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"Be careful to obey all the commands I give you; show love to the LORD your God by walking in his ways and clinging to him." I really like that... show Love to God by walking in his ways - and clinging to him. I think I caught that term in our readings yesterday as well - "clinging." I know in our world today it's not too cool to be too clingy. :) But, I think God indeed wants us to be clingy when it comes Him! I pray that I cling to God each and every day. How about you?"

I think of it in this way. We do cling to God, but in the way a newborn infant clings to his mother. A newborn will grip fiercely, but in truth it is only the arms of his mother that hold him close to her. We are powerless to cling to the Lord, we really must count on him to hold us up.

I think the overarching principles of the passage in Luke today is that Jesus was demonstrating to the disiples and us that he is:
1. Lord over the natural world (by calming the storm!)

2. Lord over the supernatural world (demons asking Him for mercy! and He cast out a legion!)

Yes, I do know there is a devil and demons in this world today. I have read both those books you recommended. They were real eye openers, even when I already knew satan and demons were real.
One suggestion I'd have about getting rid of sin in your life--first of all you may need to ask God to reveal anything in you that has not been planted by Him, then if you have a hard time giving it up, all you need to do is ask God to give you the strength to give it up. He shows you the sin and then gives you His power alone to give it to Him. God is so neat that way--it's like getting a test and then He gives you the answers and ways to "get it right". There is no way we can give up sin on our own power. Giving it to Jesus is the only way.

I always knew the devil exsisted, and that he is just waiting to find us in a weak moment. But, I read a book written my Ben Alexander, and learned a whole lot more about how the devil operates. The ouija board, seances, tarrot card readings, etc. I really believed they were all palor tricks, to trick people out of their money. But, after reading this book, and the scripture references, I've had my eyes opened. The devil is in all this. He picks out the weak ones, and through them, trys to get to us. We all need to keep in the word, because, if we don't, he is waiting for us! A very interesting book.

Question related to Deuteronomy! 2: 21-22:

[“The Lord your God will choose a special place. He will put his Name there. But suppose it's too far away for you to go to it. Then you can kill animals from the herds and flocks the Lord has given you. Do it just as I have commanded you. In your own towns you can eat as much of the meat as you want to. Eat it as you would eat antelope or deer meat. Those who are clean and those who are not can eat it.]

These verses seem to be giving the Israelites permission for the first time to eat foods previously considered unclean. Am I reading these verses correctly or do you have another interpretation on these verses?

God Bless!
Pat

Proverbs 12:4 This verse made me realise as much as I pray for the Lord to bring me a man who will be a good husband and father (when the time comes), I too have to work through my walk in God, in becoming a worthy wife to him. Because I believe he too is praying for a God fearing wife. So I have to be an answer to his prayers. Putting God first, loving Him and obeying His commandements (Deut 11:1-12) is what I want to do.

Hi everyone! :)

It is so important for us to realize that the devil is existent in our society everyday. Whenever we feel something pulling us toward evil, we must realize that that is the devil tempting us, but that that is why we have Jesus to save us. We must "cling to the cross."

I love Proverbs 12:4. Although we are not married yet, I strive to be a worthy girlfriend, and prepare myself everyday for being a worthy wife. Living a Christian life has made me truly realize what it means to be worthy - to work hard, stifle silly complaints, and remember the joy that God brings into the everyday. Of course my boyfriend does things that frustrate me, but when I stop my anger before it starts, and turn around and do something that pleases him instead, I realize what a better choice that was afterward when I see how happy and in love we are, and how I avoided a silly fight that would have gotten us nowhere. I know that marriage is the relationship that God wants for us, and I cannot wait for that relationship. In the meantime, I am trying very hard not to hen-peck him, but instead have meaningful conversations about marriage that will lead him to realize that God wants us to get married sooner rather than later.

Anyway! I got off on a tangent, but maybe there are others who can relate to my story. :) On a related topic, I was wondering if I could solicit some advice from fellow one year bible readers. I have a friend who recently overcame a very serious drug addiction, and was saved by the Lord. She is now leading the Christian life, and we have started this journey together, so I am trying my hardest to help her along this path. While she no longer has the desire to do drugs, she is struggling with this very drastic lifestyle change. Although I don't want to get into specifics publicly, she is feeling guilty about wanting to do certain things that, while not as bad as her old life, and not considered bad at all in the kind of society she was raised in, are frowned upon in her church. Does anyone have any books, blogs, etc. to recommend in addition to prayer? I know this was kind of long, so thank you to all who read this and pray for her, and thank you so much if you have any advice. God Bless!

Satan Real or Not?????

In general people will say one of the following:
- Evil/Satan does not exist
- Evil exists as some nebulous force
- Satan is real entity

While I believe Satan is a real entity as do all the posters I have seen so far - only 27% of Americans believe Satan is real. And on average around only half of Christians. (Catholics being the low at 17% and Assembly of God being the highest at 56%. Mormons - who are not Christians come in at 59%.)

The numbers come from a Barna Poll (reliable Christian poller) and are from 2001. I have read articles that say the percentages have not changed much - but the only hard numbers I have seen are in this 2001 poll. Link below and the poll numbers are at bottom of page.
http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=92
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I was stunned at these numbers because what it really says is people of faith do not believe God's Word. You can go to any verse that mentions Satan or the devil - substitute "nebulous evil force" in for the name - and most just do not make sense.

So just be aware that you may be talking to a professing Christian but that does not mean they automatically share your view on Satan.


God's Word

How important is it to not just read God's Word - but to meditate and apply it to our lives?

Deut 11:18-20
"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates," NIV

We are blessed that we have the New Testament, and I doubt God's Word is any less important now than it was meant to be for the Israelites.

If you follow this example, it is awfully hard for Satan to get a foothold in you and your familiy's lives when you are constantly in God's Word.
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The One Place of Worship

I believe there is to be one place to worship - because it would be too easy to accomodate and change things up in the outer regions. To skip some things, and include extraneous worship. God wants consistent worship, in a way pleasing to Him, and that is easier to maintain (I think) in a centralized place.

Above all - do not worship as the pagans do to their gods. It may seem more relaxed, more fun, less strict - but it is not pleasing to God.

Deut12:31You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.


Luke 8

Jesus Calms the Storm

The storm was probably being stirred up by Satan. How so? Satan had already made several attempts on the Lord's life - this was just another.

The word "rebuke" in Greek is the same one used in Luke 4 addressed to the demon possesed man in the synagouge. Be Quiet, be muzzled, in a forceful tone.

The storm did not just subside as the NIV has it, but in the Greek, - it "ceased" right then and there. And there was calm.

Why did Jesus ask - "Where is your faith?" They had been with Jesus two years. They knew He was the Messiah. They saw his miracles. They knew there was a plan that was God's, and they were a part of this plan. Did they really think God was going to let them go down in this little boat in a rough sea? Did they really think Jesus was this uncaring towards them? Where is their faith?

Clearly after two years - they still need to be shored up in theior belief in Christ. In fact - this issue will not be resolved until the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

Interestingly - the disciples did wait until the last minute to even go to the Lord. Their attitude was one of panic and fear. How many times do we wait until things are out of control until we go to the Lord - and with what attitude do we go?
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Legion

Covered before, but regarding the townspeoples fear when surveying the aftermath of the casting out of demons.

"When the demons asked Jesus to leave them alone, he overruled them in order to bring the demoniac back to his right mind. Then the man could make a conscious choice about Jesus as Savior and Lord. When the people in their fear rejected Jesus with their eyes wide open, he complied immediately and got into the boat. He was not going to force salvation on anyone. Their fear was of the supernatural. They seemed to be more at home with the demoniac then the Christ who cast out the demons." - Ron Ritchie

Salvation is a gift and it is free - but there is a cost. One must be seeking it, humble oneself, be repentant, and ask for it. These people were not in that place at this time.

Later thanks to the testimony of Legion - who was left behind - many in this area did come to belief.


great readings! a lot really spoke to me. I am single, but I am preparing myself to be the best spouse I can be...if God provides a husband. otherwise i'll be the best single i can be =)

I loved Ps. v. 2 "Let them be turned back and confused. Who desire my hurt"...I had some very hurtful clients today at work...boy did i want revenge! but i took it to the Lord and driving home i remembered a saying i have on my page: "forgiveness means setting the captive bird free...then realizing you were the captive bird!" thats so true....so i forgave them n lay it at the cross n the burden left me. Praise God! I will let God deal with them.
Of course demons, evil, and satan exist....only a fool wouldnt believe that. satan is constantly on the prowl!...he's constantly in attack mode.
I think i shared b4 that I started the Screwtape Letters, but i had to put it away bcos i became too focused on the devil, and i was disturbed. i want to be aware and i recognize whats of him, but i dont want to think of him too much!! The Bible says, watever is lovely, whatever is pure...focus on these things! My dad was studying demonology many years back...he performed exorcisms and such, but we had weird things going on in our house around that time. i didnt know he was studying that cause i was a kid, but my mom later told me that the certain weird things going on started wen he had the study material and tapes here. So i say, be careful! the demonic world is VERYYYY real, dont mess with it! Focus on Jesus Christ!

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