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You asked if I was comfortable crying before God. The answer -- resoundingly YES! In the months of October 2006-January 2007 my husband and I were having "difficulties". It was not a great place. I remember MANY MORNINGS AND NIGHTs that I cried out to God. I tried to figure out what was going on but I couldn't. I had to trust and rely that God knew what was going on. During this time the only verse that coming to my head was that Nothing is impossible with God.

Well..my crying and talking with God during this dark period was worth it. Why? I became closer to my God and my marriage has been restored.

God wants to hear your tears. He has saved every single one of them so that they will produce JOY! An everlasting peace.

"Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart." Psalm 119:111

I don't really understand Jesus' question (Is this a sincere or rhetorical question?) and comment in Mk 2:9-10:
"Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven' or 'Get up, pick up your mat, and walk'? I will prove that I, the Son of Man, have the authority on earth to forgive sins."

The implication to me is that the man was paralyzed because he was a sinner -- this is a very troubling notion to those of us living with illness and/or disease.

I know that Jesus needs to 'prove' that he is of God, but the link between illness and sin is troubling nonetheless.

Would appreciate anyones explanation (or link to a good commentary) regarding this story.

These were very incredible verses today! The call of Folly is shipwrecking very many lives. We've got to be in prayers because as it says in Psalms Folly is out to get us without reason, even if we are living quiet lives. The thief comes to kill and destroy. I know we all want new bodies-I know I do. This old broken down one of mine gives me fits. I noticed today that even though the people were lined up (for days- look after he came back to Capernaum several days later-they were still there, and had to cut a hole in the roof to get to him) that wasn't his focus. The message he has needs to go out everywhere. Yes he has compassion and will heal, is ABLe to heal and heal thouroughly, but that's not the reason he came. It's the message. What I was most impressed was in Lev was the sacrifice that WASN"T the sin nor the harvest offering. It was a fellowship offering. The response of someone who is greatful to God, is a thankful person. Not griping, but thankful. One day I'll get a new body! I won't be sick any more, because someone came to my town and passed on the message Jesus came to tell. I'm bringing this offering of praise as a testimony, just as he asked me to do. Excited? You bet!

I haven't read all of Bob's commentary on Learning to Love Leviticus yet. I just wanted to comment on growing up on a farm; much of the food that went on our table required the death of an animal. Today we go to the meat market for our meal never giving a thought to where it came from. Reading about the sacrifices brought back memories of my childhood.I could go into bloody sacrifice stories but I think I will leave it here. Give it some thought next time you buy a steak.

Jeff,
here's a commentary related to your question. It seems that Jesus isn't relating the sickness with sin, but instead, he is letting everyone know that he not only has power to heal, but the power to forgive sin. If Jesus simply said, "you are healed," then people could have still denied the fact that he was the son of God. Instead, he said what only God can say, "your sins are forgiven." Then in forgiving his sins, he healed him as well.

Remember that the whole purpose of the book of Mark is so that people will know that Jesus is the Son of God. I think that Mark tells this story, because it's a great one to prove this point. Jesus' is more than a miracle worker, Jesus is God.

Here's a link: http://www.searchgodsword.org/com/bcc/view.cgi?book=mr&chapter=002

I cried out this morning to God then a few moments later your website came to mind. I am so thankful that He listens to us and wants to guide us. Thank you, Lord for loving us so much and always being there 24/7. I am so grateful for this website...this is only my 3rd day...but am learning alot. Thank you.

I have cried to God on many occasions. It was God who removed the sorrow from within me and healed what was making me cry. I know I mentioned this in this blog before but one of the crosses I use to bare is having never found a wife or even a significant other. I’m really fine with being along today and that peace came through God. But 10-years ago I was on an emotional roller coaster over being single, alone and wanting children so very badly that at the time I would have done almost anything to find what I thought would fill me and satisfy my life. I literally cried; actually more like weeping and deep sobbing before God, asking Him, begging Him to please bring someone into my life. He did not bring that special someone but He did give me peace, true peace and an understanding that marriage and children or even having a significant other is not in His plan for me. I did not find this peace over night. It took several years of heartache, but now I know that my crying to God and my opening up to Him allowed Him to enter my life in ways that I could never have imagined. He gave me true peace and understanding, and that peace and understanding has remained with me to this day. I don’t think I could have gotten through that period of my life without God. He saved me, taught me, and is staying by my side guiding me. My crying out has made me more happy and at peace with God and myself than I could have ever imagined. If anyone reading this blog is hurting, in some sort of turmoil or just feeling low in spirit, please don’t hold back your emotions to God. He will help you; He will become a permanent part of your life. I doubt He will fix you over night and I doubt if, as Bob Definbaugh stated in “Learning to Love Leviticus”,

“…I must tell you that God’s word often does not promise us a “warm and fuzzy”.
It is high time that we began to orient ourselves to God, and not insist that God orient
Himself and His word to us.” In other words, you might have to experience some up
hill battles, and no “warm and fuzzes”

He will put a straight and smooth highway along the way but trust me…reaching the crest is more than worth the climb. Open yourself up to God and allow Him to enter your heart. You will never be sorry!

The very first verse in Psalm 35 stood out to me today:
17 How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing?

I didn’t realize it before reading this Psalm, but I say this verse over-and-over.

How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing?
- - - while your children are being shot in our schools. ( pray for the victims of the rampage shooting in Illinois.)
- - - about child abuse.
- - - about spousal abuse.
- - - about the suicide bombers taking innocent lives.
- - - while young men and women in the armed forces throughout the world are placed in harms way fighting a senseless war.
- - - before you come back and reign over the earth.
- - - while people starve to death through the world.
- - - before you bring and end to evil and violence in this world and bring about your everlasting love and peace.

I’m sure you can add many more to this list and so can I. I know that everything happens because of God’s plan and that everything is done on His time table. But I have ask Him often; how long, O Lord?

Yours in Christ
Skip

Gary

[Tried to post this last night but typepad was acting up.]

Another example of the Trinity. Here Mark is validating to the Roman audience that the Servant is Deity. The manner in which Mark describes the scene depicts the Trinity without naming it as such.

Mark 1
"9At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

Jeff,

I agree with Danielle. Here is a sermon that might flow better. it is in .pdf format. If you cannot read .pdf files let me know and I will find another commentary.

"The four men wouldn’t have expected Jesus, who previously healed many men and women in Capernaum, to ignore the paralyzed man’s condition and instead speak to him about his sins. True, the scriptures in general and sometimes specific ways linked sin and illness, but the four men came to Jesus hoping not that he would forgive the paralyzed man but that he would heal him. Furthermore, everyone knew that you went to, or looked to, the temple in Jerusalem, not a house in Capernaum, for God’s forgiveness....

...Because of the biblical link between sin and illness, which some were all too eager to mention, this man would have had cause to question his standing in the kingdom of God (John 9:2). The man shares the faith of his stretcher-bearers inasmuch as he allows them to thrust him into the presence of Jesus. On that basis, Jesus literally says, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Jesus sees him as a child of God, and God forgives his children. The kingdom of God is on the march and even sweeps up a man who can’t walk."

http://www.pbc.org/files/messages/39255/5275.pdf
======================================================
Forgive sin or Healing

The stretcher bearers had faith, the man had faith that Jesus could heal. The man came to Jesus with a need, but Jesus wanted to go to the more critical need.

First, Jesus forgave the man's sins. When we come to Salvation, we may have infirmities, but that is not the overwhelming "need". We are repenting and need forgiveness and restoration with God. Sickness may or may not be healed at Salvation - (in my case I was healed of debilitating mental illness.)

Jesus' authority to forgive sins was not only questioned, but Jesus was (thought by the scribes) accused of blasphemy - at playing God. Sure Jesus could say "sins were forgiven", but there is no tangible proof that it happened. So people could believe or they could not believe.

Mark 2:9
"Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'?"

There have been healings done by the prophets in the past. But no prophet could forgive sins. Only God can forgive sins, and though it is easier to say (because there is no tangible proof), it is the mark of deity that Jesus is ascribing to himself.

Nonetheless, Jesus heals the man. There is no link to sin and illness here. The miracle, as all miracles are, is merely a "sign" that Jesus has the authority to do what He says - in this case "forgive sins".

Mark 2:10a

But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.

The skeptics will say Jesus never claimed Deity. Sometimes I wonder if we read the same Bible??? Not only did Jesus claim deity explicitly, just the reactions of the scribes and Pharisees would tell one that if no one else knew - the priesthood understood Jesus claiming to be deity.

Here is a more subtle claim. Jesus is claiming to be "the Son of Man". this is a reference to Daniel 7:13-14. Where "one like a son of man" comes and is given all glory, power, worship, etc. Since God shares His glory, power authority and worship with no one - this "son of man" must be God. Another subtle reference to the Tinity aspect of God.

Jesus says he is that one - He is "THE Son of Man".

Psalm 35:17-28

David is frustrated. God seems silent. If this is about Saul chasing David it took somewhere close to 16 years for God to answer David's prayer. It is OK to be frustrated. The answer is to lay your frustration honestly at God's feet. God never rebukes David for this - and he will not rebukre us either when we are honest in our feelings about what is going on in our lives.

Daivid does it the right way:

David checks his heart and is satisfied that he is right, and the enemy is evil.

David selects the right weapon - God.

David has the right strategy. Prayer is not the LAST resort it is the FIRST resort.

David has the right motives. there is no difference here betwen David's thoughts and Jesus' command to love enemies and do good unto them. It is just expressed differently:

"...for the right motives, because I want righteousness to triumph. I want goodness to prevail. I want people to know that ultimately God’s ways are the right ways. And when I do that, I am loving my enemy and I am doing good to those who are persecuting me." - Pastor Bryan Clark

To: Danielle and John A.

Thank you so much for your thorough and thoughtful responses.
I've bookmarked the commentaries section from Hearlight for future reference -- I'm certain it will help my understanding of difficult verses immensely as we continue on our daily journey.

Regards and Godspeed,
Jeff

Proverbs 9:13-18

Some interesting contrasts between Wisdom and folly:

-both houses exist at the highest point in the city. But wisdom's is "new",it is built based on the seven pillars.

(Repost) James3:17
"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." NIV

It is implied that folly's house just "is" - it has been there all along. It is the way of the "world". It has always been there and always will be there.

- Wisdom calls out for the "simple" - those who lack "judgment" to change their path and enter her house. Folly calls to the same group, but there is no need to change paths - folly's house is on the same path they have been treading all along. Note: The call seems to be for the undecided. The wise are already at the feast of wisdom, and the fools are already in Folly's house.

- The path of wisdom is grounded in heavenly understanding. The path of folly is grounded in human understanding. This is the pathway of the foolish. It is the choice that requires no choice! It is merely man doing that which he does by nature. This is man going his own way, Pro. 16:25.

- wisdom you can attend the "feast" or folly you can attend the "funeral".



Leviticus 1-3:17

So many people miss the crucial point of God instituting all these sacrifices. Why so many? Couldn't God just streamline the sacrifice process? What is God up to?

Yes, the sacrifices deal with sin and point to Christ, but Ray Stedman has it so RIGHT. God has created man with basic needs, and before Christ God is showing His people these needs and symbolically how they are filled.
======================================================
REPOST FROM LAST YEAR - FEB 16, 1007

I read something in Bob Deffingbaugh's commentary that made me do some reading around the net.

In hindsight we know about the sacrifices pointing to Christ. But what is God doing immediately here for the wandering nation of Israel.

I believe the sacrifices are fulfilling the NEEDS of man.

BURNT OFFERING
Man needs to belong, to be accepted. Here God provides that acceptance on a temporary, day-by-day basis.

The sacrifice must be a "male" animal. Why? In scripture a "male" stands for leadership, dominion. Man was born to Rule. but the offering was totally consumed by fire. Man was made to be possessed by God.

The symbolism is man turns himself totally over to God (consumed offering), and then when possessed by God man rules in a way pleasing to God.

It had to involve a death -only by means of the death of an acceptable substitute can man ever satisfy this great longing to belong to and to be possessed by God.

On this basis man fulfills the need to be accepted by God.
======================================================
GRAIN OFFERING

Once accepted by God - there is a need to respond. (Grain always accompanies the burnt offering). How will we respond to God's acceptance?

If the sacrifice is done with the right heart and not turned into a ritual - we should respond as if "fine flour" - smooth and consistent with no rough edges - balanced like the life of Jesus.

Should be like fine flour but we need the oil (Holy Spirit) indwelling (mixed)and anointing (poured on top). The incense to provide an aroma pleasing to the Lord - what God sees. Not outward, but inward is what God sees. And it will all be preserved by the adding of "salt".

What not to add or have in the offering:

Leaven - puffs up the yeast - we are not to respond with "Pride".

"Honey" - why honey? Honey is a natural sweetener. Don't come to God with your own natural attributes (no matter how sweet). Symbolically - the only sweetness God wants from you is the sweetness of the perfect humanity of Christ working in you. To the Israelites - depend on God to develop your "response" if the sacrifices are done with the right heart.
======================================================
PEACE OFFERING

Accepted, responded, and now the need for peace. the peace of security, emotional stability, an untroubled heart.

This offering can be male or female. Peace does not depend on postion - leader or follower - all need this "peace".

All the "fat" was to be cut out and consumed (burned) at the altar. Fat symbolizes the "richness of life". It is the Lords' to give.

They were to eat no "blood" (symbol of Life), nor fat (richness of life), they are the Lord's to give.

By offering the "fat", the Israelite was saying - he is dependant on God for the richness of his life. He can be at peace because he is accepted by the Lord (burnt offering), and God provides.

[email protected]

If you want to read the three accompanying sermons to this repost - and I highly encourage it - the links are here:
http://www.pbc.org/files/messages/3501/0502.html

http://www.pbc.org/files/messages/3505/0503.html

http://www.pbc.org/files/messages/3509/0504.html

oops!

Should have read:

REPOST FROM LAST YEAR - FEB 16, 2007

I love you Mike

I think we would all do well to remmember that the devil gives you his best cup frist.

About the crying part, I do cry, at times, when I'm feeling terribly down and everything's in a fix. Whenever I felt like exploding, I would recall how God has helped me through my previous problems. This really strenghten my faith and allows me to put my trust in him wholehearthly. I put all my burden down before Him and asked for his helped. And soon after the tears of sadness stopped flowing, for I've found comfort in the Lord.

If He had helped so many who trusts Him, then He will definitely help me too!

This is for Skip who posted at Posted by: Skip | February 16, 2008 at 05:50 PM ...

You sound like a prophet and/or a Nazarite. Perhaps the LORD wants you to study those two words and let Him tell you whether you are one or the other, both, or neither but that you simply are in a deeper place with Him. He may not be saying no to a wife and children, but, rather, 'not yet my child'. Ask God to show you any unrecognized sin in your life. Thank Him, then simply let it go (for example, turn from your sin and go and sin no more... lots of examples of that). 'Perfect' is a concordance word as well to be studied, as well as 'santification'.

Yeshua hamashiach (Jesus the Christ) wants alignment, in full. Be sure not to wait 1 minute to tell others the Good News. Ask the Lord, how may I serve you?
I have a plastic sack filled with scripture cookies (they're better than fortune cookies I tell people - believers and unbelievers). Little notes of scripture that touched me. Just go to Biblegateway.com, get the text, paste it many times on 1 page (2 columns) and print 1 page per reload, many diff sc. All files go to same dir on PC, then select all files in Windows Explorer dir viewer, click right to Print. Prints all. Separate them in love, wondering who the Lord will touch with each, and that your Heavenly Father is smiling as you make the tiny little "cookies" of love and obedience.

Selah.

Amen.

[email protected]

Still catchin' up here...

All of Psalm 35, but particularly this last segment, struck me as parallel to Christ's passion in so many ways. E.g., yesterday we heard, in the early part of Ps35, about "those who seek my life" (v4), "Ruthless witnesses come forward" (v11), then fasting and *unanswered* prayer (v13), and "...when I stumbled, they gathered in glee..." (v15) (not unlike what is assumed to have happened before Simon took up Jesus' cross).

Today, the preview to the passion continues with gloating (v19), false accusations (v20), etc. Reading it as if it's talking about Jesus (and so much of the Bible 'echoes' through time, shedding light on multiple events) it sends shivers up my spine!! All of it was foreknown. All of it was foretold. If only more had ears to hear...

Finally, I love how Psalm 35 concludes, with an Easter-like note in v27 ("May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness")

God bless, everyone!

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