Posts Tagged With: Matthew 5

Eye for an eye


 

en:Hohenzollern Castle is a castle about 50 km south of Stuttgart, Germany. It is considered the ancestral seat of the Hohenzollern family, which emerged in the Middle Ages and eventually became German Emperors. by Sven Teschke, Büdingen

Good morning, beloved,

The Lord has so much to still work on through me. God isn’t finished with me yet. I think through past conversations and actions over the past few days and I cringe a bit. I want my words and actions to be guided by the Spirit of God and yet, as the Lord woke me this morning and walked me through these conversations, I saw much of me and not much of Him. I don’t just cringe a bit. I cringe copious amounts. So when the Lord shows us our weakness, what do we do? Can we cringe, hide and hope that everyone will forget? This is grace at work in my life. I can rescue relationships through God’s power and strength and restorative healing. Certainly not my own words or guidance but His love pouring out, we are all in business of restoration and building the body of Christ together.  When I read today’s passages, I knew and know the Lord had gentle. but firm wisdom in store for me. How about you?

Matthew 5

38 You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.

39 But I say to you, Do not resist the evil man [who injures you]; but if anyone strikes you on the right jaw or cheek, turn to him the other one too.

40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your undershirt (tunic), let him have your coat also.

41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two [miles].

42 Give to him who keeps on begging from you, and do not turn away from him who would borrow [at interest] from you.

The Tote road at sunrise The single track road past Tote cuts a big corner from the route between Uig and Dunvegan, as well as giving access to a few small settlements. Ahead this morning was a pretty dramatic and vibrant reflection of the sunrise in clouds apparently exploding from the snow covered Cuillin. by John Allan

 

You know what strikes me first about this passage? I’ve never studied Matthew 5 in such detail to notice the repetition and how Jesus wanted the Law to not be remade but given new understanding, shed new light. The Law was so well-known to His audience that, like us, it had become the wallpaper of their life. We have really ugly wallpaper in our kitchen. I forget until someone mentions it. It has faded into the background of life.

Yes, eye for an eye..you remember (just like I remember my wallpaper when someone reminds me). Jesus is saying, wait, it is so much more that! Don’t let this just fade into the background.

Let’s search around the OT for some insight:

Exodus 21:

23 But if any damage follows, then you shall give life for life,

24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

25 Burn for burn, wound for wound, and lash for lash.

 

 

Leviticus 24:

17 And he who kills any man shall surely be put to death.

18 And he who kills a beast shall make it good, beast for beast.

19 And if a man causes a blemish or disfigurement on his neighbor, it shall be done to him as he has done:

20 Fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused a blemish ordisfigurement on a man, so shall it be done to him.

21 He who kills a beast shall replace it; he who kills a man shall be put to death.

22 You shall have the same law for the sojourner among you as for one of your own nationality, for I am the Lord your God.

Deuteronomy 19

15 One witness shall not prevail against a man for any crime or any wrong in connection with any sin he commits; only on the testimony of two or three witnesses shall a charge be established.

16 If a false witness rises up against any man to accuse him of wrongdoing,

17 Then both parties to the controversy shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days.

18 The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely,

19 Then you shall do to him as he had intended to do to his brother. So you shall put away the evil from among you.

20 And those who remain shall hear and [reverently] fear, and shall henceforth commit no such evil among you.

21 Your eyes shall not pity: it shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

There are so many issues that come to me, how about you?

  1. The Lord wrote the Law. Who can argue with Holy God?
  2. There is no shade of grey here. No question about what to do for an offense. No wonders. No trying to figure,
  3. God is the final judge. He will have the last say.
  4. When all of society understood these limits… Don’t you think?

So we circle back to the Sermon. There are going to be unintentional wounds, words, actions. People make mistakes, there are accidents. Yet, I believe Jesus is speaking to premeditation on the part of the other party involved with us. Look with me..

  1. Do not resist the evil man [who injures you]…
  2.  …anyone strikes you on the right jaw or cheek, turn to him the other one too…
  3. …anyone wants to sue you and take your undershirt (tunic), let him have your coat also…
  4. … anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two [miles]…

Friends, we are to let go. Give until it hurts and then keep going. The impact on the kingdom if we actually we were changed by these words in our daily life. The courts would be empty. I’ll let Paul say it:

Romans 12

17 Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone.

18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord.

20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.

21 Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good.

Well, it’s time to get ready for church and start our morning. Live at peace. Pray on, beloved. Pray on.

 

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Lightness


Chicago, Illinois. In the waiting room of the Union Station by Jack Delano (1914–1997)

good afternoon, friends,

We had a party this afternoon and now we are home, fans blowing, enjoying air conditioning and I’m thinking about this study. Kids are playing with toys, reading books…some quiet in the house. God knew how much we needed to be at a church that could be community for us and He brought us to a new church. I’m reflecting on the lightness it has brought my spirit to come home. Watching my kids run around a church like I used to do at their age, pitching in to clean and help feels as natural as being at home, watching Joshua settle in with the men, these are all gifts to my heart and mind. Going to a mega church was wonderful for many reasons. I listed so many during my time on this blog but what J and I realized was how much we missed community at church.

God knows what we need. He cares for every single one.

This afternoon, as I look at the next day of Precepts, this day is a full concentration on light. Would you like to come along? Pshaw, of course you would!

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

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.

  1. light of the world: me, you, us. :) (your witness for God)
  2. lamps don’t go under tn Or “a bowl”; this refers to any container for dry material of about eight liters (two gallons) capacity. It could be translated “basket, box, bowl” (L&N 6.151).: they go on stands (candlestick) and give light (to shine) to the house
  3. our light needs to shine before men (Light requires an organ adapted for its reception (Mat 6:22). Where the eye is absent, or where it has become impaired from any cause, light is useless. Man, naturally, is incapable of receiving spiritual light inasmuch as he lacks the capacity for spiritual things, 1Cr 2:14. Hence believers are called ‘sons of light,’Luk 16:8, not merely because they have received a revelation from God, but because in the New Birth they have received the spiritual capacity for it.
So, next let’s look through the rest of the Bible to find other references to light:
1Kings 11:36 Yet to his son I will give one tribe, that David My servant may always have a light before Me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to put My Name.  Well, light in this instance God has blessed David with the knowledge that he will never be without an heir on the throne in Jerusalem. This word light used here actually means tillable or untilled or fallow ground. Interesting, isn’t it? God is saying this ground will always have the roots of David. :)
Psalm 27: The Lord is my Light and my Salvation—whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and  Stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? This word, light: light of day, light of heavenly luminaries (moon, sun, stars),day-break, dawn, morning light, light of life, Jehovah as Israel‘s light. This is beautiful, isn’t it? God is our light, our morning light, our light. My breathing gets easier just thinking of this.
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  God’s Word, declare it, friends! Make this your day that His Word shall become your lamp to your feet..and a light to your path..check out this picture. May His light, His Word guide you home.

As the darkness fell upon the obscure tribal village, the mother picked up her child to get into the house that had a bright lamp. We stood awestruck, absorbing the beauty of the simple rustic moment, trying to steal away some part of it forever frozen in time. by Koustav2007

Well, I’d better get on. I now have a girl watching a Barbie movie. A boy in front of Narnia…so to dinner prep I go. Blessings and light…Pray on.

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Saltness


Dead Sea, Israel, En Boqeq Beach by xta11

Good morning, beloved,

“As for God, His way is perfect! The word of the Lord is tested and tried; He is a shield to all those who take refuge and put their trust in Him.” Psalm 18:30AMP What a lovely way to begin a day, on truth and on the Word!

In Matthew 513 You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by me. , what was Jesus saying here?

Netbible.org:  The difficulty of this saying is understanding how salt could lose its flavor since its chemical properties cannot change. It is thus often assumed that Jesus was referring to chemically impure salt, perhaps a natural salt which, when exposed to the elements, had all the genuine salt leached out, leaving only the sediment or impurities behind. Others have suggested that the background of the saying is the use of salt blocks by Arab bakers to line the floor of their ovens; under the intense heat these blocks would eventually crystallize and undergo a change in chemical composition, finally being thrown out as unserviceable. A saying in the Talmud (b. Bekhorot 8b) attributed to R. Joshua ben Chananja (ca. a.d. 90), when asked the question “When salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again?” is said to have replied, “By salting it with the afterbirth of a mule.” He was then asked, “Then does the mule (being sterile) bear young?” to which he replied: “Can salt lose its flavor?” The point appears to be that both are impossible. The saying, while admittedly late, suggests that culturally the loss of flavor by salt was regarded as an impossibility. Genuine salt can never lose its flavor. In this case the saying by Jesus here may be similar to Matt 19:24, where it is likewise impossible for the camel to go through the eye of a sewing needle.

Hear this truth through your soul, friends. Don’t let it go. Genuine, real, true salt never loses its flavor and Jesus calls us to be the salt of the earth. Not to be mixed with other minerals, dissolved in water or heat, nothing, stay true to His Word and to HIM…

Dead Sea seen from Jordan by Bernard Gagnon

What can be done with salt that loses flavor? nothing.

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned [as it were] with salt, [so that you may never be at a loss] to know how you ought to answer anyone [who puts a question to you].

Salt here is “…a symbol of lasting concord, because it protects food from putrefaction and preserves it unchanged. Accordingly, in the solemn ratification of compacts, the orientals were, and are to this day, accustomed to partake of salt together..” netbible.org We can look at our conversations, our speech, our words and make sure we are genuine and unchanging in our interactions.

Sunrise at the Dead Sea rises behind the mountains of Jordan. by Guy Haimovitz

Where is salt mentioned in the OT? (You knew this was coming ;) )

Genesis 19:26 But [Lot’s] wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Beautiful salt deposit at Dead Sea by xta11

Leviticus 2:13 Every cereal offering you shall season with salt [symbol of preservation]; neither shall you allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your cereal offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.

Ezra 6: 9 And all they need, including young bulls, rams, and lambs for the burnt offerings to the God of heaven, and wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the word of the priests at Jerusalem, let it be given them each day without fail,10 That they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons.

Numbers 18:19 All the heave offerings [the lifted-out and kept portions] of the holy things which the Israelites give to the Lord I give to you and to your sons and your daughters with you, as a continual debt forever. It is a covenant of salt [that cannot be dissolved or violated] forever before the Lord for you [Aaron] and for your posterity with you.

2 Chronicles 13: 5 Ought you not to know that the Lord, the God of Israel, gave the kingship over Israel to David forever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?

Judges 9:45 And Abimelech fought against the city all that day. He took the city and slew the people who were in it. He demolished the city and sowed it with salt.

And finally, 2Kings 2

19 And the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, inhabiting of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees, but the water is bad and the locality causes miscarriage and barrenness [in all animals].

20 He said, Bring me a new bowl and put salt [the symbol of God’s purifying power] in it. And they brought it to him.

21 Then Elisha went to the spring of the waters and cast the salt in it and said, Thus says the Lord: I [not the salt] have healed these waters; there shall not be any more death, miscarriage or barrenness [and bereavement] because of it.

22 So the waters were healed to this day, as Elisha had said.

And so, we learn much about  salt in ancient times, not only a preservative, it was a symbol of God’s purifying power; it was part of God’s covenant with David and his descendants; it was part of the sacrificial system.

Truly, I do not believe I will ever look at salt the same way. AGAIN.

Pray on, beloved. PRAY ON.

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


Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), Uetersen, Germany. by Alchemist-hp (talk) (www.pse-mendelejew.de)

Good morning, beloved,

I want to share with you some more of the story of the five missionaries, Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Pete Fleming and Ed McCully.  I think hearing more of the story. I think God‘s restoration is an amazing, amazing gift.

Well, let’s look at the next beatitude:

Matthew 5:  7 Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!

Mercy: “to have pity or mercy shown one, to obtain mercy,” to have mercy on, to help one afflicted or seeking aid, to help the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched, to experience mercy…

I want to figure out mercy a little more in detail..so let’s go hunting through Scripture with the help of the blb.org:

Matthew 1833 And should you not have had pity and mercy on your fellow attendant, as I had pity and mercy on you?

34 And in wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (the jailers), till he should pay all that he owed.

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.

Then, the first part of mercy to me would be: as you have been shown mercy, give it freely to others. This story can be read in its entirety in Matthew 18. We need to have hearts that do not hold forgiveness hostage and good heavens, this isn’t for others, this is for us! For our freedom, of course, yes, we need it for good relationships, but honestly, who among us wants to walk around in chains like Ebenezer Scrooge‘s friend?

Proverbs 11:17 The merciful, kind, and generous man benefits himself [for his deeds return to bless him], but he who is cruel and callous [to the wants of others] brings on himself retribution.

Proverbs 14:21 He who despises his neighbor sins [against God, his fellowman, and himself], but happy (blessed and fortunate) is he who is kind and merciful to the poor.

Proverbs 19:17 He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and that which he has given He will repay to him.

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?

Luke 6: 35 But love your enemies and be kind and do good [doing favors so that someone derives benefit from them] and lend, expecting and hoping for nothing in return but considering nothing as lost and despairing of no one; and then your recompense (your reward) will be great (rich, strong, intense, and abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind and charitable and good to the ungrateful and the selfish and wicked.36 So be merciful (sympathetic, tender, responsive, and compassionate) even as your Father is [all these].

Pray on, friends. Pray on.

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Blessed are the…


: Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska — The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, shines above Bear Lake by United States Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Strang

Good morning, beloved!

That picture is captivating! It is as if heaven is touching earth..which He did. I love visual reminders! With the guidance of my PUP (Precept upon Precept study) of Sermon on the Mount, we are going to be searching the Scriptures as to what it means to inherit the earth today.

Let’s start by looking through the Psalm 37. “In the OT, the land of Israel represented to the people hope and blessing from God.”(Sermon on the Mount, p.34) So lets go through and understand who will inherit the earth.  Here’s a link to the entire Psalm 37. :)

For evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait and hope and look for the Lord [in the end] shall inherit the earth.

11 But the meek [in the end] shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. Sound familiar? Jesus quoted this in Matthew 5:5. :) 

22 For such as are blessed of God shall [in the end] inherit the earth, but they that are cursed of Him shall be cut off.

29 [Then] the [consistently] righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.

34 Wait for and expect the Lord and keep and heed His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land; [in the end] when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.

Now lets go to Revelation (yup, Revelation) 5:8-10:

And when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders [of the heavenly Sanhedrin] prostrated themselves before the Lamb. Each was holding a harp (lute or guitar), and they had golden bowls full of incense (fragrant spices and gums for burning), which are the prayers of God’s people (the saints).

And [now] they sing a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the scroll and to break the seals that are on it, for You were slain (sacrificed), and with Your blood You purchased men unto God from every tribe and language and people and nation.

10 And You have made them a kingdom (royal race) and priests to our God, and they shall reign [as kings] over the earth!

When you have a minute, open that Bible to Revelation and read this chapter..:) ha! Imagine this! When I worship the Lord, sometimes I imagine this scene in my mind. When I pray, I am honored to think that my prayers could be a part of these golden bowls! Amen! You too! Jesus is worthy to break the seals, take the scroll for He was sacrificed and His blood purchased for all men, ALL men redemption! :) WOOHOO!!

Yet, what we are studying is that Jesus has made us a kingdom, a royal race, priests (those who shall inherit the earth!) and they shall…reign! How about it!

Of course there is another side, those who shall not…

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality,

10 Nor cheats (swindlers and thieves), nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God.

11 And such some of you were [once]. But you were washed clean (purified by a complete atonement for sin and made free from the guilt of sin), and you were consecrated (set apart, hallowed), and you were justified [pronounced righteous, by trusting] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God.

So this verb, here, in verse 11, were. :) Gotta love that verb. Amplified version gives it away..really. And such some of you were ONCE. Not continuing.  And NOW, comes the BUT (Mom, we aren’t supposed to say that word..just kidding..) you were (only have to be washed once :) ) set free, purified, made free from the guilt of sin! So for goodness’ sake to go back and wallow in it (my word’s not Paul’s tho he does say that in another place..) would be a travesty! Don’t do it.

You were justified, or in other words, for those who, like me, need help, pronounced righteous by trusting.  You know what strikes me about all of this? It had nothing to do with my goodness, my greatness, anything about me. It was all about God and me? I need to extend trust out..I needed to hold my little hand out and God swept in and carried me away.

Pray on, beloved. Pray on..

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Gentle part 2


Great Hollow Lake by Michaelphayes

Happy afternoon, beloved,

I sit on the deck and watch children playing in the lake and find it might be a good time to work on my blog. We’ll see. I want to make that list up of the blessings and rights of the meek/gentle…

Some caring soul asked how I was doing today..and I finally got my words in order. I find myself in a spot where I need to grasp onto God‘s hand, hold tight, not look at the sight, what I see, because what I see frightens me, but I believe with all my heart God asks me to do is see with my soul, my heart, my innards that He is renewing moment by moment. Walk by faith. It is a true statement. And when He asks me to hold out my hand, He won’t our family fall. I know it. I just have to read these Scriptures and make this list.

Join me on this beautiful, windy day? :)

Wait..just heard a song on Pandora…listen, beloved..Praise Him with me?

I”m going to break all  the laws of  writing and just make the list from the blog from earlier today. So find the verses in my blog earlier. :)

First of all, blessing: happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions. So no matter how it looks, God is asking us to have joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and His deliverance. I’ve heard it said if God never did another thing for us than send His Son, it was enough. Yet, He continues blessing.

  1. The example of Moses as meek and mild above all men. Check out what God said about him in Numbers 12:  And He said, Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make Myself known to him in a vision and speak to him in a dream.But not so with My servant Moses; he is entrusted and faithful in all My house.With him I speak mouth to mouth [directly], clearly and not in dark speeches; and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses? Mercy, mercy, mercy. Can you imagine? I gotta make another list…the Lord made Himself known by..
  • mouth to mouth
  • clearly
  • not in dark speeches
  • he beholds the FORM OF THE LORD!!!! I mean seriously, folks, can you fathom that? The LORD the God of the universe speaks with him. Now the prophets? They get visions and dreams. Which makes me think..but I won’t go there today..

2. They who  [diligently] seek for, inquire of and for Him, and require Him [as their greatest need]...so we are talking about the meek again. So,we need to keep seeking,   inquiring of and for Him and require HIm as their greatest need. Greater than food, gas for your car, money for your accounts, friends for your kids, health, whatever it is…require Him more. Need Him more. Oh, I love that. And what happens? What does Psalm 22 tell us? The poor and afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise the Lord!

3. They who  seek God, inquiring for and requiring Him [as your first need]…when I was starting on this whole faith journey as an adult, I want to tell you with young children with seizures, four major car crashes in two years,  losing a house to bankruptcy and foreclosure because of overwhelming medical debt and issues my first response when a crashing wave hit was to run to the phone for help or send out an email for prayers. Now, before I go any further, there is nothing wrong with either of those responses…but when it was my first response, I was not inquiring of and requiring Him as my first need..I wasn’t seeking God. Another thing, God met us amazingly and triumphantly through those years. He was our Provider, Defender and Abba. And He has taught me…to allow my  hearts revive and live! [in Him]!! He did it so many times and still is triumphant God. :) It does my heart good to remember. :)

4. The meek shall inherit the earth…Chuck Smith:

Jesus in one of the beatitudes said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).

and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace (Psa 37:11).

The glorious kingdom that Jesus establishes. A kingdom of righteousness and peace, and the meek will inherit the earth and be delighted with an earth that is filled with peace. Can you imagine? No, I don’t suppose we can; we’ve never experienced it. But an earth that is filled with peace. I go by the school grounds and I see the little kids fighting. Seems like everyone is fighting. So much fighting in this world. What a glorious world it will be when we live together in peace, delighted in the abundance of peace.

We can look forward to heaven and to an abundance of peace…what a foreign idea to our ears…

5. The Lord is lifting us up…the downtrodden, the humble. Oh, Lord we lay it down and we lift up our hands!!

Are you falling down at the feet of Jesus? God be praised if your soul is lifted like mine. May God be praised. :) Pray on, beloved. Pray on…

 

 

 

 

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Gentle Part 1


To celebrate its 22nd anniversary in orbit, the Hubble Space Telescope released a dramatic new image of the star-forming region 30 Doradus, also known as the Tarantula Nebula because its glowing filaments resemble spider legs. A new image from all three of NASA’s Great Observatories–Chandra, Hubble, and Spitzer–has also been created to mark the event. by NASA

Good morning, beloved,

I have a Noah with me studying this morning so we are going to jump right in today. :) He is anxious to get going, although he would like to share a song with you.

You know it right? You are worth more than gold! You are loved by Almighty God! Believe it and know it. I need to hear that today. How about you?

Alright, we find ourselves in Matthew 5:5 Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!

And today we are going to be looking through the Old Testament to mine for treasures to teach us more and more about gentleness. Oh Lord teach us, guide us and may we forever be changed.

Number 12:3 3 Now the man Moses was very meek (gentle, kind, and humble) or above all the men on the face of the earth.  If you have time, do read this chapter. It is short and does help us understand why the Lord titles Moses as very meek. Noah and I chuckled at the self title but remember, as Joshua gently admonished, all Scripture is God-breathed…

To commemorate Hubble Telescope’s 20th Birthday, NASA, along with ESA and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI), released several of Hubble’s findings. by NASA

Psalm 22: 26 The poor and afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise the Lord—they who [diligently] seek for, inquire of and for Him, and require Him [as their greatest need]. May your hearts be quickened now and forever!

The grand-design spiral galaxy Messier 74 as photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope.by NASA

Psalm 69: 32 The humble shall see it and be glad; you who seek God, inquiring for and requiring Him [as your first need], let your hearts revive and live!

Psalm 37:11 But the meek [in the end] shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Psalm 45:4 And in Your majesty ride on triumphantly for the cause of truth, humility, andrighteousness (uprightness and right standing with God); and let Your right hand guide You to tremendous things.

Psalm 76:9 When God arose to [establish] judgment, to save all the meek and oppressed of the earth.Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

Psalm 147:6 The Lord lifts up the humble and downtrodden; He casts the wicked down to the ground.

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O Daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you; He is [uncompromisingly] just and having salvation [triumphant and victorious], patient, meek, lowly, and riding on a donkey, upon a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Seems to be that there might be something to this whole gentle, meek idea, eh? Let’s list it…Is it really that time? Okay…well, maybe I’ll be listing later today!! Or, what if you make a list? Want to include it in the comments section? Come on, you can do it!! :)

Also, in your quiet time today, yes, your quiet, take what you have learned and write a prayer to God. (This part right here is straight out of my Precept Upon Precept Sermon on the Mount study guide..well, actually, I’m teaching straight out of it. Isn’t it wonderful? I love Precepts…)

Pray on, beloved. Pray on…

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Music, Old Testament, Pictures from commons..., Sermon on the Mount | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gentle..meek..mild..what?


Great Blue Heron near the entrance to Foothills Park. ~1.8 m wingspan by Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA

Good morning, beloved,

My living room looks a little bit like a bomb went off. Organization in process should be the sign somewhere. I’m releasing some old school books that I no longer need. Gaining some shelf space, rethinking my space up here. Every year I rethink my bookshelves to help me with school and every year school gets a little bit more organized. A little bit. :) Joshua and I also finished the movie last night…and I think that might be a movie for my shelves. (See I make room for new?) I never have seen, I mean never have seen such a powerful movie to me personally. I see my own life. Joshua sees our son. I see our son. Yet, the whole movie, the healing..well, if you want to see it, I won’t give anything away. Now, here is what is interesting, I’m trying to read the book. Gag. Blech. Barf. Not really a book yet for my shelves. Ahem.

Well, Lord, here I am. Another day, another chance to be a servant to be in Your will, to read Your Word, to study. Thank you for Your Word..we open it now…bless our time Lord. We love You so Much.

Matthew 5: 5 Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!

Meek(praÿs this is a root word): denotes “gentle, mild, meek;” for its significance see the corresponding noun, below, B. Christ uses it of His own disposition, Mat 11:29; He gives it in the third of His BeatitudesMat 5:5; it is said of Him as the King Messiah,Mat 21:5, from Zec 9:9; it is an adornment of the Christian profession, 1Pe 3:4. Cp. epios, “gentle, of a soothing disposition,” 1Th 2:72Ti 2:24.

from the blb.org: Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time (Isa 41:17, Luk 18:1-8). Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God’s goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will (Gal 5:23).

When things hit yesterday in my own life, my response was to think of my own rights, how it wasn’t fair, and it took me a bit to get the computer out and start listening to the music and opening the Word. Then asking for prayer. The meek are “wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice”…friends, when things begin to unravel in your life, what is your life? Do you ask God why? Do you begin the blame game? Or do you lift your hands and ask for more love, for more strength? We need to trust not in ourselves and our interests but in God’s goodness and His control in the lives of His beloved. Us. Don’t keep spending all your time focused on yourself. Good grief. You and I are not that interesting, are we?

Pray on, beloved. Pray on…

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


A full house, seen from the rear of the stage, at the Metropolitan Opera House for a concert by pianist Josef Hofmann, November 28, 1937. by Unknown or not provided Retouched by Mmxx

Good morning, beloved,

So good to be in His presence this morning..I am feeling His molding this morning. I made my own priorities again last night. I don’t like when I get ahead of my Lord. I hear the Word of the Lord in Luke 40 And Jesus, replying, said to him, Simon, I have something to say to you. And he answered, Teacher, say it.  And sometimes, we need to allow the Lord to cut, and we need to humble ourselves when we see what we’ve done…sigh. Yet, I will report back to you, I did get a room of books organized. :) Umm, none to donate. ;) I have trouble. See, here’s my deal. I don’t want to get rid of kid’s books…for my grandkids. How silly is that…probably Jesus will be back for me before that..but maybe I should box ‘em up anyway. Let them gooooo…

I was captivated by this picture. Absolutely captivated. Can you imagine what the applause of heaven looks like? Or the hosts of heaven surrounding the throne? Obviously this is a poor substitute but it just lit a fire in me. To look ahead. To not hold on to the earth, to hold  the eternal, to love the kid’s hearts (not their books) ;), to run the race before me and finish well.

Joshua and I watched a movie until almost the end ( had to pick the kids up..) One of those movies for me that captured me, rocked me, challenged me, held me, and is making me think. And I think for me, that is the kind of movie I need to be watching. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love me some Avengers, but I need to be thinking all the time (kind of drives Joshua a little bonkers..) LOL. The boy in the film reminds us of a boy in our life and we are very tempted to show our family the movie with many helps. We’ll see how it ends.  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Well, let’s dive in! Matthew 5:4 says: Blessed and enviably happy [with a happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!

I’m struck by how vibrant the words are here, how about you? Blessing, happy…mourning…comfort. It doesn’t flow off the tongue, does it? :)

James 4:6-10

But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it).

So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.

Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery].

[As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins].

10 Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant].

Hey, doesn’t verse 6 sound a little familiar? Haven’t we heard that before? ;)

Matthew 5: Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

Don’t you love the Word?

Let’s look at verse 8, as we come close God..He will come close to You…but recognize what will happen…and the process as we walk towards the light of God.

  1. Recognize your sin
  2. Get your soiled hands clean
  3. Realize you have been disloyal with divided interests
  4. Purify your hearts of your spiritual adultery (not mincing words here, does he?)
  5. be deeply penitent, grieve, weep over your disloyalty
  6. let your laughter turn to tears
  7. have heartfelt shame
  8. Finally humble yourselves and He will exalt you. He will.

Do you see how Jesus affected James’ teaching? It’s amazing, isn’t it? How does this impact you? We have to look at our sin with a clear eye. We cannot be blind to its effects in our lives, on our families, don’t sugar coat it. Gag.

Take some time today. I know I need to…walk through this list…and recognize..

Pray on, beloved. Pray on.

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., New Testament, Pictures from commons..., Sermon on the Mount | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Poor in spirit…


Blue Peacock (Pavo cristatus) on the sleeping tree, photographed in Heidelberg (Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany) by 4028mdk09

Good morning, beloved of God,

A quiet morning with little birds,  it is good to be up early before all the craziness of life. We live by train tracks and so I, most of the time, don’t even “hear” the trains going by. In a morning like this, when I  hear the worship of God’s creation…oh, I hear it alright.

Today’s verse from BibleGateway…“The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]! For the Chief Musician; with my stringed instruments.” Habakkuk 3:19 AMP

Before I carry on, I want to let you know about a book that is transforming my financial life and her blog. Her name is Kelly Hancock and her book is called, Saving Savvy and her blog/website is www.faithfulprovisions.com. She has turned my thinking upside down and I am very grateful. I listened to her book in the car and now my eldest is shopping with me and my younger ones are clipping coupons and getting rid of expired coupons…yet all to gear to a life that can be lived generously. And I love that. She doesn’t overwhelm with information. She carefully adds new information..gives solid facts, reviews at the end of each chapter, has wonderful stories to illustrate her points…well, we’ve been already saving it has just been three weeks. Thank You, Lord.

I am a little amused with myself that I choose today to bring up that book with the subject of today’s study…but well, that is the book I have worked through and I did just finish it…you will find this does mean something a little different tho…;)

So today we are back in Matthew 5 focusing in on verse 3

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

Poor: lacking in anything, as respects their spirit, destitute of wealth of learning and intellectual culture which the schools afford (men of this class most readily give themselves up to Christ‘s teaching and proved themselves fitted to lay hold of the heavenly treasure)

The root word here means to crouch (ptosso) or to be terrified or to descend and fall to a prostrate place…

in spirit: the sentient element in man, that by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires, Mat 5:3;

The root word here means to breathe, to blow of the wind…

“Poor in spirit simply means to be a beggar, a pauper in spirit, to know that you have nothing to offer. It is a lowliness which is the opposite of pride.” (Precept Ministries, Sermon on The Mount, p. 12)

Can I get an amen? How often to we realize how little we have and yet that is how God wants us. He wants to be close and near and hold us. Let’s look at some other verses…

Psalm34:18 The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent.

Psalm 51: 17 My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.

Isaiah 57: 15 For thus says the high and lofty One—He Who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, but with him also who is of a thoroughly penitent and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the thoroughly penitent [bruised with sorrow for sin].

Isaiah 66: 1Thus says the Lord: Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. What kind of house would you build for Me? And what kind can be My resting-place?

For all these things My hand has made, and so all these things have come into being [by and for Me], says the Lord. But this is the man to whom I will look and have regard: he who is humble and of a broken or wounded spirit, and who trembles at My word and reveres My commands.

Anyone need to hear that today? We started singing this yesterday..actually my son just started singing this out of the blue and I’ve sung it ever since. :) Enjoy.

Well, beloved, thank you for reading this morning. I need to get moving. I will pick up again tomorrow morning.

Pray on. Pray on!

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

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