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Looking for What’s Missing


Shifting Focus and Perspective

In the previous post, “What’s Wrong With this Picture?” the close up of the ant sculpture in the Atlanta Airport shows what happens when perspective is missing.

My guess (trying to read the lines, and between them) is that when Paul says to the divisive church in Corinth (inconsiderate of one another, and drinking to their own loss at the Lord’s table <1Cor 11:18-19>)— he was writing with the same perspective that caused him to end his letter writing, “if someone has no love for the Lord let him be accursed” (1 Cor 16:23)… “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen” (v 24).

Prior to, and between these chapters, Paul wrote of the suffering and crucifixion that revealed the heart of God for us. In chapter 13 Paul described what that same love looks like when it shows up in the Lord’s people.

If Paul is writing with the same perspective in 11:18-19 and 16:23, then the key to understanding what he is saying must have something to do with the love that was brought to ultimate expression in the Cross, and the love in which Paul ends his letter (16:24).

So what does the love of the Cross have to do with Paul’s two statements that “there must be divisions to see who is approved of God” and “if anyone love not the Lord, let him be accursed”?

I might be wrong, but seems to me that whether we handle our divisions in such love can be an important signal to ourselves (and possibly to one another) as to whether we have the love and approval of the Lord (and his cross) in us. And if we don’t have such love in us, then a loving God and messenger want us to see that our loveless spirits are under the curse of that which is mindless, worthless, and of no profit to us (1Cor 13:1-3).

As for the ants… they’ve been designed to work together for their shared benefit, and to the honor of their Creator– when the seasons change.

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147 Responses to “Looking for What’s Missing”

  1. jeff1 says:

    I hope you are wrong, Mart, because that seems to me that those of us who have faith and hope but lack love are damned.

    I cannot love God without loving my enemies so the truth is my lack of love for my enemies is also lack of love for God.

    My struggle is that I cannot force myself to love those I do not and I cannot pretend to God I love them when I don’t!

    Also troubles me that the ants have been designed to work together for their shared benefit as I believed I was designed to do the same!

    Its no wonder I choose to take refuge in Christ because who else can make me right with the Father only Him.

    Grace is my only hope for I have failed in what it takes to be righteous in God’s eyes.

  2. Mart DeHaan says:

    No, Jeff, not condemned in that sense, but rather losing in works done apart from faith in God and love for others.

  3. poohpity says:

    Viv, if one of those enemies came to your door hurt would you refuse to help them?

  4. poohpity says:

    I believe when we can identify what is missing from our lives which if we are honest is many things when it comes to Christian character and reflecting Christ, we can ask God for help in those areas. He never seems to expect us to do it on our own without His help.

    It seems we make the choice of living under the curse which ties us to hatred, divisions and living as if we have never received what Christ has offered us. I guess that is why we are asked several times to take time for self reflection. God already knows the areas that need work and when we find out what lurks within us then we are not as quick to look at those areas in others.

  5. street says:

    My guess (trying to read the lines, and between them) is that when Paul says to the divisive church in Corinth (inconsiderate of one another, and drinking to their own loss at the Lord’s table <1Cor 11:18-19 he was writing with the same perspective that caused him to end his letter writing, “if someone has no love for the Lord let him be accursed” (1 Cor 16:23 )… “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen” (v 24).

    mart that phrase " caused him to end his letter writing," caught my attention. thinking of job friends and their windy arguments. certainly they must end sometime? they were a burden to job and did not comfort him. whether they spoke or did not speak it did not comfort job. there speaking increased his suffering and he called them sorry comforters. i think they were in a very bad position that paul spoke of because of no love. we do know they were restored by job's prayer.

    thinking further of love….we know it starts with faith and hope. thinking of a stillness and peace that is available to the children of God that allows the wisdom and grace to love the unlovable. until Jesus there is no love. we love because He first loved us. yes paul was in great labor for the church of Corinth. after letter writing and windy arguments He just showed up because some were looking for Him.

  6. joycemb says:

    My devotion today says that until we have learned how to abide in Christ through dieing to self we cannot truly become one, yet Christ prayed that “they may be one, as We are one.” So I ask myself, how can I blame others when I’m not following/abiding in Christ myself? I’m thinking also that death to self can take many forms; body, soul and spirit.

    Happy dieing everyone!

  7. joycemb says:

    Mart I enjoyed the live feed on FB today of Discover the Word. Nice to have a face/voice to your posts here.

  8. jeff1 says:

    If I did help them it would be because of my fear of God and not my love for them.

    They have deeply hurt people here by their actions and it seems they do not care about the consequences for the people.

    You cannot expect people to love you if you tell them they deserved to be blown up, shot and maimed because they did not share your political beliefs.

    War is not personal until it affects you personally and only then can you know how that will affect your response.

    I do not like what I have become anymore than I like my enemies but it is who I am and there is punishment in making wrong choices for both myself and them.

    Self reflection does not mean I will not look at areas in others but that I will not judge them knowing that I have no right to judge since I am a sinner myself.

  9. joycemb says:

    Hi Viv, I thought of you as I read this a minute ago knowing that you understand it perfectly.

    “I have chosen you” John 15:16. Keep that note of greatness in your creed. It is not that you have got God, but that He has got you.”
    My Utmost for His Highest, October 25

  10. street says:

    dear jeff remember joycemd or poo talking about resentment is where you drink the poison and expect the resented one to die or be punished. when we go to the cross we find forgiveness, it’s a cross that ends our complaint and sin, not over night i might add, but it will end. the Bible talks about a person who has suffered has ceased from sin.
    thinking further ….the sin of envy is the only sin that has no fun to it. just learn that from odb and it is so true. i have experienced this sin and it is devastating and no fun to it like the others. i think it is the root of much anger and bitterness. the sin of envy took me more than a year to identify, it is so stealthy. and yes it is rooted in our pride. not fun at all. i am so glad i survived it!!!continue to pray wait and watch. thinking that hurt or brokeness can only be healed by God. there is no condemnation in those who are in Christ Jesus. thinking of john bunyons book pilgrims progress where christian is in doubters castle with the key to his release close to his heart. praying for you freedom

  11. street says:

    jeff, can you see Jesus on the cross? can you see that you deserve no less? but He did this for you so you would be free from sin and death. true forgiveness, and true love.
    God has entrust Him with all judgment power and authority. make peace with your Adversary, God, before you come before the Judge, Jesus. He gave us what we really needed. look to Him and don’t give up. thinking of the Great Hall of Faith in the New Testament where other have refused to surrender faith hope or their love for God. they did it for nothing like job. sure we get adversity, that is our Dad at work, conforming us to the image of His Son. He is Faithful.

  12. street says:

    thinking of the rich man who asked Jesus what he had to do to have eternal life? happy life fruitful life satisfying life. he went away sad because he was rich…..thinking he will be back, he wanted life not death. Jesus knew this too, and would wait like a Father waiting for His Son to return.

  13. foreverblessed says:

    J E S U S

  14. street says:

    mart said,”…..and to the honor of their Creator– when the seasons change.”

    this is a fear that comes up to me, a change of season or transition. thinking of living in peace and then the season changes to war or for some living in war and fearing peace? we really are a strange creatures. let God be revealed and trusted.

  15. jeff1 says:

    I think I have lived too long in war and I am afraid of what price peace comes at.

    I am too tired to fight about who should own what because as I see it we are all caretakers here and if we took care of what we had rather than coveting what others have we might just enjoy our numbered days on this planet.

    If I have learned anything it is that God knows men a lot better than men know God and for that I am truly thankful.

    To God Be The Glory.
    Great Things He Hath Done,
    So Loved He The World
    That He Gave Us His Son.

  16. Mart DeHaan says:

    Jeff1, and all, struggling with the facts and memories of past conflict and immeasurable loss helps to make the infinite meaning of God’s love in the Cross so real.

    The problem with conflict is that, even though an isolated offense (i.e. act of violence or flagrant rudeness at the “Lord’s table”) may be easy to recognize as a wrong, the roots of conflict are often so deeply rooted in perceived and real wrongs on both sides. I think that’s what Paul is seeing in the Cross that displays our God, in voluntary weakness, bearing our wrongs to show us the love of his Father.

    Yes, there is a time for peace and a time for war. A time to love and a time to hate. Even in the irrationality of consequences resulting from mutual sin we can ask the question “what does the love of Christ look like now?” In those moments love (and law) prompt us to do whatever it takes to protect those who rely on our care.

  17. SFDBWV says:

    “I think, therefor I am.”

    A famous quote and one most people are familiar with.
    In the study of Scripture I “think” it a great mistake to try and speak for God or try and explain the actions of another.

    I truly appreciate the honesty of Viv as she is not trying to pretend to any here and certainly knows she can’t hide her true heart from God.

    Do a little study of psychopathic behavior and you find that there are some people in the world with absolutely no conscience whatsoever. They lie, steal, cheat and even murder without the least remorse. Only saddened when caught and punished and saddened only because they are punished not because of crimes/trespasses against another.

    It becomes the Communist manifesto, “the ends justify the means.”

    I have always so appreciated the teachings of Billy Graham and have to thank him for the simple statement concerning the matter of the “unforgivable sin”. “If you are worried about it you have nothing to worry about.” The Holy Spirit in you produces a war or conflict within you between right and wrong behavior all the remainder of your days.

    You each can lie to yourselves and try and pull the wool over others eyes, but there are people whose behavior comes into conflict with your own and whom you don’t love as you understand love. You might have a lot of emotions concerning them, but to say you love them as you do your children or some family members, the fact is you do not.

    Does this truth condemn you? Only to people who look to condemn you and look for a way to, not for the Man who died on the cross at Calvary. And not for a God who created you.

    While examining love, consider the lukewarm waters of being indifferent. How is it that Jesus speaks of being indifferent towards others? As well as flat or indifferent in our faith.

    There are a great mixture of personalities amongst people and this Bible is telling us how to deal with each as well as acknowledging there are differences. We can’t be expected to change the behavior of another only learn at what level of tolerance we can dwell amongst them. No surprise to say that some should be accursed and feel the heat of God’s condemnation, perhaps that being the only way they can finally see the err of their ways. Tough love, but never the less, love.

    53 and cloudy this morning in the mountains.


  18. SFDBWV says:

    Mart it Looks like I was being creative while you were posting this morning. I am sorry I missed your thoughts yesterday morning, as you know I too have a busy life and one that doesn’t belong to me.

    Personally I am glad and somewhat relieved to read you trying to put some life into the subject. Your presence is always needed and missed here.

    Hope you have a blessed day.


  19. joycemb says:

    Steve I think that if we left how we “feel” about others as a guideline of how we “love” others Jesus would not have had to die on a cross. I believe this is the point Mart is trying to get across. We may feel more affectionate toward some than others in our humanness, but love, Agape, is what also we are called to, the High road that takes the cross into consideration at all times :-). Have a blessed and fruitful day, as usual. Joyce

  20. joycemb says:

    Steve my father was a diagnosed psychopath. I loved him because he was my father and hated his abusive actions toward myself, family, friends and neighbors. But as I saw him through Gods eyes of love it was easier to forgive his great multitude of sins. While keeping my kids and myself far away from him to avoid more abuse. God loves us all, while giving us common sense to work with. I saw Gods ways at work, as the last years of his life he “allowed” my mother to finally have one friend; who turned out to be a Pentecostal believer and ended up leading him to the Lord just before he died, and my mother soon after. Ah the cross, that wonderful awful cross. J E S U S

  21. poohpity says:

    What good is it to love only those who love you back? Looking for what is missing most often is when we justify drinking the poison and leading others to drink it as well which brings death to the soul of the one drinking it and then even worse to those who lead others to drink from the cup of hatred as well. Hate kills the person feeling it not those whom it is towards.

    After going through the last 6 months of dealing with process of reporting sexual assault from that doctor, I feel I had every right to hate that man and I shared that with God. But God rather than encouraging that hate brought to mind all the things that I have done that He hated but forgave and showed me grace. It was like having a horrible weight lifted from my heart and shoulders. Who am I and although I have not done that same thing to anyone I have done other things which have deserved hate yet I received love and mercy. It has not come easily walking through the process of letting it go even after the police and the medical board came to the conclusion that it is a case of he said, she said so no legal action was taken against him. I know what happened but more importantly God knows what happened and I have placed it in His hands.

    I know the man is sick and needs help so that is what I pray for him. I pray for mercy and that he does not do it to another knowing that if he did they would report it and then they would know it did in fact happen. The hate I was experiencing was causing me problems inside causing depression, anxiety and my heart to become hard. Does the doctor know that, I do not think so, my hate was only harming me and actually my relationship with God. I got angry with God.

    But everyday through this process while reading scripture I was encouraged and I found that God was understanding while asking me to trust in Him. I do not know yet how He is working behind the scenes but I trust that he is, so I do not need to stress over it. If that doctor were to need something and I had it within myself to do something kind for him I would and my forgiveness is part of that even though he does know I have forgiven him, I have because I will not die inside. He has already caused enough damage I will not continue to let him damage me any further and that is what hate does.

  22. poohpity says:

    oops even though he does “not” know I have forgiven him.

  23. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    I imagine the wooden “JESUS” sign (photo above) appears all over the world. If the pattern of just 15 pieces of wood did not define the empty space, there would be a huge absence — a vast nothing. No meaning.

    In fact, some looking at the pattern for the first time, or with eyes half closed, see only a random set of dashes in a contrasting color from the background. No sense emerges from it.

    Here is a picture of grace and the absence of grace! What a contrast in the meaning of everything. Would that the Word of God — the Name of God — would infuse our lives with fullness of meaning and purpose!

    Our Daily Bread devotion for today explores the story in Mark 5 about Jesus removing a legion of impure spirits from the man who knelt before Him. Chaos was transformed into right order when the Lord removed the evil influences.

    Then, the purpose of the man’s life began to show forth: He “began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.” (Mark 5:20)

    Agreeing with those here who have expressed that there seem to be limits to how much a Jesus-follower can bear with those in the community who live without conscience — showing no mercy or grace. How to offer them grace – how to keep praying for their transformation in Christ? When to shake the dust off your feet?

    Paul wept over those who live as enemies of the cross of Christ (Philippians 3:18, 19) — and warned young Timothy about those who renounce the faith (1 Tim 4:1, 2) There is only prayer and intercession in the face of implacable godlessness, it seems to me.

    Joy Unspeakable All Day,

    66F and fair in the valley — forecast to get to 91F.

  24. jeff1 says:

    I have left my hate in God’s hands and so that I gain strength I focus on Christ and avoid circumstances where I have to deal with conflict and focus on the good things in my life.

    I need to do this for my own sanity as I was seeing too much of the darkness in the world and not enough of what is good in the world.

    I believe I am trusting God again after a crisis where I was unsure of who God was.

    Mart, you are so right, the roots of conflict are complicated and my father recognized this long before I did and it is in recognizing that I now understand why my father took the stance he did because he knew that there was wrongs on all sides and my father had the sensitivity to know how we should be moving forward rather than piling hot coals on each other’s heads.

    I cannot trust in my own understanding and it has taken me a long time to understand that God protects me/us in ways unknown to me and I must accept He has very good reasons.

    It is God’s plan to save those who live as enemies and my earthly father always got that while I believed we had to defeat them and to think that my dad was the military man yet every bit the peace maker.

  25. street says:

    mart said,”the roots of conflict are often so deeply rooted in perceived and real wrongs on both sides”

    thinking of joseph and what his brothers did to him. yes it was real and wrong. yet after many years, testing of brother’s and himself, he found a true remorse and forgiveness that only God could bring to pass. i think of the conflict joseph endured while planting his cup in benjamin’s bag. his faith hope and love for God was found fruitful and he found it in his brothers.

    i can see where perception can really derail faith and cause us much grief. even the one who is wrong has to go through remorse and forgiveness. thinking of Jesus in gesemity sweating drops of blood not for His sin, but He did suffer a form of remorse. thinking of God regretting He made man. He proves His love every day.

  26. joycemb says:

    Reading between the lines seems to mean that no matter what is going on there is always a deeper meaning. Mart I so agree!

  27. street says:

    maru said,”Agreeing with those here who have expressed that there seem to be limits to how much a Jesus-follower can bear with those in the community who live without conscience — showing no mercy or grace. ”

    even Jesus, could not spend the night in the Temple of God and had to sleep in the field because of what His beloved community had become. thinking of david living in a cave. He showed the full measure of love for His loved ones. there is no other.

  28. poohpity says:

    street, what makes you think Jesus could not spend the night in the Temple or that they even had places to sleep there except for the priests from the tribe of Levi or that he slept in the fields due to what His community had become? From some places in scripture He was invited to stay at the homes of His followers or on the road as they traveled.

    David slept in caves it seems he was so well known and was being pursued my the King and his men to kill him and he had 600 men and their families to care for and the caves were safe.

  29. street says:

    the cave was not that safe (neither the temple) because david took his family and hid them with the king of moab i believe. david and Jesus both knew they could not bring about God’s will by confrontation, but had to depend on God. many kings failed serving God by avoiding confrontation and where reprimanded for this. the hard part is figuring out the difference. i do know you will not get the right answer unless you turn to God. the world is never safe, but you are safe with God. even in confrontation, there is a when and how.
    were not Jesus’s trials run by those who administer what went on in the temple? it was safe in the day/not at night. Jesus spent time training and teaching His chosen ones, He was hidden until His hour had come. we are not to fear the darkness nor be ignorant of it, as others have mentioned.

  30. street says:

    oh poo i forgot to mention the place of the olive press was a place of habit for Jesus to spend time, outside of jerusalem. it was the place judas was familiar with and chose to betray. it was a place of solitude.

  31. poohpity says:

    street, again I am confused.

  32. jeff1 says:

    Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength because it is God who strengths in the wilderness and I need to recognize when it is time to renew or a time to confront.

    If I act without renewing then I will be lacking and cause myself and others harm that God never intended.

    God chooses those whom He knows understands this because they are ready for higher service than those who do not understand it.

    It is the work of the indwelling spirit that recognizes the difference in acting or waiting and Jesus’s discernment was perfect in knowing the difference.

  33. SFDBWV says:

    June 3, 2016
    The Secret of the Lord
    “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.” (Psalm 25:14)

    This is an amazing promise. The word for “secret” means the “inner counsel,” evidently of the triune God Himself.

    But how can those who fear the Lord really know the secret counsels of the Godhead? The answer can only be by divine revelation to God’s prophets. Thus, the prophet Amos affirms: “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but [unless] he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).

    When these ancient promises were given, however, much of God’s revelation, though already “settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89), was still not revealed to men. Then Christ came and promised His disciples, “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost . . . shall teach you all things” (John 14:26).

    “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2). In addition to the 12 disciples, God then also called the apostle Paul, and through these men the Son would convey to those who fear Him all the rest of His revelation. “By revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (. . . Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:3-5).

    Finally, “the secret of the LORD” was completed in written form by John, the last of the apostles, with nothing else to be either added or deleted (Revelation 22:18-19), that “the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets” (Revelation 10:7). All we shall ever need to know of God’s eternal counsels is now available to all who desire to know, in the Holy Scriptures. HMM

    From “Days of Praise” and a little lead in to my next opportunity to write. I could not get on earlier this morning.

    52 degrees windy and cloudy today.


  34. poohpity says:

    I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church. 25 God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you. 26 This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. 27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

    28 So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect[g] in their relationship to Christ. 29 That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.(Col 1:24-29 NLT)

    The secret that was in heaven was revealed in Christ Jesus.

  35. joycemb says:

    Pooh you know scripture but was wondering if you have received the Holy Spirit? That is very helpful in discerning the deeper things of God, the “between the lines” kind of things Street talks about.

  36. joycemb says:

    *street and others also

  37. street says:

    jeff said,”Thus, the prophet Amos affirms: “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but [unless] he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets”

    i think of Jesus chastising nicodemus over things he should already know and did not in John.

    the first servant not knowing what was going on that came to mind is,”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.” 28 Then she said, “Did I ask for a son from my lord? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me’?”

    thinking further in the upper room discord. Jesus told His disciples, whom had been with all along the last few years and He was telling them He was going away. to say they were bummed out would be an understatement. if Jesus told me He was going away from me i would be in a panic. yet He said it was for our good He goes away and He would send another Helper. not only did He send another Helper He promised He would come back, He add promises here, and that no one would be able to take that joy away!!! Jesus went away twice on His loved ones, once at the cross and once at the Ascension. He was right they would not be able to take our joy away. they could only offer sorrow, pain, and false hope.

    thinking when we feel alone….it’s like a time out if you will. finding a deeper meaning and hope in Christ. job felt alone and abandoned a long time in my book…he also did not know of Jesus, but requested a Christ and did receive Him. job asked for a Witness, a Judge, and a Redeemer. job is a righteous man. he understood he needed help and knew Who to ask.

  38. poohpity says:

    Joyce what an odd question. Are you saying that the things street is saying is from God. They seem more like his thinking to me. God is not a God of confusion.

    Would you like me to go through each of the things he talks about and compare what is taught in scripture but I am sure that you can do that on your own since it is there for those who seek what is written to be able to discern false teaching. First David was living with the King of Gath then lived in the caves of Judah and Moab. Second they only spent one night in the garden of Gethsemane it was not a habit, shall I go on? If there were lines to read between rather than all twisted together I would. There is nothing wrong with telling someone I am confused about what they have said or what the point is.

    Discerning the things of God is much different than discerning the things street says that does not take the Holy Spirit it takes him clarifying. I do not have the holy street spirit.

  39. poohpity says:

    Joyce look for what is missing in you not what you think is missing in me. That should take you a life time.

  40. street says:

    joycemb i don’t think anyone would be able to understand my rambling other than God. sometimes i have to say stop because some of my thoughts need to be crucified.

    as for being a saint or not, we still have the command to love and serve God. we serve by obeying God. Jesus said love one another as I have loved you. His love cost Him His life. paul talks about suffering in this love to the point of shedding blood. we are sheep and they do eventually lay down their lives or it is taken from them.
    thinking that all who taste this love of Christ suffer from an incurable illness, as the world would say. God bless you my bothers and sisters i have been greatly enrich in sharing the thought and concerns of your hearts.

  41. poohpity says:

    Joyce, A few years back I wrote about there is more than just the red and black on the pages there is the white but you did not understand and asked me to clarify so does that mean you do not have the Holy Spirit? In other words reading between the lines but that has to do with the bible not people’s opinions or thoughts.

  42. street says:

    Luke 21:37
    Now during the day He was teaching in the temple, but at evening He would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet.

  43. street says:

    Luke 22:39
    [ The Garden of Gethsemane ] And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him.

  44. street says:

    John 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them.

  45. street says:

    John 18:2
    Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples.

  46. poohpity says:

    Thank you street for clarifying that part so how did that apply to what else you were saying?

  47. poohpity says:

    I can see how both David and Jesus avoided confrontation until the time has come, is that what you were saying? Thank you for your patience with me.

  48. street says:

    dear poo i wish Jesus only went to the place of the press one time, but He did not. thinking we will go to the place of the press many times. paul talked of this and he went through it many times yet lived and lives. just like Jesus!!! it not something we bring on ourselves but it does happen from time to time. Jesus knew it was coming and did not shy away from it. He did pray to have the cup pass, but asked God’s will be done. we have the promise not to be tested beyond what we could bear. it makes me come to a stop to think what Jesus endured on my behalf. Thank You Lord.

  49. poohpity says:

    One thing I have noticed about you street is that you are excited about all that you are learning in the bible and that is very heartwarming. :-)

  50. poohpity says:

    See when you say things like, ” wish Jesus only went to the place of the press one time, but He did not.” I guess it is the term press that is throwing me off. He taught from the mount of Olives and the garden of Gethsemane was at the base of the mount.

  51. joycemb says:

    Wow, that’s a LOT of protesting for a simple question:-)

  52. street says:

    david had to wait till God’s anointed, saul, was removed. two kings would be confusing to the sheep. the time came on mnt geboa. not only did david lose saul his king,but his best friend, jonathan. we lost our King too and our best Freind at the cross. there was no division in Christ. david mourned this great calamity, but did not get to morn long, God had much work for him to do. it is amazing that God can hold us together and still move us forward. How Great Thou Art.

  53. poohpity says:

    Oh Joyce, The first statement was I am confused “to street” and it would not have gone any further except for your interference and pushing it when it had nothing to do with you in anyway, shape or form. I was talking with street and street was talking to me when he starts things with “poo”. Anything to start some crap, now that shows what is missing.

  54. street says:

    dear poo excitement would be an understatement….word of caution here…..just as the excitement, so are the valleys. learning to conform. thinking, on the tops and in the valleys we should be looking for the One Who loves us. He tends to show up in these places. look for Him always. He brings what we need when we need it.
    Faith, Hope, and Love.

  55. street says:

    i can see mart is a little disappointed

  56. street says:

    mart said,”I think that’s what Paul is seeing in the Cross that displays our God, in voluntary weakness, ”

    paul said that the cross is the wisdom and power of God. it’s is something that is so foreign to us. a great mystery. will not understand the mystery till you deny yourself take up your cross and follow Jesus.
    didn’t take job long to request to go back to the ash pile after meeting God face to face.

  57. street says:

    i think job wanted to go back to the ash pile ?????
    thinking that he understood, God was not finished with him. this is confusing too.

  58. joycemb says:

    Street you have a very complex mind- (which I enjoy by the way), however you have a very deep spirituality I find nourishing and comforting. No we are not home yet though! So glad you are on this blog.

  59. street says:

    The fiery furnaces are there by God’s direct permission. It is misleading to imagine that we are developed in spite of our circumstances; we are developed because of them. It is mastery in circumstances that is needed, not mastery over them. The Love of God—The Message of Invincible Consolation, 674 R

    thinking of what God told cain, ” sin is crouching at the door, you must master it.” it is mastered at the cross of Christ. i have to say also that the one who suffers has ceased from sin. in other words Christ lives.

  60. street says:

    ops should have said suffered
    dead people don’t sin.
    consider yourselves dead to sin in Christ
    like job going back to my ash heap.

  61. joycemb says:

    poohpity says:
    June 8, 2016 at 9:50 am
    Joyce look for what is missing in you not what you think is missing in me. That should take you a life time.

    I wasn’t looking just asking a simple question. The only thing “missing” if you want to call it that is more of Jesus.

  62. joycemb says:

    Have a good day, pooh;-)

  63. street says:

    i don’t think a little more of Jesus is what is needed.
    if you have faith as small as a muster seed you could say to the mountain go plant your self in the sea and it would obey you. comes to mind…… maybe a little less of ourselves.

  64. joycemb says:

    That’s what I mean, the more of
    Jesus I have the less there is of me. I’ve learned to put Him first then all the other “stuff” becomes shadow.

  65. cbrown says:

    Good day all! “Discover the Word” is about abiding in Christ this week.

  66. street says:

    poo asked,”I can see how both David and Jesus avoided confrontation until the time has come, is that what you were saying?” they both waited and did not put themselves outside of God’s will. i was thinking along the lines of staying away from places even angle fear to walk. the presents of saul or among the scribes and pharisees. in other words living or building with inferior material that God did not approve of. Jesus had direct confrontation in the beginning of His ministry in His home town. thinking bad company corrupts or gets you killed, need to spend time with God to stay clean, informed and focused. Jesus knew there was no faith in His home town and the people showed Him what they thought of Him. Jesus exposes people to light and one or the other has to die. mankind killed Him off and it did not work, now He ask us to die to self and follow Him. the fun part is the is the daily part, like i said i wish it was a one time event, but He lets us take up His yoke. He says it is easy and light! your right joycemb i am all over the place. sorry poo. taking up the yoke is like a father taking the hand of a toddler and teaching them to walk. love dependence trust and fun. yes we get a bath at the end of the day too. and do it all again tomorrow. see you guys in the morning.

  67. street says:

    john the baptist had it right He must increase i must decrease. i was conceived/born in sin….God is love holy righteous…….why would i not want God to increase????what could i possible gain? true life?
    Jesus makes this possible. The Bible is filled with His Glory. may it be found in me.

  68. poohpity says:

    street, you do not have to sorry to me. You did nothing to harm me in anyway. But I am concerned for you, to much thinking is not good for anyone. Experience God’s Word and let Him dwell richly in you, then the mind, heart and soul come together. Show yourself some grace.

  69. SFDBWV says:

    There are so many distractions within the thread of conversation it is becoming difficult for me to recognize the subject or to continue my own thoughts surrounding it. A casualty of not being able to be here but in the early morning I suppose.

    Trying to stay with the concept of love I don’t think it possible for the normal ordinary Christian at any given time to truthfully say they love everyone.

    The love shown at the cross by Jesus was and is the purpose of Jesus’ life and while it may show the heart of God it does not show the heart nor the purpose of man.

    In fact man’s purpose in the end may be to provide the opportunity to show just how special God’s love is.

    Can we be God? No. Can we strive to be like Him? Yes. Will we succeed? No.

    We will forever need Him.

    I am not certain of the general numbers of people in the world, I suppose several billion living souls as of this writing. Can I state I love them all? Not truthfully no I can’t. However when disaster strikes any of them I can say I “feel” compassion for them and when possible even contribute to their survival through various “Christian” organizations. But to say I love them as I do people close to me, no, certainly not in the same way.

    Paul said of a man who doesn’t take care of his family that he is worse than an infidel and has denied the faith.

    If you think about it for a moment there is an entire culture of such behavior right here amongst us. How then are we to perceive such a culture as anything less than what Paul has stated?

    The truth is we can only truly deal with people one on one, any other condition we have towards everyone else falls into a cautious attitude of hope and indifference, but not in the true sense of “love”.

    One more thought before I go.

    Everyone here argued with Gary over his belief that we keep the commandments, and yet some think it an act of obedience to “have” to love everyone or we are not in agreement with Christ. Sorry I see it all the same way, if you think that you “have” to love everyone or you are not following Jesus’ commandment, you are still trying to follow a law that only Jesus could accomplish.

    This has taken me all morning to write with innumerable interruptions so I will let it go for now.

    Was 40 and clear when I started this and now 60 with a clear blue sky.


  70. poohpity says:

    Believers love others because of the love of Christ that dwells richly in our hearts, it is not a “have” to. No one can force any one to love or it is not love it is duty or works as you say Steve. But when one has the love of Christ in them it just comes pouring out. It is not forced but “evidence” of who lives within us. A lot of people “say” they are followers of Christ or Christians but lack the “evidence” that proves they are and those are the ones as Paul was saying show the difference of those “approved by God” or those who are “accursed”.

    Even people who do not believe in God love those who return it and take care of their families nothing different or unique about that. Jesus, who lives in us, loved His enemies or He would not have went to the Cross for you! Now that is unique and different!!

  71. joycemb says:

    Pooh I think your perspective is rather harsh but even Paul says that to be at peace with all mankind we are to do what we can do, which sometimes means walking away, as with those whose lifestyles, such as addicts for example, are only corrupted further as we may feel the need to contribute to their addiction. So if l am insisting someone love me isn’t that a form of stalking? Love is peaceful! There can be no peace if one party is overturning my boundaries. You’ve mentioned your daughter and her troubles here, not peaceful yet you love her still. I don’t like hip hop yet there are Christian singers. Do I love them less because I could not go to their concert? No!

    Steve there is validity in you argument as we all strive to love as best we can, and especially those of our own household. My children at the moment have chosen to put their families first, and I admire the good job they are doing yet they have no time for me right now. They are busier than I yet I still love them enough to give them the space they need, and I’ve learned to fill my time with blogging, reading and being with my friend who is my family as well as my Bible study group.

  72. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    This process of looking for what’s missing involves some understanding of the essentials of life. Ask the worldly-minded person what’s needed and you will get an answer about the stuff that keeps us alive in the flesh: air, water, food, shelter, covering…

    Ask a Jesus-follower what the essentials of life are and you get first the answer: Grace! God’s Presence! Jesus! After that, the Lord’s disciple will list all the necessities of air, water, food and so on.

    Mart, you wrote:
    “And if we don’t have such love (the love Jesus showed by His sacrifice on the cross) in us, then a loving God and messenger want us to see that our loveless spirits are under the curse of that which is mindless, worthless, and of no profit to us (1Cor 13:1, 2, 3)

    It seems to me, the realization that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5) is a key to finding what is missing. We wither and die if we are not nourished by the Life imparted to us every moment by the Lord Jesus.

    If we are in the vine — abiding and drawing essential nourishment from Him — we bear fruit. When pruned, we bear more fruit!

    If we break off and think we will have a life of our own, then we not only bear no fruit, but we are gathered and piled up to be burned as useless.

    That is being accursed.

    We choose either ripe, juicy fruit or dust and ashes.


    59F and cloudy here. Rain likely

  73. poohpity says:

    In the times Jesus walked the earth the Cross was a means of shame and guilt for crimes, so when Jesus said, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.”. His love was the only means to be rid of guilt and shame then to live the life of being free from it, we are free to love. To think of others and their good before we think of ourselves. The flesh is crucified so that the Spirit can live freely.

    When we are free from guilt and shame we are less likely to load it on others for them not living the way we think they should. The more we understand grace the more we show that to others, the same with mercy, forgiveness and above all else love because that alone covers a multitude of sins. The evidence of that is the Cross.

  74. joycemb says:

    Pooh preaching it and living it out are two entirely different things. We are all at different places in our walk. The reason I don’t trust any preachers is because I’ve seen too many talk the talk but not walk the walk. Is there grace? Absolutely. But spend time with them I won’t do unless they are a close family member who displays a repentant heart. It’s not my job to throw myself under the bus. I avoid busses if I can :-)

  75. joycemb says:

    Jesus already threw Himself under the bus, so to speak. He’s enough.

  76. street says:

    thinking of what poo and joycemb said one on following a pastor or poo mentioning thinking all the time…..trade it all for spending time with God. i am beginning to understand why job wanted to go back to sack cloth and a pile of ashes. he was not being suffocated by bad theology. he understood God was all and in all, yet we do not see this clearly and completely, yet he was ready for what was next because he could trust a loving God. He trusted God for nothing. taking up our cross helps rid ourselves of the shackles of expectation and makes us conductive to God’s will, which is love.

  77. joycemb says:

    You know street, if it wasn’t for my disappointment with other Xians I wouldn’t have searched so deeply and consistently for our loving God. I’d rather spend time with Him than anyone.

  78. oneg2dblu says:

    Looking for What’s Missing?… Isn’t that what the entire human race is caught up in doing by their very nature?

    They are by design incomplete without the Presence of the Holy Spirit, without ever knowing His Forgiveness, without knowing with Divine Certainty, that they know they know, why they can not exist alone, nor why they can not ever find love, joy, or peace alone.

    Humanity “constantly looks” for that still missing help they need, deceptively displayed in many worldly forms to try to fill that empty, lonely, guilty place the lost must all bear.

    Sin is designed to deceive them into thinking they have found their answer, their need fulfilled, they desire satisfied, victory over their nagging wants through another drink, another snort, another affair, another momentary sinful pleasure.

    But, that real emptiness still lingers, the loneliness still lingers, and the lingering wants constantly brought on by all the world’s temptations, are never completely satisfied.

    Only God through a His Divine Revelation ensures us that only He provides the answer for humanities constant, “Looking for What’s Missing.”

    It is in the very lack of knowing that God provides, that keeps the lost lost, and keeps the lacking in their lack, and the guilty in their guilt.

    Only those who are Forgiven, or those Born Again, can ever walk on in the absurd reality of finding this Faith in Christ, which God alone gives us.

    We then all receive by Faith, all we will ever really need… our finding is, “Christ is the Answer!”

    How can we be so double minded as to claim we have this God-given Faith, and by faith, we have also claimed all the Promises of God, even the Holy Spirit living in us, yet still find His Commands burdensome?

    Sounds to me like there is still something lacking.

    If it is not Faith, then perhaps it is Obedience!

    Just Thinking…

  79. joycemb says:

    HI Gary nice to read you again.

  80. cbrown says:

    Oh Lord God. Thank you for this fellowship.

  81. jeff1 says:

    I have to disagree from a personal perspective Gary, I believe it is wrong teaching and beliefs that leave me lacking.

    I was raised on the ten commandments and the wrath of God but knew little about His love because it was not taught.

    If you did not obey them you would spend eternity in hell for failing God.

    I did fail and so I know that if it where not for the love of God I would not have Salvation.

    I found this out when I started seeking God in me rather than looking for Him in others or listening to teaching which was putting me in hell for not keeping the commandments.

    Christ died for sinners because the truth is we all have weaknesses in the body of Christ and my weakness is not someone else’s so it is for us as members of the body to support another in their weakness so as not to leave them feeling guilty or lacking.

    I see faith different to how you see faith because to me to have faith is to trust and I either trust in God or my own understanding.

    I cannot know how God works His ways in all walks of life but I can know He dwells in me and will be my friend if and when I truly allow Him to be; and that requires complete surrender to His way and dying to self.

    It his not about me obeying a set of rules but allowing the Holy Spirit to dwell in me, humbling of self or dying if there is no humbling.

    The reason the world is is a mess today is because men have looked to their own religions and not focused on what Christ taught which is to serve as He served, supporting those with weaknesses so they will not feel unloved, lacking or guilty and be willing to sacrifice so that the will of God is accomplished through us and we look like a people He set apart and not a people who are so busy disagreeing on God that others see us no different to them.

    It is focusing on Christ’s teaching that unites Christians on earth and everything else divides leaving us looking as lost in this world as those who are lost.

    United we stand, divided we fall and until Christians agree to unite in Christ we will fail the Church of Christ on earth.

  82. street says:

    Looking for What’s Missing
    thinking of the way truth and the life.
    each of these things are things we can seek.
    if you will, a mystery, that over time and seeking reveal them selves to those who look with their whole heart. you can seek the way, the truth and the life in many things, yet we are told we must seek with our whole heart if we are to find theses things or the One thing that is needed. thinking of love truth and grace. if any of these things are missing i am thinking of a lose of perspective. not that they are missing, just a lose of the understanding they are present. this too is a mystery.
    thinking Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and that is what He intends to do. thinking of a lost child in a store.

  83. street says:

    John 12:24
    Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

  84. poohpity says:

    To me what is missing is heartfelt surrender to God and trusting Him alone. What seems to have taken it’s place is works done in the flesh rather than in faith, wanting to be in control rather than letting the Holy Spirit guide, doing things in our own strength rather than seeing our weaknesses, depending on our understanding rather than on the wisdom from above, doing things to satisfy the flesh rather than doing things in faith, thinking it is our job to judge and condemn rather than trusting in God.

    It is similar to one’s approach to a body of water. Do you just get your feet wet or do you go all the way in. If you go all the way in that would cause one to let go of being inconsiderate of others, hate, holding grudges, unforgiveness trading it for another’s welfare above our own, seeking restoration and reconciliation above division and alienation. The evidence of being all in and surrender is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, long suffering and the biggy self control.

  85. jeff1 says:



    There is no thinking person
    Who can stand untouched today
    And view the world around us
    Slowly drifting to decay
    Without feeling deep within him
    A silent, unnamed dread
    As he contemplates the future
    That lies frighteningly ahead…
    For, like watching storm clouds gather
    In a dark and threatening sky,
    Man knows that there is nothing
    He can formulate or try
    That will stop the storm from breaking
    In its fury and its force,
    Nor can he change or alter
    The storm’s destructive course,
    But his anxious fears are lessened
    When he calls on God above,
    Fore he knows above the storm clouds
    Is the brightness of God’s love…
    So as the “clouds of chaos”
    Gather in man’s muddled mind,
    And he searches for the answer
    He alone can never find,
    Let us recognize we’re facing
    Problems man has never solved,
    And with all our daily efforts
    Life grows more and more involved,
    But our future will seem brighter
    And we’ll meet with less resistance
    If we call upon our Father
    And seek Divine Assistance…
    For the spirit can unravel
    Many tangled, knotted threads
    That defy the skill and power
    Of the world’s best hands and heads,
    And our plans for growth and progress,
    Of which we all have dreamed,
    Cannot survive materially
    Unless our spirits are redeemed…
    And only through a living faith
    Can man achieve this goal,
    For safety and security
    Are born within the soul.

  86. street says:

    Your eyes have seen all that the LORD did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land. [3] With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those signs and great wonders. [4] But to this day the LORD has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear.

    as i reflect on these verses i think it is time to ask. even in asking there are steps or protocols. James talks about these things. i find it interesting we would not be able to have our next thought without Him.

  87. joycemb says:

    That is what I pray often, eyes to see and ears to hear as God sees and hears. For myself and others.

  88. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… “I have to disagree from a personal perspective Gary, I believe it is wrong teaching and beliefs that leave me lacking.”

    Yes, the whole “lost world” suffers from their wrong teachings and their wrong beliefs.

    Then we agree that those things you mention, like wrong teaching and beliefs, would leave one in a state of lack.

    But, do you find you still lack something, because of your now knowing right teaching or now having correct beliefs?

    Would the very act of Obedience to the Command of Our Lord and Savior, “Follow Me,” do one more harm or good?

    Just thinking…

    Would not following Christ, lead one to then also Obey His Commands?

    Just thinking…

    Would following Christ lead one into further believing in His Promises as well?

    Is not our very act of receiving the Promised Holy Spirit, or the Helper, a by product of our following obediently the very promises in the Word of God, and our the walk of Faith we claim as we recognize, His Unmerited Favor, or Grace?

    Is God’s Grace given to all, no matter what they do or believe?

    Just thinking…

    Although I have given these questions in my response of agreement to you, they are always open to all others to pontificate, and reply as well.

    Like an Open Forum if you will.


  89. jeff1 says:

    I still have wrong beliefs Gary because they have been there since I was a child and I cannot erase them but I do not listen to those who preach them anymore.

    I listen to those who preach that God’s grace covers me for failing to keep God’s commands.

    I would not see myself as a follower because I have failed but that does not mean that I do not walk with faith in Christ.

    I believe it is the indwelling Holy Spirit that tells a person whether they have God’s Grace but for me personally I did not recognize it until my heart was convicted of sin.

    God works differently in us because we have different weaknesses but I believe that it is ourselves who must identify our weakness or we may not recognize God’s conviction in us.

    Is God’s Grace given to all, no matter what they do or believe?

    It is certainly for me to treat everyone as if they have God’s grace because it is not my place to test another’s faith.

  90. oneg2dblu says:

    Amen to that conviction of the heart to recognizing our sin.

  91. poohpity says:

    Viv, I believe that God’s grace is given for all, it seems to come down to whether one realizes they need it and accepts it. Far to many consider themselves good and obedient but fail to see compared to Jesus how badly they have missed God’s standards which would cause anyone to come before Him humbly.

  92. SFDBWV says:

    June 11, 2016
    Here a Little, There a Little
    “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” (Isaiah 28:10)

    The setting of this unusual passage is most sobering. Both the people and their priests in Israel’s northern kingdom (personified by “Ephraim”) were in gross rebellion and drunken disobedience to the Lord. They were even ridiculing God’s prophets who were trying to call them back, complaining that they were being treated like school children. In effect, they were saying: “Are you presuming to teach us as you would freshly weaned infants, going line by line, with rule after rule?”

    Whereupon God replied that He would use people of another tongue to come in and teach them what they refused to learn from Him. These precepts He had been trying to teach them should have provided true rest and refreshment, but now learning these lessons would prove to be their undoing. What should have been a blessing to them would become their condemnation.

    How desperately do modern Christians need to heed these same words! They profess to believe God’s Word, but they study it only superficially, compromise its doctrines, and disobey its instructions. “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God” (Hebrews 5:12). Most Christians of today, like the Corinthians of old, are still “babes in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1). Thus, it really is necessary for their teachers to bring the Word of God to them “precept upon precept, line upon line, little by little.” “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God” (Hebrews 6:1).

    From “Days of Praise”.

    It is my hope you all see the connection this has to our subject, if not just enjoy the message.


  93. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA —

    Mart, you wrote:

    “I might be wrong, but seems to me that whether we handle our divisions in such love can be an important signal to ourselves (and possibly to one another) as to whether we have the love and approval of the Lord (and his cross) in us.”

    Ants are programmed to create order in their colony. But, humans do not so easily work for the good of the whole group. Observing ants and their seasonal activity can be a great lesson to humans:

    “Go to the ant, O sluggard,
    Observe her ways and be wise,
    Which, having no chief,
    Officer or ruler,
    Prepares her food in the summer
    And gathers her provision in the harvest.” Prov 6:6-8

    As offered in Steve’s post above (Heb 6:1), discovering the great love of Jesus in the cross of His sacrifice has profound implications for the way we live. Once taken to heart, this pattern for loving self and others causes the radical move from “me” to “we.” Jesus restores our true humanity to us by His cleansing blood.

    As with any counterfeit, the authentic thing reveals the poor substitute. Those who handle printed money — a fact long known — study genuine bills to become so familiar with them that a fake is easier to detect.

    So, seeking to know Jesus better and better in their heart, mind and spirit allows His disciples to become more like Him.

    Joy all day,

    49F and cloudy here. Rain forecast.

  94. joycemb says:

    Maru taking another look at ants I’m thinking they are doing what the Creator programmed them to do. Doubt they have free will, conscience etc. I think those who are truly His know and do the will of God, scripture seems to verify this. Without this knowledge and obedience to God there can be no “real” love among any group or fellowship, no matter how much we desire it.

    We can take notice of how diligent ants are and how God feeds and cares for them–as He does the sparrows. That simple faith should be enough to begin learning of Gods love (as Steves post points out).

    I guess my point is that loving each other for the cause of Christ and the Gospel SHOULD be our goal. Hmmm, guess that’s the point of Marts post. Guess I have nothing new to say about the topic. Have a good day friends:-)

  95. joycemb says:

    Maru you bring up how to tell a fake bill from a real one. I think unless we are working with antiques, money, or anything that involves currency that’s the standard so why should Christans be any different? Thinking it may be wise to let-go of counterfeits lest they become idols. Idols are useless and will all be destroyed in the end. Speaking of the Body of Christ, trying to change someone is useless, like trying to change a fake bill into a real one. I believe the term is co-dependent. Been thinking of this as I watch my dear friend struggle with her sons alcoholism along with several physical illnesses. He may be committed again for treatment (physical, addiction both) prayers are welcomed, thanks.

  96. street says:

    mart said,” And if we don’t have such love in us, then a loving God and messenger want us to see that our loveless spirits are under the curse of that which is mindless, worthless, and of no profit to us (1Cor 13:1-3O).

    4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

    5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them.

    learning to love.

  97. street says:

    jeff said,”Speaking of the Body of Christ, trying to change someone is useless, like trying to change a fake bill into a real one”

    thinking how did Christ change your heart and mind?

  98. street says:

    maru said,”Once taken to heart, this pattern for loving self and others causes the radical move from “me” to “we.” i think there is one more step in this processes from me to we or the plight of others. job started out id the first person i in his speech, then understood there were others, we, in the same boat as him. this made made for a difficult road to God. it did lead there and this is the next step seeking or turning to God that is the next step. help will come.

  99. joycemb says:

    Street I said that we can’t change others. Christ changed me. My therapist changes me through showing me Godly ways of living. (A specialist) but what I was referring to is that a “counterfeit” within a fellowship can’t be changed by people. Jesus said to let the wheat and tares grow side by side then the Godly ones will shine. He didn’t say to try to change tares.

  100. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All
    Pray all is well in your lives. Off topic here… I’ve been trying to log on for the past 5 days now… A few of those times (about 2 or 3) was because I received a “bad gateway” message, and one message said the BTA blog was down for maintenance(?). So, I’m glad to be finally logged on! :-) I was gonna mention 6-6-16 on the day, LoL, but I got distracted on facebook. Oh well, I’ll have to look forward to 7-7-17! Ok, now, about this blog topic… I don’t have any thoughts yet, just curious and intrigued by the pic that Mart chose… Hope to share/write more later.

    84 degrees, periodic rain and partly cloudy in my neck of the woods…

    LOVE to all,

  101. street says:

    joycemb said,”Street I said that we can’t change others.”

    i think God changes us by loving us. could it be others could change by us loving them? thinking of the the woman caught in adultery. also thinking of the one leper out of ten who came back and said thank you! i am still totally amazed at the woman in samaria looking and waiting for the Messiah and found him at a most unusual place, at the local well.

  102. street says:

    joycemb…..how does a tare become wheat? i am thinking the tare falls to the ground by the will of God because of the Word spoken to it and the new spirit grows, as the old body is consumed like a sacrifice. i also think the spirit grows as it clings to God’s Word, like good soil.
    this to is a transformation.
    i am thinking we all tares, but God morphs some of them. most of the time He uses people to convey His truth. grafting wild olive branches into a good olive tree comes to mind. we will never be able to take credit for any of this!!!!

  103. joycemb says:

    Street it all sounds like grace to me:-)

  104. joycemb says:

    Reading Spurgeon and he says in Morning and Evening, that we only love Him because He first loved us. (I John 4:19) He further writes that as all love comes from God it must be divinely nourished. Love is an exotic, so must feed on heavenly bread because it comes from heaven. Love must feed on love. The very soul and life of our love for God is His love for us.

    As was said our “me” turns to we through the radical love of God. It’s only His love that changes and lasts.

    I’m so glad this love is seemingly circular in that it comes to us, changes us then moves on to others, drawing an endless supply from God all the while. Wow

  105. jeff1 says:

    Street 11 June 2 pm post

    To my way of thinking I would have needed to know God’s love before I tried to keep His commands because I tried to keep the 10 when believing God’s wrath would put me in hell for failing His commands.

    Awareness of God’s love has to come first or I will burden myself and guilt, failure and lacking in love will result and cause struggle in my faith.

    I see God as a God who punishes disobedience and end up hating myself for failing and find it difficult to love myself or others.

    This has manifested itself in mental illness because I have been confused has to God’s love for me.

    This brought me to take refuge in Christ because the truth is I see grace with Christ that I do not see with God if you get where I am coming from.

    It does come down to false beliefs causing struggles for me on my journey anyway.

  106. poohpity says:

    Yet it was because of God’s love that He sent Christ and that was His intent since the first disobedient act was committed, in other words from the beginning of man kinds first interaction with it’s creator. God covered their guilt and shame first with the blood shed from an animal to cloth them, a temporary solution until the final sacrifice would come(Jesus). It was all God’s plan to restore mankind to a relationship with Him.

    It was people and their perception that distorted the view of God and taught others that same distorted perception. Which still happens today. If only people would go to God themselves rather than relying on thoughts of other imperfect people giving their opinion most often about someone(God) they do not know personally but that happens in most other everyday relationship as well.

  107. street says:

    jeff said,”I would have needed to know God’s love before I tried to keep His commands”
    i don’t think this is true because most cultures and people go ballistic when you lie to them or steel from them. not to mention killing a family member or abusing one of them. all can recognize sin, but it is difficult to admit it comes from ourselves too. paul struggled with this and said, ” the things i want to do i don’t do and the things i don’t want to do i do????”

    17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

    21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

    8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

    “He is good;
    his love toward Israel endures forever.” Ezra 3:11

  108. street says:

    jeff said,”God’s love has to come first or I will burden myself and guilt, failure….”

    you could burden yourself with God’s love, He said it is easy and light. the difficult part is facing our cross with joy. thinking Jesus love and joy over came the world, let it be found in us,”we”

  109. street says:

    jeff said,”This brought me to take refuge in Christ because the truth is I see grace with Christ that I do not see with God if you get where I am coming from.”

    the Scriptures are very clear that there is complete Unity in the Godhead and there is no division or divorce if you will. They Conspired Together, not in malice , but in love!!! They are the craziest most wonderful Person ever to come to know. my only comfort now is the Holy Spirit till He returns.

  110. joycemb says:

    I was reading about the job of the Holy Spirit yesterday. Comforting is something the Holy Spirit does even after our earthly comforters leave

  111. poohpity says:

    street, how can you say what jeff1 was thinking was not true. If that is what she was thinking then that is what she was thinking. Not only that but you took only part of her sentence to pick apart.

    street, you said, “the Scriptures are very clear that there is complete Unity in the Godhead and there is no division or divorce if you will. They Conspired Together, not in malice , but in love!!! They are the craziest most wonderful Person ever to come to know. my only comfort now is the Holy Spirit till He returns.” The last sentence completely negates your first sentence. There are three persons of the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit together they are One. So saying they are the craziest most wonderful person ever to come to know, is not a true or right statement. So rather than correcting others make sure what you say is correct.

  112. jeff1 says:

    What I am saying is that Christ is the evidence of God’s love so when I was confused as to God’s love I found my answer in Christ and the Cross.

    I am not disagreeing that there is unity but that peace of mind for me came through Christ because of confusion in my mind when listening to wrong teaching.

    Yes, Joyce, the Holy Spirit is what gives me comfort when I find no earthly comforters, and while the Holy Spirit is comforting me I am fully understanding of it and it is in that moment that I know that I have been touched by God and I am amazed and overwhelmed that God should comfort me for I am not deserving of it.

    Can I truly understand God’s Grace or does it surpass my understanding when I know deep down that ‘I am a sinner saved by Grace’.

  113. joycemb says:

    Prayers for horrific shooting killing 50 and wounding 53 at LGBT night club in Orlando. (I hope no one here is thinking of reaping and sowing). The radicals of any religion feel they are justified as to hating what they think their leader thinks. We can all be so wrong. Holy Spirit come and fill us with your love, mercy, compassion and comfort.

  114. street says:

    poo i did not say what she though was not her thoughts i was pointing out that others, that do not know the law or love of God, instinctively carry it out with some understanding of it. i was being honest in the part of hear speech that became part of the response to my thinking. isn’t that what we are hear for? to look at and explore the God’s Word and how it is affecting us and our surroundings? in other words am i getting this right? iron sharpen iron.

    the world is full of His Glory!

  115. joycemb says:

    Street I do admire your patience and humility. Pooh although street needs no one to defend them you dont seem to understand the difference between black/white comments and process thinking. This blog is about THINKING, its not Wikipedia. Hope this helps you. :-)

  116. street says:

    “We yield because you, beyond us, are our God. We are your creatures met by your holiness, by your holiness made our true selves. And we yield. Amen” (“And then you,” Awed to Heaven, Rooted to Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann).

  117. street says:

    thinking about the devastating effect one person with a gun. thinking of samson and a jaw bone. thinking of how much sorrow and pain caused by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

    thinking the joy of the cross.

    thinking of the commercial, ” whats in your wallet?”

    thinking rest and peace with God is needed not provocation. a time for peace and a time for war…..praying for peace.

    remembering some of the kings of israel were tested by provocation and were found lacking. wonder what was missing? hope it’s not missing any more.

  118. street says:

    patience and humility
    something to die for.
    among other things….

  119. foreverblessed says:

    Have been thinking about what Mart write, that “he being cursed” meaning that the sinfull part of man is cursed.
    It took awhile for me to sink in, but thank you Mart, I do accept it as God’s Word to me. Thank you!

    Cursed is the one who hangs on the Tree.
    It was Jesus who hang there, and we are in Jesus, and so we hang with Him there, our old man died with Him. So our old man was cursed. And gone, speaking in faith.

    So that we would be resurrected to a new life in Jesus!
    Yes, a new life, a new heart, a heart that is circumcised.
    That is biblically language, what does that mean for modern man?
    A changed and softened heart, a heart that is “We” oriëntatie. We are all children of our Father in heaven, a loving Father, who dearly loves us. He does not want to curse us totally, but only the part that is wrong!

  120. foreverblessed says:

    My prayers are also with the people in Orlando, may God comfort all grieving hearts!

  121. street says:

    Matthew 9:6
    But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He *said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.”

    Luke 17:4
    And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

    John 8:24
    Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

    i was at a Bible study and one of the guys said sometimes you just feel like being bad……it took me back and it surprised me. i thought about what he said for a long time and then it occurred to me why it took me back and turned me inside out. where did he get the idea that he was good the rest of the time?

  122. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce says… “(I hope no one here is thinking of reaping and sowing).
    Sounds like only you are, so far.

    Of course, we are not thinking about that, but, now that you have brought it to light, that killer was killed wasn’t he?

  123. street says:

    forever said,”A changed and softened heart, a heart that is “We” oriëntatie. We are all children of our Father in heaven, a loving Father, who dearly loves us. ”

    a heart where God dwells!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Revelation 3:20
    Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

    1 John 4:16
    We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

    2 John 1:9
    Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

    John 15:6
    If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

    Galatians 3:10
    For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.”

  124. street says:

    gary thinking of a can of worms……people attack governments thinking they are evil, even though instituted by God. thinking further of the guy who goes into a bar. then i remember the guy who speared the israeli and the hittite party girl. God made him a priest.

    thinking of a culture that tolerates evil on a massive scale. when is one to confront this evil? didn’t God say i wish some one would close my temple gates and stop your worthless offering they are offensive to Me.

    freedom of religion is coming…..the question is who will they serve? who will you serve?

  125. street says:

    thinking love has an edge to it. it always did. the edge is removed at the cross. not the end of a spear.

  126. joycemb says:

    Street you mention Saint Peter. God is a God of surprises to us and those who seek to condemn rather than love as God loved us through the cross. Some things change slowly if ever. It takes a real change of heart to understand grace that came through blood and gore. Once for all!!! We no longer need to pay penance do we. Nor expect others to.

  127. street says:

    thinking of what is missing…..
    12 “In everything, therefore,treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. 13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

    thinking Jesus entered the narrow way if you can accept this and expects us to too enter the narrow way.

    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

  128. street says:

    joycemb said,” We no longer need to pay penance do we. Nor expect others to.”

    the cross is not a cake walk. it is brutal unyielding and relentless till it mission is accomplished. it is a daily thing. i can see why so few make it or find the narrow way.

  129. jeff1 says:

    Just thinking that when I was trying to keep God’s commands because I was indoctrinated to keep them I failed.

    It is God who has awakened my spirit to the reason I failed and has convicted me of my sins.

    Yet it was being indoctrinated in the first place that I had any knowledge of God.

    When I make bad choices it is God who can use them to His purpose.

    The more I realize that being broken I can still be of use to God the more I do not fear being broken.

    I have learned that in my heart I trust God but my mind is my weakness but God can accomplish through my weakness and that is what matters.

    I must start believing that God does not want to punish my wrong beliefs but use them to accomplish His purpose.

    When I believed I could keep God’s commands in my own strength I was blissfully unaware that I was not on God’s side.

    Since God has revealed to me that I am no better than my enemies because I have believed a lie my spirit is broken!

    It is now that I look to Christ because I know how much I am depending on Him for my Salvation.

    I must yield to the indwelling spirit that God has placed in me and in my case God had to break my indoctrinated spirit to get me to see I am His enemy and not His friend!

    I do not believe He will give up on me because He knows my heart is willing but my mind is weak!

    I am not sure you understand Street that when I cannot abide in Him then He will accomplish works that I cannot see and in doing so will direct my path because He knows His sheep has gone astray.

    Remember Street the God on the mountain is still God in the valley and you will realize that God has always been with you but I blinded myself to His presence because of wrong beliefs.

  130. jeff1 says:

    This hymn usually sung at funerals gives me peace in my heart that surpasses understanding because there are mysteries that only God can understand and it is realizing this that I know I cannot trust in my own understanding of who God is!

    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 thy 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 thy gloom, and point me to the skies;
    heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
    in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

  131. poohpity says:

    Joyce, FYI There are only two maybe three that hold to the integrity of what this blog was created for still here.

  132. street says:

    jeff quoted,
    “Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;”

    thinking…..thou dist carry me.

    really liked Psalm 141 today.

  133. street says:

    dear jeff i think it is true we can blind ourselves by not turning or walking in the light.
    yet God is infinite…..in other words He is constantly revealing new things about Himself. sometimes he is like playing the chase game or hide and seek we are familiar with. interesting we can abide with Him at the same time we are seeking, waiting, or watching for Him. He is love that is worth abiding with and obeying. thinking of how much this love is going to cost me. He even asks us to count the cost.

  134. joycemb says:

    Pooh, seems perspective is different for everyone. Since its Marts blog I will follow his wishes, haven’t heard him complain about changes in the blog. Change is often hard to take :-)

  135. street says:

    jeff said,”The more I realize that being broken I can still be of use to God the more I do not fear being broken.”

    i don’t think He uses us any other way.

  136. street says:

    jeff said,”I am not sure you understand Street that when I cannot abide in Him then He will accomplish works that I cannot see and in doing so will direct my path because He knows His sheep has gone astray.”

    i understand He is the Good Shepard and He will not lose any of the sheep His Father has entrusted to Him.

    the thought,” many are called, few are chosen” is rumbling through my mind. guess i got homework.

  137. street says:

    Looking for What’s is Missing

    But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord;
    in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death.

    thinking of peter’s experience of walking on water.

  138. jeff1 says:

    I want to believe that God uses those who are not broken as well because I have found strength from people who where stronger than I was mentally.

    I do not see why God would not use unbroken people! Can you tell me why you think this, Street?

  139. poohpity says:

    Joyce, sadly Mart has said things many times, also had comment guidelines and then finally cut the blog off from under the ministry umbrella then took the guidelines down, it seems because it got to where hardly no one followed them any more. You have not been here very long so you really do not know, now do you? Mart said before he likes sharing the weather in our neighborhoods but staying on topic and showing respect for others are some of the main things that prevents the chaos which also applied to all the other ministries under the umbrella of ODB which was RBC. So it has nothing to do with my perspective it had to do what was said in writing, there was no other way to interpret it.

    Most did not even bother reading the Welcome or comment guidelines before they ever started writing and if they did read them they thought they did not apply to them or said Mart thought what they were doing was alright because he did not confront them so they took that as an affirmation.

  140. joycemb says:

    Of course you are right

  141. joycemb says:

    In tour own mind pooh you are right.

  142. joycemb says:

    And so are we all sometimes :-)

  143. joycemb says:

    Pooh I remember jokingly asking you (when I first started here) if it was stressful being the blog police. Thinking maybe after all these years 1. You are paid to monitor or 2. you need another hobby, or 3. Out of the sincerity of your heart of love for Mart you try to protect him from all the rest of us who “disrespect” him in your opinion.

    Whatever your response I think Mart is very capable of handling his blog. (That’s not a joke by the way.) :-) blessings as always, Joyce

  144. poohpity says:

    Joyce, You jokingly saying something rather than just plain ol mean spirited is a hoot? If you remember right it was I who confessed to you before I knew you better about being the blog police, now I know how unsafe it is to share any heartfelt confessions with you because you bring them back up to attack. Almost everything I have ever shared with you has been used as a means of abuse.

    Mart took down the guidelines, if there are none then no one can break them, now can they?

  145. joycemb says:

    Pooh you don’t take challenges to your way of thinking very we!!. But I’m sorry you feel so hurt and abused. Take it to Jesus as He is your only hope. Jesus loves you, this I know because He loves me too.

    What good is confession if there is no change? With confession there needs to be repentance or it’s meaningless.

    Love and blessings to you in Christ Jesus,

  146. street says:

    Let the righteous smite me in kindness and reprove me;
    It is oil upon the head;
    Do not let my head refuse it,
    For still my prayer is against their wicked deeds.
    Their judges are thrown down by the sides of the rock,
    And they hear my words, for they are pleasant.
    As when one plows and breaks open the earth,
    Our bones have been scattered at the mouth of Sheol.

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