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How wonderful God is!!! He is so great that we must constantly be reminded that nothing we do makes us holy. He alone is the source of our holiness... As someone has said, "Holiness is not something placed on the outside and forced inward; rather, it is something place on the inside [by God] and works its way outward."

What great readings today that contrast this very idea that what man could not do in the flesh; God can do in the spirit!

Lev16:21 "He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat's head".Hmmm the priest sure had his work cut out for him....confessing ALL Israel's sins...wonder if the goat just stood there quietly,guess not.Jesus has made prayer and intercession so much easier,not to mention having access to God by faith( not cleansing rituals and sacrifices)
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation always say,
"The LORD be exalted!"
Truly we have cause to exalt God for his mercy!

Daniel Wallace's philosophical, psychological, theological/biblical treatise on love and sex/sexuality is a "must" to read. I'm glad that someone has finally tried to put together a holistic view on love and sex and its signifciance in strengthening the committted relationship between two individuals.

Sometimes Christians when talking about sex (and other issues) merely quote scripture to support their arguments without taking into consideration
the psychological aspects of our humanity. As human beings, we are all these in one: physical, intellectual/cognitive, socio-emotional, moral, spiritual.

It's when we separate or dichotomize our nature that we end up having problems with our own selves just as when we separate ourselves or out of synch in our relationship with God.

A beautiful sexual relationship between two committed people strengthens the emotional bond and brings about spiritual unity. Indeed this is symbolized by the triangle with Christ at its apex as diagrammed by Daniel in his concluding paragpraph.

This was exactly the kind of marriage that I had with the beauty and splendor of sex, emotionally strong, spiritually grounded/rooted though unfortunately it only lasted seven years, but I can proudly say to this day ----they were the most beautiful years of my life!!!

What a blessing, Roslyn, that you experienced:-)

Rosyln, great synopsis on Daniel Wallace's article and I am glad that you experienced a happy and Godly marriage for 7 years. It's unfortunate that it only lasted for so brief a period of time. I hope that you will find that joy in your life again. It's great that we can have joy and peace in our life because of Christ when people often fail us.

God alone, as Sammy says is our source of holiness. I don't think I could of said that better myself. Good day and God bless.

At the end of blog there are questions and reflections about Jesus. But I have my own question that has been puzzling me for long. Where do we get the image of Jesus from??? You know that tall, lean man with long hair and a beard? How justified are we to use that image so repeatedly in every place? Does that not amount to idol worship ?

Victoria,

This is what I get for not ever reading Mark all the way through before, nor doing a word search in bible on "clean" and "unclean".

Mark 7:15
"Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.'"

Mark 7:18
""Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'?"

I had used Paul's writings earlier to say all food was O.K. for Christians to consume.

Granted, Jesus here is using this as an example to make a point about hearts and thoughts as the source of man's spiritual uncleaness.

The Greek expression for "unclean" in these verses is translated "defiled" in NAS.

koino/w
Koinoo
to make common to make (Levitically) unclean, render unhallowed, defile, profane to declare or count unclean.

So the source of Jesus' words references Leviticus. SO, I would lunp this in with Paul as stating: no food is "unclean".

Maybe others have a better perspective, but it seems that the implication was that in Old Testament - Leviticus 11 - God was not talking about spiritual defilement thru diet, as much as that He was mandating what His people eat and not eat for health and survival (as people in wilderness) reasons.

I realize what Lev 11:44 says, but "consecrating" and "holy" in this verse can be construed as "separate" and "be set apart". Certainly having a distinctive diet - his people would be "set apart".

If anyone wants to correct or comment on this thought - I am not "married to the idea" - I am kinda thinking out loud like Ramona.

Leviticus 15:1-16:28


Chapter 15, dealing with sexual practices, may also be an exercise in “self-control,” one of the fruit of the spirit. I don’t even know if this is a connection but all day I kept thinking about Proverbs 25:28,

He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls. [Prov. 16:32.] (AMP). Adhering to the ceremonial cleanliness laws certainly would have a woman’s husband practicing a great deal of restraint.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Cory,

Regarding feeding of the 5,000 and Apostle's not taking food with them on mission.

Both cases involve trust in God that they would be fed (Apostles and 5,000).

In both cases, Apostles fed people. On mission spiritually, to the 5,000 physical nourishment.

Ties in with comment yesterday:
vs 40
His plan is to feed the world through His people. Actually small-scale version (practice?) in the mission, symbolically represented in feeding 5,000.


John,
I'm with you on the trust and provision aspects. What I'm ruminating on is the contrast: Don't take food in the first instance; feed this crowd with what little you have in the second.

This just occurred to me: Where did the twelve get the food they had? If I remember, the teaching/healing/feeding occurred right after the twelve return. I doesn't seem they had time to go grocery shopping, so were the fish and loaves leftovers given to them by those with whom they stayed? In the miracle, were they simply returning what the people had given them?

Like I said, still ruminating.

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