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The Politics of Jesus and Paul

Early on we learn that religion and politics are two subjects that intrigue, animate, identify and divide us.

Neither is easy to avoid in a world that is at the same time so material and spiritual.

We are drawn into politics by real issues that tend to leave us with the impression that all of life boils down to which person or party controls the economics of our health, wealth, and freedom.

Religion on the other hand whispers to us in ways that remind us that money isn’t everything. So voting or fighting to protect our “pocket book” could raise issues of how to read the “the good book” into the business of living.

Spiritual concerns turn out to be just as important as money matters since survivability depends not only on the condition of our bodies and bank accounts but also on the health of our minds and hearts.

As a result nothing is as simple or complex as we’d like to think. The closer we look, we discover the spiritual side of our politics and the political dimensions of our spirituality.

So unless whatever book, teacher, God or gods we use for our spirituality can transform our approach to religion and politics into something good for one another—in our differences— maybe we are wise to avoid them in polite and good natured company.

Jesus spent his last days talking religion and politics (Acts 1:3).  So did Paul. In the shadow of Rome, Caesar, and Herod,  both used some of their last words to talk about the kingdom of God (Acts 28:23-31).

Seems to me that within the bigger story of God, gods, empires, Jesus and Paul, it does matter who rules– and how, who stands with or against them– and how— at whose expense– and how much.

 

 


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159 Responses to “The Politics of Jesus and Paul”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    First Mart allow me to thank you to take out time from your life to fix BTA and again provide for us a subject from which to share with each other.

    You are a blessing to each of us and I want you to know from me you are appreciated.

    Now as to the subject as it speaks to me this morning.

    In the recent flooding that has occurred here and around other communities near by the all too familiar face of government representatives have occupied my days.

    They come to see what help they can be, but come with pages of regulations as to if they are allowed to help, how much and even will.

    This is the politics of government.

    From my simple view the only regulations should be if someone, anyone, needs help then help them.

    If you were to put a label on my politics it would be a moderate conservative. I am a “Republican” because I could not belong to a political party that pushes an agenda to make abortion and homosexuality an acceptable lifestyle.

    At the same time I see it the responsibility of government to see to the business of providing a safe and quality life for its citizens.

    I don’t see either view conflicting with my view of Christianity.

    There is a very disturbing moral and political event occurring though at our (USA) southern border.

    Seeing people jailed for trying to find a better life for themselves and their families just doesn’t settle well with me. Yes they are entering the country illegally, but there has to be a way of making the law of the land work in order to make their entry legal and welcome to a country they can help build and make stronger by their desire to be here.

    Our politicians have used the situation as well as the suffering of these people in order to push a political power struggle and that is morally wrong of them to do so.

    And so it goes, my politics are tied to my relationship with Jesus of Nazareth and His interpretation of all of Scripture. When the two align (politics and my religious belief) all is well, however when the two collide I then am politically at odds with that issue that does not align with my Christian faith.

    Well I begin with this as to speaking to our new subject I am certain it may not be speaking exactly to the subject, but was on my heart this morning, so I have shared my thoughts with you my BTA friends.

    Come Lord Jesus and rescue us.

    Steve

  2. jeff1 says:

    My experiences have effected how I live out my politics, culture and religion.

    My son is proud to wear his orangeman’s sash and believes that I shy away from my protestantism because I grew up in the troubles when it was wise not to fly your colours and so he believes I am subconsciously afraid to declare my culture as I am influenced by the times I grew up in.

    I would agree with him that having seen the violence and hatred that divided this country brought about my politics and religion does effect how I see differently then he does.

    If I learned anything it is that it doesn’t matter whose holding the rifle to whose head it comes down to one person trying to terrorise another into their beliefs and I am long enough in the tooth to understand that its coming from a mind either deranged or someone who has decided their will should be obeyed.

    My dad used to say that we had a political and religious leader who would do the terrorist’s job for them and it turned out he was right.

    Why was my dad so wise when I was so stupid because he had the wisdom not to follow any political or religious leaders of his time and that is because he knew better whom to follow.

    He had the Christian upbringing and he followed through in it and kept his focus on God and not on people. His wise decisions reflected a life whose head was not turned by culture, politics or religion and why I see now that it was because he was focused on walking the walk that he didn’t take the time to talk the talk.

    Politics, culture and religion came well down the list in his life because he wasn’t sucked into the dynamics of them.

    My dad had no time for politicians, in his culture, he told me of how he was an orangeman since he was a child as it was his cultural inheritance but he never embraced or felt the need to embrace protestantism through orangeism and his religion was a church where he went to worship God without much concern as to what the church represented.

    He knew God because he made it his first priority to know Him while I was getting caught up in the dynamics of the politics, culture and religion of my day.

    Hindsight, comes to mind and why I see my dad’s truths looked nothing like mine or the culture, politics or religion I was drawn into.

    Discipline led my dad to knowing God, he listened to God and not the voices of those who claimed to.

    Those around me where changing God to their way of thinking and my dad knew it and avoided being drawn into it and that takes wisdom from God to do that.

    It takes discipline to listen to God and courage to be on His side as going against your culture, religion and politics will bring you ridicule, mockery and isolation and my dad would have known the heat of all three but it didn’t change his stance and now I know why!

  3. poohpity says:

    It seems to be the same with both politics and religion that many believe what they are fed or told devoid often of any facts but sadly not many attempt to find out what they are but in either case it is just as Paul said in Acts 28; People hearing without really understanding, seeing without really perceiving.

    On the border for instance we have laws that govern our nation which prevents chaos and harm but people who come here would rather come across illegally than to follow the laws and come through a port of entry. While Congress who makes our laws would rather stir up commotion than to change the laws for the good of not only immigrants but the very people of this nation. A great loss for all.

    It was Jesus who first said to follow the laws of the nations we live in because it is God who established those governments which were supposed to be for the protection of it’s citizens and through those citizens they reach out to many around the world for assistance. Love others as you love yourself or love others as I have loved you.

    Most arguments and disagreements seem to come from a lack of knowledge, ignorance. We depend more on government than we do on God and I am sure that is not what God had intended. In fact if I remember right God wanted to be our leader but humans cried out to be like all the other nations and warned His people what would happen if they depend on another human being rather than on Him but they wanted a fleshly king instead of God.

    Now a days people in the USA depend more on the letter by a person’s name and do no research on the history of the person before they vote. The same with spiritual matters people depend on what others tell them rather than finding out for themselves the teaching of Jesus and His message about the Kingdom of God. It seems people would rather listen to opinions rather than search for truth or facts.

  4. SFDBWV says:

    It has been said for millenniums that all roads lead to Rome. Paul knew that if he was to take the Gospel to the world he had to go to Rome even at the expense of his freedom and ultimately his life.

    He understood the politics of the time very well.

    If all roads lead to Rome, then all roads also left Rome to all the world.

    I still find it interesting that totalitarian styles of government try and forbid the teaching of Christianity within their borders.

    What is it that dictators fear about Christianity?

    After all the perfect Government spoken of in Scripture is the Kingdom of God and the lessons of being in the wilderness shown that when a mob ruled it was disastrous.

    Then again Christianity teaches there is only one God and He isn’t man.

    Steve

  5. poohpity says:

    Steve, wasn’t Paul a Roman citizen which is what prevented him from being tortured and flogged without having a trial first. Hadn’t he already started churches in many place before he was placed in prison in Rome where he wrote a majority of his letters to the churches he had already started?

  6. poohpity says:

    Didn’t “all roads lead to Rome” happen in the 12th century and had nothing to with with spreading the Gospel?

  7. bratimus says:

    Well I wrote something and posted it, but it didn’t show up, don’t time to write it again at the moment, maybe I’ll try again later.

  8. bratimus says:

    I’ll try this one more time.

    Mart is very appreciated.

    I’m not political and I don’t consider my self religious, I am more Spiritual living the ways of God, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

    Sometimes you can look at politics and religion as two sides of the same coin, then there are times when religion and politics are complete polar opposites. Depending on which side of the isle you may be standing on, which with people tends to flip flop on and given day and what topic might be in the spot light.

    Steve mentioned immigration and the situation we have with that. What pops into to my mind is Exodus 20:17, and with all the money being thrown at it does Exodus 20:15 come into it? Because in California it is being reported that the for the first time illegal immigrates are getting health care, but are all citizens and residents of California getting the same health care?

    So in break a commandment here and there are some putting them self’s before God and breaking another commandment. So are politics and some religious leaders asking Christians to enable some to break the commandments of God. Because when we enable God’s commandments to be broken don’t we become as guilty as the one’s breaking the commandments, these are question we should ask our self’s.

    Christ did say the there would be troubled days to come, He did not say flee the place of your troubles, He says I will be with you where your troubles are. How can Christ raise up saints if everyone keeps fleeing, to a land of safety, so they think, isn’t there violence, poverty and hunger in the U.S.A.. So what are they really fleeing to, a place not to far off from the place they just left.

    This immigration mess is also taking our eyes off other issues, like how California’s board of Education wants to start teaching children some real whacky stuff in sex education, which should be real worrisome for all because it could happen in all states. People ask why God is going to judge us in fire.

    This is why I stay out of Politics, it is a freaking mess.

    I do care for people don’t get me wrong, but following God and His commandments is the best advice I can give to anyone.

    Christ said “if you can’t be faithful in the least, how are you going to be faithful in the greater.”

    In Christ name

    Bratimus

  9. Beloved says:

    Chris I’ve been thinking about how scary it must be when chaos breaks out amongst criminals. God bless you and strengthen you daily, I thank Him for being among the poor and needy. Even to deliver devotional materials to each cell!!! That’s awesome!

  10. foreverblessed says:

    In my Fathers house are many mansions, if that were not so, I would have told you.

    This knowing that there is enough for everybody!
    Always.
    And especially christians should have that assurance.
    That if there would not be enough food for everybody to eat, God would do a miracle again, with the boy with a few fishes and some bread!
    If there would be enough faith among the christians.

    Only a boy have away his food, there must have been more people with food, but they kept it to themselves.

    Politics is how you organise a group of people.

    Jesus showed us how He did it, not of the world, but in the world.
    Sharing, caring, healing, preaching….
    Being quiet when spit upon.
    Saying no word when unjustly accused.
    Not throwing down the Antonius fortres, where the Romans were, but instead going to the Temple, andere cleaning it:
    My house should be a house of prayer, not a den of thieves.

    That house is my heart!
    Jesus is concerned that my heart is made clean, and being more and more like He is:

    Having room for anybody He sends to me!

    I was thinking, all these people that came out of Syria, let them meet Christ here, in the Christiana.

    Well, I’ll stop here!

    I could go on and on about what Jesus said and did.
    His politics.

    Jesus said: if they take advantage of you, give them some more…

    If you are a christian, Jesus Word is your Light, that shines on your path, and shows you the way to go.

    And being afraid of somebody taking advantage of you is not the way.
    Unless you are a young Christian, new in Christ, and you don’t know yet how well Jesus takes care of you, ife that is the case, you may cry your heart out with Jesus, how unfair this world is.

    But take heart, Jesus is stronger than the world!

  11. foreverblessed says:

    Oh yes, Chris, and the inmates, may God bless you alle!
    Having our eyes on Jesus, He is stronger than whatever violence there is.
    May God strengthen you, I pray that with Beloved!

  12. jeff1 says:

    I have a much clearer view of the world when I am not allowing others to distort it and I see people in a very different light when I see them as they are and not from a political or religious viewpoint.

    In God’s realm no man is yellow, black or white nor is God looking at a person’s religion but rather how they conduct themselves and with that in mind I should be more considerate of my own behaviour when journeying through this world as I have found that it is so very much easier to see the speck in another’s eye and miss the plank in my own.

  13. jeff1 says:

    What I call my ‘self’ now is hardly a person at all. It’s mainly a meeting place for various natural forces, desires, and fears, etcetera, some of which come from my ancestors, and some from my education, some perhaps from devils. The self you were really intended to be is something that lives not from nature but from God.

    C. S. Lewis

  14. Beloved says:

    Viv I am “pain”-fully going through Calvin’s Institutes and he agreed with Lewis or rather Lewis agreed with him that the human nature is so broken- even the virtuous parts- that we do need a completely new nature, one only God in who’s image we were created can give us. Yet I recall that we won’t be completely changed until we see Him face to face. This has nothing to do with politics just the reality of a believer.

  15. bratimus says:

    John 15:10

  16. poohpity says:

    What are the commandments of Jesus? John 15:12,17

    “We All Bleed The Same”

    We all bleed the same
    We’re more beautiful when we come together
    We all bleed the same
    So tell me why, tell me why
    We’re divided

    Woke up today
    Another headline
    Another innocent life is taken
    In the name of hatred
    So hard to take (hey!)
    And if we think that it’s all good
    Then we’re mistaken
    ‘Cause my heart is breaking (tell it, ‘Dis)

    Are you left?
    Are you right?
    Pointing fingers, taking sides
    When are we gonna realize?

    We all bleed the same
    We’re more beautiful when we come together
    We all bleed the same
    So tell me why, tell me why
    We’re divided
    If we’re gonna fight
    Let’s fight for each other
    If we’re gonna shout
    Let love be the cry
    We all bleed the same
    So tell me why, tell me why
    We’re divided

    Tell me, who are we
    To judge someone
    By the kind of clothes they’re wearing
    Or the color of their skin?

    Are you black? (black)
    Are you white? (white)
    Aren’t we all the same inside? (the same inside)
    Father, open our eyes to see!

    We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
    We’re more beautiful when we come together
    We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
    So tell me why, tell me why
    We’re divided
    If we’re gonna fight
    Let’s fight for each other (fight for each other!)
    If we’re gonna shout
    Let love be the cry (be the cry!)
    We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
    So tell me why, tell me why
    We’re divided

    Only love can drive out all the darkness
    What are we fighting for?
    We were made to carry one another
    We were made for more, said
    Only love can drive out all the darkness
    What are we fighting for? yeah
    We were made to carry one another
    We were made for more!

    We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
    We’re more beautiful when we come together (let’s stand united!)
    We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
    So tell me why, tell me why
    We’re divided
    If we’re gonna fight
    Let’s fight for each other (fight for each other!)
    If we’re gonna shout
    Let love be the cry (be the cry!)
    We all bleed the same(we all bleed the same) (bleed the same)
    Let’s stand united (let’s stand united)
    Let’s stand united!

    So Father God, I pray
    That our families will come together right now
    And seek Your face
    You will forgive our sins
    And You will heal our incredible land
    In the name of the only Savior, Jesus Christ
    Amen

  17. jeff1 says:

    I have returned to the God of my childhood,
    to the same simple faith as a child I once knew.
    Like a prodigal son I’ve longed for my loved ones.
    For the comforts of home and the God I outgrew.

    I have returned to the God of my childhood,
    Bethlehem’s Babe,
    the prophet’s Messiah.
    He’s Jesus to me,
    eternal Deity!
    Praise His name,
    I have returned.

    I have returned to the God of my father,
    the most God-like man a child could know.
    Oh I just heard a shout from the angels in glory,
    praising the Lord a child has come home.

    I have returned to the God of my father,
    creator of heaven and earth,
    God of the universe.
    He’s Jesus to me,
    eternal Deity.
    Praise His name,
    I have returned.

    I have returned to the Yahweh of Judah,
    on my knees I did fall
    where the wall now stands.
    This lesson I’ve learned as I’ve worked my way homeward,
    the Saviour of all is the comfort to man.

    I have returned to the Father of Abraham,
    The shepherd of Moses,
    who called Him the great I am.
    He’s Jesus to me,
    eternal Deity.
    Praise His name,
    I have returned.

    I have returned to the God of my father,
    creator of heaven and earth, God of the universe.
    He’s Jesus to me,
    eternal Deity.
    Praise His name,
    I have returned.

    I have returned!

  18. SFDBWV says:

    I like this subject mostly because if you are honest (no, everyone isn’t) this is where (as we say here in America) the rubber meets the road.

    In your entire Christian experience have any of you prayed for money? I have and I bet most all of you have too.

    So at that place in your Christianity where was your “faith”? Money solved all the problems you had at the time. If you just had enough to pay off your bills or buy that thing you believed you needed, life would be good.

    In truth we have all heard preachers tell you how to become financially rich. Almost as rich as they are as they brag of fleets of automobiles and even private airplanes.

    The Scripture used tells us to first give to God what is His and He will fill our storehouses to overflowing. Even going so far as to tell us to put God to the test and see for ourselves.

    It took me quite a long time to pay tithes first on all my income and to see that the Scripture was right. But I also learned that this Scripture can be more than money.

    To give whatever you have to give is just as important and just as successful in returning to you, full, tamped down and overflowing.

    Give love, give time, give compassion and you will receive in kind.

    Along the way as you quit worrying about money you suddenly discover that God has taken care of all your needs and even provided for all you give away.

    And in the politics of life you will also discover that your one vote isn’t as powerful as that one choice you make to believe God and to share Jesus in all of your decisions and actions.

    Why do “despots” fear God? Because they are “despots”.

    58 and clear this morning.

    Steve

  19. jeff1 says:

    If I don’t trust politics today it is because I have good reason not to.

    This country has suffered at the hands of unscrupulous ones and that is not directed at one side or another because both sides have caused disgrace to their profession.

    When my mum tried to talk politics to my dad he didn’t want to know and now I know why because he had the measure of them and his words at the time reflected that.

    His insight was God driven and not man given and he knew that which is why he was steadfast in his stance.

  20. bratimus says:

    To be completely honest I don’t know if I prayer just for money. I have been praying all my life even back to some my first earliest memories from childhood. I’m not sure what age I was, I came to the point where I wasn’t looking to be rich as man sees it. Have prayed for certain fininacal situation to be resolved if I couldn’t see a way out. The more you have, the more they can and try to take, someone told me that once.

    Pretty much every thing that man has set up is a trap, but mostly for the setters.

    I had to look up the word “despot” don’t remember ever hearing it before.

    In the End The Heavenly Fathers Will,will prevail and I just HOPE I’m on the right side of God’s Grace, because the wrong side is God’s wrath!!!

    In Christ Name

    Bratimus

  21. poohpity says:

    Bratimus, I had to look it up too. I wouldn’t think they had any fear of God or they would not be “despots”. Just saying. Didn’t the Lord ask us to pray for our needs and doesn’t that include money as well.

    ODB today talks about money taking first place in our lives and it being more important than anything else so therefore taking God’s place in our hearts as any other idol may do. Some people will do anything to get it and keep it. I think that is the reason we tithe because as with everything else we put God first which is shown by our use of the money we been blessed with knowing the source.

  22. poohpity says:

    A commentary on the book of Galatians from Eugene Peterson; “When men and women get their hands on religion one of the first things they do is turn it into an instrument for controlling others either putting or keeping them in their place.”

    Which seems to fit both politics as well as religion both groups of people want to control others compared to the politics of Jesus and Paul where people are free to accept the love of God or turn away from it but it does not stop His love, God gives it away no one has to earn it just receive it, unforced and freely.

  23. bratimus says:

    I really don’t mind people trying to control me, there is a warning that goes with that “Do it right, in the right way.”

    I know of those preachers of the prosperity, they confused prosperous with money over prosperous with the Light of Christ. and since they made themselves first they will probably end up being last. Truthfully I don’t see much or hear much about them anymore.

    Praying to God for your needs isn’t always about money. In the “world” we live into today it does revolve around money, that isn’t the way God wanted it to be, that is all man’s doing.

    In Christ Name

    Bratimus

  24. SFDBWV says:

    The way to control people is by controlling the information they receive and by economically making you dependent on them for even something to eat.

    Reference to the Book of Revelation where during the “Great Tribulation” people won’t be able to get a job nor buy food or anything else without the “Mark of the Beast”.

    How many people do you think will be able not to take the mark and let their children or those they love starve to death?

    Today we have instant information via of the social media, but then there is a great deal of “misinformation” generated by the mindset of the mob mentality.

    As this world gets darker and darker we need to get closer and closer to Jesus and hold tight to what we already know.

    Yes, to stand fast on the Rock of our salvation.

    I find it insulting that Bill Clinton remains to be popular among the “liberal” voter. A man who abused women, his authority, lied face to face on camera to the American people and has the nick name of being “Slick Willie”.

    But then his campaign against a decent honorable man stated “It’s the economy stupid.”

    And yes the voting public will always vote according to their pocket book.

    Control the news and you will control what people know and think. Have a problem, divert it away with a contrived emergency. The emergency will quickly cover over whatever events you want hidden.

    How do we keep people honest? By having a standard of living that aligns with what God gave to mankind as to what is living a holy life and what is sin.

    Today they want to blur the two together so that people can’t tell the difference.

    It is a dark dangerous world we live in today and once again our only hope lay in Jesus of Nazareth the Christ, what He taught, warned us of and promised us.

    I hope all of you today are filled with His Spirit and can see clearly the path ahead, blessing all as you go about your day.

    Steve

  25. bratimus says:

    Let me say this, “In a dream I had I told someone that I couldn’t help them, because they didn’t tell me the whole truth.”

    This is the Holy Spirit telling me that I(or the Holy Spirit through me.) can’t help people if I only get part of the truth, half truths are still a lie, trying to use codes gets things all jumbled up. God, Christ and the Holy Spirit work in truths.

    I have know for a long time that the truth is hard to find in this dark and dishonest world. I try my best to walk in the truth and that is all I can do.

    My big mission for God is to walk in faith, and just pray and worship and praise Him. If I happen to help someone through God’s word, that just extra credit. This is the way God wants me to live, and try not to worry about what is or isn’t going on, because information is very lacking.

    In Christ Name

    Bratimus

  26. bratimus says:

    I do say read James to Revelation 4, and in writing this God, Christ and the Holy Spirit are telling me the rest of Revelation are not for you to worry about, you have enough on your mind walking in faith, praying, worshiping and praising God the Heavenly Father. WE will deal with the rest of Revelation.

    Seriously which system that man has set up will be the the mark of the beast, so many you could go crazy trying to figure it out.

    So I’ll love and fear God and have faith He will look out for me.

    In Christ Name

    Bratimus

  27. bratimus says:

    Matthew 24:3-14

  28. street says:

    pride power and sport

    Nika Riot 532 AD – Istanbul

    an interesting study of politics sport and religion. any way some articles don’t mention some of the clubs selling out rival clubs for money. eventually putting and end to the sport. yet the politics continued. all spectators of a spectacle unfolding before our eyes.

    “Full of Sound and Fury; Signifying Nothing” save for the Resurrection of Jesus.

  29. poohpity says:

    bratimus, Matthew is not between James and Revelation 4?

  30. jeff1 says:

    My mum once told me that money was the root of all evil and so that thought has stuck in my mind especially since politicians have been up to all sorts behind the peoples backs and then expecting that we vote for them and trust them as if we have nothing between our ears.

    Power and money are evils of this world and why its best to stay clear of both other than what we need to pay our dues and live.

    I think of the very poor countries where people live simpler and they do not seem to be any less happier than those who are rich which tells us that a desire for wealth is an unhealthy one.

    Parents who give their love and their time to their children have enriched their lives more than those who over indulge theirs with money or material goods.

    Their is an emphasis on ‘entitled’ these days as many seem to think the world owes them but I was brought up with a work ethic and I needed to put in if I wanted to take out and the emphasis was to be a diligent worker.

    I am not sure that there is the same work ethic that there was when I was young and that has not done society any favours.

  31. bratimus says:

    Didn’t say it was sometimes I post a passage
    I just read. See right now today I’m reading Genesis 12, Matthew, 2 Peter and 1 John and sometime I’ll pop into Psalms and Proverbs at any give time or moment. I pretty much read the Bible in a year or lest every year on my own

    In Christ Name

    Bratimus

  32. Beloved says:

    God answered my prayer for fellowship by bringing a Mormon lady who is also lonely and looking for a friend. She lives in my building and is quite spiritual but not Jesus centric, so should be interesting as God uses me to show her the Way. He always answers, just glad I’m not moving! Thank you for praying with me.

  33. poohpity says:

    Beloved that would be nice but often it is the other way around she will bring you in to her beliefs. I think that was why John gave us this warning; 2 John 1:9-10

    bratimus, wouldn’t it then be wiser to say not to just concentrate on James through Revelations 4 but the whole New Testament? Just a thought. It is exciting to hear you go through the whole bible every year, that is not the norm for 81% of professing Christians so you fall into the 19%.

  34. poohpity says:

    As Mart said, “it does matter who rules– and how, who stands with or against them– and how— at whose expense– and how much.” Who and what we fill our minds with is how we will have a renewal and transformation of our minds and hearts. Rom 12:2

  35. Beloved says:

    The Spirit of Christ will tell me when He’s done with her.

  36. Beloved says:

    Please do not address me and please leave Bratimus alone also, please. I hate posting or reading much on here anymore.

  37. bubbles says:

    We lost another student today at my little school. Please pray for this dear mother who has now lost two children in two years. I cannot imagine her heartbreak. Very sad day.

  38. foreverblessed says:

    Oh, Bubbles, that is sad news! I pray with you, for the mother, and for you, and all those involved!

    Beloved, I pray for that Mormon woman too!

    May God bless you, and bless her.

    Do you remember I posted some time ago, about a mormon young man who accepted Christ, by conversing with a Baptist preacher who just had asked him to read the New Testament.

    “Ex Mormon gives most incredible Testimony EVER- will give youu chills.”

    By reading in the Gosples, he slowly began to see who Jesus really was.

    Seeing that movie on youtube, indeed gave me tears in my eyes.

    Much prayer is needed, as the revelation of Who Christ is, is a miracle.

    Christians can pray, should pray, with a lot of faith, and trust in Jesus, Trust;

    As with God all things are possible!

  39. foreverblessed says:

    There is now a whole new ministry starting up, from christian communities who are bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ into Utah. The Holy Spirit is leading! For the HS knows how to address these people. God dearly loves them, and wants to draw them to His heart.

    We are praying, and waiting for the urge of the HolySpirit. And mostly we talk too soon, and saying christian things that these people are not yet ready to receive. Instead of waiting for the clear instruction of ther Holy Spirit, we just start talking.

    It reminds me of the book written by Norman Grubb:

    Rees Howells intercessor

    The Holy Spirit led him to accompany an alcoholic, and the Spirit told him: Do not preach at him, just be a companion to him, and walk alongside him. That is what he did, I believe for more than two years.

    God is saying that we love people!

    Love them

  40. foreverblessed says:

    “Plow the ground”

    That is a word I received some time ago, (I have written about this here before)

    And I was wondering what God meant with that. With an eager mind I was looking when the answer would coem, as I do have the experience, that the Holy Spirit it not rushing, and takes more time than I as a human would take.

    And I waited to hear the answer. That came a long time:

    Plowing the ground: With love appraoching people who God sends on my way, and with love accompanying them.

    Loving them, and praying for them, walking alongside them.

    The Holy Spirit has to touch their hearts, and it is more often done by the way we handle in the small matters of life that make a deep impression on them, then our words that we decide in our own human mind to speak, wordsout of the bible nonetheless, however:the Spirit did not want to use yet,

    because the “ground had to be plowed first”

    The ministry that addresses the Mormons is also very very delicate, as they will shut out any other thinking quite easily.

    So I pray that you stay very very close to the nudge of the Holy Spirit, and in the mean time, just accompany her.

    The parable of the Sower, is also an instruction for the disciples!

    Matthew 13:1-23

    Work on the soil first, before you sow the seeds.

    It is a very common sense thing in the natural world, if you have a vegetable garden, you work the ground first before you sow the seeds. You make a path,by stamping on the ground hard that where you walk, the ground is hard, because you walk on it, and it is pressed down, there you do not throw your seed.

    Where you have sowed the seeds, we call it a “seed-bed”, there you keep the ground loosened, and water it, and take out the weeds before they grow big, (and the roots of the plants have intertwined with your plants,) So when I would weed, the first thing you do is take out the weeds close to the plants, around the stem, the ones growing afar off, can stay there a little longer.

    So many things to learn out of the physical world, as how to work in the Gospel.

    (As with the weeds in The field of wheat, there you do not go through and take out the weeds, so you let them grow. So there comes another wise word from Jesus: Leave them.) Matthew 13:24-30

    It’s all about, how well we listen to the guiding of the Holy Spirit. Do we hear Him?

    Do we come to rest, and let all the other voices be quiet, and be still before the Lord?

  41. foreverblessed says:

    Psalm 46:10
    Be still, and know that I am God
    . ..I will be exalted among the nations
    .. .I will be exalted in the earth

  42. jeff1 says:

    It’s God who chooses to live among us and bring His Kingdom to earth and in a world like this one that almost seems impossible from where I am standing.

    I have a limited view which can sometimes feel like God is no where to be seen and yet when I seek Him I find that He hasn’t gone very far and so it is my blindness in not seeing Him.

    Having been born and bred in Northern Ireland has opened my eyes to seeing that I can be easily side tracked into following political and religious leaders who an be convincing in assuring me that they have the country and my interests at heart.

    My dad never did listen to leaders because he was always focused on God leading him and why perhaps I now see a man who knew where his loyalties lay.

  43. SFDBWV says:

    Yes Foreverblessed the politics of Jesus is always going to be love, which makes some of us wonder about the severity of the Book of Revelation.

    “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

    I have family members in Utah who are Mormon and a friend who lives close by. My friend Larry was a Mormon when I first met him we became immediate friends and over time he began once again attending a Baptist church.

    However after losing contact with him for a while when we reconnected he was back to the Mormon Church.

    He has always had a problem with money, which is not having enough. The attractiveness of the Mormon Church for him is their “welfare system”. If you meet their criteria for being in need they will help pay your bills until you get back on your feet.

    I have always tried not to bash any of the many Christian denominations as in basics they all call Jesus Lord. It may be their doctrine I have some issues with, but never the individual who believes in and acknowledges Jesus as the Son of God, born of the Virgin, died for the sins of man, resurrected by His own power from death and in fact is God.

    I find the statue Mart has provided quite appropriate as the politics of man has many faces and sad to say man has brought that same politics into the worship of God.

    Bubbles shows her heart as she grieves for her students. Life is a hard cruel taskmaster and in truth the only comfort any of us can find is found in Jesus. Not in any of the things man has contrived to hide his pain or mask his failures.

    Prayers for bubbles and the people she has brought to our attention.

    Steve

  44. jeff1 says:

    Politics and religions are too much part of the problem as it is when people put them before God that they are setting themselves against God or that is how my dad seen it and I have no reason to doubt that he was wrong as he knew God better than I did.

    As far as my dad was concerned he was either serving God or man and he had no doubts about whose side he was on.

    While others would proclaim, God is on my side, my dad would proclaim it for me to be on God’s side.

    My dad believed to do God’s will meant to obey His ways and he dismissed the belief that God took sides and why he never embraced either catholicism, protestantism or any religion that distracted him from this truth.

  45. bratimus says:

    Beloved if you made a new friend awesome, when Jesus walk on Earth He ate and sat with sinners and tax collectors. It is always good to make a friend. Loneliness can lead to despair, just remember to hold on to your faith. I would also say that grand kids can always use a grandmother. I’m just a crazy uncle, I do miss my grandmother here and there. I do appreciate you trying to protect, but the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have my back, some just don’t understand what I’m trying to say or I don’t make it clear enough in what I write.

    Steve as always brings up good points. Statues have always kind of freaked-creepied me out. I do like paintings of landscapes and pictures. But statues no sir maybe it has something to do with this Exodus 20:4

    In Christ Name

  46. bratimus says:

    Matthew 24:32-35

    And continue read on in the Gospels, the Gospels of the Bible are the best.

    Now in Genesis 13 also

    In Christ name

    Bratimus

  47. poohpity says:

    Viv, that last paragraph is so true.

    If deception were easy to spot it would then not be deception and any religion that gives people a list of things to do to gain God’s favor or earn their way to heaven does not know the gospel of Jesus. The Gospel of grace and Mormonism is one such beast that even leads people to believe they can even become a god.

    Often even believing that we have anything to do with plowing the ground or removing the weeds does not know that those areas are better left in the hands of God not us. In Matt the ground spoken of is a person’s heart in Jesus’ parable and how it receives Jesus into it and whether it is a lasting relationship or a passing one. God is the Gardener.

    I happen to believe what is taught in scripture even if I do not know the reasoning behind some of it but so far it has never lead me astray after following it, not perfectly but with grace. Yes and some of it can sound harsh but I know there are reasons behind the warnings. We can either take heed or ignore the warnings thinking we know better than God but so far in my life experience I have found that I do not know better than God not even a little tiny bit.

    If one is not grounded in their belief they can and will fall prey to all kinds of deceptions. Although Mormon’s call themselves Christian there can be nothing further from the truth than that, they follow the teaching of Joseph Smith, but to try to persuade people into their web they use that to describe themselves. BUT first one has to know the real thing to be able to identify that which is false and not many do. That is why Paul and others spent so much time teaching the early church about the way they can be infiltrated and be caught off guard by deceivers.

  48. poohpity says:

    It is really a good thing to befriend anyone and act neighborly to everyone no matter if they are anything we may turn our noses up at as forever says like an alcoholic BUT to befriend with the hopes of proselytizing seems a bit contrary to what a friend or neighbor actually does or is.

  49. poohpity says:

    We love and do good to even the least of these because of who we are in Christ and Christ in us. Just as bratimus said Jesus spent His time with sinners and as did Paul when he admitted that he was the chief of sinners which should be the admission of us all.

  50. foreverblessed says:

    “maybe we are wise to avoid them in polite and good natured company.”

    Mart is giving advice, as to what to do when there are differnces.

    I would like to give an example of differences:

    Our country is involved with Russia, with the flight MH17, that was shot our of air on 10 km hight (about 6 miles high), on July 17, 2014, 5 years ago tomorrow. So in our news this is a big thing now.

    193 dutch have died, and one family lived in my town. It was bizarre, to cylce in the street, and see the empty house. (I cycle a lot here). A family goes on vacation to Indonisia, Bali, and they never come back. It took a year before the whole family was buried, or what remains came out of Oekrain.

    Already a few days after the accident, the Russians gave a press conference: The Oekrainian had done it, the plain was shot by an Oekrain airplane.

    Now today, I am reading my newspaper, and there is an aritcle of a russian aviation-expert (aeronotics)

    And to my suprise this man has openly stated that the report was false.

    To me, this man did not keep his mouth shut, He did not stay out of the “differences” of insight.

    As the Russians make it look by expert reports, and scientific trained people, to show that the plain was shot by the Oekranians.

    To us, as dutch people, it was obvious that this was not true. We had heard recordings of soldiers in East Ukrain, on the day of the accident, talking about the shock they had, that civilians were falling out of the sky. These soldiers had no intention to shoot a civilian aircraft, they thought they had hit a military plane from the Oekrain. But that message was deleted, and never heard again.

    Anyway, what the Russians did after that was telling lies upon lies. Making it look that the military of Ukrain had done it.

    But this man, a russian himself, working in aeronotics, did openly say that it was a report full of lies.

    They turned and twisted data, until it looked that it came from the Ukraine.

    He lost his job, he cannot work anywhere in Russia, nobody wants to jhire him. He lives from occasional writings and giving speeches. He is hungry he says, but alive and free. He finds it important that the russian people hear a sound that is not controled by the Government. A free press is important.

  51. poohpity says:

    Oh Beloved maybe after your response and feeling towards me you can see why I turned down your offer on facebook.

  52. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    Pray all is well in your lives. I haven’t been able to blog with yall because I couldn’t log on to the BTA blog. I kept getting a “bad gateway” message. So, before I read and comment on the new post, I want to share something with jeff1 from the previous post. Viv, you shared a song or poem on 7-10-19 (I’ll share a portion of it here…); I’ve never heard it, but it brought to mind a *beautiful* song that I love. Don’t know when I first heard it, but it has the same title as your song or poem…

    jeff1 says:
    July 10, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    “In Christ Alone”

    In Christ alone my hope is found
    He is my light, my strength, my song
    This Cornerstone, this solid ground
    Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
    What heights of love, what depths of peace
    When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
    My Comforter, my All in All
    Here in the love of Christ I stand

    In Christ alone, who took on flesh
    Fullness of God in helpless babe
    This gift of love and righteousness
    Scorned by the ones He came to save
    ‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
    The wrath of God was satisfied
    For every sin on Him was laid
    Here in the death of Christ I live, I live…”

    Here’s the words to the *beautiful* song that I first heard maybe 6 or 7 years ago…

    “In Christ Alone” (Brian Littrell)

    In Christ alone will I glory
    Though I could pride myself in battles won
    For I’ve been blessed beyond measure
    And by His strength alone, I overcome

    Oh, I could stop and count successes
    Like diamonds in my hands
    But those trophies could not equal
    To the grace by which I stand

    In Christ alone, I place my trust
    And find my glory in the power of the Cross
    In every victory, let it be said of me
    My source of strength, my source of hope…

    In Christ alone do I glory
    For only by His grace I am redeemed
    For only His tender mercy
    Could reach beyond my weakness to my need

    And now I seek no greater honor
    Than just to know Him more
    And to count my gains but losses
    To the glory of my Lord

    In Christ alone, I place my trust
    And find my glory in the power of the Cross
    In every victory, let it be said of me
    My source of strength, my source of hope…

    In Christ alone, I place my trust
    And find my glory in the power of the Cross
    In every victory, let it be said of me
    My source of strength, my source of hope is Christ alone
    Is Christ alone…

    83 degrees and sunny in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  53. Beloved says:

    Forever we have the same Holy Spirit and yes I too know about their “welfare” system that keeps needy people in bondage but she and I are guided by such different spirits! It is good to hear God is moving amongst them in Utah that’s very encouraging as they are as I know averse to Jesus being God as are Jehovahs Witnesses whom God used me to share Jesus is God when I was a new believer and didn’t even know the Bible at all. They were told not to come to my house after that! So, will see how long this “friendship” lasts but I’m all in. To be a friend of the world means emnity with Christ. Oh I wish all here were guided by the Holy Spirit but without a tempter we would not turn to God for help! So it is in the world we live in now. Looking forward to Glory but Jesus is still calling His little ones so will be part of His army until. Until He returns. Many will be snatched from the fire of hell still. I was when I was 30. Thank you all for your brotherly/sisterly support and prayers. We keep loving even those who reject it, per Gods command. God bless you all who have the vision.

  54. foreverblessed says:

    When the Holy Spirit guides you to do this, then it is under God’s control, isn’t it.
    God was saying to Rees Howells, walk alongside the man. Walking alongside is different from being a friend. But being friendly is alright. I walk alongside many eople here in my town, who are not christian. And I pray about them, because I know that the Holy Spirit is in control.
    But The Holy Spirit uses us, when He sees fit to do so.
    Yesterday I had a long talk with a “friend”, on christianity.
    And I even explained to her, what a local priest who I had met, had told me
    “What the essence of the christian faith was”
    I asked her; Do you want to hear what this man said to me? Because it is quite christian.
    (And I know that she is very apprehensive about the Roman Cathlic church, and the protestants as well)
    She answered: Yes, tell me, I can handle that.

    So, while shooting a real short prayer to heaven, “God. give me words, your words”
    And then I started to tell her the essence of chrisitanity.

    Please pray for this lady, if you get a prayer, please do so
    It is all in God’s control, we can do nothing in the spririt realm, God is doing that.
    But He awaits for our prayers.

    I pray for the lady you met.
    GOd is with her, He loves her to bits. I know that, God also loved me, when I was in that @%& church. God is looking for a time to touch a heart. He knows when to use words, but mostly we have to pray.
    That sure is so,
    while believing in the omnipotence of God,
    great Trust in Him

    Praying
    Intercessors
    Plowing the ground that is, together with God, the Holy Spirit

  55. street says:

    The Politics of Jesus and Paul

    politics and religion

    moses at the burning bush

    God asked moses one question that got me lol this am.

    it was not a question that need a verbal reply…..still lol.

    the question was, “Who made your mouth?” i am lol because of the humor of the situation. you say how?

    moses is seeing a visible manifestation of the invisible God, the only thing separating him from death is a bush and God Grace.

    with all this said he is thinking of himself…in the presents of God….if it not funny it is down right sinful. God is indeed merciful.

    politics and religion are messed up because we start from ourselves and not God….no wonder we are told to guard our heart in Christ Jesus.

    mostly waiting and watching living by faith

    waiting and watching for God…praying when focus and light are scares or blurred. persevering in the dark times. know God will not withhold any good thing from His Children. the greatest darkness job faced was the thought that sin separated him from God, Salvation.

  56. jeff1 says:

    So unless whatever book, teacher, God or gods we use for our spirituality can transform our approach to religion and politics into something good for one another—in our differences— maybe we are wise to avoid them in polite and good natured company.

    I do try to avoid approaching either subject these days as I was in my younger days opinionated on both and that didn’t turn out very well so it’s once bitten, twice shy so to speak.

    I am learning to trust God more and I find I am happier for it because I was only miserable when I was getting into heated arguments over something that I discovered I knew very little about as if I did not live in Northern Ireland I would have no desire to know politics or religion.

    I don’t go to church for any other reason than to worship God and I expect catholics do likewise and when I keep it that simple I find I have no desire to argue with anyone.

  57. poohpity says:

    The politics of Jesus and Paul is concern for the condition of the heart and mind not politics as we know them or religion that misses the mark or bank accounts.

    “How He Loves”
    (originally by John Mark McMillan)

    And He is jealous for me.
    Love’s like a hurricane. I am a tree,
    Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

    When all of a sudden,
    I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory.
    And I realize just how beautiful You are,
    And how great Your affections are for me.

    And, oh, how He loves us, oh.
    Oh, how He loves us.
    How He loves us, oh.

    And He is jealous for me.
    Love’s like a hurricane. I am a tree,
    Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

    When all of a sudden,
    I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory.
    And I realize just how beautiful You are,
    And how great Your affections are for me.

    And, oh, how He loves us, oh.
    Oh, how He loves us.
    How He loves us, oh.

    Yeah, He loves us.
    Oh, how He loves us.
    Oh, how He loves us.
    Oh, how He loves.

    And we are His portion and He is our prize,
    Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes.
    If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.

    And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss.
    And my heart turns violently inside of my chest.
    I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
    When I think about the way…

    That He loves us.
    Oh, how He loves us.
    Oh, how He loves us.
    Oh, how He loves.

    Yeah, He loves us.
    Oh, how He loves us.
    Oh, how He loves us.
    Oh, how He loves.

    Yeah, He loves us.
    Oh, how He loves us.
    Oh, how He loves us.
    Oh, how He loves.

  58. Beloved says:

    We really are dull of hearing sometimes. Many times Jesus said things in scripture that made me laugh, especially when talking to the disciples. Oh how He condescends to us in our littleness.

  59. street says:

    Titus 1:15
    To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.

    God sees His Children as Holy….nothing is hidden from His Eyes. reconciled

  60. poohpity says:

    It is a cool 112 degrees here right now in the valley of the sun.

    Good verse to show what comes from minds that are defiled and only think the worst.

  61. street says:

    New hearts new minds…redeemed. PC in shop using iPad. Where did all these caps come from….apple tree.

  62. Beloved says:

    But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. 1 CORINTHIANS 11:32

  63. SFDBWV says:

    In the idea that we should avoid the subjects of religion and politics in polite and good natured company we wear a mask and put on a pretense instead of our real self to another.

    If simply talking to a stranger in line at the store or in passing, a simple smile, hello, or good day is enough, but if you are going to develop a relationship with another person you cannot hide the real you for very long.

    Religion and politics are emotional issues and if you think you need to avoid such subjects from each other then how do you share Christ? In today’s world simply being vocal a Christian almost immediately labels you as a conservative or even as a Republican.

    Though I do have a friend who has a bumper sticker on her car identifying her as a “Christian Democrat”.

    Unfortunately our faith as well as our politics identifies us. I don’t think we can successfully hide either for very long. The problem may be that we need to learn to let each one of us be who we are without insisting they become as we are in order to be loved.

    Steve

  64. SFDBWV says:

    Typo error…”Simply being a vocal Christian” is what was intended. Instead of “simply being vocal a Christian”
    Sorry if I confused anyone.

    Steve

  65. jeff1 says:

    Steve, if the alternative is to be at each others throats then I would rather wear the mask but then I have lived through a political and religious war and seen the consequences.

    My son says the same as you that I am hiding my culture but it was that culture that led me to false beliefs and hope so as I see it I am nearer God for not allowing it to influence my thinking anymore.

    Most right thinking protestant and catholics worship God in their churches and that’s the best we can hope for in a society so divided.

    Extremists will try to fill peoples heads to suit their needs and demands and some people are vulnerable to them but God knows the challenges we face.

    I think we share Christ in our churches here rather than publicly because of the tension in the country though there are still street preachers but I never see too many standing listening.

    My dad was not politically motivated and indeed I would say he had little time for them because he seen what they where doing and wasn’t fooled by them.

    He voted as he seen fit but he was not led by the nose when it came to believing that politicians or religious leaders had his interest at heart as he only believed that it was God who had that and so he never let beliefs get in the way of his relationship with God.

    While most here would claim God was on their side my dad would proclaim it was for him to be on God’s side.

    He didn’t just talk the talk without doing the walk as I seen him with two other men rescuing a drunk man from the front of a police station while rioters where firing petrol bombs and bricks at it.

    He put God first, others second and himself last and that is what Jesus did when he was on this earth and so I think he did a very good job at being on God’s side.

    C. S. Lewis is right we often act as if God does nothing else but exist but He sees our challenges and understands our struggles and when I keep that in mind then I can face those challenges more courageously.

  66. poohpity says:

    Definition: Politics refers to a set of activities associated with the governance of a country, or an area. It involves making decisions that apply to members of a group. It refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance—organized control over a human community, particularly a state.

    When we vote we are placing our needs in the hands of someone we think will look out for our good and the good of our communities but sadly people vote on the party rather than on the life experiences of the person. Hardly anyone does any background research on candidates or what they have accomplished in their lives to see whether they would make a good representative of the people but solely base their vote on the letter by their name. The same is almost true for the Lord people say they follow Him but spend no time in getting to know Him which often leads to one not trusting or depending on Him. They put more faith in politicians and the government then they do in the Lord.

    Jesus told us that His government is not of this world that this is the domain of the evil one and the only protection from him is found in Christ. Who sets us free from the darkness? The domain of Christ is in our hearts, minds and souls which is what guides us to live this life here doing good and giving out grace, love and mercy to make it a better place to live here while attached to this flesh looking forward with hope of shedding this tent for a resurrected body one day.

    In the meantime we have to contend with anyone and any thing that would take our minds and hearts away from God. The devil just doing his job to tempt us to rebel against God, to question God’s goodness and to make us think we have to earn the love of God.

  67. poohpity says:

    Sitting in a church listening to a sermon does not make anyone a Christian it is what happens the other 6 days of the week that shows who we belong to.

    I could stand in the garage making the sounds a motor makes but it does not make me a car.

  68. street says:

    thinking of the terms democrat and republican
    democrat rule of people or majority the crowd is rarely right. republicans the rule of law, we know how that turns out. therefor a Savior, Christ the Lord. the government share rest on His Shoulders.

    thinking of the certificate of divorce God issued to israel. you think they will get back together again? not before jacobs trouble. thinking of the woman at the well the man you are living with now is not your husband or gomer living a long time with her husband but not has husband and wife. if not for your grace and mercy we would have become like sodom and gomorrah.

  69. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    July 17, 2019 at 7:02 am

    In the meantime we have to contend with anyone and any thing that would take our minds and hearts away from God. The devil just doing his job to tempt us to rebel against God, to question God’s goodness and to make us think we have to earn the love of God.

    I agree sitting in a church does not make anyone a christian as there is much more to it than that but a sermon can resolve and strengthen or rebuke me and so if I go to church for the right purpose I should benefit from it.

    It is how I am strengthened to contend with the devils attacks by gathering in church and participating in the Holy Communion where we share in the body and blood of Christ.

    For myself, church is a haven where I can get away from the devils influence and I don’t know too many places I can do that.

  70. bratimus says:

    Here is the problem with having conversations about politics and religion, the conversation will turn into a debate or a game of wits. Both conversation are filled with half truths and deceptions. I try very hard to stay away from those, people get angry when I shy away from. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit don’t want me in those conversations, why you ask because The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not in conversation of half truths and deception.

    If someone wants I talk about Living through Christ, they way God intended I’m all for that. But be for warned be honest and not decietful, The Heavenly Father is starting to get very angry.

    The way I look at it I force my life style on no one, so no one should force there life style on me. I live by the 10 commandments of God, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And if man can’t uphold and enforce the latter 2, I’m sure God will. And in following the 10 Commandment of God I should not break any laws of man. This is about as political and religious as I get, not a very long conversation is it.

    My job on Earth is to pray and worship God while walking in faith through Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

    In Christ Name

    Bratimus

  71. jeff1 says:

    There is a lot to be said for ‘live and let live’. It is up to God how He deals with people and I should be more concerned with keeping my own behaviour right than trying to convince others that there’s is wrong.

    I have trouble enough keeping my own life right so I am not consumed with how others lead there’s but trust they are trying as I am to be a better person for Christ’s sake if for no one else’s.

  72. bratimus says:

    There is something I want to point out, through God’s words when you look or read about all God’s prophets and Christ disciples. They all speak to God’s and the Word of God. But their all different, they where all in different situations. Now some of those situations are similar to ours but also different. The prophets came before Christ so in things they said they where pointing to Christ. The disciple were with Christ and the starting of the Church after Christ sacrifice and rising and ascending to Glorification.

    When Paul writes he was a slave to Christ and a prisoner to Christ he was writing to the situation he was in, basically he was a prisoner.

    I feel like Christ and the Holy Spirit are more Friends, like best Friends. I serve Christ and the Holy Spirit, I also have a best friend in Christ and the Holy Spirit. God doesn’t want drones, the world wants drones to lead around by the nose. God wants free men and women, to come freely to Him. Free Will!!!

    In Christ Name

    Bratimus

  73. jeff1 says:

    Feeling free in Christ doesn’t necessary make me feel free in the world. It’s Him I go to for comfort and peace when the world is closing in on me.

    That is why the church is like a sanctuary to me because its where I can be alone with God.

    I can leave the rest of the world out and feel His presence and that’s what I need in a world like this one.

  74. Beloved says:

    I wish I could feel safe and comfortable in church but being alone with Christ and maybe a couple others I know well is good for me. I’m differently constructed.

  75. Beloved says:

    Calvin is helping me to understand the difference between the city of God and the city of Man and how to navigate both. My understanding so far is that our role in the city of man is to do good things to make it better, while still being a part of the Kingdom of God which is our first priority. I can see where it’s important to elect good officials who also want good for the people. And to be involved in community programs for children adults and elderly. We are told to pray for our officials that we may live peaceably and have our basic needs met. There are a lot of good things out there.

  76. Beloved says:

    Viv I would love to attend church with you!!

  77. bratimus says:

    That was what I was trying to get across, The Christ and Holy Spirit zones, not the the Christ and Holy Spirit drones.(ok I through a little sports humor into that, and I know some don’t think humor and joy are the same thing.)

    It is always about the conversation, it could be about what people see that makes the difference.

    Christ has constructed us differently, as there are many members of the church, there are just as many differences between US, just as long as WE understand to get back to Go WE go through Christ and the Holy Spirit we’ll guide in the right for each of US.

    In Christ Name

    Bratimus

  78. jeff1 says:

    Bratimus, I would agree with politics and religion there are half truths as history is written from half truths i.e. in my country the orange and the green.

    If we ever stop living in the past we might just embrace the present and finally get past a history that in truth does neither side any favours.

    My mum used to say my dad was too honest for his own good and now I understand that she was right as honesty is a virtue that doesn’t always meet with the approval of men because its God given.

  79. Beloved says:

    Giving credit where credit is due… Augustine wrote the “City of God” which Calvin talks about.

  80. Beloved says:

    Focusing on doing good helps me to bypass my anxieties about the badness of people. Prayer first of course. With God all things are possible, not all things are permissible but all things good point toward the goodness of God. Every good and perfect gift comes from God.

  81. street says:

    beloved said, “I wish I could feel safe and comfortable in church but being alone with Christ and maybe a couple others I know well is good for me. I’m differently constructed.”

    it’s not the people we meet every day on again off again, it is the Lord Who said I will never leave you nor forsake you.” He goes with us where ever we go. the advance team and rear guard. david had a hard time figuring out where he could go apart from God. job found great adversity and God met him in it. nothing is too hard for God, yet we find many things hard.

    thinking of fear…in the body if believers. we are to fear God not each other. bad theology or practices should scare us too. Love Truth Spirit drive out fear. should bring peace…. always contending for peace in heart and mind in Christ. contending to love and contending truth and abiding in the Spirit. one verse talks about contending to the point of shedding of blood. God is indeed merciful. sure we get roughed up by the world and the assaults of words, yet the clay is in the potter hands and He is not done with us. His Spirit is a deposit of future Glory and peace in the present. those who trust in the Lord will not be disappointed at His coming.

    thinking about paul speaking of all the fears and disappointments he dealt with. fears within and without.

    2 Corinthians 7:4-6

    4 I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.

    5 For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,

    if we don’t pray i think God like adversities that get us to cry out to Him till we are satisfied with Him.

    i may be a barbarian for saying this, but sin is a great attention getting devise for God. true faith is better. God even asked satan if he had noticed His servant job?

  82. Beloved says:

    I agree street, I’ve been battling PTSD for so long I know all those verses by heart. But the mind/ body is weaker now than it once was. There was a time I could muster the strength to sing with praise bands and loved it, but now not so much. But Jesus hasn’t left me. I know that. He is stronger in my weakness, just not being used as much which makes sense at 70!

  83. Beloved says:

    I too sometimes think God uses the PTS episodes to show satan Whom I belong to. It’s all good.

  84. Beloved says:

    But of course because of our sin nature we can never really trust our spirituality. But Jesus we can trust!

  85. jeff1 says:

    In living and dying, embracing and grieving,
    In losing and gaining and losing again,
    I rest in the arms of a love never changing,
    A goodness, a wisdom, a strength with no end.
    In sunlight and shadows, abundance and need,
    When loving is joy, when I hurt and I bleed,
    When darkness engulfs me, I trust You to lead,
    My Savior, my Sovereign, my Father, my Friend.

    In living and loving, in learning and growing,
    In rising and falling and rising again,
    I walk in the light of a love never changing,
    A mercy unfailing on which I depend.
    Through suffering and failure, through endless delays,
    My pleasure is speaking and living Your praise.
    Let joyful thanksgiving flood all of my days,
    My Savior, my Sovereign, my Father, my Friend.

  86. bratimus says:

    One just has to look back too 2006 at the U.S.A political history. WE had a speaker of the House talking of impeaching the sitting president, talking about about things that didn’t have to do with the citizens of the country and doing nothing in the house of representatives like legislating laws that helps all U.S. citizens. Just to try and get a democrat back in as President.

    Oh wait in 2019 we have the same person in the position of Speaker of the House. Talking about the impeachment of the sitting President, not legislating laws to help all citizens and pointing out how bad of a person the President is. So basically the U.S. is repeating history from 2006, go figure.

    This is why I stay out of politics, it is the same stuff over and over. rather boring and tiresome.

    In Christ name

    Bratimus

  87. street says:

    Sometimes not being usefull is a bigger test than being busy. As we get older the body and mind do fail, but not our Lord. Some think the cross a failure, but to the elect a certain victory!

  88. Beloved says:

    Amen!

  89. Beloved says:

    I love that song Viv.

  90. Beloved says:

    This is why I stay out of politics, it is the same stuff over and over. rather boring and tiresome.

    James 3:17(NIV)
    17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

  91. poohpity says:

    I thought that God only sees us covered by the sacrifice of His son, not our sin but I could be wrong.

    Once in sin’s darkest night
    I was wand’ring alone
    A stranger to mercy I stood
    But the Savior came nigh
    When He heard my faint cry
    And He put my sins under the blood

    They are covered by the blood
    They are covered by the blood
    My sins are all covered by the blood
    My iniquities so vast
    Have been blotted out at last
    My sins are all covered by the blood

    From the burden I carried now I am set free
    For Jesus has lifted my load
    O the love and the grace I received in its place
    When He put my sins under the blood

    I can ne’er understand why he sought even me
    Why His lifeblood on calvary flowed
    But sufficient for me,
    Since He died on the tree
    He has put my sins under the blood

    They are covered by the blood
    They are covered by the blood
    My sins are all covered by the blood
    My iniquities so vast
    Have been blotted out at last
    My sins are all covered by the blood

    My iniquities so vast
    Have been blotted out at last
    My sins are all covered by the blood

    My sins are all covered by the blood

  92. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    July 17, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    I thought that God only sees us covered by the sacrifice of His son, not our sin but I could be wrong.

    Sin is still what separates me from God and if I am seeking His ways then I will want to draw nearer to Him in order to not sin.

    If I do not confess my sin and feel remorse then I cannot draw closer to God.

    I cannot lie to God as confessing my sin without a heart full of remorse will not work as God is not mocked.

    I cost God His Son because sin is such a serious offence and so sin cannot be taken lightly by myself or God as it draws a wedge in my relationship with Him.

    As C. S. Lewis so insightfully says “It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure in heart want to.”

  93. SFDBWV says:

    Many years ago reading some book about the Scriptures the author brought the idea forward that the reason Paul always painted a good picture of his Roman Centurion guards was because they read his letters before allowing them to be sent out from Paul’s captivity.

    Of course I don’t know if that is true or not, but that one concept stuck in my mind as evidenced by my comment this morning.

    It is a somewhat difficult task to know where the Holy Spirit’s influential writing and Paul’s writing separate, or even if they do.

    However Paul had a lot to say and indeed his writings reflected the culture and politics of his surroundings and of his day.

    Politics isn’t always about how you vote or the people in public office. It also is in how you interact with people you come into contact with every day. Especially in this era where “political correctness” is the conscience of the masses.

    To a large degree people are forced to hide their true feelings in an attempt not to be caught up in being out casted by the mob mentality that now rules without mercy how we are to think.

    Paul knew how to “play” to his audience and so spoke to them in such a way that he didn’t offend too much, all the while getting the message across.

    Paul was a political man. He spoke as a spokesman, while Jesus spoke with authority and had a lot less to say as recorded.

    Steve

  94. foreverblessed says:

    The basic ground for a Christian is
    Trust
    You trust in God, in Me also trust
    Said Jesus.

    But all through the ages nations act out of fear,
    Fear for being attacked, fear for not having enough food for feeding the people,
    Fear…

    While we are told to
    Trust
    God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit

  95. poohpity says:

    Viv, When we sin we turn away from God, God does not turn away from us. Look at history! God pursued people from the day they were created but when they sinned they hide from God BUT God had a plan in place from that very moment of that first sin to send a Savior. That Savior did not separate Himself from people who sinned but walked among them and even gave His life for them. The only separation is the one that we do when we run away from God because we have sinned when all the while we should be running to Him because of sin, that place is a place of forgiveness, mercy and grace.

    Steve, wasn’t Paul surrounded by fellow believers who brought him the supplies he needed to write his letters and then at the end of the letters he introduces the person who is bringing the letters around to the newly formed churches. It is not like our prison system is today when every piece of mail goes through the guards and yes it is read but that was not the case back then. If you read each letter one can see what is written at the close. But first one must read the letters to know that.

    Paul was very honest and forth right in his letters and did not “play” people but addressed issues upfront and unafraid of reaction because they were written to help those he wrote to but more importantly to share the Gospel. He did not live to please man so did not hide anything by flattery or smooth talk but by open and honest communication.

  96. Beloved says:

    Good day all! Very loud storms here this morning and nearly every day since summer finally arrived with temps in upper 80’s 90’s f and high dew points. Listening to RefNet as usual and am so encouraged. Fixing my eyes on Jesus!

  97. bratimus says:

    Here is a honest and truthful opinion I can give,

    “Politics, Religion, organizations or Life styles that don’t line up to the way of Christ. If they were so right in their believes, why do they lie, cheat, steal and even attack others that don’t line up with their beliefs.”

    Over the years when I would talk to people of other religions or beliefs or life styles before it got into an argument I would say. “let US live our lives to the end, then we will see who is right.” That work back then, I don’t know if that works in today’s life. People are so dead set on being right, they go to extreme length to try to make them self’s right, almost as if their lives depended on it. The truth is it isn’t you lives that depend on it, it is your souls. So many are so disconnected from there souls they are mistaking where their anxieties are coming from, it isn’t their Life’s that are in jeopardy, it is their souls.

    “Do you know what language your soul speaks? (That might answer a question some had.)

    So I will pray this:

    “Father in Heaven, I humbly come before you through Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Always to praise, you are the Holy of Holy the Glorified Almighty God who sit on the Throne in Heaven. I come to ask that you keep everyone in the corners make the playing field even. Father I do not ask this for my sake, but for all your little ones of the Earth, so they have the chance to freely choose what they want to truly believe.”

    I pray this in Christ name
    Amen

    Like I said I,m here to pray and worship God.

    Here is another opinion of mine,

    God set up linear time for the sake of mankind, not for God’s sake.
    So If a judgement comes for someone today, to God it is the end Judgement.

    So staying in one respected corner, probably be a good idea. God gave the gift of free will, no man or thing has the right to take it away.

    In Christ name always

    Bratimus

  98. Beloved says:

    Pooh you remind me of the auto correct on my keyboard lol! Not sure why, it just came to me:-)

  99. Beloved says:

    I too have been guilty of the same thing lol!

  100. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    July 18, 2019 at 9:06 am

    I am still a sinner taking refuge in Christ by God’s decree.

    When Jesus walked this earth with sinners it was before His Resurrection.

    Unless you believe in purgatory then there is no in between I am not in God’s presence until I am resurrected.

  101. poohpity says:

    Didn’t He walk with them after His resurrection too? Doesn’t He walk with us today who abide in Him through the Holy Spirit? I am in the presence of God everyday there is no hiding from Him. He is after all omnipresent.

    O Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
    2
    You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
    3
    You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.
    4
    You know what I am going to say
    even before I say it, Lord.
    5
    You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
    6
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

    7
    I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!
    8
    If I go up to heaven, you are there;
    if I go down to the grave, you are there.
    9
    If I ride the wings of the morning,
    if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
    10
    even there your hand will guide me,
    and your strength will support me.
    11
    I could ask the darkness to hide me
    and the light around me to become night—
    12
    but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
    To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.

    13
    You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    14
    Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
    15
    You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
    16
    You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
    Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

    17
    How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
    They cannot be numbered!
    18
    I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!
    And when I wake up,
    you are still with me!

    19
    O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
    Get out of my life, you murderers!
    20
    They blaspheme you;
    your enemies misuse your name.
    21
    O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
    Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
    22
    Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
    for your enemies are my enemies.

    23
    Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
    24
    Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
    Psalm 139

  102. poohpity says:

    One of the many wonders found in reading the bible is what it says about our relationship with God.

    Romans 8: And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  103. street says:

    1 Timothy 4:15-16

    15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

  104. street says:

    The Politics of pharaoh

    Exodus 5:9
    Let the labor be heavier on the men, and let them work at it so that they will pay no attention to false words.”

    what if the labor was made heavier for the purpose to distract from the truth.

    thinking of job.

    paul was familiar with labor.

  105. bratimus says:

    What if placing the book of Job and Job, before Christ and the Gospels. Places despair and unneeded suffering on some. Now where in Job does Job say “come to me and I’ll lighten your burdens and suffering” no.

    Christ Jesus in the Gospels said that “Come to me and I will lift your Yoke, and lighten your burdens”.

    We might need to get out of Job and head into the Gospels where Christ is.

    In Christ name

    Bratimus

  106. street says:

    who was speaking to the righteous man of God?

  107. bratimus says:

    Through Christ we take on the righteousness of God, ypou know the Armor of God Ephesians 6:10-17

    In Christ name

    Bratimus

  108. bratimus says:

    opps typo *you not ypou

  109. street says:

    Thinking of the politics of the Christian life.
    Who is LORD?
    How do citizen relate to each other when they are so different and not so different?
    Unity and peace seem distant sometimes.
    Thinking of Hezikiah. Did everything right and then the Asserians show up at the gate after destroying every kingdom on earth. Surely a time for politics?
    Not for Hezikiah

  110. poohpity says:

    “You can tell that Hezekiah was important to God simply by understanding how much was written about him in Scripture. An example of this is that while many kings of Israel and Judah may have gotten a half a chapter, Hezekiah gets three entire chapters in the book of Kings and four chapters in the book of Chronicles, plus he is written about in some of the Prophetic Books. Hezekiah gets a lot of print from God. That means that he is one of the men from whom we can learn in our life, and we are going to learn a lot from Hezekiah; in fact, I really see Hezekiah as a man of action. We are going to learn first of all that Hezekiah had a basis of thankfulness in his life, and how important thankfulness is. Second, we are going to see the need to do right quickly. Many times we want to do right, but we end up putting it off, “We will do it, but we will do it next week.” That was not how Hezekiah did it. He was a man that when something came up to do, he got started, and he did it. Third, we are going to see in Hezekiah the example of him making personal decisions. He did not wait for a crowd; he made personal decisions. Fourth, we will see his love for other people, and his desire for outreach. He was bold in his outreach. Fifth, we will see a great key about when to extend grace to those who need it. Last, we will see the effect of true repentance and worship.” By John Schoenheit

  111. foreverblessed says:

    “Our Lord never insists on having authority over us. He never says, “You will submit to me.” No, He leaves us perfectly free to choose— so free, in fact, that we can spit in His face or we can put Him to death, as others have done; and yet He will never say a word. But once His life has been created in me through His redemption, I instantly recognize His right to absolute authority over me. It is a complete and effective domination, in which I acknowledge that “You are worthy, O Lord…” (Revelation 4:11). It is simply the unworthiness within me that refuses to bow down or to submit to one who is worthy. When I meet someone who is more holy than myself, and I don’t recognize his worthiness, nor obey his instructions for me, it is a sign of my own unworthiness being revealed. God teaches us by using these people who are a little better than we are; not better intellectually, but more holy. And He continues to do so until we willingly submit. Then the whole attitude of our life is one of obedience to Him.

    If our Lord insisted on our obedience, He would simply become a taskmaster and cease to have any real authority. He never insists on obedience, but when we truly see Him we will instantly obey Him. Then He is easily Lord of our life, and we live in adoration of Him from morning till night. The level of my growth in grace is revealed by the way I look at obedience. We should have a much higher view of the word obedience, rescuing it from the mire of the world. Obedience is only possible between people who are equals in their relationship to each other; like the relationship between father and son, not that between master and servant. Jesus showed this relationship by saying, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). “…though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). The Son was obedient as our Redeemer, because He was the Son, not in order to become God’s Son.”
    From my utmost of today
    I thought that this was great!
    So that is the politics of Jesus,
    Despots demand obedience, tot avoid chaos.
    Jesus is not afraid of chaos.
    He knows that through the Cross everything can be made new.

  112. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    July 18, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Didn’t He walk with them after His resurrection too? Doesn’t He walk with us today who abide in Him through the Holy Spirit? I am in the presence of God everyday there is no hiding from Him. He is after all omnipresent.

    He supernaturally appeared to them which is not quite the same as being with them before His resurrection.

    I have been saved by the Holy Spirit as it has led me through darkness and out the other side so yes I know God works for good.

    I don’t know God’s purpose for my life as I have never been seeking it but rather was indoctrinated that I should keep God’s commands which is why I run from God believing I wouldn’t be up to it.

    I have had a chaotic life and though I never stopped believing in God as far as I knew He was only interested in me only if I could keep the commandments.

    My dad always had a different take on God then I had which is why he knew God better than I.

    If I take refuge in Christ today it is because I have failed God and that is the difference in my dad’s life and mine he was obedient as he was disciplined in his walk with God but it is only in hindsight that I can see that now.

    My mum was right that my dad was too honest for his own good and that is because he was following God’s ways which met with the disapproval of men and I unwittingly was on the men’s side because I thought them being religious and Biblically taught people knew better than he did.

    I am not reluctant to read my Bible for any other reason than I know that if my heart is not right with God then I can take any meaning that suits my beliefs from it and I have seen it done and the consequences are ignorance of God and the one man I knew who was not ignorant of God read his Bible for encouragement and rebuke and not to become more knowledgeable and why I believe to read it for any other purpose is contrary to God’s intent.

  113. poohpity says:

    Viv, God’s purpose for all mankind is; wait for it, wait for it, to have a close relationship with Him and He fully realizes we do nothing perfectly or live without faults, failures, or without sin. I have a hunch that is the very reason why Jesus came to reveal the love of the Father. There is only one way that our hearts are made right with God and it is by faith. Hebrews 11:6 NLT

    I guess for some the reason we read the bible is to seek Him, to get to know Him better by how He interacted with those who came before us although it is just one way but God knows those who are earnestly seeking and searching for Him and I am assured He will reveal Himself in whatever way possible to have a relationship with us however that may be. In any relationship people spend time getting to know each other and since He already knows us intimately all that is left is for us to get to know Him, then a relationship is formed. Although it seems God often has only one sided relationships when people do not care to get to know Him.

  114. street says:

    Reading the Bible is like sitting at the gate to heaven and listening to what is going on.
    I may not understand everything, keeps me humble, not naturally humble. In a humble state there is a possibility to really love in Spirit and Truth, our true worship. Much of the Bible speaks of events on earth, very few in heaven. Thinking sin separated earth from God, yet Jesus worked redeemed it. If we follow we will be redeeming time places and peoples. The politics of Paul.

  115. Beloved says:

    Forever I like what O C says, and what strikes me personally is that we don’t obey to become children of God we are obedient because we are His children. Thanks for posting.

  116. Beloved says:

    I’ve been reading and understanding the OT more as I look for Jesus in history. He didn’t just suddenly appear in a manger but is and always has been God. Reading the Bible is like sitting at the gate waiting for the doors to open to see with our eyes what we now only see by faith!

  117. poohpity says:

    We can rejoice in God’s presence with us in the good times as well as in the troubling times. With a grateful heart and thanksgiving we come into His very presence every minute of everyday knowing that even when we sleep He is there watching over us.

  118. street says:

    Jesus said I Am the gate.John 10:7-9

  119. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    July 19, 2019 at 9:33 am

    I guess for some the reason we read the bible is to seek Him, to get to know Him better by how He interacted with those who came before us although it is just one way but God knows those who are earnestly seeking and searching for Him and I am assured He will reveal Himself in whatever way possible to have a relationship with us however that may be.

    God recognises those who are seeking Him but I did not recognise (too gullible) that they where not seeking God but using the Bible to promote their religious beliefs and that makes me wary today of listening to anyone as people will say almost anything that points to God being on their side which to me means that people care more about themselves being right about their beliefs than they do about God’s ways and that is because we have made the gospel about us when it should be about Christ.

  120. poohpity says:

    Viv, to me it does not make any difference what others do with the bible that is in God’s hands. It only makes a difference what I do since that is the only person I am responsible for in my relationship with the Lord it is not a third or fourth person thing. I do know for sure that I may never know what the intentions are of others that is just jumping to conclusions or assuming and that is never any good for anybody.

    C.S. Lewis read the bible to prove there was no such thing as the resurrection or even a God but what He found was a true relationship with God in his research.

  121. poohpity says:

    cbrown, glad you are still able to minister through ODB to those in prison although a bit more limited. I will continue to pray for your ministry, the family of the man who lost his life and for the hearts of those who will receive Christ. It is a great publication as are all of the things that ODB ministries does. I am a regular contributor every month for 11 years.

  122. jeff1 says:

    The people I am talking about where very vocal in being heard so it wasn’t a case of me assuming or jumping to conclusions because they believed they knew better they were not backward about boasting.

    You are right it is God who is worthy of our faith and worship and when I focus on Him then it does not matter another’s intentions because as you say all is in His Hands and I find peace in knowing they couldn’t be in better Hands.

  123. street says:

    We obey because we love the 1 we serve. Thinking about the requirement to hate ourselves, mother , father, sister, and brother, even the world. You can not serve 2 masters.

  124. poohpity says:

    We are supposed to hate ourselves? Matt 22:39 If we have hate in our hearts it will certainly come pouring out to others which seems to be a big problem for many. 1 John 2:9-11

  125. bratimus says:

    In Matt 22:39, who was Jesus talking to, He was talking to those who really didn’t know the love of God, just love they just had love for self. Now in the Gospel Of John Jesus tells His disciples to “Love others, as I have Loved you.” I love who I am with Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life, but is that Just loving God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.

    In Christ name

    Bratimus

  126. poohpity says:

    If one has the Spirit living within them, then the fruit of that Spirit is love. We do not pick and choose who we love it is part of us so therefore will come pouring out of us towards God and others. Gal 5:14

    At the time Jesus said Matt 22:39 He was talking to all those who thought they had the ability to love on their own and follow everything God had commanded without flaw or failure but Jesus showed them they deceived themselves by thinking they could.

  127. Beloved says:

    Love and hate:

    I read this today explaining the Hebrew meaning of hate.

    Jacob I loved; Esau I hated – Mal 1:2; Romans 9:13 Esau is the only person that God said He hated. Could it be that the Lord was so wounded by Esau’s rejection of His prized gift of the birthright for some stew that God wanted to stay away from him? God had not rejected Esau, rather Esau rejected God’s plan. In this context, this verse shows God’s broken heart rather than His anger at disobedience.
    Gods character is not aloof to our experiences or angry at one thoughtless act of disobedience. On the contrary, He is “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger…” (Exodus 34:6). We feel pain and want to withdraw because God does; we are made in His Image. Yet Jesus challenges us to love those that hurt us. Instead of avoiding (hating), return in love.
    “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…” – Luke 6:27

  128. street says:

    Now in the Gospel Of John Jesus tells His disciples to “Love others, as I have Loved you.” I love who I am with Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life, but is that Just loving God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.

    what ever you did to the least of my brethren you did it to me.

  129. street says:

    Luke 14:25-27
    25 Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

  130. street says:

    i heard that our love for Christ is to be greater than my love for others and it, this love, would be perceived as hate by others. i already understand there is nothing good in me, yet i receive great mercy and grace at the present time. i also understand as a believer, in Christ, i have been given a New Spirit, Who has begone a work in me that will be completed, a living hope.

  131. street says:

    We are drawn into politics by real issues that tend to leave us with the impression that all of life boils down to which person or party controls the economics of our health, wealth, and freedom.

    who controls our hearts soul and mind?

    it seems we really don’t control our circumstances of future if we where chosen before the foundation of the earth. neither was i given a choice to be born. i really am glad i was born, not so much with the corruption of myself and the world. i hear the potter is at work. waiting to be fired. i hear He never fails. i remember job wishing he had never been born. guess i have it much better than he did. sometimes i wait for the other shoe to hit the floor so to speak. the politics of being a believer?

  132. street says:

    Thinking about carrying the cross. Jesus emptied Himself …when we sin, we sin with all our being. When Jesus loves, obeys The Father, He loved Him with His whole being. I find it true God set the standard for love and we excepted it. The same standard for Redemption. Thinking about the dishwasher and the upper room …washing feet.

  133. poohpity says:

    So as Mart pointed out, “So unless whatever book, teacher, God or gods we use for our spirituality can transform our approach to religion and politics into something good for one another—in our differences— maybe we are wise to avoid them in polite and good natured company.”

    It would seem that we have to be careful what we read and who we listen to because what we fill our minds with can effect our spirituality and every other area of our lives. As it is with most politics and religions they seem to promise the moon but do they do what they have promised or is it possible that they just say things to get one on their side then fail miserably with the follow through.

    Jesus told us that God wants a relationship with us and that God loves us beyond anything we could imagine and it is not about anything we can do to earn it or keep it but because of who God is. Paul because he experienced that also points us to God and His grace never allowed anyone to bow down or worship him or put him on a pedestal because he knew that was something only due to God who is the source of: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” and all that Paul had become.

    Jesus and Paul warned time and again that many will come to deceive that includes politicians and different religions to steal and mess with our minds to lead us away from trusting and depending on God with self reliance, self righteousness, self absorbing teaching, self determination, basically consumed with self to the exclusion of what is in the best interest of others, bottom line the very definition of love which Paul defined in 1 Cor 13:4-7.

    God knew we could not do that perfectly just as He knew we can not do anything perfectly while we battle against the flesh, so it is all better left into the hands of God and we can rest in Him. We learn from Him, He guides us through this life together with Him, in dependence on Him. He is our Good Shepherd and His sheep hear His voice and follow after Him, not the noise that fills the air we often find ourselves chasing after rather than chasing after God.

  134. poohpity says:

    I was so amused at all the politicians that had ash on their foreheads during the lent season yet their very countenance and actions were of promoting hate, violence, contempt, division nowhere did I see or hear any unity or thoughts of doing what is in the best interest of the people of our country but only for the people who lined their bank accounts. Watch one time the faces of the people we have elected for Congress and tell me what you notice. Their eyes are a mirror of their souls while they bear these big smiles that are only something they have practiced to do to deceive.

  135. poohpity says:

    Hosea 6:3 NLT; Hosea 6:6 NLT

  136. street says:

    Thinking of the politics of law enforcement. The enforcement of justice at the trials of Jesus. Another way to live? Alive from the dead? Given a new life in Christ.
    Thinking about wine skins.

  137. Beloved says:

    Seems to me that within the bigger story of God, gods, empires, Jesus and Paul, it does matter who rules– and how, who stands with or against them– and how— at whose expense– and how much.

    David came to mind. And how we place such virtue in character as if it’s the true test of a Christian. Well, what about David—is what He did, stealing another’s wife and then having her husband killed as bad as it gets? Yet He was a man after God’s own heart and even became a seed bearer of the future Messiah! Seems to me it does matter a lot who’s in charge and who their friends and enemies are. Thanking God for His sovereignty over all and rule of love joy peace patience kindness and justice- for all. Glad I’m on His good side:-) Thank you Jesus.

  138. street says:

    thinking of 1 Timothy where paul says “character” is more important than gifts. it’s like love without truth or truth without love. a very difficult place to be. sure every human soul stained by sin. Jesus willingly accepted the punishment due to sinners, identifying with them at the baptism of john to do what the Father required of man. after the requirement was met, proved by the Resurrection, a new requirement was given, to love One and other as I, Jesus, have loved you. some love more because they where forgiven more. it seems we were all forgiven an eternal debt.

  139. street says:

    maybe we are wise to avoid them in polite and good natured company.”

    avoid casting pearls before swine. ouch!

  140. Beloved says:

    I’m not trying to be argumentative but thinking of the difference between Godly character and good character shaped by good teaching and morals. And of those with rotten character newly brought in to the Kingdom. Timothy was training to be a teacher; not all should be teachers as they are judged more harshly than the rest of us (me). I don’t think we should judge anyone by their character unless that person is in authority over others and especially children/disabled etc. Christ chose me when I was a despicable. How easy it is to slip back at times (as I learned yesterday with neighbors). The rest of the day I spent praising God for loving, forgiving and saving me.

  141. Beloved says:

    I am not saying Godly character is just for teachers though; is that clear as mud? We all like to wallow sometimes, especially those not born into godly households just my opinion/observation.

  142. Beloved says:

    God bless you, street.

  143. bratimus says:

    Christ said “Who is good, only God is good.”

    In Christ name

  144. Beloved says:

    And for those concerned; yes, I pray for my neighbors daily, sometimes more :-)

  145. jeff1 says:

    See the seed of faith once planted,
    Sown with tears and sacrifice,
    Now a garden all around us,
    Rich with color, rich with life.
    See more blossoms daily open,
    Spreading still the precious seed,
    Bearing fruit for every hunger,
    Filling every human need.

    We are part of all He’s growing,
    Rooted in long ages past,
    Spreading out to fill the future,
    Blessing far beyond our grasp.
    Daily plant the seeds of kindness.
    Sow His mercy, reap His peace.
    Share in love’s abundant harvest,
    Filling all eternity.

  146. street says:

    Been reading a book called ten questions. It’s premis is a good question can go farther then facts. In getting people out of ruts and into a broad place. I think mart is pretty good at it too. Sometimes it is slow, but well worth the wait.

  147. poohpity says:

    yes street Mart is very good a getting people to think about things to get out of the boxes we so often find ourselves in, to expand our minds for better understanding. The sad part is if one is not familiar with what he is talking about they change the subject to what they do know, well maybe know that is. When it comes to God we are all students learning and hopefully growing in our relationship with the Almighty! We can learn from each other when we are open to new things.

  148. bratimus says:

    So is a little advice from me, it is not so much for the commenters, as more for a reader or two.

    Back when I might not have been living a life that wasn’t the best Christian life, I call these the grey areas of my life, because I never went totally dark. When I decided to walk way from the grey areas, for good 15 years ago give or take a year. I had to walk away from it and stay away, and that meant that I had to walk away from some friends and people. Once you decide get away way from certain things, you have to walk away and not look back. True friends would understand this. Not say these things won’t pop up other place, or that people don’t stop bring up the grey areas you once lived, then you know that these people aren’t your friends either. Not saying I’m perfect and have place I can improve in my life. That just a little advice.

    In Christ name

    Bratimus

  149. street says:

    There will be no end to the increase of His Rule or Peace. The Prince of Peace

  150. jeff1 says:

    My mum used to tell me secrets about peoples lives not to gossip but because I would have had questions relating to the person and she was explaining how their circumstances emerged.

    Often I was quite shocked at the length others went to to keep secrets and live a lie.

    It is having lived life myself that I now see why some people take their secrets to their grave.

    It seems many feel they will get forgiveness from God easier than they will from other people and perhaps why I see much wisdom in Mart’s comments: So unless whatever book, teacher, God or gods we use for our spirituality can transform our approach to religion and politics into something good for one another—in our differences— maybe we are wise to avoid them in polite and good natured company.

    If I have learned anything it is that it is much easier to judge another’s situation and think I would have done differently if I had been in it.

    It is God who has taught me that I am not here to determine the rights or wrongs of another but to seek His truths rather than that of the politics and religions of this world.

  151. poohpity says:

    That is a very good lesson to learn, if we ever really learn it. Most often when I look back on the things I have done I think I sure would have done differently if I had known better but at the time I did not know better.

    In the political arena, here anyway, people often say that they know how another thinks or their motivation when it is clearly shown by actions they do not know what they are talking about. Since I have been alive there is only One person who knows what another is thinking or what their motivation is and that is the Lord. With Him even knowing that and all the hidden secrets of our lives, He still loved us enough to die for us.

    So would we be like Moses or Paul and be willing to give up our salvation for another or be like Jonah and withhold the only thing that could bring someone salvation because of hate? Or be like most religions and tell people they need to earn their salvation rather than it being a sacred gift offered because of God’s great love for us?

  152. poohpity says:

    There is a mess happening in our country at this time because the media inserted the word country into a tweet of the President to stir up problems when that was not what he said at all. Each of the people that the President was referring to came from states that the communities they represent are filled with crime, homelessness and other problems and if they were not able to solve any of the problems there what makes them think they could solve national problems rather than starting them. They have shown they are problem causers not problem solvers.

    This is another evidence of people who accuse others of things are usually guilty of them their selves.

  153. Beloved says:

    “Lord, keep Your people free from the designs of the wicked, those who wish us harm.”

  154. Beloved says:

    Alistair Begg preaching on the role of goodness in the life of a believer using Titus says we are to be involved in politics upholding goodness as the standard with the knowledge that God is over all leaders and He is our true standard of conduct in the world. Being different and standing out from the crowd no matter what others think or do. Goodness is part of the call to holiness we are given as believers.

  155. Beloved says:

    Begg also explained that in biblical times goodness meant being patriotic and supporting and upholding ones government. Surprised me.

  156. Beloved says:

    I can see where supporting and honoring our current president feels like a betrayal of all that is good and holy, but as believers it is our duty to pray for and honor him which we do recognizing God is sovereign over the rulers of this world. I didn’t get to church as planned but this teaching aligns with what I believe Mart’s point may be. We are told to give honor where honor is due. It’s all starting to come together in this old head. Old dog new truths I guess.

    Street brought up asking questions rather than putting out facts (and telling others how to think, I might add) Mart and Jesus are very good about that.

  157. SFDBWV says:

    The Politics of Jesus and Paul.

    For some it is always forgotten that both of these men were after all, men.

    Their youths were spent in growing up among others that in some ways controlled how they lived by the politics of their surroundings.

    As evidenced when Jesus began His ministry His religion required the reading from the Torah on Sabbath. This was a religious function. The very fact that Jesus the man was reputed to have followed all the Laws of Moses shows His devotion to His religion.

    Paul was schooled by his religious scholars to be an expert in his religion.

    Certainly though they were very different men, with very different agendas for their lives.

    For Paul there really was no separation of religion and politics as their country was a theocracy.

    However though Jesus the man was under such a government it was because His government was what was to be explained as the Kingdom of God and He their King.

    So the theocracy of Israel had Him executed for blasphemy by a Roman governor who had Him executed for claiming to be King of the Jews as there were only one ruler in the world and that was Caesar.

    The Islamic world still tries to operate as a theocracy and still executes for blasphemy.

    The Christian world allows for several different forms of government, while for the most part recognizing that the Kingdom of God is not of this world.

    Though ideally a Christian democracy should hold its leaders to adherence to the principals and teachings of Christianity. A most difficult endeavor in a democratic society that allows other religions to also be in a seat of power.

    It could be the coming storm isn’t about politics, but still, as from ages past, about religion.

    Just had a few minutes and thought I might share some thoughts along our subject. It is 83 degrees.

    Steve

  158. Beloved says:

    Titus 10As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

    Wow this is quite the standard! This is about the body of Christ obviously not amongst the worldly political realm. Impossible pretty much.

  159. Beloved says:

    Steve your post makes think of the age old question “Is the Bible still applicable to today’s audience?”. This was the first question I asked myself and others upon becoming a believer. Why yes it is, if not then we are free to do whatever we want to do. As we see the culture doing.

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