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Room to Breathe

Photo by: Nsdis

When the messenger of Christ urges his readers to stand firm against the divisions, arguments, hypocrisy, and enslavement of legal solutions— and to believe that it is for freedom that Christ has made us free—he was not writing like the man he used to be.

Instead of reasoning like the legal scholar of his earlier days, he describes a way of the Spirit, against which there is no law.

He must have known that those on the other side of the aisle would accuse him of being lawless, antinomian, heretical, and unbiblical.

Yet for all of the misunderstandings and misrepresentations that came with his emancipation, this new man in Christ—was willing to suffer— for a reconciling message of a true and better freedom.

Seems to me that despite our shared aversion to tyranny, the democratic cultures of our churches and nations are alarmingly divided over hypocritically burdensome arguments of rules and laws. Could it be that it’s time to see that there is something so liberating about a way forward in the Spirit of Christ that rises above the slave yards of political, legal, and biblical differences?

Seems to me that there is something wonderfully urgent about Paul’s New Testament letter to the Galatians that gives us room to breathe.


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151 Responses to “Room to Breathe”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    First of all Mart let me thank you for a fresh breath of air with your new topic.

    A few decades ago a dear friend told me that he had noticed while out and about or driving that everyone seems to have a scowl or angry look on their face. Since then I continue to make the observation that he is and was correct. Too many people are either angry, unhappy or in a bad mood most of the time and their facial expression shows it.

    One of the reasons I have always liked satire is that it is for me a way to laugh at the ugliness of politics, either in government or church or among any group of people.

    I have borrowed a line from the character of Flo on an old TV show, I think “Mel’s Dinner”, whereby she would often say when met with difficult people, “Oh Lord give me strength, but do not make me hard hearted.”

    Smiling I use it often.

    God’s use of Paul has blessed billions of people and continues to bless me. Probably one of the most helpful things he said in Scripture for me was that no matter how much he tries to do right, still he does wrong.

    That almost sums up my spiritual walk, I try, I fail I keep on trying looking ahead to that day when temporary Joy turns into eternal Joy.

    Thanks again Mart for your blog and continued friendship with us all.

    Steve

  2. bratimus says:

    My Thought or idea,

    Is to find the Joy within, rather then to seek happiness on the outside.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  3. bratimus says:

    Steve must have posted right before I did, man I I would be the first LOL.

    Steve, if you ever pass me on the street and I don’t have a smile don’t worry. It’s not because I’m angry or anything. If I’m walking I could be praying, looking for pot holes so I don’t stumble, watching for cars so I don’t get hit and just might be plan something I need to get done. I never been one to always have a smile on my face or a frown and sometimes I’m just relaxing.

    In Christ name

    Bratimus

  4. poohpity says:

    There is a struggle in me after I have experienced the freeing grace that was bestowed on me not because of anything I did but because of what Christ did, I found myself going back under the slavery to following rules and the law of Moses. That caused me to be very critical of not only myself but those around me which took me to the place of where I was before I was set free.

    I was set free to do good and as Paul reminded me “Love your neighbor as yourself”. I do not want to be held to the standards of anyone else so what was causing me to do that to others? It was acts of the sinful flesh not the Spirit guiding me. When I saw how many times I failed I got really discouraged so I then started looking outward at others and criticizing them until I realized that admitting my failures to myself and to God that is when I began to understand what GRACE is all about.

    I say began to understand grace but the saddest part is that I already experienced that grace when I came to the Lord but legalism crept in and I forgot but still till this day I need to be reminded daily how much grace I am shown everyday, every minute.

    Reading through the book of Galatians this morning is another reminder that I express my faith in love not by following the law.

  5. poohpity says:

    Mart that is such an appropriate title “Room to Breathe” because God knows us inside and out having no expectations of us being perfect or He would have never sent Jesus Christ to be our atonement. So now we can just breathe and enjoy the life He has given us with Him in it, together!

  6. Beloved says:

    Breathing

  7. street says:

    3 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.

    thinking of Jesus, The True Messenger, followed by room to breath, Holy Spirit. followed by a return of Jesus. followed by a return of the Father.

    Grace a return of God to man.

    the way has been cleared, even the blind and lame can not stumble on the Kings Highway. i am reminded no wicked thing will be on the Kings highway.

    5 “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says the Lord of hosts. 6 “For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.

    thinking about the cross Jesus asks use to take up. an admission of sinfulness. removed by the blood of the Lamb…..follow closely. room to breath.

  8. Beloved says:

    A Room to breathe

    Thinking of the hustle and bustle of Christ-mas and how easily it becomes Christ-less, hard to breathe and emotionally charged. There are many more suicides and family slaughters out of despair of not having enough, no hope and a loss of words that bring hope. In a small room- nothing fancy- the hope for my sins and griefs was born; someone like us but then again, not at all like us as Mart points out. Hallelujah what a Savior! Asking God to lead me to someone who’s lost hope so I can tell them about Jesus, so they can stop holding the breath God have them. Genesis 2:7 NIV
    Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

  9. jeff1 says:

    1 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    fill me with life anew,
    that I may love the way you love,
    and do what you would do.

    2 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    until my heart is pure,
    until my will is one with yours,
    to do and to endure.

    3 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    so shall I never die,
    but live with you the perfect life
    for all eternity.

  10. street says:

    Instead of reasoning like the legal scholar of his earlier days, he describes a way “,the truth and the life,” of the Spirit, against which there is no law.

  11. street says:

    this new man in Christ—was willing to suffer— for a reconciling message of a true and better freedom.

    of a New Covenant.

    25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

    moved by grace that humbles and gives true life and a hope to love like He loves.

  12. street says:

    something wonderfully urgent about Paul’s New Testament letter to the Galatians

    have to say mart i will be looking for this urgency you mentioned. i wonder what you were driving at? looks like a return to Galatians is in order.

  13. street says:

    4 Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— 5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.

    15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified[b] by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

    the urgency to die to the law to live for Christ.

    Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?

    Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by[a] the flesh?

    19 my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!

    5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

    25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

  14. Beloved says:

    I asked myself if they (Galatians) had ever really experienced the freedom Paul talks about, but as I read and reread I recognized a pattern in my own life. Just the other day I asked myself why and how I’d lost the joy in my faith years ago, fondly recalling the excitement I once had. I just recognized how the Law had been taught to me to be more important than what Christ has done; and I believed it hook line and sinker. Why? Because my pastor told me so. Because I was new in the faith and trusted him. I pray He has overcome his line of thinking. I’m sure he’s had his own battles. But then again if I believe God is sovereign over my life He had His reasons and purpose for dragging me through the mud, so to speak. Perhaps like Job I’ve had to learn the hard way how good and kind and loving He is? And that no matter how difficult the situation He is faithful true just merciful and loves me more than I could have ever imagined.
    Breathing…

  15. street says:

    thinking of war famine pestilence and death

    peace blessing health life.

    both are caused by what you believe in.

    thinking Jesus did everything right, yet cut off with nothing.

    living in mortal bodies. someday an incorruptible body. thinking of an incorruptible Spirit.

    23 Jesus *said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha *said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”

    thinking of enoch.

    thinking of the True Vine……11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

    it would seem sin is not a joyful encounter with anyone. yet God joyfully removes it in Christ Jesus. joy being mentioned after love in gifts of the Spirit. not to be missed. thinking of loved ones this time of year and separated by geography. a joy when we meet up. so it is with the LORD. learning to love.

  16. street says:

    and an urgency to remain free.

  17. Beloved says:

    Speaking of geographical separation from loved ones it seems God is moving me back to my “home” town to be closer to my grandchildren. They have been asking me to move for a couple months now; I told them I needed to pray about it. God has made me willing to move. Will be good to be part of their lives. For me and them!

  18. poohpity says:

    Paul seemed to be saying that those who are a slave to the law will live as captives to something humanly impossible to obey but there was a reason for it. It was there as a guide until we could be filled with the Spirit and also to show us our need for a Savior. That Savior was the only One who could satisfy all the requirements of the law and showed us what the Spirit of that law’s original intent was to be; To love God and others. He showed us what love is and what it is not. Romans 7:6; 2 Cor 3:6

    As I think about what happens when a person is so focused on self, obeying the Law and following rules, doesn’t it then come to reason it is the flesh(self) that takes up their time? We were freed from that law to have us focus on the needs and cares of others. Eyes off of self, looking to God and reaching out in His name to others. Eph 2:10 NLT

  19. poohpity says:

    Paul wrote to another church in Colossi besides the one in Galatia the same message;

    This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

    7 You learned about the Good News from Epaphras, our beloved co-worker. He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us on your behalf. 8 He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.

    9 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

    11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. 13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

  20. poohpity says:

    That JOY should fill our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!

    1. Joyful, joyful, we adore thee,
    God of glory, Lord of love;
    hearts unfold like flowers before thee,
    opening to the sun above.
    Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
    drive the dark of doubt away.
    Giver of immortal gladness,
    fill us with the light of day!

    2. All thy works with joy surround thee,
    earth and heaven reflect thy rays,
    stars and angels sing around thee,
    center of unbroken praise.
    Field and forest, vale and mountain,
    flowery meadow, flashing sea,
    chanting bird and flowing fountain,
    call us to rejoice in thee.

    3. Thou art giving and forgiving,
    ever blessing, ever blest,
    well-spring of the joy of living,
    ocean depth of happy rest!
    Thou our Father, Christ our brother,
    all who live in love are thine;
    teach us how to love each other,
    lift us to the joy divine.

    4. Mortals, join the mighty chorus
    which the morning stars began;
    love divine is reigning o’er us,
    binding all within its span.
    Ever singing, march we onward,
    victors in the midst of strife;
    joyful music leads us sunward,
    in the triumph song of life.

  21. SFDBWV says:

    While working in the coal mines I was privileged to hold many union offices, one that taught me much about human behavior was when I was on the “mine” committee.

    It consisted of helping miners who had been cheated or wronged by management by way of a contract violation.

    The contract was the law and both the labor force and the coal company was to abide by the conditions of the contract with the Federal Labor Board acting as arbitration in contested disputes.

    Every member of the union had a copy of the contract and far too many thought themselves to be expert in interpreting it.

    The truth being that even though what you might read looked clear as glass, if the matter had been arbitrated to the contrary that was the end of that. Arbitration had the last word, it was law.

    The companies had staffs of labor law attorney’s that were paid well to contest and arbitrate every condition of a contract that they themselves had agreed to. Agreeing knowing that they could change the meaning of wording by use of arbitration.

    It seems to me that in studying the OT law that the same opportunity existed for “religious” experts to interpret the law as they wanted it understood, for that age old purpose of control through fear.

    Working underground the air you breathe (even though there are huge fans that pull outside air into the mines) is stale riddled with dangers from coal dust, rotting timbers, mold, sulfur and “blackdamp” in some cases.

    Blackdamp is the condition of atmosphere with no oxygen.

    At the end of every shift it was heavenly to step out of the pit mouth and breathe in the sweet taste of fresh air.

    There is probably not a single person who ever spent time in a jail or in a particular place of feeling caged or trapped or chained to an unwanted circumstance that hasn’t thought or said “Ahh breathe in that sweet taste of freedom.” Once free of it.

    Paul has stated that we are “free” of the burden of the law. Yet look how many still read the book and interpret otherwise.

    There at the mine I or another could explain the letter of the law of the contract until blue in the face, but there were always someone who would then say, “Yes, but.”

    What does the Holy Spirit say to your heart?

    Why is it still confusing that you can’t discern between legal experts, armature legal experts and the voice of God?

    Between your will and God’s?

    Our arbitrator is the Holy Spirit, not the loudest voice or the most consistent or the most argumentative or even the most convincing, he is the Author of life.

    Steve

  22. Beloved says:

    I think the devil has some input also.

  23. jeff1 says:

    Quote from C. S. Lewis

    For the church is not a human society of people united by their natural affinities but the Body of Christ, in which all members, however different, (and He rejoices in their differences and by no means wishes to iron them out) must share the common life, complementing and helping one another precisely by their differences.

    From what Lewis says I don’t think God gives us a choice in how we should behave towards each other and so it must grief Him when I fail to allow for another’s weaknesses.

    If I fail to be lead by the Holy Spirit then I have not done God’s will but my own and that is nothing to rejoice about from where I am standing.

    I must be examining my own words and actions otherwise God isn’t being considered by me and I am doing my own will.

    As you say Steve it is between my will and God’s and since God won’t force me I must submit my will to His.

  24. Beloved says:

    Reminded of the differences in the gifts the Holy Spirit gives to believers, which as C S says should compliment each other. Sometimes we need to be careful to let God have His way in and through the gifting He enables to the Glory of God. The gifts must bear fruit. Good fruit.

  25. street says:

    one of the most difficult things to overcome is envy, even among Spiritual gifts.
    Jesus rebuked peter over his concerns for john.

    coming to Jesus on a regular basis is the an antibiotic for self. to come to the One Who gives everything according to the counsel of His Own Will. sometimes we forget the Character of God. a place for Great Joy Peace and Life.

    Merriest of Christmas to you in Christ Jesus!

    i like you, like the mountain top vs the valley, yet Jesus promised never to leave us or forsake us. the valley is the most fertile ground. His light is brightest in the darkness. like moses, he was not aware. may His light never fade in you, only increase, rule and peace.

  26. Beloved says:

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Galatians 5:13–14
    13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

  27. foreverblessed says:

    Psalm 126:1-6
    song of ascents.
    1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.
    2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
    Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
    3 The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.

    4 Restore our fortunes,Lord,
    like streams in the Negev.
    5 Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
    6 Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
    will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them.

  28. jeff1 says:

    I look to You, and You are love,
    And Father, You are here.
    While close to You, my heart is love,
    And praise replaces fear.

    Refrain
    My Lord, my God, You’re with me now;
    I love, and I am free.
    Stay near and breathe just one desire:
    To love as You love me.

    I pray, and Lord, I see Your face
    In family and friends.
    The love that binds my heart to You
    Now binds my heart to them.

    I face You, Lord, and know Your love
    And know it has no bounds.
    I long to bring that love to life
    And spread it all around.

  29. poohpity says:

    Jesus taught, “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” The law and the prophets were summed up in love.

    After receiving the love of God then reading the OT laws and rules I can plainly see how all those really taught people how to love and care for others. It was not just a bunch of do’s and don’t do’s but how to respect others, their property and their persons by promoting community and reverence for God.

    But isn’t that what most laws, rules and guidelines are for to protect and respect others. Of course people can misuse those laws especially if they are prone to; don’t do as I do but do what I say or the thought I do not follow them but I expect you to. I think that was the reason that Jesus called the religious leaders of His time which may still fit to this day, Hypocrites.

  30. poohpity says:

    It would seem that Paul being a former Pharisee and boasted in following all the laws and customs with zeal which is what lead him to getting rid of the Jesus followers till he finally, after meeting Jesus, understood the Spirit of the law, the reading between the lines of all the laws and the prophets which it seems is what he writes about in Galatians.

  31. poohpity says:

    Jesus seemed to not only follow all the laws but also taught what the very Spirit of those laws were. So in reading the 4 Gospels we see what reading between the lines is all about.

  32. Beloved says:

    The Law beat us up before Christ came. After Christ came the law showed us a believers how to live godly lives.

    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

  33. Beloved says:

    I was reading Christ’s sermon on the mount and finally understood that He was talking about His very own character. Paul says that Christ is being formed in us. I find that extremely encouraging today.

  34. Beloved says:

    44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

  35. jeff1 says:

    Our Father exalted, majestic above,
    Complete in all power and wisdom and love,
    We see You in splendor and pray and proclaim
    That all Your creation will worship Your name.

    Refrain:
    Your Kingdom, Your power, Your glory today!
    Your goodness, Your mercy, Your keeping, we pray!

    From struggle and vanity, Father, we come
    To You, the great Doer of all that is done.
    Your purpose is perfect. Our view is so small.
    Be Lord every moment! Be Lord over all!

    How rich Your provision for body and soul!
    You bless every moment while guiding the whole.
    You feed us and heal us and help us to see
    How deep our dependence, how total our need!

  36. street says:

    When you read between the lines there are only two endings you can come too. The first is self the second isJesus.

  37. Beloved says:

    i like you, like the mountain top vs the valley, yet Jesus promised never to leave us or forsake us. the valley is the most fertile ground. His light is brightest in the darkness. like moses, he was not aware. may His light never fade in you, only increase, rule and peace.

    After spending a couple hours tending to my hardships and lamenting to Jesus He lifted my head to see the lost around me. Long story short I was able to spend much time listening to 2 unsaved neighbors today and tell them about Jesus! It was a good day in the neighborhood.

  38. Beloved says:

    It just occurs to me how our lives are no different from King David’s life. In his Psalms he laments his hardships and sins then the LORD lifts his eyes off of his “self” to the glory in Heaven. Oh that wonderful Holy Spirit of God! How great thou art! There is a peace that passes all understanding.

  39. foreverblessed says:

    Jesus is formed in us.
    Beattitudes – His own character

    That’s it!
    That cannot be defined in laws.

    I envision it like this:
    We were black, like a black fume going through us, having dirtied us all ( kingdom of darkness)
    Then we were connected to Jesus, by faith, and His Life flows through us, cleaning us, ever flowing ever cleaning and strengthening.

    The power of His resurrected Life strengthening us.

    That was the idea of Jesus coming to earth, as a baby…

    How could I have been so blind to see Jesus as my All in all, and instead look to the law to guide me.

    O come let us adore Him
    O come let us adore Him
    O come let us adore Him Christ the Lord.

  40. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Steve, for telling the story of the miners.
    With the rules in hand, and hete not being merciful.

    And about Great Britain, to me I find it very sad.
    Our country is closely tight to Britain, lots of trade. ( I think our 5th trading partner) Fresh food being shipped daily. A no-deal would have given chaos.
    But a no deal will probably not happen.
    Still there will have to be made new trade deals, maybe something like Norway.

    Then there is the questionnaire of Ireland: Ireland remains in the EU, Nothern Ireland not. So there must be a border somewhere, either in Ireland or otherwise in the Irish sea. This is such an impossible situation.

    We have lived in London for a while, 25 years ago. My husband was always amazed at the difference of the position of the workers, in our country workers are much better protected. In England the boss could come at your desk, and sack you. At the spot you would have to leave. This is forbidden in oude country. The lower workers are much better protected under European laws then in the British laws.

    But maybe I am getting too political.

    I was always against the Roman Empire, and against EU, when I was younger, 40 years ago.
    But without the Roman Empire the state of the then world would have been chaotic. It gave stability, so that the Gospel could be preached.
    It is about getting souls saved, wijkse who see that Jesus is their Savior. “fishers of men”

  41. jeff1 says:

    To everything (turn, turn, turn)
    There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
    And a time to every purpose, under heaven

    A time to be born, a time to die
    A time to plant, a time to reap
    A time to kill, a time to heal
    A time to laugh, a time to weep

    To everything (turn, turn, turn)
    There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
    And a time to every purpose, under heaven

    A time to build up, a time to break down
    A time to dance, a time to mourn
    A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

    To everything (turn, turn, turn)
    There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
    And a time to every purpose, under heaven

    A time of love, a time of hate
    A time of war, a time of peace
    A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

    To everything (turn, turn, turn)
    There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
    And a time to every purpose, under heaven

    A time to gain, a time to lose
    A time to rend, a time to sew
    A time for love, a time for hate
    A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

  42. poohpity says:

    With love comes discipline and correction. Have you ever been around a child that has never been corrected or disciplined? They throw tantrums, have fits of rage it seems no matter how kind a parent is to them without that correction they never learn the right way to act. Yes there are times that parents over punish rather than discipline and correct which can also be harmful but a good parent knows just how to do it with love in mind.

    Hebrews 12: And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not take lightly the discipline of the Lord, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you. 6For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastises everyone He receives as a son.” 7Endure suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?

    I brought that up because of what forever mentioned about people getting fired. I know for those who work for our government even when they do something wrong it takes a lot to have them fired for not doing their while in the private domain if you do not do your job then you get fired easily. That to me seems to be very merciful to be fired for not doing one’s job because if one is let to continue in the wrong direction it causes harm not only to self but to others and to the person’s company.

    I think that may be why some people look at the consequences the Lord put into place in the OT when laws are broken and harsh consequences like in the Exodus and other places but if one can take a step back and think about what would happen if people were allowed to continue in their evil behavior without consequences?! Would the behavior get worse and effect more people because any sin effects more people than just one? That helps me to understand things like the flood in Noah’s time to actually be merciful. God understands the present and the future so He knows what is best for all mankind and His thinking is far beyond the thinking and reasoning of human kind.

  43. poohpity says:

    I think because God knows the hidden motives of the things we do because nothing is hidden from Him and He will bring praise where praise is due which could be the main reason that He asks us not to judge others. He knows those with pure motives and those who have dark motives which could be the very reason He tells us to admit to those dark areas now so that we can receive His mercy and grace leading to a clean slate as He tosses those things as far as the east is from the west to be remembered no more so we can have room to breathe and a clear conscience. Oh to be filled with the JOY that comes with a clear conscience.

  44. poohpity says:

    1 Cor 4:5

  45. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    December 17, 2019 at 6:40 am

    With love comes discipline and correction. Have you ever been around a child that has never been corrected or disciplined? They throw tantrums, have fits of rage it seems no matter how kind a parent is to them without that correction they never learn the right way to act. Yes there are times that parents over punish rather than discipline and correct which can also be harmful but a good parent knows just how to do it with love in mind.

    Its not just children that throw tantrums though as I have seen just as many adults throw their teddy bears out of the pram when things don’t go their way.

    Also it is only since I became a parent myself that I see the need for correction and discipline with love.

    My husband would hit our children when he was in a bad temper rather than when they needed it so that they became confused rather than understanding why he disciplined them.

    Pooh, if employers always played fair then why would there be unions to look after workers and if you haven’t come across a harsh employer then you live in a different world than I do.

    Doesn’t human nature come into play whether employer or worker.

  46. poohpity says:

    Viv, my family has been Union members(I.B.E.W.) all their lives and yes they stand for the good of the members but they also stand for their own good too not considering the good of the people they to serve, they have become rich and self serving as well especially those in leadership roles. There is a ying(good) and yang(bad) to almost every human endeavor of bureaucracy.

    There are times that they protect jobs yet fail to get rid of those who do a bad job just because they are union. If you had a company and people do not do their jobs wouldn’t you like to be able to fire them not for just any reason but because they failed to do their work. Would you like to continue to pay someone who is not benefiting your company but rather causing it harm? I have come across many harsh employers but very seldom have I ever run into someone who will fire a person for doing their job good, right and not causing a commotion.

  47. poohpity says:

    My dad put in the power lines that run across all most every country. Those big steel towers that run the power through the lines and if a person did not do their job right it could cause someone to be killed just as it does in the mines. Actually when I was born my dad was in the army as they put up the power lines across Germany in 1953.

    The unions at first seemed to do things like make employers pay for benefits like Insurance, OSHA compliance, not working to many hours that left them tired which could endanger self and others and good wages for the dangerous work they do. But I have also seen union members who take advantage of their employers knowing that they can not be fired who take extended breaks and barely do their jobs.

  48. poohpity says:

    This morning I was reading Philippians in which Paul was filled with joy over the actions of that church and seemed to have much room to breathe over them.

    Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

    7 So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. 8 God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.

    9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

  49. Beloved says:

    Good morning here…

    Philippians has always been a favorite since I received the Holy Spirit, in fact God told me to share some verses in Philippians from the pulpit one Sunday shortly after my conversion; first and last time, lol. Public speaking definitely not my thing.

    I thought this from Spurgeon (edited by Alistair Begg) so beautiful today:

    He Never Ceases to Remember
    I remember the devotion of your youth.

    Jeremiah 2:2
    Let us note that Christ delights to think upon His Church and to look upon her beauty. As the bird returns often to its nest, and as the traveler hurries to his home, so the mind continually pursues the object of its choice. We cannot look too often upon the face we love; we continually desire to have what is precious to us.

    This is also true with our Lord Jesus. From all eternity He has been “delighting in the children of man.”1 His thoughts rolled onward to the time when His elect would be born into the world; He viewed them in the mirror of His foreknowledge. “In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Ps. 139:16). When the world was set upon its pillars, He was there, and He set the boundaries of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. Many a time before His incarnation, He descended to this lower earth in the similitude of a man-on the plains of Mamre (Gen. 18), by the brook of Jabbok (Gen. 32:24-30), beneath the walls of Jericho (Josh. 5:13), and in the fiery furnace of Babylon (Dan. 3:19, 25).

    The Son of Man visited His people. Because His soul delighted in them, He could not stay away from them, for His heart longed for them. They were never absent from His heart, for He had written their names upon His hands and had graven them upon His side.

    As the breastplate containing the names of the tribes of Israel was the most brilliant ornament worn by the high priest, so the names of Christ’s elect were His most precious jewels and glittered on His heart. We may often forget to meditate upon the perfections of our Lord, but He never ceases to remember us. Let us chide ourselves for past forgetfulness, and pray for grace that we might constantly and fondly remember Him. Lord, paint upon the eyeballs of my soul the image of Your Son.

    1) Proverbs 8:31

  50. Beloved says:

    That’s such a good thing – chide (not make excuses for) my past forgetfulness, and, to paint upon the eyeballs of my soul the image of His Son! Yes, till Christ is formed in me. What we look at and think about determines our actions. Love love love our God and neighbors as ourselves; even our enemies! Perhaps our neighbor or enemy is one of Gods elect only waiting for someone to show them their Shepherd comes to receive them? Now there’s a very good thought.

  51. jeff1 says:

    I was blessed to have excellent employers but there was a time when I needed a union and discovered they could not help me yet I continued to pay and remained a member because I consider myself working class and hold working class values.

    You can not stereotype employers or employees and each case as to be looked at on its own merit.

    Why are we so caught up in health and safety today other than back in what people referred to as the good old days there was none.

    Its has been accidents and claims which I would imagine is not good for neither employers or employees that has increased the need for it.

    If you are the employer its in your interests to follow the code of rules for safety and not be held liable if an accident occurs.

    You would think employees would be wanting to keep safe but in my job I seen clerks of works constantly inspecting that men where wearing helmets on the work site and yet as soon as he would disappear they would laugh and remove them.

    If I have learned anything it is that some people do not like regulations or being told what to do even when it is in their interests because they think they know better.

  52. Beloved says:

    I’ve seen the same problem within the Body of Christ Viv.

  53. poohpity says:

    Oh yes human nature is human nature no matter what time it is in, the beginning till the end. That is what I find so totally amazing about the grace of God who knows us so well yet laid down His deity to atone for us. Amazing grace how sweet the sound for a wretch like me. WOW!

  54. street says:

    Lord, paint upon the eyeballs of my soul the image of Your Son.

    2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like [e]fullers’ soap. 3 He will “sit” as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord [f]offerings in righteousness. 4 Then the [g]offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

    i wait for the Day ,He, Jesus sees Himself in Me and I see myself in Him. conformed to His Image, The HOLY ONE True Love, True Joy, True Peace……….humbled by His Great Love. LORD in all things.

    i highlighted the word sit, sitting and waiting for us. directing the conditions around us for our good and His Glory, a true win win. Who is like the LORD Who can humble the proud and save sinners from death?!?!

  55. street says:

    But when life feels out of control and unstable, we have a God whose reliability we can trust. In Psalm 18, David praises God for watching over him (vv. 34–35). David confesses, “It is God who arms me with strength. . . . You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way” (vv. 32, 36). In this poem of praise, David celebrates God’s sustaining presence (v. 35).

    our daily bread 12/17/19

    It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.

    Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32).

    secure in Christ Jesus. for He, Jesus is faithful and true. thinking of joseph and his brothers.

  56. Beloved says:

    Sitting judge comes to mind. Some see Jesus as a judge, which in a sense He is, but not as earthly judges judge.

  57. Beloved says:

    Gen 18:25

    Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”

  58. street says:

    He must have known that those on the other side of the aisle would accuse him of being lawless, antinomian, heretical, and unbiblical.

    2 Corinthians 10:4-6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but [a]divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.

    was reading some stuff on the internet of different arguments about the death of isiah . one of the arguments was he said he saw God and lived to tell about it as justification for killing him. Seems these scholars where ignorant of God defense of mose against his brother and sister.

  59. poohpity says:

    yep that was about as clear as mud.

  60. poohpity says:

    Did you know or understand that Mart seems to be talking about the difference in the life of Paul who once lived zealously for the law of Moses compared to how he lived once set free from that law to live for Christ by the Spirit?

    The law of Moses is that which condemns and judges but Jesus came to save, to redeem, to restore and set us free from condemnation so that we have room to breathe and enjoy a life free from fear of punishment, guilt and shame. How many people really live their lives in that freedom? The experience of being set free is something I cling to and embrace however I have my moments when I allow people from the other side of the aisle to disturb that freedom by their harsh judgements and criticism because they live under their own religious burdens.

    The writers of the NT seem to write about their experiences living in relationship to/with God by the Spirit which can be ours as well. So when I read I often take notice and ask myself am I experiencing those things? If I am not, then why not? The answer is because I am not as close to God as He wants me to be nor as I want to be, so something or someone is taking His place in my mind, heart and soul.

  61. poohpity says:

    Jesus said He did not come to judge or condemn but to save and I believe what He says. John 3:17, 8:15, 12:46-47 NLT

  62. Beloved says:

    Jesus Came to Save the World
    44 And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.
    45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.
    46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
    47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

    48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
    49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.
    50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”

  63. street says:

    Room to Breathe
    thinking of elizabeth standing in the presents of Jesus! she was and she did! it was when mary came to visit her. elizabath recognized the LORD’s presents by the Holy Spirit that came upon her and john.

    elizabeth recognized and was thrilled by mary’s belief in God’s promises, unlike her husband who became mute for awhile, yet received room to breath. elizabeth’s reproach was taken away in a moment, and great joy replaced it.

    our sin, removed, is fertile ground for great joy and worship. The Sower/Messenger only gave good seed.

    7 For ground that drinks the rain which often [a]falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; 8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close [b]to being cursed, and [c]it ends up being burned. 9 But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that [d]accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.

  64. street says:

    Numbers 12

    Exodus 33
    9 Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and [e]the Lord would speak with Moses. 10 When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. 11 Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When [f]Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.
    Moses Intercedes

    12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know whom You will send with me. Moreover, You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.” 14 And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. 16 For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the [g]earth?”

    17 The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.” 18 Then [h]Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!”

    John 12:32
    And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”

    Acts 1:9
    [ The Ascension ] And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

  65. Beloved says:

    That is so beautiful street. Show me your glory! I wondered what Moses saw as he spoke mouth to mouth with God. Somehow he must have known there was something Wonderful coming! God showed us His glory in a manger! How blessed we are to know and trust Him.

  66. jeff1 says:

    The Gospel is still the same today, as it was yesterday, and will be tomorrow.

    It is man who has changed the Gospel and religions have turned men away from the truth and I was brought up in a country steeped in religion and have seen the consequences of the hatred and the division that it causes.

    Men are still trying to control the world today by power and might which is nothing like Jesus’s way and why God says:

    John 16:33 33″I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

    Jesus was born to be sacrificed so that man would live for evermore.

    He knew He had to do His father’s will:

    Luke 22:42 42″Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

    Matthew 26:39 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

    Matthew 20:22-23 22″You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” “We can,” they answered. 23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”

    Matthew 26:42 42He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

    We are in this world but not of this world as ‘My Utmost for His Highest’ explains the goal of our faithfulness.

    The goal of faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that He will be free to do His work through us. God calls us to His service and places tremendous responsibilities on us. He expects no complaining on our part and offers no explanation on His part. God wants to use us as He used His own Son.

    We are not so different from our ancestors when it comes to having wrong expectations as to how God works

    Away in a manger, no crib for a bed
    The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head;
    The stars in the sky looked down where he lay
    The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay

    [Verse 2]
    The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes
    But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes
    I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
    And stay by my cradle ’til morning is nigh

    [Verse 3]
    Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
    Close by me forever, and love me, I pray
    Bless all the dear children in thy tender care
    And fit us for heaven to live with Thee there

  67. Beloved says:

    LUKE 1:46–56
    Read
    Mary’s Song
    46 And Mary said:

    “My soul glorifies the Lord
    47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
    48 for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
    From now on all generations will call me blessed,
    49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name.
    50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.
    51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
    52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
    53 He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.
    54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    remembering to be merciful
    55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
    just as he promised our ancestors.”

  68. Beloved says:

    “My soul, rest happy in your low estate,
    Nor hope nor wish to be esteem’d or great;
    To take the impress of the Will Divine,
    Be that your glory, and those riches thine.“

    Spurgeon

  69. poohpity says:

    When we have “Room to Breathe” we can concentrate on doing good which is the very thing we were saved to do while in this world.

    Titus 2: 11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

    15 You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say.

    3: Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. 2 They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.

    3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. 4 But—

    When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

    8 This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.

    9 Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time……

    14 Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive.

    May God’s grace be with you all.

  70. poohpity says:

    We can listen to God’s words all day long but where the rubber meets the road is when we “DO” and live what we are taught under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

    James taught, “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

    Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

    22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

    This is the command of Jesus; “Love others as I have loved you”. John 13:34-35, 15:12

  71. plumbape says:

    I believe it was Oswald Clive who wrote: ” they know the price of everything and the value of nothing!”
    I haven’t commented in a while but I love it here. Thanks for listening to my opinion. Thanks to Mart and others here who continue to serve Christ. Want to just say hi to all my friends here
    as always I believe!
    plumbape

  72. Beloved says:

    Hello and Merry Christmas to you!!

  73. Beloved says:

    Very encouraging❤️

    Everything is so little to God, that if he does not care for the little, he cares for nothing. —Spurgeon

  74. street says:

    When we have “Room to Breathe” we can concentrate on doing good which is the very thing we were saved to do while in this world.

    the theme of play work and worship come to mind.
    grace is breathing room. a gift to draw closer to the LORD. a closeness of peace and stillness. enduring the cross for the joy set before Him. learning suffering through obedience. we learn suffering from sinfulness? yet asked to respond to injustice in the same way Christ did. Jesus humbly spoke truth to the ones who crucified Him. not willing that any should perish. forgive them Father they don’t know what they are doing. God has given all Authority in heaven and on earth to Jesus. we are asked to trust Him and go! go, to live! to be done in Christ. to be ready in season and out of season. for the Glory of God.

  75. jeff1 says:

    Our Almighty God will do His work
    Through us, through us.
    Our Father delights to bless the world
    Through us, through us.
    Through all who hear and obey His call,
    The child, the leader, the great and small,
    He will help and heal,
    Expressing His love through us.

    For all who obey, our Father works
    His will, His will.
    Through joy and through pain He kindly weaves
    His will, His will.
    The sweet surprise and the long delay,
    The weird, the wild, and the everyday,
    God will use them all
    To lovingly work His will.

    O Father of love, we give ourselves
    To You, to You.
    Completely, O God, we live our lives
    To You, to You.
    So give the joy that You long to share,
    Our deepest hunger, our highest prayer,
    That forevermore
    We draw every breath in You.

  76. Beloved says:

    Beautiful song/ meditation Viv.

  77. jeff1 says:

    Yes, songs help me to keep my focus on God when my mind would otherwise get distracted and worrisome.

    Love this time of the year with all the carols and Christmas songs being sung.

    This is a favourite of mine.

    Now we have been through the harvest
    Winter has truly begun
    Now we have walked in the chill of the night
    We are waiting for, waiting for
    For the Saviour’s Day
    Many have come from the valleys
    Many have come from the hills
    Many have started their journey home
    To be with someone, with someone
    On the Saviour’s Day
    Open your eyes on Saviour’s Day
    Don’t look back or turn away
    Life can be yours if you’ll only stay
    He is calling you, calling you
    On the Saviour’s Day
    Joining the old and the young ones
    Joining the black and the white
    Meeting the need of the hungry is He
    Will we ever remember Him
    On the Saviour’s Day
    Open your eyes on Saviour’s Day
    Don’t look back or turn away
    Life can be yours if you’ll only stay
    He is calling you, calling you
    On the Saviour’s Day
    Here’s to the God of the present
    Here’s to the God of the past
    Here’s to the hope in the future He brings
    We will sing to Him, sing to Him
    Open your eyes on Saviour’s Day
    Don’t look back or turn away
    Life can be yours if you’ll only stay
    He is calling you, calling you
    On the Saviour’s Day
    On the Saviour’s Day
    On the Saviour’s Day
    He is calling you
    On the Saviour’s Day
    On the Saviour’s Day
    On the Saviour’s Day
    On the Saviour’s Day
    Raise up your glasses
    And drink to the king
    On the Saviour’s Day

  78. Beloved says:

    Viv I’d never heard that song so looked it up. It’s a song of the Nation of Islam extolling the father/founder. It has nothing to do with Jesus. Just thought I would mention it.

  79. street says:

    When the messenger of Christ urges his readers to stand firm against the divisions, arguments, hypocrisy, and enslavement of legal solutions— Grace

  80. foreverblessed says:

    On the Saviour’s Day
    He is calling you
    On the Saviour’s Day

    This is a song of Cliff Richard.
    From wikipedia:
    “His 1958 hit single “Move It” is often described as Britain’s first authentic rock and roll song; in the opinion of John Lennon of the Beatles, “before Cliff and the Shadows, there had been nothing worth listening to in British music”. Increased focus on his Christianity and subsequent softening of his music led to a more middle-of-the-road image and he sometimes ventured into contemporary Christian music. ”

    So to me this means that this song is very much a christian song. So I do not know where you got your information from, Beloved.
    I do not want to be divisive, but neither do I like it, that this song from Richard Cliff is labeled an islamic song.

  81. foreverblessed says:

    Me too, I really like this time of the year with all the Christmas carrols. These songs are songs of worship!
    I discovered that this year again, how much worship in the christmas songs. THe christian christmas songs.

    O come let us adore Him
    O come let us adore Him
    O come let us adore Him Christ our King

  82. foreverblessed says:

    Jeff was saying that she liked this time of the year, with all the christmas carrols.

    And I do too. When I talk about this, am I then part of the topic? Lets see, how to get the topic invlved:

    When I grew up in a fundamentalistic church, in my youth, they considered christmas a heathen festival, And so it was forbidden. I went to a protestant school, and we rehearsed the christmas songs in the class room, and then went to the church during school time to rehearse the songs in the church. My parents talked about this with the head of the school, and they agreed that we participate in all activities that were done during schooltime, but we did not have to go to church on Christmas eve.

    So as you can see, the law-abiding christians, that interpreted the bible in a strict way, because christians they were, but Lord, forgive them, for wrong interpretation. And I missed the beauty of the Christmas songs when I was young.

    But…. God is good, and He gives back all the things that you have missed:

    I really looove Christmas songs.

    And here is a little story, just to share with you:

    Since almost two years we have protestant sevices in our local old peoples home. This home was originally a catholic missionary, and since the seventies is also an old peoples home for “lay members”. But the priests live there still, and have a chapel inside the home, where they have Eucharist every morning at ten.

    And through the years, also protestant people have ocme to live there, but many of them do not want to go to a catholic service. For those people these protestant service was started. And I became part of the organising team. The pastoral worker who works at the home also said that she liked it that in a catholic stronghold, some protestant voices were heard. And indeed, this has proven very helpful. Often priests attend too, and after service. they all say: This looks like to our services! So I do believe that God is using this for bringing together all different believers, who are all christians.

    This year, the date for December was changed for one week, and the preacher could not lead a week later, neither could the organ player, So here we were, trying to have a service.

    Then there was real joy inside of me, welling up: We can make a christmas celebration with all beautiful songs, singing about Jesus, worshipping Jesus! I can accompany on the piano. And with great joy and anticipation I started to make a celebration, chosing the songs, and a few bible readings. So that the message of Christmas would sound through singing.

    The theme was: Light in darkness

    Isaiah 9:1-6

    Guess what, I really got ill the last three days! My head…

    It was not really bad, but I could not function.

    So here comes in the other theme we often talk about:

    Intercessory prayer!
    So I prayed, and prayed, also for the prison ministry of Chris, (I hope to hear from him, but even without hearing about them, God still gives prayers for them).

    I tried not to worry, all my worries I gave to Jesus, and I said: Jesus, You are Lord over all, You are the One Who wants to touch peoples hearts, It is all in Your hands. If I cannot go, they can sings A capella.
    The thought that I did this for Jesus gave me a depper sense of all that we are doing on earth.

    (Like the song from Jeff, yesterday, 3.33 pm:

    Our Almighty God will do His work
    Through us, through us.
    Our Father delights to bless the world
    Through us, through us.
    Through all who hear and obey His call,
    The child, the leader, the great and small,
    He will help and heal,
    Expressing His love through us.)

    And I was praying for the residents, that God would make a way, for many to come. Because I was so ill, I could doo nothing but pray. Lots of intercessory prayers.

    Thursday morning came, and I was still too weak, but hour by hour, I was getting stronger, and in the afternoon, I could get on my bike, with the piano sheets, and go to the old peoples home! Praise God!
    I was so thankful that afternoon!

    And many many were already sitting there, in great anticipation to sing christmass songs! Also many catholic residents! It was wonderful! They really sang with great voice, especially where the music goes like:

    Glo o o o o o o oria, in excelsis Deo!

    So all of them were worshipping God together!

    Afterward, a little old lady came to me, layed her hand on my arm and said: Thank you very much, this did me very good.

    “Jesus, You are Lord, You are over all,You arrange everything, You love them all”

  83. foreverblessed says:

    Psalm 127:1-5

    A song of ascents. Of Solomon.

    1
    Unless the Lord builds the house,
    the builders labor in vain.
    Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the guards stand watch in vain.
    2
    In vain you rise early
    and stay up late,
    toiling for food to eat—
    for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves.

    3
    Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.
    4
    Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
    are children born in one’s youth.
    5
    Blessed is the man
    whose quiver is full of them.
    They will not be put to shame
    when they contend with their opponents in court.

  84. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed you are indeed a blessing upon this blog.

    Thank you for all your comments.

    Steve

  85. SFDBWV says:

    I had a good smile and laugh when I read Foreverblessed’s comment stating Jeff liked this time of year and so does she, then trying to figure a way to involve the topic into her commentary.

    Actually the only reference I can see to this time of year to this topic is the picture of what appears to be a Christmas tree ornament hanging in what looks like a spruce tree spelling out “Joy”.

    Of course there can’t be Christmas without the birth of Christ nor could there be a ministry of Paul without Christ as well, so this time of year is still relevant to the topic.

    Sadly the TV is filled with the arguing between the two political parties about Trump, the upcoming new “Star Wars” movie and sales for the “Season” being the only time Christmas music is heard as background music.

    No one wants to mention Jesus of Nazareth as to why there is a “season” at all.

    I like most here also enjoy music and so often listen to music on “You Tube” while here at the computer. I enjoy Christmas carols all year long as they somehow are soothing to my soul.

    And often the music I want to hear is just for that purpose, to calm my spirit.

    Thank you again Foreverblessed for blessing me this morning and as always you Viv for sharing your passion for music, may you both be blessed today and forever.

    Steve

  86. jeff1 says:

    Beloved says:
    December 19, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    Viv I’d never heard that song so looked it up. It’s a song of the Nation of Islam extolling the father/founder. It has nothing to do with Jesus. Just thought I would mention it.

    To me the words of this song are very much about Christmas and Jesus but I am not saying I know the origin but rather as Forever said it is a Christian singer who made it popular in Britain.

    Forever, thank you for your comments which throw light on why I would see it as a Christmas song.

  87. jeff1 says:

    SFDBWV says:
    December 20, 2019 at 5:54 am

    And often the music I want to hear is just for that purpose, to calm my spirit.

    That is exactly what I would say music does for me. I think Steve that speaks of us being kindred spirits.

    When I am singing or listening to others singing then the world seems a better place and I forget the gloom and doom and see hope again and without hope then I could not step out with faith in God and it is that faith that keeps me focused on Him and His ways which reassure me of His love, mercy and protection in an otherwise harsh world.

    Thank you Steve for your blessing, and for being a friend, for friends are like stars they twinkle in our heart.

  88. foreverblessed says:

    JOY

    Joy to the world! The Lord is come:
    let earth receive her King;
    let ev’ry heart prepare him room,
    and heav’n and nature sing,
    and heav’n and nature sing,
    and heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.

    2 Joy to the earth! The Savior reigns:
    let men their songs employ;
    while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
    repeat the sounding joy,
    repeat the sounding joy,
    repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

    3 No more let sins and sorrows grow,
    nor thorns infest the ground;
    he comes to make his blessings flow
    far as the curse is found,
    far as the curse is found,
    far as, far as the curse is found.

    4 He rules the world with truth and grace,
    and makes the nations prove
    the glories of his righteousness
    and wonders of his love,
    and wonders of his love,
    and wonders, wonders of his love.

  89. foreverblessed says:

    “Thank you Steve for your blessing, and for being a friend, for friends are like stars they twinkle in our heart.”

    Yes, I totally agressie, thank you Steve.

    Without the story I wrote this morning, I want to add that God has forgiven me too, for having been so against Christmas, and antagonistic towards Christmas songs, when I was under the influence of that fundamentalistic church.
    I believe it was religious spirits that had blinded me.
    So the prayer: “Father, forgive her, for she does not know what she is doing”
    has been prayed over me, for a long time. ( I do not know by who, but God knows)

  90. foreverblessed says:

    O dear -agressie- haha
    I totally agree with Jeff

  91. poohpity says:

    Mart asked, “Could it be that it’s time to see that there is something so liberating about a way forward in the Spirit of Christ that rises above the slave yards of political, legal, and biblical differences? The Spirit of Christ is where we find “JOY” and although Christmas has turned into a secular celebration sometimes Christ is no where to be found in it. Jesus is the gift given to mankind.

    Are our homes decorated with lights, trees and gifts overflowing the bottom of those trees but where is Jesus? This topic and it’s timing I would guess was to bring Jesus back into our minds, hearts and souls by sharing the story of one who at one time was zealous for the law but after meeting the One who he was persecuting, Jesus and His followers had a change of heart, mind and soul.

    1 Tim 2: “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” That had to start with His birth.

    Yes forever, “Joy To The World” the Lord has come, our gift. It is up to each of God’s children to put Jesus back into this season and meditate on just how extraordinary that really was that God became man. He laid His deity down so that we could never say, “God you do not know what it is like being human!”.

  92. bratimus says:

    I hope for everyone to have a

    Joyful and Blessed Holy Day season

    As I walk through life I try to celebrate Christ Jesus birth, life, death and arisen Glorified Word of God everyday to Celebrate God of the Heavens everyday.

    Joyful Blessings and Blessings of Peace to All!!!

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus (aka Christopher)

  93. Beloved says:

    About Saviours’ Day
    Saviours’ Day is an annual Nation of Islam commemoration of the birth of Master Fard Muhammad, the Great Madhi of the Muslims and the Messiah of the Christians who appeared in North America on July 4, 1930 and declared that the 400 years of bondage Blacks served in America had ended.

    Peace of Christ to all today! ❤️

  94. jeff1 says:

    Thanks for explaining, Beloved.

  95. Beloved says:

    Just pointing out that our Messiah is Jesus of Nazareth. Love songs myself- once loved secular humanistic songs full of false promises until I met Jesus. His Holy Spirit started changing the words of the songs I enjoyed to Christ honoring which was interesting to go through. A change indeed! I will take out their heart of stone and replace with a heart of flesh! Indeed He did that for me. Softened by and for Jesus. I wish you all a very merry Christmas! 😍

  96. Beloved says:

    Forever your story reminded me how Christ Jesus suffered to bring the good news to the world. Out of our weakness comes His strength. When we are weak then He is strong. Amen.

  97. SFDBWV says:

    It is funny how the mind works, every time I see “plumbape” I think of an old cartoon character “Grape ape”. I was glad to see him comment.

    Also I find it intellectually amusing how astronomers each year try and explain what “star” appeared in the night sky that could have been the one mentioned in Scripture concerning the birth of Jesus and the guiding light for the Magi.

    I am reminded of both John Wayne and Sammy Davis Jr. As each prior to their deaths made death bed decisions worried about their eternal “future”.

    John Wayne joined the Catholic Church and Sammy Davis while remaining a Christian also became a member of the Jewish faith.

    Neither one wanting to take any chances.

    Astronomers who are at heart not actually religious are forced to accept the Biblical account of some astrological event occurring at that time and so taking no particular side, try and explain what was recorded as being seen in the night sky at the time.

    I read long ago of some ancient astrological observation made by Chinese astronomers that mentioned an event during this time of year 2,000 years ago.

    Apparently some astronomers don’t want to take any chances either.

    Steve

  98. Beloved says:

    Please forgive me if I do not bring Christ to this blog. LORD have mercy on me.

  99. foreverblessed says:

    The Lord does have mercy on you, Beloved. You are a beloved child of God.
    Only your way of thinking:
    Because ‘our Saviours day’ is an islamic festival day,
    Makes you decide that the song of Cliff Richard is an islamic song.
    I see the logic of it.
    It was the same logic that I used in my youth, that Christmas day was originally a pagan holiday.
    Pagan, that’s it, end of story.

    So there I became a person on the other side of the isles, being antagonistic about anything concerning Christmas.

    God forgave me too.
    And is now using me during christmas time singing christmas songs.

    End of story was an altogether different end.

    Life shines in my heart, that Light is Jesus!

  100. Beloved says:

    Psalm92

    92 It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
    And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
    2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
    And Your faithfulness every night,
    3 On an instrument of ten strings,
    On the lute,
    And on the harp,
    With harmonious sound.
    4 For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work;
    I will triumph in the works of Your hands.
    5 O Lord, how great are Your works!
    Your thoughts are very deep.

  101. Beloved says:

    Galatians 1:9
    I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.

  102. Beloved says:

    Forever I understand about religion without grace and mercy. I’ve mentioned it before here how my early experience with church was ungracious and harmful also! I remember a song I first learned which didn’t seem to reach into hearts but joyfully sung from the head. It still touches my heart though-

    At Calvary

    William R. Newell

    Years I spent in vanity and pride,
    Caring not my Lord was crucified,
    Knowing not it was for me He died
    On Calvary.
    Refrain:
    Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
    Pardon there was multiplied to me;
    There my burdened soul found liberty
    At Calvary.
    By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
    Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
    Till my guilty soul imploring turned
    To Calvary.
    Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus everything,
    Now I gladly own Him as my King,
    Now my raptured soul can only sing
    Of Calvary!
    Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
    Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
    Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
    At Calvary!

  103. foreverblessed says:

    These songs, yes I sang them too, we sang them too, not realizing the deep meaning of the Grace, we accepted Christ, on the Cross, and then went back to serve the law, asking the Holy Spirit to help is.

    We sang: tell the old told story of Jesus and His Love.

    That’s a good point: in weakness He is strong.

  104. Beloved says:

    Paul talks about it.

  105. Beloved says:

    Forever I need to be careful not to throw out the Baby Jesus with the wash water so to speak. After all , His church is composed of people not angels, lol. And some gatherings of His body need a good bath with the renewing grace of the Word, the living Word!

  106. Beloved says:

    Love Without Doubt

    Jeremiah 31:3
    Sometimes the Lord Jesus tells His Church His love thoughts. “He does not consider it sufficient to declare them behind her back, but in her very presence He says, ‘Behold, you are beautiful, my love.’1 It is true, this is not His ordinary method. He is a wise lover and knows when to hold back the intimation of love and when to declare it; but there are times when He will make no secret of it, times when He will put it beyond all dispute in the souls of His people” (R. Erskine’s Sermons).

    The Holy Spirit is often pleased, in a most gracious manner, to witness with our spirits to the love of Jesus. He takes the things of Christ and reveals them to us. No voice is heard from the clouds, and no vision is seen in the night, but we have a testimony more certain than either of these

    If an angel should fly from heaven and inform the believer personally of the Savior’s love for him, the evidence would not be one bit more satisfactory than that which is born in the heart by the Holy Spirit.

    Ask the Lord’s people who have lived the nearest to the gates of heaven, and they will tell you that they have had seasons when the love of Christ toward them has been a fact so clear and sure that they could no more doubt it than they could question their own existence.

    Yes, dear believer, you and I have had times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, and then our faith has soared to the heights of assurance. We have had confidence to lean our heads upon the shoulder of our Lord, and we have not questioned our Master’s affection for us. The dark question, “Lord, is it I that will betray You?” has been put far from us. He has kissed us with the kisses of His mouth and killed our doubts by the closeness of His embrace. His love has been sweeter than wine to our souls.

    1) Song of Solomon 1:15

    TRUTH FOR LIFE

  107. foreverblessed says:

    Psalm 128:1-6
    A song of ascents.

    1
    Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
    who walk in obedience to him.
    2
    You will eat the fruit of your labor;
    blessings and prosperity will be yours.
    3
    Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
    within your house;
    your children will be like olive shoots
    around your table.
    4
    Yes, this will be the blessing
    for the man who fears the Lord.

    5
    May the Lord bless you from Zion;
    may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
    all the days of your life.
    6
    May you live to see your children’s children—
    peace be on Israel.

  108. foreverblessed says:

    Love without doubt

    I have sent that to my friend who heard that she is given up.
    The illness is in her abdomen, her liver and in intestines.
    She decided to stop all treatment. She was left the choice. Treatment would only extend a period of time, they told her, with the adition that chemo would make her very sick.

    She is very much dwelling on the thought that Jesus is the Bridegroom, and the Church the Bride.

    I send her the other devotions on Jesus’ love by Spurgeon, and they touched her heart!

  109. Beloved says:

    So sorry for you Forever as I know also how difficult those long goodbyes are. I’m missing my friend also as we spent many holidays together both of us being without family near. I’m sure your friend is at peace with her decision and pray it will end soon for her. Blessings to you both, you have my sympathy.

  110. Beloved says:

    How about “surrendered” rather than “given up”. Surrendered to Gods will? This just occurred to me. We die daily who are in Christ.

  111. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Belovend, for your concern, she needs prayers, especially for the nights, when dark thoughts pop up, the struggle not to worry, how will her end be..
    Pray for each other, in times of need.
    ( She is physically ok now, doesn’t look ill)

    Advent: Light appearing in darkness!

    I was thinking, that is the theme the bible almost starts with:
    Darkness and confusion was over the earth, (tohu and bohu in Hebrews)
    And the Spirit of God hovered over the waters.

    And God said: “Let there be Light”

  112. foreverblessed says:

    Psalm 129:1-8

    A song of ascents.

    1
    “They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,”
    let Israel say;
    2
    “they have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
    but they have not gained the victory over me.
    3
    Plowmen have plowed my back
    and made their furrows long.
    4
    But the Lord is righteous;
    he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.”

    5
    May all who hate Zion
    be turned back in shame.
    6
    May they be like grass on the roof,
    which withers before it can grow;
    7
    a reaper cannot fill his hands with it,
    nor one who gathers fill his arms.
    8
    May those who pass by not say to them,
    “The blessing of the Lord be on you;
    we bless you in the name of the Lord.”

  113. foreverblessed says:

    Reading the Old Testament must always be filtered through what Jesus said:
    Luke 6:27-28
    Bless those who curse you,
    pray for those who ill-treat you.

  114. foreverblessed says:

    Even this Psalm 129 is part of the topic: Freedom!

    The Lord is righteous, He has cut me free from the chords of the wicked.

  115. foreverblessed says:

    Thinking about Freedom, and letting free

    This is learned in stages,

    Like the song of Ascents:
    In this song, the psalmist is not yet on the level of blessing his enemies.
    That will be one of the next levels,

    It also reminds me of the beattitudes, to me they also seem like stages we go through,
    Or level: from one step higher to the next step.

    As in the second blessed state: those who mourn,
    And often the mourning is about the antagonism of fellow men,
    We are persecuted, and we mourn, and Jesus comforts us.

    It is some walk lingerie with Jesus that He leads us to:
    The level over blessing your enemies
    Matthew 5:11-12

    So is the realization that christians afdeling on different levels in their walk with Jesus, different levels on what the Holy Spirit has revealed, and we learn to let loose.
    Not to judge too soon: wrong teaching!
    Let go and let God

  116. foreverblessed says:

    Some walk along with Jesus (not lingerie, o dear Jesus dearly loves us!)

    The level of blessing your enemies, over=of

  117. poohpity says:

    forever, what does a song of ascents mean? and how does it go along with this season?

  118. Beloved says:

    street says:
    December 19, 2019 at 10:53 pm
    When the messenger of Christ urges his readers to stand firm against the divisions, arguments, hypocrisy, and enslavement of legal solutions— Grace

    I am in need of more grace than ever; thanks for the opportunity Mart to talk and think about how it transcends all levels of conversation, ethnicity and cultures. One LORD one faith one baptism.

  119. street says:

    letting go and let God.
    always have fun with this part of theology.
    do we hold on to the vine or dose the vine hold on to us. grafted in comes to mind.
    abiding in the vine produces fruit and pain. the vine dresser has a sharp knife and a perfect eye.

    thinking of the growth cycle. God see the finished product from the eternal perspective. He rested from all His works. God can and is a tease sometime, like a love or is it us playing games with God? reverential fear of God will keep us in the Way. i always think of the ones who approached God incorrectly and died for it and now i think of the ones who approached Him, Jesus, and He healed them and forgave their sin.

  120. foreverblessed says:

    Song of Ascents
    Ascent going up in plural

    Not one time going up

    Going ups

    Going up to Jerusalem, the city lies on a hill, so going to Jerusalem always means ascending, going up.

    There were 15 steps on the stairway of the Temple.
    There are 15 Psalms that are called: Song of Ascents.

    Higher and higher, literally in height, but probably also coming closer to God, spiritually.

    Like going up to the Sanctuary.

    This is the time of Advent:
    Anticipating in worshipping Jesus

    Week by week more intense worship

    As going up again and again!

    Worshipping together.
    Worshippers together,

    Christians together

    The song of Ascents pictures this going up together…

    ( On December 8, 4.45 am I mentioned this a bit, in the former topic)

  121. foreverblessed says:

    Advent – going up to Christmas

    Always with Christmas songs

    Song of Ascents -Going ups- could mean many things:

    Going up to Jerusalem,
    Going up the steps of the Temple

    Going up to the Sanctuary.

    But also: lifting up our prayers to God first thing in the morning
    Considering the sometimes very personal content of these Psalms, like an intimate talk with Jesus, like Jesus taught us: laying our burdens at the Cross, Matthew 11:28

  122. poohpity says:

    forever, is that one of your church’s religious traditions?

  123. poohpity says:

    Since Jesus isn’t the Temple of God within us, His people where He dwells? Do those traditions sort of take away from us being God’s Temple? 1 Cor 3:16; 2 Cor 6:16

  124. Beloved says:

    It is profitable for Christians to be often calling to mind the very beginnings of grace with their souls.

    —John Bunyan

  125. Beloved says:

    That’s a good question, I’ve been thinking about it. Why do we celebrate Christmas & Easter? To remind us We belong to God, that we are His people Just as the Israelites were told to keep Passover to remind them God “saved” them from slavery in Egypt and pointing them to the Day when Christ would descend to become our Passover Lamb. But we’re not “home” yet. So we celebrate in remembrance of past and future promises!

    Holy sweet Baby Jesus aren’t we all so glad You came!!

    The anticipation of our forefathers revealed in the Assents is no different than ours as we await our risen Kings return. Thank God He sent His Holy Spirit to help us along.

    This is my feeble attempt at answering. My thoughts don’t always meld together coherently lately. My writing either.

  126. Beloved says:

    Matthew13:53 When Jesus had finished these parables, He withdrew from that place. 54Coming to His hometown, He taught the people in their synagogue, and they were astonished. “Where did this man get such wisdom and miraculous powers?” they asked. 55“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t His mother’s name Mary, and aren’t His brothers James, Joseph,Simon, and Judas? 56Aren’t all His sisters with us as well? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57And they took offense at Him.

    But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own household is a prophet without honor.” 58And He did not do many miracles there, because of their unbelief.

    Just a common carpenters son, nothing special in the eyes of man, but oh how truly Special He was and is and will be yet!

  127. foreverblessed says:

    My old church didn’t keep Christmas.
    Neither did I: “man-made traditions”

    But now I see the great beauty of celebrating together, the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ born into this world.

    And the tradition of the time of Advent, I see the beauty of that too:

    Worshipping Jesus, week nu week coming closer and closer.
    Closer and closer in our hearts, meditating on Who Jesus is.
    The Light that entered our darkness.

    We do not physically walk, a walk up to Jersusalem,
    But a spiritual walk: a meditatian, a personal workshop.
    Encouraged by the Advent, knowing that many christians are doing it now.
    You see, only the last ten years I have grown to love it.

    Meditating on Jesus, preparing our hearts, opening up our hearts, so that Jesus will have a bigger place in our hearts.

    Coming together and encouraging one another!

  128. foreverblessed says:

    Psalm 130
    A song of ascents.

    1
    Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
    2
    Lord, hear my voice.
    Let your ears be attentive
    to my cry for mercy.

    3
    If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand?
    4
    But with you there is forgiveness,
    so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

    5
    I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.
    6
    I wait for the Lord
    more than watchmen wait for the morning,
    more than watchmen wait for the morning.

    7
    Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
    for with the Lord is unfailing love
    and with him is full redemption.
    8
    He himself will redeem Israel
    from all their sins.

    When Advent started this year, it occurred to me the similarity with the Song of Ascents.
    Just a personal thing, that I share here.

    Wait for the Lord, my whole being waits!

    What a mind of worship to our Lord and Savior!

    Waiting upon the Lord
    Hosanna in the Highest,
    And in the lowest parts of our hearts

    May God bless you.

  129. poohpity says:

    It is beautiful however or whatever one can use to bring them closer to the Lord whether it was in anticipation of His coming from the OT or celebrating their redemption after He came from the NT. Hopefully those reminders do not last through just this season but all year round, every year until we meet Him face to face. We can celebrate the Spirit of Christmas all year long, wouldn’t that be nice?

    May God’s grace and peace be with you all year round!

  130. poohpity says:

    Jesus remarked about those who anticipated His coming said, “56Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.”

    57The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?”

    58Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am!

    Matt 13:17; Hebrews 11:13 NLT

    We no longer have to anticipate His coming but now have the Holy Spirit as a seal to guarantee our place in His Kingdom. We have His words to guide our lives and we have mercies that are new every morning to start our day with all year round. The OT writers looked forward to what we live with everyday now. If only we lived as if everyday was a celebration of our relationship with our God and rejoiced in that.

  131. poohpity says:

    NOW no more anticipation. A believer’s life is a father-child relationship, the most basic and embryonic of all love relationships. God loves us not because we’re worthy of His love, but simply because it’s His nature to love. The apostle John simply puts it, “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Jesus taught us to talk with God who is “our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). We’re privileged and empowered by the Holy Spirit to call Him “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15–16; Galatians 4:6). This term is a name of endearment and intimacy. One writer says that God has many names but Abba Father is his favorite name for God. Calling Him “Abba, Father” authenticates our salvation, for we become children of God through Jesus (John 1:12; Galatians 3:26). Our status as His children entitles us to a spiritual inheritance as God’s heirs (Romans 8:17; Galatians 4:7).

    Our Daily Bread for today.

  132. poohpity says:

    and now this is what we can look forward to;

    1 John 3: See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. 2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 3 And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.

  133. Beloved says:

    “We live in a world of men and devils, be Holy anyway.”

  134. Beloved says:

    How Can He Fail You?
    I will strengthen you.

    Isaiah 41:10
    God has a strong reserve with which to discharge this responsibility, for He is able to do everything. Believer, until you can drain the ocean dry of omnipotence, until you can break into pieces the towering mountains of almighty strength, you never need to fear.

    Do not think that the strength of man will ever be able to overcome the power of God. While the earth’s huge pillars stand, you have enough reason to live firm in your faith.

    The same God who directs the earth in its orbit, who feeds the burning furnace of the sun, and trims the lamps of heaven has promised to supply you with daily strength. While He is able to uphold the universe, do not dream that He will prove unable to fulfill His own promises.

    Remember what He did in the past, in the former generations. Remember how He spoke and it was done, how He commanded and it stood firm. Will He who created the world grow weary? He hangs the world upon nothing; will He who does this be unable to support His children? Will He be unfaithful to His word for lack of power?

    Who is it that restrains the tempest? Does He not ride upon the wings of the wind and make the clouds His chariots and hold the ocean in the hollow of His hand? How can He fail you? When He has put such a faithful promise as this on record, will you for a moment indulge the thought that He has outpromised Himself or gone beyond His power to fulfill? No! You can doubt no longer.

    My God, You who are my strength, I believe that this promise will be fulfilled, for the boundless reservoir of Your grace can never be exhausted, and the overflowing storehouse of Your strength can never be emptied by Your friends or plundered by Your enemies.

    Now let the feeble all be strong,
    And make Jehovah’s arm their song.
    Spurgeon

  135. street says:

    We no longer have to anticipate His coming but now have the Holy Spirit as a seal to guarantee our place in His Kingdom. We have His words to guide our lives and we have mercies that are new every morning to start our day with all year round. The OT writers looked forward to what we live with everyday now. If only we lived as if everyday was a celebration of our relationship with our God and rejoiced in that.

    i still look for His Coming on a White Horse, with healing in His wings. any day or night now. it was a surprise in Bethlehem and it certainly was a surprise at calvary! yet we are told of Elijah coming before His return. an evangelist or heralder of good news. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”

    14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who [a]bring good news of good things!”

    16 However, they did not all heed the [b]good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”

    may the Lord speak to you, and bless you.

  136. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Street!

    Jesus can always come very much closer to my heart.

    or, actually, it is ofcourse the other way around.
    Haha.

    You could also say: Instead of asking to come closer, we could concentrate on what we already have now!
    We are saved by Faith in Jesus
    We are His beloved children.
    We are the Bride of Christ, the Body of believers..

    And on and on all the promises that we have received in Christ.

    Or…. what we could do now: Join the choirs of the the singing in worshipping Jesus! In this season!

    So God spoke to my heart: Do not be afraid, just join in the christmas worship songs. Sing with all of your heart.

    That was soms time ago.

    “I enjoy the worship of my people, singing together,l!”

    So, it took some courage, and deep love of God to kleine thee Christmas celebrations.

    Instead of sitting at “the other side over the isles” as Mart puts it, and being a real downer on all christmas festivities.

    Freedom that we have in Christ,

    For freedom has He set us free!

    The one celebrates Christmas and does it for the Lord,
    And the other…. hopefully is not a discouragement.

    Romans 14:5-18

  137. foreverblessed says:

    So, it took some courage, and deep love of God to kleine thee Christmas celebrations.

    … to join the Christmas celebrations.

    Psalm 131:1-3
    A song of ascents. Of David.

    1
    My heart is not proud, Lord,
    my eyes are not haughty;
    I do not concern myself with great matters
    or things too wonderful for me.
    2
    But I have calmed and quieted myself,
    I am like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child I am content.

    3
    Israel, put your hope in the Lord
    both now and forevermore.

  138. Beloved says:

    Forever thank you for using your musical talents to celebrate the birth of our Savior! God loves your efforts/gifts as you build up the Kingdom of God.

  139. street says:

    thinking of the Christmas Season. even now i understand some mourn in this season. and rightfully so, yet mourn in hope. blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. blessed are the poor in spirit for they will be comforted.

    The Messiah has put and end to sin and death, we follow for the joy set before us. the hope of entering into His Joy.

  140. jeff1 says:

    Once in royal Davids city,
    Stood a lowly cattle shed,
    Where a mother laid her Baby,
    In a manger for His bed:
    Mary was that mother mild,
    Jesus Christ, her little Child.

    He came down to earth from heaven,
    Who is God and Lord of all,
    And His shelter was a stable,
    And His cradle was a stall:
    With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
    Lived on earth our Saviour holy.

    For He is our childhood’s pattern;
    Day by day, like us, He grew;
    He was little, weak, and helpless,
    Tears and smiles, like us He knew;
    And He cares when we are sad,
    And he shares when we are glad.

    And our eyes at last shall see Him,
    Through His own redeeming love;
    For that Child so dear and gentle,
    Is our Lord in heaven above:
    And He leads His children on,
    To the place where He is gone.

  141. street says:

    the whole earth is filled with His Glory!

  142. Beloved says:

    AMEN!

  143. foreverblessed says:

    Psalm 132:1-18
    A song of ascents.

    1
    Lord, remember David
    and all his self-denial.

    2
    He swore an oath to the Lord,
    he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
    3
    “I will not enter my house
    or go to my bed,
    4
    I will allow no sleep to my eyes
    or slumber to my eyelids,
    5
    till I find a place for the Lord,
    a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

    6
    We heard it in Ephrathah,
    we came upon it in the fields of Jaar:
    7
    “Let us go to his dwelling place,
    let us worship at his footstool, saying,
    8
    ‘Arise, Lord, and come to your resting place,
    you and the ark of your might.
    9
    May your priests be clothed with your righteousness;
    may your faithful people sing for joy.’”

    10
    For the sake of your servant David,
    do not reject your anointed one.

    11
    The Lord swore an oath to David,
    a sure oath he will not revoke:
    “One of your own descendants
    I will place on your throne.
    12
    If your sons keep my covenant
    and the statutes I teach them,
    then their sons will sit
    on your throne for ever and ever.”

    13
    For the Lord has chosen Zion,
    he has desired it for his dwelling, saying,
    14
    “This is my resting place for ever and ever;
    here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.
    15
    I will bless her with abundant provisions;
    her poor I will satisfy with food.
    16
    I will clothe her priests with salvation,
    and her faithful people will ever sing for joy.

    17
    “Here I will make a horn grow for David
    and set up a lamp for my anointed one.
    18
    I will clothe his enemies with shame,
    but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown.”

  144. foreverblessed says:

    How great: God chose to be with is.
    And He comes to us as a baby!
    This is so hard to get, God who was God emptied Himself
    This Psalm says:

    13
    For the Lord has chosen Zion,
    he has desired it for his dwelling, saying,
    14
    “This is my resting place for ever and ever;
    here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.

    God has desired us!
    To live with us, Emmanuel
    To live in us!

  145. poohpity says:

    street, I have full assurance when Jesus first comes in the clouds the same way he left to gather His own whether alive or those who have fallen asleep that I will be with Him then rather being one of the one’s left behind and having to wait to experience the Tribulation period when He comes on a white horse ready for battle and judgement. But if you want to wait until you see Him coming on a white horse that is up to you. I made a choice to turn my life over to Him now.

    1 Thess 4: And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

    15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.

    OR

    Rev 19: Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

    KING OF KINGS AND
    LORD OF LORDS.

  146. poohpity says:

    It was after the Ascension of Jesus that the angels first told His people that Jesus would come the same way He left in Acts 1:

    So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”

    7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

    9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

    No white horses are mentioned at all when He comes to gather His people.

  147. Beloved says:

    Emmanuel! God with us! So amazing, such Joy that evokes!

    Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!

    Psalm34 and Psalm42 encourage me today in anticipation. Christ the coming king, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger!

    What hope what joy what a reason to be thankful!

    Bless the LORD, oh my soul. Let all that is within me bless His Holy Name.

  148. Beloved says:

    Forever I’ve been watching different orchestras on YouTube perform Messiah. What a gifted man Handel was and the performers how hard they have worked to give voice to scripture! Are you singing/ playing in it this year?

  149. Beloved says:

    Viv did you know the very first performance of the Messiah was in Dublin?

  150. jeff1 says:

    No, Beloved, orchestras are more highbrow culture and not my cup of tea.

    I am more Southern gospel choir music.

  151. street says:

    when i quoted mart it was from his post verbatim on December 14th, 2019 entitled “Room to Breathe” my bad for not giving a better citation. still it is interesting how soon we forget the past. was read some of my old post a was wondering, what on earth did i mean when i posted that? took a few moments to remember. context and vantage point is everything, let it be in Christ.

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