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I loved Deutero 33:29. As the "Israel of God" we can say with Moses that we are "a people saved by the Lord." And isn't it wonderful that our Lord is both a shield, to ward off our enemies, and a sword to conquer them.

Then Jesus said, "What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? It is like a tiny mustard seed planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds come and find shelter among its branches."

How true!!! When one is filled with God's Word, one bubbles with joy and the Spirit. People naturally and freely gravitate toward us like the birds of the air finding shelter on the branches of the mustard tree! We don't have to "force" people to listen to the Word, they'll come to "discover"
the Word...

And thanks to John----for your response to my questions the other day.

Mike---

That looks more like the water buffaloes that we have in Asia. They're called carabaos in the Philippines.

Roslyn, oh how I wish this were true all the time,"How true!!! When one is filled with God's Word, one bubbles with joy and the Spirit. People naturally and freely gravitate toward us like the birds of the air finding shelter on the branches of the mustard tree! We don't have to "force" people to listen to the Word, they'll come to "discover" the Word..."

Sometimes we are the stench of death to some & the beautiful aroma/fragance of life/Christ to others. I used to think that being a Christian meant that everyone would love me...wrong again. Most of the time we/Christians are a thorn in the side of the world (which is what Christ said, that we would bring division & a sword). The world is the enemy of Christ anyway (per His Word, not mine).

When you are an intercessor, there is sorrow & grief to bear; you wake up at all hours of the night praying in the Spirit & you don't even know for who or what you are praying...but it is not joy, it is deep intercession & grieving of the Spirit that you are experiencing. I wish that the world was turned on by discovering what He has to offer, but not so (in general). The "world" is at enmity with God & satan is the ruler of this world but not the ultimate Ruler.

The only "force" that will woo people to the Word made flesh/Jesus is the Holy Spirit & none come to Him/God the Father except through the Son/Jesus.

Rosalyn, I do understand your joy & zeal this morning, but there is another side to living for Christ & counting it all joy that the trying of our faith produces patience & endurance; the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Repentance before God is a powerful gesture from our end. It is not only admitting that we are sinful but it also glorifies God as we totally submit before him with all vulnerability.

Not everyone chooses to repent or accept God. There were two thieves crucified by Jesus' side. Even as one of them was in agony he cursed Jesus. But the other one showed faith and Asked Jesus to remember him in His kingdom. Jesus' acceptance of that thief was almost instantaneous, ''Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.'' Luke 23:43(ESV)

But on the other hand many Roman soldeirs and those responsible for Christ's crucifixion and those who saw a huge curtain torn into two (Mark:15:38) did not believe in Jesus. Even many kept ridiculing Jesus until he breathed his last.

Compare this to Jacob who some say, wrestled with God! :-) It was God, angel or some saint is left for speculation. But Jacob's will and persistence to win favour is notable:

''When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, 'Let me go, for the day has broken.'' But Jacob said, 'I will not let you go unless you bless me.'... Then he said to him, ''Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel.' '' Genesis 32:25-28 (ESV)

I hope the lord also healed Jacob's hip right after this blessing! :-)

Deuteronomy 33:1-29

Verses eight through ten, Moses’ blessing on the priestly tribe of Levi, remind me of why those of us who love God’s Word come to OYB and make it a study.

And of Levi he said: Your Thummim and Your Urim [by which the priest sought God's will for the nation] are for Your pious one [Aaron on behalf of the tribe], whom You tried and proved at Massah, with whom You contended at the waters of Meribah; [Num. 20:1-13.] [Aaron] who said of his father and mother, I do not regard them; nor did he acknowledge his brothers or openly recognize his own children. For the priests observed Your word and kept Your covenant [as to their limitations]. [The priests] shall teach Jacob Your ordinances and Israel Your law. They shall put incense before You and whole burnt offerings upon Your altar. (Deuteronomy 33:8-10 AMP)

Setting aside and blocking out the many voices that call to us trying to gain preeminence over our lives, we gather to 1) read God’s Word and to 2) explore how it speak to us as well as instructs us. In placing the Word of God over everything, we are in practice, putting to death the call of mother, father, brother, sister and children. We submit the things we worry about, the things that would hold us in bondage, the sin that would so easily beset us, all those that that are not of God, to God

Coming here, we help to feed each other by way of the “fruit” of the Spirit every Believer produces when planted in Christ. Our comments, disagreements and yes, even sharp words all contribute to the building up of one another.

You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17 MSG)

When steel rubs up against another piece of steel, it heats up and sparks fly, a natural process of being sharpened.

Grace and peace to you,
Ramona

The Lord just confirmed something to me this morning in regard to my post earlier:
Psalm 126:5-6 - 5 Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. 6 He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.

Luke 13 1-21

Today is my two year anniversary of accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. While reading through Luke's passages today, it struck me how often I ingored God's warnings to me of "Repent or Perish". Just as Jesus was warning the Jewish nation in these verses.

I thought I was invincible: Good genes, good education, always enough money, work hard, play hard, etc. Looking back, there were miraculous warnings that I was NOT invincible.

In the Navy, I fell from near the top of a Carrier hangar deck to the steel deck below, and once passed out in a secluded space from leaking freon - only to be pulled out by the hourly "watch" who happened to be passing by at 3:00 a.m.

There were Car wrecks (in the days before air bags) where the vehicle was completely totaled, muggings and assaults in NYC, partying in the wrong parts of town in various foreign countries, etc. In all eight or nine times I came close to death or being very seriously injured.

Often the police or passers-by said "You are the Luckiest guy I ever met." Never had a broken bone, never seriously hurt, never cared about the implications of my mortality and what came next. The odds of coming through unscathed in ALL these instances are astronomical.

It seems I was preserved for a point in time when I would accept His Son, despite my careless approach to life.

Maybe that is why I am so careful now in trying to understand God's Word. I had heard differing interpretations of the mustard seed and leaven parables, and never really thought about the "fig tree" parable. Bob's commentary is worth reading, in that it may be different from what one would think on the surface.

"The kingdom of God is like this, Jesus says. The Jews who think they are righteous will reject Christ and will refuse to repent, and thus they will be judged as a nation. The fig tree will be cut down. And in its place will be a mustard tree, as it were, the church. By trying to conceal the truth from the Gentiles, the nation has only proven to have unwittingly spread it abroad—God’s unfaithful and uncooperative evangelists."

http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=1114

(link same as Mike's above)

I have a HUGE prayer request for my family and I. We have been attending a church for the past 5 years. My wife and I have a daughter who will be 6 soon and going into the "big girl" church. The teachers in there are not good in controlling the kids. The youth pastor does not have good control of the teens. My wife and I do not feel challenged by the sermons. We want to move to a new church but that is scary. Please pray that the Lord will give us the right church to attend. I have a HUGE praise. I am almost finished with my first year of nursing school. I feel the Lord working in me each day when I am taking care of my patients. The Lord opened up the right doors for me to do this even wehn he closed the door of being a teacher for 10 years.

Jan,

I do understand the other side of being a Christian---bearing sorrows and bearing them deeply for others...

And you're right again on some Christians being very unChristian, unloving. We have them walking around on the face of this earth seemingly "proclaiming" The Word and then turn around and behave in abominable ways.

But they should not come in the way of expressing our own joy and love, of being alive in Christ and the Spirit.

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” so true are those words. sometimes my heart is always down, especially when i see people fight over nothing. but the little things in life really cheers me up, like i bought 2 button down shirts for 16 bucks today.

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