Who do you pay attention to…? listen to…?

Reflections from Jeremiah, Mark, Romans and 1 Corinthians:

[Jer 7:21-34 NLT] 21 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Take your burnt offerings and your other sacrifices and eat them yourselves!

22 When I led your ancestors out of Egypt, it was not burnt offerings and sacrifices I wanted from them.

23 This is what I told them: ‘Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!’

24 “But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward.

25 From the day your ancestors left Egypt until now, I have continued to send my servants, the prophets–day in and day out.

26 But my people have not listened to me or even tried to hear. They have been stubborn and sinful–even worse than their ancestors.

27 “Tell them all this, but do not expect them to listen. Shout out your warnings, but do not expect them to respond

. 28 Say to them, ‘This is the nation whose people will not obey the LORD their God and who refuse to be taught. Truth has vanished from among them; it is no longer heard on their lips.

29 Shave your head in mourning, and weep alone on the mountains. For the LORD has rejected and forsaken this generation that has provoked his fury.’

30 “The people of Judah have sinned before my very eyes,” says the LORD. “They have set up their abominable idols right in the Temple that bears my name, defiling it.

31 They have built pagan shrines at Topheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!

32 So beware, for the time is coming,” says the LORD, “when that garbage dump will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. They will bury the bodies in Topheth until there is no more room for them.

33 The bodies of my people will be food for the vultures and wild animals, and no one will be left to scare them away.

34 I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in the streets of Jerusalem. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard in the towns of Judah. The land will lie in complete desolation.

In Jeremiah we hear from God concerning his people.  I believe as God does not change, we can learn from this passage what pleases him and what doesn’t even for us today, for we are his people.  In one part he says: from verse 23 –

“Pay attention to what I say.  Then I will be your God, and you will be my people.  In everything live according to the way that I order you, so that things will go well with you.”  from CJB version.

He goes on to say they won’t /didn’t listen or pay attention.  My question from this is, “who are we listening to; what are we paying attention to?”  This calls for serious reflection and searching of the heart.  What is our source? News? Social Media? Friends? Co-workers? Instructors? or God?  Who do we spend the most time with?

This is a time of extreme need to know scripture; what God says…to pray; fight in the spiritual realm against the darkness that is taking over the land…How do we spend our time? energy?  That will show the truth to us of who we listen to.

God goes on to suggest we mourn for our lack of attention and what it has brought.  The actions of his people at that time brought disrespect, destruction, ruination.  In chapter 9 he speaks to the boaster; if you must boast let it be that you know and understand God…Can we boast in that?  The changes in our present society; even in the church say no…

Reading in Mark:

[Mar 12:28-34 NLT] 28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. 30 And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” 32 The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. 33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.” 34 Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Yeshua brings us back to where we need to be; it is a restatement of what God has said in Jeremiah; we are to be centered on God with all our being.  Acknowledge who he is and what he requires.

“Sh’ma Yisra’el, Adonai Elohiemu, Adonai echad ( hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one), and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding, and with all your strength.’ …’You are to love your neighbor as yourself.” from CJB

In Romans:

[Rom 12:1-2 NLT] 1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Paul clarifies or adds that we are the sacrifice God desires.  Our bodies, a living sacrifice (that includes physical self, spiritual self, our mind, will and emotions).  We are to give all to him.  Do you see a thread of instruction here? What does the Lord require of you, oh man? All of you.

In Corinthians 1:

[1Co 10:14-23 NLT] 14 So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. 15 You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true. 16 When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? 17 And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. 18 Think about the people of Israel. Weren’t they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar? 19 What am I trying to say? Am I saying that food offered to idols has some significance, or that idols are real gods? 20 No, not at all. I am saying that these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don’t want you to participate with demons. 21 You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too. 22 What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is? 23 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is beneficial.

Paul reminds us that we are participating with Christ, in Christ.  With the participation comes responsibilities…  Again the questions:

Who are we listening to? Who are we paying attention to? How do we know? How does it manifest in our lives? Are we God’s people? Can the unbeliever tell? Can we tell?  What does God see?

 

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Weapons against deception…

PRAYER and WORD OF GOD

PRAYER and WORD OF GOD

 

There is a war going on. Both in the physical world and in the spiritual world and all believers living on earth are subjected to this war. The spiritual war is intensifying and so subtle many do not see it. Those who do are burdened with the responsibility to sound caution and alarms. The Word itself tells how to beware of deception. The deceived do not know they are deceived. Peter when he challenged Jesus with the statement that he would defend Jesus and that Jesus would not be harmed was sharply rebuked. Peter was unawares he was being used in an attempt to weaken Jesus’ resolve. Many today are unaware they are being used to weaken the authority of the Word of God. It’s power has not diminished; the use of its power has, in some arenas.

For although we do live in the world, we do not wage war in a worldly way; because the weapons we use to wage war are not worldly. On the contrary, they (these weapons) have God’s power for demolishing strongholds. We demolish arguments and every arrogance that raises itself up against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey the Messiah.

And take the helmet of deliverance; along with the sword given by the Spirit, that is, the Word of God; as you pray at all times, with all kinds of prayers and requests, in the Spirit vigilantly and persistently, for all God’s people.

Praying the Word of God will take down strongholds. Two sticks of dynamite, the Word of God and prayer bound together to demolish any thoughts leading away from God to self; instead of from self to God. Taking the thoughts captive; making them obey Jesus. Pay attention to what is passed off as a word from God…ask where does that word take one? To God? Glorifying God? Or to self, glorifying what self can do?

Much is being presented as prophetic word when upon closer inspection and reflection it can be seen that it leads to what the self can do rather than what God can do…beware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing that Christ warned would come in the last days. Beware of those who lead within the church to self-glorification and growth. Jesus, the Christ, is to increase and self is to decrease. Reliance upon God the Father needs to be presented rather than what self can do. Assumptions can lead the weak astray from God to a human mindset. Do not assume the reader or listener ‘knows’ that what is spoken or written ‘means’ God is the source. If it is not stated it can be read opposite of what, hopefully, was intended.

This calls for greater reliance upon the Spirit’s wisdom. This calls for careful reflection before the mouth speaks. Quick to listen, slow to speak. Then the conflicts will be diminished and the work of the Kingdom can progress without hindrance.

Praying the Word of God was modeled for the believer by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Facing the inevitable test of disrespect, unbelief, torture and death, Jesus prayed. He acknowledged the Father, he acknowledge the conditions and situation, he acknowledge the lack in the physical, but he prayed the Father’s will be done. Three times he prayed the same then got up with spiritual strength and resolve to accomplish what he had been sent to do. He took down the stronghold of sin’s bondage and its resulting death. He demolished the stronghold that held all humanity in its grip. The believer has an example to follow and a promise that God’s power will work in the believer to do more than can be imagined or asked.

Ephesians 6:17, 2 Corinthians 10:3, James 1:19, Matthew 16:23, 2 Timothy 2:9 and 10, Matthew 26:35, Matthew 26:36-45, Ephesians 3:14-21

Credits to: Praying God’s Word… by Beth Moore, the Bible, ( ) indicate my insertion for clarification.

Undisciplined children

Parents,

Proverbs 13:18 – [Pro 13:18 KJV] 18 Poverty and shame [shall be to] him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

Children who choose to disregard instruction face shame (correction consequences) and poverty (lack of knowledge and lack of learning) both of which shows in the final assessments (grades). Children who choose to listen and exercise self-control need only to be told once and learn. They too face consequences; honor, for as they are able to listen they learn, they have knowledge and they apply it. In the final assessments (grades) it shows. They are honored in many ways one of which is the honor roll. They are also developing into individuals who will succeed at what they do. It is a choice. When we block the natural consequences, we harm them. We teach them self-control is not important, it will be overlooked time and again and they become adults who if they make any gains make them at the expense of others, for that is what they have learned. Forbearing one another, treating one another with kindness, preferring one another is foreign to them. They have been catered to and believe that is how it should be. What and how are we teaching our children? My experience in the classroom says we are not following scripture. My experience in the classroom says we are spoiling the child. Our natural love gets in the way of what is best for the child. It is hard to discipline a wayward child. They are cute, they are ours, they are masters at manipulation, they persevere till they get what they want,

[Pro 22:15 KJV] 15 Foolishness [is] bound in the heart of a child; [but] the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

That rod can come in many forms. It does not always have to be corporal punishment. It is a rod of correction, it is reproof, it teaches consequences, it follows God’s Word. Time to take a close look at what we are doing to prepare our children for their future.

Open our ears…

 

Reblogged from:

http://tamhodge.com/dear-16-year-old-me-in-the-abortion-clinic/

 

Dear 16 year old me in the abortion clinic…

June 18, 2015 | Posted in: Abortions, Forgiveness

Dear 16 year old me. It’s 28 years, almost to the day, from where you are sitting right now. I see you there. I see you in your white paper gown that you’ve struggled with all afternoon, trying to prevent it from opening and exposing your bare self. I see you sitting there, even in the gown, still bare.

A part of me feels like you can hear me. Or, at least, you sense me. I can see it in your eyes. You’re looking around the room, searching for something, but you can’t find it. It’s me. You’re searching for your voice. I know you want to get up and run. I know you are afraid. I know you feel alone. I know you know what to do but you’re too afraid to do it.

I know deep down you don’t want to do this. I understand.

You are going to wake up soon and you will be in a tremendous amount of pain. You will physically hurt. You will hurt a lot. Oh, how I wish you could hear my voice right now. Because the physical pain pales in comparison to the heart and emotional pain you will carry with you.

I see you waking up. I see you crying. I see you holding your tummy. Yes. Yes, you did it. No. No, it isn’t there anymore. It’s gone.

I want so badly to hold you. I know no one is holding you. I know no one is going to hold you. I’m sorry you’re alone. I’m sorry you feel alone. But you’re not. I’m there. God’s there. You don’t know it… but we are.

You need to know that you’re going to have a very tough journey. You’re going to be very mad at yourself. The amount of shame will feel heavier than anything you’ve ever felt before. You will hurt in ways that you will never understand.

You will think about this day forever. You will find yourself rubbing your tummy, crying, wondering…

You will have triggers. You will have reminders. It will never go away.

Can you hear me? Why can’t you hear me? I want so badly for you to hear me.

You can’t see it now, you don’t want to… I know, but your life is going to get better. Though the memory of that day will never, ever, go away. You’re going to relive the day you spent in that white gown. You’re going to relive it often. It will always be a part of who you are.

But one day you will learn about grace and forgiveness. One day you will learn about true love. Hold onto that. Tuck that away in your heart, because there will be days when the hope of that moment will be all you have.

Tam, you need to know that I forgive you. And I will forgive you when you’re back in that gown next year, too. I understand why you’re doing this. You really believe you have no other option. Why can’t you hear me…

I will be here waiting for you, and you will soon see that forgiveness and redemption will hold your heart and you won’t be alone any longer. You will find that one day, the choice that you are making now, will somehow help another young girl not make the same decision. And though that doesn’t make what you’re about to do right, it will at least give those little ones a beautiful legacy.

But still, I wish you could hear me…

 

The Lord Hears and Sees…

 

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Revelation 20:4

 Then [I saw] the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received [his] mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Job 24:12

The dying groan in the city, And the souls of the wounded cry out; Yet God does not charge [them] with wrong.

It is time to read and understand. Because God does not yet charge the oppressor for their crimes against humanity and those who bear the name of the Lord does not mean He is unaware. As Job learned, we do not question the Creator; we accept His will knowing He keeps the souls of His people; they rise to meet Him and are placed with Christ. Yes there is groaning, the souls cry out for mercy and vengeance and they will receive it. The eyes of the Lord are upon them and the oppressor. There is coming a judgment. Let us who are blessed and remain raise our voice to heaven for our brothers and sisters. Let us sit with them before the throne, weep with them in their pain. We are one in the spirit, we are one in the Lord.

 

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,

And we pray that all unity will one day be restored.

They’ll know we are Christians by our love,

Yeah, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

 

We will walk with each other we will walk hand in hand

We will walk with each other we will walk hand in hand

And together we will spread the news that God is in our land

They’ll know we are Christians by our love,

Yeah, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

 

 

We will work with each other, we will work side by side,

And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride.

They’ll know we are Christians by our love,

Yeah, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

 

 

All praise to the Father,

From whom all things come,

And all praise to Christ Jesus

His only Son,

And all praise to the Spirit

Who makes us one.

John 13:35 

 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Isaiah 59:1

1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.

Numbers 23:19

19 “God [is] not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

 

The blood of the people of God fills the land.  The light of God's Son exposes the evil.  The souls rise to meet Him.

The blood of the people of God fills the land. The light of God’s Son exposes the evil. The souls rise to meet Him.

 original work – gracie hill

 

Daniel 2:20, 22

20 Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. … 22 He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what [is] in the darkness, And light dwells with Him.

 

Attributes of God we can count on… Not only does He see the atrocities, the evil; He sees those who take action against it and those who sit silently by, turning their head not to see, blocking the news, investing only in their own life, piece of ground, piece of action. We cannot sit silently, ignoring, hoping it will go away or SOMEBODY will do SOMETHING so it won’t come here. Pray without ceasing…listen for the voice of God giving direction…and do not be silent!

 

 

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Let Us Raise Our Collective Voice…

 

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Psalm 28

 

Adonai, I am calling to you;

My Rock, don’t be deaf to my cry.

For if you answer me with silence,

I will be like those who fall in a pit.

Hear the sound of my prayers

When I cry to you,

When I lift my hands

Toward your holy sanctuary.

 

Don’t drag me off with the wicked,

With those whose deeds are evil;

They speak words of peace to their fellow man,

But evil is in their hearts.

Pay them back for their deeds,

As befits their evil acts;

Repay them for what they have done,

Give them what they deserve.

For they don’t understand the deeds of Adonai

Or what he has done.

He will break them down;

He will not build them up.

Blessed be Adonai,

For he heard my prayers as I prayed for mercy.

Adonai is my strength and my shield;

In him my heart trusted, and I have been helped.

Therefore my heart is filled with joy,

And I will sing praises to him.

 

Adonai is strength for [his people],

A stronghold of salvation to his anointed.

Save your people! Bless your heritage!

Shepherd them, and carry them forever!

 

Matthew 7:12

 

Always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that sums up the teaching of the Torah and the Prophets.

 

David calls for protection and describes the acts of God toward humanity. Jesus tells us how to be with one another, echoing David. For when we are trusted with one another God’s blessings follow.

 

Evil calls to evil, good will prevail. God hears our prayers. Let us lift our voices to Him first and then let our collective voice be heard in the land. Let it lift the name of God and not be deterred from giving Him praise. Let our collective voice call for justice and action against those who would destroy what has brought blessings to our nation. Let us not be silent.

 

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie