Text Size: Zoom In

Likeness

In the likeness of a Father’s heart

A Son is born

In the love of his Spirit

In the joy of his love

In the peace of his joy

In the patience of his peace

In the kindness of his patience

In the goodness of his kindness

In the faithfulness of his goodness

In the gentleness of his faithfulness

In the self-control of his gentleness

In the unfolding of a Father’s heart

A Son is born

To give birth to his likeness in us

 

 


Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
268 Comments »

268 Responses to “Likeness”

  1. Beloved says:

    Angels We Have Heard On High

    Angels we have heard on high, Sweetly singing over the plains, And the mountains in reply, Echo back their joyous strains.
    Gloria! Gloria! In excelsis Deo! In excelsis Deo!
    Shepherds, why this jubilee?
    Why your joyous strains prolong? Say what may the tidings be Which inspire your heavenly song?
    Gloria! Gloria! In excelsis Deo! In excelsis Deo!
    See within a manger laid
    Jesus, Lord of Heaven and earth! Mary, Joseph, lend your aid, With us sing our Savior’s birth.
    Gloria! Gloria! In excelsis Deo! In excelsis Deo! In excelsis Deo! In excelsis Deo!
    Gloria! Gloria! In excelsis Deo!

  2. street says:

    2 [a]in these last days has spoken to us [b]in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the [c]world. 3 [d]And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and [e]upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.

    mankind, to be conformed to the Image of His Son.

    9 But we do see Him who was made [a]for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

    10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the [b]author of their salvation through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are [c]sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,

    there is no other.

  3. cbrown says:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS! What A wonderful time of the year. Christ’s name and the Good News is proclaimed throughout the earth.Pray for the missionaries who have been called to carry the message to remote areas who have not heard the good news. Forever,thank you for your thoughts and prayers 2 weeks ago.That Thursday night in the prison was unique. I am transitioning to new group of men as most of the men we have been “teaching” are being moved out of solitary confinement. Joyce, the women of our church stepped up again and provided each of the inmates and guards 1 dozen cookies. The overwhelming thought was that Love was given and Love was received. The GOOD NEWS was proclaimed throughout the prison and the Gift God presented to us was presented to the prisoners. Love you all.

  4. Beloved says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family Chris!

  5. Beloved says:

    Thinking about Matt’s beautiful post….but how do I become like Christ? The more I try the seemingly more I fail! Then this reminder from Andrew Murray showed up. Timely and timeless as we get to know God better:

    THE LOVE OF THE SPIRIT by Andrew Murray……”The love of God hath been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which was given unto us.” (Rom. 5:5). How many Christians must confess all their lives that they know very little of a fervent, childlike love to their heavenly Father! They realize too that they cannot keep Christ,s second commandment, to love their neighbor as themselves. The thought of this lack of a joyful love to the Lord Jesus, or of a continual love to other believers, is so great a source of shame and sorrow. What is the cause of this failure? Has the heavenly Father made no provision for His children on earth, enabling them to prove their love to Him and to each other? Certainly He has. But God’s children have not learned the lesson, that there must be a constant renewal of faith in what God is able to do. One tries to stir up love toward God in one’s heart, yet is conscious all the time that in one’s own strength one cannot awaken the slightest love to God. O Christian, believe that the love of God will work in your heart as a vital power to enable you to love God and to love the brethren. Cease to expect the least love in yourself. Believe in the power of God’s love resting on you and abiding in you, teaching you to love God and the brethren, with His Own Love. Then Andrew says…Learn the lesson of our text: “The love of God hath been shed abroad in our hearts, through the Holy Spirit.” The Spirit will enable us to love God and other Christians and even our enemies. Be Assured of two things, First, that in your own strength you cannot love God or other Christians. And, second, that the Holy Spirit is within you every day and every hour, seeking to fill you with the Spirit of love. Each morning as you commit yourself into the keeping of the Holy Spirit for the day, let this prayer arise: Grant me the assurance that Thou wilt pour forth the love of Christ into my own heart, and then let it stream forth to all around me! Amen. (from god’s best secrets…dated sept. 10….titled The Love of the Spirit.)

  6. foreverblessed says:

    Oh, such good news:
    ” The overwhelming thought was that Love was given and Love was received ”

    Thank you Chris, for the report! May God continue to bless these men.

    The next Song of Ascents is this one:

    Psalm 133:1-3

    A song of ascents. Of David.

    1
    How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!

    2
    It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
    running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.
    3
    It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
    For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore.

  7. foreverblessed says:

    The oil dripping from the beard,
    That’s what I had to think of when Mart posted the poem

    love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness and self-control

    The poem was in such a way that it seemed to flow.

    Christ in us, is the Spirit in us, and there the fruit of the Spirit come.

    The inmates having love, christians having love:
    From God

    Thank you Beloved for that reminder, we cannot work up love in ourselves, but let it flow from God’s throne of Grace.

    But we can give our natural responses to the Cross, we can stop the negativity. And start blessing instead.

  8. foreverblessed says:

    Last night I read and reread the scripture Street gave, trok Hebrews.

    About Jesus,
    Hebrews 1:1-6,2:9-18

    When I read it again this morning I noticed that there is a lot of emphasis on Jesus Who is not ashamed to call us brothers!
    Family!

    Like Aaron and his brothers, living together. Jesus, the oil that runs from his beard on his mantel, and we touch his mantel, and get whole!

    Only as we are reconciled to God, can we live in peace with each other.

    Even in prison! How wonderful is that!

  9. foreverblessed says:

    Beloved, about the singing: this year I did not participate in a Messiah choir. However, at the end of January I will participate in a Mattheus Passion choir. Performance just before Good Friday.

    Sunday morning I heard an Oratorium on the radio, when driving to church.(I never heard about it before)
    Christus, by Mendelssohn.

    The first song is about the Star and the angels singing because Jesus is born. The next song is about Pilates who finds nothing wrong about Jesus.

    From thee Crib te the Cross.

    Singing about the Crucifiction on Christmas!

  10. SFDBWV says:

    A great many thoughts come to mind with this posting of Mart’s.

    Certainly focused only on Christmas we see the Son as a replica of the Father in spirit and nature.

    However I then think of all of the people out here who have no children, no son or daughter to pass along their likeness, nature or heritage.

    Who out of both love and need for love adopt someone else’s child.

    For foster parents who for a time share what they have for a child who needs to see someone cares.

    For people who practice the nature of Christmas all year not just during this season.

    Praying that all of you receive the miracle of Christmas in your hearts and in your lives…The birth in us that transforms us into the likeness of our Creator.

    23 degrees f with 2 inches of snow still on the ground. This snow isn’t going anywhere soon.

    Steve

  11. poohpity says:

    Chris, MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours too!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS to all on the blog and may the Spirit of God brought about on this season perpetrate your hearts all year long into eternity.

    Beloved, that was an excellent question about how do we become more like Christ. My part in it seems to be submission to the work of the Holy Spirit. Letting go of control and allowing His Spirit to work in me rather than being rebellious to His leading and guidance by always wanting to do everything my way, the way I think is best but how do I know what His Ways are?

    Ever notice when people hang around together they start to take on characteristics of each other? So whoever we spend time with usually that is what we become like. How much time do I spend with the Lord? What or who is it that takes hold of my thinking and consumes my day? Whatever and whoever that is what we will start to become like. If I want to become more like Jesus then I need to spend more time with Him, right? Sitting at His feet seeking and learning from Him, listening to Him and following then He will grow down deep into my very soul and the results will be His fruit produced in my life. John 3:30

  12. poohpity says:

    One thing I find so wonderful about this time of the year is the music. No matter where you go you here songs about Christ even in stores or on secular music stations now that is something that only happens during the Christmas season. His Word get shared all around the world through music even for those who usually only listen to secular music.

  13. jeff1 says:

    Wishing everyone a peaceful Christmas.

    A song was born at Christmas
    That set the sky ablaze
    As joyful sound rang all around
    With heaven’s highest praise.
    Now let us join the brand new song
    That lowly shepherds heard.
    With heart and voice, O come, rejoice,
    That Jesus Christ is Lord!

    A star shone down at Christmas,
    A light from God’s own heart,
    A light of love from high above
    To lead us from afar.
    The wise men came with wondrous gifts,
    And still we all may come
    To find the King and humbly bring
    Our worship and our love.

    Our God came down at Christmas,
    And we have seen His face.
    If we believe, we here receive
    The fullness of His grace.
    Our God has come to us this day
    With peace and hope in Him.
    So come, draw near. The Lord is here!
    Let Christmas joy begin!

  14. Beloved says:

    1 O come, O come, Immanuel,
    and ransom captive Israel
    that mourns in lonely exile here
    until the Son of God appear.
    Refrain:
    Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
    shall come to you, O Israel.

    2 O come, O Wisdom from on high,
    who ordered all things mightily;
    to us the path of knowledge show
    and teach us in its ways to go. Refrain

    3 O come, O come, great Lord of might,
    who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
    in ancient times did give the law
    in cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain

    4 O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
    unto your own and rescue them!
    From depths of hell your people save,
    and give them victory o’er the grave. Refrain

    5 O come, O Key of David, come
    and open wide our heavenly home.
    Make safe for us the heavenward road
    and bar the way to death’s abode. Refrain

    6 O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
    and bring us comfort from afar!
    Dispel the shadows of the night
    and turn our darkness into light. Refrain

    7 O come, O King of nations, bind
    in one the hearts of all mankind.
    Bid all our sad divisions cease
    and be yourself our King of Peace.

  15. street says:

    O come, Immanuel,
    and ransom captive Israel
    that mourns in lonely exile here
    until the Son of God appear.

    God gave His Son, the perfect and exact likeness of the Father, The Son promised a Helper, The Spirit of God.

    God has given Himself, in His Fullness.

    to be conformed to the image of His Son.

    waiting and growing, trained in Righteousness, for the Glory of God……….The Only Wise God.

    The God far away, and The God very close.

    without faith it is impossible to please God.

    faith in His Word, made Flesh

  16. Beloved says:

    Rejoicing in Suffering? Dr. Sinclair B Ferguson on YouTube sermon is probably the best one I’ve heard yet as one who suffers more on holidays than at any other time during the year. I know I’m not the only one.

    Street I posted that song in anticipation (as in the songs of Ascent) of tomorrow’s celebration! I hear the groaning in it, not even aware at one time just exactly Who I was waiting for! God bless you and have a very merry Christmas!
    Surprised by Joy! As CS Lewis said! Amazing grace, how sweet the sound❤️

  17. poohpity says:

    Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
    Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
    Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
    This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you

    Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
    Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
    Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
    When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God

    Mary did you know? Mary did you know? Mary did you know?

    Mary did you know? Mary did you know? Mary did you know?

    The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again
    The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

    Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
    Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
    Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect lamb?
    That sleeping child you’re holding is the great I AM

    Mary did you know? Mary did you know? Mary did you know?

    Mary did you know? Mary did you know? Mary did you know?
    Oh
    Mary did you know?

  18. jeff1 says:

    Having returned from our Christmas Holy Communion Service I feel a renewed strength as the previous days have been stressful due to family commitments.

    This was one of the hymns we sang.

    While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
    all seated on the ground,
    the angel of the Lord came down,
    and glory shone around.

    “Fear not,” said he, for mighty dread
    had seized their troubled mind;
    “Glad tidings of great joy I bring
    to you and all mankind.

    “To you, in David’s town, this day
    is born of David’s line
    a Savior, who is Christ the Lord;
    and this shall be the sign:

    “The heavenly Babe you there shall find
    to human view displayed,
    all meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
    and in a manger laid.”

    Thus spake the seraph, and forthwith
    appeared a shining throng
    of angels praising God, who thus
    addressed their joyful song:

    “All glory be to God on high
    and on earth be peace;
    good will henceforth from heaven to me
    begin and never cease.”

  19. SFDBWV says:

    Merry Christmas to all.

    Steve

  20. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Steve!
    I pray the same for you and Matt and Glenna!

    Happy Christmas to everyone.

    Yes, as Pooh said: Isnt it wonderful that during Christmas all over the world songs about Jesus are being heard! Even the secular people hear a lot about it!

    I must admit, that this was a great PR stunt in the beginning of the 5th century, when Constantine made christianity the main religion of the Roman Empire. A great PR tactic, to make from the midwinter pagan fetivals the Light Feast about Jesus, being born into the world!

    It is still a great message being heard all over the world in winter time. (But I am repeating myself, and that is against the guidelines of posting)

    So after having been on the other side of the aisle for so long, now I am a real fan of Christmas. Indeed everydaty is Christmas, and everyday is Easter and Pentecost. But I do like it very very much that we have festivals to highlight them. Imagine everyday having a big christmas dinner and a big choir singing.

    (Allthough, wouldn’t that be nice, to live in a place where in the morning everyone goes to the chapel, and sings praises together for God, singing hallelujah? I imagine an old peoples home, where old people live together, and sing praises like that everyday, and pray for the people together. Being old, and not being able to do much, but… seeking the face of God, and making intercessory prayer.

    In my town the old peoples home has a chapel, and everymorning a eucharist is being held at ten. But that is very much cathlic, I pray that it will become more oecomenical.)

  21. foreverblessed says:

    For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

    Isaiah 9:6

  22. foreverblessed says:

    Psalm 134:1-3

    A song of ascents.

    1
    Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord
    who minister by night in the house of the Lord.
    2
    Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
    and praise the Lord.

    3
    May the Lord bless you from Zion,
    he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.

  23. foreverblessed says:

    Those who serve the Lord at night,

    I was thinking about that last night, at the Christmas celebration in church. How many of us christians were serving the Lord at Christmas night, being it singing, praising, praying intercessory prayer for the world.

  24. poohpity says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if every morning before we started the day we spent time with the Lord away from all the hustle and bustle of daily living to hear from God, to talk with Him, to sing His praises and remember the grace we have been shown. Every morning could be the start of a day devoted to God by remembering and being grateful that He is with us throughout the day to provide for our daily needs, to protect us from the temptations of the evil one, to give us the ability to forgive, to bring us comfort, peace and love. What a way to start the day!

    Then we could also spend every night being grateful for how we made it through the day with His help and as we lay our heads on our pillows just be grateful we even have a bed, blankets to keep us warm and pillows because that is way more than millions have around the world. It is amazing how gratitude can change one’s outlook.

    Thank you Father for the greatest gift mankind has even known, Jesus! As we say out here in the wild west “Feliz Navidad”!

  25. bratimus says:

    Everyone have a Joyful and Blessed Christmas

    With Love

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

    P.S. With all the Christmas music I have been hearing this year, I have not heard one of my favorites “The Little Drummer Boy” in years past I would hear it all the time every where, just thought about that when I woke.

  26. jeff1 says:

    Christ is alive! We live in Him!
    Freedom and joy where death had been.
    Join as the dance of life begins!
    Hallelujah!

    He took our sin, our death, our shame,
    Bearing the grief, the cross, the grave.
    Risen in power, He lives to save.
    Hallelujah!

    Daily within He sets us free,
    Dawn of a new reality,
    Promise of all that soon will be.
    Hallelujah!

    Jesus will come and fill the skies.
    All who have lived in Him will rise.
    O what a sight! Lift up your eyes!
    Hallelujah!

    Jesus, our hope, our joy, our light,
    Fountain of love and peace and life,
    Savior and Lord, exalted high!
    Hallelujah!

  27. Beloved says:

    Truth for Life- Spurgeon

    A Miraculous Conception
    Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

    Isaiah 7:14
    Let us today go down to Bethlehem, and in company with wondering shepherds and adoring Magi let us see Him who was born King of the Jews, for we by faith can claim an interest in Him and can sing, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.”1

    Jesus is God incarnate, our Lord and our Savior, and yet our brother and friend; let us adore and admire Him. Let us notice at the very first glance His miraculous conception. It was a thing unheard of before, and unparalleled since, that a virgin should conceive and bear a son.

    The first promise concerned the seed of the woman, not the offspring of the man. Since venturesome woman led the way in the sin that resulted in paradise lost, she, and she alone, ushers in the Regainer of Paradise.

    Our Savior, although truly man, was as to His human nature the Holy One of God. Let us reverently bow before the holy Child whose innocence restores to manhood its ancient glory; and let us pray that He may be formed in us, the hope of glory.

    Do not fail to note His humble parentage. His mother has been described simply as “the virgin,” not a princess or prophetess, nor a woman of influence. True, the blood of kings ran in her veins; and her mind was not weak or untaught, for she could sweetly sing a song of praise. Yet how humble her position, how poor the man to whom she was engaged, and how miserable the accommodation provided for the newborn King!

    Immanuel-God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our daily work, in our punishment, in our death, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendor.

    1) Isaiah 9:6

    Merriest of Christmas everyone. with peace on earth and goodwill to all🙏

  28. SFDBWV says:

    I live in a cold climate as does our friend Mtman and Joyce. For many years I have seen frigid winter mornings with ice and snow covering the trees and ground around.

    It is no small step to see the rising sun illuminate the ice in the limbs of the trees and cause the prism effect of the colors of the rainbow to glitter throughout the trees and bushes, even the ground around.

    No wonder we decorate a tree to copy that winter phenomena in awe and respect to God in celebration of the birth of Jesus.

    I have read that Jesus’ actual birth took place around the 23rd of September. However as long as we remember and celebrate His coming, exactly when really doesn’t matter.

    The Magi who came to pay respect to the promised King and Savior brought gifts, and so we too replicate the deed and give gifts to each other, once again copying that act of love.

    And as the very Angels above sang at Jesus’ birth so we sing. In church services, on TV, on the radio, as we stand alone wherever we may be.

    I hope today you hear carols sang and even alone in seclusion you join in the celebration of remembering the day God came to earth as a baby in a manger adored by those God invited to do so.

    Steve

  29. street says:

    bratimus drummer boy is one of my favorites. was listening to it on the internet. Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring is another favorite. i can listen to the melody forever. followed by ”Hallelujah” chorus, from Händel’s Messiah.

    thinking about Revelation, 22 And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; the end of music for the soul that sins. He, Jesus, will rejoice over us with singing. thinking

    Or who laid its cornerstone,
    7
    When the morning stars sang together
    And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

    music at the beginning and at the end of time for the Glory of God. music without fatigue. and as extravagant and generous as God.

  30. Beloved says:

    Angels we have heard on high
    Sweetly singing o’er the plains
    And the mountains in reply
    Echoing their joyous strains
    Angels we have heard on high
    Sweetly, sweetly through the night
    And the mountains in reply
    Echoing their brief delight
    Gloria, in excelsis Deo
    Gloria, in excelsis Deo
    Shepherds, why this jubilee?
    Why your joyous strains prolong?
    What the gladsome tidings be
    Which inspire your heavenly song?
    Gloria, in excelsis Deo
    Gloria, in excelsis Deo
    Come to Bethlehem and see
    Him whose birth the angels sing,
    Come, adore on bended knee,
    Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
    Gloria, in excelsis Deo
    Gloria, in excelsis Deo

  31. jeff1 says:

    “When A Child Is Born”

    A ray of hope flickers in the sky
    A tiny star lights up way up high
    All across the land, dawns a brand new morn
    This comes to pass when a child is born

    A silent wish sails the seven seas
    The winds of change whisper in the trees
    And the walls of doubt crumble, tossed and torn
    This comes to pass when a child is born

    A rosy hue settles all around
    You’ve got the feel you’re on solid ground
    For a spell or two, no-one seems forlorn
    This comes to pass when a child is born

    And all of this happens because the world is waiting,
    Waiting for one child
    Black, white, yellow, no-one knows
    But a child that will grow up and turn tears to laughter,
    Hate to love, war to peace and everyone to everyone’s neighbour
    And misery and suffering will be words to be forgotten, forever

    It’s all a dream, an illusion now
    It must come true, sometime soon somehow
    All across the land, dawns a brand new morn
    This comes to pass when a child is born

  32. jeff1 says:

    “Believe”
    (from “The Polar Express” soundtrack)

    Children sleeping, snow is softly falling
    Dreams are calling like bells in the distance
    We were dreamers not so long ago
    But one by one we all had to grow up
    When it seems the magic’s slipped away
    We find it all again on Christmas day

    Believe in what your heart is saying
    Hear the melody that’s playing
    There’s no time to waste
    There’s so much to celebrate
    Believe in what you feel inside
    And give your dreams the wings to fly
    You have everything you need
    If you just believe

    Trains move quickly to their journey’s end
    Destinations are where we begin again
    Ships go sailing far across the sea
    Trusting starlight to get where they need to be
    When it seems that we have lost our way
    We find ourselves again on Christmas day

    Believe in what your heart is saying
    Hear the melody that’s playing
    There’s no time to waste
    There’s so much to celebrate
    Believe in what you feel inside
    And give your dreams the wings to fly
    You have everything you need

    If you just believe
    If you just believe
    If you just believe
    If you just believe

    Just believe
    Just believe

  33. poohpity says:

    How disappointing it is for a child to believe in Santa Claus that year when the parents find themselves broke and nothing is left under the tree if they can even get a tree that year or how about there being an Easter Bunny that delivers candy. Then those same parents decide to share with those children the story of Jesus I wonder if they will ever believe what their parents tell them again? I wonder how many people see God as a type of Santa Claus then get disappointed when they do not get what they pray for when they believe we get “everything” we ask for? Do they ever come to the point of saying to God, “Not my will but your will be done” or do they walk away disappointed because their faith was shallow and not strong?

    If we believe? Believe in what or whom?

    Is having our hearts changed and not the circumstances ever be enough for those who say they believe in God?

  34. SFDBWV says:

    The birth of Jesus is such a serious subject I find it difficult to inject any commentary that may seem to take away from it.

    When I was a young boy there was a family here in town that built a life size Nativity Scene by hand, painted it decorated it and displayed in in front of their house with a soft flood light illuminating it at night.

    After Christmas sometime before New Year’s Eve they would gather as many Christmas trees from town as they could manage and on New Year’s Eve have a big bonfire burning all the trees they had gathered.

    Inviting their neighbors to a mid- night gathering of fellowship and comradery.

    Of course they kept the original constructed Nativity scene and maintained it and every year repeat the celebration.

    That family as well as their tradition has long since passed away.

    Thinking of those days, people would visit with their neighbors exchanging such things as cookies or fudge, even apples or oranges. Whatever gesture of friendly sharing that they could afford to do.

    People talked to each other, maybe even sang a few Christmas carols together.

    My how times have changed.

    We still have a couple inches of solid snow on the ground, and I do mean solid. 28 degrees f and a clear sky.

    Steve

  35. poohpity says:

    Could we be the kind of person who’s faith is so strong that they are tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. 38 They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.

    39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.

    Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

  36. poohpity says:

    Steve, if that brought such unity to the community then why did not someone else carry on that tradition? Gal 6:9NLT

  37. jeff1 says:

    I think we should be asking ourselves why do we tell our children there is a Santa Claus! Then in time break their little hearts by dropping the bombshell that he hasn’t made it from the North Pole afterall with their presents but rather that mum and dad has worked hard to put their presents under the tree.

    My son will say to this day, Christmas is not the same when you don’t believe in Santa.

    I could force my belief on him that Christmas is not the same for those who don’t believe in Christ, but I know that, God worked in me in ways I never seen coming and so my son has much to learn about God.

    But then of course, so have I, as with God I never stop learning, because He never stops wanting to teach me!

    Mistletoe and Wine

    The child is a king, the carolers sing
    The old has passed, there’s a new beginning
    Dreams of Santa, dreams of snow
    Fingers numb, faces aglow, it’s

    Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
    Children singing Christian rhyme
    With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
    A time to rejoice in the good that we see

    A time for living, a time for believing
    A time for trusting, not deceiving
    Love and laughter and joy ever after
    Ours for the taking, just follow the master

    Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
    Children singing Christian rhyme
    With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
    A time to rejoice in the good that we see

    Silent night
    Holy night

    It’s a time for giving, a time for getting
    A time for forgiving and for forgetting
    Christmas is love, Christmas is peace
    A time for hating and fighting to cease

    Christmas time (silent night), mistletoe and wine (Holy night)
    Children singing Christian rhyme
    With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
    A time to rejoice in the good that we see

    Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
    Children singing Christian rhyme
    With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
    A time to rejoice in the good that we see

    Christmas time (Christmas time), mistletoe and wine
    Children singing Christian rhyme
    With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
    A time to rejoice in the good that we see

    Christmas time (silent night)
    Mistletoe and wine (Holy night)
    Children singing Christian rhyme
    With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
    A time to rejoice in the good that we see

  38. poohpity says:

    At Christmas our church along with other groups in our community get together to outreach to one of our grade schools, their Principle attends our church, 65% of the families are at or below poverty level. We adopted for Christmas 20 families which comes to around 50 people to provide Christmas for them. We collected everything from soap to toys to bless them. During the year we take donations for the kids to have snacks and if needed food boxes to take home or other needs as known it is not just for the holidays but year round. Doing good for others sure does make a difference in our hearts but I guess that God already knew that it would.

  39. poohpity says:

    But the greatest gifts to show others is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control when we want to do ugly instead. Those things are much better than material things, not to say that satisfying material needs is not a good thing as well.

  40. Beloved says:

    John 3:18-19 states, “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.”

    The purpose of the sun is to give light, but light by its very nature casts shadows. Jesus’ coming as the Light of the world means that the shadow of judgment is necessarily cast on those who reject Him. So by His very nature Jesus divides all people into two camps. Some allow the light to expose their sin and ask Jesus to cleanse them and give them sight. Others hate the light because they love their sin. They reject Jesus and come under His judgment.

    Bible. Org

  41. jeff1 says:

    Its the same in our communities with groups and voluntary workers collecting and distributing to the homeless, toys donated to charities to be distributed to children who would otherwise not get a present.

    Food banks in our supermarket so that when you buy food you put your donation into the food bank.

    Woman’s groups knitting and making clothing and crafts that are sent to Africa or similar countries in need.

    You see we are more alike than we are different but then God already knew that too.

    Christmas brings out the best in people and as believers we know why that is.

  42. street says:

    thinking of christmas trees. the church i go to use to sell trees as a fund raiser for different mission projects. i asked one of leaders of the project what they would do with the trees that were left? said they would go to a goat farm and be eaten. i liked his answer.

  43. Beloved says:

    Likeness

    When I look in the mirror or into my own heart I don’t like what I see, yet, Jesus sent His Holy Spirit to live in this shell. Amazing gift! I would not want to be alive without His presence in me. His voice soothing guiding and keeping me saved/safe!! Oh blessed gentle Friend reveal to those who truly love You the Joy and Help in Your salvation. And to not be ashamed of the Presence that transforms us to be like You, and unlike any other, even the one I see in the mirror. May Your sanctifying grace judge our hearts and minds— in Christ Jesus. My True, eternal God. Amen

  44. jeff1 says:

    Speak Your Word, my Father,
    Speak Your Word through me.
    Quiet all my struggle.
    Let Your Spirit lead.
    You are perfect wisdom.
    You know every heart.
    As I trust and follow,
    I will play my part.
    Speak Your Word, my Father,
    Speak Your Word through me.
    Quiet all my struggle.
    Let Your Spirit lead.

    Help me hear Your whispers,
    Help me know Your best,
    When to press with courage,
    When to wait and rest,
    Moving to Your rhythms
    In Your Spirit’s ease,
    Lightly as a feather
    Floating on a breeze.
    Help me hear Your whispers,
    Help me know Your best,
    When to press with courage,
    When to wait and rest.

    You are grace and goodness,
    You are all I seek,
    You the loving wisdom
    I would always speak.
    Make my whole ambition
    Not the things I do,
    But Yourself, my Father,
    Always only You.
    You are grace and goodness,
    You are all I seek,
    You the loving wisdom
    I would always speak.

  45. street says:

    The purpose of the sun is to give light, but light by its very nature casts shadows.

    what if the light was in us?

    consuming fire comes to mind.

    6 “For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.

  46. street says:

    But the greatest gifts to ….exalt the Son of God, there by drawing all mankind to Him. the hope of Salvation and true life, eternal life.

  47. foreverblessed says:

    But I, when I am lifted update from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.
    He said this to show the kind of death He was going to die.
    John 12:32-33

    All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord,
    and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before Him
    Psalm 22:27

    All mankind will fear; they will proclaim the works of God
    and ponder what He has done.
    Psalm 65:9

    O, You who hear prayer,
    to You all men will come.
    Psalm 65:2

    Turn to Me and be saved
    Isaiah 45:23

    Just as the Israelites had to look up to the snake on the pole, to be healed.

    So we are continuously healed spiritually when we look up to Jesus, crucified for us.
    Not only for us, but for all

    Jesus Christ, the Rightous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for us only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    1 John 2:2

    For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
    And He died for all, that those who live, should no longer live for themselves,
    but for Him who died for them and was raised again
    2 Cor 5:14-15

    That we should live in that selfsame Power that raised Jesus from the dead,
    Eph 1:18-20

  48. foreverblessed says:

    But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to

  49. jeff1 says:

    A Living Sacrifice

    1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

    Humble Service in the Body of Christ

    3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

    Love in Action

    9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

    14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.

    17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

    “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
    In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]

    21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

  50. jeff1 says:

    It was my dad who taught me there is a ‘BIG’ difference in playing God or following Him and I crossed the line often enough to know that my dad got it right.

    I have friends who cannot wait to be Lording it over their enemies because they are much better at playing God then they are at listening to Him.

    The phrase “God is not mocked” is found Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” Mocking God means disrespecting, dishonoring, denying or ignoring His existence. It is a serious offense committed by those who David describes as wicked because there is “no fear of God before [their] eyes” (Psalm 36:1). But God is not mocked for long and eventually there will be consequences for such behavior.

    While it may be easy for us to see the errors in Bible characters, it is more difficult to recognize the spirit of mockery in ourselves. Believers may criticize those outside the church who mock God, but the most subtle mockery of God, and the most dangerous, may be in our own hearts. We are guilty of mockery when our actions don’t line up with our professions of faith, causing outsiders to mock God’s people with accusations of hypocrisy. An outward show of spirituality or godliness without an inward change of heart mocks God. God knows the heart of every man and woman and He knows whose hearts are turned from Him. We would do well to examine our own hearts to see if we are truly in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5) and to be sure our actions back up our words.

    If we are truly in the faith, we should be careful not to walk with, stand with, or keep company with those who scorn God because God will not be mocked: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1–2).

  51. poohpity says:

    Being able to see the flaws in the bible characters is what gave me hope because He never used a perfect human being, other than Jesus, to know and accomplish His will.

    Viv, what a great word this morning, thank you. I enjoyed this the most, “We would do well to examine our own hearts to see if we are truly in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5) and to be sure our actions back up our words. :-)

  52. poohpity says:

    Beloved maybe one day when you look in the mirror rather than not liking what you see, you will see a beloved child of God looking back at you.

  53. poohpity says:

    Gal 5:14

  54. poohpity says:

    Sometimes when people accuse us of being from the devil or other such accusation John explains it is because they really do not know God to begin with so therefore look at believers with a worldly view. 1 John 3:1-2 NLT

  55. Beloved says:

    Yes….

    In the patience of his peace

    In the kindness of his patience

  56. Beloved says:

    Likeness

    2 Corinthians 3:18 NASB
    But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

  57. Beloved says:

    Likeness
    I Corinthians 3:12
    12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

  58. Beloved says:

    Dear Pooh, may you experience the peace of Christ today and forever.

  59. poohpity says:

    Thank you Beloved I do! Did you mean 1 Cor 13:12 in your 10:46am comment?

  60. Beloved says:

    I guess I meant what I wrote out.

  61. poohpity says:

    Oooh right?!?!!? Forgive me for saying anything Beloved of God.

  62. Beloved says:

    I’ve been assaulted/terrorized a lot lately in my apt. I love it how the devil must flee when you turn to God. It’s almost worth the trouble seeing /experiencing the power of God! Not really though, I’ve had enough for a while, anyway. I Peter3 has a wonderful promise of Godly character building no matter what happens. Pressure under fire produces Purity of Character, as street reminds often. God bless street for his presence here.

  63. Beloved says:

    Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.

    And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

    3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

    5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

  64. jeff1 says:

    God of peace, above all conflict,
    High and sovereign Lord alone,
    All complete in Your well-being,
    Robed in splendor still unknown,
    Yet You came into our conflict,
    Bearing all our sin could bring,
    All our anger and injustice,
    Death with all its bitter sting.

    Wrapped in peace with God Your Father,
    You were more than flesh could be,
    Perfect weakness, perfect power,
    Perfect love and purity.
    What a Gift to helpless sinners!
    What a word You shout abroad!
    You are peace, complete, forever,
    Peace within and peace with God.

    Peace will fill the earth and heavens,
    Peace You bought with such a price,
    Bought with love and rich forgiveness,
    Bought with pain and sacrifice.
    Give Your peace to those around us
    Though the price is still the same.
    Make our lives the fragrant offering
    With Your love the mighty flame.

  65. Beloved says:

    Evening, December 27th, 2019
    “And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”— Isaiah 58:11

    “The Lord shall guide thee.” Not an angel, but Jehovah shall guide thee. He said he would not go through the wilderness before his people, an angel should go before them to lead them in the way; but Moses said, “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.”

    Christian, God has not left you in your earthly pilgrimage to an angel’s guidance: he himself leads the van. You may not see the cloudy, fiery pillar, but Jehovah will never forsake you. Notice the word shall—”The Lord shall guide thee.”

    How certain this makes it! How sure it is that God will not forsake us! His precious “shalls” and “wills” are better than men’s oaths. “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Then observe the adverb continually.

    We are not merely to be guided sometimes, but we are to have a perpetual monitor; not occasionally to be left to our own understanding, and so to wander, but we are continually to hear the guiding voice of the Great Shepherd; and if we follow close at his heels, we shall not err, but be led by a right way to a city to dwell in.

    If you have to change your position in life; if you have to emigrate to distant shores; if it should happen that you are cast into poverty, or uplifted suddenly into a more responsible position than the one you now occupy; if you are thrown among strangers, or cast among foes, yet tremble not, for “the Lord shall guide thee continually.”

    There are no dilemmas out of which you shall not be delivered if you live near to God, and your heart be kept warm with holy love. He goes not amiss who goes in the company of God. Like Enoch, walk with God, and you cannot mistake your road.

    You have infallible wisdom to direct you, immutable love to comfort you, and eternal power to defend you. “Jehovah”—mark the word—”Jehovah shall guide thee continually.”

  66. foreverblessed says:

    “There are no dilemmas out of which you shall not be delivered if you live near to God, and your heart be kept warm with holy love. He goes not amiss who goes in the company of God. Like Enoch, walk with God, and you cannot mistake your road.”

    Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.

    Every year during Christmas time, Isaiah 9:6-7 is read

    This year the words:
    “the zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

    came back to me, during the day, during the night.
    It is not only thd Lord, but: the Lord Almighty!
    And with His zeal, He will accomplish this.
    It is solo sure! Why worry?!

    He did, the baby Jesus is born, He is our Wonderful Counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    He IS today…

    What a positive sermon that was, from Spurgeon!

    Yesterday I read in the commentaries of John 12:32, (on biblehub)
    a sermon of Alexander McLaren. Spurgeon was inspired by his sermons and expositions.
    The zeal of the Lord will also accomplish this: Drawing all men to Himself.
    It is so sure! Even now with all the hostilities in the world,
    God will not throw mankind away, He loves us! And cares for us, the whole world!

  67. foreverblessed says:

    ( just some more thoughts, there are no dilemmas from which God wont help us out! That is an assurance we have. Many a time we wonder why we have a dilemma, we can search our hearts if it was because of some unnoticed flaw in us, some unrepentant trait. Then we can repent.
    But.
    Even then…
    Job was upright, Job 1:8
    And yet God led him in a dilemma where he was tempted by Satan,
    Just as Jesus was led into the desert Luke 4:1-2
    Being a beloved child of God, situations will appear.
    But I am just talking away, you guys, you all know that.

  68. foreverblessed says:

    One more thought, and then I’ll be of,
    It is about mockery, it is from Alexander Maclarens expositions on John 12:20-36:

    “He said, ‘the hour is come that the Son of Man shall be glorified.’ It was meant for mockery, but mockery veiled unsuspected truth when they twined round His pale brows the crown of thorns, thereby setting forth unconsciously the everlasting truth that sovereignty is won by suffering; and placed in His unresisting hand the sceptre of reed, thereby setting forth the deep truth of His kingdom, that dominion is exercised in gentleness. Mightier than all rods of iron, or sharp swords which conquerors wield, and more lustrous and splendid than tiaras of gold glistening with diamonds, are the sceptre of reed in the hands, and the crown of thorns on the head, of the exalted, because crucified, Man of Sorrows.”

  69. foreverblessed says:

    What your dad said of Jesus,Jeff, by suffering He won over His enemies. By gentlenes.
    The patience of His kindness
    Or the kindness of His patience?
    Gal 5:22-23

  70. Beloved says:

    Gentleness: a picture of the Son of Man allowing the weight of the cross to be placed on His shoulders, the nails pounded through His flesh and His body to hang for all the world to see. Humility of God and man. Claiming Gods way as a lifestyle is in all gentleness, kindness mercy and love, I think. Sometimes our instinct is to be the hammer; so much to learn but God is also patient, patient! With you all AND with me!
    Blessed be the name of the LORD.
    Jesus, savior and friend.

  71. poohpity says:

    It seems to have a measuring rod to see how much of us the Lord has Paul lists the fruit produced by having the Spirit of God living within us and how much we have set aside our own ways to following after the heart of God and allow Him to work in our lives.

    Then a little further in that same letter Paul says, ” Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct.”

    Imagine that being responsible for our own conduct and not blaming it on anyone else or making excuses. Isn’t that the only way we can ever confess our wrongs or failures to turn from them, only if we are responsible for what we say or do can we express remorse to God and watch the changes He brings to our lives.

    I wonder how often we forget that it was God who rescued us from an empty life without Him in it and so we think it has something to do with us and that is why we want to remain in control.

    RESCUE STORY
    There I was, empty handed
    Crying out from the pit of my despair
    There you were in the shadows
    Holding out your hand
    You met me there
    And now where would I be
    Without you
    Where would I be, Jesus

    [Chorus]
    You were the voice in the desert
    Calling me out in the dead of night
    Fighting my battles for me
    You are my rescue story
    Lifted me up from the ashes
    Carried my soul from death to life
    Bringing me from glory to glory
    You are my rescue story

    (You are, you are
    You’re my rescue story
    You are, you are)

    [Verse 2]
    You were writing the pages
    Before I had a name
    Before I needed grace
    Singing songs of redemption
    Every time I ran away
    You were louder than my shame
    And now where would I be
    Without you
    Where would I be, Jesus

    You never gave up on me
    You never gave up on me
    Yoou are (this is) my testimony
    You never gave up on me
    You never gave up on me
    Yoou are (this is) my testimony
    You never gave up on me
    You never gave up on me
    Yoou are (this is) my testimony

  72. Beloved says:

    Yes Forever I love the positive messages myself.

  73. Beloved says:

    25 lWhoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor.

    Forever thanks for this. What catches my eye is “the Father will honor”. How does He honor us? Perhaps by the witness of other followers telling us they have received a blessing through them? Just a thought. Thinking how kindness gentleness patience etc all tie in also.

  74. Beloved says:

    Oops that’s “if anyone serves me, the Father will honor him“

  75. SFDBWV says:

    The subject matter being the birth of Jesus as being the image of God’s nature and that same nature being born in us is a bit of a challenge to expound upon.

    Especially for 2 or three weeks.

    I suppose we could dissect the pages of Scripture in the attempt to show every action and the Spirit behind them from Genesis to Revelation in the attempt to glimpse the nature of God in full detail.

    But that would take us the remainder of any one of our lives to do and never be accomplished.

    If we are actually believers in Jesus of Nazareth as being God incarnate, then we are left with the undeniable fact that whatever it was Jesus said came directly from God. Whatever it was that Jesus warned us of came directly from God. Whatever it was Jesus did was done by God.

    Why do you suppose that some see a clash of nature between God in the form of Jesus and God in His actions prior to His earthly ministry as Jesus?

    Is there a clash of behavior?

    Would the same God insist people be stoned to death for gathering sticks for firewood on Sabbath be the same God who insists we forgive even our enemies?

    Would the same God who marched an army into the Promised Land killing all, including men women and children even cattle and animals of their enemies, be the same God who offers peace and love?

    How do you come to terms with a God who insists upon forgiveness and love then say that if you don’t agree with Him you will be tormented in a fiery hell for eternity?

    Take a moment and imagine that all of the stories of Bible are meant just for you. So that just you could come to terms with who God is and where you fit into His plans.

    That each and every story and lesson are for your benefit alone and so that you, just you would humble yourself ask forgiveness of Him and return to Him as originally intended.

    Not trying to figure it all out and where the world at large is, but only realizing it all was for you.

    That your world was created for you and that Jesus took your punishment for you.

    That your relationship with God is between you and Him alone.

    That if you can see that each person’s relationship with God is their own personal relationship, that your interference in that relationship is an unwanted intrusion; perhaps you can give peace to another as well as receive peace and rest as well.

    Just some thoughts this morning.

    Steve

  76. bratimus says:

    Sometimes I do think the Bible was just written for me, but at the same time realizing that it was written for everyone.

    I don’t question or pounder the God that was, is and is to come, in a clashing or a difference. I think, look or feel that there is a purpose to all of it. I just don’t know or can’t completely understand it, I don’t have a complete knowing of it, can anyone?

    What I do pounder at times is.

    How different I would be if I lived in a different time, place in different surroundings. Would I be different would I clash with myself?

    This is the last line in Mart’s little poem.

    “To give birth to his likeness in us”

    That is a tall order to live up, might just take a life time or an eternity.

    I did like the poem

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus (Chris)

  77. foreverblessed says:

    How do you come to terms with a God who insists upon forgiveness and love then say that if you don’t agree with Him you will be tormented in a fiery hell for eternity?

    Maybe that second part is not true,
    Maybe that is a wrong interpretation, of God’s wrath…

    “You say harsh things about Me”

  78. jeff1 says:

    Immanuel’s Land

    With light and darkness shifting,
    In many a gust and gale,
    We travel through this vast unknown.
    Our courage begins to fail.
    These weary hearts grow thirsty
    While trudging the endless sands,
    But mercy drops refresh our way.
    We’re crossing Immanuel’s land.

    Yes, Hate has often claimed it.
    Destruction has scarred its soul.
    But Love has come and bought it all.
    The Maker is in control.
    Now life and peace are blooming
    As far as our faith can see,
    Yet all are but His promises,
    The shadows of what will be.

    With joy we travel onward
    Though valleys are just ahead,
    For we are bound for higher ground
    Where beauties unseen are spread.
    This wilderness around us
    Will blossom as Love has planned,
    For where He goes all heaven grows,
    And this is Immanuel’s land.

  79. poohpity says:

    I bet after that no one intentionally gathered sticks on the Sabbath any more as per the commands of the Lord. Blatantly sinning with no signs of remorse or asking for mercy since God is a just God and there was no consequences people would have just continued in sin and I bet with human nature as it is no matter what time it was in would show that God does not mean what He said. The other Israelite’s who saw the guy gathering the sticks would then question why they should follow any of God’s commands if there was never any punishment for doing so. There would have never been a reason for a Savior to come if there was never a punishment for sin.

    There are also consequences for people causing others to question or doubt the righteousness and justice of God. Hey do not worry about it I gathered sticks the other day on the Sabbath and nothing happened to me so go ahead and do it, God is nothing but hot air even though we said we would obey Him nothing happens when you don’t.

    That sounds like the parents of children when the parent tells a child if you do that again I will spank you and the child stares right into the parents eyes and does it anyway because the child knows that the parent is not going to do anything but blow hot air so the behaviors gets worse and worse then pretty soon the child is throwing tantrums when they do not get their way and that then continues into adulthood. Or those parents who count to three before they take any steps to correct rather than getting up and going over to the child while they are doing what they were told not to and changing their direction. Now imagine, if you will, what those million plus people would do if God said OK you disobeyed me now I will give you another chance with no consequences.

    That is just laughable to think God would act like parents who do not love their children enough to correct or discipline them. Yes some of those corrections seem rather harsh to us but God can see the future and where that one act of disobedience would lead all those involved, the person who did it and those who witnessed it and Moses as the chosen judge who went right to God to ask Him how they were to handle this.

  80. Beloved says:

    Hebrews 12:14 NIV
    Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy;
    without holiness no one will see the Lord.

  81. Beloved says:

    “Repent, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” —Acts 3:19–20

  82. Beloved says:

    Oswald Chambers devotional today is good, as usual.

  83. poohpity says:

    The website is awaiting moderation so here it is in regular English not in computer speak. bible gate way dot com forward slash reading-plans forward slash chronological forward slash today?version=NLT

  84. poohpity says:

    That is for those that the Lord has laid it on your heart to read His word through this coming year.

  85. jeff1 says:

    So great a cloud of witnesses;
    So rich our heritage of grace;
    So great salvation burns within;
    So glows Your glory in this place;
    Our Father God, we rise to lift
    Your praise for such a time as this.

    This day of grace, this day of need,
    When sin consumes the ones You love,
    When families die, and spirits starve
    While hands can never grasp enough:
    Lord Jesus, did You freely give
    Yourself for such a time as this?

    Then give Yourself; be Christ in us;
    Be life and joy and hope and peace;
    Be holiness and living pow’r;
    Be full forgiveness, full release;
    Be all You are – love’s greatest gift;
    Be Lord for such a time as this!

  86. Beloved says:

    Steve we are at a standstill here with over a foot of heavy wet snow and more still coming! Blizzard time! So thankful for heat shelter and food. I have everything I need😀

  87. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce I figured you were getting hammered from what the weather reports are. I am glad you are in safe from the storm.

    We have areas of snow where either plowed up or shoveled into piles, but a string of wet 40 and fifty degree days pretty much did in the snow here. They are calling for the storm you are dealing with to reach us somewhere around Tuesday and Wednesday.

    It’s a long time until June the 1st.

    Steve

  88. Beloved says:

    I was thinking you also would get it eventually. All the churches and the mall are closed. Lots of young people offering to shovel though for a fee. The storm is good for some! I was wondering if our illusive blog author was getting it? Haven’t checked lately.

  89. SFDBWV says:

    I’m going to tell a story about perhaps immature thinking or childlike innocence whichever you want to see it as.

    We moved from Bayard back down to the DC area of Silver Spring MD in 1960. Dad moved the things we needed from our house here in Bayard himself in his pickup truck one trip at a time and lastly loading up mom’s station wagon to the max mom my sister and himself all headed on down. Mom and my sister in her car, he in his truck.

    I stayed behind with what was left of our things alone in our big old house here in town. I was 12 not yet turning 13.

    The big old house that we lived in had been the house my dad’s grandparents lived in until their deaths and the one he mostly grew up in himself. His grandparents being his mother’s parents.

    All of my life up to that point I had heard ghost stories all connected to that big old house. And at night as I would sleep I always heard noises I associated with “ghosts”.

    Well here I was alone in this house having to spend my first full night alone in it ever with my parents a 5 hour drive from here and not returning until the next day.

    We didn’t have TV only a radio that only got KDKA Pittsburg and a few other AM stations if the weather was cooperative, so once darkness fell and the house started to make its nighttime noises I went to bed.

    I tried going to sleep, but my heart began beating so loud and rapid I couldn’t tell if it were my heart beating or something coming up the stairs to my bedroom.

    I soon became terrified and with every light in the house on I got my dad’s guns loaded them up put them with me in my bed, covered up my head and tried to go to sleep.

    I did finally go to sleep. I awoke in the middle of the night realizing if there were any ghosts in the house they would be from my family and I would have no reason to fear them.

    Fear was gone. I got up unloaded the guns and put them away, went throughout the house and turned out every light (12 rooms) and went back to bed and slept well until morning.

    The idea that my family even dead still loved me and I had nothing to fear from them turned fear into something else.

    It is said that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, I think once we “wise up” we may also see that love turns fear into something else.

    I do have a follow up to that story, but it will have to wait until the Spirit moves me to share it another time.

    Steve

  90. Beloved says:

    Steve there’s no such thing as a “friendly” ghost/spirit as I read the Bible. When I have come up against evil spirits my first reaction is to pray, Ephesians 6:11 is where I start. Biblical support for this is found in:
    Matthew 25:46
    Luke 16:16-30
    2 Peter 2:9
    Revelation 20:10-15

    I grew up thinking that demons were my “friends” because they were so prolific in my surroundings. They ALWAYS hurt me, yet not knowing Jesus/God could save me not only from further abuse but for a far better life than I could have imagined, a life of love joy peace etc filled with His Spirit and the future of eternity with Him!

    They know when the Saints are in a weakened state as I have stopped relying on antidepressants to smooth me out so to speak, but as I am learning to give more and more of myself to Gods care the battle gets more intense sometimes. Satan is always TRYING to snatch us away from his Adversary, but Jesus holds us fast! No one can take us out of His hands, Jesus said. And, greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.

  91. Beloved says:

    I’ve also been sharing Jesus a lot more than I used to. Thinking a move would be good. Spirit activity is intense here because of the native population surrounding the city. I’ve moved away before to get relief from the oppression. Either you accept it and enjoy temporary peace in your surroundings or you preach Jesus and have eternal peace and the troubles Jesus said would come to His followers.

  92. Beloved says:

    @3:30 I wrote “ Biblical support for this“ then posted scripture. The “this” I am referring to is that human spirits do not hang around after death, only demons that may appear or speak as if they are relatives, friends etc. Mediums make a lot of money deceiving and being deceived.

    Steve as a boy you were very smart to figure out “they” would not hurt you. Children tend to believe everything they are told and hear until they learn to think for themselves. Loving yourself in that way shows a good upbringing.

  93. Beloved says:

    Likeness
    Love God and love others as yourself. Steve I can sure see that in you. You’re blessed! And I am honored to know you!

  94. foreverblessed says:

    In the likeness of a Father’s heart

    A Son is born

    All my fountains are in You
    Psalm 87:7
    Utmost’s bible verse of todays reading.

    Fountain, source of:

    ” (In) the love of his Spirit

    In the joy of his love

    In the peace of his joy

    In the patience of his peace

    In the kindness of his patience etc”

    How difficult that was for me up to 30 years ago, that living in Christ meant to be attached to that Fountain,
    That it was being connected tot Jesus, and not by looking to the Law what to do.
    But to look with eyes of faith to Jesus!

    Jesus who was with God, by whom everything that was made is made, Jesus who was God.
    John 1:1-5

  95. foreverblessed says:

    Repentance,
    I heard an explanation about it:
    It means turning around
    Turn around and look to Jesus,
    just as Mary Magdalena turned around
    and looked straight into the eyes of Jesus.
    John 20:16

    She looked, and found her Savior.
    Jesus: God Who saves.

    It is a miracle that our hearts perceive who Jesus is.
    A miracle that I saw it.

    So, praying for others, for Mercy and Grace:
    “Lord, You revealed Jesus to me, You can reveal it to my Neighbours, to my family, to my city, to my country…
    Intercessory prayer

  96. jeff1 says:

    “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” – C. S. Lewis

    It wasn’t until I seen my need of God’s forgiveness that I realised I was a Christian in name only.

    It is one thing to believe in God but it is quite another to follow His Ways.

  97. poohpity says:

    Amen and amen!

  98. street says:

    thinking of the grace and mercy of God’s forgiveness. freely given while we were monsters.
    given room to breath and set in a very broad place with strong ankles and feet. a time of preparation, getting dressed. to follow.

  99. Beloved says:

    Street thanks for a good reminder of preparation. Like decorating for Christmas and never having to take them down!

  100. Beloved says:

    I Peter1 5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith

    virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities and continue to grow in them, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But whoever lacks these traits is nearsighted to the point of blindness, having forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

    10Therefore, brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you practice these things you will never stumble, 11and you will receive a lavish reception into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  101. Beloved says:

    Truth For Life
    Spurgeon

    Anticipate the End
    Better is the end of a thing than its beginning.

    Ecclesiastes 7:8
    Look at David’s Lord and Master; consider His beginning. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Then look at the end! He sits at His Father’s right hand, waiting until His enemies are made his footstool. “As he is so we are also in this world.”1 You must bear the cross or you will never wear the crown; you must wade through the water or you will never walk the golden pavement.

    Cheer up, then, poor Christian. “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning.” View the creeping worm–how contemptible its appearance! It is the beginning of a thing. Mark that insect with gorgeous wings, playing in the sunbeams, sipping at the flowers, full of happiness and life–that is the worm’s end. You are that caterpillar, wrapped up in the chrysalis of death; but when Christ appears, you will be like Him, for you will see Him as He is.

    Be content to be like Him, a worm and no man, so that like Him you may be satisfied when you wake up in His likeness. The rough-looking diamond is put upon the wheel of the gem-smith. He cuts it on all sides. It loses much–much that seemed costly to itself. The king is crowned; the diadem is put upon the monarch’s head accompanied by the trumpet’s joyful sound. A glittering ray flashes from that coronet, and it beams from that same diamond that was so recently fashioned at the wheel.

    You may venture to compare yourself to such a diamond, for you are one of God’s people; and this is the time of the cutting process. Let faith and patience have their perfect work, for in the day when the crown is set upon the head of the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, one ray of glory shall stream from you. “They shall be mine, says the LORD of Hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession.”2 “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning.”

    1) 1 John 4:17
    2) Malachi 3:17

  102. street says:

    Likeness
    thinking of the red sea crossing. God divided the waters/chaos and they walked on dry land, not turning to the right or the left, in streams of grace and mercy. yes we walk in streams of grace and mercy, with a crossbeam of share suffering and love. He is Lord of this dead body and Lord of a resurrected spirit, given freely by God, in Christ Jesus, The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the earth.

  103. street says:

    I will [x]spare them as a man [y]spares his own son who serves him.”

    as God spared His Own Son Jesus, exalted Him in glory, God sparing the sons of adam who serve Him/Christ in the same way.

    remembering the woman woman/israel did i ask for a Son? did i not ask that you would not deceive me, to the prophet of God? God has not deceived us, we have deceived ourselves. yet God did give His only Son, not just in the likeness of abraham giving his son. the grace and mercy of God continue with all who understand and trust in the God of abraham isaac and jacob.

    it dawned on me why God is referred to the God of abraham isaac and jacob! there were many gods who were worshiped in the world, even today. this defines which God is to be worshiped. the line thread can be followed all the way to the true God, Jesus. then there is a surprise! the gentiles are included to worship God of abrham isaac and jacob! Jesus spoke of making two flocks one. a future event, when all the elect are together and darkness removed. what should we be like now? let the sinful remain sinful and let the righteous remain righteous.

    let us continue in Christ. moses was right, Lord you go with us or we are not going. Jesus guaranteed His eternal presents. The Holy Spirit.

  104. jeff1 says:

    I cannot see the light, my Lord;
    I only feel the fear;
    And yet I know that You are God
    When nothing else is clear.

    I have no strength to lift myself,
    But Lord, I lift my need.
    I spread before You all my fears.
    Come take my hand and lead.

    When all my joys have turned to pain
    And hopes have fallen through,
    I raise my eyes and fix my heart:
    My only hope is You.

    My God, my God, my hope, my joy,
    You’re with me in this place!
    So in Your presence, in Your peace,
    I trust, rejoice, and wait.

  105. street says:

    So in Your presence, in Your peace,
    I trust, rejoice, and wait.

    while i wait, i watch for pray for the glory of God, giving thanks for His mercy and grace in Christ.

  106. jeff1 says:

    When I examine myself today it is my sins of omission that weary me and so to read this quote from C. S. Lewis assures me of God’s love.

    But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.

    C. S. Lewis

  107. jeff1 says:

    There Is A Higher Throne

    There is a higher throne
    Than all this world has known,
    Where faithful ones from ev’ry tongue
    Will one day come.
    Before the Son we’ll stand,
    Made faultless through the Lamb;
    Believing hearts find promised grace-
    Salvation comes.

    Hear heaven’s voices sing;
    Their thund’rous anthem rings
    Through em’rald courts and sapphire skies.
    Their praises rise.
    All glory, wisdom, pow’are,
    Strength, thanks, and honor are
    To God our King, who reigns on high
    Forevermore.

    And there we’ll find our home,
    Our life before the throne;
    We’ll honor Him in perfect song
    Where we belong.
    He’ll wipe each tear-stained eye
    As thirst and hunger die.
    The Lamb becomes our Shepherd King;
    We’ll reign with Him.

  108. SFDBWV says:

    At the threat of seeming antagonistic I come once again to attempting to open up our thinking to the fact that there are what seems as differences between the nature of the Son and the Father as given in Scripture.

    The string of attributes as given in Mart’s “poem?” omits the historical record of God’s judgements and even the judgement to come.

    In my failed attempt to explain from a childhood experience of how God opened my heart up to receiving love instead of fear and how love can heal, I will as promised give a follow up to that experience.

    Once again in that same bedroom in that same house several months later I had what I can only explain as a sleep walking event.

    This time I awoke in the darkness of the night, but could actually see everything around me as if each thing was dimly illuminated like moon light. Whereas I did not see any spirit or another individual I could feel the presence of someone. Someone non-threatening, someone I felt secure and comfortable with.

    This presence led me on a room by room presentation showing me there were nothing in any room of the house to be afraid of.

    Returning to my bedroom and bed were I settled back into sleep awaking the next morning with the memory fully intact.

    The fear of the unknown, the fear of spiritual evil, fear itself being defeated.

    It was a conformation of my earlier experience that there is a greater power in the universe and it is that greater power that will protect, guide and take me through my life.

    It is and has been my life experience that God through His Son Jesus of Nazareth will anoint, empower and equip us for the road that lies ahead.

    Recognizing that and remembering it sometimes is difficult and maybe even confusing, but it will always come down to having faith, believing God and accepting His offer of peace.

    I pray you all experience His peace in this coming year no matter what we face.

    Steve

  109. poohpity says:

    Steve, I thought your parents moved you from that house to Silver Springs, MD so did they leave you in that house to have this experience several months later? I am confused.

    There seems to be no difference in God’s nature whether it is seen in Jesus or the Holy Spirit, His judgement has always been there or else He would have not found it in His heart to come to earth and take our place for judgement and punishment of our sin and also for those who had died before the time of Jesus’s appearance. There were those who did not know the nature of God and assumed many things about Him but when Jesus came He revealed God’s heart but even David, Moses, Abraham and many people in the OT knew of God’s love, forgiveness, grace and mercy because they saw it in action and experienced it in their lives.

    So trying to expand our thinking to doubt what we know and have experienced is a moot point. It would seem that God needs to open up your thinking in regards to His nature and character not for you to open up ours to your way of thinking that would lead one away from God not to Him.

  110. poohpity says:

    Mart’s poem is a list of the fruit produced by God’s Spirit dwelling in the life of a believer. Gal 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

    If those are not the very nature and attributes of God then how then can they come to being within our lives as we live in vital union with God?

  111. jeff1 says:

    Steve, my mum filled my head full of ghost stories but they where much more terrifying than they were comforting and I don’t believe my dad approved of them but knowing my mum he said little and instead told me not to listen to them.

    I was impressionable and did listen which often led to my sister and I having nightmares and my dad would come into calm us down.

    It was my dad’s example that led me away from the spiritual world as he believed you don’t dabble in it and having heard stores of what happened to people who did I soon began to realize that my dad knew what he was talking about.

    I will never understand how a fortune teller could accurately tell me whom I would work for and the nature of my work nor does it sound right to me that he should be able.

    It seems to me that the fear of spiritual evil is to be wise but then I see that our experiences are very different as you were not afraid or even felt threatened.

    I did not feel afraid or threatened by the fortune teller but I did feel uneasy at what he was telling me and since it came to pass then I am even more fearing of the unknown spiritual world.

  112. poohpity says:

    Folklore and superstitions are found in many who live privately in the back hills away from the main stream populations and it takes a lot to open their eyes and hearts to recognize the sorcery they have been fed. But nothing is impossible for God.

    A while back I talked about syncretism which is exactly mixing that folklore and superstitions with the truth of the Word. They do not mix. It is similar to trying to mix oil with water.

  113. Beloved says:

    Believers are given the tools needed to combat demons:
    Ephesians6 The Armor of God
    10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

    But more often than not the devil shows up as a smooth talking “ angel of light”. How to tell the difference? I only go by the Word of God which has endured for centuries and claims to have everything we need for Godly living now while in these bodies. Submit to God and the devil will flee scripture says. Yes it does. I think sometimes it’s hard to tell a psychological manifestation from demonic, but no matter because submitting- holding fast to the Word incarnate, Jesus, we are always more than conquerors. He conquered evils’ stranglehold on us all on the cross. Faith/belief, confession/repentance of sin are blessed gifts from God through the Holy Spirit. There is no other way by which we must be saved, no other Name like Jesus.

  114. Beloved says:

    Even the prophets knew this,
    Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

  115. Beloved says:

    2 Corinthians4 Paul tells us what is happening in this world.

  116. Beloved says:

    Dear Steve, I hope you are not feeling beat up here. All have different experiences with the spirit world that only we can understand fully when the Light of God shines His truth on them. Yours are unique to you and your life. What matters is a personal relationship and ongoing fellowship with Jesus. All the rest will pass away, someday.

    Viv have you asked God to forgive you for consulting mediums? It’s clearly an abomination to God. He will not hold you accountable when Jesus is your savior!

  117. SFDBWV says:

    My most profound apologies to all involved. My failed attempt to share a childhood memory of growing closer to God failed completely to be understood.

    The story isn’t about ghosts or demons or evil spirits at all.

    I am sorry for confusing any of you just forget about it and continue with your own conversations and thoughts.

    See you folks in the next subject.

    Steve

  118. jeff1 says:

    Steve, I wasn’t implying that your story was about ghosts or evil spirits but it did prompt my memory of when my mum would speak of these things.

    Beloved, I believe it is God’s power over these spirits that has and will continue to protect me which is what Steve’s story was about Jesus protects us and I should not be afraid.

    As I grow in Christ I become less afraid.

    I’ve come too far to look back again
    There is nothing behind me
    All the treasures I used to love
    Have all faded from view
    There’s a new day ahead for me
    All my heartache is over
    For I left it at Calvary
    Where my new life began

    I’ve come too far to look back
    My feet have walked through the valley
    I’ve climbed mountains, crossed rivers
    Dessert places I’ve known
    But I’m nearing the home shore
    The redeemed are rejoicing
    Heaven’s angels are singing
    I’ve gone too far to look back

    Look around, there’s no happiness
    There’s no reason for living
    Life will give you a broken dream
    Full of sorrow and fear
    Turn around, don’t look back again
    Face the new day before you
    Place your heartache in Jesus’ hand
    He can mend broken dreams
    I’ve come too far to look back
    My feet have walked through the valley
    I’ve climbed mountains, crossed rivers
    Dessert places I’ve known
    But I’m nearing the home shore
    The redeemed are rejoicing
    Heaven’s angels are singing
    I’ve gone too far to look back

    Heaven’s angels are singing
    I’ve gone to far to look back.

  119. street says:

    spirit world.
    Dr. Michael Heiser has an 4 part series on how Israel understood the narrative that God gave them. it’s about 5 hours long and i sat through it listening. i will revisit it again. thinking of the struggle of the judges kings and prophets as they served God. even the struggles of the lambs. God is Good.

  120. Beloved says:

    Steve, do you believe as scripture says, that Jesus and the Father are One? That we serve a triune God- one in three Persons? All with equal power? I’m not baiting you- not at all, just trying to understand.

    The difficulty with writing here is getting all the nuance of a thought or statement. You mentioned the house being haunted at the beginning of your story so we went from there.

    Perhaps God did give you a personal insight into who He is and what He can do for us, I’m not disrespecting that at all. It’s just a bit foreign to some of us here who have struggled for years to get the revelation so personal and profound it changes our thinking in a moment and seemingly forever. Perhaps it is we who are missing the boat so to speak; or maybe just called to walk a different path through life here. Just thinking.

  121. jeff1 says:

    Lord God, beyond our thoughts and prayers,
    Beyond all we can see,
    Your Spirit grows within our hearts
    A new reality.

    His presence bears delicious fruit
    From gardens all above.
    We taste and see that You are good
    And gladly trust Your love.

    Within this life of flesh and blood,
    A life more deep and broad,
    A boundless life, a life complete:
    The fullness of our God!

    Lord God, beyond all we can do
    Your blessing is restored:
    We breathe the heart, the life and love
    Of Jesus Christ our Lord!

  122. Beloved says:

    spirit world
    I’ve also been listening to Derek Prince on YouTube about demons. He’s from England, I listened to his teaching a lot when I was first saved. I will listen to streets guy also to gather new information While I’m packing this next few weeks. Please pray for me/ it’s really stressful but I’m trying to go slow and with thankfulness ever on my tongue and heart.

  123. poohpity says:

    Steve said, “At the threat of seeming antagonistic I come once again to attempting to open up our thinking to the fact that there are what seems as differences between the nature of the Son and the Father as given in Scripture.”

    That says to me that Steve is attempting to open our thinking to the FACT that there are what seems differences between the nature of the Son and the Father. Yet Jesus spent His time showing us there is NO differences in nature, character or attributes between Him and the Father because they are ONE. John 8:19, 12:45, 14:9-10

    So for someone to say they will open our minds to something that is clearly not FACT is beyond presumption and is in Fact heresy.

    Col 1:15; Hebrews 1:3; 1 John 5:20

  124. bratimus says:

    When I read Steve’s story from his youth, I got out of it how are youthful imagination can get the best of us for a time, then we come back to calm. I did get a smile out of all the guns going to bed with you.

    As the faithful we should be thankful for the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit in the physical. It is not the wises thing to go looking into the unknown or the unseen just never know when your your imagination might get the best of you.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Have a Happy New Year

    Bratimus

  125. Beloved says:

    Likeness

    I saw Thee at the cross,

    Where Thou didst die that we might live;

    And love possessed my heart,

    When Thou didst cry “Forgive.”

    I saw Thee at the tomb,

    When all Thy passion tide was o’er;

    I joyed to hear Thee say,

    “Alive for evermore.”

    “Alive for evermore!”

    So when to death I shall draw nigh,

    Then Thou wilt take my hand;

    I shall not fear to die.

    I shall not fear to die!

    But worse than fear of death is sin;

    So, more than help without,

    I ask for Thee within.

    I ask for Thee within,

    Yea, in my heart victorious be!

    That I transformed by love

    May live my life in Thee.

    Bishop Boyd Carpenter.

  126. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    December 31, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Folklore and superstitions are found in many who live privately in the back hills away from the main stream populations and it takes a lot to open their eyes and hearts to recognize the sorcery they have been fed. But nothing is impossible for God.

    A while back I talked about syncretism which is exactly mixing that folklore and superstitions with the truth of the Word. They do not mix. It is similar to trying to mix oil with water.

    I said to my Rector that I was astonished at how Roman Catholics were so superstitious as this had been my experience.

    He replied back with a smile and not naming any names that I would be surprised how many of his flock would hold superstitions.

    Our Rector has 5 churches and ours is a town while the other 4 churches are what we call in the sticks i.e backwoods, country, mountains.

    Both my parents came from what we refer to as the sticks and one was superstitious and the other was totally opposed to it.

    I would have to agree that trying to mix superstition and Godly thinking is like trying to mix oil with water and yet I have met some very Godly thinkers who seem to believe it is possible.

    It has been a long time since I dabbled in the unknown and that is because I heard and had uneasy experiences that prompted me to listen to my dad who knew better than my mum when it came to Godliness.

    Having said that my mum and my dad’s childhood experiences differed so much that it would be like trying to mix oil and water and having listened to and seen their differences they just don’t mix.

    I had a very confusing childhood and perhaps that is why I need medication today to balance whatever it is that keeps my mind from racing, panicking or anxious.

    Whatever my confusion I am not confused in seeing that my dad knew God better than anyone else I know and I would have to say this was God’s providence and therefor it seems to me also God’s providence that I should follow in his footsteps as I have other family members who are not believing that God exists and do not see the need of His providence.

    It seems to me that faith is indeed a gift from God and a very precious gift at that; which makes me extremely blessed to day in a world of differences and uncertainty where death and taxes are still very much common place.

  127. poohpity says:

    Someone very dear to me suffers from panic attacks and anxiety disorder for so long I held myself responsible for it until a clinician told me it is mostly heredity. After doing some research into our family history I found that to be true. It seems we each have our own struggles but sadly he has walked away from the Lord even though it was his intent to be a youth pastor when he started college but that major was changed to social work instead and now develops the website for the state for their help programs. It still breaks my heart to see him suffer as he does without the strength and peace the Lord provides to see him through. Now he seems to depend on Medical marijuana for relief.

    Yes faith is indeed a precious gift from God sure does not leave us with any room to boast about anything when it comes from God.

  128. poohpity says:

    Just as it is from Him that His fruit is developed in our lives when we try to do that ourselves it never works out but when we allow or submit to His work in us the likeness will show up. He never gives up on us!

  129. bratimus says:

    Yep US hill folk and those of US that live in the sticks might have some folklore tales and a few superstitions. But I was always told that City folk and those that live in the suburbs have more urban legends so stay out of the cities and the burb’s.

    I’m not trying to offend anyone, I’m trying to make a point.

    That no matter where you lived or grew up, there are tales of folklore, tall tales, ghost stories, urban legends and superstitions. Some were told to child to get them to behave, older children would tell younger children these tale to scare them.

    One truth I’ll tell you, “Whereth dwell the unbelievers, Whereth darkness can rise.”

    “Believe, accept and let Christ Jesus dwell with in you”

    In Christ Jesus Name
    Amen

    Bratimus

  130. Beloved says:

    SYNCRETISM. Syncretism—the process whereby two or more independent cultural systems, or elements thereof, conjoin to form a new and distinct system—is among the most important factors in the evolution of culture in general, but especially in the history of religion.

    The fight against this is real, which is why I study scripture everyday, often all day long. The more I know of God the more peaceful I am, even with ptsd/anxiety. It’s people in general that trigger me, whether in church or in the laundry room. The emotions obscure quiet reasoning until I am alone where there are no distractions. He always calms and quiets my heart. He’s the only one who’s ever been completely reliable and trustworthy. Where else would I go but to His Word? Psalm90 was a beautiful reminder to me this morning as I woke up. I do not trust any superstition moray or trend. Christ alone! His Word is all I need to traverse this life.

    That said, may God bless you all with the knowledge and intimacy He desires in this new year with joy! The joy of His saving grace, immutable and everlasting.😍

  131. poohpity says:

    Is it really about staying out of those place whether in the burbs or the sticks or is it about being rooted and grounded in the Word and our faith?

  132. poohpity says:

    So that we do not fall prey to folklore or superstitions or false teaching which can be found anywhere. Col 2: Therefore, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, which are based on human tradition and the spiritual forces of the world rather than on Christ.

  133. jeff1 says:

    I have heard it said of myself that you could take me out of the country but you could not take the country out of me and so not surprisingly I am more at home in the country but love to visit towns and cities while always wanting to return home.

    As my mum would say one person’s meat is another’s poison as she loved the city and I could see how lost she was in the country.

    A garden in the night,
    A soul in tortured prayer;
    Engulfed in sorrow all alone,
    Our Savior struggles there.

    He knows His hour has come
    To bear the price of love.
    He reaches out, His spirit drowned
    In agony and blood.

    “My Father, let it pass,
    This darkness now begun.
    But here I am, Your sacrifice,
    So let Your will be done.”

    Lord, help us watch and pray,
    Your burden gladly bear
    That we may live and die like You,
    Our lives a holy prayer.

  134. jeff1 says:

    If We Never Meet Again

    If we never meet again, this side of heaven
    As we struggle through this world and it’s strife
    There’s another meeting place somewhere in heaven
    By the side of the river of life

    Where the charmin’ roses bloom forever
    And where separations come no more
    If we never meet again this side of heaven
    I will meet you on the beautiful shore

    Soon, we’ll come to the end of life’s journey
    And perhaps, we’ll never meet anymore
    ‘Til we gather in heaven’s bright city
    Far away on that beautiful shore

    Where the charmin’ roses bloom forever
    And where separations come no more
    If we never meet again this side of heaven
    I will meet you on that beautiful shore

    (I will meet you on that beautiful shore)
    Soon, we’ll come to the end of life’s journey
    And perhaps, we’ll never meet anymore
    ‘Til we gather in heaven’s bright city
    Far away on that beautiful shore

    If we never meet again this side of heaven
    As we struggle through this world and its strife
    There’s another meeting place somewhere in heaven
    By the side of the river of life

    Where the charming roses bloom forever
    And where separation comes no more
    If we never meet again this side of heaven
    I will meet you on that beautiful shore

    Oh, they say, we shall meet by the river
    Where no storm clouds ever darken the sky
    And they say, we’ll be happy in heaven
    In the wonderful sweet by and by
    If we never meet again

    (If we never meet again this side of heaven)
    I will meet you on that beautiful shore
    (Beautiful beautiful shore)

  135. jeff1 says:

    Footsteps walking with me
    Footsteps I cannot see
    But every move I make
    And every step I take
    I know they’re there with me
    They walk with me all the way
    Beside me day by day
    Through good and bad
    Through happy and sad
    Those footsteps won’t go away

    I’ll never walk in life alone
    There’ll always be someone there
    I know He won’t let me down
    He’s with me everywhere
    The special things in life I’ve done
    Have been through Him and His love
    I’ve been blessed in so many ways

    Footsteps walking with me
    Footsteps I cannot see
    But every move I make
    And every step I take
    I know they’re there with me
    They walk with me all the way
    Beside me day by day
    Through good and bad
    Through happy and sad
    Those footsteps won’t go away

    I think that my life’s been planned
    By the one who’s guiding me
    When I’m led by the hand
    Of someone I can’t see
    I’m not always sure where to go
    That’s when I follow his lead
    I know that the pathway that He shows
    Will help me to succeed

    Footsteps walking with me (footsteps walking)
    Footsteps I cannot see (I cannot see)
    But every move I make
    And every step I take
    I know they’re there with me
    They walk with me all the way
    Beside me day by day (day by day)
    Through good and bad
    Through happy and sad
    Those footsteps won’t go away
    Through good and bad
    Through happy and sad
    By my side they will stay

  136. bratimus says:

    One problem with superstitions, legends, folklore and tall tales. Way back when they all started with a perspective of truth, just as they keep getting told, they kept getting add to away from the perspective of truth they started at.

    This also can happen with religion, even the Bible can be turned from the perspective of Truth.

    Anything can be turned from the perspective of truth where it started at.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  137. poohpity says:

    Is there a perspective of truth but that is a human or worldly way of looking at something isn’t it? Either something is true or it isn’t.

  138. SFDBWV says:

    I see today that there were 11 Nigerian Christians executed by ISIS over the “holidays”.

    There is nothing that stirs the emotions and drives the psyche like religion. Nothing!

    Nor is there little else that is more intolerant.

    Politics are largely divided into two groups all over the world, conservative and liberal.

    The same can be said of religions.

    Now it sounds safe enough to just say politics or religion, but the truth is that these groups are comprised of people and it is the attitude of these people who define both.

    Which group do you feel you fit into, or perhaps you don’t think you fit into either.

    Are you respectful of another’s beliefs or intolerant of them? Are you respectful of another’s thoughts or comments, or intolerant of them? Must every thought be in concert with your own before they are given the freedom to be expressed without prejudice?

    Do you feel you must belittle another so that you can feel better, or smarter, or wiser? Or at least seem that way, especially publicly?

    Do you feel that in the list of Mart’s nature of God and the Son; where do you think you fit in likeness to their nature?

    I hope if you make New Year resolutions it is to be more like Jesus in the coming year and less like everyone else.

    Steve

  139. street says:

    4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.

    The Law, The Word of God, The Word, made Flesh and dwell and walks among us.

    why remember the law? it is a laser beam in the darkness. able to divide soul and spirit.

    Hebrews 4:12
    For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

    dear children guard your hearts. set it in the presents of God by faith in the One He sent. renew your mind daily and keep yourselves from idols. might be a good time to reread the warnings to the seven churches in Revelation.

  140. foreverblessed says:

    A garden in the night,
    A soul in tortured prayer;
    Engulfed in sorrow all alone,
    Our Savior struggles there.

    He knows His hour has come
    To bear the price of love.
    He reaches out, His spirit drowned
    In agony and blood.

    “My Father, let it pass,
    This darkness now begun.
    But here I am, Your sacrifice,
    So let Your will be done.”

    Lord, help us watch and pray,
    Your burden gladly bear
    That we may live and die like You,
    Our lives a holy prayer.

    That is a wonderful prayer.
    It is also the message of the Cross!

    May you all have a blessed year, that whatever happens, Jesus is with you.

  141. foreverblessed says:

    Some family member of mine, just dd not like a God who desires that cruel sacrifice of His Son.

    Is God harsh and fierce?

    At that time, I answered: Maybe God does not like it, but we do need it.

    The Spirit in Jesus suffered, was flogged, after He ascended that selfsame Spirit, that had suffered in Jesus would wrap around all who come to Him in faith, could heal us.
    The balm of God

    “By His stripes we are healed”

  142. foreverblessed says:

    Just another thought, about Jesus coming back to judge,
    It is from MacLarens expositions on John 12:34

    “Then as to the other and main thought here in view-the second coming of that perfect Manhood to be our Judge. It is too solemn a subject for human lips to say much about. It has been vulgarised, and the power taken out of it by many well-meant attempts to impress it upon men’s hearts. But that coming is certain. That manhood could not end its relationship to us with the Cross, nor yet with the slow, solemn, upward progress which bore Him, pouring down blessings, up into the same bright cloud that had dwelt between the cherubim and had received Him into its mysterious recesses at the Transfiguration. That He should come again is the only possible completion of His work.

    That Judge is our Brother. So in the deepest sense we are tried by our Peer. Man’s knowledge at its highest cannot tell the moral desert of anything that any man does. You may judge action, you may sentence for breaches of law, you may declare a man clear of any blame for such, but for any one to read the secrets of another heart is beyond human power; and if He that is the Judge were only a man there would be wild work, and many a blunder in the sentences that were given. But when we think that it is the Son of Man that is our Judge, then we know that the Omniscience of divinity, that ponders the hearts and reads the motives, will be all blended with the tenderness and sympathy of humanity; that we shall be judged by One who knows all our frame, not only with the knowledge of a Maker, if I may so say, as from outside, but with the knowledge of a possessor, as from within; that we shall be judged by One who has fought and conquered in all temptations; and most blessed of all, that we shall be judged by One with whom we have only to plead His own work and His own love and His Cross that we may stand acquitted before His throne.

    So, brethren, in that one mighty Name all the past, present, and future are gathered and blended together. In the past His Cross fills the retrospect: for the future there rises up, white and solemn, His judgment throne. ‘The Son of Man is come to give His life a ransom for the many’; that is the centre point of all history. The Son of Man shall come to judge the world; that is the one thought that fills the future. Let us lay hold by true faith on the mighty work which He has done on the Cross, then we shall rejoice to see our Brother on the throne, when the ‘judgment is set and the books are opened.’ Oh, friends, cleave to Him ever in trust and love, in communion and imitation, in obedience and confession, that ye may be accounted worthy ‘to stand before the Son of Man’ in that day!

  143. Beloved says:

    Thinking how “impatient” liberal religion is all the while demanding “patience” from more conservative groups. That sword street mentioned has the Final word, and that Word, Jesus, is Truth. Like it or not it’s not going away. Come, LORD Jesus. Gather your chosen quickly and come. A thousand years is like a day to God, the Psalmist says. Perhaps in our lifetimes we will see the blessed end we have been anticipating. Trust in Jesus alone for salvation before it’s too late.
    Today is the day.

  144. jeff1 says:

    Jesus, good above all other,
    gentle Child of gentle Mother,
    in a stable born our Redeemer,
    give us grace to persevere.

    Jesus, cradled in a manger,
    for us facing every danger,
    living as a homeless stranger,
    make we thee our King most dear.

    Jesus, for thy people dying,
    risen Master, death defying,
    Lord in heaven, thy grace supplying,
    keep us to thy presence near.

    Jesus, who our sorrows bearest,
    all our thoughts and hopes thou sharest,
    thou to man the truth declarest;
    help us all thy truth to hear.

    Lord, in all our doings guide us;
    pride and hate shall never divide us;
    we’ll go on with thee beside us,
    and with joy we’ll persevere!

  145. Beloved says:

    “We will be glad and rejoice in You. We will not open the gates of the year to the sorrowful notes of the organ, but to the sweet strains of the harp of joy and the high-sounding cymbals of gladness. “O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”1

    We, the called and faithful and chosen, will drive away our griefs and set up our banners of confidence in the name of God. Let others lament over their troubles; we with joy will magnify the Lord. Eternal Spirit, our effectual Comforter, we who are the temples in which You dwell will never cease from adoring and blessing the name of Jesus.

    Jesus must have the crown of our heart’s delight; we will not dishonor our Bridegroom by mourning in His presence. We are ordained to be the minstrels of the skies; let us rehearse our everlasting anthem before we sing it in the halls of the New Jerusalem. We will exult and rejoice: two words with one sense, double joy, blessedness upon blessedness.

    Need there be any limit to our rejoicing in the Lord even now? Do not men of grace find their Lord to be the sweetest of incense even now, and what better fragrance have they in heaven itself? We will be glad and rejoice in You. That last word is the meat in the dish, the kernel of the nut, the soul of the text.

    What heavens are laid up in Jesus! What rivers of infinite bliss have their source, aye, and every drop of their fullness in Him! Since, O sweet Lord Jesus, You are the present portion of Your people, favor us this year with such a sense of Your preciousness that from its first to its last day we may be glad and rejoice in You. Let January open with joy in the Lord, and December close with gladness in Jesus.“
    Truth for Life

  146. Beloved says:

    Psalm 87
    Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. A song.

    1 He has founded his city on the holy mountain.
    2 The Lord loves the gates of Zion
    more than all the other dwellings of Jacob.
    3 Glorious things are said of you,
    city of God:[a]
    4 “I will record Rahab[b] and Babylon
    among those who acknowledge me—
    Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush[c]—
    and will say, ‘This one was born in Zion.’”[d]
    5 Indeed, of Zion it will be said,
    “This one and that one were born in her,
    and the Most High himself will establish her.”
    6 The Lord will write in the register of the peoples:
    “This one was born in Zion.”
    7 As they make music they will sing,
    “All my fountains are in you.

  147. foreverblessed says:

    What a wonderful messages!
    What a wonderful Savior we have!
    Greater then any fairy tale!

  148. Beloved says:

    6 The Lord will write in the register of the peoples:
    “This one was born in Zion.”

    Jesus said we must be born again. Born again this time in Zion, into God? Oh hallelujah!

  149. Beloved says:

    In the unfolding of a Father’s heart

    A Son is born

    To give birth to his likeness in us

  150. poohpity says:

    The following comes from a site called. “every student dot com” a safe place to explore questions about life and God.

    But why doesn’t God just do something in such a blatant way that people would HAVE to believe he exists? A good answer is presented by Philip Yancey in his book, The Jesus I Never Knew.

    Yancey points out that God has given us the freedom to believe in him or not. And Yancey says, “My faith suffers from too much freedom, too many temptations to disbelieve. At times I want God to overwhelm me, to overcome my doubts with certainty, to give final proofs of his existence and his concern. I want a God without ambiguity, One to whom I can point for the sake of my doubting friends.” But then he says, “The more I get to know Jesus, the more impressed I am by what [Dostoevsky] calls the miracle of restraint.”

    Jesus could have performed such spectacular miracles that people would have to believe in him. He could have taken present day New York City, complete with skyscrapers, subways, electronic neon billboards and dropped it right before them, on the dusty roads of donkeys in the Middle East, 2000 years ago.

    But he didn’t. Why not?

    God always upholds the free will he created us to have.

    Yancey says, “More amazing is his refusal to perform and to overwhelm. God’s terrible insistence on human freedom is so absolute that he granted us the power to live as though he did not exist, to spit in his face, to crucify him. I believe God insists on such restraint because no pyrotechnic displays of omnipotence will achieve the response he desires. Although power can force obedience, only love can summon a response of love, which is the one thing God wants from us and the reason he created us.”

    What God wants is for us to know him in an intimate way as our Father, Friend, Comforter, Counselor, Lord — willingly, not under compulsion.

    He certainly has given us sufficient reason to believe in him (e.g., see Beyond Blind Faith). But he doesn’t force us to know him. Instead, he politely asks if we will allow him to enter our lives. Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one opens the door, I will come into him” (Revelation 3:20). He enters our lives at our permission.

  151. jeff1 says:

    All the more reason why I should be at peace knowing that God is not angry with me when I fail Him but forgives my transgressions and wills me to do better as I draw on His grace and mercy.

  152. poohpity says:

    This is after all the age of grace. :-) Judgement will have it’s time but for now we are covered in the grace of our Lord.

  153. jeff1 says:

    Beyond myself, Lord,
    Beyond myself –
    Draw my eyes, draw my thoughts
    Beyond myself.
    As I face this day,
    As I pause to pray,
    Father God, draw my thoughts
    Beyond myself.

    Beyond my needs, Lord,
    Beyond my needs –
    Lead my heart, lead my hands
    Beyond my needs.
    In this sea of pain,
    Lord, Your will is plain.
    You are love. Lead my hands
    Beyond my needs.

    Beyond my strength, Lord,
    Beyond my strength –
    Make me strong, make me bold
    Beyond my strength.
    I am weak, it’s true,
    But I live in You.
    Father God, make me bold
    Beyond my strength.

  154. jeff1 says:

    The greatest act of faith takes place when a man finally decides that he is not God.

    Michel De Montaigne, Essays

  155. poohpity says:

    Boy is that true and fitting!

  156. Regina says:

    Good Morning, BTA Friends! :-)

    Sincere apologies for staying away so long! The hustle and bustle of life on this side of glory is both time consuming and distracting…to say the least! I have SO missed chatting with you, and I pray, in Jesus name, that you had a HAPPY holiday season! I wish I had time to chat with you right now, but I’m getting ready to do my morning hygiene in prep for my weekend chores. I think I’ll be able to stop by later on for some chat time. If I can’t chat today, I’ll try again tomorrow. I can hardly wait to chat with you all.

    36 degrees and clear in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  157. poohpity says:

    Happy New Year Regina! Looking forward to your chatting with us.

    41 degrees and cloudy here with a chance of meatballs :-)

    Although my New Year started off with a major explosion in matters of the heart, His mercies are still new every morning and we have not only a new year but a new decade to experience His presence. It may start off with what I see as difficult and hurtful, I have hope that that is not a sign of how the rest of the year will go because as Paul said, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” I may not see it now but I have hope and I will not let my emotions dictate the direction.

  158. poohpity says:

    God, grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change,
    the courage to change the things I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference.
    Living one day at a time,
    enjoying one moment at a time;
    accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
    taking, as Jesus did,
    this sinful world as it is,
    not as I would have it;
    trusting that You will make all things right
    if I surrender to Your will;
    so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with You forever in the next.

    Amen.

  159. Beloved says:

    My personal word for the New Year was the very first Word He spoke to me when I became a Christian and still good today; Hold to what you’ve already attained!!! My personal new year resolve is less internet time. What’s yours?

    Knowing Christ Above All Else
    7But whatever was gain to me I count as loss for the sake of Christ. 8More than that, I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ,a the righteousness from God on the basis of faith.

    10I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to Him in His death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

    Pressing toward the Goal
    12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

    13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.

    15All of us who are mature should embrace this point of view. And if you think differently about some issue, God will reveal this to you as well.

    16Nevertheless, we must live up to what we have already attained.

    20But our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

    21who, by the power that enables Him to subject all things to Himself, will transform our lowly bodies to be like His glorious body.

  160. jeff1 says:

    My Lighthouse

    In my wrestling and in my doubts
    In my failures You won’t walk out
    Your great love will lead me through
    You are the peace in my troubled sea
    You are the peace in my troubled sea

    In the silence, You won’t let go
    In the questions, Your truth will hold
    Your great love will lead me through
    You are the peace in my troubled sea
    You are the peace in my troubled sea

    My lighthouse, my lighthouse
    Shining in the darkness. I will follow You
    My lighthouse, my lighthouse
    I will trust the promise
    You will carry me safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore

    I won’t fear what tomorrow brings
    With each morning I’ll rise and sing
    My God’s love will lead me through
    You are the peace in my troubled sea
    You are the peace in my troubled sea

    (You are my light)

    My lighthouse, my lighthouse
    Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
    My lighthouse, my lighthouse
    I will trust the promise
    You will carry me safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore

    Fire before us, You’re the brightest
    You will lead us through the storms
    Fire before us, You’re the brightest
    You will lead us through the storms
    Fire before us, You’re the brightest
    You will lead us through the storms
    Fire before us, You’re the brightest
    You will lead us through the storms

    My lighthouse, my lighthouse
    Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
    My lighthouse, my lighthouse
    I will trust the promise
    You will carry me safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
    Safe to shore (oh-oh-

  161. Beloved says:

    New year, looking forward and forgetting those things that are behind, as Paul said.

    “And so I want the disciples of Jesus who are here, and who from this ridge, if I may call it so, are looking back over the vista of the year; I want them to ask themselves this simple question: Has there been spiritual growth in my own life? I don’t want to know how your affairs are prospering, but I do want to know how your soul is prospering. I don’t ask if you are a better man, but I do ask if you are a growing man. O friend, it has been a strange year for you: sin in it, folly in it, neglect of duty and of God in it; but if the heart is crying ‘I will not let thee go except thou bless me’, if the interests of life are moral ones for you, if the one worth of being alive at all is daily self-conquest to the glory of God — then bid defiance to your sin and failure, in the name of Christ forget the things that are behind, there is a year worth living ahead of you.”

    Excerpt of 1973 Article
    Banner of Truth.Org

  162. street says:

    6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be [a]grasped, 7 but [b]emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death [c]on a cross.

    less of me more of Him.

  163. jeff1 says:

    Without You, O God, we are selfish and vain,
    Consumed with our glory, our comfort, our gain.
    Deceived by this world and the sin we ignore,
    We’re smiling and polished but wrong to the core.

    But Father, Your truth and Your unfailing love
    Engulf all the vastness of heaven above.
    Your holiness floods all the fathomless deep
    And all the creation You nurture and keep.

    Lord, You are the fountain, the source and the sea
    Of life and its glories, of all that will be,
    The ocean of peace, of all justice and right,
    The Good of all goodness, the Light of all light.

    We turn from the darkness and look up to You,
    So thirsty for all that is lovely and true.
    We ask Your forgiveness, Your rightness restored,
    Our Loving Creator, our Father, our Lord!

  164. poohpity says:

    Job spoke in his distress thousands of years prior during the times of the Patriarchs like Abraham;

    “God is not a mortal like me,
    so I cannot argue with him or take him to trial.
    33
    If only there were a mediator between us,
    someone who could bring us together.
    34
    The mediator could make God stop beating me,
    and I would no longer live in terror of his punishment.
    35
    Then I could speak to him without fear,
    but I cannot do that in my own strength.

    Which came to being through Jesus our mediator between God and man now we can speak to God without fear but in reverence. Job knew that was not something he could do in his own strength but would take the help of the divine.

  165. poohpity says:

    Job knew that no one could stand before God and be declared completely innocent without the mercy that God provides. No one can boast in their own godliness or righteousness it takes the covering of the blood shed on our behalf by One who was able to fulfill being fully obedient to all the requirements and will of God. There has been only One and there will never be another, so understanding that we have a more complete picture or the vastness of the extent of God’s mercy.

    Falling to our knees in gratefulness and lifting holy hands in recognition of such a loving God by that no one should question the goodness of God.

  166. jeff1 says:

    Religions have changed God so that the world does not have the truth as we see it and so many are looking to science for answers.

    We as believers continue to recognise God’s greatness and goodness but many do question the goodness of God whether we like it or not as it is a consequence of living in a fallen world.

    We can only continue in our own worship and pray for a change of heart for those who do not share our beliefs knowing that God is patient in waiting and bringing about change.

    We cannot dictate to others as to how they question God nor does God expect us to.

  167. poohpity says:

    You are right we can NOT dictate others as to what they believe about God nor does He expect us to but for those who do believe in the goodness of God it would be nice if they share what they believe about God.

    Romans 10: But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

    So our joy is to share what the Lord has done for us, the very actions of love shown to us. But if one who calls themselves by His name does not show that grace and mercy to others who then will ever believe what they say.

  168. jeff1 says:

    It’s only good news to those who have ears to hear and for those who do not believe God exists they haven’t. I spent most of my life running from God because I believed He was an angry God because all I seen in my young life was hatred and violence.

    It was my dad’s example that brought me to the truth about God.

    Everyone has to have their own awakening to God’s presence in their life and see their sin is against Him and God was patient in waiting for me to come to this realisation so I know He will be patient with others.

    I have joy in knowing God but I have to focus and examine my own walk and allow God to work in others as He does in me and not behave as if God does not exist or is not inclusive in His drawing of others to Himself.

    It is God who gives grace and mercy to others and it is for us to offer prayers for them as we also pray for His grace and mercy in our own lives.

  169. foreverblessed says:

    So it is, Jeff!

    From Utmost today:
    Bethel is the symbol of fellowship with God; Ai is the symbol of the world. Abram “pitched his tent” between the two. The lasting value of our public service for God is measured by the depth of the intimacy of our private times of fellowship and oneness with Him. Rushing in and out of worship is wrong every time— there is always plenty of time to worship God. Days set apart for quiet can be a trap, detracting from the need to have daily quiet time with God. That is why we must “pitch our tents” where we will always have quiet times with Him, however noisy our times with the world may be. There are not three levels of spiritual life— worship, waiting, and work. Yet some of us seem to jump like spiritual frogs from worship to waiting, and from waiting to work. God’s idea is that the three should go together as one. They were always together in the life of our Lord and in perfect harmony. It is a discipline that must be developed; it will not happen overnight.

  170. foreverblessed says:

    It is a discipline, it will not happen overnight.

    Beloved asked what is your resolution for this year?

    Well, for me, the above is.
    Dwelling with God and with men, but always in the Rest of Jesus, the Sabbath Rest.

    Rest in faith, trust in Jesus, He is in control, He knows what He is doing, and I want to grow in trust, faith.
    God loves mankind, so much that He gave… John 3:16

  171. foreverblessed says:

    Receiver grom God:
    Love, peace, joy, patience, etc
    And giving that to my fellow men/women.

    That is the resolution, the “theory”
    But in practice, in when being with others, lots of things happen: people that misunderstand you, like that happened to Steve, and his childhood experience.
    Thanks for sharing, Steve, if you read this.

    So: receiving from God, and giving
    There is another component: giving my disappointments, my misgivings, my shock about how people react to the Cross!
    Sit there and wait at the Cross, till peace has come again in my heart.

    (When I was young, a little child, and I had to go to the toilet at night, I was afraid something from under mye bed would grab my feet. Fear! Slowly got over that)

    No fear, faith in Jesus.
    And praying for others, my country, other countries:
    Lord, have mercy, they do not know share they are doing!

  172. foreverblessed says:

    Lord, forgive, for they do not know what they are doing!

  173. jeff1 says:

    It isn’t what I know about God that causes me to despair but what I know of human nature and I only have to look at the developments in the world today to see this world does not change much when it comes to humanity.

    I personally do not make new year resolutions as I have not found them to be helpful.

    I find peace in putting my trust in God’s continued presence in my life and giving thanks for His mercy, grace and restraint which is more precious than any earthly treasure I have found.

    I believe that when I do my bit God is pleased and I have long stopped trying to please anyone else as living in a diverse world like this one brings many challenges and one of them is that people will make and put demands on you and then when you are exhausted both mentally and physically they will be no where to be seen.

    God on the other hand promises not to forsake me and that beggars the question: “Why me Lord”.

    Why me Lord?
    What have I ever done
    To deserve even one
    Of the pleasure I’ve known
    Tell me Lord
    What did I ever do
    That was worth lovin’ you
    For the kindness you’ve shown

    Lord help me Jesus
    I’ve wasted it so help me Jesus
    I know what I am
    But now that I know
    That I needed you so help me Jesus
    My souls in your hand

    Try me Lord
    If you think there’s a way
    I can try to repay
    All I’ve takin’ from you
    Maybe Lord
    I can show someone else
    What I’ve been through myself
    On my way back to you

    Lord help me Jesus
    I’ve wasted it so help me Jesus
    I know what I am
    But now that I know
    That I needed you so help me Jesus
    My souls in your hand

    Lord help me Jesus
    I’ve wasted it so help me Jesus
    I know what I am
    But now that I know
    That I needed you so help me Jesus
    My souls in your hand

    Jesus, my soul’s in your hands

  174. foreverblessed says:

    Jesus, our souls are in His Hands.
    He saved my soul, He can save others too!
    Knowing that Jesus is able to come to everyone.

    About resolutions, when I was young, I would decide to keep the law more perfectly.
    “Be ye perfect”

    Do not laugh at me. I misunderstood the life IN Christ.

    This mornig the bible verse of the day on biblegateway it this one:

    [ Be Holy ] Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.
    1 Pet 1:13

    Be Holy, and that because you set your hope on the Grace, that comes through faith in Jesus.

    Such a comforting bible verse, and comforting knwoledge:
    Rely on Jesus, He does the work in us, I only should keep the pipe clean. Not to let in myself stand in the way, my own inclinations, my own interpretations..

  175. poohpity says:

    Isn’t it wonderful to know that those who are truly seeking God, God will reveal Himself to them in whatever way possible for us to get to know Him and about Him? God knows those who are seekers after His heart.

  176. SFDBWV says:

    A new friend came Saturday for a visit and we soon began discussing “church”. The subject came up because I mentioned that the United Methodist Church are about to split over the issue of homosexuality in the clergy.

    Foreverblessed you said a mouthful when you said “when being with others lots of things happen.”

    I always look in on BTA while Matt eats his breakfast around 4:30 am. I may or may not take the time to write at that time, but I always have a look.

    Don’t worry about the misunderstanding, as you put it, concerning my speaking of a childhood memory. The memory was mine, the lesson learned was mine and some things are meant only between you and God. As others are not prepared to receive it.

    Jesus spoke a little harsher when He said not to cast pearls before swine.

    He wasn’t actually calling someone else a pig, He was just saying not to waste wisdom on someone not able to understand it.

    So sometimes the things God gives us is just between you and Him, or He and I and another just isn’t ready to receive it.

    Anyway the conversation between Justin and I quickly turned to the fact that in the beginning there was only one church, but over time the church in Jerusalem soon became the church in Rome and then the church split between the Roman church and the Eastern Orthodox church.

    King Henry the VIII then wanting to divorce his wife then created the official Church of England so he would not have to obey the leadership in Rome.

    With Luther we have another split off from Rome and as the Protestant Church became a reality we now have many denominations or “official” churches.

    So which one is the right one?

    Street I already know there is only one “Church” the body of Christ, so you don’t have to jump in and lecture me on the difference. Save yourself the effort.

    My point is that with people lots of things happen.

    When people look for a church to go to, most people are looking for a place that believes exactly like they do and people who think exactly like they do and certainly for a pastor or preacher who thinks exactly like they do.

    When they don’t find exactly what they are looking for then criticism begins followed by dissatisfaction and finally off to look for another.

    Usually ending up in just not going anywhere, or starting yet another denomination.

    Somewhere in all of this we have to come to terms with what exactly do we believe and what do we expect from believing?

    In a room or at a table if we are to discuss such things expect different thoughts and then look at the list of the fruits of the Spirit or if you want the list of Mart’s nature of Christ and see who’s spirit rises up in you.

    Yours or His.

    Steve

  177. poohpity says:

    They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love
    by Jars of Clay

    We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
    We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
    And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
    And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
    Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love

    We will work with each other, we will work side by side
    We will work with each other, we will work side by side
    And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride
    And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
    Yeah, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

    Going to church, no matter what denomination that may be, does not make one a Christian just like standing in a garage does not make one a car. There is unity in the body which is the church. Eph 4: There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

    Different denominations were made by man in the form of religions much to the exclusion of others rather than the inclusion and unity that God had intended. Yes we all worship the same God and our belief system comes from what God has taught us through His Word(Jesus). We can either raise our eyes, hearts and minds to His teaching which brings unity or to the traditions of different religions and philosophies which come from the mind of man and are sinful be nature since they came from people.

  178. poohpity says:

    1 Cor 13: Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.

    1 John 4: Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God’s love was revealed among us: God sent His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.

  179. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Steve!
    A good new Year to you and Matt and Glenna!!!

    What I got from your childhood writing, is that you were taught right then and there, that there is no need to worry, no need to fear!
    It took me some time longer.
    Still a working process.

    This year I know the thing I will face here is: Being around other christians. And to handle all the diferences.
    It is as if God says to me: “I was patient with you, in that fundamentalistic church, you be patient with others too”

    The one thing that confronted me last year wasx the differences in the Last Supper, and the Eucharist.
    The cathlics seeing that the “protestants” don’t get it right.
    God will sort this out, in due time. He is getting closer with us now than a year ago. But growing closer we will.
    And the one thing I ought not to do, is to get irritated about a cathlic saying to me that I ought to see the Eucharist as the cathlics do.

    And not letting this difference make a split in the relation with other christians.

    What ever terrible thing happens in the world, there is nothing that Jesus cannot make right
    (well except for those who had accepted Him and then let go, this remains ahard thing for me)
    But there is nothing that Jesus cannot set right,
    No humanism, no Confusis, no Buddah, no whatever deity can do that,

    Only Jesus, Who was with God, through Him all things made: without Him nothing was made that has been made, In Him was life and that life was the light of men.

    What a wonderful truth that is!
    That is Jesus, our Savior.

    just a personal note added: The adding of this one line: without Him nothing was made that has been made.
    Made me think, why was that added? To empahsize the importance of that was what stated?
    The same adding to a statement already made, as this one:
    In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.
    John 1:3
    John 14:2

  180. Beloved says:

    Forever I was asked to join another Bible study in town and guess what they are studying? The Songs of Ascent! I’m so excited to study them more deeply. Thank you so much for bringing them to the blog.

    Also, my less internet time means more “time” to spend meditating on the Word and prayer. It’s been good.

    Interesting thoughts from all today.

  181. bratimus says:

    If my comments offend anyone or if I misunderstood what was meant, I am sorry for that.

    Sometimes when I read a comment on here, it will put me on a quest, a journey, a mission for someone maybe not commenting maybe just someone reading, I don’t know for sure I just go down that path. Maybe it is something I just need to mention.

    In the fact that there are many off shoots from the One Church, that is Christ Jesus. Is why I don’t attend any building church. The hope is that in my walk of faith, my praying and worshiping of God is through Christ is the right way, the right Church. This is why I’m not a preacher or a teacher of the words of God. Don’t want to force the way I believe in the Church on anyone. We all have to come to God through Christ Jesus in are own way. That’s why I say read the Bible for one’s self or listen to it many audio of it out there and ask Christ for guidance through the words through Him

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  182. jeff1 says:

    As I see it church is for my benefit as it is where I meet and share with other believers and take communion.

    It strengthens me for the wider world as I find comfort among like minded people and can learn from them.

    I don’t think the building matters and I would enter any building be it chapel or church as its still God I am worshipping.

    Here it is difficult for members of the orange order are not allowed to go into a chapel and so if they are going to a catholic wedding they wait outside the chapel until the service is over and only attend the hotel reception.

    Where a catholic is marrying a protestant many are going for a civil reception because of the anyomisity it causes in families.

    One Day at a Time

    I’m only human, I’m just a man/woman
    Help me believe in what I could be and all that I am
    Show me the stairway
    I have to climb
    Lord for my sake
    Teach me to take
    One day at a time

    One day at a time, sweet Jesus
    That’s all I’m asking from you
    Give me the strength to do everything that I have to do
    Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus
    And tomorrow may never be mine
    Help me today
    Show me the way
    One day at a time.

    Could you remember
    When you walked among men
    Jesus, you know when you’re looking below
    It’s worse now than then
    Pushin’ and shovin’ crowd in your mind
    Lord for my sake
    Teach me to take
    One day at a time.

  183. poohpity says:

    Chris, you said something so very very important if we do not want to fall prey to different teaching or do not know what the believe; “That’s why I say read the Bible for one’s self or listen to it many audio of it out there and ask Christ for guidance through the words through Him” Then we do not conform to the teaching, traditions, religiosity and divisions that different denomination can bring. Being grounded in God’s word is how to stand on what is true but sadly that is the last place that some go to learn what is true.

    Once one has experienced the things that are true in scripture we learn to look more fully into them. Not only look but have a hearts desire to read more it is not because we have to but it is because we want to seek and search all that God has for us to learn. That’s what caused the big breakaway by Luther from the Catholic church because he read scripture and to get the bible in print people left Europe for America to depend on the bible not religion. When religion(mainly Catholicism) came it oppressed the native people who lived here instead of learning from them what God revealed to them.

  184. poohpity says:

    The religious leaders in the 16th century did not want the common man to have scripture to read for themselves. The church at that time was government run with oppression in mind until those who came to America broke away and that is how we got our 1st Amendment to our Constitution that the government shall not establish the church, freedom of religion.

  185. bratimus says:

    At Times I don’t think that religious leaders of this century want the common man to have scriptures to read for themselves, and other leaders also

    In Christ Jesus

    Bratimus

  186. poohpity says:

    I do not think I have ever attended a church that did not promote reading the scriptures but I do not doubt that it happens. The church I attend now teaches directly from the bible we go book by book this year he is teaching the book of John which just happens to be the very book my bible study group is going through now too.

    It would seem that any teacher worth a hill of beans will tell their congregations to compare what they say to the scriptures to be held accountable for staying on truth. It takes a humble person to do that.

  187. jeff1 says:

    God Will Make a Way

    God will make a way
    Where there seems to be no way
    He works in ways we cannot see
    He will make a way for me

    He will be my guide
    Hold me closely to His side
    With love and strength for each new day
    He will make a way, He will make a way

    By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me
    And rivers in the desert will I see
    Heaven and Earth will fade but His word will still remain
    And He will do something new today

    Oh, God will make a way
    Where there seems to be no way
    He works in ways we cannot see
    He will make a way for me

    He will be my guide
    Hold me closely to His side
    With love and strength for each new day
    He will make a way, He will make a way

    By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me
    And rivers in the desert will I see
    Heaven and Earth will fade but His word will still remain
    And He will do something new today

    Oh, God will make a way
    Where there seems to be no way
    He works in ways we cannot see
    He will make a way for me

    He will be my guide
    Hold me closely to His side
    With love and strength for each new day
    He will make a way, He will make a way

    With love and strength for each new day
    He will make a way, He will make a way

  188. Beloved says:

    The most crooked tree will make timber for the temple if God please to hew it.

    —Thomas Fuller

  189. street says:

    jeff as you mentioned the division of the church along political social and cultural lines it’s no wonder people risked dying to flee the insanity to seek freedom of worship. thinking of isaac having to dig 3 wells to find peace with his neighbors.

    16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.

    17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.

    thinking of His Only Son Who serves Him. to make many righteous.

  190. poohpity says:

    Coach John Wooden asked, “If I were ever prosecuted for my religion would there be enough evidence to convict me?”. In other words if you were to stand on trial for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to prove you guilty?

  191. Beloved says:

    ON THIS DAY
    4 January 1577 – Hans Bret, a baker and lay preacher in the Netherlands was tortured and burned at the stake for his Protestant Faith. Despite having his tongue clamped and cauterised by a red hot tongue screw, he boldly proclaimed the Gospel until the flames consumed his body. He was one of many thousands of martyrs who gave their lives for the Gospel of Christ in Holland during the great persecution of 1531-1578.

    .christianlibertybooks.co.za/item/greatest_century_of_reformation_updated_and_expanded

  192. jeff1 says:

    God broke through the silence
    And spoke to our need
    A vision, a promise,
    A glory to be;
    And some heard His call
    And dared to believe.
    Their courage now lights our way,
    Walking by faith.

    Still bold when the promise
    Was only a dream,
    They walked with their God and
    Let nothing between.
    Through shadows and storms
    They saw the unseen
    And looked to a better place,
    Dying by faith.

    Surrounded by heroes
    Now cheering us on,
    We live in His love as
    We march toward the dawn.
    The Lord is our joy
    Today and beyond,
    For always we see His face
    Walking by faith;
    For always we see His face
    Walking by faith.

  193. foreverblessed says:

    What a wonderful poem,
    The truth in words that sound like music when you say them out loud. But the depth of its Truth is hard to grasp.

    I was going to study in Isaiah, study the “wrath of God”
    with a sermon on it at hand: the vengeance of God,
    A bible teacher stating that God’s wrath is always aimed at restoration.

    Isaiah comes straight after the Song of Solomon,
    And in pencil I had written:
    The answer of this Allegory ( the Song of Solomon) lies in the rest of the bible, as scripture slowly opens up to us.
    The aim: restoring to the world the lost Spirit of love.
    God is love and Christ is that embodiment of the love of God.
    John 3:16
    God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoso believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    Rom 5:8
    But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:
    While we were still sinners He died for us.

    He died that we might live in Him.
    His Spirit of love flowing through us, cleansing us, making us whole.
    The Spirit of Love, nog, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fathfulness, gentleness and self-control.

  194. foreverblessed says:

    Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness…

  195. Beloved says:

    Psalm 46:1
    Romans 12:12
    Romans 15:13

    “Though I have all Power in heaven and on earth, I am infinitely tender with you. The weaker you are, the more gently I approach you. Let your weakness be a door to My presence”.
    Jesus Calling

  196. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you, Beloved, also for the mention of Hans Bret, Jan 4 1577.
    That time was really a war, a civil war.
    About 2000 have been killed, because they read the bible or articles of Martin Luther, we call him Maarten Luther.
    The area in the south remained cathlic, and in the cathlic schools here, they did not mention these deaths in history classes. Only the brutal death of 19 monks in a monastry, 1572.
    These protestant soldiers had done terrible things.
    Really.
    The message Jesus had:
    Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing!

    It is sooo hard to hete through, even in christian circles.

    We have a message of reconciliation.

    How hard that is:
    Give your agony to the Cross
    Instead of striking back
    And then ask for love joy peace
    And wait for it to come

  197. jeff1 says:

    How Deep the Father’s Love for Us

    How deep the Father’s love for us
    How vast beyond all measure
    That He should give His only Son
    To make a wretch His treasure

    How great the pain of searing loss
    The Father turns His face away
    As wounds which mar the Chosen One
    Bring many sons to glory

    Behold the man upon a cross
    My sin upon His shoulders
    Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
    Call out among the scoffers

    It was my sin that held Him there
    Until it was accomplished
    His dying breath has brought me life
    I know that it is finished

    I will not boast in anything
    No gifts, no power, no wisdom
    But I will boast in Jesus Christ
    His death and resurrection

    Why should I gain from His reward?
    I cannot give an answer
    But this I know with all my heart
    His wounds have paid my ransom

    Why should I gain from His reward?
    I cannot give an answer
    But this I know with all my heart
    His wounds have paid my ransom

  198. foreverblessed says:

    His wounds
    our healing

    Some mystery there…
    a spiritual work done in us, by the Holy Spirit, that was in Jesus when He was wounded, and send to us, after He went back to His Father
    His Spirit send out to us, the Spirit that suffered in Jesus, now binds us, and heals us.

  199. Beloved says:

    Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!

  200. jeff1 says:

    The love of God is greater far
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
    It goes beyond the highest star,
    And reaches to the lowest hell.
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
    God gave His Son to win;
    His erring child He reconciled,
    And pardoned from his sin.

    Refrain:
    O love of God, how rich and pure!
    How measureless and strong!
    It shall forevermore endure?
    The saints’ and angels’ song!

    Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade,
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.

    He is alive, and He is Lord,
    Now crowned with heaven’s highest name;
    And there in Him, by love restored,
    With all creation we’ll proclaim:
    “Worthy the Lamb, the Great I Am,
    All glory, power, and might.”
    With joy we’ll trace His boundless grace
    In all its depth and height.

  201. street says:

    Coach John Wooden asked, “If I were ever prosecuted for my religion would there be enough evidence to convict me?”. In other words if you were to stand on trial for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to prove you guilty?

    thinking about the trials of Jesus. No evidence to convict Him, but they did anyway. pilot understood Jesus was innocent, yet condemned Him to death. a death planed long ago.

    as for evidence of sin, yes, sinful and without excuse. all our works, efforts, filthy rags. darkness in need of light and eyes to see. despair in need of hope.

    Wisdom has built her house,
    She has hewn out her seven pillars;
    2
    She has [a]prepared her food, she has mixed her wine;
    She has also set her table;
    3
    She has sent out her maidens, she calls
    From the tops of the heights of the city:
    4
    “Whoever is [b]naive, let him turn in here!”
    To him who lacks [c]understanding she says,
    5
    “Come, eat of my food
    And drink of the wine I have mixed.
    6
    “[d]Forsake your folly and live,
    And proceed in the way of understanding.”

  202. street says:

    thinking of joseph sold by his brothers. faithful to God and the things God had shown Him. made equal to pharaoh except in the thrown. joseph’s subornation to God in life and circumstance lead to inheriting all things.

    Revelation 22:12
    “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

    My reward/hope is Jesus.

    what would you ask for, what do you desire? to be Holy

  203. Beloved says:

    Evidence? Fruits of the Spirit; that which only God can produce in us. Carnal laws surely would find me guilty as sin! Christ in me is my only hope!

    Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

  204. jeff1 says:

    I must first see my need of Him and that only comes when I realize my sin is against God.

    Until then I vindicate myself as there is always someone else to blame for my words and actions (often that is true but the anger and injustice will lead me to hurt myself and those I blame and not God’s plan for me) so I justify them.

    Great Is Thy Faithfulness

    Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
    Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
    As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

    [Chorus]
    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Morning by morning new mercies I see.
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

    Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
    Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
    Join with all nature in manifold witness
    To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

    [Chorus]

    Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
    Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
    Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

    [Chorus]

  205. jeff1 says:

    What the World Needs Now Is Love

    [Chorus]
    What the world needs now
    Is love, sweet love
    It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
    What the world needs now
    Is love, sweet love
    No, not just for some, but for everyone

    Look, we don’t need another mountain
    There are oceans and rivers
    Enough to cross, enough to last
    Until the end of time

    [Chorus]

    Lord we dont need another meadow
    There are corn fields and wheat fields enough to grow
    There are sun beams and moon beams enough to shine
    This I know, if you want to know

    [Chorus]

    What the world needs now
    Is love, sweet love
    What the world needs now
    Is love, sweet love
    What the world needs right about now
    What the world needs now
    Is love, sweet love
    What the world needs now
    Is love, sweet love

    What the world needs now
    Is love, sweet love
    It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
    What the world needs now
    Is love, sweet love
    No, not just for some, just for everyone

    It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
    What the world needs now
    Is love, sweet love
    No, not just for some, but for everyone

  206. poohpity says:

    street, if I remember correctly it was not Pilot who condemned Jesus to death it was those who claimed to be followers of God that lead the mob to demand crucifixion. We do not need evidence that we are sinners most already realize that if they are honest with themselves it is obvious. I was asking if there is evidence as to whether one is a Christian or not. Does your life reveal Him that if you never told anyone that you are they would know? Do they see one who looks like the world but quotes scripture or not but does not live it out? Is there evidence of faith, hope and love?

  207. poohpity says:

    In other words asking ourselves, “do I bear any likeness to Jesus?”.

  208. jeff1 says:

    When a member of my family who has fallen away from the faith made the comment that they believed I tried to be a Christian it give me hope.

    I was making an effort but of course they are looking at my outward pursuits which is visible to them.

    More important is my walk with God and allowing Him to change me from the inside so that I no longer feel I have to try because Jesus is having His Way in my life.

    Walk with me, Lord! Walk with me!
    Walk with me, Lord! Why don’t you walk with me!
    While I’m on this, this tedious journey,
    I need You, Jesus, to walk with me.

    Be my friend, Lord! Be my friend!
    Be my friend, Lord! Why don’t you be my friend!
    While I’m on this, this tedious journey,
    I need You, Jesus, to be my friend.

    Don’t leave me alone, Lord!
    Don’t leave me alone!
    Don’t leave me alone, Lord!
    Please don’t leave me alone!
    While I’m on this, this tedious journey,
    I need You, Jesus, to walk with me.

    Oh, walk with me Lord
    Walk with me
    Come on and walk with me Lord
    Why don’t you walk with me
    Hey while I walk this this tedious journey
    Lord I need you Jesus yes I need you Lord to walk with me.

  209. poohpity says:

    If we know that God knows it is unrealistic to be perfect then what did He give us as an alternative?

    Wouldn’t it be the faith and love to do good deeds? To act on what He did for us to offer comfort, to show mercy and grace. If we are attempting as a goal to be perfect our focus is on SELF not on God. If we are truly practicing what we believe then Matt 25:34-46; 1 Thess 5:14; Hebrews 6:10-11; 2 Cor 1:4

  210. bratimus says:

    Just a thought,

    All sinners condemned Jesus, I would love to pass the buck on this, but I can’t I’m partly to blame for Jesus having to go to the cross to die for are sins. I have sinned as all have sinned, so yes I am partly to blame. So when looking for who to blame for Jesus going to the cross, it is always best to point one’s finger back at them selves first.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

    P.S. None of US are worthy and WE make mistakes, God loves US anyways or many ways, proof is Christ Jesus on the cross for US.

  211. jeff1 says:

    God puts all types of people in my pathway and I hope they would say that I offer them encouragement, comfort and hope as it is what I have myself.

    I won’t try to offer them grace and mercy as that is God’s place to do as He sees fit.

    As I see it I have to draw on God’s grace and mercy myself as I walk with Him and that is what strengthens me.

    I haven’t set myself a goal to be perfect because it has nothing to do with me but how God will work through me as I trust in His guidance.

    I didn’t come to know God through Scripture but through my trials of life and so we are not singing from the same hymn sheet.

  212. bratimus says:

    Jeff1 (aka Viv,I think I get confused with all the different names we go by, I even confuse myself all the different names I give myself in some of the online places I travel.)

    I just want to say the hymns and songs you post, I love them, there are moments of encouragement, peace and calm when reading them. (IF), I would say that that is good work and service to the God of Heavens.

    It isn’t always about how much WE, in as much as how WE do it.

    God Bless

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  213. street says:

    10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

    11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

    Who’s fruit is it that is gather into the barn?

    welcome to the threshing floor.

    38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

    39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

    40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

    John 4:36
    The reaper is already receiving pay and gathering fruit for eternal life, so the sower and reaper can rejoice together.

    Malachi My Messenger. Then Messiah
    angel – messenger.

    23 And Jesus *answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his [a]life loses it, and he who hates his [b]life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

    Romans 7:4
    Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

  214. street says:

    14 The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with [a]perseverance.

    thinking Jesus is the Good soil. an immersion. in an honest and good heart….new heart by the blood of the Lamb.

    James 3:18
    And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

    Jesus made peace with God and sinners. new creation

    Galatians 4:19
    My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you—

    Galatians 4:11
    I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.

    8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close [a]to being cursed, and [b]it ends up being burned.

    9 But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that [c]accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. 10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the [d]saints.

  215. jeff1 says:

    Thank you for saying Bratimus as I meditate on the words I often find clarity where their was none and that confirms to me that God works.

    Isn’t that what matters that God still works even when I do not see clearly I know He has not forsaken us.

  216. Beloved says:

    So true
    “Don’t let the  symbol in your hand get lost on you. Social media addiction plagues us because every day our device keeps holding out the same apple promise of self-glorification, like in Genesis 3. And we bite. Hour after hour we return for another bite.”

    —Tony Reinke

  217. jeff1 says:

    bratimus says:
    January 9, 2020 at 11:18 am
    Just a thought,

    All sinners condemned Jesus, I would love to pass the buck on this, but I can’t I’m partly to blame for Jesus having to go to the cross to die for are sins.

    I think to see that takes honesty, humility, self examination and being focused on Christ.

    When I am not I very soon forget this truth and start seeing a speck in another’s eyes while there is a plank in my own!

    A man of little words from reading your comments but what wisdom can be derived from them.

    Thank you Bartimus spoken from the heart of a man who knows God.

  218. poohpity says:

    For those who do not realize their value or worth to God even if we are sinners which all human beings are it is because of the love of God that He pursued us and went through great lengths to have a relationship with us.

    If God says you are more valuable and of much worth to Him then you are. He does not lie. He created everything around us to fulfill the needs we would have to enjoy beauty, to satisfy our physical needs like food, water and animals/plants for clothing even making sure that His words were recorded so we could experience His guidance and also music.

    You are valuable and worth much to God!

  219. jeff1 says:

    It is knowing that God cares that makes it possible to get through the difficulties in this world and that is why faith is a precious gift.

    When I see people turning to addictions instead of God I know how blessed I am to know His love and presence.

    When we pray for those who do not know Him as we do we are fulfilling God’s purpose in our lives and in their’s.

    Jesus’s love is beyond my understanding because I have failed to love my enemies but I am not beyond praying for Him to change their hearts as I know He is changing mine because it is not until there is an internal change in our hearts that we can begin to understand the ‘Love of God’ and all else is lip service.

  220. jeff1 says:

    Love divine, all loves excelling,
    Joy of heaven to earth come down;
    Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
    All thy faithful mercies crown!
    Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
    Pure unbounded love Thou art;
    Visit us with Thy salvation;
    Enter every trembling heart.

    Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
    Into every troubled breast!
    Let us all in Thee inherit;
    Let us find that promised rest.
    Take away our bent to sinning;
    Alpha and Omega be;
    End of faith, as its Beginning,
    Set our hearts at liberty.

    Come, Almighty to deliver,
    Let us all Thy life receive;
    Suddenly return and never,
    Never more Thy temples leave.
    Thee we would be always blessing,
    Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
    Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
    Glory in Thy perfect love.

    Finish, then, Thy new creation;
    Pure and spotless let us be.
    Let us see Thy great salvation
    Perfectly restored in Thee;
    Changed from glory into glory,
    ‘Til in heaven we take our place,
    ‘Til we cast our crowns before Thee,
    Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

  221. poohpity says:

    The love of God seems to transcend above and beyond our inabilities to do in us far beyond what we could imagine or think possible. There is a but to that which is if we open up to Him and allow Him to work in our lives a step at a time. Inch by inch it is a cinch. Heart and mind gets transformed into His likeness, if we let Him and if we live in vital union with Him because it seems He does not go where He is not wanted.

    He does not seem to change the unique person we are yet takes away the things that hinders that unique person to come out.

  222. jeff1 says:

    O God of all being, we thirst for the truth:
    The wonder of all that You are.
    You sing it and paint it through all You create –
    All beauty, each breath, every star.
    Almighty, all-holy, one God All-in-all,
    Pure light, all around, all above,
    We listen with awe as You whisper Your might
    But mightily thunder Your love.

    O God, we are weakness, so futile and small.
    We blossom and die in a day.
    But You are the wholeness, the Source and the Goal,
    The heaven for which we were made,
    Our hope, our completeness, the life and the love,
    The joy that our hearts all pursue.
    Our rich satisfaction beyond every dream,
    Our fullness, O Father, is You!

  223. Beloved says:

    Evening, January 11th, 2020
    “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”— Luke 22:32

    How encouraging is the thought of the Redeemer’s never-ceasing intercession for us. When we pray, he pleads for us; and when we are not praying, he is advocating our cause, and by his supplications shielding us from unseen dangers.

    Notice the word of comfort addressed to Peter—”Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat; but”—what? “But go and pray for yourself.” That would be good advice, but it is not so written.

    Neither does he say, “But I will keep you watchful, and so you shall be preserved.” That were a great blessing. No, it is, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.”

    We little know what we owe to our Saviour’s prayers. When we reach the hill-tops of heaven, and look back upon all the way whereby the Lord our God hath led us, how we shall praise him who, before the eternal throne, undid the mischief which Satan was doing upon earth.

    How shall we thank him because he never held his peace, but day and night pointed to the wounds upon his hands, and carried our names upon his breastplate! Even before Satan had begun to tempt, Jesus had forestalled him and entered a plea in heaven.

    Mercy outruns malice. Mark, he does not say, “Satan hath desired to have you.” He checks Satan even in his very desire, and nips it in the bud. He does not say, “But I have desired to pray for you.” No, but “I have prayed for you: I have done it already; I have gone to court and entered a counterplea even before an accusation is made.”

    O Jesus, what a comfort it is that thou hast pleaded our cause against our unseen enemies; countermined their mines, and unmasked their ambushes. Here is a matter for joy, gratitude, hope, and confidence.

  224. jeff1 says:

    Onward, Christian Soldiers

    Onward Christian soldiers
    Marching as to war
    With the cross of Jesus
    Going on before

    Christ the royal master
    Leads against the foe
    Forward into battle
    See his banners go

    Onward Christian soldiers
    Marching as to war
    With the cross of Jesus
    Going on before

    Like a mighty army
    Moves the church of god
    Brothers we a treading
    Where the Saints have trod

    We are not divided
    All one body we
    One in hope and doctrine
    One in charity

    Onward Christian soldiers
    Marching as to war
    With the cross of Jesus
    Going on before

    With the cross of Jesus
    Going on before

    Going on before

  225. Beloved says:

    Likeness, to whom?

    Excerpt from an article on TGC.

    Sisters, Jesus Is Not Your Cheerleader
    NOVEMBER 18, 2016 | Melissa Kruger
    There’s a common trend among many women’s events, popular books, and blogs today. Whether it’s devotionals that speak words directly from Jesus, or women’s conferences that focus us on fulfilling a grand purpose, it seems we’ve whittled down the words of Jesus to only those of encouragement, support, and affirmation. We’re comfortable hearing him (and one another) say: You’re wonderful! You’ve got this, girl! Be yourself! You can do it!

    And, to be clear, Jesus does encourage. He offers words of strength to the weary and comfort to the hurting. In a world where we so often feel we don’t measure up, we need his encouragement daily. By focusing on only part of his message, however, I’m concerned that we’ve reduced Jesus to a spiritual cheerleader. And, in turn, that’s what we’ve become to one another. We offer words of affirmation, but not rebuke; words of forgiveness, but not repentance. We rightly celebrate his grace, but often forget to mourn our sin.

  226. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    January 11, 2020 at 8:42 am

    He does not go where He is not wanted.

    I think it is a great error to say that God does not go where He is not wanted I was rebellious when He turned up in my life.

    Is this assumption on your part or is it Biblical?

  227. poohpity says:

    If someone does not want Him in their heart or rejects His love does He force Himself on anyone? Luke 12:36; Rev 3:20

  228. poohpity says:

    I was rebellious too but it takes a person asking Jesus to come into their heart even though He pursues us it takes us inviting Him to come into our lives.

    He calls, we either answer that call or turn the other way.

  229. foreverblessed says:

    Have a blessed day!
    Jesus is our Savior.
    It is true and sure and steadfast.

    This bible verse has been on my mind:
    John 12:32
    But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all (men) to Myself.

    When I read all the commentators in Biblehub, I am in awe!
    Jesus does not rule over us.
    He draws all to Him,
    And He does that by the sheer drawing power of Him hanging on the Cross, saving me, and all.
    All!
    How He will do that I do not know, but it is a sure promise in the bible!

    The realization that Jesus was willing to give up His life as a ransom for me,
    that He was willing to suffer for me, to takes the stripes, so that I could be healed.
    That will be such a powerful magnet, irrisistibly

    Mart has had a topic on Zechariah 12:10-11

    When they will look on Me, the One they have pierced…
    That looks like a miracle:
    When I am lifted up, I will draw all men to Me.

    A wonderful miracle!
    May God draw all to Him!

  230. Beloved says:

    God will save us all- whether we like it or not?

  231. Beloved says:

    Just asking, forever.

    Christian universalism is a school of Christian theology focused around the doctrine of universal reconciliation – the view that all human beings will ultimately be “saved” and restored to a right relationship with God.

    The term Christian universalism was used in the 1820s by Russell Streeter of the Christian Intelligencer of Portland – a descendant of Adams Streeter who had founded one of the first Universalist Churches on September 14, 1785.[1][2][3] Christian universalists believe this was the most common interpretation of Christianity in Early Christianity, prior to the 6th century.[4][5]

  232. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    January 12, 2020 at 8:23 am

    If someone does not want Him in their heart or rejects His love does He force Himself on anyone?

    I would agree God does not force Himself but He does not give up pursuing and with gentle persuasion as it is His nature.

    If He works this way in my life then it follows that He will
    do the same in others who have not yet come to Him because He waits patiently for them not wanting any to perish and God is eternal which is why we cannot limit Him to our time for He transcends time and space.

    God’s love and mercy has always been inclusive it is religions and false teaching that has led many away from Him and it is His Will to draw them back to Himself.

    Our failure to see this is because of our divisions because pride gets in the way of unitedness and for many it comes down to them being right but as Bratimus says all sinners condemned Jesus. I cannot pass the buck on but have to accept my part in His Crucifixion and that is what God asks of me today to see ‘my’ need of Him.

    I cannot offer grace and mercy to anyone as Pooh so often suggests as I would be playing God rather than seeing that I am a beggar myself.

  233. Beloved says:

    I think we offer Gods grace and mercy by telling others about Him and by following/living like He did which translates to doing His will. Our persistence, even though we are sometimes disobedient and sin yet grieve our sins, repent and ask forgiveness is true humility. He is LORD, not us.

  234. jeff1 says:

    I think the Christianity has failed to get the truth of the Gospel message across because of the religious divide and so we seem to the world as if we are making judgements on each other rather than putting our trust in Christ.

    We argue too much about who is right catholics, protestants, jews and non believers are not listening anymore because they expect us to be singing from the same hymn sheet as non believers will often say who is right the catholics, protestants, jews.

    That says that we have failed to keep our focus on Christ and put our own religious thoughts, beliefs on the throne instead and so it is not surprising the world is confused.

    We must take some responsibility for our failures and stop passing the buck around from one religion to another as our behaviour towards other believers whether they share our beliefs or not has an impact on non believers.

    As someone raised in a divided religious country I know protestants of faith who would tell you all catholics are going to hell and I am just as likely to hear catholics of faith saying that us protestants are going to hell.

    I can thank God that I had a dad that did not listen to such nonsense but the sad thing about this is that these believers believe it is true such is the hatred that has been indoctrinated into them through false teaching or by their own desire to claim their religion is right over the others.

    I don’t see suffering for Christ as the followers of ancient times but rather suffering for traditions and religions that are trying to control people’s minds for their own ends.

    I have lived and experienced enough religious bigotry from wherever it comes to see that is a far cry from God’s likeness.

    God have mercy on us all.

  235. poohpity says:

    Viv, you said, “I cannot offer grace and mercy to anyone as Pooh so often suggests as I would be playing God rather than seeing that I am a beggar myself.” Have you been shown grace and mercy and do you have the spirit of Christ living within you? If you answered yes to any of those then you have more than enough reason to show grace and mercy to others as well as having the Spirit living within you to give you the power to do so.

    IT IS NOT PLAYING GOD TO GIVE AWAY WHAT WE HAVE RECEIVED!

  236. street says:

    oswald chambers touched on why christians are not so effective a couple days ago…..he was speaking from this verse….17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

    it seems i think too much of this temporal world and not the eternal. need value system replacement. i have to admit the the thoughts of this world envy lust and coveting make themselves known every day. who will free me from this body of death? 8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

  237. poohpity says:

    Remember we are talking about “Likeness”. The more time you spend with Him the more He rubs off on anyone who abides in His presence.

  238. Beloved says:

    We can only give what we have received. In love we want to share the love God has given us. It has nothing to do with feelings, ideologies, philosophy or religious affiliation. Mart’s thoughts above show us what happens or is struggling within us to come out as we are “in Christ” through regeneration. Born again, Jesus said. That is the beginning of our change of heart and mind. Slowly but relentlessly He is birthed again and again in this world. Those of us on that narrow road have much to do always, prayers witnessing and all with humility and above all – love.

  239. Beloved says:

    I listened to Alistair Begg preaching on “ love” twice today. He really knows how to get down to the nitty gritty on being a Christian. He really understands the difficulties involved. Like Jesus does also I suppose… It was painful to hear because the only way we will stop religious wars as Viv shares about is by listening to Him and not doing as the world does. Love is not at all about how we FEEL about someone it’s what we DO to someone- anyone because God says to do it. Just do it- love despite how you feel or how others think act etc. it’s divine not sensual or earthly. ( my thoughts). I am so convicted and the only thing that keeps me from loving troublemakers- war mongers- haters and abusers is my sense of justice. Not Gods, not the God I love and serve. You know what else he said? This really got me…,He said if we don’t love others we don’t really love God! Well, not completely sure Begg said that, may have been RC but it’s what God spoke to me today. I’m a very angry person. I have good reason to be angry but I must lay it down, at the cross, or I will get depressed again.
    I’m rambling, sorry.

  240. Beloved says:

    I had a tough week: sickness, an apt I thought was mine fell through and car repairs cost me a months’ income😖 I got so overwhelmed that even after crying -literally- out to God and sharing my problems I stupidly spent an evening watching tv stories of criminal activity. Guess what happened to me? Yep, thinking like the world depressed me more and it took a few hours of praying praising and reading Gods word to get my head back on straight. It’s amazing how close we are to destructive tendencies. But He’s so faithful.

  241. Beloved says:

    And, did I mention my new Mormon friend tried to steal some things from me? Yep, it was a bad week. Betrayal is the hardest to take though. But it passes in the wonder of Gods love! Did I mention His love is OVERWHELMING❤️

  242. Beloved says:

    Finally…

    January 12
    SPEAK FOR GOD
    Spurgeon

    We ought not to court publicity for our virtue or notoriety for our zeal; but at the same time it is a sin to be always seeking to hide what God has bestowed upon us for the good of others. A Christian is not to be a village in a valley, but “a city set on a hill” 1; he is not to be a candle under a bushel, but a candle in a candlestick, giving light to all.

    Retirement may be lovely in its season, and to hide one’s self is doubtless modest, but the hiding of Christ in us can never be justified, and the keeping back of truth, which is precious to ourselves, is a sin against others and an offense against God.

    If you have a nervous temperament and a retiring disposition, take care that you do not indulge this trembling propensity, lest you should be useless to the church. Seek in the name of Him who was not ashamed of you to do some little violence to your feelings and tell others what Christ has told to you.

    If you cannot speak with trumpet tongue, use the still small voice. If the pulpit must not be your tribune, if the press may not carry on its wings your words, yet say with Peter and John, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you.” 2

    By Sychar’s well talk to the Samaritan woman, if you cannot preach a sermon on the mountain; utter the praises of Jesus in the house, if not in the temple; in the field, if not in the public square; in your own household, if you cannot in the great family of man. From the hidden springs within, let sweetly flowing streams of testimony flow forth, giving drink to every passerby. Hide not your talent; trade with it, and you shall bring in good interest to your Lord and Master. To speak for God will be refreshing to ourselves, cheering to saints, useful to sinners, and honoring to the Savior.

    1) Matthew 5:14
    2) Acts 3:6

  243. foreverblessed says:

    That is wonderful encouragement!
    My husband is a believer, but he doesn’t go to a church.
    A niece of him is a believer, and has a fiancee, very friendly man. He is in Berlin where he evangelises among students. Just walking among them, and talking with them.
    My husband had this comment: He is very friendly, but you see him thinking all the while: “how can I bring in Jesus”.
    Just as the people in your church do when they talk with me.

    That made me think! Wow, we can be so busy evangelising that we really do not see the person in front of me.
    What a way to learn yet!

    Father, may I be a light in the world, a relaxed light.
    Not one that is “working” it up alle the time.

    Like Jesus, Who was sitting, relaxing at the well, and it all was presented to Him.
    Be at rest in Jesus, having my eyes fixed on Him, and asking Him to see thee other that I meet today, with His eyes, with His love.

    ( the ground must first be made soft, before the seed is sown, prayer and love)

  244. foreverblessed says:

    Beloved, I know nothing of universalism.
    I only know that Jesus said:
    When I am lifted up, I wille draw all (men) to Myself.

    They are His Words, and I HOPE that He will bring that about to the fullest.
    I do not want to limit the intent of His Plan by my interpretation.

    Do you understand my motive?

    What about hell, and eternal judgment?

    Maybe both can be true,
    When eternal is in fact in Greek original words: ages and ages.

    Both can be true.

    I had to think about that on John 12:34
    The Jews, zeker:
    How can the Christ die, ( on the Cross, what being lifted up from the earth meant)
    When from the scripture He will remain forever?

    How can both of them be true?

    They decided: it cannot be. And there is the rejection of Jesus.
    “The Christ will not die”

    But in tact: Both are true:
    The Christ did die AND He remained forever!

  245. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    January 12, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    Viv, you said, “I cannot offer grace and mercy to anyone as Pooh so often suggests as I would be playing God rather than seeing that I am a beggar myself.” Have you been shown grace and mercy and do you have the spirit of Christ living within you? If you answered yes to any of those then you have more than enough reason to show grace and mercy to others as well as having the Spirit living within you to give you the power to do so.

    IT IS NOT PLAYING GOD TO GIVE AWAY WHAT WE HAVE RECEIVED!

    I receive God’s grace and mercy every time I have a wrong thought or say a wrong word in either malice or ignorance.

    My faith is that God has shown me grace and mercy comes from my believing that Christ died on the Cross for my sins.

    The fact that I can still have wrong thinking and speak in haste makes me believe I have had no great spiritual transformation which gives me power to offer others grace and mercy.

    To do so for me would be playing God and not what I believe God asks of me.

    He asks me to trust Him and that is what I believe I do today because He will right the wrongs in this world and my hope today is that He will see me as a vessel He can use for His purpose as I do not see that I have served Him well in the past.

  246. poohpity says:

    Viv, the past is over we are given a fresh day today to start brand new let Him use you today for His purposes. Confess to Him the wrong, let Him brush us off and start fresh today. No one does everything perfectly and God knows that there are changes in us from when we first believed whether we see them or not they are there. I think people tend to look at the negative rather than the positive and that also can change with a little self control that comes from the Spirit of Christ within. We have to “practice” what we have been taught just like we had to practice math until we got it.

    Paul said in the letter to Philippians;

    Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

    6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

    8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

  247. poohpity says:

    Where is our focus if we are continually looking the negative in ourselves which will result in continually looking at the negative in others? Our focus certainly isn’t on Christ. No body is perfect yet we want others to be so one points out faults. It takes effort to look for good and for those who are in Christ shouldn’t our focus be on the grace we have been shown then we can show grace to others. The transformation may not happen all at once but it does happen the more time we put in to learning and growing closer to God.

  248. poohpity says:

    Phil 1:6

    He Who Began A Good Work In You
    He Who Began A Good Work In You
    Will be faithful to complete it
    He’ll be faithful to complete it
    He who started the work
    Will be faithful to complete it in you

    If the struggle you’re facing
    Is slowly replacing your hope
    With despair
    Or the process is long
    And you’re losing your song
    In the night
    You can be sure that the Lord
    Has His hand on you
    Safe and secure
    He will never abandon you
    You are His treasure
    And He finds His pleasure in you

    He Who Began A Good Work In You
    He Who Began A Good Work In You
    Will be faithful to complete it
    He’ll be faithful to complete it
    He who started the work
    Will be faithful to complete it in you

  249. Beloved says:

    Yes forever it is true! Jesus died and remains forever, Amen. John then says:

    “ The Unbelief of the People
    When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 oso that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
    p“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
    39 Therefore they qcould not believe. For again Isaiah said,
    40 r“He has blinded their eyes
    and shardened their heart,
    lest they see with their eyes,
    and understand with their heart, and turn,
    and I would heal them.”
    41 Isaiah said these things because the saw his glory and uspoke of him. 42 Nevertheless, vmany even of the authorities believed in him, but wfor fear of the Pharisees they did not xconfess it, so that they would not be xput out of the synagogue; 43 yfor they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
    Jesus Came to Save the World
    44 And Jesus cried out and said, z“Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but ain him who sent me. 45 And bwhoever csees me sees him who sent me. 46 dI have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone ehears my words and does not keep them, fI do not judge him; for gI did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 hThe one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; ithe word that I have spoken will judge him jon the last day. 49 For kI have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father lwho sent me has himself given me ma 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.”

    He hid Himself from them,

    the one who rejects me will be judged on the last day by the words Jesus spoke in obedience to His Father as they are eternal life.

    Yes all pointing to a high and lifted up Savior. I see, yet there is still a judgement to come, lake of fire etc. Jesus hides Himself as Isaiah prophesied. I can’t discount truth for the sake of positivity. There is no leeway in Truth. That’s my thinking anyway. Either everything Jesus said is True or he’s just another wise man in a world full of promises and promoters.

    Mormons lift Jesus up as the Son of God- the exemplar of how to attain godhood in heaven. No savior but all works for self glorification. They believe all will be gods some day. Without a cross. Half truths at best according to Holy Scripture. Their guide Moroni adds to the words of scripture which is strictly condemned by scripture itself. It’s easy to see nuances of truth yet the difference is seeing Jesus. Their eyes are blinded as foretold.

  250. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    January 13, 2020 at 8:46 am

    Viv, the past is over we are given a fresh day today to start brand new let Him use you today for His purposes.

    I am trusting in God’s purposes and that comes easy for me today because of the religious and political bigotry I have seen in the past.

    It is Jesus who draws me to Himself as I see that His Ways are beyond my understanding because they are truth and life.

    All else is counterfeit.

    Oh Lord my God
    When I in awesome wonder
    Consider all
    The worlds thy hands have made
    I see the stars
    I hear the rolling thunder
    Thy power throughout
    The universe displayed

    When Christ shall come
    With a shout of acclamation
    And take me home
    What joy shall fill my heart
    Then I shall bow
    In humble adoration
    And there proclaim
    My God, how great thou art

    Then sings my soul
    My savior God to thee (my God to thee)
    How great thou art (how great thou art)
    How great thou art (how great thou art)
    Then sings my soul
    My savior God to thee (my God to thee)
    How great thou art
    (How great thou art)

    How great thou art
    (How great thou art)
    How great thou art (how great thou art)

  251. street says:

    grace and mercy two of the most extravagant gifts ever given. yes Jesus is lift up and draws all men to Himself.
    Jesus was lifted up twice. once to pay our ransom, the second time into the Glory of The Father in Heaven. Who has given Him All Authority in Heaven and on Earth. this living in a fallen world is something He requires of us. He did it too, for us, to Redeem us. we are asked/ told to trust Him because not, well we can see what happens personally when we don’t. the emptiness loneliness anger are not a good trade for love joy and peace. this hope in this extravagant grace and mercy is to train us in Righteousness where there was none before. His Spirit. one of the things God calls us on is that the world is shrewder than Christians? i think that comes from forgetfulness or not knowing His Will. even then it is lived out by faith not rules of law. rule of love/light.

    thinking Listening to Jesus/Spirit is a Gift too. a blessing. to speak. love by it’s very nature speaks. too much deafness. i can see why David said his cup overflowed. grace and mercy new every morning.

  252. foreverblessed says:

    Grace and mercy new every morning!

    My question is this one:
    IF someone after having been in hell for ages and ages comes to his senses, and turns to Jesus,
    IF that would be possible..
    would Jesus say:
    Sorry, too late, Judgement Day has been.
    ?

  253. poohpity says:

    foreverblessed, Jesus actually addressed that very issue in Luke 16:19-31

  254. Beloved says:

    Forever, what do you think about the Revelation? I know there are differences concerning interpretation and timeline, but there’s nothing I have read about a full pardon after death, only judgement to eternal life with God or eternal seperation.

    The Catholics teach a purgatory where people go to work out their sin before they go to be eternally with God. I think it does a grave disservice to the enormous work of the cross; done once for all; for all who believe receive repent and have put ALL of their trust in Him while they have breath.

    Studying about how God got the Hebrews released from pharoah in Egypt I recognized how very patient God is, but, not all were saved, only those who worshipped Yahweh did not suffer as the Egyptians did, losing even their first born.

    God is good, but He’s not a pushover. He’s firm just and altogether Holy, unlike us. Full of mercy and grace.

  255. jeff1 says:

    God is calling, always calling
    Through all time and everywhere,
    Calling all to come and know Him,
    Calling souls now unaware.

    What a love, so undiscouraged,
    Tender still, though hearts are hard.
    Hear His voice through all the ages.
    Hear Him whisper in Your heart.

    Sin and death rise all around us,
    But look up! Don’t be afraid!
    Christ has died, and Christ has risen!
    Hear Him call, “The price is paid!”

    Father God, as through the ages,
    You are calling out today,
    Calling us to join Your purpose.
    Lord, we hear, and we obey.

  256. Beloved says:

    We are currently in the age of grace. But this age will end.

  257. Beloved says:

    Even when Jesus walked alongside people on the earth many turned away from following Him. Why? It’s the saddest thing for me to think about. He’s so lovely so kind so full of mercy and LOVE! I don’t understand…. But for some personal reason they did not like what He required of them. I wonder what they were thinking when they heard He was crucified? Just another miscarriage of justice by a corrupt empire aided by the ruling religious establishment of the Jews? Or, yeah he was a good man but a little too far out there for me. A Saviour? Really? God’s Son? Oh come-on now. He made it sound so easy, just believe and repent? But love our neighbors and our enemies!!??

    Likeness..

  258. Beloved says:

    There was nothing likeable about me until I met Jesus. I’ll never let Him go.

  259. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed please don’t ever let go of your love and compassion for the lost.

    Jesus died for the lost.

    Steve

  260. jeff1 says:

    I think Steve we are thinking along the same lines.

    I like to believe that it makes God sad when I stray but it doesn’t make Him mad and then I read this!

    The Lost Sheep. The Bible teaches us that we are like sheep and sometimes stray away from God. That makes God very sad, but he never gives up on us. He keeps searching for us and calling to us. He wants to draw us back into his arms. He even sent Jesus, his Son, to save those who are lost.

  261. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Viv, I am sure we are thinking along the same lines.

    I haven’t anything to add to the original topic since I last posted, but I have to say something when others think they have all the answers and try and crush another’s hope.

    Our faith should be in Jesus not in our small minded view of what we think we know.

    Remembering that there is no shortage of opinions nor is there any shortage of those ready to express theirs.

    Hoping all is well with you and yours there in Northern Ireland.

    Steve

  262. poohpity says:

    forever, you may also want to read Matt 25 which Jesus is explaining what the Kingdom of God is like and those who will enter and those who will not.

    As Jesus hung on the Cross; Luke 23: 39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

    40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

    42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

    43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

    I believe that is why Jesus was so adamant and left us with the mission of sharing the Good News so that many will hear and come to believe so they will not perish but have eternal life with Him in His Kingdom, Paradise.

  263. street says:

    My question is this one:
    IF someone after having been in hell for ages and ages comes to his senses, and turns to Jesus,
    IF that would be possible..
    would Jesus say:
    Sorry, too late, Judgement Day has been.
    ?

    thinking about how God changes not, the same yesterday today and tomorrow. if He saves some one by faith they are saved. he’s not going to change His Mind. we are told if a person departs from the path of righteousness that their former good works will not be remembered and be condemned by a Righteous Just Judge.

    this leads to the idea that we can lose our Salvation. some would say they never had it in the first place. either way this thinking focuses on self not God Who changes not. to be conformed to the image of HIS SON. not by power not by might, but by My Spirit says THE LORD.

  264. Beloved says:

    I’ve shared Jesus with several people I live with in the building here- none have “heard” me, it seems. Yet I know only God can give us ears to hear and eyes to see Him. I’m glad it’s not up to me to save; only Jesus can do that.

    Forever, put your hope in Christ alone, no matter what anyone says. Keep focused on Him alone, no matter who’s opinion is spoken. Do not listen to your feelings- they are fleeting as is the world and it’s myriad ideas cares and comforts. Only temporary. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches you and the rest of us.
    Love in Jesus,
    Joyce

  265. jeff1 says:

    Thank you I get so distracted and that is so true about listening to Jesus and not others. We have Government back in out Province so we are hopeful for change for the better. Thank you for asking and hope all is well in US.

  266. foreverblessed says:

    Praying for your country, Jeff, may God bless the government, the people!
    We thank You, Lord, for all the Saints that came out of Ireland and helped spreading Christianity in Europe, in the early ages. Father remember them, bless to a thousand generation, You promised that.
    Remember Ireland.

    Bless those that Beloved talked to, about Jesus, put Your seal on them. Do not let them go out of Your reach.

    Bless us all, and all we meet today, in Jesus Name we pray.

  267. jeff1 says:

    Thank you, Forever, the British and Irish Government have a deal which considers both cultural identities so we can move forward with hope.

    Also the British are giving financial aid so God has which is needed to get our Province up and running again.

    God’s mercy and grace continues to greet us and may we be truly thankful for them so that we learn from our mistakes rather than repeat them.

    God does

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.