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A Certain Kind of Love

11151626205_0a3f836bea_oWhere did Paul get the idea that without love— eloquence is noise.. and that knowledge, understanding, faith, and even charitable sacrifice amount to nothing?

If we knew nothing about his story we might assume that Paul was probably just a thoughtful observer of life in the home, neighborhood, workplace, temple, or halls of political debate.

On the other hand, if we knew that Paul was a student of Jewish Law, we might conclude, as others had, that the Mosaic Code shakes down to two basic principles: consuming love for God and giving our neighbor the consideration we’d want for ourselves.

Paul’s story, however, shows more. His ambitious knowledge of the Scriptures and Moses left him angry, judgmental, controlling, and even violent. It was only after being knocked off his feet by Jesus that he saw that it is only a certain kind of love that makes words, knowledge, understanding, faith, and generosity beneficial.

But where from Jesus did Paul get the idea that the love that makes a difference in everything we do and think is patient, kind, not envious or jealous, and doesn’t keep a record of wrongs?

My hunch is that Paul learned by experience that such transforming love is not a law but a grace—and  that it is found in how far Jesus went to reveal his Father— with the resulting assurance that this is how God loves us… even in his own jealousy and judgment.

What do you think? Is it possible that Paul’s understanding of this certain kind of love was grounded in his discovery that… this is how God loves us… and that such love is the beginning rather than the end of all helpful words, knowledge, understanding, faith, and the Spirit-given ability to give our attention to others?

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200 Responses to “A Certain Kind of Love”

  1. saled says:

    Thinking of the power of love:

    I read a facebook post this morning that put the presidential election in perspective. It said that it is not the president who can change our neighborhoods, it is us.

    Imagine what would happen in our neighborhoods if our everyday words and actions were the products of love. For example, President Obama expanded healthcare. But in many communities, the medical needs of the poor were taken care of before that happened. And not everyone is included in our expanded healthcare system: In my state, Maine, you need to make a certain amount of money, around $10,000 per year if you are single, to qualify for help. If you make less, you cannot participate in the system.

    I read once that the higher the office that you hold, the less power you actually have because God will use you as he likes. Whether you agree with that or not, I think it is obvious that it is in the unknown common people where love is most likely to be found at work.

  2. poohpity says:

    If it were up to common people to change our neighborhoods why haven’t we done so? All sheep need a good Shepherd that shepherd can either lead the sheep to do good or lead them down a wrong path to cause turmoil, division and unrest by deceitful leadership. To me it is not God using us as He likes but the absence of God and doing things they way we would like that is the problem.

    Yes, Mart I think it was Paul’s discovery of God’s grace that was the beginning of understanding God’s love and that as He grew deeper into the relationship with God so did His understanding of the vastness of that kind of love to how deep, wide, long and high that love truly is. When one experiences that it does not seem possible that it wouldn’t come spilling out all around towards everyone.

  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart and Friends —

    A friend of mine recently observed that his search for God has taken him outside the box he had assumed was his whole world.

    Like “ice cream, melting and leaking out of its container,” he says he is having to open up vision, hearing, thinking and feeling to face the hugeness of our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer God.

    Jesus went through condemnation, torture and shameful death to reveal God’s love. It is not safe, it is not comfortable, it splits the ground and sends great boulders rolling down the mountains.

    God’s love removed Ezekiel’s wife from him as a witness to God’s love for Jerusalem. Strange and wonderful — hard to think about. God’s love is beyond understanding. God’s love produced the exile of God’s people in Assyria and Babylon.
    God loves His people just as we are, but He does not leave us undisturbed in our sin and error.

    Worth thinking more about a certain kind of love.

    Joy all day,

    13C and cloudy here.

  4. phpatato says:

    Saled, you said ” I think it is obvious that it is in the unknown common people where love is most likely to be found at work.”

    I agree. I liken it to those behind the scene workers, those unsung heroes…the ones that keep the home fires burning. Without those people, things would become like “all talk and no action”. It is the uncommon people where love is most likely to be found at work. Look at any fundraiser, at any volunteer…uncommon people with a heart full of love.

    Dry dry dry sunny conditions with no sign of any significant rain in the forecast. 27C with the humidex of 33 right now.

  5. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    Pray all is well in your lives… Enjoyed reading Mart’s intro comment… My thoughts were focused on his last paragraph…
    “What do you think? Is it possible that Paul’s understanding of this certain kind of love was grounded in his discovery that… this is how God loves us… and that such love is the beginning rather than the end of all helpful words, knowledge, understanding, faith, and the Spirit-given ability to give our attention to others?”

    I believe that Paul’s understanding of God’s love for us (and how God wants us to love our fellow man) was *spot on* when he wrote the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians. That chapter has been one of my favorites since I first read it. 1 Cor. 13 addresses the “heart of the matter” regarding what God is trying to convey to us about our relationship with our brothers/sisters in Christ, and even unbelievers.
    There are some–I suppose I could say many–born-again Christians who didn’t grow up in church, and they didn’t having a loving family who modeled that type of love for them when they were growing up either. I think a Christian struggles more with exercising that level of love if they didn’t see any type of representation of it as a child. Especially if they saw the exact opposite (e.g. selfishness, jealously, anger, neglect, hatred, verbal/physical abuse, etc.) of love (on that level).
    I don’t believe an “unbeliever” is capable of loving on that level because *Christians* struggle to love with the level of passion and sincerity outlined in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13. As I ponder the weighty depth of love outlined in that chapter, I’m reminded of what Paul said in the book of Romans (7th chapter?)… “When I want to/desire to do good, evil is always present.” My thoughts for now…

    94 degrees and hot in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

  6. Regina says:

    Now, I’m pondering how the picture of Albert Einstein relates to 1 Cor. 13… One quick thought… there are mathematical laws that must be followed, but the “law of love” is on a much higher level and it deserves the greater level of honor, respect and obeisance…

    Learned yesterday on a tv show that Albert Einstein did not start talking until he was 3 years old, and was extremely fascinated with building things with blocks and other objects when he was a very young child…

  7. marma says:

    Regina — I could relate to your post; as a young Christian in a home that followed self rather than God, I was always consciously or unconsciously looking for examples outside my home of how to live the Christian life, especially in loving others in my Christian friends.

    Walking in love — how do you do that without good real life examples to follow? Makes me understand how much we need the Word and the Holy Spirit to guide us especially when discerning whose example to follow.

  8. SFDBWV says:

    Regina with regards to Albert Einstein’s genius I have read that true genius is the ability to focus on one thought. Which is why some appear to be absent minded. It would appear that in his, Einstein’s development years that special ability of focus was also being developed.

    An interesting thought, thank you.

    Moving along with everyone else and with regards to Mart’s topic, I am often reminded of Agrippa’s comments to Paul in that Agrippa said that all of Paul’s studying has drove him mad.

    The basics of Christianity is that the man Jesus of Nazareth was put to death by crucifixion, buried and rose to life on the third day by His own power. This being possible by the knowledge that the man Jesus of Nazareth is also God.

    Agrippa as well as many who lived at the time had seen plenty of death and the idea of someone rising up after three days dead did seem quite insane to accept.

    Yet here was this “genius” of Mosaic Law speaking as if he were insane.

    Christianity was and remains a radical idea regarding our belief in a God, determining what it is God wants from us and our place in life. Especially with regards to how we live with each other.

    It is recorded that “all” Scripture is a divine revelation from God, “inspired”.

    Somewhere in the process of compiling the Bible, a record of inspired writing, both old and new testaments are regarded as one record of inspired Scripture and regarded as being straight from God to we the reader.

    Paul’s writings in fact Paul’s life became a testimony of God. His description of love coming from inspiration as well as the observation of that principal in life.

    How then do we apply such knowledge in our own lives? First we have to understand its meaning and from whom it actually comes before we can begin to treat others with that same consideration God has bestowed upon us.

    Some do well, some don’t. Some know they fail some don’t. All want this kind of love and yet some only practice it with their tongues and some even don’t hear what it is they say in contrast to it.

    Be prayerful to be led by the Spirit of God in all you say and do.

    64 and cloudy this morning.


  9. saled says:

    Pooh, I think you hit the nail on the head when you asked, “If it is up to the common people to change our neighborhoods, why haven’t we done so?” It’s my opinion that we lead such self-absorbed lives that we are useless. But I also believe that our best hope is found by looking inside, not by looking to Washington. Don’t take that shepherd and sheep analogy too far, as it leads right to anti-Christ.

    It is too easy to pin both blame and hope on one man (or woman) when the blame or hope actually resides in all of us.

  10. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    I see in the photo of Albert writing his crucial equation on the board — Energy = mass x the speed of light squared — the deceptively plain appearance of the word. That word, when set in motion, is mighty. This is not apparent in chalk marks on slate.

    So it is with Jesus, the Word made flesh. Those seeing Him on the lake shore, or on the road, or in people’s homes — did not perceive the power that was in Him.

    God’s love is the power that created the cosmos — that formed a people — and that set about through Messiah to bring all things back into His presence after they had turned away.

    God speaks through the prophet, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” It seems to me we read the words, but we do not always understand the Word standing before us in them.

    This is a definite, certain kind of love! Like a nuclear reaction, God’s love grows and multiplies and does immense work. We are not up to such creation — we are only messengers and vessels of His presence, it seems to me.


  11. poohpity says:

    sal, I was actually referring to that One leader in the sheep analogy as the Lord that lives in us and guides us as to how to change those neighborhoods. Not referring to any human being at all well unless it is a servant who follows the Master (God). I have witnessed many neighborhoods that together have gotten rid of gangs, drug sales and crime on one street at a time with everyone coming together for a common goal. They built community gardens and one lady used her storage shed for clothes and household goods if anyone was in need. They cleaned up each others yards for those who were unable physically to do anything. It was something to behold by looking out for each other, together.

  12. poohpity says:

    Hopefully no one is putting their life or depending in/on the hands of another human being and that means any government official either that goes without saying.

  13. poohpity says:

    Here in the USA it is up to us to do research on the people we vote into office beyond what we are fed by the media which many just vote by emotions and leave their brains at home. Since we have the internet we are able to do research on past accomplishments of the people or for those who are already in office the government website supplies resources to see what kind of job they are doing or not doing as the case may be.

    It is the same with listening to Christian teachers we always have the bible to compare what a person is teaching against what is written but also there not many who do research either they use emotion rather than their brain. Trust has to be earned, it is to valuable a gift to just give away to anyone.

  14. joycemb says:

    I think it’s interesting how Gods love, as told in I Cor. 13, doesn’t talk about how others are misunderstanding love but points out the positive, life-giving aspects of it. No “if only they would” statements. Love always seeks out the best in others. Thank you Lord for teaching me. Hope I get it sooner than later.

  15. lovely says:

    Well.my answer to the post is yes..Paul experience God s love..& it is so powerful that he is willing to be persecuted & die for.Philippians 1:21.we need that compassion in order to make a difference in our community.Doesn’t matter which class ur from,rich, poor we’re called to be the light.God placed us in different society ,countries,families to influence the people around us, even if u are place in a high position u are to reach out to that community.Key tho,u need that strength & love from God that will keep u going, u need to draw that love that it may flow out to others.

  16. poohpity says:

    Amen! We can not give away that which we do not have and if we do not have or know that certain kind of love we will be drawing from an empty well.

  17. street says:

    thinking of Holy Selflessness

  18. foreverblessed says:

    Very good thought Mart, most of the time when I think about the love chapter I think about how I should treat others.
    But now the first thought is, can I meditate on how God has dealt with me!
    Beautiful thought!

  19. saled says:

    Mart ends the post with the phrase ‘Spirit-given ability to give our attention to others’ including this in the list of what such love is the beginning of. We can’t produce this ability ourselves, it is Spirit-given. This reminds me of the last topic when we discussed the verse about earthy fathers knowing how to give good gifts and our Father who is in heaven giving much more, the Spirit, to those who ask. Spirit given ability to give our attention to others. I’ll be asking for that today.

  20. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    Have enjoyed reading the comments on this blog topic… Yes, marma, I didn’t have enough of an example of what it means to be Christian when I was a child/young adult either. Oftentimes, that “lack of example” is generational (my parents didn’t have enough of an example, my grandparents, etc.) The devil doesn’t want us to “know how” to walk in love, and if, by the grace of God, we learn how to do it, he will try to prevent us from actually doing it.
    You asked a good question, marma… How do we live in/out—walk in/out the “1 Cor. 13th chapter” kind of love without real life examples? I think your question speaks to the necessity of finding a good church home. We need to fellowship with other born-again Christians who sincerely love the Lord and who are led by the Spirit of God, and we need a Pastor who’s anointed to help us understand God’s Word and one who’s filled with the Holy Spirit.
    You’re welcome, Steve, regarding my thoughts on Albert Einstein… Have always admired him, and, when I see pictures of him, I often wonder about his personal life (was he a Christian?, was he married?, did he have children? etc…)
    We need the power of the Holy Spirit in order to love people with “1 Cor. 13th Chapter” love… that kind of love requires discipline, self-control, patience, understanding, sacrifice, humility… Galatians 5:22-23 is coming to mind. And, Steve, you said it best with this comment…”Some do well, some don’t. Some know they fail some don’t. All want this kind of love and yet some only practice it with their tongues and some don’t even hear what it is they say in contrast to it.”
    Wish I had more time to share more thoughts… Getting ready to go workout at the gym. My longest workout is on Saturday, but I can’t do it this Saturday because it’s ministry weekend for me at my church. I’m in the choir.

    84 degrees and *sunshine* in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

  21. street says:

    How do we live in/out—walk in/out the “1 Cor. 13 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] th chapter” kind of love without real life examples? I think your question speaks to the necessity of finding a good church home. We need to fellowship with other born-again Christians who sincerely love the Lord and who are led by the Spirit of God, and we need a Pastor who’s anointed to help us understand God’s Word and one who’s filled with the Holy Spirit.

    Luke 10:41-42

  22. joycemb says:

    Street that’s exactly what God has been telling me this last week. He reminded me the Church is Holy and we need to be part of and participate in to grow in our personal Holiness. I’m so convicted, thank you Jesus.

  23. poohpity says:

    The example of God’s love in 1 Cor 13 to me was only exemplified by the life of Christ. He is my example to follow and it is because of Him living out His life through us as vessels and what He has done for us, that is what we can give away. Will we fail?, you bet we will and the grace God showed us it would be nice if we showed that to others when they also fail to show that certain kind of love. It seems when we expect from others what we are unable to do ourselves we become disappointed by them and by ourselves when we also miss the mark, yet God.

    God does not seem to expect us to do anything without His help and I do not think He has as high of expectations as we do. He knows us better than we know ourselves that is why most like Paul grew in understanding as he let go of what he thought God was like before his conversion, to what God was really like in the person of Jesus Christ. Paul changed his opinion and perspective after spending time with the Lord.

  24. street says:

    A Certain Kind of Love
    poo said,”God does not seem to expect us to do anything without His help and I do not think He has as high of expectations as we do.”

    i don’t think God ever lowered His expectations of us, He keeps them at perfection. therefore He sent His Son according to the Covenant He made with man to fulfill all the terms thereof. a Covenant in law made, shored up founded on, set on, in, with His Love. children born of God on a promise, in faith. the righteous shall live by faith.

  25. poohpity says:

    Oh street, how can God have expectations of us when He already knows everything we are going to do before we do it? Think about it!!

  26. street says:

    He fulfilled His expectations of us in His One and only Son. while we were “still” sinners he saved us! Hebrews 10:10 And by that will, we have been made “holy” through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ “once for all.” this Gospel gets better and better all the time.

    remember He said we are to live by every Word that proceeds from the Mouth of God. thinking of Hebrews10:16
    “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”

    thinking Holy Spirit here.

    from my marriage i have come to understand that in love there are always expectations. i also know apart from God we are complete failures on all levels. grace and mercy are the greatest gifts ever given and they are most clearly seen in Jesus at the cross. thank God for Easter! a sure Hope!

  27. poohpity says:

    God has no expectations of us, God knows us intimately from the time of conception or He would not be omnipotent, omnipresent, or omniscience. To think otherwise is to deny God. Because of Him knowing us so well He sent Jesus which was planned from the creation of our world. God laws were fulfilled in Jesus so that we could see He was without sin because only a perfect sacrifice could be offered on our behalf. To compare God in anyway to our thoughts, understanding, reasoning remember Job 40-41.

  28. SFDBWV says:

    Am thinking about two thoughts that seem to get in the way of this ultimate expression of love.

    The first being the “unforgivable sin”. Here within all this talk of forgiveness and abiding love rests one sin that is said to be “unforgivable”.

    Am left with the thought that there may be a limit to what God may endure.

    Secondly I am wondering how trying to live the life of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13 has worked out for most against a world filled with people who embody selfishness and egocentric behavior.

    Do we also have a limit? Is it a sin or a tarnish of godly behavior to sometimes say “enough”, or as “Popeye” would say “That’s all I can stand I can’t stands no more”?

    As our world becomes blurred and people no longer know right from wrong, are we to stay silent because of our desire to overlook wrongs and enough to just be an example of righteous living? Or should we be that “kook” who stands on the street corner and warns the world of the consequences of its sins?

    Or is it possible that as Mumford and Son’s sings “Only Love wins in the end”.

    Foggy humid and 70 degrees in the mountains this morning. The Robins left three weeks ago and the humming bird numbers are diminishing; change is in the air.


  29. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, my hope is that God’s love endures forever.
    Actually, that is what I believe.
    Not that He has no time of “wrath”, but always with the idea that people will come to repentance, in the end.
    Psalm. 136:1,2,3,4-26

  30. foreverblessed says:

    If I could not say that God’s love endures forever, for the sake of people who think that that is a license to sin:
    I can do what I want, God will forgive me anyway.
    These people will get what they look for: trouble, tribulation.
    A hard road.
    But hopefully somewhere, some how, God only knows how, they will come to repentance.
    And in the mean time, I say: God’s love endures forever!
    Psalm 136:26

  31. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed, (Rita) there is a great deal learned and great deal to learn in our walk with God. In the midst of trials and tribulations a Christian always looks beyond them with eyes and a heart filled with hope, and when the dust settles it is met with thanksgiving.

    I too believe in the end God will win and for me that means “Only Love” will win in the end.

    May I also say your presence here is always a ray of sunshine.

    I enjoyed very much that yesterday as the Olympic torch went around Rio the runner stopped at the statue of Christ that overlooks the city and a priest blessed the coming Olympic Games as they paid tribute to “Christ the Redeemer”.


  32. lovely says:

    Well to tell from right & wrong can be found in the bible.God s wisdom & truth will save us from the world that is already filled with confusion.in fact He already told us in advance that the world will have all confusion & lawlessness Matthew 24:12-13.But we are called by Him to endure to the end & overcome the world.1John 5:4-5.What He tells us to do He s already given us the ability to do it. Love as God said is different from the world that s why all the confusion starts.We are not to overlook sin , neither are we to judge for we will be judged. WE are to depend on God to do the judging while we do the forgiving & praying. Of course we need to stand in the truth speak the truth in the midst of confusion, we know that the world has already been given to the devil & he works by deception.Here is where the wisdom of God comes in.His wisdom can be found in His word. You see His love is beyond what our flesh ( mind) can understand. But He desires for us to know Him & His love.Jeremiah 9:24. Here God said He is exercising judgment,loving kindness ,& righteousness.

  33. lovely says:

    Other words u know God intimately, you’ll have victory over sin.1John 3:6.Look at the parable of the unforgiving servant.His master cancelled his debt but he went & sent his fellow who owe him to jail.He did not realize how much he has been forgiven, That’s why he couldn’t forgive.We re the same.We need to look at how much we’ve been forgiven instead of looking at how wrong everyone is.Speaking the truth, is speaking the truth of God in love,in His power & time .Word of God not with anger or emotions (flesh). Romans 8:1 .Don’t walk in guilt & condemnation but walk in the forgiveness Of God that brings victory over sin.

  34. poohpity says:

    Amen and Amen!!

  35. joycemb says:

    Good day folks!

    I was able to push past my anxiety and attend church today. It was such a blessing as the pastor gave all an opportunity to reconcile with each other before taking Communion. He talked about love and said: “We truly only understand the immensity of Gods love in fellowship with other be!ievers”. This is so huge for me who has been somewhat exiled from the church for several years. Thankful for Gods faithfulness and the continued healing of psychological wounds. Forgiveness and grace do go hand in hand. I am so thankful also for this community of faith which has filled a gap for me for a few years.

    Blessed day to you all!

  36. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of Witney Houston and the song the “Greatest Love Of All”.

    I find the greatest love of all inside of me because until I can love myself I can not know how to love others and that is what God teaches me when I allow Him access to my heart, how to love myself.

    It is slow and painful and I struggle but God is teaching me His love and the depths of His love because He wants me to experience it because until I experience His love, Paul is right, all the rest amounts to “nothing”.

    I come into this world with “nothing” and I leave this world with “nothing” and I if I have not experienced GOD’S love then I have gained “nothing”.

    I cannot lose what I never had but it is in getting to know God that I realize that “HIS LOVE” is active while mine can lie dormant.

    I am so focused on doing “good works” for God that I forget He wants a “relationship” with “me”.

    What do my good works amount to because if I am honest I am motivated by selfish desires to score brownie points with God except God has given me the gift of “Salvation” so my works amount to “What” me trying to earn my way into heaven because I do not trust God’s word that I am saved by the blood of Jesus and not of my “doing”.

    I was raised in a “religious” country as most know Ireland has many religions and I have looked at other countries like England and thought how they have moved away from God.

    During the height of the troubles a British soldier asked me how so many religious people could hate
    them so much opening my eyes to the fact that “religious ritual” does not make a Christian.

    I spent my younger life at church and believing in God because it was my heritage but it is now that I am beginning to know that God is not confined to a church or a belief system and if I am looking for Him there then I am limiting my view of Him.

    God is so much more than any religion will ever teach us and for that I am truly thankful because in my experience one of God’s greatest enemies is religion.

    It is “Jesus” who transcends time because God knew the end from the beginning and He did not get it wrong that I/we need saving from ourselves just as much as from the world.

    I need to “experience” God’s love and as someone who has hated I have a long way to go but then so did Paul and that is perhaps I understand Him so well.

    The greatest love of all is inside of me because that is where “Jesus” resides give Him room in your heart because He is more worthy than all of the “causes” you feel you have to work for.

  37. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    Pray all is well in your lives… Just want to add to my previous post… If any of you need a good church home, you should spend time in sincere prayer before God, asking Him to give you divine direction and spiritual discernment regarding where you should go. Remember, a godly church home, fellowship with godly Christian brothers/sisters, a sincere prayer life, and studying God’s Word (the Bible) helps us to “live in” and “walk out” “1 Cor. 13th Chapter” LOVE.
    Want to share a song with yall that came to mind as I reflected on 1 Cor. 13:1-13…

    “I Need You to Survive” (Hezekiah Walker)

    I need you, you need me;
    We’re all a part of God’s body.
    Stand with me, agree with me;
    We’re all a part of God’s body.

    It is His will that every need be supplied;
    You are important to me,
    I need you to survive.

    You are important to me,
    I need you to survive.

    I pray for you, you pray for me;
    I *love* you, I need you to survive.
    I won’t harm you with words from my mouth;
    I *love* you, I need you to survive.

    It is His will that every need be supplied;
    You are important to me,
    I need you to survive.

    You are important to me,
    I need you to survive.

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

    Love to all,

  38. joycemb says:

    Thank you Viv for your honesty. All God needs to work with is a willing heart–which you certainly have. Our nation-the USA-was founded by English who wanted to be able to celebrate and live their religion freely without State involvement. Many wars have been fought in the name of religion and as yours the freedom to live independent of England. I watched parts of a Public Broadcasting Service program on how Ireland fought against the English to gain autonomy from British rule. I was thinking of my ancestors who came here from Ireland in the late 1800 to early 1900’s. All seeking a “better” country. Yet as Christ followers we look forward to that “better country” that Paul talks about. Meanwhile we live our lives looking forward with hope in the drudge and sometimes dreariness of this world. If I didn’t have that Hope, as you do, I would not want to live another day. His Love carries it along yes, along with the love of fellow believers wherever we find them. Sending you also a virtual (((hug))) my friend and a prayer for a blessed day in Christ Jesus. Joyce

  39. joycemb says:

    Viv I think many of us at times default to “what can I do to make God love me” when in a panic. I know I do. But when things settle down I finally recognize that His Love hasn’t changed, but my heart was only revealing to me places that needed Gods touch, once again. He is always faithful to reveal that Love in one way or another.

  40. joycemb says:

    Regina that song was driven home to me in church yesterday as we committed to love and care for one another. Being open to being loved by others is an amazing thing. God bless you and here’s a (((hug))) for you! Have a blessed day! Joyce

  41. Regina says:

    Thank you for the (((hug))), Joyce, and here’s one for you (((hug)))! :-) Yes, I’ve loved that song ever since I heard it about 3 or 4 years ago. It definitely helps us understand our *need* to love and care for one another. Am thinking of our Lord’s commandment…”Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matt. 22:39 ~Regina

  42. foreverblessed says:

    Joyce, I am so happy that you have gone to church.
    Or shall I say, your fellow christian brothers and sisters.
    The Body of Christ! I am really happy!
    When I started on this blog, I had no church. But had a house prayergroup. Till the person emigrated.
    Then I started to pray, and pray, as Regina said. And God worked it out for me.
    I first went to a conference, while praying on the way, the road before me looked beautifull, the sky had dark clouds but rays of sunshine came through them, as if God was saying:
    I am the light on your path, and the lamp for your feet!
    And that was reassuring.

  43. joycemb says:

    Forever it’s so wonderful how God leads each one of us individually to a common point, the Church, where we can share and bear one another’s sin and pain without guilt or shame. Sometimes it takes patience and perseverance to get there and maintain it, yet God is always faithful!

  44. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Joyce, for reminding me, that it is not just my weakness, to forget that God does not withdraw His love from me.

    I forget that God is not like me because I hold on to grudges when I should let them go.

    He does not give up on me and yet I so often give up on myself.


    God of love – Forgive! Forgive!
    Teach us how to truly live,
    Ask us not our race or creed,
    Just take us in our hour of need,
    And let us know You love us, too,
    And that we are a part of You….
    And someday may man realize
    That all the earth, the seas and skies
    Belong to God who make us all,
    The rich, the poor, the great, the small,
    And in the Father’s Holy Sight
    No man is yellow, black or white,
    And peace on earth cannot be found
    Until we meet on common ground
    And every man becomes a brother
    Who worships God and loves each other.

  45. joycemb says:

    Beautiful Viv :-)

  46. jeff1 says:

    Thinking today God’s love is mature love while mine is child like.

    I love someone I expect them to reciprocate and when they don’t I blame them for being unloving.

    My earthly father knew mature love and that is why I can see there is a difference.

    My father showed love to all kinds of people yet he never expected them to show love in return because he was mature enough to understand that Godly people do not demand from others what they may not be able to give.

    God’s way is a higher calling in that I must be able to discern when someone is not mature enough to understand it is God is at work in me either because they are not mature enough or they are not a believer.

    Good judgements are what made my father a follower whom I can look up to in so many ways (he departed this life in the year 2000).

    Another example of his maturity was that he never said to me “I told you so” yet he always proved me wrong in my discernment.

    Unlike my father I am a weak follower but still I know that “Jesus loves me”.

    Jesus loves me!
    This I know,
    For the Bible tells me so.
    Little ones to Him belong;
    They are weak but He is strong.

    Jesus loves me!
    Loves me still,
    Tho I’m very weak and ill,
    That I might from sin be free,
    Bled and died upon the tree.

    Jesus loves me!
    He who died
    Heaven’s gate to open wide;
    He will wash away my sin,
    Let His little child come in.

  47. foreverblessed says:

    This is such a good topic, it brings me back every time when I am unsettled in my mind: 1 Cor 13:1-13
    That is how God loves me:
    1 Cor 13:4-7
    He is patient with me, He is kind to me.
    He does not envy me (anything of great value I have has been given by Him)
    He does not boast of how good He is, (while He is the best of us all.)
    He is not rude to me, nor is He self seeking, (all though He says that we have to worship only Him.He does not say that because He needs it, but because He knows that we do need it, otherwise we would worship something else)
    He is not easily angered! Now that is a good one. I am, and I do not want that, so I take all my anger to Him, the Cross absorbs all my anger. And then I wait at the foot of the cross for His peace.
    He keeps no record
    He does not have a list of all the wrongs I have done.
    Wow! That is good news! I do not know whether He does that after I have confessed, and that all the unconfessed sins are still in His mind. Or that He really does hold no record of them, and that the unconfessed sins are in my way of seeing Him, and heaven.
    Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
    God always protects me, He always trusts me (I guess, He means that He trusts the Holy Spirit to work in me, so that only when I am completely humble, and sitting at His feet (figuratively speaking) He is confident that His will is done in me)
    Always hopes, so He always hopes that it will be all right with me, in the end. (and not only me, but everybody)
    Always perseveres. Always He perseveres with my failings. Do I do that with my fellow man, or do I say, well now the line has been drawn, that’s it!
    Or do I go back to God, and see that all the love He has, He is able to give me.

    It does remind me of our daily bread, last month. Where a preacher was sitting in the field to draw, and he had forgotten his white chalk. He needed that white chalk, and was irritated that he missed it.
    Till he had a good look on the ground beneath him:
    He was sitting on a chalk field!

    God’s love is so all surrounding, so huge, He can fill me to the brim, so that I overflow with it!

    Have a good day, with all the love you can find in the field right beneath you!

  48. jeff1 says:


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

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

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

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

  49. street says:

    Where did Paul get the idea that without love— eloquence is noise.. and that knowledge, understanding, faith, and even charitable sacrifice amount to nothing?

    thinking from the Son who left heaven to save fallen man, suffering an brutal death and exalted to the Right Hand of God because of His relationship with His Father and mankind. with out love all relationships are dead empty…meaningless. we suffer from myopic vision or just cold hearts.

  50. jeff1 says:

    Why did Jesus HAVE to suffer because of our short sightedness and hearts that have gone cold.

    It is no surprise to God, it is biblical that many in the last days would fall away.

    It was my earthly father who knew that to follow Christ was much easier said than done and we can only do it in part.

    We are only part of a bigger picture but I must stop seeing God as foolish as I am.

    God convicts me for all the right reasons while I insist that He must have got it wrong because I am better than that, but Paul did not fool himself and knew he was not better. Paul was realistic about whom he was and knew his actions or lack of it did not always glorify God and neither does mine.

    I must take responsibility for being weak or else I blame God and fail to see my own shortcomings.

    My earthly father taught me one thing, ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN LACK OF ACTION AND LACK OF FAITH or you will blame God instead of yourself when it is you who is lacking.

    Paul literally knew how much HE was in need of a Saviour
    as does any mature Christian.

    I must stop being critical of others and put my own house in order and that is what God is trying to teach me because it is I who needs to change my attitude and behaviour to be what God intended me to be.

  51. joycemb says:

    I think a good question to ask ourselves when we judge others is does it move them closer to God, even though it may cause bitterness and anger. Either way they have to be accountable for their reaction- I’m speaking of those who say they are Christs, not unbelievers whom we are not to judge at all according to Paul. Gods love is severe and merciful, like a double edged sword, not meek and mild. I’ve felt both edges. Yet God is good, always.

  52. street says:

    thinking of the hookers, tax collectors and idolators who found mercy and healing from Jesus the man and then learning of His sacrificial death as Jesus the Lamb of God. His love is quite explosive. hopefully very contagious.

  53. poohpity says:

    Amen street! His love is explosive and contagious in those who know Him. Those who can say with all certainty, as we beat our chests and admit our own sinful nature, that we are forgiven and shown such great mercy and grace how can we withhold that inside and not give it away.

  54. joycemb says:

    Amen yet what did Jesus say to the Samaritan woman with loose morals? “Go and sin no more.” That’s the next step after conversion. Learning to live in Gods Kingdom not the world. Gods kingdom doesn’t allow sin to flourish. I know this well.

  55. joycemb says:

    Oops wrong woman, it was said to the woman ready to be stoned for adultery according to the law.

  56. street says:

    i understood what you meant joycemb. was thinking of the difference between a convert and a disciple i read about recently. a convert or religious person changes outward appearance a disciple changes master.

    thinking of great commission in that Jesus told us to go make disciples not converts, churchs, or anything similar. yet i know only God can change a human heart or spots, yet He use man to bring this about. be exalted in all the heaven and all the earth!

    His grace and mercy are the Greatest Gifts. give them generously.

  57. joycemb says:

    Street yes. How does the “narrow” way fit into the equation though? When Jesus says to hate the world and everything in it-meaning whatever is more important than Him-isn’t that the narrow way? How long do we continue to sin and get away with it because “God is love” as we know and say?

    A disciple is a learner also. What is the use of following someone but not learning their ways so a transformation takes place in the follower? Learning their ways only enough to wear a badge, like a republican or a democrat or using the name “Christian”?

    I know, it gets back to the wolves among sheep senario Jesus talked about. Deception is so cunningly devious. I think only God can know for sure sometimes. It’s a spiritual battle only He can and will win eventually.

    Thanks street for the conversation. And concern.

  58. joycemb says:

    “His grace and mercy are the Greatest Gifts. give them generously.”

    Yes, that’s the bottom line. Thank you again street.

  59. jeff1 says:

    I find the battle within myself is the most difficult transformation.

    I do not think we get away with sin because that is why there is suffering and we still do suffer on this earth.

    There is a spiritual battle within and without and you are correct Joyce only God knows how to overcome the spirit world.

    Our part is to remain faithful and trust Him because Jesus is our Salvation so ours is the easy part if you think about it, it is in His hands.

  60. jeff1 says:

    As the song goes:

    He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands

    He’s got the whole world in his hands he’s got the whole world in his hands
    He’s got the whole world in his hands he’s got the whole world in his hands

    He’s got the little bitty baby in his hands he’s got the little bitty baby in his hands
    He’s got the little bitty baby in his hands he’s got the whole world in his hands
    He’s got the whole world in his hands….

    He’s got me and you brother in his hands he’s got me and you sister in his hands
    He’s got me and you brother in his hands he’s got he whole world in his hands

    He’s got everybody here in his hands he’s got everybody here in his hands
    He’s got everybody here in his hands
    He’s got the whole world in his hands…
    He’s got the whole world in his hands…

  61. joycemb says:

    Agree Viv, I let my complicated mind overtake my trust in Gods power at times.

  62. jeff1 says:

    I do too Joyce and it is in the mind that the greatest battle is because I listen to other influences when I should be listening to God.

    God speaks to the heart but my head gets in the way.

    My earthly father had the ability to discard any influence that did not align with his Godly principles.

    It was that ability that led my father to make sound judgements while I find it is a struggle for me to make good decisions.

    I think I probably depended on my father so much because I knew he would make the right decision that I find I am incapable of making a decision without him.

    It is probably easier for me to trust God because I do not trust myself but I also fear that I have the tendency to wander from His safe keeping.

  63. joycemb says:

    Viv thank you I so enjoy talking with you also. I wish my local church and even my Bible study pals could feel free enough to talk as some of us do here. Oh well, it’s been a good day and I am encouraged by so many.

    blessings, Joyce

  64. street says:

    was thinking about the battle of the mind today and motive came to mind. people always trying to sell you something or take something from you. God’s love is free and it cost Him much from our perspective. we know pain and suffering can be quite cruel. sin still gets in the way of His love, but i understand sin and death are no longer a problem for individuals in Christ Jesus. fear and doubt our the devils stock and trade and have been removed by the wisdom and power of God through the cross of Christ. when doubt, fear, or what ever come knocking turn to Jesus for direction. He’s the good Shepard. He proved it, stop looking for another.

  65. joycemb says:

    Good day all,

    I found this to be very comforting and helpful:

    “In the believer there is nothing that can magnify humankind; we are planted, nourished, and protected by the Lord’s own hand, and to Him let all the glory be ascribed.”

  66. jeff1 says:

    Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son;
    endless is the victory, thou o’er death hast won;
    angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
    kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay.
    Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
    Endless is the vict’ry, thou o’er death hast won.

    Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
    Lovingly He greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
    Let the church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing;
    for her Lord now liveth, death has lost its sting. Refrain

    No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
    life is naught without thee; aid us in our strife;
    make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love:
    bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above. Refrain
    Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
    Endless is the vict’ry, thou o’er death hast won.

  67. poohpity says:

    It seems like as we grow in our relationship with the Lord we share mutual experiences that we may not be able to explain yet Paul and others had it written down thousands of years ago. That figures because God is the same God and relates to us individually but yet His desires for us all are the same, to know Him and His great love.

    Just like Paul was zealous to follow the law which resulted in, “His ambitious knowledge of the Scriptures and Moses left him angry, judgmental, controlling, and even violent.” but when He met Jesus that turned around all that he thought about God was not what he had believed all his life. Then we see what the results of living beyond head knowledge to heart knowledge can do. Paul experienced grace. Then it all turned around to, “It was only after being knocked off his feet by Jesus that he saw that it is only a certain kind of love that makes words, knowledge, understanding, faith, and generosity beneficial.” not just beneficial for him but for everyone he came in contact with and when even while imprisoned his goal was still to share that “Good News”.

  68. joycemb says:

    Yes Viv, “Thine be the glory ” is what we can rest in!

  69. joycemb says:

    Because as street said, “sin and death have been dealt with”. Thank you Jesus.

  70. street says:

    yes there is a rest. yet we are to be conformed to the image of His Son. remember the verse He prepares a table before me in the presents of my enemy? and the one the table they set became a snare to them? seem to me if we are going to be like Jesus we need to learn to wait on tables. remember Jesus telling His disciples, you give them something to eat? or how about this classic command give your enemy food and drink! remember the workers who endured the heat all day and received the same wage and were a little upset?

  71. jeff1 says:

    Yet I must know when I need rest or I will be of no use if I have not renewed my strength.

    I am always learning whether at rest or work or play.

    God is conforming me in ways I do not always understand
    because I know it is not from my own knowledge.

    I must get to the place where I feel at ease with God so that He can work through me without me wandering or getting confused!

  72. poohpity says:

    street, I think that some of those questions Jesus asked of His disciples seemed to help them see that they were not able in and of themselves to do. So sort of like helping them see the areas they were weak and needed help, divine help by the power of God.

  73. street says:

    poo i wonder if there is a place we do not need His help?
    thinking there is but you really don’t want to go there.

    thinking along the line His grace and mercy are everlasting.
    if it ends it a really bad place. many places in scripture are recorded of really dark times, yet God saves Israel. yes are adversary is real smarter and stronger than us, but Jesus is light and drives out the darkness. being free and being in love is a good thing when it comes to God.

  74. poohpity says:

    street, Unknown about anyone else but there is not a place I do not need His help. Some like to think they can manage as I did without Him but after trying to many times have found all things are better with Him and He never leaves me on my own. The “but” is that from what I know which is very little God never interferes when He is not wanted when we are satisfied with doing things our own way and on our own by not asking Him in or for His help.

  75. street says:

    saw this on facebook ” Grace means all your mistakes now serve a purpose instead of serving shame.”

    could sin be substituted for mistakes?

    i am so done with darkness, just give me the light of the world.

  76. jeff1 says:

    It is up to God whether He treats mistakes as sin, is it not?

    I can hear a lie and tell it on but is sin not deliberate?

    Darkness exists in the earthly realm and in me and while I want to be done with darkness I know from the bible that God can work in darkness.

    Look at the lives of God’s children in the bible and many slipped into darkness though they trusted God.

    I do not believe it is biblical to say that trusting God means I get a happy ending in the flesh.

    It was a dark day when Jesus died as believer’s seen it, but the reality of Jesus’s death is that it was God’s plan.

    If I am trusting God then even these dark days are known to Him proving God knows human nature the way human nature does not know Him.

    These are the days of Elijah,
    Declaring the word of the Lord, yeah
    And these are the day of Your servant, Moses
    Righteousness being restored.

    These are the days of great trial,
    Of famine and darkness and sword,
    Still we are the voice in the desert crying
    ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord!’

    Say, behold He comes, riding on the clouds,
    Shining like the sun, at the trumpet’s call;
    Lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee,
    Out of Zion’s hill, salvation comes.

    And these are the days of Ezekiel,
    The dry bones becoming as flesh;
    And these are the days of Your servant, David
    Rebuilding the temple of praise.

    And these are the days of the harvest,
    The fields are as white in Your world,
    And we are the labourers that are in Your vineyard,
    Declaring the Word of the Lord!

    Behold He comes, riding on the clouds,
    Shining like the sun, at the trumpet call;
    Lift your voice, its the year of Jubilee,
    Out of Zion’s hill, salvation comes.

    There’s no God like Jehovah!
    There’s no God like Jehovah!
    There’s no God like Jehovah!
    There’s no God like Jehovah!

    Behold He comes, riding on the clouds,
    Shining like the sun, at the trumpet’s call;
    Lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee,
    Out of Zion’s hill, salvation comes.

    Behold He comes, riding on the clouds
    Shining like the sun, at the trumpet’s call
    Lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee
    Out of Zion’s hill, salvation comes.

  77. poohpity says:

    From what the bible teaches sin can either be intentional or unintentional, commission or omission, covert or overt but when we have Jesus in our hearts we know that whatever the case may be the minute we admit to them and it may be several times for the same one’s He is faithful to forgive us. It is put behind us as far as God is concerned after we admit it is thrown away as far as the east is from the west. We hold on to the guilt and shame but the Lord does not however the adversary would like us to believe that the Lord holds them against us but the devil is the father of lies. We are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb.

    Guilt and shame are what stop us from living an abundant life knowing we now have choices. We can keep a short list if we keep watch on our own behavior and when the Lord gently brings to mind an area of sin then we confess and know we are shown mercy and grace. Then we can get on with living and learning from the past but not to dwell on it. People are the one’s who rub our noses in our faults and failures God does not. There are consequences to the choices we have made if there were not then we would continue to repeat.

    Knowing that we will never be sinless keeps us humble and stops us most often from looking at the sin in others. Paul knew that as he wrote Romans 7 and knew the answer was and will always be Christ’s redemptive work.

  78. poohpity says:

    Not only Paul but Jesus taught us that we have enough sin in our own lives so rather than finding it in others keep an eye on the many areas we fail. I wonder what the NT would like look like if it was nothing but Peter looking at the way Paul failed or James looking at John or Matthew looking at Andrew or Mary looking a Martha, etc. but we do not see that well unless we look at the times some of the Jewish followers were trying to lead the Gentile followers to go back under the burdens of the law that could save no one then they were confronted about that. After experiencing that certain kind of love, grace becomes more prevalent.

  79. joycemb says:

    Viv I haven’t heard that song in a long time but we used to sing it a lot with lots of joy and excitement! Truly there is no God like our God!

  80. jeff1 says:

    Our sins though forgiven by God have still had consequences in this life.

    It is those consequences that often make it difficult to not dwell on the past.

    If those I have hurt are not believers then they do not see it from God’s perspective so I do not think it is a case of rubbing noses in it but more the fact that they do not see the need to forgive.

    I must except that non believers will hold my sins against me because they do not know otherwise.

    I also must expect that they will want to see a change in my behaviour to align with the fact that I regret my offense against them.

    Do you not think that God wants me to make restitution to others so that they see that my confession is more than just words!

  81. jeff1 says:

    Last posted directed to you, Pooh.

  82. poohpity says:

    Good morning Viv. There are several lessons about restitution in the bible regarding stealing, breaking others property, cheating, greed, etc. but how can we heal or give restitution to someone who we have broken their hearts or injured them in mind or heart except to apologize and ask them to forgive us. Will that always make things better in that relationship no but it is a start for reconciliation. Sometimes behavior changes can take time I think that is why we are guided to forgive someone for the same offense in the same day 7 times 70. No matter if someone changes or not we still forgive because God forgave us when we did not deserve it.

    When I realize that I do things when I have said I would never do them again and do not want to do them again, sadly I still do but that is where grace comes in and that is why we can give that same grace to others. We treat others as we would like to be treated not how they treat us but how we want to be treated. So if we give forgiveness, grace and mercy even if we do not get it back we still give it because we want it and God gives it to us over flowing.

  83. poohpity says:

    God forgave us while we were still sinners so how can we do any different. People did not ask for what Christ did, He did it because God wanted a relationship with us and His love for us is beyond anything we can imagine. It is hard for us to extend that to others especially if we feel we need to get them back for the harm caused to us and all I can say I am glad God did not want to get us back for the harm we have caused.

    The consequences of our behavior may not be as bad as it could have been since we actually deserved the death sentence but we are given forgiveness and life.

  84. jeff1 says:

    If we look at the sin in the world I do not think we can say that the consequences of our behaviour has not been bad.

    If God is giving us forgiveness, love and mercy to overflowing then how come this world is overflowing with revenge, hate and blame.

    Are we keeping the forgiveness, love and mercy to ourselves?

    Do you not notice that the world never changes meaning that mankind keeps repeating the same mistakes.

    Religions change God, each to their own beliefs and it is handed down from one generation to another with the same consequences, one blaming the other for all the strife in the world.

    It is God alone who changes the hearts of men and women or this world would be a much better place by now.

    I may see myself as different from a non believer because I trust God but the reality is that I am just as likely to sin as a non believer and therefore do not do God any favours.

    You are right when you say we actually deserved the death sentence because our effectiveness in this world remains to be seen meaning that believer or non believer we are all very much depending on “Jesus” as our Saviour.

  85. street says:

    A Certain Kind of Love
    plowing new ground here. heard a sermon on forgiveness. it had 5 points i think. the point that stood out was the method of forgiveness, one of 5 points. it had 3 points in it’s self. correctly identifying the sin. correctly identifying the person or sinner. the last point is how did it effect me? yes i am discovering effects that i have not considered let domino effects like ripples on a pond. sin is contagious. this is all new ground for me in it’s effect and the last part of reconciliation. the reestablishment of the relationship. thinking it must be made new, not going back to the former. a different kind of love indeed!

  86. joycemb says:

    Please pray!!! My brother and family live down in Louisiana where they have had 30 inches of rain and horrible flooding. I can’t get hold of them and am of course very concerned. Thank you

  87. bubbles says:

    I will pray for them.

  88. joycemb says:

    Thank you Bubbles, I finally got in touch with their daughter who said they are safe but unable to get to their home due to the flooding. They are currently at the hospital as my sister-in-law has a serious bowel/stomach infection. Please pray for Phyllis also, thanks.

  89. poohpity says:

    Viv, you said, “If God is giving us forgiveness, love and mercy to overflowing then how come this world is overflowing with revenge, hate and blame.” Because most people live by worldly values gee many who even claim to be Christians live by worldly values. How we are different is we know we have been forgiven and hopefully we act as if we have been in how we treat others.

  90. street says:

    how come this world is overflowing with revenge, hate and blame.”

    they don’t know God, love sin, or have rejected God outright. you must be born again.

  91. street says:

    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various [c]trials, 7 so that the [d]proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which [e]is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and [f]full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of [g]your souls.

  92. joycemb says:

    Street sounds like a very good sermon. Forgiveness is a process not a simply ” I’m sorry please forgive me”. This works if you trip someone with your luggage (a stranger), but with a relationship it takes into consideration sins of omission and commission on both sides. All the nuances inbetween must be shared and processed, it takes time. I know. Most often what happens is one decides to pull back and true reconciliation can’t happen. This is a problem we see with blogs or online relationships–Though sometimes people just decide their primary face to face relationships are more than enough to deal with. My how our world has changed in a sort time.

  93. jeff1 says:

    People who live by worldly values are not necessary the ones committing evil as my son as pointed out to me it is religions that cause most of the strife in the world.

    Many read the bible and come away with the belief that God is as much a God of wrath as a God of love.

    The message of God’s love and mercy is not reaching people because those who preach His wrath are better at getting their message across.

    This turns people away from God which means Christianity is no longer effective in a secular world.

    The younger generations are moving away from institutionalised religion because they see it as dividing people and our generation did nothing to alleviate their fears.

    This may be for the best as churches are becoming more like businesses anyway.

    Change must be for the best or God would not bring it about.

    Trust in His superiority and we will not be disappointed.

  94. street says:

    thinking about wrath and love. we don’t have to look far to find either one. many times side by side. again motive comes to mind. thinking of wrath when one goes too far, yet thinking of job who did not go too far, but was not close enough. closer than his three friends were. thinking of God’s freedom power and creativity in conforming His children to the image of His Son. close doesn’t get it. we think if close it must be counterfeit. yet not finished from our perspective.

    thinking if you trust Him you’ll be walking with Him. thinking of a yoke. constrained by love. a certain kind of love. to deny one self, take up your cross daily and follow Jesus.

  95. poohpity says:

    It is not just now that the religious or a religion has deterred many from a relationship with God that was exactly what Jesus addressed when He walked the earth read Matt 23. Also as another example look at Saul before He met Jesus and became Paul. That is what this topic was speaking of.

    Expecting people to be perfect and not have flaws, faults, failures in other words sin is very discouraging especially when we look in the mirror. Do we expect that from ourselves? Do we want to be forgiven and shown grace? When we admit what we do to God He forgives us. For me no one has to admit they are wrong I forgive them even without admission not to say it is not nice for someone to admit when they are wrong but my forgiveness is not dependent on them or their heart but on mine and what God has done for me.

    We do not live in a perfect world and we are not perfect people so we can either hang on to anger, hatred, bitterness, resentment and evil or put it all in God’s capable hands to work out. The lack of forgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the person that we hate, resent or feel anger towards or are bitter about to die. Those things rot our insides out and cause depression, anxiety and more than anything a very hard heart. Forgiveness offers freedom from carrying that person in our hearts and minds because if that is how we feel in our heart it will certainly come out in every other area in our lives as well.

  96. joycemb says:

    Viv I agree with you about how religions cause so many troubles, yet it’s the people who, as you say misinterpret scripture that bring about wars. Thinking of your post I thought that it seems to me we are all in one way or another seeking justice. A wrathful God is the perfect ‘scapegoat’ if you will to blame our troubles on and seek restitution. How amazing that it took a frail human, completely man yet completely God, to turn the tide so to speak to where justice was accomplished once for all on a wooden stake. Jesus is the only and perfect answer to all the troubles in this world, both secular and religious as you know.

    What a friend we have in Jesus,
    all our sins and griefs to bear.
    What a privilege to carry,
    everything to God in prayer.

  97. joycemb says:

    Thinking further….praying that all would know Jesus is the perfect ‘revenge’ isn’ it!

  98. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Praying for those in Louisiana, including your family, Joyce, especially Phyllis.

    Mart, you wrote:

    “My hunch is that Paul learned by experience that such transforming love is not a law but a grace—and that it is found in how far Jesus went to reveal his Father— with the resulting assurance that this is how God loves us… even in his own jealousy and judgment.”

    Agreeing with you over here, Mart, that Paul’s heart after he was “knocked off his feet” was transformed.

    As a Pharisee, he tried to destroy Jesus-followers, seeking “revenge” for God in jealousy and judgment. After he left behind all his judgmental, jealous temple colleagues, he learned to say:

    “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh…”

    Could it be in that time away in Tarsus (Acts 9:26-31) Saul became Paul and rediscovered the profound love and grace of our Creator God? Did he reread Psalm 2, for example, and discover Messiah?

    “O kings and rulers of the earth, listen while there is time.
    Serve the Lord with reverent fear; rejoice with trembling.
    Fall down before his Son and kiss his feet before his anger is roused and you perish.

    I am warning you—his wrath will soon begin.

    But oh, the joys of those who put their trust in him!” Psalm 2:10-12)


    18C and clear in the valley

  99. jeff1 says:

    I am not happy that God’s children are vengeful yet I know many who are.

    My friend and I disagree on the bible and she is very much a God of wrath.

    My friend is looking forward to the day when Jesus’s kingdom comes to earth because she says she will have power over those who caused her grief.

    I do not agree at all with her thinking or her interpretation of Jesus’s teaching yet I find she is not on her own in believing what she believes.

    If I for one moment thought that this was God’s way I would turn from my faith.

    My earthly father was a man who taught me Godly ways and they where very far from my friends interpretation.

    If I where thinking like my friend does I would be on my knees looking for a change of heart.

    I have never seen God as vengeful, just, yes, but vengeful know.

    Who says a believer does not have a vengeful heart?

    Paul, was spot on, he knew the only heart that he had to keep right with God was his own.

    If I am so aware of my own faults how come I spend so much time looking at others.

    God does not get it wrong, Jesus died for all, sinners and saints alike.

    Tomorrow never comes when it is down to me being a saint.

    I am very quick to take credit for the times I do God’s will but I am very slow to take credit when I fail to do it!

    Judgement, mercy and wrath are for God to decide and I am on my knees thankful that it is so.

    I am not surprised that the younger generation are falling away from churches and churches are almost empty of younger people.

  100. jeff1 says:

    Street, you are so right, trusting God means I am walking with God, side by side.

    My weakness is to wander and allow doubt and sin to distract me from God’s way.

    As you say, Joyce, ‘Christ’ is the answer, without Him I would be ‘nothing’.

    Yes, Joyce, I get what you are saying that praying all will know ‘Jesus’ and not being indoctrined by outside influences is putting ‘a nail in the adversaries coffin’ once and for all.

  101. foreverblessed says:

    Pooh, I have a message for you in the former post: Imagination.
    God bless you!

  102. foreverblessed says:

    Jeff, I so agree with you that we preach the mercy of God, and not the vengeance.
    God’s wrath is, not our wrath, but God’s wrath is,as you say, all taken up by Jesus.
    In the cross!
    What a beautiful love that is, a love that takes up the blows, and dies to these blows. A love that does not love Himself just as He loved us, no, a love that loves us so much that He dies to it! And so saves us, and gives us life.
    It is a sort of mystery to me:
    The Spirit of God in Jesus, and Jesus had to be tortured, and whipped, that the Spirit in Him could later be given to us, and these stripes and wounds brought in Him, taken by the Spirit and then given to us, as healing.

    Isaiah 53:5
    But He was pierced for our transgressions,
    He was crushed for our iniquities,
    the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,
    And by His wounds we are healed.

    Maybe we could think, God’s wrath is satisfied by Jesus’ cross.
    Is it really God’s wrath that needs the cross?
    Or is it our own sins, and illnesses that need the cross?

  103. foreverblessed says:

    I was also happy to see Lovely posting again, Elcome Lovely!
    And thank you Maru, for your comments, and Steve, thank you very much for your remark directed to me, as I needed that very much! It was a blessing to me. And touched my heart. Your example is such a blessing to me! Keep going, and hold on to Jesus, and so tell Matthew, and your wife, Glenna!

  104. jeff1 says:

    Our sins and illnesses are consequences of wrong beliefs through the ages about God and humanity.

    Until I have a personal realization of God I do not recognise His spirit within me.

    Until I recognise His spirit within me I do not realize it is He who is convicting me of my sins.

    When God convicts me of sin, it is painful and the greater the sin the more the pain.

    It depends on an individual how they react to this whether they grow in maturity or not.

    I, personally, struggled with God because of hatred in my heart for my enemies.

    I believe God has given me rest but not restoration and I need the rest right now more than I need the restoration.

    I must recognise when I am ready to grow and when I need to rest or I will upset the working of God’s spirit within me.

    I believe that I must get to the place where my spirit is in harmony with God’s spirit to be one with ‘Jesus’.

    If you think about this world it never really changes in that poverty, war and discord are always with us.

    History does repeat itself showing that man does not learn and therefore ‘Jesus’, has been, is now, and always will be the answer to our prayers.

  105. jeff1 says:

    I trust God with change because He sees what needs changing while I am a product of my time.

    I find there is good change and bad change but I can trust God to hold on to the good and let go of the bad.

    I agree, Forever, there is a lot of mystery surrounding God, because men have failed to fathom Him, but that in itself, is God’s intention.

    God sees us as individuals while we seem Him as the Head of the family of believers.

    If any of us could fathom Him then we would become insufferable so God knows when to keep His distance.

  106. jeff1 says:

    Thinking that is how I recognise one who is transformed by God; compared to myself who is struggling with transforming.

    I know I can be insufferable to others and it is what I hate about myself because I know it is not Godly behaviour yet I also know I struggle with it!

    Can God still use me for His purpose? I believe He can because I know there is a desire for me to change even if there is difficulty in changing!

  107. jeff1 says:

    The steps that lead to any church
    Form a stairway to a star
    They’re part of God and should be trod
    More often than they are

    I believe in the man in the sky
    I believe with His help I’ll get by
    My footsteps may falter
    My eyes may grow dim
    But He’s my Gibraltar
    I’m trusting in Him

    Though a sparrow is all I may be
    On me He will still keep an eye
    Yes I[‘m singing His praise
    Till the end of my days
    I believe in the man in the sky

    Sparrow, sparrow am I
    Keep an eye
    Yes I’m singing His praise
    Till the end of my days
    I believe in the man in the sky

  108. poohpity says:

    forever, thank you that was beautiful.

  109. poohpity says:

    Maturity in Christ seems to be when we no longer focus on our sin or the sin in others but focus on the Savior who is the answer to the sin problem. Going from looking around to looking up to Him. A childlike dependence on Him and not thinking we can solve or remedy our problems or the problems of anyone else but trusting God above all.

  110. street says:

    A Certain Kind of Love

    to be found….

    Isaiah 57:15 For this is what the high and exalted One says—
    he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
    “I live in a high and holy place,
    but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
    to revive the spirit of the lowly
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.
    I will not accuse them forever,
    nor will I always be angry,
    for then they would faint away because of me—
    the very people I have created.
    I was enraged by their sinful greed;
    I punished them, and hid my face in anger,
    yet they kept on in their willful ways.
    I have seen their ways, but I will heal them;
    I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners,
    creating praise on their lips.
    Peace, peace, to those far and near,”
    says the Lord. “And I will heal them.”

  111. jeff1 says:

    Thank you for the verse Street it lifts the spirit at a time when I feel very sad.

    I am so tired of hate and anger, it serves no purpose other than to destroy.

    I wish I did not understand it but it has accompanied me many times on my journey.

    I look forward to a better day when it no longer haunts me and this verse is so comforting because I long for healing for all like myself who have wandered from God’s way.

  112. joycemb says:

    Beautiful and comforting verses street.

  113. street says:

    did you notice that God said “I” will heal them!
    i think of the saints that met God in Glory and fell like dead men. God reached out and touched them personally and spoke to them and strengthened them. thinking of the joy that is to come when we finally are in His presents forever. thinking physical presents and no more darkness or sin. yes i agree with

    Rev 22:20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”

    Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

  114. joycemb says:

    I think we spend most of our lives patiently waiting for God to heal, rescue, and teach us about a “certain kind of love”. In the meanwhile learning to embrace our disabilities, our tragedies, our losses and disappointments builds trust in a God who promises “to do abundantly more than we can ask or think”. We may not see change in many things here, but we hold on to the promise of a “better home”. Come Lord Jesus

  115. street says:

    joycemb i think God gave us depth, made in His Image, He is making us aware of both ourselves and Himself. looking forward to complete conformity. even though i think it has already happen. thinking there is an end to sorrow and suffering, but no end love joy peace grace mercy………..glory!

  116. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Joyce, I think my expectations have been all wrong because my earthly father understood that this life was not going to be easy yet when trials come I want to run for cover.

    There is no doubt though that it is the difficulties of this life that bring you to the realization that you need God.

    It is what He is trying to get across but we are forgetful and try to do things in our own strength until He brings us to the end of the way and the beginning of His way.

    I found this poem by Helen Steiner Rice today so thought I’d share.

    Happiness is something we create in our mind,
    Its not something you search for and so seldom find.
    Its just waking up and beginning the day by counting our blessings and kneeling to pray.
    Its giving up thoughts that breed discontent
    And accepting what comes as a “gift heaven sent”.
    Its giving up wishing for things we have not.
    And making the best of whatever we’ve got.
    Its knowing that life is determined for us,
    And pursuing our tasks without fret, fume or fuss-
    For its completing what God gives us to do
    That we find real contentment and happiness too.

  117. jeff1 says:

    For me the battle is always in the mind, I went to visit the famine village in Ireland (South) I live Northern Ireland.

    During the tour the guide commented how the Irish man said ‘I never knew I was poor until someone told me I was’.

    My discontentment comes from listening to others while I should be listening for God.

    People tell you what you want to hear mostly because they think it is kinder to do so.

    God is teaching you lessons man never will and this is the time to learn and be glad that God is your tour guide in this world where there are so many pitfalls.

  118. joycemb says:

    Happiness is my choice Viv and if I search long enough I can find happiness in something in my environment. Even when the darkness closes in. But true joy doesn’t depend on feelings or circumstances and when I am assaulted by injustice here or in the world around me I rejoice knowing that I am safe with Jesus. Yet feel sorry for those who only find joy in themselves.

    Forever I’ve been thinking of you and your humility in the face of challenging circumstances here and yet you choose to make Jesus your God and not yourself and your feelings. You are a gem, a rare gem really. I commend you and your faithful example to what it looks like to be truly a disciple of Christ. You don’t just talk about what Jesus has done for You, but you have partnered with Him in His work. Truly grace, mercy, and love are hallmarks of that “certain kind of love”. That “do unto others” kind of love. I’m proud to know you! Thanks.

  119. joycemb says:

    Someone brought up spiritual maturity. Looking at Jesus’ life he was known as a “teacher” ( rabboni) and he was, yet he came to full maturity when he willingly died, to self preservation and self interest. He taught finally by example. Perfect.

  120. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, I do not know anyone who only finds joy in themselves.

    I find that people need others in this life for no man is an island.

    If we did not lift each other up then we would not be part of the body of Christ.

    I can only speak for myself but I believe that I do not reach maturity until I die a physical death because no matter how hard I try there is always a certain amount of self preservation and self interest in my good works.

    As Paul says, they are like filthy rags, in the eyes of God.

  121. joycemb says:

    I just read this from Spurgeon:

    Do not be satisfied with wishing for a return of former happiness, but go at once to seek your Master, and tell Him your sad state. Ask His grace and strength to help you to walk more closely with Him; humble yourself before Him, and He will lift you up, and once more give you joy in the light of His countenance. Don’t sit down to sigh and lament; while the beloved Physician lives there is hope, no, there is certainty of recovery for the worst cases.

  122. joycemb says:

    Paul is talking about works done to create the illusion of righteousness, the Law. Self preservation separates us from knowing Gods best and better for us. It’s weakness that only He can overcome in us as we spend more time with Him than with ourselves alone.

  123. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Joyce, so am I, my good works are because I failed to keep His commands and so I have resorted to good works, they are my way of compensating for my failures but there is no compensation for failure because God sees my good works for just what they are.

    It is Christ who is my refuge and my salvation and I am content in that knowledge.

    I have many weaknesses that separate me from God but it is the knowledge that God does not stay angry with me forever because of Christ’s sacrifice is what makes me want to get up in the morning and try to face another day.

    I cannot know whether God leaves a thorn in my side for a reason so I accept that even in my weakness He can bring good from it.

  124. street says:

    my expectations have been all wrong because my earthly father understood that this life was not going to be easy yet when trials come I want to run for cover.

    thinking of jacob, joseph and job when trials come. all three were deprived of everything they knew and were under a sentence of death. yet they were not deprived of there life of faith in God. it is interesting they were restored by the One they had faith in. He is able to make us righteous, amazing!

    we only need to run in the right direction only if we were separated. the hard part is waiting resting walking and all the other adjectives of His Word He gives us to live by!!!

    thinking man shall live by every Word, Logos, Jesus.

  125. joycemb says:

    “I cannot know whether God leaves a thorn in my side for a reason so I accept that even in my weakness He can bring good from it.”

    I think that having faith that yes God left this thorn in my side makes it easier for me, anyway, to reach out to Him when it acts up sometimes. Yes He bring good always out them as we learn more and more about His good, which is so different from our ideas of what good is. His good is time tested. Our little acts of doing good are so dependent on variables yet we are commanded to do good. We all are a very little glimpse of God when we do as the prophets and disciples told us in scripture. Having a thorn doesn’t depend on us or is even our responsibility, even if a thorn is self-inflicted we do it out of a broken down sin nature.

    As scripture says, He blesses the just and the unjust equally.

    Shalom is good and right for living in an unjust world.

  126. joycemb says:

    Thinking Mart is on vacation, hope you are having a good one!

  127. street says:

    His ambitious knowledge of the Scriptures and Moses left him angry, judgmental, controlling, and even violent.

    thinking of what i read a while ago and has stuck with me. a person who can not control themselves needs to control all the people around them.

    also thinking control is an illusion.
    thinking faith and trust in God’s ability to plan and govern will give us great comfort in the midst of a wilderness. remember Jesus and the woman at the well? living water in the wilderness. this persuasive love what persuaded paul? mart i don’t think we even scratch the surface on this one.

  128. street says:

    well this love did not come from mankind.

  129. jeff1 says:

    That is my experience, Street, I have been in dark places in my mind more so than in the physical.

    Unless you have had psychotic episodes it will be difficult for you to understand but I know what it is to loose your mind and yet be aware that God is with you.

    I was so ill that I seen horns on my brother-in-law.

    Although I am on medication, it is God that I trust when my mind becomes chaotic.

    It is me leaving my chaos in his hands and trusting Him that means I am not like many with mental illness who are institutionalised or commit suicide.

    It is me trusting in God not only saving me but delivering me from my wilderness that means I lead a normal life in a world that is chaotic to me.

    This love does not come from mankind nor does the power to sustain me in my wilderness come from me but God who works within me the vessel.

    My ‘PART’ is to ‘TRUST’ because ‘FAITH’ to allow God to work is what ignites His power.

    It is all God’s miraculous work but man’s ego wants to claim He knows better than God but He does not and I do not believe that God’s ego is like men’s because it is saving and delivering souls that God cares about.

    Man has always been his own worst enemy and that is one thing that never changes.

    Everything that happened at ‘Calvary’ did so because God knew that time would not change that fact.

  130. joycemb says:

    Spurgeon reminded me this morning that we do not deserve Gods love, yet He loves us all. I’m thinking that’s the point of Calvary, and that all our musings about Gods love always returns to that certain kind of love. Undeserved yet longing to be received and understood.

  131. joycemb says:

    Street I’ve been thinking the same thing, that control is caused by the inability to control oneself. In college we were taught that people who have been abused sometimes become controlling. Trying to make some sort of order out of chaos is my thinking. Yet to learn that all we have to do is give up all control to God and allow Him to teach us through retraining such as counseling on whatever form that may take is vital. Mostly because the one abused has no idea what order even looks like. A disordered mind has a lot of learning to do, a lifetime really and yet we never reach a state of being as though we were never abused. My friend who also grew up in a disordered family and I were discussing this the other day. Yet we credit God for the miracle we are as survivors and living a life of striving to please God, in our thoughts and deeds.

  132. jeff1 says:

    I believe, Joyce, that happened to my mother who was abused as a child and she was a very controlling mother and rigidly over protective of myself, sister and brother.

    Her friends used to tell her to let us out to mix with other children as she kept us under her strict supervision in case we would get hurt in some way.

    It left us that we can not mix well with people. My brother died having suffered mental illness from a teenager till his death.

    It was my father who was the stabilising influence in our lives but he did not have an easy life with my mum as she could become violent and did physically attack him on occasions.

    She was a loving mother but a very troubled one.

  133. poohpity says:

    Steve, sure do miss hearing from you and praying that everything is going well with you and your family. Hope Glenna is healing up.

  134. joycemb says:

    Viv I’m so sorry to hear what you and your mom went through, and so glad you did have a good father who was able to bring some stability to the family. If. Both of your parents had been similarly disordered you may have had a much harder time of it then and now. What a blessing to have Gods love in your family even amongst the chaos! My own mother grew up afraid and witnessed her father abusing her mother often, then went on to marry a worse abuser. I’m so thankful that God heard the prayers of this scared little girl when I prayed my first time at age 9 with no one telling me to do it! God so wants to love and heal us by His love! How special and certain He is!

  135. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Joyce, I believe that love heals a multitude of sins and that is what ‘Christ’s’ sacrifice covers both our sins of commission and sins of omission because we are all guilty of one or the other when all is said and done.

    God’s way is the only way to go forward because I know from experience that hatred keeps us in the past while love changes us from the inside and allows us to go forward.

    I believe love and forgiveness go hand in hand so you cannot have one without the other.

    In a way our failure to love causes us to be as much a captive of ourselves as our enemies; but I can be blinded by my need to see justice now, while I should hand justice over to God who is much better at getting it right than I am.

  136. joycemb says:

    Yes what helps me is leaning that all are victims, really, and in need of love and compassion. Revenge and hatred never bring peace, only more inner turmoil. It’s a precarious place though, peace. Never seems to last long but renewal is always available.

  137. poohpity says:

    It seems that God never intended to break or crush us but life does and He has offered us a place of refreshment, renewal and restoration where a crushed, broken person can find comfort and rest. Even if there is just a flicker of light it will not be extinguished or if we are a bruised reed Jesus will never break it all the way through. However He was crushed and broken for us, he took what we deserved. So if life has handed you small fragments bring those itty, bitty pieces to Jesus (the Master Carpenter, the refiner of precious metals, the Potter) to bring beauty from ashes. His love is perfect and pure and He cares for you. He does not break you to build you up that is against His very nature, He does however take what is broken and rebuilds.

  138. street says:

    But where from Jesus did Paul get the idea that the love that makes a difference in everything we do…

    paul was persecuting a jewish sect of a dead man. comes to find out He’s not dead and not just a man! Jesus was feeling the persecution paul was freely discharging. paul was blinded till he could start sorting things out. i suspect being blind is no fun at all. i have heard of cheap grace and grace, but the grace from God is nothing less than Extravagant. the bar on the conduct of His children is very high. thinking of rest here.

  139. street says:

    i don’t think mart is on vacation. maybe so. yet this topic can only be resoled in God’s presents.

  140. street says:

    why was paul angry?

  141. street says:

    If we knew nothing about his story we might assume that Paul was probably just a thoughtful observer of life in the home, neighborhood, workplace, temple, or halls of political debate……

    ….. His ambitious knowledge of the Scriptures and Moses left him angry, judgmental, controlling, and even violent.

    you could accuse him of being a little bit “intolerant”

    thinking love covers a multitude of sin.

    seems to me without love we are just members of a violent religious sect.

  142. jeff1 says:

    You could not have said truer words, Street, that is what Jesus is teaching but sadly I either blind myself, or let others blind me.

    The one person on this earth who tried to teach me that was my father.

    He understood this at the beginning of the troubles in Northern Ireland in 1969 but hatred was too much in control of people and those who spoke wisdom like my father where not listened to.

    What we must realize is that hatred is as strong an emotion as love and creates havoc in our lives.

    When we stop loving someone we can start to hate them and find many reasons for doing so and that is what God knew about human nature that we did not.

    God has always been ahead of us, time does not change that it is us who follow Him, remember but often we try to do the leading.

  143. street says:

    remember the new ground i mentioned earlier. the ground when you run into sin. i has an effect on you and i am beginning to understand this. it’s very contagious.
    when Jesus taught His disciples to pray, in the prayer He prayed that He would forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. the very next request after encountering sin is…. lead us not into temptation. our response to sin after an encounter with it. deliver us from this catastrophic evil/illness.

    Jesus forgives us, leads us, and delivers us Home safe and sound. He needs to be Lord!

  144. street says:

    been thinking of why paul was angry. and abslom came to mind. thinking unforgiven and unloved.

    thinking of what jeff said about how powerful hate is. thinking of cain’s sacrifice that was not accepted.

    could it be love is more powerful than hate?
    thinking of moen’s song Love will make away.
    even in the wilderness or when isaac was looking for a place to live in peace. isaac dug two wells before God moved him far enough away from his neighbors. the third well was far enough. peace.

  145. joycemb says:

    Street along the same lines I’ve been thinking of nationalism and the hatred that often grows from it. Paul’s zeal and murderous anger came as a result of his dedication to Judaism. The same way some will hold to a political party. As Christians we have no business prioritizing secular over spiritual. Paul was blinded by Jesus as he turned his vision to a different Kingdom, the K o G.

  146. joycemb says:

    It just occurs to me also that a certain “kind” of love demands that we love others but not more than God. I haven’t heard this in a long time but I remember now that our God is called a “jealous” God, which explains Jesus’ teachings in the gospels. And His love which we barely understand, if at all.

  147. street says:

    i saw in a devotional today that if you don’t love others whom you can see you can not love God Who you can not see. it would be interesting to see God in others.

  148. joycemb says:

    That was mother Teresa’s key for training her helpers, to look and see Jesus in the outcasts. It’s not easy to do but for love of God we must strive for this. I fail more than I succeed. Lord I need your grace to love others.

  149. joycemb says:

    It does help though to remember that I once was an outcast who was discovered, loved, and given a new kind of life in Christ Jesus and part now of His kingdom. An outcast no more!

  150. jeff1 says:

    I think that is the key, Joyce, to always remember that you are a pauper before God, human nature becomes insufferable when I start playing God instead of following Him.

    My father taught me that because he never boasted that he was more righteous than I was because he realized that it was God who kept him righteous.

    My father though never left himself open to wrong doing and God’s wisdom is also a gift he possessed.

    I have a tendency to wander, know your own weakness, because it helps to know the areas you cannot trust yourself.

    Everyone has weaknesses, whether they admit it or not is the key to progressing and often my weakness is the reluctance to admit it.

    God does not force the issue, I must remember that too.

  151. foreverblessed says:

    There is a comment from Street, but I cannot read it,
    so I put mine in:
    I got this mail from a christian institue in the Netherlands,

    “Jesus saw man through the eyes of God’s love. Hij Himself knew that He was completely and perfectly loved by God the Father, and He could see in each human the hidden beauty that God wanted to bring to light.That is the way in which God vieuws us mankind.
    He does not cast away anybody. He looks right through the walls of pain and hurt, of disappointment and rejection. He sees hearts that hunker to be loved and affirmation.
    Until we see how God looks at ourselves, and His supernatural love, we cannot look to others as God does to us.
    But when our inner being is made whole day by day, and comes to the realization how great that endless love of God is for us, then we can see with the eyes of Jesus to other people, and see how precious they are in God’s sight.
    You do not see the other as a threat, but as a raw diamont that needs to be cut into shape by God Himself to be brightly shining as never before.”

  152. joycemb says:

    Forever thanks for sharing the devotional it is beautiful.

    Viv your comment that “God does not force the issue” also speaks volumes to me as it confirms what God was just saying to me a bit ago. I’ve always been a learner and an over achiever. To this day I am hyper-vigilant when it comes to how I am perceived by others, how stressful that is!!! The saddest part though is thinking I am responsible to try and fix others with my knowledge and insights. I’m learing to let-go of my early childhood assignment of “helping” everyone else and neglecting me. Starting today. Though I’m sure it won’t happen overnight I’m going to recall what you said Viv, even write it down in large letters on my desk! Thank you. Love is kind, to me and the whole world.

  153. joycemb says:

    And patient.

  154. joycemb says:

    Thank you Lord! I just read another good devotion written by Ted M. Gossard, Jesuscommunity.Wordpress about this very thing. He a writer for ODB also. Thanks Ted!

  155. jeff1 says:

    Hope that writing it down helps you, Joyce, I listen to love songs which remind me that there is love in the world, but the media like to focus on the news that makes headlines and unfortunately it is shocking news that does that.

    It is not that I am not realistic about what goes on in the world, just that I need to focus on goodness for my own peace of mind.

    You cannot be responsible for another’s words and actions, only your own, and I know from what you put on here that you are generous of spirit and I believe that what you give comes back to you in greater measure.

    God is patient with us and I believe time is a healer and some just take more time than others.

    Encouragement is the key word because we all get knocks in life that can discourage but kindness is needed in a world where many have forgotten the value of it.

  156. jeff1 says:

    Another of Helen Steiner Rice poems. I just find them so full of encouragement and like to share.

    Climb Til Your Dream Comes True

    Often your tasks will be many,
    And more than you think you can do…
    Often the road will be rugged
    And the hills insurmountable, too…
    But always remember, the hills ahead
    Are never as steep as they seem,
    And with Faith in your heart start upward
    And climb ’til you reach your dream,
    For nothing in life that is worthy
    Is ever too hard to achieve
    If you have the courage to try it
    And you have the Faith to believe …
    For Faith is a force that is greater
    Than knowledge or power or skill
    And many defeats turn to triumph
    If you trust in God’s wisdom and will…
    For Faith is a mover of mountains,
    There’s nothing that God cannot do,
    So start out today with Faith in your heart
    And “climb ’til your dream comes true”!

  157. foreverblessed says:

    Lately I have been thinking about God’s love. But what about God’s wrath, what is that?

    I was reading today, the God calling of Aug 20,and it is about God’s love and His wrath.
    I will give it here, so you can read it too, since not much is happening nowadays on this blog.
    (but we can chew all that has been said for days and days)

    -” Shame and Remorse

    My children! Yes! “Shield from the scorn and cover from the chiding.” Often I have to shield My disciples from their own scorn and chiding.

    My poor Peter could never have done My work, never have had the courage to live on, or the daring to live for Me, but for the tender love with which I enwrapped him. Not from the anger of My Father, who is all Love, did I need to protect him — not from the scorn of My enemies, nor from the resentment of My friends. No! But from the hatred of Peter himself.

    And so to My followers today, as then, there come the shame and remorse and contempt of themselves, of the weak selves. They meant to be so strong and brave for Me. And then I have to protect them with a shield of love, or never could they have the courage to fight and conquer. But this facing of the real self has to be — shame and remorse must come.

    That is a stage in development, but only a stage. What use the glad wings of a butterfly if it remained Earth bound, weighed down with the thought of its contemptible past? And so now today I say to you both, that you are not to dwell for one moment on your sins, and mistakes, and faults, and bad habits of the past.

    You must be as one who runs a race, stumbles and falls, rises and presses on to the goal. What avails it if he stays to examine the spot where he fell, to weep over the delay, over the shortsightedness that prevented his anticipating and avoiding the obstacles?

    So with you, and I lay it on you as a command — no looking back. Give yourself, and all you have ever met a fresh start from today. Remember no more their sins and failures, or your own. The remembrance is a current of disappointment that hinders the swimmer.

    When I sent My Disciples out, two by two, no scrip, no two coats, no money, it was an injunction to be carried out literally, but figuratively too. On Life’s journey throw away all that is not important. Cast aside all the hindrances, the past imperfections of others – – the failure-sense.

    Travel unladen, with a light heart, and a light heart means a weight of influence.

    My children, I love you.

    And they departed from the presence of the council,
    rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer
    shame for his name. Acts 5:41″-

  158. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks all for all the comments, and the songs, real good to meditate on them, the last couple of days.
    And Ted M Gossard has been commenting on this blog as well, a while ago now that is.
    I have been searching for Helene Steiner Rice, and what a woman, what a tragedy she has faced in her life. No better way to fight it than in faith!
    Because our Father is heaven is good for us!
    He always is!

  159. poohpity says:

    forever, great lesson to be learned from “Shame and Remorse” thank you for sharing.

  160. SFDBWV says:

    “A Certain Kind of Love”

    If you take the time to look up love in the thesaurus you will find several other words used to explain love. In fact love as a word in the concordance has several different meanings as well.

    I have heard it said that Greek is the most explicit language in our world and English the least.

    We hear the word thrown around a great deal and most often only as a word.

    The internet is awash with videos of people doing what appears to be extra ordinary acts of what I like to call “love”. Some are familiar with another term “The milk of human kindness”, the point being we all recognize “a certain kind of love” when we see it.

    Most recently there was a water rescue of a woman and her dog on the “Weather Channel” in the deadly Louisiana flooding. These men and particularly one man who pulled a woman from her car after he had to cut through her canvas convertible top. And while she was yelling at him to save her “Cussword” dog he went underwater and saved her dog as well.

    A certain kind of love indeed that makes a person care about another over and above their self

    Interesting that though it occurs all throughout every nation, religion and culture of mankind, Jesus made it a commandment.

    I think sometimes rather than a commandment in its stricter sense I see it as an affirmation of what He wants us all to do and feel. A pat on the back, an atta- boy or a job well done.

    68 degrees with a misty drizzle of early fall weather today. A very welcome relief from the past few weeks.


  161. poohpity says:

    Don’t we have the definition and litmus test of love in 1 Cor 13:4-7 NIV?

    “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

  162. jeff1 says:

    Christ be beside me, Christ be before me,
    Christ be behind me, King of my heart,
    Christ be within me, Christ be below me,
    Christ be above me, never to part.
    Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left hand,
    Christ all around me, shield in my strife.
    Christ in my sleeping, Christ in my sitting,
    Christ in my rising, light of my life.

    Christ be in all hearts, thinking about me.
    Christ be in all tongues telling of me.
    Christ be my vision in eyes that see me,
    In ears that hear me, Christ ever be.

  163. joycemb says:

    Steve always good to hear from you. There’s a book about love language by a Christian author I read several years ago that talked about how the sexes perceive and need to be loved in order to feel love. I guess this is a humanistic version but since we are human and have feelings and needs it seems to be the way God built us, to want and need those God given feelings and needs fulfilled. Those who are willing and able to love us-according to our needs and wants-become our friends or our enemies or acquaintances even. Agape love is that which pulls us all together in unity of the Spirit, not necessarily unity of everyday life. Church groups must learn to get along however people are able, as Paul says. We must accept the consequences of bad behavior or change!!! Yes I must change! I can only do that if I allow Christ to change me.

    When there is someone who refuses to change but expects everyone else to change that’s a problem. When they seem to delight in challenging others, that’s also humanistic and soulish. How ironic it is yet a good lesson for who to avoid, in order to keep the peace, again as Paul wrote. Love is just as important in the physical as it is in the Spiritual, as described in scripture many places.

    I was once a borderline gnostic as we were taught that the physical didn’t matter at all as everything was damaged, the world and people and that God was going to destroy everything eventually anyway. I figured out how wrong this was on my own with the spirits guidance and my own understanding. People and God make a good team.
    He made us! He likes us! Amen

  164. SFDBWV says:

    It is recorded that Ben Franklin in his famous (suicide) kite adventure with lightening was actually an attempt to capture lightning in a jar.

    Yes most people don’t know the famous key was inside a glass jar and credited with actually saving Ben’s life. Or so the story goes.

    No one knowing for certain what lightning was, Ben wanted and thought he may be able to capture some of it in a jar to examine.

    The result though confirmed that lightning was in fact static electricity.

    Imagine if we could encapsulate selfless sacrificial love in a jar and get a dose of it every time we needed it. Smear it on or drink it in or just inhale its aroma.

    It is written that our prayers come before God as incense, don’t you imagine that our selfless sacrificial love is an aroma to Him as well.

    Joyce I haven’t had much to say with the subject as I thought every day it may change. I am sure it will soon, but found I had something to say after all.

    Praying all of you are blessed.


  165. joycemb says:

    Steve thinking about sacrificial love in a jar. I have a crucifix on a wall to remind me of what sacrifice looks like. I wear a cross to remind me of my vocation I guess you could say as a Christ follower. Psalm 51 talks about the kind of sacrifice that is pleasing to God. Yet I’m sure our sacrifices toward others are just as precious to God as our tears and laments. Sacrifice has purpose, it gets us our of our own little world and reminds others that there is another world, one that is far better than the one we now live in.

    That’s my current take on it anyway, I’m sure there is a better explanation and would love to hear it. Anywone?

  166. SFDBWV says:

    Across my life I have known and heard people’s desire to have some kind of ministry. They want to do more than just believe and attend church, they want to somehow put their faith into action.

    They pray and wait for it to show up at the door or on the phone, they wait and wait and wait wondering why God doesn’t provide some service for them to do and more likely one they prefer.

    When the ministry is there before them all the time. Simply by showing that certain kind of love to all they meet, encounter or know and be of service whenever and wherever there is a need.

    Life is complicated enough, don’t complicate God’s gift to us all by attaching more to it than He did. Accept God’s grace and be at peace. Provide your full measure of grace to others and give peace to another.

    Though we are not Him, he wants us to be like Him.

    54 degrees under a waning moon seen between silver streaks of clouds as they wander by.


  167. jeff1 says:

    I understand those people you talk of Steve, I believe I have spent my life with wrong expectations of what God wants from me.

    My father got it, he didn’t have to try to get it, it came to him as naturally as breathing.

    He walked humbly with God, while I struggle, because I am either playing God or questioning God but my father never questioned God, he agreed with Him and left it in His hands.

    Very sound advice you are giving here, Steve, it is ‘I’ who complicate God’s grace.

    I found this poem written by the Helen Steiner Rice at the back of a book of her poems and it touched by heart.

    My Thanks!

    People everywhere in life
    from every walk and station,
    From every town and city
    and every state and nation
    Have give me so many things
    intangible and dear,
    I couldn’t begin to count them all
    or even make them clear …
    I only know I owe so much
    to people everywhere
    And when I put my thoughts in verse
    it’s just a way to share
    The musings of a thankful heart,
    a heart much like your own,
    For nothing that I think or write
    is mine and mine alone…
    So if you found some beauty
    in any word or line,
    It’s just “Your Soul’s Reflection
    in Proximity with Mine.”

  168. poohpity says:

    The real test to that certain kind of love is when it is given to those who we deem as not deserving of it. Not to those who return it but to those who do not. Not to those who agree with us but to those who don’t. Not to those we get along with but to those we find it hard to get along with. Just exactly how God treated us while we were still sinners Christ died for us now that is that certain kind of love and grace to the unlovable, undeserving, marginalized, cast outs, people like Saul of Tarsus who hated and persecuted Christians. The love and grace of God changes hearts not very much to those who think they are good but to those who know they are nothing compared to our Jesus.

  169. joycemb says:

    Steve I love the simplicity of what you said, “Accept God’s grace and be at peace. Provide your full measure of grace to others and give peace to another”
    Thank you

  170. jeff1 says:

    The love and grace of God changes hearts to those of us who realize their heart needs changing.

    I have to first admit that my heart is wayward. There is a battle both heart and mind!

    A battle can be lost, my victory, is in Christ because I am His child not because I win all battles in life!

    I do not believe I can make assumptions when it comes to God changing hearts because it is not for me to know whose heart God changes apart from my own.

    My earthly father taught me that when I was bothered with my enemies hearts.

    He taught me to leave that which you do not understand to God and keep your own heart right with God.

    There are times when I have to admit to God I cannot show love to my enemies because of their disregard for life.

    The forgiveness is then in God’s hands because I have taken refuge in Christ who is my ‘Saviour’.

    It is God’s power that saves and not my love or lack of love for others.

    I am as unworthy as my enemy when it comes to being deserving of God’s love because I cannot give to them what I do not have myself and I cannot lie to God that I love them when I do not.

    I cannot love those who seem oblivious to the fact that life is sacred, and who take a life as if it is their God given right to do so.

    I as another human being need to see a change in that person’s behaviour or I will not believe they have had a change of heart.

    Paul wanted his heart to be changed by God and his life exhibited that it was changed.

    I do not believe that I have to love those whom do not show a willingness to change because that is God’s territory.

    After all, I do battle my with my own demons and need God as much as they do.

  171. joycemb says:

    I think you are right Viv, the battle is not about winning or losing. I think it’s about perservering through this world until our time here is over. Loving and forgiving is how it’s done, as best we can.

  172. poohpity says:

    Whoever said it is any of our business what is in the heart of another? Who said we have anything to do trying to change others when we have so much within ourselves that needs work? I have always understood that it is my own heart that I need to be concerned about otherwise it is none of my business. It is my business how I treat others and if I want grace and forgiveness from God then I need to show that to others. Just as God showed forgiveness to His enemies isn’t that exactly what we are called to do not in our own strength but in His.

  173. poohpity says:

    Not only when they ask for forgiveness but when they don’t. Grace is never deserved. Did Jesus say to the soldiers who crucified Him when your heart changes I will forgive you? No He forgave them then hearts were changed. Did they ask for forgiveness? No they were forgiven before they even realized what they did.

    Did Paul ask to be forgiven before God forgave him or even talked to him, NO.

  174. poohpity says:

    Hate is easy and effortless yet it destroys the one who has it, it does nothing to anyone else. It causes the one who has it to become bitter and joyless, feeling nothing but hardness. At first it starts inside then it starts rearing it’s ugly head to all those who come in contact with that person then loneliness follows because who wants to be around hate filled people. Yet God in His great mercy can love even the hardest to love.

  175. street says:

    steve your jar and lightning reminded me of a time i was corrected in a discussion on grace. i was talking about being a like a jar that over flowed with grace. then i was reminded by an astute observer that the jars are broken and that grace was still able flow out of all the openings.

  176. street says:

    Where did Paul get the idea that without love— eloquence is noise.. and that knowledge, understanding, faith, and even charitable sacrifice amount to nothing?

    i wonder if you could get this from visiting a grave yard, some people have no know legacy, but known to God. others may remember what a person did in their lives that enriched a community or a direct descendant. thinking of solomn and meaningless. being vs nothing. something is and who makes something they hate?
    thinking God had regrets in making man yet was true to Himself. He changes not. a love worth finding.

  177. joycemb says:

    Jars of clay, cracked pots. Thinking how perfectly imperfect we are made. Could it be the only way grace could escape through or from us? God had a good plan from the beginning. He even says in Exodus I believe that He made the blind and the lame. Could it be to show how much He really loves us? Pondering that.

  178. joycemb says:

    Yep its Exodus 4:11

  179. jeff1 says:

    Scientists have discovered that it indeed is a thin line between love and hate.

    It makes very interesting reading.

    I have seen love turn to hate but I have not seen hate turn to love which shows that it is rare and comes from God.

    God loves those who cannot love themselves because as you say Pooh, He knows how much they need it.

    It is others who have difficulty loving the unloved because they are oblivious to the fact that they themselves need God’s love as much; and the evidence is the fact that they cannot love the unloved.

    I believe we are rather expert at giving others advice that we do not take ourselves.

    It amazed me how well my earthly father knew God. I could not understand why he gave an alcoholic money to buy drink and believe it was right to do so.

    My father knew his own limitations and God’s lack of limitations.

    He knew the soul of that man was already in God’s hands because the man was destitute in his own ability.

    This man lived an alcoholic and died an alcoholic and yet my father never felt the need to preach to him because my father knew God and that this man’s soul was in God’s hands.

    Yes, Joyce, God has a good plan, from the beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end.

    Trust in the Lord, for He is trustworthy and how blessed am I that through all my wandering I had a father who taught me this.

  180. poohpity says:

    From what I have read the opposite of love is indifference. Hate being an emotion and love is an action and at times can be a feeling but more often than not it is an action. “For God loved the world so much that ‘He gave’ His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

    Yes some people give advice they don’t take themselves but some people like Viv’s father seemed to share experiences rather than give advice. I know I do not feel comfortable giving advise unless it is asked for and even then I do not know what life experience another is going through or what God is trying to do or what work He is achieving in their lives so always better to just listen.

    Sometimes people sharing what the Lord teaches can be seen as advise but more often than not it is just what someone has learned and His Word does not return void it makes a difference somehow.

  181. poohpity says:

    Discover The Word is having a good teaching this week and also Mart wrote a Pamphlet in the Discovery series that can be read on forgiveness.

  182. jeff1 says:

    I find from experience that indifference is neutral ground; because I cannot bring myself to love my enemies, and I am trying hard not to continue hating them, so I have become indifferent to them.

    I should want God’s love for them, but, truthfully, it is a thorn in my side.

    They have caused so much pain in my life and others that loving them is the last thing on my mind right now.

    It is loving their victims that is my priority.

    I do believe that time is a healer of wounds.

    I was out with my friend when she called her friend over to talk with us. This friend has lost her son and husband in a bomb. I have met her before and noted her pain and how she never mentioned her family by name.
    On this last meeting I seen her laugh and at least 3 or 4 times she mentioned her husband by name and I could see from her responses that she is starting to heal.

    The bomb in which her family where killed was in 1998 and took the lives of 29 people. Time heals because it gives God time to work and so I believe that in time I will be able to look to God to love my enemies as myself one day. God speed the day!

  183. joycemb says:

    Thanks for sharing Viv you are most definitely on the right track! My own experience with learning to love the enemy was in 1980 something when I joined a local child protection team to rescue and identity victims. God said to me very clearly that I had to love those who abused as well. That was the beginning of many years of striving toward that end. It certainly didn’t happen over night! But God has honored my efforts with tons of grace, then and now. I’m still not perfect at it, but as God is my hope His will will be done on earth, as in Heaven.

  184. poohpity says:

    Yes Viv, I totally believe that some things are healed quickly but others take time and God has patience with us in the process which we can be so grateful for.

    It has taken me from Nov and still in process with the aid of counseling every week at first to twice a month to forgive that doc who sexually assaulted me during a medical procedure. I even had to work through forgiveness for the police department and the Medical board because they pretty much said they could not file charges against him because it was a case of he said she said. So essentially to me they are calling me a liar. It has been a long process with no solutions and the hate and anger I had for our legal system and them standing behind the one who has the most power the doctor was devastating for me. All I have to cling to is God.

  185. joycemb says:

    Phil 2:13 Amplified Bible
    “For it is [not your strength, but it is] [a]God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.”

  186. joycemb says:

    2corinthiams 12:9 ”
    but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.”

    Even forgiving is a grace only God can give us.

  187. joycemb says:

    Amplified version again

  188. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    Pray all is well in your lives! I stopped by for a visit when this blog topic had 150 comments, and I didn’t say hello… I’m not gonna do that anymore because I was “kicking myself” for not saying something… Didn’t think this blog topic would still be current, but (on some level) I’m glad it is! I hope Mart is ok… don’t mind if he’s busy, but I pray that he’s able to get some rest (too) while doing ministry work. Well, all is well with me… I’m grateful to God for His constant provision, mercy and great grace! Now, I’m gonna go fix some lunch, and I’ll chat with yall later…

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

    Love to all,

  189. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon All —

    It is a certain kind of love that our God showers upon us in our Savior Jesus and the seal of His faithfulness, the dear Holy Spirit.

    Sad to hear you are still dealing with the blow-back from your incident with the dentist all those months ago, Pooh.

    Being discounted and ignored is truly painful. I experience something like that — though not sexually charged — in my relationship with the director of the ministry here. I am counted as a non-person and have no status, largely on account of my conservative, Gospel-centered ways.

    Remembering how sturdy and down-to-earth Jesus’ love is, I turned this morning to the Apostle James’ encouraging words:

    “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” (James 1:1-3 NLT)

    Praying over here that your witness will be a turning point for someone in the whole unfortunate process you are enduring! God is good.


  190. remarutho says:

    My Scripture reference is meant to be James 1:2-3 NLT. Sorry for the slip-up. Maru

  191. jeff1 says:

    Joyce and Pooh, thank you both for sharing too, it is trusting God that gives us rest and knowing that some day we will understand better why things happen as they do.

    It is focusing on God being all powerful and trusting in His goodness and it is when I take my eyes off Him that I doubt Him.

    God help me not to trust in my own understanding but rely on you completely.

  192. poohpity says:

    Maru, it was an Endocrinologist taking needle biopsies of Thyroid nodules in my neck. lol I haven’t got any teeth I have dentures bahahbahaaa Glad to hear from you.

    Maybe with that ministry leader they feel threatened in some way by you?? I will sure pray for you. No person likes to feel like they do not count or are not important in some way. All parts of the body are important. Injure one part of the body then see how it was needed when it is not working well.

  193. street says:

    dear poo read your post and it reminded me of a joke i heard a longtime ago and made me lol. it was joke about which body part was incharge. i’ll not elaborate here. anyway it is so true when one part of the body is suffering the rest will suffer with it. remember the last head ache you had or broken bone? time for protecting it and getting it restored if possible. church same way. thinking many members injured or just growing. love the grace God gives. hopefully i give the same. i also know it doesn’t come from me, it comes from receiving and giving from a pure heart. the pure heart is impossible part on my part. thinking this is the way God has chosen to share Himself with us.

    Isaiah 57:15
    For thus says the high and exalted One
    Who lives forever, whose name is Holy,
    “I dwell on a high and holy place,
    And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit
    In order to revive the spirit of the lowly
    And to revive the heart of the contrite.

  194. jeff1 says:

    This is a truly beautiful verse Street and I am so glad you shared it.

  195. joycemb says:

    From the devotional Corem Deo Aug. 24,

    Jockeying for Position

    Matthew 20:20–23

    One commentator notes that we are asking to suffer when we ask to be useful in the kingdom of heaven. We must therefore also ask for the ability to suffer with Jesus if we want to advance in His kingdom. Matthew Henry writes: “We do not know what we ask, when we ask for the glory of wearing the crown and do not ask for grace to bear the cross in our way to it.” Are you asking for grace to withstand suffering as you ask for God’s kingdom to advance?

  196. street says:

    dear joycemb what you wrote and what i have been reading of late made me think of the suffering in a new way.
    thinking of job again.

    Job 42:7 After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. 8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.

    do you think job’s suffering benefited job’s friends? his prayer and their offering the Lord demanded did. job’s friends actually increased job’s suffering. they did not comfort him as they had hoped. in away they did help job along the way in a unforeseen way. job did not want to die in all his trials before his friends showed up he wanted never had been made. yet when his three friends accused him of sin and tried to defend God with bad logic and darkness, they lit a fire in job that resulted in job wanting to sue God in court and wanted his words to be written with an iron stylet. in other words he wanted to live to defend his innocents, even from the grave. he got his wish.

    job is a type of Christ Who suffered unjustly and offers prayers and intersession for the very ones who increased His suffering. mart mentioned something like this awhile ago.

    thinking God asks us to Love Him and suffering is part of the territory that comes with it. thinking of david being placed in a broad ground.

    2 Samuel 22:20
    “He also brought me forth into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.

  197. joycemb says:

    Street makes me think of the “narrow” way, the way of suffering for whatever the reason as being the entry into the broad way. That Place of delight and deliverance. If God had not ever wanted us to suffer again, after the cross, He could have accomplished that. Yet He has chosen us to in a way reproduce the cross to carry on the goal to bringing all mankind to Himself. What a joyful reunion that will be!

  198. joycemb says:

    We are all brothers and sisters in the Lord:-)

  199. joycemb says:

    I’m not meaning to say that we are mini christs, but are told to tell others, the next generation what Christ has done for us all. We all groan as does nature for our final redemption. I think right now, anyway.

  200. street says:

    the narrow way, faith in Christ.

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