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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

THERE IS A PATTERN DEVELOPING. . . A pattern of prayer

1) Paul prays for earthy, simple things like the desire to go see people he loves, and for people to get along with each other.
2) Then we see him praying for some abstract things as being happy in hope, being patient in tribulation and constant in prayer.  Hope is a continual theme.
3) We will see the next level coming in future blogs prayers for people’s relationship with God
4) Finally Paul prays for us to get the big picture.

Keep on the lookout for things to come. . .

HOPE, HOPE, HOPE

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

This is a first things first verse. “What does “. . .the God of hope…” mean! Real hope must be in someone or something that is secure, competent, reliable and trustworthy. I lost hope in my doctors in Dallas. They were none of the above. I had gone to many, many doctors there. I actually lost the will to live because I had no hope anyone could help me. Without a firm trust I gave up. Without a firm trust in the God of hope, we can become hopeless. But why or how can we trust in God.

                                     Processed with MOLDIV

 

But when John the Baptist was in jail, he started doubting, started feeling hopeless. He wanted to know if Jesus really was the person God had promised would come and save the people in world even though John baptized Jesus.. No governments had been overthrown. No freedom from the Roman rule had happened. Where was the kingdom of God? The disciples came back to John with Jesus answer, “Jesus answered them, “Go tell John what you hear and see: The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news proclaimed to them. Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me” (Matthew 11:2-6). One thing about God you need to know, He is full of surprises. Well. . . actually they only seem like surprises because we, like John are expecting one thing while God has told us something completely different. So we need to listen as well as talk with God. When we lose hope, we become poor in spirit. Matthew 5:3. We are impoverished of hope—clutching the bars of our prison cells with white knuckles, our once confident voices now desperately crying “Can anyone help me?”

Jesus, are you the one, or are we to wait for another?

In the post below “How to Have Hope When There is No Hope,” we saw that the one characteristic you can grab onto and hang on for dear life is God’s LOVE. Love is what motivates Him to help us. We can trust that. . . always. That is the security we have that God is “The God of hope.” The Bible says,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not die but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“. . . fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” Hopelessness is a curse. Every person who has gone through “Recovery” knows that the beginning step is to recognize a higher power. We gave have to look up and out of our selves. When we look to a God we can trust, absolutely, something beautiful starts growing.

I am reminded of the words of John Michael Talbot’s song “Be Not Afraid.”

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.

When we find that place of rest in the center of our being JOY is our first response. It may be very quiet or it may burst out like stream out of our rocky hearts. Then a deep, quiet PEACE settles in that cannot be described. We feel this could last forever but there is a qualifier, “BELIEVING.” Staying here in this beautiful, restful, quiet center requires the constant exercise of believing.

BELIEVE! God is waiting to hear from you. Why not take a few moments right now and talk with Him.

We must use our minds and our spirits to do this new exercise of faith. We need the power of the Holy Spirit of God to help us in this new way of living. We cannot do this by ourselves. We need help to turn old, old negative thoughts, attitudes, moods and behaviors into hope, joy and believing. Then we can “. . . abound in hope.”. Odd little phrase. But it simply means that we get way more hope than we could ever imagine

If this has been helpful to you or if you want to comment, please use the COMMENT BOX below.

 

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MYSTIC MUSINGS

This week in the Genesis study we explored the very difficult 34th chapter. It’s hard to understand why stories like the rape if Dinah are in the Bible. We seem to think that all the characters in the Bible are saints. They are not. The Bible shows use raw humanity. The are stories that could be put on the nightly news and be right at home. So why are they there? To show that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was a God of LOVE.

“For God so loved the world. . . ,” a world of raw humanity capable of horrors and atrocities. “That He gave. . . ” God’s love is always about giving, of Himself, first and then in a million intimate gifts that come to rest in the heart of Jesus. “His only Son. . .? Divine LOVE give all, gives what is most precious and dear to His own divine heart, withholding nothing. That is why I capitalize all the letters when referring to divine LOVE. No human being can LOVE like that. Why would He do that? Why would He give His dearly beloved Son to people capable of the horror we see in Genesis 34.

So, how do we get this great love? See there’s the wrench in the works. Justice demands that sin must pay the penalty. Logic tells us that we must measure up to the righteousness demanded by the law. Except that there was no law at this time, just strict cultural norms and standards enforced by tribal kings in city-states. But this call for justice is a natural one in every human heart of every culture found on earth. So when the Bible says that we obtain this incredible LOVE by faith alone, we rebel. “. . . That whoever believes in Him (Jesus) would not perish but have everlasting life.” Noooooo! It can’t be true. Shechem can’t get off scott free. Jesus didn’t die for Hitler. The boys were perfectly justified in killing all the men in the village. That’s justice. Yes, perhaps. But it us not LOVE, or grace, or making peace.

It is a mistake to demand New Testament values from Old Testament people. As the old saying says, “The Bible must be interpreted in the time in which it was written.” But God does not change. His righteousness demands perfect LOVE which is part of His great character. The greatest commandment for both Jews and Christians is summed up in Deuteronomy 6:6 “You shall love The Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.”

That’s the standard. Who can measure up to it? Every moment of every day to be totally consumed with a burning love fit God, is the demand. And although these words had not been written yet, God still sets this as the standard. Do I measure up. Certainly not!

Jesus does LOVE like this He loved Shechem when he came riding across the plains to snatch up Dinah and rape her. He loved Jacob when he failed in leadership. He loved Simeon and Levi, when they committed the crime of killing all the men and not stopping with Shechem. The corollary to the Great Commandment is Leviticus 19:18 “. . . You shall love your as yourself.” It takes divine LOVE to love our enemies, those toxic people who destroy our lives our peace and our sanity.

How can we get this divine LOVE? Be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is given through the life of God to us because He is living in us. Galatians 5:23,24. I receive the Holy Spirit when I became a believer. Romans 8:9. But being controlled by God, The Holy Spirit is a matter of choice. God is a gentleman, if I want to do things my way, He will let me. I have a will. When I sin it is then a matter of confessing my willful sins to allow the Holy Spirit to flow through me.

Loving toxic people is hard. Sometimes it’s hard to love the people we cherish. But loving my enemies is completely out of the question. I cannot love a “Hitler.” Only divine LOVE can do something that amazing.

Let’s ask Jesus for mercy. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit for the help He is ready to give so that. We can LOVE as He does.

In the heart if Jesus,
Kathy Seidlitz

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