Text Size: Zoom In

Glances and Glimpses

One of the stubbornly resistant facts of the Bible is that all of its words, affirmations, and denials have to be interpreted.

Take for instance a hint of of God’s goodness spoken by the LORD to Moses and remembered by Paul, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy” (Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15).

Anyone who wants to understand those words must interpret them, or rely on someone else to do so. The result is that some interpret those words as being full of sovereign narrowness (Romans 9:18), while others see them pointing beyond themselves to oceans of undeserved kindness (Romans 11:32).

The challenge in reading any portion of Scripture, as we’re all finding out, is to be able to connect the dots not just with a few selected texts but with the grand sweep of a drama that begins in the Garden and finds fullness of meaning in the life, words, suffering and resurrection of Christ.

As we do that, we are likely to discover surprises in the way the LORD shows mercy to people like Cain, Nebuchadnezzar, Jacob, Nineveh, Cyrus, in the words of Jesus’ toward those crucifying him… and,

Then there’s Jesus’s parable of the laborers in which (to give a hint about the mercies of the kingdom of God) he describes an employer who claims his right to pay those who work for an hour at the end of the day as much as those who gave him a full days work (Matthew 20:1-16).

Once again we get a hint that while inspired Scripture gives us a part of the Story (glances and glimpses), God has reserved the right to keep to himself— the whole unfolding of his goodness…


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)
Loading...
139 Comments »

139 Responses to “Glances and Glimpses”

  1. tedmgossard says:

    So true. And as James tells us, mercy triumphs over judgment. We need to try to see scripture more and more in that light, I would think. Thanks, Mart.

  2. jeff1 says:

    God has reserved the right to keep to Himself-the whole unfolding of his goodness..

    HIS GOODNESS – and as someone who has seen the ugliness of men’s hearts and the ugliness in my own then indeed I know too well that it is HIS GOODNESS, HIS MERCY AND HIS GOOD JUDGEMENT.

    My earthly dad always knew whose side he was on and I never understood how but he just did.

    To him suffering was all part of the parcel of trusting God and therefore he suffered well without trying to understand it but rather accepting that Jesus suffered and so to must we.

    Others I know would portion blame to their suffering and in doing so see no guilt in themselves.

    I fell into the latter until I discovered that my dad was right.

    I asked myself the questions and found from my answers that I was not unlike my enemies.

    My dilemma today being that I cannot truthfully pray for my enemies and ask God to forgive them because the hatred they once had for me I now have for them so now I am just like them.

    If God has reserved the right then I believe it is because only He has the right for it is God who gets it right and not I.

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

    Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
    Lovingly He greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
    let the Church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing;
    for her Lord now liveth, death has lost its sting.
    Refrain:
    Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
    Endless is the vict’ry thou o’er death hast won.

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

  3. joycemb says:

    Judgement comes to mind here and how we all fear it whatever form it may come in now or later. But grace!!! Undeserved and yet mysteriously woven throughout scripture and if we have eyes to see can find it this minute and throughout our lives here. Amazing.

  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart and Friends —

    Our Daily Bread devotion for today centers on the Prophet Habakkuk’s questions of God. The wonder is that Habakkuk sees “wrongdoing and…trouble” — and does not lose his faith in the Lord.

    He is living in the time after the (last) good King Josiah, when Nebuchadnezzar makes Jehoiakim a puppet king. Judah is occupied and in twenty years will fall and be destroyed. Her people will go into exile in Babylon.

    Once again, as He did to Job, God gives an answer that is not an explanation:

    “Then the Lord answered me and said,
    ‘Record the vision
    And inscribe it on tablets,
    That the one who reads it may run.

    ‘For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
    It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.
    Though it tarries, wait for it;
    For it will certainly come, it will not delay.'”
    Habakkuk 2:2-3

    Then, the Lord gives Habakkuk the mysterious wisdom of faith:

    “Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith.” v. 4

    It seems to me this is a glimpse of God that sustained those who lived through the destruction of their way of life by keeping the faith.

    Blessings,
    Maru

    13C/55F Sunny in the valley. Forecast to reach 27C/80F today.

  5. poohpity says:

    Mart, I so agree. The very first time I read through the bible I used a Life Application Bible so I had the help of the many scholars through commentaries who had made it a practice to have put some of the pieces already together. However the first bible study I attended they only allowed us to use the KJV and asked us to pray to open our eyes to what the scriptures meant. But either way and after many times of reading there is still so much I still learn as if it is a never ending fountain that just keeps giving new insight. You are right we need help to understand.

    How can we really understand the infinite enormity of all that God is with the finite brain we have. I see only fractions of God’s goodness and sometimes I do not see somethings as goodness at all because they seem rather harsh to me but I see with hindsight the reason that some stuff had to be the way it was for a just cause and purpose because we are given from the beginning journey through the lives of those that God touched until they went to sleep. I guess that is where putting the pieces together comes in and thought provoking conversations helps.

    Still in the process of learning which I have found is a life long endeavor of seeing where all the parts fit together interwoven throughout scripture. I know that when I get home I will have eternity of understanding more fully and until then I want to keep my mind open to learning.

  6. poohpity says:

    bubbles, praying all went well over the last two days and hope you will give us an update.

  7. SFDBWV says:

    For reasons unnecessary to explain I come late to the new BTA subject. I have read over Marts opening comments several times and can only say I heartily agree, all Scripture is open for interpretation.

    And so the war of disagreements begin.

    There is a plethora of interpretations that will come from every Word written just as diverse as there are the complex and nearly unsolidified differences in each and every one of us.

    Just for beginners the OT is written in Hebrew and even Sanskrit. Whereas the NT is written in Greek.

    So for 2000 years anyone reading the Bible has had to rely on the original translation as being accurate.

    To compound the confusion today we have new interpretations that don’t agree with each other in totem and so instead of getting clearer it opens up the germ of doubt and so we have a diverse Christian population that reads different interpretations of Scripture and so confusion and disagreements ensue.

    The idea that anyone who gets their views and interpretations published is somehow more learned and their view “correct” just doesn’t agree with what Mart has said in his opening comments.

    In so far as all of the Bible quote’s Mart has given in this subject, what all of them simply say to me is that God is God and will do as He pleases. My opinion in those matters are not part of the equation of God being God. He is God and I am not.

    The danger here is that some people will pick and choose what they want to believe from the Word and even try and warp some words and verses in order to make them say something they do not.

    Reverence and fear should precede any reading and interpretation of Scripture.

    Lot more to say on this subject.

    74 degrees and humid from overnight rain.

    Steve

  8. street says:

    Once again we get a hint that while inspired Scripture gives us a part of the Story (glances and glimpses), God has reserved the right to keep to himself— the whole unfolding of his goodness……this is true

    devils advocate question comes to mind.
    has God really withheld His goodness from man?

    He has not and the maturing process continues in Christ Jesus.

    25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. 26 Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.

  9. street says:

    the Word of God is Spirit…..man is flesh……you must be born of the Spirit to understand the Word of God.

    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

    “Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 Others fell [b]among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”

    10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,

    ‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
    You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
    15
    For the heart of this people has become dull,
    With their ears they scarcely hear,
    And they have closed their eyes,
    Otherwise they would see with their eyes,
    Hear with their ears,
    And understand with their heart and return,
    And I would heal them.’

    16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

  10. street says:

    Glances and Glimpses can be cured with a long and fixed look at Jesus.

  11. poohpity says:

    I thought the topic was about getting glances and glimpses of God’s goodness yet not being fully able to understand just how good He actually is??

  12. street says:

    dear poo, glances and glimpses of God’s goodness on mtn top experiences are places we long for and we remember well. the valley is where different glances and glimpses of the goodness of God are seen. either way they take our eyes off ourselves and put them on the One Who is to die for. then we are sent to love those who are unlovable! our enemies. this can only come from God after He shows our pride it’s proper place. we are made a new creation in Christ Jesus the old is gone, all things are new. redemption

    thinking about this verse…….. 3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

    seems to me we are to follow Christ, a yoke makes it much easier.

  13. street says:

    One of the stubbornly resistant facts of the Bible is that all of its words, affirmations, and denials have to be interpreted.

    interpreted by man or God?

    i can figure on one of them getting you lost.

  14. street says:

    The challenge in reading any portion of Scripture, as we’re all finding out, is to be able to connect the dots not just with a few selected texts but with the grand sweep of a drama that begins in the Garden and finds fullness of meaning in the life, words, suffering and resurrection of Christ.

    15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
    These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, ……..

    14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

    God and man made One in Christ Jesus. waiting/living for the completed body.

  15. poohpity says:

    street, I think when folks take scripture as those Mart listed out of the context of the whole we can create different meanings. In the reference of Romans 9 verses unless we read them within the rest of what Paul wrote in the very chapter we can misinterpret what he was trying to get across. One way we can think that God is controlling, puppet master, just concerned about swaying circumstance to fit His needs but within the rest of the chapter that God’s ways are right but God has the intent of showing us that we are made right with God through what Christ does not us.

  16. SFDBWV says:

    A condition of the heart.

    Many years ago I had a young teenager in my youth group ask if I thought it was ok to listen to “rock and roll” music. My answer was this,

    In your life you will find that which you seek. Do you seek evil or goodness in the music you listen to?

    In every person you meet, in every situation you encounter what it is you look for is what you will find.

    Look for God and you will find Him, look for sin and you will find it as well.

    Most of us would agree that when we look for Jesus in Scripture He is easily found. The same goes for looking for mercy and for judgement.

    Without getting into a long debate I believe the entire purpose of creation was to show the heart of God to be full of mercy and grace. But in order to show it there had to be a dark and troubled counter to it. With everyone a pawn and player in it and everyone redeemed in the end of all things.

    When that troubles some of you because of the unfairness of it, just try and recall all of the stories of Scripture where what seemed unfair was used of God for His purpose and to accomplish His will.

    Look for mercy and grace and you will find it.
    Look for revenge or judgement or even a reckoning and you will find it.
    God is all of these things and more and in due time we will see more of the facets of God, but it would take an eternity to see them all.

    Steve

  17. poohpity says:

    con’t If we did not learn what God has wanted since the beginning which was a relationship with us then it seems hard that God has the power to harden hearts and does to fulfill His purposes, so we might think that is not showing His goodness.

  18. jeff1 says:

    It is the glances and glimpses that give me hope to continue in my faith in a world where many are turning to Science to answer their questions.

    It is keeping to mind that God will not leave me ever that I find the most difficult in a world where God is lost to so many.

    I fear that He will leave me because though I keep trying I also keep failing and in my humanness I fret that God will tire of my inability to succeed.

    That is what causes my depression feelings that God is disappointed in me.

  19. poohpity says:

    street, in Romans 9 Paul was interpreting prophecies from Moses, Hosea and Isaiah which seems to only be possible because he knew what they said while having the Spirit of God as his guide.

  20. poohpity says:

    Viv, we are made right with God because of Jesus not what we do or don’t do. God can not be disappointed in us when He knew in advance what we would do.

    “What does all this mean? Even though the Gentiles were not trying to follow God’s standards, they were made right with God. And it was by faith that this took place. 31 But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded. 32 Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by trusting in him. They stumbled over the great rock in their path. 33 God warned them of this in the Scriptures when he said,

    “I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that makes people stumble,
    a rock that makes them fall.
    But anyone who trusts in him
    will never be disgraced.” Romans 9:30-33 NLT

  21. street says:

    Glances and Glimpses
    one thing for sure, God is very generous.

  22. joycemb says:

    Praying for you Viv.

  23. joycemb says:

    Prayer request: a friend (Pam 56) and a speaker to Christian women’s groups has contracted a tick borne illness that has destroyed her red blood cells, platelets, and is in kidney failure. It happened so fast. She is being moved to a larger hospital today. Thank you.

  24. joycemb says:

    Viv Our Daily Bread is very good today, (as usual). Don’t let despair get the best of you. Jesus has overcome every sin, failure, and disappointment this life can throw at us. Jesus said we can take heart because He is our victor.

  25. joycemb says:

    Tell Jesus thank you.

  26. poohpity says:

    forever, I thought of you while listening to “Discover The Word” today regarding the Sabbath.

  27. street says:

    street, in Romans 9 Paul was interpreting prophecies from Moses, Hosea and Isaiah which seems to only be possible because he knew what they said while having the Spirit of God as his guide.

    are you saying only an Apostle can interpret Scripture?

    remember God speaking through people that where far from Him and even animals? this happen because we find ourselves a bit father from the true than we care to admit.

    been thinking about a bar of soap. how we use a bar of soap to clean the skin from dirt and sweet. soap also leaves us smelling a little better. even so it can not remove the smell completely. then comes along love. love is the opposite of use. it looks past the dirt and smell. use can not even comprehend this new love. some discover this love is better than use and this is a gift from God. Glances and Glimpses

  28. poohpity says:

    street, No that is not what I was saying at all in any way. Aren’t you a disciple of Jesus? (John 14:26, 16:13)

  29. poohpity says:

    Paul was a Pharisee before he followed Christ and they were taught the scriptures so he knew the writings of Moses, Hosea and Isaiah but it was not until he believed in Jesus did they make any sense to him. Just like without believing in Jesus first then most of scripture does not make sense because most of them were pointing to Christ as Jesus revealed to the 2 men on the road to Emmaus when He(Jesus) opened their eyes about Him from Genesis through Malachi.

    Who better to give us a glimpse and glance of God then God Himself?

  30. poohpity says:

    Whatever we are able to understand God will provide but I am so sure that there are so many things we will never be able to comprehend.

  31. jeff1 says:

    Thank you for prayers, Joyce, my despair does pass so I believe that even though I cannot always find words God does help me overcome my despair.

    I think of the characters from the Bible and how much more they suffered but did not give up and that gives me much strength because my suffering is more of the mind while they suffered physically and I cannot imagine the pain they and Christ suffered and I am so thankful that I don’t have to.

    Thank you again Joyce for understanding that the mind can be a desolate place.

  32. street says:

    One of the stubbornly resistant facts of the Bible is that all of its words, affirmations, and denials have to be interpreted.

    this verse comes to mind, They *said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He *said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”

    Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

    With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men,

    For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account,

    the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day—and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus.

    Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?

    Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,

    For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

  33. street says:

    As we do that, we are likely to discover surprises in the way the LORD shows mercy to people like Cain, Nebuchadnezzar, Jacob, Nineveh, Cyrus, in the words of Jesus’ toward those crucifying him… and,……………………us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. street says:

    God has reserved the right to keep to himself— the whole unfolding of his goodness…

    in other words….God can not stop being God. for He is true to Himself and all things. yet He became a man to redeem then from an unimaginable and terrible ending for the sole purpose to make…………

    us alive together with Christ, 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

    kinda remember we are fallen, some think all we have to do is stand up. i remember john being down for the count till Jesus touched him. Jesus wanted to touch the unclean and some of the unclean wanted to touch Him!

  35. joycemb says:

    Glances and glimpses now, but

    1 Corinthians 13:12 (MSG) We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us.

  36. street says:

    The challenge in reading any portion of Scripture, as we’re all finding out, is to be able to connect the dots not just with a few selected texts but with the grand sweep of a drama that begins in the Garden and finds fullness of meaning in the life, words, suffering and resurrection of Christ.

    thinking of packer’s book knowing God where a person visit the signal box that controls the movement of trains. inside information sometimes has side effect on us that is not beneficial to us or to others. job’s three friends come to mind, but their info was erroneous. it’s best to ask Dad.
    thinking, is it really knowledge we are looking for or trust/faith/faithfulness……maybe love?

    we have been deceived so many times. i can see why the woman told the prophet not to deceive her. she received her gift back from the dead. we have received even more!

  37. SFDBWV says:

    On one of the cable TV channels, I think National Geographic, is a show called “Brain Games”. While interesting and entertaining it is also disturbing because it exposes our brains quick ability to inaccurately fill in the blanks.

    When shown only part of a comment, word or such our brain fills in the gap with what it expects to see and almost always is wrong.

    There is the danger of glances or glimpses in place of actual study and full discloser of what it is we are looking at.

    I apologize to all in that for me this subject does not have the ability for me to keep going with it for 7 to 10 days of commentary. Most likely I have already said all that is in me concerning it. Look for mercy and grace and you will find it, look for judgement and you will find that as well.

    One of those little verses of Scripture (out of many) that sometimes helps me is the simple statement Jesus makes to the church in Thyatira (Revelation 2:25 KJV) “But that ye have already, hold fast till I come.”

    So it is I will hold on to what I have until He comes and I am ok with that.

    I will continue to monitor the thread of commentary and comment if led to or if any of you need prayer or encouragement.

    An inch of rain overnight with some drizzle this morning at 62 degrees, no flooding here.

    Steve

  38. poohpity says:

    Seeking God is a life long process to me and searching for the glances and glimpses only deepens my love for God(2 Chron 12:14; John 6:63, 68). I know that I have eternal life but am I satisfied with just clinging to that or do I want my life in the here and now to just get by or do I want to have a fullness and peace in growing in my relationship with God? I used to wonder do I know God well enough for Him not to say depart from me I never knew you? Will I be able to recognize His voice as He calls to me or will I be like the 5 virgins who let the oil run out in their lamps by not being prepared when the time comes?

  39. poohpity says:

    The Pharisees knew the scriptures well, as so they said, but yet they did not even recognize God as He stood in their midst. Did they listen to the teaching of Jesus and cling to every word He said or did Jesus’s words convict their self-righteousness? Those that know the Lord will answer when He calls or speaks and He has chosen to speak to us through His inspired words that give us a glimpse and glimmer of who God really is and His great mercies. Not only given those words as a guide but given us part of Himself so they are not meaningless and the fullness of the OT was found in the person of Jesus Christ.

  40. poohpity says:

    The biggest glance and glimpse of the goodness of God was through Jesus who revealed the heart of the Father, so we now and those then would come to know God better or do we ever think we know enough and quit seeking, searching and knocking?

  41. street says:

    it is my understanding that Jesus is The Priest, The Prophet, and The King and the children of God will be conformed to His image. for Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. nothing can be done apart from Jesus, and everything apart from Him will die. all Authority in heaven and earth have been given to Him, therefor go…….

    in the process of following we are transformed?
    in the process of being loved we learn to love?
    in dying to ourselves or to God we live?

    poo i think when we learn to love God with all, we have reached our destination, even if we still live in a wilderness.

  42. poohpity says:

    I will not reach my destination until I shed this temporary tent I live in, my flesh.

  43. jeff1 says:

    For myself I am finding that in getting to know God better I am getting to know myself better and the problem is I don’t like what I see and so I struggle with what I want to be and what I am.

    I allow God access to my heart but it isn’t enough because my mind still wanders to thoughts that I don’t want to think because they are sinful and make me feel ashamed.

    I have lived with hatred so long that I am not sure that I know what love is, either how to love or how to be loved so my faith is more about God’s character and not mine.

    Christ is my refuge because I always seem to have to take refuge when I take small steps forward only to take gigantic steps back.

    I want to move on but the past won’t let me because there is too much of it that was not good and hard as I try I cannot let go of it because it as made me who I am and I cannot change that.

    I tell myself what I need to hear to get me through the day but that does not change who I am and that I long to be very different.

    Faith and hope are what I am left with in the absence of love that eludes me in this world and I do not blame anyone else but it is just the way it has turned out for me and so I long for the next world because I believe that I will be transformed to know God’s love and I will finally be released from this one.

  44. street says:

    dear poo and jeff, i can understand where you are coming from, i am human too, but Jesus spoke about us in the past tense many times. we are reminded of God’s grace and mercy, mart mentioned many names who received what was needed. thinking of the hall of faith in the New Testament. i am not denying we are living in difficult times and in treacherous circumstances. i am reminded Jesus has overcome the world of sin and evil. thinking of cain when he was told sin is crouching at the door and he must master it. only in Christ. the work of God continues.

  45. joycemb says:

    Jesus said we can take heart because He has overcome the world. So why do we worry?

  46. joycemb says:

    I’m thinking its a choice we make. Turning to Jesus is the better choice.

  47. street says:

    So why do we worry?
    sometimes we get glances and glimpses of what we are apart from Christ. the tension continues? thinking, there should not be in Christ. love joy peace, need more patience kindness goodness along with gentleness faithfulness and self control along the way. thinking Jesus is a good place to go for grace and mercy. they are new every morning.

    thinking about choices…..we never get a 100% right, but Jesus………our Champion and Savior. we may not see Him visibly, but He is alive and well and God.
    what ever you do to the least you have done it to me, Jesus. continue doing good and look for grace and mercy in time of need.

  48. bubbles says:

    Thank you for praying. I was given some disappointing news. Could be worse. The surgeon saw me while I was not quite awake, gave me the news, and I started crying, and he left. Please pray when you think of it. I was shocked because I was told one thing and then the opposite.

  49. street says:

    In this excerpt from a message at our 2010 National Conference, John MacArthur considered Romans 9, the sovereignty of God in salvation, and man’s responsibility to have faith.

    God has always been selective. The blessing came through Isaac. Then the blessing came through Jacob. “Jacob I loved, Esau I hated.” (Rom. 9:13) You say, “Wow, you mean God is that discriminating?” Verse 14 then says (and this is what the responder would say) “What shall we say then? Is this unjust? There is no injustice with God is there?” Mē genoito—the strongest negative in the Greek language—no, no, no, no. This isn’t out of character for God to be selective. God never intended every Jew to be in the kingdom. For He says to Moses, God says, “I’ll have mercy on whom I’ll have mercy. I’ll have compassion on whom I’ll have compassion.” And it doesn’t depend on “the man who wills or the man who runs but on God who has mercy” (Rom. 9:15-16).

    And then He goes to Pharaoh, “‘For this very purpose I raised you up to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.’ So then He has mercy on whom He desires and He hardens whom He desires.” Wow. “You will say to me then, ‘Why does he still find fault?’” How can God then find fault with us if He’s the one who makes the decision? For who can resist His will? And the next verse says, shut … up. That’s what it says in the vernacular. “On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it?” Pots don’t talk back. The potter has the right over the clay. “What if God willing to demonstrate His wrath and make His power known endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?” (v. 22).

    Do you understand that God has a right to put His wrath and His judgment and His justice and His fury on display to His own glory as much as He has a right to put His mercy and His grace on display to His own glory? Do you understand that God gets as much glory out of His wrath as He gets out of His grace? Paul understands that. That this is a sovereign work, and that God is not unjust. Psalm 119 says, “Your righteousness is an ever-lasting righteousness.” Psalm 7:9, “You are the righteous one.” God will do what God will do. Paul understands that this work of salvation is a sovereign work done by God. But then come to verse 30. “What shall we say then? Gentiles, who didn’t pursue righteousness, attained righteousness.”

    Isn’t that something? He’s talking about the church, the gentile church. They were not even pursuing it, but they received it. Even the righteousness which is by what?—faith. “But Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness,” that is righteousness by law, “did not arrive at that law.” Why? Because they didn’t pursue it by faith. They didn’t pursue it by faith because the one in whom you must place your faith was to them a stumbling stone and a rock of offense.

    So he says it’s all the sovereignty of God. He hardens whom He hardens, He has mercy on whom He decides to have mercy. He loves who He loves, He hates who He hates. But Israel didn’t receive the imputed righteousness of God because they sought it by law and not by faith in Christ. They’re fully responsible for pursuing righteousness in a false way, and denying righteousness in the only way that it can ever come to the sinner, through faith in Christ.

  50. street says:

    11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

  51. street says:

    8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

  52. street says:

    18 I pray that the eyes of your heart [x]may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

    4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

  53. street says:

    faith, God centered vs works, self centered.
    faith a gift of/from God.

  54. joycemb says:

    Street I appreciate the kindness in your preaching.

  55. street says:

    i don’t know if i was preaching, but these are what i have been confronted with. trying to put them together like mart was speaking about the grand sweep in glances and glimpses.
    thinking about the generosity of God with New Testament saints.

  56. street says:

    a thing not to be missed is the breaking down of dividing walls in Ephesians. every man/woman could be blessed through Christ…..through the promised One.

  57. joycemb says:

    I also appreciate the kindness of God that Mart is ever pointing toward. Which is the reason I stick around here. It takes a lot of kindness to chip away at a thoroughly damaged soul :-)

  58. jeff1 says:

    The thing is Joyce when you have lived among so many damaged souls that you become one yourself but even then it is in knowing that I have a damaged soul that makes me know my need of ‘Christ’.

    I was raised to believe in God and accepted Him as my Saviour and that in itself made me feel right with God because that was what I was taught that my acceptance made me right with God.

    I was no where near personally right with God though because my thoughts and heart where not aligned with His.

    It was recognising my earthly dad’s Godliness that made me realize just how far from God I had wandered.

    I am a troubled soul because of my waywardness and when you are that far from God the way back is painful partly because you desire it so as if there is no pain then there is no gain.

    The need to feel punished becomes greater than the need you feel to be loved.

    Why?

  59. poohpity says:

    It would seem that people are more comfortable receiving something they think they have earned. So it blows a mind to receive something that was not earned but because of the person giving it.

  60. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Pooh, I think that it is the mind that struggles to grasp that God loves me because He just does, its too simple. My personal struggle is that from I was a child I was told if you are not good the bogey man will get you. I never did find out who the bogey man is but I was told so often that if I was not good the bogey man would get me that somewhere deep in me there is a belief that He will get me.

    Because I am still struggling to be good and the bogey man is still out there waiting for me because the child in me has not forgotten him and how her being good is so imperative to her well being.

  61. joycemb says:

    You are right Viv, it’s all about trust, not about earnings. But we know we can trust in God where others have failed us; whether our parents, spouses, friends or countrymen even. The very glimpses and glances that God allows us in our short lives here attest to the mightiness and softness of the God we long to know more and see face to face.

  62. joycemb says:

    Viv knowing that bad things still happen to good people is so hard, isn’t it? Fear kept me for many years in a spiritual battle that was exhausting to say the least. But as I learned to see the fear for what it was–which is second to the power of love and grace–it became easier to laugh at danger, but not always. For me anxiety is grounded at a cellular level but thank God He is even more powerful than my flesh!!! I’m so sorry you were teased and tormented by those who were supposed to love and protect you. They probably were doing the best they could at the time. That does not excuse the devil but God can use it for our sanctification.

    Bless the LORD oh my soul, let everything that is within me bless His holy name.

  63. poohpity says:

    So maybe the bogey man is our own thoughts. Those who believe in Jesus know we will never be good enough but know Jesus was and it is He who covers us with His goodness, righteousness and love. So we can cling to our own thoughts or to what Jesus did. It is our choice.

    One can repeat the old bogey man stories or repeat over and over replacing those old stories with in Christ we are declared forgiven and deeply loved and the bogey man has no power over us unless we let him.

  64. poohpity says:

    Romans 8:1

  65. joycemb says:

    Lol! Pooh you should know that having a mental illness is no different than having a physical illness. It’s not useful to tell someone with a deformed leg to stop limping is it? Be careful you may be doing more harm than good. Unless you believe that all mental illnesses are spiritual in nature? Some do.

  66. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    I pray all is well in your lives today (and forever)! Requesting grace right now as I go off topic here…

    jeff1 wrote (6-21-17–11:19 am/previous blog topic)…

    “Regina, I know in my heart you are right but the voices in my head tell me something else.”

    jeff1, I want to share this Bible passage with you, and I’m sharing it because I believe it addresses what you’re struggling with in your mind. I want you to focus, especially, on verses 23, 24 and 29 (Mark 9:16-29, NLT):

    16) “What is all this arguing about?” Jesus asked.

    17) One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. 18) And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”

    19) Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

    20) So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.

    21) “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father.

    He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22) The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”

    23) “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

    24) The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

    25) When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!”

    26) Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.” 27) But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up.

    28) Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?”

    29) Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.”

    I pray that this passage will quiet those voices in your mind, and help you to understand better our Lord (Jesus) desire for us to be *whole* in every area of our lives (spirit, soul and body)…

    You’re welcome re: the reminder to pray for bubbles, foreverblessed (6-21-17–5:21 pm)!

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

    Love to all,
    Regina

  67. poohpity says:

    Ooooh Joyce mental illness is different than a physical illness just in the names alone. Mental compared to Physical. I never insinuated that all mental illnesses are spiritual in nature, I think you are assuming again. What I was trying to encourage Viv to do is to replace old thinking with new thinking. Garbage and lies out and truth in. The truth is that she is loved unconditionally by the Lord and if that causes harm and not good, then let the harm begin because that is the truth. So maybe you ought to laugh out loud about the way you think and read things that are not there because often it is a joke.

  68. joycemb says:

    Poo and others here I apologize for my post. Thinking out loud gets me in trouble and I should know better. LOL at myself pooh!

  69. joycemb says:

    Yes I agree that CBT is helpful but doesn’t change the disorder only makes it a little easier to deal with.

  70. joycemb says:

    Re: “…because often it is a joke” comment. That hurt pooh. No child of God is s joke, only to those who don’t understand. That remark shakes me to my core. If what I write is a joke then that makes me a lesser than you for you to point it out so ungracefully. But as you too have shared here that you were diagnosed bi polar but don’t take meds I give you the grace Jesus gave me, all of it. Knowing scripture does not change a personality disorder. Choosing to take meds or not is not a sin. Neither is disordered thinking. All our journeys are different as we take different paths. And Holy Spirit enlightenment is different for each one at different times. May the grace of God stay with you on your journey pooh, and may the Holy Spirit reveal God more and more to you.

  71. joycemb says:

    Yes, through the glances and glimpses we all get.

  72. street says:

    i think rigina is correct in giving advise to pray, come to God. for three year the disciples where being taught to bring their problems to Jesus, God.

    i am reminded we are a new creation in Christ and we have two very powerful advocates to help us. 1. the Word of God and 2 the Holy Spirit. both very generous gifts from God our Father. Emanuel

    thinking further about the sin nature. God did remove our sin at the cross. we also find its presents in our thoughts and actions. cain was told he must master it or it would master him. i am reminded of God being a Master Craftsman working in flesh and spirit. God is righteous just and blameless, He is not hindered in anyway with sin. He put sin in it’s rightful place. we have good reason to fear sin deception and evil because of it’s effect on us. like paul we are to be crucified to the world and the world crucified to us. the influences done away with. the best way to do this is spending time with God. remember moses glowing? paul first encounter with Jesus blinded him. humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, He is life.

  73. street says:

    thinking about the bogey man. satan himself. he is the most formidable creature we will ever come across in the flesh, because of his ability to deceive by darkness. if we come across him while in the Spirit, walking in the light, he is a paper tiger. his actual power comes from us breaking a command of God, Who keeps His Word. Christians have been removed from the penalty of sin by Christ substitution. if we confess our sins he is faithful and just in cleansing us from all unrighteousness. Christians walk in the light not darkness they have been transferred. i have to admit it takes time to learn to be in the world ,but not of it. a time that our Father blesses us with too in Christ. every good gift is from above. God makes no mistakes.

    sin is to be brought to the cross because sins of ignorance and weakness becomes sins of willful rebellion.

  74. poohpity says:

    Joyce, I did not call you a joke. I was saying your perception of what I was writing, how you read it and my thinking behind it is often a joke. It is based on you not me.

  75. poohpity says:

    I apologize if you misunderstood it to mean that you are a joke because that was not at all what I meant. :-) I did not mean to hurt you. I feel hurt when folks accuse me of things all the time just because they misread something I write.

  76. joycemb says:

    Viv if you want I’d love to talk privately sometimes. My email is jbrown760br at hotmail dot com

  77. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Joyce for your email. It was not my parents who used the bogey man to get me to behave but I would hear other children talking about the bogey man and I can remember asking my parents and they would tell me not to listen but I have always been a listener and not a talker and I would be so frightened when I would hear their stories that I decided I must be very good and became very obedient to my parents and at school.

    The difficulties where when I became an adult and more aware that I was not able to be good enough in God’s eyes and then my fears overwhelmed me so I ran from God not wanting to face my demons.

    I seem to have been running back and forward to God ever since because truth is no one else understands because as a manic depressive I can be as high as a kite one minute and in the depths of despair the next.

    Thank you Regina for the bible passage and I do not doubt God’s love and that He wants me to be whole.

    It is my own doubts that I struggle with because that is how my mind is there are days when I feel on top of the world and then there are days when I want to hide from the world and the trials that come with it.

    Exhausted with myself I take refuge in Christ and find peace of mind from music, poetry, church and charity work.

    I do not portion blame because I believe God loves me and it was I who listened to others all my life and got caught up in this world but I trust God with my destination and that is what matters to me now taking God at His word because I have spent my lifetime taking others at theirs only to find that it is God’s word that matters.

  78. jeff1 says:

    The glances and glimpses I have had of God have made my life worth living because I see that He is full of goodness regardless of what battles are in my mind and I would say that having an earthly dad who understood me much better than anyone has contributed greatly to my understanding of God being a good and merciful Father.

    Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
    There’s a land that I’ve heard of once in a lullaby.
    Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
    And the dreams that you dare to dream,
    Really do come true.

    Someday I’ll wish upon a star
    And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
    Where troubles melt like lemon drops,
    High above the chimney pots.
    That’s where you’ll find me.

    Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly
    Birds fly over the rainbow
    Why then, oh why can’t I?
    If happy little bluebirds fly above the rainbow
    Why, oh why can’t I?

    Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
    There’s a land that I’ve heard of once in a lullaby.
    Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
    And the dreams that you dare to dream,
    Really do come true.

    Someday I’ll wish upon a star
    And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
    Where troubles melt like lemon drops,
    High above the chimney tops,
    That’s where you’ll find me.

    Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly
    Birds fly over the rainbow
    Why then, oh why can’t I?
    If happy bluebirds fly over the rainbow
    Why, oh why, can’t I?

  79. street says:

    The difficulties where when I became an adult and more aware that I was not able to be good enough in God’s eyes.

    this is quite true for all of us. this is the very stumbling block israel ran into. Jesus offered His life, blood, for the sin of man according to the plan and foreknowledge of God. if the blood of Christ can not remove doubt fear or clear our conscience we are still in unbelief and are working for our salvation. God did prepare good works for us to do by faith, but it in no way saves us. paul encourages us to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. i have to admit i have been doing things in hope they please God, but i know this is futile. i have to trust the Word of God made flesh, Jesus. hidden in Christ and from the world because of darkness and deception.

    If happy bluebirds fly over the rainbow
    Why, oh why, can’t I?

    because we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

    for His glory and our good!
    God is for us, the other is working against us. paul asks if God is for us who can stand against us?

    even as my body grows old i look forward to it being green and full of sap. grafted in!

    on the worst day of my life i want to be able to say God is good and He is my Redeemer. in Him I trust.

  80. joycemb says:

    “Because we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”.

    Indeed! Even and especially in the dramatic situations here. Thanking God for giving me another glimpse into the depth of His love and grace toward us all through better understanding of the strange dynamic here. Its been a remarkable day for me on the blog and more insight which has given me great peace this evening.

  81. joycemb says:

    Pooh maybe its you that needs to look into why people “misunderstand” you here as you say? :-)

  82. joycemb says:

    Maybe you’re not capable either. But that’s where extraordinary grace comes in. And there is more than enough from what little God has shared with me. Hoping for more glimpses when I glance into His wonderful face!

  83. jeff1 says:

    Pooh says the bogey man has no power over me unless I let him.

    I wish it were that simple but evil surrounds me there are people in my society who would kill me because they do not like my culture or nationality.

    What is freedom? There are places and people that I avoid because of their hatred of ‘my type’.

    It doesn’t much matter the colour of your skin, your religion or your culture when you are among your own.

    My neighbour said to me about how when she was walking in a part of London that she realized she was in a completely black area and all of a sudden the realization made her uneasy even though there was no threat to her.

    I expect if you where a black person in a white area you might feel the same.

    Yes, our fears can be irrational but memories make me part of who I am and if there are bad ones then they will likely surface when I least expect them to.

    I know God loves me but that does not make others love me and indeed in a modern world may well disadvantage me.

    My intentions may be good but when faced with danger I have no idea how I will react. Peter did not always react well and I am no way near as brave as Peter.

    If the bible tells us anything it tells us that Jesus followers did not get it easy and the world has not changed that much so while you are right Pooh that the bogey man will not get me that will not stop him trying.

    Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
    (Matthew 10:16)

    This verse troubles me because my brother-in-law said about our minister the other day the he was so green (another word for innocent) that if he stood long enough in the field the cows would eat him.

    While I was thoroughly amused I thought about it and realized that he was right our minister is very innocent and lacks wisdom.

    None of us are infallible and yet his parishioners expect him to be because other ministers they had were much older, wiser and had wives to support them.

    In life I am learning that people’s expectations demand that someone like their minister be perfect when the reality is that he faces the same challenges and has the same shortcomings as others.

    Those who you would expect to behave like sheep are in reality behaving more like wolves and those who should understand are the ones who are being demanding and critical.

    If I am not careful I can become so self centred that I become oblivious to the fact that those who are doing their best for me are human too.

    I have seen it all too often especially as people get older and I pray that I do not become so cynical that I forget others needs.

  84. poohpity says:

    Yes, Joyce it is probably my fault. Since the regular scheme of things is to either make excuses about our own behavior or blame it on someone else. Personal responsibility is one thing that escapes most people, that is how it has been since the garden and will remain.

  85. poohpity says:

    Oh by the way Viv, the serpent and dove thing was written to those who go out sharing the Good News among the unbelieving world. So does that apply to anyone here? Well maybe Chris and one other.

  86. joycemb says:

    Viv the only way I know how to deal with enemies is this:

    Luke 6:27-36New International Version (NIV)

    Love for Enemies
    27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

    32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

  87. joycemb says:

    James 1:19NLT Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

  88. poohpity says:

    I was thinking about Mart’s last paragraph as it related to Moses on the mountain alone with God. God gave Moses a glimpse or glance of His goodness/glory but had to shield Moses from seeing it completely yet when he came down from the mountain there was a glow on his face that had to be veiled because the brightness was overwhelming. So I can see why we only get a glimpse or a glance until we are in His presence when that is the only light we will need.

    Jesus said, ““Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light.” So unless we see the face of others we do not know what their eyes reveal. Maybe it would be wise not to guess about others without a glimpse or a glance into their eyes.

  89. bubbles says:

    There have been times in the past 25 years that I have wanted to die, sometimes more than others. However, I would never do anything to bring that along. Just a wish. Maybe God is now punishing me for those feelings. Maybe I am being punished for having mean thoughts or for not being thankful like I should have been. I have a mean streak, and have asked for God to help me and for forgiveness many times over. I have asked for God to help control my temper and cofessed that to Him. I now see that what I peeceived as “problems” were NOT anything. The constant stress was ridiculous. There was NOTHING to be stressed about at all. I have learned the lesson. And now I have to continue to be punished, I guess. When I woild have a problem, I would always thank God for what I have and that I was not eaten up with cancer.

  90. joycemb says:

    God is greater than all our fears, whether cancer or being known. Nothing can separate us from the love of God through Christ Jesus. Nothing. Take courage!

  91. jeff1 says:

    Are you saying Pooh that it does not matter that our minister has not got the wisdom because he is not preaching to non believers?

    Joyce, I think the best I can do is not to hate them or wish them any malice but I have seen too much pain and suffering from their deeds to love them as I can others.

    I pray they it is God’s will that their hearts be changed so that a younger generation will not have to see the violence and hatred that I did.

    This is my hope that the past will not effect the future and so those who died in the conflict will have not died in vain.

  92. poohpity says:

    bubbles, you believe God is punishing you?

    Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
    2
    Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
    3
    He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
    4
    He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
    5
    He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

    6
    The Lord gives righteousness
    and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

    7
    He revealed his character to Moses
    and his deeds to the people of Israel.
    8
    The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
    slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
    9
    He will not constantly accuse us,
    nor remain angry forever.
    10
    He does not punish us for all our sins;
    he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
    11
    For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
    is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
    12
    He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.

  93. poohpity says:

    No Viv I was not saying anything about your minister, how can I? I know nothing about the man and even if I did it is not my business to critique him. I was saying that the Matt verse was speaking to those who share God’s good news and His word. That is all plain and simple nothing to read into it.

  94. poohpity says:

    Here is a song by Natalie Grant they may help those stuck in their heads. “King of the World”

    I tried to fit you in the walls inside my mind
    I try to keep you safely in between the lines
    I try to put you in the box that I’ve designed
    I try to pull you down so we are eye to eye

    When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world?
    I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world
    How could I make you so small
    When you’re the one who holds it all
    When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world

    Just a whisper of your voice can tame the seas
    So who am I to try to take the lead
    Still I run ahead and think I’m strong enough
    When you’re the one who made me from the dust

    When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world?
    I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world
    How could I make you so small
    When you’re the one who holds it all
    When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world

    Oh, you set it all in motion
    Every single moment
    You brought it all to me
    And you’re holding on to me

    When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world?
    I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world
    How could I make you so small
    When you’re the one who holds it all
    When did I forget you’ve always been the king of the world
    You will always be the king of the world

  95. bubbles says:

    Proverbs 3: For whom the Lord loveth, He correcteth, even as a Father the son in whom He delighteth. Yes, I do. I see His mercy as not striking us dead ehen we do wrong, or punishing us more severley; withholding severe punishment when we (I) deserve more.

  96. poohpity says:

    Viv, for your minister I hope he listens to what Paul said instead of the nay-sayers around him. “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12 NLT) So many people out to ruin others rather than build them up, it is just sickening. Sad part is that is among people who call themselves Christians when nothing they do resembles Christ in anyway.

  97. poohpity says:

    bubbles there is a major big difference in correction and punishment. Correction guides to a better outcome while realizing everyone makes errors so it does not suppress or oppress rather than punishment which demoralizes a person and subjugates them to oppression that it is not human to make errors.

  98. jeff1 says:

    While I understand Pooh that many Christians resembles wolves instead of sheep that to my mind makes them more in need of ministry and it takes a wiser minister to see this.

    Does our minister suit the ministry is my question if he does not see the need of his Parishioners who from what I can see are well advanced in years and many are in and out of hospital and he fails to visit when they need him to.

    We do not get many in these small communities going into ministry so having a minister at all is a blessing but I am trying to see both sides because the fact he is younger he does not have the empathy that previous ministers had who were more senior and also married and their wives played a big part in supporting their husbands.

    He has five Parishes 3 are small and they are all rural and I know he tries hard but he has had health issues that may be causing his inconsistency towards his Parishioners and we can only hope and pray that he will get better.

  99. joycemb says:

    Wow 5 parishes? Not surprising he has health issues. Sounds like he could use some help from the people he is serving. Wow!

  100. joycemb says:

    I hope you all are praying fervently for him.

  101. jeff1 says:

    They are small rural communities but yes he does have good support from members and lay preachers but when people are ill they want the minister to visit and pray with them.

    As I have said Joyce we can not get ministers so we are blessed to have him but it is difficult to make everyone happy and complaining is part of many peoples nature.

  102. poohpity says:

    Viv, did I say Christians resemble wolves? Gosh I do not remember saying that.

    Joyce, along with what you were saying it would be a privilege for the members of the congregation to step up and act out what they say they believe. Pastor’s or Ministers can never bear the load themselves nor were they ever meant to. It could be that Viv’s minister is serving in a dead church who has forgotten their first love and the very reason they were given grace and mercy to serve and do good works. It seems the parishioners are better at picking out what he is not doing instead of understanding their part within the community.

    That is another glimpse and glance of the goodness of God. ” When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (John 13:12-17)

  103. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, it was the comment you made i.e. sad part is that is among people who call themselves Christians when nothing they do resembles Christ in anyway.

    I was reading this oomment and agreeing that many do not always resemble Christ. I used the word wolve myself to describe a Christian who is loosing the gentler side as in a dove and taking on more the aggressive side of a wolve.

    “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

  104. poohpity says:

    I was commenting on how you said your Minister is being treated from within his pastorate.

    Change often takes time for anyone I think that is what makes grace, mercy, forgiveness and patience so relevant. That is how Christ treated us.

  105. jeff1 says:

    I think that is what makes grace, mercy, forgiveness and patience so relevant. This is how Christ treated us.

    Then I would say it makes it more than just relevant it make it an absolute necessity if we are to resemble ‘Jesus’.

  106. street says:

    Pooh, it was the comment you made i.e. sad part is that is among people who call themselves Christians when nothing they do resembles Christ in anyway.

    all i have to do is take a second look at the thoughts that go through my mind and wonder if i am a Christian.

    saw a quote that d.l. moody, said he had great trouble with himself than any other man he ever met.

  107. street says:

    ops greater trouble with himself than

  108. poohpity says:

    street, do you believe in who Jesus is, what he did on the cross and that He was raised in three days? If so you are a Christian. That does not mean we will ever be perfect but we will trust and depend on God to work in our lives. While we are being transformed by Him to resemble Him, forgive freely, love generously and show grace and mercy to others as was shown to you by Jesus and the rest sort of falls into place. And yes sometimes we are great trouble to ourselves, we get in our own way but that does not stop the Lord.

  109. joycemb says:

    For me the work of sanctification (Gods work) is so intense and I also disappoint myself daily. I think its His love that drives me to want to be more like Him. I want more and more of Him, like a Christmas present waiting to be opened—but not yet.

  110. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Mary, this is a very good topic!
    When I read it, immediately came to mind a peculiar thing that happened to me some time ago: I was reading John 6:1-15, about the feeding of the 5 thousand.
    “When they had all had enough to eat, He said to his disciples:
    Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”

    At that moment I got this, as Street puts it, ‘Grand sweep’ of the whole unfolding of God’s goodness and grace that never ends. Psalm 136:1-26

  111. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Regina, for your concern! I was involved in the celebration of 750 years of beguinage in our city, three nights of performance. The first night was in the open air, in the middle of the beguinage, the night falling slowly, and the lights going on. Just a beautiful happening. The next two days it was moved to the Grand Church, some 700 years old, because if the rain. That is the church where we pray every Tuesday, oecominical prayer. I am going there now too this morning.
    While I the church, I was thinking, this is the place I always pray for all the people writing I the prayer book, but as I believe that God grace is much greater, I pray for all who come I go the church, and then I go on asking God, allow me to pray for the whole city!

    Praying together with those who earnestly believe that God wants for our prayers, and that He works on them, when we have faith, only on faith God can work.
    God putting His mark on those we pray for, and that He does to His Utmost, to save them, like He did with the apostle Paul.
    That, as Jesus said: let nothing be wasted!

  112. jeff1 says:

    Your post is lovely Forever and as always heartfelt.

    I would agree Street that I have so much trouble keeping my own thoughts and heart right that unless another is being evil towards me I see no worse in anyone other than myself.

    Believing in Christ and that He died for me does in itself not make me a disciple.

    If I have learned anything I would say that God chooses whom He choose for His disciples otherwise He would get very little done in this world if He were depending on my efforts.

    My bit is just that in a world like this it makes a difference but there is no fear of me boosting because there is little for me to boast about.

    That God is as good to me has He has been already has boggles my mind because I know the folly of my ways and I did not deserve what I already have never mind Him looking after me for eternity.

    What ever glances and glimpses I have of God it is He who is faithful even when I am not and that gives me hope for everyone who desires a world that will be a better world for everyone and that they not only desire it but that they work towards it by being tolerant of others regardless of whether they share their beliefs because Jesus was tolerant of everyone and if we are to resemble Him then we need to take a long hard serious look at ourselves instead of looking at those around us and finding fault.

    I should be so busy being Godly that I do not have time to see faults in others even if they are there because their faults is no concern of mine as mine are no concern of theirs for it is God who works within us all to bring us to Himself and when and where He will do it is to His choosing so I should be busy trying to keep myself right with God and allow others to do likewise and Christians might just get something worthwhile done in this God forsaken world.

  113. poohpity says:

    Viv, what makes one a disciple of Jesus?

  114. joycemb says:

    Forever I love that psalm thank you for posting. How can one not get excited praying it! A devotion I read earlier talks about how the Jews went from pronouncing God is king to Ceasar is lord which became their downfall. We must do all we can everyday to keep our focus not on the Caesars of this world but on Jesus, who as disciples/friends of is our LORD and King. Hallelujah

  115. joycemb says:

    Viv I read this by Richard Rohr this morning in his teaching about the 2nd half of life spirituality. I find it very comforting myself.

    “Forgive those who’ve trespassed against you”
    I don’t think you can do any such thing by mere willpower, by first-half-of-life morality. Your little self can’t will the hurt away and truly forgive an offender. You have to move to the larger place of Spirit. Not willfulness but willingness, where another will, another grace, another Spirit does it through you, with you, in you, and as you. And then you find yourself forgiving largely in spite of yourself.

  116. joycemb says:

    “LORD I believe, help thou my unbelief” is a very powerful prayer.

  117. jeff1 says:

    Obedience makes a disciple and if I know my thoughts are wayward and I have hatred in my heart then I am not fit to be a disciple of Christ.

    Discipleship has to be a higher calling there is no doubt in my mind about that because I have witnessed those like my dad who where obedient and so I know the difference.

    My father showed me that it was my lack of discipline that kept me from being aligned with God’s will and he was right.

    God knows His children and He knows who is disciplined and who is not and by that He also knows whom He can trust completely and He does not intentionally hide things from us other than that he knows what is good for one may not be good for another.

    I think of my own children and how different they are and how one was suited to the military and the other was not so if I know that about my children how much more does God know about us.

  118. jeff1 says:

    Thank you, Joyce, for sharing this, this has been such a struggle for me but you have given me hope by sharing this verse because I believe it is so true that just sometimes all I can do is be silent before God and He can will what I cannot so that one day as the verse says I will forgive in spite of myself.

    Isn’t that quite unbelievable that God can work so miraculously without me hardly knowing He is there.

    You are so right Joyce about keeping our eyes on Jesus but my weakness is to wander and that makes me sad, very sad.

  119. joycemb says:

    Sad yes but God is greater than all our weaknesses. That gives us reason to rejoice! Amen?

  120. poohpity says:

    If obedience makes one a disciple then who can be a disciple? I always thought a disciple of Jesus is one who learns from Him, a student. We are called to make disciples that would seem to be pointing people to learn from Jesus. Obedience is something that no one has ever gotten right or their would have been no need for the Cross.

    We are made right with God through faith/believing not obedience.(Romans 3:25-28 NLT)

  121. jeff1 says:

    It is not about getting it right but it is about getting God’s will done on earth and He gets it done by those He chose and He chose them before they were born and not all are chosen for discipleship, just as not all are called to prophecy.

    We are saved by God through faith but His will on earth is done through obedience otherwise it would never get done.

    God is away ahead of us, our view is limited but God is not.

  122. poohpity says:

    Viv, I so disagree. Every person that comes to believe in Jesus becomes His disciple and thus is in His discipleship program. He is our good teacher and we are His students.

    ” As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

    41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

    Mary wanted to learn from Jesus as did most those who followed Christ thus they were His disciples. However some did turn away because the things He taught turned upside down their very ingrained thinking about God.

  123. poohpity says:

    God’s will on earth from what the bible says; “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” Micah 6:8

  124. street says:

    been thinking about this post and i like where it is heading. mary had it right and it would not be taken from her. how many times have we broken fellowship with Jesus to purse other things only to be disappointing. discovering the importance of unbroken fellowship with the Lord. sin is the only thing that can separate the love joy and peace of this fellowship, and these come from Him not us! we also know God has removed the penalty of sin from us, if we are going to suffer it is because fellowship has been broken. i do understand we are in the molding process and that can be painful and lead to doubt and isolation, but it can not separate us from God. job held onto his faith in God and found himself in conversation with Him. oh the questions He will ask you and the places He will send you. God has not withheld any good thing from His children. certainly not His Word.

  125. street says:

    Viv, I so disagree. Every person that comes to believe in Jesus becomes His disciple and thus is in His discipleship program. He is our good teacher and we are His students.

    thinking of the four soils parable.

    13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

  126. joycemb says:

    It just occurs to me that it takes obedience to God to do what is just, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him.
    It seems to me the 10 commandments are represented in these 3 also. It would make a good study. Anything we do that is Gods way is only because of our obedience to Him.

  127. joycemb says:

    Discipleship is not a spiritual gift like prophecy Viv. Discipleship is training in righteousness, which we all need because we are all sinners saved only by grace. Spiritual gifts are given for the building up of the body of Christ.

  128. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, I believe that God can use me for His good purpose regardless that I am more needy of Him than He of me and that is what matters to my way of thinking.

    I cannot claim to be a good student so I do not see myself as a disciple but God has touched my life in ways and at times when I never expected and it is because of those glances and glimpses that I know of His goodness and trust that God is with me in whatever life brings.

  129. poohpity says:

    For me doing those things comes from a heart that has received something I never thought possible the forgiveness, grace and mercy of God even after the things I have done so I do not look at it like obedience but returning love.

  130. poohpity says:

    Psalm 116:12-13 NLT

  131. poohpity says:

    Viv, I guess how we see ourselves is the way we will live and if it works for you that is all that matters.

  132. street says:

    It just occurs to me that it takes obedience to God to do what is just, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him.
    It seems to me the 10 commandments are represented in these 3 also. It would make a good study. Anything we do that is Gods way is only because of our obedience to Him.

    just as our sin is transferred to Christ on the cross, Christ perfect obedience is transfer to us as righteousness. we have been restored to fellowship with God through Christ, that which was lost in adam. where in man fell from fellowship from God for nothing, deception, God saves us from the penalty of sin by faith in view of the whole world for nothing on our part. our value and the value of others comes from God not man. we are under great condemnation and wrath apart from Christ. seems to me we are learning godliness after the fact we are made children. made free, remembering the Book of John, to keep yourselves from idols.
    the obedience of faith joycemb?

    Anything we do that is Gods way is only because of our obedience to Him.

    Jesus said if you love me you will keep my Commandments. paul said the commandments are for the lawless. maybe because the the ones who loves keep them? 70X7 and a lot of grace and mercy on Gods part. like paul our understanding needs to get to the other side of the cross while we are still here. unbroken fellowship with God through Christ in the Spirit and Truth

  133. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, what works for me is taking refuge in Christ because my failures have always out weighted my righteousness.

    Who else would I go for Grace but to the one who offers it to me.

    That God loves me more than I could ever love Him has been my journey and I know what it is to be hated and also to hate and to me ‘love’ is the most important.

    Faith, hope and love and the greatest is love.

  134. jeff1 says:

    Love divine, all loves excelling,
    joy of heaven, to earth come down,
    fix in us thy humble dwelling,
    all thy faithful mercies crown.
    Jesus, thou art all compassion,
    pure, unbounded love thou art;
    visit us with thy salvation;
    enter every trembling heart.

    Breathe, oh, breathe thy loving Spirit
    into every troubled breast;
    let us all in thee inherit;
    let us find thy promised rest.
    Take away the love of sinning;
    Alpha and Omega be;
    end of faith, as its beginning,
    set our hearts at liberty.

    Come, Almighty, to deliver,
    let us all thy life receive;
    suddenly return, and never,
    nevermore thy temples leave.
    Thee we would be always blessing,
    serve thee as thy hosts above,
    pray and praise thee without ceasing,
    glory in thy perfect love.

    Finish, then, thy new creation;
    pure and spotless let us be;
    let us see they great salvation
    perfectly restored in thee:
    changed from glory into glory,
    till in heaven we take our place,
    till we cast our crowns before thee
    lost in wonder, love and praise.

  135. joycemb says:

    Street it’s like a great unfolding I think as our faith, little as it is and only has to be (thinking mustard seed size) begins a lifelong process of learning and then stepping into what we have learned in order to produce the kind of fruit that is blessed and willing to die for the furtherance of the Vine, Christ. Is this journey a ‘one size fits all’? Yes and no. In history followers/disciples of Christ had different vocations yet were and still are under the same umbrella so to speak, that of grace, faith, and obedience to the same Captor.

  136. joycemb says:

    It seems those whose faith was more developed had horrible endings, I could be wrong about that though. Yet today we find and know some who’s very lives have been horrible and keep the faith through to the end of their time here on earth. Actually, that fits with the Heros of faith and the lives they lived. Thinking faith is a courageous way of life with eternal rewards!

  137. joycemb says:

    I’m watching your lecture series and enjoying them very much as I’d always hoped to be able to enter a masters program but this is wayyyy cheaper!

  138. joycemb says:

    Pooh I’ve been thinking about what you said about assuming. Since we don’t see each other face to face here yes it’s hard to tell what a person means as we find out daily here. I’m terribly guilty of using stereotyping to judge people. My bad.

  139. joycemb says:

    Stereotyping religious and otherwise I’m afraid.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.