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

Advertisements

Blinded by self…

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 Numbers 16

15Moshe (Moses) was very angry and said to Adonai, “Don’t accept their grain offering! I haven’t taken one donkey from them, I’ve done nothing wrong to any of them.” 16Moshe (Moses) said to Korach (Korah), “You and your group, be there before Adonai tomorrow — you, they and Aharon (Aaron). 17Each of you take his fire pan and put incense in it; every one of you, bring before Adonai his fire pan, 250 fire pans, you too, and Aharon (Aaron) — each one his fire pan.”

18Each man took his fire pan, put fire in it, laid incense on it and stood at the entrance to the tent of meeting with Moshe  (Moses) and Aharon (Aaron). 19Korach  (Korah) assembled all the group who were against them at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Then the glory of Adonai appeared to the whole assembly.

(iii) 20Adonai said to Moshe  (Moses) and Aharon (Aaron), 21“Separate yourselves from this assembly; I’m going to destroy them right now!” 22They fell on their faces and said, “Oh God, God of the spirits of all humankind, if one person sins, are you going to be angry with the entire assembly?” 23Adonai answered Moshe  (Moses), 24“Tell the assembly to move away from the homes of Korach  (Korah), Datan  (Dathan) and Aviram   (Abiram).” 25Moshe  (Moses) got up and went to Datan and Aviram, and the leaders of Isra’el followed him. 26There he said to the assembly, “Leave the tents of these wicked men! Don’t touch anything that belongs to them, or you may be swept away in all their sins.” 27So they moved away from all around the area where Korach (Korah), Datan  (Dathan) and Aviram   (Abiram) lived.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/num.16>

English names for Hebrews are in parentheses placed there by this author

Moses expressed his anger at being unjustly accused to God. But when God said he would destroy all the people, Moses went down on his face once more to plead for them.   A man of God subjected to false accusations and attacked for his position expresses anger but only to God.  A humble man as well, he pleads for their redemption.

The taking of the fire and fire pans was a test.  These men were not dedicated to the task so in following through and doing so they were breaking established order set by God.  It was a defiant act of disobedience and disrespect.  They had to consider the previous events recorded in Leviticus 10:1-2 where two were consumed by fire when they inappropriately handled the incense. These are men who daily served in the tabernacle of God; they knew the possible consequences. When these failed to exercise caution and obedience to God, they demonstrated the true nature of their hearts.  Moses knows what is coming and warns the rest of the assembly to step away from the leaders of the rebellion.

It is a fearful thing to come against God’s commands.  There is no respect for Him, no honor when the self rises above his commands.  The ambition and arrogance of these men will be the cause for the judgment about to fall upon them from a holy God.  Their pride, self-importance and jealousy blinded them.  They could not spiritually discern God’s calling on Moses and Aaron.  It was to be their downfall.

The take-away is for all believers to consider God’s commands as supreme.  One cannot defy a holy God with disrespect without also incurring the consequences.  Grace is available today to those who repent; but consequences will come.  The age of grace does not change who God is and what God does.  It provides for humankind’s redemption and shows mercy to a repentant heart.  This is not a call to legalism but to spiritual discernment.  The quest for self blinds the seeker.  They are vulnerable to deception which leads to separation from God.  It is vital to a healthy, overcoming life to be seekers of Christ and disciples of who he is and what he does.

Pray – O God, you are my God and I will ever praise you.  It isn’t about who I am but who you are.

Repent – I repent for the direction many take leading away from you in a search for self.  Please be merciful with them.

Ask – May we always lift you up: “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me.” – Jesus. You, Lord, Your will is our desire.

Yes – Bless, Adonai, my soul!  Adonai my God, you are very great!  Psalm 104:1

Source: Numbers, Leviticus, and Psalm 104

Understanding…

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 John 3:

9Nakdimon (Nicodemus) replied, “How can this happen?” 10Yeshua (Jesus) answered him, “You hold the office of teacher in Isra’el, and you don’t know this? 11Yes, indeed! I tell you that what we speak about, we know; and what we give evidence of, we have seen; but you people don’t accept our evidence! 12If you people don’t believe me when I tell you about the things of the world, how will you believe me when I tell you about the things of heaven? 13No one has gone up into heaven; there is only the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. 14Just as Moshe (Moses) lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/jhn.3>

*Words in parentheses are the English word for the Hebrew placed by the author.

Many still do not understand things of the earth.  And miracles thrill but they are not truly understood.  Until one enters into the Spirit by believing what Jesus says, one cannot understand. Things of the Spirit confound those outside Christ.

Miracles and signs are pursued and the Christ on the cross and its message are lost.  Jesus was lifted up and gave himself for all mankind.  All mankind continues to be split between those who believe and those who do not.  Anyone who trusts in Christ may have eternal life.

Wisdom says come to God daily to worship Him and ask the Holy Spirit for understanding as one searches scripture.  Jesus is there; throughout the Word he is presented and can be seen.  Who he is and what he does informs the seeker of truth and a way of living that lasts from now till and through eternity.

Pray – Teach me, Adonai, the way of your laws; keeping them will be its own reward for me.

Repent – I repent for often seeking the ways of mankind for understanding.

Ask – Give me understanding; then I will keep your Word; I will observe it with all my heart.  Guide me on the paths of your ways for I take pleasure in it.

Yes – See how I long for your precepts; in your righteousness, give me life!

Source: John 3 and Psalms 119:34-37

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

Nothing changes, everything remains the same…

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 10

The nation belonging to God was a luxuriant vine, freely putting forth fruit.  As the fruit increased, the altars increased; as the land got better, the standing-stones improved.  The heart of the people is divided; it will bear the guilt. Spoken originally of Israel but so true of America today…

The Lord God will break down the altars and destroy the standing-stones.  For now it will be said, “There is no ‘king’ because the Lord God was not feared—and what could a ‘king’ do for us anyway?  Words are mouthed, swearing falsely, making treaties.  Thus judgment spreads like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field.  Sounds like an election year in America…

Altars of gold, income?  Where is trust placed?  in wages? In the works of our hands?  Standing-stones of history are ‘improved’; rewritten to suit a new mentality.  Leaders no longer rule; they oppress and destroy what is good, just and fair.  The land is filled with words of hate and judgment from all sides.  The truth remains that there is nothing new under the sun.  And evil is called good and good is called evil; all one must do to see it is to read comments following a post or news item…

What is effective for real change and justice is turning back to God, the Creator, in repentance and prayer.  The message goes out to all; believer and unbeliever alike.  Most will harden that heart of the people and reject turning back naming it old school, seeking a new thing, satisfied to continue the arguing and fighting over words, each side claiming right and justice.  There is a way that seems right but the end of it is death; there is a narrow way and few find it.  Following the masses tells which path is being followed.  Truth is available and is eternal; it takes asking, seeking, knocking, and receiving.

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

God is not fooled…

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 is the influence: spoken to Israel but certainly pertinent to today when the mind-sets are compared…

Come, let us return to the Lord, for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck, and he will bind our wounds.  After two days, he will revive us; on the third day, he will raise us up; and we will live in his presence.  Let us know, let us strive to know the Lord.  That he will come is as certain as morning; he will come to us like the rain, like the spring rains that water the earth.

When distress comes upon men they turn to find relief.  When destruction comes, humanity seeks a solution.  Turning to God, they ask for restoration.  The Lord, however, sees the heart.  A punished child cries and seeks comfort.  With no real change of heart, they repeat their bad behavior and get ‘caught’ again.  Consequences follow the misbehavior and the cycle repeats until a change of heart occurs that translates into changed behavior.  The Lord takes note of the same in the unrepentant believer…

For your ‘faithful love’ is like morning cloud, like dew that disappears quickly.  This is why I have cut them to pieces by the prophets, slaughtered them with the words from my mouth—the judgment on you shines out like light.  For what I desire is mercy, not sacrifices, knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

‘Prophecies’ abound today; some make great promises of wealth and well-being in sugar-laced sweetness.  Some are accompanied by fantasy-filled images lovely to behold, using light, softness, visual ‘peace.’ Then there are those predicting dire warnings, distress and destruction; offering fear and a need to stockpile goods, provisions relying on this present earth.  In all of this the believer is left to wonder at the genuineness of any of it.  Those outside the body of believers are brought to mockery and scorn.  What to do?  What to think?  What to believe?  The answers are found already spoken by God in His Living Word.

He states, “When I restore the fortunes of my people, when I am ready to heal…crimes confront me…wickedness.  For they keep practicing deceit; thieves break in, bands of robbers raid outside.  They never say to themselves that I remember their evil.  Now their own deeds surround them; they are right in front of me.  Am I supposed to redeem them, when they have spoken lies against me?  They have not cried out to me from their hearts, even though they wail on their beds.  They return, but not upward; they are like an unreliable bow.

Return…take words with you, and return to God; say to him, “Forgive all guilt, and accept what is good; we will pay instead of bulls (what is temporal) the offerings of our lips.  We will no longer call what we made with our hands our gods. [What good are wages when they are removed.  Where is true sustenance?]  For it is only in you, (God), that the fatherless can find mercy.  (Outside the relationship with God all are fatherless.)

There is hope in Christ and in His Words:  “I will heal their disloyalty, I will love them freely; for my anger has turned from him.  I will be like dew, …he will blossom like a lily and strike roots like the Lebanon.  His branches will spread out, his beauty be like an olive tree and his fragrance like the Lebanon.  Again they will live in his shade and raise grain; they will blossom like a vine, and its aroma will be like the wine of the Lebanon.”  God states, “I am like a fresh, green cypress tree; your fruitfulness comes from me.”  Let the wise understand these things, and let the discerning know them.  For the ways of the Lord are straight, and the righteous walk in them, but in them sinners stumble.

Personalize God’s Words, see how they fit, rejoice in their promise and wisdom.

Parenthesis and comments within scripture references are mine.

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

Truth; a Treasure to share…

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

2 Timothy 1 and 2:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus…   Remind [them] of these things, charging [them] before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.  And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

 

Those hungry for more of God, wanting an intimate relationship with Him fulfilling His purpose for His creation will have to be willing to ‘do the work.’  Nothing of value comes without the investment of time and effort.  The gift of life and the opportunity for relationship are freely given at a great cost made by the Creator.  The receiver bears responsibility for the acknowledgement of the gift, the receiving of the gift and uniting with the Christ who made it all possible.  That is but the start of the most exciting adventure of the individual’s lifetime; a lifetime that spans eternity.

 

In 2 Timothy, a letter to Timothy from Paul, and by its inclusion in Holy Scripture, a letter to all believers, the life after the initial event of accepting the gift from God becomes one of service, love, patience and obedience to the commands of Jesus.  Paul reminds the reader of the gift, what it is, who it came from and how blessed the recipient is, but he also goes on to explain the patience to be exercised in the study of God’s Word to be able to fully understand the gift and be able to pass it on to others.  It is a gift of Good News, something ‘too good to be true.’  It requires sharing.

 

To avoid the foolish arguments, to survive the attacks, to be fully equipped to share the Good News requires the patience of time in study, meditation and prayer.  This requires an understanding of scripture beyond the reading of God’s Word; it requires time allowing the Holy Spirit to do the work He does in bringing understanding. This requires setting priorities.  The lives of most are busy, with family, jobs and daily living.  Yet many find time for their ‘passion’ whatever it may be, time for electronic entertainment, time for recreation.  May the believer find the time for the passion of knowing their God more intimately though His Word.  He has revealed Himself to all mankind in Word and person.  The opportunity to know Him better is always available.

 

The spirit of power, love and sound mind enables the believer to engage in the knowing process.  The diligence put forth by the believer provides the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to do the work of understanding.  The believer has a precious treasure those around them would love to share.  How can they know if they are not told?  This Good News, to good to be true, is the Truth found in Christ and in the Word of God.  This truth comes by faith and trust.  There is no need to engage in arguments or debates.  The Word, the Truth stands for itself.  May the believer be willing to let go of self and take the time to invest in the treasure found in the Word of God.