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Personal and Family Matters

Students of first century Middle Eastern and Mediterranean culture point out that in the days and lands of the Bible it went without saying that the value of the individual was a family matter. Name, identity, and honor were closely connected to parentage, tribe, and what a father, mother, son or daughter contributed to the community.

Randy Richards, who co-authored with Brandon O’Brien Misreading the Bible with Western Eyes, recently helped our Discover the Word team get a better sense of how deeply rooted the language and ideas of Scripture are in what a community considered to be honorable or shameful.

I came away struck by the thought that while modern Western culture leans toward honor that is grounded in personal merit and accomplishment, throughout history and even up to the present, much of the world been more inclined to think that what is good for the group—is good for the individual.

Seems to me that both are immeasurably important. Individually, according to Jesus, our names, needs and even the number of hairs on our head— are known in heaven—when not so on earth. And at the same time, what matters here, there, wherever, and whenever is the love we have—or lack— for those who are helped or hurt by what we do with what has been entrusted to us.

I need to be reminded today that in being loved as we are— we are here for one another.


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303 Responses to “Personal and Family Matters”

  1. poohpity says:

    Paul taught, “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.”

    Assuming, jumping to conclusion are two of the most dangerous things to do because just as Mart seemed to allude to, that the only One who knows everything about us is God and yet in His overwhelming love which had been poured out on us it will also overflow from within our very souls outward towards others, enemy or not.

  2. poohpity says:

    I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

    Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

  3. SFDBWV says:

    Whether spiritually intended or simply incidental March’s issue of “In Touch Magazine” (Charles Stanley) has some much related content related to our last and perhaps this topic.

    “The Family Table” and “Fighting Christian” being two that to me relate to our thread of commentary.

    If we are to ever hope to be a witness for Christ and positively influence a non-Christian to want to become Christian we can’t destroy our witness by being just like the world.

    Nobody is fooled by a hypocrite.

    Everyone recognizes the works of the flesh for what they are (Galatians 5:19-21 KJV).

    When demonstrated in the words and actions of Christians why would a non-believer believe you to be any different than all the rest of the world? And when seen by other believers in your actions, how then are you seen by your “peers”?

    Steve

  4. SFDBWV says:

    Mart I am thinking about the Laura Engle books and the TV program “House on the Prairie” in thinking about this subject.

    Most people recognize the term “Mid-Western” when thinking of family values.

    The earlier settlers of the American mid-west as you know lived isolated lives far from neighbors and pretty much without a community at all.

    From such an isolated life strong family ties as well as strong Christian faith grew and flourished.

    What happened when the “community “became involved was both good and bad. Good because people need other people, bad because the Bible structured family came under fire from those who think outside of the “Book”.

    Modern western culture is a child of the ancient Roman Empire converted to Christianity, whereas the remaining world are children of pagan tribal heritage.

    The two being very different in the basics of religion and survival.

    A lot to discuss here and I will enjoy doing so.

    I am sorry I have to skip over so much of the commentary here, but it is the only way I can maintain a good attitude in commenting here and avoid the traps of being pushed into inane endless arguing, which I simply refuse to do.

    Steve

  5. Beloved says:

    1 Peter 2:9-10
    But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.

    It’s good to remember who we are, keeping our focus on Jesus. Perhaps unity will come.

  6. SFDBWV says:

    There are so very many directions a thought can take it becomes difficult to remain on track.

    Personal and family matters in this light becomes personal matters verses family matters, family becoming seen as the family of man.

    It also can become personal as the individual and family as the other members of your immediate family.

    One of the great encouragements I have received from Scripture is the fact that one man’s conversion led to his entire household being saved.

    It shows to me how important upon the family is for the head of the household to set the example.

    That in itself is also shown when we consider Jesus to be the head of this family of believers we have become.

    However coming back to Mart’s concern that we are all here for each other.

    From the very beginning it was revealed that Adam (man) needed companionship. That nature wasn’t enough.

    So God provided Eve, Adam’s proper helper as not only a companion but much more. Flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone. Literally a part of himself.

    Were they to procreate multiply and fill the earth prior to the fall? A discussion for another time.

    However once these two became more than two, with the disruptive power of sin, divisions arose in the form of envy.

    Interesting the first sin was disobedience, an individual act between man and God the second, envy, an act between family members.

    Leading to the third, murder.

    The seeds of the knowledge of good and evil were still in the people saved from the flood in the safety of the ark.

    But it wasn’t until God carved out the rules for people to honor Him and how to live among other people that it was made clear God’s intentions for community living.

    Interesting that once again, like the very beginning, this too failed to stop man’s wayward nature.

    Creating a need for a Savior, to save man from himself…Back to the individual.

    We can’t help another until we are equipped to help them and that ability comes through the anointing that comes through our Savior Jesus.

    Steve

  7. poohpity says:

    Steve, I agree that their first act was not heeding the warning God gave them about the Tree of Knowledge but to me the second grievous act was blame and making excuses for what they did. Not taking personal responsibility for their actions. Nothing can get mended unless one admits to their own part in the matter rather than pointing their finger at another. That alone can cause a riff in any relationship whether it is between God and an individual or between person to person(group).

    What do I do now with God’s love? Do I look towards others and blame them for not acting out in love or do I find reasons to deny them the same love I have been shown by God as undeserving as I am to receive that?

  8. poohpity says:

    I have been entrusted with the love of God lavished on me when I did not deserve it so do I act in love towards others when I THINK they do not deserve any acts of love or do I withhold that love because I personally do not like a person? Does it show my faith in God more to love those who return it or to love those who do not return it as He did for mankind?

  9. SFDBWV says:

    Mikes Aunt called me a few minutes ago, his wife Chris and she are taking Mike off the ventilator.

    Thank you to those who prayed for this family.

    See ya later Mike.

    Steve

  10. Beloved says:

    Sad day. Prayers for all who knew him.

  11. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    February 22, 2020 at 10:00 am

    I think withholding love goes a lot deeper than not liking a person.

    I don’t think you can fake love and I know people who have been deeply hurt by their enemies and I am talking murderous acts.

    Some find their faith has been tested as it is never harder to understand God’s love in the midst of violence being done to you and is it fair to add the burden of asking them to love their enemies when they haven’t even come to terms as to why their enemies hated them so much in the first place.

    There is evil done that is beyond our understanding and so leaving it with God is the only option as in time He heals and or changes hearts but as individuals we should be careful about our expectations of others when we have no idea what others have come through that leave them feeling let down by God.

    As individuals we react differently and its not our place to judge another’s failings.

  12. Beloved says:

    I was just reading this Viv. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD (believers) and their vindication from God!! Isaiah 54:11-17

  13. jeff1 says:

    Thank you, Beloved.

  14. Beloved says:

    Not only Jews but the rest of us!

    Isaiah 56:8
    The Lord God,
    who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares,
    I will gather yet others to him
    besides those already gathered.”

    It is so good to be reminded that no matter what problems and issues arise God is standing with us in love.

  15. poohpity says:

    Viv where did I say that?

  16. jeff1 says:

    I didn’t say you said anything other than it is my thoughts on what you commented on so I mentioned your post.

  17. Beloved says:

    Lord, I Need You
    Song by Matt Maher

    Lord, I come, I confess
    Bowing here I find my rest
    Without You I fall apart
    You’re the One that guides my heart
    Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
    Every hour I need You
    My one defense, my righteousness
    Oh God, how I need You
    Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
    Where grace is found is where You are
    Where You are, Lord, I am free
    Holiness is Christ in me
    Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
    Every hour I need You
    My one defense, my righteousness
    Oh God, how I need You
    So teach my song to rise to You
    When temptation comes my way
    When I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
    Jesus, You’re my hope and stay
    Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
    Every hour I need You
    My one defense, my righteousness
    Oh God, how I need You
    You’re my one defense, my righteousness
    Oh God, how I need You
    My one defense, my righteousness
    Oh God, how I need You

  18. street says:

    Thinking how the rugged individualism of the west isolates people thoughts and ideas from a group think, even from family. The idea of only two families, the righteous and the unrighteous is true. Remembering Scripture let the righteous remain righteous and the unrighteous remain unrighteous. Understanding I was conceived in sin and that I need new life, to be born again. A new family head, the other had been bruised.

  19. jeff1 says:

    Love, love fills life with music.
    Live in love, and its fruits will grow.
    Love gives the heart its endless wealth;
    From heaven it flows.
    Love frees us from the burdens
    Selfish hearts always bear.
    Love turns from wrong
    And suffers long
    With joy it’s glad to share.

    Love, faithful and unfailing,
    Bears so much, yet its strength endures.
    Love, pressured through the night, will grow
    More patient and pure.
    See, time is slowly stealing
    All the treasures we hold,
    But loss is gain,
    For love remains
    Our God’s eternal gold.

  20. Beloved says:

    Good point street. We take our individualism too far when it causes a group of Christians to implode in chaos. Reading the gospels I see a “group think” that worked when all were dedicated to Christ, first of all, the gospel second, and the humility it takes to work with other believers with the Greater Good in mind, always. Sometimes it was messy but because of their perseverance thousands of years ago here we are today!

    If Paul were looking in this room I wonder what advice He would have for us?

    We do not know how to think like 1st century peoples, no we dont. I dont. But I can and have learned somewhat to think like God thinks. Slow but sure it goes, slow but surely as God lives! Thanks be to Jesus for showing us a better Way through life!

  21. Beloved says:

    Lovely verse Viv.

  22. jeff1 says:

    Beloved says:
    February 22, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    Good point street. We take our individualism too far when it causes a group of Christians to implode in chaos.

    Yet, the various denominations in the world today speak of individuals who did believe they knew better than the group/church as they started their own.

    Bringing followers of theirs with them and so if we have chaos today it is not surprising because as groups/churches we have taken our focus of Christ or we wouldn’t find ourselves in the situation today.

    My mind has always been much too disturbed to be able to think as God thinks and perhaps why I find Christ my refuge when I so often loose my way through life.

    Well, He’s right in the middle of your darkest night
    Right in the middle of your hardest fight
    Don’t ever doubt it’s going to be all right
    He’s right in the middle of it all

    Right in the middle of your darkest night
    Right in the middle of your hardest fight
    Don’t ever doubt it’s going to be all right
    He’s right in the middle of it all
    Right in the middle of it all

    Have you ever seen a valley thought you’d never make it through
    Ever had a mountain seemed impossible to do
    Ever see a stormy thought would get the best of you
    Just call He’s in the middle of it all

    Right in the middle of your darkest night
    Right in the middle of your hardest fight
    Don’t ever doubt it’s going to be all right
    He’s right in the middle of it all
    Right in the middle of it all

    When I’m looking at the hardest moments of my life
    I realize that He was always by my side
    Though I couldn’t see it in this heart of mine
    God was in the middle of it all

    Right in the middle of your darkest night
    Right in the middle of your hardest fight
    Don’t every doubt it’s going to be all right
    He’s right in the middle of it all
    Right in the middle of it all

    You search high, you search low, but God is with you every where you go
    Don’t you know He’s in the middle of it all
    The middle of it all
    Right in the middle of your darkest night
    Right in the middle of your hardest fight
    Don’t ever doubt it’s going to be all right
    He’s right in the middle of it all
    Right in the middle of it all

    Right in the middle of your darkest night
    Right in the middle of your hardest fight
    Don’t ever doubt it’s going to be all right
    He’s right in the middle of it all
    Right in the middle of it all
    Yes, He’s right in the middle of it all
    Right in the middle of it all

  23. Beloved says:

    Personal and Family Matters

    Once we realize that Jesus has served us even to the depths of our meagerness, our selfishness, and our sin, nothing we encounter from others will be able to exhaust our determination to serve others for His sake. #myutmost | utmost.org

  24. Beloved says:

    https:// youtu.be/e2EIyw263Ng

    This is a short discussion on YouTube about the book Mart is referencing that enhances the post I think. It’s mind boggling trying to rethink all I’ve been taught in biblical interpretations but hopefully there’s something I can wrap my mind around for the greater good including myself.

  25. SFDBWV says:

    One of those things about getting “older” aside from a body that begins to break down is that I tend to look back across my life. And not just my life but all of the things and people that has helped, or not, get me to where I am.

    Should have, could have, if only comes up very quickly and just as quickly dismissed and replaced with where then do I go from here.

    Wanting so desperately not to repeat past mistakes, but to make the best of the time that is left. Right down to the simplest of conversation between people.

    Thinking of the topic Mart has provided for us to launch from, a thought that came up this morning was the Olympics.

    Every country in the world puts up their best individual athletes to compete against each other to see who the best is.

    While the top three are given medals for being better at what they do then all the others in the world, each country gets to share in their victory and given bragging rights.

    I wonder just how different it is within the community of Christianity. Or if there is any difference at all.

    The Catholic Church awards the status of Saint to the better Christian’s among them. Leaving the rest to, while being Christian, just not as good at it as these special few.

    Before you beat up the Catholic Church I wonder if the Protestant Churches don’t do the same without the award ceremony.

    The story of the “widow’s mite” comes to mind when thinking about competition between Christians about who is the better Christian.

    No need to fool ourselves, as individuals we try to please God, but what may please God the most is our love for others. Sacrificing ourselves in the process.

    No fanfare, no published books, no pats on the back, just a quiet life of helping our fellow man, loving those we are entrusted with, without regrets.

    Steve

  26. jeff1 says:

    Competitiveness is a challenge in the modern world even among Christians but then I seem to remember that even Jesus’s disciples argued about who would be the greatest.

    It often seems that we are competing for His love when as Steve says what pleases God is our love for others which we demonstrate when helping our fellow men and loving those He has entrusted to us.

  27. poohpity says:

    Different religions may denote some people in their opinion as Saints but not according to the bible every believer is a Saint and an ambassador for Christ.

    Competitiveness is a fleshly human trait for those who have their eyes on each other to compare and not on Christ. Every member of Christ’s family(body) is important to the functioning of the whole which we are taught in 1 Cor 12 which tells how important everyone is to the body of Christ. He is just a peek of what it says;

    But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

    22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

  28. poohpity says:

    If anyone ever did any research on those the Catholic Church gave Sainthood to, which to me is pretty arrogant in the first place because God determines His Saints, would find that they were people just like you or I with all kinds of faults. You should read about their struggles just like we all have even the apostles share about their struggles in the bible and I do not read anywhere in scripture that God used someone who thought they were deserving of anything God ever did for them nor considered themselves godly or righteous and boasted about it.

  29. poohpity says:

    Bob Carlisle wrote a song called “We Fall Down”

    Cursing every step of the way, he bore a heavy load
    To the market ten miles away, the journey took its toll
    And every day he passed a monastery’s high cathedral walls
    And it made his life seem meaningless and small
    And he wondered how it would be to live in such a place
    To be warm, well fed and at peace; to shut the world away
    So when he saw a priest who walked, for once, beyond the iron gate
    He said, tell me of your life inside the place…
    And the priest replied…
    We fall down, we get up
    We fall down, we get up
    We fall down, we get up
    And the saints are just the sinners
    Who fall down and get up
    Disappointment followed him home; he’d hoped for so much more
    But he saw himself in a light he had never seen before
    Cause if the priest who fell could find the grace of God to be enough
    Then there must be some hope for the rest of us
    There must be some hope left for us
    We fall down, we get up
    We fall down, we get up
    We fall down, we get up
    And the saints are just the sinners
    Who fall down and get up

  30. jeff1 says:

    As I mentioned even the disciples argued about who would be greatest in the Kingdom and Jesus rebuked them.

    Sibling rivalry is not new or not new to God and He knows how to deal with it as a servant is not greater than His master and it is not for anyone else to.

    Pooh, you are correct about what religions do and so your knowledge of the Bible keeps you faithful to Jesus rather than exalting yourself as they do.

    When I focus on Christ I remember that I am a Sinner made a Saint by the Grace of God and the fact that God has bestowed this on me makes way for me to serve and love others as He would want me to which is as Steve says:

    No fanfare, no published books, no pats on the back, just a quiet life of helping our fellow man, loving those we are entrusted with, without regrets.

    God doesn’t ask anything complicated of me but that I do what is right in His sight with what is entrusted to me and what is entrusted to one is not the same for another as we are individuals and He sees us as such.

    I have to accept that I will fall down but when I seek His strength and comfort I find the will to continue which is all God asks of me while I am on this earth and that is not a lot for what it cost Him and His followers past and present as I have the freedom to practise my faith while others are persecuted for the same in other parts of the world.

  31. SFDBWV says:

    Interesting how the simplest of things stick in our minds. Things that just seem odd that they aren’t forgotten from a lack of unimportance.
    But then perhaps they are there to help us in a different matter as long ahead as needed.
    Very many years ago my first wife Matthew and I were driving through Uniontown PA after dark early one evening, as we drove along I noticed what appeared to be a bar or some night spot of some kind.
    The front door was open and you could see the light and movement of people inside.
    However standing at that same front door were two huge men blocking entry into the establishment.
    I thought well no one is going to get in there until they get past those two.
    I am sure you are wondering what this has to do with our subject.
    Well there is a Scripture verse that warns us not to quench the Spirit, but too often there is someone blocking the entry and movement of good feelings, fellowship and quenches the movement of love.
    Perhaps they think they are clever, or have a right to do so. Perhaps they are driven by jealousy or just won’t let go of past animosities that skew their view of everything.
    I don’t know.
    All I do know is that they quench the Spirit, stop the flow of good feelings and in some cases kill what could have been something good for all.
    Individually they feel justified even at the cost of the good for any other or all.
    Is that being there for each other or taking care of number one?
    Steve

  32. poohpity says:

    If I am not mistaken the only one who can quench the Spirit inside of us, is us. No one can climb inside of us to do anything we do not allow.

  33. poohpity says:

    We quench the Holy Spirit by ignoring His leading. He speaks we listen but there can come a time that because we become so head strong it over powers the gentle leading He gives. We have to be open to hearing from Him rather than stifling His voice by always wanting our own way or to do things our way not His but it seems He will pull back and let you ruin or run your own life without His help. He is patient after all.

    If one of those gentle whispers is be kind and show love to our enemies and if one continues to ignore that, then we have quenched the Holy Spirit. Quenching the spirit is simply ignoring God.

  34. poohpity says:

    No one can rob us of our joy either unless we allow it. If someone criticizes us or disagrees with us and we “react” with anger or hatred, it is matter of our own pride that gets offended.

  35. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, I know that there are many of my fellow country men and women who do not even know where the remains of their loved ones are because their enemies have not seen fit to tell them.

    I for one will not burden them more by asking them to forgive those enemies when their grief is already overwhelming for their loved ones whom they miss and just want to give a proper burial to.

    It is between God and them and I believe He will understand their pain and loss enough to understand they are in no fit state to meet the demands that the ‘holier-than-thou’ put on them by expecting them to do so.

    When I said to my clergyman that it made me cross when my son talked as if ‘he knew it all’ he replied “humorously, no one likes an know it all unless they are the one that thinks they know it all.

    I don’t think God meant us as individuals to know it all which is probably why my son and anyone else for that matter who talks like they do really gets on my wick.

  36. Beloved says:

    Viv I think you are right not to burden someone with the idea of forgiveness unless they understand how Jesus has forgiven them. Why? Because if it’s justice or revenge they want alone they will eventually walk away not feeling any better even if their loved ones are found. “Let the dead (unbelievers) bury the dead” , “ you follow Me”, Jesus said. Good feelings come from the joy of being forgiven ourselves and blessing those who curse us. “Father forgive them, they know not what they do” was Jesus response to His persecutors. If a person is not a follower of Christ it will mean nothing to them. I’ve watched enough murder mysteries to know that getting justice does not give closure or peace to families. It’s a rarity to read or watch a story of genuine forgiveness but oh what a joyful ending, with a Peace that truly surpasses all understanding! Supernatural!

  37. Beloved says:

    Viv I think underneath a now-it-all is insecurity. Maybe pray for him asking God to help him find His security in Jesus, alone and not relying on his own understanding. God can do things humans can’t.

  38. Beloved says:

    Jeremiah 9:24 English Standard Version
    but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.

  39. jeff1 says:

    Beloved, if I have learned anything you cannot put an old head on young shoulders but God has brought me to my senses many times.

    I now know to trust God with all my worries and doubts as I know little else in the grand scheme of things.

    When I realize that God is in control then nothing can disturb my peace and having spent so long struggling with mental illness and the inconsistency that it brings I desire to be at peace with my maker more than anything else.

    I’m tired and weary
    But I must go along
    Till the Lord comes to call me away, oh Lord

    Well, the morning is bright
    And the Lamb is the Light
    And the night is as fair as the day

    Oh, there will be peace in the valley for me, for me
    There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
    No more sadness, no more sadness, no more trouble there’ll be
    There will be peace in the valley for me, for me

    Well, the bear will be gentle
    The wolf will be tame
    And the lion shall lay down with the lamb, oh yes

    And the [Incomprehensible] from the wild
    Will be led by a child
    I’ll be changed from this creature that I am

    Oh, there will be peace in the valley for me some day
    There will be peace in the valley for me, I pray
    No more sadness, no more sadness, no more trouble there’ll be
    There will be peace in the valley for me, for me

  40. Beloved says:

    Yesterday I took my car in to have it diagnosed as to what else could go wrong having already spent nearly $1000 since Christmas and to plan for it’s future. They said $67, I said ok I want to know because it still wasn’t acting right. While waiting I prayed of course. A woman I don’t know received bad news about her car which was very disconcerting and she had to rent a car which she wasn’t happy about either of course. As she stood to leave she said to me “I know God knows but I don’t trust THEM with my money”. Isn’t that the truth! Surprisingly they did a very minor thing to get my car working better but delivered the bad news my tranny is shot and engine leaking oil so it’s age has caught up with it- 18! They said just keep putting oil in in til it quits. The good news was they only charged me $22! Maybe they took pity. I don’t know but I fully believe God answered my prayer. That said, Viv your song about peace in the valley makes me think of how there is so much to cause unrest but someday there will complete peace with no aging problems, rust moth violence sin or whatever challenges our peace. Things still hurt mentally or physically yet we can still have peace deep down that God is good and cares. Which I will remind myself as I drag myself onto the bus someday soon I suppose. Oh the wheels on the bus go round and round; back to dependence I guess. I’m sure God will teach me something more about depending on Him and His goodness. I’m sure of it.

  41. foreverblessed says:

    That is great trust, Beloved, hold on to that!
    It reminds me of what Habakuk said:
    Hab 3:17-19
    17
    Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
    though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
    though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
    18
    yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

    19
    The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.

    On Utmost today
    2 Cor 12:15
    This commentary is from Ellicot,
    It is tough words, Paul is far ahead in having died to self, and loving Jesus above all
    And I will very gladly spend and be spent.—The pronoun is emphatic, I, for my part. The latter verb implies spending to the last farthing. As he sought not theirs, but them, so he is ready to spend for them not only all that he has, but even, as if to the verge of exhaustion, all that he is. And yet with all this there was the painful consciousness of toiling without adequate return. It seemed to him, in his intense craving for affection, as if their love varied inversely with his own.

    And Barnes compares the love of Paul for the people, with father- child.
    And I will very gladly spend – I am willing to spend my strength, and time, and life, and all that I have, for your welfare, as a father cheerfully does for his children. Any expense which may be necessary to promote your salvation I am willing to submit to. The labor of a father for his children is cheerful and pleasant. Such is his love for them that he delights in toil for their sake, and that he may make them happy. The toil of a pastor for his flock should be cheerful.

  42. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Beloved, God often teaches us in ways that we at first do not understand and so whatever disappointments we face we can trust Him with them.

    I am finding it easier to rest in His promises as I grow to trust Him more and thank you for your encouragement in helping me do that.

  43. foreverblessed says:

    On Utmost today
    2 Cor 12:15 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)]
    This commentary is from Ellicot,
    These are my thoughts about this bible passage
    (This is a tough bible verse, Paul is far ahead in having died to self, and loving Jesus above all)
    Then follows Ellicots thoughts on the verse…

  44. poohpity says:

    Viv, why would your fellow countrymen hold grudges against their so called enemies when it does nothing to those enemies but it does harm those holding onto those grudges? You speak to me sometimes as if it is me who gives that kind of guidance about forgiving enemies or you think it is easy for anyone to do that when it is from the Lord and it is done with His help, it is not me thinking I know it all but it is me that has put the time into getting to knowing the Lord and in that I know that I have no idea about most things but have I learned a little about the Lord over my life time. I know the difference in our own efforts compared to allowing the Lord to work. If that gets on your wick then all I can say is that is your choice and also a matter of pride as well.

  45. Beloved says:

    Forever those verses from Habakkuk were my mantra the 3 years I was married after my conversion as a disciple of Christ! I had a lot of time to learn to trust God that knowing Him would benefit rather than hurt me. Things did not improve living wise but in the furnace I found Him faithful loving kind and constantly available as did Shadrach Meshack and Obednego as Jesus stood with them in their furnace.

    18
    yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

    Still rejoicing 36 years later even after marriage failure, loss of a son, poverty and relentless anxiety/depression!

  46. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    February 25, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Viv, why would your fellow countrymen hold grudges against their so called enemies when it does nothing to those enemies but it does harm those holding onto those grudges?

    That is not what I said, but what I did say, is that I would not ask them to forgive their enemies when those enemies have not told them where their loved ones where buried and I believed God would not have that expectation of them as they are still suffering the pain and loss of not having closure by giving their loved ones a proper burial.

    God is a compassionate God and understands when we do not.

    I have no idea if they put their trust in God or not but I believe God cares when people suffer through no fault of their own and so you don’t know God as well as you think you do or you would be able to see that.

  47. street says:

    Name, identity, and honor were closely connected to parentage, tribe, and what a father, mother, son or daughter contributed to the community.

    it is interesting and uplifting to think of all the governments God could chose to govern with He chose a Kingdom of Sons, family. children of light with no darkness. Headed up by The King of kings and LORD of lords.

  48. Beloved says:

    Hebrews says we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. This came to mind thinking of the “Kingdom of Sons, family”.
    Perseverance also comes to mind! Oh how exciting to see the saints we’ve read and studied about! I can only imagine standing before the throne shoulder to shoulder praising and singing hallelujah! What a Family!

  49. street says:

    thinking our identity is with God as a group, unity. yet still individuals. like a body. different gifts function abilities.

  50. foreverblessed says:

    A body of believers
    That they may be One
    They in Me, and I in You
    John 17:21

    Such a wonderful Message.

    Steve, I forgot to give you my condolences for your friend and his family.
    My dad had kidney failure. He lived in dialysis for three years. My dad always saw those years as an extra gift of years.
    They gave him medicine, a gel that would help get out the salts, but that gave great colon complications. They had to do surgery, and that was it.
    But my mother always saw it as a merciful act. Because she had geen how kidney patient suffer in the last few years. When in hospital, in the kidney-ward, she saw only one shoe under the bed.
    One shoe!
    “Dad was being prevented from suffering that last path”
    And she felt comforted by that thought.
    Thanks for sharing!

  51. jeff1 says:

    In Christ Alone

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

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

    There in the ground His body lay
    Light of the world by darkness slain
    Then bursting forth in glorious Day
    Up from the grave He rose again
    And as He stands in victory
    Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
    For I am His and He is mine
    Bought with the precious blood of Christ

    No guilt in life, no fear in death
    This is the power of Christ in me
    From life’s first cry to final breath
    Jesus commands my destiny
    No power of hell, no scheme of man
    Can ever pluck me from His hand
    Till He returns or calls me home
    Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

    I will stand
    I will stand, all other ground is sinking sand
    All other ground, all other ground
    Is sinking sand, is sinking sand
    So I’ll stand

  52. poohpity says:

    Viv, I understood completely what you said the first time, then said again. Whether someone lacks forgiveness which is the foundation of a grudge and bitterness it does not hurt their enemies I repeat it hurts the one who lacks forgiveness or holds the grudge. I also would not tell anyone what God expects of them because I do not believe God expects and who knows if they even believe in Him. I do not believe God has expectations of anyone, that is human thinking, because He has seen the future and already knows what people are going to do, so no expectations there.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    How can anyone praise God in one breath and hate someone with the next? We can hate what someone does, their behavior but as often as I do things I hate isn’t it the person that is important apart from the actions? At least that seems to be what God does with us and of course it is hard to separate the two but it isn’t impossible to do with the help of God.

    It seems people can hate another when they do not even know them. They can hate or be angry because it comes more easily than taking a step back with the self control the Lord has provided and figure out what is the cause of the hate or anger like hurt feelings, bruised pride, or they see in someone else something they have in themselves, etc.. People come to realize sooner or later that hate and anger are emotions whereas love(agape) is an action one does in the best interest of another and can also be an emotion(phileo or euros) there are different kinds of love taught in the bible but only one kind of hate and anger.

  53. poohpity says:

    Cindy Kasper wrote today in ODB;

    “What we often keep stashed away in our hearts, though, are things that have brought us great unhappiness: Anxiety—hidden, but easily retrieved. Anger—below the surface, but ready to strike. Resentment—silently corroding the core of our thoughts.

    The apostle Paul addressed a more positive way to “think” in a letter to the church at Philippi. He encouraged the people of the church to always rejoice, to be gentle, and to bring everything to God in prayer (Philippians 4:4–9).

    Paul’s uplifting words on what to think about helps us see that it’s possible to push out dark thoughts and allow the peace of God to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (v. 7). It’s when the thoughts that fill up our minds are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy that we keep His peace in our hearts (v. 8).

  54. poohpity says:

    Today is Ash Wednesday. For the lent season one can do something positive for 40 days to grow closer to the Lord until Resurrection Sunday rather than denying oneself of something that is if anyone even celebrates lent.

  55. Beloved says:

    LORD, teach us to sit at Jesus feet and learn the deeper things of God. Like unity?

  56. SFDBWV says:

    It is thought that we learn from history, from our mistakes, but what is it we learn.

    Today’s “community” driven thinking which very confusingly, while at the same time insisting on an individual’s rights, insists that the individual must think as the group demands.

    At one “time” circling the wagons meant to defend the group from attack. Now it means an individual’s defense of their own personal opinion.

    In Mart’s opening statements he mentions O’Brien’s book “Misreading the Bible With Western Eyes”.

    The very title of such a book suggests that for 2,000 years western Christianity misinterpreted the Bible.

    Suggesting or directing the reader to adopt Obrien’s interpretation of what or how what was written may actually mean.

    There appears to be a social movement to change history from what occurred and why into viewing it with modern eyes. The movement isn’t rooted only into secular history but also Christian doctrine as well.

    Again I quote an Amish statement that says, “Autonomy isn’t always what is best for the community.”

    What that means to me is that an individual’s freedom to do whatever pleases them or whatever it is they want accomplished, doesn’t always work out for the best of whatever community the individual may be a part of.

    If you live among others you have to think of them in regards to your own behavior. You simply cannot only think of yourself.

    At the same time the individual gives up some freedoms in the process.

    Was it God’s original plan to just have one individual man, Adam?

    With the addition of Eve immediately mankind became a community.

    It is said that no man is an island. Apart and separated from everyone else physically and emotionally.

    There may actually be no such thing as thinking or acting as an individual while we live with another or amongst others.

    Come to think of it the best accomplishments of individual thinking ended up blessing the lives of everyone else.

    Some rambling thoughts this morning before Matt goes to the shower.

    Foreverblessed thank you for your thoughts. I may have more on that subject at another time.

    Steve

  57. street says:

    Again I quote an Amish statement that says, “Autonomy isn’t always what is best for the community.”

    true, that is why we build prisons. to protect the group from harm. it is interesting that believers are found in prison, like joseph, david in cave and on the run, children of God in captivity or even the innocent suffering.

    His disciples asked, this man who was born blind, did he sin or was it his parents that sinned?
    Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. for the Kingdom the Power and the Glory are yours, now and forever.

  58. street says:

    Personal and Family Matters
    was in prison the other day meeting up with a brother from a bible study he no longer can attend. i asked him how he is doing? he said he was doing good. my reply was you are going to have to prove that to me. ops. my thinking is your in a state prison and you claim to be doing good? anyway i was convicted for saying that. how is it we require proof of some ones good intention or expect certain custom from others and fail ourselves. the guys sent a card to him and i signed it reminding him, his Good & Righteousness is guaranteed. i wonder if doing good is serving God at all cost. to love. a lot of it is waiting and listening. thinking of the samaritan on the side of the road. how many opportunities i passed by. the past, is gone, the troubles of today are here. i think jeff has a song for this ending. i’ll wait.

  59. Beloved says:

    Please forgive me but the song “Gypsies Tramps and Thieves“ by Cher keeps running through my mind right now. Reading the lyrics it’s quite telling of our human nature and the struggle we all have to do good. Some more difficult than others of course.

  60. Beloved says:

    Praying for your friend street.

  61. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    February 26, 2020 at 7:30 am

    In this world people hate others because they don’t believe the same as they do, or have a different colour of skin, or are of a different nationality, or some don’t need a reason.

    There will always be those who want to control others and are prepared to go to any lengths to do so and that is the ways of this world and why I am thankful to hear God say in this world you will have tribulation but take heart I have overcome the world.

    From my dad’s favourite singer.

    This World Is Not My Home

    This world is not my home I’m just a passing through
    My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
    The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
    And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore
    Oh lord you know I have no friend like you
    If heaven’s not my home then lord what will I do
    The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
    And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

    I have a loving mother just over in gloryland
    And I don’t expect to stop until I shake her hand
    She’s waiting now for me in heaven’s open door
    And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore
    Oh lord you know I have no friend like you
    If heaven’s not my home Then lord what will I do

    The angels beckon me From heaven’s open door
    And I can’t feel at home In this world anymore

    Just over in gloryland
    We’ll live eternally
    The saints on every hand are shouting victory

    Their songs of sweetest praise
    Drift back from heaven’s shore
    And I can’t feel at home In this world anymore

    Oh lord, you know I have no friend like you
    If heaven’s not my home Then lord what will I do

    The angels beckon me From heaven’s open door
    And I can’t feel at home In this world anymore

  62. Beloved says:

    Cain and Able; foretelling of things to come and still remain. But Jesus makes all the difference! Go tell it on the mountain, valley, mansion or cell where you live!! The Law helped to show us Gods heart, then Jesus lived Gods heart❤️ for us to see🤓

  63. street says:

    What a friend we have in Jesus
    All our sins and grieves to bear
    What a priveledge it is to carry
    Everything to God in prayer
    Have we trials and temptations
    Is there trouble anywhere
    Our precious Savior
    He is still our refuge
    Take it to the Lord in prayer
    Some things we have not
    Because we ask not
    When we have a friend who’s there
    When we’re weak and heavy laden
    Cumbered with a load of care
    We should never be discouraged
    When we take it to the Lord in prayer
    Some things we have not
    Because we ask not
    When we have a friend who cares
    Oh what peace we often forfeit
    Oh what needless pain we bear
    Oh what peace we often forfeit
    Oh what needless we bear
    Oh what peace we often forfeit
    Oh what needless pain
    Oh what needless pain
    Oh what needless pain we bear
    We should never be discouraged when we
    Take it to the Lord in prayer

  64. street says:

    Thinking about Oswald Chambers thoughts about being in God’s presents is humbling.

  65. jeff1 says:

    I don’t know about tomorrow
    I just live from day to day
    I don’t borrow from it’s sunshine
    For it’s skies may turn to gray

    I don’t worry o’er the future
    For I know what Jesus said
    And today I’ll walk beside Him
    For He knows what is ahead

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

    I don’t know about tomorrow
    It may bring me poverty
    But the One who feeds the sparrow
    Is the One who stands by me

    And the path that be my portion
    May be through the flame or flood
    But His presence goes before me
    And I’m covered with His blood

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

    Yes, I know who holds tomorrow
    And I know He holds my hand

  66. jeff1 says:

    Thinking about when I grew up as a child I got to know people as community was very different then in that our neighbours were born and bred and so there was continuity.

    There is much more toing and froing today as society is now multi cultured and community does not have that continuity anymore.

    Its a time when I will need Jesus’s guidance to help me deal with people who will have very different outlook’s and no doubt oppose and challenge my own beliefs.

    As a child I learned the ten commandments, catechism that would hold me in good stead for what pleased God.

    I know that I have wandered from God on many occasions since only to find my way back to Him as the grass was not greener on the other side.

    I seem to to and fro with God as much as I see people do these days and as someone who needs continuity its not good for my mental state.

    Having said that I see that what can be too much of a challenge for one can equally be an opportunity for another as many seem up to facing the changes that multiculturalism brings while I take refuge in Christ weary of both my own wanderings and the wanderings of others.

  67. Beloved says:

    A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
    Martin Luther
    A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
    Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
    For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
    His craft and pow’r are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
    On earth is not his equal.
    And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
    We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us;
    The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
    His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
    One little word shall fell him.
    That word above all earthly pow’rs, no thanks to them, abideth;
    The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth;
    Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
    The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
    His kingdom is forever.

  68. Beloved says:

    Thinking about community, well, most often wherever you happen to be is your “community”, the one God places you in to live and serve Him and others. I think that no matter what the popular culture does God sends out His people in His wisdom to the “place” He chooses. James says “Bloom where you are planted”.

    On a personal note my plans/idea to move closer to my grandchildren has been gently redirected through closed doors in that direction. At first I was sad but after talking more about it with my Father recognized it would not be good for me mentally, knowing my children hold things from their growing up against me still and the estrangement is so hard on me at times already —but I have loving community here to help comfort and share with.

    Even though I’m about the only believer here several almost wept when they heard I was moving— that tells me God has His plan for me here. The rugged individualism Mart talks about seems to fade in the light of Gods grace and mercy. Oh He’s a good good Dad.

  69. jeff1 says:

    I need the continuity that community life brings which is why though I live ten miles from the village I grew up in I still attend church and do voluntary work where I was born because like yourself Beloved I find comradeship important to my well being and God understands that I need it.

    Each of us has different needs because we are very different people and we need to consider each others needs rather than make demands on each other if we are to work together in harmony.

    There is 20 of us in the shop I volunteer and it works well because we work together for the good of the charity and we have different beliefs but respect each others view because it is more loving to do so and as I see it we are all servants in the sight of God and He loves us equally.

    The future for our children depends on us getting it right as our children see by our love, or lack of it, for those that are different to us and that can influence how they will react in the future as very often children do what their parents do rather than what they say showing that actions speak louder than words.

  70. Beloved says:

    Yes Viv I agree we were not made to be alone in the world. Why did God create a whole world full of people made in His own image if not for fellowship? I’ve been thinking about this since I heard someone say they thought the commandment to not create any “graven” images was because He had already created us! Interesting to chew on for a while I thought. Living images of God, hmmm. Cool.

  71. Beloved says:

    I think we will be known/ remembered for our love also Viv.

  72. jeff1 says:

    Some times I think we overuse the word love when affection or like would be more appropriate.

    We have to build on a relationship before we love which is why I often think mine with God’s is so rocky as my head is so rocky.

    I can remember as a child petal plucking and it often seems as if that is how my relationship with God is ‘He loves me’ He loves me not’ He loves me’ He loves me not’ He loves me’ and a lot depends on where my head is on the day.

  73. Beloved says:

    From Crosswalk

    Will They Know Us by Our Love?
    by Debbie Holloway
    “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
    Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and it not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
    These two passages are arguably the most famous Bible verses about love. Love is a concept promoted by Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Muslims. It is a thing acknowledged by atheists and agnostics. Something every man, woman, and child strives to obtain every day. Love is something we all know about and all desire. But so often it seems to be the most difficult thing for us to practice.
    As Christians, we have no excuse for not knowing what love is. First Corinthians chapter 13 tells us in no uncertain terms. And Christ tells us in John 13 that the world will know that we belong to Jesus if we practice this love. But how often do we truly think of those two scriptures as one command? How often do we piece together the “how?” and the “what?” of love in our own lives?

    The ramifications of doing so present a clearly defined, but difficult life. If we combine 1st Corinthians 13 and John 13, what would our lives look like? How would people come to recognize Christians?
    Well, they would know us by our patience. They would know that we are Christians by our contentment, modesty, and humility. They would recognize us, for we would not be rude. We would seek the best for others, be difficult to make angry, and refuse to keep count of how many times we’ve been hurt. They would know us because evil makes us sad, and truth makes us happy. They would know us because we protect the defenseless and we do not live in suspicion of others.
    They would know us by our hope. They would know us by our perseverance.
    That is what love looks like. Those should be the marks of Christ’s disciples.
    Oftentimes when the world hears “Christian” – they do not think of this love. They think Patriotic. They think of rules. They think of stingy, bad-tippers, who blindly vote Republican and will judge you if you drink beer or use four-letter words. And that might not be fair. That might not be you. But it’s still your responsibility to change what the world thinks of Christians. It’s still your responsibility to demonstrate that radical love Paul described to the Corinthians.

    Because then, one by one, people might start to know Jesus a little better. Because then, one by one, we could really reach the world with this radical, biblical, Christ-like love.

  74. Beloved says:

    I remember plucking pedals also Viv. Quite random isn’t it? The not knowing is hard. Does God love me? I knew for sure He loves me when I made a decision one day to ask Jesus to forgive my sins and become LORD of my life! After that I knew. I know others with head problems that have also made the decision to ask Jesus to forgive their sin and become their LORD. Jesus settles right into the mind/heart no matter how messed up it is, He can do that!! After all He has each hair on our heads numbered. Think of that- each hair.

    Viv, will you ask and invite Jesus into your life?

  75. Beloved says:

    O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood, To every believer the promise of God; The vilest offender who truly believes, That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

  76. foreverblessed says:

    Such a true word!
    We would be known by our patience, by our longsuffering..

    O dear.

    I was going to post about what My Utmost said yesterday:

    We think His ideals are lofty and they impress us, but we believe He is not in touch with reality— that what He says cannot actually be done. ”

    Why do I write that here? Because in mg upbringing, in my family, a christian family, what Oswald said was the norm in our house, church

    Having the peace, the trust the love of Christ, seeking to find it…
    You are a dreamer, get real!
    We are just humans.

    In heaven we will have it.

    I myself was searching for that true Life in Jesus.
    I can hardly talk about it: mostly the reaction is:
    Have your feet on the ground.

    So, for myself I search for this full LIFE in Christ, with the quest of patience, but still with full expectancy that Jesus is working and will work in my heart.

    And at the same time I try not to expect this in others.

  77. street says:

    Personal and Family Matters

    thinking of individual and group matters and how the cross is central to both. without the cross it is all about self. God teaches us different as an individual and as a group.

  78. jeff1 says:

    Beloved, Jesus came into my heart when I had my nervous breakdown and why I hear Him now in songs, people and nature as I never had that connection before I was sick. He seen my need and so being broken has brought me closer to Him and is why I can accept my head problems knowing that He understands and accepts me as I am while others find me difficult.

  79. Beloved says:

    That’s awesome Viv!

  80. Beloved says:

    Do you find it difficult to speak to Jesus directly because of your illness?

  81. Beloved says:

    God teaches us different as an individual and as a group.

    I’ve noticed the difference.

  82. Beloved says:

    Forever I thought that was a good word also. He’s personal yet His truths are the same for the whole Body. Patience, with you me but mostly me😹

  83. Beloved says:

    Growing up with OC and Spurgeon how blessed you are! Do you understand how they came to misunderstand the Sabbath etc? I was listening to a teacher pastor the other day who followed the scriptures about church discipline but lamented that those under discipline would just go to another church as if nothing happened. I remember thinking about that when I was a new believer in my Baptist church which practiced discipline. How do you reconcile scripture with these things? Is there only one true denomination and are all others wrong? It seems so. Or is their another way of dealing with this? I do not know, really. It just seems the church has grown so large since the churches Paul planted long ago, the fledgling churches. I ask your thoughts as you’ve talked about your struggles here. Of course there’s Spirit and then there’s spirit of a man. I hear you talking about this. I only became a Christian when I was 30 so you know more than some of us here. Anyway, have you been able to forgive and find peace with where you’ve come to? Just asking.

  84. Beloved says:

    Do you understand how your “home fellowship” I meant.

  85. jeff1 says:

    Beloved says:
    February 27, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Do you find it difficult to speak to Jesus directly because of your illness?

    Yes, its tears, I cry to God more easily than I can speak.

    In my head I hear condemning voices but they are no longer from God but from others or my own voice. It disturbs my peace and crying before God gives me relief as I know He cares.

    It upsets me that so many do not know that God cares because of the religious divide here which has poisoned peoples thinking but I understand because I lived through the bombs and the bullets and many lost their lives in terrible circumstances such was the hatred and violence of the time.

    Then there is a breakdown of trust among communities which is difficult to rebuild as there are still those who use intimidation to achieve their ends.

    I am getting too old for the hostility and no longer listen to news as it is all about politics or religion which always seems to be the source of most difficulties.

    Life used to be so much simpler or that is how I seem to remember it but nothing stays the same except God of course who is faithful beyond my wildest dreams.

  86. Beloved says:

    Psalm 56:8 New Living Translation (NLT)

    8 You keep track of all my sorrows.[a]
    You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in your book.

  87. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, Beloved, I believe I have forgiven my old upbringing, my parents, my old church. I said: I believe I did.
    But when I read the Oswald Chambers of February 26,
    “Have you ever said to yourself, “I am impressed with the wonderful truths of God’s Word, but He can’t really expect me to live up to that and work all those details into my life!”

    Then it struck me, my mother is still talking like that.
    “Don’t be too enthusiastic abour Jesus, we are just human”

    And not only my mother, also in my church housegroup.

    Whay you shared February 27, around 2 pm

    .From Crosswalk

    Will They Know Us by Our Love?
    by Debbie Holloway
    “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35 ).
    Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and it not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

    Is that in me, is Christ living in me?
    In all christians?

    My understanding is that many christians live more under the 10 commandments then that they live under the personal guidance of Jesus Himself.

    Thd Words of Jesus inclusive the Life of Jesus to help us live according to His Words,
    That is the Life of a christian.

    Total surrender to Jesus.

    I believe I am on my way to be like that.

    The teaching on the mount is our new guideline,
    Above the 10 commandments
    But only done while we
    are attached to the Vine = Jesus
    Living from the Bread of Life = Jesus
    Drink from the Well = Jesus
    Etc ( the 7 I AM of Jesus in gospel of John)

    Being unhitched of the Old Covenant and live under the New Covenant!

  88. jeff1 says:

    I have the same understanding Forever and I also believe that many do try to maintain the discipline required to keep them.

    In particular the first two commandments:

    37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
    Matt. 22:34-40

    It wasn’t until I was ill myself did I realize that Jesus was there for me (I didn’t have to invite him into my heart because he saw my heart was broken and entered in) to have a more personal relationship and that has changed my whole life in how I see Him and others.

    “He is willing, He is faithful to see me through no matter what, circumstances change but my God does not.”

  89. Beloved says:

    Viv did you then or have you confessed to Jesus that you are a sinner in need of His redemption? In order to have fellowship with God the Father – the only way- the narrow way Jesus talks about- is through Him.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Forever that is interesting what your mom and house church says about Jesus. I could never do life on my own without Him teaching me how to love and follow Him being the sinner I am. I was conceived, born and raised a sinner; but for the grace of God through Christ Jesus I have nothing to brag about or trust in of my own whatsoever.

  90. poohpity says:

    Jesus stands at the door of our heart and knocks. If we want Him to come in then we have to open the door and invite Him in. He does not seem to force Himself on anyone that is not love. He gives us an invitation by knocking and whether we invite Him in is up to us. It takes an active role on our part and it takes an active role on our part to follow His lead as well after we have invited Him in.

  91. Beloved says:

    About the 10 commandments I don’t believe they were ever replaced as God does not change and the ten are all about how to worship God and love others. When Jesus said “a new commandment I give you”, he wasn’t dismissing the ten but encapsulating them into personal worship/ relational rather than just words on a sign that had to be followed. The Pharisees heard from Jesus directly that God wanted more; He wanted their hearts! He wanted their love, our love! Just as He wants to give us His love. Like a family; mutual reciprocity. However it took Jesus death to opened up the Way.

    How wonderful! how marvelous !
    And my song shall ever be!
    How wonderful! how marvelous!
    That my Savior died for me

  92. Beloved says:

    I Stand Amazed

    I stand amazed in the presence
    Of Jesus the Nazarene.
    And wonder how He could love me,
    A sinner condemned, unclean.
    How marvelous, How wonderful
    And my song will ever be
    How marvelous, How wonderful
    Is my Saviour’s love for me.
    He took my sins and my sorrows
    He made them his very own
    He bore the burden to Calvary
    He suffered and bled for me.
    How marvelous, How wonderful
    And my song will ever be
    How marvelous, How wonderful
    Is my Saviour’s love for me.
    Forever I will sing Your praise
    Jesus, Risen King
    Oh my God I stand amazed that You loved me.
    When with ransomed in glory
    His face I at last shall see
    Twill be joy through the ages
    To sing of His love of me.
    How marvelous, How wonderful
    And my song will ever be
    How marvelous, How wonderful
    Is my Saviour’s love for me.
    How marvelous, How wonderful
    And my song will ever be
    How marvelous, How wonderful
    Is my Saviour’s love for me.
    Source: Musixmatch
    Songwriters: Chris Tomlin

  93. foreverblessed says:

    When we follow Jesus, we will not break the 10 commandments.
    However
    If we keep, or try to keep the 10 commandments, we may not nescesarily follow Jesus.

    You see what I mean?
    As a christian we may hide behind the 10, and so think we are OK.
    Chris has put it like this: then we are the least in the Kingdom of God.

  94. Beloved says:

    Like the Pharisees

  95. Beloved says:

    I guess I don’t want to go further in discussing law. Shutting my mouth- for a change🙏

  96. street says:

    thinking how the 10 commandments fail sinful man and how the cross saves sinful man. there are broken cisterns that men make and try to drink from. only greater thirst. we are encouraged to deny self and take up this cross and follow Jesus daily. the fruitful tree in eden brought death and suffering, yet the barren cross brings life and suffering. suffering of self. the price of love given that we may live and share in this suffering that we may share in new life, true life. this life is poured out in our hearts is not to be stored but to bear fruit and passed on like the grace and mercy that flows from the Thrown of God. the death of self-centerednes is love joy and peace in God, through Jesus. you could devote yourself to anything else, but only God can draw you to Himself.
    Matthew 7:13-14
    “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

    Psalm 23:3
    He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

    Psalm 106:8
    Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name, That He might make His power known.

    Ezekiel 36:22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went.

    1 John 2:12
    I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake.

    the law is for the unrighteous. for the righteous shall live by keeping the law. only righteous are in Christ. there is no darkness in Christ.

    5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

    the righteous shall live by faithfulness. Habakkuk 2:4

  97. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you very much Street!

    Such a great line of verses:

    We rely on the Resurrection Life of Jesus.
    Eph 1:17-21
    Oh, such a wonderful truth, that selfsame power, by which Jesus was raised to life that power gives us life!
    In faith in Jesus Power.
    How I missed that understanding, how I looked to the ten commandments and asked God to help me keep them.

    But… I also read:
    That you may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
    1 Peter 3:18
    And how I did not understand it, and prayed to God about it:”What do You mean with that bible verse?”

    Years later He explained it to me, I first had to get down and out, exhausted and empty…
    Trying to keep the Old Covenant prepared me perfectly to embrace the New Covenant
    Living in faith in Jesus, and hearing His Words for me personally, day by day
    Hour by hour
    Minute by minute.

    Utmost today, says:

    We need to rely on the resurrection life of Jesus on a much deeper level than we do now. We should get in the habit of continually seeking His counsel on everything, instead of making our own commonsense decisions and then asking Him to bless them.

  98. jeff1 says:

    Beloved says:
    February 28, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Viv did you then or have you confessed to Jesus that you are a sinner in need of His redemption? In order to have fellowship with God the Father – the only way- the narrow way Jesus talks about- is through Him.

    When I was confessing my sins prior to being ill they where just words that I had learned but during my psychosis I had what I can only say was experiences that were not of this world and I knew that hell was real and I had a glimpse of it.

    It was my friend who helped through prayer and anointing to get me through the episodes and I am now on medication to stop them recurring.

    Yes, I still confess my sins and partake of Holy Communion in remembrance that Christ died for me.

    I also listen for messages through songs, sermons, nature and people and I feel my faith has never been more alive.

    God brought me back from hell itself and so I believe He will use me for His purpose and so whatever pain and suffering in this life I know that He will turn it around for good and that gives me peace today as I know God is still in control.

  99. Beloved says:

    OCs text from today, “We should get in the habit of continually seeking His counsel on everything, instead of making our own commonsense decisions.., reminds me of the Book Mart mentioned. Misreading through western eyes. It would take more years and strength than I have to start over reading scripture yet I believe the pertinent message of the gospel is the same in any culture. Same God Jesus Holy Spirit Cross same story basically with just some differences in nuance to make it challenging but interesting nonetheless. What a Story!

  100. Beloved says:

    Viv and Forever I enjoyed talking with you today, thank you.

  101. poohpity says:

    May I help a little about the purpose of the law? It does not seem that anyone understands what it was and I will use scripture to share what we are taught about it.

    Romans is a great place to find the answer to the question what is the purpose of the law;

    First chapter 3 Paul explains; Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20Therefore no one will be justified in His sight by works of the Law. For the Law merely brings awareness of sin.

    So the law brings awareness of sin! When we become aware of sin then we realize we need a Savior. But if one does not realize they sin then why would they need a Savior? This is a continual battle within us as Paul discusses in Romans 7.

    Second it is not possible to follow all the laws and when we break one we break them all so the only way we are justified is through faith just like Abraham who was before the law was given.

    Gal 3: Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. 3 How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? 4 Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?…….

    10 But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.” 11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” 12 This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.”…….

    19 Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. 20 Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when he gave his promise to Abraham.

    21 Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. 22 But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.

    23 Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.

    24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. 25 And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.

    26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.

  102. jeff1 says:

    Standing on the promises of Christ my King
    Through eternal ages let his praises ring
    Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing
    Standing on the promises of God

    Standing, standing
    Standing on the promises of God my Savior
    Standing, standing
    I’m standing on the promises of God

    Standing on the promises, I cannot fall
    Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call
    Resting in my Savior as my all in all
    Standing on the promises of God

    Standing, standing
    Standing on the promises of Christ my Savior
    Standing, standing
    I’m standing on the promises of God

  103. foreverblessed says:

    Enjoyed talking with you…
    Thanks.

    Just to have some mind training.

    This verse, Pooh posted:

    Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith.

    Gal 3:24

    Strictly speaking, we are no longer under the law.
    But we just keep the 10 commandments anyway, when we have “put on Christ”.

    Paul said:
    I am not under no law,
    I am under the Law of Christ.

    The law of Christ:
    living in faith in Jesus
    Giving up all rights to self to Jesus
    Total surrender to Jesus
    Hearing His still small voice,
    For each one of us personally.
    Dwelling in His presence.

    Drinking from His Well of Living water.
    Being attached to the Vine.

    Being thankful for that Eternal Life we now already have.

  104. poohpity says:

    forever said, “Strictly speaking, we are no longer under the law. But we just keep the 10 commandments anyway, when we have “put on Christ”.”

    Are you able to keep the 10 commandments when you have put on Christ? He is not a suit of cloths to be put on. Even with the help of the Holy Spirit living inside of us no one is able to even follow the 10 we still sin. I will not even mention the other 603 but just the 10. The only way to not break the law is not to have laws.

    Romans 4: Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. 14 If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. 15 For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)

    16 So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.

  105. foreverblessed says:

    Are you able to keep the 10 commandments when you have put on Christ? He is not a suit of cloths to be put on. Even with the help of the Holy Spirit living inside of us no one is able to even follow the 10 we still sin.

    I am talking to those who think that when I say: I am no longer under law,
    “O dear!!”
    Who think I am getting liberal.

    We should follow Jesus, His guidelines, His preaching. the sermon on the mount.
    But not as a law, but as steppingstones.

    Jesus empowers us with the power by which He was resurrected, that selfsame power revives us.
    ( Have you read what I wrote about chat Resurrection Power?)
    From onder stage to another, till wee rejoice when we are persecuted because over Christ.

    And I am liberated by Christ.
    Hé changes my heart, so that when I am IN Christ, I am no longer slave to sin.
    Sin has no power over me, when I look in faith up to Jesus.
    But I myself often times have not my eyes on Jesus.
    Then I call, till I look again.

    Our hearts are changed.
    And slowly we see that we are no longer hurt when somebody is aggresive in the way of debating.

  106. foreverblessed says:

    Then I call
    Should be:
    Then I fall. ( Not forever)
    Till I look again.

    Like als child who learns to walk.

    Look to Me and be saved

  107. phpatato says:

    Forever…..If I may interject with what I will be further food for thought. I read this just a couple days ago. It truly is my desire to provide another way to consider or to add to what you have said. xoxo

    “””””Did you skip reading the book of Leviticus?

    If you’re following Mark Roberts’ 5 Day Bible reading program of the entire Bible, you’re nearing the end of 9 long days of reading Leviticus. Pretty exciting stuff, eh?

    You’re getting detailed information about all kinds of sacrifices and offerings. Burnt offerings. Sin offerings. Meal offerings. Peace offerings. Trespass offerings.

    You read about the special Jewish observances. Besides the familiar weekly Sabbath observance, there’s the Day of Atonement. The Passover. Pentecost. Feast of Tabernacles. Feast of Trumpets. The Sabbatical Year. And the Year of Jubilee. It’s filled with details about blood, guts and animal fat.

    Then there’s the interesting information about the ritual for cleansing lepers. Laws concerning bodily discharges. Sores. A woman’s menstrual period. And the graphic description of perverted sexual practices.

    What does it all mean? Why is it preserved for us today? What value is it to 21st century Christians?

    Here are 3 lessons we learn from Leviticus.

    (1) God’s commandments are important.

    When Israel came to Mt. Sinai in Exodus 19 and Moses began receiving God’s law, there is a phrase repeated numerous times from then on throughout Leviticus. “As the Lord had commanded Moses.”

    One day after reading that phrase about a dozen times, I turned to Norma Jean and said, “Do you think the Lord is making a point?”

    Understanding the reasoning behind all of these statues and ordinances is for another time and better venue than this short post, but regardless of “why”, it’s more important for us to know “who.” God said so. That settles it.

    In every age from the Patriarchal period through the Mosaic dispensation to our modern Christian age, God has always demanded obedience. While grace and truth came through Christ Jesus, He did not dispense with commandments, and just allow us to live, work and worship as we individually please. Regardless of our culture’s “no absolutes” attitude.

    Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15). Furthermore, the apostle John writes that keeping God’s commandments is evidence that we really know and love Him. A failure to follow the commandments of Christ makes us liars and deniers of Truth (1 Jn. 2:3-6).

    Leviticus clearly shouts, “God’s commandments must be respected and obeyed.

    (2) God has a pattern for His people.

    The detailed descriptions of the sacrifices, the tabernacle, and the Priests’ ministry and even their clothing, reminds us that God revealed a specific pattern He expected His people to follow.

    Some today scoff at the idea of a pattern for the work, worship, and organization of the church. Yet, the Hebrew writer referred to this time period as a type and shadow of things to come. “For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain’” (Heb 8:5).

    These explicit instructions serve as an example in form, figure, and fashion for Christians today to follow the New Testament pattern. Just as He expected Moses and Israel to comply with His divine design, so we are to emulate that example.

    (3) God wants us to be holy.

    The word “holy” is found 95 times in Leviticus. Holy things. Holy place. Holy name. Holy offerings. Holy Priests. Holy people.

    “For I am the Lord your God. You shall, therefore, consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.” (Lev 11:44)

    The word literally means “set apart or separate.” It is used in a moral sense in scripture. Christians are to be separated from sin. It means morally pure. Religiously right. Consecrated to God.

    Just like Israel was to be different than the heathen nations and be morally pure, so are Christians to be unspotted from a sinful culture. He “saved us and called us with a holy calling.” We’re called “a holy nation.” “A holy priesthood.” And are commanded to “be holy in our conduct.”

    While we don’t live under the Levitical laws that sound strange to us and we may find its reading laborious, the book offers divine principles worthy of our serious reflection…..

    –Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

  108. foreverblessed says:

    Be you holy, even as I am holy.

    2 Peter 3:11-13

    Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives

    Holy, not exactly as in the way of Leviticus,
    But…
    According to Matthew 5-6 the sermon on the mount,
    And Gal 5:22-23
    1 Cor 13:4-9

  109. foreverblessed says:

    Be you holy, even as I am holy.

    Hallo Phpatato, welcome!
    It is good to discuss! I grew up in a church that read a lot in Leviticus, Exodus, Deuteronomy.

    Now I see that the Words of Jesus supercede that of the Torah,
    When Jesus says: keep My Commands, He meant His Words in the Gospel.

    I should look at what comes out of the mouth of Jesus, and view it as holy!
    And I should listen to how Paul explains it.

    And be close to Jesus: He is mine and I am His

  110. Beloved says:

    After receiving the 10 commandments – 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”

  111. Beloved says:

    I’m thinking that even after Christ and redemption they still keep us from sinning showing our fear (meaning honor respect veneration) of God.

  112. Beloved says:

    However, when we do sin, we have an advocate Christ Jesus to defend us so to speak.

    John says we do not continually sin after coming to Christ. Paul says to get rid of besetting sin- one that dogs us. (I have one). May take a lifetime of struggling but we struggle daily if needed not out of fear of what will He do but out of reverence and respect; knowing we don’t deserve mercy kindness or anything good at all.

  113. Beloved says:

    The only way to not break the law is not to have laws.

    Rubbish

  114. phpatato says:

    And that Forever is what I believe is how our walk should be….Looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Listening to what He is saying to each of us, personally and striving with every ounce of our being to Stay close to Him. As you posted: He is mine and I AM his.

    Pat xo

  115. Beloved says:

    I’m sorry, I was unkind. You probably meant it differently than I took it. Sorry

  116. phpatato says:

    Joyce, I too took “The only way to not break the law is not to have laws” the same way. Rubbish…. In different wording….if we don’t have laws in the first place, we can’t be guilty of breaking them. That’s a teenagers greatest wish, having no curfew, so when he comes strolling into the house at 1am on a school night, no big deal. We don’t have any laws in our house so I can’t be punished for anything. How great is THAT!!!!! yeehaw.

    Waiting for clarification, if there is one????

    So don’t beat yourself up. You weren’t the only one.

    Pat

  117. Beloved says:

    Lol thanks Pat

  118. Beloved says:

    I heard, forever, that living Holy lives depends on Christ in us because only He can produce fruit, we can’t force fruit in ourselves. However we can decide to sin or not. That’s up to us. I thank God for His help. But what is sin? I would not even know what sin was unless God had told me. The Ten will always be Gods rule I think. As for all the other many laws on the books of the Torah I think they were meant only for the people at that time; although many make good common sense still today. What do you think?

  119. street says:

    LUKE 11
    46 Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.

    52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”

    Oswald Chambers
    It is perilously possible to make our conceptions of God like molten lead poured into a specially designed mould, and when it is cold and hard we fling it at the heads of the religious people who don’t agree with us.

    Ezekiel 36:25-27
    25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

    Matthew 6:2
    “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

    2 Corinthians 6:10
    as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.

    Galatians 2:10
    They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.

    Revelation 3:17
    Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,

    Luke 6:45
    The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

    John 2:10
    and *said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.”

    4 “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Return now from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.”’ But they did not listen or give heed to Me,” declares the Lord. 5 “Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6 But did not My words and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your fathers? Then they repented and said, ‘As the Lord of hosts purposed to do to us in accordance with our ways and our deeds, so He has dealt with us.’”’”

    24 After these days Elizabeth his wife became pregnant, and she [q]kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying, 25 “This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace among men.”

    35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

    1 John 2:12
    I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake.

    1 John 3:1
    [ Children of God Love One Another ] See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

    1 John 2:4
    The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;

    2 Timothy 1:12
    For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

    Hebrews 6:9
    But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.

  120. street says:

    thinking how love from God replaces law.

    law comes from authority figures in our lives.

    God placed these authority figures for our good and His pleasure. it is the end goal He has in Mind. i have never seen God happy with authority figures in the Bible. they all fall short of His Glory, save One.

    does He have your heart?

  121. street says:

    what is the hardest part of taking up the cross?

    a daily affair.

    1 Corinthians 15
    31 I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

  122. street says:

    Proverbs 9:7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
    whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
    8
    Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
    rebuke the wise and they will love you.

    Proverbs 17:9
    Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,
    but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

    10
    A rebuke impresses a discerning person
    more than a hundred lashes a fool.

    11
    Evildoers foster rebellion against God;
    the messenger of death will be sent against them.

    6
    Leave your simple ways and you will live;
    walk in the way of insight.”

    i am thinking leave your simple way and you will live, walk in the light of the world. therefor a cross.

    Galatians 2:20
    I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

  123. poohpity says:

    It was Paul who taught; Romans 3:20, 4:15 NLT; 1 Cor 15:56; 2 Cor 3:7; Gal 3:10

  124. poohpity says:

    Romans 4:15 NLT It was not me who said the rubbish you speak of but if you will read Romans and Galatians to understand what the rubbish Paul was teaching is all about.

  125. Beloved says:

    The Law served its purpose. Anything God does is for our good. Anything God does is good. The Law was not evil, meant to do harm but to reveal who God is. A powerful Benefactor without universal regard for man at that time but when the fullness of time had come God sent His Son to ransom us and Israel from the penalty of Sin, (which the Law had revealed). Hard harsh demanding and absolutely foreign thinking to them. But why wouldn’t it seem that way since they were not used to having a Loving God as their Benefactor. Someone said that God meets us where we are at; then it was a cruel desert, today it’s at the cross.

  126. street says:

    “When God forgives us, we are forgiven. When God cleanses us, we are made clean. That is a cause for great celebration.” —R.C. Sproul

    thinking of a movie title of awhile ago

    romancing a stone.

    54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[a]

    55
    “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”[b]

    56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

    the Glory of God is life in Christ Jesus

  127. Beloved says:

    Romans 4:15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

    I think the NIV does a poor job with this personally. Pooh that’s what caught us by surprise. Sometimes modern vernacular oversteps from the original.

  128. Beloved says:

    Probably a student edition translation which is at the 7th grade reading level.

  129. foreverblessed says:

    Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
    Psalm 73:25-26

    Verse of the day on Biblegateway

    I agree with Street, on law and authority figure.

    God wants us to follow on the basis of love.
    Love, a burning zeal to follow Christ, because He has saved me from the pit.

  130. foreverblessed says:

    About no law

    1 Cor 9:21
    (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law),

    If you see Jesus’ instruction as “law”.

    I want to see following Jesus as a path we walk, up and up.

  131. jeff1 says:

    It is enough that I know I am saved from hell because of Jesus as knowing He has excepted me as I am is call for rejoicing in itself as I see it.

    Because He lives I can face tomorrow comes to mind.

  132. jeff1 says:

    Show me the stairway that I have to climb but for my sake teach me to take one day at a time.

  133. poohpity says:

    Beloved, I chuckle because it says the same thing no matter the translation. When the new church began it did not require the new believers to go under the burden of the law or they would have been called into Judaism(following the Jewish laws and customs) rather than Christians (followers of Christ by the Holy Spirit). Paul even admonished Peter for doing so.

    NO ONE CAN FOLLOW THE LAW WITHOUT BREAKING IT, NO ONE. Do you honestly think that God would burden us with something we can not possibly do without the sacrificial system found as part of that law? Jesus finished that old system! Is that love or an impossible burden?

    For pete’s sake when Mart had guidelines for us to follow on this blog, did any of you follow them? Of course not. When we give our children guidelines to follow and tell them not to do something chances are they are going to do it just because they were told not to. We have the very first example in the garden of Eden.

    Think about it, if there are no rules to break as Abraham had then it was by faith that he was deemed righteous. The bible clearly tells in the NT about difference in being under the law and being filled with the Holy Spirit who speaks to our heart and tells us when we are wrong but if someone has quenched the Holy Spirit they probably no longer are open to hearing from Him. These are the commands of Jesus; love others as I have loved you and love others as you love yourself.

  134. poohpity says:

    If one does not understand the very milk of our faith how then can one go to the meat part.

  135. poohpity says:

    Paul or Saul of Tarsus followed the law zealously before he met Jesus! He is the very one who knows that following the law did not give him life but death. So it would benefit us to learn from the life lessons that he taught about living under both; under the law or under grace.

  136. foreverblessed says:

    It is not the sacrificial law, it is about the 10 commandments.

    The key of the 10 commandments is:
    Love God above all and
    Love others as yourself.

    Now here is the thing:
    Jesus comes!!!

    The longed for Messiah, of Whom was said in the Law of Moses:
    When the Prophet comes:
    Listen to Him
    Deut 18:15,18

    And what does Jesus say:

    I give you a New Command:
    Love others as I have loved you.

    That is quite a different command as: love others as you love yourself.

    My point is:
    If we have too much regard for the 10 commandments, we will hide behind them.

    When the Spirit urges us to go the extra mile for someone who is using us,
    We say:
    Wait a minute, doesn’t the Law say: love others as you love yourself!
    I am not going to love the other more than I love myself.

    And so we nullify the Word of Jesus.

  137. bratimus says:

    AS Christ-in people we are or claim to be, WE should have no problem following the ways of God you know those 10 commandments. Christ is the fulfillment of the ways of God, so if Christ dwells with in us so should the ways of God with in us. Which make the Laws relevant to one’s self, so use the 10 commandment to judge your own life, self evaluation so to speak. Me, I’m one of the hardest judges on my own life.

    One other thing that got my attention in this topic, Mart wrote:
    “throughout history and even up to the present, much of the world been more inclined to think that what is good for the group—is good for the individual.”

    What group are we talking about, there are so many different groups to choose from.

    Being a Christ-in doesn’t take away from us being individuals and shouldn’t, actually some of our better individual qualities should be enhanced. (God doesn’t want Borg, that is a little Star Trek humor hopefully a few might get it.)

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  138. poohpity says:

    Forever, Jesus said, “30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

  139. poohpity says:

    I got it Bratimus, lol. Yes we can fall into many group thinks that are not good as a whole when the individual is prone to evil but when the individual is prone to love when we get into a group that has the same goals and purpose as we do to live a life focused on God the group helps each other and holds each other up.

    Yes the 10 helps us see that we are sinners in need of God’s grace. Self reflection then we will not be prone to make sure anyone else follows those 10.

  140. foreverblessed says:

    So:
    I evaluate myself according to the 10:
    And I might come out positive:
    I have loved my neighbour as I love myself

    So according to the summary of the 10, I would be OK.

    Now, here comes the clue:
    If I evaluate myself according to the New Command Jesus gave:
    Love others as I have loved you.
    Then….I may fall short.

    And I see I need to attach more to Jesus, to clinch more to Him.

    (Right now there is a national press conference about the Corona, because a few more patients have appeared in different places)

  141. foreverblessed says:

    See this illness, God, our Healer, have mercy over us.

  142. Beloved says:

    Some well known and respected Doctors have been warning about listening to all the hype about this virus. We know how the news loves to sensationalize the latest story. It’s how they make their living, lol. As Christians we know God is in control of our lives no matter whatever real or imagined danger lurks. Fix our eyes on Jesus, the One who calms the storm within and without.

  143. Beloved says:

    Pooh I’m so glad you got a laugh out of my post! Laughter is good medicine😀

  144. foreverblessed says:

    Yehh, better stay calm, but pray too, with great assurance that God is in control.

    About this Command:
    Love others as Jesus has loved me.

    This “Command” makes me search and look HOW much Jesus has loved me.

    And I had to think again about the great bucket in heaven full of God’s love, peace, joy.. Gal 5:22-23 and much more of God, that was being poured over me!!!

  145. poohpity says:

    Forever, you can honestly say you have not broken one of the 10 commandments even today? You have not lied? You have not wanted what another has? You have not taken something from work like a pen that is stealing? Do you put God above everyone else by looking who has one’s attention a majority of the time in a day? Have you gossiped about anyone? It is not possible for anyone but Jesus to not break at least one of those commandments and if you think you have not then that is a lie.

    Beloved I was not laughing at what you wrote I chuckled because it seems you thought that another translation would say something different rather than saying the same thing but differently.

  146. bratimus says:

    To love others, as God, Christ and the Holy Spirit love me.

    The best way for me to do this is show the light of Christ, but not all will see it, because the don’t have eyes to see.

    See I don’t hate people, so that means I must love people. There are behaviors I dislike and there are some behaviors I dislike with extreme prejudice so I tend to say away from those behaviors, any words I would have wouldn’t help because they wouldn’t have ears to hear. Some might see the light of Christ then others might have words for them. Planting then watering, seeing then hearing. So I walk in faith.

    In Christ Jesus name

    Bratimus

  147. Beloved says:

    Pooh I never said they were different. I talked about the words (vernacular) used in translation, that’s all.

    Laughter IS good medicine along with aspirin or cough medicine BUT Jesus is the great healer for all our ills, body soul and spirit!

  148. Beloved says:

    Good reminder Bratimus about having ears to hear. Jesus said the same thing, didn’t He. I just cried out to the LORD how much I hate being ridiculed. made fun of, put down, bullied etc. I asked Him how He could take being treated that way. He reminded me that whatever others do to me they are also doing to Him. He loved and offered forgiveness with mercy to His persecutors. Christ in me enables me to walk as He walked. Those that were not able to hear he just moved on from. I’ll always pray the Holy Spirit will quicken hearts to see how they are persecuting Christ and turn to Him for consolation- salvation. Then we all win!!

  149. Beloved says:

    Forever I just pulled up this stat from the CDC (center for disease control).
    CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9 million – 45 million illnesses, between 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010.

    We pay little attention anymore to death from flu, as it’s mostly those already sick weak elderly etc. That’s the same demographic that are at most risk for complications with the Corona virus. So far, anyway. As it mutates which it has already done it could cause more problems as with anything else. But I’m sure you know this already. Sometime just writing things down is consoling to me. Getting it out of my emotional headset.

  150. jeff1 says:

    When I fail to feel connected to God through negligence I remember the ten commandments as guidelines to what pleases God.

    I particularly focus on the first two commandments as you cannot do one without the other i.e. if you do not love God then you cannot love your neighbour.

    I know this to be true as I have struggled inwardly with hatred of my enemies and I struggled with this because of my lack of understanding of God’s love for me.

    As God draws me to Himself He shows me that His love for me is not diminished and it is in knowing that I no longer feel the need for justice or revenge against my enemies but am at peace leaving them in His hands.

    You were correct, Pooh, God does not want my enemies to be able to come between us and when I allow hatred into my heart it keeps Christ out and it is my relationship that suffers.

    Another difficulty is that my mind and heart are at odds; and I must remember that only the pure of heart see God because only the pure of heart want to!

    The problem always is mine as God is willing and faithful.

  151. jeff1 says:

    Open the Eyes of My Heart

    Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
    Open the eyes of my heart
    I want to see You
    I want to see You

    Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
    Open the eyes of my heart
    I want to see You
    I want to see You

    To see You high and lifted up
    Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
    Pour out Your power and love
    As we sing holy, holy, holy

    Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
    Open the eyes of my heart
    I want to see You
    I want to see You

    Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
    Open the eyes of my heart
    I want to see You
    I want to see You

    To see You high and lifted up
    Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
    Pour out Your power and love
    As we sing holy, holy, holy

    To see You high and lifted up
    Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
    Pour out Your power and love
    As we sing holy, holy, holy

    To see You high and lifted up
    Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
    Pour out Your power and love
    As we sing holy, holy, holy

    Holy, holy, holy
    We cry holy, holy, holy
    You are holy, holy, holy
    I want to see you

    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy
    You are holy, holy, holy
    I want to see you

    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy,
    I want to see you

    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy,
    I want to see you

    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy,
    I want to see you

    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy,
    I want to see you

    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy,
    I want to see you

    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy
    Holy, holy, holy,
    I want to see you

  152. Beloved says:

    Viv the 23rd Psalm is also a good one to memorize or have handy in time of need.

  153. street says:

    PSALMS 42,43

    37 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out [a]by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord [b]God, You know.” 4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause [c]breath to enter you that you may come to life. 6 I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord.’”

    After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, “I am thirsty.”

    deep calls to deep…..for when i am in the valley and call You are there, for You were there before me. i follow you because Your Word is sure and True and Your love is everlasting. the mountain is removed in Christ Jesus.

  154. street says:

    19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    anger is not my friend. Jesus is a friend of sinners. best friend ever.

  155. street says:

    Unless we are experiencing the hurt of facing every deception about ourselves, we have hindered the work of the Word of God in our lives. The Word of God inflicts hurt on us more than sin ever could, because sin dulls our senses. But this question of the Lord intensifies our sensitivities to the point that this hurt produced by Jesus is the most exquisite pain conceivable. It hurts not only on the natural level, but also on the deeper spiritual level. “For the Word of God is living and powerful…, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit…”— to the point that no deception can remain (Hebrews 4:12).

    grace taught my heart to fear, grace taught my heart to love. the song love hurts is true.

  156. Beloved says:

    After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, “I am thirsty.”

    Tea, a nice cup of Chamomile does wonders!

  157. street says:

    love is true, not a lie, and makes the dead alive.

    3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

    11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval.

    He loved us to the end and Father raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His Right Hand.

  158. street says:

    John 7:38
    He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”

  159. Beloved says:

    John 13:34
    “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

    Love is a choice…

  160. jeff1 says:

    Amazing Grace!

    How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me
    I once was lost but now am found
    Was blind but now I see

    When we’ve been there ten thousand years
    Bright shining as the sun
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’ve first begun

    Through many dangers, toils and snares
    I have already come
    ‘Tis Grace has brought me safe thus far
    And Grace will lead me home

    Amazing Grace!
    How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me
    I once was lost but now am found
    Was blind but now I see
    Was blind but now I see

  161. street says:

    Deuteronomy 27:18
    “Cursed is anyone who leads the blind astray on the road.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

    Proverbs 12:26
    The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

    18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.

    1 John 3:7
    Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

    But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

    4 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world.

    Matthew 7:8
    For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

    Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

    Matthew 19:11
    Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given.

    John 6:40
    For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

    John 8:34
    Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

    Acts 13:39
    Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.

    Romans 10:13
    for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

    1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.

    Psalm 51:11
    Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

    Isaiah 57:15
    For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

    Isaiah 63:10
    Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.

    Matthew 3:11
    “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

    Luke 11:13
    If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

    Acts 1:8
    But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses

    Ephesians 1:13
    And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

  162. street says:

    much of the world been more inclined to think that what is good for the group—is good for the individual.

    48 If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.”

  163. jeff1 says:

    1 Lead on, O King eternal,
    the day of march has come;
    henceforth in fields of conquest
    your tents will be our home.
    Through days of preparation
    your grace has made us strong;
    and now, O King eternal,
    we lift our battle song.

    2 Lead on, O King eternal,
    till sin’s fierce war shall cease,
    and holiness shall whisper
    the sweet amen of peace.
    For not with swords’ loud clashing
    or roll of stirring drums
    with deeds of love and mercy
    the heavenly kingdom comes.

    3 Lead on, O King eternal;
    we follow, not with fears,
    for gladness breaks like morning
    where’er your face appears.
    Your cross is lifted o’er us,
    we journey in its light;
    the crown awaits the conquest;
    lead on, O God of might.

  164. Beloved says:

    Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So

    107 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever!
    2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
    whom he has redeemed from trouble
    3 and gathered in from the lands,
    from the east and from the west,
    from the north and from the south.
    4 Some wandered in desert wastes,
    finding no way to a city to dwell in;
    5 hungry and thirsty,
    their soul fainted within them.
    6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
    7 He led them by a straight way
    till they reached a city to dwell in.

    8 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!

    9 For he satisfies the longing soul,
    sand the hungry soul he fills with good things.

    10 Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    prisoners in afflictions and in irons,
    11 for they had rebelled against the words of God,
    and spurned the counsel of the Most High.

    12 So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor;
    they fell down, with none to help.

    13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
    14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
    and burst their bonds apart.

    15 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!

    16 For he shatters the doors of bronze
    and cuts in two the bars of iron.
    17 Some were fools through their sinful ways,
    and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
    18 they loathed any kind of food,
    and they drew near to the gates of death.

    19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.

    20 He sent out his word and healed them,
    delivered them from their destruction.

    21 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
    22 And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
    and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

  165. Beloved says:

    Be thankful if your name is written in the Lambs Book of Life!

  166. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, thankfulness!
    Thanks for all the sciptures, and the good discussion!

    The verse of the day of Biblegateway is Job 23:10

    “But He knows the way that I take, when He tested me, I will come out as gold.”

    And this combined with the that Oswald Chambers discusses in the Utmost of today, is a wonderful combination”

    He said to him the third time, “…do you love Me?” John 21:17

    Jesus tried and tested Peter with His penetrating questions, and Peter comes out as gold. (Street also gave some of the text about Jesus questioning Peter yesterday, Utmost of March 1)

    I never really understood this questioning of Jesus, as much as that it was to reinstate Peter because of his three tines denial. But it goes much deeper than that!

    Much deeper!

    Jesus touches the deepest parts of Peter’s heart,

    and what does Peter discover there???

    HOW MUCH HE LOVED JESUS.

    He came out as gold.

    And this makes me very very glad this morning.

  167. foreverblessed says:

    Psalm 107, this Psalm describes how people in different ways have gone astray, and that while they were in peril, each in his own different situation, and they call on the name of the Lord, they are saved!

    And there our journey starts with Jesus, we were lost without Him, now we have found Him. And we follow Him where ever He leads us.
    On the basis of love, trust, hope.

  168. jeff1 says:

    1 Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us
    o’er the world’s tempestuous sea;
    guard us, guide us, keep us, feed us,
    for we have no help but thee;
    yet possessing every blessing,
    if our God our Father be.

    2 Saviour, breathe forgiveness o’er us:
    all our weakness thou dost know;
    thou didst tread this earth before us,
    thou didst feel its keenest woe;
    lone and dreary, faint and weary,
    through the desert thou didst go.

    3 Spirit of our God, descending,
    fill our hearts with heavenly joy,
    love with every passion blending,
    pleasure that can never cloy:
    thus provided, pardoned, guided,
    nothing can our peace destroy.

  169. poohpity says:

    Personal and Family Matters

    1 John 1: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

    This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

  170. Beloved says:

    I was reading this morning about Solomon’s fall due to breaking the commandment of God; taking foreign wives and worshipping their “gods” in direct disobedience. Yesterday I was reminded of Paul’s admonition to not have anything to do with those that bring false teaching into the Church. We are so fragile, aren’t we? So easily led but for the blessed Commands of God to show us the Way. But as you said Forever we follow Him on the basis of love (His love for us first of course), trusting in His faithfulness and hope! Yes I do like talking about the things of God with you and others here! It’s my focus and joy of living!

  171. Beloved says:

    “nothing can our peace destroy.“

    This line caught my attention Viv. Things certainly try to destroy our peace don’t they. But the peace I have with God because of Christ’s redemption is all my hope and stay! Yesterday today and forever because of my Saviors love for me!

    Oh LOVE that would not let me go….

    I am eternally grateful. Bless His Holy name.

  172. jeff1 says:

    How Great Thou Art

    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
    How great thou art
    How great thou art
    Then sings my soul my savior God to thee
    How great thou art, how great thou art

  173. street says:

    Students of first century Middle Eastern and Mediterranean culture point out that in the days and lands of the Bible it went without saying that the value of the individual was a family matter. Name, identity, and honor were closely connected to parentage, tribe, and what a father, mother, son or daughter contributed to the community.

    in the life of paul, going to extraordinary ways to make the Son know to His enemies at great cost because the Son valued them so much. even paul grew on the way. God’s grace was sufficient. not by power, not by might, but by My Spirit says the LORD. what does the LORD require of you? to seek justice, love mercy, walk humble with God.

  174. Beloved says:

    Family Issues

    ◄ 2 Timothy 3 ►
    Evil in the Last Days
    1But understand this: In the last days terrible times will come. 2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good, 4traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Turn away from such as these!

    This is our culture. We all need a Savior.

  175. foreverblessed says:

    “it went without saying that the value of the individual was a family matter. Name, identity, and honor were closely connected to parentage, tribe, and what a father, mother, son or daughter contributed to the community.”

    I wonder, is that why Jesus said:
    “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”
    Matthew 10:37

  176. foreverblessed says:

    My Utmost of today, says it better than how I have described it:
    Our basis of being and from there, the doing is based on Love, not human love, but God’s love.

    We are attached to Jesus, through faith, and there we are connected to Him, His Resurrection Power flows through us, and we are made whole, a clean heart, healed, made at peace inside.
    And that process mate be slow, but even in the secret of our hearts He is working!

    But he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
    Matthew 10:22

    So Matthew, stand firm in Jesus! I pray you will not lose your faith!

  177. foreverblessed says:

    This is love in the making. The love of God is not created— it is His nature. When we receive the life of Christ through the Holy Spirit, He unites us with God so that His love is demonstrated in us. The goal of the indwelling Holy Spirit is not just to unite us with God, but to do it in such a way that we will be one with the Father in exactly the same way Jesus was. And what kind of oneness did Jesus Christ have with the Father? He had such a oneness with the Father that He was obedient when His Father sent Him down here to be poured out for us. And He says to us, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21).

    Peter now realizes that he does love Him, due to the revelation that came with the Lord’s piercing question. The Lord’s next point is— “Pour yourself out. Don’t testify about how much you love Me and don’t talk about the wonderful revelation you have had, just ‘Feed My sheep.’ ” Jesus has some extraordinarily peculiar sheep: some that are unkempt and dirty, some that are awkward or pushy, and some that have gone astray! But it is impossible to exhaust God’s love, and it is impossible to exhaust my love if it flows from the Spirit of God within me. The love of God pays no attention to my prejudices caused by my natural individuality. If I love my Lord, I have no business being guided by natural emotions— I have to feed His sheep. We will not be delivered or released from His commission to us. Beware of counterfeiting the love of God by following your own natural human emotions, sympathies, or understandings. That will only serve to revile and abuse the true love of God.

    My Utmost of today, March 3.

  178. poohpity says:

    RESCUE by Lauren Daigle

    You are not hidden
    There’s never been a moment
    You were forgotten
    You are not hopeless
    Though you have been broken
    Your innocence stolen

    I hear you whisper underneath your breath
    I hear your SOS, your SOS

    I will send out an army to find you
    In the middle of the darkest night
    It’s true, I will rescue you

    There is no distance
    That cannot be covered
    Over and over
    You’re not defenseless
    I’ll be your shelter
    I’ll be your armor

    I hear you whisper underneath your breath
    I hear your SOS, your SOS

    I will send out an army to find you
    In the middle of the darkest night
    It’s true, I will rescue you
    I will never stop marching to reach you
    In the middle of the hardest fight
    It’s true, I will rescue you

    I hear the whisper underneath your breath
    I hear you whisper, you have nothing left

    I will send out an army to find you
    In the middle of the darkest night
    It’s true, I will rescue you
    I will never stop marching to reach you
    In the middle of the hardest fight
    It’s true, I will rescue you

    Oh, I will rescue you

  179. cbrown says:

    Good morning all! I have been especially blessed by this discussion, Thank You! One specific note. In the scripture Pooh referenced on 3/2 at 8:27 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. I have always interpreted that to mean fellowship with God but now I believe it to mean based on verse 1 John 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

  180. Beloved says:

    “Beware of counterfeiting the love of God by following your own natural human emotions, sympathies, or understandings.”

    Wow

  181. Beloved says:

    I take it to mean Gods love is much deeper and higher. That comforts me today.

  182. Beloved says:

    Hello Chris! Nice to hear from you😀

  183. street says:

    Seems to me that both are immeasurably important. Individually, according to Jesus, our names, needs and even the number of hairs on our head— are known in heaven—when not so on earth. And at the same time, what matters here, there, wherever, and whenever is the love we have—or lack— for those who are helped or hurt by what we do with what has been entrusted to us.

    thinking about the individual.
    we were willing to die to become like God in adam
    God, incarnate, willing to die to redeem fallen man
    saving us while we were still sinners
    promising us an end to sin and incorruptible life in incorruptible body.
    a body of one made of many parts working together as one.
    a cross with peace and new life.

  184. foreverblessed says:

    A family of believers.
    1 John 1:3
    If you read the commentaries on this verse in biblehub, you get to read beautiful sermons about this.
    A family that grew from the original disciples who had been with Jesus.
    As John describes it so nicely: that what we have seen and Gerard
    Verse 1: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched- this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life.

    V3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you may also have fellowship with us.
    And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.

    Chris, what new light did you see in these verses, also verse 7?

  185. foreverblessed says:

    That what we have seen and heard ( not Gerard)
    My auto-correct changed heard into a Dutch word, and I didn’t notice it. On my phone I cannot change the language into English anymore, :-/ so I have to be really focussed on checking.

    But nowadays we can add emoi’s
    🤗
    Love you all
    With the love of God
    💓
    One family
    👩‍👩‍👦‍👦👩‍👩‍👧‍👦👩‍👩‍👦👩‍👩‍👦‍👦👩‍👩‍👧‍👦
    And the arm of God that protects us
    💪

  186. jeff1 says:

    Our life is like a stormy sea
    Swept by the gales of sin and grief,
    While on the windward and the lee
    Hang heavy clouds of unbelief;
    But o’er the deep a call we hear,
    Like harbor bell’s inviting voice;
    It tells the lost that hope is near,
    And bids the trembling soul rejoice.

    Refrain:
    This way, this way, O heart oppressed,
    So long by storm and tempest driv’n;
    This way, this way, lo, here is rest,
    Rings out the harbor bell of Heav’n.

    Oh, let us now the call obey,
    And steer our bark for yonder shore,
    Where still that voice directs the way,
    In pleading tones forevermore;
    A thousand life wrecks strew the sea;
    They’re going down at every swell;
    “Come unto Me, come unto Me,”
    Rings out th’ assuring harbor bell.

    O tempted one, look up, be strong;
    The promise of the Lord is sure,
    That they shall sing the victor’s song,
    Who faithful to the end endure;
    God’s Holy Spirit comes to thee,
    Of His abiding love to tell;
    To blissful port, o’er stormy sea,
    Calls Heav’n’s inviting harbor bell.

    Come, gracious Lord, and in Thy love
    Conduct us o’er life’s stormy wave;
    Oh, guide us to the home above,
    The blissful home beyond the grave;
    There, safe from rock, and storm, and flood,
    Our song of praise shall never cease,
    To Him who bought us with His blood,
    And brought us to the port of peace.

  187. Beloved says:

    Good morning ladies😀 It’s so good to wake up with friends to talk with online after I read devotional and pray. But I have something to tell you I have never experienced before. That is God jumping up and down. You see, I had been taking antidepressant for many years to help me work in a highly stressful job and cope with PTSD. It helped greatly along with daily prayer devotions Bible reading. Last August I decided since I was not working and getting old maybe I could do without with strength from God daily to help smooth me out so to speak. February was tough and by last Sunday I cried all day. So asked God if I should go back to the pills and I swear the Holy Spirit jumped for joy!! It was amazing to experience that. Oh yes God is for us, even though He may not choose to heal us my physical need for the pills and His approval is all the reminder I need on those days of questioning when times get tough as they do for everyone. I may be weak but He is stronger yet💪🏽

  188. poohpity says:

    Having a basic personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ’s atonement can help beyond measure with our relationships with others. Being dependent on God helps with being interdependent with others. That basic love of God overflows from within us, outward. So the individual effects the group and is where we can find common ground and shared purpose and goals.

  189. Beloved says:

    Forever you have wonderful English skills😀

  190. jeff1 says:

    Some days you may lead me through green pastures
    My heart drinks in deep the waters sweet
    And some days you may lead me through the desert
    Even then you’re still the reason
    I can say

    I am blessed beyond measure
    So far beyond what’s gained through earthly treasures
    Whatever comes my way
    still my soul will say
    I am blessed
    I am blessed.

    Through the troubled pain and disappointments
    When it seems that I have nothing left
    You will never leave me or forsake me
    I will testify until my dying breath

    I am blessed beyond measure
    So far beyond what’s gained through earthly treasures

    Whatever comes my way
    Still my soul will say
    I am blessed
    I am blessed

    You alone are my reward
    With you I want for nothing more
    And because your goodness follows me all of my days

    I am blessed beyond measure
    So far beyond what’s gained through earthly treasures
    O whatever comes my way

    Still my soul will say
    I am blessed
    I am blessed
    I am blessed
    I am blessed
    I am blessed Thank you Jesus

  191. Beloved says:

    Good insight Pooh!

  192. Beloved says:

    I John 1:7NLT
    But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

  193. Beloved says:

    But IF we are living in the light-

    Sounds like something we must [do] daily hourly minute by minute though He never leaves us or forsakes us. The flesh is so quick to take charge in me. Stubborn angry selfish all of that. But praise God Jesus has shown me a better way. So thankful🙏

    As THEN we have fellowship with one another AND the blood of Jesus Gods Son cleanses us from ALL sin.

    I suddenly see something very important to becoming part of the Family of God.

  194. Beloved says:

    Without the Son there is no relationship.

  195. jeff1 says:

    Blest be the tie that binds
    Our hearts in Christian love;
    The fellowship of kindred minds
    Is like to that above.

    Before our Father’s throne,
    We pour our ardent prayers;
    Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
    Our comforts, and our cares.

    We share our mutual woes,
    Our mutual burdens bear;
    And often for each other flows
    The sympathizing tear.

    When we asunder part,
    It gives us inward pain;
    But we shall still be joined in heart,
    And hope to meet again.

  196. street says:

    Personal and Family Matters
    thinking about nathanial asking, “can anything good come out of nazareth?” thinking Jesus agreed with him. thinking Jesus came from God not nazareth. thinking further coming to God, narrow gate, is a blessing because only God is good. a friend of sinners.He called us friends because we know His will. if we say we know Him and walk in darkness, we lie and the truth is not in us. if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to cleans us from all unrighteousness. be still and know He is God. we depend on His faithfulness and love. to be trained in faithfulness and love. Christ to be formed in us. conformed to His image.

  197. Beloved says:

    Best be The Tie that binds: Great is Thy faithfulness! One faith one LORD and one baptism, one God and Father of all.

  198. Beloved says:

    Blest be the tie that binds

  199. street says:

    what matters here, there, wherever, and whenever is the love we have—or lack— for those who are helped or hurt by what we do with what has been entrusted to us.

    I need to be reminded today that in being loved as we are— we are here for one another.

    person matters…..
    oswald chambers mentions the relationship between need and call in today’s devotional. how they are not the same. we also are required to respond correctly in each case. both requiring trust and dependence on God. faith. you will be My witness…..

    the earth is filled with His Glory.

  200. Beloved says:

    Family Issues

    51Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52From now on, five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

    Luke 13:24. Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door “Lord, open to us,” then he will answer you ‘ I do not know where you come from.’

  201. foreverblessed says:

    That verse is bothering to me:
    People who knock on the door, and are not allowed in.

    “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

    How do I reconcile these two bible passages?

    Maybe the ones that knock do not have the meek and humble spirit yet.
    “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
    Matthew 18:3

    When I was at the Art Academy, they had an end exposition, and all around the building were sayings of famouse artists.

    “When I was a child I painted as an adult. All my adult life I have sought to paint like a child again.”
    From Picasso.

    When I am painting I do seek to be like a child, and that is not easily done.

    But every moment in my life too: to be as a little child in the house of God, Jesus has arranged and planned everything for me. He gives me all that I need for the task ahead, and I am happy, enthusiastic as a child can be.
    Father in heaven, that is my quest for today, in Jesus Name I pray.

  202. jeff1 says:

    God above, beyond all need,
    Great and good in word and deed,
    When You spoke, it came to be,
    All I am and all I see.

    Refrain:
    Father, I praise You,
    Father, I trust You,
    Father, I love You
    As simply as a child.

    Nothing I can ever do
    Can enrich or add to You.
    You from whom all worlds proceed
    Have no hunger, have no need.

    Not with wealth or grand career,
    Poor, imperfect, yet sincere,
    I would thank You, Lord, but how?
    Empty-handed here I bow.

  203. jeff1 says:

    How precious are Your people,
    Your people, dear Jesus.
    How lovely is Your bride, Lord –
    This family of faith.
    Though only two or three are here,
    You come to serve Your grace.
    You breathe Your love through each and all
    And speak it face to face.
    How precious are Your chosen,
    Your sisters, Your brothers.
    How precious are Your people –
    This family of faith.

    You’re moving now to touch us,
    To teach us, to draw us.
    You’re speaking now to bless us,
    This family of faith.
    O Jesus, Lord, we lift our hands
    And raise our needy hearts.
    Be glorified in all we do
    As each one plays a part.
    How dear is every person,
    The young ones, the old ones.
    How precious are Your people –
    This family of faith.

  204. Beloved says:

    Forever we are still living in the age of grace aren’t we! So the door is not shut until Christ’s return and judgement occurs. But there will come a time… I was just thinking about “family” and the reality of division. When I was saved my pastor quoted Acts 16:31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” My that put a huge burden on me that somehow what I did or did not do would result in my family getting saved. He even coached me on how I should look (to dress like a pagan because that’s what he liked) but somehow I knew that was wrong ( somehow! The Holy Spirit said that was wrong) There was immense pressure from others at church also and being young in the faith I really struggled with what God was telling me and what the church was saying. Testing grounds I suppose as I look back now.

    God is so faithful!

  205. Beloved says:

    I too was planning to go to Art school after high school but had no way to pay so got an office job. Picasso! I was more of a fan of Impressionism and still am.

  206. Beloved says:

    Yes Viv I agree “How precious are your people dear Jesus how lovely is your bride, LORD.”

  207. street says:

    Ask God to keep the eyes of your spirit open to the risen Christ, and it will be impossible for drudgery to discourage you.
    oswald chambers today

    was think how this is true. we were comforted by knowing our sins are forgiven in Christ so also we share in His suffering. we are also comforted in patience and perseverance, not only in Christ being successful but also our brothers and sisters bearing up and remaining faithful. chambers speaks about focusing our eyes of faith on Christ not ourselves. i get into so much darkness on my own. personally, staying close to God’s Word, Jesus gives light. light of the world comes to mind. we will have to take up our cross daily, didn’t another verse speak of renewing your mind? i am reminded that many of the kings did not remove the high places. the high place for me is self and it needs to be crucified with my LORD. a daily thing to be done, therefor there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. the only place i want to be.

  208. poohpity says:

    street in the book of Romans you will see all those pieces you put together but will remain in context if read together for the full meaning.

    Examples;
    Romans 12 transforming of the mind
    Romans 8 no comdemnation

  209. street says:

    With all my heart I have sought You;
    Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
    11
    Your…Word, Spirit, Christ, I have treasured in my heart,
    That I may not sin against You.
    12
    Blessed are You, O Lord;
    Teach me Your statutes.

    22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

  210. Beloved says:

    Those of us that have a history of debauchery and sin live with the haunting memories of our previous life. Does God know? Does He care about our struggle? Yes He does, as He cared for Peter. We don’t know how God is using our anecdotal lives this second in time.

  211. Beloved says:

    “Christ is magnified in his world through servants who are satisfied in His worth, especially in their suffering and death.”

    —John Piper

  212. street says:

    Western culture leans toward honor that is grounded in personal merit and accomplishment, throughout history and even up to the present, Yet of no value before God. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

  213. Beloved says:

    I was just thinking the same thing. But then appealing to the flesh is the Enemies greatest tool.

  214. jeff1 says:

    There’s a quiet understanding
    When we’re gathered in the Spirit
    It’s a promise that He gives us
    When we gather in His name
    There’s a love we feel in Jesus
    There’s a manna that He feeds us
    It’s a promise that He gives us
    When we gather in His name

    And we know when we’re together
    Sharing love and understanding
    That our brothers and our sisters
    Feel the oneness that He brings
    Thank You, thank You, thank You, Jesus
    For the way You love and feed us
    For the many ways You lead us
    Thank You, thank You, Lord

  215. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of you Steve as it has been a while since you posted hope all is well.

    Miss reading your comments. Be blessed today and always.

  216. Beloved says:

    Abide Upon the Rock of Ages
    It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in man.

    Psalm 118:8
    No doubt the reader has been tempted to rely upon the things that are seen instead of resting alone upon the invisible God. Christians often look to man for help and advice, and so spoil the noble simplicity of their reliance upon God.

    Does this evening’s passage meet the eye of a child of God who is filled with anxiety? Then let us reason with you. You trust in Jesus, and only in Jesus, for your salvation; then why are you troubled? “Because of my great care.” Is it not written, “Cast your burden upon the Lord”? “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”1

    Can you trust God for your physical needs? “Ah! I wish I could.” If you cannot trust God with the physical, how dare you trust Him with the spiritual? Can you trust Him for your soul’s redemption, and yet not rely upon Him for a few lesser mercies? Is God not enough for your need, or is His all-sufficiency too narrow for your wants? Do you need another to watch for you when you have Him who sees every secret thing? Is His heart faint? Is His arm weary? If so, seek another God; but if He is infinite, omnipotent, faithful, true, and all-wise, why do you run around seeking another confidence? Why do you scour the earth to find another foundation when this is strong enough to bear all the weight that you can ever build on it?

    Christian, do not mix your wine with water; do not tarnish the gold of faith with the dross of human confidence. Wait only upon God, and let your expectation be from Him. Do not covet Jonah’s gourd but rest in Jonah’s God. Let the sandy, shaky foundations be the choice of fools; but you, like one who sees the approaching storm, build for yourself an abiding place upon the Rock of Ages.

    1) Philippians 4:6

  217. jeff1 says:

    God hath not promised skies always blue,
    Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
    God hath not promised sun without rain,
    Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
    But God hath promised strength for the day,
    Rest for the labor, light for the way,
    Grace for the trials, help from above,
    Unfailing sympathy, undying love.
    2
    God hath not promised we shall not know
    Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
    He hath not told us we shall not bear
    Many a burden, many a care.
    3
    God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
    Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
    Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
    Never a river, turbid and deep.

  218. jeff1 says:

    Put Your Hand In The Hand

    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    Who stilled the water
    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    Who calmed the sea
    Take a look at yourself
    And you can look at others differently
    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    From Galilee
    My momma taught me how to pray
    Before I reached the age of seven
    When I’m down on my knees
    That’s when I’m closest to heaven
    Daddy lived his life, two kids and a wife
    Well you do what you must do
    But he showed me enough of what it takes
    To get me through, oh yeh!
    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    Who stilled the water
    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    Who calmed the sea
    Take a look at yourself
    And you can look at others differently
    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    From Galilee
    Oh yeh!
    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    Who stilled the water
    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    Who calmed the sea
    Take a look at yourself
    And you can look at others differently
    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    From Galilee
    Oh yeh!
    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    Who stilled the water
    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    Who calmed the sea
    Take a look at yourself
    And you can look at others differently
    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    From Galilee
    Oh yeh!
    Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee
    Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee, Oh yeh!

  219. poohpity says:

    Do I surrender all that I am, all that I have and all that my future holds into the mighty hand of God?

  220. jeff1 says:

    Extract from Parish News March 2020

    What Psalm 23 is really all about.

    The Lord is my Shepherd – THAT’S RELATIONSHIP!

    I shall not want – THAT’S SUPPLY!

    He maketh me to lie down in green pastures – THAT’S REST!

    He leadeth me beside still waters – THAT’S REFRESHMENT!!

    He restoreth my soul – THAT’S HEALING!

    He leadeth me in the path of righteousness – THAT’S GUIDANCE!

    For His name sake – THAT’S PURPOSE!

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death – THAT’S TESTING!

    I will fear no evil – THAT’S PROTECTION!

    For thou art with me – THAT’S FAITHFULNESS!

    Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me – THAT’S DISCIPLINE!

    Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies – THAT’S HOPE!

    Thou anointest my head with oil – THAT’S CONSECRATION!

    My cup runneth over – THAT’S ABUNDANCE!

    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life – THAT’S BLESSING!

    And I will dwell in the house of the Lord – THAT’S SECURITY!

    Forever – THAT’S ETERNITY!

  221. Beloved says:

    The Family Of God
    Song by Bill Gaither

    You will notice we say “brother
    And sister” ’round here-
    It’s because we’re a family
    And these folks are so near;
    When one has a heartache
    We all share the tears,
    And rejoice in each victory
    In this family so dear.
    ()
    I’m so glad I’m a part
    Of the family of God-
    I’ve been washed in the fountain,
    Cleansed by His blood!
    Joint heirs with Jesus
    As we travel this sod,
    For I’m part of the family,
    The family of God.

    From the door of an orphanage
    To the house of the King-
    No longer an outcast,
    A new song I sing;
    From rags unto riches,
    From the weak to the strong,
    I’m not worthy to be here,
    But, praise God, I belong!
    ()
    I’m so glad I’m a part
    Of the family of God-
    I’ve been washed in the fountain,
    Cleansed by His blood!
    Joint heirs with Jesus
    As we travel this sod,
    For I’m part of the family,
    The family of God.
    Yes I’m part of the family,
    The family of God.

  222. jeff1 says:

    1 Jesus, good above all other,
    gentle child of gentle mother,
    in a stable born our brother,
    give us grace to persevere.

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

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

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

    5 Lord, in all our doings guide us;
    pride and hate shall ne’er divide us;
    we’ll go on with thee beside us,
    and with joy we’ll persevere.

  223. street says:

    Personal and Family Matters
    this book of the law will not depart from your mouth…
    you shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God…
    I shall write My Word on their hearts…
    And I will give them one heart,
    Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;

    the righteous shall live by faith.

    27 Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” 28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

    Matthew 5:16
    Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. they will understand it is a work of God not the flesh. the world seeks glory for it’s self, love seeks the Glory of another. a Glory Who’s foundation is truth and righteousness.

  224. street says:

    heard some things at church today that i did not hear before. Hebrews 12 4 way stations on the marathon of faith and encouragement, one cloud of witness that have completed the race. encouragement to press on. 2. it could be worse, not having suffer to the point of shedding blood. 3 the discipline of God is an honor. 4 the discipline is to be received. received with thanksgiving because his love is true. after receiving it, it will produce peaceful fruit of righteousness.

  225. street says:

    thinking of job not being content till God’s presents and peace.

    As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” …

    Psalm 51:14
    Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.

    See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

  226. jeff1 says:

    How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds
    In a believer’s ear!
    It soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds,
    And drives away his fear.

    It makes the wounded spirit whole,
    And calms the troubled breast;
    ‘Tis manna to the hungry soul,
    And to the weary rest.

    Dear Name! the Rock on which we build;
    Our shield and hiding-place;
    Our never-failing treasury, filled
    With boundless stores of grace.

    Jesus, our Savior, Shepherd, Friend,
    Our Prophet, Priest, and King;
    Our Lord, our Life, our Way, our End,
    Accept the praise we bring.

    Weak is the effort of our heart,
    And cold our warmest thought;
    But when we see Thee as Thou art,
    We’ll praise Thee as we ought.

    Till then we would Thy love proclaim
    With every fleeting breath;
    And triumph in that blessed Name
    Which quells the pow’r of death.

    (Repeat the last two lines of each stanza)

  227. poohpity says:

    I pray God will make hearts reflect what one says, sings and does, so it is not just all lip service but a life change.

  228. street says:

    Exodus 9:16
    But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

    thinking of Jesus.

    Zechariah 4:6
    So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.

    2 Timothy 1:8
    So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.

    3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,

    2 “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this.

    3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

    4 At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out.

    Hebrews 2:9
    [ Jesus Briefly Humbled ] But we do see Him who was made 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.

    2 Timothy 2:11
    This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.

  229. street says:

    II Cor. 4:7 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.”

  230. jeff1 says:

    Treasure in Jars of Clay

    7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

    13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

    16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self his being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

  231. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    March 8, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    I pray God will make hearts reflect what one says, sings and does, so it is not just all lip service but a life change.

    I pray that starting with myself as reflecting Jesus is about loving others as He loves us and in truth I have spent more time being critical of others until God has shown me the error of my ways and humbled me.

    I thank God for His rod as though it is humiliating to be rebuked by Him, it is also what brings me closer to Him.

    I did not know that God’s discipline could hurt so good.

  232. Beloved says:

    Thank you all for the encouraging verses. It’s all about God working in and through us! Such wonderful reminders in a depression where ones mind can think awful things yet not despairing because of the graceful presence of God! Jesus is merciful.

  233. poohpity says:

    It would seem the basics of doing to others as you would have them do to you sounds so simple yet does one do that? Luke 6:31; Matt 7:12 One may do that to someone they already like or love but where the rubber meets the road so to speak in the life of a believer it says to do that even to those who will not return it.

  234. poohpity says:

    So all the scripture one quotes or songs one shares is only fluff or hyperbole when it comes down to it unless they live it. The knowledge of scripture is only that, knowledge unless it has the results of leading one to live it out in other words to practice what one preaches. Anyone and everyone alive on the face of this earth can quote but where is the heart of the matter and especially within the family. 1 John 4:19-21 NLT

  235. Beloved says:

    Family Matters

    Scripture in itself is encouraging because it is the living word of God, God breathed!
    On Christ the solid Rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand. I would trust in the Word before I would trust in any person. As a part of a family we rely on each other to a point, but, by following Jesus ways we learn and grow together more and more into His likeness. Ever cognizant that none is without sin, not one, not me.

  236. Beloved says:

    It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in man.

    Psalm 118:8

  237. poohpity says:

    Yes Beloved as long as we see scripture as a mirror not as a window to look at others. It trains me, transforms me, encourages me but not so that I can point fingers at others but that the Holy Spirit can change the way I think and act in this world so filled ugly. Is there a difference in my life because of the songs I sing and the scripture I read? I am an art work in progress at the hand of God. Phil 1:6 NLT; Phil 2:1-3 NLT

  238. Beloved says:

    Proverbs 9:8
    Verse Concepts
    Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, Reprove a wise man and he will love you.

    Proverbs 13:18
    Verse Concepts
    Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, But he who regards reproof will be honored.

    Proverbs 15:31
    Verse Concepts
    He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof Will dwell among the wise.

    Proverbs 27:5
    Verse Concepts
    Better is open rebuke Than love that is concealed.

    2 Timothy 4:2
    Verse Concepts
    preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

    Matthew 18:15
    Verse Concepts
    “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.

    Proverbs 15:32
    Verse Concepts
    He who neglects discipline despises himself, But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.

    Ephesians 4:15
    Verse Concepts
    but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,

    Hebrews 3:13
    Verse Concepts
    But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

    Proverbs 15:10
    Verse Concepts
    Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way; He who hates reproof will die.

  239. Beloved says:

    These scriptures are NOT pointed at you specifically but speak to the fact that within the family or Family we can’t trust ourselves – because of the deceitfulness of sin- to go it alone so to speak. We CAN grieve the Holy Spirit by not being open to what other family members say. Remembering that Gods Holy Spirit resides in the whole Family, not listening to others is prideful. I know pride all too well.

  240. Beloved says:

    I need to be reminded today that in being loved as we are— we are here for one another.

    Yet we want better for each other, more like Christ our Head Master. Because what’s good for one is good for all! Discipline is Gods love, conforming us to His Image.

  241. poohpity says:

    Only those who are filled with the Holy Spirit can speak to their brothers/sisters WHEN THEY ARE CAUGHT IN A SIN THAT LEADS TO DEATH in order to restore them to the fellowship but not to point out their faults or what one sees as their faults that is judgment. When anything is done with a heart of restoration and care rather than that of criticizing or condemnation. Most Christians who have fellowship with the Lord are convicted when they do something that grieves the Holy Spirit within them and He does not need the help the help of other sinners.

    So Beloved those verses you shared were they shared because you need to learn something or you want to rub someone else’s nose or beat them over the head with scripture? In others words using them as a window to look at others or as a mirror to see your reflection?

  242. jeff1 says:

    When I focus on Jesus I have peace, love and security that surpasses my understanding and that is what I have been seeking so that my enemies cannot disturb my relationship with Him.

    The closer I stay to God (confession of sin, prayer, praise Holy Communion) the more I feel loved and consequently the more I love others.

    Before I was drawn to Him I listened to varied views of God but when I seek God for myself then I see Him as He is and not as others do.

    If my relationship with God is right then all else will follow for it is He who guides and keeps me right in my walk as without Him I can do nothing.

  243. jeff1 says:

    Lead Me, Guide Me

    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me
    I am tired and I need Thy strength and power
    To guide me over my darkest hour
    For just open my eyes that I may see
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me

    Lead me, guide me along the way
    For if you lead me I cannot stray
    Or just open my eyes that I may see
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me
    I am lost if you take your hand from me
    I am blind without try light to see

    Lord just always let me Thy servant be
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me
    Lead me, guide me along the way
    For if you lead me I cannot stray

    Lord just open my eyes that I may see
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me

  244. street says:

    It would seem the basics of doing to others as you would have them do to you sounds so simple yet does one do that?

    to follow a blind guide is to fall into a pit when the guide falls into a pit.

    we are told to follow Jesus not each other. the cafeteria plan is a a plan for confusion and death.

    Jesus did do what He hoped others would do, deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Him. He followed His Father perfectly.

    the only person i would consider following would be the apostle paul. it is written in scripture to follow him. i guess i would be guilty of disobeying him in his letter to the corithians. lol keep your eyes on what is not seen, Jesus. i am thankful for the scriptures i get to read and understand. the gift of God.

  245. Beloved says:

    John 15:4 Abide in me. Spurgeon
    Communion with Christ is a certain cure for every ill. Whether it be the woodworm of sadness or the smothering impact of earthly treasure, close fellowship with the Lord Jesus will take bitterness from the one and excess from the other. Live near to Jesus, Christian, and it is a matter of secondary importance whether you live on the mountain of honor or in the valley of humiliation. Living near to Jesus, you are covered with the wings of God, and underneath you are the everlasting arms.

    Let nothing keep you from that hallowed communion that is the unique privilege of a life hidden in Christ. Do not be content with the occasional meeting, but always seek to retain His company, for only in His presence will you find either comfort or safety. Jesus should not be for us a friend who calls us now and then, but one with whom we are in constant touch.

    You have a difficult road before you: Make sure, pilgrim, that you do not go without your guide. You have to pass through the fiery furnace; do not enter unless, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you have the Son of God to be your companion. You have to storm the walls of your corrupt heart: Do not attempt it until, like Joshua, you have seen the Captain of the Lord’s host, with His sword drawn in His hand. When you meet with many temptations, do not rest upon the arm of flesh. In every case, in every condition, you will need Jesus, but most of all when the iron gates of death shall open to you.

    Keep close to the Captain of your salvation, lean upon His strength, ask Him to refresh you by His Spirit, and you will stand before Him at the end, without spot or blemish and at peace. Seeing you have lived with Him, and lived in Him here, you will abide with Him forever.

  246. foreverblessed says:

    “Let nothing keep you from that hallowed communion that is the unique privilege of a life hidden in Christ.”

    ! ! !

  247. foreverblessed says:

    “the basics of doing to others as you would have them do to you”

    The summary of the Old Testament law is:
    Love God with all your heart
    Love others as yourself.

    When Jesus explained that He was talking to an expert of the Law. Luke 10:25-37

    But Jesus was not yet at the end of His Mission.
    He would teach more.

    When He sits down with His disciples, the closest ones, the 12, He said:
    John 13:34
    A new commandment I give you: Love one another.
    As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

    That is what I call: progressive teaching:
    From the Old Covenant to the New Convenant.

    From milk to meat.

    We are called to be in close communion with Jesus!

    To be minded as Jesus was: He gave up His life for us.

    If you want to follow Me, count the cost!
    Luke 14:25-35

    These are harsh and stern words,
    But it accounts to this:
    We call Jesus Lord of our lives, and we trust Him that He cares for us.

    I have to learn this yet, because I have a tendency to worry about my own life.
    That shows my trust in Jesus is still small.

    This is what I can meditate upon:

    What has Jesus meant for me personally?

    And from that viewpoint I can look to others: what Jesus has done to me, I can do to others.

  248. foreverblessed says:

    On a sidenote:
    Stricter measures are being taken in the area where I live.
    This afternoon my husband would have a reception in a cafe in the old inner city, cosy small place, lots of people close to each other. My husband just texted me that it is postponed. It was a feast for a colleague who is pensioning. ( Is that a verbe?)
    Yesterday I was at the old peoples home, giving painting lessons, many colleagues were complaining that their children were sent home from school, for just coffing a bit.
    And while I am typing this I got a mail that the choir rehearsal is cancelled tonight. And I got a phonecall that the oecomenical service is cancelled in that old peoples home.

    May God bless this area, may they find Rest in Jesus.

  249. jeff1 says:

    1 Afflicted saint, to Christ draw near,
    The Saviour’s gracious promise hear;
    His faithful word declares to thee,
    That as thy days, thy strength shall be.

    2 Let not thy heart despond and say,
    “How shall I stand the trying day?”
    he has engag’d by firm decree,
    That as thy days, thy strength shall be.

    3 Thy faith is weak, thy foes are strong;
    And though the conflict should be long,
    Thy Lord will make the tempter flee;
    for as thy days, thy strength shall be.

    4 Should persecution rage and flame,
    Still trust in thy Redeemer’s name;
    In fiery trials thou shalt see,
    That as thy days, thy strength shall be,

    5 When call’d to bear the weighty cross,
    Of sore affliction, pain or loss,
    Or deep distress, or poverty,
    Still as thy days, thy strength shall be.

    6 When ghastly death appears in view,
    Christ’s presence shall thy fears subdue;
    he comes to set thy spirit free,
    And as thy days, thy strength shall be.

  250. foreverblessed says:

    The teaching of Jesus is progressive;
    From one stage to another, (a deeper one, or…a higher one, it depends on how you view it:
    the closer to Jesus the higher you are on spiritual level, and on earthly level you will be lower and lower: broken bread and poured out wine for our neighbour, as Oswald calls it)

    My eye fell on this bible verse:
    “I tell you, whatever you did to one of the least of these brothers you did unto Me”
    Matthew 25:40

  251. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Jeff, for all these songs, I really like the rhymes too, also the song of a few days ago.
    Is that called a limerick?

    March 8, 5.16 pm

    1 Jesus, good above all other,
    gentle child of gentle mother,
    in a stable born our brother,
    give us grace to persevere.

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

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

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

    5 Lord, in all our doings guide us;
    pride and hate shall ne’er divide us;
    we’ll go on with thee beside us,
    and with joy we’ll persevere.

  252. jeff1 says:

    Forever, they are hymns/songs that I learned, starting in my childhood, and throughout my life, and they never fail to comfort and strengthen in times of need but it always has been songs that quieten my spirit which is when I hear God.

    The God I hear is very different to the God I know which causes great conflict within me.

    The God I know changes (changes with my moods i.e. depression) while the God I hear is consistent in His love and faithfulness and speaks to my heart rather than my head.

    1 O Jesus, I have promised
    to serve thee to the end;
    be thou forever near me,
    my Master and my Friend;
    I shall not fear the battle
    if thou art by my side,
    nor wander from the pathway
    if thou wilt be my guide.

    2 O Jesus, thou hast promised
    to all who follow thee,
    that where thou art in glory
    there shall thy servant be;
    and, Jesus, I have promised
    to serve thee to the end;
    O give me grace to follow,
    my Master and my Friend.

    3 O let me feel thee near me!
    The world is ever near;
    I see the sights that dazzle,
    the tempting sounds I hear;
    my foes are ever near me,
    around me and within;
    but Jesus, draw thou nearer,
    and shield my soul from sin.

    4 O let me hear thee speaking
    in accents clear and still,
    above the storms of passion,
    the murmurs of self will.
    O speak to reassure me,
    to hasten or control;
    O speak and make me listen,
    thou guardian of my soul.

  253. poohpity says:

    Yes Viv and forever, it is love, forgiveness and mercy that changes us and softens our hearts NOT guilt trips, shame, condemnation or criticism. If we do the later to ourselves we are likely to do it to others but if we do the first part love, forgiveness and mercy to ourselves we will likely do that to do others as well.

  254. poohpity says:

    God makes a choice to involve us in His ministry to others as was shared in ODB today;

    “Sometimes it’s when we don’t feel like we have anything to offer that God takes our “not enough” and makes it “more than enough.”……..

    “Jesus says to us, “Place who you are and what you have in My hands. Your broken life. Your story. Your frailty and your failure, your pain and your suffering. Put it in My hands. You’ll be surprised what I can do with it.” Jesus knows that out of our emptiness, He can bring fullness. Out of our weakness, He can reveal His strength.”

  255. poohpity says:

    street, you first quoted something I had said which is actually a teaching of Jesus(Matt 7:12 NLT), “It would seem the basics of doing to others as you would have them do to you sounds so simple yet does one do that?”

    Then you said,
    “to follow a blind guide is to fall into a pit when the guide falls into a pit.

    we are told to follow Jesus not each other. the cafeteria plan is a a plan for confusion and death.”

    So are you saying I am the blind guide? Jesus did not say anything about following anyone at that point only to treat others as you would like to be treated. Then you said, “i am thankful for the scriptures i get to read and understand. the gift of God.” but you did NOT understand scripture, right? Nor does that show humility in the least but arrogance and pride.

  256. Beloved says:

    Forever I watched a news show here called “60 Minutes” all about the skating races of the Netherlands that are being held in Austria because the canals aren’t freezing. So interesting! Do you and your husband skate? I had no idea! I was surprised at how the warmer temps have really changed your country. It actually has been getting warmer and warmer in the northern part of the US where I live for several years also.

    Bratimus I just saw you are in for some winter weather. Hope you are safe from the Coronavirus and the wintry stuff!

  257. street says:

    Only those who are filled with the Holy Spirit can speak to their brothers/sisters WHEN THEY ARE CAUGHT IN A SIN THAT LEADS TO DEATH in order to restore them to the fellowship but not to point out their faults or what one sees as their faults that is judgment.

    how would you explain balaam’s donkey?

    if i remember right joshua killed balaam.

    eye for an eye and the law.

    it seems to me the law can only get you killed, no one keeps it. you must be born again. the pharisees had the law and the prophets but it did not help them. we are told to test the spirits. even our own i can not trust. if God, Jesus, gives us everything, and i mean everything, righteousness salvation holiness love forgiveness….how should we live? by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

    the righteous shall live by faith.

    sure we have guides along the way. even donkeys. testing spirits vs following Jesus and His Spirit can cause for some difficult and enriching encounters.

    to say followers of Jesus are void of the Holy Spirit would be a mistake. different maturities. still as a individuals we are required to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. to not do so would be to sit in the seat of moses. Jesus called them hypocrites.

  258. street says:

    but you did NOT understand scripture, right?

    good seed and bad seed…

    everyone has sown bad seed at one time or another. it is in sowing good seed that is so rare. i believe the correct seed would be prophesy, the ability to edify exhort and comfort or console.

    the accuser can only accuse. same as the law can only convict. there is no away forward. no hope. in Christ Jesus, the good seed, there is away forward. we are told not to turn back, but to trust Him. spend time with Him, make Him the greatest priority. the idea, He makes me rest or lay down is a good one. He lead me besides still waters, He restores my soul. a rest so desperately needed in the world.

  259. jeff1 says:

    As I have said I struggled with loving my enemies until I leaned on God’s guidance and not on my own understanding.

    Jesus shows me a way of hating the sin without hating the sinner and I was unable to do that for myself but it has dramatically changed how I not only see others but myself as well.

    The loathiness that I had for my enemies was as much a part of loathing for the sins that dwelt within myself and until I can separate the sin from the person I cannot love either and so how can I love another as myself when I do not love myself to begin with.

    How can I love someone who has impure thoughts when that someone is myself who is consistently looking to God to be cleansed from them!

    Who Am I

    When I think of how He came so far from glory
    Came to dwell among the lowly such as I
    To suffer shame and such disgrace
    On Mount Calvary take my place
    Then I ask myself this question
    Who am I?

    Who am I that The King would bleed and die for
    Who am I that He would pray not my will, Thy Lord
    The answer I may never know
    Why He ever loved me so
    But to that old rugged cross He’d go
    For who am I?

    When I’m reminded of His words
    I’ll leave Him never
    If you’ll be true I’ll give to you life forever
    Oh I wonder what I could have done
    To deserve God’s only Son
    To fight my battles until they’re won
    For who am I?

    Who am I that The King would bleed and die for
    Who am I that He would pray not my will, Thy Lord
    The answer I may never know
    Why He ever loved me so
    But to that old rugged cross He’d go
    For who am I?
    But to an old rugged cross He’d go for, who am I?

  260. street says:

    thinking of hard ground.
    hard ground must be broken in order to receive anything.
    by it’s self it can do nothing.

    shallow ground has limits, the seed sown can not endure the heat of the day. lack of moisture.

    ground with other things growing in it it chokes out the good seed and does not produce any fruit.

    good ground, the ground that can only become good by the presents of God. light drives out darkness, just like heat drives out dross. the dross was mixed in with the ore. as a good smelter Jesus waits till He can see Himself in the ore.

    thinking how fire produces heat and light. Jesus took the heat for us and payed our debt of sin. yet insist that we abide in the light.

    James 3:16-18
    16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

    11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

    4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,

    “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
    Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
    6
    For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
    And He scourges every son whom He receives.”

    1
    My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord
    Or loathe His reproof,
    12
    For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
    Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

  261. foreverblessed says:

    The parable about the seed can also be seen as a job system for the workers in the field:

    We had a vegetable garden, my dad planned the plot of land, where to sow what, and when.

    Hard ground needs plowing, watering
    Before the seed is sown.

    “Plow the ground”

    Hidden workers, who pray.
    Intercessory prayer.

    And of course: love

    Love softens hearts

    Lately the sermon was about the teachings of Jesus:
    Generosity gives room, opens hearts.

  262. poohpity says:

    street, I will address the donkey of Balaam and it is useless to address all the others things that often come from your finger tips that are just verses thrown out there for YOUR purpose.

    Considering the donkey; he tried to stop Balaam from going to curse Israel after God told him not to go but the lure of what he would get paid tempted him to go anyway. So as having anything to do with the law or anything you mentioned has nothing to do with it. That is what happens when one mixes up stories and takes them out of context to prove their OWN point not what God wants us to learn but what street wants us to learn, bad place to be.

  263. poohpity says:

    Wasn’t it the armies of Israel that killed Balaam not Joshua?

  264. Beloved says:

    Spiritual discernment is at least as deep as the mystery of the intercessors prayer. Light in darkness that reveals the Love of God in Christ Jesus from the beginning of time.

  265. street says:

    7 So they made war against Midian, just as the Lord had commanded Moses, and they killed every male. 8 They killed the kings of Midian along with the rest of their slain: Evi and Rekem and Zur and Hur and Reba, the five kings of Midian; they also killed Balaam the son of Beor with the sword.

    i was mistaken moses was still in charge of israel at the time. i am thinking joshua was.

  266. street says:

    just verses thrown out there for YOUR purpose.

    i guess you could call it cross purposes.

  267. foreverblessed says:

    Cross purposes!

    By interacting with fellow christians our old self is crucified.
    “Crucified by christians”
    Gene Edwards 1994

    Some excerpts from the book:

    Some Christians have been grievously mistreated by other believers. Some so severely that it amounts to a crucifixion.

    Being crucified by fellow Christians is one of the deepest pains a child of God will ever know. It can so profoundly affect you that it can mark the end of your life as a practicing Christian.

    Place your crucifixion in the realm of the invisibles, in realms unseen. Only there will you truly find the person who deliberately caused you to be crucified. Only in the realm of the spirituals will you find the perpetrator.

    When you were crucified at the hands of men, in reality you but entered into His crucifixion. Consider the circumstance which led to His crucifixion. Who caused His cross, His crucifixion? Who was it that plotted His Golgotha? It was exactly the same person who plotted yours. That person actually desired that you enter into your Lord’s sufferings. After all, you ­ the believer ­ are in Him.

    The Father willed His own Son’s crucifixion. And yours. Refusal to accept your crucifixion as wholly from the hand of God only means you were not crucified, you were just mistreated. Only when you accept that it came from God…only then is it a true crucifixion. The crucifixion of a Christian comes from the hand of God, and God alone.

    You must find a whole new view of your crucifixion. There was far more purpose in it than you first realized. Perhaps far more good in its content than you can presently imagine.

    What happened to you was meant to be a magnificent beginning of transformation in your life. The circumstances which birthed this tragedy were exactly what you needed. That hellish event brought you to exactly the place your Lord wants you to be.

    The inherent nature of a crucifixion is destructive. This is the key to understanding your crucifixion. In that discovery you may also find healing…and recovery.

    There is nothing which more exposes a Christian’s weakness than how he reacts to being crucified by other Christians. Was there anger? Resentment? Did you find fault? Did your dark side emerge? Find solace in this: In all Christian history believers who handle a crucifixion nobly are virtually unknown.

    What will be the result if you embrace a crucifixion? To embrace it is to allow the destruction of all that is in you which is not Christ. The very desire to not be destroyed must be destroyed. The cross seeks out man’s desire to not suffer, and man’s furious commitment to never lose, and his screaming logic that he is not in the wrong.

    A true crucifixion has resolution. A true crucifixion ever ends in triumph! If you accept that nightmarish ordeal as a sovereign work of God, if you acquiesce to His will, then does He begin to have His will. Suddenly it becomes not only a crucifixion but a holy work of God.

    Consider Jesus. As you are crucified, watch Him handle His crucifixion. Your Lord bequeathed to you an example of the high art of being crucified. Behold how He reacted to betrayal, to lies, to false witnesses. Jesus Christ absorbed these pains, even as they added the shamefulness of being crucified in public. Humiliated, degraded, defamed, tortured and then murdered. That day he raised acceptance of the cross into an art form. He learned to accept all things from the hand of His Father.

    The Lord Jesus, by the power of His Father’s indwelling life…criticized no one, gave no rebuttal, never resorted to logic or reason, did not defend His rights, gave no defense, challenged no lies, answered only with silence.

  268. foreverblessed says:

    All that is in us that is not of Christ must be crucified.

  269. foreverblessed says:

    That was the short version
    😁

  270. jeff1 says:

    Forever, that has helped me understand the struggle that is within me at the present and how God has taken my view of my enemies and focused it on the sins that dwell within myself.

    I must accept that it is God’s intention to bring me to a realization that my sin of hating my enemies is in fact sin against Him though I struggle to see it as sin as such and rather see it as justified against my enemies.

    Jesus wants to crucify that which is in me that is not of Him and I have reluctantly but understandably accepted that He knows best.

    It is the work of God and not of myself as He has brought me here fighting and screaming on one hand and tears streaming on another.

    Have Thine Own Way, Lord

    Have Thine own way Lord
    Have Thine own way
    Thou art the potter I am the clay
    Mold me and make me after Thy will
    While I am waiting yielded and still

    Have Thine own way Lord
    Have Thine own way
    Search me and try me Master today
    Whiter than snow Lord wash me just now
    As in Thy presence humbly I bow

    Have Thine own way Lord
    Have Thine own way
    Hold over my being absolute sway
    Filled with Thy spirit till all can see
    Christ only always living in me

  271. Beloved says:

    Yes, as followers of Christ it’s always the cross, always.

  272. Beloved says:

    John 21:22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

  273. Beloved says:

    Oswald Chambers

    Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake. — Colossians 1:24
    We make calls out of our own spiritual consecration, but when we get right with God He brushes all these aside, and rivets us with a pain that is terrific to one thing we never dreamed of, and for one radiant flashing moment we see what He is after, and we say — “Here am I, send me.”

    This call has nothing to do with personal sanctification, but with being made broken bread and poured-out wine. God can never make us wine if we object to the fingers He uses to crush us with. If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way! But when He uses someone whom we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, and makes those the crushers, we object. We must never choose the scene of our own martyrdom. If ever we are going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed; you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.

    I wonder what kind of finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you, and you have been like a marble and escaped? You are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you, the wine would have been remarkably bitter. To be a sacramental personality means that the elements of the natural life are presenced by God as they are broken providentially in His service. We have to be adjusted into God before we can be broken bread in His hands. Keep right with God and let Him do what He likes, and you will find that He is producing the kind of bread and wine that will benefit His other children.

  274. poohpity says:

    When God already knows how hard our live are what would lead someone to believe that He crushes us further? That is not the God I know, He is in restoration business. How futile it would be to crush us then rebuild. God takes those who are broken, crushed and reviled by just living in this world to freedom and restoration. Love conquers all and makes things new and God is good and loves us which seems to be the very reason that He does not crush us any further than we already are, we bring that to Him to fix and give us a fresh new way of living.

  275. Beloved says:

    Your God Is Too Small, a book I read many years ago, and still find in scripture.

  276. street says:

    God knows what darkness does to a heart. one time Jesus said you don’t know what spirit you are of. Luke 9:55 i sometimes look forward for death, but that is a sinful selfish thought, an escape from the pain of this world. paul encourages us to be living sacrifices. yes we are to come to Jesus an give Him what we have. when we release what we have into His care, He begins, so that we know He is God. peace obedience faithfulness love.

    chambers speaks of the only thing we can give God is our sin. we have nothing else to give Him. in repentance and the cross we find life. a new Spirit is given. yes we get to participate in this new life in His Spirit, not the flesh. made alive in Christ. hidden from the world .but not hidden. a piacular people.

    Jesus is the light of the world.

    i was looking for the correct spelling of the word peculiar, but found piacular. another word study.

    Titus 2:14
    Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

  277. street says:

    2 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

    2 And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

    3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

    4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

  278. Beloved says:

    Pandemic

    I went to the eye doc today and was asked by the receptionist and the doctor if I had a fever or lower level respiratory problems. She was concerned when I said I had flu and head cold all of February saying maybe I had Coronavirus! There’s a lot of fear here. We both decided it wasn’t Coronavirus because it was not in my lungs. Had my pneumonia shots so not worried. Just don’t want to get sick again so being cautious and staying away from large crowds and washing hands and disinfecting everything I touch, including phone and door knobs. Hope all is well with everyone here. Life on the ground.

  279. jeff1 says:

    WE ARE BROKEN

    I know you’re hurting your heart needs healing,
    Let me dry your eyes I know your feeling;
    Like the sun will never shine again,
    Like the pain inside will never end;
    Sometimes it takes a little faith to mend.

    We are broken to become more beautiful,
    Tried by fire to shine like gold;
    We are shattered to free the diamonds in our souls,
    We are broken to be whole.

    Love let you fall, now you’re in pieces,
    And your thoughts are scattered, what are the reasons?
    Oh, but time will work as medicine,
    And you’ll find your wings to fly again;
    Higher than you’ve ever been.

    We are broken to become more beautiful,
    Tried by fire to shine like gold;
    We are shattered to free the diamonds in our souls,
    We are broken to be whole.

    Yeah, we are broken to be whole.
    We are broken to be whole.

  280. Beloved says:

    Forever I was handed Gene Edwards book in 2004 after a horrific encounter with a Christian prof that left me dissociative and homeless for a couple months. I could not understand why God had allowed this to happen. Another counselor suggested that maybe God had broken me to receive more healing. Healing I’ve learned is more than a sane mind or a fixed bone, but healing is restoring to Christlikeness, the image of God we were created in.
    Reading the excerpt from Edwards makes me smile at the goodness of God having burned some of the dross out of my life. Yes it hurts so good, as Viv said.

    6 “Wash(A) yourselves, make yourselves clean;
    Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
    (B)Cease to do evil,
    17 Learn to do good;
    Seek justice,
    Rebuke [a]the oppressor;
    [b]Defend the fatherless,
    Plead for the widow.
    18 “Come now, and let us (C)reason together,”
    Says the Lord,
    “Though your sins are like scarlet,
    (D)They shall be as white as snow;
    Though they are red like crimson,
    They shall be as wool.

  281. Beloved says:

    I remember now the book was called “The Three Kings”, about David. Same message though.

  282. poohpity says:

    First off it takes someone very big to forgive and show mercy to those who continue to have evil in their hearts. I did write something to you Beloved about you saying my God is so small but I deleted it because I was calling you a liar again about the book because I knew it was just something to try to put me in my place again.

    Being small would be those who can not over look flaws, faults and shortcomings by looking for the good in people but my God is so big He put aside His deity to die for me. I would say that takes someone really big, strong and majestic to do something like that. He does not need to prove His strength.

    Bullies are those who are very small that pick on those who are weaker, broken and fragile. God knows that is what we are like. God is not a bully!

  283. Beloved says:

    I knew it was just something to try to put me in my place again.

    More to put God in His place.
    “ If I be lifted up I will draw all men to myself.“

  284. poohpity says:

    John 17: “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”

    John 3: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”

    Now does that sound like a small God or one who is bigger than anything ugly this world has to offer or the type of being who would crush us to restore us. Not to me!!!

  285. poohpity says:

    No beloved you were not putting God in His place but the god as you understand him not as He is.

  286. Beloved says:

    Ok, I can accept how you feel.

  287. foreverblessed says:

    Jeff “Forever, that has helped me understand the struggle that is within me at the present and how God has taken my view of my enemies and focused it on the sins that dwell within myself.”

    Thank you Jeff, yes I can say: so it happened to me.
    God is purging us.
    And He loves us.
    If He says: it is Mine to avenge.
    Then it means that the avenge of God is like this:
    Making His enemies His friends.

    About the skating, yes it is true, our winters were different, we used to skate when I was a child, every winter on natural ice. The most beautiful place to skate was near a little Castle in the woods, that had a canal with high sides, that would protect us against the wind.
    But that is a long time ago. Since the eighties it has become warmer and warmer. This year we have had no winter. A bit of nightfrost once in a while.
    But a lot of rain!
    And now this morning the sun is shining, wonderful!
    Have a blessed day!
    God is stronger than corona!

  288. jeff1 says:

    Forever,’making His enemies His friends’, for many who lost their loved ones violently to their enemies that is a difficult concept and I am not judging but observing that those who loose their loved ones through violence find it hard to believe it is from the hand of God and so cry out for what they believe is justice.

    I seem to have empathy with them but then I knew many of their loved ones personally and so it makes it more personal for me.

    I know God knows best but it isn’t always easy to see the wood for the trees and my vision is some what limited from where I am standing and if mine is limited then their are others whose totally blinded.

    Be Thou My Vision

    Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart
    Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
    Thou my best thought by day or by night
    Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

    Be Thou my wisdom and Thou my true word
    I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
    Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
    Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one

    High King of Heaven my victory won
    May I reach heaven’s joys, oh, bright heaven’s sun
    Heart of my own heart whatever befall
    Still be my vision, oh Ruler of all

    Thou and Thou only first in my heart
    High King of Heaven, my treasure Thou art

  289. foreverblessed says:

    Enemies that have become friends of Jesus, will have a heart change, they will see what harm they have done to others,
    and feel horoble about what they have done.
    When your friends would see that heartchange in their enemies it is will be easier to forgive.

    That is the hope we have:
    God’s Grace for everyone!

  290. jeff1 says:

    My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand,
    All other ground is sinking sand.
    2
    When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale,
    My anchor holds within the veil.
    3
    His oath, His covenant, His blood,
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my hope and stay.
    4
    When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found;
    In Him, my righteousness, alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne.

  291. poohpity says:

    It seems to be easier to forgive once we realize that we too were once enemies of God. Now the real enemy of God and mankind is the prince of this world, satan and his followers since the very beginning of creation. Satan is a creation of God who got prideful because of his beauty and wanted God’s place and tempts us to want that too.

    It would behoove us to know the enemy and how he works so that we can stand against him. Although many look at other people as enemies but the true enemy is the evil one. This enemy knows God’s word, knows who Jesus is and tries everything in his bag of tricks to tempt us away from God, to doubt our salvation, prevent spiritual growth, make us think it is useless to grow closer to God and lead us to think that our enemy is other people.

  292. poohpity says:

    Not all enemies of God become His friends!

  293. jeff1 says:

    I wasn’t taught to know the enemy but to stay close to the ONE who has overcome Him and that still seems like good teaching today.

    We should hope and pray that they do.

  294. poohpity says:

    But even when we stay close to the Lord don’t you think the enemy will try everything and in every way to make you doubt God or think He is an angry punishing God or that you can do something wrong and the Lord will not want you any longer or that God is not pleased with you just the way you are?

    If the deception of satan were easy to spot it would not be deception or if one believes his lies, etc.. I just know if God did not want us to know the way satan works He would not have taught us about him in scripture.

  295. street says:

    Seems to me that both are immeasurably important.

    yes they are important to people but pale in comparison to the Word of God.

    thinking of the difficulty elisha had and where he found himself. 1 Kings 19

    7 The angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.

    may we find ourselves on the mountain of God and that He would go with us as He did with moses david and paul. friends of God.

    thinking of how friends are yoked together.
    may the bond of peace keep you and increase without end.

    Zechariah 6:13
    Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.”’

    Isaiah 9:7
    There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

  296. Beloved says:

    I Thessalonians 5:23

  297. Beloved says:

    Ephesians 6:10-18 New International Version (NIV)

    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.

    18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

  298. Beloved says:

    The way those that handle money know if it’s real or not is by studying real money, then the flawed stuff is easy to detect. I think it’s the same with God and the adversary. The armour is Gods way of fake detection. Even against fake angels of light!

    Disclaimer: I am NOT referencing ANYBODY here.

  299. jeff1 says:

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

    If the deception of satan were easy to spot it would not be deception or if one believes his lies, etc.. I just know if God did not want us to know the way satan works He would not have taught us about him in scripture.

    What strengthens my faith is knowing Jesus has gone before us and so when I focus on Him through prayer, communion and thanksgiving I am less vulnerable to satan and his schemes.

    What annoys satan most is seeing how many trust God and so united we stand is very important in defeating him.

  300. Beloved says:

    Matthew 10:28NLT
    Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

  301. foreverblessed says:

    Destroy the body…
    I was thinking about this new virus.
    “That wants to kill the body”

    But we are not tot be afraid!
    It is good that measures are taken, but weird that that would influence the economy so much.
    The basis of our economy is making profit, and when the estimation is that less profit will be made, down it goes.
    That’s my resumé for this morning,
    But the spiritual met remains the same:
    Look to Jesus! With eyes of faith.

    In Jesus we have everything we need:
    2 Peter 1:3
    Alexander McLaren has a wonderful sermon about it, you can find it on the commentary section on this verse in biblehub

  302. jeff1 says:

    1 Peter

    Introduction

    The readers of the apostle Peter’s letter were confused and discouraged by the persecution they were encountering because of their faith. Peter exhorted them to stand strong, repeatedly reminding them of Christ’s example, the riches of their inheritance in him, and the hope of his returning again to take them to heaven. Peter explained how Christians should respond when they suffer because of their beliefs. Called the “apostle of hope,” Peter’s primary message is to trust the Lord, live obediently no matter what your circumstances, and keep your hope fixed on God’s ultimate promise of deliverance. Suffering is to be expected, but it is temporary and yields great blessings for those who remain steadfast. Peter probably wrote this letter in the mid-60s a.d.

    Greeting

    1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

    To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:

    May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

    Born Again to a Living Hope

    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes through it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

    10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

    Called to Be Holy

    13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartiality according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 ywho through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and agave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

    22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for

    “All flesh is like grass

    and all its glory like the flower of grass.

    The grass withers,

    and the flower falls,

    25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

    And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

    A Living Stone and a Holy People

    2 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

    4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in Scripture:

    “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,

    a cornerstone chosen and precious,

    and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

    7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

    “The stone that the builders rejected

    has become the cornerstone,

    8 and

    “A stone of stumbling,

    and a rock of offense.”

    They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

    9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

    11 Beloved, I urge you has sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

    Submission to Authority

    13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution,2 whether it be to the emperor 3 as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

    18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

  303. Beloved says:

    Interesting, I had decided last evening no more news for me for a while as I’m even getting emails from favorite restaurants about their cleaning measures hoping to retain patrons when many are avoiding them. Even our apt coffee room has been nearly empty this week. Yet I’m so thankful that God has given me an apt with everything I need! Being thankful mostly for His loving care of me no matter what’s going on around me. May all here be blessed with the knowledge of His presence as I pray for opportunities to share Christ with my enemies, friends and neighbors. Be always watchful; the harvest is plenty but the workers are few. Praying the LORD of the harvest will send more workers at this time. Praying also for our president that He will seek Jesus. And for Ireland and the Netherlands and especially Italy also. Lord Jesus have mercy.

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