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Showing posts from February 1, 2015

Arrangement or Relationship

As I was waking up this morning and began praying to dispel a spirit of foreboding hanging around inside of me, I began asking God some questions. I have learned that choosing to focus on the goodness of God, the trustworthiness of God, the faithfulness of God providing for our needs is one of the most effective methods to dispel fear and darkness inside. But I sometimes wonder how many of my prayers are still motivated by a commercial spirit. Am I really moving deeper into a genuine trust in God as my loving, caring Father or am I still seeking to manipulate Him to some degree for my selfish purposes, to get what I want from Him because I feel pressure from other directions – like no money, bills piling up or being part of a shrinking church?
As I pondered this I was reminded of the words of Jesus about wanting us to be His friends instead of just servants (John 15:15). I know the reason He gave then was that He want us to relate to Him as people who were more aware of the reasons He …

Parallels

I have started noticing some significant parallels between John the Baptist along with early events in Jesus' ministry to similar things at the end of His ministry that seem to have compelling resonance.
Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. (Matthew 3:5-6)
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, wewish to see Jesus." (John 12:20-21)
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance." (Matthew 3:7-8)
All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted. "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock p…

Heart of the Earth

For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:40)
There has been much heated discussion, debate and speculation about the meaning of these words of Jesus. What did He intend to convey here? Was He saying that He was going to die and be dead for a full three days and three nights? One of the arguments many theologians use is that so long as any part of a day was involved it could be counted as a full day. But even if we take that popular view and include Friday afternoon, all day Sabbath and Sunday morning as three days, how do we account for the specific reference here to also three nights? Why was Jesus so specific as to make it difficult to fit what happened to Jesus during His last hours here on earth into this prediction?
Another explanation is to insist that Jesus did not die on Friday but on Wednesday afternoon. This is theorized to fit this proph…

Releasing Captives - Taking Captives

Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
Over the past few months I have been seeking to focus more and more on gaining a clearer understanding of the real truth about the cross of Christ. After spending most of my life in the shadow of so many misleading explanations as to what the reasons were for cross, at last I began to learn what looks to be much more credible and sensible understandings of what really transpired there and how it affects our lives in a real way.
In my personal studies, questions and discussions with others I have continually challenged my own and other's perceptions about this vital topic that is central to all of our understanding of religion and our relati…