Posts Tagged With: Gospel of Matthew

Facebook and me…


 

Good evening, beloved,

Keeping it real over here. What does that actually mean? Seriously.

I’ve become an avid Facebook watcher. Sometimes it is hard for me to read and it shouldn’t, but…

Got up early, went for a run, had a delicious homemade breakfast for me and the kids..bring it on! or…

I love my life. My kid is…

I love my life. My husband did…actually, I did write these posts. It’s amazing how things have changed.

Now, I know if I was in my right mind, ha! I would have a first response of oh, that’s great! Praising the Lord with you..but somehow, I resonate more, right now with…

Had a hard day homeschooling today. I know it will get better but today was just hard. or…

Would you pray for my xxxx? or…

Don’t get me started on all the political ads. Good grief, they will know us by our love. Really? however I feel about these issues, we will certainly not be known for our love.

I am very interested in the Gospel of Christ being spread. Verses in the hands of desperate people, desperate for hope. Resources that have blessed me and my family in these days that rattle my nerves.

I’ve gotten to the point in my health where I’m not driving. Dizziness plagues me. Talking is painful. My neurology appointment is tomorrow. My only outlet for hearing how people are doing is through Facebook.  I ache.  People text me, people write back and forth with emails and Facebook messages. I can pray for what I see.

Where is my hope? God brought this song to my head and it is so true. There is one line that resonates with me today, well they all do but…

My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’ blood and righteousness…

Matthew 28…Jesus’ final words before He ascended to heaven.

18 Jesus approached and, breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.

19 Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20 Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).

Jesus has…

  • all authority
  • all power of rule in heaven
  • all power of rule on earth
  • been given it all

Jesus has commanded us to teach the disciples of all nations. Well, we need to make them, don’t we? Tell me something, how will blasting, criticizing businesses, government officials help us to make them? When a person peers into our page, what will they be able to tell from our likes, our posts, our pages?

O my friends, o beloved, don’t miss this. As I sit in my quiet house with a cute, slumbering dog, my family is at the AWANA parents’ night at our church. My heart aches to be there. I sit. I am reminded.

Jesus is with me…all the days.

Perpetually.

Uniformly.

On every occasion.

Jesus is with me now. Filling this house, interceding on my behalf before the Father. Friends, that’s the news that should be filling our pages! What God has done for you? Celebrate in the pages! What verses meant the most to you as you studied His Word? Share ‘em! Tell us why! Encourage us all.

God bless you. God bless you as you fill your life. Pray as you post, as you share, as you “like”. Let your light shine before men.

Matthew 5:

15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.

Burn bright all to the glory of Him who made you. Pray on. Pray on.

 

Categories: Cara thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Bickering and resolution…


 

Panoramic image of Santa Severina village, Calabria, Italy. by Ggia

Good morning, beloved,

Labor day..history, there ya go,  interesting to me that we celebrate work by taking a day off. Yet, the Blue Better Bible has a terrific post on rest…read on!

I wanted to share the verses of the day…then dive in.

Isaiah 48:

16 Come near to me and listen to this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it happened, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent His Spirit in andwith me.

17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way that you should go.

18 Oh, that you had hearkened to My commandments! Then your peace and prosperity would have been like a flowing river, and your righteousness [the holiness and purity of the nation] like the [abundant] waves of the sea.

We have been struggling with bickering siblings in our household lately. Ok, not lately, always. And I have always had different techniques for coping with the fighting. Trying different ways to deal with the little sinners saved by grace..ahem. Well, last night I walked each of my kids separately (except for the eldest) through Matthew 18..after reading another book, this time, though, I kinda felt this family had an edge on the advice market. The Duggars. I have been very blessed by reading these two books they have authored.

One thing has been how they teach their children to do chores. It has helped my stress level tremendously. The other has been this teaching. Matthew 18 was memorized by their whole family with hand signs and repetition and as they meet sibling “controversy” they walk through the verses.

So I began this last night, and realized something very profound to me. It is one thing for me to teach the children not to bicker because it is the wrong thing to do, it is quite another when we are speaking Jesus’ words to one another and He is doing the teaching. Aha.

Matthew 18:

15 If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, between you and him privately. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.

16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed and upheld by the testimony of two or three witnesses. (then a bunch about bringing in the church…ahem.)

19 Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and [g]everything] they may ask, it will come to passand be done for them by My Father in heaven.

20 For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I Am in the midst of them.

So we went phrase by phrase together, how does this look?

If your brother wrongs you, go show him his fault, between you and him privately. 

So your brother wrongs you, in our family it’s not an “if”, it’s a “when”. Jesus finishes Matthew 18 with 35 So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses. Brothers, sisters wrongs you. Offense. Our first response has to be..yep, I’ve been wronged. What does God expect? A free forgiveness…no chains. However, it is our responsibility to go show him his fault. For as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 8:12 And when you sin against your brethren in this way, wounding and damaging their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Sin against Christ? I think it is so critical we remember who our sin is actually against. The Lord Jesus. A bit of perspective, wouldn’t you say? Colossians 3:13 Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]. We are a forgiven people. The Lord has freely forgiven us! We can do NO better.

And how do we show our brother his fault? Ah, yes, the critical part in our family…you did this, you are wrong, you! you! you! The pointed index finger also is a big help over here. Leviticus 19: 17 You shall not hate your brother in your heart; but you shall surely rebuke your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. The sin is on us if we do not rebuke our neighbor, if we harbor hatred.  Psalm 141: 5 Let the righteous man smite and correct me—it is a kindness. Oil so choice let not my head refuse or discourage; for even in their evils or calamities shall my prayer continue. We are righteous when we correct one another with kindness…that of course can be misconstrued. Please don’t…at this point, a discussion of how wrongly the church can interpret is not my focus. We are to treat one another with kindness.

What do we gain when we obey this? Our brother!! Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives [for God, as a fisher of men—he gathers and receives them for eternity]. By allowing forgiveness, kindness and hope to flow through our speech, we are wise, righteous, life flows through us. And we gain unity with our brothers and sisters! What hope! Not to give in to the whispers of the evil one, but to say yes to life. Romans 12: 21 Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good. James 5:1[My] brethren, if anyone among you strays from the Truth and falls into error and another [person] brings him back [to God],20 Let the [latter] one be sure that whoever turns a sinner from his evil course will save [that one’s] soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins [[a]procure the pardon of the many sins committed by the convert].

This is Jesus’ cry to us! We have a responsibility to live our life overcoming evil. How? Mastering it with good! We turn our brother or sister towards life instead of death.

So, part one. I’m going to watch the Odd Couple now. LOL. Have a wonderful day…of rest. :) Pray on, pray on.

 

 

 

 

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To judge or not to judge…


 

Heartleaf Iceplant (Aptenia cordifolia) by Jj Harrison

Good morning, beloved!

It is so good to be in His presence this morning, surrounded by my boys and hubby. We are looking through the paper, shocked at more violence and mayhem in Wisconsin yesterday.  We are enjoying the quiet of a beautiful morning. The sun streaming through the windows. Starburst trying to find bones and balls to throw in our laps. She has a ball (she’s really not supposed to have) so it’s close to her mouth and she’s trying to sneaky by touching the ball lightly with her front paw to bring it to her mouth. We are all having a good laugh. It feels good to laugh.

Our hope does not rest in our circumstances. Our hope is not in what society can offer. Our hope can only be found in Him. Proclaim it this morning. God has blessed you. He has blessed me, my family. No matter our circumstances we look to faithful God to supply all our needs. When people ask how I doing, it’s hard for me to answer. Our circumstances overwhelm me and I don’t know how to start the conversation. Yet, I don’t lose hope and I know people care. My faith is buoyed by people’s care.  So as I turn to our study this morning, I thank you, once again, for reading these words, praying for us and if I can ever pray for you, please share.

Matthew 7: 

Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged andcriticized and condemned yourselves.

For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticizedand condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.

Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye?

Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye?

You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.

Let’s remember Jesus’ audience here.  Matthew 5: 1

Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him.

Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

Jesus is speaking to the multitudes. This message is for all who hear.  So is he calling us a hypocrite? We have to be careful when we are speaking not to judge a situation, give our opinion and think that our words helped another. Ahem. Rather, in our conversation, should it not always start with the Spirit‘s guidance and prayer for words that glorify the King?

Hypocrite (hypokritēs); corresponding to the above, primarily denotes “one who answers;” then, “a stage-actor;” it was a custom for Greek and Roman actors to speak in large masks with mechanical devices for augmenting the force of the voice; hence the word became used metaphorically of “a dissembler, a hypocrite.

When we wear our masks, pretending everything is okay and pronounce judgement on others, we are in sin. Plain and simple.

Judge(krino): primarily denotes “to separate, select, choose;” hence, “to determine,” and so “to judge, pronounce judgment.” “The uses of this verb in the NT may be analyzed as follows: (a) to assume the office of a judge

Goodness, what qualifies me to judge? Nothing. Nothing at all. When I get to the end of my life and I meet my maker, my desire, my goal is to walk through my life with Him and we see together that through the power of His Spirit, I fought the urge to judge or condemn others. It has never been my place. Lord, forgive me!

Jesus knows our timbers. He knows the logs. Our eyes are not pure without the Spirit’s guidance and influence. The Word should be our guide in our conversations.

Alright, beloved, my day calls to me. Think, pray on. Pray on.

 

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Alstroemeria aurea in southern Tasmania, Australia by JJ Harrison

Good morning, beloved,

Yesterday…was just one of those days. Yet, as I type this, I am convinced to the depths of my soul that God is with me. When crazy storms hit, and sadly, my confidence is shaken. I wonder where are You, Lord? And I am reminded in the face of a checkout lady at Meijer food stores, I AM here.  I am reminded in the faces of my children who love the lake and play vigorously together. I AM here. I am reminded when I look at my refrigerator, I AM here. When my faithful husband stands by my side, even when frustrated, and turns to hold my hand, I AM here. I am reminded as I look at the beautiful creation that surrounds us, I AM here.  I am reminded more than anything, His devout love for me by sending His son to take my place for my sins. Sins of worry, fear, doubt and He teaches me, I AM here.

“I will never forget Your precepts, [how can I?] for it is by them You have quickened me (granted me life).” Psalm 119:93AMP

“It it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God and made Him my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.” Psalm 73:28

Australian pelicans by JJ Harrison

 And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:13

Temptation peirasmos:  of “trials” of a varied character, Mat 6:13Luk 11:4, where believers are commanded to pray not to be led into such by forces beyond their own control;Mat 26:41Mar 14:38Luk 22:4046, where they are commanded to watch and pray against entering into “temptations” by their own carelessness or disobedience; in all such cases God provides “the way of escape,” 1Cr 10:13 (where peirasmos occurs twice).

 Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one.14 But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions).James 1: 13

Does this seem like a direct contradiction? It is not. That is why I included temptation’s definition. This is important.  “The request do not lead us into temptation is not to suggest God causes temptation, but is a rhetorical way to ask for his protection from sin.” netbible.org

James is furthering this point by saying the reason for our sin is not God. God is not tempting, luring people away from Him. That is a direct contradiction to His character. Look at the language of verse 14 of James 1, this is fisherman lingo! Satan baits his hook, (I’m not sure how I feel about being a fish, but go with it..), we have a choice to gaze at the temptation and swim away the opposite direction. OR we swim for the hook and we are pulled away by the hook.

For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of  resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.1 Corinthians 10: 13

God is faithful, He can be trusted, He will always give a way out. We are able, capable, strong and powerful ONLY in His power and protection.

The word temptation as we read before is the same as in Matthew 6peirasmos. Nothing we are facing in our lives today is beyond God’s ability working through you.

And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, What! Are you so utterly unable to stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:40-41

We must always, always be active, cautious and attend to our thoughts. Always keeping our eyes open, watching and praying. We are to never let our guard down. Our flesh, as Jesus says, is very weak. Pray that you don’t fall into temptation. Think of the last time you gave into a temptation. Did you have hours to think about this or was it a fast exchange? My guess would be a fast exchange. Am I going to give into the train wreck of fear and worry?

Well, it is Sunday, time to get ready for church. God bless you and keep you. Pray on. Pray on.

 

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Release


 

Matanuska River Valley; by Walter Siegmund

Good morning!

Let the games begin! Well, still haven’t figured out how I’m watching the games..but it sure is fun when I can. The spirit of the games inspires our whole family, the dreams begin and the confident comments begin. I could do that. I would like to be on the swim team. I could run like that. And so forth. Can’t get in the way of the dreams to be scientists, basketball stars, dressmaker (Ella!)…but we could certainly add that in.

Dreams are a beautiful thing. Aren’t they? As adults, do we dream like we did as children? I can’t say I spend a ton of time hoping to be a Olympian, it’s a shame, because God has such great plans for me. For you. Praying in His will, abiding in His will and riding the waves of life with God as your pilot can bring your imagination and dreams to the surface once again.

So, to review, we have researched the first half of the Lord’s prayer. Now we are  moving to forgiveness, cleansing..before the Lord.

Burney Falls, California by Agreene12

Matthew 6: 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven ([e]left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have [f]given up resentment against) our debtors.

1John 1:9If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

Admit, confess freely we have sinned. Yet, what is spectacular about this verse is what God is doing here!

  • He is faithful, true to His own nature and promises
  • Will forgive…
  • Continuously cleanse us from all that does not conform to His will

Proverbs 28: 13 He who covers his transgressions will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes his sins will obtain mercy.

We are back to freely confessing, not hiding! God knows it anyway, but the freedom comes with honesty and a frank appraisal of our life. God will give mercy. Mercy..to love, love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection, have compassion.

Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive people their trespasses [their [g]reckless and willful sins, [h]leaving them, letting them go, and [i]giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their[j]reckless and willful sins, [k]leaving them, letting them go, and [l]giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.

Freedom from sin, confessing, praying continually, letting people go..giving up resentment. All about freedom for us, isn’t it? When we hold to anger, hold to bitterness..we lose.

Biblegateway‘s verse of the day: “I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.” Philippians 3:14 AMP

We can’t press on towards the goal with bags of bitterness and anger on our back. Holding  sacks of rage from crimes committed against us…the outfits these Olympic athletes wear do not allow for packs. The swimmers shave their bodies of all hair to create a more fluid movement in the water. There’s a lot of spandex going on and not a lot of bags. Same for us, we have to get rid of all that encumbers us.

That we can move and live and have our being in Him, we are free to press on. Forgiveness sets the bags down. Forgiveness removes chains.

Well, I’m going to get back into the Olympics. Pray on, beloved. Pray on.

 

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Divorce…


Meadow pippit by Seahamlass edit by JJ Harrison at en.wikipedia

Good morning, beloved,

Well, our transition to life again from the hospital has been, to say the least, not the easiest. Daniel’s landing and movement back into the culture of the family has been a challenge and I just think that all those words typed before don’t even say it as well as saying: it has been awful. Gag. Puke. Barf.  God help us all with this day today.  Bring us your peace. Bring us your love and Your Spirit. I canna do another day like yesterday the same way.

Let’s finish off our day, yesterday. If you didn’t read that one, catch up and come join us. :)

Matthew 5:

31 It has also been said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.

32 But I tell you, Whoever dismisses and repudiates and divorces his wife, except on the grounds of unfaithfulness (sexual immorality), causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a woman who has been divorced commits adultery.

Adultery…unless she was unfaithful, if a man dismisses his wife causes her to commit adultery. Also whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.  Before I try to comment on that, let’s look more at the Word to decipher all of this…

Malachi 2

13 And this you do with double guilt; you cover the altar of the Lord with tears [shed by your unoffending wives, divorced by you that you might take heathen wives], and with [your own] weeping and crying out because the Lord does not regard your offering any more or accept it with favor at your hand.

14 Yet you ask, Why does He reject it? Because the Lord was witness [to the covenant made at your marriage] between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously and to whom you were faithless. Yet she is your companion and the wife of your covenant [made by your marriage vows].

15 And did not God make [you and your wife] one [flesh]? Did not One make you and preserve your spirit alive? And why [did God make you two] one? Because He sought a godly offspring [from your union]. Therefore take heed to yourselves, and let no one deal treacherously and be faithless to the wife of his youth.

16 For the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I hate divorce and marital separation and him who covers his garment [his wife] with violence. Therefore keep a watch upon your spirit [that it may be controlled by My Spirit], that you deal not treacherously and faithlessly [with your marriage mate].

God was witness to the covenant of your marriage. God made you one flesh. God made two one so to have godly offspring.  She is your companion! The covenant.

Dealing treacherously, faithless, divorcing for your own gain (to take heathen wives or whatever), this is violence to the Lord. He hates divorce, the ripping apart of marriages, families. Watch!

Matthew 19:

They said to Him, Why then did Moses command [us] to give a certificate of divorce and thus to dismiss and repudiate a wife?

He said to them, Because of the hardness (stubbornness and perversity) of your hearts Moses permitted you to dismiss and repudiate and divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been so [ordained].

I say to you: whoever dismisses (repudiates, divorces) his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

God allowed divorce…interesting. Why?  A stubbornness and perversity in our hearts…but Jesus says to us, this is not what God wants. It is not our best. Marry a divorced woman and commit adultery.

1 Corinthians 7:

10 But to the married people I give charge—not I but the Lord—that the wife is not to separate from her husband.

11 But if she does [separate from and divorce him], let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband. And [I charge] the husband [also] that he should not put away or divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I declare—I, not the Lord [for Jesus did not discuss this]—that if any brother has a wife who does not believe [in Christ] and she consents to live with him, he should not leave or divorce her.

13 And if any woman has an unbelieving husband and he consents to live with her, she should not leave or divorce him.

14 For the unbelieving husband is set apart (separated, withdrawn from heathen contamination, and affiliated with the Christian people) by union with his consecrated (set-apart) wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart and separated through union with her consecrated husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean (unblessed heathen,outside the Christian covenant), but as it is they are prepared for God [pure and clean].

15 But if the unbelieving partner [actually] leaves, let him do so; in such [cases the remaining] brother or sister is not morally bound. But God has called us to peace.

16 For, wife, how can you be sure of converting and saving your husband? Husband, how can you be sure of converting and saving your wife?

Paul has so much to say here..yet, let’s leave a lot of this stick with what circumstances does God allow divorce? Sexual immorality. Unfaithfulness.

The root problem?  There, I leave you to think and ponder and pray over. This is a difficult, hard subject yet one to talk over. Truly. It is worth our time to pray over this. Pray on, beloved. Pray on and on.

 

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‘owr


Light by motolaura

Good morning, beloved,

This picture is a perfect example of where I left off with my last blog. I love how the light illuminates all that it touches. Not a blazing torch, this little light shines in the encroaching darkness. Outside of the ring of light, darkness falls. This light stands proudly.

I typed out that blog last night and then the darkness fell around us. Luke had struggled with this terrible headache and when we asked more questions, the dog ran into him full speed. Every time he turned his neck the pain was worse. Blurry vision, not good in my book. And friends, as I look back at the experience, my sadness was all of this wonder and light I had mined earlier,  I left it behind.  Then I felt a lump in his neck and my worry was off to the races.  All day had been a struggle of my mind and my family took the brunt of my frustration. Everyone else has a clean house. Everyone else can get their kids to help. Good mercies, as I type it out its sludge. And when I had taken the time to write the blog in the afternoon, my spirits lifted. Then we came down to find that the dog had eaten all the chicken off the counter. One of the kid’s salads was gone.  And Luke most certainly had not eaten it. I still don’t have a phone. Sludge. Sludge. Thinking about this upcoming week..SLAM!

Thankfully, Luke has muscles pulled in his neck and no spinal or bone injuries. It was necessary to get ice cream at 10pm. You know it. Ahem. Once the turtle sundae and  reading truth had run its course, bed.

I begin my blog today saying, even with all the best study of the Word, Satan‘s attacks come when we feeling weakest. I am a child of the King. I love His Word. Satan knows my weaknesses. When my neighbor, who is a nurse, looked at Luke’s neck gave me a look, my fear shot through the roof. Neurological issues and me family seem to walk hand in hand. Normally, I can deal when I am ready. Ahh, there’s the ticket. Right? In warfare, preparation is having His Word in hand all the time. And if I look back through my day, my fear and worry began with money worries (looking ahead? what?). Then continued as I compared my house to others. Then I would think about the week ahead with Daniel in the hospital and home run! Now, what if instead, I had talked with Joshua and prayed together.

And then had…Psalm 119: 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Ah.

Volunteer Park, Capitol Hill, Seattle by Tom Harpel from Seattle, Washington

Well, let’s finish this day of light in my study together and then take it with us. :)

Isaiah 49: 6 He says, It is too light a thing that you should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors [of the judgments] of Israel; I will also give you for a light to the nations, that My salvation may extend to the end of the earth.

Isaiah 60: 19 The sun shall no more be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you, but the Lord shall be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory and your beauty.

20 Your sun shall no more go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself, for the Lord shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended.

Think of the promises loaded into these verses. God is timeless. We are set in a certain time. The sun and moon will no longer be needed. God will be our light forever and ever and ever. :)

Everlasting: long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world LIGHT.

Matthew 4: 16 The people who sat (dwelt enveloped) in darkness have seen a great Light, and for those who sat in the land and shadow of death Light has dawned.

A powerful light shining in the dark. by Zouavman Le Zouave

Matthew 6:22 The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is sound, your entire body will be full of light.23 But if your eye is unsound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the very light in you [your conscience] is darkened, how dense is that darkness!

John 1:4 In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men.

And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it].

There came a man sent from God, whose name was John.

This man came to witness, that he might testify of the Light, that all men might believe in it [adhere to it, trust it, and rely upon it] through him.

He was not the Light himself, but came that he might bear witness regarding the Light.

There it was—the true Light [was then] coming into the world [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] that illumines every person.

Jesus shines in the darkness. In the properties of light, one only needs to look at the first picture in this blog and you see the next sentence: truth. Darkness does not envelope this light. The light is not overpowered. Put out. Or absorbed. Jesus shines brighter.

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a placeand portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me.

Ephesians 5:8 For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light [lead the lives of those native-born to the Light].

1 John 1: 5 And this is the message [the message of promise] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [no, not in any way].[So] if we say we are partakers together and enjoy fellowship with Him when we live andmove and are walking about in darkness, we are [both] speaking falsely and do not live andpractice the Truth [which the Gospel presents].But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations].

Revelation 21:23 And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon to give light to it, for the splendor and radiance (glory) of God illuminate it, and the Lamb is its lamp.

Friends, if we are children of the Light then we can not play in the darkness. We have been release from our sins and given a place and been purified by faith! We have light because of the Lord! Look at what gifts we have when we walk in the LIGHT…

  1. fellowship with Him
  2. fellowship with one another
  3. the blood of Jesus cleanses REMOVES all sin and guilt and keeps us cleansed from sin in all forms and manifestations…

Can I get an amen? Friends, the blood of Jesus never will lose power!

Pray on, friends. Pray on.

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Music, New Testament, Pictures from commons..., Sermon on the Mount | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Playing in the surf. Porto Covo, Portugal by Alvesgaspar

Good morning, beloved of God,

As we continue breathing in the truth of Scripture, may we turn to Him first, as we discovered in my second post yesterday, God’s heart is toward those who turn toward Him first. Let’s look further into His Word at this truth as we now turn to the New Testament.

Gentle: mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness

Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.  A well known set of verses, I’m sure to you, and this picture probably isn’t necessary but I’ll include it anyway..

Yoked oxen at Old World Wisconsin. They finally got them yoked up to work. by Anna from Eagle, WI, USA

David Guzik on the blb.org:

i. When training a new animal (such as an ox) to plow, ancient farmers would often yoke it to an older, stronger, more experienced animal who would bear the burden and guide the young animal through his learning.

ii. If your yoke is hard and your burden is heavy, then it isn’tHis yoke or burden, and you aren’t letting Him bear it with you. Jesus said it plainly: My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

1Peter 3: 4 But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God. Lord, let it be said of us. Let it be said of us. Please, dear God.

Gentle

Image of the sudamerican deer Mazama gouazoubira by Leonardo C. Fleck (leonardofleck@yahoo.com.br)

peaceful spirit

Sunset over Lake Phalen, Keller-Phalen Regional Park, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA by McGhiever

that is not anxious or wrought up…

A quiet brook on a warm summer day in Orange, Connecticut, USA. by Chris Currivan

Let us not rely on ourselves for strength or courage but continue to look to the one who can give us all we need. :)

I’m going to need to pause and get everyone going for VBS today. :) Last day. Pray on, beloved. Pray on.

 

Categories: Bible teaching, New Testament, Pictures from commons..., Sermon on the Mount | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Pit No. 3 of the Mining Company of Escarpelle was a colliery consists of a single well located in Flers-en-Escrebieux (Pont-de-la-Deûle), North, Nord-Pas de Calais, France. by JÄNNICK Jérémy

Good morning, beloved of God,

A new morning, a new coffee cup (my kids gift to me), it’s a good morning. :) I love my new coffee cup. Painted rocks from Luke. A handwritten card from Noah. A robot card from Danny. A painted card from Ella…priceless….An afternoon spent on the river watching children fish…reading my book..

Almost Amish another thought-provoking book…

Let’s dive back into Matthew 7..

We are, today, looking for instructions from Jesus…so let’s begin:

1Do not judge and criticize and condemn others,

You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.

Do not give that which is holy (the sacred thing) to the dogs, and do not throw your pearls before hogs, lest they trample upon them with their feet and turn and tear you in pieces.

Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.

For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.

12 So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to andfor them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets.

13 Enter through the narrow gate;

15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves.

20 Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits.

As we were talking about these verses, here are some things I found..any additions in your mind?

  1. Jesus has specific instructions on how to live with one another:
  • do not judge, criticize, condemn others
  • Do not give that which is holy (the sacred thing) to the dogs, and do not throw your pearls before hogs, lest they trample upon them with their feet and turn and tear you in pieces.
  • whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so  do to and or them : This is the Law and the Prophets
  • beware of false prophets, know them by their fruits.
       2. Jesus has instructions on how to live before God:
  •  Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.
  •  For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.
Now, verses 21-27 are some very famous verses…

21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.

22 Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?

23 And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].

24 So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them [obeying them] will be like a [p]sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house upon the rock.

25 And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

26 And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them will be like a stupid (foolish) man who built his house upon the sand.

27 And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great and complete was the fall of it.

Simply put, since we will be studying this in greater depth later, Jesus says not all will enter the KOH…right?

Those who will not enter KOH:

  1. you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].
  2. everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them will be like a stupid (foolish) man who built his house upon the sand.
Those who will enter KOH:
  1. will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.
  2. So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them [obeying them] will be like a sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house upon the rock.
We like to make these stories Sunday school fodder but Jesus was quite serious. Eternity serious.

Matthew 7:28 When Jesus had finished these sayings [the Sermon on the Mount], the crowds were astonished and overwhelmed with bewildered wonder at His teaching,

29 For He was teaching as One Who had [and was] authority, and not as [did] the scribes.

I marvel at these words. I can imagine the quiet that fell over the crowds. The hush..then the murmur…the wide eyes…I also can imagine the little children clamoring to get on His lap. I sure would have wanted to sit on His lap. :)

Pray on, beloved. Pray on…

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Pictures from commons..., Sermon on the Mount | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

No, not one


Photo of Dudleya caespitosa at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden, taken July 2006 by User:Stan Shebs

Good morning beloved,

A new, fresh morning..it is not quiet here this morning, despite my early rising and quiet attempts..I had a Luke waiting for me downstairs, I take Joshua down to Rush Hospital today for an MRI and a visit to the neurosurgeon so he is up as well eating early as he can’t have food 2 hours before the test. Then, Noah got up. Now the dogs came rushing in …yes, the morning chaos has been rushing in. A whirlwind of life swirling about me. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Love coming to life. To my purposes, to meet with God, to hear His voice though, ear buds become a necessary vice.

John 17:17  Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth.

Oh, but finding ear buds! Good grief, sometimes finding a chance to get time away with my Lord is so hard..which is why getting up really early is so very important to me and even than that doesn’t get me the time.

Well, come with me as I start a study in the Sermon on the Mount…and I look through His Words.  Yet, we need a context of where the sermon took place and to do that we look back through the Word. :) And here we go!

Matthew 4:12-13

12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested and put in prison, He withdrew into Galilee.

13 And leaving Nazareth, He went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the country of Zebulun and Naphtali—

Map of Galilee and Northern Israel by Bible History online

Matthew 4:

23 And He went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news (Gospel) of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every weakness and infirmity among the people.

24 So the report of Him spread throughout all Syria, and they brought Him all who were sick, those afflicted with various diseases and torments, those under the power of demons, and epileptics, and paralyzed people, and He healed them.

25 And great crowds joined and accompanied Him about, coming from Galilee and Decapolis [the district of the ten cities east of the Sea of Galilee] and Jerusalem and Judea and from the other [the east] side of the Jordan.

Matthew 5: 1 Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him.

Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying

Some interesting things come to me, do they come to you? Look…He saw the crowds so He…

  1. went up on the MOUNTAIN! Not a hill, not a mount…:)
  2. The disciples came to Him. How about the crowds…well, lets see…

Matthew 7:

28 When Jesus had finished these sayings [the Sermon on the Mount], the crowds were astonished and overwhelmed with bewildered wonder at His teaching,

29 For He was teaching as One Who had [and was] authority, and not as [did] the scribes.

Looks like the crowds showed up by the end of His teaching. ;)

Take some time today to read the Sermon on the Mount with me. I’ll be reading it today. Matthew 5-7.

Pray on, beloved. Pray on…

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Music, New Testament, Pictures from commons... | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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