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Re: pornography--I just had a chance this week to hear Clay Crosse, Christian recording artist, speak about his struggle with pornography, and how it affected his life and his marriage. He was very transparent and very humble. He has set up a ministry called Holy Homes and is launching a website soon at and I highly recommend his book, I Surrender All, as well.
http://www.claycrosse.com/
http://www.holyhomes.org/

John 1:12-13

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." NIV

vs 13
"Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." KJV
======================================================

Last Christmas, after hearing my testimony a childhood friend asked me if "born again" was in the Bible. I referred her to Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus. While that conversation says being "born again" (or from above)is required to enter the Kingdom of God, it does not lay out the criteria like John 1:12-13.

Received him - "lambano"
to take
1) to admit, receive
2) to receive what is offered
3) not to refuse or reject
4) to receive a person, give him access to one's self

Believed in his name
The "in" here is "eis" and translates better "with respect to his name".
His name is Jesus - Yeshua - or translated "Jehovah is Salvation"
http://www.biblestudysite.com/prepositions.htm (see vi)

The right to become - "exousia"
delegated power or authority

I like the KJV version of verse 13 better than NIV.
Children of God NOT by:
-bloodlines
-physical coupling of man/woman
-decision of man/woman to have a child.

"But born of God"
or since it is a second birth - born "again".

So, take Him in, believe "Jehova is Salvation", and you have the right bestowed by God to be born of God - a child of God.


Judges 11:1-12:15


In today’s reading in Judges, I couldn’t help notice how the treatment of Jephtah by his half-brothers, those that were his own, is similar to how Jesus was treated by His own in today’s Gospel reading,

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (John 1:11 KJV)

It wasn’t until he was needed that his folks called on him and that is so like what I use to do when I was in the “world.” “God I didn’t want to be bothered with you, but now I’m in trouble and I need some help. God if you are up there and if you will get me out of this, I will serve you.” Yeah sure until the next pit I fall in or trouble I get into.

Each and every time God’s people fall into despair because of their choices and call out to Him in sincerity and truth, God’s mercy and grace shows up, by way of a deliverer. But because the one that was sent was not His Son, Jesus, a multitude of rescuers, prophets, teachers show up but none could fully deliver until Jesus came, in the fullness of time.

Each and every judge in the Book of Judges, is a type of Christ; however, unlike Christ they were sinful and subject to uncontrolled passions and thus needed to be delivered themselves, from themselves.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (John 1:1-11 KJV)

May we all recognize the True Light that Jesus brought into the world. May we not cover our eyes or hide from that Light. May we realize that His Light is the True Light and anything else is counterfeit

Grace and peace,
Ramona

As I read today's OT reading,it struck me just how much detail Jephthah knew about the journey Israel took from Egypt to Canaan,the reaction of the Kings of the Lands the passed through.He was exiled,yet he had heard about God,maybe feared him but he didn't know God.He felt so honoured that God had sent him that he had to do something to please God.He never really took the time to find out what would God love...take for example his obedience.Nope he just wanted to give what he assumed God would like.I thought it was really strange that he would say "the first thing that comes out to greet me"becuase usually it's the wife and/or the kids that run out to greet a guy who's been gone for long.Well the way the scripture is written,it seems he really did sacrifice her.He had to choose between disobeying God or breaking the law,it was a lose/lose situation.God didn't tell him not to carry it out like in Abraham's case.This all struck home so powerfully that there is a price we pay for hearing about God,reading about God yet not knowing Him.I wonder if Jephthah is in Heaven,he murdered his daughter.God did use Jephthah to carry out His plan but I wonder if he got the well done pat on the back.Knowing the Lord is the only way to please God.I pray that I may trully know Him.
God bless you all

Anka,

Hebrews 11:32
"And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets," NIV

Jephthah made the honor roll of faith in Hebrews 11.

The story apparently is argued back and forth.

I am in the camp that knowing how God hated child sacrifices Deut 12:31 - that Jephtah did not sacrifice his daughter.

Biblical Hebrew can be difficult to translate, and this passage has key words with some assumptions built into the NIV translation. Some think he promised the first out of his tent to be dedicated to the Lord and he would offer up a burnt offering.

Regardless, the rest of the chapter does not read like the daughter is going to be sacrificed. It is all about bemoaning not going to be married, and when the vow was fulfilled the comment was "she knew no man" (KJV). No mention of death, just not getting married.

It seems unclear, but maybe the purpose is to not make rash vows to God (Eccl 5:2,4-5). This was his only child and if she remained a virgin there would be no grandkids. It was a rash promise to make God when he was already chosen by God (and he knew it). It would tear him up to forbear having grandkids, but at the least that was the result. At the least she led a life dedicated to the Lord - similar to a nun in the Catholic Church.

Lastly, if Jephthah had done child sacrifice, I would be very surprised to see him included with the other names in Hebrews 11.

Others may have different thoughts.

Anka,

Forgot one thing. "lament" in Judges 11:40. Have no idea why Hebrew word "tanah" is translated that way.

lexicon meaning: to recount, rehearse, tell again

and this is the only use of it as meaning "lament".

Other translations have celebrate, commemorate, mourn, lament, etc. seems to run the gamut.

This is my first time reading the bible and the story about Jephthah and his daughter did strike me. I couldn't believe at first that we went from animal sacrifices to human sacrifices, but I am with John on this one.
"...And she said to her father, Let this thing be done for me; let me alone two months, that I may go and wander upon the mountains and bewail my virginity, I and my companions...."Judges 11:37 (Amp)

Meaning of be•wail

Pronunciation: (bi-wāl'), [key]
—v.t.
to express deep sorrow for; lament: a little child bewailing the loss of her dog.

—v.i.
to express grief.
My question was why would she need to express grief for her virginity if she was going to die...instead she would have been expressing sorrow for the loss of her life"
It made more sense to me in the Amplified bible version when it said..."At the end of two months she returned to her father, who [a]did with her according to his vow which he had vowed. She never mated with a man. This became a custom in Israel..." Judges 11:39 (Amp.

Hmmm...yep that sure puts things in perspective for me cos the Jephthah issue really got me.Thanks John and Oriane.

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