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BY GOD’S GRACE, MERCY, SUSTENANCE6 YEARS FOR CHRISTJuly 23rd, 20169 months to go.
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- Joyful ‘Toons – Balloon Popper October 4, 2015
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- Teens Blog SF63 Be On Alert! October 4, 2015
- Bible Daily Devotional – Secrets of the kingdom: Matthew 13 October 4, 2015
- Nuggets – Those Whom God Calls Fools October 4, 2015
- Abundance – SoS Saturday October 3, 2015
- Bible Daily Devotional – Violence for and against the Kingdom: Matthew 11 October 3, 2015
- Nuggets – The Powerful Hand of God October 3, 2015
- Turtle Talk October 2, 2015
- THE GATE WAS OPEN; GOD ENTERED October 2, 2015
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- Bible Daily Devotional – Disciples: Matthew 10 October 2, 2015
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- Nuggets – Given to Us Eternal Life October 2, 2015
- #106 Oh to hold such intimacy with the Holy Spirit! October 2, 2015
ISRAEL PROTECTED Zech 12:6-8
ptl2010 on Nuggets – The Powerful H… My Article Read (10-… on Nuggets – Those Whom God… Rewriting The Script… on Bible Daily Devotional –… ptl2010 on Abundance – SoS Sat… ptl2010 on Nuggets – Those Whom God…
FELLOW-SHEEP IN GOD’S GREEN PASTURE
FELLOW-SHEEP – My sheep know My Voice
Be like the deer in these tough uncertain times
Yield not to temptation
God will make a way
All three were screaming as they ran. They didn’t see this coming. They didn’t know how quickly things can change. One fell to the grass and laid there in total numbness. Fearing to move, he was hoping they would go away. The others kept going and not looking back.
The effects of this attack were taking place with excruciating pain, dizziness, and even blurred vision. Finally the one who was immobilized was able to take a chance to get up and find a place to hide from the enemy. Even after getting to safety, he was still feeling the pain. Continue reading
Secrets of the kingdom: Matthew 13
Today’s reading: Matthew 13-14.
“Can you keep a secret?”
Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message. Malcolm Muggeridge
Parables have been defined as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. But Jesus said they were stories about heavenly secrets.
The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” Matthew 13:10-11
Proverbs says that the glory of God is to conceal things, while the glory of kings is to search them out. Some of that thinking is at work in the use of parables. Jesus wants his disciples to discover the glorious secrets of the kingdom of heaven. By hiding those secrets he requires his followers to work sincerely to understand them and to be in a relationship with him, the one who can interpret the hidden things. Those who are not pursuing spiritual things, who are only bystanders, will not have the desire or wisdom to uncover these secrets.
The seed and the sower – the secret of fruitfulness
- The seed not covered (those who do not try to understand the word and therefore lose it).
- The seed barely covered (those who let go of the word due to limited understanding and personal difficulty).
- The seed covered but choked out (those who understand the word partly but lose the word because of worldly concerns).
- The seed that produced much fruit (those who understand the word and apply it to their lives).
Those Whom God Calls Fools
“Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?” (Deuteronomy 32:6)
This rebuke was by Moses, as he warned the people of God just before their entrance into the Promised Land. It contains the first use of the Hebrew nabal (translated “fool” or “foolish”) in the Bible. Here it is applied to God’s chosen people after they had been redeemed out of Egyptian slavery by God. This implies that the most foolish of all people are those who have known about God and His great salvation and yet have turned away from His Word.
Paul writes in similar scathing terms of those who had known of God’s great deliverance of their fathers from the evil world before the Flood, and yet then abandoned Him for idolatry. “When they knew God, . . . their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:21-22).
David used the same word about those who decide they can explain things without God, just as do so many intellectuals in modern America. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. . . . Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God” (Psalm 53:1, 4).
Even prophets and preachers can become fools if they follow their own wisdom instead of God’s Word. “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!” (Ezekiel 13:3).
Jesus similarly rebuked even those He dearly loved, because they were surprised and discouraged when He was crucified. “O fools,” He said, because they had been “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (Luke 24:25). God help us to maintain believing hearts, not foolish hearts, as we serve Him! HMM
From the Institute for Creation Research
Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
He entrusted the vineyard to caretakers.
Each one was to bring a thousand shekels of silver for its fruit.
My very own vineyard is at my disposal;
The thousand shekels are for you, Solomon,
And two hundred are for those who take care of its fruit.
Song of Songs 8:11-12
There is a shift in speakers between verse 11 and 12. We were hearing the voice of the narrator telling us about the arrangement the King has with those who steward His vineyards.
Last week we talked about the fact that the Lord expects us to be fruitful. In verse 12 the bride is speaking and we’ll learn how she feels about the king’s demands.
Violence for and against the Kingdom: Matthew 11
Today’s reading: Matthew 11-12.
Oh, my brethren, what we want today in the churches is violence, not violence against each other, but violence against death, and hell, against the hardness of other men’s hearts, and against the sleepiness of our own. Charles Spurgeon
Some Bible verses stump even the experts, and today’s passage includes one of them. I’m no expert, but after reading and meditating on these few words I appreciate the difficulty of understanding them. Jesus is talking about John the Baptist when he makes a comment about the kingdom of heaven.
“I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.” Matthew 11:11-14, NIV
The Powerful Hand of God
“Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.” (Isaiah 48:13)
The human hand is an anatomical marvel; nothing remotely comparable exists among the primates or any other animals. It is a marvel of design. But surely the “hand of God”—of which man’s hand is only a very dim shadow—is infinitely more powerful and skillful.
Note the testimony of Isaiah 45:12: “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” God did not have to use intermediate processes or pre-existing materials. Everything was “commanded” into existence and “I, even my hands,” made all of it, including man. Creation was direct—a direct product of God’s mighty hands.
Not only was it direct, it was also immediate, as our text above makes emphatically plain. His hand laid the earth’s foundation and spanned the heavens. Then, “when I call unto them,” He says, “they stand up together!” Not one by one—first the universe, then the sun, then the earth, and so on. No, “they stand up together.” “He spake, and it was done” (Psalm 33:9). It did not take 16 billion years; it took six days—and the only reason it took that long was so that God’s work week could serve as a pattern for man (Exodus 20:8-11).
God’s hand is omnipotent, and “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” It is wonderful to know His hand is gentle and loving as well as powerful. His hands will bear eternal scars, where they were spiked to the cross, because He loved us, and died for us. “My sheep hear my voice,” He says, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28). The hand that spanned the heavens can hold on to those who trust Him. HMM
From the Institute for Creation Research
I was out driving in the country with my family recently, as I turned the corner onto the rural road that led to our destination, my son Jason suddenly, shouted “Stop, Mom!” Reflexively, I hit the brakes, while straining to pinpoint the eminent danger that I had obviously failed to notice. But before I could locate it on my own, Jason drew everyone’s attention to an extra-large turtle who seemed to be enjoying the sun’s warmth directly in the middle of the adjacent lane. Fearing for its safety, my son bolted from the car intent on executing a perfect reptile rescue operation! But, when he picked up the box turtle, it surprised him by making a fairly loud hissing sound. I’ve since learned that the noise was just a normal response to being startled, but at the time, we all joked about how this particular turtle must have been a thrill seeker and didn’t want to be saved from danger.
You know, our attitudes can often be a lot like those we imparted to that turtle. We pause in the middle of our journey on earth to sun ourselves in the warmth of our own pleasures.…without ever realizing the dangers that often loom just beyond our sight that have the power to crush us in an instant. When God (through His Word, His Spirit, or other people) warns us of our peril, and urges us toward the safety of His protection, we often resist being moved and even ‘hiss’ at Him in resistance.
Ever wonder why we so often oppose the offer to be rescued?
Those of us who have had a long relationship with the Lord have enjoyed frequent evidences of care, restoration, and protection. Some may be powerful affirmations, others subtle. One cannot distinguish the importance of either acts of grace; for we know He works mysteriously in the major and the small. Some not as small as we think.
We also may recount some acts as testimony in what ever venue we have available. Blessed are we who have forums such as Christian Blessings. While I have recounted some of these in my past. I can think of few, if any, that have shaken me more or have made me more resolute about the fact ( even the predictability) of God’s amazing interventions.
You, as earlier readers have been appraised of the joy in my receipt of a Birthday gift of two weeks ago of a puppy. My blog “I only want a buddy, not a sweetheart”. spoke to the fun of it all.
We have since been teaching Sadie about things. Among them is walking on a leash in our small duplex complex, and teaching her commands, most of which she has no clue at two months. We had done this many times ….still close to home because of her current puppy-fear of traffic and loud noises.
Two days ago we continued our walking past our drive and down further to a dead end where we always turned around and headed back for a treat.
Suddenly behind us there was a burst of frenzied barking, and instantaneously two Pit Bulls were upon us. One having grasped Sadie in it’s mouth who was secured in a body harness (typical for puppies) rather than a collar. Instantly, I jerked hard on the leash and she flew six feet up into my arms. In defense, I staggered back and fell to the asphalt in a fetal ball for protection. A scream from the owner brought the dogs to a halt.
I’m sure that I have company in the experience of just lying there after a fall somewhere, not wanting to deal with with disaster: not knowing what might be broken; and in Sadie’s case, perhaps dead. Shaking with apprehension, I was not able to uncoil and get up until Sadie licked my hand. The owner of the dogs, shaken as well, picked us up and expressed sincere concern, and apology for leaving the gate open.
Praise God, Prraise God! Everything worked. Things just hurt and only a small amount of bleeding from both of us. I fell on both elbows, as I could not break the fall holding Sadie, and my shoulder was jammed. Sadie had a one-inch long rip in her tummy that tore open only the dermis fatty tissue.
While I had fears of bones broken or permanent damage to this 86 year old body, in two days I find that I can open upper cabinets, operate the Lazy Boy, and sleep just fine. The lacerations have already healed over ( no I did not lick them) and Sadie is getting rid of her girdle covering her owie as I write She now wears a cone and a light bandage. Stitches will come out in a week or so. She reigns as queen- in- recovery.
Her personality has changed a bit for the moment, but who wouldn’t ?
Mine has changed as well. I cannot help thanking God, over and over, for being there at the right time to provide for our miraculous escape and recovery.
Both of us: God in his own way, will work on the message telling about dangerous breeds of dogs and the carelessness of owners who are amazed ( “This is the first time, etc.”)
This is far from God’s first time. He already has a full calendar, making us new when disaster strikes.
How come I feel even better for it?