Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.
And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb
For His Glory!
The Gospel of peace
Are you at peace despite all the distress in the world? Part of the armor of God mentioned in Ephesians 6 is being prepared by putting shoes on our feet, representing the Gospel of Peace. What does this mean? What is the gospel and what is the gospel of peace? Why would we be wearing this like shoes when we are wearing the armor of God? The purpose of the armor of God is for warring against spiritual forces of wickedness. Is this a clue to the gospel of peace?
Our life in Messiah is a battle against spiritual enemies, thus we need the Armor of God
Eph 6:10Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Eph 6:13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, …15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (NAS unless indicated; Highlighting by MEM)
Webster 1828 (edited)
GOS'PEL, n. [L. evangelium, a good or joyful message.]
The history of the birth, life, actions, death, resurrection, ascension and doctrines of Jesus Christ; or a revelation of the grace of God to fallen man through a mediator, including the character, actions, and doctrines of Christ, with the whole scheme of salvation, as revealed by Christ and his apostles. This gospel is said to have been preached to Abraham, by the promise, "in thee shall all nations be blessed." Gal 3:8.
gos'-pel (to euaggelion): The word gospel is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word which meant "the story concerning God." In the New Testament the Greek word euaggelion, means "good news." It proclaims tidings of deliverance. - It means a gift from God. It is the proclamation of the forgiveness of sins and sonship with God restored through Christ. It means remission of sins and reconciliation with God. The gospel is not only a message of salvation, but also the instrument through which the Holy Spirit works (Ro 1:16).
In the New Testament the gospel never means simply a book, but rather the message which Christ and His apostles announced. The gospel is Christ: He is the subject of it, the object of it, and the life of it. It was preached by Him (Matt 4:23; Matt 11:5; Mark 1:14; Luke 4:18)
- "the gospel of God," (Rom 1:1; 1Thess 2:2; 1Thess 2:9; 1Ti 1:11).
- "the gospel of Christ" (Mark 1:1; Rom 1:16; Rom 15:19; 1Cor 9:12; 1Cor 9:18; Gal 1:7).
- "the gospel of the grace of God" (Ac 20:24);
- "the gospel of peace" (Eph 6:15);
- "the gospel of your salvation" (Eph 1:13);
- "the glorious gospel" (2Co 4:4 KJV).
David H. Bauslin
Vine NT: (edited)
[ A-1,Noun,G2098, euangelion ]
In the NT it denotes the "good tidings" of the Kingdom of God and of salvation through Christ, to be received by faith, on the basis of His expiatory death, His burial, resurrection, and ascension.
Ephesians 6:15and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
the preparation--rather, "the preparedness," or "readiness of," that is, arising from the "Gospel" (Psalm 10:17 KJV). Preparedness to do and suffer all that God wills; readiness for march, as a Christian soldier.
gospel of peace--(compare Luke 1:79; Rom 10:15). The "peace" within forms a beautiful contrast to the raging of the outward conflict (Isa 26:3; Phi 4:7).
And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. The Gospel is so called, because it makes men to be of peaceable tempers and behavior, and gives peace to distressed minds: it directs the way to eternal peace, and publishes peace made by the blood of Christ… the word ετοιμασια signifies a "base", or foundation; and so it is used by the Septuagint interpreters on Zec 5:11; and here it designs a firm and solid knowledge of the Gospel, as it publishes peace by Jesus Christ, which yields a sure foundation for the Christian soldier to set his foot upon, and stand fast on…
The Gospel is termed the Gospel of peace, because it establishes peace between God and man, and proclaims peace and good will to the universe…
Here are some other translations of Ephesians verse 15
BWE Eph 6:14You have the good news of peace. Wear that like shoes on your feet.
CJB Eph 6:15and wear on your feet the readiness that comes from the Good News of shalom.
ESV Eph 6:15and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
NLT Eph 6:15For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared.
RSV Eph 6:15and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace;
Wear the Armor of God as good soldiers of God’s Kingdom of His Government
Isa 9:6For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
Our feet being properly shod
Isa 52:7How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
It is His Peace
Isa 26:12LORD, Thou wilt establish peace for us, Since Thou hast also performed for us all our works.
Those without Peace
Isa 48:22"There is no peace for the wicked," says the LORD.
Isa 59:8 JPSThe way of peace they know not, and there is no right in their goings; they have made them crooked paths, whosoever goeth therein doth not know peace.
In the Old Testament:
A condition of freedom from disturbance, whether outwardly or inwardly… The Hebrew word is shalom, meaning… all good in relation to both man and God.
(1) Shalom was the common friendly greeting, used in asking after the health of anyone; also in farewells …
(2) Peace from enemies (implying prosperity) was the great desire of the nation and was the gift of God to the people if they walked in His ways …
(3) Inward peace was the portion of the righteous who trusted in God … Ps 4:8; Ps 85:8, "He will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints".
(4) Peace was to be sought and followed by the righteous (Ps 34:14, "Seek peace, and pursue it"; Zech 8:16; Zech 8:19, "Love truth and peace").
(5) Peace should be a prominent feature of the Messianic times (Isa 2:4; Isa 9:6, "Prince of Peace"; Isa 11:6; Ezek 34:25; Mic 4:2-4; Zech 9:10).
In the New Testament:
(1) The gospel in Christ is a message of peace from God to men (Luke 2:14; Acts 10:36, "preaching .... peace by Jesus Christ"). It is "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," in Ro 5:1; the King James Version 10:15; peace between Jew and Gentile (Eph 2:14-15); an essential element in the spiritual kingdom of God (Ro 14:17).
(2) It is to be cherished and followed by Christians. Jesus exhorted His disciples, "Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace one with another" (Mr 9:50); Paul exhorts, "Live in peace: and the God of love and peace shall be with you" (2Co 13:11).
(3) God is therefore "the God of peace," the Author and Giver of all good (e.g. Rom 15:33; Rom 16:20; 2Thess 3:16, etc., "the Lord of peace"). "Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" is a common apostolic wish or salutation (1Cor 1:3; 2Cor 1:2, etc.).
(4) We have also "peace" as a greeting (Matt 10:13; Luke 10:5); the Lord's own greeting to His disciples was "Peace be unto you" (Luke 24:36; John 20:19; John 20:21; John 20:26), and ere He left them He gave them specially His blessing of "Peace" (John 14:27); we have also frequently "Go in peace" (Mark 5:34; Luke 7:50).
(5) The peace that Christ brought is primarily spiritual peace from and with God, peace in the heart, peace as the disposition or spirit.
W. L. Walker
Why do we need Peace? We are born without access to the tree of life:
Gen 1:26Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Gen 2:17but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die."
Gen 3:22Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever" -- 23 therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Rom 7:5For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions… were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.
The Good news
Gen 3:15(To the Serpent) And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel."
Romans 10:15…Just as it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!"
Next time we will continue with Gospel of peace and our calling and how - we ‘His People’ should in every aspect reflect the nature and values of the ‘Prince of Peace’ to all, in every way, at all times.
Because Peace is a basic tenet(principle) of the Kingdom constitution:
Matt 5:9"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Because by their fruit you shall know them:
Gal 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…
Ps 29:11The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.
Thy Kingdom come… Amen
(* editing is done to shorten length - you are encouraged to read the full commentary where applicable)
Proverbs 3:1… But let your heart keep my commandments; 2 … And peace they will add to you.
Having a relationship with God our feet will be guided in His paths
Proverbs 3:13How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding.
Proverbs 3:17Her ways [wisdom] are pleasant ways, And all her paths are peace.
Keeping the Commandments of YHVH is rewarding because
Proverbs 12:20… [the] counselors of peace have joy.
Proverbs 16:7When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
YHVH lead us in Your paths of righteousness for the peace we desire is from You
"Growth and change are normal parts of life and you should expect them. If you understand and expect this then you can have peace when it occurs. Consider your life to be a sojourn even if you stay in one place."
Phil 4:6 NLTDon't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Thank You Yeshua for releasing us from our bondage of sin and giving us the blessed hope of you Kingdom.
In our pursuit of humility:
(Lessons from humility and happiness)
"It seems that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was sent to humble him so that he might not exalt himself as a result of the great revelations given to him. He had learned that the place of humiliation is the place of blessing, of power, and of joy." Andrew Murray
2Cor 12:9And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Father, in the face of persecutions and difficulties we also, in all humility, have access to Your grace and peace.
Understanding the precepts of prayer.
Oh the beauty of the Psalmist’ prayers knowing YHVH hears the earnest prayers of His people and grants peace.
Ps 17:1A Prayer of David . Hear a just cause, O LORD, give heed to my cry; Give ear to my prayer, which is not from deceitful lips. 2 Let my judgment come forth from Thy presence; Let Thine eyes look with equity.
Ps 17:3Thou hast tried my heart; Thou hast visited me by night; Thou hast tested me and dost find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress. 4 As for the deeds of men, by the word of Thy lips I have kept from the paths of the violent. 5 My steps have held fast to Thy paths. My feet have not slipped.
Ps 17:6I have called upon Thee, for Thou wilt answer me, O God; Incline Thine ear to me, hear my speech. 7 Wondrously show Thy lovingkindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at Thy right hand From those who rise up against them.
YHVH, just to walk in Your paths, to receive your wonderful lovingkindness and the peace of Your presence.
How does God feel about issues we face today?
The Hand of God
Do you see God’s hand in your daily life? He is with you always perfecting that which concerns you. Even if you are not aware of it at the time, have you ever looked back and realized that the events of your day worked out better than could be explained by random chance and known that He must have been involved? You are right about this. Therefore take the time to review your day so that you may understand what really happened and give Him thanks for it. This will encourage you and strengthen your faith and confidence in Him. If you do this it will also improve your ability to be aware of His presence and intervention in the moment.(Adopted from a blog post by Dale Cresap)
Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.(Josh 1:9)
Material in this section is based on various prayer diaries.
Thomas Jefferson was a very remarkable man who started learning very early in life and never stopped.
At 5, began studying under his cousin's tutor.
At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.
At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.
At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.
At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wythe.
At 23, started his own law practice.
At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.
At 31, wrote the widely circulated "Summary View of the Rights of British America " and retired from his law practice.
At 32, was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress.
At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence.
At 33, took three years to revise Virginia’s legal code and wrote a Public education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.
At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia succeeding Patrick Henry.
At 40, served in Congress for two years.
At 41, was the American minister to France and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.
At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.
At 53, served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.
At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions which became the basis of ‘States Rights’
At 57, was elected the third president of the United States.
At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase doubling the nation's size.
At 61, was elected to a second term as President.
At 65, retired to Monticello.
At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.
At 81, almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia and served as its first president.
At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence along with John Adams.
Thomas Jefferson knew because he himself studied the previous failed attempts at government. He understood actual history, the nature of God, his laws, and the nature of man. That happens to be way more than what most understand today. Jefferson really knew his stuff. A voice from the past to lead us in the future.
Seemingly prophetic quotes for our day:
"When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe." -- Thomas Jefferson
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not" -- Thomas Jefferson
"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world." -- Thomas Jefferson
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people under the pretence of taking care of them." -- Thomas Jefferson
"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government." -- Thomas Jefferson
"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -- Thomas Jefferson
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson
"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."-- Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.
If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the white House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: "This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."
Compiled By Herbert Lockyer
Scriptures form the KJV
12. I am the LIGHT of the world: he that followeth Me...shall have the Light of Life.
The LightJohn 12:35
A Great Light Isa 9:2
The Light of the World John 8:12
The Light of Men John 1:4
The Bright and Morning Star Rev 22:16
The Day Star 2 Pet 1:19
The Sun of Righteousness Mal 4:2
13. The Name of the LORD is a STRONG tower. (Proverbs 18:10).
Strength of the Children of IsraelJoel 3:16
A Strength to the Poor Isa 25:4
A Strength to the Needy in Distress Isa 25:4
A Refuge from the Storm Isa 25:4
Joel 3:16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
A Horn of Salvation Luke 1:69
14. They drank of that spiritual ROCK that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
The RockMatt 16:18
My Strong Rock Ps 31:2
The Rock of Ages (marg.) Isa 26:4
The Rock That Is Higher Than I Ps 61:2
My Rock and My Fortress Ps 31:3
The Rock of My Strength Ps 62:7
The Rock of My Refuge Ps 94:22
A Rock of Habitation (marg.) Ps 71:3
The Rock of My Salvation 2 Sam 22:47
My Rock and My Redeemer Ps 19:14
That Spiritual Rock 1 Cor 10:4
The Rock that Followed Them 1 Cor 10:4
A Shadow from the Heat Isa 25:4
12 - 14 of 24(1-6 in MEM 138 more in subsequent issues)
Two elderly people living in Fort Myers, he was a widower and she a widow, had known each other for a number of years One evening there was a community supper in the Clubhouse.
The two were at the same table, across from one another. As the meal went on, he took a few admiring glances at her and finally gathered the courage to ask her, 'Will you marry me?'
After about six seconds of 'careful consideration,' she answered 'Yes. Yes, I will!'
The meal ended and, with a few more pleasant exchanges, they went to their respective places. Next morning, he was troubled. 'Did she say 'yes' or did she say 'no'?'
He couldn't remember. Try as he might, he just could not recall. Not even a faint memory.
With trepidation, he went to the telephone and called her.
First, he explained that he didn't remember as well as he used to. Then he reviewed the lovely evening past. As he gained a little more courage, he inquired, 'When I asked if you would marry me, did you say 'Yes' or did you say 'No'?'
He was delighted to hear her say, 'Why, I said, 'Yes, yes I will' and I meant it with all my heart.' Then she continued, 'And I am so glad that you called, because I couldn't remember who had asked me.'
Have a good day!
President George Washington
City of New York, October 3, 1789
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
(By Michael Boldea Jr.)
Since we have come upon the time of year wherein we consider the many things we ought to be thankful for, I thought it appropriate that in my letter to you we would discuss thankfulness, and how we go about having a grateful heart. Although more could be written on the topic, I’ve decided to limit myself, and break down the process of coming to that place wherein we are thankful and grateful to God for His many blessings into three steps.
I have often wondered, if only to myself what makes some individuals perpetually unthankful and ungrateful, always searching for more of this world, coveting everything their neighbors possess while simultaneously declaring to all who would hear that they themselves have nothing, and what make other thankful and content with the blessings God has already bestowed upon them.
I have had the privilege of knowing thankful people throughout my life, those who perhaps were not what we would consider ‘blessed’ from a worldly perspective, but who were rich in the Lord, and I have also had the misfortune of knowing ungrateful and unthankful individuals who having more possessions than the average person still considered themselves stricken, underwhelmed with the bountiful blessing that God bestowed upon them on a daily basis.
So how do we come to have a grateful heart? How can we be thankful to God for the little things, the things we take for granted, or the things we feel as though we are entitled to?
The first step toward having a grateful or thankful heart is to recognize the dangers of being unthankful and ungrateful.
Romans 1:20-21, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened."
Yes, there is a danger in having an ungrateful and unthankful heart, because these are not destinations in and of themselves, but road signs toward becoming futile in our thoughts, and having darkened hearts. Being unthankful, being ungrateful are symptoms of an underlying disease that turns men’s hearts away from God once it reaches maturity.
When we do not acknowledge that all things come from God, we begin to believe that it is by our ingenuity, prowess, excellence or will that we’ve accomplished, achieved or accumulated all that we have in this present life, and so we no longer glorify God, nor are thankful toward Him. Our thoughts become futile, we start believing that we can readily declare our independence from God without consequence that we can turn our backs on Him without any aftereffect, and so our hearts are darkened, and professing to be wise we become nothing more than fools.
There is a strength that comes from the constant acknowledgement and recognition that God is the source of all blessing, that is a strength that comes from having a grateful and thankful heart, and in the difficult days ahead, this knowledge and certainty that God is in control will keep us from growing fearful, uncertain or reactionary like much of the world will be.
If God is my provider, what have I to fear? If God is my provision, what have I to worry about? It is from His hand that all blessing comes, and knowing that He is a good Father I know that He will provide.
The second step toward having a thankful or grateful heart is learning to thank God for the little things, those things we take for granted or overlook on a daily basis.
One of the greatest examples of a thankful heart, even when being thankful wasn’t easy, was Job. Here is a man who had everything, then lost everything, and eventually ended up sitting in the midst of some ashes, scraping himself with potsherd, and it is at the lowest moment of his existence that his wife comes to him not only mocking his integrity, but encouraging him to curse God and die.
Job 2:10, "But he said to her, ‘you speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips."
Here was a man who understood that all things come from God, and whether blessing or adversity there is a higher purpose than what we can presently see. In all that he endured, Job did not sin with his lips, he did not sin against God because he had a thankful heart, he had a grateful heart and he understood that the source of all he’d had and lost was not in himself, but rather in the God he served.
The third step toward having a thankful or grateful heart is to understand and perceive the ways in which God uses adversity and difficulty to grow us spiritually.
Admittedly this is the most difficult step of all, because none of us like adversity, and in the midst of it, it is difficult to see the plan of God, but we must believe with all our heart that God has a plan nevertheless. Yes, in our adversity, in our hardship, in our lack, God has a plan, He sees beyond today into tomorrow, and sees what we will become once we traverse the valley of hardship with faithfulness and steadfastness. God’s desire is to mature us as individuals; it is to grow us spiritually that we might be useful to His kingdom and His plan for our lives.
Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
Yes, this is an often quoted verse, but just because it is often quoted it does not take away from the truth it possesses. All things work together for good to those who love God, and this we know. We don’t assume, we don’t think, we know that all things work together for good, and this gives us comfort, and peace, and a thankful heart even in the midst of hardship and affliction.
Being thankful, being grateful, possessing a thankful and grateful heart is not an obligation but rather a privilege. Yes, possessing a thankful and grateful heart is possessing the privilege of seeing this present reality, this present life from an eternal perspective. We are passing through this life, and whatever chiseling and molding we might have to endure in order to obtain the life to come is necessary, as such we must be ever grateful to God for loving us enough to mold and chisel us.
With love in Christ - Michael Boldea Jr.
Those who cook up stories usually find themselves in hot water
You can’t change the direction of the wind, but you can adjust your sails
One pleasure of retirement is that you never have to be in a hurry; one of its regrets is wondering why you ever were
Live so that when they check your footprints on the sands of time, they won’t find only the marks of a heel
Good, better, best-never let it rest until the good is better and the better best
Freedom from Guilt
The Lord said to Moses: "If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the Lord by deceiving his neighbor about something entrusted to him or left in his care or stolen, or if he cheats him, or if he finds lost property and lies about it, or if he swears falsely, or if he commits any such sin that people may do - when he thus sins and becomes guilty, he must return what he has stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to him, or the lost property he found, or whatever it was he swore falsely about. He must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day he presents his guilt offering. And as a penalty he must bring to the priest, that is, to the Lord, his guilt offering, a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value. In this way the priest will make atonement for him before the Lord, and he will be forgiven for any of these things he did that made him guilty"(Leviticus 6:1-7; ESV).
Many people are oppressed by a sense of guilt. Some spend their whole lives seeking to become free from it. There are those who simply deny the reality of guilt. But philosophical notions and psychological games are not going to solve this age-old problem.
Of course there is such a thing as false guilt. We may feel guilty over something that we need not be. This is one of the reasons why we need to gain God's perspective on such things by reading the Scriptures.
Besides gaining a healthy sense of right and wrong, the Torah also teaches us how to properly deal with wrongs as they arise. One aspect of that is our need to deal with guilt in the sphere in which it occurred. If we have wronged other people, then we must deal with the people we wronged. If we have sinned against God, then it is with God we must deal.
The Torah provides us with a most practical approach in dealing with our wrongs against other people. When appropriate we need to return what we have stolen or abused and add twenty percent. Simply saying sorry, paying fines and/or doing jail terms do not resolve our guilt.
But resolving guilt is not simply accomplished through restitution. What we don't easily recognize is that when we wrong another person, we are also wronging God. In the passage I read we see that not only was restitution to be made to the person wronged, but also a penalty by way of a sacrifice to God was required to be paid.
How does my wronging of another person affect my relationship with God? The passage we read refers to the wronging of another person as unfaithfulness to God. To abuse a fellow human being is to turn our back on the Creator of us all.
King David understood the spiritual implications of wrongdoing. When he confessed his sins of adultery and murder he prayed,"Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight" (Psalm 51:6 [English: 51:4]). Under the New Covenant, even though the sacrificial requirements are fulfilled through the Messiah, like David, we still need to admit our wrongdoings to God in order to maintain intimate fellowship with him. We read, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
Now some may get the impression that reckoning with the spiritual aspect of wrongdoing is greater than the human aspect. We may think that if we strongly focus on how we have offended God, then everything will be alright. But that is not what the Torah teaches. When we wrong a fellow human being, we need to see that we have both brought harm to the person as well as created a breach in our relationship to God. Both need to be dealt with. It is only as we do both that we can truly be free from guilt.
By Alan Gilman
*(This document may be edited for length)
For though the LORD is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly; But the haughty He knows from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me; Thou wilt stretch forth Thy hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Thy right hand will save me. The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Thy lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Thy hands.
Confidence is what we garner by having accepted the gospel of Peace. We may not have peace with this world but we have the presence of the Almighty, a relationship that surpasses our current worldly issues.
Blessed be YHVH (Genesis 14:20And blessed be God Most High…)
How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation,And says to Zion,
"Your God reigns!"
1. Be shown mercy - Matthew 5:7
2. Israel was not ruled by a King - 1 Samuel 8:5
3. The Areopagus - Acts 17:22
4. They did not believe in the resurrection of the dead - Acts 23:8
5. Israel - Genesis 32:28
6. Joshua - Joshua 3:9-17
7. Jonah - Jonah 1:7,9
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