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 Looking Beyond Series
You say, "I am a Christian!" What does that mean? It should mean one that is a disciple (follower) of Jesus (Yeshua, Salvation) the Christ (Messiah, The Anointed One). And truly bearing the fruit of His Spirit.
For the average Christian it is difficult to have the faith to look beyond our troubling present-day circumstances and hold to the Eternal Life promised in God’s Word; to live as we are instructed in the Sermon given on the Mount by Yeshua (Matthew chapters 5-7).
For those accepting the call of the Messiah is to faithfully follow Him and endure to the end. This requires us to look beyond our present circumstances (faith). Do not be overcome by fear or anxiety. Do not let the old nature control us when faced with critical decisions.
How do we respond when a trial or test comes? Are we being patient and loving? Are we being a light to those around us? Do we practice the sum of the Law and the Prophets? (Mt 12:28-31)
Followers of Yeshua, "Fret not for we have a Helper!"
John 14:16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
1 John 2:27 (ESV) And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
Luke 10:25 NAS (unless indicated)And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 26 And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?" 27 And he answered and said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." 28 And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live." (bolding and highlighting by MEM)
Question or looking for an excuse?
Luke 10:29But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
And Yeshua answered…
Luke 10:30… "A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went off leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance a certain priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, 34 and came to him, and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you.'
Go and do the same
Luke 10:36"Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?" 37 And he said, "The one who showed mercy toward him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same."
We need to examine our own motives - why would I sidestep any person that does not fit my model for whatever reason - Is it because they do not believe as I believe; they are not of the same ethnicity or political view; because they have shunned me, or are not from my neighborhood, they are uppity, too poor, too rich, too smart …etc.? What causes us to separate into our own little groups, failing to get along with others for one reason or another? When we are plainly told:
2John 1:5And now I ask you, … not as writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another.
What really matters? - If we love our Master we will love one another
Matt 25:31"But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
Matt 25:34"Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.'
Matt 25:37"Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
Matt 25:40"And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'
Matt 25:41"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'
Matt 25:44"Then they themselves also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?'
Matt 25:45"Then He will answer them, saying, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Don’t get caught up in these difficult times - This is for the church
2Tim 3:1But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these.
What will it be? Sheep or goats?
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."
Difficult you say; see the Bytes section.
Keep your eyes fixed on YHVH (The LORD)
Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.
Keep the vision - Look Beyond
"Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that."
Apples of Gold - by Jo Petty
The material in [her] book has been collected over a long period of time. Many of the original sources are unknown to the compiler. The compiler wishes to acknowledge the original authors, whoever they may be, but has confidence that they would urge, with her:
"Do not inquire as to who said this, but pay attention to what is said."
Where love is, there God is.
Real friends are those who, when you’ve made a fool of yourself, don’t feel that you’ve done a permanent job.
Love cannot be wasted. It makes no difference where it is bestowed, it always brings in big returns.
When the Music Stopped... in Iraq
For those who are unaware:
At all military base theaters, the National Anthem is played before the movie begins.
This is written by a Chaplain in Iraq:
I recently attended a showing of 'Superman 3' here at LSA Anaconda. We have a large auditorium that we use for movies as well as memorial services and other large gatherings.
As is the custom at all military bases, we stood to attention when The National Anthem began before the main feature.
All was going well until three-quarters of the way through The National Anthem, the music stopped.
Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-to-22-year-olds back in the States? I imagine that there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments, and everyone would sit down and yell for the movie to begin. Of course, that is, only if they had stood for The National Anthem in the first place.
Here in Iraq 1,000 soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started again, and the soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention. Again, though, at the same point, the music stopped… What would you expect 1,000 soldiers standing at attention to do? Frankly, I expected some laughter, and everyone would eventually sit down and wait for the movie to start.
No!! ... You could have heard a pin drop while every soldier continued to stand at attention.
Suddenly, there was a lone voice from the front of the auditorium, then a dozen voices, and soon the room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers, finishing where the recording left off:
"And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say, does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave."
It was the most inspiring moment I have had in Iraq, and I wanted you to know what kind of U.S. Soldiers are serving you! Remember them as they fight for us!
Pass this along as a reminder to others to be ever in prayer for all our soldiers serving us here at home and abroad. Many have already paid the ultimate price....
God bless our men & women in uniform.........Amen
(Not all items were verified)
What a morning it was. I was told it rarely snows here like it did today, so I thought I would build a snowman like we do when it snows up North.
8:52 My phone is seized and thoroughly checked while I am blindfolded and flown to the police station in a helicopter.
Have you ever felt pressured to do something you know is wrong? We may be under the authority of someone who is not listening to our God. This puts us in a dilemma, but it is one from which our King will provide a way of escape. He gave us a moral agency of our own and this is something we should never surrender, even though we are submissive and obedient to those placed in authority over us. Our primary allegiance and obedience is to the Almighty God and we can appeal to Him to intervene and act on our behalf to change hearts, minds, and circumstances, and there is a time to obey our Maker rather than men.
(Adopted from a blog post by Dale Cresap)
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea." (Exodus 14:1-2)
You may be familiar with the oft-quoted, eighteenth-century hymn that begins with "God moves in a mysterious way; his wonders to perform." This captures the difficulty of understanding what God is doing amidst difficult circumstances. A life of faith can be a life of confusion as we face the tension of the love and goodness of God with the pain and sorrow we must endure at times.
As we grapple with this, there is an aspect of God's intentions that we may miss. Our failure to fully reckon with these intentions may prevent us from walking through difficulty as effectively as we should. At times we regard coping with difficulties as sufficient, when what God wants is something way more than that. Godly endurance isn't necessarily passive, as if the best course of action when facing a storm is always hunkering down waiting for it to pass.
This is not what God wanted the people of Israel to do when they faced the impossible situation of being between the Egyptian Army and the Red Sea. Moses seemed to think all they needed to do was to stand there, trust God, and all would be well. Certainly, there are such incidences in the Bible, but this is not one of them. Here, God told the people to go forward towards the Sea. We know what was going to happen, because the story is so familiar. We also have the luxury of being able to read this on paper, not live through it as they did. Imagine, God's expressed will was to head toward the water.
This is not simply a case of finding yourself in a difficult situation, confused by circumstances, wondering where God might be in it all, as you try to find comfort in sayings such as "God moves in a mysterious way." This is not simply an opportunity to cope with the broken nature of life. This is God thrusting his people into what appears to be the jaws of death, while expecting them to do the impossible.
God is not hiding in the shadows here. He is smack in the middle of this terrifying situation, calling his people to go for it as never before. Hey, the water's fine! You only think you're committing suicide. Get going; you are about to do the impossible!
I don't think Israel had much choice with this one. To disobey the command to move forward toward the sea meant annihilation by the Egyptians. We also at times find ourselves moving forward toward the impossible in spite of ourselves. How many terrifying things have we had to face only to experience the power of God to get us through?
I wonder if there might be other times, when God wants to thrust us toward the impossible, but because there is no army threating our backs, we pull back. Overwhelmed by apparently insurmountable challenges, we miss the opportunity to accomplish what God has for us. Can that happen? It happened in the Bible. Think of this same group of people, who about two years later lost their opportunity to enter the Promised Land due to fear and lack of faith (see Numbers 13-14). One of the issues at that time was they doubted God's intentions in calling them to face the impossible, thinking he was out to destroy them. Sounds ridiculous to us now, but at the time the impossible can be so overwhelming that we lose sight of God's good intent.
God calls for a faith in keeping with the great and awesome God he is. Yeshua told his followers during his last Passover with them, that after he was gone, they would do greater works than he did. Instead of shrinking the word "greater" into tiny packages we can handle, we should allow the enormity of his statement to saturate our beings. Not only does God want us to do "greater works," he fabricates the situations in which they are to occur by thrusting us into the impossible. That's impossible for us; not impossible to God. It's time to move forward!
(Underlining and bolding by MEM)
By Alan Gilman
*(This document may be edited for length)
Look Beyond to the unseen Promises
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.
Blessed be YHVH (Genesis 14:20 And blessed be God Most High…)
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