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Living by the Broken Rule

DSC00627Threat for threat. Insult for insult. Wrong for wrong. Bluff for bluff. Blood for blood…

The broken-rule promises the upper hand, control of circumstance, and self-protection.

Yet it drags us to the threshold of mutually assured destruction.

Could someone who spent three years with Jesus— before denying that he ever knew him— know what he was saying when he later wrote to some of the most powerless people of his day…

“Sympathize with each other… Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you.. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps…When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (1Peter 3:8-9; 2:21-24 NLT).

Can we believe it? Did he really take the worst insults, lies, and torment we could throw at him—so we could hear him say, “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)?

And could he possibly have said to a murderer who had been ridiculing him— before realizing he was mocking a different kind of King—  “Today, you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43)?

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131 Responses to “Living by the Broken Rule”

  1. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Living by the broken rule is living in a world that was broken in the Garden. Everything about the world’s way of thinking and acting is broken.

    Jesus turns the broken rule — and the broken world upside down.

    The change in the Apostle Peter’s character, reflected in his writing about Jesus “entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly,” shows the power of God’s grace in Christ.

    So, Peter drew courage and encouragement from the Lord, by the working of the Holy Spirit to become an ambassador and agent of God’s kingdom in the world.

    Blessings all day,

    10C/50F and cloudy here

  2. poohpity says:

    Gosh did this ever come at an appropriate time for me.

    At my church along with the services they also sponsor a community theater group. I have to say that I find it hard sometimes to understand how it ministers to people but it is not my business. Well every once in a while I bring up a different way we can reach out to the community in the name of Jesus like I did this weekend at our dinner that a group of us go to after church. I said that I was going to ask the Pastor about it but there is a lady that seems pretty much to want to be charge of everything that wanted me to share what it was with her, so I did.

    I just mentioned that maybe we could have a clandestine section that we could have, if anyone needed prayer, off in a corner. Man did she jump down my throat. She told me all I ever do even on facebook or when we go out is push Jesus on others. I said that I love the Lord so I share as often as I can but her temper just got heated and she said if I ask the Pastor she will tell him she does not want to do it. I told her I have a hard time not talking about Him but she was down right hostile when it was just a suggestion.

    I backed down and after she walked away the tears just started rolling down my cheeks. Before I left I went over and hugged her and told her I loved her and apologized for causing such anger. She said we can disagree and still love each other which I agreed with but I said it is how one disagrees that counts and walked out.

    I actually really did not know how to deal with something like this being that it is our church we were talking about and not to share the Good News or talking about Jesus in some form our another is something I find very hard to do. So for the last two days I have been wondering what to do whether to talk to the Pastor like going over her head but I have decided just not to say anything. Inside it is like a battle.

    I guess it would not bother me so much but often when I have brought up community outreach suggestions she has stepped in and shut down the ideas before. Inside I think who in the heck is running this church and some other ugly thoughts which I have to confess to God and ask for His help with forgiveness but instead I find I really want to change churches but I know that is not the answer.

    Thank you for listening I just needed to unload my struggle.

  3. SFDBWV says:

    In the movie “The Outlaw Josey Wales” Clint Eastwood is being hounded by a Kansas Jayhawker who tells an old woman when ask if killing Josey will end the struggle. Shocked the Jayhawker says “Doing right ain’t got no end.”

    Doing “right” or at least feelings as though we are doing right places us in the corner of both being offensive and defensive in our cemented position.

    Once again I am reminded of one of those irritating church slogans that somehow annoy me.

    “What would Jesus do?”

    Jesus stood toe to toe with all who opposed Him and never relented.

    Why then would we surrender to being “meek” if we feel we are “right”, Jesus didn’t.

    There are a lot of ingredients that go into a stew pot, there are also a lot of ingredients that go into disagreement.

    No we are not to lower ourselves into being just like those who do evil toward us, but we should expose evil for being evil, the difference being how we respond to it.


  4. joycemb says:

    Yet Steve Jesus did eventually lay down his life for us and in the face of abuse, slander, and knowing that obedience to God would cost Him plenty, right?

  5. joycemb says:

    Jesus did not confront the evil doers, prostitutes tax collectors and such with their sin but showed mercy. It was those religious types he had to explain what their sin was as they could not see it. My memory is slipping but that’s how I remember Jesus life in the gospels.

  6. joycemb says:

    Pooh thanks for trusting us with your struggles as a Jesus follower. Yes even in the church I’ve found some wary of actually professing to be a Christ follower. It’s humbling and some aren’t there yet or may not be even close to giving up their lives for the Better Way. You handled it well! Good job for the Kingdom!

  7. joycemb says:

    Steve I told my friend about you and your prayers for her son and she is thrilled and asked me to tell you thank you. She is attending a caregivers workshop for 6 weeks and is finding it helpful also.

  8. SFDBWV says:

    I am actually excited about the discussion, time will be my enemy, but god willing everything will work out.

    Joyce, yes, Jesus is the Lamb of God, His purpose is and was to be our Messiah by way of the cross. It is through and by Him we are able to be reunited with God, because of His sacrifice.

    In every conversation He had with anyone, He never backed down from His position, never. And was silent before His accusers only in fulfilment of prophesy.

    He always showed mercy and kindness, but never relented on the difference between right and wrong, only showed forgiveness for those who did wrong.

    When I worked in Winchester Virginia every day went I went to work going and coming I passed a sign in both lanes that simply said “God will make a way.” Please remember to tell your friend concerning her son that “God will make a way”. Be prepared though that His way isn’t always our way, but is always the right way.

    I have to get Matt’s shoes on and him up to our daily walk, I will return later for more.


  9. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, you’re Wisdom is so encouraging. I think that no matter where we differ in our sin life or in our struggles of any kind that it is the TRUTH, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, and CONFESSION of our uglies that separates us from those we are told, “from such turn away” I think …that would be the deceivers….2nd timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away…………………. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

    If the “TRUTH will set us free” but we continue to lie about our real transgressions and just own up to our more trivial offenses, have we not denied the power thereof?

    I do not think it is repaying evil for evil or insult for insult to warn anyone of the danger they are in…and I think pretenders and/or liars need prayer but need to be warned as well. I would think that most people find liars as transparent as clean glass…while that doesn’t seem to bother politicians as they stick with their program……. it SHOULD bother those that should know that they should be bathing in Truth.

    When I recall some evil thought word or deed of which I have been guilty, I still cringe all these years later or even from a few minutes ago… I will not lie about it…for I know that people that remorsefully confess wrongs done to me or those I love…….are forgiven and any animosity I felt towards them just disappears almost immediately… and I want that same forgiveness as should those who just can’t see the destination of a path of lies.

    Anyway…this is where I am in these horrid days of evil…hanging my head, asking for mercy, and praying to be delivered from my own evils..

  10. street says:

    Living by the Broken Rule
    broken rule is sin and death, it tends to spiral out of control when lived under. we are told we are powerless to free ourselves from it’s chains. yet adam was promised that one who would come from his line would bruise the head of the serpent and overturn this control. thinking we are going to die and for the most part that is a good thing. who wants to live with corruption? it is better to take up the cross because it is a promise of life. will it be pleasant? Jesus seemed committed to carrying it to the end. this desire in Him must be in us too. from what i understand it is a process. light cast out darkness, light shines out of darkness.

  11. joycemb says:

    Lying is a way to avoid dire consequences. Who can really know another’s pain? Is there no pain that Jesus can’t beat? No! But as you said Street it’s a process. I’ve lied to therapists even assuming they would condemn or not believe me and not have compassion. (Trusting people ended long ago). Discovering that Jesus knows everything about me already and loves me still is why I follow Him, only Him.

  12. joycemb says:

    Ha ha bear not beat.

  13. jeff1 says:

    Its a fine line between love and hate and until you truly hate then you will NOT understand what I am talking about.

    God has taught me lessons from me hating my enemies both from my perspective and my enemies perspective.

    It was not until I hated my enemies that I understood it from their perspective.

    What I am trying to say is that until the shoe is on the other foot what is ‘right’ is very much ‘my’ perception of it.

    Steve, I believe God chooses whom He knows will fulfil His purpose but each of us serve a different purpose.

    An example is I have two sons, one is very much suited to military service while the other is not.

    We need to accept our differences and respect that we have them because God is not asking us to be perfect but to look to Him before we react and make difficult circumstances even worse.

    I am learning that it is only God who is objective when it comes to facts.

    I am a citizen of two world but often those two worlds collide and God knows best what is in all our interests because He has the overall perspective.

    I have to trust Him regardless of what that may entail in whatever role He requires of me if it fits His purpose in advancing the Kingdom on earth.

    Just thinking that in the bible God used all kinds to advance His Kingdom and I do not believe He has changed His tactics!

  14. joycemb says:

    although Jesus did beat pain, didn’t He? I’m so done with pain yet hold on to the promise of eternity with no more pain, sickness etc. whoopee!

  15. joycemb says:

    Back to lying….though our sins are forgiven in Christ, we are still required to repent of sins that still beset us. Psalm 51NLT is so encouraging to me:

    5 For I was born a sinner—
    yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
    But you desire honesty from the womb,[b]
    teaching me wisdom even there.

    Nothing is too hard for God!

  16. joycemb says:

    Viv I do know what you are talking about. I hated my father when I was 5 years old. Yet at 9 I was praying for him. God sure can change circumstances, can’t He!!

  17. jeff1 says:

    I think Joyce, God changes us and then we view our circumstances from the other persons perspective rather than only seeing our own side of the story.

    There are two sides to every story and until I view the others side I have prejudices that I grew up with or inherited. (this applies more to me than you)

    I am not born with objectively because I was born into a religion and a culture and I only see that side because it is all I have known.

    God opens my eyes when I allow Him to and when I focus on Him I learn the truth of the gospel and not institutionalised religion which has taken over the world.

    I believe that focusing on God will change me in ways I can never begin to imagine and when I am changed myself then I will be fit for God’s purpose and not wandering like a lost soul.

    I am tired of all my wandering and I want God to get a grip of me and I believe He will but it has to be in His time and not mine.

    It is in God’s silences that He teaches me and I grow closer to Him.

    It is in the noisiness of this world that I then feel so far from Him and long for the silences again.

    I have got into the habit of listening for Him and my heart is so very happy when this happens.

    Its such an amazing thing to be touched by God that I get overwhelmed by it!

    You have come so far Joyce and I am so very happy for you!

    Yes, God sure can change us and our circumstances.

    I wish that others could understand that God wants to make their life better but unlike yourself Joyce many have turned away after suffering institutionalised abuse believing they are not loved and need time to heal and God is patient with those who need it.

  18. joycemb says:

    You are so right Viv, institutions can’t save us, it’s Jesus who changed me. Institutions are full of messes like me, but equally full, and more, of Godly Christians who don’t really understand the depths of grace I’ve known, and may never be able to. But that’s ok. We are all on a journey here, and I thank God there are many who have not traveled the same road as myself and others. It’s times like these I’m the one that has to find grace for those who can’t understand or even want to hear of the journey I’m on. It’s not for the faint of heart, if you know what I mean. But God bless us all for our differences and that we can all gather at the foot of the same cross and find what we need. Peace, strength, love, and most of all, grace and mercy for our many but varied types of sins.

    As Maru mentioned the other day, telling people about Jesus is the best and important thing for us to do. “Go tell” Jesus said to the Samaritan woman. Tell them about Jesus!!!

  19. SFDBWV says:

    Pooh I am guessing your church is a large assembly with a Pastor that is somewhat protected by associates. If not and he is accessible, run your ideas by him. However before you put your feelings out there to be hurt, be sure your ideas are from God not just from you.

    If God has a purpose He wants accomplished He anoints a person to the task and fills them with power from above. His will cannot be thwarted.

    If you succeed be prepared for jealousy, envy and anger from others to follow.

    If your assembly is smaller, simply bring up your ideas during a Bible study with Pastor and others present and talk the idea through as a group, willing to take what may sound as criticism as learned advice.

    One more piece of advice is that if you want to present something to do as a group, first do it as an individual and let the process of success develop into a larger church function.

    Let God lead.


  20. SFDBWV says:

    Viv mentioned she felt a citizen of two worlds; how very true of us all.

    Joyce, like many of us are just tired of all the pain of this world and desperately long for that place of heavenly peace and comfort promised by our Lord.

    However one of the things also promised or warned by our Lord is that the world will reject us because of Him.

    Why is that?

    It should be because we offer something contrary to what the world presents, as the world does indeed live by what Mart is calling the “broken rule”.

    Confusion, it is said, comes from Satan, not God. So in this world of blurred values, why are the lines of right and wrong becoming crisscrossed, even defended as being how Jesus would have us view them?

    To weaken our resolve and lower our defense?

    It is written that in these last days if it were possible even the elect would be deceived.

    Most of us intuitively know right from wrong, but any time we need help we need only look to what the Bible has to say on any subject and God clears up the water.

    One of the purposes of the Bible is that it presents light from darkness, right from wrong, good from bad. It shows it in word and deed and as a bonus shows us what happens when we make the wrong choices.

    But there is a glitch; why do bad things happen to good people? Why when we follow all the rules we are still given pain instead of pleasure?

    Jesus defeated sin at the cross, why then is there still death, disaster, suffering and ill will amongst each other?

    What hidden secret lay beneath the pages of Scripture that answers all these questions?

    Perhaps it is the search for answers that leads us closer to God is the purpose. Perhaps, as has been written, some things in life are there to protect us from a worse fate, if not for God’s intervention in what may seem as disasters.

    The “broken rule” seems to work for people of this world, but we read from Jesus’ own words “what do we gain if we gain the whole world and lose our soul?”

    Jesus said to Pilate His kingdom was not of this world. So that being said our hope of a better world is not here either. To get there we have to go through the doorway Jesus is and follow in His footsteps, complete with rejection, and suffering for God’s purposes.

    Always do what is “right” and honor God, do what is right in the name of Jesus and your choices and works are accepted and rewarded. If not in this broken world, certainly in that world in which we share a dual citizenship with.

    66 degrees and incoming rain soon.


  21. poohpity says:

    Steve, no it is a relatively small church. The Pastor and I attended the same church so I have known him for about 27 years. He was the worship Pastor of my old church that I went to for 23 years. I found out when I left that church because it was to far to travel and I wanted one on this side of town and I heard he had started a small church. The old church had about 3000 people this one has about 150 people and is just a five miles from home. The other one was a 25 minute drive away but was the church my mom used to go to and after she passed I decided to find one closer. He is very approachable we talk often. That particular day all I said was that I was going to suggest the prayer area to him and because of her deep involvement with the theater sometimes she tries to control.

    There has been a history with her. It is not that important to get into. This was just another time that outreach got put aside by the theater. I believe that God puts outreach on my heart all the time and my Pastor does not mind when we make suggestions for it. I just let that day bother me. Other than the bible study I do, I also do a support group and this year did a gathering of purses and female supplies for children in the domestic violence shelters to give their mom’s a present on Mother’s Day, etc. I just let her intimidate me that day.

  22. poohpity says:

    The only reason I brought it up was because of this topic and how it can be sometimes easier to live by the broken rule rather than the golden rule.

  23. SFDBWV says:

    Of your story pooh, whom do you think was living by the “broken rule?” Why?

    I understand you brought up the story as a life example of the subject, not for advice.

    I am sorry I misunderstood your intent.


  24. poohpity says:

    Steve, the only person I can speak about is me. Inside I wanted to reply by the broken rule so I had to take a step back and walk away.

  25. street says:

    Living by the Broken Rule
    thinking one of the great components of living by the broken rule is judgment. it can only lead to condemnation. like the law of sin and death. yet the law is holy and just. unlike judgment, God offers mercy, freely to those who come to the truth of their untenable situation. mercy and grace are so much better rule.

  26. jeff1 says:

    Has history repeated itself? Why is it so hard to believe that ‘Jesus’ would say “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing”

    I may not have lived by the broken rule but in my heart I am as guilty as if I had!

    I need forgiveness as much as those who have lived by the ‘broken rule’.

    I have thought about my circumstances and when all is said and done I have not got past being ‘A Sinner Saved By Grace’.

    That is not to say that I do not believe God’s forgiveness but when I am honest as to what is in my heart I can only say that ‘hurt people want to hurt those who have hurt them’ and I know this because I struggle with it still; but I trust God because ‘Jesus’ came to save Sinners and I only need to look in the mirror to find One.

  27. street says:

    jeff said.”I have thought about my circumstances and when all is said and done I have not got past being ‘A Sinner Saved By Grace’.”

    i don’t think we get past this, if we did we would have something to boast in and we would depart from faith. we are so prone to turn, leave, drift, walk away, or be indifferent. paul talks about virtue and gifts of the Spirit.

    thinking about paul’s ministry of the gospel in that he address in Romans the gospel to jews and gentiles, instructions to the church, members, and finally pastoral instructions. all the books fall into one of these. complete instruction, not broken.

  28. joycemb says:

    “The law sends sin undercover but it can’t change peoples’ hearts.”

    Greg Boyd

    I heard this on a podcast tonight on the topic of voting. Yep, only grace can save a sinner and change a heart.

  29. jeff1 says:

    It may be enough to have faith in God for Salvation! yet, why is it that I try to keep pleasing God with works; when I know my works are out of a guilty heart that cannot please Him!

    It seems to defeat the purpose that Jesus died because it robs me of the joy of Salvation!

    My heart tells me one thing but my head tells me another robbing me of a steadfast peace in ‘Christ’s Sacrifice for me!

    Until I depart this life I cannot see a lasting peace in the flesh!

    My father’s favourite singer was Jim Reeves and when I was a child I listened to his tapes when I travelled with him in the car. This one sticks out in my mind and reiterates my belief that complete Salvation comes in death from this world.

    This world is not my home I’m just a passing through
    My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
    The angels beckon me from from heaven’s open door
    And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore
    Oh Lord you know I have no friend like you
    If heaven’s not my home then Lord what will I do
    The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
    And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

  30. jeff1 says:

    Thinking that in my cycle of life, I changed God to suit my beliefs but God has shown me that He does not change to suit anyone’s beliefs which reiterates what my father taught me that I must change my beliefs to do God’s will and not my own understanding of what is God’s will.

    My father’s righteousness was God given while mine was man driven yet my dad never condemned me but just tried very hard to show me the error of my ways!

    I was truly blessed to have a dad who would steer me in God’s direction rather than judge me for my waywardness in a world where many seem to have wandered from the truth of the Gospel.

  31. SFDBWV says:

    We had a subject sometime back about reading between the lines, I am guilty of doing just that when I read Mart’s subject. I often wonder what the catalyst behind each subject is.

    In reading the first paragraph it sounded as though Mart may have been watching the Presidential debates. Then of course as the content of the subject segues into a topic of our faith I am forced to see a different initiating thought.

    One of my own personal difficulties is I always am looking at everything through my view of being Christian. So when I observe two such people as Clinton and Trump I judge their behavior against Christian morals and principals. They both fail terribly.

    Is it wrong for me to make such a judgement? In truth I don’t know how any of us can observe the behavior of others without making a “judgement”.

    In fact the very subject before us is in making a judgement call of people “Living by the Broken Rule”.

    Oh sure we can say we aren’t to judge others, but we all do. To say we don’t is just a lie.

    Intellect and emotion are often at odds with each other. We can know better, but how do we feel in our hearts?

    That’s the thing isn’t it? To change how we feel instead of how we view.

    Every prophet of God was broken hearted at what they seen as their people “living by the broken rule”. Knowing God’s judgement would eventually follow.

    Being in the assembly or company of other Christians we still make observations of their behavior and still judge them, worse because we “think” they should be better.

    In fact Paul spent a lot of his writing trying to point out incorrect behavior amongst believers. With some pretty strong language and warnings.

    So can any of us escape making the call that others “live by the broken rule”? Even while we try not to.

    The thing is that we can “empathize” with those whom we might judge by realizing we too sometimes cross the line and find a way to feel less angry and more compassionate for them and us alike.

    51 degrees under a moon lit starry sky.


  32. jeff1 says:

    I do judge believers more then I do non believers because as a believer I am making the claim to ‘Christ’ and find that my children have said to me that I do try harder than other believers whom they see as hypocritical.

    I think it is difficult not to judge when you feel very strongly about the differences but I find that too many believers argue over trivial matters.

    I now try to observe others rather than judge them and learn from their mistakes.

    I think that forgiveness has to come from the believer if I am practising what I preach otherwise I will come across to a non believer as being hypocritical.

    I know from my own family who are non believers that they have high expectations of me as a believer and I accept their judgement as I disappoint myself when I fail to behave in a ‘Christlike’ way.

    I do know Christians who see God as a God of Wrath and disagree with my belief that it is I who should ‘rise above it’.

    I think if you are judgemental then you need to be more of a believer like my father whose own judgments were sound and discernment of others was likewise.

  33. poohpity says:

    Jesus taught us that in the same style or manner you judge others that is how you will be judged.(Matt 7:1-2; Luke 6:37; John 8:7) Paul also taught to look carefully at yourself because you might be doing the same things that you see in others.(Rom 2:1) No one is without some faults, failures and it brings us back to not comparing ourselves to each other which one tends to see the worse in others or the best in ourselves. Or the worse in ourselves as well as the worse in others.

    I think that is why Paul suggested, “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.(Gal 1:1-5 NLT)

  34. poohpity says:

    Ooops that last one was Gal 6:1-5 NLT not 1

  35. poohpity says:

    So if I am aware of how many times I live by the broken rule and I want to be shown mercy, grace and forgiveness then I will share the golden rule, “Do to others whatever you have them do to you”. Maybe we will not get it back but at least we have done our part. What goes around comes around in some fashion or another whether it is the broken rule or the golden rule.

  36. SFDBWV says:

    *If* we accept the concept that Jesus bore our sins upon the cross, then He bore our judgement for us. We are under grace. Even when we judge another harshly.

    We cannot escape making judgement calls about the broken rule behavior of another, but we can understand why they do and in so doing have empathy for them and perhaps in due time learn to pity them instead of “feel” anger towards them.

    Our friend Gary took quite a beating from us in his stance that we could lose our salvation for “broken rule” living.

    Either we agree that all of our sins are forgiven or we agree with Gary’s belief and come to the conclusion that our salvation is in jeopardy every time we cross that line.

    Can’t have it both ways, chose one or the other.


  37. jeff1 says:

    It is for God to know the heart and whether that heart is deceitful or not. God is merciful to a repentant sinner and I can not lie to God or I will bring judgement on myself.

    I must feel remorse for struggling with sin, it has nothing to do with another believer it is between the sinner and His maker.

    I struggle with hate in my heart for my enemies and I loose the joy of Grace but I do not loose my Salvation because God knows I feel remorse for feeling this way and I take no action against those I feel anger towards which proves that I want to change my heart.

    God helps me when I draw on His mercy to become more ‘Christ like’ and helps me to let go of the burden of sin which is just as detrimental to my own walk with God as it is to those I judge.

    Letting go of anger or hatred will free me from my oppressor and that is why God wants me to unburden myself to Him so that He can release me from my own prison.

    Drawing on God to release me from my anger is much better than allowing my oppressor to keep me in his snare which happens when I wander from ‘Jesus’s protection.

    I must focus on ‘Christ’ and ‘Christ’ alone to strengthen me and not another believer.

    It is why I must focus on ‘Christ’ and not on what my enemy is doing to me which only draws me into hatred and anger which God through the Holy Spirit is trying to help me escape from.

  38. street says:

    jeff said,”It may be enough to have faith in God for Salvation! yet, why is it that I try to keep pleasing God with works; when I know my works are out of a guilty heart that cannot please Him!

    It seems to defeat the purpose that Jesus died because it robs me of the joy of Salvation!”

    the christian life is a life like no other. Matt. 5 comes to mind. when Jesus tells us to repent, change our minds, it is a continuous process. we never stop repenting. paul goes on to say renew your mind. i can not help but think there is repentance involved. we need the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin in our own lives. we don’t need other people to do this or our selves for that matter because evil is still present in us, Romans speaks of this. Jesus told us to take up our cross daily, denial, and follow Him. taking up the cross is a death sentence. today i was thinking about john witnessing water and blood that flowed from Jesus when the roman soldier pierced His side. i heard this was a sign of the grace of God that began to flow at the cross. today as i thought of it as Jesus blood was shed as we walk in grace our old life is being shed and new life is begun. you can not stop the process of dying, but you can begin to live in Christ!

  39. street says:

    this is in respounce to my judgment and condemnation comment earlier. every christian i know would think discernment would be a very good gift from God. that would be a positive thing. we know discrimination is a bad thing or has a negative connotation to it. yet discernment and discrimination mean the same thing!

    God’s word tells me justice, judgment, delayed is to lead to repentance and salvation. i.e. faith.

  40. street says:

    “And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord… these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer” (Isa. 56:6,7).

  41. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you all for your comments. Jeff has great Experience with enemies. Thank you so much for sharing!
    What if someone kills a loved one?
    How difficult is it to say: love your enemies!
    What does is mean to love your enemies?
    How would that be done?
    I guess that Jesus is called Wonderful Counselor! He gives us good advice, the Holy Spirit giving us insights.

  42. foreverblessed says:

    But when such a thing happens, an enemy killing a close person, then we see how our old self is reacting: we want revenge! A life for a life!
    And as Street often mentioned: our old self must be crucified!

  43. street says:

    8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

    i have to say it is troubling to enforce law on the unrighteous. thinking of paul’s encounter with wild animals at ephasis.

  44. street says:

    31 I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”

  45. SFDBWV says:

    It should also be remembered that the Peter who walked and lived with Jesus three years prior to his denying even knowing Him is not the same Peter after Pentecost. And the writer of 1 Peter and 2nd Peter. Some even credit Mark to being transcribed from Peter.

    Want also to remind us that John write that if everything Jesus did in those 3 years and I suppose said in those three years were put in books the world isn’t big enough to hold them all.

    I too keep a journal, there are a lot of days nothing extraordinary occurs. The days and comments we are privileged to read in Scripture are there for our benefit, but every day and every word spoken of three years isn’t.

    I am sure Peter knew Jesus well enough to speak about His behavior, both public and private.

    There are some startling facts found in both letters from Peter, I wholly recommend you read them.

    Wet day in the mountains 53 degrees.


  46. joycemb says:

    Dying daily, putting to death our old sin nature. It’s a monster!

  47. jeff1 says:

    What you said Street about the water and blood flowing from Jesus’s side and that it was the sign of the Grace of God that began to flow!

    I was at a funeral this week and this was one of the hymns.

    Rock Of Ages

    Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
    Hide me now, my refuge be;
    Let the water and the blood
    From Your wounded side which flowed,
    Be for sin the double cure,
    Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

    Not the labours of my hands
    Can fulfil Your law’s demands;
    Could my zeal no respite know,
    Could my tears for ever flow,
    All for sin could not atone:
    You must save, and You alone.

    Nothing in my hand I bring,
    Simply to Your cross I cling;
    Naked, come to You for dress,
    Helpless, look to You for grace;
    Stained by sin, to You I cry:
    “Wash me, Saviour, or I die!”

    While I draw this fleeting breath,
    When my eyelids close in death,
    When I soar through realms unknown,
    Bow before the judgement throne:
    Hide me then, my refuge be,
    Rock of Ages, cleft for me.

  48. street says:

    thanks jeff great hymn. i have been thinking of the baton that is passed in a relay race, lately. even if you are first to cross the finish line, if you do not have the baton it will come to nothing. the line in the hymn,”Simply to Your cross I cling;” reminded me of the baton to pass. no wonder the gospel is disdained by the world. we should not be surprised. if we cling to the cross it must be the love of Christ we pass on. now that might get the worlds attention.

  49. street says:

    Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

  50. street says:

    jeff said,”Its a fine line between love and hate and until you truly hate then you will NOT understand what I am talking about.”

    my thinking on this, all mans love is hate when compared to God’s. who can know another like the One who made them, who could know what they need before they ask? man is created, God is eternal, and i hear God is love. so much for mans love. this broken rule needs to go bye bye.

  51. poohpity says:

    I will never forget that touching moment between Jesus and Peter after he denied Him. Jesus looked over at Peter and Peter cried bitterly. (Luke 22:61-62 NLT) I know sometimes when I have failed to speak the right words or have harbored hatred and unforgiveness in my soul I remember what Jesus did with Peter. Jesus Knew. Before the day of Pentecost Jesus made sure that He restored Peter into fellowship with Him and did not make Peter wait carrying all that shame and quilt.

    I bet even though I do not know for sure after Judas had betrayed Jesus if he had not went and hung himself Jesus may have did the same with him but Judas hung himself before Jesus had the chance. I think that is why Jesus said, “It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”(Matt 26:24 NLT) Judas went to his death carrying a burden so great it caused him to take his own life. But knowing Jesus He would have offered the same forgiveness and mercy He gave to everyone else that has lived by the broken rule. Jesus would not have returned evil for evil.

  52. joycemb says:

    This morning the post once again reminds me that the Godly way to handle threats and insults is to trust God to deal with it, with love that forgives in ways that are contrary to our fallen nature. Some take a deep breath or even count to ten before responding. Those short term remedies are ok but thinking that if I whisper a prayer to God to handle it His way as Peter talks about the long range and short term outcome will be in keeping with the will of God, which is His good pleasure. Oh how I want to please Him.

  53. poohpity says:

    Joyce, I have to always remember that God looks us through the covering of the One with whom He is well pleased.(Matt 3:17) It sure does make me more grateful for Jesus. So because of your belief in Jesus, God is well pleased with you. :-) God already KNEW everything we think and do or that we will think or do YET still accepted Jesus’s sacrifice for us. Not giving permission to continue to do ugly but because we know who we are to God and it is His work inside of us through this process and journey of becoming more like Him that we know God is well pleased with you/us too.

  54. joycemb says:

    I don’t believe He’s pleased with ungodly behavior, but pleased with me/us as His beloved children yes. A parent should be pleased with their children, but not when they are misbehaving.

  55. joycemb says:

    God doesn’t love us less when we mess up, yet scripture says we can grieve the Holy Spirit. Grief is not pleasing God with our behavior, not who we are.

  56. joycemb says:

    Even the Devils believe in Jesus. Belief and behavior are different.

  57. joycemb says:

    Pooh I understand where you are coming from as in “I love you so much you can do no wrong”. However I don’t believe the whole of scripture supports that viewpoint.

  58. poohpity says:

    never would I have insinuated that He loves us so much “we can do no wrong” that is totally not what I was saying at all, in anyway so you do not know where I was coming from. I guess it is hard for some to understand that God sees us covered by the blood of the Lamb. He knows we will do wrong, we know we will do wrong if we are honest with ourselves everyone knows we will do wrong that should never be questioned or we call God a liar. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s pleasure except to believe in the One He sent because it is as filthy rags when it all comes down to it stained with sin in some way or another. That is why God’s pleasure is not based on us but on who He is, what He has done and who we are in/to Him.

  59. poohpity says:

    I was just trying to encourage you about pleasing God. My bad!

  60. jeff1 says:

    I think that the fact that we want to please God, pleases God, even though we fail at times, He knows our heart is in the right place. Also I think our actions are important so at the very least if I cannot feel love towards my enemies, at least I would do them no harm.

    That proves that I am willing to struggle with my own demons rather than demonising another and making a bad situation worse.

    In that way I break the cycle of hate that causes so many recurring troubles/wars in the world and shows I want to behave as right minded people should.

  61. jeff1 says:

    I can only keep ‘myself’ right with God because many people align God to their thinking as I did my self until the Holy Spirit convicted me and I seen the folly of my thinking.

    Focusing on Christ is the way to keep right with God but many Christians do not see that need and it is because I have always belonged to a Christ focused church that I see it; and even then it does not stop me from wandering in my weak moments.

    I struggle because I am human and the flesh is weak and when I take my eyes of ‘Christ’ I am back in the ‘gutter’.

    I still see that it is God who is faithful to us and does not give up on us because He knows what we are made of but unfortunately for all our knowledge and learning we do not understand God as we should.

  62. joycemb says:

    Thanks pooh no problem!

  63. joycemb says:

    Pooh this is what I had in mind when I talked about ‘pleasing’ God. I may not have explained it well so will let the scriptures say it more clearly.

    Colossians 1:9-14New International Version (NIV)

    9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[a] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[b] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins

    Verse 10 is what I am talking about and the goes on to explain how to please God.

  64. street says:

    The broken-rule promises the upper hand, control of circumstance, and self-protection.

    Yet it drags us to the threshold of mutually assured destruction.

    thinking of Jesus command to not resist evil when it comes our way. going the extra mile, turning the other cheek, give our shirt also. Jesus life clearly shows what this walk is like. yes He was protected till the hour for which He came for. yet we know He was under satanic attack every moment of his life! He also rebuked demons and disciples, but the thing that stood out was His grace and mercy towards sinners.

  65. street says:

    thinking about Colossians 1:9-14 these things only happen in the presents of God. i can not see them happening apart from Him. God has chosen man to display His glory because He made them in His image. the fall did not stop God from accomplishing His will.

  66. SFDBWV says:

    Street in a blog titled “Been Thinking About”, have you ever considered that the fall was the will of God?

    After all in a subject denouncing giving evil for evil or tit for tat, God doesn’t seem like He would extract “revenge” for our failures. Nor is it plausible that God would have created His creation with flaws.

    Just thinking…


  67. poohpity says:

    Yes Joyce. That says it is pleasing to God to grow in our knowledge of Him in other words to get to know Him better and better allowing the fruit of His Spirit to work in us.

    Was the fall the will of God or what happens when it is man’s will that takes over and leaves God’s will behind? God could have made us like drones with no thought or desires of our own. BUT then we would have had not a choice as to whether to love Him but made to. I do not know about you but I want people to love me because they want to not because I made them.

  68. poohpity says:

    God is not a dictator or control freak.

  69. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning pooh. I would propose to you that neither you nor I are the last word on God or about Scripture. That there have been thousands of years of “Thinking” about all of the things of God with no conclusive answers.

    Excuses and opinions are both alike in that we all have them, excuses usually stink whereas opinions usually end up becoming embarrassing once the real truths are exposed.

    I am happy for you that you are content knowing God and His plans as you see them, be at peace with the limits you have set.

    I am at peace knowing there are no limits whereas God is concerned, and allow for my spirit to continue to be fed and grow by His.


  70. poohpity says:

    Steve, I was only going on what the bible teaches not my opinion or perception but just what it says in all of it. It says in Genesis that everything God made was good and God walked and talked with Adam and Eve then they decided to listen to another besides God. Was that God’s will or theirs? Isn’t that what it says? God’s will by what it says was for them to tend the garden and not eat from a certain tree. They had everything they needed, they did not need to eat from that tree, right? But because the adversary played to their pride saying that they would become like God. Growing to know the character of God many things become clearer. Will we know everything? NO!! But we are given enough to know God and to know it was not His will that we fall or walk away from Him but He knew we would and made a provisions for that.

  71. poohpity says:

    Steve, you are a parent. If you start a fire to keep you warm and tell your son not to touch the fire because he will get burned and he touches the fire getting burned. Was it then your will that your son stick his hand in the fire when he does? No your will was to build a fire to keep warm not to burn your son. Think about it!

  72. poohpity says:

    Being a parent we know that our children often do what they are told not to do we then have a first-aid kit handy to put ointment and bandages on the burn.

  73. joycemb says:

    Steve I agree it’s easy to pick and choose what we want to hear from scripture to fit our theology, which, as you say we may as well be at peace with. (Talking to pooh you were though) And as you say Pooh, “God is not a dictator or a control freak”, and neither should we be, right? Although in the OT before His rule was established on earth with Israel he caused many bad things to happen to establish His rule, didn’t He. Including and even today after killing His only Son to save mankind from their sins. What a mess since the fall and to think that a personal sacrifice was what it took to avenge himself -if you will- from His enemies. Yes living by the broken rule doesn’t change much at all except cause people from time to time to feel they have to “defend” God with their viewpoint because we can’t see another’s and cause disharmony among the fellowship. I think it was you pooh that mentioned it’s much better to live by the Golden rule. Yes and yes, and again as Steve said, be at peace with what you believe.

    I think there are many reasons we all come at scripture from different ways but we can all be blinded to what it really says. I know I’m just as blind to others’ ways of interp. as others are to mine. But it does no ‘good’ to extend the broken rule veiled in shame and guilt as if I or anyone has the only correct interpretation, therefore, everyone who disagrees with me is not reading the Word correctly if at all!

    We must all remember we are reading through broken minds and bodies, trying to hear the voice of God who redeemed us from sin and not yet our minds and bodies. Just as the writers of scripture also heard the HS through their own broken minds and bodies. God breathed, this I believe, but often left to interpretation especially as it was penned through people in times we can only imagine, mostly.

    Please feel free to disagree, but don’t do it by the broken rule. Use your imagination and be at peace!

  74. poohpity says:

    You are right Joyce shame on me for believing in the authenticity of the bible and using it as a tool to grow to know God better and pointing people to Him not my understanding. My bad.

  75. joycemb says:

    Sarcasm is unbecoming of a beloved child of God, which you are. Be at peace, trusting God will clarify, and teach others who have ears to hear at the time. And if He’s moving too slow for you then let Him know how you feel, God will help you by telling you how to endure. He told Moses and many other prophets how to deal with people who were slow of mind, right? I hope you are not hearing an angry voice here, I’m not angry with you, I love you and want you to know how to better to communicate in love within the Body.

    The sermon this morning was on Ephesians 4:29-5.2. It was titled “The Walk and Talk of a Grace Community”. It was by Gods grace I was finally able to attend after several months and exactly what I needed to hear. It’s work but it’s worth it! Being a member of the Body I mean. We are always accountable for our actions and our words, whether we like it or not. Still growing in grace here, I’m just like everyone else.

  76. jeff1 says:

    How deep the Father’s love for us,
    how vast beyond all measure
    that He should give His on – ly Son
    to make a wretch His teasure.
    How great the pain of sear-ing loss.
    the Father turns His face away
    as wounds that mar the Cho-sen One
    bring many sons to glo-ry.

    Behold the Man upon the cross,
    my sin upon His shoul-ders.
    Ashamed, I hear my mock-ing voice
    call out among the scoffers.
    It was my sin that held Him there
    until it was accom – plished;
    His dying breath has brought me life.
    I know that it is fin – ished.

    I will not boast in an- y- thing:
    no gifts, no pow’r, no wisdom.
    But I will boast in Je – sus Christ:
    His death and resurrection.
    Why should I gain from His reward?
    I cannot give an an – swer.
    But this I know with all my heart:
    His wounds have paid my ransom.

  77. street says:

    have you ever considered that the fall was the will of God?

    After all in a subject denouncing giving evil for evil or tit for tat, God doesn’t seem like He would extract “revenge” for our failures. Nor is it plausible that God would have created His creation with flaws.

    Deuteronomy 8:20 Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the Lord your God.

    John 17:12 While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

    Psalm 119:92 If Your law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction.

    2 Corinthians 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

    now thinking of your question of a flaw in creation, No.

    been thinking about what God said in Genesis of adam being alone, was not “good”! the word good i hear can be translated “beautiful” also. it doesn’t make sense to a tribute good to creation the way we atribute it to God. creation changed by the will of God, God doesn’t change.

    i don’t think adam would have eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil if he ate from the tree of life. this is not where we find ourselves so it is speculation at best. it appears that God keeping His Word and building trust or a relationship based in love was His intent, not one built on tit for tat eye for eye.

    as for revenge God is absolutely just in wrath and judgment, He never owed any one mercy. it is a free gift. it’s hard to argue with free. now people always argue about wages. and we know death is a tag along with sin.

  78. street says:

    joycemb said,”Although in the OT before His rule was established on earth with Israel he caused many bad things to happen to establish His rule, didn’t He.”

    there was never a time when God was not Sovereign over creation. the times He intervened in history was a direct result of known disobedience. the flood and tower are the classic examples. israel and the accounts of Revelation fit the same pattern. the suffering of the innocent and the appearance of wicked man being successful are temporary. painful yes, but temporary. thinking the parable of the rich man and lazarus. the Resurrection of Jesus guarantees the Salvation of the elect and punishment of the disobedient. we all have seen that God has disciplined us in different ways and not in keeping with what we deserve. it is sign of deep and committed love that leads the elect to love and salvation through hope and faith.

  79. joycemb says:

    Always sovereign over creation, yes, yet it took a lot of crying and dying to defeat the final enemy, death. Hope and Faith, I agree. We hold on to God as He faithfully holds on to us. No victims now. It is finished!

  80. jeff1 says:

    Thinking there is still consequences of actions or lack of action as the case may be and we cannot change the past and have to live with the consequences of it!

    I can still feel like a victim as many suffer from others evil choices and many in this world do not see the need to turn from it!

    “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing” applies today as it did in ‘Jesus’s time so history does repeat itself.

  81. joycemb says:

    Viv: Thinking there is still consequences of actions or lack of action as the case may be and we cannot change the past and have to live with the consequences of it!

    We may have to live with consequences but in Christ we are new creations! We can deal with whatever is or comes through His power. His power in us is no longer the broken rule. We have access to the Kingdom rule through Christ Jesus.

  82. poohpity says:

    Mart, got to thinking about could someone spend 3 years with Jesus and still not know Him? Sometimes it seems people say for many years that they know Jesus but still really do not know Him at all maybe know about Him but not know Him. How could He ask us to do the things Peter said? I guess because He gave us a helper.

    Having all the authority and power of Jesus to really know what dwells in our minds and hearts not what we say but the honest truth and still ask God to forgive us that is really something when I think about it. Amazing how grace does not take away justice but actually serves it.

  83. jeff1 says:

    I believe I need to remember one thing ‘none’ are like Jesus; not even Peter, who could not understand where Jesus was coming from; yet Jesus knew Peter so well that He warned Him he would deny Him three times but Peter was in denial, and when faced with the enemy did exactly what Jesus knew He would do.

    That tells me that Jesus knows me better than I know myself, my strengths, and most definitely my weaknesses!

    Peter was in character, he was always hot tempered and judgemental while Jesus was cool, calm and collected and did not make promises He could not keep.

    Peter ‘thought’ he was courageous while Jesus ‘was’ courageous and Peter realized then that without Jesus he was ‘nothing’. The same is true of myself when I wander from God I am ‘nothing’ yet ‘wandering’ is in my ‘DNA’ for all are like sheep and have gone astray.

    It’s all part of God’s plan to save us from ourselves as much as from our enemy because when I look at my life I am just as much part of the problem and that is what the ‘Holy Spirit’ reveals to me that I am much a perpretrator as I am a victim.

    Like Peter I can live my life in denial when I am blinded by my own prejudices.

    It is God who is faithful to me ‘A Sinner’.

    Hallelujah! Praise the Lord.

  84. joycemb says:

    Dear Pooh, Viv, and all:

    2 Cor:2
    14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.u

  85. street says:

    some verses that were on ODB today.

    “‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord,
    ‘I will frown on you no longer,
    for I am faithful,’ declares the Lord,
    ‘I will not be angry forever.
    Only acknowledge your guilt—
    you have rebelled against the Lord your God,
    you have scattered your favors to foreign gods
    under every spreading tree,
    and have not obeyed me,’”
    declares the Lord.

    14 “Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion.

    “Return, faithless people;
    I will cure you of backsliding.”

    “Break up your unplowed ground
    and do not sow among thorns.

    What are you doing, you devastated one?
    Why dress yourself in scarlet
    and put on jewels of gold?
    Why highlight your eyes with makeup?
    You adorn yourself in vain.
    Your lovers despise you;
    they want to kill you.

    “My people are fools;
    they do not know me.
    They are senseless children;
    they have no understanding.
    They are skilled in doing evil;
    they know not how to do good.”

    Have you not just called to me:
    ‘My Father, my friend from my youth,
    will you always be angry?
    Will your wrath continue forever?’
    This is how you talk,
    but you do all the evil you can.”

    Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. 9 Because Israel’s immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land…..

    God knows me and he died to save me anyway. teach me to care.

  86. joycemb says:

    Dear friend Street- do you have depression? Just wondering. Bless you

  87. street says:

    God made me human. i was also conceived in sin. i understand i am redeemed. redemption is i life changer, it my be more dying than depression. i do know the redeemed go through depression, sorrow and repentance. the Master Craftsman works in human flesh not stone. looking for true life in His presents.

  88. jeff1 says:

    I understand where you are coming from Street, I feel like I am dying or else I feel like an alien in a foreign land but I do not feel real in this world.

    Trusting others has become an issue for me and I am tired of running from others, from myself, in a world where trusting God is seen as madness.

    It does not matter that people see me as mad because I have suffered from mental illness but it bothers me that they believe my madness comes from me focusing on God when it was the evil of men that caused my madness.

    I long for God’s will to be done on earth so that what Christ has accomplished on the cross benefits all.

    Nothing ever changes the Catholics believe Protestants are going to hell and vice versa not to mention what other religions believe because I do not know.

    Prejudices are still as real today as they where in Jesus’s days and everyone finds another to blame.

    I have made my peace with God and like you Street am looking forward for abundant life in His presence.

  89. street says:

    thinking peacemaking is daily event in the christian walk. we are familiar with sorrow, grief, suffering, depression, failure, when taking up the cross daily. the thing that is so elusive is the joy of the cross. the joy that was before Jesus that He could endure the cross.

    thinking God has done so much more than you could dream or even imagine.

    i find it interesting that satan recruited his followers in paradise of God and God recruiting saints in a fallen world.

  90. joycemb says:

    Street I have often thought while reading your posts that if you had not converted you would have been a Priest (0r nun as I don’t know your gender). Spurgeon as you probably know was known to suffer bouts of depression. A former pastor thought pastor-Christian/depression was an oxymoron. I thought I was weird because I do get depressed at times about dying to self. Thank you for explaining although you didn’t need to. I appreciate greatly your contributions here.

  91. street says:

    missed a few thoughts…

    “My people are fools;
    they do not know me.
    They are senseless children;
    they have no understanding.
    They are skilled in doing evil;
    they know not how to do good.”

    I hear a cry as of a woman in labor,
    a groan as of one bearing her first child—
    the cry of Daughter Zion gasping for breath,
    stretching out her hands and saying,
    “Alas! I am fainting;
    my life is given over to murderers.”

    you know as a read the odb devotional today i could guess God gets depressed when dealing with sinful man.

    God did regret making man. He feels sorrow and lose. but ok can He love!

  92. joycemb says:

    Ephesians 4:30 NLT Says we can make God sad by our behavior, but not that we who are sealed are doomed! Must be love!

  93. street says:

    you crack me up joycemb. from what i understand God said He would make His Kingdom a Kingdom of Priest.

    we lost our rule at the fall and i believe He makes us kings too. we did indeed lose much at the fall, yet Jesus promised to restore it, even vacating death.

  94. jeff1 says:

    God can love the unloved because it is the unloved who are unable to love themselves or others.

    Where there is suffering, there too is God.

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

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

    Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus
    Do you know Him today
    Please dont’t turn Him away

  95. joycemb says:

    Glad to hear you are smiling Street. Priests in the kingdom, offering ourselves as sacrifices maybe?

  96. bubbles says:

    I’ve read that depression can be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. That is not something one can choose to have happen to their body. The pastor who said Christian/depression is an oxymoron must not have understood what depression is. It’s not a choice; it’s not a mood.

  97. joycemb says:

    We know that now, and I’m sure he’s changed his thoughts about it. (Sigh) please forgive me, time is going by too fast and I remember things from the 80’s that seem like last year. Oh how fun aging is (not).

  98. street says:

    a lot of what i cut and pasted is from Jeremiah 3–5. reading Gods indictment of mankind is very sobering and humiliating reading, even with a Savior. yes it is depressing to look into the law and heart of God and realize what we are and what we did.

    25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

    the broken rule as been overruled. let us continue in Him.

  99. street says:

    joycemb said,” Priests in the kingdom, offering ourselves as sacrifices maybe?”

    thinking Romans 12: 1-2

  100. street says:

    i think the emphasis is on “living” sacrifice.

  101. street says:

    there is no life apart from Jesus or faith apart from the faith of Abraham. children of promise and heirs. i am getting off topic, just thinking.

    thinking some more, maybe not.

  102. street says:

    jeff said,” I have made my peace with God and like you Street am looking forward for abundant life in His presence.”

    my prayer is to grow, abide, mature in this abundant life here and now. Jesus did not live and die so we could die, but to live abundantly. satans lie is that we can live apart from this and it is not true. the idea is absolute captivity to the One Who loves us with an everlasting love. we were dead in our sin, but God makes us alive in Christ. sounds like a captivity to me and not a negative one at that. it not a work of man, it is a work of God. the fun is letting go of the old ways and old habits. really not fun in that some die hard. He knows what He is doing and will not let us regret anything. making our joy complete! just thinking.

  103. street says:

    Can we believe it? Did he really take the worst insults, lies, and torment we could throw at him—so we could hear him say, “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)?

    thinking this is the most important prayer Jesus ever prayed. every individual to which this prayer is not answered is toast.

    Exodus 33:19
    And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

    we must forgive.
    forgiveness is mercy and compassion.

  104. jeff1 says:

    Street, I have difficulty forgiving because my enemies do not admit their wrong doing so I try to forget the pain and leave it with God and I get peace from that.

    You want to grow and know abundant life now; but I need to rest and have taken refuge in Christ who is my redeemer. I cannot lie to God that I have forgiven my enemies because I see and feel the pain they have caused and are still causing.

    Mentally I get disturbed if I think too much about God and what He is doing in this world so I do my best and trust the rest to Him.

    I lived all my life in a war zone and need the peace that Christ offers and I believe healing will come through Him in His time and place.

    Life is not easy and the more I care the more I fret about it and that solves nothing but causes me anguish that I do not need so I have got into the habit of leaving my anguish with God and getting on with my life and it is working for me right now.

    I have not had any manic episodes in years and that means Christ gives me the peace that I need now and someone like me does not look any further than a day at a time I tend to live in the present because the past is too painful and the future is not mine to see.

    God has been with me though the bad times, He is with me now and forever will be world without end. Amen.

    What used to frighten me was that God would leave me but that is a lie of Satan’s. I have been a wanderer all of my life but God has not given up on me, remember it is man’s way to give up on a person and not God’s.

    I have wrote that in my heart: Tis Grace that brought me here this far and Grace will see me home.(Heaven)

  105. SFDBWV says:

    Viv I have often said that you have a good outlook on our faith and honesty as well.

    No one among us can say that they harbor no ill will towards anyone, because they do.

    Jesus was often recorded as being angry with certain rulers of Israel and scolded them severely.

    In the “Lord’s Prayer” we are ask for forgiveness from God as we forgive others. Yet God’s forgiveness was guaranteed for all of us at the cross.

    When we give thought to that prayer or have someone throw it in our face, we have to remember that without Jesus there is little or no forgiveness between God and man or between men. It in itself becomes a reminder of how we need Jesus in every aspect of “living”.

    All of the laws of Moses, all of the advice given in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes and directly from the lips of Jesus are meant to help us live a better life, not necessarily a better death. Our key to heaven comes in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth.

    We may not return evil for evil, but all of us want to see justice and justice as we see it.

    There is a lot of conflict in life and especially in living the Christian life. Sometimes I too wonder why even try, then I am reminded that it is because it is what He (Jesus) asks of me and so I humbly try and live the life He has ask of me because He ask.

    You do fine.


  106. joycemb says:

    Steve thanks so much! You mentioned it was the rulers of Israel that Jesus scolded. That’s who he was talking about when he asked his Father to forgive them on the cross. Wow. “He came unto his own but his own received him not.” What a heart of mercy he has.

  107. poohpity says:

    The only person that is harmed from evil thoughts or the feelings that go along with the broken rule is the person thinking and feeling those thoughts. They cause inner turmoil and the worse part is a broken relationship with God. Wanting justice for others and forgetting that would mean each of us wants justice in our own lives and if one is honest about their selves I would rather be shown forgiveness, grace and mercy. Jesus served the justice and gave me grace in return.

    Some people may never ask for forgiveness or admit to wrong doing does that mean I do not forgive them anyway? I forgive not because anyone asks but because Jesus forgave me. Jesus forgave before me before I asked Him to. There came the time when I believed in His forgiveness and clung to it but whether I believed it or not He did it anyway. I show that I understand exactly what He did for me by the way I share that forgiveness, mercy and grace with others. I did not deserve it and more times than not they do not deserve it either but it is not about deserving, it is about receiving the gift.

  108. joycemb says:

    Great post pooh! Although easy to say its often hard to do as we all know.

  109. jeff1 says:

    I do not expect you to understand Pooh because I live here and I do not understand but there are men and women on in this country who want to take control of it for their own purpose.

    Some people are hell bent on having their will done on this earth and not God’s and I make no apology for standing firm against those who use unscrupulous means to get their way.

    There is a time to stand for righteousness in the face of evil as justice matters to God.

    I did not deserve forgiveness either but I have received God’s gift and I will endeavour to do His will on earth and not that of fallen men.

  110. joycemb says:

    Viv I think with ongoing harassment as you experience it’s very hard basically to forgive each minute of the day. I’ve had to forgive abusers after the fact, meaning the abuse was ended. Yet it still took me years to overcome it. Pooh you have talked about being in the process yourself regarding your doctor and others. I think in these instances mercy for the victim while they are healing is called for. There is no timeline for forgiveness and grief.
    May Gods mercy envelop you both while you are healing from yesterday and today also, and in the future.

  111. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Joyce for understanding so well that me wanting to forgive and being ready to forgive is not the same.

    I have stopped listening to news and reading newspapers in my efforts to not let the headlines and comments upset me and I have to say it is working I feel much better for it.

    Each of us find our own way through pain and my faith in God is always what makes my burden lighter because it is sharing it with Him knowing He cares more than anyone is healing to me.

  112. poohpity says:

    Did I say it was easy? It is does not harm anyone else but me not to forgive. During the process God brought to mind all the things He had forgiven me for and that alone is making it easier. Do you think the people who have harmed us are giving any thought to it, no, probably not. It is like ramming my head into the wall over and over again by feeding into it and the anger just causes depression. I do not want anyone to have that much control over my mind and heart by not forgiving. It is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

  113. joycemb says:

    I hear that, pooh.

  114. joycemb says:

    Viv I’ve done the same thing with news. I had to stop watching when I had nightmares-the worst in many years-regarding some horrible words by a candidate here for president. Listening to a christian music station on TV and finished with my Bible study for tomorrow. Its about following God or following the culture. I needed this now and I am praising God for His faithfulness when I get distracted. As the study reveals through Israel bad things happen when our loyalties are divided. I will keep the Lord ever before me and find peace. Praying that all here will live in the arms of He who loves us best.

  115. foreverblessed says:

    Forgiving.is like is said here many times, the command. Like Pooh said, God has forgiven us so much, how can we not forgive?
    The first week of October we had the bread and wine in church.
    I looked, and saw a mountain as high as the schoolbuilding we were in, that was how much God had forgiven me. Then I saw a little mountain, not higher than the table, that was what a certain person had done wrong to me. That was a clear message, how can not forgive?
    (I did not actually see it, it was a ‘seeing’ in my mind)

    But, how do you do that? Forgiving, when the other person does not see he has done anything wrong, and even accuses you of hurting him??

    I keep telling God that He forgives him as he does not know what he is doing. I keep telling myself I want to forgive.

    But these thoughts keep coming up how unfair this all is.
    I have a real difficult time the last couple of weeks!
    I keep telling God I do not want to live by the broken rule!
    But my old self wants it, this is dying to self.

    The point is, New Life must come in, and that seems to want. How can I live without the Godly love, the peace of mind,
    This is what is called discipleship, disciplining yourself to keep looking to Jesus, every few minutes my mind wanders to the unfairness of it all and then I have to grab my thoughts and put them back to Jesus.
    I must admit, like Jeff often does say, I failed many many times. And my inner peace was gone.

    All though I had a ‘ vision’ two nights ago, after trying out to God: Help me,
    I ‘saw’ that God took the load of from me, and said He was saying: do not be trouble, I will work in this person, like I have done to Jacob,by sending him to Laban.

    But I lost that thought again, butnow last night, the inner peace returned. And Ithat personso thankful!

    God is my Provider, my Portion and my Shield!

    Thank you all for listening!
    But if you would like to pray for me, I have to answer a letter to that person, and I would like to say God’s words.
    No tit for tat

  116. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry for all the typos, I obviously did not proofread before sending. It is this auto correct thing that changes my words into something else.

    But this inner peace is such a great treasure! A heavenly gift!
    I was thinking how hard it must be for Jeff, with living with terrorists who are now in Parliament!
    May God guard you and shield you! May He give you peace of mind!

  117. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed my dear friend of certainty I will pray for your guidance and peace as you have requested.

    To all as well; the look at and study of God and our part in the story I am reminded of an old adage, “To err is human, to forgive divine.”

    I did not originate this old saying, it has been around as long as any of us know because it is a universal thought.

    If you have a splinter in your finger, it demands attention, ignoring it won’t remove the splinter. Some action is required of you to end your discomfort.

    Some people in our lives are like splinters in our finger, they are simply irritating and to use a social term, you may have a “personality conflict” with such an individual.

    It may not be that they stole something from you or slept with your spouse, or even killed one of your children, but there is just nothing you do that can make being around such a person that can give you peace of mind or comfort. They just won’t allow it.

    Here is the thing; you can’t allow other people to control your peace or you will never have any peace.

    It is recorded that when the angel Michael “argued” over the body of Moses with Satan, his comment to Satan was “the Lord rebuke you”. And when Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness Jesus said to him, “Get thee behind me Satan.” As in, depart from me, get out of my sight, go away.

    Sometimes this is all we can say to such a person or in our hearts and walk away.

    For me there is nothing more irritating than a person who uses Christian principals as a weapon against a Christian and demands your forgiveness for their trespasses as they continue to trespass and be an irritant in your life.

    Such people are a liar and a thief.

    Do all you can to make atonement to any you have a need to forgive, place the matter on the Altar of God and walk away.

    “To err is human, to forgive divine” God will give you peace because it is through God that forgiveness and peace will come. Sometimes though you may have to remove the splinter before healing can ensue.

    36 degrees this morning under a dark and cloudy sky.


  118. SFDBWV says:

    For a couple of days now I have wrestled with writing what has been on my mind concerning this subject. The reason being because it is a thought in contrast to the actions of God seen in the OT and Revelation against the life and teaching of Jesus found in the NT. With regards to our subject.

    “Don’t repay evil for evil”. Yet from the very beginning when Adam and Eve did evil in the sight of God by disobedience he retaliated with punishment, not forgiveness. Forgiveness came many thousands of years later after the death and suffering of millions of souls at the cross.

    When the people of the earth became so evil that God regretted having created them, He killed all of them with the exception of Noah and his family. Forgiveness only came long after their deaths and with the death of Jesus on the cross.

    Every time any civilization abandoned God, He punished them with disaster and death in its many forms. There being no forgiveness for the living.

    I can continue as this theme is repeated all throughout the OT awaiting the arrival of Messiah who would bring “Peace on earth and goodwill toward men.”

    I suppose if you look at the big picture, a vengeful God is feared and difficult to approach, whereas a forgiving God is easier to love instead of fear.

    I think we need to foremost forgive ourselves for being human and realize our need for Jesus to find forgiveness for ourselves and then look for ways to forgive others.

    It would seem God the Father also needed Jesus so He could find a way to forgive man.

    No more tit for tat.

    Until Revelation that is, and then the God of the OT returns.


  119. SFDBWV says:

    While I am writing in this frame of mind I also want to point out about how some of the “hero’s” of the OT lived and “succeeded’ by living by the broken rule.

    If you have ever seen the movie “The Godfather” when Don Corleone dies his son Michael kills off all of his enemies so as to exact revenge and establish himself as the new “Don” or “Capo” of the crime syndicate. Even killing his own brother in time.

    The author stole the concept from the story of Solomon’s establishing his kingship, even by having his own brother killed in doing so.

    There are books written about King David’s “supermen”; those men who helped him keep his throne as well as fight his enemies for him. They not only killed off his political enemies’ but also his own son in order to secure David as king.

    Then of course there is David’s famous affair with Uriah’s wife.

    It is also well know God used people of infamous behavior in establishing His purposeless. Like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jacobs son’s.

    All of these men lived by the broken rule, but success was not withheld from them as being used in God’s plans.

    The only times we see these or other “hero’s” of the OT demonstrate the principals of the kingdom are in glimpses of Jesus in their actions or behavior.

    Just like in you and I.

    It just seems that sometimes we are given a heavier load to bear in thinking we are to never cross that line ourselves, when it is impossible for us not to at times in our life. We all are guilty of breaking the rules sometimes. No need to beat ourselves up, just learn, ask forgiveness and move on.


  120. joycemb says:

    Steve it helps me to think about how Jesus suffered from the worst that mankind can do to a person–a sinless person at that– yet found strength and grace to forgive his abusers though not without great emotional struggle. “Great drops of blood” Jesus is recorded to be sweating. I think it was Maru who said a while back that she didn’t think anyone here had ever suffered like that. Perspective does help me with forgiving. If my abuser becomes bigger than Jesus then I’m in agony of my own choosing, yet even in my agony my sin/suffering do not overtake me. He’s amazing, no words can describe the feeling I get when I sit at the foot of the cross meditating on Him. His ways are not our ways. Not even close.

  121. joycemb says:

    Forever, many years ago when the only way I had of sharing what Jesus had become for me was by letter writing, to family who were hostile to me. I never laid out their sins to me, only how Jesus had given me new life and offered my forgiveness toward them very simply as Jesus had forgiven me. Sometimes less is more. I always asked God to help me write, trusting Him for the words on paper and His words to their heart. And through my letters some did come to Christ, and their families and grandchildren.

    A psychiatrist in a book I read helped my thought process with a simple statement; “We are all victims of victims”. Think of that, it is so profound.

    I know God is faithful and never changes. Your hope and faith in Him will be rewarded.

  122. cbrown says:

    Good morning All.Two weeks ago in our service the message was on 1 John 1:5-10.I am very familiar with 1 John 1:9 but often have not put it in context. 1 John 1:5-10 5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

  123. poohpity says:

    “People are often unreasonable and self centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” Mother Theresa

  124. poohpity says:

    I watch CBN(Christian Broadcast News) News and this morning they had the Trumps on;

    David Brody: “What do you need prayer for? That’s what we say in evangelical world.”

    Melania Trump: “Well, we always say health, that’s the most important because if you have health you keep going and keep fighting.”

    Donald Trump: “I would say I would like them to pray for guidance and to pray for our country because we need prayer now almost more than we’ve ever needed it before.”

  125. street says:

    Living by the Broken Rule
    been thinking about how pride and self-centeredness lead to idolatry. they certainly do not lead to a Sabbath rest.

    “If you have raced with men on foot
    and they have worn you out,
    how can you compete with horses?
    If you stumble in safe country,
    how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?

    Exodus 15:13
    In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.

    Luke 1:37
    For no word from God will ever fail.”

  126. street says:

    Living by the Broken Rule
    9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied.

    Love Served for nothing from our perspective, but we know Love gave value to what appear to be nothing. Love serves and worships for nothing.

    Exodus 20:17
    “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

  127. street says:

    steve said,”It may not be that they stole something from you or slept with your spouse, or even killed one of your children, but there is just nothing you do that can make being around such a person that can give you peace of mind or comfort. They just won’t allow it.”

    thinking of Jesus being with His disciples and having no place to lay His head. Jesus on numerous occasions was found by Himself, yet He was not alone. this is where He found rest, strength, and peace. even in the face of the cross He did not disappoint.

    Your arm is endowed with power;
    your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.

    Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
    love and faithfulness go before you.
    Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
    who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
    They rejoice in your name all day long;
    they celebrate your righteousness.
    For you are their glory and strength,
    and by your favor you exalt our horn.
    Indeed, our shield belongs to the Lord,
    our king to the Holy One of Israel.

  128. joycemb says:

    Nothing can touch us when we are hiding in the shadow of His wings.

  129. joycemb says:

    Praising God for getting my friends son into a sober living facility an hour from his home. It is a miracle as God shielded their eyes from the location. She drove him but for some reason (God) they didn’t know where they were going (got lost in the dark and wrong town) yet ended up in a wonderfully perfect place where had they known in advance they would have said no! It truly is a miracle. One we have been praying for for several years! It has exactly what he needs for all his disability’s and is beautiful with caring staff, excellent food and he can stay as long as he wants. Gods ways are truly amazing! The facilities he asked for (Christian) couldnt meet all his physical needs so had to decline, but God had a better place perfectly suited for him. Smiles all around today!

  130. street says:

    steve said,”I think we need to foremost forgive ourselves for being human and realize our need for Jesus to find forgiveness for ourselves and then look for ways to forgive others.”

    4 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

    “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven,
    And whose sins have been covered.
    “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”

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