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Jan 21, 2020 05:10:45   #
Zemirah Loc: Sojourner En Route...
 
Yes, I am equally sure that God, being God, doesn't "need" anything from we who are His created,

I am even surer He doesn't need anything from little ole me,... Howsomeever, He does desires it to take place,

else in Jude 3, the half brother of Jesus, under the inspiration of God, the Holy Spirit, would have stifled Himself, and not written the command that "all believers are to contend earnestly to defend the doctrines handed down once for all to the saints."

His commands, after all, are for all the Living followers of our Lord (that would be us), NOT for the dead.

Most of the pronounced disdain or mockery I encounter among the doubters within our contemporary 'culture" is directed (perhaps through an innate sense of self-preservation), not toward God personally, but toward those of us whom they conceive as having the naivete' (the audacity even) of professing Him.

It's as though we who are believers somehow had the effrontery to escape the inoculation against Christian faith we were meant to receive through the carefully designed system of indoctrination now woven so seamlessly throughout all genres of modern disciplinary thought.

It is perhaps encountering the audacious effrontery of this egregious shared living faith that serves as burning coals to the scoffers and mockers of this age.



Armageddun wrote:
Thank you for your added explanations and input. I must admit I have big problems with those who show mockery or degrading remarks toward God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

I am sure that God does not need me to protect Him. He does, however, instruct us to stand for His Word and teaching. I usually enjoy heaping the coals hoping it touches the nerve of those opposed that it may lead them to stop and think "perhaps there is something to being a Christian."

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Jan 21, 2020 13:31:12   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
Zemirah wrote:
Yes, I am equally sure that God, being God, doesn't "need" anything from we who are His created,

I am even surer He doesn't need anything from little ole me,... Howsomeever, He does desires it to take place,

else in Jude 3, the half brother of Jesus, under the inspiration of God, the Holy Spirit, would have stifled Himself, and not written the command that "all believers are to contend earnestly to defend the doctrines handed down once for all to the saints."

His commands, after all, are for all the Living followers of our Lord (that would be us), NOT for the dead.

Most of the pronounced disdain or mockery I encounter among the doubters within our contemporary 'culture" is directed (perhaps through an innate sense of self-preservation), not toward God personally, but toward those of us whom they conceive as having the naivete' (the audacity even) of professing Him.

It's as though we who are believers somehow had the effrontery to escape the inoculation against Christian faith we were meant to receive through the carefully designed system of indoctrination now woven so seamlessly throughout all genres of modern disciplinary thought.

It is perhaps encountering the audacious effrontery of this egregious shared living faith that serves as burning coals to the scoffers and mockers of this age.
Yes, I am equally sure that God, being God, doesn'... (show quote)


Amen

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Jan 21, 2020 15:50:20   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
Armageddun wrote:
Amen




GOD ALONE

"You cannot serve both God and money." Matthew 6:24

"The golden age only comes to men when they have forgotten gold."
---G.K.Chesterton...

We may consider ourselves way beyond materialism. "Jesus doesn't mean that wealth is bad, He only means that we cannot be attached to it." This is the mantra that Christians often quote when confronted with verses about materialism. But in so quoting, we often betray the fact that we are attached. We will so quickly offer caveats to Jesus' statements about money that we demonstrate ourselves suspiciously wedded to our materialism. The more we deny His judgements against things, "the more we show ourselves to be possessed by them." Jesus isn't really asking the rich young ruler to sell all of his possessions, He is only pinpointing the young man's idols, "we say hastily. "Jesus doesn't mean that we can't lay up treasures on earth, He just means that shouldn't be our priority." We are exactly right in these interpretations. But our vigorous defense of them is suspicious.

Our understanding of this verse really should go in the other direction. Instead of apologetics for Jesus' severity toward money, we must apply His judgement to even other areas. "You cannot serve both God and ______." He might as well let us fill in the blank ourselves, and He indicates as much in the first part of this verse. Having two masters is always an inappropriate situation. It leads to double-mindedness and neglect of at least one, if not both.

Does Jesus contend with any rivals in our lives? Do we have any "gods" before Him? We may not know the answer to this until He asks us to give me up. Like the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-23), we often don't know our idols until they are threatened. Try this exercise: Let someone fill in the blank above with every rival he or she can think of and then measure the defensiveness of your reaction. This may show where God wants to work in your life.

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Jan 29, 2020 02:14:50   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
Armageddun wrote:
GOD ALONE

"You cannot serve both God and money." Matthew 6:24

"The golden age only comes to men when they have forgotten gold."
---G.K.Chesterton...

We may consider ourselves way beyond materialism. "Jesus doesn't mean that wealth is bad, He only means that we cannot be attached to it." This is the mantra that Christians often quote when confronted with verses about materialism. But in so quoting, we often betray the fact that we are attached. We will so quickly offer caveats to Jesus' statements about money that we demonstrate ourselves suspiciously wedded to our materialism. The more we deny His judgements against things, "the more we show ourselves to be possessed by them." Jesus isn't really asking the rich young ruler to sell all of his possessions, He is only pinpointing the young man's idols, "we say hastily. "Jesus doesn't mean that we can't lay up treasures on earth, He just means that shouldn't be our priority." We are exactly right in these interpretations. But our vigorous defense of them is suspicious.

Our understanding of this verse really should go in the other direction. Instead of apologetics for Jesus' severity toward money, we must apply His judgement to even other areas. "You cannot serve both God and ______." He might as well let us fill in the blank ourselves, and He indicates as much in the first part of this verse. Having two masters is always an inappropriate situation. It leads to double-mindedness and neglect of at least one, if not both.

Does Jesus contend with any rivals in our lives? Do we have any "gods" before Him? We may not know the answer to this until He asks us to give me up. Like the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-23), we often don't know our idols until they are threatened. Try this exercise: Let someone fill in the blank above with every rival he or she can think of and then measure the defensiveness of your reaction. This may show where God wants to work in your life.
GOD ALONE br br "You cannot serve both God a... (show quote)






“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.” Mark 11:25, AMP

Ever been wronged? Ever felt judged? Ever been hurt by someone you trusted? Ever felt you had a right to be angry and unforgiving to someone? Well join the club, but what does God say about it? He says, let it drop, leave it, and let it go. Now that’s some great advice.

Don’t you love it when God says, let me set the ground rules for who deserves our forgiveness? He says, “if you have anything against anyone.” Well I guess that pretty much covers every situation and every person that we may have an issue with.

So here are a few thoughts on why we should be forgiving to people who do us wrong:

(1) Hurting people, hurt people. I heard Dr. John Maxwell say something along those lines 20 years ago, and it’s just as true today. So, when someone hurts you, you can be confident that they are in worse shape than you.

(2) We live in a fallen world where people are so into themselves that they will often say and do things without having a clue that it could possibly hurt your feelings. So just accept it, and call it good.

(3) Not everyone likes you anyway, so just get over it.

(4) Finally, we are not designed to carry hurts. That’s why Jesus went to the cross for us. He took our pains upon Himself on Calvary, so enjoy the freedom and grace that comes from walking that out. It makes no sense to carry a burden that Jesus has already carried for us.

So, be quick to forgive, forget, and move on. Just let it drop and let it go, and do it today.

Prayer: "Father, I forgive those that have done me wrong. I choose to let it drop and let it go. I’m taking the high road, and refuse to be taken into the ditch of unforgiveness. I won’t allow myself to be sidetracked. I thank You for forgiving me, so therefore I will forgive others. In Jesus' Name. Amen."

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Jan 29, 2020 19:05:55   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
Armageddun wrote:
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.” Mark 11:25, AMP

Ever been wronged? Ever felt judged? Ever been hurt by someone you trusted? Ever felt you had a right to be angry and unforgiving to someone? Well join the club, but what does God say about it? He says, let it drop, leave it, and let it go. Now that’s some great advice.

Don’t you love it when God says, let me set the ground rules for who deserves our forgiveness? He says, “if you have anything against anyone.” Well I guess that pretty much covers every situation and every person that we may have an issue with.

So here are a few thoughts on why we should be forgiving to people who do us wrong:

(1) Hurting people, hurt people. I heard Dr. John Maxwell say something along those lines 20 years ago, and it’s just as true today. So, when someone hurts you, you can be confident that they are in worse shape than you.

(2) We live in a fallen world where people are so into themselves that they will often say and do things without having a clue that it could possibly hurt your feelings. So just accept it, and call it good.

(3) Not everyone likes you anyway, so just get over it.

(4) Finally, we are not designed to carry hurts. That’s why Jesus went to the cross for us. He took our pains upon Himself on Calvary, so enjoy the freedom and grace that comes from walking that out. It makes no sense to carry a burden that Jesus has already carried for us.

So, be quick to forgive, forget, and move on. Just let it drop and let it go, and do it today.

Prayer: "Father, I forgive those that have done me wrong. I choose to let it drop and let it go. I’m taking the high road, and refuse to be taken into the ditch of unforgiveness. I won’t allow myself to be sidetracked. I thank You for forgiving me, so therefore I will forgive others. In Jesus' Name. Amen."
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anyth... (show quote)




THE GREATEST PRIZE

"The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

"Anything that takes God's place is out of place."
---Abe Van der Puy....

There are several ways to approach this parable, but one of them is to understand Christ the pearl and us lost human beings as the searching merchants. The implication is that when the Gospel comes into a person's life, it is everything. It is not a philosophy to add to the mix, or an access to God that will help us accomplish our goals. It is a radical rearrangement of all of life.

We have examples of this in the twelve disciples. They left careers and families in order to follow Jesus and the promise of His kingdom. We also have a clear example in Paul. "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for who's sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ---the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ" (Philippians 3:7-10).

Is Jesus everything to us? Or one loyalty among several? If someone asked us how much we would give up to know Him, is there anything we would hold back? Do we believe only when it doesn't cost us too much? It's easy to know the right answer to these questions; a wholehearted abandonment to Christ is more difficult and more profound. What is the pearl of your life?

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Jan 31, 2020 14:01:34   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
Armageddun wrote:
THE GREATEST PRIZE

"The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

"Anything that takes God's place is out of place."
---Abe Van der Puy....

There are several ways to approach this parable, but one of them is to understand Christ the pearl and us lost human beings as the searching merchants. The implication is that when the Gospel comes into a person's life, it is everything. It is not a philosophy to add to the mix, or an access to God that will help us accomplish our goals. It is a radical rearrangement of all of life.

We have examples of this in the twelve disciples. They left careers and families in order to follow Jesus and the promise of His kingdom. We also have a clear example in Paul. "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for who's sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ---the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ" (Philippians 3:7-10).

Is Jesus everything to us? Or one loyalty among several? If someone asked us how much we would give up to know Him, is there anything we would hold back? Do we believe only when it doesn't cost us too much? It's easy to know the right answer to these questions; a wholehearted abandonment to Christ is more difficult and more profound. What is the pearl of your life?
THE GREATEST PRIZE br br "The kingdom of hea... (show quote)



OUR DEEPEST LOVE

"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me."
Matthew 10:37-38

"To cherish true love for God is to be constrained by love to yield one's ego with all that it is and has, and to let God be God again."
---Abraham Kuyper.....

We might be tempted to think these verses are only about us and our obligations. But they tell us more about God. God's desire for us is to know Him in Christ, but how can we if our love is focused elsewhere?

We pursue knowledge of that which we love. Those who love literature get academic degrees in it. Those who love gardening read up on techniques. Those who love photography study the art. If we do not love these things, we will not get to know them well. We do not zealously invest in that which does not interest us. Our greatest love shapes all our other affections and determines our path.

Isn’t it the same in our relationship with God? Can we really know Him if other lovers are greater rivals? His desire is for our single-hearted devotion. This is not the voice of an egocentric god who demands worship. It is the voice of a loving God who knows we will only be fulfilled if He blesses us with Himself.

Consider a God who would ask us to love Him more than our deepest human relationships. He is the same God who commanded us to love others. But He knows that our most subtle idolatries are in making the command of God greater than Himself. They are subtle because they begin with righteousness and obedience to the law of love, but end in disproportionate affections that dishonor Him. Let us be mindful that if He tests us in these loves, it is only because we were created to know Him intimately.

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Feb 5, 2020 15:07:44   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
Armageddun wrote:
OUR DEEPEST LOVE

"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me, and anyone who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me."
Matthew 10:37-38

"To cherish true love for God is to be constrained by love to yield one's ego with all that it is and has, and to let God be God again."
---Abraham Kuyper.....

We might be tempted to think these verses are only about us and our obligations. But they tell us more about God. God's desire for us is to know Him in Christ, but how can we if our love is focused elsewhere?

We pursue knowledge of that which we love. Those who love literature get academic degrees in it. Those who love gardening read up on techniques. Those who love photography study the art. If we do not love these things, we will not get to know them well. We do not zealously invest in that which does not interest us. Our greatest love shapes all our other affections and determines our path.

Isn’t it the same in our relationship with God? Can we really know Him if other lovers are greater rivals? His desire is for our single-hearted devotion. This is not the voice of an egocentric god who demands worship. It is the voice of a loving God who knows we will only be fulfilled if He blesses us with Himself.

Consider a God who would ask us to love Him more than our deepest human relationships. He is the same God who commanded us to love others. But He knows that our most subtle idolatries are in making the command of God greater than Himself. They are subtle because they begin with righteousness and obedience to the law of love, but end in disproportionate affections that dishonor Him. Let us be mindful that if He tests us in these loves, it is only because we were created to know Him intimately.
OUR DEEPEST LOVE br br "Anyone who loves his... (show quote)





BLESSING IN SERVICE

"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." John 13:12

"Faithful service in a lowly place is true spiritual greatness."
---D.Jackman

Many of us have sought a blessing from God. In fact, most adherents of most religions seek a blessing from their deity or founder. It's common to all humanity; we want to be blessed. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as we seek it from the right source. The Bible is full of promises that God will bless His people. He is, by nature, an extravagant giver. It is not selfish to ask His blessing according to His nature. In fact, it is expected. There are at least twenty-five references in the Gospels to Jesus offering a blessing to those who followed Him.

But many of God's blessings carry prerequisites. We forget them easily. We ask God for His favor, but neglect the conditions on which He has already promised it. Haven't you noticed that? Something goes wrong and we cry out to God to fix it, or to restore His favor. But do we examine our own conditions first? Jesus was very clear: His followers will be blessed---if they are poor in spirit if they are meek if they have ears to hear if they have a certain attitude or obey a certain command. Here in John 13, He promises a blessing for those who follow His example of service: Washing other's feet. Those who give themselves to service in Jesus' name will receive God's favor. It is an inviolable spiritual law.

Does God's blessing seem to be far from you? First, realize that you have already been blessed, and be thankful. Then examine His Word. There are conditions that will carry further blessings when fulfilled. Obedience is one of them (Luke 11:28). So is Godly character (Matthew 5:3-10). And humble service, often neglected among sincere believers, never goes unrewarded by the One who sees in secret.

The Master served His disciples. We are not greater than He is; we must be servants, too. In so doing, we will bless others, and He will bless us in return.

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Feb 16, 2020 20:37:50   #
Armageddun Loc: The show me state
 
Armageddun wrote:
BLESSING IN SERVICE

"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." John 13:12

"Faithful service in a lowly place is true spiritual greatness."
---D.Jackman

Many of us have sought a blessing from God. In fact, most adherents of most religions seek a blessing from their deity or founder. It's common to all humanity; we want to be blessed. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as we seek it from the right source. The Bible is full of promises that God will bless His people. He is, by nature, an extravagant giver. It is not selfish to ask His blessing according to His nature. In fact, it is expected. There are at least twenty-five references in the Gospels to Jesus offering a blessing to those who followed Him.

But many of God's blessings carry prerequisites. We forget them easily. We ask God for His favor, but neglect the conditions on which He has already promised it. Haven't you noticed that? Something goes wrong and we cry out to God to fix it, or to restore His favor. But do we examine our own conditions first? Jesus was very clear: His followers will be blessed---if they are poor in spirit if they are meek if they have ears to hear if they have a certain attitude or obey a certain command. Here in John 13, He promises a blessing for those who follow His example of service: Washing other's feet. Those who give themselves to service in Jesus' name will receive God's favor. It is an inviolable spiritual law.

Does God's blessing seem to be far from you? First, realize that you have already been blessed, and be thankful. Then examine His Word. There are conditions that will carry further blessings when fulfilled. Obedience is one of them (Luke 11:28). So is Godly character (Matthew 5:3-10). And humble service, often neglected among sincere believers, never goes unrewarded by the One who sees in secret.

The Master served His disciples. We are not greater than He is; we must be servants, too. In so doing, we will bless others, and He will bless us in return.
BLESSING IN SERVICE br br "Now that you know... (show quote)




SUPERNATURAL UNITY

"I in them and you in Me, may they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me." John 17:23

"Unity in Christ is not something to be achieved; it is something to be recognized."
---A.W.Tozer.....

What does Jesus look for in His bride? A thorough reading of His priestly prayer in John 17 reveals His desire for believers' protection, sanctity, and joy. But above all, the overriding theme of His prayer is their unity. Complete unity. The kind of unity that He has with His Father.

Isn't He a little unrealistic here? A united front is attainable, perhaps, but the same kind of unity He has with His Father? Perfect Oneness from within the Trinity? Look at our churches; there is division between them and within them. How could the Son of God, One with the Father, have such unanswered prayer?

Jesus is no fool. He knows well what He is doing when He lays before His Father and before us the humanly impossible ideal. The unity of sinful human beings is utterly unattainable but for one thing: His presence. His aim---aside from His Father's supernatural intervention in our fellowship---is for believers to hear or read these words and know beyond any doubt that we must depend on Him. There is no other way.

Examine the characteristics of the disciples: Antagonistic political opinions, different levels of education, diverse professions, varying temperaments. They had plenty of reasons to argue with one another and sometimes did (Matthew 20:24; Mark 9:34). After three years with Jesus and an outpouring of His Spirit, they were "one in heart and mind" (Acts 4:32). What pulled them together? A common background? Not even close. A common goal? Not entirely. Just Him. His very, very real presence. The impossible standard of unity has only one solution: absolute dependence on Him.

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