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June 2020

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Isaiah 33:10-36

Isaiah 33
14 The sinners in Jerusalem shake with fear. "Which one of us," they cry, "can live here in the presence of this all-consuming fire?" 15 The ones who can live here are those who are honest and fair, who reject making a profit by fraud, who stay far away from bribes, who refuse to listen to those who plot murder, who shut their eyes to all enticement to do wrong. 16 These are the ones who will dwell on high. The rocks of the mountains will be their fortress of safety. Food will be supplied to them, and they will have water in abundance.

There seems to be a Holy boldness that comes upon Christians who are steeped in the Word and know their God. These folks are not easily intimidated on the job, they are full of ideas and are good at problem solving and always strive to deal in truth. The writer of Proverbs states:

THE WICKED flee when no man pursues them, but the [uncompromisingly] righteous are bold as a lion. [Lev. 26:17, 36; Ps. 53:5.] (Proverbs 28:1 AMP)

Galatians 5:13-26

I have read verse 13 wrongly until I read it today. I’ve always had a problem really understanding what seems to me to be contradictory information. Some how I had a disconnect in placing this verse within the context of the book. But today I “got it,” or at least I think I understand it in greater depth then I had before. Our freedom in Christ is freedom from the “curse of the law” and that curse is trying to keep the law, which we can never do.

The curse of the Law could not be the consequences of not keeping the Law because the Law was only given to Israel and sickness and disease ran supreme within Israel and outside of Israel. The “Nations” did not have the law so “The Curse” had to be trying to keep all 600plus laws of the Mosaic Covenant.

I also understand clearer that we have two kinds of desires, those given to us by the Sprit and those that emanate from our “flesh” or sinful nature and they will always be at war with each other. 18 … And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and we are never free from this conflict. Our “job” should be to build up our “spirts” so that we become strong enough to override the “flesh.”

These two things that have spoken to me in today’s New Testament reading and seem to be written so clearly, yet I didn’t get i. This says to me that I must never assume that I have the full understanding or the meaning of a particular scripture and must always be open for correction and enlightenment.

Psalm 64:1-10

1 O God, listen to my complaint.
Do not let my enemies' threats overwhelm me.

This Psalm of David is not speaking about the presence or actual physical conflict with the enemy overwhelming him but their threats, the fiery words that are spewing out of their mouths. Sticks and Stones may break bones but words can definitely harm us and overwhelm us if we do not run to the High Tower that the Name of the Lord creates to shelter us.

Proverbs 23:23

Mike you wrote,

“Today in Proverbs 23:23 we read: “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” What does this Proverb mean to you? Can you “buy the truth” or is this perhaps a metaphor? Why shouldn’t you sell it? Why get wisdom, discipline and understanding? Why is discipline good to get? What is truth? Where can you find truth? Is the Bible Truth? Will you learn from this Truth in some way each day of your life?”

You have asked us some powerful questions. Truth is the core value from which everything flows and that Truth is Jesus Christ. (John 14:16) Truth is that Pearl of Great Price for which the merchant sold everything he had to posses it. (Matthew 13:46). Yes, Truth can be bought but not over the counter as a Marketplace exchange. Truth cost us relationships, promotions and positions. Truth may even cost you your family.

Grace and peace,

The verses in Galatians chapter 5 made me reflect on my life with God. He controls our lives and sometimes that fact needs to sink in. I can start to let go, and let God lead me. The second portion of the verse spoke to me and made me analyze myself. If God is in control of my life, the traits he is producing in me (love, patience, self-control, etc.) should be evident. He is constantly on the lookout for me and knowing that, I will always be working to become a better person.

In today's passage Paul writes to the Galatians church about the desires of our flesh versus the desire of the Holy Spirit. In verses 16-26, Paul talks about walking with the Spirit, and in order to keep in step with Him, we have to toss out our old sin (sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry...) and live out the Fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace...). Therefore, if we want to keep up with the Spirit we must live out our life as God wishes us to.

Galatians 5:24 really stood out to me. It says that when we committed ourselves to Jesus Christ, we not only crucified ourselves with Christ but also our desires. So when we give ourselves to God, we also give up our earthly desires. (The desires of the flesh are in contradiction with the Spirit, so that's why we have to give it up.) If we want to walk with the Spirit, then we must become in agreement with the Spirit.

I think this verse also connects with Matthew 6:24: "You cannot serve both God and money". These two verses are similar because God does not agree with earthly things, and both verses teach this. You can only choose one: God OR money/earthly desires. I hope we all choose God.

When we do sinful things, we are abusing God's gift of freedom. I should make sure things that tempt me into doing that are removed.

Reading the Galatians passage and New Testament section of the blog reminded me that I need to let go of what I WANT. what I NEED. what I am trying to achieve and just allow God to help me with life. It's still hard sometimes to find the line between doing too much and not allowing God to do any work in my life, but also doing too little and fully trusting that God will just magicallyl give me the answers for a test pretty much. I pray that God will help me with this constant internal struggle of mine and that I can learn to rely on him and pray more.

After reading Galations 5:22-26, I thought about how we must let ourselves go and allow Christ to lead us. If we allow Christ to lead us, we will treat others with love, patience, kindness etc. I know that personally I sometimes don't exhibit these characteristics, so this week, I would like to specifically keep in mind two traits: love, to have unconditional love for others, and patience, to stay patient even through hard times and always remember that God has a plan for me.

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