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Beyond the Curtain

With the passing of someone we love, our minds go to questions of what lies beyond the curtain.

And as we honor and remember those who have preceded us in death, I’m guessing that many of us will also admit that we love God to the extent that we believe he loves us— and those who are no longer with us.

But what happens when someone we treasure passes before being caught up in the wonder of how much he loves them too?

This, I think, is another reason for recalling that, in the unfolding drama of Holy Week, we walk in the ways and needs of people who didn’t yet know or recognize the everlasting-beyond-the-grave-goodness of their God. It’s about people who unwittingly wanted to kill him to protect themselves… without understanding that he was letting them have their way with him— so he could show how much the Father loved them, and us.

Thankfully, we remember the Resurrected One—who was making atonement for them, even as he prayed, “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.”

***

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world (1John 2:1-2). whoops…. my typo had this 1:1-2

Note: the WordPress hosting website seems to be giving some of us problems signing in. Hoping the problem clears up soon.


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236 Responses to “Beyond the Curtain”

  1. poohpity says:

    How does anyone know how much they are loved by God unless someone tells them? Sadly it seems many try to keep it a secret only meant for themselves or others who believe. Yet when we find a dessert or anything else we really love we share with everyone to try it because it is so wonderful. But when it comes to sharing about someone who can save our very souls, people remain quite, a deafening silence when it comes to being loved more than any human being can imagine or do. Ssshhhh! I would guess the reason why many do not share might be because they may not believe it themselves or they would be shouting it from the roof tops for more people to learn of the “Passion” that God showed for humanity.

  2. jeff1 says:

    Glory be to the Father,
    and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
    as it was in the beginning,
    is now and ever shall be, world with out end. Amen.

  3. poohpity says:

    There is a good series on Discover the Word this week about “Passion week” learning a lot thought you guys may enjoy it.

  4. jeff1 says:

    Behold what love, yes, love divine,
    The Father showed to thee,
    In that He gave His only Son,
    Thy soul from sin to free.

    Refrain:
    Such love cannot be fathomed,
    ’Tis like the boundless sea;
    His broken heart so wounded,
    Is bleeding now for thee.

    He gave His life to make thee whole,
    He shed His blood for all,
    To heal the body, save the soul—
    Then come, for mercy call.

    Oh, depths of love to mortals lost,
    He suffered on the tree;
    Our only hope of heaven cost
    His blood—’twas all for thee.

    The love of Christ is warm and free,
    We live because He died;
    His drops of mercy fall on thee,
    And all the world beside.

  5. SFDBWV says:

    Not surprising that certain words bring to mind many other thoughts. “Beyond the curtain” are such words for me.

    It would seem for almost all of my conscience life the wonder of what lies beyond the curtain has intrigued and interested me.

    As a result I have spent quite a lot of time and energy reading about it from the study, thoughts and even the experiences of others.

    Experiences of others you might ask? I speak of a full range of others life experiences including the phenomena of “near death” experiences.

    Once the Bible’s text on life after death is read and taken in; finding some resolution still leaves open the great mystery of what awaits us beyond that last heartbeat.

    Equally not surprising the subject has many different beliefs from Bible readers as well as “experts” on the subject.

    As to Mart’s thoughts concerning people who have not “publicly” or “privately” made the choice for Christ. Not one of us can answer that question with absolute certainty.

    There are many a deathbed conversions as while some still have their mind intact worry about eternal punishment and so solely because of that make the choice.

    I wonder how many can’t speak, yet in their last thoughts call out to God and so are saved as a result.

    Saved that is to our acceptance and understanding of it.

    Somewhere in this matter we have to leave it to God who has lived everyday with the person, knows every thought and action and motive and circumstance of their lives and so decides their eternal fate.

    Personally I believe it was for such people Jesus gave his earthly life for.

    Personally I believe that God wants that none should perish.

    On a personal note, have any of you felt at certain times that you could almost see beyond that curtain? I have. And I wonder if then my spirit can though I can’t and in some way my spirit fed with the bread of life that strengthens my soul and emboldens my faith.

    I have not been able to log on for several days, I hope that Word Press gets fixed soon.

    41 degrees under a dark sky.

    Steve

  6. SFDBWV says:

    Most of you already know I like quotes, so here is one I stumbled upon this morning.

    “Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not by books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”
    Martin Luther

    I hope you enjoyed this as did I.

    Steve

  7. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, I enjoyed that!
    God is also speaking to us in nature.

    In this area where I live, people call the curly willow: Easter branches.
    The form of the branch is ver curly, and the new leaves are quite light green, and give such a fresh feeling of new life.
    The Easter thought: death and resurrection of Jesus.
    And anybody who believes in Him.

    We have a curly willow in our garden, and every spring it has to be trimmed. So I have to cut the branches. But I pray about it, and hand them out in the neighborhood. Today I went to the elderly home, with a bunch of branches.
    And had some talks about Jesus and the Good Friday and Easter.
    Ond lady, was always a believer, but now she has dementia, and has lost her way. I sang s few Passion songs, she enjoyed them, but stil she said, she needed someone now, to bring her home.
    So I prayed for her, and asked Jesus to take her home.
    And in faith I look to Jesus.

    Oh, how wonderful to have found our Savior, and have peace in pur heart, while it is still day. Before the dark days start.
    May God be merciful with them all.

    The topic though us, what about those who have not found assurance.

    Well, with great assurance, I can say: those who do not yet believe in Jesus, and they died, according to Jesus, they are gathered by angels and they divide them between the sheep and the goats. Matthew 25:31-46

    So if someone has lived a life of serving and helping others, then they belong to the sheep.
    I have no doubt that they still will have the opportunity to meet Jesus and accept Him as their Savior.
    But that is my own deep conviction.
    God is merciful, and He is always the same yesterday today and forever.

  8. jeff1 says:

    “Farther Along”

    Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder
    Why it should be thus all day long
    While there are others living about us
    Never molested though in the wrong

    When death has come and taken our loved ones
    It leaves our home so lonely and drear
    Then do we wonder why others prosper
    Living so wicked year after year

    Farther along we’ll know all about it
    Farther along we’ll understand why
    Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine
    We’ll understand it all, by and by

    Faithful ’til death, said our loving Master
    A few more days to labour and wait
    Toils of the road will then seem as nothing
    As we sweep through the beautiful gates

    Farther along we’ll know all about it
    Farther along we’ll understand why
    Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine
    We’ll understand it all, by and by

  9. Beloved says:

    Personally for me the deepest pain is when a loved one (or anyone) dies unaware of how much they are loved by God and even deny Jesus boldly. I’d like to think that in the end- whenever that is- that all mankind will be saved because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. I’d like to believe that, but scripture tells me differently, and that I love and trust as Truth. Many in scripture denied Him and still do. I personally think it’s Pollyanna thinking that everyone will be saved. But that “thinking” does not effect me or those who know the Truth. But it does hide the Truth from the elect. Yet God has His ways of reaching those destined for salvation despite the religious battlefield around us.

    I may be in the minority on here but that’s quite normal for me. Blessed Jesus Son of God Emmanuel.

  10. Beloved says:

    * lately the only way I can see my post is to log out and log back in again.

  11. Beloved says:

    Speaking of withholding the Truth;
    I watched a video of some Amish people who found Jesus by reading scripture- which was not allowed in their church. They had to hold secret Bible studies until they knew they had to leave.,The pastor that mentored them had just moved to the area and was really struggling with loss of family and friends but grew to really love them. Their joy is so evident as several give testimony to how Jesus changed their lives. It is a wonderful story of God finding those who would trust in Him for salvation despite the circumstances they were born into.
    Sorry for the sidebar. 😟

  12. poohpity says:

    There is but a narrow path to heaven and that is only through Jesus.

    If someone thinks they can serve enough or do enough good then when are those things enough to cover the sin of a person? We can not earn our way to heaven and every person no matter how much they serve or do good are still sinners. There is only One person who can cover those sins by His body and blood which is the very reason we have life “Beyond the Curtain” which is the only way into the Holy of Holies and at the death of Jesus that curtain was torn in half opening the way into heaven. John 3:16

  13. jeff1 says:

    Death had mocked our deepest longings,
    Death, the bitter end for all;
    Nothing lasting, nothing higher
    Till that Easter call:

    Refrain:
    He is risen!
    Hallelujah!
    Now the death that was our future
    Is our destiny no more!
    He is risen!
    Hallelujah!
    Now we share the holy majesty
    Of Jesus Christ our Lord!

    Joy and beauty, love and giving,
    Life and light go on and on!
    All that bound our fearful hearts to
    Sin and death is gone!

    Celebrate our endless future!
    Celebrate our here and now!
    Celebrate our noble purpose –
    Love will show us how!

  14. street says:

    How does anyone know how much they are loved by God unless someone tells them?

    it would seem to me that God would tell them. sure a preacher or evangelist would speak, but the Holy Spirit is the One Who speaks into the darkness of a human soul. thinking of Pentecost. they were cut to the heart.

    thinking further of barren ground that is fruitful.

    learning to love as Christ did does not happen over night. thinking of the history of the people in the Bible God chose to accomplish His will.

    God insist on having mercy on all His children.

    last thought thinking of Ephesians 2 Made Alive in Christ.

  15. jeff1 says:

    Having grown up in a religious divide it was not uncommon for me to hear Catholic’s say you are not so bad for a Protestant and likewise to hear Protestants say those Catholic’s never leave mass they have so many sins to confess.

    Biases here show how religion works against God and so I would agree that it is the Holy Spirit who speaks into the darkness of those seeking God’s truths rather than their own.

    When I was young here I too bought into my religion and found myself judging Catholic’s as being worse than us Protestants.

    If I had not had a dad whose example was to tell me to focus on Christ and His suffering I may not be so enlightened now as to my own biases.

    I think of Jonah who knew His God to be merciful and it was his own biases that stopped him wanting God’s mercy for others.

    When I search my heart am I any different to Jonah is there a little part of me who thinks those Catholics don’t deserve God’s mercy but when I look into my heart now what do I see but prejudice from living in an environment that endorsed ‘us and them’ thinking.

    My mum would say the truth never lies and by that she would say whether it takes 5 or 50 years the truth will come to the surface.

    We cannot bury God’s truth nor should we want to because it is what frees us from prejudices and wrongdoing that saves our souls and the Gospel is about ‘saving souls’.

    C. S. Lewis is right in saying this life is about learning and correction but those who change God to their own image have no reason to believe they need either and having spent my youth doing it I know what I am talking about.

    During the height of the troubles I was angry at a young English soldier who hurting from the death of his colleges said to me ‘you are each as bad as each other’ and I just wish you would leave us English out of it.

    Today I fully understand and believe this young man was right in his evaluation of what was going on at that time.

    This verse comes to mind:

    Matthew 7:4-5 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

  16. SFDBWV says:

    It is written that God, that Christ existed from everlasting to everlasting. No beginning, no end.

    What about you and I?

    Physically we are descendants of Adam and Eve. Yet when were our souls created? In the womb? At the moment when the egg is fertilized? As a result of being physically born?

    Or are our souls a part of our creator that has always been with Him?

    We are given to understand that while we breathe air here on planet earth we have a consciousness, an awareness, we can think, feel and are alive.

    Yet we are also told that after death we still have consciousness, awareness, can think and feel even though we are dead to this world.

    “All who call upon the name of the Lord are saved.”

    Why is it *fixed* that we are only able to cry out to the Lord while still alive in this world?

    That from birth to death, some 70 years, is all the time we have to come to realize God?

    When our consciousness is eternal.

    I think there is a great deal more to God then we are given to know.

    Mart’s picture with this subject must be a shot from the making of the movie “The Passion of Christ” as I see Mel Gibson is standing next to “Jesus”.

    31 degrees with light snow this morning.

    Steve

  17. foreverblessed says:

    I was going to post my comment, and then I see the thoughts of Steve.

    Yes yes, this bible verse:
    “Anyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved”

    To me is the truth.
    period!

  18. foreverblessed says:

    The Russians have a story,part of the Orthodox tradition, it is one of the Dostojevski’s books:
    There was a woman in hell, and there appeared an onion.
    This onion was one that she had given to a poor lady, while she was still alive on earth, So in her poor behavior on earth, yet she had done some good.
    She could take hold of the onion and be dragged out of hell. onlookers were watching if it was possible that the onion was strong enough to get her out of hell.
    Angels were answering:
    “Who knows?”

    She was lifted highher and higher, but then other people in hell took hold of her heels and wanted to be drawn out of hell with her.
    The woman kicked with her feet to get them off, as she shouted:
    “This onion was meant for me”

    And at that moment the onion snapped, and she fell back in hell.

  19. foreverblessed says:

    The me, I, and myself mentality
    That had not been changed.

    Anyway, this is what I had written this morning:

    Yesterday evening I was listening to the Mattheus Passion by Bach on Youtube, (Van Veldhoven, Dutch Bach Society, posted in 2019). And was reading the comment section of the video. This one struck me and brought me to tears, so I would like to share it with you:

    “This may sound of, but as someone born in a muslim environment (Turkey) I feel the need to point out to you how lucky you are to have grown up hearing this magnificent work (the Bach Mattheus Passion). And to have been raised from childhood in such an amazing culture.
    Even as a non believer I am moved to tears when I hear: “Erbarme dich,Mein Gott, um meiner Zahren willen”.
    All of this is truly amazing, and I am thankful as a human being that your culture exists, and I worry that it may be difficult to preserve and uphold as the world progresses wildly.
    Thank you that you exist.”

    End of qoute.
    But this person from a muslim country is thankful that the christian culture exist, who is moved to tears for the plea for mercy to our great God.
    The whole concert was put on Youtube, free to see. And many people are thankful for that, especially in covid times.

    We are thanked that we exist!.

    How lucky we are to have been raised in a christian society. The western world is still based on the christian morals. And we have many cultural masterpieces that tell the story of the Gospel.

    Like the Mattheus Passion from Bach, and the Messiah form Handel.

    And do not forget the many pieces of art, in the Vatican, the paintings on the ceiling from Michelangelo. “The Lamb of God” by van Eyck, an altar piece in the cathedral of Ghent in Belgium.

    “Erbarme dich mein Gott” is an aria for Peter after he had denied Jesus three times and the cock crows. It is a beautiful piece of Mucis.

    The voice of the Gospel can not be stopped, the gates of hell can not overtake it.

  20. foreverblessed says:

    Some of us are not a very great shining example.
    Last Sunday, there were two churches in the Bible belt, who had services with hundreds of people attending.
    While the maximum is 30 persons. It is an exception to the lockdown, as nowhere people may gather. Only in religious settings.
    Our church had decided not to do it, and have digital services.

    But these churches in the bible belt had made a decision to gather with may more than the allowed 30 people.
    I thought: What a teriible example, this is.
    We live in a digital era, and we can gather together via the internet, and so obeying the command of God to not forsake that gathering.
    And if people have no internet, they can gather together by telephone.

    Journalists came to the site to interview, but they were attacked by church goers, the young male ones.
    One journalist ended in hospital.

    ANd I crie out to God: How long will it take till christians will be humble, and united in Christ, and follow His example,
    WHile He was accused He kept silent,
    1 Peter 2:22-24

    Jesus was unjustly assaulted, these people do not obey authorities.

    About gathering together:
    My mother had a “church service” with her pastor and his wife, and with another old lady, via the telephone. And my mother appreciated it very much. She has internet, but cannot have a Zoom meeting without help. So this is a way to go around the obstacles.

  21. poohpity says:

    Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”. John 14:6

    John 10:9
    John 11:25
    Romans 5:2
    Eph 2:18
    Heb 10:20
    1 John 5:20

  22. Beloved says:

    27Just as man is appointed to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28so also Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him. Hebrews

    Beyond the veil…. judgement- Christ- eternal Life – salvation- for those who have been “eagerly await (ing) Him”. Oh glory to be with Jesus and God the Father forevermore!! Because of Jesus atoning grace.

  23. poohpity says:

    If we are living “Beyond the Curtain” wouldn’t you want others to know so that they could join us being in the glorious presence of God? Don’t you want others to hear the Good News of God’s love, forgiveness, mercy and grace so they will be released from the consequences of sin and the chains that bind us, holding us down from experiencing a full life of joy, peace, love rather than hatred, resentment, anxiety and bitterness?

  24. Beloved says:

    I just learned this: Maundy Thursday (note the ‘n’) traditionally commemorates the institution of the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist while Good Friday commemorates Jesus’ sacrificial death.
    “Maundy” comes from the Latin word “mandatum”, or commandment, reflecting Jesus’ words “I give you a new commandment.”

  25. foreverblessed says:

    Maundy Thursday,
    No, I didn’t even know it was called that way.
    We call it: Witte Donderdag.
    White Thursday in our language.

    “Give you a new command:
    Love others as I have loved you”

  26. foreverblessed says:

    Today’s Utmost is very good!
    It is about intercession.
    We can it do that when we are in a state of worship to our God and Father, and Savior Jesus Christ.
    Before any word is spoken by our mouth there has to be a Work of the Spirit in the heart. And that is a work of love. We can minister others in love and patience and forbearing, having empathy, and so make their hearts soft.
    Prepare them to receive the seed of the Gospel.

    In the comment section many tell of missing that point, and rather be harsh, and judgmental.
    Being in a state of worship is a disciplinary thing. Slowly learned.
    If we are not in a state of worship: fixing our eyes on Jesus,
    When the burden of people and circumstances press on us:
    we produce hardness toward God, and despair in our souls.

    I am not aware of hardness towards God, but I am very well aware of the despair that rises in my soul. And I cry out to God.
    The other way around.
    I should put the horse before the carriage:
    Worshipping God, so the despair does not take over.
    And remain calm, and ask for total peace,
    And to be able to pray intercessory prayer.

  27. Beloved says:

    Hebrews 6:4–6 — The New International Version (NIV)

    4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

  28. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, Beloved, I am very well aware of that bible passage.

    John 10:29
    My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.

    Hebrews 6:4-6

    4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

    So what was Jesus saying in John 10:29, it seems not to be true according to that horrifying Hebrews passage.

    To me this is a great: ⁉️

    And I ought to practice what I have preached this morning:
    To remain in a state of worshipping God, or otherwise I am overwhelmed by this bad news.

  29. foreverblessed says:

    However, this does say nothing about those who have passed away, without knowing Christ.
    For them there is still hope.

  30. Beloved says:

    The Bible never contradicts itself. If it seems to it leads to all kinds of heresy. We should be in terror of a Holy God because He holds the power of life and death. But Jesus made a way to be at peace with God and only through Him is our salvation from today’s events and whatever tomorrow brings. As for those who have never heard? God gave them over to their lusts and sinful desires. That’s all we can know because scripture never addresses this. I would be fearful as the clear warning is to not add to the scriptures. If a god “tells” us something different or even and angel we are not to listen. Myself, being at one time a charismatic was taught that when you go to prayer and ask sincerely you will always get a response from God. I realized that what I was hearing was not always God but spirits. Many of the crazy things you hear from especially charismatic teachers is crazy- smooth sounding and pleasing to the sin nature but on the wrong side of the veil. New age mostly. We must beware of this. However sincere we are the devil knows our weaknesses and plays to them. Better to grieve with Godly sorrow while the flesh does it’s thing. This includes not only loss of loved ones but loss of naïveté and childish thinking.

    God is a Holy God, doing justice, loving mercy. And as Jesus showed, walking humbly.

  31. Beloved says:

    John 6:44

    John6

    44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me qdraws him. And rI will raise him up on the last day.

    footnotes
    q
    Jn 12:32 Je 31:3 Ho 11:4 Jn 6:65 Jn 4:23
    r
    Jn 6:39

  32. poohpity says:

    Forever I have shared with you a passage that shares what happens when a person dies and does not know Christ. After death there seems to be no other chance than what they had when they were alive. However you did not believe what Jesus taught for that instance so why would you believe anything else the scripture teaches. I guess picking and choosing what to believe so that we find comfort even if it is a lie is no way to live by faith, that would be more like depending on human thought and reasoning not coming from the Holy Spirit’s teaching.

  33. poohpity says:

    This also is a teaching of Jesus to His disciples about people falling away because their hearts had really not been ready to fully accept His teaching.

    Matt 13: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

    So from what I understand that would be the people that accept Jesus by word only not deep within their hearts. People say they are Christians all the time but are they really and only God knows that for sure.

  34. foreverblessed says:


    Forever I have shared with you a passage that shares what happens when a person dies and does not know Christ. After death there seems to be no other chance than what they had when they were alive.
    However you did not believe what Jesus taught for that instance so why would you believe anything else the scripture teaches.”

    Dear dear Pooh, there is a difference:
    Believing what Jesus taught
    and your interpretation of what Jesus taught.

    Sorry for the inconvenience that gives to you.

    And may God forgive the rest of what you just say there about me.

  35. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry, I really do not rejoice about it that any of you insinuate that I distort scripture.

    The scriptures Pooh gave, I have given my interpretations every time she gave it.

    I say, we do not know, but deducting from Who God is,
    I do believe that God is Holy,and Good, and Merciful, and all the other attributes.
    He is just, and He is gracious.
    He saves all who call on His Name.
    And He is always the same.

    Judgment is about receiving a reward, the reward is according to what we have done while in the flesh.
    That is over when we die,
    The reward, being how many souls that have been touched by the Spirit through us.

    It is more fair to say: I do not agree with your interpretation. Instead of saying that I do not believe what Jesus taught.

  36. foreverblessed says:

    Besides, it is now Maundy Thursday night.
    The night of the Last Supper,
    Where Jesus instituted the Bread and the Wine, to do it in remembrance of what Jesus has done for us.
    He died for us, to save us, and to give us Resurrection Life,.
    That is my belief, that we live in faith of Jesus Christ, Who saved us from the Kingdom of darkness.
    He Jesus, the Word, by Whom all is made that was made and there is nothing made that was not made by Him.
    He became flesh and dwelt among us,
    So that when the hour was there He would be lifted from the earth and draw all to Him.

    In Jesus’ Love I pray, in great thankfulness for all He has done.
    Without Him we would be lost,
    But thanks to Him we are found! And in peace, in His shade we hide, and are safe

  37. Beloved says:

    Dear forever I believe we are all learning and disagree with Pooh’s summation/condemnation of you.

  38. Beloved says:

    Forever I see you are of a very very sweet gentle disposition that hurts greatly at another’s harm of yourself and others.
    I like who you are and the spirit you bring here.
    Shalom and have a blessed Easter!

  39. Beloved says:

    Ugh-now to sign out and in, again.

  40. street says:

    thinking about steve and forever’s comments.
    steve’s…. what are we?
    forever’s…. what are we doing?

    thinking of man/human, not God. the two are persons one creator the other creature. thinking, knew us before the foundation of the world, comes to mind.

    thinking of law. a mirror that shows us what we truly are.
    God made us image bearers. seems we should be the mirror not the law.

    forever is think of mans expression of God in art and music.

    as image bearers of the invisible God we are reminded of Jesus is the perfect visible manifestation of the invisible God.

    visible manifestations of Spirit and Truth serving God in mortal bodies?

  41. Beloved says:

    thinking of law. a mirror that shows us what we truly are.
    God made us image bearers. seems we should be the mirror not the law.

    I was just thinking how black/white thinking is so like the law. I’d never made that connection before. As an empath people confess sins to me all the time. (Often strangers) How easy it would be to condemn and criticize but Christ in me hears and filters everything with compassion and mercy. I’ve seen many tears as people recognize their need for Christ. It’s amazing. He is amazing!

  42. Beloved says:

    Just want to clarify that being an empathetic person by nature has its many pitfalls, of course, due to the fact that we are all born sinners-damaged by sin before and after birth. If I’m too empathetic I lose my focus on Christ and can even become a people worshipper and I become of no value to God or anyone else. Prophetic types hate this and wish I’d just go away! Yet I know I’m part of Gods kingdom even as a damaged child. I need Him constantly, I dare not trust myself or others, only Christ.

    What a wonderful time to live! Now we focus on the passion and redemption of Christ. Oh it’s glorious!!

  43. SFDBWV says:

    If you go to YouTube you can find “What Jesus Said About-Life After Death” an Our Daily Bread Day of Discovery video about 26 minutes long.

    It has snowed all day here, the Robins will be hunkering down tonight.

    Steve

  44. poohpity says:

    Why blame God for people not being saved? That is not what He wanted, He wanted all to be saved and live in eternity with Him that is why Jesus came. If a person makes the choice not to believe, they have made the choice not to be with God through eternity. That was their choice not God’s! They have had a whole life time of hearing about God each person makes a choice whether to believe or not.

  45. bubbles says:

    Let us remember to pray for Mart and his family.

  46. SFDBWV says:

    A blessed “Good Friday” to all.

    Steve

  47. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Steve,
    Yes, Bubbles, I still am praying.
    But… with peace, peace that comes from above.

    Having a deep connection with Jesus, fixing my eyes on Him.
    That is the only sure thing now at this moment.
    The only answer for the agony that we may have about loved ones that have died, and we’re not sure of God’s love for them.

  48. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Steve, for that YouTube video, “what Jesus said about life after death” by Our Daily Bread, it is done by Mart, our host.
    And bring immersed in the scriptures he gives, is so soothing!

    Thanks thanks thanks
    And thank you Beloved for your wonderful benediction! That did good to my heart. I know we have to look to Jesus, but it is s joy when you stretch out your hand in sweet love.

  49. foreverblessed says:

    Scriptures in that video:
    Mark 8:36
    John 10:28-30
    John 10:10-13
    John 5:24
    John 6:40
    John 5:28-29
    2 Tim 1:10
    John 8:51
    John 3:16
    John 14:1-3
    Do not let your hearts be troubled, you believe in God, in Me also believe

    So that is a great command for me to follow!

    Jesus died on the Cross, for all.
    In His blood we have forgiveness of sins.
    In His body He brings humanity to God.
    To all those who believe in Him.

    That is the God we worship!!!

  50. jeff1 says:

    Hope all have a blessed Easter.

    AN EASTER HALLELUJAH

    A crown of thorns placed on His head
    He knew that He would soon be dead
    He said “Did you forget me Father did You”
    They nailed Him to a wooden cross
    Soon all the world would feel the loss
    Of Christ the King before His Hallelujah
    Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
    Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
    He hung His head and prepared to die
    Then lifted His face up to the sky
    Said “I am coming home now Father to You”
    A reed which held His final sip
    Was gently lifted to His lips
    He drank His last and gave His soul to glory
    Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
    Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
    The soldier who had used his sword
    To pierce the body of our Lord
    Said, “Truly this was Jesus Christ our Saviour”
    He looked with fear upon his sword
    Then turned to face his Christ and Lord
    Fell to his knees crying “Hallelujah”
    Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
    Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
    Took from His head the thorny crown
    And wrapped Him in a linen gown
    And laid Him down to rest inside the tomb
    The holes in His hand, His feet and side
    Now in our hearts we know He died
    To save us from ourselves, oh Hallelujah
    Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
    Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
    Three days went by again they came
    To move the stone, to bless the slain
    With oil and spice and ointing, Hallelujah
    But as they went to move the stone
    They saw that they were not alone
    For Jesus Christ has risen, Hallelujah
    Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
    Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

  51. bullwinkle11 says:

    May you all have a blessed Easter. Today is a wonderful day to remember the price that was paid for our salvation.

    Not quite sure how we continue to divide over the subject of universal salvation, but it seems to me that the bible is quite clear that those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.

    From Proverbs 2:
    20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good
    and keep to the paths of the righteous.
    21 For the upright will live in the land,
    and the blameless will remain in it;
    22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
    and the unfaithful will be torn from it.

  52. SFDBWV says:

    Several years ago Mart put up a couple different subjects for us to “Think” about with regards to “reading between the lines.

    Most of us agreed that reading between the lines is dangerous territory, but that in that gray area revelation knowledge can be found.

    A peek perhaps beyond that curtain.

    No one can earn salvation it is a free gift of God.

    The price being the reason we celebrate today as being a “Good” Friday.

    With the possible exception of the Prophesy from Daniel nearly all of prophesy is somewhat vague. Being only realized after the fact by most. Some few given that extra sight to see or is revealed to them.

    Jesus went into some detail when narrating the story of the rich man and the beggar. In the story the rich man after his death was still alive could feel pain had his memory and was in a place of torment. Not hell, a place of torment. And Lazarus the beggar in “Paradise”, not heaven.

    When Jesus hung on the cross and the thief ask for Jesus to remember him when He entered His Kingdom, Jesus replied “today you will be with me in “Paradise”, not heaven.

    There is a place where the soul goes after death, either paradise, or a place of torment until the rapture (first resurrection) when all the dead in Christ are raptured body and soul up into heaven with Christ and all the lost remain in torment until the judgement (the second resurrection).

    Thankfully such “people” as you and I are not who sets on the seat of judgement. But rather it is God.

    Even though I know better, I have to say that most of you here won’t argue with the concept that a great deal of Bible language is symbolic not literal. Especially a great deal of the language found in Revelation.

    I want to say here that death and hell are not living things. Yet at the seat of judgement death and hell are thrown into that lake of fire.

    Is it possible that this lake of fire is symbolic of a place where nothing can survive it nor return from it?

    A symbol of completely being done away with? Gone forever.

    The question then remains what of all the souls of mankind from Adam to the last?

    Those who made the choice for Christ never seen torment after death, while those who did not did. That is until the judgement.

    What did Jesus say to the woman caught in adultery?

    “There is no one here to condemn you and neither do I.”

    What do you see when you read between the lines?
    Hope through the sacrifice, and power of Christ?
    Or are you satisfied with hopelessness for the lost?

    I hope that in the end of all things found there in Revelation all are forgiven, given a new heart and restored to God.

    That the spirit of evil no longer exists and all things made new without even the threat of its return.

    I do not expect any one of you to agree with my hopes nor am I trying to teach anyone of you something contrary to what is given in Scripture.

    It’s how I see things written in black and white, red and between the lines.

    Steve

  53. Beloved says:

    Forever,
    yesterday I said I did not know what happens to those who did not ever hear about Jesus. Well, in scripture Jesus said the gospel would be preached to all before he returns again.

    Matthew 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

    I think about all the translators busy writing scripture in different languages today. We here in the US certainly have heard about Jesus, yet some turn away or outright reject Jesus as their messiah. The darkness is really overtaking our country. Yet a few remain strong and committed. Just as Jesus said would happen then, so now. A day is like a thousand years to God says scripture (can’t recall where right now). We know we are closer and closer to the end; Paul certainly thought so two thousand years ago as we all know.

    I like learning so thank you for the conversation.

    May yours and all BTA friends’ Easter Joys manifest glory honor and praise to our great God who reigns in wisdom power holiness and to Jesus our Savior, Amen

  54. Beloved says:

    I’ve been studying some psalms and read this just now:

    Psalm 81:15, NASB: “Those who hate the LORD would pretend to obey Him, And their time of punishment would be forever.”

  55. street says:

    Even though I know better, I have to say that most of you here won’t argue with the concept that a great deal of Bible language is symbolic not literal. Especially a great deal of the language found in Revelation.

    thinking of moses building the temple after the pattern of the Temple in heaven. after the pattern, with sticks and stones. moses seems to be standing beyond the vale. a place where the children of God are invited to come. through His gates with thanksgiving and into His Court with praise.

    washed by His Word, cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, give New Life by the Spirit, the Holy Spirit.

  56. Beloved says:

    I think that whether scripture is deemed symbolic or literal it is always about God. Spiritual symbolism.

  57. street says:

    2 He, Jesus, was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. 3 For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.

    9 By faith he lived as a stranger in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith even Sarah herself received [a]ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.

  58. street says:

    may Father bless the elect, the assemble of the righteous, this Passion week as we remember all the things He has brought into our journey and guides us through. To Father, Son, and HolySpirit be Honor Glory in love now and forever.

  59. street says:

    been thinking about and reading Jesus’s prayer in John 17 before the cross. let the peace Jesus gives settle our hearts in perfect rest and joy. thinking watching waiting going of the book of Mark.

  60. foreverblessed says:

    Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those You have given Him.
    Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
    John 17:1-3

  61. poohpity says:

    I wonder if sharing the Gospel would be less important to us if one thought there was another chance after we are dead to hear it and come to believe? Can the dead hear or reply? Or is it for the comfort of the believer to think because one has failed to share the Good News, whether in word or deed, that the great commission was for others to do because they did not do it?

    For the living to know how much God loves them and went to the extreme to prove that love doesn’t it bring such healing to a person’s heart knowing they are forgiven and do not have to earn God’s love, so they live this life in the rest and peace of knowing who they are to God?

    Paradise to me would be a place where there is no need to struggle, no need to fall prey to evil in any form, no pain, a place where every need was provided, no grief, no desperation, no worry and the most important thing to be in a face to face relationship with God. Sounds a lot like heaven to me. Our salvation is kept safe in heaven so it does not become corrupt, so someone who has never received the gift of salvation and dies can they get into heaven to get that salvation? That is something to think about.

    1 Peter 1: God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

    May God give you more and more grace and peace.

    3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

    6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

    8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

    10 This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. 11 They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.

    12 They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.

  62. Beloved says:

    Meditation on the cross

    John 3:16-17
    New King James Version
    16 (A)For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten (B)Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 (C)For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

    Cross references

    A John 3:16 : Rom. 5:8; Eph. 2:4; 2 Thess. 2:16; [1 John 4:9, 10; Rev. 1:5]
    B John 3:16 : [Is. 9:6]
    C John 3:17 : Matt. 1:21; Luke 9:56; 1 John 4:14

  63. poohpity says:

    Beloved I wonder if the passage from Luke in part C should be Luke 9:52-56 about not condemning?

  64. Beloved says:

    Talk to Biblegateway about it.

  65. Beloved says:

    I’m guessing the point is that Jesus leaves where He is not accepted. The World.

  66. street says:

    Beloved I wonder if the passage from Luke in part C should be Luke 9:52-56 about not condemning?

    thinking about Word getting back to the village of the Samaritans about why Jesus was going to jerusalem? if i remember right Jesus was abandoned by all. it was a about Jesus not condemning, the One we follow.

    been thinking about the blind guy Jesus restored his sight too and followed Jesus to jerusalem where He was crucified. that must have been hard to receive, when we understand we all need mercy.

    is it any less difficult to receive a risen Savior?

  67. Beloved says:

    Oh yes street that makes much more sense. He did leave the world though only to return as the savior of the world that abandoned Him. 😊 How blessed are those who have not seen yet believe!

  68. street says:

    seems to me the paradise of God would be His Presents.

    even in a world of darkness and suffering.

    the place of His will and His circumstance.

    that our joy would be full in Him.

    only because of what Jesus has done.

    the Righteous, shall live, by trust.

  69. jeff1 says:

    Your ways are not our ways, O God,
    Your thoughts, forever true.
    Your time is always perfect, Lord.
    We humbly trust in You.
    We rest and wait on You.

    We bow before You, Sovereign God.
    Our hearts at last are still.
    The root and fruit of prayer are this:
    We only want Your will.
    We simply want Your will.

    Our hopes and plans will disappoint
    And pleasant streams run dry,
    But You are rich, unchanging joy,
    A constant, sweet supply,
    Our every-day supply.

    Lord, You redeem each grief and loss
    And draw our hearts above.
    There all will show and shout and sing
    That You are always love,
    Forever perfect love.

  70. Beloved says:

    FYI
    If I post scripture that comes with footnotes it’s copied usually from Biblegateway. I’ll mention where I copied from. I’m not energetic enough to post my own footnotes🤣

  71. Beloved says:

    Paradise is the place the righteous go vs hell or hades for the unrighteous. Since the atonement hadn’t been completed the thief went to paradise where Jesus went to set them free. Remember how when Jesus returned to walk on the earth the graves opened up and people rose from their tombs? Must have been quite a sight. Since then when we die the righteous in Christ are with the LORD.

    In the OT paradise refers to the garden of Eden.

  72. Beloved says:

    There has always been a separation of believers and unbelievers after death (Luke 16:19-31). The righteous have always gone to paradise; the wicked have always gone to hell. For right now, both paradise and hell are “temporary holding places” until the day when Jesus Christ comes back to judge the world based on whether or not individuals have believed in Him. The first resurrection is of believers who will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ to receive rewards based on meritorious service to Him. The second resurrection will be that of unbelievers who will stand before the Great White Throne Judgment of God. At that point, all will be sent to their eternal destination—the wicked to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15), and the righteous to a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21—22).

    (Copied off the internet though I don’t completely think I agree with every sentence but it’s interesting nonetheless.)

  73. SFDBWV says:

    Happy Easter morning to all.

    Steve

  74. bubbles says:

    He is risen! Thankful for the hope Easter brings us. Thank you, Jesus, for all you did for us.

  75. bullwinkle11 says:

    Happy Easter to all!

    The importance of the resurrection:

    13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

    May we share the joy that God has provided.

  76. poohpity says:

    Happy Resurrection Sunday to all. May this celebration day bring renewed hope, a revitalized relationship with the Lord and a beautiful remembrance of how totally amazing His grace truly is for such an undeserving lot as humanity is.

  77. jeff1 says:

    A hymn from our Easter Sunday Communion Service.

    Jesus our Master
    on the night that they came
    To take you to prison
    To death and to shame
    You call to your table
    The friends that you knew
    And asked them to do this
    In remembrance of you.

    Still through the ages
    Your new friends draw near.
    And know when they do so
    That you will be here;
    We know you are present
    Though just out of view,
    To meet those who gather
    In remembrance of you.

    When it is over
    And all gone away
    Come back to our thoughts
    For the rest of the day,
    And stay with us always
    Who meet here to do
    The thing you commanded
    In remembrance of you.

  78. SFDBWV says:

    I have to tell you about a little boy I just met at the cemetery. He is about 4 to 5 years old and just bubbling with life.

    As I was talking with his mother and father he was going from tombstone to tombstone jabbering and then I heard the little fellow talking about a man standing up by the “tree”.

    His mother explained that he talks to a little girl down on the other end of the cemetery every time they are down in that area. The little boy calls her by name.

    The little fellow came over to take his dad up to the tree to show him where the man is.

    There was no one there except me his mom and dad and sisters.

    Yes life is quite the experience.

    Steve

  79. foreverblessed says:

    Will pray for that boy, and his family!

    Thank You thank You Jesus, for all You did for us.
    I think I can hardly fathom the depth, the width and the height of what You did.
    May I accept it, and may I now live in faith in You.
    The enter that Rest to which You called me.

  80. Beloved says:

    Someone needs to tell the little boy to not speak to spirits.

  81. Beloved says:

    Someone needs to tell him about Jesus.

  82. poohpity says:

    Could it be that the man by the tree was a Theophany to one who’s heart is open and pure?

  83. Beloved says:

    Thankfully, we remember the Resurrected One—who was making atonement for them, even as he prayed, “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.”

    God told me another way to pray last night: Father, give my enemies as much grace as you have given me. It really changes my thinking in a new way. I am thankful for this revelation this Easter.

  84. street says:

    thinking about joseph dreams he shared with his family.

    seems to me we live in an age where listening to little boys is over.

    thinking of sheep and their relationship with their Shepard. you follow the one you listen to.

  85. foreverblessed says:

    Mart had given us a topic, the body and the blood of Christ, with Aquinas, and I am so thankful that he did that.
    The Cross of Christ has such a great implication for us.
    The Blood, that brings forgiveness of sins.
    At first, when we become christian, we know that we have sinned. Each one has his own particular sin, the oldest son his sins, and the youngest son his sins.
    And we find forgiveness through the blood of Christ.
    That is the topic of Romans 1 to Romans 5:11

    Then we start our journey with Jesus, and we find that certain misgivings keep coming up, our sins are forgiven, but we keep sinning. We want to be patient, but irritations come up inside, we want to be at peace but fear comes up. We want to love our enemies, but anger comes up. We fail.
    We find that is not that we have sinned, but the we are sinners;
    Because of the sin of one man, Adam, sin entered the world.
    Romans 5:12-21
    Our heredity is in Adam, we are sinners.
    And that is a deep truth that is hard to grasp.

    But God had thought of a way to free us from our sinful nature:
    The Body of Christ

  86. foreverblessed says:

    The Body of Christ:
    God’s Word says that He puts us in the Body of Christ.
    And we were hanging with Him on the Cross, and we died with Him.

    God does not make our old man better: God had thought of a different solution: He lets it die on the Cross. Our old man has died with Christ.

    Don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ were baptized into His death?

    It is God’s Word who says so.
    And it is a done deal, it has already happened;
    When Jesus died on the Cross, we were in Him.
    He descended into the grave, we were in Him.

  87. foreverblessed says:

    But now comes the good part:
    When Jesus was resurrected, we were resurrected with Him!

    We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order tgatthat, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
    Romans 6:4
    And the verse in the former comment it was Romans 6:3

    When we remember Jesus in the bread and wine, we remember that in His Body we have died, and we’re raised to Newness of life.
    It has ready happened, to all of us who believe in Jesus.
    We have to believe that more dwells, so as not to give in to our old inclinations. Fight them in the name of Jesus, we are not tied to them anymore, we are dead to them.
    We are now new to live a life in the Spirit, the gifts of Grace we can ask from above
    Love, joy, peace patience…

    Hold on the truth that we are New in Christ.

    Romans 6:1-14

  88. foreverblessed says:

    If anyone else has commented, I don’t see it.
    Street, this message of the Cross, is the key to our old man, having died, and is gone. As you often talk about it. The truth of this is so great, the solution of God is not in the law, but in the Cross.

  89. SFDBWV says:

    In your heart was yesterday, Easter morning, why Christianity was born? That is to say, do you believe in Jesus as Messiah solely based on the event of the resurrection?

    The earliest believers believed on Him before His death and resurrection.

    Something about Him drew them to Him.

    Some were even aware of what lay ahead for Him.

    None could deny the miracles He performed.

    You would have thought raising Lazarus from death 4 days into it would have convinced the most stoic of His enemies.

    But the empty tomb, was what synched the deal. Here was proof that though so many watched as Jesus was tortured and died. He was not in the grave.

    He had overcome and defeated death.

    In fact it was reported that He appeared to many between that morning and the day of ascension.
    Of course after Pentecost we have a spiritual connection that assures us as to Who Jesus is and our place with Him.

    However what caused you to believe?
    The words of His ministry? His story being in sync with OT prophesy? Because someone you trusted and believed, believed?

    Or did something deep in your heart awaken to the knowledge that this man Jesus of Nazareth is God?

    Easter Sunday is God’s gift that Jesus was who He implied He was, is and that we who become His followers will one day also leave an empty tomb behind.

    As for my story of the little boy at the cemetery. I just want to say for the moment that I have often told people that I can remember a time when I remembered that I could no longer see angels.

    I believe that little babies, and little children see angels until such time their innocence begins to fade.

    I once read a comment from a well-known Christian apologist that he hoped that the people down-syndrome people talk to are angels.

    What do you see with the eye of your spirit? Light or darkness?

    27 degrees and frosty under a starry sky.

    Steve

  90. poohpity says:

    If there had never been a resurrection of Jesus there would be no Christianity today just as Pete shared on April 4th @ 7:21 am in 1 Cor 15:13-15.

    Lazarus the brother of Mary and Martha was not resurrected but brought back to life in the same form as he died. It seems with a resurrected body it does not resemble the physical body that died because if that were so then everyone who saw Jesus after He had been resurrected would have recognized Him but it wasn’t until He spoke that many realized it was Jesus.

  91. street says:

    It would have been extremely difficult for the disciples to grasp that the departure of Jesus from their midst would usher in a time during which his “replacement” would serve God’s purposes more effectively.

    The truth is more readily seen when we compare the weakness of the disciples just before the crucifixion (“everyone deserted him and fled,” Mk 14:50 with their boldness after the Holy Spirit had come upon them (“the apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name,” Ac 5:41.

  92. street says:

    forever you write well. been thinking of Romans were the law is upheld by faith, or established by faith.

    Romans 3:31
    Do we then nullify the Law through faith? Far from it! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

    Romans 8:11
    But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

    Romans 3:21
    But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

    Romans 3:27
    Where then is boasting? It has been excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.

  93. jeff1 says:

    I inherited my faith in God through religious and cultural beliefs but I have come a long way in seeing that God is much wider than my limited viewpoint.

    God’s vastness is way beyond my understanding but Christ’s sacrifice is what I know to be a gift and it is in accepting and celebrating it that I have assurances of a better world to come whether than is in this life or ‘Beyond the Curtain’ I don’t know but believe it to be God’s plan for the redemption of mankind.

    When I focus on Jesus I get peace that the world cannot give me and so I disturb my own peace when I get distracted by the world and all the uncertainties it brings.

    I believe He has overcome the world so knowing this I must learn to trust in His omniscience and not keep focusing on my own limited understanding of it.

  94. Beloved says:

    Biblegateway

    Verse of the Day
    2 Corinthians 5:14-15 Share This
    For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

    Thinking about the Law and how whether we know it or not in our thinking and behaving or misbehaving all were under law until Easter morning. Hallelujah He is risen, indeed!

  95. Beloved says:

    Viv I wanted to tell you I watched a new documentary on life in N Ireland called “I took my son to be shot”. It was shocking but I came to understand better the life you have lived and are still living with. I’m glad you live out in the country as I think you said so away from the stressors of living in town. God bless you my dear friend and keep you today as He always has. You’ve lived a remarkable life attesting to the greatness of our wonderful God and Father.

  96. Beloved says:

    As for our limited understanding of God we are all limited yet my prayer regularly is to know Him better. To know God even as I am known by Him. Always learning.

  97. Beloved says:

    John 20:19
    When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

    That’s our only hope when faced with scary situations as Viv has attested to here often. ❤️

  98. street says:

    the cross…….forgiven

    the Resurrection……new life in Christ

    to live is Christ.

    in faith hope love

    who hopes for what they already have?

    we wait and watch for the Lord. go before Him daily.

    He prepares a table before me….

  99. Beloved says:

    Who hopes for what they already have? Indeed.

  100. Beloved says:

    Romans 5:5
    New American Standard Bible
    5 and hope (A)does not disappoint, because the love of God has been (B)poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

  101. foreverblessed says:

    Wonderful bible verse that is:
    Hope and love

    1 John 3:16
    This is how we know what love is:
    Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.
    And we ought to lay down our life for our brothers.

    Verse of the day on Biblegateway.
    It is quite something the similarity between:
    1 John 3:16 and John 3:16

  102. foreverblessed says:

    Commentary by Alexander Mclaren on Rom 5:5

    After all is said and done, the love of God, eternal, self-originated, the source of all Christian experiences because of the work of Christ which originates them all, is the root fact of the universe, and the guarantee that our highest anticipations and desires are not unsubstantial visions, but morning dreams, which are proverbially sure to be fulfilled. God is love; therefore the man who trusts Him shall not be put to shame.

    Do this, in remembrance of Me.

    When things are hard pressed, when God seems far away, when prayers do not seem to be heard:

    Remember what Jesus has done for us. Out of His great love for us.
    All evil has been conquered, in the wilderness, in Gethsemane, on the Cross, in the grave.
    Jesus was victorious.
    All evil is a phantom. I do not have to be intimidated by it, but rather look to Jesus.
    IN Jesus I am safe and secure.

  103. foreverblessed says:

    The citation of McLaren ends before the sentence:
    “Do this in remembrance of Me.”

    Here is some more of the sermon of Mclaren on Romans 5:5
    If you want to read more encouragement:

    That love, we may be very sure, will not foster in us hopes that are to be disappointed. Now, it is a fact that the more a man feels that God loves him, the less is it possible for him to believe that that love will ever terminate, or that he shall ‘all die.’ In the lock of a canal, as the water pours in, the vessel rises. In our hearts, as the flood of the full love of God pours in, our hopes are borne up and up, nearer and nearer to the heavens. Since it is so, we must find in the fact that the constant and necessary result of communion with Him here on earth is a conviction of the immortality of that communion, a very, very strong guarantee for ourselves that the hope is not in vain. And if you say that that is all merely subjective, yet I think that the universality of the experience is a fact to be taken into account even by those who doubt the reality of the hope, and for ourselves, at all events, is a sufficient ground on which to rest. We have the historical fact of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have the fact that wherever there has been earthly experience of true communion with God, there, and in the measure in which it has been realised, the thermometer of our hopes of immortality, so to speak, has risen. ‘God is love,’ and God will not bring the man that trusts Him to confusion.

  104. jeff1 says:

    Beloved says:
    April 5, 2021 at 11:52 am
    Viv I wanted to tell you I watched a new documentary on life in N Ireland called “I took my son to be shot”. It was shocking but I came to understand better the life you have lived and are still living with. I’m glad you live out in the country as I think you said so away from the stressors of living in town. God bless you my dear friend and keep you today as He always has. You’ve lived a remarkable life attesting to the greatness of our wonderful God and Father

    Beloved, there is an advertisement shown here which shows the woman in a car with her son and him pleading for her not to take him to the paramilitaries but he has done wrong and the punishment in these areas is done by who controls them and so depending on whether you live in a loyalist or republican area you will be dealt with by those paramilitaries.

    While I live in the country the ‘troubles’ here has badly affected relationships between different religions as ‘trust’ has broken down and that is because in the borders areas many of the members of the security forces were either blown up or taken out and shot some in front of their families and so those with connections to the SF alienated themselves from the Roman Catholic community as they did not know where their sympathies lay and to trust them could mean reprisals or even death.

    Today there is rioting on the street because the Police here have not enforced the law on members of Sinn Fein the political wing of the IRA who broke the Coronavirus restrictions attending a funeral of a member and so they see that there is a law for the ordinary man and a law for those in power and they are not the same.

    If leadership breaks the rules they excuse themselves while the people are punished so it is perhaps not surprising that people are angry, confused and wonder where is the justice as many here had to bury their loved ones social distancing and limited numbers allowed at the funerals.

    Without just and unbiased leadership we are doomed to fall into the traps of the past for we never seem to be able to leave it behind whatever the reasons.

    Can I just say be careful of documentaries on the troubles here as I find people’s memory recall is very different to what actually was.

    When I go to tell something myself sometimes others have interrupted me and said that was not how it was and when they have I have realized they were right that my memory is not what it used to be.

    I think there are truths that never may be revealed until we get ‘Beyond the Curtain’ as when we get into the ‘blame game’ as we have in this Province there is no good comes from it.

    John 14:27 “ Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

  105. foreverblessed says:

    Good ending Jeff: eyes fixed on Jesus!

    Steve, I wanted to thank you for your thoughts on April 2, 10.27 am
    Thank you for reminding us of the topic Mart ones gave:
    What do you read in between the lines?

    As we think in our hearts that is how we see God is.

    And especially your question: are you satisfied with the idea that many are lost, list without end?

    That is such a good question.

    What do I read between the lines

    I remember the story of Moses, Exodus 32:1-35
    where Moses is on the mountain, and gone for a long time, and the people make a golden calf.

    Then God gives His Word:
    Leave me alone, so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. And I will make you into a great nation.
    Ex 32:10

    Now, here is my point: this was the sacred Word of God! God would destroy the people.
    Did Moses bow down to His Word and say: So be it! I will not gainsay what God has spoken, I will revere His Word and keep it in my heart?!

    Moses had been reading between the lines:
    He had seen God work, and he had seen Who God was. He had remembered what God had promised to Abraham, Isaac and Israel.

    And Moses goes against the verdict God has given.

    And this example of Moses I have in front of me, when christian people make interpretations of what the Bible seems to say about those who have died, without knowing Jesus intimately.

    But I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    “What do you see when you read between the lines?
    Hope through the sacrifice, and power of Christ?
    Or are you satisfied with hopelessness for the lost?

    Are we satisfied.with the hopelessness for the lost, or do we, like Moses did, talk with God about it,
    make intercessory prayers?
    And beg for mercy?

  106. poohpity says:

    I do not want anyone to be separated from God. I want that all will be saved as it seems God does as well but not every person wants to be saved or even admit there is a God to be separated from. Does God force Himself on anyone? Can any of you force anyone to love you? God gave us free will to make our own choices so those who have made the choice not to believe in God does He force them to? Those who want nothing to do with God then why would they want to spend eternity with someone they want nothing to do with? It is after all very simple either spend eternity with God or spend eternity without God which is hell all in and of itself no matter how much mercy is prayed for, that choice is up to a living person after death the choice was already made and from what Jesus taught there is no crossing over.

    I would imagine that was the very reason Jesus gave us our great commission to go and tell people the Good News. If we are concerned about whether someone will spend eternity with God or not, then be sure to go tell as many people as you can as the main priority in your life so that none will perish. Go into all the world in every tongue, in every culture, for every race for all humanity and at least go to your grave knowing that you ran a good race and never gave up on sharing your love for God so others will come to know Him too!! Or are you satisfied in only talking about how sad it is that some will be lost and doing nothing about it? All talk and no action.

  107. poohpity says:

    Will there be one person in heaven that will thank you for telling them the Good News so that they will live in eternity with God? Just one.

    Thank You

    I dreamed I went to heaven
    And you were there with me
    We walked upon the streets of gold
    Beside the crystal sea
    We heard the angels singing
    Then someone called your name
    You turned and saw this young man
    And he was smiling as he came
    And he said friend you may not know me now
    And then he said but wait
    You used to teach my Sunday School
    When I was only eight
    And every week you would say a prayer
    Before the class would start
    And one day when you said that prayer
    I asked Jesus in my heart

    CHORUS
    Thank you for giving to the Lord
    I am a life that was changed
    Thank you for giving to the Lord
    I am so glad you gave

    Then another man stood before you
    And said remember the time
    A missionary came to your church
    And his pictures made you cry
    You didn’t have much money
    But you gave it anyway
    Jesus took the gift you gave
    And that’s why I’m here today

    CHORUS (repeat)

    One by one they came
    Far as the eyes could see
    Each life somehow touched
    By your generosity
    Little things that you had done
    Sacrifices made
    Unnoticed on the earth
    In heaven now proclaimed

    And I know that up in heaven
    You’re not supposed to cry
    But I am almost sure
    There were tears in your eyes
    As Jesus took your hand
    And you stood before the Lord
    He said, my child look around you
    For great is your reward

  108. jeff1 says:

    When watching a programme on television the other night one of the actors who is Northern Irish was having a conversation with a forensic pathologist and he the (forensic pathologist) asked the Northern Irish actor about his beliefs after death and he replied to him “I am giving you the Ballymurphy answer, is their life before death?”.

    Made me think a lot about perspectives!

  109. Beloved says:

    Viv the movie is a current documentary about one families’ problems. The mother said it was common practice at one time to take their drug dealing sons to an alley to have their legs shot by the local paramilitary to stop them from dealing. She deeply regrets doing this. And of course they talked about the Troubles and them not trusting British forces still saying the Friday Peace accord by Clinton was fake to them. So on it goes and as I said I understand the struggles you have gone through much better. The anger and hatred run deep, sadly, but how else could it be. You’ve found a Place of Refuge and for that I am so glad.

  110. jeff1 says:

    Everybody wants to go to Heaven
    But nobody wants to die
    Everybody wants to go to Heaven
    But nobody wants to die

    Once upon a time there lived a man
    And his name was Isaac
    He walked with God, both day and night
    But he didn’t wanna die

    He cried, “Oh Lord, please let me live
    Death is close, I know”
    God smiled down on Isaac
    And gave him fifteen years to go

    Everybody wants to go to Heaven
    But nobody wants to die
    Lord, I wanna go to Heaven
    But I don’t wanna die

    So, I long for the day when I’ll have new birth
    Still I love the livin’ here on Earth
    Everybody wants to go to Heaven
    But nobody wants to die

    When Jesus lived here on this Earth
    He knew his father’s plan
    He knew that he must give his life
    To save the soul of man

    When Judas had betrayed him
    His father heard him cry
    He was brave until his death
    But he didn’t wanna die

    Everybody wants to go to Heaven
    But nobody wants to die
    Lord, I wanna go to Heaven
    But I don’t wanna die

    So, I long for the day when I’ll have new birth
    Still, I love the livin’ here on Earth
    Everybody wants to go to Heaven
    But nobody wants to die

    Everybody wants to go to Heaven
    But nobody wants to die

  111. jeff1 says:

    I was thinking of my friend and I recall her words to me when her father had reached the grand old age of 90 +.

    She said to me I hope no one says to me he’s had a good innings as I know he has but that won’t stop me missing him and when I thought about her circumstances I understood why she felt like this.

    Neither my parents reached anyway near this age but she was an only child and never married and her mother had died long before her dad had and she was so attached to him and took such good care of him and he of her and they became dependent on each other so I think the longer you have someone then the wrench may be harder.

    I find it hard to imagine heaven as life is so fleeing and especially as the years go on it seems to go quicker.

    Just a closer walk with Thee,
    Precious Jesus, hear my plea,
    Daily walking close to Thee,
    Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

    I am weak, but Thou art strong;
    Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
    I’ll be satisfied as long
    As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

    Just a closer walk with Thee,
    Precious Jesus, hear my plea,
    Daily walking close to Thee,
    Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

    When my feeble life is o’er,
    Time for me will be no more;
    Guide me gently, safely o’er
    To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.
    To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.

    Just a closer walk with Thee,
    Precious Jesus, hear my plea,
    Daily walking close to Thee,
    Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
    Let it be, dear Lord, let it be

  112. jeff1 says:

    I meant to say fleeting.

  113. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of intercessory prayer.

    We pray for PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
    the home, and family life …
    children deprived of home…
    friends, relations and neighbours…
    relationships in daily life and work…
    those who are estranged…
    those who feel unloved…
    all ministries of care…

    Thanksgiving

    Loving Father, we give you thanks
    for the obedience of Christ fulfilled in the cross,
    his bearing of the sin of the world,
    his mercy for the world, which never fails…

    for the joy of loving and being loved,
    for friendship,
    the lives to which our own are bound,
    the gift of peace with you and with one another…

    for the communities in whose lives we share
    and all relationships in which reconciliation may be known…

    Help us to share in Christ’s ministry
    of love and service to one another;
    through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
    who in the unity of the Holy Spirit
    is one with you and for ever. Amen.

  114. Beloved says:

    I was just thinking- as I used to ask God often- why was I born into this family? One day I realized that we don’t choose our families of origin but knowing God as I did through Jesus I soon learned our families are as temporary as a sunrise on any given day. Yet a new sun every morning —just like His mercy. I have an Eternal family with one Father and many brothers and sisters who are all of the same mind; the mind Jesus gave us here. So, I concluded that even though I am still greatly influenced by my parents of the flesh it will be completely different beyond the curtain we strive to go through heavenward. .
    To God be the glory! Amen

  115. Beloved says:

    Viv I didn’t see your posted prayer for reconciliation. Reconciliation of peoples’ sounds good and right but I believe reconciliation with God through faith in Christ’s work on the cross is more important. Gods Love brings hope and hope brings peace. Truces amongst people do not bring love only more disappointment anger and selfishness. We see it here with the many truces between the government and the Native Indians that did not work out well. For reasons on both sides. Earthly power always wins—on earth. But Jesus took on flesh as a Servant to the least and He won!! Victory over darkness forever. He stated He could have called legions of Angels to save him but He chose not to; For all who are called according to His purposes, not our own selfishness.

  116. jeff1 says:

    Beloved, you have watched the documentary and say you understand something now of how deep the anger and hatred is here.

    Yet, you say I am wrong to pray for reconciliation but I say it is better than despairing for those who have hardened their minds and hearts and are not listening to God.

    You want people to be like you but they are not which is the challenges we face today as people are moving away from God and that proves the Bible to be right as each would go their own way and that is what is happening in the world today.

    Families are divided, my children do not share my faith but do you think that I believe God gives up on them for He didn’t on me and so why should I believe He would on them.

    Why should I believe that He would give up on anyone when I know He knows this can be a harsh world and we are all fallible.

  117. jeff1 says:

    Beloved, if earthly powers always wins on earth then it is not our purpose to succeed but to do what is right and let God do the rest.

  118. street says:

    16 For this reason it is [o]by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the [p]descendants, not only to [q]those who are of the Law, but also to [r]those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 (as it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, that is, God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that do not exist. 18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “So shall your [s]descendants be.” 19 Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; 20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. 22 Therefore it was also credited to him as righteousness. 23 Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, to us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 He who was delivered over because of our wrongdoings, and was raised because of our justification.

  119. Beloved says:

    Viv Paul said:
    And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews11

    Many have a hard time 1) believing He exists, 2) and if they do believe they have a hard time believing He will reward them. What are those rewards? I think peace, joy, happiness hope and love. It’s all by faith. Jesus made the unclean clean. Oh so much to gain!

  120. Beloved says:

    I thought of Jesus entry into Jerusalem for Passover. Jesus weeps over the blindness of people. In intercession we do also.
    Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem
    (Isaiah 29:1–16)
    41As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it 42and said, “If only you had known on this day what would bring you peace! But now it is hidden from your eyes. 43For the days will come upon you when your enemies will barricade you and surround you and hem you in on every side. 44They will level you to the ground—you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.e”

  121. street says:

    10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also celebrate in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5

    This, I think, is another reason for recalling that, in the unfolding drama of Holy Week, we walk in the ways and needs of people who didn’t yet know or recognize the everlasting-beyond-the-grave-goodness of their God. It’s about people who unwittingly wanted to kill him to protect themselves… without understanding that he was letting them have their way with him— so he could show how much the Father loved them, and us.

    If we are not heedful and pay no attention to the way the Spirit of God works in us, we will become spiritual hypocrites. We see where other people are failing, and then we take our discernment and turn it into comments of ridicule and criticism, instead of turning it into intercession on their behalf. God reveals this truth about others to us not through the sharpness of our minds but through the direct penetration of His Spirit. If we are not attentive, we will be completely unaware of the source of the discernment God has given us, becoming critical of others and forgetting that God says, “…he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death.” Be careful that you don’t become a hypocrite by spending all your time trying to get others right with God before you worship Him yourself. Oswald Chambers

  122. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you so much Street, for that advice.
    We worship God
    Be in a state of worshipping God.
    And have the heart and mind of Christ formed in us.
    As Jesus weeps, yes: weep, and make intercession, just like Jesus intercedes for us, day and night.

    The Church has to be purified first, that we may be one, and the world will see that God sent Jesus, John 17

    How can the world see Jesus, if the christians be are so divided. This is a huge problem,
    God have mercy, may we be completely humble, and do the things Jesus teaches, to bring all our cares to Him, and wait patiently for Him to act.

    Worship God, wait for Him

  123. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed you make coming to BTA a pleasure for me. In a place where we are free to express our thoughts and perhaps explore them with others, you make the effort worth it.

    Yesterday was an exhausting day and I am somewhat tired this morning. I may come back later, but for now I turn my energy to my responsibilities and to continued prayer.

    37 degrees f under a clear starry sky.

    Steve

  124. foreverblessed says:

    May God bless you in your continuing praye, and responsibilities.
    Jesus is very very pleased with all the serving you do for others in His Name. May He give you strength and wisdom.

    And I wait for your thoughts.
    But in the mean time, I think about: what is the greatest truth in the Bible:
    The Cross

    ” The heart of salvation is the Cross of Christ. The reason salvation is so easy to obtain is that it cost God so much. The Cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life was opened. But all the cost and pain of the collision was absorbed by the heart of God.”
    Oswald Chambers yesterday.

    A great collision he calls it.
    The greatest truth there is, and saving truth!
    We can agree on that, as christians.
    And we can study the effect of the Cross in our own lives, and and obey what Jesus teaches us, study the Gospels, and so make our lives a greater blessing to others around us. As was the meaning of Abraham, to be a blessing to many nations, through the Seed: Jesus, Son of God, who would die for our sins on the Cross, and Who would give us resurrection Life, in the Spirit.

    Amen

  125. jeff1 says:

    Beloved says:
    April 6, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    Viv Paul said:
    And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews11Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)

    Many have a hard time 1) believing He exists, 2) and if they do believe they have a hard time believing He will reward them. What are those rewards? I think peace, joy, happiness hope and love. It’s all by faith. Jesus made the unclean clean. Oh so much to gain!

    Beloved, I inherited my faith and not only that but I had a dad who was persistent in telling me to keep my focus on Christ before religion or culture.

    I see in this Province that peoples driving force is their religion and culture and though they believe in God he must fit in with their beliefs whereas my dad taught me I must do God’s will.

    If I pray for those who have wandered it is because I remember the foolishness of my youth and I never listened to my dad but followed my peers who were loyalists and we were going to stand firm our slogan being “We shall not be moved”.

    What do we war about but the land, oil or whatever great nations fight about to have the monopoly on so they can Lord it over one and other but what about the young men and women who go to their deaths because we have becomes nations of bullies who have forgotten God’s way are to share and to do so with sincerity and love.

    Teach Us To Live

    God of love – Forgive! Forgive!
    Teach us how to truly live,
    Ask us not our race or creed,
    Just take us in our hour of need,
    And let us know You love us, too,
    And that we are a part of You …
    And someday may man realize
    That all the earth, the seas and skies
    Belong to God who made us all,
    The rich, the poor, the great, the small,
    And in the Father’s Holy Sight
    No man is yellow, black or white,
    And peace on earth cannot be found
    Until we meet on common ground
    And every man becomes a brother
    Who worships God and loves each other.

  126. jeff1 says:

    “Where No One Stands Alone”

    Once I stood in the night with my head bowed low
    In darkness as black as the sea
    In my heart felt alone and I cried oh Lord
    Don’t hide your face from me.

    Hold my hand all the way every hour every day
    From here to the great unknown
    Take my hand let me stand
    Where no one stands alone.

    Like a king I may live in a palace so fine
    With great riches to call my own
    But I don’t know a thing in this whole wide world
    That’s worse than being alone.

    Hold my hand all the way every hour every day
    From here to the great unknown
    Take my hand let me stand
    Where no one stands alone…

  127. poohpity says:

    street, that paragraph you quoted from Oswald Chambers that started with “If you only heed” sums up in more words what Jesus taught when He said, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” “It has a dual meaning, first attacking the hypocrisy of those who criticize others while ignoring their own much larger flaws, and since the flaw is in the eye it is a metaphor for how such flaws can blind one” to the reason that Christ died for you.(Matt 7:2-5)

    It seems to come back to all stand on level ground at the foot of the Cross which is summed up in what Viv, wrote in “Teach Us To Live”. How can we live out what Jesus has taught us if we either feel superior to others or less than others? There seems to be no room to hear from the Holy Spirit with a belief that sinfulness has degrees by your sins are worse than mine. How can we ever get anything that Jesus teaches us if we can not meet on that common ground at the foot of the Cross? Pointing our finger at others completely blinds us to our own need.

  128. foreverblessed says:

    Pooh: April 7, 8.19 am
    “Pointing our finger at others completely blinds us to our own need.”

    Pooh, April 1, 12.41

    “However you did not believe what Jesus taught for that instance so why would you believe anything else the scripture teaches. I guess picking and choosing what to believe so that we find comfort even if it is a lie is no way to live by faith, that would be more like depending on human thought and reasoning not coming from the Holy Spirit’s teaching.”

  129. street says:

    i think what oswald chambers was getting at is when we discern the faults in others we are to intercede for them. in effect we are interceding for them and ourselves for we do the same thing.

    as for the foot of the cross, paul made it clear that “I am” crucified with Christ. new live in Christ, the resurrection. a living hope.

    oswald chambers was good today and addressed the issues related to the transfiguration. waiting is not fun but necessary just like love and obedience.

    been thinking of this passage again….

    10
    Make the heart of this people calloused;
    make their ears dull
    and close their eyes.[a]
    Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts,
    and turn and be healed.”

    11 Then I said, “For how long, Lord?”

    And he answered:

    “Until the cities lie ruined
    and without inhabitant,
    until the houses are left deserted
    and the fields ruined and ravaged,
    12
    until the Lord has sent everyone far away
    and the land is utterly forsaken.

    thinking now/after, God can begin receiving the Glory and the Love that is His. conformed to His image. we love because He first loved us and given us His Spirit, poured out into our hearts. born again.

    Romans 4:3
    For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

  130. SFDBWV says:

    The quest for answers seems to have been coded into mankind from the very beginning.

    The most difficult and unreachable are the ones that drive us and always leaves us unsatisfied and searching, searching, searching.

    The Bibles gives us some information, but not everything. Only enough is given because that is all we need to know.

    I can remember that the Sadducees did not believe in a life after death by a cute little saying Chuck Missler used to say about them; “They were sad-u see” (They were sad you see).

    In my own quest for answers, my answers, or for the time being what I have come to believe, has come by life experience, observation and “faith”.

    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 KJV of the Bible.

    Some things are left to faith. This is God’s will for us. Somewhere in the story we have to trust God for what we don’t know and cannot find out.

    My faith in God tells me He does not want to see human beings left in torment forever and ever.
    My faith tells me God is all powerful.
    That no power in heaven or earth can separate us from His love.

    My common sense tells me that people only listen when threatened or punished. That it takes a great deal of maturing before people do right simply because it is right.

    Another busy day, but I wanted to stop in for a moment with a cup of coffee and a little fellowship.

    Steve

  131. Beloved says:

    I just heard this last night, that Augustine said when we read scripture do we have faith in what we believe, or in what God says. Faith is an interesting topic.

    Steve I personally learned to listen for fear of punishment. When I became a Christian now I listen and react to love. It’s an amazing thing, love poured out through a bloody cross!

  132. Beloved says:

    Just read My Utmost -Do we lack understanding?
    Yep he explains why. It appears it’s a gradual process.

  133. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Steve, for your thoughts.

    I personally do agree with your line of thought.
    There is faith in God, and trust in His Character.
    You say that you just cannot imagine that God would leave someone forever=without end in torment.

    And especially when a person would repent and ask God for mercy! I add that last bit.

    The message of the parabel of the rich man and Lazarus,
    Luke 16, what was Jesus trying to teach us?
    Was it meant to say something about the life after death?
    Or does it contain a message for us today? And so: what message?
    I really had to laugh about what Jeff said: is there life before death?

    Jesus came to give us life, life abundant. That is a spiritual life.
    The parabel seems to say, that those who have suffered greatly in this world, will be in reverse state in the next. That as a side message, to those who are now not living in great luxury.
    But there is more:
    Jesus had told in a previous parabel, Luke 16:1-13
    that we cannot serve God and mammon, and that Jesus urges us to use money to win souls for His Kingdom.
    The rich man had not done that, he had not used his wealth to help those who were at his doorstep. No welfare went to him. The rich man did not have to go to third world countries, it was about people who came across in his direct vicinity.

    And in the afterlife the situation is reversed:
    Lazarus in great peace and taken care of, the rich man is in torment.

    I did some search in the commentaries, and the description of afterlife is interpreted in many different ways but most of all:
    It is like Steve and Beloved said: the intermediate state before the final judgment.
    It says nothing about what happens after the judgement day.

  134. foreverblessed says:

    I give one commentary:
    Cambridge Bible for schools and colleges
    On Luke 16:23
    [in hell] Rather, in Hades. Hades, which is represented as containing both Paradise and Gehenna, and is merely the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Sheol, ‘the grave,’ is the intermediate condition of the dead between death and the final judgment. The scene on earth is contrasted with the reversed conditions of the other world. The entire scenery and phraseology are Jewish, and are borrowed from those which were current among the Rabbis of Christ’s day. Beyond the awful truth that death brings no necessary forgiveness, and therefore that the retribution must continue beyond the grave, we are not warranted in pressing the details of the imagery which was used as part of the vivid picture. And since the scene is in Hades, we cannot draw from it any safe inferences as to the final condition of the lost. The state of Dives may be, as Tertullian says, a praelibatio sententiae, but it is not as yet the absolute sentence.

  135. foreverblessed says:

    Do we lack understanding?
    Yes, indeed, I enjoyed that too.
    Your view of God matured: from fear of punishment to the cords of love.

    And the fear of punishment having been the drive to do good, is maybe a way for many to start their walk with Jesus.
    I must admit, that was never mine. I obeyed God because I loved Him, and respected Him. If He said so, He must have a good reason to say so, so I better do what He says.
    I did misunderstand what His commands were though.
    This may sound incredible to many, but it was equally a shock to me that I found out that many boys do mischievous things, just for the mischief. I could not understand that mindset.

    Never mind, I was just as lost as all of Adams children. Lost in another way than the mischievous ones.

    Now about threats:
    But Jesus is not a dictator, one who with terrible punishment will keep people on a straight line.
    He draws us with cords of love.

    Maybe it is also a maturing view of God that develops in a christian to see that the final stage of the world, is much more merciful than threats of hell forever.
    But to say such a thing is really so prideful, and like looking down on those who think hell is forever, and no not ever a way out of it, because they think the bible says so, in their immature christian understanding.
    So I dread to say such a thing.

    God shows His Love by giving His Son for our Redemption. He redeems us through the death of His Son.
    But He adopts us in the resurrected life of His Son, Who now sits at His right hand. Giving His Spirit, who had suffered in His body in Gethsemane till on the Cross.

    The message of the Cross, and the Resurrection.
    The new Life in Christ, the old man is dead crucified with Christ, it is a done fact, because the Word of God says so.
    Do I believe that?
    Do I believe that the life I now live is in faith in Christ?
    Christ living in me.
    Do I give Him all the space He can fill?!

  136. foreverblessed says:

    That is what I am now studying, the blood and body of Jesus.
    By the blood we know we have forgiveness.

    That is the understanding we have when we start out as a christian

    And accepting total forgiveness is a path too, deeper and deeper we see its impact in us.
    Forgiveness of sins, each in his own way has gone wrong;
    The older brother and the wayward brother.
    I was more like the older brother, doing all these things I thought God commanded me to do, but I did not have the intimate relationship with Jesus. I tried to work up patience, peace, and love in my own heart, and I tried to control my own mishaps, my depressions, my feeling of down. Not to earn a reward, but because I did not know to live in absolute dependency on Jesus.
    God waited at the side, till I was exhausted, and to my wife end. And I cried for mercy and help, as I felt lost.
    God answered my cry, and talked comfort to my soul:
    Dear lovely child, you are Mine, and I take care of you.

    God forgave me, and now I live in faith in Jesus, looking up to Him, love joy peace, long-suffering, patience, goodness
    All streaming from Him,
    inhaling
    And I give all my sins my worries my hurt to Him.
    Exhaling

    Now what about the Body of Christ?
    That’s where I am studying now,
    In the study of Watchmen Nee, the normal christian life.
    And I have written some about it here.
    I heard about it, but it seems more depth to have than I had.
    Increased understanding.

    In the mean time I wrestle to be in rest in Jesus, and pray intercessory prayer to those He puts in my mind.
    And do the chores, worshipping God, but that’s the theory, the practice is harder.

    Thanks to that topic of Mart: the body and the blood, and the vision of Aquinas.
    Thanks Mart.

  137. foreverblessed says:

    It is evening here, 9.30 almost. Dark and come. We had three days of snow, and frost at night. Last week it was spring, 24°C, that is what in F? Lovely temps, but much too warm for March 31, Records they were. That was last week. Then the cold came in.

    But Jesus is Lord, having my eyes on Him, just as Jeff has.
    Good night
    May God bless us all, and our loved ones.
    And the ones we come in contact with.
    May we see them with the eyes of Jesus.

  138. Beloved says:

    Well, i guess there is nothing more i can say here regarding the popular belief in a universal salvation as its been decided I’m immature in my thinking and understanding of scripture. Yet the witness within of the Holy Spirit as i read the Word and not what I “think“ about it tells me differently so I will carefully decide how to proceed here on the matter.

    Not growing up in a Christian family i have no biases or false beliefs to deal with. But much more remnants of sin to deal with. Even though sin has been turned to righteous right standing by the cross and I have peace with God I am still being trained through the sanctification process. Still learning about God and all I have are scripture and Godly teachers. I have all I need. ☦︎︎

  139. Beloved says:

    And Jesus, of course, the author and finisher of my faith who leads guides and directs my spiritual life. ✞

  140. jeff1 says:

    From glory descending,
    Completely depending,
    You trusted Your Father
    And lived to obey.
    In speaking and doing,
    His pleasure pursuing,
    You joyfully listened
    And followed by faith.
    Through weakness came power,
    A strength every hour.
    Though empty, You gave with
    A heart unafraid,
    Secure in the knowing
    And full in the flowing
    Of God in His fullness
    Each moment by faith.

    Lord Jesus, You lead us
    To faith that can free us,
    So trusting and humble,
    We bow and obey.
    In speaking and doing,
    Your pleasure pursuing,
    We joyfully listen
    And follow by faith.
    Through weakness comes power,
    A strength every hour.
    Though empty, we give with
    A heart unafraid,
    Secure in the knowing
    And full in the flowing
    Of Your mighty Spirit
    Each moment by faith

  141. poohpity says:

    Nothing about the place of torment has to do with whether someone is rich or poor but whether they realize they are sinners and are in need of someone to save them which is what Moses and the Prophets taught in scripture about Jesus (Luke 24:27 NLT). They taught there had to be a sacrifice for sin and the person has to turn(repent) to God. So in the passage about the chasm between heaven and the place of torment that is exactly again what Jesus taught when He said;

    Luke 16: for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

    We are taught to always confront false teaching. To call someone immature in their faith now that is finding fault and criticizing not disagreeing over what scripture teaches. The maturity comes in how we respond to those we disagree with, we can be like a immature children who calls names and puts people down or in a mature way present the reason and facts for disagreement without the name calling or put downs.

  142. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Beloved, do not worry, you have mainstream religion behind you.
    And did you really read what I did write about maturity?
    Please read it again and then say something about it.

    Steve was saying, let’s have an open discussion, and let me share my thoughts about this subject.
    But what he said is mostly considered as heretical.
    I do not think that it is false teaching.
    And I do think that God allows us to have reservations about certain interpretations. God allows it that we may question Him:

    Dear God, it seems that You will throw people in hell, at the final judgment. That it says for ages and ages. That there flame will not quench.
    I have noticed that there is no word for forever in Greek, that the word means ages and ages.
    Dear God, I know that You are merciful, and loving, and patient, and all the lovely characteristics of a Father who longs to save. Who waits for the wayward son to come back.
    Do you mean my Father, that at Judgment day You are not waiting anymore? That Your Mercy is over?
    Dear Father in heaven, I cannot see You being like that.
    You are always the same. You always love, You always trust You always Hope.
    Dear God, I lay the matter in Your hands.
    Please comfort those who mourn, as You have promised.
    And thank You for Your great Salvation,
    That word about it may spread this world, and touch many in their hearts. Also by the living service of your children.
    Thank You Lord God Almighty.
    In Jezus’ Name I pray

  143. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Lord, the putting down of people on this blog is done to me, from Pooh who said:
    However you did not believe what Jesus taught for that instance so why would you believe anything else the scripture teaches.”
    I have pointed it out to her, two times, but she does not repent.
    I lay it at Your feet,
    Father forgive her because of Jesus.

    Matthew 6:14-15 for if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

  144. SFDBWV says:

    Who Am I in Christ;

    Romans 8:16 A child of God
    Ephesians 2:8 Saved by grace through faith
    Psalms 107:2 Redeemed from the hand of the foe
    1 John 5:11, 12 an heir of eternal life
    Ephesians 1:7 Forgiven
    Romans 8:14 Led by the Spirit of God
    2 Corinthians 5:17 A new creature
    Galatians 3:13 Redeemed from the curse of the law
    Isaiah 46:4 Kept in safety wherever I go
    Ephesians 6:10 Strong in the Lord and His mighty power
    2 Corinthians 5:7 Living by faith and not by sight
    Colossians 1:13 Rescued from the dominion of darkness
    Romans 5:1 Justified
    Romans 8:17 An heir of God and co-heir with Christ
    Ephesians 1:3 Blessed with every spiritual blessing, an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb
    Revelation 12:11 And the Word of my testimony
    Matthew 5:14 The light of the world
    Ephesians 5:1 An imitator off God
    1 Peter 2:24 Healed by His wounds
    Romans 12:2 Being transformed by the renewing of my mind

    Steve

  145. SFDBWV says:

    I posted “Who Am I in Christ” as a prelude to my next set of questions.
    Who are Christians?
    What is the purpose of Christians after the rapture and when Jesus returns as King of Kings?
    What of the 1/3 population in the world that did not die during the Great Tribulation?
    Are they now all professing followers?
    Where is that said?
    At the end of the thousand year reign of Jesus as King on Earth, when another rebellion comes and there is judgement, what remains after *everything* is made new and all the former things are forgotten?

    Steve

  146. poohpity says:

    forever, you are missing the whole point again. “GOD DOES NOT WANT THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH” that is why Jesus came. However there will be those WHO DO NOT believe in God but turn the other way that is their choice not what God wants.

    How about as an example inviting someone who you have seen around your town to have a meal and spend some time with you but they refuse because they want nothing to do with you for whatever reason that may be. So people talk about you and say she threw that person out of her house to go hungry. That is what you seem to be saying about how God works.

    Jesus taught many parables about those who make a choice for God and those who do not and here is just one;

    Matt 22: Jesus also told them other parables. He said, 2 “The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. 3 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited. But they all refused to come!

    4 “So he sent other servants to tell them, ‘The feast has been prepared. The bulls and fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the banquet!’ 5 But the guests he had invited ignored them and went their own way, one to his farm, another to his business. 6 Others seized his messengers and insulted them and killed them.

    7 “The king was furious, and he sent out his army to destroy the murderers and burn their town. 8 And he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren’t worthy of the honor. 9 Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see.’ 10 So the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled with guests.

    11 “But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. 12 ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?’ But the man had no reply. 13 Then the king said to his aides, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

    14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

    There is only one way into eternity and that is covered by the blood of the lamb and that is after all the home of God and He is just and right to allow some people in by the gate or the door, all are invited but there will be those who make a choice not to come.

    By the way the place you quoted me that starts with “However” is not a sin against you or anyone else it asks you the question of which scripture you choose to believe and which you don’t.

  147. jeff1 says:

    Steve, since I have no recollection of being taught these verses of scripture saying “Who I am in Christ” I will sit this one out as I am still trying to take in your extensive verses and the implications of them.

    It would seem to me that I have an inheritance that is beyond my literal understanding when I consider Psalm 107:2 Redeemed from the hand of the foe as the reality for me is that too often ‘I am my own worst enemy’.

  148. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Pooh, because I miss your point, you have the right to put me down?
    As I do not believe Jesus, as you explain it, why would I believe anything else written in scripture?

  149. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Jeff,
    “I am my own worst enemy”

    We all are, were. And God has given us a solution:
    Our sins are forgiven, because of the Blood.
    But then as we proceed in our walk with Jesus, we see that from our inmost parts, things keep coming up that are terrible.

    We are lost, because of the fall of Adam. Before we were born, we were lost, whether we do our best, or do our worst. We fail to love as God loves.

    Here comes in the Body of Christ!

    Instead of making us strong to be able to overcome our weaknesses, God makes us weaker and weaker. In fact God has ordained that we die. When Jesus died on the Cross, we died with Him.
    How much do I believe the Word of God?
    I have died already, I cannot ask God to let my old man die, I have to accept the fact that I have already died.

    As I can thank God for the forgiveness of my sins, so I can thank God that I have already died.
    My old man is dead.
    Do I know that that is so?
    Do I reckon that that is so?

    In the case of this blog, where someone puts me down, my old man wants retribution, but my old man is dead. It is gone, my new man has risen with Christ, and I live a new life. Do I hold on to a grudge, or let it go? In faith I ask Jesus to give me empathy, patience forbearance. As Jesus has been patient with me, so He can be with anybody else.

    Praise God for the fact that our old man has died!!!

    What comes up are only phantoms, they are soon gone. They have no more power over us.

  150. poohpity says:

    Is pride part of the old person or of the new? Does a new life in Christ ‘demand’ apologies or is that just another example of injured pride?

  151. foreverblessed says:

    Dear dearest Pooh, you yourself say it is better to look at your own faults than pointing towards mine.
    You made a huge fault, I point that out to you, in my deepest concern for you that you will fall under judgment by the Word of Jesus, I have not asked for an apology.
    I am weeping over you.
    Look in your own heart and see what you have done.
    And bring it to God, He is merciful. Always will be.

  152. SFDBWV says:

    Over the years when I came upon a question that the Holy Spirit drove me to find an answer, I found myself rewriting, that is copying verse after verse of Scripture until I reached a point where it just didn’t matter anymore.

    I realized that it was I that the lesson was for and no one else.

    Whereas it seems “safe” to share thoughts with friends and family, sometimes our thoughts should be kept to ourselves if it offends or causes confusion or disruption.

    In such cases we end up alone with our thoughts.

    I don’t want to drift off too far from what it is I am wanting to convey to you. But remember sometime back Mart mentioned a book he had read somewhere back in the past that described God as a tyrant, punishing for disobedience, dividing family and loved ones as a measure of serving Himself only.

    Well, I don’t see God in that light at all.

    Stick with what works for you, don’t let my rambling thoughts cause any of you distress.

    Try reading your Bibles along with prayer and meditation. You may discover that God is not limited by our ability to use words or our understanding of them.

    He speaks into your heart a knowledge that surpasses all understanding and gives you peace.

    Have a nice day.

    Steve

  153. Beloved says:

    Maybe i misunderstood your comment Forever:
    “Maybe it is also a maturing view of God that develops in a christian to see that the final stage of the world, is much more merciful than threats of hell forever.
    But to say such a thing is really so prideful, and like looking down on those who think hell is forever, and no not ever a way out of it, because they think the bible says so, in their immature christian understanding.“

    I was not referring to your opinion but to the idea of universal salvation. If non conformity to this idea is immature than yes I am immature but the confusion it causes me is not worrh my time. As far as mainstream religion no i do not consider myself Catholic or Lutheran or Methodist etc. No problem what you consider about me as far as “religion“ goes whatsoever. Im not that important to think about actually just letting my friends here know whats going on with me, thats all.

  154. Beloved says:

    I do believe that Satan still tries to tempt us all today. I was thinkibg about the temptation of Jesus and what He said later about the NARROW road.
    Luke 4:1-14 ESV

    And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’” And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.

  155. Beloved says:

    For you, Forever,

    The Hebrew word that is translated many times as “forever, is “owlam.” It can be found in Daniel 12:2. In this case, the English word “everlasting” is used to translate the Hebrew word “owlam”: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to everlasting contempt.” This prophesied occurrence speaks of a future time when the fate of many humans will be decided on a perpetual and eternal basis.
    Jesus also taught about life that would be endless. In John 6:51, He states: “‘I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.’” The Greek word “aion” translated as “forever” in this passage is used by John in a similar context as he contrasted that which is temporary to that which is permanent: “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).

  156. Beloved says:

    I have to say thankyou to Mart for hosting this blog.

    When i started here 6-7 years ago I had a very incomplete understanding of God — even fearful and untrusting for various reasons yet Jesus has kept me safe and informed on my lifes’ journey while the blog has helped me understand God better through His Word. Now i have a healthy fear of God and a better respect for Him. Oh Jesus ! Our living Savior, thank You☦︎︎

  157. street says:

    after rereading mart’s post some thoughts.

    With the passing of someone we love, our minds go to questions of what lies beyond the curtain.

    Judgment

    beyond the Judgment? God

    I’m guessing that many of us will also admit that we love God to the extent that we believe he loves us—

    good guess, but i think our love falls short in many ways when compared to God’s love, Christ.

    someday conformed to Christ!

    This, I think, is another reason for recalling that, in the unfolding drama of Holy Week, God makes His love to us through faith, that His Word/Love could be poured into and flow out of our hearts.

    Thankfully, we remember the Resurrected One—who was making atonement for them….

    along with an abundant supply of grace and mercy.

    even the adversity is a gift from the Father to keep His children from growing up brats. the Fathers love is indeed Great and Beautiful…

    i can see why paul needed a thorn. i need one too.

    thinking of job, all the events brought him closer to God on a first Name basis. I have seen Your Face.

    before this job had to call out to God and he repented.

    God was pleased with job. a man of faith.

  158. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Street, that did good to me.
    God’s unsurpassing Love, Grace, Mercy

    Thank you very very much Beloved for having a kind conversation.
    A respectful conversation.
    Yes,the word aion in greek actually means ages.
    Aionas ton aionas Revelation 20:10
    Ages and ages
    That is translated into forever.
    Ages and ages is a very very long time. Forever is without end.

    Look, I know that it seems that the Bible says that hell is burning forever and ever.
    But I have hope that there is a misunderstanding, that it is just a little bit different than the Church and the Church Fathers have stated as a creed: the damned stay in hell forever.

    I have this hope, that it is said in Romans 11:32
    For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that He may have mercy on them all.
    Mart has had z topic on this passage a few years ago.

    Hebrews 6:4-6 looks very very grim. It means too that it is possible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age….
    This bible verse says that if they fall away…
    So they can fall away…
    That is the most horrible scripture I know of.
    Is it impossible for them to come back to Jesus?
    It seems to say so.

    I have to give this scripture to Jesus, put it in His hands, and trust Him completely, that He is always Loving, aleays merciful.

    And instead read and reread;
    Hebrews 6:9-12

  159. street says:

    23 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses. 3 Therefore, whatever they tell you, do and comply with it all, but do not do as they do; for they say things and do not do them. 4 And they tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as their finger.

    John 10:27
    My sheep listen to My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

    25 “These things I have spoken to you while remaining with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you.
    Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful.

    11 Now when they bring you before the synagogues and the officials and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

  160. foreverblessed says:

    9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
    Hebrews 6:9-12

    Better things- things that accompany salvation. in our case

  161. foreverblessed says:

    Isaiah 9:7
    Of the increase of His Government there will be no end.
    No end
    That means endless, that is forever.
    What is forever?
    The increase of His Government.

    The One Who is called:
    Wonderful
    Counselor
    Mighty God
    Everlasting Father
    Prince of Peace
    Isa 9:6-7

  162. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Street, signing out I saw your post.
    I will take these verses to heart, 12.52 pm
    It is 20.06 pm overhere.
    Dear Jeff, I pray for your country, and the riots at the border. May God have mercy on them all.
    It seems an unsolvable problem, humanly, but God….
    Let them all see the Light of Jesus in their hearts.

  163. jeff1 says:

    Forever, I have stopped looking for peace in this world and then I won’t be disappointed.

    Christ’s gives an inner peace that I don’t try to understand but just accept His Ways are not ours and I am so thankful for that.

    All glory to God!
    You have brought us this far.
    Thank You! We thank You, O Lord!
    You’ve blessed every day‒
    What a wonder You are!
    Thank You! We thank You, O Lord!

    You give us a joy
    In this journey of faith.
    Thank You! We thank You, O Lord!
    We know You’ll be with us
    The rest of the way.
    Thank You! We thank You, O Lord!
    Thank You! We thank You, O Lord!

  164. Beloved says:

    I just have to mention this regarding communication styles here. I don’t want to offend anyone.

    A personal confession regarding Pooh’s communication style is she triggers me so bad because she talks the same way my dad did. I’m thinking it’s from being raised in the south (my dad was from Arkansas) where I still have lots of relatives so am used to hearing it on Facebook but never see or actually talk so it’s safer for me that way or I get immediately disregulated and takes me hours to come back to normal.

    But Pooh, it was hearing your voice on the phone that really got to me- so much so I couldn’t talk to you anymore. And I am very sorry.

    I’m very crippled but it’s my thorn thankfully as street mentioned and I know I need a big one!

    I watched a reality show with a young man from the Netherlands and he and his family were very touchy about being disrespected. I don’t know if this is common but it does explain some things here.

    Me, I’m just a stubborn Irish- Indian who likes to think I know as much as the next person! With crutches and a back brace🤣. Psychologically not literally🤣

    Yet we all understand the Grace and mercy of God through Jesus and that friends is the bottom line. Beware majoring on non-essentials if the feelings get hurt. In the essentials there’s unity. I must remember that when things get testy here.
    Ya I’m finished with my random thoughts. Like I said, not trying to offend anyone.

  165. Beloved says:

    WordPress seems to be working now I didn’t have to sign out and in and didn’t get a “not allowed” message that was freaky. 😟

  166. Beloved says:

    Oops spoke too soon…

  167. poohpity says:

    forever, I apologize if you took my question to you as a put down it was not intended to be.

  168. poohpity says:

    Oh Beloved, let it go. It is OK if you do not like me I can live with that. But know that I really love you none the less. ;-)

  169. Beloved says:

    Thank you Pooh I love you and all here😊🎚

  170. jeff1 says:

    From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge. Psalm 61:2-3 ESV

  171. Beloved says:

    Romans8
    God’s Everlasting Love

    31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can bei against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.j 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36As it is written,

    “For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

    37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  172. foreverblessed says:

    That’s wonderful Pooh!!!

  173. foreverblessed says:

    Nobody can snatch them out of My hands.
    Nothing can separate us from the Love of God.
    How do you connect this to Hebrews 6:4-6?

  174. jeff1 says:

    Lord, forgive me for the times that I forget that you are omniscient and aware of all that is taking place.
    I know you will accomplish your will. Amen

    God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked,
    but I will increase the power of the godly.”
    PSALM 75:10 NLT

  175. poohpity says:

    forever as for your question @3:40 am. Nothing can separate us from God’s love but as the passage in Hebrews seems to explain WE can walk away from God’s love just as Jesus explained in the parable of the four types of soils.

    Matt 13: Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

    Just as Adam and Eve did in the garden. They walked away and hid from God even after enjoying the pleasure of His closeness and Glory but God pursued them as He does with all sinners well unless they want nothing to do with Him so they walk away from Him.

  176. poohpity says:

    I believe though in the Hebrew’s passage during the time it was written some Jews who made the choice to follow Jesus then turned back to Judaism which was what they were freed from, so they turned from Grace back to living under the law instead or rather than. So essentially they were trampling the meaning of the Good News.

  177. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed and any that want to listen in. Mart uses the term “tensions” to describe the verses that contradict each other. It is as good as any term for what seems to be just that, a contradictory statement that opposes each other. And there are plenty of them found in Scripture reading.

    Seeing that for the most part we have been talking of life after death I am reminded of a friend of mine now deceased who would argue without giving an inch that there was no life after death and he used one quote of Bible that said “The dead know nothing” to defend it.

    Of course there are a great deal of verses that give testimony that there is, even from Jesus Himself, but that never changed his mind.

    Chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians dedicates a great deal of its text to discussing life after death and one verse of it has always stuck out in my mind as to praying for those already dead. That being 1Corinthians 15:29 KJV.

    Sometime back quite a few years ago one of Marts subjects was asking if there were a difference between the teaching from Jesus and the teaching of Paul. As much of the NT is written by Paul, but there seems to be some “tensions” between the two.

    The subject of things Paul gave in Scripture is certainly controversial in light of today’s culture especially concerning women. I have to remember sometimes that Paul spoke to Jews who already had their “traditions” or “laws” and sometimes it seemed his use of words dealt with that as much as anything.

    It occurs to me that Israel as a nation had it all at the beginning. God was with them. They tasted His provision, His protection, His Holy Spirit dwelt among them, yet over and over they questioned and abandoned Him.

    Yet from the beginning before the foundation of the world God had a plan in mind for the salvation of man.

    To make it simple for me, I think God has made a way.

    Steve

  178. Beloved says:

    The question of Hebrews 6 seems to engage the “will” of man which never changes even after conversion, I know because I can still sin or I can choose not to sin. This just occurred to me but I could be wrong.

    Read your post Steve, hoping today is a lot easier than yesterday.

  179. Beloved says:

    I heard someone say last night that a person who didn’t believe in the atonement for sin would absolutely hate being in heaven. That’s something to think about. I think it was Whitfield maybe, or Sproul.

  180. Beloved says:

    Viv I read about the violence in Belfast- praying Jesus will bring revival to Ireland as He has in places like Scotland in the past. Psalms is where God always leads me to read when I’m worried fearful or struggling in general. Brilliant writers of Gods thoughts about the relationship between us and Him. God will tell you where to go in them. So glad you are holding fast to God.

  181. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Beloved, difficult times again for many but I am more focused on God and finding peace.

    Just to say Prince Phillip has died at the age of 99, I share a birthday with him as he would have been 100 on the 10th June.

    Thinking it is a time for Prince Harry to build bridges with his family as I am sure he will want to.

  182. Beloved says:

    A favorite modern hymn from writers in Ireland

    He Will Hold Me Fast
    Song by Keith Getty

    When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast;
    When the tempter would prevail, He will hold me fast.
    I could never keep my hold through life’s fearful path;
    For my love is often cold; He must hold me fast.
    He will hold me fast, He will hold me fast;
    For my Saviour loves me so, He will hold me fast.
    Those He saves are His delight, Christ will hold me fast;
    Precious in his holy sight, He will hold me fast.
    He’ll not let my soul be lost; His promises shall last;
    Bought by Him at such a cost, He will hold me fast.
    He will hold me fast, He will hold me fast;
    For my Saviour loves me so, He will hold me fast.
    For my life He bled and died, Christ will hold me fast;
    Justice has been satisfied; He will hold me fast.
    Raised with Him to endless life, He will hold me fast
    ‘Till our faith is turned to sight, When He comes at last!
    He will hold me fast, He will hold me fast;
    For my Saviour loves me so, He will hold me fast

  183. Beloved says:

    Christian hope means that I stop betting my life and happiness on human agency and rest in him.
    Timothy Keller

  184. poohpity says:

    For those who actually have put time into reading scripture one will find that Paul says that some of what he was saying was his opinion and not given to him from God. Examples 1 Cor 7:12, 25; 2 Cor 11:17

  185. poohpity says:

    Often there are differences in people’s observations of what is happening just like when people see a car accident from different view points they have differing stories, well that seems to happen in the bible as well which shows that no one is trying to mislead anyone but it is the honest admissions of how they witnessed what was happening. However people who want to put doubt in people’s minds about scripture’s authority or reliability so they make excuses to not read it often say things like the bible contradicts itself or has errors, it is just not real things happening, it does not apply to the times today, etc..

  186. jeff1 says:

    I’ve had many tears and sorrows,
    I’ve had questions for tomorrow,
    there’s been times I didn’t know right from wrong.
    But in every situation,
    God gave me blessed consolation,
    that my trials come to only make me strong.

    Through it all,
    through it all,
    I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
    I’ve learned to trust in God.

    Through it all,
    through it all,
    I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

    I’ve been to lots of places,
    I’ve seen a lot of faces,
    there’s been times I felt so all alone.
    But in my lonely hours,
    yes, those precious lonely hours,
    Jesus lets me know that I was His own

    Through it all,
    through it all,
    I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
    I’ve learned to trust in God.

    Through it all,
    through it all,
    I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

    I thank God for the mountains,
    and I thank Him for the valleys,
    I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
    For if I’d never had a problem,
    I wouldn’t know God could solve them,
    I’d never know what faith in God could do.

  187. Beloved says:

    No, not everything Paul wrote was direct revelation as was the OT prophetic writings because they were not teachers and Paul was a teacher and apostle set apart for the gospel of God.

  188. Beloved says:

    Romans 1:1-2

    If anyone wants to read about Pauls conversation it’s in Acts26 where he tells his captor the King.

  189. Beloved says:

    Pooh,
    I am so sorry for judging you because of your past. I still judge myself unfortunately. Perhaps others struggle with this. In our world it is so easy to label and condemn just as it was in the ancient world. I know you have a better handle on grace than I do but perhaps it’s because my “training” started in the cradle. Still in the world, but not of it.
    Again, please forgive me.
    Love in Christ, Joyce

  190. jeff1 says:

    God this situation is really difficult, but I am thankful that you have a good purpose in it and that you collect all of my tears. Help me to trust you even more. Amen.

    Then we were filled with laughter, and we sang happy songs….
    The Lord has done great things for us, and we are very glad.

    PSALM 126:2-3NCV

  191. Beloved says:

    Yes tears…. tears of sorrow for causing pain and tears of gratitude that Jesus never changes. I was born a sinner as all are. So thankful. Joy comes in the morning.

  192. street says:

    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are partners in our sufferings, so also you are in our comfort.

  193. jeff1 says:

    [Verse 1]
    Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain
    And you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known
    But when things change and you’re down in the valley
    Don’t lose faith, for you’re never alone

    [Chorus]
    And the God on the mountain is still God in the valley
    When things go wrong, He’ll make them right
    And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times
    The God of the day is still God in the night

    [Verse 2]
    We talk of faith when we’re up on the mountain
    But talk comes so easy when life’s at its best
    But in the valley of trials and temptations
    That’s when faith is really put to the test

    [Chorus]
    And the God on the mountain is still God in the valley
    When things go wrong, He’ll make them right
    And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times
    The God of the day is still God in the night
    The God of the day, is still God in the night

  194. SFDBWV says:

    “Why does Christianity have such a difficult time being accepted in such a spiritual and religious country?”

    Billy graham to Mahatma Gandhi.

    “Because of Christians.”

    Gandhi.

    A long time back having said that would have immediately gotten me a scathing rebuke from one among us who left long ago.

    The language of the NT deals with the difference between earthly thinking and Godly thinking all the time.

    Jesus not only gave us clear instruction, but also provided a living example of Godly action verses the natural human one.

    Most of you folks here left a church or group at some point in you Christian walk for one reason or another. But the basic reason was because they didn’t think like you or you didn’t think like they.

    One of the basic human conditions are that we like to think we are right about everything and challenge any who don’t.

    Would you say that Jesus exemplified the attitude of not striking back at someone who offended you and in fact not only forgave such people, but commanded His followers to love them?

    Why then would He then send people into eternal punishment who offend Him with no chance of ever being forgiven?

    Seeing beyond the curtain may give us a glimpse of an existence far above our prejudices and preconceived ideas.

    Those who nailed Him to the cross could and would only see with eyes fixed upon the world and not beyond it.

    Imagine what we will learn when once we too are there.

    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

    I don’t insist any of you agree with me, nor do I condemn you for what you think. Please just show me the same consideration in the things you say or insinuate towards me.

    45 degrees f and foggy.

    Steve

  195. poohpity says:

    Didn’t Jesus die for the salvation of the world past, present and future?(John 3:15-17) So in essence He gave everyone the chance to be forgiven just some do not want the forgiveness that was offered to them, so is it the fault of God then or the people who refuse His gift?

    I for one believe in God’s word because I want to follow the truth so I do not listen to preconceived and prejudiced ideas that people throw out there that are not in line with the truth (Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”) found in God’s word. Yes everyone can believe in what they want to believe but wouldn’t everyone rather know the truth? (Col 2:8-9 NLT )

  196. poohpity says:

    No one will ever get “Beyond the Curtain” without the sacrifice of Jesus. “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

  197. jeff1 says:

    As someone who inherited my faith I have always believed in the existence of God but as a young person decided I could not keep the ten commandments so I wouldn’t go there it was for those much more disciplined then I was or wanted to be.

    Our Province was very denominational and I found that to be very confusing as often in public those denominations would challenge each others interpretations of the Bible and I wondered how they came to so many different conclusions.

    My belief in God was enough for me and my dad’s insistence that I should be doing God’s will meant that I thought if I was thoughtful and kind to others then they would be the same to me hence the foolishness of my youth.

    I was fifteen years of age when all hell broke loose in our Province shootings, bombs, riots and words of venom would change my perspective that being thoughtful and kind to others would reciprocate the same kind of response.

    I would soon learn that life here was much more complex than I could ever imagine.

    I got caught up in the heightened tensions that would spiral into a tit for tat response to violence believing that the loyalists whose side I was on was justified in responding to the violence of the paramilitaries’ on the opposing side and because I had preconceived beliefs that God was on our side I was oblivious to the sinfulness of my own state.

    I wasn’t listening to the right thinking people like those like my dad who knew the sinfulness of our thinking and our behavior as I was focused on a political and religious teacher who was saying all I wanted to hear i.e. reminding us of our history and offences against us and our need to stand firm against the evil in our midst.

    It wasn’t until this political and religious leader showed his true colors that I would realize how he used my youth and many like me (some going to jail or death) to advance his cause and when he reached his goal he would leave us high and dry as we had served our purpose in helping him achieve his aims.

    I felt betrayed, shattered, foolish and all the time my dad never said ‘I told you so’. His example was to tell me to focus on Christ rather than getting embroiled in the things of this world as He had suffered for us all and when I would keep my focus on Him I would not get distracted by temptations and fall into sin.

    The awareness of how easily I had fallen into sin shocked me as I had not thought of myself in this light.

    Let God show compassion on whoever He may is my thinking and always will be because I know how easy it is to blind myself to my own sins.

    He came down to my level
    When I couldn’t get up to His
    With a strong arm He lifted me up
    To show me what livin’ is

    He’ll come down to your level
    If you’ll open up the door
    He wants to make your life worth livin’
    That’s what He came down for

    Sometimes I make decisions
    That later I regret
    But the Lord keeps on assuring me
    He’s not finished with me yet

    I don’t worry about tomorrow
    I don’t worry about yesterday
    I don’t worry about this crazy world
    ‘Cause I found a better way

    He came down to my level
    When I couldn’t get up to His
    With a strong arm He lifted me up
    To show me what livin’ is

    He’ll come down to your level
    If you’ll open up the door
    He wants to make your life worth livin’
    That’s what He came down for

    He came down to my level
    When I couldn’t get up to His
    With a strong arm He lifted me up
    To show me what livin’ is

    He’ll come down to your level
    If you’ll open up the door
    He wants to make your life worth livin’
    That’s what He came down for

    He came down to my level
    When I couldn’t get up to His
    With a strong arm He lifted me up
    To show me what livin’ is

    He’ll come down to your level
    If you’ll open up the door
    He wants to make your life worth livin’
    That’s what He came down for

    He wants to make your life worth livin’
    That’s what He came down for
    That’s what He came down for

  198. poohpity says:

    Gandhi–“I like your Christ, but not your Christianity.” In these words of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. J.H. … Holmes said, “I believe in the teachings of Christ, but you on the other side of the world do not, I read the Bible faithfully and see little in Christendom that those who “profess” faith pretend to see.” That says to me that those he talked about were the kind that did not walk what they talked about and in that I agree but I do not let those determine what I believe, I do not look at the Christians who live in word only but no actions but rather I look to Christ and His words. There are no perfect Christians and there never will be so in judging them I judge myself because I am one of those imperfect Christians.

  199. street says:

    perfect christian.

    what God saves is saved what He makes Holy is Holy. what He forgives is forgiven what He has made alive is alive.

    chambers speaks of being crucified with Christ the slow painful process of dying. even in the dying there is no new life without a new Spirit. new birth.

    alive to God. not to self.

  200. street says:

    Would you say that Jesus exemplified the attitude of not striking back at someone who offended you and in fact not only forgave such people, but commanded His followers to love them?

    Why then would He then send people into eternal punishment who offend Him with no chance of ever being forgiven?

    John 5:30
    “I can do nothing on My own. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of Him who sent Me.

    John 7:51
    “Our Law does not judge the person unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?”

    John 8:26
    I have many things to say and to judge regarding you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I say to the world.”

    John 12:47
    If anyone hears My teachings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.

    the Lamb speaks better than the blood of abel.

    thinking of the LORD’S return.

    17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires, take the water of life without cost.

    18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

    20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

    21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

  201. jeff1 says:

    God, please forgive me when I have a bad attitude.
    Thank you so much for providing, for me. I don’t know what I would do without your wonderful grace! Amen.

  202. Beloved says:

    John 12:47 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

    47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

    I’ve never seen this like I’m seeing it today.

  203. foreverblessed says:

    “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
    1 Peter 2:24

    That is the Truth.
    Jesus is the Truth, the Way and the Life.

    He took on human flesh and became one of us.
    On the Cross He carried all humanity, we are on Him.
    Through His body, the curtain, we can come to God.
    Faith in Jesus is the connection to Him.

    It needs the Revelation of God to show who Jesus is in a man’s heart. As the Cross is foolishness to men
    That is why we pray intercessory prayer. And in the mean time show love, it is love that makes the ground soft, do that the seed of the Gospel can be accepted. Don’t sow the seed on hard ground, first work the ground.

  204. poohpity says:

    So is it the work of people to soften the hearts of others or is that the work of God? When we pray intercessory prayers are we praying for our will to be done in a person’s life or are we praying for God’s will to happen in their life? Both areas it seems to get confusing in trusting God or trusting ourselves to do the work that only God has the ability to do and being able to separate the two.

    Sometimes people often get in the habit of telling God what He needs to do from their very limited and often biased blurred vision of a person and then the audacity of thinking they know someone’s heart, so often fall into false accusations and assumptive roles. In other words playing god rather than serving God and others.

  205. foreverblessed says:

    I am so thankful for Who Jesus is, so above all that we can Imagine. The Great Shepherd of our souls, the Comforter, the One Who redeemed us by His Blood, and Who lives in us through faith.
    His will has become our will.
    And He made us participants in the ministry of reconciliation.
    He is the Head, Who thought it right to be connected to the Body.
    The Body of believers, He the head, we attached to Him.
    Made One in Him.
    But that is only for those who have realized that their old man has been crucified in Christ.
    Reckon it so that your old man has been crucified with Christ. It is dead, because the Word of God said so.
    We live now on faith in Christ, what we want is what Jesus wants. His will is our will.

  206. jeff1 says:

    I have always understood intercessory prayer to mean I am praying on behalf of another’s good and I don’t see what is confusing about that.

    In faith I trust God’s hand in bringing about His will.

    As for other peoples bad habits I am sure God is more than able to respond to them as He sees fits as there is nothing like a rebuke from God to make one think again.

  207. SFDBWV says:

    It started with a light drizzle yesterday evening at 7:14 pm then continued to rain all night until around 5 am.

    It cleared off and the stars were clearly visible until a dense fog set in until the sun burned it off somewhere between sunrise and 8.

    I decided to go to the spring and get water after 8:30 and it began raining again.

    “April showers bring May flowers.”

    I stopped along the way to the spring this morning and spoke with a friend of mine. He had lost his wife last year after her suffering from dementia for several years. He took care of her right up to the end. They had no children and so his loss was certainly extra painful.

    He and I were up at the cemetery last week while I was doing some work there talking about things and he remarked to me that he prays every day for me and my family.

    I thanked him and agreed with him that “prayer” works.

    I have come to understand that when we pray for others it is good for them and for us as well. It places us in the presence of God not for ourselves but rather for someone else.

    I am sure God likes that.

    Matt had one of those days yesterday that was very good, but then turned very bad, and then ended better.

    This is life in our home and I am sure in most of yours as well.

    We are pulled from one extreme to the other, like home made taffy, stretched and pulled, stretched and pulled until the texture is just right and ready to be cooled.

    To be eaten (used) at a later time.

    You may have heard the saying, “Dance like no one is watching, sing like are alone.” Something like that.

    I say pray like your prayers will be answered, expect your prayers for others to be accomplished as well as for yourself and don’t give up hope, even when it seems hopeless.

    52 degrees and yes still a light drizzle falling.

    Steve

  208. poohpity says:

    What I was saying about intercessory prayer is more in tune with what Jesus taught when He said, “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

    So praying as an intercessor for someone for the Lord to change them because of what we see as their faults differing from asking the Lord to change the way I see them and knowing that it is because of my own faults that spurs me judge or criticize them because I am looking at them from my point of view rather than from Gods’.

  209. jeff1 says:

    1 For the beauty of the earth,
    for the glory of the skies,
    for the love which from our birth
    over and around us lies,

    Christ our God, to thee we raise…
    this our sacrifice of praise.

    2 For the wonder of each hour…
    of the day and of the night,
    hill and vale, and tree and flower,
    sun and moon, an stars of light,

    3 For the joy of ear an eye,
    for the heart and mind’s delight,
    for the mystic harmony
    linking sense to sound and sight,

    4 For the joy of human love,
    brother, sister, parent, child,
    friends on earth, and friends above,
    pleasures pure and undefiled,

    5 For each perfect gift of thine
    to the world so freely given,
    graces human and divine,
    flowers of earth and buds of heaven,

    6 For thy Church for evermore…
    lifting holy hands above,
    offering up on every shore
    her pure sacrifice of love,

  210. poohpity says:

    An example of intercessory prayer from Paul; “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” Phil 1

  211. poohpity says:

    There’s revival, and it’s spreading
    Like a wildfire in my heart
    Sunday morning, Hallelujah
    And it’s lasting all week long
    Can you hear it?
    Can you feel it?
    It’s the rhythm of a gospel song
    Oh once you choose it, you can lose it
    There ain’t nothing there ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy
    I got an Old Church Choir singing in my soul
    I got a sweet salvation and it’s beautiful
    I’ve got a heart overflowing ’cause I’ve been restored
    There ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy
    No there ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy

    When the valleys, that I wander
    Turn to mountains that I can’t climb
    Oh, you are with me, never leave me
    Oh ’cause there ain’t nothing there ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy

    I got an Old Church Choir singing in my soul
    I got a sweet salvation and it’s beautiful
    I’ve got a heart overflowing ’cause I’ve been restored
    There ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy
    No there ain’t nothing gonna steel my joy

    Clap your hands and stomp your feet
    ‘Til you find that gospel beat
    ‘Cause it’s all you’ll ever need
    All you’ll ever need
    Clap your hands and stomp your feet
    ‘Til you find that gospel beat
    ‘Cause it’s all you’ll ever need
    All you’ll ever need

    I’ve got an old church choir, singing in my soul
    I got a sweet salvation, and it’s beautiful

    I got an Old Church Choir singing in my soul
    I got a sweet salvation and it’s beautiful
    I’ve got a heart overflowing ’cause I’ve been restored
    There ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy
    No there ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy
    Oh there ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy

  212. foreverblessed says:

    The setting that I had this morning, 3.06 am,
    was this one:

    “It needs the Revelation of God to show who Jesus is in a man’s heart. As the Cross is foolishness to men
    That is why we pray intercessory prayer.”

    To many around me, my family and friends, to talk about Jesus and the Cross is impossible. They take offense at the Cross. It is a bloody story, and a cruel God Who desires the death of His Son to forgive us.

    In that sense I wrote about intercessory prayer.
    And then I remembered an impressive sermon I heard once:
    That is is by the Revelation of God through the Holy Spirit that we see Who Jesus is.

    Matthew 16:16-17
    Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
    Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of John, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by My Father in heaven.

    So to accuse someone of finding fault in others in this setting, I find quite a downer. A putting down of a very good intent:
    Tonpray intercessory prayer that my family, and friends may have that divine revelation from God the Father, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.

    That is my heartfelt prayer, and I am convinced that is the will of the Father, to pray this.

    And I am still wondering, who has prayed for me, my great grandmother, from heaven? Or my old neighbour, from my childhood, a very loving christian woman who lived nextdoor, and who we called aunt Eve.
    I am thankful that they did.

    In the mean time I show them, my family and friends, and all J meet, God’s love, to soften the ground of their hearts.
    And I can grow in that hugely. So you may pray intercessory prayer for me. LOL

  213. Beloved says:

    John 12:47) — King James Version (KJV 1900)

    47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

    What struck me about this is that praying or speaking Gods truth to those who are enemies of Jesus is useless; we are not to judge outsiders who are not judged by Him. They first need prayer for salvation. Once saved they will gladly hear whatever will draw them closer to God. They will accept correction and rebuke with thanksgiving to God.

  214. Beloved says:

    Forever I just read your thoughts after I wrote. We seem to have the same idea. Just this morning a friend told me a Christian lady moved into my old apartment and said she was praying for a friend and that she was the answer to her prayer. My friend said well, just don’t talk to me about God. I smiled because I know how resistant she is but who knows, maybe this new lady’s prayers will help too!! Oh God is so good 😊✝️

  215. Beloved says:

    Sometime showing people Gods love hardens also😟

  216. jeff1 says:

    Where love and loving-kindness dwell,
    there God will ever be:
    one Father, Son, and Spirit, bound
    in perfect charity.

    Brought here together into one
    by Christ our shepherd-king,
    now let us in his love rejoice,
    and of his goodness sing.

    Here too let God, the living God,
    both loved and honored be;
    and let us each the other love
    with true sincerity.

    Brought here together by Christ’s love,
    let no ill-will divide,
    nor quarrels break the unity
    of those for whom he died.

    Let envy, jealousy and strife
    and all contention cease,
    for in our midst serves Christ the Lord,
    our sacrament of peace.

    Together may we with the saints
    your face in glory view,
    and ever in your kingdom feast,
    O Christ our God, with you.

  217. poohpity says:

    forever, I have no idea what you pray at home only the public intercessory prayers you have on here. For instance accusing someone of being ruled by the devil, or being immature spiritually, or other such innuendos and put downs as to what their relationship is with the Lord, etc. that you pray, in print on here, in public it seems to ask the Lord to CHANGE THEM but nothing about changing the way you see the person.

  218. street says:

    “So that You are justified in Your words,
    And prevail when You are judged.”

    19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are [k]under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20 because by the works [l]of the Law [m]none of mankind will be justified in His sight; for [n]through the Law comes [o]knowledge of sin.

    26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

    9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

    Romans 3:3
    For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

  219. Beloved says:

    Pooh-
    I’ve never seen or heard or read in scripture to pray to see people differently?

  220. street says:

    Jesus is the Light of the world. He reveals what is there. by walking by His light we avoid stumbling blocks and sin by His Grace and Mercy. we ask and pray not to be lead into temptation but to be delivered from evil.

    walking in Spirit and Truth, thy Word is Truth and thy Spirit is Holy, by faith.

    washed by the Word

    cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb.

    receiving the Holy Spirit, new life in Christ.

    transformed by the renewing of the mind. our hearts resting in Christ Jesus.

    interceding by in though Spirit and Truth.

    thinking of paul interceding, Spirit Soul and Body.

    all in.

    watching and waiting for Jesus.

    Romans 3:3
    For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

  221. street says:

    And I am still wondering, who has prayed for me, my great grandmother, from heaven? Or my old neighbour, from my childhood, a very loving christian woman who lived nextdoor, and who we called aunt Eve.
    I am thankful that they did.

    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before [a]Him. In love 5 [b]He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

    love is a participatory

  222. foreverblessed says:

    Dear God, three years ago I wrote here that Pooh listened to lies about me, when she had written that there was nothing but hatred in my heart towards her, that she had a right to judge my heart, that is was called: ” special discernment”.

    Pooh is still hurt about the fact that I had said she listened to the father of lies.
    That is where the breach was made.
    You could say: Pooh and I are equal in hurting each other. It is a truce.

    Pooh could say: I am sorry for having judged your heart, like she did about Steve. That was the first time I was shocked about Pooh. But she doesn’t.
    I would not have said that she listened to lies, if she would not have judged my heart.

    She only sees that I said that she listens to lies, and forgets about her own sin.

    I lay it all in Your hands, You are the One who makes us holy. You are the One who sanctifies us.
    You sanctify me, and You sanctify Pooh.
    I am thankful for that.
    You died in the Cross for me, You carried Pooh in Your bossom too.

  223. foreverblessed says:

    Let me share you what happened when Pooh had said that I had hatred in my heart.
    I was shocked, and prayed to God
    Look what she says about my heart.
    And then God asked me, is that really what you are concerned about?
    And I looked deeper in my heart: what was it that shocked me. Is it really that terrible what someone says about my heart? No it is not, because it only matters what God says about my heart.

    Then God asked: look deeper.
    Then I looked deeper, the shock was the fact that she had judged. It was not about me, but the concern about a fellow sister who thinks she has the right to judge.
    Look deeper, God asked.
    Yes, a deep concern welled up: concern for the welfare of her soul.
    And then God said, see, that is hoe I look. Pray for her with deep love in your heart.

    And that is how God has shown me. How He looked in my heart.
    And how He guided me.

    That it is the mind of Christ that is formed in us.
    The kind of Christ, how does Christ look at my fellow sister.

  224. foreverblessed says:

    Let the mind of Christ be formed in you.
    Phil 2:5

    Let me say this, I have learned a lot by the adversity.

    And always, always, listen to what Jesus says about me, someone says something, and I should go to Jesus first: is that the truth, is that what you are saying about me?
    And sit still and listen to His answer.
    But in this I fail, I am upset already, and I am not in a state of perfect peace, I had failed inhad going to Jesus first. So there is my sin. May God forgive me. And I need sanctification. The Holy Spirit guides me.
    But do He does with the one who is my adversery. He dearly loves them too.

  225. foreverblessed says:

    Then there is this one point: that I am sorry that I did write that Pooh listened to lies about me. I have hurt Pooh very very much by this. And I am sorry for that. I should have taken my thoughts to Jesus, and have it checked with Him first. And let Jesus deal with her in His time, to show her what He thinks about making judgments on what is in a personal heart, about me, about Steve, about anyone.

    And Mart keeps writing about the love of God.
    And having patience with one another.

  226. foreverblessed says:

    Now I was thinking about what Street had shared:
    A meditation of Oswald Chambers, which date was that?
    That when God showd us something about out fellow men, it is not ours yo judge, but to pray intercessory prayer.
    When I saw what Pooh wrote about me, I was wrong in sharing my conclusion here on this blog. I should have prayed intercessory prayer.

    Pooh I am very very sorry for having thought that you listen to the father of lies! And not having brought that first to Jesus.
    I was hurt very much by your judgement.

    But God has shown me what to do. And I still am learning to deal with it. To follow God’s guiding.

  227. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed you are a tenderhearted loving person and it because I feel you need some comfort and encouragement I write to you now.

    In my opinion you owe pooh no apology at all. She owes everyone here an apology especially Mart for her un-Christian like behavior towards us all.

    I quit saying anything about her behavior because it is obvious she thrives on being the center of attention no matter how it comes.

    I turned this matter over to God and I leave it there on the altar.

    Nothing you or any of us can say to her will change her, only God can.

    I rarely if nearly never read anything she writes as I already know the spirit behind it.

    Please Foreveblessed do not beat yourself up for simply stating the truth.

    Put her on the altar of God and leave the matter to Him.

    People here enable her by continuously arguing with her or worse encouraging her.

    Move on, I have.

    Steve

  228. jeff1 says:

    On intercessory prayer, I recall when my son’s life was spiraling out of control so much so that his father (we are separated) said I should put him out of the house.

    I was horrified at such a suggestion and instead decided because I was in too much despair to pray myself to asked my friends to pray for him.

    Don’t anyone tell me that intercessory prayer does not work for it turned my son’s life around yet having fallen away from the faith he is totally unaware of the miraculous hand of God in his life.

    I also recall my friend Ruth (now deceased she was in her 90’s when I knew her) telling me of when her daughter was a child of 6 and they were at the airport. A nun was standing near and her daughter without any hesitation ran to her and instantly she ran after her daughter and apologized to the nun for the child’s intrusion and the nun replied “I needed to make a phone call and I discovered I have no change and I prayed to God about it and the next moment there was your daughter handing me sixpence”.

    Forever, I agree with Steve for I have allowed Pooh to disturb my peace by twisting my words to say something I had never intended them too and the fact that English was one of my worst subjects I then question if I have in some way used words that would lead her to interpretate them differently.

    There are very few upsides to growing older but I have to say that one of them for me is that I have learned whom not to listen to because as my friend is forever telling me I am way too gullible which I have found not to be a good thing when it comes to listening to the wrong people.

    So many need Your touch today.
    Lord, bless them with Your best.
    Our families here and far away –
    Lord, bless them with Your best.
    Friends and neighbors, wayward children,
    Lost and lonely, burdened down.
    Father God, each one is precious.
    Bless them with Your best.

    We care but don’t know how to pray.
    Lord, bless them with Your best.
    Reach out to them through us today.
    Lord, bless them with Your best.
    Love has lifted us from darkness.
    Love can bring the help they need.
    We Your Body stand here ready.
    Bless them with Your best.

  229. jeff1 says:

    I found this among the hymns though to me more a prayer but I think it is beautiful and hope you to do.

    That includes you Pooh as your interpretation of what I write is of no consequence as I have never been good with words and my English teacher laughed in front of the whole classroom when I achieved a pass in an exam which was not even equivalent to a GCSE here. I have learned to live with my failings.

    For you I pray God’s peace–
    That deep and constant rest
    That knows that He is always working for our best.
    Receive His peace.

    For you I pray God’s joy–
    The music of a faith
    That finds delight in serving Him and sings His praise.
    Receive His joy.

    May His grace
    And His love
    And His Spirit be within you.
    Amen.

  230. poohpity says:

    I find it so amazing that the very things you all accuse me of are the very things you do yourselves towards me but that is what God has said happens.

    I also believe intercessory prayer works that is why I stay on our prayer team at church and pray everyday for people in the quiet of my prayer chair. And yes Forever you can be sure I pray for you too as I do for everyone else on this blog as always.

    In Matt 6 Jesus taught about prayer; “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. Truly I tell you, they already have their full reward. 6But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard.”

  231. poohpity says:

    Romans 2:1

  232. poohpity says:

    I know it is not my business but I do wonder how many have actually passed “Beyond the Curtain”?

  233. jeff1 says:

    Known only to him are the great hidden secrets
    I’ll fear not the darkness when my flame shall dim
    I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future
    It’s a secret known only to him

    In this world of fear and doubt on my knees I ask the question
    Why a lonely, heavy cross I must bear
    Then he tells me in my prayer, it’s because I am trustworthy
    He gives me strength far more than my share

    Known only to him are the great hidden secrets
    I’ll fear not the darkness when my flame shall dim
    I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future
    It’s a secret known only to him (only to him)

  234. poohpity says:

    Steve, if it is true that you do not read anything I write then what is causing the harsh reaction when I disagree with some of the things you write?

  235. jeff1 says:

    O Lord of every shining constellation
    that wheels in splendor through the midnight sky:
    grant us your Spirit’s true illumination
    to read the secrets of your work on high,

    2 You, Lord, have made the atom’s hidden forces;
    your laws its mighty energies fulfil:
    teach us, to whom you give such rich resources,
    in all we use, to serve your holy will.

    3 O Life, awaking life in cell and tissue;
    from flower to bird, from beast to brain of man:
    help us to trace, from birth to final issue,
    the sure unfolding of your ageless plan.

    4 You, Lord, have stamped your image on your creatures
    and, though they mar that image, love them still:
    life up our eyes to Christ, that in his features
    we may discern the beauty of your will.

    5 Great Lord of nature, shaping and renewing,
    you made us more than nature’s progeny;
    you help us tread, with grace our souls enduring,
    the road to life and immortality.

  236. Beloved says:

    Reading OC today I loved this reminder

    WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS
    We are only what we are in the dark; all the rest is reputation. What God looks at is what we are in the dark—the imaginations of our minds; the thoughts of our heart; the habits of our bodies; these are the things that mark us in God’s sight. The Love of God—The Ministry of the Unnoticed, 669 L

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