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Arielle,

"what are your views on the below passage:

Psalms22:27 The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him. All the families of the nations will bow down before him."
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Psalm 22 is a messianic psalm, and I guess I am guilty of usually concentrating on the first 21 verses. Those verses describe the Crucifixion - some 800? (maybe it is a 1,000) years before Christ's death. At that time David wrote this: crucifixion was not a method of execution.
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The last ten verses actually look at God's Glory after the crucifixion - the resurrection.

It is prophesied that the news will be proclaimed to Israel first. Which is what happened.

Your verses above indicate a prophecy that the gospel will be spread to the ends (extremities) of the earth, and all families (types of people) will bow down before Him.

It is not an everybody situation. Simply that it will be spread everywhere, and every family (nuclear, clan, nationality - not sure here?) will be represented in believers.

From the prosperous to the dead shall bow before Him.

The seed (church/body of believers) shall serve him for a coming age
(period of time). And will declare the gospel. that he hath done this - Tetelestai(GREEK) - "it is finished". The last word from Christ on the Cross.

Arielle,

"Why was it hard for the disciples to have faith that GOD would work through them when required?

How can we as humans develop that faith that CHRIST is talking about in Mathew 17:20?
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Good questions. Two things:
1)mustard seed may be little but the point is it grows.
2)Moving mountains is a common Jewish phrase for removing difficulties/obstacles in one's path. So don't go try to "literally" move any mountains with your faith :)
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So what about the disciples? Well they had the promise (from Christ) and were given the power (by Christ) to cast out demons, and they have cast out demons in the past? What is different here?

Well, they had "some" faith - they tried to cast out demon. But had that little mustaqrd seed of faith "grown"? Christ was not present, they tried once, twice, maybe three or more times. BUT AT SOME POINT - they stopped.

Why??????

Because it was not working. They quit. They did not think they could do it - because it did not happen easily. Remember the centurion of great faith - He believed Jesus could heal from afar. The Canaanit woman simply would not quit asking. They had great faith and I simply could not see them quitting in their beseeching of Jesus.

This is a step in growth for the disciples - preparing them for the tough times coming ahead. Jesus wanted them to learn persistence. To NEVER quit trusting that God/Jesus can do what His revealed Word says to us (the disciples).

Great faith would have been for them to be still calling out the demon all the way until Jesus came back down the mountain. The mustard seed if it had grown into a "bush" of faith - would have overcome this obstacle. The Key: Persistence.
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Before we are too hard on the disciples - remember they do not have our hindsight - everything is not totally clear to them until Pentecost. They are learning the hard way at this point.

How do we get greater faith? Pray in the will of God. Ask Him to make your faith stronger, Ask him to increase you trust, humility, submission, and your reverence and awe of Him. Look for other characteristics of believers in His Word and pray for enhancement of those things. Some or all may be as small as a mustard seed - but if you ask God He will grow them in you.


Moses - Clay on Potter's Wheel

AAAGGHH! Illness and minor surgery mad me miss last couple of days. But I want to say something about Moses.
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Moses had two influences in his pre=adult life:
1) His mother. It can be argued that she did not turn Moses back over to Pharaoh's daughter until he was past terrible two's :). Vs.10 the child grew....
2) The predominate influence was the court of the most advanced civilization at that time in the World . Moses would have the best education and physical training as befitting a prince of the court (adopted or not). Josephus cites Moses as a brilliant military commander, eloquent orator, and very wise. It makes sense if you think about it.

Moses knew he nad a connection with the Jewish people. Vs.11

THE PROBLEM: God was going to redeem Israel His way and for His Glory, and His way was not to have Moses lead a revolt. Moses had a mixture of the world and Hebrew in him, and was not dependant upon God.

Moses needed to be humbled. As a clay vase - Moses was a vase consisting of mostly Egyptian and a little Hebrew, and perhaps a smattering of God. As stated in Job, when the vase is imperfect the potter smashes it down and starts over building it into the intended vase.
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Was Moses humbled? After forty years in Midian he was shepherding his father-in-law's herd - not his own. Shepherding was a despised profession in Egypt. Moses was out in the boonies. A far cry from his upbringing in Egypt.

It is now time for the potter (God) to start building Moses up. Moses had sunken low. He tried to get out of God's task of being His emissary to the Pharaoh. I believe Moses even lied when saying he had a speech impediment. God is patient. He knew Moses state, and reassured Moses and prodded Moses as needed for the task.

Perhaps Ramona was right that the murder charge hung on Moses' mind? Or perhaps Moses was broken and lacked self-confidence (my viewpoint). Is anything impossible for God? We can watch as the chapters unfold as Moses grows in his faith by his dependance on the Lord.

How does Moses change over time - long range project study :)


Exodus 6:6-8

God's Way and for His Glory:
His overall plan for redeeming Israel (and us). The Picture of Redemption

6 "Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.' "
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Begins and ends with the Lord. A lot of "I will's" - seven in fact which is a number for completeness. This is the complete plan. Don't see Moses, you, or I mentioned.

From our perspective:
1)I will bring you out from under the burden of the World.
2) I will free you from being slaves to sin.
3) I will redeem you (save you)
4)I will make you mine (believer)
5)I will be your Father and you will know I am Lord.
6)I will bring you to heaven.
7) I will make you co-heir to heaven.

Book-ended by God. I am the Lord.

Luch,

I am guilty of the following more often than I would care to admit.

Somewhere along the way believers got away from the idea of assembling, worshipping God AND loving each other and edifying (building one another's faith).

Instead we get a building and a professional staff, and it became their job (even if it is elders) to manage church affairs. We are there to be called upon, but mostly we check in on Sundays.

Have been to plenty of good churches and the vertical love and worship of God is almost palpable. What is not palpable is the horizontal love and care for one another after the service and the rest of the week. It may be there in small familiar circles, but it has not rippled out to the rest of the congregation.

That is not to say people do not attend church events, nor ignore cries for help. As long as it is structured. But it seems all too often (guilty here)we as believers are too busy to get too involved in other believer's lives for whatever the reasons.

Not everybody, not all the time, but it is something I think we as believers need to be praying about to God. Lord increase our love for our brothers and sister's and if needed put me in a place to help edify and encourage fellow Christians.

Please know that if for some reason you are caught in the ropes of sin, please know that Jesus can truly set you free. Please pray for this freedom in Christ. Only in Christ are we truly set free! Please seek this freedom in Christ with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Don't die for lack of self-control. Don't be lost because of the folly of sin. Please accept the free gift that Jesus offers you this very day.

I pray God will still use me in the midst of my protesting. I sometimes protest about life, ministry or other things, but now I put my protest sign down before God.

John A.--enjoyed your comments today about the church and the need for more "horizontal" love among the church. I find it easier to stuff myself with sermons and inspiring worship and call it happy for the week. Loving people is the "rubber meets the road work"--it requires much flexibility, mercy, time, and patience.

I love the heart of Matthew 18 today with regard to forgiving others freely. We have been given such grace, yet there's often a disconnect when we need to extend that grace to others. I enjoyed Brian's comments over at the Daily Audio Bible today about releasing brokenness and hurts. I'm not sure I always know the condition of my heart--places where I need to release others, the Lord, or myself (!) for hurts or circumstances in my life. I think I need to take time and ask Him to reveal these to me so that I can release them and move on.

Kitty, your heart cry is the same as my own--Lord, use me despite my reservations and feet dragging! Both my husband and I are cautious and careful in temperament (which can be a good thing), but I don't want us to miss the big plans that the Lord has for us because we buried our talents out of fear or protested and pulled away in more subtle ways. I want to look back on my life and know that I've stepped into surf of God's will even though I didn't always know where it would take me. Even though I had doubts in my heart, like Moses. I want to be abundantly faithful to Him and His plans for my life.

Hello Again,

About divorce.....

I have been blessed to have parents who modeled a loving relationship. Though it was not a perfect relationship, they were loyal to each other and gave each other a lot of grace and freedom. This example helps me to extend grace and freedom to my husband and children.

My husband comes from a family of divorce-- a very "cordial" divorce after 20 years together and their children had grown. But, I think some of the "ghosts" of this decision still follow the family around, impacting their relationships and self-perceptions. I think some of the things we've worked through in our marriage are because of seeds sown in that marriage too. Praise God that He is able to heal these areas and bring light into that darkness!!!

Henry, I know you have been very hurt by your divorce and I will continue to pray for healing in your life...

Elizabeth, your grace and kindness shines through your comments. I am sure you are a great blessing to your husband and children.

Exodus 7

Hardening of Pharaoh's Heart

Every year I get objections regarding the hardening of Pharaoh's heart. 'It is not fair, God is playing dirty, if that is your God you can have Him, just another example of the spiteful God of the Old Testament.

So let's look at this issue: What is going on?

Exodus 9:16 and Romans 9:17 say the saqme thing:
"For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."

http://www.carm.org/diff/Rom9_17.htm

So, God raised up Pharaoh to be Pharaoh of Egypt. God made sure this guy came to power. Why this guy?

Spiritually: Egypt represents the world, and Pharaoh represents satan.

In real world: this guy came to power; considered himself a god, and would be damned if he was going to let the God of his slaves tell the most powerful ruler on earth what to do and when to do it through Moses. Pharaoh's heart was already pre-disposed to be stubborn, prideful, and full of self.

Does God have the right to use such evil non-believing people? Absolutely. God is sovereign and in an imperfect world will use what satan means for evil to be good in the end for God's people.

I have always maintained this whole creation to Revelation thing is about God's Glory. His Glory (all His Characteristics) will be on display and maximized. More on that is a later post this year.

Satan means for Israelites to stay in Egypt. If they stay they can never fulfill prophecy in Promised Land, and satan wins - as satan discredits God's Word. Pharaoh is satan's tool. God lets the two of them hang themselves in this series of plagues.

How does this play out????
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First plague

Interestingly there are three Hebrew words used for "harden": qashah, chazaq, and kabed. Why three and when are they used????

God initially tells Moses He will harden (qashah) Phaqraoh's heart (7:3).

After the rod/snake demonstration Pharaoh's heart is hardened (chazaq)-(7:13). This is a growing into hardness from a predisposed condition. God allows Pharaoh to be Pharaoh.

God says Pharaoh's heart is non-responsive/unyielding (kabed). (7:14). This is the odd comment, because it indicates that if Pharaoh had responded to this demonstration of God's power, perhaps things may have played out differently. [Note: Satan is incapable of responding to God - so to his servant - so the stage is set for the first plague.]

Bloody Nile - attacks the god of the Nile - Hapi. the water was considered the life-blood of Osiris. To turn it into blood was a direct affront to Egyptians.

Again Pharaoh's heart was hardened (chazaq) (7:22), and again it grew out of a predisposed condition. So God again allows Pharaoh to be Pharoah, and satan to have his way.

Let's keep track of how the Hebrew words for harden are used as we go along in the readings on the plagues......

Matthew 18

A few notes:
1) I have heard "seventy times seven" is a Jewish saying for "infinity". Peter thought he was being magnaminous by saying seven times as Rabbinical law says forgive a man "three times".

2) Judicial forgiveness is at the cross and one's acceptance of Jesus Christ as your Lord AND Savior. That is not what is going on in this parable as Jesus is speaking to believers (disciples).

Temporal punishment is what happens when we sin and God uses his "rod" to discipline us here on earth to bring us back into fellowship.

"The inquisitors merely represent the means by which God puts you under the stress, difficulty, and pressure of chastening until you confess your sin...I think what the parable is saying is plain and simple: The sinner will satisfy God, paying what can be paid, when he is broken in repentance and contrite in heart, stepping into the sphere of obedience. At that point, fellowship is restored." - John MacArthur
http://www.biblebb.com/files/mac/2335.htm

As believers when we realize the enormous debt (sins) God has forgiven us, and we have a regenerated heart - we should forgive the transgressions done unto us. Often I pray to God that if I have not totally forgiven someone to please work in my heart - increase my compassion, and lead me to a point of forgiveness.

3) Moses did not give the command for divorces. Moses permitted divorces because that is what the people wanted (free will). Divorces for any reason was never God's way.

Some are born eunuchs, some are made eunuchs, and some figuratively have become eunuch's for the kingdom's sake. If someone is not in that category - then they should be praying for a partner in marriage. (My interpretationof this passage.)

I enjoyed this version of Ps 23 :)

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