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Started by churchlady, December 02, 2008, 12:43:04 AM

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[SIZE=3]I loved what you wrote Pete.  God is really speaking to you in this season about the love walk.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]Here is my soap for today.  I'm getting it in just under the wire with it being 11:37 pm.[/SIZE]

SOAP  Thursday Dec 4, 2008/ Eph. 1-4

[I][COLOR=#000000]Ephes. 2: 1-2  And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the [B][U]prince of the power of the air[/U][/B], the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience[/COLOR][/I]
[I][COLOR=#000000]        [/COLOR][/I]
[COLOR=#000000]Just let me say up front to those who may read this, that this may not make a lot of sense, because I am trying t[/COLOR][COLOR=#000000]o piece together some things that I believe the [/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000]Lord is presently saying to me and I don't know quite what it's all about, yet.  [/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000]He has been talking to me lately about [U]'foundations'[/U].  His Kingdom is built upon the foundation of justice and righteousness, and if we want to build either a home, a business, a church, or a nation that will stand and be healthy and flourish with good fruit, it too must be built on the same....[U]that which is right and that which is just[/U].[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000]So what does this have to do with 'the prince of the power of the air', I'm asking myself because I was drawn to that verse as I read today's scriptures.  I believe the Lord has been showing me that the foundation in (let's use, for instance) a home, possesses a distinctive environment and atmosphere ([U]air[/U])........... abstract concepts that describe things that are very real but are not material objects.  [/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000]The environment or atmosphere or [B]'air'[/B] of a home will reflect the people in that home, especially the ones with the most power and influence.  It will reflect their character, their spiritual health and maturity or absence thereof, which flow from their perceptions, mindsets, attitudes, speculations, blindspots, strengths, weaknesses, etc., .............all of which are also abstract but very real and with huge impact on our lives.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000]And these scriptures tell us that the prince of the power of the [B]air[/B] rules from this place or realm..........a place that battles for the minds and hearts of every one of us.  Since his (the devil) is the course or direction that this world is naturally going in, it follows that it will be easy to flow with it, and a greater power or force is needed to swim in a different direction so that the atmosphere or environment or [U]air[/U] of a home, church or nation is different than the world.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000]The Lord is saying to me, I believe, that to lay a foundation in a home or elsewhere that is based on what is right and just for all that inhabit that 'airspace', the mind (especially of those who have power in that airspace) must be renewed and the heart continually made aware of and cleansed of all that doesn't fit the pattern of what is right and just for all.  For if the foundation is off, the fruit that will be built upon that foundation will not be good.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000]The Lord is One who looks at the root and foundations rather than the surface circumstances, because if the foundation is off, what is built upon it can only be dysfunctional in some way with negative, toxic impact on those breathing that air, so to speak.  [/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000]I want to change some [U]outward[/U] circumstance and pray accordingly and am surprised when the Lord wants to go deeper and point out to me something else deep within.  But He knows that if the abstract areas of my heart and mind are set in order, then the outward circumstances can easily follow.[/COLOR] 

[COLOR=#000000]Lord, I want the easy, quick answer and sometimes it just can't be that way because things deep within in the atmosphere or environment of my heart are off, and need to be set in order, before change can come outwardly.[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000]So God, more than anything, I need You to examine me and see if there be any wicked way in me that is flowing with the course of this world.  [/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000]I want to build through prayer and obedience upon what is right and what is just in my home, in my church, in my nation.  Quicken me, Lord to whatever is askew in my foundations, that I can agree with You for the need of changes.  [/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000]You have set me free from the prince of this world and his influences on my airspace. It is in You that I now live and move and have my being.    Amen[/COLOR]

[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]De Oppresso Liber[/SIZE][/FONT]


Philemon 4-7
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you willhave a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

I like this passage as it reminds me how we can infuence once another in our faith walk, being an example to one another, delighting in seeing another being strong and being blessed in their faith. And so we should remember that as we set the standard of Christ-walk to one another, we are also setting it to those who do not know Jesus. This was the charisma of Christ - often not so much what He said or did, but how He lived his life, how he [I]demonstrated[/I] His personal philosophies, character and faith in that most enigmatic of ways - non-verbal language, body language, call it what you will. For it matters not one jot what you say or do if your first reaction to someone has been a flash of disdain, irritation or dislike, then everything you do thereafter will be coloured to that person. First impressions make a big difference. Jesus' first impression to others was one of compassion, warmth and LOVE. Nothing more, nothing less. That was what drew people to him. THEN they were open to hear His words.

So I'm walking in the shopping centre and spot someone who needs help, or they may come to me asking for help. It's a nice lady, getting on in years and she's lost her purse with her money and car keys. Well, that's easy. I help her get in touch with her home, maybe even end her my mobile phone to ring home. I might even stay with her, buy her a cup of coffee whilst her husband comes to the rescue.

But now a young lad comes, scruffy, hasn't bathed in a while, and asks for help because he hasn't eaten in a couple of days. Do I greet him with the same warmth I did the lady? Do I accept his story as unquestioningly as I did hers? Do I let him within a foot of any of my possessions? Or do I assume he just wants the money for drugs or alcohol?

Stereotypes are awful but we all fall prey to them. And it's so easy to forget, in that first instant of greeting, that Christ can either shine forth from us in our FIRST reaction, or merely get to peek in as we collect ourselves and do what we know we 'ought' to.

Dear Lord, I want so much to have You shine forth from me when I meet people, whether neighbours, the check-out girl, the postman at the door or someone in distress. But the faulted, human thing inside me so often seems to get in there first and show a side of me I want to discard. So I come to You asking that You fill me to overflowing with Your Spirit so that the image people see of me is more YOU than me!Make me truly Yours, dear Lord.


This is excellent and powerful stuff!  I love seeing what God is saying through others, and being encouraged and edified in the process.

Now, if only we could get some more people to share... 

"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."


I loved using this process when we did it before. It makes the Scriptures seem to come alive somehow.


[SIZE=3]Here's the scripture for tomorrow (Saturday).  I am enjoying what you guys are writing.[/SIZE]

Quote from: churchlady on December 03, 2008, 09:06:57 AM
[SIZE=3]Friday.......................Eph. 5,6  Ps. 119: 1-80[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Saturday...................Phil. 1-4[/SIZE]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]Ephesians 6: 10-13  [/SIZE][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  [/SIZE][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  [/SIZE][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, [U][B]but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  [/B][/U][/SIZE][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

[SIZE=3]        [/SIZE]
[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]The [B]Old [/B]Testament is full of the brutality of bloody battles, warfare, weapons, [/SIZE][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]mighty men of valor, strength, courage, endurance against impossible [/SIZE][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]odds, victory, defeat, God's instruction to Joshua that he must be strong and very courageous as he leads the people into battle to take the land, etc........................[/SIZE][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]  [/SIZE][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]While in the [B]New[/B] Testament, we see traits such as love, nurture, gentleness, patience that almost seem more feminine in nature.   It's easy to put out of our minds the blood, the gore, the horror that must have accompanied the scene at the scourging of Jesus and then His crucifixion. [/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]Because of that, I think it's also easy to forget that we, the people of God still on this earth, are at WAR (sent out as sheep among wolves).  [/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]Yes, the war has already been won, but we have an enemy that will do everything possible to convince us that it's NOT.  He roams about seeking whom he can devour through deception, division, doubt, discouragement, or distractions.  He wants to abort every possibility of us, as the army of the Lord, advancing His Kingdom rule on this earth.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

[SIZE=3][COLOR=#000000]Today's Word in Ephesians describes the enemy in terms that imply rank, position, authority, organization, and assignment [/COLOR][COLOR=#000000]( [I]"principalities, against powers, against the rulers [/I][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][I]of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE]
[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3][I]of wickedness in the heavenly places.")[/I] [/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]Then we're instructed to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, and to put on all the armor that God has issued to us.  He assures us we will face an evil foe and need this armor to withstand when the battle ensues, and still standing when it stops.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]II Cor. 10: 4 informs us that the weapons of our warfare have the strength to pull down the strongholds of the enemy.  We are given authority to bind and loose. [/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]I John 3: 3 describes young strong men who overcome the wicked one because the Word of God abides in them.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]II Tim. 2:-4 describes the cost and sacrifice as one of hardship endured and leaving behind the things offered by this world in order to fully engage in this battle and please the One who called us. [/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]And Isaiah 53: 12 shows the prize of victory when the spoils are divided to the strong.[/SIZE][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]  [/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]We need to awaken to the reality that there's a lot more going on in this world than appears to the natural eye, and we ignore it to our own hurt.  ("My people perish for lack of knowledge")  [/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]Christians have a target on their back, and the enemy means business.  We can't afford to be in disunity, unprepared, unaware, unarmed, and untrained.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]We can't afford to stay in the bliss of childhood when the Lord of Hosts calls us to grow up into mature sons and daughters and be busy about our Father's business....Kingdom business.  [/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]The reward is that Christianity is the greatest adventure ever lived or dreamed of, and we get to participate.   It's for those who will suit up and go forth, to whatever field of battle we're called and equipped to.      [/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]Father, You've called us to be kings and priests in this earth, serving the will and purposes of the King of kings and Lord of lords.  [/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]Teach us Your ways, help us to yield to the training of the wilderness situations in our lives, so that we are fitted for the Kingdom.  [/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]Give us Your vision, Lord, so that we are inspired to leave behind the temptations of this world, and reach for something higher.  Raise us up to love You,  more than we love ourselves.  [/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]Open our eyes to Kingdom reality, and let the enemy be as grasshoppers in our eyes because we see and rest in Your finished work.  Amen.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]De Oppresso Liber[/SIZE][/FONT]


[SIZE=3]Today (Saturday)...................Phil. 1-4[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][B][U]Here are next week's scriptures:[/U][/B][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Sunday   December 7th    Col. 1-4[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Monday   December 8th    1 Tim. 1-4[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Tuesday  December 9th    1 Tim. 5,6;  Titus 1-3[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Wednes. December 10th   2 Tim.1-4[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Thursday December 11th   Philem; Heb.1-4[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Friday   December 12th   Heb. 5-8[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Sat.      December 13th   Heb. 9-11  [/SIZE]
[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]De Oppresso Liber[/SIZE][/FONT]


It's 1.30am so I'm a tad late but never mind! I also already did this so well (IMO!!) and when I hit the submit button, the whole lot got dumped!! Lord, please give me all that text again.

[COLOR=#c0504d]Philippians 1:4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray [B]with joy[/B][/COLOR]

I emphasised 'with joy' because it seems like this is the crux of this reading but it can be taken out of context without the following verses

[COLOR=#c0504d]because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.[/COLOR]

and we should rejoice in that, the constancy of our Father God, the knowledge that He WILL fufill all His promise in us. But He also want us to put passion into our reationship with Him, passion and joy. For didn't Jesus also say ...

[B]Matthew 22:37[/B]
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with [B]all [/B]your heart and with [B]all[/B] your soul and with [B]all[/B] your mind.'
[B]Mark 12:30[/B]
Love the Lord your God with [B]all[/B] your heart and with [B]all[/B] your soul and with [B]all[/B] your mind and with [B]all[/B] your strength.'
[B]Mark 12:33[/B]
To love him with [B]all[/B] your heart, with [B]all[/B] your understanding and with [B]all[/B] your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
[B]Luke 10:27[/B]
He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with [B]all[/B] your heart and with [B]all [/B]your soul and with [B]all [/B]your strength and with [B]all[/B] your mind' ; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "

That this saying is repeated in three of the four Gospels seems to me to emphasis that this is a primary and fundamental requirement of God's, that we have passion in our relationship with Him. Passion is a partnership with joy. Without joy there is no passion, without passion there can be no joy.

It often seems to me that when we come to prayer, we adopt a solemn, even dour mood as we begin to read out our shopping list of needs and wants to the Lord. And we neglect to first thank him for the blessing he has already poured out on us. Often my prayer partner and I will ask one another what we want to 'pray for' tonight but in a kind of telepathic moment, will agree that we just want to thank Him and praise him. And then we pray with joy, with an unfathomable, inexplicable joy of being one with the Father, praising and rejoicing in His presence between us on the telephone!

For that is what we are created for, what God wants of us, to lift up His Name and rejoice in His very existance. This is what the heavens ring to in eternity, the wondrous sound of the worship of angel voices. And we are part of the angelic host.

Dear heavenly Father, Abba, Daddy - forgive us when we forget to thank you for the many blessings you have already given us. Teach us to rejoice in Your presence in our lives, to lift up our hearts in thanksgiving and glorify Your holy Name. To be one with You and the recipient of Your love is an incomparable gift of unimaginable treasure and one that should fill our hearts with passion - the passion of the bride of Christ for her groom. Hallelujah!



Col 1:4

[COLOR=#c0504d]because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints[COLOR=#000000] [/COLOR][/COLOR]

Again I think this verse is best served by adding the context of the passage

[COLOR=#c0504d]We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints -- the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you.[/COLOR]

"the saints" - a term generally accepted to mean other believers, other members of our fellowship. Here Paul is extolling the members of the church at Collossus for the way they expressed their love and caring for one another.

Do churches always do this? From the experiences I have had, no, they do not. Oh there is a superficial [I]bon home[/I], a hug and an air kiss when you greet and when you 'share the peace' during the meeting, but there is little or no depth in it. People may even be prepared to help out in a crisis but of actual and lasting friendship, if present that tends to be somewhat 'clique-y' and outsiders are just that - outside!

There are a lot of lonely people in churches, imo. They come and join in the worship, may even attended the weekly home meetings and help out at events. But they rarely succeed in getting invites to a dinner accepted much less offered. These are not the people who are on the 'drop in for a coffee anytime' list, or have someone they can ring on the spur of the moment to go to the movies with them. 

Are there people like this in your church? Do you really have love for [I]all[/I] the saints?

Father, I pray that in all Your churches, of whatever denomination, there is [I]rea[/I]l love expressed to each and every member of that family. That Your express commandment "love your neighbour as yourself" be revealed and embedded in the hearts and minds of every member of Your church. For if we do not first express true love to one another, how then can we express it to those of Your people still in darkness?


Quote from: MissConStru on December 07, 2008, 10:56:02 AM
There are a lot of lonely people in churches, imo. They come and join in the worship, may even attended the weekly home meetings and help out at events. But they rarely succeed in getting invites to a dinner accepted much less offered. These are not the people who are on the 'drop in for a coffee anytime' list, or have someone they can ring on the spur of the moment to go to the movies with them. 

Are there people like this in your church? Do you really have love for [I]all[/I] the saints?

[SIZE=3]Unfortunately this is so true.  I need to reach out more myself.  Thanks for this reminder, Jo.[/SIZE]
[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]De Oppresso Liber[/SIZE][/FONT]


SOAP  Monday Dec 8, 2008[/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]! Tim. 1: 5  Now the purpose of the commandment is love [B][U]from a pure heart[/U][/B], from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,[/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]This scripture jumped out to me because I so hunger to be purified by [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]God's Word, and His examination of my heart.  It has been said that the Bible is the only book that reads you while you are reading it.  That is very true, but thank God [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]That it is so. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]There was a time when I feared this, because I didn't know God's ways enough to trust Him not to hurt me.  But now I know that He wants so much more for me than[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]I can even think to want for myself.  I have come to love His ways.  Far from hurting me, He wants to take me to higher planes of living than I can imagine.               [/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]When I ask God to examine me and show me what is blocking His way in me, usually a circumstance will come along that causes something down in the subconscious level of my being to come to the surface.  Then I have the opportunity to see it, acknowledge to God that it is not in alignment with Him, and to ask Him to forgive me and change me.  He is faithful, but He will not impose His will upon me as a tyrant would.  Who can resist such love.    [/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]Father, I have found You to be perfect in all Your ways, and have come to love even your reproofs and rebukes because they are done with such courtesy and kindness.  Truly Your gentleness and tender mercies have healed my soul and I thank You.  I have found no harshness in You Lord, and Your voice and Your manner do not jar my soul.  Because of this, I am finding my heart open more and more to You, Lord and I am so glad.  Amen.<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O /><O:P></O:P>[/SIZE]
<O:P>[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]</O:P>
<O:P>[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]</O:P>

Quote from: churchlady on December 06, 2008, 07:14:32 PM

[SIZE=3][B][U]Here are next week's scriptures:[/U][/B][/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]Sunday   December 7th    Col. 1-4[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Monday   December 8th    1 Tim. 1-4[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Tuesday  December 9th    1 Tim. 5,6;  Titus 1-3[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Wednes. December 10th   2 Tim.1-4[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Thursday December 11th   Philem; Heb.1-4[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Friday   December 12th   Heb. 5-8[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Sat.      December 13th   Heb. 9-11  [/SIZE]
[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]De Oppresso Liber[/SIZE][/FONT]


Thanks so much for posting these!  They really are a blessing to me.

I haven't forgotten, but some plumbing woes in our bathroom have taken up my time the last few days....
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."


Titus 1:3 (New International Version)

and [B]at his appointed season[/B] he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior


There's a fridge magnet on my friend's fridge which says "Give me patience, Lord, but give it to me quickly"! How true that is. We pray for things and if they don't happen quickly we think that either God wasn't listening or we lacked the appropriate amount or quality of faith. [B]Truth is, things will happen in HIS time, not ours[/B].

Our human natures make it difficult for us to be comfortable with that. Last year, the church I was in was praying in strength for the healing of a small girl with leukamia. After a long and wearisome battle, she died at the tender age of nine. Some were discouraged, thinking 'what had been the point' or 'where did we go wrong?'. Truth was we had done nothing wrong and there WAS a point. What ever the outcome, we lifted this small saint up before the Lord, supported and comforted her family and the church had grown together as a result of the endeavour.

When we come before the Lord in prayer and petition for something, be it for a resolution of our own ills or problems or another's, we have tendency to think the ONLY answer is going to be a quick miracle; an unexpected cheque in the post or a sudden healing. Those things do occur and praise God when they do, but more often, the healing of finances or healing takes place through the long slow process of man's proceedings. It does not make it any less of God.

Give us patience, Lord. Patience to rest in You and trust in You and to know that ALL good things come from You. Hallelujah!


That was a 'timely' word, Jo.  (pun intended)  [/SIZE][IMG]http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/Smileys/default/th_TFRD323.png[/img]

[SIZE=3][COLOR=#000000]SOAP  Tuesday Dec 9[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000]I Tim 5: 1 Do not rebuke an [U][B]older man[/B][/U], but exhort him as a father, the younger men as brothers, [B][U]the older women[/U][/B] as mothers, the younger as sisters, with all purity[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000]Verse 5:  Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and [U][B]continues in supplications and prayer night and day.[/B][/U][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000]When I read this, I immediately thought of the verses in Luke 2 that tell us about one older man named Simeon and one older woman named Anna.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000]The world doesn't have much use for men and women as they get up in years and past their prime, but God is not like that.  When we know and love the Lord, some of the best years are in our latter days.  [/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000]This was true of Simeon who was waiting for the Messiah to appear because God had spoken to him that he would not die until his eyes saw the 'Consolation of Israel'. [/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000]Not only did he see Him when Mary and Joseph brought him, as a babe, to the temple for dedication, but he got to prophesy over Him, as well.  This elderly man, who the scriptures say was just and devout, knew even before the disciples, that this babe was being sent for the salvation of the gentiles as well as the Jews.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000]And there was that same day, at the temple, an old lady of 84 who spent her days and nights in the temple in intercessory prayer.  She also recognized Him, by the Holy Spirit, that He was the foretold child that would save Israel.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000]The creator of the universe communed intimately with these old saints and still used them in service to His purposes.  Their life had meaning, richness, and usefulness even though they were old.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000]Age doesn't matter to God.  He will use us in His work until we go home to be with Him.  It may be behind the scenes in obscurity but what does that matter when the Creator of the universe is pleased to talk to us and share His heart and plans.  What an honor and privilege.[/COLOR]    

[COLOR=#000000]Father, I enjoy my relationship with You so much more than I did in my younger years, when I knew so little of Your ways, and was so totally self absorbed in my own interests.  Now the world seems dull indeed compared to the riches of daily time in Your presence and the companionship of the Holy Spirit.  You surely save the best wine for last, and I love You for that.    Amen.[/COLOR][/SIZE]

[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]De Oppresso Liber[/SIZE][/FONT]


Quote from: churchlady on December 06, 2008, 07:14:32 PM
[B][U]Here are this week's scriptures:[/U][/B][/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]Sunday   December 7th    Col. 1-4[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Monday   December 8th    1 Tim. 1-4[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Tuesday  December 9th    1 Tim. 5,6;  Titus 1-3[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Wednes. December 10th   2 Tim.1-4[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Thursday December 11th   Philem; Heb.1-4[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Friday   December 12th   Heb. 5-8[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Sat.      December 13th   Heb. 9-11  [/SIZE]
[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]De Oppresso Liber[/SIZE][/FONT]



[I][B][COLOR=#ff0000]2 Timothy 3:5 (AMP)[/COLOR][/B][/I]
[I][COLOR=#ff0000]For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].[/COLOR][/I]


These are the scriptures immediately preceding that scripture;

[I][B][COLOR=#ff0000]2 Timothy 3:1-4 (AMP)[/COLOR][/B][/I]
[I][COLOR=#ff0000]1 BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].  2 For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.  3 [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. 4 [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.[/COLOR][/I]

That's quite a list!  But what stood out to me is that in verse 5, it is talking about people who profess to be Christian.  The statement "their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession" indicates that they will say one thing, but do something else.

So what power are they denying and rejecting?  Perhaps the power of God's Love to change them, and not make them proud, arrogant, boastful, disobedient, etc. anymore.   They are strangers to the power that God's Love contains to the tearing down of strongholds, and so they say things like, "This is just my personality", or, "This is just how I am", denying that the power of God's Love can change them into something that more closely resembles the image of their Father.


The application of this scripture in real life can be tricky when talking about other people.  It is not our job to point out all the faults of other people, and accuse them of "denying the power of godliness".  We can try to encourage and edify one another, and even admonish one another in the Love of God, but ultimately, it is up to the Holy Spirit to deal with each person individually.


Father, my desire is to allow the power of Your Love to purge from me anything that is not of You.  I acknowledge now the Power that Your Love has to tearing down the strongholds in my life, and I ask You to continue to refine me more and more into Your image, removing anything that would prevent people from seeing You when they look at me.  Thank You for continuing to mold me more and more into Your likeness.
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."


Pete, I say 'ditto' to the prayer you prayed.  I want that too.

SOAP Thursday Dec 11


Hebrews 1: 8-9 
But to the Son [I]He says:[/I]
[I]    " Your throne, O God,[/I] [I]is[/I] [I]forever and ever;[/I]
    [B][U][I]A[/I] [I]scepter of righteousness is[/I] [I]the scepter of Your kingdom.[/I]
[/U][I]    [U]You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;[/U][/I]
[/B]    [I]Therefore God, Your God,[/I] [I]has anointed You[/I]
    [I]With the oil of gladness more than Your companions."[/I]

[SIZE=3]In a world that is growing increasingly darker and more evil, this is a very[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]comforting scripture to me.  God is a God of what is right and what is good.  [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]In fact, all that is right, just, and good originates with Him.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]After hearing my pastor's message Wednesday night on people that you can not[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]help, and then reading these two verses, I can see that here is the truth that [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]they are missing.  [/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]They are more interested in going their OWN way, doing their OWN thing, and thinking their OWN thoughts, than loving what is right and hating what is[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]wrong in their own life.  Therefore they aren't willing to examine their own [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]hearts or be corrected by those who see whereby they continually stumble.[/SIZE]


[SIZE=3]If I can't help those who are unwilling to be helped, I can at least learn something[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]from observing their ways.  They, at least for the time being, prefer the darkness[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]to the light in some area of their lives.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]  [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Where in my own life, do I prefer the darkness to the light.  Is there something in[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]my life that several people continually point out to me, and I resist hearing, or make[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]excuses for?[/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]Am I easy to be entreated, so that they even DARE to tell me, or do they know that [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]if they tell me the truth, they will have to bind up the wounds to their soul, afterwards?[/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]Is my ego so fragile that I can only stand affirmation, and not reproofs of instruction?[/SIZE]


[SIZE=3]Lord, I know how easy it is to fool myself.  I need and want Your correction.  [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]But I need more than that, Lord.  I need You to continually work in me "to will [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]and to do of Your good pleasure" so that I will [B]prefer [/B]the light to the darkness, [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]the right instead of the wrong, the truth instead of the lie.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]  [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Don't leave me to my own self, Lord.  I know You won't.   Amen.[/SIZE]

[U][B][SIZE=3]Here are the rest of this week's scriptures:[/SIZE][/B][/U]
[SIZE=3]Thursday December 11th   Philem; Heb.1-4[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Friday   December 12th   Heb. 5-8[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Sat.    December 13th   Heb. 9-11  [/SIZE]
[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]De Oppresso Liber[/SIZE][/FONT]


Hebrews 5:8
[COLOR=#c0504d]Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered[/COLOR]

So [B]although [/B]he was a son he learned obedience. Does this tell us that obedience did not come easily to Jesus? That being the son of God did not mean he didn't suffer the same temptations and passions that we all do. The submission was a choice, the acceptance of all that was done to him in the final days of his life on earth was his free will choice because he had complete and utter faith in God and therefore total obedience to His design.

This must be one of the biggest struggles mankind encounters. We are, by nature, independent, free thinking, self-willed individuals. We like to plan our lives, decide which paths we will take, on occasion, even deciding for ourselves what is wrong and what is right. Basically, we're control freaks! We like to think that next week,next month, next year we'll do this or that. Yet God may have other ideas.

God did make us that way but in the hope that we would subdue that very stubborn streak of independence to rely and lean totally upon Him. For when we do, when we have learned obedience and trust in nothing but "Jesus Christ and Him crucified" then we will be blessed in abundance.

Father, I strive to give up my independence, my stubborn streak. I know that standing on my own two feet gets me nowhere but that leaning on You does. Forgive that I sometimes continue to use my own feet even when I am remembering this. As Christ was obedient unto death, let me follow in his footsteps and seek that as my ultimate goal. I want no other power in my life but You.


[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]SOAP Friday Dec 12[/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]Hebrews 5: 11-12  .....of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.  For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]What struck me, especially in chapters 5 and 6 is the manner in which  the writer addressed the recipients of this letter. [B]I believe that it has much instruction for us in our approach to fellow believers who are in various stages of growth, as well as what we, ourselves may need to do to facilitate our own spiritual growth.[/B][/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]The author is addressing Jewish believers who, being persecuted by their fellow Jews for leaving Judaism, were discouraged and thinking about returning to their former way of life under the Mosaic law.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]Even though he refers to them as 'dull of hearing' and that for the time passed as believers, they should be teachers of others, he doesn't treat them as rebellious.  [/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]He is very firm with them, giving them an analogy of the earth taking in rain and expected to bring forth fruit..........but then says, 'But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.'[/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]I observed a wisdom in the author's prescribed remedy for [B]carnality,[/B] which in this case doesn't seem to be because of sin, but because of very hard circumstances coupled with lack of understanding.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]Whereas Paul told Timothy (a young but [B]mature[/B] saint), to war a good warfare and to endure hardness as a good soldier when he faced the hardships in life, the author of this book says nothing like that, but basically uses a two-fold approach by prescribing (1) a remedial course in the basics............Christianity 101, and (2) a reminder that what they would return to is far inferior to what they now have in Christ.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]There is no 'one size fits all' formula for Christian growth.  A lot of factors have to be considered, and  discernment made.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

[SIZE=6][COLOR=#000000][SIZE=5][SIZE=3]These people, though saved, apparently didn't know who they were in Christ or who Christ is in them, because  it was said that they were "unskilled in the word of righteousness[/SIZE]".  [/SIZE][/COLOR][/SIZE]

[COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]What [B]they [/B]needed was to be more thoroughly taught what Christ actually did for them in dying for their sins and birthing them into His Kingdom.  This would enable them to leave behind their carnal milk diet, and able to feed on the meat of God's Word, giving strength to cope with their circumstances. [/SIZE][/COLOR]

[SIZE=3][COLOR=#000000]What if the author had failed to have this discernment and instead just treated their carnality as rebelliousness from an evil heart of unbelief?  He could have 'quenched a smoking flax and broken a bruised reed'.[/COLOR] [/SIZE]

[SIZE=4][COLOR=#000000]Father, I pray for wisdom and discernment in my treatment of those believers around me who may seem to not be maturing.  Cause me to understand whether I am dealing with someone who can't be helped at the present time, or someone who has a good heart but just needs to have a deeper understanding of the truth of God's word.[/COLOR] [/SIZE]

[SIZE=4][COLOR=#000000]I don't ever want to forget, Father how long suffering and patient You have had to be with me and how gentle You've been with my foolishness.  But neither do I want to waste time sowing seed on what seems to be for the time, barren soil.  Discernment, Lord............I ask for wisdom and discernment.  Amen.[/COLOR] [/SIZE]

[U][B][SIZE=3]Here are the rest of this week's scriptures:[/SIZE][/B][/U]
[SIZE=3]Friday   December 12th   Heb. 5-8[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Sat.    December 13th   Heb. 9-11  [/SIZE]

<O:P>[SIZE=4] [/SIZE]</O:P>
[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]De Oppresso Liber[/SIZE][/FONT]


Here are this week's scriptures:[/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]Monday      Dec. 15th  James 1-5[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Tuesday     Dec. 16th  1 Pet. 1-5[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Wednesday  Dec. 17th   2 Pet. 1-3;  John 1[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Thursday    Dec. 18th   John 2-4[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Friday      Dec. 19th   John 5-6[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Saturday    Dec. 20th   John 7-8[/SIZE]
[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]De Oppresso Liber[/SIZE][/FONT]


James 1:5

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Well, truth of the matter is we ALL lack wisdom! There may be people we respect as having wisdom but often times it's in one particular area. On my bone forum, I expound and advise with great knowledge based on 50 odd years of nursing experience and therefore my members respect me as 'being wise' but when it comes to the machinations of ordinary life, I'm a total ingénue. The events surrounding my undignified departure from CF last July were testimony to that - I just never saw it coming.

That happens to some people in life. They lack the ability to have a knowledgable and sensible concept of people around them, the impact they have upon them and their lives. I was listening to a conversation on radio analysing the story in the film "It's A Wonderful Life" (starring James Stewart). It's an old, black and white movie that has become an iconic story for Christmas time. A well-meaning man gets into difficulties and thinks the world would be better off without him. Enter Clarence, a newbie angel, who sets about to show him how the world would be if he had never been born. Pure Hollywood shmaltz, actually, but a good story to demonstrate the essence of having the wisdom to realise how each of us has a place in this life and that place matters even if it is just running an internet forum for hip and knee replacement patients! It may not have the zing and prestige of my earlier roles of operating theatre manager but the messages of gratitude I often get from people whose lives have been made just a little bit easier by my words of 'wisdom' are blessings in themselves. As a result, I take my role very seriously and often seek God before I answer a question, just to make sure I have His insight into the problem. He rarely lets me down!

It's a WISE man (or woman!) who seeks God before dealing with a problem, be it theirs or someone else's. Only God has the overview. We have only a one-sided view of things or a few words of explanation so we frequently get a misconstrued notion of the issues at hand. We should always think and pray before we speak, before we write or even before we post something on an internet forum! Only God has the wisdom we need. We cannot get it for ourselves. To act without the wsidom of God is to expound our own opinion which is pretty useless.

Dear Lord, most powerful and mighty God, we must always come before you acknowledging that we have no knowledge that You did not give us, no insight that You did not imbue us with, no compassion that is not from You. Without Your guidance and teaching, we are empty vessels, unable to achieve anything of worth. Fill us, strengthen us, use us, work through us. This is all we ask. And to You goes all the glory, all the power and all the praise. In Jesus' Holy name.


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