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!
Deliverance from Sin
Pictured in the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread
When we commit sin, we put ourselves in a place where we are vulnerable to God’s judgment.
SIN (edited for length)
Actions by which humans rebel against God, miss His purpose for their life, and surrender to the power of evil rather than to God.
One of the central affirmations throughout the Bible is humanity’s estrangement from God. The cause for this estrangement is sin, the root cause of all the problems of humanity. Rebellion was at the root of the problem for Adam and Eve (Gen. 3) and has been at the root of humanity’s plight ever since.
Sin is universal-we all sin. Satan introduced sin when he beguiled Eve… Sin’s origin is to be found in humanity’s rebellious nature. Since Adam and Eve rebelled against the clear command of God, sin has infected humanity like a dreaded malignancy. Adam and Eve introduced sin into human history … The Bible affirms that every person who has lived since has followed their example.
Sin’s Consequences Though sinful acts may be directed against another person, ultimately every sin is against God, the Creator of all things. Perfect in righteousness, God cannot tolerate that which violates His righteous character. Therefore, sin creates a barrier between God and persons.
Sin produces estrangement from other persons just as surely as it produces an estrangement from God. All interpersonal problems have sin as their root cause (James 4:1-3). The only hope for peace to be achieved on either the personal or national level is through the Prince of peace.
Some Biblical verses about sin
1John 3:4Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. (NAS unless indicated)
Romans 3:20… for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
1John 5:17All unrighteousness is sin…
Jas 4:17Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.
Proverbs 14:21He who despises his neighbor sins…
Proverbs 24:9The devising of folly is sin…
This we know
Rom 3:10as it is written, "There is none righteous, not even one; 11 There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; 12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one."
Rom 3:23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
And Sin brings death
Rom 6:23For the wages of sin is death…
But the Grace of Elohim bestows eternal life thru deliverance from sin and reconciliation to Him
Rom 5:8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
Rom 6:22But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 … the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We have the promises from the Word of Elohim to be delivered from the bondage of sin. That is to be delivered form the ravages of sin (death), to be delivered from our sin.
Sin covered - blotted out - taken away - Blessed be His Name.
John 1:29The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Acts 3:19"Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
Romans 3:25…because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;
Ephesians 1:7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,
Yeshua (Jesus) said, "…sin no more…" That is the goal
John 8:11…And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."
John 5:14Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."
Luke 5:20When He saw their faith, He said to him, "Man, your sins are forgiven you."
Luke 5:21And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, "Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
Luke 5:22But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, "Why are you reasoning in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Rise up and walk'? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins" -- He said to the man who was paralyzed, "I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house."
1John 2:1My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
Rom 8:8So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Rom 8:12 NLT…you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live.
In a book entitled "Feast of Jehovah" by John Ritchie (Kregel Publications; ISBN 0-8254-3613-3) …
"Sin in the nature there always will be, but sin in practice, sin as it appears in its workings, there must not be, else communion with a Holy God is impossible." And again, "Thus we learn the saint’s communion is based on redemption, sustained by feeding on Christ, and maintained in holiness and separation from evil. These are principles of eternal value, unchangeable as the character of God."
The feast of unleavened Bread is a picture of how Israel was delivered out of the bondage of slavery to the guidance and protection of the LORD. Most typically we understand that leaven is a picture of sin which is to be put out of our lives and partake of unleavened bread a representation of sin-less-ness.
Yeshua gives an illustration of the spirit of the Law
Psychologists have discovered that the human brain’s responses to an imagined event are the same as if the event had actually occurred. Yeshua knew this years ago when He declared that if a man looks at a woman to lust after her he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. This principle is not limited to adultery. Are you diligent to avoid the commission of sin? How well do you control your thoughts? It is easy to stand in judgment against those who fall. Yet how many of those who judge enjoy their sins vicariously? As a man thinks in his heart, so he is. Keep it with all diligence for the issues of life flow from it. (Adopted from Dale Cresap Blog)
The ceremony by which we are to renew our personal covenant with God today is the Passover (Lord’s Supper). We are to make this our regular time of self-examination and confession of sin. Then we are to renew our personal oath of allegiance to our Master Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah).
Mark 14:22 NLTAs they were eating, Jesus took … bread and asked God's blessing on it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, "Take it, for this is my body." 23 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And he said to them, "This is my blood, poured out for many, sealing the covenant between God and his people.
We know how merciful, loving, forgiving Elohim is - the problem is we tend to think it is OK if we sin as we are weak and human and prone to sin. The MEM recommends you read Romans 6 in its entirety to see the new man does not sin because we have been delivered from sin - the old man has been crucified and buried no longer our master. The people of God, those that have covenanted with Messiah, will walk in newness of life just as Yeshua the Master did.
Rom 6:11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
YHVH thank you for freeing us from sin - in You we have victory over sin and the gift of eternal life W/O sin.
About the sinner and advice for the righteous
Proverbs 5:22His own iniquities will capture the wicked, And he will be held with the cords of his sin.
Proverbs 13:6Righteousness guards the one whose way is blameless, But wickedness subverts the sinner.
Proverbs 14:21He who despises his neighbor sins, But happy is he who is gracious to the poor.
Proverbs 21:4Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin.
Proverbs 23:17Do not let your heart envy sinners, But live in the fear of the LORD always.
Many are the admonitions in the Proverbs showing the fate and condition of those that sin - the Good News is Yeshua our Savior holds out His righteousness to us by forgiving and delivering us from sin and reconciling us to the Father.
Eternal One let us examine ourselves - if there is any wicked way in us - we repent of all unrighteousness.
I am standing with the warm sun on my back, cleaning my 70's era toaster that my husband brought to our almost 16 years of marriage. I am attempting to completely deleaven my toaster for the 13th year in a row. Passover and Unleavened Bread season is upon us, celebrating the awesome gift of my Savior who died for my sins. Walking out the physical example of removing leaven (products with yeast in them) from my home while pondering the spiritual application of this idea in my temple where His spirit dwells. I have to admit that many of those years of cleaning were a purely physical endeavor which never lived up to the goal. Rushed, harried and even angry attitudes colored ugly my cleaning. My house was technically clean but my home was covered with the black spiritual marks of sin.
Oh, how I want to gather that child I am in my arms and share with her my growing understanding of the truth of Yahweh's love, the miracle of the grace that flows from Him to me because of the gift of His son. Yes, He asks me to rid my house of leavening once a year for a week, but the greater lesson is to remind me to rid my temple of sin.
Scrubbing away at my toaster in the warm sun, I find a new cranny with my toothbrush that I am sure didn't get that crummy since the last time I cleaned out the toaster. Yes, I clean it more often than once a year, but it is a quick bang or two out by the bird feeder. Not this particular kind of cleaning that explores all those tight nooks and crannies that are easy to overlook or do not impede the function of the toaster. They are not necessary to be addressed in the regular day to day.
This is not the regular day to day, this is an examining of my heart and soul, the crannies that are so easily overlooked and passed by. Most of it looks pretty good, swept on a daily and weekly basis. It is those little piles in the corner, the overlooked "white lies" that don't hurt anything but my integrity in my Heavenly Father's eyes, the careless words that have come back to haunt my relationships with people, my view of myself that does not line up with how my Father sees me, the deep cleaning that I need to be reminded to do. The work, for it is work, to look deeply at the mess. It is not fun but it is an opportunity to die to self in order to live for Him.
That grimy corner reminds me of the lesson I learned earlier today. Two phone calls, one received, the other sent, illuminated some grimy corners in my heart that my Heavenly Father gently pointed out to me. A sweet sister called to apologize to me because I had said something foolish to hurt her heart. She said nothing at the time so I did not know, but my words wounded her. She was cleaning her heart this week in preparation for Passover, and dealt with the hurt I did to her by calling me and asking my forgiveness for not sharing with me immediately this hurt I had dealt her. Neither one of us could remember the exact conversation's contents, but hurt had been done. I responded, so humbled by her bravery, with, "I forgive you for your pain and hurt against me and please forgive me for my thoughtlessness". I gave her permission to halt my overwhelming flow of words when I stray from what is good, kind and thoughtful. I was shown (again) that my desire to avoid confrontation of any sort is not the Godly, healthy way to deal with hurt I take on in response to others. This selfish attempt to protect myself prevents healing in me and takes from others the opportunity to sincerely apologize and recognize their need for change. I steal Yahweh's opportunity to change and heal from both others and myself.
My second phone call exposed another large ugly patch that will need continued scrubbing I'm sure. I fear rejection. Simple straight forward statement, but oh so hard to release to the cleansing blood of the Lamb. I enter into most interactions pondering the negative others can do to me rather than looking for the best possible outcome, having faith in the possibility of good rather than the expectation of bad. The latter is my desire, the former is my old man's default.
My list of questions that needed to be answered overwhelmed my hesitancy to bother someone in the middle of a huge kitchen renovation and worry about what response to me she may have. Upon hearing my voice on the phone, she responded with an exuberant, cheerful exclamation of greeting that immediately set my heart at rest. She was happy to talk to me. She wanted to talk to me.
There was absolutely no reason why she would reject me, but my thoughts created a lie that diminished her light in my life. That is such a sad place to be for not only am I falsely expecting evil from her, my hesitancy to let her into my life prevents her from dispelling that lie. The idea that you get what you expect will also color situations that could have absolutely gone a different direction for good. Walking into any interaction with the hope for good as I see her display on a regular basis would be an excellent trait for me to employ in my life.
Hmmmm..... I think the whole purpose of our incredibly brilliant Creator for asking such a weird, socially awkward request of us is to get us to slow down, change our routines and scrub an old toaster for the 13th time... so He can speak to my heart. Tell me that I am loved and that while I am not perfect, through the cleansing blood of His Son, my Savior, I am clean, set apart and Holy. I am loved.
"We don’t change the message, the message changes us."
The truth is natural man is at enmity with the Creator and we have a proclivity for sin:
Rom 3:23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Rom 6:23For the wages of sin is death,
The Message - The Good news
but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Eph 1:7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,
Col 3:9…since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him
Eph 4:23and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Almighty Elohim, the message of Salvation is we can be forgiven (delivered) and renewed in Your likeness.
In our pursuit of humility:
(Lessons from humility and happiness)
"Let us ask whether we have learned to regard a reproof, just or unjust, a reproach from a friend or an enemy, an injury, or trouble, or difficulty as an opportunity for proving that Jesus is all to us. It is indeed the deepest happiness of heaven to be so free from self that whatever is said of us or done to us is swallowed up in the thought that Jesus is all and we are nothing." Andrew Murray
Phil 2:8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
And He will…
Phil 3:21…transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
Is not the self - the sin nature filled with pride that must die and allow the Spirit of Yeshua (Jesus) fill us, cleanse us from all unrighteousness and humble us as he humbled Himself for our sake - to create in us the very image of our Creator?
1Pet 5:5… and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Father, grant us understanding as we seek the humility of Yeshua.
Understanding the precepts of prayer.
We can be sure YHVH hears our prayers when we come before Him in humility and acknowledging our natural proclivities to sin and our absolute need for His salvation.
Ps 51:1Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight -- That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.
Ps 102:17He has regarded the prayer of the destitute (stripped bare, lowly) And has not despised their prayer.
Yeshua, we are told without You we can do nothing - grant us the grace to abide in You - hear our prayer
How does God feel about issues we face today?
What does the term 'conviction' bring to mind for you? It is the conclusion of a criminal trial, after all the evidence and arguments have been presented, and the jury has deliberated and reached a verdict. Yet the same term applies to the beginning of the process of forgiveness. For the conviction of sin in your heart causes you to turn to God in repentance. If you confess your sins He is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Do you find the process of conviction to be uncomfortable? Do not avoid it for it is the path to redemption, restoration, and righteousness without a trial and punishment and criminal record. (Adopted from a blog post by Dale Cresap)
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.(1John 1:8-10)
Material in this section is based on various prayer diaries.
Van T. Barfoot died.
Remember the guy who wouldn't take the flag pole down on his
Virginia property a while back?
You might remember the news story several months ago about a crotchety old man
in Virginia who defied his local Homeowners Association,
and refused to take down the flag pole on his property,
along with the large American flag he flew on it.
Now we learn who that old man was.
On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg , Texas.
That probably didn't make news back then.
But twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944, near Carano Italy,
that same Van T. Barfoot, who had enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1940,
set out alone to flank German machine gun positions from which gunfire
was raining down on his fellow soldiers.
His advance took him through a minefield,
but having done so, he proceeded to single-handedly take out
three enemy machine gun positions, returning with 17 prisoners of war.
And if that weren't enough for a day's work,
he later took on and destroyed three German tanks
sent to retake the machine gun positions.
That probably didn't make much news either, given the scope of the war.
But it did earn Van T. Barfoot,
who retired as a Colonel after also serving in Korea and Vietnam,
a well deserved Congressional Medal of Honor.
What did make news ...
Was his Neighborhood Association's quibble
with how the 90-year-old veteran chose to fly the American flag
outside his suburban Virginia home.
Seems the HOA rules said it was OK to fly a flag on a house-mounted bracket,
but, for decorum, items such as Barfoot's 21-foot flagpole were "unsuitable".
Van Barfoot had been denied a permit for the pole, but erected it anyway
and was facing court action unless he agreed to take it down.
Then the HOA story made national TV,
and the Neighborhood Association rethought its position
and agreed to indulge thisaging hero who dwelt among them.
"In the time I have left", he said to the Associated Press,
"I plan to continue to fly the American flag without interference."
As well he should.
And if any of his neighbors had taken a notion to contest him further,
they might have done well to read his Medal of Honor citation first.
Seems it indicates Mr. Van Barfoot wasn't particularly good at backing down.
Van T. Barfoot's Medal's
The 1944 Medal of Honor citation, listed with the National Medal of Honor Society,
is for Second Lieutenant Van T. Barfoot, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry:
WE ONLY LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE!
BECAUSE OF OLD MEN LIKE VAN BARFOOT!
A boy far, far away from home,
His health he guarded well-
Refused rich food and sparkling wine.
His name is _____.
(See end of MEM)
Can I sell you a tie?(The Jewish Tie Salesman)
A fleeing Taliban terrorist, desperate for water, was plodding through the Afghan desert when he saw something far off in the distance.
Hoping to find water, he hurried toward the mirage, only to find a very frail little old Jewish man standing at a small makeshift display rack - selling ties.
The Taliban terrorist asked, "Do you have water?"
The Jewish man replied, "I have no water. Would you like to buy a tie? They are only $5."
The Taliban shouted hysterically, "Infidel! I do not need such an over-priced western adornment. I spit on your ties. I need water!"
"Sorry, I have none, just ties - pure silk, and only $5."
"Pahh! A curse on your ties! I should wrap one around your scrawny little neck and . . . I must conserve my energy and find water!"
"Okay," said the little old Jewish man. "It does not matter that you do not want to buy a tie from me, or that you hate me, threaten my life, and call me infidel. I will show you that I am bigger than any of that. If you continue over that hill to the east for about two miles, you will find a restaurant. It has the finest food and all the ice-cold water you need. Go In Peace."
Cursing again, the desperate Taliban staggered away, over the hill.
Several hours later, he crawled back, almost dead, and gasped,
"They won't let me in without a tie!"
Have a good day!
The Bible Views Sin from Various Perspectives (edited for length)
One concept of sin in the OT is that of transgression of the law. God established the law as a standard of righteousness; any violation of this standard is defined as sin.
Another concept of sin in the OT is as breach of the covenant. God made a covenant with the nation of Israel; they were bound by this covenant as a people (Exod. 19; 24; Josh. 24).
The NT picture is much like that of the OT. Several of the words used for sin in the NT have almost the same meaning as some of the Hebrew words used in the OT. …in the NT view of sin is the fact that sin is defined against the backdrop of Jesus as the standard for righteousness. His life exemplifies perfection. The exalted purity of His life creates the norm for judging what is sinful.
In the NT sin also is viewed as a lack of fellowship with God. The ideal life is one of fellowship with God. Anything that disturbs or distorts this fellowship is sin.
The NT further pictures sin as being revealed by the law of Moses. The law, therefore, serves to bring sin into bold relief, so that it is clearly perceptible.
"Trespass" or "transgression," literally, means to step across the line. …the person who steps across God’s standard of righteousness has committed a trespass or transgression.
Anomia means "lawlessness" or "iniquity" and is a rather general description of sinful acts, referring to almost any action in opposition to God’s standard of righteousness. Poneria, "evil" or "wickedness," is even more inclusive than anomia. Adikia, "unrighteousness," is just the opposite of righteous. In forensic contexts outside the NT, it described one who was on the wrong side of the law.
Akatharsia, "uncleanness" or "impurity," was a cultic word used to describe anything which could cause cultic impurity. It was used quite often to describe vicious acts or sexual sins.
Apistia, "unbelief," literally refers to a lack of faith. To refuse to accept the truth of God by faith is to sin. Hence any action which can be construed as unfaithful or any disposition which is marked by a lack of faith is sinful.
Epithumia, often translated "lust," is actually a neutral word. Only the context can determine if the desire is good or evil. Paul used this word with a modifier meaning "evil," in Col. 3:5, where it is translated "evil concupiscence" or "evil desire." When used in this way, the word could refer to almost any evil desire but was most often used to describe sexual sins (Matt. 5:28).
Ultimately every sin is against God, the Creator of all things. God cannot tolerate that which violates His righteous character. Therefore, sin creates a barrier between God and persons.
Sin necessitates God’s intervention in human affairs. Since humanity could not extricate itself from the entanglements of sin, it was necessary for God to intervene if humanity was ever to be freed from these entanglements.
The consequences of sin both personally and in society are far reaching. That person who constantly and consistently follows a sinful course will become so enmeshed in sin that for all practical purposes he or she is enslaved to sin (Rom. 6).
Another of the awful consequences of sin is spiritual depravity in society in general as well as in the lives of individuals. …there can be no escaping the fact that a continuance in sin adds to this personal depravity, a moral crookedness or corruption, eventually making it impossible to reject sin. Sin also produces spiritual blindness. Spiritual truths simply are not visible to that person who has been blinded by sin.
Moral ineptitude is another devastating consequence of sin. The more people practice sin, the more inept they become as far as moral and spiritual values are concerned. Eventually, sin blurs the distinction between right and wrong.
Guilt is certainly a consequence of sin. No person can blame another person for a sin problem. Each person must accept responsibility for sin and face the guilt associated with it (Rom. 1-3).
In the Bible sin and death are corollaries. One of the terrible by-products of sin is death. Continual, consistent sin will bring spiritual death to that person who has not come under the lordship of Christ through repentance and faith (Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:14.) For those who have trusted Christ Jesus for salvation, death no longer holds this dread. Christ has negated the power of Satan in making death horrible and has freed the person from slavery to this awful fear (Heb. 2:14-15).
Another serious consequence of sin is that it brings separation from God, estrangement, and a lack of fellowship with God.
Sin produces estrangement from other persons just as surely as it produces an estrangement from God. All interpersonal problems have sin as their root cause (James 4:1-3). The only hope for peace to be achieved on either the personal or national level is through the Prince of peace.
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Billy E. Simmons
ScribblesMichael Boldea Jr. (edited)
Wounded for our Transgressions
If this is all there was, we would likely be as distraught and beside ourselves as the rest of the world seems to be. If, like the world we had no hope, or hoped in this life only, we would have every reason to run about aimlessly, and scream of the despair and meaninglessness of our present existence as the godless are beginning to do.
For those who have not known the love of Jesus, for those who have not known the redemptive and restorative power of His blood, these are dark days, and as dark days do, they are bringing dark thoughts.
The foundations are being shaken, and even the high and lofty among us are beginning to give in to the fear, doubt, and desperation defining so many individuals today. These things ought not to come as a surprise to us, for they were foretold long ago. We are seeing the fulfillment of what God said would come to pass, and seeing these things we must remember not to react as the world. But why? Because we are no longer of the world.
We are no longer of the world and no longer subject to the world’s uncertainty and doubt because we are of Christ. We are no longer of the world, because we are no longer in the world, and we are no longer in the world because we are in He who was beaten, bruised, bloodied, and broken for us.
I know of nothing more tragic than believers who live as though they have not been redeemed by the priceless blood of Christ, or act as though they are as hopeless as the world is.
It is in understanding what Jesus did on the cross, what He accomplished through the shedding of His blood that gives us a hope tethered not in the temporal, but in the eternal.
Jesus redeemed us. He bought us with His blood, He paid the price for our penalty, that we might be free in Him, beholden to neither flesh, nor earth, nor vice, nor temptation. Jesus bought our freedom on Calvary’s hill, and as the day of the remembrance of His death, burial and resurrection nears, may we acknowledge what He has done for us.
It is common practice for the extraordinary to become ordinary in the eyes of some due to overuse or over employment. We speak of a certain thing so often and with such regularity that the extraordinary nature of that which we speak seems to escape us just a little more each time we mention it.
The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus cannot be one of the things that become ordinary, usual, or commonplace even though we speak of them often.
The Son of God bled and died upon a tree so we might have life in Him. The reality of His sacrifice changed the world forever, and it is the source of our hope and peace and joy and comfort in the midst of a world growing exceedingly more chaotic.
I wish I could say things are on the upswing or that they will get better from here, but you and I both know unless repentance is forthcoming in this nation, a repentance the church itself is unwilling to pursue in humility, the hand of God will continue to press down, and His judgment will continue to draw near.
What we as children of God can take solace in, what we as the saved, sanctified, and redeemed Bride of Christ can draw strength from, is that He will shelter those who are His. Though we will see with our eyes it will not come near us, for we are established in His righteousness.
Rejoice and be strong in the Lord for in the coming days He will do great exploits through those whose hearts belong to Him.
Isaiah 53:4-5"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed."
With love in Christ Michael Boldea Jr. www handofhelp.com
What is meaningless to one is precious to another
If you don’t believe in cooperation, imagine a wagon with one wheel missing
If you have regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow, you have no today to be thankful for
Happiness makes the most of opportunities, the least of difficulties and the best of everything
We can’t be happy if the things we believe in are different than the things we do
But Joseph said to them, "Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones." Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Joseph was the object of his own brothers' extreme jealousy, resulting in their selling him to slave traders and tricking their father into thinking he was killed by wild animals. While God gave him favor in the sight of his Egyptian master, his plight went from bad to worse. Even though he stayed true to God by resisting the advances of his master's wife, she falsely accused him of abusing her, resulting in his spending years in a dungeon. Eventually his God-given gift of dream interpretation catapulted him to second in command in Egypt. While I think many, if not most of us, would have harbored bitterness in our hearts toward everyone who sought our harm, Joseph did not. Even when things work out well for people, good times don't necessarily heal bitter hearts. Instead, bitterness has a way of skewing how we look at life - the good as well as the bad. The comfort that Joseph was able to experience is only possible for someone who refused to be bitter. We know this is the case with Joseph, because of how he dealt with his brothers later on, when they came to Egypt in the hope of buying food during the famine.
Joseph's life vividly reminds us of how important it is to avoid bitterness. I have seen how destructive bitterness can be, including the control it has over people who allow it to grow inside them. Bitterness can lead to compulsive obsessive anger as well as to personal isolation. If Joseph had handled life differently, God would have used other means to preserve Israel in order to accomplish his purposes through them, but Joseph may not have been part of it.
I want to be like Joseph, but I haven't been able to figure out how he did it. The ultimate answer… is God's steadfast love. But that doesn't mean that Joseph was carried along by God unconsciously. His relationship with God expressed itself in very specific ways. We have glimpses of his behavior, but that hasn't been sufficient to enable me to understand what was really going on in his heart. But I have just read a book that may shed some light on this issue.
You may be surprised to learn that the book is called "The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America" by Joe Posnanski. O'Neil was a most unusual man. He died in 2006 at the age of 94. He was a baseball player, manager, coach, and scout. He was also an African American whose career as a player occurred before Blacks were allowed to play in the Major Leagues. Due to the racial discrimination of those days, special "Negro Leagues" were created so people like O'Neil could play "The National Pastime," as Baseball was called in the United States. Following retirement O'Neil became an ambassador for the Negro Leagues to ensure their place in history and to help raise out of obscurity some of the greatest ball players of all time.
It is difficult for many of us to fully understand the injustices Buck O'Neil endured and witnessed. And yet, like Joseph, he didn't allow bitterness to take hold. As I was completing the book, what helped him be that way became clear to me. It may have been the same thing that helped Joseph as well. First, Buck O'Neil didn't let others define life for him. He would never accept how others justified their bitterness. More importantly, he didn't let his own circumstances define his life. Instead of wallowing in disappointment and hurt, he determined that he would focus on the positive and seek to be a blessing. Even in the face of great difficulty, he decided that life was a good thing and should always be cherished as such. More than that, he purposely helped others to do the same. He wasn't always successful, but often was. I can't say for sure what made him this way, except that he recognized how destructive bitterness was and made a concerted effort to avoid it at all costs.
Buck O'Neil's life helps me to see Joseph more clearly, who also rose above his circumstances, not allowing them to define his life. While not denying the ill intent of his brothers and others, he really believed that God retained ultimate control of his life.
Buck O'Neil puts me to shame as does Joseph. But I will continue to pray that God helps me to look at life with their perspective, because while I might feel the pull of bitterness at times, their example is the right one; one most worthy to follow.
By Alan Gilman
*(This document may be edited for length)
Ps 103:13-14, 17
Just as a father has compassion onhis children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we arebut dust.
But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children,
Blessed be YHVH (Genesis 14:20And blessed be God Most High…)
1John 1:9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1. Those who hear the Word but are choked by life’s worries - Luke 18:35-39
3. Damascus - Acts 9:22-25
4. Passover - Acts 12:4
5. To buy grain because of the famine - Genesis 41:57-42:3
6. Tamar - 2 Samuel 13:1
7. Athaliah - 2 Chronicles 23:13
Simple Quiz answer - "Daniel"
HOME : FEEDBACK