Praying Scripture…

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

Praying scripture puts the enemy to flight and rights the thinking process which, ripple effect, will go far to right actions, feelings and desires.

The breastplate of righteousness, God’s righteousness imputed to the believer, guards the heart.  Proverbs tells the believer to guard the heart for out of it flow the issues of life. Righteousness, defined right living, guards the heart.  This righteousness is God’s given to the believer through the salvation process.  Dressing in the armor daily involves putting on the belt of truth which helps to support the breastplate of righteousness.  God’s Word provides the information, the truth, that instructs in right living.  Right living decreases the points in the believer’s life that the enemy can target.

Truth and righteousness support and protect the core of the believer’s spiritual being.  Here is the strength to stand upright and move forward, not bowed over and brought down to a standstill.  The enemy’s arrows of accusation, thrusts of deception, blows of failure cannot penetrate the breastplate supported by truth.

God’s Word is truth; God’s Word states His Righteousness is given to those who receive it.  “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God.”  2 Corinthians 5:21.  It is a gift to the believer.  The believer becomes righteous, not on their own doing, it is the gift of God!  The believer can stand tall, supporting the breastplate with truth.  Put it on!

The lie of the enemy is that the believer cannot attain righteousness, they cannot be perfect as God is.  Therefore, why try?  Give up.  When the believer responds with the truth, they cannot but God has,  the lie often becomes a comparison with other believers; better than some, less than some.  Again the believer responds with truth that they are righteous because God is and He gave them His breastplate.  This is when the believer puts off their own concept of righteousness, their own sense of pride or defeat and takes on God’s righteousness, believing what God has said.  “Put off your old self which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and … be renewed in the spirit of your minds, … and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”  Ephesians 4:22 – 24.  An action taken on by the believer.  Take off and put on are actions.

In prayer, ask for mercy, ask for change and stay connected.  Be aware and note when self rises up to try to resist attacks in the believer’s own strength. Pray to activate God’s power in combat.

Pray – True, I was born guilty; was a sinner from the moment my mother conceived me.  Still, You want truth in the inner person; so make me know wisdom in my inmost heart.

Repent – Lord, I repent for giving into my own feelings and acting on them.  I repent for laying aside Your righteousness continually attempting to be righteous in my own strength.

Ask – Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.  Let me hear the sound of joy and gladness, so that the bones You crushed can rejoice.  Turn away Your face from my sins, and blot out my crimes.  Create in me a clean heart, God; renew in me a resolute spirit.

Yes – I will praise You forever for what You have done, and I will put my hope in Your name; for this is what is good in the presence of Your faithful.

 

Psalm 51 and 52

Hold the Line with Shoes of Peace…

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

Colossians 3:12-15

Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another.  Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.  Above all, put on love— the perfect bond of unity.  And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts.  Be thankful.

Underlined portions are for emphasis.

Picture Shows: Computer-generated image: A line of elite Roman infantry. TX: BBC Two tba Britain is a country that has been forged by centuries of warfare. Using amazing graphics to recreate the epic scale of war, father-and-son team Peter and Dan Snow tell the story of battles that have shaped the country in which we live. From Boudicca's uprising against the Romans to the Battle of Britain, 'Battlefield Britain' journeys through 2,000 years of invasion, civil war and rebellion. Peter reveals how the strategies of the best and worst commanders determined the fate of the British Isles, while Dan gives the soldiers' perspective of what it must have been like to ride, march, fly and sail into battle. The first programme features Boudicca and the Iceni battles at Colchester and Manchester; this is followed by a re-enactment at the Festival of History at Stoneleigh. Other programmes deal with the Spanish Armada, Naseby, Hastings, Battle for Wales, Boyne, Culloden and Battle of Britain Warning: Use of this copyright image is subject to Terms of Use of BBC Digital Picture Service. In particular, this image may only be used during the publicity period for the purpose of publicising BBC programming or other BBC output/activity and provided the BBC is credited. Any use of this image on the internet or for any other purpose whatsoever, including advertising or other commercial uses, requires the prior written approval of the BBC.

Picture Shows: Computer-generated image: A line of elite Roman infantry.

Roman soldiers held a line of defense, standing side-by-side; feet firmly planted.  The believer wears the shoes of peace that share the characteristics of those worn by the Roman soldier.  They had straps to allow the shoes to be conformed uniquely to their feet.  They had hobnails to keep the soldier balanced with good footing on rough or slippery terrain.  They were of leather so they afforded protection.

stephenson1

This peace of God is not the peace of mankind—In John 14: 27 He says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  This peace provides support, is uniquely designed for each believer and gives firm footing that keeps the believer from falling.

In a line, side-by-side, the soldiers had additional strength and firm footing; unified in purpose to keep the enemy out or advance on the enemy in strength and purpose.  Believers standing side-by side, properly shod with peace are able to deflect division, discord, disruption and disturbance.

That peace, given by God, not as man gives, provides protection within.  When storms come, the eye is obvious for its calm and peaceful appearance.  When peace reigns within, the believer is protected from the circumstantial storm and functions with calm, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  The believer wearing God’s peace stands out in the storm.

Though complications, differences, even annoyances come among a body of believers, they will not allow holes in the line to occur that may permit the enemy to infiltrate with division, discord, disruption and disturbance.  If any of the ‘d’s’ are present, know that the enemy is active to destroy.  Though others seem not to have this peace, the individual who does can still “hold the line.”  Lead by example.  Don’t allow the enemy to take advantage of any holes in the line.  Put On the shoes of peace, be active not passive allowing the peace of the Messiah to control the heart.

Be rooted and firmly established in love, able to comprehend with all God’s people what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and know the Messiah’s love that is beyond all knowing, to be filled with the fullness of God.  Taken from Ephesians

Images from Google Images.

 

Growing…

 

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

Matthew 5:14-16

Mat 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Mat 5:15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

Mat 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Let His Light shine

Let His Light shine

Do not confuse self-control with hiding what is done, or doing all things in secret. The good that is done should be seen, it becomes evidence of God’s glory and brings Him praise. Righteousness is evidence of God’s presence. Faith in Him brings excellence into the life of the believer. That move for excellence permeates everything that is done and makes room for knowledge. Knowledge gained from the experiences of exercising the faith given by God, believing that God is, who He is and what He does, believing Christ came, accomplished what he came to do, that it is for the benefit of all peoples…that creates the desire for excellence in all things. That knowledge gained gives the possibility to control self. Desires and drives are now founded on the basis of faith in God, acquired through a drive for excellence to please Him, built by experiences giving and building knowledge of His ways and desiring those ways rather than the ways of self. It compounds. There is something growing in the believer and it is transforming them into a spiritual being as they yield to the Holy Spirit and cooperate with the Holy Spirit in them.

 

Transformed by the renewing of the mind, that mind of Christ, a work in progress begun with faith in God through Christ Jesus and seen by all around the believer… a light on a lampstand shining Christ’s light to all who see.

 

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Wise principle..

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

Proverbs 16:13-

 

The king should delight in righteous lips, and he should love someone who speaks what is right.  The king’s anger is a herald of death, and one who is wise will appease it.  When the king’s face brightens, it means life; his favor is like the clouds that bring spring rain.

 

Where is the wisdom?  There is much talk of grace, mercy and love…  When one approaches the throne all of that is granted; the offer stands but must be accepted.  The ‘king’ delights in righteous lips and loves one who speaks truth.  The ‘king’ is a position of authority and this speaks of a life principle that should be put into action by the wise.  The flip side is still there for those who do not accept the offer… The ‘king’s’ anger is a herald of death…  This principle is life threatening.  God has stated the wages of sin is death.  Those in authority have the power to cut off life to many things, not just physical life.  There are many deaths. Wisdom says that anger should be appeased.  Spiritually,  accept the offer given of life through Christ.  In the natural, be aware of what causes anger.  There is a principle of good living here… listen, ponder, receive.

 

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Positional security…

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

Proverbs 16:10-

 

Divine inspiration is on the lips of the king, so his mouth must be faithful when he judges.  The balance and scales of justice have their origin in Adonai; all the weights in the bag are his doing.  It is an abomination for a king to do evil, for the throne is made secure by righteousness.

 

Any position of authority can be seen as ‘kingship.’  Those holding positions must take care that their words are inspired of God.  This requires knowledge of God, who he is and what he does.  This requires reliance on the one who places individuals in these positions.  There is a requirement to be faithful to the justice as put forth in God’s Word.  The position held is secure only as righteous actions and words prevail.  Leaders take note.  From home to government…

 

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Fear equals respect…

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

Proverbs 16:6-

Grace and truth atone for iniquity, and people turn from evil through fear of Adonai.  When a man’s ways please Adonai, he makes even the man’s enemies be at peace with him.  Better a little with righteousness than a huge income with injustice.  A person may plan his path, but Adonai directs his steps.

 

Fear of Adonai equates with respect.  Respect that stems from understanding who he is and what he does.  Yes, Jesus smiles but he had a face of flint toward those who practiced pride, arrogance, judgment, and oppression toward others.  We look at one aspect of God and, like children, forget the whole, making the one aspect the whole.  There is a gross lack of respect following on the tails of a smiling, gracious God that is evidenced in the actions of some.  It is notable that ‘go and  sin no more’ followed ‘neither do I condemn thee.’  Truth will demand respect as grace opens up love…

 

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Break the silence….

 

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.

Genesis 42:21

21 Then they said to one another, “Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us.”

 

Do we honestly think we are immune?  It is time to break the silence…Germany paid dearly for their silence…

Luke 10:29-37

 

29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain [man] went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded [him], and departed, leaving [him] half dead.

31 “Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 “Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.

33 “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.

34 “So he went to [him] and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 “On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave [them] to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’

36 “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

 

The following excerpt is included because it is a battle cry to action.   

 

“God specifically tells us:

“When you happen on someone who’s in trouble or needs help . . . don’t look the other way pretending you don’t see him – don’t keep a tight grip on your purse. No. Look at him; open your purse; lend whatever and as much as he needs. . . . Give freely and spontaneously. Don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God’s blessing in everything you do – all your work and ventures. . . .” Deuteronomy 15:9-11The Message (MSG

First they came for the Coptic Christians but I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t Coptic.

Then they came for the Homosexual and stoned them to death, but I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t homosexual.

Then they sold the Kurdish women and children in to slavery but I wasn’t a 9 year old Kurd so I didn’t say anything.

Then they came for the Muslim who wasn’t Muslim enough and the Christian that wouldn’t convert but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t think it involved me and I didn’t think I could do anything anyway.

Eventually they will come for you, and there will be no one left to speak out for you.

Not to speak is to speak, not to stand is to stand. God will not hold us blameless.”– Glen Beck

 

Not to speak is to speak.

Not to stand is to stand.

Not to vote is to vote.

Not to act is to act.

Each of us can be a Samaritan in some way to our neighbors suffering violence whether it be at the hands of ISIS or angry protestors or the scalpel of an abortionist.  Violence is done to the innocent.  We can no longer look away as children and women are enslaved and trafficked to a customer base that includes the US of A.   It doesn’t go away because we close our eyes.  It remains and grows.

God’s people are the salt and light of the earth.  Salt enhances flavor but also burns the wounds and destroys the soil.  Light brings understanding but also exposes the acts done in darkness.  We are the salt and light.  We have a voice.  We must raise the voice of the Samaritan and bind the wounds, bring relief, spread the message of love to counter the voices of hate.  Note that the religious leaders avoided the confrontation.  Let’s not turn away or go to the other side of the road. Let’s engage in this fight against evil. Let’s raise our voice…

Remember this?

“The Sound Of Silence”

Hello darkness my old friend.

I’ve come to talk with you again.

Because a vision softly creeping

Left its seeds while I was sleeping

And the vision that was planted in my brain

Still remains

Within the sound of silence.

————————-

In restless dreams I walked alone

Narrow streets of cobblestone

‘neath the halo of a street lamp

I turned my collar to the cold and damp

When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light

That split the night and touched the sound of silence.

—————————-

And in the naked light I saw ten thousand people, maybe more.

People talking without speaking,

People hearing without listening.

People writing songs that voices never shared

No one dared, disturb the sound of silence

—————————–

“Fools,” said I, “you do not know,

Silence like a cancer grows.

Hear my words that I might teach you,

Take my arms that I might reach you.”

But my words like silent raindrops fell and echoed

In the wells of silence.

————————

And the people bowed and prayed

To the neon god they made

And the sign flashed out its warning in the words that it was forming.

And the sign said, “the words of the prophets

Are written on the subway walls and tenement halls

And whispered in the sound of silence.

© 1964 Words and Music by Paul Simon

 

 images[6]

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Can others see the Spirit of the Holy God in us?

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.

Dan4:1-18

 

 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace.

 I saw a dream that made me afraid. As I lay in bed the fancies and the visions of my head alarmed me.

 So I made a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream.

 Then the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers came in, and I told them the dream, but they could not make known to me its interpretation.

 At last Daniel came in before me—he who was named Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods—and I told him the dream, saying,

 “O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too difficult for you, tell me the visions of my dream that I saw and their interpretation.

 The visions of my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great.

 The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth.

 Its leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.

 “I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven.

 He proclaimed aloud and said thus: ‘Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches.

 But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth.

 Let his mind be changed from a man’s, and let a beast’s mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him.

 The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’

 This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw. And you, O Belteshazzar, tell me the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation, but you are able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”

 

The most powerful man of his time yet he knows fear and discomfort. His previous experiences, however, also allowed him the knowledge of where to go for answers. He recognized there is a power greater than he and greater than this world. With all the disrespect evident today is it any wonder that evil accompanies it and flourishes. We also know where to go for answers. God has not changed, humanity has not changed. Circumstances, perhaps, but the same power and help is available to us today from God as was then. Are we fully aware of that? Do we access it? Can those who know us say of us; “… the spirit of the holy gods is in you.” ? Is the Spirit of the Holy God within us and can the evidence of that be seen in our daily walk with him in how we treat others?

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…just as He said…

 

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.

Joshua 13:29-33

 

And Moses gave an inheritance to the half-tribe of Manasseh. It was allotted to the half-tribe of the people of Manasseh according to their clans.

Their region extended from Mahanaim, through all Bashan, the whole kingdom of Og king of Bashan, and all the towns of Jair, which are in Bashan, sixty cities,

and half Gilead, and Ashtaroth, and Edrei, the cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. These were allotted to the people of Machir the son of Manasseh for the half of the people of Machir according to their clans.

These are the inheritances that Moses distributed in the plains of Moab, beyond the Jordan east of Jericho.

But to the tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance; the LORD God of Israel is their inheritance, just as he said to them.

 

God gives. Scripture says he rewards those who diligently seek him. They will first of all find Him and the blessings of knowing Him will follow. He blesses those who seek His glory rather than their own. He keeps His promises. The promise given Abraham is not forgotten even though Abraham has long passed from this life. His promises continue to future generations. Israel gives us examples of what happens when we stray away from following Him. They found themselves wandering in a wilderness; later, they found themselves chastened by loss and in bondage once again to those to whose ideologies and philosophies they had turned. With repentance and returning to God’s ways they found that God once again was faithful to return them to His promise, the land given to Abraham.

 

Are we faithful to teach our future generations, not only what the scripture says but how to apply it to their lives? Are we faithful to introduce them to the One who created them, loves them and wants a relationship with them as well? Are we faithful to live the overcoming life before them? How do we handle stressful situations? Do we seek first the kingdom of God? Are we showing by example how to follow God’s commands and the joy that comes from serving Him? Even if they stray, what they see and hear, study and know will follow them throughout their whole life.   God’s Spirit will not depart from them. They will return to that place of knowing in the spirit. They will receive their inheritance. The kingdom of God is forever.

 

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Action required.

 

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.

Joshua 8:18-23

 

 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.” And Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city.

 And the men in the ambush rose quickly out of their place, and as soon as he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it. And they hurried to set the city on fire.

 So when the men of Ai looked back, behold, the smoke of the city went up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that, for the people who fled to the wilderness turned back against the pursuers.

 And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had captured the city, and that the smoke of the city went up, then they turned back and struck down the men of Ai.

 And the others came out from the city against them, so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side. And Israel struck them down, until there was left none that survived or escaped.

 But the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him near to Joshua.

 

God required an action of Joshua. “point the spear…” in one translation, “stretch the javelin…” in another. We are also give a command. Jesus says, “Let your light so shine…” When we obey as Joshua did the battle is given to us by the Lord. As He told Joshua, “I will give it into your hand…”. So Jesus tells us “…He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father…” We are overcomers in our personal battles and in the battle for mankind. This is possible because first we have received; secondly because we obey His command and trust in Him doing what He commands.

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