be like newborn babies…

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

From 1 Peter:

1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, of all deceit, hypocrisy and envy, and of all the ways there are of speaking against people; 2and be like newborn babies, thirsty for the pure milk of the Word; so that by it, you may grow up into deliverance. 3For you have tasted that Adonai is good.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/1pe.2>

9Taste, and see that Adonai is good.

How blessed are those who take refuge in him!

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/psa.34>

In the fellowship groupings of Christ there should be no malice, deceit, hypocrisy, or envy.  There should be none of the ways men use to speak against people.  It is more effective to speak, if it is necessary, about what is good; that would be teaching  practice in the opposing values of malice, deceit, hypocrisy and envy.  Social media give an accurate picture of the heart of society with an abundance of what should not be. There is ample evidence of backbiting, malice, deceit, hypocrisy and envy.

This darkness can be fought by the same means that assist the believer in the process of growing in the spirit.  Peter says be thirsty for the pure milk of the Word for by it the believer will grow up into deliverance from these destructive ways.  Initial reuniting with the God of creation from the sin bound life brings a taste of Him that is good.  He intends that the believer get more than just a taste.

Malice is the “desire to cause pain for the satisfaction of doing harm.”  It comes in many forms: cattiness, hatefulness, meanness, spite, abusiveness, cruelty.  The opposite of malice then, which one would expect to see demonstrated in fellowships of Christ are: devotion, love, amiability, civility, cordiality, friendliness, hospitality.  The extent to which malice shows up in the social mainstream demands its opposing values  be in full force in the fellowship of believers.

Deceit is the inclination or practice of misleading others through lies or trickery.  It too comes in many ways, more subversive because of their nature. It comes or shows up as cunning, foxiness, dishonesty, furtiveness.  The opposites for which the fellowship of believers should be known are: candor, directness, frankness, openness.  These may make the believer seem childish or naïve in a culture full of deceit that is practiced without judgment.

Hypocrisy is the pretending of having virtues, principles or beliefs that one in fact does not have.  It can show up as insincerity, piousness, dishonesty, self-righteousness.  This is a term often used too loosely with the intent to attack.   Its opposites are truthfulness, artlessness, naturalness, genuineness and sincerity.  When truth is presented in a world that is used to judgmental statements, it often attracts the attack that calls the bearer of truth,  one who practices hypocrisy.  This term was used by Jesus to call out the need for correction among those who claimed to know God but followed the teachings of men.

Peter calls the believer to be like newborn babes who taste the mother’s milk and want more.  The believer will grow into honesty, candor, openness, truthfulness, genuineness, without an agenda other than to seek the truth of the Word of God, “thirsty for the pure milk of the Word.”

“Taste and see” leads to a vulnerable state of being, as a newborn open to criticism, cunning, attempts to discredit. The believer, however, can identify the unseen source of these attempts is the enemy who would destroy this babe.  The infant is not defenseless; it has a Father who has given an arsenal of weapons to use against the attacks.  This infant can “grow up into deliverance” by the Word of God.

Taste and see that Adonai is good.  How blessed are those who take refuge in him. – Psalmist.

Pray – Those who seek Adonai lack nothing good.  It shows in their lifestyle.  It shows in their relationships.

Repent – I repent for those times I engaged in actions that could be called malicious or deceitful.

Ask – I have tasted and the Lord is good.  Teach me the fear of Adonai.  Keep my tongue from evil and my lips from deceiving talk.

Yes – I will bless Adonai at all times; his praise will always be in my mouth.  Psalm 34

 

Source: 1 Peter and Psalms

In all things give thanks…

Sadness floods my being at the loss of a church family. Perceived friendships have cooled, with a few exceptions no real intimate relationships have developed in the year and a half attending and serving there because church and the relationships developed there are confined to a building. This statement is based upon the facts that quite a few live but blocks from us, some just a mile away. Our door has always been open, we have led Bible studies both in the church and in the home. And now it seems we are viewed with suspicion; implications made that we may not be of God. Hurts that come from brothers and sisters go the deepest. Jesus suffered as much and more. From his own people and left to suffer alone by those closest to Him. Out of this event in the journey with God comes the sure knowledge that there is One who remains. He calls me friend. He is the lover of my soul. Thank you Lord.

 

The take away from this event is to maintain our focus on the Lord and Him alone. If others join our walk with Him we can rejoice. Be sure to keep the eyes of the soul and spirit upon Him alone. Then when the parting of ways comes although it is bittersweet there is peace in the shelter of His wings. It is wise to know that the enemy of our soul delights in causing division, pain, doubts, anyway he can. Scripture states that we are to “…Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour….” [1 Peter 5:8 NIV]   If he can use us to deceive ourselves or use us to come against one another he has been successful only when we allow that event to separate us from the will and love of God. In all things give thanks, God’s Word says. We can be thankful that we are His and counted worthy to suffer in even small ways as Christ suffered.

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Focus on what is RIGHT

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.

Isaiah 3:11-15

  Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.

My people—infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them.

 O my people, your guides mislead you

 and they have swallowed up

 the course of your paths.

 The LORD has taken his place to contend;

 he stands to judge peoples.

The LORD will enter into judgment with the elders and princes of his people:

 “It is you who have devoured the vineyard,

the spoil of the poor is in your houses.

 What do you mean by crushing my people,

 by grinding the face of the poor?”

 declares the Lord GOD of hosts.

Judgment comes but not by way of us.  It is the Lord God who judges.  It is He who speaks and his Word is sure and amen.  We sound the alarm, we give the alert but we do not judge.  Each one is capable of searching their own heart and mind.  Pity those who deceive themselves.  It is enough to keep ourselves clean and righteous by following His commands and resting in what Christ has done.  It is good to have the focus on what is right to do and think rather than emphasize the evil that needs no introduction.  We lead and teach by example.  Be found doing right.  Be found faithful.  Be a light.

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Real value…

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.

Isaiah 2:18-22

And the idols shall utterly pass away.

And people shall enter the

caves of the rocks

 and the holes of the ground,

 from before the terror of the LORD,

and from the splendor of his majesty,

when he rises to terrify the earth.

In that day mankind will cast away their idols of silver and their idols of gold,

 which they made for themselves to worship,

 to the moles and to the bats,

to enter the caverns of the rocks

 and the clefts of the cliffs,

 from before the terror of the LORD,

and from the splendor of his majesty,

when he rises to terrify the earth.

Stop regarding man

 in whose nostrils is breath,

for of what account is he?

Today there is much in the way of worshipping that which is made by man.  We see praise going out for manmade objects; we see a form of worship for the ‘celebrity’.  We honor them  with praise, time and money.  Many examples of putting our faith and trust in money and armed forces for security and hope can be given.  But all of that disintegrates with time.  Celebrities pass on in death, money systems fail, governments are brought down by force and by inner disputes.  In the end, when the dust clears only the Lord remains and His word.  So truly the question can be asked; “who is man that you are mindful of him…?”  Isaiah says, “Stop regarding man…”

Let us be ever alert, watchful of the infiltration of anything in our lives that would begin to replace or displace the Lord God.  When all else in our lives is removed; we only have our relationship with Christ left.

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Children of light…

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 3:1-17

 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

 

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.   In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.   But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.  Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. 

 

 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,   bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

How shall we live?  With compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiving with love, allowing peace to rule with the word in us teaching and admonishing, singing songs and giving thanks to God, this is the picture drawn of genuine believers.  Does the description fit us?  Time to reflect and search our hearts, minds and souls.  Time to ask of ourselves, if we were the person crossing our path what would they see, experience of us? Is there light?  Is there salt?  Or do we carry the opposites of these descriptors?  Help us Lord this day to exhibit the list of traits that say we are your children, children of light not darkness.

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Be wary of deceit…

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 2:1-10

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face,  that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

When we hear of a “new” idea, a new take on philosophy or even scripture, a new take on religious faith, we need to be on alert, beware of the subtle deceit.  When we are filled with the Holy Spirit who guides into all truth, knowledge and wisdom, and when we are filled with scripture we can be assured those ‘plausible arguments’ will be seen for what they are; typical of the Father of lies in that they often contain a kernel of truth that is distorted.  Remember the original question: “did God say…?”  followed by the plausible argument “you shall not surely die…”  And on the surface of the event they did not fall dead.  On the inside they were dying already.  When we reject the truth of God we condemn ourselves to a slow death not just physical, but also spiritual and its evidence is in our spoken words, thoughts and actions.

 

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The sum of your word is truth,…

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 119 Resh vs. 153-160

 Look on my affliction and deliver me,

 for I do not forget your law.

 Plead my cause and redeem me;

 give me life according to your promise!

 Salvation is far from the wicked,

 for they do not seek your statutes.

 Great is your mercy, O LORD;

 give me life according to your rules.

 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries,

 but I do not swerve from your testimonies.

  I look at the faithless with disgust,

because they do not keep your commands.

Consider how I love your precepts!

Give me life according to your steadfast love.

 The sum of your word is truth,

and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

Whatever our ‘affliction’ we can trust in Jehovah Sabaoth, our deliverer, the Lord of Hosts.  We remember, with the psalmist, the law set by Almighty God.  Laws are laws because they are proven to be true over and over again.  If they fail even once, they are no longer true, they are probabilities , with high probabilities, but not law.  God’s laws are proven faithful every time.

Mankind would try to distort the principles set by God’s spoken word.  Mankind would muddy the clear water of God’s spoken word.  But the

“…sum of your [God’s] word is truth…”

furthermore

“…every one of your [God’s] righteous rules endures forever…”

Know the genuine; study God’s Word, prayerfully meditating on it.  Then the “false ways”, the man-distorted ideologies are easily apparent to our spiritual eye.  Fill the mind with God’s Word; renewing it from what it was to the new creature in Christ.

  “Great is His Mercy!”

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, WordPress charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie