and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

It’s Been a Crazy Few Days

        On Feb. 27th, I wrote a post entitles 26 days of death.  It was a difficult time yet strengthened my resolve against the kingdom of our enemy.  After that, I had some health issues- pain coming and going and unexpected tiredness.  It seemed to have dissipated by this week when, well, the craziness of life broke through.

       Mon. the van overheated on hubby’s way home from work.  I spent the day figuring out what to do and how to do it.  What a long day.  Thankfully hubby was on midnights which meant I had full use of the car the rest of the day for all the needed driving.  Wed. I came home to a serious hubby saying the van engine was shot and the body/ mileage made it not worth fixing.  My first reaction was thinking, ‘really?’ after which a peace came over me and I knew we’d be okay.  There are worse things in life, right?

       I spent a couple days looking for a new van and obviously not thrilled about the idea since we made bad calls on the other two.  On Fri. night I was headed home making a right hand turn when I was rear ended.  Bam!  First real accident for me.  Had a brief few seconds of wondering why the person who hit me took off and didn’t stop to check on me.

       After that I was trying hard to see if I was hurt after hitting my head on the steering column when I realized I couldn’t see because my glasses were missing.  How would I get home?  Found out the other driver did stop but I couldn’t see them without my glasses which they helped me find. Thankfully I was alone and the car is still drivable- but will probably be a write off.

       Later Fri. night my hubby strained his back and is unsure if he’ll be able to work next week.  On Sat. my credit card chip stopped working for the second time in 3 months.  I keep wondering what an easy life is like, but the truth is, I wouldn’t trade this life for any other.  Overall my family is healthy, moving forward, and relating a little better.  So what if the bathroom is being held together with duct tape and plastic- we have food to eat.  So what if we need a new roof this spring and two new-used vehicles, three or four trees taken down, and no money in the bank for any of that- we have income, our bills are paid up and we have clothes on our backs.

       Best of all, we have the Lord.  I feel His peace surrounding me.  I know (finally) that He is working for my good even when everything goes wrong.  This is an opportunity for me even though I’m not sure what it is.  Perhaps someone will see my attitude and I will get the chance to witness for Christ.  What I know is that God’s plans are best and I trust Him to take care of us.  He has found us someone to help us find another vehicle.  He is sustaining my health.  He is giving me moments of joy and laughter.  Best of all, I feel His presence with me as I go through my days.

God is good. "For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations." Ps. 100:5 ESV

He dwells with us.  "…Christ may dwell in your hearts…" Ep. 3:17 "…the Spirit of God dwells in you?" 1Cr. 3:16 "…as God has said, "I will dwell in them…" 2Cr. 6:16

He gives us peace.  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  Php. 4:6,7

He gives us joy.  "I have spoken these things to you so that My joy might remain in you and your joy might be full." Jh. 15:11

He gives us His strength. "Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!" Ps. 105:4

He is with us through it all.  "…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…" Is. 43:1-3

     Blessed be the name
           of our Lord!

Friday, March 21, 2014

What Did Jesus Say About the Commandments?

      There are some Christians who say we should still be obeying the Ten Commandments, yet others who believe we don’t need to because we live this side of the cross under grace and mercy.  Personally, I can see both sides.  Certainly, going in depth of the ten make us fully aware of our many sins: against God, others and even self.  Jesus said not one thing would fail to pass from the Law until all was fulfilled (v.18) when He said this:

 So whoever sets aside* one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom from heaven. But whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom from heaven Mt. 5:19 ISV (*dissolve, annul, make invalid, do away with)

       We will all choose what to do with this Scripture.  What really sticks out in my mind is another place where Jesus said to a Pharisee lawyer who was trying to trick Him by asking about the greatest commandment: 

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor* as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. Mt. 22:37-40 (*a neighbour, a friend, any other person)
We love Him because He first loved us. 1Jh. 4:19

       So Jesus takes his seemingly simple question meant for harm and turns it around to reveal the only two commands that encompass all the others, but also so much more.  How is that?  Because when we love someone, we would never purposely- and would take great care to never- do ANYTHING to harm them.  We wouldn’t cheat them, lie to or about them, steal from them, or hurt them in any way, “…in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. (Php. 2:3)

       Of course, the greatest law is to love God with all our hearts, souls and minds.  Why? Because if we genuinely love God with all our being, then we would NEVER do anything to ‘hurt’ Him (diminish Him in any way, idolatry, irreverence).  We would strive to improve ourselves, pray He helps us to change, and we would sincerely love all of His creation because He made them- meaning every man, woman and child.  We would also care for the earth and the creatures on it because we love Him.  We would never place ourselves as better than anyone else, would show no partiality, oppress no one, and go out of our way to help.

If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, so that He may be with you forever, the Spirit of Truth… Jh. 14:15-17 (love- agapao in all) the Spirit helps us with these two…
He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him. Jh. 14:21 Ah, shared divine love…
Jesus answered and said to him, If a man loves Me, he will keep My Word. And My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My Words… Jh 14:23,24 Ah, divine living with us…
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Jh. 15:12 (also in v.17)  Brotherly love included…

       The proof of our love is obedience, not because we HAVE to obey (are forced to obey out of fear and such) but because we want to.  Our love for the Lord will change our desires to love and cherish Him AND to only do the things that would please Him- all because we love Him with all of our being.  This means we would always try to please Him by loving others as well.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God. The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love. 1Jh. 4:7,8

How are we doing on the two greatest commandments of Jesus? 

Reveal it to us oh Lord!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why the Ten Commandments?

       My least favorite chapter in the whole Bible is Proverbs 31 particularly verse ten and on.  Why?  Obviously I can never fulfill most people’s idea of what a woman should be and the standards in that passage are beyond any woman’s reach imo.  All the young men in Bible College used to talk about finding a woman like that- as if it was really possible.  Perhaps we each have some of those traits, but all of them?  Not a chance!  Maybe that’s the point.  Maybe it’s to show us that we must rely on the Lord just to do a reasonable job at meeting some of the standards.

       Perhaps that’s also the reason the Ten Commandments were given; not so that we completely obey them, but that we find out there’s no way we can.  They show us our sinful natures, the sin we hang on to, that no one is righteous- no not one (Rm. 3:10,23).  I hope from reading the last 10 posts on the commandments that we all feel bad and see our sin blatantly in our faces, for none of us can do right without the Lord helping us out.

For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin. Ec. 7:20
But we are all as the unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as a menstruation cloth. And we all fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Is. 64:6
For whoever shall keep the whole Law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Jm. 2:10
because by the works of the Law none of all flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law is the knowledge of sin. Rm. 3:20

       The last verse there speaks about the Law which is basically the books of Moses of which the Ten Commandments are a part.  Those along with the others make over 600 laws to follow.  Remember, if you break one, you break them all!  Surely the only reason for this impossible task is to show us our sin, that we are condemned sinners headed for the penalty of eternal death, and that we need a Savior.  ‘Lucky’ for us God made provision for our salvation (because of His mercy and grace) in the person of Jesus Christ.

Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled. Mt. 5:17,18
For Christ also once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, indeed being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit; 1Pt. 3:18
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures; 1Cr. 15:3,4

       Jesus, by His birth, ministry, death and resurrection, fulfilled the Law completely, so we do not need to be perfect in obedience- for no man can be.  The Law and commands showed us our sin.  The Father showed us the way of salvation through Jesus Christ in His Law.  Now to be free from the death penalty of sin we must walk the path to salvation in the blood of Jesus for He is the only Way, the Truth and the Life and no one can come to the Father but by JESUS (Jh. 14:6).

Thank You Father for sending Jesus, and thank You Jesus for taking our penalty of sin for us thereby making a way of escape from eternal punishment.  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Backwards Through the Ten Commandments- #1

       When my fiancĂ© and I stood before the pastor to say our wedding vows there was an implied statement included:  I am your wife.  You will have no other wives before or after me.  See, I’m not a polygamist and though I think some things would be great (let the other wives cook, clean and I’ll fix and teach) it would never work.  I don’t want his attention to be divided between a few of us.  After all, if his heart is divided between a few of us, it cannot be wholly mine.

1.  I am Jehovah (the existing one, eternal) your God (ruler, God), You shall have no other gods before (the presence or the face of) Me. Ex. 20:3,4
I am Jehovah, and there is none else, no God besides Me… Is. 45:5
Before Me no God was formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, I am Jehovah; and there is none to save besides Me.  Is. 43:10,11

       In beginning the commandments, God starts with a most important statement.  “I am Jehovah God.”  So as you read it follows that those who believe in this God will accept these ‘rules’.  “I am the eternal and existing one,” He says, “We (elohim the plural of God) are your ruler” or one that governs- as a king.   Herein is the most important of all decisions.  Do we believe in the very nature of Jehovah- who He is, and have we accepted His rule over us and our lives?

       There is to be no other God but Him.  Since the second commandment speaks of having no idols, how does this one differ?  There is the preliminary statement included, but also this one is the core of our actions toward this One we believe in.  Do we make Him the sole aim of all our actions, devote ourselves wholly to Him, and yield our hearts and affections completely to Him?  Do we have ardent love or affection for Him that is manifest by constant attention and an earnest eagerness to be with Him?

       Or is God just another ‘Joe Blo’ in our lives that we can forget about when we want to but include Him if it appeals to us?  Once ‘married’ to Him, we’ve got to be all in (don’t we expect that of our spouses?)  Wholly, completely in, not half hearted with the rest of us given over to lust of another- like the world, our own selfish desires… 

How well do we fulfill this first commandment to be whole heartedly, completely devoted and surrendered to Him?

Commandment # 1 – epic fail most days L