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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!

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!!!

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.

Mark 7:9

"And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!" NIV

"tradition - Gk. Paradosis - giving over, surrender, substitute.

God wants YOU. He wants all of you. At salvation - He wants all your heart - not just the part you are willing to submit to God.

Isaiah said it, and Jesus said it - people who think they are following God by substituting what "mankind" is willing to "give over" to God - well, their worship is in vain.

Don't get me wrong - the things offered in substitution are not "bad" - afterall - one would never offer God something bad. People offer God any or all of rituals, Sunday time, money, formulaic prayer, good works. That is not what God wants - He wants ALL of you. The substitutes "man" offers above - are simply not good enough.

He wants repentance (John the Baptist), acknowledgment of sin (Paul), and that you believe and receive Christ as your Lord and Savior (all through the gospel of John). He wants your heart to not only acknowledge and believe, but to Trust in Him.

So the question is: Did you give God what He wants? - what He commands? - or did you (knowingingly or unknowingly)fall into a religious ritualistic upbringing where the "tradition" of man has decided what it is God wants? Seems right to you, plenty of others do it, works for you, I am offering God good things, etc.

That is not an easy question - it is one that each person has to examine in their own hearts. When it comes to God's Word and the "traditions" (substitutes) of mankind, the choice of which to follow has eternal consequences. When in conflict - the two cannot be mixed.
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I wrote the above in terms of salvation. That is the "worst case scenario" of falling into man's traditions/substitutes. It certainly can also apply to a "believer" who has retrenched. Who does not worship God with all their heart. Who is in sin, and out of fellowship with God.

The beauty of that is - like in Leviticus 15 - one has to just go wash in the Word and confess and ask for forgiveness from God and fellowship will be restored. Just like the person with discharge (uncleanliness) has to wait for the evening (The new day in Jewish culture). the restoration of fellowship with God will be a "new day" for them. God will forgive and restore.

Mark 7:20-23

"He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'" NIV

Ray Stedman says, "This is very important for us to know. It is what delivers Christians from being self-righteous snobs -- when we realize that what our Lord has outlined here is true of every single one of us. Do not go through this list and pick out the things you do not do. What Jesus is saying to you is, "If you are guilty of one of them, you are capable of all of them." You need only the proper circumstances to show you how true that is."

Man is fallen in nature - and it stems from what is in our heart. I believe that is why God demands our coming to Him with an open heart. It is why Isaiah and Jeremiah talk about the "heart" a lot!!!

Even if you do not accept Ray's comments about your capability of performing any sin on the list - consider this:

-Hitler sinned.
-I have sinned.
-Hitler and I are miles apart from each other in our natures.
-without "salvation" both of us are millions upon millions of miles apart from God.

Therefore - standing where God stands and from his Holy (separate and distinct) postion - when he looks at Hitler and I from millions upon millions of miles away - we are indistinguishable. We may be miles apart - but to God - the difference is moot. We both need the blood of Christ to be able to approach God at death.

The point is: It is not the degree of sin in our lives, but that we ALL are sinners by nature.

Rom 3:10
"As it is written:
"There is no one righteous, not even one;" NIV


Leviticus 16 - Scapegoat

"The Need for Presentation"

How do we stand before the Lord, without the shame of our past? Yes, we are forgiven, but we still are haunted (through thoughts)at times by our past.

The scapegoat is a beautiful picture of that process. Notice first one was to do the sin and burnt offering, for acceptance and forgiveness. Then the scapegoat was addressed.
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"You notice that all the iniquities, all the transgressions, all the sins were placed upon the head of this goat.

Both of these goats are a picture of Jesus: In one he is represented as satisfying the heart of God on our behalf and rendering God free to love us without any restraint at all by his justice. God's justice has been satisfied. He no longer makes demands of that kind upon us. He is free to forgive us at any time and to love us. But the second goat represents Christ as bearing the whole weight and load of our guilt, all that which the Devil tries to use as a basis upon which to ground his accusations against us. All this is to be sent back to him from whence it comes. When our Lord died he went into the wilderness of death like this goat, and returned to Satan all the accusations which he has against any believer at any time.

So what this passage is teaching us is that this is what we are to do with these accusations. In Ephesians 6, Paul calls them "the fiery darts of the wicked one" {cf, Eph 6:16}, i.e., all those little suggestions to us that we really aren't accepted and loved by God, that he still has a reservation about us and that we still aren't able openly and boldly to come before his presence, and all the haunting memories of our past shame, our feelings of unworthiness, our filthy thoughts, and the flashes of fear that come upon us. What are we to do with them? Well, we are simply to put them right on the head of Jesus and say, "Lord, take them back to Satan. They don't belong to me. They are not my thoughts. They didn't originate with me. They may feel like mine but they are not. They belong to him. That is where they came from and I am sending them back. And I recognize that in your sight they are no longer taken into account in any degree, and that I stand boldly in your presence."

That is the purpose of the great Day of Atonement. It means that we are able to do as the Scriptures exhort us -- to stand and present ourselves before the Lord of Glory and, as Paul says in Romans 12, "by the mercies of God, present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is our spiritual worship," {cf, Rom 12:1 RSV}."

http://www.pbc.org/library/files/html/0516.html

Psalm 40 is awesome!!! Just AWESOME!!!
Verse 16 kept echoing in my head "But may all who search for you
be filled with joy and gladness in you.
May those who love your salvation
repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!”
You know .. it's 7.30am and THIS is the best way to start my day! I have a huge smile on my face "The Lord is great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!".

Does this verse resonate with you today? Have you searched for God in your life? Are you filled with joy and gladness because of that search? Do you love God's salvation? Do you shout praises to God for all he has done for you? ~ I have searched for God in my life, absolutely! And yes, I'm filled with joy and gladness because of that! I know He's with me all the time, He lives in my heart and that's my faith and freedom! He has done so much for me! I just can't stop smiling today ... just because I had the time to start out with doing todays readings and saw verse 16 of Psalm 40. FYI, I'm listerening to U2 now ... "40" ...
I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I really need to go. We have a special guest today, my little cousine from 2 years old. She's so cute ... but a hand full, eh? LOL

Have a wonderful day everybody!
Remember: THE LORD IS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Psalms 40 is truly awesome!! I sing in my car every day with the except of this week of the sore throat about how awesome God is..:) Yeah!! Air 1 is what I listen to and it makes my day :)

Jesus is our High Priest.
I believe that Jesus is our High Priest that sits at the right hand of God. This has changed me by the way that I have a little boy and I want him to know who Jesus is and where he came from. He is always asking me questions. We have had a lot of death in our family so I explain to him where Heaven is and he understands, I personally think that is wonderful for a 3 year old :)

Wow, the I love Ps 40. that is sooo my prayer right now!
"Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me. For troubles surround me—too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage.

"Please, Lord, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me....As for me, since I am poor and needy, let the Lord keep me in his thoughts. You are my helper and my savior. O my God, do not delay!"
i'm just praying this one!

I love in Mark how Jesus talks about the heart: It is what comes from inside that defiles you.
so much we try to blame outer things on our sin, like the ease of access to sinful things. which certainly doesnt help! but wen it comes down to it, all these evil things are already in our heart, and thats still not an excuse.

Lev ch 15, um... eeeeeeeeeeew. lol

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