Text Size: Zoom In

It’s Imperative

MountpoliceAuthority issues are hard to avoid and easy to confuse.

According to the Gospels, when Jesus taught his disciples to pray “Give us … forgive us … lead us… deliver us…” he gave us verbs in the imperative mood.

When he prayed from his cross, “Father forgive them they don’t know what they are doing”, he expressed “forgive them” as an imperative.

Why do I think this is important to consider together?

I’m guessing some of us were taught that the imperative mood carries the force of a command— requiring obedience.

But there is more. The textbook of Dana and Mantey (regarded by many as the gold standard of Greek grammar) tells us the imperative mood may carry the meaning of (1) command, (2) prohibition, (3) entreaty (request), or (4) permission.

At the very least this would explain why Jesus taught us to pray with imperative verbs. As in our own experience, context and intent show the spirit in which words are meant to be heard.

Could this also be one reason that the heart of God is variously expressed in the Bible with the voice of thunder, a quiet whisper, a pleading tear, a gentle urging, an inspiring challenge, or a groaning permission?

Could this explain why it is so imperative to hear the words of Scripture in light of what we have come to know about the needs of our own heart— as understood by the God of Eden and the Jesus of the Cross?

Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (+6 rating, 6 votes)

76 Responses to “It’s Imperative”

  1. poohpity says:

    After coming to believe I realized so many of those needs within myself and to go to the only One who could satisfy them just seems logical since before I tried and failed to accomplish them on my own. I did not know the source and now that I do who better to beseech then the One who can provide them.

    I know still at times I try and do it myself but so very often I run out of energy like a fish out of water grasping for air to then be put back in the water of God’s power and ask Him to supply. To give me, to forgive me, to lead me and to deliver me from the powers of darkness that rule this world. So yes those are imperatives but only to those of us who have come to the end of ourselves. Where else or to whom else could I turn because I ran out of options.

    I have to share a praise. I shared a while ago about how my older son had asked me to not speak to him because whenever we had a disagreement about anything he thought I disrespected him by not agreeing. So I cut off communication because every time I tried it got all messed up. Sometimes it is bad news that brings people together but as I prayed for restoration I asked God that it be good news that would bring us together. Well my prayer was answered yesterday. He got a promotion at work to go from a 5 figure salary to six last week and he told his brother he really wanted to share the news with me but because of our disagreements held off until yesterday to tell me. I was just so excited to hear from him we ran the battery out in my phone then after a couple of hours he called back again. So 2 calls in one day. Praise God with me. :-)

  2. SFDBWV says:

    I will try to write, and I say try, because it is one of those very difficult mornings when the stress level is at the high end of the scale. Issues with Matt and nothing you or I can “fix”.

    The word “imperative “at this moment sounds to me as being an urgent request.

    Even from the cross it seemed that Jesus was “requesting” that the Father forgive. Not commanding.

    Great danger in the relationship between asking from the point of your request being imperative to the desires of your heart and not getting the answer or any answer from God.

    In the untried or immature heart such silence looks like God doesn’t care. Even about the simplest request. Either He doesn’t care or doesn’t exist.

    Matt blames God when things don’t go right for him, but thanks him when they do. I find none of us are truly any different, we just hide our feelings or cover them up with excuses for a God we should never speak for or in His place.

    Things here will improve for me and the urgency of the moment will fade. That is until the next urgent moment brings us to pray for help and await the results.


  3. street says:


    17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

    it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

    8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God

    imperative for life

  4. jeff1 says:

    Yes, we must remain witnesses to the end, many will fall away, and their love grow cold, so there is an effort on our part to remain faithful.

    I believe it is what God expects of us, His promise, that we have eternal life, through, ‘Jesus’ who loves us, and our part to remain faithful to the end.

    I have to give my thoughts and heart over to God and concern myself no more with the outcome of my life but trust in God’s unfailing love and then he will be the source of my strength and love given out to others. I can only do this with His help and my prayer.

    There is a two-way faith here.

  5. remarutho says:

    Good Evening BTA Friends —

    The “divine imperative” is permitted by the Almighty. St John writes, “And this is the boldness we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of Him.” (1 John 5:14, 15)

    It seems to me, the criterion for imploring God for mercy or for the transformation of a situation, is whether we are asking in the perfect will of God — according to His will — as to God’s delight in fulfilling our request. God is pleased to answer the prayers of His children in agreement with His will.

    Peaceful nights’s rest to each one,

    4C/41F and cloudy here

  6. poohpity says:

    Being a parent I can say without a doubt that there were things my children asked for that I knew was not in their best interest. It is not about defending God, it is about trusting Him. Believing that what I ask is not only in my best interest but also in the best interest of others because we live in relationship we are not solitary.

    If an answer is, no, it is answered or it could be wait and that is also an answer. A couple of days ago ODB had a story about trees grown in the Bio-sphere that did not experience wind and storms, those trees died and fell over. But trees that are out in the weather grow strong because of struggles against the wind and storms. From my relationship with God I have grown to know and learn how God interacts with me and it is similar to how He interacts with most people.

    God does not need me to defend Him, I need Him to defend me. That is why those imperatives are necessary because when I ask those things I can see how He provides. I know I do not need to ask but it is beneficial for my relationship with Him to talk to Him. How many relationship grow with no communication?

  7. jeff1 says:

    I was a wayward child and so are my children, it is only because I am a parent now and have matured in Christ that I understand this.

    Did my father try to correct me! yes, did I listen? no, the folly of youth.

    It is the indwelling Holy Spirit that taught me and in turn will teach my children.

    What have I learned, that I do not have control over others walk with God anymore then they have control over mine.

    Our role as sojourners to support and encourage which my father did impeccably. I wish I could say I did the same for my children but I am not my father’s daughter but my mothers daughter.

    It is God who knows His children individually and collectively and it is God who knows our individual needs which are different.

    Yes, it is us trusting God that matters and yes, God is much bigger then us and does not need us defending Him but I believe that when we remain faithful, He works through us in ways that are too complex for us to understand.

    If you think of yourself as a player in a play, your role may be small or large but it is imperative to the completion of the play.

    I am putty in God’s hands so let Him make of me what He wills.

  8. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning All. Since no one has posted as yet this morning as far as I can see, I would guess that I am not interrupting to ask something irrelevant to the subject matter. While I avoid discussing anything homosexual with homosexual friends and relatives, I have now been confronted with a matter in a private conversation. I told her I would get back to her. I do not want to hurt her feelings nor do I want to condone her “marriage” and boisterous words to win approval. I know pretty much what I am going to say and it will be enveloped in my OWN awareness of MY need for mercy and forgivness with emphasis on my shame and not pride in my sins.

    I have been looking for the scripture or scriptures that imply or state that if we condone anyone’s sin that we are then held responsible for that sin as well. Am I out of the ball park all together or is there such a scripture..(‘s)? I have this belief in my head, but have no clue as to why. However, for over a year I worked at memorizing Psalms…I had several down good especially my favorite.. Psalm 51. which I prayed everyday and often at night… for some reason I stopped….and this morning I could not even remember what number it was never mind remember all of the words… I had to go through the first sentence of each Psalm until I found 51… so I don’t know if I forgot the scripture or if someone just told me this and I accepted it. So I will appreciate any help I can get on this matter.. Thank you. Pearl

  9. poohpity says:

    narrow, the first question is whether they are a believer or not? If not how they make a choice to live their life is between them and God. “What business of mine is it to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside.” 1 Cor 5:12 NLT

    But if we see a believer who is sinning then we go one on one to them and confront it, if they are not restored then we take 2 with us, then take them before the church. So they can be restored.(Matt 18:15:16 NIV; Gal 6:1-2 NIV)

  10. narrowpathseeker says:

    Hello again…for anyone that may have the answer to my question if there is scripture which implies that we are not to CONDONE anyones sin, I will try to articulate the matter a little more clearly. I in no way set out to “judge” this relative. She contacted me with the matter and seems to be seeking approval from me. I have attended many family functions over the years with her present and if any conversation or behavior in regard to homosexuality comes up …I excuse myself to the rest room or to another table. She now has me backed into a corner, so to speak. I have carefully delayed my response so I can answer truthfully and kindly. Thank you.

  11. poohpity says:

    If you were asked to share what you believe then what stops you? Be honest since you were asked. If they want to know what the bible says then share that but it does not seem like you were asked what the bible says. It is very wise not to judge the person but we can judge what is a sin. Maybe she just wants to know that no matter what life style she has chosen you will still love her anyway. Hate the sin but love the sinner just like Jesus did.

  12. joycemb says:

    Pearl I don’t know if this helps but someone once told me that they were taught as children not to play with kids who did bad things or people would think they were bad also and condoning it by association. I’d never heard this but then my family was the one people told their kids to stay away from. Children should be protected, but Jesus was an adult when he went to the undesirables to tell them about the better way of being in the world. Some adults don’t want to hear the good news so leaving the room is wise I think. Tell your friend what you believe and let her decide what she wants to believe. That’s what I’d do if backed into a corner. You never know how they may respond now or in the future.

  13. narrowpathseeker says:

    Thanks Joyce. I am sorry that you had to endure the family being ignored part in life.

    I know I am going to tell her what I believe, I just want to do it in a kindly way. The reason that I wanted to know if there was scripture to support not condoning sin is because she is family and many family members condone her marriage because she is family and nobody wants a family feud. I don’t want to see my family accountable for her pride in this matter.

  14. SFDBWV says:

    Pearl I am sorry, I am really caught in a time vise right now, with 0ver 10 inches of snow yesterday and today and 4 + the day before. However…

    Read 1 Peter 4:1-19 and if you like spend some time in 1st and 2nd Peter as there is a lot to touch on your problem.

    My sister in law’s sister is a Lesbian and long ago when my sister in law said that she was a good person with a large generous heart and that her being a lesbian did not hurt anyone; my response was simply that with any sin, the first person hurt is God and the second is the sinner.

    We will talk again later.


  15. SFDBWV says:

    Also it was John the Baptist who said that if he didn’t tell Herod of his sin, his blood would be on his/John’s hands.


  16. foreverblessed says:

    Thinking and thinking, but what Bible text is what you think of, Narrow?
    Ezekiel, the watchman
    Maybe the one of Ezekiel 33:1-20
    V8-9 When I say to the wicked, o wicked man, you will surely die, and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sins, but you will be saved yourself.

    But I doubt if this text is appropriate for your situation.

    Then you have Proverbs 9:1-10
    But here you need the Holy Spirit, to instruct you which verse is for your situation.

    Proverbs 12:18 is a nice one for you.
    And Proverbs 15:28 the heart of the righteous weighs it’s answer,
    And that is exactly what you are doing!
    I will pray for you, and the person involved! May God bless you both!

  17. joycemb says:

    Being a lesbian or a gay man
    is not a sin.

  18. street says:

    It’s Imperative
    read your post joycemb and it made me think.
    thinking anything that takes priority over Christ is sin. we all were born into sin, Jesus came to save us from it. you must be born again.

    For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

    ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

    The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.

    Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.

    come, the God who made you offers you a pardon and life in Christ

  19. joycemb says:

    Narrow remember when Mart was dealing with a similar family issue a couple years ago or more? I’m sure he has some time tested wisdom for you about this…if he wants to discuss it. Or even his daughter may be willing to share from her perspective?

  20. joycemb says:

    Street yes anything that is more important and takes center stage over Christ in our lives is sin. Whether a cause, ideology, religion, behavior, hobby or love. Even family.

  21. jeff1 says:

    Surrender completely, which to my way of thinking means dying, because there will always be something in this world to distract me, no matter how small it gets in the way of me belonging to Jesus.

    The nearer I get to God the more difficult it is to remain in this world hence the suffering, the devil has a tight grip. He won’t give up without a fight!

    God has the last word, purchased by His blood, cost Him His son, so the victory is already God’s but the devil is in the detail.

  22. SFDBWV says:

    Ok to clarify, I should have said, in my opinion that John the Baptist thought it his responsibility to tell Herod of his sin.

    Jesus spoke very highly of John and so it would appear that if it were wrong of John to warn Herod of his sin, Jesus may have spoken on the subject.

    I am at this point wondering how it is the words of Scripture are to be interpreted as being in the “imperative mood”? Was this the intent of the original interpretation, or simply a matter of proper grammar?

    Considering that in the imperative mood Jesus gave us words as of one with authority, but while speaking of praying from us to God isn’t it more of a request?

    But is the request then different as spoken from Jesus to the Father, rather than when we speak to the Father?

    Is this a hint at our sharing authority with Jesus, when we speak to others concerning matters of our faith?

    As in the twist of our conversation, should we then warn others of their sin from an imperative mood; as one with authority or step back from an authoritative statement to the lesser interpretation of its just being an opinion?

    In then reading/hearing the words of Scripture are we to look at the grammar of usage or be led by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and His interpretation of what it is He is wanting to convey and the manner it is conveyed?

    How are we to know the difference?

    What does our heart say to us?

    Snow again in the mountains, but at least I did not have to plow early this morning, that will come later today.


  23. jeff1 says:

    God talks to the heart, which in turn should make me mindful of what God is conveying.

    If the heart is not right with God nor will the mind.

    Why do so many see God differently because they put their opinions, beliefs first.

    Hence why God told us to focus on Christ so that our hearts are in the right place.

    Do I have the authority to speak for Jesus?. If I believe I have, then why is their ordained men who have spent their lives educating themselves on God’s word and approved by the Church.

    To my way of thinking this is God’s territory and He as not appointed me but members of the Church to be His authority.

    I may not always agree with those in authority and I may challenge them as I see fit but while they are in authority I also must remain as a servant.

    To do otherwise I am in God’s territory and personally, I see that as God’s call and not mine.

    When I think of Jesus’s life on earth he remained faithful to His father and accepted His crucifixion was the will of His father.

    A servant is not greater then his master.

    “Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die”.

  24. poohpity says:

    Those things we ask are when we come to realize the needs of our own hearts and who the source is that can supply them. They are imperative to a relationship with God, one that is lived in vital union with Him.

    I guess if one does not want His interference or help then don’t ask.

    John 8:7 NLT

  25. SFDBWV says:

    Viv I got into quite the argument many years ago with a parishioner at my church for saying that I did not agree with every preacher just because they had a job as a preacher.

    Pastoring a church or being a Priest or even an evangelist is a calling from God. If called to the job, God will anoint the individual and equip them for the task at hand.

    It is obvious that not everyone I mentioned is actually called to the job, but rather selected them as a profession.

    So just as Peter say’s, we are to test every spirit and if the test shows a problem, then there is a problem.

    God will build a fire in your heart when it is He wants you to understand or do anything relevant to Him or with respects to Jesus and when He does you will know and obey because you have the anointing upon you to.

    The poem from which you quoted is from “The Charge “0f The Light Brigade” by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

    “Theirs is not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die.
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.”


  26. jeff1 says:

    I learned it the hard way myself that not every Pastor’s preaching is from God. The dilemma for me is that I did not see the problem while my dad did.

    Did I not see it because it suited me not to, or did God blind me for a reason!

    What troubles me about me is that I make bad judgements while my dad’s discernment was impeccable.

    I seem destined to be more like my mum and even more to the point I believe it is God’s will for me.

    My father was stable of mind and the difficulties I have I inherited from my mother who was not.

    My brother also suffered mental anguish so perhaps I just feel that some things are meant to be and God does not always give us a reason as to why!

    It is in accepting that I find peace of mind and for someone like myself that seems more imperative.

    I just feel I have too much information with not a glue as to what to do with it, very much out of my depth, and wondering like King Solomon ‘what is the point of it all.’

  27. SFDBWV says:

    Viv I wrote this and put it in my Bible a few decades ago, I share it with you and those who read here as well.

    “The Beautiful Soul”
    “Tho no eye can see it, it can be seen.
    Tho you cannot touch it, it can be felt.
    Tho there is no substance, its warmth is obvious.
    Tho we be blinded by human eye its glow illuminates all around us.”

    I consider you Viv to be one of “the beautiful souls” we have amongst us.

    All of us make bad judgement calls, none of us are so blessed as not to. Just consider it part of life on earth and then deal with its results.

    My own father considered life to be as you say “meant to be.” His logic came from a bad childhood as he tried to sort things out in life as an adult.

    Our promise from God is that He will wipe away all tears. For me that means all the pain of life will forever be erased from our hearts.

    Forgive me, but when I read your comment about having too much information and not knowing what to do with it, I chuckled. Because I think you just expressed what is wrong in this “instant information age” as our society just isn’t mature enough or ready to know what to do with it either.

    Be very blessed my friend, you do very well in your life as a person and especially as an honest Christian.


  28. jeff1 says:

    Such a beautiful verse, Steve, and thank you, I really needed to hear it today. You have a very good outlook on how to deal with the negativity in life and so had my dad.

    I fear, it is my weakness, to struggle with the negativity in life.

    I love the verse that says God will wipe away all tears and also believe that means God will erase it from our hearts and minds.

    The pace of life is getting too fast and when that happens we all fall down. I have always believed that man cannot keep up with technology and from what I see children do not have a childhood anymore. I see 2 year olds who know how to use mobile phones and play games on them. While it impresses their parents, I as a mother, feel very uneasy about it, children should be allowed to be children should they not!

    Thank you for your blessing, and words of encouragement and for reminding me that we all make bad judgement calls at times.

    I pray that we learn from them, and with God’s love and mercy continue to grow in our walk with Jesus.

  29. joycemb says:

    Thinking about the imperative to understand scripture through the lense of following the God of Eden to Jesus of the cross…. Such yearning, such desiring, such cajoling, tenderness, firmness, patience and above all, unconditional love. I just read of a new book on the Synoptic Gospels that is out and what a good reminder for me that there is no black and white when it comes to understanding God’s ways and subsequently our responsibility as His children to learn to be like Him and not how we THINK He is. He’s way beyond us all yet the simpler I become I find that thinking about a helpless little baby far from Home has that magical quality that softens the all too human imperative to judge, criticize or demand payment for any wrongdoing.
    Just thinking

  30. narrowpathseeker says:

    Foreverblessed…thank you so much for all your thoughts, concern, prayers, encouragement. You are a wonderful Blessing here.

    Steve, thank you also for all your help with the scriptures and for the Wisdom that accompanies your messages. Knowing how busy you are daily, makes your contributions even more precious and appreciated.

    Joyce, yes, I remember now. thank you.

    Thanks to all the verses you dear sweet souls gave me, I know what I want to write. I am trying very hard to articulate a response that is loving and kind as well as honest and forthright and helpful. I start, read, delete, and start again. Thank you ALL again…

  31. joycemb says:

    Yay it’s February here and a month closer to spring! Sounds like Steve and those out east will be glad to give their plows and shovels a rest. Though we had below normal temps in December and January it’s evened out now thankfully. We had 6 in. of snow yesterday, enough to cover the frozen mounds of dirty snow and make it winter beautiful again. Today skies are deep blue gorgeous behind snow laden pines.

    I was thinking about the imperative “love one another”. I Cor. 13 describes love and knowing that God IS love there seems to be no greater imperative than to learn to love, really love. I have my work cut out for me.

    Have a blessed day all as we keep our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ,

  32. SFDBWV says:

    Not doing too well in HS English, I had to relearn a great deal about words, their meaning and how to use them. I always thought the word “imperative” to simply mean urgent, important something that had to be dealt with imminently.

    Never gave much thought about a word having a mood.

    So with this “lesson” I have learned the deeper meaning of this word.

    If I apply my understanding of something being imperative to prayer, then for me it always makes sense. As the request of prayer is for me important and urgent.

    If I look at it from Jesus’ comment from the cross, it still remains important, urgent and above all “necessary”; another explanation of our topic word.

    In fact as I look at Marts comment, urgent, necessary, important still covers anything that God may have had to say to us. In Eden as well as from the cross.

    In fact anything God commanded of me I would consider it imperative that I obey.

    It snowed all morning here another 3 inches of very wet heavy snow that clings to every branch, twig and wire. Very beautiful, but as all beauty, fleeting, as the February sun has energy that January’s doesn’t.

    I love you too Pearl, I pray for success concerning your endeavor.


  33. jeff1 says:

    I agree Joyce, I believe God wants us to love our enemies as well as each other. This is a very difficult one for me.

    Under the Good-Friday agreement here terrorists where released from jail. I can recall a woman telling me of this man she knew who was serving time for murdering a father of three and he had been released under the agreement.

    She knew the victim well and when she seen this man back on the street she said he did not give her the impression that he was anyway remorseful for his crime.

    He had received a good education in jail and was now a Professor and she allowed he had been rewarded instead of punished.

    What makes people here very angry is that terrorists want the Government to bring any soldiers who behaved unlawfully to justice, yet they believe they should walk free as they see themselves as freedom fighters and not criminals.

    If you have been a victim of these men and I know many families who have it is difficult to like them never mind love them.

    I am not a vengeful person but I believe justice matters, because, without it, we will have all sorts of people with grievances making up their own justice.

    Sometimes it is difficult to take the side of the authorities when they are behaving unbecoming of their authority but while I am on this earth I can not see any other alternative.

  34. SFDBWV says:

    Look at the post time Viv, we posted exactly at the same time, how cool is that.

    Yes Viv when we take rules and alter them or weaken them, complications begin to arise.

    Rules/laws are rules/laws for a reason.

    I will try and come back later as it is time to fix Matt’s dinner and he already is giving me my marching orders.


  35. joycemb says:

    Viv I know how hard it is to see perpetrators go free. But are they really free if they don’t know what Jesus has done for them? No, not really but the best revenge is to pray their souls be taken out of Satan’s grip. That’s our real enemy. We have a lot of work to do while there’s still time. Jesus died for the ungodly. Surely as we follow Him we will want to die to our SELVES and keep Gods agenda foremost. It takes a lifetime sometimes to get that, but its of utmost importance. We have our national interests, yes, but they should never become more important than our mission as Christ followers. Talking to myself here also, I need lots of reminders. Bless you Viv its not always easy living on earth.

  36. bubbles says:

    Wow, Steve! I’m sad to read you had more snow. All of the snow here is gone, streets are dry and I washed salt oddnthe vehicle this evening. Hope your snow melts soon.

  37. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Bubbles, yes we received another 6 ½ inches of snow yesterday, but I plowed off my hill and neighbors late last evening (8pm) and so don’t have to this morning. I can do that sometimes depending on when the most snow comes. If overnight, then it’s up about 3 am to get the job done and off and on as the day progresses and my opportunities as well. We have over 10 inches on the ground.

    Yesterday I received a great blessing in that as Matt and I were up walking, just as I got him to his wheelchair he had one of those “hugs” which is like a seizure only the doctors say they aren’t.

    Because we were where we were I was able to spin him around and set him in his chair, otherwise he would have just dropped to the floor. It has happened before. When he gets on the floor it takes three of us to get him up.

    One to hold his feet, and two to pull his shoulders forward so he can push with his legs and scoot himself up into the couch. That is after I get him pulled over to in front of the couch.

    So as you can see it was quite the miracle that this happened when it did.

    He just had another “hug” a few minutes ago, but he is settled in his big easy chair so it was not a problem, only heartbreaking for me.

    I guess you have seen that Consol is stripping the health benefits from retired miners over 65. The battle never is over.

    Hope you have a good day at work.


  38. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, I am not a vengeful person and leave perpetrators in God’s hands to do as He will. It is just difficult living in an environment where their victims are everywhere.

    You and I are different in our beliefs, in that you believe all ungodly people can be saved.

    I have never believed that is true, I believe God put us here to be His eyes and ears only. witnesses only, that’s my role here as I see it.

    Salvation, I believe is the complete work of God, and it is God Himself that predestines those He has chosen.

    I am no better than my enemies, for though I do not have a vengeful heart, I have indeed a wayward one and as such am equal to my enemies.

    Every breath I take, every step I take, I do so because it is the will of God. God is in my very being or I would not exist at all and as so He will have His way because it is His will for me regardless of my waywardness which is still under His control.

  39. SFDBWV says:

    Viv one of the many things I like about you is your honesty, few people are, as most put up a façade in order to present a picture of what they want others to see them as.

    Like you I want to see justice done. However sometimes it does seem to clash with the idea that we are to forgive those who do us harm.

    There is a marvelous country western song by Tobey Keith and Willie Nelson Titled “Beer for My Horses” in which Willie says his grand pappy said in his day a man had to answer for the wicked things he did.

    It is my belief that though we should pray for those who would do us harm, what is it we pray for them, but to have a change of heart, to become more like us in that we are children of God and followers of Jesus.

    We don’t pray that they continue to “get away” with doing evil.

    We pray that they cease from it.

    If we didn’t have laws in our land our land would stink with crime and there would be no structure or peace anywhere.

    The sad thing is that is right where we are headed as a society, because we don’t punish crime effectively.

    Our friend Chris has a prison ministry and I would imagine he could tell of many of those in prison who admit their guilt and accept their punishment as just, but just as many who don’t.

    One of my problems is that as we are told to forgive unconditionally; yet in the end what is it that God actually does, but separate the saved from the unsaved there being no forgiveness for the unsaved nor His fallen angels.

    In fact Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice was so that justice could be done between God and man; being that Jesus the innocent “Lamb” was sacrificed for all the guilty of mankind.

    But guilty of what?

    Guilty of disobedience toward God? Or guilty for every crime against mankind?

    The two other men crucified with Jesus were guilty of crimes as well and though the one found forgiveness from Jesus, still he paid for his crime against mankind, was crucified and died there alongside Jesus.

    Lot of thought to this subject.


  40. poohpity says:

    I have seen people after receiving Christ turn themselves in to the police rather than spend their life running from justice. Being honest about what they have done is part of the sanctified life as it is with most Christians who honestly admit their faults to one another.

    Normally the things people accuse others of are the very things they do themselves like presenting a false front to make others think they are different than they really are. The old bait and switch routine. But sadly with pulling the wool over people’s eyes like has happened over the last eight years, the wool evidently slips and people get glasses.

    The thing about asking those imperatives is to be open and honest about our needs. It is just fine to have the courage to be real because we can come to the Lord just as we are. If someone else does not accept us just as we are, we know God does and that would be the only person to really hide from. But we know He sees everything so the only person we are really fooling is ourselves.

    The imperative of asking for forgiveness is to admit we need it. We have to let go of control to ask to be led. We have to admit we tend to get sucked into the things of this world to ask for deliverance. To ask God to give us what we need daily is to acknowledge that everything we have comes from the source, God, unless we take credit for it and think we do not need Him which is the case for many people who think they must do it all themselves until the rug gets pulled out from under them and they HAVE to ask for help.

  41. cbrown says:

    Good morning Steve and Viv. I do talk to some inmates that say they are innocent of the crime they are imprisoned for but of those more than half say they did something else for which they did not get prosecuted.Some are actually proven to be innocent. In my state the sentences are severe. The thing that I see most often is the inmate looking at another and thinking that the others crime is unforgivable. Love to all on the board. Each of you is a blessing to me each day.

  42. SFDBWV says:

    Chris a real eye opener for me more than a few decades ago was when our county prosecutor told me clearly that even though a man I knew was innocent of the crime he was charged with at that moment, he was going to be prosecuted for that offence for all the things they couldn’t before.

    In my smaller municipal court here in our town I have always seen the responsibility as a combination of justice, mercy and fairness to both the offended and the offender.

    Sometimes the only punishment being a loss of freedom, for a time. Always hoping that that loss of freedom frightens them into seeing a life of crime will only end up in more loss of freedom.

    Though it seems “punishment” from our courts never really cures anything, only a change of heart does. We as Christians hope that change comes from their acceptance of the Lord. Far too often prison changes a man, but rarely for the good.

    Keep up the good work Chris.


  43. foreverblessed says:

    Does prison Make a personeel beter? Here in our country, many offenders who have psychogical problems also get treatment. Like people who are sort of mentally retarded tend to get agressive. They need other treatment then narcistic persons. We have less prisoners now! Cell space is rented to other countries.

  44. foreverblessed says:

    Personnel should be persons. Sorry, I have switched to English keyboard now, finally found how to do that!
    A few weeks ago I wrote about a prisoner who was sentenced for murder, while he was a car thief. He was not prosecuted for his car thefts, but for the murder.
    That was in the early eighties. It was such good programming, as the man was mainly talking, and telling his story. When DNA testing was available he had asked for a test. But the testing was always for some or other reason blocked. And after more then 17 years( of longer, I can’t remember) he lost hope. And then he asked that the death sentence should be carried out.
    This trickered a judge! I call him an upright man! God bless that judge! He saw to it that the testing was done, and indeed, he was not the murderer!
    It still took a while before he was released, and he moved to England, was married and had kids!
    I did some search on ” death row and DNA ”
    and I found out that this is s political point! They don’t want DNA testing for people on death row, because if many flaws are found, the people might want to turn against the death penalty.

    And there I thought: this is unfair!
    And I started to talk to God about it.
    And here I see a link to Mart’s subject: imperative!
    We can pray to God in an imperative way, alone, or when more then one Christians together have decided that this is a fair thing to ask God:
    Please, God, see to it that people on death row get DNA tested it they want it. Give them a fair chance!

    And praying in an imperative way!
    ( I also had to look up that word)

  45. jeff1 says:

    What makes a person better? Is the desire in them to be better! Firstly they need to recognise there is a need for them to be better!

    What makes a Christian desire to be better is their need of Christ and firstly they have to recognise that need.

    This is always going to be a struggle because I am indoctrinated to believe I am not as bad as I think I am. Once I accept that God sees me as a sinner, then the realization of what Jesus has done for me becomes a reality.

    Does that make me more compassionate to other sinners, yes, as long as they see themselves as such and are longing to become a better person too.

    Does it make me more compassionate to those who change the rules to suit themselves and threaten others to their way of thinking to have their will imposed on earth?

    No! realizing that I need to be a better person should not blind me to the depravity of others.

    I must choose to go the right way for Christ’s sake but that does not mean turning a blind eye to the evil around me to do so.

    It is not what Christ did and if we are following His way then it is not what we should do either!

  46. street says:

    Why do I think this is important to consider together?

    He died for my sin and not His sin, of which He had none so he could be raised blameless and pay my redemption price.

  47. SFDBWV says:

    “Could this explain why it is so imperative to hear the words of Scripture in light of what we have come to know about the needs of our own heart-as understood by the God of Eden and the Jesus of the cross?”
    Mart DeHaan

    This is really quite a magnifier of a great many things about ourselves.

    I couldn’t begin to state distinctly how God understands the needs of my own heart as much as I would hope that He does. Especially from my perspective and sense of urgency.

    In fact I have over time wrestled between asking for specific things from God to surrendering my own desires for His will, unknown to me, but trusted that His will is far better than anything I could ask for.

    Then I read that we are to be specific about our requests, then read that our desires should be for His will.

    Left to stand in silence with only the hope and trust of faith to lean on.

    All too often I feel just as I imagine Peter felt when he stepped from the safety of the boat just before his feet touched the water, Jesus told him he could walk on.
    Hoping, trusting, but still just a little unsure until he felt his weight stand upon the surface of the sea.

    The God of Eden’s judgement was swift and merciless, mercy would not come for thousands of years upon the cross of Calvary.

    14 degrees under the stars.


  48. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning All… I am very short on time this morning(because I am so slow at doing the “little” I have to do)but wanted to stop in to say Thank You All for your help and prayers whenever asked. Also want Steve to know that I am praying for the pension matter and asking God to provide all of his needs or change the hearts of the pension authorities……asking all here to join in that prayer along with our prayers for people in power and for those opposing with violence and destruction. While I see them as a bunch of spoiled brats holding their breath and stomping their feet to get their own selfish way, God wants us to pray for them too. I think the framework of right and wrong has been so damaged over the years of taking God out of everything American, that His children need to leave the rebuilding up to Him by praying for all those that like the notion they can just gang up and blow fits when anything threatens to infringe on their “right” to do anything they want as well as for the powers that be that engage in the same selfish ambitions on the other end.

  49. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Mart, you wrote:

    “According to the Gospels, when Jesus taught his disciples to pray ‘Give us … forgive us … lead us… deliver us…’ he gave us verbs in the imperative mood.”

    What a great blessing that Jesus gives us the model prayer — His prayer — to guide our relationship and communication with God.

    Have heard stories of those who have been plunged into nightmare-like life situations that completely upended their own personal resources — even to the point of sending them into shock or temporary mental instability.

    One man said that in the weeks he waited at the hospital bedside after a car wreck, not knowing whether his son would live or die, all he could do was pray the Lord’s Prayer. The words he had learned by heart became his anchor through the desperate waiting and uncertainty.

    I believe I have learned that the God of Eden and Jesus of the Cross know me better than I know myself. These years of trying to walk in faith ultimately require clinging to the Lord of Life when all else has been taken away.

    Job tells his cruel friends:

    “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
    And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.

    “Even after my skin is destroyed,
    Yet from my flesh I shall see God;

    “Whom I myself shall behold,
    And whom my eyes will see and not another.
    My heart faints within me!


    -1C/31F here. Freezing rain and ice forecast

  50. poohpity says:

    Chris, I so agree that not only the prisoners but most everyday people think that the crimes/sin of others is worse than their own. I think that is why so many point one finger of condemnation outward and forget to look at the three directed back at themselves. I know in a day how many times it is imperative for me to admit my faults to the Lord if I did not do that I would never think I needed His forgiveness, mercy or grace. Now that is why the law is so useful to help identify what sin is.

  51. cbrown says:

    Pooh, in my own life pride is the mountain that I have asked God to remove. It has many forms so each morning I seek His help .Self-centeredness, self reliance, self righteousness, self consciousness and a whole list of others.My prayer is that I will be light as He is light.

  52. joycemb says:

    Chris same here. Dying to self means not caring what others think but submitting those concerns to the cross of Christ and finding I’m no better than those who accuse me. We’re all equally to blame yet blameless because of Christs redemption. Hallelujah

  53. joycemb says:

    A favorite quote of mine is from OChambers, “That person, perfect in Christ Jesus”.

  54. joycemb says:

    Chambers also says it’s not about what God has done for us, but about the cross, period. Telling others about the cross not ourselves. I agree with his accessment. Though others may not.

  55. SFDBWV says:

    Maru and all, I have many amazing stories of the nearly 6 weeks Matthew (my son) spent in a coma. Some I have shared here with you all some I have not.

    Your (Maru) story of the father who kept repeating the Lord’s Prayer reminded me of the first couple years especially that first year when Matt was home with me sleeping in a rented hospital bed here in the living room with me on the couch.

    He couldn’t sleep well and so those first several months at home he would wake off and on all night. There in the dark he would repeat the Lord’s Prayer over and over again.

    It will be 18 years since his accident come June 7. Our friend Chris ministers to prisoners whose actions whether guilty or not have placed them in prison.

    Matt feels he is imprisoned in a life he doesn’t want nor deserved, yet is forced to endure.

    He no longer repeats the Lord’s Prayer though he will say he gave up hope of any kind of recovery long ago, the truth is he still prays for it, works towards it, wants it desperately and hopes for it.

    He will sometimes get very angry, when calmer, very apologetic, but while angry it is extreme.

    I have learned that I cannot tell him, nor should I tell him how he should feel. In fact the only thing that really works is to let the anger play out and then be there with forgiveness and love while it can be received.

    In the movie “Gods and Generals” Stonewall Jackson is trying to comfort a dying friend when the friend says to Stonewall, “General you know I am not a believer.” Stonewall simply smiles and says to his dying friend, “well, I will just have to believe for the both of us.”

    God help us all as we reach for that hand Jesus offers from the cross as he carried everyone’s needs there and is the only hope some of us have.

    God also help all of us who feel it our responsibility to comfort those amongst us who need an ear, a hand or whatever it is we can give. For our hands and actions to be led by the Holy Spirit and not by our own inadequate attempts at helping.

    Sunshine is most welcomed even if only at 24 degrees.


  56. joycemb says:

    Steve all our help is inadequate at best, it’s the Lords hands we use even toward those who don’t feel they want or need our help, but the prodigals father never gave up hope, did he. Thanks to God for never giving up, even as we are hanging on our cross of death. In the flesh we may say it’s impossible! But with God ALL things are possible. Best to just admit human limitations and let God through those He has gifted specifically do their work.

    Praying for your continued financial needs.

  57. poohpity says:

    Today’s “Discover The Word” is excellent.

  58. joycemb says:

    We must all be careful of “resting on our laurels” which stunts our growth in Christ. There’s always something more to learn of Him.

  59. joycemb says:

    Discover The Word was exactly what I needed at this moment to hear. Thank you LORD.

  60. jeff1 says:

    Discovering God is very different to my knowledge of God. I have said before that it is painful for me and I believe that is because I have wandered far from Him.

    God does not change, it is I who change Him because of my limited sight, knowledge.

    I have misunderstood God because I changed God to suit my beliefs, culture etc.

    I can learn from others and I learned that from my father who understood God in ways I did not.

    My greatest fear about God is that He would leave me, that I would exhaust His love for me with my wanderings.

    When I am upset with others, I want God to be harsh on them but it is not because I want to see them suffer but that I want them to change and with some people i.e. myself, they only learn the hard way.

    When I am fearful that God will leave me it is always music that reassures me of God’s presence.

    I don’t know about tomorrow;
    I just live from day to day.
    I don’t borrow from it’s sunshine
    For its skies may turn to grey.
    I don’t worry o’er the future,
    For I know what Jesus said.
    And today I’ll walk beside Him,
    For He knows what lies ahead.

    Many things about tomorrow
    I don’t seem to understand
    But I know who holds tomorrow
    And I know who holds my hand.

    Every step is getting brighter
    As the golden stair I climb;
    Every burdens getting lighter,
    Every cloud is silver-lined.

    There the sun is always shining,
    There no tear will dim the eye;
    At the ending of the rainbow
    Where the mountains touch the sky.

    I don’t know about tomorrow;
    It may bring me poverty.
    But the one who feeds the sparrow,
    Is the one who stands by me.
    And the path that is my portion
    May be through the flame or flood;
    But His presence goes before me
    And I’m covered with His blood.

  61. poohpity says:

    I so enjoy scripture put to music. Just makes my very soul want to dance or mourn or sing but in all to worship.

    Justine Timberlake has the song called, “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and for the times we are in rather than fussing, fighting, destroying and dividing we just dance. Every time I listen to it I thought about when I am in the midst of something ugly just start dancing. I love it.

  62. poohpity says:

    Was also thinking about Moses after the success of Red Sea wrote a song. Can you imagine over a million people dancing and singing in the middle of no where, it sure does bring a smile to my heart.

    How about the oppression of the Blacks in the south who always had a song in their hearts as they worked under many adverse conditions yet they sang. Music can tame the ravages of the soul.

  63. jeff1 says:

    I have always said that no one sings gospel music like the Blacks from the South and their influence on Elvis’s gospel music is very evident.

    Elvis crossed that divide and in doing so brought us a mix of gospel that is music for the soul.

    This is just one of my many favourites.

    Oh well, I’m tired and so weary
    But I must go alone
    Till the Lord comes and calls, calls me away, oh yes
    Well the morning’s so bright
    And the lamp is alight
    And the night, night as black as the sea, oh yes

    There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
    There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
    There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow
    No trouble, trouble I see
    There will be peace in the valley for me, for me

    Well the bear will be gentle
    And the wolves will be tame
    And the lion shall lay down by the lamb, oh yes
    And the beast from the wild
    Shall be lit by a child
    And I’ll be changed, changed from this creature that I am, oh yes.

    There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
    Thee will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
    There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow
    No trouble, trouble I see
    There will be peace in the valley for me, for me

  64. street says:

    i saw the question about what we are responsible for?
    i am sorry i have been away for awhile with family responsibilities.
    we are to live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. second we are to know the Word. third they already know the truth or they are would not have asked. ask them if they asked God? Jesus always asked what does the Scripture say? How do you read it? we are not talking to people who don’t know where the Church of the God of the Bible stands. persecution is just around the corner. we are told to respond as screwed as a snake and innocent as a dove. get out your Bible and let the Spirit convict them of their sin, not you. just get out of the way and let Him do His work. if they want nothing to do with the Bible or don’t believe God breathed it you got more home work to do. wicked men come to power when people don’t read their Bibles and pray and speak correctly with love. know what you believe and why you believe it. ask seek knock never forget He is better than google or your friends.

    think about this one….if i am ever asked what is the worst sin you ever committed….? i would have to say picking up sticks. picking up sticks on the Sabbath is punishable by death. i hope you get my point! some one might say we are not under law…..next response God could say, I change not! same yesterday today and tomorrow. we are dealing with different Covenants same God. the Covenant that Jesus made is better than all previous ones. learning and seeking to be empty.

  65. foreverblessed says:

    Reading: “How do you read scripture?”
    Jesus may ask that just to see what is in our hearts, or rather, with that question He wants us to deeper meditate on the Word of God. And to search in our own hearts what is in it.
    “As a man thinketh, so is he” Prov 23:7
    Mary has had a topic about that a while ago.
    As we are in our hearts, that is how we interpret scripture.
    If redemption has taken over our hearts, Grace is the theme we see.
    My utmost of yesterday talks about the heart changed by redemption, that person will always have the Love of God towards anybody. But the moral person will turn away and close his heart for a person who insults him.
    Not so the godly man!
    An awesome theme: having died to the old man, so no insult can harden your heart!

    But I thought the topic was about Jesus teaching us to pray in an imperative manner?
    It looks like that God awaits our orders, what we pray for, the prayer of a ma who’s heart is changed by redemption.

  66. foreverblessed says:

    Oops, Mary should read Mart.

  67. foreverblessed says:

    To pray in an imperative manner, that made me think about the disciples who asked Jesus to let sulphur rain on a town that did not allow Jesus to go through.
    That is a prayer of a person who has not yet a changed heart!
    The prayer Jesus taught us too is:
    Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing!
    For me to pray that prayer with all my heart, needs a lot of changing through redemption!

  68. joycemb says:

    “Change my heart oh God,
    make it ever new,
    change my heart oh God,
    make me more like You”

    This is a song we sang in the 80’s I believe that I’m reminded of Foreverblessed. No matter our experiences, works, or words even, a heart like our LORD is what we need and want. The sermon on the mount along with Jesus’ parables and discussions with people have much to teach us. It’s imperative we listen and learn. Whatever He said or did came from a pure heart. Not so much mine, as street mentioned yesterday also.

  69. SFDBWV says:

    We, all of us, live in a world molded by those who came before us as well as the events of history.

    Though some of us try and imagine the world before the flood in truth we can only speculate.

    The same could be said about the world of the pre-coming of Pentecost.

    Prior to that life changing hour, the Holy Spirit came upon an individual of God’s choosing, after He dwells within us.

    Evidenced by the comment Foreverblessed shared with us, in that some of the Disciples ask for “revenge” instead of a change of hearts for those who had rejected their message.

    We who call upon the Lord are forever changed and with that change comes urging of His Spirit in us to do the right thing as well as warn of us dangers. Our struggle is in which voices we give into, willingly.

    Paul put it this way. “Kicking against the pricks/thorns” when we go off in our own direction when the Holy Spirit wants us to go another.

    Just like not really being able to see the pre-flood world, we can’t really see the world before Pentecost, except through the eyes of history including the history of our story represented in Scripture.

    34 degrees under cloudy skies.


  70. poohpity says:

    After Israel was rescued from Egypt and they pledged to follow God and listen to His instructions they grumbled and complained about everything rather than the imperative of asking God. The needed God to give them their daily bread/manna. meat and water; they needed God’s direction or leading because they did not know where they were going; they needed forgiveness because they failed so often in trusting and needed God’s help not to fall into the temptation of acting like the people they passed by. So those are the very same things we still need in this journey of life.

    They asked God how they should follow Him and what that would look like because they had no idea because they lived in a foreign land following their customs and traditions. It is imperative for us to be in communication with God daily. We do not have a relationship with anyone that we fail to talk and listen to them, that is not a relationship at all.

    Having an imperative mood seems to be knowing how much we need God to survive this life into eternity. It shows our trust and dependence on Him. We can take God for granted or think He is similar to Santa Claus only there to satisfy our wants but He wants a relationship with us. He wants us to know Him not treat Him like someone who could care less about our everyday life but we want Him to be involved.

  71. jeff1 says:

    It seems to me that history repeats itself, I have noticed that we have made the same mistakes as our forefathers. I personally have made the same mistakes my mother made.

    The struggle for me has been more of the mind than the heart.

    When my mind is at peace then I find it much easier to pray sincerely for my enemies then when it is not.

    Though I am not vengeful, I believe justice has to be seen to be done or we all behave like animals.

    Man’s behaviour without God’s restraint can be ugly indeed.

    It is not surprising that discipleship requires such strict obedience to Jesus because the least distraction causes such harm to the ‘Body of Christ’.

    Understanding more and more about what Paul meant that all our efforts are like filthy rags until our hearts are right with God.

    When is my heart right with God? There is no temporary my heart is right with God, it is right or it is not right and that leaves me right back clinging to the Cross of Christ!

    It is imperative what comes first, love is the key to a heart right with God, God help me to be that person.

  72. street says:


    “Give us … forgive us … lead us… deliver us…”

    “forgive them”

    thinking about how a surrendered person like, Paul, lived with convictions in the First Person. you could never say he was evasive, ill informed, or not aware of what was going on, even when he believed he was walking last in the parade as the ones who would be sacrificed. surrendered with convictions.

  73. street says:

    this is in responsible to what we are responsible for.

    [18] But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark-you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. [19] You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. [20] Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. [21] You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” [22] Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

    i read this the other day and saw it a little different than i saw it before. noah built the superstructure according to God’s plan and design, yet God is the One who sealed it up. He was also to take every kind of food for you and for them to be eaten and stored. could it be we are to eat and store the Bread from heaven to be eaten and shared for them?
    Matthew 13:52
    And Jesus said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”

    Matthew 11:28-30
    “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

    what we are responsible for? rest and walk before Him.

  74. street says:

    and every skillful person in whom the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him, to come to the work to perform it.

  75. street says:

    “Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.” Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. 7 For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.

  76. street says:

    Why do I think this is important to consider together?

    He died for my sin and not His sin, of which He had none so he could be raised blameless and pay my redemption price.

    thinking further….so i could understand He is God and let Him be God. He is God of life and death…..nothing is too hard for a Him. His love is the basis of all there is.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.