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Could we With Ink the Ocean Fill…

In their Aramaic form, the following lines reflect word pictures of the love of God as chanted in Jewish synagogues on the first day of Shavuot (Pentecost), before the reading of Torah.

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

Although penned in 1050 AD by a Jewish poet, these words were found more recently scrawled in pencil on the wall of an insane asylum by an unknown inmate. In 1917 Fredrick Lehman incorporated them into the third verse of his hymn, The Love of God.

The lingering mystery to me now is that I recently found myself captured by the wonder of these lyrics while listening to this hymn on a CD by Damaris Carbaugh—along with my wife as she slowly succumbed to the horrors of brain disease.

No stranger to the realism of what you and I experience, Paul believed we are living in something greater than the ocean and more wonderful than the cosmos. His prayers for others were penned with the confidence that the Spirit of Pentecost who raised Jesus from his Passover death can assure us that the endless breadth and depth of such an ocean, and such an all-powerful, all-knowing, ever- loving Father, is more than wishful thinking and poetic license.

Acutely aware that the sufferings of life as we know it can blind us to a greater hope and realism, he wrote,

“For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)

Note–  I have since learned that the English lyrics of the poem are based on word pictures of the love of God as expressed in the Shavuot synagogue liturgy. Became suspicious when I realized that the rhythm and rhyming of the English fill/quill and dry/sky would require some paraphrasing. What doesn’t change is that the poem reflects the inexpressible wonder of the love of God as expressed in the Aramaic liturgy. So I’ve slightly revised the introduction to more accurately represent the source. 


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486 Responses to “Could we With Ink the Ocean Fill…”

  1. poohpity says:

    Amen and amen!

  2. SFDBWV says:

    “Scrawled in pencil on the wall of an insane asylum…”

    I am reminded of the words found in the Simon and Garfunkel song “The Sound of Silence”, “The words of the Prophets are found written on the subway walls…”

    Life is where you find God. Life in all of life on Earth.

    Whereas I have great need, love and respect for every written word of God found written in Scripture, I also have found the written Word of God in songs, poetry, literature, and even in the desperation of something “scrawled” on the walls of life.

    It is recognized by His Spirit in our spirit and received with open arms.

    When you open your heart and mind to the vastness of God, you realize that He cannot be contained by any boundary in all of the known universe. Only in the narrowness of your mind.

    Steve

  3. foreverblessed says:

    “So where and who exactly is your and street’s faith in?”

    “Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God”
    1 John 4:2

    I do confess I do not really know all of Who Jesus is. It is way above my finite understanding.
    But I do know that He came from God, and put on our flesh and blood to save us from the kingdom of darkness, and put us in the Kingdom of the Son He loves.
    In Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
    Col 1:12-13

    Who of us know the depth and the width and the heights of His. Love?
    I know one thing and that is this one:
    Jesus knows me, He has redeemed me, and He calls me His.
    Isaiah 43:2
    Because I have faith in Jesus Christ, because He gave me faith
    Thank God, through Jesus Christ.

  4. SFDBWV says:

    I am guessing Foreverblessed that your comment on June 13, 2021 at 9:51 am is a continuation of a thread of comments you were making to Deborah Johnson, aka pooh.

    Any way it seems Mart was practicing what he had found intriguing, even hopeful and comforting concerning music and the cruel brain disease his wife Di suffered.

    I do hope they both found some peace during the time. I know from experience that peace is fleeting and sometimes absent from our daily lives when caring for another.

    I have known heartache and pain, but there is no pain as deep as watching someone you love suffer and you can do nothing to stop it, only be there for all and any you can do to help.

    It does sometimes leave us wondering, what it is all about, even where is God during those most troubling times. Yet somewhere in the deep recesses of our heart we hold on to a thread of faith and strength and just keep going.

    Trusting God for what we do not know nor understand.

    God bless you Mart and all here who like me need the Comforter in order to continue on.

    Steve

  5. Beloved says:

    Mart thank you for sharing some intimate moments with your wife with us. I’m humbled. “He Is Faithful” always brings a tear to my eye. What comfort in the sacred space of the dying and the ones left behind. Thank you, my friend in Christ.

  6. foreverblessed says:

    It is a great example Mart gives:
    In the agony of a.suffering loved one, he looks to Jesus, specifically: the love of Jesus, which is the Love of God.

    God is merciful. Mart has shown us before:
    God, be merciful, they do not know what they are doing.
    People with brain illnesses, they don’t know what they are doing, for sure.
    God in Your Great love, be merciful, in the Name of Jesus.

  7. foreverblessed says:

    Now think of it:
    Could we with the water of the oceans, write about the love of God,
    the oceans would not have enough water.

    I try to imagine, how many words could be written with that water, and it still is not enough!
    I cannot imagine that.
    Neither can I imagine how great God’s love is, but it is bigger than my small imagination.

    But I am told through the Word of God, that as I obey Him the Spirit will reveal more to me,
    There is bible verse that says so. Just can’t recall it by head.

  8. street says:

    thinking of an ocean of ink running dry, where the hunger and thirst for the living God begins.

    6 But the righteousness [e]based on faith speaks as follows: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will go up into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).”

  9. jeff1 says:

    Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
    forgive our foolish ways;
    re-clothe us in our rightful mind,
    in purer lives thy service find,
    in deeper reverence, praise.

    2 In simple trust like theirs who heard,
    beside the Syrian sea,
    the gracious calling of the Lord,
    let us like them, without a word◡
    rise up and follow thee.

    3 O Sabbath rest by Galilee,
    O calm of hills above,
    where Jesus knelt to share with thee
    the silence of eternity,
    interpreted by love.

    4 Drop thy still dews of quietness,
    till all our strivings cease;
    take from our souls the strain and stress,
    and let our ordered lives confess◡
    the beauty of thy peace.

    5 Breathe through the heats of our desire
    thy coolness and thy balm;
    let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
    speak through the earthquake, wind and fire,
    O still small voice of calm.

  10. street says:

    forever….i think God made us in His Image so we could know His love fully. yet a little while lower than angels. given a New Spirit to live. some day completed in an incorruptible body.

  11. street says:

    8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    quill ink parchment are plentiful, yet, not as close as the Word near you. so near that saul was rebuked in his conversion. ops.

  12. jeff1 says:

    Lord, you were rich beyond all splendour,
    yet, for love’s sake, became so poor;
    leaving your throne in glad surrender,
    sapphire-paved courts for stable floor:
    Lord, you were rich beyond all splendour,
    yet, for love’s sake, became so poor.

    2 You are our God beyond all praising,
    yet, for love’s sake, became a man;
    stooping so low, but sinners raising◡
    heav’nwards, by your eternal plan:
    you are our God, beyond all praising,
    yet, for love’s sake, became a man.

    3 Lord, you are love, beyond all telling,
    Saviour and King, we worship you;
    Emmanuel, within us dwelling,
    make us and keep us pure and true:
    Lord, you are love beyond all telling,
    Saviour and King, we worship you.

    based on 2 Corinthians 8: 9

  13. poohpity says:

    These are the lyrics of the Hymn that Mart spoke of;

    1 The love of God is greater far
    than tongue or pen can ever tell;
    it goes beyond the highest star,
    and reaches to the lowest hell.
    The wand’ring child is reconciled
    by God’s beloved Son.
    The aching soul again made whole,
    and priceless pardon won.

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

    2 When ancient time shall pass away,
    and human thrones and kingdoms fall;
    when those who here refuse to pray
    on rocks and hills and mountains call;
    God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
    all measureless and strong;
    grace will resound the whole earth round—
    the saints’ and angels’ song. [Refrain]

    3 Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    and were the skies of parchment made;
    were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill,
    and ev’ryone a scribe by trade;
    to write the love of God above
    would drain the ocean dry;
    nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    though stretched from sky to sky. [Refrain]

    I understand Mart wanting to know that love and I can imagine that anyone filled with it would be full of wonder and marvel at the immeasurable capacity of it and probably could not help but to share even the glimpse we do have with others so they too would know how immense it is for all people past, present and future.

    In our times today we could sure use that kind of heart towards others even our enemies as Christ did.

  14. jeff1 says:

    Yet, I cannot fake love of my enemies as hurt people feel as much the victim and need God’s love and understanding too.

    We all need God’s love today because of the division and hurt in our society.

    Another person telling us of God’s immense love will not change the lack of us feeling loved as the world we live in does effect our well being.

  15. bubbles says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Mart. That third verse you shared is the most beautiful. I suppose the author read the last verses of John and was inspired to write. Praying for you and for comfort today.

  16. Beloved says:

    Another person telling us of God’s immense love will not change the lack of us feeling loved as the world we live in does effect our well being.

    This is so true Viv. I myself was one who never felt love from people except my grandfather who died when I was 11. Interesting because he never showed love to his family -my mothers dad- and even caused severe physical injury to his wife- my grandmother. But God! I somehow learned early on that God was more powerful than all the adults in my life yet did not come to ‘feel’ love until I surrendered and gave my life to Him. When I meet with Jesus I always feel love! When I think of Him I always ‘feel’ love and loved. I agree with the writer that Love is even more than could be written about. It’s even beyond molecular!

    There is a common misperception or dare I say heresay that God loves everyone, even atheists and agnostics. Lie from hell. God is love, yes John says so, but Jesus in judgement will say to many who believe the lie to go away! Because He never knew them. Can love turn away people? Yes it can. Love does not deny truth. It does not lie nor bend to please human nature and the self. In the garden Satan deceived Adam and Eve by appealing to their desires. Blatantly disobeying their loving creator God.

    Someone might say…. but I Corinthians 13 tells us about love of God. Yes it does and is. But toward believers not non believers. How can a nonbeliever have the Holy Spirit? Not possible.

  17. street says:

    Could we with the water of the oceans, write about the love of God,
    the oceans would not have enough water.

    seems to me if we loved with the water from the ocean it would run dry. if we loved from God’s Spirit it would never end, eternal. therefore the urgency. even the oceans have boundaries.

    thinking of the waters of grace flowing from the Temple in Revelation. thinking of extra oil and green and full of sap in old age.

  18. poohpity says:

    God’s love is bigger than agnostic’s or atheist’s or even His greatest enemies or even the worst of sinners or else neither you or I would ever have a chance to be saved. In fact if that were the case no one would ever get saved. So it is not a lie. There is no limits to God’s love. Read Romans 5 or even just one verse John 3:16 it does not say to those who will return that love nor is there but if’s but to those who need that kind of love and ALL people need it whether they know it or not.

  19. Beloved says:

    16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

    God loves the world- those who believe in His Son and want to spend eternity with Him. Love rescued us through Jesus. Love does not ‘rescue’ against a persons will- like a grand enabler of sin.

  20. Beloved says:

    Agape

    Within Christianity, agape is considered to be the love originating from God or Christ for humankind. In the New Testament, it refers to the covenant love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God; the term necessarily extends to the love of one’s fellow human beings. Wiki

  21. jeff1 says:

    Beloved, I can only say that I thank God that He will love whom He wishes and not on my say so or anyone else’s.

    It is humans who try to limit God’s love as I have seen from my own experiences of life and it never ends up well.

    Let God be God I say.

  22. poohpity says:

    There is no but’s to God so loved the world that He sent His Son however there is a “so that” those who believe will have eternal life. Beloved it might be a good thing to reread what you wrote because it makes absolutely no sense because it is the lie you spoke of. This topic is about the inability to measure how big God’s love is and it is not held back from anyone, it is available to/for ALL even those who may not even believe there is a God.

  23. Beloved says:

    I like this prayer of Paul’s

    “For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

  24. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, that is so beautiful!

    As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you.
    Now, remain in My love.
    If you obey My commands you will remain in My love,
    just as I have obeyed My Father’s commands and remain in His love.
    I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
    My command is this: love each other as I have loved you.
    Greater love has no-one than this: that one lay down his life for his friends.
    You are my friends if you do what I command.

    This is My command: Love each other.
    John 15:9-14,17

  25. street says:

    God is love, it is His intrinsic being to love. the really scary part is He is Holy! that part will kill the sin and sinner and throw them into the lake of fire forever. without Christ our destiny is a lake of fire. we did not chose God, God chose us. we were dead. unable to make ourselves alive. 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…..Made Alive in Christ Ephesians 2

  26. street says:

    been thinking about predestination. it get rid of two heresies. that there was something good in us that merited our salvation and the other the idea you could earn your salvation. the Gospels good news is that it is a gift.

    so why do we insist on things other than faith for salvation? faith – how you vote with your feet. thinking of James.

  27. street says:

    thinking the Kingdom of God.

    a Kingdom of Sons and Daughters of God, heirs.

  28. street says:

    heirs of promise.

    trust hope & love

    these can not be hidden.

    thinking of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. hidden from the world but not from God.

  29. Beloved says:

    Oh thanks street. Predestination is a very lovely thing. A beautiful gift of Gods grace.

    I was thinking about the holiness of God you brought up earlier. It’s not real popular to discuss or think about. When I finished reading RC’s The Holiness of God a few years ago I offered it to my OT Bible study group and not one person was interested! Not one! Do we make God in our image or are we made in His image. I think that’s good to think about.

  30. foreverblessed says:

    No-one can see God and live.

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

  31. foreverblessed says:

    But this is a topic on the love of God, the Cross meets both: God’s holiness and God’s love.
    God loves everybody, as Jesus took on humanity and brought in on the Cross and into the grave. Not that everyone accepts that in faith, but they could if they would.
    All humanity was in Jesus!!!
    That is what I (re)found, since the topic of Mart on the vision on Aquinas on the Body and Blood of Christ.
    I say refound, as I have read all the scriptures a long time ago, but the depth of this fact is sinking deeper and deeper:

    But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all ( men) to myself.
    He said this to show what kind of death he was going to die.
    John 12:32-33

    He had explained this quite early in his ministry to Nicodemus:
    Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.
    John 3:14-15

    Let’s pray for others, who we come in contact with, to raise them in prayer, with loving thoughts about them, to the throne of God, and ask Him to work in their circumstances, as He did with Saul, with deafness and blindness to Jesus, but…
    Great miracle: his eyes were opened to Who Jesus really was.

    I believe those who are called first, are those who will help Jesus to call more. The ministry of reconciliation.
    “I will draw all to Me”

  32. foreverblessed says:

    Prayers and supplication for the Bible study children, Street asked for, in the former topic.
    Hebrews 5:7-10
    Just like Jesus, and we are made in His image, if He prayed and made supplications, shouldn’t we all the more?
    Not in anxiety, (will God ever listen?) but in reverend fear in a loving God ( Who longs to hear our prayers, our earnest prayers)

  33. jeff1 says:

    GOD is love: let heaven adore him;
    God is love: let earth rejoice;
    let creation sing before him,
    and exalt him with one voice.
    He who laid the earth’s foundation,
    he who spread the heavens above,
    he who breathes through all creation,
    he is love, eternal love.

    2 God is love, and is enfolding◡
    all the world in one embrace;
    his unfailing grasp is holding◡
    every child of every race;
    and when human hearts are breaking
    under sorrow’s iron rod,
    then they find that self-same aching
    deep within the heart of God.

    3 God is love: and though with blindness
    sin afflicts and clouds the will,
    God’s eternal loving-kindness
    holds us fast and guides us still.
    Sin and death and hell shall never
    o’er us final triumph gain;
    God is love, so love for ever
    o’er the universe must reign.

    based on 1 John 4: 8

  34. street says:

    But this is a topic on the love of God, the Cross meets both: God’s holiness and God’s love.

    flesh of My flesh, Spirit of My Spirit.

    My People Born of God.

    the pure in heart will see God and live.

    cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, given new “life”

    I will remember your sin no more.

    should we continue in sin? no! continue in the One Who loves you and teaches comforts trains admonishes you in The Word and Spirit. godliness with contentment is Great Gain.

    LORD let my heart find rest in You.

    let my heart find joy every morning.

    let my strength come from You.

  35. Beloved says:

    Acutely aware that the sufferings of life as we know it can blind us to a greater hope and realism, he wrote,

    “For this reason, I kneel before the Father,…”

  36. poohpity says:

    “Scars in Heaven” by Casting Crowns

    Mart I thought of you when I heard this song

    If I had only known the last time
    Would be the last time
    I would have put off all the things I had to do
    I would have stayed a little longer
    Held on a little tighter
    Now what I’d give for one more day with you

    ‘Cause there’s a wound here in my heart
    Where something’s missing
    And they tell me that it’s gonna heal with time
    But I know you’re in a place
    Where all your wounds have been erased
    And knowing yours are healed is healing mine

    The only scars in Heaven
    They won’t belong to me and you
    There’ll be no such thing as broken
    And all the old will be made new
    And the thought that makes me smile now
    Even as the tears fall down
    Is that the only scars in Heaven
    Are on the Hands that hold you now

    I know the road you walked was anything but easy
    You picked up your share of scars along the way
    Oh, but now you’re standing in the sun
    You’ve fought your fight and your race is run
    The pain is all a million miles away

    The only scars in Heaven
    They won’t belong to me and you
    There’ll be no such thing as broken
    And all the old will be made new
    And the thought that makes me smile now
    Even as the tears fall down
    Is that the only scars in Heaven, yeah
    Are on the Hands that hold you now

    Hallelujah
    Hallelujah
    Hallelujah
    For the Hands that hold you now

    There’s not a day goes by that I don’t see you
    You live on in all the better parts of me
    Until I’m standing with you in the sun
    I’ll fight this fight and this race I’ll run
    Until I finally see what you can see, oh-oh

    The only scars in Heaven
    They won’t belong to me and you
    There’ll be no such thing as broken
    And all the old will be made new
    And the thought that makes me smile now
    Even as the tears fall down
    Is that the only scars in Heaven
    Are on the Hands that hold you now

  37. street says:

    Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 [g]Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to [h]follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you [i]always, to the end of the age.”

    Vacation Bible School lesson tonight, Jesus power gives us hope. Emmanuel

  38. Beloved says:

    Jesus’ power gives us hope.

    I just finished praying for the children. Such a great lesson!

  39. foreverblessed says:

    “Acutely aware that the sufferings of life as we know it can blind us to a greater hope and realism, he wrote,”
    And then comes that beautiful prayer of Paul in Ephesians.

    Mart is writing about people, who’s brains don’t function very well anymore. That makes me think of Matt too. May God bless him all the more!

    I have written about her before:
    A woman in the nursing home, who has dementia, she is 95 now. She was a believer, always went to church, every Sunday, to the Protestants church. Sang the hymns, prayed the prayers. There was a ministry started in the nursing home, once a month there was a protestant service, on Thursday afternoon.
    Till corona came, and everything stopped.
    I go to her room and play the hymnals on a flute. Her situation was getting worse: she was restless, and wanted “to go home”. They all want to go home, those with dementia.
    And I was singing these Christian songs, and she looked at me and said:” I always sang them, but what good are they, they don’t bring me home”

    Blindness to the Truth.
    May God be merciful to her, may He grant her peace!
    I think that’s why Mart wants to see that God is so much greater, and His love so much wider.
    Jesus: “He always lives to intercede for them”
    Hebrews 7:25

    This week I saw her again, she is roaming through the building, but the restlessness has lessened, there seems to be more inner peace.
    I keep praying for her.

    Sometimes it is overwhelming to see what people go through. And as Jeff always says: I have to keep my eyes on Jesus,

    And to see this great love, and be comforted, I read John 14 again

  40. SFDBWV says:

    I wrote a comment yesterday but was unable to post it. Time limits my opportunity to be here and write, something else always has to be sacrificed in order to do so.

    It is frustrating.

    Like you Foreverblessed I hurt for the suffering of others in a way that is difficult sometimes to express.

    Often I wonder what it is all about if all a person has is misery and unhappiness.

    And there is plenty of such to go around.

    Where is God when people who trusted Him to keep them safe, are left to be tortured and seemingly abandoned?

    Yesterday I quoted John 21:25 KJV in staying on the topic Mart has provided. Stating there was more Jesus did than written.

    I suppose somewhere in those untold moments with Jesus and His teachings the answers to such mysteries may have been found. But we are left to have only the sometimes difficult position to hold on to “faith”, that God knows what is best and quietly suffer with our friends and families in a bond and fellowship that perhaps only God understands and wants us to endure.

    Steve

  41. jeff1 says:

    SON of God, eternal Saviour,
    source of life and truth and grace,
    Son of Man, whose birth among us
    hallows all our human race,
    Christ, our Head, who, throned in glory,
    for your own will ever plead,
    fill us with your love and pity,
    heal our wrongs and help our need.

    2 Bind us all as one together
    in your Church’s sacred fold,
    weak and wealthy, poor and healthy,
    sad and joyful, young and old.
    Is there want, or pain, or sorrow?
    Make us all the burden share.
    Are there spirits crushed and broken?
    Teach us, Lord, to soothe their care.

    3 As you, Lord, have lived for others,
    so may we for others live;
    freely have your gifts been granted,
    freely may your servants give.
    Yours the gold and yours the silver,
    yours the wealth of sea and land,
    we but stewards of your bounty,
    held in trust from your hand.

    4 Come, O Christ, and reign above us,
    King of love, and Prince of peace:
    hush the storm of strife and passion,
    bid its cruel discords cease:
    by your patient years of toiling,
    by your silent hours of pain,
    quench our fevered thirst of pleasure,
    shame our selfish greed of gain.

    5 Son of God, eternal Saviour,
    source of life and truth and grace,
    Son of Man whose birth among us
    hallows all our human race,
    in your love you prayed the Father
    that your people should be one;
    grant, O Christ, our hope’s fruition,
    here on earth your will be done.

  42. street says:

    To the church of God which is at Corinth with all the [a]saints who are throughout Achaia:

    2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in [b]any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are [c]ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are partners in our sufferings, so also you are in our comfort.
    8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of our affliction which occurred in [d]Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life. 9 [e]Indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead, 10 who rescued us from so great a danger of death, and will rescue us, He [f]on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 11 if you also join in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons in our behalf for the favor granted to us through the prayers of many.

    yes there are days that are hard to find comfort in God’s love. thinking of job joseph and Jesus

    moses joshuah and david had tough days too.

  43. Beloved says:

    Yet we are told to look forward to our hope of being with God forever! No more sin sorrow pain or troubles. I try to imagine what that would be like some days. It gets my mind off of the circumstances. There are so many good outcomes in scripture that came through dark valleys.

    Forever when I worked in an Alzheimer’s unit I recall a Scottish woman who spent her day ranting and pacing around to every door trying to get home. One day she sat down by me and just as clear as a bell asked “where is God? Why has He left me?” I smiled and said that he was right here with her and would never leave her. She cried and thanked me profusely then got up to continue her pacing. Yes the mind is a terrible thing to lose but God never loses His- or us!! Paul Job and Jesus never lost their need for God. Thinking of Jesus Martha and Mary weeping at the loss of their brother and friend Lazarus. We all weep but not without hope! 🙏

  44. poohpity says:

    There are times when I get in a rut, feel stuck and am discouraged when I look around at circumstances in this world. When in those times God usually reminds me of all the things I have to be grateful for and to step out of the crazy boat of self. I think Christian music is often what gets my thoughts back on to God. I may not be able to change things in this world but I sure can change how I think about them and there is so much good going on but it does not make it to the media. Often I have to look for it but it is out there to be found even if it just a beautiful sunrise/sunset, the fact that I have running water, or the flowers, or the mountains that surround my backyard, even now the prickly cacti are blooming with beautiful flowers and to me there is nothing as ugly as a cactus. lol It seems God always provides a glimpse of His immeasurable love somehow if I just pay attention.

  45. jeff1 says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  46. street says:

    Could we With Ink the Ocean Fill…

    if we could with Christ our hearts to fill….

    what must “I” do?

  47. SFDBWV says:

    In my walk and involvement with Bible studies and the many different styles of presenting learning about our faith, the best I have encountered are the few who make it fun to do.

    Not the kind that presents it like studying for an exam believing their view is the end of all knowledge on the subject.

    In reviewing the poem Mart has given I am reminded once again of the purpose of the sun and moon and stars as given in Genesis. Especially the stars that according to Genesis are for the telling of the seasons.

    This is where the original story of mankind was once written including the virgin birth of our Lord.

    And where the Magi was looking, along with the Torah, in discovering the birth of not just a new king, but the Savior of all mankind.

    Think of the enormous vastness of the universe and how much ink it would take to write His story there. Yet God wrote it using the stars themselves, readable only from here on earth.

    In remembering that size is relevant, think also about how all living creatures possess a DNA that as it turns out is a coded written instruction for that creature to be exactly what it is.

    A written code.

    Written by the creator of it all.

    No, the ocean has not enough fluid in it if it were ink to tell of the love of God, because the story of God is all about His love. Neither could the heavens above us be space enough to inscribe it all.

    Be at peace today and trust that God is God and glad those who think they have all the answers are not.

    Steve

  48. Beloved says:

    There is only One who has all the answers. God bless those who seek after Him, Jesus. If we seek Him with all our hearts we will find Him. He’s knocking…

  49. poohpity says:

    Out of the many bible studies I have been to I have as of yet found any teacher telling me what or how to think but to depend on the Lord to show us what He is teaching. We are taught to use scripture to back up scripture and not to base scripture on commentaries of third or forth parties but to rely on the Holy Spirit, a one on one type teaching.

    Steve, Do you have bible studies in your home or at a neighbor’s since you said years ago that you do not attend church?

  50. street says:

    No, the ocean has not enough fluid in it if it were ink to tell of the love of God, because the story of God is all about His love. Neither could the heavens above us be space enough to inscribe it all.

    thinking about how the created order declares the Glory of God. yet the natural/created can only take you so far. yet God’s revelation is spoken and finally through His Son.

    wonder how many sons are, currently, on the earth in mortal flesh?

    Jesus said His sheep hear His voice and they will not follow another.

  51. Beloved says:

    Jesus voice is …merciful. Be merciful like Jesus and you will know the love of God.

  52. Beloved says:

    Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

    Having not seen my daughter for five years it’s been a rocky reunion. She wants to spend time with me- in fact she comes over on her lunch hour on occasion and asked me today if she could come over every week on Wednesday. You know, before she came today I had to pray about it and asked God what to do with our hurt feelings we’ve discussed occasionally yet still come up. He said to move on, let it go and just love her no matter what she does. Just love her. And I did. And I was pleasantly surprised that I felt love from her for the first time in many years. It was good. I think sometimes the jots and tittles need to be left to God to work out. 😊❤️

    Love one another as I have loved you, Jesus said. Ok, I said.

  53. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you very much for sharing, Beloved.
    How wonderful that you see your daughter again, and thanks for sharing what God told you:

    He said to move on, let it go and just love her no matter what she does. Just love her.”

    How great is our God!

  54. foreverblessed says:

    The love of God is like an ocean, or rather bigger than an ocean…

    Steve, I found a bible verse this morning:
    Isaiah 24:22
    The word punished could also be translated as: released
    What do you say about it?
    Isn’t it awesome?

  55. foreverblessed says:

    This one is also good:
    “I think sometimes the jots and tittles need to be left to God to work out. 😊”

    To be at peace, to leave it to God!
    “Dear Lord, You are Master of the universe, and Lord of my heart!
    You Lord know the hearts of all. We are here on this blog, thinking about the christian gospel, looking into the bible. There are and have been, many many great bible teachers, and now in this age, we can read them. And they are called bible commentaries. They were inspired by You. We can use them, together with the bible verses. You dear Lord only can open our hearts and understanding by Your Holy Spirit.
    You dear Lord are our Lord and Savior.

    Thank You, in Jesus’ Name.”

  56. poohpity says:

    So why not go to the source first before we go to those who went to the source first. That does not mean that commentaries are not helpful nor that we should never go to them but reading and studying the bible is for an audience of one, the person reading them. They are a means to know God and a mirror to look at ourselves, just a means. It seems God reveals the scripture as we are able to accept them in the process of our spiritual growth from the motivation and desires of our heart for God. God seems to fit the pieces together when we are ready.

    Scripture is a means of communication with God because in every relationship communication is key to building that relationship. Sometimes we talk and the most important part of any relationship is to listen by being open to really hearing what is being said. That is usually what happens in any relationship and God wants a relationship with us not just knowledge of what the scripture says but knowledge of the One who influenced them in other words to get to know God better like we do with anyone we truly love, we want to know them.

  57. Beloved says:

    I love Spurgeons message with reference to the “sea”

    Oh, there is in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound!
    In musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief.
    In the influence of the Holy Spirit, there is a balsam for every sore.

    Would you lose your sorrows?
    Would you drown your cares?
    Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea!
    Be lost in His immensity—and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated.

    I know nothing which can . . .
    so comfort the soul;
    so calm the swelling billows of grief and sorrow;
    so speak peace to the winds of trial — as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead!

  58. foreverblessed says:

    That is a beautiful song, of sounds like a song te me.
    “By your stripes are we healed”
    The Spirit in Jesus Body suffered, was beaten, stricken, that Spirit He gave to us after He ascended to heaven. I have been taught by God, that’s how it was. The Spirit in Jesus suffered, and that Spirit can now be healing us. There’s a Balm in Gilead.

    What a wonderful wording Surgeon has. God gives His grace yo many of his servants.
    Many different ministrations, let’s all enjoy them, abc share them.
    Words are not enough, the Holy Spirit makes it alive in us.
    What are we without the Holy Spirit?

  59. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed, thank you for sharing that verse with me. Indeed it is comforting and yes exciting to see such an interpretation given.

    I have a long list of verses from Isaiah that the Lord gave me just after Matthew had came home from the hospital.

    I have heard some people say that Isaiah is a little Bible within the Bible. Because of its being so rich in God’s word, I suppose.

    In a subject about God’s immeasurable and incomprehensible love, I would think that people would understand Jesus died for all of mankind and is the acceptable sacrifice God required in order to forgive.

    “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us…”There are no other conditions assigned to this simple prayer.

    They don’t even have to ask to be forgiven as outlined in the prayer.

    If we are followers of Christ it would seem He leads and we follow.

    Thank you once again for thinking of me. It is and has been a pretty tough day today and I am very tired. See you here another time.

    Steve

  60. Beloved says:

    If we are followers of Christ it would seem He leads and we follow.

    Makes sense both common and Spiritual. There are many different “spiritualities” in today’s world. Jesus is the Way truth and life in every culture/spirituality in the world.

  61. Beloved says:

    Praying for Steve and for streets “children” and guides.

  62. foreverblessed says:

    “In a subject about God’s immeasurable and incomprehensible love, I would think that people would understand Jesus died for all of mankind”

    In Jesus Body, on the Cross, all are drawn to Him.
    John 12

    And about studying the Bible and using commentaries:
    When I read the bible, I go to God first, and often the Holy Spirit makes clear what is meant. Then I don’t go here and say: the Holy Spirit told me this and this. No, then I go to the commentaries and see what others have received. And the ones that are the same as what made known to me is what I give here.

  63. foreverblessed says:

    May God give Steve strength.
    All who wait on Him, will grow stronger.
    Psalm 27:14

  64. Beloved says:

    Matthew 18: 7“Woe to the world because of its [e]stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that [f]stumbling blocks come; but woe to the person through whom the [g]stumbling block comes!

    8“And if your hand or your foot is causing you to sin, cut it off and throw it away from you; it is better for you to enter life maimed or without a foot, than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into the eternal fire. 9And if your eye is causing you to sin, tear it out and throw it away from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into the [h]fiery hell.

    Eternal fire, fiery hell. It’s clear as a bell. Like it or not. Jesus is the only way to life eternal.

  65. street says:

    well vacation Bible school is over. a little over a 100 kids. had enough distractions so that it was memorable. all the kids singing the songs so well that a raccoon showed up. i did not see it but was quickly chased away. the next night was interesting in that we heard a loud noise? we turned and looked and a car hit the school building. i could not wait to see what happen the next night, but i did. lol it was decision night. it was a time of prayer and waiting. the waiting continues. thank you for praying! street

  66. street says:

    18 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “What do you people mean by using this proverb about the land of Israel, saying,

    ‘The fathers eat sour grapes,
    [a]But it is the children’s teeth that have become blunt’?

    3 As I live,” declares the Lord [b]God, “you certainly are not going to use this proverb in Israel anymore.

    19 And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture [a]becomes a matter of [b]someone’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

    pay attention….until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. joyful expectation of Christmas.

  67. street says:

    Ezekiel 18:1-3

    2 Peter 1:19-21

  68. poohpity says:

    forever, what did you mean when you said, “The Spirit in Jesus Body suffered, was beaten, stricken, that Spirit He gave to us after He ascended to heaven. I have been taught by God, that’s how it was. The Spirit in Jesus suffered, and that Spirit can now be healing us.”? I have never heard anything like that before nor do I understand how that can be?!? How could His Spirit suffer or be beaten or stricken when it is spirit which is like the oxygen we breathe we know it is there but it has no substance to receive a beating or be stricken? I am so confused.

  69. foreverblessed says:

    First of all, I want to compliment you for your humble attitude.
    Then I would like to say this: you have heard about it:
    You know very well the Bible verse:
    “..the chastisement that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed”.
    Isaiah 53:5

    But just as I never have given a thought how that healing came about, many have not taken a second thought about it, we just accept it in faith.

    Just meditate on it…

  70. poohpity says:

    I have always understood that the punishment Jesus received in the flesh which it seems is what Isaiah was prophesying about like the 39 lashes or stripes before the Cross were for our sins so we could be healed from the consequences our sin nature. Those words of Isaiah are also found in 1 Peter 2:24. It is by His wounds, some translations say stripes for a better understanding of what Isaiah’s prophecy was about. As Jesus said in Luke 24:25-27 NLT that the prophets and the writing of Moses all spoke of Him.

    So I will give you forever the same advise you gave to me in pride; “Just meditate on it…”

  71. poohpity says:

    A majority of Isaiah 53 was a prophesy about Christ hundreds of years before it came to be. Deuteronomy 18:22

  72. Beloved says:

    Meditating on this;

    Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

    21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.
    Ephesians 3

  73. Beloved says:

    My paraphrase goes like this;

    Now to Jesus who is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within me, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen

  74. street says:

    chastisement severe criticism; a rebuke or strong reprimand.
    corporal punishment; a beating.

    dictionary com

    the innocent blameless sinless Son of God is receiving a great injustice. why?

    Who can speak of his descendants?
    For his life was taken from the earth.”
    Isaiah 53:7,8

    But the Lord desired
    To crush Him, [g]causing Him grief;
    If He renders [h]Himself as a guilt offering,
    He will see His [i]offspring,
    He will prolong His days,
    And the [j]good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.

    because of what God has done, those who trust in Jesus have a right to become the Children of God, born again.

    By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother and sister. 1 John 3:10

    thank God for Grace Mercy and Peace in Christ Jesus.

  75. foreverblessed says:

    Now to Jesus who is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within me,

    That also reminds me of the sea of Balm, of which Surgeon spoke.

    The Balm Jesus provided, the healing of every hurt, every despisement, every insult, every denigrating comment, every blow every plucking of the beard, whipping of the back, every downgrading remark…. All…that went wrong, there is a balm for that, to bind up that was broken.
    A sea of balm
    And a forgiveness for every hurt we have afflicted to someone else, every down look, every insult wherewith we have insulted others, all are forgiven, thrown in the ocean of His Mercy.

    Such a great work is done on the Cross, and that because of Jesus, who was with God, and who was God, but He came in the flesh. God incarnated
    Holy Spirit in a human body, hung on the Cross, and now that Holy Spirit is given to us, as a healing Balm.

    “There is a Balm in Gilead”

  76. foreverblessed says:

    Pride? On the contrary!
    It was quite a humbling experience, how on earth could I have overlooked, that the healing by “His wounds” could be conveyed to us in no other way but through His Spirit.
    That’s why I said: just meditate on it. As I had not done that.

  77. foreverblessed says:

    If you don’t mind, I repeat the sea of Balm, by Surgeon.
    “so calm the swelling billows of grief and sorrow”
    Plunge it in the sea of Balm

    Spurgeons message with reference to the “sea”:

    Oh, there is in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound!
    In musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief.
    In the influence of the Holy Spirit, there is a balsam for every sore.

    Would you lose your sorrows?
    Would you drown your cares?
    Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea!
    Be lost in His immensity—and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated.

    I know nothing which can . . .
    so comfort the soul;
    so calm the swelling billows of grief and sorrow;
    so speak peace to the winds of trial — as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead!

  78. Beloved says:

    Oh yes! That calm and comfort comes when resting in Jesus. Trusting that he is able to do far more than we can ask or imagine. Letting go, stopping thinking of ways to defend ourselves by noticing the sliver in someone’s eye (amazing how we can even see around the two by four in our own eye). Forever you definitely have teaching gifts and I praise God for sending His Holy Spirit to equip the church in all its variety of gifts to build us up.

  79. Beloved says:

    Happy Fathers Day men!

  80. poohpity says:

    Our Father who is in heaven, holy is your name and worthy of all our praise no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in. Praise you for sending Jesus to teach us about forgiveness so that we may forgive others the same way you have forgiven us. Thank you for sending your Spirit to be our guide while we are still on earth until your Kingdom comes and to teach us what your will and truth are. More than anything else thank you for adopting us into your family so that we may be called your children not by a physical birth but by a spiritual rebirth. I am so grateful that you never leave us alone but are always faithful to be with us no matter the storms we face. If you do not calm the storms you help us get through them because you are by/on our side. You have taught us to love and respect others no matter the differences and we could have never asked for a better Father than you are to us. Happy Father’s Day!

  81. SFDBWV says:

    In the movie “Parenthood” with Steve Martin there is a scene with the son-in-law of the wayward teenage daughter of Steve’s sister. Keanu Reeves says to his mother- in-law. “You know you have to get a license to get married, a license to drive a car, but they will let anyone be a father.

    Like Christmas or any number of holidays or special Sundays some people are only reminded of their pain, or loss.

    I wonder how much longer are people to suffer in this broken world, before God restores His creation.

    Like the country song says, “Always be gentle and Kind.” (Tim McGraw). In our dealing with others,

    Thank you Foreverblessed and Joyce for your prayers.

    Steve

  82. poohpity says:

    “Acutely aware that the sufferings of life as we know it can blind us to a greater hope and realism.”

  83. Beloved says:

    Please please pray for the school and bus driver of 9 children who were killed in a fiery bus crash this weekend. This was a Christian facility for abused/neglected children. The bus driver is in the hospital but I believe a couple of the children were her own. One adult along with his 9 month old daughter were also killed in another vehicle. Like someone said, “but they are in a better place.” We need to pray for their incompetent parents that this will turn their hearts to God looking for mercy and forgiveness of their sins that Jesus died for. This happened in Alabama.

  84. Beloved says:

    24This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who has written them down. And we know that his testimony is true.

    25There are many more things that Jesus did. If all of them were written down, I suppose that not even the world itself would have space for the books that would be written. John

    This has always amazed me what John says about having enough space for all the books that could be written about the things that Jesus did. Wow! Think of the ink!? Wow.

  85. street says:

    dear bta, been withholding the bad news that is going on around my community, but from what i been reading in the ems community it’s going on in large cities, at a record pace. about three weeks ago a person died while driving his car. hitting a fire hydrant and flooding/closing the street for several hours. about a week later a 2 and 4 year old drown in an abandoned pool. few days later a man was stabbed to death outside a bar. last night i could not come home because swat had the neighborhood in lock down because the two doors down some one shot a killed some one in the front yard and went back into the house with adults and children. my family had to stay in the house till it was resolved. i sent the time with my dad. happy fathers day! did get to talk with a neighbor i never talked to before, because i could not drive to my home. not looking forward to this summer, but with Jesus i can. the fields are a mess. barren ground required.

  86. Beloved says:

    Oh street what a day!!, but glad you got to spend time with your dad.

    The Gospel Coalition had a very good article I found very helpful, as well as my sister.

    Honoring Your Father When He’s Evil
    JENNIFER GREENBERG

    I have it on FB but you can also google TGC for the article.

  87. Beloved says:

    Lol street I’m not directing the article to you (or about you) but to any reader who might needto hear this.

  88. street says:

    been thinking about fathers day and the daughter of david. that eventually died a a widow without a father husband and was unclean. seem like we are all in that boat. yet Jesus changes that in a new birth.

    was thinking along the same line with adam and eve cain and able with david and absalom. how man is powerless to restore from sin and death, but not God.

    even if they did kill their children it would not fix things. it is true the law is for the unrighteous, for the righteous shall live by them.

    then the question, ” how long LORD?”

    to be empty/barren. the righteous shall live be faith.

  89. poohpity says:

    street, I was thinking along the same line today. God knew all that we would do and still thought we were with His love and care. We see the junk and He sees a treasure.

  90. Beloved says:

    ◄ Psalm 93 ►
    New King James Version
    The Eternal Reign of the Lord

    1The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty;
    The Lord is clothed,
    He has girded Himself with strength.
    Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be [a]moved.
    2Your throne is established from of old;
    You are from everlasting.
    3The floods have [b]lifted up, O Lord,
    The floods have lifted up their voice;
    The floods lift up their waves.
    4The Lord on high is mightier
    Than the noise of many waters,
    Than the mighty waves of the sea.
    5Your testimonies are very sure;
    Holiness adorns Your house,
    O Lord, [c]forever.

  91. poohpity says:

    God never promised us an easy life but let us know it would not be easy and that there will be many sorrows, trials, suffering and problems but we can trust that His love covers them all and He walks with us because He is faithful not to necessarily take away the problems but to give us His strength to get through them.

    It would then seem that love does not promise us roses but a change in how we see life and Him, that brings us joy. For me it is hard to imagine that God cares even about one soul as He does for the billions of them.

  92. poohpity says:

    There are many things that I do not understand the whys of how God would allow certain things but I have come to the point that I just cry out to Him asking to help me just trust. I get mad, frustrated, deeply wounded in my heart for what people go through but I come back to just to trust even when no answers come. There are some very hard to hear things that even happened in the bible that I can not wrap my mind around but again I come back to I believe help my unbelief and help me to trust.

  93. Beloved says:

    I John
    The Children of God

    28And now, little children, abide in Him, that [h]when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 29If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

  94. Beloved says:

    Dear friends,
    I can’t tell you how grateful I am to all of you for the spiritual insight and trust in Jesus I have learned through the years. I went to see my son and family yesterday- I forgot how ungodly the lost can be. It’s a mess. Please send a prayer that they would stop resisting Christ. My son is the worst because he knew Jesus as a teen but has gone the opposite way and teaching his girls to do all kinds of evil. It’s heartbreaking besides what they did to me- using my kindness for personal gain. I know they don’t know what they are doing being so lost in worldly thinking. To me, it’s sad yet I trust in Jesus no matter the outcome.

    Love lifted me, love lifted me.
    When nothing else could help Love lifted me!❤️

  95. SFDBWV says:

    Praying for your peace Joyce. I am reminded of the verse that says, if you bring up your children in the Lord (no matter how things progress in their lives) it will never depart from them.

    Take hear God is in control.

    Steve

  96. foreverblessed says:

    I say Amen to that!
    May we ourselves draw ever closer and closer to Jesus, so that we may see with His eyes to those loved ones who wander away.

    God always loves us, there is nothing we can do to make Him love us less. But how does He love someone that goes against Him?
    Such a hard thing to understand, and to follow.
    That’s why the only way is: to abide in Christ, so we may be more and more like Him.
    .

  97. poohpity says:

    Isn’t it sad how many times we ask why things are as they are and complain to God yet how many times do we find ourselves praising Him for who He is and ALL the gifts He has given us. Why do children walk away from God? Maybe it is because they find their parents not thanking Him for all the good things He has brought into their lives instead they show anger, distrust, they grumble and complain about God rather than being grateful for all the areas He has shown His great love.

    “Count Your Blessings”

    1. 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.

    (Chorus)
    Count your blessings;
    Name them one by one.
    Count your blessings;
    See what God hath done.
    Count your blessings;
    Name them one by one.
    Count your many blessings;
    See what God hath 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 be singing as the days go by.

    (Chorus)

    3. When you look at others with their lands and gold,
    Think that Christ has promised you his wealth untold.
    Count your many blessings; money cannot buy
    Your reward in heaven nor your home on high.

    (Chorus)

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

  98. Beloved says:

    Thanks Steve and Forever. I’m reminded of the prodigal who went after riches and spent them all before crawling back to his Father- our Father in heaven. He’s a good good Dad!

  99. Beloved says:

    I John
    The Children of God

    28 And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

  100. Beloved says:

    Pooh I see you are under a severe drought with very high temps! Thank God for water and AC! We are dry here and wheat is not growing well so there will be no straw for cows this year some farmer friends told me. Some are selling off cattle because of it. I’m guessing meat prices will skyrocket soon.

  101. street says:

    Acutely aware that the sufferings of life as we know it can blind us to a greater hope and realism,

    thinking of the publican…. 13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to raise his eyes toward heaven, but was beating his chest, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’

    some suffering brings with it darkness and some brings with it light.

    joy comes in the mourning, is that daybreak or in the tears. thinking of the God of ALL comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

    2 Corinthians 1:3-7 taken from

    was talking with my former brother in law about the place where rational thought ends and God begins.
    faith- in the One He sent.

  102. Beloved says:

    Realism

    Very confusing yet the Realism of the kingdom we only see the tiny benefits of here so we do need faith. Worldly realism brings much suffering and anguish of soul- like the Publican. I have a pretty picture of Jesus because it’s pleasant to look at but sometimes I try to imagine how he actually looked when he died. Two realities that cause cognitive dissonance until Jesus we see in Spirit, now. But then, in flesh in heaven. Hope faith and love are ours today and forevermore!
    Musing on a warm afternoon with iced tea. Hope all are comfortable and comforted by the thrice God as JP calls Him.

  103. Beloved says:

    My daughter came over on her lunch break today, we prayed together and had a good time. Blessed here. We both agreed my move here was good for us.

  104. poohpity says:

    Beloved, we went from 115 degrees at 6pm two days ago to a beautiful 88 degrees and a drizzle right now at 2pm. The weather changes! Actually it has been so far a pretty decent weather so far this year only one week of 114-115 degree heat. But there is the swimming pool to cool down but sadly last week some neighbors abused the pool by not following the rules and it turned green, yuck! A few ruined it for the majority of others. Figures doesn’t it.

  105. street says:

    salvation is the gift of God, death is a gift of separation from the corruption of the world and flesh. Not that we would hassen it, but to trust God in life all the more.

  106. Beloved says:

    Amen

  107. foreverblessed says:

    Not that we would hasten it,
    but trust God all the more…

    It took me some time to get what you meant, but I get it now.
    “To be with Christ is gain”
    That is what the apostle Paul had written on a board, in the movie, when he was going to his execution.

    But we are still here, God has a vision for each of us.
    He promised to never leave us nor forsake us….but that in the world you will have trouble,
    But take heart, I have overcome the world.
    John 16:33

    Utmost speaks of this today, the suffering…
    And yesterday, about our old man..
    It is already a done deal about our old man, it is taken care of, on the Cross. Do I really get it?
    My old man IS already dead, it was when it was put into the Body of Christ, when He was hung on the Cross.

    “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus”
    1 Cor 1:30
    It is because of the Word of God, that we were put into Jesus.
    “I in Him”

    So we fight against our old man, that is already dead. That to me a mystery, why is he still here?
    Just as the world…
    Same thing, Christ has overcome the world, but the world is still here.

    The Cross is the solution, I need more faith in the done deal of the Cross.

  108. foreverblessed says:

    “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptisms into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death?
    We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death

    in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

    If we have been united with Him in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection.

    “You are on Me, and I am in you” John 14:20

    And Romans 6:3-5

  109. poohpity says:

    The prayer of Jesus for us in John 17

    “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.

    20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

    22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!

    25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”

  110. Beloved says:

    Fighting against the “old man”

    Paul reasoned in Romans 7
    14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
    16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
    18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
    19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
    20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
    21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,
    23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
    24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
    25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

    To me this is the sanctifying process we go through waiting for our final freedom from the world flesh and the devil. We are sanctified- set apart – for Christ and the Kingdom of God at baptism through faith in believing Christ died for us, yet we live meantime in this struggle that we can’t win at (in the flesh) which is why a Savior!

  111. Beloved says:

    Romams7: 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

    Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost- but now am found; was blind but now I see.
    Thank you Jesus

  112. street says:

    thinking about “come to Me”

    coming and going

    Remain in Me.

  113. Beloved says:

    We’re always pursuing Jesus once He calls us. To be found in Him yet the devil likes to turn us away to worldly things both good and evil. What a fight! Or struggle however you think of it. I have a fighting Irish-ness about me so not always so meek at times. Holy Spirit gloves is what it takes, 🥊🙏🤷‍♂️

  114. Beloved says:

    Wondering where our friend jeff1 is? Missing her.

  115. street says:

    So we fight against our old man, that is already dead. That to me a mystery, why is he still here?
    Just as the world…
    Same thing, Christ has overcome the world, but the world is still here.

    The Cross is the solution, I need more faith in the done deal of the Cross.

    these two verses have been on my mind lately and i think they relate to this line of thinking.

    13 for if you are living in accord with the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

    John 15:7
    If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

  116. SFDBWV says:

    When I was a boy my mother used to make homemade taffy. For those viewers among us who have never made it, after it cooks and at just the right time it needs to be pulled and stretched over and over again until it begins to stiffen up.

    While it is still pretty hot we would butter up our hands and begin the process. It was always too hot, but when it had to be done so you pushed past the pain and stretched and pulled and stretched and pulled again and again. Laying out each stretched out handful onto wax paper in a line to later be cut after it had cooled and set.

    If you wanted to have taffy this is what you had to do in order to have it.

    It was a choice you had to make.

    Listening this morning to Gordon Lightfoot sing his ballad, “The Edmond Fitzgerald”, one of the lyrics asks “Where has the love of God gone, when the waves washes over the railings?”

    I thought of our topic, about the ocean being ink and writing about the love of God, and then of course the drowning of this ship and deaths of her crew. Of those left to mourn.

    I suppose there are very few Christians who care for loved ones who at some point in the process ask, “Where has the love of God gone?” in seeing the suffering of their loved one.

    Like the hot taffy we are pulled and stretched to our limit time after time after time. Reaching a new limit each time. Left to wondering when the taffy be ready, when will God’s goal in the matter finally be done.

    Eric Clapton sang about tears in heaven, God knows there are plenty to go around down here on earth.

    Steve

  117. Beloved says:

    Like the hot taffy we are pulled and stretched to our limit time after time after time. Reaching a new limit each time. Left to wondering when the taffy be ready, when will God’s goal in the matter finally be done.

    Steve I recalled the death of John the Baptist, Paul, Peter and countless others who lost their lives at the time appointed by God.

    I’ve never had homemade taffy but sure loved it as a kid!

  118. street says:

    wine skins that burst or are poured out at the proper time. thinking of a branches, wild ones, attached to The Vine, that produces the fruit. waiting for the native/natural branches to be grafted in.

  119. street says:

    Grace and Glory of God

  120. street says:

    these verses have become more endearing today.

    6
    The measuring lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    Indeed, my inheritance is beautiful to me.

    7
    I will bless the Lord who has advised me;
    Indeed, my [g]mind instructs me in the night.
    8
    I have set the Lord continually before me;
    Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
    9
    Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;
    My flesh also will dwell securely.
    10
    For You will not abandon my soul to [h]Sheol;
    You will not [i]allow Your [j]Holy One to [k]undergo decay.
    11
    You will make known to me the way of life;
    In Your presence is fullness of joy;
    In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

  121. Beloved says:

    I had to get out bed tonight to read Psalm103 NLT and am so blessed by it.

  122. foreverblessed says:

    Psalm 103, beautiful!
    And Street, that was Psalm 16

    “I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken”
    v8

    Acts 2:25 says, this is also about Jesus.
    For instance:
    After the Transfiguration, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem, knowing what hour was waiting for Him.
    Luke 9:51
    On the mountain, He had spoken with Moses and Elijah:
    “They spoke about His departure (Greek: exodus) which He was about to bring to fulfilment at Jerusalem. Luke 9:31

    What a great task Jesus had before Him. But He was not afraid!
    Yesterday Utmost spoke about the reality of suffering: Jesus had excepted it:

    “Nowy heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’?
    No, it was for this very reason that I came to this hour.
    “Father, glorify Your Name”
    John 12:27

    That we may give our whole life to Jesus, and give it to Him, and be able to say: Father, glorify Your Name”
    In all the suffering that we encounter.

    That we may see the depth of it, in the spiritual realm!

    I pray that for all of us, but especially for Steve and Matt!

  123. foreverblessed says:

    Jeff, hoe are you doing, I hope and pray, you abide in Christ!

  124. foreverblessed says:

    Today’s Utmost has some intense questions:

    “One of the greatest proofs that you are drawing on the grace of God is that you can be totally humiliated before others without displaying even the slightest trace of anything but His grace.

    “…having nothing….” Never hold anything in reserve. Pour yourself out, giving the best that you have, and always be poor. Never be diplomatic and careful with the treasure God gives you. “…and yet possessing all things”— this is poverty triumphant (2 Corinthians 6:10).

    Oh, to be more like Jesus, Who said nothing when He was insulted….
    He felt no need to defend Himself.
    Now that is being disciplined.
    A way to go yet.

    But …
    Abide on Christ, and keep growing closer to Him drawing on His Grace.

  125. poohpity says:

    Can a person be humiliated without first being full of pride? It would seem that being humble puts pride aside which then allows for correction, rebuke and disagreement without retaliation.

    When Jesus was insulted, stripped, reviled and beaten He knew what the truth was and it seemed no matter what anyone else said about Him or to Him the truth was what He did while on earth was to show how much God loved us. His motives were pure so there was no need to defend Himself because the truth always comes out. What a great Savior and God we have, praise His Holy name.

  126. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed I do so appreciate your prayers for me and my family, thank you.

    Sometimes in life it seems that whatever we pray for too often it appears we get the opposite.

    The gift of faith tried over and over again and again.

    I have to smile as well as cringe when I think of our subject of there not being enough water in the world nor the heavens big enough to ascribe to us the love of God…for us.

    Am sure that in contrast our love for our fellow man could hardly be visible, let alone measured, as it far too small and much less than an ink blot.

    Steve

  127. poohpity says:

    Wow Steve that is quite the judgement of your fellow man! All that should really matter to you is your love as small or much less than an ink blot. I know you say great things and express care to those who agree with you but isn’t it really how one treats those who do not agree with you that shows love bigger than an ink blot?

  128. street says:

    thinking of prayer and the crucifixion. how the prayer began long before the cross. that the Fathers will be done on earth as it is in heaven. even in gethsemane a request and commitment to the Fathers will. no doubt God’s will is carried out in the darkness but we are committed to sitting standing and walking in the Light of The World.

    grace for today and bright hope for tomorrow.
    perseverance of the saints

  129. Hugger4U says:

    “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.”

    “Discernment is God’s call to intercession, never to faultfinding.”

    Corrie Ten Boom

  130. Beloved says:

    poohpity says:
    June 26, 2021 at 11:58 am
    Wow Steve that is quite the judgement of your fellow man! All that should really matter to you is your love as small or much less than an ink blot. I know you say great things and express care to those who agree with you but isn’t it really how one treats “those who do not agree with you “ that shows love bigger than an ink blot?

    Pooh you’re repeating yourself again. Why does it bother you so much that Steve doesn’t want to read or speak you you? Just wondering.

  131. Beloved says:

    Reading through Proverbs today-
    15: 29The LORD never even hears
    the prayers of the wicked,
    but he answers the prayers
    of all who obey him.

    I think sometimes His answers are not how we would answer them. His ways are hard to understand when we are not privy to His reasons.

    Corrie ten Boom became very wise through suffering.

  132. Beloved says:

    Proverbs18:
    19Making up with a friend
    you have offended+
    is harder than breaking
    through a city wall.

  133. street says:

    thinking about light. created first, if there was going to be a visible manifestation of God. thinking created light and eternal light. building a house.

  134. street says:

    a house where love dwells in righteousness justice holiness grace and mercy.

  135. street says:

    When you open your heart and mind to the vastness of God, you realize that He cannot be contained by any boundary in all of the known universe. Only in the narrowness of your mind.

    steve

    thinking being emptied in order to receive the Spirit and Truth.

  136. poohpity says:

    Beloved, in answer to the assumption you made in your comment @2:45 pm June 25th—-do not assume you know what is in my heart towards Steve because you have no idea. I was discussing about love greater than an ink blot and what it looks like and knowing that there are many people that have a love greater than a ink blot for others so why assume that they don’t.

    As we have talked about before we see in others what we are in fact guilty of ourselves so we should go no farther than our own hearts and minds, the person in the mirror, seeing the shortcomings that lie there rather than assuming anything about someone else. Corrie Ten Boom looked within at her heart own condition towards the people that held them captive and knew that is where the Lord’s work had to start.

  137. foreverblessed says:

    Jeff, is everything OK?
    Praying for you, and your children.

    That was a great advice of Corrie ten Boom, thanks for that.

    That inwardly looking whether everything is ok, is what I learned, when I was young, introspection, in the weeks before the Passover, searching your heart:
    A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup 1 Cor 11:28
    It is very biblical so it seems, but maybe only a very short second, to see that we recognize the Body and Blood of the Lord. To see our shortcomings and see our need for the Cross..

    Now, Corrie and many others christian teachers say: Look to Jesus, there is nothing to see inside, only things that make you depressed. Look more to Jesus! There is the Source of all our Life, the fountain of Water, the Bread of life, the Door to everlasting life!

    Nothing to see inside, but great treasures in Jesus.
    The first time I read this advice, I felt such a relief!
    Of course, why look within, there is no fountain of life, but only in faith in Jesus.

  138. foreverblessed says:

    There was one more advice:
    “Discernment is God’s call to intercession, never to faultfinding.”

    Corrie Ten Boom
    Oswald Chambers preaches the same thing. When we have a friendly relationship within a christian community, we can give certain advice. But after having done that a thousand times, maybe it is time to only pray! Intercessory prayer! Not fault finding.

  139. foreverblessed says:

    Again I want to point out that Mart looks to the immense ocean of God’s love.
    In a time when a person who is mourning could look to an ocean of grief.
    “Your billows rolled over me”
    But God is greater than our grief.
    From Him are the fountains of life. In the Utmost there was a picture of a waterfall, yesterday, the Niagara’s, imagine how much water comes pouring down, and even that is a dim measure of God’s love, and Grace. Just go there and stand there, I tell myself, so to speak!

  140. Beloved says:

    Good morning friends. I’ve only read the previous post but wanted to share the comfort I received from the LORD.

    Psalm94 11The LORD knows people’s thoughts;
    he knows they are worthless!
    12Joyful are those you discipline, LORD,
    those you teach with your instructions.
    13You give them relief from troubled times
    until a pit is dug to capture the wicked.
    14The LORD will not reject his people;
    he will not abandon his special possession.
    15Judgment will again be founded on justice,
    and those with virtuous hearts will pursue it.

  141. Beloved says:

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

  142. Beloved says:

    I was wondering how Chris and Regina are?

  143. street says:

    Lord, who can measure Your mighty deeds?

    scripture union 6/27/21

  144. Beloved says:

    Closing prayer
    Lord, I want to be one who follows after You with my whole heart. Teach me to serve You more fully. SU

  145. poohpity says:

    Lord help me as you did Paul so I fall to my knees in worship of you because you gave Him a glimpse of the very love you have for me and for all mankind. I know when I come to realize that it will change my relationship with you and with others. I pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen!

  146. Beloved says:

    Looking To Jesus

    Hebrews 12:2

    It is always the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus. But Satan’s work is just the opposite; he is constantly trying to make us look at ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, “Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you do not have the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold on Jesus.” All these are thoughts about self, and we will never find comfort or assurance by looking within.

    But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that Christ is everything. Remember, therefore, it is not your hold of Christ that saves you–it is Christ; it is not your joy in Christ that saves you–it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, although that is the instrument–it is Christ’s blood and merits.

    Therefore, do not look so much to your hand with which you are grasping Christ as to Christ; do not look to your hope but to Jesus, the source of your hope; do not look to your faith, but to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of your faith.

    We will never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our deeds, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we are to overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking to Jesus.”

    Keep your eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession be fresh upon your mind. When you waken in the morning look to Him; when you lie down at night look to Him. Do not let your hopes or fears come between you and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail you.

    My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness:
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

    Spurgeon

  147. Beloved says:

    Rest In Your Love
    Song by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music and Marty Nystrom

    I will rest in Your love
    Put my trust in your goodness
    And set my thoughts on peaceful things above
    I will cast away my cares
    And find my joy in Your presence
    I will rest, I will rest in Your love) chorus

    Whom shall I fear, why should I worry?
    Your grace is enough for my need
    Your joy is my strength
    Your peace is my shelter
    You faithfully watch over me

    All of my doubts, all of my striving
    By faith I lay down at Your Throne
    Your Word is my shield, Your Spirit my power
    You tenderly care for Your own

    Whom shall I fear, why should I worry?
    Your grace is enough for my need
    Your joy is my strength
    Your peace is my shelter
    You faithfully watch over me

  148. poohpity says:

    Beloved you wrote, “But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that Christ is everything. Remember, therefore, it is not your hold of Christ that saves you–it is Christ; it is not your joy in Christ that saves you–it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, although that is the instrument–it is Christ’s blood and merits.”

    I have never heard before that the Holy Spirit tells us we are nothing nor many of the other things it says in that paragraph. If we are nothing then why has the Lord loved us so much that He laid down His life for us and pursued us through generations to have a relationship with Him? I do not know who wrote that but I would compare it to what scripture says then one might find it is twisted truths which are really not truth at all but a deception. I can not imagine the Lord saying to anyone He loves you are nothing that sure does sound more like the evil one.

  149. Beloved says:

    Charles Spurgeon wrote that. I’m not surprised you haven’t heard that before.

  150. Beloved says:

    I say that because Spurgeon was an 18th century preacher in England who led thousands to Christ. One of his students was Oswald Chambers. They were reformers who believe as John Calvin did. Calvinists who teach divine election. That only the elect are saved. Not everyone believes as they do. I know you don’t read others’ teaching from the Bible so I’m sure it’s sounds evil to you unless the Holy Spirit tells you otherwise, right? Pat said she is not a Calvinist. Not many here are actually.

    Good night

  151. Beloved says:

    When the ocean disappears…

    A New Heaven and a New Earth
    (Isaiah 65:17–25)

    1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,a for the first heaven and earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

    3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying:

    “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man,
    and He will dwell with them.
    They will be His people,
    and God Himself will be with them as their God.b
    4‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,’c
    and there will be no more death
    or mourning or crying or pain,
    for the former things have passed away.”
    5And the One seated on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are faithful and true.” 6And He told me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give freely from the spring of the water of life. 7The one who overcomes will inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son.

  152. foreverblessed says:

    We are nothing…

    When I came to a deeper faith, 26 years ago, I remember that I didn’t like it when christians would say that.
    We are nothing….
    I thought this: God made us, He wanted is, there must be some good in us.
    When a christian teacher would say: everything that is not of God in us, must leave. And that is only possible through Jesus.
    “He must become greater and I must become less” John 3:30
    There is some good in us, that is what I thought.

    But maybe I did not understand fully, and still do not really: that with the fall of man we were lost. How lost we are.
    It is done and over with.
    All that is in Adam has no part of heaven,
    Jesus said it in a different way:
    “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” John 3:3
    Nicodemus does not understand it, Jesus says it again, in other words:
    “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God”

    All in Adam are lost, the Fall of men is immense.
    All are dust, says the Old Testament,
    Dust…like saying: we are nothing…..
    Dust is something, it is matter, and we are walking here on earth, living building our societies, but nothing of anything we are can enter heaven, and in That sense, we are nothing.

    We contrasted with Jesus, Who is everything.
    We are nothing He is everything
    Considering the Spiritual Life that comes from Jesus

  153. foreverblessed says:

    Psalm 103:14
    He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.
    As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field, the wind blows over it and it is gone, and it’s place remember it no more.

    We are dust. Is dust something or nothing?
    Dust is matter, atomns, created by God, so it is something.
    But it is there and soon gone.
    And in the eternal value: it is nothing.

    So in that sense Surgeon is right

  154. foreverblessed says:

    A voice says: “Cry out”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”

    “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.”

    Oh, so we are something: we are like flowers!

  155. foreverblessed says:

    But the voice had to cry out a little more:

    “The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
    The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God stands forever”.
    Isaiah 40:6-8
    1 Peter 1:23-25
    And this is the word that was preached to you.

    So, ok, we are like grass, and like flowers.

    The breath of the Lord goes over it and we are withered.
    Do we not agree with Gods solution?
    Can He just not water us, and make us grow?

  156. foreverblessed says:

    Studying the Body and Blood of Jesus, had made a deeper impression on me:
    God saw that Adam fell, and mankind was lost. God does not make men better, He does not give us guidelines to follow so that we will become acceptable to Him. Make sensible people put of us, through rules that we have to keep. We keep them and then God might say: ok, good enough, you can enter heaven.
    Nothing that is of the flesh can enter heaven.

    No, God has another solution:
    He gives Jesus a Body
    “A body You have prepared for Me” says Hebrews 10:5
    The incarnation,

    And in that Body, Jesus carries all that is on Adam to the Cross, ( when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself John 12:32) all mankind is drawn into the Body of Christ, and put on the Cross, and they die with Him.
    Maybe it is that vision that Thomas Aquinas saw.
    That is the sentence of God on all that is in Adam: death on the Cross, and into the tomb.
    The end of all that is in Adam.
    None of Adam can enter in heaven.
    It is over,
    The grass withers, the flowers fall.

    That is why Jesus is called the Last Adam.

    Are we something? Nothing of us can enter heaven.

    But thanks be to God,
    To bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord
    Romans 5:21
    And so we can be raised with Christ.
    Romans 6:4
    We were therefore buried with Him through baptism (the water) into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

    The birth from above,
    For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God
    For,
    “All men are like grass,
    and all their glory is like the flower of the field,
    the grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of the Lord stands for ever.”

    And this is the word that was preached to you.
    1 Peter 1:23-25

  157. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Foreverblessed. Whereas I don’t want to spend too much time here this morning, I see that you are “thinking”.

    Certainly all of my life I have heard the statement, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…” as we buried our loved ones and friends with the “hope” of their returning from the dust of the earth with new glorified bodies.

    That is the hope we have placed in believing and trusting Jesus.

    Praying your day is filled with Him and His blessings.

    Steve

  158. street says:

    We contrasted with Jesus, Who is everything.
    We are nothing He is everything
    Considering the Spiritual Life that comes from Jesus

    2 Corinthians 8:9
    For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

  159. poohpity says:

    Beloved, FYI rather than assuming I do not read outside of scripture it is better to ask what authors I do read outside of scripture because I do read outside of scripture. My favorite is A.W. Tozer but reading the bible keeps me pretty grounded and busy it is after all a big book but I do also read people I respect for commentary but I do not depend on them for my foundation I depend on God’s Word for discernment as to whether someone is teaching what He taught.

    As to whether I am a Calvinist, I am not however I am a follower of the Way and His teaching. I do not go into all the different categories or types of believers to me it is nonsense or a nonstarter meant to cause division just as different religions do as well. I started this relationship with the Lord with Him putting a desire in my heart for His Word/word before I read anything else so I have a solid ground to compare what anyone else teaches to scripture.

    To me it is like in the garden when God told Adam and Eve one thing, then the Devil told them another, then they even twisted what God said to be another thing. Thankfully they did have the solid foundation of what God actually said. People can and will be lead astray if they do not compare what others tell them to what God has said.

    HOWEVER I do believe in the concept of “NOTHING”. As in there is “NOTHING” I can do to earn God’s Love or separate me from it because He is faithful even when I am not(Romans 8:31-39 NLT) AND there is “Nothing” I can do to earn salvation except to believe in who Jesus is and believe He was raised from the dead then I will be saved. Romans 10:9-10 NLT

  160. poohpity says:

    So I would come away with the idea that we are something to the Lord if He did everything to ensure that we would spend eternity with Him. He valued human kind so much He never gave up on us and pursued us with an everlasting love that makes every one of you of much value to God. So do not let anyone tell you that you are nothing because to God you are of much value and worth. Jesus said, “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” If Jesus said it I believe it above what Spurgeon or Chambers says.

  161. street says:

    thinking of the new birth. new/Holy Spirit and abundant life in Christ by the Holy Spirit and Truth.

    born of the water and the blood.

    25 Truly, truly, I say to you, a time is coming and even now has arrived, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not be amazed at this; for a time is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come out: those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the bad deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

  162. street says:

    our Glory, worth/value, is in Christ and His Spirit in us. the branch abiding in The Vine. we can not even claim value or worth as ours since it is given to us freely to those who ask and believe.

    thinking of a branch separated from the vine.

    a world separated from God.

    “My Kingdom is not of this world,” Jesus

    yet we find streams of living water in the desert

    Shepard required.

  163. Beloved says:

    Yes it requires a Shepherd to understand how needy we are.

    Spurgeon has helped me so much putting words to my experience with Christ. Yet I hear His voice often. So thankful.

    I apologize I’m not good at explaining things without assuming or judging even and never have been. So thankful for those with the God given ability to do so. I shut my mouth. And stick to scripture and personal testimony. Thank you Street for bringing Light to many conversations.

  164. poohpity says:

    Just something to think about where and from what source do you think that Spurgeon or Chambers get what they write about? So if the bible is good enough for them why is it not good enough for you and I? Why depend on second or third or fourth hand information and not find out for yourself? I bet there would be much more unity if we relied on the Good Teacher to teach us together.

  165. Beloved says:

    Mark 10:18“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good.

  166. Beloved says:

    Maclarens comments on Mark 10:18

    “So our Lord’s closing words in this context apply, not only to the immediately preceding question by the disciples, but may be taken as the great truth conveyed by the whole incident, Man’s efforts can never put him in possession of eternal life. He must have God’s power flowing into him if he is to be such as can enter the kingdom. It is the germ of the subsequent teaching of Paul; ‘The gift of God is eternal life.’ What we cannot do, Christ has done for us, and does in us. We must yield ourselves to Him, and surrender ourselves, and abandon what stands between us and Him, and then eternal life will enter into us here, and we shall enter into its perfect possession hereafter.”

  167. Beloved says:

    Pooh I think for the glory of God alone it’s best I don’t discuss scripture with you.

  168. Beloved says:

    Please pray for families, victims and rescue workers at the collapsed condo in Florida. I’ve been watching and praying often since this happened. Over 100 still buried.
    When my son died it took firefighters 4 hours before they could recover his body because the fire was so intense. I understand that horror of waiting… praying for any still alive under the rubble. We know Jesus cares.

  169. street says:

    Just something to think about where and from what source do you think that Spurgeon or Chambers get what they write about? So if the bible is good enough for them why is it not good enough for you and I? Why depend on second or third or fourth hand information and not find out for yourself? I bet there would be much more unity if we relied on the Good Teacher to teach us together.

    good observation! this is why Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to His follower/believers. i am finding out that as i take Jesus Word more seriously i have to take the Holy Spirit more seriously too. They are One.

    as for spurgeon chambers or dehaan they take me places i would not go normally or look into. even so God has not left me an orphan and has given the Spirit of Truth, the world could never accept. The Spirit, to guide and illuminate The Way. trust and dependence is the way forward, do not lean on your own intellect or understanding. paul counted everything he had as a lose in comparison to knowing Christ. we are grafted in to flourish in the wilderness.

    yes poo writings are not Cannon, but by the Spirit and Truth we can enjoy the fruits of their labor and in the future rejoice together. so looking forward to this. peter james john paul ……..and so many others through the past 21 millenniums. did i forget the saints of the old testament? they are treasures too.

  170. poohpity says:

    Beloved you do not discuss scripture with me as it is you copy what someone else has said in regards to scripture and when I try to discuss it you give attitude. We all are students forever learning until we go home to be with the Lord.

    street please do not call me “poo” that is another name for feces unless that is what you are calling me. My screen name is pooh like “Winnie the Pooh” or Deb or Deborah not your short cut which is totally disrespectful by it’s meaning. I call you by your screen name please call me by mine or my given name.

  171. foreverblessed says:

    It is all about the glory of God.

    When I left my childhood church, I was in a depressed state. I was really hurting. Someone gave me a book: “the purpose driven life” a forty day step. Someone thought to be helpful to me.
    The first day had this message:

    “It’s not about you”

    And that really turned me of. It was not about me, it was all about God.
    I put the book aside.

    It was all about me, at that time, I was in shambles, and had to be fixed. I was a patient who needed care, so to speak.
    Like Hagar, in the wilderness, God came to her rescue, and she called the place:

    “the God Who sees me”

    God Who sees us.
    God, Who saw me, and comforted me, very closely. The Holy Spirit came to me as a Comforter, the Comforter of my soul.

    It’s all about the glory of God. Is that statement wrong?
    What is the glory of God?
    That’s why I decided to stay here, because Mart was always seeking the nuance, he would discuss the matter from many sides
    Mart is in charge here, not a participator who cannot see the nuance.

  172. foreverblessed says:

    Oh yes, I have prayed for these people in Florida, what a tragedy! And what a tragedy that was in your life!
    Is God able to save us? Is God capable of fixing hurting people?
    Is He our Savior, has He put us back on our feet?
    “He makes my feet like that of a deer”
    Is that the glory of God?

    May God be the One Who sees us.

  173. foreverblessed says:

    And by the way, the message of Utmost is this one today:
    About Matthew 5:25

    “Agree with your adversary quickly….” Have you suddenly reached a certain place in your relationship with someone, only to find that you have anger in your heart? Confess it quickly— make it right before God. Be reconciled to that person— do it now!

  174. poohpity says:

    Forever what does that say about a person when they put down a book because they find out that life is not about them?

  175. Beloved says:

    No stranger to the realism of what you and I experience, Paul believed we are living in something greater than the ocean and more wonderful than the cosmos. His prayers for others were penned with the confidence that the Spirit of Pentecost who raised Jesus from his Passover death can assure us that the endless breadth and depth of such an ocean, and such an all-powerful, all-knowing, ever- loving Father, is more than wishful thinking and poetic license.

    Thinking about the joys of living a life of wonder and discovery.

  176. street says:

    dear pity for your heart is not right before God. 22 Therefore, repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart will be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of unrighteousness.”

    thinking about the intention of the heart. thinking about paul and the one who made him sorrowful is it not the same one who makes him joyful?

    2 Corinthians 2:3
    This is the very thing I wrote you, so that when I came, I would not have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice; having confidence in you all that my joy was the joy of you all.

    God still gives life to the dead. the Resurrected Christ confirms this. doesn’t matter how big the stone is over the grave, it will be moved. valley of dry bones.

  177. Beloved says:

    “Christ has put the cup of His love and grace to the believer’s lip and invited him him to drink of it forever;”
    Spurgeon Morning and Evening June 30

  178. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Pooh, it says the same thing about a person who cannot hear that we are nothing and Jesus is everything.
    An old man that hasn’t died yet.

  179. foreverblessed says:

    Nevertheless, God did not give me a reprimand, no, as I said: He comforted me, He showed me how much He loved me. He told me the Gospel: God so loved the world, that He have His only begotten Son, that whoso believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

  180. Beloved says:

    In Sunday school we talked about how to get across to unbelievers the sovereignty of God. Someone suggested sharing about how a “landLord” is sovereign over the house, property, maybe furnishings if so provided. Rent is to be paid to the landlord as well as atonement for damages, late fees etc. all according to the laws of the land. The next step would be to share how Jesus paid for all the “sins” of the renter and that God is building a new and permanent Home for those who desire redemption. The Holy Spirit would have to bring this to Fruition of course.

    Forever, I like how you remind us of the comfort the Holy Spirit brings when we confess our sin or suffer. Paul says we comfort each other with the comfort we have received in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

  181. Beloved says:

    2Corinthians1:3-7God Offers Comfort to All
    3All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.

  182. poohpity says:

    street when someone says of another, “dear pity for your heart is not right before God.” is that putting yourself in place of God who is actually the only one who truly knows the heart of a person? What does that say about you?

    Dear forever as long as you are speaking of yourself regarding “an old man hasn’t died yet” then I would say very good to look within rather than at another but if you were directing that at me, again what does that say about you.

    Where is the Christ focus?

  183. poohpity says:

    Didn’t Jesus give His everything for us because He valued us? So if we are nothing then Jesus gave His everything for nothing.

  184. poohpity says:

    This is where my heart is and what I believe;

    “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Col 3:12 NLT

    Does that sound anything like what you believe or how you act?

  185. Beloved says:

    Uffdah

  186. street says:

    from dust you came to dust you shall return.
    thinking about scales in the market place. the dust on the scales is considered nothing.

    thinking we are worm food before we become devil’s food, dust.

    thinking of all the things the Lord has done to get me to this place typing on this pc and posting. I guess if you wrote everything down the universe could not contain it all, but here we are. looking to Jesus for the easy and light yoke.

  187. Beloved says:

    Dust
    Just learned two children ages 4&10 were pulled from the rubble, dead. How loved these children once were a week ago…now gone. We need Jesus to help all of us through these difficult times. He is able.

    The psalmist says God is merciful because He knows what we are made of, and that like a flower we wither and die. Perspective is needed, I see grace and mercy flowing from Jesus’ bloody side. He did this for me! Amazing.

  188. Beloved says:

    Who Am I
    Song by Casting Crowns

    Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
    Would care to know my name
    Would care to feel my hurt
    Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
    Would choose to light the way
    For my ever wandering heart

    Not because of who I am
    But because of what You’ve done
    Not because of what I’ve done
    But because of who You are

    I am a flower quickly fading
    Here today and gone tomorrow
    A wave tossed in the ocean (ocean)
    A vapor in the wind
    Still You hear me when I’m calling
    Lord, You catch me when I’m falling
    And You’ve told me who I am…
    I am Yours, I am Yours

    Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
    Would look on me with love and watch me rise again
    Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
    Would call out through the rain
    And calm the storm in me

    Not because of who I am
    But because of what You’ve done
    Not because of what I’ve done
    But because of who You are

  189. Beloved says:

    but because of who You are….

    Who are You, God?

    Isaiah 55:6-9
    6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

    7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.
    Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

    8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

    9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    His thoughts and ways are higher? Yes! This blog is about the incomparable love of God. Not how we think of Him as like ourselves but as the truly amazing and different-from-us God who delights in mercy and who desires us as well!

    Remembering when Saul was struck down by a bright Light asking Jesus “Who are you, LORD? “ I think it was then He realized Who Isaiah was talking about. Jesus didn’t condemn Him just stated the facts (Why are you persecuting me?)

    Could we with ink the ocean fill…. Nope not possible to comprehend because we are finite but we can trust Him to reveal daily more to us about His ways. If we dare ask, that is.

  190. street says:

    thinking of the return of Jesus to the Fsther and the joy that ensued. we can return with joy too because of what the Father has accomplished in the Son and continues with the Holy Spirit.

    thinking of voices. could you recognize the voice of the Lord in a crowd? thinking of the, law and the prophets, and balaam’s donkey. yet it is recorded God spoke to balaam directly as what to speak over Israel?

    Psalm 100:4
    Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

  191. street says:

    Matthew 7:11
    So if you, despite being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

  192. foreverblessed says:

    To those who ask Him…
    I shared here how I felt 25 years ago, depressed and down and out.
    But I prayed to Jesus, and He answered, He did not say: how have you distorted my Word. No, because I had already told Him how I had misunderstood His Word, and that I didn’t have a clue, but that He knows all.

    Jesus came to me, with love.
    There is a verse in the Song of Solomon:
    His banner over me was love.

    The Grace of God that was poured over me, that Grace I can stand in.
    And with that grace, I can meet others who come on my path.
    With everything good that comes from God!
    Nothing to see inside me, only dirt, and sin, and I can give that to Jesus, He has carried it on the Cross.
    But He not only carried my sin on the Cross, He carried me on the Cross….
    Because all that is in Adam, cannot be in heaven.
    He carried me to the Cross, so that the New Life that is in the Son, can flow through me.
    Even as small as it starts, it will grow

    I must become less, He must become more. John 3:30

  193. foreverblessed says:

    So now I am His,
    And what does He ask of me?

    “Simon, son of John, do you truly love Me, more than these?
    That of all that I am, I love Him with all my heart and soul and mind, and with all my intent.
    Love Jesus first, and He is so full of love,
    As this blog is about, how vast God’s love is, incomprehensible.

    “And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
    And Paul adds something more to it:
    “Honour one another above yourselves” Rom 12:10

    Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord.

    There it is again, in all we do, as if we do it to Jesus, for Jesus, with Jesus.
    “As you have done it to the least of them, you have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:40
    “I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came and visited Me”

    This may sound as helping poor people, but poor is also in the sense of spiritual poor…
    Poor in the love of God, people who need a warm coat of love, people who need love and encouragement, and who lash out towards anybody around them. They need love.

    God knows how,
    And now I can say: it is all about God, He knows
    It is not about me, oh no, I wouldn’t have a clue!
    But look at the Ocean of love of God.

    Or otherwise look at the Waterfall, the picture of Utmost of June 26, put myself under that flow of water
    That’s how much He loved me, even when I was way off, and misinterpreted His Word. His Grace healed me.

    Sorry for ranting on and on. May we all stand in that Waterfall of His love.

  194. foreverblessed says:

    There was just a thought that came in:

    When we say: do unto others as if you did it into Jesus.
    Evil intentions of that command could be like this:
    Oh so you mean: only Jesus counts, others count for nothing?

    So only if you see Jesus in them they are worth while, out of themselves they are worth nothing.

  195. foreverblessed says:

    I should be very very careful how I use scripture here.
    It says nowhere in the bible:
    Do unto others as if you did it to Jesus.

    Jesus phrased it like this:
    Whatever you did for one of the least of the brothers of Mine, you did it into Me.
    Matthew 25:40

    When we have been birthed from above, this is what happens:
    Our hearts of stone have changed into hearts of flesh, in other words: our hearts are softened.
    That is the work of the Holy Spirit.

    God understands that our hearts had turned hard, because of the fall of men. All of us have missed the love we needed from our fellowmen.

    But God loved us before we were born, before He had created the universe He knew us. That is incomprehensible too.
    Just as the immenseness of His Love.

    His love, warming our hearts, and they glow, and spread love.
    Just because of Jesus, He is everything.
    He is the love that flows out of our hearts.

  196. foreverblessed says:

    And then when I think I understand it, then something more comes up:
    Jesus asked Peter if he loved Jesus.
    It seems as if Jesus turns it around:
    He asks: do you love Me?
    And out of the overflow of our love for Jesus we love others.
    “Feed My lambs”

    Now, there can be given evil intent too, to this command of Jesus.
    “Oh, so you really don’t love others, you only love Jesus. Others don’t count.”

    There is only one remedy:
    I have to have my eyes on Jesus.
    The full and overflowing love He has.
    That I trust Him that it changes my heart, I love Him back, and the overflow goes to my neighbor.

    Look to Me and be saved. Isaiah 45:22
    Isaiah 45:22

  197. poohpity says:

    forever, Amen and Amen!

  198. Beloved says:

    The reproving and rebuking Paul taught I believe is for those who profess Christ but choose to live like hell! You can say- go to Jesus but they have no clue or desire to actually do that unless confronted. The man reproved for sleeping with his female family member in Corinth is one example. The Church of Christ is visible to show Gods glory. Obviously the tares need instruction constantly or the disruptions would ruin the church. Yet Jesus said to let them stay!! Now I’m not talking about leadership that’s another thing altogether as false shepherds are under strong rebuke from the Lord and have stricter guidelines for conduct (Timothy) and judgement. See how much God loves?! With justice mercy and humility.

    Now regarding personal devotion there is none better than to sit at Jesus feet and learn then go do. Just as Jesus went away to the hills or desert to commune with the Father after a hard day of living among the populace so should we all. Only Jesus knows the way to God our Abba.

    Shalom of Christ to you. That peace that passes all understanding.

  199. poohpity says:

    It seems Mart’s eyes were opened to the realization that, “Acutely aware that the sufferings of life as we know it can blind us to a greater hope and realism”. The scars, struggles, disappointments, discouragement and suffering that happen in this life can either lead us to God or can lead us away from Him, that it seems is a choice we are confronted with everyday. “Faith can move mountains but doubt can cause them”

  200. poohpity says:

    How can we even begin to call what God created in His image NOTHING? “So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” We may live life with nothing or leave this life with nothing or do nothing with what we are given but God created what is good and gave mankind purpose sadly many never ask God nor do they really care what is their purpose in this flesh, so their life amounts to nothing without God. He gives us everything we need to traverse mountains, valleys, rocky places, smooth places and the wilderness experiences holding us close for those who let Him. That is our choice.

  201. Beloved says:

    Israel As A Worm.
    By John Piper

    “ First, then, God’s people are in the condition of a worm: “Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel!” What did God mean when he called his servant, his chosen one, his beloved, a worm? There are two other places in the Bible where this word refers to man. In Job 25:4–6 Bildad says to Job, “How can man be righteous before God? How can he who is born of woman be clean? Behold, even the moon is not bright and the stars not clean in his sight; how much less man, who is a maggot, and the son of man, who is a worm!” The least we can say from this passage is that one meaning the term “worm” has when applied to man is that he is unclean, unrighteous, unacceptable to God. The image is used probably because worms are dirty not only on the outside, but they are filled with dirt.
    The other passage is Psalm 22:6 where the psalmist cries out, “I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men, and despised by the people.” Here the focus is not on the condition of filth but on the way worms are treated: they are scorned by men and despised.”

  202. Beloved says:

    From Got Questions dot org

    It’s fascinating to look at the Hebrew word translated “worm” in Isaiah 41:14. In Hebrew it is tola, and it can be properly translated in two ways: either as “worm” or as “scarlet material.” The context determines the meaning. In Lamentations 4:5, a form of the same word refers to fine scarlet clothing.

    The “worm” in question is usually identified as the Coccus ilicis, an insect that was used in ancient times to make scarlet dye. When a female “scarlet worm” is ready to have young, it permanently attaches itself to the trunk of a tree and lays its eggs. The insect then dies and in death turns crimson, staining the surrounding wood scarlet as well. The dead bodies of these insects were then collected and the scarlet fluid extracted; the resulting brilliant dye was prized for coloring fabric and thread.

    The book of Exodus uses forms of the word tola over twenty times, almost always in the sense of “crimson” or “scarlet.” Scarlet was one of the colors in the curtains of the tabernacle (Exodus 26:1); in the veil separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies (verse 31); and in the garments of the priests (Exodus 28:5–6). In each of these cases, scarlet is symbolic of the blood of the sacrifice.

    Significantly, the word tola is also found Psalm 22:6, a messianic psalm. Here, the Messiah says, “But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people,” and goes on to describe His pierced hands and feet (verse 16), the mockery of the onlookers (verse 7), and the gambling over His clothing (verse 18). Like the little “crimson worm,” the Messiah was deemed frail, lowly, and insignificant. “He made himself nothing” (Philippians 2:7). Like the “crimson worm,” Jesus hung from a tree, stained the wood crimson, and died giving life to others.

    I’d never studied “worm” in depth before- very interesting! I don’t know Hebrew but to study as the native language of the Torah is so fun!

  203. street says:

    my Glory, worth/value, is in the One Who died for me, apart from Him, I am nothing. thinking of the word devoted.

  204. Beloved says:

    Does God see when we sin? If not then why all the hullabaloo about rebuke reproof and putting away sin? Why try to be holy as He is? Sin is ugly to God. He hates it.

    I recall being told that God only sees me through Christ because of His atoning for my sins. I recall hearing that to God I’m a new and different person than I once was. But my proclivity to sin nagged and nagged at me until I realized it’s all about Christ and not about me. He saved a wretch like me but while in the body I’m still sin prone and decaying- wretched like any worm. I’ll be dry bones in a cemetery one day; or ashes maybe. Sin will destroy my body yet my soul and Spirit will by Gods grace live forever in a sinless state and atmosphere, the Kingdom of our great God. Gods new creation.

  205. SFDBWV says:

    I was wondering about the poor mental patient who wrote the poem in pencil from memory on the wall of his cell.

    Wondering if he was wondering where the love of God was for him, locked in a cell in mental anguish.

    Loreena McKennitt sings a song called “Dante’s Prayer”, in it she sings, the lyrics in part, “Remember me”.

    When the simplest of our prayers go unanswered it is one small step to wondering where God is in my situation. We read in His Word to ask and so we ask.

    But when nothing changes or gets worse we are left to wondering why.

    Some attempt at reasoning from what we think is God’s view, may help a little, but still we are left to wondering.

    Then perhaps left to holding on to that last thread of hope in our hearts.
    Perhaps just like the poor mental patient Mart has written of.

    Steve

  206. Beloved says:

    2Corinthians5

  207. street says:

    thinking about the Psalm’s. some are indeed joyful and abundant in Praise and Thanksgiving. other deep in sorrow and suffering with petitions. it is in these petitions we some times miss the hope that is in the cry of the petitioner. for they are calling on the One Who Hears and Sees correctly. in the end Jesus said into Your Hands I commit My Spirit. then He gave up His Spirit. This the Spirit believers receive from God at the new birth.

    to be conformed to Christ, in Spirit and Truth, The Word of God.

    thinking of rhoda so happy and no one believing her in Acts 12……..you just can’t make this up.

    thinking about the refining process. heated up and then cooled down, heated up and then cooled down. i did not know this, just as the heating separates the dross from the silver, the cooling process does too. it is repeated till finished. this might help explain the mountains and the valleys. not being punished like job’s accuser believed. thinking of paul’s momentary and light afflictions. also the reminder that we are not to suffer because of sin in us.

  208. street says:

    God never stopped loving His Children in Christ Jesus. nor will He ever.

  209. Beloved says:

    I think that when prayer is not answered what matters is am I still devoted to Him?

  210. Beloved says:

    Our brother Job said “Though He slay me yet will I serve Him”. I think power to stay and to serve comes from God. Either we know Him or we don’t.

  211. Beloved says:

    street says:
    July 2, 2021 at 12:21 pm
    God never stopped loving His Children in Christ Jesus. nor will He ever.

    Thank you for the reminder street.

  212. Beloved says:

    Steve I believe you are on to something!

  213. poohpity says:

    I think one thing we learn from scripture is that everyone faces some types of battles or storms in our lives, in some form or another. God seems to either take the battles or storm away and others times gives us the help we need to get through them no matter how He deals with the battles or storms He is right there with us and for us. Love does not mean to always take the pain, struggles, sorrow and trials away because often it is in them we learn the most. Our hearts can either get hard and bitter or they soften and we learn to let go of control and depend on God more.

    To me it seems that is what Mart was trying to get us to think about especially using Paul and all the things he went through (2 Cor 11:24-28 NLT) and then for him to write Eph 3:14-21 NLT now that is one who has put his trust in the Lord not the circumstance that surrounded him but in God’s love.

  214. poohpity says:

    Paul did not even mention in the Corinthian passage that He had also prayed many time for the Lord to take away whatever illness he had but the Lord told him His strength was made perfect in weakness and His grace was enough. What would you come away with if God told you “no” in answer to your prayers, bitterness or blessing?

  215. poohpity says:

    So we could either be like Job and question God’s love or like Paul who embraced God’s love even though he did not fully realize how big it was. It would seem the difference in them both was Job did not have the Holy Spirit as Paul did when they went through trials. Having the help of the Holy Spirit it changes how we look at God, life, circumstances and our world.

  216. Beloved says:

    1 Corinthians 3:16-17
    16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

    Pretty harsh words but comforting nonetheless.

  217. Beloved says:

    7 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

  218. poohpity says:

    Paul Harvey wrote in 1964;

    If I Were the DevilIf I were the Prince of Darkness I would want to engulf the whole earth in darkness.

    I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree.

    So I should set about however necessary, to take over the United States.

    I would begin with a campaign of whispers.

    With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whispers to you as I whispered to Eve, “Do as you please.”

    To the young I would whisper “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that “man created God,” instead of the other way around. I would confide that “what is bad is good and what is good is square.”

    In the ears of the young married I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be “extreme” in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct.

    And the old I would teach to pray — to say after me — “Our father which are in Washington.”

    Then I’d get organized.

    I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull, uninteresting.

    I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies, and vice-versa.

    I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing, less work. Idle hands usually work for me.

    I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could, I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction, I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

    If I were the Devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions; let those run wild.

    I’d designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts and I’d get preachers to say, “She’s right.”

    With flattery and promises of power I would get the courts to vote against God and in favor of pornography.

    Thus I would evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, then from the Houses of Congress.

    Then in his own churches I’d substitute psychology for religion and deify science.

    If I were Satan I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg

    And the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

    If I were the Devil I’d take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. Then my police state would force everybody back to work.

    Then I would separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines and objectors in slave-labor camps.

    If I were Satan I’d just keep doing what I’m doing and the whole world go to hell as sure as the Devil.

  219. Beloved says:

    Verse of the Day
    Proverbs 14:34
    Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

  220. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you so much for sharing Steve.
    I was just watching Hour of Power, and it is about, the raven…
    And he starts talking about Job.
    The story of Job,
    He just had two choices in the great ordeal:

    Curse God and die Job 2:9

    Or

    Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him. Job 13:15

    What his advice was: don’t ask the question: why
    Just do the next thing that is righteous to do, and God is saying trust Me, trust Me, telling about the Universe,
    How He cannot explain to a “worm” what all He is doing.

    Trust God, what else can we do?
    Maybe praise God?!!!

  221. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Foreverblessed. I always look forward to seeing you and Viv in the morning when I get my little time at the computer.

    I do hope Viv is alright.

    Job had what is considered everything taken away from him. Even the deaths of his children. Interesting in that he still had his wife. She unscathed.

    It seems easy for me to not care about one’s self, but very uneasy when we turn our care to the wellbeing of a loved one.

    I wonder how differently Job’s attitude might have been if it were his wife who suffered the boils and physical pain inflicted upon him.

    If his health was fine, but hers in pain and suffering.

    It seems to me trusting God in our mysteries is far more intense when our suffering is because of the suffering of another.

    It is written that faith is a gift. I think God not only provides us our faith, but anoints and empowers our abilities to do the task He has set before us. Our purpose, our cross to bear.

    Somehow believing that in the end of all things all those tears and heartache and suffering was worth it.

    Trusting what is in our hearts, not what we see, hear or bear.

    Steve

  222. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, Steve, good to hear from you too.
    Faith
    Even if it is very very small..
    A very very little bit of faith,
    Not of ourselves, but it is given to us.

    Lord, I believe, help me my unbelief.
    Mark 9

  223. foreverblessed says:

    When I was really very very sick, and nausea was almost unbearable, I was thinking:
    would I rather have this myself, than see my loved one suffering this?

  224. foreverblessed says:

    I also do hope that Viv is alright!

  225. poohpity says:

    How many people want to be the savior of another rather than pointing them to God? It would seem if one does not trust in God then odds are they will not point others to trust in God. Helping another to see how big the love of God is, one would have to know of it and believe themselves before they point others to Him.

    A common theme from both Job and Paul is they both pointed those around them to God because of their own faith. Job said, “Then Job’s wife said to him, “Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die!” “You speak as a foolish woman speaks,” he told her. “Should we accept from God only good and not adversity?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.”

    Paul said, “Now we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this surpassingly great power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

  226. Beloved says:

    Jobs poor wife also lost all of her children and their families, as well as watching the physical suffering of her husband reduce him to a mess of sores (untouchable probably) sitting on an ash heap. Kind of reminds me of hell.

  227. Beloved says:

    Jobs wife was sinning though by not trusting Gods goodness as per Jobs response. Thinking we all have a choice in suffering as to how we respond to God.

  228. Beloved says:

    I was just thinking about communion last Sunday and the suffering Christ went through for all.

  229. Beloved says:

    I do enjoy watching others interact here.

  230. Beloved says:

    Song written by a guy from Cincinnati around the turn or the century (20th) we sang today.

    I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever,
    I will sing, I will sing;
    What a mercy that I am in the church forever;
    I will sing of the mercies of the Lord.
    With my mouth will I make known
    Thy faithfulness, Thy faithfulness,
    With my mouth will I make known
    Thy faithfulness to all generations.
    2
    I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever,
    I will sing, I will sing;
    What a mercy that I am in the church forever;
    I will sing of the mercies of the Lord.

  231. foreverblessed says:

    I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever;
    with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.
    Psalm 89:1

  232. foreverblessed says:

    In Latin that sounds like:

    Misericordias Domini
    Cantabo in aeternum

    Mozart has written a beautiful piece of music with only these words. Our choir is studying it now.
    And the words are repeated over and over again, and every time with a slight change of the chords. It is just a wonderful praise song, and I love it.

    The word:
    Miseri- cordias

    The loving kindness, the mercies,
    But it has miseri in it.
    The misère, God is very merciful involved in our misery

    Cordia with miseri…

  233. Beloved says:

    It’s very beautiful forever I’ve heard it from Taize. Are you playing your flute?

  234. Beloved says:

    I listened to Tozer on YouTube “The Narrow Way” and am struck by how merciful God is and it motivates me more to work harder against my besetting sin. Narrow indeed. Weak beggar. Just the kind that follows Jesus I understand.

  235. street says:

    Interesting in that he still had his wife. She unscathed.

    Job had what is considered everything taken away from him. Even the deaths of his children. Interesting in that he still had his wife. She unscathed.

    thinking of the Bridegroom and the Bride….

    4 However, it was our sicknesses that He Himself bore,
    And our pains that He carried;
    Yet we ourselves assumed that He had been afflicted,
    Struck down by God, and humiliated.
    5 But He was pierced for our offenses,
    He was crushed for our wrongdoings;
    The punishment for our well-being was laid upon Him,
    And by His wounds we are healed.
    6 All of us, like sheep, have gone astray,
    Each of us has turned to his own way;
    But the Lord has caused the wrongdoing of us all
    To fall on Him. Isaiah 53:4-6

    18 All the kings of the nations lie in glory,
    Each in his own tomb.
    19 But you have been hurled out of your tomb
    Like a rejected branch, Isaiah 14:18-19

  236. foreverblessed says:

    A little while ago, I was searching for a Bible passage which I knew exists, the mighty of the earth, the rulers, dictators the ones that had power over lots of people, that when they die, they become nothing:
    A mighty ruler dies, and this he meets in Hades or Sheol:

    “The grave is all astir to meet you at your coming;
    it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you-
    all those who were leaders in the world;
    it makes them rise from their thrones-
    all those who were kings over nations.
    They will all respond, they will say to you,
    “You also have become weak as we are;
    You have become like us.”
    All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps;
    Maggots are spread beneath you, and worms cover you.
    Isaiah 14:9-11

    And I envisioned those who were strong while on earth, sitting there beneath, knowing they have turned to nothing.
    I never thought this would be about Jesus in the grave.
    V18-19

  237. foreverblessed says:

    But I was still busy with the Lord’s lovingkindness, His mercy to those that are in misery.

    On the mount of Transfiguration, the try of Jesus was visible, Matt 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, Luke 9:28-36
    Where Moses and Elijah come, and speak to Jesus about His “Exodus”, which He was to bring about to fulfilment in Jerusalem.
    The Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the earth.

    When He came down from the mount, He was in the valley, a large crowd met Him, and…a father who brought his son to him, his only son

  238. foreverblessed says:

    14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.

    16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.

    17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, (for he is my only child, Luke 9:38) who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

    19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

    20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

    21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

    “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

    23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

    24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

    25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

    26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

    28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

    29 He replied, “This kind ncan come out only by prayer and fasting”.
    Mark 9:14-29

  239. foreverblessed says:

    Yesterday a teacher preached about this passage,
    and he coupled it with Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-10, that Jesus also learned. What did Jesus learn here?
    On the mount it was in a brilliant glorious setting, and then He comes down to the valley, and meets this boy, bound by evil powers. He is distressed for the lack of faith, and quite down, ( but without sinning, Hebrews says)
    Bring the boy to Me…
    Then Jesus talks to the father, how this was and how long…
    How long….
    The father answers, and here Jesus is touched in the heart, by the suffering,
    Lovingkindnes misericordias …
    And He is also touched by the father who shouts: “I believe, help me my unbelief”
    Even if there is just a little bit of faith, a tiny speck, a little seed, it is enough.
    Jesus looks around and sees the crowd, and the boy laying down on the ground, convulsing
    And that boy laying there is a type of humanity, all of us in Adam, we are lost, worse: we are bound by evil, and down and out.
    This is what He came for: to set us free.
    To pay our ransom, and buy us free out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son He loves.

  240. foreverblessed says:

    For He has rescued us from the dominium of darkness, and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. Col 1:13

    When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with all it’s regulations, that was opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the Cross,
    15 and having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them on the Cross.
    Col 2:13-15

    Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death- that is the devil- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death…
    For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.
    Hebrews 2:14-18

  241. foreverblessed says:

    Let us sing of the lovingkindness and the faithfulness of our High Priest
    Psalm 89:1-2

  242. poohpity says:

    What did Jesus learn? It seems He learned about what we go through as human beings. It tells us in Hebrews 2:17-18 so He is able to empathize with what we are going through so He could become our High Priest.

  243. poohpity says:

    How many people have said to themselves “God you do not know what it is like to walk in my shoes” but He does He took on human flesh to understand what we go through. Now that is a love greater than anything we can understand He suffered as we do and was tempted as we are so He understands and He did not have to do that but He did. He laid down His deity for a short time and took on flesh.

  244. street says:

    107 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever!
    2
    Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
    whom he has redeemed from trouble[a]
    3
    and gathered in from the lands,
    from the east and from the west,
    from the north and from the south.

    4
    Some wandered in desert wastes,
    finding no way to a city to dwell in;
    5
    hungry and thirsty,
    their soul fainted within them.
    6
    Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
    7
    He led them by a straight way
    till they reached a city to dwell in.
    8
    Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
    9
    For he satisfies the longing soul,
    and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

    10
    Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    prisoners in affliction and in irons,
    11
    for they had rebelled against the words of God,
    and spurned the counsel of the Most High.
    12
    So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor;
    they fell down, with none to help.
    13
    Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
    14
    He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
    and burst their bonds apart.
    15
    Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
    16
    For he shatters the doors of bronze
    and cuts in two the bars of iron.

    17
    Some were fools through their sinful ways,
    and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
    18
    they loathed any kind of food,
    and they drew near to the gates of death.
    19
    Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
    20
    He sent out his word and healed them,
    and delivered them from their destruction.
    21
    Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
    22
    And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
    and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

    23
    Some went down to the sea in ships,
    doing business on the great waters;
    24
    they saw the deeds of the Lord,
    his wondrous works in the deep.
    25
    For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
    which lifted up the waves of the sea.
    26
    They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
    their courage melted away in their evil plight;
    27
    they reeled and staggered like drunken men
    and were at their wits’ end.[b]
    28
    Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
    29
    He made the storm be still,
    and the waves of the sea were hushed.
    30
    Then they were glad that the waters[c] were quiet,
    and he brought them to their desired haven.
    31
    Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
    32
    Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
    and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

    33
    He turns rivers into a desert,
    springs of water into thirsty ground,
    34
    a fruitful land into a salty waste,
    because of the evil of its inhabitants.
    35
    He turns a desert into pools of water,
    a parched land into springs of water.
    36
    And there he lets the hungry dwell,
    and they establish a city to live in;
    37
    they sow fields and plant vineyards
    and get a fruitful yield.
    38
    By his blessing they multiply greatly,
    and he does not let their livestock diminish.

    39
    When they are diminished and brought low
    through oppression, evil, and sorrow,
    40
    he pours contempt on princes
    and makes them wander in trackless wastes;
    41
    but he raises up the needy out of affliction
    and makes their families like flocks.
    42
    The upright see it and are glad,
    and all wickedness shuts its mouth.

    43
    Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
    let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord.

    Psalm 107

  245. Beloved says:

    Psalm 107:7
    He led them by a straight way
    till they reached a city to dwell in.
    8Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!

    Matthew 7:13–14
    13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

  246. street says:

    but was beating his chest, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ Luke 18:13

  247. Beloved says:

    Be merciful to me. David had it right when he prayed this prayer in
    Psalms51

    It takes a very brave and courageous and humble person to say this.

  248. poohpity says:

    street, it does take a humble person to admit they are a sinner but if one leaves out the rest of that Luke passage which is the part that most people do even those who call themselves Christians by looking down on others when they do not realize they are sinners themselves. Just like what you said to me earlier.

    Luke 18: Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[a]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

    13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

    So which one are you? From pointing your finger my way it is evident which one you are!

  249. foreverblessed says:

    Psalm 89:46-52
    How long, Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?
    How long will your wrath burn like fire?
    47
    Remember how fleeting is my life.
    For what futility you have created all humanity!
    48
    Who can live and not see death,
    or who can escape the power of the grave?
    49
    Lord, where is your former great love,
    which in your faithfulness you swore to David?
    50
    Remember, Lord, how your servant has[g] been mocked,
    how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations,
    51
    the taunts with which your enemies, Lord, have mocked,
    with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.

    52
    Praise be to the Lord forever!
    Amen and Amen.

    (I wanted to post this for Steve, may God strengthen him and Matt, in the waiting for the Lord)

  250. foreverblessed says:

    The heavens praise your wonders, Lord,
    your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.
    6
    For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord?
    Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?
    7
    In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
    he is more awesome than all who surround him.
    8
    Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?
    You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

    9
    You rule over the surging sea;
    when its waves mount up, you still them.
    10
    You crushed Rahab like one of the slain;
    with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.
    11
    The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth;
    you founded the world and all that is in it.
    12
    You created the north and the south;
    Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name.
    13
    Your arm is endowed with power;
    your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.

    14
    Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
    love and faithfulness go before you.
    15
    Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
    who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
    16
    They rejoice in your name all day long;
    they celebrate your righteousness.
    17
    For you are their glory and strength,
    and by your favor you exalt our horn.[d]
    18
    Indeed, our shield[e] belongs to the Lord,
    our king to the Holy One of Israel.

  251. foreverblessed says:

    That was Psalm 89:5-18
    Such a wonderful Psalm! How great God is, none is greater
    He crushed Rahab…
    That sounds to me like:
    “But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.
    And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.
    Luke 9:42-43

  252. foreverblessed says:

    But I also really liked the connection to Psalm 107, that describes how God saves each and everyone from their own different perilous situations.
    That shows Jesus walking on earth and freeing this one and that one.
    And may He still do that now, through the Holy Spirit, in His chosen ones, touching this one and that one

  253. SFDBWV says:

    Many years ago my sister in law called me, needing someone to tell of her “demons”. I had just bought a box set of worship music and wasn’t sure why until her phone call.

    I hadn’t bought it for me, but for her.

    I told her when the devil shows up to praise God and the devil would flee from her, so I sent her the CD’s.

    Thank you Foreverblessed for you praise verses. I hope your day is blessed and I hope BTA as well.

    Steve

  254. foreverblessed says:

    That is being humble, knowing that you are haunted by demons. It is quite something when someone doesn’t know he is influenced by evil spirits. A voice that whispers in the ear:
    ” This person days this very religious thing, but they don’t mean a thing in their heart”
    They might call it: discernment, but they don’t realise it is out of the kingdom of darkness, the constant accusations against God’s chosen ones.

    That’s why Jesus tells us: do not think evil of one another.
    Pray: Father forgive them

  255. poohpity says:

    forever you said, “They might call it: discernment, but they don’t realise it is out of the kingdom of darkness, the constant accusations against God’s chosen ones.” It is from the devil when people accuse others and flow with personal insults also by telling them they are from the devil or are the devil, those are attacks against a God’s chosen. Name calling, back stabbing, personal opinions, gossip, rumors and lies are all the whispers the devil puts in our ears to cause division. But we know that the devil can not make us treat people terrible because the fight is not against flesh and blood, our brothers and sisters, it is against the enemy that twists the truth just as it was in the garden.

    BUT gratefully we have those that are sharers of the truth and can help us understand God and His word. Paul warned us about those who twist God’s word to fit their own agenda and not only that we have the foundation of God’s word to help us discern truth from lies while we are learning. Comparing what we are taught from others with scripture is a sure way not to be lead down a wrong path.

    It seems a discerning spirit that we have been given is not to point our fingers at the sin in others, it is the three that point back at ourselves and the help we need to figure out if what we hear is from God or from man and his own understanding or the traditions of religion not the lessons of God for unity.

    When we read the bible personally it is as what Paul said to Timothy about using scripture to look into our own lives not the lives of others. It is a mirror not a window.

    2 Tim 3: But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.

    14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

  256. poohpity says:

    God’s word is the light that directs the path that each person walks on while many try to traverse this world without it. Or use it for their own means rather than a way to connect to God in a personal relationship. The discerning spirit helps us to determine false teaching and lies from the truth and the devil wants nothing better than to deceive us away from the closeness of walking with God and wants nothing more than to hinder that relationship by taking our focus off of God to the world around us and all it’s fools gold.

  257. poohpity says:

    I can not speak for anyone else but some days I look around at all the things that I do not have and the terrible things happening in this world and it is really discouraging BUT the Lord brings me back to all the things I do have and all the things I can be grateful for and all the good that people are going around the world and in our own neighborhoods and communities. When I change my mindset to how much I have to be grateful for it changes how my day goes and we each have so much to be grateful for but we make a choice not to look at all the blessings.

  258. poohpity says:

    The biggest blessing is being a recipient of the Love of God who tells us how much we matter to Him.

  259. Beloved says:

    I was so relieved when I learned that Satan or his devils cannot read human minds. Only God can do that. Satan is the accuser of the brethren and likes to inhabit a human form for mastery and control, but Jesus!!! Jesus is the way truth and life. And He sent the Holy Spirit to help us discern Gods truth as we already have learned if we’ve ever read the Ten Commandments before conversion. Or after I suppose. While Satan accuses the HS comforts guides and assured us of Gods love. While we were still sinners Christ died for the ungodly.

    As for conviction of sin I may not always like it (that narrow way or strait gate) but it shows me what needs to change (worldly attitudes) and what pleases God whom I love with all my heart, mind, and spirit. This then leads me to love my neighbor as myself. I discovered I love myself when I am pleasing God!

  260. Beloved says:

    Wow My Utmost is so good today- Valley of the Vision.

  261. Beloved says:

    Oops I misquoted

    New International Version
    He answered, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

  262. foreverblessed says:

    whom I love with all my heart, mind, and spirit.

    Or
    ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’

    It is a lot…
    I remember Mart ever having said: this very command is impossible for me to keep.
    We need God’s help

  263. Beloved says:

    Impossible for those with no desire yet why give His followers a command that He knows is impossible to keep? Because we look to Jesus for help. The Word made flesh. Something about being good for training in righteousness.

  264. Beloved says:

    All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

  265. foreverblessed says:

    All the commands of Jesus were given to the life of Christ in us.

    I really liked that explanation, it explains how we live in faith in Jesus, we rest from our own works, and give room to the life of Christ in us.

  266. Beloved says:

    Jerry Bridges just said we cannot fully love God with our whole heart mind strength and our neighbor as ourselves yet we can come before God every day through grace and receive mercy on the merit of what Jesus Christ has done for us.

    I see the previous reference speaks of doing good works through our retraining in righteousness. Yet we stand before God anytime without fear of wrath-thanks to Jesus ❤️

  267. Beloved says:

    Sorry sometimes it takes a while for my post to show up or I can see others even. Forever I’m not sure I understand your thoughts at 5:18. I understand you to be saying that it’s not us it’s Christ in us that needs the commandments? I’m confused. Christ already atoned once for all according to Gods will. He is perfect. Always was, actually. We need to look to Him for help. Yes?

  268. poohpity says:

    forever said, “All the commands of Jesus were given to the life of Christ in us.” There is something we need the discernment to understand that is not from God’s teaching.

  269. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, indeed, we look for Him for help.

    Jesus said that we have to love our enemies.
    None of us can forgive our enemies,
    But it is the life of Christ in us that can do that.

    If we try to do that of ourselves, it is useless.
    There is nothing in us that can do that, but we look to Jesus, in faith: Lord, I want to forgive, help me my u forgiveness.

  270. foreverblessed says:

    It is not that Christ in us needs the commands, Christ is in need of nothing.
    But I was saying, the Life of Christ
    In Him we live and move and have our being.

    That we look to Him to do it in us, and not try to do it out of ourselves.

    But what Jerry Bridges says is interesting:
    We can stand before God, because of what Jesus has done for us.

    That brings me back to the Body and Blood of Jesus.
    God puts us in the Body of Christ, on the Cross, and we died.
    We are dead,
    Don’t you know that you have died with Christ.
    Our old man is no more.
    And we were raised with Christ, in newness of Life.
    The Life of Christ in us.
    But it starts small.
    There is still lots that is not of God in us.
    We give that to Jesus, and ask
    Love joy peace Gal 5:22-23

    So I say: live by the Spirit
    Gal 5:16

  271. foreverblessed says:

    On second thought:
    Christ is in need of nothing…

    Christ cannot do anything in us, unless we yield to Him.

    So Christ needs our consent, to do in us, what we of ourselves cannot do.

    We of ourselves cannot bless our enemies, we cannot forgive them.
    Rather in ourselves comes up: wrath disgust, very hateful thoughts

    We give them to the Cross,
    And in turn we ask His grace, His mercy

    We are like the father, of Mark 9:Lord I believes, help me my unbelief.

    We say: Lord I want to forgive, help me my unforgiveness.

    And then we look to Jesus with great expectation:
    The Life of Christ in us can forgive.

  272. street says:

    All the commands of Jesus were given to the life of Christ in us.

    The Righteous shall live by them, the law.

    none are righteous, no not one.

    Then, Christ the LORD. God/Word made flesh.

    new creation or New Creation? new revelation.

    Born of the Spirit.

    what is the difference between the law and the good news? the law is given has commands the good news is given as message. both have to be received by faith.

    for the righteous shall live by faith.

    how is the good news just a message? it’s more than a message when you know the One Who is Speaking.

    what was the message? the good news?

    new creation….made alive by faith.

    21 For since by a man death came, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 1 Corinthians 15:21-23

    for the righteous shall live by faith.

    they will produce love joy peace patients kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness self control.

    they produce because they are abiding in the Vine.

  273. poohpity says:

    street what you said was the very reason people need discernment. Who is the they you speak of when you said, “they will produce love joy peace patients kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness self control.”?

  274. street says:

    they produce because they are abiding in the Vine.

    15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. John 15:1-3

    i remind you this was before Pentecost.

    6 If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and dries up; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. John 15:6-8

  275. poohpity says:

    If anyone thinks for a moment that “they” can produce anything that only God can do or looks to anyone besides the source for understanding of God’s word without His help is sorely mistaken. We do not ask a blind person to help us to see or a deaf man to help us to hear, we ask the One who gives sight and the One who opens ears to lead us down His path of understanding and wisdom. We go to the source and wait as He opens our eyes and ears into realizing that our understanding and wisdom is like looking into a mirror darkly or hearing a muffled voice that is our own because we have not given ourselves over to the source of all things. Often the spiritually blind and deaf offer their opinions and ignore God’s truths because all they really want to see or hear is their own. It is a long and time consuming process to be a student of the Source because His revelations of Himself are so big because He is so big that we will never learn it all until He calls us home but meanwhile with humility sit as His feet and learn from Him.

  276. street says:

    11 Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;
    milk and honey are under your tongue.
    The fragrance of your garments
    is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
    12 You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride;
    you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.
    SONG OF SONGS 4

    thinking about this verse today

    8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
    9 for he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.

    thinking of the finite and the eternal

    does One have to die?

    to be empty…….

    33 He turned rivers into a desert,
    flowing springs into thirsty ground,
    34 and fruitful land into a salt waste,
    because of the wickedness of those who lived there.
    35 He turned the desert into pools of water
    and the parched ground into flowing springs;
    36 there he brought the hungry to live,
    and they founded a city where they could settle.
    37 They sowed fields and planted vineyards
    that yielded a fruitful harvest;
    38 he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased,
    and he did not let their herds diminish.

  277. poohpity says:

    street, is there a difference in bearing fruit and producing it?

  278. Beloved says:

    Street your verses on fruit are also explained well on Got Questions:

    Godly teachers will display good “fruit” such as making disciples (Matthew 28:19), using their gifts to benefit others (Romans 12:4–8), leading lost people to Jesus (James 5:20), loving their fellow believers (1 John 3:14), and seeking humble ways to do good everywhere (Jeremiah 29:7). All of these things are indications of a good heart.

    Often, people profess faith in Jesus as Savior, but it is a mere profession with no real faith. Some religious groups encourage baptism, confirmation, or other religious rites that are supposed to ensure one’s future in heaven. But as time goes on, the fruit being produced in such a life looks nothing like what is clearly prescribed in the Bible (1 Peter 1:16). Some attend church services but spend the rest of their time living entirely for themselves. Some may rise to prominence, even teaching or preaching, writing books, or dominating the media, but the fruit of their lives belies their words (Matthew 24:24). Greed, deception, immorality, pride, or dishonesty defines them, making them false prophets by Jesus’ standards (2 Peter 2:1–3).

    While we can never know anyone else’s heart, we can make wise assessments about other people by observing the regular fruit of their lives. All of us stumble from time to time, and we may go through seasons of bearing little fruit (1 John 1:8). But 1 John 3:4–10 makes it clear that those who know God will not continue a lifestyle of bearing bad fruit. We have been transformed, and the fruit of our lives is evidence of that transformation. Apple trees don’t produce bananas, and strawberry plants don’t produce figs. This fact of nature is also true in the spiritual realm. We can identify those whose hearts have been redeemed by the fruit we see in their lives.

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

    I was also wondering how other teachers, like Ghandi for instance, can seemingly produce good fruit yet be far from the True Vine, Jesus. Then I recalled that Ghandi likes the Jesus of the scriptures so learns by what he reads- yet hasn’t submitted himself to Christ’s rulership and partaken of Gods grace and mercy.

  279. Beloved says:

    7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2Timothy3

    Being full of my “self”.

  280. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Beloved, is it clear to you now what I meant to say?
    There is no confusion, it is the same as what you already said you thought it was: we look to Him for help.

    I was looking in which Utmost it was, that Oswald Chambers had written it,
    The teaching of Christ is meant for the life of Christ in us
    To me it was very very clear what was meant by that:
    It takes a great load of from my shoulders.
    I have to look in faith to Christ, to bear fruit.
    (You can quarrel about many words,please be like what Mart suggestsany a time, to see the nuance.

    Sometimes I believe that the fruit that is produced in us by the Life of Christ, becomes our own, or we become one with it, and our hearts change.
    Slowly, the hardness wears of, and becomes softer. More and more like Jesus.

  281. street says:

    48 As is the earthy one, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly one, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.
    1 Corinthians 15:48-50

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

    the Holy Spirit works to conform the believer to the image of Christ. our councilor and hope of Salvation.

    when we have questions? thinking we should turn to our Shepard. we should recognize His voice and His Word. waiting is not fun, but we can seek knock and ask.

    you can know a tree by it’s fruit. some trees are so young like wheat and tares you can not tell them apart, no fruit.

    one of the most penetrating verse of late is God is light and in His is no darkness. no bad fruit on His tree, the Vinedresser removes the bad growth.

    wild olive branch. no bragging rights.

    15 Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.”

    how were you cleansed?

  282. Beloved says:

    Dear Forever I was not trying to quarrel just understand but I think I get what you said, it’s the wording I had trouble with but for me that’s quite normal. I’ve said before I don’t always understand what I’m reading.
    (Good advice street to look to Jesus for answers. No hurt feelings or misunderstanding that way).
    As I said before street and yourself are good teachers accountable to God only for what you say here. It’s time I let go of human teachers and look to God. 😊
    Blessings to all.

  283. Beloved says:

    Today is my daughter’s 47th birthday and for the first time in many many years we had lunch on her day. It was good and we talked a little about this. I was so aware of still a distance between us and did see some defensiveness or pulling away briefly yet remembered what I gave up to follow Christ. Loving her is easy because of Christ’s fruits. I claim nothing of my own. I’m Christ’s alone.

  284. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, you are Christ’s alone. Wonderful, neither am I claiming anything of my own. Jesus is everything!
    Isn’t it just wonderful that it is all about Jesus! The Word of God saus that when we believe in Him, He puts us in Jesus,

    “It is because of Him that we are in Jesus.”
    1 Cor 1:30
    Isn’t that wonderful??
    Do I really believe that, yes, I want to!

    We are already in Him, the teaching of Jesus is that we “Abide in Him”

    The quarrel I meant was about the producing of fruit or bearing of fruit.
    Street said: they produce fruit because they abide in the Vine.
    The Vine is Jesus, His life flows through us, (if our old self does not block the way.)
    There is no wrong teaching about that.

    Thanks for the blessing. May God bless you, and your daughter!
    May His love enfold both of you.
    In Jesus’ Name

  285. Beloved says:

    WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

    “When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

    from The Highest Good, 544 R

  286. street says:

    street, is there a difference in bearing fruit and producing it?

    12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, 13 each one’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each one’s work. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet only so as through fire.

    14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found spotless and blameless by Him, at peace, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which there are some things that are hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unscrupulous people and lose your own firm commitment, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

  287. foreverblessed says:

    And lose your own from commitment

    Our commitment is to Jesus,
    Do I love Him?

    We were talking about fruits, bearing fruits or producing fruit.
    Jesus asks Peter: do you love Me?

    Just doing some thinking on this been thinking blog

    If we say the fruit is not ours, it is God’s, the love is God’s.
    God’s love.
    Then why does Jesus ask Peter if he loves Him?

  288. foreverblessed says:

    Street gave also scripture from the Song of Solomon.
    The Beloved.
    The love of lovers stands symbol for the love between Jesus and the Bride, the body of believers,
    But also of each and every one with Jesus.
    Jesus loved us first, and gave Himself to redeem us out of the kingdom of darkness.
    But He wants to know if we love Him.
    Just like a love couple, the person you are in love with, you want to know, does he really love me too?
    Two persons that freely love each other, the mean it with all their heart.
    Do you love Me with all your heart, soul and. …
    what was it

    It is the love of God, because I am abiding in the Vine, Jesus, that flows through mw, and it becomes mine. I am totally involved in it, I do agree with everything that I am, deep down.
    Just as Jesus asked Peter, one time, and a second time, and a third time, Peter had to look deeper and deeper, and what did he see?
    That he really loved Jesus!

  289. foreverblessed says:

    May God give you strength for the day, and night, Steve!

  290. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Foreverblessed…

    Steve

  291. poohpity says:

    I wonder if asking Peter three times if He loved Jesus had anything to do with Peter denying Christ three time as a means of restoration of their relationship on Peter’s side? It seems sometimes the guilt one carries can alter the closeness one once had with another.

  292. poohpity says:

    It seems words are important but how one uses them is even more important and I can just imagine how when English is a second language it is hard to get the meaning across. But God speaks in all languages and He never changes nor does His character that is one thing we can put our full trust and dependence in.

    I know there are people on here that have gardens, sometimes it is just as simple as looking how the things planted produce a variety of different things when they are attached to the root planted in healthy soil. From that root grows vines and on those vines comes the different products, fruit, flowers, etc.. If a vine does not bear anything usable then the Gardner which is God cuts those things away to make room for the vines that will bear that which is “produced” from the root that is planted in rich soil. The vines are attached to the root if there were not a root then the vine would bear nothing but wither and die. It is the root that produces and the vine that bears the things that come from the root.

  293. poohpity says:

    One could use the vine and the roots to also be an example of using scripture to prove the point of the one using them rather than the intention of God. It seems one can go around and pick up branches here and there that are not attached to the root any longer and put them together to form a hybrid plant but without them being attached to root and the purpose God intended they only have meaning for the one trying to prove their point and therefore do not produce the results God had in mind for them.

  294. foreverblessed says:

    Now you have just proved that the Vine is everything and the branches are nothing.

    Nothing, that is: without the Vine they are nothing
    Just dust.

  295. foreverblessed says:

    Has anyone had direct contact with Viv, Jeff on this blog?
    I really do.hopw everything is ok with her.
    I can trust Jesus He takes care of her.
    Without hearing anything from her,
    Quietly trusting God.
    There is a big waiting going on in my country:
    A journalist who was reporting on criminal offences has been shot, on Tuesdaynight. “He is fighting for his life”
    The waiting has begun. There are a few prominent people who have been saying: Let us pray for a miracle.
    That is a goood thing!
    I pray that God blesses this man and his family.
    And that through all this God will be exalted!
    The Holy Spirit knows what to pray, bless the Holy Spirit (does it say anywhere in the bible to bless the Holy Spirit?)
    That God be blessed, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

  296. Beloved says:

    With Jesus’ questioning of Peter’s love I noticed that obedience was crucial to the relationship to the point of dying for Jesus. Follow Me, Jesus said.

  297. Beloved says:

    This reminds me of the awesome responsibility of the sheep to pray for and encourage our pastors, whom God has chosen to lead the flocks. Praying they remain true and faithful to Jesus and His teachings.

  298. Beloved says:

    Forever I’ve wondered about blessing the HS myself but this clears it up, from Got Questions.

    “Since the Holy Spirit is God, and God is “worthy of praise” (Psalm 18:3), then the Spirit is worthy of worship. Jesus, the Son of God, received worship (Matthew 28:9), so it stands to reason that the Spirit of God would also receive worship. Philippians 3:3 tells us that believers “worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus.” There is one God who eternally exists in three Persons. When we worship God, we naturally worship all three members of the Godhead.
    How do we worship the Holy Spirit? The same way we worship the Father and the Son. Christian worship is spiritual, flowing from the inward workings of the Holy Spirit to which we respond by offering our lives to Him (Romans 12:1). We worship the Spirit by obedience to His commands. Referring to Christ, the apostle John explains that “those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us” (1 John 3:24). We see here the link between obeying Christ and the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, convicting us of our need to worship by obedience and empowering us to worship”.

  299. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you for sharing that

    For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort,
    FIL 3:3

  300. foreverblessed says:

    I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

    There is strength for those who wait on the Lord
    Psalm 27:14

    Could it be, that on the waiting, seemingly not answered prayer, when we hold on to Jesus in faith, in our inner being God strengthens us?
    And our strength increases? Rooted and grounded in Him

  301. foreverblessed says:

    Beloved talked about obedience,
    The saying trust and obey comes to mind.

    Jesus said:
    I have meat,
    The meat He was talking about was: doing the will of the Father.

    Doing the will of the Father nourished Him.

    That is something to think about!

  302. foreverblessed says:

    When I was looking for relief from my headaches, but they didn’t come, I felt the inner urge to start praying for other people, you could say, the soft word of the Holy Spirit. Then I saw in my Utmost, Chambers talking about intercessory prayer.
    And immediately it was clear to me, that was the way the Holy Spirit showed me.
    And later I found the realization, that Abraham had to pray for the wives of Abimelech, Gen 20:17
    Abraham prayed for the wives of Abimelech, that they could get children again!
    Think of it, he himself and Sara has waited 25 years for a child, and instead of giving them a child, God asks Abraham to pray for others!

    The other example is Job, but that has been covered here often.

    Trust and obey
    Trust, that Jesus will take care of my needs
    And obey: just pray intercessory prayer for others.

    The ways of God are way above our ways.

  303. poohpity says:

    oh my gosh, really?!?

  304. Beloved says:

    Just last evening I was going through a terrible time with my anxiety/depression and my prayers seemed to stop at the ceiling of my room. Then was reminded that God hears but allows us to go through times of dryness, not that He is uncaring or punishing but it’s all a part of my walk with Him. I was reminded it’s not sinful to experience emotions and that helped immensely. As you mention Job we all have our Job-like times and like Jobs friends I had to make sure I hadn’t sinned causing my pain. I checked for unforgiveness but there was none. Casting all my fears upon Him helped but still an answer did not come. WAITING is what I need. Just waiting. But while I wait I can rest my anxious sad heart in His immense love which as Mart says is more vast than the oceans. What a marvelous Place to be whether in sickness, or in health. Psalm42 my go-to in times like these. Bless God

  305. Beloved says:

    Great news! The answer came to my problem! I’m humbled grateful and a bit shaken. How human I am.

  306. foreverblessed says:

    Thank God!
    The verse of the day on bible gateway is:

    Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen

    Eph 3:20-21
    His power is at work in us,
    But that working is more than we can imagine,
    Good to remember that verse in trying times.

  307. Beloved says:

    WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

    Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

    from He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R

  308. foreverblessed says:

    Therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.
    I remember Gary saying that faith must be tried.
    He that overcomes…
    Is the often said remark about the seven churches.
    Even we we don’t see it, God is working.

    Lately I had to think of the place Lytton in Canada, that was burned to the ground, and the whole area with it.
    Mt parents liked that area of Canada. We had family living in Calgary, but would make trips through the Rockies to the other side. What a tragedy.
    What a trying times.
    A few years ago that happened to Paradise, in California.
    Jesus said:
    Do not worry about your life,
    That includes about our aerthly homes.
    But that is hard!
    But…..
    If God is for us, who can be against us.
    I pray that God will comfort these people, that they will find God in this ordeal.
    Right in the center of our hearts, God’s comforting Presence.

  309. Beloved says:

    Yes it’s a shock when towns are destroyed. I recall seeing a woman on a news report looking up to the sky and yelling, “What did we do to You? after her whole neighborhood was destroyed by a tornado. (Sounded like Jobs wife) But faith must be tested. Faith as small as a mustard seed is all that’s needed to receive more than we could imagine or believe! Oh ye of little faith!?, Jesus said in exasperation I think. I have been with you so long now…. It takes living to produce enough faith to move mountains yet only God can do that! Mustard seed to move a mountain? Yes our great God is able to do all that we ask or think. Blessed Jesus, Holy Spirit Father three in One. Forever I pray the rest of your day is blessed.

  310. poohpity says:

    Isn’t it amazing the times God gets blamed for the troubles we go through but when things are going good like living in a home, having running water and food to eat, having clothes and shoes to wear, the love of God that covers the earth and sky and all the many blessing we have, do they ever thank God for being the source all the many blessing He has showered us with? Probably NOT! Just blame Him for the disasters our fallen nature has caused or the disasters the Devil does just so that we question the goodness of God.

    Not to say it did not happen but I do not remember Gary ever saying anything about faith being tested.

    But I do remember James and Peter talking about it;

    James 1: Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

    1 Peter 1: So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

  311. Beloved says:

    No not amazing at all. Amazing is grace!

  312. Beloved says:

    Accuser of the brethren, yes he is. Ugh. I hide under the shadow of His wings.

  313. street says:

    I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

    If one were to give
    all the wealth of one’s house for love,
    it[e] would be utterly scorned.

    12 But my own vineyard is mine to give;

    Place me like a seal over your heart,
    like a seal on your arm;
    for love is as strong as death,
    its jealousy[c] unyielding as the grave.
    It burns like blazing fire,
    like a mighty flame.[d]
    7 Many waters cannot quench love;
    rivers cannot sweep it away.

    thinking of a love stronger than sin and death.

    And of your offspring and her Descendant;
    He shall bruise you on the head,
    And you shall bruise Him on the heel.”

  314. street says:

    32
    For their vine is from the vine of Sodom,
    And from the fields of Gomorrah;
    Their grapes are grapes of poison,
    Their clusters, bitter.
    33
    Their wine is the venom of serpents,
    And the deadly poison of vipers.

    34
    ‘Is it not stored up with Me,
    Sealed up in My treasuries?
    35
    Vengeance is Mine, and retribution;
    In due time their foot will slip.
    For the day of their disaster is near,
    And the impending things are hurrying to them.’

    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.
    40
    Indeed, I raise My hand to heaven,
    And say, as I live forever,
    41
    If I have sharpened My flashing sword,
    And My hand has taken hold of justice,
    I will return vengeance on My adversaries,
    And I will repay those who hate Me.

    49 For everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

    25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

  315. street says:

    11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

  316. street says:

    thinking of the Exaltation Of Jesus. so Exalted that He Is God’s Right Hand, yet a man entrusted with all power and Authority in Heaven and Earth including Judgment.

  317. street says:

    the Exaltation of The Savior’s love. Redeemed! our response?

  318. Beloved says:

    Thank you, Mart:

    Acutely aware that the sufferings of life as we know it can blind us to a greater hope and realism, he wrote,

    “For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

  319. Beloved says:

    David’s prayer:

    Psalm 139:1-12
    You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

    Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

  320. poohpity says:

    David a man “after” God’s own heart knew that God knew Him on the other hand David also knew God. David seemed to have went after or sought to know God better and better. That to me is such a marvelous journey to seek God above all else to live in a vital union with Him (abiding).

    Not just to know and quote scripture but to actually live it to bring us into a closer relationship with the source. God knows the heart of each person and their motivation. “Nothing” is hidden from God.

  321. Beloved says:

    “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

    I think of this when people complain about posted scripture on here. I love God and His word. I can’t understand why anyone would complain about it. I really can’t. As for how it’s used even is irrelevant as there’s always something to learn from God through His word. God- breathed! Oh my Beloved I love your breath!

  322. Beloved says:

    The heart is deceitful above all things. My heart, your heart. But God only is true faithful loving kind etc ALL of the time. To me Gods word is a gold mine, to know the heart of God what a privilege!

  323. street says:

    thinking about dry bones that weep.
    streams of living water in the desert.

    Your love reaches higher than the heavens, and your loyalty extends beyond the clouds. Psalm 108:4

    Contemporary English Version

  324. Beloved says:

    Psalm 63:3
    Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

  325. poohpity says:

    Beloved in your comment @ 12:13pm the 2 Tim it is useful for all those things FOR the person who reads it not to be used to prove one’s point or to use the scripture against others but to teach the one reading it all those things so that they will be useful to do good. The scriptures are meant for training an audience of one, the one reading them.

    How one uses the scripture is NOT at all irrelevant it is very relevant and holds much responsibility for the one who is using it and they will one day answer for it. James 3:1

  326. poohpity says:

    If we are having a conversation about a topic teachers will usually apply scripture for training and guidance not as a weapon against another, that is not a loving God or others kind of thing to do. If one feels it is then maybe they do not know God very well at all nor are they being lead by His Spirit. It is relevant, very relevant how one uses God’s word and sadly they use scripture most often not even knowing the context of the scripture which brings a richer understanding of God’s word, they carelessly use parts without knowing the whole or even understanding the point God is revealing to us or trying to teach us in it.

  327. Beloved says:

    You don’t get it, that’s ok.

  328. Beloved says:

    I’m talking about the person reading. There are many teachers but only a few good ones. Some misuse scripture yet the scripture itself is the very word of God. I’m talking about reading and enjoying the Nuance that we get from it no matter how it’s used or what the teachers mindset is at the moment. How long we listen to one who misuses is up to us. Frankly if I don’t understand or mistrust how scripture is being used I tend to ignore it. Why waste my time? The same for those who may read something I post. I’ve been misjudged here more times than I can count, and visa versa. It’s well known that I don’t like you but I’m doing the best I can with what’s here. Just trying to be civil is more than I can accomplish some days because as I asked you when I first came here a question I ask it again one last time. Why do you still push everyone away? Are you so filled with bitterness?

    I will not read your responses that’s between you and God. Go to God for heavens sake!

  329. bubbles says:

    A dear friend shared Ps. 139 with me on Friday, and it made me cry. It was a hard day. Thankful for God’s love and ever presence.

  330. street says:

    What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.

  331. Hugger4U says:

    Thank you for sharing Bubbles. I read that Psalm out loud this morning. Powerful and declarative. It ministers personally and serves notice in the spiritual realm.

    Love and blessings.

    Hugger

  332. Beloved says:

    Thanks street that’s comforting…

  333. foreverblessed says:

    That’s wonderful! The words of Psalm 139, that Beloved shared here, have been ringing in my ear, a few days now.
    The topic is about a person in a mental asylum, who wrote about the love of God,

    “If I make my bed in the depths (Sheol in Hebrews)
    You are there”

    In the depth, that is really in a dark place. Darkness

    If I say: ‘Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me’
    Even the darkness will not be dark to you,
    The night will shine like the day.
    For darkness is at light to You.

    What a comfort this person has had in the darkest moments.
    Like all of us have experienced, otherwise we would not be here on this blog.
    Talking about Jesus, our Savior.

    But what when life goes on, and nothing really miraculous happens, just the chores, the workload, day to day living, especially now, when times get tense.
    Do I held up everything as doing it for Jesus, as being with Him?

  334. foreverblessed says:

    It is good to hear from you Bubbles.
    And Hugger.
    I pray God is with you, and also with Mart.

    In our church we have a pastor, who is now in a mental asylum, he is having battles with anxiety and great fears.
    A believing christian.
    I remember Spurgeon having had his mental problems.
    May God be merciful!
    I pray that he will not lose his faith in Jesus.
    His wife says it is a very hard time, also for her.
    She was always a great encourager, but now she has worries written all over her face.
    To hold on, even when darkness surrounds us.
    But the David said in Psalm 139:11
    That in the darkness, He is there.
    Did David had to wait in the darkness to know God was there, or has he had to wait too,
    a long time
    before he knew for sure God was there

  335. foreverblessed says:

    In Psalm 139
    David starts to say that God has searched his heart
    Psalm 139:1-4
    But then in the end, he says it again:
    Search me, O God, and know my heart;

    Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
    See if there is any offensive way in me,
    And lead me in the way everlasting.

    And what has he said before these verses 23-24?
    There is this passage of Psalm 139:19-22
    These are really very anxious thoughts.
    It seems to me that David feels these thoughts were wrong
    “if only you would slay the wicked, O God!
    Do I not hate those who hate You?
    I have nothing but hatred for them. I count them my enemies.”

    (And then comes:)
    Search me, O God, and know my heart
    Test me, and knowy anxious thoughts
    ( They were right in front of him)

    I wonder, did God tell David there already the Beatitudes?
    Love those who hate you, bless those that persecute you?
    May we ask God that we want to do that, and ask for His Life in us to do so.
    “Dear Lord, I want to bless my enemy, yes, I want to, help me in Jesus’ name!

  336. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Beloved,
    I had to think about the father of the prodigal son.
    The older brother didn’t agree,
    And what does the father say?
    Dear son, everything that I have is yours, just come and join the feast, be happy with us.

    I would like to say to Pooh, dear Pooh, just be happy here, and join the conversation.

    Everything Pooh writes is primarily for herself.
    People making their own points.

    The constant measuring stick Pooh has to state what is a wrong teaching:
    For instance: that we produce fruit is not the teaching of God.

    The right teaching is that we bear fruit.

  337. foreverblessed says:

    Do you see it:
    Pooh telling John the Baptist:
    Your teaching is all wrong, we do not produce fruit.

    ” Produce fruit in keeping with repentance”
    Matthew 3:8

    And after that she can start a discussion with Jesus, that He said it all wrong in Matthew 21:43
    ” Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.”

    Or maybe she should have a discussion with the writer of the Gospel, Matthew, that he used the wrong word, he should have written:
    “Bear fruit.”

    Pooh is always saying that she is concerned with the right teaching.

  338. poohpity says:

    Beloved and Forever thank you for “producing” examples of exactly what I was saying rather than bearing the fruit of salvation.

  339. Beloved says:

    The other day I bought a beautiful picture with this verse on it which caught my eye as I woke up this morning Isaiah 42:16
    And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.

    Isn’t that a wonderful encouragement! I think of your pastor in a treatment facility- I worked in one but have never needed it’s services as God always supplied supports in the community when needed. I pray he is able to rest and trust in Gods faithfulness through his dark night of the soul. And that His wife will also be comforted and strengthened by Christ’s new creation work in us all. I can tell you the Spirit of God is stronger in those places than in most any other place. It is Holy ground.

  340. Beloved says:

    “Dear Lord, I want to bless my enemy, yes, I want to, help me in Jesus’ name!

    Of course as you know Jesus didn’t give the beatitudes to all until He was here in flesh- it was all news to Israel and David was long gone but recalling that Jesus came from the line of David wow what an inheritance! I’ve been through the blessing of an enemy many times but at the moment have none I can think of. Being alone now and not around people as often my enemies come up in my imagination more than reality. I feel like I’m half way between heaven and earth spiritually if that makes any sense at all. (Though my body reminds me gravity still has its hold, ugh). My struggles with anxiety and depression cause me to eat more and since my back issues nagging at me -osteoarthritis – I move less so heavier I get. I think this newer medication is also causing weight gain. Anyway the body is weak but the Spirit is strengthened more and more every day and it’s all because God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life! John3:16

    One last thought, I knew many Christians in treatment. It was my joy and privilege to encourage them in their journey.

  341. street says:

    33 The king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me and stay with me in Jerusalem, and I will provide for you.”

    34 But Barzillai answered the king, “How many more years will I live, that I should go up to Jerusalem with the king? 35 I am now eighty years old. Can I tell the difference between what is enjoyable and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats and drinks? Can I still hear the voices of male and female singers? Why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?

    Proverbs 8:34
    Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.

    John 10:7
    So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.

    John 10:2
    But the one who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.

    Psalm 100:4
    Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courtyards with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

  342. Beloved says:

    Blessed are they…..yes!

  343. Beloved says:

    John 10:The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
    Even on a blog space? Life abundantly? I think it is possible. You hinted at it earlier Forever. Abundance and enjoyment are very possible. In Christ.

  344. foreverblessed says:

    Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
    Fil 2:9
    Verse of the day on Gateway.

    In Him we move and have our being!

    May God hem you in Steve, and Matt, this day too
    Psalm 139:5
    “You hem me in, behind and before,
    You have laid your hand upon me.”

    Yes, abundant live, encouraging one another that we are His and He is ours.
    He lives in us through the Holy Spirit.

    Iiked the example of Barzillai, we are like servants attending to the King, here on earth.
    May we hear today what He has for us.
    May we rest in His presence.
    Rest….
    While Steve has to do so much, physically!
    May God be with Him.

    (And thank you so much for praying for our pastor, and his wife.
    I know that God was listening to that prayer, and He was pleased! Life, real abundant living, praying for others.
    Holy ground you call it…wow!
    when people are in darkness, there God is…
    Psalm 139:11-12
    “For darkness is as light to You.”
    He shines in the darkness.
    “Let there be light” 2 Cor 4:6)

  345. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you so very much Foreverblessed for your love and concern for me and my family, for your prayers and for your encouragements.

    It is a delight to see you each morning.

    Steve

  346. poohpity says:

    Forever, that was beautiful and very kind. Being kind comes so easy when one likes another person.

  347. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Lord,
    You hem Pooh in, behind and before
    You have laid your hand on her.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for her, too lofty for her to attain.
    Where can she go from Your Spirit?
    Where can she flee from Your Presence?

    For You created her inmost being;
    You knit her together in her mother’s womb.
    I praise You, because she is fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Your works ate wonderful, I know that full well.

  348. poohpity says:

    Dear Lord, thank you that you can produce love even in the most pride filled hearts so that a person can bear the fruit of that love, your love. Thank you Lord for never giving up on us and remaining faithful even when we are not, even when we think our ways are best and want the glory that belongs to you, your love shows us a different path that we can even love those we think are enemies. Realizing that kind of love we will, like Paul, fall to our knees in worship of our mighty God. It is in the name of Jesus I pray.

  349. Beloved says:

    Amen to your prayers.

    Thinking also of Steve and Mart and asking God to bless their days with ease and happiness.

  350. Beloved says:

    ◄ Ephesians 4 ►
    New Living Translation
    Unity in the Body
    1Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

    5There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
    6one God and Father of all,
    who is over all, in all, and living through all

  351. Beloved says:

    Wondering how bratimus is handling the extreme temps out there? Hope you have plenty of water!

  352. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you very much for that prayer Pooh, joy fills my heart,
    And peace!
    Joy that is a gift from God!
    Nothing of ourselves, it is all from Him, the good gifts from above

  353. street says:

    thinking about the intellectual assent vs the Lord’s closeness. I will not leave you orphans. I will send you a Helper. It is better that I go away.

    He doesn’t lie.

    Just ask for the Helper.

    Matthew 7:8-10

    8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?

    i think the Greatest hurdle is understanding the Sovereignty of God in this matter. yet we must trust Him in our circumstances. thinking of paul. ouch! i am no paul, yet a brother? children of God….wonder and awe to come to grip with. ordinary people, extraordinary God

  354. SFDBWV says:

    This blog of Marts has been a blessing for me for quite some time. It has given me a unique place to give my opinion, express my thoughts and meet some wonderful and yes some not so wonderful people.

    Thank you Mart. I know you lost interest in it long ago, but seemed to keep it up just for the few of us that commented or looked in.

    Whereas it seems more important to try and encourage others, from time to time we all have questions that sometimes we just need to get off our chests.

    Once again Mart, thank you for providing such a place.

    My time as well as my energies are so limited anymore I tend to just look in more than bring issues to the table.

    Sadly the same old demons that have plagued the blog still persists.

    And equally sad at a dear and heavy price.

    The brunt of my day will begin here in a few minutes and my time here greatly diminished.

    I hope you all are blessed today with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and if is to be, perhaps we will all be snatched up together today.

    Steve

  355. bubbles says:

    Praying for Mart and his family this morning.

  356. Beloved says:

    Prayers also for Mart and Bubbles as grief surrounds them.

    Praying for Steve and all who have work to do that they will lean hard into Jesus’ yoke.

    My daughter is coming today and what a joy and blessing to me!

  357. poohpity says:

    The plague of demons that fill our minds with rubbish to doubt, false teaching and question the love of God for our value and worth to Him will always be around until the Lord does away with Him. BUT we do not have to fall prey to the enemies leading’s by filling our minds with things from above like worship songs, bible reading, reading devotions, going to church and keeping our eyes on Jesus.

    The Lord has provided a different path and also given us information on how the enemy works so that we do not have to succumb to his strategies. We cling to our salvation to guard our minds, hold up our faith to protect our hearts, know the truth by God’s word so we are not lead astray and can fight against the enemy and temptations he throws our away to doubt the goodness of God, realize we are covered in the righteousness of God so we know who we are in Him when the enemy calls us names and puts us down.

    The battle has been won, sadly many still give up that victory to satisfy the flesh and giving in to the strategies of the enemy rather than yielding to the Spirit of God. I should ask myself everyday who do you chose to follow today the flesh or God? Who is first in my life, do I live to get praise from people or to please God?

  358. poohpity says:

    ODB for today was very eye opening.

  359. Beloved says:

    Thank you Steve for the blessing.

  360. foreverblessed says:

    Psalm 23
    A psalm of David.

    1
    The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    2
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
    he leads me beside quiet waters,
    3
    he refreshes my soul.
    He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
    4
    Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
    I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

    5
    You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
    You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
    6
    Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
    and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

  361. foreverblessed says:

    Yesterday that Psalm was read in the city church. Together with Mark 6:30-44
    That Jesus Himself was greatly nourished by this Psalm, facing the ordeal.

  362. SFDBWV says:

    Matt has finished his breakfast and is involved in one of his routines he does every morning for 15 minutes. I have dried the laundry and have it to fold in a little while.

    As soon as Matt finishes I will then tend to him for a moment then go outside to feed the critters. It is still dark and thankfully a little cooler this morning.

    I then go to my garage and set and have some private time with our Lord, before returning to the house and my duties.

    It is part of what goes on here every morning for the past 22 plus years.

    The Psalm Foreverblessed gave us is especially meaningful to me because 22 plus years ago while Matt was first in the Intensive Care Unit and his mother and I along with family and friends lived in a cubicle in the hallway I received this Psalm and it spoke volumes to me.

    It strengthened me gave me hope and helped carry me those dark 23 days in the ICU and beyond.

    Thank you Foreverblessed for the reminder.

    Ok I have taken care of Matt, had my first cup of coffee and am off to the backyard. I will be sure and add you folks here to my prayers this morning.

    Steve

  363. SFDBWV says:

    I am a fan of JRR Tolkien’s books “The Lord of The Rings” as well as of the movies and accompanying music.

    Each morning when I turn on the “You Tube” music it opens with “Into the West”

    Though sad, it is amazing how such powerful things came out of the horrible tragedy of WWI, such as the fictional story of the little and least of beings, the Hobbits, being used in order for good to triumph over evil and the powerful sermons of Oswald Chambers.

    Some believe that the clock began counting down the end of the age for mankind in 1914. I don’t know. However I do know that even or especially from the ashes of sorrow, hope can rise when we look for our Lord in the midst of them.

    Praying for all to be blessed today.

    Steve

  364. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you for sharing Steve, how in the darkest valley God was there, what a great example that He kept His promise!

    and thanks for the blessing!

    I also pray for all those who have been hurt by the massive rain and flooding. In our country only one village is flooded. But in Germany and Belgium, just across the border, houses have been whiped away. And 20 to 30 deaths, besides many still missing.
    I am watching German news now.
    In some hospitals in the IC, no electricity. Can you imagine, your loved one in IC, and the wheat her turns so bad that there is no electricity. But no one died.

    We have had three years of drought, well drought, but very dry weather. And now too much rain.

  365. foreverblessed says:

    But that Jesus Himself was comforted by Psalm 23!
    In the dark death valley, God was with Him.
    He prepared a table in front of His enemies.
    However I have to look at this, Jesus arranged the bread and the cup, for our table, God with us, in our deepest moments, but also in our most mundane moments. Always.
    May God bless Matt! Today again, giving him strength while he waits.
    And Steve too!

  366. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Foreverblessed. Back in the 70’s Hal Linsey wrote a little book called “The Late Great Planet Earth”. I bought several copies of it and gave them away.

    There are many events happening now and that are to come as the end of the age spirals ever faster and faster towards the end.

    All recorded in the Scripture and his little book detailed them all.

    We are not told exactly when that hour comes, but we are given what evidence to recognize as it approaches.

    I sure hope Viv is ok.

    Steve

  367. poohpity says:

    “Testify to Love” Wynonna Judd

    All the colours of the rainbow
    All the voices of the wind
    Every dream that reaches out
    Reaches out to find where love begins

    Every word of every story
    Every star in every sky
    Every corner of creation
    Lives to testify

    For as long as I shall live
    I will testify to love
    I’ll be a witness in the silences
    When words are not enough
    With every breath I take
    We’ll give thanks to God above
    For as long as I shall live
    I will testify to love

    From the mountains to the valleys
    From the rivers to the sea
    Every hand that reaches out
    Every hand that reaches out to offer peace

    Every simple act of mercy
    Every step to kingdom come
    All the hope in every heart
    Will see what love has done

    For as long as I shall live
    I will testify to love
    I’ll be a witness in the silences
    When the words are not enough
    With every breath I take
    I will give thanks to God above
    For as long as I shall live
    I will testify to love

    For as long as I shall live
    I will testify to love
    I’ll be a witness in the silences
    When the words are not enough
    With every breath I take
    I will give thanks to God above
    For as long as I shall live
    I will testify to love

  368. poohpity says:

    It seems like when darkness and despair overwhelm us one tends to focus on that darkness rather than on the light. It seems similar to a cloudy sky we can not see the sun because the clouds cover it but we know just above those clouds the sun is shining or in the dark night sky above the clouds the moon reflects the light of the sun but neither great light has disappeared just because we can not see it, that seems to be the same with God just because we can not see Him, He is always here no matter that clouds cover us He is above everything this world offers and His love shines.

  369. poohpity says:

    It seems to me that we have been in the end times since the day Jesus ascended back to heaven and no one knows the hour that He will return, so be ready, have extra oil for your lamp and always be prepared.

  370. street says:

    Could we With Ink the Ocean Fill…

    the self dies hard, we or i

    yet the Lord bids me to come to Him.

    not to self.

    thinking of pauls indebtedness to all mankind, because of what Jesus had done for paul. could this indebtedness be another Word for Love? a Love that come from the Vine.

    thinking of rivers of living water flowing to the north the west the south and the east. they flow from the Thrown of God in the Temple of God. the whole earth is filled with His Glory.

  371. SFDBWV says:

    1. At least 42 people have died and many more are missing after severe floods in western Germany
    2. Another six are dead in Belgium, and the Netherlands has also been badly affected
    3. The Belgian city of Liège has urged all residents to leave
    4. Major rivers have burst their banks after record rainfall
    5. The head of Rhineland-Palatinate, one of the worst affected regions, said many people were still in danger
    6. Schools are closed and transport links have been severely disrupted throughout the west of Germany
    7. A state of emergency has been declared in the district of Schuld bei Adenau, in the mountainous Eifel region, German media say

    I copied this off of BBC for an update to what Foreverblessed has brought to our attention.

    Prayers for all involved.

    Steve

  372. street says:

    thinking about these verses today

    It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give water to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life, without cost. 7 The one who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.

    “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
    Because He anointed Me to bring good news to the poor.
    He has sent Me to proclaim release to captives,
    And recovery of sight to the blind,
    To set free those who are oppressed,
    19
    To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

    29 ‘Then this shall be the sign for you: [j]you will eat this year what grows of itself, in the second year what grows by itself, and in the third year sow, harvest, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 30 The survivors that are left of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 31 For out of Jerusalem will go a remnant, and survivors out of Mount Zion. The zeal of [k]the Lord will perform this.

  373. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you so much for your concern!
    Tonight, between 2 and 3 hour, the high waters will come to Liege and Maastricht.
    Our son studied in Maastricht, and still has contact with his friends, but he himself doesn’t live there anymore. 10.000 people were asked to leave their houses this afternoon. And most do listen. And 5000 in another city.

    This looks like the heat in Lytton, Canada, where the weather doesn’t move on, but stayes on the same spot. Accumulating heat in Lytton, and rain here.

    Thanks for your concern. I pray, that God will be there, and withose who have lost so much.
    One elder couple, 60 plus, seemed quite in peace, they said: “we are alive, we are healthy, we have much to be thankful for.”
    Wow.

    The scriptures of the water, Street gave, Gods Word will fill the earth, water flows and comes everywhere, nothing can stop it.

  374. Beloved says:

    One elder couple, 60 plus, seemed quite in peace, they said: “we are alive, we are healthy, we have much to be thankful for.”

    I thought of Francis of Assisi who gave up all his wealth to follow Jesus as well as many many others. Not that wealth is bad but if it comes between us and Christ we lose our True peace. I love a thankful saint!

  375. foreverblessed says:

    Much to be thankful for…
    That Jesus saved us.
    That we have eternal life.
    Utmost of yesterday is good.
    But we cannot do back anything for Jesus, we can only abide in Him, and have faith that He will work in us. But oh…. our human nature wants to try anyway.
    Street, that death to self, in the study of Watchmen Nee:
    The old self has already died because of the Word of God, who said,
    when Jesus died, all died
    (somewhere in Corinthians)
    It is not anything we experience, it is the death Jesus died, it is His experience, in faith we can except that it happened to our old man too.

    Just as in faith we accept that through the Blood of Christ we have been forgiven.
    In faith we can except that our old man has died, in the Body of Christ, when He hang on the Cross.

    I am just sharing this, it is an eye opener to me, that we experience nothing in ourselves, Jesus did it, and what He did in the Body, is ours, because of the Word of God.
    The Word of God is our salvation, James 1:21
    I thought the Cross of Jesus is our salvation,
    Do what the Word says:
    Accept the Word, that we have died in Him, and that we raised with Him too. And now live in the Spirit, the Life of Christ in us, does the works.

  376. foreverblessed says:

    Thankfully things have not gotten worse. In Maastricht the river didn’t overflow, thank you God.
    Even Biden said a word to Angela Merkel, that was good.
    She goes back to Germany now.
    80 people have died, and many still missing.
    But about staying in peace: how does a person know that you stay calm when your house is whipped away by a stream of water?

    Or anything else that may happen?

    You split the earth with rivers, the mountains saw you and writhed. Torrents of waters swept by,
    The deep roared and lifted it’s waves on high…
    Habakkuk 3:9-10

    But the prophet himself was shaking, his legs trembled,
    So it looks that he was ain a state of shock and horror. Hab 3:16-
    And yet….
    That is also the theme of this topic,
    In the midst of the dark hours, there is still a gleam of hope, of faith that God is there.

    Yet I will patiently wait..

  377. SFDBWV says:

    Reading this morning of the dead and missing in Europe. It is unusual to see such flooding in Europe. We here in the USA deal with it on a regular basis.

    I see already the “experts” are blaming global warming on the disaster.

    Someone or something always has to be blamed.

    Here in the USA insurance companies call such events as acts of God.

    So God is blamed when it rains too much or too little.

    I will always remember reading long ago from one of the floods that killed people while they slept or trapped in their homes here in America of their finding a young mother and her young child clutched together in death along with a Bible in the mothers arms.

    Hard sometimes to see the love of God in such tragic events.

    Glad you Foreverblessed escaped any of the flooding as well as those you love.

    Steve

  378. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Steve!
    To be honest, that we escaped water damage is also because of measurements that have been taken.
    That was decided in 2002, when there was exceptional rain falling too. Rain clouds that stayed on one place and didn’t move. They explained the extra rain by the warmer air. Warmer air can absorb more water vapour. And so more rain falls.
    And then also, after to high river water of 1995, a huge program started to give extra water reserves for the rivers, overflowing areas were assigned, we are going to need that coming week for all the water that will come in the river Rhine and Maas.

    For the local rain: in 2002, we had water damage in our house. Only the wooden floor was damaged, no comparison to the flooding now.
    But after that they made extra water basins, everywhere in municipalities. Sometime huge underground concrete structures. So that the sewage wouldn’t overflow. And it works very well now!
    So whatever the causes, it helps to get to grips with changing rainfall.
    But then we also have dryer periods, so now they arrange that water is also kept inlands, as a reserve, for dryer times.

    It helps when a government is taking good measures, instead of letting things happen.
    But our country had to do that anyway, as we live in a delta.
    All the water from the Rhine (Swiss and Germany) and Maas (France and Belgium) comes here. We would not have had a place to live, if we did not have good water management.

    So we are glad to pay taxes, ( just kidding, but if a government is there for the good of a country it is ok)

    What that has to do with the Kingdom of God?
    If we live in wealth, people forget God.
    So shall we not organise our country well so that disasters happen, and hope people will turn to God?

    It is like saying: let’s keep on sinning that God’s grace may abound.
    Romans 6:1-2

    But I do pray that God will touch hearts anywhere where people in despair cry out to Him.
    May God be merciful!

  379. poohpity says:

    For me it is not hard to know and trust in the goodness or love of God when everyday I look around and see God does not treat us as we deserve but in mercy and grace so undeserved and so amazing. Knowing that the enemy of God is still working to cause us to doubt that goodness and love and that enemy does not have to work so hard on some because the enemy has already won in their hearts.

  380. poohpity says:

    How often do people forget the wonderful things God has done for us it would seem because they are so focused on the ugly found in the world, the mess mankind has done to something that in creation that was so good and pleasing yet they forget the Kingdom of God is not of this world and His ways are far beyond our ways or thinking? Look around at the good because there is so much of it yet people would rather focus on bad, they are pessimistic.

  381. Beloved says:

    following lines reflect word pictures of the love of God as chanted in Jewish synagogues on the first day of Shavuot (Pentecost), before the reading of Torah.

    Just realizing the importance of the words on an important day! Pentecost! I am actually surprised to know that Jewish religion recognizes Pentecost. Learned something new to think about and research. To connect Pentecost with the vast love of God- wow.

    Thinking it’s hard to equate the flood waters with Gods love when your possessions and family and your very life are being swept away; unless the New birth has completely changed your perspective and like Job you can with confidence say, The LORD gives and the LORD takes away, blessed be the name of the LORD.

  382. Beloved says:

    Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21

  383. Beloved says:

    “Shavuot is called the “Festival of Weeks” because it is held five weeks after the second night of Passover. Originally tied to an ancient grain festival, it eventually became the holiday that marks God’s giving of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai.
    The link between the two holidays lies in their names. “Pentecost” comes from the Greek word “pentekostos,” which means 50. Pentecost comes 50 days after Easter, when Christian believe Jesus rose from the dead. And Shavuot comes 50 days after the second night of Passover. Some scholars believe Pentecost owes its name to Jesus’ Jewish followers who were gathered together to observe the festival of Shavuot.“

    Ok so this explains it for me. I’m thinking also the verse about the love of God was added by Christian Jews after Pentecost. What an amazing marvelous act of God! A tangible observation of Gods presence here with us!

  384. Beloved says:

    Wondering if the great love of God could not really be understood before Pentecost? Thinking of Peters questioning by Jesus and thinking He was explaining what Love looks like in flesh. Peter, do you love me? Then…

  385. street says:

    thinking about 14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that those who live would no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose on their behalf.

    For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

    Galatians 2:20
    I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

    thinking what does mean/how to live for Christ?

    in Spirit and Truth/Word

    you must be born again

    living by trust in Christ.

    thinking of abrham and how God kept Hid Promises to Him and the surprise/ not so surprise of the Church age.

    thinking of the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.

    13 for if you are living in accord with the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

    Spirit abiding in me and abiding in Christ/Word

    I will write My Word on their hearts + Penticost = new creation.

  386. Beloved says:

    You street are very good with biblical theology. I’m glad you are here even though you are surprised!

  387. street says:

    have not read c s lewis, thinking about surprised by joy, light, peace, love, faithfulness, kindness, goodness…..

    thinking of luther bondage of the will.

    led a host of captives captive.

  388. Beloved says:

    “Before powerful state and church leaders who could execute him, Luther said, “I am bound to the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience.“

  389. poohpity says:

    It would seem that a little more study about day three when Jesus was resurrected and 50 days later when the Holy Spirit came upon believers which is Pentecost.

  390. Beloved says:

    He led captivity captive! From darkness into Light. No wonder our surprise!

  391. street says:

    He bound me to the alter with festive bows.

    thinking Psalm 118:27

  392. street says:

    29
    Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
    For His mercy is everlasting.

  393. Beloved says:

    I really like this meditation I found:

    The will of God will never take you,
    Where the grace of God cannot keep you.
    Where the arms of God cannot support you,
    Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
    Where the power of God cannot endow you.

    The will of God will never take you,
    Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
    Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
    Where the army of God cannot protect you,
    Where the hands of God cannot mold you.

    The will of God will never take you,
    Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
    Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
    Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
    Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

    The will of God will never take you,
    Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
    Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
    Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
    Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

    author unknown

  394. foreverblessed says:

    Beloved, you can find in the bible, what is written about the Feast of Weeks
    Leviticus 23:15-22

    The Festival of Weeks

    15 “‘From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. 16 Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord.”

    The Israelites celebrated the giving of the Law,
    The christians celebrate the giving of the Holy Spirit.

    Mart connects it to Love, through this song,
    Or is it connection to Hope
    Faith Hope and Love
    Because we can trust God, and His Love, so immense immense immense

  395. foreverblessed says:

    Having kept all these Festivals from Leviticus myself, I could not help to share these verses.
    What matters is:

    I will write My Word on their hearts + Penticost = new creation.

  396. street says:

    17 So I say this, and affirm in the Lord, that you are to no longer walk just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their minds, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

    23 and that you are to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new [r]self, which [s]in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

    (righteousness and holiness of the truth)/Jesus Christ of nazareth

    created/grafted into the Vine. born of God.

  397. street says:

    Because we can trust God, and His Love, so immense immense immense

    thinking immersed in His Love.

  398. street says:

    restored/redeemed to God by faith.

  399. Beloved says:

    You have quite an interesting spiritual background Forever.

  400. Beloved says:

    I was thinking how hard it’s been for you growing up in a dysfunctional religious system. I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional non-religious household. Yet God saw me and rescued me! As well He had his eye on you and street and here we are today! Loving God and trying as best we can to serve Him. Not perfectly but with sincerity of heart. Bless the LORD, oh my soul!

  401. street says:

    21
    I will give thanks to You, for You have answered me,
    And You have become my salvation. Psalm 118

    You have become my Salvation/Life.

    9
    He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
    He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
    He burns the chariots with fire.
    10
    “Stop striving and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted on the earth.”
    11
    The Lord of armies is with us;
    The God of Jacob is our stronghold.

    Job 19:25
    Yet as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last, He will take His stand on the earth.

    5 And one of the elders *said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to be able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

    6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

    Prince of Peace.

  402. street says:

    interesting spiritual background

    Ezekiel 39:25
    Israel Restored
    Therefore this is what the Lord God says: “Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on all the house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name.

  403. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, indeed, “Restored”
    God restored me. It was in 1995, when I found out that it is not about the Sabbath, but about Jesus that saved us, so that we could enter that rest.
    At that time I was really humble, very very humble, I told God, that I had misinterpreted His Word, and that I was sorry, to say the least. And I asked Him to tell me what bring christian was all about, as I wanted to know…
    Th

  404. foreverblessed says:

    There was an intensive Bible study, about the Sabbath, all the scriptures, I devoured it.
    The Holy Spirit guided me, my eyes were opened.
    These days are a shadow, the Reality, however, is found in Christ.
    Col 2:17.

    If you have the Reality, do you still have to keep the shadow?

    Going to a mainstream church, evangelical, I found out, that I must be careful to say, that I don’t keep a day holy anymore.
    That Jesus IS the Sabbath, that I rest in faith in Him.

    Then I get lectures that I misunderstood Gods commands.
    That we ought to keep the Sunday holy.
    Because God commanded that in the 4th commandment.
    One person went even so far to say that I had to be delivered from a religious spirit, that when I was delivered I would keep the Sunday.

    So then I came to this conclusion: to have been in a very fundamentalistic church is in a peculiar way also an advantage:
    Then you see that it is not about keeping the commandments,
    That indeed, as Paul says: keeping days are things from the earth.
    But they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
    Col 2:23

    Keeping a day holy, does not make you holy.
    It is a good rest for the body, it is good to rest.
    Just as eating healthy food is wise,
    but the food laws of the OT are no longer a “law” for us.

  405. foreverblessed says:

    “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters”
    Rom 14:1

    “Whatever you believe about these things (disputable matters)
    keep between yourself and God.
    Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what je approves”.
    Rom 14:22

  406. foreverblessed says:

    In the beginning of the Church, there must have been great differences in what believers wanted to do.
    Did they go on keeping the Sabbath? Did they go on keeping the religious Festivals?
    Paul clearly told that these things are a shadow in Col 2:6-23, but he also wrote Romans 14:1-23 to leave each other alone. That is was between each believer and God.
    Paul called someone who wanted to keep the food laws, as one weak in faith. It is quite “looking down” on another to tell them that they are weak on faith when they want to eat a certain way, or that they want to keep certain days.

    So there I was, coming out of a fundamentalistic Church, and then O found out, many christians still hold onto rules and regulations.

  407. foreverblessed says:

    Keeping the Sabbath: is living in faith in Jesus.
    The Rest means: stopping from your own works
    Hebrews 4;10

    Stopping from your own works, and let Jesus do the works in you.

    (We have had a long discussion here, the last few weeks. That we can do nothing without Jesus. As some have said: we are nothing, Jesus is everything. So that means without Jesus we are nothing, just dust, or flowers who blossom for one day and then wither)

    But to live in faith in Jesus, that is so hard, it is much easier to keep a day, physically rest from your labor, than to spiritually rest from our own works.

  408. foreverblessed says:

    The study of “the normal christian life” from Watchmen Nee, is about this resting in faith in Jesus.
    It is a stumbling block for all christians,
    Going through Romans 3 to Romans 8
    After having come to faith and living in faith,
    The blood of Christ Romans 3:1-5:11
    Knowing that we are forgiven
    The body of Christ, Rom 5:12-6:23 knowing and reckoning that we are dead in sins, but alive in Christ.

    But then….
    Then comes Romans 7
    The struggle…
    This struggle all Christians will go through, one time or another, not only before our conversion, but also after…

    We think we have to do something because Jesus has done so much for us.
    To do…

  409. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you for all of your comments this morning Foreverblessed. Your enthusiasm comes across in all of your commentary.

    And is received with agreement and peace.

    The Lord is with you Foreverblessed, thank you for sharing Him.

    Steve

  410. foreverblessed says:

    That blessing really touched my heart!
    Thanks Steve!
    I was thinking about you:
    ( And praying for you and Matt)
    Resting from your works one day a week, is impossible: you have to attend to Matt! The physical rest is impossible.
    When I was a young mother, the Saturday was a really busy day, every one around me, needing attention, and food.
    My rest came on Monday, when everyone was out of the house. And I was alone, and could read the Bible, and meditate and pray, the whole morning, till the children had lunchtime and I had to go and pick them up from school.

    How can you “rest” when attending the needs of your loved ones around you?

  411. poohpity says:

    I guess to teach them that everyone can pitch in and help so they do not become totally dependent and never able to care for themselves or others. Isn’t that what God does? He teaches us His ways then we learn to do them. The works the bible seems to talk about is trying to earn God’s love or salvation those are things that are freely given because of who God is and we can rest in that. Most people try to earn love from other people but with God it is different He gives His love as a gift to us.

    Eph 2: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; 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, that we should walk in them.

  412. poohpity says:

    I pray that one day you will realize of how much value and worth you are to God. People in the bible referred to themselves as worms or nothing but that is not what God says about you. You were chosen(1 Peter 2:9) to bear His name and be part of His family so that shows you what you mean to God, He gave up so much to walk among us and to give His life as a ransom for a bunch of sinners. I would say that we are of value and worth to God if we were nothing to Him then why would He want to prove His love for us?

  413. Beloved says:

    Great Is Thy Faithfulness

    Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee
    Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
    As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be
    Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness
    Morning by morning new mercies I see
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me
    Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest
    Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
    Join with all nature in manifold witness
    To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love
    Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness
    Morning by morning new mercies I see
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me
    Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
    Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
    Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside
    Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness
    Morning by morning new mercies I see
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

  414. poohpity says:

    AMEN!

  415. street says:

    “The Deliverer will come from Zion,
    He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
    27
    “This is My covenant with them,
    When I take away their sins.”

    28 In relation to the gospel they are enemies on your account, but in relation to God’s choice they are beloved on account of the fathers; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. 32 For God has shut up all in disobedience, so that He may show mercy to all.

  416. street says:

    thinking how limited mankind is.
    how unlimited God is.

    how He bridged the gap. permanently!

  417. foreverblessed says:

    He bridged the gap!!!
    How wonderful

    In God’s eyes we are worth while.
    He cherishes us as the apple of His eyes.

    “He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye,” Deut 32:10
    Not only Israel, but all mankind. and including me.
    Psalm 139 is so wonderful too: God fearfully and wonderfully made me. Before I was born, He knew me.
    And I know that full well.

  418. foreverblessed says:

    Zech 2:5
    5 And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’

    God is a a wall of fire around me, and God is the glorie within me.
    Nothing is impossible with God, for God.
    He makes nothing into everything!

  419. foreverblessed says:

    Street, July 7, 10.04 am
    These scriptures tell of a longing of God for us.
    So beautiful!
    We are the apple of His eyes.
    As Jesus died for all, I assume that Jesus dearly loves all.
    All, the saved and the not yet saved.
    So can we say: all are the apple of His eyes?

  420. poohpity says:

    John 3: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

  421. poohpity says:

    Romans 5: Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Therefore, since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from wrath through Him!

  422. street says:

    Revelation 21:3
    And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,

    21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a “pledge”,(Or first installment)

    23 But I call God as witness to my soul, that it was to spare you that I did not come again to Corinth.

    Ephesians 3:19
    and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.

    Ephesians 4:13
    until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

    we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ, Ephesians 4:15

  423. Beloved says:

    Ephesians 3:19
    and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.

    To know the love of Christ means to be filled to all the fullness of God. Surpasses knowledge! Must be what happens when we became born again. Born from above, born of Spirit not flesh. Answered my thought regarding the change of understanding the love of God from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Old covenant—new covenant. Reconciled by blood from a lamb as sin offering—reconciled to God through the blood of the Lamb of God. That verse is packed full!

  424. Beloved says:

    Attain to the unity of the faith.
    Now that’s something only God can do I believe. Birth, growth, it’s all Gods doing. Lest we boast and become prideful.

  425. Beloved says:

    I think the perfect love of God was veiled when sin entered Eden. The veil was removed when Christ died and the veil in the temple was torn apart. No wonder we must become born anew to enter the Kingdom.

  426. Beloved says:

    John 3:36
    John 14:21

  427. Beloved says:

    We are not saved by obedience, for obedience is the result of salvation. We are saved by faith, because faith leads us to obey. Charles Spurgeon

    Makes sense to me.

  428. Beloved says:

    Good night all may God bless and keep you.

  429. street says:

    Obedience is only possible between people who are equals in their relationship to each other; like the relationship between father and son, not that between master and servant. Jesus showed this relationship by saying, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). “…though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). The Son was obedient as our Redeemer, because He was the Son, not in order to become God’s Son.
    oswald chambers 7/19/21

    5 Have this attitude [a]in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be [b]grasped, 7 but [c]emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and [d]being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:5-7

    the words dead barren and empty come to mind. without the Holy Spirit no fruit. the Glory belongs to God.

    yet He Who died and emptied Himself and cut off with nothing has been exalted to the highest.

    Luke 2:14
    KJ21
    “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”

  430. Beloved says:

    For all the Lord has done for me,
    I never will cease to love Him;
    And for His grace so rich and free,
    I never will cease to love Him.
    Refrain:
    I never will cease to love Him,
    My Savior, my Savior;
    I never will cease to love Him,
    He’s done so much for me.
    He gives me strength for every day,
    I never will cease to love Him;
    He leads and guides me all the way,
    I never will cease to love Him.
    He saves me every day and hour,
    I never will cease to love Him;
    Just now I feel His cleansing pow’r,
    I never will cease to love Him.
    While on my journey here below,
    I never will cease to love Him;
    And when to that bright world I go,
    I never will cease to love Him.
    Charles Gabriel

  431. foreverblessed says:

    That is a beautiful song, to love the Lord, is the best reaction, love…not wanting to do anything back for Him, but to love Him.

    Street that devotion on obedience of today’s Utmost, has been one I have pondered over the years.
    Is I cannot hear the word: obedience, why is that?

    I cite some more:
    “If our Lord insisted on our obedience, He would simply become a taskmaster and cease to have any real authority. He never insists on obedience, but when we truly see Him we will instantly obey Him. Then He is easily Lord of our life, and we live in adoration of Him from morning till night. The level of my growth in grace is revealed by the way I look at obedience. We should have a much higher view of the word obedience, rescuing it from the mire of the world. Obedience is only possible between people who are equals in their relationship to each other; like the relationship between father and son,”

    That God does not insist on obedience, He longs for us to love Him

  432. foreverblessed says:

    It is still hard for me to understand,
    So between master and servants it is not obedience.
    Obedience: between lovers, when you really love your partner, a mere suggestion of something he likes, is enough to do it for him, (and vice versa, otherwise it is not between equals)

    God wants our love, ehhh longs for our love, that anything we do is put of happy love, joyful love, not squeezed out of us.

    Simon, son of John, do you love Me”
    And then, if the answer is yes: comes the commission:
    “Feed My sheep”
    John 21

  433. street says:

    13 You call Me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’; and [d]you are correct, for so I am. 14 So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example, so that you also would do just as I did for you. 16 Truly, truly I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is [e]one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

    14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, because all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. John 15:14-16

    John 5:20
    For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.

    8 Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus *said to him, “Have I been with [a]you for so long a time, and yet [b]you have not come to know Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own, but the Father, as He remains in Me, does His works. John 14:8-10

    master servant

    Father Son

    the relationship based in knowing and love.

    Word,Holy Spirit, Love = new creation. born again

    love and obeisance are interchangeable like trust faith believe.

    2 ‘I know your deeds and your labor and [b]perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil people, and you have put those who call themselves apostles to the test, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3 and you have [c]perseverance and have endured on account of My name, and have not become weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the [d]deeds you did at first; Revelation 2

    4 But you have a few [d]people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. Revelation 3

    yes it is important to feed the sheep/love…..but sitting standing and walking with Jesus in His Spirit He gave us….

    14 He will glorify Me, for He will take from Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine; this is why I said that He takes from Mine and will disclose it to you.

    16 “A little while, and you no longer are going to see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.”

    we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ,Ephesians 4:15

    the Vinedresser remove unfruitfulness, that which is not of Christ.

    thinking of paul Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

    thinking of Job’s time with God.

  434. Beloved says:

    Matthew7: 7Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

    9Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

    12In everything, then, do to others as you would have them do to you. For this is the essence of the Law and the Prophets.

  435. Beloved says:

    These verses came to mind reading street. I’m wondering if service comes from obedience.

  436. street says:

    obedience does not come from the flesh, sarx (greek)

    it does not mean physical or sensual nature, but human nature. Engaging God’s Word: Ephesians, pages 37 2012

    could it be from a love poured out into our hearts?

  437. Beloved says:

    I love this discussion on obedience.

  438. street says:

    Obedience: between lovers, when you really love your partner, a mere suggestion of something he likes, is enough to do it for him, (and vice versa, otherwise it is not between equals)

    we love because He first loved us.

    thinking of paul not returning to corith. He prayed and waited for God to do in corith what he could not do. He knew God would accomplish what he could not. the pain of love waiting and inter-seeding on an-other’s behalf.

    my actions ultimately can not bring joy to another. only God can do this and He does this through the Holy Spirit through people. example an evangelist can proclaim the gospel, but it is God that invades the heart through the Holy Spirit to convict regenerate and restore to right standing before God. we see repentance baptism and new life. and then there is the parable of the 4 soils. it is trust in Christ/Word that sustains us through the Holy Spirit.

    love is subordinate/subordination to the one you obey.

    this is why some sin is hard to break, they are in love with sin.

    Jesus tempered His followers to count the cost. it helps to count the benefits.

  439. street says:

    should have wrote Jesus asks us to count the cost.

    not what i think be what He says.

  440. Beloved says:

    this is why some sin is hard to break, they are in love with sin.

    Street I was just thinking about how hard it is to break a sin habit and thought of Paul’s discourse in Romans and the seemingly or maybe rhetorical even wrestling with this issue. He concludes that even though he wills to do good he cannot, but Jesus! Now maybe he’s talking about salvation here not the sanctified walk of faith I’m not sure.

    You say they are in love with sin. Hmmm. Paul says he hates sin- I agree wholeheartedly. I hate mine also.

  441. Beloved says:

    Are you thinking of I John saying not to love the world because if you do the love of God is not in you?

  442. Beloved says:

    I John 2:15
    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

  443. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, I too love the discussion on obedience.
    When I left the fundamentalistic church, I had an allergic reaction to the word “obedience”.
    The devotions of Oswald Chambers have given me a new way to look at that word.
    And then I look it up, what Jesus said, on the night of the Last Supper.
    We are not servants, we are friends. Friends!, He says we are.
    John 15:14,
    As Street shared last night.

    But the most beautiful one about obedience is this one:
    “If anyone loves Me, he will obey my teaching”.

    And that combined with this: the teaching of Christ is for the Life of Christ IN me. Not for me myself, my old man cannot do what Jesus taught.
    The first one of the teaching of Jesus is this one:
    “Come to Me”
    So I have to learn to come to Jesus, with everything,with my ups and my downs. But…..
    We often go to other human beings, fellow christians
    Till the full stature of Christ is growing in us, and we first go to Jesus, and see indeed that He us the best Friend we could ever have!
    It is best to learn that, before we get old.

    “Remember your Creator, in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come” Eccl 12:1

    That does remind me of Corrie ten Boom, who had a stroke, and lay on her bed, paralysed, 5 years before she died.
    But, in her inner being she knew Jesus intimately. She wasn’t healed, but she was a blessing of God to anyone who visited her.

  444. foreverblessed says:

    “Fear God and keep His commandments,
    for this is the whole of man”
    Eccl 12:13

    “If anyone loves Me,
    he will obey My Teaching”
    John 14:23

  445. foreverblessed says:

    Now about the Commandments:
    Moses said:
    When the Prophet comes, you must listen to Him.
    Deut 18:15,18

    So in the Old Covenant is included, a way out to the teaching of Jesus.
    That the Teaching of Jesus is above that of the Commandments of the OT.

    And the teaching of Jesus is for the Renewed man, the man that is born from above, in other words: for the Life of Christ IN the heart.

    I guess, I am repeating myself.

  446. foreverblessed says:

    “But now, my brothers (and sisters), you also died to the law through the body of Christ”

    Some say, the Law is still in effect. It still exists.
    That might be OK,
    But…..
    I have died,
    And how did I die?
    By the Word of God, Who put me in the Body of Christ, when He was put on the Cross. I was in Him, and I died with Him.
    I no longer live, so the Law has no day over me any more.

    Really, that is quite an amazing statement!
    I was forgotten that verse of Romans 7:4
    To anyone who says that the Law is still in force, not one jot or tittle is gone,
    Yes, to that person I can answer:
    That is OK, but I died, with Christ, and now I am released from that Law.

  447. foreverblessed says:

    “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we may serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
    Rom 7:6

    In fact, I can say that to myself, the person I was 55-35 years ago

  448. foreverblessed says:

    Jesus used the word “Friends”
    We are His friends.

    Paul used the word “slaves” Rom 6:18

    But Paul used that word because he wanted to speak in human terms, because “you are weak in your natural selves”. Rom 6:19
    So here is a Nuance.
    Nuance, in words.

    Still coming back to that point of “Nuance”
    The word Mart used so often when he actively participated here.

    Also nuance in the word of obedience. I could not hear that word, 25 years ago. When I was still hurt, by christian church that demanded obedience.
    Don’t ask questions, just obey the Word of God. As they interpreted it.

    But here in Romans we are taught to live according to the
    Law of the Spirit of Life.
    Romans 8:2

    We died to the law, it has no say over us anymore.

    “That we might belong to another, to Him, Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.”
    Rom 7:4b

    May you have a blessed day!
    May God bless you!
    And especially Steve and Matt!!!
    In the Name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

  449. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Foreverblessed. Matt is eating his breakfast and I am enjoying a couple apple turnovers with my coffee. I baked them this morning when I first got up.

    It always blesses me to see you each morning and I always enjoy what you write.

    Thank you for your blessing for Matt and I. We had an exhausting day yesterday, including a visit from one of Matt’s old school teachers.

    Matt did so enjoy seeing his “favorite” teacher.

    Thanks again Foreverblessed for sharing your thoughts and our Lord with us.

    Steve

  450. bullwinkle11 says:

    Have really enjoyed the conversation on obedience that has been taking place. Obedience from love and not from obligation.
    May you all have a blessed day!
    Pete

  451. poohpity says:

    Jesus said, ““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. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Matt 5

    also

    Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[a]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

    13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18

    Jesus said, “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also must love one another.” John 13

  452. street says:

    By the Word of God, Who put me in the Body of Christ, when He was put on the Cross. I was in Him, and I died with Him.
    I no longer live, so the Law has no say over me any more.

    betrothed to another.

    did i mention the One Who died for all is available?

    instead of a diamond engagement ring, The Holy Spirit.

    the law was for sinner of which i am. learning to mortify the old man by the Spirit. i am. to please the One Who loves me, the unlovable.

    to become poor to make many rich.

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

    8 I am not saying this as a command, but as proving, through the earnestness of others, the sincerity of your love as well. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. 10 I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it.

  453. Beloved says:

    I’m reading Matthew and found a good description of what our obedience/love looks like: Matthew25:31-40

  454. Beloved says:

    What really strikes me here is Jesus is talking about the righteous and how they treat one another- not the unrighteous.

  455. Beloved says:

    Dear Mart, how are you doing?

  456. foreverblessed says:

    Do you not know, brothers, for I am speaking to men who know the law,
    that the law has authority over a man as long as he lives.
    Romans 7:1

    That you may betrothed to another.
    Street, that little piece of bible is so beautiful!

    And has such great meaning!
    As I think Paul explains it: we were married to a husband, the Law (the Old Covenant).
    As long as we live we are bound to it.
    But now that we have died through the Body of Christ, we are free to marry another man:
    The One who was raised from the dead.

    We belong to Jesus.
    But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we may serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the d way of the written code.
    Romans 7:1-6

  457. foreverblessed says:

    That you may belong to Another
    Romans 7:4

    Belong….
    Like in a loving marriage relationship.
    With Jesus.
    Song of Solomon, think of that.
    (Solomon means prince of peace)

    That we do not live according to the sinful nature, but according to the Spirit.
    Those who live in accordance to the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
    The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.
    Romans 8:4-6

    In order that the righteous requirements might be fully met in us…
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
    Against such things there is no law.

    Those who belong to Christ (married to a New Husband, the One who was raised from the dead) have crucified the sinful nature with it’s passions and desires.
    Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
    Rom 8:4, Gal 5:22-25

    I am “married” to Jesus, the Prince of Peace, my eyes are on Him, like they were on my husband, when I was wildly in love. Whatever he wanted, I wanted with him. What plans he had, I was excited to go with him. Just to be with him.
    (I write in the past tense, ….everybody knows why lol)
    Thanks to Jesus, we are still together, (and happy too) but my wildly in love feeling is something that I know is a symbol for a deeper love with Jesus. An overwhelming love of our dear Savior, for our dear Lord and New Husband.

    Love like an ocean.
    And there I am still back in the topic.
    This was all on topic! Wow!

  458. Beloved says:

    Good morning 😃

    Forever that was beautiful!

    Bible gateway Verse of the Day
    Psalm 119:30
    I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me.

    Faithful to love as I have been loved! Wow that’s immense and intense!

  459. street says:

    Beware of thinking of our Lord as only a teacher. If Jesus Christ is only a teacher, then all He can do is frustrate me by setting a standard before me I cannot attain. What is the point of presenting me with such a lofty ideal if I cannot possibly come close to reaching it? I would be happier if I never knew it. What good is there in telling me to be what I can never be— to be “pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8), to do more than my duty, or to be completely devoted to God? I must know Jesus Christ as my Savior before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of a lofty ideal which only leads to despair. But when I am born again by the Spirit of God, I know that Jesus Christ did not come only to teach— He came to make me what He teaches I should be. The redemption means that Jesus Christ can place within anyone the same nature that ruled His own life, and all the standards God gives us are based on that nature.

    for Jesus is The Lord God. They are One.

    2
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
    3
    Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

    4
    Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.

  460. street says:

    street says:
    July 21, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Beware of thinking…..oswald chambers 7/21/21

  461. bubbles says:

    On Sunday someone ran me off the road while driving. It was frightening, but being alone, I had no one to talk about it. It upset me initially, and as I drove on, I chose to stop being upset. I watched this car for another 15 miles or so to make sure they weren’t driving impaired. Maybe they had been texting or looking at their radio, Maybe I was in their blind spot. Anyway, they did nothing else that was dangerous. Yesterday I still felt good about not being upset. This week has been nothing like I planned. Things keep happening and preventing other things from getting finished, and then those things cause more issues. Because of circumstances on Monday, this entire week has been messed up. Again, I chose to not be upset about it. This morning another call came in, and that messed up tomorrow even more, will affect next Monday, and is causing me to drive many hours again. . . God must be using these circumstances to cut away the very bad rough edges of my life. His will be done because it is what is best, and if by the time they are smoothed, I’ll be a little nub. Ha.

  462. Beloved says:

    John 13:13, ESV: “You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.”

  463. Beloved says:

    Sounds like you are on the right path bubbles!

  464. Beloved says:

    I’ve been listening to a teaching on Romans 7 and feel so humbled. I had to remind myself there’s Joy in the journey and to look for that.

  465. bubbles says:

    Yes, and the blessing of peace to pray and not allow it to affect emotions and to keep them in a separate place. What peace that has brought.

  466. Beloved says:

    ODB today on “Authentic Christianity” is very good.

  467. foreverblessed says:

    Thank God, Bubbles!!!

    The fruit of peace Comes from God!
    What is then our own part in producing it?
    I have this thought about it:
    We resist the negative trait that is welling up within us!

    Each one has her own battle. (Sorry for the male readers, his own battles).
    I have been battling fear, to be more specific: stage fright.
    When I was on the podium, and paying piano, o dear, when it would grab me: my hands became as frozen.
    It would overtake me. At that time, I knew the fear was stronger than I was.
    I must say, God was with me. In a dream , he talked to me:” I want you to play piano, you may make mistakes, and it may be very simple, but as long as you play!”

    That dream helped me through. And I did the part I could do: practicing piano each day. More hours than I used to do.
    But the fear would still overtake me on stage.

    The next part was: persevere!

    Persevere in playing piano, even when I failed on stage. God was merciful to me, that at that time there were many musicians playing, so my failure would not be so in the open.
    At one time the head of the praise group invited me to have a talk.
    It was in February, I cycled to her house, and it was snowing, snowflakes all around me, soft and sweet.
    “Do not fear, I am with you”.
    We had a good talk, and there she heard from me that I had played piano for a long time, that I had had piano lessons for more than 20 years. And then she decided I should keep on playing.
    That was a sure sign of God, that He was with me.
    I know that it is a fruit from God, it is His peace that flows through us.
    But the battle against the negative trait, ( I like that better than “evil” that is within us, God does not do that for us. He guides us, He encourages us, He stands by us.
    But ony case, the fear was still there…

  468. foreverblessed says:

    But in my case: the fear was still there!

    Perseverance…
    God was working on perseverance!
    My part was: not to give up.
    That is a decision that God wanted me to make.
    He does not do that for me.

    So of you say: it is all Gods work within us, it sure does feel that He involves us totally.

    The promise: “To him that overcometh”
    The seven overcometh to the seven churches:
    Rev 2:7,11,17,26
    Rev 3:5,12,21
    It sounds as if the person herself did overcome, to me it means:
    We held on to Christ, no matter the defeat, till that particular “evil” was gone.

  469. foreverblessed says:

    “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”
    Hebrews 12:4

    So, my word to Bubbles is this: no matter the defeat, keep on your resistance of being upset.

    To continue with my story: I decided against the fear. But it would overtake me anyway. I held on to the word of God to me to keep on playing. And to study lots at home. So the negative thoughts would be silenced: ” you have not practiced enough, that is the reason you fail.”

    But…. the fear, ( stage fright) was stronger than me.
    If God did not deliver me from that fear, I would be nowhere.
    If God would not be there, I would fell prey

  470. foreverblessed says:

    To talk about “evil” in us.
    Now about the fear: I remembered what happened:
    When I was 16 I was joining a music night in our town, and I was waiting back stage behind the curtains fory turn to play.
    And there I started to hesitate, “what am I going to do, in front of 400 people?
    I believe that at that moment, I didn’t trust Jesus, I didn’t go to Him straightway, and there the fear entered. “Evil”
    It was noty fear, but a spirit of fear.
    I know for sure that Jesus has overcome the evil world.
    But the fight is still going on.
    He have to persevere, and resist evil, and keep turning to Jesus, day in and day out.
    And praising our Savior, exalting Him.

    And after 5 years, the fear was gone. No miracle, it had just left, when we prayed together, on the church house group, that we professed that Jesus was our Lord, and that we wanted to totally surrender to Him.

    The next Monday, when the praise group told which songs would be sung the following Sunday, I noticed that I stayed calm, and relaxed. No anxiety!!!
    And it stayed that way!
    The fear was gone!
    Thanks to Jesus Christ, Who has overcome the evil.

    But then I knew what it meant:
    “To him that overcometh”
    My full cooperation was with it.
    Not that that is anything to be proud of. But without me fully resisting and keeping turning back to Jesus, the process start would be all over again, and again, till we have learned.

    Jesus has slain the dragon.
    Take heart: I have overcome the world!
    John 16:33

  471. foreverblessed says:

    So I stand by you Bubbles, rejoicing over you!!
    Keep focussing on Jesus!!!
    Hold on to Him
    Abide in Him, even when being upset overwhelms you.
    He remains Lord of your heart, worthy of praise.

  472. street says:

    His will be done because it is what is best, and if by the time they are smoothed, I’ll be a little nub. Ha.

    when He is done, we will be conformed to the Image of His Son.

    Cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb, not by works. works are a manifestation of the Spirit of God. the works of man are evident.

    1 Peter 1:4-6

    4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various [a]trials,

  473. street says:

    thinking about Holy Holy Holy this morning.

    The One True God

    i am familiar with the idea of separate, pure, remnant.

    thinking the word authentic.

    the word Authentic in Relation to True and Holy.

    if we say we are without sin the Truth is not in us.

    we need His Grace and Mercy every morning.

    some day the night will pass away permanently.

    Grace and Mercy did not lead to humility in the one who does not forgive. should also lead to thanksgiving and praise before God.

    7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

    8 I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

    9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. Isaiah 42:7-9

    thinking about the world, could it be an insane asylum or prison?

    if the Son makes you free you will be free in deed.

    John 8:36
    If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

  474. street says:

    thinking about tutors prior to maturity.

    gifts to the church.

    paraclete an advocate or intercessor. Holy Spirit

    John 14:23
    Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will follow My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him.

    John 15:7
    If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

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

  475. foreverblessed says:

    If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!
    So wonderful!

    Thanks for all these bible verses Street!

    I really enjoyed the Utmost and the ODB of yesterday too. They are linked together!

    When we have decided to follow Christ, along the way He will show us what is next.
    But the Beatitudes are a beautiful path to follow, we cannot do it on our own, the Life of Christ in us can do it.

    I believe that Romans 7 is talking about the defeat of human nature.
    Paul puts Romans 7 after his discourse of the Blood of Christ, the forgiveness of sins, again and again. Romans 3-5
    And about the Body of Christ, that gives us a new nature His nature, we died to Adams nature we raise up in Newness of life.
    But after that Paul comes with this chapter, which is also called: the chapter of defeat!
    Some bible commentators say this chapter was before Paul came to salvation.
    Afte
    But Paul puts it after he had come to the Cross, the Blood and Body of Christ.
    His own human nature wanted to do what Jesus taught.
    And this is the story of all of us!
    We try to follow God on our own, because that is human nature:
    self-willed.
    Just like Jacob was, he wanted to.follow God, but it was his own self-will that did it.
    As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus, the Hy Spirit will give enlightenment, and realization:
    We cannot do what Jesus asks of us,
    But the Life of Jesus in us can.

    All though, we sometimes have to wait a long time till it is there.
    In the mean time we grow in perseverance when we keep abiding in Jesus.

    And do not give into the words that whisper in our ears:
    “What christian are you, when you still are being upset, Jesus doesn’t live in you otherwise you would have the fruit of peace”.

    My answer to that thought is:
    “Go away from me, you evil thoughts, I am redeemed by the blood of Christ, I am His beloved child, He is my Lord and Master, I will look up to Him”
    I will be by, when I am sanctified. I am being sanctified right now, the process is not yet over.

  476. poohpity says:

    Jesus knew fear and agony as He prayed in the garden before His crucifixion because He knew what was coming and what He had to go through. Courage is not the absence of fear but feeling the fear and still doing what lies before you.

  477. foreverblessed says:

    Romans 7:1-4
    Some more thoughts:

    Mankind is the wife
    The Law (Mosaic Law) is the former husband.
    Christ is the new husband..

    Man died with Christ.
    So the bond between man and Law is dissolved.
    The “wife” in the example of Paul is free to marry another man.
    Man is raised to life, and is now free to be married to the One who was raised from the dead: Jesus Christ.

    His Life in us flows, that Life is invincible.
    As long as we abide in Him, not give up.
    Everything in us that does not belong to God has to go sometime, today or some day, but it will go.
    Because the Life of Christ in us grows and grows, and eventually takes up all space.
    In the mean time we should not be dismayed that there are still some things that need to be overcome.

  478. Beloved says:

    Last night when I prayed for a closer walk with Jesus I felt fear because I know what has to die in me. The worldliness. The giving up of all things that I like or love even more than God. Yet I remembered Gods love and mercy to me, not because I’m perfect- which I’m far far from according to Paul and John – but because He loves His children whom Christ died for. Love is patient, which for me is a very good thing. We overcome sin by the blood of the Lamb.

  479. Beloved says:

    I was reading the beatitudes in Matthew5 and Jesus first explained what Godliness looks like before John and Paul did. What strikes me is that these are all attitudes and emotional components of Godliness. I think it takes a new birth to carry these out as actions. As I studied psychology along with Bible in college I could never fully accept integrating psychology and theology. One can learn ways of changing but beware of New Age thinking which really isn’t new at all. It cannot change the heart- remembering it’s deceitful above all things.

    When I went my first semester it was a Bible Institute started by Baptists. I had to leave to take care of my teenage sons abruptly who had gone to live with their dad which didn’t work out. When I returned 7 years later it had become a Bible College adding degrees in applied psychology and business becoming accredited with state colleges to get more students. I was so surprised at how they had hired more “progressive” staff and leaders and had really gotten away from their first love. When I graduated after severe psychological abuse there I was a mess and remembered thinking they needed to go back to being all Bible based. I wonder who decided God could not keep them afloat and needed to succumb to the culture to survive? Even the chapels had become so loud and not about Jesus I had to stand outside to hear safely. (Chapel was required). Well now I’m wandering in my thoughts but I thank God for getting me through tough times even in church and Bible college and always guiding me through the dangers. A Pilgrims Progress indeed!

  480. bratimus says:

    When schedules and planned things get messed up.

    That is a good time to step back and see if god is nudging us in another direction.

    Even in the cancel culture we are in do to beliefs and words.

    If one door is closed look for another door God is opening

    There is always away through with God

    In Christ Jesus name
    Bratimus

  481. Beloved says:

    “Be still” another door for certain.

  482. foreverblessed says:

    That’s a great point:
    To be born from above…
    And then read the Beatitudes

  483. Beloved says:

    This is a great reminder forever:
    In the mean time we should not be dismayed that there are still some things that need to be overcome.

    One way to get over our dismay- which happens to me often- is to think of the vast love our Father has for His children. I recall a time sitting in church (depressed) and there were ficus trees around the perimeter. Suddenly God spoke to me, I love you more than the leaves on the trees. Wow!
    Another time I sat looking outside in winter (my worst time for depression) and God said, I love you more than all the snowflakes. Wow again! God always shows up when I need a boost. Other times I get my boost from the whispering of the Holy Spirit through scripture (mostly).

    Which is why I love scripture so much! I’m sure that’s your experience also. May God bless and keep you through the night and always,
    Love you in Christ Jesus

  484. Beloved says:

    Heavens Marriage
    Jeremiah 3:14 I am your master…

    Christ Jesus is joined unto His people in marriage-union. In love He espoused His Church as a chaste virgin, long before she fell under the yoke of bondage. Full of burning affection He toiled, like Jacob for Rachel, until the whole of her purchase-money had been paid; and now, having sought her by His Spirit and brought her to know and love Him, He awaits the glorious hour when their mutual bliss shall be consummated at the marriage-supper of the Lamb.

    The glorious Bridegroom has not yet presented His betrothed, perfected and complete, before the Majesty of heaven; she has not yet actually entered upon the enjoyment of her dignities as His wife and queen. She is as still a wanderer in a world of woe, a dweller in the tents of Kedar;1 but she is even now the bride, the spouse of Jesus, dear to His heart, precious in His sight, written on His hands, and united with His person.

    On earth He exercises toward her all the affectionate offices of Husband. He makes rich provision for her wants, pays all her debts, allows her to assume His name and to share in all His wealth. Nor will He ever act otherwise to her. The word divorce He will never mention, for He hates it. Death inevitably severs the conjugal tie between the most loving mortals, but it cannot divide the links of this immortal marriage. In heaven they marry not but are as the angels of God; yet there is this one marvelous exception to the rule, for in Heaven Christ and His Church shall celebrate their joyous nuptials.

    This affinity, as it is more lasting, so is it more near than earthly marriage. The love of husband, no matter how pure and fervent, is but a faint picture of the flame that burns in the heart of Jesus. Passing all human union is that mystical cleaving unto the Church, for which Christ left His Father and became one flesh with her.

    1) Psalm 120:5

    From Morning by Morning
    Charles Spurgeon 7/22/21

  485. foreverblessed says:

    That is a wonderful morning study!
    The love of Christ for His Bride.

    To become one Flesh!!!
    Jesus took on our flesh and blood.
    this One Flesh is also about the Body of Christ. Since that topic of the Body and Blood of Christ, more passages of the Bible get a deeper meaning.

    I was just reading about that yesterday, and I was so impressed with the great love of God, as a husband to his wife. That God made a Bride out of the side of Jesus.

    This is also a type of Christ:
    “So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep;
    and while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and closed up the place with flesh.
    Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man…”
    Gen 2:21
    “..one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spier, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.” John 19:34

    “Just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
    Eph 5:25-27

  486. Beloved says:

    Forever,
    This from My Utmost 7/25 which explains better the comment I made earlier about the implementation of the beatitudes. I need to stop thinking and just enjoy the love of God more…
    The closer I get to knowing God the more worthless my thoughts opinions judgements perceptions and everything shaped by the world becomes.

    “We do not need to be born again to apply the Sermon on the Mount literally. The literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount is as easy as child’s play. But the interpretation by the Spirit of God as He applies our Lord’s statements to our circumstances is the strict and difficult work of a saint.”

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