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?

 

Advertisements

Go…make disciples…

Matthew  28:19,20. Therefore go and make people from all nations into disciples, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,  and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.

A well-known scripture for most Christians? One that is used to mobilize believers and leaders to ‘win souls for Christ ‘.  But it appears some parts of the verses are ignored. Addressing that situation is a prophetic speaker in a recent blog…

I Went to Hell and was Stunned by What I Saw; JeremiahJohnson

In what he shared is the following:

“Because those that worked miracles, prophesied and cast out demons never preached the full gospel of Jesus Christ which is the message of repentance.  They were so in love with the gifts that I had given them that people became trophies and souvenirs to them. When my power would manifest in their ministries, they would tell people that I loved them, but never that they needed to repent for their sins. I tell you that a great deception will sweep over the signs and wonders movement in the earth. ”

What is the full gospel of Jesus Christ? What is the Good News? The disciples shared the message Jesus gave them.  It includes “how then shall we live…” Repentance and holiness go hand-in-hand with forgiveness, love and salvation. What is forgiven if not what is repented of and that by definition means change; no longer doing what has been forgiven…!

Should we take the warning given? The scripture referenced for the warning is also found in Matthew…the words of Jesus; “depart from me, I never knew you. ” Is part of the knowing obedience to His words, all of them?

 

Scripture from CJB version. Complete post by Jeremiah Johnson found on his Facebook page.

Replace the old with the new…

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

Therefore I say this—indeed, in union with the Lord I insist on it: do not live any longer as the pagans live, with their sterile ways of thinking.  Their intelligence has been shrouded in darkness, and they are estranged from the life of God because of the ignorance in them, which in turn comes from resisting God’s will.  They have lost all feeling, so they have abandoned themselves to sensuality, practicing any kind of impurity, and always greedy for more.  But this is not the lesson you learned from the Messiah!  If you really listened to him and were instructed about him, then you learned that since what is in Yeshua is truth, then, so far as your former way of life is concerned, you must strip off your old nature, because your old nature is thoroughly rotted by its deceptive desires; and you must let your spirits and minds keep being renewed, and clothe yourselves with the new nature created to be godly, which expresses itself in the righteousness and holiness that flow from the truth.

Two natures, old and new, opposite in structure and function are presented to produce an awareness of who the believer is.  Knowledge of who one is and what the significance of that is for them takes the individual into a victorious life despite the circumstances that may surround them.  The old nature has lost feeling and so seeks it in experiences, in sensuality, leading those who possess the old nature into a life of impurity and they are always seeking more.  There is a lack of knowledge of who they can be in Christ, they are in darkness and separated from God, the one they resist.  There is an if; a BIG if; “if you really listened to him (Jesus), and were instructed about him…then you must strip off your old nature.”  Why?  Because it is thoroughly rotted by its deceptive desires.  The old nature itself is deceptive; is deceiving.

Recognition of what one once was and what one is changing into assists in the taking off and putting on.  This involves choices, decisions, actions on the part of the believer.  They are not passive waiting for something to happen.  Being renewed involves new thoughts changing the manner in which the mind thinks.  First the old, destructive thoughts must be recognized.  They are then rejected and replaced with new thoughts that encourage and build up the individual.  These can be found in scripture.  The believer is not left without resources and the believer must practice with what is perfect.

Pray – Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You.  Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.  Rescue me from my enemies, the thoughts so destructive that come unbidden and attempt to stay, O, Lord, for I hide myself in You.  Give me the thoughts from scripture to ward off the attacks.

Repent – I repent for entertaining the former thoughts that lead to deception and are lies.

Ask – Teach me to do Your will for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.  In Your unfailing love, silence my enemies…

Yes – Destroy all those harassing me, for I am your servant.

Sources: Ephesians, Psalm 143

Bend our hearts…

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

Hosea and Psalms are the inspiration:

When Israel was a child, I loved him; and out of Egypt I called my son.

Look at a parallel between Israel leaving Egypt for a new land where they can worship the Lord their God in freedom and  those who settled this continent joining the native already here following a call out of a place where their worship was restricted.  They sought freedom to worship God as scripture taught.  And the Lord took a child-like faith and loved them, bringing them here.

Then the changes crept in like snakes in the grass.  The more they were called to holiness the farther from it they strayed.  Gods of increase, gods of self-indulgence became their idols.  They gave homage to their increase.  God says, “Yet it was I who taught (them) to walk; I took them by their arms.  But they did not know that it was I who was healing them, who was guiding them through human means with reins made of love.  With them I was like someone removing the yoke from their jaws, and I bent down to feed them.”

He goes on to say, “He (they) will not return to the land of Egypt, but Ashur (a great barbaric nation) will be his (their) king, because they refused to repent.  The sword will fall on…cities, destroying the bars of…gates, because they follow their own advice.”

And there is a move to “return to Egypt” with the creation of a one-world government; no longer separate but equal, free from any oppression outside the nation, or sovereign leadership.  The reason for this attempt to return to Egypt is “they follow their own advice.”  There is no seeking of God; asking of His wisdom, only reliance on the strength of the nation itself and the mindset of humanism.

God states further, “My people are hanging in suspense about returning to me; and though they call them upwards, nobody makes a move.”  Word goes out to return to the God of the Word, not a man-made creation of God.  Who hears, who has ears to hear, eyes to see, a mind to know and who returns?  He states, “…how can I give you up, or surrender you?…My heart recoils at the idea, as compassion warms within me.  I will not give vent to the fierceness of my rage, I will not destroy…for I am God, not a human being, the Holy One among you; so I will not come in fury.  They will go after the Lord, who will roar like a lion; for he will roar, and the children will come trembling from the west. They will tremble like a bird as they come…, like a dove… and I will resettle them in their own houses.”  ( emphasis mine)

There is a remnant even today, even here, who faithfully seek the face of the Lord.  There are those who enter the holy place to intercede for this nation.  There are some who faithfully follow the precepts of the whole counsel of God as given to us, in love, to live expectantly of His redemption.

Teach me, Lord, the way of your laws; keeping them will be its own reward for me.  Give me understanding; then I will keep your Word; I will observe it with all my heart.  Guide me on the path of your commands, for I take pleasure in it.  Bend my heart toward your instructions not toward selfish gain.  Turn my eyes from worthless things; with your ways, give me life.  Fulfill your promise, which you made to your servant, which you made to those who fear you.  Avert the disgrace which I dread, for your rulings are good.  See how I long for your precepts; in your righteousness, give me life.

This prayer can be the call to all who believe that God is God, that he loves His people as He says and that he will take charge where they cannot.  His righteousness is made available to all through Christ.  He is not human but the Holy One.  He will respond to those who turn, who reject self-indulgence for self-control, who place their trust in Him not in the creation of their own hands.

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

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 Voice of Adonai is not silent…….

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 29

 

Give Adonai his due, you who are godly;

Give Adonai his due of glory and strength;

Give Adonai the glory due his name;

Worship Adonai in holy splendor.

 

The voice of Adonai is over the waters;

The God of glory thunders,

Adonai over rushing waters,

The voice of Adonai is power,

The voice of Adonai in splendor.

 

The voice of Adonai cracks the cedars;

Adonai splinters the cedars of Lebanon

And makes the L’vanon skip like a calf,

Siryon like a young wild ox.

 

The voice of Adonai flashes fiery flames;

The voice of Adonai rocks the desert,

Adonai convulses the Kadesh desert.

The voice of Adonai causes deer to give birth

And strips the forests bare–

While in his temple, all cry, “Glory!”

Adonai sits enthroned above the flood!

Adonai sits enthroned as king forever!

May Adonai give strength to his people!

May Adonai bless his people with Shalom!

 

Matthew 7:13

Go in through the narrow gate, for the gate that leads to destruction is wide and the road broad, and many travel it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

 

We hear Adonai in the turbulent, violent wind. Who of us can create such a force? Even the man-made destruction uses materials already formed by our Creator! David gives voice to the largeness and power of God and Jesus tells us in response to David’s praise and blessings that many will find a broad path–no hurdles here–and few the narrow path that is hard and gives training in strength building. Those in the temple cry ‘glory!’ for they have overcome, gained strength and life with peace.

Our body is the temple of the Lord God Almighty:

imagesAPL9I9U0

 

It is good to remember our purpose is always to give praise to God; in the difficult, painful times as well as the good, peaceful times. Job stated; ‘the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’ A recent letter from Saeed praises God and tells us that he prays for America! This is the narrow way. This is strength building. This is overcoming. Can we do any less…

 

It is time to raise our voice; our collective voice. We will raise it to praise and glorify our God no matter who cries ‘offense!’, or threatens violence if we speak. We will raise it to decry the evil in the land and call for action to restore the righteous laws that bring peace. We will raise it to defend the innocent, combat the oppressor and free the oppressed. The oppressor uses today’s technology to spread terror. Let us use it to spread peace, call for justice and action to free the prisoners of evil. We join with the voice of God to condemn the evil in our land!

 

An update on Saeed:

Urgent Update on Saeed:

It is truly heartbreaking to know that one day after I spoke in front of our congress Saeed was beaten by fellow prisoners. Saeed’s father was not able to see Saeed last week because of a holiday in Iran, but today he was truly shaken to learn of the beating that Saeed had endured. Saeed’s father was also treated horribly and harassed by the prison guards and staff and could only visit Saeed for a short time…

As I shared in front of our congress last week, the Iranian government might turn up the heat in the furnace (as in Daniel 3), but Saeed refuses to deny his faith in Jesus Christ and continues to be a witness in that dark prison. Jesus is with Saeed in that fiery furnace. Saeed wants you to know that he has felt your prayers in his darkest moments. Thank you.

Please continue to keep our family in your prayers during this very difficult time.

God Bless.

Naghmeh

 

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

Cleaning up…

 

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 11:1-11

 When Jabin, king of Hazor, heard of this, he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph,

 and to the kings who were in the northern hill country, and in the Arabah south of Chinneroth, and in the lowland, and in Naphoth-dor on the west,

 to the Canaanites in the east and the west, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, and the Jebusites in the hill country, and the Hivites under Hermon in the land of Mizpah.

 And they came out with all their troops, a great horde, in number like the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots.

 And all these kings joined their forces and came and encamped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel.

And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at this time I will give over all of them, slain, to Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.”

So Joshua and all his warriors came suddenly against them by the waters of Merom and fell upon them.

 And the LORD gave them into the hand of Israel, who struck them and chased them as far as Great Sidon and Misrephoth-maim, and eastward as far as the Valley of Mizpeh. And they struck them until he left none remaining.

 And Joshua did to them just as the LORD said to him: he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire.

 And Joshua turned back at that time and captured Hazor and struck its king with the sword, for Hazor formerly was the head of all those kingdoms.

 And they struck with the sword all who were in it, devoting them to destruction; there was none left that breathed. And he burned Hazor with fire.

 

As those who are anti-God in spirit are found, they are completely destroyed. The Lord gave them into the hand of Israel.

 

“…And the LORD gave them into the hand of Israel,…”

 

The Lord fights for them; gives the instructions and Israel obeys. He does the same for us. The Holy Spirit reveals those things within us that are anti-God or potentially anti-God. Anything that has the self/mankind/humanity mentality has the potential for being anti-God. It is the work of the Holy Spirit within us that reveals these to us and then it is for us to follow His instructions to rid our lives, our minds of whatever He has shown us. The battle for the Israelites is getting bigger and more intense as they continue to have victory in following God’s commands. That is possible for us as well. As the Spirit reveals more and more to us it often gets more difficult and more intense for us. We want to keep some things. We see them as ‘harmless’ and ‘insignificant.’ But if the revelation comes from the Holy Spirit, it is anything but harmless and insignificant. It is best to keep in mind that this is the work of the Holy Spirit in us and we are not entrusted with the job of ‘cleaning up’ others. That is the work of the Holy Spirit in them.

 

We do well to remember that the Israelites were to completely destroy what had the potential to come back and infest them. When they didn’t they were chastened and saw that which was not of God begin to grow among them. We need to be vigilant of the encroachment by the thinking that comes from the ways of the world and that are not of God. However, again,  we can so easily get caught up in trying to clean each other of that which he is working out in us; that is not our job, it is the work of the Holy Spirit. Our part is to be found faithful to live the life of victory and overcoming and share the Word of God.

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