earthly father was and I have considered his strengths in order to realize my own weaknesses.”

    please consider the power and strength of Christ that is directed towards His brothers and sisters.

  84. jeff1 says:

    I do consider it and know that I am among the weaker but am I to think that makes God loves me any less?

  85. street says:

    your earthly father’s wisdom and power came from the One he looked to. should his daughter do any less? granted you are a different vessel, are you loved any less? no you are not loved any less. we are all weak, it’s a confession among the chosen. we are weak so Christ is magnified. the righteous and the strong do not look to Christ. it’s a good thing to cry out to God, expect an answer. take your strength value goodness righteousness common sense intelligence to the cross. not by power not by strength, but by MY SPIRIT says the LORD. this is accomplished by faith in the One Who Promised.

  86. jeff1 says:

    As a mother I do not love my weaker child any less for being weaker but will encourage, support and love that child all the days of my life.

    It is love that I can not explain for I do not fully understand it myself!

  87. jeff1 says:

    If Jesus is magnified by my weakness then God’s will is being done through me!

    That is all I need to know, I can rejoice in that knowledge and leave the rest to God.

    It is peace of mind I need in a world that does not make any sense. It is man who disturbs my peace of mind but it is God who restores it.

  88. joycemb says:

    Love the conversation Viv and street, Amen from another weakling!

  89. jeff1 says:

    I love your sense of humor Joyce.

  90. joycemb says:

    :-)Ya I am part Irish ya know

  91. street says:

    What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be [b]in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin.

    27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.

  92. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes faith,, but faith without works?
    I think Paul had something to say about that type of faith.

  93. oneg2dblu says:

    ODB for 4-20 captured me when reading the Insight portion at the very end.

    Actually that last sentence…

    “The details capture the beauty of what was required for God to dwell with His people.” JR Hudgberg

    Some would call the details legalism, like the details found in the middle of 1 John 3:10,
    “Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God.”

    But, It is written, for a reason!

    There is you answer to Satan’s also being one was believes in God, but, he can not walk the talk.

    All of Satan’s problems are found in the details.

    Just thinking…

  94. oneg2dblu says:

    Wow, I must be tired,
    There is your answer for Satan’s also believing in God, he can not walk the talk.

    Taking a break,

  95. poohpity says:

    Wasn’t it James who spoke of faith without works is dead? The works he was speaking of seems to be good deeds.

    14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

    17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

    18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

    19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.[a] Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

  96. street says:

    The story goes that Thomas Aquinas, perhaps the world’s greatest theologian, towards the end of his life suddenly stopped writing. When his secretary complained that his work was unfinished, Thomas replied, “Brother Reginald, when I was at prayer a few moths ago, I experienced something of the reality of Jesus Christ. That day, I lost all appetite for writing. In fact, all I have ever written about Christ seems now to me to be like straw.

    The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning

  97. street says:

    17 But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! 18 For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through [a]the Law I died to [b]the Law, so that I might live to God.

  98. street says:

    17 But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not! 18 Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. 19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God.

  99. street says:

    17-18 Have some of you noticed that we are not yet perfect? (No great surprise, right?) And are you ready to make the accusation that since people like me, who go through Christ in order to get things right with God, aren’t perfectly virtuous, Christ must therefore be an accessory to sin? The accusation is frivolous. If I was “trying to be good,” I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down. I would be acting as a charlatan.

    19-21 What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.

    Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.

  100. joycemb says:

    GUILTY as charged, street. My “issue” is and has always been self-preservation. Being so near death throughout my life just doing whatever I can to keep myself alive has been like trying to keep your feet on the ground in a hurricane. No wonder I’m so wore out!!
    But returning to the imaginary “green pastures beside still waters” has saved me many times. And the knowledge that if Jesus can die and live again so can I. But most days my death cannot come soon enough. Someday I will be able to leave this flesh of anxiety/depression behind. Lord willing-and I know He is.

    I digress, as for rules they give me a temporary feeling of being OK within myself, and with others, as I know there is nothing good or lovely about myself.

    Thanks street for the opportunity to consider any possible alternatives this side of eternity.

  101. jeff1 says:

    What is clear to me is that man does not change when it comes to disagreeing about God and therefore I am thankful that it comes down to God in the end as to who He empowers and who He does not.

    I do not believe Christ will be looking at my religious practices or denomination but at how I treat my fellow citizen.

    While there is nothing wrong with my religious practices they do no make me a better person on the inside if I am not examining my heart and mind and aligning them with Jesus teaching.

    Although I know I can not do it perfectly that should not mean that I do not keep trying.

    They say that practice makes perfect or at the very least improvement and I know where I am concerned there is always room for improvement!

    There may be those who are righteous and therefor they are blameless in God’s sight but I need grace as I admit to being a weakling. (I am stealing your word Joyce)

    We have a programme over here called the ‘the weakest link’
    and I guess that is how I see myself in the Kingdom as a weak link but still loved by God just the same.

  102. joycemb says:

    Viv we used to have the ‘weakest link’ over here in the US. It’s been quite a while though I think.

    I used to think that a particular denomination was better than others,(that’s what a particular denomination taught), but as I’ve matured in my walk with the Lord like you I work more on my personal relationship with God and care about what He says about me, not by what others say. I don’t believe we will be separated into different denominations when Jesus comes for us. Ha, I think we will ALL be surprised!

  103. street says:

    this might sound strange, but take your weakness to the cross to! receive new life and offer it as a living sacrifice. Romans 12 i know, this is even fearful to me, the only reason i consider it is because of the One who ask of it. His love bids me come. He is patient and faithful. my prayers is always help! my Redeemer Lives and my Champion is never late.
    his Kingdom is under the radar right now, but it is going to be so awesome.

  104. street says:

    gary quoted,”“Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God.”

    2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is “hidden” with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

    we are hidden in Christ and the blood of Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness. no where does it say saints keep the law perfectly. they are perfect before God because of Christ.

  105. street says:

    this love compels us to live. it does not come from us. we are to be conformed to the image of His Son.

    prior to this we were compelled to sin because we served another. satan or ourselves the same thing. denial of self and taking up our cross helps us focus on the true and better. Jesus….the government shall rest on His shoulder….

  106. street says:

    gary you get to chose…..1 the law or 2 a cross. most people chose law and it doesn’t work. Christ chose a cross and His Father raised Him from the dead and seated him at His Right Hand forever. i have to admit i am fearful of the choice i have made, but i pray my choice is incurable. i got the incurable from the russian proverb mentioned in the ragamuffin book my son lent to me. quoted it earlier.

  107. oneg2dblu says:

    street… we all get to choose, not just me.

    “Chose to Sin, Chose to Suffer.

    It was scripture I was quoting, which I believe is the Word of God, not the word of gary.

    My choice is for both Faith and Works, because without works, faith is dead.

    “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

    If we could only stop seeing “works,” as law driven, pride filling, and against Christ on the Cross, then, we might have a chance at achieving both, faith and works.

    But, if you are stuck on faith alone, so be it for you.

  108. oneg2dblu says:

    Gee, if we could only remove those pest ridden details,
    “If you love Me, you will obey my commands.”

    Does that sound like we have an option?

    Does that sound like their are works?

    Does that sound like being righteousness?

    Does that sound like following a law?


  109. oneg2dblu says:

    Oops! There is no their, there. :0

  110. street says:

    gary did we have an option under satan’s rule?

  111. street says:

    gary said,”“Chose to Sin, Chose to Suffer.”
    how do you explain job?

  112. street says:

    thinking a person born of the flesh has no choice but to sin. it is impossible for them to do any good.

    God chooses some by His Sovereignty to adopt into His Kingdom through Christ and trains them in Righteousness. in other words He writes His Word on the hearts and gives them His Spirit to do and understand His Will.

    Who’s works are they? if our works are filthy rags, what works are you talking about?

  113. street says:

    gary said,”If we could only stop seeing “works,” as law driven, ”

    maybe love driven…..

  114. street says:

    i have no problem with faith with works. i do have a problem with who you credit it to.

  115. joycemb says:

    Dear Gary,
    When I hear someone like your pastor say, ‘choose to sin, choose to suffer’. I feel two things,

    1. guilt for the suffering I do caused by others
    2. guilt for the suffering I have caused others.

    Is this what Jesus intended when He died a horrible death on a cross? For all to be afraid of sinning because of the consequences? Why do we need a savior if guilt/consequences are more important than Christ’s sacrifice?
    Manmade reasoning is null and void compared to the wisdom of God as found in Christ Jesus (remembering Solomon). There is no fear or condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans) NOt because we are not ‘perfect’, we’re still in the flesh but bound for immortality.

    I would not find enough grace to deal with my own struggles if I were listening to your pastor; I might as well die; but I would still die holding Jesus’ hand. I’ve been there and praise God through this blog I am able to work-out the poison that kept me ashamed and chained for so long.

    blessings in Christ Jesus,

  116. joycemb says:

    Street I found the Ragamuffin Gospel years ago and it saved me from self-recrimination and condemnation by myself and others. Powerful and humble treatise.

  117. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All

    Pray all is well in your lives. Thank you, Maru, forever, joycemb, Pat and all for your prayers. My Landlady gave back the use of the washer/dryer, but I’m gonna keep going to the laundromat because I don’t have to wait my turn. There are plenty of washers and dryers to go around there. My Landlady hasn’t said anything else about the “move out/exit interview,” but I’m not one to rest on my laurels. There’s no telling when she may call or text and request a meeting, so I plan on being ready at all times.

    Also, a few of you shared a “bird story” in the previous blog topic, and I want to share one too. Though it won’t be nearly as interesting as a couple of the stories I read on the previous blog topic. A little more than 20 years ago, I was driving my son to daycare, and a medium-size bird that was approximately 12 to 15 feet away from my car (in a tree) flew out into the street. Well, it was flying to low, so I started whispering under my breath “lift, lift!”, but it didn’t and smacked right into it. So sad! I felt the thud of it’s body as it smacked my front bumper. I wondered if it was dead? It was a bad feeling knowing that my car could have caused the death of a bird, but the circumstances were out of my control. Thankfully, I have “almost killed” or “killed” anything since then.

    Enjoyed reading all of the comments on this blog topic.

    71 degrees and partly cloudy in my neck of the woods.

    LOVE to all,

  118. Regina says:

    correction: “haven’t” killed :-)

  119. street says:

    dear gary when you came to “faith” did you come by works or by hearing the Gospel? is justification by works? many people pull a bait and switch when it comes to the Gospel. beginning by faith and switching to works. justification is by hearing and believing God. you have to remember there are different soils. sure the parable says most soils do not produce fruit. what make the good soil good? certainly not works. could it be trust?

    when the prodigal son came back, did he come because he was a good person? no his other master was worse than his father. his father provided everything he needed to live. the Bible is right you can not serve two masters you will love the one and hate the other. do not grow tired of serving God, if you are you may not be walking in the Spirit. thinking we need to work to enter His rest. just thinking. sorry no verses quoted

  120. street says:

    “If you love Me, you will obey my commands.” sure repent, turn to God, believe the One He sent.

    Does that sound like we have an option? sinners can only sin, lovers of God trust Him, His Son, and His Word

    Does that sound like their are works? works of mercy and grace.

    Does that sound like being righteousness? nope….declared righteous

    Does that sound like following a law? no, abiding in grace. the law will kill you

  121. foreverblessed says:

    Street, what bible book did you cite on April 20, 4.38 pm?
    Ok, I think it is Gal 2:17-21
    Regina, great news! So you live together with many people, at least you are not lonely then!

    Are we now back to faith- works?
    I believe that it is exactly what Mart talked about, setting aside personal differences-.

    We all believe that we are saved by Jesus- right?
    We all are believe that God wants us to do good deeds- right?

    We do not produce fruit, we stay connected to Jesus, and then the Holy Spirit in us produces the fruit- right?

    So we encourage one another to abide in Christ in all we do!

    And I believe that it is important that love is the basis for all we do.
    Since we do not have that perfect love, we are debtors to Christ, that we receive it from Him, to do good deeds in love!

  122. jeff1 says:

    Focus on what unites us and not divides and it always comes back to Christ regardless of denomination. It is Christ that all Christians agree on as far as I am aware.

    To do otherwise always creates division and that is not what God wants but some seem to disagree with what God wants!

    I trust God to reward those in Heaven who have walked more righteous than I have because of my weaknesses.

    Trusting God that Christ has saved me means that I do not always go back to ‘beating myself up’ if I stumble or getting angry with others when they stumble.

    Forever is correct I am a debtor to Christ not to anyone else and it is He we should be all trying to please with whatever works we can.

    God uses us and we are not always aware how and in the end it is His empowerment that sustains me.

    I was bought at a price, I am not my own, but God has to remind me of this for I so often look no different to those who do not know Christ!

  123. foreverblessed says:

    Yes Jeff, great!
    I really like the God calling of today, April 21,
    Learning the habit of turning back into the presence of Christ, till all that is trouble in us comes into peace again.
    A habit that is trained till it is naturally.
    Lets all encouragement each other to abide in Christ, like Part wrote so nicely, thanks for the christian verses, and Street, and Joyce, and God bless all of us.

  124. poohpity says:

    A true and better ethic; Jesus said, ” So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”(John 13:34-35 NLT) “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” (John 15:12 NLT; 1 John 3:11, 23). Pretty simple and plain to understand what Jesus’s command was/is.

  125. poohpity says:

    “My Jesus”

    Which Jesus do you follow?
    Which Jesus do you serve?
    If Ephesians says to imitate Christ
    Why do you look so much like the world?

    ‘Cause my Jesus bled and died
    He spent His time with thieves and liars
    He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant
    So which one do you want to be?

    Blessed are the poor in spirit
    Or do we pray to be blessed with the wealth of this land?
    Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness
    Or do we ache for another taste of this world of shifting sand?

    ‘Cause my Jesus bled and died for my sins
    He spent His time with thieves and sluts and liars
    He loved the poor and accosted the rich
    So which one do you want to be?

    And who is this that you follow
    This picture of the American dream
    If Jesus was here would you walk right by on the other side
    Or fall down and worship at His holy feet? Holy, yeah

    Pretty blue eyes and curly brown hair and a clear complexion
    Is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins
    But the Word says He was battered and scarred
    Or did you miss that part?
    Sometimes I doubt we’d recognize Him

    ‘Cause my Jesus bled and died
    He spent His time with thieves and the least of these
    He loved the poor and accosted the comfortable
    So which one do you want to be?

    ‘Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
    The blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet
    But He reaches for the hurting and despises the proud
    And I think He’d prefer Beale St. to the stained glass crowd
    And I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud

    I wanna be like my Jesus
    I wanna be like my Jesus
    I wanna be like my Jesus, yeah
    I wanna be like my Jesus, oh, oh, oh

    Not a poster child for American prosperity, but like my Jesus
    You see I’m tired of living for success and popularity
    I wanna be like my Jesus, but I’m not sure what that means
    To be like You Jesus

    ‘Cause You said to live like You, to love like You
    But then You died for me
    Can I be like You, Jesus?
    I wanna be like You, Jesus
    I wanna be like my Jesus

  126. street says:

    forever that was Galatians 2:17-18 copy and pasted from The Message translation BibleGateway . com

  127. joycemb says:

    My Utmost this morning strikes me as a new and better ethic that goes beyond experiences, expectations, works and even ourselves; growth, discipline, obedience, works etc.

    “We look for God to exhibit Himself TO His children, but God only exhibits Himself IN His children. And while others see the evidence, the child of God does not.”

  128. jeff1 says:

    Abide with me, fast falls the eventide;
    the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide:
    when other helpers fail and comforts flee,
    help of the helpless, O abide with me.

    Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
    earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
    change and decay in all around I see:
    O thou who changest not, abide with me.

    I need thy presence every passing hour;
    what but the grace can foil the tempter’s power?
    Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
    Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

    I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless;
    ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
    Where is death’s dark sting? where, grave, thy victory?
    I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

    Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
    shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
    heavens morning breaks, and earths vain shadows flee;
    in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

  129. joycemb says:

    Speaking of a true and better ethic..

    Forever have you ever read about God Calling and how it got started? You can google “Why the book “God Calling” is considered occultic”

    It makes some good points, I think.

  130. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, Joyce, I have read that!
    I consider that being occult, that it is said by people who do not know the working of the Holy Spirit.
    As the Spirit can talk to you, and teach you, and van explain the deeper meaning of certain bible verses.
    It ts from the Spirit world of God, not from spiritual entities, as there is nothing in the book that gies against the bible.

  131. joycemb says:

    There is only one spirit world. It contains God and even Satan as Job talks about. The Holy Spirit resides in us, yes, if we belong to Christ. however the spirit realm is a whole other thing.

    I was a part of the Charismatic movement for 15+ years and spoke in tongues, interpreted, other’s tongues and saw things in the spirit realm both good and evil. It’s not a nice place to play or learn from. As a child both myself and my mother were able to see into the spirit realm and were both highly abused in it. A prayer from a Christian that God would close the door is finally what saved me from the torment I had been enduring. I had to be convinced to allow the door to be closed though, as it was what I’d known and when I became a Christian was a source of pride being told I was more spiritual and could worship better than ‘normal’ Christians which was way more pleasing to God. I wanted above all to please God! Not a bad thing, but when Christ isn’t enough for me to get my goodness from than that’s a problem.

    Remember that Satan does not appear as an ugly beast but as an angel of light. Although the more you worship that light only bad things happen. I know this from personal experience.

  132. joycemb says:

    Thanks to God for clearing the way for my previous post, as my computer suddenly went haywire and nothing I could do would let it be printed. I attributed it to the enemy and had to pray and ask God to intercede and clear the way for His truth to be displayed. Praise God He did!

  133. foreverblessed says:

    Joyce, thanks for your story!
    That wrong things happen in charismatic churches is possible, Bad things also happen in legalistic churches. Or in any other church when the self life of christians is more important than being a humble person, like a child being led by God.
    Does that mean that when you pray to God, and sing hymns, and then sit and listen what God has to say, that that is occult?
    These women were not proud, in fact, very humble, and of low self esteem. They sought the guidance of God, and prayed together for it.

  134. joycemb says:

    Opening up our God given minds to the spirit realm to do whatever is very dangerous, especially for those of low-self esteem which is what I am. Seeking guidance from God is good of course, but if we can’t trust our mind at all then how do we know what we are hearing is right? Like I said, playing in the spirit realm is not what we are told to do. We have the Holy Spirit within to guide, direct, convict, comfort etc. and that’s enough. We don’t need to ’empty’ our minds to hear from Him.
    colossians 2:8-10

  135. joycemb says:

    Colossians 2:8-10

  136. foreverblessed says:

    Empty your mind? that is not what we do, we focus on what God has to say

  137. joycemb says:

    Forever we all, always need tweaking of our faith. Good to fellowship with you!

  138. foreverblessed says:

    But as I get it, you are not fond of penticostal or charismatische churches?

  139. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, it is good fellowshipping with you!
    And there are people in my housegroup who pray in tongues, and I do not have the impression it is of Satan. They sometimes see things, but that is always something to encourage, like light that shines on us, or rain that falls on us. I cannot see the evil spirit world in all of this.

  140. joycemb says:

    No not fond of them but I still have friends from those days. I am just sharing my experiences and faith journey. We are all at different places on our journeys.

  141. joycemb says:

    I’ve also experienced and known other worshippers that have seen things like rain, mist, Angels, demons and the like. Maybe I needed those things at the time, as the disciples performed miracles to convince people they were of God. But I needed to see what He delivered me from I suppose. Where I am at now I sense Gods presence 24/7 so. I’m more peaceful within, yet it’s the physical world that causes irritation now mostly. Praise God for His amazing gift of salvation:-)

  142. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All
    Pray all is well in your lives. forever, yes, I live with four women (one is a teenager–18 yrs. old) and a child, but they’re *not* the reason why I’m not lonely. I’m not lonely because (((JESUS))) is my best friend, and because I have the most *phenomenal* church family in the world! jeff1 the song/poem you shared (Abide With Me) is beautiful, and it was a blessing to me!

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

    LOVE to all,

  143. joycemb says:

    Regina we have it all when we have Jesus, don’t we!!!! so glad to hear your encouraging words.

    forever I have to make a change in a response to a question you asked. You asked if I was not ‘fond’ of charismatics/pentacostals. Well, actually I have no one denomination I’m more fond of over another. It’s where I’m at in my journey. I’m more of an ecumenical worshiper now. I find something in all denominations I really like. I can worship wherever I go, according to the particular mode of worship used. When in Rome do as the Roman’s do so to speak. It doesn’t make me hypocritical at all, I’ve learned wherever I am it’s the same God we all worship. I do though prefer a more quiet type of worship setting. Often my living room with internet services I can choose serve me when I am not able to go to church.

  144. bubbles says:

    Please pray. I’m struggling with fear.

  145. joycemb says:

    praying bubbles. God is holding you in His arms.

  146. jeff1 says:

    I know how difficult that is Bubbles and I just keep repeating the Lord’s prayer until the fear subsides. It works for me and I find that my spirit is calmed and I can be at peace again.
    My friend told me to always pray the Lord’s prayer when in a difficult place for it is the prayer given to us by God and I believe it restores my doubt and fears.

  147. pegramsdell says:

    For you Kathy:
    Isaiah 41:10
    So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

  148. SFDBWV says:

    When Matt was in the ICU the one Scripture that jumped out and stayed with me was Psalms 23:1-6 KJV

    “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
    He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake.
    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
    Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runeth over.
    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

    Be at peace my friend.


  149. oneg2dblu says:

    Bubbles… How closely matched are faith and fear, even though we can see neither, we can fully believe in possessing both.
    Both are very powerful forces, that can change us forever.
    I’ll never forget anxiously sitting in the oral surgeon’s office awaiting my turn in the chair.

    Fully knowing I had a background full of fear, and letting that fear dominate me, I made wrong choices and lost teeth that could have been saved.

    But that was then, and since then, a form of faith has come into my life, a faith that conquers fear, “Praise God.”

    A faith that has a place to take fear, a place that subdues its horrid weight upon its victims, and places it in the Arms of the “Only One” who carries all our cares, supplies all our needs, knows our words before we utter them.

    May that God Given Faith be your’s in this very moment Bubbles.

    Among the magazines in that Dr’s office was a Holy Bible which I picked up and immediately turned to Hebrews
    13:6… where my eyes read the following, “so that you may say boldly,”The Lord is my Helper,I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

    That old familiar recurring place, filled of fear, seemingly fell away and a peace that surpasses understanding, became part of me.

    The fear I held was taken from me, and the faith in the word became a much better place for me to be.

    May it be yours,

  150. poohpity says:

    bubbles, thank you for feeling safe enough to ask for our prayers. I do not know how to pray for you but the Holy Spirit knows all your needs and I ask for His intercession on your behalf. In Jesus’ name.

  151. narrowpathseeker says:

    Bubbles, I, like Steve, find much comfort in the 23rd Psalm. I am posting another one that I find comforting as well. Psalm 27King James Version (KJV) I hope this helps…. I am also praying for you.
    1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

    2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

    3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

    4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.

    5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

    6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

    7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

    8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

    9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

    10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.

    11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

    12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

    13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

    14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

  152. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All

    Was typing this comment last night, and I fell asleep. Will be praying for you, bubbles… Want to share some encouraging scriptures/Bible verses with you that are a blessing to me whenever I’m enduring adversity and/or when I’m weary/discouraged…
    1 John 4:18
    Psalm 3:6
    Psalm 23:4
    Psalm 27
    Psalm 46
    Psalm 91
    2 Timothy 1:7
    Philippians 4:6-8
    Isaiah 41:10
    From the time I began typing this comment (last night) until now, I pray that you’ve received encouragement from the LORD.
    joycemb, we do, indeed, have it all when we have a relationship with Jesus, and you’re welcome re: the encouraging words.

    81 degrees and partly cloudy in my neck of the woods.

    LOVE to all,

  153. bubbles says:

    Thank you. Verses were coming to mind last night as I laid in bed. Then my thoughts slip and fear comes. This may be nothing. I have worried in the past and then felt foolish. But I am afraid. Thank you very much. Please, if you think of it, please pray.

  154. poohpity says:

    “When we are powerless to do a thing, it is a great joy that we can come and step inside the ability of Jesus.”
    -Corrie ten Boom

    When we do not know what to do or how to pray just call to Jesus!

  155. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    Praying over here, Bubbles, for you and for each one who is experiencing fear tonight. So many good Scriptures have been shared.

    Here is another praise to God for His power in the midst of fear:

    “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit or stand. When far away you know my every thought.

    You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am.

    You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head.

    This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! I can never be lost to your Spirit! I can never get away from my God! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there.

    If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, your strength will support me.”

    Rest easy, God is with us!

  156. SFDBWV says:

    I have always found it interesting that Saul found comfort and peace only when David played his harp. It is sometimes thought David may also have given some words of comfort along with the music he played for Saul.

    When I need my soul quieted and comforted it is always through prayer praise and the Psalms that I can also be comforted.

    No one wants to feel a kinship to the bad guys in Scripture, but I have also found that like Saul I too was tormented by a dark spirit. Unlike though the story of Saul I was rescued and saved by grace, though still find peace and comfort there in the Psalms.

    I watched a little of a National Geographic special last evening “Looking for God”. Interesting, but I wasn’t impressed. It seems to me God isn’t found intellectually but rather in a deeply personal revelation between God and man.

    One comment made me laugh though when Morgan Freeman ask universal questions; “What is this all about? Why are we here? What’s going to happen to us?

    When you look closely, Jesus is there in the Psalms with open arms and ready to give comfort and hope when there seems to be none.

    49 degrees fog and drizzle in the mountains today.


  157. joycemb says:

    Lord Jesus please help bubbles with her fears, thank you.

  158. jeff1 says:

    I can relate very much to music being a comfort and this is another of my favorites.

    Somebody Bigger Than You And I

    Who made the mountains, who made the trees
    Who made the rivers flow to the sea
    And who sends the rain when the earth is dry
    Somebody bigger than you and I

    Who made the flowers to bloom in the spring
    Who made the song for the robins to sing
    And who hung the moon and the stars in the sky
    Somebody bigger than you and I

    He lights the way when the road is long
    He keeps you company
    And with His love to guide you
    He walks beside you
    Just like He walks with me

    When we’re filled with despair
    Who gives me courage to go from there
    And who gives me faith that will never die
    Somebody bigger than you and I

  159. street says:

    A True and Better Ethic

    True and better Kingdom

    But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Love Joy Peace with God. the world, try as it might, can not disturb what God has placed into the hand of Jesus.

  160. foreverblessed says:

    Have been praying for you too, Bubbles!

    About Psalm 23:5
    You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.

    That first line is OK, but the second…
    Let God take away my enemies, get them out of my sight, then I’ll feast with the Lord- that is my wish.
    But…He wants to feast with me in the presence of my enemies.

    So, with fear involved, even if the fear is still there I train to focus on Jesus, say prayers, sing songs, sing Psalms.

    I have had a battle with fear, just fear for no reason, for a long time, years, while I was a full blown chriatian, ha ha whatever that is, but fully actively believing in Christ. You could say, how is it possible that fear grabs you? Maybe some moment where my peace in Christ was disturbed, and a spirit if fear had a foothole?
    But day after day I struggled, for years, and now, when Bubbles posted, I thought: Well, where is that fear gone, it has gone a long time ago!
    It was such a process, that I didn’t notice it was gone.

    So hang in there Bubbles! Psalm 23:5-6

  161. bubbles says:

    Thank you.

    I am sorry to mess up the thread here. I needed prayer and I didn’t want people here that I really know to know. I’m sorry.

    Thank you for the verses. I have been reading them, and it has calmed me inside. This may be nothing, and then I will feel foolish.

  162. oneg2dblu says:

    bubbles… you did not mess up this thread, you brought into it a congenial golden thread of prayer for the needs of one in the family, and we are all blessed to be a part of that.

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