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Birthed from Above

Empty Nest

John’s description of second birth helps us understand its urgency. The fourth Gospel tells the story in terms that are as wonderful as the gift of spiritual insight, as understandable as family, as mysterious as the wind, and as tragic as the crucifixion of Jesus.

At first mention, John’s Gospel likens those who welcome Jesus into their lives as born of God (John 1:12). Later while talking to a teacher of religion, Jesus likens the mystery of spiritual birth to an unseen and uncontrollable wind (John 3:1-22).

The urgency? Without rebirth in the Spirit, people like us lived at the expense of one another and eventually demanded the death of their God—a mistake, as foreseen by the prophet Zechariah, that would lead to inexpressible grief and remorse (Zech 12:10-14).

The example? Nicodemus, who helps us hear about the New Birth, heard Jesus talk about it after apparently coming to him under the cover of darkness (John 3:1-2). Later, like the sound of a soft breeze blowing in the leaves, Nicodemus finds the courage to gently question fellow Pharisees in a way that causes them to question his judgment (John 7:47-52). The last time we hear about him he has joined with a wealthy secret believer to care for the body of Jesus and to lay it in a tomb (John 19:38-42).


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334 Responses to “Birthed from Above”

  1. jeff1 says:

    Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
    naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
    thou my best thought in the day and the night,
    waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

    2 Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word,
    I ever with thee, and thou with me, Lord;
    thou my great Father, and I thy true heir;
    thou in my dwelling, and I in thy care.

    3 Be thou my breast-plate, my sword for the fight;
    be thou my armour, and be thou my might;
    thou my soul’s shelter, and thou my high tower,
    raise thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

    4 Riches I heed not, nor vain empty praise,
    thou mine inheritance through all my days;
    thou, and thou only, the first in my heart,
    High King of heaven, my treasure thou art!

    5 High King of heaven, when the battle is done,
    grant heaven’s joy to me, O bright heaven’s sun,
    Christ of my own heart, whatever befall,
    still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

  2. poohpity says:

    Talk about deep spiritual insight; This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

    Being born again not by flesh but by the Spirit.

  3. street says:

    52 They replied, z“Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that ano prophet arises from Galilee.”

    “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen; to him you shall listen.

    boy did He Raise Him Up to The Right Hand of God!!!

  4. street says:

    Later, like the sound of a soft breeze blowing in the leaves, Nicodemus finds the courage to gently question fellow Pharisees in a way that causes them to question his judgment (John 7:47-52).

    was thinking of the media and all it’s forms. not matter what we hear see or read, there is purpose and intent behind it. Spiritual discernment would be Great, but the Word of God is Greater. yet God is not divided. hear oh Israel the LORD our God is One.

    See, a king will reign in righteousness
    and rulers will rule with justice.
    2 Each one will be like a shelter from the wind
    and a refuge from the storm,
    like streams of water in the desert
    and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.

    3 Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed,
    and the ears of those who hear will listen. Isaiah 32:1-3

    5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
    6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
    and the mute tongue shout for joy.
    Water will gush forth in the wilderness
    and streams in the desert.
    7 The burning sand will become a pool,
    the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
    In the haunts where jackals once lay,
    grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
    Isaiah 35:5-7

  5. street says:

    Without rebirth in the Spirit, people like us lived at the expense of one another and eventually demanded the death of their God…..

    thinking about living a life of abundance promised in Christ Jesus…..

    to have life and have it more abundantly…..

    Romans 5:17
    For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

    thinking of astrophysics black holes and stars.

    Jesus still Light of the world.
    there will not be another.

    Philippians 2:15
    so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky

    children of God that will never pass away like the stars of the heavens, visible illustration of what God intends. for the Glory of God, not self. for 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    8 Love never fails.

  6. street says:

    Hours before his death he told his disciples that— as they had heard the voice of the Father in him— so they would soon hear his voice in the Spirit who would only say and do what he told him to say and do. Divine Parallels February 25th, 2021

  7. Beloved says:

    The last time we hear about him he has joined with a wealthy secret believer to care for the body of Jesus and to lay it in a tomb (John 19:38-42Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)).

    How striking that a man (Nicodemus) once respected in the leadership of Israel becomes a mortician after he hears the good news. His humility must have been influenced by his Savior. Born again with a heart of flesh, not stone. As prophesied in the OT.

  8. Beloved says:

    Ezekiel 36:26
    New International Version
    26 I will give you a new heart(A) and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone(B) and give you a heart of flesh.

  9. Beloved says:

    Romans 5:17Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)
    For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

    This means today! May 15th! We reign in life because of Jesus! Amen😊

  10. jeff1 says:

    In Christ, our humble head,
    we meet, and long to be
    a loving people, wisely led,
    forgiving, strong and free.

    2 Our walls of soaring stone,
    and tales of old renown,
    can send us out and spur us on,
    or drag and weight us down.

    3 Yet saints of former years
    did not live in the past,
    but shared their present joy and tears..
    with Christ, the First and Last.

    4 Then let us look ahead,
    expecting God will do
    through Christ, arisen from the dead,
    things greater, good and new.

  11. bubbles says:

    Oh, my. Season 1 episode 7 of “The Chosen” series has the scene where Nicodemus meets Jesus at night for the conversation recorded in John 3. It is precious and makes me ugly cry. Thankful for what Jesus did for me/us. Words fail when thinking of His mercy; it’s humbling and I am so unworthy of anything. I don’t understand His love and forgiveness for me. I am horrible.

    Please know I was not wanting to argue or cause problems here. Truth is exclusive and not inclusive. 2 + 2 always makes 4. I wish I had not posted anything. I love ALL OF you and am thankful for the friends here. I am so sorry.

    Please pray for my dad’s wife. She is on the ventilator now. This has been a very difficult week. No one called and told me she was on the ventilator. I have been waiting all day for them to call and they never did. I am very sad about all this. Thank you.

  12. street says:

    I don’t understand His love and forgiveness for me. I am horrible.

    i would like to argue with you! yes we are all very horrible. one song even calls self a wretch.

    John is very clear the one who says they are without sin is lying and the truth is not in them.

    the truth is in you bubbles and so is the Spirit. we can become very uncomfortable with the Spirit in us till what is disturbing the peace is dealt with correctly. be patient and wait on the Lord. He will complete the work He began. sometimes we come kicking and screaming. not a good plan. when convicted by the Spirit of sin, it is not a good time to be patient, it is a time to say the same thing. agreeing with God’s Word and Spirit and repenting. you can be sure He will cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

    i don’t understand His love either. it’s incredible!!! beyond comprehension. yet i know it is true and real. people, seeing and understanding God’s love, breaks them. thinking of people in the Bible seeing God in His Glorified State. they become like dead men. it’s His love and touch that revives them. He sustains the ones He loves. one of the great promises is that if we believe as the Scripture say, Old & New, they will never die. i don’t even pretend to know how to explain that, yet Jesus still lives and He is not dead from sin. The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world has been found. Jesus! that’s why we don’t practice blood sacrifice anymore. keep turning to and follow the Risen Savior. life will not be any easier but there will be peace and hope that will not disappoint.

    when i say not any easier i mean the same problems the rest of the world has to deal with every day. we are still in moral bodies in a fallen world. yet our hearts are somewhere else.

    Ephesian 2: 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, . guard your heart.

    7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

  13. street says:

    2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

    5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

    6
    Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
    7
    rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
    8
    And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
    even death on a cross!

    9
    Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
    10
    that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    11
    and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.
    Do Everything Without Grumbling

    12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

    14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life.

  14. SFDBWV says:

    Born again. Gift of God.

    This time of year like Mart’s picture, I too have bird nests in the oddest of places.

    I have a side entrance with a little enclosed wrought iron railing and metal roof over it and a porch light. This year a robin has built its nest on top the light. So I can’t use the entrance nor the light until she is done raising her hatchlings.

    I also have orioles that feed from my humming bird feeder. I plan to get them some grape jelly on a plate as soon I can. They love the jelly and sing every time they come in to feed.

    My lilacs have survived the freezing temperatures and my back yard is filled with the sweet aroma of the flower.

    It is “spring” that time of year when we not only experience “rebirth”, but celebrate it.

    It is written that God has shown Himself to us in His creation. Some see only nature or a starry night sky, while others see beyond what the eye sees and fully senses the presence of the Creator.

    Unless we are born of the spirit we can’t see the kingdom of God.

    I would ask this, when does spiritual rebirth occur and is it by an action of our doing or a gift from God that comes to us when we are open to receiving it?

    39 degrees this morning and a little cloudy.

    Trish and Larry will be burying their son Michael’s ashes today. Remember them in your prayers today.

    Steve

  15. Mart DeHaan says:

    Bubbles, you are a treasured sister. Dearly loved by our Father. Please don’t be so hard on yourself.

  16. jeff1 says:

    From you all skill and science flow,
    all pity, care, and love,
    all calm and courage, faith and hope-
    O pour them from above;

    2 impart them, Lord, to each and all,
    as each and all have need,
    to rise like incense, each to you,
    in noble thought and deed.

    3 And hasten, Lord, that perfect day
    when pain and death shall cease,
    and your just rule shall fill the earth
    with health and light and peace;

    4 when every blue the sky shall gleam,
    and ever green the sod,
    and our rude work deface no more
    the paradise of God.

  17. street says:

    …that you may know what is the hope of His calling… —Ephesians 1:18 oswald chambers 5/15

    …you may be partakers of the divine nature… —2 Peter 1:4
    oswald chambers 5/16

    love, joy, peace…..

  18. street says:

    they do love grape jelly.

    what is it that you love?

    John 11:36
    Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

    John 14:23
    Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

  19. street says:

    1 I will sing of your love and justice;
    to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
    2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
    when will you come to me?

    PSALM 101

  20. street says:

    6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,
    that they may dwell with me;
    the one whose walk is blameless
    will minister, “serve/worship,” to me.

    PSALM 101

  21. street says:

    thinking about Psalm 101 the relationship between david and absalom and their separation. it’s like the separation of pharaoh and moses. it’s difficulty and pain increase with love. yet powerless to fix it. yet God does restore at the cross. I will remember your sin no more.

    Psalm 25:7
    Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good.

    Isaiah 43:25
    “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

    30 I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. 32 I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign Lord. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel! Ezekiel 36:30-32

  22. Beloved says:

    Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I ONCE was lost but now am FOUND….
    No longer a wretch but returned to the Fathers bosom from where we came! Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name. Thank you Jesus!

  23. street says:

    How striking that a man (Nicodemus) once respected in the leadership of Israel becomes a mortician after he hears the good news. His humility must have been influenced by his Savior. Born again with a heart of flesh, not stone. As prophesied in the OT.

    not only did he become a jewish mortician, he became a mortician the day before Passover! a Passover delayed till next month? thinking about a jewish mortician????

    mind bending!

  24. Beloved says:

    Dear bubbles,
    I trust God had good reasons for not telling you about your dads wife’s condition. Perhaps to increase your trust in Him? Just guessing here. Also, I know how you feel as I too hate conflict. Us sensitives are like that. I echo what Mart just told you. You’re safe in His hands. Joyce

  25. Beloved says:

    Zephaniah
    The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

    Let’s relax and enjoy God today!!

  26. street says:

    thinking about thinking

    to come to yourself…..sorry can’t help you.

    come to Jesus, yes He can help and comfort.

    thinking gives a head ache when done apart from God.

    more enjoyable with God, like so many other things.

    life to be shared. His generosity, i hope is contagious like the rest of Him.

  27. street says:

    Birthed from Above

    not only created….

    not only redeemed…..

    also given today.

    a response?

    10 leprous

    thinking of gifts. unearned, not coerced, free.

    not borrowing leasing bargaining trading buying and/or selling

    thinking of job. 40 chapters that end with God.

  28. street says:

    The urgency? Without rebirth in the Spirit, people like us lived at the expense of one another and eventually demanded the death of their God—a mistake

    prior to new birth we demanded other to serve us and die, after new birth we died and now we serve. the mistake is trying to save our self. even bigger if we think we can save other….therefor the urgency of the Gospel.

    yet what would attract people to the message of the Gospel?

  29. bubbles says:

    No, it is incompetence and irresponsible people who don’t care and choose not to take time to communicate with families. It is not about me trusting God more when people don’t tell information that should be shared. It hurts to not be called. I waited all day for a phone call and they “lost” my phone number, yet they had it in the wee hours of the morning. It’s the poor healthcare system of this region.

  30. jeff1 says:

    For myself, I find it best to focus on Christ and His Sacrifice as it not only helps me see past the gloom but gives me peace within myself.

    There is so much uncertainty in the world and it is easy to get distracted if I am not careful.

    Blessed be the everlasting God,
    the Father of our Lord!
    By his abounding mercy praised,
    his majesty adored!

    2 When from the dead he raised his Son,
    and called him to the sky,
    he gave our souls a lively hope
    that they should never die.

    3 There’s an inheritance divine
    reserved against that day;
    ’tis uncorrupted, undefiled,
    and cannot fade away.

    4 Saints by the power of God are kept,
    till their salvation come:
    we walk by faith as strangers here,
    but Christ shall call us home.

    based on 1 Peter 1: 3-5

  31. street says:

    Birthed from Above

    seems to me if we are born from above we would need a new place to live and a new way to live.

    5
    Until I find a place for the Lord,
    A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

    seems to me if david could build God a house he would be able to visit and spend time with Him.

    Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day….did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”

    I will raise up your offspring to succeed you…and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son

    6
    Behold, we heard about it in Ephrathah,
    We found it in the field of [d]Jaar.
    7
    Let’s go into His [e]dwelling place;
    Let’s worship at His footstool.
    8
    Arise, Lord, to Your resting place,
    You and the ark of Your strength.
    9
    May Your priests be clothed with righteousness,
    And may Your godly ones sing for joy. Psalm 132

    even so, still the need for God’s presents.

    to patiently wait for Him.

    2 And [a]you [b]were dead [c]in your offenses and sins, 2 in which you previously walked according to the [d]course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the [e]sons of disobedience. 3 Among them [f]we too all previously lived in the lusts of our flesh, [g]indulging the desires of the flesh and of the [h]mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead [i]in our wrongdoings, made us alive together [j]with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the [k]boundless riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and [l]this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

  32. Beloved says:

    Bubbles I’m so sorry the health care system failed you- again.

  33. jeff1 says:

    OUR heavenly Father, through your Son,
    all hallowed be your name;
    your kingdom come, your will be done
    in heaven and earth the same.

    2 You are the great provider, Lord,
    of bread by which we live.
    We are the great forgetters, Lord,
    of thanks for all you give.

    3 You are the great forgiver, Lord,
    of all our constant sin.
    We are the unforgivers, Lord,
    of all our kith and kin.

    4 You are the great deliverer, Lord,
    from Satan’s evil snares.
    Give us the faith that trusts you, Lord,
    to banish all our cares.

    5 You are the great example, where
    you give and you forgive;
    so teach us, Lord, to live your prayer,
    that we may truly live.

    based on the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6: 9-13)

  34. SFDBWV says:

    Not far from where Bubbles lives is a locally famous rock that many thought had precolonial indigenous writing on it. However it turns out to be an ancient Celtic form of writing.

    It was written on Christmas morning about the birth of Jesus the savior.

    These unknown early evangelists had made the trip from the British Isles to the Americas long before Columbus, taking the Gospel to the world.

    Some day if we are interested we may learn of these men and of their story. But for now they remain unknown and only their message survives.

    Nicodemus had his part in the known story, but like everyone else written in the story he fades away as the story remains about Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God and His purpose in coming.

    Nicodemus could have just dismissed Jesus’ comment about being born again, but something in Nicodemus recognized the truth and authority in Jesus and so we get the explanation of being spiritually born again.

    Imagine what we may learn when we don’t close our minds, but open them to learn from our Creator about the mysteries of life and death.

    32 degrees f.

    Steve

  35. jeff1 says:

    NEW every morning is the love
    our wakening and uprising prove;
    through sleep an darkness safely brought,
    restore to life and power and thought.

    2 New mercies, each returning day,
    hover around us while we pray;
    new perils past, new sins forgiven,
    new thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.

    3 If, on our daily course, our mind
    be set to hallow all we find,
    new treasures still, of countless price,
    God will provide for sacrifice.

    4 Old friends, old scenes will lovelier be,
    as more of heaven in each we see;
    some softening gleam of love and prayer
    shall dawn on every cross and care.

    5 The trivial round, the common task,
    will furnish all we ought to ask,
    room to deny ourselves, a road
    to bring us daily nearer God.

    6 Only, O Lord, in your dear love,
    fit us for perfect rest above;
    and help us, this and every day,
    to live more nearly as we pray.

    based on Lamentations 3: 22-23

  36. poohpity says:

    I can imagine what it was like for Nicodemus to go from trying in his flesh to look on the outside like he was pious, godly and righteous only to find that all that cover up were outward signs of a worldly heart. Jesus pointed out to the religious leaders that everything they did was for show to receive honor and glory from their fellow man but the inside was far away from God as anyone could be even though it was their job to lead people to God. (Matt 23:1-36 NLT) Sadly many did not even know God at all but falsely lead others to believe they did. The great masquerade. Jesus saw under the costume that Nicodemus was truly seeking and searching. How wonderful that must have been for Nicodemus that God knew that his heart was truly seeking after spiritual things.

  37. poohpity says:

    God gifts spiritual insight to those who are truly seeking and searching for Him not to look good to others but because they really want to know God no matter what anyone else thinks.

  38. Beloved says:

    Zechariah 12:10–14

    Him Whom They Have Pierced
    10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

    Just noticing it was God who poured out a spirit of grace and mercy. Now is the time as we pray for the peace of Jerusalem to pray for Christian pastors and citizens there who are with Gods mercy and grace preaching and teaching all about Jesus. One Bible college teacher is holding classes wherever believers gather, noting the importance of teaching the Bible especially to new converts. God is doing an unusual work there. He always has His ways!

  39. Beloved says:

    I was struck by what this Bible college professor said when asked how to pray for him and other believers amidst the fighting. He said to pray that they get closer to God and to know Him better. Isn’t that the perfect prayer for all believers everywhere?

  40. Beloved says:

    “Be thought my vision” is the song Viv started this blog with- how appropriate!

  41. Beloved says:

    Oops thou, not thought.

  42. Beloved says:

    Thought. Seems the more I “think” the more trouble I get myself into 😬

  43. Beloved says:

    Birthed from above

    When I Think About The Lord
    Chorus 1
    Hallelujah thank You Jesus
    Lord You’re worthy of all the glory
    And all the honor and all the praise
    It makes me wanna shout
    Hallelujah thank You Jesus
    Lord You’re worthy of all the glory
    And all the honor and all the praise

    Verse 1
    When I think about the Lord
    How He saved me how He raised me
    How He filled me with the Holy Ghost
    How He healed me to the uttermost
    When I think about the Lord
    How He picked me up and turned me around
    How He placed my feet on solid ground
    It makes me wanna shout

  44. street says:

    Birthed from Above

    thinking about washed by the WORD

    3 and say, ‘This is what the Lord [a]God says to Jerusalem: “Your origin and your birth are from the land of the Canaanite; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water for cleansing; you were not rubbed with salt or even wrapped in cloths. 5 No eye looked with pity on you to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you. Rather you were thrown out into the [b]open field, [c]for you were abhorred on the day you were born.

    8 “Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, [a]you were at the time for love; so I spread My [b]garment over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine,” declares the Lord God. 9 “Then I bathed you with water, washed off your blood from you, and anointed you with oil. 10 I also clothed you with colorfully woven cloth and put sandals of [c]fine leather on your feet; and I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk.

    what went wrong?

    John 9:11
    He answered, “The man who is called Jesus made mud, and spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’ ; so I went away and washed, and I received sight.”

  45. foreverblessed says:

    That is a very good description of being washed!

    How dirty we were…

    Today on Utmost is so inspiring to me:
    Be as the lilies of the field,
    Jesus said

    Jesus was saying, “Do not worry about being of use to others; simply believe on Me.” In other words, pay attention to the Source, and out of you “will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).

    Looking to Jesus, “look to Me, and be saved”

    It is no merit of us, just the looking.
    And to keep looking up.
    As Jeff often speaks of the situation in her country is disturbing. But looking to Jesus is the only thing she can do.

    And in the look of faith to Jesus, His life begint to flow though us, and vitalizes us, cleanses us..
    Washed

    Nicodemus must have kept looking to Jesus, wonderful story of this Pharisee, who became a follower of Jesus

  46. SFDBWV says:

    One of my many favorite psalms is Psalms 51. Whereupon David asks to be washed clean. For God to create a clean heart and a renewed right spirit in within him. Psalms 51:10 KJV

    How are we born again? God creates a new heart and renewed spirit in us.

    What brought David to ask this of God?

    His sin, and God’s judgement.

    38 degrees f and crystal clear.

    Steve

  47. jeff1 says:

    CHRIST is the world’s true light,
    its captain of salvation,
    the day-star shining bright,
    to all in every nation:
    new life, new hope awakes
    when we accept his way;
    freedom her bondage breaks
    and night is turned to day.

    2 In Christ all races meet,
    their ancient feuds forgetting,
    the whole round world complete
    from sunrise to its setting:
    when Christ is throned as Lord,
    all shall forsake their fear,
    to ploughshare beat the sword,
    to pruning-hook the spear.

    3 One Lord, in one great name
    unite us all who own you;
    cast out our pride and shame
    that hinder to enthrone you:
    the world has waited long,
    has laboured long in pain;
    to heal its ancient wrong,
    come, Prince of Peace, and reign.

    based on John 8: 12; Isaiah 2: 4-5

  48. jeff1 says:

    HARK! the herald-angels sing
    glory to the new-born King;
    peace on earth and mercy mild,
    God and sinners reconciled!
    Joyful, all you nations, rise,
    join the triumph of the skies;
    with the angelic host proclaim,
    “Christ is born in Bethlehem’:

    Hark! the herald angels sing
    glory to the new-born King.

    2 Christ, by highest heaven adored,
    Christ, the everlasting Lord;
    late in time behold him come,
    offspring of a virgin’s womb:
    veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
    hail the incarnate Deity!
    Pleased as man with us to dwell,
    Jesus our Emmanuel:

    3 Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
    Hail, the Sun of righteousness!
    Light and life to all he brings,
    risen with healing in his wings:
    mild, he lays his glory by,
    born that we no more may die;
    born to raise each child of earth,
    born to give us second birth:

    based on Luke 2: 1-20

  49. poohpity says:

    What brings anyone to God? Surely it is the realization of sin in us, everyone of us. What keeps us close to God? Still realizing our sin and our need of a Savior. Being honest about how broken I am and how much I need help brings me to that daily cleansing and realization that I need not look anywhere but in the mirror to find a person who needs restoration and to be made whole while keeping that in mind I am less likely to look around at others because obviously I have no room to talk about anyone else only my own need. I need what comes from above because in the flesh I can do nothing about making things new no matter how hard I try.

    Truth is harder than a lie
    The dark seems safer than the light
    And everyone has a heart that loves to hide
    I’m a mess and so are you
    We’ve built walls nobody can get through
    Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, ever do

    Bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine
    ‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
    And mercy’s waiting on the other side
    If we’re honest
    If we’re honest

    Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not
    Living life afraid of getting caught
    There is freedom found when we lay our secrets down at the cross, at the cross

    So bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine
    ‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
    And mercy’s waiting on the other side
    If we’re honest
    If we’re honest

    It would change our lives
    It would set us free
    It’s what we need to be

    So bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine
    ‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
    And mercy’s waiting on the other side
    If we’re honest
    If we’re honest
    If we’re honest

  50. jeff1 says:

    poohpity says:
    May 18, 2021 at 8:26 am

    What brings anyone to God? Surely it is the realization of sin in us, everyone of us. What keeps us close to God?

    I don’t believe it is for me to generalize on what brings others to God and as for myself I did plenty of running in the other direction fearing God’s wrath for my sins before I heard the ‘truth of the Gospel’.

    Not everyone as a ‘conversion’ like the apostle Paul or C. S. Lewis so I expect many inherited their faith in God and so just believe Christ died for their sins yet have not given much thought to what their sins are.

    Certainly as C. S. Lewis says you don’t know how bad you are until you try to be good but that depends on your standard of good and bad and not God’s.

    My need of forgiveness for sin is what draws me to God and participate in prayer, confession, communion and thanksgiving because as a believer I know that when I seek God He is present.

    What keeps us close to God, continued worship of Him I would think but that also has to come with a heart that seeks His will and not my own.

    I don’t believe you can live in this world without being broken in some shape or form and while I trust God’s mercy and forgiveness I think there is consequences for our sins or maybe I have just lived in a part of the world where lack of forgiveness is more apparent than forgiveness.

    In the end it is God who truly forgives it would seem.

  51. jeff1 says:

    IN the bleak mid-winter
    frosty wind made moan,
    earth stood hard as iron,
    water like a stone:
    snow had fallen, snow on snow,
    snow on snow,
    in the bleak mid-winter,
    long ago.

    2 Our God, heaven cannot hold him,
    nor earth sustain;
    heav’n and earth shall flee away
    when he comes to reign:
    in the bleak mid-winter
    a stable-place sufficed
    the Lord almighty,
    Jesus Christ.

    3 Enough for him, whom cherubim
    worship night and day,
    a breastful of milk
    and a mangerful of hay;
    enough for him, whom angels
    fall down before,
    the ox and ass and camel
    which adore.

    4 Angels and archangels
    may have gathered there,
    cherubim and seraphim
    thronged the air;
    but his mother only
    in her maiden bliss
    worshipped the beloved
    with a kiss.

    5 What can I give him,
    poor as I am?
    If I were a shepherd,
    I would bring a lamb;
    if I were a wise man,
    I would do my part;
    yet what I can I give him,
    give my heart.

  52. poohpity says:

    Viv, are you saying I over generalize on what brings people to God? I believe what is said in the bible, “that ALL sin and fall short of God’s glory” and “If you say you do not sin then you are calling God a liar”. If one does not believe that all sin then what would make Jesus even come into the world to save us? Is it because he had nothing else to do at the time? It is not over generalizing it is the truth. Do you just need to put me in my place or argue with what I say? Tell me what is your point. That argument should be taken up with God not me.

    Foreverblessed, I wanted to say thank you for saying something nice about what I shared in the last topic. I think that may have been the second time someone has said something nice about something I shared in many years. Again thank you.

  53. jeff1 says:

    GOD, whose almighty word
    chaos and darkness heard,
    and took their flight:
    hear us, we humbly pray,
    and where the gospel-day
    sheds not its glorious ray,
    let there be light!

    2 Saviour, who came to bring
    on your redeeming wing
    healing and sight,
    health to the sick in mind,
    sight to the inly blind:
    now to all humankind
    let there be light!

    3 Spirit of truth and love,
    life-giving, holy dove,
    speed on your flight!
    Move on the water’s face
    bearing the lamp of grace,
    and in earth’s darkest place
    let there be light!

    4 Holy and blessed Three,
    glorious Trinity,
    wisdom, love, might:
    boundless as ocean’s tide
    rolling in fullest pride,
    through the world, far and wide,
    let there be light!

    based on Genesis 1: 3

  54. SFDBWV says:

    I noticed under the picture of the wreath with the birds nest is, in very small print, the words “Empty Nest”.

    It reminded me of Mart’s recent loss and how I am sure, now, his “nest” seems empty.

    When Matt’s mother died we were just over a year into Matt’s injuries. All of my energies were devoted to trying to get his life back in order and the care of him.

    I really never seemed to have the time to mourn, only to keep going.

    Taking care of Rita’s mom and Matt, my nest was still full, and after marrying Glenna the nest was and is still full.

    Having a full nest for me means my thoughts and energies are still directed towards others. I take no time to think about me.

    In truth I am last in line on all fronts in my life and it has always been that way.

    Which brings me to this comment, I have no doubts about my relationship with God nor my eternal condition. My thoughts are centered on those I love.

    The whole matter reminds me of how God, it would seem, has no worries. Only perhaps concerned about those He loves.

    How nothing prevents Him from having His will accomplished.

    How whatever it might take He would do in order to take care of His loved ones.

    At least this is how I want to see God. As the good Father.

    A cold 40 degrees f this morning under clear skies. It is supposed to get much warmer today, once the sun comes up.

    I do wish I had better words of comfort and encouragement for both Mart and Bubbles. For now though, I offer my prayers and am here if they need me.

    Steve

  55. jeff1 says:

    As a young girl going for drives with my dad in the car I can remember being subjected to songs of Jim Reeves and though I was quite fond of his singing I did at times wish my dad would widen his love of music to include other great artists that I favored.

    In those days my dad’s earnings kept my mum and his three children and I didn’t stop to think how they may not have stretched to purchasing my somewhat wider tastes.

    The selfishness of my youth often comes to mind when I think of my parents.

    I have come a long way in seeing how I needed to be changed from the creature that I am.

    There is no doubt in my mind that God has been a loving Father and will continue to be so and that is not down to me being cuddly and loveable all my days but because He is faithful to a wayward child.

    Not because I am any great asset to His kingdom but because He has extended His mercy and forgiveness to me being the loving Father that He is.

    This is what the Spirit enlightens me with today.

    GRACIOUS Spirit, Holy Ghost,
    taught by thee, we covet most
    of thy gifts at Pentecost,
    holy, heavenly love.

    2 Faith that mountains could remove,
    tongues of earth or heaven above,
    knowledge, all things, empty prove
    if I have not love.

    3 Though I as a martyr bleed,
    give my goods the poor to feed,
    all is vain, if love I need;
    therefore give me love.

    4 Love is kind and suffers long,
    love is meek and thinks no wrong,
    love than death itself more strong;
    therefore give us love.

    5 Prophecy will fade away,
    melting in the light of day;
    love will every with us stay;
    therefore give us love.

    6 Faith and hope and love we see
    joining hand in hand agree;
    but the greatest of the three,
    and the best is love.

    based on 1 Corinthians 13

  56. poohpity says:

    In God’s great love for me, He also corrects and disciplines me by allowing me to suffer the consequences of the choices I make and that helps me not repeat them although sometimes I still do but He picks me up and brushes me off to start again. Not only that but He has gifted me with showing me the mistakes of others throughout history so that I may learn from their errors as well, sadly I do not learn those lessons as well as the pain caused by own.

  57. poohpity says:

    The green of the wreath is in a circle with no beginning and no end which represent to me God’s love however the empty nest is open to be filled with new life in the care of His great love within that circle.

  58. Beloved says:

    My Utmost is so encouraging today
    “ Either Jesus Christ is a deceiver, having deceived even Paul, or else some extraordinary thing happens to someone who holds on to the love of God when the odds are totally against him. Logic is silenced in the face of each of these things which come against him. Only one thing can account for it— the love of God in Christ Jesus. “Out of the wreck I rise” every time.”

  59. jeff1 says:

    Come, thou Holy Spirit, come,
    and from thy celestial home
    shed a ray of light divine;
    come, thou Father of the poor,
    all good gifts are from thy store,
    in us let thy radiance shine:

    2 thou of comforters the best,
    thou the soul’s most welcome guest,
    glad refreshment here below;
    in our labour rest most sweet,
    grateful coolness in the heat,
    solace in the midst of woe.

    3 O most blessed Light divine,
    shine within these hearts of thine,
    and our inmost being fill;
    where thou art not, we have naught,
    nothing good in deed or thought,
    nothing free from taint of ill.

    4 Heal our wounds; our strength renew;
    on our dryness pour thy dew;
    wash the stains of guilt away;
    bend the stubborn heart and will;
    melt the frozen, warm the chill;
    guide the steps that go astray.

    5 On thy servants, who adore
    and confess thee, evermore
    in thy sevenfold gifts descend;
    grant us virtue’s sure reward,
    grant us thy salvation, Lord,
    grant us joys that never end.

  60. poohpity says:

    After we are born again we are in need of new clothes, a spiritual wardrobe of sorts.

    2 Cor 5:17–Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

    Romans 13:13-14 NLT Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. 14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

    Gal 3:26-27 NLT For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.

    Eph 4:22-24 NLT Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

    Col 3:12-15 NLT Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

    Finally

    Eph 4: A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

    13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

  61. foreverblessed says:

    Dear dear Pooh,
    What tears can be shed over you.
    I pray that God will solve your problem here.
    In your comment to me thanking me for a kind remark, you also answer to Jeff.

    You may love her with all of your heart, but is it possible that you could address her in another way?
    If you want to be treated more friendly, more warmhearted, nicely, you could start doing it yourself.

    As for people turning to God;
    It could also be, because someone has prayed for that person, and his heart was opened to see Who Jesus was.
    As Jesus said: no one can come to Me, unless the Father calls him.
    A call from God, if is the call from God that makes us see Who Jesus is! The realization of their sin may come later.

    Is it possible that you could have a look at how you treated Jeff?
    Could you have done it in another way.

    I tell you this, not to condemn you, but to help you. Give you good advice, in the love of Christ.
    You are a dearly loved child of God, dearly loved.
    Is the way you talk to Jeff, the way Jesus talks to you?
    Pray about it, talk to Jesus about it, and sit still to hear His answer.

  62. jeff1 says:

    O for a heart to praise my God,
    a heart from sin set free;
    a heart that’s cleansed by the blood
    so freely shed for me.

    2 A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
    my dear Redeemer’s throne;
    where only Christ is heard to speak,
    where Jesus reigns alone;

    3 a humble, lowly, contrite heart,
    believing, true and clean,
    which neither life nor death can part
    from him that dwells within;

    4 a heart in every thought renewed,
    and full of love divine,
    perfect and right, and pure and good,
    a copy, Lord, of thine.

    5 Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart;
    come quickly from above:
    write thy new name upon my heart,
    thy new, best name of love.

    based on Psalm 51: 10; Ezekiel 36: 26

  63. poohpity says:

    Forever, I just mentioned what you said to me even though you thought it was Steve who commented so you gave him positive feedback that was not even meant for me it just so happened that later you found it was me who quoted John Piper. Is not sin a common practice among all humanity, even you? So what did I say wrong to Viv? People who are not clothed in Christ will always find fault with others, they can just blame it on their flesh.

  64. foreverblessed says:

    I am very very sorry, I just keep praying, for you.
    God is our Father, yours and mine, and we are His dearly beloved.
    He knows how to solve this.
    He will finish what He started in us.
    He called us by His Name.
    All of us here.
    And together we walk.

  65. foreverblessed says:

    If people give you advice, you can think:
    They care about me, they want to help me

    O

  66. jeff1 says:

    Thank you for your gracious intentions, Forever, I am weary of being misunderstood and the responses and its so much better when I leave it with Christ and find peace in His understanding.

    Others can never understand our hearts the way He does and so be at peace and forget Pooh’s comments I have.

  67. jeff1 says:

    When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
    when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
    count your many blessings, name them one by one,
    and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

    Count your blessings, name them one by one;
    count your blessings, see what God has done!
    Count your blessings, name them one by one;
    and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

    2 Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
    Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
    Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly,
    and you will keep singing as the days go by.

    3 When you look at others with their lands and gold,
    think that Christ has promised you his wealth untold;
    count your many blessings, wealth can never buy
    your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

    4 So amid the conflict, whether great or small,
    do not be disheartened, God is over all;
    count your many blessings, angels will attend,
    help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

  68. Beloved says:

    Viv that’s the wisest thing I’ve heard here in a while. We’ve all been played at one time or another.
    Forever let it go- you’re being manipulated. Think about how many years this same drama has been going on?!?!

  69. foreverblessed says:

    Good morning all, it’s ok. My peace is in Jesus, so the practice of to keep looking to Jesus, does develop something within us. Jesus grows within me. Just like that message written by John Piper, God’s part and our part 〽️
    That was such a wonderful message! An encouraging word of God.

    And so is also the song:
    4 So amid the conflict, whether great or small,
    do not be disheartened, God is over all;
    count your many blessings, angels will attend,
    help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

    Count your many blessings is a song I sang in church since I was six.

  70. foreverblessed says:

    Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
    Honor one another above yourselves.
    Romans 12:10

    He who has an ear let him hear…

  71. jeff1 says:

    As I lean on Jesus then I hope I will be getting wiser, as I know it was what my dad did, and this is not just me saying this, because, often it has been said of my father that he was a highly intelligent man but I know now that it was because he had God given sight and not man driven ambition that made him so.

    His strengths was obedience and humbleness as he was a very unopinionated man i.e. never said ‘I told you so’ though he could have such was the wisdom of his decisions.

    Never thought he knew better than others though the reality he did and that is because the words on his lips were either
    ‘God willing’ or ‘if it pleases God’ and so he accepted the rough with the smooth believing that it is our journey to do so without malice towards anyone as while the conflict was at its very worst I never heard him taking sides but said none was behaving in a way that honored God and if you are looking down today dad you got that right.

    God rewards discipline and obedience and don’t let anyone tell you differently as my dad was walking proof of it.

    SPIRIT divine, attend our prayers
    and make this house your home,
    descend with all your gracious power:
    O come, great Spirit, come.

    2 Come as the light: to us reveal
    our emptiness and woe;
    and lead us in those paths of life
    where all the righteous go.

    3 Come as the fire: and purge our hearts
    like sacrificial flame;
    let our whole life an offering be
    to our Redeemer’s name.

    4 Come as the dove: and spread your wings,
    the wings of peaceful love,
    and let your Church on earth become
    blessed as the Church above.

    5 Come as the wind, with rushing sound
    and pentecostal grace,
    that all of women born may see
    the glory of your face.

    6 Spirit divine, attend our prayers,
    make this lost world your home;
    descend with all your gracious power:
    O come, great Spirit, come.

  72. poohpity says:

    I ask either of you Viv, or forever to tell me where did I go wrong in what I said. That is the only way I know what not to say again. Now that is an over generalization when no one is specific in their complaint against another that would insinuate it is just a personality conflict. If one does not like someone they could say anything and it would be taken the wrong way even if it was not meant to be ungodly in anyway.

    forever, the thing about giving advice it is only really good when it is asked for not when it is unsolicited, that is called meddling.

    Beloved, I have no idea how you think that I am manipulating anyone. Manipulating them for what and in what way.

    Yes you are right this type of persecution has been taking place for a long time, with the same people involved with the same odd characterizations, assuming, jumping to conclusions and misunderstanding.

    I accept all of you just the way you are. I do not need you to change to please me nor am I quick to point out the faults I see in you because that is not my business and I have enough faults to deal with in myself.

  73. poohpity says:

    It would be nice for even once in a while for everyone to talk about the topic but since it seems so often there is a lack of understanding or no idea or no clue about topic so one falls back on something everyone agrees and knows about, worldly issues.

  74. poohpity says:

    The new birth we have in Christ.

    And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

    Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

    When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

    You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

  75. jeff1 says:

    My words explaining my thoughts on my own life’s experience.

    Jeff1 says:
    May 18, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    I don’t believe it is for me to generalize on what brings others to God and as for myself I did plenty of running in the other direction fearing God’s wrath for my sins before I heard the ‘truth of the Gospel’

    I think it is for you to explain why you ask a question of me which you do not allow me to answer!

    That says to me you have already made up your mind and so you go on to be both overbearing and sarcastic in your response.

    Your response:

    poohpity says:
    May 18, 2021 at 2:36 pm
    Viv, are you saying I over generalize on what brings people to God? I believe what is said in the bible, “that ALL sin and fall short of God’s glory” and “If you say you do not sin then you are calling God a liar”. If one does not believe that all sin then what would make Jesus even come into the world to save us? Is it because he had nothing else to do at the time? It is not over generalizing it is the truth. Do you just need to put me in my place or argue with what I say? Tell me what is your point. That argument should be taken up with God not me

    Lets just be honest, here, Pooh, you don’t like it that I have issues with Bible interpretation and that’s your prerogative but I am interested in God’s truth not your bruised ego.

    Where I come from there are many who will quote me Scripture but this is a religious divided country and as such people have biases and I don’t need to be a rocket scientist to discern their motives but just be old enough in the tooth to have heard it all before and know where its coming from.

    I used to be fooled by all the religious trappings that was very much part of my upbringing but I have come along way since then so don’t treat me like a fool because I don’t know my Bible as just because I don’t know it doesn’t mean I don’t know when someone quoting it does so from a heart for God, or for their own biases, or just to be boastful as to their knowledge.

    I seek God’s truth, not my own, or anyone else’s as this world as lived in darkness for too long without it.

  76. Beloved says:

    Deflecting- gaslighting- reading it all here day in and day out- ugh. Forever you are being played. And you misread scripture to enhance your own ego also. Let go and let God deal with the simply unmanageable. We know He wins- in the end. Spiritualizing does not change evil to good. We are told not to call evil good. Only Jesus can change water into wine. As you know.

  77. Beloved says:

    ◄ Isaiah 5:20 ►

    New International Version
    Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

    New Living Translation
    What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.

  78. poohpity says:

    Viv, did you believe it was advantageous for you to leave out how that conversation started?

    poohpity says:
    May 18, 2021 at “8:26 am”

    What brings anyone to God? Surely it is the realization of sin in us, everyone of us. What keeps us close to God? Still realizing our sin and our need of a Savior. Being honest about how broken I am and how much I need help brings me to that daily cleansing and realization that I need not look anywhere but in the mirror to find a person who needs restoration and to be made whole while keeping that in mind I am less likely to look around at others because obviously I have no room to talk about anyone else only my own need. I need what comes from above because in the flesh I can do nothing about making things new no matter how hard I try.

    THEN YOU WENT ON TO SAY @ 12:19 pm

    I don’t believe it is for me to generalize on what brings others to God and as for myself I did plenty of running in the other direction fearing God’s wrath for my sins before I heard the ‘truth of the Gospel’.
    Then went on to explain in your own life the sins that brought you to God.

    TO WHICH I MADE THE COMMENT @2:36 pm that all sin which is actually not saying anything different than what you did about your own sin. Then it is me who said something wrong in your and forever’s minds.

    Follow the whole thing not just the part you think makes me look bad.

  79. Beloved says:

    Bible Gateway
    Verse of the Day
    Romans 15:5-6
    May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  80. SFDBWV says:

    Saturday afternoon there is going to be a celebration of life for an old friend of mine who died about a week ago.

    Actually though Jeff’s mother and I were very good friends and remained so until her death, I really hadn’t had much contact with Jeff since we were youngsters. While I was away in the Marine Corps he moved away and remained so the remainder of his life.

    Jeff’s older brother Chris had moved back to town about 15 or more years ago and he and I were friends as well. Chris died about 3 months ago.

    I know I speak of death a good bit, and I usually want to do so in connection to a person or persons I have known.

    Though I have not always, I have come to learn to do my best to let the last conversation I have with someone be given as if it were the last time that we have together.

    If we are practicing Christians and not just Christian in name only, we don’t need to have the last word on any disagreement. We need rather to show the face of Christ in forgiveness and the face of God in placing such as far as the east is from the west.

    Let a smile or handshake or kind word be the last memory someone has of you or you of them.

    If we are indeed born again in spirit, our words and actions should mirror that. If not maybe we should have a little talk with Jesus.

    79 degrees.

    Steve

  81. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Steve, thank you for your updates.
    And a very good advice;
    What you say you another is consider that it can be the last thing you say.

    So dear fellow bloggers: you are dearly dearly loved, all of you, and there’s is nothing that can seperate any of you from the love of Christ.
    And if you are down and out, call on Jesus, from the depth of your heart, and He will come down and help you, Psalm 18:6-19.
    Like a whirlwind 🌪️ He will come down, fast and quick, anc save you from all that scares you, all that persecutes you.
    Yes He will, because His Word says:

    Joel 2:32 and everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.
    ,

  82. jeff1 says:

    No one is trying to make you look bad, Pooh, if you ask me your very good at doing that yourself. You attacked me over something I didn’t do and its in your mind there is something wrong and not anyone else’s.

    You even post the verse that was not the one you attacked me on to distract from your misdeed.

    You talk about unity within the Body of Christ and you go out of your way to be argumentative and disrespect anyone’s view because it doesn’t agree with yours.

    You are what we call a ‘big bully’ and no one likes a bully either in the playground or as a grown up.

    To live in harmony there has to be respect and a genuine desire to get along by all sides and quite frankly I do not see that happening today as there are far too many divisions caused by people who want things to go their way or they throw the dummy out of the pram.

    It seems to me they need to be reminded that it is Christ we are to follow and not them.

  83. foreverblessed says:

    Just something else: there is a big hunt for a military man in Belgium, near our borders, two days ago it started, first only with the Belgian police, the next day the Belgian army helped. Today the military of our country and Germany join the search.
    It is getting like a movie, Rocky on the run.
    He has been persecuting people who deal with the pandemic, virulogists etc.

    There are so many people out there that need our prayers.
    And then we make silly arguments, about what brings people to God.
    God forgive us….as we forgive each other.

    If this is the last thing you hear from me:
    Forgive me all folks, and I forgive all of you.
    And may God be with you forever, without end.

    All the while I was looking for Jesus, that He may be the King of my heart.
    And I thought to join here to encourage one another to have our eyes focussed on Jesus, and have open discussions as Mart has been always the one for seeking Nuance.
    But Jesus is:

    King of kings and Lord of lords.

    And He may start in my heart, and yours too, I am convinced of that. I don’t assume it, LOL.

  84. jeff1 says:

    If we are indeed born again in spirit, our words and actions should mirror that. If not maybe we should have a little talk with Jesus.

    I can see now why so many non believers think that Christians are hypocrites as until we are born of the Spirit we just talk the talk without walking the walk and that’s not going to attract others to Christ to my way of thinking anyway.

  85. SFDBWV says:

    Viv I thought you might pick up on my little reference of “Having a little talk with Jesus” as the song that says that.

    Foreverblessed you always make me glad we talk with each other and I am very thankful to call you friend. I think you and Viv both do a good job in reflecting Christ.

    Keep it up, I for one enjoy you both.

    Have to run now and cut Matt’s toe nails and then outside work before his dinner.

    Blessing to all today,

    Steve

  86. Beloved says:

    Thanks Steve! I hope everyone is through arguing today. Blessings to you and all here!

    Thanks for prayers for my back. I was finally able to rearrange my bedroom without trauma! It’s the little things that make my day go well…

  87. Beloved says:

    I meant to say thanks to everyone here for praying.

  88. jeff1 says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Steve, the one thing I am sure of that I won’t know God’s love and peace this side of heaven as it just doesn’t exist.

    Even among Christians there is too much division and if it were not for Christ I doubt we would agree on anything.

    I am not trying to start an argument but its just my thoughts.

    Life on earth just gets more involved and I am not sure how Christianity can work in a more secular world.

    Sorry for starting an argument though I’m not sure how but it seems I always manage to put my foot in it these days so not surprising I find it easier to keep my thoughts to myself.

  89. Beloved says:

    I remember that Jesus said there would be no peace in the world. But that He came to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil.
    Becoming born again, the shalom of heaven!

  90. jeff1 says:

    The Lord is king! Lift up your voice,
    O earth, and you heavens, rejoice;
    from world to world the song shall ring:
    ‘The Lord omnipotent is king!’

    2 The Lord is king! Who then shall dare
    resist his will, distrust his care,
    or murmur at his wise decrees,
    or doubt his royal promises?

    3 The Lord is king! Child of the dust,
    the the judge of all the earth is just;
    holy and true are all his ways—-
    let every creature sing his praise!

    4 God reigns! He reigns with glory crowned:
    let Christians make a joyful sound!
    And Christ is seated at his side:
    the Man of love, the crucified.

    5 Come, make your needs, your burdens known:
    he will present them at the throne;
    and angel hosts are waiting there.
    his messages of love to bear.

    6 One Lord one kingdom all secures:
    he reigns, and life and death are yours;
    through earth and heav’n one song shall ring:
    ‘The Lord omnipotent is king!’

    based on Psalm 97; Revelation 19: 6

  91. Beloved says:

    Romans 15:13
    13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

  92. foreverblessed says:

    That Hope we need, now when many many around us suffer, depression, anxiety.

    We have a curley willow tree in our garden, when the new leaves come out, they are a great Easter treasure: New Life.
    One morning in March, I thought: I will bring these to an older lady in our village, who stopped going to our choir because of heart problems.
    I had lots of branches with me, so she could choose which she wanted.
    To my surprise she asked if she could have them all, to give them to her 3 children as well, and their families.
    I said to her: That’s ok, as long as you say: “with the Easter thought.”
    She said, I’ll do that, I tell them.
    She is a believer, different from what I am, more Catholic, with angels and Mary. But we have often talked that God cares about us.

  93. foreverblessed says:

    Why do I tell you this?
    Today she phoned me.
    It so happened that a week after I gave her these branches, on White Thursday, her oldest grandson suddenly died. Out of nowhere he decided to end his life. A successful student at the University, going to his masters.
    The family is shattered. Her son is devastated. They suffer greatly.
    So if you get a prayer for them, thank you very much, on behalf of her son.

  94. foreverblessed says:

    Then she saudt:
    You know what? You have given me these Easter branches, and I still had them, they were coming out nicely. She arranged them around her grandson in the coffin, it looked beautiful, she said. She gave them to her children, the have developed roots, and are now in their gardens, growing fine.
    She said, how thankful she was to have them and to have shared them with the Easter thought. New Life.
    She hopes to see him in heaven and embrace him, that is how she ended the phonecall. Till she is overwhelmed with grief again.

    But…our God is there, He arranged it that these branches were brought to them. My prayer is that New Life in Christ may be given to them all, especially to the Father.
    God works on our prayers.
    Thank God!

  95. jeff1 says:

    Forever, I like how you respect another’s faith though it is different than yours.

    Here it is not unusual to hear Protestants mock Catholics with their angels and beads and I don’t like that as after all they are still believers and they were born into the Roman Catholic faith as I was the Protestant.

    Christians often speak of tolerance but then fail to show it so not surprising unbelievers don’t get us Christians as we are so much better focusing on what divides us rather than on Christ who died for us all.

    Practicing what you believe is so much more Christlike than finding faults especially when no religion is all right and we are all at God’s mercy and grace if we just take time to think about it.

  96. SFDBWV says:

    Life is so cruel sometimes it is difficult to say anything nice about it. Foreverblessed I am so sorry for your friend. Such a pain never goes away and usually has guilt associated with it.

    Those left living after the suicide of a loved one always asks, “What did I do wrong?” “What didn’t I do?” “What could I have done to prevent this?”

    In the Catholic Church such an act is an act of un-forgiveness and so the official belief is that the deceased suffers hell for eternity. They are not even allowed to be buried in the Catholic cemetery.

    However as I am sure you already expect from me, I don’t believe a person who commits suicide is responsible for their actions. I think they are mentally sick and at their lowest point unable to think rationally. Especially about the people they love and the pain their death would inflict upon them.

    Indeed Foreverblessed I thank you for sharing this event with me as it gives me the opportunity to go to God on these people’s behalf.

    Steve

  97. foreverblessed says:

    To pray Romans 15:13 over them, how timely you posted these verses, Beloved.
    And Steve, thank you for your kind words. I equally treasure conversing with you, and all the sharing you do. Even if we don’t see everything the same, ;-)and that is no problem at all, and that is so encouraging.
    But we do see Jesus!!! New Life in Him
    Birthed from above, all the same!

  98. foreverblessed says:

    Oh, thank you so much Steve, and Jeff, bearing their burden, and giving it to Jesus, on their behalf, especially the father ( not Father) the father of the young man, is called Eric.
    He is devastay with grief.
    Hope from above, from the Father of all hope!

  99. poohpity says:

    Oh the honesty needed about one’s self to understand the depth of what Mart wrote; “The urgency? Without rebirth in the Spirit, people like us lived at the expense of one another”.

  100. poohpity says:

    Which goes along with what our Savior taught in Matt 7:3-5.

  101. Beloved says:

    How very sad for Eric, his family and friends. Death affects everyone around us. It’s the one thing that is truly universal. Thoughts and prayers for all that they will go to Jesus in their grief. In hopes of experiencing new Life through Him.

    Forever that was a very kind gesture bringing the branches to your friend.

  102. jeff1 says:

    Forever, I am so glad that this woman as you to encourage and give her hope for her beloved grandson and may God comfort her, Eric and all members of their family at this tragic time in their lives.

  103. jeff1 says:

    A song for your friend, Forever.

    He Will Carry You

    There is no problem too big God cannot solve it
    There is no mountain too tall He cannot move it
    And there is no storm too dark God cannot calm it
    There is no sorrow too deep He cannot soothe it

    And if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders
    I know my brother that He will carry you
    And if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders
    I know my sister that He will carry you
    He said, “Come unto Me all who are weary, and I will give you rest”

    There is no problem too big God cannot solve it
    There is no mountain too tall He cannot move it
    And there is no storm too dark God cannot calm it
    There is no sorrow too deep He cannot soothe it

    And if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders
    I know my brother that He will carry you
    And if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders
    I know my sister that He will carry you

    I know my brother and I know my sister
    That He, He’s going to carry you
    Oh yes, He will
    He’s going to carry you

  104. Beloved says:

    Dear Forever

    I was troubled today so went to the LORD about it as usual. I realized I was unjust concerning my statement to you about your motives here yesterday. In fact, He sent me to read Nehemiah and I quickly discovered a kindred spirit between you and him. I ask your forgiveness. I was wrong.

  105. Beloved says:

    Reminder to self

    James1 19 My dear brothers and sisters,(AH) take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak(AI) and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger(AJ) does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

  106. jeff1 says:

    FRUITFUL trees, the Spirit’s sowing,
    may we ripen and increase,
    fruit to life eternal growing,
    rich in love and joy and peace.

    2 Laden branches freely bearing
    gifts the Giver loves to bless;
    here is fruit that grows by sharing,
    patience, kindness, gentleness.

    3 Rooted deep in Christ our master,
    Christ our pattern and our goal,
    teach us, as the years fly faster,
    goodness, faith and self-control.

    4 Fruitful trees, the Spirit’s tending,
    may we grow till harvests cease;
    till we taste, in life unending,
    heaven’s love and joy and peace.

    based on Galatians 5: 22-23

  107. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you all for your prayers for this family! That was heartwarming. It filled my heart with hope!
    The sheer thought that God had arranged all this! He knew in advance what would happen!
    That knowledge also fills me with great awe:
    We have a great God, Who has arranged salvation:
    Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

    My friend in the phonecall yesterday said: those branches have already been a comfort to us. While she had put the branches, with young grean leaves around her grandson in the coffin, she felt the comfort of God: the Risen Life of Christ.
    But she is not so evangelical, so she uses other words.

    This knowledge, that God is all knowing, all loving, is so wonderful.

    Beloved, it’s alright, I had no idea you had trouble.
    But the book of Nehemiah is impressive, he greatly encouraged his companions not to be afraid, all though all around Jerusalem there were enemies, people that did not want that the walls would be rebuild.

  108. foreverblessed says:

    We have to rebuild the walls around our thinking, every time enemies attack us with negative thoughts.
    The battle of our minds.
    And bless those that persecute us. It is a simple command Jesus gave us, but the commands Jesus gives are for the Life of Christ in us. (Explanation of Oswald Chambers last month somewhere, which I found profound)

    That’s the urgency of the rebirth, we cannot do anything Jesus commands us, Jesus must have been born in us.

  109. jeff1 says:

    teach us, as the years fly faster,
    goodness, faith and self-control.

    I can see now that my dad had amazing self-control and I know he put his brain into gear before his mouth while my mum on the other hand was way too impulsive and that never came out well for her.

    Being our own worst enemies comes to mind, character weaknesses that deflect from Christ.

    Why is some characteristically closer to God while others struggle?

    Is the battle of the mind more central to the urgency of rebirth than we have envisaged!

  110. SFDBWV says:

    I have to tell you, every time I see the picture of the wreath Mart has shared with us I see the face of a hairy troll or some wild man.

    I suppose it is like Rorschach’s ink blots, we all see what in hidden in our subconscious.

    I wonder if our subconscious is another name for our “spirit”?

    In the dark damp wet coal mines I worked in after a little time had elapsed the wooden beams and “header boards” that were secured to the mine roof would grow a red mold that looked like hair. Along with time as it grew longer it also would collect beads of water from the damp air coursing through the mine.

    It was a creepy eerie thing to see and made getting outside into the fresh air all the more refreshing.

    What a difference working underground in the dark and then returning to the light of the surface was.

    Sort of like living under the weight of our old dark spirit and the being reborn into the “light” and fresh air of freedom.

    Saturday morning, 67 degrees f and clear blue skies.

    Steve

  111. poohpity says:

    It seems with the new birth one has to practice submission. In other words relying on the guidance, direction, provision from the Holy Spirit rather than our own old inclinations or satisfying the flesh. One has to learn from the Lord and practice what He teaches, to grow in maturity of the Spirit by letting go of self. It is hard to do on our won but with God all things are possible. The more I listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit the better I hear rather than always listening to my old nature which is more prominent at first. The difference in milk and solid food. It seems to me like growing up in the Lord rather than growing up in the flesh, it takes time.

  112. poohpity says:

    Allowing the Holy Spirit to transform our thinking which is a beautiful process if one only allows Him access. Romans 12:2 NLT Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

  113. poohpity says:

    Steve, if as you said you see the wreath as, “I see the face of a hairy troll or some wild man.”. Does that mean as you said, “Sort of like living under the weight of our old dark spirit”? I wonder what you would see if lived in “the being reborn into the “light” and fresh air of freedom.”?

  114. jeff1 says:

    Seek and you shall find’ or, as it is usually written in old texts, ‘seek and ye shall find’ is from the Bible, Matthew 7:7-8.The King James Version of the text is: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

  115. Beloved says:

    I really enjoyed “Signs of the Endtimes” video from ODB. Mart did a great job of balancing spiritual and physical Israel I thought. Very interesting how Mr. De Young explained events on the ground. Thank you Mart.

  116. street says:

    God is not concerned about our plans; He doesn’t ask, “Do you want to go through this loss of a loved one, this difficulty, or this defeat?” No, He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, and nobler men and women, or they are making us more critical and fault-finding, and more insistent on our own way. The things that happen either make us evil, or they make us more saintly, depending entirely on our relationship with God and its level of intimacy. If we will pray, regarding our own lives, “Your will be done” (Matthew 26:42), then we will be encouraged and comforted by John 17, knowing that our Father is working according to His own wisdom, accomplishing what is best. oswald chambers 5/22/2021

  117. street says:

    you know steve since you mention it does look like a face with a beard. except i see snakes in the hair like medusa.

    thinking about black mold. it has killed some in the state i live in. when i was in the south doing clean up i was warned that the red mold was more dangerous. either way stay away. was also told if you keep the humidity below 40 mold can not grow.

    wonder how that relates to the Christian life?

  118. Beloved says:

    This just popped up on FB

    Isaiah 45:7
    New King James Version
    I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.’

  119. jeff1 says:

    The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, and nobler men and women, or they are making us more critical and fault-finding, and more insistent on our own way.

    Thinking of my comments earlier where I find that those who are insistent on their own way throw the dummy out of the pram if they don’t get it.

    I think as far as God’s concerned I can throw it out as often as I like but He will just throw it back in at me as He isn’t going to change His plan to accommodate my stubbornness at least in my less mature moments that is what God has been telling me.

    My dad was always much more the grown-up hence why he behaved like one.

    It seems I only need look in the mirror to see whose to blame if I am not behaving maturely.

  120. jeff1 says:

    There’s a spirit in the air,
    telling Christians everywhere:
    ‘Praise the love that Christ revealed,
    living, working, in our world!’

    2 Lose your shyness, find your tongue,
    tell the world what God has done:
    God in Christ has come to stay.
    Live tomorrow’s life today!

    3 When believers break the bread,
    when a hungry child is fed,
    praise the love that Christ revealed,
    living, working, in our world.

    4 Still the Spirit gives us light,
    seeing wrong and setting right:
    God in Christ has come to stay,
    Live tomorrow’s life today!

    5 When a stranger’s not alone,
    where the homeless find a home,
    praise the love that Christ revealed,
    living, working, in our world.

    6 May the Spirit fill our praise,
    guide our thoughts and change our ways.
    God in Christ has come to stay.
    Live tomorrow’s life today!

    7 There’s a Spirit in the air,
    calling people everywhere:
    praise the love that Christ revealed,
    living, working, in our world.

  121. poohpity says:

    Blame and making excuses for their behavior was just part of the original sin package of the flesh in the garden between Adam and Eve with God. BUT God still covered them with His great love by providing the first blood shed and covering for the shame and guilt when they did not take any personal responsibility for themselves until mankind was “Birthed from Above” and the Spirit of God caused mankind to look deep within. Then and only then it seems could mankind accept the role they played in the reason that Jesus came to earth to take their sins on His back to cover us from the shame and quilt of our own sins rather than blaming and making excuses mankind accepted responsibility for themselves and then could understand more fully the grace, mercy, redemption and forgiveness that we were gifted with. Nothing we could earn but because God is who He is.

    That same compassion God showered on Adam and Eve, He also showers on all humanity. John 3:16

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

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

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

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

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

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

  122. Beloved says:

    Bible gateway

    Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him. John 14:23(NET)

  123. poohpity says:

    “Seeing is never believing” wrote Oswald Chambers. “We interpret what we see in the light of what we believe.”

  124. jeff1 says:

    I believe if the Holy Spirit is revealing to me I will see God’s truths which will be nothing like the worlds truths so I will not be seeing what I am believing.

  125. street says:

    BUT God still covered them with His great love by providing the first blood shed and covering for the shame and guilt when they did not take any personal responsibility for themselves until mankind was “Birthed from Above” and the Spirit of God caused mankind to look deep within.

    thinking…looking to Him and not self. as for responsibility God took it on Himself. we were powerless and helpless after the fall.

    39
    See now that I, I am He,
    And there is no god besides Me;
    It is I who put to death and give life.
    I have wounded and it is I who heal,
    And there is no one who can save anyone from My hand. Deuteronomy 32

    responsibility/duty vs love

    seems like a new life, new spirit at work in the believer. the goal of Christ to be formed in us and conformed to His Image. Children of God. not the former.

    thinking of choosing and going lately. seems following comes to mind too. “might” be a better plan.

    looks like covid restriction will end June 2 in my area. funny how i would be more concerned then, then now. we are a strange and confusing people.

  126. street says:

    “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” Acts 8: 31

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

    12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them at the present time. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take from Mine and will disclose it to you. John 16:12-14

  127. street says:

    is urgency like exhortation?

    does urgency bring on anxiety?

    preeminence predominance predisposition.

    been thinking about how a priest had blood put on his right ear right thumb and right big toe.

    do i allow the blood to decide what i listen too or enter my mind?

    does the blood control what i hold on too?

    does the blood determent where and how i walk?

    trail of tears or a trail of life. both?

  128. Beloved says:

    Covid restrictions ended here last week; but they are saying to use discretion. W H A T ! ! ! ? With the talk of variants and changes to DNA who can relax? Time to talk to Jesus about how I can rule and reign in this mess we have. Seeking Him always, as usual.

  129. Beloved says:

    And reminded I’m operating through a broken body so be gentle with myself!

  130. jeff1 says:

    HAIL to the Lord’s anointed,
    great David’s greater Son!
    Hail, in the time appointed,
    his reign on earth begun!
    he comes to break oppression,
    to set the captive free,
    to take away transgression,
    and rule in equity.

    2 He comes with succour speedy
    to those who suffer wrong;
    to help the poor and needy
    and bid the weak be strong;
    to give them songs for sighing,
    their darkness turn to light,
    whose souls, condemned and dying,
    were precious in his sight.

    3 He shall come down like showers
    upon the fruitful earth;
    and love, joy, hope, like flowers,
    spring in his path to birth:
    before him on the mountains
    shall peace, the herald, go;
    and righteousness in fountains
    from hill to valley flow.

    4 Kings shall fall down before him,
    and gold and incense bring;
    all nations shall adore him,
    his praise all people sing:
    to him shall prayer unceasing
    and daily vows ascend;
    his kingdom shall increasing,
    a kingdom without end.

    5 O’er every foe victorious,
    he on his throne shall rest,
    from age to age more glorious,
    all-blessing and all-blessed:
    the tide of time shall never◡
    his covenant remove;
    his name shall stand for ever;
    that name to us is Love.

    based on Psalm 72

  131. poohpity says:

    Hebrews 11: Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.

    Romans 8:24
    For in this hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he can already see?

    2 Corinthians 4:18
    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

    2 Corinthians 5:7
    For we walk by faith, not by sight.

  132. poohpity says:

    Eph 2: God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

  133. jeff1 says:

    We love, the place, O God,
    in which your honour dwells,
    the joy of your abode
    all earthly joy excels.

    2 It is the house of prayer,
    where we your people meet,
    and you, our Lord are there
    your chosen flock to greet.

    3 We love the font, for there
    new life in Christ begins;
    it speaks of your great care,
    of cleansing from our sins.

    4 We love the word of life,
    the word that tells of peace,
    of comfort in the strife
    and joys that never cease.

    5 We love your table, Lord—
    no place on earth so dear;
    for there, in faith adored,
    we find your presence near.

    6 We love to sing below
    of mercies freely given;
    but O we long to know◡
    the triumph-song of heaven.

    7 Lord Jesus, give us grace
    on earth to love you more,
    in heaven to see your face
    and with your saints adore.

    based on Psalm 26: 8

  134. jeff1 says:

    Sometimes It Takes a Mountain

    I faced a mountain
    That I never faced before
    That’s why I’m calling on You Lord
    I know it’s been a while
    But Lord please hear my prayer
    I need You like I never have before

    Sometimes it takes a mountain
    Sometimes a troubled sea
    Sometimes it takes a desert
    To get a hold of me
    Your love is so much stronger
    Than whatever troubles me
    Sometimes it takes a mountain
    To trust You and believe

    Forgive me Jesus
    I thought I could control
    Whatever life would throw my way
    But this I will admit
    Has brought me to my knees
    I need You Lord and I’m not ashamed to say

    Sometimes it takes a mountain
    Sometimes a troubled sea
    Sometimes it takes a desert
    To get a hold of me
    Your love is so much stronger
    Than whatever troubles me
    Sometimes it takes a mountain
    To trust You and believe

    Sometimes it takes a mountain
    To trust You and believe

    Sometimes it takes a mountain
    Sometimes a troubled sea
    Sometimes it takes a desert
    To get a hold of me (get a hold, get a hold of me)
    Your love is so much stronger
    Than whatever troubles me
    Sometimes it takes a mountain
    To trust You and believe (trust You and believe)

    Sometimes it takes a mountain
    To trust You and believe

  135. street says:

    “‘I saw the Lord always before me.
    Because he is at my right hand,
    I will not be shaken.
    26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest in hope,
    27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    you will not let your holy one see decay.
    28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence.”

    25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”

    3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 I glorified You on the earth [c]by accomplishing the work which You have given Me to do. John 17

  136. Beloved says:

    John 17
    Prayer for All Believers
    20I am not asking on behalf of them alone, but also on behalf of those who will believe in Me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You. May they also be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

    22I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one— 23I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfectly united, so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them just as You have loved Me.

    24Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, that they may see the glory You gave Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

    25Righteous Father, although the world has not known You, I know You, and they know that You sent Me. 26And I have made Your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love You have for Me may be in them, and I in them.”

  137. foreverblessed says:

    Birthed from above
    Then we are changed from inside out, and it shows in the love for one another.
    Is it that what Jesus says in John 17:21-22
    And in the love for one another the world’s knows that God had sent Jesus.

    I have been thinking about Luke 16:31, that was on ODB a few days ago.
    If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets they will not listen if someone comes back from the dead.

    But to what will they listen?
    When they love one another?

    Still a long way to go
    May the Holy Spirit be with us, and may we listen to the still small voice of the Spirit.

  138. jeff1 says:

    The Lord, the seed of life, has sown

    The Lord, the seed of life,
    Has sown Himself into our heart
    To grow up into fullness
    And become His counterpart.
    The seed requires no rules or forms,
    For water is its need—
    By this the all-inclusive seed
    Will grow in us indeed!
    The seed is simply Jesus!
    Oh, Jesus lives in me!
    And by His growth this seed
    in us will reach maturity.
    2
    The growth of Christ, the seed, in us
    Will soon produce the wheat,
    The life within break forth—yet work
    Divine is not complete;
    For wheat alone can never be
    The seed’s expression true;
    So all the grains must blend together
    Into something new.
    The seed is simply Jesus;
    Now wheat is Jesus too!
    The grains of wheat must blend
    Together into something new.
    3
    The individual grains of wheat
    No longer must be free,
    But crushed together, ground to powder,
    Every grain must be,
    Until the wheat becomes the meal
    From which the loaf is formed
    Till all the saints will blend and to
    His Body be conformed.
    We all must take the grinding
    until the Christ within
    Can mold into His Body all the
    individual grains.
    4
    The seed is planted, wheat is grown
    And meal is the sum
    Of all the growth upon God’s farm,
    Where Christians grow as one;
    But all the growth in life is for
    The building of the church,
    That God and man may have a home
    And both may end their search.
    The farm is for the building,
    for God and man a home,
    Where both may dwell among
    His people gathered into one.
    5
    God’s building is produced by silver,
    Precious stones, and gold—
    From meal through transformation,
    Pressure, heat, and pain untold.
    The meal must not be satisfied
    To stay as meal alone,
    But must submit to transformation
    Into precious stone.
    The meal must pass through suffering
    that precious stones be formed;
    Then built into God’s building, to His
    purpose full conformed.
    6
    From fullest growth and transformation
    Comes a pearl of worth;
    This simple, precious, all-inclusive
    Gem will then come forth.
    Conceived in death and formed in life
    By that all-glorious One,
    The church, His Bride, the fruit of all
    The work that He has done.
    The pearl is what He’s after,
    the Bride to please His heart,
    So single, pure and precious,
    and His very counterpart.
    7
    The growth in life begins when planted
    On God’s farm we’re found:
    The growing seed becomes the wheat
    From which the meal is ground.
    But building work proceeds when meal
    Submits to be transformed;
    Then gold and silver, precious stones
    For building will be formed.
    The farm is for the building,
    built up by precious stones,
    From which the priceless pearl comes
    forth to be His Bride, His own.
    8
    Lord, keep us poor in spirit,
    Pure in heart that we may be
    Good ground in which the seed of life
    May grow abundantly,
    Until the final stage is reached
    And You are satisfied
    And have Your priceless, chosen pearl,
    Your joy complete, Your Bride.
    Lord, keep us poor in spirit
    and purified in heart,
    That growing up in us You may
    bring forth Your counterpart.

  139. Beloved says:

    “If we always approach church through the lens of wishing this or that were different, or longing for a church that “gets me” or “meets me where I’m at,” we’ll never commit anywhere (or, Protestants that we are, we’ll just start our own church). But church shouldn’t be about being perfectly understood and met in our comfort zone; it should be about understanding God more, and meeting him where he is. This is an uncomfortable but beautiful thing.
    As nineteenth-century preacher Charles Spurgeon once said: If I had never joined a church till I had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all; and the moment I did join it, if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for it would not have been a perfect church after I had become a member of it. Still, imperfect as it is, it is the dearest place on earth to us.
    What we think we want from a church is almost never what we need. However challenging it may be to embrace, God’s idea of church is far more glorious than any dream church we could conjure.”
    -Brett McCracken

    I think this applies to fellowship groups such as this one. Not perfect by a long shot, yet we gather for a common purpose and the dearness of this Christ centered group greatly encourages and blesses me.

  140. poohpity says:

    Beloved thanks for that!

    When the music fades
    And all is stripped away
    And I simply come
    Longing just to bring
    Something that’s of worth
    That will bless your heart

    I’ll bring you more than a song
    For a song in itself, is not what you have required
    You search much deeper within
    Through the way things appear
    You’re looking into my heart

    I’m coming back to the heart of worship
    And it’s all about you, it’s all about you Jesus
    I’m sorry Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
    When it’s all about you, it’s all about you Jesus

    King of endless worth
    No one could express
    How much you deserve
    Though I’m weak and poor
    All I have is yours
    Every single breath

    I’ll bring you more than a song
    For a song in itself, is not what you have required
    You search much deeper within
    Through the way things appear
    Your looking into my heart

    I’m coming back to the heart of worship
    And it’s all about you, it’s all about you Jesus
    I’m sorry Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
    When it’s all about you, it’s all about you Jesus

  141. Beloved says:

    Forever in thinking about Luke 16:31 I read this, Luke 16:16 “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.

    What caught my attention are the words ‘and everyone forces his way into it’. How did they force? By obeying the Law? Was Jesus example of Lazarus and Abraham and the rich man who thought he had everything on earth taught to explain that the old way did not bring anyone to salvation? Has Jesus’ sacrifice changed the way of meeting God through faith alone without works of the Law? That Jesus does not need wealth but a humble heart to find Him? Lots of questions and lessons here I think.

  142. Beloved says:

    Yes Pooh we must keep our eyes focused on Jesus!

  143. Beloved says:

    Wisdom from Oswald Chambers:
    Defenders of the faith are inclined to be bitter until they learn to walk in the light of the Lord. When you have learned to walk in the light of the Lord, bitterness and contention are impossible. Biblical Psychology, 199 R

  144. foreverblessed says:

    Interesting questions, Beloved,
    God knows the answers…I will wait for Him

    About Moses and the Prophets,
    There is a point of how they are to be interpreted.
    The Pharisees and I (in my youth church) used it as a set of rules to be followed.

    Jesus gave a different perspective to the Emmaus walkers:

    Verse 25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His Glory?”
    And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself
    Luke 24:25-27

    I share these verses, including verse 25, to say, that I myself was foolish and slow of heart.
    It took me a long time to figure out of the Bible, to see what is the main point: Jesus, the Savior of the world.
    All of us have to be saved.
    Not only saved, but also sanctified..
    …led by Him too, through the Holy Spirit.
    Giving us His Resurrection Life
    New Birth from above, a New Race, as the first race in Adam was lost.
    1 Cor 15:44-50

  145. jeff1 says:

    I was led by my culture and religion which if I had listened to my dad I would have seen the folly of it but such was the foolishness of my youth that though I loved my dad dearly I was convinced my peers knew better than him when it came to God.

    He looked to God for his answers while I looked to other people and I can tell you who got it right and it wasn’t me.

    Wisdom like he had is God given and not man driven but it has taken me a life time to see that my dad knew his relationship with God depended on his co-operation with Him and not on focusing on others who believed they knew God better when the reality was very different.

    Its one thing believing in God, quite another to listen, but its submission that brings me closer to God as my dad proved to me time and time again and yet there is none so blind as those who cannot see.

    I know not why God’s wondrous grace
    to me has been made known;
    nor why, unworthy as I am,
    he claimed me for his own.

    But ‘I know whom I have believed
    and I am persuaded that he is able
    to keep that which I’ve committed
    unto him against that day.’

    2 I know not how this saving faith
    to me he did impart;
    or how believing in his word
    brought peace within my heart.

    3 I know not how the Spirit moves,
    convincing us of sin;
    revealing Jesus through the word,
    creating faith in him.

    4 I know not what of good or ill
    may be reserved for me-
    of weary ways or golden days
    before His face I see.

  146. street says:

    What caught my attention are the words ‘and everyone forces his way into it’.

    this is like receiving a gift and thinking, now you have to pay for it. in other words it’s like saying you owe me. it would be better to say thank you.

    the gift of life?

    the gift of tears?

  147. Beloved says:

    Instead of saying thank you and receiving the marvelous gift given to us we all in our folly at times -as Viv pointed out- fight and argue against the Truth. Precious are the tears of the beholden.

  148. jeff1 says:

    Now thank we all our God,
    with hearts and hands and voices,
    who wondrous things hath done,
    in whom his world rejoices;
    who, from our mother’s arms
    hath blessed us on our way
    with countless gifts of love,
    and still is ours today.

    2 O may this bounteous God
    through all our life be near us,
    with ever joyful hearts
    and blessed peace to cheer us;
    and keep us in his grace,
    and guide us when perplexed,
    and free us from all ills
    in this world and the next.

    3 All praise and thanks to God
    the Father now be given
    the Son, and him who reigns
    with them in highest heaven;
    the one eternal God,
    whom earth an heaven adore;
    for thus it was, is now
    and shall be evermore.

    based on Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 50: 22-24

  149. SFDBWV says:

    A very busy week, Memorial weekend starting Friday there is a lot of cemetery things to attend to.

    I will only add this to this subject, since God has to create a new spirit in us so that we can be able to be more Christ like.

    “Born again”.

    Who in all of mankind “can” He not create a new spirit for in order to “save” them as well?

    Re-birthed from above.

    Steve

  150. Beloved says:

    Steve’s question

    God can do anything but lie. Right? That’s my thought which opens up lots of implications.

    I went to the cemetery where my two sons and ex and family are buried. (My parents are buried in Arkansas) It was nice remembering them and somehow just knowing their remains are there was comforting. I’m hoping to see them again in our new bodies someday.

    Blessed reflections to all as we pause to remember, this Memorial Weekend.

  151. foreverblessed says:

    O dear, Beloved, did you loose two sons?
    My memory is failing me on this point.

    What a tragedies have happened! I pray that we grow closer to Jesus, the christian message is like this one: how deep life goes, Jesus goes deeper.
    Jesus went into the grave, and deeper than that to save us.

    Street had a Psalm;
    I have the Lord always before my eyes ..
    May that be so

  152. foreverblessed says:

    On May 26 Jeff posted a song, a very curious song:

    The Lord, the seed of life,
    Has sown Himself into our heart
    To grow up into fullness
    And become His counterpart.
    The seed requires no rules or forms,
    For water is its need—
    By this the all-inclusive seed
    Will grow in us indeed!
    The seed is simply Jesus!
    Oh, Jesus lives in me!
    And by His growth this seed
    in us will reach maturity.

    I just gave the first verse.
    But since this new birth from above, I have been thinking about “a seed”.
    The seed must die in order for the plant to grow up.
    And what implications does that have for us?

    It can be explainef in many ways

    In the song it is explained that Jesus is the Seed, He dies and because of His death many sons are born.

    I was just thinking about the seed, Paul says in 1 Cor 15:35-50
    that the natural body is like the seed, it has to die, in order for the spiritual body to be born.
    Our natural body will die anyway, whether we are born of the Spirit of not.

    Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God
    1 Cor 15:50

    To end in a very positive note:

  153. foreverblessed says:

    1 Cor 15:54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

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

    56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

  154. foreverblessed says:

    And 1 Cor 15:58
    Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

    Here Paul says that we are to put something into it, that is the great effort, many bible commentaries explains the “violence” to be.
    We can do nothing to save ourselves, it is s free gift.
    But in the parables that Jesus taught there is this one;
    The Kingdom of God is like a treasure in a field, I recite this now from memory:
    A man gives all he has to buy the field, so as to get to the treasure. That is the great effort from the side of man, “the violence”
    He sells all he has, that is a great effort on the part of man.

    Sinners, losers take hold of the Gospel
    Is forcing his way into it: using power meant in a positive way!
    Luke 16:16
    The gift of Grace is free, but the force is needed to kill the old man.

    God and Mammon cannot live in my heart, I have to throw out the mammon. Before Jesus saved me, I could not do it, J was powerless, but now in the power of His Resurrection Life, I can choose for God, and withstand Mammon, or anything that stands for the old life.
    And now live in the Life of the Spirit, that is the Resurrected Life of Jesus.
    ( I liked that from Utmost, two days ago)

  155. foreverblessed says:

    Verse on bible gateway,
    Mourn with those who mourn, rejoice with those who rejoice
    That means a humble attitude, what happens to another is important to me, what happens to me, is given to Jesus, He cares for me!

  156. jeff1 says:

    Now lives the Lamb of God,
    our Passover, the Christ,
    who once with nails and wood
    for us was sacrificed:

    Come, keep the feast, the anthem sing
    that Christ indeed is Lord and King!

    2 Now risen from the dead
    Christ never dies again;
    in us, with Christ as head,
    sin nevermore shall reign:

    3 In Adam all must die,
    forlorn and unforgiven;
    in Christ all come alive,
    the second Man from heaven:

    4 Give praise to God alone
    who life from death can bring;
    whose mighty power can turn
    the winter into spring:

    1 Corinthians 5: 7-8; 15: 20-22;
    Romans 6: 9-11

  157. foreverblessed says:

    Beautiful song again Jeff!
    And so many truths in them.

    Reading the Bible study of Watchmen Nee, in the normal christian life.:
    In Adam all die
    Jesus is called the Last Adam.

    In Jesus the race of Adam ends.

    In the body of Christ, hung on the Cross,
    That is the verdict on man: it ends.

    But, Jesus is called the Second Man, in Him we are raised in a new Race, a spiritual Man,

    God does not improve mankind, no, He makes an end to mankind,
    Not to destroy them but to raise them in New Life
    Only through faith in Jesus Christ.

  158. foreverblessed says:

    On Luke 16:16
    There are many sides to this passage:

    Pulpit commentary on biblehub:
    Verse 16. – The Law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

    Some expositors discern so little connection between the sayings contained in these verses which intervene between the two great parables of the unjust steward and the rich man and Lazarus, that they consider them as a number of sayings of the Master collected by Luke and insorted here.

    A clear thread, however, runs through the whole piece between the two parables. Probably, however, here, as in many parts of the Gospel, we only have just a bare sketch, or precis, of what the Lord said; hence its fragmentary character. Here (in the sixteenth verse), the Master went on speaking to the Pharisees who derided him (ver. 14). “Up to the period of John the Baptist,” said the Master, “the old state of things may be said to have continued in force. With him began a new era; no longer were the old privileges to be confined to Israel exclusively; gradually the kingdom of God was to be enlarged, the old wall of separation was to be taken down. See, every man is pressing into it; the new state of things has already begun; you see it in the crowds of publicans, sinners, Samaritans, and others pressing round me when I speak of the kingdom of God.” Luke 16:16

  159. SFDBWV says:

    Memorial weekend here in our little town is a big deal as people from all parts of the country return to a place where their roots are, in order to remember loved ones long ago or recently buried.

    I recently chanced upon a women (Linda) at the spring I had never seen there before. She told me I was the first person she had talked to outside her home in a long time. It was early Sunday morning and she said she was a little apprehensive about coming to the spring on Sunday morning, but very glad she had.

    I told her the story of how back in 1977 my little prayer for water had been answered and we shared mutual places we had lived earlier in our lives.

    It was one of those encounters she felt was meant to be, as did I.

    In the course of our conversation cremation came up and she said she was on the fence with how she felt about it.

    Sadly the truth about burial verses cremation today is more about money than any religious feelings.

    She had said her husband wanted cremated, but just wasn’t sure for herself.

    I had said that I suppose from our Christian outlook it would be more about whether or not we believe in a resurrection or not.
    However when you think of people who have been lost at sea, burned completely up in fires, decomposed completely in the soil of a grave, perhaps blown into bits or even eaten; resurrection becomes a matter of the mystery of God to bring back a body with the soul at that appointed time.

    I personally buried the cremains of a friend from my youth only a few days ago. His daughter ask if I would do that for her and I did. I had also buried her mother a few years ago, though she did not know that.

    In reference to “Decoration Day” or “Memorial Day” the important thing for loved ones is to have a monument and place of burial so that their deceased loved ones can be remembered in that fashion, with flowers or flags or however is meaningful to them.

    I have often said that a small town cemetery is not a sad place at all, but more like an album of memories and stories of people who lived and loved, struggled and laughed and impacted our lives even still.

    Steve

  160. poohpity says:

    God formed these bodies we live in now from the earth and when this body dies it goes back to the earth from which it came which are prone to sin that brings physical death. In the same way God will create heavenly bodies in other words spiritual bodies that will not decay but are created to live for eternity that are not prone to sin. In 1 Cor 15:35-58 NLT Paul describes the difference.

    Remember that the people who saw Jesus after the resurrection did not recognize Him at first it would seem because that body was different than the one He walked the earth in.

    It also seems to follow that the new life we are given “Birthed from Above” our desires and the way we live is different than before we were born again. It is like death to the old way of living but born into another way living. It seems that many stay so hitched to the old that the new does not have a chance to take root and grow. Still practicing the old way by not giving ourselves over to the new life in Christ. Listening still to our old way of seeing, thinking and acting by not looking forward to the new way of life by allowing the spirit to transform us, some seem to ignore Him because one seems more at home living the old way.

    I heard the other day in “Touched by an Angel” the reason God put our faces in front of us is to look forward to what is ahead rather than placing the face in back of head to continually look back, staying stuck in the old and the past.

  161. Beloved says:

    I listened to a teaching by Dallas Willard on I Corinthians 15 and he explained that the love described here only takes root in us as we stay close to Jesus. That it grows in us as our relationship with Him grows. That makes sense to me.

  162. Beloved says:

    Sorry that’s I Corinthians 13

  163. Beloved says:

    Thoughts and prayers for Mart and Bubbles this weekend.

  164. poohpity says:

    I wrote this six years ago today;

    “I was wondering this AM if as Christians we have done a disservice to our Lord to not share how broken we are, in need of help rather than putting on an air of moral perfection which is really just a lie. Expecting others to live up to a standard that if we are honest we don’t because it is impossible. I think the reason it is better to admit to our brokenness and dependence on the Lord is so we can spend more time in reaching out to those who are hurting, lonely, tired, hungry, thirsty and cold. Those are the things we are given to do not to be the moral police.”

  165. jeff1 says:

    I have found that in my own life God has put people in my pathway who share my brokenness which is why we can have empathy with each other and carry each others burdens.

    I think if there are Christians today who put on an air of moral perfection it is likely they are following their religion rather than focusing on Christ. |Most believers I know are as broken as those they are reaching reaching out to and so are sharing each others burdens which often leads to mourning with those who mourn.

    It seems to me that we are doing the things we are given to do as if it were not for our own brokenness then we wouldn’t understand another’s.

  166. Beloved says:

    In giving the Ten Commandments and the sermon on the mount in Matthew 5 God never says anything about empathizing with one another. Paul doesn’t either. Love doesn’t empathize it compels us to do good just as our Heavenly Father is and does good.

  167. Beloved says:

    Hebrews 10:24 was what I was basing my thoughts on.

    New Living Translation
    Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

  168. jeff1 says:

    empathy

    NOUN
    the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
    synonyms:
    compassion · sympathy · pity · feeling · concern · considerateness · consideration · tenderness · tender-heartedness · kindness · kind-heartedness · sensitivity · insight · fellow feeling · brotherly love · neighbourliness · decency · humanity · humanitarianism · [more

  169. Beloved says:

    I was thinking we are not to empathize with sin but we can still love the sinner!

  170. jeff1 says:

    I was speaking of having empathy with others who are broken like me i.e. my neighbor having two autistic children to bring up on her own and me being in similar circumstances was able to understand and support her.

    Do I love the sinner? I have asked myself this question having found it difficult to separate the sin from the sinner and that goes for whether it has been my own in ward or another’s outward sin that challenges me.

    When I am being honest with both myself and God then I find myself hating the sinner as much as the sin and so you can see why my need of Christ i.e. the urgency of rebirth in me.

    There is a name I love to hear,
    I love to sing its worth;
    it sounds like music in mine ear,
    the sweetest name on earth.

    2 It tells me of a Savior’s love,
    who died to set me free;
    it tells me of his precious blood,
    the sinner’s perfect plea.

    3 It tells me of a Father’s smile
    beaming upon his child;
    it cheers me through this ‘little while’,
    through desert waste and wild.

    4 Jesus, the name I love so well,
    the name I love to hear;
    no saint on earth its worth can tell,
    no heart conceive how dear.

    5 This name shall shed its fragrance still
    along this thorny road,
    shall sweetly smooth the rugged hill
    that leads me up to God.

    6 And there with all the blood-bought throng,
    from sin and sorrow free,
    I’ll sing the new eternal song
    of Jesus’ love to me.

  171. jeff1 says:

    Beloved, to love the sinner you must certainly have rebirth from above as in my humanness I struggle with it as the consequences of sin in this world are a constant reminder of what is wrong in it and that comes back to my own failures as much as anyone else’s and so when I condemn the sinner I am also condemning myself.

    Perhaps why I can understand so well:

    1 Timothy 1:15, NASB: “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost.” 1 Timothy 1:15, NLT: “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’–and I am the worst of them all.”

  172. SFDBWV says:

    Found this yesterday and thought you might enjoy it, especially who is quoted as stating it.

    “In the fury of the moment I can see the Master’s hand, in every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand.”
    Bob Dylan

    Steve

  173. Beloved says:

    He just turned 80! I can’t believe it!

  174. poohpity says:

    The word empathy may have not used specifically in scripture but the actions and thought of empathy are used over and over and especially when describing our God for example Psalm 103 He is the very source of empathy which is just another word for compassion.

    The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
    9
    He will not always chide,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
    10
    He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
    11
    For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
    12
    as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
    13
    As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
    14
    For he knows our frame;
    he remembers that we are dust.

  175. poohpity says:

    Hebrews 4:For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

    Now that seems to be the very definition of empathy.

  176. Beloved says:

    If I remember correctly Bob Dylan was re- born from above in the 1980’s.

  177. Beloved says:

    This helps to explain:
    Compassion is not the same as empathy or altruism, though the concepts are related. While empathy refers more generally to our ability to take the perspective of and feel the emotions of another person, compassion is when those feelings and thoughts include the desire to help.

  178. jeff1 says:

    Thank you, for the verses, Pooh, God’s compassion so often I can overlook His goodness and mercy when distracted by the world and its woes so much wiser to focus on His Ways and know His peace.

    Peace be to this congregation:
    peace to every soul therein:
    peace the earnest of salvation,
    peace the fruit of pardoned sin:

    2 Peace that speaks its heavenly giver;
    peace to worldly minds unknown;
    peace divine, that lasts for ever;
    peace that comes from God alone.

    3 God of peace, be present, near us;
    fix in all our hearts your home.
    With your gracious presence cheer us;
    let your blessed Kingdom come.

    Charles Wesley

  179. jeff1 says:

    While empathy refers more generally to our ability to take the perspective of and feel the emotions of another person, compassion is when those feelings and thoughts include the desire to help.

    Beloved, that is why I used the word empathy when describing how my neighbor and I could relate both of us being on our own with two young boys to bring up and my desire to help her as hers had autism making her circumstances the more difficult.

    Seems to me you are splitting hairs and I’m not sure why.

  180. Beloved says:

    Yes I’m a hair spitting hyper thinker. That’s just me. Not arguing just thinking🤣

  181. Beloved says:

    As this relates to sin I see compassion is what God has for us in that He GAVE His only Son to die for our sin. No amount of empathy or sympathy could do that for another- or ones self, either. When I think of Jesus hanging on the cross beaten beyond description I am ashamed.

  182. Beloved says:

    As I should be.

  183. jeff1 says:

    OK, Beloved, that helps me understand as it wouldn’t be the first time I used the wrong word not being much of an English student as it happens.

    Though I do try to get it right by using my dictionary but I still find it a difficult subject.

    Not bad at spelling but back in the day you got caned😣 for each spelling you got wrong and so I worked extra hard at getting them right.

  184. Beloved says:

    Ouch! Well Viv I can see by your very good writing here that you have overcome those bad memories! That’s the thing about difficulty and trials they often make us work harder. Too bad in this world that’s the way to survive which is why I look forward to a new world with no difficulties and trials. It’s sometimes hard to imagine… but with our faith and hope we survive and thrive here.

  185. jeff1 says:

    Yes, I have with God’s help overcome bad memories which makes me a better person today as I didn’t want to become like those who I seen were getting so hardened that they didn’t feel for others anymore.

    It is very easy to let this world make you critical and bad tempered but my faith has saved me from that as looking to God does change my attitude to life and in turn that makes me more understanding towards others and so I thank God my faith gives me hope in this world as it does help me to survive what comes my way and look forward to a better world to come where as you say we will not have the difficulties that we face in this one.

  186. jeff1 says:

    Now the day is over,
    night is drawing nigh,
    shadows of the evening
    steal across the sky.

    2 Now the darkness gathers,
    stars begin to peep,
    birds and beasts and flowers
    soon will be asleep.

    3 Jesus, give the weary◡
    calm and sweet repose;
    with thy tenderest blessing
    may their eyelids close.

    4 Grant to little children
    visions bright of thee;
    guard the sailors tossing◡
    on the deep blue sea.

    5 Comfort every sufferer
    watching late in pain;
    those who plan some evil
    from their sin restrain.

    6 Through the long night watches
    may thine angels spread◡
    their white wings above me,
    watching round my bed.

    7 When the morning wakens,
    then may I arise
    pure and fresh and blameless,
    in thy holy eyes.

    based on Proverbs 3: 24

  187. jeff1 says:

    My God, how wonderful thou art,
    thy majesty how bright,
    how beautiful thy mercy-seat,
    in depths of burning light!

    2 How wonderful, how beautiful,
    the sight of thee must be,
    thine endless, wisdom, boundless power,
    and aweful purity!

    3 O how I fear thee, living God,
    with deepest, tenderest fears,
    and worship thee with trembling hope,
    and penitential tears!

    4 Yet I may love thee too, O Lord,
    almighty as thou art,
    for thou hast stooped to ask of me‿
    the love of my poor heart.

    5 No earthly father loves like thee;
    no mother half so mild
    bears and forbears as thou hast done‿
    with me, thy sinful child.

    6 Father of Jesus, love’s reward,
    what rapture will it be
    to fall and worship at thy throne
    and gaze and gaze on thee.

  188. Beloved says:

    Revelation 5:12
    New International Version
    12 In a loud voice they were saying:

    “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
    and honor and glory and praise!”

    ODB

  189. Mart DeHaan says:

    On this Memorial Day weekend, I too went to a couple of cemeteries with flowers and anticipation of resurrection. One to the place where the ashes of my wife were recently buried– and the other to the hilltop where the body of a young soldier– taken in a roadside bomb– continues to break the hearts of his family.

  190. jeff1 says:

    The seed is Christ’s,
    and his the sheaf;
    within God’s barn
    may we be stored.

    2 The sea is Christ’s;
    and his the fish;
    in the nets of God
    may we be caught.

    3 From birth to youth,
    and from youth till death,
    your two hands, O Christ,
    stretch over us.

    4 From death – the end?
    No end, but new life;
    in sweet Paradise
    may we be found.

  191. bubbles says:

    Praying for you and your family, Mart. Perhaps Jesus will come today. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

  192. Beloved says:

    Romans8: 5Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh; but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
    6The mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace,
    7because the mind of the flesh is hostile to God: It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
    8Those controlled by the flesh cannot please God.

    9You, however, are controlled not by the flesh, but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
    10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
    11And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.

  193. Beloved says:

    I Timothy 4: 8For physical exercise is of limited value, but godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for the present life and for the one to come. 9This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance.

  194. jeff1 says:

    O GOD, our help in ages past,
    our hope for years to come,
    our shelter from the storm blast,
    and our eternal home.

    2 beneath the shadow of thy throne
    the saints have dwelt secure;
    sufficient is thine arm alone,
    and our defence is sure.

    3 Before the hills in order stood,
    or earth received her frame,
    from everlasting thou art God,
    to endless years the same.

    4 A thousand ages in thy sight
    are like an evening gone;
    short as the watch that ends the night
    before the rising sun.

    5 Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
    soon bears us all away;
    we fly forgotten, as a dream◡
    dies at the opening day.

    6 O God, our help in ages past,
    our for hope for years to come,
    be thou our guard while troubles last,
    and our eternal home.

    based on Psalm 90: 1-6

  195. foreverblessed says:

    Before the hills in order stood,
    or earth received her frame,
    from everlasting thou art God,
    to endless years the same.

    That gives some perspective
    God was always there
    God, Who IS love, God knows
    God is always here.

    May God comfort Mart!!!

    The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter
    What an awesome Name.

    Better be quiet.
    It is God who acts, what can we add?
    Silently sit at His feet.

    “To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
    In You I trust, O my God”
    Psalm 25:1-2

  196. jeff1 says:

    1. For all the saints, who from their labours rest,
    Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
    Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!

    2. Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
    Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
    Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!

    3. For the Apostles’ glorious company,
    Who bearing forth the Cross o’er land and sea,
    Shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee:
    Alleluia, Alleluia!

    4. O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
    Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
    And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!

    5. For the Evangelists, by whose blest word,
    Like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
    Is fair and fruitful, be Thy Name adored.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!

    6. For Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye,
    Saw the bright crown descending from the sky,
    And seeing, grasped it, Thee we glorify.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!

    7. O blest communion, fellowship divine!
    We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
    Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!

    8. And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
    Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
    And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!

    9. The golden evening brightens in the west;
    Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
    Sweet is the calm of Paradise the blessed.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!

    10. But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
    The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
    The King of glory passes on His way.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!

    11. From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
    Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
    Singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
    Alleluia, Alleluia!

  197. Beloved says:

    Isn’t this wonderful…..

    Hebrews 7:24–25 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

    24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

  198. street says:

    The last time we hear about him he has joined with a wealthy secret believer to care for the body of Jesus and to lay it in a tomb (John 19:38-42).

    thinking quietly and peacefully serving in His Presets.

  199. Beloved says:

    I’ve been thinking about how Jesus lay in the tomb just as we all will some day. A consolation to remember at death. There is nothing we experience here that He didn’t experience.

  200. street says:

    ops presents

  201. street says:

    paul talked about present with the Lord.

    7 for we walk by faith, not by [a]sight— 8 but we are of good courage and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 2 Corinthians 5:7-9

    13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[a] Since we have that same spirit of[b] faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

  202. bullwinkle11 says:

    Mart, your prologue to Our Daily Bread this morning truly shows what it means to be Birthed from Above.

    Will see if this shows up. Have had issues attempting to post anything.

    Pete

  203. Beloved says:

    ops presents-
    that’s ‘presence’ dear street as you used it.

  204. Beloved says:

    Psalm 16:11 ESV – You make known to me the path of life; – Bible Gateway
    You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

  205. street says:

    English is my native language and it is foreign to me.

  206. Beloved says:

    🤣

  207. Beloved says:

    Prayers of David

    ◄ Psalm 72 ►
    New American Standard Bible ►►
    The Reign of the Righteous King.
    A Psalm of Solomon.

    1Give the king Your judgments, God,
    And Your righteousness to the king’s son.
    2[a]May [b]he judge Your people with righteousness
    And [c]Your afflicted with justice.
    3[d]May the mountains bring [e]peace to the people,
    And the hills, in righteousness.
    4[f]May he vindicate the [g]afflicted of the people,
    Save the children of the needy,
    And crush the oppressor.
    5[h]May they fear You while the sun shines,
    And [i]as long as the moon shines, throughout all generations.
    6[j]May he come down like rain upon the mown grass,
    Like showers that water the earth.
    7[k]May the righteous flourish in his days,
    As well as an abundance of peace, until the moon is no more.
    8May he also rule from sea to sea,
    And from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.
    9[l]May the nomads of the desert bow before him,
    And his enemies lick the dust.
    10[m]May the kings of Tarshish and of the [n]islands bring gifts;
    May the kings of Sheba and Seba offer tributes.
    11[o]And may all kings bow down before him,
    All nations serve him.
    12For he will save the needy when he cries for help,
    The [p]afflicted also, and him who has no helper.
    13He will have compassion on the poor and needy,
    And he will save the [q]lives of the needy.
    14He will [r]rescue their [s]life from oppression and violence,
    And their blood will be precious in his sight;
    15So may he live, and may the gold of Sheba be given to him;
    And [t]they are to pray for him continually;
    [u]They are to bless him all day long.
    16May there be abundance of grain on the earth on top of the mountains;
    Its fruit will wave like the cedars of Lebanon;
    And may those from the city flourish like the vegetation of the earth.
    17May his name endure forever;
    May his name produce descendants [v]as long as the sun shines;
    And may people wish blessings on themselves by him;
    May all nations call him blessed.
    18Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel,
    Who alone works wonders.
    19And blessed be His glorious name forever;
    And may the whole earth be filled with His glory.
    Amen and Amen.

  208. foreverblessed says:

    May his name produce descendants as long as the sun shines;

    The urgency of rebirth

    Today on Utmost is on being in His Presence.
    Where the Lord is present, there His Presence is.
    May we be there too
    By the Name of Jesus

  209. jeff1 says:

    Onward, Christian soldiers,
    marching as to war,
    with the cross of Jesus
    going on before.
    Christ, the royal master,
    leads against the foe,
    forward into battle,
    see, his banners go:

    Onward, Christian soldiers,
    marching as to war,
    with the cross of Jesus
    going on before.

    2 At the name of Jesus
    Satan’s host doth flee;
    on, then, Christian soldiers,
    on to victory!
    Hell’s foundations quiver
    at the shout of praise;
    lift your hearts and voices,
    loud your anthems raise:

    3 Crowns and thrones may perish,
    kingdoms raise and wane,
    but the church of Jesus
    constant will remain;
    gates of hell can never
    ‘gainst that Church prevail;
    we have Christ’s own promise,
    and that cannot fail:

    4 Onward, then, ye people,
    join our happy throng;
    blend with ours your voices
    in the triumph-song:
    glory, laud, and honour
    unto Christ the King;
    this through countless ages
    we with angels sing:

  210. Beloved says:

    The urgency of rebirth

    The violent take it by force! Thinking how children and the sick rushed to Jesus for help. The woman with the issue of blood, the soldier with the sick child at home, Mary who’s brother Lazarus was dying. And on and on.

  211. Beloved says:

    Matthew11:12 English Standard Version
    From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.

  212. foreverblessed says:

    Amen, Beloved!
    Twenty years ago I didn’t see that this was the meaning of Matt 11:12, but it is as you say.

    Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
    Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
    Deut 6:4-6

    So with all their strength these people came close to Jesus, and all their heart they put into it,
    And God wants us to do the same today.
    “Come to Me and be saved”

    Encouraging one another to first thing in the morning, when we open our eyes, look up to Jesus, and praise Him, and thank Him.
    He is in control, Be is sitting at the right hand of God, today, being the High Priest, interceding
    Hebrews 7:24-25
    Hebrews 10:23-25

  213. foreverblessed says:

    Bullwinkle June 2, 6.34 am:
    Mart, your prologue to Our Daily Bread this morning truly shows what it means to be Birthed from Above.

    Will see if this shows up. Have had issues attempting to post anything.

    Pete

    Can anyone copy the words of Mart, as the prologue does not appear on ODB June 2.
    Sometimes I think that the ODB page for Europe is a different one than what you see in the US.
    The ODB page I see is hosted in England.

    But.. the point is, I would like to read what Mart wrote.
    Thanks for your effort.

  214. foreverblessed says:

    And Beloved, about Psalm 72, in my bible I had written, this Psalm is tied to Song of Solomon.

  215. jeff1 says:

    THY hand, O God, has guided◡
    thy flock, from age to age;
    the wondrous tale is written,
    full clear, on every page;
    thy people owned thy goodness,
    and we their deeds record;
    and both of this bear witness:
    one Church, one Faith, one Lord.

    2 Thy heralds brought glad tidings
    to greatest, as to least;
    they summoned all to hasten
    and share the great King’s feast;
    their gospel of redemption,
    sin pardoned, earth restored,
    was all in this enfolded:
    one Church, one Faith, one Lord.

    3 And we, shall we be faithless?
    Shall hearts fail, hands hang down?
    Shall we evade the conflict
    and cast away our crowns?
    Not so: in God’s deep counsels
    some better thing is stored;
    we will maintain, unflinching,
    one Church, one Faith, one Lord.

    4 Thy mercy will not fail us,
    nor leave thy work undone;
    with thy right hand to help us,
    the victory shall be won;
    and then, by all creation,
    thy name shall be adored,
    and this shall be our anthem:
    one Church, one Faith, one Lord.

    based on Ephesians 4: 4-5

  216. bullwinkle11 says:

    Hopefully this will post.

    Insight

    In bold fashion, the apostle Peter refers to both Jewish and gentile readers as a divinely “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, [and] God’s special possession” (1 Peter 2:9; see Exodus 19:5–6). Then comes the unexpected. Peter urges these same treasured people to bear their favored and exalted status with the humility of “foreigners and exiles” (1 Peter 2:11–12). This contrast of being special and yet in exile (suffering) is important. From the beginning of time, God spoke of people like Adam, Eve, Abram, Isaac, and Jacob (later renamed Israel) as being chosen for the good of the world. Yet being “God’s elect” (1:1) meant more than special treatment. It meant being chosen to show a troubled humanity what it means to experience in Christ the presence, strength, and joy of God in weakness.

    By: Mart DeHaan

  217. Beloved says:

    Beautifully written as usual, Mart.

  218. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you very much Bullwinkle for your willingness, and kind effort.
    New birth but a humble lot, strangers and aliens in this world

  219. foreverblessed says:

    To experience in Christ, the presence of God.

    The presence of God, the life of God Himself, in us
    Watchmen Nee formulates it thus:

    Do you realize that we have the same life today that God has? The life which He has in Heaven is the life which He has imparted to us here on the earth. That is the precious “gift of God” (Rom. 6:23). It is for that reason that we can live a life of holiness, for it is not our own life that has been changed, but the life of God that has been imparted to us

    In the bible study of the broken body and shed blood of Jesus

  220. Beloved says:

    As “Gods divinely chosen people” Mart talks about I’m greatly encouraged by these verses today;

    1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
    13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
    14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
    15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
    16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

    18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

  221. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you for sharing that, Beloved.
    And Bullwinkle, in the mean time I have found out how to get to the prologue on ODB, I have to click on the blue where the bible verse is given, and then appears Mart’s comment.

    Mart is saying here that it is urgent that we are birthed from above, otherwise we will demand too much from our fellowmen.

    There is another reason to be birthed from above, that is of urgency in this life, while we are here,
    And that is: if we get old, and dementia sets in, and we are have lost the control of our mental abilities, it would be so much releasw that our inner life is connected with Jesus, that that Life was nurtured while we were still healthy, that a strong bond with our Lord Jesus has been grown, and we are secure and at peace.

    Why do I say this? At the nursing home where I am, there is a woman I visit, and her dementia has worsened the last half year.
    I was playing old hymns for her, she said:
    “Yes, I know them all…but of what use is it? They don’t help me”

    And the “help” she wanted was this: to be taken home, out of the nursing home, into her old house. But that is gone, her new home in this world is the room she was in.
    There was no comfort in the Christian songs.

    So I was sitting there, starting to pray intercessory prayer for her. Quietly.
    Then I prayed out loud for her. “What use of praying to God that does not bring her home”
    Home….so I prayed quietly that God would take her home with Him.

    I share this now, because her children have now written a letter to the church, where she went to from childhood, that she is no member anyone, neither do they want people from the church to visit her.
    The children apparently have no christian ties either.

    “God, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing”

  222. foreverblessed says:

    Apparently I did not proofread before posting, sorry
    I was playing on the flute.
    The nurse in the hallway had heard it, and appreciated it. So it was of benefit to someone anyway.
    The wandering of the elderly is a thing of concern. When they get worse and immobilized there is at least one positive thing about it:
    they cannot wander about anymore, and get lost

    But what if we have used the time, “while it was still day” to nurture a deep bond with Jesus?
    That the inner peace has grown, and all the lovely character traits of Jesus has grown in us, to be a great light to those around us in our final stage in the nursing home?

    There was another lady I visited, and she was totally deaf, but such a lovely lady, she would look at you with a warm glowing love coming out of her eyes, trying to make you feel at ease. Then I found out she was a christian, a very lively one too, who had constant contact with Jesus.
    And it showed in who she was! I actually looked into the Love of Christ, when I looked at her.
    That’s how I want to grow like!

    “While it is still day”
    Now is the time to actively seek contact with Jesus.
    Abide in Him, we are in Him already, but to stay there is the effort on our side.

    Romans 5:1
    The inner peace we have IN Christ, let’s nurture it.
    An encouragement.
    MacLaren has a wonderful sermon on that, he encourages us to nurture our relation with Jesus, that if we don’t do that the Life of Christ will wither within us, we might not be lost, but we will have a hard time when the day has turned into the night,
    in the nursing home…

    It takes effort from our side to abide where God has put us.
    The “violence” Matthew 11:12

  223. poohpity says:

    It seems that the violence Jesus was talking about in that Matt passage was describing two sorts of people; those who thought Jesus came to over throw the government of Rome by violence and/or the Religious leaders who were trying to take Jesus by violence because Jesus confronted them about the wickedness that was in their hearts. Either way they did not understand the mission of Jesus and that He was explaining about the Kingdom of Heaven in Matt 11. We can get a hint to that in what Jesus said to Pilate that His kingdom is not of this world and if it were He could call down legions of Angels to protect Him. I think that may have been what Jesus was referring to about people trying to take His kingdom by violence.

  224. Beloved says:

    Another viewpoint regarding the Urgency of Rebirth

    Jesus’ statement that “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence” is a graphic picture of the enthusiasm and excitement generated by John the Baptist’s and Jesus’ teaching. People were hungry for the truth and would not be kept away. For centuries, God’s prophets had predicted the Messiah’s coming, and now that the Messiah was here, nothing could hold back the flood of people pressing into the kingdom. We see some of this fervor in Luke 5:18–19, when some men literally tore through a roof to get to Jesus, and in John 6:15, when a crowd “intended to come and make him king by force.”

    We should take note of the response of the believing people in Jesus’ day and share their passion. The gift of eternal life is beyond compare. Knowing Christ has come should create earnestness in us and a striving to be closer to Him. There is no place for apathy or ambivalence in the follower of Jesus Christ.
    Got Questions. org

  225. Beloved says:

    Good to hear from you Pooh. I was wondering yesterday if you were in the hospital maybe.

  226. jeff1 says:

    The sands have been washed in the footprints Of the stranger on Galilee’s shore,
    And the voice that subdued the rough billows,
    Will be heard in Judea no more.
    But the path of that lone Galilean,
    With joy I will follow today;
    And the toils of the road will seem nothing,
    When I get to the end of the way.

    There are so many hills to climb upward,
    I often am longing for rest,
    But He who appoints me my pathway
    Knows just what is needful and best.
    I know in His word He hath promised
    That my strength, “it shall be as my day”;
    And the toils of the road will seem nothing,
    When I get to the end of the way.

    He loves me too well to forsake me,
    Or give me a trial too much;
    All His people have been dearly purchased,
    And Satan can never claim such.
    By and by I shall see Him and praise Him,
    In the city of unending day;
    And the toils of the road will seem nothing,
    When I get to the end of the way.

    When the last, feeble step has been taken,
    And the gates of that city appear,
    And the beautiful songs of the angels
    Float out on my listening ear;
    When all that now seems so mysterious
    Will be bright and as clear as the day,
    Then the toils of the road will seem nothing,
    When I get to the end of the way.

  227. poohpity says:

    Mart said, ” Without rebirth in the Spirit, people like us lived at the expense of one another” which is very similar to what Solomon taught in Proverbs 9 after asking God to give him wisdom to lead His people which is living at the expense of one another their ways seem right to them until they experience the rebirth then the needs of others come before their own.

    Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return.
    Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.
    8
    So don’t bother correcting mockers;
    they will only hate you.
    But correct the wise,
    and they will love you.
    9
    Instruct the wise,
    and they will be even wiser.
    Teach the righteous,
    and they will learn even more.

  228. poohpity says:

    Here is a little humor to start the weekend;

    On the first day, God created the dog and said, “Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years.”
    The dog said, “That’s a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I’ll give you back the other ten?”
    And God saw it was good.
    On the second day, God created the monkey and said, “Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I’ll give you a twenty-year life span.”
    The monkey said, “Monkey tricks for twenty years? That’s a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the dog did?”
    And God, again saw it was good.
    On the third day, God created the cow and said, “You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer’s family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years.”
    The cow said, “That’s kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I’ll give back the other forty?”
    And God agreed it was good.
    On the fourth day, God created humans and said, “Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I’ll give you twenty years.”
    But the human said, “Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back,
    the ten the monkey gave back,
    and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?”
    “Okay,” said God, “You asked for it.”
    So that is why for our first twenty years, we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves.
    For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to support our family.
    For the next ten years, we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren.
    And for the last ten years, we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.
    Life has now been explained to you.
    There is no need to thank me for this valuable information.
    I’m doing it as a public service.
    If you are looking for me I will be on the front porch…

  229. Beloved says:

    Jeremiah 29:11

  230. street says:

    thinking we were made to praise, give thanks, and glory to God forever. oh, and live abundantly while doing so.

    this division is killing us.

    division = sin

    Thank God for The Redeemer of mankind, The Lamb of God.

    living in a foreign land.

  231. street says:

    stopped in to say that oswald chambers has been really good June 3,4,& 5

  232. Beloved says:

    Thinking about the greatness of our God today because this past week was hard on me. At church they talked about the divorce rate amongst believers and how God feels about it. (I’m divorced.) it’s always an uncomfortable truth for me with sorrowful memories. Then, having a physical deformity that causes gawking- which I’m used to- but turned into laughter for someone was painful. But God!!!! Knowing I belong to Him and not to the world- that He is greater than the jeers of man or the failures of myself and others, yes even those who hurt- is a blessed consolation. There’s always someone to pray for and ask God to bless! Only by rebirth do we know Him in all His glorious love joy and peace. May you all be blessed today as recipients of Gods wondrous grace that is ever searching and seeking to reveal God to us. Amen

  233. Beloved says:

    “The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.”

    C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

  234. street says:

    In someone who has been born again, the source of the will is Almighty God. “…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” With focused attention and great care, you have to “work out” what God “works in” you— not work to accomplish or earn “your own salvation,” but work it out so you will exhibit the evidence of a life based with determined, unshakable faith on the complete and perfect redemption of the Lord.
    oswald chamber

    thinking of the working out of love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness gentalness self control in Spirit and True with an abounding grace. focus vision trust faith in The One Who Holds us by His Right Hand.

  235. Beloved says:

    I apologize for whining. Either God is God or He is not. Being double minded is not good. James

  236. street says:

    we all have much to whine about, but much more to be Thankful for. thinking about jeff looking for the song count your blessings. hope the wine ages to perfection. some times the wine skins get stretched to the point of bursting. new wine skins required.

  237. SFDBWV says:

    Yesterday was a hot and busy day for me and perhaps for many of you as well. Very little activity on BTA.

    I was struck that there was no mention of yesterday having been the annual anniversary of “D Day”. The beginning of the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany.

    General Dwight D. Eisenhower, as the emergence of the Nazi death camps became aware and liberated, made certain that the death camps were well documented as he knew history would try and erase such inhuman cruelty.

    He was all too right.

    My uncle Harold was with General Patton and Glenna’s dad was in the second wave of men at Normandy France, she also had an uncle that later was trapped at Bastogne. I always found it interesting my uncle Harrold help to rescue Glenna’s uncle and another fellow from Bayard during “the battle of the Bulge”.

    J.R.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were also men who were involved in war. In their case it was the war that, instead of ending all wars, created many more especially WWII.

    One of my favorite stories by historians is one from the German soldiers defending their positions along the beaches of Normandy. They mistakenly thought the men they seen running from one wounded man to another along the beaches were medics trying to medically aid the wounded. Instead it turned out the men they seen were Chaplin’s, both Catholic and Protestant going from one dying man to another for comfort and prayers as they died.

    History may try and forget, but while I live I will remember D Day as well as many other such days and the men and women who did, and gave, all they had for the sake others.

    Steve

  238. jeff1 says:

    Beloved, as someone who suffers from psychosis though not full blown due to medication I agree double mindedness is very bad both for yourself, family or friends.

    When it comes to God I have to trust my heart and not my head and why I am drawn to songs as not only are they calming to the mind but they speak to me in a simplicity that nurtures it.

    In life though I have discovered there is something worse than double mindedness and that is double standards.

    It was my friend who noticed in me my dislike of double standards yet for someone who hated them in others I seem to have spent my life oblivious to the fact that I had them myself.

    I have often heard it said of others they are their own worst enemy and yet when I look back at my own life I wonder when I was anything other than.

    I have always been much better at being wise after the event as those around me would affirm to.

    Wisdom doesn’t seem to have been my companion and perhaps why life remains such a mystery to me.

    God is Good, All the time,
    He put a song of Praise in this heart of mine
    God is Good, All the time.
    Through the Darkest night, His Light will shine
    God is Good, God is Good all the time
    (1) If You’re walking through the valleys
    And there are shadows all around
    Do not fear, he will guide you
    He will keep you safe and sound
    He has promised to never leave you
    or forsake you, and his word is true.
    CHORUS
    (2) We are Sinners and so unworthy
    Still for us he chose to die
    Filled us with his Holy Spirit
    Now we can stand and testify
    That his love is everlasting
    And his mercies, They will never end CHORUS Bridge: And Though I may not understand All the plans You have for me My life is in Your hands And through the eyes of faith I can clearly see CHORUS (2 times) God is good God is good God is good He’s so good God is good He’s so good All the time!

  239. street says:

    In life though I have discovered there is something worse than double mindedness and that is double standards.

    was reading Romans 7& 8

  240. street says:

    was reading Romans 7&8 yesterday and jeff reminded me of the duality of being powerless to do good. Jesus said apart from Me you can do nothing. He also prayed that we/they would be one as He and Father are One. thinking about the pronoun they. i am thinking heart soul and mind being one, one in Christ. we know what it is like apart from Him.

    knowing the power of coveting, lust, and envy. paul was a changed man seeking to know the power of His resurrection. to know life and it’s increase of rule and of peace where there will be no end.

    to abide in the light, He is the light of the world.

  241. Beloved says:

    Luke 9: 23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

    Denial of self is very hard but Jesus shows how to do it. He’s a good shepherd.

    Steve I saw nothing on my calendars about D Day. It happened before I was born but what an amazing time in history. Praying the evil that caused it will never return. Satan is good at disguise so usually starts out with something pleasing to the ears then wham! Good to be watchful for deception and reminded of his past endeavors.

  242. Beloved says:

    Let every new sight of your wicked heart, let every new wave of trouble drive your soul to hide in Him, the Rock of your Salvation.
    Mccheyene

  243. Beloved says:

    Oops that’s Robert McCheyne from Edinburgh Scotland. 1800’s

  244. Beloved says:

    Luke 8
    New American Standard Bible 1995
    Ministering Women
    8 Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.

    15But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with [d]perseverance.(Steadfastness)

    Was greatly encouraged tonight thinking of the new birth in good soil.
    Perseverance- steadfastness- onward, Christian soldiers!

  245. jeff1 says:

    O LORD of creation, to you be all praise!
    Most mighty your working, most wondrous your ways!
    Your glory and might are beyond us to tell,
    and yet in the heart of the humble you dwell.

    2 O Lord of all power, I give you my will,
    in joyful obedience your tasks to fulfil.
    Your bondage is freedom; your service is song;
    and, held in your keeping, my weakness is strong.

    3 O Lord of all wisdom, I give you my mind,
    rich truth that surpasses our knowledge to find;
    what eyes has not seen and what ear has not heard
    is taught by your Spirit and shines from your Word.

    4 O Lord of all bounty, I give you my heart;
    I praise and adore you for all you impart,
    your love to inspire me, your counsel to guide,
    your presence to shield me, whatever betide.

    5 O Lord of all being, I give you my all;
    if I ever disown you, I stumble and fall;
    but, led in your service your word to obey,
    I’ll walk in your freedom to the end of the way.

  246. poohpity says:

    Hallelujah and Amen! That was beautiful Viv!

  247. foreverblessed says:

    Indeed, very very good!
    The first verse resembles the text someone sent me this morning, to be blessed by it, it was in Dutch, so the translation is mine.

    “I am the Lord of the universe,
    The One who created all.
    The stars appeared when I spoke.
    Heaven and earth were created through My Word.
    From the highest mountains to the depth of the oceans,
    nothing goes unnoticed by Me.
    The earth trembles when I look, and shakes by the sound of My voice.
    The slightest wave is not unknown to Me.

    Because I am the Almighty, you may think that I am far away.
    But really, I am very close by.

    Do you think, that because I am so busy to hold the world, that I have no time to hold your heart close to Me?
    I have created your existence, and I have made you My child.
    Your name is engraved in My hands. In the pierced hands of My Son.

    Know that I am here; I am so near. I am one prayer away from you, one word away.
    I am here, you are never alone.”
    Psalm 33:1-9, 13-15,18
    Matthew 28:20
    Psalm 34:17-20

  248. jeff1 says:

    Yes, truly is beautiful and amazing how it speaks to our hearts today.

  249. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Steve, indeed, I had forgotten about D-Day, whilst all years I think about it, with great gratitude!
    Every year I do remember it, but the first time, not this year.

    But I can remember it a day later, or two!
    Thinking how thankful I am for that liberation, how much more should I be thankful for the liberation brought by Christ?

    The freedom that was fought for us by the Cross of Christ, is everlasting, forever and ever, with no end!

    The second verse of the song

    O Lord of all power, I give you my will,
    in joyful obedience your tasks to fulfil.
    Your bondage is freedom; your service is song;

  250. foreverblessed says:

    May God be with you Beloved, I didn’t know people stare at you, gawking, I never heard of that word.
    I am sorry that they do stare at you, but it needs training not to look like that, when you see something that you have never seen before. So I pray intercessory prayer, for them, and for something I have done myself too
    I work in the nursing home, now 5 years, and the ailments that happen, when people have dementia, and the loss of physical ability, I am slowly getting used to it. (But at first I was shocked, especially when a psychiatric issue is involved with the dementia too)

    Jesus looks at the heart, but we as humans must draw close to Jesus, in order to develop His sight
    I am on my way, but still falling short by far.
    Ever drawing closer.

    And you said you went to the grave of two sons? I remember one son you lost, but two? O dear, I hope the above text, that is translated into English may comfort you.
    And the song of Jeff!!!

  251. street says:

    Nicodemus, who helps us hear about the New Birth, heard Jesus talk about it after apparently coming to him under the cover of darkness (John 3:1-2O).

    how many of us, who came to Him, came to Him from the dark?

  252. jeff1 says:

    GREAT God, your love has called us here,
    as we, by love for love were made.
    Your living likeness still we bear,
    though marred, dishonored, disobeyed.
    We come, with all our heart and mind
    your call to hear, your love to find.

    2 We come with self-inflicted pains
    of broken trust and chosen wrong,
    half-free, half-bound by inner chains,
    by social forces swept long,
    by powers and systems close confined,
    yet seeking hope for humankind.

    3 Great God, in Christ you call our name
    and then receive us as your own,
    not through some merit, right or claim,
    but by your gracious love alone.
    We strain to glimpse your mercy-seat
    and find you kneeling at our feet.

    4 Then take the towel, and break the bread,
    and humble us, and call us friends.
    Suffer and serve till all are fed,
    and show how grandly love intends◡
    to work till all creation sings,
    to fill all worlds, to crown all things.

    5 Great God, in Christ you set us free
    your life to live, your joy to share.
    Give us your Spirit’s liberty
    to turn from guilt and dull despair
    and offer all that faith can do
    while love is making all things new.

    based on John 13: 1-17; Romans 3: 21-26

  253. Beloved says:

    Thank you for the prayers Forever. I sensed Gods protection of my feelings as I went shopping today. I was able to be a calm presence for someone who was in distress and thanked Jesus.

  254. Beloved says:

    Yes two sons died. One at age 20 and the other was full-term still born, our first child. Both were very very hard to deal with at the time, but as time goes on it does get easier and thoughts of thanksgiving for the balm of comfort Jesus sends rise up from the harshness of pain decay and earth shattering ruin.

  255. poohpity says:

    So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ(Birthed from Above). Eph 4:11-13 NIV

  256. poohpity says:

    street, you asked, “how many of us, who came to Him, came to Him from the dark?”? It is obvious that ALL came to Him from the dark but the question may still remain are we still living in the dark after we came to Him by not allowing our hearts to be open to submit to His leading or by not depending on Him?

  257. Beloved says:

    Matthew 5: 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Jesus

  258. Beloved says:

    Bible gateway verse of the day

    Verse of the Day
    Matthew 7:13-14
    “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

  259. jeff1 says:

    Come, worship God who is worthy of honour,
    enter his presence with thanks and a song!
    He is the rock of his people’s salvation,
    to whom our jubilant praises belong.

    2 Ruled by his might are the heights of the
    mountains,
    held in his hands are the depths of the earth;
    his is the sea, his the land, for he made them,
    king above all gods, who gave us our birth.

    3 We are his people, the sheep of his pasture,
    he is our maker and to him we pray;
    gladly we kneel in obedience before him-
    great is the God whom we worship this day!

    4 Now let us listen, for God speaks among us,
    open our hearts and receive what he says:
    peace be to all who remember his goodness,
    trust in his word and rejoice in his ways!

    Based on the Canticle ‘Venite’ (Psalm 95)

  260. Beloved says:

    what he says:
    peace be to all who remember his goodness,
    trust in his word and rejoice in his ways!

    Jesus is the Word who brings peace always no matter the circumstances! Yes we can rejoice in His ways even though they seem to go against what we think is right. I was thinking about this earlier. FB is an interesting place where I see this tension every day. I and we all need this reminder every day. Peace comes with trust in the unchanging goodness of God.
    Shalom to all here today- you are in my prayers, with rejoicing!

  261. street says:

    what is God’s greatest joy?

    what is our greatest joy?

  262. Beloved says:

    What is Gods greatest joy?
    His people created in His own image following after Him closely in obedience

    What is our greatest joy?
    Knowing Jesus brings us back to our loving Heavenly Father.

  263. jeff1 says:

    If my focus is on the world around me then it is all too easy to despair which is why God wants me to draw near to Him and know His presence, comfort, reassurances as He has the victory though the world with all its turmoil may seem to say differently.

    My faith has to be built on what I know God can do and not on my own limited understanding.

    Sometimes I have to focus on the creation and beauty around me to remind myself what God can do.

    Holy Spirit, come, confirm us◡
    in the truth that Christ makes known;
    we have faith and understanding
    through your helping gifts alone.

    2 Holy Spirit, come, console us,
    come as advocate to plead,
    loving Spirit from the Father,
    grant in Christ the help we need.

    3 Holy Spirit, come, renew us,
    come yourself to make us live,
    holy through your loving presence,
    holy through the gifts you give.

    4 Holy Spirit, come, possess us,
    you the love of Three in One,
    Holy Spirit of the Father,
    Holy Spirit of the Son.

    based on John 14: 25-27; 16: 12-15

  264. foreverblessed says:

    What is God’s greatest joy?

    I agree fully with the comment Beloved made.
    Just to add to the thought,
    Or to what purpose are we here?
    To bring God joy…
    That’s a great thought!

    jeff1 says:
    June 8, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    GREAT God, your love has called us here,
    as we, by love for love were made.
    Your living likeness still we bear,
    though marred, dishonored, disobeyed.
    We come, with all our heart and mind
    your call to hear, your love to find.

    And He does is through the Hg Spirit, the song Jeff gave this morning.
    And the Holy Spirit is given because Jesus returned to heaven.
    And the Hy Spirit can heal us, because Jesus in His Body had suffered, on the Cross.
    Isa 53:5

    God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
    That whoso believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    John 3:16

  265. foreverblessed says:

    Mart talks of Nicodemus, as an example how we can change through “rebirth”

    In “the Chosen”, the series on Jesus, I really like the description of Nicodemus!
    Or, rather how they portray Nicodemus.
    This week we looked again at the video, where Jesus and Nicodemus meet at night. It is quite exceptional how much Jesus explains to Nicodemus! The story of man explained, and the solution God has offered.
    Straight forward Jesus gives a very direct, and incomprehensible answer:
    Unless a man is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    😳

    Nicodemus is looking at Jesus, flabbergasted.
    We have heard this line so often, from childhood.
    But then, it was so new, so different. (John 3:3)

    John 3:4-8
    Like the wind, you don’t see it, but if is there.
    How is that?
    And then Jesus talks of the snake, that was lifted up…
    So the Sonic man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life
    John 3:13-21
    Just some more incomprehensible explanation. It ends in John 3:21, and not with Nicodemus asking again: How is this.

    But he must have gone home that night, pondering in his heart what Jesus had said. He kept an open mind.

    In the movy, they make him say in the conversation with Jesus:
    “It’s not about the Romans, it is about sin”

    They also show that Nicodemus had seen the miracle of Mary Magdalene, and her being made free of the many demons.
    He had been called to the red quarters of Capernaum, to help Mary Magdalene, excorcism, but he looked her in the eyes and made the conclusion, “only God can do that”, and he sort of flees away. He together with that pupil
    And when that pupil sees Mary walking in the market place, whole, he think it is a miracle Nicodemus did. But Nicodemus is not so sure, and he sets out to meet Mary.
    He is on a search how it happened.
    Mary says: ” It is not anything you did. It is someone else”.
    She at that time did not yet know who it was.

    But when Jesus meets her again, afterwards she tells Nicodemus,
    “It was Jesus of Nazareth”

    Nicodemus finds out it was Jesus.

    Jesus was the one to free her from, from something he had thought:only God can do that.

    And when Nicodemus searches scriptures, He looks at them in a different way:
    Open for the New Truth
    Here is someone that is not human, but has divine powers.
    But his pupil finds it blasphemy!
    With all scriptures from the old testament, that God cannot be seen, God has no eyes, no hands, no mouth.

    Nicodemus asks: “Could your interpretation of the Torah be too limited?
    Can God not do, what is beyond our understanding of scripture?”

  266. street says:

    thinking of a lost sheep, a lost coin, a son that returns home.

  267. poohpity says:

    I tried watching “The Chosen” but in even the first few moments I turned it off to many additions from what we are actually told. So they guess, assume and add human logic and reasoning to such a beautiful story as was told by the people who were actually witnesses to Jesus on earth. The writers of “The Chosen” made up their own story using bits and pieces of the real eye witnesses and added their own imaginations, conclusions and summations so that it turns into fiction rather than the non-fiction/reality it actually is.

  268. Beloved says:

    Has anyone seen the just out movie called “Translated” on YouTube? It’s a story of the apostle Paul being suddenly translated into today. It talks about common issues in the church and relationships. The actor is very convincing in his portrayal of Paul. I enjoyed it. The film makers did a good job.

  269. foreverblessed says:

    No, I haven’t heard about it. But thanks for informing us. I started to watch, have seen 15 minutes now.
    Am looking forward to watch more.
    You can never portray them as they literally were. Paul must have been a tiny guy, small and very thin. And most of all: bold.
    And for sure, he couldn’t see very well, he was proud to have signed a letter with his own hand. Only the signing at the end!
    But that does not make the message of the Gospel any different.

    We watched the Chosen with my mother. And I was afraid she would say, that it is all man made. Indeed she said it, but..
    she added, they do give the message of the Gospel all the same. So she kept watching. “They portray Jesus very well, and the message of the Bible is taken out of the bible. How their lives literally was, we don’t know. But it could have been like this”.

    But they do cite the literal bible verses, especially the ones where Jesus speaks.
    That was wonderful!

    I really do like how they show Nicodemus handling the scriptures from the Old Testament, and the literal interpretation that his pupil, Shmuell has.
    My hope would sink into my shoes, (as the Dutch saying goes) but Nicodemus has seen some miracles that Jesus did, and he was sure to search the scriptures, and find a way around the literal interpretation, Nicodemus was searching to see that God talked about His Son.
    “Kiss the Son”
    Psalm 2:12 what a joy to find that scripture!
    These people during the ministry of Jesus had to re-evaluate the interpretation of the bible!
    It was not a Mighty King that came to free them from the Romans.
    It was a humble man, from Nazareth.

    It is quite amazing for a Pharisee, to come to the point to accept Jesus Christ.
    Just as with Saul, who became Paul, some miracles were needed.
    Mart is saying about these miracles, how much impact they have on us, how much free choice do we have actually?
    Or in other words, we freely choose for Jesus, when we see His Godliness, his Deity.
    It still is impossible for an actor to play Jesus, he misses the Deity. But the Words are from the Bible, all the same.

  270. poohpity says:

    We can enjoy what many film makers and actors do but to me there is nothing better than the real thing and knowing that first before we enjoy the stories created by man that can and do sometimes twist and turn what is. I enjoy lots of movies even those who redo true events and make them their own but has anyone ever asked the people those movies are about how they feel about artistic license in changing the real story? Do they water down the real truth? It is like watching what we once considered journalism/news but now has turned into opinions and entertainment meant to influence rather than inform.

    Now-a-days people want to influence the way we think rather than give us the facts and let us think for ourselves and that seems to be true in many areas even in churches that seems to why the followers of Jesus warned us several times about that happening.

  271. poohpity says:

    I did not see your comment forever before I posted mine. I agree that if the gospel message is being preached all is well because there are many ways to share that message as there are people who have been saved by it but the message hopefully will stay the same which more often than not is changed to suit the person telling the story. Now that is the saddest part.

  272. Beloved says:

    Telling stories- isn’t that what Jesus did? We call them parables.

  273. poohpity says:

    In our country at this time there are those trying to change the history books for what is taught to our children in schools to fit their own personal and social agendas. The good thing about that is parents who never paid attention to what the children were taught in schools are now paying attention and standing up against social activism and paying more attention to real education hopefully based on facts.

  274. poohpity says:

    Beloved in answer to your comment;

    Matt 13: His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?”

    11 He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. 12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. 13 That is why I use these parables,

    For they look, but they don’t really see.
    They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.

    14 This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says,

    ‘When you hear what I say,
    you will not understand.
    When you see what I do,
    you will not comprehend.
    15
    For the hearts of these people are hardened,
    and their ears cannot hear,
    and they have closed their eyes—
    so their eyes cannot see,
    and their ears cannot hear,
    and their hearts cannot understand,
    and they cannot turn to me
    and let me heal them.’

    16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.

  275. Beloved says:

    My all time favorite parable is The Prodigal Son. So much Truth in it. As well as Hope Joy Peace and of course, love, the greatest.

    In the movie scripture is quoted quite often yet Paul’s message to believers he and Jesus prayed for- that they would be one- surprised me. Not a universal church but Christ followers of different denominations. It’s a message we don’t hear very often and prompted me to stop comparing and pray more. I think it would be Paul’s message if he did really return today. it was interesting watching him learn English, how to use a toilet and shower with our modern conveniences.

  276. Beloved says:

    12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge.

  277. poohpity says:

    Beloved so are you saying the movie you speak of is about Paul being westernized?

  278. poohpity says:

    Instead of being birthed from above where those things are not important but the teaching of Jesus where relationships with God and others is the primary focus as it was from the very beginning of time.

  279. Beloved says:

    No not at all, just learning to live within the culture at hand.

  280. Beloved says:

    Paul only spoke Greek and Hebrew which nobody but the rabbis understood. In order to be understood by people he had to speak their language and blend into the culture-just as modern day missionaries do in order to be able to preach the Gospel to them.

  281. Beloved says:

    west·ern·ize
    /ˈwestərˌnīz/
    Learn to pronounce
    verb
    past tense: westernized; past participle: westernized
    cause (a country, person, or system) to adopt or be influenced by the cultural, economic, or political systems of Europe and North America.
    “the agreement provided for the legal system to be westernized”
    be in the process of adopting or being influenced by the systems of the West.
    “the developing nations of the world are rapidly westernizing”

  282. poohpity says:

    Wasn’t the primary language in the time and place of Jesus, Aramaic?

  283. Beloved says:

    Anyway, you can check it out yourself but remember the nuances, like on this blog. It’s not pure scripture, but made to reach people where they are at, just like the movie Chosen. Come to think of it, without rebirth it’s completely up to God when a person really understands the gospel. Afterward we have the Holy Spirit to teach and lead. And to help us see Truth apart from the culture we live in.

  284. Beloved says:

    Greek Hebrew and Aramaic yes.

  285. Beloved says:

    Easy to google but this explains further

    Is hebrew and aramaic the same language?
    Among the Jews, Aramaic was used by the common people, while Hebrew remained the language of religion and government and of the upper class. Jesus and the Apostles are believed to have spoken Aramaic, and Aramaic-language translations (Targums) of the Old Testament circulated.

  286. street says:

    Jesus said, “Come to Me.”

    any questions might be a refusal to come to Him.

    thinking this from reading oswald chambers today.

  287. Beloved says:

    What Language Did Jesus Speak?
    The general consensus is that Jesus primarily spoke Aramaic while Hebrew and Greek were also commonly used throughout the Middle East and beyond during that time. Discover the usage and influence of different languages spoken by Jesus and the cultures around him through his life on Earth.
    Christianity.com Editorial Staff

  288. Beloved says:

    any questions might be a refusal to come to Him.

    Possibly so yet questions are a timid persons way of testing the waters, so to speak. Who can come unless they are called? Who can hear until their hearing is opened? Oh He’s so good; and He’s so patient, Today. We are not promised tomorrow as it may be too late. Come, LORD Jesus.

  289. Beloved says:

    Recalling how Nicodemus came by night to ask questions.

    I’ve come to realize lately how limiting dogma can be.

  290. Beloved says:

    I misspoke about dogma. Yes it is limiting but real to those of us in the Christian faith. “Brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings [the dogma] we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

    It’s not dogma but nuances added in that can be confusing and lead to misunderstanding. A movie can do that, or a novel. To be aware and always alert to the teachings of the faith counteract the nuance. We live in a world of nuance. Pluralism and relativism have crept into the church big time. Time is short the End is near. Be wise and look expecting Jesus to know you when He comes for His flock. Does He know you? Do you really know Him?

  291. jeff1 says:

    Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendour,
    first-begotten from the dead,
    thou alone, our strong defender,
    liftest up thy people’s head.
    Alleluia, alleluia,
    Jesus, true and living bread.

    2 Here for faith’s discernment praying
    lest we fail to know thee now,
    here our deepest homage paying,
    we in loving reverence bow;
    alleluia, alleluia,
    thou art here, we ask not how.

    3 Now though lowliest form do veil thee
    as of old in Bethlehem,
    angels in thy mystery hail thee;
    we in worship join with them.
    Alleluia, alleluia,
    branch and flower of Jesse’s stem.

    4 Paschal Lamb, thine offering finished
    once for all when thou wast slain,
    in its fulness undiminished
    shall for evermore remain,
    alleluia, alleluia,
    cleansing souls from every stain.

    5 Great High Priest of our profession,
    through the veil thou wentest in,
    by thy mighty intercession
    grace and peace for us to win;
    alleluia, alleluia,
    only sacrifice for sin.

    6 Life-imparting, heavenly manna,
    stricken rock with streaming side,
    heaven and earth with one hosanna,
    worships thee, the Lamb that died,
    alleluia, alleluia,
    risen, ascended, glorified!

  292. poohpity says:

    If we truly love someone we usually want to know all about them.

  293. Beloved says:

    My pastor posted this… I did not know but encouragers like Barnabas are surely needed.

    June 11th is observed as a day of remembrance for the work of Barnabas: The Encourager

    An apt prayer in that heart of encouragement:

    “Grant, O God, that we may follow the example of your faithful servant Barnabas, who, seeking not his own renown but the well-being of your Church, gave generously of his life and substance for the relief of the poor, and went forth courageously in mission for the spread of the Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” – Book of Common Prayer

  294. street says:

    Birthed from Above

    Kingdom of God

    what was it like prior to the Kingdom of God?

    or prior to the Holy Spirit?

    16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the desire of the flesh is against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, in order to keep you from doing whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, 20 idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who [h]belong to Christ Jesus crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

    25 If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit as well. 26 Let’s not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.

    56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    58 Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be firm, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

    thinking spiritual work and natural work.

    rooted in Spirit and Truth.

  295. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this film about Paul.
    My husband started to watch it too. We will finish watching it tonight, the last half hour. It is also an entertaining film.
    I saw the interview with the writer, “the movie translated” it came out in the summer of 2018.
    The writer is very much concerned about the division in the christian world.
    Apostle Paul coming here on earth, and seeing how many divisions there are. He is even not allowed to take of the Communion in a church, where they read out loud the verses he has written.
    1 Cor 11:23-26

    He says, it is hard for the denominations to come together.
    He thinks it will need persecution, when the time will come that it is matter of life and death if you believe in Jesus Christ, that will bring about the unity Jesus talks about in John 17:20-22.
    He hopes it will not happen that way, that the total unity in Christ may come without persecution.
    But to bring out this message for the churches, he made this film, as a wake up call.
    But it has many entertaining parts for those who do not consider themselves christian. In fact, the actor playing Paul is an atheist! He does a good job, God works in a human heart, in deep ways.

  296. foreverblessed says:

    Jesus Prays for All Believers

    20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
    John 17:20-22

    That is the great message to the churches!

    (What Street wrote just above is another way of saying: come together in unity, since we live by the Spirit (born from above) do not provoke one another, envy one another Gal 5:25-26)

  297. jeff1 says:

    Let the Flame Burn Brighter

    We’ll walk the land
    With hearts on fire
    And every step will be a prayer
    Hope is rising
    New day dawning
    Sound of singing
    Fills the air

    Two thousand years
    And still the flame
    Is burning bright
    Across the land
    Hearts are waiting
    Longing, aching
    For awakening
    Once again

    Let the flame burn brighter
    In the heart of the darkness
    Turning night to glorious day
    Let the song grow louder
    As our love grows stronger
    Let it shine, let it shine

    We’ll walk for truth
    Speak out for love
    In Jesus’ name
    We shall be strong
    To lift the fallen
    To save the children
    To fill the nation
    With your song

    Let the flame burn brighter
    In the heart of the darkness
    Turning night to glorious day
    Let the song grow louder
    As our love grows stronger
    Let it shine, let it shine

    Let the flame burn brighter
    In the heart of the darkness
    Turning night to glorious day
    Let the song grow louder
    As our love grows stronger
    Let it shine

    Let the flame burn brighter
    In the heart of the darkness
    Turning night to glorious day
    Let the song grow louder
    As our love grows stronger
    Let it shine, let it shine
    Let it shine, let is shine

  298. poohpity says:

    “My Jesus” by Todd Agnew

    Which Jesus do you follow?
    Which Jesus do you serve?
    If Ephesians says to imitate Christ,
    Why do you look so much like the world?

    Cause my Jesus bled and died
    He spent His time with thieves and liars
    He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant
    So which one do you want to be?

    Blessed are the poor in spirit
    Or do we pray to be blessed with the wealth of this land
    Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness
    Or do we ache for another taste of this world of shifting sand

    Cause my Jesus bled and died for my sins
    He spent His time with thieves and sluts and liars
    He loved the poor and accosted the rich
    So which one do you want to be?

    Who is this that you follow?
    This picture of the American dream
    If Jesus was here would you walk right by on the other side
    Or fall down and worship at His holy feet
    Holy, yeah…

    Pretty blue eyes and curly brown hair and a clear complexion
    Is how you see Him as He dies for your sins
    But the Word says He was battered and scarred
    Or did you miss that part?
    Sometimes I doubt we’d recognize Him

    Cause my Jesus bled and died
    He spent His time with thieves and the least of these
    He loved the poor and accosted the comfortable
    So which one do you want to be?

    Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
    The blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet
    But He reaches for the hurting and despises the proud
    and I think He’d prefer Beale St. to the stained glass crowd
    And I know that He can hear me if I cry it out loud

    I want to be like my Jesus
    I want to be like my Jesus
    I want to be like my Jesus (hey yeah)
    I want to be like my Jesus (oh oh ohhhh)

    Not a posterchild for American prosperity, but like my Jesus
    You see I’m tired of living for success and popularity
    I want to be like my Jesus but I’m not sure what that means to be like You Jesus

    Cause You said to live like You, love like You but then You died for me
    Can I be like You Jesus?
    I want to be like you Jesus
    I want to be like my Jesus

  299. Beloved says:

    How to be like Jesus?

    My will gets in my way, it hates to bend the knee, but the Holy Spirit helps me by loving me consistently and showing me the benefits of being loving joyful peaceful patient etc. All attributes completely foreign to my experience. Being like Jesus always surprises me but then I know it’s His work and not mine. Like the atheist actor Cohn in the movie it’s easy to pretend but God is not fooled for one minute. I pray for his conversion- a matter of God who alone can cause a person to become “born again”.

  300. street says:

    without faith it is impossible to please God.

    did Jesus walk by faith?

    i remind you he was/is human too.

    14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    27 Then He *said to Thomas, “Place your finger here, and see My hands; and take your hand and put it into My side; and do not continue in disbelief, but be a believer.”

  301. jeff1 says:

    Now thank we all our God,
    with hearts and hands and voices,
    who wondrous things hath done,
    in whom his world rejoices;
    who, from our mother’s arms
    hath blessed us on our way
    with countless gifts of love,
    and still is ours today.

    2 O may this bounteous God
    through all our life be near us,
    with ever joyful hearts
    and blessed peace to cheer us;
    and keep us in his grace,
    and guide us when perplexed,
    and free us from all ills
    in this world and the next.

    3 All praise and thanks to God
    the Father now be given,
    the Son, and him who reigns
    with them in highest heaven;
    the one eternal god,
    whom earth and heaven adore;
    for thus it was, is now,
    and shall be evermore.

    based on Ecclesiasticus 50: 22-24

  302. Beloved says:

    Well said street.

  303. Beloved says:

    Now thank we all our God…

    Thank you Viv I love singing that song.

  304. poohpity says:

    street, you asked, “did Jesus walk by faith?”, really? Why do He need have to have faith when He had already seen and heard? “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. One can not base the human aspect of Jesus on how we are because there is no comparison, no equal at all in any way and to think any differently is to deny who Jesus actually is. So Jesus would probably ask you street, “Who do you say I am?” because it does not seem like you actually know!

  305. street says:

    10 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.

    5 For those who are in accord with the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are in accord with the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind [f]set on the flesh is death, but the mind [g]set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind [h]set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

    seems to me that Jesus pleased God. so He walked by faith. providing righteousness to those who trust in the One Who sent Him.

  306. foreverblessed says:

    Hebrews 2:12-14
    So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12 He says,

    “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
    in the assembly I will sing your praises.”

    13 And again,

    “I will put my trust in him.”

    And again he says,

    “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

    14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

  307. foreverblessed says:

    “I will put my trust in Him”

    Hebrews 2:13
    Alexander MacLaren has a beautiful sermon on that verse. Jesus really did trust God, for everything in His life. He did nothing if He did not hear God speak to Him.
    So yes, Jesus showed us how He lived by faith!
    In everything He trusted God.

  308. jeff1 says:

    Job: 13-15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him

    When I think of the consequences of my bad choices then I don’t blame God or anyone else because I see the folly of my youth.

    The difficulty comes when I do not see God is working in circumstances as I wonder why God allows bad things to happen and I cannot see His purpose.

    Then is when I must trust God’s all knowing and sovereignty rather than my limited understanding.

    I must sometimes walk in darkness trusting God will in His own good time reveal truths to me as I am ready to receive them as He does not put the cart before the horse and reveal to me before I will understand.

    God is working his purpose out as year succeeds to year:
    God is working his purpose out, and the day is drawing near:
    nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be,
    when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God, as the waters cover the sea.

    2 From utmost east to utmost west, where human feet have trod,
    by the mouth of many messengers rings out the voice of God:
    ‘Give ear to me, you continents, you isles, give ear to me,
    that the earth may be filled with the glory of God,
    as the waters cover the sea.’

    3 What can we do to work God’s work, to prosper and increase
    love and justice throughout the world, the reign of the
    Prince of Peace?
    What can we do to hasten the time, the time that shall surely be
    when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God,
    as the waters cover the sea?

    4 March we forth in the strength of God, with the banner of Christ unfurled,
    that the light of the glorious gospel of truth may shine throughout the world;
    fight we the fight with sorrow and sin to set their captives free,
    that the earth may be filled with the glory of God,
    as the waters cover the sea.

    5 All we can do is nothing worth unless God blesses the deed;
    vainly we hope for the harvest-tide till God gives life to the seed;
    yet nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be,
    when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God,
    as the waters cover the sea.

  309. poohpity says:

    Faith is believing that there is a God and He revealed Himself in Christ! So did Jesus have faith in Himself? I guess that is what street and forever are saying like the final aha moment of doubting Thomas unlike the other disciples when he said, ““My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

    29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

    Our faith and or whole belief foundation is on who Jesus is! Fully man while being fully God, so what do you say Jesus had faith in?

    John 1: In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
    2
    He existed in the beginning with God.
    3
    God created everything through him,
    and nothing was created except through him.
    4
    The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and his life brought light to everyone.
    5
    The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it…..

    He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

    14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

    forever and street, so what is it that as you say Jesus had to have faith in? He did not have faith, He already knew even the thoughts of the people around Him and what the future holds so why did Jesus have to have faith, please clue me in? What does that say about salvation if one does not even know who Jesus is which is the basis of our salvation.

    Romans 10: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

  310. poohpity says:

    forever by the way anyone can find a verse here and there to prove their point but it takes faith from above to realize who Jesus is and how extraordinary it is that He took on human flesh to reveal all the misunderstandings for years that people had about God. So where and who exactly is your and street’s faith in?

  311. foreverblessed says:

    Dear dear Pooh, when you, as Pooh have a discussion, on a christian blog, hosted by another, it is one thing to say what you believe, it is quite another thing to say to someone else:
    So where and who exactly is your faith in?
    As if you make us doubt that Street and I really do believe in Jesus!

    Whild the only thing that you base your doubt on our faith is this fact:
    That we say that Jesus had faith.
    I even go one step further: Jesus had great great faith.
    In God His Father.

    My God my God why have You forsaken me?

    At that moment it was the faith of Jesus that counted. He did not give up in this greatest of all greatest terrible horrible moment.

  312. foreverblessed says:

    During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One Who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission.
    Hebrews 5:7

    Can you explain how Jesus did that without having faith in the One Who could save Him??
    Tell me, if you know

  313. Beloved says:

    Sometimes it’s best just to let someone think what they think and let it go….what does it matter, really?

  314. Beloved says:

    Especially when you’re being gaslighted (look it up).

    But here is what Hebrews says about Jesus’ faith. One writer says that Jesus was the greatest believer that ever lived because of His faithful obedience!

    Hebrews 12:2
    New International Version
    2 fixing our eyes on Jesus,(A) the pioneer(B) and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,(C) scorning its shame,(D) and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.(E)

    Read full chapter
    Cross references

    Hebrews 12:2 : Ps 25:15
    Hebrews 12:2 : Heb 2:10
    Hebrews 12:2 : Php 2:8, 9; Heb 2:9
    Hebrews 12:2 : Heb 13:13
    Hebrews 12:2 : S Mk 16:19

  315. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you for the references Beloved!
    Paul did so much explaining, really, he put some effort into it.

    From the Pulpit Commentary on Hebr 12:2

    he is regarded as the Head and Leader, in all ages, of the faithful; and in virtue of his future warfare for mankind the saints of old endured and triumphed: – and certainly Christians, to whom the exhortation is addressed, may look to him in an obvious sense as their Captain to be followed. Nor, again, is there difficulty – apart from that of the whole mystery of the Incarnation – in his being presented to us as himself an example of triumphant faith. For he is elsewhere spoken of as having so “emptied himself” of his Divine glory as to have become like unto us in all things, sin except; and thus to have been sustained during his human life by faith in the unseen, as we are. His addresses to the Father (see especially John 17.) are strikingly significant in this regard.

    So far the pulpit commentary

    There is so much to learn!
    Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith!

    How do I know all, about faith?
    But Jesus shows the way!
    And He IS to the Way.

    I didn’t know what gaslighting is.
    But the psychologytoday site talks about a tactic a person or an entity has to …

    The thing I want to notice is this one: a person or an entity.
    That Psychology today admit there are entities, that is quite something.
    I asked the question because how can a believer say Jesus had no faith, that baffles me.
    But I am not going to say that an entity was trying to be demeaning to me.
    I checked it with God, and He said,” it’s alright, you just look to Me”.

    And that is what Mart is showing us too:
    Look to Jesus, in disturbing times, and always.
    If is best to train looking to Jesus in dull moments, in the lonely moments. Training, Hebrews 12 is about being trained, disciplined.
    Consider Him who endured do much opposition…

    And there is this one:
    Make every effort to live in peace with all men…
    Hebrews 12:14
    And to be holy.
    Without Holiness no-one will see the Lord

    And how can we be holy, only IN Jesus we are holy

  316. Beloved says:

    Yes Forever good advice to look to Jesus in every situation especially crazy ones. Being holy is part of our sanctification process of which I have a long ways to go. I ask God to search my heart and oh wow it’s very humbling.
    Thank you for the pulpit commentary on faith that helps to understand even more. It can be confusing I think trying to understand divinity in human form. Jesus suffering and dying is even more difficult at times to comprehend yet did it for you and me. Wow, what a Savior!

  317. street says:

    5 Now Moses was faithful in all [a]God’s house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; 6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house….

    just as moses was faithful as a servant, Jesus is faithful as a Son. just as the builder of the the house is greater than the house, of which you are. the glory is His and we will shine like the stars in the heavens forever, because of His grace and mercy. Glory to God.

  318. street says:

    Sometimes it’s best just to let someone think what they think and let it go….what does it matter, really?
    beloved we are never to get tired. patients the 4th gift followed by kindness and goodness always. like our Savior.

    in very difficult situations pray for a chance to step back and pray for help, always. God lets us speak, just remember some times a rebuke is in order.

    Jesus lay down His life, so we could live! follow closely.

    love paul when he said i will never come to you in heaviness again. the yoke of Christ is easy and light, may we find it and Him too.

  319. Beloved says:

    Street I was thinking as far as defending oneself against ridiculousness. You brought up OC’s comment about answering questions I recall. I think there is a time for everything to be done as you aptly say with the spirit leading. Wise and gentle we are to be.
    Or am I missing something or just confused? Very possible.

  320. street says:

    i am thinking shrewd as a snake and innocent as a dove.

    i get taken to the wood shed from time to time, but the true rebuke touches the heart not the backside.

    the grace and mercy keep us coming back.

  321. poohpity says:

    Beloved, since you gave the Hebrews 12:2 verse and found that Jesus is the founder and perfecter of faith who founded and perfected His faith? This passage would lead us to believe it is who did it in Himself if it is as you, forever and street say!

  322. Beloved says:

    Jesus did.

  323. Beloved says:

    Yes street that was the verse I put in my own words when I said “wise and gentle” . Mind burps happen to me a lot!

    “i get taken to the wood shed from time to time, but the true rebuke touches the heart not the backside.”

    Oh that is sooo right! Thinking of the actor playing Paul in the movie “Translated “ taking off his shirt to show scars from 39 lashes scripture says he received. The lashes did not change his mind. Like you wisely said. grace and mercy keep us coming back. Lashes are inevitable.

  324. Beloved says:

    Founder and perfect of our faith.
    Another translation says “pioneer’ for founder. Jesus is who our faith is based on. He showed us how to live and whom to follow. Jesus lived perfectly. He’s the One to talk with when questions muddy the water.

  325. street says:

    4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,

    “You have not desired sacrifice and offering,
    But You have prepared a body for Me;
    6
    You have not taken pleasure in whole burnt offerings and offerings for sin.

    yes it is a human body, yet it is the Eternal Son of God living as a man, today i have begotten you today You have become a Son to Me and I have become a Father to You. just like isaac trusted abraham, Jesus trusted His Father. it’s just that isaac would not be acceptable.

    we are accepted before God by the foreordained plan and will of God, through Christ Jesus.

    Hebrews says abraham believed God would raise isaac from the dead to keep His promises to him. the plan was much bigger than that!

  326. poohpity says:

    Does it ever come to a full understanding or the nature of God to try to equate the relationship of God the Father with God the Son to a human being like Abraham and his son Isaac? The provision of God for the sacrifice was counted as righteousness because of the faith that Abraham had in God. Matt 11:27; Luke 10:22; 1 Cor 15:27

  327. bubbles says:

    I came to ask a question and did not want to throw a wrench in Mart’s new post and thoughts. If you all could help me, thank you.

    I was speaking with a friend recently. This said friend does not understand the Trinity, and who does or can? This is done in faith. This friend does not believe Jesus was God in flesh; he says Jesus never claimed to be God, and I gave him verses where Jesus did just that. He says he is on the same level as Jesus since he is a child of God and Jesus is a son of God. I would never put myself on the same level as Jesus. He says the Bible says not to argue over doctrine. To me, this is the crux of the gospel. Jesus was God in flesh, and without shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. He says Jesus’ death made His words more important, but that Jesus came to teach us how to live. I agree that He taught us how to live, but the purpose for His coming was to die for us. He is God incarnate, and without Him dying, we could not be saved.

    He also believes Jesus sinned when he was found in the temple at age 12 and the reason Jesus prayed was to ask forgiveness of his sins. I told him that was not right. Jesus never sinned because he was perfect and had to be in order to pay for our sins.

    Then he gets into this train of thought about the Bible we now have being translated incorrectly and that we really don’t know what the original said. I told him the Holy Spirit has preserved the Word. I also asked if he doubts the inerrancy of Scripture, why does he bother reading the Bible at all? He says he does not know Greek and Hebrew and he doesn’t know what the words really are saying. He claims the is “seeking knowledge,.” People ask questions for two reasons: 1. to gain understanding and 2. to question authority. It appears the questions he asks are to question the authority of the Word and to prove it wrong. I don’t know what to do or how to help this person. Perhaps they don’t want help and appear to question only to prove he is the right one. This is not about being “right.” But if one doesn’t believe Jesus was the sinless incarnate God, then can one be truly saved? Only God knows who is saved. This person is not grounded in the faith and does not receive Bible teaching anywhere. I don’t want to argue and there are many things over which we should not burn bridges, but I think the diety of Christ is the most important thing ever.

    I want to help, but I don’t know what else to do. What can I do? Yes, I have prayed.

  328. poohpity says:

    Only God will reveal Himself to those who are truly seeking to know Him otherwise it is out of our hands. All that is truly a God thing that only He can or will do !

  329. bubbles says:

    I agree with you. And I think this one is sincere. I have never spoken with someone like this. The Trinity is something we take by faith. No one can understand it in our mortal minds.

    They also get frustrated because they want to “set captives free.” To me, that is free from sin by being saved. They see it as reforming their lives to live better. When I asked freed from what, their reply was to do better in life. That’s not salvation.

    And, like you said, Pooh, this person, while appearing to be sincere will NOT listen or accept what the Bible says; It is always met with argument, so I don’t know.

  330. poohpity says:

    Only God can open that kind of blindness or deafness.

  331. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Bubbles, thank you so much for taking the time to share your concern for this man.
    May God bless you, and give you more of His peace, that you may dwell in Him, always trusting God.
    I am praying for this man, that God may open his mind, and may reveal Jesus to him. That God may work in his heart any work that is needed.
    And I pray for you, that you may hear His voice, what to say, or not to say, or to do something for him.
    Prayer is so important! It is God working, in the spiritual realm.
    I hope more of us pray for this man, where two or three are in agreement….there the Lord works powerfully.

    May God bless your night, and next day!

  332. bubbles says:

    Pooh, I agree with you about the blindness/deafness.I have tried to witness to them and it doesn’t seem to enter the heart. It is a sad thing. Forever, thank you for praying.

  333. street says:

    today was the first day of vacation Bible school. little over 100 kids. did not happen last year because of covid. asking pleading begging for prayers for these little ones for birth from above & time of growth and development of the group shepherds that take them around to the different stations.

  334. bubbles says:

    Praying for your Bible School, street.

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