What Are We Passing on…? Psalm 78

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

Listen, my people, to my teaching;

turn your ears to the words from my mouth.

I will speak to you in parables

and explain mysteries from days of old.

The things which we have heard and known,

and which our fathers told us

we will not hide from their descendants;

we will tell the generation to come

the praises of Adonai and his strength,

the wonders that he has performed.

He raised up a testimony in Ya‘akov

and established a Torah in Isra’el.

He commanded our ancestors

to make this known to their children,

so that the next generation would know it,

the children not yet born,

who would themselves arise

and tell their own children,

who could then put their confidence in God,

not forgetting God’s deeds,

but obeying his mitzvot.

Then they would not be like their ancestors,

a stubborn, rebellious generation,

a generation with unprepared hearts,

with spirits unfaithful to God.

a stubborn, rebellious generation, a generation with unprepared hearts, with spirits unfaithful to God.  A generation like today. A nation in the process of turning its back on God, a nation more and more unfaithful to God, to the principles upon which it was built.  A nation who is losing its position in the world as a beacon of light in the darkness. A nation looking at the rest of the world and wanting to be like them…  This is not new, there are consequences that follow when this path is taken.  We’ve been here before; perhaps not as a nation but as a people it is recorded for us to read about and learn from, to take note and avoid the same consequences that have fallen on others who took this path.

The people of Efrayim, though armed with bows and arrows,

turned their backs on the day of battle.

10 They did not keep the covenant of God

and refused to live by his Torah.

11 They forgot what he had done,

his wonders which he had shown them.

He had done wonderful things

in the presence of their ancestors

in the land of Egypt,

in the region of Tzo‘an.

13 He split the sea and made them pass through,

he made the waters stand up like a wall.

14 He also led them by day with a cloud

and all night long with light from a fire.

15 He broke apart the rocks in the desert

and let them drink as if from boundless depths;

16 yes, he brought streams out of the rock,

making the water flow down like rivers.

17 Yet they sinned still more against him,

rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High;

18 in their hearts they tested God

by demanding food that would satisfy their cravings.

19 Yes, they spoke against God by asking,

“Can God spread a table in the desert?

20 True, he struck the rock, and water gushed out,

until the vadis overflowed;

but what about bread? Can he give that?

Can he provide meat for his people?”

21 Therefore, when Adonai heard, he was angry;

fire blazed up against Ya‘akov;

his anger mounted against Isra’el;

22 because they had no faith in God,

no trust in his power to save.

23 So he commanded the skies above

and opened the doors of heaven.

24 He rained down man on them as food;

he gave them grain from heaven —

25 mortals ate the bread of angels;

he provided for them to the full.

26 He stirred up the east wind in heaven,

brought on the south wind by his power,

27 and rained down meat on them like dust,

birds flying thick as the sand on the seashore.

28 He let them fall in the middle of their camp,

all around their tents.

29 So they ate till they were satisfied;

he gave them what they craved.

30 They were still fulfilling their craving,

the food was still in their mouths,

31 when the anger of God rose up against them

and slaughtered their strongest men,

laying low the young men of Isra’el.

 So they ate till they were satisfied; he gave them what they craved. They were still fulfilling their craving, the food was still in their mouths,  when the anger of God rose up against them and slaughtered their strongest men, laying low the young men of Isra’el. Consequences for asking? No. Consequences for mouths that spoke deception and rebellion.  Even while they are being blessed they turn their hearts from God.  Our nation, even while it is blessed is turning its heart from God.  Evil is growing unchecked in our actions, our laws, our words.  We do not demonstrate the principles of a loving people connected with God.  We argue, engage in name calling even while our mouths are full of the blessing of God.  We support those who call for the spilling of innocent blood for profit; those who celebrate the perversion of God’s creation; those who advocate the destruction of God’s places of worship and the destroying of His Word.  Consequences will fall that are not pleasant; that will decrease our numbers.  The examples that have gone before us are written down and yet we continue with our mouths full of his blessing to turn our hearts from Him.

Still, they kept on sinning

and put no faith in his wonders.

33 Therefore, he ended their days in futility

and their years in terror.

34 When he brought death among them, they would seek him;

they would repent and seek God eagerly,

35 remembering that God was their Rock,

El ‘Elyon their Redeemer.

36 But they tried to deceive him with their words,

they lied to him with their tongues;

37 for their hearts were not right with him,

and they were unfaithful to his covenant.

38 Yet he, because he is full of compassion,

forgave their sin and did not destroy;

many times he turned away his anger

and didn’t rouse all his wrath.

39 So he remembered that they were but flesh,

a wind that blows past and does not return.

Therefore, he ended their days in futility and their years in terror. When he brought death among them, they would seek him; they would repent and seek God eagerly,  remembering that God was their Rock, El ‘Elyon their Redeemer. But they tried to deceive him with their words, they lied to him with their tongues;  for their hearts were not right with him, and they were unfaithful to his covenant. This we see today among believers and unbelievers alike.  There are the unfaithful who use words to try to placate a God who demands holiness. God is not mocked; He is not a God of our own making.  He has told us who He is and what He does.  Do not be deceived, there will be much sorrow to pay for our lack to stand as our forefathers stood.  We sit behind doors and talk, talk, talk.  We even join in prayer but our hearts are not in it.  But they tried to deceive him with their words, they lied to him with their tongues; for their hearts were not right with him, and they were unfaithful to his covenant.  How do we know?  One indicator is the voting, another is the language on social media.  There is shaming and name-calling.  This is not a generation who loves their God and their neighbor. It is all too evident in how they treat one another.

Yet he, because he is full of compassion, forgave their sin and did not destroy; any times he turned away his anger and didn’t rouse all his wrath. So he remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that blows past and does not return. The destruction of the pandemic could be much worse.  The coming destruction of our systems of government and laws could be much worse.  The destroying of our economy could be much worse.  We have a God who is also full of compassion. He recognizes we are fragile, a wind that blows past and does not return.

The signs are all around us.  We seem to have forgotten how to read the signs as Christ instructed us to do.  There are those among us putting out the call to repent and change, to fast and pray, to ask in the name of Jesus for deliverance in our land; the move of the Spirit of God on the hearts and souls of men. The question is who of these are you?  What do your words indicate? What does your vote, although private it’s not hidden from the eyes of God, say about your heart? What is your stand; what does it look like?  Are you praying from the heart not just words with no desire to change? Time to take inventory of the soul.  What are we passing on to our generations that follow?

Scripture taken from:

From <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2078&version=CJB>

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Faith or Fear?

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

Faith over Fear

Pandemic Reflections

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

8:45 AM

Today began with time spent listening to Candace Owens put all that has been happening together into one concise piece.  It resonated with me in that much of what she said I too have listened, watched and drawn conclusions about.  God blessed us with discernment, wisdom and intelligence.  We can use the gifts or cave to fear.  I for one do not want my life led by fear.  I also ask for wisdom. I have often been blessed with discernment.  God’s word is full of wisdom, wisdom that is for our use and benefit. I thank Him for those gifts and give Him the glory for the answers to prayer that permits me to continue to have faith in His work on this planet. That said, I then shared a time of devotions with my husband and this is what we were presented with.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

[Ecc 3:1-8 RSV] 1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

There is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.  The devotional continued with a focus on the autumnal season; a time of great beauty but also decrease into apparent death.  The point was made that the apparent death held life in the form of seeds being planted to come forth at a later season with new; new life, new possibilities, new creation… Keeping that in mind, then read what Parker Palmer had to say in “Let Your Life Speak; Listening For the Voice of Vocation. Pp. 98-99.

“Autumn is a season of great beauty, but it is also a season of decline: the days grow shorter, the light is suffused, and summer’s abundance decays toward winter’s death…

In my own experience of autumn, I am rarely aware that seeds are being planted…

But as I explore autumn’s paradox of dying and seeding, I feel the power of metaphor.  In the autumnal events of my own experience, I am easily fixated on surface appearances–on the decline of meaning, the decay of relationships, the death of a work.  And yet if I look more deeply, I may see the myriad possibilities being planted to bear fruit in some season yet to come.

In retrospect, I can see in my own life what I could not see at the time–how the job I lost helped me find work I needed to do, how the “road closed” sign turned me toward terrain I needed to travel, how losses that felt irredeemable forced me to discern meanings I needed to know.  On the surface it seemed that life was lessening, but silently and lavishly the seeds of new life were always being sown.”

 

That last line especially can be applied to events we are experiencing today.  “it seemed that life was lessening…” does it feel that way for you? “but silently and lavishly the seeds of new life were always being sown.”  are you searching for alternatives, new ways of doing, new information and understandings?  I see the emergence of new personalities who have potential for leading in healthy directions, I see the exposure of those in leadership who do not seem to have the best interest of humanity at heart, rather there is a strong element of self-interest at heart.

We will have the opportunity, Lord willing, to use what is being made clear to us to inform our choices in the days ahead. Will we function under the strong arm of fear or will we allow our faith in God to direct us in new paths according to His word?  Can we remember the words of Paul,

[Phl 1:21 RSV] 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Believers, there should be no fear of death.  Our future is sealed.  Our actions should give hope to those who do not yet know life that is found in Christ, given to us by God, lived by the Holy Spirit.  We can act with wisdom, but also without fear.

The devotional left us with a question:  “What ‘road closed’ sign is before you today that may be God’s way of redirecting you to something new?”

Take on the day and live in peace, not the peace the world offers but the peace that God gives in the midst of turmoil.  Confusion is not of God, he is a God of order.  Seek His face in today’s events.

The link to Candace Owens’ video: https://www.facebook.com/realCandaceOwens/videos/168943087616092/?t=0

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

Isaiah 1:1-27 This Could Be Our Nation Today!

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

Reflections on this reading in Isaiah:  This applies so perfectly to our nation at this time!  Lord have mercy!

 

This is the vision of Isaiah, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  Replace the terms of Judah and Jerusalem, Israel with the US of A and sense the place we are in at this time.  Sense the impending judgment for rebelliousness and deliberate engagement in unrighteous actions according to the Word of God as stated.

“I raised and brought up children,

But they rebelled against me.

An ox knows its owner

And a donkey its master’s stall,

But Israel ( US of A) does not know,

My people do not reflect.

 

Oh, sinful nation,

A people weighed down by iniquity,

Descendants of evildoers,

Immoral children.

They have abandoned Adonai,

Spurned the Holy One of Israel,

Turned their backs on Him!

 

Where should I strike you most,

As you persist in rebelling?

The whole head (leadership) is sick,

The whole heart diseased,

From the sole of the foot to the head

There is nothing healthy,

Only wounds, bruises and festering sores

That haven’t been dressed or bandaged

Or softened up with oil.

{Is not this a description of our nation?  Sick leadership, hearts of the people failing them evidenced by an upsurge in depression and suicide, wounds and sores, lack of healing for the oppressed, homelessness rampant in our streets.}

Your land is desolate,

Your cities are burned to the ground;

Foreigners devour your land in your presence;

It’s as desolate as if overwhelmed by floods.

{We see drought, flooding, strong storms, rioting in streets, the burning and destroying of property, an influx of a people foreign to our nation unwilling to adapt to our laws}

Picking it up after a comparison with Sodom and Gomorrah:

“Why are all those sacrifices

Offered to me? Asks Adonai.

“I’m fed up with burnt offerings of rams

And the fat of fattened animals!

I get no pleasure from the blood

Of bulls, lambs and goats!

Yes, you come to appear in my presence:

But who asked you to do this,

To trample through my courtyards?

Stop bringing worthless grain offerings!

They are like disgusting incense to me!

Rosh-Hodesh, Shabbat, calling convocations—

I can’t stand evil together with your assemblies!

Everything in me hates your Rosh-Hodesh

And your festivals;

They are a burden to me—-

I’m tired of putting up with them!

 

When you spread out your hands,

I will hide my eyes from you:

No matter how much you pray,

I won’t be listening;

Because your hands are covered with blood.

{These festival were ordained by God, yet He turns away from them because the hearts of the people are not in the right place, they are in rebellion.  We have services, we have fasting and praying, we have holidays to remember and even in our worship of Him He turns from us because He says our hearts are not toward Him, it is ritual, form, tradition, public show.  Our hearts are in rebellion, following our own will.}

Wash yourselves clean!

Get your evil deeds out of my sight!

Stop doing evil, learn to do good!

Seek justice, relieve the oppressed,

Defend the orphans, plead for the widow.

 

“Come now,” says Adonai,

“let’s talk this over together.

Even if your sins are like scarlet,

They will be white as snow;

Even if they are red as crimson,

They will be like wool.

If you are willing and obedient,

You will eat the good of the land;

But if you refuse and rebel,

You will be eaten by the sword”;

For the mouth of Adonai has spoken.

{There is hope, even for the rebellious!  With the promise of redemption and forgiveness comes a requirement of turning from the evil ways, the rebellious nature, the following after self-will.}

How the faithful city has become like a whore!

Once she was filled with justice,

Righteousness lodged in her;

But now murderers!

Your silver is no longer pure,

Your wine is watered down.

Your leaders are rebels, friends of thieves.

They all love bribes and run after gifts.

They give no justice to orphans,

The widow’s complaint doesn’t catch their attention.

{Again the description fits our nation at the present time.  We are guilty of the blood of the innocent, murderers, our leadership gets fat on the bribes and gifts of the corporations, the laments of the widows of the fallen, the murdered, fall on deaf ears.}

“Therefore,” says the Lord, Adonai-Tzva’ot,

The Mighty One of Israel,

“I will free myself of my adversaries,

I will take vengeance on my enemies.

But I will cleanse your impurities as with lye

And remove all your alloyed base metal.

I will restore your judges as at first

And your advisors as at the beginning.

After that you will be called

the City of Righteousness, Faithful City.

Tziyon will be redeemed by justice;

And those in her who repent, by righteousness.

{This promise is two-fold; first the cleansing, purging of evil and then the restoration of justice and righteousness}

My prayer for my nation and fellow believers in this place: Lord have mercy!  We bow before you, we repent, we turn away from the evil allowed to exist in our land.  May we as individuals cleansed by the blood of Jesus be found righteous; may we never cease to stand in opposition to the bloodshed of the innocent, to the immoral practices of the rebellious, to the deaf ear of justice in our land.  May we go down as having stood firm on the principles taught us by God’s Word as it stands; not changing it to suit our whims and selfish ways.  Forgive our sin of self-love, create in us a new heart, a clean heart obedient to your will, O God.

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From study of Elijah; We are warned…

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
Image result for fire from heaven

taken from Google images

Reflections from 2 Kings 1:

  1. The description of Elijah matches the description of John the Baptist given in the New Testament.

(the king) He asked them, “The man who came to meet you and told you these things, what kind of man was he?” “He was a hairy man,” they answered him, “with a leather belt around his waist.”  He said, ” It was Elijah from Tishbe.” 2 Kings 1

John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. – Matthew 3:4

2.  “Man of God”  used the first two times by the commanders of fifty was done sarcastically.  Man of God is a representative of God to us…calls for the same respect one would give an all-powerful God.  The lack of respect was what was punished…with death!  Study of the Old Testament highlights God’s disgust with arrogance and smugness.  Disrespect brought judgement many times.  Something to be very wary of.

Then the king sent a commander of fifty to Elijah, together with his fifty men….The commander climbed up to him(Elijah) and said, ” Man of God, the king says to come down.”  Elijah answered the commander of fifty, “If I am in fact a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and burn you up, along with your fifty men.” Fire came down from heaven, and it burned him up and his fifty men.

The king sent another commander of fifty, together with his fifty men.  He said to him (Elijah), “Man of God, the king says , ‘Come down immediately!’ ” Elijah answered them, “If I am in fact a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and burn you up, along with your fifty men.”  Fire came down from heaven, and it burned up him and his fifty men.

3.  God’s word is powerful…it accomplishes what it sets out to do.  This is done with or without humanity’s belief.  We can participate in it or be at its effect.  Sobering.

Take away:

Israel belongs to God.  When they stray he will not ignore it but take steps to bring them back into alignment with Him and His ways.

Our country has strong foundations in the Judeo-Christian beliefs.  It was founded by deeply religious people whose faith in God led them here to give him honor and practice His ways.  Their primary concern was to have a place where they could do so without hindrance or persecution for their faith. As we continue, as a nation, to honor Him we are blessed.  As we leave His ways and disrespect Him we are faced with the consequences not much different than that faced by the Hebrew nation.

Our history bears the truth that those who serve the Lord bring blessing.  Those who disrespect Him and His commands, bring cursing. We are warned.  What course of action will we take?  Our prayers can make the difference.

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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?

 

The Kiss of Judas

This is an excellent post encouraging the believer to be strong in the Lord and stand against the attacks that come. Take the time to read…

Crooked Places Straight

judas-betrayer-kiss-999242-tablet

Why do we think it so strange when the people we are closest to turn their backs on us? We are living in a time where things are NOT gray, they are black and white, light and dark, the lines are not blurred. We are in a time when people call good evil and evil good. Why do we find this strange when the Bible tells us this is going to happen?

I am writing this post because my heart is heavy and feeling broken. I wont go into details, but suffice it to say, because of the truth of Gods word, I am losing people that were once so close to me. I am no way claiming to be perfect or super spiritual, but I do know Gods word and there are some thing that are non-negotiable. Does this mean I love them less? No! But, listen to me…

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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.