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My family doesn't get it & when I feel I am beating my head against a wall & I feel useless I always remember that even Jesus' family didn't understand & He moved on to others. That has worked for me also.
My prayers are still heard but I must reach out to those who will listen. In all ways He has shown us that He was truly here & knows what we go through & gives blessed hope that we can overcome!

I have a soapbox too on that subject of TV, can't wait!

It is interesting to me the power of our Levitical readings over the past couple of days. Because of some issues with blood sugar, I need to be extremely sensitive to carbohydrates (follow Atkins). For the past few days, I have felt very weak in convincing myself to stay away from the carbs. Reading the food restrictions helped me to stay faithful to God's plan for my eating (as an aside--turning a food addiction fully over to God's power has led to a 110 pound weight loss). I know that God's "prescriptions" with regard to food are important--and even though the Levitical reasoning was not avoiding sugar OR spaghetti--it has had great power for me.

Today, I am reading while at home with a sick child. We continue to have rules about exposure of sickness and the need to isolate. This time it is flu and not skin diseases--but contagion is still a great concern in our world.

All of this to say that I am still struggling with the spiritual work of Leviticus, but I am more fully understanding the physical importance of this reading.

sally

I had to leave some of my friends to embark on my journey toward Christ. Not only were they a bad influence on me, I was also a part of their sinfulness. I can't blame them. I just had to leave.

Although once I tried to expain this to them, they didn't understand. They looked at me as some kind of freak, and I'm sure as a hypocrite. "How could this guy who was involved in this and that now take refuge with Jesus?" Well, I wondered that myself, and still do but my journey is one day at a time and I thank God for saints that have entered my life, thank God for His Church, thank God for his Word. I thank God for this group of readers and believers in His Word. This is my third year with you, embarked on my third trip completely through the Scriptures. I have a long way to go but I thank God for all of His Blessings to me. Every day I pray for those friends that I've left behind, that someday they might join me again. Please pray for them.

Psalm 39

Prayer for Wisdom and Forgiveness

The Well Intended Vow

1 I said, "I will watch my ways
and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
as long as the wicked are in my presence."
2 But when I was silent and still,
not even saying anything good,
my anguish increased.

David is suffering, but David vows not to "sin" with his tongue. David does not want to give ammuniton to the wicked against God - David does not want to dishonor God in from of the wicked. So David vows to hold his tongue.

However, there is a problem that pops up in verse two:

"Yes, David refrained from openly complaining against God, but he also refrained from openly acknowledging the many blessings that God showered upon him even in the midst of his difficulties. David committed the sin which Paul points out in Romans 1:21 as a sin that was so characteristic of the pagan world:21 ... although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful ...Even in our darkest times, we have an obligation to give thanks to God for all His goodness to us. Even in our darkest times, we have an obligation to rejoice in the Lord. Even in our darkest times, we have an obligation to believe that God is working all things for His own glory and for the good of those who love Him." - Grover Gunn
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The Unintended Vice

To use the language of the latter part of Romans chapter seven, our first point is the good which I would do, and our second point is the sin which I instead practice.

When David's anguish increased, and his heart grew hot in him, then David spoke - in an angry outburst:

It is similar to what Soloman writes in Eccliastes. What use is it? My days are short - and what I build up I have no control over when I am gone - it is all in vain. My life is so short Lord, and worthless, and on top of that I have to put up with your chastisement. How bad is that?
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The Divinely Enabled Virtue

7 "But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.

8 Save me from all my transgressions;

Given all this - David realizes and writes So what do I do? I look to you and ask you to save me. I cannot do it on my own. Only You can do it.

"In this last section, the psalmist again referred to this life as a vapor, but this time his comment was not in a context of complaint. This time his comment was in a context of recognitionof his dependence upon God. Now he prayed that since life is as a vapor, since life is so short, may God remove his affliction and give him strength to live his remaining days for God. Now that the psalmist has repented of his sin and now that the psalmist has already benefited spiritually from God's chastening hand, the psalmist humbly prayed for God's undeserved blessings upon him.

The psalmist in his repentance referred to himself in this life as a sojourner, a name for a traveler who is temporarily living in a strange country. This is another way of expressing the thought with which I began this sermon. This life is important because it is a prelude to eternity. We are strangers here; our permanent home is to come. As the people of God, our sorrows here are temporary. As the people of God, our joys here are the foretaste of greater joys to come. Our goal in our short sojourn should be to live for God's glory and kingdom." - Grover Gunn

Proverbs 10:10

"He who winks maliciously causes grief,
and a chattering fool comes to ruin."

"What’s the point of this proverb? Some people cause trouble for others through concealed communication. That’s bad. But a babbler eventually causes even worse trouble – complete ruin - for himself. That’s stupid." - Coty Pinckney


Leviticus 13

Certainly on a practical level - the teachings on leprosy indicate a need for keeping the Israelites from being infected. Preserving their number and maintaining their healthy growth as a population.

But what about the spiritual nature? What is God saying here symbolically that we can use today? Leprosy has always been denoted symbolically as sin.

"This passage is talking to us about the afflictions and diseases of the spirit, the hurtful attitudes we have, the burning resentments, the feelings of anger and upset we go through, and the grudges we carry around in our hearts toward one another. These are to be detected because they can be very dangerous, and the process is to expose them to a priest." - Ray Stedman

We are all "blind" to ourselves in some manner. We may not see in ourselves something that is wrong. The condition needs to be looked at by another (a priest/NT=believer) and given time to be considered.

If by prayer and the Word of God it does not spread then it is taken care of spiritually. If raw, spreading, deeper - it is still a problem.

If one turns all white - then we are cleansed by the Word of God through repentance and asking for forgiveness - "white" all over symbolizing being clothed in righteousness.

If not - then the believer who has this "sin" problem faces isolation - perpetual sin will separate you from the body. Probably more because you do not want to be around the assembly, more than being outcast. Symbolically with torn lives, loss of beauty reflecting Christian lifestyle, and giving off a vibe of "unclean".

The good news is - turning to God, repenting of your sinful behavior, and asking forgiveness will return you to health.
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Garments - Mildew

Garments reflect character and the nature of relationships. (we wear different things in different roles we have in life.)

Relationship is examined over time, if spreading perhaps that relationship is unhealthy and needs ot be ended. If not spreading, then wash in the Word of God and if not changed then end. If dimmed - then cut out the bad nature of the relationship. If it comes back then end the relationship.

If clean after washing - wash continually (a second time in the Word of God), and it is clean and the relationship continues.

Mark 6
A Prophet Without Honor

On Jesus' return to Nazereth he taught. Instead of enbracing the "wisdom" they perceived, instead of taking the miracles as "signs" to heed Jesus' words - the Nazarenes fell back on what they knew.

They knew His former occupation (carpenter), they knew His family? They knew what their five senses told them - and it was enough to reject the teaching.

Is it any different today? People who only acknowledge what their senses tell them - have a hard time with the supernatural. If you cannot acknowledge God - How can you be open to the Word of God?
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Disciples Sent Out

It seems that if people were not listening or welcoming - the disciples were to leave.

Consequently, if the people listened - what were they listening to:
"They went out and preached that people should repent." (Mark6:12)

This was what John the Baptist preached - Repent.

But now, the message is expanded, for John's message ended in a symbolic baptism. Here the disciples drove out demons and healed people. Perhaps this was the beginning of the disciples exposure to the connection of Repentance and the healing power of Jesus over evil and sin (sickness) in people's lives.

It should be noted that "Judas" was a member of the twelve. What implications does that have for us today??????

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I don’t know why but Psalm 39 made me think about the people who do not know Jesus. Our life IS but a breath. It passes by so very quickly. I couldn’t do this breath without Jesus. Psalm 39 made me ask the question, how do people who don’t know Jesus keep going?

“Kill Your Television”. It’s amazing! Since I’ve been getting closer to Christ, my TV is being turned on less often and when it is on, many times the voice is muted and I’m using it as a night light. Living alone, having the TV on sometimes gives me the feeling of another presence in the house; I just can’t stand the sound. I’ve also noticed that some of the shows that I use to love are not starting to offend me and that I’m watching more Christian channels and programs. I think that’s God working in my life and I pray that He is working in your life in the same or similar manner. TV is a back alley in a bad city block.

Yours in Christ
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