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August 2019

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hi guys, beryl went into hospital yesterday again..they hadnt been able to get all the cancer and she had a big operation yesterday..please pray for her..thank you very much!

as to tithing..its the one place in the Bible where the Lord says we may test Him( Malachi 3:10) my husband and i have found the Lord to be very faithful ..we are never overflowing with financial wealth but we are looked after always and grateful for everything we have..were finding it very different here in the uk..back in south africa there is a lot of poverty and it was very easy to help ,here a lot of people dont realise how blessed they are and one tends to be working to send money to help overseas countries more than local....stef

17 Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
18 Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.
Ps.71: 17-18

I love these verses because they remind me of my responsibility to pass on my faith to the next generation, especially my children and my college students. But no matter whether we are parents or not, or college ministers or not, there are people around us who are the next generation that are hungering to hear the story of God in our lives. We have a legacy that we must pass on.

Deut 15:16-17
"But if your servant says to you, "I do not want to leave you," because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, then take an awl and push it through his ear lobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your maidservant." NIV

Since studying the Bible, I have understood these verses to be the defintion of bond-servant or bondslave.

Mary considered herself a bondslave to God (Luke 1:38,48). Simeon considered himself a bond-servant to God (Luke 2:29). Paul referred to himself and others as bond-servants of Jesus. Peter, James, and Jude also referred to themselves as bond-servants.
http://www.biblemaster.com/bible/search.asp?query=bond-servant&t=nas&section=2&tn=1&page=1

Jesus, himself, was referred to as a bond-servant. (Phil 2:7)

John was a bond-servant who was to show Revelation to God's bond-servants (Rev 1:1). Finally Moses was called a bond-servant (Rev 15:3).

John is called “a bond-servant” (doulos = “a slave”). The word doulos is a significant term when it is applied to believers. The doulos was the one who was owned by his master, lock, stock, and barrel. He was totally under the authority and power of his master and dependent on him for everything—his responsibilities, his daily food, housing and supplies, and his purposes in life. Ironically though, only when we become slaves to Christ do we ever find true freedom from sin, self, Satan, and the world. The simple truth is: everyone is a slave to someone or something. The only question is, who is your master? It was Bob Dylan who sang the well-known song, “You Gotta Serve Somebody!” The chorus of this song was simple: “It may be the Devil, it may be the Lord, but you gotta serve somebody!”
http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=3669

"Slave” stresses his relationship and attitude to Christ. The second part of the word is doulos and means not merely a servant, but a bondslave. A bondslave was one owned by another and so completely that he was dependant upon his master for everything in life—for his daily supply of needs, where he lived and how, for his vocation or area of service, and for the supplies needed to do his work. It shows his submission and who controlled his life. His life was not his own, he had been bought with a price. He was the Lord’s possession who guided his life and supplied his needs."
http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=1621


Deuteronomy 13 (NKJV)
3
you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4
You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.

~~~

Does it seem cruel that God would TEST you and me to “…know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” ?

I relate this to the blood covenant. When an agreement was made in the ancient world, it was common for both parties making the agreement to kill some animals and place both halves of the animals separated on side on the other. Then both parties would walk in between the bloody, halves of the animals which, in effect, said, “May what happened to these animals happen to me if I do not keep the terms of this agreement.”

Covenant was and is a very serious issue, that our culture has lost the meaning of. And, as such, we are also losing our integrity.

I think of the March 28 reading when I made this comment:

“A COVENANT IS A VERY SERIOUS AND BINDING thing.
Notice how God views covenant with His people in Jeremiah 34 (Amplified):
18
And the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not kept the terms of the covenant or solemn pledge which they had made before Me, I WILL MAKE THEM [LIKE] THE [SACRIFICIAL] CALF WHICH THEY CUT IN TWO AND THEN PASSED BETWEEN ITS SEPARATED PARTS [SOLEMNIZING THEIR PLEDGE TO ME]--I WILL MAKE THOSE MEN THE CALF!

Notice in Genesis 15:17 and 18 in particular. Notice that ONLY ONE PARTY passed between the cut animals. IT WAS NOT ABRAHAM, but it was theophany of God.”

I also think of Genesis 22 (NKJV)
1
Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
2
Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

~~~
It is my understanding that the word in Hebrew and Greek for “test” is the same word for “temptation”. The difference lies in THE PURPOSE BEHIND the action.

God tests—TO ENABLE US TO LEARN TO RESIST EVIL, GROW STRONGER, and OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD.

Satan uses a test AGAINST us—to steal, kill, and destroy.

However, we cannot remain neutral in this life. WE ARE CALLED TO GROW DEEPER AND GO HIGHER IN THE LORD, and in the character of the Lord Jesus.

Whether we understand it or not, when Jesus died, He cut a blood covenant to cut away our old nature from us. And whether we understand it or not, we too have been circumcised in our relationship with Jesus.

Physical circumcision of the Jews was THE symbol of the covenant they have with the Lord God. And it is a VERY powerful symbol. In effect, being circumcised was ALSO a blood covenant. They were saying, in effect, “may what happened to this discarded part of the male organ (cut off, separate so it dies) happen to me if I do not keep the terms of the covenant with God.”

WE CANNOT do this without tests. Think about life on earth. No one becomes a physician without passing the necessary life-skill tests and written tests.

In order for us—you and I—to be ready for duties God has given them, we must LIVE IN A WORTHY manner.

We are ALREADY MADE worthy in God’s sight through the blood of the Lord Jesus. Now, we can begin to step into the experience of the blessing as we learn to obey through taking into ourselves the character of the Lord Jesus, the Ideal Servant of the Lord.

I end with one of my favorite verses, Isaiah 54 (Amplified):
17
But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. THIS [PEACE, RIGHTEOUSNESS, SECURITY, TRIUMPH OVER OPPOSITION] IS THE HERITAGE OF THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD [THOSE IN WHOM THE IDEAL SERVANT OF THE LORD IS REPRODUCED]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord.

Vance

WOw Wow Wow is all I can say about today's reading With all that is going on around us today it is not a wonder that God has not come back and taken us all out. I thank God He is a patient God. I thank Him for sending us His Son.
In Deu verse 15, I thought about in todays time that when a person goes into bankrupency the debt is forgiven after 7 years. Just a thought.
Yes, I feel that we should thith. Why not our harvest (our paycheck), we make is made possible by God. Who do you think gave us the gift, health, and transportation to do and get to our jobs. So Yes, we need to give back to God what is rightfully His anyway.
I examined my own giving to the poor and I have to admit i don't do enough. I have just resently reached out in faith and joined a group in our church, that gives food to different families in our area once month. It's a start.
I just have to say again WOW. Today's reading really spoke to me today. Thanks. Have a Blessed day. Peggy

Stef,

Thanks for the update on beryl.

The story of Jairus' Daughter has always held a special position in my heart. Here we see The Teacher lift the girl from death and all was amazed. However He was was so consumed with concern for the girl that he also ordered them to give her something to eat! How complete is His love for us! I take a further message from this action. Maybe the food He was speaking of was not the kind you eat. I see it as the food of eternal life. The Bread Of Life as described by John in the next Gospel. We as parents have the obligation to involve our children in the walk with Jesus but more importantly to allow Him to walk with our children. I also loved Psalm 71:15. "...all day long I will speak of your salvation, though it is more than I can understand." This psalmist obviously was well versed in one of my other favorite quotes found in Proverbs 3:5-7. Beryl, you are not back in my prayers...for you were never out of them. Take care my friend!

While I think that there remains a strong Christian imperitive to give to the poor, the tithe as it is practiced today has little - if any - connection to the NT.

I am reading my One Year Bible and using the companion, although, I am gaining knowledge and understanding of God's widsom, mercy and grace, how do I learn to pray in the spirt?

Deuteronomy 13-15:23

And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. (Matthew 5:29-30 KJVR)

These are the verses, the Words of Jesus, that came to my mind as I read chapter 13. People who are so close to you that you feel if they die, you die; family members that were so instrumental in your development that you cannot think of where you would be if they were not your close relative; church leadership that guided you into the Truth, but now …well, you don’t what “funny” path they are on. This is the stuff, the right eye, the right hand, that needs to be plucked out or cut off, those who are so close that if you must separate from them it is akin to taking out your eye and cutting off your hand: Hard stuff.


Chapter 15 presents a dilemma, verse four states:

However, there SHOULD not be any poor among you, for the LORD will surely bless you in the land that he is giving you as an inheritance, if you carefully obey him by keeping all these commandments that I am giving you today. (Deuteronomy 15:4-5 NET.)

Yet, only a couple of verses down we read what appears to be a contradiction,
If there is among you a poor man, one of your kinsmen in any of the towns of your land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not harden your [minds and] hearts or close your hands to your poor brother; (Deuteronomy 15:7 AMP)

The question of the day, “Why are there ‘poor’ folk,” if God said there should not be any? There are probably a million reasons tried up in a million excuses we can think of for justification of failure. In spite of all our rationalizing, it seems clear, if we read the verses between 5 and 7, God has set-up a system for everyone to prosper. Social injustice, our own laziness, greed, theft and a multitude of social ills can leave one destitute. The Parable of the Talents comes to mind (Matthew 25:15-30). Each was given according to his ability, yet the one who was given “one” buried his. It was not that his ability only deserved the one Talent, because clearly he had the ability, like the others to double what he was given by working with what he had.


But you shall open your hands wide to him and shall surely lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks. (Deuteronomy 15:8 AMP)
Where we get into trouble in trying to help people who are in poverty is not knowing them well enough to find out what they NEED as opposed to what they WANT. Someone who has spent his money foolishly at the racetrack so that he does not have money to feed his children and pay rent/mortgage, may say and think he needs money to pay his rent/mortgage and buy food. That may be needful to keep his kids from paying for his choices; however, what he really NEEDS are “lessons” in prioritizing and understanding the value of his children, as well help in getting to the core of why he gambles. What it all boils down to is not trusting God to do what He says He will do, we think we have a better way.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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