5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; For there is a peace beyond our understanding. A thousand lives spent in meditation without God fails. It is only within our reach for He has come near in His mercy and grace. God is our peace.
1-6 These are the wise sayings of Solomon,
David's son, Israel's king—
Written down so we'll know how to live well and right,
to understand what life means and where it's going;
A manual for living,
for learning what's right and just and fair;
To teach the inexperienced the ropes
and give our young people a grasp on reality.
There's something here also for seasoned men and women,
still a thing or two for the experienced to learn—
Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate,
the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.
How often do we say we wish we had a manual for this life, or that our kids could have come with one. God has provided one, His Word. Emmanuel.
10 "You have asked a difficult thing," Elijah said, "yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise not." Elisha had asked for a doubling of Elijah's spirit. Jesus left our world and sent the Holy Spirit for those that would see Him. So it was given, or otherwise not.
1It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
He came out of love, and would now leave for the same reason. In doing so, He opened the door of heaven for the world below.
9Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Philip wanted to see the Father. Jesus might have answered in many ways, but He answered, "Don't you know me, Philip...".
13:47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was cast into the sea that caught all kinds of fish. 13:48 When it was full, they pulled it ashore, sat down, and put the good fish into containers and threw the bad away. 13:49 It will be this way at the end of the age. Angels will come and separate the evil from the righteous 13:50 and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Stopping at verse 47 and quoting only that verse in isolation would not be useful. In fact, it would run counter to the rest of the passage. The net falls on all kinds of fish, but once pulled ashore they are separated. The fish are kept or thrown away.
Taking a verse out of context, either purposely or out of ignorance, distorts the meaning. Being found in the net is not the ticket to heaven. Be the good fish.
38Whoever believes in me, asthe Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." Being filled with the Spirit allows one to share the living water with one who is thirsty. Blessed is the one who does this thing in the name of Jesus. He fills the cup, let us lift it up.
Zen is being present and available to each moment. Walking with God is being present and available to Him. Learning to answer to both with ‘Here am I’ is our challenge and delight. The moment is passing, but God is eternal. There is room for both in our walk, but the destination is to be with Him.
19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
Only when God opens our eyes can we see the well of living water. Hagar gives the water to her son and Abraham's son: Ishmael. After dipping into that well provided by God, she went back. God provided then, and does so now.
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty ; walk before me and be blameless.
2 I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers." Ishmael would be the father of many people, but there was no covenant between him and God. God did not say to Ishmael "walk before me and be blameless". It was spoken that he would be hostile, a wild donkey of a man. As his numbers increased, so did hostility and hate. Ishmael mocked the birth and appearance of Isaac. That same spirit continues today as many seek to eliminate Isaac's seed. For them, the only peace will be the death and destruction of the other.
Job 2:6 (NIV) 6 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life." Satan continues to accuse Job. He still says Job loves God for the wrong reasons, not for love, but for what he gets out of it. Satan cannot understand love, for he doesn’t have it. God gives Satan power over Job. Why? Could it be that so that Job would choose God? Could it be that Job would come to know more about God and himself? Could it be for God’s glory? I don't know for sure, but the Bible is about God sparing and redeeming life. That is the Word. That is the good news. Job gives insight to our condition and situation.
Jesus answers Satan in the wilderness with words from the Old Testament Scripture. He said He came to fulfill the law and that one sign would be given to prove that He is the Messiah. Isn’t that enough to validate the connection and integration of the Old and New Testaments?
Walking in the Way reflects an internal journey, inward travel that is translated into our outward passing, our lives. Implied is movement within, outward reflections of steps and missteps. The light and fire of the most Holy Spirit is at work, refining us in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. It is never complete, but perfect, for His strength finds glory and is perfected in our weakness.
9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire.
This also is vanity and grasping for the wind. Blessed is he that finds contentment, the rest and peace of Jesus. A hand grasping for something else will always be empty.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Only God can do this. Only when we find root in His Spirit is it possible to have a steadfast spirit. The pure in heart see God. He does this for the asking. Renewing does not happen once. The sun rises everyday.
Be of good conscience before God. Do not judge a brother, for we are neither master nor judge. What is wrong for me is right for another. We are called to do no harm and love. You may be right, but if you hurt or offend someone what is accomplished? If one’s conscience is not troubled by the pain of another, can it be sensitive to the heart of God?
10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. Being different from one another is to our advantage. The multitude and splendor of God's grace is rendered in our hearts and through our hands. It is to His glory and our joy that we live in His grace.
Genesis 22:13 NET Abraham looked up and saw behind him a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. So hewent over and got the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. Jesus was slain before the foundation of the world. Abraham turned around and saw the salvation of his son and the world behind him. The Father has provided.
Prayer focuses our attention on God and our relationship with Him, a respite from the many distractions. There is nothing we can say that He doesn’t know more fully than we do. There is no failure of ours He hasn’t seen already, but will see no more if we confess and repent.
When we do not know what to pray, the Spirit speaks for us. When we do “know”, He still speaks for us in all righteousness. It is a pathway between man and God, between creation and Spirit. It is walking with Him. It is life and leads to life.
17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Phillipians 2:14-16 ESV 14Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Reflect what is His For we are His children Unique yet of that same light Set in the darkness As jewels in the night For that day which is to come
Some have no problem in putting scientific faith in the idea that most of the universe is made up of something we can’t see. Yet there would be a problem considering faith in a God Who likewise cannot be seen, while there is evidence all around.
There must be something I’m missing. I just can’t see it.
Psalm 16:5-6 NIV 5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance. My cup runs over For He is my portion The table is prepared and awaits
32 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?"
He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."
33 When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.
Did God change His mind or was He answering Abraham's questions? Do we assume? Jesus taught us to pray that the Father's will be done on earth and in heaven. It is His will and purpose we seek, for we often know not what we do.
2 Peter 3:9
9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. Why did Abraham stop at ten? Why did God stop at nothing to save the world, even sacrificing His own Son?
Parables teach us by engaging us. They draw us out of the landscape of the world into the landscape of the spirit, from the landscape of creation into the kingdom of God. The light seeps in and begins to transform the darkness.
3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. And so it did and so it continues.
It is not a big feat to understand that the Bible came to us through the hands of fallible man. The bigger feat is to find God revealed in that word and to follow after the feet of the Word Incarnate. He is the light of the world and a lamp unto your feet.
Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed are the peacemakers. Blessed are those that receive His life in exchange for their own.
13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Circumcision foreshadows the commandments of God written on the hearts of those that covenant with His Son by believing in Him. All people, whether in the household of Israel or not, are ransomed by the sacrifice of Jesus. They will be saved if they believe, and that belief is manifest in a changed heart. Jesus is the covenant and our salvation. He took on our flesh and it is everlasting.
23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. Spirit and truth take place on the inside. External observance of rules and ritual give way to the internal abiding with the Son and Father. It is the joy of freedom in Christ and the abundant life of which He brings. Jesus reveals God's desire and goal, that of true worshipers in relationship with the Father. Jesus made this possible and enables through the giving of the Holy Spirit.
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned. The land of darkness Has seen the dawn of the Lord Oh then lift your eyes
What is sin but rebellion and disobedience against God? Obeying God, the believer does not sin through the acceptance if His Son. At the same time, one who says he does not sin does not have the truth in him. Both are true. Sin happens every day, but so does mercy and grace. The one who follows after the Lord is covered with the righteousness of the sinless Son of God. We have been freed from the absolute domination of sin and given a Spirit which comforts and enables. His mercy is fresh everyday for those who call on the Lord. This is the renewing of the mind and heart.
32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. One difference between sheep and goats may be those step out of the boat. It's not necessary to sink or swim, for in Him we find rest and float.
21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
I wonder if this could refer our mortal flesh, these tents as Paul calls these earthly bodies? This clothing of skin matched the fallen state of the world.
The redeemed will be clothed by God as well, with robes of righteousness. Our mortal skin will be replaced by immortal bodies, and we will be like Him, Jesus the Son of God. We will leave behind the skin brought about by disobedience, and inherit new bodies that are a result of the obedience of Christ.
These are the wedding clothes of the bride and the mansions in the house of the Father.