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I think the Israelites lost their fear of God.The Levite knew he was called to be a priest as did Micah.The Danites knew as a Levite he was supposed to hear from God yet they had no regard for God or his commandments.To me it seems more like the Danites went to a fortune teller.They had a few facts:the people of Laish were secluded so nobody could help them and they were unsuspecting(even trained armies are vulnerable to a suprise attack how much more these people)...could they have thought in their hearts "who needs God's approval when we can wipe out these people without breaking a nail".They obviously heard about God even went to hear from Him but their actions show they didn't fear God.This still happens today..we go to church to hear from God,maybe even get a blessing but as soon as we get out of church our light shines dimmer that that of an unbelievers.
When Nicodemus spoke to Christ he said "we" kinda makes me wonder if the rabbi's saw the truth but as John said were too full of Zeal for the house of God:it paid well,gave them respect etc.Some of them didn't even believe in resurrection so they wanted to get the best out of life on earth.When they arrested Jesus,they broke a lot of the rules they so meticulosly taught.Like the Levite priest,they only did what paid them well.When Jesus came with the truth it felt bad so they refused to listen.They let their passion for money and power blind them.The pull to listen to our passions,to live it out,to get so involved with our work or problems is sometimes much louder than the voice of the Holy Spirit.I need the fear of the Lord in my know that even though nothing can take away his love for me,my lack of reverence for him will eventually make me loose my love for him then take me on a self distructive path of condamnation

Judges 17:1-18:31

Reading today’s Old Testament passage reminds me that things are pretty much the same today as they were 3-4 thousand years ago, nothing new under the sun. Here we have pictured some family dynamics that have gone awry. We have a son who has stolen from his mother and the return of the money, under threat or fear of a curse, is seen as time to get “religious” and honor the son who stole it. As we read on, we find out that the son’s mother is a grandmother because this man Micah has a son; what a godly example he is for his offspring, NOT.

Superstition, and superstitious have permeated Israel, not only is the God who protected them in the desert, the God who brought them out of Egypt with a might hand not served, he is looked on as one of many gods to be manipulated, a god that can be transferred from one person to another. When a nation falls into this kind of thinking, the children and other family members are used as a means of protection by the head-of-household, or the ones with the biggest posse and the greatest forth of strength. Three times, we read that either the son (1 time) or the priests (twice) were set-up to be “protection” for grown men. (17:5, 10; 18:19). Is this not what Abraham and Isaac subjected their wives too but magnified?

Whether we actually install our children as priests and give them a title as father, when we instruct our children to tell the Bill Collector on the phone that we are not in, when we stand back and send our children to the front of the line so that people will give them preference and force “mercy and grace,” we are setting up our children to be proctors like Micah and the men from Dan. When God moves from being our protector, our provider, our strong tower, when God moves from being a personal God to just a god, our children and relationships become a tool to be used to get what we want. We in effect, like Micah, like Dan establish our own religion build our own idols, even if it is not metal or stone, and offer up our children, spouses, and “friends” and other relationships on the alter of our fears.

Love desires to benefit others at the expense of self – for God so loved the world …; Lusts desires to benefit self at the expense of others. What is it? Do we love or lusts? Some very tough questions that I need to answer.

The question do I think Jesus is my king? I have never thought of Jesus as my king. I know that He is the King of Jews. However, when I think of Jesus I think of Him as my Father.

I believe despising your neighbor is a sin. Also you have to remember, who your neighbor? It is not only the person next door, but EVERYONE. I reach out to my neighbor when they need things, I give to the needy, but I know myself I fall short in this area. I feel I am very blessed and I continue to look for areas in my life to help others. God said we are to help the widows, poor and needy, and I try do do as He says. Have a blessed day. Peggy

I was always taught that the very next person you see is your neighbor-so I guess that does mean everyone! Jesus is my Father, brother, savior and yes-King. We are called to serve him, as well as serve others in his name.

About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

Peace Be With You

"Will you pray today to 'God and Jesus' for this Spiritual rebirth?"
Nicodemus’ Night Interview With Jesus _(John 3:1-2) Deffenbaugh
“Before we move to our Lord’s response, we should observe that Nicodemus is partly correct in his assessment of Jesus. Jesus is a “teacher come from God,” and God is “with Him” (verse 2). What Nicodemus does not know is that his words are even truer than he realizes. Jesus is literally a “teacher come from God.” He has come down to earth from the Father. And God is “with Him.” But Jesus is much greater than Nicodemus ever imagined at this moment in time. He is God, and He manifests the power of God in His teaching and working of signs. It will be some time yet before Nicodemus realizes the full truth of what he has just said. What he hears next catches him completely off guard.
Jesus: Not a Man sent from God, but God come as Man, verse 13. The one thing about Jesus that impressed the crowds (Matt. 7:28-29) and irritated the Jewish leaders (Matt. 91:23) was that He taught and acted with authority. The basic issue for a Pharisee like Nicodemus was the authority of Jesus. Nicodemus was willing to grant, by virtue of the signs performed by our Lord, that Jesus was a man sent from God, but this was not nearly enough. Jesus was God sent as a man. Our Lord’s heavenly origin set him apart from every other Israelite, even the great men such as Abraham, Moses and the prophets: “And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, even the Son of man!” (John 3:13)."
The statement like, "God & Jesus & the Holy Spirit" can confuse unbelievers into thinking that Jesus is not our eternal God who came to earth "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us", lived an unblemished, perfect life and atoned for our sin...We need to be somewhat careful not to confuse the Truth...God, the Father, God the Son, Jesus & God the Holy Spirit...Three in One Holy, Almighty, All Knowing, All Loving God.

God bless you, Mike for all you're doing with this fantastic Blog! Joyage

I love the story from Jesus and Nicodemus!!!! When people ask me why I made the choice to be reborn, I always give them the chapter of Nicodemus.
Verse 3 "Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” ~ There's no way you can get a better explanation!
Verse 18 "“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in Him. But anyone who does not believe in Him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son". ~ I love this verse!

Proverbs 14:21 ""He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy." ~ I really care deeply for my neighbors, they're not my best friends though. And I know for a fact they are not very fund of us because we are Christians. They were raised Muslims, but do not practise their religion. Many times I've tried to have normal contact with them, but they won't allow it. All I do is pray for them, because they have a terrible relationship. They are not married and have 3 kids from her former marriage. They fight constantly and I feel so sorry for them. Life doesn't have to be this way. I truly believe that we're blessed when we are kind to the needy. I'm doing all the best I can to be kind to the needy. It makes me happy to see a smile on their face when I help them out and I thank the Lord for giving me the strength to help out.

My life is not about me, it's about others.

John 3:1-21

Man with a Searching Heart

Nicodemus did not have a heart like Nathaniel. Jesus did not reveal Himself directly here as He did with Nathaniel. Jesus did reveal some things to Nicademus as this man was searching Him out - coming out of the Darkness (night) into the Light (Jesus).

Nicodemus came paying respect. He alluded that more than just he ("we") know you are a "teacher" from God. For a member of Sanhedrin to call another a "teacher" was a great sign of respect. The Pharisees believed that if one taught the things from God, and the people tried to obey, that that would please God.


Jesus cuts to the quick, to halt this belief in man's efforts to please God through teaching of rules.

John 1:3
"In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." NIV

"I tell you the truth" or "Verily, Verily" in the KJV is the Greek word "amen". It is the way every witness in a Jewish trial is to start off his testimony. Here is God Himself saying - "I TELL YOU THE TRUTH" - one should probably listen to what comes next.

What is next? No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. "Again" is Greek word - "anothen" which has three meanings:
-It means again to do it a second time;

-it also means to begin radically, completely, a new beginning;

-and it also means from above, and it is used in that sense in other places in Scripture.

It signifies God must do this. The Christian understanding of this word includes all three of those meanings. It is speaking of something radical, a new beginning. It is a second birth, but it comes from above. It is God that does it, not man; and it results in a new creation, a new beginning.
Nicodemus wants Clarification

John 1:5
"Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."

Again God is saying this is the Truth - and "born again" is equated with being born of water and the Spirit.

Many are confused - as I had been - about "born of water". I have come to believe that being "born of water" is talking about Baptism, but not the act itself of baptism, but the attitude to which you come to baptism.

Remember John the Baptist? What was his cry to the people before they entered the Jordan. REPENT! REPENT! It does no good to go into baptismal waters without having repented. Acknowledging our sinful state, our unworthiness before God, and our inability to "fix" things with God.

You cannnot receive the Spirit without having first repented. It is having a repentant heart that is the key - not a baptism ceremony. Remember the thief on the cross - he had no baptism, yet he repented, believed, and asked to be with the Lord. That day he was with Christ in paradise.

With repentence God will make you alive in the Spirit. Your life will no longer be your own, like the wind goes as God pleases - so will you be led by God through the Spirit.

John 3:1-21

Man with a Searching Heart (cont.)

Nicodemus does not get it - remember this is radically different than what the Pharisees have been teaching.

Jesus says - you should get it - it is in Scripture - how do you not know this concept of being born again?

Nicodemus supposedly knew Scripture. Jesus also knew that book. He knew that Isaiah had spoken about a new life from God; that Jeremiah had predicted a new creation that would be given; that Ezekiel had said that God would take out the old heart of stone and give a new heart of flesh. All through the Old Testament there are statements about a new birth, a new beginning, a new creation, a new life that would come as a gift of God to those who would humbly, without pride, receive it as something they desperately needed.

Eze 36:26 "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." KJV

It is all there in the Scripture (OT) Nicodemus - you are a teacher and you do not get the connection????
John 1:11
"I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony." NIV

Again - God is saying this is the TRUTH. so who is the "we" in Jesus statement. I believe it is the Scripture referred to previously and Christ Himself. God's Word and the Word made flesh both testifying to the Truth.

When two witnesses agree in their testimony at a Jewish trial - it is considered valid testimony. How come you people do not see that I am speaking the Truth.
John 1:18
"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." NIV

So the rubber hits the road. If you are a non-believer in Jesus Christ - you are already condemned. You are living out a time on earth - where you have the opportunity to change the sentence of rejecting God.

"If you are traveling on a wrong road and every so often you see a signpost that points the way to the right road, but you persist and go by all those signposts, refusing to take the way back to the right road, then you remain wrong. That is God's view of life." - Ray Stedman

Why do we stay on the wrong road?

"This is a universal human reaction. We all dislike being shown to be wrong. I feel that way myself. I do not even want to be corrected in the way I pronounce a word. If you tell me that I have mispronounced a word, and prove from a dictionary that you are right, I will challenge the dictionary! We do not like to be shown to be wrong. This verse is saying that normal human reaction is part of our fallen character. That is why life is so hard to change. Nobody wants to change. Nobody wants to admit he is wrong." - Ray Stedman

That is why God must draw us to Him. If He did not all of us would stay on the wrong road.

So if God is drawing you to Him what will you do? Where is your heart towards God? You must repent, belive in his name, and receive Jesus into your life.

Jesus translated "Jehovah is Salvation" - it is of God (period).

Thank you Micky for sharing your remarkable experience with us. What a wonderful testimony! Christ must have great plans for you because He has saved and prepared you for some awesome task.

God Bless!

Thank you, Pat, may God remember you in His KINGDOM!!

Peace Be With You

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