The Immeasurable Magnitude of Mercy…

“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”  Luke 6:36 Mercy, the greatest gift one can show another and none could ever come close to the kind of mercy Jesus shows and has shown and no mercy will ever compare to the mercy shown us when He took our place on the cross and took all the punishment, pain, and torture for the wrong of all mankind.

The age-old term of “mercy me” literally meaning “have mercy on me” and the dictionary meanings are many a splendid thing :), words such as “benevolence”, “compassion”, “kindness”, “forgiveness”, and the mac daddy of them all is “forbearance” Which means to tolerate beyond any reasonable expectation the behavior of another, and can be equated also to what Jesus spoke of when He said, “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” 

Which means in Old English means two, but for the record Jesus didn’t speak Old English, of course being God He certainly can speak any language He wants, but I point that out also in this mercy post, because they are some who get really upset if you leave out a “thee” or “thou” when trying to relay messages from the word.

Dealing with that teaches the double edge of mercy. Being merciful in not brow beating another for an innocent infraction and flip it over and forbear when we are browbeaten for that misquote. 

We seem to be running a little crazy in society right now, we have mercy only in the areas that mean something to us.

I am so thankful that so many have joined the causes of animal rights and believe wholeheartedly in that and believe that God’s word is very clear on HIS thoughts on it, if you’d like you can read more about that in OF A DUDE, A DONKEY, AND A VERY ANGRY ANGEL so I certainly do not want to dismiss mercy shown by ANYONE to ANYTHING because the world needs help in ALL areas.

But I do not understand how people can feel that strongly and protective of the others of God’s creation and how they can literally fight for the environment, I firmly believe in and support that also, I have never written on it but think about these words from Revelation 11:18, it deals with the wrath of God and the ends goes like this “…and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”

It was all gift ed to us from God and we have destroyed it and ourselves through wickedness.

But I fail to understand how one can love the trees, the wilderness, flowers, and butterflies and yet have no problem whatsoever with the slaughter of millions of babies, our OWN species, a year.

And I can’t understand how anyone in the name of science can say they want to cure diseases and save lives and find cures and yet can be so evil and unmerciful to torture animals in researching those cures and even worse the cosmetic industry, like, “Oh, I love your long lashes, wonder how many animals were blinded in the process of coming up with that lengthening formula?

Certainly can’t understand the concept, which can be pretty predominant in certain crowds, of  “don’t kill those babies, but string that murderer up”  folks, we can’t have both.

And I will show you why in just a bit.   

As a society these lines are becoming more and more blurred and the fight for  perceived mercy and acceptance toward some is causing absolute mercilessness and hatred spewed at others that have different thoughts on the subject at hand.

What is this leading up to? Well, often the thought is the ends justify the means and people can become absolutely obsessed with their “cause” so much so, that cause becomes more of a militant mission and what can start off as a heart in the right place can turn very dark when met with anger and intolerance from the opposition, Regardless of what those disagreements pertain to.

Because right and wrong can only be truly measured by the Word Of God and His standards of behavior and justice, everything else is OUR human opinions and PERSONAL standards. 

Often the wrong teachings of Him as hostile, and wanting to torch everyone has left many wide open to the tricks and snares of the devil and they run AWAY from God because they have seen things from those who profess Christ, that are in NO WAY true representations of Jesus Christ, as my favorite saying goes, “All that glitters is not gold” and just because someone says that are a “Christian” does in no way mean that they are following Christ.

Jesus told us that we would know them by “their fruit” a good tree can not bear bad fruit nor a bad one good, so we KNOW by their actions, which truly speak louder that words, where they really stand with God.

The devil can quote Bible scripture, he tried to use them against Jesus when Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days, he knows more about the word, probably than many of us, because he has been around since creation.

And the Bible gives us warning after warning about “false preachers'” and “false teachers” and those who are “wolves in sheep clothing” the devil himself, we are told, “can transform into an angel of light” and that “IF it were possible”, the very elect, God’s CHOSEN “would EVEN be deceived” but God will not allow that.

So when people fall to the wrong beliefs and TURN on God this is what FILLS that place in their heart and soul that should be filled by Him.

Romans 1:22, 28-32: “Professing THEMSELVES to be wise, they became fools.

And even as they did NOT like to retain God in their knowledge, God GAVE them over to a reprobate MIND, to do those things which are NOT convenient (fitting);  

BEING FILLED WITH ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; FULL of envy, murder, debate (strife), deceit, malignity (evil-mindedness),whisperers,

Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful (violent), proud, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents. 

WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING, covenantbreakers, WITHOUT natural affection, implacable (unforgiving), UNMERCIFUL;

Who KNOWING the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

Sound familiar? If not, try turning on the television sometimes and check out the news and you will see plenty of it.

Mercy is OUR choice and once we lose sight of just what mercy entails will are in for a world of hurt. 

Mercy and truth co-exist and you can not truly have one without the other.

Psalm 85:9-13: “Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. 

Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. 

Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.

Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set US in the way of his steps.” 

Hopefully you can see by the bold and underlined where this is going,  once mercy comes into play it brings forth truth because in order to show mercy we must look at our own actions and based on the GOLDEN RULE X2 we realize many truths.

Especially the endless mercies that God has shown us in our lifetimes. Mercy and truth help produce righteousness (right-standing with God) and peace, that peace that also allows for that forbearing mercy.

Then we can be blessed of God and he will direct our paths in Him.

So whether it is resisting the temptation to spread some juicy gossip, or the need to take ten and calm down that last nerve someone is getting on, or being proactive in choices that represent your conviction of mercy, or even as a far greater act of mercy, when it is in your power, one form or another to destroy another person, be it their reputation, their job security, or whatever it may be and you choose NOT to, because THAT is the kind of mercy Jesus has shown us,.

He could have destroyed this entire universe and simply spoke another into existence. He could have left us all to die in our sins, He could have chosen NOT to cast those forgiven sins “into the sea of forgetfulness” and He could have reminded us every single day of what we had done wrong.

But He doesn’t, and our sins, once forgiven are “as far as the east is to the west”.

And mercy is what He expects us to show if we EXPECT mercy from Him.

He is just and absolutely fair in His judgments toward us and we truly are returned what we are willing to give another, with no room for self-righteous condemnations of others.

Just as the story of the Pharisee  and the tax collector  Luke 18:10-14, the Pharisee was all up on himself TELLING God how fabulous he had been and how much better he was than “THAT tax collector” and tax collector confessed his sins and ASKED for mercy and Jesus commended Him in His Word, that he was the one that actually was right with God that day. 

What counts with God is the things that NO ONE sees, that is just as important, being diligent when no one else even knows, because someone DOES KNOW and that someone is God. So go that extra mile even when you don’t feel like it, look over thoughts and actions that you may not necessarily agree with when there is nothing to be harmed by looking over that.

Be merciful at every opportunity, to give love, kindness, and show mercy, even in the little things, don’t get mad at the dog,don’t squish that bug just because it is there, don’t throw out the cat, don’t punish your child out of simple anger, the things we put so much stock in is not even going to matter in the end.

All that is going to matter is the choices you have made, not that society made for you, but you made for yourself.

I told you I’d show you why, Psalm 18:24-26: “Therefore the Lord hath recompensed me  according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight. 

With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright:

With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; with the froward (devious) thou wilt shew thyself froward (shrewd).” 

He WILL mirror back to use our own image in these things and sometimes that is not very pretty, we NEED all the mercy we can get.

James 2:12,13:” So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 

For he shall have JUDGEMENT WITHOUT MERCY, THAT HATH SHEWED NO MERCY; AND MERCY REJOICETH AGAINST JUDGEMENT..” Which means mercy is gentle, kind, and forgiving and does NOT seek retaliation or to harm simply because it is socially acceptable to do so.

Such as, in my state, it was perfectly legal  for a man to beat his spouse until the nineteen eighties, but do you think this made it okay?

Do you think that God is going to look over that if they do not repent?

No, He is not, just because we “can” do something does NOT make it right.

But how many guys do you think probably took full advantage of that “right” to abuse spouses, run roughshod over families, destroy lives, and be cock of the roost.

My point. and will end it right here:

Hosea 6:6: “ For I DESIRED mercy (faithfulness) , and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Thanks for reading! Thanks for your patience with me and thank you to my followers, I appreciate every single person who takes time out of their life to read this blog. God bless you till next time! Love & Peace! Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

“360”

“Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. 

Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness the Lord shall be a light unto me.” Micah 7:7,8

Ever feel like the enemy and often enemies are having one heck of a party celebrating what they think and hope is your demise?

I have been through quite a little season and we ALL have, so I never want to come off that I think it is only me…I know better.

I know God’s people have come under attacks like nothing seen before and attacks on every side, many almost falling under that pressure, stumbling a bit, trying to navigate through that darkness as the enemy rejoices because he thinks he can keep us there but he can’t, he doesn’t have that kind of power and the only way we will remain in that darkness is if we continue to sit in it. And the first step to being pulled back up by our boot straps is allowing the light of God that shines on us, to shine through us, and in us.

As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:5-9: “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord: and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 

For God, who commanded the light to shine OUT OF THE DARKNESS, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 

BUT we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We are troubled (hard-pressed)on every side, yet NOT distressed (crushed); we are perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but NOT forsaken; cast (struck) down, but NOT destroyed.”  

Which now brings me to my “360” anyone who follows this blog knows that I lost my Mom in September and also had two more very close family members battling cancer at the same time, so I really hadn’t been keeping this up as I should have so I had felt impressed to “revamp” and do a 360.

I pulled a lot of posts that were personal in content and took away the “baresoul” part of the name and planned to return it to what it was meant to be, so if you are redirected to 360, I assure you, it is safe.

Anyway as I began this process my sister’s condition became worse and there was no one on this earth like my sister, we often joked that we had one brain between us and each had a half, we were that in tune with each other and she was one of the few people who ever encouraged me in ministry, and I knew she was dying, she had been given 24-72 hours the morning I wrote my last post, so I wrote it, dedicated it to her because I couldn’t imagine doing anything without her in my life. So I called it done and went to her house and was there when she passed, even though I had planned to not be there for the last moment, it doesn’t always work out the way we want it to, I wanted her healed, I wanted my Mom healed, I wanted my brother healed but God has reasons and purposes for everything and He is still sovereign.

But during the course of all these things, the enemy loves to use people to just add a little more, it’s like you can’t be going through enough hurt and sorrow, they have to just make that load a little heavier and I was the subject of the most vicious lie filled social media attack and this was hitting areas that were so deplorable that only a sick evil person could have a heart black enough to say such trash, things concerning the death of my mother and even her funeral expenses, which Mom had insurance, but for all the hundreds of people who read that, they’d never know it.

Back to my point, you know, sometimes whipping boys grow a little weary of being whipped. So I held my peace as long as possible and after the burial, I did indeed make that quite known, so I got another social media rant threw at me, which is funny considering I am not even on it now.

But anyway after people believe lies and the looks you get when that final straw snaps does kinda make one rethink everything and I have known through it all that the first thing that would get questioned is my ministry. But you know, God is still God. God is ever merciful and God knows our thoughts before we even think them.

So I determined after two weeks pondering and praying that if I just throw away the opportunity God has given me and I choose to sit in that darkness then I have no one to blame but myself if I fail God and fail the call he has given me. So the 360 is for me, a 360 back to the Lord, to His mercy and forgiveness and away from the games and drama that he NEVER told me that I had to be part of.

A 360 back to the ONLY one whose opinion should matter to me.

A 360 back under the shadow of His wings and his protection.

A 360 back to the prayers that David sang in Psalms as he asked not for power in his flesh to turn back the enemies that rose against him, but he prayed and sang for God, the ONLY power to turn back those enemies on his behalf.

A 360 back to the everlasting arms that hold not only today but our yesterday and tomorrow.

And a 360 for my ministry, which after six years did needed a fresh ray of sunshine, or should I say SON SHINE!

Posts hitting a verse or two, short and hopefully sweet to encourage someone somewhere that you are NEVER alone, NEVER gone to far, and a darkness does not exist that can not be pierced by his marvellous light. 

He sees and He knows and He forgives and He helps us when we can’t help our selves. When we can’t fight the temptation to hold our tongues, when the world looks on in shock because they think they can somehow hide from God their own thoughts.

But He loves us and in that love HE forgives us and His mercy is renewed every single morning IF we will receive it. And I for one have decided that I will receive it and with that I absolutely rescind my “resignation” from my calling.

As long as the Lord allows and as long as He blesses me with this avenue of ministry , it will go on.

And here is our proof, for ALL of us, that He knows, He sees, and we are to be grateful for that.

Psalm 139:1-18: “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thoughts afar off.

Thou compassest (comprehendeth) my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset (enclosed, encircled) me behind and before (front and back), and laid thine hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whiter shall I go from thy spirit? or whiter shall I flee from thy presence?

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover (fall upon) me ,even the night shall be light around about me.

Yea,the darkness hideth not from thee (is not dark to thee); but the night SHINETH as the day: The darkness and the day are both alike to thee.

For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

My substance (bones) was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed) and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them (our days prepared BEFORE we were still in the womb). 

How PRECIOUS also ARE thy thoughts unto me, O God, how great is the sum of them!

If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” 

No matter how down the world gets on us, or how down we get on ourselves, these words should make any heart rejoice!

God telling us through his word that EVEN before He formed us in our mother’s womb. He KNEW us and as these verses describe that formation and that EVEN our days are known BEFORE we ever come forth and that His thoughts toward as are innumerable and ALL those thoughts are precious and for our good!

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

Precious Valentines

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light,that his deeds may be manifest, that they are wrought in God.” John 3:16-21

That passage of scripture I do believe, contains the most popular verse in all of human history “For God so loved the world…

Love. Love is the “secret” to it all.

God created us out of that love, the same love that allowed Jesus to be tortured and die an excruciating death on the cross for us and the same love that will one day raise us up eternally to rest forever in that love.

I can’t let Valentines’ Day come yet once again without thanking God for that love. Romans 5:8: “But God commenedeth (demonstrates) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

It is and always has been my absolute favorite holiday, I love all the legends and folk lore associated with it, martyrdom and self sacrifice in the name of Christian love.

I know Christmas and Easter should be and they are the most Holy of days BUT think of this, the day that celebrates the greatest and most cherished of all emotions, the one day set aside to celebrate love itself should be also be set aside to celebrate love HIMSELF.

And of course I am not talking about the worldly take on it either, I am talking about celebrating in him and sharing his love with all that you can on one very special day.

Take time out from the chocolate hearts you may buy, the flowers you may send, and the enamored love songs that you may dedicate to the love of your life. Visit someone, call someone, or just do something for someone else who is hurting or widowed to bring a smile to their face and the touch of God to their heart.

Of all the paper hearts and valentines greetings passed as school children, all the boxes of candy given and received over a lifetime, every gift that we may have received, even ever so carefully planned and thought out to glorious perfection would still one day in retrospect concerning what is truly precious, what is truly eternal and all will pale in comparison to the true gift of the love God. And that love, HIS love, shared from one heart to another,one word spoken in due season to cheer and encourage a heart that may completely breaking. As Jesus described those who come to the light, their desire is to do the will of God and show forth HIS love, and kindness.

So give those cards, send those flowers, cook that dinner, and eat the chocolates and be happy guys and gals but don’t forget to thank and send your love to the truest heart, the most precious of all, the one who loved enough to die and who in the greatest demonstration of the eternity of that love rose. And in honour of him be willing to give of yourself, give your heart the most precious valentine that you could ever give to someone else.

From my heart to yours… HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

Φλογιζω360 NBJ 2019

Love… sweet love

1 Corinthians 13: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become a sounding brass, or a tinkling (clanging) cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vauneth not (does not brag on)  itself, is not puffed up (arrogant).

Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no record of wrong);

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 

Charity (love) never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail (cease) whether there be tongues they shall cease; whether there shall be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

For we know in part, and we prophecy in part.

But when that which is perfect (complete) is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was as a child, I spake as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see through a glass (mirror) darkly (dimly); but then face to face; now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known. 

And now abideth (remains) faith, hope, charity (love), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love).”  

LOVE CONQUERS ALL  Jesus taught us this.

John 15:10-13: As the Father hath loved me, so have I have loved youcontinue (abide) in my love.

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Jesus desires us to grow into that same level of love that He has, of course, being human that is a pretty tough assignment.

But when you really look at all Jesus went through and all that He dealt with, it really isn’t that much different, that is why he is our High Priest, who can understand and sympathize with what it is like to reach out and reach out to someone only to be cursed and rejected by them.

They laughed him to scorn when he announced that Jarius daughter wasn’t dead but only asleep.

When freeing people from the demons who were controlling them, he was accused of using the power of satan to cast out satan.

When he healed on the sabbath, he was accused of breaking Mosaic law. His healing of the man whom had been blind from birth so enraged those of the temple that they put not only the man but even his parents through an inquisition under the threat of excommunication, A interesting way to rejoice with one who had just receiveth sight!

His own people rejected him because they knew his family and had watched him grow up and refused to believe that “that the boy next door” could possibly be the Messiah. The more kindness he showed them, the more most wanted to kill him.

Just as he said, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin (relatives) , and in his own house. 

And we know that even at his arrest, in the face of those who hated him, and would beat him, torture him, spit in his face, and eventually crucify him, he still displayed perfect love.

Matthew chapter twenty-six tells that Peter, thinking that he was defending Jesus against arrest, cut the ear of a solider and Jesus restored the mans ear, and Jesus said this in verse fifty-three: “Thinketh thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me (provide me with) more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scripture be fulfilled, that thus it must be?  

EVERYTHING had to happen exactly as it had been prophesied. Luke 24:44: “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that ALL things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”

Jesus could have aborted the mission, he could have called down over seventy two thousand angels and he could have destroyed this entire planet and he could have left ALL of mankind  never to be reconciled back to God and eternally lost and separated from the very one who created them.

But he didn’t and he didn’t because Jesus IS perfect love and he loved us enough to hold our souls in higher value than his life.

And that love comes just what Paul was describing to the Corinthians.

When we are not yet matured in Christ or when we are yet in the world, we react with what is considered a “normal” reaction. A response kinda like,” If you hate me, I’ll hate you, you strike me and I’ll strike you harder” and think of some of our worldly “advice”, such as the quote, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” everything we are taught by this world is contrary and backward to the word of God.

So we must mature in love, we all start out with Christ the same way, we all are on “the milk” of the word and are gradually graduated to that “solid meat” and that “food” does get pretty hard to chew sometimes but we must grow in Christ, and as Paul stated it, when he matured in Christ, he put away those reactions and that enabled him to do the will and work of God in the face of those who hated him.

We have to mature into that love so that we can be the lights he called us to be because his word, again has to be fulfilled and this is what he said concerning that.

Matthew 6:43-48: ” Ye have heard that it hath been said, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR, AND HATE THINE ENEMY.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for  them that despitefully use you, and persecute you;

That ye may be called the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the the just and the unjust

For it ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same?

And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than the others? do not even the publicans so?

Be ye therefore PERFECT, even as your Father which is in heaven IS PERFECT.”

Keep your mind on PERFECT for a bit. And REMEMBER this reference to PERFECT MEANS COMPLETE.

I do want to point out that I do NOT think that Jesus meant for us to live in the same house with batterer and those who physically hurt us because again, he TOOK those stripes and being beat beyond recognition for us, so we would NOT suffer that.

Pray for those people WHEN your heart is healed enough to allow for that but don’t let anyone twist this scripture on you, to make you think God wants you to stay in abusive situations.

I tell ya, I have struggled so much in this area, even as recently as the passing of my mother, I had so much static to work through and  I think once we understand why and just trust God we have won at least half the battle.

But I think the best advice I ever received was from my husband, I had been hurt so bad by someone and it was just so illogical and never was I given any kind of reasoning, even to this day. I was so devastated, I could not figure out what I had done to make them just absolutely reject me, really to the point of shunning that I may as well have not ever existed to them and it damaged my ministry and honestly it damaged what little self-confidence I had at the time to the point of almost shutting me completely down, and I look back now and I can see just how much that my reaction to that cost and how much it still costs.

But my husband told me that had that “testing” came through anyone else it would not have been effective, if a random stranger is cruel to us we can blow it off, still hurts but not like someone whose opinion matters can hurt us, BUT that is how we grow, we grow through forgiveness and we grow through depending on the love Jesus has for us being greater than the need we have for the approval of any person, and being made painfully aware that you do NOT have that approval makes the lesson of dependency on God’s approval that much easier to learn, didn’t say not a painful, but definitely easier.

And that is what Jesus was teaching us with his words, followed by his reaction to those others would have hated.

Now WHY do we need that?

We need that to effectively touch others for Christ and sometimes the grouchiest, meanest, orneriest of the bunch could be the very God has sent you to.

Remember the story from Acts 9:10-20 concerning the conversion of Saul to Paul, Ananias actually had to have a little extra assurance from God before he would go pray for Paul, because he wasn’t quite sure he wanted to tangle with who Paul had been until God convinced him that who Paul had been was gone and that now Paul was in the process of becoming a chosen vessel. 

Love has to be shown and taught, and Jesus required it of us to show others what he is about, what his kingdom is about.

People are often hateful and contrary because they have bitterness, for whatever reason, and eventually it just takes over and it can happen to anyone.

Galatians 6:1,2: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also been tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so FULFIL the law of Christ.

We have to have that meekness, that humility of love to effectively help another as we would want someone to help us.

1 Peter 4:8: “And ABOVE ALL things have fervent  charity (love) among yourselves; for CHARITY (love) COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS.”   

And that love is not the earthly love, that is the love that only comes from a relationship with Jesus and the love that he loves us with and that he commanded us to love others with, even those who make it extremely hard, because they have been hurt, wounded, and are AFRAID of letting anyone or anything in, especially God because often people become convinced that God could not possibly love them or that their sins are unforgivable, or they feel that god has abandoned them and this is why we are commanded to RESTORE, bring them back to the sheepfold, remind them of that love, and shine that light.

Because if something can be RESTORED that means it is ALREADY there and had been active at one time.

REMEMBER perfect, the PERFECT love, the complete love Jesus spoke of, and that Paul told us would change everything when it became active?

And this the power of that love. 1 John 4:18:”…but perfect (complete) love casteth out fear

Perfect love, the complete love that only comes to us and through us for God himself, restores, heals, delivers, makes all things new, conquers all, can not and will not ever fail.

Have a wonderful evening! God bless you till next time.

φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2018